• Ministry > Our Daily Bread

    Shackled but Not Silent

    In the summer of 1963, after an all-night bus ride, civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer and six other black passengers stopped to eat at a diner in Winona, Mississippi. After law enforcement officers forced them to leave, they were arrested and jailed. But humiliation wouldn’t end with unlawful arrest. All received severe beatings, but Fannie’s was the worst. After a brutal attack that left her near death she burst out in song: “Paul and Silas was bound in jail, let my people go.” And she didn’t sing alone. Other prisoners, restrained in body but not in soul, soon joined…

    What Instant Noodles Have Taught Me

    Instant noodles are a quick way to fill an empty stomach. But do we take an “instant noodle” approach to our spiritual nourishment? Read one instant noodle lover’s thoughts here.

    “God Saved My Life”

    When Aaron (not his real name) was 15, he began praying to Satan: “I felt like he and I had a partnership.” Aaron started to lie, steal, and manipulate his family and friends. He also experienced nightmares: “I woke up one morning and saw the devil at the end of the bed. He told me that I was going to pass my exams and then die.” Yet when he finished his exams, he lived. Aaron reflected, “It was clear to me that he was a liar.”

    Hoping to meet girls, Aaron went to a Christian festival, where a man offered to…

    Catching a Vision for Evangelism

    How big is your vision? Have you ever dreamed about what God could do through you to help win the world in our generation to Jesus Christ? As Oswald Smith said, the only generation that can reach this generation is our generation.

    Even though the Lord limited His own public ministry to the area stretching from Judea into Phoenicia, He…

    Recognizing How Any Old Bush Will Do

    I’ve heard it said, “Whether these are the best of times or the worst of times, it’s the only time we’ve got.” That’s a good reminder for us as God’s ambassadors. This is our moment in history. We must serve the Lord daily during the time we have now. But how can we serve? What characterizes a genuine and successful…

    Claiming God’s Promises for Yourself

    As you have read and memorized various passages in the Bible, what sections have seemed the most difficult to believe?

    Prophecy? Narrative portions? Doctrinal passages? God’s promises?

    Many Christians have trouble believing the promises of God. Oh, they sound nice, and sometimes they even cheer us up. But we wonder: Are they really true? Subconsciously, at least, we question whether…

    The Authority of Scripture

    Belief in the full authority of Scripture is vital to living an authentic and victorious Christian life. Only through such faith can we experience the joy of being God’s children.

    The Bible clearly states, “All Scripture is God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16). The words of Scripture are inspired by God.

    Because Scripture reflects the perfect character of God, it is the…

    Throwing Stones

    Lisa felt no sympathy for those who cheated on their husband or wife . . . until after she found herself deeply unsatisfied with her marriage and struggling to resist a dangerous attraction. That painful experience helped develop in her a new compassion for others and greater understanding of Jesus’s words: “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone” (John 8:7).

    Jesus was teaching in the temple courts when He made that powerful statement. A group of teachers of the law and Pharisees had just dragged a woman caught in adultery before Him…

    Prayer As a Daily Habit

    Prayer is one of those things you learn by doing. I can give you Bible promises on prayer and share with you some of my own experiences with prayer, but I can’t do your praying for you. Until you begin to pray yourself, you will never understand prayer.

    Martin Luther said, “Just as the business of the tailor is to…

    The Heart of Fasting

    Hunger pangs gnawed at my nerves. My mentor had recommended fasting as a way to focus on God. But as the day wore on, I wondered: How did Jesus do this for forty days? I struggled to rely on the Holy Spirit for peace, strength, and patience. Especially patience.

    If we are physically able, fasting can teach us the importance of our spiritual food. As Jesus said, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). Yet, as I learned firsthand, fasting on its own doesn’t necessarily draw us closer to…

    Marvelously Unique

    Human beings are not special—at least according to the London Zoo. In 2005, the zoo introduced a four-day exhibit: “Humans in Their Natural Environment.” The human “captives” were chosen through an online contest. To help visitors understand the humans, the zoo workers created a sign detailing their diet, habitat, and threats. According to the zoo’s spokesperson, the goal of the exhibit was to downplay the uniqueness of human beings. One participant in the exhibit seemed to agree. “When they see humans as animals, here, it kind of reminds them that we’re not that special.”

    What a stark contrast to what the…

    Divine Escape

    Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot mystery The Clocks features antagonists who commit a series of murders. Although their initial plot targeted a single victim, they found it necessary to take more lives in order to cover up the original crime. When confronted by Poirot, one of the conspirators confessed, lamenting, “It was only supposed to be the one murder.”

    Like the schemers in the story, the chief priests and Pharisees of Jesus’s day formed a conspiracy of their own. After Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead (John 11:38–44), they called an emergency meeting and plotted to take His life (11:45–53). But they didn’t…

    The Crooked Steeple

    Turns out that crooked church steeples make people nervous. When we visited with some friends, they shared how, after a fierce windstorm, their church’s proud steeple was . . . crooked, causing some alarm.

    Of course, the church quickly repaired the flagging spire, but the humorous image got me thinking. Often church is seen as a place where everything is expected to look perfect; it’s not seen as a place where we can show up… crooked. Right?

    But in a fallen, broken world, all of us are “crooked,” each with our own collection of natural weaknesses. We might be tempted to keep…

    We Need Each Other

    While on a hike with my kids, we discovered a light, springy green plant growing in small clumps on the trail. According to a signpost, the plant is commonly called deer moss, but it’s not actually a moss at all. It’s a lichen. A lichen is a fungus and an alga growing together in a mutualistic relationship in which both organisms benefit from each other. Neither the fungus nor the alga can survive on its own, but together they form a hardy plant that can live in some alpine areas for up to 4,500 years. Because the plant can withstand…

    Help Me Encourage My Spouse to Be Godly

    For, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
    —1 Corinthians 2:16

    Lord, I pray you would develop the mind of Christ in my spouse. May they put off their old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires. And may they put on the new self, created to…

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