In Touch Ministries; Charles Stanley – Handling Conflict and Criticism


Psalm 7

Contention can cause painful injury, especially when we feel misunderstood or wrongly accused. If someone speaks untruths about us, it seems as though salt is being poured into the wound. A typical first reaction is self-defense and an attempt to claim our rights, yet God’s Word teaches a different approach.

Contrary to our natural inclinations, the proper response to criticism and conflict is humility. In Psalm 7, David laments being persecuted but immediately asks the Lord to test his own heart and reveal if he has done anything wrong. Then, instead of taking matters into his own hands, he asks the Lord to vindicate him.

Romans 12:19 reminds us never to take our own revenge, but rather to leave vengeance to God. As Romans 12:21 tells us, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” In other words, we must leave the situation with God and trust Him to vindicate us in His time and way.

We should ask ourselves, Am I willing to check my own motives before pointing a finger or becoming defensive? Jesus said we’re to bless those who curse us (Luke 6:28). So let’s ask Him for the grace and humility to examine our own heart and trust Him to be our defender.

Bible in One Year: Joshua 1-3


Our Daily Bread — Who Knows?


Bible in a Year:

When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one as well as the other.

Ecclesiastes 7:14

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

Ecclesiastes 6:12; 7:13–14

According to Chinese legend, when Sai Weng lost one of his prized horses, his neighbor expressed sorrow for his loss. But Sai Weng was unconcerned. He said, “Who knows if it may be a good thing for me?” Surprisingly, the lost horse returned home with another horse. As the neighbor congratulated him, Sai Weng said, “Who knows if it may be a bad thing for me?” As it turned out, his son broke his leg when he rode on the new horse. This seemed like a misfortune, until the army arrived at the village to recruit all able-bodied men to fight in the war. Because of the son’s injury, he wasn’t recruited, which ultimately could have spared him from death.

This is the story behind the Chinese proverb which teaches that a difficulty can be a blessing in disguise and vice versa. This ancient wisdom has a close parallel in Ecclesiastes 6:12, where the author observes: “Who knows what is good for a person in life?” Indeed, none of us know what the future holds. An adversity might have positive benefits, and prosperity might have ill effects.

Each day offers new opportunities, joys, struggles, and suffering. As God’s beloved children, we can rest in His sovereignty and trust Him through the good and bad times alike. God has “made the one as well as the other” (7:14). He’s with us in all the events in our lives and promises His loving care.

By:  Poh Fang Chia

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Can you think of an example where a misfortune turned out to be a blessing? How can you keep your focus on God in good times as well as in bad times?

Sovereign God, thank You for ordering my life. Help me to praise You in both good and bad times, believing that You work all things for the ultimate good of those who love You.

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


“The word of the Lord [came] to Jeremiah the prophet for the completion of the desolations of Jerusalem” (Dan. 9:2).

Effective prayer is always consistent with God’s will.

It is characteristic of God’s people to identify with God’s purposes and conform their will to His. Learning to pray according to His will is a major step in that process because it drives you to the Word and demonstrates a humble, submissive heart.

Jesus emphasized the priority of God’s will when He said, “I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me” (John 6:38). He accomplished that goal, saying to the Father, “I glorified Thee on the earth, having accomplished the work which Thou hast given Me to do” (John 17:4). Even when facing the horror of the cross, Jesus didn’t waver. Instead He prayed, “Father, if Thou art willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Thine be done” (Luke 22:42).

Jesus taught His disciples the same priority, instructing them to pray, “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:9-10).

Daniel knew what it meant to pray according to God’s will. After reading the prophecy of a seventy-year Babylonian Captivity, he immediately accepted it as God’s will and began to pray for its fulfillment. His prayer wasn’t passive resignation to some act of fate beyond his control. It was active participation in God’s plan as revealed in Scripture. He wasn’t trying to change God’s will but was doing everything he could to see it come to pass. That’s the essence of praying according to God’s will.

When you pray according to God’s will, you can be confident that He hears you and will grant your requests (1 John 5:14-15). Live in that confidence today!

Suggestions for Prayer

  • Be a diligent student of the Word so you will know God’s will.
  • Ask God to reveal areas in which your will is not conformed to His. As He does, take immediate steps to deal with them.

For Further Study

Read Revelation 22:6-21, noting God’s will for Christ’s return, and how we’re to respond to it.

Joyce Meyer – You Can Do All Things Through Christ


I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].

— Philippians 4:13 (AMPC)

Adapted from the resource Trusting God Day by Day – by Joyce Meyer

One thought that has the power to transform your life is simple: Through Christ, I can handle whatever life hands me. I wonder—do you believe you can do whatever you need to do? Or are there certain things that trigger dread, fear, or cause you to say, “I could never do that!” when you think about them?

Whether it’s suddenly losing a loved one, facing a serious unexpected illness, having your adult child with two toddlers move into your clean and quiet house after you’ve had an “empty nest” for years, going on a strict diet because your life depends on it, putting yourself on a budget to avoid foreclosure on your home, or suddenly having to care for a disabled elderly parent—most people have some kind of situation that truly seems impossible to them, something they aren’t sure they can handle.

No matter what that circumstance is for you, God’s Word has good news: even in the most unpleasant and difficult situations, God has provided the strength you need to do whatever you need to do in life. He doesn’t say everything will be easy for us, but He’s promised to stick with us through every moment, so we can enjoy life in the midst of doing hard things (see Deuteronomy 31:6; Joshua 1:9).

We need to understand that Philippians 4:13 does not say we can do anything we want to do because we are strong enough, smart enough, or hardworking enough. God’s grace actually has nothing to do with our effort or striving at all—it’s through His strength alone that we can accomplish anything.

[Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight. — Philippians 2:13 (AMPC)

What in your life do you need to begin to believe you can do? Know that whatever it is, God is willing and able to work in and through you to accomplish it.

Prayer Starter: Jesus, thank You for making a way for me to accomplish everything that You’ve called me to do. Please help me always remember to lean on Your strength, not mine, because You’re the only One with the power to bring me through this. In Your name, amen.

Truth for Life; Alistair Begg –Stay Awake!


Let us not sleep, as others do.

 1 Thessalonians 5:6

There are many ways of encouraging the Christian to stay awake. First, let me strongly advise Christians to talk to each other about the ways of the Lord. In Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, Christian and Hopeful, on their journey to the Celestial City, said to themselves, “To prevent drowsiness in this place, let us fall into good discourse.” Christian inquired, “Brother, where shall we begin?” And Hopeful answered, “Where God began with us.” Then Christian sang this song:

When saints do sleepy grow, let them come hither,
And hear how these two pilgrims talk together;
Yea, let them learn of them, in any wise,
Thus to keep open their drowsy slumb’ring eyes.
Saints’ fellowship, if it be managed well,
Keeps them awake, and that in spite of hell.

Christians who isolate themselves and walk alone are very liable to grow drowsy. Keep Christian company, and you will be kept wakeful by it, and refreshed and encouraged to make quicker progress on the road to heaven. But as you enjoy fellowship with others in the ways of God, take care that the theme of your conversation is the Lord Jesus. Let the eye of faith be constantly looking to Him; let your heart be full of Him; let your lips speak of His worth.

Friend, live near to the cross, and you will not sleep. Work hard to impress yourself with a deep sense of the value of the place to which you are going. If you remember that you are going to heaven, you will not sleep on the road. If you think that hell is behind you, and the devil pursuing you, you will not loiter. Would the innocent sleep with the enemy in pursuit and the city of refuge before him?

Christian, will you sleep while the pearly gates are open—the songs of angels waiting for you to join them—a crown of gold ready for your brow? Ah, no! In holy fellowship continue to watch and pray, that you enter not into temptation.

One-Year Bible Reading Plan

Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – God Loves the World

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

Victoria put her arms around Aunt Grace and hugged her as hard as she could. “It’s so hard to say good-bye, Aunt Grace,” she said. “I wish you could stay with us instead of going back to Africa.”

Aunt Grace set her suitcase on the floor and knelt down to look right into Victoria’s eyes. “It’s hard for me to say good-bye too, Torybell,” she said. Torybell was the special name that only Aunt Grace called her. “I love you, and I’ve had so much fun staying at your house and playing with you. But you know something? I love Jesus even more. And Jesus loves the people in Cameroon that I work with. He wants them to have the Bible in their own language. That’s why I have to go back. Jesus has called me to learn their language and translate His Word so they can read it and know of His love. And when Jesus calls, I have to follow. You understand, don’t you?”

Victoria nodded. She closed her eyes to squeeze back the tears, and Aunt Grace gave her one more quick hug. “I’ll pray for you, Aunt Grace.”

“Thanks, Torybell.”

Victoria stood next to her mom at the window of the airport, and they watched until Aunt Grace’s plane was out of sight. Victoria looked up at her mom. “I’m going to pray every day for those people in Cameroon,” she said.

“Let’s make a point to pray together–every day,” said Mom. “We’ll pray that they’ll read the Bible Aunt Grace is putting into their language and that God will save them.”

Victoria was quiet as they walked to the car. Maybe someday I’ll be like Aunt Grace and live in another part of the world, she thought. It would be hard to say good-bye to Mom and Dad. But it would sure be great to tell the world about God’s love.

God loves the world and wants the whole world to know of His salvation.

My Response:
» Am I praying for God to save people around the world?
» How can I show God that His love for the whole world is important to me?

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Denison Forum – A painting by Winston Churchill sold for $12 million: Finding our true worth in Whose we are

Denison Forum – A painting by Winston Churchill sold for $12 million: Finding our true worth in Whose we are

Christie’s employees adjust an oil on canvas painting by Sir Winston Churchill painted in Jan. 1943 called ‘Tower of the Koutoubia Mosque’ during an Art pre-sale photo call at Christie’s auction house in London, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

I have a bust of Winston Churchill on my desk. I purchased it in the gift shop at Blenheim Palace, his birthplace. Several times over the years, I have visited the War Rooms in London where he led England through World War II and the memorial to him at Westminster Abbey.

I have studied many of his speeches in detail, including the famous Iron Curtain speech he delivered seventy-five years ago today. I have given lectures on his life at St. Martin’s Church in Bladon, the place where he and his wife Clementine are buried. I have read four biographies of Churchill and seen three movie biographies of him.

I say all of that to say that I’m a bit of a Churchill fan. And I really wish I had a spare $12 million.

If I did, I would have purchased Tower of the Koutoubia Mosque. This painting depicts a sunset over Marrakech’s largest mosque, which Churchill took President Franklin Roosevelt to see after they participated in the 1943 Casablanca Conference. Roosevelt was so enamored with the sunset that Churchill painted the scene as a gift for him. While Churchill completed more than 550 paintings, this was the only work of art he completed during World War II.

Actress Angelina Jolie and her ex-husband Brad Pitt purchased the painting in 2011; she sold it this week at a Christie’s London auction for nearly $12 million. I wish I had been the buyer.


What Tom Brady did the morning after winning the Super Bowl 

Here’s the part of the story that it pains me to admit: I don’t think Tower of the Koutoubia Mosque is a great work of art. In fact, if its painter had been anonymous, I wouldn’t pay $1,200 for it, much less $12 million. I would guess that the buyer explains to anyone viewing it that it was painted by Winston Churchill; otherwise, they might be as unimpressed as I am.

I say all of that to say this: Our true value lies not in what we do but in who we are. And who we are is best determined by Whose we are.

NBC Sports is reporting that Tom Brady began focusing on next season the morning after he won this year’s Super Bowl. I have no idea how other quarterbacks in the NFL are preparing for next year, but none of them have won seven Super Bowls. Who Brady is makes what he does headline news.

Conversely, our secular culture is built on the belief that what we do constitutes who we are. Winston Churchill’s iconic status as the Greatest Briton in history is largely the result of his leadership credited with saving Great Britain during World War II. Brady’s rank as the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) is the result of his astonishing achievements on the field.

Here’s the problem: if what we do determines who we are, our identity is always the product of our performance, and our performance is never enough. Brady is driven to win another Super Bowl; your work today will not be sufficient tomorrow. This is my last Daily Article for this week, but I will need to write another one Monday.

How to “lay aside every weight” 

God sees us differently. In his view, our status is not found in who we are or in what we do but in Whose we are.

We are each made in his image (Genesis 1:27), which means each of us is as valuable as any of us. We are each loved unconditionally by the God who is love (1 John 4:8), which means that “God loves each of us as if there were only one of us” (St. Augustine). He loves you as much as he loves Paul the Apostle or Mother Teresa. In fact, the Father loves you as much as he loves his Son (John 17:2326).

How are we to respond? By returning the favor.

Jesus’ first commandment is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30). In a culture that separates Sunday from Monday and religion from the “real world,” God wants to be our “first love” every moment of every day (Revelation 2:4).

This is not for his sake, as if he were an egotist who needs our affirmation or a codependent partner who depends on our love. It is for our sake. He knows that loving him with every dimension of our lives is the best way for us to live our lives.

Our Father knows that when we love him more than anyone else, we will be empowered to love others with his love. When we love him more than ourselves, we will “lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely” (Hebrews 12:1) and experience his best for us (Romans 12:2). When we love him more than the world (1 John 2:15), we will show his love to the world (John 13:34).


The question we should ask every day 

As I have written, I believe evangelical Christians are entering an unprecedented period in American history. Biblical morality is increasingly seen as homophobic, bigoted, discriminatory, and otherwise dangerous to society. As a result, the religious freedom that protects such morality is coming under greater attack than ever before.

We will be sorely tempted to respond either by compromising with immorality, rejecting as the enemy those who need the gospel, or withdrawing from the culture.

The key to “speaking the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15) will be to experience the love that empowers us to speak the truth. It will be to find our identity in our Father’s love, not our culture’s affirmation or rejection. It will be to love the God who loves us and find in him the security to love others whether they love us or not.

To this end, here’s the question we should ask ourselves every single morning: If I were to be more in love with my Lord today than yesterday, what would need to change?

What is your answer today?

Upwords; Max Lucado –Deep in His Love


Listen to Today’s Devotion

My friend Keith took his wife, Sarah, to Cozumel, Mexico, to celebrate their anniversary.  Sarah loves to snorkel.  Down she swims, searching for the mysteries below.  Keith’s idea of snorkeling also includes a bellyboard.  The surface satisfies him.  Sarah, however, convinced him to plunge into the water where she showed him a twenty-foot-tall submerged cross.  “If I’d had another breath,” he confessed, “the sight would have taken it away.”


Jesus beckons you to descend and see the same.  Take a breath and descend so deeply into his love that you see nothing else.  Join the psalmist in saying:


Whom have I in heaven but you?

And earth has nothing I desire besides you.

My flesh and my heart may fail,

but God is the strength of my heart

and my portion forever. . . .(Psalm 73:25–26)