Our Daily Bread Devotional

/Our Daily Bread Devotional/

The Call to Courage

Among a display of male statues (Nelson Mandela, Winston Churchill, Mahatma Gandhi, and others) in London’s Parliament Square, stands a lone statue of a woman. The solitary woman is Millicent Fawcett, who fought for the right of women to vote. She’s immortalized in bronze—holding a banner displaying words she offered in a tribute to a fellow suffragist: “Courage calls to courage everywhere..."

By | 2019-05-24T15:54:49+00:00 May 26th, 2019|

Shackled but Not Silent

In the summer of 1963, after an all-night bus ride, US 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 the humiliation wouldn’t end with unlawful arrest. All received severe beatings, but Fannie’s was the worst...

By | 2019-05-24T15:54:12+00:00 May 25th, 2019|

“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...”

By | 2019-05-22T11:20:12+00:00 May 24th, 2019|

Throwing Stones

Lisa felt no sympathy for those who cheated on their spouse . . . until she found herself deeply unsatisfied with her marriage and struggling to resist a dangerous attraction. That painful experience helped her gain a new compassion for others and greater understanding of Christ’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 statement...

By | 2019-05-22T11:18:04+00:00 May 23rd, 2019|

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’re physically able, fasting can teach us the importance of our spiritual food...

By | 2019-05-17T16:30:38+00:00 May 22nd, 2019|

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...

By | 2019-05-17T16:31:22+00:00 May 21st, 2019|

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 began taking more lives in order to cover up the original crime. When confronted by Poirot, a conspirator confessed, “It was only supposed to be the one murder.” Like the schemers in the story, the religious authorities formed a conspiracy of their own.

By | 2019-05-15T11:38:45+00:00 May 20th, 2019|

The Crooked Steeple

Turns out that crooked church steeples make people nervous. When we visited 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...

By | 2019-05-15T11:18:41+00:00 May 19th, 2019|

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...

By | 2019-05-15T11:07:37+00:00 May 18th, 2019|

God’s Amazing Hands

Twenty minutes into a flight from New York to San Antonio, the flight plan changed as calm gave way to chaos. When one of the plane’s engines failed, debris from the engine smashed through a window causing the cabin to decompress. Sadly, several passengers were injured and one person was killed. Had not a calm, capable pilot been in the cockpit—one trained as a Navy fighter pilot—things could have been tragically worse...

By | 2019-05-15T10:52:54+00:00 May 17th, 2019|