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One of Jesus’ Miracles

 

 Lazarus being raised from the dead by Jesus Christ

Two Men

 — by Anne Cetas
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
He groaned in the spirit and was troubled. . . . Jesus wept. —John 11:33,35

Two men were killed in our city on the same day. The first, a police officer, was shot down while trying to help a family. The other was a homeless man who was shot while drinking with friends early that day.

The whole city grieved for the police officer. He was a fine young man who cared for others and was loved by the neighborhood he served. A few homeless people grieved for the friend they loved and lost.

I think the Lord grieved with them all.

When Jesus saw Mary and Martha and their friends weeping over the death of Lazarus, “He groaned in the spirit and was troubled” (John 11:33). He loved Lazarus and his sisters. Even though He knew that He would soon be raising Lazarus from the dead, He wept with them (v.35). Some Bible scholars think that part of Jesus’ weeping also may have been over death itself and the pain and sadness it causes in people’s hearts.

Loss is a part of life. But because Jesus is “the resurrection and the life” (v.25), those who believe in Him will one day experience an end of all death and sorrow. In the meantime, He weeps with us over our losses and asks us to “weep with those who weep” (Rom. 12:15).

Give me a heart sympathetic and tender;
Jesus, like Thine, Jesus, like Thine,
Touched by the needs that are surging around me,
And filled with compassion divine. —<poem_author>Anon.
Compassion helps to heal the hurts of others. From: Our Daily Bread

Vision and Darkness

From: My Utmost for HIs HIghest

When the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, horror and great darkness fell upon him —Genesis 15:12

Whenever God gives a vision to a Christian, it is as if He puts him in “the shadow of His hand” (Isaiah 49:2). The saint’s duty is to be still and listen. There is a “darkness” that comes from too much light-that is the time to listen. The story of Abram and Hagar in Genesis 16 is an excellent example of listening to so-called good advice during a time of darkness, rather than waiting for God to send the light. When God gives you a vision and darkness follows, wait. God will bring the vision He has given you to reality in your life if you will wait on His timing. Never try to help God fulfill His word. Abram went through thirteen years of silence, but in those years all of his self-sufficiency was destroyed. He grew past the point of relying on his own common sense. Those years of silence were a time of discipline, not a period of God’s displeasure. There is never any need to pretend that your life is filled with joy and confidence; just wait upon God and be grounded in Him (see Isaiah 50:10-11).

Do I trust at all in the flesh? Or have I learned to go beyond all confidence in myself and other people of God? Do I trust in books and prayers or other joys in my life? Or have I placed my confidence in God Himself, not in His blessings? “I am Almighty God . . .”— El-Shaddai, the All-Powerful God (Genesis 17:1). The reason we are all being disciplined is that we will know God is real. As soon as God becomes real to us, people pale by comparison, becoming shadows of reality. Nothing that other saints do or say can ever upset the one who is built on God.

give what you have

From: OurDailyJourney

Romans 12:4-8
In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you (Romans 12:6).

Meditate on Philippians 1:6and apply it to the way you use your time, talents, and treasures today.

How can you put the talents and resources God has given you to better use? Why is it important for us to give back to God?

Last year, a few foreign exchange college students from Saudi Arabia celebrated Christmas with our family. When they arrived, they told us they had never experienced a Christmas in the US and were looking forward to it with great anticipation.

When it came time to exchange gifts, we carefully explained to our guests that the tradition of giving gifts to those we love was one way we celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ—God’s greatest gift to the world (John 3:16).

As one who has received the gift of God’s Son, I sometimes wonder what I can give in return. It’s helpful to realize that God simply asks us to give what we have (Romans 12:6). He doesn’t ask us to be more than we are. He simply asks us to do our best with what He’s given us.

Each of us has something of substance to give. We can give our time to assist a person in need. We can give our money to support a kingdom effort. We can help by volunteering our talents in helping others. It doesn’t matter how much natural ability or resources we possess. What matters to God is whether we make good use of what we have been given for His kingdom, whether big or small. Paul wrote that whatever we do for God with the gifting He’s given us, we should do it “well” (Romans 12:7).

Doing our best is the best gift we can give Him in return for sending Jesus to rescue us and for the gift of new life. What we give back won’t be enough to bring His kingdom to earth as it is in heaven, but it will help.

As the apostle Paul wrote to the believers in Corinth, “Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless” (1 Corinthians 15:58).

He did his Duty

From: inspirationalarchive.com


 To augment his schoolteacher salary, for a number of years, back when corner stores were better known than supermarkets, my dad filled in as a grocery store clerk at one of the larger such stores in our community. The cash registers in those days rang up sales but only after someone tallied up the sale total. Dad could run his pencil down a long column of figures listing customer purchases and speedily arrive at the correct sum.

Later on, after the corner stores went the way of the dinosaur, Dad had another career as a taxi driver, first driving for a local cab owner and later buying the business and running it for some years—although in this case “business” means one car, used as a taxi and also as his personal vehicle.

We never went anywhere with Dad, even out of town, that he did not meet someone he knew. His three jobs had one thing in common—they kept him in the public eye. He was so well-known that we were sure that in any city in the United States he would meet someone he knew in the first half hour.

My mother suffered from several different chronic illnesses. As the years passed, they grew worse, even as a total of five children were born in the family. We all lived in a house with only four rooms, a circumstances I’m sure was shared by many of our neighbors in those post depression and war years. Perhaps, however, some of those families had more ready cash than we did. Even though Dad usually taught all day and worked at the grocery all evening, with all the medical expenses we incurred, there wasn’t enough money for us to own a car. Dad hitched rides to school with other teachers during most of his teaching career. There was a bus he occasionally rode to and from the grocery store, but many times he saved the dime by riding the distance of around four miles to and from his extra job on his bike.

The bike was about the only way he went anywhere. Mom often had to call a taxi to take her or us to the doctor because the bus required walking at least a country block to the bus stop and Mom’s asthma seldom allowed her to do so. Dad however, usually went places on his bike. For me, as a pre-schooler, there was a little wooden seat Dad called his “buddy seat” that was fastened to the “boy” bar of his bike. That way, as he rode, I was always right in front of him and encircled by his arms.

At that time I used to stutter and I had a serious inability to pronounce the letter “R.” As we rode along, Dad, ever the teacher, would talk with me, encouraging me to think ahead about what I was going to say so I would be able to get it out without error.

He used to take me to town on Saturday mornings and one place I loved to go was the junk yard. Dad was always working on bikes for one of us kids and he would scavenge the junk yard for parts. One time, how-ever, he incurred my mother’s wrath by taking me with him to a pool parlor. Mom didn’t think much of pool parlors.

Some years later, after the grocery closed, Dad worked as the night manager of a pool room for a year or two. Mother never did like that. She thought that as a school teacher, Dad was compromising his integrity by working in such a den of inequity.

I was always proud that my father was a well-respected man. I used to think being a teacher made him a special kind of person, but today I realize that the most special thing about him was not his career, but the way he persevered. The mantel of respect always falls on those who consistently do their duty and that’s what my father did.

Thoughts For Inspiration

The Letter To Mum

From:  Heavensinspirations.com

Sally jumped up as soon as she saw the surgeon come out of the operating room. She said: “How is my little boy? Is he going to be all right? When can I see him?”

The surgeon said, “I’m sorry. We did all we could, but your boy didn’t make it.”

Sally said, “Why do little children get cancer? Doesn’t God care any more? Where were you, God, when my son needed you?”

The surgeon asked, “Would you like some time alone with your son? One of the nurses will be out in a few minutes, before he’s transported to the university.”

Sally asked the nurse to stay with her while she said good-bye to her son. She ran her fingers lovingly through his thick red curly hair. “Would you like a lock of his hair?” the nurse asked. Sally nodded yes. The nurse cut a lock of the boy’s hair, put it in a plastic bag and handed it to Sally. The mother said, “It was Jimmy’s idea to donate his body to the university for study. He said it might help somebody else. “I said no at first, but Jimmy said, ‘Mom, I won’t be using it after I die. Maybe it will help some other little boy spend one more day with his Mom.” She went on, “My Jimmy had a heart of gold. Always thinking of someone else. Always wanting to help others if he could.”

Sally walked out of Children’s Mercy Hospital for the last time, after spending most of the last six months there. She put the bag with Jimmy’s belongings on the seat beside her in the car. The drive home was difficult It was even harder to enter the empty house. She carried Jimmy’s belongings, and the plastic bag with the lock of his hair to her son’s room. She started placing the model cars and other personal things back in his room exactly where he had always kept them. She laid down across his bed and, hugging his pillow, cried herself to sleep.

It was around midnight when Sally awoke. Laying beside her on the bed was a folded letter. The letter said:

Dear Mom, I know you’re going to miss me; but don’t think that I will ever forget you, or stop loving you, just ’cause I’m not around to say I LOVE YOU. I will always love you, Mom, even more with each day. Someday we will see each other again. Until then, if you want to adopt a little boy so you won’t be so lonely, that’s okay with me. He can have my room and old stuff to play with. But, if you decide to get a girl instead, she probably wouldn’t like the same things us boys do. You’ll have to buy her dolls and stuff girls like, you know. Don’t be sad thinking about me. This really is a neat place. Grandma and Grandpa met me as soon as I got here and showed me around some, but it will take a long time to see everything. The angels are so cool. I love to watch them fly. And, you know what? Jesus doesn’t look like any of his pictures. Yet, when I saw Him, I knew it was Him. Jesus himself took me to see GOD! And guess what, Mom? I got to sit on God’s knee and talk to Him, like I was somebody important! That’s when I told Him that I wanted to write you a letter, to tell you good-bye and everything. But I already knew that wasn’t allowed. Well, you know what Mom? God handed me some paper and His own personal pen to write you this letter. I think Gabriel is the name of the angel who is going to drop this letter off to you. God said for me to give you the answer to one of the questions you asked Him ‘Where was He when I needed him?’ “God said He was in the same place with me, as when His son Jesus was on the cross. He was right there, as He always is with all His children.

Oh, by the way, Mom, no one else can see what I’ve written except you. To everyone else this is just a blank piece of paper. Isn’t that cool? I have to give God His pen back now. He needs it to write some more names in the Book of Life. Tonight I get to sit at the table with Jesus for supper. I’m, sure the food will be great. Oh, I almost forgot to tell you. I don’t hurt anymore. The cancer is all gone. I’m glad because I couldn’t stand that pain anymore and God couldn’t stand to see me hurt so much, either. That’s when He sent The Angel of Mercy to come get me. The Angel said I was a Special Delivery! How about that?

Called By God

My Utmost for His Highest

I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: ’Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?’ Then I said, ’Here am I! Send me’ —Isaiah 6:8

God did not direct His call to Isaiah— Isaiah overheard God saying, “. . . who will go for Us?” The call of God is not just for a select few but for everyone. Whether I hear God’s call or not depends on the condition of my ears, and exactly what I hear depends upon my spiritual attitude. “Many are called, but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:14). That is, few prove that they are the chosen ones. The chosen ones are those who have come into a relationship with God through Jesus Christ and have had their spiritual condition changed and their ears opened. Then they hear “the voice of the Lord” continually asking, “. . . who will go for Us?” However, God doesn’t single out someone and say, “Now, you go.” He did not force His will on Isaiah. Isaiah was in the presence of God, and he overheard the call. His response, performed in complete freedom, could only be to say, “Here am I! Send me.”Remove the thought from your mind of expecting God to come to force you or to plead with you. When our Lord called His disciples, He did it without irresistible pressure from the outside. The quiet, yet passionate, insistence of His “Follow Me” was spoken to men whose every sense was receptive (Matthew 4:19). If we will allow the Holy Spirit to bring us face to face with God, we too will hear what Isaiah heard-”the voice of the Lord.” In perfect freedom we too will say, “Here am I! Send me.”

Never Quits

From: academictips.org

Abraham Lincoln never quits.

Born into poverty, Lincoln was faced with defeat throughout his life. He lost eight elections, twice failed in business and suffered a nervous breakdown.

He could have quit many times – but he didn’t and because he didn’t quit, he became one of the greatest presidents in the United States history.

Here is a sketch of Lincoln’s road to the White House:

  1. 1816 His family was forced out of their home. He had to work to support them.
  2. 1818 His mother died.
  3. 1831 Failed in business.
  4. 1832 Ran for state legislature – lost.
  5. 1832 Also lost his job – wanted to go to law school but couldn’t get in.
  6. 1833 Borrowed some money from a friend to begin a business and by the end of the year he was bankrupt. He spent the next 17 years of his life paying off this debt.
  7. 1834 Ran for state legislature again – won.
  8. 1835 Was engaged to be married, sweetheart died and his heart was broken.
  9. 1836 Had a total nervous breakdown and was in bed for six months.
  10. 1838 Sought to become speaker of the state legislature – defeated.
  11. 1840 Sought to become elector – defeated.
  12. 1843 Ran for Congress – lost.
  13. 1846 Ran for Congress again – this time he won – went to Washington and did a good job.
  14. 1848 Ran for re-election to Congress – lost.
  15. 1849 Sought the job of land officer in his home state – rejected.
  16. 1854 Ran for Senate of the United States – lost.
  17. 1856 Sought the Vice-Presidential nomination at his party’s national convention – get less than 100 votes.
  18. 1858 Ran for U.S. Senate again – again he lost.
  19. 1860 Elected president of the United States.

put to, put on

From: ourdailyjourney.com

Colossians 3:1-15
Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him (Colossians 3:10).

Read what Paul wrote inEphesians 4:22-24 and consider who helps us “put to” and “put on.”

What things do you need to put to death in your life? As you strive to put on your new nature, how can you experience the Holy Spirit’s transforming power?

“Though it’s my job to be an actor, I have given my life to God. I am very comfortable and firm in that, but I still have to be on this [TV] show. It’s the number one [rated] comedy, but it’s very inappropriate and the themes are very inappropriate. I have to be this person I am not.”

When an actor said those words in 2012, they ignited a firestorm of well-publicized contrasting opinions. But I’m sure many believers in Jesus can relate. For we too can feel compelled to act in ways that don’t reflect our faith.

As Paul wrote to members of the young church at Colossae, he implored them to live out their “new life with Christ” (Colossians 3:1). Instead of acting like the world, Paul told them to “think about the things of heaven” (Colossians 3:2). Then, to make his countercultural teaching clear, he contrasted two “puts”:

• “Put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you” (Colossians 3:5). Paul listed a number of ways believers could wrongly follow the lead of the world—sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, greed, idolatry, anger, rage, malice, slander, bad language, lying (Colossians 3:5-9). These things, he wrote, all reflect the “old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds” (Colossians 3:9).

• “Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him” (Colossians 3:10). The apostle wrote that true believers should reflect holiness, mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness, love, peace, thankfulness (Colossians 3:12-15). These things mark those who are surrendered to God.

Yes, we can be tempted to act in ways that go against our “new life” found in Jesus (Colossians 3:11). But as we “put to” and “put on,” we live out a real faith that puts Christ first!