Keith Hunt - Our Daily Bread - Page Thirty-three   Restitution of All Things

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Our Daily Bread #33

Moving on to more Godliness

                              ABSOLUTE NEEDS


Read: John 4:7-15

My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in
glory by Christ Jesus. - Philippians 4:19



     From our first breath until our last, we have few truly
essential needs. Without oxygen, we would perish in minutes. We
must have food and water. Our bodies, when exhausted, require
rest. And in harsh weather, we must seek shelter. So, while we
are needy creatures, our basic needs are few.
     When it comes to our wants, however, there seems to be no
limit. Indeed, the entire advertising industry is devoted to
expanding our "needs."
     But what about those basic needs we overlook? What about our
need for the Bread of Life and the living water of God's truth?
What about our need for spiritual fellowship that gives strength,
hope, peace, and comfort? The vague dissatisfaction so many
people experience is really spiritual malnutrition and thirst.
Jesus told a Samaritan woman about water that would become "a
fountain of water springing up into everlasting life" (John 4:
t4), He had what she truly needed - what Peter later called "the
words of eternal life" (6:68).
     Have we been ignoring the words of Jesus: "Man shall not
live by bread alone"? (Luke 4:4). Have we been failing to nourish
our souls while pursuing our wants? "Seek first the kingdom of
God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to
you" (Matt.6:33). - Vernon Grounds

I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lend, No tender voice like
Thine can peace afford; I need Thee, O I need Thee, every hour I
need Thee! O bless me now, my Savior, I come to Thee. - Hawks

JUST AS OUR BODY NEEDS DAILY FOOD, SO DOES OUR SPIRIT.




                          JESUS' DIFFICULT WORDS


Read: John 6:44-58

From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with
Him no more. - John 6:66



     Recently, a company advertised a "huggable, washable, and
talking" Jesus doll that recites "actual  Scripture verses to
introduce children of all ages to the wisdom of the Bible." Its
sayings include, "I have an exciting plan for your life," and
"Your life matters so much to Me." Who wouldn't want to follow a
Jesus like this?
     Jesus does offer a wonderful plan - for our lives. But He
doesn't serve as a cosmic genie or cuddly doll to meet our every
whim. John 6 gives us a picture of a Jesus who is not so cuddly
in fact, He's often offensive. Instead of fulfilling the selfish
desires of His followers, He disturbed their expectations. He
offered Himself as spiritual bread from heaven and said, "Whoever
eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life" (v.54).
     This message was offensive and difficult. The image of
eating flesh and drinking blood did not give His heaters "warm
fuzziest." Many stopped following Him (v.66). He wasn't the
conquering Messiah-King they had expected.

     Sometimes we want a Jesus who meets our selfish needs. But
the wonderful life He offers is found only in radical obedience
to His commands. Let's ask Jesus to show us what His words mean,
and for the courage to act on His truth. - Marvin Williams

"We love You, Lord Jesus," we often may say, But are we as ready
His will to obey? Let's heed what God's Spirit would have us to
do, For that's how we show Him a love that is true. - DJD

THE WAY OF JESUS IS NOT ALWAYS EASY.




                              SAYING GOODBYE


Read: Matthew 11:7-19

There has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who
is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. - Matthew
11:11



     If you've ever been asked to say a few words at a memorial
service, you know how difficult, yet important, it can be. C yrus
M. Copeland, com- piler of two books of tributes to famous
people, said., "A great eulogy is both art and architectrue - a
bridge between the living and the dead, memory and eternity."
     The Bible contains little that corresponds to our modern
eulogy. Yet Jesus paid a great tribute to John the Baptist when
he faced the looming threat of execution by Herod. From prison,
John sent his disciples to confirm the identity of Jesus the
Messiah (Matt.11:2-6). Jesus talked with them, then told the
listening crowd, "Among those born of women there has not risen
one greater than John the Baptist but he who is least in the
kingdom of heaven is greater than he" (v.11).
     Jesus' tribute captured the essence of the desert-dwelling,
straight-preaching John, who was maligned and misunderstood as he
prepared the way for the Son of God John's greatness was more
than personal; it was wrapped up in the kingdom of God. He wrote
his own eulogy by his actions.

     As we ponder what we might say about others at their
passing, it's also good to ask, "What will people say about me
when it's time to say goodbye?" - David McCasland

The way we live our lives each day Makes up our eulogy; So ask
yourself, "When I pass on, What will be said of me?" - Sper

LIVING FOR THE LORD TODAY LEAVES A LASTING LEGACY WHEN WE'RE
GONE.




                              MINISTER MENTOR


Read: Exodus 18:13-24

Moses heeded the voice of his father-in-law and did all that he
had said. - Exodus 18:24



     In 1959, when Lee Kuan Yew assumed the position of Prime
Minister of Singapore, his leadership began a long process of
national transformation. disagreements between ethnic groups and
a weak economic base made the future of this tiny nation
uncertain. By 1990, when Lee stepped down from his position,
Singapore had become a model country for ethnic harmony and a
thriving economy.
     After serving as Senior Minister, Lee became Minister Mentor
in 2004. Since then he has been an invaluable resource to
Singapore's cabinet and to other leaders around the world.
     Insights from the older generation can greatly benefit the
younger generation. Although Moses had been used by God to
perform miracles and deliver Israel out of bondage in Egypt, he
still listened to the advice of his fatherin-law Jethro (Ex.
18:24).
     Jethro had watched his son-in-law care for the concerns of
the people and observed: "Both you and these people who are with
you will surely wear yourselves out. For this thing is too much
for you" (v.18). Moses followed Jethro's advice to select, train,
and delegate others to share the workload (vv.22-24).

Whom has God placed in your life to advise you as a "minister
mentor"? - Dennis Fisher

Following  Through: What are your weakest character traits? Do
you
know a fellow believer who is strong in these areas? Could that
person become your spiritual mentor?

THOSE WHO ARE MATURE IN THE FAITH CAN HELP OTHERS TO MATURE IN
THE FAITH.




                             BEST IN THE SHOW?


Read: Matthew 23:1-12

Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the
heart. - 1 Samuel 16:7



     I enjoy watching dog shows an TV. The dog owners are
impeccably dressed and trot along with then pedigreed pooches as
they show off their unique canine beauty. The dogs have been
trained to stand confidently with chins lifted high, their shiny
coats carefully brushed and styled. To me, they all look like
winners.
     But I wonder sometimes, when their audience is gone, what
are these dogs really like? Do they ever relax and let their
sleek fur get so matted they're mistaken for mutts? Does their
doggie breath start smelling foul?

     More important, what are we really like when nobody's
watching?
     In Matthew 23:2-7, Jesus rebuked those who were interested
in how they looked in public rather than how they were seen by
God. He wants us to be obedient, faithful, and committed to Him -
even when nobody else sees. The Pharisees focused on the way they
were perceived by other people. God's focus is on what we're like
inside. His desire is for us to look like His Son.
     We're not in a competition with other Christians. God will
never ask us to compete for "best in show." He measures us by the
perfect standard of His Son (Eph.4:13). And in love, He provides
the righteousness we need so that we can be blameless before Him
(Col.1:21-23). - Cindy Hess Kasper

Just live your life before your Lord, It matters not what others
do - Your actions will be weighed by Him Who metes out judgment
just and true. - Roe

LIVING FOR GOD'S APPROVAL IS BETTER THAN LIVING FOR MAN'S
APPLAUSE.




                               IT LOOKS BAD


Read: Psalm 12

I will set him in the safety for which he yearns. - Psalm 12:5



     King David looked out at the world and was troubled. He
didn't need the Internet to paint a bleak picture of society or
The New York Times to remind him of crime and suffering. Even
without a cable news show to give him all the had news, he saw
the evil. He looked around and saw that "the godly man ceases."
He noticed that "the faithful disappear." In his world everyone
spoke "idly" to his neighbor "with flattering lips and a double
heart" (Ps.12:1-2).
     This description may sound like the theme of a TV show, but
it was life, circa 1,000 BC. While we may view society's evils as
much worse than anything before, David reminds us that evil is
not a 21st-century innovation.
     But David's words also give us hope. Notice his reaction to
the bad news he bore. In verse 1, he turned to God and cried
"Help!" Then he implored God with specific needs. The response he
got was positive. God promised that because He rules righteously,
He would provide protection and safety (w.5-7).

     When you are discouraged by all the bad news, cry out for
God's help. Then bask in the confidence of His assurance. Three
thousand years after David God is still, and always will be, in
control. - Dave Branon

When through life's darkened maze I go, And troubles overwhelm my
soul, Oh, grant me, Lord, the faith to know, That You are always
in control. - D. De Haan

WE HAVE NOTHING TO FEAR, BECAUSE GOD IS IN CONTROL.




                            UNLOCKING THE GATE


Read: Numbers 5:5-8

When a man or woman commits any sin ... against the Lord ...
then he shall confess the sin which he has committed. - Numbers
5:6-7.



     Researchers at the University of Toronto reported in 2006
that people who are suffering from a guilty conscience experience
"a powerful urge to wash themselves!" To study this effect, the
researchers asked volunteers to recall past sins. They were then
given an opportunity to wash their hands as a symbol of cleansing
their conscience. Those who had recalled their sins washed
their hands at "twice the rate of study subjects who had not
imagined past transgressions."
     The Bible proposes the only effective way of dealing with
sin--confession. In the Old Testament, one of the ways the
Israelites were supposed to cleanse themselves and maintain
purity before God and in their community, was by confessing their
sins (Num.5:5-8). To confess means "to speak the same; to agree
with; to admit the truth."
     When the people confessed to God, they were not telling Him
anything He did not already know. But their confession was a
demonstration of a change of heart. Refusing to confess their
sins allowed sin to take deeper root within their lives and
community.

     Admitting our sin unlocks the gate so that we can have
forgiveness, joy, and peace. If we confess our sins, God is
faithful to forgive (1 John 1:9). - Marvin Williams

If we would know God's power to heal, And cleanse us from within,
We must acknowledge when were wrong, Confessing it as sin. -
Fasick

CONFESSION IS AGREEING WITH GOD ABOUT OUR SIN.

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


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