Our Daily Bread — Mercy for You and Me

Bible in a Year:

He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever.

Psalm 103:9

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

Psalm 103:8–12

One of consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic was the docking of cruise ships and the quarantining of passengers. The Wall Street Journal featured an article that included interviews of some of the tourists. Commenting about how being quarantined provided more opportunities for conversations, one passenger joked how his spouse—who possessed an excellent memory—was able to bring up every transgression he ever had and sensed she wasn’t done yet!

Accounts like this might make us smile, remind us of our humanness, and serve to caution us if we’re prone to hold too tightly to the things we should release. Yet what helps us to be kindly disposed to those who hurt us? Glimpses of our great God, as He’s portrayed in passages like Psalm 103:8–12.

The Message’s rendering of verses 8–10 is noteworthy: “God is sheer mercy and grace; not easily angered, he’s rich in love. He doesn’t endlessly nag and scold, nor hold grudges forever. He doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve, nor pay us back in full for our wrongs.” Asking for God’s help as we prayerfully read Scripture can cause us to have second thoughts about ill-conceived payback or plans to punish. And it can prompt prayers for ourselves and for those we may be tempted to harm by withholding grace, mercy, and forgiveness.

By:  Arthur Jackson

Reflect & Pray

Who have you been tempted to harm because of the hurt they’ve caused you? Who can you ask to pray for you?

God of mercy, kindness, and forgiveness, please help me to extend grace and mercy to those who’ve caused me pain.


Grace to You; John MacArthur – Trusting in God’s Power

“I pray that … you may know … the surpassing greatness of [God’s] power toward us who believe” (Eph. 1:18-19).

The same divine power that created, sustains, and controls the universe secures your salvation.

God’s power is awesome! David wrote, “Thine, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Thine is the dominion, O Lord, and Thou dost exalt Thyself as head over all. Both riches and honor come from Thee, and Thou dost rule over all, and in Thy hand is power and might; and it lies in Thy hand to make great, and to strengthen everyone. Now therefore, our God, we thank Thee, and praise Thy glorious name” (1 Chron.29:11-13).

In Ephesians 1:19 Paul focuses on one key feature of God’s power: His ability to secure the salvation of His people. And he prays for you to understand the surpassing greatness of that truth.

The Greek word translated “power” is dunamis, from which we get dynamite and dynamo. This power is active, dynamic, and compelling—and it is mightily at work on your behalf. You might not always sense it, but it’s there nonetheless.

Peter expresses the same thought in 1 Peter 1:5, where he says you are “protected by the power of God through faith” in Christ. In that verse “protected” means “to keep or guard” and reflects Peter’s confidence that salvation is inviolable.

The same limitless power that created, sustains, and controls the universe saved you and keeps you saved. That’s why Jesus said no one can snatch you out of the Father’s hand (John 10:29). Not even Satan has the power to do that. Paul confidently added that nothing therefore can separate you from God’s love (Rom. 8:38-39). That’s the confidence you should have as you live each day.

Suggestions for Prayer

Pray for greater spiritual enlightenment and a clearer understanding of your security in Christ. Nothing will rob you of your assurance quicker than unconfessed sin. If that has happened to you, confess it immediately and turn from it. Then ask God to restore to you the joy of your salvation.

For Further Study

Read 1 Chronicles 29:11-13.

  • What prerogatives did David attribute to God (vv. 11-12)?
  • What was David’s response to God’s power (v. 13)?

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur 


Joyce Meyer – One Day at a Time

Give us this day our daily bread.

— Matthew 6:11 (AMPC)

God helps us as we put our trust in Him, not as we worry and fret about how we are going to solve our future problems. When we use today to worry about tomorrow, we end up wasting today. It is useless. Instead, we can come to God, trusting His provision, one day at a time.

Our walk with God is called a “daily walk” for a reason: We need His help every day.

We can get out of debt, exercise, lose weight, graduate from college, parent a special needs child, or be successful at anything we need to do if we will put our trust in God and take life one day at a time. Jesus said not to worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow would have sufficient trouble of its own (see Matthew 6:34).

Prayer of the Day: Father, I trust You to grant me strength to face every difficulty I encounter. Help me keep a good attitude, filled with Your Holy Spirit, and always be thankful in every situation, amen.


Truth for Life; Alistair Begg – Leaving Matters in God’s Hands

Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. She had a female Egyptian servant whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said to Abram, “Behold now, the Lord has prevented me from bearing children. Go in to my servant; it may be that I shall obtain children by her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai.

Genesis 16:1-2

Life is difficult, and living as a Christian does not mean we are spared those difficulties. As we face illness, unemployment, heartache, broken relationships, and other challenges, we are confronted by this fundamental question: Will we walk the path of faith or will we try to take matters into our own hands?

Abraham was a man who was just like us—he experienced both triumph and failure in his walk of faith. God had promised to make his family a nation and to bless the world through someone from that nation (Genesis 12:1-3). Though childless, elderly Abraham and his wife, Sarah, would have their “very own son” who would be their heir (15:4). Abraham “believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness” (v 6).

But after years and years of waiting, Abraham’s faith wavered. Presumably, on a monthly basis, their hopes would rise and collapse—and with every passing month and year, Sarah grew older, sadder, and more impatient. So it was that they reached a crisis of faith. They knew that God is real, that God is all-powerful, and that God had promised them a son, but they also knew they didn’t yet have a son. Would they allow the questions of their hearts to overturn their faith or would they allow their faith to overturn the questions of their hearts?

The verses above narrate the sorry conclusion: they took matters into their own hands, and the solution that they adopted was self-effort. In their doubting and despair, Sarah ordered Abraham to sleep with her maidservant, Hagar, in hopes of bringing about the promised child, and Abraham complied.

It was the wrong decision. Doubting that God would keep His promise, they instead sought to bring it about by their own (immoral) actions. They made their decision based on expediency. They didn’t ask, What is right? They asked, What will work? They allowed pragmatism to be their guide over and against faith—and in doing so, they brought about more suffering, more pain, and more heartache for themselves and for Hagar. They thought that intervening would simplify things; instead, it complicated everything.

Whenever we set faith aside and apply self-effort, we complicate our lives. Whenever we seek to take things into our own hands and make our own plans instead of trusting God to keep His promises, we end up with chaos and heartache. Faith and waiting go hand in hand. Do not lose heart as you sit in life’s waiting rooms. It is always right to wait upon God, and it is always right to wait for God. In what area of your life do you need to live this out today?


Job 1:13-21

Topics: Faith Faithfulness of God Patience

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


Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – God’s Spirit Helps Us Speak His Truth

“That we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” (1 Corinthians 2:12b-13)

When Peter had to prepare oral book reports for school, he always asked his dad for help. Peter thought every sentence his dad said sounded perfect for his report, and he knew that he would never have been smart enough to think of them on his own. It just seemed like his dad always knew just the right thing to say.

When it comes to speaking about God, the Holy Spirit gives us the perfect things to say. The Bible says we are supposed to be speaking about what God has “given to us.” But we are not supposed to speak with “man’s wisdom” – including our own wisdom and our parents’ wisdom. The Holy Spirit teaches us the wisdom that we need to use. He is our teacher.

The Bible is not saying that the Holy Spirit is going to write your book reports for you or that you should not ask your parents to help you prepare for a speech about God. The Bible is saying that every time you talk about God’s truth, the Holy Spirit is helping you. God has given us the Holy Spirit to help us understand “spiritual things” and then to help us tell others about those spiritual truths.

God will help us speak His truth.

My Response:
» Do I depend on my own brain or on the Holy Spirit when I talk to others about God’s truth?

Denison Forum – Controversial WWII museum exhibit highlights “the bad sides of history”

January 27 is International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

It was designated as such by the United Nations General Assembly in 2005 to mark the date when the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp was liberated sixty years prior. The hope is that the day of remembrance can commemorate the victims of the Nazi regime, promote education about the Holocaust, and inspire people to work to prevent further genocide.

But while nations around the world will set aside time today to remember those who died, the proper form of that remembrance remains a matter of some debate. And as those in charge of Amsterdam’s Resistance Museum (Verzetsmuseum) have learned recently, some can be very vocal when they believe the memory of those who passed has not been honored correctly.

Humanizing the heroes and the villains

The Resistance Museum has existed in Amsterdam since 1985. For most of that history, the displays focused on highlighting the efforts made by the Dutch resistance movement to subvert the Germans across the five years they occupied the Netherlands. However, the museum’s new offering represents a slightly different approach.

The new exhibit highlights the role that one hundred individuals played in the Netherlands during World War II. But whereas such exhibits often traditionally focus on people who resisted the Nazi occupation, the museum has chosen to feature those who collaborated with the Germans as well.

Liesbeth van der Horst, the museum’s director, told reporters “We are offering new perspectives, a different emphasis. By showing the choice these people made [to collaborate] you highlight how courageous it was to choose to resist.”

But, as Nina Siegal writes, not everyone sees it that way. And, given that nearly 75 percent of Dutch Jews were deported and murdered by the Nazis during the war—by far the largest percentage in western Europe—it remains an emotional subject for many.

Jalda Rebling, whose family was part of the resistance, argued that by humanizing both the heroes and the villains of the story, “the whole wartime disappears into a grayish state.”

However, if that’s the case, van der Horst does not seem to mind.

More than “monsters and heroes”

“We don’t just have monsters and heroes,” the museum’s director notes. Rather, “people are people and you have many shades between good and bad.”

Van der Horst went on to add that “we show pictures of some Nazis, especially Dutch Nazis, because they are also part of our history. The bad sides of history also have to be included.”

To that end, the exhibit includes short vignettes on people like Hannie Schaft—a law student who “sabotaged German military operations and shot Nazis”—right next to that of Emil Rühl, who worked for months to catch her before ultimately handing her over to be killed by the Germans.

Wim Henneicke, who led a “Jew hunting” group, and Gerard Mooyman who, as a teenager, was “so impressed” by German propaganda that he joined up and served on their front lines, are other examples of people who would not have previously made the display but now feature prominently alongside resistance fighters.

Forcing people to grapple with that side of their history was an integral part of the exhibit’s purpose.

As van der Horst described, they wanted their audience to recognize that “in the face of a threatening dictatorial regime, it’s not easy to just act. Sometimes people judge too easily, in hindsight. They say, ‘More people should have been involved in the resistance,’ and ‘They didn’t do enough.’ Of course, it’s true, they didn’t do enough, but it was not that easy to do enough. . . . You cannot expect resistance from everybody.”

In general, most of us like to think that we would stand up to evil when given the opportunity. Yet, history shows repeatedly that the vast majority of people will not. There are shades of gray to every person, and one of my favorite parts about reading the Bible is that it does not shy away from that fact.

Present faithfulness does not guarantee future obedience

Whether it’s the villains or the heroes, it’s rare for a biblical character to be completely good or completely evil.

For example, with the exception of Jesus, Scripture does not include any infallible heroes, and I believe there are two primary reasons why that’s the case.

First, acknowledging that even the most important figures in biblical history were fallen people helps us to realize that there is no reason we cannot follow God as well.

Prominent figures like Gideon and Moses, for example, tested the Lord repeatedly before agreeing to serve him (Judges 6Exodus 3). And the disciples failed Jesus on countless occasions before going on to become the leaders of his burgeoning church. It can be reassuring to remember that the Lord can use us just as readily as he used them if we are willing to follow his will.

Second, by humanizing its heroes, God’s word cautions us that present faithfulness does not guarantee future obedience. Every choice we make presents us with the opportunity to follow God’s will or our own, and the consequences of either choice can be profound.

David, for example, was a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14) through whom the Lord accomplished truly amazing feats. However, decades of faithfulness did not stop him from assaulting Bathsheba, arranging her husband’s murder, and then trying to cover it all up (2 Samuel 11). Nor did it keep him from becoming a negligent father (2 Samuel 13), an impotent leader (2 Samuel 15), or a vindictive old man (1 Kings 2).

If David could fail so absolutely after starting so strongly, you and I can as well.

At the same time, even the villains in the Bible are rarely without some redeeming quality.

The religious leaders during the time of Christ, for example, were mostly well-intentioned people who just wanted to help their fellow Jews follow the Lord. And Paul was much the same prior to his conversion. They were sincere in their belief that opposing Jesus was an act of service to God. That they were utterly wrong in that belief does not change that there was often some pious motivation behind it.

Ultimately, none of us are so good that we are beyond the need for God’s help or so bad that we are beyond his redemption. And though there is room to disagree with the Dutch Resistance Museum’s approach to teaching people about their people’s history, the exhibit does a good job of reminding us of that fact.

Every day brings the chance to be a hero or a villain in God’s story.

Choose wisely.

Denison Forum

Hagee Ministries; John Hagee –  Daily Devotion

1 John 3:8

He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.

Why did God send His only begotten Son into the world to go to Calvary, conquer death, hell and the grave, and rise on the third day? So that He might break the chains of sin from our shackled and tattered lives, mend our ruined lives, and give us the opportunity to see our lives changed, thus destroying the works of the devil. Every time you encounter Jesus’ presence, He has the ability to meet your every need according to His riches in glory. He can heal sickness in your body, lift the burdens and yokes off of you, and set you free from bondage and addiction. For whom the Son sets free is free indeed!

When you see what Jesus came to do, the first thing you have to ask yourself is whether you are willing to allow Him to do His work in your life. Jesus said, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes” (Mark 9:23). You have to believe He can destroy the works of the devil in your life before He will. Today, recognize that you need to see Him as your only source and put Him first. Let Him in and let Him do His work.

Today’s Blessing: 

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 you walk in the confidence that Jesus Christ is Lord, and all of our tomorrows are safe and secure in Him. Lift up your heads and rejoice, the King of glory is coming, and the victory is ours in Christ the Lord. Hope thou in God for He is the source of our strength. In Jesus’ name, we receive this blessing, Amen.

Today’s Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

Exodus 4:1-5:21

New Testament 

Matthew 18:1-22

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 22:19-31

Proverbs 5:15-21


Turning Point; David Jeremiah – Compelled and Propelled

For the love of Christ compels us.
2 Corinthians 5:14

 Recommended Reading: 2 Corinthians 5:12-15

When someone asked missionary David Livingstone why he had forsaken a life of ease to explore Africa and share the Gospel, he replied, “The love of Christ compels me.” In the museum dedicated to him in his hometown of Blantyre, Scotland, visitors can still see those words emblazed by his name.

God so loved the world that He sent Jesus. And Jesus so loved the world that He sends us. He said, “As the Father has sent Me, I also send you” (John 20:21). We often grow weary of preparing to teach the church preschool class or teach the small group that meets every Wednesday night. Perhaps we wonder if our financial support for missions does any good.

Why don’t we stop? One reason! The same love that compelled Christ to leave heaven and propelled Him to earth also compels and propels us. Because of God’s love for us, we are able to love others. By loving others as God loves us, we can point them to Christ and God’s marvelous gift of salvation.

Ask God for a fresh dose of His compelling love!

God had an only Son, and He was a missionary and physician. A poor, poor imitation of Him I am, or wish to be.
David Livingstone


Harvest Ministries; Greg Laurie – Losing Yourself and Finding God’s Best

 So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple. 

—Luke 14:33


Luke 14:33 

When Jesus said, “Whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple,” did He mean that Christians must take a vow of poverty and give away every possession?

No. Jesus was saying that we need to surrender our claim to our possessions. It simply means that we understand the ID tags on all that we have are not ours; they’re God’s.

It means that you recognize it is the Lord’s family that He has given you. It is the Lord’s life that you are the steward of. They are the Lord’s resources that you are spending. It is the Lord’s house that He has given to you.

The Bible says, “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:19–20 NKJV).

We surrender our claim and say, “Lord, it belongs to You. What do You want me to do?” Then we pursue the path that He has for us.

The apostle Paul summed it up well when he said, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20 NKJV).

The crucified life really means one thing: dying to self. It means losing yourself and, in the process, finding yourself. Through death you find life.

What it doesn’t mean is that we will be miserable and unable to live life to its fullest. It means the opposite. When we discover God’s plan for us, life becomes what it was meant to be.