From Our Daily Bread
Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me? —Jeremiah 32:27
The Babylonian armies had Jerusalem surrounded. Resistance was futile. Jeremiah the prophet had already warned the leaders that the city would fall. Now he languished in prison for prophesying the truth.
Just as invasion was imminent, the Lord informed Jeremiah that one of his cousins was on the way to ask him to buy a piece of family property. God commanded Jeremiah to fulfill his cousin’s request (Jeremiah 32:7-8).
What a time to pay good silver for land that would soon be in the hands of the enemy! All the known facts argued against this purchase. But as Os Guinness reminds us: “All the known facts are not all the facts.”
Although puzzled (v.25), Jeremiah trusted God and bought the property (v.9). The Lord assured him that despite the bleak outlook, the people would again own “houses and fields and vineyards” in the land (v.15).
We often go through trying times. Some believers endure persecution. Others attempt to rebuild their lives after natural disasters. Many live with disabilities and suffering, with little hope of recovery. The known facts are against them.
But God, who came down in the person of Jesus, is on our side. We have a hope that does not disappoint. The known facts are not all the facts.
The Lord above has kept you safe,
Yes, all throughout the night;
Why, then, should you awake to fear
The things beyond your sight? —Michael
All we’ve seen of God’s provision teaches us to trust Him for what is unseen.
From Our Daily Bread
“This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” . . . They said to Him, “What sign will You perform?” —John 6:29-30
Film director Woody Allen has been quoted as saying, “If only God would give me some clear sign! Like making a large deposit in my name at a Swiss bank.”
The reasons people give for not believing God often boil down to something they want God to do to prove Himself. Sadly, in making “to do” lists for God, we miss seeing the countless things He has already done.
Even people who lived near Jesus and who witnessed His miracles asked for more proof. Comparing Jesus to Moses, they asked, “What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You? . . . Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat’” (John 6:30-31).
The startling thing about their request is that just one day earlier Jesus had indeed given them bread. He had fed 5,000 of them with the bread from one boy’s lunch!
Had we been in Jesus’ place, we may have replied, “What about the bread I fed you yesterday?” But Jesus used the moment to teach them, “I am the bread of life” (v.35).
Instead of waiting in doubt and disappointment for God to do the one thing we demand of Him, let’s take the time to look at everything God has already done.
If you’re waiting for a sign from heaven,
I’m afraid you may be disappointed;
God has given us the perfect witness—
Jesus Christ, the One He has anointed. —Hess
What we know of God encourages us to trust Him in all we don’t know.
From Our Daily Bread
The women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a close relative.” —Ruth 4:14
A wise person once told me, “Never be quick to judge whether something is a blessing or a curse.” The story of Naomi reminds me of this.
The name Naomi means “my delight.” But when bad things happened to her, Naomi wanted to change her name to match her circumstances. After her husband and sons died, Naomi concluded, “The hand of the Lord has gone out against me!” (Ruth 1:13). When people greeted her, she said, “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me” (v.20).
Rather than judge her circumstances in light of her identity as a follower of the one true God who had proclaimed unfailing love for His people, Naomi did what most of us tend to do: She judged God in light of her circumstances. And she judged wrongly. The hand of the Lord had not gone out against her. In fact, Naomi had a God-given treasure she had not yet discovered. Although Naomi lost her husband and two sons, she was given something totally unexpected—a devoted daughter-in-law and a grandchild who would be in the lineage of the Messiah.
As Naomi’s life shows us, sometimes the worst thing that happens to us can open the door for the best that God has to give us.
Loving Father, help me not to judge Your love for me
on the basis of whether today brings good news
or bad. Help me remember that You desire to use
my circumstances to make me more like Jesus. Amen.
God’s purpose for today’s events may not be seen till tomorrow.
From Acosta Ministeries
Rhema Word for the Day, Monday, October 28, 2013: Today, simply rest in the assurance that God is your burden bearer. Draw on His strength and relax in Him!
Jeremiah 31:25–I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.
Posted in Acosta Word
From Acosta Ministeries
Rhema Word for the Day, Saturday, October 26, 2013: Today, pause for a moment, take a deep breath, and rest in the inescapable truth that every moment of your existence, God is right there with you. It is impossible for Him to be indifferent to your trials. Every moment He is watching you and caring for you.
Joshua 1:9–Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”–English Standard Version
Rhema Word for the Day, Friday, October 25, 2013: Focus on God!! Do not be discouraged. No two children of God are exactly alike. Each one grows according to his or her personality. Do not compare yourself with others. Of greatest importance is that you keep yourself deparated from worldly things and set apart for His use. Let there be no contradiction between your thoughts and your life. Continue making sure that your thinking and your living are harmonious with each other.
Psalm 37:23–The Lord delights in the way of the man whose steps he has made firm.
The Prayer Sandwich by Joyce Phillips
“Pastor Wes Andre originally developed the Prayer Sandwich concept for our small group in Regina, Saskat-chewan,” says Joyce Phillips. “It has been exciting to see how God has honored it.”
First slice of bread: We enter into God’s presence and make our hearts right with Him through prayers of confession, thanksgiving, and praise.
The filling: We read aloud specific Scripture verses the Holy Spirit has laid on our hearts during the week. It’s surprising how these verses, coming from group members who are not aware of what verses others will be reading, confirm each other. After sharing Scriptures, the group leader pulls the verses together into one or two lessons that the Holy Spirit is impressing on him or her. If he or she doesn’t feel led to do this, it’s OK, since the Holy Spirit will have already spoken through the verses themselves.
Top slice of bread: We finish the “sandwich” with prayers of supplication and intercession. Now that we have made our hearts right with God through confession, thanksgiving, and praise, and have listened to His Word, we can present our needs to Him.
The Prayer Sandwich works because it is based on biblical principles and gives God’s Spirit an opportunity to speak to us through His Word. The things people learn during the week not only meet individual needs but strengthen the bonds between group members. Members find themselves looking forward to each week’s gathering, eager to learn what the Lord will say to them as a group and as individuals.
Mrs. Joyce Phillips can be contacted at 58 McSherry Crescent, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, S4T 7B7.