Slack Tide (Mark 6:31)

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I find it fascinating to consider the pull of the moon on our great oceans, which creates high and low tides. At the changing of the tide, there is a brief period of time called slack tidewhen the water is neither high nor low. According to scientists, this is when the water is “unstressed.” It is a quiet pause before surging of tidal flow begins again.

Sometimes in our busy schedules we may be pulled in different directions by competing responsibilities. In Jesus’ ministry, we see how He understood the demands made on His followers and the need for rest. Returning from a traveling ministry in teams of two, the Twelve reported things that God had done through them (Mark 6:7-13, 30). But Jesus responded: “’Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.’ For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat. So they departed to a deserted place in the boat by themselves” (vv. 31-32).

What responsibilities are pulling on you today? It is certainly acceptable to plan some rest and relaxation time to rejuvenate your body and soul for more fruitful service to others. Jesus advised it, and we all need it. He will meet you there. –  Dennis Fisher

My Shepherd is the Lord

Who knows my needs, and I am blest;

By quiet streams, in pastures green,

He leads and makes me rest. – Psalter

Spending quiet time with God can bring quiet rest from God.

  • August 17, Vol. 21, Our Daily Bread

Honesty (Philippians 4:8)

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An office supervisor instructed her secretary to alter some questionable financial records. When the secretary refused, the supervisor asked, “Don’t you ever lie?

For many people, both public and private honesty is an obsolete virtue – a moral remnant of bygone days. Integrity is more complex than simply refusing to lie. Integrity means speaking out where remaining silent would convey the wrong impression, and it means doing what’s best for others even if it causes us harm.

Sa’ad, a sensitive, hard-working man who lives in Zarayed, one of Cairo’s garbage dumps, works long hours collecting trash. He is one of thousands of Egypt’s garbage collectors who struggle to survive, but who seldom breakout of their hopeless prison of poverty. Often he clears little more than fifty cents a day. One day Sa’ad found a gold watch valued at nearly two thousand dollars. He could have sold the watch and made a better life for himself and his family. He could have reasoned that he needed it more than the owner or that it was God’s justice that allowed him to find the watch. But he didn’t. He returned the watch to its owner. Sa’ad is a Christian and believes it’s wrong to keep what doesn’t belong to him.

If this kind of honesty is not evident in our lives. We need to reexamine ourselves. Jesus is the Truth. Truthfulness, therefore, must be the way for all who follow Him. – Dennis J. De Haan

Some people are honest only because they have never had a good change to steal anything.

  • August 8, Vol. 1, Our Daily Bread

Madame Curie (Psalm 119:1)

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Madame Marie Curie holds the place in history as a pioneer in the study of radioactivity. In 1903, she the first woman to win the Nobel Prize, capturing the honor in physics. Then, in 1911, she received a second Nobel Prize, this one in chemistry.

Such a wonderful contribution did not come without tremendous sacrifice. Madame Curie died of leukemia caused by prolonged exposure to radioactive materials. Even today, scholars who wish to read her hand-written journals and lab papers must wear protective clothing because these archives are still radioactive.

No one today would approach radioactive material without protection. But many seem unconcerned about exposure to the dangers of sin. Psalm 1 warns us against sinful attitudes, speech, and behavior (vv. 1, 4-6).

Obedience to God’s law is a spiritual safeguard from sin and its deadly consequences. The psalmist also wrote, “Your Word I have hidden in my heart that I might not sin against You” (119:11).

Madame Curie didn’t know about the serious health dangers of exposure to radioactivity. But God has given us ample warning about the dangers of sin. Let’s apply daily what we read in His life-giving Book. – Dennis Fisher

Thy Word is a lamp to my feet,

A light to my path always,

To guide and to save me from sin

And show me the heavenly way. – Sellers

The Bible will tell you what is wrong before you have done it! – D. L. Moody

  • August 7, Vol. 14, Our Daily Bread

The Sound of Sirens (Revelation 21:5)

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I was enjoying my son’s high school soccer game when the relative calm and normalcy of that warm September afternoon was shattered by a sound both distinctive and alarming – the sound of sirens. The shrill whine seemed out of place at such a pleasant moment, and it demanded my attention. According to singer Don Henley, a siren usually means that “somebody’s going to emergency” or “somebody’s going to jail. He’s right. In either case, someone’s day, perhaps including the law enforcement or rescue personnel, just took a turn for the worse.

As I lost my attention on the game and thought about the siren fading into the distance, it occurred to me that sirens are a reminder of a powerful reality: Our world is sadly broken. Whether the siren is the result of criminal activity or personal tragedy, it reminds us that something is desperately wrong and needs to be made right.

At such times, it helps to remember that God sees our world in its brokenness and has pledged that one day He will wipe away the old and “make all things new” (Revelation 21:5). That promise encourages us in the hardships of life, and it provides the whisper of His comfort – a whisper that can drown out even the sound of sirens. – Bill Crowder

He is coming! “Star of Morning,”

All the faithful caught away,

When the trumpet, in a moment,

Ushers in the glad new day. – Dimmock

God’s whisper of comfort quiets the noise of our trials.

  • August 8, Vol. 14, Our Daily Bread

Holy, Holy, Holy (Revelation 4:8)

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Time flies when you’re having fun.This cliché has no basis in fact, but experience makes it seem true.

Give me a task that I enjoy, or a person whose company I love, and time seems irrelevant.

My experience of this “reality” has given me a new understanding of the scene described in Revelation 4. In the past, when I considered the four living creatures seated around God’s throne who keep repeating the same few words, I thought, What a boring existence!

I don’t think that anymore. I think about the scenes they have witnessed with their many eyes (v. 8). I consider the view they have from their position around God’s throne (v. 6). I think of how amazed they are at God’s wise and loving involvement with wayward earthlings. Then I think, What better response could there be? What else is there to say but, “Holy, holy, holy”?

Is it boring to say the same words over and over? Not when you’re in the presence of the one you love. Not when you’re doing exactly what you were designed to do.

Like the four creatures, we were designed to glorify God. Our lives will never be boring if we’re focusing our attention on Him and fulfilling that purpose. – Julie Ackerman Link

Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty!

Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee;

Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty!

God in three Persons, blessed Trinity! – Heber

A heart in tune with God can’t help but sing His praise.

  • August 10, Vol. 22, Our Daily Bread

Is Evolution a Fact? (Hebrews 11:3)

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The theory of evolution is not without its problems. One scientist says this about life starting on its own:Amino acids would have to be arranged in an exact sequence to form a protein … just like the letters in a sentence. Mere laws of chemistry and physics cannot do that. The probability of a protein forming by chance would be  10^64 [10 vigintillion, 10 decilliard, or 10 ecosihenillion, or 1 with 64 zeroes after it] to 1!

Many people assume the theory of evolution to be true. But can it be scientifically proven? Something is considered scientifically true only if it can be repeatedly verified under laboratory conditions. The claim that life sprang up on its own out a long impersonal process cannot pass this test of truth. That is why evolution remains only a theory.

So if you’re ever tempted to doubt the Genesis account of creation story, consider the alternative. The odds against even a simple protein creating itself are astronomical. How much more reasonable to believe God and His Word. “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen not made of things which are visible” (Hebrews 11:3).

Isn’t it more reasonable to believe that God designed and created the universe? (Genesis 1:1). – Dennis Fisher.

All things bright and beautiful,

All creatures great and small,

All things wise and wonderful –

The Lord God made them all. – Alexander

All creation points to the almighty Creator.

  • August 4, Vol. 12B, Our Daily Bread

What’s Love?  (1 John 4:10)

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When asked “What’s love? children have some great answers. Noelle, age 7, said, “Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it every day.” Rebecca, who is 8, answered, “Since my grandmother got arthritis, she can’t bend over and polish her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even after his hands got arthritis too. That’s love.” Jessica, also 8, concluded, “You really shouldn’t say ‘I love you’ unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget.”

Sometimes we need reminding that God loves us. We focus on the difficulties of life and wonder. Where’s the love? But if we pause and consider all that God has done for us, we remember how much we are loved by God, who is love (1 John 4:8-10).

Psalm 103 lists the “benefits” God showers on us in love: He forgives our sin (v. 3), satisfies us with good things (v. 5), and executes righteousness and justice (v. 6). He is slow to anger and abounds in mercy (v. 8). He doesn’t deal with us as our sins deserve (v. 10) and has removed our sin as far as the east is from the west (v. 12). He has not forgotten us!

What’s love? God is love, and He’s pouring out that love on you and me. – Anne Cetas

Our God is God –

His truth, His love remains each day the same,

He’s faithful to His matchless name,

For God is God – He does not change. D. J. De Haan

The death of Christ is the measure of God’s love for you.

  • July 29, Vol. 21, Our Daily Bread