Our Daily Bread devotional – True Trust

May 14, 2008
True Trust

READ: John 9:1-11

Neither this man nor his parents sinned,
but that the works of God should be
revealed in him. —John 9:3

If you didn’t know him, you might think Nick Vujicic has everything going for him. Nick has never had a sore arm. He’s never had knee problems. He’s never smashed his finger in a door, stubbed his toe, or banged his shin against a table leg.

But that’s because Nick doesn’t have a shin. Or a toe. Or a finger. Or a knee. Or an arm. Nick was born with no arms and no legs. Before you begin to feel sorry for Nick, read his words. “God won’t let anything happen to us in our life unless He has a good purpose for it all. I completely gave my life to Christ at the age of 15 after reading John 9. Jesus said that the reason the man was born blind was ‘so that the works of God may be revealed through him.’ . . . I now see that glory revealed as He is using me just the way I am and in ways others can’t be used.” Nick travels the world to spread the gospel and love of Jesus.

Nick says, “If I can trust in God with my circumstances, then you can trust in God with your circumstances. . . . The greatest joy of all is having Jesus Christ in my life and living the godly purpose He has for me.”

Can we say that? Can we look beyond our limitations and have the same trust in God that transformed a man with no arms or legs into a missionary for Jesus?

Dave Branon

Lord, shape my life as only You can,
Guiding each day by Your loving plan;
Take what You need and give what You will;
My life is Yours to use and to fill. —Branon

Trusting God turns problems into opportunities.

Our Daily Bread – Daily Devotion

April 25, 2008
It’s Not A Game

Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself,
and take up his cross, and follow Me. —Mark 8:34

My former neighbor often talked about “the game of life,” and I can understand why he did. It’s part of human nature to approach life as one big game made up of a lot of little games. Competing can be fun, exciting, and stimulating.

But life is a whole lot more than a game—especially for a follower of Jesus Christ. When a believer needs to own the biggest house, drive the largest SUV, get the promotion first, and win every argument, something’s terribly wrong from God’s point of view. It’s not right to run over people’s feelings, bend or break the rules, and gloat over victories.

To approach life as one big game that you always have to win is to live in hopeless delusion and fantasy. While material possessions, professional success, and personal victories are enjoyable, they last only for this life. Then they’re all left behind.

Jesus instructed His disciples to deny themselves, identify with His cross, and follow Him in self-denial, and for some that even meant death (Mark 8:34-35). He made it clear to His disciples that artificial victories in “the game of life” don’t count for much. What really counts is what’s done for the Lord.  — David C. Egner

If I have but Jesus, only Jesus—
Nothing else in all the world beside—
O then everything is mine in Jesus;
For my needs and more He will provide. —Olander
© 1950 Baptist Conference Press

Those who live for God are the real winners in life.

Our Daily Bread – Daily Devotion

April 21, 2008

Long before the US professional baseball season begins each spring, team owners and managers are busy negotiating trades and contracts. They’ll pay large sums of money to get the athlete who will help them win the championship. When the season starts, all eyes are on the newly acquired talent to see if he was worth the cost. The ultimate measure of the player’s success is whether his contribution to the team is a good return on the investment.

In 1 Corinthians 6:20, Paul reminds us that we too have been “bought at a price.” The context paints a compelling picture of Christ’s great sacrifice. He liberated us from the cruel slavemaster of sin by buying us with the high price of His own life.

Getting a grip on God’s great and loving investment in us should motivate us to gladly consider making His sacrifice rich in dividends. How is that return on His investment measured? By living to bring glory to Him! Our eyes, hands, feet, thoughts, dreams, and desires have been purchased to reflect the wondrous glory of God’s will and wisdom. In other words, we are no longer our own.

Paul concluded, “Therefore glorify God in your body” (v.20). Living to reflect His glory is the return on investment that makes the Owner of our lives look good! — Joe Stowell

Redemption’s price our Savior paid
When all our sins on Him were laid;
He took our guilt, He bore our shame
That we may glorify His name. —D. De Haan

Our choice to bring glory to God yields a great return on Christ’s investment.