VIDEO Daily Faith, Daily Bread

Give us this day our daily bread. Matthew 6:11

It is hard to imagine a shorter verse of Scripture that contains a larger history and summary of the dependence of God’s people upon Him: “Give us this day our daily bread.” Those are the words of instruction Jesus taught His disciples to pray in “The Lord’s Prayer.” The attentive disciple, upon hearing those words, would have immediately remembered the account of God’s provision in the wilderness for the redeemed Hebrew slaves.

For almost forty years, God provided manna for the Israelites to eat—a seed or grain-like substance on which they subsisted (Exodus 16). But that provision was a test of their faith in God’s promise to provide (verse 4). They were to gather daily what they needed for only that day. In the same way, Jesus taught His disciples not to worry about tomorrow, but to trust God every day for daily bread (Matthew 6:25-34). He reminded them that worrying brings nothing; faith in God brings provision.

If you have a need, don’t let anxiety replace your faith. Let your requests be made known to God with thanksgiving and receive His peace as you wait upon Him. He will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).

God’s purposes always have God’s provision. John Blanchard

40 Matthew 6 – Pastor Chuck Smith – C2000 Series

Trust the Light

Believe in the light . . . so that you may become children of light. John 12:36

The weather forecast said bomb cyclone. That’s what happens when a winter storm rapidly intensifies as the atmospheric pressure drops. By the time night fell, the blizzard conditions made the highway to the Denver airport almost impossible to see. Almost. But when it’s your daughter who’s flying home to visit, you do what you have to do. You pack extra clothes and water (just in case you get stranded on the highway), drive very slowly, pray without ceasing, and last but not least, trust your headlights. And sometimes you can achieve the almost impossible.

Jesus foretold of a storm on the horizon, one that would involve His death (John 12:31–33), and one that would challenge His followers to stay faithful and serve (v. 26). It was going to get dark and be almost impossible to see. Almost. So what did Jesus tell them to do? Believe, or trust, the Light (v. 36). That was the only way they could keep going forward and stay faithful.

Jesus would only be with them a little while longer. But believers have His Spirit as our constant guide to light the way. We too will face dark times when it’s almost impossible to see the way ahead. Almost. But by believing, or trusting in the Light, we can press on. 

By:  John Blase

Reflect & Pray

What dark season have you been through lately? How did Jesus, the Light, help you keep going?

Jesus, thank You for being the light in my darkness. Help me to trust and keep going.

Bearing One Another’s Burdens

Galatians 6:1-5

At some point, all of us struggle under the weight of a difficult situation. It might be a sin we cannot overcome, a trial that just doesn’t let up, or a need that remains unmet. However, there’s no need to struggle through it alone, because we have the support of fellow believers as we bear one another’s burdens.

There is an example of this in the book of Acts. Christians of the early church pooled their resources to help meet the material and financial needs of believers who were in poverty (Acts 4:32-35). Paul also displays this concern for others’ welfare in his various letters to growing churches. He knew it was his responsibility and privilege to strengthen them even though he was repeatedly undergoing his own hardships and afflictions.

We can’t wait until life is free from problems before reaching out to others—that day may never come. Though every one of us has his or her own needs, it’s important to remember we can do all things through Christ’s strength. And that includes sharing someone else’s burden.

When we’re willing to wade into a fellow believer’s troubles to help, that person is blessed, and we’re fulfilling the Lord’s command to love our neighbor as ourselves.

A Model Church For Us

“Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father.” (1 Thessalonians 1:3)

Paul had begun the work at Thessalonica, and when forced to leave, he maintained an active interest in and contact with the Thessalonian believers. The book of 1 Thessalonians contains both encouragement and commendation for these believers. In the context of our text verse, he mentions some of their strengths, and it would behoove us to take note and apply these strengths to our churches.

Paul mentions the triad of faith, love, and hope so common in New Testament writings. The “work of faith,” that past work of salvation in the believer’s life, is amplified in verses 4-6, where we see that God has chosen to work His work of grace in them through the Word of God and the ministry of the Holy Spirit (v. 5). Their reception of the Word had been with both affliction and joy (v. 6).

Next, Paul commends their “labour of love.” They were committed to both outreach and missions, as we see in verses 7 and 8. Their testimony had not only affected the local area but was “spread abroad.” Moreover, they had entered into proper worship of God, maintaining purity of doctrine (v. 9). The “labour of love” to others will inevitably follow as a means of serving God.

Lastly, Paul commends their “patience of hope”—their expectant joyful outlook on the future, waiting for Christ’s return (v. 10).

May our own churches have this same perspective on the past, present, and future work of Christ. May our own lives give attention to the same details and have the same goals and outlook as those of the Thessalonian church. Purity in doctrine and a life of service constitute the best way to wait for our Lord’s return. JDM

He Can Be Grieved

And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. —Ephesians 4:30

Because He is loving and kind and friendly, the Holy Spirit may be grieved…. He can be grieved because He is loving, and there must be love present before there can be grief.

Suppose you had a seventeen-year-old son who began to go bad. He rejected your counsel and wanted to take things into his own hands. Suppose that he joined up with a young stranger from another part of the city and they got into trouble.

You were called down to the police station. Your boy—and another boy whom you had never seen—sat there in handcuffs.

You know how you would feel about it. You would be sorry for the other boy—but you don’t love him because you don’t know him. With your own son, your grief would penetrate to your heart like a sword. Only love can grieve. If those two boys were sent off to prison, you might pity the boy you didn’t know, but you would grieve over the boy you knew and loved. A mother can grieve because she loves. If you don’t love, you can’t grieve.   COU051-052

Lord, I think I take Your love for granted and consequently forget how grieved You are when I sin. Overwhelm me today with Your love, so that I might be more careful to not grieve You. Amen.

Religion, Yes—Holy Spirit, No

I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve…so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. —2 Corinthians 11:3

Evangelical Christianity is gasping for breath. We happen to have entered a period when it is popular to sing about tears and prayers and believing. You can get a religious phrase kicked around almost anywhere—even right in the middle of a worldly program dedicated to the flesh and the devil.

Old Mammon, with two silver dollars for eyes, sits at the top of it, lying about the quality of the products….In the middle of it, someone trained in a studio to sound religious will say with an unctuous voice, “Now, our hymn for the week!” So they break in, and the band goes twinkle, twankle, twinkle, twankle, and they sing something that the devil must blush to hear.

They call that religion, and I will concede that religion it is. It is not Christianity, and it is not the Holy Spirit. It is not New Testament and it is not redemption. It is simply making capital out of religion. FBR012

For any man to presume to represent the Son of God…without the anointing of the Holy Spirit, is the most daring presumption. HS074

God and Man

Psalm 8:4

Is there really a God out there? Is it reasonable to believe that, if He does exist, He could be interested in man—interested in a personal sense?

The great inventor Thomas Edison never thought of himself as a man of strong religious convictions, but he did believe in the existence of a Supreme Deity. Someone asked him, “Sir, do you believe in an intelligent creator, a personal God?” He answered, “I certainly do. If we but look at the natural laws of the universe, we would acknowledge the existence of the Great Engineer and His divine power.”

The Psalmist cried out, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands” (Psalm 19:1). The mind of man can hardly comprehend the vastness and complexity of the cosmos, or the grandeur of the heavens. Scientists say that there are billions of stars in our galaxy. If that were not enough to stagger the imagination, the cosmologists say that there are billions of galaxies, and many have their own planetary systems! We, with the Psalmist, are compelled to exclaim, “What is man that You are mindful of him, the son of man that You care for him? (Psalm 8:4).

The more we learn about the enormous size of the universe, the less significant we view man to be. As our explorations enhance our comprehension of the measureless expanse and wonder of the heavens above us, we stand in awe of a God who is mindful of us.

The Creator, this governor of the universe, has clearly shown His love for His rebellious, erring, selfish creation, into which He breathed the essence of life. He cared enough to send His only Son to make possible man’s salvation and his restoration. We have opportunity to respond to the love and beauty of the Creator. We may, if we choose, open our mind and heart to the living presence of the Spirit of God, as revealed by our Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s resurrected Son.

Our God is the cosmic, creative Spirit who is ever at work throughout the vast universe and one whose presence can be experienced by faith. Repentance and faith in Christ as Savior and Lord can bring the God of outer space into the inner consciousness of the believer. The God of “out there” can truly become the God whose Spirit lives within us.

George Nelting, The War Cry