Tag Archives: 2018 Our Daily Bread from the Word God

November 27, 2018 Our Daily Bread –Putting Up Hay

Topic:Putting Up Hay
November 27, 2018
Putting Up Hay
Read: Luke 15:11–24
Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 30–32; 1 Peter 4

Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven. Romans 4:7

Our Daily Bread

When I was in college, I worked a summer on a ranch in Colorado. One evening, tired and hungry after a long day of mowing hay, I drove the tractor into the yard. Acting like the hot shot I thought I was, I cranked the steering wheel hard left, stamped on the left brake, and spun the tractor around.

The sickle was down and swept the legs out from under a 500-gallon gasoline tank standing nearby. The tank hit the ground with a resounding boom, the seams split, and all the gasoline spewed out.

The rancher stood nearby surveying the scene.

I got off the tractor, stammered an apology, and—because it was the first thing that popped into my mind—offered to work the rest of the summer without pay.

The old rancher stared at the wreckage for a moment and turned toward the house. “Let’s go have dinner,” he drawled.

A scrap of a story Jesus told passed through my mind—a story about a young man who had done a terrible thing: “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you,” he cried. He intended to add, “Make me like one of your hired servants,” but before he could get all the words out of his mouth his father interrupted him. In essence, he said, “Let’s go have dinner” (Luke 15:17–24).

Such is God’s amazing grace.

Father, we celebrate Your gracious and lavish forgiveness. Thank You for the peace and freedom it brings us as we enjoy a family relationship with You.

What a privilege to be sons and daughters of the King!

November 25, 2018 Our Daily Bread –Quiet Witness

Topic:Quiet Witness
November 25, 2018
Quiet Witness
Read: 1 Peter 2:11–21
Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 24–26; 1 Peter 2

Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. 1 Peter 2:12 nlt

Our Daily Bread

Amy lives in a closed country where it’s forbidden to preach the gospel. She’s a trained nurse who works in a big hospital, caring for newborn babies. She’s such a committed professional that her work stands out, and many women are curious about her. They are moved to ask her questions in private. It’s then that Amy shares about her Savior openly.

Because of her good work, some co-workers were envious and accused her of stealing some medicine. Her superiors didn’t believe them, and authorities eventually found the culprit. This episode led some of her fellow nurses to ask about her faith. Her example reminds me of what Peter says: “Dear friends . . . . Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God” (1 Peter 2:11–12 nlt).

Our everyday lives at home, in our work environment, or at school make an impact on others when we let God work in us. We’re surrounded by people who are watching the way we speak and behave. Let’s depend on God and have Him rule our actions and thoughts. Then we’ll influence those who don’t believe and this may lead some of them to turn in faith to Jesus.

Father, help me to live in such a way that Your name will be honored wherever I go.

Our lives speak louder than our words.

November 24, 2018 Our Daily Bread –A Constant Helper

A Constant Helper
November 24, 2018
A Constant Helper
Read: John 14:15–26
Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 22–23; 1 Peter 1

 will remind you of everything I have said to you. John 14:26

Our Daily Bread

After a spinal injury left Marty paralyzed, he decided to go back to school to earn his MBA. Marty’s mother, Judy, helped make his goal a reality. She sat with him through every lecture and study group, jotting notes and handling technology issues. She even assisted him onto the platform when he received his diploma. What might have been unattainable became possible with the consistent, practical help Marty received.

Jesus knew His followers would need a similar kind of support after He left the earth. When He told them about His upcoming absence, He said they would gain a new kind of connection with God through the Holy Spirit. This Spirit would be a moment-by-moment helper—a teacher and guide who would not only live with them but also be in them (John 14:17, 26).

The Spirit would provide Jesus’s disciples with internal help from God, which would enable them to endure what they couldn’t handle on their own as they fanned out to share the good news. In moments of struggle, the Spirit would remind them of everything Jesus said to them (v. 26): Do not let your hearts be troubled . . . Love one another . . . I am the resurrection and the life.

Are you facing something that exceeds your own strength and ability? You can depend on the Spirit’s constant help. God’s Spirit working in you will bring Him the glory He deserves.

Dear God, thank You for the ongoing support available through the Holy Spirit. Help me to rely on Your Spirit when I need help.

When it is a question of God’s almighty Spirit, never say, “I can’t.” —Oswald Chambers

November 22, 2018 Our Daily Bread –What We Have

Topic:What We Have
November 22, 2018
What We Have
Read: 2 Corinthians 8:1–12
Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 18–19; James 4

For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have. 2 Corinthians 8:12

Our Daily Bread

My friend was eager to gather her family and friends for a festive holiday celebration at her home. Each of the guests looked forward to gathering around the table together and wanted to help defray the expense of feeding so many by contributing to the meal. Some would bring bread, others salad or a side dish. For one guest, however, money was exceptionally tight. Although she looked forward to spending the evening with those whom she loved, she couldn’t afford to purchase any food. So, instead, she offered to clean the host’s home as her gift.

She would have been welcome at the table had she come empty-handed. Yet she looked at what she did have to offer—her time and skills—and brought them to the gathering with her whole heart. I think that’s precisely the spirit of Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 8. They had been eager to give to help some fellow Christians, and he urged them to follow through on that effort. He commended them for their desire and their willingness, saying their motivation to give is what makes a gift of any size or amount acceptable (v. 12).

We’re often quick to compare our giving to that of others, especially when our resources don’t afford us the luxury of giving as much as we’d like to. But God views our giving differently: it’s our willingness to give what we have that He loves.

Lord, help me see what You’ve given me, even if it doesn’t seem like much by the world’s standards. Help me to give generously.

God loves wholehearted giving of any measure.

November 20, 2018 Our Daily Bread –On the Wrong Side?

Topic:On the Wrong Side?
November 20, 2018
On the Wrong Side?
Read: Philippians 1:12–18
Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 14–15; James 2

What has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. Philippians 1:12

Our Daily Bread

When the bridge to Techiman, Ghana, washed out, residents of New Krobo on the other side of the Tano River were stranded. Attendance at Pastor Samuel Appiah’s church in Techiman suffered too because many of the members lived in New Krobo—on the “wrong” side of the river.

Amid the crisis, Pastor Sam was trying to expand the church’s children’s home to care for more orphans. So he prayed. Then his church sponsored outdoor meetings across the river in New Krobo. Soon they were baptizing new believers in Jesus. A new church took root. Not only that, New Krobo had space to care for the orphans awaiting housing. God was weaving His restorative work into the crisis.

When the apostle Paul found himself on the “wrong” side of freedom, he didn’t lament his situation. In a powerful letter to the church in Philippi, he wrote, “I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel” (Philippians 1:12). Paul noted how his chains had led to “the whole palace guard” learning about Christ (v. 13). And others had gained confidence to share the good news of Jesus (v. 14).

Despite obstacles, Pastor Sam and the apostle Paul found God showing them new ways to work in their crises. What might God be doing in our challenging circumstances today?

Lord, sometimes we feel as though we’re on the wrong side of a particular situation. We know You are everywhere. Help us see You.

God is at work in the mess. That’s the message of the Bible. Matt Chandler

November 19, 2018 Our Daily Bread –Hard Conversations

Topic:Hard Conversations
November 19, 2018
Hard Conversations
Read: 1 Samuel 25:21–35
Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 11–13; James 1

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Romans 12:18

Our Daily Bread

I once drove fifty miles to have a hard conversation with a remote staff person. I had received a report from another employee that suggested he was misrepresenting our company, and I was concerned for our reputation. I felt nudged to offer an opinion that might change his choices.

In 1 Samuel 25, an unlikely person took great personal risk to confront a future king of Israel who was about to make a disastrous choice. Abigail was married to Nabal, whose character matched the meaning of his name (“fool”) (vv. 3, 25). Nabal had refused to pay David and his troops the customary wage for protecting his livestock (vv. 10–11). Hearing that David planned a murderous revenge on her household, and knowing her foolish husband wouldn’t listen to reason, Abigail prepared a peace offering, rode to meet David, and persuaded him to reconsider (vv. 18–31).

How did Abigail accomplish this? After sending ahead donkeys loaded with food to satisfy David and his men and settle the debt, she spoke truth to David. She wisely reminded David of God’s call on his life. If he resisted his desire for revenge, when God made him king, he wouldn’t “have on his conscience the staggering burden of needless bloodshed” (v. 31).

You might also know someone dangerously close to a mistake that could harm others and compromise their own future effectiveness for God. Like Abigail, might God be calling you to a hard conversation?

Dear God, please help me know when to lovingly confront others.

Sometimes following God means difficult conversations.

November 11, 2018 Our Daily Bread –Confident Hope

Topic:Confident Hope
November 11, 2018
Confident Hope
Read: Philippians 1:19–26
Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 50; Hebrews 8

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. Philippians 1:21

Our Daily Bread

Dr. William Wallace was serving as a missionary surgeon in Wuzhou, China, in the 1940s when Japan attacked China. Wallace, who was in charge of Stout Memorial Hospital at the time, ordered the hospital to load his equipment on barges and continue to function as a hospital while floating up and down rivers to avoid infantry attacks.

During dangerous times, Philippians 1:21—one of Wallace’s favorite verses—reminded him that if he lived, he had work to do for the Savior; but if he died, he had the promise of eternity with Christ. The verse took on special meaning when he died while falsely imprisoned in 1951.

Paul’s writing reflects a deep devotion we can aspire to as followers of Jesus, enabling us to face trials and even danger for His sake. It is devotion enabled by the Holy Spirit and the prayers of those closest to us (v. 19). It’s also a promise. Even when we surrender ourselves to continued service under difficult circumstances, it is with this reminder: when our life and work end here, we still have the joy of eternity with Jesus ahead of us.

In our hardest moments, with hearts committed to walking with Christ now, and with our eyes firmly fixed on the promise of eternity with Him, may our days and our acts bless others with the love of God.

Make of me, Father, a willing servant in times of weakness and times of strength.

Sacrifices offered to God are opportunities to showcase His love.

November 8, 2018 Our Daily Bread –Fathers and Sons

Topic:Fathers and Sons
November 8, 2018
Fathers and Sons
Read: Ephesians 4:31–32
Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 43–45; Hebrews 5

He will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers. Malachi 4:6 esv

Our Daily Bread

My father was a good father, and, in most respects, I was a dutiful son. But I allowed my father to starve for the one thing I could have given him: myself.

He was a quiet man; I was equally silent. We often worked for hours side-by-side with scarcely a word passing between us. He never asked; I never told him my deepest desires and dreams, my hopes and fears.

In time I woke up to my reticence. Perhaps the perception came when my first son was born, or when, one by one, my sons went out into the world. Now I wish I had been more of a son to my father.

I think of all the things I could have told him. And all the things he could have told me. At his funeral I stood beside his casket, struggling to understand my emotions. “It’s too late, isn’t it?” my wife said quietly. “Exactly.”

My comfort lies in the fact that we’ll be able to set things right in heaven, for is that not where every tear will be wiped away? (Revelation 21:4).

For believers in Jesus, death is not the end of affection but the beginning of timeless existence in which there will be no more misunderstandings; relationships will be healed and love will grow forever. There, the hearts of sons will turn to their fathers and the hearts of fathers to their sons (Malachi 4:6).

Father, thank You for forgiving me and allowing me to experience a restored relationship with You. Help me to seek reconciliation in my broken relationships and deeper connections with others close to me even as I await the healing that will come in Your presence.

In God’s power and love, draw closer to others while there’s time.

November 7, 2018 Our Daily Bread –I’m Sorry

Topic:I’m Sorry
November 7, 2018
Read: Colossians 3:12–17
Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 40–42; Hebrews 4

Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13

Our Daily Bread

In 2005, Collins falsified a report that resulted in McGee being thrown in prison for four years, and McGee vowed to find Collins when he got out and “hurt him.” McGee was eventually exonerated, but not before he lost everything. Meanwhile, Collins’s many falsified reports were uncovered, he lost his job, and he too spent time behind bars. But both men came to faith in Christ while in prison.

In 2015, the two discovered they were working together in the same faith-based company. Collins recalls, “I [told McGee], ‘Honestly, I have no explanation, all I can do is say I’m sorry.’” It was “pretty much what I needed to hear,” said McGee, who graciously forgave him. The men were able to reconcile because both had experienced the incomparable love and forgiveness of God, who empowers us to “forgive as the Lord forgave [us]” (Colossians 3:13).

Now the two are great friends. “We have this joint mission . . . of letting the world know that if you owe an apology to somebody, put your pride down and go apologize,” said Collins. “And if you’re holding something against somebody, let go of the bitterness because it’s like drinking poison and hoping it’s hurting them.”

God calls believers to live in peace and unity. If we have “a grievance against someone,” we can bring it to Him. He will help us to reconcile (vv. 13–15; Philippians 4:6–7).

Dear Father, thank You for forgiving us when we come to You in sorrow over our sins. Help us to receive Your forgiveness and to extend it to others.

Christ sets us free to forgive.

November 4, 2018 Our Daily Bread –Still the King

Topic:Still the King
November 4, 2018
Read: Psalm 74:4–8, 12–23
Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 32–33; Hebrews 1

Rise up, O God, and defend your cause. Psalm 74:22

Our Daily Bread

One news report called it “the single deadliest day for Christians in decades.” The pair of attacks on Sunday worshipers in April 2017 defies our understanding. We simply don’t have a category to describe bloodshed in a house of worship. But we can find some help from others who know this kind of pain well.

Most of the people of Jerusalem were in exile or had been slain when Asaph wrote Psalm 74. Pouring out his heart’s anguish, he described the destruction of the temple at the hands of ruthless invaders. “Your foes roared in the place where you met with us,” Asaph said (v. 4). “They burned your sanctuary to the ground; they defiled the dwelling place of your Name” (v. 7).

Yet the psalmist found a place to stand despite the awful reality—providing encouragement that we can do so too. “But God is my King from long ago,” Asaph resolved. “He brings salvation on the earth” (v. 12). This truth enabled Asaph to praise God’s mighty power even though His salvation seemed absent in the moment. “Have regard for your covenant,” Asaph prayed. “Do not let the oppressed retreat in disgrace; may the poor and needy praise your name” (vv. 20–21).

When justice and mercy seem absent, God’s love and power are in no way diminished. With Asaph, we can confidently say, “But God is my King.”

Lord, with the psalmist we pray for the honor of Your Name. Show Yourself strong and compassionate. Rise up and defend Your cause.

God will defend His Name.