Our Daily Bread — I Can Only Imagine

Bible in a Year:

The dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.

Ecclesiastes 12:7

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

2 Corinthians 5:1–10

I settled into the church pew behind a woman as the worship team began playing “I Can Only Imagine.” Raising my hands, I praised God as the woman’s sweet soprano voice harmonized with mine. After telling me about her health struggles, we decided to pray together during her upcoming cancer treatments.

A few months later, Louise told me she feared dying. Leaning onto her hospital bed, I rested my head next to hers, whispered a prayer, and quietly sang our song. I can only imagine what it was like for Louise when she worshiped Jesus face-to-face just a few days later.

The apostle Paul offered comforting assurance for his readers who were facing death (2 Corinthians 5:1). The suffering experienced on this side of eternity may cause groaning, but our hope remains anchored to our heavenly dwelling—our eternal existence with Jesus (vv. 2–4). Though God designed us to yearn for everlasting life with Him (vv. 5–6), His promises are meant to impact the way we live for Him now (vv. 7–10).

As we live to please Jesus while waiting for Him to return or call us home, we can rejoice in the peace of His constant presence. What will we experience the moment we leave our earthly bodies and join Jesus in eternity? We can only imagine!

By:  Xochitl Dixon

Reflect & Pray

When have you been worried about or discouraged by facing death or losing a loved one? How does God’s promise of everlasting life encourage you?

Loving God, thank You for promising to be with me on earth and for all eternity.


Grace to You; John MacArthur – The Joy of Faithful Service

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

A faithful slave fulfills the will of his master.

The metaphor of Christians as slaves to Christ is common in Paul’s writings. It is one his readers would have readily understood because of the prevalence of slavery in the Roman Empire.

Peter, James, John, and Jude used the same metaphor of their own ministries, as did Jesus in Mark 10:45: “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” In Philippians 2:7 Paul refers to Christ as a bond-servant who set aside the glory He was due and humbled Himself to the point of death.

The Greek word translated “bond-servant” in Philippians 1:1 was commonly used of those who, out of devotion to their masters, chose to remain as slaves when having the opportunity to be released. They were also known as love slaves because they served out of love, not compulsion.

That is a beautiful picture of the believer. We are God’s bond-servants (Rev. 1:1), having been freed from sin and enslaved to Him (Rom. 6:22).

While slavery brings to mind deprivation and inhumane treatment of one’s fellow man, slaves in the Roman Empire usually were treated with dignity and respect. Although most had no personal possessions, their masters supplied everything they needed for life and health. Additionally, many were entrusted with significant responsibilities in their master’s home.

A disobedient or self-willed slave was of no use to his master, but faithful slaves, who set aside their personal interests to accomplish their master’s will, were a precious possession.

Jesus said, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to accomplish His work” (John 4:34). As God’s bond-servant that should be your goal as well. Be faithful so God can use you mightily.

Suggestions for Prayer

  • Thank God for the privilege of serving Him.
  • Seek wisdom to appropriate your spiritual resources as you perform the tasks God has entrusted to you.

For Further Study

Philemon is a letter Paul wrote to accompany Onesimus, a runaway slave, whom Paul had led to the Lord and was now returning to his master, Philemon.

  • Read Philemon.
  • What was Paul’s desire for Onesimus?
  • What does this letter reveal about Philemon’s character?

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur


Joyce Meyer – A Wondering Mind

In the morning, when they were passing along, they noticed that the fig tree was withered [completely] away to its roots. And Peter remembered and said to Him, Master, look! The fig tree which You doomed has withered away! And Jesus, replying, said to them, Have faith in God [constantly]. Truly I tell you, whoever says to this mountain, Be lifted up and thrown into the sea! and does not doubt at all in his heart but believes that what he says will take place, it will be done for him. For this reason I am telling you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe (trust and be confident) that it is granted to you, and you will [get it].

— Mark 11:20-24 (AMPC)

When you say the words, “I wonder,” they sound innocent and honest. They also represent the way we avoid certainty in making decisions.

Suppose you’re the CEO of a business. Every day 20 people come to your office and ask you to make decisions. Yours is the final answer on everything that goes on in the corporation. Instead of giving decisive answers, you rub your chin, stare out the window, and say, “I wonder what we should do about that?”

An indecisive CEO wouldn’t stay in that position very long. The position is much too important to the overall success and wellbeing of the organization and all who are associated with it. You are not in that position to wonder—you’re there to act.

Too many of us forget that this is the way it is with the Christian life, as well. Too often, instead of choosing what we need to do, we avoid facing the situation and say, “I wonder.”

I know because I’ve done it. In times past, when I’ve been invited to a party or to be the featured speaker at a banquet, I’ve said, “I wonder what I should wear.” It’s easy for me to waste a lot of time looking through my closet, considering the color and style, as I try to choose just the right outfit for a particular occasion.

This may seem like such a small thing—and it really is. The problem, however, is that if we allow enough of these “wonderings” in our lives, we not only fail to accomplish the things we need to do but wondering becomes the normal way our minds function. Being indecisive keeps us from moving forward and can eventually defeat us.

In the verses quoted earlier, the incident started with a fig tree that wasn’t bearing fruit. The disciples could have wasted time wondering about the particulars of why the tree didn’t bear fruit. They could have wondered if it hadn’t received enough sunlight or water. They might have wondered why the owner hadn’t cut it down since it wasn’t productive. But wasting time wondering really wasn’t necessary.

When Jesus spoke and doomed the tree, He put a stop to any mental speculation. He used the incident as an object lesson for the disciples, encouraging them to believe. He wanted them to understand that if they truly believed, they could have whatever they asked of Him.

Sometimes God’s people are reluctant to ask boldly for big things. But Jesus has given us permission to step out in faith and ask boldly. And yet some still waste time just wondering. They wonder what it would be like if God would give them a better job. They wonder what it would be like if God would give them a larger house.

I can tell you that wondering is a waste of time. So, stop wondering and start acting! That’s one of the most important things I’ve learned about the wondering mind. Rather than wondering what I should wear to a banquet, I look at my clothes and I decide. God gave me the ability to make wise choices, so I can just do it instead of wasting my time wondering.

Wondering and indecision can become strongholds in our minds that can leave us feeling confused, insecure, and ineffective. But that’s not God’s plan. He wants us to overcome the wondering thoughts by believing and then receiving the answer to our prayers from God, by faith.

Notice that Jesus did not say, “Whatever things you wonder when you pray, you will have.” Instead, He said, Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe (trust and be confident) that it is granted to you, and you will [get it] (Mark 11:24 AMPC).

Prayer of the Day: Lord Jesus, help me to overcome any wondering tendencies that keep me from moving forward in Your good plan. In Your name, I ask You to help me reach out in faith, boldly asking for what I need. Then help me to believe it and receive it, amen.


Truth for Life; Alistair Begg – How to Have Peace

He shall be their peace.

Micah 5:5

You can find peace.

The context of the book of Micah was one of great humiliation for the people of God. Foreigners had besieged Jerusalem, and the city’s people could barely lift a finger in their own defense. They longed for peace, but they found themselves in the midst of a war. They were a subjugated people, unable to gather troops together in order to fight back against the enemy. Theirs was a picture of absolute disgrace.

It must have been a very confusing time for God’s people. They were supposed to be a chosen people, set apart for God, the carriers of His great promise to bless and restore the world, but now it appeared that all that was about to be destroyed. They likely would have thought to themselves, Where are God’s promises?

It is in the midst of this perplexing scene that a light finally began to shine in the darkness. Though they were humiliated, the people of God received a glimmer of hope. The prophet Micah declared that the Messiah would come and stand in the place of authority, shepherd His flock in the strength of the Lord, and grant security to those who trust in Him (Micah 5:4). In Him, Micah said, they would finally find peace.

I have a little booklet in my house called Five Minutes’ Peace.[1] It tells the story of a mother elephant who just wants five minutes of peace away from her children—but as soon as she attempts to get peace, only more chaos ensues. This is surely something that every mother can identify with! In the midst of chaos, we long for a few moments of respite. So did God’s people—and during a time of great distress, the prophet Micah promised that the Messiah would come to finally bring them what they longed for.

While we all desire peace, it frequently seems unattainable. Look around you and you’ll see that true peace appears to be virtually absent globally, nationally, locally, and personally. You may be thinking to yourself, “If only I could just find peace. All I want is five minutes!”

Is your life marked by fractured relationships, financial distress, personal loss, and other disappointments? If so, there is good news for you: in the Messiah, Jesus, you will find genuine, lasting peace—peace first and foremost with God Himself and then peace with ourselves and in our relationships and communities, as we learn to reflect the God of peace in the way we approach tensions, difficulties, and conflicts. The Messiah has come to bring this peace to all who trust in Him. After all, He is the Prince of Peace. Whatever else you face, you can enjoy the peace with your Creator that He died to win. Then, knowing you are at peace with the only one whose opinion matters eternally, you will be able to walk out into your world to seek, by His grace, to live at peace.


Micah 5:1-9

Topics: Christian Life Jesus Christ Peace


1 Jill Murphy, Five Minutes’ Peace (Walker, 1986).

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


Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – God Is All-Wise

“O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” (Romans 11:33)

Do you know someone you consider to be very wise? Wise people always seem to give good advice about a problem, and they always seem to make good choices. When you take questions to a wise person for advice, you are confident that the person will give you a very good answer.

But no matter how wise a person may be, God is far wiser. The apostle Paul tells us that God’s wisdom and knowledge are so deep, no man could ever even begin to understand them. Sometimes we show that we cannot understand God’s wisdom because we question why He made us a certain way or why He allows certain things to happen in our lives.

Even though we don’t understand God’s ways sometimes, we can still believe in His wisdom. God has all knowledge and all wisdom, and He’s always doing the very best thing in our lives.

Don’t doubt God when His plan for your life doesn’t seem to make sense to you. Trust Him, knowing that He is all-wise and all-knowledgeable.

God is all-wise, and He is bringing the best things for me into my life.

My Response:
» Do I doubt God when He brings something into my life that I don’t understand, or do I rest in Him, knowing He is all-wise?

DDNI Featured News Article – Honoring Marriage Is Not Racist: Time To Shine The Light On The Left’s Charade

Only a few weeks ago, I was sitting just behind the counsel’s table at the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., listening to the arguments in 303 Creative, LLC v. Elenis. The issue at hand is whether a website designer can be forced by the government to create speech against her deeply held convictions about God’s design for marriage. 

Would designer Lorie Smith be forced to create words, content and video promoting same-sex marriage—a message that violates her sincerely held beliefs?

Smith serves all people, including the LGBTQ community, but she will not express all messages. Alliance Defending Freedom CEO Kristen Waggoner represented 303 Creative and, as she always does, made clear and convincing arguments detailing how the Constitution and the high court have protected free speech, even when controversial or offensive.

Waggoner opened the arguments expressing the prevailing constitutional view that in our nation we rarely restrict speech and generally do not force people to say things they do not want to say. Smith did not want to use her creative skills to promote and celebrate same-sex marriage. 

What happened next was entirely predictable. The liberal justices and the solicitor general of Colorado used the fear tactic of comparing Smith’s refusal to express messages about same-sex marriage—a message that would sear her conscience—to refusing to serve someone based on race. In their view, to put it bluntly, living out her Biblical view on marriage is akin to racism. Christians and other reasonable people should soundly reject and counter this tactic.

Justice Samuel Alito signaled he rejected this tactic when he asked, “In Obergefell, did the court say that religious objections to same-sex marriage are the same thing as religious or other objections to people of color?”

Waggoner quickly responded “No,” and reminded the justices of the Supreme Court’s opinion that reasonable and sincere people disagree with same-sex marriage based on decent and honorable religious or philosophical premises. That’s a good start to counter this unjustified analogy, but Scripture itself and historical reality make the best case.

Racism is sin against image bearers of God. Conversely, Scripture holds a high view of marriage. Ephesians 5 compares the relationship between husband and wife to the relationship between Jesus Christ and the church. A husband is to give himself up for his wife just as Christ gave up His life for the church. In Matthew 19, Jesus while speaking to a very large crowd says God created them male and female, and He created male and female for each other, to become one flesh in marriage. 

Marriage is so important that this union between a man and a woman is the only context permissible for sexual relations. And Jesus defined the Biblical grounds for divorce very narrowly because intact marriages are of immense value to family, community and society. God designed marriage to be the fundamental building block of a stable family, community and nation. For Christians, the Biblical recipe for marriage cannot be cavalierly cast aside. Marriage is deeply rooted in the Christian faith; in fact, it is often noted that Jesus’ first miracle took place at a wedding. Lorie Smith should not be forced by the government to betray her convictions on marriage.

Scripture is truth, and it describes reality. The reality of the timeless treasure and blessing from mother/father-intact marriages on outcomes for children is well documented in the social sciences. Children of intact marriages with a mother and father generally excel in education. They face less poverty; have better physical, emotional and mental health; lower crime rates; lower substance abuse; and experience less child abuse than other family structures.

For the committed, married couple, Biblical marriage encourages personal responsibility; enhances relationships with children; reduces poverty; improves physical, mental and emotional health; fosters longevity; reduces risky behavior; breeds greater happiness; improves volunteerism and altruism; and results in quicker recovery from illness. 

The benefits of Biblical marriage are undeniable. 

Bradford Wilcox, a University of Virginia professor and director of the National Marriage Project, documents this in “Why Marriage Matters: 26 Conclusions from the Social Sciences.” God’s merciful design of marriage cannot be taken lightly by the faithful, and our government should not force us to act or speak otherwise.

The reality is that millions of Americans wake up each morning, enjoy a cup of coffee, open the Bible, study Scripture, seek to apply God’s truth to their lives that day, and imperfectly pursue an obedient walk with Christ. This is a part of Christian discipleship, being a student of God’s Word. A high view of Biblical marriage is a long-held, revered Christian teaching and part of discipleship. 

Unfortunately, our government’s new orthodoxy on sexuality and marriage happens to clash with Christian teachings of God’s merciful design for marriage. Christians need to love and care for others who think and live differently from us. Yet love does not mean affirming and celebrating all ways of life, conduct, beliefs or behaviors. First Corinthians 13:6 states that love “does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth.”

Like millions of others, Lorie Smith of 303 Creative honors Biblical marriage—the bedrock of stable societies throughout history. Honoring marriage is not akin to racial discrimination. And if the First Amendment still means anything in 2023, the Supreme Court will send a clear message and strike a blow against forced speech that violates deeply held religious convictions. Being able to freely live according to the Scripture hangs in the balance.

ByTodd Chasteen

Hagee Ministries; John Hagee –  Daily Devotion

Genesis 37:19–20

Look, this dreamer is coming! Come therefore, let us now kill him and cast him into some pit; and we shall say, ‘Some wild beast has devoured him.’ We shall see what will become of his dreams!

Joseph was rejected by his brothers because their father favored him, and there will be people in your life that will not be able to accept God’s favor upon you. There may be a season when they’re willing to walk with you. But when God begins to promote you because you trust Him, they’ll try to pull you down because God is taking you places, as He did Joseph, and they can’t stand it. If you’re wearing a burden of rejection that’s been placed upon you by those who should have accepted you but didn’t, whom you reached out to and have been shunned, whom you attempted to embrace and were denied, Joseph has a message for you.

It’s in those moments of rejection that you, like Joseph, have to stand firm in the faith that you are blessed and highly favored. Never hang your head because God is blessing you. Square your shoulders and declare, “God’s promise is my portion. His goodness and mercy follow me. He will never leave me nor forsake me. The world may not like it, but the world didn’t give it, and the world can’t take it away. God has been faithful, good, loving and kind. If that bothers someone, they can take it up with Him!”

Today’s Blessing: 

Heavenly Father, according to Your Word, I pray that You would bless them and keep them. Make Your face shine upon them and be gracious unto them. Let Your Word become so alive in their lives that it would be like fire shut up in their bones. Let it become the light that guides their lives through this dark world. Let them be the light of the world that shines Your love to others. And let us, Heavenly Father, reach this generation that they would know that God is alive, He is risen, and He is seated at the right hand of the Father where He rules and reigns in truth. Heavenly Father, I thank You that every burden has been lifted, every yoke has been destroyed, and every shackle has been broken because You are almighty and Your Word endures forever. This, we receive in faith and thank You for it in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Today’s Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

Exodus 21:22-23:13

New Testament 

Matthew 24:1-28

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 29:1-11

Proverbs 7:6-23