Keith Hunt - Our Daily Bread #14 - Page Fourteen   Restitution of All Things

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Our Daily Bread #14

Being like our heavenly Father

                             BOLD PERSISTENCE



Read: Matthew 15:21-28


Jesus answered and said to her, "O woman, great is your faith!
Let it be to you as you desire." - Matthew 15:28


     In 1953, a fledgling business called  Rocket Chemical
Company and its taff of three set out to create a line of
rust-prevention solvents and degreasrs for use in the aerospace
industry. It took them 40 attempts to perfect then formula. The
original secret formula for WD - which stands for Water
Displacement, 40th attempt - is still in use today. What a story
of persistence! The gospel of Matthew records another story of
bold persistence. A Canaanite woman had a daughter who was
possessed by a demon. She had no hope for her daughter - until
she heard that Jesus was in the region.
     This desperate woman came to Jesus with her need because she
believed He could help her. She cried out to Him even though
everything and everybody seemed. to be against her - race,
religious background, gender, the disciples, Satan, and seemingly
even Jesus (Matt.15:22-27). Despite all of these obstacles, she
did not give up. With bold persistence, she pushed her way
through the dark corridors of difficulty, desperate need, and
rejection. The result? Jesus commended her for her faith and
healed her daughter (v.28).

     We too are invited to approach Jesus with bold persistence.
As we keep asking, seeking, and knocking, we will find grace and
mercy in our time of need. - Marvin Williams 

Something happens when we pray, Take our place and therein stay,
Wrestle on till break of day; Ever let us pray. - Anon.

PERSISTENCE IN PRAYER PLEASES GOD.




                                FAKE FAMILY


Read: Matthew 15:1-9


These people draw near to Me with their mouth ... but their heart
is far from Me. - Matthew 15:8


     A builder in California has come up with an innovative idea
to sell his houses. He thinks that a good way to make a house
more appealing is to have a family there when showing the house.
So he hires actors to play happy families in his company's model
homes. Would-be buyers can ask them questions about the house.
Each fake family cooks, watches television, and plays games while
house-hunters wander through.
     That type of faking may not do any I harm, but think about
the sham of the religious leaders in Jesus' day (Matt.15:1-9).
They pretended to love God and piously made up a long list of
rules that they and others were to obey. But this was only to
make them selves look good. They even considered their rules just
as important as the Law that came directly from the Lord (vv.56).
Jesus called them "hypocrites" (v.7). He said their words sounded
as if they honored God, but their hearts told another story -
they were far from Him (v.8).
     That kind of pretending goes on in people today as well. We
look like good Christians on the outside because we go to church
faithfully, follow some rules legalistically, and use the right
words. We say we love Jesus, but our hearts may be far from Him.
God wants us to be real. - Anne Cetas

God sees our ways and knows our hearts, From Him we cannot hide;
External righteousness can't save, For He knows what's inside.   
- Sper

A FALSE FRONT BELIES A TRUE FAITH.




                               TALENT SEARCH


Read: Isaiah 6:1-8


I heard the voice of the Lord: "Whom shall I send, and who will
go for Us?" - Isaiah 6:8


     Television shows like American Idol have become a global
phenomenon. Millions wait anxiously to find out who will be the
next singer eliminated in the musical talent hunt. Some call it
"a new concept in entertainment," but it's hardly a new idea. As
a boy, I remember watching Ted Mack's "Original Amateur Hour."
That show was followed by the bizarre talent hunt "The Gong Show"
in the 70s, and then by "Star Search" in the 80s. It is an
ongoing theme of television to search for someone unknown and 
make him or her famous.
     Dreams of fame and fortune, however, are not at the heart of
the search that is truly timeless. That search is God's own
pursuit of hearts that are available for His work in the world.
In Isaiah, the Lord asks: "Whom shall I send, and who will go for
Us?" And then we read Isaiah's ready response: "Here am I, Send
me" (6:8).
     God is not seeking the most qualified or talented; rather,
He is seeking hearts that are surrendered to Him. He is seeking
those who are available, dependable, and willing to be used. In
those lives, God will show Himself strong, and He will be
glorified.

Are you available? - Bill Crowder

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way! Thou art the
Potter, 1 am the clay; Mold me and make me after Thy will, While
I am waiting, yielded and still. - Pollard

YOUR LIFE IS GOD;S GIFT TO YOU - MAKE IT YOUR GIFT TO GOD.




                                SPEM PRAYER


Read: Ephesians 3:14-21


I bow my knees to the Father ... that He would grant you ... to
be strengthened with might through His Spirit. - ephesians
3:14,16


     A friend sent me an e-mail that concluded with a list of
prayer  requests. She said, "Spiritually, I am confused, so pray
for understanding. Physically, I am tired, so pray for rest.
Emotionally, I am very weak, so pray for strength. Mentally, I am
worried, so pray for peace."
     When I saw her later, I told her, "I've been SPEM praying
for you." She looked confused, so I told her I was praying for
her spiritual, physical, emotional, and mental well-being.
Scripture illustrates God's care in each of these areas.

Spiritual: Jesus prayed for His disciples: "Sanctify them by Your
truth" (John 17:17). Truth leads to spiritual understanding,
eliminating confusion. 

Physical: Peter had a physical need - release from jail. His
friends prayed - and he got out (Acts 12:1-11). In God's care we
find security and rest (Ps.16:9).

Emotional: Often the psamists asked God for relief from distress
(4:1; 18:6; 107:6-7). He brings hope.

Mental: Insight and wisdom are promised for those who cry out to
God (Prow.2:3-6; James 1:5-7). Through prayer and reading His
Word, the peace of God can be found.

Are you struggling? Ask God for spiritual, physical, emotional,
and mental assistance. - Dave Branon

What a Friend we have in Jesus, All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry, Everything to God in prayer.! -
Scriven

TURN YOUR CARES INTO PRAYERS.




                          INFLUENCE OF GODLY MOMS


Read: Proverbs 31:10,25-31


Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and
he praises her. - Proverbs 31:28


     Many people have been richly blessed by what they learned at
their mother's knee. Consider John and Charles Wesley. Their
names would probably never have lighted the pages of history if
it hadn't been for their godly mother who taught them that the
law of love and Christian witness was to be their daily guide.
     Susannah Wesley spent one hour each day praying for her 17
children. In addition, she took each child aside for a full hour
every week to discuss spiritual matters with him or her. No
wonder John and Charles were used of God to bring blessing around
the world.

     Here are a few rules she followed in training her children:

     Subdue self-will in a child and work together with God.
Teach him to pray as soon as he can speak. Give him nothing he
cries for and only what is good for him if he asks for it
politely. To prevent lying, punish no fault that is freely
confessed, but never allow a rebellious, sinful act to go
unchecked. Commend and reward good behavior. Strictly observe all
promises you have made to your child.

     Let us honor our godly mothers today, not only with words of
praise for them but with lives that reflect the impact of their
holy influence! - Henry Bosch

Of all the earthly things God gives, There's one above all
others: It is the precious, priceless gift of loving Christian
mothers. - Anon.

THE VIRTUE OF MOTHERS ARE VISITED ON THEIR CHILDREN. - Dickens




                             THE WAGGLE DANCE


Read: John 4:27-36


Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. - John
4:29


     How do bees lead one another to nectar? Scientists say it's
all about the "waggle" dance. The theory was regarded with
skepticism when it was first proposed by Nobel Prizewinning
zoologist Karl von Frisch in the 1960s. But now, researchers in
the United Kingdom have used tiny radar responders attached to
worker bees to support von Frisch's theory. They've confirmed
that the bee orients its body toward the food source and uses the
intensity of its waggle dance to signal the distance to other
bees.
     The woman who met Jesus at Jacob's well also found a way m
lead the rest of her community to what she had found - living
water (John 4:10).
     They were drawn to discover why this woman with five
ex-husbands and a current live-in was saying, "Come, see a Man
who told me all things that I ever did" (v29).
     As the crowd was on its way, the One who on other occasions
had called Himself "the bread of life" (6:48) was telling His
disciples that His food was found in doing the will of God
(4:32,34).
     Jesus is living water and food for our soul. Joining Him to
do the will of God and finish the work He has given us to do is
the ultimate source of nourishment. - Mart De Haan

Keep your witness bright and clear: So the world may see and hear
God's salvation far and near, That others too may know Him. -
Ness

WHEN YOU HAVE FOUND FOOD FOR YOUR SOUL LEAD OTHERS TO THE SOURCE.




                             FOR THE CHILDREN


Read: Psalm 68:5; Mark 10:13-16


Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them. -
Mark 10:14


     As the teenagers left Robin's Nest orphanage near Montego
Bay, Jamaica, many of them were in tears. "It's just not fair,"
one girl said after their too-brief visit. "We have so much, and
they don't have anything." In the 2 hours we visited, handing out
stuffed animals and playing with the kids, she had been holding a
sad little girl who never smiled. We learned that before she was
rescued she had been abused by her parents.
     Multiply this little girl's plight by the millions, and it's
easy to feel overwhelmed. My teenage friends were right. It's not
fair. Abuse, poverty, and neglect have turned the lives of
millions of little ones into a nightmare.
     How this must grieve God's heart! Jesus, who said, "Let the
little children come to Me" (Mark 10:14), is surely saddened by
the way these children are treated.

     What can we do? In Jesus' name, we can give monetary support
to good orphanages. When possible, we can offer physical help. If
we feel led, we can seek to provide homes for these precious
children. And all of us can pray - beseeching God to help those
for whom life is so unfair.
     Let's show children the love of God through our hearts and
our hands. - Dave Branon

Reaching out to needy children, Showing them our love and care,
Is one way that God can use us. To bring hope in their despair. -
Sper

BE JESUS TO A CHILD TODAY.


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