Our Daily Bread — Running for What Matters

Bible in a Year:

Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

Hebrews 12:1

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

Hebrews 11:39–12:3

It was impossible not to tear up at my friend Ira’s status update. Posted in 2022 only days after she’d left her home in Kyiv, the besieged capital of Ukraine, she shared a past image of herself lifting her country’s flag after completing a running event. She wrote, “We are all running to the best of our abilities a marathon called life. Let’s run it these days even better than that. With something that never dies in our hearts.” In the following days, I saw the many ways my friend continued to run that race, as she kept us updated on how to pray for and support those suffering in her country.

Ira’s words brought new depth to the call in Hebrews 12 for believers to “run with perseverance” (v. 1). That call follows chapter 11’s moving account of the heroes of faith, the “great cloud of witnesses” (12:1) who’d lived with courageous, persistent faith—even at risk to their lives (11:33–38). Even though they “only saw . . . and welcomed [God’s promises] from a distance” (v. 13), they were living for something eternal, for something that never dies.

All believers in Jesus are called to live that same way because the shalom—the flourishing and peace—of God’s kingdom is worth giving our all for. Christ’s example and power is what sustains us (12:2–3).

By:  Monica La Rose

Reflect & Pray

What examples have you seen of courageous faith? How does Jesus’ example give you hope?

Dear God, words fail me when I see Your people’s faith and courage in heartbreaking circumstances. Give me the courage to follow You like that.


Grace to You; John MacArthur – Understanding Who God Is

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

The more we comprehend the greatness of God, the more humble we will become.

God is not given proper respect today. He is often flippantly referred to as “the man upstairs”—more of a buddy than the eternal God. Many see Him as nothing more than a cosmic Santa Claus or an absent-minded grandfather who winks at sin.

Unfortunately, even Christians can be affected by these views. Such sin dishonors God and undermines the next step to humility: God-awareness. Instead of getting our ideas of God from the world, let’s look at what the biblical writers say about Him.

David said, “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Thy name in all the earth, who hast displayed Thy splendor above the heavens!” (Ps. 8:1). As he contemplated the exalted position of God, it was only natural for him to say, “What is man, that Thou dost take thought of him? And the son of man, that Thou dost care for him?” (v. 4). We are so minuscule by comparison, it’s a wonder He cares for us at all. But “though the Lord is exalted, yet He regards the lowly” (Ps. 138:6).

Isaiah 2:10 says, “Enter the rock and hide in the dust from the terror of the Lord and from the splendor of His majesty.” When you compare yourself with God, you’ll want to hide under a rock. Verse 11 gives the crux of the issue: “The proud look of man will be abased, and the loftiness of man will be humbled, and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.” Pride is the sin of competing with God. It lifts self up and attempts to steal glory from Him. But God says, “My glory I will not give to another” (Isa. 48:11). God will judge those who exalt themselves. God alone is worthy of exaltation.

As you seek humility, remember that you won’t obtain it by sitting in a corner wishing for it. Rather, you’ll gain humility by sitting in that same corner and reciting before God your sins, failures, and inadequacies, then opening the Scriptures and seeing God in all His majesty.

Suggestions for Prayer

Pray that you would see God for who He really is, not how the world sees Him.

For Further Study

Read Job 38—41. What aspects of His greatness does God emphasize to Job? Make a list of the most prominent ones.

From Strength for Today by John MacArthur 


Joyce Meyer – Tears Turned into Joy

Restore our fortunes, Lord, like streams in the Negev. Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.

— Psalm 126:4-6 (NIV)

Psalm 126 speaks of those who “sow with tears,” and sometimes this is what we need to do. It means that while we are still hurting, we keep doing the right thing—keep helping others, keep praying, and keep studying God’s Word. As we do, we sow seeds for an eventual harvest. I used to wonder why God wouldn’t give me the ability to solve my own problems or help myself, but at the same time I was hurting, He would give me the ability to help others. Then I learned that He wants us to reach out to others, and when we do, we are sowing seed for our future harvest.

Those who sow in tears will reap sheaves (a harvest) with songs of joy. Nothing is more joyful than experiencing a reversal of bad circumstances and having them turn into something good. It is exciting and makes us happy.

The Bible says that weeping endures for a night, but joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5 NKJV). Admittedly, it often takes more than one night for our problems to be solved, but this Psalm teaches us a principle: God always comes through and gives us victory. Your problems will end, and your sorrow will turn to joy.

Prayer of the Day: Father, I am grateful that I can depend on You to turn my weeping into joy. You are good, and You always bring good things. I wait on You and put my trust in You.


Truth for Life; Alistair Begg –Respecting the Temple

He entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold, saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of robbers.” And he was teaching daily in the temple. The chief priests and the scribes and the principal men of the people were seeking to destroy him, but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people were hanging on his words.

Luke 19:45, Luke 19:48

From the beginning of His life, the Jerusalem Temple was significant to Jesus. When He was a baby, the elderly Simeon had taken Him in his arms and declared Him in the temple courts to be the wonder of God’s salvation (Luke 2:25-35). As a twelve-year-old boy, Jesus had sought out His Father’s house and engaged in conversation with the religious leaders (v 46-49). Jesus’ comfort in and love of His Father’s house was palpable—and therefore so was His grief when He discovered irreverent behavior in that holy place.

The temple in Jerusalem was the place where God met His people. So when Jesus encountered an irreligious marketplace set up in its courts, He was justifiably grieved and angry. The individuals responsible for the disrespect in the temple were the same who had jeered at His triumphal entry into Jerusalem. They didn’t bat an eye at exchanging money on the temple floor for an inordinate profit and deeming people’s offerings of creatures “unacceptable” in order to sell them “acceptable” offerings at unfair prices. The way the temple courts were being used was so far removed from His Father’s intentions that Jesus, as the Great High Priest, inevitably needed to come set it right. Jesus’ knowledge of Old Testament prophecy allowed Him to speak with ultimate authority and remind the people of the temple’s holy purpose, referencing Scripture that they knew and could not contest: “My house shall be a house of prayer” (Isaiah 56:7; see also Jeremiah 7:11).

Jesus’ next action—using a whip made out of cords to drive out the livestock and stop the bazaar in its tracks (John 2:15)—was certainly justified. Zeal for His Father’s reputation consumed Him (v 17). And yet we know that these were people over whom Jesus had wept (Luke 19:41-44). That whip was held by a Savior who had tears in His eyes.

Jesus is the perfect Son, who cares more than anything about bringing glory to His Father and who is angered more than anything by lies, greed, and pursuit of power that comes between His Father and sinners in need of grace. He looks at those who reject God and weeps, because He knows how far they have fallen. He looks at those who place barriers in the way of others meeting God and is angry, because He longs for His Father to receive the praise He is due and for people to be saved. We, too, would do well to weep over the lost and be angry over those who twist truth for their own ends. We would do well to pray for the same zeal for God’s glory, even as we give thanks that Jesus came not only to reveal His zeal for His Father but to be the means by which we can dwell in His house forever.

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

Isaiah 56:1-8

Topics: Grace of God Greed Lying

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


Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – God Makes Each of Us Unique

“And the LORD God formed man out of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.” (Genesis 2:7)

Mrs. Gillen watched her sixth-grade students go through a fingerprinting procedure at the school safety fair. A very tall police officer was helping the children place each fingertip in ink, and then carefully press their fingers, one by one, on their papers. As the students compared their fingerprints, they realized that none were alike, not even the fingerprints of the identical twin boys in the class!

Have you ever look closely at your own fingerprints? Have you ever compared them to the fingerprints of your friends or siblings? No one else has your fingerprints. They are uniquely your own. How can this be possible?

Genesis 2:7 shows that God is the One Who created human beings and gave them life. Psalm 139 is another passage that gives a picture of how closely God pays attention in His creative work. David, the writer of this Psalm, describes this kind of special attention to detail way in verses 13-16: “Thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb…. My substance was not hid from thee….thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect…and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.” God knows everyone this closely–each and every single person who has ever lived, who is living now, and who ever will live one day in the future. No wonder David declares in verse 14, “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”

Now, take a moment to think about this: As of the date you are reading this devotional, the world’s population is estimated to be 6,512,737,489. That means there are over six billion people alive today on Earth. And all of them have a unique set of fingerprints. If you multiplied over six billion times 10 fingers per person, then–wow! That is quite a number of unique, individual fingerprints! What an amazing Creator we serve, and what mercy and grace He shows to us when He pays attention to the tiny details of our lives and takes care of our special needs.

For His glory, God created everyone unique.

My Response:
» Why should I praise God for making me unique?
» How should I think about my looks and talents in light of the knowledge that God made me just the way I am?
» How should I treat others, knowing that God created them the way He did?

Denison Forum – “Everything Everywhere All at Once” wins Oscar for Best Picture

As predictedEverything Everywhere All At Once won last night’s Academy Award for Best Picture. The Best Picture nominees’ total box office gross was $4 billion, the highest in thirteen years. The show was three hours and forty minutes in length; by contrast, the first Academy Awards ceremony in 1929 lasted fifteen minutes.

Here’s something all the Oscars have in common: the winners thank people who helped them win. Axios analyzed more than eighteen hundred Oscar acceptance speeches and found that 97 percent thanked someone. As they should: making a movie is among the most collective of all experiences.

Take Top Gun: Maverick as an example. By my count, there were ninety-seven members of the cast, forty-eight members of the makeup department, seventy-four members of the sound department, and several hundred visual effects contributors, just for a start. When I scrolled through the full credits on my laptop, they filled the screen thirty-nine times.

It turns out, “everything everywhere all at once” is more than a movie title—it describes the interconnectedness of life today.

Fed moves to stop banking crisis

This theme is illustrated by a second story dominating the morning news: the failure of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), which could have precipitated a “catastrophic banking crisis.” US regulators took control of the bank yesterday and announced emergency measures to enable all depositors to have access to all of their money today.

Customers withdrew $42 billion from their accounts with the bank last Thursday, the largest bank run in history, precipitating the bank’s collapse. SVB held the funds of hundreds of US tech companies, but more than 85 percent of its deposits were uninsured.

This crisis impacts far more than California’s Silicon Valley: state regulators also closed New York-based Signature Bank yesterday and assured all depositors that they will be made whole. Due to the interrelated nature of banking and technology today, financial institutions around the world are being affected.

One other global story dominated weekend headlines: the world reached the third anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic last Saturday. As the Associated Press reports, “the virus is still spreading and the death toll is nearing seven million worldwide.” As a result, “The virus appears here to stay, along with the threat of a more dangerous version sweeping the planet.”

Virus researcher Thomas Friedrich of the University of Wisconsin-Madison warned, “New variants emerging anywhere threaten us everywhere. Maybe that will help people to understand how connected we are.”

“People ask about a legacy. There’s no legacy.”

Actor William Shatner is preparing to release his documentary You Can Call Me Bill and explained in a recent interview, “I’ve turned down a lot of offers to do documentaries before. But I don’t have long to live.” The ninety-one-year-old Star Trek captain added, “This documentary is a way of reaching out after I die.”

Here’s why Shatner felt the need to make the film: “People ask about a legacy. There’s no legacy. Statues are torn down. Graveyards are ransacked. Headstones are knocked over. No one remembers anyone. Who remembers Danny Kaye or Cary Grant? They were great stars. But they’re gone and no one cares. But what does live on are good deeds. If you do a good deed, it reverberates to the end of time.”

I pray that William Shatner experiences the eternal life Jesus offers us not because of our “good deeds” but because of God’s love (Ephesians 2:8–9). But he’s right: in this fallen world, “No one remembers anyone.”

Can you name the Academy Award winners for Best Actor and Best Actress just two years ago?

What determines our true legacy

The good news is that our Father never forgets even one of his children: “The Lᴏʀᴅ has remembered us; he will bless us” (Psalm 115:12). We are all connected in that we are all loved by our Maker (John 3:16).

However, we are connected as well by the fact that our eternal life depends on our relationship with Jesus Christ. Everyone knows John 3:16, but fewer know John 3:18: “Whoever believes in [Christ] is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”

Do you believe our culture’s relativistic insistence on tolerance, or do you believe Jesus?

Do you believe that every person you know who does not know Christ is “condemned already” and will spend eternity in hell unless they turn to him as their Savior and Lord (Revelation 20:15)? Believing that they need to believe is not enough: Are you praying for lost people by name? Are you seeking ways to share the good news of God’s love with them?

Here’s the bottom line: Our true legacy is determined not by what people think of us, but by what they think of Jesus.

When we reach people with God’s love, they impact others who impact others. Every dimension of society is affected as a result of our faithfulness to share the gospel, from crime to poverty to racism to substance abuse to loneliness and despair. The best way to change the world is to introduce everyone we know to the One who loves the world.

Then, one day, “this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14).

If the “end” comes today, will your Father find you faithful?

Denison Forum

Hagee Ministries; John Hagee –  Daily Devotion

1 Peter 5:5

“Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’”

Unity requires sacrifice. The price of unity is the sacrifice of self. In the final prayer that He spoke over His disciples, Jesus asked repeatedly that all believers would be one. He prayed over those men who had toiled with Him, but not them only. He also looked ahead to include those of us who came to believe in Him because of the word of those first disciples (John 17:20). His great desire was for all believers to be joined in unity, one heart and one purpose.

Unity is a lofty goal, but the difficulty arises when we do more than talk about it. We advocate for unity until it requires more than words. Sacrifice is required – which is wonderful if the other person is willing to do so. We get along well with others – to the point where they disagree with us. We can live in harmony as long as everyone else follows our agendas. To be so all-encompassing, unity can get pretty personal.

The apostle Paul gives us a beautiful analogy of unity between marriage and the church (Ephesians 5). God ordained marriage as the sacred institution where two separate people, a man and a woman, are united in marriage; the two become one. This union is not without its struggles. However, the Bible instructs the woman to submit to her husband; she sacrifices herself to honor him. The Bible instructs the man to submit to his wife; he sacrifices himself as an expression of love to her. When these two separate people submit to one another in love and respect, they operate in harmony, agreement, and oneness of mind and heart. As separate members of one body, we must learn to mutually submit to one another in respect and love.

Jesus loved the church so much that He gave Himself for her, the bride of Christ. He sacrificed Himself. He emptied Himself, became nothing, took on the form of a servant, and humbled himself to obedience to death on the cross. In our relationships, we are to do nothing less (Philippians 2:5-8).

He is our example. We must empty ourselves – lay down our self-will. We must humble ourselves to become a servant of all. As we reason together and honor one another, we become unified. When we dwell together in one accord, there God’s blessing is found. What sacrifice do you need to make? What relationship can benefit from your obedience?

Today’s Blessing: 

Heavenly Father, thank you for Your beautiful example for us. Help me to humble myself, to become a servant to all, to lay down my self-will, and to unite with other believers. In the name of our Prince of Peace…Amen.

Today’s Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

Numbers 19:1-20:29

New Testament 

Luke 1:1-25

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 56:1-13

Proverbs 11:8


Turning Point; David Jeremiah – A Quiet Heart

When He gives quietness, who then can make trouble?
Job 34:29

 Recommended Reading: Psalm 131

One day in 1947, when Elisabeth Elliott was a student at Wheaton College, she was sitting near a friend at the piano in one of the campus buildings. Elisabeth had written a short poem, and her friend composed a melody on the spot. Over time the melody was lost, but years later Elisabeth included the words in her book Keep a Quiet Heart.

Lord, give to me a quiet heart

That does not ask to understand,

But confident steps forward in

The darkness guided by Thy hand.[1]

We understand so little! God’s thoughts are as far above ours as heaven is above the earth. But He knows the plans He has for us, and they are important. Sometimes we feel as though our life is insignificant, but all of us are part of God’s sovereign design. Your life is important, and you can step confidently forward knowing Your Lord is already there.

We are created to glorify Him as long as we live on this planet, and to enjoy Him for the rest of eternity. Our task is simply to trust and obey.
Elisabeth Elliott


Harvest Ministries; Greg Laurie – What Is Childlike Faith?

Dear brothers and sisters, don’t be childish in your understanding of these things. Be innocent as babies when it comes to evil, but be mature in understanding matters of this kind. 

—1 Corinthians 14:20


1 Corinthians 14:20 

Some people seem to grow up before their time. While it’s great to be responsible, take care of yourself, and be resourceful, you don’t have to do all of that at the age of five. Responsibilities will come soon enough.

What a different life childhood is. Some people don’t realize this, but you can’t be a child again.

The Bible teaches that, as Christians, we are to be childlike in our faith. Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven” (Matthew 18:3–4 NLT).

That means we need to humble ourselves and realize that we don’t have all the answers. It means we need to come in complete dependence on God, putting our faith in Him. And as the years pass by and our faith deepens, we need to keep a sense of childlike simplicity and wonder.

There are some areas of the Christian life in which we are to be childlike. We don’t need to know all the intricacies of evil.

On the other hand, there are areas in our lives in which we need to grow up spiritually. Sometimes we behave like spoiled children when we should be behaving like mature people of God.

The apostle Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, “Dear brothers and sisters, don’t be childish in your understanding of these things. Be innocent as babies when it comes to evil, but be mature in understanding matters of this kind” (1 Corinthians 14:20 NLT).

There is nothing wrong with being spiritual babies when we’re new in the faith. But as the years pass by, we need to become mature, while still maintaining a childlike faith.