Entries by YMI

Amy Peterson The Banished Missionary

Amy Peterson: The Banished Missionary

Written By Constance Goh Ministering in a country where Christians are a minority can sound daunting even for an experienced missionary. However, for Amy Peterson—a 22-year-old fresh graduate at the time—the thought itself was exciting. “Going to a place unreached with the Gospel was exactly what I wanted to do,” she says. The young hopeful […]

ODJ_250417

ODJ: Hidden Sins

I was ready to board a plane when my flight was cancelled due to engine failure. Unable to get on another flight, I had to wait until the next day. Because of my travel woes, the airline paid for my overnight stay at a nearby hotel. I was exhausted and ready for a good night’s sleep, but I wasn’t able to rest well because of the jarring sound of jet engines. Perhaps if I lived right ne

April 25, 2017 

READ: Galatians 2:11-21 


I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you (Psalm 119:11). 

I was ready to board a plane when my flight was cancelled due to engine failure. Unable to get on another flight, I had to wait until the next day. Because of my travel woes, the airline paid for my overnight stay at a nearby hotel. I was exhausted and ready for a good night’s sleep, but I wasn’t able to rest well because of the jarring sound of jet engines. Perhaps if I lived right near an airport, I’d be used to the sound of jets taking off and landing and would sleep right through the night!

Similarly, we can become so accustomed to ignoring sin that it fades into the background, and we grow increasingly numb to it. And if we continue down the path of ignoring sin instead of confessing it, we’re in danger of bringing “sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit” (Ephesians 4:30). Having a deadened conscience would mean that we would no longer clearly hear the alarm bells of our conscience accusing or warning us of wrongdoing. Eventually, we wouldn’t even feel guilty for the sin we’re committing, having become completely insensitive to it.

How do we avoid this dangerous progression? A primary way is to follow the example of the Psalmist who wrote: “I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:11). The Holy Spirit can use Scripture hidden in our hearts to expose sin and prick our consciences.

The Spirit also uses others to help us see our sin. Paul had to confront Peter about his hypocrisy (Galatians 2:11-14). It’s crucial for us to be reminded that we have been “crucified with Christ. It is no longer [we] who live, but Christ lives in [us]” (v.20). In His power, we can confront hidden sins.

—Marlena Graves

365-day plan: 2 Kings 5:1-27

MORE
Read Colossians 3:5 and consider what we are to put to death. 
NEXT
How have you been trying to deal with your sin? How has the Holy Spirit been working through God’s Word and others to expose it? 

(Check out Our Daily Journey website!)

ODB_250417

ODB: Don’t Give Up

Bob Foster, my mentor and friend for more than fifty years, never gave up on me. His unchanging friendship and encouragement, even during my darkest times, helped carry me through.We often find ourselves determined to reach out and help someone we know who is in great need. But when we fail to see improvement right away, our resolve can weaken and we may eventually give up. We discover t

April 25, 2017 

READ: Galatians 6:1–10 

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

 

Bob Foster, my mentor and friend for more than fifty years, never gave up on me. His unchanging friendship and encouragement, even during my darkest times, helped carry me through.

We often find ourselves determined to reach out and help someone we know who is in great need. But when we fail to see improvement right away, our resolve can weaken and we may eventually give up. We discover that what we hoped would be an immediate change has become an ongoing process.

The apostle Paul urges us to be patient in helping one another through the stumbles and struggles of life. When he writes, “Carry each other’s burdens” and so “fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2), he is comparing our task to the work, time, and waiting it takes for a farmer to see a harvest.   

How long should we keep praying and reaching out to those we love? “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up”  (v. 9). How many times should we reach out? “As we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” (v. 10).

The Lord encourages us today to trust Him, to remain faithful to others, to keep on praying, and to not give up!

— David McCasland

Father in heaven, we ask for hope and perseverance to continue reaching out to others.


In prayer we call on God “who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.” Ephesians 3:20

 

ODJ_240417

ODJ: The Kingdom We Long For

I remember the way grief hung so heavy the morning after news broke of the deadliest mass shooting in US history in 2016. This shooting happened just days from the one year anniversary of yet another shooting: a racially motivated killing at an African-American church. Have we learned nothing? Will we continue to kill one another? Must communities live in fear?In such moments I often feel helpless

April 24, 2017 

READ: Jeremiah 23:1-6 


He will be a King who rules with wisdom. He will do what is just and right throughout the land (v.5). 

I remember the way grief hung so heavy the morning after news broke of the deadliest mass shooting in US history in 2016. This shooting happened just days from the one year anniversary of yet another shooting: a racially motivated killing at an African-American church. Have we learned nothing? Will we continue to kill one another? Must communities live in fear?

In such moments I often feel helpless, and need to return again to Scripture’s ancient wisdom to learn from the people who have gone before us. Israel knew much about devastation, violence and oppression. But they also had a relentless hope in the God who would save them. As believers, we can join Israel’s tear-drenched prayer: “Save us, O Lord our God! Gather us back from among the nations, so we can thank your holy name and rejoice and praise you” (Psalm 106:47).

The prophet Jeremiah assured God’s people that “the time [was] coming” when a righteous king would come to rule—a powerful and good king whose kingdom would extend to every nation (Jeremiah 23:5). This king would “do what is just and right”. When He came, “Judah [would] be saved and Israel [would] live in safety” (vv.5-6).

Jesus has come, and God’s kingdom entered with Him. But this kingdom has not yet arrived in all its fullness, and we still encounter the bitter pain of violence and evil. Until God’s kingdom comes in final victory, we work and we utter prayers like this: We pray for God’s kingdom of peace over violence, God’s kingdom of love over hate, God’s kingdom of hope over despair and God’s kingdom of friendship over estrangement and isolation. May the kingdom of Jesus Christ rule over every rival kingdom. O God, make Your kingdom come in us. Amen.

—Winn Collier

365-day plan: 2 Kings 2:13-25

MORE
Read Matthew 5:3-10 and consider what it means to be part of Jesus’ kingdom on earth. 
NEXT
What makes you most desperate for the fullness of God’s kingdom to arrive? Write down your own prayer for God’s kingdom to come— then offer it to Him. 

(Check out Our Daily Journey website!)