I’m Rich!

Tue Nov 29th, 2016 | Our Daily Bread


Perhaps you’ve seen the TV ad in which a person answers the door and finds someone who hands over a check for an enormous amount of money. Then the amazed recipient begins shouting, dancing, jumping, and hugging everyone in sight. “I won! I’m rich! I can’t believe it! My problems are solved!” Striking it rich evokes a great emotional response. In Psalm 119, the longest chapter in the Bible, we find this remarkable statement: “I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches” (v. 14). What a comparison! Obeying God’s instructions for living can be just as…

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Beautiful

Mon Nov 28th, 2016 | Our Daily Bread


Picture two teenage girls. The first girl is strong and healthy. The other girl has never known the freedom of getting around on her own. From her wheelchair she faces not only the emotional challenges common to life, but also a stream of physical pains and struggles. But both girls are smiling cheerfully as they enjoy each other’s company. Two beautiful teenagers—each seeing in the other the treasure of friendship. Jesus devoted much of His time and attention to people like the girl in the wheelchair. People with lifelong disabilities or physical deformities as well as those who were looked…

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The Red Hackle

Sun Nov 27th, 2016 | Our Daily Bread


Several years ago I stumbled across a bit of fishing lore in a second-century bc work by the Greek writer Aelian. “Between Boroca and Thessalonica runs a river called the Astracus, and in it there are fish with spotted skins [trout].” He then describes a “snare for the fish, by which they get the better of them. They fastened crimson red wool round a hook and attached two feathers. Then they would throw their snare, and the fish, attracted by the color, comes up, thinking to get a mouthful” (On the Nature of Animals).             Fishermen still use this lure today.…

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Unsend

Sat Nov 26th, 2016 | Our Daily Bread


Have you ever sent an email and suddenly realized it went to the wrong person or it contained harmful, harsh words? If only you could press a key and stop it. Well, now you can. Several companies offer a feature that gives you a brief time after sending an email to stop it from leaving your computer. After that, the email is like a spoken word that cannot be unsaid. Rather than being seen as a cure-all, an “unsend” feature should remind us that it’s extremely important to guard what we say.             In the apostle Peter’s first letter, he…

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Best Deal Ever!

Fri Nov 25th, 2016 | Our Daily Bread


How much is enough? We might ask this simple question on a day that many developed countries increasingly devote to shopping. I speak of Black Friday, the day after the US Thanksgiving holiday, in which many stores open early and offer cut-price deals; a day that has spread from the States to other nations. Some shoppers have limited resources and are trying to purchase something at a price they can afford. But sadly for others greed is the motivation, and violence erupts as they fight for bargains. The wisdom of the Old Testament writer known as “the Teacher” (Eccl. 1:1)…

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Game of Thanks

Thu Nov 24th, 2016 | Our Daily Bread


Every autumn we throw a scrumptious Thanksgiving feast on campus at Cornerstone University. Our students love it! Last year a group of students played a game at their table. They challenged each other to name something they were thankful for—in three seconds or less—without repeating what someone else had said. Anyone who got stymied was out of the game. There are all kinds of things that students might gripe about—tests, deadlines, rules, and a host of other college-type complaints. But these students had chosen to be thankful. And my guess is that they all felt a lot better after the…

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Fame and Humility

Wed Nov 23rd, 2016 | Our Daily Bread


Many of us are obsessed with fame—either with being famous ourselves or with following every detail of famous people’s lives. International book or film tours. Late-night show appearances. Millions of followers on Twitter. In a recent study in the US, researchers ranked the names of famous individuals using a specially developed algorithm that scoured the Internet. Jesus topped the list as the most famous person in history. Yet Jesus was never concerned about obtaining celebrity status. When He was here on earth, He never sought fame (Matt. 9:30; John 6:15)—although fame found Him all the same as news about Him…

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Longing for Home

Tue Nov 22nd, 2016 | Our Daily Bread


My wife walked into the room and found me poking my head inside the cabinet of our grandfather clock. “What are you doing?” she asked. “This clock smells just like my parents’ house,” I answered sheepishly, closing the door. “I guess you could say I was going home for a moment.” The sense of smell can evoke powerful memories. We had moved the clock across the country from my parents’ house nearly 20 years ago, but the aroma of the wood inside it still takes me back to my childhood. The writer of Hebrews tells of others who were longing…

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What About You?

Mon Nov 21st, 2016 | Our Daily Bread


Emily listened as a group of friends talked about their family Thanksgiving traditions. “We go around the room and each one tells what he or she is thankful to God for,” Gary said. Another mentioned the last Thanksgiving meal with his dad before he died and went to heaven: “Even though Dad had dementia, his prayer of thanks to the Lord was clear.” Randy shared, “My family has a special time of singing together on the holiday. My grandma goes on and on and on!” Emily’s sadness and jealousy grew as she thought of her own family, and she complained:…

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Sacrificial Faith

Sun Nov 20th, 2016 | Our Daily Bread


It’s Sunday afternoon, and I’m sitting in the garden of our home, which is near the church where my husband is the minister. I hear wafts of praise and worship music floating through the air in the Farsi language. Our church in London hosts a vibrant Iranian congregation, and we feel humbled by their passion for Christ as they share some of their stories of persecution and tell of those, such as the senior pastor’s brother, who have been martyred for their faith. These faithful believers are following in the footsteps of the first Christian martyr, Stephen. Stephen, one of…

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