In Touch Ministries; Charles Stanley – Uncertainty in Intercession

When we don’t know how to pray for someone, the prayers recorded in the Bible are a good place to start.

Philippians 1:9-11

Sometimes we don’t know how to pray. That can happen when others ask us to pray for them but they feel uncomfortable sharing personal details. Or maybe we’ve lost touch with a person on our prayer list, so we aren’t sure about the best way to intercede on his or her behalf. We can also be confused about our own requests, especially when circumstances are complicated. 

Whenever we’re unsure, we can seek God’s guidance from the prayers recorded in Scripture. Although we often tend to focus on practical concerns involving our circumstances, the Lord’s priority is spiritual health. That’s what we see in Paul’s petition for the Christians at Philippi. He prayed that their love for each other would increasingly overflow and that they’d “keep on growing in knowledge and understanding”; his prayer was also that they would grasp what really mattered in order to “live pure and blameless lives” (Phil. 1:9-10 NLT). 

These are good guidelines for requests because they deal with emotions and judgments, both of which can lead us astray unless guided by godly discernment and wisdom. We all need the Lord’s help in these areas, so let’s not hesitate to ask Him for it. 

Bible in One Year: Romans 10-13

Our Daily Bread — Enduring Hope

Bible in a Year:

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain.

Revelation 21:4

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

Revelation 21:1–8

Doctors diagnosed four-year-old Solomon with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a progressive muscle-degenerating disease. A year later, doctors discussed wheelchairs with the family. But Solomon protested that he didn’t want to have to use one. Family and friends prayed for him and raised funds for a professionally trained service dog to help keep him out of that wheelchair for as long as possible. Tails for Life, the organization that trained my service dog, Callie, is currently preparing Waffles to serve Solomon.

Though Solomon accepts his treatment, often bursting out in song to praise God, some days are harder. On one of those difficult days, Solomon hugged his mom and said, “I’m happy there’s no Duchenne’s in heaven.”

The degenerating effects of sickness affect all people on this side of eternity. Like Solomon, however, we have an enduring hope that can strengthen our resolve on those inevitable tough days. God gives us the promise of “a new heaven and a new earth” (Revelation 21:1). Our Creator and Sustainer will “dwell” among us by making His home with us (v. 3). He will “wipe every tear” from our eyes. “There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain” (v. 4). When the wait feels “too hard” or “too long,” we can experience peace because God’s promise will be fulfilled.

By:  Xochitl Dixon

Reflect & Pray

How has acknowledging God’s promise for a new heaven and a new earth comforted you? How can you encourage a hurting friend with the enduring hope of God’s promises?

Loving God, thank You for strengthening my resolve with the surety of my enduring hope.

Grace to You; John MacArthur – Accepting God’s Plan

“By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s edict” (Heb. 11:23).

God makes His plans; you walk in them by faith. He doesn’t need your help or counsel—just your obedience and trust.

It has been wisely said that trying to improve on God’s plan is more pretentious than trying to improve the Mona Lisa with an ink pen. All you’d do is ruin the masterpiece.

The story of Amram and Jochebed, the parents of Moses, is about two people who refused to ruin the masterpiece. They trusted God implicitly and did everything possible to see His plan for their son come to fruition.

Because of the number and might of the Hebrew people in Egypt, the pharaoh enslaved them and ordered that all male Hebrew babies be put to death. In direct defiance of that wicked edict, Moses’ parents hid their baby for three months, then placed him in a waterproofed basket along the banks of the Nile River near the place where Pharaoh’s daughter bathed. One can only imagine the faith it took for them to risk their own lives, as well as the life of their baby, by placing him into that basket and introducing him into the very household of the one who wanted all male Hebrew babies slain.

By God’s providence, Pharaoh’s daughter found the baby, took pity on him, and adopted him into her family. More than that, the Lord used Moses’ quick-thinking sister, Miriam, to arrange for Jochebed to nurse and care for her own son! That gave Moses’ family the opportunity to teach him of God’s promises for Israel to inherit the Promised Land, become a mighty nation, and be a blessing to all nations. They helped instill within Moses the faith in God that would later characterize his life.

You may never be called on to make the kind of sacrifice that Moses’ parents made, but no matter what the risks, remember God always honors your obedience.

Suggestions for Prayer

Thank God for His plan for your life. Seek wisdom and grace to live accordingly.

For Further Study

Read of Israel’s oppression and Moses’ birth in Exodus 1:1—2:10.

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur

Joyce Meyer – An Attitude of Gratitude

Rejoice in the Lord always [delight, gladden yourselves in Him]; again I say, Rejoice! Let all men know and perceive and recognize your unselfishness (your considerateness, your forbearing spirit) . . . Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.

— Philippians 4:4-6 (AMPC)

You need to develop an “attitude of gratitude.” This doesn’t mean you should live with your heads in the clouds and pretend nothing negative exists. It simply means you make it your goal in life to be as positive as possible.

Go to bed tonight pondering everything you have to be thankful for. Do the same first thing tomorrow morning. Thank God for everything—a convenient parking place; the fact you can walk, see, or hear; your children. Don’t become discouraged with yourself when you fall short, and don’t quit. Keep at it until you have developed new habits.

Prayer of the Day: Father, I have so much to thank You for, but mostly, I thank You for saving me and for being with me all the time. I love You, amen.

Truth for Life; Alistair Begg – Living the Truth

If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

John 13:17

Can you recall a time when a stranger approached you out of the blue and asked what you believe about Jesus Christ and the Christian faith? I imagine that you have had very few, if any, experiences like that. We ought to be prepared for such encounters, to be sure; the apostle Peter tells us to be ready to give a reason for the hope we have (1 Peter 3:15). But opportunities to explain what we believe most often result not from random encounters with strangers but from the way we live day in and day out before those who know us well.

How we live and what we believe ought to reflect our attachment to Christ. This is one reason why Peter says Christians are “a people for [God’s] own possession” (1 Peter 2:9). Our connection to Jesus as those who are in Him and belong to Him is comprehensive. That means we are not at liberty to believe whatever we want; we are not free to form our own views of marriage, of sexuality, of finance, or of anything else. Our view is now to reflect that of our Messiah and Teacher, Jesus. But He is not content with His disciples simply knowing the truth. They also need to be living the truth: “If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.” Believing must lead to doing. We are not free to behave in any way we like either, then. Our conduct is to reflect that of our sacrificial Savior, Jesus.

Many contemporary religions and secular creeds require nothing of your lifestyle; they leave you free to live as you please. (In fact, many make that their guiding principle: that you do what seems right to you.) But the call to Christian discipleship is utterly different, for at its heart it is a call to follow a King who is not you. The call to the Christian life is not merely to believe the gospel but to “let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ” (Philippians 1:27).

We all fall short. Do you have someone helping you, and whom you can help, in identifying areas of behavior that are not yet worthy of the gospel? Lock arms with a brother or sister in Christ, shine the light of God’s word on one another, and seek to bring the truth to life!

The church is God’s primary appointed means of reaching His world. You are part of that. But do not expect those around you to ask about the gospel—still less to repent and believe the gospel—if you are not living out that gospel:

You are writing a gospel,
A chapter each day,
By deeds that you do,
By words that you say.
Men read what you write,
Whether faithless or true,
Say! What is the gospel
According to you? [1]


John 13:31-35

Topics: Christian Life Evangelism Obedience


1 Commonly attributed to Paul Gilbert.

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

Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – God Is a Loving Master

“But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.” (Romans 6:22)

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a slave? Imagine being forced to stand in front of a bunch of rich people who want to buy a slave. You are waiting for someone to buy you so that you can work for them. You are probably watching their faces closely, trying to guess whether they are kind people or mean people. If they look kind, you will probably stand up straight, smile, and try to look your best, hoping to get them to choose you. If only you can look good enough, maybe you will be picked by a nice master instead of a nasty one.

But imagine that before you became a slave, you had been a thief and a liar. In fact, the reason you are now a slave is that the city guards had chased you through the villages because you had stolen something and lied about it. Imagine that, during the chase, you had tripped over a sharp rock with your bare foot and fallen right in a mud puddle. The guards had picked you up and dragged you here to the slave sale, and now you are covered in dripping mud, your hair looks like it was caught in a blender, and your bad foot has you limping. Even if you try to stand up straight and tall, you are pretty sure none of the nice people will want to buy you, looking like this. If a mean master chooses you, you will probably have a miserable life serving him. If no one buys you at all, you will be put to death as punishment for your crimes.

Can you imagine being in that situation? (We’ll find out what happens to you later.)

But, believe it or not, you are a slave too! You may not have to scrub dirt floors or serve grapes to a human master, but every person living is a “slave” to someone or something. Either you are a slave to the world, to your own flesh, and to the devil – or you are a slave to Jesus Christ.

Now some people think that if they serve themselves, they couldn’t possibly be a slave. But each of us is born into bondage (slavery). Without Jesus Christ, we are all born slaves to our own sinful flesh and to the father of lies, Satan himself. Satan is a vicious master. He hates people because God loves them, and Satan hates God. Satan will never again have a chance at freedom from his own slavery to self and sin – so he wants to wreck people by tempting them toward sin and away from God.

Let’s go back to the imaginary story of you as a slave in the market waiting to be bought. You are standing there, a thief and a liar, looking muddy and wounded, deserving death for what you have done. Suddenly, you see the kindest face ever! He looks at you, sees the terrible condition you are in, and you realize he must have heard what you did; he must know what a terrible person you really are. Your hopes fall. You understand that someone as kind as he is would never want you in his household.

You are shocked when this person calls the guards over. He tells them there is only one arrangement that could possibly pay the price for someone like you. He tells them to exchange you for his own son. The surprised guards take his son instead of you. His son is now a slave for sale, under the penalty of death, and they let you go. You go home with your new master, this kind man who traded his son for you. Wouldn’t you serve this kind master from the bottom of your heart? Wouldn’t you want to do everything you could to please him? Is there anyone or anything in the whole world that you would love more than you love your new master?

This is more of a true story than you might think! Adam sinned and brought all of us into slavery to sin. God sent His Son to pay the price of that sin, which was death and separation from God. When believers are bought with the blood of Christ, they become slaves to God instead of slaves to themselves or the world or the devil.

You must have one master or another, so which one would you rather have? God is the loving Master Who bought you even when you were vile and dirty and undeserving of anything but death. Satan wants us to get what we deserve: eternal death and separation from God. God freely offers us mercy: eternal life and His amazing love.

God loved us enough to purchase our redemption, freeing us from sin and self to serve Him.

My Response:
» Have I been choosing bondage to sin and self instead of serving a loving Master?
» How can I show my love and gratitude toward God for His gift of His Son?

Denison Forum – Former grocery store owner has fed thousands on Thanksgiving for 51 years

For more than fifty years, Bob Vogelbaugh has made sure that his Moline, Illinois, community is well fed on Thanksgiving Day.

The former grocery store owner started this tradition in 1970 to include some of his customers who were going to be alone on Thanksgiving Day. What began as a small gathering inside his grocery store has grown to fill an entire food court in an area mall. He and his volunteers served more than 3,200 people this year.

“It’s not a charity dinner,” he said. “It’s just a Thanksgiving gathering of friends and people you don’t know and some people have become friends through this over the years.”

“It will not always be like this”

A pastor was famous for beginning every Sunday service with an invocation focused on thanksgiving. He would give thanks to God for events across the week, occurrences in the life of the church, and even the good weather.

However, one Sunday morning the congregation gathered in the midst of a terrible blizzard. The roads were icy; most people could not even make it to church. As the pastor stepped to the pulpit to offer his customary invocation, the few members in attendance wondered to themselves what reasons he could possibly find to give thanks on this miserable day.

The pastor began his prayer by describing the weather in all its ferocity. Then he paused and prayed, “And, dear Lord, we thank you that it is not always like this.”

November saw thirty-three mass shootings; there have been 606 so far this year. A new report warns that the threat of a measles outbreak is growing due to a significant decline in vaccination rates among children worldwide. Coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are likely to escalate after Thanksgiving holiday gatherings. And a writer for the liberal magazine The Nation published an article on Thanksgiving Day titled, “We’re Thankful for Our Abortions.”

But it will not always be like this.

“The marriage supper of the Lamb”

Bob Vogelbaugh’s wonderful Thanksgiving tradition foreshadows the thanksgiving dinner of all dinners. One day, those who know Christ as their Lord will hear these words: “Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb” (Revelation 19:9).

This amazing invitation is best understood in its cultural context.

In Jesus’ day, what we would call an engagement began when a marriage contract was signed by the parents of the bride and the bridegroom. This was the period Joseph and Mary were in when she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:18Luke 2:5).

A year later, the bridegroom, accompanied by his male friends, went to the house of the bride at midnight, forming a torchlight parade through the streets. The bride and her maidens would join the parade, arriving at the bridegroom’s home. This is the background for Jesus’ parable of the ten virgins (Matthew 25:1–13).

The third phase was the marriage supper itself, which could go on for days, as we see with the wedding in Cana (John 2:1–2).

In Revelation 19, the Lamb (Jesus) and his bride (the Church) are in this third phase. The first occurs when we place our faith in Christ as our Lord. The second symbolizes the return of our Lord to take us to his home in paradise (John 14:1–4). The third symbolizes our eternal celebration and worship in heaven, where we are gathered with “a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages” (Revelation 7:9).

John described our eternal destination this way: “I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away’” (Revelation 21:3–4).

“Standing at the throne of the spotless Lamb”

Like the pastor who began every Sunday service with gratitude, you and I can begin every day by giving thanks for all Jesus has done for us, all he is doing for us, and all he will do for us. And when we remember our future destiny, we are emboldened to trust our Lord in the midst of present challenges.

Consider this moving example.

St. Paul Le-Bao Tinh was born in 1793 in Vietnam. He became a Christian, then an ascetic monk, then a missionary. When persecution against Christians broke out in 1841, he was arrested and spent the next seven years in prison in Hanoi. While incarcerated, he wrote to a seminary student:

“The prison here is a true image of everlasting hell: to cruel tortures of every kind—shackles, iron chains, manacles—are added hatred, vengeance, calumnies, obscene speech, quarrels, evil acts, swearing, curses, as well as anguish and grief.” Then he added: “But the God who once freed the three children from the fiery furnace is with me always.”

He asked his reader, “Come to my aid with your prayers, that I may have the strength to fight according to the law and indeed to fight the good fight and to fight until the end and so finish the race.”

He concluded: “We may not see each other again in this life, but we will have the happiness of seeing each other again in the world to come, when, standing at the throne of the spotless Lamb, we will together join in singing his praises and exult forever in the joy of our triumph. Amen.”

Whatever you are facing today, remember: It will not always be like this. One day we will “exult forever in the joy of our triumph” with our Lord.

Why is this promise relevant to your soul today?

Denison Forum