In Touch Ministries; Charles Stanley – Our Heavenly Father

God is a perfect Father, whose love and care for us are constant.

Matthew 6:9-13

When Christ taught His disciples to pray, He began by addressing God as “Our Father.” All of us who’ve been born again into God’s household have this same right. Since our concept of the heavenly Father is limited by our perceptions of earthly dads, let’s consider what Scripture says about His care for us. 

Our heavenly Father loves us. 1 John 4:16 tells us His love will never cease. Even when we disobey, it’s demonstrated in discipline (Hebrews 12:6).  

He hears our prayers. God is never too busy for us. He invites us to draw near to His throne with confidence to receive grace, mercy, and help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16). 

The Father is our provider and protector. He promises to supply all that we need and protect us from the evil one (Matt. 6:11; Matt 6:13). Every event in our life is filtered through His sovereign will. 

The Lord is our guide. He’s given us His Word to direct our path (Psalm 119:105).

By viewing the Father through the truth of Scripture instead of our preconceptions, we’ll see Him as He truly is and discover a security we’ve never known before.

Bible in One Year: Acts 5-7

Our Daily Bread — The Source

Bible in a Year:

Create in me a pure heart, O God.

Psalm 51:10

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

Mark 7:14–23

It was 1854, and something was killing thousands of people in London. It must be the bad air, people thought. And indeed, as unseasonable heat baked the sewage-fouled River Thames, the smell grew so bad it became known as “The Great Stink.”

But the worst problem wasn’t the air. Research by Dr. John Snow would show that contaminated water was the cause of the cholera epidemic.

We humans have long been aware of another crisis—one that stinks to high heaven. We live in a broken world—and we’re prone to misidentify the source of this problem, treating symptoms instead. Wise social programs and policies do some good, but they’re powerless to stop the root cause of society’s ills—our sinful hearts!

When Jesus said, “Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them,” He wasn’t referring to physical diseases (Mark 7:15). Rather, He was diagnosing the spiritual condition of every one of us. “It is what comes out of a person that defiles them,” He said (v. 15), listing a litany of evils lurking inside us (vv. 21–22).

“Surely I was sinful at birth,” David wrote (Psalm 51:5). His lament is one we can all voice. We’re broken from the beginning. That’s why David prayed, “Create in me a pure heart, O God” (v. 10). Every day, we need that new heart, created by Jesus through His Spirit.

Instead of treating the symptoms, we must let Jesus purify the source.

By:  Tim Gustafson

Reflect & Pray

In what ways might you be treating symptoms instead of letting Jesus clean up the source? How can you share the good news of what Jesus did for you?

Heavenly Father, guard my heart and help me be attentive to Your Spirit within me.

Grace to You; John MacArthur – Believing in God

“Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is” (Hebrews 11:6).

Nothing you do can please God apart from faith.

Throughout history, people have tried everything imaginable to gain favor with God. Most turn to religion, but religion apart from Christ is merely a satanic counterfeit of the truth.

Many trust in their own good works, not realizing that even their best efforts are offensive to God (Isa. 64:6Phil. 3:8). And the more we try to justify ourselves, the more we offend God, because “by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight” (Rom. 3:20).

Some trust in their family heritage or nationality. The Jewish people thought they were pleasing to God simply because they were descendants of Abraham. But John the Baptist warned them, saying, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bring forth fruit in keeping with repentance; and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father’; for I say to you, that God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham” (Matt. 3:7-9).

Apart from faith, man cannot please God. And the first step of faith is simply believing God exists. That isn’t enough to save a person—even the demons have that level of faith (James 2:19)—but it’s a start, and by God’s grace can blossom into full saving faith.

God has given ample evidence of His existence. Romans 1:20 says, “Since the creation of the world [God’s] invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made.” David said, “The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands” (Ps. 19:1).

Creation itself proclaims the existence, power, and glory of God, yet most people “suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (Rom. 1:18) by rejecting the Creator and denying their accountability to Him. Rather than bowing to the true God, they pay homage to “Mother Nature” or evolution. How foolish!

Suggestions for Prayer

  • Praise God for the beauty of His creation.
  • Worship Him as the giver of every good gift (James 1:17).

For Further Study

Read Romans 1:18-32. Is there a connection between denying God, practicing idolatry, and committing gross immoralities? Explain.

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur

Joyce Meyer – Seek God’s Wisdom

If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of the giving God [Who gives] to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given him.

— James 1:5 (AMPC)

If things seem so complicated that you’re no longer able to enjoy life as God intended, it’s time to seek God’s wisdom. In all things, God wants you to acknowledge and seek Him, use wisdom, and make the best decisions you know how to make.

Through a simple prayer from wherever you are, you can ask God for wisdom about any situation you face. Before you commit to participating in certain activities, buying things, or being involved with other people, check with God. If you have peace about it, then proceed. But if you don’t feel right about it, wait.

Prayer of the Day: Father, guide me with Your wisdom and by Your spirit. Please help me move forward, as I rely on You to direct all of my decisions, amen.

Truth for Life; Alistair Begg – The Promise and the Blessing

I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.

Genesis 12:1-3

Children have a way of getting underfoot as dinner is being prepared. Sometimes parents feel like shouting, “Listen, why don’t all of you get out of the kitchen? Just go!”

At the Tower of Babel, the people did more than get underfoot; they turned their backs on God. Determined to have their own kingdom, they built their tower and tried to reach up to the heavens to see what they could do by their own might. As a result of this rebellion, God brought judgment by diversifying their languages and scattering them all over the world (Genesis 11:1-9).

Being far more justified than an exasperated parent, God could have sent the people away and been done with them. But He didn’t.

To demonstrate His grace, in the very next generation God began to repair what was broken. He spoke to a childless, elderly pagan man named Abram, whose name ironically meant “exalted father,” and He promised to reverse the effect of His judgment at Babel. People there had aimed to make their name great. God would make Abram’s great. They had sought to build their own kingdom. God would make Abram’s people a great nation. They had planned to find blessing in a world without God. God would bring blessing to the earth through Abram’s family. Sin would be unwound and its effects undone by God’s intervening grace.

In this very covenant God took Abram and made him Abraham, “the father of a multitude,” as He promised to extend His grace to this chosen servant and to future generations scattered throughout the earth.

God’s promise to Abraham is an early expression of the gospel promise. He made a promise to Abraham, and Abraham’s descendants later received the blessing. They would eventually realize, though, that the promise and blessing encompass all who believe in Jesus: “For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith … And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise” (Galatians 3:26, 29). So, while the promises that God made to Abraham were partially fulfilled in the Old Testament nation of Israel, they were ultimately fulfilled in the gospel of Jesus Christ and in His people.

Catch just a tiny glimpse of the immensity of this fulfillment and your life will be forever changed. If you are in Christ today, the promise that God made to Abraham has your name on it. You are a citizen of heaven and serve a King descended from Abraham called Jesus. What God began as He spoke to Abram has come to encompass you as God calls people back into His kingdom, to enjoy Him face-to-face forever. Whatever else is true of you today, by faith you are a child of God, a member of Abraham’s people, and an heir to these glorious promises.


Genesis 11:1-9

Genesis 12:1-9

Topics: Grace of God Kingdom of God Promises of God

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

Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – God Loves Those Who Are Hard To Love

“Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah, saying, Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.” (Jonah 1:1-2)

Tony was a boy who lived in Kevin’s neighborhood. In fact, Tony lived just a few houses away, but Kevin did not like spending time with him. The thing is, Tony was hard to like. It wasn’t that he was always mean – he could even be nice sometimes. It’s just that most of the time, Tony bullied everyone else. He always had to be the quarterback when they played football. He said mean things to everyone and did not care if he hurt anyone. Tony expected to have his own way about everything. These were just a few of the many reasons Tony was hard to like.

That’s how Jonah felt about the people of Nineveh when God told him to take a message to them. Actually, Jonah’s emotions were even stronger than Kevin’s were. There were a lot of people in Nineveh, and the people were awful to their enemies. They had treated other people with unspeakable cruelty. They were known for being ruthless in battle, never showing mercy to people who were weaker or fewer in number than they were. But God told Jonah to go to this “great city” and preach repentance and mercy to them. Jonah knew something was up when God called Nineveh a “great city.” He knew God cared about them and wanted to show mercy to them. And Jonah wanted no part of that. So he decided to make other plans.

Instead of obeying and traveling directly to Nineveh, Jonah headed in the exact opposite direction, boarded a ship, ran into a storm, and was thrown overboard. But God’s love was more powerful than Jonah’s disobedience. God cared so much about the people of Nineveh that He prepared a great fish to keep Jonah from drowning and to carry him back to land. Jonah shared God’s message with the people of Nineveh. They were sorry for their sin, and God did forgive them.

Some people are hard to like, but we have to remember that God loves them, too. Jesus tells us what our response to these kinds of people should be: “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” (See Matthew 5, especially verse 44.) Are we loving those who are hard to love?

God loves us, and He commands and enables us to love others – no matter who they are are how difficult they may be to love.

My Response:
» How often do I think about the truth that God loves me even though I am hard to love?
» Do I know anyone who seems too hard to love?
» What will it take to change my heart toward them and share God’s message with them?

Denison Forum – Meet the grandfather of ten who sold the winning Powerball ticket

The law of the Lᴏʀᴅ is perfect, reviving the soul (Psalm 19:7).

“I never collect welfare, I never collect Medicare, I never collect any money from the government. All what I do, I work hard, seven days a week. I raised my kids, graduated from the college and bought a house and I bought a business all because I work hard and become an honest man.” This is how Joe Chahayed described himself to reporters after selling the winning $2.04 billion Powerball ticket this week.

Mr. Chahayed emigrated from Syria in the 1980s with his wife, two children, and around $14,000 in his name. Now a grandfather of ten, he owns Joe’s Service Center in Altadena, an unincorporated community northeast of Los Angeles. For selling the winning ticket, he will receive a Powerball bonus of $1 million. Unsurprisingly, he plans to spend it on his five children and donate some to the community.

“Uncertainty is the friend of the status quo”

In Maxims for Thinking Analytically: The Wisdom of Legendary Harvard Professor Richard Zeckhauser, Dan Levy lists and discusses a number of insightful and practical axioms taught by the noted economist.

Among them is this observation: “Uncertainty is the friend of the status quo.” Levy explains: “When there is uncertainty about the value of the choices we are considering in a given decision, we tend to stick with our initial or previous choice.” He cites credit cards, bank accounts, gym memberships, and even toothpaste brands as examples.

Such “status quo bias” is often appropriate, as Levy notes: “As long as we consider the original brand we choose to be sufficiently good, and the cost of assessing whether to change not worth it, it is rational to stick with our initial choice.” However, he adds that “one can take advantage of status quo bias to help people make better choices by setting a default option that will be good for the person making the decision.”

In behavioral economics terms, this involves constructing “choice architecture” that “nudges” people toward good choices. Such defaults have been used to get people to automatically enroll in retirement plans or donate organs, for example.

Two transforming truths

As America has focused on this week’s midterm elections, we have focused in the Daily Article on the relationship between politics, culture, and religion. Yesterday we discussed the urgency of holiness for Christian leaders since “religion is the root of culture” and religious leaders play a formative role in the lives of religious followers.

Today, let’s close our series by considering the urgency of personal godliness for all Christians, whatever our leadership status. We’ll do so by applying the two narratives we’ve explored thus far:

  1. In a postmodern society that measures truth by relevance, our personal character is fundamental to our cultural impact.
  2. Establishing biblical authority as our “default option” will transform our personal character and our public influence.

Joe Chahayed is not the first or the last person to sell a winning Powerball ticket of significant size (though the one he sold was the largest so far). However, he made the news not just for what he did but for who he is: a hardworking, conscientious immigrant who has made a good life for himself and his family.

We are always going to be attracted to the beliefs of attractive people. (This is why celebrity endorsements remain such popular and powerful marketing tools.) However, as fallen people, you and I are more likely to live in ways that discourage rather than encourage others to trust in our holy God unless we have his help.

This is why it is so urgent that we decide every day at the start of the day to live biblically that day. When we say to God, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105, my emphasis), it will become so. When we decide that “all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16), we will profit from it personally.

“Pilate was merciful till it became risky”

It should be noted that choosing against culture always comes at a cost. It is far easier to float with the current than to swim against it. Living biblically in an unbiblical culture especially requires courage, as the members of the Hebrews 11 “Hall of Faith” vividly remind us:

“Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated—of whom the world was not worthy” (vv. 35–38).

In The Screwtape Letters, C. S. Lewis famously observed: “Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point. . . . A chastity or honesty or mercy which yields to danger will be chaste or honest or merciful only on conditions. Pilate was merciful till it became risky.”

However, the further our culture turns from biblical morality, the more it needs biblical truth. The less it considers God’s word to be relevant, the more it needs to see the relevance of God’s word in our lives.

“The testimony of the Lᴏʀᴅ is sure”

Let’s close by applying our conversation personally: What is your next step into biblical obedience? It likely will require courage on your part—if it were easy, you would probably have already taken it.

But if you will decide now to make biblical living your “default option” for the day, you will say with David, “The law of the Lᴏʀᴅ is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lᴏʀᴅ is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lᴏʀᴅ are right, rejoicing the heart” (Psalm 19:7–8).

Will your soul be revived and your heart rejoice today?

Denison Forum

Today, thank a veteran for your freedoms 

Today, thank a veteran for your freedoms


One hundred and four years ago today, on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, (November 11, 1918),


…the Great War ends. At 5 a.m. that morning, Germany, bereft of manpower and supplies and faced with imminent invasion, signed an armistice agreement with the Allies in a railroad car outside Compiègne, France. The First World War left nine million soldiers dead and 21 million wounded, with Germany, Russia, Austria-Hungary, France and Great Britain each losing nearly a million or more lives. In addition, at least five million civilians died from disease, starvation, or exposure…


A year later, on November 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of the slaughter of the Great War, as it was called, and the subsequent armistice signing was designated Armistice Day.  Because of its vast expanse and unprecedented number of deaths and severe injuries, plus massive destruction, Europeans and Americans celebrated the end of the Great War — as it was originally called, “the war to end all wars.”

Alas, such optimism of no more wars was unwarranted.  Twenty-five years later, another brutal, widespread war, World War ll, began, and the Great War was renamed World War l.  Therefore, while the purpose of the holiday, to honor U.S. Armed Forces veterans, remains unchanged, the scope of the day and its name have changed over the years, as the helpful U.S. government census site explains.


…Congress passed a resolution in 1926 making it an annual observance, and it became a national holiday in 1938. Sixteen years later, then-President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation changing the name to Veterans Day to honor all those who served their country during war or peacetime. On this day, the nation honors military veterans — living and dead — with parades and other observances across the country and a ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia…


In recent years, all U.S. military branches have been unable to fill their recruiting goals — and no, not only because of WuFlu.  Meanwhile, countries around the world turn to the U.S. for military aid; our service personnel are on active duty around the world.

Our country, our entire world is safer because of their commitment.

Remember their sacrifice!

Honor their duty!

Thank them!


By Ethel C. Fenig

Source: Today, thank a veteran for your freedoms – American Thinker