Our Daily Bread — Still Before God

Bible in a Year:

Be still, and know that I am God.

Psalm 46:10

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

Psalm 46

The first photograph of a living person was taken by Louis Daguerre in 1838. The photo depicts a figure on an otherwise empty avenue in Paris in the middle of an afternoon. But there’s an apparent mystery about it; the street and sidewalks should have been bustling with the traffic of carriages and pedestrians at that time of day, yet none can be seen.

The man wasn’t alone. People and horses were there on the busy Boulevard du Temple, the popular area where the photo was taken. They just didn’t show up in the picture. The exposure time to process the photograph (known as a Daguerreotype) took seven minutes to capture an image, which had to be motionless during that time. It appears that the man on the sidewalk was the sole person photographed because he was the only one standing still—he was having his boots shined.

Sometimes stillness accomplishes what motion and effort can’t. God tells His people in Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God.” Even when nations are “in uproar” (v. 6) and “the earth” shakes (v. 2), those who quietly trust in Him will discover in Him “an ever-present help in trouble” (v. 1).

The Hebrew verb rendered “be still” can also be translated “cease striving.” When we rest in God instead of relying on our limited efforts, we discover Him to be our unassailable “refuge and strength” (v. 1).

By:  James Banks

Reflect & Pray

How will you “show up” for God by being still before Him today? Where do you need to trust Him more?

Heavenly Father, please help me to trust in You and to rest in the quiet awareness of Your unfailing love.


Grace to You; John MacArthur – Putting God First

“Hallowed be Thy name” (Matt. 6:9).

Prayer should always exalt God.

The Disciples’ Prayer illustrates the priority that God should hold in our prayers. Jesus began by exalting the Father: “Hallowed be Thy name” (v. 9), then requested that the Father’s kingdom come and His will be done (v. 10). He concluded with an anthem of praise: “For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen” (v. 13). His prayer literally begins and ends with God.

“Hallowed be Thy name” exalts the name of the Lord and sets a tone of worship and submission that is sustained throughout the prayer. Where God’s name is hallowed, He will be loved and revered, His kingdom eagerly anticipated, and His will obeyed.

“Thy name” speaks of more than a title such as “God,” “Lord,” or “Jehovah.” It speaks of God Himself and is the composite of all His attributes. The Hebrews considered God’s name so sacred they wouldn’t even speak it, but they missed the point. While meticulously guarding the letters of His name, they slandered His character and disobeyed His Word. Because of them the name of God was blasphemed among the Gentiles (Rom. 2:24).

Psalm 102:15 says, “The nations will fear the name of the Lord, and all the kings of the earth Thy glory.” It’s not the letters of God’s name that the nations fear; it’s the embodiment of all He is. As Jesus prayed, “I manifested Thy name to the men whom Thou gavest Me” (John 17:6). He did that by revealing who God is. John 1:14 says, “The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Jesus told Philip, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). Jesus is the manifestation of all who God is.

Manifesting the priority of God in your prayers involves acknowledging who He is and approaching Him with a reverent, humble spirit that is yielded to His will. As you do that, He will hallow His name through you.

Suggestions for Prayer

  • Praise God for His holiness.
  • Ask Him to use you today to demonstrate His holiness to others.

For Further Study

Read Numbers 20. How did Moses show irreverence for God’s name?

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur


Joyce Meyer – What Goes Around Comes Around

Whoever digs a hole and scoops it out falls into the pit they have made.

— Psalm 7:15 (NIV)

Adapted from the resource Daily Devotions from Psalms – by Joyce Meyer2 MIN READ

Today’s scripture teaches us an important lesson: When we cause trouble for others, it will recoil back on us, and when a person causes violence, it will come down on their own head. This is the principle of sowing and reaping.

In Genesis 8:22, we find that as long as the earth remains, there will be “seedtime and harvest”—sowing and reaping. Although this verse speaks of harvesting plants that will provide food for us, we can see that seed sown does bring a harvest, according to the type of seed that was planted.

Paul teaches that we should not be deceived by thinking we won’t reap what we have sown. He says, God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that and that only is what he will reap (Galatians 6:7 AMPC). Matthew 7:1–2 (NIV) says, Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. And Luke 6:31 (NIV) says, Do to others as you would have them do to you, which is also called the Golden Rule. Just imagine how wonderful the world would be if we all treated others exactly as we would like to be treated.

Let’s start today applying the principle of sowing and reaping in a greater way than ever before and get ready for an abundant harvest of good things.

Prayer of the Day: Father, I repent for any time I have mistreated others, and I ask for forgiveness. I want to start fresh and, with Your help, sow what I would like to reap.


Truth for Life; Alistair Begg –The Need for Spiritual Leadership

Now from Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called the elders of the church to come to him.

Acts 20:17

In the middle of the 20th century, the Church of England commissioned a report entitled Towards the Conversion of England. The goal was to discover what was taking place within the parishes of the Anglican Communion. In that report, the writers came very quickly to the topic of leadership, on which they observed, “A spiritual leader can often make an astonishing difference.”[1] The adjective “spiritual” is crucial. If the church is going to flourish in the world, it must have spiritual men in the position of leadership. Although we are distanced from that report by many years, and although a lot has changed since then, the strategic necessity for spiritually mature leaders, in whatever country or denomination we are in, has not changed. No church of Jesus Christ progresses beyond the spiritual progress of its leaders.

Every sports team has a captain or equivalent. Each member of the team may be equally valuable, but someone has to lead. Without a captain, a team loses direction and will often lack the discipline needed to win. The same is true in an orchestra: without a conductor, it risks losing coordination and any meaningful sense of harmony.

The necessary role of leadership is true in every area of life—and it’s no different with God’s people. Jesus was the leader of a group of twelve disciples. When He ascended to heaven, Peter and James appear to have become the leaders of the apostles and the church in Jerusalem. The apostles then established leadership in the local churches. When Paul wrote to Titus, he was very concerned that the right kinds of men were appointed to positions of leadership within the church (Titus 1:5-9). If an error was made in who was appointed, then the resulting damage would not be easily undone. And when he had limited time near Ephesus, it was “the elders of the church” who Paul summoned to Miletus in order to encourage and exhort.

Without good leadership, chaos easily follows. Many of the unsolved problems in the life of local churches can be traced back to defective leadership. Conversely, the resolution of problems almost always can be traced back to effective leadership.

If success depends upon the quality of leadership, then Christians should care deeply about leaders within their local church. Christ purchased the church with His own blood, and it is through the church that God intends to display His glory in the world and to the spiritual realms (Ephesians 3:10). Take time, then, to pray for your leaders. Consider how you can actively encourage them to faithfulness and in their labors. Be someone whom to lead is an occasion for joy and not groaning (Hebrews 13:17)—for your leaders’ sake, and for yours.

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

Acts 20:17-35

Topics: Leadership The Local Church Prayer


1 Towards the Conversion of England (J. M. Dent, 1946), p 3.

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


Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – God Carries Our Burdens

“Casting all our care upon him, for he careth for you.” (I Peter 5:7)

Randy and his mom stepped into the hospital elevator, and he pushed button 5 to take them to the 5th floor, where Grandpa Jim’s room was. Randy normally liked elevators, but not this hospital one. Grandpa Jim’s cancer was getting worse every day, and Randy was pretty sad and scared about it. He could feel gravity weighing him down as the elevator carried them up, and he thought to himself, “That’s just how my heart feels right now. All weighted down.”

Has your heart ever felt heavy with sadness or worry because of the things going on around you? Have you ever been afraid or frustrated because of people around you? Randy was sad and scared about his grandpa’s pain and possible death. Maybe you have burdens that are hard for you to bear. If you have ever felt like your heart might break if it has to take one more thing, the God of the Bible is the One to Whom you should turn. He invites you to take your worry and sadness and fear and frustration to Him.

Did you know Jesus Christ calls us to come to Him when we are burdened down with cares? In Matthew 12:28-30, Jesus Himself says, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”

Do you know what a “yoke” is? A yoke is a wooden frame to fasten two work animals together. A yoke joins or unites two horses or two oxen, so that those two will work together to pull a wagon or a plow. It spreads the weight across two sets of shoulders instead of one. If one animal is weaker than the other, the other pulls harder to keep up with the work load. Once they are working together, they can get the job done.

Does it seem odd to you that Jesus is calling already-tired laborers and people with burdens to come and put on a “yoke”? But the yoke of Jesus is a lightweight yoke. He says His yoke is easy to bear. Jesus is telling us that when we are afraid, or have something to do that seems impossible to us, we can rest if we are connected to Him. If we are walking with Jesus and going in the direction He wants us to go, we do not have to bear any of our burdens alone. The load Jesus has borne for us is heavier than anything we could ever endure. And there is no load God cannot bear. He wants us to know that He will bear the heavier load when we are “yoked” to Him. For Him, the load is easy and we can find rest.

Today, if you feel burdened by something that is happening in your life, take some time to think about what kind of God we have. Imagine that you are fastening Jesus’ “yoke” to your neck and ask Jesus to help you. Be “yoked” together with him and give Him all your cares. He promises that, with Him, the burden is bearable and you will have rest.

God invites us to rely on Him when our burdens are too much to bear.

My Response:
» Is my heart weighed down by things I cannot handle?
» Have I accepted Jesus’ invitation to come to Him with my burdens?
» Am I walking in step with Jesus, trusting in His strength, and obeying Him?

Denison Forum – Does the church still matter today? Why that’s the wrong question for us to ask

It’s become conventional wisdom that the key to happiness is less screen time . . . or at least that’s how it often seems. Turns out, that’s not entirely accurate.

As Rhiannon Williams describes, “Screen time has a bad reputation, and there are plenty of negative headlines blaming the amount of time we spend on devices for everything from reduced attention span to depression and anxiety. But there’s a growing body of evidence suggesting that reducing your screen time won’t in itself make you happier, and that general device usage isn’t a reliable predictor of any of those things.”

To be sure, there are elements of social media, phone addictions, and the inability to step away from work that can make our lives worse, but some variation of “Do I need less of those things in my life?” is the wrong question.

Unless you first understand what it is about the time you spend on a screen that’s making your life worse, you are likely to end up solving for the wrong problem.

And screen time is hardly the only area of our lives where we face that same issue.

What is the church?

In an article for Christianity Today, Kirsten Sanders argues that Christians in America are making a similar mistake when it comes to our understanding of the role the church should play in our culture. As she writes, “One question I encounter regularly these days is why the local church matters. This, I think, is the wrong question.”

She goes on to describe how the pandemic taught us that “God can be encountered in living rooms, in nature, and even on a TV. . . . The entire Christian tradition insists that God is not hindered by anything. . . . God indeed dwells with his people, gathered in homes across the world.”

At the same time, however, Sanders argues that “the church is not God’s guiding, consoling presence in one’s heart or the very real consolation and correction that can come when a group of Christians meets to pray. Nor is it what we name the occasional gathering of Christians to sing and study in homes or around tables worldwide.”

So what is the church?

That, it would seem, is the correct question. Unfortunately, it’s also one that has proven increasingly difficult to answer for many believers today.

Needs “only the church can meet”

Throughout her article, Sanders goes into greater detail on the myriad ways in which Christians have attempted incorrectly to define what it means to be the church, and her account is worth reading in its entirety.

For our purposes today, however, the most crucial element of her argument is that the church’s greatest mistake is often losing sight of what makes it unique in its attempts to make itself relevant.

Efforts to care for the poor and the needy, provide a place of community, and help people live more moral lives are all important pieces of what it means to follow Christ, but they cannot serve as the foundation of what it means to be the church.

The reason is that those services, as vital as they are, can be found in other places. They’re not what makes the church distinct from the world around us.

As Sanders, notes, people’s physical and emotional needs are important, but “spiritual needs are the ones that only the church can meet.” Consequently, that needs to be our focus and the principle that guides our other efforts to serve people in the name of God.

Sanders concludes, “We must refuse to justify the church’s existence by stating what good we offer, what our contribution is, or whether we can promise that our people will resist temptation or refuse improper use of power or never harm each other. The church matters because only there is the truth about the world spoken—because only there is the Lord proclaimed as King.”

When the world doesn’t understand the church

In short, what makes the church the church is our common cause of worshiping Jesus as the only path to salvation and the Lord of our lives.

However, as Paul writes, we should not be surprised when that identity is considered “folly to those who are perishing” (1 Corinthians 1:18). As he goes on to say, “We preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God” (vs 23–24).

But will we be content if the world around us doesn’t quite understand that purpose? Can we resist the pull of defining our worth by the culture’s standards rather than God’s?

Those can be difficult questions to answer, but they reside at the heart of what it means to be the church today. Fortunately, the same was true for the first generations of Christians as well.

We are purposefully peculiar

One of the primary ways that the early church proved its value and worth was by being a blessing to the people they met. However, blessing others was never their focus. Rather, it was a natural byproduct of a life dedicated to serving God and growing in their relationship with him.

In the same way, there is an important place for Christian service and charity in the church’s purpose. But, as Sanders describes, if meeting physical and emotional needs ever becomes a higher priority than meeting spiritual needs, “the church becomes understandable to the world but loses its mission. It is no longer peculiar, even if it is now coherent to a culture that is anything but Christian. We need that friction, that impossible question of how church works, that puzzlement over what the church does, because what it does is often inconceivable to those outside it.”

As we think about what it means to be the church, we’re going to have to accept that there will be some who just never get it. Whether it’s mischaracterizations in movies and entertainment or even just a sideways glance from our neighbors and coworkers, we’re going to have to learn to live with being misunderstood.

And that’s all right. After all, people didn’t get Jesus either.

The crowds followed him because he fed them and performed miracles, but few understood him because his priorities were different from theirs. He never gave up on them, but he also never strayed from his purpose to accommodate them.

If we want to embody his church in our culture, we must do the same and remember that our purpose—what makes us unique—can only be found in worshiping God as part of the body of Christ and making him known.

Is that your purpose today?

Denison Forum

Hagee Ministries; John Hagee –  Daily Devotion

Acts 4:32

Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul…

Solomon pulled no punches in the sixth chapter of Proverbs. He flatly declares that there are six things that the Lord hates, seven things that He loathes (Proverbs 6:16-19). Every single one of those detestable things inhibits walking together in unity.

God hates:

A proud look. Conceit, comparison, and competition are the enemies of unity.

A lying tongue. The words that proceed from our mouths come from our hearts (Matthew 15:18). If lies, deceit, manipulation, and exaggeration pour from our lips, there is no basis for trust, no foundation upon which to build relationship. Lying destroys unity.

Hands that shed innocent blood. A man raises his hand against his wife. A lone gunman walks into a crowded theater. Children are sold into slavery. Everywhere abuse occurs, where innocent lives are poured out, where blood is spilled, life is diminished and destroyed. Separation and disconnection — not unity — preside.

A heart that devises wicked plans. The Joker and Lex Luthor might come to mind when we think of wicked plans. While global domination may not figure into our future, any plan that leads us away from God’s plan— a secret tryst, an illicit social media post, a dishonest business transaction — is evil. Such scheming leads us away from unity.

Feet that are swift to run to evil. Moral depravity pulls at us from every side. No need to plan – how easily our feet slide down this slippery slope. Sin — evil — always leads to broken relationship with God and with those we love here on earth. Those who hurry to pursue their own wicked desires break off unity.

A false witness who speaks lies. In a specific context, someone who perpetrates untrue statements about another can lead to unfair judgments and imprisonment for the victim. In a broader sense, slander and gossip can initiate and perpetuate untruths against another that lead to ruin. Marriages break up. Partnerships dissolve. Reputations are destroyed. False witnesses inhibit freedom and sabotage unity.

One who sows discord among brothers and sisters. The very word “discord” indicates conflict, friction, hostility and disagreement. Most of us say, “Well, I would never!” But it only takes a small spark — one eye roll, one raised eyebrow, one pointing finger, one whispered accusation, one well-placed insult — to stir up a conflagration that rages for years. Discord burns unity to the ground.

If we look around and see disunity in our relationships with spouses, co-workers or fellow Christians, let us examine our own hearts. Has one of the practices above driven a wedge? God has provided a way back: repentance leads to restoration.

Today’s Blessing: 

Heavenly Father, I never want to do the things that You hate. Help me only to do and say the things that lead to life and love and that benefit others. Please forgive me when I fail. In Jesus’ name…Amen.

Today’s Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

Numbers 22:21-23:30

New Testament 

Luke 1:57-80

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 58:1-11

Proverbs 11:12-13


Turning Point; David Jeremiah – The Weight of the Wait

Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart.
Psalm 27:14

 Recommended Reading: Psalm 27:11-14

For biblical heroes, God’s will often unfolded slowly. Think of Abraham and Sarah waiting decades for a child; David waiting to ascend to the throne; Joseph spending his twenties in an Egyptian jail; Paul being imprisoned five years in Jerusalem, Caesarea, and Rome. Think of the man in John 5 who suffered an infirmity 38 years before Jesus healed him.

When God shows us the way forward, we shouldn’t hesitate a moment before proceeding. But when we don’t have the opportunity or inner peace to move forward, we trust in God’s timing. We wait while He works. Waiting time is not wasted time.

The Lord is working in our circumstances to align all the details to His will. He is working on us to develop patience, perseverance, character, and optimism.

God works as we’re waiting, so trust Him in times of little observable progress. Isaiah 40:31 says, “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength.”

In due time, He will give the victory!

Time is one of God’s most effective tools for teaching us to rely on Him.
Charles Stanley


Harvest Ministries; Greg Laurie – Never Stop Growing

I am writing to you who are mature in the faith because you know Christ, who existed from the beginning. I am writing to you who are young in the faith because you have won your battle with the evil one. 

—1 John 2:13


1 John 2:13 

I like to be around new believers. I like the questions they ask and the statements they make. Best of all, I like their zeal. They’re excited about what Christ has done for them.

New believers are the lifeblood of the church.

Of course, they need older believers to help them get grounded spiritually. But older believers also need new believers to remind them of what really matters in life. Older believers need to maintain their spiritual zeal.

It’s cute for babies to be babies. There is nothing like a newborn, especially your own. And as babies get a little older, it’s fun to watch them do childlike things. But it’s not so adorable anymore when your child is eighteen years old. We cannot remain babyish forever. We have to grow up.

When it comes to spiritual growth, we need to remain childlike with the excitement and thrill of a new Christian. But at the same time, we need to mature and grow in our faith.

The apostle Peter dealt with this truth when he wrote, “Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation” (1 Peter 2:2 NLT).

New believers are often emotionally oriented. The Christian life is all new to them, and their emotions go back and forth. That is fine when someone is young in the faith.

But it’s sad when someone who has known the Lord for a period of years is still fickle spiritually. They have no clear viewpoint or direction in life and don’t really know what they believe. That is understandable when you are new in the faith. But it is tragic when you are not.