Hearing or Hearing?

Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. Luke 1:38

A parent tells a teenager to be home by 10:30 at night, but the teen comes home at 11:30. The teen heard the instructions audibly, but he didn’t hear them in a way that affected his behavior. His ears received the instructions, but his heart didn’t.
The same disconnect between hearing and hearing can occur when we read God’s Word. It’s one thing to read God’s words in the Bible, but it’s another thing to obey them. God is sovereign and has every right to speak to us and expect an obedient response. Think of how challenging it must have been for the teenage Mary to both hear the angel Gabriel’s words from God and obey them. After all, what the angel said to her must have been confusing, if not confounding (Luke 1:26-38). Yet Mary’s response was a model of obedience: “Let it be to me according to your word.”

When you read God’s words today, make sure you are hearing with your heart as well as with your mind. And let obedience be your response.

The difficulty we modern Christians face is not misunderstanding the Bible, but persuading our untamed hearts to accept its plain instructions.
A. W. Tozer


David Jeremiah

Getting to Know You

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 3:18

Most people go on reality TV shows to find love or win money. But twin sisters Emily and Molly, who recently competed on The Amazing Race, had another reason for being on the show. Born in South Korea and separated at birth, the sisters were both adopted by families in the United States. Thanks to DNA testing, they found each other at the age of 36. One year later, they were traveling the world together on The Amazing Race. As Molly said in an interview, “It was a really nice way to get to know each other in a very unconventional setting. We would have never gotten this close had we not been able to spend time without phones or away from family, just one-on-one together.”[1]
We might know about God, just as the sisters eventually knew about each other, but we should seek to know Him on a far deeper level. As we run the Christian race, are we looking to get to know God more, or are we distracted by our phones and the busyness of life? Take some time today to step away from the distractions of everyday life and spend time getting to know your Heavenly Father more.

We are cruel to ourselves if we try to live in this world without knowing about the God whose world it is and who runs it.
J. I. Packer

  • David Jeremiah

A Way of Escape

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
1 Corinthians 10:13

Jesus Christ was tempted to sin. For example, He underwent three major temptations from Satan after fasting for forty days (Matthew 4:1-11). But He resisted not only those temptations but others as well (Hebrews 4:15).

How did Jesus resist temptation and not sin? By taking “the way of escape” that God provided—in His case, biblical refutations from Deuteronomy to all of Satan’s lies. And because He “suffered” during temptations, “He is able to aid those [us] who are tempted” (Hebrews 2:18). Because temptations don’t come from God (James 1:13), He is more than willing to provide a “way of escape” so that, like Jesus, we can avoid falling into sin.

First Corinthians 10:13 promises that God will provide a way of escape. Our task is to find the way and take it. If you don’t immediately see the way God has provided, ask Him to reveal it (James 1:2-5).

[We must] pray constantly for His enabling grace to say no to temptation, of choosing to take all practical steps to avoid known areas of temptation and flee from those that surprise us. – Jerry Bridges

  • David Jeremiah

God’s Answer for Loneliness

Be diligent to come to me quickly….Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry.
2 Timothy 4:9, 11

When King Solomon wrote that “there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9), he wasn’t speaking literally. Obviously, there were no smartphones when he wrote those words. He was talking about human experience—the repetitive cycles of human life with its ups and downs and joys and defeats. And one of those experiences is loneliness.
Something else that isn’t new is this: our tendency to think we are the only one struggling in a difficult experience like loneliness. But that isn’t true—the Bible contains the records of many servants of God who experienced loneliness. And one of them was the apostle Paul when he was in his final imprisonment before his martyrdom. In 2 Timothy 4:9-18 he recounts how, except for his friend Luke, he was alone in Rome, having been deserted by others. To assuage his loneliness, he asked Timothy to bring Mark to Rome.

What is the Bible’s answer for loneliness? Fellowship within the Body of Christ. The more deeply connected we are with fellow believers, the stronger our defense against loneliness. Connect with others in the Body of Christ and defeat loneliness together.

Loneliness is the first thing which God’s eye named not good. 
John Milton

  • David Jeremiah

The Shattered Mirror

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8

Dustin Stradley woke up on a jailhouse floor in an orange jumpsuit—with no idea how he had gotten there. His drinking was out of control. When he was released on bail, he went home and looked in the mirror. “I was disgusted with what I saw. And so, I…just punched the mirror and shattered the mirror and fell down and just started bawling, crying.”
Dustin’s dad gave him a Bible with a note saying, “This is God’s love letter,” and Dustin eventually gave his heart to Christ. “I realized God loved me, period. Even though I did all these things, God loved me exactly like I am. And He wants to have a relationship with me now.”

God made us in His image, but we’ve all broken the mirror by our sins, addictions, and flaws. But God can restore us! His love for us enables us to love Him in return.

Choose to love Him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength today.

God met me right there, and He’s doing the same thing for all of us. It’s not about earning more of God’s love. He loves you right now, exactly like you are.

Dustin Stradley
– David Jeremiah

A Hot Mess

If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.
2 Timothy 2:13

Talk about “cleanup on aisle 5!” A truck in Memphis, Tennessee, hit a retaining wall and crashed, spilling its load of Bertolli alfredo sauce. The road was closed as workers struggled to clean up the sticky, high-calorie sauce and the thousands of broken glass jars.[1]
We all make messes, don’t we? Remember the time you dropped the pizza upside down on the kitchen floor? What about the time the garbage bag broke before you got it into the bin? Or that awful moment you opened your mouth and said something impulsively?

Sometimes we make a mess spiritually—yielding to temptation, neglecting our devotions, losing our temper, engaging in a habit we know is displeasing to our God. We need to guard our heart carefully and repent of sins promptly. We should also remember that God doesn’t stop loving us when we mess up. At times we might think that God’s love for us stops when we sin. But that’s not true. God compassionately loves us in spite of our sin.

Thank Him today for His compassion and love, and seek to please Him always.

No matter what storm you face, you need to know that God loves you. He has not abandoned you.

Franklin Graham
– David Jeremiah

Loving Limitations

Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.
Romans 7:12
A mother tells her young children: “You may play in this children’s park, anywhere you like. But you may not play in the school playground over there.” The children ask, “Why?” And the mother explains: “Because you would have to cross this busy road which would be dangerous. So you may play here, but not there.”
Laws are meant to protect us and make our life better—not to frustrate us and limit our pleasure. Not only is that true of civil laws like speed limits, but it is also true of God’s laws. In Galatians 4:1-7, Paul used the illustration of children in his day who were guided by tutors until they matured, using the law as an example of a tutor. Just as a tutor would keep a young child from harm, so the laws of God can keep us from harm until we are old enough to understand God’s expectations and wisdom. Chafing against civil or spiritual laws is a sign of immaturity.

If there is a law, commandment, or guideline you don’t see the need for, be patient. Trust that there is a loving reason for every limitation.

When the law of God is written in our hearts our duty will be our delight.

Matthew Henry
– David Jeremiah

Let All Our Songs Employ

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
Luke 2:13-14
Have you heard of lip sync? It stands for lip synchronization, referring to people who pretend to be singing but are actually only moving their lips. Performers do this during dance numbers because of the lung exertion needed for physical activity. Vocalists use this method to preserve their voices. But many fans don’t want to pay money to see their favorite stars pretending to sing.
It’s easy for us to engage in a form of lip syncing. We can “mouth” the words of carols without really thinking of the words or absorbing the meaning. How many of us have stood in church and sung while our mind was wandering far away? Or we moved our mouth without truly singing?

Not this Christmas! The wonder of Christmas—the birth of Christ and the hope of salvation—leads us to express our joy through song, just as it was that first Christmas.

Express your joy through music today and sync your heart to heaven’s choirs.

What joy the glorious music of Christmas brings to our celebration of Christ’s birth! No other season offers such an abundance of spiritual enrichment through song.
Kenneth W. Osbeck

  • D Jeremiah

Best News Ever

Now when [the shepherds] had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child.
Luke 2:17
Human beings are very good at sharing new discoveries or experiences with others. We go to a new doctor or dentist, have a great experience, and tell others about it. We discover a new product that meets a specific need, and we post that product on social media so others can use it. If a group of researchers makes a new medical discovery, they publish their results for the wider medical community to assess.
Ironically, the best news in the world—news which would benefit everyone—is news that we are most hesitant to share with others: the Good News of salvation in Jesus Christ. One group that was eager to share this Good News was the group of shepherds who were the first to visit Jesus at His birth. “They made widely known” what had happened to them—seeing the angels and then seeing Jesus. They followed their natural human instinct to share good news with others.

Be sensitive to the leading of the Spirit today. He may present an opportunity to tell someone the best news of a lifetime.

Every believer is a witness whether he wants to be or not. 
Donald Barnhouse

  • D Jeremiah

An Empathetic High Priest

For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
Hebrews 4:15
Sympathy and empathy are two words often confused—but there are important differences between them. We express sympathy when we have feelings of pity or sorrow for someone’s misfortune or situation. Sympathy is knowledge-based. Empathy is when we understand and share the feelings of another. Empathy is experience-based. Sympathy says, “I feel for you,” while empathy says, “I feel how you feel.”


Hebrews 4:15 uses the English word “sympathize” to describe Jesus’ perspective on our trials. But then it says He “was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.” Therefore, Jesus can empathize with us when we are tempted because He was tempted the same way we are. Jesus understands our situation because He experienced the same thing. He has walked in our shoes when it comes to resisting temptation and human weakness. His compassion is not just knowledge-based; it is experience-based as well.

When you experience a moment of temptation or weakness, approach God, through Christ, with confidence to find mercy and grace in your time of need (Hebrews 4:16). Jesus will intercede for you because He has felt how you feel.

Empathy is your pain in my heart. 

Halford E. Luccock
– D Jeremiah