Charles Stanley – How Grace Changes Everything


1 Timothy 1:12-17

Our life is hopeless without god. Because every person is born with a bent away from God, we continue to choose wrong paths throughout our days on earth. These unrighteous choices are known as sin, the penalty for which is death and eternal separation from God. No one is exempt from this biblical truth—and none of us can do anything to change the situation.

Enter God’s grace, His unmerited favor toward us. We can do nothing to earn it. He blesses us according to His goodness, apart from anything we’ve done.

Consider the apostle Paul, whose original intention was to persecute anyone claiming to follow Jesus. He played a significant role in the unspeakable violence aimed at Christians and, in his own words, was the “chief” of sinners (1 Tim. 1:15 KJV). Nothing he did deserved God’s love.

Divine grace led the Almighty to reach down and forgive this hateful zealot and blasphemer of Jesus’ name. God lovingly transformed him into a man who dedicated himself to sharing the gospel message. Paul’s life beautifully illustrates grace.

We are unable to do enough good deeds to earn our way to heaven. Salvation is possible only because by grace, Christ died on the cross. The one who took the punishment for our sin deserves all credit for our redemption.

Jesus’ death covered the sins of the entire world. There is no transgression too great for Him to forgive. We can add nothing to His act of atonement; all we can do is receive this free gift. If we trust in Christ as Savior, God will save us, making us His children forever.

Bible in One Year: Acts 21-22

Our Daily Bread — Love Without Borders

Read: Luke 22:39–46

Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 8–10; Hebrews 13

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.—John 15:13

During the Boxer Rebellion in China in 1900, missionaries trapped in a home in T’ai Yüan Fu decided their only hope for survival rested on running through the crowd that was calling for their deaths. Aided by weapons they held, they escaped the immediate threat. However, Edith Coombs, noticing that two of her injured Chinese students had not escaped, raced back into danger. She rescued one, but stumbled on her return trip for the second student and was killed.

Meanwhile, missionaries in Hsin Chou district had escaped and were hiding in the countryside, accompanied by their Chinese friend Ho Tsuen Kwei. But he was captured while scouting an escape route for his friends in hiding and was martyred for refusing to reveal their location.

In the lives of Edith Coombs and Tsuen Kwei we see a love that rises above cultural or national character. Their sacrifice reminds us of the greater grace and love of our Savior.

As Jesus awaited His arrest and subsequent execution, He prayed earnestly, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me.” But He concluded that request with this resolute example of courage, love, and sacrifice: “Yet not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42). His death and resurrection made our eternal lives possible. —Randy Kilgore

Lord, may the world see our love for each other—and the deeds that come from it—as a great testimony to the bond of unity we have in You. May they want to know You too.

Only the light of Christ’s love can eliminate the darkness of hatred.

INSIGHT: The Bible speaks of God’s love for us in terms of a generous sacrifice. The apostle John writes of a God who “so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son” (John 3:16). To prove that God truly loves us, John directs us to Jesus’s sacrificial death: “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us” (1 John 3:16). Alluding to His own sacrificial love just hours before He went to the cross, Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13). Sim Kay Tee

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – The Center of the World

There is something about an inbox that subtly (and not so subtly) conveys the notion that we are important. With three missed calls on the cell phone, 18 unread e-mails, and two messages on the answering machine, we are pelted with the enticing idea: “Someone needs me!” The immediate ring, buzz, or pop-up note proclaiming the arrival of these new messages is somehow complimentary, even as it demands our attention—”Check your mailbox now! Someone is looking for you!”

The language of technology seems to further our sense of importance by bidding us to claim and personalize these worlds. I am only one click away from “my documents,” “my calendar,” “my favorites,” “my music,” “my pictures,” and “my shopping cart.” Anthropologist Thomas de Zengotita calls it “MeWorld.” In a book that examines the ways in which the world of media shapes our lives, de Zengotita portrays the technologically advanced, media-saturated West as a world filled with millions of individual “flattered selves,” each living in its own insulated, personalized world.(1) He believes the narcissism that comes from living in MeWorld has been fashioned and is constantly being fed by media representations in all areas of our lives, from those private representations that purport us the star (selfies, twitter, Facebook, instagram) to the public advertisements, television, and magazines that ever address us personally.

Subtle as it may be, the most precarious part of flattered living is that we gradually lose sight of both life and self. Despite all of the overt declarations on my computer, this is not, in fact, “my world.” Though I am flattered by the attention of MeWorld, I am not the center of all existence. French philosopher Rene Descartes outlined one reason why: “Now, if I were independent of all other existence, and were myself the author of my being…I should have given myself all those perfections of which I have some idea, and I should thus be God.” In other words, if I were truly independent, if the world truly revolved around me, why should I find in myself any imperfection at all? Is it not then irrational to live as if I am the center of the world?

Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – The Center of the World

John MacArthur – Strength for Today – The Words of a Fool

“The tongue of the righteous is as choice silver, the heart of the wicked is worth little” (Proverbs 10:20).

A fool desires to share his folly with others.

Proverbs 1:7 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Wisdom, as defined in the Book of Proverbs, is living by divine standards, which implies accepting divine truth. But a fool rejects that. First Corinthians 2:14 says that “a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him.” To a fool, foolishness is wisdom and wisdom is foolishness.

That a fool rejects God’s wisdom is evident by the way he speaks. Proverbs 15:2 says, “The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable, but the mouth of fools spouts folly.” In other words, a fool is quick to air his opinions. Just as a bitter fountain produces bitter water, and a rotten tree produces rotten fruit, so also a fool produces foolishness—speaking on his own authority and generating his own opinions. The world is full of the opinions of fools—fools who have denied God in their living, who have become their own gods, and who mock the reality and consequences of sin.

A fool not only is quick to air his opinions but also propagates his foolishness to others. Proverbs 16:22 says that the instruction of fools is folly. The fool contaminates the rest of society with the same foolishness that damns his own soul. He leaves it as a legacy to his children, his friends, and all those who fall under the influence of his folly.

In contrast to fools, you as a believer are blessed to have the Spirit of wisdom indwelling you and illuminating your understanding of His Word. Your words to others are based on the wisdom of Scripture, not empty speculation. By bringing His Word to mind in every circumstance, you can speak words that are “like apples of gold in settings of silver” (Prov. 25:11).

Suggestions for Prayer

Thank God for teaching us how we should speak—and not speak—through His Word.

For Further Study

  • What does Colossians 4:6 say about our speech?
  • What further insight do each of these verses add: Matthew 12:36; Mark 9:50; Ephesians 4:29?

Wisdom Hunters – Harvest of Unholiness

The angel swung his sickle on the earth, gathered its grapes and threw them into the great winepress of God’s wrath.  Revelation 14:19

The promise of eternal judgment and hell is not fun to talk about, but is a somber reality relayed by our Savior Jesus. He is our Savior because He saves us from our sins and from eternal damnation in hell. Hell brings separation—Jesus brings reconciliation. Hell brings torment—Jesus brings peace. Hell brings darkness—Jesus brings light. Hell hurts—Heaven heals.

Our same loving Lord who promises heaven, also promises hell. Indeed, heaven is sweeter, because of the sour taste eternal separation from God leaves on the lips of our soul. We begin our experience of hell on earth when we choose our own way, in contrast to Christ’s way. Separation from God on earth is a precursor to separation from the Almighty in eternity. It is a fearful place of loneliness that lacks love and security. An angel from heaven will swing his sickle of judgment on earth, harvesting unholy grapes (evildoers) destined for God’s winepress of wrath.

“But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him” (Luke 12:5)!

It is the fear of the Lord that brings focus to His holiness and our unholy condition outside of Christ. You may experience the wrath of men because you choose to fear God. But, better to be known as a God-fearing man or woman than to experience the wrath of God. The power of man looks powerless in the presence of the One who has the power to cast the unsaved into hell. Sinners in the hands of a holy God desperately need His grace.

Continue reading Wisdom Hunters – Harvest of Unholiness

Today’s Turning Point with David Jeremiah – The Best Years of Our Lives

But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.

Philippians 3:7

Recommended Reading

Philippians 3:1-11

When Harold Russell’s hands were blown off in an accident, he sank into depression. One day Charley McGonegal, who had lost his own hands in war, told Russell, “For everything you have missed, you have gained something else.”

Russell rallied and went on to become an ambassador for the disabled. He won an Oscar for his role in the movie, The Best Years of Our Lives. He wrote, “My weakness… has turned out to be my greatest strength. I didn’t think so at the time it happened and I don’t think I’d ever willingly lose my hands, if I had it to do all over again. But having lost them I feel perhaps I have gained many fine things…. It is not what you have lost, but what you have left that counts.”1

When we look at past losses, it provides an opportunity to recalibrate for future service. The Lord can leverage our losses for ministry. Don’t give up. Your best years are now, and your best days are ahead.

For everything you have missed, you have gained something else.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

1Lillian Eichler Watson, Light From Many Lamps (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1951), 88-94.


Acts 16 – 17

Joyce Meyer – Discerning of Spirits

To another the ability to discern and distinguish between [the utterances true] spirits [and false ones] . . . .—1 Corinthians 12:10

I believe the discerning of spirits is an extremely valuable gift, and encourage you to desire and develop it. I actually believe it is one of the most needful gifts for today and the times we are living in.

Some people say that the discerning of spirits gives people supernatural insight into the spiritual realm when God allows it. Many also believe that discerning of spirits is a gift given so we can know the true nature of a person or a situation. Our world today is full of deception and many people in it are not who they appear to be. The gift of discerning of spirits helps us see through deception and behind the masks people often wear so we can know what is really going on. The gift also helps us discern good things. It enables us to sense when something is a good thing or a person has a good heart.

Discernment helps us recognize when something is of God and when it isn’t. Dave and I have seen this gift work many times when dealing with people who wanted to work in our ministry. Many times, people have seemed qualified, capable, dedicated, and “perfect” for the jobs for which they applied. I remember one specific occasion when we met with someone and everyone involved thought we should hire him, but I had a nagging feeling in my heart that we should not. We hired him anyway and he did nothing but cause trouble. I allowed my reasoning—thinking he would work out because his resume was exactly what we wanted—to overtake my discernment, and I wish I had not.

The Spirit of God lives in our hearts and speaks to our hearts, not our heads. His gifts are not intellectual or operative in our minds; they are spiritual and they operate in our spirits. We must follow what we sense in our spirits, not what we think in our minds should be right. This is why God gives us discernment.

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

Susie Larson

Girlfriends in God – Outcomes and Offerings

Today’s Truth

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

1 Corinthians 10:31

Friend to Friend

Isn’t it something how we may think we understand a certain truth or concept and then God drives it deeper into our souls? He is profoundly wise in the way that He teaches us the secrets of the Kingdom. He unveils truth to the degree that we’re ready to receive it, believe it, and walk in it.

I’ve recently begun to understand—on a deeper level—that though God cares about my choices, He does not owe me the outcome that I expect to result from my choices. Plain and simple, He is my master. He decides how my life will go. My efforts (in every area of life) are an offering to the Lord. They’re not a factor in an equation that guarantees a certain outcome.

Whatever we do, we must do it as unto God, trusting Him to take our offering and multiply it according to the need of the moment and according to His perfect will in His perfect time. Outcomes are in His hands.

People (including our children, spouses, friends, bosses, etc.), have a free will to choose as they will. And God, in His sovereignty works all things together for the good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (see Romans 8:28).

Once the offering (of raising our kids, loving our spouses, serving our bosses, etc.) leaves our hands, we must remember that we cannot control the outcome. But we can rest and trust knowing that God treasures every seed we sow, every offering we bring, and every prayer that we pray.

When we even begin to think that our efforts guarantee a certain outcome in the lives of others, we put ourselves above God, for even He does not exert His will in another’s life without their invitation.

Continue reading Girlfriends in God – Outcomes and Offerings

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – He Wonderfully Comforts

“What a wonderful God we have – He is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the source of every mercy, and the one who so wonderfully comforts and strengthens us in our hardships and trials. And why does He do this? So that when others are troubled, needing our sympathy and encouragement, we can pass on to them this same help and comfort God has given us” (2 Corinthians 1:3,4).

Whatever God does for you and me is without merit on our part and by pure grace on His part, and it is done for a purpose. Here the apostle Paul tells the Corinthian believers why God so wonderfully comforts and strengthens them, and us, in our hardships and trials.

This scriptural principle is a good one to remember: God never gives to or benefits His children solely for their own selfish ends. We are not comforted and strengthened in our hardships and trials just so that we will feel better.

Eleven out of the 13 Pauline epistles begin with the exclamations of joy, praise and thanksgiving. Second Corinthians, obviously, is one of those. Though Paul had been afflicted and persecuted, he had also been favored with God’s comfort and consolation.

Paul delighted in tracing all his comforts back to God. He found no other real source of happiness. The apostle does not say that God’s comfort and strength is given solely for the benefit of others, but he does say that this is an important purpose. We are not to hoard God’s blessings.

Bible Reading: Hebrews 13:15-19

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: As I live in the supernatural strength of the Lord God, I will make an effort, with His help, to share that strength (and other blessings) with others

Ray Stedman – Reading Hearts

Read: Romans 14:5-12

One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. Romans 14:5-8

What Paul is saying is that God can read hearts and you cannot. These distinctions and differences of viewpoint arise out of honest conviction which God sees, even though you cannot. Therefore, the individual is not simply being difficult because he does not agree with you. He is acting based on the basis of what he feels is right, so trust him on that. Believe that he is as intent on being real before God and true to him as you are, and if he feels able to indulge in some of these things you think are not right, then at least see him as doing so because he really feels that God is not displeased with him on that basis. Or, if he does feel limited and he feels he should not do certain things, do not get upset with him because he has not moved into freedom yet. Remember that he really feels that God would be displeased if he did those things. The apostle makes clear here that every person should have that kind of a conviction: Let every man be fully persuaded in his own heart, (Romans 14:4b KJV).

Paul says that God sees both of these people and both of these viewpoints as honoring him. The one who thinks Sunday is a special day that ought to be kept different from all other days is doing so as unto the Lord, therefore honor that, respect that viewpoint. The one who says, No. When we are in Christ, days do not mean anything. They are not set aside for any special purpose. Therefore, I feel every day is alike, and I want to honor the Lord on every day. Okay, do not feel upset at that. He is doing so out of a deep conviction of his heart.

The one who drinks wine gives thanks to God for the the taste of it, and it is perfectly proper that he does so. The one who says, No. I cannot drink wine, but I can drink coffee, gives thanks for the coffee. The coffee may do as much physical harm as the wine, but, in either case, it is not a moral question. It is a question of what the heart is doing in the eyes of God.

Continue reading Ray Stedman – Reading Hearts

Words of Hope – Daily Devotional – How Long?

Read: Revelation 6:9-11

How long before you will judge and avenge our blood? (v. 10)

Walking through the old market district of a city in eastern Turkey, my guide mentioned that all the shops and businesses around us had once been owned by Armenians. A century ago a majority of the people in that region were Armenian Christians; today almost none are left. My companion lowered his voice and added, “There are deep caverns north of the city where they say the bodies were thrown.” In Turkey one does not allude to such things except in a whisper.

What is the mission of God in a world of such horrors: genocide, persecution, exploitation, sex slavery, poverty, terrorism, and corruption? Jesus said that his mission was to give his life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45) and to build his church (Matt. 16:18). So we proclaim the gospel to the world and invite people everywhere to become followers of Jesus.

But followers of Jesus must also witness to and work for the coming of God’s kingdom, God’s reign of justice and peace here on earth. The Hebrew prophets called it shalom–the state of things where all is right, where humans and even nature itself flourish together in joyous harmony.

I was talking with someone about our struggle to understand all the evils of life. He said, “I don’t ask God why anymore, I ask him when. When are you gonna come and fix things?” We may be sure that God will; meanwhile, we join him in working on the fix.

—David Bast


Come, Lord Jesus!


Greg Laurie – A Righteous Judge

The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. —Psalm 19:9

When it comes to God’s judgment, sometimes people will say they believe in a God who is not judgmental. That sounds good, but here is what they are really saying: “I believe in a God who doesn’t care about right and wrong.” To put it more bluntly, they are saying they believe in a God they just made up in their heads.

If God really is loving, then God also will be just. That is what the Bible tells us. The love of God makes Him a righteous judge. Know this: No one will be in heaven who deserves to be there. Nor will there be anyone in hell who does not deserve to be there. No one will be in heaven who went there unwillingly. And no one will be in hell who didn’t go there willingly.

God won’t force anyone to go to heaven. He won’t say, “Get up to heaven right now!” You don’t have to go if you don’t want to. On the other hand, no one will be in hell who did not go there willingly.

I like the way J. I. Packer summed it up: “Scripture sees hell as self-chosen. . . . Hell appears as God’s gesture of respect for human choice. All receive what they actually chose. Either to be with God forever, worshipping Him, or without God forever, worshipping themselves.”

How could a God of love send people to hell? He doesn’t. He won’t. If you end up in hell, then you went there willingly because you rejected His offer of forgiveness. You rejected Jesus Christ and all that He did for you. But if you ask God to forgive you of your sin, He will remove it from you and give you a change, a transformation in your life. You will be born again.

Kids 4 Truth International – Don’t Get Lost!

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Have you ever been lost? Danny was only eight years old when he and his brother Steve got lost one day during their walk home from school. Instead of walking down the streets they knew well, they decided they wanted to follow a creek for a while, thinking it would take them toward home. But it didn’t. Instead, the creek went another direction. When Danny and Steve realized they were lost, they got a little scared. Finally, a man came by, and they asked him if he knew where their home’s street was, and he told them. When they followed his guidance, they were able to find their way back to familiar territory, and back home!

What Danny and Steve did is exactly what Proverbs 3:5 tells us not to do. They leaned on their own understanding. They thought they knew what they were doing, but they didn’t. This is how many people behave for most of their lives. They think they know what they are doing on their own. Instead of getting their guidance from the Lord, they go their own directions, doing things their own ways. And something always goes wrong – every time!

Why is that we always get confused or “lost” when we lean on our own understanding? It is because no one has the ability in himself to go the right direction, to do the right thing, on his own. The prophet Jeremiah admitted this fact to God when he said, “O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.” (See Jeremiah 10:23.)

So, how can we ever be sure we are going in the right direction? How can we ever be sure we are doing the right things? If it is really true that we don’t have the ability in ourselves to go the right way or to do the right thing – then how can we get it? We must trust, honor, and obey the Lord. If we do, He will make sure we go the right direction and do the right thing. That is the promise of Proverbs 3:6. The Lord tells us all we need to know. He is the Giver of all the guidance and counsel we could ever need.

Continue reading Kids 4 Truth International – Don’t Get Lost!

The Navigators – Jerry Bridges – Holiness Day by Day Devotional – Who Needs Grace Most?

Today’s Scripture: Philippians 1:7

“You are all partakers with me of grace.”

All of us need grace, the saint as well as the sinner. The most conscientious, dutiful, hardworking Christian needs God’s grace as much as the most dissolute, hard-living sinner. All of us need the same grace. The sinner doesn’t need more grace than the saint, nor does the immature and undisciplined believer need more than the godly, zealous missionary. We all need the same amount because the “currency” of our good works is debased and worthless before God.

Grace considers all people as totally undeserving and unable to do anything to earn the blessing of God. C. Samuel Storms has aptly written, “Grace ceases to be grace if God is compelled to bestow it in the presence of human merit. Grace ceases to be grace if God is compelled to withdraw it in the presence of human demerit. [Grace] is treating a person . . . solely according to the infinite goodness and sovereign purpose of God.”

This description of God’s grace cuts both ways: It can neither be earned by your merit nor forfeited by your demerit. If you feel you deserve an answer to prayer or a particular blessing from God because of your hard work or sacrifice, you’re living by works, not by grace. But it’s just as true that if you despair of experiencing God’s blessing because of your demerits, you’re also casting aside the grace of God.

I seldom think of merit on my part, but I’m often painfully aware of my demerits. Therefore, I need to be reminded frequently that my demerits do not compel God to withdraw his grace from me, but rather he treats me with no regard whatsoever to what I deserve. I’d much rather stake my hope of his blessing on his infinite goodness than on my good works.

The Navigators – Leroy Eims – Daily Discipleship Devotional – The Well-Spoken Word

Today’s Scripture: 2 Samuel 19-20

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. – Ephesians 4:29

In 2 Samuel 19, we see David snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. After his army triumphed over the rebellion of Absalom, David was in tears. His men had won the battle, but he was making them feel as if they’d lost. It’s normal for a father to grieve the death of his son, but there was a problem here. The men in the army who had fought in this battle saw David’s tears and assumed he was angry with them. The Bible says, “The men stole into the city that day as men steal in who are ashamed when they flee from battle” (2 Samuel 19:3).

I wonder how often we do the same thing with our kids. Billy comes home from school with a good grade on a math paper and we greet him with criticism for not making his bed. Susie does a great job in a school play and we’re angry because she hasn’t done anything on her science project. We’re taking a victory and turning it into a defeat for those we love. There’s a time to discuss the dirty room and the science project, but it isn’t on the heels of a victory.

As parents, we often forget how much a kind word or a compliment means to our kids. It costs so little to express appreciation or to give a word of encouragement. But how often these expressions of kindness are lost because our minds are taken up with so-called “larger issues.”

David finally presented himself at the head of the troops and gave them his approval. And how about the troops at your house? Today would be a great time to congratulate them on their successes.


Lord, I want to encourage people with what I say. Give me the words to speak today as I interact with my family and others. Amen.

To Ponder

There is very little happening in the world on any given day that is more important than encouraging our children.

BreakPoint –  Opening the Tomb of Jesus: The Historical Reality of Our Faith

For a sixty-hour period beginning on October 26th, researchers had unprecedented access to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the site long-venerated as the place where Joseph of Arimathea placed Jesus’ body on Good Friday.

Then on October 28th, the tomb was resealed and may not be re-opened until, as the Nicene Creed says, He comes again in glory to judge the living and the dead.

As National Geographic told readers, “While it is archaeologically impossible to say that the tomb recently uncovered in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is the burial site of  . . . .Jesus of Nazareth, there is indirect evidence to suggest that the identification of the site by representatives of the Roman emperor Constantine some 300 years later may be a reasonable one.”

First some history: according to the historian Eusebius of Caesarea, the Roman emperor Hadrian, about 100 years after Jesus’ death and resurrection, had a temple dedicated to the goddess Aphrodite built over the site of Jesus’ tomb. This was not by accident.

Two centuries later, the emperor Constantine had the pagan temple demolished and in the process, discovered what was believed to be the tomb of Jesus. Constantine ordered a church to be built around the tomb.

The church we see at the site today is not the original. That one was damaged by earthquakes and fires. It was repaired but later demolished by a Fatimid caliph in the early eleventh century and then rebuilt again and damaged again, so forth and so on.

Yet the pilgrims kept coming, so much so that in the 16th century the burial bed in the tomb was covered in marble to keep people from taking home souvenirs.

This is a great story, but is there reason to believe that it’s the site of God’s mightiest work, the raising of Jesus from the dead?

Continue reading BreakPoint –  Opening the Tomb of Jesus: The Historical Reality of Our Faith

Moody Global Ministries – Today in the Word – WORRY AS A CHALLENGE TO FAITH: GROWING

Read EXODUS 4:1–17

The biblical narratives the past two days are inspirational and instructive, but we might wonder if they’re relevant for us. Esther is an inspiration, but our daily lives rarely include confrontations with empires. Saul is an instructive negative example, but we’re unlikely to be in a position to forfeit a kingdom.

We might relate better to Moses. His self-doubt in today’s passage feels normal or understandable, though it reveals a lack of faith. We empathize with his fear of public speaking (v. 10). We see that his faith grew and developed over a period of time, which is something we also can aspire to.

God appeared to Moses in a burning bush and called him to lead the Israelites out of slavery. Moses’ worries were understandable. Egypt was a world power. The Israelites had been their slaves for four centuries. What reason could possibly entice Pharaoh to let them go? Moses was a disgraced former member of the royal court (having been raised in the palace), and a murderer, now living incognito as a desert shepherd. Why would the Egyptians respect or listen to him? For that matter, why would the Israelites (v. 1)?

God graciously provided for Moses’ worries. Moses’ staff became a symbol of God’s power. He was given specific signs to perform, signs designed to show that Israel’s God was greater than the gods of Egypt (vv. 2–9). God also reminded Moses that He Himself had created speech, language, and the tongue, meaning that He would give him the needed words and speaking abilities (vv. 11–12, 15). He also gave him a helper, Aaron. Despite his reluctance and anxiety, Moses obeyed in faith. And as we know from Jesus’ parable of the two sons, obedience is what matters (see Matt. 21:28–32).


The classic film The Ten Commandments (1956) can help the life of Moses and the story of the Exodus come alive in our imaginations. Why not take some time to watch or re-watch this movie with family or friends, then discuss it together? What biblical themes emerge as most powerful? How does the film handle the biblical text?

Denison Forum – Fake Secret Service agent’s surprising real job

A man in Pennsylvania has admitted to buying fake Secret Service identification cards to impress women on a dating site. What does he really do for a living? He owns a company that scoops up pet poop. Here we find another example of “post-truth,” defining truth by personal belief rather than objective facts.

Unfortunately, I unknowingly engaged in “post-truth” this week.

Last Tuesday I included in my Daily Article a quote from C. S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters warning us against becoming “completely fixated on politics.” The quote was sent to me by a well-intentioned reader. It said exactly what I wanted to say that day. It had the imprimatur of Lewis, my intellectual hero. While I didn’t recognize the statement, it felt like something Lewis would say and was in keeping with his Screwtape voice.

There was just one problem: Lewis never wrote the words I attributed to him.

Several readers graciously alerted me to this fact. I am grateful to them and have resolved to check all quotes carefully in the future, no matter how close I am to my writing deadline. I wanted to notify you lest you use the spurious quote as I did.

Clearly, Christians are not immune from “post-truth.” If we find a statement that comes from someone we trust, says what we want to say, and has the imprimatur of a credible source, we can cite it as true without checking to see if it is.

This is a larger problem than you might think.

Preachers are tempted to exaggerate or tell fictional stories as factual to make their point. Business leaders are tempted to idealize their accomplishments to advance their business. Political leaders are tempted to say what it takes to get elected. I’m tempted right now to write what might impress you.

Continue reading Denison Forum – Fake Secret Service agent’s surprising real job