Our Daily Bread — A Nesting Place

Bible in a Year:

I am going there to prepare a place for you.

John 14:2

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

John 14:1–4

Sand martins—small birds related to swallows—dig their nests into riverbanks. Land development in South East England reduced their habitat, and the birds had fewer and fewer places to nest when they returned from their winter migration each year. Local conservationists sprang into action and built an enormous artificial sandbank to house them. With the help of a sand-sculpting firm, they molded sand to create a space for the birds to take up residence for years to come.

This gracious act of compassion vividly depicts the words Jesus used to console His disciples. After telling them He’d be leaving and that they wouldn’t be able to go with Him until later (John 13:36), He offered them the assurance that He’d “prepare a place for [them]” in heaven (14:2). Though they were rightly saddened that Jesus said He would leave them soon and that they could not follow Him, He encouraged them to look on this holy errand as part of His preparation to receive them—and us.

Without Jesus’ sacrificial work on the cross, the “many rooms” of the Father’s house wouldn’t be able to receive us (v. 2). Having gone before us in preparation, Christ assures us He’ll return and take those who trust in His sacrifice to be with Him. There we’ll take up residence with Him in a joyous eternity.

By:  Kirsten Holmberg

Reflect & Pray

When have you felt you weren’t “at home” in this life? What do you most look forward to about heaven?

Thank You, Jesus, for preparing a place for me in heaven with You.


Grace to You; John MacArthur – Cultivating a Heavenly Perspective

“God…has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” (Eph. 1:3, emphasis added).

Christians hold a dual citizenship. We are citizens of earth, but, more importantly, we are also citizens of Heaven.

It’s been said that some Christians are so heavenly minded, they’re no earthly good. But usually the opposite is true. Many Christians are so enamored with this present world that they no longer look forward to heaven. They have everything they want right here. The health, wealth, and prosperity doctrine has convinced them that Christians can have it all, and they pursue “the good life” with a vengeance.

Despite the prevalence of such thinking, the old Negro spiritual well says, “This world is not my home. I’m just a passin’ through.”

Paul reminds us of that truth in Philippians 3:20: “Our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” That’s why we must set our minds on heavenly, not on earthly things (Col. 3:1- 2). Our deepest affections and highest aspirations should center there. Our actions and decisions should reflect heavenly priorities, not earthly indulgences.

Even though we live in a sin-stained world and must constantly fight against its corrupting influences, God hasn’t left us stranded. He extends to us all the rights and privileges of our heavenly citizenship. Let that assurance encourage you today to live to His glory and rely on His heavenly provisions. Take care not to let impure aspirations or trivial pursuits distract you from your heavenly priorities.

Suggestions for Prayer

  • Tell Jesus how thankful and full of praise you are because of the place He is preparing for you in heaven (John 14:1-3).
  • Pray for a greater awareness of the fleeting value of this world and the surpassing value of the world to come (1 John 2:17).

For Further Study

Read Revelation 4-5, 21.

  • What primary activity are the inhabitants of heaven engaged in?
  • List some of heaven’s blessings.

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur


Joyce Meyer – Recognizing and Dealing with Strife

The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon Me, because He has anointed Me [the Anointed one, the Messiah] to preach the good news (the Gospel) to the poor; He has sent Me to announce release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to send forth as delivered those who are oppressed [who are downtrodden, bruised, crushed, and broken down by calamity], to proclaim the accepted and acceptable year of the Lord [the day when salvation and the free favors of God profusely abound.]

— Luke 4:18-19 (AMPC)

My husband, Dave, and I had been active in the church for a long time. At church, we had bright smiles and mixed well with other church members. I’m sure people thought we were the ideal couple.

But we weren’t ideal. We had a strife-laden marriage—and it showed in the home. When we arrived at church, we set aside all the strife for a period of time. After all, we did not want our friends to know what things were really like at home behind closed doors.

Dave and I had constant strife—but strife isn’t always open warfare. Strife is partially defined as an angry undercurrent.

We bickered and argued at times, but we also frequently pretended everything was fine between us. I look back now and believe that we didn’t fully realize we had a problem. The Bible teaches us that we speak out of our hearts. If we had only really listened to what we said about and to one another, we would have realized that something was wrong. For example, we made jokes in public about each other. “She thinks she’s the boss,” Dave would say. “She wants what she wants and stays on me until she gets it. Joyce wants to control everything and everybody.” Then he would pause to kiss me on top of my head and smile.

“I don’t think Dave’s hearing is very good,” I’d say. “I nearly always have to ask him four times to take out the garbage.” I’d smile, and everyone was supposed to know it was a joke.

Not everyone picked up on the undercurrents, but they were there. Those who frequently visited our home eventually saw even more chaos and underlying anger. But we smiled and said, “I’m only kidding,” when we put the other one down, so how could there be any real problems?

When the home atmosphere is terrible, the devil loves it. Division is his goal, and unfortunately, he is frequently winning in that situation. He loves it when people pretend and no one in the family actually faces the problems. That’s ideal for the powers of darkness. Satan would have kept on winning unless Dave and I had learned the dangers of strife and faced the truth about ourselves. We had to look at ourselves and admit how we had failed God and one another. We needed to acknowledge that our smiles and jokes only masked the pain.

If Dave and I were going to defeat the attacks of the devil, we had to make drastic changes. We had to fight the undercurrents and bring the darkness into the light.

This is the same message for all of us. We need to open ourselves to God’s Word and see our failings and shortcomings. We need to be able to say, “I have been wrong.”

Dave and I had both developed a bad habit—I’ll say it even stronger—Satan had made inroads into our minds. We had been justifying our behavior and blaming each other for our problems. We needed to be shown the error of our ways, and thank God, He did show us.

We had to study God’s Word extensively, and both of us had to be willing to humble ourselves in order for the atmosphere in our home to change from one of bickering, arguing, heated disagreement, and an angry undercurrent to one of peace and joy. The Holy Spirit worked with us, and we now enjoy peace. We respect each other and try to use good manners in private as well as in public.

We finally stopped listening to Satan’s lies. We began to use the weapons of God’s Word, praise, and prayer, and we have experienced great victory over the strongholds that once existed in our minds.

Prayer of the Day: Father, I’m so glad You came to deliver those who are oppressed. Thank You for helping me realize that my oppression comes from Satan, and for providing the weapons of your Word and prayer that I can use to break free from the devil’s powerful clutches. I pray, in the name of the Lord Jesus, that I will remain free both now and forever, amen.


Truth for Life; Alistair Begg – The Consequences of Laziness

The desire of the sluggard kills him, for his hands refuse to labor. All day long he craves and craves, but the righteous gives and does not hold back.

Proverbs 21:25-26

The book of Proverbs is an intensely practical book. It reminds us that a godly life is lived out in the everyday events of our journey. As Derek Kidner writes, “Its function in Scripture is to put godliness into working clothes.”[1] In many ways, Solomon’s writings are both immensely profitable and distinctly uncomfortable.

One lesson that Proverbs teaches us is the consequences of laziness. The biblical text uses the word “sluggard” to refer to a lazy person. It’s not a contemporary word, but it is a suitable word—one that describes a habitually inactive person whose lifestyle is framed by indolence and dormancy.

The sluggard, we learn, is hinged to his bed (Proverbs 26:14). This could mean that the person rises from bed after lunchtime or simply that they make little or no progress in their daily work. They don’t like to be approached directly or to be held accountable. When asked, “Will you do this?” they resent the follow-up question: “When are you planning to do it?”—or, in the words of Proverbs 6:9, “How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep?” They never actually refuse to do anything, but they put off tasks bit by bit. They deceive themselves into thinking that they’ll “get around to it,” but minute by minute, they allow opportunity to quietly slip away.

In Proverbs 12:27, Solomon also tells us that “whoever is slothful will not roast his game, but the diligent man will get precious wealth.” In other words, a lazy person does not finish what they start. But we, as followers of Christ, are called to a kind of perseverance that, as we work unto the Lord, will reap a harvest in due season if we do not give up (Galatians 6:9). As we remain accountable in Christian community, we can help each other see our blind spots so that the excuses we make for our lazy behaviors don’t become larger issues of self-indulgence.

The real tragedy of the sluggard’s life is that laziness is not an infirmity but a sin. Contemporary culture drives many on a quest for an overabundance of so-called leisure. But believers can set a radically different example. God created us to work with a purpose: that we may let our light shine before others so that they may see our good works and give glory to our heavenly Father (Matthew 5:16). The best adventure you can have is found along the pathway of goodness and duty. The greatest reward is not in leisure and ease and ducking out but in giving and giving and not holding back. How will that shape your approach to your day, and your tasks, today?


Proverbs 6:6-19

Topics: Christian Living Laziness Sin


1 Proverbs: An Introduction and Commentary, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries (Tyndale, 1968), p 35.

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


Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – God Can Make You Happy

“Although the fig tree shall not blossom,…yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” (Habakkuk 3:17-18)

A young missionary in China named Hudson Taylor was writing a letter home to his sister Amelia. What happy news could he share? Many of the Chinese people were dying from famine. He had very little money. The other missionaries did not like the way he dressed as the Chinese did. And the girl he loved and wanted to marry had just told him that she would not marry him. Hudson had every reason to be sad. His eyes moved to the Bible beside him on his desk. What had he read that very day about God’s love? He picked up his pen and wrote, “The love of God never changes. Can we ever love Jesus as much as He loves us?”

What would it take to make you happy? Another new toy? A room all to yourself? An “A” on your math paper? Having a certain person for your best friend? Only knowing God and His love for you can make you happy deep down in your heart. Only He can give you happiness that lasts, even when things go wrong.

Knowing God is the only thing that will make you truly happy.

My Response:
» Am I getting to know God through His Word?
» Do I find my happiness in God?

Denison Forum – Why Russia and China’s growing partnership imperils America

Ukraine has claimed responsibility for a missile attack on a temporary military barracks in the Russian-occupied region of Donetsk that killed scores of Russian soldiers. The Russian defense ministry blamed the use of mobile phones by its soldiers, stating that this allowed Ukraine to track the soldiers’ location.

Pro-war Russians are increasingly blaming Moscow for its demonstrated military failings in the conflict. The pressure on Vladimir Putin to win the war by any means is steadily increasing. For example, Ukraine is warning that Russia is likely to respond to its latest setback by stepping up the use of Iranian-made exploding drones. Some experts are concerned that if Russia continues to lose, Putin may launch a nuclear strike on Kyiv to affect regime change by killing the Ukrainian government.

Against this escalating backdrop, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping met recently to strengthen their partnership. China has repeatedly refused to condemn Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, consistently blaming the conflict on NATO and the United States instead. Putin said of their relationship, “We share the same views on the causes, course, and logic of the ongoing transformation of the global geopolitical landscape.” Xi said that the two countries should “strengthen strategic coordination” to oppose “bullying” by other nations.

This growing partnership is of obvious concern to the US and the West. However, it should especially alarm all Americans for two less than obvious reasons.

“The equivalent of tactical nuclear weapons”

Niall Ferguson has been called “the most brilliant British historian of his generation.” A Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution and a senior faculty fellow at Harvard, he is the author of an illuminating and frightening new essay published by Bloomberg. In it, he warns that “Cold War II could become World War III in 2023.”

And he explains why the US is in a precarious position to fight such a war.

Ferguson notes that war is “about the mobilization of real resources” needed by combatants to sustain the conflict while providing for their populations and powering their industries. In World War I, these resources were “coal, iron, and the manufacturing capacity to mass-produce artillery and shells, as well as steamships.” In World War II, they were “oil, steel, aluminum, and the manufacturing capacity to mass-produce artillery, ships, submarines, planes, and tanks.” After World War II, “it was all of the above, plus the scientific and technical capacity to produce nuclear weapons.”

Today, he notes, “the vital inputs are the capacity to mass-produce high-performance semiconductors, satellites, and the algorithmic warfare systems that depend on them.” Such systems are “the equivalent of tactical nuclear weapons” in their devastating capacities.

We depend on 61,000 ships

Ferguson explains that this is a major problem for the US, for two reasons.

One: Russia clearly lacks the algorithmic warfare systems that the US and our allies have been supplying to Ukraine, which means that Vladimir Putin may eventually be driven to use actual nuclear weapons to avoid losing the war he started. Such a scenario could lead to nuclear escalation that could threaten the US and the world.

Two: Ferguson notes that China “is dominant in the processing of minerals that are vital to the modern economy, including copper, nickel, cobalt and lithium. In particular, China controls over 70 percent of rare earth production both in terms of extraction and processing. These are seventeen minerals used to make components in devices such as smartphones, electric vehicles, solar panels, and semiconductors.”

In addition, “the US long ago ceased to be a manufacturing economy,” now importing much of what we need from the rest of the world. Most of these internationally traded goods are imported in six million containers transported in approximately sixty-one thousand ships. And China’s Shanghai Westwell Lab Information Technology Co. “is rapidly becoming the leading vendor of the most advanced port-operating systems.”

As a result, a conventional war with China could severely cripple our ability to produce the technological devices our military needs and import the goods our people require.

Dr. King’s definition of “true peace”

Ferguson’s article is further illustration of the fact that peace has been elusive for humans since Cain murdered Abel at the dawn of history. This is because we pursue peace as an object, a goal, when it is actually a consequence of prior priorities.

As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. observed, “True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice.”

King David knew much about war and peace. He noted, “Truth shall spring out of the earth, and righteousness shall look down from heaven” (Psalm 85:11 NKJV). With this result: “Righteousness shall go before [the Lord], and peace shall be a pathway for his feet” (v. 13, BCP).

Here we see that peace comes from righteousness (the Hebrew word means to do what is right and honest), which comes from knowing and doing the truth. And, as Jesus made clear, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31–32).

“No God, no peace”

Imagine a world in which everyone lived by the truth of God’s word. Imagine the personal and corporate righteousness that would result.

Now imagine the consequences for a world in which each person and nation loved their neighbor as themselves (Matthew 22:39) and treated others only as they wished to be treated (Matthew 7:12), to cite just two biblical truths. How would this change the war in Ukraine? China’s threats against Taiwan? Crime in your city? Conflict in your home?

Peace does indeed come from righteousness, which comes from knowing and obeying the truth.

Where do you most need peace with God, others, and yourself?

The old truism is still true: No God, no peace. Know God, know peace.

How will you choose the latter today?

Denison Forum