Tag Archives: Peace

Our Daily Bread — God Had Other Plans

Bible in a Year:

Pharaoh’s daughter . . .  named him Moses, saying, “I drew him out of the water.”

Exodus 2:10

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

Exodus 2:1–10

Their precise ages are unknown. One was found on the steps of a church; the other knew only that she’d been raised by nuns. Born in Poland during World War II, for nearly eighty years neither Halina nor Krystyna knew about each other. Then DNA test results revealed them to be sisters and led to a joyful reunion. It also revealed their Jewish heritage, explaining why they’d been abandoned. Evil people had marked the girls for death simply because of their identity.

Imagining a frightened mother who leaves her threatened children where they might be rescued calls to mind the story of Moses. As a Hebrew baby boy, he was marked for genocide (see Exodus 1:22). His mother strategically placed him in the Nile (2:3), giving him a chance for survival. God had a plan she couldn’t have dreamed of—to rescue His people through Moses.

The story of Moses points us to the story of Jesus. As Pharaoh had sought the murder of Hebrew boys, Herod ordered the slaughter of all the baby boys in Bethlehem (see Matthew 2:13–16).

Behind all such hatred—especially against children—is our enemy the devil. Such violence doesn’t take God by surprise. He had plans for Moses, and He has plans for you and me. And through His Son, Jesus, He’s revealed His biggest plan—to rescue and restore those who once were His enemies.

By:  Tim Gustafson

Reflect & Pray

How do you see God’s plan at work in your life? In what ways has He rescued you?

Heavenly Father, there’s so much evil in the world. Thank You for Your rescue. Help me to trust Your perfect plan.


Grace to You; John MacArthur – Seeking God’s Protection

“Do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (Matt. 6:13).

Have a healthy sense of self-distrust.

At the moment of your salvation, judicial forgiveness covered all of your sins—past, present, and future. Parental forgiveness restores the joy and sweet fellowship broken by any subsequent sins. But concurrent with the joy of being forgiven is the desire to be protected from any future sins. That’s the desire expressed in Matthew 6:13: “Do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

That petition seems simple enough at first glance, but it raises some important questions. According to James 1:13, God doesn’t tempt anyone to commit sin, so why ask Him to protect us from something He apparently wouldn’t lead us into in the first place?

Some say the word “temptation” in Matthew 6:13 means “trials.” But trials strengthen us and prove the genuineness of our faith. We are to rejoice in them, not avoid them (James 1:2-4).

The solution to this paradox has to do with the nature of the petition. It is not so much a technical theological statement as it is an emotional plea from one who hates sin and wants to be protected from it. Chrysostom, the early church father, said it is a natural appeal of human weakness as it faces danger (Homily 19.10).

I don’t know about you, but I have a healthy sense of self-distrust. That’s why I carefully guard what I think, say, watch, read, and listen to. If I sense spiritual danger I run into the presence of God and say, “Lord, I will be overwhelmed by this situation unless You come to my aid.” That’s the spirit of Matthew 6:13.

We live in a fallen world that throws temptation after temptation our way. Therefore it’s only natural and proper for us as Christians to continually confess our sins, receive the Father’s forgiveness, and plead with Him to deliver us from the possibility of sinning against Him in the future.

Suggestions for Prayer

  • Thank the Lord that He loves you and ministers through you despite your human weaknesses.
  • Ask Him to protect you today from any situation that might cause you to sin.

For Further Study

Read 1 Corinthians 10:13 and James 1:13-16.

  • To what degree will God allow you to be tempted?
  • What is a common source of temptation?

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur


Joyce Meyer – Pray First

Keep awake and watch and pray [constantly], that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

— Mark 14:38 (AMPC)

Praying is probably the most important part of life preparation, yet so many people today ignore or forget this vital part of the process. I suggest you don’t do anything without first praying. The Bible says that we should acknowledge God in all our ways, and He will direct our steps and make them sure (see Proverbs 3:6). It’s not enough to know that He’s there. We must call on Him daily for His guidance and His strength.

I have been walking with God most of my life, and I am still learning the importance of not trying to do anything without praying. The Bible says we are to pray without ceasing. This does not mean that we do nothing all day except pray, but it does make the point that prayer is one of the most important things we can ever do. We need to pray our way through the day. Prayer opens the door for God to work in our lives, situations, and the lives of our loved ones. God will enable you to do things that will frequently surprise you if you take Him as your partner in life. But you must start with prayer.

Prayer of the Day: Lord, teach me to pray first, before attempting anything on my own. Help me to bring You into every moment of my day and life. I need Your guidance and strength in all that I do, amen.


Truth for Life; Alistair Begg –How to Approach God in Prayer

But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

James 1:6-8

There is a kind of prayer that receives nothing from God.

It is the prayer of the doubter, the one who does not “ask in faith.” When James says we are to make our requests to God “with no doubting,” he’s not saying we must never have any uncertainty or confusion in our minds, ever. To doubt in the sense that James uses the term here is more than simply saying, “I am struggling to be certain about this” or “I know this to be true but sometimes I wonder”; it is a refusal to entrust ourselves to our Father’s care. It is to make a back-up plan that relies on our efforts even as we ask God for His intervention, or to ask for something that deep down we do not really want.

J.B. Phillips paraphrases this verse in a helpful way: “He must ask in sincere faith without secret doubts as to whether he really wants God’s help or not.” James is addressing the issue of divided loyalty, describing the doubter as one whose prayers and desires are clearly at odds with each other. This person comes before God and asks for things that he or she has no intention of doing, much as the great 5th-century theologian Augustine famously prayed prior to his conversion: “Lord, make me pure, but not yet.”[1]

God knows when we are simply playing the game, using the language, and singing the song without any desire to match our lives to our words. He knows whether we really want His help or are reserving the right to do what we feel like doing if His wisdom doesn’t lead us in the direction we naturally desire. Faith says no to this kind of hypocrisy, which prays for wisdom but acts in foolishness. The faith James describes is therefore more than comprehension; it is an expression of trust and devotion.

Honesty lies at the heart of any genuine appeal, whether to an earthly father or our heavenly Father. When you come before God, you must “draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith” (Hebrews 10:22). With this kind of sincerity, you will make it clear in your own soul and to God that you are trusting Him to be faithful to His promises and that you are serious about acting on whatever wisdom He provides. In what area of your life are you particularly aware that you need God’s wisdom? Entrust yourself to your heavenly Father and be ready to follow His guidance, so that you will walk steady in your faith and joy, and not be tossed about by the wind.

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 5:5-7

Topics: Faith Humility Prayer


1 Confessions, 8.7.17.

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


Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – God Can Turn Evil for Good

“But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.” (Genesis 50:20)

If you have ever read through Genesis, chapters 38-50 or so, you will probably remember the story of Joseph pretty well. Can you imagine how you might feel if your brothers and sisters decided one day to sell you off to some strangers passing through town? I would guess that there have been times that your brothers or sisters have done some things to you that were not nice. They may have even tried to hurt you in some way, but they have probably never tried to sell you. Joseph’s brothers did. (See Genesis 37:1-28.)

Joseph’s brothers hated him because he was the favorite son of their father Jacob. Joseph’s brothers hated him so much and wanted to get rid of him. They decided to sell Joseph as a slave to slave traders who were passing through on their way to the country of Egypt.

What a terrible thing to do! Or at least it seems terrible! But God is sovereign, which means He is in control of everything. He can take any bad situation and turn it into something good. God had a bigger plan for Joseph and his brothers. God used the evil intentions of Joseph’s brothers to save their family from starving in a famine many years later. Even though Joseph’s brothers wanted to do evil things to Joseph, God used their evil actions to accomplish something good.

God let them do what they wanted to do with Joseph, but He had very good reasons. He was in control the whole time, and He never forgot Joseph. In His Providence, God used evil-hearted men like tools, or like hands and feet, to help Him provide for His people. That does not make the brothers any less wrong for doing what they did, but it does show what a great and good God we have. He can turn even the worst situations around and work good things for His people. (See Genesis 45:1-15.)

Do you have something in your life that seems like it is going to end up really bad? Remember, God can take any bad situation and turn it to good. There is nothing that can stop God from doing what is good. Trust God that He will take your bad situation and change it to what is best for His glory and for your ultimate good.

God is great and good enough to change even the worst trials into what is best for His glory and for His people’s good.

My Response:
» Have I been feeling forsaken (left on my own) by God?
» Do I need to ask God for the faith to believe that He is bigger than my situation, that He cares about what is happening, that He is in control of everything, and that He has not forgotten me?
» How can I encourage other believers who are mistreated or who have been going through really terrible things?

Denison Forum – A palm scan to buy food and the “Promethean moment” now upon us

If you could order and pay for food with your palm, would you do it? Panera Bread café is hoping you’ll say yes to palm scanning, but first you should know the conditions: you’ll obtain a MyPanera membership, then link it to an Amazon One account that will use your palm scan as payment. The company will then know your name and your favorite orders at checkout.

What if advances like Panera’s palm-scanning technology were to be used for more than purchasing a meal? What if digital technology were to be employed to monitor everything we do and then to punish those who act in ways the monitors disfavor?

This is happening today.

“The greatest threat of all to our collective future”

The Kremlin is using facial recognition to identify and detain thousands of Russians who disagree with Vladimir Putin’s policies. According to political scientist Ian Bremmer’s The Power of Crisis, China is similarly using digital technology to monitor its citizens, giving them a social credit score in response to their alignment with the Communist regime. More than 2.5 million people have been barred from air travel as a result of poor scores, and ninety thousand have been denied high-speed rail service.

Bremmer notes that the same system could be used for dating sites, buying a home, getting a job and/or a raise, seeing the best doctors, or helping your children secure these advantages. A bad score might send you to jail. This system is already being used to monitor Chinese Christians and to close churches.

You might be thinking that this could never happen in America. But consider these facts from Bremmer’s book:

  • The largest companies in American history are already gathering our digital data in “surveillance capitalism.” Every day, Americans generate about 2.5 quintillion bytes of data (2.5 followed by eighteen zeroes). This is feeding algorithms intended to sell us products and services.
  • The average American is caught on security cameras 238 times per week; law enforcement is using this data and artificial intelligence (AI) to catch criminals, but this system can be used for other purposes.
  • 5G is building the Internet of Things that will capture even more information, including genetic codes, to produce a “true global central nervous system.”
  • Quantum computing can make it impossible to protect information via encryption, with ramifications for the security of our nation’s infrastructure from power grids and water systems to food security, public transportation systems, and a stable financial system.

Bremmer warns: “The greatest threat of all to our collective future will come from the unexpected impact of new technologies that change the way we live, think, and interact with other people and will determine our future as a species.”

“A fundamental risk to human civilization”

Yesterday we began discussing the opportunities and challenges inherent in the AI revolution now upon us. As I read further, I realized that this is a topic too large to summarize in a Daily Article, so I wrote a paper for our website: “ChatGPT and artificial intelligence: What you need to know.”

In it I quote a former research and strategy officer for Microsoft who told New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman that AI “represents mankind’s greatest invention to date.” Friedman agreed that “this is a Promethean moment” that will change every dimension of our lives.

AI presents staggering opportunities, from medical diagnostics and treatments to advancing scientific knowledge and education. However, as the late physicist Stephen Hawking noted, “AI could develop a will of its own, a will that is in conflict with ours and which could destroy us.” Elon Musk similarly warned, “Artificial intelligence is a fundamental risk to human civilization.”

How can followers of Jesus redeem the epochal opportunities and cataclysmic risks inherent in this “Promethean moment”?

“We must attack the enemy’s line of communication”

In Easter 1945, C. S. Lewis delivered a paper on Christian apologetics to an assembly of Anglican priests and youth leaders. He could have just as easily been answering our question.

Given his assigned topic, the preeminent apologist of the century must have surprised his listeners by stating, “I believe that any Christian who is qualified to write a good popular book on any science may do much more by that than by any directly apologetic work.” He explained his reasoning: “We can make people (often) attend to the Christian point of view for half an hour or so, but the moment they have gone away from our lecture or laid down our article, they are plunged back into a world where the opposite position is taken for granted.”

As a result, Lewis noted, “We must attack the enemy’s line of communication. What we want is not more little books about Christianity, but more little books by Christians on other subjects—with their Christianity latent” (his emphasis). For a materialistic secularist, Lewis predicted, “It is not books on Christianity that will really trouble him. But he would be troubled if, whenever he wanted a cheap popular introduction to some science, the best work on the market was always by a Christian.”

Here’s the point: AI in particular, and our broken society in general, desperately need the moral compass of the Christian worldview. To guide culture most effectively, however, we must do so from inside. We need Christians who are charismatic political leaders, brilliant screenwriters, exemplary businesspeople, and superlative athletes. The rest of us need to pray for Christians in such positions of strategic influence.

In the context of today’s article, we need believers who are preeminent computer scientists and will bring Jesus’ moral authority to their work. In the AI age now dawning, bedrock biblical values such as freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the sanctity of life will be needed as never before.

As I close this article, I sense the words of Isaiah 6:8 in my soul: “I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’”

Denison Forum

Hagee Ministries; John Hagee –  Daily Devotion

Jeremiah 20:9

Then I said, ‘I will not make mention of Him, nor speak anymore in His name.’ But His word was in my heart like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, and I could not.

Ezekiel was consumed with passion for the Lord. His zeal could not be contained. Even when he tried to control himself, the words burst past the barrier. Are you full of fiery faith? Or has your faith become so bland, benign, and boring that it is met with yawns?

When someone asks about Jesus, we must be ready to share the life, truth, and hope that has revolutionized our lives. Share the kind of Savior that no one can ignore. Proclaim a Redeemer that no one can forget. Leave them in no doubt that He is everything.

We were dead, lost in sin, bound for hell, but He rescued us. He saved us, set us free. Where there was sorrow, He gave us joy. Where there was weakness, He became our strength. When we were alone and lonely, He became our Friend. When we only deserved judgment, He extended mercy.

Jesus Christ is not some powerless, dead historical figure. He is alive. He is present. If you are thirsty, He is the Living Water. If you are hungry, He is the Bread of Life. He protects. He intercedes. He fills us up. He satisfies our souls. He is awesome in strength and mighty in power.

He is the Lamb of God.

He is the Lion of Judah.

He is the Indescribable Gift.

He is our Great High Priest.

He is our Mediator.

He is our Hope.

He is our Peace.

He is our Burden Bearer.

He is our Good Shepherd.

He is our Refuge.

He is our Strength.

He is our Rock.

He is our Sword.

He is our Shield.

He is our Way Maker.

He is our Miracle Worker.

He is our Wonderful Counselor.

He is our Everlasting Father.

He is Lord of lords.

He is King of kings.

There is no one beside Him, no one above Him. There is none like Him. He is an ever-present help in time of trouble. He is great and greatly to be praised! If we refuse to praise Him, the rocks will pipe up in our place (Luke 19:40). Stir up the embers within, and blaze forth His glory!


Heavenly Father, there is no one like You! I exalt You! I will praise Your mighty acts and Your excellent greatness. I will not allow a rock to take my place. In every way, I will magnify You. I will lift You up on high. I will sing to You as long as I live! In the name of Jesus…Amen.

Today’s Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

Deuteronomy 11:1-12:32

New Testament 

Luke 8:22-40

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 70:1-5

Proverbs 12:4


Turning Point; David Jeremiah – God Over All

For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe.
Deuteronomy 10:17

 Recommended Reading: Isaiah 44:6

The title “king of kings” goes back to the thirteenth-century B.C. Assyrian Empire. When city-states, ruled by kings, were conquered, the conquering king would become known as the “king of [all the other] kings.” It became a superlative phrase referring to preeminence—the most powerful king (Daniel 2:37).

The phrase became common throughout Mesopotamian and Middle Eastern cultures to describe the best of the best—as in the biblical book titled “Song of Songs.” It is even used to describe the God of Israel in various forms: “God of gods” and “Lord of lords” (Deuteronomy 10:17; Psalm 136:2-3), the “Lord of kings” (Daniel 2:47), and Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 6:15; Revelation 17:14; 19:16). When referring to our God, what does this ancient phrase mean for us today? It means God is ruler over all; He is in charge; He is King of the present and the future.

In a day when it is easy to wonder if anyone is in control, remember that there is only one “God of gods.” His will will be done on earth as well as in heaven.

How divinely supreme is our Lord above all others! 
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones


Harvest Ministries; Greg Laurie – He Came to Free Us

 The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free. 

—Luke 4:18


Luke 4:18 

No doctor can heal a broken heart. He or she may be able to do other things for your heart, but a doctor can’t get to the source of your emotional problem. Only Jesus can heal a heart that has been broken.

Jesus said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free” (Luke 4:18 NLT).

Here are Jesus’ words in Luke 4:18 in the New King James Version: “He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted.” Jesus came to heal brokenhearted people. Maybe your heart breaks from the loss of a loved one, the loss of a relationship, or perhaps constant failures. Maybe your family has let you down and it seems like no one cares. Let Jesus Christ heal your broken heart.

He came to “proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free.” Are you crushed by life? Jesus can bring deliverance, but you need to want it. He came to free us—if we will go to Him, ask Him to forgive our sin, turn from it, and begin to follow Him.

If you have never done that, then why don’t you do it today?

The same Jesus who walked this earth and experienced the limitations of humanity loves you. The same Jesus who died on the cross, took the sin of the world upon Himself, and rose from the dead wants to forgive your sin.

Now is the time to take God’s lifeline. The Bible tells us, “There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12 NLT). Now is the time to find God’s forgiveness and His plan for your life.

Our Daily Bread — God Is Listening

Bible in a Year:

The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

James 5:16

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

James 5:13–16

Chuck, an actor and martial artist, honored his mother on her hundredth birthday by sharing how instrumental she’d been in his spiritual transformation. “Mom has been an example of perseverance and faith,” he wrote. She raised three boys on her own during the Great Depression; suffered the death of two spouses, a son, a stepson, and grandchildren; and endured many surgeries. “[She] has prayed for me all my life, through thick and thin.” He continued, “When nearly losing my soul to Hollywood, she was back home praying for my success and salvation.” He concluded, “I thank [my mom] for helping God to make me all I can and should be.”

The prayers of Chuck’s mother helped him to find salvation—and a godly wife. She prayed fervently for her son, and God heard her prayers. We don’t always get our prayers answered the way we’d like, so we cannot use prayer as a magic wand. However, James assures us that “the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (5:16). Like this mom, we’re to continue to pray for the sick and those in trouble (vv. 13–15). When, like her, we commune with God through prayer, we find encouragement and peace and the assurance that the Spirit is at work.

Does someone in your life need salvation or healing or help? Lift your prayers to God in faith. He’s listening.

By:  Alyson Kieda

Reflect & Pray

When have you seen God answer your fervent prayers? Who continues to be in your prayers?

Dear Father, help me to continually be in prayer and not to give up. Thank You for Your love that helps me persevere.


Grace to You; John MacArthur – Solving Man’s Greatest Problem

“Forgive us our debts” (Matt. 6:12).

Forgiveness removes the guilt and penalty of sin and restores intimacy with God.

Man’s greatest problem is sin. It renders him spiritually dead, alienates him from God and his fellow man, plagues him with guilt and fear, and can eventually damn him to eternal hell. The only solution is forgiveness—and the only source of forgiveness is Jesus Christ.

All sin is punishable by death (Rom. 6:23) but Christ bore the sins of the world, thereby making it possible to be forgiven and have eternal life through faith in Him (John 3:16). What a glorious reality!

Scripture speaks of two kinds of forgiveness: judicial and parental. Judicial forgiveness comes from God the righteous judge, who wiped your sin off the record and set you free from its punishment and guilt. At the moment of your salvation He forgave all your sins—past, present, and future—and pronounced you righteous for all eternity. That’s why nothing can ever separate you from Christ’s love (Rom. 8:38-39).

Parental forgiveness is granted to believers by their loving heavenly Father as they confess their sin and seek His cleansing. That’s the kind of forgiveness Jesus speaks of in Matthew 6:12.

When a child disobeys his father, the father/child relationship isn’t severed. The child is still a member of the family and there’s a sense in which he is already forgiven because he’s under the umbrella of his father’s parental love. But some of the intimacy of their relationship is lost until the child seeks forgiveness.

That’s the idea in Matthew 6:12. The sins you commit as a believer don’t rob you of your salvation, but they do affect your relationship with God. He still loves you and will always be your Father, but the intimacy and sweet communion you once knew is jeopardized until you seek reconciliation by confessing your sins.

As a Christian, you are judicially forgiven and will never come into condemnation. But never presume on that grace. Make confession part of your daily prayers so sin will never erode your relationship with your Heavenly Father.

Suggestions for Prayer

  • Thank God for His judicial forgiveness of all your sins.
  • Ask Him to help you maintain the joy of your relationship with Him by quickly dealing with any sin that comes up in your life.

For Further Study

Read Psalm 32:1-7.

  • How did David feel about forgiveness?
  • What happened to David before he confessed his sin?

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur


Joyce Meyer – The Source of True Joy

 You have turned my mourning into dancing for me; You have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy.

— Psalm 30:11 (AMP)

It brings incredible joy when you embrace the truth that you are a forgiven and adored child of God. So why are so many Christians sad, frustrated, and miserable?

I believe it is because they do not understand the reality of being a child of God and the inheritance that is ours in Him. An obstacle or difficulty distracts them, and they simply forget the promises of God for their lives. This is the quickest way to live a sad life instead of a glad life.

Jesus did not die to give you a discouraged, defeated, “down” life—He is your glory and lifter of your head (see Psalm 3:3). God has given you everything you need to enjoy Him, to enjoy yourself and the life He has given you. So, look up today. Celebrate His goodness and His blessings in your life. You are a child of the King…let that fill your heart with joy!

Prayer of the Day: Thank You, Father, for helping me embrace the truth of Your love for me. I am grateful that I do not need to be distracted by obstacles or difficulties and that I can choose to be happy and filled with joy.


Truth for Life; Alistair Begg – A New Kind of Peace

Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad.

John 20:19-20

Many of us who have lost someone dear can recall evenings in the aftermath of loss when it felt difficult even to breathe. We sat there with others, grieving in a silence punctuated every so often by reflection.

On the Sunday evening following Jesus’ death, we can imagine His disciples going through a similar experience. Maybe one said, Do you remember how excited and hopeful we were when He walked on water? Perhaps another added, I remember Him weeping at the tomb of Lazarus. I won’t ever forget it. In all their reminiscence, they doubtless felt a stabbing awareness that they would never again on earth see Jesus’ face. Of that they were convinced. They were fearful of the future. They had just witnessed Christ’s execution, and they had locked the door behind them (John 20:19), worried that they would be the next targets.

Jesus knew this. Therefore, when He appeared quietly among them that night, the first word to come out of His mouth was “Peace,” or Shalom. This was a customary Semitic greeting that came with warmth and without rebuke, blame, or disappointment. Then He showed them His hands and His side. It was Him. The Jesus whom they were convinced they would never see again was actually standing among them!

“Peace be with you” gave the disciples an indication not simply that their gladness should be prompted by the awareness that He was no longer dead but of something far greater: that by His resurrection, Jesus had now come to bestow a new kind of peace as a result of His blood shed upon the cross. And the peace with which He greeted them is the same peace that He gives to every pardoned sinner.

Shalom takes on a whole new meaning for those who discover this peace. In our weary world, bowing under the weight of all that is difficult and broken, tainted by indifference toward or denial of Almighty God in all His majesty, we know that He still seeks us out. Just as He came up behind Mary Magdalene at the open tomb (John 20:11-18) and the two disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35), so He pursues you and me in love, bidding us find peace in Him, the one at whose birth the angels sang, “Peace on earth” (Luke 2:14, CSB).

In the face of fear, our world aches for peace. But longing for it and singing about it will not create it. Peace can only be found in Jesus’ words: “In me you may have peace” (John 16:33; emphasis added). The resurrection doesn’t simply mean there is a Christ. It means that Christ is alive forever and that He gives us peace with the Father and peace in ourselves, today and forever. Whatever storms are raging around you or inside you, make sure you hear the voice of your risen Savior today, saying, “Peace be with you.”

Questions for Thought

How is God calling me to think differently?

How is God reordering my heart’s affections — what I love?

What is God calling me to do as I go about my day today?

Further Reading

John 20:11-23

Topics: Jesus Christ Peace Resurrection

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


Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – God Comforts

“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

Life is full of all sorts of tests. Maybe the word “test” makes you think of that piece of paper your teacher is going to give you sometime this week!

But not all of the tests you take this week are the kind you will be taking in school. Sometimes a test can be simply going through hard times or enduring “tribulation” or “affliction.” Perhaps a best friend moves away and you feel all alone. Or maybe you get really sick. Or maybe other people make fun of you because you are a Christian. Maybe you did not make the sports team you really wanted to be a part of. Maybe your dog ran away from home and you cannot find him anywhere.

Situations like these can make you sad, and you might even wonder why God could let them happen.

But God is sovereign (He’s in control), and He does have reasons for everything He does! Not only is God not surprised by the afflictions that hit us, but He is perfect in helping us get through them. He is perfectly loving and perfectly kind and perfectly wise. 2 Corinthians 1:3 says that God is a “God of all comfort.” That means that God is there to help you through the difficulties you face. He always says the right thing to you (through His Word). He loves you more than any human being could possibly love. If God is going to put a trial into your life, He is also the best Comforter you could ask for to help you get through that trial.

Verse 4 explains that one reason God comforts you is so that you can comfort others better. You may not understand why you are going through tough times right now, but maybe God wants to teach you mercy and wisdom. Maybe He wants to use you to help someone else someday! God comforts us so that we can share his comfort with others! From your time with the perfect Comforter, are you learning how to comfort?

God is the best possible Comforter and the best One to show us how to comfort others.

My Response:
» Is God giving me a “test” to take this week?
» What have I learned from God’s comfort to me in the past that might help me be a comforter for others one day?

Denison Forum – Cities and communities are withdrawing from the US

The death toll from a tornado in Mississippi last Friday has risen to twenty-six people as of this morning. The pictures are horrifically tragic; among the victims were a one-year-old and her father. More severe weather struck the region last night, including a likely tornado in Georgia that injured multiple people and caused significant damage.

In better news from nature, Mercury, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, and Uranus will align and display themselves tonight in a row on the western horizon. The best time for viewing will be twenty to twenty-five minutes after the sun has set.

Meanwhile, researchers report that shifting tectonic plates are splitting Africa into two continents. The shift has been ongoing since the East African Rift—a thirty-five-mile-long crack in Ethiopia’s desert—emerged in 2005. However, we’re told the continent will not completely split for another five to ten million years.

A “scaled secession” is happening in the United States

If you’re looking for another continent dividing in real time, you could focus on the United States. Professor Michael J. Lee writes in The Conversation that a “scaled secession” is already taking place within the United States. This is not the “national divorce” that has been recently in the news but “soft separatism” in which communities are distancing from one another in a variety of ways.

Wealthier areas are separating into parallel school districts. Eleven states calling themselves “Second Amendment sanctuaries” refuse to enforce federal gun restrictions. Eleven counties in Eastern Oregon support seceding and reclassifying themselves as “Greater Idaho”; Idaho’s state government supports the move. Over two dozen rural Illinois counties, seeking to be free of Chicago’s political influence, have passed pro-secession referendums.

Momentum toward secession is growing on the “left” as well: “Cal-exit” is a plan for California to leave the union. “Sanctuary” cities and states refuse to enforce what they consider to be unfair immigration laws and policies. Some prosecutors and judges refuse to prosecute women and medical providers for newly illegal abortions in their states.

California punishes Walgreens over abortion

Are we dividing over biblical morality as well?

In a recent New York Times column, David French chronicles a host of recent events that impinge on our basic constitutional freedoms. For example, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that his state would not renew a multimillion-dollar contract with Walgreens because the company responded to Republican legal warnings and chose not to dispense an abortion pill in twenty-one “red” states.

In 2018, the Supreme Court struck down a California rule requiring pro-life pregnancy centers to publish information about free or low-cost abortions. An appeals court recently ruled that legislation in New York prohibiting employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of their “reproductive health decision making” may violate the rights of pro-life organizations that require employees not to have abortions and to refrain from extramarital sex.

Public schools sometimes withhold information from parents about a child’s gender transition. California has enacted a statute granting the state broad authority to permit children to receive “gender-affirming health care” in the state, even potentially over the objection of a custodial parent. And the list goes on, in “red” states and “blue” states alike.

Legislation in Israel would jail Christians for evangelism

The Easter season is a great time to discuss the meaning of Jesus’ resurrection and to invite friends to Easter services. So, here’s a thought experiment: What cost would you pay to make your faith public?

In Israel, a bill was introduced in January that would punish Christians who “solicit conversion of religion” with jail time. If they seek to lead an adult to Christ, they would serve a year in jail; if they share their faith with a minor, they would serve two years. Prime Minister Netanyahu announced last week, “We will not advance any law against the Christian community,” indicating that the bill has no chance of becoming law.

But what if it did? What if similar legislation were to pass in the US? What price would you pay to fulfill Jesus’ Great Commission (Matthew 28:18–20) as his witness where you live and around the world (Acts 1:8)?

As the Mississippi tornado demonstrated, we are all one moment from eternity. We have only today to turn to the One who made the planets (Colossians 1:16) and in whom “all things hold together” (v. 17) in our broken world (Romans 8:22). And we have only today to help those we influence turn to him as well.

“Gratitude offered by the saved to the Savior”

The next time it could cost you to share your faith, remember how desperately people need your Lord. The night before he died, Jesus prayed: “This is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3). Evangelism does not “impose” your personal beliefs—it shares the only path anywhere in the universe that leads to eternal life.

The more people reject our Savior, the more they need our Savior.

And the next time it could cost you to serve your Lord, remember the price he paid to serve you. Max Lucado wrote: “Worship is a voluntary act of gratitude offered by the saved to the Savior, by the healed to the Healer, and by the delivered to the Deliverer. If you and I can go days without feeling an urge to say ‘thank you’ to the One who saved, healed, and delivered us, then we’d do well to remember what he did.”

If we can “go days without feeling an urge” to serve him by sharing his grace, we’d do well to do the same.

Denison Forum

Hagee Ministries; John Hagee –  Daily Devotion

James 5:15-16

And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

Few pains cut so deep as that of the Christian parent whose child has wandered far from God. We raised them in the fear and admonition of the Lord, but they have rejected the faith of their youth. We trained them in the way they should go, but they have forsaken that path for their own. Like the father of the prodigal son, our eyes scan the road each day, looking for signs of our child’s return from a far country.

Too often, we run to their rescue. We defend and debate. We coax and cajole. We aid and abet. Instead, with hearts full of faith, we can relinquish them to God’s hands. We can trust His good heart towards them. He alone can stir up a hunger and thirst for righteousness. He knows how to arrest their attention. Even if their hearts are broken, He will collect all the pieces and give them brand-new hearts. Even in utter desolation, He can restore and return the years the enemy has stolen. He knows how to capture their hearts again.

Now, more than ever, we should be full of faith for our children. We do not give in to despair or defeat. Every prayer will be a sharp, pointed arrow targeted to bring down the evil schemes of the enemy in the lives of our children. Now is the time to pray in faith without doubting (James 1:6). Now is the time to hold on tight to God with both hands. Now is the time to open our hands and release our children into His hands.

He will whistle, and our children will come running to be set free (Zechariah 10:8-9). In Isaiah 43, God encourages us to trust Him – don’t be afraid. He is in our corner. He will round up our scattered children and pull them in from the east and the west. He will send orders to the north and south to send back our sons from distant lands and our daughters from faraway places. “I want them back, every last one who bears my name, every man, woman, and child whom I created for my glory, yes, personally formed and made each one” (Isaiah 43:5-7, The Message).

Full of faith, we stand in the gap for our beloved sons and daughters. We won’t give up. We won’t back down. As long as we have breath, we pray for their joyous return.

Today’s Blessing: 

Heavenly Father, I stand in the gap for my child. I pray for his safe return to the fold. Protect him in his wanderings, but do what You must to get his attention, to bring him home. In the name of Jesus…Amen.

Today’s Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

Deuteronomy 7:1-8:20

New Testament 

Luke 7:36-8:3

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 69:1-14

Proverbs 12:1


Turning Point; David Jeremiah – Red Strands of Hatred

At one time we too were foolish, disobedient…. Being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us.
Titus 3:3-5, NIV

 Recommended Reading: Philippians 2:14-16

Christians are sometimes accused of hatred for their refusal to yield on biblical truth. We must never be what others accuse us of being. Though we must not compromise biblical truth, we can offer God’s Word as the only medicine for a sick world. If others refuse to believe, we can grieve over them, pray for them, share Christ with them, be kind to them, differ with them, ask God for patience with them, and when appropriate, avoid them.

But hatred?

The world can shout “hatred” all it wants, but we cannot let one red strand of a hateful attitude embroider its way into our personalities. Don’t let bitterness become rooted in your heart. It’s tempting to feel hatred for those who don’t agree with us, but there’s no room for that. “Bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you” (Matthew 5:44).

Leave the rest to Jesus.

The followers of Jesus are children of God, and they should manifest the family likeness by doing good to all, even to those who deserve the opposite.
F. F. Bruce


Harvest Ministries; Greg Laurie – The Only Path to Lasting Change

Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God. 

—2 Corinthians 4:4


2 Corinthians 4:4 

Some people today believe in conspiracy theories. But I believe there’s a conspiracy that goes much deeper than any of their theories: the devil is at work, and he is behind so many of the systems surrounding us today.

The Bible describes Satan as “the god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4 NLT). In fact, Ephesians 2, referring to Satan, says, “He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God” (verse 2 NLT).

That’s why all attempts to reform this world, this culture, this country, or this society apart from a change of the human heart are basically futile. Education won’t do it. Politics won’t do it. The economy won’t do it. Even morality, in and of itself, won’t do it. We need a change of heart that only God can bring when we follow Jesus Christ.

We need morality in our country, but how do we decide what is moral? How do we decide what is good? We need a greater foundation. The Bible teaches that God is truth. Although some people claim that all truth is God’s truth, some “truth” is not truth at all.

God’s truth is the only truth. And the only way to know whether what we are doing is true, moral, and good is to measure it by God’s standards.

When we look at this world and ask why God allows this or why God allows that, we must recognize that Satan, “the god of this world,” is the one to blame. He is the one who is responsible for the injustice, violence, and rebellion against God and His laws.

However, the Bible clearly says that “temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away” (James 1:14 NLT). The devil works with the combustible, sinful nature within every person. But he cannot bring us down unless we cooperate.

Our Daily Bread — The Telling Room

Bible in a Year:

Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself.

1 Samuel 18:3

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

1 Samuel 18:1–4

Northern Spain produced a beautiful way of expressing communion and friendship. With the countryside full of handmade caves, after each harvest some farmers would sit in a room built above a cave and inventory their various foods. As time passed, the room became known as the “telling room”—a place of communion where friends and families would gather to share their stories, secrets, and dreams. If you needed the intimate company of safe friends, you would head for the telling room.

Had they lived in northern Spain, the deep friendship shared by Jonathan and David might have led them to create a telling room. When King Saul became so jealous that he wanted to kill David, Jonathan, Saul’s oldest son, protected and befriended him. The two became “one in spirit” (1 Samuel 18:1). And Jonathan “loved him as himself” (vv. 1, 3) and—though he was heir apparent to the throne—recognized David’s divine selection to be king. He gave David his robe, sword, bow, and belt (v. 4). Later, David declared that Jonathan’s deep love for him as a friend was wonderful (2 Samuel 1:26).

As believers in Jesus, may He help us build our own relational “telling rooms”—friendships that reflect Christlike love and care. Let’s take the time to linger with friends, open our hearts, and live in true communion with one another in Him.

By:  Marvin Williams

Reflect & Pray

What kinds of commitments have you made to your friends? How can you express your love to them this week?

Dear God, please help me to pursue vulnerable, loving, and authentic friendships.


Grace to You; John MacArthur – Dealing with Sin

“Forgive us our debts” (Matt. 6:12).

Believers confess their sins; unbelievers deny theirs.

Christians struggle with sin. That surely comes as no surprise to you. As you mature in Christ, the frequency of your sinning decreases, but your sensitivity to it increases. That doesn’t mean you are more easily tempted, but that you are more aware of the subtleties of sin and how it dishonors God.

Some people think you should never confess your sins or seek forgiveness, but the Lord instructed us to do so when He said for us to pray, “Forgive us our debts” (Matt. 6:12). That’s the believer’s prayer for the Father’s forgiveness.

John said, “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us” (1 John 1:8-10). That passage doesn’t tell us how to get saved, as many have taught. It tells us how to distinguish believers from unbelievers: believers confess their sins; unbelievers don’t.

The phrase “forgive us” in Matthew 6:12 implies the need for forgiveness. “Debts” translates a Greek word that was used to speak of a moral or monetary debt. In Matthew 6:12 it refers to sins. When you sin, you owe to God a consequence or a debt because you have violated His holiness.

When you sin as a believer, you don’t lose your salvation but you will face God’s chastening if you don’t repent. Hebrews 12 says, “Those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives . . . . He disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness” (vv. 6, 10).

If you are harboring sin, confess it now and allow God to cleanse you and use you today for His glory.

Suggestions for Prayer

Write down why God’s forgiveness is important to you, then express those thoughts to Him in praise.

For Further Study

Read Psalm 38.

  • What physical and emotional ailments did David experience as a result of his sin?
  • What was his attitude toward God as he confessed his sin?

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur