Saturday, September 27, 2014

A Re-post From Joe Stowell of Our Daily Bread

The Ultimate Reunion

I’ll never forget the vigil of sitting by my dad’s bed as he spent his last few days with us before slipping into eternity. To this day the moment of his passing continues to have a profound effect on me. My dad was always there for me. I could call him whenever I needed counsel. I have great memories of our days fishing together; we would talk about God and the Bible, and I would prompt him to tell those fun stories from his youth on the farm.
But when Dad took his last breath, I became aware of the irreversible finality of death. He was gone from this world. And my heart had a vacancy sign hung on its door.
Yet, even in the midst of such loss and grief, God’s Word speaks encouragingly into the emptiness. The apostle Paul teaches us that at the coming of the Lord Jesus, those who have gone on before will rise first and we “shall be caught up together with them . . . . And thus we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thess. 4:17). Now that’s a reunion I’m really looking forward to! Not only to be reunited with my dad, but to be with Jesus forever.
C. S. Lewis said, “Christians never say goodbye.” I’m eagerly awaiting that ultimate reunion!
Lord, in the midst of our sorrow and loss, remind
us of the glorious eternal reunion that is waiting
for us. Comfort us in our grief and fill our hearts
with joyful anticipation of the day You will return!
O Death, where is your sting? —1 Corinthians 15:55


In the Bible, sleep is a euphemism for physical death (Ps. 13:3; Matt. 9:24; 27:52; John 11:11-13; Acts 7:60). Daniel 12:2 says, “Those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt.” Jesus affirmed that “the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation” (John 5:28-29). On that day when Jesus returns, believers, “those who sleep in Jesus” (1 Thess. 4:14), will be resurrected first (v.16). Then the believers who are still alive will be “caught up” or “raptured” to meet Christ in the air (v.17).

Friday, September 26, 2014

A Re-post From Bill Crowder of Our Daily Bread

A Matter Of Trust

A news item from Australia told the story of Pascale Honore, a paraplegic woman who, after 18 years of being confined to a wheelchair, has taken up surfing. How?
Ty Swan, a young surfer, straps her to his back with duct tape. After getting the balance perfect, Ty paddles out into the ocean so they can catch a wave and Pascale can experience the exhilaration of surfing. This requires a tremendous amount of trust; so many things could go wrong. Yet her confidence in Ty is enough to enable her to enjoy a dream come true, in spite of the danger.
Life is like that for the follower of Christ. We live in a dangerous world, filled with unpredictable challenges and unseen perils. Yet, we have joy because we know Someone who is strong enough to carry us through the churning waves of life that threaten to overwhelm us. The psalmist wrote, “Let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; let those also who love Your name be joyful in You” (Ps. 5:11).
In the face of life’s great dangers and challenges, we can know a joy borne out of our trust in God. His strength is more than enough!
I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee,
Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
And I know that Thou art with me,
Wilt be with me to the end. —Stead
Our faith is stretched by exchanging our weakness for God’s strength.


In Psalm 5, David celebrates the nearness of God. Though He is Lord, God, and King, He is near to those who love and trust Him. God defends those who trust in Him (v.11), blesses the righteous, and surrounds them with a shield (v.12).

Thursday, September 25, 2014

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

The Wise Old Owl

Years ago an anonymous writer penned a short poem about the merits of measuring our words.
A wise old owl sat in an oak;
The more he saw the less he spoke;
The less he spoke the more he heard;
Why can’t we all be like that wise old bird?
There is a connection between wisdom and limiting what we say. Proverbs 10:19 says, “In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise.”
We are wise to be careful about what we say or how much we say in certain situations. It makes sense to guard our words when we are angry. James urged his fellow believers, “Be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath” (James 1:19). Restraining our words can also show reverence for God. Solomon said, “God is in heaven, and you on earth; therefore let your words be few” (Eccl. 5:2). When others are grieving, our silent presence may help more than abundant expressions of sympathy: “No one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his grief was very great” (Job 2:13).
Although there is a time to be quiet and a time to speak (Eccl. 3:7), choosing to speak less allows us to hear more.
Dear Lord, please grant me wisdom to
know when to speak and when to listen.
I want to encourage others and to care
for them as You have cared for me.
Let your speech be better than silence; otherwise be silent.


Today’s reading focuses on how we use the words we speak. In verse 17, the emphasis is on the instruction and correction we receive; lying lips and slanderous words are the focus of verse 18. The point of verse 19 is that words can be so dangerous that we’re wiser to not speak than to speak too much, while verse 20 contrasts the speech of those with a right heart (which is like silver) against those whose heart is far from God (worthless). Finally, verse 21 describes how proper speech can be like food to the soul. In all of these sayings, we are challenged to carefully consider how we speak.

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