Our Daily Bread — God Is Listening

Bible in a Year:

The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

James 5:16

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

James 5:13–16

Chuck, an actor and martial artist, honored his mother on her hundredth birthday by sharing how instrumental she’d been in his spiritual transformation. “Mom has been an example of perseverance and faith,” he wrote. She raised three boys on her own during the Great Depression; suffered the death of two spouses, a son, a stepson, and grandchildren; and endured many surgeries. “[She] has prayed for me all my life, through thick and thin.” He continued, “When nearly losing my soul to Hollywood, she was back home praying for my success and salvation.” He concluded, “I thank [my mom] for helping God to make me all I can and should be.”

The prayers of Chuck’s mother helped him to find salvation—and a godly wife. She prayed fervently for her son, and God heard her prayers. We don’t always get our prayers answered the way we’d like, so we cannot use prayer as a magic wand. However, James assures us that “the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (5:16). Like this mom, we’re to continue to pray for the sick and those in trouble (vv. 13–15). When, like her, we commune with God through prayer, we find encouragement and peace and the assurance that the Spirit is at work.

Does someone in your life need salvation or healing or help? Lift your prayers to God in faith. He’s listening.

By:  Alyson Kieda

Reflect & Pray

When have you seen God answer your fervent prayers? Who continues to be in your prayers?

Dear Father, help me to continually be in prayer and not to give up. Thank You for Your love that helps me persevere.


Grace to You; John MacArthur – Solving Man’s Greatest Problem

“Forgive us our debts” (Matt. 6:12).

Forgiveness removes the guilt and penalty of sin and restores intimacy with God.

Man’s greatest problem is sin. It renders him spiritually dead, alienates him from God and his fellow man, plagues him with guilt and fear, and can eventually damn him to eternal hell. The only solution is forgiveness—and the only source of forgiveness is Jesus Christ.

All sin is punishable by death (Rom. 6:23) but Christ bore the sins of the world, thereby making it possible to be forgiven and have eternal life through faith in Him (John 3:16). What a glorious reality!

Scripture speaks of two kinds of forgiveness: judicial and parental. Judicial forgiveness comes from God the righteous judge, who wiped your sin off the record and set you free from its punishment and guilt. At the moment of your salvation He forgave all your sins—past, present, and future—and pronounced you righteous for all eternity. That’s why nothing can ever separate you from Christ’s love (Rom. 8:38-39).

Parental forgiveness is granted to believers by their loving heavenly Father as they confess their sin and seek His cleansing. That’s the kind of forgiveness Jesus speaks of in Matthew 6:12.

When a child disobeys his father, the father/child relationship isn’t severed. The child is still a member of the family and there’s a sense in which he is already forgiven because he’s under the umbrella of his father’s parental love. But some of the intimacy of their relationship is lost until the child seeks forgiveness.

That’s the idea in Matthew 6:12. The sins you commit as a believer don’t rob you of your salvation, but they do affect your relationship with God. He still loves you and will always be your Father, but the intimacy and sweet communion you once knew is jeopardized until you seek reconciliation by confessing your sins.

As a Christian, you are judicially forgiven and will never come into condemnation. But never presume on that grace. Make confession part of your daily prayers so sin will never erode your relationship with your Heavenly Father.

Suggestions for Prayer

  • Thank God for His judicial forgiveness of all your sins.
  • Ask Him to help you maintain the joy of your relationship with Him by quickly dealing with any sin that comes up in your life.

For Further Study

Read Psalm 32:1-7.

  • How did David feel about forgiveness?
  • What happened to David before he confessed his sin?

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur


Joyce Meyer – The Source of True Joy

 You have turned my mourning into dancing for me; You have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy.

— Psalm 30:11 (AMP)

It brings incredible joy when you embrace the truth that you are a forgiven and adored child of God. So why are so many Christians sad, frustrated, and miserable?

I believe it is because they do not understand the reality of being a child of God and the inheritance that is ours in Him. An obstacle or difficulty distracts them, and they simply forget the promises of God for their lives. This is the quickest way to live a sad life instead of a glad life.

Jesus did not die to give you a discouraged, defeated, “down” life—He is your glory and lifter of your head (see Psalm 3:3). God has given you everything you need to enjoy Him, to enjoy yourself and the life He has given you. So, look up today. Celebrate His goodness and His blessings in your life. You are a child of the King…let that fill your heart with joy!

Prayer of the Day: Thank You, Father, for helping me embrace the truth of Your love for me. I am grateful that I do not need to be distracted by obstacles or difficulties and that I can choose to be happy and filled with joy.


Truth for Life; Alistair Begg – A New Kind of Peace

Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad.

John 20:19-20

Many of us who have lost someone dear can recall evenings in the aftermath of loss when it felt difficult even to breathe. We sat there with others, grieving in a silence punctuated every so often by reflection.

On the Sunday evening following Jesus’ death, we can imagine His disciples going through a similar experience. Maybe one said, Do you remember how excited and hopeful we were when He walked on water? Perhaps another added, I remember Him weeping at the tomb of Lazarus. I won’t ever forget it. In all their reminiscence, they doubtless felt a stabbing awareness that they would never again on earth see Jesus’ face. Of that they were convinced. They were fearful of the future. They had just witnessed Christ’s execution, and they had locked the door behind them (John 20:19), worried that they would be the next targets.

Jesus knew this. Therefore, when He appeared quietly among them that night, the first word to come out of His mouth was “Peace,” or Shalom. This was a customary Semitic greeting that came with warmth and without rebuke, blame, or disappointment. Then He showed them His hands and His side. It was Him. The Jesus whom they were convinced they would never see again was actually standing among them!

“Peace be with you” gave the disciples an indication not simply that their gladness should be prompted by the awareness that He was no longer dead but of something far greater: that by His resurrection, Jesus had now come to bestow a new kind of peace as a result of His blood shed upon the cross. And the peace with which He greeted them is the same peace that He gives to every pardoned sinner.

Shalom takes on a whole new meaning for those who discover this peace. In our weary world, bowing under the weight of all that is difficult and broken, tainted by indifference toward or denial of Almighty God in all His majesty, we know that He still seeks us out. Just as He came up behind Mary Magdalene at the open tomb (John 20:11-18) and the two disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35), so He pursues you and me in love, bidding us find peace in Him, the one at whose birth the angels sang, “Peace on earth” (Luke 2:14, CSB).

In the face of fear, our world aches for peace. But longing for it and singing about it will not create it. Peace can only be found in Jesus’ words: “In me you may have peace” (John 16:33; emphasis added). The resurrection doesn’t simply mean there is a Christ. It means that Christ is alive forever and that He gives us peace with the Father and peace in ourselves, today and forever. Whatever storms are raging around you or inside you, make sure you hear the voice of your risen Savior today, saying, “Peace be with you.”

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

John 20:11-23

Topics: Jesus Christ Peace Resurrection

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


Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – God Comforts

“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

Life is full of all sorts of tests. Maybe the word “test” makes you think of that piece of paper your teacher is going to give you sometime this week!

But not all of the tests you take this week are the kind you will be taking in school. Sometimes a test can be simply going through hard times or enduring “tribulation” or “affliction.” Perhaps a best friend moves away and you feel all alone. Or maybe you get really sick. Or maybe other people make fun of you because you are a Christian. Maybe you did not make the sports team you really wanted to be a part of. Maybe your dog ran away from home and you cannot find him anywhere.

Situations like these can make you sad, and you might even wonder why God could let them happen.

But God is sovereign (He’s in control), and He does have reasons for everything He does! Not only is God not surprised by the afflictions that hit us, but He is perfect in helping us get through them. He is perfectly loving and perfectly kind and perfectly wise. 2 Corinthians 1:3 says that God is a “God of all comfort.” That means that God is there to help you through the difficulties you face. He always says the right thing to you (through His Word). He loves you more than any human being could possibly love. If God is going to put a trial into your life, He is also the best Comforter you could ask for to help you get through that trial.

Verse 4 explains that one reason God comforts you is so that you can comfort others better. You may not understand why you are going through tough times right now, but maybe God wants to teach you mercy and wisdom. Maybe He wants to use you to help someone else someday! God comforts us so that we can share his comfort with others! From your time with the perfect Comforter, are you learning how to comfort?

God is the best possible Comforter and the best One to show us how to comfort others.

My Response:
» Is God giving me a “test” to take this week?
» What have I learned from God’s comfort to me in the past that might help me be a comforter for others one day?

Denison Forum – Cities and communities are withdrawing from the US

The death toll from a tornado in Mississippi last Friday has risen to twenty-six people as of this morning. The pictures are horrifically tragic; among the victims were a one-year-old and her father. More severe weather struck the region last night, including a likely tornado in Georgia that injured multiple people and caused significant damage.

In better news from nature, Mercury, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, and Uranus will align and display themselves tonight in a row on the western horizon. The best time for viewing will be twenty to twenty-five minutes after the sun has set.

Meanwhile, researchers report that shifting tectonic plates are splitting Africa into two continents. The shift has been ongoing since the East African Rift—a thirty-five-mile-long crack in Ethiopia’s desert—emerged in 2005. However, we’re told the continent will not completely split for another five to ten million years.

A “scaled secession” is happening in the United States

If you’re looking for another continent dividing in real time, you could focus on the United States. Professor Michael J. Lee writes in The Conversation that a “scaled secession” is already taking place within the United States. This is not the “national divorce” that has been recently in the news but “soft separatism” in which communities are distancing from one another in a variety of ways.

Wealthier areas are separating into parallel school districts. Eleven states calling themselves “Second Amendment sanctuaries” refuse to enforce federal gun restrictions. Eleven counties in Eastern Oregon support seceding and reclassifying themselves as “Greater Idaho”; Idaho’s state government supports the move. Over two dozen rural Illinois counties, seeking to be free of Chicago’s political influence, have passed pro-secession referendums.

Momentum toward secession is growing on the “left” as well: “Cal-exit” is a plan for California to leave the union. “Sanctuary” cities and states refuse to enforce what they consider to be unfair immigration laws and policies. Some prosecutors and judges refuse to prosecute women and medical providers for newly illegal abortions in their states.

California punishes Walgreens over abortion

Are we dividing over biblical morality as well?

In a recent New York Times column, David French chronicles a host of recent events that impinge on our basic constitutional freedoms. For example, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that his state would not renew a multimillion-dollar contract with Walgreens because the company responded to Republican legal warnings and chose not to dispense an abortion pill in twenty-one “red” states.

In 2018, the Supreme Court struck down a California rule requiring pro-life pregnancy centers to publish information about free or low-cost abortions. An appeals court recently ruled that legislation in New York prohibiting employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of their “reproductive health decision making” may violate the rights of pro-life organizations that require employees not to have abortions and to refrain from extramarital sex.

Public schools sometimes withhold information from parents about a child’s gender transition. California has enacted a statute granting the state broad authority to permit children to receive “gender-affirming health care” in the state, even potentially over the objection of a custodial parent. And the list goes on, in “red” states and “blue” states alike.

Legislation in Israel would jail Christians for evangelism

The Easter season is a great time to discuss the meaning of Jesus’ resurrection and to invite friends to Easter services. So, here’s a thought experiment: What cost would you pay to make your faith public?

In Israel, a bill was introduced in January that would punish Christians who “solicit conversion of religion” with jail time. If they seek to lead an adult to Christ, they would serve a year in jail; if they share their faith with a minor, they would serve two years. Prime Minister Netanyahu announced last week, “We will not advance any law against the Christian community,” indicating that the bill has no chance of becoming law.

But what if it did? What if similar legislation were to pass in the US? What price would you pay to fulfill Jesus’ Great Commission (Matthew 28:18–20) as his witness where you live and around the world (Acts 1:8)?

As the Mississippi tornado demonstrated, we are all one moment from eternity. We have only today to turn to the One who made the planets (Colossians 1:16) and in whom “all things hold together” (v. 17) in our broken world (Romans 8:22). And we have only today to help those we influence turn to him as well.

“Gratitude offered by the saved to the Savior”

The next time it could cost you to share your faith, remember how desperately people need your Lord. The night before he died, Jesus prayed: “This is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3). Evangelism does not “impose” your personal beliefs—it shares the only path anywhere in the universe that leads to eternal life.

The more people reject our Savior, the more they need our Savior.

And the next time it could cost you to serve your Lord, remember the price he paid to serve you. Max Lucado wrote: “Worship is a voluntary act of gratitude offered by the saved to the Savior, by the healed to the Healer, and by the delivered to the Deliverer. If you and I can go days without feeling an urge to say ‘thank you’ to the One who saved, healed, and delivered us, then we’d do well to remember what he did.”

If we can “go days without feeling an urge” to serve him by sharing his grace, we’d do well to do the same.

Denison Forum

Hagee Ministries; John Hagee –  Daily Devotion

James 5:15-16

And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

Few pains cut so deep as that of the Christian parent whose child has wandered far from God. We raised them in the fear and admonition of the Lord, but they have rejected the faith of their youth. We trained them in the way they should go, but they have forsaken that path for their own. Like the father of the prodigal son, our eyes scan the road each day, looking for signs of our child’s return from a far country.

Too often, we run to their rescue. We defend and debate. We coax and cajole. We aid and abet. Instead, with hearts full of faith, we can relinquish them to God’s hands. We can trust His good heart towards them. He alone can stir up a hunger and thirst for righteousness. He knows how to arrest their attention. Even if their hearts are broken, He will collect all the pieces and give them brand-new hearts. Even in utter desolation, He can restore and return the years the enemy has stolen. He knows how to capture their hearts again.

Now, more than ever, we should be full of faith for our children. We do not give in to despair or defeat. Every prayer will be a sharp, pointed arrow targeted to bring down the evil schemes of the enemy in the lives of our children. Now is the time to pray in faith without doubting (James 1:6). Now is the time to hold on tight to God with both hands. Now is the time to open our hands and release our children into His hands.

He will whistle, and our children will come running to be set free (Zechariah 10:8-9). In Isaiah 43, God encourages us to trust Him – don’t be afraid. He is in our corner. He will round up our scattered children and pull them in from the east and the west. He will send orders to the north and south to send back our sons from distant lands and our daughters from faraway places. “I want them back, every last one who bears my name, every man, woman, and child whom I created for my glory, yes, personally formed and made each one” (Isaiah 43:5-7, The Message).

Full of faith, we stand in the gap for our beloved sons and daughters. We won’t give up. We won’t back down. As long as we have breath, we pray for their joyous return.

Today’s Blessing: 

Heavenly Father, I stand in the gap for my child. I pray for his safe return to the fold. Protect him in his wanderings, but do what You must to get his attention, to bring him home. In the name of Jesus…Amen.

Today’s Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

Deuteronomy 7:1-8:20

New Testament 

Luke 7:36-8:3

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 69:1-14

Proverbs 12:1


Turning Point; David Jeremiah – Red Strands of Hatred

At one time we too were foolish, disobedient…. Being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us.
Titus 3:3-5, NIV

 Recommended Reading: Philippians 2:14-16

Christians are sometimes accused of hatred for their refusal to yield on biblical truth. We must never be what others accuse us of being. Though we must not compromise biblical truth, we can offer God’s Word as the only medicine for a sick world. If others refuse to believe, we can grieve over them, pray for them, share Christ with them, be kind to them, differ with them, ask God for patience with them, and when appropriate, avoid them.

But hatred?

The world can shout “hatred” all it wants, but we cannot let one red strand of a hateful attitude embroider its way into our personalities. Don’t let bitterness become rooted in your heart. It’s tempting to feel hatred for those who don’t agree with us, but there’s no room for that. “Bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you” (Matthew 5:44).

Leave the rest to Jesus.

The followers of Jesus are children of God, and they should manifest the family likeness by doing good to all, even to those who deserve the opposite.
F. F. Bruce


Harvest Ministries; Greg Laurie – The Only Path to Lasting Change

Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God. 

—2 Corinthians 4:4


2 Corinthians 4:4 

Some people today believe in conspiracy theories. But I believe there’s a conspiracy that goes much deeper than any of their theories: the devil is at work, and he is behind so many of the systems surrounding us today.

The Bible describes Satan as “the god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4 NLT). In fact, Ephesians 2, referring to Satan, says, “He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God” (verse 2 NLT).

That’s why all attempts to reform this world, this culture, this country, or this society apart from a change of the human heart are basically futile. Education won’t do it. Politics won’t do it. The economy won’t do it. Even morality, in and of itself, won’t do it. We need a change of heart that only God can bring when we follow Jesus Christ.

We need morality in our country, but how do we decide what is moral? How do we decide what is good? We need a greater foundation. The Bible teaches that God is truth. Although some people claim that all truth is God’s truth, some “truth” is not truth at all.

God’s truth is the only truth. And the only way to know whether what we are doing is true, moral, and good is to measure it by God’s standards.

When we look at this world and ask why God allows this or why God allows that, we must recognize that Satan, “the god of this world,” is the one to blame. He is the one who is responsible for the injustice, violence, and rebellion against God and His laws.

However, the Bible clearly says that “temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away” (James 1:14 NLT). The devil works with the combustible, sinful nature within every person. But he cannot bring us down unless we cooperate.