Saturday, March 29, 2014

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

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Blessed Are The Meek

One problem with the English word meek is that it rhymes with weak, and people have linked the two words together for years. A popular dictionary offers a secondary definition of meek as “too submissive; easily imposed on; spineless; spiritless.” This causes some people to question why Jesus would say, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” (Matt. 5:5).
Greek scholar W. E. Vine says that meekness in the Bible is an attitude toward God “in which we accept His dealings with us as good, and therefore without disputing or resisting.” We see this in Jesus who found His delight in doing the will of His Father.
Vine goes on to say that “the meekness manifested by the Lord and commended to the believer is the fruit of power. . . . The Lord was ‘meek’ because He had the infinite resources of God at His command.” He could have called angels from heaven to prevent His crucifixion.
Jesus told His weary, burdened followers, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am [meek] and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matt. 11:29). He was the perfect model of meekness.
When we are tired and troubled, Jesus invites us to discover the peace of meekly trusting Him.
Love sent the Savior to die in my stead.
Why should He love me so?
Meekly to Calvary’s cross He was led.
Why should He love me so? —Harkness
God has two dwellings, one in heaven and the other in a meek and thankful heart. —Walton


The Greek word rendered “meek” in Matthew 5:5 is also rendered “gentle” (nas) or “humble” (nlt). Moses was commended as the meekest man on earth (Num. 12:3). And Jesus described His own disposition as meek: “I am gentle and lowly in heart” (Matt. 11:29; cf. 21:5). Because this word is used of Moses and Jesus, it is clear that meekness is not weakness. Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary defines meekness as “an attitude of humility toward God and gentleness toward men, springing from a recognition that God is in control. It is strength and courage under control, coupled with kindness.” As a fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:23), meekness is a virtue that should characterize the Christian (Eph. 4:2; Col. 3:12; 1 Peter 3:15). The Christian is to be “gentle, showing all humility to all men” (Titus 3:2).

Friday, March 28, 2014

A Re-post From Joe Stowell of Our Daily Bread

A Better World

In one of my favorite Peanuts cartoons featuring Charlie Brown, the always confident Lucy declares, “How could the world be getting worse with me in it? Ever since I was born the world has shown a distinct improvement!”
Of course, Lucy is displaying an unrealistic and elevated opinion of herself, but she makes an interesting point. What if we were to try to make the world a better place by displaying the love of Christ wherever God has placed us?
When Peter wrote to persecuted believers, he advised them to “[keep] your conduct honorable” (1 Peter 2:12) by doing good deeds that will ultimately bring glory to God. In other words, we can make our world a better place through our actions. Think of the difference that Christlike deeds of love, mercy, forgiveness, justice, and peace would make in our world. I’ve always thought that if we lived out this verse, people might say, “Our office is a better place because ______ works here.” Or, “Our neighborhood is a better neighborhood.” Or, “Our school is a better school.”
We can’t change the entire world singlehandedly, but by God’s grace we can let the difference Christ has made in us make a difference in the world around us.
Love is giving for the world’s needs,
Love is sharing as the Spirit leads,
Love is caring when the world cries,
Love is compassion with Christlike eyes. —Brandt
Everyone can do something to make the world better—we can let Christ shine through us.


Peter wrote to encourage believers in Asia Minor (modern Turkey) who were being persecuted because they were Christians. Verses 11-12 contain the summary application of Peter’s exhortation: Christians are to live honorable and blameless lives and do good works before an unbelieving and hostile world so that those who don’t believe can be won to the Lord. Peter reminded them that they were chosen by God to be His people for this purpose of witnessing and testifying to God’s love (vv.9-10) and were to be ready to share the gospel when the opportunity presented itself (3:15-16). The apostle Paul also exhorted his readers to live godly lives (Rom. 13:12-13; Phil. 2:15; Col. 4:3-6; 1 Thess. 4:12; Titus 2:7-8; 3:8,14).

Monday, March 24, 2014

Who’s At The Center?

Recently, I had what for me was a “Copernican moment”: I am not at the center of the universe. The world doesn’t revolve around me. It doesn’t move at my pace, in my terms, nor in accord with my preferences.
Though we might wish it to be otherwise, life is not all about us. Everything revolves around the Lord. In Psalm 33, we read that all nature revolves around Him and His control (vv.6-9). He assigned the sea its boundaries and locked the ocean in vast reservoirs. Everything in nature operates in accordance with the laws He has set.
The nations also revolve around the Lord (vv.10-12). No plan or scheme can stand up against God’s. Ultimately, it is the Lord’s plan that will stand forever. His intentions can never be shaken.
Finally, the lives of all humanity revolve around the Lord (vv.13-19). God sees the whole human race. He made our hearts, and He understands everything we do. And He has the power to intervene in our lives and deliver us from situations spinning out of control.
Our life is created to be centered on God, not self. How thankful we can be to serve such a powerful God, who has every aspect of our lives under His control.
Teach me, Lord, to live out the truth of Psalm 33.
May I revere You as I should. May I and all the
inhabitants of the world stand in awe of You,
for Your counsel and plans stand forever.
When we die to all about us, we live to God above us.


In this song of praise, the psalmist calls the righteous to praise God for His Word and His work (vv.1-3). He celebrates God’s power in creation—“He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast” (vv.6-9)—and points to the special privilege and blessedness of being God’s chosen people (v.12).

Sunday, March 23, 2014

A Re-post From Bill Crowder of Our Daily Bread

Gentle Witness

Years ago, I was hospitalized following a life-threatening, 38-foot fall from a bridge. While I was there, the wife of the man in the next bed stopped to speak to me. “My husband just told me what happened to you,” she said. “We believe God spared your life because He wants to use you. We’ve been praying for you.”
I was stunned. I had grown up going to church, but I had never imagined that God would want to be involved in my life. Her words pointed me to a Savior I had heard of but did not know—and marked the beginning of my coming to Christ. I cherish the memory of those words from a gentle witness who cared enough to say something to a stranger about the God whose love is real. Her words conveyed care and concern, and offered purpose and promise.
Jesus challenged His disciples—and us—to tell others about the love of God: “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
Through the Holy Spirit our words and witness can have the power to make an eternal difference in the lives of others.
I love to tell the story of unseen things above,
Of Jesus and His glory, of Jesus and His love,
I love to tell the story, because I know ’tis true;
It satisfies my longings as nothing else can do. —Hankey
A caring word can accomplish more than we could ever imagine.

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