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  #1401  
Old 06-08-2012, 04:02 PM
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Getting To Heaven

June 8, 2012— byDave Branon

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn

Read: Romans 3:21-28
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved. —Acts 16:31
Bible in a Year:
Psalms 43-45

While working with third- and fourth-graders at our church’s Vacation Bible School, I decided to give all 25 of the children a gift on the last day. But I told them that in order to receive it, they would each have to tell me how a person can get to heaven.
It was interesting to hear what these 9- and 10-year-olds said. Many were clear that salvation is through faith in Jesus Christ, but some were not yet equipped to explain the gospel. “You have to be good and go to Sunday school,” said one. Another asked tentatively, “You have to pray to God?” Still another: “If you are nice to your friends and obey your mom and dad.”
As I gently tried to direct the thinking of each child to the central element of salvation—faith in Jesus who died to pay for our sins and then rose again—I thought that these kids represented so many others in our world who don’t yet understand the gospel.
How about you? Are your ideas about salvation based on biblical truth? Think about the importance of what Jesus did for you. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 16:31). There is so much more at stake than getting a free gift for answering a question.
A Matter Of Faith
Jesus paid the penalty for your sins by His death. When
you admit you are a sinner and place your faith in Him
alone for forgiveness, you will be reconciled to God.
Believing Christ died—that’s history; believing Christ died for me—that’s salvation.
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  #1402  
Old 06-09-2012, 02:43 AM
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Default Jun. 9

The Way To An “Easy” Life

June 9, 2012

Read: 1 Thessalonians 3

No one should be shaken by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we are appointed to this. —1 Thessalonians 3:3

Are parents trying too hard to make their kids happy? And is that having the opposite effect? These questions introduce an interview with Lori Gottlieb, author of an article on the subject of unhappy young adults. Her conclusion: Yes. Parents who refuse to let their children experience failure or sadness give them a false view of the world and do not prepare them for the harsh realities of adult life. They’re left feeling empty and anxious.

Some Christians expect that the Lord will be the kind of parent who protects them from all sorrow and disappointment. But that’s not the kind of Father He is. He lovingly allows His children to go through suffering (Isa. 43:2; 1 Thess. 3:3).

When we start with the mistaken belief that it’s an easy life that will make us truly happy, we become weary trying to live out our faulty belief. But when we face the truth that life is difficult, we can invest our lives in the pursuit of a good and godly life instead. That kind of life strengthens us for the times when life is difficult.

God’s goal is to make us holy, not just happy (1 Thess. 3:13). And when we are holy, we are more likely to be truly happy and content.
Must I be carried to the skies
On flowery beds of ease,
While others fought to win the prize,
And sailed through bloody seas? —Watts
A contented person has learned to accept the bitter with the sweet.
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-Colossians 3:23

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  #1403  
Old 06-10-2012, 04:42 AM
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Default Jun. 10

Unanswered

June 10, 2012

Read: Luke 18:1-8

[Jesus] spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart. —Luke 18:1

One of my biggest struggles is unanswered prayer. Maybe you can relate. You ask God to rescue a friend from addiction, to grant salvation to a loved one, to heal a sick child, to mend a relationship. All these things you think must be God’s will. For years you pray. But you hear nothing back from Him and you see no results.

You remind the Lord that He’s powerful. That your request is a good thing. You plead. You wait. You doubt—maybe He doesn’t hear you, or maybe He isn’t so powerful after all. You quit asking—for days or months. You feel guilty about doubting. You remember that God wants you to take your needs to Him, and you tell Him your requests again.

We may sometimes feel we’re like the persistent widow in Jesus’ parable recorded in Luke 18. She keeps coming to the judge, badgering him and trying to wear him down so he’ll give in. But we know that God is kinder and more powerful than the judge in the parable. We trust Him, for He is good and wise and sovereign. We remember that Jesus said we “always ought to pray and not lose heart” (v.1).

So we ask Him, “Summon Your power, O God; show us Your strength, O God, as You have done before” (Ps. 68:28 NIV). And then we trust Him . . . and wait.
Pray on, then, child of God, pray on;
This is your duty and your task.
To God the answering belongs;
Yours is the simpler part—to ask. —Chisholm
Delay is not denial so keep praying.
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  #1404  
Old 06-11-2012, 02:35 AM
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Default Jun. 11

A Circle Of Friends

June 11, 2012

Read: Ephesians 2:1-13

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. —Ephesians 2:13

Many high school students with autism or Down syndrome feel excluded and ignored. They often eat alone in a crowded cafeteria because other students don’t know how to relate to them or simply don’t care. To address this need, speech therapist Barbara Palilis began “Circle of Friends”—a program that pairs students with disabilities with nondisabled peers for lunch dates and social activities. Through this outreach, special-needs students and those nondisabled peers who befriend them continue to be enriched and changed through the gift of acceptance, friendship, and understanding.

Being included is at the heart of the gospel of Christ. “God, who is rich in mercy, . . . even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)” (Eph. 2:4-5). Through faith in Christ, we “who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ” (v.13).

Our privileged place as members of the “household of God” (v.19) should give us eyes to see and hearts to care for those around us who are ignored and alone. If each of us would reach out in caring friendship to one person today, what a difference it would make for us all.
I needed help. Someone came alongside,
Sent by our Savior to care and to guide.
I now help you. We know that He is there,
Loving us both, and extending His care. —Verway
Reach out in friendship and encourage the lonely; energize the weary.
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  #1405  
Old 06-12-2012, 03:42 AM
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Default Jun. 12

Pea****s And Their Kin

June 12, 2012

Read: 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

My strength is made perfect in weakness. —2 Corinthians 12:9

Male pea****s are resplendent creatures with iridescent blue-green plumage and elongated trains tipped with “eyes” colored in hues of gold, red, and blue. They are strikingly beautiful birds, but they have ugly feet!

To be honest, most of us have some type of physical limitation. It may be something we’ve borne all our lives or one we’ve recently acquired.

Paul described his deficiency as a “thorn in the flesh” that kept him humble (2 Cor. 12:7-9). Three times he asked the Lord to remove it, probably thinking that he could then serve God better. But the Lord assured him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Paul replied, “Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

One of the ironies of faith is that God often chooses us to accomplish His most important tasks despite our imperfections, not because of our speaking ability, looks, or fitness for the task. Missionary Hudson Taylor said, “God was looking for someone weak enough to use, and he found [you and me]!” When we find our strength in Him, He can use us in ways we could never imagine (v.9).
Lord, I have many weaknesses. Please show Your
strength through me by using me in whatever way
You please. May others see You at work in me and
praise Your name. Amen.
God’s strength is best seen in our weakness.
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  #1406  
Old 06-12-2012, 12:58 PM
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<sarcasm on> Love the editting. Changing pea****s to pea****s. <sarcasm off>

Is that a feature of this web site?
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  #1407  
Old 06-12-2012, 12:58 PM
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Yep, changed by peac0cks to pea****s.
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  #1408  
Old 06-13-2012, 03:33 AM
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Default Jun. 13

The Best Teacher

June 13, 2012

Read: Psalm 1

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly. —Psalm 1:1

In talking to young people about preparing for the future, I’ve had several say something like this: “We must get into the world to experience ungodly situations and ungodly people in order to grow stronger.”

This kind of thinking has swallowed up many immature Christians and eventually turned them against God. Sure, we’re in the world (John 17:15) and we’re exposed to non-Christian situations (school, job, neighborhood), but we need to be careful that exposure to those situations does not lead to embracing ungodly philosophies. All of us would mature faster by following the divine pattern suggested in Psalm 1:1.

First, let’s not let our decisions and choices be controlled by the “counsel of the ungodly.” Second, we shouldn’t put ourselves in a place where those who don’t know Jesus can unduly influence our thought processes. Third, let’s avoid getting comfortable with those who mock God, His Word, and His role in our life so that their thinking seems right to us.

Counsel from such sources leads us away from God. Instead, it’s best to get our training, our guidance, and our advice from God’s holy Word and those who know it and love it. God and His Word, not experiences, are our best teacher.
You’ve given us Your Spirit, Lord,
To help us grow, mature, and learn,
To teach us from Your written Word,
So truth from error we’ll discern. —Sper
Let God’s Word fill your memory, rule your heart, and guide your life.
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  #1409  
Old 06-14-2012, 03:03 AM
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Default Jun. 14

The Lamb Who Is The Lion

June 14, 2012

Read: Revelation 5:1-12

At the name of Jesus every knee should bow . . . [and] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. —Philippians 2:10-11

In Revelation 5, the apostle John portrays Jesus, the Lion of Judah (v.5), as a wounded Lamb (v.6). Referring to this word picture, preacher Charles Spurgeon asked, “Why should our exalted Lord appear in His wounds in glory?” His reply: “The wounds of Jesus are His glory.”

Typically, the symbol of a lamb does not represent power and victory. Most people prefer symbols of strength that invite admiration. Yet God chose to be incarnated as a baby born into a poor carpenter’s home. He lived as an itinerant preacher and died “as a lamb to the slaughter” (Isa. 53:7) on a Roman cross. Everyone, including His disciples, thought that His crucifixion spelled the end of the One who had dared to defy the established religious order of His day. But when Jesus Christ rose from the dead, He demonstrated mightily God’s incomparable power and glory.

The day is coming when Jesus will return in glory to rule what is rightfully His. On that day, all will bow before Him and say, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!” (Rev. 5:12). Jesus, the Lamb who is also the Lion, deserves our praise!
Every knee in heaven is bending
To the Lamb for sinners slain;
Every voice and harp is swelling—
“Worthy is the Lamb to reign!” —Deck
To honor our King, His praises we sing.
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  #1410  
Old 06-15-2012, 04:04 AM
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Default Jun. 15

Lost And Found

June 15, 2012

Read: Luke 15:4-10

Rejoice with me, for I have found the [coin] which I lost! —Luke 15:9

Recently, I couldn’t find my credit card. I began frantically looking for it because losing a credit card is no small thing. Automatic payments and daily purchases would all be disrupted until it could be replaced. Not to mention the possibility of someone finding it and charging items to our account. What a relief it was when my wife found it on the floor under the computer table.

In Luke 15:8-10, Christ told the story of something that was lost—a valuable coin, which was equivalent to a day’s wages. The woman who lost the coin was so concerned about locating it that she lit a lamp, swept the house, and carefully searched until she found it. Then she told her friends “Rejoice with me, for I have found the [coin] which I lost!” (v.9). Then Jesus gave the point of the story: “Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents” (v.10).

People are of great value to God. Those who don’t know Him are lost in their sins. Christ paid the ultimate price by dying on the cross for their redemption. Do you know people who are lost? Ask the Lord to give you an opportunity to share the good news with them so they can repent of their sins and be found by our gracious God.
The Lord has come to seek and save
A world that is lost in sin;
And everyone who comes to Him
Will be restored and changed within. —Sper
To be found, you must first admit that you’re lost.
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