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Friday, November 17, 2017

Serve and Be Served

The week has come to an end it's FRIDAY! YES! So Thankful as we are getting closer to the Thanksgiving holiday lets take a moment to reflect on these words of wisdom Read:Philippians4:10–19 Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 5–7; Hebrews 12 You were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. —Philippians 4:10 Marilyn had been ill for many weeks, and many people had encouraged her through this difficult time. How will I ever repay all their kindnesses? she worried. Then one day she read the words of a written prayer: “Pray that [others] will develop humility, allowing them not only to serve, but also to be served.” Marilyn suddenly realized there was no need to balance any scale, but just to be thankful and allow others to experience the joy of serving. In Philippians 4, the apostle Paul expressed his gratitude for all those who shared “in [his] troubles” (v. 14). He depended on people to support him as he preached and taught the gospel. He understood that the gifts provided for him when he was in need were simply an extension of people’s love for God: “[Your gifts] are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God” (v. 18). It may not be easy to be the one on the receiving end—especially if you’ve usually been the first one to help other people. But with humility, we can allow God to gently care for us by a variety of means when we need help. Paul wrote, “My God will meet all your needs” (v. 19). It was something he had learned during a life of trials. God is faithful and His provision for us has no limits. —Cindy Hess Kasper Dear Lord, thank You for caring for us through Your people. May we graciously give and receive help. Receive love. Give love. Repeat. INSIGHT: Paul was a tentmaker by trade and often worked to support himself while he ministered to people in various cities (see Acts 18:3). However, at times Paul relied on the giving and generosity of others (see Phil 4:14-16). He also encouraged generosity among the churches, calling on members of the global body of Christ to meet each other’s needs (see 1 Cor. 16:1-4). Many times God provides for us through the giving of others. Reflect on how God has provided for you or used you to meet the needs of others. J.R. Hudberg

Monday, November 13, 2017

Multiplied Generosity

So here we are starting a brand New Week as we start this third week of November lets keep in mind what this month is ALL about this is a season of Thanksgiving so lets take these words of wisdom to heart throughout the remainder of this month with these words of wisdom Read: 2 Corinthians 8:1–9 Bible in a Year: Lamentations 1–2; Hebrews 10:1–18 See that you also excel in this grace of giving.—2 Corinthians 8:7 Cheryl was in for a surprise as she pulled up to deliver her next pizza. Expecting to arrive at a home, she instead found herself outside a church. Cheryl confusedly carried the pepperoni pizza inside, where she was met by the pastor. “Is it fair to say life hasn’t been easy for you?” the pastor asked her. Cheryl agreed it hadn’t. With that, he brought out two offering plates that church members had filled with money. The pastor then poured over $750 into Cheryl’s delivery bag as a tip! Unbeknownst to Cheryl, the pastor had asked the pizza shop to send their most financially strapped driver over. Cheryl was stunned. She could now pay some bills. When the first Christians in Jerusalem faced poverty, it was a church that rushed to their aid. Though in need themselves, the Macedonian Christians gave sacrificially, considering it a privilege to do so (2 Cor. 8:1-4). Paul cited their generosity as an example for the Corinthians, and us, to follow. When we use our plenty to supply another’s need, we reflect Jesus, who gave away His riches to meet our own spiritual poverty (v. 9). Cheryl told all her customers about the church’s kindness that day, and, following its example, donated the rest of the day’s tips to others in need. An act of generosity multiplied. And Christ was glorified. —Sheridan Voysey Lord, You meet our needs in surprising ways sometimes. Use us to do that for others as well. Our generosity meets needs and glorifies Jesus. INSIGHT: The believers in Jerusalem were suffering because of a severe famine (see Acts 11:28-29), and the Macedonians—though needy themselves—responded with generous financial aid (2 Cor. 8:1-5). The Corinthians had enthusiastically offered help, but they were slack in carrying it out (8:10-11; 9:1-3). Paul reminded them that God had blessed them abundantly so that they could be generous and share that abundance (8:14-15; 9:8-11). He challenged them to honor their promise completely (8:6-12; 9:5) and quotes Psalm 112:9 to encourage their generous giving (2 Cor. 9:9). How might God be leading you to show generosity today? Sim Kay Tee

Friday, November 10, 2017

The Hand of Comfort

Made it through the first week of November it's FRIDAY! now let us ALL reflect on these words of wisdom Read: 2 Corinthians 1:3–7 Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 48–49; Hebrews 7 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, . . . who comforts us in all our troubles.—2 Corinthians 1:3-4 “Patient is combative,” the nurse’s notes read. What she didn’t realize until later was that I was having an allergic reaction as I awakened after a complicated open-heart surgery. I was a mess, with a tube down my throat. My body began shaking violently, straining against the straps on my arms, which were there to keep me from suddenly pulling out my breathing tube. It was a frightening and painful episode. At one point, a nurse’s assistant to the right side of my bed reached down and simply held my hand. It was an unexpected move, and it struck me as especially gentle. I began to relax, which caused my body to stop shaking so badly. Having experienced this with other patients, the nurse’s assistant knew that a hand of comfort could minister to me as well. It was a vivid example of how God uses comfort when His children suffer. Comfort is a powerful and memorable tool for any caregiver, and Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 it’s an important part of God’s toolbox. Not only that, but God also multiplies the impact of His comfort by calling us to use the memory of the comfort He gives us to comfort others in similar situations (vv. 4-7). It is but another sign of His great love; and one we can share with others—sometimes in the simplest of gestures. —Randy Kilgore Thank You, Father, for the comfort You provide to us, either directly or through the acts of Your children. Help us to see where we can apply that same comfort to others in and for Your name. Simple gestures can bring powerful comfort. INSIGHT: This passage demonstrates how our personal pain can help others who suffer. Paul uses the word comfort both vertically and horizontally. God extends comfort to us, then we can offer comfort to others. In this way, our pain can become a conduit of care for those in distress and lead to gratitude in the midst of pain. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort” (2 Cor. 1:3). Can you think of a time when God used others to encourage and comfort you? Dennis Fisher

Monday, November 6, 2017

Our Prayers, God’s Timing

So here we are starting the New Week in the 11th Month of the New Year Welcome to November here are some words of wisdom to help you get through the week with Read: Luke 1:5–17 Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 37–39; Hebrews 3 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.—Ephesians 3:20 Sometimes God takes His time in answering our prayers, and that isn’t always easy for us to understand. That was the situation for Zechariah, a priest whom the angel Gabriel appeared to one day near an altar in the temple in Jerusalem. Gabriel told him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John” (Luke 1:13, italics added). But Zechariah had probably asked God for a child years before, and he struggled with Gabriel’s message because Elizabeth was now well beyond the expected age for childbirth. Still, God answered his prayer. God’s memory is perfect. He is able to remember our prayers not only for years but also for generations beyond our lifetime. He never forgets them and may move in response long after we first brought our requests to Him. Sometimes His answer is “no,” other times it is “wait”—but His response is always measured with love. God’s ways are beyond us, but we can trust that they are good. Zechariah learned this. He asked for a son, but God gave him even more. His son John would grow up to be the very prophet who would announce the arrival of the Messiah. Zechariah’s experience demonstrates a vital truth that should also encourage us as we pray: God’s timing is rarely our own, but it is always worth waiting for. —James Banks What are you praying for today? Tell us at yourdailybread.org. When we cannot see God’s hand at work, we can still trust His heart. INSIGHT: Waiting for God to answer our prayers is hard—especially when we feel the pressures of life. But we have been given the encouragement and promise of the help of the Holy Spirit. How does God’s presence in your prayers strengthen you as you wait? (see Rom. 8). Bill Crowder

Friday, November 3, 2017

Powerful Baby

We have entered into the 11th month of the New Year Welcome to November as we wrap up the end of the week lets take a moment to reflect on these words of wisdom Read: Psalm 13 Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 30–31; Philemon How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? . . . But I trust in your unfailing love.—Psalm 13:1, 5 The first time I saw him, I cried. He looked like a perfect newborn asleep in his crib. But we knew he would never wake up. Not until he was in the arms of Jesus. He clung to life for several months. Then his mother told us of his death in a heart-wrenching email. She wrote of “that deep, deep pain that groans inside you.” Then she said, “How deeply God carved His work of love into our hearts through that little life! What a powerful life it was!” Powerful? How could she say that? This family’s precious little boy showed them—and us—that we must depend on God for everything. Especially when things go horribly wrong! The hard yet comforting truth is that God meets us in our pain. He knows the grief of losing a Son. In our deepest pain, we turn to the songs of David because he writes out of his own grief. “How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart?” he asked (Ps. 13:2). “Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death” (v. 3). Yet David could give his biggest questions to God. “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation” (v. 5). Only God can bring ultimate significance to our most tragic events. —Tim Gustafson Where do I turn when a crisis hits me? Do I ever get angry with God when facing grief and loss? Am I afraid to share my true emotions with Him? Have I ever asked God for His peace? God can do the most with what we think is least. INSIGHT: We may be surprised to hear a cry of abandonment coming from David, a man who knew God intimately. Psalm 13 describes David’s struggle. He was threatened by powerful enemies and distressed by God’s seeming prolonged apathy and absence, feeling forsaken in the time of his greatest need. “How long, Lord?” he asks. David questioned if God would ever come to his rescue (vv. 1-2). Even as he felt the sting of abandonment, David turned his turmoil over to God, asking Him for a deeper understanding of his circumstances (vv. 3-4). Anchoring himself in God’s unfailing covenantal love, David renews his trust in God (vv. 5-6). Like David, you may be going through a rough patch, engulfed by feelings of dread and abandonment. God may seem silent, but He is never absent. Scripture confirms He will never leave or forsake anyone who calls on Him (Heb. 13:5-6). Sim Kay Tee

Monday, October 30, 2017

Unraveling the Mysteries

With only two day's left in this last month of October before we head into the 11th month of the New Year as we start this New Week let us take a moment to reflect on these words of wisdom Read: Psalm 119:97–104 Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 20–21; 2 Timothy 4 I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path.—Psalm 119:104 I have always enjoyed the wit and insight of Peanuts creator, Charles Schulz. One of my favorite cartoons drawn by him appeared in a book about young people in the church. It shows a young man holding a Bible as he tells a friend on the phone, “I think I’ve made one of the first steps toward unraveling the mysteries of the Old Testament . . . I’m starting to read it!” (Teen-Ager Is Not a Disease). Psalm 119 overflows with the writer’s hunger to understand and experience the power of God’s Word each day. “Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long” (v. 97). This eager pursuit leads to growing wisdom, understanding, and obedience to the Lord (vv. 98–100). The Bible doesn’t contain a magic formula for “unraveling the mysteries” in its pages. The process is more than mental and requires a response to what we read. While some passages may remain puzzling to us, we can embrace those truths we clearly understand, and say to the Lord, “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path” (vv. 103–104). A wonderful journey of discovery awaits us in God’s Word. —David C. McCasland Lord, thank You for the Bible, which gives us wisdom and understanding to follow Your pathway of life today. A commitment to read and follow God’s Word begins a daily journey of discovering His love and power. INSIGHT: Psalm 119 is well known as the longest chapter in the Bible. It is an acrostic psalm where each section begins with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet. This psalm praises the goodness and value of God’s law. The law is a reflection of God’s character; as we look at the law, we learn about Him. As you spend time studying God’s Word this week, reflect on what you learn about the character of God. J.R. Hudberg

Friday, October 27, 2017

God Provides

The week has come to an end we have made it to FRIDAY! with only 2 more day left in the month before we head into the 11th month of the New Year which will be November but before we do lets just STOP and take a moment to reflect on these words of wisdom. Read: Deuteronomy 24:19–22 Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 12–14; 2 Timothy 1 Those who work their land will have abundant food.—Proverbs 12:11 Outside my office window, the squirrels are in a race against winter to bury their acorns in a safe, accessible place. Their commotion amuses me. An entire herd of deer can go through our back yard and not make a sound, but one squirrel sounds like an invasion. The two creatures are different in another way as well. Deer do not prepare for winter. When the snow comes they eat whatever they can find along the way (including ornamental shrubs in our yard). But squirrels would starve if they followed that example. They would be unable to find suitable food. The deer and the squirrel represent ways that God cares for us. He enables us to work and save for the future, and He meets our need when resources are scarce. As the wisdom literature teaches, God gives us seasons of plenty so that we can prepare for seasons of need (Prov. 12:11). And as Psalm 23 says, the Lord leads us through perilous places to pleasant pastures. Another way that God provides is by instructing those with plenty to share with those in need (Deut. 24:19). So when it comes to provision, the message of the Bible is this: Work while we can, save what we can, share what we can, and trust God to meet our needs. —Julie Ackerman Link Thank You, Lord, for the promise that You will meet our needs. Help us not to fear or doubt. We’re grateful that You’re watching over us and that our cries for help reach Your ear. Our needs will never exhaust God’s supply. INSIGHT: How does God provide for us? What if the source of our help comes from someone of another religion or from someone who claims no belief in God? Is their kindness still from God? Think about the children of Israel. Who helped them in their escape from Egypt? Yes, it was God and Moses. But Moses tells us that the Spirit of God prompted the Egyptian neighbors to fill the arms of the Jewish slaves with gold, silver, and clothing for their journey (Ex. 12:35-36). Looking back on that day of great escape, in Deuteronomy 24 God reminds His people of two things. To help them identify with those in need, He wanted Israel to remember that their ancestors were once impoverished slaves. The second reminder grew out of the first. The Lord reminded His people that just as they had been helped in their escape from bondage, now it was their turn. As God had met their needs through the hands of others, so it was their turn to help others in a way that gives hands and faces to the heart of our provider God. Mart DeHaan