Keith Hunt - Our Daily Bread #35 - Page Thirty- five   Restitution of All Things

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Our Daily Bread #35

Teachings to Perfection


Read: Proverbs 1:8-19

My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent. - Proverbs 1:10 

     When Mike Wood began to advertise his sign company, he
didn't know how useful his work would become. Some of his signs
were lifesize cardboard pictures of kids, which he put close to
the street.
     Besides advertising his business, the signs had another
effect. Motorists thought the cutouts were real children and
began to drop their speed. Now Mike sells the cardboard kids to
parents who want to slow down speeding drivers in their area.
Mike said, "We truly hope that some of our standups help to
control speeding in neighborhoods around the country."
     Parents work at protecting their children from physical
danger. But there are other dangers as well. Solomon, the writer
of Proverbs 1, was concerned about the people who would pose
spiritual danger to his son. He warned him about those who would
entice him to do evil (vv.10-14) and told him, "Do not walk in
the way with them, keep your foot from their path; for their feet
run to evil" (vv.15-16).
     We need to protect our children by teaching them God's Word
and training them to avoid evil influences. Busy streets are
hazardous for our children, but the enticement of taking an evil
path is far more dangerous. - Anne Cetas 

Children are a heritage, A gift from God above; He asks you to
protect and care, And nourish them with love. - Hess


                            FOR A LIMITED TIME

Read: James 4:13-17

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

     On a crisp October morning, our local newspaper featured a
stunning photo of sun-drenched aspen trees whose leaves had
turned autumn gold. The caption read: FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY.
The irresistible invitation to take a drive through the mountains
to savor the brilliant colors conveyed the urgency of doing it
quickly. Autumn leaves that are golden today are often gone
     Our opportunities to obey God's promptings are also
fleeting. James warned against an arrogance that assumes endless
days will be available to carry out our good intentions. "You do
not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is
even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes
away.... Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do
it, to him it is sin" (4:14,17).
     Is there an act of kindness or encouragement that God has
urged you to do for someone in His name? How long has it been
since that first prompting? With so many demands on our time, the
urgent tasks demand our attention while the important things can
be postponed. But a time will come when even the important can no
longer be done.
     When we follow God's urging with our action now, today will
be golden. - David McCasland

If God is prompting you today, To help someone who has a need,
Don't hesitate, the time is short; Tomorrow is not guaranteed. -


                            READ A BANNED BOOK

Read: Jer.36"1-8,21-26

Write ... all the words that I have spoken to you ... that
everyone may turn from his evil way, that I may forgive their
iniquity and their sin. - Jer. 36:2-3 

     (October 3 Friday) The American Library Association has
designated this week as Banned Books Week in celebration of the
freedom to read and to express one's opinion "even if that
opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular."
     The Bible is the all-time bestselling book, but in some
parts of the world it is banned because it's considered
dangerous. The Bible is dangerous, however, only to those who
fear finding out that they are wrong. It's dangerous to those who
exploit the weak and the innocent, who use force to keep others
enslaved in poverty and ignorance - who don't want to give up
their favorite sin, who believe that salvation can be found apart
from Christ.
     No one wants to be told they are wrong. No one wants to hear
that their behavior is putting themselves and those they love in
danger or that God's patience will eventually wear out. Yet that
was the message God told Jeremiah to write (Jer. 36:2). When His
message was read to King Jehoiakim, the king cut up the scroll
and threw it into the fire (v.23).
     The only way to know we are right is to be willing to
discover where we are wrong. Read the all-time bestselling banned
book, and let it reveal to you the truth about Godand about
yourself. - Julie Ackerman Link

Lord Jesus, show Thyself to me, In very truth and deed; Help me
to find, O Christ, in Thee, More than my deepest need. - Clarkson


                         CURIOSITY OR COMPASSION?

Read: John 9:1-12

[Jesus'] disciples asked Him, saying, "Rabbi, who sinned, this
man or his parents, that he was born blind?" - John 9:2

     Why is it that when we hear about someone who is suffering,
we are more interested in the details of what, why, when, and
where, than we are about how we can help?
     When the disciples passed the blind beggar (John 9:1), their
curiosity about why he was suffering outweighed the prospect of
reaching out to help him. "Who sinned, this man or his parents,
that he was born blind?" they asked (v.2). Their pop-quiz for
Jesus revealed that they were dreadfully out of step with their
Master's heart. In fact, lurking beneath their question was a
judgmental spirit - a desire to know whom to blame - as if that
would make anyone feel better!
     Thankfully. Jesus modeled a compassionate response. Rather
than speculation and condemnation, He marshaled His resources to
help, which in this case meant complete healing. He made it clear
that the man's blindness was intended to provide a moment for God
to be magnified through Jesus' compassionate touch.
     Feeling curious about somebody's problem? Shift into Jesus'
mode and move past the point of curiosity to his or her point of
need. Reach out and touch someone's pain. Show the compassionate
love of Jesus in action. - Joe Stowell

Amid the snares misfortune lays Unseen, beneath the steps of all,
Blest is the Love that seeks to raise, And stay and strengthen
those who fall. - Bryant


                           THE CHAIN OF UNGRACE

Read: Matthew 6:9-15

Forgive us our debts, as we gorgive our debtors. - Matthew 6:12

     When I feel wronged; I can contrive a hundred reasons
against forgiveness. "He needs to learn a lesson." "I'll let her
stew for a while; it'll do her good." "It's not up to me to make
the first move." When I finally soften to the point of granting
forgiveness, it seems a leap from hard logic to mushy sentiment.
     One factor that motivates me to forgive is that as a
Christian I am commmanded to, as the child of a Father who
forgives. Jesus said, "If you have anything against anyone,
forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your
trespasses" (Mark 11:25).
     But beyond that, I can identify three pragmatic reasons.
     First, forgiveness halts the cycle of blame and pain,
breaking the chain of ungrace. Without it we remain bound to the
people we can't forgive, held in their vise grip.
     Second, forgiveness loosens the stranglehold of guilt in the
perpetrator. It allows the possibility of transformation in the
guilty party, even if a just punishment is still required.
     And third, forgiveness creates a remarkable linkage, placing
the forgiver on the same side as the party who did the wrong. We
are not as different from the wrongdoer as we would like to
think, for we too must ask our heavenly Father, "Forgive us our
debts" (Matt.6:12). - Philip Yancey

When I consider Calvary's dismay, The shame, the scorn, the
scourging borne by You, Resentment melts; I am compelled to say,
"Forgive them, Lord, they know not what they do! " - Mollon



Read: Psalm 119:17-24

Your Word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart. - Jeremiah

     For centuries, many Christians were not permitted to read
God's Word in their own language. Instead, they were encouraged
to attend Latin services that few could understand.
     Then, in 1516, the Dutch scholar Erasmus compiled and
published the first New Testament in the original Greek language.
This landmark work was the basis for the later publication of
Luther's German Bible, Tyndale's English Bible, and the King
James Version. These translations made the Scriptures
understandable to millions of people around the world.
     Erasmus could not have known the influence his Greek New
Testament would have, but he did have a passion for getting its
message to laypeople from all walks of life. In the preface he
wrote: "I would have [the Gospels and the Epistles] translated
into all languages .... I long for the plowboy to sing them to
himself as he follows the plow [and] the weaver to hum them to
the tune of his shuttle."
     The prophet Jeremiah reflected this same passion for the
Word: "Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your Word was
to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart" (15:16).
     Having God's Word in our own language allows us to
experience the joy of meditating on it each day. - Dennis Fisher

More precious than gold is God's Word to me, Much better than
pearls from deep in the sea; For in the Lord's Word I take great
delight, And it is my joy each day and each night. - Fitzhugh


                              A SPECIAL SEAT

Read: Luke 10:38-42

[Martha] had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus' feet
and heard His word. - Luke 10:39

     I've never sat in the first-class section of an airplane.
But I still hold out the hope that someday I'll get on the plane
and the flight attendant will stop me and say, "Come with me. I
have a special seat for you:"
     That's why I was pretty excited when a friend gave my sister
some tickets for an event and we realized that they were for box
seats. Instead of sitting shoulder to shoulder with strangers all
around us, we sat in a private compartment where we could see and
hear everything perfectly. That evening we felt privileged and
     Remember Jesus' friends, Mary and Martha? Although Martha
had the opportunity to enjoy having Jesus as her guest, she soon
became frustrated with her sister Mary and overwhelmed with the
busyness of her preparations. Certainly understandable to a lot
of us! Jesus made it clear to her, however, that sometimes it's
necessary to step away from the unending pressures of life and
spend undistracted time with Him. God has given us the
opportunity to have personal moments with Him. By taking the time
just to be with the Lord, we are fed, refreshed, and renewed.
     Jesus commended Mary for taking time to sit and learn at her
Savior's feet (Luke 10:42). As it turned out - she had the best
seat in the house! - Cindy Hess Kasper

Take time to be holy, The world rushes on; Spend much time in
secret With Jesus alone. - Longstaff



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