Charles Stanley – God Meets Our Needs


Philippians 4:19

Our heavenly Father has promised to provide everything we need. Let’s consider some of the good gifts that are ours in Christ Jesus.

One universal human need is love. Through faith in Jesus, we’ve been adopted as the heavenly Father’s beloved children. But before this could take place, God’s justice had to be satisfied. You see, we were all born with a sinful nature that is bent away from the Lord. Because of the Father’s great love, He sent Jesus to take our place and experience judgment for our sin. Out of deep compassion for us, Jesus willingly suffered and died so we might become part of God’s family and experience His rich affection for us (John 3:16). Through our relationship with Him, this need for love is fully met.

In fact, by means of salvation, our Father also provided for two other basic needs—companionship and security. When we accept God’s offer of forgiveness, the Holy Spirit comes to live within us, fulfilling Jesus’ promise never to leave us (Heb. 13:5). This new relationship is permanent. What Jesus accomplished on the cross was fully accepted by God as payment for our sin debt. Furthermore, Christ Himself promised that no one can ever snatch us out of His hand (John 10:28). Therefore, we can rest in the knowledge that we are God’s children forever. That is true security.

Our deep need for love, security, and companionship is satisfied in an intimate relationship with the Lord. Have you trusted Christ so you could be permanently adopted into God’s family?

Bible in One Year: Nahum 1-3

Our Daily Bread — Calming Your Soul

Read: Matthew 11:25-30

Bible in a Year: Isaiah 1-2; Galatians 5

Be still, and know that I am God.—Psalm 46:10

While attending a concert, my mind detoured to a troublesome issue that insisted on my attention. Thankfully, the distraction was short-lived as the words of a beautiful hymn began to reach deep into my being. A men’s a capella group was singing “Be Still, My Soul.” Tears welled up as I listened to the words and contemplated the restful peace that only God can give:

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side! Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain; leave to thy God to order and provide; in every change He faithful will remain.

When Jesus was denouncing the unrepentant towns where He had done most of His miracles (Matt. 11:20-24), He still had words of comfort for those who would come to Him. He said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened . . . . learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (vv. 28-29).

This statement is striking! Immediately following His strong words for those who were rejecting Him, Jesus extended an invitation to all to draw near to Him to find the peace we all yearn for. Jesus is the only one who can calm our restless, weary souls. —Joe Stowell

I come to You now, Lord, in need of rest for my heart. Help me to trust You and be confident in Your love.

For further study, read The Lord Is My Shepherd at

When we keep our minds on Jesus, He keeps our minds at peace.

INSIGHT: Our passage today comes on the heels of Jesus denouncing the cities where most of His miracles were performed (Matt. 11:20-24). Bethsaida, one of the denounced cities, literally means “fisherman’s house.” It was a village on the north side of the Sea of Galilee and could have been the birthplace of three of the disciples: Andrew, Peter, and Philip.

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Consider the Lilies

Wendell Berry has written a poem that haunts me frequently. As a creative writer, the act of paying attention is both a spiritual and professional discipline. But far too often my aspirations for paying quality attention to everything dissolves into something more like attention deficit disorder. As it turns out, it is quite possible to see and not really see, to hear and not really hear. And this is all the more ironic when my very attempts to capture what I am seeing and hearing are the thing that prevent me from truly being present. Berry’s poem is about a man on holiday, who, trying to seize the sights and sounds of his vacation by video camera, manages to miss the entire thing.

…he stood with his camera

preserving his vacation even as he was having it

so that after he had had it he would still

have it. It would be there. With a flick

of a switch, there it would be. But he

would not be in it. He would never be in it.(1)

I sometimes wonder if one of the most quoted sayings of Jesus is not often employed with a similar irony. “Consider the lilies,” Jesus said, “how they grow; they neither toil nor spin. Yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field…will he not much more clothe you? Therefore, do not worry.“(2) Typically, Jesus is quoted here as giving a helpful word against worry. And he is. But worry is not the only command he articulates. Consider the lilies, he said. We hear the first instruction peripherally, hurriedly, as mere set up for the final instruction of the saying. And in so doing, we miss something great, perhaps even something vital, both in the means and in the end. With our rationalistic sensibilities, we gloss over consideration of the lilies; ironically, in an attempt to consider the real work Jesus is asking us to do.

But what if considering the lilies is the work, the antidote to anxious, preoccupied lives? What if attending to this short-lived beauty, to the fleeting details of a distracted world is a command Jesus wants us to take seriously in and of itself?

Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Consider the Lilies

John MacArthur – Strength for Today – The Spirit Brings Understanding

“‘These things I have spoken to you in figurative language; an hour is coming when I will speak no more to you in figurative language, but will tell you plainly of the Father’” (John 16:25).

We understand truth thanks to the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit.

Scripture makes it clear that the disciples and all subsequent believers would need additional divine assistance to understand all of God’s teachings. Jesus Himself knew that, as we saw in yesterday’s lesson. And the apostle Paul alludes to that fact in 1 Corinthians 2:9: “Just as it is written, ‘Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him.’” Our human minds and senses by themselves can’t give us an understanding of God’s truth. That’s why we need the Holy Spirit.

In John 16:25 Jesus says, “An hour is coming when I . . . will tell you plainly.” That reference is to the Day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit was poured forth to permanently indwell the disciples and all other believers. Therefore, Jesus is saying that the Spirit will help us understand God’s truth, even the veiled mysteries and figurative statements in His Word.

We know and understand all that we do about God only because His Spirit is our teacher. The Holy Spirit is the one who knows the mind of God and teaches us the deep things of God from Scripture (1 Cor. 2:10-14). All the New Testament epistles were written to plainly explain Christ’s teachings to us. At times the Spirit teaches us directly through the Word, and other times He uses people to teach us and unveil what was previously a mystery. But it’s all His working, it’s reliable, and we can thank Him every day for granting us spiritual understanding.

Suggestions for Prayer

  • If there is a Scripture passage that has been unclear to you, pray that God would clarify it for you as you study it again, or that He would lead you to someone who can help you understand it.
  • Pray for an unbeliever who has been struggling with accepting God’s truth. Ask the Spirit to draw that person to the Lord and unlock Scripture’s truths.

For Further Study

Read Acts 8:26-38.

  • What does this passage teach about the importance of obeying the Spirit’s direction?
  • How did Philip and the Ethiopian exhibit different aspects of that obedience?

Wisdom Hunters – Possessed by God 

They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads. Revelation 9:4

Sealed by our Savior Jesus is a picture of the Lord’s possession of believers and our relationship with Him. We are possessed by God and we have access to God. What a deal: we surrender ourselves and in exchange we know God and He holds title to us. What the Holy Spirit has, He preserves. He is our guarantee. Our inheritance is a secure life with Jesus now and forever. God’s rich grace gives us the commerce to build His kingdom. We are possessed by the Lord for His purposes.

John makes clear those who are sealed by God are kept and protected by God. The final days of judgment will pass over the people who have placed their faith in Christ, but those who have trusted in their own version of truth—will be found out—and will miss out on the rewards of a grace-based life. Unable to overcome the harm of hurtful forces—unbelievers will wish they had trusted and followed the promise of Jesus to possess His power that overcomes (Luke 10:18-20).

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you” (1 Peter 2:9).

What does it mean to be in relationship with the Lord? We have intimate access to Abba God. We seek our heavenly Father in faith and quiet confidence. He is a gracious dad who gives us grace and strength for life’s journey. We walk with our Savior Jesus. Like a compassionate big brother He forgives us, He cares for us and calls us friend. We follow the Holy Spirit’s lead away from temptation and into the Lord’s will. As a blessed child of God—we have all we need!

What does it mean to be possessed by the Lord? What God possesses He keeps. He keeps us as His own. He is jealous of other attractive suitors. He keeps us as His special people. He loves the world, but He loves with everlasting love those who trust His son Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. He keeps us for His praise and glory. When we sing to our great and majestic Almighty God, it is a holy and acceptable sacrifice to heaven. He protects and prizes His sealed possession.

“When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit…of those who are God’s possession” (Ephesians 1:13-14).

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for Your rich inheritance and for possessing my life.

Application: What area of my life do I need to surrender and allow the Lord to possess?

Related Readings: Deuteronomy 7:6; 1 Samuel 12:22; Titus 2:14; Romans 9:25-26

Today’s Turning Point with David Jeremiah – Break the Cycle

Therefore comfort one another with these words.

1 Thessalonians 4:18

Recommended Reading

Titus 2:11-14

Worry and discomfort can create a downward cycle of emotions. You receive some bad news—the death of a loved one, perhaps. In your discouraged state you find yourself unable to respond to additional troubling events, weakening you further. And the downward cycle continues until hope and relief is interjected by yourself or another.

The apostle Paul found the Thessalonian Christians in a troubled state of mind. They were deeply worried about never seeing their loved ones who had died before Christ’s return. And they were afraid that Christ had already returned and they had missed His appearing. Paul wrote to them words with which they could comfort one another. The subject of His words? The Rapture of the Church—the appearing of Christ in the heavens to gather His followers to Himself just prior to the seven-year Tribulation on earth. Taking the sting out of death would go a long way toward relieving any other earthly trouble.

Are you troubled? Don’t let the downward cycle begin. Comfort yourself with the truth of the any-moment appearing of Christ to gather you to Himself and take you to heaven. That blessed truth is enough to overcome any earthly travail.

Let thy hope of heaven master thy fear of death.

William Gurnall


Zephaniah 1 – 3

Joyce Meyer – God Hears the Consistently Righteous

The Lord…hears the prayer of the [consistently] righteous (the upright, in right standing with Him).- Proverbs 15:29

God promises in today’s verse that He will hear our prayers if we seek to be faithful in our walk with Him. What does it mean to be “consistently righteous”? Simply put, I think the best way to be consistently righteous is to refuse to compromise.

A person who compromises is someone who tends to go along with what everybody else wants to do, even though it may not be totally right. A compromiser knows when something is not right, but does it anyway and hopes to get away with it. We compromise when we know in our hearts—and even have the conviction of the Holy Spirit—that we should not say or do a certain thing and then do it anyway. We are saying, “God is showing me what to do, but I’m going to do what I want to.” In that case, we can blame only ourselves if we do not see the results we would like. When we refuse to compromise and devote ourselves to being consistently righteous to the best of our ability, God sees our hearts, hears our prayers, and answers us.

God’s word for you today: If you refuse to compromise, you will put a smile on God’s face.

From the book Hearing from God Each Morning: 365 Daily Devotions by Joyce Meyer.

Girlfriends in God – Use What Your Daddy Gave You

Today’s Truth

So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.

2 Peter 3:14

Friend to Friend

Did you know that you’ve got what it takes to do all that God has prepared for you to do? The Bible says, “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness” (2 Pet. 1:3, emphasis added).

But that doesn’t mean we get to sit back on our haunches and do nothing. Peter wrote: “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness . . .” (2 Pet. 1:5).

“Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election” (1:10).

“So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him” (2 Peter 3:14)

Theologian Mark Buchanan said it well: “Those who do not make every effort are like the blind man whose sight is restored, but who never adjusts to that. He remains in his old ways, tapping his cane on the sidewalk, rattling his cup at the curb, reading by Braille, groping and shuffling, turning light into darkness, day into night.”

You have everything you need. You’ve got what it takes to do all that God has called you to do and to be. So now, make every effort to do so—to take advantage of who you are, what you have, and where you are in Christ.

Don’t waste time comparing yourself to anyone else. Sharpen your skills. Practice your trade. Exercise your gifts. Grab hold of the truth and be on your way.

Continue reading Girlfriends in God – Use What Your Daddy Gave You

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – His Word Remains Forever

“Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words remain forever” (Matthew 24:35).

In a day of change and turmoil, the promise is made that the word of God will stand forever. The significance of that guarantee is monumental, incredible. It is not just that a book shall remain in print; rather, it is that the multitudinous truths contained in that book likewise will remain in effect steadfast and true.

Long after heaven and earth have passed away God’s holy Word will continue to endure.

That should mean much to you and me in our daily walk. God’s promise, “All things work together for good,” to the believer is just as true today as it was when it was written centuries ago.

In fact, every one of the promises in the Word of God – including the 365 referred to in this daily devotional – is bona fide, guaranteed by the God of the universe, the Creator of all things. That alone should strengthen our faith to know that we can trust him supremely with our lives and everything concerned with them.

When all else fails, when hope is almost gone, we can come back to the Word of God, which is “quick and powerful and sharper than a two-edged sword.” It will have the answer for every problem, every burden, every need we face.

Bible Reading: Matthew 24:36-42

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will place my complete confidence in God’s unchanging Word and will rest upon His faithful promises to all believers for supernatural living.

Ray Stedman – Our Present Sufferings

Read: Romans 8:18-25

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. Romans 8:18

The theme of that verse and the next nine verses is that incomparable glory lies ahead — glory beyond description, greater than anything you can compare it with on earth. A magnificent and fantastic prospect awaits us. All through the Scriptures there has been a thread of hope, a rumor of hope that runs all through the Old Testament, through the prophetic writings, and into the New Testament. This rumor speaks of a day that is coming when all the hurt and heartache and injustice and weakness and suffering of our present experience will be explained and justified and will result in a time of incredible blessing upon the earth. The whisper of this in the Old Testament increases in intensity as it approaches the New Testament, where you come to proclamations like this that speak of the incomparable glory that lies ahead.

We tend to make careful note of our suffering. Just the other day, I received a letter from a man who had written out in extreme detail a report of his recent operation. He said he had to listen to all the reports of other people’s operations for years, and now it was his turn! We make detailed reports of what we go through in our sufferings. But here the apostle says, Don’t even mention them! They are not worthy to be mentioned in comparison with the glory that is to follow.

Now, that statement would be just so much hot air if it didn’t come from a man like Paul. Here is a man who suffered intensely. He was beaten, he was stoned with rocks, he was chained, he was imprisoned, he was shipwrecked, starved, often hungry and naked and cold. Yet it is this apostle who takes pen in hand and says, Our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that shall be revealed in us. The glory that is coming is incomparable in intensity.

Our sufferings hurt us, I know. I am not trying to make light of them or diminish the terrible physical and emotional pain that suffering can bring. It can be awful, almost unendurable. Its intensity can increase to such a degree that we scream with terror and pain. We think we can no longer endure. But the apostle is saying that the intensity of the suffering we experience is not even a drop in the bucket compared with the intensity of glory that is coming. You can see that Paul is straining the language in trying to describe this fantastic thing that is about to happen, which he calls the revelation of the glory that is coming.

This glory is not only incomparable in its intensity, but it is also incomparable in its locality. It is not going to be revealed to us, but in us. The word, literally, means into us. This glory is not going to be a spectator sport, where we will sit up in some cosmic grandstand and watch an amusing or beautiful performance in which we have no part. We are to be on the stage. We are going to be involved in it. It is a glory that will be revealed into us, and we are part of it.

Continue reading Ray Stedman – Our Present Sufferings

Words of Hope – Daily Devotional – The Bird of Paradise

Read: Psalm 27:1-6

To gaze upon the beauty of the Lord. (v. 4)

The bird of paradise would have been a relative newcomer in Herbert’s England, brought to Europe by some intrepid traveller returning from what were then called the East Indies. Few in his time and place would ever have seen such an exotic creature, more spectacularly beautiful than any of his own country’s native birds.

In the words of Psalm 27, it’s “the beauty of the Lord” that Herbert is likening to that of this fabulous fowl. It may cross your mind to ask how the writer of the psalm could describe as “beautiful” someone that nobody had ever seen, namely, the invisible God of Israel! But there is such a thing as beauty of character, of course, and we may well know of blind people who will readily bear witness to this kind of beauty in some of those who care for them, a quality they are well aware of though they don’t have the eyes to see it with. So in respect of God, it was not what he might look like, but the kind of person he was, that Bible people described as beautiful.

And it is in prayer that we come (as it were) “face to face” with this beautiful God. We shall be bringing to him prayers of appreciation, admiration, adoration, arising from our experience of such a person; and prayers for those around us, that his beauty may become equally real to them.

Here is the poem in its entirety:

Continue reading Words of Hope – Daily Devotional – The Bird of Paradise

Greg Laurie – Our Ever-Present Shepherd

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. —Psalm 23:1

A favorite Scripture passage for many of us is Psalm 23, which begins: “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul” (verses 1–3). We love that. It’s such a beautiful picture of us as sheep being led by our Shepherd.

But it isn’t a compliment when God compares us to sheep. Sheep are some of the dumbest animals on the face of the earth. If God had compared us to dolphins, that would have been great. Dolphins are super smart. If God had compared us to dogs, even that would have been a compliment. But God compared us to sheep.

Sheep are stupid. Sheep tend to run with the pack. Sheep have no defense mechanisms. Sheep can’t even escape from a predator. Sheep are basically leg of lamb in waiting—all that is needed is the mint jelly. It’s a done deal. Sheep need their shepherd. If the shepherd doesn’t come through for them, they are dead. We are like that too.

We love to read that the Lord is our Shepherd and that He makes us to lie down in green pastures and leads us beside the still waters. But Psalm 23 goes on to say, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me” (verse 4).

We love the green pastures and the still waters, but we don’t like valleys—especially if they have the word death attached to them. Yet as David pointed out, the Lord is the Shepherd who was with him. And He is the Shepherd who is with us too.

Kids 4 Truth International – The LORD Helps Those Who Trust in Him

“The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.” (Psalm 28:7)

“You lost Mom’s what?!” Ray could not believe his ears. Was his little sister just playing some kind of trick on him?

Susie’s face did not seem like she was joking. She was crying. “I lost Mom’s rings!” she cried out. “After she washed the dishes this afternoon, I saw them where she had put them on the windowsill. When she went to the grocery store, I just got this silly idea. I decided I wanted to try them on my finger, you know, just to try them on. But my finger was too small, and they slipped right off and –!” Susie covered her mouth as though she could not say what horrible things must have happened next.

Ray shook his head as he looked down into the drain. These rings mean a lot to Mom, he thought. There was only one thing to do: Call Mr. Silsbee. Mr. Silsbee was the church janitor, and he was a plumber. He had a funny, scruffy beard, and he always wore the same faded blue denim ball cap. Everyone knew that he was the best plumber in town. If anyone could get Mom’s rings out of that sink safely, it would be Mr. Silsbee. And the way Ray figured it, if Mr. Silsbee could not get the rings out – nobody could!

Mom was still out at the grocery store, so Ray called Dad to explain and to ask permission to call Mr. Silsbee. Dad seemed pretty concerned. “Yes – we need to get him to take a look right away. In fact, I’ll call Mr. Silsbee. You just stay there nearby and make sure no one uses the sink.”

Continue reading Kids 4 Truth International – The LORD Helps Those Who Trust in Him

The Navigators – Jerry Bridges – Holiness Day by Day Devotional – The Spirit’s Sword

Today’s Scripture: Ephesians 6:17

“Take . . . the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

If you desire to appropriate God’s grace, you must have the sword of the Spirit—the Word of God—available in your mind for the Spirit to use. In fact the structure of Ephesians 6:17 provides a very instructive insight into the interaction between the Holy Spirit and the believer. Paul said we’re to take the sword of the Spirit. That’s something we must do. And yet it is the Spirit’s sword, not ours. He must make it effective. The bare quoting of Scripture does not make it effective in our hearts; only the Spirit can do that. But he will not make his sword effective unless we take it up.

Often God’s Word is not made effective immediately. In fact, there are many times when I struggle over an issue for a period of days, mulling over several pertinent passages of Scripture and crying out for grace, before the Holy Spirit finally makes them effective and gives his grace, helping in time of need. The Spirit of God is sovereign in his working, and we cannot squeeze him into the mold of our spiritual formulas: “Pray for grace, quote some verses, and receive a guaranteed answer.”

God also has his own timetable. Sometimes he grants grace to help almost immediately. At other times, he allows us to struggle for days, perhaps even weeks or months, before we receive the grace to help. Regardless of the delays he may impose, we must continue to come to the throne of grace believing his promise to grant grace to help, and we must continue to resort to appropriate Scripture until he makes it effective in our hearts. Our responsibility is to take up the sword of the Spirit; his prerogative is to make it effective. (Excerpt taken from Transforming Grace)

The Navigators – Leroy Eims – Daily Discipleship Devotional – Reproducing Yourself

Today’s Scripture: 2 Timothy 2

Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; but blessed is he who keeps the law. – Proverbs 29:18

There are many meanings of the word vision. For instance, vision can mean the object of imagination. But vision also can mean unusual discernment or foresight. Based on that, a visionary is a person who has a picture of what can happen in the future and is working hard to bring it about.

Dawson Trotman’s vision was to see God use the ordinary child of God to make an impact in the lives of others. What made his vision powerful was that he was living proof it could be done. He wasn’t a theologian or a scholar; he was a truck driver. And yet he was instrumental in bringing literally thousands of people to Christ and seeing them grow as disciples.

The heart of Daws’ vision came from a man who lived twenty centuries before him–the apostle Paul–and is stated in 2 Timothy 2:2: “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.” Paul’s vision was that every person who knew Christ would tell others how to come to Christ. And then they would stick with their new converts to teach them the basics of living the Christian life. The result was a plan to multiply generations of Christians who would keep sharing the faith with others.

The Great Commission of Christ is a vision that continues to capture the hearts and lives of men and women around the world. Do you have the vision? God wants to open your eyes to see the people around you as they are, and as they can be in Him.


Lord, let me see the world through Your eyes. Amen.

To Ponder

The Great Commission is a purpose big enough to capture your entire life.

BreakPoint –  The Late, Great Stem Cell Debate: Why Pro-Lifers Were Right

Some issues in presidential politics have staying power. Twelve years ago, everyone was talking about immigration, abortion, and terrorism. Today, everyone is still talking about immigration, abortion, and terrorism.

But another issue that gripped the public and had candidates shouting from the debate stages then has been all but forgotten today: embryonic stem cell research.

Here’s a quick refresher: Stem cells exist in every multicellular organism and have the ability to differentiate into different types of tissue, whether it be heart, brain, lung, liver or other kinds of human tissue. The stem cells everyone is interested in—called “pluripotent” stem cells—have the ability to become any type of tissue, anywhere in the body.

Scientists have long seen these cells as a potential cure or therapy for degenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, as well as paralysis, heart disease, and a host of others. A decade ago, the only way to derive “pluripotent” stem cells was to conceive a human embryo in a test tube, and then kill it.

Then-president George W. Bush issued a moratorium on new federal funding for this type of stem cell, sparking outrage from across the aisle. The move was roundly condemned as “anti-scientific,” and Bush was lampooned by the media, liberal politicians, and cartoonists as a peddler of dark-age superstitions.

In 2009, a newly-elected President Obama immediately lifted the moratorium and poured new funding into embryonic stem cell research. Since then, countless embryos have been destroyed with taxpayer dollars, but to this day, the technology has failed to yield the miracle cures Americans were promised.

And that’s only one reason the debate has gotten so quiet. During the years since the moratorium, a different kind of stem cell—tissue-specific “somatic” or adult stem cells—have been used to successfully treat over a million-and-a-half people with conditions ranging from blindness and cancer, to juvenile diabetes and arthritis. Without killing human embryos.

And in 2006, a technique pioneered by Nobel Prize-winning Japanese scientist Shinya Yamanaka all but rendered embryonic stem cells obsolete. He discovered a way to induce pluripotency, causing adult cells to mimic embryonic stem cells. His method has since been developed to the point where researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital used it to grow a genetically-compatible, beating human heart from a patient’s skin cells!

This method is actually superior to the embryonic method, because it eliminates the risk of rejection. The freshly-grown tissue from adult stem cells is, quite literally, the patient’s own. All of this led Christopher White at Crux to declare the stem cell controversy effectively over. President Bush was right, White argues, and so were the legions of pro-life activists who supported alternatives to embryo-destructive research. The stem cell debate didn’t just fizzle out. On an important level, it was soundly won by those who insisted that medical science could advance without turning human life at its earliest stages into a disposable commodity.

Continue reading BreakPoint –  The Late, Great Stem Cell Debate: Why Pro-Lifers Were Right

Moody Global Ministries – Today in the Word – EVIL IS THWARTED

Read ESTHER 9:5–15

War inevitably results in casualties. The American Revolutionary War left an estimated 25,000 Americans dead and another 25,000 wounded. World War II claimed 405,000 U.S. lives, with an additional 670,000 wounded. Whether winners or losers, war can be costly.

In today’s passage, the Jews dispatched their enemies who had threatened them. In the city of Susa alone, 500 men were killed (vv. 6, 12). With the sanction of Xerxes, the Jews were permitted to eliminate the people who had plotted against them and to ensure their long- term safety. God had ordained and directed the vindication of His people.

Notice a miraculous element in this passage that points to the hand of God. Whereas the Jewish people once feared for their lives, now they were enabled by God to kill their enemies quickly and ferociously. After the battle, they meted out judgment against the

ten sons of Haman, described here as “an enemy of the Jews” (v. 10). During the festival of Purim today, celebrants often read through the book of Esther aloud. Tradition calls for the names of Haman’s sons to be read together, in one breath, without pause. This reflects the way in which they were killed, quickly and together.

What was not done during battle is also notable. The Jews chose not to “lay their hands on the plunder” (v. 10). In contrast to the evil plans of Haman, they did not wish to gain material goods, only to defend themselves and ensure the safety of God’s people. They did not use the battle as an excuse to enrich their own coffers; rather, they focused on what was more important: bringing justice to the enemies of God. The king continued to honor Esther’s request. He extended his permission to Esther, Mordecai, and God’s people, to right what had been wronged.


Like the psalmist, we may cry out for God to act and punish those who do wrong. This passage reminds us that God is faithful, even when we don’t know His timetable. He is all-powerful and all-knowing God, and He has the final victory. Praise Him that when all is said and done, our God will triumph over evil.


Tonight’s debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is expected to be the most-watched political broadcast in American history. One reason is that the race is so close: a new poll puts Clinton ahead of Trump by two points, 46 percent to 44 percent. This is well within the margin of error. Among registered voters, each candidate has 41 percent support.

But another factor is the huge number of “undecideds” at this late stage of the campaign. Nearly 20 percent of voters say they are undecided or plan not to vote for the Democrat or the Republican. What they do on November 8 will likely determine the election.

Pollster Frank Luntz explains that these voters are undecided because they know a lot about both candidates but don’t like either one. As a result, the surprising truth is that the Americans whose impressions of tonight’s debate matters most are those who are least impressed by their options. Luntz likens them to children living through a bitter divorce: they are “watching with a mixture of fear and disdain as their parents argue, knowing they will soon be forced to choose with whom to live—a decision with no good outcome.”

I think such a view of the election mirrors a larger anxiety in our culture today.

We’re worried about the rising drug epidemic after seven people died from drug overdoses in Cleveland last Saturday. We’re worried that attacks such as Friday night’s mall shooting could happen where we live. We’re worried about Zika and superbugs and the global economy.

And beneath our circumstantial fears, there’s something even more visceral. Thomas Kelly: “Over the margins of life comes a whisper, a faint call, a premonition of richer living which we know we are passing by. Strained by the very mad pace of our daily outer burdens, we are further strained by an inward uneasiness, because we have hints that there is a way of life vastly richer and deeper than all this hurried existence, a life of unhurried serenity and peace and power.”