God is the only one in the universe who keeps all His promises.

Hebrews 10:19-23

Many people in the world today place little value on commitments. We see politicians retract campaign promises once they take office, and some friends are quick to reschedule when a better opportunity comes up. Certain people even take marriage vows lightly. 

Thankfully, God always keeps His word and never changes. That means we can confidently count on Him to do what He says in Scripture. The Bible is filled with His promises, which give us stability in an uncertain world. 

The Lord’s promises reveal His character. Every time we see Him keep His word, we learn a little more about His greatness, faithfulness, love, power, and sovereignty. As a result, our confidence in Him grows. What’s more, His promises bring tremendous comfort in times of distress. And when we struggle with doubts about our salvation, Scripture gives assurance for our eternal future.

In a changing world where vows are often broken, it’s reassuring to know we serve a God who always does what He says. Think about the hope His promises provide. Then praise Him for the way they reveal His character and bring Him glory.

Bible in One Year: John 8-9

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Our Daily Bread — Comfort Shared

Bible in a Year:

We can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

2 Corinthians 1:4

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

2 Corinthians 1:3–8

When my daughter Hayley came to visit me, I saw her three-year-old son, Callum, wearing a strange piece of clothing. Called a ScratchMeNot, it’s a long-sleeved top with mittens attached to the sleeves. My grandson Callum suffers from chronic eczema, a skin disease that makes his skin itch, making it rough and sore. “The ScratchMeNot prevents Callum from scratching and injuring his skin,” Hayley explained.

Seven months later, Hayley’s skin flared up, and she couldn’t stop scratching. “I now understand what Callum endures,” Hayley confessed to me. “Maybe I should wear a ScratchMeNot!”

Hayley’s situation reminded me of 2 Corinthians 1:3–5, in which Paul says that our God is “the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.”

Sometimes God allows us to go through trying times such as an illness, loss, or crisis. He teaches us through our suffering to appreciate the greatest suffering that Christ went through on our behalf on the cross. In turn, when we rely on Him for comfort and strength, we’re able to comfort and encourage others in their suffering. Let’s reflect on whom we can extend comfort to because of what God has brought us through.

By:  Goh Bee Lee

Reflect & Pray

Whom has God helped you to comfort through your own experiences of suffering? What can you do to help them appreciate Christ’s suffering on the cross through their pain?

God, help me to experience Your comfort in my sufferings and to become a source of comfort to others.

http://www.odb.org

Grace to You; John MacArthur – Having a Faith That Responds

“Faith is . . . the conviction of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1).

True faith goes beyond assurance to action.

When the writer said, “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen”, he used two parallel and almost identical phrases to define faith.

We’ve seen that faith is the assurance that all God’s promises will come to pass in His time. “The conviction of things not seen” takes the same truth a step further by implying a response to what we believe and are assured of.

James addressed the issue this way: “Someone may well say, ‘You have faith, and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.’. . . But are you willing to recognize . . . that faith without works is useless? . . . For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead” (James 2:1826). In other words, a non-responsive faith is no faith at all.

Noah had a responsive faith. He had never seen rain because rain didn’t exist prior to the Flood. Perhaps he knew nothing about building a ship. Still, he followed God’s instructions and endured 120 years of hard work and ridicule because he believed God was telling the truth. His work was a testimony to that belief.

Moses considered “the reproach of Christ [Messiah] greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward” (Heb. 11:26). Messiah wouldn’t come to earth for another 1,400 years, but Moses forsook the wealth and benefits of Egypt to pursue the messianic hope.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, when faced with a life- threatening choice, chose to act on their faith in God, whom they couldn’t see, rather than bow to Nebuchadnezzar, whom they could see all too well (Dan. 3). Even if it meant physical death, they wouldn’t compromise their beliefs.

I pray that the choices you make today will show you are a person of strong faith and convictions.

Suggestions for Prayer

  • Ask God to increase and strengthen your faith through the events of this day.
  • Look for specific opportunities to trust Him more fully.

For Further Study

Read Daniel 3:1-20. How was the faith of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego tested?

http://www.gty.org/

Joyce Meyer – Success Starts with Your Thoughts

J

We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.

— 2 Corinthians 10:5 (NLT)

Nobody is successful in any venture just by wishing they would be. Successful people make a plan and talk to themselves about that plan constantly. You can think things on purpose, and if you make what you think about match what you actually want to do, your feelings may not like it, but they will go along.

I slept great last night, and when I woke up at 5:00am, I didn’t feel like getting up. It was so cozy under the fluffy cover, and I felt like staying right there. But I had a plan. I had decided how many hours I would write today, and in order to do that I had to get up. I thought, I am going to get up now, and I got up!

Do you make an effort to choose your thoughts, or do you just meditate on whatever falls into your head, even if it is in total disagreement with what you have said you want out of life? When your thoughts are going in a wrong direction, do you capture them and submit them to Christ as the Bible instructs (see 2 Cor. 10:5)?

I want to encourage you today—the good news is you can change. As I have said for years, we are in a war and the mind is the battlefield. We either win or lose our battles based on winning or losing the war in our minds. Learn to think according to the Word of God, and your emotions will start lining up with your thoughts.

If you have had years of experiencing wrong thinking and letting your emotions lead you as I did, making the change may not be easy, and it will definitely require a commitment of study, time, and effort. But the results will be worth it. Don’t say, “I am just an emotional person, and I can’t help the way I feel.” Take control. You can do it!

Trust in Him Keep your thoughts in line with the plan God has for your life—a plan to prosper you, and not to harm you (see Jeremiah 29:11). Take control of your thoughts by trusting them to Him.

Prayer Starter: Lord Jesus, thank You for taking control of my life. Help me to trust You in all things, including my thoughts, and help me to always keep my thoughts in line with Your plan for my life.

http://www.joycemeyer.org

oyce Meyer – Success Starts with Your Thoughts

Truth for Life; Alistair Begg – He Loves to Hear

Behold, he is praying.

Acts 9:11

Prayers are instantly noticed in heaven. The moment Saul began to pray, the Lord heard him. Here is comfort for the distressed but praying soul. When our hearts are broken and we bow in prayer, we are often only able to employ the language of sighs and tears; still our groaning has made all the harps of heaven thrill with music.

That tear has been caught by God and treasured in the receptacle of heaven. “Put my tears in your bottle”1 implies that they are caught as they flow. The petitioner, whose fears prevent his words, will be well understood by the Most High. He may only look up with misty eye; but “prayer is the falling of a tear.”

Tears are the diamonds of heaven; sighs are a part of the music of Jehovah’s court and are numbered with “the sublimest strains that reach the majesty on high.” Do not think that your prayer, however weak or trembling, will be unregarded.

Jacob’s ladder is lofty, but our prayers shall lean upon the Angel of the covenant and so climb its starry rounds.

Our God not only hears prayer but also loves to hear it.

He does not forget the cry of the humble. True, He does not regard high looks and lofty words; He does not care for the pomp and pageantry of kings; He does not listen to the drums of war; He does not regard the triumph and pride of man.

But wherever there is a heart enlarged with sorrow or a lip quivering with agony or a deep groan or a penitential sigh, the heart of Jehovah is open.

He marks it down in the registry of His memory; He puts our prayers, like rose leaves, between the pages of His book of remembrance, and when at last the volume is opened, there will be a precious fragrance springing from it.

Faith asks no signal from the skies,
To show that prayers accepted rise.
Our Priest is in His holy place,
And answers from the throne of grace.

1) Psalm 56:8

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

http://www.truthforlife.org

Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – God Is Fair

“Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful.” (Psalm 116:5)

When God flooded the whole wide world, He was being fair.

When God told Abraham to sacrifice his one and only son Isaac, He was being fair.

When God sent Jesus Christ to die on the cross, He was being fair.

In the Hebrew language, another word for “fair” is righteous – a word used often to describe God. Psalm 11:7 begins, “For the righteous Lord loveth righteousness.”

Truth is, God is fair. God is always fair.

When your life is good, God is fair. When you feel sad, God is fair. When you make your parents happy, God is fair. When you fail a test, God is still fair. He knows about your problems even before you pray. God allows you to face your hard times, as well as your good times – not because God is unfair or unloving – but because He is righteous. Everything God does is right, because it is God Who does it.

Eight years ago, a man named Steve was killed in a car accident. The accident happened on Steve’s first wedding anniversary. Steve had a wife. He had parents. He had a little sister. When he was killed so unexpectedly, Steve left behind many family and friends who were very sad and wondering if God was really being fair!

Why does God allow bad things to happen? Why does it often seem like God Himself causes tragic things to happen? Isn’t God a loving God? Isn’t God an all-powerful God? Couldn’t He make it so only happy things happen? Couldn’t He take away all the bad things? Maybe you have asked that same question about something hard in your life.

The answer is simple, even if it is not simple to understand or simple to get used to. The answer is this: God allows bad things to happen for the same reason He allows good things to happen to us – for His great glory and for our greatest good. We do not deserve good and wonderful lives, but God in His lovingkindness can look ahead and see what is ultimately best for us, and He works those things out, for His own glory and for our own good. He never makes mistakes, because He is God. God wants what is best for our lives – and that is fair.

God cannot be unfair because God cannot be wrong.

My Response:
» Am I having a hard time accepting something that God is doing in my life right now?
» How can I change my heart responses and my words and actions to show that I am trusting a perfect God Who never makes mistakes?

Denison Forum – Glenn Youngkin wins Virginia governor’s race: How a single life can change human history

Republican Glenn Youngkin defeated Democrat Terry McAuliffe in yesterday’s Virginia governor’s race.

Why am I leading today’s Daily Article with this story? I don’t live in Virginia. The odds are that you don’t, either. Gubernatorial races are typically only news inside the states where they are contested. Governor-elect Youngkin will not cast votes in the congressional disputes of our day, render opinions on Supreme Court decisions, or influence the White House in any direct way.

And yet, his race generated national headlines over the last several weeks as he and his opponent drew into a virtual tie going into yesterday’s election.

One reason is that the Virginia contest was widely viewed as a referendum on Joe Biden’s presidency. In fact, The Hill called it a “proxy war between Trump and Biden.” Another is that national issues such as abortion and vaccine mandates have permeated the race.

Yet another is the divisiveness of our political season. Gerald F. Seib writes in the Wall Street Journal that “there are effectively four political parties in Washington now” and “there is zero trust among them.” There are the progressive Democrats, personified by Sen. Bernie Sanders, and the moderate version, personified by Sen. Joe Manchin. Then there is the traditionally conservative “governing” part of the GOP and the “populist, nationalist version of the Republican Party.”

The bipartisan infrastructure plan created earlier this year is an example of the moderate Democrats and the “governing” Republicans working together. However, the current standoff regarding its future exemplifies the lack of trust between the four “parties” in Washington.

Using skateboards to win souls

In a day as divisive and chaotic as ours, what difference can one person make? All the difference in the world. In fact, the more conflicted our culture, the more one person can stand out as a unique harbinger of hope.

For example, John Barnard is the founder of Middleman Ministries, a partner of Columbus Avenue Baptist Church in Waco. His ministry gives away custom-made skateboards and other equipment to teenagers on the margins of society. They conduct skating clinics and outreaches in skating parks and also pair adult Christian mentors with young people, sometimes bonding by working together on old vans. Middleman then donates the vans to other skateboarding ministries around the country.

In honor of the traditional founding of the Protestant Reformation on October 31, Christian Post ran a terrific article on seven women who were vital to this transformational movement. Here we learn about Marie Dentière, a former nun who led other nuns into the Reformation cause, wrote apologetic works in defense of Reformed theology, and was even asked by John Calvin to write the foreword for one of his printed sermons.

We meet Argula von Grumbach, who was born to a Bavarian noble family and became so famous for her defense of the Reformation that Martin Luther complimented her “valiant fight with great spirit, boldness of speech, and knowledge of Christ.” And Katharina Zell, sometimes called the “Mother Reformer,” whose marriage to a Protestant pastor in 1525 is believed to be one of the first official Protestant marriages in European history. She wrote works defending clerical marriage and commentaries on Scripture and cared extensively for Protestant refugees.

You and I may not be familiar with their stories, but their faithfulness in the midst of epochal change, controversy, and opposition changed history and advanced God’s kingdom on earth.

How to “turn the world upside down”

You don’t have to run for governor for your life to impact our culture. Nor do you have to help lead a reformation for your faith to change eternity. But you do need to make a countercultural decision today that will affect your life and your legacy far beyond today.

God wants to use your life and mine to change our world for Christ. From the first Christians to now, he wants to empower and employ his followers to “turn the world upside down” with the gospel (cf. Acts 17:6).

If he is not using us as transformational salt and light, the fault is with the salt and light (cf. Matthew 5:13–16). This is because the Holy Spirit is the Holy Spirit; our sins grieve him and quench his power in our lives (Ephesians 4:301 Thessalonians 5:19). He can only use us to the degree that we are usable.

Unfortunately, many Christians think that so long as their sins are private and personal, they are affecting no one but themselves. But nothing could be further from the truth.

Who is the “builder of your destiny”?

You and I literally cannot know the ways God’s Spirit would have used our lives if we were more usable. We cannot know the impact we forfeit on earth and the reward we lose in heaven when we spend even a minute or an hour outside his leadership and empowerment.

Of course, Satan does not want us to know this. He tries to tempt us into self-reliance, using means that resonate with our secular culture and with our internal “will to power,” which can be extremely deceptive. As an example, James Allen claims in his influential book As A Man Thinketh that by our thoughts, a person is “the maker of his character, the molder of his life, and the builder of his destiny.” (For more, see my review of his important book on my personal website.)

In fact, the Holy Spirit wants to make our character to reflect Christ (Romans 8:29), mold our life as we manifest his “fruit” (Galatians 5:22–23), and build our destiny as world-changers for eternity. When we are fully his, he will use our gifts, talents, abilities, education, and influence to advance God’s kingdom in ways we will not fully understand this side of eternity.

The key is for us to want to make a difference so passionately that we will pay the personal price for public usefulness.

The more we understand all Jesus has done for us, the more we will want him to do for others what he has done for us. And the more we will want to serve him in gratitude for such grace.

Corrie ten Boom, the Nazi holocaust survivor and Christian ambassador to the world, once prayed: “Lord, you died for me. What can I do for you?”

Will you make her prayer yours today?

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In Touch Ministries; Charles Stanley – Living Above Your Circumstances

God is in complete control over every circumstance; even in our trials, He’s working all things to accomplish His good purpose in our life.

Philippians 1:12-20 

When we’re going through hard times, it’s comforting to know that nothing can touch a believer’s life unless the Lord allows it. He has complete control even in our most difficult and painful circumstances. Through it all, we’re being held firmly in our Father’s loving hand, and His good purpose is being worked out in our life. 

We may desperately wish for our circumstances to change. But to achieve His purposes, God allows us to go through trials that are designed to make us more like Christ. We’ll reap the spiritual benefits if, instead of trying to extricate ourselves, we let the Lord finish the work. 

Paul’s time in prison proved to be a benefit for the gospel. Logically, incarceration should have hindered his ministry, but it had the opposite effect. During that time Paul was guarded by many Roman soldiers, and each new shift gave him the opportunity to explain the gospel to another “captive audience.”  

We’re not promised an easy life, but God uses our trials to accomplish His will. Difficult experiences are given to us for our good, for the benefit of others, and for God’s glory. 

Bible in One Year: John 6-7

http://www.intouch.org/