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November 27: When Hezekiah Gave Away the Farm

2 Kings 18:13–19:37; Ephesians 2:1–3:21; Proverbs 8:19–26

After the announcement that Hezekiah “did right in the eyes of Yahweh,” the next description comes as a surprise: “At that time, Hezekiah cut off the doors of the temple of Yahweh and the doorposts which Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid, and he gave them to the king of Assyria” (2 Kgs 18:3, 16).

For a moment Hezekiah was a strong king over Israel—he abolished idolatry and refused to obey the king of Assyria (2 Kgs 18:4, 7). As 2 Kings 18:6 describes, “He held on to Yahweh; he did not depart from following him, and he kept his commands that Yahweh had commanded Moses.” But Hezekiah did not possess fortitude (see 2 Kgs 18:13–18). In an attempt to gain peace, he gave away not only treasures, but even pieces of Yahweh’s temple itself (2 Kgs 18:15–16).

We’ve all been in situations where it’s tempting to do anything for peace. Perhaps we’ve even compromised our ethics or values in these moments. But no matter the situation, giving away the farm like Hezekiah did is never the answer. Politicians often talk about “peace at all costs,” but our world is full of dilemmas that don’t allow for that option.

When desperate situations arise, we must have fortitude. We must seek solace in God and His will instead of giving in. If we make a decision based on the circumstances, it will be the wrong one. If we make our decisions based on prayer, we will make the correct moves.

Hezekiah could have relied on God when Sennacherib came knocking on his door and knocking down the cities of Judah, but he didn’t. He paid a high price for his decision; the cost was his relationship with Yahweh. Even death is preferable to that.

Sometimes our decisions are more important than we realize because they may involve our relationship with God. We must let that relationship drive our decision-making. Rather than being distracted by fear, anxiety, pressure, or even concern for anyone else, we must focus on God and His will; He alone will look out for us and others. We must give Him the opportunity to act.

What decisions do you need God’s intercession for?

John D. Barry[1]


November 27

THANKS TO GOD!

August Ludvig Storm, 1862–1914

Translated by Carl E. Backstrom, 1901–

Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 5:20)

A thankful spirit, both for the good and the difficult, is one of the important indicators of a believer’s spiritual condition. To be able to say—

I thank Thee, God, that all our joy is touched with pain, that shadows fall on brightest hours, that thorns remain;

So that earth’s bliss may be our guide, and not our chain. I thank Thee, Lord, that Thou has kept the best in store;

We have enough, but not too much to long for more—a yearning for a deeper peace, not known before.

Adelaide A. Procter

A prayer like this requires a life that knows and practices the intimate presence of Christ in daily living.

August Storm, the author of “Thanks to God!”, lived most of his life in Stockholm, Sweden. As a young man he was converted to Christ in a Salvation Army meeting. Soon he joined the Salvation Army Corps and in time became one of its leading officers. He wrote this hymn’s text for the Army’s publication, Stridsropet (The War Cry), on December 5, 1891. The original Swedish version had four stanzas, with each verse beginning with the word tack “thanks,” having a total of 32 “thanks” in all. The gratitude expressed to God ranges from the “dark and dreary fall” to the “pleasant, balmy springtime,” “pain as well as pleasure,” “thorns as well as roses.”

These words have come from the heart of one who lived and practiced what his lips and pen proclaimed:

Thanks, O God, for boundless mercy from Thy gracious throne above; thanks for ev’ry need provided from the fullness of Thy love! Thanks for daily toil and labor and for rest when shadows fall; thanks for love of friend and neighbor and Thy goodness unto all!

Thanks for thorns as well as roses; thanks for weakness and for health; thanks for clouds as well as sunshine; thanks for poverty and wealth! Thanks for pain as well as pleasure—all thou sendest day by day; and Thy Word, our dearest treasure, shedding light upon our way.

Thanks, O God, for home and fireside, here we share our daily bread; thanks for hours of sweet communion, when by Thee our souls are fed! Thanks for grace in time of sorrow and for joy and peace in Thee; thanks for hope today, tomorrow, and for all eternity!

For Today: Psalm 68:19; 103:1–10; 116:12; Revelation 7:12

“A grateful person is a happy one.” Become even more aware of God’s daily blessings in life. Carry this portion of today’s hymn with you—[2]


November 27

Intro

Welcome to Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Today’s reading is Obadiah and Jonah. Our lesson is from Jonah 1:16, “Then the men feared the Lord greatly, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows.” (NASU)

Lesson

The book of Jonah is captivating. The prophet who is called by the Lord goes running the other way when specifically asked to do God’s mission. He tries to flee from God as if it was possible. However, in today’s lesson we learn from the sailors a moral lesson rather than from Jonah because they had an encounter with the living God. Let’s see three actions of the sailors.

First, the sailors feared the Lord greatly. Fearing God has to do with respect and honor. We do not know with certainty the nationalities of the sailors but it can be assumed they were not part of Israel. At the beginning of the storm, each person prayed to his god. The storm became fiercer. The captain then approaches the sleeping prophet and tells him to pray to his God. Lots are drawn and Jonah upon being questioned by the men admits his guilt before the Lord. He identifies his God as the God of heaven who created the sea and dry land.

The prophet then instructs the sailors to throw him overboard. They do so and the storm subsides. However after the storm, they give allegiance to the living God.

Second, the sailors offered a sacrifice to the Lord. Although the sailors were not of Israel yet they came to the realization that the God of heaven that Jonah served was more powerful than their gods. The result was that they offered a sacrifice to Him.

Offering sacrifices in the biblical days was a common practice both within Israel and in the surrounding nations. The significance in our story is the recognition of the living God’s power over that of their gods. The sailors acknowledged Jonah’s God over their own deities. By offering a sacrifice to the living God, they demonstrated their gratitude to Him.

Last, the sailors made a vow to the Lord. The text does not give the details but the action of making a vow shows a certain ongoing promise. It may have been to offer other sacrifices to the living God or continued commitment to Him.

In conclusion, the sailor feared the Lord greatly. The sailors offered a sacrifice to the Lord. And the sailors made a vow to the Lord.

May we be able to see the Lord greater than our own nationalistic or limited perspective. God is the Lord of all nations and wants all peoples to know Him as the only true and living God. This is why we as God’s people must be His missionary people to all the nations of the globe. Pray for global outreach!

End

It has been a pleasure to share with you Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Tomorrow’s Bible reading is Micah 1 through 4. Let’s not forget the words of the psalmist, “The law of Your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.” Until tomorrow and may God bless you in abundance as you study the Word of God.[3]


 

November 27

 

Bearing the Reproach of Christ

 

Moses considered “the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen” (Heb. 11:26–27).

✧✧✧

When you suffer for Christ, you bear His reproach.

How could Moses, who lived 1,500 years before Christ, bear His reproach? Christ is the Greek form of the Hebrew title Messiah, meaning “the Anointed One.” Many Old Testament personalities were spoken of as being anointed for special service to the Lord. Some have suggested that Moses was thinking of himself as a type of messiah, for he delivered his people from the Egyptian bondage. They would translate verse 26 as, “Considering the reproach of his own messiahship as God’s deliverer.”

However, it seems best to see this verse as a reference to Jesus Himself, the future great Deliverer. We don’t know how much knowledge Moses had of Jesus, but certainly it was more than that of Abraham, of whom Jesus said, “Abraham rejoiced to see My day; and he saw it, and was glad” (John 8:56).

The Messiah has always been identified with His people. When they suffer for righteousness’ sake, they suffer in His place. That’s why David said, “The reproaches of those who reproach Thee have fallen on me” (Ps. 69:9). Speaking from a New Testament perspective, Paul made a similar statement: “I bear on my body the brand-marks of Jesus” (Gal. 6:17).

There’s also a sense in which Christ suffers with His people. When Jesus confronted Paul, who was heavily persecuting the church, He said, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? … I am Jesus whom you are persecuting” (Acts 9:4–5).

Moses chose to turn his back on Pharaoh’s household and to identify with God’s people because he knew that suffering for Christ was far better than enjoying the riches of Egypt. At some point in time you too will be persecuted for Christ’s sake (2 Tim. 3:12), so be prepared. When that time comes, follow Moses’ example of faith and courage, knowing that God will be your shield and your reward (cf. Gen. 15:1).

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Follow the examples of the apostles by thanking God for the privilege of bearing a small portion of the reproach that the world aims at Christ (Acts 5:27–41).

For Further Study: Memorize Psalm 27:1 as a source of encouragement when facing difficulty.[4]


November 27

Rest in God

I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.

Philippians 4:11

god is in control. When a job is terminated, a mate quits, a friend deserts, God is quietly but sovereignly at work for your good. You are not a victim of the economy or another’s decision.

You can be content in any circumstance when you are sure of God’s unceasing care and absolute control over every detail. Rest in His ability, and contentment will follow.[5]


November 27

Take a Stand

Scripture reading: Ephesians 6:10–13

Key verse: Ephesians 6:13

Take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

In The Bible Exposition Commentary, Warren Wiersbe writes,

Satan is a dangerous enemy. He is a serpent who can bite us when we least expect it. He is a destroyer (Rev. 12:11) … He has great power and intelligence, and a host of demons who assist him in his attacks against God’s people (Eph. 6:11).

He is a formidable enemy; we must never joke about him, ignore him, or underestimate his ability. We must “be sober” and have our minds under control when it comes to our conflict with Satan … Because he is a subtle foe, we must “be vigilant” and always on guard. His strategy is to counterfeit whatever God does … The better we know God’s Word, the keener our spiritual senses will be to detect Satan at work … This means that we take our stand on the Word of God and refuse to be moved. Ephesians 6:10–13 instructs us to “stand.” Unless we stand, we cannot withstand. Our weapons are the Word of God and prayer (Eph. 6:17–18) and our protection is the complete armor … Just as David took his stand against Goliath and trusted in the name of Jehovah, so we take our stand against Satan in the victorious name of Jesus Christ.

Dear heavenly Father, help me to stand in victory and withstand Satan in times of adversity.[6]


November 27

Lose Those Bad Habits

The work of righteousness will be peace, and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever.

Isaiah 32:17

Pure behavior produces spiritual peace and stability, but sinful behavior produces instability. That is true not only in the millennial kingdom, where Christ one day will rule the earth in righteousness, as today’s verse indicates, but also in the life of the believer. James the brother of Jesus said, “The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable…. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace”(James 3:17–18).

Contentment, comfort, calm, quietness, and tranquility accompany godly conduct, which is based on God’s Word. Doing good is not only the way to overcome evil (Rom. 12:21), but also the expected practice of every believer. As you cultivate godly habits by the power of God, your bad habits will diminish, and your life will become more stable.[7]


November 27          Giving Thanks in Everything

scripture reading:

 

1 Thessalonians 5:16–18

 

key verse:

 

Ephesians 5:20

 

Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Cultivating and maintaining a grateful heart that continues to pulsate with thanksgiving, even in trials, present a challenge.

Your circumstances today may be bright. If so, remember that God is your Source, and give Him the praise that He deserves. However, if your situation is bleak, God still desires your sincere thanksgiving because He knows the alternatives are passivity, self–pity, depression, and possibly withdrawal from intimate fellowship with the Savior.

Giving thanks in everything (that does not leave you with many exceptions, does it?) is possible when you understand that every situation, good or evil, is used by your loving Father to further your dependence on Him and make you more like Him.

We all like control; we dislike anything or anyone that disturbs our sense of security. But God is not interested in your ease or comfort. He is determined to conform you to the image of Christ through the inevitable afflictions that accompany life.

Thanking God in the trials may be difficult, but when you do, His purposes and presence will illuminate your path and carry you through.

Lord, enable me to praise You in the bad times as well as the good. In every situation, let me learn to give thanks.[8]


November 27

An Eternal Light of Hope

Scripture reading: Daniel 3:16–18

Key verse: Romans 8:39

Nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

A. B. Simpson spoke of trials:

I once heard a simple man say something that I have never forgotten: “When God tests you, it is a good time for you to test Him by putting His promises to the proof, and claiming from Him just as much as your trials have rendered necessary.”

There are two ways of getting out of a trial. One is to simply try to get rid of the trial, and be thankful when it is over. The other is to recognize the trial as a challenge from God to claim a larger blessing than we have ever had, and to hail it with delight as an opportunity of obtaining a larger measure of Divine grace. Thus even the adversary becomes an auxiliary, and the things that seem to be against us turn out to be for the furtherance of our way. Surely this is to be more than conquerors through Him who loved us (Romans 8:39).

Daniel never planned to be tossed into the lions’ den. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego didn’t expect to see the inside of the fiery furnace. Joseph had no idea when he showed his coat of many colors to his brothers that they would sell him to Egyptian bondsmen. Life contains many difficult twists and turns. But God customarily takes hopeless situations and turns them around for His glory and our good.

You always can trust the fact that God is your Eternal Light. Look to Him for hope, and He will bring encouragement to your heart.

O God, You are my Eternal Light. I look to You today for hope and encouragement.[9]


November 27

The glory which You gave Me I have given them.

The prophet Isaiah saw You, Lord, sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of Your robe filled the temple. Above it stood seraphim. And one cried to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!” These things Isaiah said when he saw Your glory and spoke of You. On the likeness of the throne was a likeness of a man high above it. Like the appearance of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the brightness all around it. This was the appearance of the likeness of Your glory, Lord God.

Moses said, “Please, show me Your glory.” But You said, “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.” No one has seen You at any time, Lord God. The only begotten Son, who is in Your bosom, He has declared You. You, who commanded light to shine out of darkness, have shone in my heart to give the light of the knowledge of Your glory in the face of Jesus Christ.

You will be glorified for eternity, Lord. Help me live so I glorify You now!

John 17:22; Isaiah 6:1–3; John 12:41; Ezekiel 1:26, 28; Exodus 33:18, 20; John 1:18; 2 Corinthians 4:6[10]


November 27

SUCCESS is certain when the Lord has promised it. Although you may have pleaded month after month without evidence of answer, it is not possible that the Lord should be deaf when his people are earnest in a matter which concerns his glory. Delayed answers often set the heart searching itself, and so lead to contrition and spiritual reformation?

Reader, do not fall into the sin of unbelief, but continue in prayer and watching. Plead the precious blood with unceasing importunity, and it shall be with you according to your desire.[11]


Day 27

Adoration

Heaven is Your throne,

And the earth is Your footstool.

Your hand made all these things,

And so they came into being. (Isaiah 66:1–2a)

Your hand laid the foundations of the earth,

And Your right hand spread out the heavens;

When You summon them, they all stand up together. (Isaiah 48:13)

Pause to express your thoughts of praise and worship.

Confession

Surely You desire truth in the inner parts,

And in the hidden part You make me know wisdom. (Psalm 51:6)

Ask the Spirit to search your heart and reveal any areas of unconfessed sin. Acknowledge these to the Lord and thank Him for His forgiveness.

Renewal

Like Josiah, may I do what is right in the sight of the Lord and walk in all the ways of David, not turning aside to the right or to the left. May I turn to the Lord with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my might, in accordance with all of Your Word. (2 Kings 22:1–2; 23:25)

These are the things I want to do: speak the truth to others, judge with truth and justice for peace, not plot evil against my neighbor, and not love a false oath; for all these things the Lord hates. (Zechariah 8:16–17)

Pause to add your own prayers for personal renewal.

Petition

May I not be afraid of my adversaries, but remember the Lord, who is great and awesome. (Nehemiah 4:14)

Growth in Wisdom

Developing an eternal perspective

Renewing my mind with truth

Greater skill in each area of life

My activities for this day

Special concerns

Intercession

May I do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility may I esteem others as more important than myself. Let me look not only to my own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:3–4)

Family

My immediate family

My relatives

Spiritual concerns

Emotional and physical concerns

Other concerns

Affirmation

Jesus will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will never end. (Luke 1:32–33)

The heavens will vanish like smoke;

The earth will wear out like a garment,

And its inhabitants will die in the same way.

But Your salvation will last forever,

And Your righteousness will never fail. (Isaiah 51:6)

God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Christ and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. (Colossians 1:19–20)

Pause to reflect upon these biblical affirmations.

Thanksgiving

Let those who love the Lord hate evil.

He preserves the souls of His saints

And delivers them from the hand of the wicked.

Light is sown for the righteous

And gladness for the upright in heart. (Psalm 97:10–11)

Pause to offer your own expressions of thanksgiving.

Closing Prayer

The Lord has established His throne in heaven,

And His kingdom rules over all.

Bless the Lord, you His angels,

Mighty in strength who do His bidding,

Obeying the voice of His word.

Bless the Lord, all His hosts,

You His servants who do His will.

Bless the Lord, all His works,

In all places of His dominion.

Bless the Lord, O my soul. (Psalm 103:19–22)[12]


Morning, November 27     

 

“Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord.”

— Zechariah 3:1

 

In Joshua the high priest we see a picture of each and every child of God, who has been made nigh by the blood of Christ, and has been taught to minister in holy things, and enter into that which is within the veil. Jesus has made us priests and kings unto God, and even here upon earth we exercise the priesthood of consecrated living and hallowed service. But this high priest is said to be “standing before the angel of the Lord,” that is, standing to minister. This should be the perpetual position of every true believer. Every place is now God’s temple, and his people can as truly serve him in their daily employments as in his house. They are to be always “ministering,” offering the spiritual sacrifice of prayer and praise, and presenting themselves a “living sacrifice.” But notice where it is that Joshua stands to minister, it is before the angel of Jehovah. It is only through a mediator that we poor defiled ones can ever become priests unto God. I present what I have before the messenger, the angel of the covenant, the Lord Jesus; and through him my prayers find acceptance wrapped up in his prayers; my praises become sweet as they are bound up with bundles of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia from Christ’s own garden. If I can bring him nothing but my tears, he will put them with his own tears in his own bottle for he once wept; if I can bring him nothing but my groans and sighs, he will accept these as an acceptable sacrifice, for he once was broken in heart, and sighed heavily in spirit. I myself, standing in him, am accepted in the Beloved; and all my polluted works, though in themselves only objects of divine abhorrence, are so received, that God smelleth a sweet savour. He is content and I am blessed. See, then, the position of the Christian—“a priest— standing—before the angel of the Lord.”

 

Evening, November 27

 

“The forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.”

— Ephesians 1:7

 

Could there be a sweeter word in any language than that word “forgiveness,” when it sounds in a guilty sinner’s ear, like the silver notes of jubilee to the captive Israelite? Blessed, for ever blessed be that dear star of pardon which shines into the condemned cell, and gives the perishing a gleam of hope amid the midnight of despair! Can it be possible that sin, such sin as mine, can be forgiven, forgiven altogether, and for ever? Hell is my portion as a sinner—there is no possibility of my escaping from it while sin remains upon me—can the load of guilt be uplifted, the crimson stain removed? Can the adamantine stones of my prison-house ever be loosed from their mortices, or the doors be lifted from their hinges? Jesus tells me that I may yet be clear. For ever blessed be the revelation of atoning love which not only tells me that pardon is possible, but that it is secured to all who rest in Jesus. I have believed in the appointed propitiation, even Jesus crucified, and therefore my sins are at this moment, and for ever, forgiven by virtue of his substitutionary pains and death. What joy is this! What bliss to be a perfectly pardoned soul! My soul dedicates all her powers to him who of his own unpurchased love became my surety, and wrought out for me redemption through his blood. What riches of grace does free forgiveness exhibit! To forgive at all, to forgive fully, to forgive freely, to forgive for ever! Here is a constellation of wonders; and when I think of how great my sins were, how dear were the precious drops which cleansed me from them, and how gracious was the method by which pardon was sealed home to me, I am in a maze of wondering worshipping affection. I bow before the throne which absolves me, I clasp the cross which delivers me, I serve henceforth all my days the Incarnate God, through whom I am this night a pardoned soul. [13]


November 27

The Voice of Accusation

Scripture Reading: Genesis 3:1–7

Key Verse: John 8:44

You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.

Jesus called Satan “a murderer” and “the father of lies” (John 8:44 nasb). In the book The Bondage Breaker, Neil T. Anderson observes,

One of the most common attitudes I have discovered in Christians … is a deep-seated sense of self-deprecation. I’ve heard them say, “… I’m no good.” I’m amazed at how many Christians are paralyzed in their witness and productivity by thoughts and feelings of inferiority and worthlessness.

Next to temptation, perhaps the most frequent and insistent attack from Satan to which we are vulnerable is accusation. By faith we have entered into an eternal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ … Satan can do absolutely nothing to alter our position in Christ and our worth to God. But he can render us virtually inoperative if he can deceive us into listening to and believing his insidious lies accusing us of being of little value to God and other people.

When God speaks, He always uses words of hope, encouragement, direction, and promise. Even in times of discipline, He is quick to restore and renew our fellowship. If the voice you hear within your heart is one of accusation, know it belongs to the deceiver. Therefore, take your stand against the enemy and ask God to fill your heart with His truth.

O God, the accuser often tries to condemn me, but I realize there is no condemnation because I am Your child. I reject the accuser’s voice and his deceptive lies.[14]


November 27

Christlike Maturity

Scripture Reading: Luke 2:41–52

Key Verse: Ephesians 4:13

… till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.

People’s perspectives on Jesus seem to shift with the seasons. During Christmas, Jesus is seen as a tiny infant, nestled in blankets and housed in a barn. At Easter, Jesus is seen as beaten and broken, or as the shimmering victor over death. The perspective that is traditionally excluded, however, is one very important segment of His life: His youth.

Luke 2:41–52, the only biblical account of the adolescent Jesus, reveals something surprising, in that He was increasing in wisdom. This shows that Jesus—who was fully God—was experiencing growth! Prayer, Scripture study, and the use of His gifts were bringing about maturation in the Son of Man. Jesus was sinless and perfect, yet He still experienced maturity. How much greater is the need for that growth in sinful man!

Ephesians 4:13 calls all believers toward Christlike maturity, unified as one body through faith in Jesus. Are you experiencing that growth? Are you utilizing your spiritual gifts in such a way as to strengthen the body of Christ and to increase your personal development? Pray for God’s help as He directs you into the fullness of the Christian life.

Lord, let me use my spiritual gifts to strengthen others around me. Draw me into a deeper relationship with You so I can increase in wisdom and knowledge.[15]


November 27

These have turned the world upside down.… None of these things move me

Acts 17:6; Acts 20:24

The men that move the world are the ones who do not let the world move them.

Selected[16]


November 27

With Open Hands

Luke 6:38

Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom.

When Elijah met the widow of Zarephath, she was locked in the clutches of a handful of meal and a tiny bit of oil. That’s all she had. We can sympathize with her. In fact, some of us can identify with her. And Elijah’s heart went out to her.

The difference was that he knew something she didn’t know. He knew that the way to have what you have and have it to the fullest is to always put God first. That’s why he said, “Make me a little cake first.” In other words, “Trust God by putting Him first and watch what He does.”

When we first see this woman in the story, she is clutching everything she has. At the end of the story, she is releasing it all to God. The way to have what you have is to give it back to God. That is the only way you can ever possess your possessions. If you give it back to God with open hands, He will not only bless you, He will also put back what you need. [17]


 

Spiritual Laws

 

November 27

 

Yes indeed, I will pray for Florence. It seems to me she might try the faith cure, for I suppose no other means are of much account and I know that a very great many people are being healed by faith in these days. It seems to me it is like this, that our faith lays hold of spiritual forces which are superior to natural forces and which therefore can overpower them. It is not that God’s mind is changed, but that we become able to avail ourselves of powers that He has put at our disposal in the spiritual realm. I expect His real will for us is health always, but if we disobey natural laws His will is thwarted, and it is only by bringing in spiritual laws that we can overcome the evil tendencies caused by sin either our own sins of ignorance or our ancestors sins.

I am afraid I am not very clear. But just as a wire does not create the electric current but only draws it down in certain directions so our faith does not create health but only draws the vitality of the spiritual realm down into our vessel. It is wonderful what faith will do. And if F. could be cured in that way it would be lovely. At least I hope she will pray about it. Tom’s case is a great encouragement.

—To Daughter Mary, November 1, 1882[18]


November 27th

The consecration of spiritual energy

by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. Gal. 6:14.

If I brood on the Cross of Christ, I do not become a subjective pietist, interested in my own whiteness; I become dominantly concentrated on Jesus Christ’s interests. Our Lord was not a recluse nor an ascetic, He did not cut Himself off from society, but He was inwardly disconnected all the time. He was not aloof, but He lived in another world. He was so much in the ordinary world that the religious people of His day called Him a glutton and a wine-bibber. Our Lord never allowed anything to interfere with His consecration of spiritual energy.

The counterfeit of consecration is the conscious cutting off of things with the idea of storing spiritual power for use later on, but that is a hopeless mistake. The Spirit of God has spoiled the sin of a great many, yet there is no emancipation, no fullness in their lives. The kind of religious life we see abroad to-day is entirely different from the robust holiness of the life of Jesus Christ. “I pray not that Thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil.” We are to be in the world but not of it; to be disconnected fundamentally, not externally.

We must never allow anything to interfere with the consecration of our spiritual energy. Consecration is our part, sanctification is God’s part; and we have deliberately to determine to be interested in that only in which God is interested. The way to solve perplexing problems is to ask—‘Is this the kind of thing which Jesus Christ is interested in, or the kind of thing the spirit that is the antipodes of Jesus is interested in?’[19]


 

November 27

 

Living in Evil Days

 

“Making the most of your time, because the days are evil.”

Ephesians 5:16

✧✧✧

Evil days call for good behavior.

The days we live in are certainly full of evil. Read any newspaper, and you’ll know what I mean. Can you imagine how it breaks God’s heart to create a perfect world, filled with every good thing, and then see it become as corrupt, debauched, and vile as it is today? Can you imagine how it must be for God to watch Christians who, in the midst of this evil world, are given opportunities to do good, yet bypass them without notice? The days are evil, and God gives us these opportunities to make things happen that matter—to fill up at least one moment of every day with something good, something righteous, something for Him.

“Because the days are evil,” the apostle Paul says in Ephesians 5:16, it’s important to walk wisely and make the most of our time. When opportunities for goodness do come, we should seize them. When God gives us an occasion to glorify Him (which in turn will bring a blessing on us), we must take the opportunity for His name’s sake. We must seize it in the midst of an evil day.

When I think of how God’s heart is broken over the evil of a world that He made for His own glory, I say to myself, If God gives me one small opportunity in the midst of an evil day to do something good, something to honor Him, or something to glorify Him, I’m going to grab that opportunity. Since the days are evil and it seems as though goodness is so scarce, you and I need to take every opportunity we can for manifesting goodness.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Ask the Lord to help you be aware of more opportunities that you can seize for manifesting goodness.

For Further Study: According to Genesis 6:5, what did the Lord see in the days of Noah? ✧ What effect did that have on God (v. 6)? ✧ According to Hebrews 11:7, what did Noah do? ✧ What effect did Noah have on the world?[20]

 


Reading for Today:

Ezekiel 45:1–46:24
Psalm 135:1-7
Proverbs 29:8
1 Peter 3:1-22
Notes:

Ezekiel 45:9–12 The leaders of the land are urged to be thoroughly honest in their commercial dealings. This warning shows that there will be sin in the Millennium. The believing Jews who entered the 1,000-year reign of Christ on earth and inherited the promised kingdom will be fully human and capable of such sins. There also will be children who do not necessarily believe, as the final rebellion against King Messiah and His temple proves (Rev. 20:7–9).

1 Peter 3:1 likewise. In chapter 2, Peter taught that living successfully as a Christian in a hostile world would require relating properly in two places: the civil society (2:13–17) and the workplace (2:18–25). At the start of this chapter, he added two more places: the family (vv. 1–7) and the local church (vv. 8, 9). be submissive. Peter insisted that if Christians are to be a witness for their Lord, they must submit not only to the civil, but also to the social order which God has designed. own husbands. Women are not inferior to men in any way, any more than submissive Christians are inferior to pagan rulers or non-Christian bosses (Gal. 3:28). But wives have been given a role which puts them in submission to the headship which resides in their own husbands (1 Cor. 11:1–9; Eph. 5:22; Col. 3:18; Titus 2:4, 5).

1 Peter 3:7 Husbands, likewise. Submission is the responsibility of a Christian husband, as well (Eph. 5:21). Though not submitting to his wife as a leader, a believing husband must submit to the loving duty of being sensitive to the needs, fears, and feelings of his wife. In other words, a Christian husband needs to subordinate his needs to hers, whether she is a Christian or not. Peter specifically notes consideration, chivalry, and companionship. weaker vessel. While she is fully equal in Christ and not inferior spiritually because she is a woman (Gal. 3:28), she is physically weaker and in need of protection, provision, and strength from her husband. heirs together of the grace of life. Here the “grace of life” is not salvation, but marriage—the best relationship earthly life has to offer. The husband must cultivate companionship and fellowship with his wife, Christian or not (Eccl. 9:9).

1 Peter 3:15 sanctify the Lord God in your hearts. “Christ” is to be preferred here, so the reading is “set apart in your hearts Christ as Lord.” The heart is the sanctuary in which He prefers to be worshiped. Live in submissive communion with the Lord Jesus, loving and obeying Him—and you have nothing to fear. always be ready to give a defense. The English word “apologetics” comes from the Greek word here translated “defense.” Peter is using the word in an informal sense (Phil. 1:16, 17) and is insisting that the believer must understand what he believes and why one is a Christian, and then be able to articulate one’s beliefs humbly, thoughtfully, reasonably, and biblically. the hope that is in you. Salvation with its anticipation of eternal glory.

DAY 27: How does Peter use familiar terms such as “spirit,” “abyss,” “flood,” and “baptism” in 1 Peter 3:18–22?
This passage proves to be one of the most difficult texts in the New Testament to translate and interpret. The line between Old Testament allusions and New Testament applications gets blurred. Peter’s overall purpose of this passage, which was to encourage his readers in their suffering, must be kept in mind during interpretation. The apostle repeatedly reminded them that even Christ suffered unjustly because it was God’s will (vv. 17, 18) and accomplished God’s purposes.

Therefore, although Jesus experienced a violent physical execution that terminated His earthly life when He was “put to death in the flesh” (v. 18; Heb. 5:7), nevertheless He was “made alive by the Spirit” (v. 18). This is not a reference to the Holy Spirit, but to Jesus’ true inner life, His own spirit. Contrasted with His flesh (humanness) which was dead for three days, His spirit (Deity) remained alive, literally “in spirit” (Luke 23:46).

Part of God’s purpose in Christ’s death involved His activities between His death and resurrection. His living spirit went to the demon spirits bound in the Abyss and proclaimed victory in spite of death. Peter further explained that the Abyss is inhabited by bound demons that have been there since the time of Noah. They were sent there because they overstepped the limits of God’s tolerance with their wickedness. Not even 120 years of Noah’s example and preaching had stemmed the tide of wickedness in his time (Gen. 6:1–8). Thus God bound these demons permanently in the Abyss until their final sentencing.

Peter’s analogy spotlights the ministry of Jesus Christ in saving us as surely as the ark saved Noah’s family. He is not referring to water baptism here but to a figurative immersion in Christ that keeps us safe from the flood of God’s sure judgment. The resurrection of Christ demonstrates God’s acceptance of Christ’s substitutionary death for the sins of those who believe (Acts 2:30, 31; Rom. 1:4). God’s judgment fell on Christ just as the judgment of the floodwaters fell on the ark. The believer who is in Christ is thus in the ark of safety that will sail over the waters of judgment into eternal glory (Rom. 6:1–4).

From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville, TN 37214, http://www.thomasnelson.com.


November 27 – The Sabbath in Perspective: An Illustration

“He said to them, ‘What man is there among you who has a sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will he not take hold of it and lift it out? How much more valuable then is a man than a sheep! So then, it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.’ Then He said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand!’ He stretched it out, and it was restored to normal, like the other” (Matthew 12:11–13).

One of the tragedies of Hinduism in India is its distorted disregard for human welfare. You should not give food to a beggar because that might interfere with his karma and keep him from suffering on a higher level of existence. You should not kill a fly because it could be the reincarnation of a person. For the same reason, you must allow rats to live and eat whatever they want. Hindus consider cows sacred and feed them whatever food is available. At the same time, they let certain people starve.

Similarly, the Jewish leaders in Jesus’ time despised other people and showed more compassion for their sheep than for the handicapped man here. Mark’s account says Jesus asked, “‘Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the Sabbath, to save a life or to kill?’ But they kept silent” (Mark 3:4). The Pharisees couldn’t say anything because they would have been forced either to contradict their tradition or advocate murder. Their only external response was to remain silent, but undoubtedly they “were filled with rage” (Luke 6:11).

Our Lord answered His own question with the clear declaration, “So then, it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” He then healed the man’s deformed hand as the Pharisees’ resentment no doubt rose to new heights. Christ not only approved of doing good on the Sabbath, He went ahead and actually performed good on behalf of another. If anything, this set forth the Sabbath as the supreme day for doing good.

Ask Yourself

What teachings of Scripture do you still mainly follow out of dutiful habit, not with an eye toward honoring God or being used as a blessing to others? What has your legalistic adherence gained for you, and what has it cost you?

From Daily Readings from the Life of Christ, Vol. 1, John MacArthur. Copyright © 2008. Used by permission of Moody Publishers, Chicago, IL 60610, http://www.moodypublishers.com.


The Cleansing of the Temple – Part Four

Theme: Christianity and Commercialism
In this week’s lesson we see Jesus’ approach to commercialism and materialism in his church.

SCRIPTURE
Matthew 21:14-15

And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them. But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple,“Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant,
LESSON

Yesterday I mentioned John White’s book, The Golden Cow: Materialism in the Twentieth-Century Church. We looked at the first of three areas White cited as abuses of the church related to commercialism. We will continue that discussion today by looking at the second and third areas of abuse he noted. Here they are:

2. Evangelical advertising. We not only live in a materialistic age. We also live in an age of sophisticated advertising, and the two go hand in hand. We understand how that works with secular companies, though we groan at the sheer volume of catalogues and mail solicitations that come to us on a daily basis. But What about “Christian junk mail,” which is what White calls much of the evangelical literature that comes to his attention?

This is not an easy subject to address, for the majority of people will not give to Christian work unless they are asked to do so and the intent of much Christian advertising is to present the work and ask for money honestly. But are we trusting God or our motivational techniques? We talk about Hudson Taylor and admire the way he built his mission by prayer alone, not asking for money directly. But we don’t believe we can do that today. White says, “We trust in mass advertising more than we trust in God.

We corrode the term prayer support to mean ‘financial support.’ And while we say we are trusting God to work through the means we are using to ‘acquaint the Christian public,’ we would feel rather frightened if the means were taken away. Poor old God would he left to stumble along without his crutches.”1

The problem isn’t asking for money, of course. Christian works need money, and Christian workers do not need to be ashamed to request financial help. The problem lies rather in misrepresenting the work that is being done, employing words like “faith in God alone” to mask requests for money, and using secular techniques to manipulate people into giving. Why don’t we ask for money honestly? Mike Horton does. On “The White Horse Inn,” his weekly radio program, you will hear Mike say, “Grace is free; radio time is not. We need your gifts to stay on this station.”

3. Crass commercialism. We come now to exploitation of a different order. One example is the fad. WWJD stands for “What Would Jesus Do?” and it is found today on bracelets, caps and other items that evangelical businesses offer for sale. An older man was in a Christian book store several months ago and noticed WWJD caps for sale at the checkout counter. They cost $12.95. He asked what WWJD meant. “That means ‘What would Jesus do?’ the sales girl answered sweetly. The man looked at the cap a bit longer then said, “I don’t think Jesus would spend $12.95 for that cap.”

Again, there is nothing wrong With asking “What would Jesus do?” in any situation. But we might also ask: Who makes these items? And is the goal really to help people live like Jesus, or to make a quick large profit on a fad? Does something like this honor Jesus’ name? Or does it take God’s name in vain? White summarizes: “Local bookstores would not suffer terribly if we boycotted . . .items like ‘Honk if you love Jesus’ bumper stickers, Jesus sweat shirts, Jesus pencils, bookmarks, praying hands, charismatic jewelry and such sacrilegious garbage. Why don’t pastors call on their congregations for such a boycott? [And] how about adult Sunday-school class discussions on Modern Moneychangers and How to Overturn Their Tables’?”2

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn saw that the human spirit longs for things higher and purer than a materialistic culture provides and that if we sell out to a lust for mere things a new Dark Age will have come upon us. John White suggests that “the final Dark Ages are beginning.”3 Judgment is falling on the West. As for the church, the best thing that could possibly happen to it is that Jesus should come again and cleanse it as he intimated he would do one day when he cleansed the Jerusalem temple.

1 John White, The Golden Cow Materialism in the Twentieth-Century Church (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1979), p 981
2 John White, The Golden Cow, p 134.
3 John White, The Golden Cow, p 170.

STUDY QUESTIONS

If the “problem” is not asking for money, then what is it?
What is the real question we need to ask ourselves about Christian commercial fads?
How can non-profit organizations seek donations without being commercial?

KEY POINT

We trust in mass advertising more than we trust in God. We corrode the term prayer support to mean ‘financial support.’

PRAYER

Pray that Christ’s return will indeed be soon.

James Montgomery Boice


The Lord’s Prayer – Part Two

SCRIPTURE
John 17:13-26

But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.
“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

LESSON

We have seen that as the Holy Spirit prays for us “with groanings that cannot be uttered,” so Christ is praying in heaven for us. You have two Beings who are praying for you. The Holy Spirit within you is interceding for you with groanings that cannot be uttered (see Romans 8:26-27), and there is never a moment that Jesus is not praying. He ever liveth to make intercession for us. (See Hebrews 7:25.) And the things that He prays for us are the things set forth in this passage.

In verse 13, Jesus says, “And now come I to thee.” I don’t think that means: “Now come I to thee in prayer.” Earlier in this chapter He had already been praying. In saying “And now come I to thee” Jesus means, “I’m going to arise from the dead and ascend into heaven. The Ascension is about to take place.” “And,” He continues, “these things I speak in the world.” Notice again the great importance of the word world in the Gospel of John. The word world in Greek is kosmos. You know it in the word cosmopolitan. A cosmopolitan is a citizen of the world, a man with a worldwide outlook. Now the word kosmos means the world that crucified Christ. And the Lord is talking about the Church and the world.

And by the Church, I mean all believers-what Calvin called “the invisible Church” and what Lutherans call “the hidden Church.” For the hidden Church is the invisible Church. There are undoubtedly born-again believers in the Greek Orthodox Church, in the Roman Catholic Church. I knew at least one born-again believer who remained in the Mormon church-he never moved away from it and was tremendously unsettled, but nevertheless had been born again beyond any shadow of doubt. I once baptized and took into our church a person who, two weeks before, had been a reader in one of the Christian Science Churches of Philadelphia and had gotten saved.

God knows where His Church is hidden. That’s why you are never to draw a sharp line and say, “All these are damned,” or “There may be a few in that church who are saved, but if they really were saved, they would belong to our little group.” No, friends, you make no lines to separate believers. This is known to God alone.

Now the Lord says, “I come to thee, and these things I speak in the world”-here He is in the midst of the world-“that they”-the Church, the born-again believers, the hidden people-“might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.” “My joy!” Now this is what God wants in human beings. He wants us to be filled with joy. Oh, if you aren’t joyful, I mean radiantly, abundantly joyful, you do not understand what God has available for you.

If someone says, “Dr. Barnhouse, you don’t know. Here I am thirty and I’m not married. Life is passing me by and I’m …” Look, if you say that, you have not understood the sovereignty of God. He wants you to be filled with joy no matter what your circumstances. “But God has given me a weak constitution and I go and I’m not able to . . .” God almighty planned for you to have that weak constitution. He has His purpose for you, and if you go and say, “Lord, there is the stream. I’m going to stop trying to buck it. I’m going to float with Thee and Thy will and Thy way,” then you will begin to have His joy.

Now what was His joy? What was the joy of Jesus Christ? He says here in verse 13 that His purpose was for us, the born-again believers, to have His joy. Jesus had joy about the future. In Hebrews 12:2 it says, “Who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross….” That was the joy of redeeming us. But that was not the joy that sustained Him in His daily living. The joy that sustained Him’ was His moment-by-moment contact with the Father, that absolute oneness and fellowship that binds them together and makes them absolutely one.

STUDY QUESTIONS

Why does Christ need to pray for us in Heaven?
Why should we be more charitable to other people’s theological views?
Should the church be more open to diversity or change?

REFLECTION

The church is constantly bombarded by liberalism. How can we keep from being liberal yet maintain a healthy view of diversity?

Donald Grey Barnhouse


Thu, November 27, 2014

Moral Madness

“At the same time,” added the humbled king [Nebuchadnezzar], “my reason returned unto me.” This whole passage is apt to be overlooked, occurring as it does in one of the less popular books of the Bible, but is it not of great significance that humility and reason returned together? “Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.” The king’s pride was to him a kind of insanity that drove him at last into the fields to dwell with the beasts. While he saw himself large and God small he was insane; sanity returned only as he began to see God as all and himself as nothing.

Such moral madness as Nebuchadnezzar suffered is now upon the nations. Men of reputed learning have long been chanting with Swinburne, “Glory to man in the highest,” and the masses have picked up the chant. A strange amentia has resulted, marked by acute self-importance and delusions of moral grandeur. Men who refuse to worship the true God now worship themselves with tender devotion. A return to spiritual sanity waits for repentance and true humility. God grant that we may soon know again how small and how sinful we are.

Verse
At the same time that my sanity was restored, my honor and splendor were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom.
Daniel 4:36

Thought
Men who refuse to worship the true God now worship themselves with tender devotion. A return to spiritual sanity waits for repentance and true humility.

Prayer
Return our hearts to spiritual sanity, Father, and lead us then to true repentance.

A. W. Tozer


LORD’S PRAYER: Hallowed be Your Name (continued)

Hallowed be Your Name (part 2)

Lord, enable others to glorify you, even strong peoples to glorify you and cities of ruthless nations to fear you; Isaiah 25:3(ESV) but especially let the LORD be magnified beyond the border of Israel. Malachi 1:5(ESV) Let them give glory to the LORD in the realm of light, even the LORD, the God of Israel, in the coastlands of the sea. Isaiah 24:15(ESV) O let all the nations you have made come and worship before you, O Lord, and glorify your name. For you are great and do wondrous things, you alone are God. Psalm 86:9-10(ESV)

O let the Gentiles glorify God for his mercy, let his name be known among the Gentiles, and let them rejoice with his people. Romans 15:9-10(ESV) O let your name be great among the nations, Malachi 1:11(ESV) and let all the ends of the earth remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations worship before you; Psalm 22:27(ESV) and let them proclaim your righteousness to a people yet unborn. Psalm 22:31(ESV)

Lord, may you yourself dispose of all things to your own glory, both as King of the nations, Jeremiah 10:7(ESV) and as King of the saints. Revelation 15:3(KJV) Do all things according to the counsel of your own will, Ephesians 1:11(ESV) that you may show your greatness and your holiness and make yourself known in the eyes of many nations, that you are the LORD. Ezekiel 38:23(ESV) O vindicate the holiness of your great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and let them know that you are the LORD, when through us you vindicate your holiness before their eyes. Ezekiel 36:23(ESV)

Father, glorify your own name: you have glorified it, glorify it yet again. John 12:28(ESV) Father, glorify your Son that your Son also may glorify you. John 17:1(ESV) O bestow on him the name that is above every name, Philippians 2:9(ESV) and in all places and in everything let him be preeminent. Colossians 1:18(ESV)

Lord, what will you do for your great name? Joshua 7:9(ESV) Do this for your great name: Pour out your Spirit on all flesh, Joel 2:28(ESV) and let the word of Christ dwell richly in the hearts of all. Colossians 3:16(ESV) Be exalted, O Lord, among the nations, be exalted in the earth! Psalm 46:10(ESV) Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth! Psalm 57:11(ESV) Be exalted, O LORD, in your strength! We will sing and praise your power. Psalm 21:13(ESV) Do great things with your glorious and everlasting arm, to make for yourself a glorious and everlasting name. Isaiah 63:12-14(ESV)

O let your name be magnified forever, saying, ‘The Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, is Israel’s God.’ 1 Chronicles 17:24(ESV)

Matthew Henry’s Method for Prayer


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

[2] Osbeck, K. W. (1996). Amazing grace: 366 inspiring hymn stories for daily devotions (pp. 354–355). Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications.

[3] Venditti, L., & Venditti, N. (2012). Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[4] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 344). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[5] Stanley, C. F. (2004). God’s way day by day (p. 352). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[6] Stanley, C. F. (2002). Seeking His face (p. 346). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[7] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 356). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

[8] Stanley, C. F. (1998). Enter His gates: a daily devotional. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[9] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 346). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[10] Jeremiah, D. (2007). Life-Changing Moments With God (p. 354). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[11] Spurgeon, C. H. (1892). Daily Help (p. 335). Baltimore: R. H. Woodward & Company.

[12] Boa, K. (1993). Handbook to prayer: praying scripture back to God. Atlanta: Trinity House.

[13] Spurgeon, C. H. (2006). Morning and evening: Daily readings (Complete and unabridged; New modern edition.). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers.

[14] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 346). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[15] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 346). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[16] Hardman, S. G., & Moody, D. L. (1997). Thoughts for the quiet hour. Willow Grove, PA: Woodlawn Electronic Publishing.

[17] Jeremiah, D. (2002). Sanctuary: finding moments of refuge in the presence of God (p. 346). Nashville, TN: Integrity Publishers.

[18] Smith, H. W., & Dieter, M. E. (1997). The Christian’s secret of a holy life: the unpublished personal writings of Hannah Whitall Smith. Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[19] Chambers, O. (1986). My utmost for his highest: Selections for the year. Grand Rapids, MI: Oswald Chambers Publications; Marshall Pickering.

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

I am going to judge my circumstances by Jesus’ love, not Jesus’ love by my circumstances. —Tim Keller

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Nov. 26, 2014

BLOOMBERG

President Obama acknowledged the anger of minority communities over their treatment by police and urged them not to let their frustrations boil over into the kind of violence that erupted in Ferguson, Missouri.

Michele Flournoy has withdrawn herself from consideration as the next Secretary of Defense, a person familiar with her decision confirmed. She had been considered the most likely prospect for a female successor to outgoing Secretary Chuck Hagel, who announced his resignation Monday. There are a number of women in the conversation, a testament to the growing diversity in the armed services community.

Citing the “unrest in our community,” the city of St. Louis has decided to postpone its annual Thanksgiving Day parade.

Consumer spending in the U.S. climbed in October at the same pace as incomes, showing households are staying within their means as the holiday- shopping season begins.

Orders for U.S. business equipment such as machinery and electrical gear unexpectedly declined in October, a sign that recent increases in corporate investment may not persist.

No matter what OPEC countries decide tomorrow about cutting oil output, U.S. producers already know what they’re going to do: drill on.

Treasuries advanced, pushing 10-year yields to a one-month low, after claims for jobless benefits in the U.S. unexpectedly increased by 21,000 to 313,000 in the week ended Nov. 22.

Gold futures were steady as investors assessed equities near record highs against signs that improvement in the U.S. job market has stalled.

AP Top Stories

NATO’s top military commander said during a visit to Kiev on Wednesday that Russian forces were still operating in eastern Ukraine, providing the “backbone” to separatist rebels fighting government forces.

Some half a million cases of cancer a year are due to people being overweight or obese, and the problem is particularly acute in North America, the World Health Organization’s cancer research agency said on Wednesday.

A global glut of oil will rise further next year, Iran’s oil minister said here Wednesday on the eve of OPEC’s meeting to decide on whether to cut its output.

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced that he is reappointing Republican Trey Gowdy of South Carolina to head the Select Committee on Benghazi next Congress. The problem, however, is that by doing so, Boehner named a chairman to a panel that does not yet exist. Because the Benghazi committee is select and not permanent, the House will have to vote again to re-create it when Congress returns for a new session in January.

A 40-year-old quadruple amputee on Tuesday thanked the Boston surgeons who performed a rare dual arm transplant on him last month and described the experience of getting the new limbs as surreal.

BBC

Almost 100 people are now believed to have died in a series of government air strikes on the Islamic State-held northern city of Raqqa on Tuesday.

Nigeria has devalued the naira, saying a drop in oil prices has been making it hard to defend its currency.

Burial workers in the Sierra Leonean city of Kenema dumped bodies in public in protest at non-payment of allowances for handling Ebola victims.

Four polio vaccination workers were shot dead and three injured in the south-west Pakistani city of Quetta.

China drafted its first national law against domestic violence, long seen as a private matter in the country.

Top German companies were told to ensure that 30% of supervisory board positions are held by women from 2016 under a law agreed late on Tuesday.

Police in Hungary were accused of blaming victims of sexual assault after releasing advice that warns young women of the risks of flirting.

WND

In a shocking revelation, the Treasury Inspector General has identified some 2,500 documents that “potentially” show taxpayer information held by the Internal Revenue Service being shared with President Obama’s White House.

Under the president’s new amnesty, businesses will have a $3,000-per-employee incentive to hire illegal immigrants over native-born workers because of a quirk of Obamacare.

Under President Obama’s new program to protect millions of illegal immigrants from deportation, many of those affected will be eligible to receive Social Security, Medicare and a wide array of other federal benefits, a White House official said Tuesday.

A day after the country learned Wilson won’t face criminal charges for killing unarmed teenager Michael Brown, protests sprouted up in more than 170 U.S. cities.

A massive sunspot capable of knocking out communications and power is once again aligning with Earth. Renamed Active Region 12192, because it is a sunspot that has come around a second time, it is due to come into alignment in a few days.

An ISIS propaganda video features a pint-sized 9 or 10 years old Muslim preacher exhorting fellow Muslims to hurry and “purchase your place in paradise” by becoming a martyr for Islam.

Asteroid mining is the future and two companies have already signed contracts with Deep Space Industries and Planetary Resources with the intent of pursuing the project.


The History and Legacy of Thanksgiving

“Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the LORD is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.” —Psalm 100:4-5

Thanksgiving, as introduced by European explorers and settlers in the “New World,” was a time set aside specifically for the purpose of giving thanks to our Creator for His manifold blessings.

The earliest record of a thanksgiving in America is 1541 by Spanish explorer Coronado at Palo Duro Canyon in what is now Texas. French Protestant colonists at Charlesfort (now Parris Island, South Carolina) held a thanksgiving service in 1564. In 1607, the Jamestown settlers held thanksgiving at Cape Henry, Virginia, and there are many other records of such hallowed observances.

The first call for an annual Thanksgiving was at Berkeley Plantation, Virginia, in 1619, when Captain John Woodlief and 38 settlers aboard the ship Margaret, proclaimed, “Wee ordaine that the day of our ships arrivall at the place assigned for plantacion in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually keept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God.”

But the contemporary celebration of Thanksgiving across our nation has its roots in the first “harvest feast” celebrated in 1621 by religious refugees, Pilgrims, who established the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts, in the year 1620. According to the fact that most history books following the War Between the States were written by Northern historians, it is that iconic event which is most directly associated with the current traditions for our national Day of Thanksgiving.

The Pilgrims

Who were these “freedom men”?

They were Puritan “separatists” — Calvinist Protestants, most under the leadership of pastor John Robinson, church elder William Brewster, and William Bradford. They rejected the institutional Church of England, believing that worshipping God must originate freely in the individual soul, without coercion.

Suffering persecution and imprisonment in England for their beliefs, these separatists fled to Holland in 1608. There, they found the spiritual liberty they sought, but amid a disjointed economy and a dissolute, degraded, corrupt culture that tempted their children to stray from faith. Determined to protect their families from such spiritual and cultural degradation, the Pilgrims returned to Plymouth, England, where they arranged for passage to the New World.

Their long and dangerous voyage was funded by the London Company, the “merchant adventurers” (investors) whose objective was to establish a communal plantation “company” upon which the “planters” would be obligated to work for seven years in order to return the investment with premium. “The adventurers & planters do agree that every person that goeth being aged 16 years & upward … be accounted a single share…. The persons transported & ye adventurers shall continue their joint stock & partnership together, ye space of 7 years … during which time, all profits & benefits that are got by trade, traffic, trucking, working, fishing, or any other means of any person or persons, remain still in ye common stock…. That all such persons as are of this colony, are to have their meat, drink, apparel, and all provision out of ye common stock & goods…. That at ye end of ye 7 years, ye capital & profits, viz. the houses, lands, goods and chattels, be equally divided betwixt ye adventurers, and planters.”

On September 6th, 1620, aboard a 100 foot ship named Mayflower, 102 Pilgrims and 30 crew members departed for America, a place that offered the promise of both civil and religious liberty. Among those in command of the expedition were Christopher Martin, designated by the Merchant Adventurers to act as Governor, and Myles Standish, who would be the colony’s military leader.

After an arduous eight week journey, on November 11 they dropped anchor at Provincetown Harbor off the coast of what is now Massachusetts.

On 11 December 1620, prior to disembarking at Plymouth Rock, they signed the Mayflower Compact, America’s original document of civil government. It was the first to introduce self-government, and the foundation on which the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were built. Plymouth Colony’s Governor, William Bradford, described the Compact as “a combination … that when they came a shore they would use their owne libertie; for none had power to command them.”

The First Harvest Thanksgiving Feast

Upon making landfall, the Pilgrims conducted a prayer service and quickly turned to building shelters. They committed all their belongings to a “comone wealth.” Under harrowing conditions, the colonists persisted through prayer and hard work, but the Winter of 1621 was devastating and only 53 of the original party survived. William Bradford wrote, “of these one hundred persons who came over in this first ship together, the greatest half died in the general mortality, and most of them in two or three months’ time.”

However, with the help of the indigenous “Indians” in the region, the summer of 1621 was productive as recorded by Bradford in his diary: “They began now to gather in the small harvest they had, and to fit up their houses and dwellings against winter, being all well recovered in health and strength and had all things in good plenty. For as some were thus employed in affairs abroad, others were exercised in fishing, about cod and bass and other fish, of which they took good store, of which every family had their portion. All the summer there was no want; and now began to come in store of fowl, as winter approached, of which this place did abound when they came first (but afterward decreased by degrees). And besides waterfowl there was great store of wild turkeys, of which they took many, besides venison, etc. Besides, they had about a peck a meal a week to a person, or now since harvest, Indian corn to the proportion.”

In addition to their regular expressions of reverence and thanksgiving to God, by the Autumn of 1621 the surviving 53 Pilgrims had enough produce to hold a three day “harvest feast.” That feast was described in the journal of Edward Winslow: “Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruits of our labor. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week. At which time, amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which we brought to the plantation and bestowed on our governor, and upon the captain and others. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.”

The Pilgrims endured another harsh winter, but had put up enough stores to survive.

The Collectivist Plantation Plan

Endeavoring to improve the production at Plymouth Plantation for its second growing season in 1622, Governor Bradford implemented a collectivist policy, and noted that to increase production, he allotted each family a plot of land, and mandated that “all profits & benefits that are got by trade, working, fishing, or any other means” must be forfeited to a common storehouse in order that “all such persons as are of this colony, are to have their meat, drink, apparel, and all provisions out of the common stock.”

In theory, their Governor thought the colony would thrive because each family would receive equal share of produce without regard to their contribution. Unfortunately, then as always, collectivism only works in theory, and the new policy almost destroyed the Plymouth settlement. Indeed, collectivism is antithetical to human nature, and destined to fail, as Plato’s student Aristotle observed in 350 BC: “That which is common to the greatest number has the least care bestowed upon it.” But to this day, many still fail to grasp the “tragedy of the commons.”

After abysmal results in 1622, Bradford realized that his collectivist plan had undermined the incentive to produce. He wrote, “The failure of that experiment of communal service … the taking away of private property, and the possession of it in community, by a commonwealth … was found to breed much confusion and discontent; and retard much employment which would have been to the general benefit…. For the young men who were most able and fit for service objected to being forced to spend their time and strength in working for other men’s wives and children, without any recompense…. The strong man or the resourceful man had no more share of food, clothes, etc., than the weak man who was not able to do a quarter the other could. This was thought injustice. The aged and graver men, who were ranked and equalized in labor, food, clothes, etc., with the humbler and younger ones, thought it some indignity and disrespect to them.”

The women “who were obliged to do service for other men, such as cooking, washing their clothes, etc., they considered it a kind of slavery, and many husbands would not brook it….”

“If all were to share alike, and all were to do alike,” wrote Bradford, “then all were on an equality throughout, and one was as good as another; and so, if it did not actually abolish those very relations which God himself has set among men, it did at least greatly diminish the mutual respect that is so important should be preserved amongst them. Let none argue that this is due to human failing, rather than to this communistic plan of life in itself….”

The Free Enterprise Plan

Responding to the failed economic plantation plan, the Colony leaders “began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop than they had done, that they might not still thus languish in misery,” Bradford recorded in his journal. “At length after much debate of things, (I) (with the advice of the chiefest among them) gave way that they should set corn every man for his own particular, and in that regard trust to themselves. And so assigned to every family a parcel of land.”

They decided to trade their collectivist plan for a free market approach, and in 1623, Bradford wrote, “This had very good success, for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been by any other means the Governor or any other could use. … Women went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn. Instead of famine now God gave them plenty and the face of things was changed, to the rejoicing of the hearts of many. … Any general want or famine hath not been amongst them since to this day.”

Property ownership and families freely laboring on their own behalf replaced the “common store,” but only after their ill-advised experiment with communism nearly wiped out the entire settlement.

The Colony celebrated a much greater Harvest and Thanksgiving Day in 1623 as called for by Bradford’s proclamation:

“Inasmuch as the great Father has given us this year an abundant harvest of Indian corn, wheat, peas, beans, squashes, and garden vegetables, and has made the forests to abound with game and the sea with fish and clams, and inasmuch as he has protected us from the ravages of the savages, has spared us from pestilence and disease, has granted us freedom to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience. Now I, your magistrate, do proclaim that all ye Pilgrims, with your wives and ye little ones, do gather at ye meeting house, on ye hill, between the hours of 9 and 12 in the day time, on Thursday, November 29th, of the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and twenty-three and the third year since ye Pilgrims landed on ye Pilgrim Rock, there to listen to ye pastor and render thanksgiving to ye Almighty God for all His blessings.”

After the Pilgrims were given liberty and incentive to be industrious, the Colony thrived, and by 1624, production was so abundant that the Colony exported corn back to England. For generations since, to the extent men have been set at perfect liberty to establish free enterprise, to produce goods and services without having profits seized for redistribution, our nation has thrived.

The Pilgrims’ Legacy of Civil Liberty

The Puritans seeded democratic self government and free enterprise in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, but demonstrated much of the same religious intolerance they had fled in England. Having broken ground for religious Liberty, at least for themselves, in the 20 years following the establishment of Plymouth Plantation, more than 25,000 men, women and children followed them to the New World, seeking first and foremost, religious Liberty. The second great immigration of Puritans came after Charles II was restored to the Crown in 1660, and Oliver Cromwell and his Puritan reformists fled for their lives. They brought with them a much more legalistic religious intolerance, and displayed bigotry for those who did not practice there particular Christian traditions and practices.

However, the promise of civil and religious Liberty drew hundreds of thousands of other seekers to east coast settlements, and they formed the bedrock of our nation. The crossroads of civil and religious Liberty was outlined in the central tenant of our Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

That eternal truth is the basis for the enumerated restrictions against government outlined in the First Amendment of our Constitution’s Bill of Rights: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” The prohibition against any “establishment of religion” appears first in order of importance, because our nation was largely founded by those seeking Liberty from oppression of the wedded church and state of England.

Though we are not a “Christian nation” as some would suggest, clearly most of our Founders understood that American Liberty has its roots in the Liberty of the Christian Gospel. The Father of our Country, George Washington, wrote, “To the distinguished Character of Patriot, it should be our highest Glory to add the more distinguished Character of Christian. The signal Instances of providential Goodness which we have experienced and which have now almost crowned our labours with complete Success, demand from us in a peculiar manner the warmest returns of Gratitude and Piety to the Supreme Author of all Good.”

Historic American Thanksgiving Proclamations

During the American Revolutionary War the Continental Congress designated days of thanksgiving each year. The First National Proclamation of Thanksgiving was made in 1777:

“FOR AS MUCH as it is the indispensable Duty of all Men to adore the superintending Providence of Almighty God; to acknowledge with Gratitude their Obligation to him for Benefits received, and to implore such farther Blessings as they stand in Need of: And it having pleased him in his abundant Mercy, not only to continue to us the innumerable Bounties of his common Providence; but also to smile upon us in the Prosecution of a just and necessary War, for the Defense and Establishment of our unalienable Rights and Liberties; particularly in that he hath been pleased, in so great a Measure, to prosper the Means used for the Support of our Troops, and to crown our Arms with most signal success: It is therefore recommended to the legislative or executive Powers of these UNITED STATES to set apart THURSDAY, the eighteenth Day of December next, for SOLEMN THANKSGIVING and PRAISE: That at one Time and with one Voice, the good People may express the grateful Feelings of their Hearts, and consecrate themselves to the Service of their Divine Benefactor; and that, together with their sincere Acknowledgments and Offerings, they may join the penitent Confession of their manifold Sins, whereby they had forfeited every Favor; and their humble and earnest Supplication that it may please GOD through the Merits of JESUS CHRIST, mercifully to forgive and blot them out of Remembrance; That it may please him graciously to afford his Blessing on the Governments of these States respectively, and prosper the public Council of the whole: To inspire our Commanders, both by Land and Sea, and all under them, with that Wisdom and Fortitude which may render them fit Instruments, under the Providence of Almighty GOD, to secure for these United States, the greatest of all human Blessings, INDEPENDENCE and PEACE: That it may please him, to prosper the Trade and Manufactures of the People, and the Labor of the Husbandman, that our Land may yield its Increase: To take Schools and Seminaries of Education, so necessary for cultivating the Principles of true Liberty, Virtue and Piety, under his nurturing Hand; and to prosper the Means of Religion, for the promotion and enlargement of that Kingdom, which consisteth in Righteousness, Peace and Joy in the Holy Ghost.”

Of that proclamation, Samuel Adams wrote to another Declaration signer, Richard Henry Lee, noting the specificity of the language that, “the good people may express the grateful feelings of their hearts and join … their supplication that it may please God, through the merits of Jesus Christ.”

Liberty’s Bounty

In 1789, after adopting the Bill of Rights to our Constitution, among the first official acts of Congress was approving a motion for proclamation of a national day of thanksgiving, recommending that citizens gather together and give thanks to God for their new nation’s blessings.

The first Thanksgiving Day designated by the United States of America was proclaimed by George Washington on October 3, 1789:

“Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor, and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.

“Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be. That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks, for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation, for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his providence, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war, for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed, for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

“And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions, to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually, to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed, to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shown kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord. To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and Us, and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

“Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.”

Then-governor Thomas Jefferson followed with this 1789 proclamation in Virginia: “[I] appoint … a day of public Thanksgiving to Almighty God … to [ask] Him that He would … pour out His Holy Spirit on all ministers of the Gospel; that He would … spread the light of Christian knowledge through the remotest corners of the earth; and that He would establish these United States upon the basis of religion and virtue.”

Governor John Hancock proclaimed, “[I] appoint … a day of public thanksgiving and praise … to render to God the tribute of praise for His unmerited goodness towards us … [by giving to] us … the Holy Scriptures which are able to enlighten and make us wise to eternal salvation. And [to] present our supplications … that He would forgive our manifold sins and cause the benign religion of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to be known, understood, and practiced among all the inhabitants of the earth.”

Thanksgiving celebrations were irregularly proclaimed in the years that followed until the War Between the States. After 1863, presidents issued annual proclamations of Thanksgiving.

Norman Rockwell, 1943

In 1941, with World War II on the horizon, the Senate and House approved the fourth Thursday of November as a National Day of Thanksgiving, perpetuating the observance annually.

Thanksgiving and our Legacy of Liberty

Appropriately crediting the Pilgrims for chartering the path of American Liberty through self government, President Ronald Reagan made frequent reference to John Winthrop’s “shining city upon a hill.”

As Reagan explained, “The phrase comes from John Winthrop, who wrote it to describe the America he imagined. What he imagined was important because he was an early Pilgrim, an early freedom man. He journeyed here on what today we’d call a little wooden boat; and like the other Pilgrims, he was looking for a home that would be free.”

Closing his farewell address in 1989, President Reagan asked, “And how stands the city on this winter night?”

Contemplating our Legacy of Liberty this Thanksgiving, more than two decades after President Reagan left office, how stands the city on our watch?

My fellow Patriots, never in the history of our country has there been such an acute, coordinated and vicious assault upon Liberty and the Rule of Law enshrined in our Constitution. From individuals, to state governments, to federal institutions initiated at the dawn of our Constitution, nothing, absolutely nothing, is sacred to the current statist hegemony seeking to dispense with our Constitution.

But take heart, for as George Washington wrote in the darkest days of our American Revolution, “We should never despair, our Situation before has been unpromising and has changed for the better, so I trust, it will again. If new difficulties arise, we must only put forth new Exertions and proportion our Efforts to the exigency of the times.”

Of such exertions, Washington wrote, “It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favors.”

Of the incredible obstacles overcome in the American Revolution to establish Liberty, Washington declared, “The hand of providence has been so conspicuous in all this, that he must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith, and more than wicked, that has not gratitude enough to acknowledge his obligations.”

So it is that on Thanksgiving Day, we are called to pause and take respite in order to acknowledge the gift of Liberty as “endowed by our Creator,” and the Divine intervention throughout the history of this great nation; in order to recommit ourselves to obeisance of His will; in order to express our gratitude and give Him all thanks and praise for the bounty which He has bestowed the United States of America — land of the free, home of the brave, that shining city on the hill; and in order to all the more humbly implore that He protect us and grant us much favor in our coming struggle to re-establish Rule of Law over rule of men.

In his first Thanksgiving proclamation, President Reagan wrote: “America has much for which to be thankful. The unequaled freedom enjoyed by our citizens has provided a harvest of plenty to this Nation throughout its history. In keeping with America’s heritage, one day each year is set aside for giving thanks to God for all of His blessings. … As we celebrate Thanksgiving … We should reflect on the full meaning of this day as we enjoy the fellowship that is so much a part of the holiday festivities. Searching our hearts, we should ask what we can do as individuals to demonstrate our gratitude to God for all He has done. Such reflection can only add to the significance of this precious day of remembrance. Let us recommit ourselves to that devotion to God and family that has played such an important role in making this a great Nation, and which will be needed as a source of strength if we are to remain a great people.

This is the genuine spirit of Thanksgiving.

I humbly thank you for the honor and privilege of serving you as editor and publisher of The Patriot Post. On behalf of your Patriot team and our National Advisory Committee, I wish you a peaceful Thanksgiving, and God’s blessings to you and your family.

Pro Deo et Constitutione — Libertas aut Mors
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis

Mark Alexander
Publisher, The Patriot Post

Take the Thanksgiving Quiz

For inspiration, read the text of Charlie Daniel’s My Beautiful America or listen to the song.

For perspective, view “We still hold these truths.”

(Note: The original version of this Thanksgiving account was published by Mark Alexander in November 2000. Please forward a link to this page to your family, friends and colleagues.)

Source: http://patriotpost.us/pages/284

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Albert Mohler Blog: “The Ferguson Moment—A Moral Test for the Nation”

In his recent Blog Essay, “The Ferguson Moment—A Moral Test for the Nation,” Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr. comments on the recent decision made by the grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri in the case of Daren Wilson. Mohler writes,

“From time to time, every nation, every people, and every community faces a series of tests—moral tests, economic tests, political and social tests. These events represent a huge moral test for America. Ground Zero of that test is the community of St. Louis, Missouri—especially the neighborhood of Ferguson. But intelligent Christians operating out of a biblical worldview know that this is not just a problem for Ferguson. It is the problem of the human heart. As Christians, we understand that the Bible and the Bible alone gives us an adequate understanding of where these problems reside, where they come from, and how they can only be solved. These tests can bring out the best or the worst in a people, a community, or nation. As we look at the situation in America, let us fervently pray that this test will bring out the best and not the worst of all the American people.”

Click here to read more


Spiritual Research Network New Podcast: Spiritual Maturity and Biblical Discernment

Hello!

Happy Thanksgiving! We do have so much to be thankful for, all of us – especially Christians who have yielded their lives to Jesus, the Greatest Gift of all. I am deeply grateful and thankful for all that the Lord has done for me, for us as a family, for each of you who are able to be a part of supporting our ministry, and for all whom our ministry reaches. Praise the Lord for His Goodness and Faithfulness!!!

Following is a newly posted audio message from a few years ago. We continue to digitize audio messages from cassettes to MP3’s in hopes that these can be of help to others. Thousands of people have been listening to these, and I do hope they can be of help to more of you. The message is about 60 minutes long. God bless!

PODCAST DESCRIPTION:
“Christian discernment begins first with salvation in Christ (Hebrews 5:13-15), and then maturing as a believer through the teaching of God’s Word (1 Timothy 4:1-8). As the believer grows one ought to be able to discern between both good and evil, and to separate from spiritual error and false teachings.

Subjects covered in this message include ‘contending for the faith’, patience and kindness, the dangers of redefining biblical terminology, Christian bookstore and book endorsement issues, the danger of pastoral vagueness in not naming the names of false teachers, and confusion in the body of Christ as a result of sharing speaking platforms with known false teachers. Various illustrations include the dangers of redefinition of terms in pseudo-Christian Cults and in the Church, the dangers of yoga, Harry Potter witchcraft, vampirism, bloodlust, Oprah Winfrey and friends (Eckhart Tolle, Marianne Williamson, Eric Butterworth, A Course in Miracles,), astrology and the occult, Worldview confusion, false christ’s, false anointed ones, and more.”

PODCAST LINKS:

Podcast: What is a Discerning Christian?.mp3

Direct Download: What is a Discerning Christian?.mp3


10 Signs That Russia Is Preparing To Fight (And Win) A Nuclear War With The United States

If the United States and Russia fought a nuclear war, who would win? You might be surprised by the answer. Under the Obama administration, the rapidly aging U.S. strategic nuclear arsenal has been shrinking. Meanwhile, the Russians have been developing an entirely new generation of bombers, submarines and missiles that have the capability of delivering an absolutely crippling first strike. At this point, most Americans consider a full-scale nuclear war to be inconceivable. But in Russia attitudes are completely different. To the Russians, the United States is enemy number one these days and the Russians are feverishly preparing for a potential military showdown. Of course the Russians don’t actually want to have to resort to nuclear war. Such an event would be an unspeakable horror for the entire globe. But if one does happen, the Russians want to make sure that they are the ones that come out on top. (Read More…)


Did They Want More Violence In Ferguson? 10 ‘Coincidences’ Too Glaring To Ignore

Was it a conspiracy or was it incompetence? Those appear to be the only two alternatives that we are left with after the horrific violence that we witnessed in Ferguson on Monday night. The first round of Ferguson rioting back in August took everyone by surprise, but this time authorities had more than three months to prepare. They had the ability to control precisely when the grand jury decision would be announced and how many cops and National Guard troops would be deployed on the streets. But despite all this, the violence in Ferguson on Monday night was even worse than we witnessed back in August. Either this was a case of almost unbelievable incompetence, or there was someone out there that actually wanted this to happen. If someone out there is actually trying to provoke more violence in Ferguson, then the rioters are being played like a fiddle. Most of them have no idea that they could potentially just be pawns in a game that is far larger than they ever imagined. The only other alternative to explain what we just saw is incompetence on a level that is absolutely laughable. Something definitely does not smell right about all of this, and let us hope that at some point the American people get the truth. The following are 10 “coincidences” from Monday night in Ferguson that are too glaring to ignore… (Read More….)


15 Blessings You Should Never Take for Granted

At the beginning of this month, two Pakistani Christians—a husband and his pregnant wife—were beaten for three days, stoned by an angry mob and dragged behind a vehicle. Finally they were thrown into a brick kiln and burned alive. The crime: Shahzad Masih, 28, and Shama Bibi, 25, were falsely accused of desecrating a copy of the Quran. More than 100 people participated in this brutal murder on Nov. 4 in the Pakistani city of Kasur. It’s unlikely that anyone will be convicted for the attack. That’s because freedom of religion—something Americans have enjoyed for more than 200 years—is not guaranteed in Pakistan. As you celebrate Thanksgiving this year, I hope you are grateful that someone cannot drag you into an oven heated to 1,470 degrees simply because they believe you blasphemed their holy book. I encourage you to make a list of blessings you may take for granted. My list for 2014 might help you think of others: Read More


7 Subtle Health Warnings You Should Never Ignore

Men are notorious for ignoring health problems. Complaining about aches and pains somehow seems unmanly to many guys. That’s one reason men are far more likely than women to avoid going to the doctor, surveys consistently show. “Three out of four people who have not seen a doctor in more than five years are men,” says Will Courtenay, M.D., a San Francisco-area psychotherapist and author of the book “Dying to Be Men.” “Men balk at going to the doctor because they like to see themselves as independent and self-reliant,” Dr. Courtenay tells Newsmax Health. This attitude is admirable in many areas of life, but it can be fatal when it comes to health. Here are seven subtle symptoms men should never, ever ignore: Read More


What President Lincoln Taught Us About Giving Thanks

The year that is drawing towards its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Read More


Nor’easter Threatens Thanksgiving Travel Chaos for East Coast

A Holiday storm system played havoc Wednesday with the Thanksgiving travel plans of tens of millions of people — wiping out more than 200 flights in the Northeast, dumping rain on busy roads and threatening more than a foot of snow in some places. Rain fell on drivers getting an early start from the big cities — Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Washington — into the Carolinas. It was expected to change to snow later in the day. “If this was any other day of the year, it would be a pretty big storm but nothing too out of the ordinary,” said Kevin Roth, a meteorologist at The Weather Channel. “But it’s come at one of the worst possible times, the day before Thanksgiving. It’s going to be very, very tricky for anyone planning to travel today.” Read More


US Army may station tanks in Eastern Europe

The US Army plans to deploy about 150 tanks and armored vehicles to NATO countries next year and some of the heavy armor may be stationed in Eastern Europe, a top American general said Tuesday. The move is part of a US effort dubbed “Operation Atlantic Resolve” in the Baltic states and Poland to reassure allies anxious about a resurgent Russia, with American troops deploying for several months at a time to conduct joint exercises. Nearly 50 armored vehicles are already in place and another 100 M1 Abrams tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles will be “pre-positioned” in Germany and possibly elsewhere for the US troops conducting drills with NATO partners, Lieutenant General Ben Hodges told AFP in a phone interview from Estonia. Read More


New Russian Nuclear Submarine Ready To Launch, Armed With 12 Nuclear ‘Bulava’ Missiles

A new Russian nuclear submarine is set to launch on December 19, setting sail with as many as 16 of Russia’s next-generation nuclear missiles on board as President Vladimir Putin continues to rebuild his country’s nuclear defenses. The new sub, named K-551 Vladimir Monomakh, already conducted a successful test firing of an ICBM which, when the vessel officially launches, would carry a nuclear warhead. The test firing happened on September 10, when the nuclear submarine fired a single “Bulava” ballistic missile from a position in the White Sea at a target inside Russian territory. The K-551 Vladimir Monomakh will become the third nuclear submarine in the state-of-the-art Borei-class sub series, each armed with 12 or, according to some sources, up to 16 nuclear missiles. By the year 2020, Russia plans to have added eight of the Borei-class nuclear submarines to its fleet. Read More


North Korea says the U.S. is doomed just like the Roman Empire

On Nov. 15, President Obama was speaking at the University of Queensland in Australia when he began to talk about the present day’s place in history. “I often tell young people in America that, even with today’s challenges, this is the best time in history to be alive,” the president said. The president’s speech was then followed by one by then-Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, who explained how the U.S. military would need to reform to keep this place in history. Weeks later, these speeches may be forgotten by many, but not in North Korea. In a new commentary published by the state-run Korean Central News Agency on Tuesday, these two speeches are described as the “poor shriek of those facing ruin” and a “recognition of the dark reality in the U.S. as it is a reflection of extreme uneasiness and horror-phobia.” Read More


The top 4 reasons to avoid processed, conventional meat

While the meat packers kill the “24 hour sickness” with chemicals so you won’t get it, your cells are being destroyed and mutated by industrial chemicals NEVER meant for mankind to consume. The conventional meat industry is SO POLLUTED that they have to bleach the meat to kill bacteria, viruses and especially E-coli and Salmonella. This goes for infected cows, chickens, turkeys, pigs, and even fish that are shot up with artificial growth hormones and antibiotics. Ammonia is also used for the same reasons. Flavors and color are easily added back in using MSG, red dyes, nitrates, and other poisons on top of the fact that you’re eating TOXIC meat from animals that most likely led horrendous lives full of pain, misery and shock upon their day of death. Read More


Obama to Introduce Sweeping New Controls on Ozone Emissions

The Obama administration is expected to release on Wednesday a contentious and long-delayed environmental regulation to curb emissions of ozone, a smog-causing pollutant linked to asthma, heart disease and premature death. The sweeping regulation, which would aim at smog from power plants and factories across the country, particularly in the Midwest, would be the latest in a series of Environmental Protection Agency controls on air pollution that wafts from smokestacks and tailpipes. Such regulations, released under the authority of the Clean Air Act, have become a hallmark of President Obama’s administration. Read More


What the Earliest Non-Biblical Authors Say About Jesus (Free Bible Insert)

by J Warner Wallace

What would we know about Jesus if we lost every Biblical manuscript on the planet? Could we have any certainty Jesus actually lived, and would we be able to re-capture any of the details of his life or nature? As it turns out, there are several ancient sources of information about Jesus. Some of these […]

Read more of this post


Sorry, Mr. President. You’re Wrong on Exodus and Immigration

President Obama is drawing on Exodus 23:9 to make his case for shielding millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation: “You shall not oppress a stranger; you know the heart of a stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.”

Some object, but is there a problem here? After all, he’s already made public use of the Bible, without controversy. Speaking in Cairo in 2009, he quoted from the Beatitudes along with selections from the Talmud and Quran to appeal for harmony among Christians, Jews and Muslims. At one of his Christmas tree lightings, he recounted the Nativity, calling it “a story that lights the world,” and then summarized our duty to love both God and neighbor.

There is, however, a difference between these latter two citations and the immigration debate.

In Cairo, he was making a general call for peace, and, at the White House, a general call for beneficence. But in his Nov. 20 immigration speech, he was making a very particular policy application and thus raised the accountability stakes much higher.

If, in Cairo, the president had quoted the Beatitudes (“Blessed are the peacemakers …”) in arguing that drone flights over Gaza should cease, we’d get twitchy. Similarly, if his Christmas remarks included, “Just as Jesus was exalted from humble birth, we should restrict high office to those born into households below the national median income,” the outcry would be justified.

Yet, in invoking Exodus to push his immigration policy, that is the sort of thing he just did. He ran roughshod over context.

Read more


10 Signs That Russia Is Preparing To Fight (And Win) A Nuclear War With The United States

If the United States and Russia fought a nuclear war, who would win? You might be surprised by the answer. Under the Obama administration, the rapidly aging U.S. strategic nuclear arsenal has been shrinking …………. Click here for full story


Study: Nearly Half Of Americans Believe Natural Disasters Are Rising Due to ‘End Times’ Not Climate Change

Nearly half of Americans now believe that the recent surge in natural disasters is the result of biblical “End Times” than climate change, and more than two-thirds of white evangelical Protestants hold this belief, according to a new study ……… Click here for full story


ISIS’ Global Network Expands: At Least 12 Military Allies In 9 Countries Beyond Iraq, Syria

The Islamic State terrorist organization now has at least 12 known military allies, operating in nine countries outside of Iraq and Syria, that have publicly pledged their allegiances to the caliphate of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi………. Click here for full story


How Israel’s Restoration Signals The End

The biblical prophets predicted a series of restorations that will unfold prior to the return of the Messiah. When these predictions begin to come to pass, it is a major witness that the closing out of the end of the age is at hand and the kingdom of the Messiah is over the horizon. The first major event would be the reestablishing of Israel as a nation……….. Click here for full story


Church Leaders Alarmed That IRS Agents Could Pose As Clergy To Access Privileged Information, Enforce Birth Control Mandate

Church leaders are upset after a recent article in The New York Times revealed that the Internal Revenue Service can use undercover agents disguised as members of the clergy as a means to gather privileged information ……… Click here for full story


Why?

Why? It’s a question that we encounter so often – as a friend, as a co-worker, as a pastor, as a loved one.

“Why is there so much pain and suffering in the world?”

“Why is this happening to me, and why now?”

“Why doesn’t God seem to be answering my prayers?”

“Why on earth does a good God send people to hell?”

James Emery White examined what Scripture had to say about all of these questions in a message series at Mecklenburg Community Church. We heard from so many people that the series had such an impact on their lives, and how they felt it came at just the right time for them.

We believe you will find this series a helpful resource should you wish to develop a similar set of sermons. This series is available on the Message Downloads page of the ChurchandCulture.org site in both PDF and mp3 formats.


COMPLAINTS OR THANKS?

Every day of your life you’ll find reasons to complain, and every day of your life you’ll have reasons to be thankful. Notice the distinction: you’ll FIND reasons to complain and you’ll HAVE reasons to be thankful.

These two themes, complaint and thankfulness, tug at the heart of each of us. They form fundamentally different ways of viewing the world because they’re rooted in fundamentally different ways of viewing yourself.

Read more


The Transforming Power of Thanksgiving and Forgiveness

Forgiveness is harder than thanksgiving, and for that reason it is even more powerful. To forgive someone is to release them from the debt they owe us. It is to surrender our claim to vengeance. Forgiveness is hard, but it is easier when I realize how much I have been forgiven. Forgiveness is powerful in my life for two reasons: It reminds me that I am not God and it releases me from the trap of bitterness.

Read more


CultureWatch: Islamists and Their ‘Moderate’ Muslim Supporters

by Bill Muehlenberg

So, are most Muslims moderates? Yes. So, does that let them off the hook? No. To the extent that they sit by as the Islamists kill and terrorise with impunity, they are just as guilty. When the so-called moderates effectively allow the jihadists to do their thing, then they are a part of the problem, not the solution.

gabrielBut here I want to allow two experts to speak on this. The first is Lebanese-born Brigitte Gabriel, President of Act! for America. Speaking at a Heritage Foundation event dealing with Benghazi’s unanswered questions on June 16, 2014, she gave a classic response to a question from a Muslim woman. I have shared the video of this often, but here is the actual transcript which I present in full:

Read more


Homosexual activist arrested for child rape was called ‘great friend and supporter’ by President Obama

Christian News Network reports:

A prominent homosexual activist who was arrested for child rape last week was once called by Obama a “great friend and supporter,” and has raised over a million dollars toward his election efforts since 2007.

As previously reported, Terrance Bean, 66, of Portland was taken into custody at his home last Wednesday by the Portland, Oregon Police Bureau Sex Crimes Unit following an indictment by a Lane County Grand Jury. He was booked at the Multnomah County Jail and released after posting 10 percent of his $50,000 bail.

Read more


The Hound of Heaven

If you’ve ever found yourself fleeing from God, a forgotten poetic gem and its story will sound familiar. Stay tuned to BreakPoint.
Download


Pyromaniacs: Seven revelations of Ferguson

by Dan PhillipsI was just as happy to have my plans to write on this yesterday curtailed by Frank’s post, as I usually am. It gave me a day more to ponder. That done — the ponderation having been ponderously pondered — I’ll offer some thoughts, which in intent will be very like those I offered about “the Florida revival.” That is, they will be Biblical principles whose application is I think fairly obvious.Frank’s focus was on the undeniable human tragedy. I won’t reinvent that wheel, but will focus on other aspects. I hope the posts will be complementary. Don’t blame his post for not being mine, nor mine for not being his. Fair enough?

To the seven revelations of Ferguson:

Read more

Words of Comfort: Wet when it rains.

“Most atheists want proof of God. That should be real easy to do. Find the one true religion that has a lower rate of people getting cancer, and a higher percentage of those people surviving it. Or a group that shows a lower rate of divorce. That is just a couple of examples, you can use any death percentage or lower percentage of people committing any sin. Atheists prepare to find the truth. Christians I await your proof.” Harold Buskirk

Your theology is bad. Christians get wet when it rains, they bruise when they fall, are killed in car accidents, and die of cancer. The difference between them and the “lost” is that God has granted them forgiveness of sins, and the gift of everlasting life. You will understand this completely on Judgment Day. I hope you are saved on that Day. Please see http://www.needGod.com

Source

National homosexual activist organization targets Christians in latest campaign

According to Christian News Network:

A homosexual activist organization whose co-founder was recently jailed for sex abuse charges has launched an aggressive campaign to convert Christians to the same-sex ‘marriage’ cause.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) describes itself as a “civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.” With over 1.5 million members and supporters, the HRC is the largest such organization in the United States.

http://christiannews.net/2014/11/24/national-homosexual-activist-organization-targets-christians-in-latest-campaign/


Email Brigade News Report

What doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God. ~ Micah 6:8

THANKING GOD FOR HIS ABUNDANT BLESSINGS

 November 26, 2014

 

The problem is that you know I’m the President of the United States. I’m not the emperor of the United States. My job is to execute laws that are passed, and Congress right now has not changed what I consider to be a broken immigration system. ~ President Obama on Feb. 14, 2013

MARSHA WEST’S COLUMN

Revisited Would the Son of God Contradict the Father?

Is it true that Jesus never mentioned anything about homosexuality?  That He never brought it up, even once?  Most of us have heard the argument that the Gospels have no record of Jesus condemning homosexuality.  There are individuals, especially from the militant homosexual rights movement,  who utter this fabrication with all the raw hostility of liberals who think abortion is their God given right.

Bethel Church’s “Apostle” Bill Johnson: A Comedy of Errors Part 1   Part 2

Christian Meditation: What’s Biblical and What’s Not

 

FEATURED ARTICLES

New

Forgotten Americans—Victor Davis Hanson

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/393377/forgotten-americans-victor-davis-hanson

Political analysts still are arguing over why the Democratic party was washed away in the midterm election. Since 2008, ascendant progressives had been crowing over a fresh mosaic of energized minorities, newly franchised immigrants, single young urban women, greens, gays, and — less often mentioned — upscale professionals and the 1-percenter super-wealthy.

 

May I Present Our Emperor-in-Chief: His Highness Barack Obama—Joe Messina http://barbwire.com/2014/11/25/0650-may-present-emperor-chief-highness-barack-obama/

When you say “I’m the President of the United States. I’m not the emperor of the United States. My job is to execute laws that are passed….” but then you go on to make or change a law to the point where it no longer resembles the original law, then you have appointed yourself emperor by your own words and deeds. …

WHAT? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

New

Student mugged, says he deserved it because of his ‘privilege’

http://campusreform.org/?ID=6097

“Who am I to stand from my perch of privilege, surrounded by million-dollar homes and paying for a $60,000 education, to condemn these young men as ‘thugs?’ It’s precisely this kind of “otherization” that fuels the problem.”

 

NEWS TO KNOW

New

 

Where Were They? Missouri Lt. Gov.: Did The White House Stop The National Guard From Intervening Last Night?

http://dailycaller.com/2014/11/25/missouri-lt-gov-criticizes-absence-of-national-guard-where-were-they-last-night-video/

 

In interview, Darren Wilson says there was ‘no way’ Michael Brown had his hands up during shooting

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/11/25/in-interview-ferguson-cop-darren-wilson-says-there-was-no-way-michael-brown-had/

 

On CNN, Gingrich Blasts Obama’s Speech: ‘This Was a Gruber Speech’; ‘Simply Not Telling the Country the Truth’

http://www.mrc.org/biasalerts/cnn-gingrich-blasts-obamas-speech-was-gruber-speech-simply-not-telling-country-truth

 

The 15 Most Liberal Senators

http://www.nationaljournal.com/pictures-video/the-15-most-liberal-senators-20140206

 

CULTURE CLASH

 

CULTURE

New

Attorney’s Lie to Schools, Say They Must OK Gender Confusion—Linda Harvey

http://barbwire.com/2014/11/25/1000-attorneys-lie-schools-say-must-ok-gender-confusion/

The depraved “gay” agenda continues to corrupt our nation’s youth, and the jaw-dropping irony is that activist groups are empowered by the financial and legal support of prestigious firms.

But it’s time to call these people to conscience. Several recent controversies may jumpstart the great awakening of America to the gruesome consequences of “tolerance” and “diversity.”

 

EDUCATION – Research Links

New

Opposition to Common Core spurs jump in homeschooling

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/11/25/opposition-to-common-core-spurs-jump-in-homeschooling/

 

HOMOSEXUALITY — Research Links

 

The revolution of the family: the Marxist roots of ‘homosexualism’

Porn may be only place gay youth see gay sex portrayed ‘positively’: UK ‘sex health’ charity head

300 Articles You Have to Read to Understand Homofascism

Homosexual Promiscuity: Breeding a national health problem

Speaking of Homosexuality

Big ‘Gay’ Brother is Watching You

Truth-Telling and Homosexuality

New

Homosexual Activist Arrested for Child Rape Was Called By Obama ‘Great Friend and Supporter’

http://christiannews.net/2014/11/24/homosexual-activist-arrested-for-child-rape-was-called-by-obama-great-friend-and-supporter/

Previous

Homosexual HRC Founder Arrested for Raping 15-year-old boy—Barbwire

http://barbwire.com/2014/11/20/homosexual-hrc-founder-arrested-raping-15-year-old-boy/

 

EX-GAYS/EX TRANSEXUALS

 

Truth Matters In Ex-Gay Debate

Nine fallen ‘exgay’ leaders seek spotlight with therapy ban alliance

Why Gays Cannot Speak for Ex-Gays

120 EXhomosexual video testimonies

 

Previous

Trouble In Transtopia: Murmurs Of Sex Change Regret—Stella Morabito

http://thefederalist.com/2014/11/11/trouble-in-transtopia-murmurs-of-sex-change-regret/

 

LEFT-WING MEDIA

New

Chuck Todd Asks If GOP Should ‘Drop the Benghazi Conspiracy Theories?’

http://www.mrc.org/biasalerts/chuck-todd-asks-if-gop-should-drop-benghazi-conspiracy-theories

 

LIFE& DEATH – Research Links

 

Parents Release Photo of Daughter Born at 24 Weeks to Stop Late-Term Abortions

Amazing Video Shows Life Before Birth: “Everything a Newborn Baby Does, a Fetus Has Already Done

Abortion, Depression, Suicide

 

New

Surprise! New Obamacare Rule Means You Won’t Know if You’re Paying for Abortions

http://www.lifenews.com/2014/11/25/surprise-new-obamacare-rule-means-you-wont-know-if-youre-paying-for-abortions/

 

MARRIAGE & FAMILY

 

Ryan Anderson explains why gay marriage doesn’t exist

Our last chance to save traditional marriage

 

New

National Homosexual Activist Organization Targets Christians in Latest Campaign

http://christiannews.net/2014/11/24/national-homosexual-activist-organization-targets-christians-in-latest-campaign/

A homosexual activist organization whose co-founder was recently jailed for sex abuse charges has launched an aggressive campaign to convert Christians to the same-sex ‘marriage’ cause.

 

RELIGION

 

OF INTEREST

New

Ferguson and the Soft Bigotry of America’s Leading Evangelicals—JD Hall

http://pulpitandpen.org/2014/11/24/ferguson-and-the-soft-bigotry-of-americas-leading-evangelicals/

As Ferguson erupts in riotous violence, America’s leading evangelicals – like Southern Baptists Russell Moore and Ed Stetzer – are falling over themselves to prove who is the most thoughtful, compassionate, and sympathetic to the racial tension and tragedy that the community has come to typify. In their race to win the racial sensitivity award, what they’re demonstrating is the soft bigotry of low expectations. …

Previous

A Profile of Integrity—Mike Riccardi

http://thecripplegate.com/a-profile-of-integrity/

 

CREATION VS EVOLUTION – Research links

 

Why is biblical Creationism so important?

The Giraffe: God’s Outstanding Animal

 

Previous

My pastors don’t believe Genesis. Should I leave my church?

http://creation.com/my-pastor-doesnt-believe-in-genesis#.VGmPI-0EAIM.facebook

 

PERSECUTION

New

Islamists Linked to Obama’s Kenyan Family Hijacked Bus, Killed Dozens

http://www.newswithviews.com/NWV-News/news414.htm

 

TEACHING/DEVOTIONAL

New

Obedience, A Word Study—Mike Ratliff

http://mikeratliff.wordpress.com/2014/11/23/obedience-a-word-study/

 

WATCH OUT!

 

Where do Christians get solid food? From voices in their heads, intuition, imaginations, flights of fancy, signs, wonders? No. Solid food is consumed by feeding on the meat of the written

Word of God. ~ Sandy Simpson

 

Alcoholics Anonymous

 

New Booklet Tract: The Spiritual Truth Behind Alcoholics Anonymous–And Why Christians Should Think Twice About Joining A.A.

 

Previous

Yes, AA’s cofounder was a freemason—John Lanagan

http://mywordlikefire.com/2009/10/26/yes-aas-cofounder-was-a-freemason/

 

Angels

 

Three Reasons You Should Not Try To Bind Satan

Unbiblical ideas About Angels

 

Ann Voskamp

 

Romantic Panentheism, a Review of One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp

Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts: A Christianized Version of “Sexytime” with Ghosts?

 

Beth Moore

 

Has so-and-so false teacher always been false, or did it just start now?

The Low-Information Evangelical, Part 1  Part 2

Examining Beth Moore’s teaching

 

“Blood Moons”

 

Is Jesus going to return during the blood-red moon of 2015?

Divine Sign for Israel? Hagee Explains Blood Moons

Will Lunar Eclipses Cause Four Blood Moons in 2014 and 2015?

 

Charismatic Movement

 

Strange Fire Q&A: Answering the Critics—Phil Johnson interviews John MacArthur

Where is IHOP Going? An interview with Sarah Leslie

Previous

Pa$$ The Plate And Let Us Prey–SUFTT

http://standupforthetruth.com/2014/10/pa-plate-let-us-prey/

Should we impart an anointing of the Spirit on someone’s head?  Does the Holy Spirit posses us, or indwell us?  Yes, big difference between these two terms.

 

Church Growth Movement/Seeker/Market-Driven

 

Straight Talk About the Seeker Church Movement

Why this pastor left the church-growth model

Who is Peter Drucker, and what did he do with our church?

Rick Warren’s Catholic television interview

 

Contemplative Prayer – Research Links

 

The “Tree of Contemplative Practices” – Is Your Church Practicing Some of These?

What Is Spiritual Formation and Why Does It Matter?

Contemplative Terms

 

Previous

Ravi Zacharias on Henri Nouwen – “I regret having said that” “Henri Nouwen Was One of the Greatest Saints In Our Time”—Lighthouse Trails

http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=16369

 

Ecumenism

Previous

Does Rick Warren want you to “come home” to the Catholic Church?—Amy Spreeman

http://standupforthetruth.com/2013/06/does-rick-warren-want-you-to-come-home-to-the-catholic-church/

You’ve heard about the Purpose Driven Life for Catholics, but did you ever think it would lead to a major evangelization project by the Church of Rome that targets Protestant Christians?

 

Emergent Church – Research Links

 

Listen: Emergent Church finally shows its real intentions!-

Emerging towards convergence

Emergent /Emerging Church Documentary

 

New

The morphing of the Emergent movement: Can you see it now?–SUFTT

http://standupforthetruth.com/2014/11/the-morphing-of-the-emergent-movement-can-you-see-it-now/

 

Hillsong Church

 

Hellsong – The Music of Hillsong – In Praise of Folly

 

Previous

Hillsong NYC’s “biblical” silence about homosexuality—John Lanagan

http://mywordlikefire.com/2014/11/04/hillsongs-carl-lentz-uses-non-existent-scripture-the-message-to-justify-silence-on-homosexuality/

Eugene Peterson’s The Message “bible” flat out deletes homosexuality as sin from two key New Testament passages, and gives a politically correct spin to a third

 

“Jesus Calling” – Research Links

 

In Jesus Calling: Jesus Contradicts Himself

Is Hit Book “Jesus Calling” Pushing New Age?

Articles and links exposing the New Age “Jesus” and New Age teachings

in Sarah Young’s “Jesus Calling” devotional

One Woman’s Story About Jesus Calling: A Surprise I Never Expected That Changed My Life

 

New

Changing “Jesus Calling”—Damage Control for a False Christ–SUFTT

http://standupforthetruth.com/2014/11/changing-jesus-calling-damage-control-false-christ/

 

Jonathan Cahn

 

“Rabbi” Jonathan Cahn’s Most Recent Duping of the People of God: “The Mystery of the Shemitah”

 

Joyce Meyer

 

The Prosperity Priestess and the Pied Piper of IHOP

Joyce Meyer’s teaching

 

New

Joyce Meyer cancels speaking engagement at IHOP-KC Onething 2014

http://mywordlikefire.com/2014/11/21/joyce-meyer-cancels-speaking-engagement-at-ihop-kc-onething-2014/

 

Kay Arthur

 

Kay Arthur With Erroneous Contemplative Interpretation of Psalm 46:10

Christian Meditation: What’s Biblical and What’s

 

Mark Driscoll

 

5 Early Leadership Lessons from the Dissolution of Mars Hill Church

Part 1: “We Are Not ABANDONED”   Part 2: “Under the Bus” and “Off the Map” – The Out-of-Control Bus That Runs Over Sheep  Part 3: The Culture Which Gave Rise to Driscoll

 

Previous

Mars Hill Church lists more than $25 million worth of property as bankruptcy rumors fly

http://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/blog/2014/11/mars-hill-church-lists-more-than-25-million-worth.html

 

Sources: Mark Driscoll Considering a Return to Ministry http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2014/11/09/sources-mark-driscoll-considering-a-return-to-ministry/

 

“The Message” Bible

 

Eugene Peterson’s “The Message” is a parody of the Bible

 

Previous

Hillsong NYC’s “biblical” silence about homosexuality—John Lanagan

http://mywordlikefire.com/2014/11/04/hillsongs-carl-lentz-uses-non-existent-scripture-the-message-to-justify-silence-on-homosexuality/

Eugene Peterson’s The Message “bible” flat out deletes homosexuality as sin from two key New Testament passages, and gives a politically correct spin to a third.

 

Mormonism — Research Links

 

Mormon Church Admits Founder Joseph Smith Had About 40 Wives

Was Joseph Smith Really a Prophet from God?

What is Mormonism – What do Mormon’s Believe

The Mormon version of “Holy, Holy, Holy” is missing something

 

New Age Movement/New Thought/Spirituality — Research Links

 

Mysticism & Global Mind Change

Panantheism

What is “The Secret”? What is the “Law of Attraction”?

 

Previous

The New Age Peale Factor: Norman Vincent Peale and the Occult Part 1  Part 2—Warren B. Smith

 

New Apostolic Reformation/Dominionism – Research Links

 

What is an Apostle?

Rick Joyner’s alleged visit to heaven where he claims he met Enoch

 

Previous

Written in 2008.  Posting it as reminder of who these people are.

We have had enough of false prophets—Marsha West

http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/mwest/080830

People in this movement believe that the Apostles and Prophets have authority over the Church. Even though they hold a high office, the “apostles” and “prophets” don’t see eye to eye on everything. It has now come to light that some of the “apostles” were concerned about the possible dangers of commissioning Todd Bentley and warned other “apostles” but they were rebuffed — and they’re not taking it lying down….

Previous

Bethel Church’s “Apostle” Bill Johnson: A Comedy of Errors Part 2 http://standupforthetruth.com/2014/11/bethel-churchs-apostle-bill-johnson-comedy-errors-part-2/

Before I report on Apostle Bill’s endeavor to involve his followers in his “grave sucking,” undertaking, I must tell you a brief story that involves an angel, a gift, and slaying a dragon.

Read Part 1

 

Roman Catholicism

 

The Papacy of the Roman Catholic Church

‘Secrets of the Vatican’ exposes moral crises facing Catholic Church’s new pope

Do eucharistic miracles really happen?

 

Previous

Cardinal’s demotion helps Pope Francis quell ‘conservative backlash’ — for now

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/11/20/cardinal-stunning-demotion-helps-pope-francis-quell-conservative-backlash-for/

 

Social Justice/Progressive Christianity

 

Shameful Social Gospel

The Social Justice Gospel, Yesterday and TodayPart 2

 

Previous

How progressive Pharisees brutalize the Bible—SUFTT

http://standupforthetruth.com/2014/11/progressive-pharisees-brutalize-bible/

 

Transhumanism/Nephilum

 

Spiritual Seduction

Extraterrestrials, Noah’s Flood, Pseudo-Humans, Pseudo-Science,

Nephilim and Space Alien DNAPart 2

 

Vision Casting

 

Casting a Vision of Commandeering Control

 

Witchcraft – Research Links

 

Word of Faith/Prosperity Gospel — Research Links

 

The True Origins of the Prosperity Gospel

T.D. Jakes and Joyce Meyer teaching word-faith “Little Gods” doctrine

 

Previous

Televangelist pastor accused of forcing vasectomies and abortions on church members

http://rt.com/usa/195940-pastor-vasectomy-abortion-abuse/

 

Bethel Church’s “Apostle” Bill Johnson: A Comedy of Errors Part 2 http://standupforthetruth.com/2014/11/bethel-churchs-apostle-bill-johnson-comedy-errors-part-2/

Before I report on Apostle Bill’s endeavor to involve his followers in his “grave sucking,” undertaking, I must tell you a brief story that involves an angel, a gift, and slaying a dragon.

Read Part 1

 

ENTERTAINMENT

 

New

Bill Cosby Leaked Story About Daughter’s Drug Use to Cover-Up Sex Scandal

http://dailycaller.com/2014/11/25/bill-cosby-leaked-story-about-daughters-drug-use-to-cover-up-sex-scandal/

HEALTH

 

New

Worthless Exercises You Probably  Do

http://www.thepostgame.com/blog/list/201303/6-worthless-exercises-you-probably-do

 

Abuse of sleep, anti-anxiety drugs a growing issue among teenagers, study shows

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/11/24/abuse-sleep-anti-anxiety-drugs-growing-issue-among-teenagers-study-shows/

 

MUSIC

 


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Originally posted on Wretched with Todd Friel:

Episode 1502

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Originally posted on Pastor Joe Quatrone, Jr.:

Count-It-All-JoyPerhaps you have seen the bumper sticker that reads: “When life hands you a lemon, make lemonade!” It is easier to smile at that statement than to practice it, but the basic philosophy is sound. In fact, it is biblical. Throughout the Bible are people who turned defeat into victory and trial into triumph. Instead of being victims, they became victors.

James tells us that we can have this same experience today. No matter what the trials may be on the outside (James 1:1–12) or the temptations on the inside (James 1:13–27), through faith in Christ we can experience victory. The result of this victory is spiritual maturity.

If we are going to turn trials into triumphs, we must obey four imperatives: count (James 1:2), know (James 1:3), let (James 1:4, 9–11), and ask (James 1:5–8). To…

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8:48 Jesus’ addressing her as daughter probably reassures the woman, as does his statement that your faith has made you well (in the sense of both physical and spiritual healing, for the verb here is “saved” [Gk. sōzō]; see notes on v. 36 and Matt. 9:22; also, Jesus’ final words to her, go in peace, suggest that she has been saved).

ESV Study Bible


November 26: A Moment to Reflect

2 Kings 17:6–18:12; Ephesians 1:1–23; Proverbs 8:9–18

Anyone will admit that wisdom is more than just knowledge. We think of wisdom as thoughtful insight acquired with life experience. However, Paul and the author of Proverbs tell us that it is not something we gain with a little age and some good direction. Wisdom is inseparable from the fear of God.

The author of Proverbs tells us wisdom is “knowledge and discretion”; it’s associated with the desire to fear God, and it is a reward to those who seek it out. “I love those who love me,” says Wisdom personified. “Those who seek me diligently shall find me” (Prov 8:17). Paul speaks of wisdom in light of understanding the grand story of salvation we’re part of. When writing to the Ephesians, Paul prays that they will receive a certain type of spirit so they can grow in faith—“that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him (the eyes of your hearts having been enlightened), so that you may know what is the hope of his calling, what are the riches of the glory of his inheritance among the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of his power toward us who believe” (Eph 1:17–19).

The Ephesian believers were brought into this family of faith through the work of Christ as part of God’s plan (Eph 1:3–14). Paul prays for them to understand what it means for them to live as a hope-filled community that has been adopted—a treasured inheritance in God’s great plan of salvation. The Ephesians will receive this type of wisdom and revelation as it is given by God, not on their own accord. Understanding their place in this story will, in turn, shape their entire existence.

Both Paul and the author of Proverbs note this need to seek out wisdom, which God will give if we ask. Stop to consider your place in God’s redemptive work on your behalf. Pray for a spirit of wisdom to understand His work in your life.

Do you pray for wisdom? What type of response do you offer because of God’s work on your behalf?

Rebecca Van Noord[1]


November 26

THANK YOU, LORD

Words and Music by Seth Sykes, 1892–1950 and Bessie Sykes, 1905–

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! (2 Corinthians 9:15)

The gift of salvation—a personal relationship with almighty God—what an indescribable gift! Yet how often do we sincerely thank our Lord for all that He has done in making this possible? Our lack of praise and thanksgiving for His gift of salvation can be likened to the response of the ten lepers after being miraculously healed by Christ (Luke 17:11–19). Only one returned to express gratitude. The interest of the other nine was centered more in what had happened to them personally than in remembering the One who had performed the miracle in their lives. Are we ever guilty of this same carelessness?

It is interesting to imagine the life-long remorse that characterized these nine ungrateful lives:

I meant to go back, but you may guess I was filled with amazement, I cannot express

To think that after those horrible years, that passion of loathing and passion of fears,

Of sores unendurable—eaten, defiled—my flesh was as smooth as the flesh of a child.

I was drunken with joy; I was crazy with glee; I scarcely could walk and I scarcely could see,

For the dazzle of sunshine where all had been black; but I meant to go back, Oh, I meant to go back!

I had thought to return, when people came out; there were tears of rejoicing and laughter and shout;

My cup was so full I seemed nothing to lack! But I meant to go back, Oh, I meant to go back!

Unknown

The words of this hymn have been greatly used of God since they were written in 1940 to allow believers to offer praise for the gift of their salvation—

Some thank the Lord for friends and home, for mercies sure and sweet; but I would praise Him for His grace—in prayer I would repeat:

Some thank Him for the flow’rs that grow, some for the stars that shine. My heart is filled with joy and praise because I know He’s mine.

I trust in Him from day to day; I prove His saving grace; I’ll sing this song of praise to Him until I see His face.

Chorus: Thank you, Lord, for saving my soul; thank you, Lord, for making me whole. Thank you, Lord, for giving to me Thy great salvation so rich and free.

For Today: Psalm 100:4; 116:12, 14; 147:7; Philippians 4:6, 7; Colossians 2:7; 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Pause even now and praise God for Himself and His gift of personal salvation on your behalf. Carry this musical prayer with you—[2]


November 26

Intro

Welcome to Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Today’s reading is Amos 6 through 9. Our lesson is from Amos 7:15, “But the Lord took me from following the flock and the Lord said to me, ‘Go prophesy to My people Israel.’ ” (NASU)

Lesson

God’s calling can affirm a person for an entire lifetime. In times of doubts, difficulties or challenges, it is the certainty of God’s call in the life of believers that gives assurance to their being able to fulfill their destiny. Let’s look at three observations from our text.

First, the Lord took Amos. Important in our discussion is the fact that the source of the calling is the Lord. He is the one who initiates and we as believers respond to Him. Amos’s call came in a challenging time for the prophet.

The people of God had strayed from His ways. The Lord used the metaphor of a plumb line to show that the nation was being found to be crooked. She had exploited the poor and imitated the nations by becoming idolatrous. God was ready to judge but Amos interceded before the Almighty.

Second, the Lord took Amos while he was shepherding. The prophet admitted not being from the line of the professional prophets. However, God called him to speak to His people. This has happened with others in the Bible. Jesus for example called Levi the tax collector to become His disciple Matthew.

A word of caution is in order. The importance is that it is God who calls a person to change their profession. One can be a teacher, architect or business person and be greatly used of God. It is not better to be in professional ministry over other vocations. Obedience and relationship with the Lord is what really counts.

Last, the Lord took Amos from shepherding to prophesying. Prophesying both in the Old and New Testament are part of God’s gifting His people. The gift of prophesy is to exhort His people to obedience. In the case of Amos, it was a warning that God was getting ready to pass judgment on them because they had wandered away from their relationship with the Lord. God was calling them to come back to Him. It was a sign of God’s mercy and compassion for them to return.

The tragic result was that the prophet was asked not to prophesy by the rulers and leaders of the nation. They did not want to repent and be restored by God’s word.

In review, the Lord took Amos. The Lord took Amos while he was shepherding. And the Lord took Amos from shepherding to prophesying.

Take a moment to meditate on your call. Are you fulfilling God’s perfect will in your life? If so, praise Him. However, if you need more clarification, submit to the Holy Spirit and His call.

End

It has been a pleasure to share with you Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Tomorrow’s Bible reading is Obadiah and Jonah. Let’s not forget the words of the psalmist, “The law of Your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.” Until tomorrow and may God bless you in abundance as you study the Word of God.[3]


 

November 26

 

Rejecting the World’s Passing Pleasures

 

“By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God, than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin” (Heb. 11:24–25).

✧✧✧

The world has little to offer compared to the riches of Christ.

For forty years Moses enjoyed the best of everything Egypt had to offer—formidable wealth, culture, education, and prestige (Acts 7:22). Yet he never forgot God’s promises toward his own people, Israel.

Then, “when he was approaching the age of forty, it entered his mind to visit his brethren, the sons of Israel. And when he saw one of them being treated unjustly, he defended him and took vengeance for the oppressed by striking down the Egyptian. And he supposed that his brethren understood that God was granting them deliverance through him; but they did not understand” (vv. 23–25).

Somehow Moses knew he was to deliver his people from Egyptian oppression. Although it would be another forty years before he was fully prepared for the task, by faith he forsook the pleasures and prestige of Egypt and endured ill-treatment with God’s chosen people.

Humanly speaking, Moses made a costly choice. He seemed to be sacrificing everything for nothing. But the opposite was much more the case since Moses considered “the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the [greater] reward” (Heb. 11:26).

Sometimes obedience to Christ seems very costly, especially when evil people prosper while many who faithfully serve God suffer poverty and affliction. Asaph the psalmist struggled with the same issue: “Behold, these are the wicked; and always at ease, they have increased in wealth. Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure” (Ps. 73:12–13).

But be assured that the eternal rewards of Christ far outweigh the passing pleasures of sin. The wicked have only judgment and Hell to look forward to; you have glory and Heaven. So always choose obedience, and trust God to guide your choices, just as He did with Moses.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Praise God that the righteous will one day be fully rewarded. ✧ Seek God’s grace to be obedient when you’re faced with difficult choices.

For Further Study: Read Stephen’s account of Moses in Acts 7:20–39.[4]


November 26

Wisdom and Courage

Let Your lovingkindness and Your truth continually preserve me.

Psalm 40:11

many of our self-created needs arise because of unwise decisions. The need will be met, in part, by our making wise decisions and having the courage, skill, and determination to follow through on them.…

Consider the man who is neglectful of his wife. Perhaps he spends fifteen hours a day at the office and gives his wife no priority when it comes to scheduling his weekend hours. What is the solution for the need? A big part of it is likely to be a reprioritizing of plans and schedules so that the man can spend more time with his wife. Who is responsible for meeting the need? The man. What is God’s role? I believe God will give the man wisdom about how to reprioritize his time and efforts, and will help heal the heart of the wife and make her more open to a full reconciliation with her husband.[5]


November 26

Safe Harbor

Scripture reading: Mark 6:45–52

Key verse: Mark 6:50

They all saw Him and were troubled. And immediately He talked with them and said to them, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”

The disciples frantically wrestled with oars and sails as their little fishing boat was tossed about in angry waves. How did they get into this mess? The answer: Jesus had sent them there. What a sobering thought: At times, God leads us along ways that seem very dark and uncertain.

Suffering of any kind can push us beyond our ability to cope. The sudden death of a loved one brings shock. The news of a mate’s unfaithfulness leaves us feeling numb. Our hearts seek comfort, our minds search for answers, and we cry out in anguish: “Why does God allow us to be tested in ways that bring heartache and suffering?” One of the reasons is to uncover the level of our faith in Him.

If you remember, Jesus came to the disciples amid the storm. He didn’t come when the waves were calm or before the gentle night wind changed into a seething rage. No, He came during the fourth watch of the night when the sea was at its stormiest and all hope for survival appeared lost.

“Take courage; it is I, do not be afraid,” were His words (Mark 6:50 nasb). Jesus had an object lesson in mind: He is Lord over all things, and nothing you are facing is too great for God. Regardless of your circumstances, God is with you. Never be afraid to call out to your Lord. He has His eye on you, and He will bring you into a safe harbor.

Lord, I am so thankful that You have Your eye on me and You will bring me into a safe harbor.[6]


November 26

Arresting the Flesh

How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to your word.

Psalm 119:8

The godly conduct that produces spiritual stability depends on obeying the divine standard of God’s Word. The Word is what cultivates godly attitudes, thoughts, and actions that will keep you from being overwhelmed by trials and temptations.

To understand the relationship between godly attitudes, thoughts, and actions, consider this analogy. If a policeman sees someone who is about to violate the law, he will arrest him. Similarly, godly attitudes and thoughts produced by the Word act as policemen to arrest the flesh before it commits a crime against the standard of God’s Word. But if they are not on duty, they can’t arrest the flesh, and the flesh is free to violate the law of God.

The analogy teaches that right attitudes and thoughts must precede right practices. Paul realized only spiritual weapons will help in our warfare against the flesh (2 Cor. 10:4). By using the right weapons, you can take “every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (v. 5).[7]


November 26          A Heart of True Praise

scripture reading:

 

John 12:1–8

 

key verse:

 

Psalm 81:1

 

Sing aloud to God our strength; Make a joyful shout to the God of Jacob.

The scene was familiar. Jesus was at Lazarus’s house in Bethany, reclining at the table with His friends. How He loved spending time there! However, the dynamics of their relationship had changed dramatically. Only six days before, Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead in a miracle that drew many to faith.

Mary’s relationship with the Lord had changed as well. She knew His death was at hand. Warren Wiersbe commented on her actions: “It was an act of pure love on her part, for she knew her Lord was about to endure suffering and death.… In a sense, Mary was showing her devotion to Jesus before it was too late.… Her act of love and worship was public, spontaneous, sacrificial, lavish, personal, and unembarrassed.”

Quietly she knelt next to Jesus at the table, and without a word, she delicately poured out every ounce of perfume onto His feet. Then she wiped the costly rivulets away with her hair until the entire house was filled with the aroma of the spikenard and with the even sweeter fragrance of her sacrifice.

Praise doesn’t have a single, narrow definition. Praise can be Mary’s gentle, silent gift that expressed the longing of her heart to worship. Praising is singing songs and saying private prayers. As you grow in the Lord, your praise will assume many forms, and all are worthy when given out of love for God.

O God, teach me to praise You. To sing. To meditate. To rejoice. Expand my definition of what it means to truly worship You.[8]


November 26

Speak to My Heart

Scripture reading: Psalm 46:1–3

Key verse: Psalm 54:7

He has delivered me out of all trouble;

And my eye has seen its desire upon my enemies.

Children have an uncanny ability to show the emotional side of disappointment when it comes. Their eyes fill with tears as the lower lip protrudes and quivers. Many of us as grown-ups have felt this same way. We have a certain expectation in mind, and suddenly, something happens to change everything. Although we may try to hide our hurt, deep inside we are struggling.

God knows when we face disappointment of any kind. He knows the painfulness that accompanies rejection as well as the feeling of isolation in lonely times. He sees our hurts and has every intention of taking care of our needs.

However, He wants us to learn to come to Him first instead of trying to solve things on our own. The old saying “God helps those who help themselves” is completely unfounded in Scripture. The truth is, God wants us to stop striving and start relying on Him for even the smallest details.

When things don’t go your way, you need to immediately talk to Him about it. He works through each situation to make you sensitive to His will. His purpose for delaying or altering an answer to prayer could be to teach you more about His faithfulness. However, if you are not in close fellowship with Him because of sin in your life, the adversity could be His way of getting your attention. Regardless, if you will ask Him to speak to your heart, He will.

Father, help me submit to Your plan, even when I am disappointed. Make me sensitive to Your will, and help me respond in obedience. Speak to my heart.[9]


November 26

The Lord delights in you.

You, Lord God, who created me, say, “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine.” Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, yet You will not forget me. You have inscribed me on the palms of Your hands; my walls are continually before You.

Lord, You order my steps as of a good man, and You delight in my way. Your delight was with the sons of men. You take pleasure in those who fear You, in those who hope in Your mercy. You, the Lord of hosts, say that I shall be Yours on the day that You make us Your jewels. And You will spare me as a man spares his own son who serves him.

I, who once was alienated and an enemy in my mind by wicked works, now You have reconciled in the body of Your flesh through death, to present me holy, and blameless, and above reproach in Your sight.

May I never be numb to the amazing truth that You delight in me—and may I respond to that delight by living a life that honors You!

Isaiah 62:4; Isaiah 43:1; Isaiah 49:15–16; Psalm 37:23; Proverbs 8:31; Psalm 147:11; Malachi 3:17; Colossians 1:21–22[10]


November 26

“THIS Man receiveth sinners;” not, however, that they may remain sinners, but he receives them that he may pardon their sins, justify their persons, cleanse their hearts by his purifying word, preserve their souls by the indwelling of the Holy Ghost, and enable them to serve him, to show forth his praise, and to have communion with him. Into his heart’s love he receives sinners, takes them from darkness, and wears them as jewels in his crown; plucks them as brands from the burning, and preserves them as costly monuments of his mercy. None are so precious in Jesus’ sight as the sinners for whom he died.[11]


Day 26

Adoration

Behold, He who forms the mountains and creates the wind,

And reveals His thoughts to man,

He who turns dawn to darkness,

And treads the high places of the earth—

The Lord God of hosts is His name. (Amos 4:13)

In Your majesty, You dwell in the likeness of a throne of sapphire above the expanse that is over the cherubim. (Ezekiel 10:1)

Pause to express your thoughts of praise and worship.

Confession

Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best, but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in His holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful; later on, however, it produces the peaceable fruit of righteousness for those who have been trained by it. Therefore, let us strengthen the hands that are weary and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for our feet, so that what is lame may not be disabled, but rather healed. (Hebrews 12:10–13)

Ask the Spirit to search your heart and reveal any areas of unconfessed sin. Acknowledge these to the Lord and thank Him for His forgiveness.

Renewal

May I not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will fear the One who, after killing, has authority to cast into hell. (Luke 12:4–5)

May I fear only the Lord my God and serve Him and take my oaths in His name. (Deuteronomy 6:13)

May I be very careful to love the Lord my God, to walk in all His ways, to obey His commands, to hold fast to Him, and to serve Him with all my heart and all my soul. (Joshua 22:5)

Pause to add your own prayers for personal renewal.

Petition

May I submit myself for the Lord’s sake to every human authority, whether to a king as being supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish evildoers and to praise those who do right; for it is the will of God that by doing good I may silence the ignorance of foolish men. (1 Peter 2:13–15)

Growth in Christ

Greater desire to know and please Him

Greater love and commitment to Him

Grace to practice His presence

Grace to glorify Him in my life

My activities for this day

Special concerns

Intercession

We should not get drunk on wine, for that is dissipation. Instead, we should be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs; singing and making music in our hearts to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 5:18–20)

Churches and Ministries

My local church

Other churches

Evangelism and discipleship ministries

Educational ministries

Special concerns

Affirmation

Lord Jesus, You have said that unless I am converted and become like a little child, I will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like a child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:3–4)

You did not want the little children to be hindered from coming to You, for of such is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 19:14)

Pause to reflect upon these biblical affirmations.

Thanksgiving

Blessed be the Lord; day by day He bears our burdens,

The God of our salvation.

Our God is the God of salvation,

And to God the Lord belongs escape from death. (Psalm 68:19–20)

It is good to give thanks to the Lord

And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High,

To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning

And Your faithfulness at night. (Psalm 92:1–2)

Pause to offer your own expressions of thanksgiving.

Closing Prayer

When I remember You on my bed,

I meditate on You through the watches of the night.

Because You have been my help,

I will rejoice in the shadow of Your wings.

My soul clings to You;

Your right hand upholds me. (Psalm 63:6–8)[12]


Morning, November 26    

 

“Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.”

— Ecclesiastes 9:10

 

“Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do,” refers to works that are possible. There are many things which our heart findeth to do which we never shall do. It is well it is in our heart; but if we would be eminently useful, we must not be content with forming schemes in our heart, and talking of them; we must practically carry out “whatsoever our hand findeth to do.” One good deed is more worth than a thousand brilliant theories. Let us not wait for large opportunities, or for a different kind of work, but do just the things we “find to do” day by day. We have no other time in which to live. The past is gone; the future has not arrived; we never shall have any time but time present. Then do not wait until your experience has ripened into maturity before you attempt to serve God. Endeavour now to bring forth fruit. Serve God now, but be careful as to the way in which you perform what you find to do—“do it with thy might.” Do it promptly; do not fritter away your life in thinking of what you intend to do to-morrow as if that could recompense for the idleness of to-day. No man ever served God by doing things to-morrow. If we honour Christ and are blessed, it is by the things which we do to-day. Whatever you do for Christ throw your whole soul into it. Do not give Christ a little slurred labour, done as a matter of course now and then; but when you do serve him, do it with heart, and soul, and strength.

 

But where is the might of a Christian? It is not in himself, for he is perfect weakness. His might lieth in the Lord of Hosts. Then let us seek his help; let us proceed with prayer and faith, and when we have done what our “hand findeth to do,” let us wait upon the Lord for his blessing. What we do thus will be well done, and will not fail in its effect.

 

Evening, November 26

 

“They shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel.”

— Zechariah 4:10

 

Small things marked the beginning of the work in the hand of Zerubbabel, but none might despise it, for the Lord had raised up one who would persevere until the headstone should be brought forth with shoutings. The plummet was in good hands. Here is the comfort of every believer in the Lord Jesus; let the work of grace be ever so small in its beginnings, the plummet is in good hands, a master builder greater than Solomon has undertaken the raising of the heavenly temple, and he will not fail nor be discouraged till the topmost pinnacle shall be raised. If the plummet were in the hand of any merely human being, we might fear for the building, but the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in Jesus’ hand. The works did not proceed irregularly, and without care, for the master’s hand carried a good instrument. Had the walls been hurriedly run up without due superintendence, they might have been out of the perpendicular; but the plummet was used by the chosen overseer. Jesus is evermore watching the erection of his spiritual temple, that it may be built securely and well. We are for haste, but Jesus is for judgment. He will use the plummet, and that which is out of line must come down, every stone of it. Hence the failure of many a flattering work, the overthrow of many a glittering profession. It is not for us to judge the Lord’s church, since Jesus has a steady hand, and a true eye, and can use the plummet well. Do we not rejoice to see judgment left to him?

 

The plummet was in active use—it was in the builder’s hand; a sure indication that he meant to push on the work to completion. O Lord Jesus, how would we indeed be glad if we could see thee at thy great work. O Zion, the beautiful, thy walls are still in ruins! Rise, thou glorious Builder, and make her desolations to rejoice at thy coming. [13]


November 26

Alive to God

Scripture Reading: Romans 6

Key Verse: 2 Timothy 2:22

Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

The poster showed a sleeping dog and cat, and the sentence below them read, “The trick to overcoming temptation is to play dead.” It was followed by the Scripture, “Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body” (Rom. 6:11–12 nasb).

Sin blocks us from hearing the voice of God. In Romans 12:1–2 (nasb), Paul told us to present our bodies as living and holy sacrifices to God. He continued, admonishing, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Christians who toy with sin play a deadly game. Sin not only brings static into our communication with God, it divides and separates us from other believers while dimming our view of God’s principles. That was why Paul wrote that when temptation comes, flee from it (2 Tim. 2:22)!

God’s goal in speaking to you is to conform you spiritually, emotionally, and mentally into the image of His Son. However, Satan’s goal in tempting you to sin is to see that you never become all God wants you to be. The choice is yours, and you are free to make it now that you are “alive to God.”

Dear Lord, I do not want sin to reign over me! Clear up any static that prevents me from hearing Your voice. Help me flee when temptation comes. Make me dead to sin and alive to You.[14]


November 26

Your Point of Focus

Scripture Reading: Psalm 84:1–7

Key Verse: Psalm 84:5

Blessed is the man whose strength is in You,

Whose heart is set on pilgrimage.

On an early morning walk around their college campus, two students came to a snow-covered football field. One friend said to the other, “I bet you can’t walk across the field and leave a perfectly straight line of footprints in the snow.”

Not being one to refuse a challenge, the student accepted. He began at one end zone, carefully plodding down the field. His eyes remained focused on his feet, only occasionally glancing up to judge how much farther he had to walk. When he finished, the two young men ran up the stadium stairs to get a clear view of the field. From there, they noticed how crooked and off center the line of footprints were in the snow.

The disappointed student issued the same dare to his friend. “No problem,” the challenger replied. Starting at one goal post, he walked rather quickly from one end of the field to the other. When finished, the two ascended the steps to evaluate the tracks. The footprints were in a perfectly straight line!

“How did you do it?” the first boy asked.

The other responded, “Simple. I just forgot about my feet and focused all of my attention on the opposite goalpost.”

In your Christian walk, where is your attention—on your own accomplishments or on the goal? If your life has gotten a little off center, ask Christ to help realign your steps by keeping the Cross in constant focus.

Lord, sometimes my feet get out of step because I’m too busy contemplating the path to righteousness, rather than the goal. Help me keep my eyes on the Cross that leads me there.[15]


November 26

The Lord … thy habitation

Ps. 91:9

We go home without arrangement. We plan our visits, and then go home because they are over. Duty, want, a host of things, lead us forth elsewhere; but the heart takes us home. Blessed, most blessed is he whose thoughts pass up to God, not because they are driven like a fisherman’s craft swept by the fierceness of the storm, not because they are forced by want or fear, not because they are led by the hand of duty, but because God is in his habitation and his home. Loosed from other things, the thoughts go home for rest.

In God the blessed man finds the love that welcomes. There is the sunny place. There care is loosed and toil forgotten. There is the joyous freedom, the happy calm, the rest, and renewing of our strength—at home with God.

Mark Guy Pearse[16]


November 26

Peace in Turmoil

John 14:27

Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Jesus said, “Let not your heart be troubled.” He spoke these words to His disciples on a night when He knew that, in a matter of hours, the lives of His disciples would be permanently impacted through His own terrible ordeal and death.

He told them the Holy Spirit would come as a comforter. He told them a place was being prepared for them. He told them He would come again and receive them unto Himself. He told His disciples that they could have peace in the midst of turmoil if they would receive the peace He gives.

All too often we lose our peace in the midst of tragedy and the circumstances of life. When we do that, we have nothing to offer a watching world. If a neighbor comes to us distraught over tragedy and finds us just as undone, what testimony have we given about the peace of Christ which He promised? It is the Christians in a community who should be able to offer a word of encouragement and comfort during difficult times. But we can only do that if we possess the peace of Christ—that peace which He purchased for us at the price of His own blood.[17]


 

God’s Order: Fact, Faith, Feeling

 

November 26

 

You asked another question which I wanted to answer at once, but didn’t have the opportunity. It was about the reason why you should feel the presence of the Lord so much less when speaking to some people rather then to others. The whole reason is in you, yourself. It is the fear of man that comes in the first case and takes your eyes unconsciously off the Lord and fixes them on man, and of course then the sense of His presence is lost. Not His presence itself, but only the sense of it. And the only way to treat such a thing is with silent contempt.

Say to yourself, “The Lord is here just as much as He ever is with me, but I am such a dunce as to be looking at the people instead of at Him, and so I do not see or feel His presence so much. But it is all right, and I just mean to think only of Him.” Crucify, your feelings, at such times; it is a perfect chance. And never judge by your own feelings whether a meeting has been a success. One’s own feelings are most misleading things.

I often find that my most successful work is done just when I feel the coldest and most dead. And many other workers have told me the same. You see we mean to get something done in other people’s hearts, and it is the truth that does that, not our feelings. Friends, judging by their feelings, often think they have a grand good meeting when not another human being thinks so at all! Ignore your feelings altogether, and look out for the work done.

How strange it is that feelings will crop up all along the line as stumbling blocks. And how absolutely necessary it is to ignore them at every point. I gave a talk the other day on the three Fs. in religion; God’s order and man’s order. The first being Fact, Faith, Feeling; the last being Feeling, Faith, Fact. And it applies everywhere; to this matter of feeling His presence as much as to anything else. If we take God’s order about it there is never any difficulty. If we take man’s order there is difficulty all the time.

—To Priscilla, On the cars returning home from Louisville, October 31, 1882[18]


November 26th

The concentration of spiritual energy

… save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Gal. 6:14.

If you want to know the energy of God (i.e., the resurrection life of Jesus) in your mortal flesh, you must brood on the tragedy of God. Cut yourself off from prying personal interest in your own spiritual symptoms and consider bare-spirited the tragedy of God, and instantly the energy of God will be in you. “Look unto Me,” pay attention to the objective Source and the subjective energy will be there. We lose power if we do not concentrate on the right thing. The effect of the Cross is salvation, sanctification, healing, etc., but we are not to preach any of these, we are to preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified. The proclaiming of Jesus will do its own work. Concentrate on God’s centre in your preaching, and though your crowd may apparently pay no attention, they can never be the same again. If I talk my own talk, it is of no more importance to you than your talk is to me; but if I talk the truth of God, you will meet it again and so shall I. We have to concentrate on the great point of spiritual energy, the Cross, to keep in contact with that centre where all the power lies, and the energy will he let loose. In holiness movements and spiritual experience meetings the concentration is apt to be put not on the Cross of Christ, but on the effects of the Cross.

The feebleness of the churches is being criticized to-day, and the criticism is justified. One reason for the feebleness is that there has not been this concentration of spiritual energy; we have not brooded enough on the tragedy of Calvary or on the meaning of Redemption.[19]


 

November 26

 

Seizing Opportunities

 

“Making the most of your time, because the days are evil.”

Ephesians 5:16

✧✧✧

Seize opportunities every day to glorify God.

In one of the cities of ancient Greece stood a statue carved by Lysippos, a famous Greek sculptor from the fourth century b.c. The statue had wings on its feet and a great lock of hair on its forehead and was bald on the back of its head. This is how it was described:

 

Who … was thy sculptor?

Lysippos …

And who art thou?

Occasion [or opportunity], the all–subduer …

Why hast thou wings … on thy feet?

I fleet on the wings of the wind …

And thy hair, why grows it in front?

For him that meets me, to seize …

And why is the back of thy head bald?

Because none may clutch me from behind, howsoe’er he desire it, when once my winged feet have darted past him.

That fictional character knew how to make the most of every opportunity. In real life, the apostle Paul is calling for you to take advantage of opportunities by “making the most of your time” (Eph. 5:16). The Greek word translated “time” isn’t the Greek word chronos, which refers to time in terms of a clock or calendar. It’s the word kairos, which means “eras,” “epochs,” or “periods.” Making the most of your time is another way of saying you are to make the most of your opportunities—opportunities that can be grasped for God, for His glory.

The psalmist had the right perspective when he prayed, “Teach us to number our days, that we may present to Thee a heart of wisdom” (Ps. 90:12). Wisdom numbers the days, sees the limited time, and buys the opportunity. Don’t be foolish—shun opportunities for evil, but seize opportunities for good.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Pray through Psalm 90:12 and apply it to yourself.

For Further Study: In Colossians 4:5, what does Paul tell the believers to do?[20]

 


Reading for Today:

Ezekiel 43:1–44:31
Psalm 134:1-3
Proverbs 29:7
1 Peter 2:1-25
Notes:

Ezekiel 44:5–9 Mark well who may enter. Since the Lord’s glory fills the temple, it is sanctified (v. 4), and God is particular about what kind of people worship there. Sins of the past, as in chapters 8–11, must not be repeated, and if they are, those sins will exclude their perpetrators from the temple. Only the circumcised in heart may enter (Deut. 30:6; Jer. 4:4; Rom. 2:25–29), whether of Israel or another nation (vv. 7, 9). Many peoples other than Jews will go into the kingdom in unresurrected bodies, because they have believed in Jesus Christ and are ready for His coming. They will escape His deadly judgment and populate and reproduce in the 1,000-year kingdom. Such circumcision pertains to a heart which is sincere about removing sin and being devoted to the Lord (Jer. 29:13). In the Millennium, a Jew with an uncircumcised heart will be considered a foreigner (v. 9). “Uncircumcised in flesh” refers to sinners, and “foreigner” identifies rejecters of the true God.

1 Peter 2:2 desire the pure milk of the word. Spiritual growth is always marked by a craving for and a delight in God’s Word with the intensity with which a baby craves milk (Job 23:12; Pss. 1:1, 2; 19:7–11; 19:16, 24, 35, 47, 48, 72, 92, 97, 103, 111, 113, 127, 159, 167, 174; Jer. 15:16). A Christian develops a desire for the truth of God’s Word by: 1) remembering his life’s source (1:25; Is. 55:10, 11; John 15:3; Heb. 4:12); 2) eliminating sin from his life (v. 1); 3) admitting his need for God’s truth (v.2, “as newborn babes”; Matt. 4:4); 4) pursuing spiritual growth (v. 2, “that you may grow thereby”); and 5) surveying his blessings (v. 3, “Lord is gracious”).

1 Peter 2:11 abstain from fleshly lusts. Perhaps more literally, “hold yourself away from fleshly lusts.” In order to have an impact on the world for God, Christians must be disciplined in an inward and private way by avoiding the desires of the fallen nature (Gal. 5:19–21, where “fleshly lusts” include much more than sexual temptations). which war against the soul. “War,” i.e., to carry on a military campaign. Fleshly lusts are personified as if they were an army of rebels or guerrillas who incessantly search out and try to destroy the Christian’s joy, peace, and usefulness (4:2, 3).

1 Peter 2:13 submit yourselves. “Submit” is a military term meaning “to arrange in military fashion under the commander,” “to put oneself in an attitude of submission.” As citizens in the world and under civil law and authority, God’s people are to live in a humble, submissive way in the midst of any hostile, godless, slandering society (vv. 21–23; Prov. 24:21; Jer. 29:4–14; Matt. 22:21; Rom. 13:1ff., 1 Tim. 2:1; Heb. 10:32–34). for the Lord’s sake. Though the Christian’s true citizenship is in heaven, he still must live as an obedient citizen in this world so that God will be honored and glorified. Rebellious conduct by a Christian brings dishonor on Christ.

DAY 26: How are Christians described in 1 Peter 2:9?

Believers there are described as “a chosen generation.” Peter uses Old Testament concepts to emphasize the privileges of New Testament Christians (Deut. 7:6–8). In strong contrast to the disobedient who are appointed by God to wrath (v. 8), Christians are chosen by God to salvation (1:2).

They are also called “a royal priesthood.” The concept of a kingly priesthood is drawn from Exodus 19:6. Israel temporarily forfeited this privilege because of its apostasy and because its wicked leaders executed the Messiah. At the present time, the church is a royal priesthood united with the royal priest, Jesus Christ. A royal priesthood is not only a priesthood that belongs to and serves the king, but is also a priesthood which exercises rule. This will ultimately be fulfilled in Christ’s future kingdom (1 Cor. 6:1–4; Rev. 5:10; 20:6).

And they are described as “a holy nation.” Another allusion to Exodus 19:6 (Lev. 19:2; 20:26; Deut. 7:6; Is. 62:12). Tragically, Israel temporarily forfeited the great privilege of being the unique people of God through unbelief. Until Israel’s future acceptance of its Messiah, God has replaced the nation with the church. “His own special people.” This combines phraseology found in Exodus 19:5; Isaiah 43:21;Malachi 3:17. “That you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you.” To “proclaim” means to tell forth, to tell something not otherwise known. “Praises” are excellencies, virtues, eminent qualities.

From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville, TN 37214, http://www.thomasnelson.com.


November 26 – The Sabbath and Acts of Mercy

“‘But if you had known what this means, “I desire compassion, and not a sacrifice,” you would not have condemned the innocent. For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath’” (Matthew 12:7–8).

God has not hesitated to set aside His laws for the sake of mercy toward sinners. Otherwise none of them would be saved or even born, because He would have destroyed them right after they sinned. God’s plan was not to condemn all sinners but to save from its penalty those who believe in His Son. And if a righteous and just God displays that kind of love and mercy, how much more ought His children reflect the same quality of mercy?

Because the Old Testament Sabbath was God’s special day, faithful Jews would have wanted to show mercy on that day. But the leaders, due to their wrong-headed interpretation of the Sabbath and their basic unbelief, actually violated the spirit of the Sabbath. They refused acts of mercy on that day, not because of biblical devotion to the law, but because they lacked compassion.

Since the “Lord of the Sabbath” has come, the obligation of a Sabbath rest is no longer applicable to believers. Under the new covenant, they have the freedom as to whether or not they honor any day above others. Whatever position they take, they must glorify the Lord (Rom. 14:5–6), but not impose their thinking on fellow believers (Gal. 4:9–10; Col. 2:16).

Strict Sabbath observance was never to supplant sincere mercy and compassion by believers. God is merciful and commands us as Christians to be merciful.

Ask Yourself

Rather than looking at the Sabbath as a day for not doing certain things, what might be some deliberate actions you could undertake on the Sabbath, whether in hospitality or compassion or service?

From Daily Readings from the Life of Christ, Vol. 1, John MacArthur. Copyright © 2008. Used by permission of Moody Publishers, Chicago, IL 60610, http://www.moodypublishers.com.


The Cleansing of the Temple – Part Three

Theme; Christianity and Commercialism
In this week’s lesson we see Jesus’ approach to commercialism and materialism in his church.

SCRIPTURE
Matthew 21:12-13

And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.”
LESSON

When Jesus drove the money changers and those who were selling animals for sacrifice from the Court of the Gentiles, he justified his action by a comparison of two Old Testament phrases. In the first, Isaiah referred to the temple as a “house of prayer” (Isaiah 56:7). In the second, Jeremiah says that the hypocritical worshipers of his day had caused the temple to become “a den of robbers” (Jeremiah 7:11). Jeremiah was writing about hypocrisy. Jesus used the word “robbers” to describe the unjust extortion that was going on. But hypocrisy must also have been in his mind, as the story about the barren fig tree which follows shows.

Some have argued that “robbers” may mean something like “nationalist rebels” and that the accusation may be that the temple had been turned into a “nationalist stronghold,” but I think this is unlikely. The real problem was the commercializing of religion.

The commercializing of religion is clearly a problem today. Especially today, since we live in a highly commercial age, and the ethos of buying and selling impacts the church as much as any other part of modern life. Some years ago the Canadian author John White wrote a devastating book about the commercialization of today’s church, called The Golden Cow: Materialism in the Twentieth-Century Church. It was published in 1979, but I have not seen it around much lately, which is usually the case with books that address today’s sins directly.

Here are three areas of abuse that White addresses.

1. Attachment to things. I have often made the point, drawing on a famous graduation speech at Harvard University by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, that practical Western materialism is as bad and perhaps even worse than the philosophical materialism of Communist countries. Communism claims that matter is all that is. But Western materialism believes that matter is all that matters. White notes this, writing, “No Christian would agree (that is, if the matter were put to him or her as an abstract proposition} lhal matter is all that matters, for our very Faith negates the assertion. Yet if our behavior [as distinct from our verbal profession} is examined, many of us who call ourselves Christians begin to look more like materialists. We talk of heaven but we strive for things.”1

We see this in denominations where the only “unforgivable sin” is for a congregation to attempt to leave the denomination with its property. The minister can preach outright heresy and be ignored, sometimes even praised. But if the church tries to leave, the denomination comes down on it with all the legal force at its disposal. A minister friend of mine from Australia says, “The denominations are nothing but real estate holding companies.”

But it is not just the older liberal denominations that are enslaved to things. So are countless evangelicals. What else can explain the fact that so many can talk at length about their church building or the budget but have little to offer in a Bible study or a discussion even of such basic Christian doctrines as grace, the atonement, holiness or serving Christ.

Again, because so many churches and organizations are property-centered their programs become property-bound. The problem here is not the property itself. It is useful to have a building in which to meet, and buildings need to be maintained. But instead of assessing the needs of the community and developing plans (including the purchase and use of property) to meet those needs, the work of the church is often confined to the building and potential ministries are excluded because the building might be harmed.

I know of a church in our city which has a wonderful opportunity for ministry to a nearby university but will not get involved with the school because the students do not treat the building with the same respect as the church’s shrinking number of elderly members.

There are other areas of abuse that White addresses: evangelical advertising and crass commercialism. We will discuss these in tomorrow’s lesson.

1 John White, The Golden Cow: Materialism in the Twentieth-Century Church (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1979), p. 38.

STUDY QUESTIONS

In what ways have we fallen into the same trap as the money changers of Jesus’ day?
How is this materialism manifest in the church?

PRAYER

Ask God to Forgive you for your attachment to things. Ask God also to protect your church From becoming hardened like the church in town described by Dr. Boice.

KEY POINT

The real problem was the commercializing of religion.

James Montgomery Boice


The Lord’s Prayer – Part One

SCRIPTURE
John 17:13-26

But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.
“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

LESSON

Jesus never prayed with His disciples. He always prayed alone. When you and I pray-and I’ve had great times of fellowship with other believers in prayer-we take the place as sinners together before the grace of God. But Jesus couldn’t have done that. He couldn’t have said to the disciples, “Come on. Let’s get down on our knees and cry out to God,” because He was God and they were men.

The prayer in John 17 is written down by John but John was not there when it was prayed. I believe that the Holy Spirit, later on, by dictation inspiration, word for word, gave to John the words spoken here. This is the true Lord’s Prayer.

My early spiritual life was formed in no small measure by certain experiences with God in prayer meetings. I can remember, when I was sixteen or seventeen, going with a half dozen young men in our late teens to the top of Mt. Wilson in California and spending the entire night on the mountain praying and waiting for the sunrise. I worked for a summer helping to build the Church of the Open Door in Los Angeles. I thank God for that summer where, for eight hours every day, I carried ninety pounds of cement and God built up the constitution of a horse which enabled me to do the work of a horse for all the years since.

One night several of us decided that we wanted to have a prayer meeting. The church building was up to about twelve stories at that time, a reinforced-concrete affair, and it had a little elevator powered by a “dunky” engine. We told the elevator operator that we wanted to go up to the top and spend the night in prayer. So, just at closing time we went up and the elevator with its “dunky” engine, went back down and the operator went home. There were no stairs or ladders or any other way down. We spent all night in prayer. And the seven men who were on that rooftop, without exception, have gone on in the work of the Lord. For instance, Van Eddings later founded the Orinoco River Mission in Venezuela. Oscar Zimmerman started the Emmanuel Mission to Seamen and Albert Siegle went on to spend his life in Thailand and Bangkok as a missionary.

When we prayed together, in those times of laying hold of God and surrender of self, and asking Him to deal with the innermost being of our sin, we were together in a fellowship that recognized our sinfulness. This is why Jesus never prayed with the disciples. He wouldn’t have gotten down and said, “0 Lord, we come miserable sinners.” You discover that He always prayed alone-when He went alone in the mountain, to pray, or He departed by the lake and prayed, or He rose a great while before day and prayed.

Now He taught the disciples how to pray. He said, “Pray then like this: Our Father who art in heaven” (Matthew 6:9). And people have come to call that “The Lord’s Prayer,” but that’s not “The Lord’s Prayer,” that’s “The Disciples’ Prayer.” This prayer in John 17 is The Lord’s Prayer. This is a conversation inside the Trinity. When I was a young Bible student, I began to think of God talking with God, and on a page in my notebook, I wrote “Conversations Inside the Trinity.” As I read the Bible, every time I came to one of these conversations I would just turn to that page and write the message. And, so you have references such as Psalm 110:1, “Jehovah said to My Lord, ‘Sit at My right hand till I make your enemies your footstool.”‘ Or, Hebrews 10:5-7, “when Christ came into the world, He said to God the Father . . . ‘Lo, I have come to do Thy will, O God.”‘ Or such verses as Genesis 1:26; 11:7; Isaiah 6:8, all indicate conversations within the Trinity. This was God conversing with God.

Now note, I want you to see the last line in John 14. They had been in the upper room and the last line of chapter 14 says, “Arise, let us go hence” (John 14:31). Then the first line of chapter 15 says, “I am the true vine.” I believe that this was spoken in full moonlight because there is always a full moon at Passover. You never had an Easter week without a full moon because the whole of the Passover is centered around the time of the full moon. As Jesus and the disciples went out toward the Mount of Olives, they passed a wall with a great vine climbing along it. Jesus looked at the vine in the bright light of the full moon and said, “I am the true vine.” And through chapters 15 and 16, Jesus spoke to the disciples. Then, if we go to the other Gospels (see Matthew 26:30-46; Mark 14:32-42) we discover the disciples continually falling asleep while Jesus was praying. In John 17 He began to pray to the Father, and I believe God put this chapter here in order to show us what Jesus is praying today.

STUDY QUESTIONS

What does Christ’s prayer in this passage model for us?
Why should we model our prayers after this one?

REFLECTION

If we think this passage illuminates truth about prayer then we ought to pray diligently. How can we do that in light of what is taught here?

Donald Grey Barnhouse


Wed, November 26, 2014

The Disposer of Destinies

The gradual disappearance of the idea and feeling of majesty from the Church is a sign and a portent. The revolt of the modern mind has had a heavy price, how heavy is becoming more apparent as the years go by. Our God has now become our servant to wait on our will. “The Lord is my shepherd,” we say, instead of “The Lord is my shepherd,” and the difference is as wide as the world.

We need to have restored again the lost idea of sovereignty, not as a doctrine only but as the source of a solemn religious emotion. We need to have taken from our dying hand the shadow scepter with which we fancy we rule the world. We need to feel and know that we are but dust and ashes, and that God is the disposer of the destinies of men. How ashamed we Christians should be that a pagan king should teach us to fear the Majesty on high. For it was the chastened Nebuchadnezzar who said, “I lifted up mine eyes unto heaven and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honored him that liveth forever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation. And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing, and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?”

Verse
His dominion is an eternal dominion; / his kingdom endures from generation to generation. / All the peoples of the earth / are regarded as nothing. / He does as he pleases / with the powers of heaven / and the peoples of earth. / No one can hold back his hand / or say to him: “What have you done?”
Daniel 4:34–35

Thought
We need to feel and know that we are but dust and ashes, and that God is the disposer of the destinies of men.

Prayer
Let us acknowledge, like that king of old, that You, Holy God, are all powerful and that no one can stay Your hand.

A. W. Tozer


INTERCESSION: Pray Earnestly for National Mercies and the Blessing of the Gospel Ministry in your Nation

12.3

We must pray earnestly for national mercies.

12.3.1

For the favors of God to us and the tokens of his presence among us, as that in which the happiness of our nation is bound up.

O you hope of Israel, its savior in time of trouble, be not like a stranger in the land or like a traveler who turns aside to tarry for a night; but be always in the midst of us: We are called by your name, O do not leave us. Though our iniquities testify against us, act, O LORD, for your name’s sake; though our backslidings are many, and we have sinned against you. Jeremiah 14:7-9(ESV)

Restore us to yourself, O Lord GOD of hosts, and let your face shine, that we may be saved! O stir up your might and come to save us! Psalm 80:2-3(ESV)

Show us your steadfast love, O LORD, and grant us your salvation; Psalm 85:7(ESV) yes, let your salvation be near to those who fear you, that glory may dwell in our land. Let steadfast love and faithfulness meet, righteousness and peace kiss each other: Let faithfulness spring up from the ground and righteousness look down from the sky; yes, let the LORD give what is good: Let righteousness go before him and make his footsteps a way. Psalm 85:9-13(ESV)

12.3.2

For the continuance of the gospel among us and the means of grace, and a national profession of Christ’s holy religion.

O let the throne of Christ endure forever among us, Psalm 45:6(ESV) even the place of your sanctuary, that glorious throne set on high from the beginning. Jeremiah 17:12(ESV)

Let our lampstand never be removed from its place, though that is what we deserve, because we have abandoned the love we had at first. Revelation 2:4-5(ESV) Never do to us as you did to your place that was in Shiloh, where you made your name dwell at first. Jeremiah 7:12(ESV)

Let us never know what a famine of the word means; nor ever be forced to wander from sea to sea and from the river to the ends of the earth, to seek the word of God. Amos 8:11-12(ESV)

O Lord, be the stability of our times, our abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge; and let the fear of the LORD be our treasure: Isaiah 33:6(ESV) Let the righteous flourish among us, and let there be those who fear you in our land, while the sun endures, and as long as the moon, throughout all generations; that peace may abound, Psalm 72:5-7(ESV) and the children yet to be created may praise the LORD. Psalm 102:18(ESV)

Matthew Henry’s Method for Prayer


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

[2] Osbeck, K. W. (1996). Amazing grace: 366 inspiring hymn stories for daily devotions (pp. 353–354). Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications.

[3] Venditti, L., & Venditti, N. (2012). Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[4] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 343). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[5] Stanley, C. F. (2004). God’s way day by day (p. 351). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[6] Stanley, C. F. (2002). Seeking His face (p. 345). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[7] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 355). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

[8] Stanley, C. F. (1998). Enter His gates: a daily devotional. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[9] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 345). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[10] Jeremiah, D. (2007). Life-Changing Moments With God (p. 353). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[11] Spurgeon, C. H. (1892). Daily Help (p. 334). Baltimore: R. H. Woodward & Company.

[12] Boa, K. (1993). Handbook to prayer: praying scripture back to God. Atlanta: Trinity House.

[13] Spurgeon, C. H. (2006). Morning and evening: Daily readings (Complete and unabridged; New modern edition.). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers.

[14] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 345). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[15] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 345). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[16] Hardman, S. G., & Moody, D. L. (1997). Thoughts for the quiet hour. Willow Grove, PA: Woodlawn Electronic Publishing.

[17] Jeremiah, D. (2002). Sanctuary: finding moments of refuge in the presence of God (p. 345). Nashville, TN: Integrity Publishers.

[18] Smith, H. W., & Dieter, M. E. (1997). The Christian’s secret of a holy life: the unpublished personal writings of Hannah Whitall Smith. Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[19] Chambers, O. (1986). My utmost for his highest: Selections for the year. Grand Rapids, MI: Oswald Chambers Publications; Marshall Pickering.

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

Let us learn a lesson of humility from our Saviour; let us never court great titles nor proud degrees. —C.H. Spurgeon

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Nov. 25, 2014

BLOOMBERG

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon ordered more National Guard troops to Ferguson as chaos erupted after a grand jury declined to indict a white police officer for the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager. Businesses were looted, police cars burned on the street and a dozen buildings torched. Crowds that had gathered near the Ferguson Police Department scattered as authorities shot canisters of gas.

Forty-five percent say President Obama should issue an executive order if Congress fails to act on the immigration issue—as he did last week—while 48 percent say he should not. Obama announced plans to take action to protect up to 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation provided they meet certain criteria.

New York incurred a record $732 million in legal costs in the last fiscal year, mostly from claims of police abuse, negligence and hiring discrimination, expenses that accelerated under Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Republicans in the U.S. Congress stepped up calls for new Iran sanctions after negotiators extended nuclear talks until July, ensuring an uphill fight next year against opposition from some Democrats and a threatened presidential veto.

South Africa’s economy grew 1.4 percent in the third quarter after platinum mines restarted production following a five-month strike.

So much money is chasing after China’s next round of initial public offerings that the nation’s $4.3 trillion stock market has become hostage to the fundraising plans of companies seeking just $1.3 billion.

The economy in the U.S. expanded at a 3.9 percent annualized rate, more than previously estimated in the third quarter, reflecting bigger gains in consumer spending and business investment and capping the strongest six months of growth in a decade.

Nigeria’s central bank raised its benchmark interest rate 100 basis points, to a record high 13 percent, for the first time in three years and devalued the naira as tumbling oil prices sent the currency to an all-time low.

Home prices in 20 U.S. cities advanced at a slower pace in the 12 months through September as the housing market continued to make gradual progress.

AP Top Stories

OPEC’s biggest crude producer Saudi Arabia will have its sights set on the upstart US shale oil business at a crucial cartel meeting to debate possible output cuts on Thursday.

Britain announced it had signed a contract with US manufacturer Lockheed Martin to buy the first of 14 F-35B combat jets.

Chinese ships returned to territorial waters around islands at the centre of a dispute with Japan on Tuesday, the coastguard said, the first incursion since a Sino-Japanese summit aimed at reducing tensions.

A U.S. judge sentenced a reputed lieutenant of captured Mexican drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman to 22 years in prison on Monday for his role in a $1 billion conspiracy to traffic narcotics to Chicago and other cities.

Antarctica’s ice paradox has yet another puzzling layer. Not only is the amount of sea ice increasing each year, but an underwater robot now shows the ice is also much thicker than was previously thought, a new study reports.

A California man who spent more than 30 years in prison for a 1978 murder walked free on Monday after a judge overturned his conviction based on new DNA analysis and investigative reports that were withheld from his defense.

Apple’s oldest artifacts have become some of the most coveted technological relics in the world, but the company’s two remaining co-founders haven’t reached a consensus on whether or not they’re surprised by the rabid attention surrounding each and every auction that springs up.

A man who broke both legs when he fell into a northwestern New Mexico ravine crawled out onto a highway nearly three days later and was helped by a driver, authorities said.

BBC

A group of seven Yemenis and a US military expert kidnapped by al-Qaeda-linked militants were freed by Yemeni forces.

Two female suicide bombers blew themselves up at a crowded market in the northern Nigerian city of Maiduguri, killing at least 30 people.

The US and Iran said they were confident of reaching a deal over Tehran’s nuclear program after agreeing a seven-month extension to talks.

WND

In a lawsuit settlement with the atheist Freedom from Religion Foundation, the Internal Revenue Service admitted it had monitored churches for allegedly illegal political activity, but the details never were released because the group withdrew its complaint.

President Obama and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) are among GQ magazine’s “30 Least Influential People of 2014.”

Likely 2016 GOP presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul today released his draft of a “declaration of war” resolution against ISIS, expanding his foreign policy efforts. “When Congress comes back into session in December, I will introduce a resolution to declare war against ISIS. I believe the president must come to Congress to begin a war and that Congress has a duty to act. Right now, this war is illegal until Congress acts pursuant to the Constitution and authorizes it.”

Conakry, Guinea: Guinea said on Monday a cooler carrying a stolen blood sample infected with the deadly Ebola virus, stolen en route to a test centre, was unlikely ever to be found.


Daily Digest for Tuesday

November 25, 2014

THE FOUNDATION

“[N]either the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt.” –Samuel Adams, essay in The Public Advertiser, 1749

EDITOR’S NOTE

We lead today with special commentary by Mark Alexander on a grand jury’s decision to forgo charges against Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson.

Ferguson: A Race Bait Case Study

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By Mark Alexander

As anticipated, St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch announced Monday night that the shooting of Michael Brown by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson was justified self defense. “[The grand jury] determined that no probable cause exists to file any charge against officer Wilson, and returned a ‘No True Bill’ on each of the five indictments,” said McCulloch. In fact, Brown’s autopsy determined he was facing Wilson when shot, and one of Brown’s wounds was at close range inside Wilson’s patrol vehicle, the result of Brown’s attempt to reach through the driver’s door window and take the officer’s gun after having assaulted Wilson.

Predictably, Barack Obama and his dependable stable of “race bait” surrogates immediately set about to convert the verdict into political capital. Of course, the 24-hour news recycling talking heads, all vying for advertising market share, provided the race agitators a very big stage, and will continue to do so as long as they can stir up enough protestors.

For his part, Obama claimed the racial anger was “understandable,” but, given that there is no upcoming election, he left the constituent building to his race baiting attorney general, Eric Holder, who ensured the nation that the Justice Department investigation remains open: “While the grand jury proceeding in St. Louis County has concluded, the Justice Department’s investigation into the shooting of Michael Brown remains ongoing.”

Holder is a master race baiter, and, when joined by race hustlers, including Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and legions of lesser useful idiots, they have become very effective at promoting hate crime hoaxes in order to foment discontent and rally black constituents.

Ahead of the 2012 presidential election, Holder and company set the race bait by vowing to “seek justice” after a “white-Hispanic” man, George Zimmerman, shot and killed, in self-defense, a black teenage thug named Trayvon Martin.

Ahead of the 2014 midterm election, Holder promised to “seek justice” in the shooting of another black teenage thug. In both cases, for political expedience, Holder assumed the shooters were guilty until proven innocent. Obama even suggested in an address to the UN that the Ferguson shooting could be seen in the same light as atrocities committed by ISIL cutthroats.

Among the more visible racists in Ferguson immediately after the shooting were the Black Panthers, who coined the chant, “What do we want? — Darren Wilson! — How do we want him? — Dead!”

Missouri Democrat Gov. Jay Nixon, who is fishing for a 2016 veep slot under Hillary Clinton, joined that chant, referring to Brown as an “unarmed teenager” and promising “to achieve justice for Michael Brown,” but omitting any reference that Wilson’s actions might have been justified.

Having worked as a uniformed officer in two states while completing my undergraduate degree, I take great offense at the constant description of Michael Brown as an “unarmed teenager.” No law enforcement officer should ever approach a suspect or assailant, whether in a vehicle or on a street, with the assumption he or she is “unarmed.” I would not be writing these words had I wavered from that precautionary training. The fact that Brown did not possess a weapon is hindsight 20/20, not something Wilson knew at the time of the altercation.

For the record, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, over the last decade there were an average of 58,261 assaults against law enforcement personnel each year, resulting in 15,658 injuries and more than 150 deaths per year.

Now, after three Brown autopsies and copious deliberations, the verdict is in — the shooting was justified. But don’t expect the facts to get in the way of the race bait political agenda.

TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS

Racial Narrative Succeeds in Destroying Ferguson

St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch announced Monday night what the police in riot gear, the activated National Guard and the delayed press conference already said hours before: “[The grand jury] determined that no probable cause exists to file any charge against Officer [Darren] Wilson, and returned a ‘No True Bill’ on each of the five indictments.” The grand jury reviewed three autopsies and heard more than 70 hours of testimony, and in the end they found insufficient evidence for any charge — that’s significant, as a grand jury needs only probable cause, not proof “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Yet “protesters” were prepared to immediately become rioters and loot everything from alcohol to TVs from local businesses and then set fire to those businesses. The Left has sufficiently propagandized the black community so that they see injustice around every corner. Are there injustices? Absolutely. Is the Ferguson Police Department blameless? Absolutely not. But the violent and destructive results of this irresponsibly fomented anger are plastered across our TV screens.

As Ferguson Burns, Obama Calls Anger ‘Understandable’

In his statement following the St. Louis County grand jury announcement that officer Darren Wilson will not be indicted for the death of Michael Brown, Barack Obama accepted the ruling of the grand jury and made calls for peaceful protest and action, even as some television networks showed pictures of an erupting riot in Ferguson. “First and foremost, we are a nation built on the Rule of Law,” Obama said. “And so we need to accept that this decision was the grand jury’s to make. There are Americans who agree with it, and there are Americans who are deeply disappointed, even angry. It’s an understandable reaction.” Obama continued, saying Ferguson highlighted the problems in race relations and policing strategies: “So, to those in Ferguson, there are ways of channeling your concerns constructively and there are ways of channeling your concerns destructively.” As Martin Luther King once said, rioting and violence are used by people who feel they have no other ways to redress their grievances: “A riot is the language of the unheard.” Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have fomented racial grievances all along, both in Ferguson and in the case of Trayvon Martin. To call for calm now is a bit disingenuous.

Holder Says It’s Not Over

While the streets of Ferguson erupted into fiery violence last night, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the grand jury’s decision not to indict officer Darren Wilson is not the end of the legal circus surrounding the shooting. In September, the Department of Justice opened two investigations, one into possible civil rights violations in the Ferguson Police Department, and another into Wilson himself. “While the grand jury proceeding in St. Louis County has concluded, the Justice Department’s investigation into the shooting of Michael Brown remains ongoing,” Holder said in a statement. “Though we have shared information with local prosecutors during the course of our investigation, the federal inquiry has been independent of the local one from the start, and remains so now. Even at this mature stage of the investigation, we have avoided prejudging any of the evidence. And although federal civil rights law imposes a high legal bar in these types of cases, we have resisted forming premature conclusions.” Is this Holder’s way of “having a conversation” on race? He has inserted the federal government into the situation, keeping anger high by implying justice has not yet been served. More…

Failure to Launch: No Nuke Deal With Iran

As the weekend progressed, it became clear that any chance of reaching a nuclear deal with Iran — what little chance there was, anyway — was next to zero as the Monday deadline neared. Yesterday officials confirmed that negotiators failed to come to an agreement, which means essentially nothing changes. Iran will continue masquerading its uranium enrichment program with promises of cloture and the can is once again kicked further drown the road. According to The Washington Free Beacon, “The parties now claim that last-minute progress in the talks warrant an extension into December — and likely thorough July 2015 — though the sides have yet to decide upon a location for continued negotiations, according to a Western source cited by the Associated Press.” Right — “last-minute progress.” The only nation making progress is Iran, whose charade ensures that it gets ever closer to the goal of attaining a nuclear warhead. Real progress looks unattainable as long as the Obama administration is calling the shots. The question is, can Israel survive two more years of obfuscation? More…

Executive Power for Me but Not for Thee

In a sit-down interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, Barack Obama explained that his abuse of executive power should not be exploited by his successors in the Oval Office. The emperor was asked, “How do you respond to the argument, a future president comes in, wants lower taxes. Doesn’t happen. Congress won’t do it — he says I’m not going to prosecute those who don’t pay capital gains tax?” Naturally, the president circumvented the question the first time around by defending his amnesty diktat, prompting Stephanopoulos to inquire once again, “So you don’t think it’d be legitimate for a future president to make that argument?” Responded Obama: “With respect to taxes? Absolutely not.” If only Democrats could follow their own advice. To be fair, he was asked about unilaterally lowering taxes, not raising them. He might have a different answer to the latter.

RIGHT ANALYSIS

Benghazi Report Leaves Some Questions Unanswered

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The bodies of four Americans

After two years and two elections, yet another House report on the incidents and decisions surrounding the attack on our compound in Benghazi, Libya, excuses the Obama administration from answering allegations of covering up the incident to avoid embarrassment less than two months before Barack Obama’s prospective re-election.

The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence released its report on the 2012 attack Nov. 21 and found that the intelligence community did nothing wrong when responding to the terrorist attack that left Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans dead by al-Qaida hands. In a joint statement, committee Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) and Ranking Member Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) said, “Based on the testimony and the documents we reviewed, we concluded that all the CIA officers in Benghazi were heroes. Their actions saved lives.”

But the report doesn’t answer how the Obama administration covered up the attack for political gains, and the Leftmedia was all too eager to report that the Benghazi report was a non-story. For example, CBS News gleefully reported, “[T]he two-year investigation of the politically charged incident determined that there was no intelligence failure, no delay in sending a CIA rescue team, no missed opportunity for a military rescue, and no evidence the CIA was covertly shipping arms from Libya to Syria.” So Obama is in the clear, right?

Not so fast. We still don’t have all the answers. The report states, “[T]he Administration’s initial public narrative on the causes and motivations for the attacks were not fully accurate.” Remember, the administration blamed a YouTube video for the “demonstration” that turned violent. Problem is, those who knew the score — such as the deputy CIA director — didn’t seem willing to tell the unvarnished truth as they changed talking points to better suit a narrative.

As political commentator Mollie Hemingway notes, “[M]aybe when you’re, I don’t know, trying to ‘underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy’ because you’re focusing on campaigning more than truth-telling, you end up underscoring something that isn’t true.”

But this report makes some new facts public. It reveals a drone strike that killed Abu Yahya al-Libi, a top al-Qaida operative who perished in Pakistan earlier on Sept. 11, 2012, could have been to blame, as various groups aligned with al-Qaida carried out the attack on the Benghazi compound. We also learned that one purpose of the CIA presence in Benghazi was to try and keep tabs on weapons moving from Libya to Syria — a Predator drone that arrived on-scene after the attack began was diverted from a mission in Derna, a coastal city thought to be a transfer point for weapons.

And while the report finds the CIA “could have placed more weight on eyewitness sources on the ground and should have challenged its initial assessments” about the incident, the House Committee “found no evidence of an intelligence failure” based in part on an “internal CIA analytic review.” As if the agency isn’t in full CYA mode.

Yet at the time we were spoon-fed the narrative about the video. While the evidence mounted that the protest was really a coordinated al-Qaida attack, the media became less and less curious as to how the group that was supposedly “decimated” by the death of Osama bin Laden had the resources to carry out such an operation. But, to borrow a line screeched by Hillary Clinton, what difference, at this point, does it make? Four good men are dead, the president who failed to act more decisively in the matter and then lied about it was re-elected, and the secretary of state who stood idly by aims to succeed him.

Something else that died in the Benghazi aftermath was any notion the Leftmedia doesn’t simply serve as a cheerleader for the statist team in charge. The media that once hounded a president out of office for a criminal cover-up that was heinous but not fatal now can’t be bothered with rooting out the real story in this case. If a Benghazi-style attack had happened in September 2004, Bob Shrum would have been right because that would have been the lead story all the way to November. But journalism passed away about the time the keys to the White House were handed to Barack Obama, and we’re all the worse off for it.

However, the investigation into the Benghazi scandal is not over. The Select Committee on Benghazi, led by Trey Gowdy (R-SC), continues its investigation into the attack. Maybe it can cut through the political fog to find the political motivation for why the Obama administration lied to the American people and dishonored the death of four Americans in Libya.

Hagel Was the Wrong Guy for the Job

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Chuck Hagel’s resignation, well, ouster, as secretary of defense is nothing if not a clear repudiation of the defense policy of his soon-to-be former boss, Barack Obama. When Obama chose Hagel two years ago, he did so because he was looking for someone who would implement a two-pronged strategy of shrinking America’s military while simultaneously disengaging it from world affairs. Not exactly a task for someone genuinely concerned about the threats this country faced. But Hagel was not a genuinely concerned kind of guy.

Hagel, technically a Republican while he was in the Senate, was a loud voice against the Iraq war who aligned himself with then-Senators John Kerry and Barack Obama in claiming the war against Jihadistan was not worth fighting. Without rehashing that old debate, it’s safe to say this stance was based on a wrong-headed view of the world. Hagel did not believe that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, that Saddam Hussein was supporting international terrorists, or that losing Iraq to sectarian and terrorist strife would be disastrous to our Middle Eastern policy. All of these views have come to be disproved in grand style.

Obama chose Hagel, who was not known for possessing keen leadership skills, because Hagel fit his mindset. Hagel was reportedly often silent at meetings, not offering any constructive opinions. He functioned mostly as a conduit for Obama’s wishes. He never balked at the social engineering Obama wanted to inject into the military, nor did he put up much protest when it came to drawing down American forces to dangerously low levels. Hagel defended the latter policy by citing concerns related to budgets over those related to growing threats on numerous strategic fronts around the world.

But Hagel never quite fit in with Team Obama. The Chicago mob surrounding the president in the White House and the left-wing intelligentsia didn’t trust the man, who they viewed as a Republican latecomer to the party.

It was only in recent weeks that Hagel seemed to get his head on straight. He started opposing Obama’s security strategies. White House officials claim he attempted to stall the closing of the prison at Guantanamo Bay because of his concerns about the security risks posed by releasing detainees. He also butted heads with National Security Adviser Susan Rice over policy on Syria, claiming it was in danger of coming apart because there were no clear objectives laid out.

And while Obama wished to slowly chip away at ISIL with little U.S. involvement, Hagel saw a much more serious threat. “ISIL is as sophisticated and well-funded as any group we have seen,” Hagel said in August. “They are beyond just a terrorist group. … I think the evidence is pretty clear. Yes they are an imminent threat to every interest we have whether in Iraq or anywhere else.”

It would figure in the Obama White House that, as soon as Hagel showed signs of coming to his senses, his days were numbered. It also figures that after a bruising midterm repudiation of his presidency, Obama would fire the only Republican in his cabinet. It’s certainly true the administration is in need of a foreign-policy team shakeup, but ousting Kerry, Rice or any of the other members of the team was never going to be an option.

Hagel was never a good choice for the position of secretary of defense. His level of competence was far below that required to fulfill the duties of his post, and his worldview remained skewed by a prejudice that America’s challenges were forged solely by America’s involvement in foreign affairs. Yet his failure in the position was not his alone.

Hagel was tasked with executing a series of bad decisions that only further compounded America’s problems overseas — pulling out of Afghanistan, cutting troop strength, cutting procurement orders and implementing social policies that have no business in the military. The list is long and infuriating. In short, Hagel failed in large part because he was in a no-win situation.

Potential replacements include Michele Flournoy, a former undersecretary under Leon Panetta who embraces the small military model, and Ashton Carter, an academic considered to be an expert on budgets and weapons in the Pentagon. The primary element of success for a secretary of defense is serving a president who has an obvious dedication to America’s national security and a clear understanding of world affairs. We’re not going to see that for at least a couple of years.

TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS

OPINION IN BRIEF

British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (1925-2013): “We want a society in which we are free to make choices, to make mistakes, to be generous and compassionate. That is what we mean by a moral society — not a society in which the State is responsible for everything, and no one is responsible for the State.”

Columnist Dennis Prager: “If the truth here accords with what … police officer [Darren Wilson] said, he did not commit an immoral act when he shot Michael Brown. On the other hand, if he shot the young man for no good reason, he committed an immoral act. But according to the it’s-all-a-matter-of-perceptions view, there is no moral truth, only black perceptions and white perceptions. This all accords with the left’s views of truth and morality. Neither exists. Visit any university to confirm this. … Morality is entirely subjective. ‘Good’ and ‘evil’ are individual or societal preferences. No more, no less. Like truth, morality is just a perception, one determined by an individual’s race, gender, and/or class. That is why, for the left, no man can judge any abortion, no matter how late in pregnancy and no matter the reason — because men do not possess a uterus.”

Columnist Thomas Sowell: “Jonathan Gruber’s several videotaped remarks about the gross deceptions that got ObamaCare passed in Congress should tell us a lot about the Obama administration. And the way that the mainstream media hesitated for days to even mention what Professor Gruber said, while they obsessed over unsubstantiated charges against Bill Cosby, should tell us a lot about the media. Whatever did or did not happen between Bill Cosby and various women is not likely to affect the lives of 300 million Americans. But ObamaCare does. … Whether the issue is ObamaCare, amnesty for illegal immigrants or ‘global warming,’ when you hear that ‘all the experts agree,’ that may mean nothing more than that the fix is in. And ‘all’ may mean considerably less than 100 percent — or even 50 percent. … Jonathan Gruber’s notion that the people are ‘stupid’ is not fundamentally different from what Barack Obama said to his fellow elite leftists in San Francisco, when he derided ordinary Americans as petty people who want to cling to their guns and their religion. We need to see through such arrogant elitists if we want to cling to our freedom.”

Humorist Frank J. Fleming: “What I’m hearing is that a lot of black people are feeling powerless today … except for one who is bypassing Congress with executive actions.”

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!

Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.

“The Patriot Post (www.patriotpost.us/subscribe/ )”


(Pardon one objectional word)

November 24, 2014
WES VERNON, RA ANALYST — Michael Savage is not the only writer to conclude this nation is more divided now that at any time since the Civil War. However, the author/radio talk-show host has explored in-depth America’s step-by-step removal from the ideal of “one nation, indivisible.”… (more)

November 24, 2014
Amnesty move ‘lends the force of law to a de facto invasion’
ALAN KEYES — Barack Obama says that he is president of the United States, not an emperor. Anxious to prove that Obama is a sociopathic liar (a point plainly in evidence in the wake of Jonathan Gruber’s arrogantly frank revelations about the Obama faction’s preparation of the Obamacare legislation), Rush Limbaugh counters that Obama lies. He is an emperor… (more)

November 24, 2014
MAUREEN SCOTT — So Obama’s plan is to grant amnesty to four or five million (a one million difference, mind you…not a number to sneeze at!) illegal aliens who come forth from the shadows, to register and get a Green Card, and become legal immigrants in the U.S. The Liberals’ hearts are warmed. But have any of them, including Obama and his cohorts in the federal government, really thought about how this is going to be an amount that can be certified as correct?… (more)

November 24, 2014
CLIFF KINCAID — As “Dumb and Dumber To” hits theaters, Newsmax has headlined an interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd: “Six Years Later, We Still Don’t Know Obama.” He’s hawking his book about Obama titled The Stranger. In effect, Todd, host of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” is saying he can’t figure Obama out. He’s pleading ignorance… (more)

November 23, 2014
WASHINGTON TIMES — Upon landing in Las Vegas Friday afternoon, President Obama officially signed two memoranda to carry out his executive actions granting legal status and work permits to nearly 5 million illegal immigrants…. (more)

November 23, 2014
ANDREW C. MCCARTHY — President Obama is an Alinskyite.​ That assertion is not an epithet – – well, not primarily. True, I would not describe someone I admired as an “Alinskyite.” Saul Alinsky was a loathsome figure – – a radical statist who whose toxic brew of thoroughgoing deceit and brass-knuckles extortion (“direct action”) has become a part of mainstream politics. But in tying the president to the seminal community organizer whose theories and tactics so influenced him, my purpose is more to decode than to insult him…. (more)

November 23, 2014
MONICA CROWLEY — “Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.” – – Sir Walter Scott. Last week, we saw the key intellectual and practical architect of Obamacare, MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, reminding us on tape that the entire Obamacare house of cards was built on deliberate lies…. (more)

November 23, 2014
JERUSALEM POST — Historic negotiations with Iran will reach an inflection point on Monday, as world powers seek to clinch a comprehensive deal that will, to their satisfaction, end concerns over the nature of its vast, decade-old nuclear program…. (more)

November 23, 2014
NEWSMAX — The United States can never defeat the Islamic State and other terrorist groups until President Barack Obama realizes “that war has been declared against us,” author Phyllis Chesler said on Saturday…. (more)

November 23, 2014
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — The Obama administration on Saturday announced that a Saudi detainee who was an admitted al Qaeda member and helped plan the assassination of Afghan warlord Ahmad Shah Massoud would be sent home from the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba…. (more)

November 23, 2014
REUTERS — Two men suspected of buying explosives they planned to detonate during protests in Ferguson, Missouri, once a grand jury decides the Michael Brown case, were arrested on Friday and charged with federal firearms offenses, a law enforcement official told Reuters…. (more)

November 22, 2014
NEWSMAX — Republican leaders have a dirty little secret – – they’re actually delighted President Barack Obama used his executive powers to help millions of illegal immigrants, former Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado says…. (more)


November 22, 2014
CHARLES HURT — In his immigration lecture Thursday night, President Obama revealed himself as a man politically broken, isolated from any sense of normal reality and completely unspooled from logic. The man who once unified this country with elegant, daring and powerful speeches was ashen, confused and doddering…. (more)

November 22, 2014
DICK MORRIS — President Obama’s decision to grant amnesty to between 4 and 5 million people is really part of an ongoing cyclical process of immigration-amnesty-more immigration. He intends this amnesty to provoke a new wave of illegal entry into the United States, creating a new pool of illegal immigrants awaiting their own amnesty…. (more)

November 22, 2014
NEWSIOSITY — President Obama should be impeached for taking executive action on immigration, Sarah Palin declared Thursday. In a video message, the former Alaska governor and vice-presidential candidate declared that the president is “betraying our trust” by going “against the wishes of the American people,” Breitbart reported…. (more)

November 22, 2014
WORLDNETDAILY — Some analysts believed President Obama waited until after the midterm elections to announce his unilateral immigration-reform package to give Democrats a better chance to keep control of the Senate…. (more)

November 22, 2014
NEWSMAX — Controversial Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber has been called to testify about “repeated transparency failures and outright deceptions surrounding Obamacare,” the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee announced Friday…. (more)


November 22, 2014
NEWSMAX — Five months after the Internal Revenue Service deemed that emails sent by former official Lois Lerner had been lost forever, the Treasury Department’s inspector general told Congress on Friday that as many as 30,000 might have been found – – and conservatives were outraged…. (more)

November 21, 2014
NEWSMAX — President Barack Obama said he’ll defer deportations and open the chance of better jobs for about 5 million undocumented immigrants, ending months of build-up and initiating a showdown with congressional Republicans…. (more)


November 21, 2014
SEN. JEFF SESSIONS — Americans defeated President Obama’s disastrous amnesty plans both in Congressand at the voting booth. Tonight, President Obama defied an entire nation and declared that he will impose his rejected amnesty through the brute force of executive order…. (more)

November 21, 2014
MARK KRIKORIAN — Obama’s speech announcing his immigration diktat was the usual pabulum: “our immigration system is broken,” can’t let illegals “remain in the shadows,” “commonsense middle-ground approach,” blah, blah, blah. ​If I didn’t have to go on TV right afterwards, I would have played a drinking game…. (more)

November 21, 2014
ANDREW C. MCCARTHY — Can the president make fraud and theft legal? How about assault? Cocaine use? Perjury? You’d have to conclude he can – – and that we have supplanted the Constitution with a monarchy – – if you buy President Obama’s warped notion of prosecutorial discretion…. (more)

November 21, 2014
WASHINGTON TIMES — The Pentagon is under fire for making a ransom payment to an Afghan earlier this year as part of a failed bid to win the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, according to U.S. officials…. (more)

November 21, 2014
WASHINGTON TIMES — Even before the 2016 presidential campaign truly begins, division lines between Jeb Bush and his potential foes in the Republican primary already have been drawn. The former Florida governor signaled in a Washington speech Thursday that he is prepared to fight the base in his own party over the increasingly unpopular Common Core education standards, arguing that they are vital to improving the quality of education and, by extension, improving children’s chances to succeed in today’s economy…. (more)

November 20, 2014
STEFANI WILLIAMS — This month marks the 50th anniversary of President Ronald Reagan’s pivotal speech “A Time for Choosing” – – the speech that propelled Reagan onto the national political stage in 1964, and which in many ways articulated the definitive substance of conservatism: protection of unalienable rights, limited government, a strong national defense, individual responsibility, personal morality, and adherence to the U.S. Constitution… (more)

Top Healthy Foods for Kids

Little girl with a bowl of vegetablesETH Health and WellnessTeaching kids the importance of eating healthy foods now can set them on the right course for life, but if you’re not a health guru, educating your kids can be a challenge. That’s why we asked health and nutrition experts to weigh in on the 10 healthiest foods your kids need to be eating now. Discover their top picks, plus helpful shopping tips and advice. When writing your grocery list, keep these important tips in mind:

Focus on fresh. According to Dr. Timothy Harlan (also known as “Dr. Gourmet”), medical director of the Tulane University School of Medicine, the freshness of the foods you prepare for your kids is key. “If the food has been processed, it’s likely not very good for your kids,” he said. “Make your own macaroni and cheese — don’t get it out of a box. Don’t get fruit roll-ups — instead, buy fresh or dried fruit.”

Kids need fiber. According to Ashley Koff, RD, celebrity nutritionist and featured nutrition expert on the CW’s upcoming “Shedding for the Wedding,” fiber is a vital nutrient for your little one’s diet. “They need fiber — the real stuff — not the synthetic stuff added to junk cereals, so that would mean an apple, ground flaxseeds, fruits and vegetables,” she said.

Now that you know what to look for on your next shopping trip, read on to discover the 10 healthiest foods your kids need to be eating. Read More


ISIS’ Global Network Expands: At Least 12 Military Allies in 9 Countries Beyond Iraq, Syria

isis-supporters-in-libyaThe Islamic State terrorist organization now has at least 12 known military allies, operating in nine countries outside of Iraq and Syria, that have publicly pledged their allegiances to the caliphate of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

As Islamic State leadership continues to call on extremists worldwide to wreak havoc on the West, NYMag.com’s Daily Intelligencer reports that the Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium (TRAC) has identified 12 international militia organizations that are now affiliating their efforts with the Islamic State’s jihad and could help expand the group’s caliphate.

Militia allies in Pakistan, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Indonesia, Lebanon, Philippines, Jordan and Gaza/Israel have all announced some sort of cooperation with the Islamic State and al-Baghdadi. Many of these organizations were recently affiliated with Al Qaeda and have since switched to ISIS allegiances over the summer and into the fall.

In the latest edition of ISIS’ English language online magazine, Dabiq, the group details its plans for its expansion into North Africa and the Arabian Peninsuala.

“On the 17th of Muharram 1436 (Muslim year), the world heard announcements from the mujāhidīn of the Arabian Peninsula, Yemen, Sinai, Libya, and Algeria, pronouncing their [allegiances] to the Khalīfah of the Muslims, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi,” the Dabiq article states. “All of them announced uniformly: We call the Muslims everywhere to give bay’ah to the Khalīfah and support him, in obedience to Allah and actualization of the unheeded obligation of the era.” Read More


Are the Biblical End Times Upon Us? New Research Reveals Where Americans Stand on Natural Disasters and the Apocalypse

A majority of Americans believe (62 percent) that climate change is causing natural disasters, but a substantial proportion of the nation also thinks that these calamities are the result of the “end times” (49 percent) as recounted in the Bible, according to the Public Religion Research Institute. The research firm — which published the findings in its new report — “Believers, Sympathizers & Skeptics,” noted in its analysis that this end times proportion is up five percentage points from 2011, when just 44 percent agreed that natural disasters are evidence of the apocalypse. The percentage was highest in the latest wave of research among white evangelicals (77 percent), who favored the “end times” over climate change (49 percent) when it came to assessing causal factors for recent events. Read More


7 Disturbing Realities About Teen ‘Sexting’ Trend

You’re sitting in the Publix parking lot at dusk and notice the unsupervised 12-year-old riveted to his iPhone with his wide-eyed friend looking on. Walking through the mall you see three teen girls seemingly oblivious to surroundings as they stroll together each focused on their phones. Munching their curly fries at Arby’s, each one of five youths are simultaneously engaged with their phones. Stopping at the intersection you glance over and observe a pre-teen in the back seat basking in the glow of her phone. Read More


Intercessors Win Major Prayer Battle in Colorado Supreme Court

The Colorado Supreme Court on Monday upheld the right of Colorado Governors to issue proclamations calling for state days of prayer, upholding an earlier ruling by the Colorado District Court, and overturning a subsequent ruling by the Colorado Court of Appeals. This case began in 2008 against former Governor Bill Ritter by a small group of atheists headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin. Judge Mullins of the District Court in Denver, Colorado, originally dismissed the case on Oct. 28, 2010, declaring “[T]here is nothing controversial about a restatement of a right protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. … The proclamation [does] not have the force and effect of law, and even if [it] did, the language does not support the foundation for a state religion, but only an acknowledgment of the rights of the citizenry as recognized as far back as the Declaration of Independence.” Read More


Water wars begin in California as thieves tap fire hydrants

Western states have been suffering through one of the country’s worst droughts on record, but conditions have been particularly dreadful in the state of California, with its massive population and heavy agricultural production. In fact, drought conditions have gotten so bad that theft of water is now becoming more and more common. As reported by CBS San Francisco, some of the worst theft is occurring in Clayton, California, in Contra Costa County, “a city that remains true to its western roots.” Read More


St. Luke’s hospital invests in organic farm to provide health-promoting food to patients

Serving mystery meat, French fries, sugar drinks and Jell-O on a tray is no standard of care, especially for a hospital, which should be leading the way — boosting patients’ ability to heal with the most nutrient-dense foods. Sadly, hospitals have evolved into conveyor belts over time, serving processed foods en masse, foods that must ache from their lack of nutrition. The ache and the void are passed to the patient, limiting their ability to recover and heal. Read More


German bank begins charging customers negative interest as economic collapse approaches

In a sane world, developed countries consider financial debt to be a bad thing, especially when it comes to consumer debt, because overwhelming consumer debt is bad when governments are trying to grow their economies. Growing economies solve a lot of problems for government officials and elected leaders — growing economies provide governments with funding so the government can do the things that its citizens expect it to do: defend them, provide basic infrastructure and perform other services endemic to a modern society. Read More


California’s dry, overpopulated situation resembles the collapse of the Assyrian Empire

Researchers are pointing to overpopulation and drought — two issues which are very familiar in today’s world, especially in California — as the reasons for the collapse of the Assyrian Empire, which used to be a flourishing hub in the 7th century BC. The fall of the powerful empire left many people, even to this day, asking what could have led to its demise. Now, experts are saying that the same issues that are currently plaguing California and many other parts of the world are the very same ones that likely led to the collapse of the once-thriving Assyrian Empire. Read More


Protesters threaten to boycott black Friday, Hit America where it hurts

Momentum is building on social media to boycott the Black Friday sales in order to hit corporate America “where it hurts” over the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown. The Justice for Michael Brown Leadership Coalition is organising the ‘No Justice, No Profit’ boycott campaign on Thanksgiving Day (27 November), through to Sunday. Black Friday is traditionally the day that kicks off the Christmas buying period with retailers across America offering big discounts to jump-start the busiest shopping days of the year. Dacia Polk, of the New Black Panther Party, said the coalition wants the whole of St Louis to participate in the boycott this weekend. Read More


Headlines of Interest

TBN faces rape claim in court

Evangelicals Who Promote the Mystical Power of Communion

The Rob Bell Show to Premiere on Oprah Network on 12/21

Half of Americans, Majority of White Evangelicals Believe Natural Disasters Due to ‘End Times’ Not Climate Change


Christians Urged to Defend the Duggars

Unfortunately for the Duggar Family, not everyone is smitten with their lifestyle. In August a petition was launched demanding TLC take the Duggars off the air. At the moment, the document has garnered about 120,000 signatures. In response to this attack, conservative leaders are urging Duggar fans to step forward and defend the family. According to CharismaNews, support is be led by a number of conservative religious figures.

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Rewriting America’s Thanksgiving History to Remove God Is a Tragic Deception

As Americans mark Thanksgiving this week, one thing noticeably absent from public discourse is our nation’s first Thanksgiving celebration—and the One to Whom those early American settlers gave thanks. Instead, talk of “Pilgrims” is taboo, and talk of giving thanks to God even more so.

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Banking culture breeds dishonesty, scientific study finds

Researchers in Switzerland studied bank workers and other professionals in experiments in which they won more money if they cheated, and found that bankers were more dishonest when they were made particularly aware of their professional role.

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We Have a Moral Divide, Not a Racial One

It is, we are told over and over, all about “perceptions” — a “black-white divide” in the way each race perceives racial matters. This is how it works:

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When Do You Leave a Church?

“It seems in our self-intoxicated, consumer-driven evangelical culture, what is often referred to as “church hopping” seems to have reached a virtual epidemic. There are a number of reasons for this reality with biblical illiteracy, a loss of a robust ecclesiology, a distaste for authority, the disappearance of church discipline and the decay of meaningful church membership ranking high among them.”

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The Transformation Of The Homosexual: What Change Looks Like

“Change for those struggling with same-sex attraction occurs on the level of: 1. behavior, 2. belief, 3. identity, and 4. desire. It may also involve deliverance from demonic strongholds and family-line curses, the unmasking of hidden roots of idolatry, fear, unbelief, unforgiveness, the renouncing of ungodly judgments and vows, the healing of emotional wounds, as well as the impartation of missing developmental pieces, such as affirmation and love.”

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How To Distinguish The Holy Spirit From The Serpent

“How, then, does the Spirit act on the believer? The Spirit comes to us as an earnest, a pledge, a down payment on final redemption. He is here and now the foretaste of future glory. But His presence is also an indication of the incompleteness of our present spiritual experience.”

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CultureWatch: Tremendous News For Muslims

by Bill Muehlenberg

We all know about the Islamic State and its reign of terror, and of how all over the world people are being killed, tortured and enslaved in the name of the political ideology of Islam. And with creeping sharia also in the West, we are under no illusions that we most certainly are in a very real war.

But behind all this is of course a spiritual war, and there are some other very important things that we need to be aware of. Indeed, there is some tremendous news here. God of course loves Muslims, and is seeking to draw them to himself. And incredibly, many, many Muslims are coming to Christ – in record numbers.

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Truth2Freedom Blog Disclaimer: The blog post headline links in this blog post are given so as to keep people informed about current events and discussions taking place within our church and culture. A headline link on this blog post doesn’t necessarily mean that there is agreement or approval with all the views and opinions expressed within the headline linked article. Caution is also warranted with regards to the advertisements and links that are embedded within the headline linked article.

Originally posted on Theologue:

Thanksgiving-ps107

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In this video, J. Warner Wallace teaches high school and college students at Summit Worldview Conference in Manitou Springs, CO. What is the nature of truth? What is the difference between objective and subjective truth and why does it matter? J. Warner talks about three lies related to truth and offers a proper definition of truth for his students. For more information about Summit Worldview Conference and their fantastic two week programs, please visit: http://www.summit.org/

To see more Cold Case Christianity Training Videos with J. Warner Wallace, visit the YouTube playlist.

Source

Originally posted on Wintery Knight:

Walter Williams

Walter Williams

A recent editorial by George Mason University professor of economics Walter Williams.

Excerpt:

Each year, roughly 7,000 blacks are murdered. Ninety-four percent of the time, the murderer is another black person.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, between 1976 and 2011, there were 279,384 black murder victims. Using the 94-percent figure means that 262,621 were murdered by other blacks.

Though blacks are 13 percent of the nation’s population, they account for more than 50 percent of homicide victims. Nationally, the black homicide victimization rate is six times that of whites, and in some cities, it’s 22 times that of whites.

Coupled with being most of the nation’s homicide victims, blacks are most of the victims of violent personal crimes, such as assault and robbery.

The magnitude of this tragic mayhem can be viewed in another light. According to a Tuskegee Institute study, between 1882 and 1968…

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Originally posted on Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog:

TheThirdTarget

>> I will be speaking at Cross Church in Northwest Arkansas on Sunday, Nov. 30th. Topic: “What Does The Future Hold? America, Israel & The Church In Light of Bible Prophecy.” Click here for more details, and please join us.

The war on ISIS continues, but few analysts see the West prevailing with the current strategy.

Now, President Obama has asked for his Defense Secretary’s resignationas his team and strategy appears to be floundering.

Here’s the latest:

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Originally posted on hipandthigh:

Helping My Reformed Covenant Bros. Move Beyond the 1950s

I recently watched a spirited exchange take place among a group Reformed covenant folks on Facebook in response to a quackish, hamfisted, anti-Calvinist documentary that accuses the Reformation of Antisemitism. For the record, I agree with the Reformed folks over and against the documentary.

At any rate, during the course of that exchange, those of the Dispensational persuasion, like myself, were accused of denying the Gospel, being idolaters, following a false prophet (J.N. Darby), being in a cult akin to Mormonism, and denying the Scriptures.  I didn’t see all the comments, but I imagine Dispensationalists were also accused of shotgun blasting baby ducks in a pond and punching babies.

A lot of that rhetoric comes from former Dispensationalists; Reformed covenant converts who write vigorously against their Dispensationlist past. Honestly, I doubt any of them seriously adhered to Dispensationalism. They were merely exposed…

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Each year in November, the President of the United States issues a proclamation to announce National Adoption Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness of the need for adoptive families and to encourage citizens to become involved in the lives of children and youth in foster care. Here are nine things you should know about adoption in America:

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Originally posted on :

Michael Gerson, an op-ed columnist for the Washington Post and former speech-writer for President George W Bush is credited with coining the phrase, “The soft bigotry of low expectations.” Gerson, who also is a member of the “evangelical intelligentsia” – an elitist group of evangelical Christians who excel in various fields of academia – designed the phrase to articulate a widely-understood but rarely asserted reality; racism is not always overt, but rather is often displayed in a politically-correct, yet patronizing acceptance of bad behavior or lowered standards.

As Ferguson erupts in riotous violence, America’s leading evangelicals – like Southern Baptists Russell Moore and Ed Stetzer – are falling over themselves to prove who is the most thoughtful, compassionate, and sympathetic to the racial tension and tragedy that the community has come to typify. In their race to win the racial sensitivity award, what they’re demonstrating is the soft bigotry of…

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by Matt Slick

To be saved means to be delivered from the righteous judgment of God. So when someone asks “How can I be saved?” the person is asking how to have his/her sins forgiven, to not go to hell, and to go to heaven. Furthermore, it means the person recognizes that he/her has sinned against God by breaking his commandments (1 John 3:4) and that he is not pure, not right with God.

This same question is asked in Scripture and the answer is provided.

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Originally posted on Biblical Spirituality:

Noah’s ark is a type of Christ. It points us to some of the truths about the person and work of Jesus. How then is Noah’s ark a type of Christ?ark-of-jesus

1. Just as the ark was graciously provided by God for sinners, so is salvation in Christ graciously provided by God for sinners (Gen. 6:13-14).

Noah by nature deserved to be destroyed because of his sin against God. “But Noah found favor [or grace] in the eyes of the Lord” (Gen. 6:8). God graciously provided him and his family the ark—a means through which they could escape from the flood of God’s judgment against sin. Likewise, in our natural condition we deserved to perish in hell, but God graciously provided us a savior in the person of His Son through whom we can escape from the fire of God’s wrath in hell. Noah and his family did not deserve…

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Pastors sometimes say stupid things. Sometimes those stupid things are catchy and wind up being repeated by many other pastors. One of the more preposterous pithy statements I have heard many preachers say is, “Sheep are dumb.” They say this as shepherds and are referring to the sheep of the church—the congregation. The idea is that sheep are dumb, and must be led well. We shouldn’t be surprised when they do stupid things.

My problem with this statement is that it disrespects people made in God’s image and redeemed by God’s Son. It is a mocking of the church and an exaltation of self. The church isn’t stupid. Sinful, yes. Stupid, no. Speaking of the church in this way will get a chuckle from some leaders (who aren’t already bored by the worn-out expression), but will create distance between leadership and those pastors are called to lead.

The sheep are not dumb. In fact, we would do much better if we thought of the sheep in the way in which the Puritan, Thomas Watson, described them in his sermon, “The Good Shepherd.”

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18 women and counting.

He has not been charged with a crime. Due to the length of time that has passed since the alleged incidents took place, it is unlikely he will ever be charged with a crime. Ultimately, without independent, eye-witness accounts, the only people who know what really happened in each incident are Bill Cosby and the women with him at those times. In the eyes of the law, he is innocent until proven guilty. In the eyes of reasonable observers, he’s as guilty as the day is long.

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Originally posted on THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM:

Introduction

For those of us that are involved in the apologetic endeavor, we are always trying to come up with new strategies for how to get apologetics into the local congregation. We all know it can be a challenge to get our local pastors and ministry leaders to see the urgency for apologetic training. I am convinced that the leadership of the local congregation sets the tone for the people. So I would like to list some of the hindrances and obstacles that we face in attempting to implement apologetics into the local congregations:

Doubt

It is important to remember that asking questions about what you believe is not necessarily the same thing as doubt. For example, when I was a new Christian, I had all kinds of questions. And I still have questions to this day. Asking questions is a part of spiritual growth.

Let’s look at a more…

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For today’s post, I must give a hat tip to Dan Phillips over at the Pyromaniacs blog for making me aware of Doug Wilson excellent post examining some recent writings by Greg Boyd. If you remember, Boyd is known for embracing what is called “Open Theism,” which is basically a denial of God’s omniscience.

 

Play

Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 8.42.13 AMFour years ago we began covering the Emergent Church movement. And then back in 2011, several popular pastors made an  astounding statement on their blogs: The emergent church movement is over. Dead.  If the Emergent Movement is “so yesterday,” why are more and more churches climbing on board the neo-emergent bus?  Why are youth-targeted conferences leading many of our youth right into emergent philosophy?

As we’ve seen, the emergent movement is very much alive; it’s just morphed into a new, or “neo-Emergent conversation, and it’s now solidified into an organized system.

We’re covering an article from The Christian Post today titled, Thinking the “Emergent Church” was ineffective? Think again. Plus we’re including many research links – both are here.

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For all the bluster of atheists, and the rush towards secularization that we see swirling around us, most Americans are reluctant to give up belief in the afterlife and in the eternal destinations of heaven and hell.

In the survey, The State of Theology, Americans were asked if heaven and hell were real places. For the full survey results, see TheStateOfTheology.com. In this survey, two-thirds of Americans said yes to heaven. A little less, 61%, said yes to hell. But, here’s something interesting. Only slightly over half of those polled think that God shows His wrath. Only 6 out of 10 believe that Christ will return to judge all people who have lived. The survey says there may be a hell but leaves you wondering who will be there?

In this survey, two-thirds of Americans think most people are by nature good and almost half are reluctant to see God showing His wrath.

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Acts 4

Code: B141124

by John MacArthur

The endgame for most persecutors is silence. Whether they attempt to silence you through intimidation, violence, or death, the point is to stamp out your message and your influence.

In recent months we’ve seen that scenario play out repeatedly in the Middle East. Among the thousands targeted, many believers in that part of the world have been driven from their homes. Others have nobly accepted martyrdom, refusing to reject Christ and pledge allegiance to Islam. In the end, their persecutors seek to cut off the influence of God’s Word and His people in that region.

The members of the Sanhedrin had the same goal in the fourth chapter of Acts. Faced with Peter’s bold proclamation of the gospel—including his indictment of them as Christ’s murderers—they had to decide how to stop the apostles’ evangelistic ministry.

Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus. And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they had nothing to say in reply. But when they had ordered them to leave the Council, they began to confer with one another, saying, “What shall we do with these men? For the fact that a noteworthy miracle has taken place through them is apparent to all who live in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. But so that it will not spread any further among the people, let us warn them to speak no longer to any man in this name.” And when they had summoned them, they commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. (Acts 4:13-18)

Peter and John healed a man who had been crippled for more than forty years. There was no denying their miracle, and they hadn’t broken any law. That left the Sanhedrin in an uncomfortable position. We’re told earlier in the chapter that the Jerusalem church had 5,000 men in it, but the total number of members could have been as high as 20,000. With that many followers, the Sanhedrin couldn’t simply imprison or kill the apostles; they likely feared a revolution.

But neither could they turn them loose to continue their exploding ministry. So instead they attempted to intimidate Peter and John into abandoning their gospel preaching altogether.

It didn’t work.

But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” When they had threatened them further, they let them go (finding no basis on which to punish them) on account of the people, because they were all glorifying God for what had happened. (Acts 4:19-21)

Scripture doesn’t tell us what the Sanhedrin threatened to do to Peter and John, but it doesn’t matter. No threat could sway their commitment to preach the gospel. Their response is incredibly shrewd—the apostles defied the command by appealing to the very authority the Sanhedrin was supposed to represent. These supposedly “uneducated and untrained men” had confounded and exasperated Israel’s religious elite.

You might wonder if Peter’s response here contradicts what he would later write in his first epistle: “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution” (1 Peter 2:13). In that passage, he goes on to explain how it’s ultimately the Lord who puts authority in place, and that your faithful submission adorns the gospel and builds up the credibility of your testimony.

But when that authority commands you to stop speaking the name of Christ, to stop preaching the gospel, or to do something immoral, unjust, or unrighteous, you cannot obey. As Peter himself would later explain to the Sanhedrin on another occasion, “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).

We see that same conviction in the life of Daniel. Under normal circumstances, Daniel had no difficulty submitting to the authority the Lord had placed over him. In fact, he excelled and prospered under pagan leaders, putting his God-given skills to good use in their service. But when that authority contradicted the law of God (Daniel 6), Daniel had no choice but to obey the Lord and face the due punishment of the law.

As the world becomes more hostile to the truth, it may not be long before more Christians face similar consequences for preaching the gospel. We need to be resolved not to cave to the pressures of society, or even to fierce persecution and violence. We need to have the same attitude as the great Scottish reformer John Knox, of whom it was said that he feared God so much that he never feared the face of any man.

When persecution comes, we cannot give in to the pressure or fear. We need to faithfully obey God, no matter the cost.


Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B141124
COPYRIGHT ©2014 Grace to You

 

A recent survey of people who used to be church members revealed that the main reason they stopped going to church was that they found it boring. It is difficult for many people to find worship a thrilling and moving experience. R C Sproul

“How awesome is this place!” This was Jacob’s response to being in the house of God. People do not normally feel that way in church. There is no sense of awe, no sense of being in the presence of One who makes us tremble. People in awe never complain that church is boring. R C Sproul

Two quotes from The Holiness of God by R C Sproul, the first identifying boredom as the main reason people stop going to church, and the second identifying awe as the antidote to boredom.

Summary: More awe in church services = less boredom in church = less people leave church.

If Sproul is right, and I believe he is, how do we create more awe in our church services. Is this something only God can give, so we have to just wait for it to happen? Or is it something for which we are also responsible?

Obviously, it’s God’s presence alone that can create awe, and therefore, ultimately, we are entirely dependent upon Him to choose to honor our worship services with His presence. However, there are important elements of human responsibility here too. God usually works through human means, and that puts obligations on the worship leader and the worshipping people.

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by Scott Aniol

In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln established an annual national holiday of Thanksgiving to be observed on the last Thursday in November. Most of us look forward to this holiday, a day on which we eat good food, enjoy time with family and friends, and perhaps watch some football. And we will probably set aside at least a little time to thank the Lord.

We all likely recognize the importance of being thankful. We tell our kids to say “Thank you” when they are given something, and we generally try to be grateful ourselves.

But how many of us really see gratitude as an important part of our worship? How many of us consider thankfulness to be a truly significant expression we offer to God? If I were to ask most Christians what kinds of expressions of worship bring God the most glory, I would probably hear things like praise, love, and joy more than I would hear gratitude.

However I believe gratitude to be an extremely important—if not the most important—expression of worship toward God that brings ultimate glory to him.

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