Weekly Bread With Bro. Sam

July


Weekly Bread With Bro. Sam – July 26, 2021

Doing What Is Good—According To God!

Micah 6:8 “He has shown you, O man, what is good: And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?”

            In order to be pleasing to God, we must be willing to be in the center of His will as we prepare our hearts for the great work He wants to do in our lives. One of the ways we can do this is by seeking to do what God has revealed is His will for our lives. Notice God’s will in our text:

            We Are To Act Justly. The Christian is to “do justice”, or “do what is right”. God is a holy God, and He desires for us to live holy lives. Our actions should be aligned with His holy Word. He wants every believer to think, speak, and act in a righteous, just, pure, Christ like manner.

We Are To Love Mercy. God has been merciful to us by giving forgiveness to us through His Son, Jesus. Likewise we are to be kind and merciful to others. Jesus said in Luke 6:38 “Give and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you”.

We Are To Walk Humbly. God does not bless arrogant, boastful know-it-alls. We must

walk as Jesus did—in humility (Philippians 2:3-8).

May we live in such a way that God will bless us with a fresh wind of the Spirit blowing through our church and our lives!

Today, may we seek to “Do What Is Good—According to God”?

Weekly Bread With Bro. Sam – July 19, 2021

Even If You Don’t Understand—Trust God!

 Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

            I think we can all agree with this statement: “Sometimes God’s ways are difficult to understand.” It’s especially hard when you are on the receiving end of a very tough situation; you have been betrayed (by a neighbor, a friend, or even a spouse), you have lost a loved one (a mother, a father, a child), you have an illness that is threatening your life, or the life of a person very close to you. Perhaps you need a reminder today, as I often do, that you can trust your Heavenly Father, even if you don’t understand.

            The writer of Hebrews reminds us that many of the Old Testament saints, heroes of the faith, did not fully understand their message about the ways and plan of God, and yet they trusted Him with their lives. In Hebrews 11:39-40, God’s Word says, “ And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.”

            God is able to give meaningfulness to your disappointment and confusion. He can give hope to your hopelessness, reason to your senselessness, and deliverance from your bitterness.

He is the God who sees, the God who cares, the God we can trust—even “When We Don’t Understand!”

Weekly Bread With Bro. Sam – July 12, 2021

Thankful For Answered Prayer!

John 15: 7 – “If you abide in me, and My words abide in you, you will ask whatever you desire, and it shall be done for you.”

           I am thankful today for answered prayer! It is one of the greatest joys of the Christian life. How awesome it is when we take something to the Lord in prayer, and He, through His Word, reveals to us His will regarding that matter. Then we can pray for Him to act according to His will until it becomes a reality. That is the process Jesus had in mind in our text.

            We Must Abide in Jesus. Every Christian is “in Christ” (1 Cor. 5:17). The moment we are saved, the Holy Spirit baptizes us into Christ’s body (1 Cor. 12:13). To “abide” in Christ means that once we are saved, we walk in harmony with Christ and His desires for us.

             Jesus’ Word Must Abide in Us. The abiding Christian spends much time reading and studying the Bible. God’s Word becomes more important to Him than physical food (Matt. 4:4). When that happens, God Graciously hears and answers our prayers. Go to the Lord in humble prayer. The results will amaze you!

             I believe in Prayer. I’m confident that you do too! Join me today in thanking God for answered payer. And while you’re at it, lift up a new request to Him. He can’t wait to answer!

Weekly Bread With Bro. Sam – July 5, 2021

The Voice Of God Always Brings the Peace Of God For The Child Of God!

Matthew14:27 “But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”

In out text, it is recorded that Jesus’ disciples were thrust into a violent storm that left them terrified and fearing for their lives. While in the middle of the storm they looked in the distance and saw something. Their fear of the storm had them on edge already. It was then that they concluded that it was a ghost, a spirit of some kind. What they saw terrorized them; however, the image they actually saw should have brought them joy, for it was Jesus.

            Even though the disciple’s perception was wrong, the Lord Jesus called out to them and told them, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” Hearing the familiar, confident, voice of Jesus changed the disciple’s perception, gave them hope, and drove out the fear that had paralyzed them. They knew now that they would survive. So much so, that Peter asked the Lord to command him to come to Him. And Peter became the only man we know, other than Jesus, to walk on water. This trip was getting better all the time!

            Hear me well church. As you walk through life, you will have times when what you see and feel around you, will cause fear. Times like we are going through now. In these moments, listen carefully for the voice of God, as he calls out to you saying, “Do not be afraid!”

            The more you hear His words, the clearer your perception will be, and fear will not win the day! Let His Voice Bring You Peace Today!

June

Daily Bread With Bro. Sam – June  28, 2021

Piercing The Darkness With God’s Light

Psalm 37:5-6 “Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.” 

            Our God is a God of promises. We find them in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Our present scripture text is no exception. In these verses God promises to uphold, reveal and establish righteousness and justice in the lives of those who trust Him, as they commit their lives to Him. God highly values righteousness and justice in the lives of His children. He wants to so change our lives that we are able to have His moral character reflected in the way we live.

            Our culture seeks to diminish the biblical and spiritual morality we are called to live out in this sin-cursed society.  Its “live and let live” and its “anything goes mentality” works to undermine the work of God through the lives of His followers. The prevalence of injustice in the world may sometimes negate the hope of true justice winning out in the daily struggle.

            Take heart. God is very optimistic. He offers a vision. Picture the sun rising on a clear bright morning. Our righteousness will pierce the darkness of unrighteousness about us. God’s justice will ultimately prevail against all odds.

It is a certainty—we can “Pierce The Darkness With His Light”!

Weekly Bread With Bro. Sam – June 21, 2021

Our Father In Heaven—Knows Just What We Need!

Matthew 6:7-9 “And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven….” 

            Even before we call on Him, our heavenly Father is already working to provide all that we need. Isaiah 65:24 says, “It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear.” Wow, that is some kind of promise!

Jesus wanted His disciples to learn how intimately God knew each of them. He assured them that, even before they prayed, He knew about their situation. That same promise is given to us. Our Heavenly Father knows exactly what we will face today and next week. He is eager for us to experience Him as He provides for us.

            To our surprise, we often find that God knows far better than we do, what is best for us! He is prepared to show His strength through our weakness. He is prepared to meet our every need, if only we ask. In Philippians 4:19-20 we read, “ And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Now to our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.”

            Let’s face today with great expectation. There’s no telling what God has planned for us this Day!        

Weekly Bread With Bro. Sam – June 14, 2021

The Sovereignty Of God—And Your Life!

Acts 17:24-26 “God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings.” 

            Did you get that very significant point God is making in these verses? It is no accident that you are living in this century, this decade, and this very year. It is no coincidence that you are living in your town (for most of us Luverne, and the surrounding area), residing on the street you live, and with the neighbors you see every day. And is your circle of friends just coincidence? No way. God has determined it all!

            Consider for a moment, that you could have easily been born in another time, and in another place. Of all the billions of possibilities, of all the millions of people you could be friends with, God determined the exact time and place where you live now, and where you have lived over the span of your life. Some of you have lived here in this area all your life. Some of you are like Laura and I. God’s call upon our lives has led us to live in several communities and in several states, over our 43 years of ministry. We have been able to connect with friends, near and far, over the years, and have been greatly encouraged. The relationships we have built have been appointed by our great God. 

            When we consider this amazing truth, our lives take on new and profound significance. May we thank God today, for His sovereign hand upon our lives. May we thank Him for those He has brought, and continues to bring into our lives! Life is a real adventure—especially for the people of God!

Weekly Bread With Bro. Sam – June 7, 2021

May We follow Our Lord’s Example Today—Serving Those In Need!

Matthew 25:34-36, 40 “Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me’…. And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’”

            Our Lord pointed out to His first century followers that their kindness and generosity to the people around them was the same as if they did it to Him. He wanted His followers to know that the “down and outs” were just as important to Him as the “well to dos” in this world. He was interested in them, and their welfare. This lesson in kindness and caring was necessary for His disciples to learn how to apply it to their lives.

            Have you ever considered that your generosity toward other people is held in such high esteem by our Lord? Perhaps now is a good time to consider it? In our scripture passage today, Jesus mentions six common, everyday situations that we often encounter: (1) hunger; (2) thirst; (3) strangers (think outsider); (4) naked (think without means); (5) sickness; (6) incarceration. Of course, any one of these six situations could be huge, and could consume a lifetime of effort. We can probably all think of a time when our Lord has put someone in one of these situations in our path. Perhaps we can even remember being able to help the person in need.  Praise God for that opportunity.

            I cannot help but think that our Lord is simply saying that, as His followers, we are to be mindful of those in need that the Lord places in our paths. Jesus ministered to the masses (think the feeding of the 5000) and to the individuals (think Nicodemus) that he encountered during His time here on earth.

            Our Lord Is Encouraging Us To Live As He Lived—Serving Others!

May

Weekly Bread With Bro. Sam – May 31, 2021

God’s Goodness And Patience Leads Us Back To Him!

Romans 2:4 “Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?”

            In this verse, God the Spirit used Paul to reveal two tools which God uses to shape our lives: patience and goodness. As this verse makes clear, God uses these two marvelous attributes of His character to help change our hearts and our lives.

            The Bible tells us, “God is love” (1 John 4:16). This helps us to understand why God tells us in 1 Corinthians 13:4 that, “Love is patient and kind”. When incorporated into our lives, the attributes of love, patience, and goodness will lead us into a deeper walk of fellowship with the Lord Jesus.

            God is patient because he sees all of our lives before they are lived. He knows what His plans are for you and me before we are born. In Jerimiah 29:11, God says, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” The Lord is willing to invest the time and energy necessary to get us to where He has appointed us to be, today and tomorrow!

            Today, will you journey with God, as He guides you into His “plan” for your life?

Weekly Bread With Bro. Sam – May 24, 2021

The Key To True Happiness—Serving The Lord!

Psalm 84:10-11 “For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.”

            We are constantly offered up pictures of the world as they party. They are convinced that we want to have the things they have and do the things they do so we can be happy. They make life look like a huge party full of beautiful, smiling people without a care in the world!

            But we know better. We know the tents those of the world erect and live in aren’t all the fun they make it out to be. There is a high price to pay for ignoring God in this world. There is more to life than what you see and do on this celestial ball. Being happy today does not give promise of a happy tomorrow. We all know plenty of broken lives and broken homes that prove that.

            But we have chosen another path. It is the path that leads into God’s presence. The psalmist calls it “entering God’s courts”. He speaks of serving the Lord as the place of contentment and joy. To be a “doorkeeper in God’s house” might seem insignificant to the world, but we know Jesus taught that greatness in the Kingdom comes through servanthood. The wise man looks to more than the latest high energy TV or internet commercial to choose his path.

            What about you? Do you believe it is better to serve the Lord, than to enjoy the world’s party? Make you choice today!

Weekly Bread With Bro. Sam – May 17, 2021

God’s Power Will Ensure That His Promises Will Be Fulfilled!

Genesis 18:10, 13-14 “And He said, “I will certainly return to you according to the time of life, and behold, Sarah your wife shall have a son…And the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I surely bear a child, since I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.” 

            All of us have been there. God’s promise is presented to us, and our faith is challenged to believe that promise. But as we seek to claim that promise, we must overcome the temptation to doubt. We must lay hold of these promises with confidence. God has many ways to encourage us in our faith. One of the ways most often presented in Scripture, is for God to remind us of His great power.

As Sarah, Abraham’s wife, heard Abraham’s guest say she would have a baby, she laughed, as she was hidden in the tent. After all, she was 89 years old at the time. Because it was the Lord who made the statement, that same Lord also heard Sarah’s laugh of doubt. It was at that point that He taught them, and us, a great lesson. Nothing is too hard for our God. He assured Abraham that Sarah would indeed have a child, with-in the year, “according to the time of life.” There was to be no doubt, no lack of faith. They could trust the Lord’s Word. Indeed, it did happen just as the Lord had said.

That same faith can be in our lives today. No matter what problems you are facing, always remember that our God is big enough, strong enough, and powerful enough to take care of them. He is the answer to all of life’s problems.

There is “Nothing Too Hard For Our God”!

Weekly Bread With Bro. Sam – May 10, 2021

Who Will You Bow Down To Today?

Psalm 95: 6-7 “Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our maker. For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand.”

            With a single word, God extends His invitation to you and me: come. We are encouraged to draw near and enter into His presence. The actions of our life are to reflect a humility of heart that can only come from a close walk with Him.

            The writer of Hebrews tells us God wants us, His people, to gather regularly for worship. In Hebrews 10:24-25 we read, “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” You and I should seek to never miss a day of corporate worship on Sunday. Bible study is good, but if you must choose, God would have you to worship Him, above all else.

But certainly we know that we should bow before Him every day in honor of who He is—our glorious King! We are to acknowledge God for who He is, and for the great works that he does for His people. We must present him with the honor and praise that is due Him. We are to declare His glory and worth!

            True worship will bring rest to the child of God who approaches the heavenly Father in adoration. There is simply nothing to compare with it. Whether it is on a Sunday when we come together corporately, or with our family, friends, or by ourselves—nothing is more wonderful than “drawing near to Him”.

            God invites you because of who you are in His eyes: The apple of His eye, His favored possession, and “the sheep of His hand”.

            Let us “worship and bow down” before the Lord today!

Weekly Bread With Bro. Sam – May 3, 2021

The Child Of God Is Never Alone!

John 16:32-33 “Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

            Many people in this world struggle with loneliness. I’m sure it’s something we have all been acquainted with at one time or the other. Even Jesus acknowledged that he was aware that the disciples would desert him when he was arrested, and He would be left alone. However, He assured them that even when they all ran for cover,  when things got hard, He was confident that one person would still be with Him—His Heavenly Father.

             We can be assured today, as God’s children, we don’t have to be fearful that we are going to be alone. Jesus said of those who have trusted Him as Savior, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). Our assurance lies in the fact that Jesus has “overcome the world”!

            People all around us are suffering from loneliness. Billy Graham referred to the “cosmic loneliness” that people feel because their sins have separated them from God. We who know Christ can remember those days before we were saved. We too have felt that loneliness. But with Christ in our hearts, we will never be alone again. In John 14:23, Jesus said, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.” Wow! God making His home in us! The implications of that truth are amazing.

April

Daily Bread With Bro. Sam – April 26 2021

When We All Get To Heaven!

Revelation 21:1-4 “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.  And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” 

            “When We All Get To Heaven”. I always have loved singing that song. If you’ve been around church very long, I’m sure you have heard it. Perhaps you like it as well. I have always been encouraged that the Lord promises those of us who belong to Him such a bright future. In fact God testifies that we really can’t begin to imagine all that Jesus is planning for us in that “Bright New World”! In 2 Corinthians 2:9 the Bible says, “But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 

            Heaven. Everyone I talk to wants to go there. That’s good. Most people I talk to aren’t in a hurry to get there. We all seem to want to live life here. I know people who say things like, “I want to get married and have children”, or “I want to see my grandchildren grow up”, or “I’m looking forward to retirement.” These are all good things that are part of life on earth.

But there are a lot of things that are part of living here on this sin cursed celestial ball that I’m glad we won’t have to deal with in Heaven. Things like death, sorrow, and crying! What joy there is in reading our Scripture text today about how God will “wipe away every tear from our eyes.”

But there’s more. Not only will we celebrate what is missing in heaven, we will also rejoice in what we find there. Most importantly, we will find God himself with us always. We take great comfort when we hear Jesus say in Matthew 28:20 “…and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

May we live for Jesus today, as we look forward to the day “When We All Get To Heaven”! Wow! What a day that will be!

Weekly Bread With Bro. Sam – April 19, 2021

Are You Known By Jesus—As One Of His?

John 10:27 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them and they follow me.”

            Do you know God? Some might consider that an awkward question. Nevertheless, it is a valid and very important question. The apostle Paul said that one of his chief goals on earth was to know Jesus. In Philippians 3:8-11 we read, “Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.”

            But an equally valid and important question is, “Does God know you?” In our text, Jesus gives three characteristics of any true Christian. First, as one of Christ’s “sheep”, a Christian will “hear (His) voice”. Second, Jesus’ followers will be marked by the fact that He “knows” them. Third, a true Christian will be obvious because he desires to follow Jesus obediently.

            The second of these characteristics is fundamentally important. It is not enough for someone to say he knows about Christ. Christ Himself must acknowledge that person as His own. I know of the president of the United States, but he does not know me. Even so, many people know about Jesus, but they do not know him personally, nor does He know them as their Savior and Lord.

 Are You Known By Jesus—As One Of His? If you are, Celebrate it today!

Weekly Bread With Bro. Sam – April 12, 2021

The Key To Serving God—Consistent Prayer!

Daniel 6:7, 9–11 “All the governors of the kingdom, the administrators and satraps, the counselors and advisors, have consulted together to establish a royal statute and to make a firm decree, that whoever petitions any god or man for thirty days, except you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions…. Therefore King Darius signed the written decree. Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days. Then these men assembled and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God.”

            Today will be filled with choices. Since you are reading this devotional, you made a conscious choice to seek the Lord and His truth. Many of the choices we make each day are small, even trivial. But some are very important—life changing even. One of those big choices is to seek the Lord in Prayer. As we acknowledge God in prayer each day, not only do we enjoy the fellowship we experience with our heavenly Father, we also grow in His grace.

            Daniel is a great example for all of us. When persecution came, he was able to stand strong and seek the Lord in prayer, even when he was threatened with death for praying to any god, other than the Persian King. Of course, Daniel knew there was only one true God— the God of the Hebrews. Notice the Bible says that, “Daniel prayed and gave thanks before His God, as was his custom.” He didn’t wait until trouble came, before he sought the Lord in prayer. He made a conscious choice to seek the Lord three times each day. He did not fear the king, or death.

            Is it any wonder why God entrusted Daniel with so much. The visions of the end time and the return of Jesus Christ, alone, require a lifetime to probe and discern. As a prophet of God he is a towering figure in the Bible. He is one of the few people in the Bible of whom the scripture records no “bad report.”  I believe the key to his faithful service to God was his consistent prayer to the Lord.

            May we commit today, to choose to seek the Lord in prayer. It is then that we will be able to stand for Him when our day of testing comes. It could be today!

Weekly Bread With Bro. Sam – April 5, 2021

Sometimes God Will Answer “Yes”—And Sometimes God Will Answer “No”!

Acts 12:2-3 “Now about that time Herod the king stretched out his hand to harass some from the church. Then he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And because he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to seize Peter also.”

            There are times when we do not have all the answers. One such time is when the question comes up, “What if the answer from God is No”? In our text we find that the newly born church is in trouble. One of their leaders, James, is killed by Herod the King. This brought great joy to the unbelieving Jews. If there was one thing Herod wanted to do, it was to please the Jewish leaders.

Do we believe the church was praying for James to be delivered? I certainly do. When Herod then arrested Peter, thinking to do the same to Him, the Bible says, “Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church.” (Acts12:5) In Peter’s case God intervened, and sent an angel to deliver him. Did God love Peter more than James? Of course not. Peter and James were both part of Jesus’ inner circle, yet it was not God’s sovereign will to save James from a martyr’s death.

            How did the church react? Did they stop praying? Did they get angry with God?  Did they get bitter toward God? Did they try to get even with Herod? The answer to these questions is, “No”!

            There are times when we must accept God’s answer because we trust His love and wisdom. The purpose of prayer is not to conform God to our will but to adjust our will to His, even, “When the Answer is No”.