Daily Archives: May 1, 2018

May 1: Who Will Fight for Us?

Judges 1:1–2:10; Philippians 1:1–11; Psalm 61:1–62:12

“Who will go up first for us against the Canaanites to fight against them?” (Judg 1:1).

I’ve felt this way before—wondering who will be my advocate in my time of need. It’s ironic that we are surrounded by people, and we have constant access to communication, and yet we can still feel alone. In a world of ambient noise, we’re often left feeling that no one is there to come to our aid. Most of us do have people to help us; it’s just that we’re not willing to ask for help. At all times, we have someone who will be our guide in times of distress.

Paul tells us that it is Christ “who began a good work in you [and He] will finish it until the day [He returns]” (Phil 1:6). In essence, the story of Paul and the Philippian believers’ struggles is really the same story told in the book of Judges. God’s people are at war against powers seen and unseen (Phil 3:1–4; compare Col 1:16). They feel lonely and wounded, but when they search their hearts, they see that God really is rising up to defend them. In Judges, He sends His people great advocates who go out before them in battle. In Philippians, we see Paul telling his story to a church in need of a leader so they can look to his example (e.g., Phil 1:12–25; 3:1–21). We also see Paul, time and time again, point to the greatest example: Christ (e.g., Phil 1:9–11).

In the humility of his situation, Paul sees God at work (Phil 2). When God’s people found themselves in dire circumstances, being opposed by outside forces, they saw God come to their aid (e.g., Judg 4). Christ is our advocate before God the Father, and He is our guide in this life, which can often be confusing and disheartening. God’s faithfulness in guiding and loving His people remains the same today as yesterday, but now we see an even greater manifestation of that love in Jesus.

What humbling situation are you going through? How can you hand it over to God and trust in His providence?

John D. Barry[1]


[1] Barry, J. D., & Kruyswijk, R. (2012). Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

May 1 The Master’s Men

“The names of the twelve apostles are these: The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; and James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax-gatherer; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Him” (Matt. 10:2–4).

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God uses unqualified people to accomplish His purposes.

We live in a qualification-conscious society. Almost everything you do requires you to meet someone else’s standards. You must qualify to purchase a home, buy a car, get a credit card, or attend college. In the job market, the most difficult jobs require people with the highest possible qualifications.

Ironically, God uses unqualified people to accomplish the world’s most important task: advancing the Kingdom of God. It has always been that way. Adam and Eve plunged the human race into sin. Lot got drunk and committed incest with his own daughters. Abraham doubted God and committed adultery. Jacob deceived his father. Moses was a murderer. David was too, as well as an adulterer. Jonah got upset when God showed mercy to Nineveh. Elijah withstood 850 false priests and prophets, yet fled in terror from one woman—Jezebel. Paul (Saul) murdered Christians. And the list goes on and on.

The fact is, no one is fully qualified to do God’s work. That’s why He uses unqualified people. Perhaps that truth is most clearly illustrated in the twelve disciples, who had numerous human frailties, different temperaments, different skills, and diverse backgrounds, and yet Christ used them to change the world.

This month you will meet the disciples one by one. As you do, I want you to see that they were common men with a very uncommon calling. I also want you to observe the training process Jesus put them through, because it serves as a pattern for our discipleship as well.

I pray that you will be challenged by their strengths and encouraged by the way God used them despite their weaknesses and failures. He will use you too as you continue yielding your life to Him.

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Suggestions for Prayer:  Memorize Luke 6:40. Ask God to make you more like Christ.

For Further Study: Read 2 Timothy 1:3–5, noting the weaknesses Timothy may have struggled with, and how Paul encouraged him. How might Paul’s words apply to you?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 134). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

Megachurch Pastor, Andy Stanley, Says Unity More Important Than Theology — Pulpit & Pen

In Ephesians 4:13 we learn that pastors and teachers are to equip the saints “until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God…” Paul admonishes believers to pursue unity in the faith. And we should have one goal — to bring glory to God. Under no circumstances are Christians…

via Megachurch Pastor, Andy Stanley, Says Unity More Important Than Theology — Pulpit & Pen

A Response to Andy Stanley on “Theological Correctness”–With Help from Jonathan Edwards

A Response to Andy Stanley on “Theological Correctness”–With Help from Jonathan Edwards
— Read on www.patheos.com/blogs/thoughtlife/2018/05/a-response-to-andy-stanley-on-theological-correctness-with-help-from-jonathan-edwards/

05/01/2018 — Wretched

WR2018-0501 •The prophetic work of secular sociologist Philip Rieff •How do we learn God’s will without putting out a fleece? •Are you called to prison ministry? •Bethel Church is rolling in the money •How the Passion Translation obfuscates the plain meaning of Scripture •How not to preach open-air •One church’s culture of evangelism Download Now…

via 05/01/2018 — Wretched

May 1 Why Sufferings and Trials?

“For man is born for trouble, as sparks fly upward.”

Job 5:7

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Because they are sinners, still living in a sinful world, Christians should expect to encounter difficulties.

It all depends on how you look at it.” That may be a cliché, but it is very applicable for believers as they deal with trials and sufferings. Any trial can be a joyous experience for a Christian if he looks at it from the proper, biblical perspective. Or, as with Jonah (Jonah 4) and Elijah (1 Kings 19:1–14), trials can be frustrating times of self–pity if believers lose their focus on what God is doing.

For some of us, the first hurdle to overcome is the very notion that trials and sufferings will be a part of the Christian life. But Job 5:7 reminds us that trouble is inevitable. If we imagine an ideal world where everything is just right all the time for believers, we are setting ourselves up for profound disappointment. Jesus Himself tells us we must expect significant difficulties in our lives: “In the world you have tribulation” (John 16:33).

All of us, to a greater or lesser extent, need to be prepared for testings and tribulations. And these troubles will be different for each of us. For some, the trial might be a financial crisis, accompanied by the loss of personal savings or investments. For some, it could be the loss of employment, with the anxiety of not being able to find another job anytime soon. Perhaps for others, the severe trial will be a serious illness or injury in their family, a fatal car accident, or being devastated by a major crime like murder or burglary.

In God’s purpose and plan, trials and sufferings are real and should not catch us by surprise or leave us angry and perplexed. If we recognize the Lord’s sovereign role in all these things, we will be able to affirm these words from an old hymn:

Whate’er my God ordains is right:

Holy His will abideth;

I will be still whate’er He doth,

And follow where He guideth.

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Suggestions for Prayer: Ask God for wisdom to better understand and accept the truth that He is sovereign over all areas of life. ✧ Pray for a friend or family member who might be currently in the midst of a trial.

For Further Study: Read 1 Kings 19:1–14. Who and what did Elijah focus on more than God? ✧ What events from chapter 18 did the prophet quickly forget?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (1997). Strength for today. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

The Bee Explains: Democrats Vs. Republicans — The Babylon Bee

All this Left vs. Right stuff can be confusing for the uninitiated. Who’s right? And who’s left? Do you even politics, bro? The Bee is here for you, with a primer that explains our country’s two political parties in great detail, with unprecedented historical accuracy, and with unparalleled impartial reporting. Prepare yourself to get KNOWLEDGED:…

via The Bee Explains: Democrats Vs. Republicans — The Babylon Bee

Andy Stanley: Church Unity Is More Important Than ‘Being Theologically Correct’ — Christian Research Network

“The goal isn’t to be right about everything.The goal is to be one.” “They made cultural concessions for the sake of unity.” In Ephesians 4:13 we learn that pastors and teachers are to equip the saints “until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God…”…

via Andy Stanley: Church Unity Is More Important Than ‘Being Theologically Correct’ — Christian Research Network

What you need to know about ‘A Billion-Soul Harvest 2018’ — Christian Research Network

(Berean Research) There is a major effort by the “Billion Souls Network” to “Bring Back The King” by finishing the Great Commission by the year 2100. The Billion Soul Network Coalition comprises more than 1,300 denominations and organizations, along with more than 400,000 local churches, committed to synergizing their efforts together to accelerate the doubling of…

via What you need to know about ‘A Billion-Soul Harvest 2018’ — Christian Research Network