Our Daily Bread — The Right Jesus

Bible in a Year:

If someone . . . preaches a [false] Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, . . . you [wrongly] put up with it.

2 Corinthians 11:4

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

2 Corinthians 11:1–4, 12–15

The buzz in the room faded to a comfortable silence as the book club leader summarized the novel the group would discuss. My friend Joan listened closely but didn’t recognize the plot. Finally, she realized she had read a nonfiction book with a similar title to the work of fiction the others had read. Although she enjoyed reading the “wrong” book, she couldn’t join her friends as they discussed the “right” book.

The apostle Paul didn’t want the Corinthian believers in Jesus to believe in a “wrong” Jesus. He pointed out that false teachers had infiltrated the church and presented a different “Jesus” to them, and they had swallowed the lies (2 Corinthians 11:3–4). 

Paul denounced the heresy of these phony teachers. In his first letter to the church, however, he’d reviewed the truth about the Jesus of Scripture. This Jesus was the Messiah who “died for our sins . . . was raised on the third day . . . and then [appeared] to the Twelve,” and finally to Paul himself (1 Corinthians 15:3–8). This Jesus had come to earth through a virgin named Mary and was named Immanuel (God with us) to affirm His divine nature (Matthew 1:20–23).

Does this sound like the Jesus you know? Understanding and accepting the truth written in the Bible about Him assures us that we’re on the spiritual path that leads to heaven.

By:  Jennifer Benson Schuldt

Reflect & Pray

How do you know that you believe the truth about Jesus? What might you need to investigate to make sure you understand what the Bible says about Him?

Dear God, help me to walk in the light of Your truth.


Grace to You; John MacArthur – The Importance of Humility

“Walk . . . with all humility” (Ephesians 4:2).

Humility is fundamental to spiritual growth and blessing.

It’s no secret that family problems are on the rise. Husbands and wives can’t get along. Children rebel against their parents. Unfortunately, most of the proposed solutions deal only with the peripheral issues instead of the central issue, which is pride. There will never be unity or happiness in a family without humility.

Humility is not only essential in families; it is also a basic ingredient for all spiritual blessing. The book of Proverbs is rich with such teaching. “When pride comes, then comes dishonor, but with the humble is wisdom” (11:2). “Before honor comes humility” (15:33). “The reward of humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, honor and life” (22:4). James tells us, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (4:6). Too often we forget how important humility is.

Did you know that pride was the first sin ever committed? An angel named Lucifer tried to exalt himself above God: “I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, and I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High” (Isa. 14:13-14). He said “I will” five times, and God said, “No, you won’t” and cast him out of Heaven. Lucifer, “son of the morning,” became Satan, “the accuser.”

Every sin—whatever it is—has pride at its root, because all sin is defiance of God. What could be more prideful than saying, “I won’t follow God’s standard”? So in trying to overcome sin, we must also deal with our pride. It is impossible to be saved without humility. God isn’t impressed with credentials; you must come to God and say, “I am a sinner, and I realize I am worthy of nothing.” There’s no other way into God’s family and no other way to walk once you’re there.

Though you may have read your Bible, prayed, gone to church all your life, or even founded churches, if you aren’t walking in humility, you aren’t walking a worthy walk. The worthy walk begins with “all humility.”

Suggestions for Prayer

Consider how pride manifests itself in some areas of your life, confess those to God, and ask His forgiveness.

For Further Study

Read Luke 18:9-14. Compare the attitudes of the tax collector and the Pharisee. Which one pleased God and why?

From Strength for Today by John MacArthur


Joyce Meyer – God Has Gifted You with Talent

Having gifts (faculties, talents, qualities) that differ according to the grace given us, let us use them….

— Romans 12:6 (AMPC)

God has given you the gifts, talents, abilities, and grace you need to do His will in life. God’s grace is actually His power, and He will not only give you grace but promises grace and more grace (see James 4:6). God gifted you for a reason; He has a powerful plan for your life. Whatever He has planned for you to do, He will empower you to do it. God never runs out of power—and His power is available to you!

If you don’t keep the right mindset, the enemy can defeat you with thoughts of inadequacy, but if you make up your mind that you are gifted by God and that you can do what you need to do, you’ll enjoy victory—not in your own strength, but with the strength, gifts, and grace God gives you.

Prayer of the Day: Father, I am thankful for the gifts and talents You have given me. Help me to use them to Your glory, amen.


Truth for Life; Alistair Begg – Spiritual Paralysis

Woe to her who is rebellious and defiled, the oppressing city! She listens to no voice; she accepts no correction. She does not trust in the Lord; she does not draw near to her God.

Zephaniah 3:1-2

Some Christians walk straight toward spiritual paralysis. It’s never something we choose. No one consciously opts for stagnation and impairment. But there is a path down which disaster awaits. What could cause this sort of malady and wreak this havoc on a soul?

Such a devastating debility is often caused by hearing the voice of God in His word but then disobeying Him. It’s like looking Him straight in the face through Scripture but choosing to ignore Him. It is to be confronted with truth from your Creator and to claim, as His creature, to know better.

In the prophet Zephaniah’s day, the Spirit of God confronted the people of God with “woe”—with a warning of captivity and bondage. The “oppressing city” was Jerusalem itself—the city of God’s people. What was true for Jerusalem in a physical sense will be true of us in a spiritual sense if we refuse to listen to the voice of God and accept no correction from Him. There can be no blessing, no life, and no vitality where His word is neglected or disobeyed.

It is wise, then, to ask ourselves some difficult questions, rather than assuming that these kinds of warnings are only for others. Has God been speaking to you about a sinful habit in your life that you’ve decided you will hold on to and not break? Has He been speaking to you about a holy habit that you should establish, and you know that you should but you never actually do so? Has He been speaking to you about an apology that needs to be made, but in your pride you are avoiding doing this? Has He been speaking to you about a reconciliation that needs to take place with a loved one in your physical family or in the family of God?

Thankfully, God always receives His children with open arms when we turn to Him and heed His voice again. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”—all on account of Christ (1 John 1:9). When we are humble enough to listen to His voice and put our trust in Him, then we enjoy the experience of nearness to God once more. How is the Spirit prompting you as you read this passage today? There’s no better time than now to step off the path to spiritual paralysis and find grace in the arms of your Savior.


Zephaniah 3:1-17

Topics: Backsliding Conviction of Sin God’s Word

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


Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – God Is Safety

“I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.” (Psalm 4:8)

When Corey was scared, there was only one place he wanted to be. If he had a nightmare, if thunder clashes woke him up, or if the tree branches outside his window looked like giant hands ready to grab him, he ran to his parents’ bedroom. In their room there was a small space between the wall and the bed, and Corey was allowed to sleep there on the floor when he was scared. Corey knew that if someone or something was going to get him, they would have to crawl over his dad first. And Corey knew that his father would never let anything bad happen to him.

Proverbs 29:25 says, “The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.” The word snare means trap. Man isn’t strong enough to win every battle or defeat every bad guy. If we trust in men and not in God, we will end up being trapped someday.

The Bible says that God is the only One who can provide true safety. He holds us in the palm of His hand. Just like the game where someone holds a penny in his fist and someone else tries to pry open his fingers to get the penny, God holds us, and no one is strong enough to pry open God’s hand. No one!

Next time you’re scared, tell God. If you’re scared of school, talk to God – He knows all the answers. If you’re scared of a person, talk to God – He made that person. If you’re scared of the unknown, talk to God – He knows all. God is safety; run to Him!

God is the only one who can keep you safe.

My Response: » What are some things that I fear? » Can I trust God with my fears?

Denison Forum – The latest on Damar Hamlin: Why I agree with religious skeptics

“When you put real love out into the world it comes back to you 3x’s as much. The Love has been overwhelming, but I’m thankful for every single person that prayed for me and reached out. We brung the world back together behind this. If you know me you know this only gone make me stronger. On a long road keep praying for me!”

This was how Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin thanked the world on Instagram for praying for him after he nearly died last Monday night during a game with the Cincinnati Bengals. His progress bolstered his team as they wore a special “3” patch on their uniforms yesterday. In “a play that seemed plucked from a movie,” they returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown in front of a packed house and went on to defeat the New England Patriots. Hamlin’s jersey was the most purchased among all athletes across all sports.

In my opinion, Dallas Cowboys chaplain Jonathan Evans, the associate pastor of NextGen Ministry at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship, sounded the most enduring note from Hamlin’s near-death crisis. Quarterback Dak Prescott quoted Evans’ message to the team last week: “Your age, you’re not old or young off of your birth date but off your death date.”

An “irrational atavistic impulse”?

Barton Swaim began his Wall Street Journal editorial on Damar Hamlin by referencing “the question of when prayer on public grounds is and isn’t permissible.” He noted that “Americans, especially American liberals, have been obsessed with the question for more than sixty years.”

However, he added, “The idea that prayer is improper at big-time sporting events was forgotten on Monday night.”

After Hamlin collapsed on the field, Swaim writes, “Suddenly prayer was back on the list of things anybody could talk about or do on camera.” Signs and social media posts called for the nation to “pray for Damar.” ESPN commentators actually prayed for him on air. In the days following, NFL players across the league prayed for him and for each other.

Is this unequivocally good news? Swaim sounds a cautionary note: “I’m not entirely comfortable with so many ecumenical pleas for the favor of an undefined deity. Are all these thousands of social-media posters urging their followers to #PrayForDamar actually praying and, if they are, praying to the one true God? I’m not so sure.”

Grieving over calls to prayer

What are critics of religion thinking about this national response? According to Swaim, “They will consider the whole pray-for-Damar episode a mass expression of some irrational atavistic impulse. . . . Let the fans ‘pray’ if that’s what gives them comfort, but it changes nothing.”

In one sense, I agree with them.

I grieved in Israel last week as I heard the Adhan broadcast from minarets calling Muslims to pray to Allah rather than to Christ. I know that Jesus alone is “the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6) and that “there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

The power of faith resides not in its act but in its object. We can take the wrong road in faith that it is the right road, but we will still be lost. We can take the wrong medicine in faith that it is the right medicine, but our faith will not make it so.

At the same time, our instinctive response to pray when confronting a crisis we cannot solve with human resources reveals something important about us.

The nation does not pray when a football player sprains an ankle or suffers a concussion since our doctors can treat such injuries. We do not flood sanctuaries for prayer meetings when an airplane crashes. But when terrorists flew airplanes into buildings on 9/11, we packed church buildings for prayer. After we began learning the identity of our enemy and gained confidence in our ability to prevent further attacks, crowds in churches returned to normal.

A “relentless parade of atmospheric rivers”

One of Satan’s most subtle ploys is to focus us on what we can do rather than on what we cannot do.

We do not fear death since medical science can often postpone it, but medical science cannot prevent it. Our technological capacities exceed anything known to human history, as the advent of the iPhone on this day in 2007 demonstrated, but we cannot stop the “relentless parade of atmospheric rivers” pounding California. According to a new survey, 3.3 million US adults were displaced by natural disasters last year. None of us can prevent the disasters sure to come this year.

Here’s my point: every one of us, every moment of every day, is Damar Hamlin.

Jonathan Evans is right: “You’re not old or young off of your birth date but off your death date.”  Each of us is one heartbeat from eternity. Each of us needs help and hope beyond ourselves. We were made to depend on our Maker, not just on Sunday or in a recognized crisis, but every moment of every day.

“When you don’t see the whole staircase”

So begin your day with your Lord as Jesus did (cf. Mark 1:35). (Our ministry’s morning devotional, First15, is designed to help you experience God each day.)

End your day with your Lord. (To this end, I highly recommend my wife’s new resource, Wisdom Matters, a devotional word of biblical encouragement you can read or hear at the end of each day.)

Turn every challenge to God in prayer (for help, see my latest blog, “How to live victoriously in Christ”).

And have faith that the one true God hears you and will always do what is best in response. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was right: “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

What staircase will you begin to climb today?

Denison Forum