Charles Stanley – Why Our Needs Remain Unmet


James 1:5-8

If our loving, omnipotent Father really does desire to meet His children’s needs, then why do some go unmet? Let’s look at a few key reasons why we may lack essentials.

We don’t ask. If this seems elementary, it is. And yet it’s astonishing how many people fail to bring their concerns to God. Some say, “Oh, He has too much to do to worry about my little problems.” Nonsense! Our Father is a very personal God, who cares deeply about everything that affects His children. In fact, Matthew 10:30 says He even knows the number of hairs on our head. So of course we should share with Him the details of our life.

We ask but doubt that God can or will do it. It’s a tragic mischaracterization to go before the omnipotent, sovereign God of the universe and essentially say, “You aren’t big enough to handle my needs.” James 1:8 describes such a person as “double-minded” and “unstable.” When you approach God, do so knowing that He can meet your needs.

We ask God to address the symptom, not the real need. At times we pray and pray about something—a particular emotional pain, perhaps—without seeing any change. The reason may be that we are focusing on the symptom rather than the actual need. As you continue talking to the Lord about the situation, you may discover the root need is something you have not even considered.

The heavenly Father wants to meet all of your needs. If you cannot see Him acting on your behalf, be sure to take a critical look at yourself from His perspective. Then ask yourself, Is it possible that I could be standing in the way of God’s intervention?

Bible in One Year: Acts 14-15

Our Daily Bread — Do I Matter?

Read: Ecclesiastes 1:1–11

Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 1–2; Hebrews 11:1–19

[Christ Jesus] made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant.—Philippians 2:7

I stand in the cashier line of the local supermarket and look around me. I see teenagers with shaved heads and nose rings looking through the snack foods; a young professional buying one steak, a few twigs of asparagus, and a sweet potato; an elderly woman pondering the peaches and strawberries. Does God know all these people by name? I ask myself. Do they really matter to Him?

The Maker of all things is the Maker of all human beings, and each of us is deemed worthy of His individual attention and love. God demonstrated that love in person on the gnarly hills of Israel and ultimately on the cross.

When Jesus visited earth in the form of a servant, He showed that the hand of God is not too big for the smallest person in the world. It is a hand engraved with our individual names and engraved also with wounds, the cost to God of loving us so much.

Now, when I find myself wallowing in self-pity, overwhelmed by the ache of loneliness that is articulated so well in books like Job and Ecclesiastes, I turn to the Gospel accounts of Jesus’s stories and deeds. If I conclude that my existence “under the sun” (Eccl. 1:3) makes no difference to God, I contradict one of the main reasons God came to earth. To the question Do I matter? Jesus is indeed the answer. —Philip Yancey

Father, when we are overwhelmed by the ache of loneliness and pain, we can run only to You. Jesus showed us how much we matter to You, and we thank You!

The Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.  Jesus

INSIGHT: The author of Ecclesiastes seemed to go on a scavenger hunt for value through pleasure (2:1-3), projects (vv. 4-7), wealth (vv. 7-8), sex (v. 8), and fame (v. 9)—only to find it is meaningless. In some ways Ecclesiastes parallels Old Testament law. Even as the law shows us we can’t keep the law (and so we need a Savior in Jesus), Ecclesiastes shows us that apart from God’s vantage point, we will only end in frustration and futility (and so we need a satisfier in Jesus). If we restrict ourselves to seeking meaning as circumscribed by life “under the sun,” it would be like seeking a plank in the wide ocean. We are not restricted to happenstance “under the sun,” for God has spoken to us in His Son (Heb. 1:1-2). Jesus is God’s Son; therefore, listen to him” (Luke 9:35). People matter to God, for we are more than mere matter. Jim Townsend

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Equal Disability

During a recent stint on jury duty, I had the unique opportunity to ride to and from the courthouse on public transportation—the Metro bus. I say unique opportunity because public transportation affords one exposure to the wide variety of people who live in the city and who make their way around its bustling streets and byways by taking the bus. In fact, a wide gamut of society rides together crammed on the Metro bus. Business people hurry to get to work, multi-tasking laptop, cellphone, and paper folders full of projects and to do lists. Students rush to get to school sequestering themselves from the world of the bus by burying their heads in books or tuning into their iPods. There are also many homeless individuals who ride the bus in the “free zone” downtown back and forth between stops, affording a movable shelter from the cold.

Sheer observation of this dynamic diversity was often the extent of my thoughts as I rode. One morning, a group of developmentally disabled students from the local high school got on the bus with me. I tried to engage in light conversation with the few who sat down next to me, asking where they were going in the city. One young woman just stared at me blankly; another, perpetually talking about absolutely everything and nothing at the same time tried to engage me, but not with an answer. Two other young men simply looked at me, offered a vacant smile, and then returned to fiddling with objects to keep their hands and minds occupied.

As the bus moved forward towards the next stop with our unique human cargo, I was overcome with emotion. I wasn’t crying because I felt sorry for these disabled students or worried about their quality of lives—although I do and I did that day. I wasn’t overcome as a result of my admiration for the adult workers whose vocation led them to care for these students who are often the least and the last—although I do, and I did. I was overcome with emotion because I suddenly identified with these disabled individuals. Though I appear “able” bodied—of sound mind and well put together—I realized that I am just like they are.

Like these disabled students who are broken in body and mind, I have experienced grief in my life that has left me profoundly broken in spirit. As a result of this experience, there are times that I ramble on filling the air with meaningless pieties or pronouncements. Or I offer nothing but a blank stare when I should offer words of comfort. While my appearance is ordered, I am just as distorted and damaged on the inside, confused, and in need of care and oversight because of my disabilities. Though their eyes are vacant or their tongues loll, though they mumble meaningless phrases or say nothing at all, they are not so different from me nor am I from them.

Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Equal Disability

John MacArthur – Strength for Today – The Qualities of True Wisom

“The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy” (James 3:17).

True wisdom is evident in a person’s behavior.

What is true wisdom? James answers that question in verse 17 by pointing out the characteristics or qualities of true wisdom. After purity, the next quality is “peaceable,” which means “peace loving” or “peace promoting.” It refers to someone who doesn’t create confusion or disorder. He doesn’t promote himself or compromise truth but makes peace.

True wisdom is also “gentle.” A gentle person will submit to dishonor, disgrace, mistreatment, and persecution with an attitude of humility, courteousness, kindness, patience, and consideration. He will not display hatred, malice, or revenge.

True wisdom is also characterized as “reasonable.” It refers to someone who is willing to yield, who is easily persuaded, teachable, and compliant. It was used of a person who willingly submitted to military discipline or who observed legal and moral standards in life and willingly submitted to them. A wise person manifests such “reasonable” traits concerning God’s standards for life.

“Full of mercy” refers to someone who shows concern for people who suffer and is quick to forgive. He demonstrates kindness and compassion toward others.

“Good fruits“ refer to all good works in general or a wide variety of spiritual deeds. The Christian demonstrates the genuineness of his salvation through his good deeds—works that are produced by faith (James 2:14-20) and are called “the fruit of the Spirit” (Gal. 5:22-23) or “the fruit of righteousness” (Phil. 1:11).

Continue reading John MacArthur – Strength for Today – The Qualities of True Wisom

Wisdom Hunters – What Your Unanswered Desire Says About God’s Love for You

To him who led his people through the wilderness, for his steadfast love endures forever.  Psalm 136:16

When was the last time that you experienced a great unfulfilled desire?

Maybe you had a particular desire to get pregnant, obtain a particular job, move to a particular state, make a particular amount of money, live without a particular physical pain, or marry a particular person. You wanted it so much that your soul felt hungry. You lay awake at night dreaming—and worrying—about what would happen if you couldn’t get your desire met and you wondered what would happen if God didn’t say yes to your prayer. You may have even wondered what this desire, ungranted, would say about His love for you.

I recently considered how we all experience these unfulfilled desires when I read Deuteronomy 8:2-3. In this passage, God is speaking about His people as they wandered in the desert.

“Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”

In this passage, it struck me how God used their physical longing for food to do a spiritual work in their lives. He leveraged something material to do something immaterial. Sometimes the Lord does the same with us. He will use a physical or emotional desire we long for to draw us to the only place we know we can go for relief. . . straight to Him. Sometimes God doesn’t give us what we want so He can give us what we need.

This is a magnificent truth! Remember this: during times of longing, an absence of God’s provision for what we desire is not proof of a lack of His love. In fact, it may be proof of His very active involvement in our lives.

Continue reading Wisdom Hunters – What Your Unanswered Desire Says About God’s Love for You

Today’s Turning Point with David Jeremiah – Godly Ambition

Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly.

1 Peter 5:2

Recommended Reading

1 Peter 5:1-5

The famous American evangelist Dwight L. Moody collapsed in Kansas City and returned by train to his home in Massachusetts. There in the upstairs bedroom, he drifted in and out of consciousness, talking to his family as he was dying. At one point, looking at those around him, he said, “I have always been an ambitious man, ambitious to leave no wealth or possessions, but to leave lots of work for you to do.” A few minutes later he said, “This is my triumph; this is my coronation day! I have been looking forward to it for years.” Shortly afterward, he passed into the presence of Christ.

The Lord wants us to be ambitious, not for fame or fortune, but for doing His will and leaving work for others. We are to take the work from those who preceded us and hand it off to those who follow. God uses us like links in a chain stretching from His resurrection to His return.

Effective ministry begins with a heartfelt concern for other Christians and a consecration to sharing the Gospel with others. It cannot be for personal notice or gain if it’s to be effective for God’s glory.

I want to live as long as I’m useful, but when my work is done I want to be up and off.

Dwight L. Moody, on his deathbed


Acts 10 – 11

Joyce Meyer – The Waiting God

And therefore the Lord [earnestly] waits [expecting, looking, and longing] to be gracious to you; and therefore He lifts Himself up, that He may have mercy on you and show loving-kindness to you. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are all those who [earnestly] wait for Him, who expect and look and long for Him [for his victory]. —Isaiah 30:18

This verse has become one of my favorites, and it has often been a source of encouragement to me when I’ve had hard times. The Living Bible paraphrases the verse like this: “Yet the Lord still waits for you to come to him, so he can show you his love; he will conquer you to bless you, just as he said. For the Lord is faithful to his promises. Blessed are all those who wait for him to help them.” Let’s think of the implication of the promise. God waits for us. As I think of that promise, it staggers my mind. The Creator of the universe and the Giver of all life has chosen to wait for us—waits for us to come to our senses, waits for us to respond to His love, waits for us to turn to Him for help.

That’s a staggering thought. God wants to show us love.

Perhaps as much as anywhere else, Satan attempts to build a mental stronghold right there. When we contemplate God’s love for us, many of us can’t take it in. We can only think of our failures, our shortcomings, and dozens of other reasons why God shouldn’t love us.

That reminds me of a kind man I’ve known for many years. One day he took care of a situation for me that he didn’t have to. I was surprised and deeply touched. “You are probably the kindest man I know,” I told him.

He stared at me in shock. “Me? Kind? Oh, I can be mean-spirited and cruel,” he said. For several minutes, he explained to me that he couldn’t possibly be a kind man. “I live with myself all the time, and I see all my defects.”

Continue reading Joyce Meyer – The Waiting God

Girlfriends in God – Should You Strive For Greatness?

Today’s Truth

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.

1 Peter 5:6

Friend to Friend

In my spare time I help coach our high school volleyball team. Let me rephrase that, because I do not have spare time. Three months a year I choose to invest daily in the lives of young female athletes who play volleyball at the high school where my children attend.

One of the games we play in practice is called Queen of the Court, the goal of which is simple: gain and keep the lead. Dominate. Be the best and protect your turf at all costs. Serve more aggressively, pass more accurately, set more strategically, and hit harder than your opponents. It is a fast-paced drill of skill where only the strong survive.

My life sometimes feels like a game of Queen of the Court.

I strive, set goals, create a game plan, and execute the strategy. I long to be my best (a good thing), but at times my goal changes from wanting to experience all of God’s best for me to wanting to be THE best (not so good). Look at me, everyone! Check out my people, my position, my possessions, my trophies-of-greatness…

I have to check my heart.

Continue reading Girlfriends in God – Should You Strive For Greatness?

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Overwhelming Love

“But despite all this, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ who loved us enough to die for us” (Romans 8:37).

Today I prayed with a beloved friend who is dying of cancer. As he and his precious wife and I held hands, we lifted our voices in praise to God, knowing that He makes no mistakes, that “all things work together for good to those who love Him,” and that he is fully aware of my brother’s body riddled with pain as a result of cancerous cells that are on a warpath. Together we claimed that victory which comes from an unwavering confidence in Christ’s sufficiency.

The victory comes, of course, through Christ who loved us enough to die for us. Such love is beyond our ability to grasp with our minds, but it is not beyond our ability to experience with our hearts. God’s love is unconditional and it is constant. Because He is perfect, His love is perfect, too.

The Scriptures tell of a certain lawyer who asked Jesus, “Sir, which is the most important command in the Law of Moses?”

Jesus replied, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. The second most important is similar: Love your neighbor as you love yourself.”

The question may come to your mind: “Why does God want our love?”

From a human standpoint, this could appear selfish and egotistical. But God, in His sovereignty and love, has so created man that he finds his greatest joy and fulfillment when he loves God with all his heart and soul and mind, and his neighbor as himself.

Early in my Christian life, I was troubled over the command to love God so completely. But now the Holy Spirit has filled my heart with God’s love. And as I meditate on the “overwhelming victory” that He gives us, I find my love for Him growing.

Bible Reading: Romans 8:35-39

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: His great love and “overwhelming victory” for me prompts me to respond with supernatural love for Him and for others

Ray Stedman – A Debt of Love

Read: Romans 13:8-10

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. Romans 13:8

Have you ever struggled to obey the Ten Commandments? Have you found it difficult to face up to obeying these demands that you shall not murder or lie or steal or commit adultery? Well, Paul says it is really simple. All you have to do is love. Act in love toward people and you won’t hurt them. The solution to all the problems we struggle with is this one thing. Have you ever thought of what would happen in this world if people could be taught how to love — and then they did it?

The first result that occurs to me is that all the impending divorces would be happily resolved. Couples ready to split up because love has left their marriage could go back together and learn how to work it out. Furthermore, if we could teach people how to love we wouldn’t fight in wars. Think of how much energy and money is being expended in keeping up this endless array of armaments simply because we can’t trust people to love each other. If we could love each other, there wouldn’t be any more crime. The streets of all the great cities of our land you would feel safe and secure. If there weren’t any crime, you wouldn’t need any prisons. All the money we spend on prisons and reformatories could be spent on something more useful. We wouldn’t need any courts of law, or police. We need all these things because we are so deprived in this ability to love.

This passage is telling us that the ability to love — that and nothing less than that — is the radical force that Jesus Christ has turned loose in this world by his resurrection. Therefore it has the power to radically change the world. Paul implies that this has to start with us. If we are Christians, if we know Jesus Christ, we have the power to love. You don’t have to ask for it; you’ve got it. If you have Christ, you can act in love, even though you are tempted not to. Therefore, Paul says: When you come up against difficult people, remember that your first obligation is to love them.

Continue reading Ray Stedman – A Debt of Love

Words of Hope – Daily Devotional – How the Gospel Works

Read: Romans 10:1-18

How are they to believe . . . ? (v. 14)

According to Paul, being saved is easy. All anyone has to do is “call on the name of the Lord.” But he’s not talking about some sort of magic incantation. The call has to come out of faith in Christ and an understanding of his saving work. Furthermore, the call must be accompanied by public confession; it can’t just be some kind of private deal we do with Jesus. “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (v. 9).

OK, Paul says, now think through this with me. Salvation is simple to receive. You don’t have to climb all over heaven and earth to get it. Just call on the name of the Lord. But the name of the Lord is “Jesus.” People have to believe in Jesus in order to call upon him. But how can they believe in him if they’ve never heard of him? And how can they hear unless someone tells them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? There it is in a nutshell. That’s how the gospel works. It’s the rationale for missions. Those who know Jesus as Savior must tell others about him.

If we proclaim the gospel throughout the world and people don’t believe, that’s on them. But if we don’t proclaim it and people don’t hear, well, that’s on us.

—David Bast


Lord, send your gospel out to the world today. In fact, use me to send it.


Greg Laurie – A Prayer for the Enemy

But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.—Matthew 5:44

The first statement Jesus made from the cross was, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34). Maybe we would have understood it more if He had said, “Father, condemn them,” or “Father, judge them.” But the first thing Jesus said from the cross was a prayer for His enemies: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”

Jesus was practicing what He preached. Remember, in the Sermon on the Mount He said, “Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44). And Jesus also was fulfilling a Messianic prophesy. Isaiah 53, written hundreds of years before Christ died, said that the Messiah would make intercession for the transgressors. And that is exactly what Jesus was doing. He was interceding for all the people who played a role in His death.

Pilate himself knew Jesus was innocent. He said, “I find no fault in this Man” (Luke 23:4). But because he was so concerned about his career and position, he would not pardon Jesus and let Him go. The religious rulers knew that no legitimate charge could be brought against Christ. Even the Roman centurion at the cross said, “Truly this Man was the Son of God!” (Mark 15:39). Judas Iscariot knew he had done wrong, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood” (Matthew 27:4).

So Jesus was essentially saying, “Father, forgive them. They don’t realize how bad this is. Forgive them, because they need forgiveness so desperately. Forgive them, for they have committed a sin that is beyond all comprehension. Forgive them, for they have done something that is beyond bad. Father, forgive them.”

When was the last time you prayed for your enemies?

Kids 4 Truth International – God’s Love Does Not Depend on Us

“The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” (Jeremiah 31:3)

When God inspired Jeremiah to write these words, He meant them for the whole nation of Israel, not only Jeremiah. And when He gave the people of Israel this message, many of them were living lives that did not please Him. Some of them were even worshipping idols instead of God, but He still loved them and promised to keep on loving them forever.

Many of us seem to think that we must somehow earn God’s love by doing things that make Him happy. But that kind of thinking is wrong. Yes, God is pleased when we choose to obey His commands and follow the principles He has given in His Word. But His love for us does not change because of things we do or don’t do. If you are God’s child, He loves you now, will love you tomorrow, and the next day, and forever – because of Who He is, not because of the way you behave.

Chelsea had a hamster named Rascal, and his name was all too fitting. Rascal was always trying to escape from his cage! Often, he would bite Chelsea and anyone else who tried to hold him or pet him. One time, Chelsea worked hard to earn some money so she could buy Rascal a special ball for his cage. Because he tried to get out so much, she thought he would like to have the freedom to run around inside the ball. But after Chelsea had spent all her hard-earned money to buy him this gift, Rascal just sat still in the ball, refusing even to budge.

Chelsea’s family watched all that she did for Rascal – cleaning out his cage, buying toys for him, spending time with him, holding and petting him (when he would let her), and often getting bitten or scratched for all her efforts. They told her that Rascal was just not a good pet. In fact, Chelsea’s mother offered to take Rascal back to the pet store and see if they would give her a different hamster, one that would respond better to all that Chelsea tried to do for him. But Chelsea said, “No.” You see, Chelsea loved Rascal. Her love for Rascal did not depend on his being lovable, or upon his loving her back.

Continue reading Kids 4 Truth International – God’s Love Does Not Depend on Us

The Navigators – Jerry Bridges – Holiness Day by Day Devotional – Preach the Gospel to Yourself

Today’s Scripture: 1 Corinthians 15:1

“I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel.”

To preach the Gospel to yourself means that you continually face up to your own sinfulness and then flee to Jesus through faith in his shed blood and righteous life. It means that you appropriate, again by faith, the fact that Jesus fully satisfied the law of God. In both its precepts and penalty, he fulfilled the law of God in its most exacting requirements. And he did this in our place as our representative and our substitute. He is your propitiation, so that God’s holy wrath is no longer directed toward you.

To preach the Gospel to yourself means that you take at face value the precious words of Romans 4:7-8: “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.” You believe on the testimony of God: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). You believe that “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us” (Galatians 3:13). You believe he forgave you all your sins (Colossians 2:13), that he reconciled you “to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him” (Colossians 1:22).

To preach the Gospel to yourself means you appropriate by faith the words of Isaiah 53:6: “The Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” It means you dwell upon the promise that God has removed your transgressions from you as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12), that he has blotted out your transgressions and remembers your sin no more (Isaiah 43:25). (Excerpt taken from The Discipline of Grace)

The Navigators – Leroy Eims – Daily Discipleship Devotional – Satan’s Lies

Today’s Scripture: Genesis 3-5

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked… He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. – Psalm 1:1,3

The greatest lie ever told comes at the beginning of the saddest story ever written. “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat [this fruit] your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:4-5). Adam and Eve believed the lie and ate the only fruit God had kept from them.

As Genesis 3 opens, we see our first parents enjoying a life of fellowship with God in a garden home filled with His abundant provision. They were holy. They were experiencing the grace and blessing of God. Everything that surrounded them was good. But in one devastating stroke, the scene changes.

The apostle Paul gives the summary: “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12).

There is one primary lesson in these chapters. Holiness, not sin, brings happiness. Let me repeat that. As long as Adam and Eve were walking with God in the unbroken fellowship of a holy life, they were happy. Now, how could they turn their backs on God? It seemed so senseless and absurd for them to think they could improve on what God had done.

Before it’s experienced, the life of sin appears attractive, exciting, colorful, and everything you could desire. And the life of holiness appears drab, dull, and unattractive. But once the life of sin is experienced, what you desired and embraced turns to ashes.


Lord, help me to remember that sin never delivers what it promises, and that my greatest joy will be in the pursuit of holiness. Amen.

To Ponder

Satan’s basic lie in his war against mankind is that we can improve our lives by disobeying God.

BreakPoint –  Opening Darwin’s Black Box: Behe’s Bestseller Turns 20

“On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.” It was a mouthful of a title too typical of Victorian-era authors. But Charles Darwin’s magnum opus, more commonly known as “On the Origin of Species,” belongs on any list of books that made our world what it is today.

What many don’t realize is that the father of evolutionary theory showed a great deal of humility and openness to criticism. In one famous passage, Darwin wrote that, “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” He immediately added that to his knowledge, there were no such examples.

What Darwin gave us here was a criterion by which his theory could be falsified, teeing up future scientists to reevaluate his conclusions. And in 1996, one biochemist did just that.

Lehigh University professor Michael Behe has spent his career peering through a microscope at the inner workings of cells—workings about which Darwin, writing in the 1850s, could only speculate. In his 1996 book, “Darwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution,” Behe explained how Darwin’s inability to see inside the cell kept him from witnessing mechanisms and processes which could not possibly have been formed through “numerous, successive, slight modifications.”

Organelles like the flagellum—a microscopic “outboard motor” which many bacteria use for propulsion—exhibit what Behe describes as “irreducible complexity.” In other words, these tiny machines—complete with drive shafts, bushings, universal joints, and propellers—have exactly the correct configuration of parts to perform a specific function. They could not have evolved from simpler mechanisms with fewer parts, because such mechanisms would be either useless or detrimental, in which case natural selection would weed them out.

As scientists gain ever more detailed access to the inner workings of cells, the case against Darwinism from irreducible complexity only becomes stronger. And the intelligent design movement—a community that considers Behe a founding father—continues to question the viability of materialistic evolution on the basis of his reasoning.

To make Behe’s meticulous arguments more accessible to the public, the folks at the Discovery Institute have just produced a documentary summarizing “Darwin’s Black Box.” It’s called “Revolutionary,” a tribute to the fact that Behe’s book forever changed the way we think about evolution. It also documents how, as David Klinghoffer writes at Evolution News and Views, “Black Box” sparked a public debate that rages to this day.

Continue reading BreakPoint –  Opening Darwin’s Black Box: Behe’s Bestseller Turns 20

Moody Global Ministries – Today in the Word – GOD PROVIDES JUSTICE, SO DON’T FRET

Read PSALM 37:1–13

In God’s Prayer Book: The Power and Pleasure of Praying the Psalms, Ben Patterson wrote about Psalm 37: “This psalm could be really irritating,” because when we think we have good reason to be upset, we don’t want to be told to calm down. “However, this psalm is a powerful tool against worry and rage in the face of evil. . . . [I]t insists on the same few basic ideas over and over again: God will bring about justice for his people in his own way.”

Injustice would seem to be a legitimate reason for anger and worry. But even in a good cause, sinful anger and worry are still sinful (v. 8). Fretting about such things is misplaced envy (v. 1). Whatever success or advantages the wicked seem to enjoy at the moment are an illusion. “They will soon wither” and “die away” (vv. 2, 9–10). They have “no future hope” (Prov. 24:19–20). They do not pose any real threat. In fact, God laughs at them, “for he knows their day is coming” (vv. 12–13).

Therefore, the central question remains one of faith: Do we trust God to provide? Will He right wrongs and accomplish justice? If the answer is yes, why do we persist in worrying? Instead of being anxious, we should trust and delight in the Lord (vv. 3–4). We should commit and submit our ways to Him (v. 5). We should “be still” in His presence and wait for Him to act (v. 7).

Godly waiting is patient, not passive— this is not an excuse for inaction. The point is that when we put our hope in the Lord rather than in ourselves (v. 9), He will vindicate and reward us (v. 6). Meekness, then, is about humble dependence on God. As Jesus also taught, “the meek will inherit the land” (v. 11; see Matt. 5:5).


Whatever you’re facing today, why not take a few extra minutes to “be still” before the Lord (v. 7)? “Being still” carries the ideas of patience, calmness, peace, faith, and reverence. Stop clamoring. Pause your thoughts. Turn off your smartphone. Remember that He is sovereign over all peoples and all of history. He invented justice!

Denison Forum – Stranded cows and Bruce Springsteen

Congratulations—you survived last night’s “perigee-syzygy of the Earth-Moon-Sun system.” This is the technical term for the closest full moon our planet has experienced since 1948, a phenomenon known as the “Supermoon.”

What happened to you as a result? Your body experienced a rise in lunar pull equivalent to about 1/9th the mass of a paper clip. I doubt you noticed. Studies also show that, contrary to folklore, you weren’t at greater risk for epilepsy, psychiatric trauma, or an emergency room visit.

Nonetheless, it would be easy to think that something strange is happening these days. Three cows in New Zealand were stranded by earthquakes and had to be rescued. Similarly, Bruce Springsteen’s motorcycle broke down last Friday, and he had to be rescued by a group of bikers returning from a Veteran’s Day ceremony.

Especially troubling is what The Washington Post calls “the post-election hate spike.” More than any election I can remember, this campaign has left many in our country bitterly divided against those with whom they disagree.

In light of such vitriol, a perceptive reader reminded me of a relevant insight from C. S. Lewis in The Screwtape Letters. This classic book contains advice from a senior tempter to his apprentice. Its backward logic brilliantly unmasks some of Satan’s most subtle strategies. Consider this example:

“Be sure that the patient [the person being tempted] remains completely fixated on politics. Arguments, political gossip, and obsessing on the faults of people they have never met serves as an excellent distraction from advancing in personal virtue, character, and the things the patient can control. Make sure to keep the patient in a constant state of angst, frustration, and general disdain towards the rest of the human race in order to avoid any kind of charity or inner peace from further developing. Ensure the patient continues to believe that the problem is ‘out there’ in the ‘broken system’ rather than recognizing there is a problem with himself.”

Continue reading Denison Forum – Stranded cows and Bruce Springsteen