Friday, October 25, 2013

A Re-post From Joe Stowell of Our Daily Bread

Healthy Ingredients

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
My wife, Martie, is a careful shopper when it comes to buying healthy and nutritious food. No matter how attractive the packaging looks, she checks the list of ingredients on the back of the box. Lots of difficult-to-pronounce words usually announce the presence of preservatives that work against good nutrition. She always puts those items back on the shelf and continues to look for labels with lists of natural food products that contribute to good health.
I’ve often thought that her shopping habits are a lot like what God is looking for in our lives: It’s what’s on the inside that counts, regardless of how attractive the outside might be. It’s no wonder that the wisdom-teller of Proverbs warns us to guard what goes into our hearts, “for out of it spring the issues of life” (Prov. 4:23). Wearing the right fashions and keeping ourselves looking young are of little importance if our hearts harbor greed, hatred, grumpiness, self-pity, and other counter-productive contents.
So, ask yourself: When others get past the packaging of my life, do they experience a heart full of healthy, Christ-honoring ingredients? By putting in grace, kindness, patience, and compassion, we’ll reflect the wonderful nature of Christ.
Lord, teach me to value my heart more than the
externals. Grant me the wisdom to cultivate internal
ingredients that will make my heart a wellspring of
life to those whom I come in contact with today.
The contents in your heart are more important than the outer packaging.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

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

Loving And Knowing

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
In a novel by Jonathan Safran Foer, one of the characters, speaking of New York’s Empire State Building, said, “I know this building because I love this building.”
That statement caused me to think about the relationship between love and knowledge. Whenever we love something, we want to know everything about it. When we love a place, we want to explore every inch of it. When we love a person, we want to know every detail of his or her life. We want to know what he likes, how she spends her time, where he grew up, who her friends are, what he believes. The list is endless. But some of us want to be loved without allowing ourselves to be known. We’re afraid that we won’t be loved if we are truly known.
We don’t have to worry about that with God. His love is far superior to ours: “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). Furthermore, He makes Himself known to us. Through creation, Scripture, and Christ, God reveals His character and His love. Because God loves us in spite of our imperfections, we can safely confess our faults to Him. With God, we need not fear being known. That’s why to know God is to love Him.
Be still and know that He is God
For pathways steep and rough,
Not what He brings, but what He is
Will always be enough. —Anon.
There is no greater joy than to know that God loves us.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Re-post From Marvin Williams of Our Daily Bread


Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Chris Simpson’s life used to be consumed by hate. After he and his wife lost their first child, he was confused and angry. He directed that anger toward various ethnic groups and covered his body with hate-filled tattoos.
After listening to his son mimic his hatred, though, Simpson knew he needed to change. He watched a Christian movie about courage and began attending church. One month later he was baptized as a follower of Jesus Christ. Simpson is now a new person and is leaving the hate behind him, which includes the painful and expensive process of having his tattoos removed.
The apostle Paul knew something about this kind of deep transformation. He hated Jesus and persecuted His followers (Acts 22:4-5; 1 Cor. 15:9). But a personal encounter and spiritual union with Christ (Acts 9:1-20) changed all of that, causing him to reevaluate his life in light of what Jesus accomplished on the cross. This union with Christ made Paul a new person. The old order of sin, death, and selfishness was gone and a new beginning, a new covenant, a new perspective and way of living had come.
Following Jesus is not turning over a new leaf; it is beginning a new life under a new Master.
For Further Thought
What is the evidence that my union with Christ
has transformed my old humanity? Are there
indicators that I am not the me I used to be?
Being in Christ is not rehabilitation, it’s re-creation.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

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

Losing And Finding Our Lives In Him

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
When Mother Teresa died in 1997, people marveled again at her example of humble service to Christ and to people in great need. She had spent 50 years ministering to the poor, sick, orphaned, and dying through the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta, India.
After extensive interviews with her, British journalist Malcolm Muggeridge wrote: “There is much talk today about discovering an identity, as though it were something to be looked for, like a winning number in a lottery; then, once found, to be hoarded and treasured. Actually, . . . the more it is spent the richer it becomes. So, with Mother Teresa, in effacing herself, she becomes herself. I never met anyone more memorable.”
I suspect that many of us may be afraid of what will happen if we obey Jesus’ words: “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it” (Luke 9:23-24).
Our Savior reminded His followers that He came to give us life abundantly (John 10:10). We are called to lose our lives for Christ, and in so doing discover the fullness of life in Him.
“Take up thy cross and follow Me,”
I hear the blessed Savior call;
How can I make a lesser sacrifice
When Jesus gave His all? —Ackley
As we lose our lives for Christ, we find fullness of life in Him.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Re-posted From Anne Cetas of Our Daily Bread

The Campaign

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Each year young people in our community participate in a “Be Nice” campaign spearheaded by a mental health organization. In one of the events in 2012, 6,000 students spelled out the words BE NICE with their bodies on their schools’ sports fields. One principal said, “We want students to come to school and learn without the distraction of fear or sadness or uneasiness around their peers. We are working hard to make sure students are lifting each other up, rather than tearing each other down.”
Paul desired that the people in the church at Rome would have an even higher standard of love. Both the strong and weak in the faith were judging and showing contempt for each other (Rom. 14:1-12). They despised one another as they argued about what foods were permissible to eat (vv.2-3) and what holidays they should observe (vv.5-6). Paul challenged them: “Let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another” (v.19). He reminded them that their hearts should be concerned with pleasing others, not pleasing themselves. He said, “Even Christ did not please Himself” (15:3); He served.
Join the campaign that loves others despite our differences—you’ll bring praise to God (v.7).
Dear Lord, I want to be a person who is
kind and loving to others. Please help me
to use words that will build others up
and bring praise and glory to Your name.
Kindness is simply love flowing out in little gentlenesses.

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