December 11, 2013 see more Our Daily Bread is hosted by Les Lamborn
READ: Isaiah 55:6-13
So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please. —Isaiah 55:11
As a workplace chaplain, I’m privileged to be in conversation with many different people. Some are skeptics of the Christian faith. I’ve discovered three major hurdles that keep them from trusting in Christ for salvation.
The first barrier, surprisingly, isn’t an unwillingness to believe that God exists; instead some doubt that they’re important enough for God’s attention. Second, some believe they are unworthy of His forgiveness. People are often their own harshest judges. The third hurdle? They wonder why God is not communicating with them if He is out there.
Let’s work backward through the hurdles to see what God’s Word says. First, God doesn’t play head games. He promises that if we read His Word, He will make sure it accomplishes His purpose (Isa. 55:11). In other words, if we read it we will discover that God is communicating with us. This is precisely why the Bible speaks so often of His grace and mercy toward all (v.7). His willingness to forgive surpasses our own. Once we learn that we can hear God in the Bible and once we see the emphasis on His mercy, it becomes easier to believe we have His attention when we cry out to Him.
God’s story is amazing. It can give hope for all of us. —Randy Kilgore
There can be times when one’s mind is in doubt, Times when one asks what the faith is about; But we can believe Him, we know that He cares— Our God is real, as the Bible declares. —Fitzhugh
Honest skepticism can be the first step to a strong faith.
December 6, 2013 see more Our Daily Bread is hosted by Les Lamborn
READ: Psalm 103:1-11
[The Lord] crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies. —Psalm 103:4
When I entertained a large group in my home, I feared that the menu I planned wouldn’t be enough to serve all the guests. I shouldn’t have worried though. Several friends unexpectedly brought additional items and all of us were able to enjoy the surprise surplus. We had more than enough and were able to share out of the abundance.
We serve a God of abundance who is consistently “more than enough.” We can see God’s generous nature in the way He loves His children.
In Psalm 103, David lists the many benefits our Father bestows on us. Verse 4 says that He redeems our life from destruction and crowns us with lovingkindness and tender mercies.
The apostle Paul reminds us that God “has blessed us with every spiritual blessing” and “is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Eph. 1:3; 3:20).
Because of His great love, we are called children of God (1 John 3:1), and His grace gives us “sufficiency in all things” that we “may have an abundance for every good work” (2 Cor. 9:8).
God’s love and grace, spilled over into our lives, enables us to share them with others. The God of power and provision is always the God of “more than enough”! —Cindy Hess Kasper
Praise, my soul, the King of heaven; To His feet your tribute bring. Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven, Evermore His praises sing. —Lyte
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, . . . but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. —2 Peter 3:9
During the Christmas season we wait. We wait in traffic. We wait in checkout lines to purchase gifts. We wait for family to arrive. We wait to gather around a table filled with our favorite foods. We wait to open presents lovingly chosen.
All of this waiting can be a reminder to Christians that Christmas is a celebration of waiting for something much more important than holiday traditions. Like the ancient Israelites, we too are waiting for Jesus. Although He already came as the long-awaited Messiah, He has not yet come as ruler over all the earth. So today we wait for Christ’s second coming.
Christmas reminds us that God also waits . . . He waits for people to see His glory, to admit that they are lost without Him, to say yes to His love, to receive His forgiveness, to turn away from sin. While we wait for His second coming, He waits for repentance. What seems to us like God’s slowness in coming is instead His patience in waiting (2 Peter 3:9).
The Lord is waiting to have a relationship with those He loves. He made the first move when He came as baby Jesus and the sacrificial Lamb. Now He waits for us to welcome Him into our lives as Savior and Lord. —Julie Ackerman Link
November 21, 2013 Our Daily Bread is hosted by Les Lamborn see more
READ: Philippians 2:5-11
God . . . has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name. —Philippians 2:9
Our little granddaughter Maggie and her family were back home in Missouri after visiting with us in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Her mom told us that for a few days after returning home, Maggie walked around the house happily saying, “Michigan! Michigan!”
There was something about that name that attracted Maggie. Could have been the sound of it. Could have been the enjoyable time she had. It’s hard to tell with a 1-year-old, but the name “Michigan” had such an impact on her that she couldn’t stop saying it.
This makes me think about another name—the name of Jesus, “the name which is above every name” (Phil. 2:9). A song by Bill and Gloria Gaither reminds us why we love that name so much. He is “Master” and “Savior.” Yes, what depth of meaning there is in the names that describe our Lord! When we mention the great name of Jesus to those who need Him as Savior, we can remind them what He has done for us.
Jesus is our Savior. He has redeemed us by His blood, and we can give our lives wholeheartedly to Him. Jesus. Let all heaven and earth—including us—proclaim His glorious name! —Dave Branon
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus; There’s just something about that name! Master, Savior, Jesus, Like the fragrance after the rain. —Gaither