Saturday, November 3, 2012

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

The Truth About Maps

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
GPS is the latest way for travelers to find the best route to their destination, but my husband and I still navigate the old-fashioned way—with maps. Since Jay is usually the driver, the role of map watcher is mine by default. In general, I am not directionally challenged, but it seems that way when I try to navigate while the car is moving. Even though I know where we want to end up, I can’t figure out the best way to get there if we don’t stop to find out where we are. I need to get my bearings.
This can be true in our spiritual life as well. When we try to figure out the way God wants us to go, we need to stop and get our spiritual bearings. If we don’t, we are likely to end up lost in unintended places, situations, or relationships.
In helping His disciples navigate life and find their way through the traps and temptations of the world, Jesus often said, “stop.” “Stop grumbling,” “stop judging by mere appearances,” “stop doubting and believe” (John 6:43; 7:24; 20:27 NIV). To follow Jesus, we frequently have to stop something we are doing that’s wrong. As we depend on His guidance, we will learn to go in the way He says is right.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me,
and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked
way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
—Psalm 139:23-24
God’s way is the right way to go.

Friday, November 2, 2012

A Re-post From Bill Crowder of Our Daily Bread

Wake-Up Call

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
One early autumn morning as I drove to work in the dark, I was startled by a flash of brown in my headlights followed by the sound of something hitting the front of my car. I had clipped a deer at 70 miles per hour! It was only a glancing blow, and no damage was done to my car (or the deer, as far as I could tell), but it really shook me up. I had been in my usual “autopilot mode” for the familiar drive to the office, but the shock of the incident certainly got my attention. I was now fully alert and trying to calm a racing heartbeat. It was a most unpleasant wake-up call.
The apostle Peter offers us a different kind of wake-up call—one that while unpleasant is necessary. He alerts us to a spiritual battle we are engaged in with a powerful enemy. Peter warns, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). This is a call to wake up, see the danger, and be ready for his attack!
Only when we are aware of the danger that faces us every day will we consciously seek the help we need. And only if we are on the alert will we lean on the strength of our Lord, who is greater than our spiritual enemy.
Though evil may surround us,
We need not fear defeat;
For when God fights the battle,
Our enemies retreat. —Sper
The Christian life is a battleground.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Re-post From Dave Branon of Our Daily Bread


Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Do you know which psalm is quoted most often in the New Testament? You may have guessed the familiar and beloved 23rd Psalm, but actually it is Psalm 22. This psalm begins with David’s poignant, heart- breaking words that were quoted by Jesus on the cross, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matt. 27:46; Mark 15:34).
Imagine the situation David must have found himself in that caused him to cry out to God in this way. Notice that he felt forsaken and abandoned: “Why are You so far from helping me?” (Ps. 22:1). He also felt ignored: “O my God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear” (v.2).
Ever been there? Have you ever looked up into the heavens and wondered why it seemed that God had abandoned you, or was ignoring you? Welcome to David’s world. But for every plaintive cry David expresses, there is a characteristic of God mentioned that rescues him from despondency. Through it all, David discovers that God is holy (v.3), trustworthy (vv.4-5), a deliverer and rescuer (vv.8,20-21), and his strength (v.19).
Do you feel forsaken? Seek the Lord. Rehearse His character. And “let your heart rejoice with everlasting joy” (v.26 nlt).
Lord, sometimes I feel as if You don’t care about
my life. When those times come, please remind me
of Your character as You did David. Help me to
lean on You again and know that You are there.
Even when we don’t sense God’s presence,
His loving care is all around us.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

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

Something To Hide

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
If you have something to hide, Mike Slattery may have the solution. Several years ago, a cell-phone company wanted to erect an antenna on his property and disguise it as a pine tree. Mike had a better idea and built a fake barn with vinyl panels that allow the radio waves to pass through them. He developed that concept into a company that builds structures to hide antennas for aesthetic and security reasons. Slattery is convinced that many of his neighbors still have no idea what’s inside his barn (The Gazette, Colorado Springs).
Most of us are trying to keep something out of sight. It may be as harmless as clutter in a basement or as toxic as the moral and spiritual failings we try to hide from others, ourselves, and even from God.
In Psalm 32, David described the futility of trying to conceal his sin (vv.3-4) and the relief of opening his soul to the Lord: “I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,’ and You forgave the iniquity of my sin” (v.5).
Confessing our sins to God and forsaking them brings a sense of freedom to our souls and the awareness that we have nothing to hide.
Lord Jesus, help me come to You
When I would rather run and hide
My sinfulness and foolish ways;
Forgive and make me clean inside. —Sper
Whenever we’re ready to uncover our sins,
God is ready to cover them.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

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

Stand Fast

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
As I waited to make a right-hand turn at a busy intersection, an ambulance appeared over the crest of a hill, speeding in my direction. Someone behind me honked, urging me into the crossroads. I knew the ambulance would be unlikely to stop and that it could have been disastrous to make my turn. So I kept my foot on the brake pedal and stayed put.
Spiritually speaking, we need to “stay put” and remain faithful to God despite pressure from others. King Solomon had to learn this the hard way. He began his reign by asking God for wisdom (1 Kings 3:9), and his prayer at the dedication of the temple revealed his loyalty (8:23,61). But he did not remain committed. He married many foreign women who eventually influenced him to worship other gods. By the end of his life, his “heart was not loyal to the Lord” (11:1-6; Neh. 13:26).
Today, just as in ancient times, people may prompt us to shift our loyalty away from God and His truth. Yet with God’s help we can hold fast to the word of life (Phil. 2:16). If you feel pressured to enter a dangerous intersection of beliefs, study God’s Word, put on His armor (Eph. 6:10-18), and ask the Holy Spirit for help (1 Cor. 2:10-12). Then stand fast with your fellow believers in Christ.
Stand up, stand up for Jesus,
Stand in His strength alone;
The arm of flesh will fail you—
Ye dare not trust your own. —Duffield
To avoid being pulled into error, keep a firm grip on the truth.

Monday, October 29, 2012

A Re-post From Bill Crowder of Our Daily Bread

Making A Difference

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Elizabeth’s story was moving, to say the least. Following a terribly humiliating experience in Massachusetts, she caught a bus to New Jersey to escape her embarrassment. Weeping uncontrollably, she hardly noticed that the bus had made a stop along the way. A passenger sitting behind her, a total stranger, began making his way off the bus when he suddenly stopped, turned, and walked back to Elizabeth. He saw her tears and handed her his Bible, saying that he thought she might need it. He was right. But not only did she need the Bible, she needed the Christ it speaks of. Elizabeth received Him as a result of this simple act of compassion by a stranger who gave a gift.
Jesus is our example of compassion. In Matthew 9, we read, “When He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd” (v.36). Not only did our Lord notice the pain and hurt of broken people, He responded to it by challenging His followers to pray for the Father to send out workers to respond to the hurts and needs of this dying world (v.38).
As we follow Christ’s example, a heart of compassion for shepherdless people can compel us to make a difference in the lives of others.
Father, open my eyes to see the hurts and
struggles of others. Then open my heart to respond to
them, so that through me they may see You and
Your love. Amen.
A world in despair needs Christians who care.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Re-post From David H. Roper of Our Daily Bread

From A Distance

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
A popular song from years ago titled “From a Distance” envisions a world of harmony and peace. It says, “God is watching us from a distance.” Indeed God is watching us, but not from a distance. He is present, in the room with you, right in front of you, gazing at you with unbounded love in His eyes.
I think of the example of Brother Lawrence, who spent long years working in a kitchen washing pots and pans and repairing the sandals of other monks. He wrote: “As often as I could, I placed myself as a worshiper before Him, fixing my mind upon His holy presence.”
That is our task as well. But we forget and sometimes need reminders of His presence. I have driven an old handmade nail into the shelf over my desk to remind me that the crucified and resurrected Jesus is always present. Our task is to remember to “set the Lord always before [us]” (Ps. 16:8)—to know that He is with us to “the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20) and that “He is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:27).
Remembering may be as simple as calling to mind that the Lord has promised to be with you all through the day and saying to Him, “Good morning,” or “Thank You,” or “Help!” or “I love You.”
So near, so very near to God—
I cannot nearer be;
Yet in the person of His Son,
I am as near as He. —Paget
No one can come so near that God is not nearer still.

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