Our Daily Bread — The Good Shepherd

Bible in a Year:

As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock . . . , so will I look after my sheep.

Ezekiel 34:12

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

Ezekiel 34:11–16

When Pastor Warren heard that a man in his church had deserted his wife and family, he asked God to help him meet the man as if by accident so they could chat. And He did! When Warren walked into a restaurant, he spotted the gentleman in a nearby booth. “Got some room for another hungry man?” he asked, and soon they were sharing deeply and praying together.

As a pastor, Warren was acting as a shepherd for those in his church community, even as God through the prophet Ezekiel said He would tend His flock. God promised to look after His scattered sheep, rescuing them and gathering them together (Ezekiel 34:12–13). He would “tend them in a good pasture” and “search for the lost and bring back the strays”; He would “bind up the injured and strengthen the weak” (vv. 14–16). God’s love for His people reverberates through each of these images. Though Ezekiel’s words anticipate God’s future actions, they reflect the eternal heart of the God and Shepherd who would one day reveal Himself in Jesus.

No matter our situation, God reaches out to each of us, seeking to rescue us and sheltering us in a rich pasture. He longs for us to follow the Good Shepherd, He who lays down His life for His sheep (see John 10:14–15).

By:  Amy Boucher Pye

Reflect & Pray

How does Jesus, the Good Shepherd, care for you? How could you offer Him any wounds that need tending or weakness you’d like strengthened?

Dear God, You love me even when I go astray and wander. Help me to stay always in Your sheepfold, that I might receive Your love and care.


Grace to You; John MacArthur – God’s Holiness Revealed

 “The Lord is righteous in all His ways” (Psalm 145:17).

God’s holiness is evident in everything He does, particularly in creation, the law, judgment, and salvation.

The whole purpose of the Old Testament is to reveal the holiness and righteousness of God, who is utterly perfect and pure. In fact, the Hebrew word for “holy” is used more than 600 times in the Old Testament to indicate moral perfection.

What are some areas in which we see God’s holiness? First, we see it in the original perfection of His creation: “God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good” (Gen. 1:31). All of creation was in tune with God’s holy character.

Later God laid down His righteous, moral law for Israel. In it He gave rules about worship and society. He prescribed penalties for murder, adultery, and stealing. He condemned lying, coveting, and many other sins. There were many rules, but they revealed a God who is infinitely right and without error, flaw, or tolerance for sin. The law showed God’s character: “The Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good” (Rom. 7:12).

God’s holiness will ultimately be demonstrated “when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power” (2 Thess. 1:7-9). His judgment on sin is a reflection of His holiness; He must punish it.

Perhaps the supreme expression of God’s holiness is seen in sending His Son to die on the cross (cf. Rom. 8:3-4). God paid the highest price, but it was the only price that could satisfy His holiness. Jesus Christ is Himself “the Holy and Righteous One” (Acts 3:14); so only He could “put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself” (Heb. 9:26). God’s holiness is so infinite, and our unholiness is so great, that only the sacrifice of the God-man could pay for the enormity of our sin.

Suggestions for Prayer

Thank God that He sent His Son to die for our sins, so we could be “holy and blameless before Him” (Eph. 1:4).

For Further Study

Some of God’s laws for the Israelites are given in Exodus 21—23. Note in particular the penalties for breaking these laws. What does this passage teach you about God’s character?

From Strength for Today by John MacArthur


Joyce Meyer – Releasing the Weight of Worry

And who of you by worrying and being anxious can add one unit of measure (cubit) to his stature or to the span of his life?

— Matthew 6:27 (AMPC)

It is one thing to know that we should not worry, but it is quite another to be thankful for that truth and then actually stop worrying. One of the things that helped me let go of worry was finally realizing how utterly useless it is. Let me ask you: How many problems have you solved by worrying? Has anything ever gotten any better as a result of you worrying about it? Of course not.

The instant you begin to worry or feel anxious, give your concern to God in prayer. Release the weight of it and totally trust Him to either show you what to do or to take care of it Himself. Prayer is a powerful force against worry. I’m reminded of an old gospel chorus called “Why Worry When You Can Pray?” When you’re under pressure, it’s always best to pray about your need instead of fretting or complaining about it.

Prayer of the Day: Father, I thank You that I don’t have to live a life full of worry. I thank You that I can come to You in prayer the moment I begin to worry about something, and I can cast my care on You. Help me make the wise choice to stop worrying and start trusting You today.


Truth for Life; Alistair Begg –Like Father, Like Children

If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

Matthew 7:11

When someone is born again, they begin a new life and are adopted into the family of God. This new child of God, in whom the Holy Spirit now dwells, begins increasingly to display characteristics of the Father. In other words, over time God’s children should grow to resemble their heavenly Father.

One prominent feature of who God is—an aspect of His character displayed throughout Scripture—is His generosity. James says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father” (James 1:17). Paul makes a similar point with a rhetorical question: “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32). Our Father is generous, and it is the assumption of Scripture that God’s people will be too. This applies to all of our lives—including, of course, our finances.

God-honoring generosity is displayed in response to God’s grace. This is important, because so much talk of and thinking about finances goes awry at this very point. Any attempt to encourage ourselves to give to gospel work that doesn’t begin with the grace of God is flawed from the start. It almost always results in the kind of giving in which God has no interest: the joyless type. If we give because we’ve been coaxed into it, we will be giving not with gladness but with a grudge. Begrudging giving says, “I have to.” Dutiful giving says, “I need to.” But thankful giving says, “I want to.” That is the approach we should aim to take.

Growing in this kind of generosity requires growing in gratitude for God’s grace. If you want to be more Christlike in your giving, you need to understand that you have absolutely nothing that you did not receive, from your physical existence to your faith in God and everything in between (1 Corinthians 4:7). It is all of grace. Knowing that, how could you and I respond with anything but joyful generosity?

This means that if we are stingy with our investment in gospel ministry, it may reflect a shallow grasp of God’s character and goodness. The what, where, when, why, and how of our giving says something about our relationship with God and our commitment to Jesus Christ. Our banking records can speak volumes.

Ask yourself, then: What do my financial habits say about my commitment to Christ and my grasp of God’s grace? What will change if my giving is an overflow of my gratitude to God for all He has given me? God is a giver, and He gives His children the calling and the joy of being like Him.


Romans 8:31-39

Topics: Character of God Giving Grace

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


Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – God Never Makes Mistakes

“As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.” (Psalm 18:30)

Have you ever tried to make it through a whole day without making a mistake, a wrong decision? When I was little I used to try so hard not to do anything wrong – not to sin – all day long. Of course, it didn’t take long before I did something wrong and sinned. Don’t you wish you could just decide to be perfect – and then not mess up? Well, you and I can’t do that, but there’s Someone that never messes up.

God never makes a mistake; He never sins! The verse I quoted above tells us that God’s words can be trusted. What God says has been “tried.” That means His word has been tested and proved. Isn’t it nice to know that we can trust what God says because He never makes a mistake? He has never made a mistake in the past and will never make one in the future. Even though we make mistakes, we know that God never will and that He can help us make fewer mistakes in the future.

When you mess up, just ask God to help you not make the same mistake twice. Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” That includes doing the right thing. With God’s help you can make changes in your own life. Just trust the One who never makes a mistake!

God is perfect: He never sins, and He never makes mistakes.

My Response:
» Do I trust God to help me obey Him, or do I try to do right on my own?
» Do I trust that God will do what’s best, or do I sometimes think that He’s planned things badly?

Denison Forum – Zoo lets you name a cockroach after an ex and feed it to an animal

In the midst of all the bad news in today’s news, I thought you might like to hear about something a little different this morning. As you’re making plans for next week’s Valentine’s Day, here’s an option you may not have considered: you can donate $10 to the San Antonio Zoo. For that amount, they will name a cockroach after anyone you designate and feed it to an animal.

Their annual “Cry Me a Cockroach” is intended for “exes who just won’t bug off,” as CNN reports. The annual event received more than eight thousand donations last year from all fifty states and over thirty different countries.

This expression of animosity is relatively innocuous (unless someone names a cockroach for you, I suppose). Here’s a more dramatic example of the enmity pervading our culture: According to Pew, 77 percent of Americans say our country’s partisan divide is deeper now than it was before the pandemic, as compared with a median of 47 percent in thirteen other nations surveyed. Even worse, support for the use of political violence is rising in our society.

Gallup recently conducted a “confidence in institutions” survey. Their polling included the church or organized religion, the military, the Supreme Court, public schools, the police, the criminal justice system, small business, big business, large tech companies, banks, the medical system, newspapers, television news, Congress, and the presidency.

What do these fifteen institutions have in common?

Public confidence in every one of them fell last year.

“I know my own and my own know me”

James described his first-century world in terms that seem eerily accurate today: “What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask” (James 4:1–2).

By contrast, the creative brilliance and power of the One who made us is on display everywhere we turn, if only we have eyes to see. For example, a recent galactic photo shoot captured more than three billion stars and galaxies. Astoundingly, this is only .15 percent of the two trillion galaxies in the universe.

Your Lord made all of that and holds it in the palm of his hand (Isaiah 40:12).

From the transcendent to the immanent: according to National Geographic, your circulatory system is more than sixty thousand miles long (this is more than twice the equatorial circumference of our planet). Your heart beats one hundred thousand times a day, forty million times a year, up to three billion times in your lifetime.

Jesus made all of that when he made you: “By him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible” (Colossians 1:16). What’s more, his omniscience and omnipotence are available to all who seek his wisdom and strength.

This is because, unlike every other figure of history, the living Lord Jesus can be known personally by any who make him their Savior and Lord.

Buddhists do not claim that they can know the Buddha; Muslims do not claim to know Muhammad. But Jesus assured us, “I know my own and my own know me” (John 10:14). We can “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). Paul’s life purpose was to “know him” (Philippians 3:10).

“All the thrills of religion”

Here’s the problem: we all too often settle for knowing about Jesus when we can know Jesus. Consider an analogy.

I was taught algebra in the eighth grade, but I remember almost nothing of what I learned. So I turned today to a Wikipedia article on the subject. Here I discovered that the word algebra comes from the title of a book by the ninth-century Persian mathematician Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi. I learned that its roots can be traced to the ancient Babylonians and that at least twelve different areas of mathematics have “algebra” in their name.

The article taught me much about algebra, but it did not teach me how to do algebra. This is how many of our religious activities function: they teach us about Jesus, but do they lead us to experience Jesus?

If not, why not?

To be confessional, I know one answer: it is easier to tell you about Jesus than to know him and then make known what I know. When I seek to know him personally, I experience his presence in ways that can be more than uncomfortable. I see the stains of my sins in the light of his holiness. I hear him calling me to accountability and submission to his authority.

However, if I spend my time teaching people about Jesus, I can avoid all of this while maintaining the appearance of religiosity. I can teach a passage of Scripture without having to deal with the One who inspired it. I can engage in religious practices without risking the repentance that is likely to be required by relational intimacy with Christ.

To quote C. S. Lewis, “All the thrills of religion and none of the cost.” Except this: avoiding the cost of knowing Christ costs me everything that matters most to my soul.

“We are bound to be captured”

Br. Keith Nelson of the Society of St. John the Evangelist writes: “In the sea of this life, we are bound to be captured sooner or later. The waters are full of other nets, bristling with hooks. If we don’t give our consent to be caught by Christ, something else will encircle our freedom and determine our choices. We need our attention to be captured by the one who longs for our transformation and wholeness.”

To shift the analogy, Jesus testified: “I am the vine; you are the branches. 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). With regard to your present significance and eternal rewards, “much fruit” or “nothing” are your two options.

Which do you choose today?

Denison Forum

Hagee Ministries; John Hagee –  Daily Devotion

Romans 10:1

Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.

You may have heard it said that a prayerless Christian is a powerless Christian, but let me add that you’re not powerless if you’ll pray! You want power with God? Learn to pray. You want God’s blessings to be on your family? Learn to pray. You want your children to fulfill their potential in life? Teach them to pray. You want to know what it takes to change the world? Pray. Pray. Pray.

Do you have family members that you know need God in their lives? Pray. Don’t go to them and point out all their faults or quote 500 Scriptures about what would change if they would change. Don’t post little convicting messages on Facebook, hoping they’ll read them. Pray! Get on your knees and call out to God on their behalf. Bind every hindering spirit that is enabling them to run from the plan and purpose of God. Pull down every spiritual stronghold that would keep them from understanding the love, the grace, and the mercy of God. Command every power and principality in the heavenly places that would rise against them to turn from them. Pray that the Father will wrap His arms around them and bring them to the throne of His grace!

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; giving you His peace. May the Lord make you the instrument through which He brings the light of the Gospel to the members of your family to be saved. God will give you the desires of your heart. Be patient and persistent, and God will give you your flesh and blood for your spiritual harvest in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Today’s Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

Exodus 26:1-27:21

New Testament 

Matthew 25:1-30

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 31:1-8

Proverbs 8:1-11


Turning Point; David Jeremiah – Horrors!

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Matthew 6:34

 Recommended Reading: Matthew 6:31-34

Recently a website offered tips to help people calm down if a horror movie triggers their anxiety. Horror movies are designed to elicit emotions like fear and stress, which can cause panic attacks. Moviemakers use a technique called “jump scare” to shock viewers and make them jump. The scenes can result in nightmares and generate anxiety.

Most of us would say there’s an easy answer to that—don’t watch horror movies!

But life itself can do the same thing—elicit emotions of fear and stress, cause panic attacks, shock and scare us, give us nightmares, and generate anxiety. And we can’t very easily avoid life!

But we can minimize anxiety. One of the greatest techniques of peaceful people is learning to go about today’s business while leaving tomorrow in God’s hands. As you focus on what God has placed in front of you today, the giant of worry about the future will fade! God will take care of today and tomorrow.

Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength—carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.
Corrie ten Boom


Harvest Ministries; Greg Laurie – Sorry Enough to Change

 For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death 

—2 Corinthians 7:10


2 Corinthians 7:10 

Sometimes we confuse remorse or regret with repentance. The person who gets caught in a lie is sorry. The criminal who gets arrested is sorry. But are they repentant? I don’t know. Maybe the person who lied will just be more careful the next time. And the criminal will plot his next crime with more foresight. But that isn’t repentance.

For example, Exodus 9 tells us that Pharaoh, who was hardened in his sin, acknowledged the sin existed. He called for Moses and Aaron and said, “I have sinned this time. The Lord is righteous, and my people and I are wicked” (verse 27 NKJV).

That’s good, but then he continued to sin against God, and ultimately God judged him. He never came to faith.

Saul, the king of Israel, said at one point, “I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord” (1 Samuel 15:24 NKJV). But does that mean he changed his life? No. He continued as he had been living, and he threw his life away.

The Bible also tells us about a rich, young ruler who approached Jesus, wanting to know how to have eternal life. Jesus gave him the answer, and he went away sorrowful but not repentant.

Even Judas Iscariot was sorry because he betrayed Jesus. But he didn’t do anything with that sorrow. His sorrow did not lead to repentance.

It isn’t enough to be sorry. We must do something about it.

The Bible says that “godly sorrow produces repentance.” Repentance means that we are willing to change. Repentance means being sorry enough to stop.

It is not enough to be sorry. God’s people need to repent of the sins they have committed. Are you ready to turn your back on sin and follow Jesus? He will give you the strength to do what He has called you to do.