Entries by YMI

ODB: Almost Content?

September 5, 2013 

READ: 1 Timothy 6:6-12 

Be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” —Hebrews 13:5 

As I stepped into the restaurant parking lot after lunch, I saw a pickup truck speeding through the parked vehicles. While observing the driver’s reckless behavior, I noticed the words on the truck’s front license plate. It read, “Almost Content.” After thinking about that message and the sentiment it tried to communicate, I concluded that the concept “almost content” doesn’t exist. Either we are content or we are not.

Admittedly, contentment is a tough needle to thread. We live in a world that feeds our desire for more and more—until we find it almost impossible to be content with anything. But this is nothing new. The book of Hebrews addressed this issue, saying, “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’” (13:5). The only remedy for hearts that “want it all” is the contentment found in the presence of the living God. He is sufficient for our needs and longings, and He alone can bring us the peace and contentment we’ll never find in the pursuits of this life.

Almost content? There is no such thing. In Christ we can know true contentment.

— Bill Crowder

I find contentment in His wondrous grace,
No cloud or shadow can obscure His face;
When great temptations I must bear,
I find the secret place of prayer. —Dunlop

Contentment is not getting what we want but being satisfied with what we have. 

ODJ: true identity

September 5, 2013 

READ: Colossians 3:1-4 

Your real life is hidden with Christ in God (v.3).

Peter Chiarelli, the second highest ranking American army officer, attended a formal dinner last year. Valerie Jarrett, a presidential adviser, was seated at a table when Chiarelli passed behind her. Chiarelli’s uniform had a stripe down the side of the trousers, almost identical to the waiting staff’s uniform. Seeing only his striped pants, Valerie asked General Chiarelli for a beverage. Without skipping a beat, the general picked up Jarrett’s order and brought it to her. She was mortified at her mistake, but Chiarelli brushed the mishap off. He even invited her to join his family for dinner at his home.

Paul makes an astounding declaration about our true identity, announcing that we “have been raised to new life with Christ” (Colossians 3:1). All who have “died with Christ” have been made new by God (2:20). Paul doesn’t say we might be raised to new life. Rather, He declares our union with Christ as an accomplished fact. We who were drowning in death are now filled to the brim with life.

This splendid existence describes who we truly are. This is the core truth about us. We might not fully recognise this reality. Others might miss the extent of all the newness and goodness God has placed within us. No matter, God sees what is true, and He calls us to live out this truth: “Set your sights on the realities of heaven” (3:1).

The old life that clings to us will surely fall away. It’s a doomed relic of the era of death from which we’ve been rescued. Now “Christ . . . is [our] life” and God promises that one day we “will share in all His glory” (v.4). Make no mistake; our true identity is found in Jesus. —Winn Collier

Mark 12:28-37 ‹

Read Galatians 2:20-21. What has died and what is new? What does this say about your true identity?
Why do you sometimes find it difficult to believe that God has put something new and beautiful in you? What might hinder this newness from emerging more fully in your life?

(Check out Our Daily Journey website!)

ODB: A Special Day

September 4, 2013 

READ: Luke 11:1-4 

This is the day the Lord has made. —Psalm 118:24 

What’s special about September 4? Perhaps it’s your birthday or anniversary. That would make it special. Or maybe you could celebrate the historic events of this day. For instance, in 1781, the city of Los Angeles, California, was founded. Or this: In 1993, Jim Abbott, a pitcher for the New York Yankees, didn’t let anyone get a hit off his pitches—and he was born without a right hand. Or if you’re a TV fan: In 1951, the first live US coast-to-coast television broadcast was aired from San Francisco.

But what if none of these events and facts seem to make your September 4 special? Try these ideas:

Today God gives you a new opportunity to praise Him. Psalm 118:24 says, “This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”

Today God provides for you and wants your trust. “Give us day by day our daily bread” (Luke 11:3).

Today God wants to speak to you through His Word. The believers at Berea “searched the Scriptures daily” (Acts 17:11).

Today God desires to renew your inner person. “The inward man is being renewed day by day” (2 Cor. 4:16).

With God as your guide, September 4—and every day—can be special.

— Dave Branon

This is the day the Lord hath made,
He calls the hours His own;
Let heaven rejoice, let earth be glad,
And praise surround the throne. —Watts

Each new day gives us new reasons to praise the Lord. 

ODJ: starting with prayer

September 4, 2013 

READ: Psalm 82 

Give justice to the poor and the orphan; uphold the rights of 
the oppressed and the destitute (v.3, emphasis added).

On 21 November 1835 George Müller wrote,“Today I have had it very much impressed on my heart, no longer merely to think about the establishment of an orphan house, but actually to set about it, and I have been very much in prayer respecting it, in order to ascertain the Lord’s mind.”

Müller longed to live out James 1:27: “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress.” This led him to pray. In response, God revealed to the church leader the following purposes for opening an orphanage (Psalm 82:3):

• To demonstrate that even a poor man, such as Müller, by prayer and faith—with the Lord’s blessing—can be used to rescue others (v.4).

• To “be used by God to benefit the bodies of poor children, bereaved of both parents, and seek in other respects, with the help of God, to do them good for this life.”

• To train the children to walk with God.

• To glorify God by acknowledging that what would be accomplished would come from His faithful hands.

After much prayer, and without ever hosting a fundraiser, Müller received provisions to provide homes for more than 10,000 orphans. Even today I believe that rather than launch a capital campaign on Facebook, Müller would drop to his knees and appeal to God for his every need. While I’m not suggesting raising funds is wrong, there’s much we can learn from Müller about trusting in God and His vast resources (v.8).

We’re wise to bring our needs to the Lord first, asking Him to guide us in the best way to share our needs with others. —Roxanne Robbins

› Luke 20:20-40

George Müeller recorded every thought the Lord provided in response to his prayers. What can you do to remember “what you yourself have seen” God do? (Deuteronomy 4:9).
Remember to ask God for wisdom before embarking on future acts of service. Why is it vital that we first approach Him for direction?

(Check out Our Daily Journey website!)