Tag Archives: Our daily bread 2019

December 29, 2019 Our Daily Bread- Washed in Love

Topic:Washed in Love

Bible in a Year:

You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.James 2:24


GIVEToday’s Scripture & Insight:James 2:14–26

A small church in Southern California recognized an opportunity to express God’s love in a practical way. Believers in Jesus gathered at a local laundromat to give back to their community by washing clothes for those in financial need. They cleaned and folded clothes together, and sometimes provided a hot meal or bags of groceries for recipients.

One volunteer discovered the greatest reward was in the “actual contact with people . . . hearing their stories.” Because of their relationship with Jesus, these volunteers wanted to live out their faith through loving words and actions that helped them nurture genuine relationships with others.

The apostle James affirms that every act of a professing believer’s loving service is a result of genuine faith. He states that “faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead” (James 2:14–17). Declaring we believe makes us children of God, but it’s when we serve Him by serving others that we act as believers who trust and follow Jesus (v. 24). Faith and service are as closely interdependent as the body and the spirit (v. 26), a beautiful display of the power of Christ as He works in and through us.

After personally accepting that God’s sacrifice on the cross washes us in perfect love, we can respond in authentic faith that overflows into the ways we serve others.

December 9, 2019 Our Daily Bread- Attitude of Gratitude

Topic:Attitude of Gratitude
Bible in a Year:
Daniel 8–10
3 John

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
Colossians 3:15

Our Daily Bread

In my state in the US, the winters can be brutal, with sub-zero temperatures and never-ending snow. One bitterly cold day, as I shoveled snow for what seemed like the thousandth time, our postman paused in his rounds to ask how I was doing. I told him that I disliked winter and was weary of all the heavy snow. I then commented that his job must be pretty rough during these extreme weather conditions. He responded, “Yeah, but at least I have a job. A lot of people don’t. I’m thankful to be working.”

I have to admit that I felt quite convicted by his attitude of gratitude. How easily we can lose sight of everything we have to be thankful for when the circumstances of life become unpleasant.

Paul told the followers of Christ at Colossae, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful” (Colossians 3:15). He wrote to the Thessalonians, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

Even in our times of genuine struggle and pain, we can know God’s peace and permit it to rule our hearts. And in that peace, we’ll find reminders of all that we’ve been given in Christ. In that, we can truly be thankful.

December 8, 2019 Our Daily Bread- Attitude of Gratitude

Topic:Attitude of Gratitude
Bible in a Year:
Daniel 8–10
3 John

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
Colossians 3:15

Our Daily Bread

In my state in the US, the winters can be brutal, with sub-zero temperatures and never-ending snow. One bitterly cold day, as I shoveled snow for what seemed like the thousandth time, our postman paused in his rounds to ask how I was doing. I told him that I disliked winter and was weary of all the heavy snow. I then commented that his job must be pretty rough during these extreme weather conditions. He responded, “Yeah, but at least I have a job. A lot of people don’t. I’m thankful to be working.”

I have to admit that I felt quite convicted by his attitude of gratitude. How easily we can lose sight of everything we have to be thankful for when the circumstances of life become unpleasant.

Paul told the followers of Christ at Colossae, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful” (Colossians 3:15). He wrote to the Thessalonians, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

Even in our times of genuine struggle and pain, we can know God’s peace and permit it to rule our hearts. And in that peace, we’ll find reminders of all that we’ve been given in Christ. In that, we can truly be thankful.

October 24, 2019 Our Daily Bread- Just a Touch

Topic:Just a Touch
Bible in a Year:
Jeremiah 3–5
1 Timothy 4

Then he placed his right hand on me and said, “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last.”
Revelation 1:17

Our Daily Bread

It was just a touch, but it made all the difference to Colin. As his small team was preparing to do charitable work in a region known for hostility to believers in Jesus, his stress level began to rise. When he shared his worries with a teammate, his friend stopped, placed his hand on his shoulder, and shared a few encouraging words with him. Colin now looks back on that brief touch as a turning point, a powerful reminder of the simple truth that God was with him.

John, the close friend and disciple of Jesus, had been banished to the desolate island of Patmos for preaching the gospel, when he heard “a loud voice like a trumpet” (Revelation 1:10). That startling event was followed by a vision of the Lord Himself, and John “fell at his feet as though dead.” But in that frightening moment, he received comfort and courage. John wrote, “He placed his right hand on me and said, ‘Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last’” (v. 17).

God takes us out of our comfort zone to show us new things, to stretch us, to help us grow. But He also brings the courage and comfort to go through every situation. He won’t leave us alone in our trials. He has everything under control. He has us in His hands.

October 23, 2019 Our Daily Bread- This Is Me

Topic:This Is Me
Bible in a Year:
Jeremiah 1–2
1 Timothy 3

Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.
James 3:10

Our Daily Bread

The powerful song “This Is Me” is an unforgettable show tune featured in The Greatest Showman, the smash movie musical loosely based on the life of P. T. Barnum and his traveling circus. The lyrics, sung by characters in the film who’d suffered verbal taunts and abuse for failing to conform to societal norms, describe words as destructive bullets and knives that leave scars.

The song’s popularity points to how many people bear the invisible, but real, wounds caused by weaponized words.

James understood the potential danger of our words to cause destructive and long-lasting harm, calling the tongue “a restless evil, full of deadly poison” (James 3:8). By using this surprisingly strong comparison, James emphasized the urgent need for believers to recognize the immense power of their words. Even more, he highlighted the inconsistency of praising God with one breath and then injuring people who are made in God’s image with the next (vv. 9–10).

The song “This Is Me” similarly challenges the truth of verbal attacks by insisting that we’re all glorious—a truth the Bible affirms. The Bible establishes the unique dignity and beauty of each human being, not because of outward appearance or anything we have done, but because we are each beautifully designed by God—His unique masterpieces (Psalm 139:14). And our words to each other and about each other have the power to reinforce that reassuring reality.

August 29, 2019 Our Daily Bread – Use Your Voice

Topic:Use Your Voice
Bible in a Year :
Psalms 126–128; 1 Corinthians 10:19–33

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them.
1 Corinthians 12:4

Our Daily Bread

I was invited to meet a world-renowned pianist. Since I grew up immersed in music—playing the violin and piano, and primarily singing solos for church and other events—I was thrilled at the opportunity.

When I arrived to meet the pianist, I realized he spoke little English; and to my surprise he provided a cello for me to play—an instrument I’d never touched. He insisted that I play and he would accompany me. I screeched out a few notes, trying to mimic my violin training. Finally admitting that I was lost, we parted ways.

I awoke, realizing the scenario had been a dream. But since the musical background presented in my dream was true, in my mind lingered the words, Why didn’t you tell him you could sing?

God equips us to develop our natural talents and our spiritual gifts for others (1 Corinthians 12:7). Through prayerful reading of the Bible and the wise advice of others, we can better understand the spiritual gift (or gifts) that is uniquely ours. The apostle Paul reminds us that whatever our spiritual gift, we’re to take time to find it and use it, knowing that the Spirit distributes the gifts “just as he determines” (v. 11).

Let’s use the “voices” the Holy Spirit has given us to honor God and serve other believers in Jesus.

August 23, 2019 Our Daily Bread – Servant’s Heart

  1. Topic:Servant’s Heart
    Bible in a Year :
    Psalms 113–115; 1 Corinthians 6

Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.
Mark 9:35

Our Daily Bread

Cook. Event Planner. Nutritionist. Nurse. These are just some of the responsibilities regularly performed by modern moms. In 2016, research estimated that moms likely worked between fifty-nine and ninety-six hours per week doing child-related tasks.

No wonder moms are always exhausted! Being a mom means giving a lot of time and energy to care for children, who need so much help as they learn to navigate the world.

When my days feel long and I need a reminder that caring for others is a worthy pursuit, I find great hope when I see Jesus affirming those who serve.

In the gospel of Mark, the disciples were having an argument about which one of them was the greatest. Jesus quietly sat down and reminded them that “anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all” (9:35). Then He took a child in His arms to illustrate the importance of serving others, especially the most helpless among us (vv. 36–37).

Christ’s response resets the bar for what greatness looks like in His kingdom. His standard is a heart willing to care for others. And Jesus has promised that God’s empowering presence will be with those who choose to serve (v. 37).

As you have opportunities to serve in your family or community, be encouraged that Jesus greatly values the time and effort you give in service to others.

August 19, 2019 Our Daily Bread – Our New Home

Topic:Our New Home
Bible in a Year :
Psalms 103–104; 1 Corinthians 2

No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city.
Revelation 22:3

Our Daily Bread

As the first immigrant to the US to pass through Ellis Island in 1892, Annie Moore must have felt incredible excitement at the thought of a new home and a fresh start. Millions would pass through there afterward. Just a teenager, Annie had left behind a difficult life in Ireland to start a new one. Carrying only a little bag in her hand, she came with lots of dreams, hopes, and expectations of a land of opportunity.

How much more excitement and awe will God’s children experience when we see “a new heaven and a new earth” (Revelation 21:1). We will enter what the book of Revelation calls “the Holy City, the new Jerusalem” (v. 2). The apostle John describes this amazing place with powerful imagery. There will be “the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb” (22:1). Water represents life and abundance, and its source will be the eternal God Himself. John says that “no longer will there be any curse” (v. 3). The beautiful, pure relationship God intended between Himself and humans will be fully restored.

How incredible to know that God, who loves His children and purchased us with the life of His Son, is preparing such an amazing new home—where He Himself will live with us and be our God (21:3).

August 14, 2019 Our Daily Bread – The Illusion of Control

Topic:The Illusion of Control
Bible in a Year :
Psalms 89–90; Romans 14

You do not even know what will happen tomorrow.
James 4:14

Our Daily Bread

Ellen Langer’s 1975 study titled The Illusion of Control examined the level of influence we exert over life’s events. She found that we overestimate our degree of control in most situations. The study also demonstrated how reality nearly always shatters our illusion.

Langer’s conclusions are supported by experiments carried out by others since the study was published. However, James identified the phenomenon long before she named it. In James 4, he wrote, “Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes” (vv. 13–14).

Then James provides a cure for the delusion, pointing to the One who’s in absolute control: “Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that’” (v. 15). In these few verses, James summarized both a key failing of the human condition and its antidote.

May we understand that our fate doesn’t rest in our own hands. Because God holds all things in His capable hands, we can trust His plans!

August 13, 2019 Our Daily Bread – Jesus in Disguise

Topic:Jesus in Disguise
Bible in a Year :
Psalms 87–88; Romans 13

Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for what they have done.
Proverbs 19:17

Our Daily Bread

My son Geoff recently participated in a “homeless simulation.” He spent three days and two nights living on the streets of his city, sleeping outside in below freezing temperatures. Without food, money, or shelter, he relied on the kindness of strangers for his basic needs. On one of those days his only food was a sandwich, bought by a man who heard him asking for stale bread at a fast-food restaurant.

Geoff told me later it was one of the hardest things he’d ever done, yet it profoundly impacted his outlook on others. He spent the day after his “simulation” seeking out homeless people who had been kind to him during his time on the street, doing what he could to assist them in simple ways. They were surprised to discover he wasn’t actually homeless and were grateful he cared enough to try to see life through their eyes.

My son’s experience calls to mind Jesus’s words: “I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. . . . Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:36, 40). Whether we give a word of encouragement or a bag of groceries, God calls us to lovingly attend to the needs of others. Our kindness to others is kindness to Him.