Entries by YMI

YMI-08.

The Compulsory Queue

Title: The Compulsory Queue Materials: Illustration Description: In life, sometimes it feels like we are standing in a line. We move along the line — step by step — until we reach our journey’s end… and along the way, we collect things — memories, relationships, possessions, achievements, etc… These worldly treasures pile up over time and […]

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ODJ: Mercy’s Call

The deluge of rain reduced visibility to almost nil, forcing me and other drivers on the road to inch forward. As my usual twenty-minute commute stretched to well over an hour, I offered up prayers for God’s protection over us as I begged for the rain to cease.Fear amid trying circumstances will often drive people to call out to God. When, by divine power, a powerful hailstorm struck Egypt (

May 24, 2017 

READ: Exodus 9:13-33 


“I have sinned,” [Pharaoh] confessed. . . . “Please beg the Lord to end this terrifying thunder and hail. . . . I will let you go” (vv.27-28). 

The deluge of rain reduced visibility to almost nil, forcing me and other drivers on the road to inch forward. As my usual twenty-minute commute stretched to well over an hour, I offered up prayers for God’s protection over us as I begged for the rain to cease.

Fear amid trying circumstances will often drive people to call out to God. When, by divine power, a powerful hailstorm struck Egypt (Exodus 9:24-25), Pharaoh swallowed his pride and begged the God of Moses for relief. God relented, bringing a halt to the thunder and hail. But “when Pharaoh saw that the rain, hail and thunder had stopped, he and his officials sinned again, and Pharaoh became stubborn. Because his heart was hard, Pharaoh refused to let the people leave, just as the Lord had predicted through Moses” (vv.34-35).

If God knew what Pharaoh’s response would be, why did He answer Moses’ prayer to stop the rain? Earlier in the chapter we read that once Moses announced the next plague of hail, some of Pharaoh’s officials who feared God hurried to bring their slaves and their livestock inside for protection (v.20). This is the first instance recorded where Egyptians responded directly to God’s word through Moses. Then we see that upon Pharaoh’s eventual release, the Israelites didn’t leave Egypt alone; they were accompanied by others who had witnessed God’s work and chose to believe (12:37-38).

It’s possible God took these people, outsiders to Israel, into consideration in not unleashing the full potential of the plagues. His actions demonstrate mercy and compassion in the midst of correction. God still shows mercy to those who turn to Him in love and obedience. Call out to Him today!

—Remi Oyedele

365-day plan: Jeremiah 1:1-9

MORE
Read Jonah 3-4 for more insight into the compassion with which God views the lost. 
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Think about the last time someone offended you. Did you have a desire for vengeance or that the offender should genuinely see the error of his or her ways? How does your response mirror God’s heart? 

(Check out Our Daily Journey website!)

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ODB: Lookalikes

They say we all have one: Doppelgangers some call them. Lookalikes. People unrelated to us who look very much like us.Mine happens to be a star in the music field. When I attended one of his concerts, I got a lot of double takes from fellow fans during intermission. But alas, I am no James Taylor when it comes to singing and strumming a guitar. We just happen to look alike.Who do you look

May 24, 2017 

READ: 2 Corinthians 3:17–4:2 

We all . . . are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18

 

They say we all have one: Doppelgangers some call them. Lookalikes. People unrelated to us who look very much like us.

Mine happens to be a star in the music field. When I attended one of his concerts, I got a lot of double takes from fellow fans during intermission. But alas, I am no James Taylor when it comes to singing and strumming a guitar. We just happen to look alike.

Who do you look like? As you ponder that question, reflect on 2 Corinthians 3:18, where Paul tells us that we “are being transformed into [the Lord’s] image.” As we seek to honor Jesus with our lives, one of our goals is to take on His image. Of course, this doesn’t mean we have to grow a beard and wear sandals—it means that the Holy Spirit helps us demonstrate Christlike characteristics in how we live. For example, in attitude (humility), in character (loving), and in compassion (coming alongside the down and out), we are to look like Jesus and imitate Him.

As we “contemplate the Lord’s glory,” by fixing our eyes on Jesus, we can grow more and more like Him. What an amazing thing it would be if people could observe us and say, “I see Jesus in you”!

— Dave Branon

Lord, help us to gaze on You, to study You, to know You. Transform us into Your image by what we say, how we love others, and how we worship You. May others see Jesus in us.


Love is the family resemblance the world should see in followers of Christ.

 

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ODJ: Something More Powerful

When France’s ministry of health realised that 17.8 percent of French women smoked while pregnant, they came up with a plan. For a trial period of thirty-six months, seventeen French hospitals paid women up to 300 euros to stop smoking during their pregnancies. Of the 612 participants, 22.5 percent of the women gave up their cigarettes.The ministry of health was interested in the health of b

May 23, 2017 

READ: Galatians 2:11-21 


My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me (v.20). 

When France’s ministry of health realised that 17.8 percent of French women smoked while pregnant, they came up with a plan. For a trial period of thirty-six months, seventeen French hospitals paid women up to 300 euros to stop smoking during their pregnancies. Of the 612 participants, 22.5 percent of the women gave up their cigarettes.

The ministry of health was interested in the health of babies, but also wanted to see whether financial incentives would help women quit addictions. They obviously did!

Paul told the Galatians that they had something more powerful than financial motivation to curb an old ‘habit’— they had the very power of Christ. Since attempting to gain acceptance with God through the law would only lead to condemnation (Galatians 2:19), their only hope for salvation and daily freedom was union with Jesus in His death and resurrection (v.20).

Christ wasn’t a sinner or a criminal, but in taking on the sins of humanity, He died like one. When Paul placed his faith in the crucified Jesus, his sinful desires were crucified as well. His selfish heart came to a decisive end, and his personal interests no longer controlled his life. Consequently, Jesus gave him a new heart and a new life fully empowered by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit: “Christ lives in me” (v.20).

Rewards can motivate us to do better, but willpower alone will fail to consistently change lives. Believers have something more powerful—the manifestation of God’s love through the cross of Jesus. When we yield to the power of the cross and exercise daily faith in the Son of God, the indwelling Spirit releases His power—resurrection power that enthrones Christ in our lives.

—Marvin Williams

365-day plan: Isaiah 53:1-12

MORE
Read Romans 6:14 and consider why we no longer live under the requirements of the law. 
NEXT
How will you yield to the power of the cross? How will you exercise daily faith this week? What do you need to surrender to Jesus? 

(Check out Our Daily Journey website!)