Our Daily Bread — Rest Assured in God

Bible in a Year:

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You.

Isaiah 26:3

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

Isaiah 26:1–6

Researchers in Fujian, China, wanted to help intensive care unit (ICU) patients sleep more soundly. They measured the effects of sleep aids on test subjects in a simulated ICU environment, complete with bright, hospital-grade lighting and audio recordings of machines beeping and nurses talking. Their research showed that tools like sleep masks and ear plugs improved their subjects’ rest. But they acknowledged that for truly sick patients in a real ICU, peaceful sleep would still be hard to come by.

When our world is troubled, how can we find rest? The Bible’s clear: there’s peace for those who trust in God, regardless of their circumstances. The prophet Isaiah wrote about a future time when the ancient Israelites would be restored after hardship. They would live securely in their city, because they knew that God made it safe (Isaiah 26:1). They would trust that He was actively working in the world around them to bring good—“He humbles those who dwell on high,” raising up the oppressed, and bringing justice (vv. 5–6). They would know that “the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal,” and they could trust Him forever (v. 4).

“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast,” wrote Isaiah, “because they trust in you” (v. 3). God can provide peace and rest for us today as well. We can rest in the assurance of His love and power, no matter what’s going on around us.

By:  Karen Pimpo

Reflect & Pray

What threatens to overwhelm you today? How can you remind yourself of God’s power and love?

Dear God, I trust You and choose to rest assured in Your love today.


Grace to You; John MacArthur – The Summation of Humility

 “Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law” (Romans 13:8).

If believers fulfill their constant debt of love, they will have a continual attitude of sacrificial humility.

Origen, the early church father, wisely said, “The debt of love remains with us permanently and never leaves us. This is a debt which we pay every day and forever owe.” The primary reason you and I can pay that debt is that “the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Rom. 5:5). God’s own love to us and every other believer is the bottomless well from which we can draw and then share with others.

If we have this wonderful, supernatural resource of love through the Holy Spirit, it only follows that we must submit to the Spirit. When we do so, all the enemies and impediments to humility—pride, unjustified power-grabbing, selfish ambition, partisanship, hatred—will melt away. What an overwhelming thought to consider that such humility can be ours because God Himself, through His Spirit, is teaching us to love as we yield to Him (1 Thess. 4:9).

At every turn we see humility going hand in hand with godly love. Genuine love never turns its “freedom into an opportunity for the flesh” (Gal. 5:13). It will not do anything to cause another Christian to fall into sin or even be offended in his conscience (Rom. 14:21). Love that is from God will “be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven [us]” (Eph. 4:32).

The greatest test of love and humility is the willingness to sacrifice for the good of others. As we have already seen in our study of humility, Jesus was the ultimate example of this (Phil. 2:5-8). Our supreme demonstration of humility is when we imitate Him: “We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (1 John 3:16).

Suggestions for Prayer

  • Pray for an occasion today to show some facet of biblical love to another person.
  • If nothing develops today, keep praying that the Lord would make you alert for future opportunities.

For Further Study

  • First John 4 is a wonderful chapter on God’s love and its meaning for believers. According to the apostle, how can we know truth from error?
  • What benefits derive from God’s love?

From Strength for Today by John MacArthur 


Joyce Meyer – The Pain of Envy

In the camp they grew envious of Moses and of Aaron, who was consecrated to the Lord. The earth opened up and swallowed Dathan; it buried the company of Abiram.

— Psalm 106:16-17 (NIV)

The world is filled with trouble, and not one of us can avoid it. Just think of the people who are sick, or parents whose children have terrible diseases, or people who need jobs and don’t have them. There is enough trouble in the world without causing trouble for ourselves, which is exactly what we do when we envy other people.

God gives each of us what He knows we can handle. Although His decisions may not always seem fair to us, we should remember that He does not make mistakes. He knows what He is doing, and we should trust Him in that.

If God doesn’t choose you for something you want, the best course of action is to be happy for the person He did choose and know that He will promote you at the right time. Being jealous or envious doesn’t change God’s mind; it only makes you miserable. So be content with what you have and stay happy.

Prayer of the Day: Father, help me to be content with what You have given me and not ever to be jealous or envious of others, amen.


Truth for Life; Alistair Begg – Awakened to New Life

God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ.

Ephesians 2:4-5

Some claim that mankind’s problem is not that we’re sinful but that we’re sick. If only we could provide for ourselves the right kind of care, medicine, or technology, then our lives would be transformed and we’d be ok, for surely man is essentially good, not innately sinful. At least, so goes the thinking.

According to the Bible, however, the only adequate explanation for the predicament we face is that man is spiritually lifeless. It’s not even that we are spiritually sick; outside of Christ we are “dead in [our] trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1, emphasis added). And how much can a dead person do to make themselves alive? Nothing.

So you and I quite literally have a grave problem—unless, that is, there is one who is able to speak into the deadness of our experience and, by His very words, bring us to life. And that, of course, is Christianity’s great message: “As in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:22).

The best physical picture of this spiritual reality is the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Imagine the scene. Lazarus was gone, and everyone knew it. He had been buried for four days. And yet Jesus walked up to the tomb and addressed the dead man: he “cried out with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out.’” (John 11:43). And Lazarus came out.

How was it that Lazarus came to life? It was a result of the voice of Jesus, who alone can speak so that the spiritually dead hear. Just as Jesus brought life to lifeless Lazarus, so He breathes life into the deadness of men’s and women’s spiritual condition. Spiritually, we are corpses—just as dead and decaying as Lazarus in his tomb. But when God chooses, He utters His word and awakens us to life. As the hymn writer puts it:

He speaks, and, listening to His voice,
New life the dead receive.
The mournful, broken hearts rejoice;
The humble poor believe.[1]

We are not to think too much of ourselves. Left to our own devices and efforts, we are dead. We can never think too much of Jesus. He and He alone is the reason we have life. And we must never think too little of the call to share His gospel with those around us; for we have been given the inestimable privilege of being the means by which Jesus calls dead people to come out of their spiritual grave and discover eternal life with Him. To whom is He prompting you to speak of Him today?

Questions for Thought

How is God calling me to think differently?

How is God reordering my heart’s affections — what I love?

What is God calling me to do as I go about my day today?

Further Reading

Ezekiel 37

Topics: Biblical Figures New Birth Resurrection


1 Charles Wesley, “O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing” (1739).

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


Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – God’s Love Is His Choice

“The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers….” (Deuteronomy 7:7-8a)

Question: Why does God love us?
Answer: Because He loves us.

Does that sound like the correct answer to the question? Do you think your teacher would count that answer right if you wrote it on a test? The truth is, that is the right answer to the question, according to Deuteronomy 7. God told His special people, the nation of Israel, that He loved them simply because He had chosen to love them.

God has also chosen to love us, even if we are not Jews. John 3:16 tells us that God loved the world–everyone. Romans 5:8, which was written both to Jews and Gentiles (non-Jews), says that God displayed His love for us while we were still sinners. How did God display His love? He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die in our place.

Why should God love us? The answer to that question does not really have anything to do with us. God did not love us because we were attractive or because we were loveable. He did not love us because there was anything we could do for Him. He chose to love us, knowing we were helpless, lost sinners. There was nothing we could give Him in return. He chose to love us because He is God, and it is His nature to love. Out of His great love, He gave His Son’s precious blood to redeem us. Once we are His children, we can be sure that nothing will ever separate us from His love. His love is unchanging, everlasting, a love that never fails.

Where would we be today if it were not for the wonderful love of God? If God had not loved us, there would be no hope of salvation. Isn’t that a reason to thank Him every day of our lives for His gracious choice to love us?

God’s love for us was His choice because His nature is Love.

My Response:
» Have I accepted the gift of God’s love–salvation in Jesus Christ?
» Do I thank God for His wonderful love?
» Do I try to share that love with others?

Denison Forum – God doesn’t need heroes: What Christians in Africa and Nepal can teach us about effective evangelism

Vice President Kamala Harris has spent much of this week in Africa, attempting to forge better relationships with key governments across the continent. She has announced more than $1 billion in funding for initiatives ranging from fighting against extremist groups like al-Qaeda to building up infrastructure, agriculture, and the economies of partner nations.

And though American officials are quick to state that their primary motivation for the new policies is a genuine desire to help, China’s uptick in involvement across Africa in recent years has likely played an important role as well.

As The Dispatch notes, “While the U.S. financed about $14 billion of projects in Africa from 2007 to 2020, comparable institutions in China financed a whopping $120 billion-worth.” In addition, “China’s developmental banks lent more than twice as much for public-private infrastructure projects in sub-Saharan Africa as the U.S., Germany, Japan, and France—combined.”

The nature of that help also plays an important role in the relationship between African countries and the West.

As Mvemba Dizolele, the director of the Africa Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, notes, “When the Chinese go to Africa . . . . they talk about Africa’s needs, and they try to bridge that gap.” By contrast, western nations have often spent their time focusing on humanitarian aid and promoting democracy. And while many have benefited from those efforts, Dizolele notes that “people don’t eat democracy and good governance. People need jobs. People need schools. People need hope as they contemplate the future.”

In short, too often American involvement in Africa takes the form of a hero coming to the rescue when what most Africans want is a partner to help them grow.

That’s a lesson Christians in America need to learn as well.

The plight of Bhutanese Nepali refugees

While western missions to Africa, Latin America, and other parts of the world are usually undertaken with the genuine intent to help people and share the love of Christ, the reality is that we often do a poor job of taking into account what the people to whom we’re ministering actually want from us. Moreover, it can be easy to forget that while God asks us to join him in sharing his love and gospel with those who need it, he is the one ultimately responsible for saving people.

To that end, a recent story from Angela Lu Fulton about the amazing work the Lord has done in and through Bhutanese Nepali refugees offers an important reminder for each of us.

As Fulton describes, the refugees are ethnic Nepalis who were expelled from their home in Bhutan on account of their largely Hindu faith. Many traveled to Bhutan—a small country between India and Tibet—in search of work only to later face persecution from the Buddhist majority. Those who protested the discrimination were arrested, tortured, and often killed, eventually forcing upwards of 120,000 people to flee the country. The vast majority would eventually settle into seven refugee camps in Nepal established by the UN.

However, the stories of how God worked within those camps sound like they belong in Acts more than in the modern era.

Modern-day miracles

Fulton details many of these accounts in her article for Christianity Today and it is worth reading in its entirety.

One such story is about Bhadra Rai, whose family converted to Christianity after his sister was miraculously healed when a group of believers prayed for her. Rai noted that “many people in the camps were drawn to Christianity after seeing miraculous healings from illnesses, both physical and mental.” Others describe how God protected people from poisonous snake bites and drowning in rapid moving rivers.

Still more “were drawn in by the equality they found in Christianity, where there were no castes or discrimination.” As Fulton describes, “Several Bhutanese Nepali Christians said they came to believe in Christ in the camps because of the love they found at church—a love that was missing in their home lives.”

And what’s most important for our conversation today is that all of this occurred because “the power of God was actively moving.” As John Monger, who ended up in a refugee camp after his family and the local government tried to kill him for converting to Christianity, notes, “There was no missionary, no denomination, just the simple power of God, the love of God, and the presence of God.”

The Lord continued to work in and through the refugees after they were eventually resettled in America and other western nations. Those who started churches in the camps did the same wherever they ended up, often reviving the communities and more established churches with whom they partnered in the process.

As Manoj Shrestha, the pastor of Nepal Baptist Church in Baltimore, notes, “I think God was preparing them there [in the camps] so when they moved, everywhere they move, there’s a church. They have a zeal to share the gospel, they want to plant churches, they want to become missionaries.”

And when it comes to missions, there is much they can teach us.

Sharing the gospel out of gratitude

Christy Staats, who helps to train churches in cross-cultural ministry, warns that “there is a tendency for Americans to jump into refugee work thinking we are the hero, and we need to curb that.” She goes on to add that “what’s really deep in my conviction is the leadership and capability that the Bhutanese Nepali refugees display. I need to learn from them.”

And when it comes to what we can learn from groups like the Bhutanese Nepali refugees, how to share the gospel from a place of gratitude rather than obligation belongs near the top of the list.

When we truly understand how good our God is, it becomes much easier to share his love and message with the people around us. Conversely, if we haven’t encountered or don’t fully appreciate what God has done, it can be hard to get excited about telling others.

It’s the difference between sharing the gospel because we think people need it—even though they do—and sharing the gospel because we think it’s genuinely going to make their lives better.

When we look at how the first generations of Christians shared their faith, gratitude was the defining characteristic. In American churches today, though, I think obligation has become a far more common motivation. As such, perhaps it should not come as a surprise that many of us struggle to do missions well.

So take some time today to ask God to help you understand the degree to which you are genuinely grateful for all that he has done for you. Ask him to bring to mind examples of the ways that he has blessed you and redeemed your struggles. And if those struggles threaten to block out his goodness, look to the Bhutanese refugees as an example of how to find solace in the Lord even when your circumstances make that difficult.

God doesn’t need heroes. He just needs people who understand how good the good news really is and who are willing to share it with those we meet.

Will you?

Denison Forum

Hagee Ministries; John Hagee –  Daily Devotion

Hebrews 9:22

And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.

The idea that sacrifice is the purchase price of freedom is not new. In the book of Genesis, we grieve as Adam and Eve hide in humiliation after eating the forbidden fruit. God, in His mercy, sacrificed an animal to cover their nakedness and shame.

In the book of Exodus, we watch as God set His divine plan in motion to free His chosen people. As the Israelites packed their bags and prepared to walk out of Egypt after four hundred years of cruel slavery, God commanded a curious thing. Each family was to sacrifice a spotless lamb and apply its blood over the doorpost. God set apart and spared His own at the sight of that dark stain.

Later, as the Israelites wandered in the wilderness, God demanded that an animal be sacrificed, that its blood be poured on the altar for the cleansing of their sin. The blood was the means by which the Israelites could experience communion and relationship with God.

For those of us who did not belong to the nation of Israel, we stood outside of this arrangement that God forged with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and his descendants. Before the cross, we were far away from God, outside of this covenant, and without hope in the world.

But Jesus Christ was our Hope! He came as the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the earth (Revelation 13:8). When John the Baptist looked up and saw Him, he cried out, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Jesus came as the sacrifice for our sin.

When He went to Calvary, He shed His blood “once for all when He offered up Himself” (Hebrews 7:27). What the blood of goats and calves could not do, His blood accomplished. He “obtained eternal redemption” for us (Hebrews 9:12). Because of that sacrifice, every barrier, every separation, has been torn in two. We now have bold access to the Father!

We now have freedom to enter where we could not go before, to receive what we could not claim before. We have hope. We have salvation. We have life. Jesus, the Lamb of God, paid the purchase price for our liberty. His is the sacrifice that won our freedom.

Today’s Blessing: 

Our precious Savior, we thank You for the sacrifice and for the blood that You shed to graft us in to Your covenant. Thank you for granting us access to every promise, every gift recorded in Your Word. Thank You for hiding our nakedness, for cleansing our sin, for bringing us into relationship with the Father, and for bringing us near. May we ever remember and always be grateful. In the name of our Redeemer, Jesus…amen.

Today’s Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

Deuteronomy 16:1-17:20

New Testament 

Luke 9:7-27

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 72:1-20

Proverbs 12:8-9


Turning Point; David Jeremiah – Getting to Know You

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 3:18

 Recommended Reading: Psalm 135:1-7

Most people go on reality TV shows to find love or win money. But twin sisters Emily and Molly, who recently competed on The Amazing Race, had another reason for being on the show. Born in South Korea and separated at birth, the sisters were both adopted by families in the United States. Thanks to DNA testing, they found each other at the age of 36. One year later, they were traveling the world together on The Amazing Race. As Molly said in an interview, “It was a really nice way to get to know each other in a very unconventional setting. We would have never gotten this close had we not been able to spend time without phones or away from family, just one-on-one together.”[1]

We might know about God, just as the sisters eventually knew about each other, but we should seek to know Him on a far deeper level. As we run the Christian race, are we looking to get to know God more, or are we distracted by our phones and the busyness of life? Take some time today to step away from the distractions of everyday life and spend time getting to know your Heavenly Father more.

We are cruel to ourselves if we try to live in this world without knowing about the God whose world it is and who runs it.
J. I. Packer

[1] Abigail Adams, “Identical Twin Sisters Who Met at Age 36 open Up About Fast-Paced Bonding on “The Amazing Race,'” People, September 28,2022.


Harvest Ministries; Greg Laurie – When God Asked the Impossible

God will provide a sheep for the burnt offering, my son,” Abraham answered. And they both walked on together. 

—Genesis 22:8


Genesis 22:8 

Isaac came to his parents, Abraham and Sarah, much later in life. They were far beyond the age of childbearing. Yet God gave them a son as He had promised. And Isaac, whose name means “laughter,” brought much joy to Abraham’s life.

But one day God asked the impossible of Abraham. He said, “Take your son, your only son—yes, Isaac, whom you love so much—and go to the land of Moriah. Go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you” (Genesis 22:2 NLT).

Of course, we know how the story ends. God did not actually require that. He was testing Abraham. As they were making their way up to the place of sacrifice, Isaac asked his father where the sacrificial lamb was. Abraham replied prophetically, “God will provide a sheep for the burnt offering, my son” (verse 8 NLT).

Most commentators believe that Isaac was probably between eighteen and twenty years old. So, Isaac could have said, “Now Dad, wait. The way I’m seeing this is that you’re going to offer me as a sacrifice. But I’m young. I have my whole life ahead of me!”

However, verse 8 continues, “And they both walked on together.” To Isaac’s credit, he went along with the plan. Father and son were in cooperation.

This is a perfect picture of what happened at the cross of Calvary. Even the area where Abraham prepared to offer Isaac was where Jesus died for us on the cross.

Yes, Jesus willingly went to the cross, but let’s also remember that God the Father sent Him. The Father had to watch His Son suffer. The Father had to watch as His Son was beaten beyond human recognition.

Father and Son were in cooperation. The Father sent His Son. And the Son willingly went.

Our Daily Bread — To Do or Not to Do

Bible in a Year:

I do not do the good I want to do, . . . I keep on doing [evil].

Romans 7:19

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

Romans 7:15–20

When I was a kid, a decommissioned World War II tank was put on display in a park near my home. Multiple signs warned of the danger of climbing on the vehicle, but a couple of my friends immediately scrambled up. Some of us were a bit reluctant, but eventually we did the same. One boy refused, pointing to the posted signs. Another jumped down quickly as an adult approached. The temptation to have fun outweighed our desire to follow rules.

There’s a heart of childish rebellion lurking within all of us. We don’t like being told what to do or not to do. Yet we read in James that when we know what is right and don’t do it—it is sin (4:17). In Romans, the apostle Paul wrote: “I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it” (7:19–20).

As believers in Jesus, we may puzzle over our struggle with sin. But too often we depend solely on our own strength to do what’s right. One day, when this life is over, we’ll be truly dead to sinful impulses. Until then, however, we can rely on the power of the One whose death and resurrection won the victory over sin.

By:  Cindy Hess Kasper

Reflect & Pray

What sins are the biggest struggle for you? How can you rely more on God’s power to overcome their stronghold?

Loving God, please help me to choose to do what’s right. My heart’s desire is to reflect Your perfect character and holy ways.


Grace to You; John MacArthur – Avoiding Temptations

“Do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (Matt. 6:13).

Don’t let your trials turn into temptations.

When we hear the English word temptation, we usually think of a solicitation to evil. But “temptation” in Matthew 6:13 translates a Greek word that can refer either to a trial that God permits to refine your spiritual character (James 1:2-4), or a temptation that Satan or your flesh brings to incite you to sin (Matt. 4:1James 1:13- 15). Both are valid translations.

I believe “temptation” in Matthew 6:13 refers to trials. Even though we know God uses trials for our good, it’s still good to pray that He won’t allow us to be caught in a trial that becomes an irresistible temptation. That can happen if we’re spiritually weak or ill-prepared to deal with a situation.

God will never test you beyond what you’re able to endure (1 Cor. 10:13), but resisting temptation requires spiritual discipline and divine resources. Praying for God to deliver you from trials that might overcome you is a safeguard against leaning on your own strength and neglecting His power.

God tested Joseph by allowing him to be sold into slavery by his brothers, falsely accused by an adulterous woman, and unjustly imprisoned by a jealous husband. But Joseph knew that God’s hand was on his life. That’s why he could say to his brothers, “You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to . . . preserve many people” (Gen. 50:20). Joseph was ready for the test and passed it beautifully!

Jesus Himself was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil (Matt. 4:1). God wanted to test Him to prove His virtue, but Satan wanted to tempt Him to destroy His virtue. Jesus, too, was victorious.

When you experience trials, don’t let them turn into temptations. Recognize God’s purposes and seek His strength. Learn from the example of those who have successfully endured the same trials. Be assured that God is in control and is using each trial to mold your character and teach you greater dependence on Him.

Suggestions for Prayer

  • Thank God for the trials He brings your way.
  • Ask Him to help you see your trials as means by which He strengthens you and glorifies Himself.

For Further Study

Read Psalm 119:11Matthew 26:41Ephesians 6:10-18, and James 4:7. What do those verses teach you about dealing with temptation?

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur


Joyce Meyer – How to Overcome Jealousy

Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy?

— Proverbs 27:4 (NIV)

Jealousy is often referred to as the “green-eyed monster.” It is a monster because it devours the life of those who permit it in their hearts. God has a special, individualized plan for each of us. Being jealous of another person is pointless because no matter how much we wish it, we cannot ever have anyone else’s life. Neither can we have the specific aspect of their life that makes us jealous of them.

A jealous and envious person is never content, and God wants us to be content always, trusting that He is doing—and will continue to do—great things in our lives. Being jealous of what others have or can do prevents us from seeing the blessings in our own lives. Jealousy is not new; it has been around since people began to inhabit the earth. Early in the story of Genesis, Cain was jealous of Abel, and he murdered him because of it. In 1 Samuel, King Saul was so jealous of David that he continually tried to kill him, and at times the jealousy drove him mad. In addition, some of Jesus’ twelve disciples were jealous of one another, asking Him which of them was the greatest.

The Bible tells us that jealousy can even make us sick: A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones (Proverbs 14:30 NIV). Being jealous or envious is foolish and a total waste of time. Wisdom recommends that we live at peace, be content with what we have, and be thankful in all things.

Prayer of the Day: Father, I’m sorry for being jealous and envious of other people. You have blessed me, and I want to be very thankful for what You have done and are doing in my life. Help me in the future to resist jealousy in the power of the Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name, amen.


Truth for Life; Alistair Begg – The Kingdom and the Cross

My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.

John 18:36

When Jesus arrived in Jerusalem on the first Palm Sunday, He was a king on a donkey, a king without a palace, a king without a throne—a king with no apparent kingdom. It rapidly became abundantly and controversially clear that Christ had come as the suffering king whom the Scriptures had foretold, not as the triumphant king whom people wanted.

Many who admired Jesus on that day in Jerusalem eventually discarded Him. They said, I don’t want any suffering. I only want victory. I only want power. I only want rule. Not much is different today. We often ignore what we don’t like in Jesus’ ministry and content ourselves with Jesus the great example, Jesus the problem-fixer, Jesus the guru, or Jesus the political reformer.

But God’s kingdom centers on the cross: “I decided to know nothing among you,” says Paul, “except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2, emphasis added). In other words, we will never understand Jesus—never truly know Him, never really love Him, never actually be in His kingdom—until we understand that the entrance to and the heart of Christ’s kingdom is His death and resurrection. It is the means by which we come into it and the pattern by which we live in it.

A renewed culture comes about not because we transform institutions and policies but because that cross-centered kingdom transforms human hearts. Never in history has a revival been sparked by political activity; it has always resulted from Christians praying, preaching, pleading, and living as Christ calls us to live. The world will only ever be changed when we ourselves are changed.

God’s kingdom is a cause great enough to live for and great enough to die for. Do you want to give up your small ambitions and give yourself to God? Then give up championing a political cause as a means of safeguarding the health of the church or your society or of making revival happen. Instead, go somewhere where nobody knows Jesus and tell them. Maybe it’s your office. Maybe it’s your neighborhood. Or maybe it’s Tehran, Jakarta, or Algiers. It could be anywhere, for God is everywhere and is needed by everyone. Give up living by the maxims of the systems of this world and follow the King who tasted death before He entered His glory (Luke 24:26).

Believers have the immense privilege and the incredible challenge of offering the good news of God’s kingdom to a society that fears death and knows little of true life. That is no easy commission, and heeding it may very well cost you dearly in this life. But no one who gives much for Jesus has cause to regret it, now or through all eternity.

Questions for Thought

How is God calling me to think differently?

How is God reordering my heart’s affections — what I love?

What is God calling me to do as I go about my day today?

Further Reading

Luke 9:18-26

Topics: The Cross Kingdom of God Love of God

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


Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – We Cannot Hide From God

“Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD.” (Jeremiah 23:24)

There is no place we can go to hide from God.

When God told Jonah to go to Ninevah, Jonah disobeyed and “rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.” He boarded a ship headed for Tarshish, but God saw him even there. You probably know the rest of the story. God sent a mighty storm. Knowing that the storm was meant for him, Jonah told the sailors to throw him overboard. He was swallowed by a huge fish, and was carried in the fish’s stomach for three days. He repented of his sin, prayed to God, and God answered his prayers, causing the fish to spit Jonah out onto the land.

God sees our disobedience.

Sometimes when we do wrong, we try to hide it from our friends, our parents, and even God. But it doesn’t work. God sees us no matter where we go. He always knows what we are doing and what we are thinking. Jonah couldn’t leave God’s presence by going to Tarshish. God is everywhere.

God also sees our troubles.

Sometimes when we are hurting, we think no one else understands; but God always does. When you feel lonely, you aren’t really alone. You can pray to God and ask him for help no matter where you are. There is no place you can go that he won’t hear you. Jonah prayed to God from the belly of the fish, and God answered his prayers.

The next time you want to disobey, and you think no one is around, remember that God is. He can always see you. And the next time you feel lonely, or think there is trouble in your life that no one else understands, ask for God’s help.

The Bible teaches that there is nowhere we can go that the Lord is not there. That means we can never hide from Him, but it also means He is always there when we need Him. Call on Him. No matter where you are or what kind of trouble you are in, He can always hear you.

God is already everywhere we could go. We cannot escape from His presence, and we can count on Him to be close by at all times.

My Response:
» Have I been forgetting that God is omnipresent (everywhere at once)?
» How should remembering that God is everywhere keep me from doing wicked things?
» How should remembering that God is everywhere keep me from worry or fear?

Denison Forum – Elon Musk and 1,000 experts call for 6-month moratorium on AI development

Pope Francis is in the hospital today with a respiratory infection. He also made news recently when he wore what the Atlantic describes as “a stylish white puffy jacket.” Except he didn’t. The image was generated by artificial intelligence (AI), as were pictures of Donald Trump being arrested. Time has helpfully provided tips on spotting AI-generated images, an issue that will undoubtedly be part of our future media consumption.

But this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Elon Musk and more than a thousand AI experts and industry executives have written an open letter calling for a six-month pause in developing systems more powerful than OpenAI’s newly launched GPT-4. This AI moratorium has been requested because “powerful AI systems should be developed only once we are confident that their effects will be positive and their risks will be manageable,” according to the letter.

Here’s one example of the need for an AI moratorium in today’s news: as many as three hundred million full-time jobs around the world could be automated in some way by the latest AI, according to Goldman Sachs economists. They estimate that approximately two-thirds of jobs in the US and Europe “are exposed to some degree of AI automation” and up to a quarter of all work could be done by AI completely.

“The global transformation of Christianity is here”

In my website paper, “ChatGPT and artificial intelligence: What you need to know,” I outline the history of artificial intelligence, explain how “chatbots” work, and discuss the opportunities and challenges presented by what is truly an epochal moment in human history. In yesterday’s Daily Article on the subject, I quoted Elon Musk’s apocalyptic warning, “Artificial intelligence is a fundamental risk to human civilization.”

Here’s what I didn’t have room to say: in the midst of such technological and cultural transformation, you and I are living in a day of unparalleled spiritual transformation as well.

For years, I have been focusing on the “fifth great awakening” sweeping much of the world. We are seeing unprecedented advances for the gospel in the Muslim world, the underground church in China, and much of the Global South.

In her New York Times column last Sunday, Tish Harrison Warren agreed. Titled “The Global Transformation of Christianity is Here,” her article notes that “the last century has seen a near-complete reversal of the global demographics of Christianity.” For example, Christianity in sub-Saharan Africa has grown from around 9 percent at the beginning of the twentieth century to almost 45 percent at the end of it. Warren quotes Sam George, the director of the Global Diaspora Institute at Wheaton College: “Christianity at the beginning of the twenty-first century is the most global and the most diverse and the most dispersed faith.”

The largest church congregation in the world is Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul, South Korea, with around 480,000 members. Latin America boasts fourteen megachurches with a total membership of over twenty thousand. By some estimates, China will have more Christians than any other nation by 2030. Warren cites what she calls “conservative” estimates that there were around 98 million evangelical Christians globally in 1970; now there are over 342 million.

“A decadent slum of unforeseen consequences”

Secularists have been predicting the death of Christianity in Western culture for a very long time, but God refuses to abandon us. In fact, as Os Guinness notes in his marvelous new book, Signals of Transcendence: Listening to the Promptings of Life, our Creator continues to draw us to himself in ways we might expect and ways we might not.

Guinness tells us how Malcolm Muggeridge, G. K. Chesterton, C. S. Lewis, Leo Tolstoy, and several other cultural luminaries came to faith. In each instance, something in the temporal world sparked or “signaled” the transcendent longings in their hearts.

According to Guinness, our culture desperately needs to listen to these “signals” before it is too late. He writes: “Our present need for a massive spiritual awakening dwarfs the many other problems of our modern age and represents the only hope of redeeming modernity itself. Western civilization is in the civilizational moment it finds itself in because it opposes the Jewish and Christian faiths that made it, and it has no satisfactory replacement.

“Western civilization is in evident decline. The West will therefore stand or fall according to whether it experiences such an awakening and sees the renewal of the faiths that made it. Without such a spiritual awakening, the West is shown up as a cut-flower civilization whose once vibrant life and beauty can only wither and die. Brilliant as it may be, our highest ingenuity and mastery will fall short in guiding the world forward, and in its wake, they will produce a decadent slum of unforeseen consequences, unknown aftermaths, and insoluble social and moral problems that range from wars and revolutions to suicide.”

“Only God can save the world now”

The greatest “signal of transcendence” in human history was the ministry of Jesus Christ. More than any person who ever lived, he uniquely pointed us from the temporal to the eternal, then he uniquely made a way for us to experience the transcendent today.

Compare Jesus with AI: while the latter has access to current digital data, the former is so omniscient that he knows the past, the present, the future, and the thoughts of every human heart (cf. Matthew 12:25). AI-enabled apps can guide your journey, but Jesus alone can guide you to your best life in this world (John 10:10) and your eternal destination when this life is done (John 14:3).

AI can instruct you; Jesus can forgive you. AI can provide you with information; Jesus can provide you with his loving presence in every valley and storm of life (cf. Matthew 28:20).

This is why knowing Christ and making him known are the most urgent priorities in the world. As Guinness notes, “The truth is that our Western commitment to hedonism has proved empty and damaging, and our Western reliance on technocracy will always let us down. Only God can save the world now.”

He adds: “Man cannot live by shadows alone. For all who have seen the sun, the shadows will never again deceive and satisfy, but the challenge then is even bigger and more arduous: the task of building societies and a civilization that are genuinely sunlit too.”

How will you bring sunlight to the shadows today?

Denison Forum

Hagee Ministries; John Hagee –  Daily Devotion

1 John 5:14

Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.

Jesus created quite a ruckus in the Temple after being hailed with a hero’s welcome when He arrived in Jerusalem. He drove out the money changers. He turned over their tables. He reprimanded them sharply. Afterwards, Matthew 21:14 tells us that the blind and the lame came to Him there in that holy place, and He healed them.

That seems fitting to us, the perfect place for Jesus to perform miracles. However, in Jerusalem, tradition dictated that the blind and lame – anyone who had a physical impairment – were not allowed to enter the Temple. Their imperfection denied them the right to be admitted to the very place where they could receive healing.

Jesus broke through the barriers, tore through the tradition to welcome the hurting. Can you imagine the crush of the crowd? Can you see their eager faces? Here, where they had only found rejection and resistance, Jesus reached out to heal blind eyes and lame limbs. Those who had never seen before received their sight. Those who had never walked went running and leaping and praising God. The Temple walls must have resounded with exuberant shouts. Tears of joy and gratitude must have wet their cheeks.

Throughout Scripture, we see Jesus reaching out in welcome:  sharing a meal with tax collectors, pulling a child onto His lap, touching a leper, plucking Peter out of the sea, taking a dead girl’s hand, smearing mud on a blind man’s eyes.  He welcomed their questions and their complications, their illnesses and infirmities.

He is still reaching, still welcoming. His arms are open. His eyes are smiling. No fear of rejection here. We can boldly approach the throne of grace with full confidence to obtain mercy and grace (Hebrews 4:16). We are surrounded by the spiritually blind, those who have overlooked the important and cannot see what is needful. We are surrounded by the spiritually lame, those who may see what they need but are too hindered to get to it. We can bring them to the throne, too – with full confidence of acceptance and love. 

Today’s Blessing: 

Precious Jesus, thank You for breaking down the walls that stood between us. I am so grateful that Your arms are open, that Your hands are reaching, that Your heart is welcoming, that I am accepted in the Beloved. May I always extend that same welcome to others. In the name of Jesus…Amen.

Today’s Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

Deuteronomy 13:1-15:23

New Testament 

Luke 8:41-9:6

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 71:1-24

Proverbs 12:5-7


Turning Point; David Jeremiah – Know Him More

One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple.
Psalm 27:4

 Recommended Reading: Psalm 27:1-5

It often happens over a holiday meal or at a birthday party. Family members begin reminiscing, and before you know it, children are hearing stories about their parents and grandparents that they’ve never heard before. Or adult children begin sharing some of the exploits from their childhood, and their parents learn what the kids “got away with” while they weren’t looking.

It seems as though no matter how well we know someone, even our own family members, there’s always more to learn about them. The same is true for our relationship with our Heavenly Father. Some of us have been learning about God since before we can remember. But there’s always more for us to learn about Him. Like David, we should desire to know our Father more, to become closer to Him. Begin studying a specific attribute of God or spend time slowly reading through the Gospels—seek to know Him better each day.

The longer you know Christ, and the nearer you come to him, still the more do you see of his glory.
John Flavel


Harvest Ministries; Greg Laurie – The Cross Wasn’t a Mistake

As the time drew near for him to ascend to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. 

—Luke 9:51


Luke 9:51 

At Caesarea Philippi, Jesus asked His disciples a question: “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” (Matthew 16:13 NLT).

Different individuals came up with different answers. But then Peter, under the inspiration of God Himself said, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God” (verse 16 NLT).

Jesus commended Peter for his answer, and everything was going wonderfully.

But then Matthew tells us, “From then on Jesus began to tell his disciples plainly that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, and that he would suffer many terrible things at the hands of the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but on the third day he would be raised from the dead” (verse 21 NLT).

Peter, probably thinking he was on a roll at that point, privately took Jesus aside and began to rebuke Him for making such statements.

But Jesus replied, “Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s” (verse 23 NLT).

Why so harsh? Jesus was speaking to the spirit that motivated Peter to say what he did. It was the devil who was saying to Jesus, “Don’t go to the cross. Think about Yourself. What about You?”

Yet nothing would deter Jesus from His course. That is why Jesus responded to Peter so strongly. In fact, Luke’s Gospel tells us that “as the time drew near for him to ascend to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem” (9:51 NLT).

Jesus Christ came to this earth to buy back that which was forfeited in the Garden of Eden.

The cross wasn’t a mistake. Jesus knew it was coming and spoke of it often. He had to go to the cross because there was no other way to bridge the gap between a holy God and sinful humanity. The cross was Jesus’ goal and destination from the beginning.

Our Daily Bread — God Had Other Plans

Bible in a Year:

Pharaoh’s daughter . . .  named him Moses, saying, “I drew him out of the water.”

Exodus 2:10

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

Exodus 2:1–10

Their precise ages are unknown. One was found on the steps of a church; the other knew only that she’d been raised by nuns. Born in Poland during World War II, for nearly eighty years neither Halina nor Krystyna knew about each other. Then DNA test results revealed them to be sisters and led to a joyful reunion. It also revealed their Jewish heritage, explaining why they’d been abandoned. Evil people had marked the girls for death simply because of their identity.

Imagining a frightened mother who leaves her threatened children where they might be rescued calls to mind the story of Moses. As a Hebrew baby boy, he was marked for genocide (see Exodus 1:22). His mother strategically placed him in the Nile (2:3), giving him a chance for survival. God had a plan she couldn’t have dreamed of—to rescue His people through Moses.

The story of Moses points us to the story of Jesus. As Pharaoh had sought the murder of Hebrew boys, Herod ordered the slaughter of all the baby boys in Bethlehem (see Matthew 2:13–16).

Behind all such hatred—especially against children—is our enemy the devil. Such violence doesn’t take God by surprise. He had plans for Moses, and He has plans for you and me. And through His Son, Jesus, He’s revealed His biggest plan—to rescue and restore those who once were His enemies.

By:  Tim Gustafson

Reflect & Pray

How do you see God’s plan at work in your life? In what ways has He rescued you?

Heavenly Father, there’s so much evil in the world. Thank You for Your rescue. Help me to trust Your perfect plan.


Grace to You; John MacArthur – Seeking God’s Protection

“Do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (Matt. 6:13).

Have a healthy sense of self-distrust.

At the moment of your salvation, judicial forgiveness covered all of your sins—past, present, and future. Parental forgiveness restores the joy and sweet fellowship broken by any subsequent sins. But concurrent with the joy of being forgiven is the desire to be protected from any future sins. That’s the desire expressed in Matthew 6:13: “Do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

That petition seems simple enough at first glance, but it raises some important questions. According to James 1:13, God doesn’t tempt anyone to commit sin, so why ask Him to protect us from something He apparently wouldn’t lead us into in the first place?

Some say the word “temptation” in Matthew 6:13 means “trials.” But trials strengthen us and prove the genuineness of our faith. We are to rejoice in them, not avoid them (James 1:2-4).

The solution to this paradox has to do with the nature of the petition. It is not so much a technical theological statement as it is an emotional plea from one who hates sin and wants to be protected from it. Chrysostom, the early church father, said it is a natural appeal of human weakness as it faces danger (Homily 19.10).

I don’t know about you, but I have a healthy sense of self-distrust. That’s why I carefully guard what I think, say, watch, read, and listen to. If I sense spiritual danger I run into the presence of God and say, “Lord, I will be overwhelmed by this situation unless You come to my aid.” That’s the spirit of Matthew 6:13.

We live in a fallen world that throws temptation after temptation our way. Therefore it’s only natural and proper for us as Christians to continually confess our sins, receive the Father’s forgiveness, and plead with Him to deliver us from the possibility of sinning against Him in the future.

Suggestions for Prayer

  • Thank the Lord that He loves you and ministers through you despite your human weaknesses.
  • Ask Him to protect you today from any situation that might cause you to sin.

For Further Study

Read 1 Corinthians 10:13 and James 1:13-16.

  • To what degree will God allow you to be tempted?
  • What is a common source of temptation?

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur