Tag Archives: Our Daily Bread Today

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 13, 2018 Our Daily Bread –Dumb Sheep, Good Shepherd

Topic:Dumb Sheep, Good Shepherd
November 13, 2018
Dumb Sheep, Good Shepherd
Read: Ezekiel 34:7–16
Bible in a Year: Lamentations 1–2; Hebrews 10:1–18

As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. Ezekiel 34:12

Our Daily Bread

My friend Chad spent a year as a shepherd in Wyoming. “Sheep are so dumb that they’ll only eat what is right in front of them,” he told me. “Even if they’ve eaten all the grass in front of them, they won’t turn to look for a fresh patch—they’ll just start eating dirt!”

We laughed, and I couldn’t help but think about how often the Bible compares humans to sheep. No wonder we need a shepherd! But since sheep are so dumb, not just any shepherd will do. Sheep need a shepherd who cares about them. When the prophet Ezekiel wrote to God’s people in exile, captives in Babylon, he compared them to sheep led by bad shepherds. Instead of caring for the flock, Israel’s leaders had exploited them, profiting from them (v. 3) and then leaving them for the wild animals to devour (v. 5).

But they were not without hope. God, the Good Shepherd, promised to rescue them from the leaders who exploited them. He promised to bring them home, put them in lush pastures, and give them rest. He would heal the injured and go after the lost (vv. 11–16). He would banish wild animals, so that His flock would be safe (v. 28).

Members of God’s flock are in need of tender care and direction. How blessed we are to have a Shepherd who is always leading us to green pastures! (v.14).

Am I listening for the voice of my Shepherd?

November 12, 2018 Our Daily Bread –Who’s Driving?

Topic:Who’s Driving?
November 12, 2018
Who’s Driving?
Read: Romans 6:1–14
Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 51–52; Hebrews 9

Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Galatians 5:25

Our Daily Bread

My neighbor Tim has a figurine on his dashboard of a “wild thing” based on Maurice Sendak’s beloved children’s book Where the Wild Things Are.

Not long ago Tim was following me through traffic and made some abrupt moves to keep up. When we arrived, I asked, “Was that the ‘wild thing’ driving?”

The following Sunday I forgot my sermon notes at home. I “flew” out of the church to retrieve them, passing Tim along the way. When we met later, he joked, “Was that the wild thing driving?” We laughed, but his point hit home—I should have paid attention to the speed limit.

When the Bible describes what it means to live in a relationship with God, it encourages us to “offer every part of [ourselves]” to Him (Romans 6:13). I took Tim’s response to me that day as a gentle reminder from God to yield my “lead foot,” because I am to give all of myself to Him out of love.

The question of “who’s driving?” applies to all of life. Do we let the “wild things” of our old sin nature drive us—like worry, fear, or self-will—or do we yield to God’s loving Spirit and the grace that helps us grow?

Giving in to God is good for us. Scripture says that God’s wisdom takes us down “pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace” (Proverbs 3:17). Better to follow where He leads.

Loving Lord, thank You for the grace You give us to obey You, and the peace You give us as we stay near.

What God requires He also inspires.

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.

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 6, 2018 Our Daily Bread –Dad at the Dentist

Topic:Dad at the Dentist
November 6, 2018
Read: Matthew 26:36–39
Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 37–39; Hebrews 3

My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will. Matthew 26:39

Our Daily Bread

I didn’t expect a profound lesson about the Father’s heart at the dentist’s office—but I got one. I was there with my ten-year-old son. He had an adult tooth coming in under a baby tooth that hadn’t fallen out yet. It had to come out. There was no other way.

My son, in tears, pleaded with me: “Dad, isn’t there another way? Can’t we just wait and see? Please, Dad, I don’t want to have this tooth pulled!” It just about broke my heart, but I told him, “Son, it’s got to come out. I’m sorry. There’s no other way.” And I held his hand as he wriggled and writhed while the dentist removed that stubborn molar, tears in my eyes too. I couldn’t take his pain away; the best I could offer was to be present with him in it.

In that moment, I remembered Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane, asking His Father for a different way. How it must have broken the Father’s heart to see His beloved Son in such agony! Yet there was no other way to save His people.

In our lives, we sometimes face unavoidable yet painful moments—just like my son did. But because of Jesus’s work for us through His Spirit, even in our darkest moments our loving heavenly Father is always present with us (Matthew 28:20).

Father, thank You for loving us so much that You sent Your beloved Son to save us, even though it must have broken Your heart to do so. In our times of joy or pain, thank You for Your Spirit holding and carrying us.

Our loving heavenly Father promises He is always present with us, even in our darkest moments.

November 5, 2018 Our Daily Bread –Wisdom’s Source

Topic:Wisdom’s Source
November 5, 2018
Read: 1 Kings 3:16–28
Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 34–36; Hebrews 2

Give your servant a discerning heart. 1 Kings 3:9

Our Daily Bread

A man filed a lawsuit against a woman, claiming she had his dog. In court, the woman said her dog couldn’t be his and told the judge where she had purchased it. The real owner’s identity was revealed when the judge released the animal in the courtroom. Tail wagging, it immediately ran to the man!

Solomon, a judge in ancient Israel needed to settle a somewhat similar issue. Two women each claimed to be the mother of the same baby boy. After considering both arguments, he requested a sword to divide the infant in half. The real mother begged Solomon to give the baby to the other woman, choosing to save her son’s life even if she could not have him (1 Kings 3:26). Solomon gave the baby to her.

Wisdom is necessary as we decide what’s fair and moral, right and wrong. If we truly value wisdom, we can ask God for a discerning heart, like Solomon did (v. 9). God may answer our request by helping us balance our needs and desires with the interests of others. He may also help us weigh short-term benefits against long-term (sometimes eternal) gains so we can honor Him in how we live.

Our God is not only a perfectly wise judge, but He is also a personal counselor who is willing to give us godly wisdom in great amounts (James 1:5).

I worship You, God, as the true source of wisdom. Please show me how to make choices that bring honor to Your name.

Need wisdom? Seek it from the Source who alone can provide it—God.

Our Daily Bread March 20, 2018 A Good Season

Our Daily Bread March 20, 2018 A Good Season

TOPIC- A Good Season Written by Our Daily Bread – Daily Devotions from the Word God

Read: Ecclesiastes 3:1–11

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens. Ecclesiastes 3:1

Today is the first day of spring in the northern half of the world. If you live in Australia, it’s the first day of autumn—the vernal equinox in the northern hemisphere and the autumnal equinox in the southern hemisphere. Today, the sun shines directly on the equator, and the hours of daylight and nighttime are nearly equal around the world.

Our Daily Bread March 20, 2018

New seasons are important for many people. Some count down the day because of what they hope the new season will bring. Perhaps you’ve been marking off a calendar for spring in Wisconsin to signal the end of another winter. Or maybe you live in Melbourne, and you can’t wait for autumn to bring relief from the Australian sun.

Give thanks to God for His greatness, His help, and His companionship.
We also go through seasons of life that don’t have to do with the weather. The author of Ecclesiastes told us there is a season for every activity under the sun—a time appointed by God during which we live our lives (3:1–11).

Moses spoke of a new season in his life after he led the people of Israel through the wilderness (Deuteronomy 31:2), and he had to give up his leadership role to Joshua. And Paul faced a lonely season while he was under house arrest in Rome—asking for visitors but realizing that God was “at my side” (2 Timothy 4:17).

Regardless of the season of life, let’s give thanks to God for His greatness, His help, and His companionship.

Thank You, Father, for the promise of Your care during this season of my life. You have allowed this circumstance for a good reason. Help me to use this time appointed by You in a way that deepens my trust in You.

Every season brings a reason to rejoice.

By Dave Branon | See Other Authors
INSIGHT

Many believe King Solomon wrote the book of Ecclesiastes because the author refers to himself as the “son of David, king in Jerusalem” (1:1) and “king over Israel in Jerusalem” (v. 12) who had more wisdom and possessions “than anyone who has ruled over Jerusalem before [him]” (v. 16; 2:7). The book’s purpose seems clear: “It defends the life of faith in a generous God by pointing to the grimness of the alternative” (Michael Easton, Ecclesiastes). Ecclesiastes underscores the necessity and desirability of following God in a fallen and frustrating world today (12:1)—no matter our season in life. “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments” (v. 13).

What has helped you to understand the wisdom of following God in various seasons of your life?

| Bible in a Year: Joshua 4–6; Luke 1:1–20

Our Daily Bread Whispering Words March 17, 2018

Our Daily Bread Whispering Words March 17, 2018

TOPIC- Whispering Words By Our Daily Bread (ODB)

Read: Ephesians 4:22–32

[Build] others up according to their needs. Ephesians 4:29

The young man fidgeted as he sat down for his flight. His eyes darted back and forth to the aircraft windows. Then he closed his eyes and breathed deeply, trying to calm himself—but it didn’t work. As the plane took off, he slowly rocked back and forth. An older woman across the aisle from him put her hand on his arm and gently engaged him in conversation to divert his attention from his stress. “What’s your name?” “Where are you from?” “We’re going to be okay,” and “You’re doing well” were a few things she whispered. She could have been irritated with him or ignored him. But she chose a touch and a few words. Little things. When they landed three hours later, he said, “Thank you so much for helping me.”

Our Daily Bread Whispering Words March 17, 2018

Such beautiful pictures of tenderheartedness can be hard to find. Kindness does not come naturally to many of us; our primary concern is often ourselves. But when the apostle Paul urged, “Be kind and compassionate to one another” (Ephesians 4:32), he was not saying it all depends on us. After we’ve been given a new life by our faith in Jesus, the Spirit begins a transformation. Kindness is the ongoing work of the Spirit renewing our thoughts and attitudes (v. 23).

Compassion is understanding the troubles of others and reaching out.
The God of compassion is at work in our hearts, allowing us in turn to touch others’ lives by reaching out and whispering words of encouragement.

Lord, use me today to bring someone hope, a lighter burden, encouragement.

Compassion is understanding the troubles of others and reaching out.

By Anne Cetas | See Other Authors INSIGHT

The power of our words is a theme throughout Scripture. The admonition in Ephesians 4:29 is to build each other up through our speech. The book of Proverbs encourages its readers to get a grip on wisdom, and part of wisdom living is the right use of our words. That’s why many Proverbs speak about “words,” “speech,” the “mouth,” and “lips.” Proverbs 10:11 describes the tremendous power of words to invigorate and enrich others: “The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life.”

How can you build someone up today with your words?

| Bible in a Year: Deuteronomy 30–31; Mark 15:1–25

Our Daily Bread Daily Devotions : Wonders in Focus March 16, 2018

Our Daily Bread Daily Devotions March 16 2018

TOPIC- Wonders in Focus March 16, 2018, ODB Devotional

Read: Job 38:1–18

For from him and through him and for him are all things. Romans 11:36

Some of us are inclined to look at the world and see only what’s wrong. DeWitt Jones is a National Geographic photographer who has used his profession to celebrate what’s right about the world. He waits and watches until a shaft of light or turn of perspective suddenly reveals a wonder that had been there all along. He uses his camera to find beauty in the most common faces of people and nature.

Our Daily Bread Daily Devotions March 16 2018

If anyone had reason to focus on the wrongs of the world, Job did. After losing all that had given him joy, even his friends became his accusers. Together their voices taunted him for not admitting that he was suffering for sins he was hiding. When Job cried out to the heavens for help, God remained silent.

All creation points to God.
Finally, from within the chaos of a whirlwind and the darkness of a storm, God asked Job to consider wonders of nature that reflect a wisdom and power far beyond our own (Job 38:2–4).

Would He now ask us? What about something as natural as the ways of a dog, cat, fluttering leaf, or blade of grass? Could a shaft of light, or a turn of perspective, reveal—even in our pain—the mind and heart of a Creator who has been with us and for us all along?

Father in heaven, we’ve spent too much time thinking only about what is wrong and broken with our world. Please help us to see evidence of Your presence in the wonder of what only You could have done.

In the faces of nature there are wonders that never cease.

By Mart DeHaan | See Other Authors
INSIGHT
Job had heard many “answers” to the problem of his pain, but he wanted to hear from the Lord. When he did, God asked Job a series of questions that revealed His infinite superiority. And His questions pointed to the wonders of creation.

All creation points to God. A key way He speaks to us is through that creation. How refreshing to commune with our Lord as we enjoy His handiwork!

| Bible in a Year: Deuteronomy 28–29; Mark 14:54–72

Our Daily Bread Daily Devotions March 16 2018