Our Daily Bread Devotional

/Our Daily Bread Devotional/

Useful Temptation

Fifteenth-century monk Thomas à Kempis, in the beloved classic The Imitation of Christ, offers a perspective on temptation that might be a bit surprising. Instead of focusing on the pain and difficulties temptation can lead to, he writes, “[temptations] are useful because they can make us humble, they can cleanse us, and they can teach us.” Kempis explains, “The key to victory is true humility and patience; in them we overcome the enemy...”

By |2020-06-01T15:58:40-04:00June 5th, 2020|

My Father’s Child

They looked down at the faded photograph, then up at me, then over at my father, then back at me, then back at my father. Their eyes were as wide as the proverbial saucers. “Dad, you look just like Papa when he was young!” My father and I grinned because this was something we’d known for a long time, but it wasn’t until recently that my children came to the same realization...

By |2020-06-01T11:54:56-04:00June 4th, 2020|

Sacred Gathering

Our group of friends reunited for a long weekend together on the shores of a beautiful lake. The days were spent playing in the water and sharing meals, but it was the evening conversations I treasured the most. As darkness fell, our hearts opened to one another with uncommon depth and vulnerability, sharing the pains of faltering marriages and the aftermath of trauma some of our children were enduring...

By |2020-05-27T13:32:26-04:00June 3rd, 2020|

Chosen to Forgive

In his book Restless Faith, theologian Richard Mouw talks about the importance of remembering the lessons of the past. He quotes sociologist Robert Bellah, who said that “healthy nations must be ‘communities of memory.’ ” Bellah extended that principle to other societal bonds such as families. Remembering is an important part of living in community...

By |2020-05-25T16:54:49-04:00June 2nd, 2020|

Needing His Leading

Uncle Zaki was more than a friend to scholar Kenneth Bailey; he was his trusted guide on challenging excursions into the vast Sahara. By following Uncle Zaki, Bailey says that he and his team were demonstrating their complete trust in him. In essence, they were affirming, “We don’t know the way to where we are going, and if you get us lost we will all die. We have placed our total trust in your leadership...”

By |2020-05-25T16:41:05-04:00June 1st, 2020|

Easy Does It

My father and I used to fell trees and cut them to size with a two-man crosscut saw. Being young and energetic, I tried to force the saw into the cut. “Easy does it,” my father would say. “Let the saw do the work.” I think of Paul’s words in Philippians: “It is God who works in you” (2:13). Easy does it. Let Him do the work of changing us...

By |2020-05-22T11:52:32-04:00May 31st, 2020|

Do Whatever

In a recent film, a self-proclaimed “genius” rants to the camera about the world’s “horror, corruption, ignorance, and poverty,” declaring life to be godless and absurd. While such thinking isn’t unusual in many modern film scripts, what’s interesting is where it leads. In the end, the lead character turns to the audience and implores us to do whatever it takes to find a little happiness. For him, this includes leaving traditional morality behind...

By |2020-05-22T11:43:59-04:00May 30th, 2020|

The Maker of the Moon

After astronauts set the Eagle down in the Sea of Tranquility, Neil Armstrong said, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” He was the first human to walk on the surface of the moon. Other space travelers followed, including the commander of the last Apollo mission, Gene Cernan. “There I was, and there you are, the Earth—dynamic, overwhelming, and I felt . . . it was just too beautiful to happen by accident...

By |2020-05-21T13:26:22-04:00May 29th, 2020|

Good Measure

At a gas station one day, Staci encountered a woman who had left home without her bank card. Stranded with her baby, she was asking passersby for help. Although unemployed at the time, Staci spent $15 to put gas in the stranger’s tank. Days later, Staci came home to find a gift basket of children’s toys and other presents waiting on her porch...

By |2020-05-21T13:19:14-04:00May 28th, 2020|

Why Me?

The Book of Odds says that one in a million people are struck by lightning. It also says that one in 25,000 experiences a medical condition called “broken heart syndrome” in the face of overwhelming shock or loss. In page after page the odds of experiencing specific problems pile up without answering: What if we’re the one...

By |2020-05-20T16:44:11-04:00May 27th, 2020|