Charles Stanley – Your Commitment Is a Witness


Daniel 6:1-28

Daniel had been faithfully living out his commitment to the Lord from the time he was a teenager. His witness of integrity and godliness was earned over a lifetime, during which he’d been challenged frequently to compromise his faith.

Today’s passage shows him facing a desperately dangerous situation: the lions’ den. Although we usually focus on Daniel and the beasts, an unexpected aspect of this story is the reaction of the king.

Though he’d foolishly signed the law that created Daniel’s treacherous predicament, Darius was so impressed with him that he tried to rescue him. When the ruler’s efforts failed, he made a surprising statement of trust in the Lord: “Your God whom you constantly serve will Himself deliver you” (Dan. 6:16). Now, that’s a witness!

Does your unwavering devotion to Christ lead others to trust your Savior? Too many Christians have a commitment of convenience. They’ll stay faithful as long as it’s safe and doesn’t involve risk, rejection, or criticism. Instead of standing alone in the face of challenge or temptation, they check to see which way their friends are going. What kind of witness is that? Who will want to follow our God if we ourselves won’t follow Him? Our response can draw others to Jesus or push them away.

If you desire to be like Daniel, practice your commitment to Christ both privately and publicly. The time you spend alone with God will transform your character and increase your devotion. Then your integrity and godly behavior in an unbelieving world will make others long to know the Lord.

Bible in One Year: Micah 1-4

Our Daily Bread — Pass It On

Read: Psalm 78:1-8

Bible in a Year: Song of Solomon 4-5; Galatians 3

We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord.—Psalm 78:4

I enjoy watching relay races. The physical strength, speed, skill, and endurance required of the athletes amaze me. But one crucial point of the race always gets my special attention and makes me anxious. It is the moment the baton is passed to the next athlete. One moment of delay, one slip, and the race could be lost.

In a sense, Christians are in a relay race, carrying the baton of faith and the knowledge of the Lord and of His Word. And the Bible tells us about our need to pass this baton from one generation to another. In Psalm 78, Asaph declares: “I will utter . . . things from of old—things we have heard and known, things our ancestors have told us . . . . We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done” (vv. 2-4).

Moses said something similar to the Israelites: “Do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them” (Deut. 4:9).

For generations to come, we are called to lovingly and courageously do whatever we can to pass along “the praises of him who called [us] out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9). —Lawrence Darmani

Father, help me to be faithful in passing my faith along to someone else.

Share with us at the ways you are passing along your faith to the next generation.

We influence future generations by living for Christ today.

INSIGHT: It is interesting that Psalm 78:2 makes reference to speaking in parables. Jesus quotes this verse in Matthew 13:35. Jesus is the Master Teacher, and His primary teaching tool was the parable. A parable has been called “an earthly story with a heavenly meaning.” Each story conveys an insight into God and the human condition. Yet in a very mysterious way, Jesus used parables to confound the wise. In Mark, Christ quoted Isaiah regarding the lack of spiritual understanding of those who have hardened hearts. He said he spoke in parables so that “they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!” (4:12).

John MacArthur – Strength for Today – The Spirit’s Intercession

“But the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words” (Romans 8:26).

Because He understands our struggles in this life, the Holy Spirit continually prays for us before the Father’s throne.

In the midst of life’s many difficulties and stressful times, there is hardly anything more comforting than knowing you have a friend—someone on your side. In the legal realm, an attorney formally argues your case when you need to settle a judicial or financial dispute. This concept of friend and advocate is right at the heart of the Holy Spirit’s role as our Paraclete, one called alongside to help (John 14:16).

Paul’s words in today’s passage comfort us with the knowledge that the Spirit is fulfilling the promise of John 14 by being on our side and shepherding us toward Heaven. In the process He is continuously ensuring the security of our salvation and interceding for us and all believers, just as Christ does (see Luke 22:31-32; Heb. 7:25).

We would be at an eternal loss if the Holy Spirit did not intercede for us. He understands our sinful frailties and knows that, by our own wisdom, we don’t know how to pray properly for ourselves or how to consistently maintain our walk with the Lord. This intercession is done “with groanings too deep for words” (Rom. 8:26).

Those “groanings” refer to divine communications between the Father and the Spirit that transcend any human language. They are more like sighs that can’t be put into words. That means we can’t know precisely what the Holy Spirit says when he intercedes on our behalf, but we can be certain that He is praying for us.

The Spirit’s lofty ministry of intercession reminds us again of how utterly dependent we are on Him to support us and help us with our daily discipleship. As the Christian writer A.W. Pink once said, “Only by His [the Spirit’s] strengthening of the heart are we delivered from being engrossed in the things around us, and our earthbound affections are drawn to things above.”

Suggestions for Prayer

Thank God that when you are perplexed or confused and unsure how to pray, the Spirit will already be interceding for you.

For Further Study

Jesus’ most notable time of intercession for His disciples came in John 17. Read this chapter, and record the items that compose His intercessory list. How do these apply to us?

Wisdom Hunters – Path of Life 

You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.   Psalm 16:11

God set us on a path when we surrendered by faith to our Savior, Jesus. His path is not without bumps, but it is by far the best path. It is an inviting path because Christ accompanies us. Wherever Jesus walks, we want to walk. Where He goes, we want to follow. When He is out front, we have confidence in the direction. When we run ahead, we lose the advantage of Christ’s compass. When we lag behind, we lose perspective and our focus of faith in Him. God’s path is the most productive because this is where we walk with Jesus. Along the path with Christ, we hear His voice and His guidance in different directions. When we started out, we were determined to go in one direction. But over time, He has a way of revealing to us a better way.

Stay on the path with Jesus. Our direction determines our destination. We can be full of good intentions and still be on the wrong path. Good motives do not govern our outcomes, and sincere dedication does not dictate our destination. The road we are on determines our route. We can pray about visiting Washington, D.C., and even plan a trip there, but if we strike out due west from Atlanta, Georgia, we will not arrive at our desired destination. The path you choose carries you toward or away from your goals. A loving and respectful spouse is on a path of understanding and accountability. An excellent employee is on a path of doing what he or she does best with diligence. A fulfilling friendship is on a path of service and unselfishness. Those who enjoy financial freedom are on a path of generosity, saving, and wise spending. Paths have predetermined outcomes, so make sure to go down the God-honoring ones. We can lose a season of our life by strolling down a wrong path.

Continue reading Wisdom Hunters – Path of Life 

Today’s Turning Point with David Jeremiah – Back to Your Future—Back to the Basics

A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach….1 Timothy 3:2

Years ago, a ministerial student approached Dr. H. Edwin Young, and asked about the role of a pastor. “What does a pastor do?” asked the student. Dr. Young wisely answered, “It’s not what I do that counts. It’s who I am. Being always comes before doing.” Pastor Young then talked about the personal traits and character qualities necessary for those who walk with and work for the Lord.

Recommended Reading: 1 Timothy 3:1-7

That’s the way Paul approached the role of bishops and deacons in 1 Timothy 3. He had little to say about what they were to do. Instead he devoted his teaching to the personal qualities that should characterize their lives—morally blameless, faithful in family matters, temperate, mature, and well behaved.

Perhaps God hasn’t called you to be a deacon, bishop, or pastor; but the lesson applies to all of us. As we move into the fall, let’s get back to the basics. Remember:  being comes before doing. Our authenticity trumps our activity. It’s great to be busy for the Lord, but our walk with the Lord is more important than our work for the Lord.

As children of the King, we are to walk worthy of our calling!

  1. Edwin Young

Read-Thru-the-Bible: Nahum 1 – Habakkuk 3

Joyce Meyer – The Word of God Sets You Free

. . . Welcome the Word which implanted and rooted [in your hearts] contains the power to save your souls.- James 1:21

The most powerful and effective tool to bring about real and lasting transformation in our lives is the Word of God. It is the Word of God that draws us and keeps us close to God.

The devil will always try to deceive you, telling you things about yourself and your situation that are contrary to God’s Word. As long as we believe the lies, we remain frustrated, miserable, and powerless. But when God’s Word of truth uncovers those lies, the truth sets us free.

Only the Word of God has this power, and only God can change us. The Word exposes wrong motives, wrong thoughts, and wrong words. Truth can set us free from guilt, self-rejection, condemnation, self-hatred, the works of the flesh, and every lie that we have bought into and brought into our lives. God is out to set us free so that we can enjoy the life He has given us.

A sword in the sheath is of no value. It must be wielded and appropriately used. Well, the Word of God is the believer’s sword, and we can learn by applying it daily, getting it down in our heart, and speaking it out our mouth. The believer who does this is full of power and can accomplish great things for the kingdom of God.

Studying the Word is the number one way to draw close to God.

From the book Closer to God Each Day by Joyce Meyer.

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – The Key to Real Joy

“Remember what Christ taught and let His words enrich your lives and make you wise; teach them to each other and sing them out in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing to the Lord with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, let it be as a representative of the Lord Jesus, and come with Him into the presence of God the Father to give Him your thanks” (Colossians 3:16,17).

As I travel and speak throughout the world, I meet many individuals who are caught up in the emotionalism of a religious experience which they attribute to the Holy Spirit. They live from experience to experience, with little knowledge of what the Bible teaches. As a result, they seldom grow past the baby stage. They are seeking and talking about their experiences with the Holy Spirit instead of the Lord Jesus, forgetting that the Holy Spirit came to glorify Christ.

At the other extreme, I find that most Christians seldom mention the Holy Spirit. The supernatural life is a life of balance.

Notice the close parallel between Ephesians 5:18-20 and Colossians 3:16-17. The Spirit-filled person and the one whose mind and heart are saturated with the person and the Word of Jesus Christ will be joyful and thankful, and he will do all as a testimony of love to Him who is our Lord and Savior.

We can no more live a joyful, abundant, fruitful, victorious, supernatural life apart from the Word of God than we can do so apart from the Spirit of God. They are like the two wings of an airplane; a plane cannot fly with only one wing. Neither can we live balanced, victorious lives if we do not invest time in reading, studying, memorizing and meditating on God’s Word, while at the same time depending on the Holy Spirit, who inspired its writing centuries ago, to illuminate its truth to our minds and hearts.

Bible Reading: I Corinthians 10:31-33

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Today – and every day – I will claim the Holy Spirit’s power to enable me to read, study, memorize and meditate on God’s holy, inspired Word with comprehension. I will claim by faith the help of the Holy Spirit to live in accordance with the teaching of God’s revealed truth. With His help, I will live a balanced, Spirit-controlled, supernatural life.

Ray Stedman – Children of God

Read: Romans 8:14-15b

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. Romans 8:14-15

We are all creatures of God by natural birth, but Paul is careful to use a different word in Romans. Here the word is children (sons) of God. We are in the family of God, and this is a very distinctive term. This is something that God intends for us to return to when we are in trouble. If you are having difficulty handling your behavior — whether you are not doing what you want to do, or doing what you don’t want to do — the way to handle it is to remind yourself of what God has made you to be.

In other words, in the struggle that you have with sin within you, you are not a slave, helplessly struggling against a cruel and powerful master; you are a son, a son of the living God, with power to overcome the evil. Though you may be temporarily overcome, you are never ultimately defeated. It cannot be, because you are a child of God. That is why Paul could say in Romans 6, Sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace, (Romans 6:14 KJV). In this gracious relationship, we are made sons of the living God. No matter what happens to us, that is what we are. Nothing can change that.

It is important also for us to see how we become sons of God. Paul says the Spirit of God found you, and he adopted us into God’s family. Some of you may be saying, What do you mean when you say we are adopted into the family of God? I have been taught that I was born into the family of God. The truth is that both of these are true. You are both adopted and born into the family of God. God uses both of these terms because he wants to highlight two different aspects of our belonging to the family of God. You are said to be adopted because God wants you to remember always that you are not naturally part of the family of God. We are all children of Adam by natural birth. We belong to the human family, and we inherit Adam’s nature. All his defects, all his problems, all the evil that came into his life by his disobedience. So by nature we are not part of God’s family. This is just like those today who were born into one family, but were taken out of that family and were adopted into another family. From then on they became part of the family that adopted them.

Continue reading Ray Stedman – Children of God

Words of Hope – Daily Devotional – Man Well Dressed

Read: Ephesians 4:17-24

Taught . . . to put on the new self. (vv. 21, 24)

The meaning of yesterday’s quotation, “heaven in ordinary” may not have been obvious to us, but we need have no doubts about today’s phrase “man well drest,” or “man well dressed”—what it means, what it has to do with prayer, and why it is here bracketed with that previous phrase.

“Putting on Christ” is regular New Testament language for what you actually did in becoming a Christian. So once you belong to Jesus, it’s not something you have to do again, let alone do repeatedly; it’s something you have already done. You could rightly say that the whole character of your wardrobe is now different from what it was before. So far as your witness to the world around is concerned, what you are “wearing” these days will be what you might call a uniform, showing other people what you are. But so far as your prayer life is concerned (that being the focus of these readings), what you are “wearing” these days will always be your best clothes, recognizing what a privilege it is to be meeting God and talking with him.

About that meeting, yesterday’s phrase (“heaven in ordinary”) was about how God comes to me; today’s phrase (“man well drest”) is about how I come to him. They are two ways of describing what is happening when I pray. The first consideration moved me to humble worship, this second one gives me happy confidence.

Here is the poem in its entirety:

Continue reading Words of Hope – Daily Devotional – Man Well Dressed

Greg Laurie – Can Christians Lose Their Salvation?

He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.

—John 3:36

Sometimes people will make a profession of faith, and then seemingly fall away. We ask ourselves, “Did this person lose their salvation?”

My question, in turn, would be, “Were they ever really saved to begin with?”

If somebody commits their life to Christ, then walks away and never comes back, I suggest to you that they were never a Christian at all. If, on the other hand, someone commits their life to the Lord, walks away, and then comes back to Christ, I suggest to you that they were simply a prodigal.

The true test is where they end up.

A true believer will always come home to the Lord, eventually. A person who is not a true believer won’t. In 1 John 2:19 (NIV) we read: “They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.”

Kids 4 Truth International – Waiting on God Is No Vain Thing

“The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.” (Lamentations 3:25)

Jim Elliot was a missionary in Ecuador, South America – over fifty years ago. Even as a young man, Jim had decided in his heart to follow God’s leading. He did not want to make a plan unless he was sure his plan was what God wanted. He was careful not to “run ahead” of God. Instead, he waited on God to make things plain. In a letter to the girl who would one day become his wife, Jim wrote about how he was waiting on God to lead and protect and provide for them. He signed his letter to her this way:


Waiting on Him for Whom

it is no vain thing to wait,



What does it mean to say “it is no vain thing to wait” for God? The word “vain” means “worthless,” “without purpose,” “hopeless,” or “empty.”

“Waiting on Him for Whom it is no vain thing to wait.” Jim’s words were another way of saying what God Himself says in Lamentations 3:25. It is not a worthless or purposeless or empty thing to wait on the Lord. Why not? Because the LORD is good to all those who wait for Him.

You and your family might be waiting on God today for something. Maybe you are waiting for provision (things you need). Maybe you are waiting for protection (safety or a rescue from something painful). Maybe you are waiting on God for direction (leadership and wisdom).

Whatever it is you think you need or want from God…can you wait for it? Can you wait for Him? Like Jim Elliot was learning when he wrote that letter over fifty years ago, you can never go wrong if you are waiting on God. By waiting on God, you show that you trust His perfect timing and His goodness. You can show you believe the truth of Lamentations 3:25 when you hold out for God’s direction and protection and provision.

When you wait to know what God wants you to do, when you wait for Him to rescue or protect you, and when you wait for Him to provide what He thinks you need, you will agree – God’s timing is perfect, and His goodness is worth waiting for.

God’s goodness and God’s timing are always worth the wait.

My Response:

» Am I tempted to “run ahead” of God instead of waiting for Him?

» What are some ways God has protected, directed, or provided for my family and my church?

» How can I show that I trust that God really is good?

The Navigators – Jerry Bridges – Holiness Day by Day Devotional – A Blessing to All

Today’s Scripture: Isaiah 49:6

“I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”

To explore what the apostle Paul called “the unsearchable riches of Christ” (Ephesians 3:8) —the Gospel —we rightly examine our need of the Gospel, the work of Christ in meeting that need, and the application of his work to our individual lives in justification, adoption, glorification, and sanctification. But if we stopped at that point, it could seem as if the Gospel promotes only an attitude of pure self-interest on our part: What will the Gospel do for me? Or at most, the Gospel would be about God and me.

But the Gospel is not about God and me. The Gospel is about God and the world: “In Christ God was reconciling the world to himself” (2 Corinthians 5:19).

We’re not to be a terminus point for the Gospel, but rather a way station in its progress to the ends of the earth. God intends that everyone who has embraced the Gospel become a part of the great enterprise of spreading the Gospel. What our particular part may be will vary from person to person, but all of us should be involved.

The same Scriptures that in centuries past motivated the pioneers in world missions should motivate us today. A good starting point is Genesis 12:3, where God promises Abraham that “all peoples on earth will be blessed through you” (NIV). God repeats this promise in Genesis 22:18, where he more specifically says, “through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed” (NIV). In Galatians 3:16 the apostle Paul identified this “offspring” as Christ. God’s promise to Abraham, then, is that all nations will be blessed through Christ—that is, through his atoning work for us. (Excerpt taken from The Gospel for Real Life)

The Navigators – Leroy Eims – Daily Discipleship Devotional – This One Thing I Do

Today’s Scripture: Colossians 1-4

To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me. – Colossians 1:29

The apostle Paul is remembered for many things: He was a great Bible teacher, a brilliant theologian, and a church planter par excellence. But all these things were an outgrowth of the primary focus of his life: “We proclaim [Christ], admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me” (Colossians 1:28-29).

When we observe the life of Paul, we don’t see a man who meandered through life saying, “These forty things I dabble at.” Instead, we see a man of focus who said, “This one thing I do.”

We never see Paul losing his passion and excitement for his goal. Notice how he speaks of his work of bringing people to Christ and building them up in the faith. The word he uses for labor is kopiao, which means to work until you are ready to drop. Then he uses the word agonizomai, which means to strive, to struggle, to agonize. But he speaks of doing the work through God’s energy.

Christian, what about you? Does the prospect of walking with Christ and serving Him start your day with excitement and anticipation? You don’t have to be an evangelist or a missionary. All it takes is a clear focus on the person of Jesus Christ and what He has called you to do in your family, your job, your life. Why not give yourself to the task of winning people to Christ and helping them grow to their full maturity in Christ.


Lord, may my walk be consistent through Your energy and power. Amen.

To Ponder

The focus of your life determines how you go through each day.

Moody Global Ministries – Today in the Word – GOD’S PEOPLE ARE SAVED

Read ESTHER 8:11–17

At the end of World War II, The Washington Times stated, “WAR IS OVER.” The Chicago Daily Tribune declared, “GREAT WAR ENDS.” With capital letters and bold type, newspapers ushered in rejoicing across the nation that the war was finally over.

The new edict written by Mordecai and sealed by the king’s ring (v. 10) brought about rejoicing throughout the land. The new law undermined the original one written by Haman. Rather than sanctioning the murder of the Jews, the new edict returned power to God’s people (vv. 10–11). The edict said that on the day set for their destruction, the Jewish people could defend themselves. Notice the action verbs in verse 11. They were given the authority to “destroy, kill and annihilate” anyone who dared to try to attack them.

The date of the edict is also significant. Mordecai gave this permission to his people on the very day that Haman’s edict was set to be carried out, on the “thirteenth day of the twelfth month” (v. 12). While the original harmful law was not erased, the new law ensured their protection.

The old had become new. The effect of this new edict was immediate and widespread. No longer was Mordecai a man in mourning, dressed in sackcloth and ashes. He was now arrayed in gold and purple. The city of Susa, once filled with grieving people, is now described as “joyous” (v. 15). For God’s people this was a time of great joy and happiness. They had been vindicated. Their lives had been spared.

God had triumphed over their enemies. As a result of this victory, many people of other nationalities became Jews. Rather than oppose God’s people, they wanted to be part of a people who experienced such mighty deliverance.


Jesus places us under a new covenant, where His burden is easy and His yoke is light (Matt. 11:30). Though we still struggle with temptation, we have the power of the Holy Spirit to resist being controlled by sin (1 Cor. 10:13). We have the armor of God, spiritual weapons that the Lord has given us as part of our victory over evil (Eph. 6:10–18).

Streams in the Desert for Kids – The Living One

Revelation 1:18

Have you ever been to a funeral? They are very sad times. There is a finality to funerals that is difficult for us to understand. One moment the person we love is with us on earth, and the next he or she is gone. A funeral is a way for us to say goodbye to that person. We know that we will meet him or her again in heaven, but it’s still hard without him or her here on earth. We won’t be able to make any more memories with that person. We won’t be able to laugh with him or her about a funny joke. Death is the end of everything we know here on earth. We will all die someday and leave our life here behind.

But there is one person who lives forever. Christ died on the cross, but three days later he burst the chains of death and rose victoriously. Christ conquered death and lives in heaven, at the right hand of God the Father. And Christ also lives within us, working within your heart to bring his kingdom to earth. Because Christ lives, we don’t have to fear death. We don’t have to worry when our loved ones pass away. Someday we will all share in Christ’s eternal, heavenly glory!

Dear Lord, The best news of all is that you are alive today and that you love me. I know that someday I’ll be able to see you and everyone I love here on earth! Amen.