Our Daily Bread — A Refreshing Oasis

Bible in a Year:

Blessed is the one . . . who meditates on his law day and night.

Psalm 1:1–2

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

Psalm 1

When Andrew and his family went on safari in Kenya, they had the pleasure of watching a variety of animals frequenting a small lake that appeared in the scrabbly landscape. Giraffes, wildebeests, hippopotamuses, and waterfowl all traveled to this life-giving source of water. As Andrew observed their comings and goings, he thought how the “Bible is like a divine watering hole”—not only is it a source of guidance and wisdom but it’s a refreshing oasis where people from all walks of life can quench their thirst.

Andrew’s observation echoed the psalmist who called people “blessed” when they delight in and meditate on God’s law, a term used in the Old Testament to describe His instruction and commandments. Those who meditate on the Scriptures are “like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season” (Psalm 1:3). Just as a tree’s roots reach down into the soil to find the source of refreshment, people who truly believe in and love God will root themselves deeply in Scripture and find the strength they need.

Submitting ourselves to His wisdom will keep our foundations embedded in Him; we won’t be “like chaff that the wind blows away” (v. 4). When we ponder what God has given to us in the Bible, we gain nourishment that can lead to our bearing fruit that lasts.

By:  Amy Boucher Pye

Reflect & Pray

How does the Bible provide a foundation for the way you live? What can help you meditate on Scripture throughout the day?

Loving God, You’ve given me the gift of Your words in the Bible. Help me to treasure them with gratitude and wonder.


Grace to You; John MacArthur – Unlimited Prayer

“Men ought always to pray” (Luke 18:1, KJV).

Prayer should never be limited to certain times, places, or circumstances.

As a child I was taught to pray with my head bowed, eyes closed, and hands folded. Even as a young man I thought that was the only acceptable mode of prayer.

In my seminary days I sang in a quartet that traveled to various churches throughout the United States. The first time I traveled with them we had a prayer meeting in the car, and the driver prayed with his eyes open. All of us were glad he did, but I wondered if God really heard his prayer.

I have since learned that praying with my eyes closed is a helpful way to avoid distractions, but it isn’t mandated in Scripture—nor are most of the other limitations people often place on prayer. For example, some people want to limit prayer to a certain posture, but Scripture tells of people praying while standing, sitting, kneeling, looking upward, bowing down, and lifting up their hands.

Some try to limit prayer to certain times of the day, such as morning or evening. But in the Bible people prayed at all times: morning, evening, three times a day, before meals, after meals, at bedtime, at midnight, day and night, in their youth, in their old age, when troubled, and when joyous.

Similarly, Scripture places no limits on the place or circumstances of prayer. It tells of people praying in a cave, in a closet, in a garden, on a mountainside, by a river, by the sea, in the street, in the Temple, in bed, at home, in the stomach of a fish, in battle, on a housetop, in a prison, in the wilderness, and on a cross.

The point is clear: there is no specific correct mode or kind of prayer, and prayer isn’t limited by your location or circumstances. You are to pray always. That includes any kind of prayer, on any subject, and at any time of the day or night.

Suggestions for Prayer

Make a list of your current plans, thoughts, and concerns. Have you made each of them a matter of prayer? Commit yourself to sharing every aspect of your life with God.

For Further Study

Read Psalm 136. Note how the Lord is intimately involved in the lives of His people.

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur


Joyce Meyer – Overcoming the Enemy

And they have overcome (conquered) him by means of the blood of the Lamb and by the utterance of their testimony….

— Revelation 12:11 (AMPC)

We will never have a testimony without having a test. Our faith must be tested to see if it is truly genuine or merely talk. God never tempts us to sin, but He will test our faith by allowing us to go through difficulty. We can actually become stronger in our faith during these times if we maintain an attitude of trusting God all the way through the challenge.

Trials are not fun for anyone, but we all have our share of them. Let’s pass our tests so we can have an amazing testimony that will glorify God. Stay strong, and remember, “This too will pass.”

Prayer of the Day: Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus and thank You for giving me the faith and endurance to pass my tests, face my trials head on, and to overcome the enemy today and every day, amen.


Truth for Life; Alistair Begg – Honoring Parents, Honoring God

Honor your father and your mother.

Exodus 20:12

The fifth commandment is simultaneously a simple instruction and an indispensable element of the well-being of entire societies. When the Lord gives the command “Honor your father and mother,” He is laying down the blueprint for maintaining the stability of families, communities, and nations.

What does it mean to honor your parents? The word for “honor” carries the notion of weight and heaviness; children ought to feel the weight of respect for their parents. Parents are owed such regard because God has placed them in their roles, and the stewardship of such a role is worth its weight in honor. While children are in view here, the Bible also has much to say about parenting that honors God (see Ephesians 6:4; Colossians 3:21).

How does a child display this honor? In several ways. For one, a child ought to show practical respect to his or her parents. This can be as simple as speaking well of our parents, showing them courtesy, looking them in the eye, and addressing them with a due sense of deference. Second, it involves genuine love; there should be heartfelt expressions of affection between parents and their children. Third, unless it would involve disobeying God, a child ought to obey what his or her mom and dad say. This expectation is found all over Proverbs: for example, “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching” (Proverbs 1:8). Fourth, a child should submit to their parents’ discipline. All good parents discipline their children (though it must not be done in anger nor vindictively or disproportionately), and children ought to trust that such discipline is for their good (Hebrews 12:5-11).

In ancient Israel, respect for parents was valued so highly that those who disregarded it flagrantly or persistently faced the death penalty (Deuteronomy 21:18-21). Why such a significant consequence? Because the home provides a vital training ground, the success of which affects how the child will relate to authorities of all kinds. We never outrun authority in our lives. There are political authorities we are called to obey (Romans 13:1-7), spiritual authorities we are to respect (Hebrews 13:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:12), and those of advanced years we are commanded to honor (Leviticus 19:32). Most significantly, when children learn to honor their parents, even despite their parents’ many imperfections, they learn what it means to honor our perfect heavenly Father. Reverence for parents is an integral part of reverence for God. Because their authority is God-given, to honor them is to honor God Himself.

So if you are a parent with children at home, it is not loving (though it may be easier) to fail to insist that your children honor you. And if you are an adult with parents still living, it is a matter of obedience to God that you show them the honor they are due, not according to how well (or otherwise) you feel they raised you but according to the position the Lord gave them. As you honor them, you will be pleasing Him and showing those around you that God-given authority, when exercised in a godly way, is a blessing to all.


Ephesians 6:1-4

Topics: Children Discipline Parenting

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


Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – God Does Not Fail

“I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” (Joshua 1:5b)

In life we make a lot of friends, but most of us have only a few friends who are very close. Statistics and surveys have shown that the average number of close friends per person is only eight. Can you think of eight close friends you have? Your close friends may change as you grow older, too. Have any of your friends ever been mean to you or let you down? We have probably all had friends who have let us down before. It is also probably true that we ourselves have let our friends down! Even our moms and our dads, who love us very much, are not perfect. Even they have let us down before.

What does it mean to fail or to forsake someone? To “fail” means to let someone down, or to respond lazily to someone’s need. To “forsake” means to leave someone, to leave them all alone in time of need.

Did you know that God never lets us down? You might be thinking, “God has too let me down! You don’t know me or the stuff I’ve gone through.” You are right that no human being can really understand what you think and feel. But God does. You might have been born with a physical handicap. Maybe you are not as smart as your classmates or your siblings. You might not be very athletic. Maybe you do not have the musical talents or the good looks that you wish you could have. Maybe you cannot even think of one person who is your friend, nevermind eight.

You know what? In the first chapter of the book of Joshua, God made some promises to Joshua. Joshua was a young man and a pretty new leader. One thing God promised Joshua was that He would not fail him. You can be sure that Joshua really needed the Lord in the many battles he faced as he led the Israelites into the promised land. If God had failed Joshua, some of those battles would not have been won. God kept His promises to Joshua. When Joshua needed God, God did not fail him or forsake him.

God does not respond with laziness when He sees we need His help. When we trust and obey God, we are trusting and obeying the only Person Who has never failed or forsaken anyone who trusted or obeyed Him. God was not messing up when He gave you the life you have now. He was not a failure when He made you with the mind and looks and abilities you have. If you are relying on God and looking to Him for your help, He will never let you down or leave you alone when you need Him most.

The Bible speaks of a kind of friend that sticks closer than a brother. Well, God sticks even closer than that kind of friend! God told Joshua that when it came time for Him to be there, He would be there. You do not have any friend or family member who would be able to make and keep a promise like that! You probably would admit that you could never make that promise truthfully. But God could make and keep a promise like that. He did make and keep His promise for Joshua, and He will for you if you trust Him and obey Him and look to Him for help.

God never fails those who trust Him and obey Him.

My Response:
» Do I forget sometimes that the God of the Bible is faithful and that He can never let down people?
» Do I ever fail my friends and family members? How can I be more faithful like God, when it comes to keeping my word and being there for those I love?
» How can I show in my life that I believe God is trustworthy and that He deserves to be obeyed?

Denison Forum – Christian school forfeits playoff game against team with transgender student

A Christian school in Vermont forfeited a girls basketball game last week and withdrew from the state championship tournament because the opposing team included a transgender player.

Mid Vermont Christian School (MVCS) Head of School Vicky Fogg explained: “We withdrew from the tournament because we believe playing against an opponent with a biological male jeopardizes the fairness of the game and the safety of our players. Allowing biological males to participate in women’s sports sets a bad precedent for the future of women’s sports in general.”

If you share my biblical beliefs regarding LGBTQ ideology, you may agree with the school’s decision. But what if the opposing team had a Black student-athlete on its roster?

According to our secularized culture, the situations are identical. Christians who defend biblical sexual morality are considered the modern-day equivalent of white supremacists defending slavery. Not only did MVCS deprive its players of a chance to continue in the tournament—they deprived the opposing team of a chance to compete and brought unfair attention to its transgender athlete. Or so critics could claim.

In such cultural conflicts, is there a way we can convince skeptics that we are truly “speaking the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15)?

Religious participation lowers deaths of despair

One response is to use secular means to persuade secular people of the relevance of our faith.

For example, a new study profiled in the Economist shows that American states with more participation in religious services have fewer deaths of despair (drug overdoses, alcohol-related illness, and suicides). The article cites another study by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) showing that of 110,000 health workers, those who participated in religious services were less likely to die from such causes.

However, the article also notes that “private prayer was not linked to lower deaths of despair.” In the author’s view, this finding “suggests that the risk reduction stems not from belief, but rather from the interpersonal connections that organized religion provides.” Of course, Christians know that “private prayer” is efficacious only to the degree that we are praying to the one true God, an element the study does not explore.

In addition, the article notes that “secular groups like charities or labor unions also produce such ‘social capital,’” but it also reports the JAMA authors’ observation that “faith-based networks provide unusually potent protection.” Christians are not surprised: we know that our “networks” are made powerful by the One who promised, “Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them” (Matthew 18:20).

Here we find a fascinating case study in secular attempts to explain and perhaps minimize the efficacy of religious experience.

Consider another: after Ross Douthat argued recently in the New York Times that religious experiences such as the Asbury Revival transcend predictions or easy explanations, a Psychology Today article disagreed. Robert N. McCauley writes that “religions provide tools for rendering many extraordinary experiences culturally acceptable.” He points to “representations (e.g., gods) and routines (e.g., rituals)” which are useful for “framing such experiences.”

In other words, religions are popular because they help humans make sense of experiences that may or may not be religious in their origin. Or so the author claims.

One way forward

I report on these reports to make this point: people tend to believe what they want to believe.

If you are a secularist looking for ways to defend your secularism, you will find secular ways to explain and minimize the relevance of religion to society. If you are a Christian looking for ways to defend your faith, you will find biblical ways to explain and maximize the relevance of religion to society.

One way forward is therefore to help secular people want to believe what Christians believe. For that to happen, they must first want what we have.

For example, everyone wants to experience more “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, [and] self-control” (Galatians 5:22–23). When we manifest such “fruit of the Spirit” out of an intimate daily relationship with the living Lord Jesus, others will inevitably be drawn to him through us.

By contrast, as Oswald Chambers notes, “The reason some of us are such poor specimens of Christianity is because we have no Almighty Christ. We have Christian attributes and experiences, but there is no abandonment to Jesus Christ.”

“You are not what people say about you”

So, let me ask you: How abandoned to Jesus Christ are you today? Asked differently: How fully would those who know you say the “fruit of the Spirit” are being displayed in your life?

The key is not to try harder to do better. It is to ask God’s Spirit to help you be more in love with God’s Son. It is recognizing how much you are loved by Jesus and then responding in kind: “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19).

To that end, let’s close with this observation by Henri Nouwen:

“You are not what you do, although you do a lot. You are not what you have collected in terms of friendships and connections, although you might have many. You are not the popularity that you have received. You are not the success of your work. You are not what people say about you, whether they speak well or whether they speak poorly about you. All these things that keep you quite busy, quite occupied, and often quite preoccupied are not telling the truth about who you are.

“I am here to remind you in the name of God that you are the Beloved Daughters and Sons of God, and that God says to you, ‘I have called you from all eternity and you are engraved from all eternity in the palms of my hands. You are mine. You belong to me, and I love you with an everlasting love.’”

How will you respond to such “everlasting love” today?

Denison Forum

Hagee Ministries; John Hagee –  Daily Devotion

Matthew 6:21

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

God calls us to first love Him with all our heart, and that is reflected in what we put in the treasury of our heart. There are many things that people tend to lay up in their heart as treasure—money, time, career, family, pleasure—but Jesus cautioned that we should rather lay up treasure in heaven. That means we need to bring all our earthly treasures to God, including our families, and give them to Him to use for His glory.

This is easily seen in our attitude toward giving money. Whenever God sees us put more love into our bank accounts than we do into the King who died for us, He says there’s a problem in the heart. This is why the Bible says, “So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:7 NKJV). If you cut God a million- dollar check with a begrudging attitude, the church board will be thrilled, but God won’t be because your attitude says more to God about the love of your heart than anything else. But if you have just a dollar to give and you’re delighted to give it, God loves it. It’s all about what’s in your heart!

Today’s Blessing: 

Now may the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you and give you His peace. May the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob forgive us of our sin. May He forgive us for our ungodly lifestyle, and may we return to the God of our fathers and worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. For there is one God and He is Jehovah God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Creator of heaven and earth, from everlasting to everlasting. We confess Him to be God and no other. In Jesus’ name, we pray and ask it.

Today’s Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

Leviticus 25:47-27:13

New Testament 

Mark 10:32-52

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 45:1-17

Proverbs 10:22


Turning Point; David Jeremiah – Hindsight Is Clearer

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
Romans 8:28

 Recommended Reading: Esther 2:1-18

The ability to see, with both eyes, an object clearly from twenty feet away is referred to as 20/20 vision. (In Europe, it is called 6/6 since they use a distance of six meters instead of twenty feet.) While not everyone has 20/20 vision, it is often said that hindsight is always 20/20. That is, we may not be able to see everything clearly as it happens, but after the fact we can see things much more clearly.

While hindsight is not always perfect, from a biblical perspective it means that we sometimes have to wait to see what God’s purpose was in allowing something to happen. There are certainly enough biblical examples to prove that premise. Job, Joseph, David, Daniel, Esther, Paul, and others were puzzled at what God allowed to happen in their lives—but soon came to see God’s hand at work. Especially Esther who saved the Jewish people from genocide in Persia.

When God allows circumstances in your life, the purpose of which is not clear, remember the examples and promises of Scripture: “All things work together for good.”

Contentment is an embracing of the providence of God.
George Seevers


Harvest Ministries; Greg Laurie – You Make a Difference

All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it. 

—1 Corinthians 12:27


1 Corinthians 12:27 

Every person in the church has an effect on it, for better or for worse.

If you are strong spiritually, then you build up the church a little more. If you are weak spiritually, you weaken it a little more. If you allow God to use you to touch lives, you help the church a little more. And if you’re compromising spiritually, you weaken it a little more. Every person has an effect.

Writing to the church in Corinth, the apostle Paul said, “If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad” (1 Corinthians 12:26 NLT).

But Paul also reproved this church because they were boasting about bringing in someone who claimed to be a believer but was living immorally. They were proud of how tolerant they were.

Paul told them, “You are so proud of yourselves, but you should be mourning in sorrow and shame. And you should remove this man from your fellowship” (1 Corinthians 5:2 NLT).

You matter in the church. Every person lifting their voice in worship matters. Every gift in the offering matters. And every act we do outside the church matters. If you’re a Christian, then you are an important part of the body of Christ.

We need to get rid of this me-first, what’s-in-it-for-me mindset and start thinking biblically. We need to start asking what we can do to help others and serve others. We need to ask how we can learn to resolve conflicts and maintain the unity that is in the church.

Instead of approaching church like a consumer looking to simply get in and get out every weekend, come in and use the gifts that God has given you.

It can change your life, and it can certainly change the way you see the church.