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Dec
04

Eureka Stone

Posted in: Daily Devotional - Our Daily Bread

The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
Matthew 13:44

In 1867 on a farm in South Africa, 15-year-old Erasmus Jacobs saw a stone glistening in the sun. The shining rock was eventually reported to a neighbor, who wanted to buy it from the family. Not knowing its value, Erasmus’ mother told the neighbor, “You can keep the stone, if you want it.”

Eventually, a mineralogist determined the stone to be a 21.25 carat diamond and worth a great sum. It became known as the “Eureka Diamond.” (The Greek word eureka means “I found it!”) Soon the fields near the Jacobs’ farm soared in value. Underneath the land was one of the richest diamond deposits ever discovered.

Jesus said that the value of being part of God’s kingdom is like treasure: “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field” (Matt. 13:44).

When we put our faith in Christ, a spiritual “eureka moment” arrives. God gives us forgiveness in His Son. It is the greatest treasure that could ever be found. Now all of life can begin to center on the value of becoming a joyous member of His eternal kingdom. It’s our joy to share that valuable discovery with others.

How we need a keen awareness
Of the joys God wants to share!
Priceless treasures found in Jesus—
We are rich beyond compare! —D. DeHaan
God’s kingdom is a treasure meant to be shared.
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Dec
03

One Stretch

Posted in: Daily Devotional - Our Daily Bread

Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!
1 John 3:1

For years, Sarah had low-back pain that continued to worsen. Her doctor sent her for physical therapy, and she was given 25 stretches to do every day. The pain lessened but not completely. So the doctor ordered x-rays and sent her to another therapist, who instructed her to discontinue the other therapist’s stretches and do only one stretch a day as needed. Surprisingly, the one simple stretch worked the best.

Sometimes the simplest truths are the best. When asked to summarize in one sentence his whole life’s work in theology, Karl Barth responded: “Jesus loves me!” Some say he added, “This I know, for the Bible tells me so.”

God’s love for us is evident. He gave His Son to rescue us from ourselves. Christ died on the cross, taking our burden of sin. Then He rose again, giving us new life in Him. Amazing love! As John tells us: “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1).

Jesus’ love for us isn’t a Band-Aid or a cure-all for all of life’s problems, of course. But it is the one truth we can always depend on to give purpose to life and peace with God.

I am so glad that our Father in heaven
Tells of His love in the Book He has given;
Wonderful things in the Bible I see—
This is the dearest, that Jesus loves me. —Bliss
The wonder of it all— just to think that Jesus loves me.
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Dec
02

Integrity League

Posted in: Daily Devotional - Our Daily Bread

He who walks with integrity walks securely.
Proverbs 10:9

We call it the Integrity League, but it’s really just a bunch of guys who get together at lunchtime to play basketball. We call fouls on ourselves, attempt to avoid angry outbursts, and simply try to keep everything fair and enjoyable. We are competitive and we don’t like to lose—but we all agree that integrity and honesty should control the atmosphere.

Integrity. Scripture clearly indicates the importance of this trait. And we honor the God of our lives when we practice it.

Through His Word, God has given us clear reasons to “walk in . . . integrity” (Ps. 26:11). A person who has integrity has the security of a quiet life unknown to the one who “perverts his ways” (Prov. 10:9). The follower of God who lives with integrity is preserved by his confidence in God, for that person waits for God’s intervention in his life instead of running ahead of Him (Ps. 25:21). And the one who practices integrity will be given guidance and clear direction (Prov. 11:3).

Why should we care about life’s “Integrity League”? Because obeying God this way shows that we trust Him with our lives and that we want to shine His great love on others.

Dear Father, help my word be true. Help my
actions be honest. Help my life to
reflect Your holiness and shine God’s light
for all to see. Help me to live with integrity.
Integrity is Christlike character in workclothes.