Saturday, March 2, 2013

A Re-post From Bill Crowder of Our Daily Bread

Refreshing Candor

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Of the many things I love about my mom, chief among them may be her candor. Many times I have called to ask her opinion on a matter and she has consistently responded, “Don’t ask my opinion unless you want to hear it. I’m not going to try to figure out what you want to hear. I’ll tell you what I really think.”
In a world where words are carefully parsed, her straightforwardness is refreshing. It is also one of the characteristics of a true friend. Real friends speak the truth to us in love—even if it isn’t what we want to hear. As the proverb says, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend” (Prov. 27:6).
This is one of the reasons Jesus is the greatest of friends. When He encountered the woman at the well (John 4:7-26), He refused to be pulled into a tug-of-war over secondary issues but instead drove to the deepest issues and needs of her heart. He challenged her about the character of the Father and lovingly spoke to her of her broken dreams and deep disappointments.
As we walk with our Lord, may we allow Him to speak candidly to the true condition of our hearts through the Scriptures—that we might turn to Him and find His grace to help us in our times of need.
Father, thank You for sending Your Son to be my Savior
and the greatest of friends. Help me to learn from Him
how loving honesty can make a difference in helping
the hurting people around me.
Jesus always tells us truth.

Friday, March 1, 2013

A Good Man

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn

“Jerry was a good man,” the pastor said at Jerald Stevens’ memorial service. “He loved his family. He was faithful to his wife. He served his country in the armed services. He was an excellent dad and grandfather. He was a great friend.”
But then the pastor went on to tell the friends and family gathered that Jerry’s good life and good deeds were not enough to assure him a place in heaven. And that Jerry himself would have been the first to tell them that!
Jerry believed these words from the Bible: “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23) and “the wages of sin is death” (6:23). Jerry’s final and eternal destination in life’s journey was not determined by whether he lived a really good life but entirely by Jesus dying in his place to pay sin’s penalty. He believed that each of us must personally accept the free gift of God, which is “eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (6:23).
Jerry was a good man, but he could never be “good enough.” And neither can we. It is only by grace that we can be saved through faith. And that has absolutely nothing to do with our human efforts. “It is the gift of God” (Eph. 2:8).
“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2 Cor. 9:15).
Christ’s work for my salvation is complete!
No work of mine can add to what He’s done;
I bow to worship at the Master’s feet,
And honor God the Father’s only Son. —Hess
We are not saved by good works, but by God’s work.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Re-post From Dennis Fisher of Our Daily Bread

Expect Great Things

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
William Carey was an ordinary man with an extraordinary faith. Born into a working-class family in the 18th century, Carey made his living as a shoemaker. While crafting shoes, Carey read theology and journals of explorers. God used His Word and the stories of the discovery of new people groups to burden him for global evangelism. He went to India as a missionary, and not only did he do the work of an evangelist but he learned Indian dialects into which he translated the Word of God. Carey’s passion for missions is expressed by his words: “Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God.” Carey lived out this maxim, and thousands have been inspired to do missionary service by his example.
The Bible tells of many whose faith in God produced amazing results. Hebrews tells of those “who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong” (11:33-34).
The list of heroes of the faith has grown through the ages, and we can be a part of that list. Because of God’s power and faithfulness, we can attempt great things for God and expect great things from God.
If God can hang the stars on high,
Can paint the clouds that drift on by,
Can send the sun across the sky,
What can His power do through you? —Jones
When God is your partner, you can make your plans large!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

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

Pack Up Your Sorrows

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
During the turbulent years of the 1960s, popular music in America was a strange mixture of protest and patriotism. Some songs lashed out against war, greed, and injustice in society, while others affirmed duty to country and traditional values. But “Pack Up Your Sorrows,” written by Richard Farina and Pauline Baez Marden, seemed to fit all of the categories with its focus on the quest for personal peace. The refrain said the following:
Well, if somehow you could pack up your sorrows,
And give them all to me
You would lose them, I know how to use them,
Give them all to me.

Perhaps everyone hoped that someone really could bring them peace.
The good news is that there is Someone who can! Isaiah 53 is a prophetic picture of Israel’s promised Messiah. Christians see its fulfillment in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows . . . . He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed” (vv.4-5).
Jesus took our sins and sorrows on Himself so that we could be forgiven and have peace with God. Will you give Him your sorrows today?
Never a burden that He does not carry;
Never a sorrow that He does not share;
Whether the days may be sunny or dreary,
Jesus is always there.
—Bertha Lillenas. ©1934 Homer A. Rodeheaver.
No sorrow is too heavy for our Savior to bear.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Re-post From Anne Cetas of Our Daily Bread

Grandpa Snucked Out

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
My cousin Ken fought a courageous 4-year battle with cancer. In his final days, his wife, three children, and several grandchildren were in and out of his room, spending time with him and sharing special goodbyes. When everyone was out of the room for a moment, he slipped into eternity. After the family realized that he was gone, one young granddaughter sweetly remarked, “Grandpa snucked out.” One moment the Lord was with Ken here on earth; the next moment Ken’s spirit was with the Lord in heaven.
Psalm 16 was a favorite psalm of Ken’s that he had requested to be read at his memorial service. He agreed with the psalmist David who said that there was no treasure more valuable than a personal relationship with God (vv.2,5). With the Lord as his refuge, David also knew that the grave does not rob believers of life. He said, “You will not leave my soul in Sheol [the grave]” (v.10). Neither Ken nor anyone else who knows Jesus as Savior will be abandoned in death.
Because of Jesus’ own death and resurrection, we too will rise one day (Acts 2:25-28; 1 Cor. 15:20-22). And we will find that “at [God’s] right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Ps. 16:11).
“In the Beloved” accepted am I,
Risen, ascended, and seated on high;
Saved from all sin through His infinite grace,
I am accorded in heaven a place.
—Civilla Martin. © Renewal 1958. Hope Publishing.
God is our treasure now, and being with Him in heaven will bring pleasures forever.

Monday, February 25, 2013

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

Giving Thanks

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
A tragedy left a family with a void that nothing could fill. A toddler chasing a cat wandered into the road and was run over by a delivery truck. A 4-year-old watched in shocked silence as her parents cradled the lifeless body of her little sister. For years, the cold emptiness of that moment encased the family in sadness. Feelings were frozen. The only comfort was numbness. Relief was unimaginable.
Author Ann Voskamp was the 4-year-old, and the sorrow surrounding her sister’s death formed her view of life and God. The world she grew up in had little concept of grace. Joy was an idea that had no basis in reality.
As a young mother, Voskamp set out to discover the elusive thing the Bible calls joy. The words for joy and grace come from the Greek word chairo, which she found out is at the center of the Greek word for thanksgiving. Could it be that simple? she wondered. To test her discovery, Voskamp decided to give thanks for 1,000 gifts she already had. She started slowly but soon gratefulness was flowing freely.
Just as Jesus gave thanks before, not after, raising Lazarus from the dead (John 11:41), Voskamp discovered that giving thanks brought to life feelings of joy that had died along with her sister. Joy comes from thanksgiving.
Lord, I thank You that You have the power
to raise the dead. May the feelings of joy
that arise from our thanksgiving be seeds of
grace to those who are afraid to feel.
The joy of living comes from a heart of thanksgiving.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

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

Always Accepted

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Financial expert Warren Buffet, one of the richest people in the world, was rejected by Harvard’s Business School at age 19. After a failed admissions interview, he recalls a “feeling of dread,” along with concern over his father’s reaction to the news. In retrospect, Buffet says, “[Everything] in my life . . . that I thought was a crushing event at the time has turned out for the better.”
Rejection, though undeniably painful, does not have to hold us back from accomplishing what God wants us to do. The citizens of Jesus’ hometown denied that He was the Messiah (John 1:11), and many of His followers later rejected Him (6:66). Just as Jesus’ rejection was part of God’s plan for His Son (Isa. 53:3), so was Jesus’ continued ministry. Enduring earthly rejection and knowing that the Father would turn away from Him at Calvary (Matt. 27:46), Jesus went on to cure the sick, cast out demons, and preach good news to the masses. Before His crucifixion, Jesus said, “[Father], I have finished the work which You have given Me to do” (John 17:4).
If rejection has become a hindrance to the work God has given you to do, don’t give up. Remember that Jesus understands, and those who come to Him will always be accepted by Him (6:37).
No one understands like Jesus
When the days are dark and grim.
No one is so near, so dear as Jesus;
Cast your every care on Him. —Peterson
by John W. Peterson. © Renewal 1980. John W. Peterson Music Company.
No one understands like Jesus.

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