Our Daily Bread — Game of Change

Bible in a Year:

Love your enemies.

Luke 6:27

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

Luke 6:27–31

The handshake spoke volumes. On a March night in 1963, two college basketball players—one Black, one White—defied the hate of segregationists and shook hands, marking the first time in Mississippi State’s history that its all-White men’s team played against an integrated team. To compete in the “game of change” against Loyola University Chicago in a national tournament, the Mississippi State squad avoided an injunction to stop them by using decoy players to leave their state. Loyola’s Black players, meantime, had endured racial slurs all season, getting pelted with popcorn and ice, and faced closed doors while traveling.

Yet the young men played. The Loyola Ramblers beat the Mississippi State Bulldogs 61–51, and Loyola eventually went on to win the NCAA national championship. But what really won that night? A move from hate toward love. As Jesus taught, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you” (Luke 6:27).

God’s instruction was a life-changing concept. To love our enemies as Christ taught, we must obey His revolutionary mandate to change. As Paul wrote, “If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17). But how does His new way in us defeat the old? With love. Then, in each other, we can finally see Him.

By:  Patricia Raybon

Reflect & Pray

In your life, what leads you to see others as enemies? What changes can you make to confront hate with Jesus’ love?

Help me, loving God, to see others not as enemies, but as Your precious people to love like Jesus does.


Grace to You; John MacArthur – Threats to Humility: Strength and Boasting

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

Satan will tempt us to be proud of our abilities and accomplishments, but we must remember that every good thing we have is from God.

We’ve just studied three steps to humility. Let’s look at the issue from another angle: What kinds of pride threaten to destroy our humility? Where will we struggle to be humble? There are several areas in which Satan will attack us.

The first area I call ability pride. We’re often tempted to be proud of our strong points, not our weak ones. I’ve never been tempted to boast of my fantastic mathematical ability because I have none. But I am tempted to be proud of my preaching because it is my spiritual gift. Thankfully, the Lord helps me deal with such thoughts. It might come in the form of a letter saying, “I was in your church Sunday, and I violently disagree with everything you said.” Or someone might tell me, “We came to hear you for the first time, but we like our pastor better.” Times like those help me keep the proper perspective.

The key to overcoming ability pride is remembering that every gift you have is from God. All the credit belongs to Him. As Paul said to the Corinthians, “What do you have that you did not receive?” (1 Cor. 4:7).

Another temptation is verbal pride, or bragging. There is a tendency in human nature to tell people what good we have done or plan to do. People get into a conversation, and soon they’re trying to top each other with their accomplishments. In contrast, Hannah asserts, “Boast no more so very proudly, do not let arrogance come out of your mouth; for the Lord is a God of knowledge; and with Him actions are weighed” (1 Sam. 2:3). God knows the truth about what you have done. Proverbs 27:2 instructs, “Let another praise you, and not your own mouth.”

As a test, try to get through an entire week without talking about what you’ve done. Perhaps for a starter, try to last an afternoon. When people don’t talk about themselves, the absence of boasting tells volumes about their character.

Suggestions for Prayer

Repent of any pride in your own abilities or accomplishments.

For Further Study

  • The apostle Paul had tremendous advantages and abilities but refused to boast about them. Read Philippians 3:4-11. What were Paul’s accomplishments?
  • How did he consider them?
  • What was most important to him?

From Strength for Today by John MacArthur


Joyce Meyer – You Have Something to Give

And [God] Who provides seed for the sower and bread for eating will also provide and multiply your [resources for] sowing and increase the fruits of your righteousness [which manifests itself in active goodness, kindness, and charity]. Thus you will be enriched in all things and in every way, so that you can be generous, and [your generosity as it is] administered by us will bring forth thanksgiving to God.

— 2 Corinthians 9:10-11 (AMPC)

If you read Proverbs 31:20, you will see that the woman in Proverbs 31 reached out her filled hands to the needy. When a person truly wants to give, God will give seed to sow. Even if you don’t have extra money to give, you do have something. Look around your house and start giving away everything that you are not using or wearing. If an article of clothing has been in your closet one year without being moved, there is a good chance you will never wear it again. Pass it on to someone in need and God will bless you with new things as you need them.

I believe that we know giving is the right thing to do. In our hearts we can sense joy and confidence when we become givers and not merely takers. It is no wonder I did not like this woman in Proverbs 31 when I first started reading about her. She was everything I was not but needed to become.

Prayer of the Day: Lord, I truly want to be a giving person. I ask Your blessing that I might meet the needs of others, whatever their needs might be, amen.


Truth for Life; Alistair Begg – Christ Is Victorious

Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.

1 John 3:7-8

Just as the bright light of the coming Messiah is anticipated in the pages of the Old Testament, so the devil is a shadowy figure throughout it. When we reach the New Testament, we discover that Christ’s coming drew Satan out from the shadows and into the open.

In the Bible, the devil is revealed as the instigator of sin and sorrow. In fact, the word devil comes from a Greek root word which means “to throw,” as in the sense of throwing out slanderous statements. The devil, we learn, twists the truth about Christ and the character of God. The word Satan, meanwhile, can be translated as “adversary” and can convey the sense of someone lying in ambush. Our irrational fears, doubts, and evil thoughts can be traced back to this Evil One. He is the deceiver, the accuser, the liar, and the hinderer. He blinds the minds of unbelievers and seeks to cloud the believer’s mind with reminders of guilt and failure.

Satan is a powerful foe—but he is also a defeated one. The very real power of the Evil One should only ever be considered in light of the victory of the Lord Jesus. The devil has been chained by the cross of Christ. On that chain he may snarl and roar and grab for us, but nevertheless, his works will be destroyed by Christ. The apostle John assures us, “Everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him” (1 John 5:18).

In our homes, most of us have a process for the disposal of garbage: it goes from under the sink to outside the back door to the end of the driveway, and then the garbage truck comes and takes it to its final destination. In a very real sense, that is the experience of the Evil One: he has been put out the back door, awaiting final destruction on the day of Christ’s revelation (Revelation 20:10). He is not yet destroyed, but he is dethroned and defeated.

In the conflicts we encounter, some of us are keenly aware that “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against … the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). And those of us who are not aware of this probably should be. All of us need to remind ourselves that there is a real struggle going on and that we are part of it; and all of us need also to remember in the midst of that struggle that “the reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.” Take courage from the fact that Satan does not have the final say. He is beaten, and Jesus has prayed for you that you would be kept safe (John 17:15). Let that knowledge cause you to stand firm against the devil’s wiles and run to Christ for forgiveness when you give in to the devil’s lies. This is how we live in light of Christ’s victory!

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

Luke 4:1-13

Topics: The Cross Jesus Christ Victory

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


Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – The Father Loves You

“For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.” (John 16:27)

When God made Israel into a nation and blessed them, He also gave them some instructions (what we now call the Law). Unfortunately, the people of Israel often disobeyed the Law. In fact, they disobeyed much more often than they obeyed.

As Israel went on disobeying, God sent prophets to them, warning them that He would judge their sins if they didn’t come back to Him. But Israel kept ignoring Him. So eventually He kept His promise and sent cruel armies against His people to destroy their cities and drag them away from their homes to foreign countries.

But God was merciful, and He allowed many of His people to return home. That happened a few hundred years before Jesus was born. When the Jews returned home, they realized that God was serious about sin – that He really meant business.

But many Jews began thinking that God was merely an angry God, without much love.

When Jesus came, He showed compassion to people. He was often stern – He had to be so that people would know that He took sin very seriously. But He also forgave people who turned from their sins, and He was patient with people who kept messing up.

Because Jesus was so kind and good, His disciples knew that He loved them very much. However, they still viewed God the Father as a bit too distant – a bit too stern – for them to ask Him for things. So they would just ask Jesus.

But then Jesus told them something that probably amazed them. Just before He went to the Cross, He said, You don’t have to ask Me for things anymore. You can go to the Father directly, because the Father Himself loves you.

Jesus also said that the only reason we can go directly to the Father is that He (Jesus) died for us and made a Way. In fact, Jesus said that He is the Way to the Father. Because Jesus is the Way, we pray to the Father “in Jesus’ name.” But we don’t have to pray to Jesus, asking Him for things. He wants us to pray to the Father. Jesus wants us to know that the Father loves us, just as the Father loves His Only Son.

If you believe in Jesus – if your confidence is in Him – then the Father loves you. And so you can pray directly to the Father, in Jesus’ name.

Not only does Jesus love you, but the Father loves you, too.

My Response:
» Do I pray to Jesus instead of to the Father because Jesus seems nicer? Do I need to start praying directly to the Father?
» Do I pray in Jesus’ name? Do I need to start praying in Jesus’ name to remind myself that Jesus is the Way to the Father?

Denison Forum – Is my money safe? Explaining the Silicon Valley Bank collapse

On Monday, spurred by the Silicon Valley Bank collapse, President Biden addressed the nation in the wake of the ongoing banking crises to reassure Americans that we “can have confidence that the banking system is safe. Your deposits will be there when you need them.”

Unfortunately, the stock market disagreed.

Trading on more than a dozen small to mid-sized banks was forced to halt after prices continued to free fall. However, the crisis seems fueled less by the fears of an impending bank run depleting available cash—emergency measures taken by the government over the weekend appear to have largely staved off that fear—than by concerns that what happened at Silicon Valley Bank last Thursday is a sign that the Fed’s attempts to control inflation through interest rate hikes “may be cracking the banking system.”

A closer look at what went wrong last week shows that such fears are not entirely unfounded.

SVB was not a normal bank

To understand the scope of the crisis that began last Thursday, it’s important to note that Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) was not a normal bank.

SVB got its start in the 1980s by investing in Silicon Valley startups and then providing a place for those startups to keep their investors’ money. As such, they’ve always leaned more heavily into the high-risk, high-reward technology sector than your average bank.

Whereas most financial institutions have a pretty diverse set of customers, SVB was primarily used by venture capitalists and small businesses. As much as 97 percent of its deposits went beyond the $250,000 limit insured by the FDIC and the average customer balance as of late last year was $4.2 million. Consequently, when customers attempted to withdraw roughly $42 billion last Thursday over fears that their money wasn’t safe in the bank, SVB ended the day in the red by more than $950 million.

Word quickly spread after screenshots of error messages from those who tried to access their funds went viral and the government stepped in last Friday to shut them down.

But while the Silicon Valley Bank collapse happened quickly, the signs had been there for some time.

What caused the Silicon Valley Bank collapse?

SVB’s largest problems stemmed less from the influx of people trying to get their cash than the ways that the bank had used that cash in recent years.

No bank carries enough currency to match the total amount deposited by its customers. Rather, they keep a percentage and reinvest the rest in loans, bonds, government securities, and other assets. That reinvestment is why they are able to pay interest on savings accounts and take on other forms of risk to help their clients.

The people running Silicon Valley Bank, however, leaned far more heavily into those risks than most.

As Vivek Ramaswamy notes, SVB invested roughly 57 percent of its total assets—its peer average is 24 percent—and of its $120 billion investment portfolio, only $26 billion was held in assets that were easy to move. The rest was tied up in bonds and securities that can be difficult to sell without taking a loss, especially in the current economic climate.

You see, well before SVB invested much of its pandemic-related growth in US treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities, the Fed warned about inflation and the likelihood that they would raise interest rates in a way that could heavily jeopardize the value of those assets. SVB ignored those warnings and invested anyway.

As such, when they were forced to sell $21 billion in bonds over recent weeks at a nearly $2 billion loss, it set off red flags that culminated in the chaos of last Thursday.

However, given that SVB President Greg Becker sold roughly $3.6 million in company stock two weeks ago while urging investors to “stay calm,” it seems clear that present events were hardly a surprise.

Will the SVB collapse affect your finances?

So what happens now?

Unlike when the “too-big-to-fail” banks went under in 2007 and 2008, those in charge of SVB have already lost their jobs and the bank’s remaining assets are being sold off to help cover the cost of ensuring that the bank’s clients will have access to their money. Sunday night, HSBC bought the UK subsidiary of SVB for one pound—roughly $1.20—and a similar model could be pursued for the rest of SVB as well.

However, the larger threat to the banking system still looms.

As George Godber, a fund manager at Polar Capital, remarked, “The imminent crisis may have been averted but it’s alerted people to the fact that there’s a group of companies out there with business models who will struggle in a high-interest rate environment.” In short, people are worried that what happened to SVB could happen to their bank as well, even if the same risk factors don’t exist. And that fear—even though unfounded in most cases—has proven strong enough to potentially damage an entire industry.

Choosing faith over fear

One of the most difficult of Christ’s commands comes in the Sermon on the Mount when he instructs his disciples to “not be anxious about your life” (Matthew 6:25). In the Greek, that sense of anxiety carries the idea of being “divided into parts” or “drawn in opposite directions.”

The idea here is not that we never experience the emotion of fear—God never commands us how to feel. Rather, the sin against which we are warned is feeding our anxiety by dwelling on it instead of giving it back to God and trusting that he not only knows our needs but has a plan to meet them as well.

Fears over the present economic climate and whether your bank will be the next to go under are understandable. And they are hardly the only thing we have to be anxious about these days.

But it’s the times when fear seems like the most natural response that choosing faith can make the greatest impact on our lives and on our culture.

Which will you choose today?

Denison Forum

Hagee Ministries; John Hagee –  Daily Devotion

  1. 1 John 3:16

By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

Many people today suffer from serious “I” problems. They have a chronic condition that plagues their everyday lives. It manifests itself in some persistent symptoms:

The way that “I” want it.

The way that “I” see it.

The way that “I” think.

The way that “I” feel.

The way that “I” want to do things.

Christians often trip over that “I” issue. Real unity requires real sacrifice, but “I” is the enemy of unity. “I” demands its own way. “I” refuses to budge. “I” never prefers another. “I” is only interested in his own comfort or her personal agenda. Paul warns Timothy to be certain that church leaders are not self-willed (Titus 1:7), and Peter warns against false teachers who are self-willed, insolent egoists who despise true authority (II Peter 2:10-11). Self-will sabotages unity. Self-will refuses to submit to God, our true authority, and refuses to sacrifice to promote unity within the family of God.

Self-will makes unity impossible. As long as our preference takes priority over our purpose, unity will be impossible. The body of Christ can be divided by preferences: “I didn’t like the song selection” or “His sermon was too long.” Churches split over issues as unimportant as the color of the carpet. When we finally put “I” aside and come into the sanctuary to gather in HIS name, to lift up HIS Son, to read HIS word, and to worship in HIS presence, preferences are forgotten as we remember that our purpose is all for HIM.

When brothers and sisters in Christ dwell together in unity, God commands His blessing in that place (Psalm 133:3). Where unity exists, the blessing of God is guaranteed. Those blessings come when we sacrifice our will for His, where we lay down our lives for others. The wind of the Holy Spirit blasted into the upper room as 120 believers cried out as one voice (Acts 2:1-4). Three thousand people rushed to salvation when Peter stood, with the eleven disciples beside him, to preach the Gospel (Acts 2:14). A lame man went running and jumping when Peter and John shared what they had (Acts 3:8).

“I” must submit to him. Self-will must succumb to sacrifice. His purpose must take priority over our preferences. Only there will He command His blessing. Only then will His anointing and power rush from the throne of heaven to fulfill His purposes through us.

Today’s Blessing: 

Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven. For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.

Today’s Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

Numbers 21:1-22:20

New Testament 

Luke 1:26-56

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 57:1-11

Proverbs 11:9-11


Turning Point; David Jeremiah – In Good Hands

And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.
John 10:28

 Recommended Reading: Isaiah 49:1-6

The grip of fear reaches out for each of us. We’re living in a dangerous world, filled with medical emergencies, family crises, global instability, and threatening situations. Unless Jesus comes again, we’ll face a moment of death. All this causes us feelings that range from unease to terror.

The grip of grace also reaches out for each of us, and we find safety in the protecting, guiding, providing hands of Jesus, still scarred from the wounding nails. Psalm 18:35 says, “Your right hand has held me up.” Isaiah said, “In the shadow of His hand He has hidden me” (Isaiah 49:2). Even Jesus, in a moment of incredible pain, prayed, “Father, ‘into Your hands I commit My spirit’” (Luke 23:46).

When you face times of fear, remember you’re in the hands of Him who stilled the storms. God will give you the strength to be courageous and persevere. And though you may sometimes fall, you will not “be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds [you] with His [powerful] hand” (Psalm 37:24).

Put your hand in the hand of the Man who stilled the water. Put your hand in the hand of the Man who calmed the sea.
Gene MacLellan


Harvest Ministries; Greg Laurie – Mature People of God

 Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. 

—Ephesians 4:14


Ephesians 4:14 

When we begin as Christians, when we put our faith in Christ and are born again, we start out as spiritual babies. This is true of every person, regardless of how young or old we are.

Some grew up in the church and have always been familiar with the Bible, worship, and prayer. They made their own personal commitment to the Lord despite the fact that their parents raised them in the church. They realized their walk with the Lord needed to be their own. And that is a wonderful thing.

Others came in cold from the world. I was one of those people. I had no background in the church and no understanding of the Bible. I had never worshipped God before, knew nothing about prayer, and knew relatively nothing about Jesus. Basically, I was ignorant.

So, when I came into the faith, it was like a new world to me. I had a new outlook on life. I remember hearing the Bible for the first time when Pastor Chuck Smith spoke, and I had never heard anything like it before. It was mind-boggling. I realized that I had so much to learn.

There are some Christians, however, who have known the Lord for years yet are still spiritual babies. They need to be spoon-fed spiritual truths. They still need to be dazzled. And they are still looking for something new. It is time to grow up.

It’s time to be mature people of God, with a faith that sustains us, instead of living on fickle emotions that come and go. It is also time to find younger believers and help them grow up to spiritual maturity as well. There are false teachings and other things that can lead us astray. We need to be mature so that we can apply proper biblical understanding.