Saturday, July 21, 2012

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

Blunders To Wonders

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Artist James Hubbell says, “Mistakes are gifts.” Whenever he’s working on a project and something goes wrong, he doesn’t start over. He looks for a way to use the mistake to make something better. None of us can avoid making blunders, and all of us have favorite ways of dealing with them. We may try to hide them or to correct them or to apologize for them.
We do that with our sin sometimes too. But God doesn’t throw us away and start over. He redeems us and makes us better.
The apostle Peter tended to do and say whatever seemed best at the moment. He has been referred to as an “impetuous blunderer.” In his fear after Jesus was arrested, Peter claimed three times that he didn’t know Jesus! Yet later, on the basis of Peter’s three declarations of love, Jesus turned Peter’s humiliating denial into a wonderful occasion of restoration (John 21). Despite Peter’s flawed past, Jesus restored him to ministry with these words: “Feed My sheep” (v.17).
If you have made a “blunder” so big that it seems irreversible, the most important matter is whether you love Jesus. When we love Him, Jesus can turn our most serious blunders into awesome wonders.
Lord, I’m so human and make foolish mistakes.
And worse yet, I willfully sin against You.
Please forgive me, change me, restore me,
and use me for Your name’s sake. Amen.
God can change our blunders into wonders.

Friday, July 20, 2012

A Re-post From Dennis Fisher of Our Daily Bread

Dorian Gray

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
The Victorian novel The Picture of Dorian Gray illustrates how the person we project to others may be very different from who we are on the inside. After the youthful and handsome Dorian Gray had his portrait painted, he dreaded the prospect of growing old, and he wished the portrait would grow old in his place.
Soon he realized that his wish had been granted. The portrait, which mirrored his troubled soul, aged and became more hideous with each sin Dorian committed, while he himself remained youthful. His outward appearance did not match his corrupted heart.
Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for displaying a similar hypocrisy. Many of them took pride in showing off their spirituality in public. Yet on the inside, they were guilty of many secret sins. Because of this, Jesus compared them to “whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of . . . all uncleanness” (Matt. 23:27).
We are tempted to cultivate a false image for others to see. But God knows our hearts (1 Sam. 16:7; Prov. 15:3). Through confession and prayerfully opening our hearts to God’s Word and the work of the Spirit, we can experience an inner goodness that is reflected in godly actions. Let God transform you from the inside out (2 Cor. 3:17-18).
Father, it’s easy to put up a front and hide
from the public what we are really like. We’re
grateful that we cannot hide from You. You
know us. Please change us inside and out.
Only Christ can transform us.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Re-post From Dave Branon of Our Daily Bread

What’s The Trouble?

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
There was something wrong with my lawn. I couldn’t see what the trouble was, but I knew something was causing damage.
After investigating, I discovered the problem: moles. Those voracious little bug-eaters were crawling around just under the surface of my previously well-groomed lawn looking for food and wreaking havoc on my grass.
The children of Israel also had a problem with a hidden cause (Josh. 7). They were experiencing trouble, and they couldn’t figure out why. There was something hidden from their view that was causing serious damage.
The trouble became noticeable when Joshua sent 3,000 troops to attack Ai. Although that should have been a sufficient army to defeat Ai’s small force, the opposite happened. Ai routed the Israelites, killing 36 of them and chasing them back where they came from. Joshua had no idea why this trouble had come. Then God explained the hidden problem: One of his men, Achan, had violated a clear command and had stolen some “accursed things” from Jericho (Josh. 7:11). Only when that hidden sin was discovered and taken care of could Israel have victory.
Hidden sin does great damage. We need to bring it to the surface and deal with it—or face certain defeat.
Dear Lord, I don’t want anything in my life to
hinder my fellowship with You. You know what’s
in my heart. Reveal any areas of my life that are
not pleasing to You and forgive me. Amen.
Confession to God ensures forgiveness.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

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

Speech Study

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Dr. Deb Roy, a researcher and cognitive scientist with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, recorded the first 3 years of his child’s life to learn how humans acquire language. He and his wife rigged their home with recording devices, which they used to collect over 200,000 hours of audio and video footage. Amassing, condensing, and editing the recordings enabled them to hear baby sounds like “gaga” evolve into words like “water.”
If someone wanted to conduct a research project at your home, would you participate if you knew that your every syllable would be recorded and analyzed? What would the study reveal? Proverbs 18 offers insight about some unwise speech patterns. The writer notes that foolish people express their own opinions instead of trying to understand what others have to say (v.2). Does this characterize us? Do we sometimes provoke fights with our words (v.7), or speak impulsively and “answer a matter before [hearing] it”? (v.13).
We need to become students of our speech. With God’s help we can identify and transform destructive dialogue into words of encouragement that are “good for necessary edification” and that “impart grace to the hearers” (Eph. 4:29).
Take my voice and let me sing
Always, only, for my King;
Take my lips and let them be
Filled with messages for Thee. —Havergal
Our words have the power to build up or tear down.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

A Re-post From Marvin Williams of Our Daily Bread

Opening Our Homes

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
In Outlive Your Life, Max Lucado writes: “Hospitality opens the door to uncommon community. It’s no accident that hospitality and hospital come from the same Latin word, for they both lead to the same result: healing. When you open your door to someone, you are sending this message: ‘You matter to me and to God.’ You may think you are saying, ‘Come over for a visit.’ But what your guest hears is, ‘I’m worth the effort.’”
This is what the apostle Paul must have heard and felt when Aquila and Priscilla opened the doors of their home to him. When he arrived in Corinth, he was probably exhausted from his journey from Athens. He may also have been discouraged because of his seemingly unsuccessful ministry there (Acts 17:16-34). He later wrote, “I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling” (1 Cor. 2:3). Aquila and Priscilla probably met Paul in the marketplace of Corinth and opened their home to him. They provided a spiritual oasis through Christian hospitality.
As followers of Jesus, we are called to be hospitable, to be a “hospital” that helps those who are going through life’s storms and need restoration. We can be used by the Lord because He has provided for us.
Heavenly Father, make me open to be willing to serve
others through showing hospitality.
May I provide a safe haven for those going through
the storms of life. Amen.
Christian hospitality is an open heart and an open home.

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