In Touch Ministries; Charles Stanley – Two Kinds of Promises

Some of God’s promises require that we meet a condition before He responds.

2 Peter 1:1-4

Christianity rests on a foundation of God’s promises. There are two kinds—unconditional and conditional. Fulfillment of an unconditional promise rests solely with the Lord. One example is God’s covenant to never again destroy the entire earth by flood (Genesis 9:11). 

On the other hand, if a promise is conditional, fulfillment depends on certain requirements being met. The transaction can be expressed as an “if-then” statement. James 1:5-7, for example, tells us that if we request wisdom from God by asking in faith without doubting Him, then He will give it generously. And in Matthew 6:32-33, Jesus promises that if we seek first God’s kingdom and righteousness, then everything we need will be provided. 

The Lord will do exactly what He has promised, but when there’s a condition, you must satisfy the requirements He has set. If you’re still waiting for God to keep a particular promise, check the context for a stipulation. Then make certain you’re carrying out your part. And remember that while the fulfillment is certain, the timing is always in the Lord’s hands. 

Bible in One Year: John 6-7

Our Daily Bread — Grasping God’s Word

Bible in a Year:

The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy.

Psalm 19:7

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

Psalm 19:7–14

A rugged, cast-iron ring stood strong against the harsh Minnesota winter as it hung on the doorframe of my great uncle’s old farmhouse. More than a hundred feet away was another ring, firmly fixed to the dairy barn. When there was a blizzard, my uncle would attach a line between both rings so he could find the path between the house and the barn. Keeping a firm grip on the line kept him from losing his way in the blinding snow.

My uncle’s use of a safety line in a snowstorm reminds me of how David used lines of Hebrew poetry to trace how God’s wisdom guides us through life and guards us against sin and error: “The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb. By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward” (Psalm 19:9–11).

A firm grasp of the truths of Scripture informed by God’s Spirit working in our hearts keeps us from losing our way and helps us make decisions that honor God and others. The Bible warns us against wandering from God and shows us the way home. It tells us of the priceless love of our Savior and the blessings that await all who place their faith in Him. Scripture is a lifeline! May God help us cling to it always.

By:  James Banks

Reflect & Pray

What promises from Scripture give you hope? In what ways will you hold on to its truths today?

Heavenly Father, help me to treasure Your teaching today. Thank You for the rich, deep blessings of Scripture!

Grace to You; John MacArthur – The Hope That Assures

“Faith is the assurance of things hoped for” (Heb. 11:1).

Faith is the solid ground on which we stand as we await the fulfillment of God’s promises.

An elderly man who, on his seventy-fifth birthday, received an invitation to fly over the little West Virginia town in which he had spent his entire life. Although he had never before flown, the man accepted the gracious offer.

After circling the town for about twenty minutes, the pilot safely returned his passenger to the ground. The man’s grandson greeted him excitedly, asking, “Were you scared, Grandpa?” “No,” he replied sheepishly, “but I never did put my full weight down.”

Unlike that hesitant grandfather, true faith trusts fully in its object. For the Christian, that means resting in God and His promises. That’s the primary characteristic of each faithful individual listed in Hebrews 11. They all believed God and responded accordingly.

People often confuse faith with a wistful longing that something, however unlikely, will come to pass in the future. But “assurance” in Hebrews 11:1 speaks of essence and reality— the real thing, as opposed to mere appearance. Faith, then, involves absolute certainty.

For example, the Old Testament saints had the promise of a coming Messiah who would take away sin. They believed God, even though their understanding of Messiah was incomplete and somewhat vague. They knew their hopes would be fulfilled, and that assurance dominated their lives.

It’s the same for New Testament believers. Peter said, “Though you have not seen [Christ], you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls” (1 Pet. 1:8-9).

Man’s natural tendency is to trust only in the things he can see, hear, touch, or taste. But our physical senses may lie, whereas God cannot (Titus 1:2). Far better to believe God and trust in His promises.

Suggestions for Prayer

Which promises of God are especially meaningful to you today? Thank Him for them and reaffirm your commitment to living on the basis of His Word.

For Further Study

Skim Hebrews 11 and note all the divine promises you find there. To gain a fuller understanding of each one, find other Scripture references that mention the same promises.

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur

Joyce Meyer – Living a Life of Truth

Rather, let our lives lovingly express truth [in all things, speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly]. Enfolded in love, let us grow up in every way and in all things into Him Who is the Head, [even] Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).

— Ephesians 4:15 (AMPC)

Satan is the deceiver, and his goal is to prevent us from walking in the truth. But Jesus came that we might know the Truth, and He said the Truth would make us free (see John 8:32).

When I began to seriously study God’s Word, I found that I had a life built on deception and lies. I believed many things that simply were not true, yet they were true for me because I believed them. Lies become our reality if we believe them! For example, I believed I could never overcome my past, but God’s Word taught me that I could let go of what was behind and learn to enjoy the good life God had planned for me (see 2 Corinthians 5:17).

It is important for us to know the truth and apply it to our lives. It is also important to tell the truth in all situations and to be truthful with ourselves about our motives and actions. Any person who makes a commitment to “live truly” will learn many things about him or herself, some of which may not be pleasant. Even though it is difficult to face truth at times, it is also wonderful to be free from lies and deception. I spent many years blaming my problems on other people, but the truth was that I had a bad attitude and a lot of bitterness from my past. It was painful to face, but that truth ultimately set me free and brought healing into my life.

I encourage you to join me in praying daily that God will reveal truth to us in every situation and give us the courage to face it. A few days ago, Dave and I had a heated conversation, and I was sure it was his fault until I asked God to show me truth in the situation.

When I did, God revealed to me that I had created the situation by saying several things that were totally useless and that put Dave on the defensive. That wasn’t what I wanted to hear, but it will help me not to make the same mistake again! Truth is very valuable. Let’s be committed to living a life of truth.

Prayer of the Day: Father, I ask You to reveal truth to me in every situation in my life and to give me the courage to face it. Thank You!

Truth for Life; Alistair Begg – Determined to Do Right

Then Boaz said to the elders and all the people, “You are witnesses this day that I have bought from the hand of Naomi all that belonged to Elimelech and all that belonged to Chilion and to Mahlon. Also Ruth the Moabite, the widow of Mahlon, I have bought to be my wife.”

Ruth 4:9-10

The question we must ask ourselves every day when faced with various circumstances is “What is the right thing to do?”

This is what Boaz considered when he determined to go to the city gate. He wanted to marry Ruth and provide for and protect her as her kinsman-redeemer. But he knew there was a relative closer to Ruth than him, who could choose to take on that role. Boaz was a man of integrity, unable to simply allow himself to rush off in a great swell of emotion when Ruth proposed to him on the threshing floor. His vision was set clearly on winning Ruth legitimately.

Boaz prioritized doing the right thing over his reputation. He went to the most public place—the city gate—in order to pursue a marriage with a foreigner, which potentially could have harmed his reputation and legacy. The closer relative was not willing to take this risk (Ruth 4:6). This man isn’t even given a name in Scripture. This is a lesson to us: we shouldn’t strive to make and safeguard a name for ourselves. Let someone else make a name for us and praise us. We should simply strive to do right.

Boaz’s words reveal that one of his motivations was to “perpetuate the name of the dead in his inheritance” (Ruth 4:10)—to preserve the name of Elimelech, Naomi’s deceased husband, by continuing his family. That’s selfless. That’s impressive. If Boaz had only been concerned for himself and his desires, he could have whisked Ruth away as his wife. Instead, he carried out his responsibility and publicly owned the situation. At the time, the passing of the kinsman-redeemer title was customarily sealed with the public exchange of a sandal (v 7). This exchange symbolized something greater—namely, Boaz’s commitment, love, and personal sacrifice for Ruth. Similarly, the cross stands in public view, and there we see Christ’s commitment, love, and sacrifice on our behalf. It cost Boaz financially to marry Ruth. It cost Christ His very life to redeem us and make us His beloved bride.

Both of these sacrifices—Boaz’s and Christ’s—won great rewards and legacies, providing a future and a hope: one for a young Moabitess and her mother-in-law, the other for all of humanity. Boaz’s pursuit of rightness resulted in a marriage that played an integral part in all of history by continuing a lineage that eventually led to the birth of our Savior (Matthew 1:5). And because of Christ’s sacrifice, we now look forward to the day when we will stand in glory, see His face, and praise His name forever. Our Bridegroom came and rightfully won us at great cost to Himself. Imagine Ruth’s joy when she heard that Boaz had given his sandal and confirmed that he would marry her. A similar joy should be ours as we look at the cross and know we are Christ’s. And the example of Boaz should be ours as we look at our day’s decisions and difficulties and learn simply to ask, “What is the right thing to do?”


Ruth 4:1-12

Topics: Biblical Figures Holiness Redemptive History

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

Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – God Is Listening

“Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened that it cannot save; neither His ear heavy, that it cannot hear.” (Isaiah 59:1)

Imagine spending an entire day with a tape recorder strapped to your back so everything you said could be recorded. If you argued with your mom, it would be on the tape. If you lied, your lie would be recorded on there, too. If you complained, those words would also become part of the tape.

If there really were a tape recorder with you all day, would you think twice before speaking?

Well, guess what! You are heard by something (Someone!) far more powerful than any tape recorder. God hears everything you say – which can be a good thing, or a scary thing.

When you are upset or frightened, and you call out for help, God hears you. Psalm 34:17 says, “The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.” You can be sure that God will always hear you and take care of you. Even above the noise of a crowd, or even when you are alone, or even when you “call out” silently, your voice can be heard by God.

You can also be sure that God hears you when you sin. Every lie, every mean thing, every insult you say is heard by the God of Heaven. God is omniscient – which means that God knows everything. That is how great our God is! Nothing is hidden from Him.

What would it be like to spend a day with a tape recorder on your back? You may never know. (Let’s hope you never know!) But you can know for sure that you do have a God who is listening – so be careful what you say!

God hears more than just our prayers – He hears everything.

My Response:
» Do I think carefully before I speak?
» How can I show with my words that I believe God is omniscient (knows everything) and that He also hears everything?

Denison Forum – Suspect in attack on Paul Pelosi was on a “suicide mission”

 “He sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction.” —Psalm 107:20

The man accused of breaking into US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s home, beating her husband, and seeking to kidnap her told police he planned to target other California and federal politicians, according to a court filing yesterday. The filing quotes David DePape as telling officers and medics at the scene that he was sick of the “lies coming out of Washington DC.” He added: “I didn’t really want to hurt him but you know this was a suicide mission. I’m not going to stand here and do nothing even if it cost me my life.”

This horrific attack is not an isolated event.

According to figures from the Capitol Police, the number of recorded threats against members of Congress has increased more than tenfold since 2016, rising to 9,625 in 2021. Threats are rising against members of both parties. “I wouldn’t be surprised if a senator or House member were killed,” Sen. Susan Collins told an interviewer.

Supreme Court justices are not immune, as protests outside their homes earlier this year demonstrated. Nor are governors, as the plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer shows. Unsurprisingly, the head of the US Capitol Police has called for “more resources to provide additional layers of physical security for members of Congress.”

Why has political vitriol and animosity reached such a boiling point in our culture?

Separating God from religion

Here’s one explanation: “For many Americans, politics has become a quasi-religion—especially as participation in actual, organized religion has plummeted.”

The US has long been known for our “civil religion,” which has been described as “a shared, nonsectarian faith centered on the flag, the nation’s founding documents, and God.” However, the number of Americans who believe in God has fallen to its lowest point since Gallup began asking the question in 1944. So, a simple explanation for our crisis is that Americans are replacing God with politics.

The truth is more complex.

Gallup’s survey still found that 81 percent of Americans said they believed in God. However, only 47 percent belong to a church, synagogue, or mosque, down from 70 percent in 1999. What’s more accurate to say is that many Americans have separated God from religion and then replaced religion with politics.

Why is this distinction important?

Separating religion from life

The Bible teaches a holistic religion: Jesus called anyone who would follow him to “take up his cross daily” (Luke 9:23). Every dimension of our lives is to be dedicated every day to the service of our king (Matthew 6:33; cf. Galatians 2:20Romans 12:1).

However, the European Enlightenment that so influenced America’s founders “invented religion as an autonomous sphere of life,” thus conceptualizing “the world as divided between ‘religious’ and ‘secular.’” Darwin’s theories then taught millions of Americans that the Bible cannot be trusted outside its religious sphere. Rising materialism and secularism have focused our attention on earth rather than heaven while scientific progress has made earth more like heaven. Medical science has lessened our fear of death as we are living healthier lives while most who die do so in antiseptic hospital conditions removed from the rest of us.

The result is that most Americans no longer turn to religion to meet our most basic needs: living well in this life while preparing for the life to come. We think we can believe in God however we understand him with little or no implications for the rest of our lives.

But if religion cannot improve society, what can? What speaks to every dimension of our secular world? In a democratic republic, the answer is politics. And engaging in politics with a fervor once reserved for religion is therefore necessary, at least in the minds of those who do so.

As David French shows in his latest Dispatch article, millions of Americans (80 percent in a recent survey) are convinced that their political opponents will destroy America. Millions (72 percent in another poll) also believe that their side is losing. And millions on both sides of the political divide believe they must therefore do whatever it takes to save the nation.

Is it any wonder that animosity and violence against political leaders is becoming an epidemic?

Uniting religion and the “real world”

Today is All Souls’ Day on the Christian calendar, a day of prayer and remembrance for the faithful departed.

This day reminds us that “it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). This judgment is for us all: “We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil” (2 Corinthians 5:10, my emphases).

On that day, all illusions of separating sacred and secular, religion and the “real world,” will disappear. Every dimension of our lives will be accountable to the one true King (Revelation 20:12).

Christians need have no fear of eternal damnation since everyone who trusts in Christ as Lord “shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NIV). However, our eternal rewards in heaven are based on our obedience on earth: if we have served God holistically with our best, we will “receive a reward” (1 Corinthians 3:14). If we have not, we will “suffer loss” (v. 15).

How to heal our land

Politics cannot heal our nation, but living in light of eternity can.

There are approximately 210 million Christians in America. If each of us prepares for judgment by loving God with “all” our heart, soul, mind, and strength, we will love our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:30–31). We will then engage our many problems not with political animosity but by “speaking the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15).

How could our culture be the same? How could we?

What the Lord did for his people of old, we need him to do for us today: “He sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction” (Psalm 107:20).

Can your Father speak his healing word through you today?

Denison Forum