Saturday, June 1, 2013

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

Show And Tell

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
If you take a course on writing or attend a writer’s conference, you’ll likely hear the phrase, “Show, don’t tell.” In other words, “show” your readers what is happening, don’t just tell them. Don’t tell readers what you did; describe doing it.
One of the reasons we tend to tell rather than show is that it’s easier and faster. Showing how to do something requires time and effort. In teaching, it’s easier to tell students what’s wrong with what they did than to show them how to do it right. The latter, however, is more effective.
For thousands of years, the Jewish people had only the law telling them what to do and what not to do. But then came Jesus Christ, who showed them how to live the life God had been telling them about all along. Jesus didn’t just say, “Be humble”; He “humbled Himself” (Phil. 2:8). He didn’t just say, “Forgive others”; He forgave us (Col. 3:13). He didn’t just say, “Love God and your neighbors”; He demonstrated love by His actions (John 15:12).
Christ’s perfect example of love shows how great God’s love is for us and how we are to show His love to others.
Bless the Lord for love victorious,
Love that conquered on the tree;
For His grace so great and glorious
Flowing out from Calvary. —Peterson
Love is God’s will in action.

Friday, May 31, 2013

A Re-post From Bill Crowder of Our Daily Bread

I’m Bored

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
When our kids were teens, we repeatedly had the following discussion after their church youth group meeting: I asked, “How was youth group tonight?” And they responded, “It was boring.” After several weeks of this, I decided to find out for myself. I slipped into the gym where their meeting was held, and I watched. I saw them participating, laughing, listening—having a great time. That night on the way home I asked about their evening and, once again, they said, “It was boring.” I responded, “I was there. I watched. You had a great time!” They responded, “Maybe it wasn’t as bad as usual.”
I recognized that behind their reluctance to admit they were enjoying youth group were things such as peer pressure and a fear of not appearing “cool.” But then I wondered, Am I similarly afraid to get too excited about spiritual things?
Indeed, there is nothing in this universe more worthy of our enthusiasm than who Christ is and what He did for us. Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). That’s the opposite of boring! At any age, we have a gift from the Savior that is worth celebrating. Our salvation is something to get excited about!
Father, please fill my heart with the joy of Christ.
I desire that the abundant life I have found
in Him might contagiously reach
out to others around me.
If you know Christ, you always have a reason to celebrate.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

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

Fickle Followers

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
How quickly public opinion can change! When Jesus entered Jerusalem for the Passover feast, He was welcomed by crowds cheering to have Him made king (John 12:13). But by the end of the week, the crowds were demanding that He be crucified (19:15).
I recognize myself in those fickle crowds. I love cheering for a team that’s winning, but my interest wanes when they start losing. I love being part of a movement that is new and exciting, but when the energy moves to a new part of town, I’m ready to move on. I love following Jesus when He is doing the impossible, but I slink away when He expects me to do something difficult. It’s exciting to follow Jesus when I can do it as part of the “in” crowd. It’s easy to trust Him when He outsmarts the smart people and outmaneuvers the people in power (see Matt. 12:10; 22:15-46). But when He begins to talk about suffering and sacrifice and death, I hesitate.
I like to think that I would have followed Jesus all the way to the cross—but I have my doubts. After all, if I don’t speak up for Him in places where it’s safe, what makes me think I would do so in a crowd of His opponents?
How thankful I am that Jesus died for fickle followers so that we can become devoted followers.
For Further Thought
Read these Bible verses and ponder Jesus’ love for you
(Rom. 5:8; Rom. 8:37-39; Heb. 13:5-6,8; 1 John 3:1).
Allow your devotion to Him to grow.
Christ deserves full-time followers.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

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

The Tragic Flaw

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
In literature, a tragic flaw is a character trait that causes the downfall of a story’s hero. That was true of Uzziah, who was crowned king of Judah at age 16. For many years, he sought the Lord; and while he did, God gave him great success (2 Chron. 26:4-5). But things changed when “his fame spread far and wide, for he was marvelously helped till he became strong. But when he was strong his heart was lifted up, to his destruction” (vv.15-16).
Uzziah entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar (v.16), openly defying God’s decree. Perhaps pride convinced him that God’s rules applied to everyone except him. When Uzziah raged against the priests who told him this was not right, the Lord struck him with leprosy (vv.18-20).
In literature and in life, how often we see a person of good reputation fall from honor into disgrace and suffering. “King Uzziah was a leper until the day of his death. He dwelt in an isolated house, . . . cut off from the house of the Lord” (v.21).
The only way we can prevent the nectar of praise from becoming the poison of pride is by following the Lord with a humble heart.
Humility’s a slippery prize
That seldom can be won;
We’re only humble in God’s eyes
When serving like His Son. —Gustafson
The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but man is tested by the praise he receives. —Proverbs 27:21 NIV

Monday, May 27, 2013

A Re-post From Dave Branon of Our Daily Bread

Displaying God’s Glory

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
I love baseball and have been a fan of the sport since I was a little kid. I especially enjoy following the Detroit Tigers. But during a recent season, the Tigers’ poor play and losing record early in the season frustrated me greatly. So for my own personal well-being, I took a break. I spent 4 days avoiding anything to do with my favorite team.
During those 4 Tiger-less days, I began to contemplate how difficult it is to give up things we’ve grown accustomed to. Yet there are times when God may want us to.
For instance, we may be involved in an activity that has become all-encompassing—and we know it would be best to limit it (see 1 Cor. 6:12). Or we may have a habit or practice that we know misses the mark of pleasing God, and we realize that we need to let it go because we love Him and want Him to be glorified through us (15:34).
When we do find things that interfere with our relationship with the Lord, with His help we can stop. God has given us the provision (1 Cor. 10:13), and the Spirit provides the power (Rom. 8:5).
Let’s ask Him to help us not let anything block His glory from shining through.
You are perfect, Lord, and we are so far from
perfect. Please chip away at our imperfections
through the work of Your Holy Spirit. Help us
each day to grow more and more like You.
Drawing close to Christ produces a growing Christlikeness.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

A Re-post From Bill Crowder of Our Daily Bread

True Sacrifice

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Eric was one of the good guys. As a police officer, he saw his work as service to his community and was fully committed to serving at all costs. Evidence of this desire was seen on the door of Eric’s locker at the police station, where he posted John 15:13.
In that verse, our Lord said, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” Those words, however, were not merely noble ideals. They expressed Eric’s commitment to his duty as a police officer—a commitment that demanded the ultimate price when he was killed in the line of duty. It was a real-life display of the heart of true sacrifice.
Jesus Christ lived out the powerful words of John 15:13 within hours of stating them. The upper room event where Jesus spoke of such sacrifice was followed by communion with the Father at Gethsemane, a series of illegal trials, and then crucifixion before a mocking crowd.
As the Son of God, Jesus could have avoided the suffering, torture, and cruelty. He was utterly without sin and did not deserve to die. But love, the fuel that drives true sacrifice, drove Him to the cross. As a result, we can be forgiven if we will accept His sacrifice and resurrection by faith. Have you trusted the One who laid down His life for you?
’Twas not a martyr’s death He died,
The Christ of Calvary;
It was a willing sacrifice
He made for you—for me. —Adams
Only Jesus, the perfect sacrifice, can declare guilty people perfect.

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