Entries by YMI

ODJ_200317

ODJ: Source of All Life

Talking plants? Recent studies have shown that plants can communicate through airborne chemicals and underground networks of fungi. They can even warn neighbouring plants about dangers in their environment. And we’ve gone millennia without knowing this!One thing we have known is that plants need the sun to grow. Through photosynthesis, they use sunlight to create energy. But the cre

March 20, 2017 

READ: Genesis 1:9-18 


God said, “Let the land sprout with vegetation—every sort of seed-bearing plant, and trees that grow seed-bearing fruit” (v.11). 

Talking plants? Recent studies have shown that plants can communicate through airborne chemicals and underground networks of fungi. They can even warn neighbouring plants about dangers in their environment. And we’ve gone millennia without knowing this!

One thing we have known is that plants need the sun to grow. Through photosynthesis, they use sunlight to create energy. But the creation account curiously states that plants were created before the sun (Genesis 1:11). How could this be?

A sceptical mind might jump to the conclusion that because the ancient Israelites did not understand biology, they didn’t understand that plants needed sunlight. But even though they might not have understood the concept of photosynthesis, the Israelites did grow crops and were acutely aware that their crops needed the sun to survive. So how can we understand this seemingly obvious mistake?

For the Israelites, the truest source of life wasn’t the sun (v.16). Yes, they knew that sunlight was vital to plant life, but they also knew that an even more important source of life existed: Yahweh. The book of Revelation also reinforces this idea. When Christ comes again to establish His kingdom, there will be no need for a sun “for the Lord God will shine on them” (Revelation 22:5).

Although this might seem like nothing more than an interesting biblical insight, it’s an important reminder for us to always remember who’s the first and true source of all life and blessings. It’s not our job, money, education or intellect. All the blessings that we enjoy flow from our Creator: “Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens” (James 1:17).

—Peter Chin

365-day plan: 1 Samuel 3:1-21

MORE
Read 1 Corinthians 8:4-6 to see how Paul describes God’s role as the source of all things, including life itself. 
NEXT
What do you sometimes believe is more responsible for your blessings than God? How can we better remember that every blessing truly comes from Him? 

(Check out Our Daily Journey website!)

ODB_200317

ODB: Running and Rest

The headline caught my eye: “Rest Days Important for Runners.” In Tommy Manning’s article, the former member of the U.S. Mountain Running Team emphasized a principle that dedicated athletes sometimes ignore—the body needs time to rest and rebuild after exercise. “Physiologically, the adaptations that occur as a result of training only happen during rest,” Mannin

March 20, 2017 

READ: Mark 6:30–46 

[Jesus] said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Mark 6:31

 

The headline caught my eye: “Rest Days Important for Runners.” In Tommy Manning’s article, the former member of the U.S. Mountain Running Team emphasized a principle that dedicated athletes sometimes ignore—the body needs time to rest and rebuild after exercise. “Physiologically, the adaptations that occur as a result of training only happen during rest,” Manning wrote. “This means rest is as important as workouts.”

The same is true in our walk of faith and service. Regular times of rest are essential to avoid burnout and discouragement. Jesus sought spiritual balance during His life on Earth, even in the face of great demands. When His disciples returned from a strenuous time of teaching and healing others, “He said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest’” (Mark 6:31). But a large crowd followed them, so Jesus taught them and fed them with only five loaves and two fish (vv. 32–44). When everyone was gone, Jesus “went up on a mountainside to pray” (v. 46). 

If our lives are defined by work, then what we do becomes less and less effective. Jesus invites us to regularly join Him in a quiet place to pray and get some rest.

— David McCasland

Lord Jesus, thank You for Your example of prayer alone with Your Father. Give us wisdom and determination to make rest a priority as we follow You.


In our life of faith and service, rest is as important as work.

 

ODJ_190317

ODJ: Trapped in Sin

A police officer rescued a deer whose head had become lodged within a discarded light globe. The officer’s first attempt to pull the plastic object off the frightened animal’s head failed, although it came free during a second try. Officials estimate that the animal had been caught with the globe on its head for at least one full day!Similar to the deer’s helpless predicament, Pa

March 19, 2017 

READ: Romans 3:9-31 


Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins (v.24). 

A police officer rescued a deer whose head had become lodged within a discarded light globe. The officer’s first attempt to pull the plastic object off the frightened animal’s head failed, although it came free during a second try. Officials estimate that the animal had been caught with the globe on its head for at least one full day!

Similar to the deer’s helpless predicament, Paul says that we are poor, sinful, lost creatures, incapable of getting ourselves out of our own dilemma. He notes that our hearts are trapped in sin—all of us are born under sin’s power and “fall short of God’s glorious standard” (Romans 3:9,23).

In verses 10-18 the apostle quotes from six Old Testament passages, revealing that we’re born alienated from God, don’t naturally seek Him, have turned away from Him and don’t have a true view of His greatness. Without God, we’re utterly helpless and can’t rescue ourselves.

But in view of humanity’s helplessness, God stepped in and provided a perfect rescue by His grace through our faith in Jesus His Son (v.24). Jesus alone provided the perfect sacrifice God required, and His death for us on the cross satisfied the demands of sin—freeing us from the grip of sin and making a restored relationship with God possible (v.25).

You and I no longer need to remain trapped in sin. God saw our hopeless condition and extended grace, love and mercy in order to restore us to Himself. We’re rescued and “made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes” (vv.21-22).

Are you trapped by your sin? Receive God’s gift of salvation today through faith in Jesus!

—Marvin Williams

365-day plan: 1 Samuel 1:1-28

MORE
Read Isaiah 61:1 and Luke 4:18 and consider why Jesus came to us. 
NEXT
Read Isaiah 61:1 and Luke 4:18 and consider why Jesus came to us. 

(Check out Our Daily Journey website!)

ODB_190317

ODB: A Small Fire

It was a Sunday night in September and most people were sleeping when a small fire broke out in Thomas Farriner’s bakery on Pudding Lane. Soon the flames spread from house to house and London was engulfed in the Great Fire of 1666. Over 70,000 people were left homeless by the blaze that leveled four-fifths of the city. So much destruction from such a small fire!The Bible warns us of another

March 19, 2017 

READ: James 3:3–12  

The tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. James 3:5

 

It was a Sunday night in September and most people were sleeping when a small fire broke out in Thomas Farriner’s bakery on Pudding Lane. Soon the flames spread from house to house and London was engulfed in the Great Fire of 1666. Over 70,000 people were left homeless by the blaze that leveled four-fifths of the city. So much destruction from such a small fire!

The Bible warns us of another small but destructive fire. James was concerned about lives and relationships, not buildings, when he wrote, “The tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark” (James 3:5).  

But our words can also be constructive. Proverbs 16:24 reminds us, “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” The apostle Paul says, “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone” (Col. 4:6). As salt flavors our food, grace flavors our words for building up others.

Through the help of the Holy Spirit our words can encourage people who are hurting, who want to grow in their faith, or who need to come to the Savior. Our words can put out fires instead of starting them.

— Bill Crowder

Lord, I can always use help with the way I talk. For this day, help me to speak words of hope and encouragement to build up others.


What will our words be like today?