Saturday, October 13, 2012

A Re-post From Dennis Fisher of Our Daily Bread

Corn Palace

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
The walls of the Mitchell Corn Palace exhibit beautiful murals every year. Scenes include birds in flight, Conestoga wagons heading West, Native American teepees, and rural settings. There is one peculiarity about these murals though—they are made out of corn, seeds, and grasses. The outside murals are replaced each year with a new theme, partly because hungry birds eat from them.
Jesus told a parable about birds and seeds: “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. And it happened, as he sowed, that some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds of the air came and devoured it” (Mark 4:3-4). Other seed fell among rocky soil and thorns, making them unfruitful (vv.5-7). But some fell on good ground and yielded an abundant crop (v.8).
Jesus explained that when people by the wayside hear God’s Word, “Satan comes immediately and takes away the Word that was sown in their hearts” (v.15). The devil hates the gospel and seeks to prevent people from believing it. Often he subtly encourages hearers to procrastinate on making a decision or to forget what they have heard. To counter this, in our witnessing we should pray that the Lord of the harvest will cause the Word to take root in receptive hearts.
Lord, please use Your Word to touch the hearts of
those with whom we share it. We know that You
are the One who opens the eyes of the spiritually
blind. Don’t let Satan’s schemes win out.
We plant the seed; God gives the harvest.

Friday, October 12, 2012

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

A Working Church

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
My wife, Shirley, and I enjoyed a cruise along the fjords of Norway in celebration of our 50th wedding anniversary. As we journeyed northward, we stopped in numerous towns and villages, often visiting churches. Among them was a 12th-century church that our guide described proudly as “still a working church.” I asked, “What do you mean?” She referred to the days of the state church, when the state-appointed pastors simply collected their paychecks but no one attended the services. But this church had been faithfully holding worship services and actively serving the Lord for almost 1,000 years!
I immediately thought of the seven churches of Revelation 2 and 3 to whom Jesus said, “I know your works” (2:2,9,13,19; 3:1,8,15). In addition, the church of Thessalonica was commended by the apostle Paul for its “work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess. 1:3).
I also thought of my church at home. For more than 130 years it has been faithful in preaching and caring for its congregation and community. It is truly a “working church.” What a privilege we have if we’re part of a local body of believers where we can grow and serve our Lord!
Lord, thank You for placing us into Your family and
giving us the privilege and responsibility to serve
You through our churches. May we be a shining light
of Your love to our communities and the world.
The church is a living body and must have working parts.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Re-post From Marvin Williams of Our Daily Bread

Panic Or Pray?

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
An 85-year-old woman, all alone in a convent, got trapped inside an elevator for 4 nights and 3 days. Fortunately, she had a jar of water, some celery sticks, and a few cough drops. After she tried unsuccessfully to open the elevator doors and get a cell phone signal, she decided to turn to God in prayer. “It was either panic or pray,” she later told CNN. In her distress, she relied on God and waited till she was rescued.
Asa was also faced with the options of panic or pray (2 Chron. 14). He was attacked by an Ethiopian army of a million men. But as he faced this huge fighting force, instead of relying on military strategy or cowering in dread, he turned to the Lord in urgent prayer. In a powerful and humble prayer, Asa confessed his total dependence on Him, asked for help, and appealed to the Lord to protect His own name: “Help us, O Lord our God, for we rest on You, and in Your name we go against this multitude” (v.11). The Lord responded to Asa’s prayer, and he won the victory over the Ethiopian army.
When we are faced with tight spots, meager resources, a vast army of problems, or seemingly dead-end solutions, let’s not panic but instead turn to God who fights for His people and gives them victory.
In my distress, anxiety, and fear, Lord, teach
me to rely on You and draw close to You. Then I
know I’ll be able to stand strong in Your power
and won’t be dependent on my own strength.
Prayer is the bridge between panic and peace.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Re-post From Anne Cetas of Our Daily Bread

Jesus Is Near

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Samuel, who was 4, had finished eating his dinner and asked if he could be dismissed from the table. He wanted to go outside to play. But he was too young to be out alone, so his mother said, “No. You can’t go outside by yourself. You need to wait for me to finish and go with you.” His quick reply: “But, Mommy, Jesus is with me!”
Samuel had learned well from his parents that the Lord is always by his side. We see in our Bible reading today that Jacob had learned that lesson too. His father Isaac had blessed him and told him to find a wife from among his mother’s family (Gen. 28:1-4). He followed that directive and traveled toward Haran.
As Jacob slept, the Lord came to him in a dream and said, “I am with you and will keep you wherever you go . . . ; for I will not leave you” (v.15). When he awoke, he knew that he had heard from God, and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place” (v.16). Confident of God’s presence, he committed himself to following Him with his life (vv.20-21).
If we have received Jesus as our Savior (John 1:12), we can be confident and take comfort in the truth that He is always present with us (Heb. 13:5). Like Jacob, may our response to His love be wholehearted devotion.
Thank You, Lord, for walking with us every
day. You are our guardian, friend,
and guide. May we sense Your loving presence and always
know that You are close by our side. Amen.
Our loving God is always near—forever by our side.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A Re-post From Randy Kilgore of Our Daily Bread

Still In God’s Hands

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
During my first year of seminary, I listened as a new friend described her life. Abandoned by her husband, she was raising two small children alone. Earning just over minimum wage, she had little chance of escaping the poverty and dangers she described in her neighborhood.
As a father, I was moved by her concern for her children, and asked, “How do you handle all of this?” She seemed surprised by my question and replied, “We are doing all we can do, and I must leave them in God’s hands.” Her trust in God in the midst of trials reminded me of Job’s trust (1:6-22).
A year later, she phoned and asked if I would come be with her at the funeral home. Her son had been killed in a drive-by shooting. I asked God for words to comfort her and for the wisdom not to try to explain the unexplainable.
Standing with her that day, however, I marveled as again and again she comforted others—her confidence in God unshaken by this terrible blow. Turning to me as we parted, her final words were a poignant reminder of the depth of her faith: “My boy is still in God’s hands.” Like Job, she “did not sin nor charge God with wrong”(v.22).
We too can develop an unshakable faith by daily walking with the Lord.
O the peace I find in Jesus,
Peace no power on earth can shake,
Peace that makes the Lord so precious,
Peace that none from me can take. —Beck
Nothing can shake those who are secure in God’s hands.

Monday, October 8, 2012

A Re-post From Dennis Fisher of Our Daily Bread

Helping With Hurdles

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
When my daughter Debbie was a little girl, she took ballet lessons. One dance exercise involved jumping over a rolled-up gym mat. Debbie’s first attempt resulted in her bouncing off this hurdle. For a moment she sat on the floor stunned, and then she began to cry. Immediately, I darted out to help her up and spoke soothing words to her. Then, holding her hand, I ran with her until she successfully jumped over the rolled-up mat. Debbie needed my encouragement to clear that hurdle.
While working with Paul on his first missionary journey, John Mark faced a major hurdle of his own: Things got tough on the trip, and he quit. When Barnabas tried to re-enlist Mark for Paul’s second journey, it created conflict. Barnabas wanted to give him a second chance, but Paul saw him as a liability. Ultimately, they parted ways, and Barnabas took Mark with him on his journey (Acts 15:36-39).
The Bible is silent about John Mark’s response when Barnabas helped him over his ministry hurdle. However, he must have proven himself, because Paul later wrote that John Mark “is useful to me for ministry” (2 Tim. 4:11).
When we see a believer struggling with an apparent failure, we should provide help. Can you think of someone who needs your help to clear a hurdle?
Lord, I want to show the kindness of Your
heart today. Please show me who I can help
and in what way. I want my words and deeds
to convey Your love. Amen.
Kindness picks others up when troubles weigh them down.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

A Re-post From Dave Branon of Our Daily Bread

Still Bearing Fruit

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Sometimes the harvest comes late. Sometimes you sow seeds of hope without really knowing it. Sometimes the fruit of your life comes in a way and time you would never expect.
My daughter Melissa had accepted God’s gift of salvation at a young age. But she never saw herself as some great Christian who could change lives. She was just a high school junior trying to cope with a job, school, and sports while balancing friendships—just a kid trying to live as God would want her to.
Yet, in 2002 when He welcomed her into heaven when she was just 17, her faith in Christ and her faithful life stood on their own. No advance warning. No time to make things right with others. No new opportunities to “bear much fruit” (John 15:8).
Melissa tried to live in a way that was pleasing to God—and her life is still bearing fruit. Just recently, I heard of a young person who trusted Jesus as Savior at a sports camp after a coach shared Melissa’s story.
All of us are writing a story with our lives—one that affects others now and in the future. Are we living to please God? We don’t know when the Lord will call us Home. Let’s live every day with an eye on the harvest.
Only the truth that in life we have spoken,
Only the seed that on earth we have sown;
These shall pass onward when we are forgotten,
Fruits of the harvest and what we have done. —Bonar
A fruitful harvest requires a faithful life.

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