Tag Archives: Our Daily bread

January 1, 2019 Our Daily Bread- Prompted to Pray

Topic:Prompted to Pray
Bible in a Year:
Genesis 1–3
Matthew 1

I constantly remember you in my prayers.
2 Timothy 1:3

Our Daily Bread

“Several years ago I was prompted to pray for you often, and I wonder why.”

That text message from an old friend came with a photo of a note she’d kept in her Bible: “Pray for James. Cover mind, thoughts, words.” Beside my name she’d recorded three separate years.

I looked at the years and caught my breath. I wrote back and asked what month she began to pray. She responded, “Sometime around July.”

That was the month I was preparing to leave home for extended study abroad. I would be facing an unfamiliar culture and language and have my faith challenged like never before. As I looked at the note, I realized I’d received the precious gift of generous prayer.

My friend’s kindness reminded me of another “prompting” to pray, Paul’s instruction to his young missionary friend Timothy: “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people” (1 Timothy 2:1). The phrase “first of all” indicates highest priority. Our prayers matter, Paul explains, because God “wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” about Jesus (v. 4).

God moves through faithful prayer in countless ways to encourage others and draw them near to Himself. We may not know someone’s circumstances when they come to mind, but God does. And He’ll help that person as we pray!

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 28, 2019 Our Daily Bread- Never Forgotten

Topic:Never Forgotten
Bible in a Year:
Zechariah 5–8
Revelation 19

I will not forget you!
Isaiah 49:15

Our Daily Bread

Egged on by my children to prove I’d endured years mastering the basics of piano, I sat down and started playing the C Major scale. Having played very little piano in nearly two decades, I was surprised I remembered! Feeling brave, I proceeded to play seven different scales by heart one right after the other. I was shocked! Years of practicing had imprinted the notes and technique so deeply in my fingers’ “memory” that they instantly knew what to do.

There are some things that can never be forgotten. But God’s love for His children is far more deeply imprinted than any of our fading memories—in fact, God can’t forget them. This is what the Israelites needed to hear when the exile left them feeling abandoned by Him (Isaiah 49:14). His response through Isaiah was unequivocal: “I will not forget you!” (v. 15). God’s promise to care for His people was more certain than a mother’s love for her child.

To assure them of His unchanging love, He gave them a picture of His commitment: “See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands” (v. 16). It’s a beautiful image of God’s constant awareness of His children; their names and faces always before Him.

Still today, we can easily feel overlooked and forgotten. How comforting to remember that we’re “etched” on God’s hands—always remembered, cared for, and loved by our Father.

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.

October 5, 2019 Our Daily Bread – Trust Your Armor

Topic:Trust Your Armor
Bible in a Year:
Isaiah 23–25
Philippians 1

Go, and the Lord be with you.
1 Samuel 17:37

Our Daily Bread

As a young writer I was often unsure of myself when I was in writing workshops. I would look around and see rooms filled with giants, if you will—people with formal training or years of experience. I had neither. But what I did have was an ear formed by the language and tone and cadences of the King James Version of the Bible. It was very much my armor, so to speak, what I was used to, and allowing it to inform my writing style and voice has become a joy to me, and I hope to others.

We don’t get the impression that David the young shepherd was unsure of himself when it came to wearing Saul’s armor to fight Goliath (1 Samuel 17:38–39). He simply couldn’t move around in it. David realized one man’s armor can be another man’s prison—“I cannot go in these” (v. 39). So he trusted what he knew. God had prepared him for that moment with just what was needed (vv. 34–35). The sling and stones were what David was used to, his armor, and God used them to bring joy to the ranks of Israel that day.

Have you ever felt unsure of yourself, thinking If I just had what someone else has, then my life would be different? Consider the gifts or experiences God has given specifically to you. Trust your God-given armor.

September 4, 2019 Our Daily Bread – Guiding Light

Topic:Guiding Light
Bible in a Year :
Psalms 143–145; 1 Corinthians 14:21–40

God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
Genesis 1:3

Our Daily Bread

The restaurant was lovely but dark. Only one small candle flickered on every table. To create light, diners used their smartphones to read their menus, look to their tablemates, and even to see what they were eating.

Finally, a patron quietly pushed back his chair, walked over to a waiter, and asked a simple question. “Could you turn on the lights?” Before long, a warm ceiling light flashed on and the room erupted with applause. But also with laughter. And happy chatter. And thank-yous. My friend’s husband turned off his phone, picked up his utensils, and spoke for us all. “Let there be light! Now, let’s eat!”

Our gloomy evening turned festive with the flick of a switch. But how much more important to know the real source of true light. God Himself spoke those astonishing words, “Let there be light,” on the first day when He created the universe, “and there was light” (Genesis 1:3). Then “God saw that the light was good” (v. 4).

Light expresses God’s great love for us. His light points us to Jesus, “the light of the world” (John 8:12), who guides us from the gloom of sin. Walking in His light, we find the bright path to a life that glorifies the Son. He is the world’s brightest gift. As He shines, may we walk His way.

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.