In Touch Ministries; Charles Stanley – Claiming a Promise of God

Which of God’s promises are yours?

Hebrews 10:19-25

Today’s passage says God is faithful to fulfill His promises. But if you’re like most Christians, you have probably felt as if He’s let you down at some point. Perhaps you found a promise in Scripture and believed the Lord would do it, but He hasn’t. The problem isn’t God’s faithfulness; more than likely, there’s a misunderstanding of His promises. So, when evaluating whether a passage applies to you, ask these questions: 

  • Is it limited or does it pertain to all believers? Certain scriptural promises were given to a particular individual, while others were for the whole nation of Israel. And sometimes a promise concerned a specific event or circumstance. But God’s Word contains many that are intended for all of His followers throughout history. Always check the context. 
  • Is there a condition to the promise? If so, we must meet that requirement. Otherwise, it won’t apply to us.   
  • Am I asking for a need or a desire? God assures us He’ll provide whatever He considers necessary to complete His work in our life (2 Peter 1:3). But that doesn’t include everything we want. 

These guidelines will help us discern which promises are ours. But we should remember that some might be fulfilled only in eternity. When that’s the case, we can look to the saints of Hebrews 11 as role models. They took God at His word—even if they didn’t see His promises fulfilled in their lifetime. 

Bible in One Year: Matthew 13-15

Our Daily Bread — Birds of the Air

Bible in a Year:

Do not worry about your life.

Matthew 6:25

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

Matthew 6:25–33

The summer sun was rising and my smiling neighbor, seeing me in my front yard, whispered for me to come look. “What?” I whispered back, intrigued. She pointed to a wind chime on her front porch, where a tiny teacup of straw rested atop a metal rung. “A hummingbird’s nest,” she whispered. “See the babies?” The two beaks, tiny as pinpricks, were barely visible as they pointed upward. “They’re waiting for the mother.” We stood there, marveling. I raised my cell phone to snap a picture. “Not too close,” my neighbor said. “Don’t want to scare away the mother.” And with that, we adopted—from afar—a family of hummingbirds.

But not for long. In another week, mother bird and babies were gone—as quietly as they had arrived. But who would care for them?

The Bible gives a glorious but familiar answer. It’s so familiar that we may forget all that it promises: “Do not worry about your life,” said Jesus (Matthew 6:25). A simple but beautiful instruction. “Look at the birds of the air,” He added. “They do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them” (v. 26).

Just as God cares for tiny birds, He cares for us—nurturing us in mind, body, soul, and spirit. It’s a magnificent promise. May we look to Him daily—without worry—and soar.

By:  Patricia Raybon

Reflect & Pray

What’s the difference between worry and planning—or worry and concern? As you look at your life, how is God daily providing?

Loving God, it’s humbling to know that You care for the needs of my life. Please help me to honor Your promise to provide by trusting You more each day.

Grace to You; John MacArthur – Enjoying God’s Blessings

“Blessed are those who hear the word of God, and observe it” (Luke 11:28).

Obeying Scripture brings spiritual blessing.

When Scripture speaks of a person’s being blessed, it usually refers to the reception of some temporal or spiritual benefit. It also includes the joy and sense of well-being that comes with knowing that God is at work on your behalf.

The psalmist wrote, “How blessed 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. 1:1-2). Those who know and obey God’s Word will be blessed. The psalmist likened them to a strong, productive, prosperous tree.

James added, “One who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty [God’s Word], and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man shall be blessed in what he does” (James 1:25). Again, the very act of obedience brings blessing.

John opens the book of Revelation with this promise: “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it” (Rev. 1:3). Jesus closed the Revelation with the same promise: “Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book” (Rev. 22:7). Obedience and blessing always go hand-in-hand.

As a Christian, you’ve been blessed “with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1:3). Every spiritual resource is yours. Even in times of sorrow and persecution, God’s blessing rests on you (1 Pet. 4:14). But you can forfeit His blessings by neglecting His Word or committing other sinful acts. So guard your heart carefully and continue in the Word. As you do, your joy will be boundless!

Suggestions for Prayer

Make a list of specific ways in which the Lord has blessed you in recent days. Praise Him for each one.

For Further Study

Read James 1:121 Peter 3:14, and 1 Peter 4:14. How does God’s blessing apply when you’re suffering unjustly?

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur

Joyce Meyer – Fill Your Life with God’s Best

Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid….

— John 14:27 (AMPC)

Nothing harms us emotionally the way stress does. We might say that anxiety is emotions out of control. When someone experiences anxiety, most of the time it’s because their emotions have been stressed to the point that they are no longer functioning healthily. There are many situations that cause anxiety. The death of a spouse or child, divorce, and job loss are major events; however, not all the reasons are that serious. A lot of anxiety is caused simply by taking on more than we can handle.

I used to feel constantly overwhelmed due to stress, but it was because my schedule was unreasonable. And—even worse—I thought I was doing it for God. It is amazing to me now when I look back at how deceived I was. Always remember that if Satan cannot get you to not work for God, then he will try to get you to over work for God. He really doesn’t care which end of being out of balance we are on, because either one causes trouble.

The simple answer to living a life you can enjoy is to learn God’s ways and follow them. Jesus said, I am the Way (John 14:6 AMPC), and that means He will show us how to live properly. The answers we need are in God’s Word, and we should make a decision that we will not only read the Bible, but we will obey it. If we refuse to make that decision and follow through, we will keep feeling stressed until we break.

Start asking God what you can eliminate from your life that is not producing good fruit. It may even be some good things that are just not the best things for you. Something can be right for us in one season of our lives and not right at all in another season. Follow your heart, and you will accomplish a lot of fruitful things and still have energy left over to enjoy the fruit of your labor.

Prayer of the Day: Lord, show me what things are crowding my life and keeping me from Your best. Help me simplify my life so that I can live in peace, and not stress. Thank You, Father, amen.

Truth for Life; Alistair Begg – A Distinguished Life

Daniel became distinguished above all the other high officials and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him. And the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. Then the high officials and the satraps sought to find a ground for complaint against Daniel with regard to the kingdom, but they could find no ground for complaint or any fault, because he was faithful, and no error or fault was found in him.

Daniel 6:3-4

After being seized and taken away into captivity in Babylon, Daniel became part of a select group of outstanding young Israelite men who were chosen to be part of King Nebuchadnezzar’s court. Though he was taken into exile, given a different name, and distanced by many miles from familiarity and family, through it all Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the king’s food and drink (Daniel 1:12-16). He stood out as a man of integrity amid the moral decay of his time.

Daniel distinguished himself within the structure of the governments he served by the quality of his life. Over many years, his loyalty proved to be unquestionable. He was a man of consistency, which he displayed through a succession of kingdoms. He had an extraordinary capacity for facing and overcoming difficulties, as well as God-given wisdom which enabled him to provide counsel that would alter the course of human history.

While the governmental positions that Daniel occupied were susceptible to corruption, he distinguished himself by saying no to all kinds of dishonesty. He was neither negligent nor unethical, nor was there a gap between his public activities and his private life. He was blameless in the eyes of his fellow man. Even colleagues who were jealous and despised him because of his distinctiveness could find no ground for complaint.

Filled with envy, these officials eventually decided to plot against Daniel. They didn’t like his unswerving commitment to his God or the fact that he occupied a position of power. They couldn’t handle the way that he displayed through his life an unshakable conviction regarding the might and purity of God. Holy living often brings that kind of disdain. Daniel was framed not because he was a bad fellow but because he stood for truth. He loved what God loves, and he lived it out.

Is your life marked by a similar conviction? Do your actions declare the truth about your God? Are you prepared to diligently cultivate a passion for integrity? Are you more concerned with obeying God than with what others think of you? Jesus warned His followers that they would be reviled and would experience persecution for His sake (Matthew 5:11) even as they lived in a way that revealed and commended their Father (v 14-16). Live with the kind of devotion that Daniel had; be unequivocal in your commitment to love what God loves, and then live it out.


1 Peter 2:9-17

Topics: Holiness Obeying God Purity

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

Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – God Is Light

“This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5).

When the apostle John says, “God is light” what does he mean? Is he saying that God is like a giant flashlight? Or maybe God is like the sun? The Bible often uses darkness to describe sin. Hell is said to be a very dark place because God’s glory is not there. If sin is like darkness, then God is like light, because He is pure and holy. Have you ever noticed how darkness and light cannot be in a room at the same time?

When I was a boy, I went to an Atlanta Braves baseball game. The game was held at night. I remember as the sun went down and the sky grew darker, the huge stadium lights suddenly came on. The stadium that had been growing darker became as bright as day. What happened? The light drove away the darkness.

In the same way, God will not stay in the same place as sin. That is why John writes, “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness [sin], we lie, and do not the truth” (1 John 1:6). You can say that you are walking with God all you want, but actions will tell the real story.

But thankfully, the opposite is also true: when you are walking with God and choosing to please Him, there will be no room for sin in your life. Remember that God is light “and in him is no darkness at all”! You should walk closely with God so sin does not have a chance to creep into your life.

One night in Australia, the driver of the car I was in turned off the highway, driving slowly and then turning off his headlights. “Watch this,” he said as he turned the lights back on. We were on a golf course. There, blinking in the light, stood dozens of kangaroos, grazing on the course. They looked at us and then slowly hopped away. Until the light was turned on, I did not even know they were there.

Many times, the light of God’s Word will show us things that we need to change. When that happens, we need to come to God in repentance. First John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Remember that God is light!

My response:

» Has God’s Word showed me something I need to change?

» Have I confessed my sin and turned away from it?

» Am I living in the “light”

Denison Forum – Attack on day care center kills dozens, including 24 children

A former police officer killed thirty-six people, including twenty-four children, during a rampage at a day care center in Thailand yesterday. Most of the children, aged between two and five years, were stabbed to death, police said.

In 2020, 9,152 children between the ages of one and fourteen died in the US, which works out to twenty-five a day. Like the children massacred in Thailand, each of these deaths is an unspeakable tragedy. I cannot imagine the pain parents and families must feel at the loss of a child.

By contrast, 629,898 babies were aborted in the US in 2019, the last year for which the CDC reported a yearly national total. This averages to 1,725 babies aborted every day in America.

In other words, sixty-nine times more children die each day in the US from abortion than children ages one to fourteen die from all other causes combined.

How Disney and Google are promoting abortion

The subject of abortion is back in the news after the Biden administration unveiled new measures this week intended to protect abortion rights. The president also called on Americans to pressure Congress to pass legislation that would ensure abortion is legal across the country.

The Health and Human Services Department has already declared that doctors and hospitals must provide an abortion under federal law when a doctor deems it necessary for a pregnant woman in an emergency medical condition to be stabilized. The federal government has also instructed (PDF) pharmacists not to deny patients access to abortion medications.

In related news, Disney and Google are supporting a program that will award film students a $25,000 grant toward creating movies that promote abortion rights. Sheryl Sandberg, the former chief operating officer for Meta Platforms, has donated $3 million to the ACLU to support abortion rights.

And Planned Parenthood is planning a mobile abortion clinic that will travel close to the borders of states that have banned abortion, making it easier for women in these states to abort their children.

The preeminent right of our day

Two centuries before Christ, the Jewish Mishnah forbade abortion except to save the life of the mother. The Didache, the earliest theological treatise after the Bible, likewise states, “You shall not procure [an] abortion, nor destroy a newborn child.” From then to now, the sanctity of life from birth to natural death has been a central tenet of orthodox Christian faith. Millions of Americans—including 47 percent of Catholics and 63 percent of evangelical Protestants—object to abortion as a consequence of their religious beliefs.

But the “right to life” today runs headlong into what is euphemistically called the “right to choose.” (This “right” does not extend to the unborn baby, of course.) And the “right to choose,” whatever the subject, is the preeminent right of our day.

noted recently that many people dismiss biblical truth on LGBTQ issues, not because they identify as LGBTQ, but because they want to dismiss such truth when it pertains to sexual sins they do want to commit (such as premarital sex and adultery). The same logic pertains here. A woman’s “right to choose” to end the life of her unborn child is commensurate with the right to choose one’s spouse (whatever their gender or number), the right to choose one’s manner and timing of death, and a host of other personal “rights.”

In this view, so long as your “right to choose” does not impinge on my “right to choose,” you are as free to make your choices as I am to make mine.

Satan’s one strategy

Four biblical conclusions follow.

One: Christians should expect to face increasing attacks on our First Amendment religious freedoms from abortion advocates just as we do from LGBTQ advocates.

In the former case, it will be Christian health care providers on the front lines, as in the latter it is currently Christian wedding service providers. In both cases, we are seen as discriminatory and hateful toward minorities and thus undeserving of the protections of civil society. This is just one way Jesus’ warning is coming to pass: “If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you” (John 15:20).

Two: On this and other “culture war” issues, we should decide today what stance we are willing to defend tomorrow.

When opposition comes, we will need to know what we believe and why we believe it. For example, I recently consulted with a Christian hospital executive who has decided that if his hospital system begins performing elective abortions, he will resign. He has thought and prayed about his response and is ready if it is needed. All Christians in all dimensions of our secularized culture need to follow his example as we “count the cost” before we must pay it (Luke 14:28).

Three: We must beware the lure of the “right to choose” in our own lives and souls.

You may be as adamantly pro-life as I am, but the “right to choose” is nonetheless tempting for us in other areas. Any thought, word, or deed that conflicts with God’s word is sin. Satan has only one strategy—“you will be like god” (Genesis 3:5)—because this strategy is all he needs. Every temptation is a variation on this theme. Surrendering every day to the lordship of Christ (Romans 10:9) and the authority and power of the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) is thus vital.

Four: We must earn the right to help others choose God’s will for their lives.

From women considering abortion to patients considering euthanasia and everyone in between, every person you meet today needs to experience the love of God found in the community of faith. Jesus assures us that he stands in such solidarity with those in need that “as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me” (Matthew 25:40).

How will you serve Jesus today?

Denison Forum