Our Daily Bread — Brother Saul

Bible in a Year:

Placing his hands on Saul, [Ananias] said, “Brother Saul, the Lord . . . has sent me.”

Acts 9:17

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

Acts 9:10–19

“Lord, please send me anywhere but there.” That was my prayer as a teenager before embarking on a year as a foreign exchange student. I didn’t know where I would be going, but I knew where I didn’t want to go. I didn’t speak that country’s language, and my mind was filled with prejudices against its customs and people. So I asked God to send me elsewhere.  

But God in His infinite wisdom sent me precisely where I asked not to go. I’m so glad He did! Forty years later, I still have dear friends in that land. When I got married, my best man Stefan came from there. When he got married, I flew there to return the favor. And we’re planning another visit soon.

Beautiful things happen when God causes a change of heart! Such a transformation is illustrated by just two words: “Brother Saul” (Acts 9:17).

Those words were from Ananias, a believer God called to heal Saul’s sight immediately after his conversion (vv. 10–12). Ananias resisted at first because of Saul’s violent past, praying: “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people” (v. 13).

But Ananias was obedient and went. And because he had a change of heart, Ananias gained a new brother in faith, Saul became known as Paul, and the good news of Jesus spread with power. True change is always possible through Him!

By:  James Banks

Reflect & Pray

How have you sensed God calling you to have a change of heart? How can you encourage a new believer today?

Jesus, thank You for changing my heart with Your love. Help me to extend it to others.


Grace to You; John MacArthur – Forsaking Self-Centered Prayer

“Thy kingdom come” (Matt. 6:10).

Relinquish your will to Christ’s sovereign rule.

Attempting to explain all that is involved in the phrase “Thy kingdom come” is like a child standing on a beach attempting to scoop the entire ocean into a little pail. Only in eternity will we grasp all that it encompasses, but the poem “His Coming to Glory” by the nineteenth-century hymnwriter Frances Havergal captures its essence:

Oh the joy to see Thee reigning,
Thee, my own beloved Lord!
Every tongue Thy name confessing,
Worship, honor, glory, blessing
Brought to Thee with glad accord;
Thee, my Master and my Friend,
Vindicated and enthroned;
Unto earth’s remotest end
Glorified, adored, and owned.

Psalm 2:6-8 reflects the Father’s joy on that great day: “I have installed My King upon Zion, My holy mountain. I will surely tell of the decree of the Lord; He said to Me, ‘Thou art My Son, today I have begotten Thee. Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Thine inheritance, and the very ends of the earth as Thy possession.” God will give the kingdoms of the world to His Son, who will reign as King of kings and Lord of lords (Rev. 19:16).

With that promise in mind, beware seeing prayer primarily as an opportunity to inform God of your own plans and to seek His help in fulfilling them. Instead, pray “Thy kingdom come,” which is a request for Christ to reign. In its fullest sense it is an affirmation that you are willing to relinquish the rule of your own life so the Holy Spirit can use you to promote the kingdom in whatever way He chooses.

That kind of prayer can be difficult because we tend to be preoccupied with ourselves. But concentrate on conforming your prayers to God’s purposes. Then you will be assured that you are praying according to His will.

Suggestions for Prayer

  • Praise God for the hope of Christ’s future reign on earth.
  • Ask Him to use you today as a representative of His kingdom.

For Further Study

According to Ephesians 4:17-5:5, how should citizens of Christ’s kingdom behave?

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur


Joyce Meyer – Choosing Godly Thoughts

You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You.

— Isaiah 26:3 (AMPC)

If you want to live a peaceful, joy-filled, abundant life, you need to understand it all begins with the thoughts you choose to think. Your mind is connected to every feeling you have and every action you take.

A worried, anxious life begins with thoughts like this: How am I going to do everything I have to do? My life is impossible! This is more than I can handle! But a contented, happy life begins with thoughts like this: God loves me, and He will take care of everything in my future. He will give me the strength and ability to do each thing I need to do as it comes up.

You can choose the thoughts you want to dwell on. Your mind is connected to every part of your life, so choose to focus on godly thoughts today in order to experience the life Jesus came to give you.

Prayer of the Day: Thank You, Father, for helping me think positive, godly thoughts. I am grateful that I am not a prisoner to negative thinking and that I can choose to be happy, and joy filled.


Truth for Life; Alistair Begg –Learning in the Family of Faith

Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body. Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.

Hebrews 13:1-4

There’s all the difference in the world between describing what it means to ride a bicycle and actually helping somebody get on the seat and pedal away. Making a cake seems to be fairly straightforward when I look at the recipe books, but I haven’t had much success in making one that actually tastes right! What I need is hands-on guidance: somebody to do it in front of me and then allow me to try my hand at it too.

The moral instruction provided for us in Hebrews 13 is to be trained and formed in our lives not by learning to apply abstract principles but as a result of seeing these principles worked out in the family of faith. We can read, for example, about what it means to love one another, but it is far better to observe such love in the lives of loving people. We can understand that we’re supposed to care for strangers, but we can experience it firsthand if we’re brought up in a home where such care is faithfully practiced. We can read the principles and demands for sexual purity, but we will do far better if we are raised in a flourishing home where they’re modeled or are able to sit in such homes as we visit other families in our church. The list goes on and on.

Establishing these ethical norms is demanding. It takes time, patience, and involvement. They cannot be achieved by watching a video or reading an article. If information was enough to bring about transformation, then all we would need to do is write it down or say it. But you can’t learn love, honor, and faithfulness from the content on a screen. No, if you are to be content, pure, loving, and hospitable, then that is going to have to be discovered and worked out in the family of faith.

Look, then, to your brothers and sisters who exemplify Christlikeness in these ways. Read Hebrews 13:1-4 again, praise God for those you know who live these verses out, and then be sure to learn from them so that in these ways you become like them. Make it your aim to so follow their example that you, like Paul, might humbly be able to say to others, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1). What will that look like this week?

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

Hebrews 13:1-8

Hebrews 13:16-17

Topics: Christian Living Discipleship The Local Church

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


Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – God Is Honest with Us about Sin

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)

Have you ever been told: “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it!”? If you have, it was probably your parents stopping you from saying something mean to your brother or sister!

Sometimes the things God says to us in His Word do not seem very nice. In fact, sometimes God says very honest and serious words that can be hard to hear. Have you ever wondered why sometimes it seems like God says mean things about people in His Word? Here are some of God’s words to us about ourselves:

“The heart [of man] is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” (Jeremiah 17:9)
“For the wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23)
“There is none that doeth good, no, not one.” (Psalm 14:3)

These are very hard things to hear, but God says them. People often say, “The truth hurts.” But sometimes the truth is the best possible thing for you.

What if you had a dentist appointment, but the dentist who examined your teeth would not tell you what he was seeing? Imagine that he looks into your mouth and says, “Hmmm.” You would not want to be left in the dark if he sees something wrong. You might say, “What is it? What’s wrong?”

Now, what if the dentist sees that you have a very bad cavity. He would know that your cavity needs to be fixed before it causes you lots of pain and trouble. But what if he were afraid to upset you with the bad news, so he just says: “Well, everything looks great! I’ve never seen someone with such great teeth! See you next year at your checkup!”

Later on, if your teeth started hurting, you probably would not be very happy with your dentist! In fact, you would probably go find another one! After all, your dentist was the expert. He was the one who was supposed to examine your teeth and help you. He was not honest with you when you most needed him to be honest with you. And now you have a terrible toothache!

Sometimes we need to hear things that are not very easy or pleasant to take. But we still need to hear them! We never have to worry about God not being honest with us. In His Word, He tells us exactly the bad news that we need to hear. The bad news is that we are all sinners and the wages of our sin is death. Our sin separates us from God! Now that does not sound very nice, but it is the truth!

We can be thankful, though, that God does not just leave us with the “bad news.” He tells us the bad news so we can realize that we need the Good News (the Gospel). He has the solution to our problem! Look at the last part of Romans 6:23–“The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” And God also tells us in I John 1:9 that “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Even though the truth can be hard to hear, it is the best thing possible. Your dentist might tell you that you need a root canal or a couple of your teeth pulled out. But afterwards, you would not get a toothache! After the bad news, we are able to enjoy the good news. We can be glad that God is honest with us about the bad news so that we can understand and trust in the Gospel.

God tells us the truth, even when it hurts.

My Response:
» Since God has been honest with me about my sin, what do I need to do about it?
» Am I willing to trust and obey whatever God says, even if it is not what I wanted to hear?