Tag Archives: religion

Our Daily Bread — Blessed Routine

Bible in a Year:

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

Ecclesiastes 2:25

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

Ecclesiastes 2:17–26

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

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

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

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

By:  Leslie Koh

Reflect & Pray

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

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


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

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

God often uses ordinary people to accomplish great things.

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

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

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

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

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

Suggestions for Prayer

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

For Further Study

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

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur 


Joyce Meyer – Trusting God’s Perfect Timing

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

— Matthew 6:7 (AMPC)

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

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

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

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


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

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

2 Samuel 11:4

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

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

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

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

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

Questions for Thought

How is God calling me to think differently?

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

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

Further Reading

1 Timothy 1:12-17

Topics: Forgiveness Grace of God Repentance

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


Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – God Is Quick To Forgive

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

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

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

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

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

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

God is quick to forgive a repenting sinner.

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

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

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

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

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

What makes our presidency unique

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

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

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

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

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

The foundational decision you must make each day

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

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

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

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

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

Finding your “why to live for”

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

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

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

What is your “why to live for” today?

Denison Forum

Hagee Ministries; John Hagee –  Daily Devotion

Matthew 16:25-26

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Today’s Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

2 Samuel 4:1-6:23

New Testament 

John 13:31-14:14

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 119:17-35

Proverbs 15:31-32


Turning Point; David Jeremiah – Look and Ask

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

 Recommended Reading: 2 Peter 3:11-12

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

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

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

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


Harvest Ministries; Greg Laurie – Preparing Your Heart for Prayer

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

—Psalm 8:1


Psalm 34:6 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our Daily Bread — Tell the Story

Bible in a Year:

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

1 John 1:3

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

1 John 1:1–4

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

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

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

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

By:  Bill Crowder

Reflect & Pray

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

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


Grace to You; John MacArthur – Entrusting All to God

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Suggestions for Prayer

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

For Further Study

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

From Strength for Today by John MacArthur 


Joyce Meyer – Getting Along with Difficult People

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

— Romans 12:18 (AMPC)

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

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

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

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


Truth for Life; Alistair Begg – Put on Love

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

Colossians 3:14

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

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

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

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

Questions for Thought

How is God calling me to think differently?

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

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

Further Reading

Colossians 3:5-14

Topics: Jesus Christ Love of God Unity


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

2 Virgil, Eclogues X.69.

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


Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – Whom Does God Count Worthy?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Denison Forum – How to die like Tim Keller

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

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

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

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

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

“A pioneer of the new urban Christians”

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

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

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

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

“Jim Brown leaves a highly flawed legacy”

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

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

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

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

“I can’t wait to see Jesus”

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

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

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

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

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

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

What cross is yours today?

Denison Forum

Hagee Ministries; John Hagee –  Daily Devotion

Psalm 37:5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Today’s Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

2 Samuel 1:1-2:11

New Testament 

John 12:20-50

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 118:19-29

Proverbs 15:27-28


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

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

 Recommended Reading: Psalm 119:33-40

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

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

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

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

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


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

 Never stop praying. 

—1 Thessalonians 5:17


1 Thessalonians 5:17 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our Daily Bread — Stolen Gods

Bible in a Year:

You have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.

Genesis 32:28

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

Genesis 31:19–21; 32:22–30

A carved wooden figure—a household god—had been stolen from a woman named Ekuwa, so she reported it to the authorities. Believing they had found the idol, law enforcement officials invited her to identify it. “Is this your god?” they asked. She said sadly, “No, my god is much larger and more beautiful than that.”

People have long tried to give shape to their concept of deity, hoping for a handmade god to protect them. Perhaps that’s why Jacob’s wife Rachel “stole her father’s household gods” as they fled from Laban (Genesis 31:19). But God had His hand on Jacob, despite the idols hidden in his camp (v. 34).

Later, on that same journey, Jacob wrestled all night with “a man” (32:24). He must have understood this opponent was no mere human, because at daybreak Jacob insisted, “I will not let you go unless you bless me” (v. 26). The man renamed him Israel (“God fights”) and then blessed him (vv. 28–29). Jacob called the spot Peniel (“face of God”), “because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared” (v. 30).

This God—the one true God—is infinitely larger and more beautiful than anything Ekuwa could have ever imagined. He can’t be carved, stolen, or hidden. Yet, as Jacob learned that night, we can approach Him! Jesus taught His disciples to call this God “our Father in heaven” (Matthew 6:9).

By:  Tim Gustafson

Reflect & Pray

How would you describe God? How might your ideas of Him be too limited?

Heavenly Father, forgive me for seeing You as smaller than You really are. Help me embrace the reality of who You truly are.


Grace to You; John MacArthur – Trials’ Lessons: True Comfort

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort; who comforts us in all our affliction so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

God entrusts comfort to us, often through trials, so that we may comfort others.

The nation of Ireland is nicknamed the “Emerald Isle” for good reason—it contains some of the greenest countryside of any location on earth. In visiting there I have noticed that abundant mist and fog, which often shroud the rolling landscape, help produce the rich green grass and trees. That phenomenon is much like the Christian life. Many times when our life is obscured by the sufferings and sorrows of trials, it has a refreshing beauty of soul that is not always readily seen. As the apostle Paul’s life demonstrates, sensitive and merciful hearts are the products of great trials.

Difficulties beset us so that God might bestow much comfort on us. But such comfort is not merely for our own benefit. The Lord entrusts His comfort to us that we might share it with others, as verse 4 of today’s passage indicates. And He comforts us in direct proportion to the number of trials we endure, which means the more we suffer, the more God comforts us; and the more He comforts us, the more we can comfort others who are hurting.

When we do experience real comfort in the wake of a trial, perhaps the most precious result is the sense of Christian partnership we feel. If God’s comfort helps us to comfort others, then it’s clear that other believers are positively affected by what we learn from our trials. The entire process lifts us beyond ourselves and shows us that as part of a local fellowship or the greater Body of Christ we are not alone and do not have to undergo various trials in a vacuum.

The comfort we receive and the sense of partnership that results is a great incentive for any of us to be encouraged through trials and sufferings, knowing that such experiences enable us to minister as integral parts of the Body of Christ (see 1 Cor. 12:262 Cor. 1:6-7).

Suggestions for Prayer

Thank God for His unlimited supply of comfort.

For Further Study

Read Isaiah 40:149:1351:361:2. What promise does each verse have in common?

From Strength for Today by John MacArthur