Our Daily Bread — Never Too Far

Bible in a Year:

When you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.

Luke 22:32

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

Luke 22:31–34, 54–62

Raj had trusted Jesus as Savior in his youth, but soon afterward, he drifted from the faith and led a life apart from God. Then one day, he made the decision to renew his relationship with Jesus and go back to church—only to be scolded by a woman who berated him for being absent for all these years. The scolding added to Raj’s sense of shame and guilt for his years of drifting. Am I beyond hope? he wondered. Then he recalled how Christ had restored Simon Peter (John 21:15–17) even though he’d denied Him (Luke 22:3460–61).

Whatever scolding Peter might have expected, all he received was forgiveness and restoration. Jesus didn’t even mention Peter’s denial but instead gave him a chance to reaffirm his love for Christ and take care of His followers (John 21:15–17). Jesus’ words before Peter disowned Him were being fulfilled: “When you have turned back, strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:32). 

Raj asked God for that same forgiveness and restoration, and today he’s not only walking closely with Jesus but serving in a church and supporting other believers as well. No matter how far we’ve strayed from God, He’s always ready not only to forgive us and welcome us back but also to restore us so we can love, serve, and glorify Him. We’re never too far from God: His loving arms are wide open.

By:  Leslie Koh

Reflect & Pray

What fears might you have about turning back to God? How can knowing His heart of forgiveness help you to return to Him?

Father, thank You for Your endless mercy and patience with me. Thank You that I can trust in Your everlasting love.


Grace to You; John MacArthur – Denying Yourself

“I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed” (Dan. 9:4).

God will not respond to self-righteous prayers.

In Luke 18 Jesus told a parable to people who were trusting in their own self-righteousness. He said, “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee, and the other a tax-gatherer. The Pharisee stood and was praying thus to himself, ‘God, I thank Thee that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax-gatherer. I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’

“But the tax-gatherer, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’

“I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, but he who humbles himself shall be exalted” (vv. 10-14).

Apart from God’s mercy we cannot enter into God’s presence. The tax-gatherer knew that and pled for forgiveness. The Pharisee missed the point and went away without forgiveness.

Like the tax-gatherer, Daniel approached God with an attitude of confession and self-denial. He could have reminded God of his years of faithful service while in Babylon, but that didn’t enter his mind. He knew that in himself there was nothing to commend him to God. His only thought was for mercy for himself and his people, that God’s purposes could be realized through them.

As a Christian, you have the wonderful privilege of boldly entering into God’s presence “with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith” (Heb. 10:22). That privilege is rooted in God’s grace through Christ’s sacrifice and leaves no room for presumption or self-righteousness. Always guard your attitude in prayer so that you don’t unwittingly slip into a Pharisaic mentality.

Suggestions for Prayer

Memorize Psalm 117:1-118:1 and recite it often as a hymn of praise to the Lord.

For Further Study

Jesus had much to say about the self-righteous scribes and Pharisees of His day. Read Matthew 23, noting His scathing denunciations of their hypocritical attitudes and practices.

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur


Joyce Meyer – A Deeper Level

…Not My will, but [always] Yours be done.

— Luke 22:42 (AMPC)

Asking God for what we need and desire in the natural realm is definitely not wrong, but we should not major on those things. God’s Word says that He knows what we need before we ask Him (see Matthew 6:8), so all we need to do is simply ask and let Him know that we are trusting Him to take care of everything that concerns us.

After we ask God for our daily physical needs, we can focus the majority of our prayer time on talking to Him about our spiritual needs, such as spiritual maturity, developing and displaying the fruit of the Spirit, obedience, and walking in love, to name a few. We also have the privilege of praying for other people and being part of their victories.

God is inviting you to a deeper walk with Him and that means you want His will even more than you want your own.

Prayer of the Day: I thank You, Father, that You hear me every time I pray. Even though I have daily needs that I bring to You, help me to enter a deeper level of prayer. I pray that Your will would be done in my life and in the world around me, amen.


Truth for Life; Alistair Begg – Not Content to Covet

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.

Exodus 20:17

The Ten Commandments do not go easy on us as they come to their close. Each of the four commands prior to the tenth deal primarily (though not exclusively) with our actions. This one takes a different approach, taking aim at our desires and our attitudes.

When God forbids coveting, He confronts us with a seemingly universal problem—the desire to have for ourselves what God has chosen to give to another. The object of our envy may take any number of forms—prestige, positions, and possessions, to name just a few. The apostle John knew how easily our hearts fall into coveting when he warned us, “Do not love the world or the things in the world … All that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world” (1 John 2:15-17).

In addition to understanding what and how easily we are tempted to covet, it’s important to acknowledge the ruinous effects coveting has on us. It spoils relationships and lies behind many of our disagreements; it is impossible to love someone while we covet something they have. It makes us selfish. And it causes us to fixate on material things.

All of these effects are touched on by one of Jesus’ warnings related to coveting. When a man approached Him with concerns about his inheritance, Jesus bypassed the question to get to the heart of the problem—and the warning is precisely what our covetous hearts need to hear: “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (Luke 12:15). How easily we forget this very truth, believing instead that true and lasting joy would be ours if we could only have a little more money, a little more fame, a little more free time, or a little more of whatever else we see others enjoying and covet for ourselves.

So how do we combat this dangerous sin? If coveting is a disordering of our desires, then we must actively cultivate right desires. Through Bible reading and prayer, through worship and fellowship, we can increase our appetite for godly things, all the while purposefully shrinking our appetite for worldly things. These kinds of habits will lead us into lives of contentment, so that we can say with the psalmist, “Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Psalm 73:25-26).

Do you long for your heart to be content? Do you want to guard against coveting? Then seek and find satisfaction in God alone. Next time you find you are sad for yourself rather than happy for another because they have a blessing that you do not, ask God to enable you to say to yourself, and to mean, “There is nothing on earth as great as knowing God. There is no earthly blessing that can endure to eternity. Therefore, I shall be satisfied in Him, and Him alone.”

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

Philippians 4:8-13

Topics: Contentment Effects of Sin Jealousy

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


Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – God Created Languages

“Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.” ( Genesis 11:9)

Wouldn’t it be easier if everyone spoke the same language? Then we could all understand one another! Missionaries wouldn’t have to learn a foreign language when they left for the mission field, businessmen wouldn’t have to use interpreters when they had a business meeting overseas, and we could travel the world and be able to talk to anyone we wanted!

That may sound like a great plan to us, but God had even better plans. It was God Who created languages, and He did it for a purpose. For hundreds of years after God first created the world, everyone spoke the same language, and everyone could understand everyone else. The people became very wicked, though, and did what was right in their own eyes instead of loving and obeying God. To judge them, God sent a great flood to destroy the whole world. After God rescued Noah and his family from the flood, God gave them a command. They were supposed to multiply (grow the family) and spread out all over the world. In other words, they were supposed to scatter around and fill up the world with their children and grandchildren. Earth would be filled again with people who would know and worship the one true God.

Over the next years, Noah’s family did grow, but they did not move to different parts of the earth like God had commanded. In fact, instead of worshipping God the way He wanted them to worship Him (by obeying his commands, for example), they decided it would be a better idea to worship God by building a tower so high it would reach Him up in heaven. Have you ever heard of “The Tower of Babel”? The grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Noah’s family started building this tower and a city of worship around it.

God was angry at their plans to worship Him however they pleased while disobeying His other commands. They had not scattered around and replenished (re-filled) the different parts of the world. They had not taught their children and grandchildren the right things about God and how He expected to be worshipped.

In the middle of this huge construction project, God brought judgment down on it. He decided to mix up the languages. Can you imagine? Maybe you are on a ladder, working on the tower. You ask your second cousin to pass the hammer and some nails over…and he acts confused. He is not joking, either. He really has no clue what you are saying! He tries to answer you, but his words sound really funny to you, and you don’t know what he means. Now, you have known this guy all your life! He is related to you! And suddenly neither of you can understand what the other is saying?

It did not take long for the people to realize something very different was happening, and that God must have been the One doing it. God confused the languages of the people to help them stop doing things their own way and to help them fulfill his command to go out and replenish all the world. As people walked aimlessly around, trying to find someone who could understand them, they naturally divided into smaller groups according to language. These groups gradually split off from the others and moved to different parts of the world. They finally scattered and became the different nations of people we have today.

Wow! Did you know that God had such a specific purpose in creating languages? God has a purpose for everything He does, even in confusing a bunch of disobedient people thousands of years ago. A God Who can create languages is a powerful God! God’s plans are always designed to work things out for His glory and for His people’s best good. If only we would follow His plans instead of doing things our own way!

God is the sovereign Creator, and He can carry out what He wants done, even if people try to do the opposite.

My Response: » Am I disobeying what God has shown me He wants me to do? » Am I tempted to honor God my own way rather than how He wants to be honored? » Do I need to do a better job remembering that God has a specific purpose in everything He does?

Hagee Ministries; John Hagee –  Daily Devotion

Judges 6:12 & 16

…Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man.’

In the time of Gideon, the Midianites had terrorized the Israelites for seven years. They raided the country, destroyed the crops, and stole their livestock. Their land was ravaged, and the Israelites were impoverished, forced to live in caves and mountains.

When God introduces us to Gideon in Judges 6, he is threshing wheat in a winepress. Usually, an Israelite threshed wheat in a wide, open space, but Gideon was lying low, hiding out from the Midianites in a pit dug into the ground.

Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared and announced, “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!” Gideon must have looked over both of his shoulders, tapped himself on the chest, and asked, “You talkin’ ta me?” He did not hesitate to voice his doubts aloud.

How could this be true? If God was with them, why were these things happening? Where were the miracles they had heard about from their fathers? He was certain that God had deserted them. He blatantly declared that he was the weakest, least likely person to deliver Israel. He was not convinced. His eyes were closed to the possibilities. His faith in God wavered after so much suffering.

Perhaps you find yourself in a situation like Gideon. The enemy has attacked relentlessly, assaulted your health, waged war against your marriage, or even carried off your children. Your faith is eroded. Lying low, you long for deliverance.

When we met him, Gideon was not a warrior. He was a wimp and a whiner. God, however, looked beyond the pit and saw the potential. He had handwritten Gideon’s destiny with victory. When God opened his eyes, Gideon recognized the truth: God plus you make a majority. When God pressed a torch in one hand and a trumpet in the other, Gideon discovered that God equips you with the weapons needed for battle.

Whatever your situation, know this: God drafted a plan for your life before you drew your first breath. He lovingly wove in valor and victory. He created you with purpose and talents for your particular battles. Look up, mighty man and woman of valor! Climb out of the pit. Put on all the promise, potential and power of the plan God designed specially for you. He will provide the weapons of your warfare and send allies to fight beside you. God is with you, and His plan never fails.

Today’s Blessing: 

Heavenly Father, thank You for the beautiful plan You drew up for my life. Open my eyes to see Your purposes. Equip me to walk in them. I surrender to Your will for me. Remind me that I never stand alone or undefended because You are with me. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

Today’s Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

Numbers 8:1-9:23

New Testament 

Mark 13:14-37

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 50:1-23

Proverbs 10:29-30


Turning Point; David Jeremiah Trench Art

He has made everything beautiful in its time.
Ecclesiastes 3:11

 Recommended Reading: Isaiah 61:1-3

During World War I, peasants would sometimes inspect recent battlefields, looking for shell casings, spent bullets, and bomb fragments. They would assemble them into items for their home. One woman in Washington state has a large collection of these decorative and practical items. Her curio cabinet displays items like salt and pepper shakers, candlesticks, and vases made from leftover fragments of war.[1]

For most of us, our life contains broken pieces. Life is a battlefield. Paul told Timothy to “wage the good warfare” (1 Timothy 1:18). None of us escape without incurring some wounds. But God can use these to bring glory to Himself. He takes the fragments of pain, the scraps of sadness, the chunks of disappointment. In His hands, these can become the means by which we learn to trust Him and to comfort others.

Give the broken pieces of your life to the Lord, and let Him create some trench art. He does all things well, and He makes everything beautiful in His time.

Even though you might look at parts of your life as ugly or shameful, God can make all things work together for your good and His glory…The God of hope is making all things beautiful in His time.
Karen Whiting


Harvest Ministries; Greg Laurie – Choose to Let God In

 Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! 

—Deuteronomy 30:19


Deuteronomy 30:19 

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.