Monday, June 30, 2008

Dial Daily Bread

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread":

What can one do when he/she has discovered the enormity of the sin which is in the heart? When you feel deeply guilty, polluted, alienated from the sunshine of God’s favor? When finally the blinders have been torn off your eyes and you discern your nakedness of soul? The pain is intense!

(1) First, be thankful that at last you have come to see it, for this is possible only if you have received the gift of the Holy Spirit. His first work is to “convict of sin” (John 16:8). If He left you happy and content to go on in your sin, then you would have a reason to be worried (but that’s when we humans are not concerned!). “Blessed are they that mourn” because of the realization of deep sin (Matt. 5:4). If you have a lethal, undetected cancer and are blissfully unconcerned, you are not “blessed.” You can be happy when you realize the truth and can seek healing before it’s too late.

(2) The question “What shall I DO about my sin” comes short of the truth. The proper question is, “What shall I BELIEVE?” Yes, you can find examples in the Bible of people who have asked, “What must I DO to be saved?” (Acts 16:30), but superficial reading has encouraged many dear people to lean upon a program of salvation by works, DOING something. Please note that this jailer in Philippi was not an inspired man; but Paul was inspired when he answered him, “BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus Christ” (vs. 31). Salvation lies not in DOING this or that good thing but in BELIEVING truth. And then the believing “works” (Gal. 5:6).

(3) Now, what do you believe? (a) That the Son of God has become your Savior, (b) that He has died the death that your sin deserves, (c) that it is He who in love has convicted you of the deep sinfulness of sin, (d) that He has experienced the hell that you would experience were it not for His sacrifice, (e) that He is now working as High Priest night and day, 24 hours a day, to save you from sin, (f) that the Father has “accepted” you “in Him” (Matt. 3:17; Eph. 1:6)?

(4) And then? Your heart is melted; the hardness is melted; the tears flow, not because of fear but because of everlasting gratitude.


Sunday, June 29, 2008

Dial Daily Bread

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread":

If you have made a mistake (which, God forbid!) ... King David made one, in fact two—adultery and the sin of murder to cover it up; he feared that he had committed the unpardonable sin and heaven was closed to him forever, because he cried out in near despair, “Take not Thy Holy Spirit from me” (Psalm 51:11).

But if you have indeed made a mistake, your heavenly Father does not cast you off as worthless or hopeless.

He is deeply wounded and sorry, but He redeems and re-builds broken, ruined souls.

How does He do it?

He gives the most precious gift of repentance.

No one can repent on his own; you have to open your guilty heart to receive it from Him: “Him [Jesus of Nazareth] hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins” (Acts 5:31).

The realization of God’s forgiveness: it’s the most exhilarating experience we humans can know. It’s the nearest to the overwhelming joy that Jesus must have known when after His resurrection He declared in triumph, “I am He that liveth, and was dead; and behold, I am alive for evermore!” And then that earth-and-heaven-shaking, “AMEN!” (Rev. 1:18).

You just want to shout for all the universe to hear you, “Behold! I am forgiven!” You’ve been carrying a burden that weighed a ton; now at last you are free.

Such forgiveness is God’s gift. It’s not the empty, supercilious “pardon” that means nothing; it’s a freeing from the burden of sin, the gift of a new hatred of sin, and the gift of a new love for righteousness.

You are born again. No more arrogance; you are like King Ahab, the murder-guilty king, when he was finally converted, we read that forever after he “walked softly” (1 Kings 21:27); he took a humble place from then on, and so will you. There will be no arrogant people strutting around in God’s New Jerusalem.

No one can honor the Lord Jesus Christ and at the same time be proud of himself/herself.

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


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Dial Daily Bread

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread":

Was it the Lord’s intention that His people should embrace the Old Covenant?

Paul says that the old covenant “genders to bondage” (Gal. 4:24). Question: does the Lord ever bring His trusting people into bondage to evil?

The answer of course is “No!” The Old Covenant was the invention of the people at Mt. Sinai: when they declared, “all that the Lord hath spoken, we will do” (Ex. 19:8). That promise of the people was vain for in only a few days they were bowing down to worship a golden calf (32:2-8).

The Old Covenant has always been the promise of the people; the New Covenant has always been the promise of God.

We have a really beautiful hymn that we often sing in worship services, that is thoroughly Old Covenant in its meaning. Written by a Church of England pastor celebrating his teenage daughters being confirmed in the church, it breathes the Old Covenant idea:

“O Jesus, I have promised, to serve Thee to the end; be Thou forever near me, my Master and my Friend ...”

In total innocence, he led his teenage daughters to make a vain promise to the Lord; some may say, that’s good—maybe their making the promise helped them to remember to keep it. The hymn goes on, “I see the sights that dazzle, the tempting sounds I hear ... ”

But human strength is helpless in the face of worldly temptation. The clergyman meant well; but persuading his daughters to make vain promises to God is not good enough.

Fortunately, we can “convert” this Old Covenant hymn into a beautiful and powerful New Covenant hymn by changing only one word throughout: “O Jesus, I have chosen ... ” “The power of choice God has given to men; it is theirs to exercise ... ” says a wise writer in the book Steps to Christ, p. 47.

Oh, how the Holy Spirit will bless as you lead your children into the New Covenant!

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


Friday, June 20, 2008

Dial Daily Bread

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread":

At any given moment, 24/7, if you should ask the Lord, "What is the news?" His reply would be that He has only GOOD news for you.

Even if you had just had a doctor tell you that you have terminal cancer, and you were on a death-bed, the Lord would have only GOOD news for you. Even in such an extremity, He would assure you that "He will be [your] guide, even unto death" (Psalm 48:15).

Looking forward to the "first resurrection" is immense GOOD news, for Revelation 20:6 says, "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power."

There is a special blessing (the word means ultra-happiness) on those who today die "in the Lord." We read it in Revelation 14:13, John says, "And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the [Holy] Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them."

There might be someone reading these words today who has nothing to look forward to from this moment on, except that "resurrection." If so, be immensely thankful to the Lord for everything! He has only GOOD news for you—those "who die in the Lord from henceforth" are in a special class.

Jesus describes them in Luke 20:35: "They ... shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, ... neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection."

All the heavenly host of unfallen angels and beings who kneel before the throne of the Lord rejoice together with them in this "blessed hope" (cf. Titus 2:13). From this moment on, there is nothing but GOOD news for you, if you will believe these promises of the Lord Jesus whop died for you on His cross—who died your "second death."

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


Dial Daily Bread

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread":

It stuns one to think of the consequences of this question: Does the Lord need us to do things for Him which He cannot do for Himself?

We think of Him as omnipotent—the word means ability to do anything and everything.

But even though that is the meaning of the word “omnipotent,” it’s obvious that there are some things the Lord cannot do, much as He may try: He cannot change the heart of a sinner who refuses His much more abounding grace.

In the beginning when “there was war in heaven [when] Michael and His angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; nether was their place found any more in heaven” (Rev. 12:7, 8), the “omnipotent” Lord could not change the rebellious hearts of Lucifer and his angels. Neither can He do so today.

It follows that people who choose to obey the fallen Lucifer and his fallen angels also have rebellious hearts that God cannot force; no angel can preach to those people as effectively as can a fallen sinner who has repented and is “reconciled to God by the death of His Son” (Rom. 5:10).

Such a reconciled sinner can do things for the Lord that He cannot do for Himself. For example:

A prominent Ethiopian was riding in his chariot reading the book of Isaiah but couldn’t understand it. The Lord loved him and wanted to help him; so what did the Lord do? He impressed His servant Philip, “Go near and join thyself to this chariot” (in other words, hitchhike; Acts 8:27-30). Philip obeyed.

It stuns one to realize the truth: the Holy Spirit needed Philip! What does He need you and me to do today?

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


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Dial Daily Bread

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread":

The Bible specializes in Good News which is “the power of God unto
salvation” (Rom. 1:16). There is power in the word itself, as there
is in the seed that sprouts. Those who wait for the second coming of
Christ will demonstrate that power so fully that their message will
“lighten the earth with glory.” The message itself, not their
personalities nor any goodness in themselves, will call believers to
“come out of Babylon, My people,” and honest-hearted people will
respond to the “voice” from heaven (see Rev. 18:1-4). Nothing will
be able to hold them back from stepping out boldly to honor Christ in the
closing work of the gospel.

The message will be proclaimed not just by one or two super-gurus, but
by a multitude of voices all over the earth. God can use people trained
in literary institutions provided self is humbled and crucified with
Christ so their ministry draws listeners to Jesus and not to
themselves, but often self has gotten in the way and marred the
picture. Baal worship has delayed the finishing of God’s work in the
earth--the worship of self disguised as the worship of Christ. In the
last great work as the truth is proclaimed powerfully, God will use
humble people who are called from “the plow” as Elisha was called
(1 Kings 19:19).

What will bring about this great development? The Bible is clear: the
experience of justification by faith, which is the same as the
experience of righteousness by faith. The faith itself will “work by
love,” the love of Christ (Gal. 5:6), not our own love. There will be
no self-righteousness in this wonderful work that lightens the earth
with glory. When self is laid aside, gets out of the way, the cross of
Christ can be uplifted clearly, because self will be “crucified with
Him.” Then He will “draw all unto [Himself]” (John 12:32).

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

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Dial Daily Bread

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread":

God has inspired His holy word, the Bible, for “all Scripture is
by inspiration of God” (2 Tim. 3:16). But He has not made the Bible
difficult to understand! He has promised, “Turn you at My reproof, .
. I will make known My words unto you” (Prov. 1:23).

One of those “words” that He “will make known” unto us is
“justification.” Ask Him to! The root idea is to make something
was crooked become straight. On the sixth day of creation week God
ended that work; when sin entered planet earth, He turned His infinite
power into re-creating sinful human hearts. Justification by faith is
the sinner receiving this mighty power of re-creation, that is, the new

birth. The sinner’s faith is awakened by his “beholding” the love
Christ revealed in His cross, just as the stricken Israelite bitten by
poisonous snakes was healed by beholding, looking at, the brass serpent

lifted on the pole.

You watch a hero or heroine in a movie; now spend your time more wisely

by “watching” Jesus Christ. “Eat” the Bible story of the cross;
off your radio, TV, everything; just kneel and patiently, in prayer,
read about Jesus straight from Scripture. Wait before Him. God wants to

hear a sincere, honest, unhurried prayer. I know; I am as unworthy as
anyone, but I know He responds. He loves you as much as He loves me! I
have never heard the literal voice of God, but I want to encourage
those people who also must confess they haven’t either; the Holy
imparts spiritual life through the word, the Bible. He wants your faith

to be established on the solid rock of Bible truth, not on dreams or
impressions or “voices.”

Will the one who is “justified by faith” live in obedience to
word? Yes, obedience is the direct fruit of the experience of
justification by faith. It has now become your joy.

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

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Dial Daily Bread

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread":

Does the Lord need humans to do things that He wants done “in earth as it is in heaven”?

When we pray the Lord’s prayer, we are confessing that His will should be done
in earth as it is in heaven”; but who is to accomplish that?

Angels are His “ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation ...” (Heb. 1:14). But their ministry is not to do things that those “heirs of salvation” should do themselves.

The Father’s will never “be done in earth as it is in heaven” until His own people get busy and do it.

A prayer that will always be answered is this, “Father in heaven, what do You want me to do?”

It may be a phone call that you have shied away from; to make the call will require laying self aside!

It may be a letter that you have been impressed that it is your duty to write; that too will require a denial of self. It may be a personal visit likewise that you need to make.

Welcome to the joyous thrill that is yours when you know you have done what the heavenly Father wants you to do. That means you have become a fellow-laborer with Him!

Can you think of a higher honor you could have but that—as the holy angels all step aside in deep respect to you as you DO what the Father has appointed you to do?

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


Monday, June 16, 2008

Dial Daily Bread

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread":

The News media are telling alarming tales of the depravity of teenagers today, exposing themselves shamelessly before each other, using their cell phones. Their immodest abandon was undreamed of even one generation ago. They are throwing themselves away; it’s not only foolish; it is a form of social suicide.

The Lord Jesus long ago spoke of this dive into depravity when He describes our time today, when He said, “Because iniquity shall abound, the love [agape] of many shall wax cold” (Matt. 24:12).

It is a surprise to many to realize that the word “agape” in the Bible means not only a high spiritual love theologically; it also means sexual love. This becomes evident when we read Ephesians 5:25: “Husbands, love your wives,” where the verb is the verb for agape.

Agape includes conjugal, married love!

Love between the sexes is a delightful gift of the Lord. The poet who said it is “the sweet mystery of life” knew better than he wrote. When the Lord told Adam and Eve to “be fruitful and multiply,” what that command meant was that through attraction of the sexes for each other and their built-in desire to be one, the earth would be filled with people.

But it’s not a mere mechanism for producing births; it is the holy exercise of God-given love.

Now today that holy love is being trampled in the mud.

What can anybody do to help?

The sober, truthful answer is: proclaim “Christ and Him crucified.”

This current dive into depravity could never have happened if the teens involved had heard the cross of Christ proclaimed as living truth in their churches. When Paul came to ancient Corinth, he knew he was facing the demanding test of his ministry: how could he capture the heart attention of those depraved pagan people in that great Mediterranean city with its pagan religious prostitution in the great temple of Diana?

He tells us: “When I came to you ... I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:1, 2). Did the people get tired hearing sermons all the time about the cross? No; they found life and true conversion; they couldn’t get enough.

That is equally true today! This writer was privileged to serve as pastor/evangelist in one of California’s biggest cities; the message of the cross brings people in from off the streets!

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

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Dial Daily Bread

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread":

The word “stress” appears nowhere in the Bible. Does that mean that God never foresaw the No. 1 problem that modern human beings have to contend with? No, for the idea of stress permeates the Bible and it is full of remedies for it.

#1 is the invitation of the Son of God who says, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28). Being “heavy-laden” is the precise idea of stress as we know it! But how do we “come” to Him? The very problem itself of our weariness and unending pressures so distracts us that we are so jittery that we cannot “come” to Him—so we feel. And the pressure becomes so bad that we crack.

Now the Bible suggests a way of relief:

(a) We have to eat or we would die of starvation. But we don’t usually have to eat as much as we do; skip a meal and devote that time to “coming to Him.” Yes, that does make sense: we are invited to “fast and pray” when we face difficult problems. Does it take you 30 minutes to eat? Devote 30 minutes on your knees and talk to the Divine Psychiatrist, the Savior whose full-time job is doing what He promised—giving you “rest.”

(b) You have to take some time to sleep; turn off your computer and TV and go to bed early; then get up in the morning early and devote another 30 minutes to “coming to Him.” Psalm 27:8 has a precious insight into what happens behind the scenes: “When You said, ‘Seek My face,’ my heart said to you, ‘Your face, Lord, I will seek.’” This dialogue between the Lord and you is going on; it’s for real. He is knocking on your door.

Remedy # 2 is the holy Sabbath day. For 6000 years the Lord has known that six days of stress is all that any human can endure at any time; the seventh day is permeated with His presence; in the beginning He made that day “holy.” You don’t make the Sabbath holy, He did; your job is only to “keep it holy.” And the rest from stress that is in the holy Sabbath day is diffused throughout the busy week, because for the “six working days” (Ezek. 46:1) we “remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy” (Ex. 20:8). That very remembrance itself brings a renewed promise of “rest” that soothes our frayed nerves throughout the week.

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


Friday, June 13, 2008

Dial Daily Bread

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread":

Has there been some mystery in your life that has always perplexed you? Like the untimely loss and death of a loved one; of the crushing disappointment of a love lost, or betrayed, that you had hoped would lead to a happy marriage?

When Jesus told us how to pray (to “our Father which art in heaven”), He told us of the only way we can find peace and reconciliation with God after such bitter disappointment.

Our heavenly Father is infinite; at first thought, this truth may tempt us to wonder if the comfort He can give us is real and effective; how can it be if the Father is an infinite being?

Don’t forget that He was also the “our Father which art in heaven” to Jesus during His 33-1/2 years of sojourn with us in this human life. Whatever the Father was to Jesus, He is the same to us. His being infinite does not in the least lessen the personal attention He gives to us each one.

Take for example, the way that the Father in heaven manifested Himself to Jesus (as a teenager?) when He awakened Him from sleep early in the mornings.

The story is in Isaiah 50:4, 5: “The Lord God hath give Me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: He wakeneth morning by morning, He wakeneth Mine ear to hear as the learned.”

As a Teenager or as a Youth (Jesus was a Youth all His life among us here!), He loved to sleep in each morning; teens are proverbially difficult to awaken in the morning!

But the heavenly Father (the same as your Heavenly Father!) persisted in waking Jesus up to start each new day.

Jesus had to go to school! He had to learn how to “speak a word in season” to the weary crowds, or to the solitary inquirer like Nicodemus who “came to Jesus by night” long after office doors should be closed! (John 3:2, 3). Those early morning awakenings and “schoolings” taught Jesus the wisdom He needed so desperately, which is why He said, “I can of Mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge; ... because I seek not Mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent Me” (5:30).

That same “our Father which art in heaven” will awaken us and teach us, day by day!

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

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Dial Daily Bread

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread":

It’s a joy to pray to “our Father which art in heaven”:

(a) The tender memories enter in of what a father should be to a child.

(b) Even if your earthly father was not what he should be, the Holy Spirit works overtime to bring that emotional sense.

(c) You know that the heavenly Father is infinite; which means, his phone is never off the hook.

(d) He has time to listen to you, patiently.

(e) You don’t need to think you must share Him with others; He is all yours, forever!

(f) He sees if a little sparrow falls on the forest floor (Matt. 10:29); therefore think how much more He cares about YOU, and the problems you are having.

(g) Your heavenly Father is especially described as One who “seeth in secret (Matt. 6:4).

(h) This is emphasized by the command to “enter into thy closet, and ... shut thy door”(vs. 6). Jesus couldn’t make His assurance of confidentiality plainer!

(i) The promise that the One who “seeth in secret” will “reward thee openly” must mean that He acts on every sincere prayer you offer to Him “in secret.”

(j) You and He will have secrets to share between you and Him! He invites your intimacy.

(k) You will hold your head high forever after; no great social leader from the world’s highest families will have an edge on you!

(l) Adopted into the “family of God,” you already live in what is in reality a “mansion.”

(m) The Father “has made us accepted in the Beloved,” and has adopted us (Eph. 1:5, 6).

(n) You are actually living with your heavenly Father; He resides with you,—yes! Now remember that: your housemates may not cherish your faith, but you are living “in secret” with your heavenly Father. You and He have a secret life.

(o) “Abide in Me, and I in you,” says Jesus in John 15:4. The Father and the Son are One. One’s promise is the same as the other’s.

(p) Paul says that the Father “was [is] in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation” (2 Cor. 5:19). This is the “in secret” job that you share with your Father; from now on you and He work together “in secret.”

(q) You feel like you have failed? Talk all about it “in secret” with your heavenly Father; oh joy! He hears you and He saves you! He will “in no wise cast you out” (see John 6:37).

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

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Dial Daily Bread

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread":

The Samaritans were right—Jesus has saved the world. “They said to the woman, ‘Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world’” (John 4:42). But they were not believing the falsehood of Universalism—the false doctrine that everybody will eventually be saved. They knew that “all men” will not open their hearts to receive Him. Those who reject Jesus reject a real flesh-and-blood Savior, not merely a potential, maybe, perhaps, “would-like-to-be” Savior.

Yet how can it be that Jesus is “the Savior of the world” and yet most people do not receive Him?

There will come a “Great White Throne” at the end of the 1000 years of Revelation 20, before which will be gathered all the lost souls from all time; they will be facing what the Bible calls “the second death,” the death from final judgment (Rev. 20:11-15). The great book of record will be opened; every lost person will see his own life-record, his heart opened fully to his own view and the view of the universe in judgment; it will be realistic. They will all at last see everything as it really has been.

At last they will see that the sin they have life-long selfishly indulged is in reality a re-crucifixion of Christ. The One who sits on the throne is the Savior Himself; each one of the lost will look in His eyes and realize too late that He was always their Best Friend, and yet their sin they clung to was the same as that of those who 2000years ago cried out: “Crucify Him!”

A wise writer says that the lost will at that time “welcome destruction” that they might be hidden from His face (The Great Controversy, p. 543).

How much better will it be if we realize that truth today, when we can do something about it?

You and I may try to evade the truth and say, we could never do that! But don’t let yourself be proud; wait on your knees, alone with the Father, in prayer; ask Him to please tell you the truth about yourself. Let me assure you—He will NEVER discourage you, or condemn you! He will tell the truth, yes, but at the same time the truth will include the conviction of the Saviour’s love (agape), the love that died your “second death.” “We see Jesus ... crowned with glory and honour; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man” (Heb. 2:9); that was the second death, and “every man” is you.

People who want to be saved eternally appreciate what He did; the lost do not, like Esau who “despised” and “sold” his birthright (Gen. 25:33, 34; Heb. 12:17).

He never stopped crying thereafter.

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

Dial Daily Bread

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread":

When Jesus gave us permission to address His Father as “our Father which art in heaven,” He gave us complete confidentiality with Him.

He emphasized secrecy (Matt. 6:1-15):

(a) We are not to make our acts or gifts of worship to be “seen of men”

(b) We are not to seek “glory of men.”

(c) We are not to let our left hand know what our right hand does—here again is ultimate secrecy.

(d) Thy “ Father ... seeth in secret.”

(e) When we pray to Him, we are to “enter into thy closet, ... shut thy door, [and] pray to thy Father which is in secret.”

(f) Then “thy Father which seeth in secret ... shall reward thee openly.”

The word “Father” brings up the most tender memories of our childhood, yes, babyhood. The first syllable we could utter as a baby was “ba”—which became our “Ba-ba.”

We revered our earthly father; as children he stood to us in the place of God. Yes, his task was to reveal the heavenly Father to us, and to interpret to us aright His love, His fidelity.

This is the idea in Romans 8 where we read, “Ye have not received the spirit of bondage ... to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Ab-ba, Father” (vs .15).

Our first cry as a baby is not “abba, Father,” but “abba, father.” We don’t know yet to cry to God; our earthly father interprets God to us.

If he is a God-reverencing person, kind, unselfish, loving, then he is interpreting the love (agape) of the heavenly Father to us. Rejoice and be exceeding glad; you are very fortunate.

Sometimes an earthly father does not know how to interpret to the child the love (agape) of the heavenly Father. In those cases it can become emotionally difficult for the person to learn to be happy “in Christ;” but don’t turn away, never, not for a moment. Let the heavenly Father intervene: He is much, much greater than your earthly father; His influence in your life is out of all bounds far greater than the influence your earthly father was to you; yes, let Him into your life.

Share with Him alone (that’s what it means that Jesus said, “shut your door to your closet”), open your heart with all your shame and guilt. Your heavenly “Father seeth in secret.” He alone is your true “Father-Confessor.” Pour it all out to Him “in secret;” He will reward thee “openly,” that is, with full salvation, healing, in Christ.

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

Monday, June 09, 2008

Dial Daily Bread

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread":

Can we lowly, unworthy mortals do anything that can have an effect on the Lord, the Ruler of the universe, to make Him happy or unhappy?

We read that when King David, the anointed ruler of God’s people Israel had committed a double crime of adultery and then murder to cover it up, that “the thing that David had done displeased the Lord” (2 Sam. 11:27).

When we read the entire story we see how the displeasure of the Lord was realized in the terrible disasters that befell David’s house; not that God did them all directly, but He was forced to withdraw His former blessings on David.

But the fact that God was “displeased” with David did not mean that now God hated him or cursed him forever. David had plenty of troubles thereafter, but the Lord still loved the poor sinner.

David’s two penitential psalms make clear that he knew that he had come within a tiny fraction of losing his soul forever: “Take not Thy Holy Spirit from me,” David pleads with anguished tears (Psalm 51:11). Also, David’s 32 is the prayer that every one of us sinners can pray over and over again when we remember that a wise writer has said that the books of heaven record the sins that we would commit if we had had the opportunity.

That means that it is our privilege to pray the Lord to forgive that long, long list of sins that we would have committed if we had had the opportunity! That is “corporate repentance,” repenting of sins that we may not have actually done in the flesh but which we would have done if the Lord had not held us by the hand and kept us from diving into that deep, bottomless hole (cf. Prov. 22:14).

No matter how you or any of us looks back onto his life, we can humbly thank the Savior that He has held us by the hand in times of peril. For myself, I look back to my teenage years and just humbly thank the Lord for saving me from utter ruin. I could never have become a minister of the gospel if He had not saved me. I think over and over of Isaiah 54:17: “This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of Me, saith the Lord.”Yes! Whatever “righteousness” there ever was at any time, it was “of the Lord”! Just the mercy and much more abounding grace of the Lord Jesus (cf. Rom. 5:20).

Eternity will not be long enough for me to praise Him!

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Dial Daily Bread

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread":

What do you suppose was the greatest temptation Jesus had to face? You know of course He was tempted—the Bible says “in all points like as we are.”

His temptations were real—they bored in to His inmost soul. Well, the greatest temptation He had to face was the temptation to doubt who He was. And if the truth were known, that’s the greatest temptation you have to face also—to doubt who you are.

For example, think back to Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness after His baptism. Three times the wily old enemy, Satan, zeroed in on Him at the deepest core of His being—”if Thou be the Son of God,” command these stones to be bread; “if Thou be the Son of God,” do a hang-glide from the top of the temple tower; “if Thou be the Son of God,” claim the empires of the world as Yours and I’ll give them to You, for they are mine, the devil said; just play ball with me, be reasonable, let’s cooperate. Do you think that was a temptation? “If You are who You think You are”—You have delusions of grandeur like a mental patient who thinks he is Napoleon. Yes, Jesus gained a victory then, but remember that the enemy came back again and again on this point of doubting His real identity as the Son of God.

Finally, at the very end, something happened that helped to crystallize it all in Jesus’ mind and heart when Mary washed His feet with tears. He realized that He was the only person in all of world history to be so honored; no one, not even Alexander the Great, had ever had his feet washed with human tears. Yes, Jesus realized, He was the King of kings and Lord of lords. Now He was ready for John 13. At that last supper, He got up, stretched Himself to His full height, laid aside His expensive robe, and knowing fully that He had come from God and went to God, He humbled Himself to wash His disciples’ feet. He could not have done that until He had known for sure, and felt for sure, who He was. He could never have faced the cross until He had that assurance; and even on the cross that last temptation was flung at Him—“if Thou be the Son of God come down from the cross”!

Who are you? Do you know? You cannot be truly humble until you realize your true identity in Christ, redeemed by His blood.

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Thursday, June 05, 2008

Dial Daily Bread

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread":

Have you ever been close to losing your life, either from sickness or
an accident? And you have realized that your life has been an
undeserved bonus?

The faith of Jesus in God’s plan of justification teaches that lesson

in its truest dimension: “The love [agape] of Christ constrains us;
because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died” (2
5:14). It’s so obvious that you wonder you didn’t see it long ago:

(1) Christ died for the world, for everyone (1 Cor. 15:3). That’s

(2) It’s equivalent to saying that if He had not “died for all,”
all would themselves have had to die.

(3) In other words, death would have been the inevitable end of
everyone, “all,” because “the wages of sin is death” (Rom.
6:23). Sin
kills; the poison sting is in the sin itself. The end has always been
wrapped up in the sinning. It’s not an arbitrary, malicious
condemnation on the part of God.

(4) That “death” is what Jesus described in our beloved text of
3:16--to “perish.” As 2 + 2 = 4, the logic is inescapable: if
“perished” in place of all perishing, then He saved “all” from
perishing, and “all” can see themselves in a new light: they have
escaped that terrible fate because of how He “perished” for them.

(5) The death that Jesus died is the “perishing” kind--what the
says is “the second death” (Rev. 2:11; 20:14). You came within a
breadth of suffering it yourself, except that Christ “perished” in
for you. That’s the death He died.

(6) Now you are “constrained” to deny self and to live only for
Now “easy” to be saved and “hard” to be lost make sense--all
because of
that “love” (agape).

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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Dial Daily Bread

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread":

Justification is the best good news anyone will ever hear, for it is
the proclamation from God Himself that sets you free from condemnation
forever. It’s the news that you walk out of prison (imagine you’ve
been on Death Row in your state prison, and you are at last vindicated or
acquitted! You’d be quite happy, wouldn’t you? Now, be happier
“in Christ”!)

Some are perplexed by what they assume is a contradiction in Romans 5.
In verse 1 we read that we are “justified by faith,” that is, by
the believing that we do here and now today, experientially. It seems to
say that nothing happens until we believe, and that the initiative is
up to us. But in verse 9 we read that we are “justified by [Christ’s]
blood,” and that blood was something that happened and was shed 2000
years ago when He died on His cross.

When we are “justified by faith,” there are seven blessings we
experience according to Romans 5: (1) “we have peace with God,” (2)
“we have access . . . into this grace wherein we stand,” (3) we
“rejoice,” (4) “we glory in tribulations,” (5) we are no longer “ashamed,”
(6) “the love [agape] of God is shed abroad in our hearts,” (7) “the
Holy Spirit . . . is given unto us.”

Now the big question: are all these blessings the result of OUR doing
something? Do we trigger all this? Have we taken this initiative? Or is
all this the consequence of something that Christ accomplished on His
cross, and now at last we have heard of it and we believe it?

It is ONE justification, accomplished totally by the Savior of the
world. But appreciated, believed, experienced, by the repentant sinner,
who lets it change his heart and his life. At last he lets the Holy
Spirit change him; he stops resisting Him. Let that blessed one be you
and me!

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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Dial Daily Bread

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread":

All during this week, around the world millions of Christians are
focusing attention on the biblical idea of “justification.” What
the Bible teaches is clear as sunlight, but “the little horn” of
Daniel’s prophecies has sought to confuse this truth. It had been God’s
intention that “the faith of Jesus” should lighten the earth with
glory. But the great “falling away” (apostasy) that Paul predicted
in 2 Thessalonians 2 (based on Daniel!) was the work of “the man of sin”

(vss. 3-7). He has stirred up debate and confusion about
“justification.” These have darkened this glorious truth for many
sincere people. (Maybe you, too!).

The New English Bible aptly defines that big word “justification”
as simply God’s “verdict of acquittal” (Rom. 5:16, NEB). Our enemy,
Satan, condemns us in God’s law court; he himself is shut out of heaven, and
charges that we should be, too. But God steps in and vindicates,
“acquits” us, as though we had never sinned. Now He can send His
rain and sunshine on all alike as though we were innocent. He gives “all
men” this “free gift . . . unto justification of life” (vs. 18,
KJV; Matt. 5:45). But how can the Father pronounce this “acquittal” that
Satan hates? Is it fair? Muslims say, “No!” But what’s the Bible

The Son of God has become “the second Adam,” the new corporate Head
of our human race, has taken all our guilt in upon Himself (“the Lord
hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all,” Isa. 53:6), accepted our
condemnation, died our second death both “for us” and “as us,”
and thus has “acquitted” us. We are “justified by His blood,” says Paul
(Rom. 5:9), which was shed at the cross of Jesus. Six times Paul says the
“acquittal” is a “gift” given to “all men.” “Many” reject the “gift,”
throw it away, “sell the birthright.” But if you clasp it to your
heart, cherish it, keep it, appreciate it, that is, “believe”--you
cannot be lost.

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Monday, June 02, 2008

Dial Daily Bread

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread":

A thoughtful subscriber writes a question: “Is it possible that some
people might believe and yet not obey the truth? James says ‘the
devils believe and tremble.’ Is that word ‘believe’ the same one?”

Yes, it is. But the problem with the devils’ “believing” is that
they “tremble” (“shudder,” Greek). Their motivation is fear or
horror or hatred. The “love” (agape) which they have seen does not
“constrain” them to selfless living (2 Cor. 5:14, 15) but they dread the final
judgment and hate those who do appreciate agape. That’s why James
says their “faith” is “without works”--they have gone the utter
length of hard-heartedness. Isaac Watts describes faith: “When I survey the
wondrous cross / On which the Prince of glory died, / My richest gain I
count but loss, / And pour contempt on all my pride.” The devils
“believe” their doom is coming but they “pour” hatred on
Christ. They don’t “survey” the cross with appreciation but with bitterness.

Is it possible for us humans for whom the Son of God died (please
remember, He did NOT die for the fallen angels!)--is it possible for us
to “believe” and not obey? No. That’s the point of John 3:16,
Romans 1:16, Galatians 5:6, etc. One can’t “believe” and continue in
sin. Those who at last enforce “the mark of the beast” and seek to
destroy God’s true people will claim that they “believe,” but at that
time “Babylon” will have “become the habitation of devils,” and thus
the epitome of a presumption that has replaced biblical faith (Rev. 18:3).
Today, let’s look l-o-n-g at that cross!

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