Our Daily Bread — Musical Medicine

Bible in a Year:

David would take up his lyre and play. Then relief would come to Saul.

1 Samuel 16:23

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

1 Samuel 16:14–23

When five-year-old Bella was hospitalized for cancer in North Dakota, she received music therapy as part of her treatment. Many people have experienced the powerful effect of music on mood without understanding exactly why, but researchers have recently documented a clinical benefit. Music is now being prescribed for cancer patients like Bella, and those suffering from Parkinson’s disease, dementia, and trauma.

King Saul reached for a musical prescription when he was feeling tormented. His attendants saw his lack of peace and suggested they find someone to play the lyre for him in the hope it would make him “feel better” (1 Samuel 16:16). They sent for Jesse’s son David, and Saul was pleased with him and asked that he “remain in [his] service” (v. 22). David played for Saul in his moments of unrest, bringing him relief from his anguish.

We may only just be discovering scientifically what God has known all along about how music can affect us. As the author and creator of both our bodies and music itself, He provided a prescription for our health that’s readily accessible to all, regardless of the era in which we live or how easy it is to visit a doctor. Even when there’s no way to listen, we can sing to God in the midst of our joys and struggles, making music of our own (Psalm 59:16Acts 16:25).

By:  Kirsten Holmberg

Reflect & Pray

How has God used music to soothe you? How can you bring music to someone as David did to Saul?

Father, thank You for creating music and using it to soothe my heart and mind during times of struggle.


Grace to You; John MacArthur – Understanding Who We Are

 “Walk . . . with all humility” (Ephesians 4:1-2).

The first step to humility is understanding our sinfulness.

I’ll never forget a meeting I had at my house with some seminary students. One student asked me, very seriously, “John, how did you finally overcome pride?” I said jokingly, “Well, it was two years ago when I finally licked it, and it’s never been a problem since then. It’s so wonderful to be constantly humble.” Of course, I have not completely overcome pride; it’s a battle I face every day. Satan makes sure we always struggle with it.

Overcoming pride in even one area is difficult, but Ephesians 4:2 requires “all humility.” Having some humility isn’t enough. We must have total, complete humility in every relationship, every attitude, and every act.

So we all have a lot of work to do. But where do we start? How can we become humble?

Humility begins with self-awareness. We need to look at ourselves honestly. We can mask who we really are and convince ourselves that we’re something wonderful. But we are sinners and need to confess our sins daily before God (cf. 1 John 1:9). Even Paul called himself the foremost of sinners (1 Tim. 1:15) and realized he had not yet reached the goal of Christlikeness (Phil. 3:12-14). Whenever you’re tempted to be proud, remember you haven’t arrived yet spiritually.

And don’t fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others. Paul said, “We are not bold to class or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves; but when they measure themselves by themselves, and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding” (2 Cor. 10:12). If we’re to be honest with ourselves and with God, we need to evaluate ourselves by an outside standard—God’s standard. Humility starts when we take off the rose-colored glasses of self-love so we can see ourselves as unworthy sinners. We must recognize our faults and confess our sins daily.

Suggestions for Prayer

  • Confess any known sins to God, and ask for help in overcoming them.
  • Ask God to keep you from comparing yourself to others instead of to His perfect standard.

For Further Study

  • Many consider Paul to be the greatest Christian who ever lived, but he viewed himself very differently. Read 1 Timothy 1:12-17. How did he see himself?
  • As he saw his sinfulness, what was his response to God?

From Strength for Today by John MacArthur 


Joyce Meyer – Take Care of Yourself

Do you not know that your body is the temple (the very sanctuary) of the Holy Spirit Who lives within you, Whom you have received [as a Gift] from God? You are not your own.

— 1 Corinthians 6:19 (AMPC)

If we don’t take good care of our bodies, our spirit and soul will be less effective. If we rarely exercise, rest, or eat properly, we can adversely affect our health. Each part of our being—spirit, soul, and body—is important and needs proper care.

I have discovered that when I feel tired and worn-out, I don’t want to maintain the spiritual discipline that I should in order to stay strong in my spirit and soul. Good physical health and energy help us in every way.

Your body is the residence of your spirit and soul; it is the house they dwell in while on this earth. God’s Word says that your body is the temple of God—I encourage you to take care of it each and every day.

Prayer of the Day: Father, I am grateful that Jesus came so that I might have abundant, healthy life. When times are tough, my joy falters, and my strength ebbs, help me to remember that You have promised I can enjoy my life, regardless of what is going on around me. Thank You for the joy, peace, and strength I find in You, amen.


Truth for Life; Alistair Begg –Quit Your Hurrying

This God—his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true.

Psalm 18:30

God is never in a hurry. He’s never late. His timing is always perfect. Yet so many of us spend so much of our lives hurrying from place to place, anxious to make things happen when we think they should happen.

Consider Esther 6 as an example. There’s a lot of hurry-up in this one chapter. It’s not the hurry-up of God, though, but the hurry-up of humanity.

Haman woke up and hurried off to see the king about hanging Mordecai (Esther 6:4). When King Ahasuerus requested that he hurry with the king’s robes to exalt the person the king delighted to honor (v 10), it was no problem for Haman to do so, assuming that the honor was intended for himself. Later we see Haman hurrying once more—but this time it is to his house in shame (v 12), embarrassed at being ordered to honor his most hated enemy, Mordecai. He didn’t want anyone to see him. He covered his head, like an arrested criminal trying to shield himself from the gaze of the TV cameras. He was a picture of disappointment and pain.

Mordecai, however, was not in a hurry. He had been overlooked. His warning of an assassination plot had been significant, yet apparently nobody cared about it, not least the very king who was the beneficiary of what he had done. Four or five years had passed without any honor or recognition (Esther 6:3), and still Mordecai patiently and faithfully continued to do what was right. He trusted in God and His timing. He knew that “this God—his way is perfect.”

Derek Kidner writes that “‘all God’s delays are maturings, either of the time … or of the man.”[1] The psalmist says, “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word” (Psalm 119:67). Like the psalmist, our default is to just do our own thing and wander any way we want. But when God in His providence makes us wait longer than we might like or even brings disappointment, pain, and heartache into our lives, we are given the opportunity to pay attention to His words and to trust that His plan is unfolding perfectly.

We are called to believe that God’s way is perfect and His word is true—not just when His favor is evident but when the wheels are falling off and the good that we’ve done, which is deserving of honor and acclaim, is largely ignored. Do you believe that? Remember that even God’s ultimate plan of salvation did not require hurry: “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6, emphasis added). God’s ways are perfect and His timing impeccable. Set aside your hurry, then, and give up your anxiety, learning instead to trust God to do His work at the right time.

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 3:5-12

Topics: Providence of God Sovereignty of God Trusting God


1 Psalms 1–72: An Introduction and Commentary on Books I and II of the Psalms, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries, ed. D. J. Wiseman (InterVarsity, 1973), p 61.

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


Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – God Is Our Stronghold

“Blessed be the LORD my strength…my goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust.” (Psalm 144:1-2)

There is a place in Israel near the Dead Sea called Masada (muh-SAH-duh). It looks like a mountain with a flat, square top. Masada was once a huge getaway palace for Herod the Great. In the first century after the time of Christ, Jewish people used it as a fortress. Men, women, and children lived there for three years, hiding from the Romans who had attacked and destroyed their cities. “The Romans cannot get to us here,” they thought. “We are safe in Masada.”

But they were not safe. The Roman army built a siege ramp all the way up the side of the mountain. Day after day, the Jews saw the Romans working on the ramp, and they knew that they had only a little time.

When the Romans finally stormed up the siege ramp to take the fortress, they found all of the Jewish people dead. The Jews had decided to kill themselves rather than lose their freedom. Their Masada had not protected them after all.

The word “Masada” comes from a Hebrew word that is often translated “fortress,” “defence,” or “stronghold.” This word is used in the Psalms to describe God. God is a stronghold for people who put their trust in Him. Because believers belong to God, they have a natural enemy, Satan, who is the enemy of God. Satan would like us to turn away from God and live in sin, doubt, and defeat.

But when Satan and his forces attack our minds and hearts, God is a safe fortress where we can hide. When we believe God’s Word and depend on His help to obey it, He will keep us from sin. God is stronger than Masada. He will never fail or be taken by the enemy. Satan can never defeat us when we make God our stronghold.

God is a stronghold for us when Satan tempts us to sin.

My Response:
» Am I abiding in God as my stronghold?
» Is there something or someone less than God that I’ve been trusting to take care of me?
» Am I struggling with something right now that I could ask God to help me with?

Turning Point; David Jeremiah – Spring Forward: Mentoring

And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
2 Timothy 2:2

 Recommended Reading: Psalm 71:17-18

Nothing will help you spring forward in your Christian faith more than mentoring. Maybe that word intimidates you, but it’s simply doing what Paul wanted Timothy to do. Perhaps there’s a lonely young person who would welcome a kind word. Or a class of children to teach. Or a child or grandchild who would memorize a Bible verse if encouraged to do so.

Is there a kid’s team that needs a coach? A local school needing a volunteer? A college class that would enjoy some snacks, giving you an opportunity to mingle with them?

Every church needs workers, and every worker can find a way to disciple someone else. Fill yourself with Scripture, grow in wisdom and confidence, and develop good insights. Then ask God to use you to encourage someone else in their spiritual formation. Adopt this biblical prayer today: “O God, do not forsake me, until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to everyone who is to come” (Psalm 71:18).

Even the scars of past abuse and injury can be the means of bringing healing to another. What wonderful opportunities to make disciples!
Charles Swindoll


Harvest Ministries; Greg Laurie – What We Need to Know About God’s Will

 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 

—2 Timothy 3:16


2 Timothy 3:16 

Sometimes people claim that God told them to do a certain thing, yet it directly contradicts what the Bible says. The truth is that God will never contradict what is written in Scripture.

God speaks to us through the Bible, which is why we need to read it every day and memorize it as well. We discover God’s will as we read His Word. David wrote in the Psalms, “The Lord is a friend to those who fear him. He teaches them his covenant” (25:14 NLT).

Of course, God may also speak to us through certain circumstances. But I haven’t based any big decisions in my life on circumstances alone. I have found, however, that when I am in the will of God, things will come together circumstantially. This is what we Christians often refer to as doors opening or closing.

As we learn God’s Word, we will be able to discern whether people are speaking for God when they claim to be. We will find everything we need to know about God in the Bible. And we also need to evaluate everything according to it.

Second Timothy 3:16 tells us, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right” (NLT).

This is important, because sometimes our emotions get the best of us. Have you ever had a time when fear and anxiety gripped you, but then you corrected it with the Word of God? You reminded yourself of what the Bible says.

The Word of God—not pious platitudes or cute posts on social media—will sustain us in times of difficulty. We need God’s Word in our lives.