Saturday, April 21, 2012

A Re-post From Anne Cetas of Our Daily Bread

Investment Advice

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
“I want to help you invest wisely in your future.” That’s what the financial advisor said as he began his talk about investing in 401(k)s and retirement funds. He wanted his listeners to continue putting money in the stock market during all the ups and downs of the economy because historically a good return will eventually occur.
God wants us to invest wisely in our spiritual future as well. Through the ups and downs of life’s circumstances we should continually invest in a “spiritual account”: our character. The apostle Peter tells us to be diligent about character development (2 Peter 1:5-11). After we trust in Christ for salvation, we are to invest these qualities into our character: faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love.
The future returns on our investment in character will be godliness (vv.5-7), fruitfulness in the knowledge of Jesus Christ (v.8), assurance of our calling (v.9), and victory over sin (v.10).
Investing money in retirement funds can be profitable, but investing in our spiritual lives offers the best kind of return for our future!
Let us grow up into Christ,
Claiming His life and its powers—
The triumphs of grace in the heavenly place
That our conquering Lord has made ours. —Flint

Now is the time to invest in eternity.

Friday, April 20, 2012

A Re-post From Marvin Williams of Our Daily Bread

Called By A New Name

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
In the article “Leading by Naming,” Mark Labberton wrote about the power of a name. He said: “I can still feel the impact of a musical friend who one day called me ‘musical.’ No one had ever called me that. I didn’t really play an instrument. I was no soloist. Yet . . . I instantly felt known and loved. . . . [He] noticed, validated, and appreciated something deeply true about me.”
Perhaps this is what Simon felt when Jesus renamed him. After Andrew was convinced that Jesus was the Messiah, he immediately found his brother Simon and brought him to Jesus (John 1:41-42). Jesus peered into his soul and validated and appreciated something deeply true about Simon. Yes, Jesus saw the failure and impetuous nature that would get him into trouble. But more than that He saw the potential of Simon to become a leader in the church. Jesus named him Cephas—Aramaic for Peter—a rock (John 1:42; see Matt. 16:18).
And so it is with us. God sees our pride, anger, and lack of love for others, but He also knows who we are in Christ. He calls us justified and reconciled (Rom. 5:9-10); forgiven, holy, and beloved (Col. 2:13; 3:12); chosen and faithful (Rev. 17:14). Remember how God sees you and seek to let that define who you are.
I am so glad for the day that I came
Seeking relief for my soul;
Jesus the Savior gave me my new name;
Now by His grace I’m made whole. —Hess
No one can steal your identity in Christ.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

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

God’s Unfailing Love

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
The Old Testament book of Hosea is the story of God’s faithful love for His unfaithful people. In what seems strange to us, the Lord commanded Hosea to marry a woman who would break her marriage vows and bring grief to him (Hosea 1:2-3). After she deserted Hosea for other men, the Lord told him to take her back—a picture of “the love of the Lord for the children of Israel, who look to other gods” (3:1).
Later, Hosea was called upon to tell the Israelites that because of their rebellion against the Lord, they would be carried away into captivity by a foreign power. “Tumult shall arise among your people, and all your fortresses shall be plundered” (10:14).
Yet in the midst of their sin and punishment, the grace of God toward His people was never exhausted. In a grace-filled exhortation, He said: “Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, till He comes and rains righteousness on you” (10:12).
Even when we have “plowed wickedness” and “reaped iniquity” (10:13), God does not stop loving us. Whatever our situation today, we can turn to the Lord and find forgiveness to make a new start. His love never fails!
The Lord bestows unfailing love,
Forgiving when we fall
And then repent and turn to Him,
Responding to His call. —Sper
No force is greater than the power of God’s love.

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

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Re-post From David H. Roper of Our Daily Bread

Beautiful Scars

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn

A number of years ago I was hiking along the Salmon River and came across a grove of pine trees that had been partially stripped of their bark. I knew from a friend who is a forester that the Native Americans who hunted this area long ago had peeled the outer bark and harvested the underlying layer for chewing gum. Some of the scars were disfiguring, but others, filled with crystallized sap and burnished by wind and weather, had been transformed into patterns of rare beauty.

So it is with our transgressions. We may be scarred by the sins of the past. But those sins, repented of and brought to Jesus for His forgiveness, can leave behind marks of beauty.

Some people, having tasted the bitterness of sin, now loathe it. They hate evil and love righteousness. Theirs is the beauty of holiness.

Others, knowing how far they fall short (Rom. 3:23), have tender hearts toward others. They rise up with understanding, compassion, and kindness when others fail. Theirs is the beauty of humility.

Finally, when acts of sin are freely and thoroughly forgiven it leads to intimacy with the One who has shown mercy. Such sinners love much for much has been forgiven (Luke 7:47). Theirs is the beauty of love.

Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me—
All His wonderful passion and purity!
O Thou Spirit divine, all my nature refine,
Till the beauty of Jesus be seen in me. —Orsborn
A forgiven heart is the fountain of beauty.

Re-posted From David H. Roper of Our Daily Bread

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Re-post From Joe Stowell of Our Daily Bread

Who Gets The Credit?

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn

I’ve always been puzzled by the nursery rhyme “Little Jack Horner”: Little Jack Horner sat in the corner, eating a Christmas pie; he put in his thumb, and pulled out a plum, and said, “What a good boy am I!”

It seems rather odd that Jack is sitting in the corner with his plum- covered thumb held high, and saying, “What a good boy am I!” It’s usually bad boys who are sent to the corner for punishment. It seems he’s trying to draw unwarranted attention to himself and is wanting credit for the pie.

We naturally want to draw attention to ourselves, to show off our accomplishments and abilities. Sometimes we think that life is all about us. But living like that is self-delusion at its worst. In reality, our sinfulness has put us “in the corner,” from God’s point of view. Thankfully, Paul’s testimony gives us the right perspective. In spite of his impressive credentials, he gladly surrendered to the supremacy of Jesus: “But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ” (Phil. 3:7). Paul admitted that in order to “gain Christ” (v.8), he had to lay all of his trophies down.

So, give Jesus Christ the braggin’ rights of your life. Or, as Paul put it, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord” (1 Cor. 1:31)—not in yourself!

Lord, You are the One who is high and lofty.
I give myself today to the purpose of pointing
others to You, for who You are and what You do.
You deserve all praise.
We are nothing without Jesus, so give Him the credit.

Re-posted From Joe Stowell of Our Daily Bread

Monday, April 16, 2012

A Re-post From Bill Crowder of Our Daily Bread

A Heart Of Gratitude

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn

My boyhood hero was American frontiersman Davy Crockett. In the book David Crockett: His Life and Adventures, Davy encounters a beautiful sight that causes him to launch into praise to the Creator. The writer describes it this way: “Just beyond the grove there was another expanse of treeless prairie, so rich, so beautiful, so brilliant with flowers, that even Colonel Crockett, all unaccustomed as he was to the devotional mood, reined in his horse, and gazing entranced upon the landscape, exclaimed, ‘O God, what a world of beauty hast Thou made for man! And yet how poorly does he requite Thee for it! He does not even repay Thee with gratitude.’” Crockett recognized that the Creator’s handiwork demands a response of thankfulness—a response that is often neglected or ignored.

The psalmist wrote, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork” (Ps. 19:1). God’s handiwork is a spectacle that, rightly understood, should not only take our breath away but should inspire us to worship and praise our God as it did the psalmist.

Davy Crockett was right—encountering the wonders of God’s creation should inspire, at the least, a heart of gratitude. Are we grateful?

Across the expanse God stretched out His creation—
Established the stars, gave the earth its foundation;
His strength claims our worship, His power our fear;
Yet Calvary’s cross sets us free to draw near. —Gustafson
God’s glory shines through His creation.

Re-posted From Bill Crowder of Our Daily Bread

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A Re-post From Julie Ackerman Link of Our Daily Bread

Stop And See

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn

When my ophthalmologist says, “Be still,” I am still. I don’t argue. I don’t become defiant. I don’t stay busy behind his back. Why? Because he is a renowned eye surgeon who is trying to preserve my sight, and he needs my cooperation. I would be foolish to ignore his instructions.

So why am I not as cooperative in matters of spiritual stillness? God considers rest so important that He built it into the rhythm of life. Without rest we can’t see clearly; we begin to see ourselves as more important than we are.

After Elijah’s stressful confrontation with Ahab and Jezebel, he ran himself into a state of exhaustion. God sent an angel to care for him. During a time of stillness, “the word of the Lord came to him” (1 Kings 19:9). Elijah thought he alone was doing God’s work. He had been so zealous that he didn’t know that 7,000 others hadn’t bowed to Baal (v.18).

Some of us may fear what will happen if we sit still and stop working. But something worse happens when we refuse to rest. Without rest we cannot be spiritually or physically healthy. God heals while we rest.

Just as I needed stillness so that my eye could heal, we all need stillness so that God can keep our spiritual vision clear.

Christ never asks of us such busy labor
That leaves no time for resting at His feet.
The waiting attitude of expectation,
He often counts a service most complete. —Anon.
Our greatest strength may be our ability
to stand still and trust God.

Re-posted From Julie Ackerman Link of Our Daily Bread

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