Tag Archives: Our daily bread devotion 2018

February 24, 2019 Our Daily Bread- Quiet Awe

Topic:Quiet Awe
Bible in a Year:
Numbers 9–11; Mark 5:1–20

How many are your works, Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.
Psalm 104:24

Our Daily Bread

My life often feels frenzied and hectic. I hurry from one appointment to the next, returning phone calls and checking items off my seemingly infinite to-do list while on my way. Out of sheer exhaustion one Sunday, I collapsed into the hammock in our backyard. My phone was inside, as were my children and husband. At first I planned to sit for just a moment or two, but in the undistracted stillness, I began to notice things that invited me to linger longer. I could hear the creak of the hammock swinging gently, the buzz of a bee in the nearby lavender, and the flap of a bird’s wings overhead. The sky was a brilliant blue, and the clouds moved on the wind.

I found myself moved to tears in response to all God had made. When I slowed long enough to take in the many wonderful things within my eyesight and earshot, I was stirred to worship in gratitude for God’s creative power. The writer of Psalm 104 was equally humbled by the work of God’s hands, noting “you fill the earth with the fruit of your labor” (v. 13 nlt).

In the midst of a harried life, a quiet moment can remind us of God’s creative might! He surrounds us with evidence of His power and tenderness; He made both the high mountains and branches for birds. “In wisdom [He] made them all” (v. 24).

December 2, 2018 Our Daily Bread –A Safe Place

Topic:A Safe Place
December 2, 2018
A Safe Place
Read: Psalm 17:1–9
Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 42–44; 1 John 1

I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer. Psalm 17:6

Our Daily Bread

My brothers and I grew up on a wooded hillside in West Virginia that provided a fertile landscape for our imaginations. Whether swinging from vines like Tarzan or building tree houses like the Swiss Family Robinson, we played out the scenarios we found in the stories we read and movies we watched. One of our favorites was building forts and then pretending we were safe from attack. Years later, my kids built forts out of blankets, sheets, and pillows—constructing their own “safe place” against imaginary enemies. It seems almost instinctive to want a hiding place where you can feel safe and secure.

When David, the singer-poet of Israel, sought a safe place, he looked no further than God. Psalm 17:8 asserts, “[God,] keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.” When you consider the Old Testament record of David’s life and the almost constant threats he faced, these words reveal an amazing level of confidence in God (v. 6). In spite of those threats, he was convinced his true safety was found in Him.

We can know that same confidence. The God who promises to never leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5) is the One we trust with our lives every day. Although we live in a dangerous world, our God gives us peace and assurance—both now and forever. He is our safe place.

Father, the world around me can feel threatening, overwhelming, and dangerous. But You give me peace, strength, and help.

Give God thanks for being your hiding place today.

November 23, 2018 Our Daily Bread –A Mother’s Love

Topic:A Mother’s Love
November 23, 2018
A Mother’s Love
Read: Psalm 91:1–6
Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 20–21; James 5

He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. Psalm 91:15

Our Daily Bread

When Sue’s parents divorced when she was young, the legal tussle over her custody and other matters resulted in her being sent to a children’s home for a while. Bullied by bigger kids, she felt lonely and abandoned. Her mother visited only once a month, and she hardly saw her father. It was only years later, however, that her mother told her that while the home’s rules prevented her from visiting more often, she had stood at the fence every single day, hoping to catch a glimpse of her daughter. “Sometimes,” she said, “I would just watch you playing in the garden, just to check if you were okay.”

When Sue shared this story, it gave me a glimpse of God’s love. Sometimes we may feel abandoned and alone in our struggles. How comforting it is to know that God is in fact watching over us all the time! (Psalm 33:18). Even though we can’t see Him, He is there. Like a loving parent, His eyes and His heart are constantly on us wherever we go. Yet, unlike Sue’s mom, He can act on our behalf at any time.

Psalm 91 describes God delivering, protecting, and lifting up His children. He is more than a refuge and a shelter. As we navigate the dark valleys of life, we can take comfort in the knowledge that the all-powerful Lord is watching over us and is active in our lives. “I will answer [you],” He declares. “I will be with [you] in trouble, I will deliver [you]” (v. 15).

Lord, thank You for the assurance that we’re always under Your watchful care.

Our heavenly Father is ever near.

November 21, 2018 Our Daily Bread –A Hidden Ministry

Topic:A Hidden Ministry
November 21, 2018
A Hidden Ministry
Read: 2 Corinthians 1:8–11
Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 16–17; James 3

On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. 2 Corinthians 1:10–11

Our Daily Bread

A big academic project was weighing on me, and I was fretting over whether I could complete it by the deadline. In the midst of my anxious thoughts, I received three notes of encouragement from friends who were cheering me on. Each one said, “God brought you to mind today when I was praying.” I felt humbled and encouraged that these friends would contact me without knowing what I was going through, and I believed God had used them as His messengers of love.

The apostle Paul knew the power of prayer when he wrote to the people in the church of Corinth. He said he trusted that God would continue to deliver them from peril “as you help us by your prayers” (2 Corinthians 1:10–11). And when God answered their prayers, He would be glorified as the people gave Him thanks for the “answer to the prayers of many” (v. 11).

My friends and Paul’s supporters were engaging in the ministry of intercession, which Oswald Chambers calls “a hidden ministry that brings forth fruit through which the Father is glorified.” As we focus our minds and hearts on Jesus, we find Him shaping us, including how we pray. He enables us to give the gift of true intercession to friends, family members, and even strangers.

Has God put someone on your heart and mind for whom you can pray?

God hears the prayers of His people.

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 18, 2018 Our Daily Bread –Don’t Stop Building!

Topic:Don’t Stop Building!
November 18, 2018
Don’t Stop Building!
Read: Ezra 5:1–5
Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 8–10; Hebrews 13

The eye of their God was watching over [them] . . . and they were not stopped. Ezra 5:5

Our Daily Bread

When an opportunity came to take on a new role at work, Simon believed it was a godsend. After praying over the decision and seeking counsel, he felt that God was giving him this opportunity to take on bigger responsibilities. Everything fell into place, and his boss supported his move. Then things began to go wrong. Some colleagues resented his promotion and refused to cooperate. He began to wonder if he should give up.

When the Israelites returned to Jerusalem to build the house of God, enemies sought to frighten and discourage them (Ezra 4:4). The Israelites stopped at first, but continued after God encouraged them through the prophets Haggai and Zechariah (4:24–5:2).

Once again, enemies came to hassle them. But this time they persevered, knowing “the eye of their God was watching over [them]” (5:5). They held on firmly to God’s instructions and trusted Him to carry them through whatever opposition they’d face. Sure enough, God moved the Persian king to support the temple’s completion (vv. 13–14).

Similarly, Simon sought God’s wisdom to discern whether he should stay or find a new position. Sensing God calling him to remain, he relied on God’s strength to persevere. Over time, he slowly gained his colleagues’ acceptance.

As we seek to follow God, wherever He places us, we may face opposition along the way. That’s when we need to keep following Him. He will guide us and carry us through.

Remain strong, for God’s eye is on you.

November 16, 2018 Our Daily Bread –Thanks for Who God Is

Topic:Thanks for Who God Is
November 16, 2018
Thanks for Who God Is
Read: Psalm 95:1–7
Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 3–4; Hebrews 11:20–40

Let us come before him with thanksgiving . . . for the Lord is the great God. Psalm 95:2–3

Our Daily Bread

Among the thousands of sentiments printed on greeting cards, perhaps one of the most touching is this simple statement: “Thanks for being you.” If you receive that card, you know that someone cares for you not because you did something spectacular for that person but because you’re appreciated for your essence.

I wonder if this kind of sentiment might indicate for us one of the best ways to say “thank you” to God. Sure, there are times when God intervenes in our lives in a tangible way, and we say something like, “Thank You, Lord, for allowing me to get that job.” But most often, we can simply say, “Thank You, God, for being who You are.”

That’s what’s behind verses like 1 Chronicles 16:34: “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” Thank You, God, for who You are—good and loving. And Psalm 7:17: “I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness.” Thank You, God, for who You are—the holy One. And “Let us come before him with thanksgiving . . . for the Lord is the great God” (Psalm 95:2–3). Thank You, God, for who You are—the Almighty God of the universe.

Who God is. That’s reason enough for us to stop what we’re doing and praise and thank Him. Thank You, God, for just being You!

Thank You, dear God, for being who You are—the Almighty God who loves us and welcomes our love in return. Thank You for everything that makes You magnificent. We stand in awe of You as we praise You with word and song.

There are countless reasons to thank God, including for who He is!

November 14, 2018 Our Daily Bread –Bound to Encourage

Topic:Bound to Encourage
November 14, 2018
Bound to Encourage
Read: Hebrews 10:19–25
Bible in a Year: Lamentations 3–5; Hebrews 10:19–39

Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Hebrews 10:24

Our Daily Bread

The Steven Thompson Memorial Centipede is a cross-country meet unlike any other. Each seven-member team runs as a unit, holding a rope for the first two miles of a three-mile course. At the two-mile mark, the team drops the rope and finishes the race individually. Each person’s time is, therefore, a combination of the pace the team kept and his or her own speed.

This year, my daughter’s team opted for a strategy I had not previously seen: They put the fastest runner at the front and the slowest right behind her. She explained that their goal was for the strongest runner to be near enough to speak words of encouragement to the slowest runner.

Their plans depicted for me a passage from the book of Hebrews. The writer urges us to “hold unswervingly to the hope we profess” (Hebrews 10:23) as we “spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (v. 24). There are certainly many ways of accomplishing this, but the author highlighted one: “not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another” (v. 25). Gathering together with other believers as we’re able is a vital aspect of the life of faith.

The race of life can feel like more than we can handle at times, and we may be tempted to drop the rope in hopelessness. As we run together, let’s offer one another the encouragement to run strong!

Jesus, thank You for the hope You offer. Thank You for never discouraging us. Help us imitate You by encouraging each other today.

Encouragement is water to the soul.

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 9, 2018 Our Daily Bread –What We Can Do

Topic:What We Can Do
November 9, 2018
What We Can Do
Read: Philippians 2:1–11
Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 46–47; Hebrews 6

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus. Philippians 2:5

Our Daily Bread

Even though confined to his bed, 92-year-old Morrie Boogaart knit hats for the homeless in Michigan. He had reportedly made more than 8,000 hats in fifteen years. Instead of focusing on his health or limitations, Mr. Boogaart looked beyond himself and did what he could to place the needs of others above his own. He declared that his work made him feel good and gave him a purpose. He said, “I’m going to do this until I go home to the Lord”—which happened in February 2018. Though most recipients of his hats won’t know his story or how much he sacrificed to create each cap, Morrie’s simple act of persevering love is now inspiring people across the world.

We too can look past our struggles, place others before ourselves, and imitate our loving and compassionate Savior, Jesus Christ (Philippians 2:1–5). God in the flesh—the King of Kings—took on the “very nature of a servant” in genuine humility (vv. 6–7). Giving His life—the ultimate sacrifice—He took our place on the cross (v. 8). Jesus gave everything for us . . . all for the glory of God the Father (vv. 9–11).

As believers in Jesus, it’s our privilege to show love and demonstrate concern for others through acts of kindness. Even if we don’t think we have much to offer, we can adopt the attitude of servanthood. We can actively seek opportunities to make a difference in people’s lives by simply doing what we can.

How do you enjoy serving others? Share at Facebook.com/ourdailybread.

We can model Christ’s love by doing what we can to serve others.