Saturday, March 30, 2013

A Re-post From Anne Cetas of Our Daily Bread

You Can Beat It!

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
The radio ad for an upcoming seminar sounded intriguing. The announcer said, “You can beat death—for good! Attend my seminar and I’ll show you how.” I wondered for a few moments what the speaker would claim could beat death and what his suggestions might be. Perhaps something about diet or exercise or freezing our bodies? After listening a little longer, though, I realized he had said, “You can beat debt—for good.”
The most wonderful news is that we can beat death because Jesus paid our debt! (1 Cor. 15:55-57). Our debt of sin meant separation from God, but Jesus willingly gave up His life and was crucified on a cross to pay what we owed. As Mary Magdalene and another Mary went to the tomb on the third day to anoint His body, an angel told them: “He is not here; for He is risen, as He said” (Matt. 28:6). With great joy they ran to bring His disciples the word. On their way, Jesus met them and said, “Rejoice!” (v.9). Jesus had risen, and His followers had reason for rejoicing.
Jesus has removed the sting of death (1 Cor. 15:55). Now we too have victory by believing in the Son of God’s death and resurrection for us. Through Jesus’ perfect work, we can beat death—for good!
Dear Lord, thank You for sacrificing Your life for our
sins so that we might live. We’re thankful that because
You died and rose again, we can have assurance that
one day we’ll be with You in a place of no more death.
We owed a debt we couldn’t pay; Jesus paid a debt He didn’t owe.

Friday, March 29, 2013

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

Shout Of Triumph

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Recently I read about Aron Ralston, a hiker who was trapped alone at the bottom of a remote canyon. With scant hope of being found and his strength ebbing away, he had to take drastic measures to save his life. During a moment of excruciating pain, he shouted in agony and in victory, because he had freed himself and now had a chance to escape and live.
Those who witnessed the crucifixion of Jesus saw His hours of agony and heard Him cry out in a loud voice, “It is finished!” as He gave up His spirit (John 19:30). His final words from the cross were not a cry of painful defeat but a shout of triumph, because He had accomplished all that the Father sent Him to do.
When Jesus died, He shared in what all of us must experience. But far beyond that, He did what none of us can do. He paid the price for our sins that we might be forgiven and have eternal life through faith in Him.
“It is finished!” was the Lord’s shout of victory because now, through Him, we can escape the power of sin; we can live and be free.
Because of Jesus’ sacrifice for us, we call the day of His death Good Friday.
I have been to the cross where my Savior died,
And all of my life is made new—
In the person of Him I am crucified.
I have been to the cross. Have you?
—Helen Frazee-Bower © 1956 Helen Frazee-Bower
Jesus died that we might live.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

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

“And It Was Night”

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
During a business trip to Philadelphia, I attended an evening service on the Thursday before Easter—a service of Communion and Tenebrae (darkness) held in a small chapel lit by candles. Following the bread and the cup, a passage was read aloud from the gospel of John, one candle was extinguished, and we sang a verse from a hymn about Jesus’ journey to the cross. This was repeated 14 times until the chapel was completely dark. In silence we knelt in prayer and then left one by one without speaking.
The darkness of this type of service can remind us of the dark elements surrounding Jesus’ death. Think of His last meal with the disciples (John 13:21-30) as He explained that one of them would betray Him. Only Jesus knew it was Judas. “Having received the piece of bread, [Judas] then went out immediately. And it was night” (v.30).
On the darkest evening of Jesus’ life, He agonized in prayer in the Garden, faced a wrongful arrest, endured humiliation at the hands of religious leaders, and winced at Peter’s denials. Yet He moved faithfully toward the cross where He would die for our sins.
Jesus endured darkness and death to give us light and life. Praise Him for what He went through for us!
See, from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down;
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown? —Watts
Calvary reveals the vileness of our sin and the vastness of God’s love.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

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

Out Of Context

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
When a friend started making random despairing statements, people were concerned for him and started giving advice and offering encouragement. As it turned out, he was simply having fun by quoting song lyrics out of context to start a conversation. Friends who tried to help wasted their time by offering help he didn’t need and advice he didn’t want. The consequences of my friend’s misleading statements were not serious, but they could have been. In taking time to respond to his false need, someone could have neglected someone else’s truly serious need.
Some people who take words out of context just want to gain attention or win an argument. But others are more sinister. They twist truth to gain power over others. They endanger not only lives but also souls.
When people use words to manipulate others to behave in certain ways—or worse, when they quote the Bible out of context to convince others to do wrong—there’s only one defense: We need to know what God truly says in His Word. Jesus was able to resist temptation with the truth (Luke 4). We have the same resource. God has given us His Word and Spirit to guide us and keep us from being deceived or misled.
Your words of pure, eternal truth
Shall yet unshaken stay,
When all that man has thought or planned
Like chaff shall pass away. —Anon.
If we hold on to God’s truth, we won’t be trapped by Satan’s lies.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Re-post From Marvin Williams of Our Daily Bread

Our Father’s World

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
When Amanda Benavides was a sophomore at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, California, she began to rethink her views on Christian stewardship of the earth. Amanda had grown up thinking that being conscious of the environment had nothing to do with her relationship with Jesus. All this changed when she was challenged to consider the Christian’s role in caring for the planet—especially how that relates to reaching the most needy in the world.
Our stewardship of the beautiful world God gave us, and our care for the people in it, express our reverence for God and is grounded in two biblical principles.
First, the earth belongs to God (Ps. 24:1-2). The psalmist praised the Lord for His creation and His ownership of it. The heavens, the earth, and all that are in it are His. He created it, He is sovereign over it (93:1-2), and He cares for it (Matt. 6:26-30). Second, God delegated the responsibility for the well-being of His earth to us (Gen. 1:26-28). This includes appreciation of and care for both nature (Lev. 25:2-5,11; Prov. 12:10) and people (Rom. 15:2).
This is our Father’s world. Let’s show Him how much we love Him by respecting it and caring for the people who populate it.
The natural world that God has made
Must not be used at whim;
We serve as stewards of His earth,
Responsible to Him. —D. DeHaan
To mistreat God’s creation is to offend the Creator.

Monday, March 25, 2013

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

Too Heavy

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
As I started up my car in the dark hours of early morning, I noticed a seatbelt light on the dashboard. I checked my door, opening and pulling it shut again. I tugged on my seatbelt to test it. But the sensor light still beamed. Then, in slow realization, I reached over and lifted my purse a few inches above the passenger seat. The light clicked off.
Apparently, a cell phone, three rolls of quarters, a hardcover book, and my lunch stuffed in my very large purse had equaled the weight of a small passenger, thus setting off the sensor!
While I can easily empty out a handbag, other weights are not so easy to shed. Those burdens of life involve a heaviness of spirit.
Whether the burden that weighs us down is one of guilt such as the one that consumed David’s thoughts (Ps. 32:1-6), the fear Peter experienced (Matt. 26:20-35), or the doubt Thomas carried (John 20:24-29), Jesus has invited us to bring them all to Him: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28).
We are not built to bear burdens alone. When we cast them on the One who wants to bear our burdens (Ps. 68:19; 1 Peter 5:7), He replaces them with forgiveness, healing, and restoration. No burden is too heavy for Him.
Lord, thank You for lovingly carrying our burdens.
In times of trouble, help us to leave those burdens
in Your strong hands and to find our rest in You.
In Jesus’ name, amen.
Burden God with what burdens you.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

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

Let It Go

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Many years ago, when a young friend asked if he could borrow our car, my wife and I were hesitant at first. It was our car. We owned it, and we depended on it. But we soon felt convicted to share it with him because we knew that God wanted us to care for others. So we handed the keys over to him, and he traveled to a church 30 miles away to conduct a youth rally. The meeting was used by the Lord to bring teens to Christ.
Jesus instructed His disciples to take another man’s donkey. The Son of God told His men to “loose it and bring it” to Him (Mark 11:2). If someone objected, they were to say, “The Lord has need of it,” and they would then be permitted to lead it away. That donkey carried Christ into Jerusalem on what we call Palm Sunday.
There’s a lesson here for us to consider. We all have things that we hold dear. We may have thought, I could never part with that. It may be a new truck, a coat, some other possession, or our precious few free hours during the week. Will we be open to give when someone obviously needs something we have?
If you sense that the Spirit is speaking to you, let your time or possession go, as the owner released his animal to Jesus. He will then be glorified as He deserves!
Make me a channel of blessing today,
Make me a channel of blessing, I pray;
My life possessing, my service blessing,
Make me a channel of blessing today. —Smyth
God gives us all we need, so we can give to others in their need.

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