Keith Hunt - Our Daily Bread #15 - Page Fifteen   Restitution of All Things

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Our Daily Bread #15

Instructions for Living

                                GIVE THANKS


Read: Psalm 92


It is good to give thanks to the Lord, and to sing praises to
your name, O Most High. - Psalm 92:1



     Psalm 92 is a "Song for the Sabbath day," a resting place
for those who  are troubled.
     The song begins with a commendation of praise: "It is good
to give thanks to the Lord." It does us good to turn from our
unsettling and anxious thoughts to declare God's "lovingkindness
in the morning, and [His] faithfulness every night" (v.2). God
loves us and is always faithful! He makes us glad (v.4).
     Praise not only makes us glad, it makes us wise. We begin to
understand something of God's greatness and creative design in
all that He does [vv.5-9). We gain a wisdom that is hidden from
those who do not know God. The wicked may "flourish" and "spring
up like grass" for a moment (v.7), but ultimately they will
wither away.
     The righteous, however, are joined to the One who dwells in
eternity (v.8). They "flourish like a palm tree" and "like a
cedar in Lebanon" (v.12), symbols of graceful beauty and
unbending strength. For they have been "planted in the house of
the Lord" (v.13). Their roots go down into the soil of God's
faithfulness; they draw on His unquenchable love.
     Give thanks and praise to the Lord today! - David Roper

Oh, render thanks to God above, The Fountain of eternal love,
Whose mercy firm through ages past Has stood, and shall forever
last. - Anon.

A HEART IN TUNE WITH GOD CAN'T HELP BUT SING HIS PRAISES.




                                ON PURPOSE


Read: 2 Cor.3:11-18


We ... are being transformed into [Christ's] image from glory to
glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. - 2 Corinthians 3:18



     Rick Warren's "The Purpose-Driven Life" has had an
unbelievable run on the best-seller hsts. Its phenomenal appeal
reminds us that believers and nonbelievers alike have a deep
longing  for a clear sense of purpose. We all want to know that
our lives are involved in something worthwhile. Without a strong
sense of calling and purpose, life is nothing more than routine
busyness. Being a follower of Jesus gives us a distinct advantage
when it comes to having a sense of purpose. The Westminster
Catechism sums it up well when it says the "chief end of man" is
to "glorify God and to enjoy Him forever."
     Glorifying God means putting His character, His will, and
His ways into action in all that we do. The apostle Paul reminded
us that we "are being transformed into [Christ's] image from
glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord" (2 Cor.3:18).
     The purpose of our lives is to let others see what God is
like as they watch and experience His love through us.
     What a profound privilege it is to mirror God's love, mercy,
grace, justice, and righteousness to a world whose heart is
"veiled" to God's tuth! (4:34). Our purpose is to show others
less of us and more of Him. That's living on purpose with a
purpose! - Joe Stowell

So let our lips and lives express, The holy gospel we profess, So
let our words and virtues shine, To prove the doctrine all
divine. - Watts

THE CHRISTIAN PURPOSE IS TO PROMOTE GOD'S PLAN




                               SCAREDY-BEAR


Read: Matthew 6:25-34


Do not worry. - Matthew 6:25


     Jack, a 15-pound, orange and white      cat, took seriously
his job of guarding his owners' backyard in New Jersey. He often
scared small animal intruders away, but the owners were 
surprised when one day they found him sitting at the base of a
tall tree, looking up at a large black bear.
     Jack hissed at the bear as it wandered into the yard from
the nearby woods. The scared bear quickly climbed up a tree. How
could a big black bear be afraid of a little kitty? What was he
thinking!
     Even more absurd are our thoughts of worry and fear when we
consider that we have a powerful and good God who cares for us.
Jesus told His disciples, "Do not worry ..." (Matt.6:25,31,34).
He said we don't have to be fearful or worried, because our
heavenly Father knows our needs, and we are valued by Him
(vv.26,32). He is perfectly willing and able to meet our needs.
When something concerns us, what's our perspective? It's not what
we see but how we see it that reveals our attitude. If we look at
life through the lens of our powerful and good God, we'll trust
Him instead of fearfully worrying. When our perspective is right,
we can see God and His faithful provision. - Anne Cetas

When fear and worry test your faith, And anxious thoughts assail,
Remember God is in control, And He will never fail. - Sper

WORRY IS A BURDEN THAT GOD NEVER MEANT FOR US TO BEAR.




                                   CORKY


Read: John 16:5-16


We walk by faith, not by sight. - 2 Corinthians 5:7


     Stephen Kuusisto grew up feeling a stigma about being
legally blind. For him, sight consisted of a kaleidoscope of
shapes, colors, and shadows. Privately he would press his face
close to the page of a book and memorize street names in an
exhausting attempt to appear more able to see than he really
could.
     When Stephen was 39, his life changed after he acquired an
affectionate and carefully trained guide dog named Corky. In
learning to use Corky to lead him, Stephen reflected on the
growing trust in their relationship. He said, "Faith moves from
belief into conviction, then to certainty. We are a ...
powerhouse!" When Stephen admitted that he needed the help of a
sighted companion, a new world of freedom and mobility opened up
to him.
     Many believers blindly stumble their way through the
Christian life in their own strength. Seemingly, they are unaware
that God has provided a supernatural Guide to lead the way. Jesus
said He would send us a Comforter who would guide us into all
truth (John 16:13). When we confess all known sin and then depend
on the Holy Spirit to guide us (Gal.5:16,15), we become a
powerhouse for God! "Far we walk by faith, not by sight" (2 Cor.
5:7). - Dennis Fisher

I'd rather walk in the dark with God, Than go alone in the light;
I'd rather walk by faith with Him, Than go alone by sight. -
Anon.

WHERE GOD GUIDES HE PROVIDES.



                           THE SCORPION'S STING


Read: Proverbs 6:20-35


Can a man take fire to his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?
- Proverbs 6:27
                                     

     Aesop tells the ancient story of a boy hunting for locusts.
The lad had caught quite a few when he saw a scorpion. Mistaking
it for a locust, he reached out his hand to take it. The scorpion
showed his stinger and said "If you had but touched me, my
friend, you would have lost me, and all your locusts too!"
     There are some things you cannot embrace without losing what
you have in the process.
     King Solomon used a word picture of fire instead of a
scorpion as he warned his son against the dangers of sexual sin
(Prow.6:27-29). As a wise father, he wanted his son to know that
in this wonderful, dangerous world  there are not only flowers
and songbirds but also scorpions and fires.
     Solomon's warnings in the Proverbs were not just about
sexual immorality. Together with the rest of the Bible, such
insights help us to understand the wisdom of an eternal God who
loves us far more than our own mothers and fathers do. His Word
also points us to the One who can help us even if we have
"grabbed a scorpion" or "built a fire in our lap."
     Life offers us choices. Christ graciously offers us
forgiveness for what is past, and wisdom for what yet lies ahead.
- Mart De Haan

Search out in me all hidden sin, And may Thy purity within, So
cleanse my life that it may be, A temple wholly fit for Thee. -
Smith

THE LESSONS OF LIFE ARE BEST LEARNED WHEN CHRIST IS YOUR TEACHER.




                        SEARCHING FOR A RARE JEWEL


Read: Proverbs 2


Happy is the man who finds wisdom ... for her proceeds are better
than the profits of silver, and her gain than fine gold. -
Proverbs 3:13-14


     When Betty Goldstein of Staten Island, New York, entered the
hospital, her husband Ron wrapped her 3.5 carat diamond ring in a
napkin for safekeeping. But in a forgetful moment, the
63-year-old Goldstein threw the napkin in the trash. When he
realized his mistake, he dashed outside, only to see the garbage
truck rumbling down the street. So he called the local sanitation
department and got permission to follow the truck to a transfer
station. Workers began sorting through hundreds of garbage bags
and recovered the ring an hour later.
     The writer of Proverbs urges us to search diligently for
something far more precious - wisdom. In chapter 2, a father
encourages his son to do whatever is necessary to get insight and
wisdom. This strenuous search for wisdom is actually a search for
God Himself (vv.3-5). In fact, inner happiness comes when man
attains this wisdom (3:13). He encourages his son to search
diligently for this rare jewel because wisdom is not usually
discovered by the casual observer. Wisdom is discovered and
enjoyed only by those who are diligent, devoted, and determined
to seek it.
     Let us devote our whole being to searching for that rare
jewel of wisdom. - Marvin Williams

Mom valuable than diamonds rare is priceless wisdom from above;
With purest gold it can't compare, Because it's filled with truth
and love. - D. De Haan

WITH ALL YOUR GETTING, GET UNDERSTANDING. - Solomon




                                 HOW LONG


Read: Psalm 13


How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will You
hide Your face from m e? - Psalm 13:1


     My friends Bob and Delores understand what it means to wait
for answers - answers that never seem to come. When their son
Jason and future daughter-in-law Lindsay were murdered in August
2004, a national manhunt was undertaken to find the killer and
bring him to justice. After 2 years of prayer and pursuit, there
were still no tangible answers to the painful questions the two
hurting families wrestled with. There was only silence.
     In such times, we are vulnerable to wrong assumptions and
conclusions about life, about God, and about prayer. In Psalm 13,
David wrestled with the problem of unanswered prayer. He
questioned why the world was so dangerous and pleaded for answers
from God.
     It's a hard psalm that David sang, and it seems to be one of
frustration. Yet, in the end, his doubts and fears tuned to
trust. Why? Because the circumstances of our struggles cannot
diminish the character of God and His care for His children. In
verse 5, David turned a corner. From his heart he prayed, "But I
have trusted in Your mercy, my heart shall rejoice in Your
salvation."
     In the pain and struggle of living without answers, we can
always find comfort in our heavenly Father. - Bill Crowder

Not ours to know the reason why, Unanswered is our prayer, But
ours to wait for God's own time, To lift the cross we bear. -
Anon.

WHEN WE PRAY, GOD WRAPS US IN HIS LOVING ARMS.


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