Saturday, September 15, 2012

A Re-post From Dave Branon of Our Daily Bread

What We Need

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
The heartbreaking stories keep coming. The friend whose grown daughter has left her husband and kids. The dads I recently met who lost their teen sons in car accidents. The pillar of the church whose retirement years have been marked by a string of bad medical news. You know the stories. You may have your own.
Where do we go for help when struggles and pain threaten to shake our faith and steal our last ounce of joy?
Second Corinthians 1:3 may be just the right destination. It is full of hope, help, and possibilities.
Examine what that verse tells us: Paul lifts praise to God on two levels (and remember, Paul had more struggles and trouble than most of us could stand). First, he simply sends praise to God, who is not just our God but the God and Father of Jesus Himself. Think about the power and the love behind that!
Then he gives us even better news: Our heavenly Father is the God of mercy and compassion. He cares for us with an everlasting, gracious love. And there’s more—He is also the God of all comfort.
Need compassion? Need comfort? Go to God. He has an endless supply and is ready to pour it out on you in abundance. He is what we need in times of trouble!
I must have the Savior with me,
For my faith at best is weak;
He will whisper words of comfort,
That no other voice can speak. —Anon.
God’s whisper of comfort helps quiet the noise of our trials.

Friday, September 14, 2012

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

Family Togetherness

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
My husband, children, and I have a fun family tradition. It happens when we are at home and someone calls out “family hug!” We usually rendezvous in the kitchen; I hug the kids and my husband wraps his arms around all of us. It’s our way of expressing love and enjoying a brief moment of family togetherness.
Although we enjoy an occasional group hug, it’s not always easy to maintain that sense of unity. After all, each person in our family is unique. We have different needs, abilities, and viewpoints—much like the family of God (Eph. 4:11-12).
Despite inevitable differences with other believers, Paul calls us to “keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (v.3). Harmony with other Christians is important because it reflects the unity between Jesus and His heavenly Father. Jesus prayed this for believers: “That they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You” (John 17:21).
When problems arise within the family of God, the Bible says we are to respond “with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love” (Eph. 4:2). This is the way to experience family togetherness with people who share the fundamentals of our faith.
I pray, O Lord, reveal to me
If I have caused disunity,
For You would have Your children one
In praise and love for Your dear Son. —Branon
Our hearts are linked through the love of Christ.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Re-post From Bill Crowder of Our Daily Bread

Flying Solo

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
May 20-21, 1927, marked a turning point in aviation history as Charles Lindbergh made the first-ever solo, nonstop, trans-Atlantic flight. There had been other flights across the Atlantic, but none were accomplished by a pilot flying alone. It was a historic achievement. When Lindbergh landed at Le Bourget Field in Paris, he was thronged by thousands of admirers applauding his success. And when he returned to America, he was further honored with parades and awards in celebration of his individualistic courage and spirit.
Even though Lindbergh’s solo flight was dangerous, living in this fallen world of ours can be far more so. Followers of Christ, however, can be encouraged and comforted that we never have to “fly solo.” The night before His crucifixion, Jesus promised that He would not abandon us but would send His Spirit to be with us and in us (John 14:16-17). The apostle Paul later affirmed this, saying, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (1 Cor. 3:16).
In a world filled with despair and trouble, we can take courage. The Holy Spirit lives within us, providing us with His peace and comfort (John 14:26-27). Aren’t you thankful that you never have to fly solo?
Father, allow me today to rest in You, to walk with
Your Son, and to lean on Your Spirit.
Thank You for Your never-failing presence,
helping me in all the challenges of life. Amen.
The Spirit within us guarantees that we’re never alone.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Re-post From Joe Stowell of Our Daily Bread

Good & Plenty

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
I have to admit that I’ve got a sweet tooth. Of all the candies I love, Good & Plenty is near the top of the list. Life is good when I have a handful of those luscious, sugar-coated licorice pieces!
There are a lot of good things in life. But like a feast of Good & Plenty, the goodness is soon over. Even the best of the good things can afterward leave us feeling empty and even regretful. So when the psalmist declares, “I said to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord, apart from You I have no good thing’” (Ps. 16:2 niv), I am intrigued. We all know that God is good. But when was the last time we embraced Him as the ultimate good in our life?
The psalmist explains just how good God really is: He is our preserver (v.1), our total goodness-giver (v.2), our counsel and instruction (v.7), and the One who makes known “the path of life” and fills us with joy in His presence (v.11). Now that’s what I call good!
Unfortunately, too often we let lesser “goods” eclipse our acceptance of the everlasting goodness of God in our lives. The fleeting nature of lesser goods will ultimately disappoint us—you can count on it. Only God is truly good! And there is plenty of Him for all we need.
Oh, taste the goodness of the Lord
And savor all that He has done;
Draw close and give your praise to Him—
The holy, sovereign, faithful One. —Sper
God alone is good. Don’t settle for second best.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

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

Imitate The Good

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Most people would agree that life is a painful mixture of good and bad. It’s true in marriage, friendship, family, work, and church. Yet we are surprised and disappointed when self-centeredness takes the stage within a fellowship of those who seek to worship and serve Christ together.
When the apostle John wrote to his friend Gaius, he commended the truthful living and generous hospitality of those in his church (3 John 1:3-8). In the same fellowship, however, Diotrephes, “who wants to be head of everything” (v.9 Phillips), had created an atmosphere of hostility.
John promised to deal personally with Diotrephes on his next visit to the church. In the meantime, he urged the congregation: “Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God” (v.11). John’s words echo the instruction of Paul to the Christians in Rome: “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Rom. 12:21).
In a heated conflict, we may be tempted to “fight fire with fire.” Yet John urges us to turn away from what is bad and follow what is good. This is the pathway that honors our Savior.
For Further Study
Be patient and humble in conflicts (Rom. 12:12-21; Gal. 6:1).
Follow the guidelines in Matthew 18:15-18
with the desire to restore erring fellow Christians.
As light overcomes darkness, goodness can overcome evil.

Monday, September 10, 2012

A Re-post From Dennis Fisher of Our Daily Bread

Giving Directions

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Not long ago my wife’s car needed to be towed. When I explained to the man at the towing company how to find our home, I instructed him to tell the driver not to follow his global positioning system (GPS). Because another street with the same name as ours was separated from our home address by a field, special instructions were necessary. He assured me he would pass on my directions.
As I stood in the driveway wondering where the tow truck was, the driver called and said he had followed his GPS but couldn’t find my street number. Hmmmm. I repeated the directions I had given before, and the tow truck was there in no time.
Christians have a responsibility to give accurate directions for how a person can get to heaven by having a relationship with Christ (see John 3:16; 1 Cor. 15:1-5). We need to help people see that following their own religious “global positioning system,” such as good works or hoping to be good enough, won’t get them to heaven. While being sensitive to people’s beliefs, we need to share the true gospel of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ.
Jesus said it best, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).
Father, as we interact with others, may our lives and
words show Your loving grace. You’ve told us that
Jesus is the way of salvation. Help us to share
the gospel with love and truth.
Salvation is achieved by Christ’s atonement, not by our attainment.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

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

Lesson Of The Horse Mask

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Not far from where my husband and I live is a farm with a lot of horses. During certain seasons, some of the horses have masks over their eyes. For a long time I felt sorry for the horses who weren’t allowed to see. But then I learned that my assumption about the masks was wrong. The masks are made of mesh, so horses can see through them. But flies, which cause eye disease, can’t get through them. The masks don’t keep the horses from seeing; they keep them from going blind!
Non-Christians often make conclusions about the Bible similar to the one I made about the mask. They think of it as something God puts over our eyes to keep us from seeing all the fun we could be having. They feel sorry for Christians because they think the Lord keeps us from enjoying life. What I didn’t know about the horse mask, they don’t know about the Bible. It doesn’t keep us from seeing all that is good; it keeps us from being infected by lies that cause spiritual blindness. The Bible doesn’t keep us from enjoying life; it makes true enjoyment possible.
The Bible doesn’t keep us from knowing truth; it prevents us from believing lies.
O send Thy Spirit, Lord, now unto me
That He may touch my eyes and make me see;
Show me the truth concealed within Thy Word,
And in Thy Book revealed I see Thee, Lord. —Lathbury
When we see the world through the filter of the Word, we learn the truth about both.

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