Thursday, July 5, 2012

A Re-post From Dave Branon of Our Daily Bread

My Buddy William

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
As we got off the bus at a home for mentally and physically challenged children in Copse, Jamaica, I didn’t expect to find a football player. While the teen choir and the other adult chaperones dispersed to find kids to hug, love, and play with, I came upon a young man named William.
I’m not sure what William’s medical diagnosis was, but he looked like he probably had cerebral palsy. I had grabbed a football before getting off the bus, so I tossed it gently to William, who dropped it.
But when I picked it up and put it into his hands, he slowly manipulated it until he had it just how he wanted it. Then, leaning back against a railing for balance, William tossed a perfect spiral. For the next 45 minutes, we played toss and catch—he tossed, I caught. William laughed and laughed—and stole my heart. On that day he had as much impact on me, I’m sure, as I did on him. He taught me that we are all needed as a part of Christ’s body, the church (1 Cor. 12:20-25).
People often dismiss others who are different from themselves. But it is the Williams of the world who teach us that joy can come when we accept others and respond in compassion. Is there a William in your world who needs you to be his buddy?
Lord, help us to see how much we need each other
in our Christian walk. May we show Your love
to others who are different than us. Give us an
open heart to learn. Amen.
We need one another in order to be who God wants us to be.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

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

Fireworks And Freedom

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Thanks to the ingenuity of our Chinese friends, we here in the US celebrate our independence this month with massive displays of colorful fireworks.
Every year when we sing our national anthem and enjoy the vibrant patterns created by “bombs bursting in air,” I remind myself that most bombs are deadly, not beautiful like the fireworks display. Although both use similar ingredients, one is intended to kill; the other to entertain. In this metaphor we see an example of how something can be used for both good and evil. In the hands of capable, careful, and caring people, something dangerous becomes glorious. But the opposite is also true.
Freedom—the very thing we celebrate with fireworks—can also be used for good and evil. As believers in Christ, we are free from the restrictive Mosaic law, but the Bible warns us not to use our spiritual freedom for selfish purposes: “Do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another” (Gal. 5:13).
Not everyone has political and religious freedom, but all believers in Christ have spiritual freedom. We must not use it as a weapon to impose our will on others but to display the glory of God’s will.
Free from the law—O happy condition!
Jesus hath bled, and there is remission;
Cursed by the law and bruised by the fall,
Grace hath redeemed us once for all. —Bliss
Freedom doesn’t give us the right to do what we please, but to do what pleases God.

A Re-post From Dennis Fisher of Our Daily Bread

E-Mail Prayer

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Not long ago, a friend of mine was facing surgery. Two disks in his back and a detached Achilles tendon were creating a lot of pain. After assuring him of my prayers, I was struck with the idea of sending him something in writing to further encourage him. So I sent the following e-mail:
“This is what I prayed for you today. ‘Living God, I thank You for Your sovereign control over life’s events. On behalf of Your dear servant, I ask that You would give him deep peace. I pray for the physicians as they apply their medical skills, that You would give them excellent results. May Your healing hand touch him and bring him back into full service for You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.’ ”
The apostle Paul wrote prayers to encourage other believers (Phil. 1:9-11; Col. 1:9-12; 2 Thess. 1:11-12). He wrote to the Ephesians: “[I] do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him” (1:16-17).
Do you have friends or family members who need your prayers of encouragement right now? Besides letting them know that you’re praying for them, try sending a written prayer as well.
Lord, help us be encouragers
By praying for our friends in need;
And give us opportunities
To show them love in word and deed. —Sper
Praying for others is a privilege—and a responsibility.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

A Re-post From Anne Cetas of Our Daily Bread

The Offering Plate

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Ed Dobson, my former pastor, often said that he disliked preaching about financial giving to the church. He said his previous job required fundraising, so he didn’t like putting any unnecessary pressure on people. But when he was teaching through 2 Corinthians, and he came to chapters 8 and 9, he couldn’t avoid the topic of giving. What I remember most about his sermon was the illustration he used. He placed an offering plate on the floor, stepped into it, and stood there as he talked about the importance of giving our whole selves to the Lord, not just our wallets.
Those two chapters in Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians give us a number of attitudes and actions that we are to display in our giving to the Lord:
• Give yourself to the Lord first (8:5).
• Give, remembering the example of the Lord Jesus (8:9).
• Give according to your means (8:11-12).
• Give enthusiastically because of God’s love (9:2).
• Give generously, not grudgingly or because of outside pressure (9:5-7).
Next time the offering plate comes around at church, imagine yourself stepping into it. It will help you to excel in the grace of giving (8:7).
Thank You, Lord Jesus, for giving Yourself for me on
the cross. Because of Your love, I give all of me—
my heart, my time, my funds, my will—to You.
I love You.
When we give ourselves completely to the Lord, all lesser giving becomes easier.

Re-posted From Julie Ackerman Link of Our Daily Bread

Ignorance & Innocence

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Some people avoid going to the doctor because they don’t want to find out that anything is wrong with them. Some people avoid going to church for the same reason. But ignorance of our sickness doesn’t make us healthy, and ignorance of our sin doesn’t make us innocent
Roman law is considered to be the source of the idea that ignorance of the law excuses no one. But the concept originated much earlier. When God gave the law to Israel, He established that even unintentional sin required a sacrifice for forgiveness (Lev. 4; Ezek. 45:18-20).
In his letter to Christians living in Rome, the apostle Paul addressed the issue of ignorance or lack of understanding. When people were ignorant of God’s righteousness, they made up their own (Rom. 10:3). When we live according to our own standards of right and wrong, we might feel good about ourselves, but that doesn’t make us spiritually healthy. Only when we are measured by God’s standard of righteousness (Jesus) do we know the condition of our spiritual health.
None of us can achieve the righteousness of Christ, but thankfully we don’t have to. He shares His righteousness with us (5:21). The good news about finding out what’s wrong with us is that the Great Physician can make us well.
Great Physician, You know my heart. I bow
before You now and ask that You show me
any attitude or action that doesn’t please You.
Make me clean; make me well.
God is the Measurer and Healer of our spiritual health.

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