Our Daily Bread — Always Accepted

 

Read: Luke 19:1–10 | Bible in a Year: Isaiah 59–61; 2 Thessalonians 3

The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost. Luke 19:10

After several years of struggling to keep up in her studies, Angie was finally taken out of her elite primary school and transferred to a “normal” one. In Singapore’s intensely competitive education landscape, where being in a “good” school can improve one’s future prospects, many would see this as a failure.

Angie’s parents were disappointed, and Angie herself felt as if she had been demoted. But soon after joining her new school, the nine year old realized what it meant to be in a class of average students. “Mummy, I belong here,” she said. “I’m finally accepted!”

It reminded me of how excited Zacchaeus must have felt when Jesus invited Himself to the tax collector’s home (Luke 19:5). Christ was interested in dining with those who knew they were flawed and didn’t deserve God’s grace (v. 10). Having found us—and loved us—as we were, Jesus gives us the promise of perfection through His death and resurrection. We are made perfect through His grace alone.

I’ve often found my spiritual journey to be one of constant struggle, knowing that my life falls far short of God’s ideal. How comforting it is to know that we are always accepted, for the Holy Spirit is in the business of molding us to be like Jesus.

Father, thank You for loving me as I am, and for making me perfect through Your Son’s sacrifice. Teach me to submit to Your daily renewal.

We’re not perfect, but we’re loved.

By Leslie Koh

INSIGHT

In Luke 19, Jesus gives His mission statement: “The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (v. 10). Those words convey even more importance when we consider their timing: Jesus is purposefully, methodically making His way to Jerusalem to be crucified. On the way, He draws people to Him, including this despised, wealthy tax collector. The crowd had already judged Zacchaeus—and Jesus. “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner,” they said of Him (v. 7). Jesus saw it differently. Zacchaeus’s declaration, “Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor,” revealed the change in his heart (v. 8); and Jesus responded, “This man, too, is a son of Abraham” (v. 9).

Are we prone to snap judgments about other people’s sins? Or do we see ourselves as recipients of God’s grace, freely extended to anyone who recognizes their need of it?

Tim Gustafson

 

 

http://www.odb.org

Streams in the Desert for Kids – God’s Secrets

 

Psalm 25:14

Paleontologists study prehistoric life—that is, life that came before recorded history. They labor under harsh conditions, digging up ancient bones and fossils that help scientists understand more about God’s amazing diversity of creatures. This work isn’t easy: paleontologists work in the dust and the heat, digging slowly and carefully so they won’t damage any specimens. Because of this painstaking work, we have learned a great deal about life that came before us.

There are wonders and mysteries about God that we only get to know by being determined to learn about him. Those who fear God, dig deep into study about him, and pray and listen for his voice are the ones who get to know those secret mysteries and wonders. It’s like uncovering ancient bones or fossils that we didn’t even know existed until we started searching for them. Often people learn the most about God in hard times. What would you like to know about God and his great love?

Dear Lord, As I grow up, I want to know more about you. Please share your secrets, mysteries, and wonders with me. Amen

Joyce Meyer – Stop Saying “Hate” and Start Saying “Joy”

 

Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. — Ephesians 5:4

Adapted from the resource Power Thoughts Devotional – by Joyce Meyer

Quite often people use the phrase, “I hate.” They hate driving to work, cleaning their houses, going to the grocery store, cutting the grass, paying their bills, and on and on.

I think each time we say we “hate” something, it makes it harder for us to do it with joy the next time.

Start saying by faith that you enjoy those things that are naturally more difficult for you to enjoy. Start saying it in obedience to God, and soon you will find those things to be more enjoyable.

We can talk ourselves into things and out of things. You can talk yourself into despising something you need to do, or you can have a good attitude and speak good words about it and make it a lot more pleasant.

Prayer Starter: Father, help me to agree with Your Word and begin talking myself into a joyful life. Help me to speak life-giving, positive, and thankful words. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Life’s Greatest Investment

 

“And anyone who gives up his home, brothers, sisters, father, mother, wife, children, or property, to follow Me, shall receive a hundred times as much in return [in this life], and shall have eternal life” (Matthew 19:29).

I can tell you on the authority of God’s Word and from personal experience and observation that this promise is true. From my own commitment – made more than 30 years ago – and after having spoken with hundreds of Christian leaders and humble servants of God around the world, and observed thousands who I have counseled, I do not know of anyone whom God is using in any significant way who would say that this spiritual law has not been true in his life.

The time to invest your time, talent and treasure for Christ and His kingdom is now. The powerful tide of secular humanism, atheism, materialism, communism and other anti-God forces us threatening to engulf the world. From the human perspective, on the basis of what I see and hear, I could be very pessimistic about the future freedom of mankind.

On the contrary, I am very optimistic, not on the basis of what I see and hear, but on the basis of what I believe God is saying to my heart and of what I am observing that He is doing throughout the world. I am constantly reminded and assured, “Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4, KJV). Satan and his demonic forces were defeated 2,000 years ago.

Do you want a safe formula for success? Then recognize and practice the following:

First, remember that everything entrusted to our care actually belongs to God. We are His stewards here on earth.

Second, God does not want us to hoard His blessings.

Third, “As you sow, you reap.”

Fourth, invest generously – above the tithe in time, talent and treasure.

Fifth, invest supernaturally – by faith.

Bible Reading:Matthew 25:35-40

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Recognizing myself as God’s steward, I will prayerfully seek to learn what He would have me to do to maximize my life for His glory through the investment of my time, talent and treasure.

 

 

http://www.cru.org