Our Daily Bread — Why Do This?

Bible in a Year:

The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul.

Psalm 19:7

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

Psalm 19:7–11

As I was helping my sixth-grade grandson, Logan, with some tough algebra-type homework, he told me of his dream of becoming an engineer. After we returned to figuring out what to do with the x’s and y’s in his assignment, he said, “When am I ever going to use this stuff?”

I couldn’t help but smile, saying, “Well, Logan, this is exactly the stuff you’ll use if you become an engineer!” He hadn’t realized the connection between algebra and his hoped-for future.

Sometimes we view Scripture that way. When we listen to sermons and read certain parts of the Bible, we may think, “When am I ever going to use this?” The psalmist David had some answers. He said God’s truths found in Scripture are effective for “refreshing the soul,” “making wise the simple,” and “giving joy to the heart” (Psalm 19:7–8). The wisdom of Scripture, found in the first five books of the Bible as referred to in Psalm 19 (as well as all of Scripture), helps us as we daily rely on the Spirit’s leading (Proverbs 2:6).

And without the Scriptures, we’d lack the vital way God has provided for us to experience Him and better know His love and ways. Why study the Bible? Because “the commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes” (Psalm 19:8).

By:  Dave Branon

Reflect & Pray

Why is the wisdom found in Scripture relevant for you today? How can you grow in your understanding of it?

Loving God, please make Your Word a light to my path. Help me to use the wisdom of Scripture to direct my steps and grow to love You more.


Grace to You; John MacArthur – Jesus’ Humble Identification with Sinners

 “. . . Emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:7-8).

Except for sin, Jesus experienced the everyday things of a normal man; but He was often not appreciated as the God-man.

Jesus could understand what people around Him were dealing with because He lived under the same conditions. He can also identify with us today. It is true that He never married, never went to college, and never used a computer or a VCR. But He still has perfect knowledge about such things, and more. The point is, Christ knows firsthand about our basic physical and emotional needs because He actually lived and worked in a world affected by the Fall.

But there was one element of our world Jesus did not partake in: sin. The conclusion of Hebrews 4:15 says He was “tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.” Even though Jesus never sinned, He knows the struggles and temptations we face daily. Otherwise, He could not be the sympathetic High Priest that the first part of verse 15 mentions.

Although Jesus was a man who identified profoundly with those He came to serve, people around Him did not naturally see the most important thing about Him. Philippians 2:8 views Jesus from the perspective of those people. It says His human appearance was so authentic that most of them didn’t know that He was also God. Many of them simply could not accept that a man like Jesus could also be higher than them: “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does He now say, ‘I have come down out of heaven’?” (John 6:42).

Christ’s close identification with mankind elicited a tragic response for people such as those in John 6. But for us, His humility is a great model and a heart-felt reassurance that He was perfectly man and perfectly God.

Suggestions for Prayer

Thank God that you can freely approach Him in prayer through Jesus, who can identify so closely with all our struggles as human beings.

For Further Study

Read John 11:1-45, which describes the death and resurrection of Lazarus. How did Jesus demonstrate His humanity and deity to the disciples and other eyewitnesses?

From Strength for Today by John MacArthur


Joyce Meyer – Being One with God

But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired.

— Isaiah 40:31 (AMPC)

I believe God chose to liken us to eagles in order to motivate us so we can rise to our potential in life and so He can encourage us to wait on Him. When success does not come easily, when we find ourselves frustrated and weary in our efforts, we can be refreshed by waiting on the Lord.

What does it really mean to wait for the Lord? It simply means spending time with Him, being in His presence, talking to Him, listening, meditating on His Word, worshiping Him, keeping Him at the center of our lives, all the while expecting Him to do something amazing. One meaning of the word wait is “to be twisted or braided together.” If we think about a braid in someone’s hair, we realize that the hair is woven together so that we cannot tell where one strand ends, and another begins. That is the way God wants us to be in our union with Him—so intimately intertwined and tightly woven together with Him that we are truly one with Him. As we wait on Him, we become more and more like Him.

An intimate relationship with God will strengthen you in the innermost part of your being. It will strengthen your heart; it will carry you through the hard times in your life with a sense of peace and confidence that all is well, no matter what is happening. It will give you the strength to endure tough situations in such a way that many of the people around you may not be able to detect even the slightest stress in your life.

When you wait on the Lord by faith, you draw everything you need from Him. He is your refuge, your enabler, your joy, your peace, your righteousness, your hope. He gives you everything you need to live in victory over any circumstance.

Are you ready to rise to your potential? You will do so when you can wait on God. When you wait on Him, your strength is made new again; you can fly as eagles do, over the storms of life; you can walk and run and not faint, because your trust is in Him.

Prayer of the Day: Father, I want to get more serious in my relationship with You. Help me as I wait on You. Help me rise to my potential, to soar like an eagle, and become everything you died for me to be, amen.


Truth for Life; Alistair Begg – Death Is but a Doorway

A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death than the day of birth. It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for this is the end of all mankind, and the living will lay it to heart.

Ecclesiastes 7:1-2

Death confuses most of us. We fear it, and though we know it is inevitable, we would much rather not have to deal with it. We seek to isolate ourselves from its reality, turning the music up to drown out the ominous silence that accompanies it. Our denial is understandable; death is the hardest fact of life to face. Yet in our more sober moments, we realize that our lives are as precarious as a child’s sandcastle on the seashore: that sooner or later, the tide will come in and wash it all away.

As with all the issues it addresses, the Bible aims to reorient our perspective on death. Solomon, writing with the all-surpassing wisdom that God had granted him (see 1 Kings 3:5-12), said that death “is the end of all mankind, and the living will lay it to heart.” Likewise, Moses tells us that “a heart of wisdom” comes from our contemplating our limited number of days on earth, which “end like a sigh” (Psalm 90:9, 12). This is why we learn more about reality at a funeral in a “house of mourning” than at a party in a “house of feasting.”

While it may be tempting to try to shy away from death, then, wisdom looks like accepting that we must face it head on. In fact, the key to learning how to live is to be found in learning how to die. We will never know the reason for our earthly pilgrimage until we’ve come face to face with the fact of death, for it is death that lies at the end of every path. Without considering our death, we’ll end up like the one whose tombstone reads, “Here lies a man who went out of the world without knowing why he came into it.” Such is the lot of so many who spend day after day after day separated from Christ, “having no hope and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12).

But if by faith God has made you alive together with Christ (Ephesians 2:5), then you have already passed from the domain of death to the land of the living. You can say with Paul, “Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57). For you, death is no longer an end that you must dread but the doorway to “fullness of joy” (Psalm 16:11). And with that perspective on your final day, you will be ready to make the most of this day, endeavoring in all that you do to glorify the Lord, who has Himself triumphed over death and who will lead you through it (1 Corinthians 10:31).

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

Ecclesiastes 7:1-7

Topics: Death Union with Christ Wisdom

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


Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – God Is Glorified in Life or Death

“Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:20-21)

John and Betty Stam were missionaries to China in the 1930s. China was a dangerous place to be. The Communist army did not want foreign people in the country, and they did not like Christians. One day the Communists captured the Chinese city where the Stams lived. They took John, Betty, and their baby girl, Helen, captive.

That night, John, Betty, and Helen were locked in a room together. Sometime during the night, Betty found a way to leave baby Helen some things she would need if they were separated. She tucked a clean nightdress, diapers, and two five-dollar-bills into the blankets where Helen slept.

The next morning, John and Betty Stam were led outside the city and killed by Communists. They became martyrs, people who lose their lives because of their faith in Christ. Baby Helen was left alone in that little room. But God had not forgotten the baby. A whole day and night passed. The next day, Christian friends of the Stams found Helen after she had been left alone for thirty hours! The money that her mother had hidden in her blankets was enough to provide for these Chinese Christians to carry her to safety.

God’s plan for John and Betty Stam was to glorify Himself through their death. The Stams went to be with Him. They joined the great chorus of praise around His throne. Through all eternity, they will keep praising Him. Many people have been awakened to the needs on the mission field by hearing their story. Thousands have carried God’s Word to the dark places of the earth because of the Stams’ sacrifice.

But God’s plan for Helen was to glorify Himself through keeping her alive. People all over the world heard about Helen’s rescue and praised God for His care for that helpless little baby.

God might lead you to a dangerous place someday in your service for Him. Are you willing to trust Him and follow Him so that He might be glorified—whether in your life or your death?

God chooses life or death for His children that He might receive glory.

My Response:
» Am I afraid to follow God? Can I trust that His choice—life or death—is best for me?
» Do I want His glory more than I want anything else?

Denison Forum – Gwyneth Paltrow’s trial and “Celebrity Worship Syndrome”

On a morning when the news is dominated by the Federal Reserve attempting to control the economy and the grand jury investigating Donald Trump, I wanted to focus on something more transcendent. To do so, however, I have to begin with the temporal. Actress Gwyneth Paltrow’s trial over a 2016 ski accident got underway this week. The actress is being sued by a man who alleges that she injured him after she crashed into him on a ski slope and sped off. Paltrow countersued, claiming that the man crashed into her.

More than forty-eight thousand jury trials occur every year in the US, which works out to 192 per weekday. This, however, is the only one of which I am aware that is being streamed, pointing to the power of celebrity in our culture.

In other news, Joe Exotic of Tiger King fame has announced that he is running for president. However, he is serving twenty-one years in prison for his role in a murder-for-hire plot. But once again, we see the power of celebrity to make news.

And Blake Shelton made headlines when he recruited his final contestant on The Voice this week. Shelton has announced his retirement from the singing competition. It is estimated that ten thousand people in the US reach the retirement age of sixty-five every day, but Shelton is the only “retiree” I have seen in the news today.

Beware “Celebrity Worship Syndrome”

One obvious reason Americans are so interested in celebrities is that the media makes them so ubiquitous. It’s a bit of a chicken-and-egg scenario: people get famous, which gets them in the news, which increases their fame, which makes them more newsworthy.

A second is that many people live vicariously through the celebrities they follow. When I watch the Masters next month, I will be imagining myself playing on the most famous golf course in the world. When we read about Warren Buffett’s billions, we imagine ourselves with such wealth. Celebrities are famous because their followers want to be like them.

This phenomenon has become so pronounced in recent years that psychologists have coined the name “Celebrity Worship Syndrome” (CWS). They warn that “CWS is an obsessive addictive disorder in which a person becomes involved with the details of a celebrity’s personal life.”

Celebrity obsession is especially alluring for people going through difficult times or young people who are still establishing their identities. One psychologist said, “In our society, celebrities act like a drug. They’re around us everywhere. They’re an easy fix.”

This addiction can lead to compulsive buying and other behaviors by which people try to emulate the celebrities they “worship.” Others use social media platforms to seek celebrity for its own sake rather than learning and using skills that contribute to society.

“You cannot see something that is above you”

This quest for celebrity speaks to something even deeper: there is hunger in each of us for significance that transcends the moment. We want to live beyond ourselves. We want to believe when our lives are over that they mattered, that we made a difference, that what we did was worth doing.

This is one way we deal with the reality of death: if we believe others will remember us, we will “live on” in a sense. But even more, this quest for enduring significance is a God-shaped hunger for living eternally in the temporal. It is a “signal of transcendence” pointing from this life to the next.

Here’s the problem: the quest for celebrity can leave us either frustrated that we are not who we wish to be or proud that we are.

A psychologist notes: “If you look at the Halls of Fame and biographies around the world, there are perhaps only thirty thousand entries and of those, perhaps ten thousand are dead. So this leaves about twenty thousand slots” for fame seekers. How many US presidents can you name? CEOs? Movie stars? Great athletes? Out of a world population of 7.8 billion, how many would you call “great” today?

If you do achieve celebrity that outlives you, beware of the pride that so often accompanies such fame. C. S. Lewis observed, “As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on things and people and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you.”

“Jesus came to give us his own life”

The most transcendent celebrity who ever lived was a man who lived in the most humble of ways. If you and I will follow Jesus’ example by focusing on the eternal in the temporal and seeking intimacy with our living Lord, we will experience and reflect his life to a culture in desperate need for what he alone can give.

He testified: “Whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do” (John 14:12). This is because the same Holy Spirit who empowered Jesus now empowers us. He manifests the same “fruit” in our lives that he demonstrated in our Savior’s life (Galatians 5:22–23). And every day, by focusing on Jesus, we experience eternal significance that our world cannot begin to bestow or take.

As usual, Henri Nouwen makes my point better than I can: “Our lives are destined to become like the life of Jesus. The whole purpose of Jesus’ ministry is to bring us to the house of his Father. Not only did Jesus come to free us from the bonds of sin and death; he also came to lead us into the intimacy of his divine life.

“It is difficult for us to imagine what this means. We tend to emphasize the distance between Jesus and ourselves. We see Jesus as the all-knowing and all-powerful Son of God who is unreachable for us sinful, broken human beings. But in thinking this way, we forget that Jesus came to give us his own life. He came to lift us up into loving community with the Father.

“Only when we recognize the radical purpose of Jesus’ ministry will we be able to understand the meaning of the spiritual life. Everything that belongs to Jesus is given for us to receive. All that Jesus does we may also do.”

Are you seeking “the intimacy of his divine life” today?

Denison Forum

Hagee Ministries; John Hagee –  Daily Devotion

Luke 15:10

Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.

Whenever one individual on this earth professes Jesus Christ as Savior, the angels in the presence of God rejoice. Imagine a sinner who bows his head to whisper a “yes” to Jesus, the Friend to sinners (Matthew 11:19). Consider how God might lean down to catch that desperate plea, how all around the throne, activity ceases and silence reigns as He smiles a “yes” in response. And at that final amen, all of heaven erupts in a party of praise! Innumerable angels shout for joy as one more receives a Savior that is worth having.

Do you ever take time to think about heaven? John the Revelator describes “a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’” (Revelation 7:9-10). Beyond the mysterious creatures, the crystal river, the thundering horses, and the Lion of the tribe of Judah, do you ever think of the people who might stand next to you before the Great Throne?

A nomad with stars in his eyes who believed the promise of God. A young upstart who felled a giant with one smooth stone. A woman of ill repute who hung a scarlet cord in her window. A frightened maid who unflinchingly said, “Let it be to me.” A brazen professor who nailed 95 Theses to a door. A frail woman who reached out her hand to lepers. These shadowy figures who helped to shape our faith – their faces and philosophies, their doctrines and disciplines, their treatises and tenets, their hearts and hopes – will emerge from the mist to sing the song of the redeemed alongside us.

And, of course, there will be those even closer to our hearts. A grandfather who prayed for the generations to follow. That parent who sang hymns of deliverance over her children. The lovingly-anticipated child who never knew his mother’s embrace. The pastor who sacrificed for his little flock.

Consider that moment when all those faces around you turn to the Lamb Who was slain for our sins, when the great song of redemption bursts from our lips in glorious praise, when the angels revel in silence as that melody rolls through heaven, and our faith finally becomes sight. And all because one Man emptied Himself and was obedient even to death on the cross. Jesus is a Savior worth having.


Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever! Jesus, You are a Savior worth having. In Your name…Amen.

Today’s Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

Numbers 36:1-Deuteronomy 1:46

New Testament 

Luke 5:29-6:11

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 66:1-20

Proverbs 11:24-26


Turning Point; David Jeremiah – The Power of Power

And in every province and city, wherever the king’s command and decree came, the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast and a holiday. Then many of the people of the land became Jews, because fear of the Jews fell upon them.
Esther 8:17

 Recommended Reading: Matthew 9:25-31

Scholars of missionary activity and evangelism use a term to describe how the Gospel spread in the Early Church: “gossiping the Gospel.” That means the Gospel message about Jesus spread from person to person based on eyewitness accounts from those who had received the Gospel and its benefits.

While many forms of evangelism can be effective, there is nothing like hearing from a “satisfied customer.” In Persia, where the efforts of Queen Esther saved the Jewish people from genocide, many non-Jews converted to Esther’s faith. Why? Because they saw how Esther’s God had moved the king to protect the Jews. This meant that Esther’s God was more powerful than the Persian king! As word of this spread, conversions followed. The same thing happened during and after Jesus’ ministry. Word of His miracles and teachings spread from person to person.

If you are looking for ways to influence unsaved friends for Christ, be open and bold about the way God’s power has been at work in your own life.

Witnessing is not something we do; it is something we are. 


Harvest Ministries; Greg Laurie – Countercultural

 Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people. 

—Ephesians 5:3


Ephesians 5:3 

The ancient city of Ephesus was known for its wickedness. The capital of the Roman province of Asia and a busy commercial port, Ephesus was an affluent area. It was also the headquarters for the cult of the goddess Diana.

Thousands of prostitutes in the employ of the Temple of Diana combed the city. They essentially would sell their bodies to draw people to the temple, generate revenue, and promote worship of their false goddess.

Many believers in the church of Ephesus had come out of a very dark background. In their culture, prostitution and immorality were a way of life. Yet some who were professing faith in Christ had returned to their old ways of immorality. And some had never left it to begin with.

Writing to followers of Jesus living in this sex-obsessed culture, the apostle Paul said, “Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people” (Ephesians 5:3 NLT).

Paul was saying, “Stay away from immorality, adultery, and covetousness.”

The parallels to our culture are obvious. It is clear that we, too, are living in a sex-obsessed culture. Yet God is saying to believers, “As My children, as My beloved, as those who bear the family name wherever you go, stay away from immorality.”

I thank God for every Christian man and woman who is standing their ground in this wicked and adulterous generation. I thank God for husbands and wives who are saying, “We are going to remain faithful to each other.” And I thank God for each family that has drawn a line around their home, saying, “It stops here.”

As followers of Jesus Christ, we should not only avoid the very sin of immorality but also avoid anything that would bring us remotely close to it.