Keith Hunt - Our Daily Bread #31 - Page Thirty-one   Restitution of All Things

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Our Daily Bread #31

Do not Stop!

                            WHERE'S THE LEASH?

Read: Micah 6:1-8


What does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love
mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? - Micah 6:8



     Recently, while out for Chinese food with fiends, I noticed
a man walking his dog past the restaurant. Normally I wouldn't
have looked twice. But the dog's owner had taken the leash, put
it in a figure-eight configuration, and placed it firmly in the
dog's mouth.
     My friends explained that it's against the law in their town
to walk a dog without a leash. This clever dog owner had found a
loophole - the law didn't stipulate that you actually have to
hold  the leash! The amazing part is not the  loophole, but that
the dog was walking  in obedient step with his owner, even
though he could have bolted away to     chase a nearby squirrel.
     Our walk with God needs to be like that. While God in His
mercy gives us a long leash and rarely gives us spiritual
whiplash by yanking on it, He doesn't delight in the struggle to
keep us in line. He delights when we walk in a surrendered way
with Him.
     When Israel whined to the prophet Micah about how hard they
thought it was to please God, He replied with a straightforward,
simple way to please Him. Being just and loving mercy while we
walk humbly with Him brings God great pleasure (Mic.6:8). You'll
know He is pleased when He doesn't have to hold your leash
anymore. - Joe Stowell

All to Jesus I surrender, All to Him I freely give; I will ever
love and trust Him, In His presence daily live. - Van de Venter

FIND TRUE FREEDOM BY WALKING OBEDIENTLY WITH GOD.



                              FAMILY STORIES

Read: Joshua 4:1-9


These stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel
forever. - Joshua 4:7



     In her book "The Shelter of Each Other," Mary Pipher gives
advice on rebuilding troubled families. She explores how today's
children sometimes overuse TV and video games to the exclusion of
informal instruction received from extended family.
     She gives an example of a family reunion where the
youngsters are given a video to watch in the back room so the
adults can talk undisturbed. Dr.Pipher believes this diversion
actually deprives kids. Children need to mix with the older
generation so they can hear the stories of aunts, uncles,
grandparents, and parents. This helps them learn from those who
have gone before them.
     The Old Testament places a high value on children being
taught their spiritual heritage. After God parted the waters of
the Jordan River, Joshua was instructed to take 12 stones from
the river to create a memorial for future generations. "When your
children ask... 'What do these stones mean to you?' then you
shall answer them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off....
"And these stones shall be for a memorial to the children of
Israel forever" (Josh.4:6-7).
     We need spiritual interaction between generations. Remember,
Bible stories are often family stories. And our children need
them and us. - Dennis Fisher

Oh, may all who come behind us find us faithful; May the fire of
our devotion light their way; May the footprints that we leave
lead them to believe, And the lives we live inspire them to obey.
- Mohr

GODLY FOREFATHERS MAKE GOOD TEACHERS.



                               DYING TO LIVE

Read: Matthew 16:21-28


Whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses
his life for My sake will find it. - Matthew 16:25



     Western Michigan is plagued by snowy winters, requiring that
salt be put on road surfaces to make them safer to travel. The
problem is that salt eats away at a car's metal body. So, going
to a car wash is a frequent winter ritual.
     Recently I was sitting in a car-wash facility near the end
of the washing process when the machines began to spray a special
liquid all over the car. The sign said it was a "drying agent,"
but that struck me as odd. Wetting something down to dry it seems
conteary to what you'd expect. Yet that is precisely what those
chemicals are designed to do. It is counter-intuitive thinking--a
paradox.
     Jesus also dealt in counter-intuitive thinking when
presenting His kingdom message to His followers. In Matthew
16:25, He said, "Whoever desires to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it." That
doesn't sound right. To save your life, you have to lose it? That
seems like saying, "To dry something, you wet it down!" Yet, it
is absolutely true. Only as we die to self, entrusting ownership
of our lives to Christ, can we learn what it means to really
live.
     "Dying to live" may seem counter-intuitive, but it is the
heart of the Christian experience. - Bill Crowder

Less of self and more of Jesus, More and more each day like Thee;
Just to live in full surrender, For my Lord who ransomed me. -
Wonder

TO LIVE FOR CHRIST, WE MUST LEARN TO DIE TO SELF.




                           PROFITABLE FOR GROWTH

Read: 2 Timothy 3:10-16


All Scripture is given by inspiration of God. - 2 Timothy 3:16



     Which of the following quotes are in the Bible?

1. Cleanliness is next to godliness. 
2. God helps those who help themselves.
3. Confession is good for the soul.
4. Man is born to trouble, as the sparks fly upward.
5. Money is the root of all evil,.
6. Honesty is the best policy. 

Believe it or not, only one of those quotes is found in the
Bible. The fourth one is from Job 5:7.

     George Muller, a pastor and orphanage director in the 1800s,
wouldn't have had trouble knowing which of those quotes were from
the Bible. Why? Because he read through it more than 100 times!
     He said: "I look upon it as a lost day when I have not had a
good time over the Word of God ... I have always made it a rule
never to begin work until I have had a good season with God and
His Word. The blessing I have received has been wonderful."

     We don't need to feel guilty if we don't read the Bible as
much as Muller did. But consider with me reading it through at
least once this coming year - not so that we can answer some
trick questions about it, but because it was given to us by God
and is profitable for our spiritual growth (2 Tim. 3:16-17). -
Anne Cetas

God's Word is like refreshing rain, That waters crops and seed;
It brings new life to open hearts, And meets us in our need. -
Sper

READ THE BIBLE TO BE WISE, BELIEVE IT TO BE SAFE, PRACTICE IT TO
BE HOLY.



                                RESOLUTIONS

Read: Nehemiah 10:28-31


{They} entered into ... an oath to walk in God's Law, ... and to
observe and do all the commandments of the Lord our Lord. -
Nehemiah 10:29



     In 1722, Jonathan Edwards drew up a list of 70 resolutions,
dedicating himself to live in harmony with God and others. The
following resolutions give a picture of the serious purpose with
which Edwards approached his relationship with God. He resolved:

* To do whatever is most to God's glory.

* To do my duty, for the good of mankind in general.

* Never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if it
were the last hour of my life.

* To study the Scriptures steadily, constantly, and frequently.

* To ask myself at the end of every day, week, month, and year if
I could possibly have done better.

* Until I die, not to act as if I were my own, but entirely and
altogether God's.

     In Nehemiah 10, God's people made an oath, vowing to follow
all the commands, laws, and regulations of the Lord. This oath
was so serious that they were willing to accept the curse of God
if they failed to keep these commands.

     Our resolutions need not be so serious as that. But any
resolution to follow God is not a casual promise. Rather, it is a
solemn and serious declaration that - with the help of the Holy
Spirit - we can renew every day. - Marvin Williams 

My Resolutions This Year Are: (You fill in the bank)



Act on your resolutions!




                           WHAT WILL YOU WRITE?

Read: Psalm 90


You do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life?
It is even a vapor that appears for a time and then vanishes
away. - James 4:14



     In January 2006, a mine explosion in rural West Viginia
threatened the lives of 13 coal miners. Having grown up in that
state, I was among the millions riveted to the news for the next
few days. Tragically, all but one of the miners were found dead.
     To compound the pain of that loss, the first reports given
to the families said that all but one had been found alive. When
the grim news of the deaths came, the grief was compounded with
anger and a desire to blame someone for the whole gut-wrenching
event.
     At one of the funerals, however, Pastor Wease Day asked the
hurting to look in a different direction--within. During their
last hours, some of the miners had written notes to their
families, in some cases offering comfort and hope, In light of
that, Pastor Day urged his congregation not to seek to fix blame.
He instead challenged them to imagine what they would write in a
farewell note if they had only hours to live.

     In some ways we are like those miners. We are trapped in a
dark world and are facing physical death. How we live our lives
as followers of Christ becomes our "note" to the world. James
wrote that life is "a vapor that appears for a little time and
then vanishes away" (4:14). By God's grace, what will you write
with your life today? - Bill Crowder

Lord and Savior, Christ divine, Reign within this heart of mine;
May my witness ever be Always, only, Lord for Thee. - Brandt

A CHRISTLIKE LIFE IS AMESSAGE OF HOPE TO A SEARCHING WORLD.




                            LORD, I'M EXCITED!

Read: Psalm 119:17-24


Open my eyes, that I may see wonderous things from Your Law. -
Psalm 119:18




     People use Our Daily Bread in  many different ways. Small
groups have informed me that they meet before work to read the
online devotional on their laptops. Families read it together at
a meat. Others reach for it on a break of during a quiet moment
of the day.
     A letter from one reader inspired me with her approach each
morning: "As I open 'Our Daily Bread' I tell God that I am
excited about what His Word is going to teach me. Then I read the
Scripture (if it's short, I include all the surrounding context),
and I meditate (on it) and write what it is saying to me before I
read what God gave the writer .... Since I am indexing my
journal, both Scripture and topics, as I go along, I can refer
back to pertinent topics at any time. I love it."

     What impressed me is her enthusiasm for the Word and the
anticipation of what the Lord has for her in the Bible. She
echoes the psalmist's prayer, "Open my eyes, that I may see
wondrous things from Your law" (Ps.119:18).

     A writer's thoughts are no substitute for the powerful Word
of God. It's the onty place to find spiritual nourishment and
strength for each day. And that's exciting! - David McCasland

Give me, O Lord a strong desire, To look within Your Word each
day, Help me to hide it in my heart, Lest from its truth my feet
would stray. - Branon

THE BIBLE IS THE BREAD OF LIFE, AND IT NEVER BECOMES STALE.

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

NOTE:

It is my pleasure to enter on this Website a good many of the
nuggets from "Our Daily Bread." God willing I will over time, put
up 52, one set of sevens for one week of our 52 weeks in a year.

When you have gone through them all, you may like to then just
pick at random one of the 52. You will always find a nugget of
wonderful truth from each of them - Keith Hunt


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