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Our Daily Bread Daily Devotional for 2024


Wednesday, June 19, 2024

God of Freedom

Bible in a Year : Nehemiah 12-13, Acts 4:23-27

I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.
Exodus 3:10

Today's Scripture & Insight : Exodus 3:1-10

President Abraham Lincoln had emancipated people held in slavery two-and-a half-years earlier and the Confederacy had surrendered, yet the state of Texas still hadn’t acknowledged the freedom of enslaved persons. However, on June 19, 1865, Union army general Gordon Granger rode into Galveston, Texas, and demanded that all enslaved persons be released. Imagine the shock and joy as shackles fell...More

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Friend to the Lonely

Bible in a Year : Nehemiah 10-11, Acts 4:1-22

God sets the lonely in families.
Psalm 68:6

Today's Scripture & Insight : Psalm 68:3-6, 19

Holly Cooke didn’t have one single friend when she moved to London for a job. Her weekends felt miserable. The city itself tops the list for feeling blue—with 55 percent of Londoners saying they’re lonely, according to a global survey, compared to just 10 percent of residents in neighborly Lisbon, Portugal.

For connection, Holly defied her fears and formed a social media group called The London Lonely Girls Club—and some...More

Monday, June 17, 2024

Generous Faith

Bible in a Year : Nehemiah 7-9, Acts 3

When you are harvesting in your field . . . leave [some] for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow.
Deuteronomy 24:19

Today's Scripture & Insight : Deuteronomy 24:17-22

A few years ago, our church was invited to host refugees fleeing their country after a tumultuous change in political leadership. Entire families came with only what they could fit in a small bag. Several of our church families opened their homes, including some who had little room to spare.

Their gracious hospitality reflects God’s triple command to...More

Sunday, June 16, 2024

Hope of Healing

Bible in a Year : Nehemiah 4-6, Acts 2:22-47

At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.
John 5:9

Today's Scripture & Insight : John 5:1-9

A new cause for hope has emerged for people paralyzed by spinal cord injuries. German researchers have discovered a way to stimulate nerve growth to reconnect the neural pathways between the muscles and the brain. The regrowth has enabled paralyzed mice to walk again, and testing will continue to determine whether the therapy is safe and effective for humans.

What science seeks to achieve on behalf of those...More

Saturday, June 15, 2024

Heart of Service

Bible in a Year : Nehemiah 1-3, Acts 2:1-21

Do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.
Galatians 5:13

Today's Scripture & Insight : Galatians 5:13-18

When my “uncle” Emory passed away, the tributes were many and varied. Yet all those honors carried a consistent theme—Emory showed his love for God by serving others. Nowhere was this more exemplified than during his World War II military service, where he served as a corpsman—a medic who went into battle without a weapon. He received high military honors for his bravery,...More

Friday, June 14, 2024

Dilemmas and Deeper Faith

Bible in a Year : Ezra 9-10, Acts 1

Daughter, your faith has healed you.
Mark 5:34

Today's Scripture & Insight : Mark 5:21-34

During a Saturday morning Bible study, a father was perplexed because his beloved, wayward daughter had returned to the city, but he was uncomfortable with her in his home because of her behavior. Another attendee was not well in her body because the physical effects of long-term disease and aging had taken their toll. Numerous visits to numerous doctors had yielded minimal progress. She was discouraged. By divine design, Mark chapter 5 was the Bible...More

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Expecting Jesus

Bible in a Year : Ezra 6-8, John 21

You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
Matthew 24:44

Today's Scripture & Insight : Matthew 24:36-44

My friend Paul was awaiting the arrival of a technician to repair his refrigerator when he saw a text on his phone from the appliance company. It read: “Jesus is on his way and is expected to arrive at approximately 11:35 a.m.” Paul soon discovered the technician’s name was indeed Jesús (hay-SOOS).

But when can we expect Jesus the Son of God to arrive? When He came...More

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

God’s Created Masterpiece

Bible in a Year : Ezra 3-5, John 20

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful; I know that full well.
Psalm 139:14

Today's Scripture & Insight : Psalm 139:13-18

Although neuroscience has made great progress in understanding how the brain works, scientists admit they’re still in the early stages of understanding it. They understand brain architecture, some aspects of its function, and regions that respond to environment, activate our senses, generate movements, and contain emotions. But they still can’t figure out how all these...More

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Shebna’s Grave

Bible in a Year : Ezra 1-2, John 19:23-42

Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.
Revelation 14:13

Today's Scripture & Insight : Isaiah 22:15–24

Irish poet W. B. Yeats wanted to be buried “Under Ben Bulben,” a stately flat-topped mountain after which he titled one of his last poems. The poem’s final line is etched onto his gravestone: “Cast a cold eye / On life, on death. / Horseman, pass by!”

Much speculation has taken place over what this means. Perhaps it’s the poet’s acknowledgment of the reality of both life and death. Regardless, Yeats got...More

Monday, June 10, 2024

Every Moment Counts

Bible in a Year : 2 Chronicles 34-36, John 19:1-22

Keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist.
2 Timothy 4:5

Today's Scripture & Insight : 2 Timothy 4:1-8

When the Titanic hit an iceberg in April 1912, Pastor John Harper secured a spot for his six-year-old daughter in one of the limited number of lifeboats. He gave his life-vest to a fellow passenger and shared the gospel with anyone who would listen. As the vessel sank and hundreds of people awaited an unlikely rescue, Harper swam from one person to another and said, “Believe on the...More

Sunday, June 9, 2024

Big-Hearted Giving

Bible in a Year : 2 Chronicles 32-33, John 18:19-40

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give.
2 Corinthians 9:7

Today's Scripture & Insight : 2 Corinthians 9:6-11

At the after-school Bible club where my wife Sue serves once a week, the kids were asked to donate money to help children in the war-torn country of Ukraine. About a week after Sue told our eleven-year-old granddaughter Maggie about the project, we got an envelope in the mail from her. It contained $3.45, along with a note: “This is all I have for the kids in Ukraine. I’ll send more...More

Saturday, June 8, 2024

House Gods

Bible in a Year : 2 Chronicles 30-31, John 18:1-18

Throw away the foreign gods that are among you and yield your hearts to the Lord.
Joshua 24:23

Today's Scripture & Insight : Genesis 35:1-5

The men in the Bible study group were nearly eighty years old, so I was surprised to learn they struggled with lust. A battle that had begun in their youth lingered still. Each day they pledged to follow Jesus in this area and asked forgiveness for the moments they failed.

It may surprise us that godly men still fight against base temptations at a late stage in life, but...More

Friday, June 7, 2024

Joy in Giving

Bible in a Year : 2 Chronicles 28-29, John 17

It is more blessed to give than to receive.
Acts 20:35

Today's Scripture & Insight : Acts 20:17-24, 34-35

When Keri’s young son was going through yet another surgery related to muscular dystrophy, she wanted to take her mind off her family’s situation by doing something for someone else. So she rounded up her son’s outgrown but gently used shoes and donated them to a ministry. Her giving prompted friends and family members and even neighbors to join in, and soon more than two hundred pairs of shoes were...More

Thursday, June 6, 2024

Give Thanks to God

Bible in a Year : 2 Chronicles 25-27, John 16

When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them.
Luke 24:30

Today's Scripture & Insight : Luke 24:28–35

My friend hurried from her stressful job at the hospital, wondering what she would prepare for dinner before her husband returned from his equally demanding job. She had made chicken on Sunday and served leftovers on Monday. Then, they had yet another round of chicken—this time baked—on Tuesday. She found two pieces of fish in the freezer, but she knew the fillets...More

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Liked and Loved by God

Bible in a Year : 2 Chronicles 23-24, John 15

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.
Jeremiah 1:5

Today's Scripture & Insight : Jeremiah 1:1-10

It feels like “likes”—you know, that little thumbs-up on Facebook—have always been with us. But it turns out that this virtual symbol of affirmation has only been around since 2009.

The “like” designer, Justin Rosenstein, said he wanted to help create “a world in which people uplift each other rather than tear each other down.” But Rosenstein came to lament...More

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Thirsty and Thankful

Bible in a Year : 2 Chronicles 21-22, John 14

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.
Psalm 42:1

Today's Scripture & Insight : Psalm 42:1-5

Two friends and I were checking off a bucket list item—hiking the Grand Canyon. We wondered if we had enough water as we started out our hike, and it ran out fast. We were completely out of water with still a ways to go to reach the rim. Panting, mixed with praying, set in. Then we rounded a corner and what we maintain as a miracle happened. We spotted three water bottles tucked in a cleft in the rock...More

Monday, June 3, 2024

Cleansed by Christ

Bible in a Year : 2 Chronicles 19-20, John 13:21-38

He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us.
1 John 1:9

Today's Scripture & Insight : 1 John 1:5-10

My first short-term missions trip was to the Amazon jungle in Brazil to help build a church by the river. One afternoon, we visited one of the few homes in the area that had a water filter. When our host poured murky well water into the top of the contraption, within minutes all the impurities were removed, and clean, clear drinking water appeared. Right there in the man’s living room, I saw a...More

Sunday, June 2, 2024

Generously Given and Shared

Bible in a Year : 2 Chronicles 17-18, John 13:1-20

Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely.
Psalm 112:5

Today's Scripture & Insight : Psalm 112

When my wife, Cari, and I finished our higher education, we had several thousand dollars in debt that we needed to consolidate through a lower interest rate. We applied for a loan at the local bank but were turned down because we hadn’t lived or worked in that city for long. A few days later, I shared what had happened with my friend Ming, who was an elder in our church. “I’d like to mention this to my...More

Saturday, June 1, 2024

From Holey to Holy

Bible in a Year : 2 Chronicles 15-16, John 12:27-50

He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace.
2 Timothy 1:9

Today's Scripture & Insight : 2 Timothy 1:6-10

As a child, my daughter loved playing with her Swiss cheese at lunch. She’d place the pastel yellow square on her face like a mask, saying, “Look, Mom,” her sparkly green eyes peeking out from two holes in the cheese. As a young mom, that Swiss-cheese mask summed up my feelings about my efforts—genuinely offered, full of love, but...More

Friday, May 31, 2024

Mercy through Pizza

Bible in a Year : 2 Chronicles 13-14, John 12:1-26

Be merciful to those who doubt.
Jude 1:22

Today's Scripture & Insight : Jude 1:17-23

The invitation for dinner from my church leader Harold and his wife, Pam, warmed my heart, but also made me nervous. I’d joined a college Bible study group that taught ideas that contradicted some of the teachings in the Bible. Would they lecture me about that?

Over pizza, they shared about their family and asked about mine. They listened as I talked about homework, my dog Buchi, and the guy I had a crush on. Only later did...More

Thursday, May 30, 2024

Words Reflect Our Heart

Bible in a Year : 2 Chronicles 10-12, John 11:30-57

A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart.
Luke 6:45 nlt

Today's Scripture & Insight : Luke 6:43-45

How do you eliminate foul language? A high school chose to institute a “no foul language” promise. The students took an oath, saying: "I do solemnly promise not to use profanities of any kind within the walls and properties of [our school].” This was a noble effort, but, according to Jesus, no external rule or pledge can ever cover the odor of foul speech.

Removing the stench of...More

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Advice from One Older

Bible in a Year : 2 Chronicles 7-9, John 11:1-29

Be kind and compassionate to one another.
Ephesians 4:32

Today's Scripture & Insight : Ephesians 4:29-32

“What do I regret?” That was the question New York Times bestselling writer George Saunders answered in his 2013 commencement speech at Syracuse University. His approach was that of an older person (Saunders) who shared one or two regrets he’d had in life with the younger people (graduates) who could learn something from his examples. He listed a few things people might assume he regretted, like being poor and...More

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Impromptu Praise

Bible in a Year : 2 Chronicles 4-6, John 10:24-42

About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God.
Acts 16:25

Today's Scripture & Insight : Acts 16:16-26

During a short-term missions trip to Ethiopia, our team accompanied another team from a local ministry on an outreach to a group of young men who’d hit hard times and were living in shacks in a literal junkyard. They were such a delight to meet! We shared testimonies, encouraging words, and prayers together. One of my favorite moments that evening was when a local team member played his guitar and we...More

Monday, May 27, 2024

When It’s Time

Bible in a Year : 2 Chronicles 1-3, John 10:1-23

Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
1 Peter 5:8

Today's Scripture & Insight : 1 Peter 5:6-11

When my friends Al and Kathy Schiffer flew their iconic, World War II–era airplane to airshows, it was the reactions of the elderly war veterans that meant the most to them. They would come by so they could talk about the wars they served in and the airplanes they flew. Most of their battle stories were told with tears in their eyes. Many have said that the best news they received...More

Sunday, May 26, 2024

Beauty in Place of Soil

Bible in a Year : 1 Chronicles 28-29, John 9:24-41

Bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
Isaiah 61:3

Today's Scripture & Insight : Isaiah 61:1-3

One evening, I noticed neat rows of soil in a vacant lot near my home. Each row contained small green leaves with tiny buds peeking out. The next morning, I stopped in my tracks when I saw a patch of beautiful red tulips sprouting in the lot.

The previous fall, a group had planted one hundred thousand bulbs in empty...More

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Tell Them What God Did

Bible in a Year : 1 Chronicles 25-27, John 9:1-23

We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors . . . . We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.
2 Corinthians 5:20

Today's Scripture & Insight : 2 Corinthians 5:12-21

My college friend Bill Tobias has served as a missionary on a Pacific island for many years. He tells the story about a young man who left his hometown to seek his fortune. But a friend took him to church where he heard the good news Jesus offers, and he trusted Christ as his Savior.

The young man wanted to take the gospel to his people...More

Friday, May 24, 2024

Correction with a Kiss

Bible in a Year : 1 Chronicles 22-24, John 8:28-59

God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness.
Hebrews 12:10

Today's Scripture & Insight : Hebrews 12:4-11

In his parable The Wise Woman, George MacDonald tells the story of two girls, whose selfishness brings misery to all, including themselves, until a wise woman puts them through a series of tests to help them become “lovely” again.

After the girls fail each test and suffer shame and isolation, one of them, Rosamond, finally realizes she can’t change herself. “Couldn’t...More

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Look to the Skies

Bible in a Year : 1 Chronicles 19-21, John 8:1-27

The heavens declare the glory of God.
Psalm 19:1

Today's Scripture & Insight : Psalm 19:1-9

Alex Smalley wants everyone to wake up earlier—or perhaps pause more at day’s end. Why? To gaze at sunrises and sunsets. Those fleeting moments are the most beautiful, awe-inspiring times of the day, according to Smalley, the lead researcher of a British study on awe-inducing weather effects. Even more than blue skies or glittering nightscapes, a stunning sunrise or sunset can improve mood, increase positive emotions, and decrease...More

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Keeping Our Spiritual Edge

Bible in a Year : 1 Chronicles 16-18, John 7:28-53

The eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.
2 Chronicles 16:9

Today's Scripture & Insight : 2 Chronicles 16:1-9

The Rocky movies tell the story of a raw boxer, fueled by never-say-die determination, who overcomes improbable odds to become heavyweight champion. In Rocky III, a now successful Rocky becomes impressed with his own achievements. Television commercials disrupt his time in the gym. The champ grows soft, and he’s knocked out by a challenger. The...More

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Extending Christ’s Kindness

Bible in a Year : 1 Chronicles 13-15, John 7:1-27

Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they wept.
Genesis 33:4

Today's Scripture & Insight : Genesis 33:1-11

Kindness or revenge? Isaiah had just been hit in the head by a wild pitch during a Little League regional championship baseball game. He dropped to the ground holding his head. Thankfully, his helmet protected him from serious injury. As play resumed, Isaiah noticed the pitcher was visibly shaken by his unintentional error. In that moment, Isaiah did something so...More

Monday, May 20, 2024

God in the Past and Present

Bible in a Year : 1 Chronicles 10-12, John 6:45-71

I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place.
Jeremiah 29:10

Today's Scripture & Insight : Jeremiah 29:8-14

It had been years since we left the Oregon town where we raised our family. We’d made great memories there, and the recent visit reminded me of moments I’d forgotten: our girls’ soccer games, our old home, church gatherings, and our friends’ Mexican restaurant. The town had changed, but there was enough of the familiar to spark my desire to return for a visit.


Sunday, May 19, 2024

Making God Known

Bible in a Year : 1 Chronicles 7-9, John 6:22-44

Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.
Revelation 7:10

Today's Scripture & Insight : Revelation 7:9-12

A love for God and for people undergirds Kathryn’s Bible translating work. She rejoices when women in India come to a deeper understanding of Scripture, reading it in their mother tongue. She remarks that when they do, “They often start cheering or clapping. They read about Jesus, and they say, ‘Oh, wonderful!’ ”

Kathryn longs for more people to read the Scriptures in...More

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Called and Equipped by God

Bible in a Year : 1 Chronicles 4-6, John 6:1-21

I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom . . . and with all kinds of skills.
Exodus 31:3

Today's Scripture & Insight : Exodus 31:1-11

“Your job for the international book expo,” my boss informed me, “is to organize an onsite radio broadcast.” I felt fear because this was new territory for me. God, I’ve never done anything like this, I prayed. Please help me.

God provided resources and people to guide me: experienced technicians and broadcasters, plus reminders during the expo of details I’d...More

Friday, May 17, 2024

A Change of Venue

Bible in a Year : 1 Chronicles 1-3, John 5:25-47

We . . . would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.
2 Corinthians 5:8

Today's Scripture & Insight : 2 Corinthians 5:1-10

My friend Joann passed away from a stroke just as the coronavirus began to spread in 2020. At first her family published that her memorial service would be at her church, but then it was determined it was best to hold it at a funeral home to control the size of the group attending. The new notice online read: Joann Warners—Changed Venue.

Yes, her venue had changed!...More

Thursday, May 16, 2024

God’s Handiwork

Bible in a Year : 2 Kings 24-25, John 5:1-24

How majestic is your name in all the earth.
Psalm 8:1

Today's Scripture & Insight : Psalm 8

On July 12, 2022, scientists awaited the first images of deepest space from the new James Webb Space Telescope. The state-of-the-art telescope can look farther into the universe than mankind has ever looked before. Suddenly a breathtaking image emerges: a color space-scape of the Carina Nebula, never before seen like this. One NASA astronomer quoted Carl Sagan, a noted atheist: “Somewhere, something incredible is...More

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Lies and Truth

Bible in a Year : 2 Kings 22-23, John 4:31-54

[Satan] is a liar and the father of lies.
John 8:44

Today's Scripture & Insight : John 8:31-32, 36, 42-47

Adolf Hitler believed big lies were more powerful than small ones, and, tragically, he tested his theory successfully. Early in his political career, he claimed he was content to support others’ aspirations. When he came to power, he said his party didn’t intend to persecute anyone. Later, he used the media to portray himself as a father figure and moral leader.

Satan uses lies to gain power in our lives....More

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Joy and Wisdom

Bible in a Year : 2 Kings 19-21, John 4:1-30

I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad.
Ecclesiastes 8:15

Today's Scripture & Insight : Ecclesiastes 8:14-17

Sweetly fragrant cherry tree blossoms flood Japan with exquisite pale and vibrant pinks every spring, delighting the senses of residents and tourists alike. The short-lived nature of the blossoms cultivates a keen awareness in the Japanese to savor the beauty and scent while they linger: the very brevity of the experience heightens the...More

Monday, May 13, 2024

A Solitary Voice

Bible in a Year : 2 Kings 17-18, John 3:19-36

As surely as the Lord lives, I can tell him only what my God says.
2 Chronicles 18:13

Today's Scripture & Insight : 2 Chronicles 18:9-16

After the Paris Peace Conference that concluded World War I, French Marshall Ferdinand Foch bitterly observed, “This is not peace. It is an armistice for twenty years.” Foch’s view contradicted the popular opinion that the horrifying conflict would be the “war to end all wars.” Twenty years and two months later, World War II erupted. Foch was right.

Long ago, Micaiah, the...More

Sunday, May 12, 2024

Leaving a Spiritual Legacy

Bible in a Year : 2 Kings 15-16, John 3:1-18

I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice.
2 Timothy 1:5

Today's Scripture & Insight : 2 Timothy 1:3-5

As teens, my sister and I didn’t understand my mom’s decision to receive Jesus as her Savior, but we couldn’t deny the changes we saw in her. She had more peace and joy and began faithfully serving at church. She had such a hunger for studying the Bible that she attended and graduated from seminary. A few years after my mom’s decision, my sister accepted...More

Saturday, May 11, 2024

Staying the Course in Christ

Bible in a Year : 2 Kings 13-14, John 2

All you need to say is simply “Yes” or “No”; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.
Matthew 5:37

Today's Scripture & Insight : 1 Samuel 28:3-10

As Gandalf the Grey confronted Saruman the White, it became clear that the latter had turned from what he was supposed to be doing—helping to protect Middle-earth from the power of the evil being Sauron. What’s more, Saruman had allied with Sauron! In this scene from the film The Fellowship of the Ring, based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s classic work, the two former friends then...More

Friday, May 10, 2024

Trying to Save Ourselves

Bible in a Year : 2 Kings 10-12, John 1:29-51

It is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.
Ephesians 2:8

Today's Scripture & Insight : Ephesians 2:1-10

Many years ago, New York City launched a “Stay Safe. Stay Put” ad campaign to educate people on how to stay calm and be safe when trapped in an elevator. Experts reported that some trapped passengers had died when they tried to pry open the elevator doors or attempted exiting by some other means. The best plan of action is to simply use the alarm button to...More

Thursday, May 9, 2024

Blooming Deserts

Bible in a Year : 2 Kings 7-9, John 1:1-28

The desert will bloom with flowers.
Isaiah 35:2 nirv

Today's Scripture & Insight : Isaiah 35:1-7

A century ago, lush forest covered roughly 40 percent of Ethiopia, but today it’s around 4 percent. Clearing acreage for crops while failing to protect the trees has led to an ecological crisis. The vast majority of the remaining small patches of green are protected by churches. For centuries, local Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido churches have nurtured these oases in the midst of the barren desert. If you look at aerial images, you see...More

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Eyes to See

Bible in a Year : 2 Kings 4-6, Luke 24:36-53

Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.”
2 Kings 6:17

Today's Scripture & Insight : 2 Kings 6:15-23

Joy was concerned for her relative Sandy, who for years had struggled with alcoholism and mental-health issues. When she went to Sandy’s apartment, the doors were locked, and it appeared vacant. As she and others planned their search for Sandy, Joy prayed, “God, help me to see what I’m not seeing.” As they were leaving, Joy looked back at Sandy’s apartment and saw the tiniest movement of a curtain. In...More

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

God-Given Gifts

Bible in a Year : 2 Kings 1-3, Luke 24:1-35

We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.
Romans 12:6

Today's Scripture & Insight : Romans 12:4-8

Decades ago, I went to a college retreat where everyone was talking about a personality test. “I’m an ISTJ!” one said. “I’m an ENFP,” another chirped. I was mystified. “I’m an ABCXYZ,” I joked.

Since then, I’ve learned a lot about that test (the Myers-Briggs) and others such as the DiSC assessment. I find them fascinating because they can help us understand ourselves and...More

Monday, May 6, 2024

Loving Obedience

Bible in a Year : 1 Kings 21-22, Luke 23:26-56

Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me.
John 14:21 nlt

Today's Scripture & Insight : John 14:15-21

During our wedding ceremony, our minister said to me, “Do you promise to love, honor, and obey your husband, until death do you part?” Glancing at my fiancé, I whispered, “Obey?” We’d built our relationship on love and respect—not blind obedience, as the vows seemed to suggest. My husband’s father captured on film that wide-eyed moment when I processed the word obey and said, “I...More

Sunday, May 5, 2024

Tears of Joy

Bible in a Year : 1 Kings 19-20, Luke 23:1-25

Tears of joy will stream down their faces, and I will lead them home with great care.
Jeremiah 31:9 nlt

Today's Scripture & Insight : Jeremiah 31:3-9

Leaving home one morning, Dean found some friends waiting with balloons. His friend Josh stepped forward. “We entered your poems in a competition,” he said, before handing Dean an envelope. Inside was a card that read “First Prize,” and soon everyone was crying tears of joy. Dean’s friends had done a beautiful thing, confirming his writing...More

Saturday, May 4, 2024

The Triumph of Faith

Bible in a Year : 1 Kings 16-18, Luke 22:47-71

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
Psalm 56:3

Today's Scripture & Insight : Psalm 56:1-4

A routine wellness check for little four-year-old Calvin revealed a few unexpected spots on his body. During the visit, he was given some shots, and the injection site was covered with a bandage. At home, when the time came to remove the small adhesive covering, Calvin whimpered with fear. Seeking to console his son, his father said, “Calvin, you know I’d never do anything to hurt you.” His father wanted his son to trust him...More

Friday, May 3, 2024

Prayer Matters

Bible in a Year : 1 Kings 14-15, Luke 22:21-46

I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you.
2 Kings 20:5

Today's Scripture & Insight : 2 Kings 20:1-6

“Prayers for an upcoming brain scan.” “That my kids would come back to church.” “Comfort for Dave, who lost his wife.” Our card ministry team receives a weekly list of prayer requests like these so we can pray and send each person a handwritten note. The requests are overwhelming, and our efforts can feel small and unnoticed. That changed after I received a heartfelt thank-you card from Dave, the...More

Thursday, May 2, 2024

A Creator We Can Trust

Bible in a Year : 1 Kings 12-13, Luke 22:1-20

God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son.
John 3:16

Today's Scripture & Insight : John 3:10-17

The “monster” in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is one of the most widely known literary characters, captivating our cultural imagination. But close readers of the beloved novel know that a strong case can be made that Shelley actually portrays Victor Frankenstein, the delusional scientist who created the creature, as the real monster. After creating an intelligent creature, Victor denies him any guidance,...More

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

The Authority of Jesus

Bible in a Year : 1 Kings 10-11, Luke 21:20-38

All authority . . . has been given to me.
Matthew 28:18

Today's Scripture & Insight : Matthew 28:16-20

Even after Jesus had set my son Geoff free from years of substance abuse, I still had worries. We’d been through much together and my focus sometimes remained on his difficult past instead of the future God had for him. Parents of addicts often worry about relapse, and one day at a family gathering, I pulled Geoff aside. “Remember,” I told him, “we have an adversary, and he’s powerful.” “I know, Dad,” he...More

Sunday, April 28, 2024

Angel Companions

Bible in a Year : 1 Kings 3-5, Luke 20:1-26

I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way.
Exodus 23:20

Today's Scripture & Insight : Exodus 23:20-26

As medical test after medical test filled up Bev’s schedule, she grew overwhelmed and weary. Doctors alarmed her when they told her they were looking for cancer somewhere in her body. Each day God faithfully encouraged her with the promises of His presence and an abiding peace when she turned to Him or read the Bible. She battled with the uncertainties and frequently learned to roll the “what ifs” onto...More

Saturday, April 27, 2024

Pull the Weeds of Worry

Bible in a Year : 1 Kings 1-2, Luke 19:28-48

[They hear] the word, but the worries of this life . . . choke the word.
Matthew 13:22

Today's Scripture & Insight : Matthew 13:3-8, 18-23

After burying a few seeds in a planter in my backyard, I waited to see the results. Reading that the seeds would sprout within ten to fourteen days, I checked often as I watered the soil. Soon I saw a few green leaves pushing their way out of the soil. But my bubble burst quickly when my husband told me those were weeds. He encouraged me to pull them quickly so that they wouldn’t choke the...More

Friday, April 26, 2024

Serving Together in Jesus

Bible in a Year : 2 Samuel 23-24, Luke 19:1-27

You sent me aid more than once when I was in need.
Philippians 4:16

Today's Scripture & Insight : Philippians 4:14-20

Rescue workers cooperated to help three men stranded on an island in Micronesia. Teamwork was necessary because a widespread health crisis required them to limit their exposure to each other. The pilot who first spotted the castaways radioed a nearby Australian Navy ship. The ship sent two helicopters which provided food, water, and medical care. Later, the US Coast Guard arrived to check on the men and deliver...More

Thursday, April 25, 2024

God Is My Helper

Bible in a Year : 2 Samuel 21-22, Luke 18:24-43

The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
Hebrews 13:6

Today's Scripture & Insight : Joshua 14:6-12

My friend Raleigh is sprinting toward his eighty-fifth birthday! Since my first conversation with him more than thirty-five years ago, he’s been a source of inspiration. When he recently mentioned that since retiring he’d completed a book manuscript and started another ministry initiative—I was intrigued but not surprised.

At eighty-five, Caleb in the Bible wasn’t ready to stop either. His faith and...More

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

United Diversity in Christ

Bible in a Year : 2 Samuel 19-20, Luke 18:1-23

God has placed the parts in the body . . . just as he wanted them to be.
1 Corinthians 12:18

Today's Scripture & Insight : 1 Corinthians 12:12-14, 21-27

In his essay “Service and the Spectrum,” Professor Daniel Bowman Jr. writes of the difficulty of navigating decisions about how to serve his church as an autistic person. He explains, “Autistic people have to forge a new path forward every single time, a unique path that takes into account . . . mental, emotional, and physical energy . . . alone/recharging time; sensory...More

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Jesus—The True Peacemaker

Bible in a Year : 2 Samuel 16-18, Luke 17:20-37

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.
John 16:33

Today's Scripture & Insight : John 16:25-33

On December 30, 1862, the US Civil War raged. Union and Confederate troops camped seven hundred yards apart on opposing sides of Tennessee’s Stones River. As they warmed themselves around campfires, Union soldiers picked up their fiddles and harmonicas and began playing “Yankee Doodle.” In reply, the Confederate soldiers offered “Dixie.” Remarkably, both sides joined for a finale, playing “Home,...More

Monday, April 22, 2024

Community in Christ

Bible in a Year : 2 Samuel 14-15, Luke 17:1-19

A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Ecclesiastes 4:12

Today's Scripture & Insight : Ecclesiastes 4:7-12

“I knew that the only way to succeed was to forget about home and my wife, son, and daughter,” said Jordon. “I’ve found I can’t do that. They’re woven into the fabric of my heart and soul.” Alone in a remote area, Jordon was participating in a reality show where contestants are asked to survive outdoors with minimal supplies for as long as possible. What forced him to forfeit was not the grizzly...More

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Bitterness of Stolen Sweets

Bible in a Year : 2 Samuel 12-13, Luke 16

Food gained by fraud tastes sweet, but one ends up with a mouth full of gravel.
Proverbs 20:17

Today's Scripture & Insight : Proverbs 20:11-17

Thieves in Germany stole a truck’s refrigerated trailer filled with more than twenty tons of chocolate. The estimated worth of the stolen sweetness was $80,000. Local police asked anyone who was offered large quantities of chocolate via unconventional channels to report it immediately. Surely those who stole the massive amount of sweets will be facing bitter and unsatisfying consequences if...More

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Family Matters

Bible in a Year : 2 Samuel 9-11, Luke 15:11-32

Make every effort to live in peace with everyone.
Hebrews 12:14

Today's Scripture & Insight : Hebrews 12:14-17

My sister, brother, and I flew from our separate states to our uncle’s funeral and stopped to see our ninety-year-old grandmother. She’d been paralyzed by a stroke, had lost the ability to speak, and had only the use of her right hand. As we stood around her bed, she reached out that hand and took each of our hands, placing one atop another over her heart and patted them in place. With this wordless gesture, my...More

Friday, April 19, 2024

The Valley of Praise

Bible in a Year : 2 Samuel 6-8, Luke 15:1-10

On the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Berakah.
2 Chronicles 20:26

Today's Scripture & Insight : 2 Chronicles 20:21-26

Poet William Cowper struggled with depression much of his life. After a suicide attempt, he was committed to an asylum. But it was there through the care of a Christian physician that Cowper came to a warm, vital faith in Jesus. Soon afterwards, Cowper became acquainted with pastor and hymnwriter John Newton, who encouraged him to collaborate on a hymnal for their church. Among the hymns Cowper wrote...More

Thursday, April 18, 2024

God’s Tender Love

Bible in a Year : 2 Samuel 3-5, Luke 14:25-35

To them I was like one who lifts a little child to the cheek.
Hosea 11:4

Today's Scripture & Insight : Hosea 11:1-4

A 2017 video of a dad comforting his two-month-old son while the baby received his routine vaccinations garnered international attention for the way it captured a dad’s love for his child. After the nurse finished administering the vaccinations, the dad tenderly held his son close to his cheek, and the boy stopped sobbing within seconds. There’s almost nothing more reassuring than the tender care of a loving...More

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Choices Matter

Bible in a Year : 2 Samuel 1-2, Luke 14:1-24

There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.
Proverbs 14:12

Today's Scripture & Insight : Proverbs 14:8-12

Pastor Damian’s schedule included hospital visits to two people nearing death who’d chosen two different life paths. In one hospital was a woman beloved by her family. Her selfless public service had endeared her to many. Other believers in Jesus had gathered around her, and worship, prayer, and hope filled the room. In another hospital, the relative of a member of Pastor Damian’s church...More

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Ready to Go for God

Bible in a Year : 1 Samuel 30-31, Luke 13:23-35

I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.
Ephesians 4:1

Today's Scripture & Insight : Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-16

The book Hidden Figures recounts preparations for John Glenn’s flight into space. Computers were newfangled inventions in 1962, subject to glitches. Glenn didn’t trust them and worried about calculations for the launch. He knew one brainy woman in the back room could run the numbers. He trusted her. “If she says the numbers are good,” Glenn said, “I’m ready to...More

Monday, April 15, 2024

At Home in Jesus

Bible in a Year : 1 Samuel 27-29, Luke 13:1-22

If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me.
John 14:3

Today's Scripture & Insight : John 14:1-7

“There’s no place like home,” says Dorothy, clicking the heels of her ruby slippers. In The Wizard of Oz, that was all it took to magically transport Dorothy and Toto from Oz back to their home in Kansas.

Unfortunately, there aren’t enough ruby slippers for everyone. Although many share Dorothy’s longing for home, finding that home—a place to belong—is sometimes easier...More

Sunday, April 14, 2024

God Knows Our Needs

Bible in a Year : 1 Samuel 25-26, Luke 12:32-59

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else.
Matthew 6:33 nlt

Today's Scripture & Insight : Matthew 6:25-34

Lando, a jeepney (a form of public transport in the Philippines) driver in Manila, gulped down coffee at a roadside stall. Daily commuters were back again after the Covid-19 lockdowns. And the sports event today means more passengers, he thought. I’ll get back lost income. Finally, I can stop worrying.

He was about to start driving when he spotted Ronnie on a bench nearby. The street sweeper looked troubled, like...More

Saturday, April 13, 2024

The God of Order

Bible in a Year : 1 Samuel 22-24, Luke 12:1-31

The earth was complete chaos, and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters.
Genesis 1:2 nrsv

Today's Scripture & Insight : Genesis 1:1-10

Seth took all the medications he could find in the medicine cabinet. Raised in a family filled with brokenness and disorder, his life was a mess. His mom was regularly abused by his father until his dad took his own life. Now Seth wanted to “just end” his own. But then a thought came to mind, Where do I go when I die? By God’s grace,...More

Friday, April 12, 2024

God’s Agents of Peace

Bible in a Year : 1 Samuel 19-21, Luke 11:29-54

The Lord stood near Paul and said, “Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.”
Acts 23:11

Today's Scripture & Insight : Acts 21:27--22:2

Nora went to the peaceful protest because she felt strongly about the issue of justice. As planned, the demonstration was silent. The protestors walked in powerful quietness through the downtown area.

Then two buses pulled up. Agitators had arrived from out of town. A riot soon broke out. Heartbroken, Nora left. It seemed their...More

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Singing Meadows

Bible in a Year : 1 Samuel 17-18, Luke 11:1-28

The valleys are mantled with grain; they shout for joy and sing.
Psalm 65:13

Today's Scripture & Insight : Psalm 65:8-13

I’ve often affectionately joked with my mother-in-law about her ability to talk to her dogs. She responds to their barks with loving understanding. Perhaps now she and dog owners everywhere will also listen for their canine pals to laugh. Scientists have discovered that many animals, including dogs, cows, foxes, seals, and parakeets, all have “vocal play signals”—otherwise known as laughter....More

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Eyes to See

Bible in a Year : 1 Samuel 15-16, Luke 10:25-42

I . . . will make you to be a covenant for the people and . . . to open eyes that are blind.
Isaiah 42:6-7

Today's Scripture & Insight : Isaiah 42:5-9

Genevieve had to be the “eyes” for her three children, each born with congenital cataracts. Whenever she took them into their village in the Republic of Benin of western Africa, she strapped the baby onto her back and held on to the arm and hand of her older two, always looking for danger. In a culture where blindness was thought to be caused by witchcraft, Genevieve...More

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Clothed in Christ

Bible in a Year : 1 Samuel 13-14, Luke 10:1-24

Let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.
Romans 13:12

Today's Scripture & Insight : Romans 13:11-14

I was so excited to put on my new glasses for the first time, but after just a few hours I wanted to throw them away. My eyes ached and head throbbed from adjusting to the new prescription. My ears were sore from the unfamiliar frames. The next day I groaned when I remembered I had to wear them. I had to repeatedly choose to use my glasses each day in order for my body to adjust. It took several...More

Monday, April 8, 2024

Joy in the City

Bible in a Year : 1 Samuel 10-12, Luke 9:37-62

When the righteous prosper, the city rejoices.
Proverbs 11:10

Today's Scripture & Insight : Proverbs 11:1-11

When France and Argentina met in the 2022 World Cup final, it was an incredible contest that many dubbed the “greatest World Cup match in history.” As the final seconds ticked off in extra time, the score was tied 3-3, sending the soccer teams to penalty kicks. After Argentina made the winning goal, the nation erupted in celebration. More than a million Argentineans overwhelmed downtown Buenos Aires. Drone footage...More

Sunday, April 7, 2024

Five Good Things

Bible in a Year : 1 Samuel 7-9, Luke 9:18-36

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.
Psalm 107:1

Today's Scripture & Insight : Psalm 107:1-9

According to research, people who are intentionally grateful for what they have report better sleep, fewer symptoms of illness, and more happiness. Those are impressive benefits. Psychologists even suggest keeping a “gratitude journal” to improve our well-being, writing down five things we’re grateful for each week.

Scripture has long promoted the practice of gratitude. From meals and...More

Saturday, April 6, 2024

Our New Nature in Christ

Bible in a Year : 1 Samuel 4-6, Luke 9:1-17

Put on your new nature, created to be like God.
Ephesians 4:24 nlt

Today's Scripture & Insight : Ephesians 4:17-28

Our blue spruce was dropping pinecones and needles. The tree doctor took one look at it and explained the problem. “It’s just being a spruce,” he said. I’d hoped for a better explanation. Or a remedy. But the tree man shrugged, saying again, “It’s just being a spruce.” By nature, the tree sheds needles. It can’t change.

Thankfully, our spiritual lives aren’t limited by unchangeable actions...More

Friday, April 5, 2024

God’s Presence

Bible in a Year : 1 Samuel 1-3, Luke 8:26-56

[God] has . . . set eternity in the human heart.

Ecclesiastes 3:11

Today's Scripture & Insight : Ecclesiastes 3:1-11

Monique was struggling. She had friends who were believers in Jesus, and she respected how they handled life’s struggles. She was even a bit jealous of them. But Monique didn’t think she could live the way they did; she thought having faith in Christ was about following rules. Finally, a fellow college student helped her see that God wasn’t out to spoil her life; instead, He wanted...More

Thursday, April 4, 2024

In God’s Arms

Bible in a Year : Ruth 1-4, Luke 8:1-25

I will be with him in trouble.
Psalm 91:15

Today's Scripture & Insight : Psalm 91:1-2, 14-16

The sound of the drill terrified five-year-old Sarah. She leaped out of the dentist’s chair and refused to get back in. Nodding understandingly, the dentist told her father, “Daddy, get into the chair.” Jason thought he was meant to show his daughter how easy it was. But then the dentist turned to the little girl and said, “Now, climb up and sit in Daddy’s lap.” With her father now cradling her in his reassuring arms, Sarah relaxed...More

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

I Hear You, God!

Bible in a Year : Judges 19-21, Luke 7:31-50

The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice.
John 10:3

Today's Scripture & Insight : John 10:1-11, 16

Baby Graham fussed and wiggled as his mother held him in her lap while the doctors inserted his first hearing aid. Moments after the doctor turned on the device, Graham stopped crying. His eyes widened. He grinned. He could hear his mother’s voice comforting him, encouraging him, and calling his name.

Baby Graham heard his mother speaking, but he needed help learning how to...More

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Psalm 72 Leaders

Bible in a Year : Judges 16-18, Luke 7:1-30

May he be like rain falling on a mown field, like showers watering the earth.
Psalm 72:6

Today's Scripture & Insight : Psalm 72:1-7

In July 2022, Britain’s prime minister was forced to step down after what many felt were lapses in integrity (the newly appointed prime minister stepped down just months later!). The event was triggered when the country’s health minister attended an annual parliamentary prayer breakfast, felt convicted about the need for integrity in public life, and resigned. When other ministers resigned...More

Monday, April 1, 2024

Meeting Together in Jesus

Bible in a Year : Judges 13-15, Luke 6:27-49

[Don’t give] up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but [encourage] one another.
Hebrews 10:25

Today's Scripture & Insight : Hebrews 10:19-25

When I went through an extended period of emotional and spiritual pain and struggle due to difficult circumstances in my life, it would have been easy for me to withdraw from church. (And sometimes I did wonder, Why bother?) But I felt compelled to keep attending each Sunday.

Although my situation remained the same for many long years, worshiping and...More

Sunday, March 31, 2024

Jesus Christ Is Risen Today!

Bible in a Year : Judges 11–12, Luke 6:1–26

He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.
Matthew 28:6

Today's Scripture & Insight : Matthew 28:1–10

Before Charles Simeon attended university in Cambridge, England, he loved horses and clothes, spending a huge sum on his attire yearly. But because his college required him to attend regular Communion services, he started to explore what he believed. After reading books written by believers in Jesus, he experienced a dramatic conversion on Easter Sunday. Awaking early on April 4,...More

Saturday, March 30, 2024

The Passion of Christ

Bible in a Year : Judges 9–10, Luke 5:17–39

The punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.
Isaiah 53:5

Today's Scripture & Insight : Isaiah 53:4–7, 10–12

Before Jim Caviezel played Jesus in the film The Passion of the Christ, director Mel Gibson warned that the role would be extremely difficult and could negatively impact his career in Hollywood. Caviezel took on the role anyway, saying, “I think we have to make it, even if it is difficult.”

During the filming, Caviezel was struck by lightning, lost forty-five...More

Friday, March 29, 2024

Jesus, Our Substitute

Bible in a Year : Judges 7–8, Luke 5:1–16

Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.
1 Peter 3:18

Today's Scripture & Insight : 1 Peter 3:13–18

A wealthy twenty-year-old was drag-racing with his friends when he struck and killed a pedestrian. Although the young man received a three-year prison sentence, some believe that the man who appeared in court (and who subsequently served a prison sentence) was a hired surrogate for the driver who committed the crime....More

Thursday, March 28, 2024

A New Command to Love

Bible in a Year : Judges 4–6, Luke 4:31–44

A new command I give you: Love one another.
John 13:34

Today's Scripture & Insight : John 13:3–5, 12–15, 31–35

In a tradition starting as early as the thirteenth century, members of the royal family in the United Kingdom give gifts to people in need on Maundy Thursday, the day before Good Friday. The practice is rooted in the meaning of the word maundy, which comes from the Latin mandatum, “command.” The command being commemorated is the new one that Jesus gave to His friends on the night before He died: “Love one...More

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Fruitful Believers in Christ

Bible in a Year : Judges 1–3, Luke 4:1–30

Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit.
Mark 11:13

Today's Scripture & Insight : Mark 11:12–20

Cindy was excited for her new job in a nonprofit company. What an opportunity to make a difference! She soon discovered her coworkers didn’t share her enthusiasm. They mocked the company’s mission and made excuses for their poor performance as they looked elsewhere for more lucrative positions. Cindy wished she’d never applied for this job. What looked great from afar was...More

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Missing the Basics

Bible in a Year : Joshua 22–24, Luke 3

You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.
Matthew 22:29

Today's Scripture & Insight : Matthew 22:23–33

For decades, McDonald’s ruled fast food with their Quarter Pounder burger. In the 1980s, a rival chain cooked up an idea to dethrone the company with the golden arches. A&W offered the Third Pound Burger—larger than McDonald’s—and sold it for the same price. Even more, A&W’s burger won numerous blind taste tests. But the burger bombed. Nobody bought it. Eventually, they dropped it from...More

Monday, March 25, 2024

Love God by Loving Others

Bible in a Year : Joshua 19–21, Luke 2:25–52

Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.
Matthew 25:40

Today's Scripture & Insight : Matthew 25:31–40

The Alba family experienced the rare occurrence of birthing two sets of identical twins just thirteen months apart. How did they juggle their parental responsibilities as well as their jobs? Their community of friends and family stepped in. Grandparents on both sides took a set of twins during the day so the parents could work and pay for health...More

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Renaissance in Jesus

Bible in a Year : Luke 2:1–24, Luke 2:1–24

Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.
John 12:24

Today's Scripture & Insight : John 12:23–26

We know Leonardo da Vinci as the renaissance man. His intellectual prowess led to advances across multiple fields of study and the arts. Yet Leonardo journaled of “these miserable days of ours” and lamented that we die “without leaving behind any memory of ourselves in the mind of men.”

“While I thought I was learning how to...More

Saturday, March 23, 2024

Extravagant Love

Bible in a Year : Joshua 13–15, Luke 1:57–80

Live such good lives . . . [that] they may see your good deeds and glorify God.
1 Peter 2:12

Today's Scripture & Insight : 1 Peter 2:11–12

My seatmate on the flight told me she was nonreligious and had immigrated to a town that was home to numerous Christians. When she mentioned that most of her neighbors went to church, I asked about her experience. She said she could never repay their generosity. When she brought her disabled father to her new country, her neighbors built a ramp to her house and donated a hospital bed and...More

Friday, March 22, 2024

Next Step of Love

Bible in a Year : Joshua 10–12, Luke 1:39–56

Let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
1 John 3:18

Today's Scripture & Insight : 1 John 3:16–18

What would cause someone to help a competitor? For a restaurant owner named Adolfo in Wisconsin, it was the opportunity to encourage other struggling local restaurant owners adapting to Covid regulations. Adolfo knew firsthand the challenges of operating a business during a pandemic. Encouraged by another local business’ generosity, Adolfo spent his own money to purchase more than two thousand...More

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Helping as God Helps Us

Bible in a Year : Joshua 7–9, Luke 1:21–38

Help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness.
Isaiah 58:10 nlt

Today's Scripture & Insight : Isaiah 58:6-12

Ole Kassow of Copenhagen loved bicycling. One morning, when he saw an elderly man sitting alone with his walker in a park, Ole felt inspired by a simple idea: why not offer elderly people the joy and freedom of a bike ride. So, one sunny day he stopped at a nursing home with a rented trishaw (a three-wheeled bike) and offered a ride to anyone there. He was delighted when a staff member and an...More

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Happy Trust

Bible in a Year : Joshua 4–6, Luke 1:1–20

Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord.
Psalm 40:4

Today's Scripture & Insight : Psalm 40:1–5

A woman rescued Rudy from the animal shelter days before he was to be euthanized, and the dog became her companion. For ten years, Rudy slept calmly beside Linda’s bed, but then he abruptly began to jump next to her and lick her face. Linda scolded him, but every night, Rudy repeated the behavior. “Soon he was jumping on my lap to lick my face every time I sat down,” Linda said.

As she was planning to take Rudy to...More

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Master in Heaven

Bible in a Year : Joshua 1–3, Mark 16

Masters, treat your servants considerately. Be fair with them. Don’t forget for a minute that you, too, serve a Master—God in heaven.
Colossians 4:1 the message

Today's Scripture & Insight : Colossians 3:22-4:1

Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower announced in 2022 that all migrant domestic workers must be given at least one rest day a month that employers couldn’t compensate them for instead of giving them the day off. Employers, however, were concerned they wouldn’t have someone to care for their loved ones on those...More

Monday, March 18, 2024

“I AM”

Bible in a Year : Deuteronomy 32–34, Mark 15:26–47

God said to Moses, “I am who I am.”
Exodus 3:14

Today's Scripture & Insight : Exodus 3:11–15

Jack, a professor of philosophy and literature, had a brilliant mind. He’d declared himself an atheist at the age of fifteen and in adulthood adamantly defended his “atheistic faith.” Christian friends tried to persuade him. As Jack put it, “Everyone and everything had joined the other side.” But the Bible, he had to admit, was different from other literature and myths. About the Gospels he wrote: “If ever a...More

Sunday, March 17, 2024

Kingdom-Minded Leadership

Bible in a Year : Deuteronomy 30–31, Mark 15:1–25

I wish that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put his Spirit on them!
Numbers 11:29

Today's Scripture & Insight : Numbers 11:16–17, 27–29

When I joined a group of Christian children’s book authors who prayed for one another and helped spread the word about each other’s books, some people said we were “foolish for working with competitors.” But our group was committed to kingdom-minded leadership and promoting community, not competition. We shared the same goal—spreading the...More

Saturday, March 16, 2024

Share Your Faith

Bible in a Year : Deuteronomy 28–29, Mark 14:54–72

Come over to Macedonia and help us.
Acts 16:9

Today's Scripture & Insight : Acts 16:1–10

In 1701, the Church of England founded the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in order to send missionaries around the globe. The motto they chose was transiens adiuva nos—Latin for “Come over and help us!” This has been the call on gospel ambassadors since the first century, as followers of Jesus take the message of His love and forgiveness to a world in desperate need of it.

The phrase “come over and...More

Friday, March 15, 2024

Eternal Legacy

Bible in a Year : Deuteronomy 26–27, Mark 14:27–53

I have seen a grievous evil under the sun: wealth hoarded to the harm of its owners.
Ecclesiastes 5:13

Today's Scripture & Insight : Ecclesiastes 5:8–15

As Dust Bowl sandstorms ravaged the United States during the Great Depression, John Millburn Davis, a resident of Hiawatha, Kansas, decided to make a name for himself. A self-made millionaire with no children, Davis might have invested in charity or economic development. Instead, at great expense, he commissioned eleven life-size statues of himself and his deceased...More

Thursday, March 14, 2024

God Alone Can Satisfy

Bible in a Year : Deuteronomy 23–25, Mark 14:1–26

When Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in [and] said to Jacob, . . . “I’m famished!”
Genesis 25:29–30

Today's Scripture & Insight : Genesis 25:29–34

A thousand dollars of food—jumbo shrimp, shawarma, salads, and more—was delivered to a homeowner. But the man wasn’t having a party. In fact, he didn’t order the smorgasbord; his six-year-old son did. How did this happen? The father let his son play with his phone before bedtime, and the boy used it to purchase the expensive bounty from several...More

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Cries of Distress

Bible in a Year : Deuteronomy 20–22, Mark 13:21–37

When hard pressed, I cried to the Lord; he brought me into a spacious place.
Psalm 118:5

Today's Scripture & Insight : Psalm 118:1–9

Trapped under two floors of collapsed rubble caused by an earthquake, five-year-old Jinan, a Syrian girl, called out to rescuers as she shielded her little brother from the debris surrounding them. “Get me out of here; I’ll do anything for you,” she called heartbreakingly. “I’ll be your servant.”

Cries of distress are found throughout the Psalms: “When hard...More

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Courage in Christ

Bible in a Year : Deuteronomy 17–19, Mark 13:1–20

I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.
Esther 4:16

Today's Scripture & Insight : Esther 4:10–17

Near the dawn of the twentieth century, Mary McDowell lived worlds apart from the brutal stockyards of Chicago. Although her home was just twenty miles away, she knew little about the horrific labor conditions that prompted workers in the stockyards to strike. Once she learned of the difficulties faced by them and their families, McDowell moved in and lived among...More

Monday, March 11, 2024

Remember the Creator

Bible in a Year : Deuteronomy 14–16, Mark 12:28–44

Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for God has already approved what you do.
Ecclesiastes 9:7

Today's Scripture & Insight : Ecclesiastes 9:7–10

I recently read a novel about a woman who refuses to acknowledge she has terminal cancer. When Nicola’s exasperated friends force her to face the truth, the reason for her avoidance emerges. “I’ve wasted my life,” she tells them. Though born with talents and wealth, “I made nothing of my life. I was sloppy. I never stuck at...More

Sunday, March 10, 2024

God Made Them All

Bible in a Year : Deuteronomy 11–13, Mark 12:1–27

How many are your works, Lord! In wisdom you made them all.
Psalm 104:24

Today's Scripture & Insight : Psalm 104:24–35

My three-year old son, Xavier, squeezed my hand as we entered the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California. Pointing to a life-size sculpture of a humpback whale suspended from the ceiling, he said, “Enormous!” His wide-eyed joy continued as we explored each exhibit. We laughed as the otters splish-splashed during feeding time. We stood in silence in front of a large glass aquarium window, mesmerized by...More

Friday, March 8, 2024

Using What God Provides

Bible in a Year : Deuteronomy 5–7, Mark 11:1–18

Then the Lord said to [Moses], “What is that in your hand?”
Exodus 4:2

Today's Scripture & Insight : Exodus 4:1–5

The Brisbane City Hall in Australia was a dazzling 1920s project. White stairs boasted marble from the same quarry Michelangelo used for his David sculpture. The tower reflected Venice’s St. Mark’s Basilica, and the copper dome was the largest in the Southern Hemisphere. The builders intended for a massive Angel of Peace to adorn the pinnacle, but there was a problem: no money left. Plumber Fred...More

Thursday, March 7, 2024

God Our Refuge

Bible in a Year : Deuteronomy 3–4, Mark 10:32–52

The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.
Proverbs 18:10

Today's Scripture & Insight : Proverbs 18:10–12

The remarkable 2019 movie Little Women sent me back to my worn copy of the novel, especially the comforting words of Marmee, the wise and gentle mother. I’m drawn to the novel’s depiction of her steadfast faith, which underlies many of her words of encouragement to her daughters. One that stood out to me was this: “Troubles and temptations . . . may be many, but you can...More

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Doing Good for God

Bible in a Year : Deuteronomy 1-2, Mark 10:1-31

Remind the people . . . to be ready to do whatever is good.
Titus 3:1

Today's Scripture & Insight : Titus 3:4-8

Though he didn't normally carry money with him, Patrick sensed God was leading him to tuck a five-dollar bill in his pocket before leaving home. During the lunch hour at the school where he worked, he understood how God had prepared him to meet an urgent need. In the midst of the lunchroom buzz, he heard these words: "Scotty [a child in need] needs $5 to put on his account so he can eat lunch for the rest of...More

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

God's Greater Power

Bible in a Year : Numbers 34-36, Mark 9:30-50

The Lord said, . . . I have given you victory over them!
Judges 7:9 nlt

Today's Scripture & Insight : Judges 7:7-8, 16-22

In March 1945, the "Ghost Army" helped US forces achieve the Rhine River crossing - giving the allies a vital base to operate from on World War II's Western Front. The soldiers were most definitely human, not apparitions, all part of the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops. On this occasion, the 1,100-man team imitated 30,000 men by using inflatable decoy tanks, blasting troop and vehicle sound effects...More

Monday, March 4, 2024

Jesus Dwells Within

Bible in a Year : Numbers 31-33, Mark 9:1-29

Then Christ will make his home in your hearts.
Ephesians 3:17 nlt

Today's Scripture & Insight : Ephesians 3:14-20

As a blizzard bore down on my state in the western United States, my widowed mother agreed to stay with my family to "ride out" the storm. After the blizzard, however, she never returned to her house. She moved in, dwelling with us for the rest of her life. Her presence changed our household in many positive ways. She was available daily to provide wisdom, advice to family members, and share ancestral stories....More

Sunday, March 3, 2024

A Heart for Christ

Bible in a Year : Numbers 28:30, Mark 8:22-38

Out of the heart come evil thoughts . . . these are what defile a person.
Matthew 15:19-20

Today's Scripture & Insight : Matthew 15:7-20

As long as you keep your mouth closed, I told myself, you won't be doing anything wrong. I'd been outwardly holding back my anger toward a colleague after misinterpreting things she'd said. Since we had to see each other every day, I decided to limit communication to only what was necessary (and retaliate with my silent treatment). How could a quiet demeanor be wrong? Jesus said that...More

Saturday, March 2, 2024

Speaking as God Helps Us

Bible in a Year : Numbers 26:27, Mark 8:1-21

Then there came a voice from above the vault over their heads as they stood with lowered wings.
Ezekiel 1:25

Today's Scripture & Insight : Ezekiel 1:22-28

One wouldn't normally think of butterflies as being loud creatures: after all, the flapping of a single Monarch butterfly's wings is practically inaudible. But in the Mexican rainforest, where many of them begin their short lives, their collective flapping is surprisingly loud. When millions of Monarchs flap their wings at the same time, it sounds like a rushing...More

Friday, March 1, 2024

Owner or Steward?

Bible in a Year : Numbers 23-25, Mark 7:14-37

Every animal of the forest is mine.
Psalm 50:10

Today's Scripture & Insight : Psalm 50:7-15

"Am I an owner or a steward?" The CEO of a multibillion-dollar company asked himself that question as he weighed what was best for his family. Concerned about the temptations that can come with vast wealth, he didn't want to burden his heirs with that challenge. So he gave up ownership of his company and placed 100 percent of the voting stock in a trust. Recognizing that everything he owns belongs to God helped him make the...More

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Even Leviticus

You are to be holy to me because I, the Lord, am holy.
Leviticus 20:26

Today's Scripture & Insight : Leviticus 13:1-8

The topic was Leviticus, and I had a confession to make. "I skipped a lot of the reading," I told my Bible study group. "I'm not reading about skin diseases again."

That's when my friend Dave spoke up. "I know a guy who believed in Jesus because of that passage," he said. Dave explained that his friend's doctor had been an atheist. He decided that before he completely rejected the Bible, he'd better read it for himself. The section on skin...More

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

"Help My Unbelief!"

Bible in a Year : Numbers 20:22, Mark 7:1-13

Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!"
Mark 9:24

Today's Scripture & Insight : Mark 9:14-24

"Where is my Faith? - even deep down right in there is nothing but emptiness & darkness. . . . If there be God - please forgive me."

The author of those words might surprise you: Mother Teresa. Beloved and renowned as a tireless servant of the poor in Calcutta, India, Mother Teresa quietly waged a desperate war for her faith over five decades. After her death in 1997, that...More

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

When Jesus Stops

Bible in a Year : Numbers 17:19, Mark 6:30-56

Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him.
Luke 18:40

Today's Scripture & Insight : Luke 18:35-43

For days, the sickly cat cried, huddled in a box near my workplace. Abandoned on the street, the feline went unnoticed by many who passed it by - until Jun came along. The street sweeper carried the animal home, where he lived with two dogs, which were former strays.

"I care for them because they're the creatures no one notices," Jun said. "I see myself in them. No one notices a street sweeper, after...More

Monday, February 26, 2024

Sweet Sleep

Bible in a Year : Numbers 15:16, Mark 6:1-29

I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
Psalm 3:5

Today's Scripture & Insight : Psalm 3

Bad memories and accusing messages flooded Sal's mind. Sleep eluded him as fear filled his heart and sweat covered his skin. It was the night before his baptism, and he couldn't stop the onslaught of dark thoughts. Sal had received salvation in Jesus and knew that his sins had been forgiven, but the spiritual battle continued. It's then that his wife took his hand and prayed for him. Moments later, peace...More

Sunday, February 25, 2024

Not Luck, but Christ

Bible in a Year : Numbers 12:14, Mark 5:21-43

He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
Colossians 1:17

Today's Scripture & Insight : Colossians 1:15-20

Discover magazine suggests that there are around 700 quintillion (7 followed by 20 zeros) planets in the universe, but only one like Earth. Astrophysicist Erik Zackrisson said that one of the requirements for a planet to sustain life is to orbit in the "Goldilocks" zone, where the temperature is just right, and water can exist. Out of 700 quintillion planets, Earth seems to be one planet where...More

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Better Together

Bible in a Year : Numbers 9:11, Mark 5:1-20

Two are better than one . . . . If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Today's Scripture & Insight : Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Søren Solkær spent years photographing starlings and their breathtaking spectacle: murmurations, where hundreds of thousands of starlings move in fluid motion across the sky. Watching this marvel is like sitting underneath an orchestrated, swirling wave or a massive, dark brushstroke flowing into a kaleidoscope of patterns. In Denmark, they call this starling...More

Thursday, February 23, 2024

Welcome the Stranger

Bible in a Year : Numbers 7-8, Mark 4:21-41

You are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God's people and also members of his household.
Ephesians 2:19

Today's Scripture & Insight : Ephesians 2:11-22

In Everything Sad Is Untrue, Daniel Nayeri describes his harrowing flight with his mother and sister from persecution through a refugee camp to safety in the United States. An elderly couple agreed to sponsor them, though they didn't know them. Years later, Daniel still can't get over it. He writes, "Can you believe that? Totally blind, they did that....More

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Walking in Jesus' Shoes

Bible in a Year : Numbers 4:6, Mark 4:1:20

Clothe yourselves with compassion.
Colossians 3:12

Today's Scripture & Insight : Colossians 3:8-17

What would it be like to walk in the shoes of royalty? Angela Kelly, the daughter of a dockworker and nurse, knows. She was also the official dresser for the late Queen Elizabeth for the last two decades of the monarch's life. One of her responsibilities was to break-in the aging Queen's new shoes by walking in them around the palace grounds. There was a reason for it: compassion for an elderly woman who sometimes was required...More

Tuesday, February 21, 2024

God's Open Doors

Bible in a Year : Numbers 1-3, Mark 3

See, I have placed before you an open door.
Revelation 3:8

Today's Scripture & Insight : Revelation 3:7-11

At my new school near a large city, the guidance counselor took one look at me and placed me in the lowest performing English composition class. I'd arrived from my inner-city school with outstanding test scores, excellent grades, and even a principal's award for my writing. The door to the "best" writing class in my new school was closed to me, however, when the counselor decided I wasn't right or ready.

The church in...More

Monday, February 20, 2024

God's Wise Purposes

Bible in a Year : Leviticus 26-27, Mark 2

How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
Psalm 13:1

Today's Scripture & Insight : Psalm 13

The United Kingdom brims with history. Everywhere you go, you see plaques honoring historic figures or commemorating sites where important events occurred. But one such sign exemplifies the droll British sense of humor. On a weathered plaque outside a bed and breakfast in Sandwich, England, a message reads, "On this site, Sept. 5, 1782, nothing happened."

Sometimes it seems to us that nothing is happening regarding our prayers....More

Sunday, February 19, 2024

Prompted to Pray

Bible in a Year : Leviticus 25, Mark 1:23-45

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Today's Scripture & Insight : 1 Thessalonians 5:12-18

A coworker once told me that her prayer life had improved because of our manager. I was impressed, thinking that our difficult leader had shared some spiritual nuggets with her and influenced how she prays. I was wrong—sort of. My coworker and friend went on to explain: "Every time I see him coming, I start praying." Her time of...More

Saturday, February 18, 2024

In God's Loving Hands

Bible in a Year : Leviticus 23-24, Mark 1:1-22

Before the mountains were born . . . from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
Psalm 90:2

Today's Scripture & Insight : Psalm 90:1-6

After another health setback, I feared the unknown and uncontrollable. One day, while reading a Forbes magazine article, I learned that scientists studied the rising of the "Earth's rotation velocity" and declared that the Earth "wobbled" and is "spinning faster." They said we "could require the first-ever ‘drop second'—the official removal of a second from global time." Though a...More

Friday, February 17, 2024

Growing Up in Jesus

Bible in a Year : Leviticus 21-22, Matthew 28

My power is made perfect in weakness.
2 Corinthians 12:9

Today's Scripture & Insight : 2 Corinthians 12:6-10

As a child, I viewed grown-ups as wise and incapable of failure. They always know what to do, I'd think. One day, when I'm grown up, I'll always know what to do too. Well, "one day" came many years ago, and all it has taught me is that, many times, I still don't know what to do. Whether it's illness in the family, problems at work, or conflict in a relationship, such times have wrested all delusions of personal control...More

Thursday, February 16, 2024

Loving Like Jesus

Bible in a Year : Leviticus 19-20, Matthew 27:51-66

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends.
John 15:13

Today's Scripture & Insight : John 15:9-17

He was loved by all—those were the words used to describe Giuseppe Berardelli of Casnigo, Italy. Giuseppe was a beloved man who rode around town on an old motorbike and always led with the greeting: "peace and good." He worked tirelessly on behalf of the good of others. But in the last years of his life, he had health problems that worsened when he was infected by the coronavirus, and he...More

Wednesday, February 15, 2024

Humility's Perk

Bible in a Year : Leviticus 17-18, Matthew 27:27-50

Humility is the fear of the Lord; its wages are riches and honor and life.
Proverbs 22:4

Today's Scripture & Insight : Proverbs 22:1-5

Like many teachers, Carrie devotes countless hours to her career, often grading papers and communicating with students and parents late into the evening. To sustain the effort, she relies on her community of colleagues for camaraderie and practical help; her challenging job is made easier through collaboration. A recent study of educators found that the benefit of collaboration is magnified...More

Tuesday, February 14, 2024

Motivated by Love

Bible in a Year : Leviticus 15-16, Matthew 27:1-26

If I . . . do not have love, I gain nothing.
1 Corinthians 13:3

Today's Scripture & Insight : 1 Corinthians 13

Jim and Laneeda were college sweethearts. They got married and life was happy for many years. Then Laneeda began to act strangely, getting lost and forgetting appointments. She was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's at forty-seven. After a decade of serving as her primary caregiver, Jim was able to say, "Alzheimer's has given me the opportunity to love and serve my wife in ways that were unimaginable when I...More

Monday, February 13, 2024

Jesus' Blood

Bible in a Year : Leviticus 14, Matthew 26:51-75

Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.
Isaiah 1:18

Today's Scripture & Insight : Isaiah 1:15-20

The color red doesn't always naturally occur in the things we make. How do you put the vibrant color of an apple into a T-shirt or lipstick? In early times, the red pigment was made from clay or red rocks. In the 1400s, the Aztecs invented a way of using cochineal insects to make red dye. Today, those same tiny insects supply the world with red.

In the Bible, red denotes royalty, and it also...More

Sunday, February 12, 2024

Loving Our Enemies

Bible in a Year : Leviticus 13, Matthew 26:26-50

But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.
Matthew 5:44

Today's Scripture & Insight : Matthew 5:43-48

With the American Civil War spawning many bitter feelings, Abraham Lincoln saw fit to speak a kind word about the South. A shocked bystander asked how he could do so. He replied, "Madam, do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?" Reflecting on those words a century later, Martin Luther King Jr. commented, "This is the power of redemptive love."

In calling disciples of...More

Saturday, February 11, 2024

I've Seen God's Faithfulness

Bible in a Year : Leviticus 11-12, Matthew 26:1-25

I will praise you, Lord, among the nations; I will sing the praises of your name.
2 Samuel 22:50

Today's Scripture & Insight : 2 Samuel 22:1-4, 48-51

Throughout her historic seventy years as Britain's ruler, Queen Elizabeth II only endorsed one biography about her life with a personal foreword, The Servant Queen and the King She Serves. Released in celebration of her ninetieth birthday, the book recounts how her faith guided her as she served her country. In the foreword, Queen Elizabeth expressed gratitude for everyone...More

Friday, February 10, 2024

God's Transforming Word

Bible in a Year : Leviticus 8-10, Matthew 25:31-46

You have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 3:15

Today's Scripture & Insight : 2 Timothy 3:10-17

When Kristin wanted to buy a special book for Xio-Hu, her Chinese husband, the only one she could find in Chinese was a Bible. Although neither of them was a believer in Christ, she hoped he would appreciate the gift anyway. At first sight of the Bible, he was angry, but eventually he picked it up. As he read, he became persuaded by the truth in its...More

Thursday, February 9, 2024

God's Great Love Cycle

Bible in a Year : Matthew 25:1-30, Matthew 25:1-30

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another.
Romans 13:8

Today's Scripture & Insight : Romans 13:8-10

As a new believer in Jesus at the age of thirty, I had lots of questions after committing my life to Him. When I started reading the Scriptures, I had even more questions. I reached out to a friend. "How can I possibly obey all God's commands? I just snapped at my husband this morning!"

"Just keep reading your Bible," she said, "and ask the Holy Spirit to help you love like...More

Wednesday, February 8, 2024

Brought Low

Bible in a Year : Leviticus 4-5, Matthew 24:29-51

Pride brings a person low, but the lowly in spirit gain honor.
Proverbs 29:23

Today's Scripture & Insight : Proverbs 29:18-27

Pride precedes and often leads to humiliation—something a man in Norway found out. Not even dressed in running clothes, the individual arrogantly challenged Karsten Warholm—the world record holder in the 400-meter hurdles—to a race. Warholm, training in an indoor public facility, obliged the challenger and left him in his dust. At the finish line, the two-time world champion...More

Tuesday, February 7, 2024

Angels on the Walls

Bible in a Year : Leviticus 1-3, Matthew 24:1-28

We prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat.
Nehemiah 4:9

Today's Scripture & Insight : Nehemiah 4:6-9

When Wallace and Mary Brown moved to an impoverished part of Birmingham, England, to pastor a dying church, they didn't know that a gang had made the grounds of their church and home its headquarters. The Browns had bricks thrown through their windows, their fences set on fire, and their children threatened. The abuse continued for months; the police were unable to stop it.

The book...More

Monday, February 6, 2024

Surrendering to God

Bible in a Year : Exodus 39-40, Matthew 23:23-39

So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide.
Genesis 22:14

Today's Scripture & Insight : Genesis 22:1-3, 6-12

Born on a farm, Judson Van DeVenter learned to paint, studied art, and became an art teacher. God, however, had a different plan for him. Friends valued his work in church and urged him to go into evangelism. Judson felt God calling him too, but it was hard for him to give up his love for teaching art. He wrestled with God, but "at last," he wrote, "the pivotal hour of my life came, and I surrendered...More

Sunday, February 5, 2024

Extending Dignity

Bible in a Year: Exodus 36-38, Matthew 23:1-22

Has no one condemned you?
John 8:10

Today's Scripture & Insight: John 8:2-11

Maggie's young friend showed up in church shockingly dressed. No one should have been surprised though; she was a prostitute. Maggie's visitor shifted uneasily in her seat, alternately tugging at her much-too-short skirt and folding her arms self-consciously around herself.

"Oh, are you cold?" Maggie asked, deftly diverting attention away from how she was dressed. "Here! Take my shawl."

Maggie introduced dozens of people to Jesus...More

Saturday, February 4, 2024

Rewired by Gratitude

Bible in a Year: Exodus 34-35, Matthew 22:23-46

Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits.
Psalm 103:2

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 103:1-8, 17

After being diagnosed with a brain tumor, Christina Costa noticed how much of the talk around facing cancer is dominated by the language of fighting. She found that this metaphor quickly started to feel exhausting. She "didn't want to spend over a year at war with [her] own body." Instead, what she found most helpful were daily practices of gratitude—for the team of professionals caring for her and for...More

Friday, February 3, 2024

Gifted with Love

Bible in a Year: Exodus 31-33, Matthew 22:1-22

One person gives freely, yet gains even more.
Proverbs 11:24

Today's Scripture & Insight: Proverbs 11:24-25

On her wedding day, Gwendolyn Stulgis wore the wedding dress of her dreams. Then she gave it away—to a stranger. Stulgis believed a dress deserved more than sitting in a closet collecting dust. Other brides agreed. Now scores of women have bonded on her social media site to donate and receive wedding dresses. As one giver said, "I hope this dress gets passed from bride to bride to bride, and it just gets worn out...More

Thursday, February 2, 2024

Deep Friendship in Christ

Bible in a Year: Exodus 29-30, Matthew 21:23-46

Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other in the name of the Lord.
1 Samuel 20:42

Today's Scripture & Insight: 2 Samuel 1:23-27

There's a monument in the chapel of Christ's College, Cambridge, England, dedicated to two seventeenth-century physicians, John Finch and Thomas Baines. Known as the "inseparable friends," Finch and Baines collaborated on medical research and traveled together on diplomatic trips. When Baines died in 1680, Finch lamented their "unbroken marriage of souls" that had lasted thirty-six...More

Wednesday, February 1, 2024

All-Star Humility

Bible in a Year: Exodus 27-28, Matthew 21:1-22

[Jesus] made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant.
Philippians 2:7

Today's Scripture & Insight: Philippians 2:1-8

After a game, a college basketball star stayed behind to help workers throw out empty cups and food wrappers. When a fan posted a video of him in action, more than eighty thousand people viewed it. One person commented, "[The young man] is one of the most humble guys you will ever meet in your life." It would've been easier for the basketball player to leave with his teammates and celebrate his...More

Tuesday, January 31, 2024

Fully Surrendered to Christ

Bible in a Year : Exodus 25-26, Matthew 20:17-24

What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?
Mark 8:36

Today's Scripture & Insight : Mark 8:34-38

In 1920, John Sung, the sixth child of a Chinese pastor, received a scholarship to study at a university in the United States. He graduated with the highest honors, completed a master's program, and earned a PhD. But while pursuing his studies, he had walked away from God. Then, one night in 1927, he surrendered his life to Christ and felt called to be a preacher.

Many high-paying...More

Monday, January 30, 2024

Jesus Our King

Bible in a Year : Exodus 23-24, Matthew 20:1-16

See, a king will reign in righteousness . . . like streams of water in the desert.
Isaiah 32:1-2

Today's Scripture & Insight : Isaiah 32:1-8

While drilling for oil in one of the sunniest and driest countries in the world, teams were shocked to uncover a huge underground system of water. So, in 1983 the "great man-made river" project was begun, placing a system of pipes to carry the high-quality fresh water to cities where it was sorely needed. A plaque near the project's inception states, "From here flows the artery of...More

Sunday, January 29, 2024

Sharing by Caring

Bible in a Year: Exodus 21-22, Matthew 19

Love your neighbor as yourself.
Galatians 5:14

Today's Scripture & Insight: Galatians 5:14-15, 22-26

The young pastor prayed every morning, asking God to use him that day to bless someone. Often, to his delight, such a situation arose. One day during a break at his second job, he sat in the sunshine with a coworker who asked him about Jesus. The pastor simply answered the other man's questions. No rant. No arguing. The pastor commented that being guided by the Holy Spirit led him to have a casual talk that felt effective but loving....More

Saturday, January 28, 2024

God's Gift of Grace

Bible in a Year : Exodus 19-20, Matthew 18:21-35

To each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.
Ephesians 4:7

Today's Scripture & Insight : Ephesians 4:4-8

As I was grading another stack of papers for a college writing class I teach, I was impressed with one particular paper. It was so well-written! Soon, though, I realized it was too well-written. Sure enough, a little research revealed that the paper had been plagiarized from an online source.

I sent the student an email to let her know that her ruse had been discovered. She was getting a zero...More

Friday, January 27, 2024

Refreshing Words

Bible in a Year : Exodus 16-18, Matthew 18:1-20

Like cold water to a weary soul is good news from a distant land.
Proverbs 25:25

Today's Scripture & Insight : Proverbs 25:23-27

Standing in the kitchen, my daughter exclaimed, "Mom, there's a fly in the honey!" I quipped back with the familiar adage, "You will always catch more flies with honey than vinegar." While this was the first time I'd (accidentally) caught a fly with honey, I found myself quoting this modern proverb because of its wisdom: kind requests are more likely to persuade others than a bitter...More

Thursday, January 26, 2024

No More Prejudice

Bible in a Year : Exodus 14-15, Matthew 17

People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.
1 Samuel 16:7

Today's Scripture & Insight : 1 Samuel 16:1-7

Many years ago, Julie Landsman auditioned for principal French hornist for New York's Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. The MET held their auditions behind a screen to avoid prejudice by the judges. Landsman did well in her audition and ended up winning the competition. But when she stepped out from behind the screen, some of the all-male judges walked to the rear of the room and turned their backs on her....More

Wednesday, January 25, 2024

Strange Places

Bible in a Year : Exodus 12-13, Matthew 16

Who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?
Esther 4:14

Today's Scripture & Insight : Esther 2:3-4, 12-17

God, why is this happening? Is this really your plan for us?

As a husband and a dad of young children, those questions and more swirled in my mind as I wrestled with a serious cancer diagnosis. What's more, our family had just served with a missions team that had seen many children receive Jesus as their Savior. God had been bringing forth evident fruit. There was so much joy. And...More

Tuesday, January 24, 2024

Quick to Listen

Bible in a Year : Exodus 9-11, Matthew 15:21-39

Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.
James 1:19

Today's Scripture & Insight : James 1:18-20

I felt my heart rate increase as I opened my mouth to refute the charges a dear friend was leveling against me. What I had posted online had nothing to do with her as she implied. But before I replied, I whispered a prayer. I then calmed down and heard what she was saying and the hurt behind her words. It was clear that this went deeper than the surface. My friend was hurting, and my need to defend...More

Monday, January 23, 2024

Scraps to Beauty

Bible in a Year : Exodus 7-8, Matthew 15:1-20

They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.
Micah 4:3

Today's Scripture & Insight : Micah 4:1-5

My wife, Miska, has a necklace and hoop earrings from Ethiopia. Their elegant simplicity reveals genuine artistry. What's most astounding about these pieces, however, is their story. Due to decades of fierce conflict and a civil war that rages on, Ethiopia's geography is littered with spent artillery shells and cartridges. As an act of hope, Ethiopians scour the torched earth, cleaning up the...More

Sunday, January 22, 2024

The Right Focus

Bible in a Year : Exodus 4-6, Matthew 14:22-36

Rejoice that your names are written in heaven.
Luke 10:20

Today's Scripture & Insight : Luke 10:17-20

We'd known Kha for more than a year. He was part of our small group from church that met weekly to discuss what we'd been learning about God. One evening during our regular meeting, he made a reference to having competed at the Olympics. The mention was so casual that it almost escaped my notice. Almost. Lo and behold, I learned I knew an Olympian who had competed in the bronze medal match! I couldn't fathom that he'd not...More

Saturday, January 21, 2024

Drop by Drop

Bible in a Year : Exodus 1-3, Matthew 14:1-21

We love because he first loved us.
1 John 4:19

Today's Scripture & Insight : 1 John 4:9-19

"In everything / we look for pleasant ways of serving God," writes sixteenth-century believer Teresa of Avila. She poignantly reflects on the many ways we seek to stay in control through easier, more "pleasant" methods than total surrender to God. We tend to slowly, tentatively, and even reluctantly grow to trust Him with all of ourselves. And so, Teresa confesses, "even as we measure out our lives to you / a bit at a time, / we must be...More

Friday, January 20, 2024

Calling Out to God

Bible in a Year : Genesis 49-50, Matthew 13:31-58

Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.
Psalm 25:16

Today's Scripture & Insight : Psalm 25:16-22

In his book Adopted for Life, Dr. Russell Moore describes his family's trip to an orphanage to adopt a child. As they entered the nursery, the silence was startling. The babies in the cribs never cried, and it wasn't because they never needed anything but because they'd learned that no one cared enough to answer.

My heart ached as I read those words. I remember countless nights when our...More

Thursday, January 19, 2024

God's Protective Love

Bible in a Year : Matthew 13:1-30, Matthew 13:1-30

Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.
Matthew 7:15

Today's Scripture & Insight : Matthew 7:13-23

One summer night, the birds near our home suddenly erupted into chaotic cawing. The squawking intensified as the songbirds sent piercing calls from the trees. We finally realized why. As the sun set, a large hawk swooped from a treetop, sending the birds scattering in a screeching frenzy, sounding the alarm as they flew from danger.

In our lives,...More

Tuesday, January 17, 2024

Choosing to Follow God

Bible in a Year : Genesis 41-42, Matthew 12:1-23

Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve . . . . As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.
Joshua 24:15

Today's Scripture & Insight : Joshua 24:14-18

"The average person will make 773,618 decisions over a lifetime," claims the Daily Mirror. The British newspaper goes on to assert that we "will come to regret 143,262 of them." I have no idea how the paper arrived at these numbers, but it's clear that we face countless decisions throughout our lifetime. The sheer quantity of them might become paralyzing,...More

Monday, January 16, 2024

Learning from Mistakes

Bible in a Year : Genesis 39-40, Matthew 11

These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us.
1 Corinthians 10:11

Today's Scripture & Insight : 1 Corinthians 10:1-11

To help avoid future financial mistakes, such as those in 1929 and 2008 that brought down the world's economy, the Library of Mistakes was founded in Edinburgh, Scotland. It features a collection of more than two thousand books that can help educate the next generation of economists. And it serves as a perfect example of how, according to the library's curators, "smart people...More

Sunday, January 15, 2024

Serving Others for Jesus

Bible in a Year : Genesis 36-38, Matthew 10:21-42

Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant.
Mark 10:43

Today's Scripture & Insight : Mark 10:35-45

Actress Nichelle Nichols is best remembered for playing Lieutenant Uhura in the original Star Trek series. Landing the role was a personal win for Nichols, making her one of the first African American women on a major TV show. But a greater win was to come of it.

Nichols had actually resigned from Star Trek after its first season, to return to her theater work. But then she met Martin Luther King...More

Saturday, January 14, 2024

A Gaze Fixed on God

Bible in a Year : Genesis 33-35, Matthew 10:1-20

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you.
Isaiah 26:3

Today's Scripture & Insight : Isaiah 26:3-7

Nineteenth-century Scottish pastor, Thomas Chalmers, once told the story of riding in a horse-drawn carriage in the Highlands region as it hugged a narrow mountain ledge, along a harrowing precipice. One of the horses startled, and the driver, fearing they would plummet to their death, repeatedly flicked his whip. After they made it past the danger, Chalmers asked the driver why he used the whip with such force. "I...More

Friday, January 13, 2024

Persevering in Jesus

Bible in a Year : Genesis 31−32, Matthew 9:18−38

Consider him who endured . . . so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Hebrews 12:3

Today's Scripture & Insight : Hebrews 12:1−3

When I was studying in seminary years ago, we had a weekly chapel service. At one service, while we students were singing "Great Is the Lord," I spotted three of our well-loved professors singing with fervor. Their faces radiated joy, made possible only by their faith in God. Years later, as each went through terminal illness, it was this faith that enabled them to...More

Thursday, January 12, 2024

God's Worker

Bible in a Year : Genesis 29-30, Matthew 9:1-17

The Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did.
Genesis 39:23

Today's Scripture & Insight : Genesis 39:19-23

In a refugee camp in the Middle East, when Reza received a Bible, he came to know and believe in Jesus. His first prayer in Christ's name was, "Use me as your worker." Later, after he left the camp, God answered that prayer when he unexpectedly secured a job with a relief agency, returning to the camp to serve the people he knew and loved. He set up sports clubs, language classes, and legal...More

Wednesday, January 11, 2024

A Simple Request

Bible in a Year : Genesis 27-28, Matthew 8:18-34

If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.
John 21:22

Today's Scripture & Insight : John 21:17-24

"Please clean the front room before you go to bed," I said to one of my daughters. Instantly came the reply, "Why doesn't she have to do it?"

Such mild resistance was frequent in our home when our girls were young. My response was always the same: "Don't worry about your sisters; I asked you."

In John 21, we see this human tendency illustrated among the disciples....More

Tuesday, January 10, 2024

A Call to Prayer

Bible in a Year : Genesis 25-26, Matthew 8:1-17

I sat down and wept. . . . I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.
Nehemiah 1:4

Today's Scripture & Insight : Nehemiah 1:4-11

Abraham Lincoln confided to a friend, "I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go." In the horrific years of the American Civil War, President Lincoln not only spent time in fervent prayer but also called the country to join him. In 1861, he proclaimed a "day of humiliation, prayer and fasting." And he did so again in 1863,...More

Monday, January 9, 2024

Love Beyond Counting

Bible in a Year : Genesis 23-24, Matthew 7

I have loved you with an everlasting love.
Jeremiah 31:3

Today's Scripture & Insight : Jeremiah 31:1-6

"How do I love thee? Let me count the ways." Those words from Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Sonnets from the Portuguese are among the best-known poetry in the English language. She wrote them to Robert Browning before they were married, and he was so moved that he encouraged her to publish her entire collection of poems. But because the language of the sonnets was very tender, out of a desire for personal privacy Barrett published...More

Sunday, January 8, 2024

Willing Savior

Bible in a Year : Genesis 20-22, Matthew 6:19-34

While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8

Today's Scripture & Insight : Romans 5:6-8

While driving late at night, Nicholas saw a house on fire. He parked in the driveway, rushed into the burning home, and led four children to safety. When the teenage babysitter realized one of the siblings was still inside, she told Nicholas. Without hesitation, he reentered the inferno. Trapped on the second floor with the six-year-old girl, Nicholas broke a window. He jumped to safety with the child in his arms, just as...More

Saturday, January 7, 2024

Ripe for God's Restoration

Bible in a Year : Genesis 18-19, Matthew 6:1-18

Restore us, God Almighty; . . . that we may be saved.
Psalm 80:7

Today's Scripture & Insight : Psalm 80:1, 7-14, 19

The pictures coming from a friend's text stream were stunning! Photos of a surprise gift for his wife revealed a restored 1965 Ford Mustang: brilliant, dark blue exterior; sparkling chrome rims; reupholstered black interior; and a motor to match the other upgrades. There were also "before" pictures of the same vehicle—a dull, worn, unimpressive yellow version. While it may be difficult to envision, it's...More

Friday, January 6, 2024

The Meaning of Myrrh

Bible in a Year : Genesis 16-17, Matthew 5:27-48

Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
Matthew 2:11

Today's Scripture & Insight : Matthew 2:9-13

Today is Epiphany, the day which commemorates the event described by the carol "We Three Kings of Orient Are" when gentile wisemen visited the child Jesus. Yet they weren't kings, they weren't from the Far East (as Orient formerly meant), and it's unlikely there were three of them.

There were, however, three gifts, and the carol considers each. When the magi...More

Thursday, January 5, 2024

God at the Crossroads

Bible in a Year : Genesis 13-15, Matthew 5:1-26

Stand at the crossroads and look; . . . ask where the good way is, and walk in it.
Jeremiah 6:16

Today's Scripture & Insight : Deuteronomy 30:15-20

After days of illness and then spiking a high temperature, it was clear my husband needed emergency care. The hospital admitted him immediately. One day folded into the next. He improved, but not enough to be released. I faced the difficult choice to stay with my husband or fulfill an important work trip where many people and projects were involved. My husband assured me he'd be...More

Wednesday, January 4, 2024

Quiet Faithfulness in Christ

Bible in a Year: Genesis 10-12, Matthew 4

Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands.
1 Thessalonians 4:11

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 Thessalonians 4:1-2, 9-12

I didn't notice him at first.

I'd come down for breakfast at my hotel. Everything in the dining room was clean. The buffet table was filled. The refrigerator was stocked, the utensil container packed tight. Everything was perfect.

Then I saw him. An unassuming man refilled this, wiped that. He didn't draw attention to himself. But...More

Tuesday, January 3, 2024

Spotting Hope

Bible in a Year: Genesis 7-9, Matthew 3

May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you.
Psalm 33:22

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 33:6-9, 12-22

Oceanographer Sylvia Earle has seen the deterioration of coral reefs firsthand. She founded Mission Blue, an organization devoted to the development of global "hope spots." These special places around the world are "critical to the health of the ocean," which impacts our lives on earth. Through the intentional care for these areas, scientists have seen the relationships of underwater communities...More

Monday, January 2, 2024

The Son Also Rises

Bible in a Year: Genesis 4-6, Matthew 2

The sun also rises, and the sun goes down.
Ecclesiastes 1:5 nkjv

Today's Scripture & Insight: Ecclesiastes 1:1-11

Ernest Hemingway's first full-length novel features hard-drinking friends who've recently endured World War I. They bear the literal and figurative scars of the war's devastation and try to cope with it via parties, grand adventures, and sleeping around. Always, there is alcohol to numb the pain. No one is happy.

Hemingway's title for his book The Sun Also Rises comes straight from the pages of Ecclesiastes...More

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