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Thread: Our Daily Bread

  1. #1601
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    Friday, December 7, 2018

    All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:16

    My friend was adopted by a missionary couple from the United States and grew up in Ghana. After his family moved back to the US, he began college but had to drop out. Later, he signed on with the military, which eventually helped him pay for college and took him all over the world. Through it all, God was at work, preparing him for a special role. Today, he writes and edits Christian literature that ministers to an international audience.

    His wife also has an interesting story. She failed her chemistry exams during her first year of college due to the strong medication she had to take for epilepsy. After some careful deliberation, she switched from studying science to studying American Sign Language, which had a more manageable workload. Reflecting on that experience, she says, “God was redirecting my life for a greater purpose.” Today, she is making His life-changing Word accessible to the hearing-impaired.

    Do you sometimes wonder where God is leading you? Psalm 139:16 acknowledges God’s sovereign hand in our lives: “Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” We don’t know how God will use the circumstances of our life, but we can rest in the knowledge that God knows everything about us and is directing our footsteps. Though His sovereign hand may seem hidden, He’s never absent.

    Dear Lord, help me to trust You even when I don’t understand.

    What steps can you take to discern God’s leading or to act on His call for your life? By Poh Fang Chia | See Other Authors

    INSIGHT: David wrote Psalm 139 to worship God, but he also gave us a primer in theology proper—the study of the person of God. He does this by focusing on three of God’s character qualities, what theologians call “attributes.” In verse 1, David points out God’s omniscience—that He is all-knowing: “You have searched me, Lord, and you know me.” He then moves to God’s omnipresence—that God is everywhere present at once: “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?” (v. 7). Then the psalmist moves to God’s omnipotence—that there is no limit to His power—which is evidenced in how He forms us: “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb” (v. 13).

    For more on Psalm 139, listen to the Discover the Word programs “Search Me” at discovertheword.org/series/search-me-2/.

    Bill Crowder
    Psalms 139:13-18

    13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
    14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
    15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
    16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
    17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
    18 Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand—
    when I awake, I am still with you.

    Footnotes:Psalm 139:17 Or How amazing are your thoughts concerning me

    Cross references:Psalm 139:13 : Ps 119:73 Psalm 139:13 : S Job 10:11 Psalm 139:13 : Isa 44:2, 24; 46:3; 49:5; Jer 1:5 Psalm 139:14 : Ps 119:164; 145:10 Psalm 139:14 : S Job 40:19 Psalm 139:15 : Ecc 11:5 Psalm 139:15 : S Job 10:11 Psalm 139:15 : S Ps 63:9 Psalm 139:16 : S Job 33:29; S Ps 90:12 Psalm 139:17 : S Ps 92:5 Psalm 139:17 : S Job 5:9 Psalm 139:18 : Ps 40:5 Psalm 139:18 : S Job 29:18 Psalm 139:18 : S Ps 3:5

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    Saturday, December 8, 2018

    In My Fathers house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. John 14:2nkjv

    Recently a friend who sold homes for a living died of cancer. As my wife and I reminisced about Patsy, Sue recalled that many years ago Patsy had led a man to faith in Jesus and he became a good friend of ours.

    How encouraging to recall that Patsy not only helped families find homes to live in here in our community, but she also helped others make sure they had an eternal home.

    As Jesus prepared to go to the cross for us, He showed a keen interest in our eternal accommodations. He told His disciples, “I go to prepare a place for you” and reminded them that there would be plenty of room in His Father’s house for all who trusted Him (John 14:2 nkjv).

    We love to have a nice home in this life—a special place for our family to eat, sleep, and enjoy each other’s company. But think of how amazing it will be when we step into the next life and discover that God has taken care of our eternal accommodations. Praise God for giving us life “to the full” (John 10:10), including His presence with us now and our presence with Him later in the place He is preparing for us (14:3).

    Thinking of what God has in store for those who trust Jesus can challenge us to do as Patsy did and introduce others to Him.

    Lord, while we anticipate the home You’re preparing for us, may we tell others they too can enjoy forever the home You’re preparing for all who believe in Jesus.

    Who can you talk to today about their need for an eternal home and the assurance that would bring them? By Dave Branon

    INSIGHT: John 14:1–6 is a familiar passage in which Jesus states He is the way, the truth, and the life. He then discusses going away to prepare rooms for His followers. As believers, we look forward to the day when we will be with Christ (v. 3). But these statements would have sounded completely different to the ears of the disciples. For us, these words assure us we will someday meet Jesus face to face. But for the disciples, this will be a reunion.

    The focus of this passage is not the rooms in the Father’s house but being with Jesus. Jesus is coming back to take His followers with Him so that they will be where He is (v. 3). Being with Jesus is the encouragement He was offering the disciples, and it’s the same encouragement He offers us.

    J.R. Hudberg
    John 14:1-6

    Jesus Comforts His Disciples

    14 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.” Jesus the Way to the Father

    5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

    6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

    Footnotes:John 14:1 Or Believe in God

    Cross references:John 14:1 : ver 27 John 14:1 : S Jn 3:15 John 14:1 : Ps 4:5 John 14:2 : Jn 13:33, 36; 16:5 John 14:3 : ver 18, 28; S Mt 16:27 John 14:3 : S Jn 12:26 John 14:5 : S Jn 11:16 John 14:6 : S Jn 6:35 John 14:6 : Jn 10:9; Eph 2:18; Heb 10:20 John 14:6 : Jn 1:14 John 14:6 : S Jn 1:4 John 14:6 : Ac 4:12

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    Sunday, December 9, 2018

    Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever. Psalm 136:1

    “I love you!” my dad called out as I slammed the car door and headed into school. I was in sixth grade, and for months we had played out basically the same scenario every morning. We arrived at school, Dad said, “Have a great day! I love you!” and all I said was “Bye.” I wasn’t angry with him or ignoring him. I was simply so wrapped up in my own thoughts that I didn’t notice his words. Nevertheless, my dad’s love remained steadfast.

    God’s love is like that—and more. It endures forever. The Hebrew word that expresses this steadfast kind of love is hesed. It’s used over and over again in the Old Testament, and twenty-six times in Psalm 136 alone! No modern word can fully capture the meaning; we translate it “kindness,” “loving-kindness,” “mercy,” or “loyalty.” Hesed is a love that is based on covenant commitment; love that is loyal and faithful. Even when God’s people sinned, He was faithful in loving them. Steadfast love is an integral part of the character of God (Exodus 34:6).

    When I was a child, I sometimes took my dad’s love for granted. Sometimes now I do the same thing with my heavenly Father’s love. I forget to listen to God and respond. I forget to be grateful. Yet I know that God’s love for me remains steadfast—a reality that provides a sure foundation for all of my life.

    God, we praise You for Your steadfast love to us! Even when we’re faithless, You’re faithful.

    Take time to show the love of God to someone today. By Amy Peterson

    INSIGHT: Psalm 136 is known in Jewish tradition as the Great Hallel (from hallelujah; a psalm of praise). The writer of this psalm isn’t given, although some commentators suggest it was written by David. This joyful psalm was likely used as a responsive reading or song. The congregation would repeat (or sing) in unison the refrain “His love endures forever” after an individual or a choir of priests and Levites sang each opening sentence. It was likely sung during the dedication of Solomon’s temple (2 Chronicles 7:3, 6). Variations of the refrain are also found in 1 Chronicles 16:34 and 2 Chronicles 5:13; 20:21. This psalm not only served as a reminder to the Israelites but also reminds us today to praise God for His never-ending goodness and His wondrous deeds on our behalf.

    Alyson Kieda
    Psalms 136:1-9

    Psalm 136

    1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
    His love endures forever.
    2 Give thanks to the God of gods.
    His love endures forever.
    3 Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
    His love endures forever.

    4 to him who alone does great wonders,
    His love endures forever.
    5 who by his understanding made the heavens,
    His love endures forever.
    6 who spread out the earth upon the waters,
    His love endures forever.
    7 who made the great lights—
    His love endures forever.
    8 the sun to govern the day,
    His love endures forever.
    9 the moon and stars to govern the night;
    His love endures forever.

    Cross references: Psalm 136:1 : Ps 105:1 Psalm 136:1 : Ps 100:5; 106:1; 145:9; Jer 33:11; Na 1:7 Psalm 136:1 : ver 2-26; S 2Ch 5:13; S Ezr 3:11; Ps 118:1-4 Psalm 136:2 : Ps 105:1 Psalm 136:2 : S Dt 10:17 Psalm 136:3 : Ps 105:1 Psalm 136:3 : S Dt 10:17; S 1Ti 6:15 Psalm 136:4 : S Ex 3:20; S Job 9:10 Psalm 136:5 : Pr 3:19; Jer 51:15 Psalm 136:5 : S Ge 1:1 Psalm 136:6 : S Ge 1:1; Isa 42:5; Jer 10:12; 33:2 Psalm 136:6 : S Ge 1:6 Psalm 136:7 : Ge 1:14, 16; Ps 74:16; Jas 1:17 Psalm 136:8 : S Ge 1:16

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