Friday, November 28, 2008

Dial Daily Bread

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

Mary, the mother of Jesus, expressed some Good News that all of us can receive.

The angel Gabriel had just appeared to her, informing her that she was to become the mother of the Messiah.

She said: “My spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour, for He hath regarded the low estate of His handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed” (Luke 1:47, 48).

The Good News that we can accept is that whenever we see and confess that our “estate” is “low,” the dear Lord “regards” it.

In the case of Mary, the Lord wonderfully exalted her to worldwide, permanent honor.

The Lord does not want us to suffer the pain of being in a “low estate.”

He exalted Mary very highly, and although we may not be so highly exalted, yet it is sure that the Lord will “exalt” us in our little sphere and “give [us] the desires of [our] heart[s]” (Psalm 37:4).

The Lord does not desire us to suffer the privations of sickness, ill health, or poverty; and although we may be called to endure such things for a time, yet we are to cherish the hope and trust that the Lord will relieve our plight, and will “exalt” us appropriately in our place.

“Delight thyself also in the Lord; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart” (Psalm 37:4).

That’s a BIG promise!

Now let us learn what it means to “delight” ourselves in the Lord.

It’s a happy “safari” before us!

Be sure to check your e-mail for "Dial Daily Bread" again tomorrow.

Dial Daily Bread

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

The age of 33-1/2 is a prime age for all able young men.

At that age, you are just entering the excitement of being an adult; you are still young, just out of your youth; the beginnings of maturity are being seen and felt in your being; you are in that little period just between youth and manhood.

Your dreams for your life’s accomplishments are now the brightest and most hopeful. All of your natural abilities are at their best.

And that was the age when Satan attacked the young Man Jesus, and killed Him by crucifixion.

The Bible is clear that Jesus in His incarnation was “in all things ... made like unto His brethren” (Heb. 2:17) “As the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same”(vs. 14).

As a young Man of 33-1/2 Jesus looked forward to life, just as we do at that age; He was indeed the divine Son of God, but He had laid aside the prerogatives of His divinity and chose to face life and to live it as we do with only one difference—“yet without sin” (4:15).

His consciousness was like ours at that age; for 33-1/2 years Jesus had successfully resisted all of Satan’s temptations, and had conquered him. And Jesus had come as the long-promised Messiah to the Jewish people; but ”He came unto His own, and His own received Him not” (John 1:11).

Yes, He was the divine Son of God; but does that mean that in His consciousness as One of us He was omniscient at that time?

He knew of His coming death for the sins of the world—He had known it ever since at the age He was attending His first Passover with Joseph and Mary Jerusalem. He said to them then, “Wist ye not that I must be about My Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49). He looked at the white robed priest slaying the Passover lamb and He knew deep in His soul, that the Lamb of God was Himself.

When He returned later to Nazareth, the village children tried to get Him to play with them in their games; but He couldn’t put His heart into playing games. His mother Mary was perplexed by Him; already old Simeon’s prophecy of her was beginning to be fulfilled, “a sword shall pierce through thy own soul”(2:34, 35). Imagine the horror of her soul when she had to watch her Son be crucified!

In the resurrection day I hope I can have a minute sometime to thank her for being the mother of our Savior! No other mother has endured the burden that she did.

And I will kneel and thank her Son for saying No! to all the earthly joy that could have been His at the age He died for us.

Be sure to check your e-mail for "Dial Daily Bread" again tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Daily Bready

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

Thanksgiving is traditionally the day for eating turkey and maybe other unhealthful foods, sometimes even to excess, and then saying we are thankful for it all. But the person who has begun to glimpse the reality of the Gospel as good news better than we have thought, will find something else crowding out mere thanksgiving for material blessings: a deep sense of gratitude for Christ dying our second death for us.

It’s something we mortals think very little about. The Gospel as Good News evokes from honest human hearts a profound sense of gratitude. But such a sense is impossible unless we appreciate the value of what we have received, or what it cost the Savior to procure it for us. Sometimes explorers have noted that very primitive people have no sense of gratitude. They simply take what is given them with no show of saying thanks. They just do not realize obligation until they become educated. Our preoccupation with material blessings at this season of the year is the direct result of our not understanding what it cost the Savior to redeem us:

(1) We say it with reverence—He died our second death (Rev. 2:11; Isa. 53:12). And His human nature suffered as did His divine nature. His sweating drops of blood in Gethsemane bears witness to the soul-agony He went through. And the hatred and ingratitude of those He came to save did not make His burden any lighter.

(2) He gave Himself forever to the human race. How would you like to give your entire life to living in a leper colony in the African jungle—never to come home again? That is infinitely inadequate to portray the eternal sacrifice that Jesus made for us.

(3) With His blood He bought the life and happiness of every human being, even of those who do not believe and who hate Him. He has made it possible for the wicked to enjoy life (if enjoy they can!). His grace is given, not merely offered, to every person. So, more clearly than we can realize, “Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift!” (2 Cor. 9:15).

Be sure to check your e-mail for "Dial Daily Bread" again tomorrow.

Daily Bready

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

The Book of Hebrews is the “New Covenant” book that God has given us. It glorifies Jesus as God, equal with the Father (1:3-8), yet as the One who was “made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death” (2:9). He is the only Boy who was born in our 6000+ years who grew up knowing that He must die a “death for every man” (2:9).

What we call “death” the Bible calls a “sleep.” But this death that Jesus must “taste for every man” is not that death; Jesus did not merely go to sleep for us for a weekend; and it would not make sense to say that He merely slept “for every man.”

The death that Jesus died “for every man” has to be the “second death” that is mentioned in Revelation 2:11 and 20:14. It comes at the end of the 1000 years of Revelation 20, after the second resurrection. “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power” (Rev. 20:6).

The Book of Hebrews makes clear that Jesus died that death “for every man.” The only possible conclusion is that no one on earth needs to die that second death at last unless he despises and rejects what the Son of God has already done for him.

This is illustrated in the experience of Esau; he had the “birthright,” it was his by inheritance as the elder son of Jacob. But our Book of Hebrews tells us that “for one morsel of meat [Esau] sold his birthright” (12:16). In modern language, Esau gave up his title to the kingdom of God and eternal life for what we ordinarily call a mere “square meal” of venison, when he was hungry.

To be fair, we must say that the younger twin Jacob took a cruel advantage of his older twin brother Esau when the latter was inordinately hungry; Jacob knew the exact spices to use. But the deed done had eternal consequences. “Afterward, when he [Esau] would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears” (12:17). He cried tears forever afterwards.

The most expensive “good square meal” the world has ever known about!

Be sure to check your e-mail for "Dial Daily Bread" again tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Daily Bready

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

Have you ever been angry with God? For any reason? You prayed for something that you felt you needed, maybe healing, maybe happiness in marriage, maybe for a child, maybe for an honest job—and your prayer wasn’t answered. Seemed like Heaven was closed to you. This is a common problem many people have; and some just turn their backs on the Lord. “If He doesn’t care enough for me to help me, I’m through with Him!” But that’s not the solution! Let’s try to help a wee bit:

(1) God never promised He would be your lowly servant, to come and go at your request.

(2) He never promised that His children would be exempt from suffering, disappointment, pain. If He did “exempt” them, people would profess to follow Him who only wanted material benefit. Heaven would get crammed with hypocrites.

(3) Though He hasn’t promised you “exemption” from what all human beings have to endure, He has unequivocally promised to give you grace (an inner peace) to endure your pain, sorrow, disappointment, in a way that honors your Savior.

(4) That endurance (Rom. 5:1-5) immediately admits you to the privileged inner circle of those who are “partakers of the sufferings of Christ” (1 Peter 4:13).

(5) Bearing your suffering (whatever kind) in that spirit then qualifies you to be a member of the Lord’s University Teaching Staff where you are given the joyous labor of helping someone else in his/her suffering. I’m serious! A Christian psychiatrist told me that a humble lay member who has genuine faith and sanctified understanding, can help a needy person as much as psychiatrists can. (I didn’t say that—he did.) See Exodus 19:4, 5; if Israel had been willing to believe the New Covenant, they would have become a “kingdom of priests,” psychiatrists.

Be sure to check your e-mail for "Dial Daily Bread" again tomorrow.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Dial Daily Bread

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

Of all the billions of people who have lived on planet earth in the past 6000 plus years, only One has died what the Bible says is “the second death” (you will find it mentioned in Revelation 2:11 and 20:14).

That One is Jesus.

If He had not died our world’s “second death,” He would not have the right to accept the plaudits of the Samaritans who said He is “ the Savior of the world” (John 4:42).

By dying our “second death,” Jesus has earned the right to save us in His eternal kingdom, for “the wages of sin is death,” and that’s the real thing—the second (Rom. 6:23).

The idea that Jesus just went to sleep for a weekend is infinitely far from the truth. It has to be true that anyone who suffers the awful physical pain of crucifixion would want to be able to sleep for a weekend—it is so terrible. But that is not what Jesus did!

When He was on His cross, He screamed in agony, “My God why have You forsaken Me?” (Matt. 27:46). That rejection by His Father was worse than all the agony of physical crucifixion; He was dying the world’s second death, enduring the condemnation of the Father for the sin of the world (He was “made to be sin, who knew no sin,” (2 Cor. 5:21).

He bought all our sins with His blood; we have no right to keep them any longer! He bought all our souls with His blood—we don’t belong to ourselves any longer.

It’s just simple honesty that we give ourselves and all we have to Him; and that is the only way to be happy in this world in the midst of all the trials that we have.

That is the message of 2 Corinthians 5:20, 21—“be reconciled to God.” Don’t any longer be on the outs with Him. Be “one” with Him.

Be sure to check your e-mail for "Dial Daily Bread" again tomorrow.

Dial Daily Bread

The New Testament Book of Hebrews may take us into the theological stratosphere in the knowledge of God, but it is also written for the little child to learn to know the Lord who saved us on His cross.

Paul says, “We see Jesus”! That’s what we want above all else! Not big heavy books that no one can understand, but something we can grasp.

John the Baptist said, “Behold the Lamb of God” (John 1:29). That’s the same as Hebrews says, “we see Jesus.”

How do we see Him there?

(a) “He was made a little lower than the angels,” made to be what He was not by nature.

(b) But because He bore that cross on which He died our terrible second death, Jesus is forever “crowned with glory and honor.”

(c) Jesus was born for that very purpose; our children grow up expecting to live; but this Boy grew up expecting to die—and not our ordinary death, but the death which lasts forever in hell.

(d) Hebrews tells us here that Jesus “took not on Him the nature of angels; but He took on Him the seed of Abraham” (2:16). Thus, specifically, Hebrews tells us that the nature which Jesus “took” in His incarnation was our fallen, sinful nature.

(e) But the glory of it all is that in that fallen, sinful nature like we all have, Jesus lived a perfectly sinless life. “We have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (4:15).

(f) If you can think of any temptation that is alluring to you, that you think it’s impossible to say “No!” to, read again. “In all points LIKE” we are. Our salvation is not our work, it’s His work.

(g) It’s great Good News: He will have 144, 000 (maybe a figurative number) at His second coming who will welcome Him in joy, “without fault before the throne of God” (Rev. 14:1-5).

(h) It’s not a legalism contest; it’s the “much more abounding grace” of Jesus.

Be sure to check your e-mail for "Dial Daily Bread" again tomorrow.

Overshadowed By God

Overshadowed By God
A shadow is a region of darkness where light is blocked. It occupies all of the space behind an opaque object with light in front of it. What shape and size the shadow will have depends on the angle between the source of light, the object creating the shadow and the surface where the shadow is projected. Also, the wider the light source, the more blurred the shadow. The opposite is also true. Lastly, the brighter the light the darker is the shadow.

One of the most famous references of a shadow is found in Psalm 23:4.

Psalm 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Allegedly it is a literal place where many shepherd and sheep died. The place was probably considered cursed or forsaken of God. David was saying that walking in this place with God is safer than the top of the mountain alone. Not only was it safer, David felt safer also. This was so, because, even in the darkest times, God’s presence was comforting to David. Not all that happens in darkness is bad; babies are conceived in a dark cavern of the female’s body. In this cavern they develop until they are ready to leave.

The verb to Overshadow means, to cast a shadow over; darken or obscure. It may be that in your darkest moment the Spirit is overshadowing you. Someone said that when it seems to be the darkest for you, it is not that God has left you, but that He is the closest to you, blessing you. Because, His light can consume you in such proximity, He covers Himself from you; which is why it seems very dark to you. When the Lord overshadows you miracles happen. In the case of Mary, Christ was conceived. We read this in Luke 1:34-35,

Luke1:34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
Luke1:35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

You may not conceive a baby when God overshadows you. However, a new you in Jesus may be born (John 3:3; 2 Corinthians 5:17). If the darkness is from God, the clue is to stay still and to trust God to do His work. We tend to run from the darkness because fear kicks in. But, there is no fear in Faith. When in our darkest times of tribulation and trials we learn to trust and depend totally on God. God will miraculously carry us through the trial, and we glorify His name. We may not understand how He did what He did. But, that’s just the point, it is not to understand and prove what God has done, it to trust and believe that it was God who did it, does it and will do it. And, we just stand in awe, with nothing more that a thankful and praiseful heart. We are not to understand God’s purpose, but to trust it.

Just like it is not for us to understand the incarnation or the Cross, but to believe and trust that it did happen and it impacts our lives now and forever. After all, as Sister White says, “God’s wonderful purpose of grace, the mystery of redeeming love, is the theme into which ‘angels desire to look,’ and it will be their study throughout endless ages. Both the redeemed and the unfallen beings will find in the cross of Christ their science and their song.” The Desire of Ages, pp. 19, 20. Only those who trust God's purpose until the end will have the privilege to study it through out eternity.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Dial Daily Bread

Dial Daily Bread

to me
show details Nov 11 (8 days ago)

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

Someday you and I will be in God’s eternal kingdom of glory, thanks to our Savior. We’ll look back on our earthly pilgrimage, wondering why it took us so long to overcome our worldliness, our selfishness, our sinful addictions, yes, our Laodicean lukewarmness. We will see that pure “river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb” (Rev. 22:1).

“The Lamb”? Yes, the crucified Christ. We will at last understand why Paul said long ago that he would “glory” in nothing else “save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Gal. 6:14), why he “determined not to know anything among [us], save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2). We will then begin to understand, “clear as crystal,” how Christ as the Lamb of God “tasted” our second death, endured the horror of hell in our behalf, endured being made the “curse of God,” “made to be sin for us, who knew no sin,” experienced in Himself all the agony of the total of all our human terror multiplied by the unspeakable agony also of divine terror, endured to the fullest the reality of every man’s worst nightmares,—and then at last we will sing with new understanding the anthem, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain” (Heb. 2:9, Gal. 3:13, 2 Cor. 5:21, Rev. 5:12).

But what a pity if we can’t begin to understand all that today! Or can we? If we could, we would find the victory over our worldliness, our sinful addictions, yes, our deep-seated selfishness, not sometime far off in eternity but NOW, today. True, a little child can’t appreciate what happened on the cross; he/she can only laugh and coo and enjoy his superficial level of life (thank God he/she can!). But who of us is content to remain a little child forever? Is it not time to begin to “grow up into Him,” to “come” into “the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a full-grown person, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” (Eph. 4:13)?

Ask the Father to lead you to His Son’s cross so you can begin to see what happened there. You’ll never be the same person again.

Be sure to check your e-mail for "Dial Daily Bread" again tomorrow.

Dial Daily Bread

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

Simply writing today’s date brings to mind the significant history of God’s people in this “time of the end” in which we now live (cf. Dan. 12:4).

The story of October 22, 1844, is the story of a sincere group of faithful Christian people who were deeply impressed with the prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation, and especially with the prophecy of Daniel 8:14, “Unto 2300 days [years in prophetic symbolism], then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.”

They had learned several important truths:

(a) Daniel’s “time of the end” had begun at the end of the 1260 years of papal oppression, 538-1798 (12:4; 7:23-25).

(b) The rise of the thirteen colonies that became the United States of America had pinpointed the sad history of those more than a millennia of persecution history in Europe. Those Bible students were very close to that history.

(c) Many undeniable wonders had marked the beginning of this “time of the end,” such as the “increase of knowledge “ and the rather sudden end of persecution.

(d) A phenomenal interest in Bible prophecy had mysteriously developed; in all lands and all cultures this interest in the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation had evolved suddenly.

(e) Part of that interest was pinpointed in the rise of the United States as the lamblike “beast” of Revelation 13:11.

(f) For those whose hearts were open to the gospel, this was all delightful “good news.”

(g) It was naturally assumed that Daniel’s “cleansing of the sanctuary” meant the return of Jesus in answer to His promise, “I will come again” (John 14:1-3).

(h) This conviction of the “cleansing of the sanctuary” captured the confidence of devout Christians of different denominations; William Miller’s Spirit-directed preaching had impacted thousands of sincere Christians of nearly all churches.

(i) The precise date October 22 was arrived at by the careful study of the Jewish sources.

(j) Their mistake was not in the time, but in identifying the event.

(k) Almost immediately that mistake was rectified, and October 22, 1844, became the icon date for the teachings of Seventh-day Adventists.

Be sure to check your e-mail for "Dial Daily Bread" again tomorrow.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Dial Daily Bread

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

Suppose when you were little, your parent(s) did not know how to teach you, train and nurture you in love. So, now you have problems inherited ever since childhood. (Sometimes you even hate yourself for the way you feel or act!) Can you overcome the handicap that has been yours since childhood?

(1) Your Father in heaven knows all about it. He does not blame you for what you had nothing to do with before you were accountable. He loves and respects you as an individual for whom Christ gave the sacrifice of His life.

(2) Still, God cannot excuse defects of character that ruin your own and others’ happiness even though you acquired them through DNA or in less-than-perfect childhood upbringing. He has given us a Savior whose special job is to save us FROM our inherited and cultivated tendencies to evil. He is the great Physician who heals wounded hearts. We don’t need to carry around the defects that our parent(s) saddled upon us.

(3) This promise is in Psalm 27:10: “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.” Not that they willfully abandoned you on someone’s doorstep. Your parent(s) “le

ft” you in the sense that they didn’t know how to help you. There was a point beyond which emotionally they couldn’t give you what you needed, and it was no fault of theirs. (Perhaps they inherited weaknesses from their own childhood! The problem goes back to Adam, really.)

(4) Therefore, you will find healing in letting the Savior write the fifth commandment in your heart which says, “Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee” (Ex. 20:12). “In Christ” you can “honor” them as the parents that they WOULD have been if only they had known Christ better as their Savior. (That fifth commandment is a promise more than a stern command when you see it as the New Covenant. Even if you feel like a youthful friend of mine who said he could never “honor” his alcoholic father, the principle of corporate guilt and corporate forgiveness enables you to “honor” them “in Christ”).

(5) At the very point where your parents failed, that’s precisely where “the Lord will take [you] up.”

Be sure to check your e-mail for "Dial Daily Bread" again tomorrow.

Dial Daily Bread

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

Yes, the Book of Hebrews can take us into the stratosphere of the knowledge of God; but true to God’s infinite agape-love it is concerned also with our lowly day-to-day living in the knowledge of Christ.

For example, take chapter two:

“We see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man” (2:9).

There’s a vast theological tome in that one simple little verse!

Jesus was “made” what He was not; He was God the Son, on the highest place in the vast universe; but for our sake He was “made” to be what He was not—“lower than the angels.” In fact, He was made so low that He was “made” to be one of us; yes, worse than that—“He was made to be sin for us, who knew no sin” (2 Cor. 5:21).

Millions are not aware that the Bile says such a thing! Jesus hanging on His cross was “made” to be what He was not—made to be sin itself!

When He cried out “My God! My God! Why have You forsaken Me?” He was screaming in terror the truth: He did feel totally that the Father had turned His back on Him. No human on earth has ever felt so alone, so hopeless, so crushed, as Jesus felt on that cross. (See Luke 23:46.)

The sublime exchange had taken place, unique in the history of the universe: the Righteous One was “made” to be sin (what He was not); and we, the unrighteous ones were “made,” that is, considered to be, justified when in fact we were not—as yet, righteous.

The Book of Hebrews has come down out of the stratosphere to the lowly place where we are: “we see Jesus” it says; fasten your seat-belt; as we go through Hebrews, we go for a ride.

Be sure to check your e-mail for "Dial Daily Bread" again tomorrow.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Dial Daily Bread

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

The Book of Hebrews takes us into the stratosphere of knowing God. But it astonishes us with the pure simplicity of God’s revelation of Himself—it is not stratospheric!

We don’t climb up into heaven in order to find God; He descends down to where we are! That’s how He reveals Himself to us:

“We see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death” (2:9): that means that Jesus as a boy growing up realized something that we don’t think of when we are children: He was born to die! We are born to live—that’s the difference.

When He was 12 Joseph and Mary took Him to His first Passover; He doubtless asked each one, “What does this mean?” They could not tell Him except that “Moses told us to do it, so we do!”

But the Holy Spirit told Him, for He told them there at that Passover, “I must be about My Father’s business” (Luke 2:46-50).

What was the “Father’s business”?

Die for the sins of the world.

But not just die as we die—go quietly to sleep; no, He must die on the cross, the most awful death known to man. It wasn’t enduring physical pain, then a weekend of deep sleep: no, it was the world’s “second death” (hell itself) that He died. And He gave Himself to it at the tender age of 12.

A boy of 12 can understand a tremendous lot, even we; but He, the Son of God, understood as we can’t the “breadth, and length, and depth, and height” of love (agape). That Boy of 12 knew that He must “taste death [the real thing!] for every man” (Heb. 2:9).

“Behold the Lamb of God”! Look; ponder; think; and appreciate. Let your shriveled up little heart be “enlarged” (read Psalm 119:32) to “comprehend” those grand dimensions of His love.

Be sure to check your e-mail for "Dial Daily Bread" again tomorrow.

Dial Daily Bread

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

Have you ever been summoned with a subpoena to court? With not one but a battery of prosecuting attorneys inquiring into intimate details of your life?

The word “subpoena” doesn’t appear in the Bible but the idea is in 2 Corinthians 5:10: “We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” The next verse speaks of “the terror of the Lord.” Rather frightening!

Dial Daily Bread is devoted to telling Good News, but this sounds like Bad News. Jesus says, “There is nothing covered that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known” (Matt. 10:26). But that verse itself is Good News, for He adds, “Fear them not therefore,” that is, don’t be afraid of your prosecutors (or your persecutors!). Why? Because in that appearance before “the judgment seat of Christ” He will be your Friend, not your Enemy if today you will simply LET Him.

(1) The Father Himself refuses to condemn you (see John 5:22). (2) Jesus also refused to condemn anyone in that day (see John 12:47, 48). (3) Therefore the only “condemnation” will come from what is written of “the things done in the body,” a record that is indisputable, recorded not only in the “books” of heaven, but in your own soul as well. Jesus won’t have to say a word; the “book” will be open. Paul says, “Some men’s sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after” (1 Tim. 5:24).

The Good News is: even though there are shameful things you don’t want opened up, you can “send them on beforehand to judgment.” You can get on your knees and confess them to your Savior, you can even let bitter tears fall; the Holy Spirit can teach your sinful heart to hate those sins; your heart can be truly converted; you can be a new person; you can believe the promise, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

Good News? You betcha!

Be sure to check your e-mail for "Dial Daily Bread" again tomorrow.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Dial Daily Bread

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

Is it a sin to be afraid? You say No. Okay. Let me ask another question: can fear deprive you of the protection God would like to give you?

Two men delivered the same God-given message to wicked King Jehoiakim and his court. God protected one man from the death the princes threatened; but He did not intervene to protect the other prophet from being slain by Jehoiakim’s sword. Why the difference? Was God showing partiality?

“Urijah the son of Shemaiah” proclaimed the same message faithfully “in the name of the Lord.” “When Jehoiakim the king, with all his mighty men, and all the princes, heard his words, the king sought to put him to death.” Then Urijah did what you and I would feel like doing. “He was afraid, and fled, and went into Egypt.” Surely God would have wanted to protect him from that murderous hatred; but something made it impossible: Urijah “was afraid” (Jer. 26:20, 21).

In contrast, when Jeremiah proclaimed the same message and the “priests and the prophets [and] princes” threatened to kill him (mind you, these are all God’s people, members of His true church!), Jeremiah stood his ground boldly. “Know ye for certain, that if ye put me to death, ye shall surely bring innocent blood upon yourselves, and upon this city, ... for of a truth the LORD hath sent me unto you to speak all these words” (vss. 10-15). Jeremiah’s holy boldness made it possible for God to impress the “princes and all the people” to protect Jeremiah (vss. 16-19). Agape is the kind of “love divine, all loves excelling” that casts out fear. The Holy Spirit wants to “shed [it] abroad in your heart”(Rom. 5:5; 1 John 4:18).

Let Him do so!

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Dial Daily Bread

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

There is not a man (or woman!) in the world who has not been tempted by lust.

But we must hasten to add that temptation itself is not the same as sin; the Lord Jesus Christ was “in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin”(Heb. 4:15). Thus we learn that it is possible to feel the temptation to lust very severely, but if we say “No!” to it and if we do not give in to the temptation, it has not become sin. Thank God!

The sin itself begins in the heart, for Jesus said, “Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Matt. 5:28). Still, the sin is not in the temptation; the sin lies in the purpose already cherished, the choice, to do the deed when the opportunity arises.

Paul’s Book of Titus is one of the smallest in the Bible, yet it contains the message wherein is the power to overcome all temptation to lust:

(a) The salvation power does not lie in fear of being lost; that’s not how we overcome lust.

(b) “The grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us ...” (2:11, 12, NIV).

(c) That “grace” of God is revealed, demonstrated, in the sacrifice of Jesus on His cross. The death that He died was not merely physical pain followed by a welcome weekend of sacked-out sleep; He died the different kind of death, the death that is enduring the curse of His Father on sin.

(d) He was “made to be sin for us, who knew no sin”(2 Cor. 5:21), the most horrible experience in the universe of God.

(e) The death that Jesus died is spoken of as “the second death” in three places: Revelation 2:11 and 20:6, 14). Again, the most horrible death imaginable, the hopeless one—God save us from it!

(f) There is no need for any of us to die that death, even if we are tempted severely by lust: Jesus has already died that death for us!

(g) We have all heard many times that “we are saved by faith.” But what is faith?

(h) The answer is clear and powerful: faith is a heart appreciation of the love (agape) of Christ as demonstrated in His sacrifice on His cross.

(i) You say your heart is cold?

(j) “Behold the Lamb of God” (John 1:29). Look, look, look.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Dial Daily Bread

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

The Book of Hebrews is the most heavily theological of any book in the New Testament. It takes you up into the stratosphere of the theological knowledge of God.

The theologians write their ponderous tomes about this great book and its lofty themes.

But the essence of the message of this great book is summed up near the end of the book. You can understand Hebrews! Its vast outreaches of theology are made so clear that your little child can grasp it easily: Speaking for the Lord, it assures us: “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (13:5). Happy is your child if he/she can grasp that assurance while he is young!

All of Hebrews’ lofty theological acumen is in that one promise!

The ministry of Christ in His Most Holy Apartment in the heavenly sanctuary reveals Him as being close to us; as a true High Priest in ancient Israel who was always “for the people,” always concerned for them, always revealing to them his nearness and his love, so Christ in His second apartment in the heavenly sanctuary, the Most Holy Apartment, is ministering His presence and His blessing to us as one who is described in Proverbs 18:24—He is “closer than a brother.”

He took on Himself the fallen, sinful nature of our father Adam so that He might reach us where we are; therefore He was “in all points tempted like as we are [tempted], yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15).

This is a revelation of Christ that millions don’t as yet perceive: to be tempted is not sin: before temptation can be sin you must yield to it, give in to it, let the temptation become the sinful act. Christ has conquered sin, has trampled on it, defeated it, condemned sin in our fallen sinful flesh. “Wherefore in all things it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God” (2:17).

Sing Hallelujah, rejoice forever more!

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Dial Daily Bread

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

There is a prayer that we can pray that the Lord will always answer with His enthusiastic “Yes!”

It’s when we ask Him for some bread of life to give to someone else:

(a) The story is in Christ’s parable of Luke 11:5-13.

(b) You have been suddenly awakened at midnight by a dear friend who has come on a long journey.

(c) He is hungry.

(d) Your pantry is empty, not even a loaf of bread.

(e) So, you go bang on the door of your sleeping neighbor: “let me have three loaves of bread, not for myself, but for somebody else: a friend has come on his long journey and he is hungry. I am asking, so I can give to him.”

(f) Your selfish neighbor doesn’t want to help you; he and his children are deep in sleep; but you keep on banging on the door. You don’t stop.

(g) Finally, so he can get rid of you he gets up and gets you the bread you are asking—for someone else.

Jesus told the story to illustrate what the Lord is NOT like: He loves to give when we need something to give to someone else. Even at midnight.

We become an essential part in His great plan of redemption for this lost world. We learn to participate by experience in His love for lost souls. Our naturally selfish heart has become awakened to the experience of His heart, which is love (agape).

Now we are one with Him; we have become reconciled to Him. We are at one with His heart of unselfish giving.

There is no greater joy in life. Come!*


* Please read that last page of the last book of the Bible—Revelation 22.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Dial Daily Bread

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

The Bible speaks of some people whom “the Lord abhors” (Prov. 22:14). Sounds pretty bad for them.

One such was King David himself, a man whom the Lord had especially picked out as one He loved; but when David fell into that deep and abysmal “pit” of adultery with his neighbor’s wife, he was indeed “abhorred” of the Lord.

But don’t jump to a wrong conclusion: the Lord still loved poor David, in spite of his falling into that deep “pit.”

It was David’s character that the Lord “abhorred,” while He still loved his fallen soul.

That seems a mystery to us: how the Lord could still love a person whom He actually “abhorred” in character.

The closer you come to the Lord, the more you will “abhor” yourself because of the unChristlikeness you can see of your character. That was basically the soul experience that young Isaiah had when he was in the Lord’s temple and saw the glory of the Lord’s character and appreciated His agape-love, how Christ had taken on Himself the second death of the world. Isaiah said, “Woe is me! For I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts” (6:5).

Two things Isaiah “saw”: his unChristlikeness of soul, and the glory of the Lord’s agape-love.

Welcome the vision yourself!

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Dial Daily Bread

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

Fast forward today to the last part of the last book of the Bible—Revelation.

In chapter 20 we come upon the last great Judgment, when the second resurrection has already happened, and every human soul who has ever lived finally stands together before the Great White Throne. He who sits thereon is Someone very special before Whose face “the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them” (vs. 11).

The opening of the “books” is a simile for the final Judgment that faces every soul.

Every human soul who is saved will give thanks and praise to the Lamb one hundred percent for his/her salvation.

Every lost soul will face a revelation new to him/her: each will realize too late that Christ has already died for his/her sin—there is no need for them to come into final condemnation except they have treated the sacrifice of Christ in the same way that Esau treated the birthright that was his already. He “despised” it and “sold” it for a tiny, temporary indulgence of “appetite.”

When he realized what he had done, he cried buckets of tears (Heb. 12:16, 17), but he could not undo what he had done.

Esau’s judgment is more factually said in the Genesis story: Esau “did eat and drink, and rose up and went his way; thus Esau despised his birthright” (25:30-34).

All his life he tried to “repent” with his tears, but the birthright was gone forever.

Have you ever thought what your “birthright” is? It’s the eternal salvation that Christ has already purchased for you with His blood. And has given to you already.

The way Romans 5 describes it is this: “The gift of God is not to be compared in its effect with that one man’s sin [Adam’s]; for the judicial action, following on the one offence, resulted in a [judicial] verdict of condemnation, but the act of grace, following on so many misdeeds, resulted in a [judicial] verdict of acquittal. ... It follows, then, that as the result of one misdeed [Adam’s] was condemnation for all people, so the result of one righteous act [at Christ’s cross—the only one ‘righteous act’ ever performed on this planet!] is acquittal and life for all” (Rom. 5:15-18, REB).

At the end of the 1000 years the lost will at last understand this. They had the birthright, it was in their hands, but they threw it away.

Father, save us from ourselves, today!

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Monday, November 10, 2008

Dial Daily Bread

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

There is a strange parable in Luke 16:1-12 that has puzzled people for hundreds of years. What do you make of it? Some wise commentators have even suggested that Luke made a mistake in putting it in his gospel—that Jesus could never have said such a thing. And it does appear that Jesus is praising dishonesty! Admittedly, this is a hard nut to crack, but if we succeed, there’s a sweet kernel inside.

What’s the story? This manager worked for a rich man, and embezzled his money. When he knew he would be fired, he made friends with a lot of his master’s debtors by cheating the master all the more, and ingratiating himself with them by slyly reducing their debts to the big boss. Then when he got thrown out on the street, he had some place to go; these people, grateful to him, gladly took him in. So at least he had room and board for the rest of his life.

Now, here’s the shocker: the big boss praised the wit and cleverness of the rascal, and Jesus tells us to go and do the same. He says that such clever street-wise people have more sense than God’s people! Now, what can this possibly mean?

(1) It’s obvious, the Big Boss in the story is the Lord Himself.

(2) It’s not so obvious but equally true, the scalawag steward is you and me; yes, WE have embezzled our Lord’s goods. Don’t try to argue out of it; we are eternally and infinitely in debt to Him. It’s too true, we have no righteousness of our own, not even 1%. Now, if you can’t get beyond this, you’ll miss the sweet kernel in the nut.

(3) We’re all going to get fired. Jesus says in vs. 9, “when YOU fail.” (The KJV rendering is correct, not when IT fails, that is, your money.) And it’s not IF, PERHAPS, MAYBE. It’s WHEN WE fail, for fail we shall, most assuredly, for in the judgment we won’t have an iota of our own righteousness to help us.

(4) So, says Jesus, get busy right now and ingratiate yourself with needy people all around you; use what time or money you have left to make friends for eternity.

(5) Then when you get to the pearly gates and you know you don’t deserve entrance, some dear soul will step up and say to the Lord, “This person helped me out when I was in distress; he gave me the gospel, that’s why I’m here. Please let him in.”

(6) THAT will make you happy!

Be sure to check your e-mail for "Dial Daily Bread" again tomorrow.

Dial Daily Bread

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

There is comfort almost buried (at least many have not seen it!) in Isaiah 61:1, 2.

It’s Jesus speaking in prophecy of Himself:

“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me; because the Lord hath anointed me to ... bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound: to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God ...”

Note: the abundant time of the loving acceptance of the Lord toward repentant sinners is as an entire year of 365 days, compared with only one day of His punishing “vengeance.”

Paul says that “where sin abounded, [the Lord’s] grace did much more abound” (Rom. 5:20). The “grace” wins out.

What saves us is not craven fear of punishment, although for millennia people have assumed that the only way to control wickedness is the terror of threatened punishment.

There is a wonderful passage in Paul’s Letters that on the surface at first seems to suggest that: “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men ...” (2 Cor. 5:11).

But look a wee bit further:

“The love of Christ constraineth us: because we thus judge, that if One died for all, then were all dead [all would be dead if He had not died for “all”]; and that He died for all, that they who live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him who died for them ...” (vss. 14, 15).

When your sinful heart contemplates, judges, comprehends that “grace,” suddenly the bands of wickedness are broken, you are set free, and “henceforth” you are “constrained” to “live unto Him who died for you” your second death; now nothing can stop you from giving yourself, heart and soul, to the Savior who died for you—yes, died your second death, entered hell to find you there and save you!

Be sure to check your e-mail for "Dial Daily Bread" again tomorrow.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Dial Daily Bread

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

It’s easy to say, “Oh yes, I believe John 3:16, that ‘God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, etc.,’ but my problem is I can’t believe He notices me out of the six or seven billion people He has to love! Divide that love into a fraction of one-seventh billion—how much am I getting?”

And so many people go through life to their bitter end with human hearts bereft of that spine-tingling divine love. And if their human loves have failed them, they are all the more forlorn. If you would like to realize the close connection you have missed, take a good look at Psalm 139, word by word. It’s something good to read while you are on your knees. It’s a direct conversation with God, hand touching Hand. A few highlights:

(1) Fly to Timbuktu to get away from His love, but it follows you there (vss. 5-10).

(2) He took the time to create YOU bone by bone, sinew by sinew, nerve by nerve; yes, even every one of your brain cells designed to appreciate His concern for YOU. No scientist working with his electronic microscope could be more fastidious (vss. 13-16).

(3) All your foolish wanderings, your sins, your blindnesses, He has noted and forgiven in advance because He persists in loving you (vss. 14-16).

(4) There’s a “secret” between you and Him that no other human on earth can penetrate (vs. 15). He treasures that individual secret touch. When at last you look into the eyes of the Son of God you will recognize that although He knows all your guilty secrets He still loves and respects YOU.

(5) God never sends you a printed birthday card—He thinks specifically of YOU personally, and has a billion private good-will thoughts toward you as an individual (vss. 17, 18).

(6) Such love enlists you as a co-worker with Him in the great controversy raging between Christ and Satan. You cease being an empty cipher in this conflict, and share with Him the battle and the victory (vss. 19-22).

(7) Now you welcome His searching investigative-judgment of your inner heart (vss. 23, 24).

Be sure to check your e-mail for "Dial Daily Bread" again tomorrow.

Dial Daily Bread

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

There is almost unbelievable encouragement buried in one of Jesus’ parables—a message for parents especially, but yes for teachers and anyone who wants to be a spiritual help to someone else. Ministering spiritual help to others is laying up treasure in heaven—preparing to experience a vast pleasure in God’s coming eternal kingdom when you at last see the fruit of your love and life labors.

The parable is in Luke 11. It tells of a man who has had an unexpected guest show up when he has no “bread” in his pantry to feed him. (That’s me, by the way! I have nothing of myself to set before people.)

So in his desperation he goes to his neighbor-friend at midnight and bangs on his door, “Please let me have some bread, not to feed myself but that I may share it with a friend of mine who has come in his journey, and I have nothing to set before him” (see Luke 11:5ff).

Maybe you know that desperate feeling in real life—you are not ready for guests yet they’ve come. The parable is beautifully crafted (as only Jesus could conceive of a parable!) to encourage us who want to help others on their path to heaven.

We may wonder sometimes if the prayer we are praying is “according to the will of God.” In this instance, don’t wonder: the Lord wants you to help others and He will give you the spiritual truth you need to make your ministry helpful.

“Asking to give” is an excellent title for this parable: you become a channel through which the blessings of heaven flow to someone else.

In the process, you yourself must be richly blessed; the water of life cannot flow through you unless on the way it refreshes you, the “pipe” through which it flows!

Be sure to check your e-mail for "Dial Daily Bread" again tomorrow.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Dial Daily Bread

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

What do you do when your world seems to come to an end? When disasters strike? Hopefully that’s not you at the moment, but it will be good to do a little thinking ahead of time.

David had problems and setbacks galore, but the nadir of his experience came at Ziklag. That’s when his world collapsed. Again and again he had been condemned and attacked by the nation’s leader who was the “Anointed of the Lord” (King Saul), driven into the wilderness like a wild animal. He was an exile from his own nation, taking refuge among the Philistines. While doing what he thought was his duty, the Amalekites raided his village where his family was considered safe. They burned his and the homes of his men, and took captive their families to be sold as slaves.

David was overwhelmed, “greatly distressed,” as were his men. They had already been severely tried many times; could they be sure that God would bless this man, that he would someday be king of Israel? Everything now had turned against David, and his case appeared hopeless. His own decision had brought them to this ruin. So his loyal supporters had a meeting and talked even of stoning him. “David, it seems that God is against you! Everything has gone wrong! You are the cause of this ruin for us!” The story is in 1 Samuel 30:1-6. “David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice, and wept until they had no more power to weep.”

Then he did something that you and I can do: “David encouraged himself in the Lord” (vs. 6). He did this before he had any supernatural evidence that God would bless! He chose to believe that God would not forsake him, not because he was himself faithful, but because he believed in the character of God. He repeated the faith of Job; even if God should prove unfaithful and should forsake him, he would still believe in God’s faithfulness. He has asked God for bread; it appears that God has ridiculed him and given him a stone. But David will remain full of faith even if God appears to be un-faithful! A terrible trial, but we too can gain the victory “in Christ.”

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Dial Daily Bread

Dial Daily Bread

to me
show details Nov 4 (3 days ago)

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

I was reading the Book of Hebrews (bedtime reading? Yes!) in the Revised English Version (REV), and came across an interesting little detail:

In chapter 9, verse 28, the word “eagerly” occurs (but not in the KJV!):

“Christ ... will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to bring salvation to those who eagerly await Him” (emphasis supplied).

The original language supports the little touch that the REV supplies.

(a) Those who believe and appreciate the pure gospel of Jesus eagerly want Him to return a second time.

(b) Their lives are dedicated to await His second coming because they have immersed themselves in the story of His first coming in the Gospels. They love the story.

(c) They pray the Lord’s Prayer with deep conviction: “Our Father which art in heaven, ... Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6.10). Soon! Yes, in my lifetime!

(d) There is nothing they want to see happen on earth as much as they want to see the Father’s will be done on earth.

(e) To this end they have dedicated their lives. Each new morning, and throughout each day they keep praying, “Father in heaven, take not Thy Holy Spirit from me; what do You want me to do today?”

(f) Eagerly awaiting Christ’s second coming gives those who love His gospel the joy of something heavenly to live for and work for, young or old.

(g) Join them today!

Be sure to check your e-mail for "Dial Daily Bread" again tomorrow.