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Our Daily Bread — In God’s Hands

Bible in a Year:

The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.

1 Thessalonians 5:24

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

1 Thessalonians 5:12–28

Turning eighteen ushered in a new era in my daughter’s life: legally an adult, she now had the right to vote in future elections and would soon embark on life after graduating from high school. This shift had instilled in me a sense of urgency—I would have precious little time with her under my roof to impart to her the wisdom she’d need to face the world on her own: how to manage finances, stay alert to world issues, and make sound decisions.

My sense of duty to equip my daughter to handle her life was understandable. After all, I loved her and desired for her to flourish. But I realized that while I had an important role, it wasn’t solely—or even primarily—my job. In Paul’s words to the Thessalonians—a group of people he considered his children in the faith because he’d taught them about Jesus—he urged them to help one another (1 Thessalonians 5:14–15), but ultimately he trusted their growth to God. He acknowledged that God would “sanctify [them] through and through” (v. 23).

Paul trusted God to do what he couldn’t: prepare them—“spirit, soul and body”—for the eventual return of Jesus (v. 23). Though his letters to the Thessalonians contained instructions, his trust in God for their well-being and preparedness teaches us that growth in the lives of those we care for is ultimately in His hands (1 Corinthians 3:6).

By:  Kirsten Holmberg

Reflect & Pray

How have you observed God helping you to grow in Him? Whose growth do you need to entrust to Him?

Father, thank You for being the initiator and finisher of my spiritual growth. Please help me to trust You for that good work.


Grace to You; John MacArthur – Integrity Means No Compromise!

 “O Lord, who may abide in Thy tent? Who may dwell on Thy holy hill? He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness, and speaks truth in his heart” (Psalm 15:1-2).

To love Christ and to be characterized by ever-increasing fidelity to biblical truth is the heart of true integrity.

Christian integrity has been defined as the absence of compromise and the presence of biblical convictions. In the words of the psalmist, it is to work righteousness and to speak truth from the heart (Ps. 15:2).

Many people in Scripture demonstrate exemplary integrity. For example, Jesus spoke of Nathanael as an Israelite “in whom is no guile” (John 1:47). To be without guile is to be truthful and unpretentious, which is another way of saying Nathanael had integrity. What a wonderful commendation!

Like Nathanael, Daniel was a man of uncompromising integrity, and in our studies this month Daniel’s example will demonstrate the power, characteristics, and blessings of biblical integrity. You will also see how God uses even the most difficult circumstances to test and refine your integrity.

This is an especially timely topic for our day because the spirit of compromise is flourishing all around us: in politics, in sports, in business, and sadly, even in the church. But Scripture calls us to an uncompromising standard that reflects the integrity of Christ Himself. As the Apostle John said, “The one who says he abides in [Christ] ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked” (1 John 2:6).

This month you will see some of the challenges that await those who refuse to compromise their biblical convictions, as well as the blessings that come to them. As you do, I pray that the Lord will strengthen and encourage you, and that you will be one who truly “walks with integrity, and works righteousness, and speaks truth in his heart.”

Suggestions for Prayer

Make King David’s prayer yours today: “Guard my soul and deliver me; do not let me be ashamed, for I take refuge in Thee. Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for Thee” (Psalm 25:20-21).

For Further Study

Read Daniel 1, 3, and 6 in preparation for our studies this month. Make a list of the character traits you see in Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego that are worthy of imitation.

From Strength for Today by John MacArthur


Joyce Meyer – A Friend of God

No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.

— John 15:15 (ESV)

We all need to be corrected at times and I believe God’s desire is to speak to us and the correcting Himself before using other people or situations to correct us. Correction is one of the most difficult things to receive, especially when it come through others, so God prefers to first help us deal with matters privately. But, if we do not know how to let Him correct us privately or will not receive it, He may correct us in more public ways. One time we were ministering in a foreign country. I was in a restaurant trying to convey to the waiter what I wanted to eat, but he did not speak much English and I did not speak his language at all. Frustration soon became evident in my attitude and tone of voice. I was behaving poorly in front of people who knew I was in that country to minister and, of course, my example to them was important.

I knew I had behaved badly, but God wanted me to really know, so when Dave and I returned to our hotel room, Dave mentioned the incident and said I had not set a good example for others. Although I knew he was right, and I knew God was using him to make sure I fully realized how important my behavior is, my inclination was to point out that Dave had acted similarly before. Had I done that, I would not have genuinely received the word of correction and then God would have had to correct me some other way—perhaps in a way that would have been more embarrassing or painful. Begin to pray and ask God to help you receive correction from Him and to help you recognize when He is sending correction through others, knowing it is always for your good.

Prayer of the Day: Father, I come to you today, seeking Your guidance and Your loving correction. I know I am not perfect, and I ask You to help me recognize Your voice and to properly receive correction from You. Thank You for Your faithfulness and love. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.


Truth for Life; Alistair Begg – Shielded by Faith

In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one.

Ephesians 6:16

You are under attack.

We might not feel as though this is the case, but in reality we face a spiritual onslaught in which the Evil One daily employs any tactic in his arsenal to undermine our identity and our unity in Jesus Christ. His fiery arrows are constantly being loosed against the people of God. What is a Christian to do in the face of such assaults?

When warfare reaches us—and it will—we must reach for our shields. We are to “take up the shield of faith.” The shield Paul’s readers would have imagined when they heard these words was no small shield, for in Roman times a soldier’s shield was four feet long by two and a half feet wide. Wielding one would have been like walking around with a door. It was not a Frisbee-like toy but a formidable piece of armor.

The key to understanding the proper use of our shields is that when we come to trust in Christ, He grants to us gospel armor. Having died in our place, He clothes us with His righteousness. So when we take up the shield of faith, we are actively trusting the gospel to shield us from Satan’s lies. The only way we can deal with the hostilities of ongoing spiritual warfare is to find our strength—our spiritual weapons and armor—in the Lord Jesus.

John Newton, in a seldom-sung hymn, pictures an encounter with the devil like this:

When Satan appears to stop up our path
And fills us with fears, we triumph by faith;
He cannot take from us, though oft he has tried,
The heart-cheering promise, “The Lord will provide.” [1]

Christ has already triumphed and, by faith, He invites us to share in His spoils. This victory is what led one of the Westminster Divines, William Gouge, to pen in his diary, “When I look upon myself, I see nothing but emptiness and weakness; but when I look upon Christ, I see nothing but fullness and sufficiency.”[2] The Evil One is a defeated foe, though still a powerful one. When we seek to fight him in our own strength, we will find ourselves defeated. But God has provided all the armor we need. Our faith is our shield, for our faith tells us that we are forgiven children of the living God, empowered by His Spirit to obey Him and enjoying the certain hope of eternal life with Him.

You will come under attack today. Where in your life might the battle rage? Be sure to look to your faith in those moments, for it will shield you against temptation, and you will stand in victory against the devil’s darts.

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 Peter 5:6-11

Topics: Faith Satan Spiritual Warfare


1 John Newton, “The Lord Will Provide” (1775).

2 Quoted in James Reid, Memoirs of the Lives and Writings of Those Eminent Divines, Who Convened in the Famous Assembly at Westminster, in the Seventeenth Century (Stephen and Andrew Young, 1811), p 357.

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


Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – God Must Come First

“I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.” (Job 23:12b)

How do we know when someone really loves us? One way we can tell is when that person gives up something they love in order to spend time with us. Imagine that you came to your parents when they were busy with something they enjoy—maybe reading a good book or watching a basketball game on TV. What if your mom put her book down and said, “I can read this book any old time. I would rather spend time with you. Let’s go for a walk!” Or what if your dad turned off the TV and said, “You’re more important to me than a basketball game. I’d rather go shoot some hoops in the driveway with you.” If your mom or your dad were willing to give up something for you, you’d know that they really cared about spending time with you.

It’s the same way in our relationship with God. We show our love for God by showing that He comes first. One way that we can show Him how much we love Him is by spending time in His Word—even if it means giving up something else we love in order to do it. God’s Word is the primary place where He reveals Himself, the best place to get to know Him.

Job was a man who really, really loved God. He said that he would rank God’s Word even higher than the food he needed to stay alive! He would be willing to give up food if necessary, because God’s Word was more important to him.

We don’t always have to give up food or a sport or a hobby to spend time in God’s Word. Sometimes it just means pulling our thoughts away from some other fascinating topic we would rather think about. It means turning our minds to think about what God is saying, and turning our hearts to obeying.

Are you willing to love God by showing Him that time in His Word is very important to you—every day?

We show love for God by placing great importance on our time in His Word.

My Response:
» Have I spent time reading and thinking about God’s Word yet today?
» Is there anything I’ve been doing that is stealing away the time I would usually spend with God?
» What do I need to do to guard my time with God?

Denison Forum – Responding to Pride Month with Fidelity Month

America is the kind of nation where a girl born in the Galveston County Jail can grow up to graduate from high school at the top of her class and attend Harvard University this fall. Our nation’s founding belief that “all men are created equal” was truly revolutionary in a world dominated by kings, despots, and class-driven societies.

Now, however, this declaration is facing a threat unprecedented in American history. This threat is represented by Pride Month as it begins today, but it is more foundational than meets the eye. To love our Lord and our neighbor well, it is vital that we understand this threat and respond in the most redemptive, positive way possible.

“Indulging anti-Catholic sentiment is an elite pastime”

This story caught my eye recently: “People in a throuple, or a relationship between three people, have gained major followings on TikTok. The hashtag #throuple currently has over 869 million cumulative views on the app.”

Columnist Jonathan Tobin is right: the legalization of polygamy was always the logical consequence of Obergefell’s legalization of same-sex marriage. He asks: “If marriage is possible between any two individuals, then why not three, four, or any number of consenting adults, regardless of their sex?”

As Pride Month celebrates LGBTQ individuals, some of its proponents have generated headlines for lambasting those who disagree. Gerard Baker, editor at large for the Wall Street Journalcites the Los Angeles Dodgers’ about-face in including the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence in their Pride Night festivities. As Baker notes, the group is “most visible for their performative acts—frequently involving lewd depictions of sacred Catholic rituals that crudely lampoon the church’s precepts on homosexuality and transgenderism.”

His article documents other examples illustrating the fact that “indulging anti-Catholic sentiment is an elite pastime.” He also notes that if the Dodgers had “invited an anti-trans or pro-life group to receive plaudits at a game,” the cultural response would have been far different.

Gallup reports that 7.2 percent of Americans identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or something other than straight or heterosexual. Why is there an entire month dedicated to normalizing and legalizing the ideology and behavior of such a small minority while stigmatizing and criminalizing those who disagree? Why are groups who ridicule biblical morality elevated by popular culture and those who support it are denigrated?

“I try to please everyone in everything I do”

Critical Theory (CT) claims that our nation was created by a privileged class to protect their privileged status. In this view, minority groups, whether they are defined by race, gender identity, or sexual orientation, have been systematically underprivileged in our society as a result. Now, to undo the wrongs of our history and create a truly equitable nation, CT proponents argue that minority groups must be privileged over majority groups.

This Marxist ideology results in “woke” companies, schools, media organizations, and political leaders who believe their corporate mission is to champion minorities while persuading the rest of society to join their advocacy. As I note in The Coming Tsunami, this mission views anyone who supports biblical morality as dangerous to society.

The anti-Catholic bias Gerard Baker documents is but one symptom of this narrative. We can expect many more as Pride Month continues.

One response is to withdraw from our broken society into a Christian sub-culture. But this keeps our salt in the saltshaker and our light under a basket (cf. Matthew 5:13–16). The opposite response is to “fight fire with fire,” mimicking our critics’ militantism as culture warriors for biblical truth. But as I noted Tuesday, “such antagonism hurts those we are called to help and reinforces the narrative of ‘hate speech’ so often associated with evangelical biblical morality.”

A third way is to counter opposition to biblical truth by proclaiming biblical truth as lovingly, graciously, and attractively as possible. Paul set the standard: “Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved” (1 Corinthians 10:32–33).

How can we follow his example this month?

What is Fidelity Month?

In his Breakpoint article yesterday, Colson Center President John Stonestreet highlights a remarkable initiative by Princeton professor Robert George. John describes Dr. George as “perhaps the leading Christian legal thinker of our lifetime.” He is a brilliant cultural analyst and stalwart follower of Jesus.

Dr. George is responding to Pride Month by announcing what he is calling Fidelity Month. This initiative will launch today with a Fidelity Month webinar open to the public at 2 p.m. EST. The group’s purpose is “to establish June as national ‘Fidelity Month’—a month dedicated to the importance of fidelity to God, spouses and families, our country, and our communities.”

Dr. George adds: “All who are interested in achieving this goal with the ultimate aim of helping to restore Americans’ belief in the importance of such values as patriotism, religion, family, and community—the values that used to unite Americans despite our many differences—are invited to join.”

Whether you formally join this group or not, let’s covenant to make June “Fidelity Month” with our Lord and our neighbors. When we see Pride Month ads and events, let’s intercede for those who created them and those who are influenced by them. Let’s look for redemptive ways to explain God’s word and will regarding sexual orientation and gender identity.

And let’s ask God to help us love everyone he loves in ways that demonstrate his compassionate grace. Billy Graham noted: “The most important thing we can do is to show by our life and love that Jesus is real. Our actions often speak far louder than our words.”

Then he asked the question I’d like us to ponder today: “Do others see Christ in you, both by what you say and by what you do?”

Denison Forum

Hagee Ministries; John Hagee –  Daily Devotion

Isaiah 6:8

Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: ‘Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?’ Then I said, ‘Here am I! Send me.’

The Church today is not so much guilty of the sin of commission or omission, but of no mission. We hang back and wait for the lost to enter our world when we need to enter their world with God’s love and His heart.

We have been rescued, saved, delivered, healed, showered with blessings, and highly favored. This good news should be so uncontainable that we are sharing it with every person we encounter. Instead, we often hoard it, hide it, and hope nobody asks.

We stall while we wait for the grand gesture – to speak to thousands, to touch the masses, to travel to a foreign land. But can we walk across the street and talk to our neighbors? Jesus’ example for us was often the opposite of the grand gesture. He held a child. He ate fish with his friends around a campfire. He touched a leper when no one else would. He discussed the Scriptures in the temple. And every one of those simple gestures had a profound impact.

Mother Teresa said, “God never asked me to be successful. God asked me to be obedient.” Let’s begin to think specifically about how we can obey the Lord. How can we be more intentional in the mission to which God has called us? Let’s stop drifting aimlessly.

Who can we invite to church?
Who can we visit in the hospital or nursing home?
Who can we ask out to share a meal?
How can we better use our finances for His purposes?
Who can we pray for tenaciously?
Can we give a cup of cold water to someone? Just start there!

A whole world around us is floundering, flailing, and fading fast. We have the hope. We have the remedy. Jesus has already sent us out on assignment (Matthew 28:19). Let’s fulfill our mission…starting now.


Heavenly Father, here I am. Send me. Let me be quick to answer and quick to go. Where I lack courage, help me to be brave. Help me say the words that You would have me speak. Help me to share generously all that You have given to me. In the name of Jesus… Amen.

Today’s Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

2 Samuel 18:1-19

New Testament 

John 20:1-31

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 119:156-176

Proverbs 16:14-15


Turning Point; David Jeremiah – In Spite of Us

This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.
1 Timothy 1:15

 Recommended Reading: 1 Timothy 1:12-16

Before Semere came to Christ, he was a leader in the Muslim community in his Ethiopian village. Semere was adamantly opposed to Christianity and “since [he] was a young man, [he] wanted to persecute and even kill Christians.” But after burning the house of a Christian woman in another village, God crushed him and drew him to Himself. Since his conversion, Semere has been used by God to bring more than one hundred people to a saving knowledge of Christ.1

Like the apostle Paul, Semere’s story is just one of countless stories of how God uses those who were opposed to Him before they became Christians to bring many to Him after they accept Christ as Savior. 

In His sovereignty and goodness God uses our past mistakes and failures to bring glory to Himself. Don’t disqualify yourself from serving your Heavenly Father because of what you have done in the past. Remember: He uses us in spite of us.

The greatness of sin is no bar to our acceptance with God… nor to our being employed for him, if it be truly repented of.
Matthew Henry

1 “Former Ethiopian Sheikh Burned Houses; Own House Burned After Conversion,” The Voice of the Martyrs, September 6, 2022.


Harvest Ministries; Greg Laurie – Wired to Know God

“Everything is meaningless,” says the Teacher, “completely meaningless!” 

—Ecclesiastes 1:2


Ecclesiastes 12 

Solomon had tried it all. He was the hedonist extraordinaire, seeking pleasure at all costs. He went on unbelievable drinking binges and chased after women like there was no tomorrow.

At the same time, he was highly educated. An architectural genius, he masterminded the building of incredible structures. And by today’s standards, he was worth billions of dollars. Yet Solomon asked the same questions that many people are asking today.

Solomon wrote the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes, and the first few verses introduce its theme: “These are the words of the Teacher, King David’s son, who ruled in Jerusalem. ‘Everything is meaningless,’ says the Teacher, ‘completely meaningless!’ What do people get for all their hard work under the sun?” (1:1–3 NLT).

Right away we know the writer is Solomon because he identified himself as “King David’s son.” Solomon was raised in a godly home. And though David’s sins were infamous, the Bible also describes him as a man after God’s own heart (see 1 Samuel 13:14).

Despite his failures, David indeed was a man of God, and he wanted his son to walk with the Lord. Yet Solomon, like many young people, went on a search for himself. He went on a quest for the meaning of life.

However, we don’t have to wait for the last chapter of Solomon’s book to find out what his answer was. He brought it front and center in the beginning and went on to explain why and how he came to his conclusion.

In Ecclesiastes 1:2 he basically summed up what he discovered on his great search: “Everything is meaningless, . . . completely meaningless!”

The searcher is telling us there is nothing on this earth that will satisfy us completely. That is because God has designed us, has wired us, to know Him.

Our Daily Bread — Sorrow and Joy

Bible in a Year:

No one could distinguish the sound of the shouts of joy from the sound of weeping.

Ezra 3:13

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

Ezra 3:8–13

Angela’s family reeled with sorrow as they experienced three bereavements in just four weeks. After the one involving the sudden death of their nephew, Angela and her two sisters gathered around the kitchen table for three days, only leaving to buy an urn, get takeout, and attend the funeral. As they wept over his death, they also rejoiced over the ultrasound photos of the new life growing within their youngest sister.

In time, Angela found comfort and hope from the Old Testament book of Ezra. It describes God’s people returning to Jerusalem after the Babylonians destroyed the temple and deported them from their beloved city (see Ezra 1). As Ezra watched the temple being rebuilt, he heard joyful praises to God (3:10–11). But he also listened to the weeping of those who remembered life before exile (v. 12).

One verse especially consoled Angela: “No one could distinguish the sound of the shouts of joy from the sound of weeping, because the people made so much noise” (v. 13). She realized that even if she was drenched in deep sorrow, joy could still appear.

We too might grieve the death of a loved one or mourn a different loss. If so, we can express our cries of pain along with our moments of rejoicing to God, knowing that He hears us and gathers us in His arms. 

By:  Amy Boucher Pye

Reflect & Pray

Why do you think you can experience both joy and sorrow at the same time? How can you cultivate joy today?

Loving God, in this world we experience pain and suffering. Spark joy in me as I look to You for hope and peace.


Grace to You; John MacArthur – Making Worthless Things Valuable

“The names of the twelve apostles are these: The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; and James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax-gatherer; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Him” (Matt. 10:2-4).

In God’s hands you can be a precious and effective instrument.

The story is told of a great concert violinist who wanted to prove a point, so he rented a music hall and announced that he would play a concert on a $20,000 violin. On concert night the music hall was filled to capacity with music lovers anxious to hear such an expensive instrument played. The violinist stepped onto the stage, gave an exquisite performance, and received a thunderous standing ovation. When the applause subsided, he suddenly threw the violin to the ground, stomped it to pieces, and walked off the stage. The audience gasped, then sat in stunned silence.

Within seconds the stage manager approached the microphone and said, “Ladies and gentlemen, to put you at ease, the violin that was just destroyed was a $20 violin. The master will now return to play the remainder of his concert on the $20,000 instrument.” At the conclusion of his concert he received another standing ovation. Few people could tell the difference between the two violins. His point was obvious: it isn’t the violin that makes the music; it’s the violinist.

The disciples were like $20 violins that Jesus transformed into priceless instruments for His glory. I trust you’ve been encouraged to see how God used them despite their weakness, and I pray you’ve been challenged by their strengths. You may not be dynamic like Peter or zealous like James and Simon, but you can be faithful like Andrew and courageous like Thaddaeus. Remember, God will take the raw material of your life and expose you to the experiences and teachings that will shape you into the servant He wants you to be.

Trust Him to complete what He has begun in you, and commit each day to the goal of becoming a more qualified and effective disciple.

Suggestions for Prayer

Make a list of the character traits you most admire in the disciples. Ask the Lord to increase those traits in your own life.

For Further Study

Read 1 Timothy 1:12-17, noting Paul’s perspective on his own calling.

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur


Joyce Meyer – Safe in God’s Hiding Place

 Rescue me from my enemies, Lord, for I hide myself in you. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.

— Psalm 143:9-10 (NIV)

David prays in today’s scriptures that God will lead him on level ground. I have always thought of this as a request for God to keep him emotionally stable. David was being pursued by his enemies and declared that God was his hiding place. When I pray, I often ask God to hide me in Him. We are kept safe in Him.

David had many opportunities to become flustered and allow his emotions to affect him in negative ways, so he prayed that God would keep him level or stable. Emotional stability is very important. We all have emotions, but we should not let them have us. With God’s help, we can learn to manage them instead of allowing them to manage us. We can live beyond our feelings by knowing and acting on God’s Word rather than on the way we feel.

We cannot do this by willpower alone; we need God’s grace. We need His help and power because emotions can be very strong, and without God’s help, they will lead us in wrong directions.

Have you been allowing your feelings to control you? If so, begin today to ask God to lead you on level ground.

Prayer of the Day: Father, I am sorry for letting my emotions lead me at times and I ask You to keep me stable and lead me on level ground.


Truth for Life; Alistair Begg – Stand on the Gospel

Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.

Ephesians 6:14-15

When we picture soldiers on the frontlines of battle, we often imagine firearms, artillery, and other tactical equipment. But there’s a piece of gear we often overlook, without which a soldier would be utterly ineffective: his boots. Without appropriate footwear, no soldier, and therefore no army, can hope to defend a position.

The apostle Paul calls believers to stand firm in our gospel shoes, so to speak—to be at the ready with appropriate footwear. When in his first letter to the Corinthian church he writes his great chapter on the resurrection, he begins, “Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand” (1 Corinthians 15:1, emphasis added). The gospel provides us with firm footing. Even when everything else around us is shaking, we always have a place to stand. Even when temptation is fierce, we never need to retreat.

What was it that empowered Martin Luther to stand against the tide, nail his theses to the church door at Wittenberg, and then proclaim before an emperor, “Here I stand; I can do no other”? Gospel shoes. What was it that enabled the English Protestants Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley to face with courage the horror of being burnt at the stake for their faith? Gospel shoes. What is it that sees our brothers and sisters in so many places around the world joyfully proclaim their faith in Christ even as they are threatened with death? Gospel shoes.

When you go to your workplace, to your school, to your unbelieving family and friends, or into your local community, what will give you the power to stand for Jesus? Only the gospel shoes that Christ provides. If you try to stand on your own strength, you will inevitably stumble and fall. But when you enter each new day with your feet rooted in the hope, peace, forgiveness, and assurance of the gospel, then you will find yourself able to stand firm, even through the fiercest opposition from the world and temptation from the devil. So before you go and get on with your day, rehearse the gospel to yourself. Enjoy its truths. Praise your Savior. Or, to put it a different way: put your shoes on.

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 15:1-8

Topics: Courage Gospel Spiritual Warfare

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


Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – God Changes Hearts

“The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.” (Proverbs 21:1)

King Nebuchadnezzar was rich and powerful. He was king of Babylon, and his country had conquered many other nations in wars. He had many slaves, many soldiers, and many wise men to give him advice and answer his hard questions. Because of his greatness, King Nebuchadnezzar was proud.

One day the king was walking in the palace. Looking around he said, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built . . . by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?”

A very humbling thing happened to Nebuchadnezzar that very hour. He lost his mind. He was driven away from the palace, and he lived like an animal, eating grass. His hair grew thick and shaggy, and his nails became as long as birds’ claws.

After a time, Nebuchadnezzar’s reason returned. He became a normal man again. But one thing about him was very different—his heart. At the end of Daniel 4, we find him praising God instead of himself. God had changed his heart from a proud one to a humble one.

Is there someone you know who needs a heart change? Maybe one of your friends or loved ones needs to trust Jesus Christ as Savior. Or maybe someone you know is living a proud and disobedient life. What is the best thing you can do for that person? Ask God to change that person’s heart into a heart that loves and glorifies God. God can change anyone’s heart for His own glory.

God changes hearts that He might receive glory.

My Response:
» Am I praying regularly for God to change the hearts of people I know?
» Have I ever asked God to change my heart to love and glorify Him more?

Denison Forum – How Clayton Kershaw responded to the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence: Using our influence for Christ

Clayton Kershaw has long been one of my favorite athletes. It was my privilege to interview him a few years ago as part of a fundraising event for a ministry we both support. He and his wife Ellen are two of the most godly, sincere, and kingdom-centered people you will ever meet. In addition, the longtime Los Angeles Dodger is a certain first-ballot Hall of Famer widely considered one of the greatest pitchers of all time.

Now he is in the news for a reason that is relevant if you follow Jesus, whether you follow baseball or not.

Clayton Kershaw’s statement and “the platform that Jesus has given us”

A few weeks ago, the Dodgers disinvited an LGBTQ charity called the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence from their annual Pride Night Celebration. The advocacy group calls itself an “order of queer and trans nuns”; their motto is “go and sin some more.” Their Easter ceremony last month included “children’s programming followed by a drag show where adult performers dress[ed] in blasphemous imitation of Jesus and Mary.” They have also hosted “pub crawls mocking the Stations of the Cross and even the Eucharist.”

After an outcry from other LGBTQ advocacy groups, the Dodgers reversed their stance and reinvited the group. Clayton Kershaw disagreed with the decision and made a statement: “I don’t agree with making fun of other people’s religions,” he explained. “I just don’t think that, no matter what religion you are, you should make fun of somebody else’s religion.”

But rather than protesting the reversal, he approached the team about relaunching the club’s Christian Faith and Family Day. “I think we were always going to do Christian Faith Day this year, but I think the timing of our announcement was sped up,” he said.

Speaking for himself and his wife, he added: “For us, we felt like the best thing to do in response was, instead of maybe making a statement condemning or anything like that, would be just to instead try to show what we do support, as opposed to maybe what we don’t. And that was Jesus. So to make Christian Faith Day our response is what we felt like was the best decision.”

Speaking of Christian Faith Day, Clayton Kershaw noted in his statement, “It’s our opportunity to be able to kind of share our testimony of what we believe in and why we believe in it, and how that affects our performance on the field.” He added, “It’s a great opportunity to see the platform that Jesus has given us and how to use that for his glory and not ours.”

“The goal of the Christian life”

Yesterday we discussed ways to use our resources and influence in voicing our disagreement with unbiblical immorality. Today let’s consider the positive side of this cultural coin. As Clayton Kershaw said in his statement, we can “show what we do support, as opposed to maybe what we don’t. And that was Jesus.”

However, to lead those we influence to Jesus, they need to see Jesus in us.

Dr. Duane Brooks, the longtime senior pastor of Tallowood Baptist Church in Houston and a dear friend, wrote in a recent daily devotional: “The goal of the Christian life is to become like Jesus. We know we live in him as we begin to live as Jesus did.”

C. S. Lewis agreed, noting in Mere Christianity: “The Church exists for nothing else but to draw men into Christ, to make them little Christs. If they are not doing that, all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons, even the Bible itself, are simply a waste of time. God became Man for no other purpose. It is even doubtful, you know, whether the whole universe was created for any other purpose.”

Dr. Brooks added: “If [Jesus] has justified you, he wants to sanctify you. We are free from sin’s penalty. Through the Holy Spirit we are being set free from sin’s power. Someday, we will be free from sin’s presence. And all of this through Jesus.”

Three practical steps

Your goal and mine each day should be to be more like Jesus today than we were yesterday. How can this goal become a reality for us?

First, admit that we cannot become like Christ without the help of Christ.

Charles Spurgeon advised, “A little child, while learning to walk, always needs the [parent’s] aid. The ship left by the pilot drifts at once from her course. We cannot do without continued aid from above.” But this is hard for us to admit, which is why we must heed Spurgeon’s warning: “Those who think themselves secure are more exposed to danger than any others. The armor-bearer of sin is self-confidence.”

Second, ask the Holy Spirit every day to take control of our minds and lives (Ephesians 5:18) so we can be “conformed to the image of [God’s] Son” (Romans 8:29).

Tim Keller noted: “The gospel is that Jesus Christ came to earth, lived the life we should have lived and died the death we should have died.” Now the Holy Spirit will reproduce in us the “life we should have lived” as he continues the earthly ministry of Christ through the “body of Christ” (cf. 1 Corinthians 12:27).

Third, partner with the Spirit to manifest Christlikeness to the world.

William Booth counseled us to “work as if everything depended upon work and pray as if everything depended upon prayer.” He explained: “Faith and works should travel side by side, step answering to step, like the legs of men walking. First faith, and then works, and then faith again, and then works again—until they can scarcely distinguish which is the one and which is the other.”

Without God “all things are permitted”

Let’s imagine a world where Christians are more like Christ than we are like the culture. Then let’s do all we can to create that world.

Paul observed that with God, all things are possible (Philippians 4:13). Fyodor Dostoyevsky, by contrast, noted that without God “all things are permitted.”

Which of these realities will you manifest today?

Denison Forum

Hagee Ministries; John Hagee –  Daily Devotion

Matthew 20:27-28

And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave — just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.

Social scientists have a name for the tendency to watch from the sidelines: The Bystander Effect. It’s a social psychological phenomenon that refers to cases in which individuals do not offer any means of help to a victim when other people are present. The greater the number of bystanders, the less likely it is that any of them will help. Everyone thinks that someone else will do something or step in to rescue the victim.

It is easy, in the middle of our busy, fast-paced lives, to think that someone else will do what God is actually calling us to do. Someone else will witness to a neighbor or volunteer at our church or pray with a co-worker. We often think that throwing money at a need relieves us of the responsibility of wading in and getting our hands dirty.

If we are all honest, God is prompting us at this very point in time to do something we have not done before, to stretch beyond what is comfortable for us. So, why do we hesitate and hang back? Why are we content to watch while another believer steps in to meet that need?

For someone in your life right now, you are God’s Plan A. Jesus is counting on you to listen to His voice, to obey His prompting, and to reach out to meet the need. He created you for exactly this moment in history, to perform this good work that He ordained, and to be the answer to someone else’s prayer.


Lord Jesus, help me to roll up my sleeves and get to work. Thank You for being my example of how to love and serve. Help me not to wait on someone else to do what I have been called to do. I was not saved to sit but to serve. In Your name… Amen.

Today’s Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

2 Samuel 17:1-29

New Testament 

John 19:23-42

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 119:132-155

Proverbs 16:12-13


Turning Point; David Jeremiah – Live With Boldness

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Romans 12:1-2

 Recommended Reading: 1 Peter 3:13-17

On a regular basis we hear about athletes, students, teachers, small business owners, and others taking a stand for Christ. Sadly, they are often ridiculed and at times punished for their actions. In a world that is increasingly anti-Christian, it is not easy to stand up for one’s biblical beliefs.

In his letter to the church at Rome, Paul exhorted the believers to live their lives as a sacrifice to God. He also challenged them not to conform to the anti-Christian culture of their day.

Why are we to live boldly for Christ? Because of God’s mercy. Think about all God has done for you—the gift of salvation, spiritual blessings, the certain hope of eternity in heaven with Him. When we remember His mercy and what He has saved us from, how can we not live boldly for Him?

As you go about your day, remember God’s mercy and choose to live a life of boldness for Him.

Stop assuming an outward expression which is patterned after this world.
Kenneth Wuest


Harvest Ministries; Greg Laurie – The Joy of Integrity

 Joyful are those who obey his laws and search for him with all their hearts. 

—Psalm 119:2


Psalm 119:2 

Many people today who are searching for happiness will never quite find it. That’s because they’re searching for it in the wrong way.

We learn from the Bible that happiness is a by-product of holiness. And when we get our priorities in order, happiness will soon follow.

That is why nonbelievers never will know true happiness. They keep going after the devil’s cheap counterfeits; they have no deep well from which to draw.

In Psalm 119, we find God’s original design for finding and maintaining holiness. And as a result, we will discover happiness.

The psalmist wrote, “Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the Lord. Joyful are those who obey his laws and search for him with all their hearts. They do not compromise with evil, and they walk only in his paths” (verses 1–3 NLT).

From the very beginning of our lives, we learn the importance of walking. It’s interesting how little children immediately start moving in that direction. But they don’t quit after they take their first steps. They keep trying.

We grow as Christians in the same way. When we commit our lives to Christ, we begin to walk in the way of the Lord. And if we fall, we need to get up and keep trying.

Walking speaks of progression, of moving forward as opposed to simply standing still. And if we want to be truly happy and holy people, then we should not only avoid what is wrong but also actively engage in what is right.

People who are merely trying to avoid evil are missing the point. It is not merely a matter of what we don’t do. It’s also a matter of what we do. We must engage in spiritual growth and in godly living. We must walk in the way of the Lord.

Our Daily Bread — The God Who Restores

Bible in a Year:

I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.

Ezekiel 37:5

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

Ezekiel 37:4–14

On November 4, 1966, a disastrous flood swept through Florence, Italy, submerging Giorgio Vasari’s renowned work of art The Last Supper under a pool of mud, water, and heating oil for more than twelve hours. With its paint softened and its wooden frame significantly damaged, many believed that the piece was beyond repair. However, after a tedious fifty-year conservation effort, experts and volunteers were able to overcome monumental obstacles and restore the valuable painting.

When the Babylonians conquered Israel, the people felt hopeless—surrounded by death and destruction and in need of restoration (see Lamentations 1). During this period of turmoil, God took the prophet Ezekiel to a valley and gave him a vision where he was surrounded by dry bones. “Can these bones live?” God asked. Ezekiel responded, “Lord, you alone know” (Ezekiel 37:3). God then told him to prophesy over the bones so they might live again. “As I was prophesying,” Ezekiel recounted, “there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together” (v. 7). Through this vision, God revealed to Ezekiel that Israel’s restoration could only come through Him.

When we feel as if things in life have been broken and are beyond repair, God assures us He can rebuild our shattered pieces. He’ll give us new breath and new life.

By:  Kimya Loder

Reflect & Pray

What’s broken in your life? How might you rely on God to bring restoration?

Dear God, parts of my life seem like they’ll never be restored. I’ve tried to fix them on my own, but my only hope of restoration is found in You.


Grace to You; John MacArthur – Learning from Judas (Judas Iscariot)

The twelve apostles included “Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Him” (Matt. 10:4).

God can use even an apostate like Judas to teach us some important lessons.

Judas is history’s greatest human tragedy. He had opportunities and privileges known only to the other disciples, but he turned from them to pursue a course of destruction. Yet even from his foolishness we can learn some important lessons.

Judas, for example, is the world’s greatest example of lost opportunity. He ministered for three years with Jesus Himself but was content merely to associate with Him, never submitting to Him in saving faith. Millions of others have followed his example by hearing the gospel and associating with Christians, yet rejecting Christ. Tragically, like Judas, once death comes they too are damned for all eternity.

Judas is also the world’s greatest example of wasted privileges. He could have had the riches of an eternal inheritance but instead chose thirty pieces of silver. In that respect he is also the greatest illustration of the destructiveness and damnation greed can bring. He did an unthinkable thing, yet he has many contemporary counterparts in those who place wealth and pleasure above godliness.

On the positive side, Judas is the world’s greatest illustration of the forbearing, patient love of God. Knowing what Judas would do, Jesus tolerated him for three years. Beyond that, He constantly reached out to him and even called him “friend” after his kiss of betrayal (Matt. 26:50).

If you’ve ever been betrayed by a friend, you know the pain it can bring. But the Lord’s pain was compounded many times over because He knew He would be betrayed and because the consequences were so serious. Yet He endured the pain because He loved Judas and knew that His own betrayal was a necessary part of the redemptive plan.

The sins that destroyed Judas are common sins that you must avoid at all costs! Use every opportunity and privilege God gives you, and never take advantage of His patience.

Suggestions for Prayer

  • Thank Jesus for the pain he endured at the hands of Judas.
  • Pray that you will never cause Him such pain.

For Further Study

Read 1 Timothy 6:6-19.

  • What perils await those who desire wealth?
  • Rather than pursuing wealth, what should you pursue?
  • What attitude should wealthy people have toward their money?

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur