Our Daily Bread: Forwarded
- READ: James 4:7-10 Appended
Submit to God. —James 4:7
In the annals of US advertising history, one of the most efficient slogans
ever is the California milk producers’ two-word question, “Got milk?” With that
phrase, the group captured almost everyone’s attention. In surveys, the slogan
was recognized by more than 90 percent of the people polled.
If “Got milk?” is so good at reminding people to drink “cow juice,” perhaps we
can create some two-word slogans to remind ourselves to live more godly lives.
Let’s turn to James 4 and try it. This passage gives four specific guidelines.
1. Give in! Verse 7 tells us to submit to God. Our sovereign God loves us, so
why not let Him run the show? Submission helps us resist the devil. 2. Get
close! Verse 8 reminds us of the value of drawing near to God. It’s up to us to
close the gap between us and God. 3. Clean up! Verse 8 also reminds us to make
sure our hearts are clean. That happens through confessing our sins to God. 4.
Get down! James says we need to be humble before God (v.10). That includes
viewing our sin as something to weep over.
Give in! Get close! Clean up! Get down! These pairs of words may not look as
good on a T-shirt as “Got milk?” But they sure will look good on us. —Dave
Lord, help me live a godly life
Of faith and love and purity
So those who watch my life will see
Reflections of Your work in me. —Sper
The most powerful testimony is a godly life.
7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners,
and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your
laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the
Lord, and he will lift you up
- READ: Psalm 31:9-15
Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble; my eye wastes away with grief, yes, my soul and my body! —Psalm 31:9
Today marks the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks in the US on
September 11, 2001. It’s hard to think about that date without mental
images of the destruction, grief, and loss that swept over America and
the world following those tragic events. The loss of thousands of lives
was compounded by the depth of loss felt corporately—a lost sense of
security as a country. The sorrow of loss, personal and corporate, will
always accompany the memory of the events of that day.
Those horrific events are not the only painful memories of September 11. It
also marks the anniversary of my father-in-law’s death. Jim’s loss is
felt deeply within our family and
his circle of friends.
No matter what kind of sorrow we experience, there is only one real
comfort—the mercy of God. David, in his own heartache, cried to his
heavenly Father, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble; my eye wastes away with grief, yes, my soul and my body!” (Ps. 31:9). Only in the mercy of God can we find comfort for our pain and peace for our troubled hearts.
In all losses, we can turn to the true Shepherd, Jesus Christ, who alone can heal our brokenness and grief. —Bill Crowder
We have a Friend
who’ll never leave,
Who’s closer than a brother;
He’s there to meet our deepest needs,
To comfort like no other. —Sper
When God permits suffering, He also provides comfort.