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JESUS said:

It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. (Matthew 4:4.)

So here is your "loaf of spiritual bread .......Verses and Thoughts morsels to chew over slowly and digest ! Add a cup of fresh prayers for best results.

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You do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. —James 4:14

In January 2006, a mine explosion in rural West Virginia threatened the lives of 13 coal miners. Having grown up in that state, I was among the millions riveted to the news for the next few days. Tragically, all but one of the miners were found dead. To compound the pain of that loss, the first reports given to the families said that all but one had been found alive. When the grim news of the deaths came, the grief was compounded with anger—and a desire to blame someone for the whole gut-wrenching event.

At one of the funerals, however, Rev. Wease Day asked the hurting to look in a different direction—within. During their last hours, some of the miners had written notes to their families, in some cases offering comfort and hope. In light of that, Pastor Day urged his congregation not to seek to fix blame. He instead challenged them to imagine what they would write in a farewell note if they had only hours to live.

In some ways we are like those miners. We are trapped in a dark world and are facing physical death. How we live our lives as followers of Christ becomes our “note” to the world. James wrote that life is “a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away” (4:14). By God’s grace, what will you write with your life today? — Bill Crowder

 

 

I pray . . . that you may approve the things that are excellent. —Philippians 1:9-10

As a kid, one of my favorite pastimes was skipping stones across the surface of a smooth lake. Inevitably, ripples would flow from the impact of the stone.

It’s like that with choices. Every choice we make creates a ripple effect on our lives as well as on the lives of others. The choices we have made throughout life determine where we are and what we are becoming.

Choices are also telling. What we really want, love, and think show up in the choices we make.

It’s no wonder then that Paul urged us to make “excellent” choices—choices that emanate from a heart fully committed to Jesus. He stated that when our love abounds in knowledge and discernment, we are able to understand what is best, so that we may “approve the things that are excellent” (Phil. 1:9-10). Excellent choices are the proof of a life that is deeply committed to Jesus and His ways, and they have the ripple effect of filling our lives “with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God” (v.11).

As a friend of mine wisely told me, our lives are not made by the dreams we dream but by the choices we make. Let’s make excellent ones! —Joe Stowell

 

 

Folly is joy to him who is destitute of discernment, but a man of understanding walks uprightly. —Proverbs 15:21

Sometimes Christians follow an “open door” policy. When a door of opportunity opens, they assume that it’s God’s will to go through it.

 

Bestselling author Terri Blackstock knows this is untrue. She never openly rebelled against God, but she found herself far away from Him after walking through open doors of opportunity. “I had allowed myself to believe that God was blessing my career . . . because He had opened all the doors,” she wrote in Soul Restoration. Although she got what she wanted—a successful career writing romance novels for Harlequin and Silhouette—she lost what she needed: a close relationship with God.

 

When she finally admitted that her career was keeping her from God, she turned her back on success and renewed her commitment to the Lord. Since then, her writing career has been revitalized, and she has become an award-winning author of Christian fiction.

 

Just because the Lord doesn’t stop us from something doesn’t mean He wants us to continue. To discern which opportunities to pursue, we need to “approve the things that are excellent” and to be “filled with the fruits of righteousness . . . to the glory and praise of God” (Phil. 1:10-11). —Julie Ackerman Link

   

[God] comforts us . . . that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble. —2 Corinthians 1:4

Years ago I went through a time of painful emotional loss. A missionary friend who had experienced a similar situation comforted me and then offered these words: “In the future, Christ can use your emotional wounds to help heal others.” Later, on a trip to visit a missionary training school, I lodged in a place where I saw a portrait of Jesus’ nail-pierced hands. Below it, on a music stand, was the sheet music “He Touched Me.”

Rarely have I experienced a string of circumstances that spoke so vividly to my situation. In His gracious providence, God used them to comfort and direct me. It became clear that healing flows from the wounded hands of Jesus and that our wounds can help others.

In hindsight, I have learned how God’s comfort in suffering can build bridges to those in pain. Paul made this point clear: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Cor. 1:3-4).

Are you bringing your emotional pain to God? His spiritual healing can help you to provide comfort to others, just as through Christ my friend comforted me. —Dennis Fisher

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