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Our Daily Bread #1

Lessons from life and God's Word

SELCETIONS FROM "OUR DAILY BREAD" - a devotional that has been
around for decades, from RBC Ministries. You would do well to
subcribe to this little daily devotional. RBC Website is:

www.rbc.org



WHAT SHALL I WEAR TODAY?

Read: Colossians 3:12-17

Put on tender mercies, kindness, humiltiy, meekness,
longsuffering. Colossians 3:12

     The alarm goes off. It's morning already. You lie in bed,
thinking. You ask yourself the same question you ask every
morning, "What shall I  wear today?"
     You brush away the mental cobwebs and think through the day.
There's nothing really important, just the usual routine. You
listen to the clock radio for the weather report.
     Then you decide: the comfortable blue outfit with red
accents.

     What we wear is important. We all want to dress
appropriately and look our best. Besides, when we feel that
we look good, we go through the day with more energy and
confidence. 
     The Lord Jesus cares about what we wear, but He is more
concerned about what we "put on" spiritually. Colossians 3 lists
some of the virtues with which we should clothe ourselves every
morning: compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and
patience. When we are wearing these, we will deal properly with
situations that arise, our friendships will be strengthened, and
we will have the good feeling that comes with knowing we are
pleasing the Lord.
     How have the days been for you? Pleasant? Or are there
troubles? Bad feelings? Anger and hurt? Maybe you need to put on
some new clothes (Colossians 3:12). - Dave Egner

O Lord, You see what's in my heart. There's nothing hid from You;
So help me live the kind of life, That's loving, kind, and true.
- D. De Haan

CHRISTLIKENESS IS NEVER OUT OF STYLE.



ROCK BOTTOM

Read: Psalm 119:65-72

It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may lear
Your statures. Psalm 119:71


     I was in my early thirties, a dedicated wife and mother, a
Christian worker at my husband's side. Yet inwardly I found
myself on a trip nobody wants to take, the trip downward. I was
heading for that certain sort of breakdown that most of us
resist, the breakdown of my stubborn self-sufficiency.
     Finally I experienced the odd relief of hitting rock bottom,
where I made an unexpected discovery: The rock on which I had
been thrown was none other than Christ Himself. Cast on
Him alone, I was in a position to rebuild the rest of my life,
this time as a God-dependent person rather than the
self-dependent person I had been. My rock-bottom experience
became a turning point and one of the most vital spiritual
developments of my life.

     Most people feel anything but spiritual when they hit
bottom. Their misery is often reinforced by Christians who take a
very shortsighted view of what the sufferer is going through and
why. But our heavenly Father is well-pleased with what He intends
to bring out of such a painful process. A person who knows the
secret of the God-dependent life can say, "It is good for me that
I have been afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes" (Psalm
119:71). - Joanie Yoder

Lift up your eyes, discouraged one, The Lord your help will be;
New strength will come from Him who said, "For rest, come unto
Me." - Anon.

WHEN A CHRISTIAN HITS ROCK BOTTOM, HE FINDS THAT CHRIST IS A FIRM
FOUNDATION.



LOVE NEEDS EXPRESSION

Read: Matthew 22:34-40

Love your neighbor as yourself. Lev. 19:18


     Somehow the command to love doesn't get through to us. We
may confess that we lack a strong faith, but seldom do we admit
that we are deficient in love. Perhaps we feel we're as loving as
the next person, and maybe a little bit more.
     After all, we're sensitive to the hurts of other people. We
don't enjoy reading newspaper articles about battered wives and
abused children. We shift uneasily in from of our television sets
when we see little children sobbing with hunger or sitting in
silent despair beyond crying.
     But deep inside we know that genuine caring reaches beyond
feelings to action. Caring, like steam or electricity, isn't
worth much unless something happens as a result of it. Love
without deeds doesn't really exist, just as talent not
demonstrated in creative ways doesn't exist. Both must be
expressed or they are a myth.

     If you want to be a loving person, don't start by taking on
the needs of the world. Because we can't do everything, we often
don't do anything. Start with caring about one person and build
from there. You can't do everything, but you can do something.
     What you can do, you should do. Today, determine that in the
power and grace of God you will do it. Haddon Robin.

Let us he Christ's true disciples, Looking to another's need,
Making stony pathways smoother by a gentle word or deed. -
Thorson

IN A WORLD THAT "COULDN'T CARE LESS;, WE ARE TO BE PEOPLE WHO
COULDN'T CARE MORE.



AN AFFIRMING WORD

Read: 1 Corinthians 1:1-9

I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which
was given to you by Christ Jesus. 1 Corinthians 1:4


     I remember my amazement a few years ago as I watched what
happened on a corner lot I passed frequently; First, a gas
station was built, which took about a month, from excavation to
inside finishing. Then a developer bought the property to
construct apartments. That gas station was gone in one day! On
Tuesday morning it was there; on Wednesday nothing was left. What
had taken a month of steady work to erect was torn down in a day.
     What's true of construction is even more true with young
believers. It takes time and patient effort to build them up, but
a harsh word of criticism can tear them down in seconds. 

     I'll never forget the look on the face of a teenager we had
been discipling from a non-Christian home. When an adult leader
she respected heard about something unwise she had done, he
yelled at her, "What did you do a stupid thing like that for? You
ought to know better!" It took as a long time and a lot of
affirmation to build her up again.

     The Christians in Corinth weren't perfect either. But when
Paul wrote to them, he began by commending them for their eager
expectation of Christ's return. 
     Let's be Christians who build people up, not tear them down,
because we have learned the power of an affirming word. - Dave 
Egner

We're building up or tearing down in everything we do; Are you on
the construction gang or on the wrecking clew? - Anon.

CORRECTION DOES MUCH; ENCOURAGEMENT DOES MORE.



GOOD CONDUCT MOTIVATORS

Read: 1 John 2:28-3:3

Abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence ...
before Him at His coming. 1 John 2:28


     Prohibitions against bad behavior rarely motivate us to do
good. Some actually stir up a desire to disobey. Tell Johnny to
stay away from the cookie jar and you'll soon hear its lid
rattling. The strongest motivators  of good conduct are those in
which we have a personal investment.
     A school janitor posted a sign in the front schoolyard that
read: KEEP OFF THE GRASS. But the children still trampled down
the turf.
     Then a fourth-grade class had an idea. They decided that
each child would be given a crocus bulb to plant along the edge
of the sidewalk in the fall. As winter drew to a close, the
children eagerly watched for the fist signs of spring. What a
power those hidden bulbs had to keep dozens of little feet on the
right path.

     We too need a positive motivator to keep our feet on the
right path. If our goal is to be able to stand before Christ with
confidence and without shame when He comes again, we will want to
obey Him (1 John 2:28). As we anticipate that day, and as we
become more Christlike right now, we will grow in our confidence.
Lord, help us to obey You so that we will be confident and
unashamed ... - Dennis De Haan 

I'll live so that I will he ready, with gladness my Savior to
meet, And feel no alarm at His coming, But hasten His heralds to
greet.

EVERY CHILD OF GOD SHOULD HAVE A GROWING LIKENESS TO THE SON OF
GOD.



THE MASTER'S APPROVAL

Read: Mattehw 25:14-30

Well done, good and faithful servant. Matthew 25:21


     Rudolph was a young musician in Vienna with a burning desire
to write a symphony. Finally the time came when he was able to do
so. After writing and rewriting it many times, He showed the
score to some friends and asked for their opinion. Without
exception they agreed it was an excellent work. But Rudolph
continued to labor over it, polishing and perfecting - what he
hoped would be a masterpiece. At last, he was ready to present it
to the public.

     The orchestra performed his symphony beautifully. After the
last movement ended, there was a brief pause. Then the audience
broke out in thunderous applause. Rudolph, however, seemed
unmoved until an old white-haired man approached him. Placing his
hands on the young man's shoulders, he exclaimed, "Well. done,.
Rudolph! Well done!" Only then did the young musician smile with
satisfaction. He had received approval from the one he wanted
most to please - his respected mentor.

     That's how we should view our work - as service for our
Master. Recognition from people is encouraging. But we should
long to hear above anything else our Lord's "Well done, good and
faithful servant." It's the Master's approval that really counts!
- Richard De Haan

When you've given your best for the Master, the best your life
can afford, He will say, "Well done," to His servant, "Now enter
the joy of the Lord." - McCauley

WHEN YOU DO WHAT PLEASES GOD, GOD IS PLEASED WITH YOU.



TURNING PAIN INTO PRAISE

Read: 2 Corinthians 1:7-11

God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what
you are able. 1 Corinthians 10:13


     After years of a remarkable and fruitful ministry in India,
Amy Carmichael became a bedridden sufferer. As the courageous
founder and dynamic heart of the Dohnavour Fellowship, she had
been instrumental in rescuing hundreds of girls and boys from a
terrible life of abusive servitude. All the while she carried on
that rescue operation of bringing young people into spiritual
freedom through faith in Jesus Christ, she was writing books, and
especially poems, which continue to bless readers around the
world.
     Then arthritis made Amy a painwracked invalid. Did she
bemoan her affliction or question God? No. Amy was still the
guiding inspiration of Dohnavour and she still kept on writing.
     Her meditations, letters, and poems are full of praise to
God and encouragement to her fellow pilgrims.
     When affliction strikes us, how do we react? Are we
embittered, or do we trustfully appropriate God's sustaining
grace? (1 Corinthians 10:13). And do we prayerfully encourage
those around us by our Spirit-enabled cheerfulness, our courage,
and our confidence in God?
As we rely on the Lord, He can help us to turn pain into praise.
- Vernon Grounds

Can God trust you with sorrow, with anguish, and with pain, or
would your faith soon falter and faint beneath the strain? -
Nicholson

WHEN YOU'RE UP TO YOUR NECK IN HOT WATER, BE LIKE A TEAPOT AND
START TO SING.

                             ................

Entered on this Website January 2007


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