Our Daily Bread — Blessed Routine

Bible in a Year:

Without [God], who can eat or find enjoyment?

Ecclesiastes 2:25

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

Ecclesiastes 2:17–26

Watching the morning crowd pour onto the train, I felt the Monday blues kick in. From the sleepy, grumpy faces of those in the jam-packed cabin, I could tell no one looked forward to going to work. Frowns broke out as some jostled for space and more tried to squeeze in. Here we go again, another mundane day at the office.

Then, it struck me that just a year before, the trains would have been empty because COVID-19 lockdowns had thrown our daily routines into disarray. We couldn’t even go out for a meal, and some actually missed going to the office. But now we were almost back to normal, and many were going back to work—as usual. “Routine,” I realized, was good news, and “boring” was a blessing!

King Solomon came to a similar conclusion after reflecting on the seeming pointlessness of daily toil (Ecclesiastes 2:17–23). At times, it appeared endless, “meaningless,” and unrewarding (v. 21). But then he realized that simply being able to eat, drink, and work each day was a blessing from God (v. 24).

When we’re deprived of routine, we can see that these simple actions are a luxury. Let’s thank God that we can eat and drink and find satisfaction in all our toil, for this is His gift (3:13).

By:  Leslie Koh

Reflect & Pray

What simple blessings can you thank God for today? What can you do for someone who’s in need or is unable to enjoy life’s simple routines?

Dear God, thank You for my “usual” routines, no matter how boring they may seem at times. Help me to be grateful for Your every blessing in life.


Grace to You; John MacArthur – Saluting an Unknown Soldier (James, Son of Alphaeus)

The twelve apostles included “James the son of Alphaeus” (Matt. 10:3).

God often uses ordinary people to accomplish great things.

Like most Christians, James the son of Alphaeus is an unknown and unsung soldier of the cross. His distinguishing characteristic is obscurity. Nothing he did or said is recorded in Scripture—only his name.

In Mark 15:40 he is called “James the Less,” which literally means “Little James.” That could refer to his stature (he might have been short), his age (he might have been younger than James the son of Zebedee), or his influence (he might have had relatively little influence among the disciples).

In Mark 2:14 Matthew (Levi) is called the son of Alphaeus. Alphaeus was a common name, but it’s possible that James and Matthew were brothers, since their fathers had the same first name. Also, James’s mother is mentioned in Mark 15:40 as being present at Christ’s crucifixion, along with other women. She is referred to as the wife of Clopas in John 19:25. Since Clopas was a form of Alphaeus, that further supports the possibility that James and Matthew were related.

From those references we might conclude that James was a small young man whose personality was not particularly powerful. If he was Matthew’s brother, perhaps he was as humble as Matthew, willing to serve the Lord without any applause or notice. Whichever the case, be encouraged that God uses obscure people like James, and rewards them accordingly. Someday James will sit on a throne in Christ’s millennial kingdom, judging the twelve tribes of Israel—just like the other more prominent disciples (Luke 22:30).

No matter how obscure or prominent you are from a human perspective, God can use you and will reward you with a glorious eternal inheritance.

Suggestions for Prayer

  • Thank the Lord for all those people unknown to you whom He has used to shape your life for His glory.
  • Seek to be more like James, serving Christ faithfully without applause or glory.

For Further Study

  • Read Luke 9:23-25. What did Jesus say is necessary to be His disciple?
  • Read Luke 9:57-62. What were those men unwilling to give up to follow Christ?

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur 


Joyce Meyer – Trusting God’s Perfect Timing

And when you pray, do not heap up phrases (multiply words, repeating the same ones over and over) as the Gentiles do, for they think they will be heard for their much speaking.

— Matthew 6:7 (AMPC)

The timing of God is never rushed or frantic. God is patient, and He causes things to happen according to His perfect, unhurried schedule for your life. The Israelites couldn’t leave the bondage of Egypt until God’s perfect time came. Joshua couldn’t take Jericho until the exact right day. Jesus wasn’t raised from the dead until the third day. These are examples of God’s perfect timing.

Think of buying a five-thousand-piece puzzle. You buy it because you like the picture on the box, but when you dump out all the pieces on the table, you feel overwhelmed. All the things going on in our lives are a bit like that. We like the picture God presents in His Word of what we can become, but will we be patient enough to see the picture put together?

Never forget: God has a perfect way, a perfect plan, and a perfect time. All things work together in due time.

Prayer of the Day: Dear God, help me to trust in Your perfect timing for my life, even when I feel overwhelmed and impatient. Thank You for working all things together for my good in due time, amen.


Truth for Life; Alistair Begg –A Sinner, but Forgiven

David sent messengers and took her, and she came to him, and he lay with her.

2 Samuel 11:4

David’s affair with Bathsheba is one of the most awful moments of Old Testament history. It is an account of unhindered lust, adultery, treachery, and murder. Perhaps we would rather not think about it—yet the Bible does not cast a veil of silence over it. We are actually provided with far more than we would ever want to know about David—and far more than we want to face about ourselves.

David was the great king of Israel. For most of his life, he was a man of exemplary character. He had built a magnificent reputation by triumphing over God’s enemies, showing kindness to those who did not deserve it, and ruling with justice. By 2 Samuel 11, David was at the pinnacle of his power. He was able to command and to control every-
one and everything, it would seem—everyone and everything, that is, except himself. And so he used—in fact, abused—his power to compel a woman to break her marriage vow, as well as breaking his own, and then to cause a man to lose his life (v 14-15).

And yet, even with this great failure, David remained chosen of God. The prophet Samuel had been sent by God with the instructions, “I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons” (1 Samuel 16:1). David was God’s designated king—and remained so. The promises of God had been given to him, and through him the purposes of God for His people were being set forward. David’s heinous sin did not alter that.

Is it really possible that God’s purpose in history could have been accomplished through this man? Yes. The Lord Jesus, the one man in history who exercised perfect self-control, who always protected women, and who came to bring life, was the descendant of great, flawed, repentant David. And so the story of David teaches us that God’s grace triumphs even over the greatest failures. God doesn’t only use those who are morally spotless—for, apart from His own Son, no human matches that description. In fact, God uses very sinful people like David; He uses very sinful people like me and like you.

Maybe you, like David eventually was, are very aware of your sins, and you are wondering if you are too filthy for God to forgive or to use. Be reassured and be encouraged. Though your sins have real consequences, they are utterly incapable of putting you beyond the reach of God’s grace. Nothing can. There is no one who does not need His forgiveness and there is no one who is beyond the reach of His forgiveness. The blood of Christ cleanses even the deepest stains, so long as you humble yourself and repent. And, cleansed by that blood, as a repentant sinner you are in that place where God is delighted to work in and through you—not for your glory but for His.

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 Timothy 1:12-17

Topics: Forgiveness Grace of God Repentance

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


Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – God Is Quick To Forgive

“Then David said unto Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the LORD.’ And Nathan said unto David, ‘The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.'” (2 Samuel 12:13)

Have you ever been really angry with someone, and then been forced to tell that person right away that you will forgive him or her? Maybe your brother left your favorite toy out in the rain overnight and ruined it, or maybe your sister borrowed your favorite sweater without asking and spilled spaghetti all over it. Then–as mothers tend to do–your mother insists that your sibling should apologize, and that you must forgive as soon as an apology is offered. Has that ever happened to you? If so, you know how hard it can be to be able to get over something and forgive someone right away.

No one has ever hurt you more than you hurt God every time you sin. Whether by speaking unkindly to someone, lying to your parents, or even just daydreaming about doing some sin that you might not really ever do, you are sinning against the God of all heaven and earth. And just as it would be a much greater evil to call your mother “stupid,” than it would be to call your cat “stupid,” any sin you do against the God of heaven is far more evil than anything that anyone else has ever done against you.

Yet God is quick to forgive , and He does not have to have anyone tell Him to do it. David, one of the godliest men who ever lived, committed a dreadful sin when he took Bathsheba, another man’s wife, for himself and had her husband murdered. When confronting David about his sin, the prophet Nathan told him a story about a poor man who had one little sheep and made that sheep his pet and best friend. Nathan said that poor man loved his sheep so much that he would let her come to the table with him and would feed her from his own plate. He would also let his little sheep sleep in his bed at night. Nathan said the poor man treated his little sheep as though she were his own daughter. But one day a rich man needed to prepare a great feast for a visitor. Rather than slaughtering one of the many sheep he had in his own flock, he took the poor man’s beloved pet sheep and slaughtered her for the meal.

Naturally, David was horrified at the story, but he was humbled when Nathan pointed out that it was David himself who had done this very thing when he took Bathsheba for himself. One cannot help but be amazed that, although God still punished David for his sin, He immediately forgave David .

It is no accident that in 1 John 2:1, when the Holy Spirit writes, “These things write I unto you, that ye sin not,” He follows that warning right away with a promise: “And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” God never wants us to sin, but for the times we do sin–He is quick and ready to forgive us. He is so ready to forgive us that He even prepared for our forgiveness ahead of time. He sent His Son to die for us even before we ever committed our first sins. What an amazing, forgiving God!

God is quick to forgive a repenting sinner.

My Response:
» Do I ever put off confessing my sin to God because I am afraid of what might happen?
>» How quick am I to forgive others when they offend or hurt me?
>» How often do I take time to remember what God has forgiven me of?

Denison Forum – How will Ron DeSantis launch his presidential campaign today?

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is expected to begin his formal presidential campaign in a live audio conversation on Twitter with Elon Musk this evening. South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott joined the campaign Monday with a rally in South Carolina. North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum is likely to run; former Vice President Mike Pence and New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu have been laying the groundwork for their campaigns as well.

Of course, former President Donald Trump announced his campaign last November. Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, former biotech executive Vivek Ramaswamy, conservative talk radio host Larry Elder, and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson have also joined the race. The Democratic Party side has three candidates so far: President Joe Biden, author and spiritual adviser Marianne Williamson, and anti-vaccine activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

My calling is to speak biblical truth to cultural issues without personal or partisan bias, so I would never endorse a candidate or political party. However, there is a cultural and biblical principle running through today’s topic that transcends the candidates and even the office to which they aspire.

What makes our presidency unique

In America, we elect our national leader by popular vote. (This is not entirely accurate: we actually elect a body of “electors” to the Electoral College who then elect the president.) By contrast, many of the world’s democracies are parliamentarian in structure: you vote for a party, then the leader of the party that gets the most votes (or successfully builds and leads a coalition of parties as in the case of Israel) becomes prime minister. The presidency in such arrangements is typically a ceremonial role.

The fact that our president is elected by all of us makes the presidency unique among our elective offices. My governor and senators were elected by Texans, not Iowans; my congressman was elected by those in my district; my mayor was elected by those in my city. As a result, candidates for these offices run on issues specific to our state and district. We vote for them in part based on who they are and in part based on what they say they will do when elected.

The same is true in parliamentary elections as I have observed them over the years: people typically vote for the party whose agendas most closely align with theirs, and the winning party’s leader becomes leader of the country. Again, these elections focus largely on specific issues and platforms.

A candidate for president, by contrast, must appeal to Americans across all states and districts. No set of promises or plans could appeal to enough Americans to elect a candidate solely on their merits. We largely vote for candidates based on who the candidate is, trusting that they will then do what we hope they will do.

Donald Trump’s appeal in large part has centered on his persona as a take-charge businessman. Ron DeSantis is running on the persona of a leader who knows how to get things done. Joe Biden’s supporters see him as a seasoned leader of competence and normalcy. Tim Scott declared in his campaign announcement event, “I am America.” Each of the other candidates will likewise seek to impress us with their unique qualifications as people and leaders.

The foundational decision you must make each day

I prefer our system, while flawed, over parliamentary systems for this reason: no one can know during an election the crucial issues the president will face in the upcoming term. When George W. Bush ran for president in 2000, no one saw 9/11 coming. When Donald Trump ran in 2016, no one predicted the coronavirus pandemic. Who a president is will therefore be vital to what they do once in office, whatever the challenges they face.

This principle transcends presidential campaigns and even the office of president.

In yesterday’s Daily Article we discussed the now-popular claim that “there is no such thing as human nature,” so “everything is socially constructed.” The Bible could not disagree more strongly: God makes each of us in his image and likeness (Genesis 1:27), then he remakes us as his children by the transformation of his Spirit when we trust his Son as our Lord (John 1:122 Corinthians 5:17).

Your combination of spiritual gifts, abilities, education, and experiences is as unique to you as your fingerprint. Your role in God’s kingdom is one no other person can fill. God “elected” you to your kingdom assignment based on who you are. If you could not succeed in this calling, you would not have received it from him.

You are a missionary to where you are and to when you are. It is by divine providence that you were not alive a century ago or a century from now (if the Lord tarries). Embracing your identity as the child of God and your calling to help others know God is the foundational decision you must make each day.

Finding your “why to live for”

In Find Your Why, authors Simon Sinek, David Mead, and Peter Docker write: “If we want to feel an undying passion for our work, if we want to feel we are contributing to something bigger than ourselves, we all need to know our WHY.” They note that we all know what we do and how we do it. But very few can articulate why they do what they do.

They suggest that we complete the sentence “to _____ so that __________.” The first blank represents our contribution to others; the second represents the impact of our contribution. As I filled in these blanks, my “why” became clear: To respond biblically to crucial issues so that people find and follow Jesus. I found the exercise to be clarifying and encourage you to try it for yourself.

Friedrich Nietzsche famously observed, “He who has a why to live for can tolerate any how.”

What is your “why to live for” today?

Denison Forum

Hagee Ministries; John Hagee –  Daily Devotion

Matthew 16:25-26

For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?

Now that we have moved beyond the curious to become the convinced and have committed our lives to Christ, He has commissioned us. He has given us the keys to the kingdom.

Let’s be honest though. We always approach commitment with caution. One of our first concerns is what it will cost us. What might I have to give up that I might not want to give up? How will that look? How will it feel? Will it be worth it?

Jesus gives us a new perspective in today’s verse: “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” This is quite a paradox, but Jesus pushes the point even further: “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?”

Words like “deny,” “lose,” “sacrifice,” and “follow me,” understandably make us nervous. Jesus encouraged us, to stop focusing on what we have to lose and to, instead, think about all we have to gain.

Like the young boy who gave Jesus his lunch to feed the five thousand, he did not obsess about what he might lose. He willingly surrendered his all. And when he gave it to Jesus, it was out of his hands. Jesus took it, blessed it, and used it to meet not just his needs, but the needs of many. And then He gave the boy twelve basketfuls of leftovers. That was quite a return on his investment!

Hold nothing back from Jesus. He came to give us abundant life. He will not withhold any good thing from us. When we give our lives and all we value to Him, He will pour out blessings that we cannot contain. In Christ, we can love and live and give like we have nothing to lose…because we don’t.


Heavenly Father, help me to live with hands and heart wide open. Let me take up my cross to follow You, to suffer any sacrifice for the joy of knowing You. I lose my life to find it in You. In Jesus’ name… Amen.

Today’s Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

2 Samuel 4:1-6:23

New Testament 

John 13:31-14:14

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 119:17-35

Proverbs 15:31-32


Turning Point; David Jeremiah – Look and Ask

For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.
1 Thessalonians 5:2

 Recommended Reading: 2 Peter 3:11-12

A boss assigns a young worker a task in the warehouse. Later the boss stops by unexpectedly to find his employee scrolling through his phone. The worker hops up and points to his completed task. But the boss says, “You could have looked for other things to do or at least asked for your next assignment. Don’t be satisfied with doing the bare minimum; there are always things to be done.”

The Bible says that Jesus’ return for His Church—the beginning of the Day of the Lord—will come like “a thief in the night.” That is, it will come unexpectedly, which raises the apostle Peter’s question: “What manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness” in light of Christ’s unexpected return (2 Peter 3:11-12)? As we wait for the return of Christ and the end of the age, are we content to do “the bare minimum” as believers? Or are we looking and asking for ways in which to serve Him as faithful disciples until He returns (Luke 12:35-38)?

Look and ask today for ways to serve Jesus as you watch for His appearing.

The highest honor in the church is not government but service.
John Calvin


Harvest Ministries; Greg Laurie – Preparing Your Heart for Prayer

 O LORD, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth! Your glory is higher than the heavens. 

—Psalm 8:1


Psalm 34:6 

So often in the psalms of David, he began with an acknowledgement of the greatness of God. It’s important for us to look at the attributes of God. It’s important for us to consider His unlimited power, His unlimited knowledge, and the fact that He is present everywhere.

When Jesus taught the disciples to pray, He said, “Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy” (Matthew 6:9 NLT). We should begin our prayers with adoration. We should consider the love, justice, and holiness of God and get our thoughts in order.

Thus, we start by recognizing who it is we are speaking to.

God is our Father in Heaven, not our servant in Heaven, our butler in Heaven, or our vending machine in Heaven. We are speaking to the almighty God, the Creator of the universe. That puts things into perspective.

This, by the way, is the reason we have a time of worship at the beginning of our church services. It prepares our hearts and helps us set aside the things that are distracting us and troubling us. It puts us into a frame of mind in which we can be refreshed, taught, strengthened, and, if necessary, corrected.

Before we offer a word of petition in prayer, we are to worship the Lord and recognize who He is. As we do, we’ll begin to reexamine things, and we may not pray for what we originally intended to pray for.

For instance, you may have wanted to pray that God would change your spouse or judge someone who has wronged you. But after spending time in the presence of God, you instead pray, “Lord, change me. Forgive me for the wrongs I’ve done. Change my heart.”

Things will change in your petitions because you’re aligning yourself with God’s will. And that is the objective of effective prayer.