Faulty Thinking (Romans 5:8)

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Four people – a pilot, a professor, a pastor, and a hiker – were flying in a small plane when the engines died. The pilot said, “There are only three parachutes. Since this is my plane, I’m taking one of them.” He put it on and jumped out. The professor said, “I’m brilliant and the world needs me, so I’m taking a parachute,” and he jumped out.

Then the pastor told the hiker, “I don’t want to be selfish, so you take the last parachute.” The hiker replied, “There are still two left, so we can each have one. The professor jumped out with my backpack instead of the parachute!” Though the professor thought he would land safely, his assurance was based on faulty thinking.

Some people have an assurance of salvation based on faulty thinking. They believe that church attendance, baptism, or just being good will gain them approval from God. But our thinking is faulty if it isn’t based on what God says in His Word. God says that “all have sinned” and that we are His enemies. But through the death and resurrection of His Son (Jesus Christ), we can be made right with God (Romans 3:23; 5:8-10). By faith in what Christ has done, we can have peace with God (5:1) and the assurance of eternal life in heaven.

 Do you believe it? Your eternity is at stake. Don’t trust faulty thinking but put your faith in Christ. – Anne Cetas

 I am trusting Thee, Lord Jesus-

Trusting only Thee;

Trusting Thee for full salvation,

Great and free. Havergal

 If we could earn our salvation, Christ would not have died to provide it.

  • May 31, Vol. 20, Our Daily Bread
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High-Tech Communication (1 Corinthians 2:12)

 

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When it comes to communication, our world is becoming increasingly high-tech. The popularity of things like Twitter and Facebook might cause some to think the Bible is too old-school. The tech-savvy people of our world might feel deterred because there are no sounds and no nifty graphics in the Bible. But the truth is, there’s more high-tech power in God’s Word than in any cutting-edge communication tool our world will ever know.

It’s not uncommon for a pastor to be told, “When you said that in your message, it was just what I needed. Somehow during the sermon, God spoke to the person’s heart with a message tailor-made for him or her. If you’ve ever read the Bible and sensed God speaking directly to you, you know what I’m taking about. God has hard-wired you with His Spirit, who illumines your mind to understand His Word.

Imagine getting a “text message” directly from the Creator of the universe telling you exactly what you need at exactly the right time. No matter how high-tech this world gets, you’ll never experience a more powerful mode of communication!

Rejoice in the reality that “we have received … the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God” (1 Corinthians 2:12). – Joe Stowell

 Give me the insight, Lord,

As I hear Your Word today,

So I will truly understand

Your message and Your way. – Monroe

 The Bible may be old, but its truths are always new.

  • May 23, Vol. 17, Our Daily Bread

I Shall Not Want (Psalm 50:12)

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Before they were a week old, the eaglets were fighting over for food. Neither is strong enough to hold his head for more than a few seconds, so the pair looked like fuzzballs with bobble-heads attached. But whenever the parents brought food to the nest, the bigger eaglet was quick to peek down his brother to keep him from getting a single bite. His aggression would have been understandable if food was scarce, or if the parent couldn’t be trusted to supply what he needed. But nothing could be further from the truth. The eaglets were being fed fish many times their size; there was more than enough for both of them.

The greedy eaglet reminds me of our own foolishness when we try to get for ourselves something that belongs to someone else (James 4:1-5). Conflicts erupt because we want something that God has given to a friend, colleague, relative, or neighbor. Instead of asking God for what we need, we try to get what He’s given to someone else (v. 2). But God has something good for each of us. We don’t need what belongs to anyone else. And we certainly never need to harm anyone to get what we need.

Our loving heavenly Father has more than enough for everyone. – Julie Ackerman Link

The secret to contentment is

To let the Lord supply;

Just do your part and put God first

And on His Word rely. – D. De Haan

 Our needs will never exhaust God’s supply.

  • May 22, Vol. 17, Our Daily Bread

He Wants More (John 17:3)

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You always sit in the row ahead of Sam in church. You smile and say “Good morning” when you come in. You say “See you next Sunday” when you leave. But one morning, you add a little conversation: Sam, could you give me a hundred dollars?”

Unfortunately, that‘s the way some people treat the Lord. They have a Sunday-only relationship with Him until they need something. But God desire much more.

The Lord wants us first of all to know Him as our Savior. “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (John 17:3).

After we become His child (1:12), God desires an ongoing dialog with us and a growing knowledge of who He is and who we can be with His help. He doesn’t want to be a Sunday-only acquaintance or Someone we cry out to only when we’re desperate. God wants us to have a personal relationship with Him. He also wants us to grow in our desire to please Him by obeying Him. “We know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments” (1 John 2:3).

God loves you and wants you to know Him. He does answer desperation prayers. But before you start asking, make sure you know Him personally. – Cindy Hess Kasper

The Lord wants more than platitudes

From those for whom He died;

He longs for us to knows His love,

And in that love abide. – D. De Haan

Knowing about God may interest us, but knowing God will change us.

  • May 20, Vol. 14, Our Daily Bread

Pleasing God (1 Thessalonians 2:4)

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According to an old fable, a father and his son were walking along a road one day with their donkey. Soon they met a man who told them how foolish they were to walk when they had a donkey that could be ridden. So the father and son hopped on.

They hadn’t gone very far when another man criticized them for both riding on the donkey. They were too heavy for it, he contended, and were being inhumane. So the boy got off.

It wasn’t long before a third traveler accused the father of being inconsiderate because he made his son walk while he rode. So the two switched places. Soon they met another person who charged that the son was not being thoughtful of his father, who was so much older than he. When last seen, the two were trudging down the road carrying the donkey.

If we are overly sensitive to others’ opinions, we may end up carrying needless weight of guilt and frustration. Although we all appreciate the approval of others, and we try to avoid offending people, our ultimate accountability is not to them but to the Lord.

The apostle Paul said that he spoke “not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts.” That’s a good example for us to follow. What really matters is to please God! – Richard W. De Haan

It matters not what others say

In ridicule or fun;

I want to live that I may hear

Him say to me, “Well done.” – Beers

When we live for the approval of God, we may receive the disapproval of men.

  • May 31, 1991, Our Daily Bread

Out of Our Minds (Jeremiah 5:21, 22)

 

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Why would a prison inmate escape from prison the day before his scheduled release? That’s what a Rhode Island prison spokesman wondered as he answered questions to reporters. He said, “For the life of me. I don’t know what possessed him to leave with only one day of his sentence left to serve.” Once captured, the escapee would be arraigned on charges d him back in prison for up to 20 years.

Most of us probably would wonder about the shortsightedness of this inmate. But we might not be as conscious of our own nearsighted approach to sin. We might not see the absolute mindlessness of trading a few moments of materialism, stubborn independence, or selfish pleasure for lasting regret.

Jeremiah saw what doesn’t make sense. In the 5th chapter of his prophecy, he reminded us of how much we should respect God’s power (v. 22), and that short-term pleasures will bring long-term losses (vv. 28-29). Sin thrives on self-deception and doesn’t look ahead to the end result (v. 31).

Father, forgive us for being so stubborn and blind. Thank You for making a provision for our forgiveness. We realize that without Jesus Christ we would have no hope. Help us to do what makes sense – for today, and for tomorrow. – Martin R. De Haan II

We can’t afford to play with fire

Nor tempt a serpent’s bite;

We can’t afford to think that sin

Brings any true delight. – Anon.

Sin focuses on short-term desires at the expense of long-term delights.

  • May 25, 1991, Our Daily Bread

Appointment in Samarra (James 4:14)

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Life is so fleeting, so transient. Death is inevitable, no matter what we do to avoid it. None can escape it. Even for the young, it is never far away.

The beloved American preacher Peter Marshall used the following illustration about death in one of his sermons: “An old legend tells of a merchant in Baghdad who one day sent his servant to the market. Before very long the servant came back, pale and trembling. In great agitation he said to his master, ‘Down in the marketplace I was jostled by a woman in the crowd, and when I turned around I saw Death. She looked at me and make a threatening gesture. Master, please lend me your horse, for I must hasten to avoid her. I will ride to Samarra and there I will hide, and Death will not find me.’ The merchant lent him his horse, and the servant galloped away in great haste. Later the merchant went down to the market and saw Death standing in the crowd. He asked her, ‘Why did you frighten my servant this morning? Why did you make a threatening gesture?’ ‘That was not a threatening gesture,’ Death said, ‘It was only a start of surprise. I was astonished to see him in Baghdad, for I have an appointment with him tonight in Samarra!’

 Friend, unless Jesus returns first, each of us will one day meet death. It may be soon, or it may be many years from now. If we have received Christ as Savior, however, we need not fear. Instead, we can look forward with rejoicing because we know the One who holds the keys of life and death. – David C. Egner

 Though life is often filled with pain,

Though death looms just ahead,

The Lord can fill your heart with peace

And take away the dread. – D. J. De Haan

 Only those who are ready to die are ready to live.

  • May 18, 1985, Our Daily Bread