Our Daily Bread — What’s Your Name?

Bible in a Year:

Don’t call me Naomi. . . . Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter.

Ruth 1:20

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

Ruth 1:3–8, 15–21

Jen remarried after her first husband died. The children of her new husband never accepted her, and now that he’s passed away too, they hate her for remaining in their childhood home. Her husband left a modest sum to provide for her; his kids say she’s stealing their inheritance. Jen is understandably discouraged, and she’s grown bitter.

Naomi’s husband moved the family to Moab, where he and their two sons died. Years later, Naomi returned to Bethlehem empty-handed, except for her daughter-in-law Ruth. The town was stirred and asked, “Can this be Naomi?” (Ruth 1:19). She said they shouldn’t use that name, which means “my pleasant one.” They should call her “Mara,” which means “bitter,” because “I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty” (vv. 20–21).  

Is there a chance your name is Bitter? You’ve been disappointed by friends, family, or declining health. You deserved better. But you didn’t get it. Now you’re bitter.

Naomi came back to Bethlehem bitter, but she came back. You can come home too. Come to Jesus, the descendant of Ruth, born in Bethlehem. Rest in His love.

In time, God replaced Naomi’s bitterness with the joyful fulfillment of His perfect plan (4:13–22). He can replace your bitterness too. Come home to Him.

By:  Mike Wittmer

Reflect & Pray

What name describes you? What does it mean for you to live out the name that describes who you are in Jesus?

Father, I’m coming home to find my rest in Your Son.


Grace to You; John MacArthur – The Joy of Kindred Spirits

“Paul and Timothy, bond-servants of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 1:1).

Despite their shortcomings, people of kindred spirit are precious gifts from the Lord.

Timothy was Paul’s trusted companion in the gospel. In Philippians 2:20 Paul describes him as a man “of kindred spirit.” That is, they were likeminded, sharing the same love for Christ and His church.

Elsewhere Paul described Timothy as his beloved and faithful child in the Lord (1 Cor. 4:17) and fellow worker in the gospel of Christ (Rom. 16:211 Thess. 3:2). Those are significant compliments coming from Paul, whose standard of ministry and personal integrity was very high.

However, as godly and useful as Timothy was, he apparently struggled with many of the same weaknesses we face. For example, 2 Timothy implies he might have been intimidated by the false teachers who challenged his leadership (1:7). He perhaps was somewhat ashamed of Christ (1:8) and tempted to alter his theology to avoid offending those who disagreed with sound doctrine (1:13- 14). He might have been neglecting his studies in the Word (2:15) and succumbing to ungodly opinions (2:16-17). Other struggles are implied as well.

Paul wrote to strengthen Timothy’s spiritual character and encourage him to persevere in the face of severe trials.

Despite those apparent weaknesses, Paul valued Timothy highly and entrusted enormous ministerial responsibilities to him. In addition, Timothy’s friendship and ministry was a source of great joy and strength to Paul.

I pray that you have people of kindred spirit in your life—brothers and sisters in Christ who encourage you, pray for you, and hold you accountable to God’s truth. Like Timothy, they may not be all you want them to be, but they are precious gifts from God. Esteem them highly and pray for them often. Do everything you can to reciprocate their ministry in your life.

If perhaps you lack such friends, seek the fellowship of a local church where Christ is exalted, His Word is taught, and holy living is encouraged. Build relationships with mature Christians who will stimulate you to love and good deeds (Heb. 10:24).

Suggestions for Prayer

Identify three people who are of kindred spirit with you. Pray for them and tell them how much you appreciate their examples and ministries.

For Further Study

Read 2 Timothy 1:1-14.

  • What were Paul’s admonitions to Timothy?
  • How might they apply to you?

From Drawing Near by John MacArthu


Joyce Meyer – God Will Show You What to Do

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.

— Psalm 32:8 (NIV)

Often in life, situations require us to take some kind of action, but we don’t know what to do. However, we can trust God to show us what to do at exactly the right time. We need to be willing to obey Him, because what He leads us to do may not be what we would have done, or it may seem to our way of thinking that it won’t work.

In Luke 5:4–7, Jesus tells Peter and some other disciples who had been fishing all night and caught nothing to go out into deeper water and cast their nets again. Peter indicated that he didn’t think it would work and that they were tired, but he also said they would obey whatever He told them to do. As a result, they caught so many fish that their boats began to sink.

Let me encourage you to be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit, because God has given Him to us to guide us (see John 16:13). We can always be confident that He will do it, but we must be willing to follow His guidance.

One way the Holy Spirit guides us is through peace. I teach people to not do anything they don’t have peace about doing or anything that doesn’t agree with God’s Word. God has promised to guide us even until the time we die (see Psalm 48:14). Let this knowledge comfort you as you make decisions and believe that you can and will be guided by the Holy Spirit in your decision making.

Prayer of the Day: Father, I trust You to guide me in all the decisions that I make. I want to do Your will, not mine.


Truth for Life; Alistair Begg – The Bonds of the Gospel

It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel.

Philippians 1:7

Commitment to each other is a nonnegotiable in the Christian life.

We see this again and again in the life and writing of the apostle Paul. As he wrote to the church in Philippi, he was unashamed of sharing with them just how he felt about them, because he was so appreciative of the fellowship he enjoyed with them. Indeed, the word “partakers” in this verse actually comes from the Greek word koinonia, a word Paul frequently used to describe a sharing partnership.

Paul described the Philippian church as his “joy and crown” (Philippians 4:1). His heart was filled with love for all the churches who were under his care, but he regarded these brothers and sisters in a special way. They stood out, for they had stuck with Paul through thick and thin. Separated as the Philippians were from Paul when he wrote to them while under arrest in Rome, they could quite possibly have been swept away by other teachers with more impressive personalities, more striking characters, or more eloquent language. But they continued to stand with Paul. Their depth of fellowship was strengthened by their constancy, which filled the apostle with joy and stimulated his outburst of affection.

The example of this early church is a challenging call to contemporary Christianity, which, if we’re honest, is all too often marked by fickleness. Many Christians tend to be uncommitted when times are good and unreliable when times are bad. We so easily treat the opportunities of fellowship, worship, and the hearing of God’s word with an arm’s-length approach. If a teacher or a book appeals to our sense of need, scratches where we itch, or tickles our fancy, then we engage with them for a while—but if things go awry, or if we find our way of life challenged, or if being alongside another Christian becomes costly rather than easy, then the temptation for many of us is to head for new pastures.

Paul shows us a better way—a more Christlike way. We are called to choose commitment to one another through the ups and downs of life. The binding element between Paul and the Philippians is the same element which can bind our hearts.

In seeing one another endure difficulties, in running to one another in the experience of loss, and in receiving from one another the enjoyment of restoration, we will discover that our hearts are actually being molded together in the bonds of the gospel. Through such constancy, we will find God strengthening our fellowship and increasing our joy with other believers.

So, does commitment describe your attitude to those the Lord has placed in fellowship around you? Do they know that you are there for them in the downs as well as the ups? To whom could you write an encouragement, and for whom will you say a prayer, right now?


Philippians 1:21-26

Topics: Christian Living Fellowship Friendship

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


Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – God Allows Evil for His Reasons

“But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.” (Genesis 50:20)

Thrown into a pit.

Bound with rope and sold into slavery in a far-off land.

Sentenced to life in prison for something you didn’t do.

Forgotten for two years by the man who promised to help you.

You would probably have a hard time rejoicing if these things happened to you. In fact, you would probably wonder why God allowed all these horrible things to take place in your life.

All these things happened to Joseph – his brothers sold him into slavery, Potiphar threw him into prison for something he didn’t do, and for two years the cupbearer forgot to mention Joseph’s unfair treatment. But throughout all these events Joseph never said anything against God. He didn’t get mad! He didn’t get bitter! He didn’t even try to seek revenge on his brothers or the other people who harmed him! Joseph understood that God’s way of working everything for the good. God even used the evil acts of Joseph’s sinful brothers to bring about great good for the entire world.

Wow! Isn’t God incredible? He can take the sins of those around you and turn them into something good. We really do have a great God! We should thank God for the painful things that are happening to us and tell Him that we are looking forward to seeing how He is going to use them for His good!

God uses everything – even evil – for His glory.

My Response:
» What hard things are happening in my life?
» Can I trust God to use them to accomplish His good?

DDNI Featured News Article – An appeal to Andy Stanley: Stop deconstructing sexuality, ignoring ex-LGBT people

By Derek Paul, Op-ed contributor – CP VOICES

Pastor Andy Stanley speaks during Catalyst Atlanta at the Infinite Energy Arena in Duluth, Georgia, on Oct. 6, 2016. | Catalyst

A couple of days ago, I noticed ministry friends of mine sharing videos of a well-known pastoral voice, Senior Pastor Andy Stanley of North Point Community Church located in Alpharetta, Georgia. After looking around for the video myself, I discovered the video was an excerpt from the Drive Conference at North Point in 2022.

Many people are familiar with this pastor in Georgia. Some of his statements diminishing the authority of Scripture, and his callous jest at Christians who think it more authoritative, led those in the Church to surmise that his issues with biblical authority indicate a much more corrosive theological viewpoint that has not yet been made public.

Then, on January 23rd, a short video dropped on Twitter. In the video, Stanley laid out a general example demonstrating the lack of eagerness of straight Christians to serve in his churches when comparing them to the eagerness of the gay men and women he knows, who would serve. This setup statement has no way of being validated and yet appeared to be a two-fold manipulation technique.

First, it incentivized his congregation to serve, but also to view homosexuals as a more virtuous community by comparison. It appeared as if Stanley was edifying the gay community and promoting the culture to his congregation while degrading his own church for the moment, a persuasive deconstruction tactic, making it easier for them to adopt his subsequent statements.

The video went on a path of pandering to the gay community and their allies in an unscripted rant against the Church. Stanley concluded that gay men and women have more faith than he has and “more than a lot of you.” It even belittled the Word of God itself by calling scriptures referencing homosexuality “clobber passages.”  His indictment seemed to be: Straight Christians and God’s Word don’t measure up here; the gay people I know are better.

Such was the theological views that were similar to those views espoused by fallen Exodus leader Alan Chambers and McKrae Game of Hope For Wholeness, which survived past him in another form. Additionally, what message does this send to those struggling with sexual confusion at North Point Church? By Stanley’s most recent comments, it seems that they should expect further promotion of slippery, watered-down theology, and they can also expect that anyone adhering to the biblical-historic view on sexual ethics will be castigated as unwelcoming bigots.

Over the last few years, congregations in the West have awoken, surprised by their pastor’s deconstructed theology. Bewildered by their pastor’s unforeseen animus toward the majority group, matched with an unsurpassed bias for one or two “ostracized groups” of the pastor’s choosing, they are left with a trail of spiritual casualties in their wake.

But there is good news: Jesus has an answer for us and did not leave us unequipped for this moment. Scripture reminds us:

“They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death” (Revelation 12:11).

This is not some antiquated Scripture removed from contemporary Christian life; this passage is alive and well in the Church. But it is suppressed through the self-righteous deconstruction and faithlessness of some leaders.

Meanwhile, those who have found freedom in Jesus Christ from LGBTQ and victory over their previous identity and lifestyle, have become all too familiar with the internal persecution from legacy lukewarm Christianity spouted by the present-day false teachers, false prophets, and, may I say, wolves-in-sheep’s-clothing-pastors. Thankfully, not all Christian leaders or churchgoers are this way — there are still many worthy shepherds and sheep in God’s flock.

The Bride of Christ has been given a scriptural key to the prison door of LGBTQ socio-political correctness. Overcomers exist within the Church body in all locales. The Andy Stanleys may have forgotten or suppressed the testimony of these faithful believers, in favor of their ostracized group, but God’s sanctifying workmanship has never stopped advancing.

As an Overcomer myself, I ask that born-again Christians would quit choosing to stand idly by or even promote homosexuality and cross-identification because your Savior has and is fulfilling His promises in Scripture in the lives of real people. It is abusive to teach a lesser Gospel to LGBTQ-identified people. Instead, love your true spiritual brothers and sisters since that is the evidence that you are the actual Church (John 13:35), and have faith that God has the intention and power to set people free from all sexual immorality and expression, not just your choice sins.

If you are interested in learning more about this transformative process that Christ has offered to those who used to go by LGBTQ labels and who lived LGBTQ lifestyles, please visit our ministry websites at: TMAcorp.orgVoiceofthevoiceless.info, or IdentifyMinistries.org.

There is an authentic Christian community, more resilient than ever, and waiting for all those impacted by this issue to ally with Christ and reap the rewards of transformation together.

Derek Paul is the Network Director for the Transformation Ministries Alliance, a board member of Voice of the Voiceless, and an executive pastor of Identify Ministries.


Hagee Ministries; John Hagee –  Daily Devotion

Hebrews 11:24–25

By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin.

Everyone whom God uses must go through the process of work in order to become the person God wants them to be. Moses was born with all the raw ingredients of a deliverer and leader of God’s people. But if you follow his story, including his forty years of shepherding in the wilderness, it wasn’t until he was eighty that God began to use him to the fullness of his potential and purpose. It took a long time to prepare Moses to be the man that God wanted him to be.

As was true of Moses, who you are right now has all the raw ingredients for what God wants you to become so you can accomplish His purpose for your life. But there are still some things that need to be refined, some things that need to be added, and some things that need to be taken out. There are some tweaks and some changes that must be made if you are going to accomplish what God wants you to achieve in your life.

The question is, are you willing to do the work that is required to improve and become the best you can be for Him?

Today’s Blessing: 

Father, bless us and keep us. Make Your face to shine upon us. Be gracious unto us and give us Your peace. As we pursue Your plan and purpose and as we are willing to do the work of Your Kingdom, pour out Your blessing upon those who are indeed pursuing you. Reward them that diligently seek You. Answer those who ask, and open the way for those who knock. Give blessings upon blessings and favor upon favor. Let the goodness of God be poured out in the land of the living for those who are willing, faithful and obedient to Your Word in Jesus’ name, we pray. And all of God’s children said, “Amen.”

Today’s Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

Exodus 19:16-21:21

New Testament 

Matthew 23:13-39

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 28:1-9

Proverbs 7:1-5


Turning Point; David Jeremiah – Big Promises: The Promise of Power

But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40:31

 Recommended Reading: Acts 1:8

The 1956 film The Ten Commandments is the grand story of Moses leading the Hebrew slaves out of Egypt. One of the most dramatic scenes is the Hebrews fleeing Egypt—six hundred thousand men (Exodus 12:37), plus women and children. The feeble, old, and disabled were in carts, on crutches, or riding on donkeys.

But wait—were there weak and feeble among them? Psalm 105:37 says, “He also brought them out with silver and gold, and there was none feeble among His tribes” (emphasis added). Perhaps this summary view by the psalmist has to do with what the Hebrew slaves did the night before the Exodus: They consumed a Passover lamb in their homes. They entered into obedient fellowship with God and, for the first time in centuries, found hope in their redemption and liberation. Their weakness turned to certain hope and strength.

Jesus Christ is our Passover Lamb (John 1:29; 1 Corinthians 5:7). He has promised us the power of His Spirit (Acts 1:8) that we may have strength for our journey of faith. He will provide you with the strength you need for whatever you face today.

Christianity is the power of God in the soul of man. 
Robert B. Munger


Harvest Ministries; Greg Laurie – Drying Up Spiritually

Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent. 

—Revelation 2:5


Revelation 2:5 

When we talk about the need for revival in our country, we must first individually ask ourselves these questions: Am I personally revived? Am I living as a committed, on-fire follower of Jesus Christ?

If we are not, then we’re part of the problem, not part of the solution.

Here’s what Jesus said to the church of Ephesus in the Book of Revelation: “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love” (2:2–4 NKJV).

It’s clear they weren’t lazy. They were discerning, persevering believers. And they were making a difference. But Jesus was saying, “That’s all great, but we have a problem here. You have left your first love.”

What does that mean? It means that in spite of all their activity, they had lost that first passion when Jesus was their highest priority. They still believed. They hadn’t abandoned their faith. But they were spiritually drying up. They were leaving their first love, and they needed to be revived.

Jesus went on to give them the three Rs of revival: “Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent” (verse 5 NKJV).

Remember. Repent. Repeat. Remember from where you have fallen. Repent and do the first works. And repeat. Go back and do what you did before.

Let’s remember the three Rs of revival and put them into practice, because we need to be revived before God. We need a personal revival.