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Thread: Our Daily Bread

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    Friday, April 14, 2017

    “Surely this man was the Son of God!” Mark 15:39

    In the church I attend, a large cross stands at the front of the sanctuary. It represents the original cross where Jesus died—the place where our sin intersected with His holiness. There God allowed His perfect Son to die for the sake of every wrong thing we have ever done, said, or thought. On the cross, Jesus finished the work that was required to save us from the death we deserve (Rom. 6:23).

    The sight of a cross causes me to consider what Jesus endured for us. Before being crucified, He was flogged and spit on. The soldiers hit Him in the head with sticks and got down on their knees in mock worship. They tried to make Him carry His own cross to the place where He would die, but He was too weak from the brutal flogging. At Golgotha, they hammered nails through His flesh to keep Him on the cross when they turned it upright. Those wounds bore the weight of His body as He hung there. Six hours later, Jesus took His final breath (Mark 15:37). A centurion who witnessed Jesus’s death declared, “Surely this man was the Son of God!” (v. 39).

    Jesus, thank You for taking care of my sin when You died on the cross.

    The next time you see the symbol of the cross, consider what it means to you. God’s Son suffered and died there and then rose again to make eternal life possible.

    Dear Jesus, I can’t begin to thank You enough for taking care of my sin when You died on the cross. I acknowledge Your sacrifice, and I believe in the power of Your resurrection.

    The cross of Christ reveals our sin at its worst and God’s love at its best.

    INSIGHT:In the two cameos provided in our reading today, we witness the injustice and horrors of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Verses 19–20 reveal the terrible indignity Jesus endured before going to the cross. Roman soldiers mocked, struck, and spit on Him. Next, a supernatural darkness came over the world (vv. 33–39). Many theologians believe it was then that the eternal fellowship of the Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—was disrupted as God the Son was made sin for us so that we might have right standing and relationship with God. The Father turned away from Him and in anguish Christ cried out: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” But because of God’s redeeming love, we will never be forsaken. How does this give you greater confidence in facing the future?
    Mark 15:19-20, 33-39

    19*Again and again they struck him on the head with a staff and spit on him. Falling on their knees, they paid homage to him. 20*And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him.

    Cross references:Mark 15:20 : Heb 13:12
    Humble yourself, for there is an enormous change coming.

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  3. #1052
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    Saturday, April 15, 2017

    He poured out his life unto death. Isaiah 53:12

    Our daughter burst into tears as we waved goodbye to my parents. After visiting us in England, they were starting their long journey back to their home in the US. “I don’t want them to go,” she said. As I comforted her, my husband remarked, “I’m afraid that’s the price of love.”

    We might feel the pain of being separated from loved ones, but Jesus felt the ultimate separation when He paid the price of love on the cross. He, who was both human and God, fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy 700*years after Isaiah gave it when He “bore*the sin of many” (Isa. 53:12). In this chapter*we see rich pointers to Jesus being the suffering Servant, such as when He was “pierced for our transgressions” (v. 5), which happened when He was nailed to the cross and when one of the soldiers pierced His side (John 19:34), and that “by his wounds we are healed” (Isa. 53:5).

    He poured out his life unto death. Isaiah 53:12

    Because of love, Jesus came to earth and was born a baby. Because of love, He received the abuse of the teachers of the law, the crowds, and the soldiers. Because of love, He suffered and died to be the perfect sacrifice, standing in our place before the Father. We live because of love.*

    Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God who takes away our sins, have mercy on us, and help us to extend mercy and love to others. Show us how we might share Your love with others today.

    Jesus was the perfect sacrifice who died to give us life.

    INSIGHT:Can you think of a time when you thought you would have been willing to do anything for love? Or, by contrast, have you known what it is like to avoid love—for fear of being hurt? *

    Living eight centuries before Christ, the prophet Isaiah had the hard job of letting the people of Jerusalem know that God loved them too much to let them continue to turn their backs on Him without consequence.*Before confronting the idolatries of Ephraim, Assyria, and Egypt, Isaiah described the citizens of Jerusalem and Judea as dearly loved children who had rebelled against their Father (1:2–3). In chapter five it is evident that God cares too much about His people to let them continue embracing the false gods and futile hopes of other nations (vv. 1–7).*

    Woven through Isaiah’s warnings, however, are promises that the painful judgments of God have a merciful purpose. Beyond the consequences, Isaiah sees a future of restoration not just for Jerusalem but also for the whole world (2:1–5).*Yet, until the day of Jesus’s resurrection, the means by which God would carry out that rescue was a secret of His love.
    Isaiah 53:9-12

    9*He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
    and with the rich in his death,
    though he had done no violence,
    nor was any deceit in his mouth.

    10*Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
    and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin,
    he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
    and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
    11*After he has suffered,
    he will see the light of life and be satisfied;
    by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
    and he will bear their iniquities.
    12*Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
    and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
    because he poured out his life unto death,
    and was numbered with the transgressors.
    For he bore the sin of many,
    and made intercession for the transgressors.

    Footnotes:Isaiah 53:10 Hebrew though you make Isaiah 53:11 Dead Sea Scrolls (see also Septuagint); Masoretic Text does not have the light of life. Isaiah 53:11 Or (with Masoretic Text) 11*He will see the fruit of his suffering / and will be satisfied Isaiah 53:11 Or by knowledge of him Isaiah 53:12 Or many Isaiah 53:12 Or numerous

    Cross references:Isaiah 53:9 : Mt 27:38; Mk 15:27; Lk 23:32; Jn 19:18 Isaiah 53:9 : Mt 27:57-60; Mk 15:43-46; Lk 23:50-53; Jn 19:38-41 Isaiah 53:9 : Isa 42:1-3 Isaiah 53:9 : S Job 16:17; 1Pe 2:22*; 1Jn 3:5; Rev 14:5 Isaiah 53:10 : Isa 46:10; 55:11; Ac 2:23 Isaiah 53:10 : ver 5 Isaiah 53:10 : S ver 3; S Ge 12:17 Isaiah 53:10 : S Lev 5:15; Jn 3:17 Isaiah 53:10 : S Ps 22:30 Isaiah 53:10 : S Jos 1:8; S Isa 49:4 Isaiah 53:11 : Jn 10:14-18 Isaiah 53:11 : S Job 33:30 Isaiah 53:11 : S Isa 20:3; Ac 7:52 Isaiah 53:11 : S Isa 6:7; Jn 1:29; Ac 10:43; S Ro 4:25 Isaiah 53:11 : S Ex 28:38 Isaiah 53:12 : S Isa 6:1; S Php 2:9 Isaiah 53:12 : S Ex 15:9; S Ps 119:162; Lk 11:22 Isaiah 53:12 : Mt 26:28, 38, 39, 42 Isaiah 53:12 : Mt 27:38; Mk 15:27*; Lk 22:37*; 23:32 Isaiah 53:12 : S ver 6; 1Pe 2:24 Isaiah 53:12 : Heb 9:28 Isaiah 53:12 : Isa 59:16; S Ro 8:34
    Last edited by Old Ridge Runner; 04-15-2017 at 05:53 AM.
    Humble yourself, for there is an enormous change coming.

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    Sunday, April 16, 2017

    Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering. Isaiah 53:4

    When asked if he thought that ignorance and apathy were problems in modern society, a man joked, “I don’t know and I don’t care.”

    I suppose many discouraged people feel that way about the world today and the people in it. But when it comes to the perplexities and concerns of our lives, Jesus fully understands, and He deeply cares. Isaiah 53, an Old Testament prophecy of the crucifixion of Jesus, gives us a glimpse of what He went through for us. “He was oppressed and afflicted . . . led like a lamb to the slaughter” (v. 7). “For the transgression of my people he was punished” (v. 8). “It was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand” (v. 10).

    Jesus knew what it would cost to save us from our sins and, in love, He willingly paid it.

    On the cross Jesus willingly bore our sin and guilt. No one ever suffered more than our Lord did for us. He knew what it would cost to save us from our sins and, in love, He willingly paid it (vv. 4–6).

    Because of Jesus’s resurrection from the dead, He is alive and present with us today. Whatever situation we face, Jesus understands and cares. And He will carry us through.

    Lord, we give thanks for Your knowledge of our circumstances and Your care for us. Today we want to walk with You and honor You in all we do.

    He is not here; He has*risen! Luke 24:6

    INSIGHT:As Isaiah prophetically describes the crucifixion of Jesus, we see it all from the perspective of people at the foot of the cross. In verse 3, “we” held Him in low esteem. In verse 4, He bore “our” suffering. This perspective is critical because Isaiah anticipates the hostility with which Jesus would be viewed. As Jesus died for the sins of the world, the anger directed at Him by the people for whom He died brings new significance to His loving words, “Father, forgive them . . .” (Luke 23:34).*

    For more on the ground-level view of the cross of Jesus see the Discovery Series booklet The Power of the Cross at discoveryseries.org/hp131.
    Isaiah 53:1-8

    53*Who has believed our message
    and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
    2*He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
    and like a root out of dry ground.
    He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
    nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
    3*He was despised and rejected by mankind,
    a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
    Like one from whom people hide their faces
    he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

    4*Surely he took up our pain
    and bore our suffering,
    yet we considered him punished by God,
    stricken by him, and afflicted.
    5*But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
    the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
    and by his wounds we are healed.
    6*We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
    each of us has turned to our own way;
    and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.

    7*He was oppressed and afflicted,
    yet he did not open his mouth;
    he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
    and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
    so he did not open his mouth.
    8*By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
    Yet who of his generation protested?
    For he was cut off from the land of the living;
    for the transgression of my people he was punished.

    Footnotes:Isaiah 53:8 Or From arrest Isaiah 53:8 Or generation considered / that he was cut off from the land of the living, / that he was punished for the transgression of my people?

    Cross references:Isaiah 53:1 : S Isa 28:9; Ro 10:16* Isaiah 53:1 : S Ps 98:1; S Isa 30:30 Isaiah 53:1 : Jn 12:38* Isaiah 53:2 : S 2Ki 19:26; S Job 14:7; S Isa 4:2 Isaiah 53:2 : S Isa 11:10 Isaiah 53:2 : Isa 52:14 Isaiah 53:3 : Ps 69:29 Isaiah 53:3 : ver 4, 10; S Ex 1:10; S Mt 16:21; Lk 18:31-33; Heb 5:8 Isaiah 53:3 : S Dt 31:17; Isa 1:15 Isaiah 53:3 : S 1Sa 2:30; S Ps 22:6; Mt 27:29; Jn 1:10-11 Isaiah 53:4 : Mt 8:17* Isaiah 53:4 : S Dt 5:24; S Job 4:5; Jer 23:5-6; 25:34; Eze 34:23-24; Mic 5:2-4; Zec 13:7; Jn 19:7 Isaiah 53:4 : S ver 3; S Ge 12:17; S Ru 1:21 Isaiah 53:5 : S Ps 22:16 Isaiah 53:5 : S Ex 28:38; S Ps 39:8; S Jn 3:17; Ro 4:25; 1Co 15:3; Heb 9:28 Isaiah 53:5 : Ps 34:18 Isaiah 53:5 : S Isa 50:6 Isaiah 53:5 : S Isa 9:6; Ro 5:1 Isaiah 53:5 : Isa 1:6; Mt 27:26; Jn 19:1 Isaiah 53:5 : S Dt 32:39; S 2Ch 7:14; 1Pe 2:24-25 Isaiah 53:6 : S Ps 95:10; 1Pe 2:24-25 Isaiah 53:6 : S 1Sa 8:3; Isa 56:11; 57:17; Mic 3:5 Isaiah 53:6 : ver 12; S Ex 28:38; Ro 4:25 Isaiah 53:7 : Isa 49:26 Isaiah 53:7 : S Mk 14:61; 1Pe 2:23 Isaiah 53:7 : Mt 27:31; S Jn 1:29 Isaiah 53:7 : S Ps 44:22 Isaiah 53:8 : Mk 14:49 Isaiah 53:8 : Ps 88:5; Da 9:26; Ac 8:32-33* Isaiah 53:8 : ver 12; S Ps 39:8
    Humble yourself, for there is an enormous change coming.

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    Amazing what some people choose to believe?


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    Monday, April 17, 2017

    I go and prepare a place for you. John 14:3

    “There’s no place like home.” The phrase reflects a deeply rooted yearning within us to have a place to rest, be, and belong. Jesus addressed this desire for rootedness when, after He and His friends had their last supper together, He spoke about His impending death and resurrection. He promised that although He would go away, He would come back for them. And He would prepare a room for them. A dwelling-place. A home.

    He made this place for them—and us—through fulfilling the requirements of God’s law when He died on the cross as the sinless man. He assured His disciples that if He went to the trouble of creating this home, that of course He would come back for them and not leave them alone. They didn’t need to fear or*be worried*about their lives, whether on earth or in heaven.

    We belong with Jesus, upheld by His love and surrounded in His peace.

    We can take comfort and assurance from Jesus’s words, for we believe and trust that He makes a home for us; that He makes His home within us (see John 14:23); and that He has gone ahead of us to prepare our heavenly home. Whatever sort of physical place we live in, we belong with Jesus, upheld by His love and surrounded in His peace. With Him, there’s no place like home.

    Lord Jesus Christ, if and when we feel homeless, remind us that You are our home. May we share this sense of belonging with those we meet.

    Jesus prepares a place for us to live forever.

    INSIGHT:This imagery of a prepared place in the Father’s house also brought comfort to Israel’s shepherd-king, David, who sang, “Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Ps. 23:6). Like Jesus’s words in John 14, David’s words carry both a present reality and a future hope. The present reality of a life resting in the goodness and lovingkindness of the Father is directly linked to trusting Jesus in life’s storms (John 14:1). And the forever promise of a place in the house of the Lord is there to offer us hope when despair might become overwhelming. This is the rich sense of home that can be so wonderful. We will never fully and completely know the peace we long for until we find ourselves at peace in Him.

    Are there situations in your life that make the reminder of God’s presence particularly comforting? Thank God for His goodness and loving-kindness.*

    Adapted from Discovery Series*booklet Finding Peace in a Troubled World.*Read it at discoveryseries.org/q1126.
    John 14:1-4

    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.”

    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
    Humble yourself, for there is an enormous change coming.

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    Tuesday, April 18, 2017

    Praise him, sun and moon;*praise him, all you shining stars. Psalm 148:3

    Sunsets. People tend to stop what they are doing to watch them . . . snap pictures of them . . . enjoy the beautiful view.

    My wife and I watched the sun setting over the Gulf of Mexico recently. A crowd of people surrounded us, mostly strangers who had gathered at the beach to watch this nightly phenomenon. At the moment the sun fully slipped below the horizon, the crowd broke out with applause.

    You and what You have made are awesome, Lord!

    Why do people respond like that? The book of Psalms offers a clue. The psalmist wrote of God ordering the sun to praise its Creator (Ps. 148:3). And wherever the rays of the sun shine across the earth, people are moved to praise along with them.

    The beauty that comes to us through nature speaks to our souls like few things do. It not only has the capacity to stop us in our tracks and captivate our attention, it also has the power to turn our focus to the Maker of beauty itself.

    The wonder of God’s vast creation can cause us to pause and remember what’s truly important. Ultimately, it reminds us that there is a Creator behind the stunning entrance and exit of the day, One who so loved the world He made that He entered it in order to redeem and restore it.

    I enjoy the world You have created with its variety and color. You and what You have made are awesome, Lord!

    Our Daily Bread welcomes writer Jeff Olson!*Meet Jeff and all our authors at odb.org/all-authors.

    Join God in taking delight in all that He has made.

    INSIGHT:The heavens and the skies testify to the existence, power, greatness, and wisdom of our Creator. Nature praises and proclaims the majesty of God. If creation is so delightful, our Creator must be even more captivating, truly deserving our adoration and worship. The apostle Paul too affirmed that God has revealed Himself through His creation: “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made” (Rom. 1:20). Even as we enjoy the beauty of creation, let’s worship its Creator.

    This week, why not take time to visit a garden or a park—to see the beauty of creation, to smell the flowers, and to see the God who created all things beautiful.
    Psalms 148:1-6

    Psalm 148

    1*Praise the Lord.
    Praise the Lord from the heavens;
    praise him in the heights above.
    2*Praise him, all his angels;
    praise him, all his heavenly hosts.
    3*Praise him, sun and moon;
    praise him, all you shining stars.
    4*Praise him, you highest heavens
    and you waters above the skies.

    5*Let them praise the name of the Lord,
    for at his command they were created,
    6*and he established them for ever and ever—
    he issued a decree that will never pass away.

    Footnotes:Psalm 148:1 Hebrew Hallelu Yah; also in verse 14

    Cross references:Psalm 148:1 : Ps 33:2; 103:1 Psalm 148:1 : Ps 19:1; 69:34; 150:1 Psalm 148:2 : Ps 103:20 Psalm 148:2 : S 1Ki 22:19 Psalm 148:3 : S Ps 19:1 Psalm 148:4 : S Dt 10:14 Psalm 148:4 : S Ge 1:7 Psalm 148:5 : Ps 145:21 Psalm 148:5 : S Ps 147:15 Psalm 148:6 : Jer 31:35-36; 33:25
    Humble yourself, for there is an enormous change coming.

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    Wednesday, April 19, 2017

    Thanks be to God, who . . . uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. 2 Corinthians 2:14

    Author Rita Snowden tells a delightful story about visiting a small village in Dover, England. Sitting outside a café one afternoon enjoying a cup of tea, she became aware of a beautiful scent. Rita asked a waiter where it was coming from, and was told it was the people she could see passing by. Most of the villagers were employed at a nearby perfume factory. As they walked home, they carried the fragrance that permeated their clothes out into the street.

    What a beautiful image of the Christian life! As the apostle Paul says, we are the aroma of Christ, spreading His fragrance everywhere (2 Cor. 2:15). Paul uses the image of a king returning from battle, his soldiers and captives in tow, wafting the smell of celebratory incense in the air, declaring the king’s greatness (v. 14).

    Lord Jesus, make us carriers and communicators of Your beauty.

    We spread the aroma of Christ in two ways. First, through our words: telling others about the One who is beautiful. Second, through our lives: doing deeds of Christlike sacrifice (Eph. 5:1–2). While not everyone will appreciate the divine fragrance we share, it will bring life to many.

    Rita Snowden caught a scent and was driven to seek its source. As we follow Jesus we too become permeated with His fragrance, and we carry His aroma into the streets through our words and deeds.

    Lord Jesus, make us carriers and communicators of Your beauty to the people in our homes, offices, and neighborhoods.

    We are the aroma of Christ to others.

    INSIGHT:When a Roman general won a significant victory, he would be granted the honor of a triumphal parade in the streets of Rome. Citizens of Rome would line the streets and shout words of praise. Pagan temples would offer up fragrant incense that flooded the parade with sweet-smelling aromas in honor of the event. Paul uses this imagery to stunningly illustrate the spiritual victory of Christ in securing our redemption. Having won the victory over sin and death, Jesus is our triumphant leader. The spiritual aroma of Christ is sensed by the spiritual condition of those we encounter. For those who are to be saved, new life in Christ carries spiritual vitality. But for those who reject God’s light, the aroma is objectionable.

    What are some ways you can spread the aroma of Christ to others?
    2 Corinthians 2:14-16

    14*But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15*For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 16*To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task?

    Cross references:2 Corinthians 2:14 : Ro 6:17; 7:25; 1Co 15:57; 2Co 9:15 2 Corinthians 2:14 : Eze 20:41; Eph 5:2; Php 4:18 2 Corinthians 2:14 : S 2Co 8:7 2 Corinthians 2:15 : S ver 14; Ge 8:21; Ex 29:18; Nu 15:3 2 Corinthians 2:15 : S 1Co 1:18 2 Corinthians 2:16 : S Lk 2:34; Jn 3:36 2 Corinthians 2:16 : 2Co 3:5, 6
    Humble yourself, for there is an enormous change coming.

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    Thursday, April 20, 2017

    The Lord had said to Abram, “Go . . . to the land I will show you.” Genesis 12:1

    For our wedding anniversary, my husband borrowed a tandem bike so we could enjoy a romantic adventure together. As we began to pedal on our way, I quickly realized that as the rider on the back my vision of the road ahead was eclipsed by my husband’s broad shoulders. Also, my handlebars were fixed; they didn’t affect the steering of our bike. Only the front handlebars determined our direction; mine served merely as support for my upper body. I had the choice to either be frustrated by my lack of control or to embrace the journey and trust Mike would guide us safely on our route.

    When God asked Abram to leave his homeland and family, He didn’t offer much information concerning the destination. No geographic coordinates. No description of the new land or its natural resources. Not even an indication of how long it would take to get there. God simply gave the instruction to “go” to the land He would show him. Abram’s obedience to God’s instruction, despite lacking the details most humans crave, is credited to him as faith (Heb. 11:8).

    God can be trusted to guide us.

    If we find ourselves grappling with uncertainty or a lack of control in our lives, let’s seek to adopt Abram’s example*of following and trusting God. The Lord will steer us well.

    Help me, Lord, to trust You with the uncertainty in my life.

    What do you need to trust God with today? Share your prayer request at Facebook.com/ourdailybread.

    God can be trusted to guide us.

    INSIGHT:Are you inclined to be a trusting person? Or does it all depend on how well you know the one who is leading you? It’s hard to know how much Abram knew about the Lord who asked him to follow Him to a new homeland. Many years later, Jesus asked a group of fisherman to follow Him (Matt. 4:19).

    There’s a sense in which we’re all in the same boat when it comes to trusting the One who said, “Follow me.” Then as now, the challenge is to trust in God’s ability to lead rather than in our ability to follow.
    Genesis 12:1-9

    The Call of Abram

    12*The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.

    2*“I will make you into a great nation,
    and I will bless you;
    I will make your name great,
    and you will be a blessing.
    3*I will bless those who bless you,
    and whoever curses you I will curse;
    and all peoples on earth
    will be blessed through you.”

    4*So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran. 5*He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Harran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there.

    6*Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. 7*The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him.

    8*From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord.

    9*Then Abram set out and continued toward the Negev.

    Footnotes:Genesis 12:2 Or be seen as blessed Genesis 12:3 Or earth / will use your name in blessings (see 48:20) Genesis 12:7 Or seed

    Cross references:Genesis 12:1 : Ge 20:13; 24:4, 27, 40 Genesis 12:1 : S Ge 10:19 Genesis 12:1 : Ge 15:7; 26:2; Jos 24:3; Ac 7:3*; Heb 11:8 Genesis 12:2 : Ge 13:16; 15:5; 17:2, 4; 18:18; 22:17; 26:4; 28:3, 14; 32:12; 35:11; 41:49; 46:3; 47:27; 48:4, 16, 19; Ex 1:7; 5:5; 32:13; Dt 1:10; 10:22; 13:17; 26:5; Jos 11:4; 24:3; 2Sa 17:11; 1Ki 3:8; 4:20; 1Ch 27:23; 2Ch 1:9; Ne 9:23; Ps 107:38; Isa 6:13; 10:22; 48:19; 51:2; 54:3; 60:22; Jer 33:22; Mic 4:7 Genesis 12:2 : Ge 24:1, 35; 25:11; 26:3; 28:4; Ex 20:24; Nu 22:12; 23:8, 20; 24:9; Ps 67:6; 115:12; Isa 44:3; 61:9; 65:23; Mal 3:12 Genesis 12:2 : Ge 22:18; Isa 19:24; Jer 4:2; Hag 2:19; Zec 8:13 Genesis 12:3 : Ge 27:29; Ex 23:22; Nu 24:9; Dt 30:7 Genesis 12:3 : Ge 15:5; 18:18; 22:18; 26:4; 28:4, 14; Dt 9:5; Ps 72:17; Isa 19:25; Ac 3:25; Gal 3:8* Genesis 12:4 : S Ge 11:27 Genesis 12:4 : Ge 16:3, 16; 17:1, 17, 24; 21:5 Genesis 12:4 : S Ge 11:31 Genesis 12:5 : S Ge 11:29 Genesis 12:5 : ver 16; Ge 13:2, 6; 31:18; 46:6 Genesis 12:5 : Ge 14:14; 15:3; 17:23; Ecc 2:7 Genesis 12:5 : Ge 11:31; 16:3; Heb 11:8 Genesis 12:6 : Heb 11:9 Genesis 12:6 : Ge 35:4; Dt 11:30; Jos 24:26; Jdg 7:1; 9:6 Genesis 12:6 : Ge 33:18; 37:12; Jos 17:7; 20:7; 24:1; Jdg 8:31; 21:19; 1Ki 12:1; Ps 60:6; 108:7 Genesis 12:6 : S Ge 10:18 Genesis 12:7 : Ge 17:1; 18:1; 26:2; 35:1; Ex 6:3; Ac 7:2 Genesis 12:7 : Ex 3:8; Nu 10:29; Dt 30:5; Heb 11:8 Genesis 12:7 : Ge 13:15, 17; 15:18; 17:8; 23:18; 24:7; 26:3-4; 28:13; 35:12; 48:4; 50:24; Ex 6:4, 8; 13:5, 11; 32:13; 33:1; Nu 11:12; Dt 1:8; 2:31; 9:5; 11:9; 34:4; 2Ki 25:21; 1Ch 16:16; 2Ch 20:7; Ps 105:9-11; Jer 25:5; Eze 47:14; Ac 7:5; Ro 4:13; Gal 3:16* Genesis 12:7 : S Ge 8:20; 13:4 Genesis 12:8 : Ge 13:3; 28:11, 19; 35:1, 8, 15; Jos 7:2; 8:9; 1Sa 7:16; 1Ki 12:29; Hos 12:4; Am 3:14; 4:4 Genesis 12:8 : Ge 26:25; 33:19; Heb 11:9 Genesis 12:8 : Jos 7:2; 12:9; Ezr 2:28; Ne 7:32; Jer 49:3 Genesis 12:8 : S Ge 4:26; S 8:20 Genesis 12:9 : Ge 13:1, 3; 20:1; 24:62; Nu 13:17; 33:40; Dt 34:3; Jos 10:40
    Humble yourself, for there is an enormous change coming.

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    Friday, April 21, 2017

    Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion. 2 Corinthians 9:7

    A pastor breathed life into the phrase “He’d give you the shirt off his back” when he gave this unsettling challenge to his church: “What would happen if we took the coats off our backs and gave them to the needy?” Then he took his own coat and laid it at the front of the church. Dozens of others followed his example. This was during the winter, so the trip home was less comfortable that day. But for dozens of people in need, the season warmed up just a bit.

    When John the Baptist roamed the Judean wilderness, he had a stern warning for the crowd that came to hear him. “You brood of vipers!” he said. “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance” (Luke 3:7–8). Startled, they asked him, “What should we do then?” He responded with this advice: “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same” (vv. 10–11). True repentance produces a generous heart.

    Lord, show us what we have that we might use to bless someone else today.

    Because “God loves a person who gives cheerfully” (nlt), giving should never be guilt-based or pressured*(2 Cor. 9:7). But when we give freely and generously, we find that it truly is more blessed to give than to receive.

    Lord, thank You for the many ways You bless us. Forgive us for so often taking Your goodness for granted. Show us what we have that we might use to bless someone else today.

    Whoever refreshes*others will be refreshed. Proverbs 11:25

    INSIGHT:God reveals His compassion for the poor throughout the Scriptures. In Psalm 72:13, we read, “He will take pity on the weak and the needy and save the needy from death.” The people were to join with God in bringing His compassion to the poor. In the New Testament, Jesus repeatedly expresses the Father’s concern for the poor by portraying them as accepted by the Father (Mark 12:42; Luke 16:20) and stating that His messianic mission, in part, was confirmed by His ministry to the poor (Matt. 11:4–5). Paul picks up the baton of this challenge by commending the churches of Macedonia and Achaia for their financial support of the poor in Jerusalem (Rom. 15:26), while James warns that the poor must not be disregarded because of their socioeconomic status (James 2:2–6).

    If our God and His Son are this concerned for the poor, how can we represent that love by caring for those in need?
    Luke 3:7-14

    7*John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8*Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 9*The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”

    10*“What should we do then?” the crowd asked.

    11*John answered, “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.”

    12*Even tax collectors came to be baptized. “Teacher,” they asked, “what should we do?”

    13*“Don’t collect any more than you are required to,” he told them.

    14*Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?”

    He replied, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely—be content with your pay.”

    Cross references:Luke 3:7 : Mt 12:34; 23:33 Luke 3:7 : S Ro 1:18 Luke 3:8 : Isa 51:2; Lk 19:9; Jn 8:33, 39; Ac 13:26; Ro 4:1, 11, 12, 16, 17; 9:7, 8; Gal 3:7 Luke 3:9 : S Mt 3:10 Luke 3:10 : ver 12, 14; Ac 2:37; 16:30 Luke 3:11 : Isa 58:7; Eze 18:7 Luke 3:12 : Lk 7:29 Luke 3:13 : Lk 19:8 Luke 3:14 : Ex 23:1; Lev 19:11
    Last edited by Old Ridge Runner; 04-21-2017 at 06:36 AM.
    Humble yourself, for there is an enormous change coming.

  12. #1060
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    D. James Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe examine what has happened in history that displays the influence of the (Christian) church. Here are “a few highlights” they cite (in their book What If Jesus Had Never Been Born?):

     Hospitals, which essentially began during the Middle Ages.
     Universities, which also began during the Middle Ages. In addition, most of the world’s greatest universities were started by Christians for Christian purposes.
     Literacy and education of the masses.
     Representative government, particularly as it has been seen in the American experiment.
     The separation of political powers.
     Civil liberties.
     The abolition of slavery, both in antiquity and in modern times.
     Modern science.
     The discovery of the New World by Columbus.
     Benevolence and charity; the Good Samaritan ethic.
     Higher standards of justice.
     The elevation of the common man.
     The high regard for human life.
     The civilizing of many barbarian and primitive cultures.
     The codifying and setting to writing of many of the world’s languages.
     The greater development of art and music. The inspiration for the greatest works of art.
     The countless changed lives transformed from liabilities into assets to society because of the gospel.
     The eternal salvation of countless souls.


    In the nineteenth century, Charles Bradlaugh, a prominent atheist, challenged a Christian man to debate the validity of the claims of Christianity. The Christian, Hugh Price Hughes, was an active soul-winner who worked among the poor in the slums of London. Hughes told Bradlaugh he would agree on one condition.

    Hughes said, “I propose to you that we each bring some concrete evidences of the validity of our beliefs in the form of men and women who have been redeemed from the lives of sin and shame by the influences of our teaching. I will bring 100 such men and women, and I challenge you to do the same.”

    Hughes then said that if Bradlaugh couldn’t bring 100, then he could bring 50; if he couldn’t bring 50 then he could bring 20. He finally whittled the number down to one. All Bradlaugh had to do was find one person whose life was improved by atheism and Hughes - who would bring 100 people improved by Christ - would agree to debate him.
    Bradlaugh withdrew! - The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict, by Josh McDowell, page 156

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