Our Daily Bread 8-28-13

A Way Of Escape

Our Daily Bread Radio is heard Here> Les Lamborn

Bible in a Year:  Psalms 123-125; 1 Corinthians 10:1-18 

Jennifer Benson Schuldt  Highway 77, which passes through the Appalachian Mountains in West Virginia, features a series of runaway truck ramps. These semi-paved exits appear in an area of the highway where the altitude drops nearly 1,300 feet over the course of about 6 miles. This steep descent combined with the road’s winding path can create problems for motorists—especially truck drivers.

Just as a runaway truck needs an escape route from a highway, we also need “a way of escape” when out-of-control desires threaten our spiritual well-being. When we face temptation, “[God will] make the way of escape, that [we] may be able to bear it” (1 Cor. 10:13). God enables us to say “no” to enticement through the power of His Word. Jesus conquered Satan’s temptation relating to food, authority, and trust by quoting verses from Deuteronomy (Matt. 4:4-10). Scripture helped Him resist the devil despite the effects of a 40-day fast in the wilderness.

When we are tempted, we may feel like disaster is just around the bend. Memories of past failure and isolation from others can intensify this feeling. However, we can trust God in moments of temptation; He is faithful. He will provide a way for us to resist sin’s allure.

I need Thee every hour, stay Thou near by; Temptations lose their pow’r when Thou art nigh. I need Thee, O I need Thee; Every hour I need Thee. —Hawks/Lowry

The best way to escape temptation is to run to God.

Originally posted 2013-08-28 17:02:53.

  • Share on Tumblr

Our Daily Bread 9-9-13

All Through This Hour

Our Daily Bread Radio is heard Here> Les Lamborn

Bible in a Year: Proverbs 6-7; 2 Corinthians 2

Dennis Fisher  The majestic chime of London’s Great Clock of Westminster, commonly known as Big Ben, is familiar to many. In fact, some of us may have clocks in our homes that sound the same hourly chime. It is traditionally thought that the melody was taken from Handel’s Messiah. And the lyrics inscribed in the Big Ben clock room have a time significance:

All through this hour, Lord, be my guide; And by Thy power, No foot shall slide.

These lyrics are a good reminder of our constant need for God’s guidance. King David recognized that he needed guidance all through the day as he faced the challenges of life. In Psalm 25 he says: “Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day” (v.5). Wanting to be a teachable follower of God, David looked to his Redeemer for direction. His heart’s desire was to wait on God with dependent faith throughout the entire day.

May this be our desire as well. Our requests for God’s help often begin the day, but then competing distractions can pull our attention away from Him. Lord, remind us to pray: “All through this hour, Lord, be my guide.”

There’s never a day nor a season – That prayer may not bless every hour, – And never a prayer need be helpless – When linked with God’s infinite power. —Morton

Let Christ be first in your thoughts in the morning, and last in your thoughts at night.

Originally posted 2013-09-09 12:08:27.

  • Share on Tumblr

OUR DAILY BREAD 10-4-14

UnknownDisposable Culture

Read: Psalm 136:1-9,23-26

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. —Psalm 136:1

Bible in a Year: Isaiah 20-22; Ephesians 6

Bill Crowder   More than ever, we live in a disposable culture. Think for a minute about some of the things that are made to be thrown away—razors, water bottles, lighters, paper plates, plastic eating utensils. Products are used, tossed, and then replaced.

This disposable culture is also reflected in more significant ways. Many times true commitment in relationships is seen as optional. Marriages struggle to survive. Long-term employees are discharged just before retirement for cheaper options. A highly revered athlete leaves to join another team. It seems as if nothing lasts.

Our unchanging God, however, has promised that His loving mercy endures forever. In Psalm 136, the singer celebrates this wonderful promise by making statements about God’s wonder, work, and character. He then punctuates each statement about God with the phrase, “For His mercy endures forever.” Whether it is the wonder of His creation (vv.4-9), the rescue of His people (vv.10-22), or His tender care for His own (vv.23-26), we can trust Him because His mercy will never fail. In a temporary world, the permanence of God’s mercy gives us hope. We can sing with the psalmist, “Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever” (v.1).

I sing of mercies that endure,

Forever builded firm and sure,

Of faithfulness that never dies,

Established changeless in the skies. —Psalter

God’s grace is immeasurable; His mercy inexhaustible; His peace inexpressible.

Insight: Charles Haddon Spurgeon wrote of Psalm 136, “We know not by whom this Psalm was written, but we do know that it was sung in Solomon’s temple (2 Chron. 7:3,6), and by the armies of Jehoshaphat when they sang themselves into victory in the wilderness of Tekoa. From the striking form of it we should infer that it was a popular hymn among the Lord’s ancient people. Most hymns with a solid, simple chorus become favourites with congregations, and this is sure to have been one of the best beloved.” (Treasury of David)

 

You can make a difference. Even the smallest donation helps reach people around the world with the life-changing wisdom of the Bible. Donate

Originally posted 2014-10-04 08:18:25.

  • Share on Tumblr

Our Daily Bread 7-29-13

What’s Love?

Our Daily Bread Radio is heard Here> Les Lamborn

Bible in a Year: Psalms 49-50; Romans 1

Anne Cetas  When asked “What’s love?” children have some great answers. Noelle, age 7, said, “Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it every day.” Rebecca, who is 8, answered, “Since my grandmother got arthritis, she can’t bend over and polish her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even after his hands got arthritis too. That’s love.” Jessica, also 8, concluded, “You really shouldn’t say ‘I love you’ unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget.”

Sometimes we need reminding that God loves us. We focus on the difficulties of life and wonder, Where’s the love? But if we pause and consider all that God has done for us, we remember how much we are loved by God, who is love (1 John 4:8-10).

Psalm 103 lists the “benefits” God showers on us in love: He forgives our sin (v.3), satisfies us with good things (v.5), and executes righteousness and justice (v.6). He is slow to anger and abounds in mercy (v.8). He doesn’t deal with us as our sins deserve (v.10) and has removed our sin as far as the east is from the west (v.12). He has not forgotten us!

What’s love? God is love, and He’s pouring out that love on you and me.

Our God is God— – His truth, His love remains each day the same, – He’s faithful to His matchless name, – For God is God—He does not change. —D. DeHaan 

The death of Christ is the measure of God’s love for you.

Originally posted 2013-07-29 13:07:17.

  • Share on Tumblr

OUR DAILY BREAD 9-13-14

UnknownThink Of Them No More

Read: Isaiah 43:22-28

I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins. —Isaiah 43:25

Bible in a Year: Proverbs 16-18; 2 Corinthians 6

David H. Roper   My early years as a believer in Christ were laden with foreboding. I had the impression that when Jesus comes back, all my sins will be portrayed on a giant screen for everyone to see.

I know now that God chooses not to remember against me a single one of my transgressions. Every sin has been buried in the deepest sea, never to be exhumed and examined again.

Amy Carmichael wrote, “A day or two ago I was thinking rather sadly of the past—so many sins and failures and lapses of every kind. I was reading Isaiah 43, and in verse 24 I saw myself: ‘You have wearied me with your iniquities.’ And then for the first time I noticed that there is no space between verse 24 and verse 25: ‘I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins.’”

Indeed, when our Lord comes back He will “bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God” (1 Cor. 4:5). On that day our works will be tried and we may suffer loss, but we will not be judged for sin (3:11-15). God will see what Christ has done for us. He “will not remember [our] sins.”

Where no far-reaching tide with its powerful sweep May stir the dark waves of forgetfulness deep, I have buried them there where no mortal can see! I’ve cast all thy sins in the depths of the sea. —Anon.

When God saves us, our sins are forgiven forever.

Insight: God’s people had been unfaithful and had stubbornly refused to repent and return to God (Isa. 43:22-24). Yet despite their sins and guilt, God in His mercy said He would forgive them (v.25), even though they were undeserving of His favor (v.26). From the time of “your first father and your mediators”—perhaps referring to Abraham and other covenantal leaders such as Moses—they were all sinners (v.27). Although their sins would be forgiven, they would still face the consequences of their actions and be disciplined through the exile (v.28).

You can make a difference. Even the smallest donation helps reach people around the world with the life-changing wisdom of the Bible. Donate

Originally posted 2014-09-13 09:18:35.

  • Share on Tumblr

Our Daily Bread 11-28-13

How To Enjoy Things

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn

Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 33-34; 1 Peter 5

Dennis J. DeHaan In his book Daring To Draw Near, Dr. John White writes that several years earlier God had made it possible for him to acquire a lovely home with many luxuries. His feelings about the house fluctuated dramatically.

When he reminded himself that it was a gracious gift from God, he felt joy and thanksgiving. But when he would begin to compare it with those of his friends, he would feel proud because he had such a fine house and his joy would evaporate. His home would actually become a burden. All he could see were the many hedges and trees to care for and the endless odd jobs to do. White said, “While vanity clouds my eyes and burdens my heart, gratitude clears my vision and lightens my load.”

The writer of Ecclesiastes saw God at every turn in the enjoyment of material things. The power to eat the fruits of our labors and even the strength to receive and rejoice in them is from Him (5:18-19).

From beginning to end, all of life is a continuous gift-giving by God. We deserve nothing. He owes us nothing. Yet He gives us everything. If we remember this, we need not feel selfish or guilty. Whatever material blessings we have are a gift from our gracious God.

Ten thousand thousand precious gifts My daily thanks employ; Nor is the least a cheerful heart,  That tastes those gifts with joy. —Addison  

God, who has given so much to us, gives one more thing—a grateful heart. —Herbert

Originally posted 2013-11-28 14:37:48.

  • Share on Tumblr

Our Daily Bread 12-20-13

Taking Refuge

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn

Bible in a Year: Micah 1-3; Revelation 11

Dennis Fisher  In the medieval world, farmers would care for their crops until an enemy appeared on the horizon. Then they would flee with their families to their fortified city for protection from the marauders.

The city of Carcassonne has been a refuge for generations. Built in the 5th century BC, this stone fortress has provided protection for Romans, Gauls, Visigoths, Franks, and French. Its sprawling size and majestic watchtowers and battlements gave confidence to those hiding inside its protective walls.

As believers, we can take refuge in the presence of the living God. The book of Proverbs tells us: “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe” (Prov. 18:10). “The name of the Lord” refers to God’s character—abounding with faithfulness, power, and mercy. The term safe means “set on high out of danger.”

We all face threats at times that make us want to run for cover. Some seek security in material wealth or relationships. But the Christ-follower has a more secure refuge. Because of who God is and what He can do for us, our best protection ultimately rests in Him. If you are facing a threat today, go to the Lord, who is a strong tower. You will find refuge in His care.

In the times of greatest struggle, When the angry billows roll, I can always find my Savior, Christ, the Refuge of my soul. —Woodruff

In good times and bad, God is our safe resting place.

Originally posted 2013-12-20 14:32:14.

  • Share on Tumblr

OUR DAILY BREAD 9-30-14

UnknownA Fresh Start

Read: Luke 5:17-26

Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. —Luke 5:31

Bible in a Year: Isaiah 9-10; Ephesians 3

David C. McCasland   In many countries, health laws prohibit reselling or reusing old mattresses. Only landfills will take them. Tim Keenan tackled the problem and today his business employs a dozen people to extract the individual components of metal, fabric, and foam in old mattresses for recycling. But that’s only part of the story. Journalist Bill Vogrin wrote, “Of all the items Keenan recycles . . . it’s the people that may be his biggest success” (The Gazette, Colorado Springs). Keenan hires men from halfway houses and homeless shelters, giving them a job and a second chance. He says, “We take guys nobody else wants.”

Luke 5:17-26 tells how Jesus healed the body and the soul of a paralyzed man. Following that miraculous event, Levi answered Jesus’ call to follow Him and then invited his fellow tax collectors and friends to a banquet in honor of the Lord (vv.27-29). When some people accused Jesus of associating with undesirables (v.30), He reminded them that healthy people don’t need a doctor—adding, “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance” (v.32).

To everyone who feels like a “throwaway” headed for the landfill of life, Jesus opens His arms of love and offers a fresh beginning. That’s why He came!

                                 The power of God can turn a heart From evil and the power of sin;                                        The love of God can change a life And make it new and cleansed within. —Fasick

Salvation is receiving a new life.

Insight: The religious leaders accused Jesus of blasphemy for claiming divine attributes for Himself (Luke 5:21). Blasphemy is showing contempt or a lack of reverence for God or something sacred (v.20). A violation of the third commandment, it was punishable by death (Lev. 24:15-16).

You can make a difference. Even the smallest donation helps reach people around the world with the life-changing wisdom of the Bible. Donate

Originally posted 2014-09-30 08:00:13.

  • Share on Tumblr

OUR DAILY BREAD 10-3-14

UnknownFiltered Light

Read: 2 Corinthians 4:1-12

It is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts. —2 Corinthians 4:6

Bible in a Year: Isaiah 17-19; Ephesians 5:17-33

David C. McCasland   The painting A Trail of Light by Colorado Springs artist Bob Simpich shows a grove of aspen trees with golden leaves lit by the autumn sun. The top most leaves are brilliantly illuminated while the ground beneath the trees is a mixture of sunlight and shadows. The painter said of this contrast, “I can’t resist the light filtered through to the forest floor. It weaves a special magic.”

The apostle Paul wrote to the followers of Jesus in Corinth, “For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6). Paul goes on to describe the reality of life in which “we are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; . . . perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed” (vv.8-9).

There are times when it seems that the light of God’s face is dimmed because of our difficulty, sorrow, or loss. Yet, even in these dark shadows, we can see evidence of His presence with us.

If we walk in filtered light today, may we discover anew that God’s light—Jesus—is always shining in our hearts.

             Lord, shine the light of Your face on us that we may find our way to Your salvation.                         Shine Your light into the darkness that envelops our world that we may see who You are                                                                             and show others the way to You.

In dark circumstances, God’s light is still shining in our hearts.

Insight: Despite the high price Paul paid to remain faithful to God (2 Cor. 11:23-28), he remained resilient and did not lose heart (4:1,14). He had been sustained by God’s sovereign power and sufficient grace (vv.7-9) and Christ’s resurrected life (vv.10-12).

 

You can make a difference. Even the smallest donation helps reach people around the world with the life-changing wisdom of the Bible. Donate

Originally posted 2014-10-03 07:41:26.

  • Share on Tumblr

Our Daily Bread 9-15-13

A Life That Shined

Our Daily Bread Radio is heard Here> Les Lamborn

Bible in a Year:   Proverbs 22-24; 2 Corinthians 8

David C. McCasland  According to the International Basketball Federation, basketball is the world’s second-most popular sport, with an estimated 450 million followers in countries around the globe. In the US, the annual NCAA tournament in March often brings mention of legendary coach John Wooden. During his 27 years at UCLA, Wooden’s teams won an unprecedented 10 National Championship titles. Yet, today, John Wooden, who died in 2010, is remembered not just for what he accomplished but for the person he was.

Wooden lived out his Christian faith and his genuine concern for others in an environment often obsessed with winning. In his autobiography, They Call Me Coach, he wrote, “I always tried to make it clear that basketball is not the ultimate. It is of small importance in comparison to the total life we live. There is only one kind of life that truly wins, and that is the one that places faith in the hands of the Savior. Until that is done, we are on an aimless course that runs in circles and goes nowhere.”

John Wooden honored God in all he did, and his example challenges us to do the same. Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matt. 5:16).

Show me the way, Lord, let my light shine As an example of good to mankind; Help them to see the patterns of Thee, Shining in beauty, lived out in me. —Neuer 

Let your light shine—whether you’re a candle in a corner or a lighthouse on a hill.

Originally posted 2013-09-15 14:10:02.

  • Share on Tumblr