Daily Bible Reading follows along with the passages discussed in the current teaching series. If you're jumping into the middle of a series or just prefer to read here instead of receiving a daily email, we hope this page is helpful to you.
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If you’re part of a group, write down what God is saying to you through his word and share in your weekly discussion. You’ll get the most out of this if you read the verse several times throughout the day, and write down what stands out to you along the way.
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Day 1: The heart is the most deceitful.
“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?”
The currency of our relationships is trust. It’s a fragile currency that can quickly erode after a few hurts, disappointments or emotional wounds from others.
At some point in your life, you’ve had your trust broken. You’ve also likely broken the trust of others, even unintentionally.
When you let go of trust, you lose hope. When you lose hope, you become a cynic.
Today, instead of giving in to cynicism and giving up hope that trust can ever be restored, ask God to search your own heart. Then trust him for wisdom and healing so you can move forward.
Day 2: Refresh the hearts.
I always thank my God when I pray for you, Philemon, because I keep hearing about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all of God’s people. And I am praying that you will put into action the generosity that comes from your faith as you understand and experience all the good things we have in Christ. Your love has given me much joy and comfort, my brother, for your kindness has often refreshed the hearts of God’s people.
Paul’s appeal to Philemon to keep trust alive, even after broken trust has caused relational debt, is one we can all learn from.
Consider today how you might be able to encourage, put generosity into action, love and show kindness so that you might refresh the hearts of others. God can use this to help you and others trust again!
Day 3: Remain in him.
“That is why I am boldly asking a favor of you. I could demand it in the name of Christ because it is the right thing for you to do. But because of our love, I prefer simply to ask you. Consider this as a request from me—Paul, an old man and now also a prisoner for the sake of Christ Jesus.
I appeal to you to show kindness to my child, Onesimus. I became his father in the faith while here in prison. Onesimus hasn’t been of much use to you in the past, but now he is very useful to both of us. I am sending him back to you, and with him comes my own heart.
I wanted to keep him here with me while I am in these chains for preaching the Good News, and he would have helped me on your behalf. But I didn’t want to do anything without your consent. I wanted you to help because you were willing, not because you were forced. It seems you lost Onesimus for a little while so that you could have him back forever. He is no longer like a slave to you. He is more than a slave, for he is a beloved brother, especially to me. Now he will mean much more to you, both as a man and as a brother in the Lord.
So if you consider me your partner, welcome him as you would welcome me. If he has wronged you in any way or owes you anything, charge it to me.”
Just as Paul is willing to take on the debt Onesimus caused by breaking Philemon’s trust, Jesus took on our debt. At the cross, Jesus effectively said about our sin, “Charge it to me.” Jesus went to the cross to show that God can be trusted. Put your trust in Him. That’s ultimately what being a Christian is: a broken, flawed, vulnerable person who chooses to put your trust in who Jesus is and what He’s done on your behalf.
And if you’ve accepted his free gift, thank Him for setting you free!
Day 4: The barren wilderness.
This is what the Lord says: “Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans, who rely on human strength and turn their hearts away from the Lord. They are like stunted shrubs in the desert, with no hope for the future. They will live in the barren wilderness, in an uninhabited salty land."
Have you come to a point where the relational debt caused by broken trust is just too much? Are you tempted to foreclose on the relationship, whether it’s your boss, child, parent, business partner, or even the church?
This is exactly where the enemy wants you to be and what he wants you to think. Cynicism is toxic to our spiritual and emotional health, your relationships, and to the cause of Christ.
Don’t put your hope in mere humans or human strength. Put your hope in the Lord!
Day 5: Blessed are those who trust in the Lord.
“But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.”
If you’re tempted to give into cynicism caused by broken trust, remember this: Trust leads to hope and hope is the antidote to cynicism.
Developing deep roots in your faith in Jesus will enable you to withstand the intentional or unintentional wounds of others.
Today, don’t let go of trust! Trust in the one who gives hope.
Day 1: People, possessions, power.
Because of the miraculous signs Jesus did in Jerusalem at the Passover celebration, many began to trust in him. But Jesus didn’t trust them, because he knew all about people. No one needed to tell him about human nature, for he knew what was in each person’s heart.
The Bible warns us not to put our trust in power, possessions, or other people: in the end, all of them will let us down at one time or another. At the same time, the Bible calls us to submit, respect, love, serve others, and all of those things require trust.
Feels like a no-win situation, right? How can we love people and serve them when we know they’ll just let us down?
No matter how much other people have let you down, remember this: Jesus is worthy of your complete trust. He can redeem any situation, no matter how far gone it seems. When you love or serve others today, do it from a place of love and surrender to Jesus. Put your full trust in him.
Day 2: Encourage others.
When Saul arrived in Jerusalem, he tried to meet with the believers, but they were all afraid of him. They did not believe he had truly become a believer! Then Barnabas brought him to the apostles and told them how Saul had seen the Lord on the way to Damascus and how the Lord had spoken to Saul. He also told them that Saul had preached boldly in the name of Jesus in Damascus.
When Paul came on the scene, believers in Jesus didn’t trust him—and for good reason. But Barnabas came along and encouraged him and put his own reputation on the line to defend Saul’s conversion to Paul.
How is God calling you to encourage someone else? Is there anyone in your life that you’ve been called to defend, even at expense to yourself or your own reputation?
Day 3: Build it, or break it.
After some time Paul said to Barnabas, “Let’s go back and visit each city where we previously preached the word of the Lord, to see how the new believers are doing.” Barnabas agreed and wanted to take along John Mark. But Paul disagreed strongly, since John Mark had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in their work.
Paul and Barnabas go from being an incredible team to having such a sharp disagreement they had to part ways.
Disagreements will come when we work or live alongside other people—they are inevitable. What matters isn’t if we disagree, but how we do it. The way we handle interpersonal conflict can build trust or destroy it.
Identify one step you can take today to repair or build trust with someone you disagree with, and take action on it this week.
Day 4: Trust requires conflict.
Aristarchus, who is in prison with me, sends you his greetings, and so does Mark, Barnabas’s cousin. As you were instructed before, make Mark welcome if he comes your way.
2 Timothy 4:11
Only Luke is with me. Bring Mark with you when you come, for he will be helpful to me in my ministry.
Paul’s heart softened for John Mark, but it was at the expense of his friendship with Barnabas.
Interpersonal conflict is inevitable, yet trust requires interpersonal conflict.
Today in your interactions, seek to understand someone before you try to be understood. When someone knows you’re genuinely curious about who they are and where they come from, it builds trust.
Day 5: The gift of reconciliation.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19
And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation.
What God did through Jesus on the cross was to reconcile us back to him. Through his death and resurrection, God created an environment where we could return to harmony with him. Our broken relationship made us compatible with God.
Today, take one step toward reconciliation with someone you’ve disagreed with. Ask God to help you understand this person’s perspective and feelings, and pray for him or her as you seek to bring reconciliation. The way you handle conflict may open up opportunities for that person to see Jesus.
Day 1: Pray for the church.
“Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock, I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.”
Jesus’ prayer for the church ends with a powerful statement—the gates of hell will not conquer it. No amount of evil—from inside or out—can destroy it.
Today, pray for the church—both Traders Point and the church around the world. Pray that we would be a place where people experience hope, authenticity, truth, and grace. Pray that we would be unified in our mission and in our love for one another.
Day 2: Get real.
Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The teachers of religious law and the Pharisees are the official interpreters of the law of Moses. So practice and obey whatever they tell you, but don’t follow their example. For they don’t practice what they teach. They crush people with unbearable religious demands and never lift a finger to ease the burden."
“Everything they do is for show. On their arms, they wear extra wide prayer boxes with Scripture verses inside, and they wear robes with extra long tassels. And they love to sit at the head table at banquets and in the seats of honor in the synagogues. They love to receive respectful greetings as they walk in the marketplaces, and to be called ‘Rabbi.’"
“Don’t let anyone call you ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one teacher, and all of you are equal as brothers and sisters. And don’t address anyone here on earth as ‘Father,’ for only God in heaven is your Father. And don’t let anyone call you ‘Teacher,’ for you have only one teacher, the Messiah. The greatest among you must be a servant. But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
If you have ever had trust issues with organized religion, Jesus did, too.
Jesus knew as we people we would prefer the pomp and circumstance, the attention for good works, and the accolades that come along with being righteous. But he didn’t come to start a religion based on our performance. He came to start a movement based on who he is and his never-failing love for humanity.
Get real today before God: are you trying to perform for him and for others, or simply follow him? When you catch yourself performing, remember that through Jesus, we don’t have to perform. We just have to follow him.
Day 3: Inside out.
“What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore the more important aspects of the law—justice, mercy, and faith. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things. Blind guides! You strain your water so you won’t accidentally swallow a gnat, but you swallow a camel!"
“What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy—full of greed and self-indulgence! You blind Pharisee! First, wash the inside of the cup and the dish, and then the outside will become clean, too."
“What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs—beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity. Outwardly you look like righteous people, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness.”
To be the kind of church that’s worth trusting, the kind of church that Jesus came to start, we first have to get real.
Is there anything you’re holding onto that no longer belongs with a life of following Jesus? Sin, anger, greed, self-indulgence, guilt, bitterness?
Confess it to God today, and ask him to clean the inside first, so that the outside will become clean, too.
Day 4: With all you've got.
“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?”
To be the kind of church that Jesus came to start, we first have to get real about what's really going on in our lives. But the second thing we must do if we’re going to be the kind of church worth trusting is to love Jesus with all we’ve got. When it’s all about Jesus, that’s when we can be the kind of church that the powers of hell cannot stand against—that’s the church that’s unstoppable.
Pray today that it would start with you—that before you looked to see how anyone else is doing in their pursuit of Jesus, that you would consider your own walk with God. What does Jesus want to say to you today? Have you spent time with him recently?
Find some time today to get quiet before God and just be with him.
Day 5: Shine the light of Christ.
1 Peter 2:5
And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are his holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God.
Together, we are the living stones that shine the light of Christ everywhere we go. When we gather on Sundays, we don’t go to church, the church shows up to gather.
Who can you invite to join you this weekend as we finish our series, Trust Issues? Pray and ask God today to bring someone to mind that you can invite, and act on it.
Day 1: We can tell God what we’re really thinking.
How long, O Lord, must I call for help? But you do not listen! “Violence is everywhere!” I cry, but you do not come to save. Must I forever see these evil deeds? Why must I watch all this misery? Wherever I look, I see destruction and violence. I am surrounded by people who love to argue and fight. The law has become paralyzed, and there is no justice in the courts. The wicked far outnumber the righteous, so that justice has become perverted.
Habakkuk thinks that God is failing to step in and put a stop to evil, and he lets God know about it! The prophet uses God’s personal, covenant name, “LORD” (Hebrew: Yahweh), which helps us see their close relationship. Because of their relationship, Habakkuk can be honest and real—even raw—with God.
In Jesus, we have this same close relationship with God, and he wants us to be real with him. We can tell God what we’re really thinking and feeling—we don’t have to hold back. God can handle it; in fact, he invites it!
Is there anything happening in your life that God needs to hear about? Don’t be afraid to get real with him today!
Day 2: Don’t depend on your own understanding.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
Proverbs is a book of wisdom, and one of the first things it tells us is where wisdom is to be found: in God.
The Bible repeatedly warns us to never put our trust in power, possessions, or people—especially in ourselves! Our understanding is limited to what we’ve seen and experienced, but God’s wisdom knows no end. We can depend on him to guide us whenever we seek his will.
Sometimes it’s hard to trust God—especially when we’re confused, hurting, or angry. But this is when our limited understanding can work against us. Trusting in God’s infinite perspective and power can bring peace in the midst of chaos.
Do you ever find it hard to trust God? Today, ask him to help you depend on him, to reveal his will for you, and to show you what to do next.
Day 3: Worship and trust the God of our salvation.
Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! The Sovereign Lord is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights.
Despite everything happening around him, Habakkuk knows God’s character and trusts him to set things right in Judah. The prophet knows that nothing can stop God from rescuing and blessing his people. This thought inspires confidence and provokes heartfelt praise and worship.
God’s ultimate rescue of us happened through the death and resurrection of Jesus. We can trust that he loves us and has the power to rescue us from anything because he died for us and then conquered death itself. He truly is the Sovereign Lord, the God of our salvation.
Take a few moments today to reflect on what Jesus has done for you. Worship him for his power and love, and ask him to be your confidence as you move through your day.
Day 4: Experience God’s faithfulness in the valleys.
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
It’s comforting to know we’re not the only ones who struggle on our faith journey. Even the earliest followers of Jesus needed encouragement. That’s why the writers of the New Testament spent so much time helping people see God’s purpose in their struggles.
James teaches us that our faith grows when it’s tested. God matures us as we endure trials. Paul helps us see that our weakness is actually a strength—it's the very place where God’s power is at work in us.
Are you feeling weak today? Is your faith being tested? Wrestle and embrace: Tell God what’s happening, and rest in the truth that we can still experience his faithfulness in life’s valleys.
Day 5: The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time.
In most ancient religions, the gods favored proud, confident people who had it all together, and troubles in life were seen as a divine curse. But our God isn’t like that at all. He draws near to the humble and the broken, and he cares enough to rescue them from trouble.
Are you experiencing a season of brokenness? Trust that God is near and working to rescue you. Do you know anyone whose spirit is crushed? Before others can be helped, they need to be heard. Think of some ways you might share God’s tender love today through just your listening presence.