Keith Hunt - Our Daily Bread #7 - Page Seven   Restitution of All Things

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Our Daily Bread #7

To be more like Christ

                              PIECE BY PIECE


Read: Exodus 40:17-34


According to all that the Lord had commanded (Moses), so he did.
- Exodus 40:16


     There in boxes lay all the parts - thousands of them.
Plastic blocks, wheels, poles and all sorts of seemingly
incompatible and unusable pieces. It was time to help Steven put
his Logo pieces together into something recognizable. But first
we had to look at the instructions. Without them, we could have
snapped pieces together, but we would never have been able to
construct the fire station or helicopter shown on the box.
     Back in the days of Israel's wilderness wanderings, Moses
also faced the task of putting together a structure using a
variety of parts. In Exodus 36-39, we read that the people had
gathered materials and built the parts of the tabernacle. Then
the Lord told Moses how m put it together (chapter 40). The
tabernacle would be the structure God wanted, and it would bring
glory to Him only if Moses followed His detailed plans - if he
did "as the Lord had commanded" (v.19).
     With the tabernacle - and with our lives - the only right
way to build is to follow God's guidance. Are we allowing Him to
direct our steps? Are we following His instructions as outlined
in the Bible? If we are, He will help us to put the pieces of our
lives together so that we will bring glory and honor to Him. -
Dave Branon

My Bible to me is a guidebook true That points for my feet the
way, That gives me courage and hope and cheer And guidance for
every day. - Anon.

THE WORDS OF SCRIPTURE ARE MEANT FOR OUR PROTECTION, CORRECTION,
AND DIRECTION.



                            LET'S TAKE A BREAK


Read: Luke 9:1-10


Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while. -
Mark 6:31


     According to tradition, when the apostle John was overseer
in Ephesus, his hobby was raising pigeons. It is said that on one
occasion another elder passed his house as he returned from
hunting and saw John playing with one of his birds. The man
gently chided him for spending his time so frivolously. John
looked at the hunter's bow and remarked that the string was
loose. "Yes," said the elder, "I always loosen the string of my
bow when it's not in use. If it stayed tight, it would lose its
resilience and fail me in the hunt." John responded, "And I am
now relaxing the bow of my mind so that I may be better able to
shoot the arrows of divine truth."
     We cannot do our best work with nerves taut or frayed from
being constantly under pressure. When Jesus' disciples returned
from a strenuous preaching mission, their Master recognized their
need for rest and invited them to come with Him to a quiet place
where they could be refreshed.
     Hobbies, vacations, and wholesome recreation are vital to a
well-balanced, godly life. We lose our effectiveness by keeping
our lives so tightly strung that we're always on edge. If it
seems we can't relax, Jesus may be inviting us to take a break -
to "come aside" and "rest a while." - Dennis De Haan 

If our body, soul, and spirit Are to function at their best,
Time is needed for renewal, Time for leisure, time for rest. - 
D. De Haan

IF CHRISTIANS DO NOT COME APART AND REST AWHILE, THEY MAY JUST
PLAIN COME APART! - Havner



                               SUPERSTITIONS


Read: Deuteronomy 18:19-22


You shall be blameless before the Lord your God. - Deuteronomy
18:13


     Baseball players are often superstitious. They become
involved in all kinds of odd behavior in the belief that it will
help them play better.
     When Babe Ruth ran in from the outfield, he always stepped
on second base just for good luck. Willie Mays kicked it for the
same reason. Manager Leo Durocher rode in the back seat of the
team bus to break a losing streak. Other baseball superstitions
include never changing bats after two strikes, not changing
uniforms during a wining streak, tapping the plate three times
with the bat, and not stepping on the foul line.
     Lefty O'Doul, a pitcher for the Yankees in the 1920s, said,
"It's not that if I stepped on the foul line it would really lose
the game, but why take a chance?" He must have believed deep
within himself that if some supernatural power was available, he
wanted its help.
     Harmless rituals? Some say yes But superstitions reveal
something about the object of one's trust, and in some cases they
are even tied to occult practices. The Bible warns against
trusting unknown forces that work behind the scenes. Those who
trust in Christ must reject the idea of luck or chance. God is
all-knowing and sovereign over the events of our lives, and He
wants us to trust him alone. - Dave Egner

Into His hands I lay the fears that haunt me, The dread of future
ills that may befall; Into His hands I lay the doubts that taunt
me, And rest securely, trusting Him for all. - Christiansen

WINNING IN LIFE DEPENDS ON GOD NOT GOOD LUCK.



                              GOD, ANSWER ME!


Read: Psalm 6


The Lord has heard the voice of my weeping. - Psalm 6:8


     Theresa left Sue a message that she had some great news. Sue
was convinced that her friend had received Jesus as Savior. After
all, she had been praying for Theresa's salvation for 30 years.
What could be greater news!
     A few days later, Theresa revealed her "great news": She had
a new boyfriend and was moving in with him. Sue cried out in
desperation, "Lord, what makes me think that You would answer me
after 30 years of praying?" She proceeded to have a pity party
for herself about God's seeming reluctance to answer her.
     Some of our hardest struggles are those deep desires that go
unmet - when no response comes from heaven for what seems like
forever. The psalmist David could relate. He cried, "Have mercy
on me, O Lord .... My soul also is greatly troubled; but You, O
Lord - how long? Return, O Lord, deliver me!" (Ps.6:2-4). But
later in the psalm we read that David knew the Lord bad heard him
(v.9).
     A month after Theresa's "great news," she called and left
another message: "I have wonderful news! I trusted Jesus as my
Savior! I don't know why I didn't do it long ago." Now Sue is
praying that Theresa will grow in the Lord and seek to please Him
with her life.
     Keep praying. In His time, God will answer. - Anne Cetas

Dear Lord, I know You hear me, and that You are powerful and
wise. Help me to wait patiently and to trust You for Your good
and perfect answers to the needs of those I love. Amen.

DELAY IS NOT DENIAL. SO KEEP PRAYING.




                        CELEBRATING DISAPPOINTMENT


Read: Psalm 30


You have turned for me my mourning into dancing. - Psalm 30:11


     After receiving his second Academy Award, Denzel Washington
said to his family, "I told you, if I lost tonight, I'd come
home we'd celebrate. And if I won tonight I'd come home and we'd
celebrate." Denzel, a Christian, was trusting God, whether in
blessing or in disappointment.
     A Christian couple I know were inspired to follow Denzel's
example. The woman was applying for a dream job that had just
opened up where she worked. The interview went well, but she knew
she might not get the position. Her husband suggested, "Let's
make reservations at our favorite restaurant this Friday to
celebrate - no matter what the outcome."
     Soon the news came that someone else was offered the job.
But that Friday the disappointed couple still celebrated. While
eating a delicious meal, they were able to count their blessings
and renew their faith in the God who holds tomorrow's
opportunities in His hand. When the psalmist counted his
blessings, he was lifted out of his despair and praised God,
saying, "You have turned for me my mourning into dancing" (Ps.
30:11).
     Are you facing a situation in which you could be
disappointed? Why not set up a celebration to count your
blessings no matter what the outcome? - Dennis Fisher

Thank God in your disappointment, Celebrate His grace and love;
Know that He will never leave you And will bless you from above.
-D. De Haan




                              THIS IS BETTER


Read: Proverbs 16:16-32


How much better to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding
is to be chosen rather than silver. - Proverbs 16:16

     
     People all over the world are constantly looking for the
better item, whether buying fruit in a market or
choosing a place to live. We examine, ponder, compare, and
finally make a choice based on what we believe is better. I can't
imagine anyone saying, "I'm convinced this one is worse, so I'll
take it."
     The book of Proverbs is filled with comparisons that point
us toward the right pathway in life. Because the book's purpose
is to give the reader knowledge and wisdom based on the fear of
the Lord (Prov.12:7), it's not surprising to find statements
saying, "This is better than that:"
     In Proverbs 16, we read that it is better to get wisdom than
gold or silver (v.16); better to be humble among the poor than to
be proud among the wealthy (v.19); better to control our temper
than to rule a city (v.32). Some people have the ability to be
both wise and wealthy. But when faced with a choice between the
two, proverbs says wisdom is the better alternative.
     As we read the book of Proverbs, let's look for those signs
that say, "This is better!" When God's Word shapes our thinking
and guides our choices, we'll discover that His way is always
better. - David McCasland

Not what we have, but what we use, Not what we see, but what we
choose - These are the things that mar or bless The sum of human
happiness. - Anon.

A LITTLE WISDOM IS BETTER THAN A LOT OF WEALTH



                               HERD INSTINCT


Read: John 10:14-30


My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. -
John 10:27


     Near the village of Gevas in eastern Turkey, while shepherds
ate their breakfast, one of their sheep jumped off a 45-foot
cliff to its death.
     Then, as the stunned shepherds looked on, the rest of the
flock followed. In all, 1,500 sheep mindlessly stumbled off the
cliff. The only good news was that the last 1,000 were cushioned
in their fall by the growing woolly pile of those who jumped
first. According to The Washington Post, 450 sheep died.
     The Bible often refers to human beings as sheep (Ps.100:3;
Isa.53:6; Matt.9:36). Easily distracted and susceptible to group
influence, we would rather follow the crowd than the wisdom of
the Shepherd.
     I'm glad the Bible also describes sheep in a positive way.
Jesus said "I am the Goad Shepherd .... My sheep hear My voice,
and I know them, and they follow Me" (John 10:14,27).
     So the big question for us is: Whom are we following? One
another? Self-centered shepherds? Or the voice and direction of
the Good Shepherd?
     Our challenge is to avoid the mistake of the sheep who
blindly followed one another over a cliff. We must make it our
daily purpose to ask ourselves: Am I listening for the voice of
the Good Shepherd? Am I following Him? - Mart De Haan 

Savior, like a shepherd lead us, Much we need Thy tender care;
In Thy pleasant pastures feed us, For our use Thy folds prepare.
- Thrupp

FOLLOW CHRIST NOT THE CROWD.


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