Saturday, April 14, 2012

A Re-post From David C. McCasland of Our Daily Bread

Stick Together

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn

For years, scientists have wondered how fire ants, whose bodies are denser than water, can survive floods that should destroy them. How do entire colonies form themselves into life rafts that can float for weeks? A Los Angeles Times article explained that engineers from the Georgia Institute of Technology discovered that tiny hairs on the ants’ bodies trap air bubbles. This enables thousands of the insects, “which flounder and struggle in the water as individuals,” to ride out the flood when they cling together.

The New Testament speaks often of our need to be connected to other followers of Christ in order to survive and grow spiritually. In Ephesians 4, Paul wrote, “We should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine.” He added, “But, speaking the truth in love, may [we] grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love” (vv.14-16).

Alone, we sink; but clinging and growing together in the Lord, we can ride out every storm.

Let’s stick together!

We can’t avoid the tossing storms of life,
And we survive while carried to and fro;
We’ll stick together as we face the strife,
And in God’s strength the victory we shall know. —Hess
Christians stand strong when they stand together.

Re-posted From David C. McCasland of Our Daily Bread

Friday, April 13, 2012

A Re-post From Dave Branon of Our Daily Bread

When The Journey Gets Tough

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn

In August 2009, Blair and Ronna Martin lost their energetic 9-year-old son Matti when he was dragged to his death by a family cow. I had a chance to meet this Kenai, Alaska, family and share in their grief. And I know how tough this tragedy has been for them.

I also know that they are seeking God’s care and comfort for their pain. An observation made by Matti’s mom is valuable for anyone walking through one of life’s valleys. During one of her down times, Ronna was reading 2 Corinthians 1:9, which says that “we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead.” She felt as if Jesus were telling her, “Ronna, I know the journey has been too much for you, and you are bone-weary. Do not be ashamed of your exhaustion. Instead, see it as an opportunity for Me to take charge of your life.”

When the journey gets too tough to navigate, 2 Corinthians 1:9 is a reminder to us that we don’t travel alone. We have the help of the One who showed us His power in the resurrection, and who will demonstrate His power again when He raises believing loved ones of all generations to eternal life. “My strength and my hope have to be in Christ alone,” Ronna said. That’s a truth we all need as we travel the journey God has for us.

When life’s journey gets so difficult
That it feels too much to bear,
Just remember, we don’t walk alone—
Our almighty God is there. —Sper
The storms of life remind us to take shelter
in the loving arms of our Savior.

Re-posted From Dave Branon of Our Daily Bread

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Re-post From Jennifer Benson Schuldt of Our Daily Bread

Awake With His Word

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn

My eyes fluttered open, but the room was still dark. It was too early to get up. I sighed, adjusted my pillow, and hoped for sleep. Unfortunately, a lengthy to-do list bombarded my brain. I needed to buy groceries, deliver a meal to a friend, answer e-mail, schedule a doctor’s appointment . . . .

If you’ve ever been overwhelmed and worried, you know how it feels to stare at the ceiling when you should be sleeping. The writer of Psalm 119 was no stranger to this experience. He wrote, “I rise before the dawning of the morning, and cry for help; I hope in Your Word” (v.147).

God’s Word delivered special comfort during the psalmist’s sleepless nights. Although he couldn’t make his problems disappear, he said, “My eyes are awake through the night watches, that I may meditate on Your Word” (v.148). At night he reviewed God’s Word over and over in his mind. He concentrated on Scripture rather than his concerns. This practice allowed him to proclaim, “Oh, how I love Your law!” (v.97).

When worry wakes you up, remember, “The Word of God is living and powerful” (Heb. 4:12). Select a passage and mull it over. Our cares cannot compete with God’s Word!

If your soul is parched and thirsty
And you feel weighed down by care,
Go to God’s Word for refreshment—
You’ll find strength and comfort there. —Sper
Only God can still our hearts and quiet our minds.

Re-posted From Jennifer Benson Schuldt of Our Daily Bread

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A Re-post From Dennis Fisher of Our Daily Bread

Open Doors

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn

The Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard (1813–1855) wrote: “If I were to wish for anything, I should not wish for wealth and power, but . . . for the eye which, ever young and ardent, sees the possible.”

The apostle Paul saw some great ministry possibilities in his life situations. He used the open doors God provided to witness for Christ. When he was arrested in Jerusalem and appeared before Governor Felix, he used the opportunity to proclaim the gospel (Acts 24:24). While he and Silas were in prison, they shared the gospel with the Philippian jailer (Acts 16:25-34). And later Paul used his imprisonment in Rome as an opportunity to encourage the Philippian believers in their faith (Phil. 1:12-18).

In writing to the church at Corinth, Paul told the believers he wanted to visit and spend some time with them, but that he needed to stay in Ephesus because of an opportunity for ministry: “I will tarry in Ephesus until Pentecost. For a great and effective door has opened to me” (1 Cor. 16:8-9). And Paul also involved others by asking them to pray for open doors so he could speak clearly about Christ (Col. 4:3).

Ask God to show you possible open doors of service. You might be surprised at what you see.

Jesus said to one and all:
“Take your cross and follow Me.”
When you sense the Spirit’s call,
Seize the opportunity! —Hess
God writes opportunity on one side of the door and responsibility on the other.

Re-posted From Dennis Fisher of Our Daily Bread

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A Re-post From Randy Kilgore of Our Daily Bread

The Power Of Soft Answers

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn

My car broke down in a tunnel during rush hour in downtown Boston. Angry drivers expressed their frustration as they struggled past me. Eventually, the car was towed to a station for repairs. Later it broke down again, stranding me along the Interstate at 2 a.m. Back to the shop it went.

Unfortunately, the repair shop also doubled as a parking lot during Red Sox baseball games. When I arrived after work the next day to pick up my car, it was hemmed in by 30 other vehicles!

Let’s just say I was less than Christlike in my initial reaction. I ranted and raved, and then, realizing it was only making them less willing to help me at the close of their day, I decided to give up. I stormed toward the glass doors and struggled to get them open. My anger increased when the station workers laughed at me.

I had barely made it out when I realized how unlike Christ I’d been. Chastened, I rapped on the locked doors and mouthed “I’m sorry” to the staff inside. They were stunned! They let me back in, and I meekly told them that Christians shouldn’t behave as I had. Minutes later, they were shifting cars to free up mine. I learned the truth that soft rather than harsh words can change circumstances (Prov. 15:1).

O may I find in anger’s grip
The strength to temper tongue and lip;
But failing that, may God grant me
The courage for apology. —Kilgore
A soft answer has often been
the means of breaking a hard heart.

Re-posted From Randy Kilgore of Our Daily Bread

Monday, April 9, 2012

A Re-post From Cindy Hess Kasper of Our Daily Bread

Hope For A “Mudder”

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn

When my husband built a covered porch on the front of our house, he anticipated that someday a bird might try to build a nest there. So he built the top of the corner post on a slant. Later we laughed smugly when we saw robins trying their best to claim squatting rights to a new home. Piles of grass on the porch revealed their wasted efforts. But after 2 days of steady rain, we saw that a nest had indeed appeared in the very spot we thought was impossible. Because of the rain, Mrs. Robin was able to mix up a batch of mud mortar. Weaving it with twigs and grass, our determined feathered friend had built herself a new nest. She had persevered.

Perseverance is inspiring! Trying to live a Christ-honoring life while experiencing hardship can leave us frustrated and discouraged. But when we depend on God to help us through our difficulties, we are empowered to keep going even when we can’t always see the resolution of our problems. Galatians 6:9 reminds us not to grow “weary while doing good” and encourages us not to give up.

Is our loving God using a seemingly insurmountable challenge in your life to produce perseverance? Let Him produce in you character, and through character, hope (Rom. 5:3-4).

When trials intrude to slow down your life,
It would be easy for you to give in;
But by perseverance you’ll overcome strife,
So just keep on plodding—with Christ you can win. —Branon
When the world says, “Give up,” hope whispers, “Try it one more time!”

Re-posted From Cindy Hess Kasper of Our Daily Bread

Sunday, April 8, 2012

A Re-post From Anne Cetas of Our Daily Bread

Run To The Cross

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn

Whenever a tsunami warning is given on the northern coastline of Maui, Hawaii, the people living in Hana rush up the side of a mountain to a high place of safety. Nearby is a tall wooden cross that was placed there many years ago by missionaries. For their physical safety, people run to the area where the cross is located.

In a similar way, all of us need a place of spiritual safety. Why? Because the Lord gives us these warnings in His Word: “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” and “the wages of sin is death” (Rom. 3:23; 6:23). Hebrews 9:27 states: “It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.” We might not like to think about what the consequences of our sin will be as we face a holy God, but it’s a serious thing “to fall into the hands of the living God” (10:31).

The good news is that out of love for us, the Father has provided a place of safety! He sent His Son Jesus to die so we wouldn’t have to be separated from Him forever (Rom. 5:8-10; Col. 1:19-22).

Because of Jesus Christ’s death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead, that place of safety is available. Have you run to the cross?

On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
The emblem of suffering and shame;
And I love that old cross where the dearest and best
For a world of lost sinners was slain. —Bennard
To escape sin’s curse, run to the cross.

Re-posted From Anne Cetas of Our Daily Bread

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