Saturday, January 19, 2013

A Re-post From Dennis Fisher of Our Daily Bread

Ready For Glory

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
On March 1, 1981, preacher and Bible commentator D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones lay on his deathbed. From 1939 to 1968, he had served as the pastor of London’s Westminster Chapel. Now at the end of his life, Lloyd-Jones had lost the ability to speak. Indicating that he did not want any more prayers for his recovery, he wrote on a piece of paper: “Do not hold me back from glory.”
Because life is precious, it can be hard to let our loved ones go when the time comes for them to depart this earth and go to heaven. And yet God has set a time when He plans to call us home. Psalm 116:15 tells us, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.”
When Paul saw that death was near, he was encouraged by what awaited him in heaven: “Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing” (2 Tim. 4:8).
No matter where Christians are in life’s journey, their ultimate destination is to “be with Christ, which is far better” (Phil. 1:23). This should give us confidence in facing life’s challenges and comfort when other believers leave us for that glorious home Christ has prepared.
The glories of heaven await
All those who believe in God’s Son;
The trials of this life will fade
When we see the Heavenly One. —Sper
Life’s greatest joy is the sure hope of heaven.

Friday, January 18, 2013

A Re-post From Marvin Williams of Our Daily Bread

You’re Necessary

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
The story has been told about a conductor who was rehearsing his orchestra. The organ was giving a beautiful melody, the drums were thundering, the trumpets were blaring, and the violins were singing beautifully. But the conductor noticed something missing—the piccolo. The piccolo player had gotten distracted and hoped his instrument wouldn’t be missed. The conductor reminded him: “Each one of us is necessary.”
This was essentially the same message Paul communicated to the Corinthian believers in his first letter to them (12:4-7). Every Christian plays an important role in the body of Christ. Paul gave a list of gifts of the Spirit and compared their use to the functioning of the various parts of the human body for the good of the whole (vv.8-10). The Corinthian believers may have had different cultural backgrounds, gifts, and personalities, but they were filled with the same Spirit and belonged to the same body of Christ. Paul made special mention of the parts of the body that were weak and obscure, and taught that all believers play a necessary and significant role. No one part was more necessary than any other.
Remember, Jesus has given you a significant part to play and will use you to build up His people.
The church, a living body, containing all the parts—
It lives, it moves, it functions, and touches many hearts;
When each part is committed to do the Savior’s will,
His members are united, His purpose they fulfill. —Fitzhugh
As a member of the body of Christ,
you are a necessary part of the whole.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A Re-post From Cindy Hess Kasper of Our Daily Bread


Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
I was glad to see the final days of the year draw to a close. It had held so much sorrow, sickness, and sadness. I was ready to welcome January with its very own brass band!
But as the first month of the new year arrived, so did one bit of sad news after another. Several friends lost their parents. My dad’s brother slipped away in his sleep. Friends discovered they had cancer. A colleague’s brother and a friend’s son both died tragically and abruptly. Rather than the sad times ceasing, the new year seemed to bring a whole new tsunami of sorrow.
John 16:33 tells us, “In the world you will have tribulation.” Even God’s children are not promised a life of ease, of prosperity, nor of good health. Yet we are never alone in our trouble. Isaiah 43:2 reminds us that when we pass through deep waters, God is with us. Although we don’t always understand God’s purposes in the trials we experience, we can trust His heart because we know Him.
Our God is a God of abundant love and “neither death nor life. . . nor things present nor things to come [will ever] separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:38-39). When trouble comes, His presence is His promise.
Swift cometh His answer, so clear and so sweet;
“Yea, I will be with thee, thy troubles to meet;
I will not forget thee, nor fail thee, nor grieve;
I will not forsake thee, I never will leave.” —Flint
Faith is believing that God is present
when all we hear is silence.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Re-post From Joe Stowell of Our Daily Bread

Upside Down

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
There are a lot of things that intrigue me about Jesus. One of the aspects of His ministry that has always produced jaw-dropping, head-scratching responses is His upside-down teaching about life.
As we journey through life, we may get to the point where we think we’ve got it figured out and our thought patterns and responses for navigating through life are deeply engrained. Yet Jesus interrupts us in the midst of our routines and calls us to a new and better way. But beware! This encounter with the ways of Jesus will be challenging.
Consider these paradoxical propositions: to live you must die (Mark 8:35); to gain you must give (Matt. 19:21); “blessed are those who mourn” (5:4); to rule you must serve (Luke 22:26); and suffering has purpose (5:10-11).
It is pronouncements like these that make people think Christ is strangely out of touch. But we are the ones out of touch. He is not upside down, we are! We’re like children who think they know better than their parents what is best.
No wonder God has told us, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways” (Isa. 55:8). So, rather than relying on our mixed-up instincts, let’s ask Him to help us reflect His ways.
Lord, You know what is best, and You desire to lead
us in paths that are right and good. Give us the
courage to trust and to follow You in the ways
of righteousness for Your name’s sake. Amen.
What may seem upside down to us is right side up to God.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Re-post From Anne Cetas of Our Daily Bread

There’s Power

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
When my sister found out she had cancer, I asked my friends to pray. When she had surgery, we prayed that the surgeon would be able to remove all of the cancer and that she wouldn’t have to undergo chemotherapy or radiation. And God answered yes! When I reported the news, one friend remarked, “I’m so glad there’s power in prayer.” I responded, “I’m thankful that God answered with a yes this time.”
James says that “the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (5:16). But does “effective” and “fervent” mean the harder we pray, or the more people we ask to pray, the more likely God is to answer with a yes? I’ve had enough “no” and “wait” answers to wonder about that.
Prayer is powerful, but it’s such a mystery. We’re taught to have faith, to ask earnestly and boldly, to persevere, to be surrendered to His will. Yet God answers in His wisdom and His answers are best. I’m just thankful that God wants to hear our hearts and that no matter the answer, He is still good.
I like Ole Hallesby’s words: “Prayer and helplessness are inseparable. Only those who are helpless can truly pray. . . . Your helplessness is your best prayer.” We can do helplessness quite well.
Lord, I’ve been taught many things about prayer—be
specific, be bold, be surrendered, be strong in faith,
be persistent. Today I recognize my helplessness and
Your power as I share my heart with You. Amen.
Prayer is the child’s helpless cry to the Father’s attentive ear.

Monday, January 14, 2013

A Re-post From Randy Kilgore of Our Daily Bread

God Must Love Me More

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
During a difficult recession, I organized a support group for fellow Christians to help them cope with unemployment. We provided resumé reviews, networking, and prayer support. One problem emerged: Whenever someone got a job, he or she almost never returned to the group to offer encouragement. That increased the loneliness and isolation of those left in the group.
Worse, though, were comments from those who had never experienced a job loss. They mirrored the accusations of Job’s friends in his suffering: “If you were pure and upright, surely now [God] would awake for you, and prosper [you]” (8:6). By chapter 12, Job is starting to express things in terms modern workers can understand. He says that he feels despised by those whose life is easy (v.5).
When things are going well for us, we may start to think that we who don’t have troubles are better somehow, or are more loved by God, than those who are struggling. We forget that the effects of this fallen world are indiscriminate.
We are all loved by the Lord and we all need Him—in good times and bad. The successes, abundance, and positions that God has given to us are tools to help us encourage others in their time of need.
Give us the humility, Lord, not to act like Job’s friends
who accused him of sin because of his trials. Show us
how to help those who are struggling so that we might
give the kind of encouragement You have given us.
Humility toward God makes us gentle toward others.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

A Re-post From Bill Crowder of Our Daily Bread

Already Settled

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
I love watching soccer, and I am a fan of the Liverpool Football Club in England’s Premier League. When the Reds are playing, it is an anxiety-filled experience for me. Because one goal or one misplay can change the game’s outcome, I feel a constant tension as I watch. That is part of what makes the games enjoyable. Recently, though, I saw a tape-delayed replay of one of Liverpool’s games. I was surprised how much calmer I felt seeing the replay. Why? Because I already knew the outcome, and as a result I was able to relax and enjoy the action.
Life is often like observing live sporting events. There are shocks and surprises, frustrations and fears, because we are unsure of the outcome. Followers of Christ can draw comfort, however, from the fact that though many of life’s situations are uncertain, our eternal outcome is settled by the work of Jesus Christ on the cross.
The apostle John wrote, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13). Life may present us with surprises along the way, but because of Christ’s work we can have peace. He has already settled our eternal outcome.
Faith looks beyond this transient life
With hope for all eternity—
Not with some vague and wistful hope,
But with firm trust and certainty. —D. DeHaan
Peace rules the day when Christ rules the heart.

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