In Touch Ministries; Charles Stanley – The Solution to Jealousy


James 3:13-18

Have you ever wondered what causes envy? On the surface, it may seem like simply a reaction that occurs when we want something another person has. But it actually goes much deeper than this: The real root is resentment that God hasn’t provided for us what He has given someone else.

Jealousy arises from a heart overcome by:

  • Greed. We become discontent with what God has given to us, and we want what other people have, believing that will make us happy.
  • Selfishness. We compare ourselves to others, and instead of rejoicing with them, we focus on our own life and what we don’t have.
  • Pride. Seeing the success of other people makes us feel inadequate, and in an attempt to build ourselves up, we belittle them and their accomplishments.

Jealousy and envy can cause great damage to relationships and spiritual health. That’s why it is important to act quickly, correcting such attitudes before they become a habit. At the first awareness of such a mindset, confess it as sin and acknowledge God’s right to bless someone else abundantly. Then express gratitude for what He has given you, and ask Him to help you rejoice with others He has blessed.

Bible in One Year: Deuteronomy 33-34

Our Daily Bread — Knowing the Father


Bible in a Year:

Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.”

John 14:9


Today’s Scripture & Insight:

John 14:8–11

According to legend, British conductor Sir Thomas Beecham once saw a distinguished-looking woman in a hotel foyer. Believing he knew her but unable to remember her name, he paused to talk with her. As the two chatted, he vaguely recollected that she had a brother. Hoping for a clue, he asked how her brother was doing and whether he was still working at the same job. “Oh, he’s very well,” she said, “And still king.”

A case of mistaken identity can be embarrassing, as it was for Sir Beecham. But at other times it may be more serious, as it was for Jesus’ disciple Philip. The disciple knew Christ, of course, but he hadn’t fully appreciated who He was. He wanted Jesus to “show [them] the Father,” and Jesus responded, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:8–9). As God’s unique Son, Christ reveals the Father so perfectly that to know one is to know the other (vv. 10–11).

If we ever wonder what God is like in His character, personality, or concern for others, we only need to look to Jesus to find out. Christ’s character, kindness, love, and mercy reveal God’s character. And although our amazing, awesome God is beyond our complete comprehension and understanding, we have a tremendous gift in what He’s revealed of Himself in Jesus.

By:  Con Campbell

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Reflect & Pray

How well do you know God’s character? How does it match your perception of who Jesus is?

Dear God, help me to grow in my knowledge and appreciation of who You are.

Grace to You; John MacArthur –Praying According to God’s Word


“I, Daniel, observed in the books the number of the years which was revealed as the word of the Lord to Jeremiah the prophet for the completion of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years. So I gave my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications” (Dan. 9:2-3).

God’s sovereignty doesn’t eliminate the need for prayer.

Have you ever wondered if it’s biblical to pray for things that God has already promised in His Word to do? Is it proper to pray, say, for the salvation of sinners, knowing that God will redeem all the elect anyway, or for Christ’s return, knowing that it is a sure thing? Daniel gives us a clear answer.

God prophesied through Jeremiah that the Babylonian Captivity would last seventy years (Jer. 25:11-12). When Daniel read that prophecy, he realized that the time was near for his people to return to their homeland. That inspired him to pray fervently.

In Daniel 9:19 he cries out, “O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and take action! For Thine own sake, O my God, do not delay.” He was in tune with God’s Word and understood that somehow his prayers were part of God’s plan.

The exact relationship between God’s sovereignty and our prayers is a mystery, but it is clear that somehow God’s Word and our prayers are co-laborers in achieving God’s will.

Like Daniel, you and I live in a time when many of God’s promises seem near to fulfillment. Never before have world events pointed so dramatically to the nearness of the return of our Lord. Consequently, this is not the time for complacency or over-enthusiastic speculation. It is the time for careful Bible study and fervent prayer.

Suggestions for Prayer

  • Thank God for His faithfulness and the sure promises of His Word.
  • Ask Him for spiritual wisdom and insight to discern His will and then live accordingly.

For Further Study

Jeremiah 24:1—25:13 gives some background to Judah’s captivity in Babylon. After reading those verses, answer these questions:

  • To what kind of fruit did God liken Judah?
  • What did God say would happen to King Zedekiah?
  • What warning did the prophets give to Judah?
  • What was Judah’s response?
  • How would God deal with Babylon?

Joyce Meyer – Rejoice and Be Glad


Rejoice in the Lord always [delight, gladden yourselves in Him]; again I say, Rejoice!

— Philippians 4:4 (AMPC)

Adapted from the resource The Power of Being Thankful – by Joyce Meyer

Countless serious things are going on in this world, and we do need to be aware and prepared for them. But at the same time, because of the Holy Spirit in our lives, we can learn to relax and take things as they come without getting nervous and upset about them.

Thankfully, with God’s help, we can learn how to enjoy the abundant life He’s provided for us through the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus. Twice in Philippians 4: 4–7, the apostle Paul tells us to rejoice, and he urges us not to worry or have any anxiety about anything, but to pray and give thanks to God in everything—not only after every difficulty is over. In spite of all the troubling things going on around us, our attitude can be, “This is the day the Lord has made, so I will rejoice and be glad in it.”

I want to encourage you to take some time today to thank God and give Him the things you’re worried about. As you do, it’ll become easier and easier to breathe, rest and enjoy life.

Prayer Starter: Father, no matter what goes on around me today, thank You that I can still rest, knowing You’re taking care of me. Please help me remember to rejoice, even in harder situations. Thank You for giving me joy that’s not found in my circumstances, so no one can take it away. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Truth for Life; Alistair Begg – The Benefit of Trials


My grace is sufficient for you.

 2 Corinthians 12:9

If none of God’s saints were poor and tried, we should not know half so well the consolations of divine grace. When we find the wanderer who has nowhere to lay his head who still can say, “I will trust in the Lord,” or when we see the pauper starving on bread and water who still glories in Jesus, when we see the bereaved widow overwhelmed in affliction and yet having faith in Christ—oh, what honor it reflects on the Gospel.

God’s grace is illustrated and magnified in the poverty and trials of believers. Saints bear up under every discouragement, believing that all things work together for their good, and that out of apparent evils a real blessing shall ultimately spring—that their God will either work a deliverance for them speedily or most assuredly support them in the trouble, as long as He is pleased to keep them in it. This patience of the saints proves the power of divine grace.

There is a lighthouse out at sea: It is a calm night—I cannot tell whether the edifice is firm. The tempest must rage about it, and then I shall know whether it will stand. So with the Spirit’s work: If it were not on many occasions surrounded with tempestuous waters, we would not know that it was true and strong; if the winds did not blow upon it, we would not know how firm and secure it was. The masterworks of God are those men who stand in the midst of difficulties steadfast, unmovable—Calm mid the bewildering cry, Confident of victory. The one who would glorify his God must be prepared to meet with many trials. No one can be illustrious before the Lord unless his conflicts are many.

If, then, yours is a much-tried path, rejoice in it, because you will be better able to display the all-sufficient grace of God. As for His failing you, never dream of it—hate the thought. The God who has been sufficient until now should be trusted to the end.

One-Year Bible Reading Plan

Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – Jesus Has Conquered Death


“As the children are partakers of flesh and blood, [Jesus] also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” (Hebrews 2:14-15)

Trent jerked up into a sitting position, suddenly wide awake. His heart pounded, and he was breathing hard and fast as if he had been running. “It was just a bad dream,” he told himself, rubbing his eyes. “Just another dream.”

Ever since his grandfather’s funeral last week, Trent had had a bad dream almost every night. He would wake up thinking about Grandpa lying so still and silent in that big box. He would think about the quiet cemetery where they had buried the big box in the ground. And then he would start to get scared. What if his mom or his dad died too? What if he died? What would it be like?

Have you ever felt like Trent? The Bible tells us that the fear of death is something all humans have in common. But the Bible also says that we do not have to be slaves to this fear.

Would you be afraid of something that had no power to hurt you–like a dead leaf or a falling snowflake? Of course not. Did you know that Jesus Christ has made death just as powerless as these things for the Christian? Hebrews 2 tells us that when Jesus died on the cross, He destroyed the power of death. He destroyed Satan’s ability to keep us living in the fear of death all of our lives. He died to deliver us, not only from slavery to sin, but also from slavery to fear.

To those who do not know Jesus as their Savior, death is an uncertain and frightening thing. But Jesus promised that whoever believes on Him as He has commanded will not see death (John 8:51). The believer’s body will die, but his soul, the unseen part of him that thinks and feels, will go to be with Jesus forever.

If you have believed on Jesus Christ, He is your Savior. He died that you might be able to live forever with Him. Even though we don’t understand exactly what death is like, we who know Jesus do not need to be afraid of it. He has conquered death for us forever.

Jesus Christ has conquered death, and Christians do not need to fear it.

My Response:
» Has Jesus saved me from my sin and given me eternal life?
» If He has, am I thanking Him every day?
» Am I living with peace and hope in my heart instead of fear?

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Denison Forum – Should you avoid the Johnson & Johnson vaccine? Finding the truth we need in a culture of chaos


This story brings “getting a dose of your own medicine” to a new level: months after donating $1 million to help develop the Moderna vaccine, Dolly Parton received her shot of the vaccine this week. She also recorded a version of her classic song “Jolene” before receiving her shot, singing, “Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, I’m begging of you, please don’t hesitate.”

In other vaccine news, the newly approved Johnson & Johnson (J&J) single-dose vaccine is “absolutely” a game changer, according to a physician at Massachusetts General Hospital. “We should all be encouraged that we now have three excellent vaccines available to administer to Americans all across this country,” he said. “I expect we’ll be moving a lot faster with J&J on board.”

However, the archdiocese of New Orleans is urging Catholics to avoid the J&J vaccine, calling it “morally compromised.” Their statement claims that it “uses the abortion-derived cell line in development and production of the vaccine as well as the testing.”

Arguments for and against the J&J vaccine

When the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were developed several months ago, I reported that they used cells from the HEK293T fetal cell line in the testing process, though neither included such cells in the vaccines themselves. This tissue was acquired in the Netherlands in the 1970s, but records pertaining to its origins were lost. As a result, it is not known whether the tissue came from an elective abortion or a spontaneous miscarriage.

By contrast, the archdiocese is now claiming that the J&J vaccine makes “extensive use of abortion-derived cell lines” and urges Catholics to opt for the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines if given the choice. Several Christian leaders wrote to the US Food and Drug Administration in April 2020 warning that Janssen Pharmaceuticals (which produced the J&J vaccine) was developing a vaccine “using old cell lines that were created from the cells of aborted babies.”

J&J responded, asserting that “there is no fetal tissue in our Janssen COVID-19 vaccine.” Other ethicists state that the cells in question are clones and are not the original fetal tissue. They also note that, at this point, most people in the US and elsewhere do not have a choice as to which vaccine they receive. One ethicist warns, “This kind of moral scare-mongering can cost lives, especially among people who might not have access to the vaccine otherwise.”

Numerous moral theologians add that Catholics should feel confident taking the J&J vaccine since it could help protect vulnerable members of society. The president of Notre Dame University, for example, stated, “The Notre Dame community remains committed to doing our part to help fight the pandemic on campus and beyond. The one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be provided to those who meet the state’s age and other eligibility guidelines at the time.”

Since the J&J vaccine is vital to vaccinating all adults in the US, this issue is significant to our nation’s health and future.

What do we do when experts disagree? 

My purpose today is not to offer medical advice or to claim scientific knowledge I do not possess. Rather, it is to ask the question: What do we do when experts disagree?

The New Orleans archdiocese asserts that we should not take the J&J vaccine if given a choice, claiming that it is tied too closely to abortion. But what if we do not have a choice? Are we risking the lives of Americans to protest the taking of lives through abortion? If so, which lives should take precedence: those who have died or those who are still alive?

In addition, scholars seem divided on the degree to which the J&J vaccine is related in any way to abortion. If we assume that the vaccine is tied directly to abortion, we might ask whether, by saving lives, the vaccine is redeeming lives lost to abortion. When a patient receives a heart transplanted from a murder victim, this does not make the patient complicit in the donor’s death.

If you are offered the J&J vaccine, my advice is for you to consult your physician and to seek wisdom from God’s word, God’s Spirit, and God’s people. This is an approach that applies to far more than the vaccine.


Imitating my favorite church 

Over the years, people have occasionally asked me to name my favorite church in the New Testament. My answer is always the same: the Bereans. I have led several study tours to this ancient Greek city; each time, we read that when Paul came to them, “They received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so” (Acts 17:11).

As a result, “Many of them therefore believed, with not a few Greek women of high standing as well as men” (v. 12).

In a culture that is growing more and more secularized and opposed to Christian morality, it is vital that we imitate the Bereans. News media are distrusted as partisan; the cancel culture of our day is being described as a dangerous “cultural revolution”; the recent public failures of several Christian leaders are causing many to wonder who, if anyone, they can trust.

Here’s the answer: Jesus told his followers, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31–32). “Abide” in (live in, remain in) the word of God, viewing everything you experience through the lens of Scripture. Then you will know the truth, and that truth will set you free.

Jesus’ promise is not that we will never suffer for such biblical obedience—it is that we will experience the freedom and joy of the Lord even when we suffer for him. And our faithfulness, like that of the Bereans, will plant trees we’ll never sit under and make a difference in this world for the world to come.


Three heroes of the faith 

One of the daily readings to which I subscribe is titled “Saint of the Day.” Yesterday’s entry focused on three martyrs named Eutropius, Cleonicus, and Basiliscus.

In AD 308, their pagan governor tried to turn them from Jesus. He invited Eutropius to dine with him, but the Christian refused, quoting the biblical statement, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked” (Psalm 1:1). The ruler offered the three a large amount of silver, but they refused, telling the governor that Judas lost his soul for silver.

The governor then subjected them to torture, but they refused to abandon their Lord. Finally, he crucified Eutropius and Cleonicus, for which they gave thanks that they had been found worthy to die in the same way as Jesus did. Basiliscus was held in prison in hopes that the deaths of his companions would weaken his resolve. When he remained steadfast, he was beheaded.

When we know and live by biblical truth, “the truth will set us free”—in this life or the next.

How free will you be today?

Upwords; Max Lucado –Choose God’s Love


Listen to Today’s Devotion

Does a branch ever release the vine?  Only at the risk of death.  Would you say the branch is vine dependent?  I would. How well do you pass the vine test?  Do you ever release yourself from the love of Christ?  Do you ever go unnourished?  You do so at the certain risk of a parched heart.


From the file entitled “It Ain’t Gonna Happen,“ I pull and pose this suggestion.  Let’s make Christ’s command a federal law:  No person may walk out into the world to begin the day until he or she has stood beneath the cross to receive God’s love.  Wild idea?  I agree.  God’s love cannot be legislated, but it can be chosen.  For Christ’s sake, and yours, choose it. The prayer is as powerful as it is simple– “Lord, I receive your love.  Nothing can separate me today from your love.”