Saturday, December 8, 2012

A Re-post From Bill Crowder of Our Daily Bread

Go! Go!

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
From across the intersection, I watched as a car hesitated when the traffic light turned green. Then, out of nowhere, a voice began screaming, “Go! Go! Come on, go!” The driver appeared frightened by the angry cries, and he was a bit confused as to where the voice was coming from. Then I saw it—the car behind him was equipped with a loudspeaker that enabled him to yell at other drivers! Eventually, the hesitant driver collected himself and moved along. I was struck by the rudeness and impatience of the angry driver.
Sometimes people think God is like that—irritated, impatient, and ready to shout at them through some divine megaphone. They fear that He is looking over their shoulder, ready to punish every wrong move.
In reality, God’s actions toward His children, even though we falter on our way through life, are born out of His patient love. The apostle Paul wanted the Thessalonians to understand this and prayed: “Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ” (2 Thess. 3:5).
God is at work in our lives, and He will accomplish His purposes. There may be times when God lovingly prods and disciplines His children, but He won’t be impatiently yelling at us.
Thank You, Father, for Your careful work in my
heart. Move me as needed, pointing me with Your
loving patience to be more like You.
In Christ’s name, amen.
God’s grace is infinite love expressing itself
through infinite goodness.

Friday, December 7, 2012

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

Just Kids

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
After high school, Darrell Blizzard left the orphanage where he grew up to join the US Army Air Corps. World War II was in full swing, and soon he faced responsibilities usually given to older and more experienced men. He told a reporter years later that a four-mule plow team was the biggest thing he’d driven before he became the pilot of a four-engine B-17. Now in his late eighties, he said, “We were all just kids flying those things.”
In the Bible, we find accounts of many people who followed God courageously when they were young. In a situation of corrupt spiritual leadership, “Samuel ministered before the Lord, even as a child” (1 Sam. 2:18). David faced the giant Goliath in spite of being told, “You are not able to go against this Philistine . . . for you are a youth” (17:33). Mary, the mother of Jesus, was most likely very young when she was told she would bear the Son of God. She responded to the angel’s announcement by saying, “Let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). Paul told the young pastor Timothy, “Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers” (1 Tim. 4:12).
God values each one in His family. In His strength, the young can be bold in their faith, while those who are older can encourage those who are “just kids.”
O Lord of all the upward road,
Keep strong our youth, we pray;
May age and youth together seek
To follow in Thy way. —Niedermeyer
Encouraging the young should never become old.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Re-post From Dave Branon of Our Daily Bread

Unlikely Encouragement

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Are you looking for encouragement? Do you need a little boost today amid all the bad news coming your way? The psalmist David can lift your spirit in an unexpected way through some words we often think of as negative.
When we read Psalm 19, we discover a short listing of ways that the Lord’s clearly defined “law,” or standards for living, can bring positive results. This is unlikely encouragement, for some see God’s standards as restrictive and as robbing us of happiness.
Here are some words the psalmist used for God’s standards: “law of the Lord” (v.7), “testimony” (v.7), “statutes” (v.8), “commandments” (v.8), “fear of the Lord” (v.9), and “judgments” (v.9). These words have an ominous sound that causes many people to want to avoid or reject them.
But notice what these things bring to the believing, obedient heart: conversion of the soul, wisdom, rejoicing of the heart, purity of life, enlightenment of the eyes, endurance, truth, and righteousness (vv.7-9). That’s great encouragement! No wonder David said about God’s law that He’s given to us, “More to be desired are they than gold . . . sweeter also than honey” (v.10).
Lord, we love You and Your Word. We delight in
reading it, learning about You, and following what
You teach us. Thank You for all the blessings that come
from our relationship with You. Amen.
Obedience to God’s Word is the Christian’s greatest freedom.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

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

Open-Handed Help

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
A homeless man spends time in our local library. One afternoon, while I was writing there, I took a lunch break. After I finished the first half of a turkey and Swiss cheese sandwich, an image of the man’s face came to mind. A few minutes later, I offered him the untouched part of my lunch. He accepted.
This brief encounter made me realize that with all that God has given me, I needed to do more to help those who are less fortunate. Later, as I thought about this, I read Moses’ instructions on providing for the poor. He told the Israelites: Do not “shut your hand from your poor brother, but . . . open your hand wide to him” (Deut. 15:7-8). An open hand symbolizes the way God wanted His nation to provide for impoverished people—willingly and freely. No excuses, no holding back (v.9). God had given to them, and He wanted them to give generously enough to supply whatever was “sufficient” for the need (v.8).
When we offer open-handed help to the poor, God blesses us for our kindness (Ps. 41:1-3; Prov. 19:17). With His leading, consider how you might “extend your soul to the hungry” (Isa. 58:10) and freely give to help others in Jesus’ name.
Grant us, then, the grace for giving
With a spirit large and free,
That our life and all our living
We may consecrate to Thee. —Murray
You may give without loving, but you can’t love without giving.

Monday, December 3, 2012

A Re-post From Dennis Fisher of Our Daily Bread

The Spirit Of The Age

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Every age has its own thoughts, ideas, and values that influence the culture, the “spirit of the age.” It is the kind of growing consensus that morally lulls us to sleep, gradually causing us to accept society’s latest values.
The apostle Paul called this corrupting atmosphere the “course of this world.” Describing the lives of the believers at Ephesus before they encountered Christ, he said that they were “dead in trespasses and sins” and “walked according to the course of this world” (Eph. 2:1-2). This is the world’s peer pressure—a satanically inspired system of values and ideas that cultivates a lifestyle that is independent of God.
Jesus intends for us to live in the world (John 17:15), so worldly influence is nearly impossible to escape. But He’s given us His Word to so permeate our thinking that we don’t have to become conformed to the world’s values (Rom. 12:1-2). Instead, God helps us walk in His light (Eph. 5:8), in the Spirit (Gal. 5:25), in love (Eph. 5:2), in truth (3 John 4), and in Christ (Col. 2:6).
As we walk in God’s power and spend time in His Word, He gives us the strength to live according to kingdom values and not the spirit of the age.
Father, You have made us alive in Christ and now we
have a new kind of thinking that differs from the world.
Teach us Your kingdom’s values that we might
learn to walk in love. Amen.
Although Christians live in this world,
their allegiance is to heaven.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

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

We Need Hope

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Adam and Eve didn’t need hope because they didn’t lack anything they needed. And they had every reason to think that life would go on as pleasantly as it started—with every good thing that God had given them to enjoy. But they put it all at risk for the one thing the serpent said that God had withheld: the knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 2:17; 3:5). So when the serpent came with his offer, Eve was quick to indulge, and Adam quick to follow (3:6). They got what they wanted: knowledge. But they lost what they had: innocence. With the loss of innocence came the need for hope—hope that their guilt and shame could be removed and goodness restored.
Christmas is the season of hope. Children hope for the latest popular toy or game. Families hope that everyone can make it home for the holidays. But the hope that Christmas commemorates is much bigger than our holiday desires. Jesus, the “Desire of All Nations” (Hag. 2:7), has come! He has “delivered us from the power of darkness,” bought our redemption, and forgiven our sins (Col. 1:13-14). He even made it possible for us to be wise about what is good and innocent about evil (Rom. 16:19). Christ in us gives us the hope of glory.
Praise God for the hope of Christmas!
What are the prospects for this earth?
What hope is there for man?
A world restored through Jesus Christ
In whom we see God’s plan. —D. DeHaan
Hope for the Christian is a certainty—
because its basis is Christ.

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