In Touch Ministries; Charles Stanley – Grace-Filled Speech

We need to be careful about not only what we say but also how we say it.

Ephesians 4:29-32

Words are powerful. They can either tear down or build up. As we saw yesterday, harsh remarks can cause a destructive chain reaction—like the damage a lit match could do to a forest. In contrast, kind comments feel like a light summer rain that brings relief from the day’s heat. 

We should always be careful about what we say. Scripture clearly condemns gossip, deception, complaining, slander, angry outbursts, foul language, and vulgar joking. Yet the goal isn’t simply to avoid all bad speech; it’s to speak truth in an uplifting manner. After all, even correction can be delivered in a way that’s encouraging. 

Sometimes the problem is not so much what we say but how we say it. Oftentimes our tone of voice and body language convey much more than our words do. Nonverbal signals can reveal impatience, resentment, anger, malice, and bitterness—all of which tear others down. But wordless signals can instead edify by showing love, compassion, appreciation, and gratitude.

In terms of godly behavior, we all fall short of perfection, but if we saturate our mind with God’s Word, He’ll transform our heart, attitudes, and speech. And when our words are gracious, others are blessed and God is glorified. 

Bible in One Year: Matthew 11-12

Our Daily Bread — Envisioning a Different Future

Bible in a Year:

Help them . . . so they can continue to live among you.

Leviticus 25:35

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

Leviticus 25:35–37

The three hundred middle and high school students of the small town of Neodesha, Kansas, filed into a surprise school assembly. They then sat in disbelief upon hearing that a couple with ties to their town had decided to pay college tuition for every Neodesha student for the next twenty-five years. The students were stunned, overjoyed, and tearful.

Neodesha had been hard hit economically, which meant many families worried about how to cover college expenses. The gift was a generational game-changer, and the donors hoped it would immediately impact current families but also incentivize others to move to Neodesha. They envision their generosity igniting new jobs, new vitality—an entirely different future for the town.

God desired His people to be generous by not only tending to their own acute needs but also by envisioning a new future for their struggling neighbors. God’s directions were clear: “If any of your fellow Israelites become poor and are unable to support themselves among you, help them” (Leviticus 25:35). The generosity wasn’t only about meeting basic physical needs but also about considering what their future life together as a community would require. “Help them,” God said, “so they can continue to live among you” (v. 35).

The deepest forms of giving reimagine a different future. God’s immense, creative generosity encourages us toward that day when we’ll all live together in wholeness and plenty.

By:  Winn Collier

Reflect & Pray

How does generosity meet immediate needs? How can it encourage you to also look further?

Dear God, I struggle with being generous in the most basic ways. Help me to see and act.

Grace to You; John MacArthur – Children of Light

“If we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).

God is light, and His children share His nature.

First John 1:5 aptly describes God’s nature as “light” (truth and holiness). Because they partake of His nature (2 Peter 1:4), His children also walk in the light. It must be understood that we don’t become God’s children by walking in the light, but rather we walk in the light because we are His children. The Greek verb describes continuous action and could be translated, “If we habitually or continuously walk in the light. . . .” It’s an indicator of character; a definition of a true Christian, just as walking in the darkness characterizes unbelievers.

Two significant benefits come to believers because they walk in the light. These are privileges granted only to Christians; unbelievers who think they possess them deceive themselves.

First, believers experience fellowship with God. “One another” in 1 John 1:7 does not refer to other Christians. Although it is certainly true that believers enjoy fellowship with each other, that is not what this verse is teaching. The use of the pronoun “his” later in the verse makes it clear that the fellowship in view here is with God. That fellowship is mutual, “with one another.” Believers share a common life with God, experience His presence through the indwelling Holy Spirit, and commune with Him through prayer and the reading of His Word.

Second, believers experience cleansing from sin. “The blood of Jesus His Son” is the agency of that cleansing. Christ’s blood is symbolic of His sacrificial death on the cross, where full payment was made for believers’ sins. Once again it must be noted that walking in the light does not earn forgiveness; rather, forgiveness is freely granted to those who walk in the light (who are Christians).

In view of those glorious truths, I would leave you today with the challenge of the apostle Paul: “Now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light” (Eph. 5:8).

Suggestions for Prayer

Ask God to help you “let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 5:16).

For Further Study

Look up the following passages, noting what each teaches about forgiveness of sin: Ephesians 1:7Hebrews 9:1410:141 Peter 1:18-19Revelation 1:5-6.

From Strength for Today by John MacArthur

Joyce Meyer – Agreeing with God

Fight the good fight of the faith; lay hold of the eternal life to which you were summoned and [for which] you confessed the good confession [of faith] before many witnesses.

— 1 Timothy 6:12 (AMPC)

Take a step of faith and no matter how you feel, agree with God that He loves you. You are wonderfully made and have many talents and strengths. You are valuable, and as a believer in Jesus, you are the righteousness of God in Him. You have rightness before God instead of wrongness—be thankful for that amazing gift!

Begin to speak out against feelings of insecurity and say, “I belong to God, and He loves me!” (See Ephesians 2:10.) We believe more of what we hear ourselves say than what others say, so start saying something good and drown out the other voices that condemn you.

Fight for yourself! Fight the good fight of faith and refuse to live below the level at which Jesus wants you to live. His kingdom is righteousness, peace, and joy (see Romans 14:17). Don’t settle for anything less.

Prayer of the Day: I thank You, Father, that I can boldly declare in faith who I am in Christ. Thank You that You created me as one of a kind and You love me dearly. Today, I choose to believe that I am Your workmanship.

Truth for Life; Alistair Begg – The Doctrine of Scripture

The sacred writings … are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:15-17

The authority, sufficiency, infallibility, and inerrancy of Scripture are doctrines that are absolutely foundational to the ongoing work of God and His church. We cannot engage a lost and hurting world with the gospel unless we are convinced of its divine origin. As J.C. Ryle wrote, without the Bible as a “divine book to turn to as the basis of their doctrine and practice,” Christians “have no solid ground for present peace or hope, and no right to claim the attention of mankind.”[1]

Paul addressed this very issue when he reminded Timothy that “all Scripture is breathed out by God.” In other words, the Bible is not a human product infused with divinity; it’s a divine gift produced through human instrumentality. Its every book, chapter, sentence, and syllable was originally given by God’s inspiration.

The doctrine of Scripture, like many other Christian doctrines, can be challenging to grapple with. But the fact that something is difficult to understand does not undermine its truthfulness. Furthermore, when it comes to the doctrine of Scripture, there are matters that we can consider objectively. For example, it’s easy to see that the Bible is a completely harmonious work. While it was written by more than thirty authors over a period of about fifteen hundred years, all the writers tell the same story, giving the same account of this world, the character of its Creator, and the problem of the human heart, and pointing to the same wonderful way of salvation through the sacrifice of the Lamb of God—all the way from Genesis to Revelation!

The Bible also transcends time, culture, gender, and intellect. Some books may fit a certain person, a certain era, or a certain place, but there is no other book that perfectly stands up to the challenges of every day and every age and to the questions that confront life itself. The brightest minds cannot exhaust the riches of God’s word, and yet, at the same time, even young girls and boys can read their Bibles and discover its truth transforming their lives.

The authority, sufficiency, infallibility, and inerrancy of Scripture are the grounds on which we must stand; and we have divine help in order to do so. The same Spirit that inspired the word of God illumines the word of God and convinces us that it is the word of God, given to us so that we may believe in Him who is the Word made flesh. It is as the Spirit does this work in you that your belief in the divine authorship of Scripture is undergirded and moves from only being an intellectual assent to a doctrine to an active hunger for more of the word—and more of the one who is both its author and its subject.


Psalm 12

Topics: The Bible God’s Word Truth


1 Bible Inspiration: Its Reality and Nature(William Hunt, 1877), p 6.

Devotional material is taken from the Truth For Life daily devotional by Alistair Begg,

Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – Christ Suffered to Bring Us to God

Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – Christ Suffered to Bring Us to God

 “For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing. For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit” (1 Peter 3:17–18).

Have you ever suffered? Some children have. You or someone you know may be fighting against a painful disease. Some children have suffered under physical or emotional abuse. Maybe that has happened to you. Or maybe you have lost a friend or a loved one who died. You may have heard of families who have been persecuted for worshiping the God of the Bible.

But most children have not seen heavy, hard suffering yet. Suffering is intense pain that we feel, either on the inside or the outside. Nobody likes suffering! Think about it. Let’s say you are sitting in a lawn chair, sipping pink lemonade under the hot sun, when all of the sudden you hear a strange buzzing sound near your right arm. It’s a bee! A very large bee with a very sharp-looking stinger! What is your first reaction? Do you calmly say, “Mr. Big Scary Bee, sir, please do not poke me today with that painful stinger of yours! I’m right in the middle of my lemonade!”? No! You would probably jump out of your lawn chair really fast, screaming and swatting and running around in circles until you were sure Mr. Big Scary Bee, sir, was gone!

Why is that your response? Because you hate pain. You dread it. You would never seek after it. You would be crazy if you did. From a human point of view, suffering is always a bad thing! We never enjoy pain, and we always try to get out of it if we can!

But the Bible tells us that Jesus Christ did choose to suffer. He had a choice, and He chose suffering. Why? Because our sin separated us from God, and solving that problem would require Jesus to be sacrificed for the sins of the world. He chose to undergo suffering to bridge the gap between us and God.

Jesus Christ endured the suffering because He really wanted what was waiting on the other side of suffering. The Bible says in Hebrews 12:2 that Christ chose suffering “for the joy that was set before him.” In other words, it meant more to Jesus to save us from our sins than to be safe and comfortable. His sacrificial suffering made it possible for us to become children of God and live with Him forever in Heaven. What a courageous, selfless, and loving Savior we have!

Jesus Christ endured suffering to provide sinners a way of salvation.

My response:

» Do I ever spend time thinking about what Christ went through so that I could be saved from my sins?

» When I go through suffering, can I find comfort and strength through Christ?

» How can I show others that I trust this Savior who suffered for me?

Denison Forum – Is the threat of nuclear war “at least equal magnitude” to the Cuban Missile Crisis?

In 2018, a pro-Kremlin journalist asked Russian President Vladimir Putin in what scenario Russia would use nuclear weapons. He replied: “If someone decides to destroy Russia, then we have a legal right to respond.” He admitted that “for humanity it will be a global catastrophe” but added perilously: “Still, as a citizen of Russia and the head of the Russian state, then I want to ask myself the question: ‘Why do we need such a world if there is no Russia there?’”

Putin claimed that Russia would launch a nuclear weapon only if it detected the launch of missiles headed for Russia, but he did not clarify if Russia would respond only in the case of nuclear warheads or non-nuclear missiles in general.

Fast-forward to the present. Putin signed the final papers yesterday to illegally annex four regions of eastern Ukraine as Russian territory. Ukraine is continuing its offensive in some of these areas, forcing widespread Russian retreats. Ukrainian guided missiles supplied by the US and the UK have been instrumental in changing the course of the war against Russia.

Will Putin now see such missile strikes against his forces in annexed Ukrainian regions as missile launches against Russia?

A Cold War historian explains the current crisis

This scenario is just one reason Cold War historian Michael Dobbs, author of a definitive account of the Cuban Missile Crisis, is warning that the conflict in Ukraine “presents perils of at least equal magnitude” to that confrontation.

There are other reasons for grave concern as well: Dobbs points to the possibility that “a stray shell from either side could cause an accident at a nuclear power plant, spewing radioactive fallout over much of Europe.” Russia could bungle an attempt to interdict Western military supplies to Ukraine, slipping over into NATO countries like Poland and triggering an automatic US response. Or a Russian decision to use tactical nuclear weapons against Ukrainian troops could escalate into a full nuclear exchange with the West.

Dobbs adds that in 1962, US President John Kennedy and his Kremlin counterpart Nikita Khrushchev possessed “an intuitive understanding of the peril confronting not just their own countries but the entire world if the crisis was allowed to escalate.” This was because both had experienced the horrors of World War II and knew nuclear war would be many times more destructive.

In light of Putin’s question, “Why do we need such a world if there is no Russia there?” we are left to wonder if he shares their understanding of the peril facing the globe today.

A new “Scooby-Doo” movie character is a lesbian

In other news, a new “Scooby-Doo” movie portrays the lead character as a lesbian. A senior member of the British parliament says the Church of England must embrace same-sex marriage or face mounting pressure from the government.

Samford University, a Baptist school in Alabama, is facing protests and criticism for affirming its commitment to biblical sexuality and marriage. And a New York trial judge has ruled that polyamorous relationships are entitled to the same legal protections given to two-person relationships.

Here’s what these stories have in common with Vladimir Putin’s Russia-centric nuclear threat: they each illustrate the conviction that I have a right to what I want, no matter the consequences for those who disagree.

In this view, if Russia believes its territory (legitimate or not) is under attack, it can respond however it chooses. LGBTQ ideology must be embraced by every segment of society even at the cost of First Amendment religious freedoms. If you disagree, you are dangerous to society and undeserving of legal or cultural protections.

Unfortunately, this is familiar ground, a growing attack on conservative Christians I have documented often in the past (for a larger discussion in historical and biblical context, see my book, The Coming Tsunami). Today, I’d like to make a point on this urgent issue I’ve not made before, one that applies as fully to me as to anyone who opposes my biblical worldview.

“My claim to my right to myself”

For nearly thirty years, I have read Oswald Chambers’ classic, My Utmost for His Highest, as part of my morning devotional time. Yesterday I read again his definition of sin as “my claim to my right to myself.” This time, his explanation struck me as it had not before.

Chambers observed: “The disposition of sin is not immorality and wrong-doing, but the disposition of self-realization—I am my own god. This disposition may work out in decorous morality or in indecorous immorality, but it has the one basis, my claim to my right to myself.”

This claim is at the foundation of everything that is wrong with our culture. But it is prevalent in “moral” people as well, as Chambers notes: “When our Lord faced men with all the forces of evil in them, and men who were clean living and moral and upright, he did not pay any attention to the moral degradation of the one or to the moral attainment of the other; he looked at something we do not see, viz., the disposition.”

In other words, those of us who uphold biblical morality and religious freedom can be as sinful as those who reject it if our motives are “my claim to my right to myself.” This is a binary choice: I can love and serve my Lord and my neighbor (Matthew 22:37–39), or I can love and serve myself. I can make God my god, or I can make myself my god (Genesis 3:5).

But I cannot do both. Neither can you.

A life-changing paragraph

Inside the Bible I used as a pastor, I taped a paragraph where I could see it each Sunday before I preached. Its words from Watchman Nee’s The Normal Christian Life stirred my soul again when I read them today:

“A day must come in our lives, as definite as the day of our conversion, when we give up all right to ourselves and submit to the absolute lordship of Jesus Christ. There must be a day when, without reservation, we surrender everything to him—ourselves, our families, our possessions, our business, and our time. All we are and have becomes his, to be held henceforth entirely at his disposal. From that day we are no longer our own masters, but only stewards.

“Not until the lordship of Jesus Christ is a settled thing in our hearts can the Holy Spirit really operate effectively in us. He cannot direct our lives effectively until all control of them is committed to him. If we do not give him absolute authority in our lives, he can be present, but he cannot be powerful. The power of the Spirit is stayed.”

Will the Spirit be “powerful” or “stayed” in your life today?

Denison Forum