Entries by YMI

ODJ_290417

ODJ: Subscribe to God’s Help

Unsolicited emails are as annoying as a swarm of insects. Perhaps you made an online purchase and later received a stream of follow-up emails enticing you to buy other products. There’s only one way to try to stop them—unsubscribe!Don’t you wish you could also unsubscribe from nagging temptations that attempt to lure you away from Jesus? While we can’t eliminate temptation,

April 29, 2017 

READ: Matthew 26:36-46 


Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak! (v.41). 

Unsolicited emails are as annoying as a swarm of insects. Perhaps you made an online purchase and later received a stream of follow-up emails enticing you to buy other products. There’s only one way to try to stop them—unsubscribe!

Don’t you wish you could also unsubscribe from nagging temptations that attempt to lure you away from Jesus? While we can’t eliminate temptation, it’s encouraging to know we can subscribe to God’s help in our struggles with sin.

After spending time agonising in prayer, Jesus returned to the three disciples, who should have been praying with Him. What He found was discouraging. They had slipped into slumber—failing another test (Matthew 26:40). Their deep sleep solicited a gentle rebuke and challenge from their Leader and Lord. Jesus urged them to remain spiritually alert and to continue praying to God for extra power to fight against temptation (v.41). God’s strength would shore up their defences and help them remain faithful to Jesus, especially in the dark hours that followed.

Like unsolicited emails, temptations keep coming at us in a variety of ways. Though we may not feel strong enough to ward them off, we’re not powerless to fight against them. We have the Spirit of the risen Christ empowering us in our struggle against sin. Because He has defeated sin, we too can experience victory. Our connection to His power through consistent and persistent prayer will assist us in fighting against our sinful desires and the devil—guarding our heart and strengthening our spirit. Then, instead of giving in to temptation, we’ll be able to resist its pull and stand strong by God’s faithful provision (1 Corinthians 10:13).

—Marvin Williams

365-day plan: Nehemiah 2:1-20

MORE
Read Matthew 4:4-10 to see how Jesus overcame temptation. 
NEXT
What temptations are you battling? How can you experience Christ’s victory and resist them? 

(Check out Our Daily Journey website!)

ODB_290417

ODB: When Morning Comes

It was very late when we stopped for the night at a country inn outside of Munich. We were delighted to see that our cozy room had a balcony, although an oppressive fog made it impossible to see into the darkness. But when the sun rose a few hours later, the haze began to fade. Then we could see what had been grimly shrouded the night before—a completely idyllic scene—peaceful and lush

April 29, 2017 

READ: Hebrews 11:1–8 

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

 

It was very late when we stopped for the night at a country inn outside of Munich. We were delighted to see that our cozy room had a balcony, although an oppressive fog made it impossible to see into the darkness. But when the sun rose a few hours later, the haze began to fade. Then we could see what had been grimly shrouded the night before—a completely idyllic scene—peaceful and lush green meadow, sheep grazing with tiny tinkling bells about their necks, and big white clouds in the sky that looked exactly like more sheep—huge, fluffy sheep!

Sometimes life can get clouded over by a heavy fog of despair. Our situation may look so dark that we begin to lose hope. But just as the sun burns away a fog, our faith in God can burn away the haze of doubt. Hebrews 11 defines faith as “confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (v. 1). The passage goes on to remind us of the faith of Noah, who was “warned about things not yet seen,” yet obeyed God (v. 7). And Abraham who went where God directed—even though he didn’t know where that would be (v. 8).

Though we have not seen Him and cannot always feel His presence, God is always present and will help us through our darkest nights. 

— Cindy Hess Kasper

Father, thank You for Your promise to walk with us through all of life. In moments of doubt, help us to have the confidence You are in control and we can trust You.


Faith is the radar that sees through the fog. Corrie ten Boom

 

ODJ_280417

ODJ: Taking on Too Much

My eldest daughter is extremely helpful at home—caring for her younger siblings and even baking cakes for their birthdays. But in her desire to be helpful, she sometimes takes on things that she shouldn’t—such as trying to discipline her siblings or demand that they sit up straight at the table. When she does those things, I have to tell her to stop. This isn’t necessarily

April 28, 2017 

READ: Exodus 16:1-26 


Eat this food today, for today is a Sabbath day dedicated to the Lord. There will be no food on the ground today (v.25). 

My eldest daughter is extremely helpful at home—caring for her younger siblings and even baking cakes for their birthdays. But in her desire to be helpful, she sometimes takes on things that she shouldn’t—such as trying to discipline her siblings or demand that they sit up straight at the table. When she does those things, I have to tell her to stop. This isn’t necessarily because what she’s trying to promote is wrong, but because what she’s taking on is her parents’ role and too heavy for her shoulders.

In Exodus 16, God commanded the Israelites to “stop” as well: to cease gathering manna on the seventh day in honour of the Sabbath. In fact, one meaning of the Hebrew word for Sabbath is “to cease, or stop”. Part of the reason God commanded this was to see if the people of Israel would obey (v.4). But we also know from Jesus’ teaching in the gospels that “the Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27).

Because of this, I think another reason God commanded them to stop gathering manna was to remind them of where their provision truly came from—not from all their gathering and hard work, but from Him. In stopping their work, they were forced to remember that He alone was their true provider. His instruction to cease gathering was therefore far more than a command to stop working: it was a declaration to stop trying to be God and do what only He can do.

If we’re honest, so much of the stress and burdens of our lives come from us trying to be God—to do what He alone can do. What rest we can enjoy when we allow our heavenly Father control!

—Peter Chin

365-day plan: Ezra 3:7-13

MORE
Read Matthew 6:25-27 and meditate on the fact that we have a heavenly Father who cares for all of creation but loves us more than anything else He created. 
NEXT
What are you trying to take on that only God can do? How can you learn to rest in His power and provision? 

(Check out Our Daily Journey website!)

ODB_280417

ODB: An Alternative to Anger

One morning in Perth, Australia, Fionn Mulholland discovered his car was missing. That’s when he realized he had mistakenly parked in a restricted zone and his car had been towed away. After considering the situation—even the $600 towing and parking fine—Mulholland was frustrated, but he decided not to be angry with the person he would work with to retrieve his car. Instead of ve

April 28, 2017 

READ: Proverbs 20:1–15 

It is to one’s honor to avoid strife. Proverbs 20:3

 

One morning in Perth, Australia, Fionn Mulholland discovered his car was missing. That’s when he realized he had mistakenly parked in a restricted zone and his car had been towed away. After considering the situation—even the $600 towing and parking fine—Mulholland was frustrated, but he decided not to be angry with the person he would work with to retrieve his car. Instead of venting his feelings, Mulholland wrote a humorous poem about the situation and read it to the worker he met at the tow yard. The worker liked the poem, and a possible ugly confrontation never took place.

The book of Proverbs teaches, “It is to one’s honor to avoid strife” (20:3). Strife is that friction that either simmers under the surface or explodes in the open between people who disagree about something.

God has given us the resources to live peacefully with other people. His Word assures us that it’s possible to feel anger without letting it boil over into rage (Eph. 4:26). His Spirit enables us to override the sparks of fury that prompt us to do and say things to strike out at people who upset us. And God has given us His example to follow when we feel provoked (1 Peter 2:23). He is compassionate, gracious, and slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness (Ps. 86:15).

— Jennifer Benson Schuldt

Dear God, Please help me to manage my anger in a way that does not lead me into sin. Give me self-control through the power of Your Holy Spirit.


Be slow to anger.