Our Daily Bread — Protect Your Heart

Bible in a Year:

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

Proverbs 4:23

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

Proverbs 4:20–27

Hungarian-born mathematician Abraham Wald lent his skills to the World War II efforts after coming to the United States in 1938. The military was looking for ways to protect its aircraft from enemy fire, so Wald and his colleagues at the Statistical Research Group were asked to figure out how to better protect military aircraft to defend against enemy fire. They began by examining returning aircraft to see where they were most damaged. But Wald is credited with the keen insight that damage on returning aircraft represented only where a plane could be hit and still survive. He realized that areas most in need of additional armor would be found on planes that had crashed. Planes hit in the most vulnerable part—the engine—had gone down and therefore couldn’t be examined.

Solomon teaches us about protecting our most vulnerable part—our heart. He instructs his son to “guard [his] heart” because from it everything else flows (Proverbs 4:23). God’s instructions guide us through life, steering us away from poor decisions and teaching us where to focus our attention.

If we armor our heart by heeding His instructions, we’ll better “keep [our feet] from evil” and remain steadfast on our journey with God (v. 27). We venture into enemy territory every day, but with His wisdom guarding our hearts, we can stay focused on our mission to live well for God’s glory.

By:  Kirsten Holmberg

Reflect & Pray

What is your heart most vulnerable to right now? How can God’s wisdom protect you?

God, please protect my heart from the threats against it. I hide myself in You.


Grace to You; John MacArthur – Maintaining Spiritual Integrity

“In order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ” (Phil. 1:10).

Seek to have a life that bears scrutiny.

In our society, those whose lives are marked by moral soundness, uprightness, honesty, and sincerity are usually thought of as people of integrity. However, society’s standards often fall far short of God’s. Spiritual integrity calls for the highest possible standard of behavior and requires supernatural resources available only to those who trust in Him.

Paul’s prayer in Philippians 1:9-10 outlines the path to spiritual integrity. It begins with love that abounds with knowledge and discernment (v. 9) and progresses to the pursuit of excellence (v. 10). The result is sincerity and blamelessness—two characteristics of godly integrity.

The Greek word translated “sincere” in verse 10 speaks of genuineness and authenticity. It literally means “without wax” and is an allusion to the practice of inspecting pottery by holding it up to the sunlight. In ancient times pottery often cracked during the firing process. Rather than discarding cracked pieces, dishonest dealers often filled the cracks with wax and sold them to unsuspecting customers. Holding a pot up to the sunlight revealed any flaws and protected the customer from a bad purchase.

Following that analogy, biblical integrity requires that you be without wax, having no hypocrisy or secret sins that show up when you’re under pressure or facing temptation.

“Blameless” speaks of consistency in living a life that doesn’t lead others into error or sin. Your standard is the same away from church as it is at church.

Being blameless isn’t easy in a world that unashamedly flaunts its sinful practices. You must guard against losing your sensitivity to the heinousness of sin and unwittingly beginning to tolerate or even accept the sin that once shocked you. That’s when you lose integrity and begin to cause others to stumble.

Diligently pursue integrity with a view toward glorifying Christ in all things until He returns!

Suggestions for Prayer

  • Thank God that He is able to keep you from stumbling and to make you stand in His presence blameless with great joy (Jude 24).
  • Prayerfully guard your heart and mind from the subtle evil influences that can erode your integrity and make you ineffective for the Lord.

For Further Study

Read Genesis 39.

  • How was Joseph’s integrity challenged?
  • How did God honor Joseph’s commitment to integrity?

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur


Joyce Meyer – Eliminating Excuses

For the Lord your God walks in the midst of your camp to deliver you and to give up your enemies before you. Therefore, shall your camp be holy, that He may see nothing indecent among you and turn away from you.

— Deuteronomy 23:14 (AMPC)

If a habit is controlling you, you will not enjoy the best that God offers you. Don’t make excuses for bondages that seem to have a hold on you. Denial and excuses will keep you from enjoying your life.

Whether it is a negative attitude, procrastination, or a bad temper, you cannot blame it on your genes or your family. God makes a way of escape for us and promises a good life for those who are born again. Claim your rights as a child of God. Say, “I am a new person in Christ; I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (see Philippians 4:13).

Prayer of the Day: I thank You, Father, that I am Your child, and I am greatly blessed. Today, I choose to think God-honoring thoughts, focusing on Your goodness in my life. I am thankful that you provide a way out of my issues. No more excuses, in the name of Jesus, amen.


Truth for Life; Alistair Begg – Prayer and God’s Sovereignty

I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance.

Philippians 1:19

Your prayers change things.

The apostle Paul understood this well. The book of Acts charts the rapid expansion of the church throughout the eastern Mediterranean world, fueled in large part by his three great missionary journeys. Yet it concludes with Paul living under house arrest at his own expense for two whole years (Acts 28:30). From a human perspective, it would seem that by this point his situation was hopeless. The Jews had been trying to kill him for years. He’d been in a series of trials because of trumped-up charges. He’d faced shipwreck, beatings, and hardships. And now he was chained to a Roman soldier, with no freedom to come and go as he pleased. His circumstances seemed to indicate that everything was against him and against what God might accomplish through him.

Yet in the midst of Paul’s difficult circumstances, he was confident in the power of prayer. During his Roman imprisonment, Paul wrote to the Philippian church, “I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance.” He also wrote a letter to his friend Philemon that contained the following words: “Prepare a guest room for me, for I am hoping that through your prayers I will be graciously given to you” (Philemon 22, emphasis added).

Paul’s letters indicate that he was confident that he would be released from prison, and he believed that his deliverance would come by means of the prayers of his believing friends. And though Acts never mentions Paul’s release, we can be fairly confident, from reading his other letters and Acts side by side, that he was indeed allowed to leave.

Paul was convinced that God was sovereign and that He was working everything out according to the eternal counsel of His will (Ephesians 1:11). But at the same time, he was not a determinist—he did not believe that nothing we do matters because nothing we do changes anything. That is because he knew that very often God works His plans out through means—through people. So Paul didn’t think that God’s sovereignty made prayer irrelevant, because he understood that God had ordained not only the end to which he was moving but also the means that would bring him there—means that included the prayers of God’s people.

God commands and expects you to pray. In a mysterious way that you cannot fully comprehend, your prayers are enfolded into the great outworking of His purposes. So when your life ceases to make sense and everything appears to be against you, don’t assume that God’s purposes for you have been thwarted. Direct your gaze to Him and ask others to join you in prayer. It may be that their prayers are the sovereign means that God will use to bring about your deliverance—for in His kindness, God has ordained that the prayers of His people really do change things.


Luke 11:1-13

Topics: Christian Living Prayer Sovereignty of God

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


Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – God Delights To Answer Prayer

“If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” (Matthew 7:11).

Regular readers, please see a special note for you at the foot of this devotional.*

When Michele was eleven, her best friend left their school to go to a different school. Michele’s class was small, and she didn’t feel close to any of the other three girls in the class. She wanted so much to have a best friend that she could talk to.

That summer before sixth grade, Michele’s mom said, “Why don’t you pray that God will send a new girl to your class next year to be your close friend?” She took her mom’s advice and started praying. But she didn’t have much faith. Where would a new girl come from? And even if a new girl did come, would she really want to be her friend? Michele dreaded the beginning of the new school year, because she didn’t believe God would answer her prayer.

Then in August, a new girl named Kelly and her family started coming to Michele’s church. God had moved her all the way to Kansas from the island of Guam in the Pacific Ocean! That fall, Kelly was in Michele’s sixth grade class. She was so cheerful and friendly that it was easy for Michele to get to know her. They quickly became best friends and went through the rest of high school together. They even attended the same college for four years, and still keep in touch today.

Michele would tell you now that God delights to answer the prayers of His children. It brings Him glory when we ask and truly depend on Him for things we need. If we ask for things that are good for us, He is pleased to give them to us at just the right time. But sometimes He goes beyond giving us what we ask for. Often, His gifts are better than anything we could have asked for or even imagined. And His gifts are always the best thing for us.

God delights to answer the prayers of His children.

My Response:
» What am I praying for?
» Am I praying with faith that God will answer in the best way?

DDNI Featured News Article – Kate Forbes: Would a Christian be permitted to lead Scotland?

With a Hindu as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and a Muslim as the mayor of London, it would seem that the UK is at last fulfilling the promise of a multi-cultural society. Yet events in Scotland suggest that there is one group who are in effect banned from meaningful political leadership – Christians who actually believe what Jesus says!

This week there has been a concerted campaign against the candidature for First Minister of the young Scottish Finance Minister, Kate Forbes, within some of the Scottish media online and even in UK-wide press such as The Guardian, whose headline says what they want – “Kate Forbes’ religious beliefs could stall her bid to succeed Sturgeon”.

Here is the problem: Kate Forbes is a young, intelligent, woman who has already shown she is the most competent politician of her generation. The trouble is that for those who now mainly control the civic elites in Scotland she is not the ‘right sort’ of woman. She is a Christian who belongs to the Free Church of Scotland and is unashamed of her faith.

In an interview with the BBC’s Nick Robinson in 2021, she could not have been clearer: “To be straight, I believe in the person of Jesus Christ. I believe that he died for me, he saved me and that my calling is to serve and to love him and to serve and love my neighbours with all my heart and soul and mind and strength. So that, for me, is essential to my being. Politics will pass. I was a person before I was a politician, and that person will continue to believe that I am made in the image of God.”

This week she was asked whether she would have voted for same-sex marriage, and she honestly admitted ‘no’. Everyone from The Times to The Guardian thinks that this has blown up her campaign – although I suspect the wish is father to the thought. Same-sex marriage is not up for debate in the Scottish Parliament. There is no chance it will be voted on in the next Scottish Parliament. It is a non-issue compared with the NHS, the economy, poverty etc. The only reason is to damn Kate Forbes for who she is, not what she will do.

Because of her experience with the poor in India, where her parents were working in a Christian charity, that is Forbes’s big concern. But the SNP establishment has been taken over by the progressives who now enjoy the gravy train that comes along with being in almost total control of Scottish government patronage. They were never going to let that be disrupted by such mundane issues as poverty, the economy, the NHS, housing, drugs deaths and education. According to Toni Giugliano, the SNP’s policy chief, the important issues include legislation on gender recognition, assisted suicide, abortion buffer zones and sex workers’ rights. Forget the poor.

Part of Kate’s concern for the poor is her concern for the unborn. This week some of the Scottish media and Twitterati were up in arms because of a speech she gave in 2018 to a charity run by Stagecoach co-founder Brian Souter. What did she say that was dredged up from the past that was so outrageous? “May our politicians recognise that the way we treat the most vulnerable – whether the unborn or the terminally ill – is a measure of true progress.” Imagine that! Being condemned as unfit to lead because of such a statement!

It is interesting that the only candidate who is being subjected to this kind of questioning and the inevitable Twitter mob abuse, is the young Christian woman. Her main rival, Humza Yousaf, is never questioned about whether he accepts the Quran and its views on polygamy, domestic violence or the treatment of unbelievers. Why? Because nothing else matters to the Woke than their doctrines. To question them is blasphemy.

Which is ironic because Humza Yousaf as justice minister introduced Scotland’s notorious Hate Crime laws in 2021, which in effect brought in a new law of blasphemy for anyone who dared to question the ‘protected characteristics’ determined by the Scottish government. The irony is that this draconian law could and should be used to deal with the hate being poured out towards Kate Forbes because of her religion. But of course, that was not what it was designed for.

In terms of the New Religion which has now become State doctrine, Kate Forbes is deemed to be a heretic. A new Test Act has been introduced into British politics. Accept the approved State dogmas – or you are out. Christian politicians have tried to operate a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy – even to the point of lying or denying their beliefs. But it’s getting harder. We are moving into a world where having the wrong opinion, never mind expressing it, can get you fired. I remember one journalist who interviewed me about transgenderism a few years ago. She told me that she agreed with me but that it would be more than her job was worth to do anything other than write a condemnatory piece about me.

As I watch the hate campaign being poured out from the usual quarters (sadly aided and abetted by some professing Christians) I am saddened that what I saw coming four years ago has now arrived.

Nicola Sturgeon lost her job, partly because of the insanity of her transgender policy, so the initiators of that policy are getting their revenge. But it’s not just the pettiness…which includes jibes about Forbes being a woman with a young family (so much for gender equality!) …it’s the fundamentalistic narrowness of it all. If you do not buy into the new religion, or at least publicly bow the knee, you are out. No matter your skills, abilities, policies or any such political nuances. In the new fundamentalist Scotland, ideology is everything.

Kevin McKenna, one of Scotland’s top journalists has recognised this, calling the targeting of Kate Forbes because of her faith ‘Scotland’s shame’.

In a paragraph worth quoting in full he argues: “Ms Forbes’ views on the sanctity of all human life from conception until death is a fundamental pillar of both Christian and Muslim belief. As is her belief – based on science – that sex is binary. The treatment that she’s already beginning to receive offers further evidence of the poison now circulating at the top of the SNP. That you’re free to be whoever you want to be, just so long as you’re not a Christian.”

Pray for Kate Forbes. In a normal world she would win this contest – her opponent has already failed in three ministerial portfolios. But this is a twisted world where being a Christian who believes what Jesus says is enough to get you cancelled. Who knows but that the world of the Twitterati and Scottish politics may not represent the wider constituency of the 100,000 SNP members who will vote?

However, we know that whatever happens the Lord is in control, Kate is in good hands. She has already won – because her life is defined by Christ and his ultimate victory, not by political victories. Kate Forbes has borne faithful witness to Christ and shown the people of Scotland a better way than the way of hate she is facing. I am thankful for her… and proud of our sister!

David Robertson 

David Robertson leads The ASK Project in Sydney, Australia. He blogs at The Wee Flea.


Hagee Ministries; John Hagee –  Daily Devotion

Isaiah 1:18

“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.”

Most people consider prayer to be like a drive-through window. It’s where they pull up and don’t have time to stay, but they want to make sure their order gets in and they get just what they want before they rush away. They pull up to heaven, and God says, “Welcome to McHeaven. May I take your order, please?” As sad as that sounds, that’s what a lot of people think about prayer.

The first thing they…and we…need to know about prayer is that prayer is not a monologue; prayer is a dialogue. Prayer is not where I speak and God listens. It’s where God and I have a conversation. Not only do I get the opportunity to speak to Him, but God very dearly wants to speak to me. Prayer is how we invite the supernatural presence of the Almighty to invade our life. Prayer is where we take time to learn how God effectively communicates with us! Prayer is where we get to hear exciting things when we stop talking and start listening to the King of kings and the Lord of lords. We get to talk to the Commander in Chief and ask Him what He wants us to do here on this earth so we can wage spiritual warfare and overcome the enemy.

Today’s Blessing: 

And 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 go from glory to glory and from strength to strength. May you go from victory to victory, and may God give to you the desires of your heart. May God give you a vision of your future and give you the strength to realize that it is His desire for you to have heaven’s best while you dwell on this earth. In Jesus’ name, we pray and release this blessing upon the righteous of God.

Today’s Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

Leviticus 11:1-12:8

New Testament 

Mark 5:21-43

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 38:1-22

Proverbs 10:8-9


Turning Point; David Jeremiah – The Benefit of a Doubt

Are you the Coming One, or do we look for another?
Matthew 11:3

 Recommended Reading: Matthew 11:1-6

There’s a difference between doubt and unbelief. The latter involves the heart. Doubt is a matter of a rational mind asking good questions, often during periods of stress. John the Baptist had such a moment in Matthew 11. It didn’t upset Jesus. God isn’t scared by our doubts. He can use our doubts to draw us closer to Himself. He has solid answers for honest questions.

If your children or grandchildren are asking questions—or if you are—don’t panic. Learn to search out the answers. Josh Rasmussen is a philosopher who went from Christianity to atheism. But his honest questions led him to evidence that drove him back to God. “The biggest threat to the discovery of God, and to productive truth seeking more broadly,” Rasmussen wrote, “is blind faith…. Seek truth. Follow the evidence. Align with reason…You may come to discover that the foundation of reality is greater than you had imagined.”[1]

When people fight their way through their doubts to the conviction that Jesus Christ is Lord, they have attained to a certainty that those who unthinkingly accept things can never reach.
William Barclay


Harvest Ministries; Greg Laurie – Why We Need to Share Our Faith

 The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself. 

—Proverbs 11:25


Proverbs 11:25 

Show me a church that doesn’t have a flow of new believers coming in, and I will show you a church that is stagnating. New believers help older believers stay on their feet spiritually. New believers are the lifeblood of the church.

The Great Commission not only involves going out and preaching the gospel. It also includes making disciples of all nations (see Matthew 28:19–20).

This means that to the best of our ability, we seek to lead people to Christ and help them grow spiritually. New believers will ask you questions about things you’ve forgotten. They’ll motivate you to study your Bible as never before.

And, of course, newer believers need older believers to temper them, keep them strong, and help them develop a good foundation in their faith.

I have found that as I give out to others, God replenishes me. When you think of someone else, when you share the Word of God with them and encourage them, you will find that God refreshes you in the process.

The first-century church understood this. It was an evangelistic church. As people watched these believers learning, caring, worshipping, and praying, it drew them in. The Bible tells us that “each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47 NLT). And they helped young Christians grow in the faith.

There was continual evangelism in the early church, and there was no apology for it. This is the church that turned their world upside down.

Yet it seems to me that nowadays, the world is turning the church upside down. It seems to me that the world impacts us more than we impact the world because we are ashamed to be the church.

Let’s be what we are without apology: thankful that God has called us to be a part of it.