Saturday, September 22, 2012

A Re-post From Dennis Fisher of Our Daily Bread

I Just Saw Jesus

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Years ago I lost my job in my chosen profession due to circumstances beyond my control. So I took on two lesser-paying jobs in order to try to make ends meet. Yet it still was very difficult to earn enough to pay my monthly expenses.
Then I reconnected with Joel and Dave, two friends from my past. Joel had become the pastor of a growing church in the suburbs. Dave had become an overseas missionary, but he was visiting in the US at the time. Both of them, recognizing my predicament, gave me money to help pay the rent. I was deeply moved. As I thought of my friends’ actions, I said to myself: “I have just seen Jesus Christ!”
Just as I saw Jesus in my friends, sometimes others can see Him in us. Paul speaks of “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27). He confessed: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me” (Gal. 2:20). And he also understood that different circumstances can be opportunities for “the life of Jesus [to] be manifested in our body” (2 Cor. 4:10).
Do you know someone struggling with physical or financial burdens? Why not let the indwelling Christ express His love through you by meeting that person’s need.
If I can do some good today,
If I can help in what I say,
If by my deeds Your love convey—
Dear Lord, just show me how. —Brandt
Real love is helping others for Jesus’ sake even if they can never return the favor.

Friday, September 21, 2012

A Re-post From Anne Cetas of Our Daily Bread

Much Trouble

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
A young boy named Riley started a fight with Avery on the school playground after a soccer match. The teacher broke it up, and both boys were sent to the principal’s office. Later, Avery said, “And of course, like always, we both got in trouble.” But he shared that he learned a lesson: “God is always with us, even if we get in as much trouble as this.”
The nation of Israel was in big trouble. Yet the Lord promised the nation’s new leader: “I will not leave you nor forsake you” (Josh. 1:5). Joshua was taking over leadership of the Israelites after Moses’ death, just before they were to enter the Promised Land. Trouble was on the horizon with numerous military campaigns against their enemies coming up (8:3; 9:1-2). Without God’s presence, they couldn’t begin to acquire the land.
Joshua had a strong faith in the Lord, as seen when he spied out the land of Canaan (Num. 14:6-9). But God graciously gave him the reminder as he took over the leadership role that he could be courageous because of His presence. He promises the same to His children today (Heb. 13:5-6).
It’s a comforting lesson for God’s children of all ages to know: The Lord is always with us. Even when we’re in “as much trouble as this.”
Dear Lord, we’re so thankful to be Your children,
and that You’ll never leave us.
Help us to hold on to that promise when
trouble seems to threaten on every side. Amen.
When troubles call on you, call on God.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

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

Words In Space

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
True confession: When I found out that astronaut Rex Walheim would be taking a copy of Our Daily Bread with him into space for the last mission of the shuttle Atlantis, I looked ahead to find out which devotionals I had written that he would be reading. The idea of having my words read in outer space seemed, well, pretty amazing for this small-town kid.
No sooner had I satisfied my curiosity, however, than I had another thought. Why do I consider this such a big deal? My words are heard in heavenly places whenever I pray. What has happened to me that I take for granted the concept that the God who created the universe listens to my words? In Christ, I can approach God with freedom and confidence (Eph. 3:12). Why be more awestruck at having a human read what I have written than having Almighty God hear what I pray?
If that idea isn’t enough to rouse me from complacency, there’s this: The Lord is using the church to make known His wisdom to the “principalities and powers in the heavenly places” (v.10). Imagine. God not only hears our prayers, but He uses us earthlings to teach heavenly beings the plan of redemption He has accomplished through Christ. Now that’s a big deal!
God is waiting in the silence—
Oh, to know that He is near!
Earth recedes and heaven opens,
God is waiting, God is here. —O. Smith
God is always available to hear the prayer of His child.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Re-post From Randy Kilgore of Our Daily Bread

Standing In The Fire

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Wrapped in blankets in my grandparents’ pickup, I watched as fire consumed our home. My father says I slept soundly as he carried my brother and me and our puppies out to safety. When I woke up and saw the huge blaze, I was already safe. I was too curious and too young to be scared.
I remember several things from that night. Even inside the truck, the heat was intense and the fire was mesmerizing. I remember too the fear on the faces of everyone else, checking and re-checking to see if loved ones were safe. Later I learned that in the chaos my father raced into the fire to look for my grandfather, which prompted my grandfather (who was not inside the house) to race in to get my father. Their courage affected all who saw it that night.
I’m reminded of that fire every time I read the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. When challenged with the decree to bow to the king or face execution (Dan. 3:10-12), these three bravely faced the fire for the One they loved (vv.16-18). And the Lord stood with them in the flames (v.25).
When life’s “flames” test us, may those who observe our choices recognize our love for each other and for our God.
For Further Thought
Read more of Daniel and his friends in Daniel 1–3.
How do their lives encourage you to stand firm for God?
Ask the Lord to help you make courageous choices today.
Trials are the soil in which faith grows.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

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

The Lure Of A Message

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
You’re sitting in a darkened theater enjoying a concert, a play, or a film, when suddenly a smartphone screen lights up as a person reads an incoming text and perhaps takes time to reply. In his book The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains, Nicholas Carr says that in our connected world, “The sense that there might be a message out there for us” is increasingly difficult to resist.
Samuel was a young boy when he heard a voice call his name and thought it was Eli the priest in the tabernacle where he served the Lord (1 Sam. 3:1-7). When Eli realized that God was calling Samuel, he told the boy how to respond. When God called his name a fourth time, “Samuel answered, ‘Speak, for Your servant hears’” (v.10). This attentiveness to God’s voice became the pattern of Samuel’s life as “the Lord revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the Lord” (v.21).
Are we listening for God’s voice in our lives today? Are we more drawn by the vibration of a smartphone than the still, small voice of the Lord through His Word and His Spirit?
May we, like Samuel, learn to discern God’s voice and say, “Speak, Lord. I’m listening.”
May we listen, Lord, to You
As You speak to us today
Through Your Spirit and Your Word—
Help us follow and obey. —Sper
Don’t let the noise of the world keep you from hearing the voice of the Lord.

Monday, September 17, 2012

A Re-post From Marvin Williams of Our Daily Bread

Correct Them

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Therapist and mother Lori Gottlieb says that parents who are obsessed with their children’s happiness may actually contribute to their becoming unhappy adults. These parents coddle their children, do not equip them to deal with the real world, look the other way when their children do wrong, and neglect disciplining them.
In 1 Samuel, we read that the high priest Eli sometimes looked the other way. We don’t know what he was like as a father when his boys were young. But he failed to properly deal with their behavior as grown men serving in God’s temple. They were selfish, lustful, and rebellious, putting their own needs ahead of God’s Word and the needs of the people. At first, Eli rebuked them but they would not listen. Instead of removing them from service, he looked the other way and let them continue in their sin. As a result of his sons’ sins and because Eli honored his sons above the Lord (1 Sam. 2:29), the Lord warned Eli that his family would suffer judgment (v.34; 4:17-18).
As Christian parents, we have the awesome responsibility to lovingly discipline our children (Prov. 13:24; 29:17; Heb. 12:9-11). As we impart God’s wisdom to them, we have the blessing of helping them develop into responsible, God-fearing adults.
They are buds of hope and promise,
Possessed by Him whose name is Love;
Lent us here to train and nourish
For a better life above. —Crosby
Failure to discipline our children is a failure to love them.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A Re-post From C. P. Hia of Our Daily Bread

From Duty To Delight

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Because of my wife’s busy schedule, sometimes she can commit only a limited amount of time every week to each of our grandchildren. When possible, however, she will rearrange her schedule to spend more time with them—not out of duty, but because she loves them. When I see her with them, I understand what the word delight means.
In Psalm 119, David tells of his “delight” in God’s Word. He uses the word delight eight times (vv.16,24, 35,47,70,77,92,174). He says: “I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your Word. . . . I will delight myself in Your commandments, which I love” (vv.16,47). The psalmist’s words, “I will delight,” indicate that it is a deliberate act of his will. However, it is not a burden for him to delight in God’s Word because he loves it. David’s close relationship with God created in him a desire to know what his Beloved had to say.
In the same way, for us to move from duty to delight in God’s Word, we need to strengthen our relationship with Him. When we remember how much He loves and cherishes us, we will respond with love and we will delight to spend time with Him. “Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day” (v.97).
Then let me love my Bible more
And take a fresh delight
By day to read these wonders o’er
And meditate by night. —Watts
Whether morning, noon, or night, make God’s Word your delight.

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