Our Daily Bread — Listening to God

Bible in a Year:

[Josiah] would not listen to what Necho had said at God’s command.

2 Chronicles 35:22

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

2 Chronicles 35:20–27

Back when I was driving to college and back home again, the road to our house in the desert seemed painfully dull. Because it was long and straight, I found myself driving faster than I should have more than once. First, I was given a warning from the highway patrol. Then I received a ticket. Then I was cited a second time in the very same place.

Refusing to listen can have unfortunate consequences. One tragic example of this is from the life of Josiah, a good and faithful king. When Necho, the king of Egypt, marched through Judah’s territory to help Assyria in battle against Babylon, Josiah went out to counter him. Necho sent messengers telling Josiah, “God has told me to hurry; so stop opposing God, who is with me” (2 Chronicles 35:21). God really did send Necho, but Josiah “would not listen to what Necho had said at God’s command but went to fight him on the plain of Megiddo” (v. 22). Josiah was fatally injured in the battle, “and all Judah and Jerusalem mourned for him” (v. 24).

Josiah, who loved God, discovered that insisting on his own way without taking the time to listen to Him or His wisdom through others never ends well. May God give us the humility we need to always check ourselves and take His wisdom to heart.

By:  James Banks

Reflect & Pray

What do you need God’s wisdom for in your life? What will you do to listen to Him today?

Ever wise and loving God, help me to be humble and to listen for Your wisdom today. Thank You that when I ask for wisdom, You give “generously . . . without finding fault” (James 1:5).


Grace to You; John MacArthur – Seeking a Closeness to God

 “Draw near to God” (James 4:8).

The sincerely humble will want a closer relationship with God.

The expression “draw near” was originally associated with the priesthood in Israel. Under the regulations of the Old Covenant, the priests represented the people before God. Prior to coming near God’s presence, the priest had to be washed physically and be ceremonially clean. That meant he had to bathe, wear the proper garments, and offer sacrifices that made his own heart right with God. Then he could draw near to God on the people’s behalf.

Eventually the Hebrew word for drawing near meant anyone who approached the presence of God in worship and prayer. The term became synonymous even of those whose hearts were far from God when they “worshiped” Him. For example, Isaiah 29:13 says, “This people draw near with their words and honor Me with their lip service, but they remove their hearts far from Me, and their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote.”

But the sincere believer, one who has truly humbled himself before God, knows that God wants worshipers to draw near with true and pure hearts: “Let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water” (Heb. 10:22). This applies the language of the Old Testament ceremonial system to us and says that as the priests prepared themselves to be near God, we also should prepare ourselves spiritually to worship Him.

So far this month we have seen that the humble person will come to God for salvation, submit to Him as Lord, and take a stand against the Devil. But the truly humble person will see that his relationship to God is inherently more than those actions. If you claim to be one of the humble, one who has a saving relationship to the Father through the Son, be sure you can also agree with the psalmist Asaph: “But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all Thy works” (Ps. 73:28).

Suggestions for Prayer

Thank God for His grace and mercy in salvation that make it possible for us to have a close relationship with Him.

For Further Study

Read Hebrews 4.

  • What sort of rest is the writer referring to?
  • How does it compare to the rest that the people of Israel sought during Joshua’s time?

From Strength for Today by John MacArthur 


Joyce Meyer – You Have the Mind of Christ

For who has known or understood the mind (the counsels and purposes) of the Lord so as to guide and instruct Him and give Him knowledge? But we have the mind of Christ (the Messiah) and do hold the thoughts (feelings and purposes) of His heart.

— 1 Corinthians 2:16 (AMPC)

In 1 Corinthians 2:16, we are told we have the mind of Christ. This statement overwhelms many people. If these were not the words of the Bible, they wouldn’t believe it. But Paul was not saying we’re perfect or we’ll never fail. He was telling us that we can think spiritual thoughts because Christ is alive within us. Thankfully, we no longer have to think the way we once did; we can begin to think as He does.

Another way to look at this is to point to the promise God spoke through Ezekiel: A new heart will I give you and a new spirit will I put within you, and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you… (Ezekiel 36:26–27 AMPC).

Your mind, heart, and spirit are new in Christ. You are growing spiritually and becoming more like Him each day—that’s something to be thankful for!

Prayer of the Day: Thank You, Father, that You have given me the mind of Christ. I no longer have to dwell on anxious, fearful, insecure thoughts. Because of Jesus, my mind is renewed, and I can think positive, joyful, faith-filled thoughts about my life, amen.


Truth for Life; Alistair Begg – The Freedom of Purity

You shall not commit adultery.

Exodus 20:14

Of all the lies proclaimed in the world around us, one of the most widely believed is that any limits imposed on personal freedom amount to oppression. This is perhaps most clear in the realm of sexual morality, where the only thing off limits seems to be the setting of limits itself. The tragic irony is that this so-called freedom is in truth bondage to sinful desires, and it results not in wholeness but in broken bodies and broken hearts.

What God’s word tells us when it comes to sexual morality is straightforward: we are to practice chastity outside marriage and fidelity within it. This is the path not to oppression but to true liberty and blessing (James 1:25). That is why the seventh commandment is what it is: “You shall not commit adultery.” In marriage, two people enter into a covenant, becoming one. And this comprehensive union, in which husband and wife become interwoven emotionally, physically, spiritually, and in every other dimension, serves as a parable of the relationship between Christ and His bride, the church (Ephesians 5:22-33). The sacred union is not, then, to be intruded upon or broken (Matthew 19:6).

When a husband or wife commits adultery, it sets off a chain reaction of tragedies: there is sin against God, against the body, against the spouse, against the partner in adultery, and against the partner’s spouse. In other words, disaster ensues. Sex is intended for the marriage bond alone, so when you remove it from that context, it becomes monstrous, consuming, and devastating.

Yet we ought not to think that adultery is limited to just the physical act. We learn from the Lord Jesus that adultery starts internally: “I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28). We know, of course, that the consequences of physical adultery far outpace those of lust, but the deserved judgment and our guilt before God are equal no matter the sin.

What can Christian men and women do to guard themselves and one another against adulterous acts and thoughts? For starters, we can practice the presence of God, communing with Him and remembering that we have no secrets before Him. We can memorize the word of God, filling our hearts with it that we might not sin against Him (Psalm 119:11). And we can stick with the people of God, pursuing fellowship in worship and accountability, all to the end of being stirred up to love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24-25).

Nevertheless, we all stand guilty before the seventh commandment. We are in no position to look down on others or see ourselves as spotless. Our lives, our hands, and our thoughts do not pass the test of purity. And yet you are never out of the reach of God’s grace in Christ, no matter how much baggage you carry. If you truly and earnestly repent of your sins, if you truly and earnestly cast yourself upon God’s mercy and grace, you will be forgiven, pardoned, cleansed, and set free—free for the Spirit of God to work in your life, enabling you to think and live in a way that pleases Him.

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

1 Thessalonians 4:1-8

Topics: Adultery Lust Purity

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


Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – Jesus Has Conquered Death

“As the children are partakers of flesh and blood, [Jesus] also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” (Hebrews 2:14-15)

Trent jerked up into a sitting position, suddenly wide awake. His heart pounded, and he was breathing hard and fast as if he had been running. “It was just a bad dream,” he told himself, rubbing his eyes. “Just another dream.”

Ever since his grandfather’s funeral last week, Trent had had a bad dream almost every night. He would wake up thinking about Grandpa lying so still and silent in that big box. He would think about the quiet cemetery where they had buried the big box in the ground. And then he would start to get scared. What if his mom or his dad died too? What if he died? What would it be like?

Have you ever felt like Trent? The Bible tells us that the fear of death is something all humans have in common. But the Bible also says that we do not have to be slaves to this fear.

Would you be afraid of something that had no power to hurt you–like a dead leaf or a falling snowflake? Of course not. Did you know that Jesus Christ has made death just as powerless as these things for the Christian? Hebrews 2 tells us that when Jesus died on the cross, He destroyed the power of death. He destroyed Satan’s ability to keep us living in the fear of death all of our lives. He died to deliver us, not only from slavery to sin, but also from slavery to fear.

To those who do not know Jesus as their Savior, death is an uncertain and frightening thing. But Jesus promised that whoever believes on Him as He has commanded will not see death (John 8:51). The believer’s body will die, but his soul, the unseen part of him that thinks and feels, will go to be with Jesus forever.

If you have believed on Jesus Christ, He is your Savior. He died that you might be able to live forever with Him. Even though we don’t understand exactly what death is like, we who know Jesus do not need to be afraid of it. He has conquered death for us forever.

Jesus Christ has conquered death, and Christians do not need to fear it.

My Response:
» Has Jesus saved me from my sin and given me eternal life?
» If He has, am I thanking Him every day?
» Am I living with peace and hope in my heart instead of fear?

DDNI Featured News Article – ‘A historic first’: Vietnam allows Franklin Graham to hold evangelism event with 300 churches

In what is dubbed a “historic first,” Vietnam’s communist government has permitted a foreign Christian speaker to hold an evangelistic outreach. Evangelist Franklin Graham will share God’s love with the people of the Southeast Asian country this weekend at the Spring Love Festival.

“The Spring Love Festival is historic because this is the first time the government has given permission for an evangelistic outreach with a foreign speaker outside of a religious holiday,” the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association shared in a statement to The Christian Post.

BGEA President and CEO Graham, the son of late evangelist Billy Graham, will speak at two events at the Phu Tho Sports Facility in Ho Chi Minh City on Saturday and Sunday.

Graham arrived in Vietnam Wednesday and was “warmly welcomed” by Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai and officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Government Committee for Religious Affairs.

“I am grateful for this, and thankful to the Deputy Prime Minister and the government for allowing me to come and preach in Vietnam a second time,” Graham said. “I will share a message of God’s love for the people of Vietnam.”

BGEA is working with more than 300 churches in Vietnam for the Spring Love Festival, which is open to all.

This weekend’s program will also feature musical performances from singers Michael W. Smith, Luu Chi Vy, Isaac Thai, Le Nguyet Anh and Naomi Nguyen.

Pastor Ho Tan Khoa, one of the local leaders of the event, said in a statement that “Protestant churches love the people of Ho Chi Minh City very much, of which more than 90% of the population do not know God.”

“We are honored to join the Billy Graham Missionary Association for the opportunity to share the love of the Lord,” the pastor said in a statement. “We have been praying for a long time for the evangelism to take place and are so happy that Pastor Franklin Graham is coming to share the Good News of God’s love with everyone at the Spring Love Evangelism Program.”

In their meetings in Hanoi, government officials discussed with Graham the country’s religious diversity and claimed that government supports religious freedom even though human rights advocates have warned for years about the troubling religious freedom conditions in Vietnam.

Officials reportedly told Graham how helpful churches were in their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Graham preached in Hanoi in December 2017, and the communist government has given permission to hold Christian events during the Easter and Christmas seasons in the past, but not to a foreign speaker or outside of religious festivals.

The 2023 Open Doors US World Watch List, which ranks countries based on the level of persecution and discrimination faced by Christians, ranked Vietnam as the 25th most dangerous country in the world for followers of Christ.

“Historical Christian communities (such as Roman Catholic churches) enjoy a certain amount of freedom unless they become politically active, which can lead to imprisonment, or are involved in land-grabbing cases,” Open Doors warns in a Vietnam fact sheet. “Evangelical and Pentecostal congregations, most of whom gather in house churches, are closely monitored and face discrimination at various levels of government and society.”

Open Doors notes that since many converts belong to ethnic minority communities like the H’mong, authorities are “particularly suspicious of them.”

“Their homes are sometimes destroyed and they are then forced to leave their villages,” the fact sheet states. “Yet their numbers are reported to be growing.”

Last year, critics warned that new draft regulations proposed by the Government Committee for Religious Affairs would allow the government to exert even more pressure on registered religious organizations. 

The Christian Post recently spoke to Rev. Peter Nguyen Van Khai, a Vietnamese Catholic priest now living outside the country, at the 2023 International Religious Freedom Summit in Washington, D.C.

He spoke about the religious freedom conditions in his home country, one of the few remaining countries still ruled by a communist party. For years, regulations and laws governing religion have allowed the government to control the activities of registered religious organizations and churches. 

Van Khai was forbidden by the communist government from becoming a priest, studying in a monastery, doing pastoral work in churches and going abroad to study. He had studied theology and philosophy secretly for 14 years before being ordained as a Catholic priest. After his ordination, his family faced adverse treatment by the government, including job loss.

Although he acknowledged that “the Communist government doesn’t arrest the priests or bishops anymore,” he said the situation has “worsened because the Communist Party is trying to control the bishops.”

“In our country, the Holy See sends the bishop candidate to [the] government, and the government chooses who they want. So they try to control the church and the priest and the [Catholics] via bishop. And the government [holds] the right of veto,” Van Khai explained.

He said that the ruling party in Vietnam is seeking to “turn the church into tools for their domination.”  

In northwestern, central and southern Vietnam, Van Khai said, “people of different ethnic minorities are often persecuted.”

Converts from Buddhist or ethnic-animist backgrounds face the most severe persecution from authorities, their families, friends and neighbors.

By Anugrah Kumar, Christian Post Contributor


Hagee Ministries; John Hagee –  Daily Devotion

Romans 8:37

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

Every person that you meet today is facing a struggle. How they meet that struggle determines the outcome. Wimps run away. Whiners play the blame game. Warriors, though, refuse to point the finger or wait for rescue.

A warrior determines to engage the enemy. He polishes his armor and brandishes his sword. A warrior is not concerned with the number of the enemy. She doesn’t ask, “How many?” She says, “Where are they?” Warriors choose to take a stand. They do not feel their way into being a warrior. They contend with the same fears, doubts and distractions that assail us all, but they make up their minds to draw a line in the sand, to fight for right, to charge into battle.

The Bible teaches that every warrior needs three things:

Every warrior needs to remember the cause for which he fights. Fathers, are you contending for the faith of your children? Ladies, are you combating the tendency to over commit? Keep that worthy cause at the forefront of your mind. Pray without letting up. Take the necessary steps to protect and defend.

Every warrior needs a battle plan. Armies do not stumble over a success. Soldiers do not drift into a victory. Warriors without battle plans are casualties. Fight with focus. Be intentional. Ask for the intelligence of God to be poured out in you as you strategize for success.

Every warrior needs to remember in Whose strength you fight. We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, powers, rulers of darkness and spiritual hosts of wickedness (Ephesians 6:12). You have an enemy – the devil, the serpent of old. In your own strength, you are no match for him. Alone, you cannot go toe to toe. Jesus has promised to stick close to your side. He will not desert you on the battlefield. He will provide the mighty weapons you need. In His name, you are undefeatable.

Choose to be a warrior! Remember the cause for which you fight. Prayerfully create a battle plan. Be aware that you do not wage war in your own strength. When you do, you will be a warrior that becomes a winner.

Today’s Blessing: 

Heavenly Father, even when I am surrounded on all sides, open my eyes to see that I never battle alone. Give me the courage to fight for the causes close to Your heart. Give me the wisdom to overcome the wiles of the enemy. May Your kingdom be advanced in my life, my family, my community, and the world in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Today’s Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

Numbers 2:1-3:51

New Testament 

Mark 11:26-12:17

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 47:1-9

Proverbs 10:24-25


Turning Point; David Jeremiah – Spring Forward: Be a Servant

And she arose and served them.
Matthew 8:15

 Recommended Reading: Matthew 8:14-17

Perhaps you have established patterns of daily prayer and Bible study, and you’re part of a good church. Yet you feel there’s something missing from your Christian experience. During the weekends of March, let’s spring forward with four additional opportunities, beginning with servanthood.

Kentucky pastor Jerrell White, who pastored for more than sixty years, passed away at age eighty, one month after preaching his last sermon and baptizing four new believers. His granddaughter said, “He modeled servanthood. I went with him many times to nursing homes or to visit people in the church. I saw the ways he and my grandma intentionally gave and visited and served and loved. He was always so encouraging. He modeled to us what a genuine Christian looked like. He studied God’s Word and he lived it out.”

This March, ask yourself if you model servanthood. How can you better live out God’s Word? Developing the servanthood habit may be as simple as letting a traveler exit the plane before you or picking up a piece of litter thrown onto a neighbor’s lawn. Often it’s the small things that enable us to spring forward.

Any good thing…that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now.
Henry Drummond


Harvest Ministries; Greg Laurie – Start with Your World

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” 

—Acts 1:8


Acts 1:8 

From a human standpoint, there was no way the disciples were ready for such a task. Yet before Jesus ascended to Heaven, He gave these final words to them: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8 NLT).

Their faith was weak. They had failed in their public witness and their private faith. Simon Peter, their acknowledged leader, had openly denied the Lord. So, how could they ever go and change the world?

They would do it with the power of the Holy Spirit, which they would have soon. Jesus was saying, “With the power that I am going to give to you, you will have power to share your faith, power to speak up and be counted, and power to turn your world upside down.”

The same power that was available to the first-century church is available to the twenty-first-century church as well. Speaking on the Day of Pentecost, the apostle Peter said, “This promise is to you, to your children, and to those far away—all who have been called by the Lord our God” (Acts 2:39 NLT).

So, where do we start? It’s a daunting task to think of going into all the world and preaching the gospel. But how about this? Go into all your world and preach the gospel. You don’t have to cross an ocean; you can simply cross the street.

How about starting with the people who live near you? How about starting with members of your family, your coworkers, or the students on your campus? Just start where you are.

If you want to reach the world, then start with your world.