The Bible

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Hebrews 4:12 
Numerous anecdotal examples have been recorded of pairs of individuals—twins, spouses, best friends—being able to “finish one another’s sentences.” That is, they know each other so well that one person knows what the other is going to say or is thinking.
Even more remarkable is the existence of a Book that is able to discern “the thoughts and intents of the heart.” That book being the Bible, of course. How is the Bible able to speak to the deepest parts of our being? Because it is a living Book. Not the pages or ink, but the words and messages of the Bible as the Holy Spirit applies them to our heart. That’s why it is so important to prayerfully read the Bible, asking the Spirit of God to show us how to conform our life to God’s righteous and holy character.

Reading the Bible is not like reading any other book in the world. It’s the only Book able to conform us to the image of its Author.

The Bible was the only book Jesus ever quoted.
Leon Morris

by Dr. Jeremiah

Miracle Water

But whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.
John 4:13-14 

The “medicine show” was a staple of the nineteenth century in America, especially in the “Wild West” where access to doctors and healthcare was lacking. Traveling salesmen would set up shop in towns and peddle a variety of “miracle” elixirs and tonics promising to cure all manner of illnesses, ailments, and conditions.
When Jesus met a thirsty woman at a well in Samaria, He offered her miracle water: living water, the consumption of which would satisfy her thirst forever. She thought He meant a special kind of liquid; He meant spiritual “water” that would satisfy her spiritual needs forever. It took her some time to understand who Jesus was and what He was talking about. But she soon realized He wasn’t offering her a kind of miracle water, but a relationship with God. Jesus spoke of this living water on other occasions (John 7:37-39), referring to the Holy Spirit.

If you are spiritually thirsty today, you can quench that thirst by yielding your life to God through faith in Christ—the greatest miracle “water” of all.

A miracle would not be a miracle if it could be explained! 
J. C. Ryle

By David Jeremiah

Help First

We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it…. You are helping us.
2 Corinthians 1:8, 11, NLT

Paul occasionally felt overwhelmed, yet he wrote the Corinthians to encourage them, and they helped him by their prayers. There was mutual support.

Justin Bariso wrote about a day when he was overwhelmed and at the end of his fuse. Emerging from his home office, he found his wife overwhelmed too. Their kids were all over the place, and Justin gave into frustration and started yelling. Later he reviewed his own reaction and said, “I can’t do this again.” He developed a two-word strategy: “Help first.”

A few months later, Justin and his wife again felt overwhelmed, but this time he took a deep breath, told himself to help first, and got his wife out of the room for a break. He set the kids up with something to do, gave them something to eat, cleaned up a little, and gave his wife a hug. It totally changed things.[1]

Maybe those two words are a good strategy for us all.
Help first.

By helping first, you break the cycle of misunderstanding…You feel better about yourself, and you get others to feel better about themselves. 
Justin Bariso

Angelic Protectors

David Jeremiah

Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Hebrews 13:5 

When the United States entered World War II, Hollywood film star Jimmy Stewart enlisted in the Army Air Corps as a private. Eventually becoming an officer and a bomber pilot, he flew many combat missions during the war. When he left home for active duty, his father slipped a copy of Psalm 91 into his son’s pocket, telling him to pray it often.

Part of the promise of protection in Psalm 91 reads this way: “For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways” (verse 11). It is ironic that Jimmy Stewart’s most famous movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, would involve an angel named Clarence who indirectly saved Stewart’s character from self-destructing. That fictional movie narrative is certainly indicative of the truth of Scripture. No matter where we are, God is with us—and often His presence is accompanied by the protection or provision of His angelic messengers. Angels may be the most unsung heroes in the story of redemption.

Wherever you are today, God is with you—and His angels are as well (Hebrews 1:14).

God will take care of you, through every day o’er all the way.
Civilla D. Martin

Never Alone

Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. John 16:32 

In 1913, when William Howard Taft welcomed his successor, Woodrow Wilson, to the White House, he warned Wilson that the presidency was “the loneliest place in the world.” Wilson would later write, “I never dreamed such loneliness and desolation of heart possible.”

We don’t often think of leaders as being lonely—but it happened to the apostle Paul. In his second Roman imprisonment, he was confined in the dreadful Mamertine prison in Rome, from which he penned his second letter to Timothy. He had sent some co-laborers to other fields (2 Timothy 4:10) but had been deserted by everyone but Luke (4:11, 16). He longed to see Timothy and Mark (4:11). Was anyone with Paul when he died by beheading? We don’t know of any human coworkers who were there. But we know that God was with him.

No matter how alone we may be or feel, God continues to pour out His love for us by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:3-5). Be assured He is with you, even at this moment.

One trouble with being an atheist is that you have nobody to talk to when you are alone.

David Jeremiah

Don’t Worship Wrongly!

David Jeremiah
Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels.
Colossians 2:18

What would you do if you encountered an angel from heaven? One would not be blamed for falling down, prostrate, before such a magnificent being. If one fell down out of fear, that would be understandable. But if one fell down in worship, that would not be appropriate. The apostle John discovered that when he bowed down to worship an angel in heaven and was reprimanded—twice.

John had seen a lot of “falling down” in heaven, specifically the four living creatures and the 24 elders worshiping before the throne of God. So when John himself encountered a mighty angel, he fell down at the angel’s feet to worship (Revelation 19:10; 22:8-9). But in both cases, the angel told John to stand up because “I am your fellow servant….Worship God.” This testimony could not be clearer: Angels are worshipers, like us. Multitudes of them circle around the throne of God and worship Him (Revelation 5:11-12). Angels are not to be worshiped.

All of creation—in heaven and on earth—bows a knee before Jesus Christ and Him alone (Philippians 2:10).

What or whom we worship determines our behavior.
John Murray

Faith That Defends

Above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.
Ephesians 6:16 

The more movies that depict battle scenes between ancient armies, the more we see defensive tactics whereby hundreds of shields are overlapped together to prevent the incursion of arrows. It’s an impressive site and illustrates the value of a shield. (See 1 Kings 22:34-36 where the lack of a shield resulted in death.)

by David Jeremiah
No wonder Paul used the Roman shield to illustrate the power of faith to defend us against the “fiery darts of the wicked one” (Ephesians 6:16). Why “fiery” darts? Because often arrow points would be dipped in pitch and set alight before being shot to set fire to whatever they struck. Roman soldiers would soak their leather shields in water to extinguish these fiery missiles when they landed. And why “faith”? How does faith extinguish Satan’s hellish attacks? Because Satan’s attacks are against the character of God—His words and works. When we have faith in God and His promises, as Jesus did when tempted by Satan in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11), we can extinguish Satan’s attacks.

How is your faith today? The stronger it is, the quicker Satan’s fiery attacks will be extinguished.

Faith is the gaze of a soul upon a saving God.
A. W. Tozer

Solid Ground

– David Jeremiah

Therefore whoever hears these saying of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock.
Matthew 7:24

Istanbul is one of the most beautiful cities on earth—the link between Europe and Asia—but it’s also one of the most vulnerable spots for a major earthquake. It sits directly on top of an active fault line, and thousands of buildings in the city are perilously unsafe because of this.

Millions of people are building their lives on unstable ground in a spiritual and moral sense. Only the Gospel provides a worldview that will sustain us when our world shakes. Jesus made this point visually in His story of the two men in Matthew 7. Both men listened to His teachings. One man followed through with faith and obedience, and he built his life on solid ground. The other listened, then went his way without trusting or obeying what Jesus said. The ground beneath him collapsed.

The Gospel brings steadfastness to those who trust it. Those who build on Jesus are on stable ground. As the hymnist said, “When all around my soul gives way, He then is all my hope and stay.”

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.
Edward Mote

Not One Spot

Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.Romans 5:9

Sometimes the richest devotions are from dusty books. Listen to what the British preacher William Romaine (1714-1795) said about the blood of Jesus: “Sins as red as scarlet, sins as numerous as the stars, or as the sands upon the sea-shore innumerable, and nature as black as hell, a heart as wicked as the devil, the divine and eternally precious blood of Jesus can so cleanse and purify, that not one spot shall remain; for he is Almighty.”

All of us look back with regrets at our imperfections, mistakes, moments of failure, and times when we said or did the wrong thing. But we shouldn’t! God has erased all those from the ledgers. When we look backward, we should say: “Praise the Lord! Everything sinful is gone, and everything is working out for good through the mercy and grace of our God.”

Our past is forgiven; our future is forever; today is for Him!

If I had been guilty of all the sins of Adam and Eve, and of all their descendants to this day, yet believing in him I should be safe, because his blood cleanseth from all sin.
William Romaine

Greater Is He

You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
1 John 4:4 

Perhaps Satan’s greatest trick concerns his own identity. He has enabled the world to think of him as an impish demon, dressed in red, with a pitchfork and a pointy tail. He is pictured as sitting on one’s shoulder, whispering suggestions into the ear—a cartoon character worthy of a laugh. But nothing could be more wrong.
Instead of a red-dressed imp, Satan is a powerful being, portrayed in Scripture like a “roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). He can destroy, divide, and discourage using that which reveals his character: lies, counterfeits, and deception. He was given the name “devil” (diabolos—accuser, slanderer) in Scripture because of his tactic of slandering us before God and slandering God before us. But for all his schemes and power, we do not need to fear him. For the God who is in us is greater than the devil who is in the world.

Be ready for spiritual battle by submitting to God and resisting the devil—and he will flee from you (James 4:7).

I fear not the tyranny of man, neither yet what the devil can invent against me.
John Knox