Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Dial Daily Bread: The Sacrificial Love of a Humble Child

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

We've been privileged today to listen to someone tell again the familiar story of Jesus feeding the 5000 as it is told in John 6:2-14.

(a) Although He was the divine Son of God, Jesus was powerless to "feed" that hungry multitude in Galilee until that "lad" started the proceedings by GIVING his lunch that his mother had prepared for him. It involved some really sacrificial love on the part of someone. This time a humble child.

(b) We never read that Jesus snapped His fingers and produced bread for hungry people, "bread" produced out of nothing.

(c) He had to begin with some "bread" that someone out of love had GIVEN, "bread" given through sacrificial love.

(d) Then He could add His blessings to it.

(e) Every blessing that Jesus does for the world is involved in cooperation with Him in His ministry for the world.

His self-sacrificial ministry is shared with us!

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

Dial Daily Bread: A Change in Nature From the Inside Out

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

It was my hap today to be in a group that watched a documentary on life in the Serengeti Plain of East Africa and in the Kruger Park in South Africa.

Of course it was interesting; but it was also very sad. To a great extent, the "Africa" story is the predation of the strong over the weak; come sundown and darkness over the African plains, and there is predation, cruel and blood-thirsty.

It's always the strong over the weak, merciless and cruel.

An exception is the giraffe; they are gentle to everybody and are not predators over anybody; their strictly vegetarian diet doubtless has much to do with their gentleness and their "live and let live" philosophy of life; but they are the exceptions in the African plains.

But there is a change coming: the Lord has promised that He will create "new heavens and a new earth" and "they shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain" (Isaiah 65:25). The Lord's "holy mountain" is the "new heavens and new earth" that He will create (vs. 17).

There will come a great change over wolves and lions: "The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock. ... They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, saith the Lord" (65:25).

That's a great change to come over the lion! A change in his very nature from the inside out.

There will be no lion present in the new earth that the Lord will create that has not had his very nature changed in this way!

And there is good news of righteousness by faith in this story of the change in the lion's nature: it will be the Lord Jesus who changes the nature of the lion! Yes, although the lion is not capable of understanding theology, he will demonstrate for all the world to see, this change in the lion's basic nature from the inside out!

Our fallen, sinful nature that is "enmity against God" (Romans 8:7) is to be changed now, today, through personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

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

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Dial Daily Bread: Stewardship

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

Is there a better word than "stewardship" in describing our relationship to Jesus in His work of proclaiming the gospel "to every creature"?

Jesus said, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark16:15).

(a) That command of Jesus requires that we support those who "go."

(b) That means, first of all, the giving of tithe--one tenth of our "increase" that the Lord gives us.

(c) It's not a legalistic assessment upon us; it's fellowship with Jesus in His work. It's working together with the Lord Jesus in His work of proclaiming the gospel "to every creature" "in all the world."

(d) That's the work that the Lord Jesus loves. A "steward" is someone who cares for property; the word "stewardship" can be understood to imply a legalistic connection with the Lord Jesus in His work of proclaiming the gospel to "every creature."

(e) But it's almost infinitely beyond that; you never get to really know someone until you get down working with him in digging the ditch; "stewardship" rightly understood is getting down in the ditch digging with the Lord Jesus; sharing His heart burden for the world.

(f) Jesus said "Go ye ..." and that requires that we support those who give their lives to "go."

(g) This particular writer tonight is one who obeyed the call "Go ye" in 1945, to Uganda in East Africa, to proclaim the third angel's message in verity to the people there.

(h) Now this writer is unable to "go" physically, but his heart is still there in East Africa.

(i) Your "going" may not be to Africa or any such romantic place overseas, but it may mean next door; or it may mean, teaching "the everlasting gospel" instead of legalism to children or youth in your local Sabbath School.

(j) If our hearts can be "enlarged" to comprehend the "breadth, and length, and depth, and height" of the love [agape] of Christ in the true gospel (cf. Ephesians 3:14-21; Psalm 119:32), the Holy Spirit will take over our ministry and our teaching; and everything we do for the Lord Jesus will bear eternal fruit.

(k) That will be a happy "stewardship," both for now and for eternity.

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

Dial Daily Bread: Hope for Troubled Hearts

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

I have a friend who needs a job so he can make enough money to live on. I know nothing of his past; I just know that he is praying to find a job so he can earn money to live on--not get rich, just l-i-v-e.

He is not alone in today's economic world.

And his fear of want and hunger may well become far more common in future, than it is now among us.

I am not a multi-billionaire, and if I were one, I would not know how to use the money.

But I know that the Lord Jesus IS a multi-billionaire; but He is far too wise to dish out money recklessly; He loves people too much to do that.

There may be some reading this mini-message who themselves can remember times when they were actually hungry, for want of necessary money; especially students who have tried to work their way through missionary college education. This writer was privileged to minister some years in East Africa where many aspiring students long to find a way to work their way through missionary college.

The word of the Lord is always hope-inspiring. For example, "I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. They looked unto Him and were lightened [the heavy burden was lifted!]. ... This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles."

And it's not just that "poor man" [who was David]; "the angel of the Lord encampeth round about [all] them that fear Him, and delivereth them." (Psalm 34:6, 7).

May this mini-message bring hope to many troubled hearts!

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

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Dial Daily Bread: Lifted Out of the "Horrible Pit"

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

Is human life ever cheap? Hitler thought so, and many people are tempted to think of themselves as useless, of no value.

But the Son of God in the highest place in God's great universe humbled Himself and came down to become one of us, and in so doing He invested all human beings as being of infinite value in Himself.

Because the Lord Jesus Christ became one of us, He adopted us in Himself:

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ, ... having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, ... He hath made us accepted in the Beloved" (Eph. 1:3-6).

The "us" is every human being, no matter how sinful or unworthy; He has taken the initiative to lift us up out of the "horrible pit" in which this world in sin has fallen; without asking us first, He has chosen to "adopt" us "in Himself."

It has already been done, and no one can undo it; but we do have the freedom of choice to refuse it.

The gift has been given, and even though through sinful rebellion we refuse to receive it, still it has been GIVEN.

In the end, in the final judgment, our sinful record of itself will not keep us out of heaven and eternal life because in Christ God has forgiven us and accepted us.

We can be lost only through sinful unbelief to refuse to believe how good the "good news" of the gospel is.

"But don't we have to work, in order to be saved?" someone may ask.

Our duty is to believe. But we need to understand what it means to "believe."

To "believe" is to let our sinful human heart learn to appreciate the "breadth, and length, and depth, and height, and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge" (Eph. 3:14-19).

In short, to do what John the Baptist calls us to do, "Behold the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29).

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

Dial Daily Bread: Graduation Time

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

It's graduation time for many young people. What do we give them?

Seriously, without wanting to be trite, what do they need more than the gospel as Good News for their hungry young hearts? Whether or not you give them fun gifts and treat them like they deserve some great reward (which graduates don't deserve--they need to acquire a sense of responsibility), they will get the fun they want, and it will sooner or later leave them hungrier than ever for something satisfying for their starved souls.

Try to find some books (or maybe CDs or DVDs?) that will not be mere "baby food" and boring, but something that will stimulate their thinking and awaken them spiritually.

Selecting the right gift will be more of a task for you than finding a gadget to buy for them.

Contemplate first the value of a young person knowing what is "the everlasting gospel," or what Revelation 14 describes as "the third angel's message" (let me add, "in verity"). Knowing the truth is a tremendous blessing to a young mind, for Jesus said, "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32). Free from the entrapments of deception; free from despair (depression is severe among young people); free from dead-end living for self. I cannot describe the blessing that reading one good book did for me when I was in my late teens or early 20's.

I'll recommend it herewith: it's a verse-by-verse study of Paul's Letter to the Galatians that I personally found not only interesting, but have treasured as inspiring to me in a life-long way: THE GLAD TIDINGS by E. J. Waggoner. Would your young person find it as helpful as I did when I was young? Well, I'm not all-wise by any means; all I can say is that it was and is the clearest, most winsome presentation of the genuine GOOD NEWS I have ever found.

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

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Dial Daily Bread: Afraid of the Judgment?

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

Should you and I be afraid of the judgment? Is it like a final exam that students face, the kind where they cram the night before and come to it trembling with fear? There is a judgment that comes before Christ returns--otherwise He could not bring His reward with Him to give every man according as his work has been (Rev. 22:12). And before there can be a resurrection, there must be an "accounting," which is a judgment to determine who is "accounted worthy" to come up in that most glorious of blessings--the first resurrection (Luke 20:35). But can we know anything about when that pre-Advent judgment is to take place? Does the 2300 days prophecy of Daniel 8:14 make any sense?

(1) The Day of Atonement in the Hebrew sanctuary service was an object lesson of that final pre-Advent judgment.

(2) The Lord did not intend that its purpose should be to condemn Israel or the people, but "on that day shall the [high] priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the Lord" (Lev. 16:30).

(3) That precisely is the purpose of the investigative judgment--not to condemn God's people, but to cleanse them so they can meet Jesus in person when He returns.

(4) There is sin, conscious and unconscious, that must be discovered, repented of, "overcome" (Rev. 3:21), so that those who follow the great High Priest in His closing work of Atonement may not be consumed by the brightness of Jesus' coming. That's going to be a serious moment!

(5) The High Priest doesn't want to condemn you; He wants to vindicate you--that's the only judgment He wants to make in your case.

(6) Don't stop Him, don't hinder His on-going work!

(7) The Septuagint translators of Daniel 8:14, 150 years B.C., clearly saw in the 2300 day prophecy a reference to the Day of Atonement; and long before there were any people known as Seventh-day Adventists, Christian scholars saw that 1844 was the terminus of that prophecy.

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

Dial Daily Bread: The Business Jesus Is In

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

How can you know if God is pleased with you? You know He loves you because the Bible says He loves the world, that is, He loves everybody; but is He happy, pleased, with you personally?

We can't evade what Jesus Says--in the final judgment He will be forced to tell "many" people who expect Him to congratulate them, "I never knew you!" (Matt. 7:22, 23). He loved those people, yes; but He was never one with them. The same picture emerges in the Book of Revelation when He feels forced to tell "the angel of the church of the Laodiceans," "You make Me so sick at My stomach I feel like throwing up!" (3:16; that's what the literal Greek says--cf. Peterson's The Message rendition). The people so addressed have been naive, thinking that "all is well" with them, feeling "rich and increased with goods, in need of nothing" and naked in public (vs. 17). They were so self-deceived they thought Jesus was pleased with them.

If there is anything we want to avoid, it's ending up in that naive condition. What can we do?

(1) Pray David's Psalm 51, realizing that we have no innate goodness of our own. It's only the grace of Christ that has saved us from whatever sins somebody else may be guilty of (that's the reality of corporate guilt). The ones the Lord is pleased with are those of Isaiah 66:2, "To this man will I look; even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at My word."

(2) The Lord doesn't go around behind your back, hiding reality from you. Have a frank visit with Him and ask Him straight out, "Lord, are You pleased with me?" You know He loves you for He loves everybody; but what you want to know is, "Lord do you KNOW me? Am I 'this man' to whom you 'look'?"

Stay on your knees; He will receive you and He will answer your prayer. In fact, that's the precise business that Jesus is in just now!

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

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Dial Daily Bread: "Glorying" Not a "Work"

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

Let's look again at what Paul says about "glorying" in the cross of Jesus:

(a) He says, "God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world" (Galatians 6:14):

(b) This "glorying" was not a "work." It had no merit for him, in itself.

(c) It was his heart reaction, his heart-appreciation for what it cost the Son of God to save us.

(d) Herein we see the Bible definition of what faith is, the definition that transcends that of the learned tomes:

(e) Faith is a heart-appreciation of the love [agape] that drove the Son of God to His cross to die our second death for us.

(f) As with Paul, such "glorying" has no merit in it for us!

(g) We can never work our way into heaven; only by His "much more abounding grace" Christ will save us to eternal life.

(h) We would be utterly miserable living forever in the New Jerusalem if our hearts were still worldly, devoted to righteousness by works.

(i) Therefore, because the Bible says that "God is love" (1 John 4:8), He would never imprison any of us in the New Jerusalem where we would be miserable nursing our self-righteousness.

(j) The gates of the New Jerusalem, like the arms of Jesus, are open wide, and all who will may enter and no one will be denied; but no one will want to enter who is still devoted to the principle of righteousness by works.

(k) Therefore it is that the Lord will give everyone what he/she really wants above all else.

(l) And it follows that no one will perish at last in the second death who does not want to.

(m) Thank you, dear Lord, that you are agape-love!

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

Dial Daily Bread: To "Glory" in the Cross"

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

To "glory" in something is to think of it night and day, to be obsessed with it, to love it with all your heart. It may be a new dress, or a new house, or a new car; it's on your mind all the time.

"Our beloved brother Paul" (cf. 2 Peter 3:15) "gloried" in the cross of Jesus. He said, "God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world" (Galatians 6:14).

He was obsessed with an understanding of the love that drove the Son of God to go to hell in order to save us; that heart appreciation for him surmounted every other love of his life.

He saw therein a love that is stronger than death, a love that is as wide as eternity; the Son of God became one of us, became "man," and died the second death of every human being who has ever come into the world.

Yours, included.

In Hindu terms, He paid and exhausted the karma of every human being.

He lifted from every human heart the burden of our guilt.

Let's go to our knees, and thank Him!

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

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Dial Daily Bread: A Forever Commitment

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

Our little group has been singing choruses, "Jesus is the sweetest name I know," etc. Beautiful!

But why is this so?

We answer glibly, "Because He died for us!" And that is true.

But what kind of death did He die? The kind that lasts only a weekend? The Father resurrected Him!

Anyone who has suffered the physical horror of crucifixion will rejoice just to sleep for a weekend.

But that was not the death that the Lord Jesus suffered.

He died the world's second death. Isaiah describes it, "He poured out His soul unto death" (Isaiah 53:12). Like when you turn a bottle upside down and drain every drop; Jesus chose to go to hell for us--that's what was involved when He died our "second death."

No, He did not die forever, for the Father resurrected Him after the third day. The apostle Peter rightly discerned that the grave could not hold Jesus, for He was innocent: "Thou wilt not leave My soul in hell, neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption" (Acts 2:27).

But He made the commitment to die for us forever!

And in the vast universe of God, the commitment is the deed.

When we are able to "comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love [agape] of Christ which passeth knowledge" (Ephesians 3:17-19), we can do nothing less than give ourselves to Him totally, and forever.

The motivation has not a trace of fear in it: it's heart gratitude for His agape-love.

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

Dial Daily Bread: The Arms of Jesus

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

The gates of the New Jerusalem are opened wide, and no one who wants to enter and would be happy there is denied.

The reason is that the gates of the New Jerusalem are the same as the arms of Jesus. He has said, "Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out" (John 6:37).

And the last page of the Bible is full of the Savior's welcome: "The [Holy] Spirit and the Bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely" (Revelation 22:17).

So what the Bible says is, "Him that comerth to the New Jerusalem because he will be happy there, Jesus will in no wise cast out."

Have you sinned? The Son of God is a Savior who forgives. "Out of the depths have I cried unto Thee, O Lord. ... There is forgiveness with Thee, that Thou mayest be feared [reverenced]" (Psalm 130:1-4).

The Son of God is a real Person; He has given Himself to us, the human race; He is "on call" for us day and night, 24 hours, 7 days a week.

Your "job" is to come to Him.

If you don't know how to pray, the familiar "Lord's Prayer" is a good one: "Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name ..."

Come; just kneel, and wait before Him.

"Wait, I say, on the Lord" (Psalm 27:14).

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

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Dial Daily Bread: God Did the Unthinkable

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

When God the Father, our Creator, found Himself confronted with a world [this fallen planet] that had rebelled against Him, He did the unthinkable: He frankly forgave us all!

This astonished the unfallen universe.

He sent His only Son, GAVE Him, to die our second death.

The death of Jesus was infinitely more than a weekend of sleep (which any crucified person would appreciate; crucifixion did not kill people, it merely tortured them); the kind of death that Jesus died was what He described when He screamed on His cross, "My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" The death that Jesus died is God-forsakenness. That's what hell is.

He knew He was dying our second death; He knew He was entering hell for us--the hell that has no ending, no light at the end of its dark tunnel.

Someone may object, "but He was resurrected the third day!" This understanding that many have diminishes the sacrifice of Christ and deprives us of the ability to appreciate its grand dimensions.

Crucifixion is a terribly painful experience but it is not lethal. Victims could live on for days, even weeks. It's just torture. But Jesus knew that the death He was dying is the unending hell--the "curse" of God.

Moses had said it truly, "He that is hanged [on a tree] is accursed of God" (Deut. 21:23). Everybody believed Moses, including Jesus, which is why He screamed in His agony, "My God why have You forsaken Me?" The cross was the proof of God's forsakenness of Him.

Hell is the infinite curse of God, the Father; there are no measurable dimensions to the extent of its horror; yet Jesus chose to enter into that; and the Father chose to GIVE Him to it! (Maybe more tomorrow.)

When we sinners even begin to see its "breadth, and length, and depth, and height" (Eph. 3:18), there is no end to the devotion that this divine love motivates us to give to Him forever!

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

Dial Daily Bread: Paul's Brilliant Insight

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

The world is indebted to "our beloved brother Paul" the apostle (cf. 2 Peter 3:15) for his brilliant insights into the meaning of the gospel of Jesus.

Perhaps the most beautiful is what he [Paul] writes in Romans chapter 5. Only a man of genius-spiritual capacity could have thought of this idea:

"It was through one man [Adam] that sin entered the world, and through sin [came] death, and thus death pervaded the whole human race ... " (vs. 12).

Well, adds Paul, we don't want to blame everything on Adam; the fact is, "we all sinned."

"But God's act of grace [in giving us Christ] is out of all proportion to Adam's wrongdoing, ... which brought death upon so many."

But the grace of God and the gift that came to so many by the grace of the one man Jesus Christ "vastly exceeded" the wrong that Adam brought on the human race (vss. 15-17).

"The judicial action, following on the one offence, resulted in a [judicial] verdict of condemnation, but the act of grace [the sacrifice of Christ on His cross] resulted in a verdict of acquittal" for the whole human race!

Brilliant thinking!

Because of Christ's cross, the Father is now free to treat every human being as though he/she had never sinned!

Now, what is our duty?

It's to appreciate what Christ has done: "With the heart man believeth unto righteousness" (Romans 10:10).

Therefore a clear definition of what is faith is this: a heart-appreciation of what it cost the Son of God to purchase for us our salvation from the second death.

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

Monday, June 15, 2009

Dial Daily Bread: The Cat and the Quail

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

Someone may say that I am unfairly accusing our community cat for the disappearance of our one remaining quail.

Could be a coyote, of course; coyotes and cats have a similar nature, but our Napa Valley is so thickly settled that I wonder if a coyote would want to infiltrate our human presence here (I suppose some old-timer will tell me of times when coyotes have gotten in).

But knowing the nature of our lovable pets, cats, I still can't help feeling that the cat may know something. We can pet these little creatures and they will purr delightedly, but they are by nature predators. And God has not promised a new nature for cats of any kind until after the second coming of Jesus Christ.

(a) When He comes, and He re-creates our earth into His glorious "new earth" (see Revelation 22:1-7, etc.), all who will inhabit His glorious "earth made new" will have experienced a change in their nature.

(b) People are by nature predators even as cats are, for Romans 8:7 says, "The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." We who are by nature at "enmity against God" have all the evil within our nature that is in being predators.

(c) We ALL need to be converted; we ALL need a new nature; we ALL need a Savior from ourselves.

(d) Think of the tremendous change in nature that the lion will experience in God's great new earth: "The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock. ... They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, saith the Lord" (Isaiah 65:25).å

(e) That means there will be no predators in that wonderful new earth!

(f) If the lion can experience such a tremendous change in nature, why can't we experience a change in our nature now by the much more abounding grace of our Lord Jesus Christ?

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

Dial Daily Bread: The Crucifixion--Why?

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

Our most loved Bible text says, "God so loved the world ..." (John 3:16).

(a) Then it goes on to say that He did something about His love! He is not a secret lover!

(b) What He did was to GIVE His only Son for the people whom He loved--the inhabitants of this lost planet.

(c) He did not merely offer to give Him IF we lost people did something first.

(d) No, the Father GAVE Him outright--not to go to sleep for a weekend; but to die our SECOND death--the everlasting one.

(e) "But," you say, "it was only for a weekend; then He resurrected Him."

(f) Crucifixion does not kill people outright; victims could survive for days or longer, in constant torture; it was the most horrible death ever invented by man.

(g) But that does not mean that the Father merely lent Him to us for a weekend; when Jesus was hanging on the cross, He cried out in soul anguish, "My God, why have You forsaken Me?"

(h) Those were not crocodile tears, not something spicy to add to the story; no; the Father truly FORSOOK His Son.

(i) Turned His back on Him; cast Him out of heaven--cast Him into hell.

(j) Why?

(k) The only possible answer: because the Father loved us.

(l) He also loved His only Son; but when the Father GAVE Him for us, what does that tell us about His love for us?

(m) You please answer that question!

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

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Dial Daily Bread: A Lesson From the Quail

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

Quail are beautiful birds; their distinguished headdress marks them as special.

I am not an ornithologist; but I have observed numerous little quail families start life; the little ones run excitedly to keep up with their mothers.

But I have also been saddened to see these little families disappear--that is, most of them; whether it's because of coyotes, or dogs, or just people, I don't know.

But when it happens I feel saddened that there is so much violence and predation in our earth.

But I am encouraged by a promise in Isaiah 65: "They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, saith the Lord" (vs. 25).

There will be no predators there; and even the lions will become vegetarians! "The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock."

That means that the lion will experience a change in his very nature! (I long for that time to come!)

"In all My holy mountain" means in all the new earth that the Lord will create for our eternal enjoyment.

Two lessons stand our for us especially:

(a) The fact that the lion will experience a great change in his way of living emphasizes that all the people who inherit a place in that wonderful new earth will also experience a great change in themselves.

(b) That change will come NOW, by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Sin makes predators out of sinful people; side by side with wild lions we will be changed in character; I didn't say "nature" for believers in Christ will still bear their sinful nature when the Lord Jesus returns the second time; BUT they will have learned to govern "self" and thus will gain the victory.

"I am crucified with Christ" will be the triumphant shout of victory coming from every follower of Jesus in these last days (see Gal. 2:20).

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

Dial Daily Bread: Heaven's Supermarket

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

Have you ever walked along the west side of a river, or lake, or the ocean, and watched the moon rise? I have often, in Kenya, at Malindi on the Indian Ocean coast. Between where you stand and the moon is a shimmering path of light. Then if you walk along the beach, that path of light moves with you, so that always from whatever spot where you stand there is a path of light leading direct to the moon.

From where you stand at this moment there is a path that leads direct to Jesus, the Savior. He is our Son of man but He is also the Son of God, and God is infinite. He has billions of people on earth to care for, but being infinite He cares for you as if you were the only one on earth. The sun, the moon, rises for YOUR benefit; the Father of our Lord Jesus is YOUR Father. No matter what mistakes or sins you are guilty of, there is your Savior meeting you right where you are. "Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out," is His assurance (John 6:37).

Not one person who reads this is sinless; all of us have fallen. But His business is receiving sinners. Our job is to believe it. And that believing is for sure the most difficult task we have; we have all been born and nurtured in unbelief. Israel could not enter the Promised Land because of unbelief. Nothing but unbelief will keep any soul out of heaven at last (read Heb. 3:7-19, and 6:1-6, etc.). And Jesus says the same thing in John 3:14-19. This is why we are always to pray the prayer of that distraught father, "Lord, I believe; help Thou my unbelief" (Mark 9:23, 24).

You don't want to be proud and arrogant, for that is the lethal sin of "the angel of the church of the Laodiceans" (Rev. 3:14-17). Come to Jesus but remember there is no path that leads to Him but repentance and humbleness of heart. Two heavenly commodities not seen much in society or even the church, but available in Heaven's Supermarket, and they are yours for free for the receiving.

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