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Thread: Our Daily Bread

  1. #1671
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    February 15,2019

    Sinking into Grace

    [God] grants sleep to those he loves.

    Finally, on January 8, 1964, seventeen-year-old Randy Gardner did something he hadn’t done for eleven days and twenty-five minutes: he nodded off to sleep. He wanted to beat the Guinness Book World Record for how long a human could stay awake. By drinking soft drinks and hitting the basketball court and bowling alley, Gardner rebuffed sleep for a week and a half. Before finally collapsing, his sense of taste, smell, and hearing went haywire. Decades later, Gardner suffered from severe bouts of insomnia. He set the record but also confirmed the obvious: sleep is essential.
    Many of us struggle to get a decent night’s rest. Unlike Gardner who deprived himself intentionally, we might suffer sleeplessness for a number of reasons—including a mountain of anxieties: the fear of all we need to accomplish, the dread of others’ expectations, the distress of living at a frantic pace. Sometimes it’s hard for us to turn off the fear and relax.
    The psalmist tells us that “unless the Lord builds the house,” we labor in vain (Psalm 127:1). Our “toiling” and our relentless efforts are useless unless God provides what we need. Thankfully, God does provide what we need. He “grants sleep to those he loves” (v. 2). And God’s love extends to all of us. He invites us to release our anxieties to Him and sink into His rest, into His grace.

    By Winn Collier
    Today's Reflection

    God, I’m so anxious. I churn inside. Would You help me trust You with my night, with my day, with my life?


    Psalms 127:1 & 2

    (A Song of degrees for Solomon.) Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.

    2 It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.
    Last edited by JohnJohn; 02-15-2019 at 03:21 PM.

  2. #1672
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    February 16,2019

    Acts of Kindness

    [Tabitha] was always doing good and helping the poor.

    “Estera, you got a present from our friend Helen!” my mom told me when she got home from work. Growing up we didn’t have much, so receiving a present in the mail was like a second Christmas. I felt loved, remembered, and valued by God through this wonderful woman.
    The poor widows Tabitha (Dorcas) made clothes for must have felt the same way. She was a disciple of Jesus living in Joppa who was well known in the community for her acts of kindness. She was “always doing good and helping the poor” (Acts 9:36). Then she got sick and passed away. At the time, Peter was visiting a nearby city, so two believers went after him and begged him to come to Joppa.
    When Peter arrived, the widows Tabitha had helped showed him the evidence of her kindness—“the robes and other clothing that [she] had made” (v. 39). We don’t know if they asked him to intervene, but led by the Holy Spirit Peter prayed and God brought her back to life! The result of God’s kindness was that “this became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord” (v. 42).
    As we’re kind to those around us, may they turn their thoughts to God and feel valued by Him.

    By Estera Pirosca Escobar
    Today's Reflection

    Dear Lord, help me to follow You and show kindness to those around me, so they can see You in me.

    Acts 9:32-42

    And it came to pass, as Peter passed throughout all quarters, he came down also to the saints which dwelt at Lydda.
    33 And there he found a certain man named Aeneas, which had kept his bed eight years, and was sick of the palsy.
    34 And Peter said unto him, Aeneas, Jesus Christ maketh thee whole: arise, and make thy bed. And he arose immediately.
    35 And all that dwelt at Lydda and Saron saw him, and turned to the Lord.
    36 Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called
    Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and alms deeds which she did.

    37 And it came to pass in those days, that she was sick, and died: whom when they had washed, they laid her in an upper chamber.
    38 And forasmuch as Lydda was nigh to Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent unto him two men, desiring him that he would not delay to come to them.

    39 Then Peter arose and went with them. When he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and shewing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them.

    40 But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up.
    41 And he gave her his hand, and lifted her up, and when he had called the saints and widows, presented her alive.
    42 And it was known throughout all Joppa; and many believed in the Lord.


  3. #1673
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    February 17,2019

    Atmosphere of Encouragement

    Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.

    I’m encouraged every time I visit the fitness center near our house. In that busy place, I’m surrounded by others who are striving to improve their physical health and strength. Posted signs remind us not to judge each other, but words and actions that reveal support for others’ conditioning efforts are always welcomed.
    What a great picture of how things should look in the spiritual realm of life! Those of us who are striving to “get in shape” spiritually, to grow in our faith, can sometimes feel as if we don’t belong because we’re not as spiritually fit—as mature in our walk with Jesus—as someone else.
    Paul gave us this short, direct suggestion: “Encourage one another and build each other up” (1 Thessalonians 5:11). And to the believers in Rome he wrote: “Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up” (Romans 15:2). Recognizing that our Father is so lovingly gracious with us, let’s show God’s grace to others with encouraging words and actions.
    As we “accept one another” (v. 7), let’s entrust our spiritual growth to God—to the work of His Spirit. And while we daily seek to follow Him, may we create an atmosphere of encouragement for our brothers and sisters in Jesus as they also seek to grow in their faith.

    By Dave Branon
    Today's Reflection

    Lord, help me today to encourage others along the way. Guide me to say what will not discourage but will spur them toward a deeper walk with You in Your love.


    Romans 15:1-7

    We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.

    2
    Let every one of us please his neighbor for his good to edification.
    3 For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.
    4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

    5 Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be like minded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:

    6 That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    7 Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.
    Last edited by JohnJohn; Yesterday at 07:39 AM.

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    February 18,2019

    Praying and Growing

    Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God.

    When my friend David’s wife developed Alzheimer’s disease, the changes it brought to his life made him bitter. He needed to retire early to care for her; and as the disease progressed, she required increasingly more care.
    “I was so angry at God,” he told me. “But the more I prayed about it, the more He showed me my heart and how I had been selfish for most of our marriage.” Tears welled in his eyes as he confessed, “She’s been sick ten years, but God has helped me see things differently. Now, everything I do out of love for her, I also do for Jesus. Caring for her has become the greatest privilege of my life.”
    Sometimes God answers our prayers not by giving us what we want but by challenging us to change. When the prophet Jonah was angry because God spared the wicked city of Nineveh from destruction, God caused a plant to shade him from the hot sun (Jonah 4:6). Then He made it wither. When Jonah complained, God answered, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?” (vv. 7–9). Jonah, focused only on himself, insisted it was. But God challenged him to think about others and have compassion.
    God sometimes uses our prayers in unexpected ways to help us learn and grow. It’s a change we can welcome with open hearts because He wants to transform us with His love.

    By James Banks
    Today's Reflection

    Lord Jesus, thank You for helping me grow when I pray. Help me to be sensitive to what You want for my life today.


    Jonah 4:1-11
    But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry.
    2
    And he prayed unto the LORD, and said, I pray thee, O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.

    3 Therefore now, O LORD, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.
    4 Then said the LORD, Doest thou well to be angry?
    5 So Jonah went out of the city, and sat on the east side of the city, and there made him a booth, and sat under it in the shadow, till he might see what would become of the city. 6 And the LORD God prepared a gourd, and made it to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him from his grief. So Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd.

    7 But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered.

    8 And it came to pass, when the sun did arise, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and wished in himself to die, and said, It is better for me to die than to live.

    9 And God said to Jonah, Doest thou well to be angry for the gourd? And he said, I do well to be angry, even unto death.
    10 Then said the LORD, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night:

    11 And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?
    Last edited by JohnJohn; Today at 09:10 AM.

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