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.
… all our dictating of our demands to God disappears.
The only proper goal of life is that we manifest the Son of God; and when this occurs, all of our dictating of our demands to God disappears. Our Lord never dictated demands to His Father, and neither are we to make demands on God.
From: The Habit of Rising to the Occasion
by Oswald Chambers
The Habit of Rising to the Occasion
Remember that you have been saved so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in your body (see 2 Corinthians 4:10). Direct the total energy of your powers so that you may achieve everything your election as a child of God provides; rise every time to whatever occasion may come your way.You did not do anything to achieve your salvation, but you must do something to exhibit it. You must “workout your own salvation” which God has worked in you already (Philippians 2:12). Are your speech, your thinking, and your emotions evidence that you are working it “out”? If you are still the same miserable, grouchy person, set on having your own way, then it is a lie to say that God has saved and sanctified you.
. . . that you may know what is the hope of His calling . . . —Ephesians 1:18
God is the Master Designer, and He allows adversities into your life to see if you can jump over them properly—”By my God I can leap over a wall” (Psalm 18:29). God will never shield you from the requirements of being His son or daughter. First Peter 4:12 says, “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you . . . .” Rise to the occasion—do what the trial demands of you. It does not matter how much it hurts as long as it gives God the opportunity to manifest the life of Jesus in your body.
May God not find complaints in us anymore, but spiritual vitality—a readiness to face anything He brings our way. The only proper goal of life is that we manifest the Son of God; and when this occurs, all of our dictating of our demands to God disappears. Our Lord never dictated demands to His Father, and neither are we to make demands on God. We are here to submit to His will so that He may work through us what He wants. Once we realize this, He will make us broken bread and poured-out wine with which to feed and nourish others.
God makes us broken bread and poured-out wine to please Himself.
From: The Constraint Of The Call
by Oswald Chambers
The Constraint Of The Call
Woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! — 1 Corinthians 9:16
Beware of stopping your ears to the call of God. Everyone who is saved is called to testify to the fact; but that is not the call to preach, it is merely an illustration in preaching. Paul is referring to the pangs produced in him by the constraint to preach the Gospel. Never apply what Paul says in this connection to souls coming in contact with God for salvation. There is nothing easier than getting saved because it is God’s sovereign work – Come unto Me and I will save you. Our Lord never lays down the conditions of discipleship as the conditions of salvation. We are condemned to salvation through the Cross of Jesus Christ. Discipleship has an option with it – “IF any man. . . “
Paul’s words have to do with being made a servant of Jesus Christ, and our permission is never asked as to what we will do or where we will go. God makes us broken bread and poured-out wine to please Himself. To be “separated unto the gospel” means to hear the call of God; and when a man begins to overhear that call, then begins agony that is worthy of the name. Every ambition is nipped in the bud, every desire of life quenched, every outlook completely extinguished and blotted out, saving one thing only – “separated unto the gospel.” Woe be to the soul who tries to put his foot in any other direction when once that call has come to him. This College exists for you, and you – to see whether God has a man or woman here who cares about proclaiming His Gospel; to see whether God grips you. And beware of competitors when God does grip you.
It is easier to serve than to pour out our lives completely for Him.
The goal of the call of God is His satisfaction, not simply that we should do something for Him.
From: “It Is the Lord!”
by Oswald Chambers
“It Is the Lord!”
Thomas answered and said to Him, ’My Lord and my God!’ —John 20:28
Jesus said to her, ’Give Me a drink’ ” (John 4:7). How many of us are expecting Jesus Christ to quench our thirst when we should be satisfying Him! We should be pouring out our lives, investing our total beings, not drawing on Him to satisfy us. “You shall be witnesses to Me . . .” (Acts 1:8). That means lives of pure, uncompromising, and unrestrained devotion to the Lord Jesus, which will be satisfying to Him wherever He may send us.
Beware of anything that competes with your loyalty to Jesus Christ. The greatest competitor of true devotion to Jesus is the service we do for Him. It is easier to serve than to pour out our lives completely for Him. The goal of the call of God is His satisfaction, not simply that we should do something for Him. We are not sent to do battle for God, but to be used by God in His battles. Are we more devoted to service than we are to Jesus Christ Himself?