Saturday, January 12, 2013

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

The Gift Of Sleep

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Sleep is essential for good health. Scientists don’t know exactly why we need it but they know what happens when we don’t get enough. We put ourselves at risk of premature aging, weight gain, and diseases ranging from colds and flu to cancer. What God accomplishes in our bodies while we drift off to dreamland is nothing short of miraculous. While we do nothing, God replenishes our energy, rebuilds and restores our cells, and reorganizes information in our brains.
The reasons for not getting enough sleep are many, and some we can’t solve, but the Bible indicates that overwork should not be one of them (Ps. 127:2). Sleep is a gift from God that we should receive with gratitude. If we’re not getting enough, we need to find out why. Are we rising early and staying up late to earn money to acquire things we don’t need? Are we involved in ministry efforts that we think no one else is capable of doing?
I’m sometimes tempted to believe that the work I do when I’m awake is more important than the work God does while I sleep. But refusing God’s gift of sleep is like telling Him that my work is more important than His.
God does not want anyone to be a slave to work. He wants us to enjoy His gift of sleep.
The love of God is my pillow,
Soft and healing and wide,
I rest my soul in its comfort,
And in its calm I abide. —Long
If we do not come apart and rest awhile, we may just plain come apart. —Havner

Friday, January 11, 2013

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

Eyewitness Account

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
When the Day of Discovery television crew interviews people for a biography, we especially enjoy talking with those who knew the person whose life-story we are telling. Over the years, we’ve talked with a man who roomed with Eric Liddell in an internment camp in China; a woman who as a teenager lived in the home of C. S. Lewis during World War II; and a man who chauffeured Dr. George Washington Carver on a speaking tour throughout the southern US. They all spoke freely and openly about the special person they knew.
When John, one of Jesus’ 12 disciples, was an old man, he wrote a letter in which his opening words established him as an eyewitness and close companion of Jesus: “The life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us” (1 John 1:2). His goals in writing were “that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ” (v.3) and “that your joy may be full” (v.4).
The eyewitness accounts of Jesus’ disciples help lead us to faith in Christ. Even though we have not seen Him as they did, we have believed.
Thank You, Father, for the reliable eyewitness
accounts of Jesus’ life that we can read in Your
Word. And thank You for people in our lives
who know Him. They help us believe too.
Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. —Jesus

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Re-post From Philip Yancey of Our Daily Bread

Spiritual Sight

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
A prisoner who survived 14 years in a Cuban jail told how he kept his spirits up and his hope alive: “I had no window in my cell, and so I mentally constructed one on the door. I ‘saw’ in my mind a beautiful scene from the mountains, with water tumbling down a ravine over rocks. It became so real to me that I would visualize it without effort every time I looked at the cell door.”
Ironically, some of the most hopeful books of the Bible—Philippians, Colossians, and Ephesians—come out of Paul’s house arrest in Rome. The letter to the Ephesians gives a hint as to what the apostle Paul saw when he thought about life beyond his place of confinement.
First he saw the spiritual growth in the churches he left behind. This book opens with a burst of thanksgiving for the vitality of the Ephesian church (Eph. 1:15-16). Then he sought to open the eyes of their hearts to even more exalted sights: the “exceeding riches” of God’s grace (2:7). When Paul cranks up the volume to express God’s plan of love, not one low, mournful note sneaks in.
If you feel discouraged or question whether the Christian life is worth it, Ephesians proves to be a great tonic. It prescribes the riches in Christ available to all.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the staggering
good news of the riches of Your infinite grace.
Thank You for the encouragement and hope
we find in Ephesians. Amen.
No one is hopeless whose hope is in God and His Word.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

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

Making It Right

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
It was a perfect day for our garage sale—bright and warm. People rummaged through clothing, paperbacks, and mismatched dishes. I noticed a young woman looking at a string of white beads. A few minutes later, the necklace vanished along with its admirer. I spotted her in the street, jogged the length of my driveway, and discovered the missing jewelry nestled in her palm. As we faced each other with the knowledge of what had happened, she volunteered to pay for the stolen item.
Zacchaeus, the tree-climbing tax collector, met Jesus and was changed. He vowed to repay four times the amount of money he had dishonestly taken from others (Luke 19:8). In those days, tax collectors frequently overcharged citizens and then pocketed the extra funds. Zacchaeus’ eagerness to pay back the money and to donate half of what he owned to the poor showed a significant change of heart. He had once been a taker, but after meeting Jesus he was determined to make restoration and be a giver.
Zacchaeus’ example can inspire us to make the same kind of change. When God reminds us about items we have taken, taxes left unpaid, or ways we have wronged others, we can honor Him by making it right.
Help me, dear Lord, to be honest and true
In all that I say and all that I do;
Give me the courage to do what is right
To bring to the world a glimpse of Your light. —Fasick
A debt is never too old for an honest person to pay.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A Re-post From Dave Branon of Our Daily Bread

Where Sinners Go

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
My friend was having a conversation with a man who didn’t have much good to say about the Christian faith. My friend knew that if he were to sound too “religious,” he would jeopardize any chance to witness. So, in the middle of their discussion, he said, “Hey, Bob, do you know where sinners go?”
“That’s easy,” he replied. “You’re going to tell me they go to hell.”
“No,” my friend responded. “They go to church.”
Bob was speechless. That wasn’t what he expected. He wasn’t ready to hear from a Christian who realized he wasn’t perfect. My friend had a chance to share that Christians understand their sinfulness and their need for continual spiritual restoration. He was able to explain grace—the unmerited favor we have with God despite our sinfulness (Rom. 5:8-9; Eph. 2:8-9).
Perhaps we don’t give those outside the church a clear picture of what’s happening inside. They may not understand that we’re there to praise our Savior for providing “redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Col. 1:14).
Yes, sinners go to church. And sinners—forgiven ones—go to heaven because of God’s grace.
We’re far from perfection, yet perfect forever,
For Christ is our righteousness, Lord, and our Savior;
No justification for sin can we offer,
Yet sanctified fully, we’re now His forever. —Lee
A church is a hospital for sinners, not a club for saints.

Monday, January 7, 2013

A Re-post From Dennis Fisher of Our Daily Bread

Fully Equipped

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Karl Elsener, a Swiss designer of surgical equipment in the 19th century, worked for years on perfecting a military knife. Today his Swiss Army Knife is associated with excellence in blades and a variety of utilities. One model includes knife blades, a saw, scissors, a magnifying glass, a can opener, a screwdriver, a ruler, a toothpick, a writing pen, and more—all in one knife! If you are out camping in the wild, this one item can certainly make you feel equipped for survival.
We need something to equip us to survive spiritually in this sinful world. God has given us His Word, a kind of spiritual knife for the soul. Paul writes: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16-17).
The word translated equipped means to “furnish or fit completely.” How does the Bible equip us for life’s journey? It provides spiritual truth in doctrine; reproof in showing our imperfections; correction by revealing our sinful failures; and instruction in living a righteous life. There’s not a more valuable tool than God’s Word to make us fully equipped for spiritual survival and personal growth.
Lord, thank You for equipping us with Your
inspired Word. You’ve given us the tools we
need to live for You. Help us to take time to read
it and to follow what You tell us. Amen.
The Bible contains the nutrients we need for a healthy soul.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

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

What Is That To You?

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
When you attend a children’s choir concert, you’re not surprised when the children look everywhere but at the director. They wiggle, squirm, and poke each other. They stand on tiptoes to search for parents in the audience. They raise their hands to wave when they see them. Oh, yes, and they occasionally sing. We smile at their antics. The behavior is cute in children. It’s not so cute when adult choir members don’t watch the conductor. Good music depends on singers who pay attention to the director so they can stay together as they sing.
Christians sometimes are like singers in a children’s choir. Instead of looking at Jesus, the great Conductor of the symphony of life, we are busy squirming or looking at each other or watching the audience.
Jesus admonished Peter for such behavior. After He told him what would be required of him, Peter pointed to John and asked, “What about him?” Jesus answered with a question: “What is that to you? You follow Me” (John 21:22).
Sometimes we are distracted by what others are doing. We think God’s plan for their life is better than His plan for ours. But God’s plan for each of us is the same: Follow Jesus. When we watch Him intently, we’ll not be distracted by God’s plan for anyone else.
My times are in my Father’s hand;
How could I wish or ask for more?
For He who has my pathway planned,
Will guide me till my journey’s o’er. —Fraser
Every child of God has a special place in His plan.

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