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Thread: Our Daily Bread

  1. #1581
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    Saturday, November 17, 2018

    Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him. Mark 1:41 nlt

    Dr. Paul Brand, twentieth-century pioneer medical missionary to India, saw firsthand the stigma associated with leprosy. During an appointment, he touched a patient to reassure him treatment was possible. Tears began to stream down the man’s face. An attendant explained the tears to Dr. Brand, saying, “You touched him and no one has done that for years. They are tears of joy.”

    Early in His ministry, Jesus was approached by a man with leprosy, an ancient label for all types of infectious skin diseases. Because of his disease the man was required by the Old Testament law to live outside his community. If the sick man accidentally found himself in close proximity to healthy people, he had to call out, “Unclean! Unclean!” so they could avoid him (Leviticus 13:45–46). As a result, the man may have gone months or years without human contact.

    Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out His hand and touched the man. Jesus had the power and authority to heal people with just a word (Mark 2:11–12). But as Jesus encountered a man whose physical illness left him feeling isolated and rejected, His touch assured the man that he was not alone but accepted.

    As God gives us opportunities, we can extend grace and show compassion with a gentle touch that conveys dignity and value. The simple, healing power of human touch goes a long way to remind hurting people of our care and concern.

    Lord Jesus, thank You for the personal way You reached out to care for hurting people. Help me to follow Your example and extend compassion in my actions.

    Caring for others may include a compassionate touch. By Lisa Samra

    INSIGHT: After Jesus healed the leper, why did He warn him not to tell anyone? (Mark 1:44). The Scriptures don't reveal Jesus's motive, but what follows could provide a hint: "But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing." The first priority was to show himself to the priest. Why? In ancient Israel, leprosy was seen as a physical disease with spiritual implications. Therefore, when the first symptoms were experienced, the afflicted person would go to the priest—not the doctor—to be diagnosed (Leviticus 13). If cleansing took place, the priest would need to confirm that healing. Additionally, the priest was required to offer a specific and unusually detailed sacrifice after a leper was cleansed (Leviticus 14). In the entire Old Testament there are only two recorded healings of lepers-Miriam (Numbers 12:10–15) and Naaman the Syrian (2 Kings 5:1–14), and in neither case does the Scripture record that this specific, detailed sacrifice was made. Therefore, it's quite possible that the first time this specific sacrifice was offered was in response to the healing described in Mark. But first the leper must "show [himself] to the priest" to have his healing confirmed.

    Bill Crowder
    Mark 1:40-45

    Jesus Heals a Man With Leprosy

    40 A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.”

    41 Jesus was indignant. He reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” 42 Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed.

    43 Jesus sent him away at once with a strong warning: 44 “See that you don’t tell this to anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.” 45 Instead he went out and began to talk freely, spreading the news. As a result, Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places. Yet the people still came to him from everywhere.

    Footnotes:Mark 1:40 The Greek word traditionally translated leprosy was used for various diseases affecting the skin. Mark 1:41 Many manuscripts Jesus was filled with compassion

    Cross references:Mark 1:40 : 1:40-44pp — Mt 8:2-4; Lk 5:12-14 Mark 1:40 : Mk 10:17 Mark 1:44 : S Mt 8:4 Mark 1:44 : Lev 13:49 Mark 1:44 : Lev 14:1-32 Mark 1:45 : Lk 5:15, 16 Mark 1:45 : Mk 2:13; Lk 5:17; Jn 6:2

  2. #1582
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    Sunday, November 18, 2018


    The eye of their God was watching over [them] . . . and they were not stopped. Ezra 5:5

    When an opportunity came to take on a new role at work, Simon believed it was a godsend. After praying over the decision and seeking counsel, he felt that God was giving him this opportunity to take on bigger responsibilities. Everything fell into place, and his boss supported his move. Then things began to go wrong. Some colleagues resented his promotion and refused to cooperate. He began to wonder if he should give up.
    When the Israelites returned to Jerusalem to build the house of God, enemies sought to frighten and discourage them (Ezra 4:4). The Israelites stopped at first, but continued after God encouraged them through the prophets Haggai and Zechariah (4:24–5:2).

    Once again, enemies came to hassle them. But this time they persevered, knowing “the eye of their God was watching over [them]” (5:5). They held on firmly to God’s instructions and trusted Him to carry them through whatever opposition they’d face. Sure enough, God moved the Persian king to support the temple’s completion (vv. 13–14).
    Similarly, Simon sought God’s wisdom to discern whether he should stay or find a new position. Sensing God calling him to remain, he relied on God’s strength to persevere. Over time, he slowly gained his colleagues’ acceptance.

    As we seek to follow God, wherever He places us, we may face opposition along the way. That’s when we need to keep following Him. He will guide us and carry us through.

    Remain strong, for God’s eye is on you. By Leslie Koh

    INSIGHT: It was a Persian king by the name of Cyrus who ordered the release and return of Israel from Babylonian exile (Ezra 1:1–7). Israel had been waiting for a national deliverer who would be a descendant of King David. Yet according to Isaiah, God had called Cyrus to be his servant and shepherd (Isaiah 44:21–45:6). Is it possible that long before Jesus, God was giving us reason to never give up on His ability to come to our rescue in the most unexpected ways?


    Mart DeHaan
    Ezra 5:1-5

    Tattenai’s Letter to Darius

    5 Now Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the prophet, a descendant of Iddo, prophesied to the Jews in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of the God of Israel, who was over them. 2 Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and Joshua son of Jozadak set to work to rebuild the house of God in Jerusalem. And the prophets of God were with them, supporting them.

    3 At that time Tattenai, governor of Trans-Euphrates, and Shethar-Bozenai and their associates went to them and asked, “Who authorized you to rebuild this temple and to finish it?” 4 They also asked, “What are the names of those who are constructing this building?” 5 But the eye of their God was watching over the elders of the Jews, and they were not stopped until a report could go to Darius and his written reply be received.


    Footnotes: Ezra 5:4 See Septuagint; Aramaic We.

    Cross references:​ Ezra 5:1 : Ezr 6:14; Hag 1:1, 3, 12; 2:1, 10, 20 Ezra 5:1 : Zec 1:1; 7:1 Ezra 5:1 : Hag 1:14-2:9; Zec 4:9-10; 8:9 Ezra 5:2 : S 1Ch 3:19; Hag 1:14; 2:21; Zec 4:6-10 Ezra 5:2 : S Ezr 2:2 Ezra 5:2 : ver 8; Hag 2:2-5 Ezra 5:3 : Ezr 6:6 Ezra 5:3 : Ezr 6:6 Ezra 5:3 : S Ezr 4:12 Ezra 5:5 : S 2Ki 25:28; Ezr 7:6, 9, 28; 8:18, 22, 31; Ne 2:8, 18; Ps 33:18; Isa 66:14

  3. #1583
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    Monday, November 19, 2018

    If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Romans 12:18

    I once drove fifty miles to have a hard conversation with a remote staff person. I had received a report from another employee that suggested he was misrepresenting our company, and I was concerned for our reputation. I felt nudged to offer an opinion that might change his choices.

    In 1 Samuel 25, an unlikely person took great personal risk to confront a future king of Israel who was about to make a disastrous choice. Abigail was married to Nabal, whose character matched the meaning of his name (“fool”) (vv. 3, 25). Nabal had refused to pay David and his troops the customary wage for protecting his livestock (vv. 10–11). Hearing that David planned a murderous revenge on her household, and knowing her foolish husband wouldn’t listen to reason, Abigail prepared a peace offering, rode to meet David, and persuaded him to reconsider (vv. 18–31).

    How did Abigail accomplish this? After sending ahead donkeys loaded with food to satisfy David and his men and settle the debt, she spoke truth to David. She wisely reminded David of God’s call on his life. If he resisted his desire for revenge, when God made him king, he wouldn’t “have on his conscience the staggering burden of needless bloodshed” (v. 31).

    You might also know someone dangerously close to a mistake that could harm others and compromise their own future effectiveness for God. Like Abigail, might God be calling you to a hard conversation?

    Dear God, please help me know when to lovingly confront others.

    Sometimes following God means difficult conversations. By Elisa Morgan
    1 Samuel 25:21-35

    21 David had just said, “It’s been useless—all my watching over this fellow’s property in the wilderness so that nothing of his was missing. He has paid me back evil for good. 22 May God deal with David, be it ever so severely, if by morning I leave alive one male of all who belong to him!”

    23 When Abigail saw David, she quickly got off her donkey and bowed down before David with her face to the ground. 24 She fell at his feet and said: “Pardon your servant, my lord, and let me speak to you; hear what your servant has to say. 25 Please pay no attention, my lord, to that wicked man Nabal. He is just like his name—his name means Fool, and folly goes with him. And as for me, your servant, I did not see the men my lord sent. 26 And now, my lord, as surely as the Lord your God lives and as you live, since the Lord has kept you from bloodshed and from avenging yourself with your own hands, may your enemies and all who are intent on harming my lord be like Nabal. 27 And let this gift, which your servant has brought to my lord, be given to the men who follow you.

    28 “Please forgive your servant’s presumption. The Lord your God will certainly make a lasting dynasty for my lord, because you fight the Lord’s battles, and no wrongdoing will be found in you as long as you live. 29 Even though someone is pursuing you to take your life, the life of my lord will be bound securely in the bundle of the living by the Lord your God, but the lives of your enemies he will hurl away as from the pocket of a sling. 30 When the Lord has fulfilled for my lord every good thing he promised concerning him and has appointed him ruler over Israel, 31 my lord will not have on his conscience the staggering burden of needless bloodshed or of having avenged himself. And when the Lord your God has brought my lord success, remember your servant.”

    32 David said to Abigail, “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, who has sent you today to meet me. 33 May you be blessed for your good judgment and for keeping me from bloodshed this day and from avenging myself with my own hands. 34 Otherwise, as surely as the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, who has kept me from harming you, if you had not come quickly to meet me, not one male belonging to Nabal would have been left alive by daybreak.”

    35 Then David accepted from her hand what she had brought him and said, “Go home in peace. I have heard your words and granted your request.”

    Footnotes:1 Samuel 25:22 Some Septuagint manuscripts; Hebrew with David’s enemies

    Cross references:1 Samuel 25:21 : ver 15 1 Samuel 25:21 : Ps 109:5 1 Samuel 25:21 : S 1Sa 19:4 1 Samuel 25:22 : S Ru 1:17 1 Samuel 25:22 : 1Ki 14:10; 21:21; 2Ki 9:8 1 Samuel 25:23 : S Ge 19:1; S 1Sa 20:41 1 Samuel 25:24 : 2Sa 14:9 1 Samuel 25:25 : Pr 17:12 1 Samuel 25:25 : Pr 12:16; 14:16; 20:3; Isa 32:5 1 Samuel 25:26 : ver 33 1 Samuel 25:26 : Heb 10:30 1 Samuel 25:26 : ver 34; 2Sa 18:32 1 Samuel 25:27 : S Ge 33:11 1 Samuel 25:28 : ver 24; 2Sa 14:9 1 Samuel 25:28 : 2Sa 7:11, 26 1 Samuel 25:28 : 1Sa 18:17 1 Samuel 25:28 : 1Sa 24:11 1 Samuel 25:29 : S 1Sa 20:1 1 Samuel 25:29 : Jer 10:18; 22:26 1 Samuel 25:29 : 1Sa 17:50; 2Sa 4:8 1 Samuel 25:30 : S 1Sa 12:12; S 13:14 1 Samuel 25:31 : S Ge 40:14 1 Samuel 25:31 : 2Sa 3:10 1 Samuel 25:32 : S Ge 24:27 1 Samuel 25:33 : ver 26 1 Samuel 25:34 : S ver 26 1 Samuel 25:35 : S Ge 19:21


  4. #1584
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    Tuesday, November 20, 2018

    What has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. Philippians 1:12

    When the bridge to Techiman, Ghana, washed out, residents of New Krobo on the other side of the Tano River were stranded. Attendance at Pastor Samuel Appiah’s church in Techiman suffered too because many of the members lived in New Krobo—on the “wrong” side of the river.

    Amid the crisis, Pastor Sam was trying to expand the church’s children’s home to care for more orphans. So he prayed. Then his church sponsored outdoor meetings across the river in New Krobo. Soon they were baptizing new believers in Jesus. A new church took root. Not only that, New Krobo had space to care for the orphans awaiting housing. God was weaving His restorative work into the crisis.

    When the apostle Paul found himself on the “wrong” side of freedom, he didn’t lament his situation. In a powerful letter to the church in Philippi, he wrote, “I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel” (Philippians 1:12). Paul noted how his chains had led to “the whole palace guard” learning about Christ (v. 13). And others had gained confidence to share the good news of Jesus (v. 14).

    Despite obstacles, Pastor Sam and the apostle Paul found God showing them new ways to work in their crises. What might God be doing in our challenging circumstances today?

    Lord, sometimes we feel as though we’re on the wrong side of a particular situation. We know You are everywhere. Help us see You.

    God is at work in the mess. That’s the message of the Bible. Matt Chandler By Tim Gustafson

    INSIGHT: Scholars believe Paul was reminiscing about his ministry in Rome when he wrote Philippians 1:12–14. According to Acts 28:16–31, Paul was under house arrest but “was permitted to have his own private lodging, though he was guarded by a soldier” (v. 16 nlt). In those two years, Paul had the rare opportunity to proclaim “the kingdom of God” and to teach “about the Lord Jesus Christ—with all boldness and without hindrance!” (vv. 30–31). In particular, he proclaimed God’s truth to the palace guards, Caesar’s elite troops (Philippians 1:13). Paul hinted of an unspecified number in “Caesar’s household”—court officials and dignitaries—who had come to faith (4:22). Writing from Rome, Paul’s primary concern was not his freedom, but being faithful to preach Christ (1:18–19), to be fruitful (v. 22), and to glorify Christ, whether he lived or died (v. 20). In a later Roman imprisonment (2 Timothy 1:17), Paul wrote that though he was “chained like a criminal . . . . God's word [was] not chained” (2:9).

    K. T. Sim
    Philippians 1:12-18

    Paul’s Chains Advance the Gospel

    12 Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. 13 As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. 14 And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.

    15 It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16 The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. 18 But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.

    Yes, and I will continue to rejoice,

    Footnotes:Philippians 1:12 The Greek word for brothers and sisters (adelphoi) refers here to believers, both men and women, as part of God’s family; also in verse 14; and in 3:1, 13, 17; 4:1, 8, 21. Philippians 1:13 Or whole palace

    Cross references:Philippians 1:13 : ver 7, 14, 17; S Ac 21:33 Philippians 1:14 : ver 7, 13, 17; S Ac 21:33 Philippians 1:14 : S Ac 4:29 Philippians 1:16 : ver 7, 12 Philippians 1:17 : Php 2:3 Philippians 1:17 : ver 7, 13, 14; S Ac 21:33

  5. #1585
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    Wednesday, November 21, 2018

    On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. 2 Corinthians 1:10-11

    A big academic project was weighing on me, and I was fretting over whether I could complete it by the deadline. In the midst of my anxious thoughts, I received three notes of encouragement from friends who were cheering me on. Each one said, “God brought you to mind today when I was praying.” I felt humbled and encouraged that these friends would contact me without knowing what I was going through, and I believed God had used them as His messengers of love.

    The apostle Paul knew the power of prayer when he wrote to the people in the church of Corinth. He said he trusted that God would continue to deliver them from peril “as you help us by your prayers” (2 Corinthians 1:10–11). And when God answered their prayers, He would be glorified as the people gave Him thanks for the “answer to the prayers of many” (v. 11).

    My friends and Paul’s supporters were engaging in the ministry of intercession, which Oswald Chambers calls “a hidden ministry that brings forth fruit through which the Father is glorified.” As we focus our minds and hearts on Jesus, we find Him shaping us, including how we pray. He enables us to give the gift of true intercession to friends, family members, and even strangers.

    Has God put someone on your heart and mind for whom you can pray?

    Read more from Oswald Chambers at utmost.org.

    God hears the prayers of His people. By Amy Boucher Pye

    INSIGHT: Paul endured far more than his share of trials. As he begins this deeply personal letter (see 2 Corinthians 1:3–7), he comforts the church in Corinth by using his own difficulties to identify with them. Then, with piercing candor, he reveals the depths of those trials—“far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself” (v. 8). Why would God permit His faithful servants to go through so much? Paul points to the reason: “This happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead” (v. 9, emphasis added).

    When facing despair, we can do far more than merely endure. We can use our travails to identify with and understand our brothers and sisters who suffer and to pray for them. And we can acknowledge the absolute necessity of God, who raises the dead.

    Tim Gustafson
    2 Corinthians 1:8-11

    8 We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. 9 Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, 11 as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.

    Footnotes:2 Corinthians 1:8 The Greek word for brothers and sisters (adelphoi) refers here to believers, both men and women, as part of God’s family; also in 8:1; 13:11.

    Cross references:2 Corinthians 1:8 : S Ro 11:25 2 Corinthians 1:8 : 1Co 15:32 2 Corinthians 1:8 : S Ac 2:9 2 Corinthians 1:9 : Jer 17:5, 7 2 Corinthians 1:9 : S Jn 5:21 2 Corinthians 1:10 : S Ro 15:31 2 Corinthians 1:10 : 1Ti 4:10 2 Corinthians 1:11 : Ro 15:30; Php 1:19 2 Corinthians 1:11 : 2Co 4:15; 9:11
    Last edited by JohnJohn; Today at 07:11 AM.

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