Our Daily Bread — Crumbled from Within

Bible in a Year:

I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin.

Psalm 32:5

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

Psalm 32:1–5; Matthew 7:1–5

When I was a teenager, my mom painted a mural on our living room wall, which stayed there for several years. It showed an ancient Greek scene of a ruined temple with white columns lying on their sides, a crumbling fountain, and a broken statue. As I looked at the Hellenistic architecture that had once held great beauty, I tried to imagine what had destroyed it. I was curious, especially when I began studying about the tragedy of once great and thriving civilizations that had decayed and crumbled from within.

The sinful depravity and wanton destruction we see around us today can be troubling. It’s natural for us to try to explain it by pointing to people and nations that have rejected God. But shouldn’t we be casting our gaze inwardly as well? Scripture warns us about being hypocrites when we call out others to turn from their sinful ways without also taking a deeper look inside our own hearts (Matthew 7:1–5).

Psalm 32 challenges us to see and confess our own sin. It’s only when we recognize and confess our personal sin that we can experience freedom from guilt and the joy of true repentance (vv. 1–5). And as we rejoice in knowing that God offers us complete forgiveness, we can share that hope with others who are also struggling with sin.

By:  Cindy Hess Kasper

Reflect & Pray

What’s the first step in identifying sin in your life? Why is it vital that you confess your sin to God?

Father God, I thank You for the gift of Your forgiveness that eliminates the guilt of my sin. Help me to first examine my own heart before I concern myself with the sins of others.


Grace to You; John MacArthur – Living a Joyous Life

“The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart” (Ps. 19:8).

Knowing your life is on the right track is a source of great joy.

What brings you joy? Your answer will reveal much about your priorities and the direction your life is heading spiritually.

The psalmist wrote, “How blessed [happy] is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. And he will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers” (Ps. 1:1-3).

That psalmist knew that true joy and happiness come from knowing God and abiding in His Word. That was David’s confidence when he wrote, “The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart” (Ps. 19:8).

“Precepts” in that verse speaks of divine principles and guidelines for character and conduct. God created you and knows how you must live to give glory to Him. And He revealed in His Word every precept you must know to do so.

Every divine precept is “right.” It shows you the path that is right and true. What a wonderful confidence that is! While many around you may be discouraged or despondent because of their lack of direction and purpose, God’s Word is a lamp to your feet and a light to your path (Ps. 119:105). It guides you through the difficult mazes of life and gives your life eternal significance. Don’t live simply for your own pleasures. Your life has a high and holy purpose, and each day can be filled with joy as you see that purpose unfold.

Suggestions for Prayer

  • Ask God to help you be mindful of your eternal purpose today and every day.
  • Ask Him to direct you to someone who needs Christ and is sensing a lack of purpose in his or her life.

For Further Study

Read Colossians 3:1-4.

  • How did Paul describe Christ?
  • What should be the focus of your thinking?
  • Are you heeding Paul’s exhortation?


Joyce Meyer – The Most Powerful Name

Then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.

— Acts 4:10 (NIV)

The best way I know to explain the precious and holy name of Jesus is to say that it represents everything about Him, all that He is. His name is the most powerful name in heaven and on earth. When we believe in Him and when He lives in our hearts as Lord and Savior, we call on the power of His name when we pray.

You may have noticed that many of our prayers end with these words: “In Jesus’ name. Amen.” This is not a religious way to conclude a prayer; it is a privilege, and it demonstrates your faith in His power to answer your prayer according to God’s will. Anytime you pray in Jesus’ name, you present to God all that Jesus is.

We can pray for miracles such as healing and freedom from oppression in Jesus’ name. In fact, we can pray any type of prayer in His name. I believe that when we pray in faith, using Jesus’ name, the entire spiritual realm pays attention.

Philippians 2:9–10 says that Jesus’ name is “above every name,” and that “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth.”

Prayer Starter: Father, I thank You for the power of the name of Your Son, Jesus, because it represents all that He is. In His name, I pray, amen.


Truth for Life; Alistair Begg –Are You Growing?

We are to grow up in every way into him.

Ephesians 4:15

Many Christians remain stunted and limited in spiritual things and never seem to make progress from year to year. No surge of growth and spiritual interest is seen in them. They exist but do not “grow up in every way into him.”

Should we be content with being in the green blade when we might advance to the ear and eventually ripen into the full corn in the ear? Should we be satisfied to believe in Christ and to say, “I am safe” without wishing to know in our own experience more of the fullness that is to be found in Him?

It ought not to be so; we should long as good traders in heaven’s market to be enriched in the knowledge of Jesus. It is all very well to keep other men’s vineyards, but we must not neglect our own spiritual growth and ripening. Why should it always be wintertime in our hearts? We must have our seedtime, it is true, but oh, for a springtime—yes, a summer season that will give promise of an early harvest.

If we would ripen in grace, we must live near to Jesus—in His presence—ripened by the sunshine of His smiles. We must hold sweet communion with Him. We must leave the distant view of His face and come near, as John did, and rest our head upon His shoulder; then we will find ourselves advancing in holiness, in love, in faith, in hope—in every precious gift. As the sun rises first on mountaintops and gilds them with its light and presents one of the most charming sights to the traveler’s eye, so is it one of the most delightful contemplations in the world to observe a spiritual glow on the head of some saint who has risen in stature, like Saul, above his fellows until, like a mighty snow-capped Alp, he reflects among the chosen the beams of the Sun of Righteousness and bears the glow of His radiance high for all to see, and seeing it, to glorify his Father who is in heaven.

Devotional material is taken from Morning and Evening, written by C. H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg. 


Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – God Is Against the Flesh

“Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” (Romans 8:7-8)

Does your family have a family recipe for salad dressing? Henry’s mom had an amazing salad dressing recipe that she made every Sunday afternoon. Henry loved that salad dressing! He did not even like salad if it didn’t have his mom’s homemade salad dressing on it. He could eat almost anything if that salad dressing was on top!

There was a trick to this salad dressing, though. You had to shake it up before you could pour it out onto your salad! The oil and vinegar in the salad dressing would separate (come apart) if you left the bottle sitting too long on the tabletop. Unless you shook the bottle to mix the oil and vinegar together again, they would stay in two separate parts. If you were to pour the dressing out without mixing it up first, it would come out tasting really gross.

The way that oil and vinegar naturally separate is kind of a picture of the way spiritual things and fleshly things are separate from one another. What is the “flesh”? Is it your skin or your organs? No. When we talk about the “flesh” like it is talked about in the Bible, we are describing sinful human nature. The flesh is what makes us want to give in to sinful temptations. It is a part of every human being, because we are all born with a sinful nature. As we keep turning away from our sins and keep turning toward God, we are walking more and more in the Spirit, and that means we will not do what the flesh tempts us to do.

To be at “enmity” with God means to be at odds with Him, to be against Him, to be His enemy. God and the flesh are enemies! They are opposites, like light and dark. Sinful nature is not something that can be nearby God. God is holy, so He cannot stand sin.

Because we are sinners, and because God is holy, we are born as natural enemies of God. He loves us but cannot stand sin. So Jesus Christ came, took on the likeness of  fleshly nature, and yet He never sinned! That is why Jesus is so wonderful: He is our Bridge back to God! Because Jesus was 100% God AND 100% human, He is the only One Who can change us so that we do not have to be the enemies of God.

Because God is holy, He is the natural Enemy of our sinful nature.

My Response:
» Do I walk in the temptations of the flesh, or do I turn away from them to follow God?
» Am I trusting in Jesus to be the Bridge between me and God?
» Am I choosing to walk in the Spirit like Jesus did when He faced temptations as a human being?

Denison Forum – Haitian gang demands $17 million for missionaries

“Precious in the sight of the Lᴏʀᴅ is the death of his saints” (Psalm 116:15).

The Haitian gang that kidnapped seventeen missionaries on Saturday is demanding a ransom of $1 million for each person they are holding, for a total of $17 million. A top Haitian official reported the demand and disclosed that among the missionaries are five children—one an eight-month-old baby, and the others three, six, fourteen, and fifteen years old.

He added that negotiations could take weeks, explaining, “We are trying to get them released without paying any ransom. This is the first course of action. Let’s be honest: when we give them that money, that money is going to be used for more guns and more munitions.”

In other news, a plane carrying twenty-one people crashed near Houston yesterday. However, the New York Post reports that “miraculously, only one person was reported injured.” Looking at pictures of the plane’s wreckage, it indeed seems a miracle that any of the passengers survived.

So, here’s the question: If God “miraculously” protected these passengers in Houston, why did he not protect his missionaries in Haiti?

Hypersonic weapons and submarine missiles

Examples of our need for such protection abound, from record homicides in Portland, Oregon, to North Korea’s submarine ballistic missile test described as “possibly the most significant demonstration of the North’s military might since US President Joe Biden took office,” to China’s testing of a nuclear-capable hypersonic weapon that “surprised and alarmed US officials,” to an asteroid that “just zipped past Earth closer than the moon’s orbit.”

We know that God is “the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords” (1 Timothy 6:15). He “works all things according to the counsel of his will” (Ephesians 1:11) and “does all that he pleases” (Psalm 115:3). This is because “the Lᴏʀᴅ has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all” (Psalm 103:19).

Why, then, does he not intervene when danger threatens his people?

In Acts 12, we read that “Herod the king laid violent hands on some who belonged to the church. He killed James the brother of John with the sword, and when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also” (vv. 1–3). If God did not spare James, it would seem that Peter’s life would soon be over as well.

But not so. God sent “an angel of the Lord” to free Peter from his prison cell and thus rescue him “from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting” (vv. 7–11).

If Peter, why not James?

How Peter died

The question becomes more complex when we learn how Peter eventually died. Jesus had warned his lead apostle: “When you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go. (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God)” (John 21:18–19).

The First Epistle of Clement, written from Rome to Christians in Corinth around AD 96, stated: “Peter, who because of unrighteous jealousy suffered not one or two but many trials, and having thus given his testimony went to the glorious place which was his due” (1 Clement 5:4). His execution most likely occurred after the fire of Rome, when Nero sought to transfer blame to Christians and persecuted them mercilessly (Tacitus, Annals 15:44).

According to the early church historian Eusebius, Peter was made to watch his wife’s execution first: “When the blessed Peter saw his own wife led out to die, he rejoiced because of her summons and her return home, and called to her very encouragingly and comfortingly, addressing her by name, and saying, ‘O thou, remember the Lord’” (Ecclesiastical History 3:30:2).

The apostle’s own execution followed: “He was crucified head-downwards; for he had requested that he might suffer in this way” (Ecclesiastical History 3:1:2). An early source describes his death this way: “Peter, having come to the cross, said: ‘Since my Lord Jesus Christ, who came down from the heaven upon the earth, was raised upon the cross upright, and he has deigned to call to heaven me, who am of the earth, my cross ought to be fixed downmost, so as to direct my feet towards heaven; for I am not worthy to be crucified like my Lord.’ Then, having reversed the cross, they nailed his feet up” (Acts of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, Ante-Nicene Fathers 8:484).

Not a wall but a door

Why did God allow Peter to die in this way? Why does he allow missionaries to risk their lives and their children by serving him in dangerous places such as Haiti? Why does he allow you and me to face the suffering and pain of life on this broken planet?

This is obviously a very large conversation, but here’s one fact we often overlook: For Christians, death is not a wall but a door. It is not the end of life but the beginning of life we cannot imagine on this fallen planet (1 Corinthians 2:9).

Peter knew this to be true: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:3–4).

When we die, we simply step out of the car and go into the house. There we find God’s “inheritance” waiting for us in reward for our faithfulness. And there we will understand what we do not understand today (1 Corinthians 13:12).

I am not suggesting that we should not grieve for those who are in heaven today. If Jesus wept at the grave of Lazarus, we can weep at their graves (John 11:35). But I am suggesting that we do not “grieve as others do who have no hope” (1 Thessalonians 4:13). We have not lost them—we know precisely where they are and we know that we will join them. In fact, we are one day closer to that great reunion than ever before.

A lesson from a podcast host

I recorded a podcast last week with a host who made this profound statement: This world is the closest to hell a Christian will ever be. However, it is also the closest to heaven a lost person will ever be.

It is our job to help every person we know choose heaven now, knowing that the time is coming when it is too late to choose. C. S. Lewis noted, “When the author walks on the stage the play is over.” I cannot promise you that the Lord will return tomorrow, but I cannot promise that he will not.

In the meantime, believers can experience in this life something of what we will experience in the next. St. Augustine observed, “To fall in love with God is the greatest romance; to seek him the greatest adventure; to find him, the greatest human achievement.”

What romance, adventure, and achievement will you seek today?