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Our Daily Bread 16 May 2019 Devotional – Bear Hug

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Our Daily Bread 16 May 2019 Devotional – Bear Hug

Topic: Bear Hug

Bible in a Year: 2 Kings 24–25; John 5:1–24

Key Verse: God is love. – 1 John 4:16

Today’s Scripture: 1 John 4:13–19 (NIV)

Insight: Apart from being known in Scripture as the son of Zebedee and the brother of James (Matthew 4:21), as well as one of the “sons of thunder” (Mark 3:17), John has also been dubbed “the apostle of love.” Why this title? Several things could factor into this. In the gospel that bears his name, John describes himself as the disciple “Jesus loved” (John 13:23; 20:2; 21:7, 20).

Furthermore, it doesn’t take long to see that love is a major theme of his writing. The noun and verb forms of agape (love) appear numerous times, the first time in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son.” The apostle who received love came to understand love as the defining characteristic of those in the family of God. By: Arthur Jackson

Message: Our Daily Bread 16 May 2019 Devotional

“Bear” was a gift for my grandchild—a heaping helping of love contained in a giant stuffed animal frame. Baby D’s response? First, wonder. Next, an amazed awe. Then, a curiosity that nudged a daring exploration. He poked his pudgy finger at Bear’s nose, and when the Bear tumbled forward into his arms he responded with joy joy JOY! Baby D laid his toddler head down on Bear’s fluffy chest and hugged him tightly. A dimpled smile spread across his cheeks as he burrowed deeply into Bear’s cushiony softness. The child had no idea of Bear’s inability to truly love him. Innocently and naturally, he felt love from Bear and returned it with all his heart.

In his first of three letters to early Christians, the apostle John boldly states that God Himself is love. “We know and rely on the love God has for us,” he writes. “God is love” (1 John 4:16).

God loves. Not in the pillow of a pretend animal but rather with the outstretched arms of a real human body encasing a beating but breaking heart (John 3:16). Through Jesus, God communicated His extravagant and sacrificial love for us. Our Daily Bread 16 May 2019 Devotional

John goes on, “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19). When we believe we’re loved, we love back. God’s real love makes it possible for us to love God and others—with all our hearts. By Elisa Morgan

Reflect & Pray
What do you find is most amazing about God’s love for you? How will you reveal His love to others today?

Dear God, help me to let You love me and then help me to love You back—with all my heart.

Thanks for reading Our Daily Bread 16 May 2019 Devotional – Bear Hug. Please share with others.

Our Daily Bread 15 May 2019

Our Daily Bread

Our Daily Bread 27 May 2019 – A Living Memorial of Kindness

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Our Daily Bread 16 May 2019, Our Daily Bread 16 May 2019 Devotional – Bear Hug

Our Daily Bread 27 May 2019 – A Living Memorial of Kindness

Topic: A Living Memorial of Kindness

Bible in a Year: 2 Chronicles 1–3; John 10:1–23
Key Verse: David asked, “Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” – 2 Samuel 9:1

Today’s Scripture: 2 Samuel 9:1–7 (NIV)

Insight: Jonathan’s father, Saul, had hated David with murderous envy (1 Samuel 18:1–16). Even though showing kindness to a surviving member of Saul’s house could’ve been met with lingering animosity, David made the choice to honor Jonathan’s family. He learned that one of Jonathan’s sons, Mephibosheth, was still living, although injured and permanently disabled.

He’d been dropped by a nursemaid in the confusion following news of his father’s and grandfather’s deaths (2 Samuel 4:4). David himself would someday need mercy (Psalm 25:11). His kindness foreshadowed the coming of Christ (Luke 1:26–27), for whose sake God asks us to show mercy and kindness to one another. By: Mart DeHaan

Message: Our Daily Bread 27 May 2019

I grew up in a church full of traditions. One came into play when a beloved family member or friend died. Often a church pew or possibly a painting in a hallway showed up not long afterward with a brass plate affixed: “In Memory of . . .” The deceased’s name would be etched there, a shining reminder of a life passed on. I always appreciated those memorials. And I still do. Yet at the same time they’ve always given me pause because they are static, inanimate objects, in a very literal sense something “not alive.” Is there a way to add an element of “life” to the memorial?

Following the death of his beloved friend Jonathan, David wanted to remember him and to keep a promise to him (1 Samuel 20:12–17). But rather than simply seek something static, David searched and found something very much alive—a son of Jonathan (2 Samuel 9:3). David’s decision here is dramatic. He chose to extend kindness (v. 1) to Mephibosheth (vv. 6–7) in the specific forms of restored property (“all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul”) and the ongoing provision of food and drink (“you will always eat at my table”).

As we continue to remember those who’ve died with plaques and paintings, may we also recall David’s example and extend kindness to those still living. By John Blase

Reflect & Pray
Who has died that you don’t want to forget? What might a specific kindness to another person look like for you?

Jesus, give me the strength to extend kindness in memory of the kindness others have shown me, but most important because of Your great kindness.

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Our Daily Bread

Our Daily Bread 26 May 2019 – The Call To Courage

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Our Daily Bread 16 May 2019, Our Daily Bread 16 May 2019 Devotional – Bear Hug

Our Daily Bread 26 May 2019 – The Call To Courage

Today’s Topic: The Call To Courage

Bible in a Year: 1 Chronicles 28–29; John 9:24–41
Key Verse: Be strong and courageous. – 1 Chronicles 28:20

Today’s Scripture: 1 Chronicles 28:8–10, 19–21 (NIV)

Insight: Because David was a warrior who had shed much blood, he wasn’t permitted to build God’s temple (1 Chronicles 28:3). Instead, the task was to be carried out by his son Solomon who was “a man of peace” (22:8–10). Knowing that Solomon had two difficult tasks ahead—to be as good a king as David was and to build a house for God to dwell in—David reminded Solomon that God would give him success only if Solomon was “unswerving in carrying out [God’s] commands and laws” (28:7). Four hundred years earlier, Moses told his successor Joshua the same truth (Joshua 1:7–8). Their obedience didn’t indicate perfection but was evidence of their devotion to and trust in God.

Message: Our Daily Bread 26 May 2019

Among a display of male statues (Nelson Mandela, Winston Churchill, Mahatma Gandhi, and others) in London’s Parliament Square, stands a lone statue of a woman. The solitary woman is Millicent Fawcett, who fought for the right of women to vote. She’s immortalized in bronze—holding a banner displaying words she offered in a tribute to a fellow suffragist: “Courage calls to courage everywhere.” Fawcett insisted that one person’s courage emboldens others—calling timid souls into action.

As David prepared to hand his throne over to his son Solomon, he explained the responsibilities that would soon rest heavy on his shoulders. It’s likely Solomon quivered under the weight of what he faced: leading Israel to follow all God’s instructions, guarding the land God had entrusted to them, and overseeing the monumental task of building the temple (1 Chronicles 28:8–10).

Our Daily Bread 26 May 2019

Knowing Solomon’s trembling heart, David offered his son powerful words: “Be strong and courageous . . . . Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you” (v. 20). Real courage would never arise from Solomon’s own skill or confidence but rather from relying on God’s presence and strength. God provided the courage Solomon needed.

When we face hardship, we often try to drum up boldness or talk ourselves into bravery. God, however, is the one who renews our faith. He will be with us. And His presence calls us to courage. – By Winn Collier

Reflect & Pray
What causes your heart to tremble in fear? How can you seek God’s presence and power in moving toward courage?

God, I’m often so afraid. And when I am, I’m tempted to rely on my own wits or courage—and that’s never enough. Be with me. Give me Your courage.

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Our Daily Bread

Our Daily Bread 25 May 2019 – Shackled But Not Silent

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Our Daily Bread 16 May 2019, Our Daily Bread 16 May 2019 Devotional – Bear Hug

Our Daily Bread 25 May 2019 – Shackled But Not Silent

Today’s Topic: Shackled But Not Silent

Bible in a Year: 1 Chronicles 25–27; John 9:1–23

Key Verse: About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. – Acts 16:25

Today’s Scripture: Acts 16:25–34 (NIV)

Insight: We’re not always given all the details of stories in the Bible, but we can be assured the authors of Scripture were inspired to record what was necessary to convey the meaning and message God intended. Acts 16:31–32 is a good example of this. Verse 31 is clearly a condensed version of the gospel: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.”

The whole of the gospel is captured in this statement, but verse 32 indicates the jailer and his family still needed further instruction about what it means to follow Christ: “Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house.” We’re not told the details of what Paul and Silas included in “the word of the Lord.”

Message: Our Daily Bread 25 May 2019

In the summer of 1963, after an all-night bus ride, US civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer and six other black passengers stopped to eat at a diner in Winona, Mississippi. After law enforcement officers forced them to leave, they were arrested and jailed. But the humiliation wouldn’t end with unlawful arrest. All received severe beatings, but Fannie’s was the worst. After a brutal attack that left her near death she burst out in song: “Paul and Silas was bound in jail, let my people go.” And she didn’t sing alone. Other prisoners, restrained in body but not in soul, joined her in worship.

According to Acts 16, Paul and Silas found themselves in a difficult place when they were imprisoned for telling others about Jesus. But discomfort didn’t dampen their faith. “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God” (v. 25). Their bold worship created the opportunity to continue to talk about Jesus. “Then they spoke the word of the Lord to [the jailer] and to all the others in his house” (v. 32).

Most of us will not likely face the extreme circumstances encountered by Paul, Silas, or Fannie, but each of us will face uncomfortable situations. When that happens, our strength comes from our faithful God. May there be a song in our hearts that will honor Him and give us boldness to speak for Him—even in the midst of trouble. – By Arthur Jackson

Reflect & Pray
When was the last time you found yourself in a difficult situation? How did God help you live out your faith and witness?

Hard times call for prayer and praise to the One who controls all things.

Thanks for reading Our Daily Bread 25 May 2019 – Shackled But Not Silent. Please share with me.

Previously Our Daily Bread Devotional

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