Our Daily Bread — Tired Tents

Bible in a Year:

While we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened.

2 Corinthians 5:4

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

2 Corinthians 4:16–5:5

“The tent is tired!” Those were the words of my friend Paul, who pastors a church in Nairobi, Kenya. Since 2015, the congregation has worshiped in a tentlike structure. Now, Paul writes, “Our tent is worn out and it is leaking when it rains.”

My friend’s words about their tent’s structural weaknesses remind us of the apostle Paul’s words regarding the frailty of our human existence. “Outwardly we are wasting away . . . . While we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened” (2 Corinthians 4:165:4).

Though the awareness of our fragile human existence happens relatively early in life, we become more conscious of it as we age. Indeed, time picks our pockets. The vitality of youth surrenders reluctantly to the reality of aging (see Ecclesiastes 12:1–7). Our bodies—our tents—get tired.

But tired tents need not equate to tired trust. Hope and heart needn’t fade as we age. “Therefore we do not lose heart,” the apostle says (2 Corinthians 4:16). The One who has made our bodies has made Himself at home there through His Spirit. And when this body can no longer serve us, we’ll have a dwelling not subject to breaks and aches—we’ll “have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven” (5:1).

By:  Arthur Jackson

Reflect & Pray

How does it make you feel that Christ resides in you by His Spirit (5:5)? When you find yourself “groaning,” how does prayer help you?

Father, thank You for Your continual presence. When I’m physically uncomfortable, help me to trust You even as I anticipate an eternal dwelling that will last forever.


Grace to You; John MacArthur – Love of the Truth Brings Hatred

 “‘All these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me’” (John 15:21).

The world, in its general hatred of the truth and ignorance of God, will also hate believers.

The religious leaders of Jesus’ time hated Him intensely. If we are committed to following Him wholeheartedly today, we can’t expect to avoid persecution and hardship any more than He did. In John 15:20 our Lord tells us what to expect: “Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.”

If our perspective is right, however, this expectation should actually make us happy and even provide a certain sense of security. Receiving persecution from the world because we are Christ’s representatives means we have an opportunity to experience what Paul called “the fellowship of His sufferings” (Phil. 3:10). As one commentator has said, Christian suffering “is the very means God uses to transform us into the image of His Son.” Troubles and pains can be great reassurances that we have been united with Christ.

As we saw yesterday, it’s no surprise that the world hates us. It despises our general opposition to its system, but aside from that, the world hates believers simply because it doesn’t know God.

This basic ignorance of God usually appears in one of two ways. Either it shows up as apathy and religious superstition (Acts 17:22-23) or as more glaring actions and attitudes of moral and spiritual deviation (Romans 1:18—2:2). Whatever the case, people in the world are just doing what is natural for them because of their sin and depravity.

As a Christian, what should your response be? You should not be indifferent or accommodate the serious challenges you’ll face from the world. Instead, you ought to, by faith, realistically accept the truth of John 15:21, comfortably rest in the teaching of Philippians 3:10, and confidently seek to minister to the world “because the foolishness of God [the gospel] is wiser than men, and the weakness of God [the cross] is stronger than men” (1 Cor. 1:25).

Suggestions for Prayer

Ask the Lord to help you begin grasping what it means to partake in “the fellowship of His sufferings.”

For Further Study

Read Acts 5:17-42.

  • How is the world’s attitude toward the gospel displayed in this passage?
  • What did the apostles appeal to when faced with severe opposition?

From Strength for Today by John MacArthur


Joyce Meyer – Slow Down and Embrace Peace

He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside the quiet waters.

— Psalm 23:2 (NIV)

Simply reading about green pastures and quiet waters can give us a great sense of peace. I don’t know anyone who is not longing for more peace right now. Everywhere we look, we see news stories about unrest. We hear about friends or coworkers who have disagreements. We may even find ourselves in a conflict with someone or in some other situation that threatens to steal our peace. Or as is the case with many people, we may simply lead such a busy, stress-filled life that peace seems out of reach.

To have the peace God longs to give us and to experience His rest we must take time to be still. No one can lie down while they are constantly running—running to work, running to take children somewhere, running to the grocery store, running to care for elderly parents, running to meet a friend for coffee, running to get the house clean. We all have things we must and should take care of, so ask God to show you how to slow down and take time to be still and enjoy peace.

Prayer of the Day: Father, help me to stop running, to be still, and to enjoy the peace You long to give me, amen.


Truth for Life; Alistair Begg – God Can Handle Our Doubts

He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.

1 Corinthians 15:5-8

Have you ever felt a little shaky in your faith? Maybe while saying your prayers at night you’ve experienced the unwanted and unwelcome thought that you’re merely talking into the darkness. Or perhaps you get an uncomfortable feeling in the pit of your stomach as you wonder if the only reason why you are professing faith at all is because you’re just following the crowd on a Sunday.

1 Corinthians 15:5-8 was written to address these sorts of concerns and feelings. The apostle Paul refers us to the witnesses of Jesus’ real, physical appearances following His resurrection. Cephas (Peter), James, Paul, the apostles, and 500 others physically saw the risen Lord Jesus with their very own eyes. Paul points us to these eyewitnesses to help us see that their faith, and ours, rests on facts.

What facts? The fact of the empty tomb, for one; there has to be an explanation for it. There also has to be a reason for why the disciples changed from hiding in a house in Jerusalem for fear of the Jews (John 20:19) to standing on the streets of the same city and boldly proclaiming the resurrection of Jesus (Acts 2:14-40). And there has to be something that accounts for the existence of the church. The Scriptures are clear: the explanation is the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Through history, attempts to explain these realities on any basis other than the fact of the resurrected Christ have fallen flat.

The resurrection of the Son of God is the pivotal event of world history and the foundation stone of our faith, and Paul recognized that we need a reasonable basis to believe it. He names eyewitnesses so that when we examine the record of Scripture, even 2,000 years removed from the events it describes, we find that it was not, as skeptics claim, faith that concocted evidence for the resurrection, but rather it was the evidence of the resurrection that created faith.

So when you are feeling shaky in your faith, when you’re feeling a little unsettled, remember: there is a reasonable, historical basis to Christianity. God has poured out His Spirit and revealed His Word for your assurance. Pray that God will meet all your doubts with the gift of faith, and look to the resurrection, for there you will find your faith bolstered by fact and your confidence founded on reality.

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

1 Corinthians 15:14-28

Topics: Apologetics Christ’s Resurrection Doubt

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


Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – God Comforts Those Who Mourn

“Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4)

God used Mandy’s friend Crystal to teach her the meaning of this verse. Mandy was talking to Crystal on the phone one day, and she told Crystal a lie. Mandy lied because she cared more about pleasing Crystal than about pleasing God, and because she wanted to make herself look better than she was. As soon as the lie was out of her mouth, Mandy was shocked and sorry. But she did not tell Crystal she had lied. “What would she think of me if she knew?” Mandy thought. “She might not want to be my friend anymore. I’ll just confess my sin to God. That will be enough.”

But for a few days after that, Mandy was still miserable. She could not stop thinking about the lie. Finally, she wrote Crystal a note. She told Crystal about the lie and asked her to forgive her.

When Crystal got Mandy’s note, she went out of her way to come and find her. Mandy was so ashamed to face her that she began to cry. She felt that she did not deserve to have Crystal’s friendship anymore.

Mandy will never forget what Crystal did next. She put her arm around Mandy and told her she had forgiven her. Then she reached out and wiped away one of Mandy’s tears as it fell.

Have you sinned against God? Are you ashamed and sorry? Maybe it is a sin that you have committed many times before. Maybe you feel like you just cannot face God and ask His forgiveness yet again. What must He think of you?

When we come to God with a mournful, brokenhearted spirit about our sin, God’s response to us is just like Crystal’s to Mandy–and even more wonderful, because He is God. The Bible tells us that He will never turn away a broken and a contrite heart (Psalm 51:17). He will forgive us–every time we come. The blood of Jesus keeps on cleansing us from every sin (1 John 1:9). And someday, when we see God face to face, He will wipe away our tears forevermore (Revelation 21:4). That is how gracious He is.

God comforts and forgives those who are truly sorry for their sin.

My Response:
» When I sin against God, do I feel sorry and ashamed?
» Has my own attitude toward Jesus ever been rebellious?
» What do I do about my sin?

Denison Forum – Why is loneliness as dangerous as smoking?

According to a new report from the US Surgeon General’s office, lacking social connections “can increase the risk of premature death to levels comparable to smoking daily.” Loneliness increases the risk of premature death by nearly 30 percent and elevates our risk of stroke, heart disease, depression, anxiety, and dementia.

Technology is making this problem worse: people who use social media for two hours or more daily are more than twice as likely to report feeling isolated than those who are on such apps for less than thirty minutes a day.

“A reason for living and some hope”

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. (For an excellent resource, please see Dr. Lane Ogden’s “What does the Bible say about mental health” on our website.) As a result, we’ll see a plethora of information like the Surgeon General’s report in the coming days. In the midst of all the bad news, however, here’s some good news: according to the Wall Street Journal, America is seeing a “surprising surge of faith among young people.”

A recent survey found that about one-third of eighteen-to-twenty-five-year-olds say they believe in the existence of a higher power. This is more than the percentage who doubt such an existence and is up from about one-quarter in 2021. The Journal explains: “Young adults, theologians, and church leaders attribute the increase in part to the need for people to believe in something beyond themselves after three years of loss.”

An eighteen-year-old college student is typical of many: Believing in God “gives you a reason for living and some hope.”

However, in another new survey, only 31 percent of younger Americans said religion was very important to them, which was the lowest percentage of all adult age groups. Another study found that only 20 percent of this age group attend religious services monthly or more, down from 24 percent in 2019.

A warning from the “Godfather of AI”

When a driver stops using the fuel his car was designed to depend upon, he should not be surprised when his car stops running.

A recent Harvard poll found that 48 percent of Americans between the ages of eighteen and twenty-nine felt unsafe recently. Twenty-one percent say they’ve felt unsafe at school; 40 percent are concerned about being victims of gun violence or a mass shooting; 73 percent believe homelessness could happen to anyone; and 32 percent fear they could one day be homeless.

More signs of the times: There are twice as many security guards employed in the US compared with twenty years ago. Due to financial volatility such as the ongoing banking crisis, older adults are entering a “retirement minefield.” And an artificial intelligence pioneer often called “the Godfather of AI” is warning that AI technologies will upend the job market and could pose a threat to humanity.

Feeling fear in a fallen world is inevitable. Having no one to trust with our fears is not.

A science-based approach to mental health

As our society focuses on mental health this month, I’d like to offer a suggestion: spend some time each day thinking less about yourself as a creature and more time thinking about creation and the Creator.

New York Times opinion writer and Anglican priest Tish Harrison Warren writes that “we need to take up the task of embracing the goodness of the palpable, analog world, whether it be to make time for a hike or to notice the sweetness of gentle rain or to revel in the bitterness of good coffee or to listen to the laughter of children.”

She quotes priest, author, and chef Robert Farrar Capon, who claimed that “God is the biggest materialist there is.” Capon explained that since God created the material world, he must enjoy it even more than we do.

When we consult the field of epigenetics, we find physiological reasons why focusing on the beauty of creation and the glory of our Creator is good for our mental health. These scientists study changes in gene expression that do not alter the underlying DNA sequence. As a result, they report that our environment, lifestyle, and thoughts can lead to changes in our physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

For example, chronic stress and negative thoughts can lead to changes in gene expression associated with inflammation and an increase in chronic diseases. However, practices such as meditation, mindfulness, and positive thinking influence gene expression to promote relaxation, stress reduction, and improved immune function. Over time, focusing on positive aspirations can lead to tangible changes in our brains and, thus, our reality.

Why God became one of us

The magnificence of creation and the majesty of the Creator intersect most fully in the One who is “the image of the invisible God” by whom “all things were created” (Colossians 1:15–16). In Jesus, God became one of us so we could be one with God.

This is why, as we noted yesterday, a daily, transforming relationship with the living Lord Jesus is so vital for us. Such intimacy with Christ feeds our souls, strengthens our mental health, and empowers our cultural impact.

So, don’t settle for a religion about Jesus when you can have a personal relationship with him. Imagine yourself walking alongside him all through this day. Talk with him about the challenges and opportunities you encounter. Ask him to speak by his Spirit into your mind and spirit. Make it your first priority today to practice his presence.

I am convinced that if every Christ follower truly followed Christ, our lonely, fearful, dangerous world could not be the same.

Will you join me in testing my assertion today?

Denison Forum

Hagee Ministries; John Hagee –  Daily Devotion

Matthew 6:14-15

For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

One of the greatest barriers to receiving the healing of God in our lives is to harbor unforgiveness. The individual who holds an offense against another builds a barricade between himself and God.

The disciple, Peter, asked Jesus how many times he should forgive someone who had wronged him. Seven seemed a generous number! Jesus corrected him and upped the ante to seventy times seven. Essentially, Jesus said to forgive so often that it becomes a lifestyle. Forgive so many times that the practice becomes an ingrained habit.

We sometimes hold onto a long list of grievances against others. We believe that no one understands the harm they have done to us, the pain they have caused, the rejection they have inflicted, the burdens they have heaped upon us. Our Good Shepherd does. And still He urges us to forgive them and cast all of our cares upon Him (I Peter 5:7). He comprehends the weight of carrying around that unforgiveness which is why He wants us to let it go. As long as we hold that list so tightly, He cannot pour healing and blessing into our hands.

Jesus told the story of a servant who owed ten thousand talents — about 50 billion dollars in today’s terms — to his master. His master had every right to judge him, to sell him and all his family for recompense. However, when the servant begged the master to have mercy, not only did the master pardon him, but he forgave the debt entirely.

The servant went out and found a fellow servant who owed him fifteen dollars. He demanded immediate payment, and when the man could not pay, he had him thrown into debtor’s prison until he could pay back what he owed. When the master heard, he angrily reciprocated and threw the first servant into jail with the same sentence. Instead of two men going free, two people lived in bondage.

The King of Glory has forgiven us the debt of our sin. He paid the price to set us free when we had no ability to do so ourselves. How can we not forgive those who have offended us? Choose to forgive. Release the bitterness and the rage. Tear down the barricade between yourself and God to receive the healing you crave. When you set that person free, you open the door to your prison cell, too.


Heavenly Father, I never want any wall between us to cut off Your healing in my life. I choose to forgive those who have wounded me. In the same way You forgave me, I release them. Wash away the hurt, the anger, and the bitterness in me. Set me free! In Jesus’ name… Amen.

Today’s Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

Judges 17:1-18:31

New Testament 

John 3:1-22

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 104:1-24

Proverbs 14:20-21


Turning Point; David Jeremiah – By All Means!

I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
1 Corinthians 9:22

 Recommended Reading: 1 Corinthians 9:19-23

Danica McKellar, a star from The Wonder Years, recently used Instagram to surprise her fans with an announcement. After years of skepticism, she has embraced Jesus as her Savior. Her decision followed a conversation with a fellow actress who gave her a Bible and invited her to church. Though her spiritual journey is new, it’s already been spread to thousands.1

Like every other channel of human communication and technology, Satan wants to dominate our modern laptops and phones, but the followers of Christ are to use every means available to share the Gospel and encourage others with the power of Scripture.

Technology has allowed our world to become smaller, making it easier to share the Gospel with people who haven’t heard the Good News. Should we take advantage of new technology and use it to share the Gospel with others? By all means!

How beautiful upon the web are the thumbs of him who shares good news, who publishes the peace of God in Christ, who shares the good news of our happiness and joy in him, and who publishes in his feeds: “God reigns!”
Tony Reinke

1 Talia Wise, “‘Wonder Years’ Actress Closes 2022 Grateful for New Relationship With Jesus Christ: ‘It Feels Miraculous,’” CBN News, December 27, 2022.


Harvest Ministries; Greg Laurie – Growing More Like Christ

Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. 

—Ephesians 4:15


Ephesians 4:15 

After I accepted Christ on my high school campus, I could have so easily fallen through the cracks. But one day a guy named Mark, whom I had never met before, walked up to me and invited me to church. Basically, he discipled me.

He also invited me to his house, where I met his Christian parents. We had Bible studies together around the dinner table, and Mark helped me get through my early days as a follower of Jesus Christ. Soon I found myself doing the same for other new believers.

When Jesus walked our planet, He spent a lot of time with twelve handpicked disciples. And in Matthew 5 we find this interesting detail: “One day as he saw the crowds gathering, Jesus went up on the mountainside and sat down. His disciples gathered around him, and he began to teach them” (verses 1–2 NLT).

After this came the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus gave that message to His disciples who were gathered around Him. The point is that Jesus took time with them. They listened to Jesus and followed Him around.

Not everyone who claims to be a Christian is a disciple, but every Christian should want to be one. It doesn’t mean that you must be perfect. But you should want to be a growing disciple of Jesus.

Jesus commanded His followers to “go and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19–20). It takes one to make one. Discipleship is really about living the Christian life to its fullest.

Can you be there for someone else who is new in the faith? If you know someone who has recently accepted Christ, will you seek them out and invite them to church? Would you be willing to help them grow spiritually? That is what new believers need.