Thursday, April 3, 2014

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Check The Oil

When I helped our daughters learn to drive, I included a little instruction on basic auto maintenance. We visited a local service station where they learned to check the oil every time they put fuel in the car. Today, years later, they often remind me of my six-word slogan, “Oil is cheap; engines are expensive.” Adding a quart of oil is nothing compared to replacing an engine.
Maintenance is also important in our spiritual lives. Taking time each day to read the Bible, pray, and listen to God is a key element in avoiding a breakdown. In Psalm 5, David wrote, “My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning I will direct it to You” (v.3). In the following verses he poured out his heart in praise, thanksgiving, and requests to God.
Many people find it essential to begin every day with the Lord. Before checking email, catching the news, or eating breakfast, they find some quiet moments alone to read a portion of God’s Word, praise Him for His greatness, thank Him for His love, and seek His guidance. Others spend time reading and praying at different times of the day.
It’s not magic—it’s maintenance, as we ask the Lord each day to fill our hearts with His presence on the road of life.
Give me a strong desire, O Lord, to look into Your
Word each day. Help me hide it in my heart so that
I might not stray from Your truth. Feed me and
teach me about Yourself and Your will for me.
The roots of stability come from being grounded in God’s Word and prayer.


In this morning prayer (vv.1-3), David called out to God to help him live a holy and worshipful life (vv.7-8). He extolled God’s justice, holiness, and unfailing love (vv.4-7), and he affirmed his unwavering trust in God’s presence and protection (vv.4-8,11-12) even as he faced slander, danger, and evil.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A Re-post From Bill Crowder of Our Daily Bread

You’ve Got A Friend

One of the ironic consequences of the sweeping growth of social media is that we often find ourselves more personally isolated. One online article warns: “Those who oppose leading one’s life primarily or exclusively online claim that virtual friends are not adequate substitutes for real-world friends, and . . . individuals who substitute virtual friends for physical friends become even lonelier and more depressive than before.”
Technology aside, all of us battle with seasons of loneliness, wondering if anyone knows, understands, or cares about the burdens we carry or the struggles we face. But followers of Christ have an assurance that brings comfort to our weary hearts. The comforting presence of the Savior is promised in words that are undeniable, for the psalmist David wrote, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me” (Ps. 23:4).
Whether isolated by our own choices, by the cultural trends that surround us, or by the painful losses of life, all who know Christ can rest in the presence of the Shepherd of our hearts. What a friend we have in Jesus!
I’ve found a Friend; O such a Friend!
He loved me ere I knew Him;
He drew me with the cords of love,
And thus He bound me to Him. —Small
Those who know Jesus as their Friend are never alone.


As a young boy, David, the author of Psalm 23, was a shepherd. He was responsible for his family’s sheep, which were a significant part of the family’s livelihood. In order to make sure the sheep were well fed and watered, shepherds in ancient Israel would often have to take their flocks deep into the wilderness for long periods of time. It is possible that when David penned this psalm, he was reflecting on God’s presence in the wilderness as he was alone with his sheep. Thinking of the constant and watchful care he provided for each and every sheep, he found comfort in the presence and care of God even when his only companions were animals.

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