Saturday, March 22, 2014

A Re-post From Dennis Fisher of Our Daily Bread

Promoting Unity

The language of Proverbs 6:16-19 is strong. In the citing of seven things the Lord hates, sowing “discord among brethren” makes the list. The reason for naming this sin is that it spoils the unity that Christ desires for His followers (John 17:21-22).
Those who sow discord may not initially set out to create divisions. They may be preoccupied instead with their personal needs or the interests of a group they belong to (James 4:1-10). Consider how Lot’s herdsmen argued with those of Abraham (Gen. 13:1-18); Christ’s disciples argued about personal preeminence (Luke 9:46); and divisive groups in the church at Corinth elevated party factions above the unity of the Spirit (1 Cor. 3:1-7).
So what is the best way to promote unity? It begins with the transformation of the heart. When we adopt the mind of Christ, we develop an attitude of humility and we focus on service toward others (Phil. 2:5-11). Only in Him can we access the power to “look out not only for [our] own interests, but also for the interests of others” (v.4). Soon the needs and hopes of others become more important to us than our own.
With growing bonds of love among us, we find discord replaced with joy and unity (see Ps. 133:1).
Like a mighty army moves the church of God;
Brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod.
We are not divided, all one body we—
One in hope and doctrine, one in charity. —Baring-Gould
We can accomplish more together than we can alone.


King Solomon lists seven sins that are detestable to God (vv.17-19). Contrary to popular understanding, he isn’t saying that there are only seven specific sins that God hates. In the Bible, the “six . . . seven” numerical pattern is a literary device called number parallelism. It is also used in Job 5:19 and Proverbs 30:15-16,18-19,21-31. This pattern does not give a complete list but instead lays out all items equally and then emphasizes the final one. In this case, the final item—“one who sows discord among brethren” (v.19)—is the focus of God’s wrath. Proverbs 6:17-19 describes this person as proud and evil in his heart, sowing discord by his unjust actions and deceptive words.

Friday, March 21, 2014

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

Coming Soon!

A “COMING SOON!” announcement often precedes future events in entertainment and sports, or the launch of the latest technology. The goal is to create anticipation and excitement for what is going to happen, even though it may be months away.
While reading the book of Revelation, I was impressed with the “coming soon” sense of immediacy permeating the entire book. Rather than saying, “Someday, in the far distant future, Jesus Christ is going to return to earth,” the text is filled with phrases like “things which must shortly take place” (1:1) and “the time is near” (v.3). Three times in the final chapter, the Lord says, “I am coming quickly” (Rev. 22:7,12,20). Other versions translate this phrase as, “I’m coming soon,” “I’m coming speedily,” and “I’m on My way!”
How can this be—since 2,000 years have elapsed since these words were written? “Quickly” doesn’t seem appropriate for our experience of time.
Rather than focusing on a date for His return, the Lord is urging us to set our hearts on His promise that will be fulfilled. We are called to live for Him in this present age “looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).
Live as if Christ is coming back today.


As with today’s text, 2 Peter 3:1-10 deals with Jesus’ imminent return. Peter explains that “the Lord is not slack concerning His promise . . . but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (v.9).

Thursday, March 20, 2014

A Re-post From Dave Branon of Our Daily Bread

Still Working

Vivian and Don are in their mid-90s and have been married more than 70 years. Recently Vivian suffered a setback when she broke her hip. This has been additionally difficult because for several years both Don and Vivian have been saddened by the realization that they are no longer strong enough to be active in the life and work of their church.
However, Vivian and Don are still hard at work for the Lord: They are prayer warriors. While they may not always be physically present and visible in the life of their church, they are faithful “behind the scenes” in their service for Him.
The parable of the talents in Matthew 25 reminds us that we must use the “talents” God has given us wisely. All of us have God-given skills and abilities at various levels—and we must not bury, unused, what God has given us.
It is not only in our years of strength that God will use us, but also in our youth and age, as well as in our sickness and weakness. Vivian and Don continue to serve by praying. And like them, we honor our Savior by using our skills—“each according to his own ability” (v.15) to serve Him who is worthy.
Lord, You have done so much for me. Please show
me what I can do to serve You—to honor You with
the abilities You have provided. May my life be a
living sacrifice of love and action for Your honor.
God can use you at any age—if you are willing.


The parable of the talents contains a profound and enduring message to the believer. It drives home the point that we will be justly compensated for the use of our Spirit-filled talents. Both motive and faithfulness will be key factors in how we are evaluated at the judgment (Bema) seat of Christ (2 Cor. 5:10). “Good works” performed in the energy of the flesh or for the wrong motives will be burned up. But faithful, Spirit-filled service will be rewarded (1 Cor. 3:12-15).

Our Guardian Angel Ministers To Our Needs

God's Divine Providence