Keith Hunt - Our Daily Bread - Page Fifty-one   Restitution of All Things

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Our Daily Bread #51

God inspires, teaches, and corrects

     "LIGHT" OF CREATION

Read: Job 37:1-18


[God] does great things, and unsearchable,
marvelous things without number.
- Job 5:9


     Among the wonders of Jamaica is a body of water called
Luminous Lagoon. By day, it is a nondescript bay on the country's
northern coast. By night, it is a marvel of nature. If you visit
there after dark, you notice that the water is filled with
millions of phosphorescent organisms. Whenever there is movement,
the water and the creatures in the bay glow. When fish swim past
your boat, they light up like waterborne fireflies. As the boat
glides through the water, the wake shines brightly.
     The wonder of God's creation leaves us speechless, and this
is just a small part of the total mystery package of God's
awesome handiwork as spelled out in Job 37 and 38. Listen to what
the Lord's role is in nature's majesty: "Do you know how God
controls the clouds and makes His lightning flash?" (37:15 NIV):
"What is the way to the abode of light? And where does darkness
reside?" (38:19 NIV). God's majestic creations - whether dazzling
lightning or glowing fish - are mysteries to us. But as God
reminded Job, all of the wonders of our world are His creative
handiwork.
     When we observe God's amazing creation, our only response
can be that of Job: These are "things too wonderful for me"
(42:3). - Dave Branon

All things bright and beautiful, All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful; The Lord God made them all. -
Alexander

WHEN WE CEASE TO WONDER, WE CEASE TO WORSHIP.



                          ALMOST-PERFECT DISGUISE

Read:

Revelation 12:7-12


The accuser of our brethren, who accused them
before our God day and night,
has been cast down.
- Revelation 12:10


     Radovan Karadzic, once the leader of the Bosnian Serbs and
accused of genocide, had been one of the most wanted men in the
world. By growing a long, white beard, carrying false papers,    
and practicing alternative medicine, he fooled everyone - for a
while. After 13 years in hiding, he was finally arrested.
     The Bible tells us that Satan is also in the business of
fooling people with disguises. Right from the beginning of
human history, he pretended to be an enlightened advisor, telling
Eve that God was not honest with her (Gen.3:4). He "masquerades
as an angel of light" (2 Cor.11:14 NIV). But the Lord Jesus
Christ has unmasked him as "a liar and the father of it" (John
8:4-1). People often err at two extremes in their view of Satan.
Some dismiss him while others attribute more power to him than he
deserves. Let us not be deceived. Satan is powerful as the "god
of this age" (2 Cor.4:4). But Christians need not cower before
him in fear, because "He who is in you is greater than he who is
in the world" (1 John 4:4). The day is coming when Satan will be
cast into the lake of fire (Rev.20:10). Until that day, let's not
be deceived but rather live godly lives that reflect the image of
Christ, for He is "a man of truth: there is nothing false about
Him" (John 7:18 NIV). - C. P. Hia 

In our day-to-day existence, Evil often wears a mask; Trust the
Lord for true discernment, He gives wisdom when we ask. - Hess

SATAN OFFERS NOTHING BUT TRICKS AND DECEIT.



                               BE A STANDER

Read:

2 Timothy 4:9-19


A friend loves at all times, and a brother
is born for adversity.
- Proverbs 17:17


     Westem novelist Stephen Bly says that in the days of
America's Old West there were two types of friends (and horses):
runners and standers. At the first sign of trouble, the runner
would bolt - abandoning you to whatever peril you were facing.
But a stander would stick with you no matter the circumstances.
     Unfortunately, you wouldn't know which kind of friend you
had until trouble came. And then it was too late - unless your
friend was a stander.
     Rather than being concerned with what kind of friends we
have, however, we ought to consider what kind of friends we are.
In the final days of Paul's ministry, as he awaited death, some
who had ministered with him turned into runners and abandoned him
to face execution alone. In his last letter, he listed some (like
Demas) who had run off, then simply stated, "Only Luke is with
me" (2 Tim.4:11). Luke was a stander. While undoubtedly
disappointed by those who had deserted him, Paul must have been
deeply comforted to know he was not alone.
     Proverbs tells us that "a friend loves at all times"
(17:17). During times of adversity, we need friends we can rely
on. When the people we know face trouble, what kind of friend
will we be - a runner or a stander? - Bill Crowder

Dear Lord, help us to be the kind of friend who doesn't run when
our friends are in need. Give us the courage to stand by them,
the wisdom to know what to say, and the ability to serve them.
Amen.

A TRUE FRIEND STANDS WITH US IN TIMES OF TRIAL.



                              HELPED BY FEAR

Read:

Proverbs 9:1-12


The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
and the knowledge of the Holy One
is understanding.
- Proverbs 9:10


     Fear means different things to different people. To
professional golfer Padraig Harrington, it is a motivator to help
him perform his very best. In 2008, when he won both the British
Open and the PGA Championship, Harrington said, "Yes, fear is a
big part of me. I'd like to say that I have all the trust and
patience and I'm relaxed. No, that's not my makeup. Fear pushes
me on. Keeps me get to the gym. I have to work with it and use
it." Maybe it's the fear of failure, or the fear of losing his
edge, but Harrington finds fear to be a useful thing in his
professional life.
     The follower of Christ can also be helped by fear. We are
challenged in the Scriptures to a reverential fear of God, which
is the best type of fear that there is. It causes us to be
concerned about disobeying Him or living in opposition to His
ways. It's being in awe of our great God, bowing to His perfect
will, and seeking His wisdom for living. To that end, the proverb
declares, "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and
the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding" (Prov. 9:10).
By fearing God rightly, we can live wisely in an uncertain world.
- Bill Crowder

God dwells in light and holiness, In splendor and in might; And
godly fear of His great power, Can help us do what is right. - 
D. De Haan

FEAR GOD, AND YOU'LL HAVE NOTHING TO FEAR.




                              SEED AND FAITH

Read:

Galatians 6:7-10


Whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
- Galatians 6:7


     I read a fable about a man who was browsing in a store when
he made the shocking discovery that God was behind a sales
counter. So the man walked over and asked, "What are You
selling?" God replied, "What does your heart desire?" The man
said, "I want happiness, peace of mind, and freedom from fear ...
for me and the whole world." God smiled and said, "I don't sell
fruit here. Only seeds." Whatever a man sows, he will also reap
(v.7). We can't expect to experience the fruit of God's blessings
if we don't recognize the importance of doing our part.
     It helps to follow the example of others who have sown good
seed. Author Samuel Shoemaker said that a good example can either
inspire us or cause us to say, "Oh yes, he (or she) is like that.
He is not troubled by temper or nerves or impatience or worry as
I am; he is just a happier temperament." Shoemaker continued, "It
may not occur to us that perhaps he had to fight for his
serenity, and that we might win if we would do the same."
     Are you weary of the way you are? Ask God for His help and
begin sowing seeds of new actions and responses today. In due
season the Spirit will give the increase. - Joanie Yoder 

We're always sowing seeds in life, By everything we do and say,
So let's make sure the fruit we reap, Comes from the good we do
each day. - Hess

THE SEEDS WE SOW TODAY DETERMINE THE KIND OF FRUIT WE'LL REAP
TOMORROW.



                              A GOOD GROOMING

Read:

Psalm 139:1-10,23-24


Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; try my mind
and heart. For Your lovingkindness is before
my eyes.
- Proverbs 26:2,3



     Our dog, Dolly, is a 7-year-old West Highland Terrier. She
loves to dig in the dirt, which means she gets very dirty. We
bathe her every week or so at home, but occasionally she gets so
grimy and tangled that we have to take her to a professional
groomer. She used to hate to go to the groomer because the woman
was always in a rush and inclined to be bad-tempered and harsh.  
Getting Dolly through the door was a struggle. Just the sight of
the shop made her want to run away.
     Last year we decided to try another groomer and discovered
that our dog, though not always overjoyed at the prospect, was
less reluctant to go. That's because the groomer is kind to her
even though she must wash Dolly thoroughly, causing discomfort.
     When sin and defilement accumulate in our hearts, we need to
be cleansed. Like the psalmist David, we must ask God to
"examine" and "try" our minds and hearts, and to point out our
wicked thoughts, attitudes, and ways (Ps.139:23-24). Our Lord may
cause discomfort, for exposure is often difficult, but we can
approach Him without fear.
     The Lord's examination of us, though sometimes painful, is
gentle and kind. - David Roper

Search me, O God, and know my heart today; Try me, O Savior, know
my thoughts, I pray. See if there be some wicked way in me;
Cleanse me from every sin and set me free. - Orr

REPENTANCE IS THE HURT TO HEALING.



                         WHERE HISTORY COMES ALIVE

Read:

Exodus 13:14-16


When your children say to you, "What do you mean by this
service?" ... you shall say, "It is the Passover."
- Exodus 12:26-27


     The movie "Night at the Museum" portrays the humorous
experiences of a security guard at a natural history museum. The
excitement begins for him when the displays come to life at
night.
     Inspired by this movie, directors of a real museum created a
similar experience. The staff portrayed historic figures such as
knights in armor, Victorian when your children say ladies, and
Egyptian royalty. When children arrived at the museum, they were
told that the people in the exhibits had come alive and needed to
be led back to their proper place. As the children responded,
history came alive for them. Children need not be bored by
history. This is especially true of Bible stories. Take Moses,
for example. He escaped death as a child, was educated as a
prince, worked miracles, and received the Ten Commandments on
tablets. What exciting story elements that teach children about
God! Biblical stories have been shared with children for
generations - all the way back to the times of Exodus (ch.1213)
and Deuteronomy (ch.6). Moses described times when children were
retold vital stories from Jewish history.
     Why not set a time to read Bible stories to the children in
your life? Then watch their excitement as biblical history comes
alive! - Dennis Fisher

The stories in the Word of God, Are there for us to see, How God
has worked in people's lives, Throughout all history. - Sper

THE BIBLE'S TREASURES ARE FOUND BY THOSE WHO DIG FOR THEM.


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


To be continued


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