Saturday, May 25, 2013

A Re-post From Anne Cetas of Our Daily Bread

A Debtor

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
As a young man, Robert Robinson (1735–1790) enjoyed getting into trouble with his friends, so the stories go. At age 17, though, he heard a sermon by George Whitefield from Matthew 3:7, and realized his need for salvation in Christ. The Lord changed Robinson’s life, and he became a preacher. He also wrote several hymns, including his best-known “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing.”
Lately I’ve been pondering God’s amazing grace toward us and the last stanza of that hymn: “O to grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be!” The hymn brings to mind the apostle Paul’s words: “The love of Christ compels [or constrains] us . . . that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again” (2 Cor. 5:14-15).
We can’t earn God’s love and grace. But because He has lavished it on us, how can we help but love Him in return by living for Him! I’m not exactly sure what that looks like, but it must include drawing near to Him, listening to His Word, serving Him, and obeying Him out of gratitude and love.
As debtors, we are called to live each day for Jesus who gave Himself for us.
Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise. —Robinson
Those who know God’s grace show God’s grace.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

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

Heavenly Country

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
During high school, my closest friend and I took a pair of horses out for an afternoon ride. We slowly roamed through fields of wildflowers and wooded groves. But when we nosed the horses in the direction of the barn, they took off toward home like twin rockets. Our equine friends knew that it was time for dinner and a good brushing, and they could hardly wait.
As Christians, our true home is heaven (Phil. 3:20). Yet sometimes our desires tether us to the here and now. We enjoy God’s good gifts—marriage, children, grandchildren, travel, careers, friends. At the same time, the Bible challenges us to focus on “things above” (Col. 3:1-2). Things above may include the unseen benefits of heaven: God’s enduring presence (Rev. 22:3-5), unending rest (Heb. 4:9), and an everlasting inheritance (1 Peter 1:4).
Recently I read, “Believers desire the heavenly inheritance; and the stronger the faith is, the more fervent [the desire].” Several Old Testament believers mentioned in Hebrews 11 had strong faith in God that enabled them to embrace His promises before receiving them (v.13). One such promise was heaven. If we too put our faith in God, He will give us a desire for that “heavenly country” (v.16) and will loosen our grip on this world.
When we all get to heaven,
What a day of rejoicing that will be!
When we all see Jesus,
We’ll sing and shout the victory. —Hewitt
For the Christian, heaven is spelled H-O-M-E.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

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

Star Shepherd

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
In the spring, shepherds in Idaho move their flocks from the lowlands into the mountains. Thousands of sheep move up the passes into the high country to summer pasture.
My wife and I came across a flock on Shaw Mountain last week. It was bedded down in a meadow by a quiet stream—a picturesque scene that evoked memories of Psalm 23.
But where was the shepherd? The sheep appeared to be alone—until a few broke away from the flock and began to wander toward a distant gully. Then we heard a shrill whistle from above. Looking up, we saw the shepherd sitting high on a hill above the sheep, keeping watch over his flock. A mountain dog and two Border collies stood at his side. The dogs, responding to the shepherd’s signal, bounded down the hill and herded the drifting sheep back to the flock where they belonged.
In the same way, the Good Shepherd is watching over you. Even though you cannot see Him, He can see you! He knows you by name and knows all about you. You are the sheep of His pasture (Ezek. 34:31). God promises that He will “seek out” His sheep, “feed them in good pasture,” and “bind up the broken” (vv.12,14,16).
You can trust in God’s watchful care.
I trust in God, I know He cares for me
On mountain bleak or on the stormy sea;
Though billows roll, He keeps my soul,
My heavenly Father watches over me. —Martin
The Lamb who died to save us is the Shepherd who lives to care for us.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A Re-post From Joe Stowell of Our Daily Bread

A Missed Lunch

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
For me, food is more than a necessity—it’s a wonderfully enjoyable part of life! I enjoy sitting down to a well-prepared meal, especially when I’m feeling hungry. I imagine that the disciples were hungry for lunch when they returned to the well where Jesus was interacting with the Samaritan woman. They urged Him, “Rabbi, eat” (John 4:31). His response? “I have food to eat of which you do not know” (v.32), which made them wonder if someone had already brought Him something to eat (v.33).
I wonder if the disciples were so consumed with thinking about food that they couldn’t see past their picnic. They didn’t understand the significance of what was going on at the well. The most important thing to Jesus was “to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work” (v.34). He was focused on the spiritual needs of this woman who desperately needed what only He could give.
It’s easy to become preoccupied with needs of the moment. But Jesus invites us to get beyond our own interests—our own little “lunch”—to open our eyes to the souls who are searching for answers to their deepest needs.
So, join Jesus at the well, and let Him use you to tell others about the spiritual food only He can give.
Dear Lord, may my eyes be fixed not just on the things
I am interested in, but lift my eyes to see the
needy souls around me. Give me passion for the lost
and the joy of seeing others satisfied in You.
Be hungry to satisfy the needs of others around you.

Monday, May 20, 2013

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

Not Abandoned

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Years ago, while my husband and I were visiting the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC, we noticed a baby stroller by itself with no one nearby. We assumed that the parents had left it there because it was too bulky and were now carrying their child. But as we approached, we saw a sleeping baby inside. Where was a parent . . . a sibling . . . a babysitter? We hung around for quite some time before hailing a museum official. No one had shown up to claim that precious child! The last we saw of him, he was being wheeled away to a safe place.
That experience made me think about what it’s like to be abandoned. It’s an overwhelming feeling that no one cares anything about you. It’s a real and excruciatingly painful feeling. But even though people may abandon us, God’s love and presence is assured. The Lord promises that He will never leave us (Deut. 31:8). He will be with us wherever we go, “always, even to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20).
The Lord will never falter in His commitment to His children. Even if we have been abandoned by others, we can find confidence in His promise that nothing will ever “separate us from [His] love” (Rom. 8:35-39).
Father, thank You for Your never-failing presence
in every aspect of our lives. We count on Your
promise never to abandon us. Please teach us
to rest in that truth. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Confidence in God’s presence is our comfort.

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