Our Daily Bread — Tell the Story

Bible in a Year:

We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us.

1 John 1:3

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

1 John 1:1–4

Robert Todd Lincoln, son of US president Abraham Lincoln, was present for three major events—the death of his own father as well as the assassinations of presidents James Garfield and William McKinley.

But consider that the apostle John was present at four of history’s most crucial events: the last supper of Jesus, Christ’s agony in Gethsemane, His crucifixion, and His resurrection. John knew that bearing witness to these events was the ultimate why behind his presence in these moments. In John 21:24, he wrote, “This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true.”

John reaffirmed this in his letter of 1 John. He wrote, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim” (1:1). John felt a compelling duty to share his eyewitness account of Jesus. Why? “We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard,” he said, “so that you also may have fellowship with us” (v. 3).

The events of our lives may be surprising or mundane, but in either case God is orchestrating them so we can bear witness to Him. As we rest in the grace and wisdom of Christ, may we speak for Him in even life’s surprising moments.

By:  Bill Crowder

Reflect & Pray

What are some of the more surprising aspects of your faith story? How will you share your story with someone who needs to hear of God’s love?

Jesus, please help me be sensitive to those times when I can share with others how much You love us.


Grace to You; John MacArthur – Entrusting All to God

“Therefore, let those also who suffer according to the will of God entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right” (1 Peter 4:19).

The final attitude we should have in facing trials and sufferings is that of entrusting ourselves to God.

Geoffrey Bull epitomizes the modern-day believer who entrusts his entire soul to God’s will in the middle of terrible suffering. Bull was punished with solitary confinement, brainwashing, many kinds of intimidation, and starvation during more than three years of imprisonment by the Communist Chinese forty years ago. During his affliction he prayed that God would help him remember Scriptures, realize His peace, and triumph over doubt, fear, loneliness, and fatigue. The final two lines of a poem he wrote summarize Bull’s complete trust in God’s plan and purpose:

And Thy kingdom, Gracious God,
Shall never pass away.

The term “entrust” is a banker’s expression meaning “to deposit for safekeeping.” Peter encourages all believers who experience trials and tribulations to give over their very lives (“souls”) to God’s care. The Lord is indeed “a faithful Creator” who made us. Therefore we can and should trust Him fully as the only one who is able to care for all our needs.

By this point Peter has assumed that his original readers, since many had endured persecution, knew what suffering was like. Therefore, he could also present the Lord as a sovereign God who could be trusted to do “what is right.” Because it is God’s will to allow sufferings and trials in the lives of all believers, it is only logical that Peter exhort us to entrust ourselves to Him during such times.

Peter’s instruction is also related to Romans 12:1, “I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual [or rational] service of worship.” Paul reminds us that it is much easier to react as we should to trials if we have already resolved, with God’s help, to entrust everything to Him. Then we can face with calm and confidence, rather than worry and fear, whatever God allows.

Suggestions for Prayer

Review your commitment to God, and ask Him to bring to mind anything that you need to entrust wholly to Him; then by faith take that step.

For Further Study

Psalm 25 describes David’s desire to trust in God. Read it and pick out several verses or a paragraph to meditate on.

From Strength for Today by John MacArthur 


Joyce Meyer – Getting Along with Difficult People

If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone

— Romans 12:18 (AMPC)

How do you react to people who are rude? Do you respond in love as the Word says we should, or do you join them in their ungodly behavior? I think there are a lot of rude and unpleasant people in the world today largely because of the stressful lives most people live.

We can be very thankful that we know the Word of God and have Him in our lives to help us and comfort us—to keep us from falling into the traps that stress can cause. But we must remember that a lot of people in the world who are difficult to get along with don’t have that. Jesus said that we have done nothing special if we treat people well who treat us well, but if we are kind to someone who would qualify as an enemy, then we are doing well (see Luke 6:32–35).

People are everywhere, and not all of them are pleasant. Will you act on the Word of God and love them for His sake?

Prayer of the Day: Father, when I am in a situation that requires me to deal with a hard-to-get-along-with person, let me pray for them rather than react to them emotionally. Thank You for giving me the grace to be kind to everyone—no matter how they act toward me.


Truth for Life; Alistair Begg – Put on Love

And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

Colossians 3:14

For quite some time now, Western culture has been enamored with the idea that love will solve all our problems. “All you need is love,” we sing.[1] “Love conquers all,” we say.[2] Now, there is some truth to that. God’s love could indeed fix quite literally everything if we all submitted ourselves to Him on His terms. But the problem is that by nature we do not submit to Him in this way; and, moreover, society at large tends to have a notion of what love is that bears little resemblance to real love as seen in and defined by its source—God Himself.

Often, what binds people together in “love” is shared interests or natural instincts. People who are like us or to whom we are attracted are those we instinctively are drawn toward and care for. In the church, however, our mutual love and affection is anchored in something outside of ourselves—namely, Jesus Christ. Ultimately, we are not bound together by some inherent characteristic or shared interest or even mutual attraction but by God, who has acted through Jesus Christ to tear down “the dividing wall of hostility” (Ephesians 2:14)—any barrier between people, such as race, class, gender, language, or nationality.

Despite what our culture desires, so long as we base our idea of love subjectively on whatever we choose and however we feel, a society defined by true love will remain an impossibility. Only an objective, unchanging love—the love of God for us in Christ—can bind “everything together in perfect harmony” (Colossians 3:14). Only the steadfast love of God for us, through His Son and by His Spirit, can fill us enough so that we actually love one another in the way He has intended us to from the beginning.

Without God’s love as their soil, the seeds of love we plant in this life can never grow and flourish to their fullest eternal potential. So, as you seek God and His truth today, ask Him to fill you with mercy, kindness, compassion, grace—and, yes, love! And make sure that what matters most to your heart is not how others feel about you, or how you feel about others, but how your Father feels about you because, by faith, you are united with His Son, the Lord Jesus. Knowing that “this is love … that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10, emphasis added)—knowing that you could not be more loved by God than you already are—is what both shows you how to love others and frees you from needing anything from them so that you are able simply to give to them. So, “put on love”; for your loving Father in heaven will be more than pleased to sustain you as you seek to love Him and others more and more.

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

Colossians 3:5-14

Topics: Jesus Christ Love of God Unity


1 John Lennon, “All You Need Is Love” (1967).

2 Virgil, Eclogues X.69.

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


Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – Whom Does God Count Worthy?

“Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power.” (2 Thessalonians 1:11)

How does one become “worthy” of God’s calling? Is your worth decided by whether or not you are part of a special group of really rich or smart or talented or good-looking people? Even if you were all those things, it does not seem like they would be important things in God’s eyes. What would make us worthy in His eyes? Whom does God count “worthy”?

To be “worthy” of anything to do with God sounds so much above us — and in a way it is! God is the One Who deserves all honor and glory. Without Him, we are nothing. Much like salvation and the way God continues to work in the lives of those He saves, becoming worthy is not something people ever deserve. Nobody is worthy of God’s calling, and it cannot be earned — just as we are not worthy of salvation. People are not worthy by themselves, and we cannot earn favor with God. No matter what you have done, if you are willing to trust and follow Christ, God counts you worthy to be saved from sin and to be given eternal life. It is not about you. It is about Christ. Because of His worthiness, God can count you worthy.

Your biggest sin is no match for God’s grace. God’s love will triumph over any and all sin to make a person worthy of His work and calling for their lives. Just as God can give a child faith, He can also make the worst criminals faithful, too. God is not limited by our sins. Nothing can stop Him. His grace, power and love are greater than all the sins ever committed. Christ died for all the sins of the world. Every revolting and heartwrenching thing you or anyone has ever done or thought about doing! He took them upon Himself so we would turn to him and be forgiven.

Do you feel worthy of God’s calling? Do you doubt that God could count you worthy? Remember that it is not what you have done, but what Christ has done, that allows you to receive God’s grace and mercy. If your heart is willing to listen to the calling God has for your life, pray to Him, and ask His help. He is worthy for you! His power is more than able to forgive the sins of one person. His power can forgive and sanctify “whosoever,” anyone in the world!

In God’s eyes, whether or not we are considered “worthy” depends on whether or not we are trusting and following Jesus Christ, Who is worthy forever.

My Response:
» Do I depend on myself to earn favor with God, or am I trusting in Christ’s righteousness instead?

Denison Forum – How to die like Tim Keller

Rev. Tim Keller’s death last Friday at the age of seventy-two made immediate headlines, and not just in the Christian world. A long retrospective in the New York Times was one of many tributes from secular outlets attesting to his cultural influence and legacy.

Keller was born on September 23, 1950, in Allentown, Pennsylvania; his father was a television advertising manager and his mother was a nurse. He embraced the church through the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF) while attending Bucknell University in Pennsylvania. After masters and doctor of ministry degrees, he served with ICVF in Boston and as a pastor in rural Virginia while overseeing the development of new congregations for the Presbyterian Church.

In this role, he invited two pastors to plant a new Presbyterian church in New York City. When both turned him down, he and his wife Kathy felt God calling them to take on the challenge. They moved their three sons to New York in 1989. By 2007, Redeemer Presbyterian Church had grown to more than five thousand attendees and birthed more than a dozen daughter congregations in the immediate metropolitan area.

His dozens of books have been translated into more than twenty-five languages and sold an estimated twenty-five million copies. Redeemer founded Hope for New York to provide social services and the Center for Faith and Work to integrate Christian theology with professional experience. Redeemer City to City influences urban ministries around the world.

He also helped birth The Gospel Coalition, one of the most influential Christian networks in America. The newly-formed Keller Center for Cultural Apologetics will continue his work of helping Christians “share the truth, goodness, and beauty of the gospel as the only hope that fulfills our deepest longings.”

“A pioneer of the new urban Christians”

I was one of the legions who admired Dr. Keller’s intellectual brilliance and pastoral spirit. I met him occasionally and heard him speak in person several times in New York City.

I agree with Christianity Today’s assessment: “Fifty years from now, if evangelical Christians are widely known for their love of cities, their commitment to mercy and justice, and their love of their neighbors, Tim Keller will be remembered as a pioneer of the new urban Christians.”

However, my purpose today is not simply to add another eulogy to the many being written and shared after Dr. Keller’s homegoing. Nor is it to encourage us to emulate what cannot be emulated. Tim Keller was a generational mind called to a very unique cultural setting and moment.

We can learn much from his enduring wisdom, and we can draw inspiration from his commitment to serving Christ in one of the most challenging environments for biblical truth in America. But I believe there is another way you and I can benefit from Dr. Keller’s ministry as well, one that was brought into sharp relief for me by the passing on the same day of another cultural icon.

“Jim Brown leaves a highly flawed legacy”

Jim Brown was recently ranked the third-greatest player in the history of the National Football League. Over his nine seasons with the Cleveland Browns, he led the league in rushing eight times and carried his team to its last league title in 1964. He is often included with Babe Ruth, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Jesse Owens, and others as among the greatest athletes in history.

However, when he died on the same day as Tim Keller, the Los Angeles Times headlined, “For all his accomplishments, NFL legend Jim Brown leaves a highly flawed legacy.” The article profiles his life after football as he acted in films and advocated for civil rights but also generated headlines for allegations of violence against several women.

Jim Brown is not the only celebrity whose personal failings are making news these days. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted sex offender, “discovered that Bill Gates had an affair with a Russian bridge player and later appeared to use his knowledge to threaten one of the world’s richest men.” A California high school’s “teacher of the year” was arrested for allegedly having sex with an underage male student.

And Carl Lentz, the former minister of Hillsong NYC and pastor of celebrities such as Justin and Hailey Bieber, is in the news as FX’s four-part docuseries, The Secrets of Hillsong, began airing over the weekend. In it, Lentz describes his affair with their children’s nanny, a scandal that rocked their church and made headlines beyond New York City.

“I can’t wait to see Jesus”

By contrast, Dr. Keller ended his earthly life as he lived it: with quiet dignity, deep and abiding faith, and generous compassion for those around him. From the time he was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer in 2020, he was forthright about the challenges he faced and his desire to serve Christ in this season of his life.

He transparently described ways his diagnosis drew him closer to his Lord and his wife spiritually. He could even testify, “My wife and I would never want to go back to the kind of prayer life or spiritual life we had before the cancer.”

Pope St. John Paul II, who experienced his own terrible suffering at the end of his life, once wrote: “Christ does not explain in the abstract the reasons for suffering, but before all else he says: ‘Follow me!’ Come! Take part through your suffering in this work of saving the world. . . . Gradually, as the individual takes up his cross, spiritually uniting himself to the Cross of Christ, the salvific meaning of suffering is revealed before him.”

If we embrace our suffering as an opportunity to trust Christ with our pain and serve others in theirs, “the salvific meaning of suffering” will be revealed to us. We will testify with Paul, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7). We will experience an intimacy with our Lord and our fellow sufferers unavailable to others.

And when our journey leads us from this world to the next, we can say what Tim Keller told his family before his homegoing: “I’m ready to see Jesus. I can’t wait to see Jesus. Send me home.”

The old hymn was right: “The way of the cross leads home.”

What cross is yours today?

Denison Forum

Hagee Ministries; John Hagee –  Daily Devotion

Psalm 37:5

Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.

In every congregation or conversation with Jesus recorded in the Bible, three types of individuals emerge. The curious came to hear what this preacher had to say. The convinced believed, through their experience and observation, that He had the power to change their lives. The third group of individuals moved beyond the curious and the convinced to a faith that changed the world – they were the committed.

One day, five thousand people came to hear Jesus – some walking great distances. He had compassion on them, and He healed the sick and hurting that came seeking His help. When evening arrived, the disciples urged Him to send them off to nearby villages in search of supper.

He said, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” The twelve were convinced that Jesus was Who He claimed to be, that He had the ability to help, but they approached Him only to point out the problem…the hour was late, the people were hungry, and they didn’t have enough food to feed a crowd of five thousand.

In spite of the fact that they had watched Him minister to this group all day long, they had witnessed the healing miracles from morning to evening, the disciples faltered in moving from the convinced to the committed.

One young boy demonstrated what it looked like to be committed. He brought everything he had – just five loaves and two fish – and presented them to Jesus. This faith-filled boy was all in. He saw a need. He looked at what was in his hands. He knew it was not enough. But he believed that if he gave all he had to Jesus, something miraculous could happen. He was committed.

Most of us stumble to a stop at convinced. We are content to point out our problems to Jesus. We know He can help if He wants to do so. The truth is that Jesus did not come from heaven to suffer what He did if He is not willing to fix it for us.

Like the young boy, are you committed? You look at what is in your hands. You know it is not enough. You are convinced that Jesus can do something miraculous for you. Are you all in? Take all that you have, all that you are, and lay it in His hands. Like those fish and loaves, He will bless what you commit to Him, and He will fill you up to overflowing with every good thing.


Heavenly Father, I commit all that I am to You. What You ask, I will do. Where You lead, I will follow. What you require, I will give. In Jesus’ name… Amen.

Today’s Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

2 Samuel 1:1-2:11

New Testament 

John 12:20-50

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 118:19-29

Proverbs 15:27-28


Turning Point; David Jeremiah – What to Do With Your Bible

Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it.
Revelation 1:3, NIV

 Recommended Reading: Psalm 119:33-40

Tom Meyer is known as the “Bible Memory Man.” He has memorized much of the Scripture and quotes it often. According to Fox News, Meyer suggests people spend more time reading the Bible aloud during their devotions. “We live in a world where nobody reads aloud,” he said. “Originally, the Bible was meant more for the ears than the eyes…. Just listen to a chapter again over and over.”1

It’s wonderful to discover various ways of studying God’s Word. We can read it silently and aloud, in small bits or large sections; we can copy it in our notebooks. We can study it, pray it, sing it, quote it, convert it into teaching, and share it with others.

As we do so, we’re learning more and more of the mind of God, growing in wisdom and maturity. Diligent study of God’s Word helps us grow spiritually, becoming more like Christ. Thank God for the gift of His Word and spend time learning from it today. You might even read it to yourself aloud!

How can you afford not to be in God’s Word?
Howard Hendricks

1 Brittany Kasko, “New Year’s Resolution: ‘Bible Memory Man’ Shares Tips for Memorizing the Bible in 2023,” Fox News, December 27, 2022.


Harvest Ministries; Greg Laurie – What Prayer Is . . . and What It Is Not

 Never stop praying. 

—1 Thessalonians 5:17


1 Thessalonians 5:17 

One of the most important practices of the Christian life is prayer. It’s as essential to knowing God and growing spiritually as breathing is to living.

Prayer isn’t something that we offer to some force out there. Nor is it some type of energy that can heal us in and of itself. Rather, prayer is the means of communication whereby we hear from and speak to God Almighty.

That’s why it’s important to understand what prayer is and what it is not.

Some would assert, even within the church, that we can speak things into existence through prayer. For instance, teachers of the Faith Movement advocate that you can pray and speak things into existence because they claim you are a little god. They say you can speak and it will happen, but you must speak by faith. And if you don’t, it won’t happen.

It is wrong to believe that we can order God around as though He were a celestial butler. It is also wrong to think that we cannot bring a specific request before God because He is merely a force.

Prayer is communicating with and hearing from God. True prayer is aligning our wills with the will of God and praying accordingly. We want to keep the lines open to Heaven to both speak to God and hear from Him.

Yet many of us are reluctant to pray. We don’t really know how to pray, and we’re embarrassed about praying.

However, prayer is something that we all need to be doing. In fact, it’s something the Bible commands us to do. First Thessalonians 5:17 tells us, “Never stop praying” (NLT).

Prayer is not an option in the Christian’s life. It’s both a privilege and an adventure. And it’s something that we need to keep learning about for the rest of our lives.