Never Give Up!

Wed Aug 03rd, 2016 | Our Daily Bread


Joop Zoetemelk is known as the Netherlands’ most successful cyclist. But that’s because he never gave up. He started and finished the Tour de France 16 times—placing second five times before winning in 1980. That’s perseverance! Many winners have reached success by climbing a special ladder called “never give up.” However, there are also many who have lost the opportunity to achieve success because they gave up too soon. This can happen in every area of life: family, education, friends, work, service. Perseverance is a key to victory. The apostle Paul persevered despite persecution and affliction (2 Tim. 3:10-11). He…

Read More

The Price of Admission

Wed Aug 03rd, 2016 | Our Daily Bread


Every year some two million people from all over the world visit St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. It is well worth the admission fee to experience the magnificent structure designed and built by Sir Christopher Wren during the late 17th century. But tourism is secondary at this place of Christian worship. A primary mission of the cathedral is “to enable people in all their diversity to encounter the transforming presence of God in Jesus Christ.” If you want to tour the building and admire the architecture, you must pay an admission fee. But there is no charge to enter and…

Read More

Keeping Faith

Wed Aug 03rd, 2016 | Our Daily Bread


It’s tempting to think of faith as a kind of magic formula. If you muster up enough of it, you’ll get rich, stay healthy, and live a contented life with automatic answers to all your prayers. But life does not work according to such neat formulas. As proof, the author of Hebrews presents a stirring reminder of what constitutes “true faith” by reviewing the lives of some Old Testament giants of faith (Heb. 11).                   “Without faith,” the author says bluntly, “it is impossible to please God” (11:6). In describing faith he uses words such as “persevere” and “endure.” As…

Read More

Love Your Neighbor

Fri Jul 29th, 2016 | Our Daily Bread


An anthropologist was winding up several months of research in an African village, the story is told. While waiting for a ride to the airport for his return flight home, he decided to pass the time by making up a game for some village children.  His idea was to create a race for a basket of fruit and candy that he placed near a tree. But when he gave the signal to run, no one made a dash for the finish line. Instead the children joined hands and ran together to the tree.             When asked why they chose to…

Read More

Best Friend—Forever

Thu Jul 28th, 2016 | Our Daily Bread


One of the pieces of wisdom I have come to appreciate is my dad’s often-repeated statement, “Joe, good friends are one of life’s greatest treasures.” How true! With good friends, you are never alone. They’re attentive to your needs and gladly share life’s joys and burdens. Before Jesus came to earth, only two individuals were called friends of God. The Lord spoke to Moses “as one speaks to a friend” (Ex. 33:11), and Abraham “was called God’s friend” (James 2:23; see 2 Chron. 20:7; Isa. 41:8). I am amazed that Jesus calls those of us who belong to Him friends:…

Read More

Visible Vulnerability

Wed Jul 27th, 2016 | Our Daily Bread


As I ventured out several weeks after shoulder surgery, I was fearful. I had become comfortable using my arm sling, but both my surgeon and physical therapist now told me to stop wearing it. That’s when I saw this statement: “At this stage, sling wear is discouraged except as a visible sign of vulnerability in an uncontrolled environment.” Ah, that was it! I feared the enthusiastic friend who might give me a bear hug or the unaware friend who might bump me accidentally. I was hiding behind my flimsy baby-blue sling because I feared being hurt. Allowing ourselves to be…

Read More

God’s Sandpaper

Tue Jul 26th, 2016 | Our Daily Bread


My friend’s words stung. Trying to sleep, I battled to stop mulling over her pointed comments about my strong opinions. As I lay there, I asked for God’s wisdom and peace. Several weeks later, still concerned about the matter, I prayed, “I hurt, Lord, but show me where I need to change. Show me where she’s right.” My friend had acted as God’s sandpaper in my life. My feelings felt rubbed raw, but I sensed that how I responded would lead to the building of my character—or not. My choice was to submit to the smoothing process, confessing my pride…

Read More

Test Match

Mon Jul 25th, 2016 | Our Daily Bread


A test match in the game of cricket can be grueling. Competitors play from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. with lunch and tea breaks, but the games can last up to 5 days. It’s a test of endurance as well as skill. The tests we face in life are sometimes intensified for a similar reason. They feel unending. The long search for a job, an unbroken season of loneliness, or a lengthy battle with cancer is made even more difficult by the fact that you wonder if it will ever end. Perhaps that is why the psalmist cried out, “How…

Read More

The Wrong Horseshoe

Sun Jul 24th, 2016 | Our Daily Bread


Napoleon's defeat in Russia 200 years ago was attributed to the harsh Russian winter. One specific problem was that his horses were wearing summer horseshoes. When winter came, these horses died because they slipped on icy roads as they pulled the supply wagons. The failure of Napoleon’s supply chain reduced his 400,000-strong army to just 10,000. A small slip; a disastrous result! James described how a slip of the tongue can do great damage. One wrong word can change the careers or destinies of people. So toxic is the tongue that James wrote, “No human being can tame the tongue.…

Read More

Human Race

Sat Jul 23rd, 2016 | Our Daily Bread


The alarm clock goes off. Too early, it seems. But you have a long day ahead. You have work to do, appointments to keep, people to care for, or all this and more. Well, you are not alone. Each day, many of us rush from one matter to another. As someone has wittily suggested, “That’s why we are called the human race.”             When the apostles returned from their first mission trip, they had a lot to report. But Mark did not record Jesus’ evaluation of the disciples’ work; rather, he focused on His concern that they rest awhile. Jesus…

Read More
Page 30 of 53« First...1020...2829303132...4050...Last »