Tag Archives: promise

True Love

True Love

From: OurDailyBread
Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. —John 15:13

During the rehearsal for my brother’s wedding ceremony, my husband snapped a picture of the bride and groom as they faced each other in front of the pastor. When we looked at the photograph later, we noticed that the camera’s flash had illuminated a metal cross in the background, which appeared as a glowing image above the couple.

The photograph reminded me that marriage is a picture of Christ’s love for the church as shown on the cross. When the Bible instructs husbands to love their wives (Eph. 5:25), God compares that kind of faithful, selfless affection to Christ’s love for His followers. Because Christ sacrificed His life for the sake of love, we are all to love each other (1 John 4:10-11). He died in our place, so that our sin would not keep us separate from God for eternity. He lived out His words to the disciples: “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13).

Many of us suffer from the pain of abandonment, rejection, and betrayal. Despite all of this, through Christ we can understand the sacrificial, compassionate, and enduring nature of true love. Today, remember that you are loved by God. Jesus said so with His life.

Nothing speaks more clearly of God’s love than the cross of Jesus.

The Blind Men and The Elephant

From: Academictips.org

A long time ago in the valley of the Brahmaputra River in India there lived six men who were much inclined to boast of their wit and lore. Though they were no longer young and had all been blind since birth, they would compete with each other to see who could tell the tallest story.

One day, however, they fell to arguing. The object of their dispute was the elephant. Now, since each was blind, none had ever seen that mighty beast of whom so many tales are told. So, to satisfy their minds and settle the dispute, they decided to go and seek out an elephant.

Having hired a young guide, Dookiram by name, they set out early one morning in single file along the forest track, each placing his hands on the back of the man in front. It was not long before they came to a forest clearing where a huge bull elephant, quite tame, was standing contemplating his menu for the day.

The six blind men became quite excited; at last they would satisfy their minds. Thus it was that the men took turns to investigate the elephant’s shape and form.

As all six men were blind, neither of them could see the whole elephant and approached the elephant from different directions. After encountering the elephant, each man proclaimed in turn:

“O my brothers,” the first man at once cried out, “it is as sure as I am wise that this elephant is like a great mud wall baked hard in the sun.”

“Now, my brothers,” the second man exclaimed with a cry of dawning recognition, “I can tell you what shape this elephant is – he is exactly like a spear.”

The others smiled in disbelief.

“Why, dear brothers, do you not see,” said the third man, “this elephant is very much like a rope,” he shouted.

“Ha, I thought as much,” the fourth man declared excitedly, “this elephant much resembles a serpent.”

The others snorted their contempt.

“Good gracious, brothers,” the fifth man called out, “even a blind man can see what shape the elephant resembles most. Why he’s mightily like a fan.”

At last, it was the turn of the sixth old fellow and he proclaimed, “This sturdy pillar, brothers, mine, feels exactly like the trunk of a great areca palm tree.”

Of course, no one believed him.

Their curiosity satisfied, they all linked hands and followed the guide, Dookiram, back to the village. Once there, seated beneath a waving palm, the six blind men began disputing loud and long. Each now had his own opinion, firmly based on his own experience, of what an elephant is really like. For after all, each had felt the elephant for himself and knew that he was right!

And so indeed he was. For depending on how the elephant is seen, each blind man was partly right, though all were in the wrong.

The Alphabet Of Happiness

From: Academictips.org

The Alphabet:
A – ACCEPT Accept others for who they are and for the choices they’ve made even if you have difficulty understanding their beliefs, motives, or actions.
B – BREAK AWAY Break away from everything that stands in the way of what you hope to accomplish with your life.
C – CREATE Create a family of friends whom you can share your hopes, dreams, sorrows, and happiness with.
D – DECIDE Decide that you’ll be successful and happy come what may, and good things will find you. The roadblocks are only minor obstacles along the way.
E – EXPLORE Explore and experiment. The world has much to offer, and you have much to give. And every time you try something new, you’ll learn more about yourself.
F – FORGIVE Forgive and forget. Grudges only weigh you down and inspire unhappiness and grief. Soar above it, and remember that everyone makes mistakes.
G – GROW Leave the childhood monsters behind. They can no longer hurt you or stand in your way.
H – HOPE Hope for the best and never forget that anything is possible as long as you remain dedicated to the task.
I – IGNORE Ignore the negative voice inside your head. Focus instead on your goals and remember your accomplishments. Your past success is only a small inkling of what the future holds.
J – JOURNEY Journey to new worlds, new possibilities, by remaining open-minded. Try to learn something new every day, an you’ll grow.
K – KNOW Know that no matter how bad things seem, they’ll always get better. The warmth of spring always follows the harshest winter.
L – LOVE Let love fill your heart instead of hate. When hate is in your heart, there’s room for nothing else, but when love is in your heart, there’s room for endless happiness.
M – MANAGE Manage your time and your expenses wisely, and you’ll suffer less stress and worry. Then you’ll be able to focus on the important things in life.
N – NOTICE Never ignore the poor, infirm, helpless, weak, or suffering. Offer your assistance when possible, and always your kindness and understanding.
O – OPEN Open your eyes and take in all the beauty around you. Even during the worst of times, there’s still much to be thankful for.
P – PLAY Never forget to have fun along the way. Success means nothing without happiness.
Q – QUESTION Ask many questions, because you’re here to learn.
R – RELAX Refuse to let worry and stress rule your life, and remember that things always have a way of working out in the end.
S – SHARE Share your talent, skills, knowledge, and time with others. Everything that you invest in others will return to you many times over.
T – TRY Even when your dreams seem impossible to reach, try anyway. You’ll be amazed by what you can accomplish.
U – USE Use your gifts to your best ability. Talent that’s wasted has no value. Talent that’s used bill bring unexpected rewards.
V – VALUE Value the friends and family members who’ve supported and encouraged you, and be there for them as well.
W – WORK Work hard every day to be the best person you can be, but never feel guilty if you fall short of your goals. Every sunrise offers a second chance.
X – X-RAY Look deep inside the hearts of those around you and you’ll see the goodness and beauty within.
Y – YIELD Yield to commitment. If you stay on track and remain dedicated, you’ll find success at the end of the road.
Z – ZOOM Zoom to a happy place when bad memories or sorrow rears its ugly head. Let nothing interfere with your goals. Instead, focus on your abilities, your dreams, and a brighter tomorrow.

Author Unknown

 

Can’t Wait

From: Getmorestrength.org

“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.” John 14:3

Hey, for you guys out there who have forgotten, it’s Valentine’s Day! Hopefully you still have time to pick up something special for the love of your life. (And you don’t even have to tell her that I reminded you!)

The love of my life, of course, is my wife, Martie. I remember so clearly the summer before our senior year of college when I finally summoned up the nerve to ask her to marry me. We had been dating for a couple of years and ended up working in different states over the summer. I spent the summer working at home in New Jersey, and she was up in the Adirondack Mountains serving at a Christian conference center. That struck a little panic in my soul. She would not only be away from me, but she would be surrounded by tanned lifeguards and well-abbed water-ski instructors! I knew in order to seal the deal I would need to take some action.

I pulled together the cash to buy her an engagement ring and climbed into my little Volkswagen to trek up to the conference grounds. The whole way there I was a mixture of nerves and excitement, anticipating the moment that I would pop the question! When I arrived at the conference, however, I discovered that our college president was there as the featured speaker. And, in an act of goodwill, he decided to take all of us students out for pie and ice cream after the evening session. Normally, I would have been delighted to be out for dessert with our college president. But that evening all I could think of was, “I can’t wait to get her out of here!” I had bigger plans and a better agenda for the evening. I wasn’t interested in snacks—I wanted to get Martie out of there so I could propose and spend the rest of my life with her!

Recently, as I was reading John 14:3, it struck me—Jesus can’t wait to get us out of here so He can spend eternity with us. In fact, one of the key metaphors used to describe His relationship with the church is the picture of a groom waiting for his bride. With that in mind, you can almost feel the sense of urgency and anticipation in His voice when He assures us: “I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”

The timing of Christ’s return, while unknown to us, is perfectly on schedule with God’s sovereign plan. Why would God wait if He really wants to be with us? He waits to allow additional people to hear the life-transforming message of forgiveness and new life in Jesus (2 Peter 3:9). And yet I can’t help but think that Jesus, longing to be reunited with you, says to Himself, “I can’t wait to get them out of there!” His agenda is far greater, far more thrilling, and infinitely better than whatever we have planned on this earth.

If Martie had known what was coming that evening, it would have made her just as anxious and excited as I was to get out of there. It would have affected her whole perspective. And here’s the amazing thing: When it comes to Christ’s return for us, we’re in on the secret! We don’t know the time, but we know the promise—He’s coming back, and He can’t wait! The thrill of the prospect of it all should transform the way we live each day. There should be a sense of holy discontent and a constant longing for what we have ahead of us.

Christmas Lights

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Christmas Lights

 — by Julie Ackerman Link
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned. —Matthew 4:16
Bible in a Year:
Daniel 5-7; 2 John

In December each year, a neighborhood of 13 families near where we live sets up a dazzling display of 300,000 Christmas lights. People drive for miles and wait in line for hours to see the flashing, colorful lights and hear the music that is programmed to go with it. The sound-and-light display is so elaborate that it requires a network of 64 computers to keep everything synchronized.

When I think about these holiday lights, I am reminded of the Light that makes Christmas a holiday for many—a single Light so bright that it illuminates the whole world with truth, justice, and love. This Light—Jesus—is everything that the world is longing and looking for (Isa. 9:2,6-7). And He has told His followers to display His light so that others will see and glorify God (Matt. 5:16).

Imagine if Christians worked as hard at shining and synchronizing the light of God’s love as the families of that neighborhood work when they illuminate their street with Christmas lights. Perhaps then the people still living in darkness would make an effort to see this great Light. When Christians work together to display God’s love, the gospel will shine more brightly and attract more people to Jesus—the Light of the world.

O to be filled with His life divine;
O to be clothed with His power and might;
O to reflect my dear Savior sublime—
Always to shine as the saints in light! —Anon.
Our witness for Christ is a light in a dark world.
From: Our Daily Bread

Repentance

Godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation . . . —2 Corinthians 7:10

Conviction of sin is best described in the words:My sins, my sins, my Savior,
How sad on Thee they fall.

Conviction of sin is one of the most uncommon things that ever happens to a person. It is the beginning of an understanding of God. Jesus Christ said that when the Holy Spirit came He would convict people of sin (see John 16:8). And when the Holy Spirit stirs a person’s conscience and brings him into the presence of God, it is not that person’s relationship with others that bothers him but his relationship with God— “Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in your sight . . .” (Psalm 51:4). The wonders of conviction of sin, forgiveness, and holiness are so interwoven that it is only the forgiven person who is truly holy. He proves he is forgiven by being the opposite of what he was previously, by the grace of God. Repentance always brings a person to the point of saying, “I have sinned.” The surest sign that God is at work in his life is when he says that and means it. Anything less is simply sorrow for having made foolish mistakes— a reflex action caused by self-disgust.

The entrance into the kingdom of God is through the sharp, sudden pains of repentance colliding with man’s respectable “goodness.” Then the Holy Spirit, who produces these struggles, begins the formation of the Son of God in the person’s life (see Galatians 4:19). This new life will reveal itself in conscious repentance followed by unconscious holiness, never the other way around. The foundation of Christianity is repentance. Strictly speaking, a person cannot repent when he chooses— repentance is a gift of God. The old Puritans used to pray for “the gift of tears.” If you ever cease to understand the value of repentance, you allow yourself to remain in sin. Examine yourself to see if you have forgotten how to be truly repentant.

From: My Utmost For His Highest

Managing the Mess

[Written by Joe Stowell for Our Daily Bread.]

“Why do you call me Naomi, since the Lord has testified against me, and the Almighty has afflicted me?” Ruth 1:21

When we meet Naomi in the Scriptures, her life is a mess. She and her husband had gone to Moab searching for food during a famine. While in that land, their two sons married Moabite women, and life was good—until her husband and sons died and she was stuck, widowed in a foreign land.

Though honest about her pain, Naomi obviously had a sense of who was in control: “The Lord has testified against me, and the Almighty has afflicted me” (Ruth 1:21).

The Hebrew word for “Almighty” (Shaddai) indicates God’s sufficiency for any situation. The word “Lord” (Yahweh) refers to His faithfulness as the loving covenant-keeping God. I love how Naomi put these two names together. In the midst of her complaint, she never lost sight of the fact that her God was a capable and faithful God. And, sure enough, He proved His capability to deliver her and His faithfulness to care for her to the very end.

If there seems to be no way out of your despair, remember that Naomi’s God is your God as well. And He specializes in managing our messes to good and glorious outcomes. Thankfully, He is both capableand faithful. So, when your life is a mess, remember who your God is!

Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last. —von Schlegel

Stand back and watch the Lord manage your mess into a glorious outcome.

From: Get More Strength

Hebrews 13:1-3

So you, too, must show love to foreigners (Deuteronomy 10:19).

Read Job 31:32 and note the suffering man’s hospitable approach to caring for strangers.

 

Last summer, my son and I were heading to a connecting flight at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. As we walked briskly from one terminal to another, Wasswa said, “Look, Mommy, a Dinka!”

Dinkas comprise the largest tribe in South Sudan. They’re considered the tallest people group in Africa, and with their beautiful, deep skin color are fairly easy to recognize if you’re somewhat familiar with sub-Saharan tribes. We stopped to say “hello” to the man, and he was pleased, albeit surprised, that upon seeing him we identified his heritage.

Through broken English, the gentleman explained that a few years earlier he and his family had entered the United States as war refugees. He said they were thankful to be here, but they still felt like strangers in a foreign land.

Hearing this man’s plight caused me to reflect on Matthew 25:37-39, which states that the “righteous ones” will reply, “Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?”

As members of the body of Christ, we’re called to:

• Love each other as brothers and sisters (Deuteronomy 10:18-19;Hebrews 13:1).

• Show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it! (Hebrews 13:2).

• Remember those in prison, as if we were there ourselves (Hebrews 13:3).

• Remember also those who are being mistreated, as if we were experiencing their pain in our own bodies (Hebrews 13:3).

Today, let’s ask God to help us recognize the people, including strangers, to whom we can show true hospitality.

From: Our Daily Journey

True Freedom

 

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(We Are Happy When We Are Free)

Sermon: True Freedom – John 8

by Steve Andrews on Monday, August 04, 2008

Scriptures: John 8:31-36

Introduction

“Imagine a husband taking his wife out to a nice restaurant for their anniversary. Over candle light he expresses his love for his wife by quoting a list of her physical features as if reading the information from her driver’s license.

  • You are 5′ 4″ tall.
  • You weight is 120 pounds.
  • You were born in January.
  • You have brown hair and brown eyes, and you live on East Maple Street.

Now imagine the same situation with the husband saying,

You walk in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies,
And all the is best of dark and night,
Meet in the aspect and your eyes.

While the romantically challenged husband in the first situation communicated information that was accurate, he failed to communicate the depth, the magnitude, and beauty of his love for his wife. Love is more than a list of factual information. Love is a mysterious and beautiful relationship between two people. That is why poetry is often used to express the emotion and beautiful attraction that lovers feel toward each other.

I mention the use of poetry to introduce the idea of what Jesus is speaking about in John 8. Jesus does not use poetry, but He is proclaiming information that is explosive, emotional, and transformational. The concepts of truth, sin, and freedom are more than fill in the blank answers from a Sunday School quiz.

We have a hint that the subjects discussed in John 8:31-36 are massive theological concepts illustrated in the discussion describing the difference between a son and a slave. Jesus is proclaiming freedom not from individual sins or a specific act of disobedience, but He offers freedom from the nature or condition that enslaves all people.

The truth to which Jesus refers is more than the factual correctness that dominates so much of western Christianity. We can quote verses about evangelism, prayer, or compassion, yet we rarely seek to extend compassion prayerfully bringing the gospel to those living in darkness. The freedom that Jesus offers is not a political system; it is a release from the chains that enslave one’s soul.

I. Possibility of freedom

Jesus makes one of the most amazing Inspirational claims in history. Consider for a moment the incredible hope expressed in the promise that Jesus can set people free. Unless you have lived a sheltered life, you have probably experienced an enslaved soul or have known loved ones who struggle to break free from ungodly chains. These ungodly chains my be easy to identify like an immoral addiction, or the chains may be more “acceptable” like fear, greed, poverty, worldliness, doubt, anger, bitterness, legalism, racism, insecurity, despair, and depression. Whatever category you classify your slavery, the result is the same – a failure to experience the abundant life promised by following Christ. To those living in bondage, Jesus offers freedom!

A. The freedom offered by Jesus is spiritual

His freedom is not a political revolution. True freedom is not about changing your outward circumstances. This is a significant concept because it reveals that Jesus can free you wherever you are. Paul was on the road to Damascus persecuting Christians. The prodigal was in a pig pen. Peter was in a boat fishing. One woman was drawing water from a well. Another woman found freedom when caught in adultery. A thief was on a cross of execution when Jesus set his soul free!

Spiritual freedom is not dependent upon physical circumstances that may have led or contributed to your bondage. Jesus can set you free in your marriage without causing a divorce. Jesus can set you free when you are overdrawn in your checkbook without making a deposit. Jesus can set you free from past or current failures without loading a U-haul truck. Don’t misunderstand this concept to mean something it doesn’t. We may need to make, and Christ may lead us to make, some physical or circumstantial changes. But, one of the main truths of divine freedom is Jesus is more concerned about setting your soul free than defeating the Roman Empire or some other external force in your life.

B. Jesus’ freedom is also purposeful

Jesus describes the freedom He offers resulting from abiding in His truth. Freedom is not a lack of restraint that allows one to fulfill any selfish desire, but genuine freedom takes place in the arena or stadium of divine truth. As we abide in Christ we are released from the chains of the world and released to be all that God created us to be. Like a fish has been created to swim in water, we are created to live in the truth of Christ’s love.

Consider playing an instrument like the piano. Who is free the toddler who has never taken a lesson but freely bangs on the piano keys, or the person who has taken lessons, reads music, and creates beautiful even worshipful sounds with the same piano? Obviously, the skilled musician is free to play the instrument as it was designed. We were created to walk in fellowship with almighty God, but sin hinders that relationship by enslaving us in a separated life from God. Christ is the only one who can set us free to enjoy the life as a child of God instead of living as a slave of the world.

II. Perils of freedom

Even though Jesus clearly declared that freedom was possible, the sad reality is that very few experience it. The following is not an exhaustive list, but several perils or roadblocks hindering freedom are identified in the text.

A. The first peril is Ignorance

Jesus is declaring new truth to some who did not know that freedom was available. The Bible describes those who lacked knowledge of Christ’s ministry as “living in darkness,” and Jesus came to bring light to those who lived in darkness.

B. A second peril is arrogance

The Pharisees’ statement that they had never lived as slaves is not just inaccurate; it is arrogant. Israel had experienced slavery under the Assyrian Empire, Babylonian Empire, Persian Empire, and now the Roman Empire. But their greatest slavery was to their own sin. They were unwilling to admit that they had failed to meet God’s holy standard. They lived by a legalistic code and arrogantly rejected the offer of God’s amazing grace.

C. Reluctance

Reluctance is the third peril that prevented some from responding to Christ’s offer of freedom. The context reveals that some had placed their faith in Christ (v. 30), while others believed what Jesus was preaching but had not taken the next step placing their faith in Him. This group was not ignorant. They were not arrogant because they recognized a need for Christ, but they were unwilling to surrender to the lordship of Christ.

D. Complacency

Contained in the text is the exhortation to be free indeed or complete freedom. This exhortation seems to stand in contrast to those who would accept marginal freedom. A little bit of freedom was acceptable instead of trusting Christ for abundant freedom. Attending synagogue, offering some sacrifices, and celebrating the traditional “holy day” festivals was okay for most people. Jesus offers true freedom from the top shelf instead of settling for the cheap prizes at the bottom shelf.

A friend shared the story of taking his four-year-old daughter to Chuck-E-Cheese. On previous visits she won a few tickets and was limited to choosing prizes from the bottom shelf at the redemption center. But on their last visit to Chuck-E-Cheese, the daughter hit the jackpot on one of the games winning a large number of tickets. As they were going to the redemption center to claim her prizes she said, “Daddy I don’t have to choose from the bottom shelf this time. Today, I have enough for the good prizes on the top shelf.”

I am convinced most individuals who call themselves “Christians” live complacent lives choosing blessings from the bottom shelf when abundant freedom is available. Are you living “fee indeed?”

III. Process of freedom

Jesus identifies a process for experiencing true freedom with the words, “If..then.” The process should not be confused with a legalistic formula. He does not say, “If you have a daily quiet time with thirty minutes of prayer, tithe faithfully, and only miss Sunday School twice a year, then you can be free.” While Jesus does not prescribe a formula, His words do reveal a way in which things operate in His kingdom. For example, you are free to watch the sun rise each morning, but you must do two things to see it. You must get up early in the morning, and you must face east. If you sleep until ten o’clock and look west, you will miss the sunrise even though you are free to watch it. Why? Because there is a way things work.

The little word “if” is a big concept in the kingdom of God. The word represents an invitation. True freedom will not attack you; rather you must respond to God’s invitation to accept His complete freedom. As we have already discussed, most do not accept God’s offer.

Jesus also reveals the expectation to abide.

Two concepts emerge from the text related to abiding in truth. First, abiding refers to perseverance. True freedom is not found through a casual glance at the claims of Christ, but one must be willing to “dwell” in the Word of God (v.31). This is not a 30 day trial of faith. Jesus is not talking about a 12 week Bible study. Jesus offers freedom to those who abide in His Word. Abide comes from the root word abode meaning home or dwelling place. The word picture communicated is one of moving to a new home. It represents a significant and ongoing change in one’s life.

The second concept of abiding is place or location. Jesus declares that true freedom is found in, “MY word.” Freedom is not found in self-help programs, legalistic religion, the teaching of Buddha, or Muhammad. Freedom is not found in the pop psychology of Dr. Phil, Oprah, or through selfish indulgence of unrestrained sin. True and complete freedom is found in Christ.

Conclusion

Most of us have experienced the crunch of high gasoline prices. When my teenage daughter asks to ride with her parents because she doesn’t want to use the gas in her car, you know that gas is expensive. Imagine if congress allowed drilling for oil in my backyard to help reduce the cost of gas. What do you think the impact would be upon prices? None! Why? Because they aren’t in major oil reserves in my backyard! The soil deposits in this geographic region do not contain the chemicals necessary for producing large quantities of fuel like those of Texas, Alaska, or Saudi Arabia. Not matter how hard I work and no matter how sincere I believe, digging for oil in my backyard will not produce the desired result. To get oil, you must dig where there is a deposit of oil.

Jesus declared there is a deposit of truth in His words that can set you free indeed!” Sermon by Stephen Andrews, Pastor Alabaster Baptist Church.

Tulip Day: New Life, New Promise

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Tulip Day

 — by Dennis Fisher
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Consider the lilies of the field . . . ; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. —Matthew 6:28-29

“Several countries around the world celebrate Tulip Day to welcome the spring. When I think of tulips, I often think of the Netherlands, but commercial cultivation of the flower began in the Middle East. Today these colorful flowers span the globe. An estimated 109 species of tulips now grace parks, thoroughfares, and home gardens all around the world.

Last fall I planted some tulip bulbs. Several months later, they bloomed with vivid colors, announcing the coming of spring. They reminded me that summer was on the way and with it will come even more flowers to delight the eye.

Flowers are wonderful reminders to me of the grace of God in our lives. Our Lord used lilies of the field to remind us of the provision of our heavenly Father. In His great Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “Consider the lilies of the field . . . ; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. . . . Will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?” (Matt. 6:28-30).

Tulips alert us to the end of winter and the beginning of spring. But like the lilies of the field, they can also remind us of the One upon whom we can depend to provide food, clothing, and shelter.”

In trees and flowers of the field,
In creatures large and small,
We trace the watchful care of Him
Who planned and made them all. —King
If Jesus is concerned about flowers and birds, He certainly cares about you and me.
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Navigating The Storm

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Navigating The Storm

 — by Dennis Fisher
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
He commands and raises the stormy wind, . . . and He brings them out of their distresses. —Psalm 107:25,28

“The ancient people of the nation of Axum (located on the Red Sea in modern Ethiopia) discovered that the stormy winds of the monsoon season could be harnessed by sail for speedy navigation. Rather than dreading the high winds and rains, they learned how to navigate their way through the storm.

Psalm 107 provides a wonderful word picture of how God allows storms to come our way, and then provides help for us to navigate through them. “He commands and raises the stormy wind, . . . and He brings them out of their distresses” (Ps. 107:25,28).

Trusting God for guidance in troubled times is a biblical theme. Hebrews 11 lists many who used their problems as an opportunity to exercise faith and to experience God’s grace, provision, and deliverance: “Who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, [and] out of weakness were made strong” (vv.33-34).

Stormy circumstances are inevitable. Although our first reaction may be to run from the problem, we can instead ask God to teach us how to trust Him to navigate us through the storm.

When life feels like a storm-tossed sea
With crashing waves of pain and grief,
Turn to the Lord and trust in Him,
He’ll give you peace and bring relief. —Sper
Better to go through the storm with Christ than to have smooth sailing without Him.”
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