Friday, March 22, 2013

A Re-post From Bill Crowder of Our Daily Bread

Hope Is For . . .

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Although I try not to be shocked by the things I see these days, I was caught off-balance by the message on the woman’s T-shirt as she walked past me in the mall. The bold letters declared: “Hope Is For Suckers.” Certainly, being na├»ve or gullible can be foolish and dangerous. Disappointment and heartache can be the tragic offspring of unfounded optimism. But not allowing oneself to have hope is a sad and cynical way to view life.
Biblical hope is unique; it’s a confident trust in God and what He is doing in the world and in our lives. That’s something everyone needs! The writer to the Hebrews clearly stated the importance of hope when he wrote, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful” (Heb. 10:23).
Having biblical hope is not foolish, because it has a strong foundation. We hold fast to the hope we have received in Christ because our God is faithful. He can be trusted with anything and everything we will ever face—both for today and forever. Our hope is grounded in the trustworthy character of the God who loves us with an everlasting love. So, the T-shirt had it wrong. Hope is not for suckers; it’s for you and for me!
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name. —Mote
Hope that has its foundation in God will not crumble under the pressures of life.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

A Re-post From Dennis Fisher of Our Daily Bread

Going For The Prize

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Every March, the Iditarod Trail Race is held in Alaska. Sled dogs and their drivers, called “mushers,” race across a 1,049-mile route from Anchorage to Nome. The competing teams cover this great distance in anywhere from 8 to 15 days. In 2011, a record time was set by musher John Baker who covered the entire route in 8 days, 19 hours, 46 minutes, and 39 seconds. The teamwork between dogs and driver is remarkable, and those who compete are tenacious in their efforts to win. The first-place winner receives a cash prize and a new pickup truck. But after so much perseverance in extreme weather conditions, the accolades and prizes may seem insignificant and transient.
The excitement of a race was a familiar concept to the apostle Paul, but he used competition to illustrate something eternal. He wrote, “Everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown” (1 Cor. 9:25).
Sometimes we are tempted to place our emphasis on temporal rewards, which perish with the passing of time. The Scriptures, however, encourage us to focus on something more permanent. We honor God by seeking spiritual impact that will be rewarded in eternity.
Here we labor, here we pray,
Here we wrestle night and day;
There we lay our burdens down,
There we wear the victor’s crown. —Anon.
Run the race with eternity in view.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Re-post From Marvin Williams of Our Daily Bread

Make It Count

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
In his battle with cancer, Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Inc., said: “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything—all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure—these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.” His suffering influenced the choices he made.
In contrast, the apostle Peter wanted to motivate his readers to use their suffering to make their lives count for eternity. And he wanted Jesus’ suffering and death to inspire them to accept the spiritual conflict and persecution that would result from bearing the name of Jesus. Because they loved Jesus, suffering was going to be normative. Jesus’ suffering was to serve as motivation to give up sinful passions and to be obedient to the will of God (1 Peter 4:1-2). If their lives were going to count for eternity, they needed to stop indulging in fleeting pleasures and instead exhaust their lives on what pleased God.
Remembering that Jesus suffered and died to forgive our sins is the most important thought we have to inspire us to make godly choices today and to make our lives count for eternity.
Jesus, You have suffered and died to forgive our sin;
may Your death and resurrection inspire us to never
return to where we’ve been. Help us in our resolve
to live for Your will alone.
Jesus’ death forgave my past sins and inspires my present obedience.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

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

Thoughts On Rain

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
When torrential downpours beat on the heads of my newly planted petunias, I felt bad for them. I wanted to bring them inside to shelter them from the storm. By the time the rain stopped, their little faces were bowed to the ground from the weight of the water. They looked sad and weak. Within a few hours, however, they perked up and turned their heads skyward. By the next day, they were standing straight and strong.
What a transformation! After pounding them on the head, the rain dripped from their leaves, soaked into the soil, and came up through their stalks, giving them the strength to stand straight.
Because I prefer sunshine, I get annoyed when rain spoils my outdoor plans. I sometimes wrongly think of rain as something negative. But anyone who has experienced drought knows that rain is a blessing. It nourishes the earth for the benefit of both the just and the unjust (Matt. 5:45).
Even when the storms of life hit so hard that we nearly break from the force, the “rain” is not an enemy. Our loving God has allowed it to make us stronger. He uses the water that batters us on the outside to build us up on the inside, so we may stand straight and strong.
Lord, we know that we don’t need to fear the storms
of life. Because You are good, we can trust You
to use even our hard times to build our faith in You.
We lean on You now.
The storms that threaten to destroy us God will use to strengthen us.

Monday, March 18, 2013

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

First Things First

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
When our granddaughter Sarah was very young, she told us she wanted to be a basketball coach like her daddy when she grew up. But she couldn’t be one yet, she said, because first she had to be a player; and a player has to be able to tie her shoelaces, and she couldn’t tie hers yet!
First things first, we say. And the first thing in all of life is to know God and enjoy Him.
Acknowledging and knowing God helps us to become what we were meant to be. Here is King David’s counsel to his son Solomon: “Know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind” (1 Chron. 28:9).
Remember, God can be known. He is a Person, not a logical or theological concept. He thinks, wills, enjoys, feels, loves, and desires as any person does. A. W. Tozer writes, “He is a person and can be known in increasing degrees of intimacy as we prepare our hearts for the wonder of it.” Ah, there’s the rub: We must “prepare our hearts.”
The Lord is not playing hard to know; those who want to know Him can. He will not foist His love on us, but He does wait patiently, for He wants to be known by you. Knowing Him is the first thing in life.
He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joys we share as we tarry there
None other has ever known.
—C. Austin Miles © Renewal 1940. The Rodeheaver Company
The thought of God staggers the mind but to know Him satisfies the heart.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

A Re-post From Dave Branon of Our Daily Bread

Can’t Do Everything

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Four-year-old Eliana was helping her mom pick up some of Eliana’s things before bedtime. When Mommy told her to put away the clothes on her bed, Eliana hit her limit. She turned around, put her little hands on her hips, and said, “I can’t do everything!”
Do you ever feel that way with the tasks God has called you to do? It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with church involvement, witnessing, and raising a family. We might sigh in exasperation and pray, “Lord, I can’t do everything!”
Yet God’s instructions indicate that His expectations are not overwhelming. For instance, as we deal with others, He gives us this qualifier: “As much as depends on you, live peaceably with all” (Rom. 12:18). God understands our limitations. Or this: “Whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord” (Col. 3:23). He’s not asking for perfection that we might impress people, but simply to honor Him with the work we do. And one more: “Let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another” (Gal. 6:4). We are not doing our work as a competition with others, but simply to carry our own load.
In wisdom, God has equipped us to do just what He wants us to do—and that’s certainly not everything!
He gives me work that I may seek His rest,
He gives me strength to meet the hardest test;
And as I walk in providential grace,
I find that joy goes with me, at God’s pace. —Gustafson
When God gives an assignment, it comes with His enablement.

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