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Our Daily Bread

Official account for the Our Daily Bread daily devotional. Helping you draw closer to God and be in His word each day. #ourdailybread #yourdailybread

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Daily Devotion: Jesus Reached Out . Today's Bible Reading: Matthew 14:22–33 . Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. Matthew 14:31 . Sometimes life gets busy—classes are hard, work is exhausting, the bathroom needs to be cleaned, and a coffee date is on the day’s schedule. It gets to the point where I force myself to read the Bible for a few minutes a day and tell myself I’ll spend more time with God next week. But it doesn’t take long before I’m distracted, drowning in the day’s tasks, and forget to ask God for help of any kind. . When Peter was walking on water toward Jesus, he quickly became distracted by the wind and waves. Like me, he began to sink (Matthew 14:29–30). But as soon as Peter cried out, “immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him” (vv. 30–31). . I often feel as if I have to make it up to God after being so busy and distracted that I lose sight of Him. But that’s not how God works. As soon as we turn to Him for help, Jesus reaches out without hesitation. . When we’re unsettled by the chaos of life, it’s easy to forget that God is standing in the middle of the storm with us. Jesus asked Peter, “Why did you doubt?” (v. 31). No matter what we’re going through, He is there. He is here. Next to us at that moment, in this moment, ready to reach out and rescue us. —Julie Schwab . Lord, help me to turn to You in the midst of my busyness and life’s distractions. Thank You for always being here, ready to catch me. . God is waiting for us to turn to Him so He can reach out and help.

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Daily Devotion: Heart Hunger . Today's Bible Reading: John 6:32–40 . I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. John 6:35 . Riding along with my husband on some errands, I scrolled through emails on my phone and was surprised at an incoming advertisement for a local donut shop, a shop we had just passed on the right side of the street. Suddenly my stomach growled with hunger. I marveled at how technology allows vendors to woo us into their establishments. . As I clicked off my email, I mused over God’s constant yearning to draw me closer. He always knows where I am and longs to influence my choices. I wondered, Does my heart growl in desire for Him the way my stomach did over the idea of a donut? . In John 6, following the miraculous feeding of the five thousand, the disciples eagerly ask Jesus to always give them “the bread that . . . gives life to the world” (vv. 33–34). Jesus responds in verse 35, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” How amazing that a relationship with Jesus can provide constant nourishment in our everyday lives! . The donut shop’s advertisement targeted my body’s craving, but God’s continuous knowledge of my heart’s condition invites me to recognize my ongoing need for Him and to receive the sustenance only He can provide. . —Elisa Morgan . Dear God, remind me of my need for Your daily bread of presence. . Jesus alone offers the only bread that truly satisfies.

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5-MINUTE BIBLE STUDY . Read: Job 38:1–11 . Examine: After all Job had endured, how could the Lord of heaven respond to his honest, agonizing questions with more questions? . Job forgot the case he wanted to argue in the court of heaven (Job 23:1–10). The presence and questions of God suddenly reawakened the trust he’d expressed in those first moments of the worst days of his life (1:21; 2:10). We, on the other hand, have an advantage that Job lacked. In the prologue of Job’s story, we are taken behind the scenes to see how God viewed Job (1:1–2:10). . Discuss: What if our lives had such a prologue? Would it help to know that more is going on than we can see and that it’s better than we imagine? Even if we aren’t an exemplary example as Job was, can we take heart in being one of the dearly loved sinners for whom Christ died? . Pray: Leave your prayer request in the comments below. Pick a person who has commented and lift them up in prayer today. Reply to them and let them know you’re praying!

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Daily Devotion: The Lord Speaks . Today's Bible Reading: Job 38:1–11 . Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him? Job 40:2 . We can find nearly every argument in the book of Job about why there is pain in the world, but the arguing never seems to help Job much. His is a crisis of relationship more than a crisis of doubt. Can he trust God? Job wants one thing above all else: an appearance by the one Person who can explain his miserable fate. He wants to meet God Himself, face to face. . Eventually Job gets his wish. God shows up in person (see Job 38:1). He times His entrance with perfect irony, just as Job’s friend Elihu is expounding on why Job has no right to expect a visit from God. . No one—not Job, nor any of his friends—is prepared for what God has to say. Job has saved up a long list of questions, but it is God, not Job, who asks the questions. “Brace yourself like a man,” He begins; “I will question you, and you shall answer me” (v. 3). Brushing aside thirty-five chapters’ worth of debates on the problem of pain, God plunges into a majestic poem on the wonders of the natural world. . God’s speech defines the vast difference between the God of all creation and one puny man like Job. His presence spectacularly answers Job’s biggest question: Is anybody out there? Job can only respond, “Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know” (42:3). —Philip Yancey . Lord, we have so many questions about life and its unfairness. You have shown Yourself good to us. Help us to trust You for what we cannot understand. . No calamity is beyond God’s sovereignty.

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God's plan is greater than our own. Sometimes, this is a challenging and humbling lesson to learn. — Watch Peter's full story on our IGTV channel.

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Prayer request time! "In every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God" (Philippians 4:6). What things are weighing heavy on your heart this week? Leave your requests in the comments and respond to others to let them know you're praying. #LetsPray

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Daily Devotion: Riding the Rapids . Today's Bible Reading: Isaiah 43:1–7 . When you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. Isaiah 43:2 . The rafting guide escorted our group to the river’s edge and directed us all to put on life jackets and grab paddles. As we climbed into the boat, he assigned us seats to balance the boat’s weight, providing stability when we encountered rapids. After highlighting the thrills the watery voyage ahead would hold for us, he detailed a series of directions we could expect to hear—and would need to follow—to effectively steer the boat through the white water. He assured us that even though there might be tense moments on the way, our journey would be both exciting and safe. . Sometimes life feels like a white-water rafting trip, one that contains more rapids than we might like. God’s promise to Israel, through the prophet Isaiah, can guide our feelings when we fear the worst is happening: “When you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you” (Isaiah 43:2). The Israelites faced an overwhelming fear of rejection by God as they went into exile as a consequence of their sin. Yet instead, He affirms them and promises to be with them because He loves them (vv. 2, 4). . God won’t abandon us in the rough waters. We can trust Him to guide us through the rapids—our deepest fears and most painful troubles—because He also loves us and promises to be with us. . —Kirsten Holmberg . Thank You, Lord, for being my guide through troubled waters. Help me to trust You even when the journey is wild and scary. . Has the Lord guided you through a difficult time? Share your story at Facebook.com/ourdailybread. . God steers us through difficult times.

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Daily Devotion: The Gift of Time . Today's Bible Reading: Luke 6:37–38 . A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. Proverbs 11:25 . I headed into the post office in a big hurry. I had a number of things on my to-do list, but as I entered I was frustrated to find a long line backing up all the way to the door. “Hurry up and wait,” I muttered, glancing at my watch. . My hand was still on the door when an elderly stranger approached me. “I can’t get this copier to work,” he said, pointing to the machine behind us. “It took my money and I don’t know what to do.” Immediately I knew what God wanted me to do. I stepped out of line and was able to fix the problem in ten minutes. . The man thanked me and then left. As I turned to get back in line, it was gone. I walked straight to the service counter. . My experience that day reminds me of Jesus’s words: “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Luke 6:38). . My wait seemed shorter because God interrupted my hurry. By turning my eyes to others’ needs and helping me give of my time, He gave me a gift. It’s a lesson I hope to remember, next time I look at my watch. . —James Banks . Heavenly Father, all of the time I have is in Your hands, a gift from You. Please show me how to use it to bring glory and honor to You. . Sometimes our to-do list needs to wait.

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Daily Devotion: Help From Heaven . Today's Bible Reading: Joshua 10:6–15 . Surely the Lord was fighting for Israel! Joshua 10:14 . SOS, the Morse code signal, was created in 1905 because sailors needed a way to indicate extreme distress. The signal gained notoriety in 1910 when used by the sinking ship Steamship Kentucky, saving all forty-six people aboard. . While SOS may be a more recent invention, the urgent cry for help is as old as humanity. We hear it often in the Old Testament story of Joshua, who faced opposition from fellow Israelites (Joshua 9:18) and challenging terrain (3:15–17) for more than fourteen years as the Israelites slowly conquered and settled the land God had promised them. During this struggle “the Lord was with Joshua” (6:27). . In Joshua 10, the Israelites go to the aid of the Gibeonites, allies of Israel who were being attacked by five kings. Joshua knew that he needed the Lord’s help to defeat so many powerful enemies (v. 12). God responded with a hailstorm, even stopping the sun in the middle of the sky to give Israel more time to defeat the enemy. Joshua 10:14 recounts, “Surely the Lord was fighting for Israel!” . If you are in the midst of a challenging situation, you can send out an SOS to God. Although help will look different than the assistance Joshua received, perhaps help comes through an unexpected job, an understanding doctor, or peace in the midst of grief. Be encouraged that these are ways He is responding to your call for help and fighting for you. . —Lisa Samra . Thank You, Father, for walking with me on this difficult journey and hearing me when I cry out to You. . As we cry out to God for help, we can trust that He will be with us.

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Daily Devotion: That Smiling Man . Today's Bible Reading: Colossians 3:18–23 . Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters. Colossians 3:23 . Going to the grocery store isn’t something I particularly enjoy. It’s just a mundane part of life—something that has to be done. . But there is one part of this task I’ve unexpectedly come to look forward to: checking out in Fred’s lane. Fred, you see, turns checkout into show time. He’s amazingly fast, always has a big smile, and even dances (and sometimes sings!) as he acrobatically flips (unbreakable) purchases into a plastic bag. Fred clearly enjoys a job that could be seen as one of the most tedious around. And for just a moment, his cheerful spirit brightens the lives of people in his checkout lane. . The way Fred does his job has won my respect and admiration. His cheerful attitude, desire to serve, and attention to detail all line up well with the apostle Paul’s description of how we are to work in Colossians 3:23: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord.” . When we’re in relationship with Jesus, any job we have to do gives us an opportunity to reflect His presence in our lives. No task is too small . . . or too big! Tackling our responsibilities—whatever they may be—with joy, creativity, and excellence gives us an opportunity to influence those around us, no matter our job. . —Adam Holz . Lord, help me to tackle everything on my plate today with grace, enthusiasm, and joy, knowing that my attitude may affect others in ways I’m not even aware of. . The best way to do satisfying work is to do it for the Lord.

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5-MINUTE BIBLE STUDY . Read: Lamentations 3:49–58 . Examine: The prophet Jeremiah had prophesied for over forty years to a disobedient, disbelieving Judah (627–580 BC). Now in five emotionally charged “funeral laments” he writes as an eyewitness, lamenting the destruction and devastation of Jerusalem, the temple, and the people as they are forcefully exiled to Babylon. He includes the reasons why God would use the Babylonians to discipline His idolatrous people (Lamentations 1:5–8; see 1 Kings 9:6–9; Jeremiah 2:11–13, 18:15–17). . For two years the Babylonians besieged Jerusalem. Jeremiah witnessed the uncensored horrors of war (2 Kings 25:1-4; Jeremiah 52:12–27; Lamentations 2:20; 4:10). But he also wrote of hope in the midst of despair (3:21–33) and of the restoration that would come (5:19–22). Jeremiah reminded the Jewish people that the Lord, who has judged Judah rightly for her sins, is the Lord of hope (3:21, 24–25), compassion (v. 22), faithfulness (v. 23), and salvation (v. 26). Jeremiah calls the people to repent and to trust in the goodness of God (vv. 25–26; 5:21). . Discuss: “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation,” says the apostle Paul (2 Corinthians 7:10). How has this been true in your own life? . Pray: Leave your prayer request in the comments below. Pick a person who has commented and lift them up in prayer today. Reply to them and let them know you’re praying!

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Daily Devotion: A Hopeful Lament . Today's Bible Reading: Lamentations 3:49–58 . I called on your name, Lord, from the depths of the pit. Lamentations 3:55 . To visit Clifton Heritage National Park in Nassau, Bahamas, is to revisit a tragic era in history. Where the land meets the water, stone steps lead up a cliff. Slaves brought to the Bahamas by ship in the eighteenth century would ascend these steps, often leaving family behind and entering a life of inhumane treatment. At the top, there is a memorial to those slaves. Cedar trees have been carved into the shapes of women looking out to sea toward the homeland and family members they’ve lost. Each sculpture is scarred with marks of the slave captain’s whip. . These sculptures of women mourning what they’ve lost remind me of the importance of recognizing the injustices and broken systems in the world, and lamenting them. Lamenting does not mean that we are without hope; rather, it’s a way of being honest with God. It should be a familiar posture for Christians; about forty percent of the Psalms are psalms of lament, and in the book of Lamentations, God’s people cry out to Him after their city has been destroyed by invaders (3:55). . Lament is a legitimate response to the reality of suffering, and it engages God in the context of pain and trouble. Ultimately, lament is hopeful: when we lament what is not right, we call ourselves and others to be active in seeking change. . And that’s why the sculpture garden in Nassau has been named “Genesis”—the place of lament is recognized as the place of new beginnings. . —Amy Peterson . We can trust God to bring something new out of our seasons of lament.

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