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Are we more narcissistic than ever before?

There was once a young man named Narcissus who was so vain that he fell in love with his own reflection in the water and died. In some versions of the mythological tale from Ancient Greece, Narcissus was transformed into a flower that today carries the name narcissus, or daffodil.

Like the flower, narcissism has continued to flourish in modern culture. “Selfie” was awarded word of the year in 2013 by the Oxford Dictionary. Capturing an image of oneself – once the purview of despondent artists – has become an international pastime. Even politicians rode the trend taking selfies at memorial services. Celebrities continued to be, well, celebrated as well. Miley Cyrus ended 2013 as the most searched person on Google, with Drake and Kim Kardashian coming in at the number two and three spots. Between them they have more “followers” than the population of an average country. And, as both Miley Cyrus’s career trajectory and research findings suggest, the importance of fame is more prominent than ever before. Read more

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“A better system of education for the common people might preserve them long from such artificial inequalities as are prejudicial to society, by confounding the natural distinctions of right and wrong, virtue and vice.”

–John Adams, letter to Count Sarsfield, 1786

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The Stage Is Set for Executive Amnesty

Just a few weeks ago, it appeared immigration would dominate the news headlines leading up to the November election. But war in the Middle East and Ukraine and riots in Ferguson have pushed the situation at the border down to a few sidebar stories. Read more

Obama’s Naive Belief in Predetermined History

Aug. 30, 2014
By Victor Davis Hanson

In his therapeutic 2009 Cairo speech, Obama outlined all sorts of Islamic intellectual and technological pedigrees, several of which were undeserved. He exaggerated Muslim contributions to printing and medicine, for example, and was flat-out wrong about the catalysts for the European Renaissance and Enlightenment.

He also believes history follows some predetermined course, as if things always get better on their own. Obama often praises those he pronounces to be on the “right side of history.” He also chastises others for being on the “wrong side of history” – as if evil is vanished and the good thrives on autopilot. Read more

A Big Summer Story You Missed: Soaring Oil Debt

Last July the government agency, which has collected mundane statistics on energy matters for decades, quietly revealed that 127 of the world’s largest oil and gas companies are running out of cash. Read more

Why America Should Worry About ISIS

View Short Video with Hannity and James Woolsey

Employer-Provided Insurance Will Likely End

Endless lies from the Left….

View Short Video

‘Do Good for Your Own Self’: Osteen Says Obedience, Worship ‘Not for God’

The shocking apostasy of our times — OTM

A recently recorded video is circulating online of Victoria Osteen, wife of megachurch speaker and author Joel Osteen, calling on congregants at Lakewood Church to ‘do good for your own self’ because obedience, the church and worship are not for God as much as for self-happiness.

View Article & Access Short Video

Common Core only a symptom of festering disease

The national Common Core State Standards Initiative movement is in full retreat, with eight states now officially outside its dark umbrella. Even the Republican National Committee has adopted a resolution calling for the rejection of the Common Core standards, and pundits are now calling the Common Core “toxic” for candidates in the 2014 election.

That’s all good news. Yet, for citizens who care about the decisions being made about civics, history and social studies curriculum in our public schools, the nefarious Common Core standards are only a symptom of a seductive lunacy, not the disease.

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Hamas: We’re already digging new terror tunnels

Islamic jihadists boast of burrowing activities 4 days into truce

TEL AVIV – Four days into a cease-fire, Hamas is already starting to construct new tunnels in the Gaza Strip, Hamas sources claimed to WND.

One of the primary objectives of Israel’s military campaign in Gaza the past few weeks has been to demolish the series of tunnels that snaked throughout Gaza, with exits both inside Israel and across the Egypt border.

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August 28, 2014

How Obama aided ISIS

JOSEPH FARAH — Perhaps the single costliest, most demonstrable crime of Barack Obama’s time in office is what he did to fuel the rise of the army of the Islamic State in Syria, which now threatens to take over Syria, Iraq and other Middle East while murdering thousands and posing an extreme terrorist threat to the U.S…. (more)

August 28, 2014

Obama fails History 101

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON — President Obama doesn’t know much about history. In his therapeutic 2009 Cairo speech, Obama outlined all sorts of Islamic intellectual and technological pedigrees, several of which were undeserved. He exaggerated Muslim contributions to printing and medicine, for example, and was flat-out wrong about the catalysts for the European Renaissance and Enlightenment…. (more)

August 28, 2014

Disarming the U.S. on the ‘information battlefield’

CLIFF KINCAID — Paul Goble, a specialist on international broadcasting and the propaganda war being waged over Ukraine, writes that “as effective as [Vladimir] Putin’s disinformation campaign has been inside Russia, it has been even more successful beyond that country’s borders.” One problem, he says, is that the Western media treat Putin’s lies as just another point of view… (more)

August 28, 2014

Ex-aide to John Dean trashes Watergate figure’s book

WASHINGTON TIMES — According to John Dean’s new book, “The Nixon Defense: What He Knew and When He Knew It,” President Nixon knew a lot more about Watergate a lot sooner than he ever admitted. However, the question one should ask before plowing through Mr. Dean’s 746-page “definitive” history is, “What difference, at this point, does it make?”… (more)

August 28, 2014

Vote fraud is no phantom menace, it’s real

WASHINGTON TIMES — Democrats argue that voter fraud is a phantom menace. Sensible safeguards for the integrity of elections, such as requiring the presentation of valid voter identification at the polls, are racist schemes to suppress turnout…. (more)

August 28, 2014

Chris McDaniel: ‘People need to see the ugly under belly of some elements of the Republican Party’

TPNN — Constitutional conservative Mississippi Senate Candidate Chris McDaniel told Tim Constantine on TPNN’s Capitol Hill Show on Wednesday, that Republican establishment-backed, 76-year-old Senator Thad Cochran’s campaign stole the recent runoff election in Mississippi, that he had proof, and hoped his current court challenge will not only overturn the election, but will allow people to see the “ugly, ugly under belly of some element of the Republican Party.”… (more)

August 28, 2014

Federal judge strikes down part of Utah’s ban on polygamy

FOX 13 — A federal judge declared a portion of Utah’s polygamy ban unconstitutional late Wednesday, essentially decriminalizing polygamy in the state…. (more)

August 28, 2014

IMF chief charged with ‘negligence’ over graft case

YAHOO NEWS — IMF chief Christine Lagarde, one of the world’s most powerful women, announced Wednesday she had been charged with “negligence” over a multi-million-euro graft case relating to her time as French finance minister…. (more)

August 27, 2014

What’s America’s No. 1 national security threat?

JOSEPH FARAH — What does a nation do when its highest official represents the biggest security threat it faces? That’s what America needs to decide — and fast. Because the Islamic State, or ISIS, is not the nation’s No. 1 security threat…. (more)

August 27, 2014

Rasmussen: Boehner remains Congress’ most unpopular leader

NEWSMAX — House Speaker John Boehner once again has earned the distinction of being the most disliked congressional leader, according to a new Rasmussen Reports survey. Only 28 percent of likely voters said they held a favorable opinion of Boehner, and only 4 percent had a “very favorable” opinion. Conversely, 60 percent view him “unfavorably” with 32 percent having a “very unfavorable” view… (more)

August 27, 2014

Obama seeks to bypass Congress for UN climate change deal: report

WASHINGTON TIMES — The Obama administration is looking to reach “a sweeping international climate change agreement” that would not be a formal treaty that would require a two-thirds Senate approval — which almost certainly would never happen, The New York Times reported… (more)

August 27, 2014

ISIS threatens another American hostage, and this time it’s a woman

HUMAN EVENTS — The terrorists of ISIS don’t seem cowed by anything that’s been thrown at them to date, because they grabbed another American hostage, and this time it’s a woman. ABC News reports:… (more)

August 27, 2014

‘Truthy’ joins NSA, IRS in watching you

WORLDNETDAILY — Americans’ telephone conversations already are being monitored by the National Security Agency and their health-care policies by the Internal Revenue Service. Now there’s “Truthy,” a government-funded project at Indiana University that will watch their Tweets for “political smears” and “social pollution.”… (more)

August 27, 2014

‘Free’ Pre-K: another anti-marriage incentive

PHYLLIS SCHLAFLY — After President Obama in his 2013 State of the Union address called for a new federal entitlement for taxpayer-funded free preschool or pre-K for all 4-year-olds, we thought his idea would be quickly discredited, not only by its enormous cost, but even more importantly by the overwhelming weight of research proving the lack of any long-term benefit from such programs… (more)

August 27, 2014

Bobby Jindal sues Obama administration over Common Core

WASHINGTON EXAMINER — Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is suing the Obama administration over the Common Core education standards. Jindal is planning to run for president in 2016, and the lawsuit positions the governor on the side of most conservative activists and Republican base voters… (more)

August 27, 2014

Media earn failing grade for poor Common Core coverage

WASHINGTON TIMES — If concerned citizens want to inform themselves on one of the most important issues in their lives — the education of their children — they would be hard-pressed to get any significant help from the national media… (more)

August 27, 2014

Harry Reid’s Asian-bashing bigotry

MICHELLE MALKIN — Harry Reid is a bigoted Beltway corruptocrat with an interminable case of diarrhea of the mouth. The feeble-minded coot stuck his foot in that mess of a mouth again last week at the Las Vegas Asian Chamber of Commerce. But as mortifying as the Senate majority leader is, there’s an even worse spectacle: Asian-American liberals who keep giving top Democrats and their partisan operatives blanket passes… (more)

August 27, 2014

Ferguson-like attack in Utah escapes media notice; race bias seen

WASHINGTON TIMES — On the surface, the cases appear nearly identical: Michael Brown and Dillon Taylor, two young, unarmed men with sketchy criminal pasts shot to death by police officers two days apart… (more)

August 27, 2014

Ex-prosecutor McCarthy: Holder perverting civil rights laws

NEWSMAX — U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is guilty of “a remarkable perversion” of the nation’s civil rights statute with his unprecedented tinkering in the Michael Brown case, former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy told Newsmax TV on Wednesday… (more)

August 27, 2014

Ben Carson wins presidential straw poll, wows ‘em in Iowa

WASHINGTON TIMES — Well, there you go. Dr. Ben Carson had a heartland victory with a “whopping” 62 percent of the vote in a presidential straw poll conducted at the Polk County Republican Party Dinner on Sunday night, which took place in Des Moines but drew attendees from as far away as Minneapolis, who were anxious to yell “Run, Ben, Run” and witness the good doctor’s stirring speech… (more)

August 27, 2014

Republican says EPA must come clean on ‘Waters of U.S.’ rule

WASHINGTON EXAMINER — The Environmental Protection Agency needs to explain the intentions behind a proposed rule that Republicans say could subject massive amounts of private property to federal regulation, a GOP House committee chairman said… (more)

August 27, 2014

Georgia professor bans students from saying ‘bless you’ in class

CAMPUS REFORM — Students enrolled in certain classes at the College of Coastal Georgia may want to think twice about coming to class sick–or else their peers may get into trouble… (more)

August 25, 2014

Is impeaching Obama in our interest?

ROGER OGDEN — An article in Investor’s Business Daily on August 13, 2014 suggested that Obama is the GOP’s greatest asset. But is Obama the greatest asset for the rest of us? Most conservatives and a growing number of non-conservatives would say emphatically “NO!”…. (more)

August 25, 2014

White House: central command for the war on liberty

ALAN KEYES — In his usual prevaricating fashion, Barack Obama has responded with good-sounding rhetoric to the heinous murder of journalist Jim Foley. “We will be vigilant and we will be relentless,” he said, promising to “do what’s necessary to see that justice is done.”… (more)

August 25, 2014

Why won’t Putin help Middle East Christians?

CLIFF KINCAID — An article titled “Iraq’s Christians See Putin As Savior” appeared on the website of The Daily Beast in late June. It was picked up by literally dozens of “news” sites all over the Internet, contributing to the perception that Russia was actually prepared to do something on behalf of these Christians and other minorities…. (more)

The low-information evangelical, part 2

by Marsha West

In part I, Marsha West brought the reader up to speed on Beth Moore’s slide into mysticism and also gave a heads up on her unbiblical teaching. In part 2 she reports on Moore’s recent appearance on Word of Faith teacher Joyce Meyer’s TV show and her eagerness to unite with someone who teaches a false gospel. Marsha also brings to light the unprecedented biblical illiteracy of a large number of professing Christians. She argues that evangelical has become such a broad term that it has lost its meaning. The proof of this is that false teachers such as Joel Osteen, T.D. Jakes, Joyce Meyer and Rob Bell are considered evangelicals. Read more

‘Do Good for Your Own Self': Osteen Says Obedience, Worship Not for God [Video]

(CN) — A recently recorded video is circulating online of Victoria Osteen, wife of megachurch speaker and author Joel Osteen, calling on congregants at Lakewood Church to “do good for your own self” because obedience, the church and worship are not for God as much as for self-happiness.

“I just want to encourage every one of us to realize when we obey God, we’re not doing it for God—I mean, that’s one way to look at it—we’re doing it for ourselves, because God takes pleasure when we’re happy,” she declares in the undated 36-second clip with her husband standing by her side and nodding. “That’s the thing that gives Him the greatest joy…”

Continue reading this story >>

INTERCESSION: Pray for the Young and the Old

12.3.14

For the several ages and conditions of men, as they stand in need of mercy and grace.

For those who are young and setting out in the world.

Lord, give to those who are young to remember their Creator in the days of their youth; Ecclesiastes 12:1(ESV) that thereby they may be kept from the vanity which childhood and youth are subject to, and may be restrained from walking in the way of their heart and in the sight of their eyes, by considering that for all these things God will bring them into judgment. Ecclesiastes 11:9(ESV)

Lord, make young people self-controlled; Titus 2:6(ESV) and let the word of God abide in them, that they may be strong and may overcome the evil one. 1 John 2:14(ESV)

From the womb of the morning let Christ have the dew of your youth; Psalm 110:3(ESV) and let him be formed in the hearts of those who are young. Galatians 4:19(ESV)

Keep those who are setting out in the world from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire; 2 Peter 1:4(ESV) and give to those who have been well-educated, to hold fast the pattern of sound words, 2 Timothy 1:13(ESV) and to continue in what they have learned. 2 Timothy 3:14(ESV)

12.3.15

For those who are old and of long standing in profession.

There are some who are old disciples of Jesus Christ; Acts 21:16(KJV) Lord, give them still to bear fruit in old age, to declare that the LORD is upright, that he is their Rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him. Psalm 92:14-15(ESV)

Now the evil days have come and the years of which they say, “I have no pleasure in them”; Ecclesiastes 12:1(ESV) let your consolations cheer their souls. Psalm 94:19(ESV)

You have said, “Even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you.” You have made them, Lord; we beg you, bear, yes, do carry and save them. Isaiah 46:4(ESV)

Those whom you have taught from their youth up and to whom you still proclaim your wondrous deeds, now, also, when they are old and gray headed, Psalm 71:17-18(ESV) forsake them not; cast them not off in the time of old age; forsake them not when their strength is spent. Psalm 71:9(ESV)

Let every gray head be a crown of glory to those who have it, being gained in a righteous life, Proverbs 16:31(ESV) and give them to know whom they have believed. 2 Timothy 1:12(ESV)

Matthew Henry’s Method for Prayer

Originally posted on Wintery Knight:

Judicial Watch, those guys who are always filing those useful FOIA requests, found something scary.

Excerpt:

Islamic terrorist groups are operating in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez and planning to attack the United States with car bombs or other vehicle born improvised explosive devices (VBIED). High-level federal law enforcement, intelligence and other sources have confirmed to Judicial Watch that a warning bulletin for an imminent terrorist attack on the border has been issued.  Agents across a number of Homeland Security, Justice and Defense agencies have all been placed on alert and instructed to aggressively work all possible leads and sources concerning this imminent terrorist threat.

Specifically, Judicial Watch sources reveal that the militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) is confirmed to now be operating in Juarez, a famously crime-infested narcotics hotbed situated across from El Paso, Texas. Violent crimes are so rampant in…

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Originally posted on Pastor Joe Quatrone, Jr.:

warfareThe Christian life is not a playground; it is a battleground. We are children in the family, enjoying the fellowship of the Gospel (Phil. 1:1–11), and we are servants sharing in the advance of the Gospel (Phil. 1:12–26); but we are also soldiers defending the faith of the Gospel. The believer with the single mind can have the joy of the Holy Spirit even in the midst of battle.

“The faith of the Gospel” is that body of divine truth given to the church. Jude calls it “the faith which was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people” (Jude 3). God committed or entrusted this spiritual treasure to Paul (1 Tim. 1:11) and he in turn committed it to others, like Timothy (1 Tim. 6:20), whose responsibility was to commit this truth to still others (2 Tim. 2:2

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Originally posted on Wintery Knight:

This post is a 3 in one: one lecture, one question and answer, and another lecture – all on different topics.

First, I’ve got a lecture from the Reasonable Faith web site.

Dr. William Lane Craig is the top living Christian apologist and debater in the world today, and has 2 Masters degrees and 2 Ph.Ds. He also has scores of academic publications including books from Oxford University Press, etc.

The MP3 file is here. (14.5 Mb, about 41 minutes)

Topics:

  • the stresses of ministry on marriages
  • the Christian position on divorce
  • balancing marriage with academic pursuits
  • the importance of marrying the right person
  • Dr. Craig’s politically incorrect advice for choosing a spouse
  • Advice for men: Marry someone who believes in you and who supports you in your calling
  • Advice for women: Be the kind of person who can commit to being a helper and supporter
  • Advice for men: Beware…

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Originally posted on Reformed Baptist Fellowship:

puritan preaching

The Puritans were convinced that both preacher and listener are totally dependent on the work of the Spirit to effect regeneration and conversion when, how, and in whom He will.4 The Spirit brings God’s presence into human hearts. He persuades sinners to seek salvation, renews corrupt wills, and makes scriptural truths take root in stony hearts. As Thomas Watson wrote, “Ministers knock at the door of men’s hearts, the Spirit comes with a key and opens the door.”5 And Joseph Alleine said: “Never think you can convert yourself. If ever you would be savingly converted, you must despair of doing it in your own strength. It is a resurrection from the dead (Eph. 2:1), a new creation (Gal. 6:15; Eph. 2:10), a work of absolute omnipotence (Eph. 1:19).”6

Modern evangelists need to be persuaded that the Spirit’s regenerating action, as John Owen wrote, is “infallible, victorious, irresistible…

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Originally posted on Samuel at Gilgal:

Christ ChildrenCharles H. Spurgeon:

“Children need to learn the doctrine of the Cross that they may find immediate salvation. I thank God that in our Sunday school we believe in the salvation of children as children! How very many has it been my joy to see of boys and girls who have come forward to confess their faith in Christ! And I again wish to say that the best converts, the clearest converts, the most intelligent converts we have ever had have been the young ones! And, instead of there being any deficiency in their Charles H. Spurgeonknowledge of the Word of God and the Doctrines of Grace, we have usually found them to have a very delightful acquaintance with the great cardinal Truths of Christ.

Many of these dear children have been able to speak of the things of God with great pleasure of heart and force of understanding. Go on, dear…

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This clearly indicates that God has chosen His sheep and it is they who believe and follow.

MacArthur Study Bible

Reading for Today:

Ecclesiastes 8:1–10:20
Psalm 103:6-14
Proverbs 24:10-12
1 Corinthians 10:19-33
Notes:

Ecclesiastes 8:15 enjoyment. In no way does Solomon commend unbridled, rampant indulgence in sin, which is implied in Christ’s account of the man whose barns were full. That man may have justified his sin by quoting this passage (Luke 12:19). His focus here is on the resolve to enjoy life in the face of the injustice which surrounded him.

Proverbs 24:12 He who weighs the hearts. God is the One who knows the truth about the motives of the heart and the excuses for failing to do what is right (James 4:17). render to each man according to his deeds. v. 29; Job 34:11; Jer. 25:14; 50:29.

1 Corinthians 10:19,20 Idols and the things sacrificed to them have no spiritual nature or power in themselves (8:4, 8), but they do represent the demonic. If pagan worshipers believe an idol is a god, demons act out the part of the imagined god (2 Thess. 2:9–11). There is not a true god in the idol, but there is a satanic spiritual force (Deut. 32:17; Ps. 106:37).

1 Corinthians 10:23–30 Paul gives 4 principles for Christian liberty: 1) edification over gratification (v. 23); 2) others over self (v. 24); 3) liberty over legalism (vv. 25–27); and 4) condescension over condemnation (vv. 28–30).

DAY 30: What are the different kinds of Psalms?

The Psalms cover the full breadth of human experience. Some express in general terms while others express in very specific terms the shifting events of life. There’s a psalm for almost any kind of day. One way to categorize the Psalms groups them by five general types:

1. Wisdom Psalms—instructions for wise living (1; 37; 119)

2. Lamentation Psalms—meditations on the pangs of life (3; 17; 120)

3. Penitential Psalms—meditations on the pangs of sin (51)

4. Kingship Psalms—meditations on God’s sovereign rule (2; 21; 144)

5. Thanksgiving Psalms—praise and worship offered to God (19; 32; 111)

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.

“Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36).

Jesus felt compassion for the crowds as only the Son of God could feel. It is among God’s attributes to love and care because “God is love” (1 John 4:8). The term for “felt compassion” literally refers to the intestines, and most often occurs in Scripture with the figurative reference to the emotions, the way we use “heart” today. But Jesus’ concern was not just symbolic. He no doubt physically felt the symptoms of genuine caring—ones such as aching and nausea when encountering the agony of people’s struggles with sin and hardship. In order to fulfill prophecy, “He Himself took our infirmities and carried away our diseases” (Matt. 8:17).

Of course Jesus did not physically contract people’s diseases and infirmities. But in deep, heartfelt compassion and sympathy, He physically and emotionally suffered with all who approached Him for relief. He was not unlike the concerned father who becomes ill from worry about a desperately sick child, or for one in danger or difficulty.

After Jesus had been in a boat following the death of John the Baptist, crowds sought Him and He “felt compassion for them and healed their sick” (Matt. 14:14). Shortly after that, Jesus told the Twelve of His real concern for the masses who had no food on hand (15:30–32). But our Lord’s omniscience saw an infinitely greater need in people’s lives—the profound, pervasive nature of their sin and their desperate plight of spiritual blindness and lostness. Of this horrific condition He was most compassionate of all.

Ask Yourself

Without already knowing Him, this is not what most of us would expect from the One who created the universe and continues to sustain it by His mere word. A God who cares? Worship Him today for this gracious quality of His.

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 people were astonished at His teaching,for He taught them as one having authority.

Matthew 7:28–29

 

One fact that struck Jesus’ audiences as much as any other was that He was an authoritative teacher. The most predominant New Testament word used for authority pertains to power and privilege and demonstrates the sovereignty of Christ.

In contrast to Jesus, the Jewish scribes quoted others to lend authority to their teachings. The Lord needed to quote only God’s Word and could speak as the final authority on truth. He spoke eternal truth simply, directly, powerfully, yet with love and compassion. That astounded His hearers—and it should also profoundly impress us.[1]

 

[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 263). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

“Do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Matthew 6:34

✧✧✧

The believer is not to worry about his future.

British pastor Martyn Lloyd–Jones said, “Although it is very right to think about the future, it is very wrong to be controlled by it.” He was right, because worry is a tremendous force that will endeavor to defeat you. It will try to destroy you today by making you upset and anxious. But if it loses today, it will take you into the future until it finds something to make you worry about. In Matthew 6:34 Jesus says that you have enough to deal with today. Take the resources of today for the needs of today, or you will lose the joy of today.

Lack of joy is a sin too. Many people lose their joy because of worry about tomorrow, and they miss the victory God gives them today. That is not fair to Him. God gives you a glorious and blissful day today; live in the light and fullness of the joy of that day, and use the resources God supplies. Don’t push yourself into the future and forfeit the joy of today over some tomorrow that may never happen. Learn this one little statement: fear is a liar. It will cause you to lose the joy of today. What’s more, God gives strength for only one day at a time. He doesn’t give you grace for tomorrow until tomorrow.

When the Bible says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever” (Heb. 13:8), it means He will be doing the same thing tomorrow that He was doing yesterday. If you have any questions about the future, look at the past. Did He sustain you then? He will sustain you in the future. Since there is no past, present, or future with Him, there is no need for you to worry.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Praise God for being the same yesterday, today, and forever.

For Further Study: Read Lamentations 3:21–24. What never ceases and never fails (v. 22)? ✧ What does that say about God (v. 23)? ✧ What does that give you (v. 21)?[1]

 

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

“Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If any one loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:15–17).

✧✧✧

If you love the world, you’re engaging in a love God hates.

Satan, from the very beginning of his rebellious activities, has been developing an invisible spiritual system of evil designed to oppose God and enslave people to sin. The Apostle John identified that system as “the world” and warned us not to love it.

Satan has had many centuries to develop his evil system; so it is very effective on those who reject Christ. First John 5:19 explains that while we as Christians belong to God, “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one,” whom Jesus called “the ruler of this world” (John 12:31). In John 8:44 He identified certain unbelievers as children of their father, the Devil, who is a “murderer” and “the father of lies.” That’s how completely unbelievers are identified with Satan.

As a believer, you are identified with God. You have been delivered out of the domain of darkness and placed into the Kingdom of Christ (Col. 1:13). You are from God and have overcome the evil one because the Holy Spirit who indwells you is greater than he who controls the world (1 John 4:4).

Sadly, Christians sometimes flirt with the very things they’ve been saved from. Don’t do that! Satan and his system have nothing to offer you. They are doomed. First John 2:17 says, “The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God abides forever.”

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer:  If you’ve been flirting with the world, ask God’s forgiveness. ✧ Praise God that someday Satan and his evil system will be vanquished.

For Further Study: Read the epistle of 1 John, noting the contrasts between the children of God and the children of Satan.[1]

 

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 255). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

scripture reading: 2 Corinthians 10:1–5

key verse: 2 Corinthians 10:4

The weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds.

The power of the imagination—it has created the greatest inventions of all time, the most heartwarming stories, and the solutions to countless everyday problems. The imagination can also be a source of trouble, even as every aspect of your life is touched by the urge to give in to sin. Have you ever found yourself contemplating ideas you knew were not pleasing to the Lord? What was your response?

The Lord knows all too well how your thought life can lead you astray of His purposes and desires. That is why the Bible has so much to say about where you allow your mind to be and the concepts with which you fill it.

If you struggle in this area—and we all do—write down the following verses and commit them to memory. Then when certain alluring notions threaten to overcome your thoughts, you will have God’s truth to conquer them.

Gird your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on [God’s] grace. (1 Peter 1:13 nasb)

Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things. (Phil. 4:8 nasb)

Holy Spirit, I prepare my mind to face this day. I choose to dwell on the things that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, good, excellent, and worthy of praise. Jesus is all these things, so I will keep my mind fixed on Him.[1]

 

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

 

By grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works.

Ephesians 2:8–9

jesus chose us while we were sinners. He chose us so He might save us, heal us, restore us to a right relationship with the Father, and walk with us in intimate friendship the rest of our lives.…

Our friendship with God is the result of nothing that we have done or can ever do. We must be willing to lay down our pride and humbly receive what He has done on our behalf. We must accept His death on the cross as being on our behalf. We must receive His indwelling presence in the form of the Holy Spirit. We must gratefully acknowledge that He is the One who paid the price in full for our friendship with God.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2004). God’s way day by day (p. 259). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

 

Scripture reading: Mark 1:32–35

Key verse: 2 Corinthians 11:3

I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

Have you ever wondered why Peter was so quick to write a warning about Satan’s tactics? He was so committed to telling us the straightforward truth because he knew what it felt like to face Satan’s harshest trials.

Peter was the one who was tempted to deny Christ. He also was the one who allowed fear to enter his heart during a storm out on the Sea of Galilee. Both times, Peter underestimated the level of his faith and bypassed the fact that Satan was a powerful foe.

Peter’s word to the early church was to count Satan as their deceiving adversary, one who would stop at nothing to disrupt and, if possible, destroy their faith in Christ. Peter used the word resist to describe the posture we are to assume when facing the enemy. This is a powerful position to take. We resist Satan’s attacks by our belief in Christ.

Never enter into a talking or shouting match with the enemy. He will use that method to draw you away from your central focus—a focus that must be set firmly on Jesus Christ and His strength and ability.

You can do nothing in the spiritual realm apart from God. Therefore, when you battle the evil one, stay on your knees in prayer. Ask God to open your eyes to His faithfulness. Be encouraged. God is your victorious strength!

God, open my eyes to Your faithfulness. Help me recognize that You are my strength in the face of every temptation.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 253). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

 

Scripture Reading: Psalm 100

Key Verse: Psalm 100:5

The Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations.

An imperfection in a piece of cloth or silverware may be unattractive but has few functional implications. However, a flaw in the construction of your home or engineering of your car can have serious consequences.

When it comes to the matter of faith, it is wise to periodically examine the spiritual integrity of your trust in Christ. A defect in this area can impair the quality of your relationship with the Lord and your response to His leadership.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Does God or my personal concerns occupy the center stage of my faith?
  • Am I more interested in knowing what the will of the Father is, or just what the will of the Father is for me?

If you are not careful, your own neediness can crowd out the centrality of who God is in your walk of faith. Perhaps unintentionally, you allow pressing problems to supersede your chief duty to know God and enjoy Him forever.

Certainly God understands your desire to have your needs met (and He is more than willing to do so). However, He wants you to be supremely occupied with Him, to delight yourself in His personhood.

When the focus of your faith lies in the greatness and grandeur of God, you have little trouble believing He is faithfully and lovingly at work for your well-being.

Dear Lord, You are the focus of my faith. Keep me supremely occupied with You. Don’t let my problems and needs crowd out the centrality of who You are.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 253). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

 

Scripture Reading: Jeremiah 6:16–20

Key Verse: Jeremiah 6:16

Thus says the Lord: “Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’ ”

When we are overburdened, the world seems a colder place. The sun may be shining, but our heads are bowed low so we don’t notice. The birds sing, but our ears are filled with the cries of our hearts—cries of pain, sorrow, and weariness.

We put distance between others and ourselves as our problems absorb our time and attention. Perhaps we are weighed down by unmet expectations, sudden trauma or death, or simply too much responsibility. Another possibility is that sin is causing our heaviness of heart. Whatever the cause, however, the result is the same: a crushing weight. Only the amount of the weight varies.

Into our bleakness comes the voice of God Almighty inviting us to draw near and find rest in Him. The old prophet Jeremiah spoke for God, telling his listeners to find the good way and walk in it. That’s how we will find rest.

Won’t you look up to your heavenly Father right now? Jesus offers living water. Take time to drink until your soul is strengthened enough for you to ask the way. With the Spirit’s help, take one step, then another, down that path of obedience, and He will give you the promised peace.

Jeremiah 6:16 ends with God pointing out the Israelites’ response: they wouldn’t walk with God. Let us stand and look and ask and walk so that we find the rest the Lord has promised for our souls.

Father, I want to walk in the ancient paths, the good way, Your way. I know that it is there that I will find rest for my soul.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 253). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

 

Scripture reading: Hebrews 3:7–19

Key verse: Hebrews 3:12

Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God.

Unbelievers are not the only ones who can have hardened hearts. The Israelites in the wilderness were the children of God, and yet they persisted in closing their hearts to God’s leadership through those trying years. Whenever circumstances did not go their way, they grumbled. When they did not understand what God was doing, they doubted Him. When they felt that God wasn’t doing the best thing for them, they worshiped other gods. No wonder God allowed them to be tested so severely at times.

Refusing to trust the Lord or refusing to obey is a signal of inner rebellion and a prideful spirit. Can you identify times in your life when you felt that your way was best? Maybe you didn’t disobey a specific command of God, but you carefully avoided praying about a certain topic. Deep within, you knew that God’s answer on that topic was probably no, and that was not what you wanted to hear.

Closing your ears leads to closing your heart. If you sense that God is tugging at your heart about an issue, don’t put Him off. Set aside a season of prayer before Him in His Word. He will deal with any waywardness of spirit. He desires your love and devotion so much that He doesn’t want you giving your heart away to something else. Through His grace, God will tenderize your heart again if you ask Him.

Tenderize my heart again, dear Lord. Make me pliable to Your will.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2002). Seeking His face (p. 253). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

 

Isaiah 63:1–64:12; Luke 23:26–24:12; Job 14:1–10

Jesus’ resurrection brings a new era. Although Jesus told His disciples and loved ones that He would suffer, die, and be raised on the third day (Luke 9:22), they didn’t fully comprehend His promise. The women preparing fragrant spices and perfumes for a burial ritual fully expected to find Jesus’ body in the tomb.

Instead, at the dawn of the first day of the week, they found the stone rolled away and the tomb empty. The women were perplexed by their discovery, but the angels challenged them, reminding them of Jesus’ promise: “Why are you looking for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has been raised! Remember how he spoke to you while he was still in Galilee, saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of men who are sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise?” (Luke 24:5–7).

Jesus’ resurrection presents new hope for the disciples and those who believe in Him. It also shows that He prophesied correctly about God’s saving plan—presenting new hope for us. Jesus has the victory; death has no power over Him. By believing in Him, we share in His death and resurrection, giving us incredible hope as we face life, and death. Not only this, but we live knowing that our Savior is alive and acting on our behalf. We live in a new era.

How are you living in the hope of Jesus’ resurrection?

Rebecca Van Noord[1]

 

[1] Barry, J. D., & Kruyswijk, R. (2012). Connect the Testaments: A Daily Devotional. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

 

Intro

Welcome to Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Today’s reading is Ezekiel 29 through 32. Our lesson is from Ezekiel 29:21, “On that day I will make a horn sprout for the house of Israel, and I will open your mouth in their midst. Then they will know that I am the LORD.” (NASU)

Lesson

In the previous chapters, we notice how God, the Sovereign Lord of all nations, judged nations and people. The Bible repeatedly demonstrates His sovereignty in the midst of what appears to be injustices by governments and rulers. Let’s look at three aspects of God’s sovereignty.

First, the Lord judged Egypt. God’s mouthpiece was the prophet Ezekiel who was commissioned to declare the Lord’s message not only to Israel but to the nations. He is called to warn the nations of God’s impending judgment on them. This chapter is a reminder to all who believe that God is removed from the everyday affairs of the nations. He is not deaf, nor is He absent. Scripture demonstrates that God is involved in the affairs of people and nations. He is not only the Creator; He is also the Supreme Ruler. This is especially clear in these chapters of Ezekiel.

Yesterday we observed how God brought judgment on Tyre; now it was Egypt’s turn, Tyre’s close ally. Her behavior was intolerable. Pharaoh, like the prince of Tyre, gloated because of the abundance of trade made possible by the commercial traffic on the Nile River. The Lord God would now humble Egypt.

Second, the Lord used Babylon as His instrument of judgment. The Lord used different kingdoms and rulers to execute His plans, even godless nations such as Babylon. He is Sovereign of the universe and He can use whatever pleases Him to bring about judgment.

King Nebuchadnezzar eventually became the ruler of the Middle East. He conquered many kings and built one of the most luxurious palaces and cities in all of history. Even Israel fell to the Babylonians because of her rebellion and sin. Even so, we see in the book of Daniel how Nebuchadnezzar, too, became very proud and was judged by the Lord.

And finally, the Lord comforted Israel. Judah was in exile, living under the rule of Babylon. These words demonstrate how the Lord had not forgotten His covenant with His people. There would come a day when Judah would return to her homeland. She was not alone, abandoned or forgotten. The Sovereign Lord who judged the nations would in the future use His people again.

In summary, the Lord judged Egypt. The Lord used Babylon as His instrument of judgment. And the Lord comforted Israel. May we continually remember that the Lord God is the Sovereign of history. He and His people will reign forever.

End

It has been a pleasure to share with you Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Tomorrow’s Bible reading is Ezekiel 33 through 36. 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.[1]

 

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

 

The king held out … the golden scepter … Then Esther went near and touched the top of the scepter.

Mighty God, when I cry to You, Lord God, You will hear, for You are gracious.

I have known and believed the love that You have for me. You are love, and when I abide in love I abide in You, and You in me. Love has been perfected in this: that I may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as You are, so am I in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But if I fear I have not been made perfect in love. I love You, God, because You first loved me.

I draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having my heart sprinkled from an evil conscience and my body washed with pure water. Through Jesus I have access by one Spirit to You, my heavenly Father. I have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Jesus. I therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that I may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

The earthly king extended temporary access. You, my heavenly King, extend eternal access to Your throne.

Esther 5:2; Exodus 22:27; 1 John 4:16–19; Hebrews 10:22; Ephesians 2:18; Ephesians 3:12; Hebrews 4:16[1]

 

[1] Jeremiah, D. (2007). Life-Changing Moments With God (p. 261). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

James 3:7–8

Every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue.

James says we are able to control every kind of beast and animal, yet we have not learned how to control the tongue. After God created man, he was to rule over the fish, birds, cattle, and every creeping thing (Genesis 1:26). When Noah came out of the ark, God reiterated His purpose: “And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air, on all that move on the earth, and on all the fish of the sea. They are given into your hand” (Genesis 9:2).

Today, the nature of the animal has been tamed by the nature of man. We have dancing bears, trained seals, talking dolphins, acrobatic birds, charmed snakes, dogs jumping through hoops, and lions with their mouths open wide and the trainer’s head inside. We have elephants that march in line behind one another with riders perched on top. All of these creatures have been tamed, but the tongue is untamed and untamable without God’s help.[1]

 

[1] Jeremiah, D. (2002). Sanctuary: finding moments of refuge in the presence of God (p. 253). Nashville, TN: Integrity Publishers.

The church should be a healthy, fruitful vineyard that will bring honor to Christ, a church after Christ’s own heart where He can look at the travail of His soul and be satisfied. Among the people should be a beautiful simplicity and a radiant Christian love so it would impossible to find gossips and talebearers. There should be a feeling of humble reverence and an air of joyous informality, where each one esteems others better than himself or herself, where everyone is willing to serve but no one jockeys to serve. Childlike candor without duplicity or dishonesty should mark the church, and the presence of Christ should be felt and the fragrance of His garments smelled by His beloved. Prayers should be answered so regularly that we think nothing of it. It would be common because God is God, and we are His people. When necessary, miracles would not be uncommon. Is that, in the light of Scripture, unreasonable and undesirable to expect of a church? . . . Is this impossible? Is anything impossible with God? Is anything impossible where the Lord Jesus Christ is? Is this unscriptural? No! The only thing that is unscriptural about this vision is that it is not up to the standard of Scripture yet. The scriptural standards are still high. If you answer, “No, it is not unreasonable, undesirable or impossible,” then you are saying you believe in this. If you believe in this, if you would like to become the church that could begin this reformation, this change toward the better, this recapturing of the ancient power of God in the souls of people, then there must be a radical psychological break with the prevailing religious mood.

Verse
Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
1 Corinthians 12:27

Thought
For the church to be Church each of us must live in submission to Christ the Head of the Church and function as healthy body members through whom He can reach out in this world. Are we so living?

Prayer
Renew Your Church, O Lord. Renew me. In Jesus’ name.

A. W. Tozer

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