Our Daily Bread — Reflecting Christ’s Light

Bible in a Year:

In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.

John 1:4

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

John 1:4–9

To capture the beauty of reflective light in his landscape oil paintings, artist Armand Cabrera works with a key artistic principle: “Reflected light is never as strong as its source light.” He observes that novice painters tend to exaggerate reflected light. He says, “Reflected light belongs to the shadow and as such it must support, not compete with the lighted areas of your painting.”

We hear similar insight in the Bible concerning Jesus as “the light of all mankind” (John 1:4). John the Baptist “came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe” (v. 7). The gospel writer tells us, “He himself [John] was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light” (v. 8).

As with John, we’re chosen by God to reflect Christ’s light to those living in the shadows of an unbelieving world. This is our role, as one source says, “perhaps because unbelievers are not able to bear the full blazing glory of His light firsthand.”

Cabrera teaches his art students that “anything that has direct light falling on it in a scene becomes a source of light itself.” Similarly, with Jesus as “the true light that gives light to everyone” (v. 9), we can shine as witnesses. As we reflect Him, may the world be amazed to see His glory shine through us.

By:  Patricia Raybon

Reflect & Pray

How do you reflect the light of Christ? In what shadowy areas of the world can you shine His transforming light?

Shine on me, beautiful Light of God. Please help me to shine Your light in the shadows of an unbelieving world.


Grace to You; John MacArthur – The Comfort of God’s Omniscience

 “And [Peter] said to Him, ‘Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You’” (John 21:17).

Since God knows all things, He knows our struggles and will help us through them.

It’s comforting to know that in the vastness of the universe, I’m not lost in insignificance; God knows me personally. Have you ever wondered if He knows you’re there? Some godly people in Malachi’s time wondered that. Malachi spoke words of judgment against the wicked, but the faithful believers feared that God might forget them and that they too would be consumed by God’s wrath. “Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who esteem His name. ‘And they will be Mine,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘on the day that I prepare My own possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him’” (Mal. 3:16-17). God has a book, and He doesn’t forget who belongs in it. I know that God knows me and that I belong to Him.

David, too, found comfort in God’s omniscience. He said, “Thou hast taken account of my wanderings; put my tears in Thy bottle; are they not in Thy book?” (Ps. 56:8). It was customary for hired mourners at funerals in David’s time to catch their tears in a bottle, perhaps to prove they earned their money. David knew that none of his trials went unnoticed by God. Not only does He know about them, He cares about them too.

You might be frustrated sometimes in your Christian walk as you see sin in your life. But happily for us, God knows that we still love Him in spite of our failings. In John 21, Peter kept trying to convince Christ that he loved Him, although his words and actions didn’t always prove it. Finally Peter said, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You” (v. 17). Peter appealed to the Lord’s omniscience. We can do the same thing when we stumble.

Suggestions for Prayer

Thank God for knowing and caring about your struggles.

For Further Study

Read Job 42:1-6.

  • What did Job acknowledge about God?
  • What did that lead him to do?

From Strength for Today by John MacArthur 


Joyce Meyer – Stay Safe in the Word

But test and prove all things [until you can recognize] what is good; [to that] hold fast.

— 1 Thessalonians 5:21 (AMPC)

Hearing from God clearly and avoiding the possibility of deception only comes from spending regular time with Him, learning Word. Listening for God’s voice without having knowledge of His Word is a mistake. Knowing God’s written Word protects us from deception. Trying to hear from God without knowing His Word is irresponsible and even dangerous. People who want to be led by the Spirit but are too lazy to spend time in the Word and in prayer set themselves up for deception because evil spirits are eager to whisper to listening ears. The devil tried to say things to Jesus, and He always replied, “It is written,” and then quoted Scripture to refute the lies of the enemy (see Luke 4). Some people only seek God when they are in trouble and need help. But if they are not used to hearing from God, they will find recognizing His voice difficult when they really need Him.

We need to compare any idea, prompting, or thought that comes to us with God’s Word. If we don’t know the Word, we won’t have anything against which to measure theories and arguments that rise up in our thoughts. The enemy can present wild ideas that make sense to us. The fact that thoughts are logical doesn’t mean they are from God. We may like what we hear, but the fact that something appeals to us doesn’t mean it is from God. We may hear something that feels good to our emotions, but if it fails to give us peace it is not from God. God’s advice to us is to always follow peace and let it be an umpire in our lives (see Colossians 3:15).

Prayer of the Day: Father, I am so thankful for the promises and instruction that I find in Your Word. Today, I choose to live a thankful life simply because You instruct me to in the Word of God. I will act in obedience, and I believe that Your Word teaches me the best way to live.


Truth for Life; Alistair Begg –A Call to Remember

When your children ask in time to come, “What do those stones mean to you?” then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever.

Joshua 4:6-7

The Christian life is, in a sense, one big call to remember. Our Lord Jesus, speaking of the new-covenant meal of Communion, told us, “Do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19, emphasis added). Every Lord’s Supper, then, offers us the opportunity to remember together all that is pictured in the bread and wine.

Deuteronomy similarly envisions a scenario in which a son asks his father, “What is the meaning of the testimonies and statutes and the rules that the LORD our God has commanded you?” (Deuteronomy 6:20). The father responds by telling Israel’s story of redemption, highlighting that what God instructs is “for our good always” (v 24). The book of Joshua, too, commends the same kind of commemoration when the Lord instructs the people to set up twelve memorial stones at the Jordan River, so that the stones would be “to the people of Israel a memorial forever.” God wanted His people then—and wants His people today—to ever remember His faithfulness and to tell others what He has done.

Such remembrances and memorials have always been significant. But in a day with endless competing claims on our attention and affections, we perhaps need more reminders of God’s faithfulness than ever before. It’s notable that the examples above are concrete and interpersonal. We participate in the Lord’s Supper together, and it offers us a multisensory experience to help us remember. The twelve stones at the Jordan River constituted a physical memorial. The instruction of Deuteronomy encourages us to have conversations about God’s faithfulness and goodness in our homes.

For today’s Christians, every Sunday presents us with the opportunity to gather and remember with God’s people. But we are going to need more than a weekly touchpoint to sustain ourselves. Ask yourself: What habits can I cultivate to remember God’s goodness? How can I catalog His faithfulness to me and share that with others? What “memorials” can I set up so that I can remember how God delivered me?

Opportunities to see and recall God’s faithfulness abound. All we need to do is look and remember.


Luke 22:14-20

Topics: Faithfulness of God The Lord’s Supper The Sabbath

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


Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – God Heals Broken Hearts

“He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.” (Psalm 147:3)

What is a “broken heart”? Have you ever had one? We use the expression when we talk about the deepest kind of grief a heart can feel. Broken hearts are often caused by a hurtful change in a relationship with another person. If someone you love dies, or if you have to say good-bye to a friend, or if someone close to you does something to hurt you deeply, you might say that you have a broken heart. But those are just the surface causes for a broken heart. Do you know what really causes broken hearts? All of the grief, death, and sadness we experience came into our world as the result of human sin.

Jesus’ heart was broken once too. Psalm 69:20 looks ahead to the time when Jesus died on the cross for our sins. “Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness.” Jesus’ heart was not broken because of His own sin; He never sinned. It was broken because of ours. All the sins of the whole world were laid on Him when He suffered and died. During those hours on the cross, He endured the awful wrath of God the Father in our place. The precious relationship Jesus had with His Father, closer and more satisfying than anything we could know, was broken while He bore our sin.

Does your God understand what your broken heart feels like? He not only understands, but He also knows how to heal it. Through Jesus Christ’s suffering and death on the cross, He made a way for you to come directly to Him with your broken heart. Your grief may be the result of your own sin or someone else’s. Or it may be the result of sin’s effects on our fallen world. Whatever the cause, God promises to gently care for your hurting heart.

The God whose heart was broken for sin will heal your broken heart.

My Response:
» Have I brought my broken heart to God for healing?

Denison Forum – Satanic Temple opens online abortion clinic, names it for Samuel Alito’s mother

The Satanic Temple is launching an online abortion clinic that prescribes medication for patients who want to take part in its “religious abortion ritual.” The group named the initiative “The Samuel Alito’s Mom’s Satanic Abortion Clinic” in reference to the Supreme Court justice who wrote the majority opinion overturning Roe v. Wade.

In related news, the Grammy Awards recently recognized “Unholy” as the best pop duo of the year; the performance of the song during the show included demonic costumes and depraved sexual themes. Prior to the show, singer Sam Smith tweeted a photo of himself in rehearsal wearing devil horns with the words “This is going to be SPECIAL” and a devil emoji. CBS responded: “You can say that again. We are ready to worship!” They later deleted the tweet.

While these stories are obviously tragic and disturbing, they are no longer surprising, a cultural fact which is itself tragic and disturbing.

Now consider a thought experiment: imagine that a group of pro-life supporters launched an initiative opposing abortion named for Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s mother. Or that the Grammy Awards included a performance they knew would offend Muslims (or any other religious group except Christians).

What would be the response in secular culture?

“The biggest threat to American democracy”

George F. Will has been a conservative columnist for the Washington Post for the last half-century. In a fascinating recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, he laments the fact that “consciousness itself has become a political project.”

Here is his explanation: “You can blame Marx, or his precursor Hegel. Once you decide that human nature is a fiction, that human beings are merely the sum of impressions made on them by their surrounding culture, then politics acquires an enormous jurisdiction. Consciousness becomes a political project, and the point of politics becomes the control of culture in order to control the imposition of proper consciousnesses.”

In Will’s view, progressives think that “consciousness is to be transmitted by the government. And they’re working on it, starting with kindergarten. The academic culture, from the Harvard Graduate School of Education to kindergarten in Flagstaff, Arizona, is the same now, coast to coast, as far as I can tell.”

This works because our secular society has jettisoned belief in objective truth and morality, viewing people as made not in God’s image but in the image of pragmatic consensus. As a result, politics are so crucial these days because political power can be used to inculcate a particular worldview across society. When political parties advance that consensus through cultural institutions, they ensure that they remain in power.

All that is necessary is for the worldview being advanced to appeal to our intrinsic desires and needs. An agenda that empowers us to define ourselves and our “truth” as we wish appeals to the “will to power” at the heart of fallen humanity (Genesis 3:5). A corollary agenda that defines morality as anything that doesn’t harm someone else appeals to the “works of the flesh” such as “sexual immorality, impurity, [and] sensuality” (Galatians 5:19).

At the end of his Wall Street Journal interview, George Will states, “People always ask, ‘What’s the biggest threat to American democracy?’ The biggest threat to American democracy is American democracy. It is the fact that we have incontinent appetites and no restraint on them” (his emphasis).

The great impediment to revival

We have been focusing this week on the revival still ongoing at Asbury University in Kentucky. I am praying for God to protect and bless those experiencing this remarkable movement of his Spirit and to make them a catalyst for the spiritual awakening our nation needs so desperately.

Here’s the great impediment to God answering such prayers: we must admit that we need what only his Spirit can do. If God’s people do not recognize how much we need the transforming power of God in our lives and our culture, we will not truly seek such a movement or pay a personal price to join it.

The 2 Chronicles 7:14 text so often connected to revival begins, “If my people who are called by my name . . . .” However, its call to humility and dependence on God is preceded by verse 13’s description of a day when drought, devastation, and disease have ravaged the land. In that condition, the people would clearly know that they needed to turn to God in desperation.

Here’s my point: American society is now in the same condition spiritually that the Israel described by 2 Chronicles 7:13 was in physically. The unbiblical immorality that began gaining cultural traction with the sexual revolution of the 1960s has become normalized and legalized. Those who stand for biblical morality are now stigmatized and such opposition is increasingly criminalized.

This movement is using the levers of cultural and political influence to advance its aims and ensure its continued power.

“Led forward by grace”

Let’s end on a positive note: God knows everything I have discussed today and is still on his throne. He is working to redeem the brokenness of our secularized society by using it to draw people to his amazing grace and love. And, as the Asbury revival shows, he is using all who will be used in his agenda of restoration and renewal.

An unknown writer in the fourth century noted that “those who carry Christ within them, shining within them and renewing them—these people are guided by the Spirit in various ways and led forward by grace working invisibly in the inner peace of their hearts.”

As we know Christ and make him known, the Christ within us will renew us and lead us “forward by grace.” However others respond to such grace, we will know we have been faithful to the God who is faithful to us.

And, as Mother Teresa observed, “When facing God, results are not important. Faithfulness is what is important.”

Will you do what is “important” today?

Denison Forum

Hagee Ministries; John Hagee –  Daily Devotion

Psalm 24:1

The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein.

Oftentimes we get together and talk about things we’d like to change in the world. When we see the conditions of morality in this nation and the current direction our country is headed, and we know that many churches are abandoning the truth of God’s Word to be politically correct, it’s easy to feel hopeless because we don’t feel as though we have the ability, the power or the strength to make a difference. The reality is that not much will change until we talk to Someone who can change things. Regardless of how corrupt our world has become, the truth remains that this earth is the Lord’s and all its fullness. God is still on His throne, and He still governs the affairs of men.

So if we want to see change, we need to talk to the One who can change it. The only One who has the ability to change the direction of this nation is not running on a party ticket. The only One who has the ability to fix what is broken in your world is the One who created it. And the only way to speak to Him is when you pray.

Don’t you think it’s time to pray?

Today’s Blessing: 

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face to shine upon you. And may the Lord be gracious unto you and give you His peace. May you walk today knowing the faith that God has given you and the initiative that you take on that faith will lead you into success for tomorrow and in every adventure. Nothing is too difficult for the Lord that we serve. Put your hands in the nail-scarred hand of the Son of God and walk with Him to achieve your destiny. For great is the Lord God of heaven, who saves us all through His precious blood. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Today’s Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

Leviticus 1:1-3:17

New Testament 

Mark 1:29-2:12

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 35:17-28

Proverbs 9:13-18


Turning Point; David Jeremiah – Salty Words

Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.
Colossians 4:6

 Recommended Reading: Ephesians 4:29

“You are the salt of the earth” (Matthew 5:13). These familiar words of Jesus suggest that our life is to accomplish the two benefits of salt: seasoning (attractiveness) and preservation. Paul applied the salt metaphor to speech when it came to relating to nonbelievers: Our speech should be graceful (kind, compassionate, encouraging, understanding)—seasoned with salt.

How might the two uses of salt—seasoning and preservation—apply to our speech when relating to those who might be opposed to our beliefs or actions? Seasoning suggests speech that adds an attractive flavor to the conversation or dialogue. And preservation suggests doing whatever we can, not just to preserve a relationship but to strengthen it. As Paul wrote in Romans 12:18, “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.” “All men” includes everyone we encounter—even those who may have done us wrong. Let us speak only “what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers” (Ephesians 4:29).

Look for an opportunity to encourage someone today with gracious words that are “flavorful” and that strengthen the relationship.

It is bad to think ill, but it is worse to speak it.
Matthew Henry


Harvest Ministries; Greg Laurie – The Church That Changed the World

 And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are his holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God. 

—1 Peter 2:5


1 Peter 2:5 

Some are saying that we need to reenvision the church for today. I disagree. I don’t think we need to reenvision it; I think we need to rediscover it.

We don’t need to redefine what God already has defined. We need to get back to the way church was in the beginning because this is the church that turned the world upside down.

Some people are anti-church. They say things like, “I don’t believe in organized religion. I’m just a very spiritual person. Besides, there are so many hypocrites in the church.” If that is your attitude, then the devil’s ploys have worked very effectively in your life.

Jesus told a story, or parable, about the wheat and the tares. A farmer planted a crop of wheat, but in the evening his adversary came along and planted tares among the wheat. Tares initially look just like wheat, but as time passes, they actually can uproot the wheat.

Wherever there’s something genuine, there will be an imitation. Whenever something has been done well, someone else will do their version of it. Yet imitations remind us that the genuine is out there.

As we look at the first-century church, we see they had hypocrites too. They had heresies. They even had some pretty radical immorality being practiced in their midst.

Yet we should know that Jesus Christ is committed to the church. It is the only organization that He ever started, and there is really nothing in the world like the church. The church has many critics but no rivals.

The secret of the early church was that every Christian believed they were called to do their part. Every person mattered.

We shouldn’t be spectators in the church; we should be participants. It’s easy to play armchair quarterback. But it’s another thing altogether to be on the field as part of the team. That is where God wants all of us to be.