Our Daily Bread — All Alone?

Bible in a Year:

God heard the boy crying.

Genesis 21:17

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

Genesis 21:9–19

Sue’s family was falling apart before her eyes. Her husband had suddenly left the home, and she and her children were confused and angry. She asked him to go for marriage counseling with her, but he wouldn’t because he claimed the problems were hers. Panic and hopelessness set in when she realized he might never come back. Would she be able to care for herself and her children alone?

Hagar, a servant of Abraham and Sarah, faced those thoughts as well. Impatient for God to give them a son as promised (Genesis 1215), Sarah gave Hagar to her husband, and Hagar gave birth to Ishmael (16:1–4, 15). However, when God fulfilled His promise and Sarah gave birth to Isaac, family tensions erupted such that Abraham sent Hagar away with their son Ishmael with just some water and food (21:–21). Can you imagine her desperation? Soon they ran out of provisions in the desert. Not knowing what to do and not wanting to see her son die, Hagar put Ishmael under a bush and walked a distance away. They both began to sob. But “God heard the boy crying” (v. 17). He heard their cries, provided for their needs, and was with them.

Times of desperation when we feel all alone cause us to cry out to God. What a comfort to know that during those moments and throughout our lives, He hears us, provides for us, and stays near to us.

By:  Anne Cetas

Reflect & Pray

How has God provided for you when you’ve felt alone? How have you responded to Him?

I’m grateful, God, that I never really walk alone. Help me in my desperation


Grace to You; John MacArthur – Cleansing Our Hands and Hearts

“Cleanse your hands . . . and purify your hearts” (James 4:8).

Clean hands and a pure heart will always characterize the humble.

Hands represent our behavior, the pattern of our outward actions. Scripture uses that symbol when it encourages people to abandon their sinful behavior: “So when you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide My eyes from you, yes, even though you multiply prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are full of bloodshed” (Isa. 1:15).

Today’s verse uses “hands” in reference to the Jewish ceremonial requirements. The priests were required to wash their hands before they entered the presence of God in the tabernacle and temple (Ex. 30:19-21). Therefore, a call to have clean hands was not just a strange figure of speech for James’s audience. As Jews, they would know that a person needed to go through a cleansing process and have a clean life if he wanted to be close to the Lord.

This cleansing process, however, includes more than correcting the outward behavior and lifestyle represented by the hands. The inward dimension of the heart must also be involved, which is why James 4:8 says, “Purify your hearts.” The heart is what’s inside a person—his thoughts, motives, and desires—the essence of his being. The apostle James is telling anyone who would be genuinely humble and want to be right with God that he must deal with his real self, the heart that is so corrupted and deceived by sin. The humble sinner will hear and obey words such as Ezekiel’s: “Cast away from you all your transgressions which you have committed, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit!” (Ezek. 18:31).

Clean hands and a pure heart are essential traits for anyone who would be counted among the humble. If you have not submitted yourself to God, you won’t have these traits, and you need to heed James’s commands. If you are one of the humble, you will want to maintain a close relationship with the Lord. For you, therefore, it is crucial to remember what the apostle John promises in 1 John 1:9—“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Suggestions for Prayer

Pray that all your thoughts and actions today would be pure and pleasing to the Lord.

For Further Study

Read Isaiah 55.

  • What does it say about the transformed heart and life?
  • Commit verses 6-7 to memory.

From Strength for Today by John MacArthur


Joyce Meyer – The Goal of a Healthy Soul

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.

— 3 John 2 (NKJV)

Most women I know set and meet goals each day, such as “Buy the groceries. Do the laundry. Take the kids to school. Pick up Mom’s prescription. Get Mary’s birthday present.” We also set goals for each week and each year, such as getting to church every Sunday or going on a summer vacation. But how many women have this goal: “Work on getting my soul healthy”? It’s one of the most important of all.

A healthy soul is a soul at peace and at rest. It isn’t upset, worried, angry, ashamed, or fearful. It is strong and steady, full of love, joy, hope, compassion toward others, and confidence in God. It can handle the ups and downs of life appropriately and go through everyday life with ease.

As you read the description of a healthy soul, you may think, Oh, that sounds so nice! I would love that, but I just don’t think it’s possible because I am dealing with [fill in the blank]. When you fill in the blank, you may say “aging parents,” or “difficult teenagers,” or “a serious health condition,” or “job loss,” or “an abusive relationship,” or “losing my friends,” or “problems in my marriage,” or “financial trouble,” or “unreasonable stress at work.”

There are all kinds of situations that will cause you to think you really cannot have a healthy soul. They may mean you have to work hard to improve the health of your soul, but they don’t prohibit it. Actually, the fact that you are going through these things is not a hindrance to a healthy soul; it’s the reason you need one! The healthier your soul is, the stronger you will be and the better you will be able to handle your most challenging circumstances.

Just like you, I am no stranger to stress, but I have learned that things that upset us will happen. We don’t have control over that, but because God has given us the fruit of self-control (see Gal. 5:22–23) and because we can ask Him to help us, we do have control over the way we respond to them. I can guarantee you, based on personal experience, that it’s much better to face challenges with a healthy soul than with a weak or wounded one.

A healthy soul is a worthy goal for all of us. I understand that in many ways it’s easier to get the groceries or drop off the kids at school than to work on becoming healthy in your mind, will, and emotions. I also know it’s one of the best things you will ever do for yourself, and that God will help you do it. It may seem difficult to you, but all things are possible with Him!

Prayer of the Day: Father, I come to You in the name of Jesus and ask You to impress on my, the importance of healing my soul. Help me to do the work needed on myself, so that I can be all that You would have me be, amen.


Truth for Life; Alistair Begg – Tell the Truth

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

Exodus 20:16

Every command of Scripture serves not only as an instruction for our lives but also as a reflection of who God is. The command against adultery is rooted in His faithfulness. The forbidding of murder flows from the life-giving Lord. So it is with the ninth commandment against bearing false witness, which comes from the promise-keeping God of all truth, who does not and cannot lie (Numbers 23:19).

What does the Lord have in view when He instructs us not to bear false witness? It is surely safe to assume that this commandment concerns any form of speech that is less than truthful. There are many ways we fall short. We do it by outright deceit, when we provide false information or withhold the truth in some way. We do it when we participate in rumors, spreading gossip about others. We do it by slandering and flattering others. We do it when we exaggerate the truth, give false impressions, and are careless with the facts. All of this falls short of the divine standard.

A vital component of fighting against the temptation to lie is to understand why we lie in the first place. The source of lies is none other than Satan himself, about whom Jesus says, “When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44). Deceit was his strategy in the Garden of Eden, when he approached Eve with a lying tongue. Tragically, we are often driven by the same motives as the Evil One when we lie: pride, hatred, and fear. We lie out of pride when we want others to think highly of us. We deceive out of hatred because we want to tear down someone else. We speak untruth out of a fear of the consequences that we think would result from the truth being known. In all of this, we lie because in those moments we love ourselves more than we love God and our neighbors.

The reality is that God hates deception (Proverbs 6:16-19). In order for us to walk in the truth, we must crucify our pride and be more concerned with what God thinks of us than with what someone else thinks of us. We must put away malice and pursue love for others, committing to never speaking slanderously or spreading gossip. And we must fight an ungodly fear of man, replacing it with the fear of God, who came in flesh and declared Himself to be “the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).

The Lord Jesus has given His people His Spirit of truth (John 15:26), who empowers us to walk in the truth and put away falsehood. Only by His power are we increasingly conformed into the image of Christ and ever more reflecting the character of the God who gave the ninth commandment. Consider now in which situations and in what ways you are most often tempted to bear false witness. How will the truth about Jesus, His saving gospel, and His indwelling Spirit motivate you to speak differently from now on—to speak the truth, as a follower of the truth?

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

Proverbs 6:16-19

Topics: Lying Satan Truth

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


Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – God’s Powerful Love

“For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” (John 3:17)

We hear many people talk about how much God loves us. Have you ever stop to think about how powerful God is? Joshua 10 tells a great story of God’s power! Take the time today and read verses 1-15.

In the Old Testament, we can read about how God specially chose a group of people called the “Israelites” to be His children. When God stood with Joshua and the children of Israel, there was no kingdom on Earth that could stand against His people. We know how powerful God is. God controls the weather. He can send hailstorms, hurricanes, tornados, and floods. He created the whole planet, and His power is greater than earthquakes and tidal waves and glaciers. God controls history, too. He has helped some armies win battles that were impossible for humans to win. In the Bible, there are stories about many miracles that God did that we humans could never do! God has proved over and over again how powerful He is.

But what if God only ever showed His power, but not His love? But do you know what else we learn about God from His Word? God loves His people and He wants to deliver them. God is powerful, and God loves perfectly, so He must be just as powerful in His loving as He is in everything else He does. God’s love is powerful.

Because He was their loving and powerful God and Father, God taught His people by disciplining them. When the Israelites obeyed God, then God would bless them with victory. They were small armies and had not been trained how to fight, but God helped them win, over and over again. But when the Israelites disobeyed God, then God would have to punish them for their sin. The Israelites suffered whenever they disobeyed God. One time, the Earth opened up and swallowed some of them. One time, God sent poisonous snakes. One time, they lost many of their men in a battle. But through it all, God loved them and He helped them when they turned to Him for help.

In the New Testament, we can read about when God came to Earth Himself. When Jesus Christ, Who is God, came to be born as a human being, He invited all people to be His children. He came to do the impossible. He was powerful enough to live a life without sin. He was powerful enough to bear the sins of men and the rejection of His Father when He died on the cross. He was powerful enough to raise up from the grave. None of us could have done any of those things!

Jesus Christ’s life, death, and resurrection is powerful proof that God loves powerfully. He loved the world so much that He sent His Son into it–not to condemn it and wreck it and make a mess of it, but to redeem and rescue and deliver and save anyone who comes to Him and trusts Him to help.

God’s love is powerful enough to deliver us from our sins through Jesus Christ.

My Response:
» Have I asked God to deliver me from my sin?
» When was the last time I told someone about God’s love for him or her?

Denison Forum – Abortion pills called ‘lifesaving care’

Walgreens has confirmed that it will not carry abortion pills in twenty states. Critics are calling for boycotts against the pharmacy chain, and pro-abortion political leaders are voicing their outrage as well.

For example, Illinois Gov. J. B. Pritzker, the highest elected official in the state where Walgreens is headquartered, tweeted: “@Walgreens must rethink this policy. To all the other pharmacy providers, we’ll stand with you so you can provide this lifesaving care.”

Let’s be clear: not a single American state, no matter its abortion restrictions, has a law preventing medical treatment to save the life of a pregnant woman. How many abortions are necessary to save the life of the mother?

Consider the state of Florida as an example, since it records a reason for every abortion that occurs within its borders each year. In 2021, there were 79,817 abortions in the state. In 0.15 percent of the cases, the woman’s life was endangered by the pregnancy.

And, of course, except for the rare occasions when a baby survives the procedure, abortion is always fatal for the unborn child.

Perception can become reality

Why, then, is abortion so often called “lifesaving” care? Because “truth” has been weaponized in our culture as a means to predetermined social ends.

Sex change surgeries are now “gender-affirming care.” Euthanasia is “death with dignity.” To defend the unborn is to engage in a “war on women.” Those who support biblical marriage are “homophobic.” Those who believe women should not have to compete against biological men in sports are “transphobic.”

On the one hand, such euphemisms do not change the truth. Perception is not reality. An unborn human, no matter what abortion activists choose to call it, is still a human.

On the other hand, however, perception can become reality. When Americans support abortion in the guise of “lifesaving care,” millions of unborn children die as a result.

And when our secularized culture inundates us with messaging that reinterprets truth according to its chosen fictions, its fictions become true.

“Lower than they have ever been in American history”

Christians should not be surprised, since “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).

The leader of these “spiritual forces of evil” is, of course, Satan himself, the “ruler of this world” (John 12:31). And he specializes in lies and deception: he “does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44).

Satan is very good at his job: “The god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Corinthians 4:4). He has been especially busy in recent years, convincing millions of Americans that biblical truth and morality are outdated, irrelevant, and even dangerous.

Consequently, according to sociology professor Phil Zuckerman, religious belief, behavior, and belonging are “lower than they have ever been in American history.” He cites these key statistics:

  • A 2022 Gallup survey reported that the percentage of people who believe in God has dropped from 98 percent in the 1950s to 81 percent today.
  • Only about half of Americans believe in “God as described in the Bible.”
  • Congregational membership is at an all-time low: a 2021 Gallup poll found that, for the first time ever, fewer than half of Americans were members of a church, synagogue, or mosque.
  • About one in five adults say they have no religious affiliation, up from one in fifty in 1960.

Tuning one hundred pianos

What does this mean for you and me?

First, refuse to measure truth by popularity. The more Satan persuades our secular culture that the Bible is dangerous to society, the more dangerous society becomes to itself. The next time you find yourself on the wrong side of the crowd, remember that the crowd demanded the crucifixion of your Lord (John 19:15).

Second, stand for truth with compassionate courage. People who reject biblical truth are not enemies of the Lord but victims of the devil. The more sick people reject medical help, the more they need medical help.

Third, walk closer than ever with the One who is “the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). He promised us: “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31–32, my emphases).

In The Pursuit of God, A. W. Tozer asked, “Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must individually bow.”

Will you tune your soul to your fallen society or to your loving Savior today?

Denison Forum

Hagee Ministries; John Hagee –  Daily Devotion

Psalm 40:2

He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, Out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, And established my steps.

In the days when judges ruled, the children of Israel found themselves in a rut. Joshua and Caleb, those mighty, faith-filled warriors, had died. The generation that rose up after them did not know God nor the work that God had accomplished on their behalf. The Jewish people cast off the truth of God’s Word and did what was right in their own eyes. They were surrounded by social chaos, political turmoil, and lawlessness.

Please understand that the Israelites were not ignorant of God. They had grown up listening to the stories of how Abraham believed for a son, how Jacob wrestled with an angel, how Miriam danced a victory jig. All around, they saw signs of God’s handiwork—here are twelve stones heaped up in the Jordan River where God rolled back the waters, and here are the ruins of Jericho where the walls came down with a shout. This generation knew God, but they chose to act as if He did not exist. They fell into the hands of the enemy who carried them away as captives. They were in a serious rut.

Have you ever found yourself in a serious rut? In the course of everyday obligations, it is easy to find ourselves overwhelmed, bogged down and stuck. Preoccupation with the demands of life can cause us to act as though God does not exist. When we neglect to pray, we cut off the communication line that speaks power into every area of our lives. When we ignore His Word in favor of other pursuits, we can cross over into lawlessness where we are buffeted by a culture that declares good to be evil and vice versa. The enemy can carry us off into confusion and chaos, doubt and disorder.

If you find yourself in a rut, be encouraged! Call out to God Who is attuned to your every cry. You are divinely positioned to be sprung! You are His lamb. He will leave the ninety-nine to search you out, lift you from the ravine, lovingly place you over His shoulders, and carry you back to the safety of the fold. He will spring you from the trap, the rut into which you have fallen to walk again in freedom and truth.

Today’s Blessing: 

Heavenly Father, I gratefully thank You for pulling me from the pit, rescuing me from the ruts and ravines. Help me to always remember that You exist and that You reward those who diligently pursue You. Set my feet on the solid rock that is Christ Jesus. In His name, Amen.

Today’s Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

Numbers 6:1-7:89

New Testament 

Mark 12:38-13:13

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 49:1-20

Proverbs 10:27-28


Turning Point; David Jeremiah – Christian Despondency

I was despondent. They dug a pit ahead of me, but they fell into it!
Psalm 57:6

 Recommended Reading: Psalm 57

In his book, A Spiritual Clinic, J. Oswald Sanders devotes a chapter to despondency among Christians. “Who among us has not experienced that nameless feeling of misery and hopelessness?” he wrote. Sanders points out that such biblical heroes as Moses and Elijah had moments of great discouragement. For Moses, God prescribed the help of seventy elders; for Elijah, a time of withdrawal in a solitary place where the Lord met him.

“God prescribes individually for each of His patients. God delights to restore each depressed soul to a sphere of increased usefulness,” said Sanders.[1]

When we face daunting challenges, we can remember that God is always with us. He will give us wisdom and courage. He will deal with us individually, prescribing what is best. Take a moment to ask the Lord to show you the next immediate step you should take toward restoration and increased usefulness. He doesn’t want you to live in chronic despondency when His joy can be your strength (Nehemiah 8:10).

It is not without its comfort that the two men who conversed with the Lord on the Mount of Transfiguration both broke under the strain of their ministry and prayed that they might die.
J. Oswald Sanders


Harvest Ministries; Greg Laurie – The Giver of Hope

The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. 

—John 10:10


John 10:10 

Things happen in life that are bad, and they always will be bad. There are things that never should have happened, but they did. But despite the bad, God can still bring good.

The Bible promises, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them” (Romans 8:28 NLT).

Yet this is often misunderstood. We mistakenly think it means that God will take every bad thing and turn it into a good thing.

What is God’s endgame, then? We find the answer to that question in the next verse: “For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters” (verse 29 NLT).

God knew us before we knew Him. And He chose us to become like His Son. This is our hope. Now, the devil doesn’t want this to happen. In fact, he wants us to abandon hope.

But Jesus wants us to abandon hopelessness; we can have hope as His followers. He said, “The thief’s [devil’s] purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life” (John 10:10 NLT).

We have a choice: we can either listen to the devil or listen to Jesus.

Don’t listen to the devil, because he is a liar and the father of lies (see John 8:44). He will whisper in your ear and say, “Your life is not worth living, and your family and friends would be better off without you.” Those are lies.

Your life is a gift from God, and it is worth living. And you are loved more than you realize.