Keith Hunt - Our Daily Bread #40 - Page Forty   Restitution of All Things

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Our Daily Bread #40

Teachings for spiritual Health

                            CLASS PARTICIPATION

Read: Psalm 119:129-136

The entance of your words gives light. - Psalm 119:130

     As a high school teacher and college professor, I have
observed that learning is a cooperative effort between the
student and the instructor. That's why educators try to get the
student involved in class participation. The teacher does some
work; the student does some work. Together progress is made.
Education happens.
     In Psalm 119, the writer suggests a similar pattern in
verses 129-136. God is the teacher; we are the students.
Let's look at God's role in our education. He shows us mercy
(v.132). He guides our steps (v.133). And He redeems us from
outside trouble (v.134).
     But first we must be eager students, ready to accept God's
teaching, guidance, and help. We should enter His classroom with
anticipation: "The entrance of Your words gives light; it gives
understanding to the simple.... I longed for Your commandments"
(vv.130-131). In our role as students of God's Word, we should
fulfill three requirements: (1) examine God's words for what they
are teaching, (2) gain understanding from those words, and (3)
obey His statutes.
     It's time to enter God's classroom and listen and learn from
Him. When we do, we'll look at God with renewed love and at the
world with renewed concern (v.136). - Dave Branon

Thy Word is like a deep, deep mine, And jewels rich and rare Are
hidden in its mighty depths, For every searcher there. - Hodder


                           EXPLORATORY PROCEDURE

Read: Hebrews 4:11-16

The Word of God is living and powerful, ... a discerner of the
thoughts of the heart. - Hebrews 4:12

     I have a friend who recently underwent a laryngoscopy. I
winced as he explained how his doctor took a camera with a light
on the end and stuck it down his throat to try to find the cause
of his pain.
     It reminded me that God's Word is like a laryngoscopy. It
invades the unseen areas of our lives, exposing the diseased and
damaged spiritual tissue that troubles us. If you're wincing at
the thought of how uncomfortable this divine procedure might be,
consider Jesus' words: "Everyone practicing evil hates the light
and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed"
(John 3:20). Internal intrusions may be uncomfortable, but do you
really want the disease?
     Welcoming God's Word to penetrate the deep, dark places of
our hearts is the only way to find true healing and the spiritual
health we long for. Believe me, the procedure will be thorough.
As the writer of Hebrews assures, God's Word is "sharper than any
two-edged sword" (4:12)-piercing all the way through the external
stuff of our lives, all the way down to our thoughts, intentions,
and motives.
     So what are you waiting for? With God's Word you don't need
anappointment. The divine Surgeon is ready when you are! - Joe

Ever present, truest Friend, Ever near Thine aid to lend, Guide
us as we search the Word, Make it both our shield and sword.


                             FLAWED AND FRAIL

Read: 1 Corinthians 1:18-31

God has chosen the foolish of the world to put to shame the wise.
- 1 Corinthians 1:27

One of my boyhood heroes was Davy Crockett, the "King of the
Wild Frontier." I looked up to him, admiring his courage and
     Years later, my brother gave me a book that traced the
experiences of the real-life David Crockett. I was surprised by
his humanness. The real Davy Crockett made mistakes and had
serious personal problems. The book depicted him as both flawed
and frail.
     This was both disappointing and reassuring to me. It was
disappointing because he was less than I had come to believe, but
reassuring because that reality made Crockett more accessible to
me-and even more of a hero.
     In the Bible we see that God consistently used people who
were far less than perfect. That shouldn't surprise us. God is
glorified by showing Himself strong through our weaknesses. It
shows us that He desires to work through our lives not because we
are perfect but because He is. And since He uses weak and foolish
things (1 Cor.1:27), it means you and I are prime candidates for
His work.
     The Lord isn't looking for superheroes. He uses those of us
who are flawed and frail, so that He can show His strength and
grace. He wants those with a willing and available heart. -
Bill Crowder 

It's not in the flash of the style that you hone, Nor all the
degrees you've compiled; The Savior is looking for servants who
own The warm, willing heart of a child. - Gustafson


                             GOSSIP-FREE ZONE

Read: Proverbs 25:8-18

A man who bears false witness against his neighbor is like a
club,a sword, and a sharp arrow. - Proverbs 25:18

     In some offices, you can get fired for gossiping. According
to a 2002 survey, the average employee gossips 65 hours a year.
One Chicago firm decided to become a "gossip-free zone." They
require that employees never talk badly about co-workers behind
their backs. If you're caught, you lose your job.
     A ministry for people in the entertainment industry takes a
refreshing alternative to gossip. They combat it with prayer.
Instead of putting down famous people who get in trouble with bad
choices, they encourage people to pray for them.
     Among God's commands to His people is "You shall not bear
false witness against your neighbor" (Ex.20:16). While this may
be talking primarily about lying at judicial proceedings, gossip
could also be included in the command because it violates the law
of love toward our neighbor. Proverbs uses strong language to
describe this use of our words. It's like "a club, a sword, and a
sharp arrow" against others (25:18).
     Gossip feeds into our natural desires to feel superior to
others and to belong or fit in, so combating it in our personal
lives can be a challenge. But if we choose to love through
prayer, our lives can be a gossip-free zone. - Anne Cetas

Lord, forgive us for speaking carelessly about others to make
ourselves look better. Help us to think before we speak. Teach us
to be loving with our words. Amen.



                             OUT OF OBSCURITY

Read: 2 Kings 22:3-11

I have found the Book of the Law in the house of the Lord. - 2
Kings 22:8

     In an old house close to a Civil War battleground in
Virginia, workers are painstakingly restoring graffiti. Unsightly
scribbling similar to what we scrub from public view is
considered a clue to knowledge of the past. Workers are ecstatic
when a new letter or word emerges from obscurity to provide
information that has remained hidden for over 145 years.
     The story brings to mind a scene in ancient Israel when
Hilkiah the priest found the long lost book of the law in the
temple of the Lord. The very words of God, entrusted to the
nation of Israel, had been ignored, forgotten, and eventually
lost. But King Josiah was determined to follow the Lord, so he
instructed the priest to restore worship in the temple. In the
process, the Law of Moses was discovered.
     But an even greater discovery was yet to be made. Many years
later, after meeting Jesus, Philip reported to his friend
Nathanael: "We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law"
(John 1:45 NIV).
     People today get excited about discovering the scribbles of
Civil War soldiers. How much more exciting it is to discover the
words of Almighty God expressed in the Word made flesh, Jesus the
Messiah. - Julie Ackerman Link

The treasures of the Word of God, Are great beyond compare; But
if we do not search them out, We cannot use what's there. - Sper


                              OUT OF OPTIONS?

Read: 2 Kings 5:1-3,9-15

Now I know there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel. -
2 Kings 5:15

     As ancient Syria's mightiest military commander, General
Naaman had all the benefits the empire could offer: influence,
affluence, and power. All. that is, except for health! Naaman was
a leper (2 Kings 5:1-3).
     In contrast, the servant girl in the general's household had
no options or power at all. As a captive from an army raid, she
had been forced into a lifetime of slavery (v.2). But she did not
permit herself to be overcome by despair and bitterness. Rather,
she rose above her no-option estate to serve wholeheartedly the
best interests of her master.
     This servant girl didn't see her master's leprosy as God's
punishment but as an opportunity to point Naaman to God's prophet
in Samaria (v.3). Her recommendation led to Naaman's complete
healing. He declared, "Now I know that there is no God in all the
earth, except in Israel" (v.15).
     Today, many people have abundant options. Others, however,
have their choices curtailed by poverty, poor health, or other
adverse circumstances. When a crisis comes, even their limited
options evaporate.
     Yet one choice always remains. Like Naaman's servant girl,
we can still choose to serve God and point others to Him
regardless of our limited circumstances. - Albert Lee

'Tis mine to choose if self shall die, And never rise again; 'Tis
mine to yield the throne to Christ, And bid Him rule and reign. -


                             LIFE'S SURPRISES

Read: 1 Samuel 16:1-7

The Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks on the outward
appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart. - 1 Samuel 16:7

     No one watching "Britain's Got Talent" (a popular televised
talent show) expected much when mobile phone salesman Paul Potts
took the stage. The judges looked skeptically at one another when
the nervous, unassuming, ordinary-looking chap announced he would
sing opera - until Potts opened his mouth.
     He began to sing Puccini's "Nessun Dorma" - and it was
magical! The crowd roared and stood in amazement while the judges
sat stunned in tearful silence. It was one of the greatest
surprises any such television program has ever had, in large part
because it came wrapped in such an ordinary package.
     In the Old Testament, the rescuer of Israel arrived at the
battlefield in a most unlikely form - a young shepherd boy (1
Sam.17). King Saul and his entire army were surprised when David
defeated Goliath and won the day. They needed to learn the way
that God looks at people. He said to the prophet Samuel, "The
LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward
appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart" (16:7).
     If we judge others only by their outer appearance, we might
miss the wonderful surprise of what's in their heart. - Bill

O Lord, we are so quick to judge, Though much is veiled from
sight; Lord, may we see how just You are To guide us in what's
right. - D. De Haan



To be continued

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