In Touch Ministries; Charles Stanley – Unwavering Faith in Trials

If we respond correctly to adversity, God will make us stronger and fill us with joy.

1 Peter 1:3-9

We all go through troubling times, and it’s easy to get disheartened when that happens. But the Bible teaches that even during periods of challenge and adversity, we can respond correctly. Today’s passage tells us to rejoice. This doesn’t mean we’re to be glad about the hardship, but we should rejoice because we’re protected by God for the eternal glory that awaits us in heaven.

Another reason for joy is that trials are designed to produce endurance and spiritual maturity in us (James 1:2-4). God wants us to hang in there so we can derive the full benefit of whatever lesson He has in mind. 

Our heavenly Father also uses trials to prove to His children that their faith is genuine (1 Pet. 1:7). When we persevere through each difficulty, our faith is tested and refined, reassuring us of our salvation. 

As we learn that God brings benefit from our adversities, we’ll begin to face challenging times with confidence, knowing He always has our best interest in mind. This leads to joy, because we know He is building our endurance, purifying our heart, and making us people with unshakeable trust in Him.

Bible in One Year: Acts 14-15

Our Daily Bread — Using Your Voice

Bible in a Year:

I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.

Exodus 4:12

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

Exodus 4:10–17

Since age eight, Lisa had struggled with a stammer and became afraid of social situations that required her to talk with people. But later in life, after speech therapy helped her overcome her challenge, Lisa decided to use her voice to help others. She began volunteering as a counselor for an emotional distress telephone hotline.

Moses had to face his concerns about speaking to help lead the Israelites out of captivity. God asked him to communicate with Pharaoh, but Moses protested because he didn’t feel confident in his speaking ability (Exodus 4:10). God challenged him, “Who gave human beings their mouths?” Then He reassured Moses saying, “I will help you speak and will teach you what to say” (vv. 11–12).

God’s response reminds us that He can work powerfully through us even in our limitations. But even when we know this in our hearts, it can be hard to live it out. Moses continued to struggle and begged God to send someone else (v. 13). So God allowed Moses’ brother Aaron to accompany him (v. 14).

Each of us has a voice that can help others. We may be afraid. We may not feel capable. We may feel we don’t have the right words.

God knows how we feel. He can provide the words and all we need to serve others and accomplish His work.

By:  Jennifer Benson Schuldt

Reflect & Pray

How might God want to use your words to help others? How does it encourage you to know that He works through us even in our fear and weaknesses?

Dear God, please show me how I can serve You with my voice today.

Grace to You; John MacArthur – The Qualities of True Wisdom

“The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy” (James 3:17).

True wisdom is evident in a person’s behavior.

What is true wisdom? James answers that question in verse 17 by pointing out the characteristics or qualities of true wisdom. After purity, the next quality is “peaceable,” which means “peace loving” or “peace promoting.” It refers to someone who doesn’t create confusion or disorder. He doesn’t promote himself or compromise truth but makes peace.

True wisdom is also “gentle.” A gentle person will submit to dishonor, disgrace, mistreatment, and persecution with an attitude of humility, courteousness, kindness, patience, and consideration. He will not display hatred, malice, or revenge.

True wisdom is also characterized as “reasonable.” It refers to someone who is willing to yield, who is easily persuaded, teachable, and compliant. It was used of a person who willingly submitted to military discipline or who observed legal and moral standards in life and willingly submitted to them. A wise person manifests such “reasonable” traits concerning God’s standards for life.

“Full of mercy” refers to someone who shows concern for people who suffer and is quick to forgive. He demonstrates kindness and compassion toward others.

“Good fruits“ refer to all good works in general or a wide variety of spiritual deeds. The Christian demonstrates the genuineness of his salvation through his good deeds—works that are produced by faith (James 2:14-20) and are called “the fruit of the Spirit” (Gal. 5:22-23) or “the fruit of righteousness” (Phil. 1:11).

“Unwavering” refers to someone who is consistent and doesn’t vacillate. He is undivided in his commitment, doesn’t make unfair distinctions, and is sincere in his faithfulness to God.

“Without hypocrisy” is the climax of true wisdom and speaks of someone who is utterly genuine. He isn’t a phony or fake. A truly wise person manifests sincere behavior.

If true wisdom is part of your life, it will be evident in your behavior. Make it your aim to reflect the qualities of true wisdom so that others may see Christ in you.

Suggestions for Prayer

Ask God to help you develop the qualities of true wisdom in your life. But before you do, make sure you’re being motivated by a pure heart.

For Further Study

Read Matthew 5:1-16, noting how the words of Christ parallel James 3:17.

From Strength for Today by John MacArthur

Joyce Meyer – God Wants to Take You to a New Level

Give instruction to a wise man and he will be yet wiser; teach a righteous man (one upright and in right standing with God) he will increase in learning.

— Proverbs 9:9 (AMPC)

Even though God wants us to live joyful, contended lives, He sometimes causes a discontent or a feeling that something is not right because He does not want us to continue doing the same old things anymore. He wants to prod us to seek Him so He can take us to new levels.

God always wants us to grow stronger, to go deeper, and to increase in intimacy with Him. Most of the time, He leads us into that process of maturity by leading us out of places where we have been comfortable in the past. Too much comfort for too long can mean that we are not growing. If you feel something stirring in your heart that you don’t quite understand, just ask God what is happening and take time to wait on Him to answer.

Our time with God is vitally important to our growth and maturity, but we cannot do the same things all the time and experience all that God for us. I have had times when reading the Bible became laborious and God simply led me to read a different translation for a few months. Just that little change brought new growth because I saw things in a different way. Satan tried to condemn me because I did not want to read the Bible, but God was just trying to get me to make a change in the translation I was reading. One day I felt a bit bored as I tried to read and pray so I moved to another chair in my office and suddenly I saw things that had been in my office for years, but I had not noticed them. A little adjustment caused me to see things from a whole new perspective and God taught me a spiritual lesson just because I sat in a different chair.

Prayer of the Day: Father, I want to go deeper in my walk with You. Please help me act on my faith, draw even closer to You, and take action so that my faith is ever increasing, amen.

Truth for Life; Alistair Begg – The Father’s Tender Care

Do not be anxious, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?” For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Matthew 6:31-33

As creatures in God’s world, we are not at the mercy of fate or chance. We are not driven along by blind and impersonal forces, nor do we need to be concerned about horoscopes, the motions of the planets, or similar distractions.

But for those who don’t know and trust God as their heavenly Father, this is how the universe appears. So, as Scripture makes clear, “the Gentiles”—meaning here those with no interest in God—“seek after all these things.” Such individuals are uncertain that there ever really was a Creator—and if there was, they suppose, He’s had His hands off creation since it was established. In their minds, every up and down, every ebb and flow of human history, is down to chance, with all of us caught up in the grip of a vast, faceless mechanism.

It’s a grim picture. Thankfully, the Bible tells us otherwise. According to Scripture, all things were created through Christ and for Christ, and He remains intimately involved in His creation (Colossians 1:16-17). In light of this, God the Son essentially says in Matthew 6:26-33, Why should you be worrying about food, clothing, or anything else? The pagans worry. But you? You just keep your eyes on Me, and I’ll take care of you. There’s not a bird in the sky I do not know. The very grass of the field is clothed by My mighty power, and I’m going to look after you too.

Indeed, Christ’s promise that He and His Father care for us is a truth echoed wonderfully in Romans 8:28, that “for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” If we are in Christ, all of our days and our desires, our hopes and our heartaches, our fears and our failures are being worked out according to the wise, gracious, loving will of God.

If you are alone today, or you spent last evening alone, or you are fearful of the prospect of another week of fractured or difficult relationships, allow the word of God to come in and warm and fill your heart with an intimate awareness of the Father’s love and presence. If you are burdened by financial worries, allow Jesus to calm your fears by telling you that He will provide for you what you truly need. If you are struggling with health problems—be they physical or emotional—be assured that He knows, and cares, and will bring you through. No matter what happens or how difficult life becomes, God Himself will look after you, because He cares for you.


Matthew 6:19-34

Topics: Anxiety Providence of God Worry

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

Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – God’s Love Does Not Depend on Us

“The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” (Jeremiah 31:3)

When God inspired Jeremiah to write these words, He meant them for the whole nation of Israel, not only Jeremiah. And when He gave the people of Israel this message, many of them were living lives that did not please Him. Some of them were even worshipping idols instead of God, but He still loved them and promised to keep on loving them forever.

Many of us seem to think that we must somehow earn God’s love by doing things that make Him happy. But that kind of thinking is wrong. Yes, God is pleased when we choose to obey His commands and follow the principles He has given in His Word. But His love for us does not change because of things we do or don’t do. If you are God’s child, He loves you now, will love you tomorrow, and the next day, and forever – because of Who He is, not because of the way you behave.

Chelsea had a hamster named Rascal, and his name was all too fitting. Rascal was always trying to escape from his cage! Often, he would bite Chelsea and anyone else who tried to hold him or pet him. One time, Chelsea worked hard to earn some money so she could buy Rascal a special ball for his cage. Because he tried to get out so much, she thought he would like to have the freedom to run around inside the ball. But after Chelsea had spent all her hard-earned money to buy him this gift, Rascal just sat still in the ball, refusing even to budge.

Chelsea’s family watched all that she did for Rascal – cleaning out his cage, buying toys for him, spending time with him, holding and petting him (when he would let her), and often getting bitten or scratched for all her efforts. They told her that Rascal was just not a good pet. In fact, Chelsea’s mother offered to take Rascal back to the pet store and see if they would give her a different hamster, one that would respond better to all that Chelsea tried to do for him. But Chelsea said, “No.” You see, Chelsea loved Rascal. Her love for Rascal did not depend on his being lovable, or upon his loving her back.

Wow! It is amazing to think that Chelsea, who is just a sinner just like the rest of us, could love Rascal (who is, after all, just a hamster) with a love like that! But if she can love a hamster with that kind of unconditional love (love that does not have to be earned) like that – how much more do you think our perfectly loving and compassionate Father God loves us? Chelsea’s love for Rascal is just a tiny little love when compared to God’s great love for us. But just as Chelsea’s love for Rascal did not depend in his being a “good pet,” so God’s love for you does not depend on your being a “good person.”

In fact, God gave us His greatest gift of love, not because we are good people deserving of His goodness, but because we could not be good people apart from Him. Romans 5:8 says, “But God commendeth [shows] His love toward us, in that, while we yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Jesus died for us so that we could be made righteous (good and right in our character and actions), not because we already are righteous. And God continues to love us and do good things for us. Why? Because He is a good and loving God – not because we are good and loving people. If you are trusting in the God of the Bible as your Father and Savior, nothing you do will ever change His love for you. He loves you now and forever, no matter what.

God loves you because of Who He is – not because of who you are.

My Response:
» Do I try to earn God’s love, or do I believe that He loves me no matter what?
» Do I truly trust in God’s love, or do I worry and fret about how He feels about me?
» Do I show the same kind of unconditional love (love that does not depend on someone else’s actions or words) to others that God shows to me?

Denison Forum – Three responses to recent abortion votes: The fragility and urgency of life

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14).

My wife and I tested positive for COVID-19 a few days ago. While more than ninety-seven million Americans have contracted the virus since the pandemic began, this was our first time. We are both vaccinated and boosted and are under our doctors’ care, so we’re experiencing mild symptoms. This could be far worse—nearly twenty-eight thousand Americans are currently hospitalized with the disease, which is causing more than three hundred deaths a day.

Our experience with the pandemic has brought back terrible memories of the days before the vaccines when it seemed that anyone could infect anyone and anyone could die as a result. Things are much different now, but humanity’s overall mortality rate is unchanged. Every one of us will die of something someday unless the Lord returns first.

From Sunday’s multiple fatalities at the University of Virginia and the University of Idaho, to last Saturday’s deadly midair collision at a Dallas air show, to comedian Jay Leno’s burn injuries following a gasoline fire, each day’s news is filled with reminders that life is finite and fragile.

And as with most gifts, the more fragile life becomes, the more precious it seems.

Unless, that is, we’re discussing the most fragile lives of all.

Abortion vote an “unmitigated disaster”

Most commentators discussing the midterm elections have focused on control of Congress, with more than a dozen House seats still uncalled as of last night. I have been watching a different story line, one that reveals something deeply urgent about the state of our culture.

According to NPR, “in every state where voters were asked to weigh in directly on abortion rights, they supported measures that protect those rights and rejected initiatives that could threaten them.” Voters in several states approved measures to enshrine abortion rights in their states’ constitutions. And Kentucky voters rejected a measure explicitly stating that the state constitution contains no right to an abortion, a defeat Southern Seminary president Albert Mohler called an “unmitigated disaster.”

These outcomes further reinforce the cultural narrative we discussed yesterday: our postmodern, post-Christian society is increasingly antagonistic to biblical moral values. In a post-Roe world, abortion will be legislated on a state-by-state and community-by-community basis. If the majority of your community is for elective abortion, they will elect pro-abortion leaders who enact pro-abortion legislation.

Consequently, protecting the most fragile of our fellow humans becomes your job and mine.

Three responses

One response is logical: unborn humans are humans.

From the moment of conception, the fetus contains all forty-six human chromosomes and is able to develop only into a human being. Nothing new will be added except the growth and development of what exists from conception. At twelve weeks, the unborn baby is only about two inches long, but every organ of the human body is clearly in place.

As a result, a child prior to birth deserves the same legal protections it will receive the moment it is born. All that happens in that moment is that it changes locations from inside its mother’s womb to outside of it. Making the case that pre-born children are children is foundational to saving their lives from abortion.

A second response is practical: pregnant women deserve all the support they need.

Every reason women cite for choosing abortion is a need we can meet. From financial support (the #1 cause of abortion) to counseling and medical resources, churches and ministries can help mothers choose life.

A third response is spiritual: our culture is being deceived.

A caller on a radio program where I was being interviewed made the claim that she is personally opposed to abortion but doesn’t feel she has the right to make this decision for others. Tolerance is the cardinal ethos of a relativistic culture in which “we have no right to force our beliefs on others.” Abortion decisions are best left to the mothers who must make them, or so we’re told.

Of course, in every other dimension of life we enact laws to protect us from each other and even from ourselves. From illegal drugs to seat belt laws, we “force our beliefs” on one another. The greater the consequences, the more strict the law and the more severe the punishment.

But when innocent, defenseless pre-born humans are at risk, we decide we cannot “force our beliefs” on those who would take their lives. This deception comes from “the father of lies” (John 8:44) who blinds the minds of those he deceives (2 Corinthians 4:4) and “comes to steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10).

“Fearfully and wonderfully made”

The fight for life is shifting into a new season in which every community is on the front lines. This means you and I are on the front lines as well.

We need to make the logical case for life wherever we can. We need to support ministries that support pregnant women considering abortion. And we need to pray daily for a spiritual awakening that would expose the darkness of deception to the light of truth.

Then every unborn child across our land will be able to say one day to God, “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14).

Joni Eareckson Tada observed, “Though gradually, though no one remembers exactly how it happened, the unthinkable becomes tolerable. And then acceptable. And then legal. And then applaudable.”

What will you do to reverse this tragic trajectory?

Millions of unborn lives are in the balance.

Denison Forum