Our Daily Bread — Just As I Am

Bible in a Year:

Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority.

Matthew 10:1

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

Matthew 10:1, 5–10, 16–20

The young woman couldn’t sleep. Having suffered with a physical disability for many years, she’d be center stage at a church bazaar the next day to raise funds for higher education.  But I’m not worthy, Charlotte Elliott reasoned. Tossing and turning, she doubted her credentials, questioning every aspect of her spiritual life. Still restless the next day, she finally moved to a desk to pick up pen and paper to write down the words of the now classic hymn, “Just As I Am”:

“Just as I am, without one plea, / But that Thy blood was shed for me, / And that Thou bidst me come to Thee, / O Lamb of God, I come, I come.”

Her words, written in 1835, express how Jesus called His disciples to come and serve Him. Not because they were ready. They weren’t. But because He authorized them—just as they were. A ragtag group, his team of twelve included a tax collector, a zealot, two overly ambitious brothers (see Mark 10:35–37), and Judas Iscariot “who betrayed him” (Matthew 10:4). Still, He gave them authority to “heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons” (v. 8)—all without taking any money, luggage, extra shirt or sandals, or even a walking stick with them (vv. 9–10).

“I am sending you,” He said (v. 16), and He was enough. For each of us who say yes to Him, He still is.

By:  Patricia Raybon

Reflect & Pray

What’s your current situation or status in life? What doubts have you expressed about your readiness to be used by God?

Jesus, bid me to come to You, fully dependent on Your grace and power to make a difference.


Grace to You; John MacArthur – Christ Is the Creator

“In [Christ] all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him” (Colossians 1:16).

Christ created everyone and everything.

The sheer size of the universe is staggering. The sun, for example, could hold 1.3 million planets the size of Earth inside it. The galaxy to which our sun belongs, the Milky Way, contains hundreds of billions of stars. And astronomers estimate there are millions, or even billions, of galaxies.

Who created this awesome universe? According to the false teachers at Colosse, it was not Christ. They viewed Him as the first and most important of the emanations from God; they were convinced it had to be a lesser being who eventually created the material universe. Believing matter to be evil, they argued that neither the good God nor a good emanation would have created the universe.

But the apostle Paul rejected that blasphemy, insisting that Christ made all things, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible. When he mentions thrones, dominions, rulers, and authorities (v. 16), he is referring to the various ranks of angels. Far from being an angel, as the false teachers taught, Christ created the angels (cf. Eph. 1:21). Jesus’ relation to the unseen world, like His relation to the visible world, proves He is God, the Creator of the universe.

Man is certainly interested in knowing about the universe that Christ created. That is evident, for example, by his exploration of space. Manned space capsules photographing the earth rising over the lunar horizon and satellites beaming pictures to us of planets at the outer edges of our solar system leave us in awe and wonder. Even more amazing is, not that man has gone into space, but that God came to Earth. In Christ, the invisible God who created everything and everyone became visible to man. How sad that while man looks into space, He refuses to look at the One who came to Earth.

Suggestions for Prayer

Worship Christ for His awesome work of creation.

For Further Study

Read Psalm 19:1-6. What testimony does this passage give of the Creator?

From Strength for Today by John MacArthur


Joyce Meyer – Time for Renewal

And He said to them, [As for you] come away by yourselves to a deserted place, and rest a while—for many were [continually] coming and going, and they had not even leisure enough to eat.

— Mark 6:31 (AMPC)

Frequently we complain and live silently angry lives while at the same time we continue to do the very things that make us angry. We cannot blame others for what is ultimately our own responsibility. A normal Christian life should be lived within the boundaries of balanced living. Once a person has a serious case of burnout, it is not easy to fix. None of us, not even those of us “called by God,” can break His natural laws without paying the penalty. Even though we may work for God, we cannot live without limits. Jesus rested. He walked away from the demands of the crowds and took time for renewal.

Many of God’s most precious and well-known saints have suffered from weariness and burnout with a tendency toward depression. We must learn that not all of our problems are spiritual; some of them are physical. We often blame the devil for things that are our own fault. We must learn to say no and not fear the loss of relationships. I have come to the conclusion that if I lose a relationship because I tell someone no, I really never had a true relationship at all.

Prayer of the Day: Lord, give me wisdom to know when I must rest and be renewed. Help me to adjust my schedule when I need to be refueled, amen.


Truth for Life; Alistair Begg – Seasons of Waiting

 [God] brought [Abraham] outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness.

Genesis 15:5-6

If our faith is to remain steadfast in seasons of prolonged waiting, then we must be confident of these truths: first, that God has the power to do what He promised to do; and second, that God Himself is sufficient to meet all of our needs, in every season.

Abraham’s faith was tested in the waiting room of life. For years he lived in a foreign land, waiting for his “very own son” to come into the world as God had promised (Genesis 15:4). And it was his trust in God’s promises while he waited that God “counted … to him as righteousness.”

Paul, when he writes of Abraham’s faith during this time, says, “No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised” (Romans 4:20-21). In other words, Abraham believed that nothing and no one could stand in the way of God fulfilling His spoken word—even when he could not begin to see how God would keep His promises. His faith wasn’t a blind leap in the dark. Rather, it was a belief based on God’s character.

Fast-forward to today, and one of the great promises to which we cling is that the Lord Jesus has promised to prepare a place for us and that He will come to take us to Himself (John 14:3). Therefore, when we take Him at His word, we are filled with the hope of heaven. We can be certain beyond any shadow of a doubt that Jesus is coming back personally, He is coming back visibly, and He is coming back for His own. These promises to us are as sure as the promise God made to Abraham, for which he waited 25 years before it was fulfilled.

Furthermore, through Abraham’s experience we see that it is God alone who is sufficient to bring us through seasons of waiting. In Genesis 17, God appears once more to Abraham in order to strengthen his faith. How? By revealing who He is: “When Abram was ninety-nine years old the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, ‘I am God Almighty [El-Shaddai]; walk before me’” (17:1). This Hebrew term, El-Shaddai, can mean “God who is sufficient.” God, in other words, affirmed His promises to Abraham on the strength of His character.

The Christian life is a life of waiting. And all of God’s “hold ons” and “not yets” are part and parcel of His purpose. Every season of waiting is an opportunity for you to take God at His word. And while you wait, you can surely trust Him to meet your every need. Rest in this: the God in whom you believe is able to do all that He has promised.


Genesis 17:1-8

Topics: Faithfulness of God Patience Promises of God

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


Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – God Is the Most High God

“I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, ‘What doest thou?’” (Daniel 4:34-35)

Hunter and Cammie were playing on the dirt pile in the back yard. “I’m the king of the mountain!” yelled Hunter from the top of the pile, his arms raised high in the air.

“Not so fast, there!” yelled Cammie as she charged up toward him and attempted to take his place. As she pushed him out of the way, she exclaimed, “Now I’m the queen of the mountain!”

Laughing and out of breath, Hunter gasped, “So what does the queen of the mountain actually rule over?”

“Whatever she wants, of course!” replied Cammie, grinning.

Maybe, like Hunter and Cammie, you might like to be a ruler of some kind, in control of something – if only over something as small as a dirt pile. But do you remember Who is really in charge of everything? In Scripture, God is called “the Most High God.” Do you know why He is called that? He is called “the Most High God” because He is the most high! He has more authority and power than anyone else. He created the universe, and He controls the universe He created! He does whatever He sees fit to do. No one is in a position to question Him!

The truth that God is the Most High God should be encouraging, if you belong to Him. He has all things under perfect control. But at the same time, this truth should be a reminder that you are not the one in charge; God is. He has the right to “call the shots” when it comes to your life, and He carries out His own plans in His own way and in His own good time – because He is the Most High God.

God rules over everything and does everything He knows to be best for His glory and for our good.

My Response:
» Do I thank the Most High God that He rules over everything – even situations that are hard for me to understand?
» Do I submit in spirit when the Most High God controls things in my life, or am I trying to “call the shots” myself?

Denison Forum – Representative-elect George Santos addresses his “embellishments”: Why integrity still matters

New York Representative-elect George Santos recently made his first televised appearance since the New York Times revealed that he lied about several elements of his résumé. It did not go as well as he’d hoped.

As a brief overview of the controversy surrounding Santos, he defeated Democrat Robert Zimmerman in November’s election, running on a campaign built largely around his story of rising from poverty to prominence. Yet, as he admitted to the New York Post, several elements of that story were false.

Among the most problematic lies relate to his Jewish heritage—he clarified that he is “Jew-ish” rather than Jewish because his grandmother was Jewish before converting to Catholicism. This despite claiming to be a “proud American Jew” in campaign materials sent to Jewish constituents. The Republican Jewish Coalition has since stated that he “misrepresented his heritage” and “will not be welcome at any future RJC events.”

In addition, he claimed that he graduated from Baruch College when he never even attended and holds no college degree. He also said that he worked for Goldman Sachs and Citigroup when he was never employed by either.

He has since referred to these errors as “embellishing my résumé” and apologized.

The nature and sincerity of that apology were at the forefront of questions he faced from former representative Tulsi Gabbard, who filled in for Fox’s Tucker Carlson in the interview.

“What does the word integrity mean to you?”

In her first question, Gabbard asked Santos, “What does the word integrity mean to you?”

After being pressed further for a definition rather than a rote response, he replied that “it means to carry yourself in an honorable way. And I made a mistake, and I think humans are flawed and we all make mistakes.”

He’s right, but it’s what we do after our mistakes that matters most, and when asked by Gabbard why people should trust him moving forward, Santos’ response left much to be desired: “Tulsi, I can say the same about the Democrats and the party. Look at Joe Biden. Joe Biden’s been lying to the American people for forty years and he’s the president of the United States. Democrats resoundingly support him.”

As Gabbard then pointed out, “This is not about the Democratic party, though. This is about your relationship with the people who’ve entrusted you to go and fight for them.”

The interview included other notable points as well, but I’d like for our focus to remain on this part for today.

The government we deserve

George Bernard Shaw once remarked that “democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve.”

Prior to bringing Santos on, Gabbard made the point that he is hardly the first politician to lie about their résumé or heritage. She pointed to Richard Blumenthal’s false claims of military service in Vietnam and Elizabeth Warren’s remarks about her Native American ancestors as examples.

Her point in doing so, however, was not to excuse Blumenthal, Warren, or Santos. Rather, it was to explain why “no one should be surprised that the American people don’t trust these politicians” and have “no faith that those in Washington are actually working for the people when they’re so clearly working for themselves.”

I suspect many agree with her—myself included, if I’m being honest.

Unfortunately, our anger and disappointment at their moral failures often stop with them when the real problem hits much closer to home.

Holding ourselves to a higher standard

If our response to our own mistakes is to minimize the gravity of the sin and point out the hypocrisy of others, then we’re not really very penitent. After all, “I’m sorry, but . . . ” is not a real apology, and that’s just as true for you and me as it is for elected members of Congress.

Santos is right that politicians frequently lie in service to their ambitions. That he could say so knowing that there are large swaths of the populace who are willing to tolerate such behavior if it means getting another vote on their side of the aisle is why our government is the way that it is.

But if we want the government to change, then we need to change.

Politicians never have been and never will be the moral compass for the nation, and our situation will not improve until the people voting for them—that would be all of us—hold ourselves to a higher standard.

Fortunately, God longs to help us do just that.

There may be times when we have reasonable explanations for the sins we commit and could point to countless others who have made the same mistakes. But they are not our standard. God is (Matthew 5:48).

If we are truly meant to be the light of the world and a city on a hill that guides the lost around us back to the Lord, then we need to genuinely repent of our sins rather than try to justify or minimize them.

So the next time you sin, ask the Lord to help you practice real repentance and own your mistake.

Who knows? Maybe you’ll inspire someone else to do the same.

Denison Forum