Our Daily Bread — An Undeserved Gift

Bible in a Year:

Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.

1 Timothy 1:15

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

1 Timothy 1:12–16

When my friend gave me a gift recently, I was surprised. I didn’t think I deserved such a nice present from her. She’d sent it after hearing about some work stress I was experiencing. Yet she was going through just as much stress, if not more, than I was, with an aging parent, challenging children, upheaval at work, and strain on her marriage. I couldn’t believe she had thought of me before herself, and her simple gift brought me to tears.

In truth, we’re all recipients of a gift that we could never deserve. Paul put it this way: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst” (1 Timothy 1:15). Although he “was once a blasphemer and persecutor and a violent man, . . . the grace of our Lord was poured out on [him] abundantly” (vv. 13–14). The risen Jesus gave Paul a deep understanding of the free gift of grace. As a result, he learned what it meant to be an undeserving recipient of that gift and he became a powerful instrument of God’s love and told many people about what He had done for him.

It’s only through His grace that we receive love instead of condemnation, and mercy instead of judgment. Today, let’s celebrate the undeserved grace that God has given and be on the lookout for ways to demonstrate that grace to others.

By:  Karen Pimpo

Reflect & Pray

How have you lost sight of the miraculous gift of grace? What would it look like to be motivated by grace once again?

Dear God, help me understand more fully what it means to extend Your gift of grace to others.

http://www.odb.org

Grace to You; John MacArthur – God Is Always with Us

“The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth” (Psalm 145:18).

Understanding God’s omnipresence should encourage us in times of distress and keep us from sinning.

It is a great comfort as a Christian to know that God is always present in me both essentially and relationally. No matter what the trial, He is there. Sometimes He might seem far away, but He’s really no further away than He’s ever been. His promise to us is, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you” (Heb. 13:5).

God is always with us to support our service to Him. When God called Moses to proclaim His message and lead Israel out of slavery, Moses protested because of his lack of speaking abilities (Ex. 4:10). But God said, “I . . . will be with your mouth, and teach you what you are to say” (v. 12). Jesus commands us, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations . . . and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:19-20). If you doubt you have the power to witness, remember that you have the same resource as any evangelist—the presence and power of God!

God’s continual presence is also a shield against sin. “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it” (1 Cor. 10:13). Nothing will ever tempt us without His giving us the strength to resist.

The omnipresence of God should also motivate us to holiness. Most of us prefer to sin with no one else watching. But when we sin—whether in thought, word, or action—we sin in the presence of God. “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, watching the evil and the good” (Prov. 15:3). “His eyes are upon the ways of a man, and He sees all his steps. There is no darkness or deep shadow where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves” (Job 34:21-22). Don’t do anything you wouldn’t want God to see, because He’ll see it anyway!

Suggestions for Prayer

Thank God for the comfort He brings to you through His continual presence.

For Further Study

Hebrews 13:5 is a quote from Deuteronomy 31:6. Read Deuteronomy 31:1-8. What was the basis for Moses’ admonition to “be strong and courageous”?

From Strength for Today by John MacArthur 

http://www.gty.org/

Joyce Meyer – Start Where You Are

Therefore, you are no longer a slave (bond servant) but a son; and if a son, then [it follows that you are] an heir by the aid of God, through Christ.

— Galatians 4:7 (AMPC)

As a Christian, you believe Jesus died for your sins and that when you die you will go to heaven because you believe in Him. But there is more to our redemption than that. There is a life of victory God wants for you now.

It is impossible to live victoriously on this earth without understanding your rightful authority and dominion over the devil and all his works. Your position “in Christ” is one of being seated at the right hand of the Lord God Omnipotent.

God wants to restore you to the place of authority that is yours. He has already made all the arrangements; you might say He has “sealed the deal.” The purchase price has been paid in full. You have been bought by the precious blood of Jesus.

Prayer of the Day: Thank You, Father, that for helping to understand my rightful authority and dominion I have over the enemy and all his works, amen.

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Truth for Life; Alistair Begg – Enjoying Life Under the Sun

There is a vanity that takes place on earth, that there are righteous people to whom it happens according to the deeds of the wicked, and there are wicked people to whom it happens according to the deeds of the righteous. I said that this also is vanity. And I commend joy, for man has nothing better under the sun but to eat and drink and be joyful, for this will go with him in his toil through the days of his life that God has given him under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 8:14-15

None of us, of course, are guaranteed to know the date of our death. But we know something just as certain: unless Christ returns first, that day will come. Until then, Scripture says, we will inhabit a creation that is subject to futility, with evil around us, sin within us, and chaos seeming to prevail more often than not. We will see the wicked prosper and the godly struggle. These truths are poignantly expressed in the words of the Preacher of Ecclesiastes: “There is a vanity that takes place on earth.”

By itself, that observation could send us into a spiral of sorrow, sullenness, and despair. But the writer of Ecclesiastes does not leave us there. Instead, he makes a rather surprising recommendation: “I commend joy … to eat and drink and be joyful.” Observation: life is unmanageable. Recommendation: enjoy life’s simple pleasures!

How can anyone know genuine enjoyment of such pleasures when life is futile and unjust and comes with an expiration date? This is something that is only possible for those who know the truth. We can freely and guiltlessly enjoy the pleasures God gives because we know God; indeed, it honors the Giver of such gifts to enjoy what He gives. The apostle Paul describes God as the one “who richly provides us with everything to enjoy” (1 Timothy 6:17). The fact that simple pleasures offer no ultimate satisfaction does not mean they offer no satisfaction. It is knowing that there is life beyond the sun that frees us to enjoy our life “under the sun.” As the hymn writer puts it:

Heav’n above is softer blue,
Earth around is sweeter green;
Something lives in every hue
Christless eyes have never seen.[1]

When was the last time you asked someone, “Are you enjoying yourself?” When did you last ask yourself that question? It is a good, Christian thing to ask! We know both that the world is broken and that every good gift comes from God. So honor Him by enjoying your next cup of coffee, your next day with your spouse, your next day at work, the next thing that makes you smile, as a gift from Him. He’s given these blessings to you for your God-honoring enjoyment, so that you can say with the psalmist, “This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24).

GOING DEEPER

1 Timothy 6:6-10

1 Timothy 6:17-19

Topics: Contentment Giving Joy

FOOTNOTES

1 Wade Robinson, “I Am His, and He Is Mine” (1876).

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

http://www.truthforlife.org

Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – God Hates Sin

“These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, an heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.” (Proverbs 6:16-19)

What are some things that you hate? Brussels sprouts? Folding laundry? Cleaning your bedroom? We all have things we don’t like to see or do, but did you know that the Bible says that there are certain things God hates?

God hates sin. Proverbs 6 says that God hates a proud look. Whenever you look at someone in a way that shows you think you are better than he is, you are giving a proud look. God also hates a lying tongue. Have you ever told a lie or misled someone? God hates that type of sin. God despises it when we plan wicked things in our minds. Have you ever done that? God hates it when His children are quick to run to mischief. God also hates it when we say or do things that cause our friends to fight. Have you ever started an argument between friends? God hates that.

God doesn’t hate people, but He hates the sins they commit. Unfortunately, sometimes we think the sins we commit “aren’t that bad.” You might think, “I’m not so bad. It’s not like I murdered anyone!” But did you notice that Proverbs 6:16-9 puts the sins of a lying tongue and a proud look in the same list with the sin of murder? In God’s eyes, all sin is serious.

Are you committing sins that God hates? Have you been thinking that it’s “no big deal?” Now that you understand how God thinks about those sins, confess them to the Lord and ask Him to keep you from committing sin.

All sin is a big deal to God.

My Response:
» Are there sins that I need to confess to the Lord and take more seriously in the future?

Hagee Ministries; John Hagee –  Daily Devotion

1 Samuel 16:7

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

If you ever feel overlooked for some reason, David knew what you feel. The day the prophet Samuel came to anoint one of Jesse’s sons for the throne, David’s family sent him out to the field. They didn’t see in David what God saw. He wasn’t considered worthy enough to even be considered by Samuel. David was overlooked and ignored until God reminded Samuel that man’s opinions do not determine one’s destiny. God Almighty is the One who ordained us. God Almighty is the One who says that when He begins a good work in us, He will be faithful to complete it. God Almighty is the One who makes the least one suddenly ascend to be the greatest.

Don’t let the small-minded perspective of others around you become your limitation. Believe in your life what David believed in his life: “The Lord is on my side. God loves me, and He has chosen me. Nothing is too difficult for the Lord whom I serve. No giant is too big that God and I cannot take down. No valley is too great that God and I cannot walk through. No night is too dark that His Word will not be a lamp to my feet.”

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 walk in the confidence of knowing that the blood of Jesus Christ will never lose its power. It has redeemed us. It has set us free from the power of sin and Satan. We are liberated. We are royalty, for the blood of heaven is flowing through our veins. Lift up your heads and rejoice; redemption draweth nigh. But until then, let us put on the whole armor of God, fight the good fight, and be victorious in the authority of Jesus’ name.

Today’s Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

Exodus 32:1-33:23

New Testament 

Matthew 26:69-27:14

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 33:1-11

Proverbs 8:33-36

https://www.jhm.org

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

Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Hebrews 13:5

 Recommended Reading: Deuteronomy 31:6

Eagles usually build their nests high in the branches of a tall tree. In the winter, when icy rain, sleet, or snow falls, the parents and eaglet(s) are left exposed. In such weather, one of the parents will gather the baby eagle(s) under their wings and provide shelter through the storm.

On our own “stormy nights,” God is with us. The apostle Peter reminded his readers that it is possible to love, worship, and follow the Lord whom we have never seen (1 Peter 1:8). Peter may have been remembering Jesus’ words in John 20:29: “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” We sometimes think that because we can’t see the Lord, He cannot meet our needs. But Paul wrote that the One who gave us His Son will surely meet all our other needs (Romans 8:32). The best way to be assured of God’s presence is to be in His presence daily through prayer, Bible study, and worship.

Read and pray a promise of God today and be reminded of His presence with you.

Anxious care is out of place in a heavenly Father’s presence. 
Kenneth Wuest

https://www.davidjeremiah.org

Harvest Ministries; Greg Laurie – A Supernatural Invasion of God

Then we will not turn back from You; revive us, and we will call upon Your name. 

—Psalm 80:18

Scripture:

Psalm 80:18 

We can’t create a revival. We can’t organize a revival. But we can agonize in prayer for a revival. A revival is a supernatural invasion of God. It is something that God does for us and not something we do for Him.

One person defined revival as a community saturated with God. Richard Owen Roberts, who wrote a great book called Revival, described it as “an extraordinary movement of the Holy Spirit producing extraordinary results.”

A. W. Tozer defined revival as that which changes the moral climate of the community.

Revival is nothing more or less than a new beginning of obedience to God.

And really, nonbelievers don’t need revival; they need salvation. The church needs revival. Revival is for believers only, but evangelism is for nonbelievers.

Charles Spurgeon said, “To be revived is a blessing which can only be enjoyed by those who have some degree of life. Those who have no spiritual life are not, and cannot be, in the strictest sense of the term, subjects of a revival. A true revival is to be looked for in the Church of God.”

I don’t think most Americans have heard an authentic, biblical gospel presentation. In fact, I think we have a lot of “almost Christians” in our nation today. They know a little about the gospel, but they don’t understand it fully. They haven’t responded to it or embraced it.

For example, when the apostle Paul presented the gospel to Herod Agrippa, the ruler said, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian” (Acts 26:28 NKJV).

One of the greatest revivals in human history started with one man, Jonah. Initially he ran from God, but ultimately he came to his senses. God has called us, like Jonah, to go and preach the gospel. The question is, are we doing it?