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Our Daily Bread 20 May 2019 Devotional – Divine Escape

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Our Daily Bread 20 May 2019, Our Daily Bread 20 May 2019 Devotional – Divine Escape

Our Daily Bread 20 May 2019 Devotional – Divine Escape

Today’s Topic: Divine Escape

Bible in a Year: 1 Chronicles 10–12; John 6:45–71

Key Verse: So from that day on they plotted to take his life. – John 11:53

Today’s Scripture: John 11:45–53 (NIV)

Insight: To halt Jesus’s increasing popularity, a meeting of the Sanhedrin was convened by “the chief priests and the Pharisees” (John 11:47). The Sanhedrin, modeled after Moses and the seventy elders (Exodus 24:1), consisted of seventy men plus the high priest. It functioned as the highest Jewish governing council and supreme court. The chief priests (mostly Sadducees, a political-religious party) comprised the nation’s priesthood and included the high priest. The Pharisees, mostly scribes, were scrupulous keepers of the Law, particularly the ceremonial purity laws.

The chief priests dominated the Sanhedrin and were political and religious opponents to the Pharisees (Acts 5:17). But the Pharisees were a powerful minority. Nicodemus (John 3) and Joseph of Arimathea (Mark 15:43) were Pharisees. They were key members of the Sanhedrin and disciples of Jesus. They prepared His body for burial and placed Him in the tomb (John 19:38–42).

Message: Our Daily Bread 20 May 2019 Devotional

Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot mystery The Clocks features antagonists who commit a series of murders. Although their initial plot targeted a single victim, they began taking more lives in order to cover up the original crime. When confronted by Poirot, a conspirator confessed, “It was only supposed to be the one murder.”

Like the schemers in the story, the religious authorities formed a conspiracy of their own. After Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead (John 11:38–44), they called an emergency meeting and plotted to kill Him (vv. 45–53). But they didn’t stop there. After Jesus rose from the dead, the religious leaders spread lies about what happened at the grave (Matthew 28:12–15). Then they began a campaign to silence Jesus’s followers (Acts 7:57–8:3). What started as a religious plot against one man for the “greater good” of the nation became a web of lies, deceit, and multiple casualties. Today’s Our Daily Bread 20 May 2019

Sin plunges us down a road that often has no end in sight, but God always provides a way of escape. When Caiaphas the high priest said, “It is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish” (John 11:50), he didn’t understand the profound truth of his words. The conspiracy of the religious leaders would help bring about the redemption of mankind.

Jesus saves us from sin’s vicious grip. Have you received the freedom He offers? By Remi Oyedele

Reflect & Pray
What road are you going down that could take you further away from God? He offers real freedom. What do you need to confess to Him today?

Give sin room, and it can take over a life.

To learn more about the Gospels that record the life of Jesus, visit christianuniversity.org/NT331.

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Our Daily Bread

Our Daily Bread 27 June 2019 – Untying the Rope

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Our Daily Bread 27 June 2019 – Untying the Rope

TODAY’S TOPIC: UNTYING THE ROPE

Bible in a Year: Job 8–10; Acts 8:26–40

Key Verse: But Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they wept. – Genesis 33:4

Today’s Scripture: Genesis 33:1–11 (NIV)

Insight: By Jacob’s own testimony, the Lord had been gracious to him by providing children and material possessions (Genesis 33:5, 11). But even though he was favored with family and worldly goods, Jacob’s life was incomplete without settling accounts with his brother. By: Arthur Jackson

One Christian organization’s mission is to promote the healing nature of forgiveness. One of their activities involves a skit in which a person who has been wronged is strapped back to back with a rope to the wrongdoer. Only the one sinned against can untie the rope. No matter what she does, she’s got someone on her back. Without forgiveness—without untying the rope—she cannot escape.

Today: Our Daily Bread 27 June 2019

Offering forgiveness to someone who comes to us in sorrow for their wrongdoing begins the process of releasing us and them from the bitterness and pain that can cling to us over wrongs we’ve suffered. In Genesis, we see two brothers separated for twenty years after Jacob stole Esau’s birthright.

After this long time, God told Jacob to return to his homeland (Genesis 31:3). He obeyed, but nervously, sending ahead to Esau gifts of herds of animals (32:13–15). When the brothers met, Jacob bowed at Esau’s feet seven times in humility (33:3). Imagine his surprise when Esau ran and embraced him, both of them weeping over their reconciliation (v. 4). No longer was Jacob held by the sin he committed against his brother.

Do you feel imprisoned by unforgiveness, saddled with anger, fear, or shame? Know that God through His Son and Spirit can release you when you seek His help. He will enable you to begin the process of untying any ropes and setting you free. By Amy Boucher Pye

Reflect & Pray
How do you think Esau felt to see Jacob bowing before him? Could you similarly humble yourself before someone you’ve wronged? Who do you need to release through forgiveness?

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Our Daily Bread 26 June 2019 Devotional – Your Eulogy

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Our Daily Bread 20 May 2019, Our Daily Bread 20 May 2019 Devotional – Divine Escape

Our Daily Bread 26 June 2019 Devotional – Your Eulogy

TODAY’S TOPIC: YOUR EULOGY

Bible In A Year: Job 5–7; Acts 8:1–25
Key Verse: Death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart. – Ecclesiastes 7:2

Today’s Scripture: Ecclesiastes 7:1–6 (NIV)

Insight: Solomon said some pretty odd, outlandish, and morbid things in Ecclesiastes 7: One’s death is better than one’s birth (v. 1). Attend funerals not parties (v. 2). It’s wise to think a lot about death (v. 4). In many cultures, it’s deemed unacceptable to talk or even think about death when you’re still living. However, since everyone dies, Solomon advises us to live life with our demise in mind (v. 2), pondering over life’s brevity instead of pursuing festivity or levity, “for sadness has a refining influence on us” (v. 3 NLT).

In light of the brevity of life and the reality and inevitability of death, we’re exhorted to evaluate how we have been living and how differently we want to spend our hours today. “A wise person thinks a lot about death” (v. 4 NLT) is good advice because it lifts our eyes from the temporal to the eternal.

My heart is full from attending the funeral of a faithful woman. Her life wasn’t spectacular. She wasn’t known widely outside her church, neighbors, and friends. But she loved Jesus, her seven children, and her twenty-five grandchildren. She laughed easily, served generously, and could hit a softball a long way.

Today: Our Daily Bread 26 June 2019

Ecclesiastes says, “It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting” (7:2). “The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning” because there we learn what matters most (7:4). New York Times columnist David Brooks says there are two kinds of virtues: those that look good on a résumé and those you want said at your funeral. Sometimes these overlap, though often they seem to compete. When in doubt, always choose the eulogy virtues.

The woman in the casket didn’t have a résumé, but her children testified that “she rocked Proverbs 31” and its description of a godly woman. She inspired them to love Jesus and care for others. As Paul said, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1), so they challenged us to imitate their mother’s life as she imitated Jesus.

What will be said at your funeral? What do you want said? It’s not too late to develop eulogy virtues. Rest in Jesus. His salvation frees us to live for what matters most. By Mike Wittmer

Reflect & Pray
Are you living out things that will affect your résumé or your eulogy? How would your life change if you lived each day with your eulogy in mind?

Father, give me the courage to live for what matters most.

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Our Daily Bread

Our Daily Bread 25 June 2019 – Vanity On Fire

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Our Daily Bread 20 May 2019, Our Daily Bread 20 May 2019 Devotional – Divine Escape

Our Daily Bread 25 June 2019 – Vanity On Fire

TODAY’S TOPIC: VANITY ON FIRE

Bible in a Year: Job 3–4; Acts 7:44–60
Key Verse: Create in me a pure heart, O God. – Psalm 51:10

Today’s Scripture: Matthew 5:21–30 (NIV)

Insight: In ancient thinking, the “heart” was considered a person’s core—the source from which flowed all thoughts, words, and actions. In Matthew 5, Jesus emphasizes that life in God’s kingdom requires radical transformation and continual reshaping of our hearts so that we cultivate a profoundly different way of life—one that’s invitational and beneficial to the world (vv. 14–16). By: Monica Brands

In February 1497, a Monk named Girolamo Savonarola started a fire. Leading up to this, he and his followers spent several months collecting items that they thought might entice people to sin or neglect their religious duties—including artwork, cosmetics, instruments, and dresses. On the appointed day, thousands of vanity items were gathered at a public square in Florence, Italy, and set on fire. The event has come to be known as the Bonfire of the Vanities.

Today: Our Daily Bread 25 June 2019 – Vanity On Fire

Savonarola might have found inspiration for his extreme actions in some shocking statements from the Sermon on the Mount. “If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away,” said Jesus. “And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away” (Matthew 5:29–30). But if we interpret Jesus’s words literally, we miss the point of the message. The entire sermon is a lesson on going deeper than the surface, to focus on the state of our hearts rather than blaming our behavior on external distractions and temptations.

The Bonfire of the Vanities made a great show of destroying belongings and works of art, but it is unlikely that the hearts of those involved were changed in the process. Only God can change a heart. That’s why the psalmist prayed, “Create in me a pure heart, O God” (Psalm 51:10). It’s our heart that counts. By Remi Oyedele

Reflect & Pray
What behaviors or distractions might be on your list of “vanities”? How do you try to “manage” them?

Holy God, please give me the grace to surrender my heart to You and yield my life’s vanities to the purifying fire of the Holy Spirit.

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