Our Daily Bread — A New Beginning

Bible in a Year:

Save me, Lord, from lying lips and from deceitful tongues.

Psalm 120:2

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

Psalm 120:1–121:2

“Christian consciousness begins in the painful realization that what we had assumed was the truth is in fact a lie,” Eugene Peterson wrote in his powerful reflections on Psalm 120Psalm 120 is the first of the Psalms of Ascents (Psalms 120–134) sung by pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem. And as Peterson explored this in A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, these psalms also offer us a picture of the spiritual journey toward God.

That journey can only begin with profound awareness of our need for something different. As Peterson puts it, “A person has to be thoroughly disgusted with the way things are to find the motivation to set out on the Christian way. . . . [One] has to get fed up with the ways of the world before he, before she, acquires an appetite for the world of grace.”

It’s easy to become discouraged by the brokenness and despair we see in the world around us—the pervasive ways our culture often shows callous disregard for the harm being done to others. Psalm 120 laments this honestly: “I am for peace; but when I speak, they are for war” (v. 7).

But there’s healing and freedom in realizing that our pain can also awaken us to a new beginning through our only help, the Savior who can guide us from destructive lies into paths of peace and wholeness (121:2). As we enter this new year, may we seek Him and His ways.

By:  Monica La Rose

Reflect & Pray

How have you become accustomed to destructive ways? How does the gospel invite you into ways of peace? 

Loving God, help me yearn for and work for Your ways of peace through the power of Your Spirit.


Grace to You; John MacArthur – Pursuing God’s Will

In all wisdom and insight [God] made known to us the mystery of His will” (Eph. 1:8-9).

Even if you haven’t obtained academic degrees, you have wisdom that far surpasses the most educated unbeliever.

When God redeemed you, He not only forgave your trespasses and removed the guilt and penalty of sin, but He also gave you spiritual wisdom and insight—two essential elements for godly living. Together they speak of the ability to understand God’s will and apply it to your life in practical ways.

As a believer you understand the most sublime truths of all. For example, you know that God created the world and controls the course of history. You know that mankind’s reason for existence is to know and glorify Him. You have goals and priorities that transcend earthly circumstances and limitations.

Such wisdom and insight escapes unbelievers because they tend to view the things of God with disdain (1 Cor. 2:14). But you “have the mind of Christ” (v. 16). His Word reveals His will and His spirit gives you the desire and ability to understand and obey it.

Today is another opportunity to cultivate that desire through diligent prayer and Bible study. Let the psalmist’s commitment be yours: “O how I love Thy law! It is my meditation all the day. Thy commandments make me wiser than my enemies. . . . I have more insight than all my teachers. . . . I understand more than the aged . . . I have restrained my feet from every evil way, that I may keep Thy word” (Ps. 119:97-101).

Suggestions for Prayer

  • Thank God for the wisdom and insight He gives you through His Word.
  • If you have neglected the Word, ask His forgiveness and begin once again to refresh your spirit with its truths.
  • Ask for wisdom to respond biblically to every situation you face today.

For Further Study

Many Christians think God’s will is vague or hidden from them. But Scripture mentions several specific aspects of His will. Once you align yourself with those specifics, the Spirit will direct you in the other areas of your life.

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur 


Joyce Meyer – Love Much

Therefore I tell you, her sins, many [as they are], are forgiven her— because she has loved much. But he who is forgiven little loves little. And He said to her, Your sins are forgiven!

— Luke 7:47-48 (AMPC)

Mary Magdalene was a woman with a past. She had sold her love by the hour; she was a prostitute. She was called “an especially wicked sinner” by the Pharisees (see Luke 7:37). At one time Jesus cast seven demons out of her (see Luke 8:2).

In Luke 7:36–50, we see the account of Mary anointing Jesus’ feet with a bottle of very expensive perfume, washing them with her tears, and drying them with her hair. Her act of love was seen by other people as being erotic because of her past, but Jesus knew it was an act of pure love.

When we have an unpleasant past, people often misjudge our actions, and we find ourselves trying to convince others that we are acceptable. People don’t forget our past as easily as God does. The Pharisees could not understand Jesus’ allowing Mary to even touch Him. Jesus said that those who have been forgiven much will love much. Mary loved Jesus greatly because He had forgiven her for her great sins. She wanted to give Him the most expensive thing she owned; she wanted to serve Him. He saw her heart, not her past.

Prayer of the Day: Lord, I want to love You in the way that Mary loved You. Thank You for Your forgiveness and cleansing my heart and soul from sin. I will give You my best, amen.


Truth for Life; Alistair Begg – Forgetting God

Stand still that I may plead with you before the Lord concerning all the righteous deeds of the Lord that he performed for you and for your fathers. When Jacob went into Egypt, and the Egyptians oppressed them, then your fathers cried out to the Lord and the Lord sent Moses and Aaron, who brought your fathers out of Egypt and made them dwell in this place. But they forgot the Lord their God.

1 Samuel 12:7-9

Many of our problems arise when we forget to remember.

As the prophet Samuel thought he was drawing toward the end of his time of ministry and prepared to bid farewell to Israel, he wanted the people to consider how immensely good God had been to them. (Samuel would, as it turned out, have many more years of ministry ahead, as God called him first to warn and then to pronounce judgment on King Saul.) God’s grace and provision had been revealed to Israel over and over—and yet, though they had been warned on a couple of occasions, “Take care lest you forget the LORD your God” (Deuteronomy 8:11), they had turned their back on Him, revealing their fickleness. In fact, throughout the generations of the judges, of whom Samuel was the last, Israel “forgot the LORD their God” and instead served false gods (Judges 3:7).

Years later, the Preacher of Ecclesiastes would write, “Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth” (Ecclesiastes 12:1). This means more than remembering that there is a Creator. It means to dwell upon the very “Godness” of God. The Israelites failed to remember Him; in fact, they chose to forget, for it was inconvenient for them to consider God in all His holiness and all His might. And Samuel’s message in response was essentially this: You’re not thinking!

But even though the people forsook Him and forgot His righteous deeds, God didn’t abandon them. He never does abandon His own. Every time, in His mercy, He showed Himself to be righteous in His dealings and gracious in His salvation of and patience with His people.

We must be careful not to judge the Israelites too harshly. God has been abundantly gracious to us as well—and, at times, we also have chosen to forget Him. Whenever we deviate from the narrow path, whenever we seek to slip out from underneath our almighty King’s jurisdiction, we are failing to remember who God is and what He has done for us: that He has buried us in baptism and raised us to newness of life (Romans 6:4).

If you are in Christ, you are no longer the person you once were. You have been made a member of a people who will last forever. So when you face temptation, stop for a moment and remember your Creator. Contemplate the goodness and holiness of God, both in history and in your own experience, and thank Him for His abounding mercy as He deals with you. Don’t forget to remember.


Judges 3:7-11

Topics: Dependence on God Faithfulness of God Trusting God

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


Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – God Is Immutable

“For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.” (Malachi 3:6)

When was the last time you used the word immutable in a sentence? It probably wasn’t recently! But can you guess what immutable means?

If you guessed not changing, you’re right. If something is immutable, it is the same all the time. Of course, human beings (including you) are not immutable. Sometimes you do right, and sometimes you do wrong. You grow and you change. Your looks and likes change.

But God doesn’t change. Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ [is] the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” Think of it:

» The same God who created the universe listens to your prayers.
» The same God who protected Noah on the ark protects you.
» The same God who gave Moses the power to part the Red Sea gives you strength.
» The same God who gave Solomon wisdom gives you wisdom.

You know that the Bible is full of wonderful stories – true stories of battles and courage and love. And God weaves all these stories together to make one magnificent story of deliverance. But did you know that the same God who wrote these stories wants you to be part of His wonderful story?

God is not a myth (a character who existed in a pretend world). God is real; He really is the same God who has always been. And He is the God who will always be. Count on it: God will always be God. He is immutable.

If God did everything He said He did in the Bible, what do you think He wants to do for you? Maybe you should ask Him about it.

God never changes.

My Response:
» Am I depending on the same powerful God that Noah depended on, the same God that Moses and Solomon depended on?
» Am I depending on God to help me as much as He helped them?