Our Daily Bread — We Are Strangers

Bible in a Year:

The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born.

Leviticus 19:34

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

Leviticus 19:32–37

Everything felt drastically different in their new country—new language, schools, customs, traffic, and weather. They wondered how they would ever adjust. People from a nearby church gathered around them to help them in their new life in a new land. Patti took the couple shopping at a local food market to show them what’s available and how to purchase items. As they wandered around the market, their eyes widened and they smiled broadly when they saw their favorite fruit from their homeland—pomegranates. They bought one for each of their children and even placed one in Patti’s hands in gratefulness. The small fruit and new friends brought big comfort in their strange, new land.

God, through Moses, gave a list of laws for His people, which included a command to treat foreigners among them “as your native-born” (Leviticus 19:34). “Love them as yourself,” God further commanded. Jesus called this the second greatest commandment after loving God (Matthew 22:39). For even God “watches over the foreigner” (Psalm 146:9).

Besides obeying God as we help new friends adapt to life in our country, we may be reminded that we too in a real sense are “strangers on earth” (Hebrews 11:13). And we’ll grow in our anticipation of the new heavenly land to come.

By:  Anne Cetas

Reflect & Pray

Who might God want you to look after? In what ways has He gifted you to spread His love to others?

Compassionate God, I understand a little what it feels like to be a stranger in this world. Lead me to be an encourager of other foreigners and strangers.


Grace to You; John MacArthur – God Is Spirit

 “‘God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth’” (John 4:24).

God is a person, but He has no physical characteristics.

As we begin our study of God, we must understand first of all that He is a person, not some unknowable cosmic force. In His Word, God is called Father, Shepherd, Friend, Counselor, and many other personal names. God is always referred to as “He,” not “it.” He also has personal characteristics: He thinks, acts, feels, and speaks.

We will learn three aspects of God’s person in the next several days: God is spirit, God is one, and God is three. First, God has no physical body as we have: “God is spirit” (John 4:24), and “a spirit does not have flesh and bones” (Luke 24:39). Paul says He is “invisible” (1 Tim. 1:17). God represented Himself as light, fire, and cloud in the Old Testament and in the human form of Jesus Christ in the New Testament. But such visible revelations did not reveal the totality or fullness of God’s nature.

You may wonder about verses like Psalm 98:1, “His right hand and His holy arm have gained the victory for Him,” and Proverbs 15:3, “The eyes of the Lord are in every place.” These descriptions are called anthropomorphisms, from the Greek words for “man” and “form.” They picture God as though He were a man because God has chosen to describe Himself in a way we can comprehend. If He did not accommodate His revelation to our finite level, we would have no hope of understanding Him. You should not take anthropomorphisms literally, however. Otherwise you will have a false view of God that robs Him of His real nature and His true power. Look at Psalm 91:4: “Under His wings you may seek refuge.” God is certainly not a bird, and “God is not a man” (Num. 23:19). He is spirit.

Suggestions for Prayer

Thank God that He has enabled physical creatures like us to know Him.

For Further Study

Even though God is invisible, “since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made” (Rom. 1:20). Read the response of a godly man to God’s natural revelation in Psalm 104.

From Strength for Today by John MacArthur 


Joyce Meyer – Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy?

— Proverbs 27:4 (NIV)

Jealousy and Envy

Jealousy is often referred to as the “green-eyed monster.” It is a monster because it devours the life of those who permit it in their hearts. God has a special, individualized plan for each of us. Being jealous of another person is pointless because no matter how much we wish it, we cannot ever have anyone else’s life. Neither can we have the specific aspect of their life that makes us jealous of them.

A jealous and envious person is never content, and God wants us to be content always, trusting that He is doing—and will continue to do—great things in our lives. Being jealous of what others have or can do prevents us from seeing the blessings in our own lives. Jealousy is not new; it has been around since people began to inhabit the earth. Early in the story of Genesis, Cain was jealous of Abel, and he murdered him because of it. In 1 Samuel, King Saul was so jealous of David that he continually tried to kill him, and at times the jealousy drove him mad. In addition, some of Jesus’ 12 disciples were jealous of one another, asking Him which of them was the greatest.

The Bible tells us that jealousy can even make us sick: A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones (Proverbs 14:30 NIV). Being jealous or envious is foolish and a total waste of time. Wisdom recommends that we live at peace, be content with what we have, and be thankful in all things.

Prayer of the Day: Father, I’m sorry for being jealous and envious of other people. You have blessed me, and I want to be very thankful for what You have done and are doing in my life. Help me in the future to resist jealousy in the power of the Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name, amen.


Truth for Life; Alistair Begg – Hardened by Sin’s Deceit

When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had long desired to see him, because he had heard about him, and he was hoping to see some sign done by him. So he questioned him at some length, but he made no answer.

Luke 23:8-9

Jesus’ arrival at Herod’s palace on the first Good Friday was an occasion of great delight for the intrigued king. As ruler over the districts where Jesus had conducted His public ministry, Herod would have routinely received news of Jesus’ miracles, teaching, and influence. And so, following Jesus’ arrest, Herod “questioned him at some length” and hoped “to see some sign done by him.” But Jesus wouldn’t speak. At the time when Herod was ready to do business with Jesus, the Son of God “made no answer.”

Why didn’t Jesus respond? Was He not missing an evangelistic opportunity? No—Jesus knew Herod’s motives and his condition and that, in actual fact, Herod’s heart was hardened and unrepentant. And so Jesus called Herod out by responding in silence, thus giving Herod the opportunity to display his true colors. And that’s exactly what happened: the silence infuriated the king so much that he “treated him with contempt and mocked him. Then, arraying him in splendid clothing, he sent him back to Pilate” (Luke 23:11).

There had been a time in Herod’s life when he hadn’t already been hardened by sin’s deceit. As he listened to John the Baptist preach, Herod “was greatly perplexed, and yet he heard him gladly” (Mark 6:20). John’s preaching stirred Herod. But when the preacher’s words began to confront Herod with his own sin—his adultery, his lustful heart—then, at that point, he didn’t want to hear any more (Matthew 14:4-5).

What happened to Herod can happen to us. Herod was trapped by his sin, and when faced with his problem he refused to change. Rather than responding in humble repentance, he attempted to cover his sin, so much so that as time passed, he was less and less in a position to respond to the good news of the gospel. Ultimately, Herod’s rejection of John’s preaching resulted in a hardened heart that could only ridicule and mock the one of whom John had spoken. As Sinclair Ferguson writes, “Unless we silence sin, sin will silence our consciences. Unless we heed God’s word, the day may come when we despise God’s Son—and then God will have nothing more to say to us.”[1] In the words of the hymn writer, Herod stands as a warning to:

Wait not till the shadows lengthen, till you older grow;
Rally now and sing for Jesus, ev’rywhere you go.[2]

Sin is deceitful, and it will harden you (Hebrews 3:13). So examine yourself. Are there areas of your life about which God’s word has spoken clearly, but you are resisting rather than repenting? Resist no longer. Seek forgiveness and commit to change, and know that you need never fear the silence of Christ.


James 4:4-10

Topics: Power of Sin Repentance Sin


1 Let’s Study Mark (Banner of Truth, 1999), p 90.

2 John R. Colgan, “Mighty Army of the Young” (1891).

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


Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – God Knows Each of His Children

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27)

Annie has two best friends, and she does everything with them. She has sleepovers at their houses, roller-skates with them during recess, swims with their families in the summertime, and does just about every single thing that she can with them. Annie knows what classes her best friends like in school; she knows what their favorite games are to play; she even knows what kinds of food they like. Annie loves spending time with her friends, and the more she knows about them, the more she enjoys being with them.

God knows each one of us completely. 2 Timothy 2:19 says that God knows all His children. Not only does He know the things our family and our friends know, but He also knows things that no one else knows. When there are things that you don’t want anyone else to know, God already knows and is willing to listen to you talk about them. When you are excited or sad about something, God already knows and wants to hear about it. Just like you enjoy spending time with your best friends, you should enjoy spending time with God. God loves you more than anyone else ever could.

God knows everything about you!

My Response:
» Do you talk to God about things that matter to you? Do you rely on His help and comfort more than anyone else’s?
» Is there anything you don’t want God to know?

Denison Forum – Scientists aim to resurrect the dodo: How the power of small change can change the world

The old cliché that something went “the way of the dodo” could soon have a very different meaning.

As Antonio Regaldo writes for the MIT Technology Review, scientists at Colossal Biosciences in Austin, Texas, are currently working to resurrect the bird that has become synonymous with extinction. If your mind is trending toward Jurassic Park flashbacks as you read, you’re not too far off base.

Is the dodo bird coming back?

Colossal’s process works by genetically altering the Nicobar pigeon—the dodo’s closest living relative—to gradually turn it into its long-dead ancestor. This process is made possible by the research of Beth Shapiro and her team at the University of California, Santa Cruz, who recently recovered the extinct bird’s DNA from the five-hundred-year-old remains of a dodo at a museum in Denmark.

However, the dodo is not the only creature that Colossal is trying to bring back to life. By 2029, Ben Lamm, Colossal’s CEO, estimates that they will have successfully turned an elephant into a wooly mammoth, with the Tasmanian tiger also on their list of current projects.

Still, with any of the experiments it remains unclear just how many changes will be needed before one could actually say the extinct creature exists once more.

As Mike McGrew, an avian biologist at the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh, noted, “That is one of the big questions. At what point is your editing done? Is it hitting a hundred genes or one thousand genes?”

Whatever the answer may be, the possibilities of what such incremental changes could bring about have piqued the interest of an interesting assortment of people. Billionaires like Thomas Tull and Robert Nelson, as well as the CIA’s venture capital arm, have all decided to back Colossal’s efforts.

I bring this story up today, however, not because I’m overly excited about the possibility of seeing a dodo anytime soon—though a wooly mammoth may be a different story—but rather because the technique of relying on small changes rather than large leaps to accomplish something extraordinary offers some important parallels for Christians today.

“The best way to address social problems”

In a recent article for PersuasionGreg Berman and Aubrey Fox approached this conversation from a more philosophical point of view.

The pair discussed the idea of incrementalism, claiming that it represents “the best way to address social problems in a climate where it is difficult to agree on basic facts, let alone expensive, large-scale government interventions.”

The foundation of their argument is that big plans often fail because they require “access to high-quality information, agreement about underlying values, and effective decision-making on the part of government planners” at a time when none of those conditions tend to exist in the real world. By focusing instead on small changes that build on one another, over time we can actually accomplish more than by trying to do everything at once.

They allow that “we still need dreamers and visionaries and rabble-rousers who want to pursue moon-shot goals like curing cancer and ending hunger. But our default setting should be to admit the obvious: our problems are big and our brains are small,” so our solutions to those big problems should start small as well.

What if small changes are the most lasting changes?

What would it look like if we took a similar approach to trying to change our culture for Christ?

Granted, it would be great if we could set forth a plan that would result in a sweeping spiritual awakening and see our culture turn back to God. But that’s not likely to happen, and we can’t afford to wait for such an opportunity to arrive.

By contrast, an incrementalist approach to sharing our faith and shaping society means each of us must take advantage of the opportunities the Lord brings our way to help people know him better. It means making sure that our lives match up with the message we’re sharing. And it means being satisfied with the knowledge that we’ve done our part even if it doesn’t always appear to make an immediate difference.

Such an approach may lack the appeal of big changes and historic impact, but history shows it’s actually more likely to make the kind of difference we’d really like to see.

None of the spiritual awakenings in modern times began with Christians making a five-step plan to change the world, and they certainly did not include any reliance on government intervention to save the day. Rather, they started with believers who felt a burden for their culture and that burden led them to pray. Those prayers resulted in Christians starting to take their faith more seriously, and only then did non-Christians begin to take notice.

The same pattern holds true today as well.

From ordinary to extraordinary

While history may highlight the big movements and leaders that made an outsized difference, the most important work was often done by those who remain anonymous to everyone but the Lord.

If we can learn to be content with that fact, not allowing our ambition to grow larger than our calling, then we can begin to make the incremental changes that could eventually result in the kind of spiritual awakening and cultural renewal that often seems out of reach today.

Christianity is never going to go the way of the dodo and God will always have his remnant. But you and I can begin to make a difference simply by taking advantage of the incremental opportunities the Lord provides to share both his love and his truth with those around us.

As Oswald Chambers once remarked, “All of God’s people are ordinary people who have been made extraordinary by the purpose he has given them.”

Christ made our purpose clear in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16–20).

How will you fulfill it today?

Denison Forum

Hagee Ministries; John Hagee –  Daily Devotion

Psalm 22:3

But You are holy, enthroned in the praises of Israel.

You don’t have to be in a church service in order for God’s presence to inhabit your praises. You can be at home and turn your living room into a cathedral if you’ll start talking to God about who He is. Why? Because when you talk to God about who He is, you are praising Him.

Start saying, “Lord, You are the Ancient of Days. You met my needs in the past, You’re meeting my needs now, and You’ll meet my needs tomorrow. You’re the One who created the heavens and earth. That means that everything in my life that needs to be made new, You can do it because You’ve already done it before. You’re the Shepherd of the stars, and You’ve numbered and called them by name. You measure the mountains in a scale, and the hills You hold in a balance. You’re the God who has made the lame to leap and the blind to see. You are the King above all kings and Lord above all lords. Today I am speaking to God Almighty, and I declare that You are great and greatly to be praised!”

If you start talking to God like that, I assure you that you will have an audience with the Father.

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 you live today with joy that is unspeakable and full of glory. May you discover real happiness in Christ Jesus; happiness the world did not give, and happiness the world cannot take away. May the trash that’s been thrown on you be removed completely from your memory as you rise to achieve the dream that God has given you. Let this day be a day of new beginning as the angels of God go before you to make your way clear and behind you to be your rear guard. May God give you the desires of your heart because He loves you with an everlasting love. Go in that blessing in Jesus’ name.

Today’s Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

Exodus 17:8-19:15

New Testament 

Matthew 22:33-23:12

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 27:8-14

Proverbs 6:27-35


Turning Point; David Jeremiah – Turning Loneliness Into Love

Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.
Psalm 25:16, NIV

 Recommended Reading: Psalm 25:16-22

Loneliness is a global pandemic of sorts. The most vulnerable are people younger than 25 and older than 55. Also singles, those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, and those suffering from chronic disease. Perhaps you fit into one of those groups. Even if you don’t, our technologically advanced world is a lonely place. But God doesn’t want us to live in perpetual loneliness. He has given us a prayer to offer: Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.

That prayer was originally composed by David, the man after God’s own heart. When you feel lonely, it helps to remember the biblical heroes who suffered bouts of the same affliction. But our ever-present God can show us how to turn our loneliness into love for others. Even something as simple as writing a note, smiling at passersby in the grocery store, or calling an ailing friend can help.

Cast out the temptation to move from loneliness to self-pity. Use your lonely feelings to push you toward someone lonelier than you are. The God who blesses you will make you a blessing!

There’s no better place to discover the healthiest possible response to loneliness than the Word of God.
Ruth Graham


Harvest Ministries; Greg Laurie – How Revivals Start

Thus says the LORD: “Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls. 

—Jeremiah 6:16


Jeremiah 6:16 

The first-century church, the one that Jesus started, turned their world upside down. They set their world on fire.

On the other hand, the church of today, which is much larger than the first-century church, has considerable resources and technology to use. Yet it seems as though the world is turning the church upside down.

Why aren’t we setting the world on fire? It’s because we need a revival. We need an awakening.

Speaking through the prophet Jeremiah, God said, “Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way isand walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls” (Jeremiah 6:16 NKJV).

Historically, revivals often began with one person who decided to do something. For example, in 1857, businessman Jeremiah Lanphier decided to start a prayer meeting on Fulton Street in downtown New York. Only a handful of people showed up to pray at the first meeting on September 23.

But Lanphier was persistent, and they kept meeting for prayer. Then something dramatic took place. The stock market crashed, and suddenly the prayer meeting grew. Then prayer meetings began popping up throughout New York City. And within six months, ten thousand people were gathering for prayer throughout the city, calling on the name of the Lord.

Within eighteen months of that first prayer meeting on Fulton Street, an estimated one million people had come to faith in Jesus Christ. It wasn’t orchestrated. It wasn’t a campaign planned by people. Rather, it was a work of God in which He poured out His Spirit. We need to see that today.

Any genuine revival will bring about repentance in the lives of the people, a change in the community, and evangelism en masse.

Jeremiah Lanphier was not a preacher. He wasn’t famous. He was an ordinary person who decided to pray. And you can do the same.