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Our Daily Bread
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Helping you draw closer to God and be in His Word each day.
Helping you draw closer to God and be in His Word each day.

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Daily Devotion: Unexpected Ways
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Today's Bible Reading
1 Kings 19:1–12
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Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. John 14:9
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In 1986, five-year-old Levan Merritt fell twenty feet into the gorilla enclosure of England’s Jersey zoo. As parents and onlookers cried out for help, a full-grown male silverback, named Jambo, placed himself between the motionless boy and several other gorillas. Then he began to gently stroke the child’s back. When Levan began to cry, Jambo led the other gorillas into their own enclosure as zoo-keepers and an ambulance driver came to the rescue. More than thirty years later Levan still talks about Jambo the gentle giant—his guardian angel who had acted in a shockingly unexpected way, changing his perception of gorillas forever.
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Elijah may have expected God to act in certain ways, but the God of gods used a rock-shattering wind, a powerful earthquake, and raging fire to show His prophet how not to think of Him. Then He used a gentle whisper to show His heart and to express His presence (1 Kings 19:11–12).
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Elijah had seen God’s power before (18:38–39). But he didn’t fully understand the One who wants to be known as more than the greatest and most fearsome of gods (19:10, 14).
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Eventually, that quiet whisper found fullness of meaning in the powerful gentleness of Jesus, who said, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). Then He quietly allowed Himself to be nailed to a tree—an unexpected, compassionate act by the great God who loves us.
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—Mart DeHaan
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Father in heaven, please help us to find courage in Your whisper—and in the ways of Your Son. Have mercy on us for not seeing beyond Your power to a love we’ve barely begun to know.
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God won’t shout if we only need a whisper.
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Unexpected Ways - In 1986, five-year-old Levan Merritt fell twenty feet into the gorilla enclosure of England’s Jersey zoo. As parents and onlookers cried out for help, a full-grown male silverback, named Jambo, placed himself between the motionless boy and several other gorillas. Then he began to gently stroke the child’s back. When Levan began to cry, Jambo led the other gorillas into their own enclosure as zoo-keepers and an ambulance driver came to the rescue. Thirty years later Levan s...
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Daily Devotion: Where to Find Hope
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Today's Bible Reading
Romans 5:1–11
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And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Romans 5:5
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Elizabeth struggled for a long time with drug addiction, and when she recovered wanted to help others in return. So she started writing notes and anonymously placing them throughout her city. Elizabeth tucks these notes under car windshield wipers and tacks them on poles in parks. She used to look for signs of hope; now she leaves them for others to find. One of her notes concluded with these words: “Much love. Hope sent.”
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Hope with love—that’s what Jesus gives. He brings us His love with each new day and strengthens us with that hope. His love is not rationed out to us drop by drop but flows out of His heart freely and is poured lavishly into ours: “We know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love” (Romans 5:5 nlt). He desires to use the hard times to develop perseverance and character and bring us a satisfying, hope-filled life (vv. 3–4). And even when we’re far from Him, He still loves us (vv. 6–8).
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Are you looking for signs of hope? The Lord gives hope with love through inviting us to grow in a relationship with Him. Our hope for a fulfilling life is anchored in His unfailing love.
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—Anne Cetas
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I’m grateful, God, for the love You lavishly pour on me. Please bring me contentment in You and confidence in what You are doing in me.
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Read Hope: Choosing Faith Instead of Fear at discoveryseries.org/q0733.
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Hope is the anchor of the soul.
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Where to Find Hope - Elizabeth struggled for a long time with drug addiction, and when she recovered wanted to help others in return. So she started writing notes and anonymously placing them throughout her city. Elizabeth tucks these notes under car windshield wipers and tacks them on poles in parks. She used to look for signs of hope; now she leaves them for others to find. One of her notes concluded with these words: “Much love. Hope sent.” Hope with love—that’s what Jesus gives. He brin...
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Daily Devotion: A Fitting Time
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Today's Bible Reading
Ecclesiastes 3:1–14
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He has made everything beautiful in its time. Ecclesiastes 3:11
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Yesterday I purchased an airline ticket to send my firstborn child to college. I’m surprised the keyboard on my computer still functions, given the waterworks my eyes unleashed on it during the flight selection process. I have so enjoyed my eighteen years of daily life with her that I am saddened by the prospect of her departure. Yet I wouldn’t rob her of the opportunity that lies ahead simply because I’ll miss her. At this juncture in her life, it is fitting for her to embark on a new journey to discover adulthood and explore another part of the country.
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As this season of my parenting draws to a close, another one begins. It will undoubtedly bring both new challenges and new delights. Solomon, Israel’s third king, wrote that God appoints “a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens” (Ecclesiastes 3:1). We humans have little control over the events of our lives—whether we view those events as favorable or not. But God, in His mighty power, makes “everything beautiful in its time” (v. 11).
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In seasons of heartache, we can trust God to bring something good from them in time. Our comforts and joys may come and go, but God’s works “will endure forever” (v. 14). We may not relish every season—some are quite painful—yet He can bring beauty to them all.
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—Kirsten Holmberg
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Father, You have permitted this season in my life. Help me to be content in the midst of it, and to recognize Your power and might are at work.
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God brings beauty from all seasons.
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A Fitting Time - Yesterday I purchased a plane ticket to send my firstborn child to college. I’m surprised the keyboard on my computer still functions, given the waterworks my eyes unleashed on it during the flight selection process. I have so enjoyed my eighteen years of daily life with her that I am saddened by the prospect of her departure. Yet I wouldn’t rob her of the opportunity that lies ahead simply because I will miss her. At this juncture in her life, it is fitting for her to emba...
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Daily Devotion: Engraved on His Hands
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Today's Bible Reading
Isaiah 49:14–18
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See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands. Isaiah 49:16
.In Charles Spurgeon’s many years at his London church during the 1800s, he loved to preach on the riches of Isaiah 49:16, which says that God engraves us on the palms of His hands. He said, “Such a text as this is to be preached hundreds of times!” This thought is so precious that we can run over it in our minds again and again.
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Spurgeon makes the wonderful connection between this promise of the Lord to His people, the Israelites, and God’s Son, Jesus, on the cross as He died for us. Spurgeon asked, “What are these wounds in Your hands? . . . The engraver’s tool was the nail, backed by the hammer. He must be fastened to the Cross, that His people might be truly engraved on the palms of His hands.” As the Lord promised to engrave His people on His palms, so Jesus stretched out His arms on the cross, receiving the nails in His hands so we could be free of our sins.
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If and when we’re tempted to think that God has forgotten us, we only need to look at our palms and remember God’s promise. He has put indelible marks on His hands for us; He loves us that much.
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—Amy Boucher Pye
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Lord God, how vast is Your love for me! You keep me ever before You. I know You’ll never leave me, and I’m grateful.
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The Lord engraves us on the palms of His hands.
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Engraved on His Hands - In Charles Spurgeon’s many years at his London church during the 1800s, he loved to preach on the riches of Isaiah 49:16, which says that God engraves us on the palms of His hands. He said, “Such a text as this is to be preached hundreds of times!” For, he continued, this thought is so precious that we can run over it in our minds again and again. Spurgeon makes the wonderful connection between this promise of the Lord to His people, the Israelites, and God’s Son, Je...
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5-MINUTE BIBLE STUDY
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Read: 2 Timothy 1:1–5
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Examine: The family language used in 2 Timothy 1:1–5 is hard to miss. In addition to the reference to “God the Father” (v. 2), other family terms are used. Paul refers to Timothy as “my dear son” (v. 2). The word translated “son” can refer to literal or spiritual offspring, the latter being the case here. Paul was a “spiritual father” who had invested in Timothy’s ministerial training and development. The family term in verse 3 is the word “ancestors,” and it refers to those from whom Paul had inherited a legacy of faith. Paul had spiritual roots (see Acts 22:1–3; 23:6; Philippians 3:5–7).
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Timothy’s connection to his mother, Eunice, and his grandmother Lois was not just biological. His “sincere faith” had been nurtured by these godly women. Because of the influence of these family members, Paul could write in 2 Timothy 3:14–15: “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.”
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Discuss: What kind of spiritual roots are you leaving for those who will follow you?
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Pray: Leave your prayer request in the comments below. Pick a person who has commented and lift them up in prayer today. Reply to them and let them know you’re praying!
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Daily Devotion: Legacies of Love
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Today's Bible Reading
2 Timothy 1:1–5
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Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16
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I was paging through my great-grandmother’s Bible when a treasure fell into my lap. On a small scrap of paper, in a young child’s handwriting, were the words, “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:3–4 kjv). Scribbled beside those verses in wobbly cursive was my mother’s signature.
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My great-grandmother had a habit of teaching her grandchildren to write out Scripture verses so they would learn them and take them to heart. But the story behind this verse brought tears to my eyes. My grandfather died when my mother was very young, and her little brother (my uncle) died just weeks later. It was in that tragic season that my great-grandmother pointed my mother to Jesus and the comfort only He can give.
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Paul wrote Timothy, “I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also” (2 Timothy 1:5). Faith isn’t inherited, but it is shared. Timothy’s mother and grandmother shared their faith with him, and he believed.
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When we encourage those close to us to have hope in Jesus, we offer them a legacy of love. Through a simple note, my mother left evidence of my great-grandmother’s love for her Savior and her family. Oh, to share Him with those who come after us!
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—James Banks
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Thank You for those who shared Your love with me, Father. Please help me to point others to Your salvation today.
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When we share our faith, we share the greatest treasure of all.
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