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Our Daily Bread 11 June 2019 – God of All People

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Our Daily Bread 11 June, Our Daily Bread 11 June 2019 – God of All People

Our Daily Bread 11 June 2019 – God of All People

TODAY’S TOPIC: GOD OF ALL PEOPLE

Bible in a Year: Ezra 1–2; John 19:23–42
Key Verse: Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. – Acts 2:5

Today’s Scripture: Acts 2:1–12 (NIV)

Insight: In the span of just eight weeks, the disciples had endured an emotional rollercoaster. Imagine experiencing the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem only to witness His arrest and crucifixion (Matthew 21–26; Mark 11–14; Luke 19–22; John 12–13). Then came His resurrection—irrefutable proof that He is the Messiah—followed by His departure from this earth. Given such turmoil, we might forgive the disciples for misunderstanding Christ’s instructions about establishing His kingdom. They expected a political solution to their problems—Israel’s liberation from Roman oppression and their rightful place in the world as God’s chosen people (Acts 1:6). But Jesus had something better in mind. He promised them, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses . . . to the ends of the earth” (v. 8). Acts 2 shows how the Holy Spirit ignited that promise. By: Tim Gustafson

Our Daily Bread 11 June 2019 – God of All People

Former Newsboys lead vocalist Peter Furler describes the performance of the band’s praise song “He Reigns.” The song paints a vivid picture of believers from every tribe and nation coming together to worship God in unity. Furler observed that whenever the Newsboys sang it he could sense the moving of the Holy Spirit in the gathering of believers.

Furler’s description of his experiences with “He Reigns” would likely have resonated with the crowds who converged on Jerusalem at Pentecost. When the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4), things began to happen beyond anyone’s experience. As a result, Jews representing every nation came together in confusion, because each one heard their own language being spoken to make God’s wonders known (vv. 5–6, 11). Peter explained to the crowd that this was in fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecy in which God said, “I will pour out my Spirit on all people” (v. 17).

This all-inclusive display of God’s awesome power made the crowd receptive to Peter’s declaration of the gospel, leading to three thousand converts that day alone (v. 41). Following this spectacular kickoff, these new believers then returned to their corner of the world, taking the good news with them.

The good news still resounds today—God’s message of hope for all people. As we praise God together, His Spirit moves among us, bringing people of every nation together in wonderful unity. He reigns! By Remi Oyedele

Reflect & Pray
In what ways do you see God’s image in other people? How can you view people from every tribe and nation through the lens of Jesus?

Dear heavenly Father, help me to reflect Your heart for all of Your people.

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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 11 June, Our Daily Bread 11 June 2019 – God of All People

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 25 June 2019 – Vanity On Fire

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Our Daily Bread 11 June, Our Daily Bread 11 June 2019 – God of All People

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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