Our Daily Bread — Fighting “Flashy” Things

Bible in a Year:

Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.

Proverbs 22:6

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

Proverbs 22:1–6

In the 1960s-era TV series The Andy Griffith Show, a man tells Andy he should let his son Opie decide how he wants to live. Andy disagrees: “You can’t let a young’un decide for himself. He’ll grab at the first flashy thing with shiny ribbons on it. Then, when he finds out there’s a hook in it, it’s too late. Wrong ideas come packaged with so much glitter that it’s hard to convince them that other things might be better in the long run.” He concludes that it’s important for parents to model right behavior and help “keep temptation away.”

Andy’s words are related to the wisdom found in Proverbs: “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it” (22:6). Although many may read these words as a promise, they’re really a guide. All of us are called to make our own decision to believe in Jesus. But we can help lay a biblical foundation through our love for God and Scripture. And we can pray that as the little ones under our care mature, they choose to receive Christ as Savior and walk in His ways and not “in the paths of the wicked” (v. 5). 

Our own victory over “flashy things” through the Holy Spirit’s enabling is also powerful testimony. Jesus’ Spirit helps us to withstand temptation and molds our lives into examples worth imitating.

By:  Alyson Kieda

Reflect & Pray

Why is it helpful to remember that Proverbs 22:6 isn’t a promise but a wise principle? Who can you help to “train up”?

Dear Father, help me to instill Your values into the hearts of the children You’ve placed in my life.


Grace to You; John MacArthur – Understanding Your Calling

“I pray that . . . you may know what is the hope of [God’s] calling” (Eph. 1:18).

The hope of your calling is grounded in God’s promises and in Christ’s accomplishments.

In Ephesians 1:3-14 Paul proclaims the blessings of our salvation. In verse 18 he prays that we will comprehend those great truths, which he summarizes in the phrase “the hope of His calling.”

“Calling” here refers to God’s effectual calling—the calling that redeems the soul. Scripture speaks of two kinds of calling: the gospel or general call and the effectual or specific call. The gospel call is given by men and is a universal call to repent and trust Christ for salvation (e.g., Matt. 28:19Acts 17:30-31). It goes out to all sinners but not all who hear it respond in faith.

The effectual call is given by God only to the elect. By it He speaks to the soul, grants saving faith, and ushers elect sinners into salvation (John 6:37-4465Acts 2:39). All who receive it respond in faith.

The hope that your effectual calling instills is grounded in God’s promises and Christ’s accomplishments (1 Pet. 1:3), and is characterized by confidently expecting yet patiently waiting for those promises to be fulfilled. It is your hope of final glorification and of sharing God’s glory when Christ returns (Col. 3:4). It is a source of strength and stability amid the trials of life (1 Pet. 3:14-15). Consequently it should fill you with joy (Rom. 5:2) and motivate you to godly living (1 John 3:3).

As you face this new day, do so with the confidence that you are one of God’s elect. He called you to Himself and will hold you there no matter what circumstances you face. Nothing can separate you from His love (Rom. 8:38-39)!

Suggestions for Prayer

  • Thank God for the security of your salvation.
  • Ask Him to impress on your heart the blessings and responsibilities of your calling.
  • Live today in anticipation of Christ’s imminent return.

For Further Study

Joshua’s call to lead Israel was not a call to salvation, but it illustrates some important principles for spiritual leadership. You might not see yourself as a spiritual leader, but you are important to those who look to you as an example of Christian character.

Read Joshua 1:1-9 then answer these questions:

  • What were the circumstances of Joshua’s call (vv. 1-2)?
  • What promises did God make to him (vv. 3-6)?
  • What did God require of him (vv. 7-9)?

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur 


Joyce Meyer – Be Thankful at All Times

 I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.

— Psalm 34:1 (AMPC)

Some people are very thankful for every little thing that is done for them, while others are never satisfied, no matter how much is done on their behalf. Be grateful for the lessons you’ve learned, especially the hard ones because we tend to learn the most during tough times.

Choose to be a grateful person—one filled with gratitude not only toward God, but also toward people. When someone does something nice for you, let that person know you appreciate it.

Meditate daily on all the things you have to be thankful for. Speak them to the Lord in prayer, and as you do, you will find your heart filling up with His peace, love, and joy. I believe thankful people are happy people, so go ahead and increase your joy today by being thankful.

Prayer of the Day: Father, thank You for being with me through the tough times and for the lessons I’ve learned along the way. Thank You for putting people in my life you have helped me in the past and continue to help me now. I love You, and thank You for my many blessings, amen.


Truth for Life; Alistair Begg – Saints in Christ

Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi…

Philippians 1:1

What is meant by the word “saint”? How does one become a saint? What role do saints play in the church?

While there are certainly individuals in church history who have been strikingly effective and particularly used by God, in the language of the New Testament there is no basis for titling someone “Saint So-and-So” while the rest of us are called by our ordinary names. Biblically, saints are not a special group of outstanding Christians who have done something peculiarly pious. Saints are normal Christians who follow Jesus.

“Saint” is simply the New Testament word used to describe every believer. In the introductions to Paul’s letters, he frequently addressed the recipients as “saints.” The word means “set-apart ones” or “holy ones,” and all Christians are those who have been set apart from what they once were in sin and set apart for Christ. They are His treasured possession—His saints.

And if you are in Christ, so too are you.

The key to becoming a saint, then, is not building up a résumé of good deeds; it is being “in Christ Jesus.” The Bible says that by nature, we are “in Adam,” and unless we are placed into Christ, we remain in Adam and will die in our sins (1 Corinthians 15:22). Jesus came to do all that Adam failed to do and undo all that Adam did in the fall. People are brought from their experience in Adam to a new experience in Christ by His atoning death on the cross. Paul puts it this way: “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Here is the real question about sainthood: not “Am I in church?” but “Am I in Christ?” It’s good to be “in church,” but just as someone can be “in a garage” and not become a car, someone can be “in church” and not be a Christian. If we are not in Christ, we are still the same old stuff—religiously painted up and spiritually interested, perhaps, but fundamentally unchanged.

Are you in Christ? If so, then you are a saint! All the benefits and blessings of being in Christ Jesus accrue to you, and you have the privilege of living for Him. Paul’s addressing of ordinary Christians as saints stood as a reminder to them: This is what you are, and this is what you should live as. You are different. You are not to be like the world. You are His. Rejoice today, this moment, if He has set you apart for Himself, and live in freedom to the praise of His glory.


Ephesians 1:1-14

Topics: Christian Living Jesus Christ Security in Christ

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


Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional –

“The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1)

Walking around the garage in complete darkness is a bad idea. If the room is pitch black, you’ll probably hurt yourself. You might bump into the car or trip over a baseball bat or a basketball. And you’ll probably stub your toe or hit your head. That could be painful!

But if you take a flashlight with you, everything will change. You’ll see where you’re going, and you won’t stub your toe or hit your head, because of the light you have with you.

What are some facts about light? Light makes things clear and easy to see. Light shows us where to go and keeps us from getting hurt. Light draws our attention to things. Can you think of some other facts about light?

The Bible says that God is light.

God makes things clear in His Word. God makes things easy to see with His will. God draws our attention to Himself. God is the perfect light. And this Light – God – belongs to you, if you are saved.

1 John 1:5 says, “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.”

Next time you flip on the light-switch in your bedroom, remember this: it is just as important to see God and His light as it is to see the light in your room.

God is the perfect light.

My Response:
» What do I need God to help me see?
» How can I use God’s Word be a light in my life?

Denison Forum – Army veteran fined for praying silently near abortion facility

This morning’s headlines include former Vice President Mike Pence’s discovery of classified documents in his Indiana home; House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s decision to block two Democrats from serving on the Intelligence Committee; the firing of several Ukrainian officials in an anti-corruption purge; the Justice Department’s lawsuit against Google; another mass shooting in California; and storms that inflicted extensive damage to communities near Houston.

Since none of these stories directly affects me in Dallas, Texas, I read the first four with interest and the last two with sorrow, but none of them with existential concern.

Will FCA clubs be barred?

By contrast, these stories feel very different to me:

  • A UK army veteran was fined for praying silently near an abortion facility.
  • A Christian charity worker in Malta could face jail time after stating publicly that his faith enabled him to turn from a homosexual lifestyle he no longer wanted.
  • A group of pro-abortion and freedom-from-religion activists demonstrated at the home of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh on Sunday evening to mark the fiftieth anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
  • A Michigan state law is threatening a Christian medical nonprofit for operating according to its Christian beliefs.
  • A federal appeals court will decide whether Fellowship of Christian Athletes groups should be barred from high school campuses in San Jose, California, since the club does not permit LGBTQ students to serve as club leaders.

Do these stories feel more personal to you as well?

One reason we responded as we did is that attacks on another person’s Christian faith could obviously become attacks on ours as well. A rising tide raises—or damages—all boats.

Another is that we are members of the global body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27). A hand or foot in pain is obviously felt by the entire body. It is—or should be—the same with the body of Christ.

But there’s a third dimension to these stories and the rising tide of anti-Christian animosity they illustrate, one that is foundational to the others and a factor that tempts Christians as much as it tempts our opponents.

“Don’t hide behind religion”

Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov chose not to wear a rainbow jersey during warmups for the team’s recent Pride Night. He cited his religious beliefs as the reason: “I respect everybody, and I respect everybody’s choices. My choice is to stay true to myself and my religion.” He also said that he is Russian Orthodox.

Interestingly, his jerseys sold out online in the days following.

Nonetheless, one sports pundit called on the National Hockey League to fine the Flyers $1 million over Provorov’s “insulting” comments. Another said the Russian-born player should go back to his homeland and join the war against Ukraine. A third called the player out for previously participating in the Flyers’ military appreciation event: “Ivan Provorov is more than happy to play pregame dress-up when it does align with his belief system.” A fourth warned him, “Don’t hide behind religion.”

Their reaction makes my point: our culture is convinced that religion is so private, personal, and subjective that it should have no bearing on our public lives or society. This conclusion has become conventional wisdom in Western society, whether in the UK, Malta, or the US.

“In Israel, Judaism is the prevailing culture”

By contrast, the Jerusalem Post notes that “in Israel, Judaism is more than a building or a property. In Israel, Judaism is more than prayer. In Israel, Judaism is even more than God. In Israel, Judaism is the pervading culture.”

Having led more than thirty trips to the Holy Land, I can attest that this is true. From Shabbat laws that restrict working (and even pushing elevator buttons) on the Sabbath to kosher dietary restrictions in restaurants across the nation, Judaism dominates every dimension of Israeli life.

I have traveled widely in Muslim and Asian countries and can tell you that the same is true there. From the five pillars of Islam to the Four Noble Truths and Noble Eightfold Path of Buddhism, religion is not separate from the “real world”—it forms and frames it.

In our culture, by contrast, religion is to be kept separate from public life. It is viewed as a personal hobby, nothing more. As such, it is to be given no more weight or warrant in public life than any other hobby.

I like watching car auctions on television and listening to classical music, but I obviously have no right to make you watch or listen to what I prefer or tell you that your personal tastes are wrong. In the same way, our culture thinks, a Christian should not pray in front of an abortion clinic, discuss in public the impact of his faith on his sexuality, or seek to live by his faith convictions as an attorney, physician, or high school athlete.

When we make faith a hobby

My purpose today is less to critique secular society for treating our faith like a hobby than it is to warn Christians that we must not follow suit.

Jesus taught us: “Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). If Jesus is not Lord of every dimension of our lives, he cannot bless, redeem, and use every dimension of our lives. A painter cannot paint a room she is not permitted to enter.

When we make faith a hobby, we lose all an all-loving, all-knowing, all-powerful Father can do for his children.

Will you bear “much fruit” today?

Denison Forum

Hagee Ministries; John Hagee –  Daily Devotion

Psalm 34:4

I sought the Lord, and He heard me, And delivered me from all my fears.

We all have fears. People fear failure, the unknown and change. People fear rejection, which is why they’re willing to morph into what other people believe they should be. People fear conflict, which is why they’ll do anything to avoid it. People fear death because they’re afraid that the promises of everlasting life might not be true.

Whenever I look for a profile of courage to encourage me, the shepherd boy named David, who faced a giant with a slingshot, tops my list. But for all his acts of courage, he said he didn’t just have a fear; he had many fears. And when he considered his fears, no matter what they were, he had one solution—to seek the Lord. When he sought the Lord, he was “delivered” from them, which means the fears were taken off of him, but he was not delivered from the situation. Suddenly in the midst of conflict, he had the courage to do what he needed to do to solve the problem, whether it was a giant or to rule and build the kingdom. Courage for David, and for all of us, is the strength to control our fears and to do what God calls us to do.

Today’s Blessing: 

Now may the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you and give you His peace. May the Lord bring to you blessed assurance—the peace of God that surpasses all understanding which will crush every element of fear. May God bring you through the fiery furnace without the smell of smoke upon you. May God lift every burden from you and give you the faith to shout the victory on the darkest night of your life. God is your helper and your strength; therefore, it is well with your soul. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad. The battle is the Lord’s, and the victory has already been won in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Today’s Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

Genesis 50:1-Exodus 2:10

New Testament 

Matthew 16:13-17:9

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 21:1-13

Proverbs 5:1-6


Turning Point; David Jeremiah – No Outcasts

Do not let the son of the foreigner who has joined himself to the Lord speak, saying, “The Lord has utterly separated me from His people”; nor let the eunuch say, “Here I am, a dry tree.” For thus says the Lord.
Isaiah 56:3-4

 Recommended Reading: Isaiah 56:1-8

Isaiah 56 is an unusual passage, written to two groups of outcasts. The first were foreigners. The others were Jewish males who had been mutilated by the Babylonian invaders. They were eunuchs. Sometimes we, too, feel like outcasts or suffer the loss of something the world has taken from us.

In Isaiah 56, the Lord invited foreigners and eunuchs to join themselves to Him, to serve Him, and to love His Name (verse 6). He promised, “Even them I will bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer” (verse 7).

In Christ, there are no castaways; in heaven there are no outcasts. We’re included in the grace of Christ. Rejoice today knowing that we are no longer outcasts!

The gospel brings me explosive news: my search for approval is over. In Christ I already have all the approval I need.
Dave Harvey


Harvest Ministries; Greg Laurie – A Prerequisite for Discipleship

 If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. 

—Luke 14:26


Luke 14:26 

The popularity of Jesus was exploding. Everybody wanted to be near Him. But He could see there were a lot of individuals who didn’t understand what it really meant to be His disciples. He knew that a lot of them were nothing more than fair-weather followers.

One day Jesus turned to the adoring masses and laid out the criteria for what it means to be His disciples. His words still ring true for us today.

These perhaps were among the most solemn and searching words that ever fell from the lips of Jesus Christ. And this is the only time He explained the severity of His terms for disciples.

He began, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:26 NKJV).

A statement like that sounds shocking to us today. Why is Jesus asking us to hate members of our families and even our own lives?

In the light of the New Testament, Jesus was not demanding an unqualified hatred. After all, He would not command us to honor our fathers and mothers and then tell us to hate them. Nor would He command husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church and then tell them to hate their wives. And He wouldn’t tell His followers to love their enemies and then hate them.

Jesus essentially was saying, “Are you willing to be more than just a fair-weather friend?”

If you really want to be His disciple and live the Christian life to its fullest, then you must love Jesus more than anyone or anything else.

In what seems to be a paradoxical statement, there is very clear logic: by loving God more than anyone else, we develop a new love for others that we have never known.