Our Daily Bread — Studying the Scriptures

Bible in a Year:

[Jesus said], “These are the very Scriptures that testify about me.”

John 5:39

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

John 5:39–47

J. I. Packer (1926–2020), in his classic work Knowing God, spoke of four well-known believers in Christ whom he called “beavers for the Bible.” Not all were trained scholars, but each one exercised great care to know God by gnawing into the Scripture, like a beaver digs in and gnaws away at a tree. Packer further noted that knowing God through Bible study is not just for scholars. “A simple Bible reader and sermon hearer who is full of the Holy Spirit will develop a far deeper acquaintance with his God and Savior than a more learned scholar who is content with being theologically correct.”

Unfortunately, not all who study the Bible do so with humble hearts with the goal of getting to know the Savior better and becoming more like Him. In Jesus’ day there were those who read the Old Testament Scriptures, yet they missed the very One they spoke of. “You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life” (John 5:39–40).

Do you sometimes find yourself stumped as you read the Bible? Or have you given up studying the Scriptures altogether? Bible “beavers” are more than Bible readers. They prayerfully and carefully gnaw away at Scripture in ways that open their eyes and hearts to see and love Jesus—the One revealed in it. 

By:  Arthur Jackson

Reflect & Pray

What are some Old Testament Scripture passages that you recognize as “testifying” about Jesus? What better habits do you need to develop to become a better student of the Scriptures?Father, open my eyes to see Jesus in all of Scripture so that I might love, obey, and serve Him more.


Grace to You; John MacArthur – Obeying God’s Commands

“The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes” (Ps. 19:8).

Obedience to the Word is the hallmark of a true believer.

It isn’t popular these days to speak of God’s Word as a book of commandments. Commands imply law and we’re accustomed to grace. But the fact is, both the Old and New Testaments contain many commandments that all God’s people are to obey.

The apostle John said, “By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, ‘I have come to know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected” (1 John 2:3-5). John equated the commandments of God with the Word of God.

Jesus Himself said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John 14:15) and “He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me; and he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father” (v. 21). If you truly love Christ, your life will be characterized by a pattern of obedience to His Word.

Every commandment of God is “pure”, the psalmist said (Ps. 19:8). Its effect is “enlightening the eyes.” God’s Word brings spiritual truth into clear focus. Not every passage of Scripture is easy to understand, but taken as a whole, the message of the Bible is clear to the regenerate mind.

But as clear as the Bible is to believers, unredeemed people can’t understand it. To them it’s foolishness because their minds are unenlightened (1 Cor. 2:14). In their spiritual blindness they choose humanistic philosophical speculations over God’s Word. But as a believer, you are continually being enlightened by the truths of God’s Word as the Holy Spirit enables you to understand and apply them to your life.

Your ability to understand the Word is a priceless gift. Take advantage of it daily by expanding your Bible knowledge and increasing your obedience.

Suggestions for Prayer

  • Thank the Lord for opening your mind to the truths of His Word.
  • Commit yourself to discovering at least one additional truth from Scripture each day.

For Further Study

Read 1 Corinthians 2:14-16. What comparison did Paul make between the natural (unregenerate) man and the spiritual (regenerate) man?


Joyce Meyer – Stop Running

He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters.

— Psalm 23:2 (NIV)

Today’s scripture comes from Psalm 23. This is a familiar Bible passage to many people and one that offers much hope and strength.

Simply reading about green pastures and quiet waters can give us a great sense of peace. I don’t know anyone who is not longing for more peace right now. Everywhere we look, we see news stories about unrest. We hear about friends or coworkers who have disagreements. We may even find ourselves in a conflict with someone or in some other situation that threatens to steal our peace. Or as is the case with many people, we may simply lead such a busy, stress-filled life that peace seems out of reach.

To have the peace God longs to give us and to experience His rest we must take time to be still. No one can lie down while they are constantly running—running to work, running to take children somewhere, running to the grocery store, running to care for elderly parents, running to meet a friend for coffee, running to get the house clean. We all have things we must and should take care of, so ask God to show you how to slow down and take time to be still and enjoy peace.

Prayer Starter: Father, help me to stop running, to be still, and to enjoy the peace You long to give me. In Jesus’ name, amen.


Truth for Life; Alistair Begg –How Much Do You Owe?

For the love of Christ controls us.

2 Corinthians 5:14

How much do you owe to my Lord? Has He ever done anything for you? Has He forgiven your sins? Has He covered you with a robe of righteousness? Has He set your feet upon a rock? Has He established your goings? Has He prepared heaven for you? Has He prepared you for heaven? Has He written your name in His Book of Life? Has He given you countless blessings? Has He laid up for you a store of mercies, which eye has not seen nor ear heard?

Then do something for Jesus that is worthy of His love. Do not give a mere wordy offering to a dying Redeemer. How will you feel when your Master comes if you have to confess that you did nothing for Him but kept your love shut up, like a stagnant pool, neither flowing out to the poor nor to His work? Be done with that kind of love! What do men think of a love that never shows itself in action? Why, they say, “Better is open rebuke than hidden love.”1 Who will accept a love so weak that it does not stir you to a single act of self-denial, generosity, heroism, or zeal?

Consider how He has loved you and given Himself for you! Do you know the power of that love? Then let it be like a rushing, mighty wind to your soul to sweep out the clouds of your worldliness and clear away the mists of sin. For Christ’s sake let this be the tongue of fire that sits upon you: For Christ’s sake let this be the divine excitement, the heavenly empowerment to bear you up from earth, the divine spirit that will make you bold as lions and swift as eagles in your Lord’s service. Love should give wings to the feet of service and strength to the arms of industry. Fixed on God with a constancy that is not to be shaken, determined to honor Him with a zeal that is not to be turned aside, and pressing on with a passion that doesn’t waver, let us display the constraints of love for Jesus. May the divine magnet draw us toward heaven itself.

1) Proverbs 27:5

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


Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – The Lord Is Not Slack Concerning His Promises

“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to usward.” (2 Peter 3:9a)

Have you ever heard the phrase “You have my word”? or “You have my word on it”? That means that the person speaking is making a promise based on his or her own track record. If a very honest person tells you he will take care of something for you, saying, “you have my word on it,” then that means you can trust him. He is telling the truth. If a very careful person tells you she will be on time for a meeting, saying, “You have my word, I’ll be there,” then she wants you to know you can trust her to be at the meeting on time.

The kind of people whose word you can trust – they are the ones you can count on. They are faithful. They are dependable. Usually, they will not let you down.

Why do we add usually to that sentence? Well, even the most faithful human beings are still only human. They make mistakes. They forget. They get stopped by circumstances that are out of their control. And they sin. If you leave your backpack with an honest person, he still might not be able to stop a robber from stealing it. If you are counting on a reliable friend to be exactly on time for a Saturday morning meeting, she may not be able to come at all. What if her alarm doesn’t go off and she accidentally oversleeps? Or what if her family decides at the last minute to go out of town for the weekend? Even the most faithful people might let you down sometimes. Humans can only be trustworthy to a certain point.

But the Lord is not like us. If He promises something in His Word, we definitely have His Word on it! And nothing can stop God from doing what He plans to do. No traffic jam or robber or change of human plans can mess up God’s plans. God never forgets. He never sins. He never changes His mind about whether He cares about His people enough to keep His Word to them.

Is there a promise that you think God has made you but not kept? He may not keep that promise exactly the way you want Him to, and He may not carry that promise out exactly when you wanted Him to. But He is not slack (lazy) concerning His promises. He may be taking a long time, but He will always finish what He says He will do. Often, He waits because He wants to show us mercy. (Some of God’s promises are about punishing stubborn sinners, and He is giving them a longer time to repent and turn to Him.)

When the Lord gives His Word, we can always count on Him. He will never let us down.

The Lord is always faithful to keep His Word.

My Response:
» Am I the kind of person who people think of as “faithful” and “trustworthy”?
» Do I think rightly about the Lord’s faithfulness and trust Him to keep His Word?
» How can I show others that I am trusting and obeying a faithful God?