Saturday, August 23, 2014

A Re-post From Dennis Fisher of Our Daily Bread

Memory Loss

Sometimes when we face times of trouble, we may get spiritual amnesia and forget the grace of God. But a good way of reestablishing a thankful heart is to set aside undistracted time and deliberately remember God’s past provisions for us and give thanks.
When the children of Israel found themselves in a barren, hot desert, they developed memory loss about the grace of God. They began to wish they were back in Egypt, enjoying all its foods (Ex. 16:2-3) and later complained about their water supply (17:2). They had forgotten the mighty acts of God in their deliverance and how He had showered them with wealth (12:36). They were dwelling on their current circumstances and forgetting God’s gracious past provision.
The psalmist challenges us: “Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever” (Ps. 118:1). The word mercy means “steadfast love.” It refers to God’s faithfulness. He has promised to be present always to care for His children.
By remembering specific ways God has provided for us in the past, we can change our perspective for the better. God’s steadfast love endures forever!
Wait on the Lord from day to day,
Strength He provides in His own way;
There’s no need for worry, no need to fear,
He is our God who is always near. —Fortna
Remembering God’s provision for yesterday gives hope and strength for today.


Psalms 113–118, collectively known as psalms of praise or the “Egyptian Hallel,” are used in the Passover celebration commemorating the Israelites’ deliverance from slavery in Egypt (Ex. 12–13). Psalms 113–114 are recited before and Psalms 115–118 after the Passover meal. The emphatic refrain “His mercy endures forever” (Ps. 118:1-4) reminds the Jews of God’s faithfulness. In response, the psalmist calls for renewed trust in God (vv.8-9).

Friday, August 22, 2014

A Re-post From Joe Stowell of Our Daily Bread

Keeping Darkness At Bay

In J. R. R. Tolkien’s book The Hobbit, the wizard Gandalf explains why he has selected a small hobbit like Bilbo to accompany the dwarves to fight the enemy. He says, “Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love.”
That’s what Jesus teaches us as well. Warning us that we would live in dark times, He reminded us that because of Him we are “the light of the world” (Matt. 5:14) and that our good deeds would be the power against the darkness for the glory of God (v.16). And Peter, writing to believers in Christ who were facing severe persecution, told them to live so that those accusing them would “by [their] good works which they observe, glorify God” (1 Peter 2:12).
There is one force that the darkness cannot conquer—the force of loving acts of kindness done in Jesus’ name. It is God’s people who turn the other cheek, go the extra mile, and forgive and even love their enemies who oppose them who have the power to turn the tide against evil. So look for the privileged opportunity to perform acts of kindness today to bring the light of Christ to others.
Lord, teach me the folly of trying to repay evil for
evil. May I be so grateful to You for the loving acts
of kindness that You have shown me that I gladly
look to share good deeds with others as well!
Light up your world with an act of kindness.


Taken from the Sermon on the Mount, today’s passage presents some of the behavioral expectations of the kingdom of God and stresses authenticity. Using the recognizable images of salt and light, Jesus tells His listeners that they cannot follow Him in secret. Salt must be salty and light must illuminate. However, we must be careful not to assume that it is goodness for goodness’ sake that is expected of God’s people. Good deeds are what bring God glory and reflect His character to the world (v.16).

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

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

A Word For The Struggler

There is an old adage that says, “Don’t bite off more than you can chew.” It’s wise not to take on more responsibilities than we can handle. At some time, however, we will likely feel overwhelmed by the size and difficulty of a task we have agreed to do.
This can happen even in our walk of faith in Christ when our commitment to God seems too much to bear. But the Lord has an encouraging word for us when our confidence wavers.
The writer of Hebrews urged his readers to recall the courage they demonstrated during the early days of their faith (10:32-33). Despite public insults and persecution, they aided believers in prison, and they joyfully accepted the confiscation of their own property (vv.33-34). With that in mind, he says, “Therefore, do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise” (vv.35-36).
Our confidence is not in ourselves but in Jesus and His promise to return at just the right time (v.37).
It is God’s power that enables us to continue in our journey of faith. Recalling the Lord’s faithfulness in days past stirs our confidence in Him today.
When life becomes a heavy load,
An upward climb, a winding road,
In daily tasks, Lord, let me see
That with me You will always be. —D. DeHaan
Trusting God’s faithfulness stirs up our confidence.


Severely opposed and persecuted, Jewish Christians were pressured to abandon Christianity and to revert to Judaism. The unnamed writer of Hebrews encouraged them to continue in the faith by affirming the preeminence, superiority, and sufficiency of Christ through His person and position (Heb. 1–4) and His work of propitiation (chs. 5–10). He also warned them against rejecting Christ (2:1-3; 3:7-15; 6:4-6). Here, in his final exhortation, he reminded them of their exemplary faithfulness in enduring the mistreatments thus far (10:32-34) and of the great reward that would be theirs if they persevered (vv.35-36). He was confident that they would succeed (v.39).

A Re-post From Dennis Fisher of Our Daily Bread

Our Foundation

The Bavarian city of Nördlingen is unique. It sits in the middle of the Ries Crater, a large circular depression caused by the impact of a huge meteorite a long time ago. The immense pressure of the impact resulted in unusual crystallized rock and millions of microscopic diamonds. In the 13th century, these speckled stones were used to build St. George’s Church. Visitors can see the beautiful crystal deposits in its foundation and walls. Some might say it has a heavenly foundation.
The Bible talks of a different kind of heavenly foundation. The Lord Jesus came to our world from heaven (John 3:13). When He went back into heaven after His death and resurrection, He left His followers who became the “living temple” of God, of which He is the foundation. The apostle Paul says, “For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 3:11).
The church building in Bavaria is built on a foundation from pieces of rock from the physical heavens. But the spiritual church—all believers in Christ—is founded on the ultimate heavenly foundation, Christ Jesus (Isa. 28:16; 1 Cor. 10:3-4). Praise God that because of what Jesus has done our salvation is secure.
On Christ salvation rests secure;
The Rock of Ages will endure;
Nor can that faith be overthrown
Which rests upon the “Living Stone.” —Anon.
Christ, the Rock, is our sure hope.


In today’s passage, Paul uses both agricultural and architectural metaphors to warn of an overreliance and dependence on church leaders. Using an agricultural metaphor, he reminds us that while human leaders do the planting and watering, God alone can make the church grow (1 Cor. 3:1-9). And with the architectural metaphor of a building, Paul warns that no human leader is the founder of the church (vv.10-11). God alone is the founder and foundation.

Monday, August 18, 2014

A Re-post From Jennifer Benson Schuldt of Our Daily Bread

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Following The Master

At a dog show near my home, I watched a Cardigan Welsh corgi named Trevor perform. At his master’s command, he ran several yards away and immediately returned, he jumped fences, and he identified objects using his sense of smell. After finishing each exercise, he sat down at his master’s feet and waited for more instructions.
Trevor’s careful attention to his master’s instruction reminded me of the devotion God desired from His people as they followed Him through the wilderness. God led in a unique way. His presence appeared as a cloud. If the cloud ascended, He wanted His people to move to another area. If the cloud descended, they were to stay put. “At the command of the Lord they remained encamped, and at the command of the Lord they journeyed” (Num. 9:23). The Israelites followed this practice day or night, regardless of how long they had to remain in one place.
God wasn’t simply testing the Israelites; He was leading them to the Promised Land (10:29). He wanted to take them to a better place. So it is with us when God asks us to follow Him. He wants to lead us to a place of closer fellowship with Himself. His Word assures us that He is loving and faithful in leading those who humbly follow Him.
In fellowship sweet we will sit at His feet,
Or we’ll walk by His side in the way;
What He says we will do, where He sends we will go;
Never fear, only trust and obey. —Sammis
God asks His children to follow the Leader.


The tabernacle (Num. 9:15) was not only a place of worship, it was intended to be the center of Israel’s national life. This “tent of meeting” also foreshadowed the incarnation of Christ, the living Word who “dwelled” (that is, “tabernacled”) among us in a tent of human flesh (John 1:14).

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