Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Re-post From Poh Fang Chia of Our Daily Bread

My Friends And I

John Chrysostom (347–407), archbishop of Constantinople, said this about friendship: “Such is friendship, that through it we love places and seasons; for as . . . flowers drop their sweet leaves on the ground around them, so friends impart favor even to the places where they dwell.”
Jonathan and David illustrate the sweetness of a true friendship. The Bible records an intimate and immediate bond between them (1 Sam. 18:1). They kept their friendship alive by demonstrating their loyalty to each other (18:3; 20:16, 42; 23:18), as well as nurturing it by expressions of concern. Jonathan gave gifts to David (18:4) and watched out for him through many difficulties (19:1-2; 20:12-13).
In 1 Samuel 23:16, we see the highest moment of their friendship. When David was a fugitive on the run from Jonathan’s father, “Jonathan, Saul’s son, arose and went to David in the woods and strengthened his hand in God.” Friends help you find strength in God during the low points of life.
In a world where most relationships are about what we can get, let us be the type of friends who focus on what we can give. Jesus, our perfect Friend, demonstrated for us that “greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13).
Thank You, Lord, for the friends You’ve given me to
love me in spite of my failures and weaknesses. Let
me treat them as You treated Your friends. Bind us
together in You and enable us to help one another.
The glory of life is to love, not to be loved; to give, not to get; to serve, not to be served.


The deep friendship between David and Jonathan withstood the test of time and circumstances, evidenced when Jonathan went against his father, King Saul (1 Sam. 20), endangering his own life in order to save David (v.33). Although Jonathan was the crown prince, he encouraged David by assuring his safety and affirming that he would be the next king (23:17). After Jonathan died in battle (31:1-6), David honored him with the “Song of the Bow,” which was to be remembered by the people of Judah (2 Sam. 1:18-27).

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A Re-post From Bill Crowder of Our Daily Bread

A Ukrainian Christmas

The people of Ukraine include many wonderful elements in their observance of Christmas. Sometimes wisps of hay are placed on the dinner table as a reminder of the Bethlehem manger. Another portion of their celebration echoes the events of the night when the Savior entered the world. A Christmas prayer is offered and then the father in the household offers the greeting, “Christ is born!” The family then responds, “Let us glorify Him!”
These words draw my mind to the appearance of the angels in the sky over Bethlehem on the night Christ was born. The angel of the Lord declared, “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). The heavenly host responded, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (v.14).
Those twin messages give such depth of meaning to this wonderful time of year. The Savior has come bringing forgiveness and hope—and He is deserving of all the worship we can give Him.
May all who know the wonder of His gift of eternal life join with the voices of that angelic host declaring, “Glory to God in the highest!”
With th’angelic hosts proclaim,
“Christ is born in Bethlehem!”
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!” —Wesley
The spectacular glory of God’s love for us was revealed in the coming of Jesus.


Luke’s telling of the birth of Christ includes the shepherds, who lived apart from society in their lowly occupation, and the angels, who announced to those shepherds the arrival of the Messiah (vv.9-14). From the humble to the heavenly, the contrast of shepherds and angels pictures the journey of the Son who came from the highest place to be the Lamb of God.

Monday, December 15, 2014

A Re-post From Julie Ackerman Link of Our Daily Bread

Story Stewards

Many people take great care to make sure their resources are used well after they die. They set up trusts, write wills, and establish foundations to guarantee that their assets will continue to be used for a good purpose after their life on earth is done. We call this good stewardship.
Equally important, however, is being good stewards of our life story. God commanded the Israelites not only to teach their children His laws but also to make sure they knew their family history. It was the responsibility of parents and grandparents to make sure their children knew the stories of how God had worked in their behalf (Deut. 4:1-14).
God has given each of us a unique story. His plan for our lives is individualized. Do others know what you believe and why? Do they know the story of how you came to faith and how God has worked in your life to strengthen your faith? Do they know how God has shown Himself faithful and has helped you through doubts and disappointments?
The faithfulness of God is a story that we have the privilege to pass on. Record it in some way and share it. Be a good steward of the story that God is telling through you.
How great, O God, Your acts of love!
Your saving deeds would now proclaim
That generations yet to come
May set their hope in Your great name. —D. DeHaan
A life lived for God leaves a lasting legacy.


In today’s passage, Moses reminded the people of Israel that—unlike the nations around them—they were the only ones privileged to have intimate fellowship with God (v.7) and the only nation given God’s law (v.8). If they faithfully obeyed His law, God would make them a great and wise people (vv.6,8-9).

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