Tag Archives: Our daily bread for today

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.

September 29, 2019 Our Daily Bread – Who Am I?

Topic:Who Am I?
Bible in a Year:
Isaiah 7–8
Ephesians 2

“I am who I am.”
Exodus 3:14

Our Daily Bread

Dave enjoyed his job, but for a long time he’d sensed a pull toward something else. Now he was about to fulfill his dream and step into mission work. But strangely, he began to have serious doubts.

“I don’t deserve this,” he told a friend. “The mission board doesn’t know the real me. I’m not good enough.”

Dave has some pretty good company. Mention the name of Moses and we think of leadership, strength, and the Ten Commandments. We tend to forget that Moses fled to the desert after murdering a man. We lose sight of his forty years as a fugitive. We overlook his anger problem and his intense reluctance to say yes to God.

When God showed up with marching orders (Exodus 3:1–10), Moses played the I’m-not-good-enough card. He even got into a lengthy argument with God, asking Him: “Who am I?” (v. 11). Then God told Moses who He was: “I am who I am” (v. 14). It’s impossible for us to explain that mysterious name because our indescribable God is describing His eternal presence to Moses.

A sense of our own weaknesses is healthy. But if we use them as an excuse to keep God from using us, we insult Him. What we’re really saying is that God isn’t good enough.

The question isn’t Who am I? The question is Who is the I am?

August 12, 2019 Our Daily Bread – Celebrating God’s Creativity

Topic:Celebrating God’s Creativity
Bible in a Year :
Psalms 84–86; Romans 12

We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.
Romans 12:6

Our Daily Bread

As music filled the church auditorium, color-blind artist Lance Brown stepped onstage. He stood in front of a large white canvas, with his back to the congregation and dipped his brush into black paint. With smooth swipes, he completed a cross. Stroke after stroke with brushes and his hands, this visual storyteller created images of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection. He covered the large patches of the canvas with black paint and added blue and white to finish a now abstract painting in less than six minutes. He picked up the canvas, turned it upside down, and revealed a hidden image—a compassion-filled face—Jesus.

Brown said he’d been reluctant when a friend suggested he speed-paint during a church service. Yet he now travels internationally to lead people into worship as he paints and shares Christ with others.

The apostle Paul affirms the value and purpose of the diverse gifts God has dispersed to His people. Every member of His family is equipped to glorify the Lord and build others up in love (Romans 12:3–5). Paul encourages us to identify and use our gifts to edify others and point to Jesus, serving diligently and cheerfully (vv. 6–8).

God has given each of us spiritual gifts, talents, skills, and experiences to serve wholeheartedly behind the scenes or in the forefront. As we celebrate His creativity, He uses our uniqueness to spread the gospel and build up other believers in love.

August 7, 2019 Our Daily Bread – Back in the Battle

Topic:Back in the Battle
Bible in a Year :
Psalms 72–73; Romans 9:1–15

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9

Our Daily Bread

As a child, she had hurled vicious words at her parents. Little did she know that those words would be her last interaction with them. Now, even after years of counseling, she can’t forgive herself. Guilt and regret paralyze her.

We all live with regrets—some of them quite terrible. But the Bible shows us a way through the guilt. Let’s look at one example.

There’s no sugarcoating what King David did. It was the time “when kings go off to war,” but “David remained in Jerusalem” (2 Samuel 11:1). Away from the battle, he stole another man’s wife and tried to cover it up with murder (vv. 2–5, 14–15). God stopped David’s downward plunge (12:1–13), but the king would live the rest of his life with the knowledge of his sins.

While David was rising from the ashes, his general, Joab, was winning the battle David should have been leading (12:26). Joab challenged David, “Now muster the rest of the troops and besiege the city and capture it” (v. 28). David finally got back to his God-appointed place as the leader of his nation and his army (v. 29).

When we permit our past to crush us, in effect we’re telling God His grace isn’t enough. Regardless of what we’ve done, our Father extends His complete forgiveness to us. We can find, as David did, grace enough to get back in the battle.

February 25, 2019 Our Daily Bread- The Spirit of Fika

Topic:The Spirit of Fika
Bible in a Year:
Numbers 12–14; Mark 5:21–43

When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them.
Luke 24:30

Our Daily Bread

The coffeehouse in the town near my house is named Fika. It’s a Swedish word meaning to take a break with coffee and a pastry, always with family, co-workers, or friends. I’m not Swedish, yet the spirit of fika describes one thing I love most about Jesus—His practice of taking a break to eat and relax with others.

Scholars say Jesus’s meals weren’t random. Theologian Mark Glanville calls them “the delightful ‘second course’” of Israel’s feasts and celebrations in the Old Testament. At the table, Jesus lived what God had intended Israel to be: “a center of joy, celebration and justice for the whole world.”

From the feeding of 5,000, to the Last Supper—even to the meal with two believers after His resurrection (Luke 24:30)—the table ministry of Jesus invites us to stop our constant striving and abide in Him. Indeed, not until eating with Jesus did the two believers recognize Him as the risen Lord. “He took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened” (vv. 30–31) to the living Christ.

Sitting with a friend recently at Fika, enjoying hot chocolate and rolls, we found ourselves also talking of Jesus. He is the Bread of Life. May we linger at His table and find more of Him.

January 9, 2019 Our Daily Bread- What Kind of Savior Is He?

Topic:What Kind of Savior Is He?
January 9, 2019
What Kind of Savior Is He?
Read: John 6:47–51, 60–66
Bible in a Year: Genesis 23–24; Matthew 7

From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. John 6:66

Our Daily Bread

Last year, friends and I prayed for healing for three women battling cancer. We knew God had the power to do this, and we asked Him to do so every day. We’d seen Him work in the past and believed He could do it again. There were days in each one’s battle where healing looked like it was a reality, and we rejoiced. But they all died that fall. Some said that was “the ultimate healing,” and in a way it was. Still the loss hurt us deeply. We wanted Him to heal them all—here and now—but for reasons we couldn’t understand, no miracle came.

Some people followed Jesus for the miracles He performed and to get their needs met (John 6:2, 26). Some simply saw Him as the carpenter’s son (Matthew 13:55–58), and others expected Him to be their political leader (Luke 19:37–38). Some thought of Him as a great teacher (Matthew 7:28–29), while others quit following Him because His teaching was hard to understand (John 6:66).

Jesus still doesn’t always meet our expectations of Him. Yet He is so much more than we can imagine. He’s the provider of eternal life (vv. 47–48). He is good and wise; and He loves, forgives, stays close, and brings us comfort. May we find rest in Jesus as He is and keep following Him.

Thank You, Jesus, that You are the kind of Savior we need. Wrap us in Your love and bring us confident rest in You.

I trust in you, Lord; I say, “You are my God.” Psalm 31:14

January 8, 2019 Our Daily Bread- An Alternative to Worry

Topic:An Alternative to Worry
January 8, 2019
An Alternative to Worry
Read: Matthew 6:25–34
Bible in a Year: Genesis 20–22; Matthew 6:19–34

Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? Matthew 6:27

Our Daily Bread

A law-abiding, honest man received a voicemail that said, “This is officer _______ from the police department. Please call me at this number.” Immediately the man began to worry—afraid that somehow he had done something wrong. He was afraid to return the call, and he even spent sleepless nights running through possible scenarios—worried that he was in some kind of trouble. The officer never called back, but it took weeks for the worry to go away.

Jesus asked an interesting question about worry: “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” (Matthew 6:27). Perhaps this can help us rethink our tendency to worry, because it suggests that it doesn’t help the situation we’re concerned about.

When problems are on the horizon for us, maybe we can try the following two-step approach: Take action and trust in God. If we can do something to avoid the problem, let’s try that route. We can pray for God to guide us to an action we should take. But if there’s nothing we can do, we can take comfort in knowing that God never finds Himself in such a predicament. He can always act on our behalf. We can always turn our situation over to Him in trust and confidence.

When it feels like time to worry, may we turn to the inspired words of King David, who faced his own share of difficulties and worries, but concluded: “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you” (Psalm 55:22). What a great alternative to worry!

What worries do you need to give to God today?

Father, You know what faces me today. I am turning my cares over to You. Please strengthen me and help me to trust You with the struggles I face.

January 7, 2019 Our Daily Bread- An Ordinary Man

Topic:An Ordinary Man
January 7, 2019
An Ordinary Man
Read: 1 Samuel 16:1–7
Bible in a Year: Genesis 18–19; Matthew 6:1–18

People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7

Our Daily Bread

William Carey was a sickly boy, born to a humble family near Northampton, England. His future didn’t look too bright. But God had plans for him. Against all odds, he moved to India, where he brought incredible social reforms and translated the Bible into several Indian languages. He loved God and people, and accomplished many things for God.

David, son of Jesse, was an ordinary young man, the youngest in his family. He was seemingly an insignificant shepherd on the hills of Bethlehem (1 Samuel 16:11–12). Yet God saw David’s heart and had a plan for him. King Saul had been rejected by God for disobedience. While the prophet Samuel mourned Saul’s choices, God called Samuel to anoint a different king, one of Jesse’s sons.

When Samuel saw the handsome, tall Eliab, he naturally thought, “surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord” (v. 6). However, God’s strategy to select a king was much different than Samuel’s. In fact, God said no to each of Jesse’s sons, except the youngest one. Selecting David as king was definitely not a strategic move from God’s part, or so it seemed at first glance. What would a young shepherd have to offer his community, let alone his country?

How comforting to know that the Lord knows our hearts and has His plans for us.

Dear Lord, thank You that You care more about my heart’s attitude toward You than my outward beauty, possessions, or achievements.

God’s priority is your heart.

January 6, 2019 Our Daily Bread- The Greater Glory

Topic:The Greater Glory
January 6, 2019
The Greater Glory
Read: John 17:1–5, 20–24
Bible in a Year: Genesis 16–17; Matthew 5:27–48

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. Luke 2:1

Our Daily Bread

Caesar Augustus is remembered as the first and greatest of the Roman emperors. By political skill and military power he eliminated his enemies, expanded the empire, and lifted Rome from the clutter of rundown neighborhoods into a city of marble statues and temples. Adoring Roman citizens referred to Augustus as the divine father and savior of the human race. As his forty-year reign came to an end, his official last words were, “I found Rome a city of clay but left it a city of marble.” According to his wife, however, his last words were actually, “Have I played the part well? Then applaud as I exit.”

What Augustus didn’t know is that he’d been given a supporting role in a bigger story. In the shadow of his reign, the son of a carpenter was born to reveal something far greater than any Roman military victory, temple, stadium, or palace (Luke 2:1).

But who could have understood the glory Jesus prayed for on the night His countrymen demanded His crucifixion by Roman executioners? (John 17:4–5). Who could have foreseen the hidden wonder of a sacrifice that would be forever applauded in heaven and earth?

It’s quite a story. Our God found us chasing foolish dreams and fighting among ourselves. He left us singing together about an old rugged cross.

Father in heaven, please help us to see through and beyond the passing glory of everything but Your love.

The glory we need is the glory of the cross.

January 5, 2019 Our Daily Bread- Transformed & Transforming

Topic:Transformed & Transforming
January 5, 2019
Transformed & Transforming
Read: 2 Chronicles 33:9–17
Bible in a Year: Genesis 13–15; Matthew 5:1–26

Then he restored the altar of the Lord. . . and told Judah to serve the Lord, the God of Israel. 2 Chronicles 33:16

Our Daily Bread

Tani and Modupe grew up in Nigeria and went to the UK to study in the 1970s. Having been personally transformed by God’s grace, they never imagined that they would be used to transform one of the most deprived and segregated communities in England—Anfield in Liverpool. As Drs. Tani and Modupe Omideyi faithfully sought God and served their community, God restored hope to many. They lead a vibrant church and continue to run numerous community projects that have led to the transformation of countless lives.

Manasseh changed his community, first for evil and then for good. Crowned king of Judah at the age of twelve, he led his people astray and they did great evil for many years (2 Chronicles 33:1–9). They paid no attention to God’s warnings and so He allowed Manasseh to be taken prisoner to Babylon (vv. 10–11).

In his distress, the king humbly cried out to God who heard his plea and restored him to his kingdom (vv. 12–13). The now-reformed king rebuilt the city walls and got rid of the foreign gods (vv. 14–15). “He restored the altar of the Lord and . . . told Judah to serve the Lord, the God of Israel” (v. 16). As the people observed the radical transformation of Manasseh, so too were they transformed (v. 17).

As we seek God, may He transform us and so impact our communities through us.

Heavenly Father, transform our lives that we may be used by You to bring transformation to others.

Your transformation by God brings transformation to others.