Tag Archives: Our Daily Bread

Every Child of God Defeats this Evil World

Thank You, Father, for enabling me to get through so much yesterday for Sunday’s services, even with all the distractions. Help me to align myself with You today and to be faithful in all I say and do that it would be pleasing in Your sight. Amen.

1 John 5:4-5 (<<click here)

“For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.”

This portion of yesterday’s scripture also spoke to me, Lord. What stuck out was that “every child of God defeats this evil world.” The world we see about us is surely daunting for evil is rampant! But a child defeats it…if that child is Your child. We, Your children, can be victorious over this evil world only if we place our faith in You and that “believe that [You are] the Son of God.”

Once again, Lord, You have set things in place that help to flesh out Your word. Part of my daily routine is to read the Our Daily Bread devotional. For years I read the paperback version but for quite some time I have used the app on my phone. It is a great asset to my day. Anyway, today’s devotional providentially fits quite well with this passage, too. (Here’s the link if you’d like to read the whole thing yourself: Prepare the Child)

The author noted a “phrase [found] on many parenting websites…, “Prepare the child for the road, not the road for the child.” Instead of trying to remove all obstacles and pave the way for the children in our life, we should instead equip them to deal with the difficulties they encounter on the road ahead.”

As we grow and mature, obstacles provide us with…well, with opportunities to grow and mature. You use literally everything in our lives to work together for our good. Romans 8:28 (<< link))

Lord, help me to focus on You today. May my faith be placed squarely on You and nothing else. May all of my life’s experiences –all the good parts and the struggles and failings – enable me to “defeat this evil world.” May my strength and power be found in my faith in You so that I may “achieve this victory.” Amen.

May 19th, Fri, 5:07 am

The Importance of His Word

Father, I may have a general idea of what this day may hold but only You know the specifics. Whatever this day brings may I follow Your lead. May the relationship I have with You show through and may those around me know I am Yours. Amen.

2 Peter 1:16-21 (<<click here)

The Bible…Scripture…Your Holy Word. Lord, has there ever been a time when it has not been a point of contention? There have been so many attempts to discredit it from so many angles. It is not a collection of “clever stories.” It is not a bunch of fables and fairytales. For many, because they feel that parts are unbelievable they discard the entirety as unreliable. Others instead just pick and choose what the will or will not believe and adhere to.

I myself believe in You with all my being and so believe what You have said with the same fervency. Peter very strongly asserts that Your word is undeniable. He experienced You, Lord, first hand and with Peter and James on the mountain heard the Father’s voice proclaim, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.” (Matthew 17:5; Mark 9:7; Luke 9:35) He goes on to assert, “Because of that experience, we have even greater confidence in the message proclaimed by the prophets.” 2 Peter 1:19a

Your words, Lord, “are like a lamp shining in a dark place—until”…You “the Morning Star shines in [our] hearts.” And Scripture is very clear that we “must realize that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet’s own understanding, or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God.” vs.19b-21

I love how you bring so many things together to show me the truth of who You are. In my reading of my devotional Our Daily Bread for this day, the closing Insight for this day had this to say,

The truth of God’s intimate care for us is grounded in God’s self-revelation, the Bible. In the Discovery Series booklet, How Can I Know God through His Book? David Egner writes, “Although the Bible was written by men like Moses and Luke and Paul, it is the self-revelation of God. He is the Author behind the authors. And what He says reflects who He is. To know God we have to read His book;…to see Him on every page, above every event, in every place and circumstance, and overseeing the choice of every person who makes his way into the sacred pages of biblical history.”

Lord, may I cherish and honor Your word and live out its precepts every day. Amen

Mar 15th, Wed, 6:57 am

Waiting

Father, I appreciate having Our Daily Bread as a part of my regular routine. They are solid in their teachings. I am grateful for the diversity of the many authors of these short, pithy devotionals. I would ask that You continue to bless their efforts as they touch lives across the globe.

I mention them today because, quite often they make me stop and think and today’s devotional, Marking Time, did just that. The author, David McCasland, used Psalm 25:1-15 to talk about waiting.

Lord, waiting can be a challenge – like waiting for the novocaine to do its thing before getting a filling at the dentist – like certain days at work when time seems to crawl and you just want to go home. For the most part in life waiting is not an option, it’s just something we have to do. But as McCasland points out, “we can decide how we wait.”

I am a bi-vocational pastor- basically, that means I pastor a church (or in my case two churches) but because they are smaller congregations with limited resources I have to work another job for the bulk of my income. Now my heart is all about ministry and nothing would bring me greater joy that to be able to serve full-time in ministry. But… that’s not how God has chosen to use me.

I started working at Kohl’s in 2000 and started pastoring the first of my churches in 2002. So for 14 years I have been bi-vocational. And I have been waiting…and waiting…and waiting – waiting for God to call me to full-time ministry. I just feel I could serve my churches so much more effectively if that were the case.

Sometimes I struggle with the waiting but I cannot escape the fact that in many ways I am a full-time minister. There’s not much spiritual challenge in pulling jewelry out of baggies and displaying them on a fixture but when I walk into work every day I don’t flip a switch and turn the minister part of me off.

As I have shared with many, in essence, Kohl’s is like a third church for me. Now we don’t sing hymns and I don’t preach, as such, but I touch lives every day with the love of God. God has used me over and over again to touch people who might otherwise not really have that opportunity.

I impact them but they impact me, as well. As a bi-vocational pastor, I am able to keep my finger on the pulse of humanity. I have not cocooned myself in the security of the church. I am regularly exposed to the raw reality of life. I strive every day to be the hands and mouth of God to a hurting world. I strive to let my light shine brightly in the darkness. I feel God’s heart for people. It impacts me there but it comes out in the pulpit as well.

I may be waiting – and it may be that my waiting will never end. But it is not wasted time. God is good all the time – my life is in His more than capable hands and He can do as He pleases for He surely knows better than I.

July 19th, Tue, 6:18 am

Strong and True

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Father, help me to always keep You at the forefront of my life. Through thick and thin, help me to follow You with my whole heart, holding nothing back. Struggles and heartache will surely come but help me to cling to You. Wonderful blessings will surely come, as well, but in those times let the glory go to You and You alone!

Colossians 2:6-7 (<<click here)

…continue to follow CHRIST

…let your roots grow down in CHRIST

…build your lives on CHRIST

Doing these things will cause our faith to grow stronger in truth and will cause our thankfulness to overflow!

Lord, there’s a lot in these two verses! If I am consistent in following You (continue) I will be solidly grounded (roots grow down) and will be enabled to build on You as a solid foundation that will not be moved – my contribution to the building of Your kingdom will be strong and true.

Yesterday’s Our Daily Bread reading ties in here! Deuteronomy 8:11-20 stresses that when we take the credit for the blessings You’ve given us that we will fail! I can’t take the building materials You give me and use them to build what I want, where I want.  A weak foundation and shoddy construction only lead to calamity! When I am obedient and give You the credit my faith will remain strong and gratitude will come naturally.

Lord, help me to always be looking to You for guidance and wisdom and strength and courage to accomplish the tasks a hand. Fill my thoughts and actions, so I will be a light for You shining brightly in a dark world!

June 10, Wed, 7:00 am