In Touch Ministries; Charles Stanley – How Grace Changes Everything

Jesus breaks the power of sin and offers hope to all who trust Him.

1 Timothy 1:12-17

Our lives are hopeless without God. We are born with a fleshly nature, and we continue to sin throughout life. The penalty for sin is death and eternal separation from God. No one is exempt from this biblical truth, and there’s nothing that we can do to change the situation. Enter God’s grace, His unmerited favor toward us. 

Consider the apostle Paul, who persecuted anyone claiming the name of Jesus. He played a significant role in the violence aimed at Christians and, in his own words, was the “chief” of sinners (1 Tim. 1:15 KJV). Nothing he did deserved God’s tender concern. But God lovingly transformed him into a man who dedicated himself to sharing the gospel message. Paul’s life beautifully illustrates grace. 

Salvation is possible only because of grace—we simply can’t do enough good deeds to earn our own way to heaven. The One who took the punishment for our sin deserves all credit for our redemption. And thankfully, there is no transgression too great for Him to forgive. We can’t add to His act of atonement; all we can do is receive this free gift. If we trust in Christ as Savior, God will save us, making us His children forever. 

Bible in One Year: 1 Corinthians 4-6

Our Daily Bread — Walk with Me

Bible in a Year:

The grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.

Titus 2:11

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

Titus 2:11–14

A few years ago, a popular song hit the charts, with a gospel choir singing the chorus, “Jesus walks with me.” Behind the lyrics lies a powerful story.

The choir was started by jazz musician Curtis Lundy when he entered a treatment program for cocaine addiction. Drawing fellow addicts together and finding inspiration in an old hymnal, he wrote that chorus as a hymn of hope for those in rehab. “We were singing for our lives,” one choir member says of the song. “We were asking Jesus to save us, to help us get out of the drugs.” Another found that her chronic pain subsided when she sang the song. That choir wasn’t just singing words on a sheet but offering desperate prayers for redemption.

Today’s Scripture reading describes their experience well. In Christ, our God has appeared to offer salvation to all people (Titus 2:11). While eternal life is part of this gift (v. 13), God is working on us now, empowering us to regain self-control, say no to worldly passions, and redeem us for life with Him (vv. 12, 14). As the choir members found, Jesus doesn’t just forgive our sins—He frees us from destructive lifestyles.

Jesus walks with me. And you. And anyone who cries out to Him for help. He’s with us, offering hope for the future and salvation now.

By:  Sheridan Voysey

Reflect & Pray

What do you need Jesus to change in you today? How desperate are you for Him to do it?

Dear Jesus, I need You. Forgive my sins, free me from destructive habits, and change me from the inside out.

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

“By faith [Moses] kept the Passover and the sprinkling of the blood, so that he who destroyed the first-born might not touch them. By faith they passed through the Red Sea as though they were passing through dry land; and the Egyptians, when they attempted it, were drowned” (Heb. 11:28-29).

The man or woman of faith gratefully accepts all God’s provisions, no matter how pointless some of them may seem.

When the time came for Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, everything on the human level said it couldn’t be done. Pharaoh wasn’t about to let two to three million slaves just pack up and leave. His formidable army was ready to insure that no such exodus occurred.

But when God devises a plan, He always makes the necessary provisions for carrying it out. On this occasion, His provision came in the form of ten terrifying plagues designed to change Pharaoh’s mind.

The tenth and worst plague was the death of all the first- born (Ex. 11:5). To protect themselves from this plague, the Israelites sprinkled the blood of a lamb on the doorposts and lintels of their homes. When the angel of death saw the blood, he passed over that house. Thus the Passover was instituted.

The blood from those first Passover lambs had no intrinsic power to stave off the death angel, but its presence demonstrated faith and obedience, thus symbolizing the future sacrifice of Christ (cf. John 1:29).

Pharaoh got the message and allowed the Israelites to leave. But soon afterward he changed his mind and commanded his army to pursue them. Again God intervened by parting the Red Sea, allowing His people to walk across on dry land. He then drowned the entire Egyptian army when it followed the Israelites into the sea.

That was a graphic demonstration of a lesson every believer must learn: God’s provisions are always best. They may sometimes seem foolish to the human intellect—just as “the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness” (1 Cor. 1:18)—but the man or woman of faith trusts God and receives His provisions gratefully.

Suggestions for Prayer

Thank God for the wise and gracious provisions He has made for your salvation and ongoing Christian walk.

For Further Study

Read the account of the Passover and the parting of the Red Sea in Exodus 11-14.

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur

Joyce Meyer – When You Feel Stressed

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

— Philippians 4:7 (AMPC)

Years ago, I went to a doctor because I was constantly sick. He told me the symptoms were the result of being under stress. I wasn’t getting enough sleep, and I was eating improperly, and pushing myself too hard.

Stress is a normal part of everyone’s life. God has created us to withstand a certain amount of pressure and tension. The problem comes when we push beyond our limitations and ignore the warnings our body gives us when it hurts or is exhausted.

I urge you to take good care of yourself, because if you wear out the body you have, you cannot go to a store and buy a new one. Many of the things we do that give us stress overload are things we could change if we would. Be honest with yourself about why you are doing some of the things you do and let God help you prune off the ones that are wearing you out and bearing no good fruit.

Peace is meant to be the normal condition for every believer in Jesus Christ. He is the Prince of Peace, and in Jesus we find our own inheritance of peace. It is a gift from the Holy Spirit, which He gives as we live in obedience to His Word.

Prayer of the Day: Lord Jesus, thank You for the peace You give—peace that operates in the midst of a storm. And because of Your peace, I can manage my stress today and every day, amen.

Truth for Life; Alistair Begg – The Pathway to Happiness

Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.

Psalm 32:1

Several years ago, the BBC conducted a survey of some 65 countries in the world and reported on which were the most and least happy. When individuals were asked what contributed to their joy, there was no clear consensus. The path to happiness was elusive.[1]

In the ESV, Psalm 32 begins with the word “blessed,” but “happy” may be the more evocative and more fitting translation. Indeed, the same Hebrew word that is used here is often translated into the Greek word for “happy” elsewhere, both in the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament) and in the New Testament. The word is used at the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus began to speak to His followers by telling them, “Blessed [that is, happy] are the poor in spirit” (Matthew 5:3).

Many of us would like to be happier than we are. But how? Some think that if they could travel more, they would be content. Some think in more grandiose terms: for instance, that by establishing justice in their part of the world, they would be happier. Others reason there is joy to be found in appreciating the beauty of creation or exploring spirituality. Yet we are continually confronted by the fact that something spoils our ventures and settles like dust upon all our dreams. Happiness derived from these things is always brittle; it is easily broken and it cannot last. The chase after happiness or the attempt to hold on to happiness becomes a burden.

Our search for lasting happiness remains futile as long as we fail to look where the psalmist says it is fundamentally to be found: in a relationship with our Creator God, which begins with forgiveness. We might not think to look there, because it seems like an oxymoron that we would find happiness by first considering the seriousness of our transgressions and our need for forgiveness. But the Hebrew word for “forgiven” actually means “lifted” or “removed.” The happiness and peace we desire comes only when the burden of sin is taken away. And then we are free to enjoy all that life offers, without asking created things or people to bear the weight of being the source of our ultimate joy.

This truth was Augustine’s experience. He spent the first part of his life in an untrammeled commitment to indulgence. Then, after reading the Bible and meeting God in His word, he emerged from his haze, later writing, “O God, our hearts are restless until they find their rest in You.”[2] Do you believe what Augustine believed? The basis for his statement is found in the opening verse of this psalm. You do not need to walk through life encumbered by sin and sorrow, because God has offered you forgiveness and a relationship with Him through Jesus. You do not need to chase after happiness the way the world does. When your burdens are lifted and you know that God knows the worst of you and loves you anyway, you experience phenomenal, lasting happiness.


Psalm 32

Topics: Forgiveness Joy


1 Michael Bond, “The Pursuit of Happiness,” New Scientist, October 4, 2003, Accessed April 13, 2021.

2 Confessions 1.1.

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

Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – Jesus Came To Save Sinners

“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10 – and read verses 1-10 for context)

In Bible times, Jewish tax-collectors were hated men. Do you know why? They were considered to be traitors – because they worked for the Roman government. They were considered to be thieves – because they cheated their own countrymen out of money that was not rightfully supposed to be taken. Maybe you have heard a song about Zacchaeus, who was a Jewish tax-collector during the time of Jesus’ ministry. Zacchaeus may have been rich, but he was hated by his fellow-Jews, and he was not a happy man. His riches and his job did not make him happy. If Zacchaeus believed that quitting his job as a tax-collector would help him be friends again with his countrymen and help make him happy, he might have tried it – but he must not have thought that, because he did not quit collecting taxes. Instead he decided to try something unusual: He decided to listen to what Jesus had to say.

Zacchaeus was not a tall man. In fact, he was such a short man that he could not see Jesus above the crowds of people who gathered around Him. So Zacchaeus climbed up into a tree to get a better look. This might have been humbling for such a rich man, to climb up into a tree like a little child trying to see over the crowd. But maybe Zacchaeus was used to being mocked by his fellow-Jews, anyway, or maybe he just wanted to see Jesus so much that he didn’t care what people might think of him.

This little man was open to Jesus’ message. He was learning a lot about himself and how short he had fallen of God’s glory. The Bible says that we all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. From his place up in the tree, Zacchaeus was getting a glimpse of his own sinful heart.

Suddenly, all eyes were on Zacchaeus. If he was able to hide before, there was no possible way of hiding now. Jesus had looked up into his tree and told Zacchaeus to come down. Jesus was inviting Himself to Zacchaeus’ house for supper. What was this little sinful man’s reaction? Zacchaeus got down out of the tree joyfully and took Jesus to his home. The Jewish people were not happy about Jesus’ decision to dine in the home of Zacchaeus, of all people – a cheating, stealing, unpatriotic tax-collector!

Neither Zacchaeus nor Jesus seemed to mind what the people were saying. For Zacchaeus’ part, he had learned that he was a sinner, and he was sorry for what he had done. He stood before Jesus and told Him he had decided to give half of everything he owned to the poor, and he promised Him to pay back four times the amount of anything he owed to anyone he had cheated. After promises like that, Zacchaeus would probably not be a rich man anymore, at least not for a long time! The Bible does not say he stopped collecting taxes after that, but he was a saved tax-collector after that, not a cheating or traitorous tax-collector. And best of all, Zacchaeus was a joyful man after that.

Jesus wasn’t listening to the people’s complaining, either. When Jesus heard Zacchaeus’ testimony of faith and repentance, He said, “This day is salvation come to this house”! And Jesus did eat with Zacchaeus and his family, even though the people said He was eating with sinners. Jesus said He had “come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Maybe the people did not think they were sinners who needed saving, but Zacchaeus knew for a fact that he was lost and needed to be saved from his sin. Because this little man humbled himself and placed his trust in the only Savior of lost sinners, he was gloriously saved. Jesus did not come to help those who think they can save themselves; He came to help those who know – by faith, through grace – that He is their only hope for salvation.

Jesus came to seek and save sinners who need His salvation.

My Response:
» Do I sometimes look at others and think of them as worse sinners than I am?
» Did Jesus really come to save only the sinners who look better off than other sinners?
» How can I, like Zacchaeus, show others by my life that I have changed my mind about sin and following Jesus?

Denison Forum – Did Prince Charles try to force his mother to abdicate the throne?

My wife and I started Season 5 of The Crown over the weekend. Like most viewers, we were surprised to learn that the Sunday Times took a poll in 1991 suggesting that half of the British public wanted Queen Elizabeth II to abdicate in favor of Prince Charles. In response, Charles met with Prime Minister John Major to persuade him to encourage the queen to step down.

Except nothing I just wrote is really true.

According to the Washington Post, the poll was taken in January 1990, not August 1991. It did reveal that nearly half of the public said the queen should consider abdicating in favor of Charles. But the Post reports that “importantly, they said she should consider ‘eventually,’ not necessarily at that very moment. The ‘eventually’ has been left out in the show.” And according to Major, the meeting with Charles portrayed in the show never happened, calling it a “barrel-load of nonsense.”

To continue with royal “news”: a new biography of King Charles III claims that the monarch once “destroyed a sink because he lost a cufflink down the drain.” But as we learn from The Crown, claiming something is true doesn’t make it true.

These stories do raise a personal question: Aren’t you glad no one is publishing a tell-all exposé of your life? That no one knows the secrets you’re keeping from the rest of us?

Actually, someone does.


As we move into the Christmas season, this Washington Post headline caught my eye: “A decade’s worth of photos capture Christmas in America, from the joyful to the bleak.” Photographer Jesse Rieser traveled to eighteen states from Oregon to Florida to capture images of Christmas across the country.

The book he published as a result shows us an inflatable Santa Claus looming four stories over a Christmas tree lot, a giant Tyrannosaurus Rex dressed in a Santa costume, and a display of soldiers guarding Santa and his reindeer called “Protecting Dreams.”

Rieser titled his book Christmas in America: Happy Birthday, Jesus. According to the Post, the title originated from “one of Rieser’s favorite photos.” In it, neon red lights spell “HAPPY BIRT, JESUS” over the roof of a white garage, with the missing four letters laying atop the shingles. This is the only reference to our Lord in the Post story.

If you were to publish images of Christmas from Scripture, what verse would be on the cover? My answer is a text that will revolutionize the Christmas season for everyone who takes it to mind and heart today.

“The Lamb slain from the creation of the world”

A preacher once told the story of a mother on her deathbed. Her husband stood on one side, their estranged son on the other. In her last act, she took the hand of the angry father and the hand of the wayward child and brought them together over her body.

In the same way, he said, Jesus on the cross took the hand of a wrathful Father and the hand of sinful humanity and brought them together over his body.

But that’s not what happened.

Recall the most famous verse in Scripture: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). This familiar declaration reminds us of the why behind the what of Christmas and supplies a vital corrective to the way many in our culture view our Father.

In short: Christmas was God’s idea. Jesus was “the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world” (Revelation 13:8 NIV). As Jesus explained, “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him” (John 3:17).

From his conception to his crucifixion, Jesus’ incarnation was his Father’s plan for our salvation.

“No creature is hidden from his sight”

Why does the God of the universe love us so much that he sent his Son to die so we could live eternally with him?

Is it because we deserve such love? Categorically not. Unlike a tell-all biographer exposing (or fabricating) the royal family’s secrets, the omniscient God of the universe knows the absolute truth about every single one of us: “No creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13).

Your Father knows not only the deepest secrets of your past—he knows the most grievous sins and failures that are in your future. And yet, “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). He did this because “God is love” (1 John 4:8). He loves us because it is his unchanging nature to love us. Stated bluntly, he cannot not love us, no matter who we are or what we have done.

Jesus made this fact clear in John 17 when he prayed “that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me” (v. 23, my emphasis). The Greek is literally translated “and loved them as much as you loved me.”

Think of it: your Father loves you as much as he loves his “one and only Son” (John 3:16 NIV).

“Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!”

Here’s the point: if we had to earn God’s love, we could lose his love. If the Christmas gift of our Father was given on the basis of merit, none of us could receive it or hope to retain it. But because God “is” love, there is absolutely nothing we can do to make him love us any more or any less than he already does.

So, as we step into the Christmas season, let’s make time every day to remember the why of Christmas. Let’s reflect on the unchanging, unconditional love of our Father for us. Let’s respond with the grateful worship of our souls. And let’s pay forward this gift by sharing it with everyone we can.

In response to “the surpassing grace of God,” Paul exclaimed, “Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:14–15).

Do his words express your heart today?

Denison Forum