Our Daily Bread — String Too Short to Use

Bible in a Year:

I will rain down bread from heaven for you.

Exodus 16:4

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

Exodus 16:21–30

Aunt Margaret’s frugality was legendary. After she passed away, her nieces began the nostalgically bittersweet task of sorting her belongings. In a drawer, neatly arrayed inside a small plastic bag, they discovered an assortment of small pieces of string. The label read: “String too short to use.”  

What would motivate someone to keep and categorize something they knew to be of no use? Perhaps this person once knew extreme deprivation.

When the Israelites fled slavery in Egypt, they left behind a life of hardship. But they soon forgot God’s miraculous hand in their exodus and started complaining about the lack of food.

God wanted them to trust Him. He provided manna for their desert diet, telling Moses, “The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day” (Exodus 16:4). God also instructed them to gather twice as much on the sixth day, because on the Sabbath no manna would fall (vv. 5, 25). Some of the Israelites listened. Some didn’t, with predictable results (vv. 27–28).

In times of plenty and times of desperation, it’s tempting to try to cling, to hoard, in a desperate attempt at control. There’s no need to take everything into our own frantic hands. No need to “save scraps of string”—or to hoard anything at all. Our faith is in God, who has promised, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).

By:  Tim Gustafson

Reflect & Pray

In what ways do you sometimes take things into your own hands? How has God proven Himself to be faithful to you in the past?

Father, help me to take You at Your word and to trust You with everything.


Grace to You; John MacArthur – The Resurrection: A Belief That Matters

 “How do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?” (1 Corinthians 15:12).

Without the truth of bodily resurrection, the Christian faith would not make sense.

Even though Paul and the other apostles made the resurrection of Christ and His followers from the dead a central part of the gospel message, some new Gentile converts (the Corinthians especially) had difficulty accepting the idea of bodily resurrection. That struggle resulted mainly from the effects of Greek dualism, which viewed the spiritual as inherently good and the physical as inherently bad. Under that belief, a physical resurrection was considered quite repulsive.

The only way for the doubting Gentiles to accommodate their dualism was to say that Jesus was divine but not truly human. Therefore, He only appeared to die, and His appearances between the crucifixion and ascension were manifestations that merely seemed to be bodily. But Paul knew that was bad doctrine. He wrote to the Romans, “Concerning His Son . . . born of the seed of David according to the flesh . . . declared with power to be the Son of God by the resurrection from the dead” (Rom. 1:3-4).

To deny the actual, bodily resurrection of Christ creates some very significant doctrinal problems. Without His resurrection, the gospel is an empty message that doesn’t make sense. Without the Resurrection, Jesus could not have conquered sin and death, and thus we could not have followed in that victory either.

Without physical resurrection, a life of faith centered on the Lord Jesus is worthless. A dead savior cannot provide any kind of life. If the dead do not rise bodily, Christ did not rise, and neither will we. If all that were true, we could not do much more than conclude with Isaiah’s Servant, “I have spent My strength for nothing and vanity” (49:4). But the glorious reality is that we can affirm with Job, “I know that my Redeemer lives, and . . . .without my flesh [after death] I shall see God” (Job 19:25-26).

Suggestions for Prayer

Thank God that the truth of the Resurrection makes our theology credible and the gospel powerful.

For Further Study

  • Sometimes Jesus’ closest followers have doubts about the Resurrection. Read John 20:19-29. How did Jesus prove to the disciples that it was really Him?
  • What else did Jesus implicitly appeal to when He confronted Thomas’s doubts?

From Strength for Today by John MacArthur


Joyce Meyer – The Why Behind the What

Every man’s way is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs and examines the hearts [of people and their motives].

— Proverbs 21:2 (AMP)

I like to define a motive as “the why behind the what.” A motive is the reason we do what we do. It is easy to say what we are doing with our time, but sometimes we do not understand why we do what we do. We might be doing something just to be well thought of, when truly we don’t have the time to do it.

Impure motives can cause many problems, one of which is being overcommitted, which results in unnecessary stress in our lives. Surely, we won’t live with extreme stress if we are obeying God and doing only what He wants us to do.

Never agree to do something in order to impress people or because you fear what they may think or say about you if you don’t. When an opportunity comes up, take the motive test—ask yourself, “Why am I doing this? Is this something I’m doing for God or something I’m doing to please people?”

Prayer of the Day: Dear God, please help me to always examine my motives and ensure that everything I do is for your glory and not for the approval of others. Help me to say no to things that are not in line with your will and to live a life free from unnecessary stress, amen.


Truth for Life; Alistair Begg – Thinking Deeply for God’s Sake

Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.

2 Timothy 2:7

It is not unusual—in fact, it’s quite common—for Christian faith to be regarded as a kind of illogical belief in improbable events. For some, faith is seen as a crutch to prop up less rational people as they navigate life’s challenges. Such critics may be surprised to learn that in reality, Christianity calls its followers not to neglect their minds but to critically engage them.

When we read the Bible, we discover that it never invites us simply to feel things; it never attempts merely to sweep us up in an emotional surge. God never once asks for or endorses the disengagement of our thinking processes. Instead, God’s word repeatedly shows us that Christianity is actually a call to think rightly and deeply about God, His world, and our place in it.

When the apostle Paul addressed the Ephesians, we read that he was “reasoning daily in the hall of Tyrannus,” which was likely a school for philosophy or rhetoric (Acts 19:9). Paul wasn’t just singing songs or attempting to stir up some emotional experience. No, he essentially said, Citizens of Ephesus, I want you to think and reason with me today. In Thessalonica, too, Acts tells us that Paul “reasoned” with the people, “explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead” (17:2-3). The book of Isaiah begins with a similar call to think earnestly: “Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD” (Isaiah 1:18).

This exhortation to think and reason isn’t just for proclaiming the gospel but for growth in Christian maturity too. Writing to the Corinthians, Paul said, “Brothers, do not be children in your thinking” (1 Corinthians 14:20). He wanted the church to think intently and intensely about the issues they were facing. Paul was even more direct when he wrote to Timothy: “Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.” We do need God’s Spirit to be at work in order to think rightly (Luke 24:45; 1 Corinthians 12:3), for our intellects are as affected by sin as every other part of ourselves (Ephesians 4:17). But it is as we expend mental energy to consider the wisdom of the Scriptures that God will give us greater and greater understanding.

To follow Christ, then, is not to take a step of blind faith into the darkness but to have your eyes opened to the light of rigorous truth. It will take a lifetime—and more!—to unearth the riches of the truth you encounter in God’s word about His Son, but one thing is sure: today, as every day, God wants you to love Him and honor Him with all your mind.

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

Psalm 1

Topics: Apologetics Christian Thinking Truth

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


Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – God Won’t Let Sin Make Us Happy

“The hope of the righteous shall be gladness: but the expectation of the wicked shall perish.” (Proverbs 10:28)

Jamie and Uncle Mike climbed into the big red Ford F150. The tackleboxes were between them on the seat. As Uncle Mike drove them to the lot on the lake where their favorite fishing alcove was, Jamie opened up one of the tackleboxes to take a look at the lures. There were all kinds, some of them knobby or slimy, some feathery, some glossy. And all of them were colorful! Jamie especially liked the brand new jitterbugs Uncle Mike had bought down in Florida last month. As the truck rumbled to a stop in the gravel by the boat ramp, Jamie had a bright idea. While Uncle Mike got busy cranking down the fishing boat, Jamie got busy picking out the fanciest, smoothest, reddest (because red was his favorite color) jitterbug for himself. Without a sound, Jamie shoved the lure in his jeans pocket and went out to help Uncle Mike put the gear in the boat.

All morning, they shared the tackle, and Uncle Mike never seemed to realize that the red jitterbug was gone from the box. They caught a couple white bass but threw them back in the lake before heading back to Uncle Mike’s cabin for lunch. They were laughing about something as they jumped back into the truck, and Jamie sat down hard. Every fish in the lake and every bird in the sky probably heard the scream that came out of Jamie’s mouth a second later. His fingers got all bloody as he pulled and tore at his pants pocket to get the hooks of the stolen red jitterbug out. Instead of going to lunch, they had to get Jamie to the hospital for a tetanus shot and for a couple of stitches where he had sat down on the lure.

Sometimes sin seems so harmless and inviting. We go after things we want, in spite of warnings and danger. We fall for temptations, just like unsuspecting fish that go hungrily after bait, even though the bait hides a hook. Jamie was tempted to steal Uncle Mike’s red jitterbug lure because it was shiny and colorful and something he wanted to have just for himself. Was it worth it in the end, though? Jamie’s plan brought him a lot more hurt than happiness. Not only did he suffer physical pain and a lot of embarrassment, but his actions also disappointed his Uncle Mike and spoiled the whole fishing trip.

Jamie had high hopes of being the owner of a glossy red jitterbug without paying for it. But he didn’t get away with it. The Bible teaches that God is holy. Not only is it right to obey His Law, but it is also better for us! God is the only Source of true, lasting joy. In His grace, He teaches us (sometimes painfully) that nothing else, especially not sin, can satisfy us. Our hopes and expectations should be in Him.

Only God can satisfy the desires of our hearts.

My Response:
» Have I been fooling myself that something or someone can make me happier than being right with God?
» Why does sin sometimes “look good” to me?
» How can remembering that my hope is in God help me as I fight against temptations to sin?

Denison Forum – Transgender club typifies “the enduring strength of San Francisco”

Elon Musk recently tweeted, “Violent crime in SF is horrific.” A responding headline in the Sunday Los Angeles Times caught my eye: “Sorry, San Francisco is not the crime-ridden hellhole the far right claims it is.” The reason, we’re told, is typified by an “iconic transgender cabaret” named AsiaSF.

The writer admits that San Francisco is plagued by what she calls its “tech bust,” “crisis of addiction,” “anti-Asian hate crimes,” and overall lack of safety. However, she cites one of the owners of AsiaSF, who calls San Francisco “a beacon of hope for so many people.” In his view, “No matter who you are, you have to find your truth and live your truth.”

The author responds: “And that is the enduring strength of San Francisco.”

What “very happy” people have in common

Reading the Times article left me with great sadness, not only for so many deceived people in San Francisco but also for the degree to which the writer speaks for millions of others across our nation.

I would think more people would connect the cultural dots: in the years since our society has decided that all truth is “your truth,” the values of patriotism, religion, and community involvement have plummeted. Meanwhile, the percentage of Americans who say they are “not too happy” has more than doubled, while the percentage who say they are “very happy” has fallen by more than half to a mere 12 percent, by far the lowest percentage in the five decades the poll has been conducted.

When asked about their values, “very happy” Americans cite belief in marriage and community involvement. And 68 percent of them point to belief in God (contrasted with 42 percent of those who say they are “not happy”).

My first response upon reading the report was to claim vindication for faith in a culture that increasingly views religion as irrelevant, bigoted, and dangerous. But upon reflection, I realized there’s an urgent issue here we need to discuss, a fact about religion that our society completely misunderstands.

Aspirin won’t cure a broken leg

I’m glad “very happy” people consider “belief in God” to be “very important” to them. Here’s the problem: our pluralistic culture thinks all such beliefs are the same, just “different roads up the same mountain.”

But religions are not all the same any more than medicines are all the same. Aspirin for a headache won’t cure a broken leg. When Islam’s holy book rejects the Trinity (Quran 4:171) while the Bible consistently teaches this doctrine (cf. Matthew 28:192 Corinthians 13:14), they are clearly not teaching the same truth.

Furthermore, belief in God by itself will not change us or our broken world: “Even the demons believe—and shudder!” (James 2:19). In recent years, religion has brought us horrific clergy abuse scandals. Denominational internecine fights have dominated headlines with conflicts over partisan politics, theological controversies, and church property. Evangelicals are stigmatized as homophobic and Trumpist; mainstream denominations are labeled wokeist and liberal.

Clearly, belief in God is not enough. The Greco-Roman world was highly religious, as Paul noted (Acts 17:22). But they treated women as possessions, threw unwanted babies out with the trash, and engaged in sexual activities too horrific for me to describe here.

“By my God I can leap over a wall”

By contrast, Psalm 18 models transforming faith in the one true God. Here David proclaims: “The Lᴏʀᴅ is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold” (v. 2). Note the eight times he calls God not “the” God or even “our” God but “my” God.

Consequently, he can pray, “It is you who light my lamp; the Lᴏʀᴅ my God lightens my darkness. For by you I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall” (vv. 28–29). He therefore asks, “Who is God, but the Lᴏʀᴅ? And who is a rock, except our God?” (v. 31).

Now you and I have a choice to make. We can believe in a generic God and think that because we are religious, we have all of God we need. Or we can follow David’s example by making God our “rock” in every moment of every day as we “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

How do we do this without being monks in a monastery?

Moving to a “God-centered dialogue”

I found help and hope in a reflection by Henri Nouwen that begins in a surprising way: “To pray, I think, does not primarily mean to think about God in contrast to thinking about other things, or to spend time with God instead of spending time with other people.” This is precisely what many of us think praying does mean.

But Nouwen notes, “As soon as we begin to divide our thoughts into thoughts about God and thoughts about people and events, we remove God from our daily life and put him in a pious little niche where we can think pious thoughts and experience pious feelings.”

Nouwen offers us a better way: “Although it is important and even indispensable for the spiritual life to set apart time for God and God alone, prayer can eventually become unceasing prayer when all our thoughts beautiful and ugly, high and low, prideful and shameful, sorrowful and joyful can be thought in the presence of God.”

As a result, “We convert our unceasing thinking into unceasing prayer when we move from a self-centered monologue to a God-centered dialogue. This requires that we turn all our thoughts into conversation. The main question, therefore, is not so much what we think, but to whom we present our thoughts.”

Will you live in a monologue with yourself or a dialogue with God today?

Denison Forum

Hagee Ministries; John Hagee –  Daily Devotion

Exodus 40:21

And he [Moses] brought the ark into the tabernacle, hung up the veil of the covering, and partitioned off the ark of the Testimony, as the Lord had commanded Moses.

Sin separates us from God. It comes between us and cuts off the blessings of God in our lives. Scripture details God’s holiness and His zero tolerance for sin. Even though our culture has become comfortable with sin, God has not. Without grace and mercy, His holiness would consume us.

In the book of Exodus, God told Moses that He wanted to dwell with, to tabernacle with the children of Israel. However, the sin issue had to be addressed. He commanded Moses to create a barrier, a veil, in the Tabernacle. He dwelt between the cherubim above the Ark of the Covenant behind the curtain in the Holy of Holies. The priests and the people lived on the other side of the curtain because if they approached God in their sin, His holiness would destroy them.

This was no ordinary curtain. God gave specific design instructions to Moses. Bible scholars say the veil was 50 feet wide and 30 feet high, made of fine linen with blue, purple, and scarlet yarn. It was so heavy that it took 300 priests (150 to the right and 150 to the left) to pull it back for the high priest to enter through the middle. To raise and lower it, 150 oxen were used to pull it into place. It was comprised of 200 embroidered squares that, when put together, displayed beautiful gold cherubim.

In the Old Testament, forgiveness was not a simple matter of confession. A significant amount of effort had to be extended. On the Day of Atonement, the High Priest would enter the Holy of Holies to atone for all the sins of Israel for the year. Bearing the sacrifice, he went in with bells around the hem of his robe and a rope around his ankle. If the bells ceased to ring, the priests would use the rope to pull out his body. The sacrifice was unacceptable. This was serious business.

When Jesus died on the Cross, Hebrews 9 tells us that He, as our perfect High Priest, entered the heavenly Tabernacle with His own Blood to make atonement once and for all for all of us. As Jesus breathed His last, God ripped the Temple veil from top to bottom (Mark 15:38).

His body was torn on the Cross, His Blood was shed, and we now have bold access to the throne of grace where we can obtain mercy (Hebrews 4:16). No ordinary Savior became no ordinary sacrifice to tear through no ordinary curtain.


Heavenly Father, the perfection of Your plan amazes me. Thank You for the shed blood of Jesus, for His body that was torn to give us free access to Your throne of grace. Through the name of Jesus…amen.

Today’s Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

Judges 2:10-3:31

New Testament 

Luke 22:14-34

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 92:1-93:5

Proverbs 14:1-2


Turning Point; David Jeremiah – Not Exactly Sharpies…

The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.
Proverbs 15:3

 Recommended Reading: 2 Chronicles 16:7-9

A number of years ago, two men in Iowa tried to disguise themselves before committing a robbery. They didn’t use ski masks or stockings. No, their hapless plan was to draw beards and masks on their faces using a black marker. No one was fooled, and their mug shots sent the police and public into hysterics.[1]

You might say that guilt was written all over their faces.

We can never disguise ourselves from God or hide our behavior from Him. Hebrews 4:13 says, “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” Jeremiah 16:17 says, “For My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from My face, nor is their iniquity hidden from My eyes.”

We can’t hide from God; He is everywhere! But for us, this is a cause of restraint, for the knowledge that God is watching us can help us resist temptation, and for rejoicing, for we are never out of His sight for a moment.

You just can’t hide from God. And that’s a good thing. Because God isn’t just watching you; He’s watching over you.
Louie Giglio

[1] Mallory Simon, “They Make Their Mark in Mug Shot History,” CNN, October 30, 2009.


Harvest Ministries; Greg Laurie – Pick Up Your Sword

 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 

—Ephesians 6:17


Ephesians 6:17 

Before I became a Christian, I read some of the Bible, but it seemed largely meaningless. After I became a Christian, however, the Bible came alive to me.

I remember reading it and understanding it for the first time. It changed my life as I discovered new principles every day for living the Christian life.

When the apostle Paul outlined God’s armor in Ephesians 6, the only piece he listed that is both defensive and offensive is the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God (see Ephesians 6:17). With the sword we can block attacks, but we can strike with it as well.

The Holy Spirit inspired the Bible and illuminates the Scriptures for us. And the Holy Spirit enables us to know God’s Word, remember verses we’ve studied, and use them appropriately.

Jesus modeled this for us during His temptation in the wilderness. He responded to each temptation by quoting the Scriptures. He effectively deflected temptation using the sword of the Spirit.

Sadly, a lot of believers have all their spiritual armor in place but never use the sword of the Spirit. They talk about it. They study it. But they never actually use it in spiritual battle.

Meanwhile, the devil knows all too well the power and authority of the Bible, and he will try to keep Christians from it at all costs. He fears the sword. He knows the value of it.

What shape is your sword in? Is it polished from daily use and sharpened on the anvil of experience as you apply and obey its truth in your life? Or, is it rusty from a lack of preparation and dulled by disobedience?

If we neglect Bible study, our spiritual life ultimately will unravel. Everything we need to know about God is found in His Word. So, let’s follow the example of Jesus and use it.

Our Daily Bread — Future Faithfulness

Bible in a Year:

I will give them all the prosperity I have promised them.

Jeremiah 32:42

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

Jeremiah 32:37–44

Sara lost her mother when she was just fourteen years old. She and her siblings lost their house soon after and became homeless. Years later, Sara wanted to provide her future children with an inheritance that could be passed down from generation to generation. She worked hard to purchase a house, giving her family the stable home she never had.

Investing in a home for future generations is an act of faith toward a future you don’t yet see. God told the prophet Jeremiah to purchase land just before the violent siege of Jerusalem by the Babylonians (Jeremiah 32:6–12). To the prophet, God’s instructions didn’t make a lot of sense. Soon all their property and belongings would be confiscated.

But God gave Jeremiah this promise: “As I have brought all this great calamity on this people, so I will give them all the prosperity I have promised them” (v. 42). The prophet’s investment in property was a physical sign of God’s faithfulness to someday restore the Israelites to their homeland. Even in the midst of a terrible attack, God promised His people that peace would come again—homes and property would be bought and sold again (vv. 43–44).

Today we can put our trust in God’s faithfulness and choose to “invest” in faith. Although we may not see an earthly restoration of every situation, we have the assurance that He’ll someday make everything right.

By:  Karen Pimpo

Reflect & Pray

What causes you to lose sight of God’s faithfulness? How can you “invest” in light of the restoration He promises?

Dear God, help me to invest today for the future I can’t yet see.


Grace to You; John MacArthur – Entering the Kingdom

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matt. 5:8).

There are basically only two kinds of religion in the world: those based on human achievement and those based on divine accomplishment.

Religion comes in many forms. Almost every conceivable belief or behavior has been incorporated into some religious system at some point in time. But really there are only two kinds of religion: one says you can earn your way to heaven; the other says you must trust in Jesus Christ alone. One is the religion of human achievement; the other is the religion of divine accomplishment.

Those who rely on their achievements tend to compare themselves to others. But that’s a relative, self- justifying standard because you can always find someone worse than yourself to base the comparison on.

Jesus eliminated all human standards when He said, “You are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matt. 5:48). Even the Jewish religious leaders, who were generally thought to be the epitome of righteousness, didn’t qualify according to that standard. In fact, Jesus told the people that their righteousness had to exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees if they wanted to enter heaven (Matt. 5:20). That must have shocked them, but Jesus wasn’t speaking of conformity to external religious ceremonies. He was calling for pure hearts.

God doesn’t compare you to liars, thieves, cheaters, child abusers, or murderers. He compares you to Himself. His absolute holy character is the standard by which He measures your suitability for heaven. Apart from Christ, everyone fails that standard because “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). But the glorious truth of salvation is that Jesus Christ came to earth to purify our hearts. He took our sin upon Himself, paid its penalty, then bestowed His own righteousness upon us (Rom. 4:24). He keeps us pure by continually cleansing our sin and empowering us to do His will.

Your faith in Christ—not your personal achievements—is what makes you pure. Let that truth bring joy to your heart and praise to your lips!

Suggestions for Prayer

  • Thank the Lord for accomplishing salvation on your behalf and for granting you saving faith.
  • Pray that your thoughts and actions today will evidence a pure heart.

For Further Study

Read Psalm 24:1-5 and Ezekiel 36:25-29.

  • Who is acceptable to God?
  • How does God purify the hearts of His people?

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur


Joyce Meyer – Success Starts with Your Thoughts

Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it.

— Mark 11:13-14 (NIV)

One of the Bible stories that can be confusing to people is the story of the fig tree. They wonder why Jesus cursed it to the point that it withered and dried up. I think the reason is simple: It wasn’t doing what God designed it to do. Because it had leaves, it should have had fruit too.

The day after Jesus cursed the tree, He and His disciples passed it again, and the disciples were shocked to see that it had died. Seeing their shock, Jesus told them, Have faith in God (Mark 11:22 NIV). He then went on in Mark 11:23–24 to talk about the sheer power of faith.

As believers, we can choose to respond to what God says the way the disciples responded when Jesus spoke to the fig tree, and we can be surprised when His Word actually comes to pass. Or we can be filled with faith. When we read God’s Word or hear His voice, we can immediately begin expecting it to happen.

Fill your mind today with thoughts of faith and confidence in God, not with thoughts of doubting Him, questioning Him, or wondering if He means what He says.

Believe God’s Word and keep believing it until you see Him fulfill His promises.

Prayer of the Day: Father, help me to trust in Your promises and never be surprised when You fulfill them. Help me live with eager anticipation of Your movements and unwavering confidence in Your faithfulness. I pray this in Jesus’ name, amen.


Truth for Life; Alistair Begg – An Invitation to Wisdom

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

James 1:5

“Wisdom” has fallen rather out of fashion. Did you encounter the word with any frequency over the past week or so? Most likely, you didn’t read it in any articles or hear about it from schoolteachers. Wisdom has become almost an old-fashioned word, neglected in favor of terms like insight, information, and intelligence. But none of these words, individually or combined, still do not add up to wisdom.

Wisdom is not mental; it is moral. It is knowing how to live God’s way in God’s world and acting on that. Jesus memorably talked about wisdom in terms of the wise and the foolish builders (Luke 6:46-49). The wise man built his house upon the rock, and the waves came tumbling round, and the house stood firm. The foolish man built his house upon the sand, and it collapsed. The difference between the two types of people this story represents is that while both hear Jesus’ words, only the wise put them into practice, building their lives upon them, allowing their decisions to be directed and their desires to be shaped by what He says.

By nature, we lack such wisdom. But the invitation to wisdom in this verse from James is gracious and inclusive. To accept it, we first must recognize our need of wisdom; humility is always wisdom’s precursor (Proverbs 1:7). Once we acknowledge that need, James then encourages us to simply ask God, who abides in faithfulness and provides “every good gift and every perfect gift” (James 1:17). Jesus has likewise told us, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8).

If we come to God sincerely, He promises to give His wisdom generously without making us feel guilty or foolish. We often repeat our requests and concerns because the trials are real and the hills are steep, but God is not annoyed or dismissive. He is eager to help!

James understood that through life’s joys and sorrows we may be tempted to think differently than from God’s perspective. With wisdom, though, we are able to act in the light of God’s revelation of Himself, walking through life with sure footsteps as we seek to obey His commands and trust that He will be guiding our steps. Through His wisdom, you can act simply and properly, with thankfulness that God is so generous and gracious. All you need do is to accept that you need it and to ask for it—and then get on with your day, secure in the knowledge that, once you’ve asked, “it will be given” to 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

Proverbs 1:1-8

Topics: God’s Word Humility Wisdom

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


Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – God Wants Us to Love His Word

“But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law doth he meditate day and night.” (Psalm 1:2)

Jared had never been good at memorizing. He had trouble remembering what order to write the letters in the words on his spelling tests. Learning the names of the presidents was the hardest thing about fifth grade for him. But it was summer now, and the only memory project he had was the verse list for Bible Club. He had worked hard, and he knew three verses perfectly.

Now he stood in line and rehearsed them in his head. He was afraid that his mind would go blank when it was his turn to recite. So he thought about what the verses meant, as his mother had taught him. He thought about the promise that the Lord would never leave him nor forsake him. He remembered that God gives grace to those who are humble. “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me,” he whispered to himself.

As he meditated on the verses, the Lord calmed his heart. When it was his turn to recite, he was able to say them with only one help from the teacher. The girl next in line rattled off twelve verses perfectly, but Jared did not feel put down. He was grateful for the truths he was learning about God.

God does not want us to be satisfied with merely collecting facts about Him and repeating words we have memorized. He wants us to delight in the things He has told us about Himself. Thinking on His truth makes us happy Christians.

“My meditation of Him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the Lord.” (Psalm 104:34)

God wants us to enjoy His Word, not just study it because we feel like we have to.

My Response:
» Do I remember God’s Word throughout the day?
» Is it changing the way I think, feel, and act?

Denison Forum – Boston Marathon bombing victim: “It changed me for the better”

Kenyan runners Evans Chebet and Hellen Obiri won the Boston Marathon yesterday. Ever since the bombing in 2013, the race has taken on an aura of grief and fear along with accomplishment and celebration. For two brothers, the world’s oldest marathon is all of the above. J. P. and Paul Norden each lost a leg in the bombings and now utilize a prosthetic leg. As a result, their family started a foundation, A Leg Forever, which so far has helped sixty people who’ve lost limbs pay for prosthetics, wheelchairs, and bedside care.

Speaking of the bombing, J. P. says, “In a lot of ways, it changed me for the better.” Their mother says of her sons, “Nothing stops them. I’m in awe all the time. ‘Cause I’m still angry, I still get sad sometimes for them, but nothing holds them back.”

“Either weapons or tools”

The Norden brothers typify this fact: most things, events, and experiences can be used for bad or for good. The terrorists who attacked the Boston Marathon had no idea their horrific crime would lead to good for so many who need what A Leg Forever provides. It is far easier to face challenges if we trust that they are being used for a greater purpose.

As New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman points out in his fascinating recent article, “America, China and a Crisis of Trust,” this is a principle of enormous geopolitical significance.

Friedman makes the foundational point that digital services are “dual use”—they can be both a weapon and a tool. He explains: “In the Cold War it was relatively easy to say that this fighter jet is a weapon and that that phone is a tool. But when we install the ability to sense, digitize, connect, process, learn, share, and act into more and more things—from your GPS-enabled phone to your car to your toaster to your favorite app—they all become dual use, either weapons or tools depending on who controls the software running them and who owns the data that they spin off.”

As a result, “Today, it’s just a few lines of code that separate autonomous cars from autonomous weapons. And, as we’ve seen in Ukraine, a smartphone can be used by Grandma to call the grandkids or to call a Ukrainian rocket-launching unit and give it the GPS coordinates of a Russian tank in her backyard.”

“The single most important competitive advantage”

This fact is especially germane to America’s relationship with the People’s Republic of China. There was a time when China sold us primarily what Friedman calls “shallow goods”—shoes, socks, shirts, and solar panels. Now it is selling us “deep goods”—software, microchips, smartphones, robots, and other goods that go deep into our economic and technological systems and are dual use.

Here’s the point: America doesn’t have enough trust in China to buy its “deep goods.” We purchase microchips instead from Taiwan, where 90 percent of the world’s most advanced logic chips are manufactured.

The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is a foundry, meaning it takes the designs of the most advanced computer companies in the world and turns them into chips that perform different processing functions. Their business model is simple: TSMC makes a solemn oath to its customers never to compete against them by designing its own chips and never to share the designs of one of its customers with another. Their customers trust them because they know that TSMC’s business depends on keeping their trust.

By contrast, China is pursuing a strategy of global competition and dominance over the US and the West. Its failure of transparency with the origins of COVID-19, its crackdown on democracy in Hong Kong and on the Uyghur Muslim minority in Xinjiang, its aggressive claims to the South China Sea, its support for Vladimir Putin, and its increasing threats toward Taiwan all exacerbate the failure of trust that exists between China and the West.

For example, US law enforcement officers arrested two New York residents yesterday for allegedly operating a Chinese “secret police station” to target Chinese dissidents now living in America. And the Chinese military recently rehearsed “encircling” Taiwan after the US House Speaker visited the island.

As Friedman notes, “Establishing and maintaining trust is now the single most important competitive advantage any country or company can have. And Beijing is failing in that endeavor.” He quotes one of American statesman George Shultz’s cardinal rules of diplomacy and life: “Trust is the coin of the realm.”

My experience in Beijing

Friedman’s perceptive analysis demonstrates one of the reasons the gospel is so vital to human flourishing: only Jesus teaches selfless character and then empowers Christians to fulfill what he teaches.

I was invited several years ago to deliver lectures on ethics to a group of business leaders in Beijing. I focused on the fact that sacrificial integrity is foundational to an economy based on consumption. If producers do not trust their employees to do what they are paid to do, production falters. Conversely, if consumers do not trust that products will perform as advertised, consumption falters. A culture based on atheistic communism has no ideological commitment to sacrificial integrity and no power by which to effect such a commitment if it were to exist.

By contrast, Christians are taught to “clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another” (1 Peter 5:5) and to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39). Then we are called to “be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18) so he can produce his “fruit” in our lives: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22–23).

Imagine the difference if everyone exhibited such “fruit” in their business relations. This is what the Spirit of Christ can do in everyone who follows Christ as Lord. This is what both China and the US need if they are to flourish in a trust-based global economy. This is why a true spiritual awakening is our only hope for the future we long to experience.

If you believe that Jesus redeems all he allows, you will unconditionally trust his word and others will be drawn to the Christ they see in you. So, when last did you pay a significant price to trust and follow Jesus? Are you willing to pay such a price today?

In other words, is trust the coin of your realm?

Denison Forum

Hagee Ministries; John Hagee –  Daily Devotion

1 John 2:22-23

Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also

In today’s verse, the apostle John has harsh words for anyone who denies the Father and the Son, for anyone who rejects Jesus as the Christ. He declares that person antichrist – not the Antichrist, as the man who will rise up against God in Revelation – but one who exhibits a spirit that rejects God and His plan. Those who are not for Christ have pitted themselves against Him in an antichrist attitude (Matthew 12:30).

John goes on to say that the spirit of the Antichrist already abounds in the world around us (I John 4:2-3). Most of us would never blatantly deny Jesus, but can an antichrist attitude subtly invade our thoughts and the manner in which we live our lives?

When we refuse to read the Word of God to pick up the latest bestseller instead, what does this omission say? When we reject Jesus’ admonition to give and hoard every resource as if it were ours and not His, where have we placed our trust? When the Bible instructs us to pray without ceasing, and we fly through our days without giving Him a thought, how deep is this relationship that we claim? When we stand against His instructions, when we deny what He requests, isn’t this, in essence, against Christ? When we know right, and we do not choose to do right, it is antichrist.

We can easily point an accusing finger at the spirit of Antichrist in the culture all around us, but every time we choose to fall back on comfort rather than take a stand for conviction, the antichrist attitude wins. Every time we excuse corruption rather than speak against it, every time we soften the message of the Gospel rather than proclaim it unashamedly, antichrist wins. When we hide His light, when we do not stand in the day of evil, when we are more concerned with public opinion than honoring God, we bow to the antichrist attitude.

If we are for Him, if we are on His side, let us cast off our lukewarm lives. Let us fully embrace all that He requires. Let us deny ourselves, choose to sacrifice our will for His, and embrace the responsibilities, as well as the rights, of a life hidden in Christ. We are for Him.


Dear heavenly Father, forgive me for the subtle ways that I have allowed an antichrist attitude to grow in me. Expel that spirit from my thoughts – transform my mind. Expel it from my actions – conform me to Your will. Give me strength to stand against it and to always stand firmly in You and for You. In the name of Jesus…amen.

Today’s Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

Joshua 16:1-18:28

New Testament 

Luke 19:1-27

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 87:1-7

Proverbs 13:11


Turning Point; David Jeremiah – He Sees Everything

I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and You forgave the iniquity of my sin.
Psalm 32:5

 Recommended Reading: John 6:61-64

Do ostriches really bury their heads in the sand to “hide” from predators—as if closing their eyes will make them invisible? No—they lay their eggs in the sand and occasionally stick their heads in to check on and rotate the eggs until they hatch. Even ostriches know they can’t hide from reality.

We sometimes think God can’t see us or our sin if we don’t encounter Him in prayer or worship. Like David of old, we avoid Him and our sin until our guilt becomes too much to bear (Psalm 32). But we can’t hide from God. He is all-seeing and all-knowing; He knows what is in the heart of man (John 2:25). So we may as well raise our eyes and meet His in honest confession and agree with Him about our sin. That’s what confession means—“to say the same as; to agree.” Thankfully, our sins have been forgiven (2 Corinthians 5:21). God asks only that we come to Him and receive His grace.

If there is something you need to confess to God, do it today and be forgiven (1 John 1:9).

We are not finished with the need of forgiveness when we become Christians.
G. B. Duncan


Harvest Ministries; Greg Laurie – An Essential for Spiritual Survival

 Then the angel showed me Jeshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD. The Accuser, Satan, was there at the angel’s right hand, making accusations against Jeshua. 

—Zechariah 3:1


Zechariah 3:1 

On more than one occasion, the Bible describes Satan as an accuser.

We see this illustrated in the third chapter of Zechariah. The setting is a heavenly courtroom, God is the judge, and Jeshua, the high priest, is the defendant. Meanwhile, Satan is the prosecutor, trying to prove Jeshua guilty.

But then God says, “I, the Lord, reject your accusations, Satan. Yes, the Lord, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebukes you. This man is like a burning stick that has been snatched from the fire” (Zechariah 3:2 NLT).

Satan also will accuse us before God when we have sinned. That is where the breastplate of righteousness comes in. In his letter to the Christians in Ephesus, the apostle Paul wrote, “Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness” (Ephesians 6:14 NLT).

Paul was alluding to the armor that Roman soldiers wore. The breastplate, or “body armor,” was a crucial element of the armor, protecting the soldier’s vital organs. In the same way, the “body armor of God’s righteousness” is essential for our spiritual survival. It speaks of what God has done for us through Jesus Christ.

God has saved us. He justified us. And He forgave all the sins that we have committed. He erased them and washed them away. Then He placed His righteousness into our account. God gives this righteousness to us. It isn’t based on what we do for Him.

The devil, however, has declared war on followers of Christ. He wants to keep us away from God. First, he tempts us and traps us. Then he condemns us and accuses us before God. He wants to make disobedient Christians doubly defeated.

Yet we are righteous in Jesus Christ through His finished work for us on the cross. So put on the “body armor of God’s righteousness”—and keep it there.

Our Daily Bread — Remembering to Praise

Bible in a Year:

I will tell of the kindnesses of the Lord.

Isaiah 63:7

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

Isaiah 63:7–9

When our congregation built our first building, people wrote thankful reminders on the wall studs and concrete floors before the interior of the building was finished. Pull back the drywall from the studs and you’ll find them there. Verse after verse from Scripture, written beside prayers of praise like “You are so good!” We left them there as a witness to future generations that regardless of our challenges, God had been kind and taken care of us.

We need to remember what God has done for us and tell others about it. Isaiah exemplified this when he wrote, “I will tell of the kindnesses of the Lord, the deeds for which he is to be praised, according to all the Lord has done for us” (Isaiah 63:7). Later, the prophet also recounts God’s compassion for His people throughout history, even telling how “in all their distress he too was distressed” (v. 9). But if you keep reading the chapter, you’ll notice Israel is again in a time of trouble, and the prophet longs for God’s intervention.

Remembering God’s past kindnesses helps when times are hard. Challenging seasons come and go, but His faithful character never changes. As we turn to Him with grateful hearts in remembrance of all He’s done, we discover afresh that He’s always worthy of our praise.

By:  James Banks

Reflect & Pray

What kindnesses has God shown you in the past? How does praising Him for them help you when you’re going through challenging times?

Father, You’re sovereign over all creation. I praise You because Your goodness doesn’t change, and You’re always with me.


Grace to You; John MacArthur – Supernatural Darkness

 “Now from the sixth hour darkness fell upon all the land until the ninth hour” (Matthew 27:45).

The darkness over the land while Jesus bore our sin was an indicator that the cross was a place of divine judgment.

The biblical phenomenon of light was not associated with Christ’s death. Instead, as today’s verse says, “Darkness fell upon all the land until the ninth hour [3:00 P.M.].”

Scripture says little about that darkness. Ancient historical reports mention an unusual, worldwide darkness that seemed to coincide with the date of Christ’s death. Astronomical records indicate that the sun and moon were too far apart that day for a normal solar eclipse. Therefore, the darkness had to be caused by God’s intervention.

But you may still ask, “Why did God intervene like this when Jesus died?” Again, sources outside Scripture provide a reasonable clue. For many years the Jewish rabbis taught that a darkening of the sun meant judgment from God for an especially heinous sin. Many passages in Scripture make the link between darkness and God’s judgment. Jesus spoke several times of divine judgment in terms of “outer darkness,” where “there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matt. 8:1222:1325:30).

In sending darkness over the whole earth for three hours, God presents us with an object lesson concerning His attitude on the day Jesus died. The darkness was God’s sign of judgment against mankind for the gross sin of rejecting and murdering His beloved Son. It is also a sign of God’s reaction to sin as a whole. Darkness is a graphic portrayal of the cross as the focal point of God’s wrath, a place of His immense judgment, where sin was poured out on His Son Jesus, our Savior. This twofold object lesson ought to be a constant, fresh reminder to us of how seriously God views sin and how vital it was that the Lord Jesus die on our behalf.

Suggestions for Prayer

  • Thank God that He can use aspects of nature to illustrate spiritual truth for our finite minds.
  • Pray that the Lord will never let you take for granted the awesome seriousness of the events at Calvary.

For Further Study

Read Exodus 10:12-29.

  • How did the plague of darkness differ from the plague of locusts?
  • What was Pharaoh’s ultimate response to these two plagues?
  • How does this preview the onlookers’ reaction to seeing darkness at the cross?

From Strength for Today by John MacArthur