VIDEO Anonymous Kindness – Homeless man…

When you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Matthew 6:3

When I first graduated from college, I found myself needing to adopt a strict grocery budget—twenty-five dollars a week, to be exact. One day, while entering the checkout line, I suspected the groceries I’d selected cost slightly more than my remaining money. “Just stop when we reach twenty dollars,” I told the cashier, and I was able to purchase everything I’d selected but a bag of peppers.

As I was about to drive home, a man stopped by my car. “Here’s your peppers, ma’am,” he said, handing the bag to me. Before I had time to thank him, he was already walking away.

We give only because of what our generous God has so lavishly given us

Remembering the simple goodness of this act of kindness still warms my heart and brings to mind Jesus’s words in Matthew 6. Criticizing those who made a show of giving to the needy (v. 2), Jesus taught His disciples a different way. Instead of making giving all about them and their generosity, He urged that giving should be done so secretly it’s like their left hand isn’t even aware their right is giving (v. 3)!

As one person’s anonymous kindness reminded me, giving should never be about us. We give only because of what our generous God has so lavishly given us (2 Corinthians 9:6–11). As we give quietly and generously, we reflect who He is—and God receives the thanksgiving only He deserves (v. 11).

Have you ever been the recipient of anonymous kindness? Share your story at Facebook.com/ourdailybread.

Giving quietly and generously reflects God’s generosity.

By Monica Brands 

INSIGHT

Today’s article describes acts of giving motivated by humility and kindness. There is no greater example of kindness and generosity than our God. Paul wrote that God’s kindness was at the heart of our rescue: “But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us” (Titus 3:4–5). Peter challenged to spiritual growth those who had “tasted the kindness of the Lord” (1 Peter 2:3 NASB). And Paul wrote to the Romans: “Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?” (Romans 2:4 NASB). Paul made it clear that God’s kindness is behind the call to repent—to change our minds about our sin and our need of God’s forgiveness. When we are generous to others, we model the generosity and kindness our loving God has shown to us.

Bill Crowder


Homeless man… is the pastor?

Pastor James dresses up as a homeless person in front of his own church to see what people do…

Everyone Needs Compassion

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Matthew 9:36

When Jeff was a new believer in Jesus and fresh out of college, he worked for a major oil company. In his role as a salesman, he traveled; and in his travels he heard people’s stories—many of them heartbreaking. He realized that what his customers most needed wasn’t oil, but compassion. They needed God. This led Jeff to attend seminary to learn more about the heart of God and eventually to become a pastor.

Jeff’s compassion had its source in Jesus. In Matthew 9:27–33 we get a glimpse of Christ’s compassion in the miraculous healing of two blind men and one demon-possessed man. Throughout His earthly ministry, He went about preaching the gospel and healing “through all the towns and villages” (v. 35). Why? “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (v. 36).

The world today is still full of troubled and hurting people who need the Savior’s gentle care. Like a shepherd who leads, protects, and cares for his sheep, Jesus extends His compassion to all who come to Him (11:28). No matter where we are in life and what we’re experiencing, in Him we find a heart overflowing with tenderness and care. And when we’ve been a beneficiary of God’s loving compassion, we can’t help but want to extend it to others.

By: Alyson Kieda

Reflect & Pray

When have you experienced God’s tender care? Who can you reach out to in compassion?

Heavenly Father, we’re so grateful You had compassion on us! We would be lost without You. Help us to extend Your overflowing compassion to others.

A Need for Spiritual Discernment

Philippians 1:3-11

In Philippians 1:8-11, Paul says he wants the believers at Philippi to grow in their knowledge of God so they can choose the best way to live. Our heavenly Father doesn’t want us living by feelings or sight, so He provides the gift of discernment—the capacity to judge situations and determine what is His best for us.

To live in God’s will, we must have a discerning spirit. He wants us to walk in a manner that both brings Him glory and blesses us with joy and peace. Jesus will reveal the path to anyone who asks, but we must be able to judge what is of Him and what’s not—then we can avoid avenues that merely seem right. Remember, many opportunities and situations that look good aren’t the Lord’s will.

A lot of information seems true but is actually false. We must be able to distinguish between the two. It would be unwise to accept everything we hear on the internet, radio, or television. Counsel from influential people, the media, and even the pulpit must be evaluated against the only reliable measure for spiritual discernment: God’s Word.

The Holy Spirit’s Ministry: God’s Fail-Safe Plan–Calling

“Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” (Romans 8:30)

God has “called” those whom He has predestined. The Greek term is kaleo, widely used to convey a specific invitation. Note how the Scriptures use kaleo with the formal identification of the name Jesus: “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. . . . Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us” (Matthew 1:21, 23).

Just so, Jesus is “called” a Nazarene (Matthew 2:23). The lord in the parable of the vineyard “calls” the laborers (Matthew 20:8), and the king in the parable of the marriage feast “bids” those in the “highways, and as many as you find” to the feast (Matthew 22:9).

This same invitation (a specific and identifiable calling) is issued to believers when we “were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:9). It should come as no unusual matter, therefore, that because God foreknew how we would respond to His invitation, He could then “pre-order” the end product of that calling, having “saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given to us in Christ Jesus before the world began” (2 Timothy 1:9).

May we never tire of the precious knowledge that God’s “calling” was an invitation that had an eternity behind and ahead of it—merely executed in time and space. HMM III

Personal Knowledge of God

For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.

—Hebrews 5:12

Probably the most widespread and persistent problem to be found among Christians is the problem of retarded spiritual progress. Why, after years of Christian profession, do so many persons find themselves no farther along than when they first believed?…

The causes of retarded growth are many. It would not be accurate to ascribe the trouble to one single fault. One there is, however, which is so universal that it may easily be the main cause: failure to give time to the cultivation of the knowledge of God….

The Christian is strong or weak depending upon how closely he has cultivated the knowledge of God….

Progress in the Christian life is exactly equal to the growing knowledge we gain of the Triune God in personal experience. And such experience requires a whole life devoted to it and plenty of time spent at the holy task of cultivating God. God can be known satisfactorily only as we devote time to Him.   ROR010-012

Lord, I’d like to devote the remaining years of my life and ministry to the “holy task of cultivating God. “Help me to know You first, and then out of the overflow of that growing knowledge can come whatever ministry You choose to bless me with. Amen.

 

Unity in Worship if Not in Doctrine

When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.

—Psalm 27:8

 

Christianity is rarely found pure. Apart from Christ and His inspired apostles probably no believer or company of believers in the history of the world has ever held the truth in total purity.

One great saint believed that the truth is so vast and mighty that no one is capable of taking it all in, and that it requires the whole company of ransomed souls properly to reflect the whole body of revealed truth….

The Spirit always says the same thing to whomsoever He speaks and altogether without regard to passing doctrinal emphases or theological vogues. He flashes the beauty of Christ upon the wondering heart, and the awed spirit receives it with a minimum of interference. BAM076-077

No single doctrinal principle is important enough to displace the Lord Jesus Christ Himself as the one name that alone should dominate His Church….It is not union but unity that God wants, and that is a matter of life and love. CTBC, Vol. 5/155

 

The Wind of God

John 3:8

Nothing in nature was more suitable than the wind as a symbol of the Spirit. “To anyone brought up in the Jewish tradition,” J. S. Stewart explains, “it was natural, almost inevitable, to compare the Spirit of God with the wind. For in the Hebrew tongue the same term was used for both.”

It was to a learned theologian that our Lord spoke of this simple, everyday occurrence—the blowing of the breeze. “Listen to the wind,” He said. “Hear it rustling the leaves of the old olive tree. See the clouds scudding across the face of the moon tonight, driven by the wind.” And then the parallel with spiritual realities: “Nicodemus, can you tell where it comes from, or where it goes? The Spirit is like that.”

He is indeed like that. Unexplainable in human language, but known by what He does. He breathes into men the breath of spiritual life, regenerating, reviving, resurrecting the dead, doing what only He can do.

Harriet Auber sang, “All-powerful as the wind He came,/As viewless too.” Viewless, but powerful! “Of all the forces of nature, wind is the greater Invisible,” wrote David Read. “The painter or photographer can reproduce the sun and moon, the waves of the sea, the snow and the rain; but how do you catch the rushing mighty wind? Only by its effects.”

Like a tropical hurricane, the Holy Spirit uproots deep-seated prejudices, overturns rigid bastions of self-righteous dogmatism, and sweeps the slum-like streets of our self-centered lives, ridding them of the debris which accumulate everywhere until He comes with His cleansing.

Where you see changed lives and transformed homes, you know the Spirit has been moving—invisibly, yes—but what He does provides evidence enough of His presence.

I remember the first time I saw a windmill. There it stood on a farm near our own, whirling steadily in the Nova Scotia wind. When I asked what it was for, someone explained that it harnessed the power of the wind to draw water for the cattle. This country lad was impressed! Now, it would be irreverent to speak of “harnessing” the Spirit, but it is true that to benefit from His ministry a believer must put himself in the path of His power.

The Wind is still blowing! God’s Spirit is ceaselessly active, unseen but mighty, moving over the earth. Not for me to try to force Him to do my bidding but to put myself in the path of His power. Mighty Wind of heaven, move on me today!

Edward Read, Burning, Always Burning

 

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