Friday, May 18, 2012

A Re-post From Anne Cetas of Our Daily Bread

Not What I Planned

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
This isn’t the way I expected my life to be. I wanted to marry at 19, have a half-dozen children, and settle into life as a wife and mother. But instead I went to work, married in my forties, and never had children. For a number of years I was hopeful that Psalm 37:4 might be for me a God-guaranteed promise: “He shall give you the desires of your heart.”
But God doesn’t always “bring it to pass” (v.5), and unmet desires stir up occasional sadness. Like mine, your life may have turned out differently than you planned. A few thoughts from Psalm 37 may be helpful (even though the psalm is primarily about comparing ourselves to the wicked).
We learn from verse 4 that unfulfilled desires don’t have to take the joy out of life. As we get to know God’s heart, He becomes our joy.
“Commit your way to the Lord” (v.5). The word commit means “to roll.” Bible teacher Herbert Lockyear, Sr., says, “‘Roll thy way upon the Lord,’ as one who lays upon the shoulders of one stronger than himself a burden which he is not able to bear.”
“Trust also in Him” (v.5). When we confidently entrust everything to God, we can “rest in the Lord” (v.7), for He is bringing about His best for our lives.
As I walk along life’s pathway,
Though the way I cannot see,
I shall follow in His footsteps,
For He has a plan for me. —Thiesen
A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps. —Proverbs 16:9

Thursday, May 17, 2012

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

A Place For You

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
A couple who brought their elderly aunt to live with them were concerned that she would not feel at home. So they transformed a room in their house into an exact replica of her bedroom at the home she left behind. When their aunt arrived, her furniture, wall hangings, and other favorite things felt like a special “Welcome home!” to her.
In John 13:36–14:4, we read that at the Last Supper Jesus spoke to His disciples and tried to prepare them for His death. When Simon Peter asked, “Where are you going?” Jesus replied, “Where I am going you cannot follow Me now, but you shall follow Me afterward” (13:36). Jesus was still speaking directly to Peter (and also meant it for all of His followers) when He said, “In My Father’s house are many mansions [rooms]; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (14:2-3).
Heaven is a family gathering of believers from every tribe and nation, but it is also our Father’s house—and in that house He is preparing a room just for you.
When you arrive in heaven and Jesus opens the door, you’ll know you’re home.
I have a home in heaven above
From sin and sorrow free—
A mansion which eternal love
Designed and formed for me. —Bennett
For the Christian, heaven is spelled H-O-M-E.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Re-post From Marvin Williams of Our Daily Bread

Courageous Conversation

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Is it possible that technological advances in communication have left us unable to confront people properly? After all, employers can now send layoff notices via e-mail. And people can criticize others on Facebook and Twitter instead of talking face to face. Perhaps it might be better to put all that aside and emulate how Paul communicated with Peter when they had a disagreement.
Paul had to confront Peter for compromising grace (Gal. 2:11-16). Peter had been fellowshiping with Gentiles, but when the Judaizers arrived (who believed that sinners are saved through Jesus plus keeping the law of Moses), Peter separated himself from the Gentiles. He ostracized them while professing to be one with them. Seeing this hypocrisy, Paul, in love and with passion, confronted Peter face to face for cowering to a legalistic system that was powerless to change lives. He vigorously reminded Peter that grace leads to freedom from sin’s slavery and to obedience to God.
Having courageous conversations with fellow Christians can be difficult, but they will promote purity and unity. We can carry out our responsibility to one another to speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15) by walking in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Lord, give us courage to confront
Believers who have strayed;
And then with gentleness restore
By coming to their aid. —Sper
A well-chosen word can speak volumes.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

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

Seeing Near And Far

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Having two healthy eyes is not enough to see clearly. I know this from experience. After a series of eye surgeries for a torn retina, both eyes could see well but they refused to cooperate with each other. One eye saw things far away and the other saw things close up. But instead of working together, they fought for supremacy. Until I could get new prescription glasses 3 months later, my eyes remained unfocused.
Something similar happens in our view of God. Some people focus better on God when they see Him as “close up”—when they think of Him as intimately present in their daily life. Other Christians see God more clearly as “far away” or far beyond anything we can imagine, ruling the universe in power and majesty.
While people disagree about which view is best, the Bible works like a prescription lens helping us to see that both are correct. King David presents both views in Psalm 145: “The Lord is near to all who call upon Him” (v.18) and “Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable” (v.3).
Thankfully, our Father in heaven is near to hear our prayers yet so far above us in power that He can meet every need.
Lord, You’re the high and lofty One,
Yet close enough to hear our voice;
You’re powerful, yet personal;
Your love for us makes us rejoice. —Sper
God is big enough to care for the smallest needs.

Monday, May 14, 2012

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

The Old Windmill

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
A man who grew up on a ranch in West Texas tells about a rickety, old windmill that stood alongside his family’s barn and pumped water to their place. It was the only source of water for miles.
In a strong wind the windmill worked well, but in a light breeze it wouldn’t turn. It required manually turning the vane until the fan faced directly into the wind. Only when properly positioned did the windmill supply water to the ranch.
I think of that story when I meet with pastors from small churches in remote areas. Many feel isolated and unsupported—caregivers for whom no one seems to care. As a consequence, they grow weary and struggle to bring life-giving water to their flock. I like to tell them about the old windmill and our need to daily reposition ourselves—to intentionally turn toward the Lord and His Word and to drink deeply from Him who is the source of living water.
What’s true for pastors is true for all. Service for God flows from within, outward. Jesus said, “He who believes in Me, . . . out of his heart will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38). It’s when God speaks to our depths that we are able to touch the lives of others. To refresh others, let’s return to the Source of life regularly.
When our hearts grow weary,
When our spirits dim,
He will go before us,
Leave it all to Him. —Anon.
When you’re weary in life’s struggles, find strength in the Lord.

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