Early believers had to be commanded not to evangelize. Modern believers have to be urged to speak. —Thom Rainer

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Oct. 22, 2014

BLOOMBERG

Colorado voters who once supported Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper now plan to cast their ballots for his Republican challenger, citing the incumbent’s support for the toughest gun laws in a decade and a reprieve from execution he granted to a convicted killer on death row.

In a Tuesday meeting with Governor Jerry Brown, the head of the state’s largest nurses’ union said that there is not a single California hospital ready to treat an Ebola case.

South Africa will sacrifice economic expansion in the next two years by limiting spending growth and raising more taxes as it seeks to avoid a debt trap.

The cost of living in the U.S. barely rose in September, leaving inflation below the Federal Reserve’s goal as fuel prices plunge this month. The consumer-price index climbed 0.1 percent after decreasing 0.2 percent in August.

As the world’s nuclear monitor tries to prevent weapons-grade material getting into the wrong hands, its determination to keep its methods secret is raising concerns among analysts that it may be risking a fatal mistake.

U.S. shale producers are cramming more wells into the juiciest spots of their oilfields in a move that may help keep the drilling boom going as prices plunge.

Investors are buying into funds that track oil prices at the fastest rate in two years, betting that crude will rebound from a bear market.

Johnson & Johnson plans to have 250,000 doses of experimental Ebola vaccine ready for clinical trials in May, potentially putting it ahead of GlaxoSmithKline in the race to combat the virus that has killed thousands in West Africa.

AP Top Stories

Three teenage girls from suburban Denver flew to Europe in a possible bid to join Islamic State militants in Syria, and now authorities are looking at their friends to see if any have similar intentions.

The new U.S. Ebola “czar” starts work on Wednesday and a military medical team begins training as the Obama administration ramps up its response to the potential spread of the virus in the United States. The Pentagon’s 30-member emergency team, including 5 doctors, 20 critical care nurses and 5 trainers who are experts in infectious disease protocols, were scheduled to gather at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas.

A man and a woman have been stoned to death for adultery in separate executions in jihadist-controlled areas of Syria, a monitoring group reported on Tuesday

A teenage girl who died after collapsing at a haunted house attraction in Ohio had a pre-existing heart condition, an official said on Tuesday.

NATO scrambled fighter jets twice in two days to intercept Russian military aircraft over the Baltic Sea, it said Tuesday amid reports that Russian military activity in the region is increasing.

The Homeland Security Department appears to be preparing for an increase in the number of immigrants applying for work permits after President Barack Obama announces his long-promised plans for executive actions on immigration reform later this year.

Islamic State group fighters seized at least one cache of weapons airdropped by U.S.-led coalition forces that were meant to supply Kurdish militiamen battling the extremist group in a border town, activists said Tuesday.

The U.S. military turned over a Marine suspect in the gruesome killing of a transgender Filipino to the Philippine military’s main camp in the capital Wednesday, easing a looming irritant over his custody, officials said.

The Syrian air force has destroyed two of three jets seized and reportedly test flown over Aleppo by the Islamic State group last week, according to the country’s information minister.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry welcomed the release of one of three Americans held in North Korea and said Washington is willing to resume talks with Pyongyang if it takes steps towards de-nuclearization.

Millions of older Americans who rely on federal benefits will get a 1.7 percent increase in their monthly payments next year, the government announced Wednesday.

BBC

Sweden could use weapons in the search for a suspected foreign submarine near the capital Stockholm, a senior naval official said.

The wrecks of a German U-boat and a merchant vessel it sank in the Battle of the Atlantic are found 30 miles off the coast of North Carolina.

New US rules requiring air passengers from the three West African countries worst hit by Ebola to travel via one of five airports are coming into effect. Travelers from Sierra Leone, Liberia or Guinea must now arrive at O’Hare in Chicago, JFK, Newark, Washington’s Dulles or Atlanta, where they will undergo enhanced screening.

Press freedom in the Americas has seen a “marked deterioration” in the past six months, according to the Inter American Press Association.

WND

Britain’s official education inspector has informed an independent Christian school that it is out of step with “British values” prescribed by the government and must invite someone from another faith, such as a Muslim imam, to lead assemblies or it risks being closed.

Nancy Denson, the mayor of Athens, Georgia, has joined a growing chorus of mayors across the U.S. who are concerned about the federal government’s resettlement of foreign refugees in their cities and the resulting drain on public services.


Daily Digest for Wednesday

October 22, 2014

THE FOUNDATION

“Let us by wise and constitutional measures promote intelligence among the people as the best means of preserving our liberties.” –James Monroe, First Inaugural Address, 1817

TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS

Obama Ties His Boat Anchor to Democrats

CBS News Chief White House Correspondent Major Garrett highlights a serious problem for Democrats: “President Obama is not on the ballot this December, but to the dismay of some Democrats he’s talking like he is.” Of incumbent Democrats in tight races, Obama said, “These are all folks who vote with me — they have supported my agenda in Congress.” That was days after he declared, “Make no mistake: ‘[My] policies are on the ballot.” Then again, CBS’s Scott Pelley noted that Obama has been conspicuously “absent from the campaign trail” because Democrats “want him for the fundraisers but not on the stump.” Obama is toxic for Democrats right now, but, as The Weekly Standard’s Steve Hayes observed, “He’s such a narcissist that even when it would be advantageous for him to not have it be all about him, he has to make it all about him because that’s the way that he is.” Indeed, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told Democrats that if they don’t like Obama’s comments there’s more where that came from: “The success of many of these Democratic candidates will depend on their own success in motivating voters that strongly supported the president in 2012.” Here’s a boat anchor necklace — hope you like it.

The Kinda, Sorta Ebola Travel Ban

Barack Obama explained recently that while he didn’t have a “philosophical objection, necessarily, to a travel ban” to slow the spread of Ebola, he thought such a measure would be counterproductive. In other words, it wasn’t yet politically expedient — especially given his immigration policies. Well, now it is — sort of. National Journal reports, “Travelers flying between West African nations affected by Ebola and the United States will now be subject to additional screenings and ‘protective measures’ to help prevent the disease from spreading into the U.S., the Homeland Security Department announced Tuesday. All passengers flying from Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea into the U.S. will be required to enter the country through five major airports: Dulles International Airport in Virginia; John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York; Newark Liberty International Airport; Chicago O’Hare International Airport; and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.” It’s really not so much a travel ban as enhanced screening, which in previous iterations has been known to the Left as racial profiling. More…

Ebola’s Caused by What?

Did you know human activity is linked to the worst Ebola outbreak in history? At least, that’s one theory the federal government is promoting. “The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service posted on its website an article that claims Ebola is a ‘direct consequence’ of manmade climate change,” CNSNews.com reports. Specifically, the article pegs “deforestation and human disturbance” as Ebola’s main drivers: “Outbreaks are linked to long dry seasons … during which there is scarcity of food in the forest and all the animals, including fruit bats, feed on the same remaining fruit trees, usually fig trees. Human development, including logging and mining, road construction and agriculture, is increasingly cutting back on forest habitat and bringing animals and humans in closer contact, which can facilitate disease transfer.” Why stop there? Might as well add malaria and HIV/AIDS to the growing list of global warming causes. In truth, Africa would benefit by embracing capitalism and modern day technologies that help control and prevent pandemics. More…

$25 Billion in Tax Dollars Funded Waste

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) wants you to know how the government spent — no, wasted — $25 billion. The senator, who will leave office after this term because of a self-imposed term limit, released his final Wastebook detailing the top 100 ways the government burned through taxpayer money. “With no one watching over the vast bureaucracy,” Coburn said, “the problem is not just what Washington isn’t doing, but what it is doing. Only someone with too much of someone else’s money and not enough accountability for how it was being spent could come up some of these projects.” The most egregious source of waste? The government placed badly behaving bureaucrats on administrative leave, essentially a paid vacation, which accumulated a bill of $19 million. Moreover, while most of us were earning our dollars, the feds were watching grass grow ($10,000), destroying $16 billion worth of unused ammo for $1 billion (we would have done it for free) and giving rabbits Swedish massages ($387,000). More…

ObamaCare? What’s That?

The Kaiser Family Foundation polled uninsured Americans between the ages of 18 and 64 and found that the majority of them are (still) taking little notice of ObamaCare. Eighty-nine percent said they did “not know that open enrollment begins in November”; 66% “know ‘only a little’ or ‘nothing at all’ about the health insurance marketplace”; and 53% “do not know that the health reform law provides financial help to low- and moderate-income Americans.” Nancy Pelosi said that Congress needed to pass the law so that low-info voters could find out what’s in it. Well, they did, and now that the vast majority of Americans discovered the “Affordable” Care Act really wasn’t “free” — the only thing they cared about — and is, in fact, unaffordable, they really aren’t putting much effort into getting enrolled nor staying informed. More…

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RIGHT ANALYSIS

A Polarized Press for a Free People

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Americans today get their news from a diverse and polarized media — and that’s good. News organizations often, in the words of Thomas Jefferson, “serve as chimnies to carry off noxious vapors and smoke.” But Jefferson also asserted, “Where the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe.” Today’s diversity can be a great tool for spreading Liberty.

Ben Bradlee, the Washington Post editor who directed young reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein to ferret out the crooked deeds of Richard Nixon in the Watergate scandal, has died. He was 93.

He was a man who helped The Washington Post topple a president, as well as to pick up 17 Pulitzer Prizes during his tenure, according to his obituary. But Bradlee’s Washington Post is gone and, with it, the old ways of doing news.

Along came the Internet, and now newspapers are used consistently only for parakeet cages and misbehaving dogs. The legacy media, with its cameras and web presses, pandered to power far too many times. It became the bullhorn of the Left and its monopoly on the ear of the American people shattered. Today, the media is filled with organizations to the Left and Right. They range from one-man blogs to media giants like CNN. It’s one of the best times to be a consumer of political news and yet it’s one of the darkest times in this country for press freedom.

Journalism matters for a free society. If it weren’t for coffee-guzzling scribblers, how else would we know about the Bowe Bergdhal trade, Congress’ stubborn inability to pass a budget and the latest celebrity gossip? Though if we depended solely on the Leftmedia, Operation Fast and Furious may never have come to light.

Sure, tons of journalism is click-bait. And some days, it feels that only people with half a brain go into journalism. But as James Madison once wrote, “To the press alone, checkered as it is with abuses, the world is indebted for all the triumphs which have been gained by reason and humanity over error and oppression.”

In short, a free people, in order to remain free, need a free press.

Which brings us to a new Pew Research Center study on the media habits of an American public sharply divided by politics.

Typically, “Consistent Conservatives” distrust 24 of the 36 news organizations Pew asked its respondents to rate. And conservatives flock to one media outlet — Fox News. Nearly 47% said Fox was the place they go for political and government news. The study went on to say the average respondent consumed 5.1 sources for news in the last week.

Madison would be one of the first to agree that the press — unfortunately — is run by fallible people. The newsroom is sometimes filled with the same bureaucracy and politics as it’s trying to cover in government. That’s why the strength of the press is in its diversity.

Pew also found that a liberal is often more trusting of media, giving the benefit of the doubt to 28 of the 36 organizations Pew asked about — but they distrust Glenn Beck, the Drudge Report and, if Pew had asked, probably The Patriot Post.

On a side note: Liberals are more likely to de-friend or block someone on Facebook for expressing a view contrary to their own. So much for tolerance.

But while the news consumer has a plethora of information at his or her fingertips, the Obama administration is challenging the freedom to gather the news. The bureau chief for the Associated Press in Washington, Sally Buzbee, enumerated eight ways Obama’s “most transparent administration in history” is anything but. While Obama gave lip service to closing the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, at least George W. Bush released information on the hunger strikes and assaults on prison guards. That information is classified secret, according to the Obama administration. And Obama’s merry war against ISIL sees little coverage, as journalists can’t cover the airstrikes from the air bases launching them. More disturbingly, the Obama administration has sought to erode the Freedom of Information Act, the law that allows private citizens access to government documents. Judicial Watch used this act to peer into the inner workings of the IRS after the Tea Party scandal.

Such stonewalling only benefits the crooked in power. As Obama himself once said, “Sunlight is the best disinfectant.”

In 1996, The Patriot Postthen called The Federalist — started to cut through the political doublespeak and provide news analysis on the Internet through the lens of Essential Liberty. We were one of the first organizations to use this new medium, and now, a publication would be foolish not to spread its work online.

Perhaps the Watergate scandal would have played out differently in the Internet age. Maybe it wouldn’t have taken two journalists from the premier publication of the day, but rather a blogger armed with only a laptop could light brushfires of freedom with his or her words. One thing is certain — the Leftmedia has lost its monopoly, and that’s something to celebrate.

Federal Fiscal Policy Is Ruining State Budgets, Too

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The Cato Institute’s 12th biennial fiscal report card on the governors is a thorough evaluation of major budget issues facing the states. One of its best features is grading governors A-F based mostly on their taxing and spending in the last two years.

Four governors, all Republicans, earned “A’s”: North Carolina’s Pat McCrory, Kansas’ Sam Brownback, Maine’s Paul LePage and Indiana’s Mike Pence. Meanwhile, eight Democrat governors received an “F,” including our favorite, California’s Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown.

Recent economic growth has taken pressure off state budgets for now, but the future poses extremely challenging problems states ignore to everyone’s peril. These include unfunded liabilities due to underfunded public employees pensions, the “Affordable” Care Act — an airborne, economic Ebola — and, worst of all, Medicaid.

Reforms to the pension systems must begin immediately. Fortunately, some states have begun doing so, but “some” isn’t enough. The underfunding of most states’ systems remains an urgent problem — Illinois’ shortfall is a whopping 60%. We’ve already seen cities going bankrupt over public pensions. A few states may be next.

More Baby Boomers file for Medicare everyday, and they make up the largest demographic group in the nation. Trillions of dollars will be spent as they age, and with people living longer, the outlook is worrisome to say the least. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was the last politician who made a serious attempt to slightly reform Medicare in 1995. Democrat demagogues and their Leftmedia lapdogs, as well as the AARP, crucified him, and the Left succeeded in heading off reform.

Democrats assured the nation in 1965 that 30 years after its inception Medicare Part A would cost only $10 billion. In 1995, it cost $165 billion. It must be reformed, or it will simply collapse. And we’re reasonably sure the Left will blame Republicans for that, too.

Far worse than Medicare, though, is Medicaid, another gift to us from Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society.” Medicaid pays for health care and long-term care for 66 million people, and it’s the largest component of state budgets, accounting for 24% of total spending.

After years of rapid expansion, Medicaid was expanded even further by ObamaCare. Individual states can choose whether or not to implement the expanded coverage, but Congress bribed most by paying 100% of the costs of expansion through 2016 — aid that declines annually afterwards. That rewards politicians now for decisions that won’t be ruinous for years after they can be held accountable.

ObamaCare will put a huge burden on the states. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates Medicaid expansion under the ACA will cost the federal government $792 billion and states $46 billion over the next 10 years. Congress is almost certain to slash the federal share because of federal deficits. As the population ages, states’ Medicaid spending will rise inexorably. The entitlement’s large and powerful constituency will demand its benefits. Ultimately, the choice will become funding Medicaid as it’s currently designed, or making changes so that other bills demanding attention, such as the pensions, can be paid, even if only partially.

As we approach the election that might return the Senate to Republicans, we can only pray they demonstrate the courage needed to stop this runaway freight train. Unfortunately, the last Republican majority Congress was an example of political cowardice and hypocrisy. But, as the poet says, “Hope springs eternal within the human breast.” Conservatives must work to make that hope a reality.

TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS

OPINION IN BRIEF

American educator Francis W. Parker (1838-1902): “The end and aim of all education is the development of character.”

Columnist Scott Powell: “Washington’s current trajectory of regulatory and monetary policies has crimped economic growth and widened the gap between rich and poor. While hidden, the costs of federal government regulations are now estimated at about $1.9 trillion annually — more than 11% of GDP and more than 50% of federal government spending. Which is to say that the real cost of the U.S. federal government is half again as much of the $3.6 trillion it actually spends, or almost a third of the nation’s $17 trillion GDP. … The enormous hidden costs of regulation have been studied by John W. Dawson and John J. Seater in the Journal of Economic Growth. Their examination of the escalation of regulations, as documented in Federal Register since 1949, suggests that economic growth in the U.S. may have been reduced by as much as 2% annually. Without that drag, the U.S. could be producing over $50 trillion in goods and services instead of its current $17 trillion, and average household monthly income could be four to six times its current $4,400.”

Economist Walter E. Williams: “There are economists … who suggest that the law of demand applies to everything except labor prices (wages) of low-skilled workers. … During the 1940s and ‘50s, there were very few self-serve gasoline stations. There were also theater ushers to show patrons to their seats. In 1900, 41 percent of the U.S. labor force was employed in agriculture. Now most gas stations are self-serve. Theater ushers disappeared. And only 2 percent of today’s labor force works in agricultural jobs. There are many other examples of buyers of labor services seeking and ultimately finding substitutes when labor prices rise. It’s economic malpractice for economists to suggest that they don’t.”

Comedian Conan O’Brien: “Over the weekend President Obama told Americans not to panic about Ebola. Then when asked about the Democrats’ chances in the upcoming midterm elections, Obama said, ‘Man, that Ebola sure is scary.'”

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/ )”


The Pagan Roots Of Halloween

Pagan Roots Of HalloweenMost people that celebrate Halloween have absolutely no idea what they are actually celebrating. Even though approximately 70 percent of Americans will participate in Halloween festivities once again this year, the vast majority of them are clueless about the fact that this is a holiday that is thousands of years old and that has deeply pagan roots. If you are going to celebrate something, shouldn’t you at least know what you are celebrating? Before it was ever known as Halloween, this festival was known as Samhain. According to Wikipedia, Samhain “is mentioned in some of the earliest Irish literature and is known to have pre-Christian roots”. The ancient Celts believed that Samhain was the time when the veil between the spirit world and our world was lifted and the ghosts of the dead were able to freely mingle with the living. It was also a time to honor the Lord of the Dead known as Bel (note the similarity to Baal) or Chrom. Almost every major Halloween tradition including the jack-o’-lantern, trick-or-treating and wearing costumes is rooted in ancient Celtic practices. In many areas of early America, Halloween was considered to be so evil that it was banned. But today most Americans don’t even think twice about celebrating it. (Read More...)


10 Things About The U.S. News Media That They Do Not Want You To Know

10 Things About The US News MediaDo you trust the news media? Do you believe that the information that they are giving you is true and accurate? If you answered yes to either of those questions, that places you in a steadily shrinking minority. Yes, on average Americans watch approximately 153 hours of television a month, but for their news they are increasingly turning to alternative sources of information such as this website. Big news channels such as CNN, MSNBC and Fox News are losing hordes of viewers, and they are desperately searching for answers. Things have gotten so bad at CNN that they have been forced to lay off hundreds of workers. The mainstream media is slowly dying, but they will never admit it. They are still convinced that they can find some way to turn this around and regain the trust of the American people. But it simply is not going to happen. The following are 10 things about the U.S. news media that they do not want you to know… (Read More….)


Islamic Fundamentalism, Islamism and Extremism – Introduction

by Samuel Inbaraja

“The mere fact of adherence to Islam has profound political consequences.” – Daniel Pipes, In the Path of God: Islam and Political Power. The topic of Islamic fundamentalism, Islamism and extremism is being widely studied, discussed and researched in academia, in almost all the top secular western universities, parliaments, media and communities. It’s prominence came […]

Read more of this post


Video: The Truth About Halloween: Trick or Treat


Pres. Obama’s public shifts on same-sex marriage reflect moral shifts in larger society

The Obama Brief, New Yorker (Jeffrey Toobin)

Obama Broadens Support for Same-Sex Marriage, New York Times (Peter Baker)

President Barack Obama’s shifting stance on gay marriage, Politifact (Becky Bowers)


The market is rigged? No : ‘Plunge protection’ behind market’s sudden recovery


ISIS threat: What Team Obama doesn’t want you to know – Oliver North


Leading Contrarian Economist: “We Are Coming In On The End Game Here”

To say that the U.S. economy is in trouble would be an understatement. According to Shadow Stats economist John Williams, we may be on the very cusp of a crisis so severe that it promises to re-write the entire paradigm. Read more


The Single Greatest Civil Rights Threat of Our Time


WVW-TV Presents: Straight Way TV with Usama Dakdok (Program Two: Islamic Lies in American Textbooks)
Watch now before it rolls into the Situation Room for members only.

http://www.worldviewweekend.com/tv/video/lies-about-islam-america-s-textbooks-program-2


WVW-TV Presents Worldview Weekend Hour:  Refuting The Word of Faith Claim That the Spirit of Elijah is on the Earth Today. Hear false teacher Rick Joyner claim that the spirit of Elijah is on the earth, that he went to heaven, talked to Elijah and Enoch, and that some Christians can heal ebola. Brannon Biblically explains why the spirit of Elijah is not on the earth today, and what is meant that John the Baptist came in the spirit and power of Elijah. If Elijah comes to earth during the tribulation, what are the signs of the tribulation and what will Elijah do while on earth? What is meant by the phrase that Elijah will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and children to their fathers? This detailed study will reveal how we know that the spirit of Elijah is not on the earth today and to recognize a false teacher.

http://www.worldviewweekend.com/tv/video/refuting-word-faith-claim-spirit-elijah-earth-today


 

Do You Want to Understand The Times Through a Biblical Worldview?
The Worldview War on America’s Border; The Dangerous Worldview Behind White Privilege Education; What Would Jesus Say to Today’s Religious Leaders; The Danger of Pastor Rule; Pride, Pragmatism & Profit: The Three Snares That Have Compromised Evangelicalism; A Biblical Response to Bill O’Reilly’s Book “The Killing of Jesus” The Biblical Model of The New Testament Church and more:

http://www.worldviewweekend.com/news/article/do-you-want-understand-times-through-biblical-worldview


A Revival of the Public Reading of Scripture
I’m risking sounding old-fashioned, uninventive, or the promoter of something that “just won’t work these days,” but here’s my conviction: We should read even large sections of Scripture when the church meets.   A Concise Biblical History   Throughout the Bible, God expected His people to hear His word read publically, and we have a few instances of that actually happening.

http://www.worldviewweekend.com/news/article/revival-public-reading-scripture


Stop Disease at the Border
Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) said that at least ten ISIS thugs have crossed our southern border. Hunter added, if we caught ten, “you know there are going to be dozens more that did not get caught by the Border Patrol.” Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR) says the Islamic State, ISIS, is actively working with Mexican drug cartels to infiltrate and eventually attack Americans.

http://www.worldviewweekend.com/news/article/stop-disease-border-0


Special Announcement:  Dr. John MacArthur to speak at Branson 2015 Worldview Weekend and Take Questions from the Audience.
Since posting this on our website this week, reservations for this conference have taken off. Don’t miss out, get your tickets today at:

http://www.worldviewweekend.com/branson


WVW-Radio: Tim Wildmon of the American Family Association and American Family Radio interviews, and promotes the book of, false teacher Bill Johnson of Bethel Church. Hear the audio clips of the two of them talking. This is the same Bill Johnson that talks about feathers following out of the sky, gold dust falling on people, and a glory cloud appearing in his church auditorium. And now he appears on AFA/AFR to promote his book Experiencing the Impossible.

Listen as Johnson takes Mathew 10 out of context to call for Christians to do the works that Jesus commissioned the Apostles to do. Listen as Tim Wildmon, who seems to have no Bible knowledge to refute the false teaching of Johnson, claims that the question of signs and wonders is really a seminary discussion. One reason evangelicalism is in the mess it is today is because non-discerning evangelical leaders seem to think a very basic doctrinal question and discussion is seminary level. Brannon and Justin discuss from the Scriptures why people today cannot perform signs and wonders as the Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ did. Furthermore, as the Apostolic Age was coming to an end upon the completion of the New Testament Canon and the completion of the laying down of foundational doctrine of the New Testament Church, the Apostles themselves began to lose the ability to heal. Why is Tim Wildmon having a theological conversation with a false teacher and promoting his book? Topic: Why does America not need more religious broadcasters but Biblical broadcasters? Topic: We take your calls.

http://www.worldviewweekend.com/radio/audio/brannon-howse-aired-october-20-2014


When Self-Exaltation is Love
Jonathan Edwards’ life, thought, and theology was dominated by the glory of God. Edwards argued extensively that God is chiefly concerned with His glory—manifesting the beauty of His perfections—and therefore all His creatures should be concerned with His glory as well.

http://www.worldviewweekend.com/news/article/when-self-exaltation-love


 

How an Obama Administration Policy is Destroying Lives
In late August and early September, hospitals across the nation began reporting an explosion of severe respiratory illnesses among children. Children’s Hospital Colorado treated about 3,600 children between August 18 and September 24, and at least 692 since. On September 5th, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital saw a one day record of 540 kids. The emergency room was filled to capacity.

http://www.worldviewweekend.com/news/article/how-obama-administration-policy-destroying-lives


Worldview Weekend Radio with Brannon Howse:
Guest: Sunny Shell. Topic: Sunny joins us to talk about two articles she has written. One article was posted on October 3, 2014 in which she publically repented for promoting the movie by Kirk Cameron entitled Monumental. Why is she repenting for promoting that film? Her next article that was posted this week is about her one hour conversation with Kirk Cameron after his appearance on the Catholic radio program Busted Halo and her concerns about his upcoming movie entitled Saving Christmas. Topic: We take your calls.

http://www.worldviewweekend.com/radio/audio/brannon-howse-aired-october-16-2014


Encounter God’s Truth with Dr. John Whitcomb:
Are you prepared for the time when the earth’s conditions will echo those of the days of Noah? As host Wayne Shepherd notes, Whitcomb Ministries proclaims the message each week on Encounter God’s Truth that God’s Word is true from the beginning to the end. This time, we hear Dr. John Whitcomb give a very special presentation called The Days of Noah. It is the final program in an extended series named Creation Apologetics. Dr. Whitcomb recently addressed the congregation of Victory Baptist Church of Whiteland, Indiana, and we thank them for allowing us to share this audio with you. The broadcast closes with a short time of questions and answers that followed this message. Thank you for listening to this program and for telling others about it!

http://www.worldviewweekend.com/radio/audio/dr-john-whitcomb-october-20-2014


Women with the Master with Susan Heck:
A. Woman’s Attire & Attitude in the House of God! I Timothy 2.9-15

http://www.worldviewweekend.com/radio/audio/women-master-october-20-2014


No Compromise Radio with Mike Abendroth:
Religious People Need The Gospel, Part 1: When you think of people who most need the gospel, who do you normally think of? Pastor Mike shares 4 facts about God’s judgment designed to draw you to Jesus Christ in a recent sermon on Romans 2.

http://www.worldviewweekend.com/radio/audio/mike-abendroth-october-21-2014


The Truth About Islam with Usama Dakdok
The Straightway Vs. CAIR (program #12)

http://www.worldviewweekend.com/radio/audio/truth-about-islam-october-21-2014


Prophecy Today with Dr. Jimmy DeYoung:
Jimmy DeYoung will cover geo-political events around our world with Ken Timmerman on today’s edition of PTIB. Jimmy will discuss with Ken the frustration of the United States with Turkey in the fight against IS; an Imam says that Islam will take over the world within the decade; Iran is still seeking nuclear WMD’s and the bomb blast at an Iranian nuke site.

http://www.worldviewweekend.com/radio/audio/prophecy-today-intell-briefing-october-21-2014


Immanuel with Jesse Johnson:
Love in a Leap Year (Ruth 3)

http://www.worldviewweekend.com/radio/audio/jesse-johnson-october-20-2014


Crosstalk:
Mark Krikorian is a nationally recognized expert on immigration issues who has served as executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies since 1995. The center is an independent, non-partisan research organization that examines and critiques the impact of immigration on the United States. His knowledge and expertise in the immigration issue has brought him many times before Congress to testify. He has written numerous articles and has authored two books, The New Case Against Immigration, Both Legal and Illegal and How Obama is Transforming America Through Immigration. 1 in 5 U.S. residents speaks a foreign language at home. This amounts to 61.8 million people. Immigration is the reason for this and according to Mark, too much of it becomes a problem for national unity.

http://www.worldviewweekend.com/radio/audio/crosstalk-october-21-2014


Running to Win with Erwin Lutzer:
The cross of Jesus was in God’s mind from eternity past. Its benefits extend to eternity yet to be. It is history’s great intersection; the place where God expressed His love to fallen mankind most clearly.

http://www.worldviewweekend.com/radio/audio/dr-erwin-lutzer-october-21-2014


Noise of Thunder with Chris Pinto:
HOUSTON, VATICAN, GAY MARRIAGE Chris discusses a series of recent stories on the gay marriage controversy, including the subpoena of Houston area pastor’s sermons by the openly lesbian mayor, Annise Parker. Also discussed is the latest attack against two Christians who own a wedding chapel in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. They have now been threatened with jail and a $1000/day fine if they refuse to perform gay weddings. Meanwhile, in Rome the Vatican has concluded its synod on the family, offering an initial “welcome” to homosexuals that was later amended to a more conservative tone. But is this the beginning of a progression towards accepting gay marriage in the Roman Catholic Church?

http://www.worldviewweekend.com/radio/audio/chris-pinto-october-21-2014


Pulpit and Pen with JD Hall:
On today’s program, JD answers a sincere question about Matthew 18 and church discipline, discusses Heath Mooneyham’s return to ministry after only 4 weeks after his DUI, Joel Osteen’s prayer of blessing at Houston Mayor’s inauguration, and then Spurgeon is Calling.

http://www.worldviewweekend.com/radio/audio/jd-hall-october-21-2014


Steel on Steel with John Loeffler:
John’s boralogue leads off today’s program by revealing the danger that free speech finds itself in today. He shows that the same people who espoused the right of free speech on campuses in the 1960s are the same people who are trying to quash the free speech rights of students at today’s colleges. That will lead us to our first guest, Pastor Greg Young (www.pastorgregyoung.org), host of the radio show “Chosen Generations,” who discusses the decision of Houston’s mayor to subpoena any sermon notes or correspondences of local pastors who speak on the issue of homosexuality and the church.

http://www.worldviewweekend.com/radio/audio/john-loeffler-october-20-2014


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 Zwinglius Redivivus:

hereticIt’s got to be hard to give up a pay package of over $800,000 a year…  The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.  In Driscoll’s case, the evil of self-aggrandizement and superiority.

With that kind of cabbage on the line I would be willing to maintain that Driscoll will be back after all the hubbub dies down.  I would wager he wished social media didn’t exist because were it not for him being called out publicly for his lies, manipulations, misdeeds, and plagiarism he would still be wearing his tiny microphone and Mickey Mouse tee shirt and spreading his false teaching to all the willfully gullible and ignorant who festoon the ‘sanctuary’ (read, auditorium) of Mars Hill Cult ‘Church’.

Megachurch Pastors do love their prestige.  Bless ‘em… (by which of course I mean, may they be anathematized for besmirching the good name of Christ…

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Originally posted on Theologue:

I have read a number of articles explaining the 5 points of Calvinism (TULIP) but this e-book The 5 Points Of Calvinism Explained by Loraine Boettner is by far the best I have seen.  Boettner is quite wordy in places because he is so thorough covering all the arguments and objections to each doctrine.  If you are interested in Calvinism and the Biblical basis for its theological position this is a ‘must have’ book.

TheFivePointsOfCalvinismExplained-LBoettner.pdf

View original

Originally posted on Pulpit & Pen:

Mark Driscoll was taken on stage over the weekend by Word-of-Faith and Prosperity Gospel teacher, Robert Morris. Driscoll shared some stories about his family’s struggles that, if true, are heartbreaking. More concerning, Morris clearly has been providing counsel to Driscoll during this time (even regarding his resignation from Mars Hill) and – in our opinion – paving the way for a very, very quick relaunch of Driscoll’s career.

Driscoll is in the photo above, shaking hands with Steven Furtick in smiles and solidarity after Morris mentioned they both had some “bad press” this year. One would think that such bad press (and the pretty solid, factual, validated concerns behind that bad press) would give Morris a cause to reconsider their invitations – but Morris’ Word-of-Faith tradition simply does not care about integrity issues (ask pretty much every Word-of-Faith leader, well, ever).

JD discusses this in today’s program

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Originally posted on Zwinglius Redivivus:

I’ve mentioned Tyndale House’s fantastically useful STEP (Scripture Tools for Every Person) on previous occasions and I’m thrilled to pass along word of the fact that you can now download the program, free, and use it even if your computer is offline!

If you aren’t familiar with it, do check it out here.  When you do the first thing you’ll notice is that if you hover your mouse over a word, the underlying root (in the original tongue) is revealed.  And all similar words highlighted on the page.

It’s an extremely useful Scripture tool.  For every person.

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October 22: The New Jerusalem

Ezekiel 43:1–44:31; Revelation 21:9–27; Job 39:1–10

We are being made new. God is working in us now, and He will one day complete His work. Scripture speaks of the ultimate hope of this renewal: our reunion with God. For the first-century Jews, the new Jerusalem signified God once again dwelling with His people.

In his revelation, John describes the relationship between God and His people when He completes His work in us: “Behold, the dwelling of God is with humanity, and he will take up residence with them, and they will be his people and God himself will be with them. And he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death will not exist any longer, and mourning or wailing or pain will not exist any longer. The former things have passed away” (Rev 21:3–4).

The Lamb of God has achieved this picture of new creation and dwelling in God’s presence. His light is present throughout the imagery: “And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon, that they shine on it, for the glory of God illuminates it, and its lamp is the Lamb” (Rev 21:23). Because of the Lamb’s sacrifice, the former things have passed away.

God will make you completely new—free from sin, suffering, and pain. You are in transformation right now; He is shining His light in your life, exposing the darkness and separating it from the light. And someday you will stand before Him without fear of sin or pain or death or sorrow—a work of new creation. How are you, like the recipients of John’s revelation, living in expectation of being made new?

How is God making you new today? What area of your life needs to reflect His work in you?

Rebecca Van Noord[1]


October 22

SOLDIERS OF CHRIST, ARISE

Charles Wesley, 1707–1788

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. (Ephesians 6:10, 11)

Followers of Christ are also His soldiers—called to do battle with the forces of Satan and evil. Victories are never won while resting in the barracks. God’s soldiers must always be alert and dressed in full armor. That armor includes six important pieces: (Ephesians 6:10–20)

  • The belt of truth (warriors with absolute integrity).
  • The breastplate of righteousness (people must see our good works).
  • Sandals of peace (though soldiers, we are called to be peacemakers).
  • Shield of faith (for extinguishing all of Satan’s doubts and fears).
  • Helmet of salvation (one of Satan’s chief attacks is the mind).
  • Sword of the Spirit—the Word of God (our only offensive weapon).

In addition to wearing armor, the Christian soldier is to face every occasion with prayer and to remember the fellow saints in prayer (v. 18). Ultimately, however, the battle is not ours but God’s (2 Chronicles 20:15). He knows the battle plan. Our responsibility is only to be active and obedient in the small duty wherever He has placed us on the battlefield.

Charles Wesley knew much about the Christian life as warfare. Many times both John and Charles were physically abused for their evangelical ministries. This text was first published in 1749 and was titled “The Whole Armor of God—Ephesians VI.” The hymn has often been referred to as “the Christian’s bugle blast” for its strong call to arms.

Soldiers of Christ, arise and put your armor on, strong in the strength which God supplies thru His eternal Son; strong in the Lord of hosts and in His mighty pow’r: Who in the strength of Jesus trusts is more than conqueror.

Stand then in His great might, with all His strength endued, and take, to arm you for the fight, the panoply of God; that having all things done, and all your conflicts past, ye may o’ercome thru Christ alone and stand entire at last.

Leave no unguarded place, no weakness of the soul; take ev’ry virtue, ev’ry grace, and fortify the whole. From strength to strength go on; Wrestle and fight and pray; tread all the pow’rs of darkness down and win the well-fought day.

For Today: 1 Corinthians 15:57, 58; Ephesians 6:10–20; Philippians 1:27–30; 1 Timothy 6:12

Reflect on the words of Maltbie D. Babcock— “We are not here to play, to dream, to drift; we have hard work to do, and loads to lift. Shun not the struggle; face it—’tis God’s gift.” Go forth in your full armor and in the power of His might. Carry this musical encouragement with you—[2]


October 22

Intro

Welcome to Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Today’s reading is Second Samuel 1 through 5. Our lesson is from Second Samuel 5:10, “And he became more and more powerful, because the LORD of hosts was with him.” (NASU)

Lesson

Today’s text is a fulfillment of the Lord’s promise to David when Samuel anointed him to be king and the Lord rejected Saul. It also demonstrates the unification of his kingdom from the tribe of Judah to the entire nation of Israel. In the previous verses we notice how David conquered the Jebusites in order to unite the nation. Let’s study three truths about David.

First, David lived in Jerusalem. Jerusalem throughout Scripture is God’s city where His presence lives. Jerusalem is also known as the city of David. It is because he had conquered it and made it the capital of his kingdom.

Second, David became more and more powerful. At times leaders forget who the source of their authority is. David did not lead a perfect life and we are very much aware of his shortfalls. However, one of the things throughout his life is his reliance on God and knowing that the Lord was the basis of his power. David is famous for being known as a man after God’s own heart.

There were a number of trials and tribulations in the life of David. Saul tried to kill him because he was jealous. David was an outcast from his own people for a while. Yet, he trusted the Lord and David’s influence and territory were expanded.

Last, David was with the God of hosts. Our text states the Lord was with David. It is important to realize David’s dependence on the Lord’s presence. David’s life is an enigma at times. When you read the psalms, it is amazing to see his transparency before the Lord. David is not ashamed to cry out to the Lord and let Him know how desperate and hurt he feels. David takes the reader through an array of emotions from total desperation and need to great joy.

In addition, David was a great worshipper of the Lord. He was a musician who knew how to be in God’s presence. David also knew how to take others into the presence of God. What a great example of someone who valued God’s presence!

In conclusion, David lived in Jerusalem. David became more and more powerful. And David was with the God of hosts.

Take a moment to reflect on David to learn how to trust in the Lord. Invite the presence of the Holy Spirit to help you grow and mature in the Lord so that His plans and promises for you will come true. This can be done as an act of worship and submission to God’s perfect will for you and your ministry.

End

It has been a pleasure to share with you Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Tomorrow’s Bible reading is Second Samuel 6 through 10. 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]


 

October 22

 

Fearing God

 

“The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever” (Ps. 19:9).

✧✧✧

Fearing God leads to reverential attitudes and actions.

In the Old Testament, to fear God was to view Him with reverential awe and to bow to His sovereign authority. In Psalm 34 David wrote, “Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord. Who is the man who desires life, and loves length of days that he may see good? Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it” (vv. 11–14). His son Solomon added, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. … Fear the Lord and turn away from evil” (Prov. 1:7; 3:7).

The concept of fearing God isn’t limited to the Old Testament. Paul said, “Work out your salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil. 2:12), “Let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Cor. 7:1), and “Be subject to one another in the fear of Christ” (Eph. 5:21).

Our fear of God compels us to worship Him and to conform our lives to His will. If you fear Him, pleasing Him will be your greatest delight, and displeasing Him your greatest disappointment.

In Psalm 19:9 David uses “fear” as a synonym for God’s Word, implying that Scripture is God’s manual on how to worship Him. “Clean” is a comprehensive term that speaks of the absence of sin, corruption, filthiness, defilement, imperfection, and error. The message Scripture conveys is always “flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times” (Ps. 12:6, niv).

Because it is so perfect, Scripture endures forever (Ps. 19:9). That’s why Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away” (Mark 13:31). It never needs to be updated to accommodate contemporary thinking. It stands forever, authoritative and unyielding. Those who judge it, slander it, or ignore it are in grave peril. It is far better to fear God and to bow to His revealed will.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Read Psalm 33 as a prayer of praise to the Lord.

For Further Study: Memorize Proverbs 3:5–7 as a reminder always to seek God’s will and approval.[4]


October 22

The Quilt

Scripture reading: 1 Peter 4:7–10

Key verse: Colossians 3:17

And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

Not only do you possess spiritual gifts, but you also have innate abilities that God transforms for use according to His purposes when you let Him do so. No matter who you are—old, young, rich, poor, or somewhere in between—God wants to use you to bless the lives of others.

In his book, The Quilt, T. Davis Bunn tells the fictional story of an elderly grandmother named Mary, who invests her life and energies into enriching those around her for the Lord. Now she is very old, with hands twisted by arthritis. Even though she is ready to be with the Lord anytime He calls her, she cannot shake the burning feeling that God wants her to do one more thing.

When she shares with her family and friends that she feels this last big work should be the making of a giant quilt, they are incredulous. How can a woman her age with useless hands do such a thing? Then Mary unfolds her real plan. She would oversee the making of the quilt and provide the pattern and materials. Any lady who wanted to help could come to her home and quietly assist, but everyone had to promise one thing: With every stitch she had to say a prayer of thanksgiving.

There was no way to measure the spiritual transformations in the lives of these women. The quilt became a living testimony of God at work.

Dear Lord, use me to bless the lives of others through my spiritual gifts and abilities.[5]


October 22

Humbling the Rich

The rich in his humiliation.

James 1:10

Christians who don’t have to experience the trials of life related to poverty can rejoice in their “humiliation,” as today’s verse points out. When the trials they experience help them realize that their possessions can’t buy true happiness and contentment, they will understand that their dependence is on the true riches of God’s grace. The rich Christian can rejoice when he learns that material blessings are only temporary and that spiritual riches are eternal.

Trials humble all believers to the same level of dependency on God. Money doesn’t buy people out of their problems, although it may solve some economic ones. When you lose a daughter, son, wife, or husband, it doesn’t matter how much money you have. No amount is going to buy your way out of such a trial.

Whether to the poor or the rich, trials come into life to help us humbly recognize that our resources are in God.[6]


October 22  The Divine Link

scripture reading:

 

Hebrews 11:1–6

 

key verse:

 

Luke 8:25

 

He said to them, “Where is your faith?” And they were afraid, and marveled, saying to one another, “Who can this be? For He commands even the winds and water, and they obey Him!”

Some people confuse the concept of faith with positive thinking, which it is not. Others project faith as the intense effort to attain something. “If he just had enough faith, he could have what he asks,” they say.

These descriptions are foreign to the biblical portrait of faith, which is a confident reliance upon the faithfulness of God. It is not worked up by individuals but grounded in the very character and being of our Father in heaven.

Our faith is in God. When we are weak, we look to Him for strength. When we are afflicted, we look to the Lord for comfort. When we are in need, we look to Him for provision. When we want to see someone saved, we count on God’s saving power.

Faith is the divine link that taps into the inexhaustible resources of eternal God, relying on His perfect wisdom, power, and love. God looks for men and women who will place faith in Him, depending on His sufficiency and adequacy.

Where is your faith placed today? Trust in the Lord Jesus Christ alone, and you will never be disappointed.

Lord, I don’t have to work it up or pray it down. Faith is a divine link You have provided. Thank You that my faith is grounded in Your character and not in my performance or abilities.[7]


October 22

Wisdom to Survive

See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

Ephesians 5:15

we live in an evil age. It’s as if many organizations and institutions are out to destroy the things we as Christians hold sacred. Almost nothing in our society works to strengthen the family. No one seems to care whether married couples stay together. Just about everything on the airways teaches a philosophy of life that is diametrically opposed to what we stand for as Christians.…

To survive, we must be wise! We must examine everything that comes our way: every opportunity, every invitation, every relationship, everything. We must stay a safe distance away from the line separating right from wrong.[8]


October 22

Why go I mourning?”—Psalm 42:9.

CANST thou answer this, believer? Canst thou find any reason why thou art so often mourning instead of rejoicing? Why yield to gloomy anticipations? Who told thee that the night would never end in day? Who told thee that the winter of thy discontent would proceed from frost to frost, from snow and ice, and hail, to deeper snow, and yet more heavy tempest of despair? Knowest thou not that day follows night, that flood comes after ebb, that spring and summer succeed to winter? Hope thou then! Hope thou ever! for God fails thee not.[9]


Day 22

Adoration

A great multitude, which no one could number, from all nations and tribes and peoples and languages will stand before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes with palm branches in their hands, and will cry out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (Revelation 7:9–10)

Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!

Peace in heaven and glory in the highest! (Luke 19:38)

Pause to express your thoughts of praise and worship.

Confession

The eyes of the Lord are everywhere,

Keeping watch on the evil and the good. (Proverbs 15:3)

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 Abraham, may I call upon the name of the Lord, the Everlasting God. (Genesis 13:4; 21:33)

May I listen carefully to the voice of the Lord my God and do what is right in Your sight; may I pay attention to Your commandments and keep all Your statutes. (Exodus 15:26)

May I rejoice in my tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into my heart through the Holy Spirit who was given to me. (Romans 5:3–5)

Pause to add your own prayers for personal renewal.

Petition

May Your merciful kindness be my comfort,

According to Your promise to Your servant. (Psalm 119:76)

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

Is this not the fast You have chosen:

To loose the bonds of wickedness,

To undo the cords of the yoke,

And to let the oppressed go free

And break every yoke?

Is it not to share our food with the hungry

And to provide the poor wanderer with shelter;

When we see the naked, to clothe him,

And not to turn away from our own flesh?

Then our light will break forth like the dawn,

And our healing will quickly appear,

And our righteousness will go before us;

The glory of the Lord will be our rear guard.

Then we will call, and the Lord will answer;

We will cry, and He will say, “Here I am.”

If we put away the yoke from our midst,

The pointing of the finger and malicious talk,

And if we extend our souls to the hungry

And satisfy the afflicted soul,

Then our light will rise in the darkness,

And our gloom will become like the noonday. (Isaiah 58:6–10)

Churches and Ministries

My local church

Other churches

Evangelism and discipleship ministries

Educational ministries

Special concerns

Affirmation

By the will of God, I have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands daily ministering and offering again and again the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this Priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, He sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time for His enemies to be made a footstool for His feet. For by one offering, He has made perfect forever those who are being sanctified. (Hebrews 10:10–14)

Christ suffered for me, leaving me an example that I should follow in His steps. “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” When He was reviled, He did not retaliate; when He suffered, He made no threats, but entrusted Himself to Him who judges righteously; and He himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that I might die to sins and live for righteousness; by His wounds I have been healed. For I was like a sheep going astray, but now I have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of my soul. (1 Peter 2:21–25)

Pause to reflect upon these biblical affirmations.

Thanksgiving

From Christ’s fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (John 1:16–17)

Jesus is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. (John 1:29)

Pause to offer your own expressions of thanksgiving.

Closing Prayer

The Lord will keep me from all evil;

He will preserve my soul.

The Lord will watch over my coming and going

From this time forth and forever. (Psalm 121:7–8)[10]


October 22

Setting Goals by Faith

Scripture reading: Romans 8:28–30

Key verse: Jeremiah 29:11

I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

God reminds us that He has a plan for our lives (Jer. 29:11). This is an important word of encouragement. But often we worry what His plan is and how we can achieve it. While goals are very important because they help to set a positive tone for our lives, they should never take the place of true love and devotion to the Savior.

Establish your goals with God in mind. In Romans 8:28–30, the Lord underscores the fact that He truly has His eye on our lives. Every detail is woven together so that the outcome will be beautiful.

Sorrows, heartaches, and failures play an important part in your life, as do the times when you achieve great accomplishments. Set your goals and live by faith in God. Trust Him to guide you as you dream of good things for the future. Be sure each goal you set is something He would approve. Prayer is vital to goal setting.

When you pray, ask the Lord to make you sensitive to His desires for your future. If you find yourself doing something that is not in keeping with His plan for your life, abandon it immediately.

Be encouraged! God will never leave you without direction and hope. Seek Him, and He will guide you. Remember, some goals take a long time to achieve. But the Captain of your soul is a God of love, who has wonderful blessings in store for you!

Heavenly Father, I praise You for the blessings You have in store for me![11]


October 22

O God, my heart is steadfast.

You, Lord God, are my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? You are the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

You will keep me in perfect peace; my mind is stayed on You, because I trust in You. I will not be afraid of evil tidings; my heart is steadfast, trusting in You, Lord. My heart is established; I will not be afraid until I see my desire upon my enemies.

Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. In the time of trouble You shall hide me in Your pavilion; in the secret place of Your tabernacle You shall hide me; You shall set me high upon a rock. And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me; therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in Your tabernacle; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to You, my Lord.

Now may You, the God of all grace, who called me to Your eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after I have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle me. To You be the glory and the dominion forever and ever.

My heart is confident, Lord, because You are completely trustworthy and sure. I praise You!

Psalm 108:1; Psalm 27:1; Isaiah 26:3; Psalm 112:7–8; Psalm 56:3; Psalm 27:5–6; 1 Peter 5:10–11[12]


Morning, October 22

 

“I will love them freely.”

— Hosea 14:4

 

This sentence is a body of divinity in miniature. He who understands its meaning is a theologian, and he who can dive into its fulness is a true master in Israel. It is a condensation of the glorious message of salvation which was delivered to us in Christ Jesus our Redeemer. The sense hinges upon the word “freely.” This is the glorious, the suitable, the divine way by which love streams from heaven to earth, a spontaneous love flowing forth to those who neither deserved it, purchased it, nor sought after it. It is, indeed, the only way in which God can love such as we are. The text is a death-blow to all sorts of fitness: “I will love them freely.” Now, if there were any fitness necessary in us, then he would not love us freely, at least, this would be a mitigation and a drawback to the freeness of it. But it stands, “I will love you freely.” We complain, “Lord, my heart is so hard.” “I will love you freely.” “But I do not feel my need of Christ as I could wish.” “I will not love you because you feel your need; I will love you freely.” “But I do not feel that softening of spirit which I could desire.” Remember, the softening of spirit is not a condition, for there are no conditions; the covenant of grace has no conditionality whatever; so that we without any fitness may venture upon the promise of God which was made to us in Christ Jesus, when he said, “He that believeth on him is not condemned.” It is blessed to know that the grace of God is free to us at all times, without preparation, without fitness, without money, and without price! “I will love them freely.” These words invite backsliders to return: indeed, the text was specially written for such—“I will heal their backsliding; I will love them freely.” Backslider! surely the generosity of the promise will at once break your heart, and you will return, and seek your injured Father’s face.

 

Evening, October 22

 

“He shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you.”

— John 16:15

 

There are times when all the promises and doctrines of the Bible are of no avail, unless a gracious hand shall apply them to us. We are thirsty, but too faint to crawl to the water- brook. When a soldier is wounded in battle it is of little use for him to know that there are those at the hospital who can bind up his wounds, and medicines there to ease all the pains which he now suffers: what he needs is to be carried thither, and to have the remedies applied. It is thus with our souls, and to meet this need there is one, even the Spirit of truth, who takes of the things of Jesus, and applies them to us. Think not that Christ hath placed his joys on heavenly shelves that we may climb up to them for ourselves, but he draws near, and sheds his peace abroad in our hearts. O Christian, if thou art to-night labouring under deep distresses, thy Father does not give thee promises and then leave thee to draw them up from the Word like buckets from a well, but the promises he has written in the Word he will write anew on your heart. He will manifest his love to you, and by his blessed Spirit, dispel your cares and troubles. Be it known unto thee, O mourner, that it is God’s prerogative to wipe every tear from the eye of his people. The good Samaritan did not say, “Here is the wine, and here is the oil for you”; he actually poured in the oil and the wine. So Jesus not only gives you the sweet wine of the promise, but holds the golden chalice to your lips, and pours the life-blood into your mouth. The poor, sick, way-worn pilgrim is not merely strengthened to walk, but he is borne on eagles’ wings. Glorious gospel! which provides everything for the helpless, which draws nigh to us when we cannot reach after it—brings us grace before we seek for grace! Here is as much glory in the giving as in the gift. Happy people who have the Holy Ghost to bring Jesus to them. [13]


October 22

Drifting from His Word

Scripture Reading: Psalm 119:9–16

Key Verse: Psalm 119:105

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

The Bible is as relevant today as it was when it was first written. The pages of Scripture are timeless principles explaining God’s nature and redemptive plan for mankind.

The Bible also gives us an account of the various ways God deals with His people. It even helps us understand ourselves better. Scripture is a constant source of encouragement, instructing us to have hope in hopeless situations and to seek God and His victory when defeat seems imminent.

If you truly want to know God, know His Word. Everything He has spoken through Scripture is for a purpose—not just so that we might have a list of rules and regulations, but so that we might know Him better.

When we fail to read and study the Bible, our communication line to God is weakened. Drifting from His Word leads to self-reliance and isolation from God. We begin to live separate from His will by trying to accomplish things in our own strength. Without this guidance, life is empty and disappointing.

It is never too late to build a fruitful relationship with the Lord. The moment you pick up His Word, He takes the initiative to reveal Himself to you: “Thy word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path” (Ps. 119:105 nasb).

Almighty God, I do not want to drift from Your Word. It is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Without it, I cannot make this spiritual journey.[14]


October 22

Errors in Judgment

2 Corinthians 5:10

We all must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

The judgment seat of Christ is not about the judgment for your sin. The Bible tells us that judgment already took place at the cross of Jesus Christ. There is nothing anyone can ever do to you about your sin, because God did it to His Son in your behalf. Christ was condemned for us. That is what we read in Galatians 1:4: “Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age.”

One of the most commonly asked questions about this is, “How can someone have his sins forgiven and still have his works reviewed at the judgment seat of Christ?” Forgiveness is about justification, while rewards are about the things we do as justified people. These are not works which are done for justification. Because each believer must stand before the judgment seat of Christ, we have no right to judge the work of other believers. We do not even know the rewards we’re going to receive, so how in the world would we know what rewards anybody else would receive? We do not know enough about anyone else’s motive of heart or faithfulness to know what they would even deserve. And I promise you, when it all comes out, there will be a lot of surprises![15]


 

Private Sacraments

 

October 22

 

A writer on the spiritual life, whom I have been reading with great profit lately, says that the providential duties which come to us in the circumstances of life in which God has placed us are “private sacraments” to each one of us, and are often our chief or even sole way of becoming saints; but that in order to get the blessing out of them that is intended for us we must, in performing them, inwardly unite our wills to God, and do them solely for His glory. An “interior spirit,” he says, glorifies everything.

I am so glad of that revelation that came to you about “Be careful for nothing.” To see that as a positive command emancipates the soul! Tell your brother Samuel that I have had to learn as an actual experience that “he that believeth maketh not haste.” I have found that hurry, anxiety, precipitancy, impetuosity and all kindred dispositions are fatal to any real interior growth. God is slow, and we must be slow, slow and very still in spirit, if we would be like God. I am sorry we did not meet.

Robert has not been very well lately and on consulting a physician he found he had some disease of the heart which will require care and a freedom from all unnecessary exertion. But he does not suffer, and we feel very safe in our Father’s hands. I rather think he is indulging a secret hope that he may not live many years, but we do not look ahead. Probably this weakness may account for the very great disinclination to exertion which has seemed to grow upon him of late years.

—To a Friend, 4653 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia, Pa., February 2, 1881[16]


October 22nd

The witness of the Spirit

The Spirit Himself beareth witness with our spirit … Romans 8:16 (R.V.).

We are in danger of getting the barter spirit when we come to God, we want the witness before we have done what God tells us to do. ‘Why does not God reveal Himself to me?’ He cannot; it is not that He will not, but He cannot, because you are in the road as long as you won’t abandon absolutely to Him. Immediately you do, God witnesses to Himself; He cannot witness to you, but He witnesses instantly to His own nature in you. If you had the witness before the reality, it would end in sentimental emotion. Immediately you transact on the Redemption and stop the impertinence of debate, God gives you the witness. As soon as you abandon reasoning and argument, God witnesses to what He has done, and you are amazed at your impertinence in having kept Him waiting. If you are in debate as to whether God can deliver from sin, either let Him do it, or tell Him He cannot. Do not quote this and that person, try Matthew 11:28—“Come unto Me.” Come, if you are weary and heavy laden; ask if you know you are evil (Luke 11:13).

The simplicity that comes from our natural commonsense decisions is apt to be mistaken for the witness of the Spirit, but the Spirit witnesses only to His own nature and to the work of Redemption, never to our reason. If we try to make Him witness to our reason, it is no wonder we are in darkness and perplexity. Fling it all overboard, trust in God, and He will give the witness.[17]


October 22

Wisdom for Good Health

Scripture Reading: Psalm 34:8–14

Key Verses: 1 Corinthians 6:19–20

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

In a certain office building, it is not uncommon to hear excited whispers in the halls on Thursday mornings. There, Thursdays have practically become weekly holidays, days to look forward to, a bright spot of expectation in an otherwise ordinary workweek. You see, Thursday is the day on which lunch is catered by the culinary genius known only as “The Taco Guy.” Nobody leaves work hungry on Thursdays.

However, there are those who wince at the thought of such a fine spread of food. The problem for these unfortunates is that they do not trust their self-control when presented with such a plentiful buffet. Rather than making wise decisions in preparing their lunch plates, they either pile on as much food as possible or avoid the cafeteria altogether.

Does wisdom offer a better solution? Is there not a “middle ground” by which one can enjoy the feast and yet maintain a healthy diet? Scripture clearly teaches that the body is the temple of God’s Holy Spirit; cramming tacos, fajitas, sour cream, and salsa into every nook and cranny of that temple is unwise, because that misuses both the body and the wonderful gift of food that God has provided.

Pray for wisdom in maintaining a healthy lifestyle so you can achieve success mentally, spiritually, and physically. Do not deny yourself the occasional indulgence, but be wary of unhealthy habits. Your body is God’s temple; fuel it with that which will keep your temple functioning properly for as long as possible.

Lord, I realize my body is Your temple. Help me maintain a healthy lifestyle so I can successfully fulfill Your purposes for my life.[18]


October 22

Flee into Egypt

Matt. 2:13

Why? Because there is a cruel king who will seek the young child’s life.

Is Christ born in thee? Is thy life like that manger—precious as a casket, because of what it holds? Then have a care; for, craftier and more unscrupulous than Herod, the destroyer of souls will seek to destroy thee.

There is a day coming when they shall say, “They are dead which sought the young child’s life.” Grace shall survive the foe, and we shall yet return to enjoy the comforts of life, with no Herod to threaten us. After all, it is sin which is short-lived, for goodness shall flourish when the evil one is chained up forever.

Thos. Champness[19]


 

October 22

 

Dead to the Law

 

“Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ.”

Romans 7:4

✧✧✧

The law can no longer punish those who have died with Christ.

It’s an axiomatic truth that laws don’t apply to dead people. No policeman would issue a ticket to a drunk driver who was killed in an accident. Nor was Lee Harvey Oswald tried for killing President Kennedy, since he himself was killed by Jack Ruby. In Romans 7:2–3 Paul uses marriage to illustrate that truth: “For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband. So then if, while her husband is living, she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress, though she is joined to another man.” Paul’s point is simple: death ends a marriage because the laws regarding marriage don’t apply to the dead.

The same principle holds true in the spiritual realm. Since believers have died with Christ (Rom. 6:3–7), the law can no longer condemn them; it no longer has authority over them. Paul’s use of a passive verb (“were made to die”) indicates that believers don’t make themselves dead to the law; they were made dead to the law through a divine act.

The only provision for paying the penalty the law demands is the Lord Jesus Christ’s death on the cross. To the Corinthians Paul wrote, “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21). The apostle repeated that truth in Galatians 2:19–20: “For through the Law I died to the Law, that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me.”

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Thank God that you are no longer under the law’s condemnation (Rom. 8:1).

For Further Study: Read Romans 3:20; 7:12; Galatians 3:24–25. Since the law can’t save anyone, what is its purpose?[20]


Reading for Today:

Jeremiah 29:1–30:24
Psalm 119:41-48
Proverbs 27:19
1 Timothy 1:1-20
Notes:

Jeremiah 29:14 I will be found by you. The Lord would answer their prayer by returning the Jews to their land, Daniel’s example and God’s response (Dan. 9:4–27). Fulfillment would occur in the era of Ezra and Nehemiah, and beyond this in even fuller measure after the Second Advent of their Messiah (Dan. 2:35, 45; 7:13, 14, 27; 12:1–3, 13).

Jeremiah 30:7 time of Jacob’s trouble. This period of unprecedented difficulty for Israel, as the verse defines, is set in a context of Israel’s final restoration. It is best equated with the time of tribulation (vv. 8, 9) just before Christ’s Second Advent mentioned elsewhere (Dan. 12:1; Matt. 24:21, 22) and described in detail by Revelation 6–19.

1 Timothy 1:4 fables and endless genealogies. Legends and fanciful stories manufactured from elements of Judaism (v. 7; Titus 1:14), which probably dealt with allegorical or fictitious interpretations of Old Testament genealogical lists. In reality, they were “doctrines of demons” (4:1), posing as God’s truth (4:7).

1 Timothy 1:8 the law is good. The Greek word for “good” can be translated “useful.” The law is good or useful because it reflects God’s holy will and righteous standard (Ps. 19:7; Rom. 7:12) which accomplishes its purpose in showing sinners their sin (Rom. 3:19) and their need for a Savior (Gal. 3:24).The law forces people to recognize that they are guilty of disobeying God’s commands, and it thereby condemns every person and sentences them to hell.

1 Timothy 1:13 because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. Paul was neither a Jewish apostate nor a Pharisee who clearly understood Jesus’ teaching and still rejected Him. He was a zealous, fastidious Jew trying to earn his salvation, thus lost and damned. His plea of ignorance was not a claim to innocence nor an excuse denying his guilt. It was simply a statement indicating that he did not understand the truth of Christ’s gospel and was honestly trying to protect his religion. His willing repentance when confronted by Christ is evidence that he had not understood the ramifications of his actions—he truly thought he was doing God a service (Acts 26:9).

DAY 22: Who is Timothy?

Timothy received his name, which means “one who honors God,” from his mother (Eunice) and grandmother (Lois), devout Jews who became believers in the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Tim. 1:5) and taught Timothy the Old Testament Scriptures from his childhood (2 Tim. 3:15). His father was a Greek (Acts 16:1) who may have died before Timothy met Paul.

Timothy was from Lystra (Acts 16:1–3), a city in the Roman province of Galatia (part of modern Turkey). Paul led Timothy to Christ (1:2, 18; 1 Cor. 4:17; 2 Tim. 1:2), undoubtedly during his ministry in Lystra on his first missionary journey (Acts 14:6–23). When he revisited Lystra on his second missionary journey, Paul chose Timothy to accompany him (Acts 16:1–3). Although Timothy was very young (probably in his late teens or early twenties, since about 15 years later Paul referred to him as a young man; 4:12), he had a reputation for godliness (Acts 16:2). Timothy was to be Paul’s disciple, friend, and co-laborer for the rest of the apostle’s life, ministering with him in Berea (Acts 17:14), Athens (Acts 17:15), Corinth (Acts 18:5; 2 Cor. 1:19), and accompanying him on his trip to Jerusalem (Acts 20:4). He was with Paul in his first Roman imprisonment and went to Philippi (2:19–23) after Paul’s release. In addition, Paul frequently mentions Timothy in his epistles. Paul often sent Timothy to churches as his representative (1 Cor. 4:17; 16:10; Phil. 2:19; 1 Thess. 3:2), and 1 Timothy finds him on another assignment, serving as pastor of the church at Ephesus (1:3).

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.


October 22 – Spiritual Resurrection: Purpose and Power

“‘Those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself’” (John 5:25–26).

Those who experience spiritual resurrection will receive abundant (10:10), everlasting life. But the only ones who “will live” are “those who hear” in the sense of true faith and obedience to the gospel. “My sheep hear My voice,” Jesus declared, “and I know them, and they follow Me” (10:27). Believers are those who have both the spiritual faculty and duty to respond to divine revelation. In contrast, the lost do not hear Christ’s voice; they are not saved and thus do not understand or obey it (8:43, 47; 12:47; 14:24), and hence will not live spiritually.

The Son can give life (v. 21) because, like the Father, He “has life in Himself.” No one can give to others what he himself lacks; thus no sinful human being can generate for himself eternal life. God alone possesses it, and He grants it through His Son to whomever He wills.

Those who deny His deity twist Jesus’ statement about the Father giving life to the Son into a claim that He was created and thus inferior to the Father. Such is not the case, however. John has already stated in the prologue to his gospel that the Son possessed life in Himself from all eternity (1:4). When He became a man, our Lord voluntarily gave up the independent use of His divine attributes (Phil. 2:6–7). But the Father granted Him the authority to give life (both physical and spiritual) even during the self-limiting condescension of His earthly ministry.

Ask Yourself

What’s the motivation behind those who try to downplay Jesus’ divinity? What are they trying to avoid admitting or dealing with? What would you say to those who claim that doctrines like these are unimportant and nonessential?

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.


Wed, October 22, 2014

A Holy God
Let me present a brief summary of these conditions as taught by the Bible and repeated through the centuries by the holiest, sweetest saints the world has ever known:

First, we must forsake our sins. The belief that a holy God cannot be known by men of confirmed evil lives is not new to the Christian religion. The Hebrew book, The Wisdom of Solomon, which antedates Christianity by many years, has the following passage: “Love righteousness, ye that be judges of the earth: think of the Lord with a good heart, and in simplicity of heart seek him. For he will be found of them that tempt him not; and showeth himself unto such as do not distrust him. For froward thoughts separate from God: and his power, when it is tried, reproveth the unwise. For unto a malicious soul wisdom shall not enter; nor dwell in the body that is subject to sin. For the holy spirit of discipline will flee deceit, and remove from thoughts that are without understanding, and will not abide when unrighteousness cometh in.” This same thought is found in various sayings throughout the inspired Scriptures, the best known probably being the words of Christ, “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.”

Second, there must be an utter committal of the whole life to Christ in faith. This is what it means to “believe in Christ.” It involves a volitional and emotional attachment to Him accompanied by a firm purpose to obey Him in all things. This requires that we keep His commandments, carry our cross, and love God and our fellow men.

Verse
Blessed are the pure in heart, / for they will see God.
Matthew 5:8

Thought
To believe in Christ involves a volitional and emotional attachment to Him accompanied by a firm purpose to obey Him in all things.

Prayer
Give us strength and purpose, O Father, to keep Your commandments, to carry our crosses, and to love You and our fellow men.

A. W. Tozer


The Challenge of The Cross – Part Two

SCRIPTURE
John 12:27-36

“Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not mine. Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die. So the crowd answered him, “We have heard from the Law that the Christ remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?” So Jesus said to them, “The light is among you for a little while longer.Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.”

LESSON

George Muller, that remarkable man of prayer, who established orphanages and maintained them on faith, experienced wonders through prayer over and over again.

But when Muller was asked the secret of his service, he replied, “There was a day when I died.” And as he spoke, he bent lower and added, “Died to George Muller, his opinions, preferences, tastes, and will; died to the world, its approval or censure; died to the approval or blame even of my brethren or friends; and since then I have studied only to show myself approved unto God.”
This is what the Lord Jesus meant when He said, “But if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit” (John 12:24).

Verses 27-30: Then suddenly, the mood changed. A moment before our Lord had been elated: “The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified” (v. 23). But, in verse 27, we can almost see the clouds of darkness hovering over Him.

Perhaps He began to consider afresh, because of its increasing proximity, the horror of the cross. Certainly our Lord’s death never came as a surprise to Him, as some have suggested. The cross had been planned in the mind of God from all eternity. It was designed that God the Son would adopt the form of humanity and die on a cross for sinners.

When Jesus came to earth, therefore, His whole ministry was focused upon the cross. He set His face like a flint to go to Jerusalem, where He knew the cross was awaiting Him. Yet, it must not be overlooked that He was human. Perfect humanity, it is true! But human, nevertheless. Our Lord was no automaton who could endure pain and suffering without any feelings.

Thus, even the thought of the cross must have filled His holy soul with revulsion. The physical agony would be horrible enough, true! But the agony of soul which would be His probably seemed unbearable in prospect. For the Father would abandon His Son as He bore our sins on the cross. The vision of this suffering was enough to make the Saviour troubled. Is it any wonder that He said: “Now is my soul troubled”?

Yet, not for a single instant did His determination waver. In eternity, before time commenced, when the plan of redemption was charted, He was the same as He is today. (See Hebrews 13:8.)

This was the eternal plan and there can be no thought of change, no turning back. Jesus could not have turned back because He would not turn back. His heart of love ever urged Him forward. So, He said, “Shall I ask to be spared from this hour? Never! It was for this purpose that I came to this hour. Therefore, Father, My request is, Glorify Thy name!” (See vv. 27-28.)
The response which came upon Jesus’ restatement of His purpose-the answer to His petition for the glorification of the Father’s name-was variously interpreted (v. 29). Some said a storm was brewing and it had thundered. Others felt it was the voice of an angel.

So do the unregenerate hearts of men always misinterpret the voice of God. When God speaks, man gropes about for some natural, scientific or pseudospiritual explanation which will nullify the effectiveness of the divine message. Jesus said, “This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes” (v. 30).

Verse 31 contains two very bold statements: (1) The world is judged; and (2) The ruler of the world shall be cast out. Taken at face value, these are two very difficult statements to understand. For, after Christ spoke these words, there was no thunderous explosion or clap of doom that might indicate the judgment Day had arrived.

Through the years since, there does not seem to have been any lessening of evil in the world which might indicate that Satan has been dethroned. Furthermore, our Lord said that in His being “lifted up” He would draw all men to Him (v. 32). Over 1,900 years have passed, and the world still seems a long way from having been “drawn to Christ.”

Paul’s testimony was (Gal. 6:14) that he had no glory except in the cross. As he preached to the Corinthians, he determined not to know anything but the Lord Jesus and Him crucified. (See 1 Cor. 2:2.)

STUDY QUESTIONS

Do you agree that the focus of Christ’s ministry was the cross? Why or Why not?
Are there other possibilities to what the center of Christ’s ministry might be? Explain your answer?
How does one live like the cross is the center of his/her own life?

Donald Grey Barnhouse


Jesus’ Teaching on Divorce – Part Three

Theme: Marriage and Divorce
In this week’s lesson we learn about Jesus’ teachings on divorce.

SCRIPTURE
Matthew 19:8-9
He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”

LESSON

Here is where the chief difficulty comes for our being guided by this text. It is clear that Jesus calls remarriage after divorce adultery, forbidding it. But then he added what is usually referred to as the exception clause. “And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.” (v. 9). Most people today understand “marital unfaithfulness” to mean adultery and conclude that this is the one valid grounds for divorce, since adultery will already have broken the relationship.

This is the majority view even among the most conservative commentators, at least in our day. But I want to argue strongly that this interpretation is wrong and that it is not what Jesus was referring to when he said “except for marital unfaithfulness.”

The Greek word for adultery is moicheia. It is the equivalent in Greek of the Latin words ad alterius torum, which mean “to another’s bed.” We have condensed the three Latin words into our single word adultery. This is what moicheia means, but it is not the word in this passage. The word that occurs here is porneia, which most older versions of the Bible rightly translate as “fornication.” It is broader than moicheia. Porneia refers to different kinds of sexual sin. It is based on the verb pernemi (“to sell”), referring to prostitution, first of all, but then also to other kinds of sexual conduct outside of marriage. The Latin term fornix has the same meaning. It refers to the arch of a temple which was where the temple courtesans collected. It has given us the word “fornication.”
If Jesus was referring to adultery as the one legitimate ground for a person getting a divorce, the text should have the word moicheia. That it does not suggests that we should look elsewhere for Jesus’ meaning.

What can that be? I would suggest that if the exception clause does not refer to adultery, the only thing it can reasonably be thought to refer to is impurity in the woman discovered on the first night of the marriage, in which case there would have been deceit in the marriage contract. Jesus would be saying (in full accord with the accepted views of the day) that although a man may divorce a woman immediately after marriage if he finds her not to be a virgin (in which case he was allowed by the law to remarry and was not to be called an adulterer), he is not permitted to divorce her for any other reason. If he does, he forces her into a position in which she may be forced to remarry, thereby becoming an adulteress, and he would become an adulterer if he remarried.

This is also the true meaning of the passage from Deuteronomy. The word translated “something indecent” (NIV) or “some uncleanness” (KJV) in verse 1 is actually the word for nakedness or nudity. It was associated with being unclothed for the purpose of sexual relations and thus also often with sexual sin or impurity, which is the case here. It cannot refer to adultery because adultery was punishable by death, if it was proved, and in that case there would be no need for a divorce. If the word does not refer to adultery, which is sexual sin after marriage, the only thing it can refer to is sexual sin before marriage, which is what we mean by fornication. In other words, Jesus was reinforcing the Old Testament’s teaching by his interpretation of Moses’ specific “divorce” regulation.

Someone may object that fornicators were also put to death in Israel. But although that was true for some types of unchastity before marriage, it was not true for all. If a girl had been sexually abused or simply unchaste before there had been an engagement, she was not punished by death and was free to marry, though the impurity had to be made known to the prospective groom beforehand.

STUDY QUESTIONS

Why does Dr. Boice hold a narrow View of reasons for divorce?
What is significant about the difference between the meaning of “adultery” and the meaning of “fornication”?

REFLECTIONS

Why is this discussion of the clarity of the language important?

James Montgomery Boice


PETITION: Pray for God’s Grace to Fortify you Against Everything Evil

4
We must pray for the grace of God, and all the kind and powerful influences and operations of that grace.

We draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive not only mercy to pardon, but grace to help in every time of need: Hebrews 4:16(ESV) grace for seasonable help.

From the fullness that is in Jesus Christ (in whom all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell), Colossians 1:19(ESV) let us receive, grace upon grace. John 1:16(ESV)

4.1

We must pray for grace to fortify ourselves against every evil thought, word, and work. Having been earnest for the removing of the guilt of sin, that we may not die for it as a crime, we must be no less earnest for the breaking of the power of sin, that we may not die by it as a disease, but that it may be mortified in us.

O let no sin have dominion over us, because we are not under law but under grace. Romans 6:14(ESV)

Let the flesh be crucified in us, with its passions and desires; Galatians 5:24(ESV) that walking in the Spirit, we may not gratify the desires of the flesh. Galatians 5:16(ESV)

Let our old self be crucified with Christ that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we may no longer be enslaved to sin. Romans 6:6(ESV) And let not sin reign in our mortal bodies (in our immortal souls), to make us obey its passions, Romans 6:12(ESV) but having been set free from sin, let us become slaves of righteousness. Romans 6:18(ESV)

Let the law of the Spirit of life set us free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:2(ESV)

Give us grace to put off our old self, which is corrupt through deceitful desires, Ephesians 4:22(ESV) and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:24(ESV)

Let the world be crucified to us, and we to the world, by the cross of Christ. Galatians 6:14(ESV)

Matthew Henry’s Method for Prayer



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

[2] Osbeck, K. W. (1996). Amazing grace: 366 inspiring hymn stories for daily devotions (p. 317). 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. 308). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[5] Stanley, C. F. (2002). Seeking His face (p. 309). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[6] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 319). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

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

[8] Stanley, C. F. (2004). God’s way day by day (p. 315). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[9] Spurgeon, C. H. (1892). Daily Help (p. 299). Baltimore: R. H. Woodward & Company.

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

[11] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 309). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[12] Jeremiah, D. (2007). Life-Changing Moments With God (p. 317). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[13] Spurgeon, Charles 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. 309). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[15] Jeremiah, D. (2002). Sanctuary: finding moments of refuge in the presence of God (p. 309). Nashville, TN: Integrity Publishers.

[16] 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.

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

[18] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 309). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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

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

Originally posted on Possessing the Treasure:

by Mike Ratliff

42 They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. (Acts 2:42 NASB)

Most of the churches I attended in my life had something called “fellowship” and some even had  space dedicated to it called “fellowship hall” or something similar. We had time after “church” that was called “fellowship time” that always seemed to be a relaxed time of visiting together and just being friendly with each other outside of normal “church stuff.” In the New Testament the word that is translated as “fellowship” as in Acts 2:42 (above) is κοινωνια or koinōnia, which Greek scholar Kenneth Wuest has defined as, “joint participation in a common interest or activity.” Instead of simply a friendly time of visiting together or a coming together for relaxation, κοινωνια, then, is a partnership, a sharing of…

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Your restless heart will only find rest when it rests in the person, presence and promises of Jesus. —Paul Tripp

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Oct. 21, 2014

BLOOMBERG

U.S. charter schools are issuing a record amount of municipal debt, with Texas leading the charge as borrowers rated close to junk tap a program that gives their bonds top credit grades.

Matt King, global head of credit strategy at Citigroup, and colleagues have put a price on how much liquidity central banks need to provide each quarter to stop markets from sliding. By estimating that zero stimulus would be consistent with a 10 percent quarterly drop in equities, they calculate it takes around $200 billion from central banks each quarter to keep markets from selling off.

China’s economic growth beat analysts’ estimates last quarter as export demand quickened and services expanded, bolstering the government’s case for avoiding broader stimulus measures.

As Kenyan police seek to counter attacks by Islamist militants from neighboring Somalia and crack down on spiraling crime, they’re increasingly pursuing a policy of shoot first and ask questions later, according to human rights monitors.

McDonald’s Corp. (MCD), the world’s largest restaurant chain, said third-quarter profit fell 30 percent as U.S. sales slumped for the fourth straight quarter.

JPMorgan Chase. agreed to pay $92 million in fines to European Union regulators for attempting to rig the Swiss franc London interbank offered rate and fixing spreads with rivals.

AP Top Stories

Earth is on pace to tie or even break the mark for the hottest year on record, federal meteorologists say.

A US patient who has asked to remain anonymous has recovered from the Ebola virus and was released from the hospital, Emory University Healthcare said on Monday.

Jamilah Nasheed , a Missouri state senator, was arrested on Monday night outside the police department of the embroiled city of Ferguson, authorities said, in another night of protests following the fatal police shooting of an unarmed black teenager in August.

A leading Iranian cleric, Ayatollah Mohammadreza Mahdavi Kani, who headed the country’s most influential clerical body charged with choosing or dismissing the nation’s supreme leader, has died. He was 83.

In a scene reminiscent of the Cold War, Swedish naval ships, helicopters and ground troops combed the Stockholm archipelago for a fourth day Monday for signs of a foreign submarine or smaller underwater craft that officials suspect entered Swedish waters illegally.

India wants to resolve its border row with China but will not compromise on territory, the country’s new national security advisor said Tuesday, after a tense stand-off between troops on the disputed border last month.

North Korea warned of an “unpredictable” retaliatory strike against South Korea following a series of minor border skirmishes that have raised military tensions ahead of planned talks.

The Federal Reserve delivered a stark warning to the largest US banks Monday that they could be forcibly broken up if they do not reform their ways.

A 42-year-old man has pleaded not guilty in the death and dismemberment of a stripper in New Orleans’ French Quarter.

The Janus Global Unconstrained Bond fund saw inflows jump over 500 percent in September after it was announced star fund manager Bill Gross left Pimco to manage the fund.

BBC

A paralyzed Polish man has been able to walk again after a pioneering therapy that involved transplanting specialist cells into his damaged spinal cord.

The US has paid dozens of exiled Nazi war criminals millions of dollars in social benefits after forcing them to leave the country, a new report found.

UN human rights officials have called for Detroit to restore water service to poor customers in arrears on their bills, arguing the shutoffs discriminate against minorities.

The Mexican government offered rewards totaling $4.75m for information leading to the whereabouts of 43 missing students from Guerrero state.

Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir will stand for re-election next year, an aide said, despite previous claims that he would quit after 25 years in power.

An Australian teenager who joined IS militants in Iraq and Syria surfaced in a video addressing PM Tony Abbott and US President Obama.

Fierce fighting broke out in the Syrian town of Kobane, ending two days of relative calm after defenders pushed back Islamic State militants.

WND

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services plans to seek a vendor to produce as many as 34 million blank work permits and ‘green cards’ – the paperwork that authorizes illegal immigrants to live and work in the United States – as the White House prepares to issue an executive order after the Nov. 4 midterm elections.

Israel will supply Egyptian consumers with natural gas from its off-shore Tamar reservoir for the next seven years.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is looking to stockpile a year’s worth of personal protective equipment (PPE) in order to prepare for an expected disruption to the supply chain due to an “emergency” event.

Texas health officials say 120 people are still being monitored for possible infection with Ebola because they may have had contact with one of the three people who got the disease in Dallas. Officials said Monday that 43 of 48 people on an original watch list had passed the 21-day incubation period for the viral disease and are now in the clear.


 

Daily Digest for Tuesday

October 21, 2014

THE FOUNDATION

“Necessity, especially in politics, often occasions false hopes, false reasonings, and a system of measures, correspondingly erroneous.” –Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 35, 1788

TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS

Obama Is Campaigning for Republicans

To the chagrin of Democrats everywhere, Barack Obama recently said his policies were on this year’s ballot. Now the narcissist in chief has again placed himself front and center in this election. On Al Sharpton’s MSNBC show, he said of embattled Democrat senators, “The bottom line is, though, these are all folks who vote with me — they have supported my agenda in Congress.” Translation: A vote for those senators is a vote for Barack Obama. Never mind politicians like Alison Lundergan Grimes, who can’t even say if she voted for the man. Obama understands it’s all politics. “This isn’t about my feelings being hurt,” he continued. “These are folks who are strong allies and supporters of me. And I tell them, I said, ‘You know what, you do what you need to to win. I will be responsible for making sure that our voters turn up.'” Whose voters? Because Obama just gave Republicans the best fodder for a get-out-and-vote ad conservatives could ever hope for. More…

CDC Revises Guidelines for Treating Ebola

In response to the two nurses that contracted Ebola through Patent Zero, Thomas Eric Duncan, the Centers for Disease Control released new guidelines for health care workers on treating the disease. The Associated Press reports, “The new guidelines set a firmer standard, calling for full-body garb and hoods that protect workers’ necks; setting rigorous rules for removal of equipment and disinfection of hands; and calling for a ‘site manager’ to supervise the putting on and taking off of equipment. They also call for health workers who may be involved in an Ebola patient’s care to repeatedly practice and demonstrate proficiency in donning and doffing gear — before ever being allowed near a patient.” This was all done without the stalwart leadership of the Ebola czar, Ron Klain, who was appointed Friday, but has yet to attend a single meeting on Ebola (he missed two meetings so far). Meanwhile, The Hill’s Kristina Wong points out the level of response over three sick people illustrate the U.S. is unprepared for a biologic attack, like a BioBomber.

Holder Isn’t Proud of One Aspect of His Legacy as AG

In an interview with CNN, outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder condemned former Obama cabinet member Leon Panetta for criticizing Holder’s sacred cow, Barack Obama. Holder said, “That’s not something that I would even consider doing.” But in the same interview, he lamented a big Obama failure — the inability to capitalize on the crisis of Sandy Hook to pass further gun control. Holder continued, “The thought that we could not translate that horror into reasonable — I mean, really reasonable gun safety measures that were supported by the vast majority of the American people is for me something that I take personally as a failure, and something that I think we as a society should take as a failure, a glaring failure, that I hope will ultimately be rectified.” Holder and Obama failed, at least in this instance, to undermine the Constitution. He hasn’t even left office yet, and Holder can’t help but have a running commentary on his legacy.

Gun Rights in New York Stripped for 35,000

New York’s SAFE Act is an anti-Second Amendment abomination that deserves to be repealed or struck down. More evidence of its faulty nature comes from, of all places, The New York Times, which reports, “A newly created database of New Yorkers deemed too mentally unstable to carry firearms has grown to roughly 34,500 names, a previously undisclosed figure that has raised concerns among some mental health advocates that too many people have been categorized as dangerous.” Naturally, Brian Malte, senior national policy director of the Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence, argues the ends justify the means, because if even one dangerous person loses their access to a gun, “that’s a good thing.” By design, the law took guns away from a whole lot of good citizens. The bad guys, who may be mentally unhinged themselves, will still have guns. More…

Law Would Force Wedding Chapel to Perform Same-Sex Weddings

The Alliance Defending Freedom had a busy week. First, it was the pastors in Houston. Now, ADF filed a federal suit against an Idaho town on behalf of a wedding chapel that was asked to perform a same-sex wedding ceremony. The town of Coeur d’Alene has a law on its books banning sexual orientation discrimination. However, the ordinance exempts religious entities. But here’s the kicker: The Hitching Post is a for-profit business, and owners Donald and Evelyn Knapp believe marriage to be between one man and one woman. The Knapps’ lawyer, Jeremy Tedesco, told Fox News, “The other side insisted this would never happen — that pastors would not have to perform same-sex marriages. The reality is — it’s already happening.” And we have two examples of persecution in the name of “tolerance” in the last week. As Family Research Council president Tony Perkins says, “Remember when President Obama sat down and told ABC News that ‘churches and other faith institutions are still gonna be able to make determinations about what their sacraments are — what they recognize’? Neither does he.” More…

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RIGHT ANALYSIS

Don’t Be Fooled: Obama’s Agenda for Amnesty Has Already Begun

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It would be refreshing if the Obama administration would do something right on the issue of immigration. Unfortunately for America, some hopes never result in change. Lawlessness continues to dominate White House policy.

To be clear, Barack Obama continues to completely disregard Rule of Law when it comes to immigration. He has usurped authority in order to keep our borders open to whoever wants to enter. He has refused to pressure the agencies tasked with enforcing laws on immigration to find and deport those who are here illegally. He has not only allowed tens of thousands of children from Central America to be transported into America illegally, but he has then redistributed them to cities throughout the U.S.

Last month, we reported that Obama, at the request of several prominent Democrats, delayed action on immigration reform (read: amnesty) because too many congressional seats might be lost over the issue come November. For the moment, it’s on the backburner with the timer set to ring after the election. Yet the issue of immigration, specifically illegal immigration, is on the minds of voters who love this country enough to try and save it from a rogue administration bent on permanently changing the demographics of the nation in order to ensure a permanent Democrat voting bloc.

The president has every intention to move forward with his agenda of allowing illegal immigrants to flood the country. A new report highlights actions the Obama administration has already undertaken.

Recently, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) started soliciting bids for a contractor to produce nine million identification cards in one year — five million more than the annual requirement so as to meet a possible “surge” scenario of new immigrants. The new ID cards will consist of Permanent Residency Cards (also known as green cards) or Employment Authorization Documentation cards, which, according to the report, “have been used to implement President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.”

The request for so many new ID cards to accommodate the “surge” indicates Obama is planning executive action. But the immigration reform policies he wants to impose on the nation will be overwhelming for our struggling economy, as well as schools and medical facilities across the nation. This, however, is just part of the path to amnesty for illegals.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services also quietly announced last Friday that, as National Review’s Mark Krikorian puts it, “Certain illegal aliens from Honduras and Nicaragua are having their amnesty extended, and USCIS is establishing the ‘Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program.’” These illegal immigrants, estimated to number 90,000, have already had Temporary Protected Status since 1999, which was granted to them following Hurricane Mitch in 1998. Fifteen years of “Temporary Protected Status?” Sounds more like Permanent Protected Status, which is exactly what the new parole program will allow. It’s another frequently deployed deceitful Obama tactic — just change the meaning of words in order to accommodate the agenda.

To make matters worse, another recent report from the Center for Immigration Studies reveals, “[D]eportations from within the United States dropped 34 percent from last year and the number of criminal alien deportations declined by 23 percent.” Further, of the 900,000 immigrants who received a final order of removal, “167,000 are convicted criminals who were released by ICE.” Why aren’t the agencies tasked with enforcing the law on illegal immigration doing their job?

The answer is simple: When a president has an agenda to fundamentally transform America, he will do whatever it takes to accomplish it. He must be stopped. But who will stop him? The current Congress has done little because Democrats control the Senate, and they continue to appropriate money for Obama’s agenda. That must change on Election Day, or amnesty will steamroll ahead, to the peril of our already fragile Republic.

Mission Creep + Bureaucratic Failure = CDC, NIH

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What do you get when a government entity created to address public health and responses to communicable disease operates outside its mission and purpose? What happens when an agency’s key leaders become more characteristic of an Ivy League professors’ lounge than a highly responsive team of clinical medical professionals equipped with more than theory and unproven policy?

You get the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that’s “overseeing” the response to Ebola.

From the CDC’s own website, verbatim:

“CDC works 24/7 to protect America from health, safety and security threats, both foreign and in the U.S. Whether diseases start at home or abroad, are chronic or acute, curable or preventable, human error or deliberate attack, CDC fights disease and supports communities and citizens to do the same.

“CDC increases the health security of our nation. As the nation’s health protection agency, CDC saves lives and protects people from health threats. To accomplish our mission, CDC conducts critical science and provides health information that protects our nation against expensive and dangerous health threats, and responds when these arise.”

The CDC was birthed in 1946 out of a malaria outbreak in the U.S. and given a $1 million budget. Its personnel were devoted to mosquito-control and destruction of the insect’s habitat. In other words, the CDC was created to identify a public health problem, to develop a strategy to isolate, minimize and remove the cause of said problem, and to provide educational and health care research to treat and prevent such problems.

What has happened at this federal agency created to address public health and community safety related to the transmission of illness and disease?

Well, when the word “Prevention” was added to the agency’s moniker in 1992, the CDC’s mission expanded from killing the vector of malaria to managing venereal disease and tuberculosis, and then to disability, injury control and chronic illnesses like diabetes and heart disease. As easily observed, some of these are communicable through public exposure, and others happen due to accidents. But some are not communicable at all — they are instead a result of poor health choices.

Meanwhile, the CDC’s budget increased to $6.9 billion in 2014, an 8.2% increase from 2013, and most certainly a far cry from its early days operating on $1 million. So much for the Democrats’ mantra that GOP budget cuts are to blame for the Ebola panic.

Now, America is faced with a true infectious disease issue that, while not easily contracted through incidental contact, does indeed involve a communicable pathogen that manifests its disease as hemorrhagic fever with a mortality rate of 50% to 70%.

But what exactly has the CDC’s ample taxpayer-funded budget included in recent years?

With its “Prevention and Public Health Fund” housed within Obama’s signature legislation, ObamaCare, the account has received in excess of $3 billion since 2010 to serve as a general fund for things like breastfeeding educational programs and neighborhood improvements such as sidewalk installation and streetlight placement.

And what about its mission to address infectious or communicable diseases?
It seems, according to its own financial reporting, just over 6% of that taxpayer funding made its way to the true scope of the CDC mission to address epidemiology and prevention programs.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is a CDC partner agency devoted to research and development within the Department of Health and Human Services. NIH Director Francis Collins blames budget woes for the lack of an Ebola vaccine: “Frankly, if we had not gone through our 10-year slide in research support, we probably would have had a vaccine in time for this that would’ve gone through clinical trials and would have been ready.”

Would that Ebola vaccine have come before or after the agency blew through more than $39 million in its “priority” to understand why lesbians are obese? Or maybe a vaccine wasn’t quite as important as encouraging senior citizens to participate in choral groups, texting drunks at bars telling them they’ve reached their limit, or figuring out why getting dates is tough for fat girls. Oh, and then there was the spending on shoe insoles to track body weight and the study on origami condoms. We’re not making these up.

Both the CDC and the NIH have important roles in America’s public health and safety. Yet they are both examples of bureaucratic failure in meeting the demands and premise of their very existence. They have not met the challenge of the day due to their mission creep and lost scope of practice.

The Ebola virus infects its hosts’ healthy cells where the replication of the deadly virus occurs in the hijacked normal, helpful cells. The virus grows, replicates and may ultimately kill, only because it overtakes the machinery of one’s body turning it into a dysfunctional mess.

Sounds eerily like the expansion of bureaucracies like the CDC and the NIH.

TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS

OPINION IN BRIEF

French writer Andre Gide (1869-1951): “Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it.”

Radio talk-show host Dennis Prager: “According to the World Health Organization, in 2012, 627,000 Africans died of a disease. But it wasn’t Ebola. It was malaria. Why no concern about that? Because malaria won’t touch anyone in the Western world, and therefore the media never mention it. The obsession with Ebola rather than malaria is First World narcissism. If Americans seek reasons to panic, at least two things rationally qualify: The Islamic State and all the other Muslim terror groups whose greatest desire is to murder and maim as many Americans as possible; and Iran on the verge of making a nuclear weapon. It would be a better world if the media were preoccupied with those two issues. But for two weeks, they have only mentioned the former in between reports on Ebola. And they almost never mention the latter. … For half a century, just about every health and social hysteria has been manufactured or abetted by these media, especially television news. That is why the media are so frightening. There doesn’t appear to be anything that they cannot persuade most people, in any country, to believe.”

Columnist David Limbaugh: “The left and militant gay movement are getting bolder and bolder, and too many Christians are stewing in their apathy. It seems that with each passing month, this senseless tyranny advances. … Why can’t same-sex couples who want to marry under the newly minted law find ministers who have no objection to the procedure? Are they seeking the vindication of their rights or trying to force their beliefs on other people to the point of compelling them to deny their own? … Many of us keep warning our fellow Christians (and other freedom lovers) that their apathy and refusal to fight for their rights in the public square is going to bite them where it hurts. Could it be that this, along with other disturbing developments around the country, will wake them up? We shall see.”

Twitter satirist @hale_razpr: “More Americans now have Ebola than the number of people fired for IRS targeting, Fast & Furious, and Benghazi … combined.”

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/ )”


October 20, 2014
ALAN KEYES — On any assumption of goodwill toward America and its institutions, Obama’s policies appear incoherent, disjointed, incompetent, and self-destructive. On the assumption of hostility toward America’s vital interests and its way of life, however, they resolve into the rational, coherent, and indeed directly linear pursuit of its destruction…. (more)

October 20, 2014
WES VERNON, RA ANALYST — There seems to be no end to the police-state atmosphere that emerges close to home with more frequency these days. Texas, like most red states, contains small dobs of blue lurking in some of its major metropolitan centers. One such place is Houston, a city (ironically) with a history of eschewing and recoiling at the very thought of zoning ordinances… (more)

October 20, 2014
CLIFF KINCAID — The justified police killing of black thug Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, was used by the media to accuse the police of being “militarized” when they brought out the heavy equipment to cope with rioters. At the same time, Brown was portrayed as an innocent black man shot with his hands up. All of this was false, and it has now been proven to be false…. (more)

October 20, 2014
VICTOR SHARPE — It is always a delicious moment when progressives (the current politically correct name for left-wingers, socialists, and Marxists) have to admit their falsehoods…. (more)

October 20, 2014
NEW YORK POST — Chalk it up to karma, fate or bad luck. Whatever you call it, the Ebola scare is proof that Bad Things Happen to Bad Presidents. The morphing of what is a single case into near panic is, according to medical experts, unwarranted. They point out that, so far, one person from Liberia died in a Texas hospital and two nurses who treated him got sick. Period, end of panic… (more)

October 20, 2014
ANDREW C. MCCARTHY — Ron Klain is a sharp-elbowed Democratic political operative with no medical expertise. Tapping him as “Ebola czar” may not be the president’s best move when, as it is, no one can believe a word the Obama administration says. And that’s not just because Mr. Klain is yet another lobbyist recruited despite Mr. Obama’s vow that his administration would shun lobbyists…. (more)

October 20, 2014
NEWSMAX — President Barack Obama made a rare appearance on the campaign trail Sunday at a rally to support the Democratic candidate for governor in Maryland, but many in the audience left early – – underscoring his continuing unpopularity…. (more)

October 20, 2014
NEWSMAX — Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee wants the nation’s pastors to send Bibles and copies of all of their sermons to Houston Mayor Annise Parker, who has issued a broad subpoena demanding the city’s pastors hand over copies of their sermons and communications concerning the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance…. (more)

October 19, 2014
NEWSMAX — Those trying to stop Obama from turning America into a one-party nation should hail Saturday’s Supreme Court decision upholding the Texas Voter ID law. The photo identification requirement will stop the left from committing massive vote fraud. To understand how, we must grasp how the process works…. (more)

October 19, 2014
BREITBART — There is a “moral bankruptcy” that’s settled into leadership of America in the White House and throughout Washington, D.C., Dr. Alveda King – -the niece of Martin Luther King, Jr. – -said in an interview Friday morning…. (more)

October 19, 2014
BREITBART — A woman known as “Rehana” has become a hero across the internet as news spread that the Kobani soldier has reportedly killed more than 100 Islamic State terrorists single-handedly…. (more)

October 18, 2014
ANDREW C. MCCARTHY — Ebola is causing such anxiety that even alarm over an outbreak of enterovirus D-68 – – far more prevalent and linked to the deaths of at least four children – – has been crowded out. Ditto news of the Islamic State’s rampage, a stock-price rollercoaster, and the impending midterm elections. Understandably, two concerns dominate the public discussion…. (more)

October 18, 2014
CNS NEWS — Reverend Billy Graham, arguably the most well-known and respected evangelical preacher of the last 50 years, said in a recently published commentary that America was “founded by men who believed in prayer” and that prayer can turn “the tide of history,” adding that while “America is just as wicked as Sodom and Gomorrah” and deserves “the judgment of God,” this judgment can be lessened through prayer…. (more)

October 18, 2014
MAGGIE GALLAGHER — After the initial shock, many leading Catholic voices are regrouping to refocus their public response to the synod report, which is after all not a teaching of the bishops (as the New York Times misreported), but a mid-session committee report…. (more)

October 18, 2014
JOSEPH FARAH — For 17 years, longer than any other independent Internet news agency, WND.com has been fighting to re-establish the free press in America. We’ve battled challenges from the federal government, the corporate gatekeepers in the Big Media, corrupt banksters, cultural revolutionaries, well-funded professional smear artists and a thousand other adversaries along the way…. (more)

October 18, 2014
MICHELLE MALKIN — Free at last! I’m silent no more. Now, the story can be told. Democrats here in my adopted state of Colorado did not want the new political documentary I hosted to see the light of day. They lost. This week, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals issued an emergency injunction declaring that our movie deserved the same free-speech rights as a “traditional” (translation: old-guard liberal) news organization…. (more)

October 18, 2014
CLIFF KINCAID — The nephew of the black African who brought Ebola to the United States doesn’t blame his uncle. He blames us. He writes in The Dallas Morning News that his uncle did everything right in Liberia, but still got Ebola, and wasn’t treated correctly in the U.S. The claim is that he had a right to be on U.S. soil and that it’s our fault he’s dead…. (more)

October 18, 2014
NEWSMAX — The government watchdog group Judicial Watch alleged Friday the Obama administration is formulating plans to admit Ebola-infected non-U.S. citizens into the United States for treatment…. (more)

October 18, 2014
NEWSMAX — President Barack Obama’s appointment of an “Ebola czar” has triggered an angry response from a Texas senator who is demanding that Congress convene an emergency session to take over leadership in the Ebola crisis and pass a ban on travelers entering the U.S. from the affected West Africa countries…. (more)


October 18, 2014
JEROME R. CORSI — The public face of the foundering Obama administration response to the Ebola crisis has a history of left-leaning activism and fashions himself as a “community organizer,” much as the president who appointed him in 2009…. (more)


October 18, 2014
HUFFINGTON POST — Donald Trump is at it again, taking to Twitter to question President Barack Obama’s mental health over his handling of the Ebola crisis…. (more)

October 18, 2014
NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE — Democrats’ Senate candidate in West Virginia, Natalie Tennant, would not mention President Obama by name when asked whom she voted for in the previous election…. (more)

October 17, 2014
HOLLYWOOD REPORTER — Guerrilla street artist SABO, who made headlines with his Gwyneth Paltrow “Obama Drone” poster, has struck again – – this time ahead of Hillary Clinton’s upcoming Democratic fundraiser at Tavern restaurant in Brentwood…. (more)

October 17, 2014
BLOOMBERG — “If the president will not act, then leaders of Congress should reconvene Congress,” Sen. Ted Cruz, a possible 2016 Republican presidential candidate, tells Bloomberg’s Jonathan Allen…. (more)


Political shift on same sex marriage result of moral and underlying theological revolution

So far, so fast, The Economist


Supreme Court’s inaction on same-sex marriage fosters further legalization and confusion

The Supreme Court’s Decisive Indecision, Bloomberg Businessweek (Editorial Board)

Supreme Court’s 2014 term off to a stealthy start, USA Today (Richard Wolf)

Answering Ted Olson, National Review Online (Mona Charen)


Iran Remains the Threat in the Middle East :: Inbar at BESA

by Efraim Inbar
BESA Center Perspectives
October 19, 2014

http://www.meforum.org/4863/iran-remains-the-threat-in-the-middle-east


Fear in America

The results of a Rasmussen Reports survey published last week further confirm Americans’ deep concerns about the direction in which the country is heading. Sixty-five percent of likely voters polled believed that the country was on the wrong track while only 27% believed that the country was headed in the right direction. “[Seventy percent] of voters not affiliated with either major political party think the country is on the wrong track,” Rasmussen reported. Democrats and liberals were more inclined to believe the country was headed in the right direction, but by slim margins of 48% to 42% for Democrats and 48% to 40% for liberals.

View Article


17 Things About Men That Most Women Don’t Know

17 Things About MenDo you feel like you truly understand men? Much has been written about how men don’t understand women, but the truth is that there is a whole lot about men that women don’t understand as well. The point is not to spark a debate about “the battle of the sexes” or anything like that. Rather, it is important for all of us to understand that there is a tremendous amount of confusion about what it means “to be a man” in America today. So many of our young men seem lost, so many of our older men seem defeated and depressed, and all over this country families are completely falling apart. We need to understand our problems so that we can start focusing on solutions. Below, I have shared 17 things about men that most women don’t know. Some of them are funny, some of them are quite interesting and some of them are extremely serious. But all of them say something about where we are as a society today… (Read More…)


19 Very Surprising Facts About The Messed Up State Of The U.S. Economy

19 – Public DomainBarack Obama and the Federal Reserve are lying to you. The “economic recovery” that we all keep hearing about is mostly just a mirage. The percentage of Americans that are employed has barely budged since the depths of the last recession, the labor force participation rate is at a 36 year low, the overall rate of homeownership is the lowest that it has been in nearly 20 years and approximately 49 percent of all Americans are financially dependent on the government at this point. In a recent article, I shared 12 charts that clearly demonstrate the permanent damage that has been done to our economy over the last decade. The response to that article was very strong. Many people were quite upset to learn that they were not being told the truth by our politicians and by the mainstream media. Sadly, the vast majority of Americans still have absolutely no idea what is being done to our economy. For those out there that still believe that we are doing “just fine”, here are 19 more facts about the messed up state of the U.S. economy… (Read More….)


What is Domestic Violence?

By Justin Holcomb

The month of October has been designated Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The goal of this month is to raise public awareness about domestic violence and to educate communities and individuals on how to recognize, prevent, and respond to domestic violence. This article is the first in a series.

”Domestic violence” is used as an overarching term to encompass a large number of behaviors–physical, verbal, and psychological–that violate the well-being of an individual and his or her ability to act. Historically, “domestic violence” was mostly associated with physical violence. “Domestic violence” today, however, has a much broader legal definition, which includes sexual, psychological, verbal, and economic abuse. Domestic violence is a pattern of coercive, controlling, or abusive behavior that is used by one individual to gain or maintain power and control over another individual in the context of an intimate relationship. Continue Reading.


Marsha West: “Bethel Church’s ‘apostle’ Bill Johnson: A comedy of errors, Part 1″

Bill Johnson is no stranger to controversy. For one thing, he claims to be an apostle, as in the unique position held by the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ. He was given this high honor by C. Peter Wagner who holds many titles himself, including president of Global Harvest Ministries, chancellor of Wagner Leadership Institute, convening apostle of the New Apostolic Roundtable, and my personal favorite: presiding apostle of International Coalition of Apostles (ICA). So for the purpose of this article I’ll dub him Presiding Apostle Peter or PA Peter for short. What’s important to know about him is that he’s sort of like the pope of the “new apostolic-prophetic movement.” . . . [Click for more]


CultureWatch: The Curse of Relevance

by Bill Muehlenberg

On most occasions when you hear about a church or a pastor seeking to be relevant, you should run for the hills. That is because nine times out of ten, they are willing to abandon clear biblical teachings simply to be likeable, popular and accepted by the masses.

There is probably no bigger reason why we have so much compromise, carnality and cowardice in our churches today than because of this wretched desire to be “relevant”. Trying to please the masses almost always means we will be displeasing God.

The great trouble with this lousy desire to be relevant is that almost always the truths of the gospel are watered down to make them acceptable to sinners. Instead of leading sinners to a holy and pure saviour, we dilute the message and weaken the Saviour, so that he becomes palatable and attractive. But that is a recipe for disaster. Read more


CultureWatch: We Are On a Mission

by Bill Muehlenberg

OK, if you like the blues – as I do – and some oldish classic films, then you will know what I am talking about here. Jake and Elwood got it right: “We’re on a mission from God”. But too many believers today think they are on a vacation from God. They are living the good life and serving self. They just want their ‘best life now’.

But this has nothing to do with genuine Christian discipleship and obedience of course. This has once again become so clear to me as I reread the gospel accounts and the call of the disciples by Jesus. There we find nothing at all similar to the majority of book titles we find in any Christian bookstore today.

There was nothing about being successful, being fulfilled, being happy, being wealthy, being popular or being well-received. The call to the disciples, like the call to all men and women by Jesus, was no-nonsense stuff. He spelled out clearly the costs of discipleship, the fact that they would be hated and persecuted, and that they had a huge job to do. Read more


Marsha West – Bethel Church’s “apostle” Bill Johnson: A comedy of errors, Part 1

We can all rest easy – Kenneth Copeland has taken authority over ebola

Mother in Coma Heard Everything, Was Scared They’d Turn Off Her Life Support

Why Does Evil Exist? | Worldview Weekend


CDC’s Frieden Spearheaded New York City’s Nanny State—Brendon Bordelon

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/390619/cdcs-frieden-spearheaded-new-york-citys-nanny-state-brendan-bordelon

With his face plastered for weeks on every TV set in America, CDC director Tom Frieden is suffering from an advanced case of media overexposure. While meant to reassure, his clinical demeanor and calculated speech patterns as he explains the U.S. Ebola outbreak often come across as patronizing — even smug.


Sacrificing Common Sense on the Alter of Political Correctness—Debra Rae

http://www.newswithviews.com/Rae/debra258.htm

The teller and listeners accept as likely, or plausible, even the fictional narrative of a good legend.  Arising from within a specific tradition of indoctrination, a convincing, evolving legend gains notoriety until, over time, its credence becomes nonnegotiable. In the case of political correctness, value-free, culturally inclusive, and gender-neutral language is memorialized in the Official Politically Correct Dictionary and Handbook (1993).


Obama Repeats: You Can’t Get Ebola on a Bus—Day After Bus Quarantined in D.C.

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/brittany-m-hughes/obama-repeats-you-can-t-get-ebola-bus-day-after-bus-quarantined-dc


Al-Qaeda Urges Attacks on ‘Achilles Heel of Western Economies’

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/patrick-goodenough/al-qaeda-urges-attacks-achilles-heel-western-economies


Is CDC Hiding Enterovirus Link To Illegal Alien Kids? http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/101714-722387-enterovirus-outbreak-illegal-alien-kids.htm#


Nine real technologies that will soon be inside you

https://au.news.yahoo.com/technology/a/25293925/nine-real-technologies-that-will-soon-be-inside-you/


A Toxic President

http://nypost.com/2014/10/19/a-toxic-president/


Obama makes rare campaign trail appearance, people leave early

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/19/us-usa-politics-obama-idUSKCN0I80V320141019


Is It In The News Or Is It A Horrow Movie—Lee Duigon

http://www.newswithviews.com/Duigon/lee272.htm

It’s getting harder and harder to tell the difference between the news and a horror movie.

A random peek at the front page of the Drudge Report, a few days ago, yielded the following gems.

“A disgruntled employee” hijacked a train. That could have turned out very badly for a lot of people.

In a Los Angeles neighborhood, kooks dressed up as clowns and brandishing weapons are going around scaring people. Police caught a teenager who says he was doing it “because I saw it on the Internet.”


Hillsong, Homosexuality and the Shrinking Gospel

http://billmuehlenberg.com/2014/10/18/hillsong-homosexuality-and-gutting-the-gospel/

I have said this plenty of times before and I will say it again: when you are leading a megachurch, there is massive temptation to keep the masses happy and the money flowing by telling people what they want to hear instead of what they need to hear.


MSNBC Slams GOP Over ‘Irresponsible’ ‘Politics of Fear’ on Ebola

http://www.mrc.org/biasalerts/msnbc-slams-gop-over-irresponsible-politics-fear-ebola


Baby Born Healthy After Couple Refuses Abortion Despite Doctors’ ‘Fetal Abnormalities’ Claim

http://christiannews.net/2014/10/20/baby-born-healthy-after-couple-refuses-abortion-despite-doctors-fetal-abnormalities-claim/


Sam-sex marriage legal in Arizona

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_GAY_MARRIAGE?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2014-10-17-17-42-04


 

When Self-Exaltation is Love–Mike Riccardi

http://thecripplegate.com/when-self-exaltation-is-love/

Jonathan Edwards’ life, thought, and theology was dominated by the glory of God. Edwards argued extensively that God is chiefly concerned with His glory—manifesting the beauty of His perfections—and therefore all His creatures should be concerned with His glory as well. This commitment would shape Edwards’ entire theology, even as it related to theodicy and theology proper, the Calvinist-Arminian debate, the Christian’s pursuit of holiness, and the centrality of the affections in the Christian life. …


City Threatens to Arrest Ministers Who Refuse to Perform Same-Sex Weddings

http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes/top-stories/city-threatens-to-arrest-ministers-who-refuse-to-perform-same-sex-weddings.html


Vatican Astronomer Calls Young Earth Creation Beliefs ‘Almost Blasphemous’

http://christiannews.net/2014/10/20/catholic-astronomer-calls-young-earth-creation-beliefs-almost-blasphemous/


An unholy origin of twelve not so simple steps—John Lanagan

http://mywordlikefire.com/2014/10/16/an-unholy-origin-of-twelve-not-so-simple-steps/

Examined over several decades, it is clear A.A. cofounder Bill Wilson repeatedly and willingly gave himself over to familiar spirits. A.A. historian Ernest Kurtz notes, “So profound was Bill’s immersion in this area that he at times confused the terms ‘spiritualism’ and ‘spirituality.’”

 


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 hipandthigh:

ralph w.0I continue with my evaluation of Chaz Bufe’s 20 Reasons to Abandon Christianity.

We come to the 8th reason why Chaz believes we all should lay aside Christianity as a viable worldview: Christianity, according the Chaz, is anti-intellectual and anti-scientific.

The claim of an anti-intellectual Christian faith is a common urban myth among those in the atheistic community. Images of dim witted, superstitiously gullible Christians with their fingers in their noses are regularly recycled among the atheists as being true. They love to draw the mental picture of all Bible-believing, fundamental Christians as being bare-foot, wild-eyed hillbillies who believe all science is of the devil and any college schoolin’ is going to steal your salvation.

Chaz is no different. He too delights in laughing at these cartoonish characters he has drawn up of Christians. However, it is not really thinking for someone who prides himself as a “free-thinker.”…

View original 1,125 more words

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October 21: Visions of Grandeur

Ezekiel 41:1–42:20; Revelation 20:7–21:8; Job 38:34–41

In times of struggle, a vision of grander glory is often enough to move us beyond our current circumstances. We find encouragement in glimpsing the vastness and power of God’s plan.

When Ezekiel and God’s people are weary and desperate for hope, God gives His prophet an unusual vision: He shows Ezekiel the temple—not as it is, but as it should be. The temple symbolizes Yahweh’s presence among His people. It points them toward proper worship and life. It reminds them not only of who He is, but who they are meant to be. As we tour the temple with Ezekiel, we see that God intends to restore not only the temple, but also proper worship (Ezek 40:1–42:20).

John the apostle’s vision recorded in Revelation echoes Ezekiel’s: “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea did not exist any longer. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband” (Rev 21:1–2). This new Jerusalem, this new hope, promises restoration, revitalization, and reconciliation. It’s more than just a structure—it is a way of being.

When Yahweh casts visions of this life restored, He shows His people that He cares deeply about His relationship with them. He will make it right. He will enact His plan through Jesus, the bridge and the reason why God can proclaim, “Behold, I am making all things new!” (Rev 21:5). This is our hope, now and always.

How do Ezekiel’s and John’s visions of the future give you hope? How should your relationship with God change in light of this?

John D. Barry[1]


October 21

FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT WITH ALL THY MIGHT

John S. B. Monsell, 1811–1875

Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. (1 Timothy 6:12)

As Christians, one of our chief characteristics should be courage, especially when it involves our spiritual defense of the gospel. How easily, however, our noble intentions for this kind of fortitude are changed into attitudes of despair and defeat because of annoying circumstances, the secular media, or disappointment in others. To avoid these courage-defeating forces, we must have our “inner man” renewed daily with spiritual nourishment. We cannot be truly strong if we do not gain the inner strength that comes from God.

When John Monsell wrote this hymn text, he provided ten strong imperatives for a triumphant Christian life: 1) Fight the good fight; 2) Lay hold of life; 3) Run the straight race; 4) Lift up thine eyes; 5) Seek His face; 6) Cast care aside; 7) Lean on thy Guide; 8) Trust and prove; 9) Faint not nor fear; and 10) Only believe. Each of these is worthy of further pondering.

John Monsell was an Anglican clergyman who published a hymnal in 1863 titled Love and Praise for the Church Year. In that song book this hymn first appeared under the title “The Fight for Faith.” This respected man of the pulpit was also known as a strong advocate of vigorous congregational singing, constantly persuading his people that congregational singing should be fervent and joyous. “We are too distant and reserved in our praises,” he would say. “We sing, but not as we should sing to Him who is the chief among ten thousand, the altogether lovely.” Perhaps there is a stronger relationship between our times of joyous praise and our ability to “fight the good fight” than we generally realize.

Fight the good fight with all thy might! Christ is thy strength, and Christ thy right; lay hold on life, and it shall be thy joy and crown eternally.

Run the straight race through God’s good grace. Lift up thine eyes and seek His face; life with its way before us lies; Christ is the path and Christ the prize.

Cast care aside, lean on thy Guide; His boundless mercy will provide; trust and thy trusting soul shall prove Christ is its life and Christ its love.

Faint not nor fear; His arms are near; He changeth not, and thou art dear; only believe, and thou shalt see that Christ is all in all to thee.

For Today: Deuteronomy 31:6; Romans 8:36–39; 1 Corinthians 16:13

Allow God to renew your inner man through quiet meditation with His Word and a time of communion with Him. Reflect on these musical truths—[2]


October 21

Intro

Welcome to Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Today’s reading is First Samuel 28 through 31. Our lesson is from First Samuel 28:5–6, “When Saul saw the Philistine army, he was afraid; terror filled his heart. He inquired of the LORD, but the LORD did not answer him by dreams or Urim or prophets.” (NASU)

Lesson

We need to be careful of allowing fear to control us. This can disarm the believer. We should not be foolish if a dangerous situation arises but we should be able to put our total confidence in the Lord, who can rescue us.

First, Saul saw the Philistine army. The enmity between Israel and the Philistines went back for many years. Saul’s problem was he focused on the strength of the Philistines rather than seeing the hand of the Lord. He looked at the apparent potency of his enemy instead of seeking God’s presence.

Next, Saul was afraid. This was the result of not trusting in the Lord; instead he looked at himself. As a matter of fact, he was more than just afraid. Our text states he was terrorized. The degree of fear was great. When one is in a panic mode, it totally disarms the person because they are not able to think sensibly. When a person tends to freeze, it makes one totally subject to their emotions and prey to the enemy of our souls.

Third, Saul inquired of the Lord. It appears this was his last resort. It is good to see that King Saul did try to seek the presence of the Lord but tragically the Lord did not respond. The ways Saul sought the Lord were through dreams, Urim and the prophets. The Almighty does use different channels to communicate His will but Saul had disobeyed the Lord.

The king should have waited on the Lord but he took matters into his own hands. He contacted a medium. This was an abomination and totally prohibited by the Torah. In reality, what Saul did was to transfer his allegiance from the Lord and His revelation to the lies of the kingdom of darkness. How tragic!

Any part of the occult world whether it be horoscopes, Ouija or contacting the dead are not to be played with because the satanic powers are behind those practices. There is a great difference between magic and signs and wonders in the Bible.

In review, Saul saw the Philistine army. Saul was afraid. And Saul inquired of the Lord.

May we learn to trust wholehearted in the Lord and have the Bible as our rule of thumb. The Bible is there to use as our reference guide to life. It informs us on how to behave according to God’s desires and will. God’s Word and counsel are indispensable for daily living.

End

It has been a pleasure to share with you Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Tomorrow’s Bible reading is Second Samuel 1 through 5. 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]


 

October 21  Obeying God’s Commands 

“The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes” (Ps. 19:8).

✧✧✧

Obedience to the Word is the hallmark of a true believer.

It isn’t popular these days to speak of God’s Word as a book of commandments. Commands imply law, and we’re accustomed to grace. But the fact is, both the Old and New Testaments contain many commandments that all God’s people are to obey.

The Apostle John said, “By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, ‘I have come to know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected” (1 John 2:3–5). John equated the commandments of God with the Word of God.

Jesus Himself said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John 14:15), and “He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me; and he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father” (v. 21). If you truly love Christ, your life will be characterized by a pattern of obedience to His Word.

Every commandment of God is “pure,” the psalmist said (Ps. 19:8). Its effect is “enlightening the eyes.” God’s Word brings spiritual truth into clear focus. Not every passage of Scripture is easy to understand, but taken as a whole, the message of the Bible is clear to the regenerate mind.

But as clear as the Bible is to believers, unredeemed people can’t understand it. To them it’s foolishness because their minds are unenlightened (1 Cor. 2:14). In their spiritual blindness they choose humanistic philosophical speculations over God’s Word. But as a believer, you are continually being enlightened by the truths of God’s Word as the Holy Spirit enables you to understand them and apply them to your life.

Your ability to understand the Word is a priceless gift. Take advantage of it daily by expanding your Bible knowledge and increasing your obedience.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Thank the Lord for opening your mind to the truths of His Word. ✧ Commit yourself to discovering at least one additional truth from Scripture each day.

For Further Study: Read 1 Corinthians 2:14–16. What comparison did Paul make between the natural (unregenerate) man and the spiritual (regenerate) man?[4]


October 21

Willing to Go

Scripture reading: 1 John 5:1–4

Key verse: 1 John 5:13

These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.

In her book, Tramp for the Lord, Corrie Ten Boom writes of a time when God called her to go beyond what seemed humanly reasonable. She had just finished speaking at a church in Denmark when two nurses approached her and asked her to go to their apartment for tea. When she arrived at the apartment, she realized she would have to walk up ten flights of stairs to get to her destination:

“Oh Lord, I do not think I can make it.” But the nurses wanted me to come up so badly that I consented to try …

We finally reached the apartment … I knew that a blessing of some kind was waiting for us … I opened the Bible and pointed out the verses about salvation. A mother of one of the nurses listened intently … I prayed, then the two nurses prayed and finally the mother folded her hands and said, “Lord Jesus, I know already much about You. I have read much in the Bible, but now I pray You to come into my heart … Make me a child of God. Amen.”

Corrie turned and looked at one nurse’s father, and he, too, expressed a desire to accept Jesus as his Savior. Corrie writes, “Suddenly the room was filled with great rejoicing and I realized the angels had come down and were standing around, singing praises unto God.”

Are you willing to go wherever God calls you to go? His blessings wait for you there.

Lord, forgive me for the times I fail You. Make me willing to go anywhere at Your command.[5]


October 21

Exalting the Poor

Let the lowly brother glory in his exaltation.

James 1:8

Today’s verse is a command for the poor Christian to rejoice. A Christian who is economically poor may have nothing in the material world to rejoice about, but he can rejoice in the knowledge that God is exalting him spiritually in his standing before God. He may be hungry, but he has the Bread of Life. He may be thirsty, but he has the Living Water. He may be poor, but he has eternal riches. He may not have a satisfying home here, but he has a glorious home in the life to come. In this life he may have trials, but God is using them to perfect and exalt him spiritually.

The Christian who is deprived can accept his trials because of the hope of receiving an incorruptible and undefiled inheritance that will never fade away (1 Pet. 1:4). True riches belong to us, so poverty is a short–lived trial that can be endured as we look ahead to a glorious time of exaltation.[6]


October 21  Saved and Sure

scripture reading:  Romans 8:31–39 
key verse:  Galatians 2:16 

Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.

People who doubt their salvation are miserable Christians and confusing witnesses to the unbelieving world. They are not portraits of “the abundant life” that Jesus Christ gives those who trust Him for the forgiveness of their sins.

How then do you slip into this anxiety–producing mind–set? By subtly shifting from grace to performance. By losing sight of the all–sufficiency of the Cross. Salvation is always “by grace … through faith” (Eph. 2:8 nasb). It is a gift from God.

Once saved, you may drift into a performance–based mentality, thinking your relationship with the Lord depends upon your conduct. This is heresy. Only God’s grace saves you and keeps you saved. Your basis of acceptance before Him is the Cross where God the Father justified you (declared you not guilty) through His Son’s death. You are accepted not on your merit but wholly on Christ’s substitutionary death on Calvary. Once for all, Jesus died for all your sins for all time. When you are saved, your sins are forgiven—past, present, and future.

If you are wrestling with doubt over your salvation, look to the Cross. If you have received Christ by faith, you are eternally secure in the Savior. Nothing can alter that fact.

Dear Lord, I thank You that the foundation of my spiritual life rests on the assurance of my salvation. I am saved and sure. My sins are forgiven—past, present, and future![7]


October 21

God’s Proactive Position

You are the God who does wonders; You have declared Your strength among the peoples.

Psalm 77:14

god gives us what He knows will bring us great pleasure and joy, even though we in our finite wisdom and understanding may not know fully what we need or desire.

God does not wait for others to initiate the provision for our innermost needs. He assumes a proactive position in meeting our needs. God may use other people in the process, but He creates, orchestrates, and engineers the solution that satisfies.[8]


October 21

O TRUE believer, called by grace and washed in the precious blood of Jesus, thou hast tasted of better drink than the river of this world’s pleasure can give thee; thou hast had fellowship with Christ; thou hast obtained the joy of seeing Jesus, and leaning thine head upon His bosom. Do the trifles, the songs, the honors, the merriment of this earth content thee after that? If thou art wandering after the waters of Egypt, oh, return quickly to the one living fountain: the waters of Sihor may be sweet to the Egyptians, but they will prove only bitterness to thee. What hast thou to do with them? Jesus asks thee this question—what wilt thou answer Him?[9]


Day 21

Adoration

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphim; each one had six wings: with two they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. And one cried to the other and said,

“Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of hosts;

The whole earth is full of His glory!” (Isaiah 6:3)

The Lord God is the Alpha and the Omega, who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty. (Revelation 1:8)

Pause to express your thoughts of praise and worship.

Confession

I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake,

And I will not remember your sins. (Isaiah 43:25)

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

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments. (Matthew 22:37–40)

May I not love with words or tongue, but in deed and in truth. By this I will know that I am of the truth and will assure my heart before Him; for if my heart condemns me, God is greater than my heart, and knows all things. If my heart does not condemn me, I have confidence before God and receive from Him whatever I ask, because I keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight. (1 John 3:18–22)

Pause to add your own prayers for personal renewal.

Petition

May I not say, “Today or tomorrow I will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business, and make a profit.” For I do not even know what my life will be tomorrow. I am a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, let me say, “If the Lord wills, I will live and do this or that.” Otherwise, I boast in my arrogance, and all such boasting is evil. (James 4:13–16)

Personal Concerns

Spiritual warfare

The world

The flesh

The devil

Growth in character

Personal disciplines

Physical health and strength

My activities for this day

Special concerns

Intercession

May I remember those in prison as though bound with them, and those who are mistreated, since I myself am also in the body. (Hebrews 13:3)

World Affairs

The poor and hungry

The oppressed and persecuted

Those in authority

Peace among nations

Current events and concerns

Affirmation

Apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, being witnessed by the law and the prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. For there is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. (Romans 3:21–24)

What the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin; He condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. (Romans 8:3–4)

Pause to reflect upon these biblical affirmations.

Thanksgiving

For those who revere Your name, the Sun of righteousness will rise with healing in His wings. And they will go out and leap like calves released from the stall. (Malachi 4:2)

Jesus fulfilled the words of the prophet Isaiah:

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,

Because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor.

He has sent Me to proclaim freedom for the captives

And recovery of sight to the blind,

To set free those who are downtrodden,

To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” (Luke 4:18–19)

Pause to offer your own expressions of thanksgiving.

Closing Prayer

I will enter Your gates with thanksgiving

And Your courts with praise;

I will give thanks to You and bless Your name.

For the Lord is good

And Your lovingkindness endures forever;

Your faithfulness continues through all generations. (Psalm 100:4–5)

May the glory of the Lord endure forever;

May the Lord rejoice in His works. (Psalm 104:31)[10]


October 21

God’s Warning System

Scripture reading: Deuteronomy 11:22–25

Key verse: Deuteronomy 28:9

The Lord will establish you as a holy people to Himself, just as He has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in His ways.

The young family had stepped outside the will of God several months earlier. They stopped attending church regularly, stopped tithing altogether, and gradually decreased in service as their interest in prayer and reading the Bible waned. Slowly, the husband started noticing changes.

Things seemed to wear out more easily, including their bodies. Colds and infections were more frequent. So were trips to the mechanic as the cars continued to have nagging problems. The couple’s investments lagged, even lost ground, as the rest of the economy boomed. Trying to fill the void, they began making unwise financial decisions that further increased their problems, and their marriage started to strain under the duress. Finally, the young couple realized what went wrong: they were leaving out God.

If there is sustained, habitual sin in our lives, it will affect God’s response to our prayers. If He continued to answer all of our prayers despite our sinful conduct, He in effect would be condoning our actions, and a holy God cannot sanction sin. One of the ways God gets our attention is by withholding blessings when there is sin in our lives.

We should always consider it God’s gracious gift, a warning system He has put in place to steer us back within His will.

Dear Lord, thank You for Your warning system that steers me back into Your will. Help me to listen and respond in obedience.[11]


October 21

Of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.

Father, You said of Jesus, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” And Father, what manner of love You have bestowed on me, that I should be called Your child!

You have appointed Your Son heir of all things. If I am Your child, then I am an heir—Your heir and a joint heir with Christ, if indeed I suffer with Him, that I may also be glorified with Him.

Father, Jesus and You are one. You are in Him, and He in You. You are His Father and my Father, His God and my God. Jesus in us, and You, Lord God, in Him; that we may be made perfect in one.

The church, which is Jesus’ body, is the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

Having these promises, let me cleanse myself from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of You, Lord God.

You bless me richly, Lord—grace upon grace. May I live with a clear sense of Your very real presence with me.

John 1:16; Matthew 17:5; 1 John 3:1; Hebrews 1:2; Romans 8:17; John 10:30, 38; John 20:17; John 17:23; Ephesians 1:22–23; 2 Corinthians 7:1[12]


Morning, October 21

 

“The love of Christ constraineth us.”

— 2 Corinthians 5:14

 

How much owest thou unto my Lord? Has he ever done anything for thee? Has he forgiven thy sins? Has he covered thee with a robe of righteousness? Has he set thy feet upon a rock? Has he established thy goings? Has he prepared heaven for thee? Has he prepared thee for heaven? Has he written thy name in his book of life? Has he given thee countless blessings? Has he laid up for thee a store of mercies, which eye hath not seen nor ear heard? Then do something for Jesus worthy of his love. Give not a mere wordy offering to a dying Redeemer. How will you feel when your Master comes, if you have to confess that you did nothing for him, but kept your love shut up, like a stagnant pool, neither flowing forth to his poor or to his work. Out on such love as that! What do men think of a love which never shows itself in action? Why, they say, “Open rebuke is better than secret love.” Who will accept a love so weak that it does not actuate you to a single deed of self-denial, of generosity, of heroism, or zeal! Think how he has loved you, and given himself for you! Do you know the power of that love? Then let it be like a rushing mighty wind to your soul to sweep out the clouds of your worldliness, and clear away the mists of sin. “For Christ’s sake” be this the tongue of fire that shall sit upon you: “for Christ’s sake” be this the divine rapture, the heavenly afflatus to bear you aloft from earth, the divine spirit that shall make you bold as lions and swift as eagles in your Lord’s service. Love should give wings to the feet of service, and strength to the arms of labour. Fixed on God with a constancy that is not to be shaken, resolute to honour him with a determination that is not to be turned aside, and pressing on with an ardour never to be wearied, let us manifest the constraints of love to Jesus. May the divine loadstone draw us heavenward towards itself.

 

Evening, October 21

 

“Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?”

— Luke 24:38

 

“Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest O Israel, my way is hid from the Lord, and my judgment is passed over from my God?” The Lord cares for all things, and the meanest creatures share in his universal providence, but his particular providence is over his saints. “The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him.” “Precious shall their blood be in his sight.” “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” “We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are the called according to his purpose.” Let the fact that, while he is the Saviour of all men, he is specially the Saviour of them that believe, cheer and comfort you. You are his peculiar care; his regal treasure which he guards as the apple of his eye; his vineyard over which he watches day and night. “The very hairs of your head are all numbered.” Let the thought of his special love to you be a spiritual pain-killer, a dear quietus to your woe: “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” God says that as much to you as to any saint of old. “Fear not, I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.” We lose much consolation by the habit of reading his promises for the whole church, instead of taking them directly home to ourselves. Believer, grasp the divine word with a personal, appropriating faith. Think that you hear Jesus say, “I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not.” Think you see him walking on the waters of thy trouble, for he is there, and he is saying, “Fear not, it is I; be not afraid.” Oh, those sweet words of Christ! May the Holy Ghost make you feel them as spoken to you; forget others for awhile—accept the voice of Jesus as addressed to you, and say, “Jesus whispers consolation; I cannot refuse it; I will sit under his shadow with great delight.” [13]


October 21

Our Textbook

Scripture Reading: 2 Timothy 3:10–17

Key Verse: Psalm 119:2

Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with the whole heart!

Noah Webster, the early nineteenth-century scholar most famous for his dictionary, wrote the following in the preface of his American edition of the Bible:

The Bible is the chief moral cause of all that is good, and the best book for regulating the … concerns of men … The principles of genuine liberty, and of wise laws and administrations, are to be drawn from the Bible and sustained by its authority. The man, therefore, who weakens or destroys the divine authority of that Book may be accessory to all the public disorders which society is doomed to suffer … There are two powers only, sufficient to control men and secure the rights of individuals … the combined force of religion and law.

Over the centuries, countless men and women have dedicated and sometimes sacrificed their lives for the cause of bringing God’s Word to people who need it desperately. From translators and linguistic experts to international missionaries, these individuals understood the importance of each person having access to a Bible and being able to read it in his own language.

The best way to cherish the Scriptures is to use them as 2 Timothy 3:16–17 describes, as a living guide for real life. Don’t let it sit on a shelf or by your bed gathering dust. God’s timeless truth has the power to transform your life when you give it the opportunity.

Dear heavenly Father, thank You for Your Word. It has strengthened me. It has kept me. It has changed my life.[14]


October 21

Righteousness through Propitiation

1 John 2:2

He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.

This word propitiation is one of the great words of the Bible even though it appears only four times in the entire New Testament. The Greek word for propitiation translated the Hebrew word which described the Mercy Seat, the cover of the Ark of the Covenant which sat in the Holy of Holies. God was believed to dwell above the Ark, between the outstretched wings of the two cherubim at either end of the Mercy Seat. The Ark contained the stone tablets on which were written the Ten Commandments, the Law which man continually broke. But once a year, the High Priest would enter the Holy of Holies and sprinkle the blood of a sacrifice over the Mercy Seat to cover the broken Law. In this act, he made propitiation for the sins of Israel.

As a result of the covering of the Mercy Seat with blood, God, looking down, no longer saw the broken Law, but saw instead the blood of the sacrifice. Propitiation was made. In the same way, John wrote, “If anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world” (1 John 2:1–2).[15]


 

The Voice of Love  October 21 

And if the sinner asks for proof, at once I would say “Haven’t you felt the strivings and drawings of His love in your heart? Haven’t you known moments of holy longing and of bitter grief at your failures? Haven’t you had “heavenly visions” come to you sometimes when God gave you a glimpse of what a life with Him might be? These were the Spirit’s work, and are the voice of love and yearning from the Shepherd who is seeking to save you. Yield to these, and let Him save you.”

He believes, he yields, he turns, he trusts, he begins to follow. In this approach, the moment of conversion may be definite as definite as in any other conversion. I believe just as definite work may be done on this plan as on any other, and that it will be far more real, and unspeakably more God-honoring. And as to character, it makes the grandest sort of Christlikeness. Of course God meets people on other planes if that is the best they know, and does all He can for them with such false views of Himself, but oh! how unspeakably thankful I am to have grown out of it.

I wish I had time to write to Joel and tell him how much I enjoyed his views. I entirely agree with him as to the superficiality of much of religion. It cannot very well be any thing but superficial, if it is a correct doctrinal belief and not a regenerated life that is the point aimed at, and considered of the first importance. My soul hungers for realities. For the “kingdom of God is not in word but in power.”

—To Anna, January 21, 1881, 4653 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, Pa.[16]


October 21st

Direction by impulse

Building up yourselves on your most holy faith. Jude 20.

There was nothing either of the nature of impulse or of coldbloodedness about Our Lord, but only a calm strength that never got into panic. Most of us develop our Christianity along the line of our temperament, not along the line of God. Impulse is a trait in natural life, but Our Lord always ignores it, because it hinders the development of the life of a disciple. Watch how the Spirit of God checks impulse, His checks bring a rush of self-conscious foolishness which makes us instantly want to vindicate ourselves. Impulse is all right in a child, but it is disastrous in a man or woman; an impulsive man is always a petted man. Impulse has to be trained into intuition by discipline.

Discipleship is built entirely on the supernatural grace of God. Walking on the water is easy to impulsive pluck, but walking on dry land as a disciple of Jesus Christ is a different thing. Peter walked on the water to go to Jesus, but he followed Him afar off on the land. We do not need the grace of God to stand crises, human nature and pride are sufficient, we can face the strain magnificently; but it does require the supernatural grace of God to live twenty-four hours in every day as a saint, to go through drudgery as a disciple, to live an ordinary, unobserved, ignored existence as a disciple of Jesus. It is inbred in us that we have to do exceptional things for God; but we have not. We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things, to be holy in mean streets, among mean people, and this is not learned in five minutes.[17]


October 21

Decreasing Doubt

Scripture Reading: Job 42:1–6

Key Verse: Hebrews 13:5

Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

How should the successful Christian deal with doubt? This question often surfaces during times of tragedy when, for an instant, it may seem to some that God is not present. The Bible, however, tells us that God is always with us, in every circumstance, throughout every moment of our lives. He promises in His Word that He will never leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).

As humans, the concept of someone who is incapable of disappointing us is hard to grasp. Therefore, our wandering minds often give way to veins of doubt—doubt that God can provide for us, meet our needs, and turn impossibilities into possibilities.

When feelings such as these seek to break your confidence in God, you must take action. Your best defense is His Word. The Bible is our reassurance, our guide to the undeniable truth of God’s love for us and His desire to know us intimately.

If you are not receiving encouragement from your Bible reading, consider purchasing a Bible study tool, such as a topical concordance. Or you might try inviting a friend to become a Bible study partner with you. This will increase your knowledge in a spirit of fellowship. Be sure to select a person who knows the Scriptures and is capable of directing you to God’s truths in times of doubt. As you study the Bible together, your knowledge will increase and thoughts of doubt will decrease.

Lord, when I was a child, I sang that the B.I.B.L.E. was “the book for me.” I still believe that. Draw me to the ways and means to keep Your Word fresh in my heart.[18]

October 21

Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life

Rev. 2:10

There is a heaven at the end of every faithful Christian’s journey.

Cuyler[19]


 

October 21  Paying Sin’s Price 

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 6:23

✧✧✧

Christ paid a debt He did not owe to free us from a debt we could not pay.

In the scientific realm there are universal laws, such as the law of gravity. These laws are built into the creation by its all–wise Creator and keep it functioning normally.

Just as God has made inexorable laws to govern the physical dimension, so also has He decreed universal spiritual principles. The most significant of those spiritual laws is that sin demands death; death is the wages sin pays. The Greek word translated “wages” was commonly used to speak of giving compensation for service rendered. When God sentences sinners to Hell, He is merely giving them the compensation that they have earned and that His justice demands.

In sharp contrast to the inexorable law of sin and death is the gracious “free gift of God”—“eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Eternal life is not a wage but a gift, and hence it can’t be earned. Good works, church attendance, or religious rituals will not entitle anyone to it. After recounting his religious credentials—credentials unsurpassed in first–century Judaism (Gal. 1:14)—Paul dismissed them as “loss for the sake of Christ” (Phil. 3:7).

The free gift of eternal life comes only through “Christ Jesus our Lord.” In Acts 4:12 Peter declared that “there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved.” And in John 14:6 Jesus said simply, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.”

“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift” (2 Cor. 9:15)!

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Have you lost touch with the reality that “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death” (Rom. 8:2)? If so, spend some time in prayer today, thanking God for giving you eternal life.

For Further Study: What do the following passages teach about the possibility of earning eternal life: Romans 3:28; Galatians 2:16; 3:11; Philippians 3:9; Titus 3:5?[20]


 

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

[2] Osbeck, K. W. (1996). Amazing grace: 366 inspiring hymn stories for daily devotions (p. 316). 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. 307). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[5] Stanley, C. F. (2002). Seeking His face (p. 308). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[6] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 318). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

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

[8] Stanley, C. F. (2004). God’s way day by day (p. 314). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[9] Spurgeon, C. H. (1892). Daily Help (p. 298). Baltimore: R. H. Woodward & Company.

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

[11] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 308). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[12] Jeremiah, D. (2007). Life-Changing Moments With God (p. 316). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[13] Spurgeon, Charles 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. 308). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[15] Jeremiah, D. (2002). Sanctuary: finding moments of refuge in the presence of God (p. 308). Nashville, TN: Integrity Publishers.

[16] 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.

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

[18] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 308). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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

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

Originally posted on Possessing the Treasure:

by Mike Ratliff

6 For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion, 7 wanting to be teachers of the Law, even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions. (1 Timothy 1:6-7 NASB)

God is not the author of confusion. His truth is clear and discernable by the regenerate heart. On the other hand, our enemy, being the source of lies and deception, must create a climate in which what his false teachers expound is disguised as the truth and there will be attempts by those defending these false teachings to demand tolerance so that their error will not be open to detailed scrutiny. It is all a paradigm of smoke and mirrors. Rob Bell has taught, for instance, that it is wrong to use the Bible as our plumb line, our standard of truth…

View original 1,256 more words

In his presence is fullness of joy; in his absence is depth of misery. —C.H. Spurgeon

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Oct. 20, 2014

BLOOMBERG

Hillary Clinton’s friendly super-PAC is spending roughly $23,000 a day – nearly as much as it’s bringing in – as it builds a database of supporters and donors for a possible 2016 Democratic presidential bid.

Arizona and Alaska joined the states allowing gay marriage as two court orders extended a line of legal victories for advocates. Same-sex couples can now wed in 31 states and the District of Columbia.

The California Earthquake Authority, the largest seismic insurer in the U.S., is selling $350 million in bonds to strengthen its ability to pay claims, after the state’s first death due to a quake in 11 years.

Russia’s ruble dropped along with sovereign bonds after the country’s credit rating was cut to the second-lowest investment grade by Moody’s Investors Service amid sanctions over Ukraine. Moody’s downgraded the sovereign one level to Baa2 from Baa1 and kept a negative outlook on the rating on Oct. 17.

The European Central Bank bought covered bonds for the first time since President Mario Draghi unveiled an asset purchase program last month. The ECB acquired short-dated French notes from Societe Generale and BNP Paribas SA as well as Spanish securities from other lenders,

Speculators added bullish gold bets for the first time in nine weeks as concern that global economic growth is slowing whipsawed equity markets.

Brent crude fell 0.7 percent in London while West Texas Intermediate retreated 0.2 percent in New York.

Saudi Arabia warned against any breach of its border after Shiite Houthi rebels in neighboring Yemen seized a crossing point into the kingdom.

More than half of Sao Paulo’s residents say they are already experiencing water shortages and blame both the federal and state governments as the worst drought in eight decades threatens water supplies in South America’s biggest metropolis.

The state-of-the-art infectious disease centers now treating Ebola patients in the U.S. have world-class doctors and nurses with years of training, hot pressure chambers that can sterilize more than a ton of contaminated waste, and a record of success handling some of the world’s most demonic pestilence. What they don’t have is a lot of room for patients. Only four hospitals in the country have high-level containment units specially designed for treating exotic infectious diseases such as Ebola, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Each has the capacity to treat only a handful of Ebola patients at once.

AP Top Stories

President Obama made a rare appearance on the campaign trail on Sunday with a rally to support the Democratic candidate for governor in Maryland, but early departures of crowd members while he spoke underscored his continuing unpopularity.

The bodies of seven women have now been found in northwestern Indiana after a man confessed to killing one woman who was found strangled at a motel and leading investigators to at least three other bodies, authorities said Monday.

Keene State College students quickly cleaned up from a chaotic weekend after violent parties near the city’s annual pumpkin festival led to destruction, dozens of arrests and multiple injuries.

Turkey said Monday it was assisting Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga to cross its border and join the battle against jihadists for the Syrian town of Kobane, in a major shift by Ankara which until now had blocked Kurdish fighters.

Federal police have taken control of 13 municipalities in southern Mexico where local police are suspected of links to organized crime and possibly to the case of 43 missing students.

Activists lashed out Sunday at the Catholic Church’s failure at a major synod to open its doors to gay people, but praised Pope Francis for getting bishops to confront “taboos.”

U.S. businesses were much less likely to boost pay in the third quarter than in previous months, even as hiring remained healthy, a sign that wage gains may remain weak in the coming months.

BBC

The World Health Organization declared Nigeria officially free of Ebola – hailing it a “spectacular success story” – after six weeks with no new cases.

Obama ruled out imposing a travel ban on Ebola-affected regions of West Africa, and urges Americans not to give in to “hysteria” over the disease.

A Russian container ship drifts powerless with hundreds of tons of fuel on board is being pulled away from the Canadian coast after fears of an oil spill.

Suspected militant Islamists have shot and slaughtered people in three villages in north-east Nigeria, despite government claims that it had agreed a truce with them, residents said.

Australia reversed a rule which would have restricted access to the parliament building in Canberra for women wearing full-face Islamic veils.

Australia closed a deal to allow 200 special forces into Iraq to train local troops to fight against Islamic State, after a month-long legal row.

A suicide attacker kills at least 18 people at a Shia mosque in Iraq’s capital Baghdad, the latest in a spate of insurgent attacks.

WND

While U.S. warplanes strike at the militants of the so-called Islamic State in both Syria and Iraq, truckloads of U.S. and Western aid has been flowing into territory controlled by the jihadists, assisting them to build their terror-inspiring “Caliphate.”

Two Christian ministers who own an Idaho wedding chapel were told they had to either perform same-sex weddings or face jail time and up to $1,000 in fines, according to a lawsuit filed Friday in federal court.


Daily Digest for Monday

October 20, 2014

THE FOUNDATION

“Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time; for that’s the stuff life is made of.” –Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanac, 1746

TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS

You Know What We Need? An Ebola Czar.

Barack Obama announced Ron Klain as his new “Ebola Czar.” Obama said, “It may make sense for us to have one person, in part just so that after this initial surge of activity we can have a more regular process to make sure we’re crossing all the t’s and dotting all the i’s.” Just who is Ron Klain? He’s the former chief of staff for both Al Gore and Joe Biden. As RedState’s Dan McLaughlin put it, “Maybe Ron Klain will do a good job, but for perspective, imagine Bush putting Karl Rove in charge of Katrina recovery in October 2006.” Or better yet, Scooter Libby. Furthermore, Klain is a K Street lobbyist with ties to the Solyndra boondoggle and bankruptcy. He’s a political hack, not a doctor or an expert, but he did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. More…

Is the Federal Government Expecting Four Million New Immigrants?

If a document on the government’s website to publicize job-bidding opportunities is any indication, the Obama administration’s plan to grant amnesty to millions of illegal aliens will be breathtaking. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services issued a draft solicitation Oct. 6 looking for a company that can produce four million identification card templates a year. The synopsis of the bid said, “The objective of this procurement is to provide card consumables for the Document Management Division (DMD) that will be used to produce Permanent Resident Cards (PRC) and Employment Authorization Documentation (EAD) cards.” In total, the company must be able to produce 34 million cards — about a tenth of the current U.S. population. Breitbart suggested this bid may indicate the executive is already implementing its version of immigration “reform.” What will be more telling is if we see more government bids soliciting more items preparing for a surge. The strategic aim is simple: Democrats’ political salvation lies in creating a huge voter bloc protectorate just like they did with blacks. More…

That Time Obama’s Credit Card Was Declined

Credit card fraud has become a large problem, but there are measures being taken to stop it. This one is a federal order. The Hill reports, “Obama on Friday is signing an executive order to move the government towards more secure payment cards, a measure designed to help fight the recent rash of data breaches at high profile businesses.” In announcing it, however, he recounted some credit card troubles of his own — his card was declined while dining in New York recently. “Turns out, I guess I don’t use it enough, so they thought there was some fraud going on,” he joked. Oh, there’s some fraud going on, alright. “Fortunately Michelle had hers,” he added. “But I was trying to explain to the waitress: ‘You know, I really think that I’ve been paying my bills.'” Actually, no, he hasn’t been “paying his bills” — that’s why the nation’s credit card is so far over its limit.

People Walk Out on Obama, Heckler Interrupts Him

How unpopular is Barack Obama? Well, let’s just say the Democrats’ messiah has lost the luster from his 2008 Democratic Convention speech in front of those grand Greek columns. One of the few Democrats willing to be seen with Obama these days is Maryland Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown, who is campaigning for governor. Reuters reports it didn’t go well: “Obama made a rare appearance [with another candidate] on the campaign trail on Sunday with a rally to support the Democratic candidate for governor in Maryland, but early departures of crowd members while he spoke underscored his continuing unpopularity.” That’s right — people headed for the exits when he started speaking. “There are no excuses. The future is up to us,” Obama said as he repeatedly encouraged people to vote. Reuters adds, “A heckler interrupted his remarks.” How the mighty have fallen.

‘The President Hasn’t Had Anybody’s Back’

DNC Chief Debbie Wasserman Schultz squared off against her Republican counterpart, Reince Preibus, on Fox News over the weekend. As Democrats are wont to do, she made the election about emotion and a false sense of “caring” from Democrats. “The one question that voters are going to ask themselves,” she said, “is who has my back? And on issue after issue, Democrats have stood up for jobs, for the economy, for investing in education and health care — those are the issues that voters are talking about.” Preibus responded with this zinger: “Debbie, you guys are losing everywhere, first of all. And the president hasn’t had anybody’s back. He hasn’t even had your back. And so, I don’t know whose back these Democrats have, but it’s not the American people’s back.” Indeed, Democrats have destroyed jobs, held back the economy, and ruined education and health care. You might say Democrats have done quite well stabbing people in the back.

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RIGHT ANALYSIS

Voting Democrat Could Endanger Your Health

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On Tuesday, Nov. 4, millions of Americans will head to the polls to vote in one of the more crucial elections of modern times. As we’ve witnessed the recent debacle surrounding the Obama administration’s response to Ebola, and its orchestrated dispersal of illegal alien children throughout the nation — with support from the Democrat Party every step of the way — one thing becomes clear: A vote for any Democrat is hazardous to your health.

Most Americans are now distressingly aware of the series of unconscionable bungles by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Nurses Nina Pham and Amber Vinson have both been infected by the late Patient Zero, Thomas Eric Duncan, and the CDC response has been pathetic. CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden first sought to blame Pham herself for a “protocol breach,” even as it was subsequently revealed such protocols were either haphazardly applied or non-existent. Even worse, Vinson was cleared to fly to Ohio and back to Texas by the CDC itself, despite reporting a temperature. As a result, the agency was not only forced to monitor more than 100 people in Ohio, but hundreds more people that flew on the same Frontier Airlines plane in subsequent flights. Another hospital worker exposed to Duncan’s medical specimens was quarantined — on a Carnival Magic cruise ship.

There are numerous other examples of lapses committed by both the hospital and the CDC, but all of them have only happened for one overriding reason: Barack Obama refused to restrict incoming flights from Ebola-ravaged nations in West Africa. And make no mistake: Every subsequent bureaucratic failure stems from that decision.

Moreover, it is a decision on which the administration actually doubled down in August, when the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began “waiving fees, expediting the immigration process, and allowing extensions of visas for anyone coming from the three designated Ebola-stricken countries, provided that they are in the United States,” Breitbart reports.

Obama’s fellow Democrats have supported him every step of the way. “There’s no such thing as fortress America when it comes to infectious disease,” said Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO). “The best way to stop Ebola is going to be to stop this virus in Africa.”

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) agreed. “Sealing people off in Africa is not going to keep them from traveling,” he insisted. “They’ll travel to Brussels, as one of the people did, and then into the United States.”

Animals from foreign nations are subject to quarantine, and many agricultural products and other foodstuffs are denied entry altogether. Yet Democrats not only believe applying the same rules to people is impractical, they conflate going to West Africa to fight Ebola with allowing people from West Africa to enter our country.

And why not? Democrats are equally on board with the administration’s decision to allow 66,000 illegal alien children, not only to enter our country, but be dispersed throughout it. Alien children the administration knew were coming seven months before it occurred. This government ad posted on Jan. 29, entitled “Escort Services for Unaccompanied Alien Children,” sought escort services for “approximately 65,000 UAC in total” via “local ground transport,” “ICE charter” and “commercial air.”

The all-out assault on our Southwest border occurred over the same time frame Enterovirus D-68 (EV-D68), relatively rare in the United States, began ramping up in earnest. The CDC and state authorities confirm that 691 people in 46 states and the District of Columbia contracted EV-D68 between August and October. Five children have died from it, and it is also linked to four confirmed and seven suspected cases of paralysis-like symptoms in Colorado, as well as additional cases in Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles. In some cases, children have been left bound to a wheelchair, unable to speak or breathe on their own. They have little chance of full recovery, because the disease kills the connection between the muscles and the spinal chord. Stanford School of Medicine neurologist Keith Van Haren believes it’s “just a matter of time before we establish a definitive link between EV-D68 and this polio-like illness that follows.”

The CDC denies any connection between the disease and the illegals. How believable is that? Doctors from the Division of Viral Diseases at the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases published a study posted on the CDC’s own website. It reveals that EV-D68 “is one of the most rarely reported serotypes, with only 26 reports throughout the 36-year study period (1970 through 2006).” Thus we are expected to believe that 26 cases over a 36-year period, rising to 691 in a single year — even as the CDC waived its own health screening regulations for entry — is sheer coincidence.

If you believe that, by all means, vote Democrat.

Those would be the same Democrats, along with their media lapdogs, who have been decrying the “hysteria” surrounding the Ebola outbreak. Really? Nurse Vinson visited a bridal shop in Ohio and flew on Frontier Airlines. Anyone want to bet on that airline’s future business prospects, or those of Texas Presbyterian Hospital, which feels like a “ghost town” according to local health care vendor Rachelle Cohorn? How many people will forego booking a cruise on any Carnival Cruise ship? Moreover, note that all of this economic upheaval has been caused by a total of four people (Duncan, the two nurses and the shipboard health worker). Imagine the economic devastation that would follow an Ebola outbreak among, say, 50 Americans, including the massive amount of time, effort and money required to track down the exponential number of people with whom they will have come in contact.

Some Democrats aren’t stupid. Some of them recognize the administration’s response to Ebola and EV-D68 is toxic. Kentucky Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes and Georgia Senate candidate Michelle Nunn both declined to say they voted for Obama. Yet is there a scintilla of doubt in anyone’s mind that they and every other Democrat currently distancing themselves from the president and his policies to win an election won’t turn around and support him wholeheartedly if they win? Have modern-day Democrats ever exhibited anything other than a lemming-like loyalty to their party, even when that loyalty is detrimental to the nation?

Don’t misunderstand. Many Republicans are equally loathsome. They love the trappings of power without the responsibility that comes with it when you’re the majority party. Mitch McConnell is willing to “follow the advice of the experts” with regard to Ebola, and many other GOPers support immigration reform even though they know the promise of border control is a joke.

Yet an Obama administration that reduces everything to a political calculation, even a life-threatening, economy-killing disease, along with one that has paralyzed and killed American children, is beyond the pale. So is every Democrat who supports it. The same Democrats who will stand up and cheer when Obama unilaterally and illegally grants amnesty of millions of illegals after the election — even as nearly 167,000 convicted criminal immigrants with final orders of removal remain at large in our nation.

Thus, the election comes down to the Stupid Party (GOP) versus the Toxic Party (Democrats). Opt for Stupid. Your life might depend on it — literally.

‘Inherent Resolve’ to Appear Hawkish

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Political correctness has spread to the very naming of military operations. Despite objections from the Pentagon about the name, which one officer called “kind of bleh,” the administration chose a name for our military excursion against the Islamic State based on the effort to offend as few of our so-called coalition partners as possible. Thus, we’re embarked on “Operation Inherent Resolve.”

Barack Obama didn’t even have a strategy for countering ISIL until last month, and now he wants us to believe his plan is the essence of Inherent Resolve? In fact, resolve seems to be lacking in everyone involved except ISIL itself. And a nation doesn’t usually name its military operations as a compliment to its foe.

Many coalition nations fear getting involved in the Syrian civil war between forces allied with and opposed to Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad. But there’s a calculation involved. Since ISIL forces are generally seen as opposed to Assad, their defeat makes Assad stronger and by extension increases Russia’s influence in the region. On the other hand, few want a maniacal Islamic caliphate gaining power in the Middle East, either. The situation leaves many nations facing what they might consider a Faustian bargain. They already distrust the United States, given Obama’s erratic foreign policy and propensity to assume that nations will just let America use what it needs in the fight, whether domestically popular in those countries or not.

Nearly two dozen of these partners sent their best and brightest military minds to Joint Base Andrews in Maryland for a meeting with Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey. Obama tried to reassure them of our resolve but also warned, “There are going to be periods of progress and setbacks.” Clearly, even the best military strategy goes out the window as soon as the first shots are fired. But Obama’s setbacks are too often self-inflicted.

While we have made an effort to loosen ISIL’s grip on the Syrian border city of Kobani through ramped up airstrikes last week, the operational tempo of the newly christened Inherent Resolve falls far short of other recent operations in that region of the world. And since Obama has ruled out “boots on the ground” for purely political reasons, it’s clear he’s hoping other nations will do the dirty work in return for some unspecified reward down the road. That may be desirable — if it works. But it’s a big “if.”

What “inherent resolve” did Obama show in prematurely pulling our troops out of Iraq? His history of governing by poll numbers instead of a broad strategic plan against the entire scope of Islamic terror — whether al-Qaida, ISIL or the bevy of other splinter groups in the Islamic Crescent — shows why Inherent Resolve isn’t a philosophy. It’s just an empty name from an empty suit.

TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS

OPINION IN BRIEF

The Gipper: “When you see all that rhetorical smoke billowing up from the Democrats, well ladies and gentleman, I’d follow the example of their nominee; don’t inhale.”

Columnist Thomas Sowell: “Nothing is easier than to prove that America, or any other society of human beings, is far from being the perfect gem that any of us can conjure up in our imagination. But, when you look around the world today or look back through history, you can get a very painfully sobering sense of what a challenge it can be in the real world to maintain even common decency among human beings. Living just one year in the Middle East would be an education in reality that could obliterate years of indoctrination in grievances that passes for education in too many of our schools, colleges and universities. You could go on to get a postgraduate education in reality in some place like North Korea. … There is so much knowledge and skills that need to be transmitted to the young that turning schools and colleges into indoctrination centers is a major and reckless disservice to them and to American society, which is vulnerable as all human societies have always been, especially those that are decent.”

Columnist Burt Prelutsky: “One can imagine Obama being the Commander-in-Chief during World War II and announcing, ‘Yes, we are at war with Adolf Hitler and his savage war machine. But we are not — let me repeat — not at war with Nazism, which is a religion of peace. And we will definitely not have any boots on the ground in Europe.’ As for those European nations currently unwilling to take up arms either against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine or the Islamics in the Middle East, I suggest they heed the words of concentration camp survivor Elie Wiesel: ‘Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the oppressed. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.’ Or as Winston Churchill once said, ‘An appeaser is one who feeds an alligator in the hope it will eat him last.’ One can only hope that the civilized world will wake up sooner rather than later, and conclude that a united front is required to hasten the transformation of ISIS into WasWas.”

Fred Thompson: “White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said that the U.S. strategy for defeating ISIS is ‘reliant on something that is not yet in place.’ Yes. A Republican President.”

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/ )”


Recent ShadowStats Commentary Headlines

http://shadowstats.com/

October 17, 2014

No. 667: September Housing Starts, Prospective Third-Quarter GDP

• Third-Quarter 2014 Economic Growth Slowed Sharply
• Long-Term Stagnation in Housing Starts Continued at Low Level of Activity
• Social Security COLA Should Notch Slightly Higher from Last Year’s Adjustment, Remaining Far Shy of Common Experience
October 16, 2014

No. 666: September Industrial Production

• Third-Quarter Production Growth Slowed Sharply
• Falling Auto Production in September More than Offset by Defense Industry Output, Oil and Gas Production and Weather-Related Utility Surge
October 15, 2014

No. 665: September Retail Sales, PPI

• September Retail Sales Declined, August and September Activity Revised Lower and Third-Quarter Broad Growth Slowed Sharply
• Unstable Seasonal Factors Helped Push Headline PPI Lower
October 10, 2014

No. 664: Market and Economic Instabilities

• Broad U.S. Economy Is Not Growing
• Sharp Deterioration Likely Will Continue in Domestic and Global Financial-Market, Economic and Political Stability
• Confluence of Crises: U.S. Economy, Stocks and Dollar
October 3, 2014

No. 663: September Labor and Monetary Conditions, August Trade Deficit & Construction Spending

• No Recovery in Actual Business Activity
• Pre-Election Nonsense in Labor Numbers
• Congress Addresses Data Falsification in Unemployment Survey
• September Unemployment Rates: 5.9% (U.3), 11.8% (U.6), 23.1% (ShadowStats)
• Fed’s Monetary Policy Propped Stocks
• Annual Money Supply M3 Growth Fell to 4.3% in September
• Trade Data Were Positive, Construction Spending Was Neutral for Third-Quarter GDP
September 26, 2014

No. 662: Second-Quarter 2014 GDP — Third Estimate

• GDP Has Fully Reestablished Itself as the Most Worthless of Economic Series
• Fluff and Guesstimates Dominated the Upside GDP Revision
• Monthly Economic Reporting Should Turn Increasingly Negative
September 25, 2014

No. 661: “False Dawn,” Hyperinflation, Durable Goods Orders, Home Sales

• A “False Dawn” It Is
• Hyperinflation Forecast Remains in Play
• Stock Crashes versus October Residual-Squirrelling Instincts
• Durable Goods Orders Crashed 18.0% (-18.0%), Reversing July’s 22.2% Surge, Dominated Again by Irregular Commercial-Aircraft Orders
• Down for the Month, August Existing-Home Sales Were in Tenth Month of Annual Decline
• August New-Home Sales Surge of 18.0% Was Statistically-Insignificant


Stunning Scenes From California’s Central Valley Drought

No matter what you have read or seen so far on California’s historic Central Valley drought, you probably haven’t been touched by it as much as you will be by the following video from the New Yorker. Read more


Houston’s lesbian mayor turns tyrant

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson calls Christians to ‘take the fight to the enemy’. Despite the all-out effort by the far left to portray the LGBT lifestyle as “normal,” there is growing evidence revealing the disturbing truth: Dr. Paul R. McHugh, the Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Hospital said that transgenderism is a “mental disorder.” Read more


U.S. Humanitarian Aid Going to ISIS

While U.S. warplanes strike at the militants of the so-called Islamic State in both Syria and Iraq, truckloads of U.S. and Western aid has been flowing into territory controlled by the jihadists, assisting them to build their terror-inspiring “Caliphate.” The aid—mainly food and medical equipment—is meant for Syrians displaced from their hometowns, and for hungry civilians. Read more


Obama to Bypass Congress on Easing of Iran Sanctions

Oct. 20, 2014 – According to a New York Times article, President Obama is doing everything in his power to bypass Congress and suspend most of the sanctions placed on Iran by Congressional action in 2010.
Republican Sen. Mark S. Kirk of Illinois, a vocal critic of the negotiations, said Congress could not allow the president to “unilaterally unravel Iran sanctions that passed the Senate in a 99 to 0 vote.”
Ongoing negotiations will end on November 24, and Menendez predicts that if the talks do not end Iran’s illicit nuclear weapons program that Congress will pass even more stringent sanctions.
However, the President evidently has the power to temporarily suspend some of the sanctions in order to get a deal. Critics say that this will result in Iran becoming “a threshold nuclear state” — one that does not yet have nuclear weapons, but could reach that point very quickly. Read more


FBI Director Warns Google and Apple “If You Don’t Decrypt Phones, We’ll Do It For You**

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

FBI Director, James Comey, an Obama appointment, does not give a damn what the Constitution says.

In a recent speech, Comey warns If Apple and Google Won’t Decrypt Phones, We’ll Force Them To

Everyone is stoked that the latest versions of iOS and Android will (finally) encrypt all the information on your smartphone by default. Except, of course, the FBI: Today, its director spent an hour attacking the companies and the very idea of encryption, even suggesting that Congress should pass a law banning the practice of default encryption. Read more


John Kerry Blames the Jews for the Islamic State

The kind of rhetoric coming out of the Obama administration is the stuff of the KKK or al-Qaeda. Take your pick — it’s vicious, antisemitic and supremacist, the most vile demagoguery. Blaming the Jews for this purely Islamic movement exposes Kerry and Barack Obama for what they really are. Jew-haters.

View Article


Christian persecution

It is important for Israel to keep shining a light on persecution in the region and remain a haven for Christians in these difficult times.

Last week, as 4,500 Christians from more than 80 countries converged on Jerusalem to show support for Israel, prominent leaders of Jewish and Christian organizations spoke out against the persecutions Christians face daily throughout the Middle East. Read more


Exclusive: New figures reveal massive decline in religious affiliation

In five decades, the number of people with no religion in Britain has grown from just 3 per cent of the population to nearly half, according to a new survey. Among adults aged under 25, nearly two-thirds define themselves as “nones”, or people with no religious affiliation. (Gledhill, Christianity Today)

Full Story


Is Bible Prophecy Relevant? Part 2

Knowing that the Lord may come back at any moment has been a reality check for the church for centuries now. One look at the newspapers and the point becomes clear: things cannot go on this way much longer. Even among many non-Christians, there is a sense that some perilous times are just ahead. Now there are some who scoff at the notion that God is going to judge the world. After all, they view Him as far off, out of touch, and perhaps a bit antiquated. That is because they don’t know Him and in following their heart, they are taking God’s loving mercy for granted, not realizing….righteous judgement will fall just as He said it would.

View Article


Obama Administration Quietly Prepares ‘Surge’ Of Millions Of New Immigrant IDs

Despite no official action from the president ahead of the election, the Obama administration has quietly begun preparing to issue millions of work authorization permits, suggesting the implementation of a large-scale executive amnesty may have already begun.

View Article


Five Trends Among the Unchurched

With the aid of more than two decades of tracking research—a sort of cultural time-lapse photography—Barna Group has discovered real and significant shifts in unchurched attitudes, assumptions, allegiances and behaviors. We’ve identified five trends in our research that are contributing to this increase in the churchless of America. (Barna Group) read more


The U.S. Strategy to Defeat ISIS

A briefing by Max Boot
October 6, 2014

http://www.meforum.org/4859/isis-airstrikes


Arab Uprisings May Doom Middle East Christians :: Khashan in Middle East Quarterly

by Hilal Khashan
Middle East Quarterly
Fall 2014 (view PDF)

http://www.meforum.org/4801/arab-uprisings-may-doom-middle-east-christians


CultureWatch: The Traditions of Men, and Being Anesthetised

by Bill Muehlenberg

Pardon the somewhat odd title – let me explain: While evangelical Christians can look down on other Christian groups for adding to Scripture, or twisting Scripture, or misreading Scripture, or allowing man-made traditions to trump Scripture, the sad truth is, we often can do exactly the same thing.

We all need to be on guard here. None of us have a perfect take on these things. But I continue to be amazed at how many people who have been Christians all their life and been faithful church-goers all their life seem to miss some real basics of Christianity. Read more


A Brief Look at False Conversion

By Vince and Lori Williams

November 2011 (rev. Sept, 2014)

http://www.FalsifiedMinistries.com

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.”

Matthew 7:21

False Conversion? This is not a term that you would hear in the contemporary church in the 21st century, however it is pandemic in evangelicalism today.

This is an issue that is polluting the very heart of the American church.

Read more »


Resources on domestic abuse

Moody has put together a helpful collection of resources based on Justin and Lindsey Holcomb’s book, Is it My Fault? (reviewed here). Bookmark this (pastors and counsellors, especially).


Seven Good Things about the Houston Subpoena Controversy

I share the outrage of millions who were stunned when the city of Houston issued subpoenas to five area pastors. The subpoenas ordered the pastors to submit their sermons in regard to litigation against a new Houston Equal Rights Ordinance’s protection based on sexual orientation.

Houston Mayor Annise Parker and others involved in this debacle are certainly disregarding the very heart of the First Amendment. In recent days, the mayor’s office seems to be distancing itself from the subpoena controversy. There is little doubt, however, that the mayor and her team have disdain for many churches and Christian leaders.

I too am stunned and angered by this massive encroachment upon local churches by a governmental body. But there is an additional perspective to this horrendous act. It is not a perspective that detracts from the outrage, but one that suggests how God may be working His good in this situation. Let me suggest seven such ways. Read more


Headlines of Interest

Angley’s for-profit Grace Cathedral Buffet uses volunteer labor again after feds said to stop

Youth minister accused of sexual misconduct with a 14-year-old

Youth pastor abuse victim says church more concerned with reputation than him

UK Assisted suicide guidelines relaxed by Director of Public Prosecutions

Chinese pastor grateful for prison sentence

John Hagee: Ebola is God’s punishment for Obama ‘dividing Jerusalem’

The Ten Richest Pastors in the World – 2014

Washington State AG Looking Into Mars Hill Global Fund

Hillsong’s Brian Houston says church won’t take public position on LGBT issues

Breaking News From the Bible: Jesus Never Had a Building Fund

Christian Mother of Five Death Sentence for Blasphemy Upheld by Pakistani Court

How Boko Haram’s Murders and Kidnappings Are Changing Nigeria’s Churches

Ebola Survivor Nancy Writebol: Ebola is a Spiritual Battle

Roger Oakland – The Conversion of Protestants to Catholicism Through the Eucharist

Houston mayor, city attorney distance themselves from sermon subpoenas

Spiritual information about Pokemon

The decades-old treatment that may save a young Dallas nurse infected with Ebola

BREAKING: Mark Driscoll resigns from Mars Hill Church

Roger E. Olson – Leaving Behind “Left Behind

Former Grace Cathedral member says of Ernest Angley: ‘He divides and conquers families’

Pastor Juan McFarland Threatened Deacons With Castle Law: Right To Use Deadly Force

Church Minister Facing Sex Abuse Charge

Second health care worker tests positive for Ebola in Dallas

How superstition may thwart Ebola’s eradication in Guinea

Terror group inadvertently creates Gospel curiousity in Iraq

City of Houston Demands Oversight of Sermons

The murderous Chinese cult that thinks Jesus has returned — as a Chinese woman

Malaysian court: ‘Allah’ is Muslim-only word


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 Wretched with Todd Friel:

Episode 1472

View original

Originally posted on Pastor Joe Quatrone, Jr.:

Guard the truth_Leadership“Men wanted for hazardous journey, small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful. Honor and recognition in case of success.”

That advertisement appeared in a London newspaper and thousands of men responded! It was signed by the noted Arctic explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton, and that was what made the difference.

If Jesus Christ had advertised for workers, the announcement might have read something like this: “Men and women wanted for difficult task of helping to build My church. You will often be misunderstood, even by those working with you. You will face constant attack from an invisible enemy. You may not see the results of your labor and your full reward will not come until after all your work is completed. It may cost you your home, your ambitions, even your life.”

In spite of the demands He makes, Jesus Christ receives the “applications”…

View original 1,834 more words

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October 20: It Has Been Granted to You

Ezekiel 39:25–40:49; Revelation 19:11–20:6; Job 38:25–33

“It has been granted to her that she be dressed in bright, clean fine linen” (Rev 19:8), announces a voice from heaven in John’s revelation. The voice describes the bride who waits in anticipation—representing the believers who wait in expectation of being reunited with Christ.

The text contrasts the fine linen of the bride with the purple and scarlet cloth of the harlot, Babylon, who represents all that oppose God’s reign (Rev 18:16). The harlot receives criticism for her infidelity: “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great.… For all the nations have drunk from the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich from the power of her sensuality” (Rev 18:2–3).

But the cry goes out in and among Babylon: “Come out from her, my people” (Rev 18:4). The bride, who is preparing herself for the wedding celebration of the Lamb (Rev 19:7), responds to the call to remain pure—to avoid the temptations of the age. She is given the opportunity to dress herself in bright, clean fine linen, representing “the righteous deeds of the saints” (Rev 19:8). These deeds do not earn the bride her righteous standing before the Lamb, but they speak of a life that is transformed.

In Revelation, John uses this imagery to entreat the early believers to live righteously while awaiting the hope promised them. Christ has won the victory for us—the final conquering of sin and evil is imminent. We are empowered to live for Him now, to prepare ourselves for the day when we will have our reward: His presence.

How does your expectation of Christ’s coming help you live for Him now?

Rebecca Van Noord[1]


October 20

THE SON OF GOD GOES FORTH TO WAR

Reginald Heber, 1783–1826

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. (1 Corinthians 16:13)

This text was written in 1812 by Reginald Heber, an important 19th century Anglican church hymn writer. Heber wrote it especially for use on St. Stephen’s Day, which occurs the first day after Christmas. On this day the liturgical churches honor the memory of Stephen, the first Christian martyr.

The hymn’s first stanza portrays Christ as the leader of a great army going forth to win His kingly crown. The challenge is given: “Who follows in His train?” The response: Those who demonstrate that they can bear the cross patiently here below.

The second stanza reminds us of Stephen’s martyrdom. The scriptural account tells us that Stephen saw Jesus “standing at God’s right hand,” with Stephen praying for his murderers, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them” (Acts 7:54–60).

The third stanza refers to the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was given to “the chosen few.” The verse then reminds us of the twelve apostles and their martyrdom for the sake of the gospel. The final stanza is a picture in heaven of the noble martyrs throughout the ages before God’s throne—men, boys, matrons, maids—dressed in robes of white.

The Son of God goes forth to war, a kingly crown to gain: His blood-red banner streams afar: Who follows in His train? Who best can drink His cup of woe, (Christ’s suffering on the cross) triumphant over pain? Who patient bears His cross below, he follows in His train.

The martyr first, whose eagle eye could pierce beyond the grave, who saw His Master in the sky and called on Him to save—Like Him, with pardon on his tongue in midst of mortal pain, he prayed for them that did the wrong: Who follows in his train?

A glorious band, the chosen few on whom the Spirit came, twelve valiant saints, their hope they knew, and mocked the cross and flame—They met the tyrant’s brandished steel, the lion’s gory mane. They bowed their necks the death to feel: Who follows in their train?

A noble army, men and boys, the matron and the maid, around the Savior’s throne rejoice, in robes of light arrayed—They climbed the steep ascent of heav’n thru peril, toil and pain: O GOD, TO US MAY GRACE BE GIVEN TO FOLLOW IN THEIR TRAIN!

For Today: Ephesians 6:10–20; 1 Timothy 6:12; 2 Timothy 2:3, 4

Let this musical statement be your response of faith—[2]


October 20

Intro

Welcome to Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Today’s reading is First Samuel 24 through 27. Our lesson is from First Samuel 24:15, “The Lord therefore be judge and decide between you and me; and may He see and plead my cause and deliver me from your hand.” (NASU)

Lesson

At the beginning of chapter twenty four, we notice that King Saul is after David. He wants to kill him. However, David has the opportunity to murder Saul, yet he chooses not to because Saul has been anointed by the Lord as king. David feels remorse and does not take political advantage of the situation. Saul admits his guilt and David’s righteousness. This brings us to David’s three appeals in our verse.

First, David appeals to the Lord as his judge. If we find ourselves in David’s situation, I would imagine that all of us would want justice, especially if we are treated unfairly. Worthy to note is that David knows who the only one who can provide true justice is and that is the Lord.

David invites the Almighty to judge between Saul and himself. He realizes the importance of the Lord being the one who decides and not his friends or himself.

Second, David appeals to the Lord as his advocate. By trusting in the intervention of the Lord, David is willing to free himself of any treachery on his part. Although a great injustice has been committed by Saul, David is willing to let the Lord handle it for him. This speaks of great maturity and a willingness to prove that the Lord is his defender.

Third, David appeals to the Lord as his deliverer. David knows that only the Lord can truly save him from the mentally unstable Saul. David was a man of war and accustomed to taking things into his own hands. Yet here he is willing to forsake that and rely on God’s grace and protection. David was not a perfect person by far but he undoubtedly demonstrated an intimate relationship and confidence in the Lord who would keep him from the hands of King Saul.

In review, David appeals to the Lord as his judge. David appeals to the Lord as his advocate. And David appeals to the Lord as his deliverer.

The three roles of the Almighty can be applied to Jesus Christ. He is the only true judge who will judge all of humanity. He is our advocate. Jesus is at the right hand of the Father interceding for us. And finally, Jesus is our deliverer. He delivered us from sin and the dominion of the kingdom of darkness.

Take time to strengthen your faith in Jesus Christ. May we look to and appeal to Him in whatever situation we may find ourselves. Victory is assured when we totally surrender to Him and His ways.

End

It has been a pleasure to share with you Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Tomorrow’s Bible reading is First Samuel 28 through 31. 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]


 

October 20  Living a Joyous Life 

“The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart” (Ps. 19:8).

✧✧✧

Knowing your life is on the right track is a source of great joy.

What brings you joy? Your answer will reveal much about your priorities and about the direction your life is heading spiritually.

The psalmist wrote, “How blessed [happy] is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. And he will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers” (Ps. 1:1–3).

That psalmist knew that true joy and happiness come from knowing God and abiding in His Word. That was David’s confidence when he wrote, “The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart” (Ps. 19:8).

“Precepts” in that verse speaks of divine principles and guidelines for character and conduct. God created you and knows how you must live to give glory to Him. And He revealed in His Word every precept you must know to do so.

Every divine precept is “right.” It shows you the path that is right and true. What a wonderful confidence that is! While many around you may be discouraged or despondent because of their lack of direction and purpose, God’s Word is a lamp to your feet and a light to your path (Ps. 119:105). It guides you through the difficult mazes of life and gives your life eternal significance. Don’t live simply for your own pleasures. Your life has a high and holy purpose, and each day can be filled with joy as you see that purpose unfold.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Ask God to help you be mindful of your eternal purpose today and every day. ✧ Ask Him to direct you to someone who needs Christ and is sensing a lack of purpose in his or her life.

For Further Study: Read Colossians 3:1–4. ✧ How did Paul describe Christ? ✧ What should be the focus of your thinking? ✧ Are you heeding Paul’s exhortation?[4]


October 20

Sharing Hope in Hard Times

Scripture reading: Philippians 1:19–24

Key verse: Philippians 1:20

According to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death.

Upon entering a city, Paul immediately went into the local temple, synagogue, or meeting place to present the gospel message to the Jews. However, his words were often met with anger and rejection. But God did not allow Paul to suffer disgrace.

He had given the Jewish people a promise: He would send the Messiah to them for their redemption. Over the years their hearts had hardened. In piety they worshiped God but refused His offer of redemption. Going through the motions of worship cannot save anyone.

Israel missed God’s greatest gift of love when they rejected the Lord Jesus Christ. The years they spent in suffering were meant to draw them closer to God. Yet even this bitter fate did not move them to heartfelt worship.

When you live above the hardness of your circumstances as Paul did, God will protect and keep you. He will also preserve the message of hope He has commanded you to take to a lost and dying world. Don’t let others’ criticism keep you from obeying God. When you feel discouraged, go to Him. Ask Him to plant Scripture in your heart, so you may experience His hope in desperate times and share that hope with others.

Lord, use me for Your kingdom purposes. Plant Your Word in my heart so I can share hope with others.[5]


October 20

Without a Doubt

He who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord.

James 1:6–7

The doubting person who doesn’t believe that God can provide wisdom is like the billowing, restless sea, moving back and forth with its endless tides, never able to settle. There’s no sense in such a person supposing he will receive anything from the Lord.

When faced with a trial, an unbeliever who professes to know Christ will doubt God and get angry with Him and eventually sever his association with a church. A true Christian who is spiritually immature may respond in a similar manner because he reacts emotionally to his difficult circumstances and doesn’t fully trust God. In the midst of a trial, he will not experience a joyous attitude, an understanding mind, a submissive will, or a believing heart. He will seem unable to ask for wisdom from God and unwilling to take advantage of the resources He has provided, never knowing the resolution available to him through faithful, persistent prayer to God.[6]


October 20  Demolishing Spiritual Strongholds

scripture reading:  Exodus 14 
key verse:  Exodus 14:14 

The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.

We have to admit that we cannot be successful in eliminating an area of habitual sin, even with strong wills, discipline, and perseverance (John 15:5). That puzzles us because we think we usually can arrive at a successful conclusion. We think, Why should this problem of lust or jealousy or greed be any different?

The first step toward progress is a recognition that the battle is spiritual, not rational or behavioral (Eph. 6:13–20). You have allowed the power of sin to establish a spiritual stronghold, a fortified position in your inner person. You cannot conquer this stronghold by futile, ordinary means (2 Cor. 10:3–4).

You can be free by relying on these spiritual weapons—the living Word of God and the Holy Spirit’s power. Since the battle is mainly in your mind, reading God’s Word attacks the stronghold by infusing His truth, which will always prevail (1 Cor. 10:13; Eph. 4:12).

The Spirit of God, who brought you from death to life, also can demolish spiritual strongholds. His power is available as you depend upon His supernatural resources (Ex. 14:14; Rom. 15:13).

Identify your spiritual stronghold. Recognize that you are in a spiritual battle, and use the spiritual weapons the Lord gives you. They work!

Heavenly Father, through the power of the Holy Spirit and on the basis of Your Word, I claim victory over every spiritual stronghold in my life—and I thank You for the supernatural resources You have provided for me to fight my battles.[7]


October 20

One Hundred Percent

Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.

1 John 4:15

the world tells us that we will feel secure and be free of all anxiety if we just have enough money in our bank accounts, investment portfolios, or our retirement accounts. That just isn’t true. There’s no lasting security in any form of financial investment.…

The world tells us that we will feel secure and be free of anxiety in our careers if we are promoted to positions that are high enough in the company or we achieve a certain degree of fame. That also isn’t true.…

The truth is that the world has no magic solution for 100 percent security in any area of life. Only Jesus can give a person the confidence of security deep within.[8]


October 20

“THE blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” not only from sin, but “from all sin.” Reader, I cannot tell you the exceeding sweetness of this word, but I pray God the Holy Ghost to give you a taste of it. Manifold are our sins against God. Whether the bill be little or great, the same receipt can discharge one as the other. The blood of Jesus Christ is as blessed and divine a payment for the transgressions of blaspheming Peter as for the shortcomings of loving John; our iniquity is gone, all gone at once, and all gone forever. Blessed completeness! What a sweet theme to dwell upon as one begins another day.[9]


Day 20

Adoration

Praise the Lord!

Praise God in His sanctuary;

Praise Him in His mighty heavens.

Praise Him for His mighty acts;

Praise Him according to His excellent greatness.

Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet;

Praise Him with the harp and lyre.

Praise Him with the timbrel and dancing;

Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes.

Praise Him on the sounding cymbals;

Praise Him on the resounding cymbals.

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.

Praise the Lord! (Psalm 150:1–6)

The Lord shall reign for ever and ever. (Exodus 15:18)

Pause to express your thoughts of praise and worship.

Confession

Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed;

Save me, and I will be saved,

For You are my praise. (Jeremiah 17:14)

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

Since I call on the Father who judges each man’s work impartially, may I conduct myself in fear during the time of my sojourn on earth. (1 Peter 1:17)

May I keep the commandments of the Lord my God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him. May I follow the Lord my God and fear Him; may I keep Your commandments, hear Your voice, serve You, and hold fast to You. (Deuteronomy 8:6; 13:4)

Pause to add your own prayers for personal renewal.

Petition

May I be careful and watch myself closely lest I forget the things my eyes have seen or let them depart from my heart as long as I live. May I teach them to my children and to their children after them. (Deuteronomy 4:9)

Family and Ministry

Family

Ministry

Sharing Christ with others

Helping others grow in Him

Career

My activities for this day

Special concerns

Intercession

With all prayer and petition, we should pray always in the Spirit, and to this end we should be watchful with all perseverance and petition for all the saints. (Ephesians 6:18)

Missions

Local missions

National missions

World missions

The fulfillment of the Great Commission

Special concerns

Affirmation

Many who are first will be last, and the last first. (Matthew 19:30; Mark 10:31)

Whoever wishes to become great among others must become their servant, and whoever wishes to be first among them must be their slave. (Matthew 20:26–27; Mark 10:43–44)

Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. (Matthew 23:12; Luke 14:11; 18:14)

Pause to reflect upon these biblical affirmations.

Thanksgiving

Shout for joy, O heavens! Rejoice, O earth!

Break out into singing, O mountains!

For the Lord has comforted His people

And will have compassion on His afflicted. (Isaiah 49:13)

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord;

My soul will be joyful in my God.

For He has clothed me with garments of salvation

And arrayed me in a robe of righteousness,

As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments,

And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. (Isaiah 61:10)

Pause to offer your own expressions of thanksgiving.

Closing Prayer

The Lord will command His lovingkindness by day,

And His song will be in the night—

A prayer to the God of my life. (Psalm 42:8)

Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel,

Who alone does wonderful things.

And blessed be His glorious name forever;

May the whole earth be filled with His glory.

Amen and Amen. (Psalm 72:18–19)[10]


October 20

Waiting to Act

Scripture reading: Psalm 139:1–8

Key verse: Psalm 55:22

Cast your burden on the Lord,

And He shall sustain you;

He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.

The toddler climbed to the top step of the plastic slide in the backyard and lifted one leg onto the top platform. With one leg on the top of the slide and the other on the top step, his undeveloped coordination left him trapped. He couldn’t move either leg.

“Daaaaaddyyyyy!”

The toddler knew exactly what to do next. In his moment of complete helplessness, with fear setting in as he was stranded several feet above the ground, he called for his daddy. Watching nearby, the dad moved in to save the day. What child wouldn’t immediately cry out to the nearest authority? What father wouldn’t act quickly in such a situation?

When hit with a trial or when bad news comes our way, our most effective response is to immediately say, “Father.” Not only does this immediately stunt the problem from growing into something that overwhelms us, but it reminds us of our rightful position as children of God.

Our Father says He will never leave us or forsake us. Armed with such a promise, we know that God is under His divine obligation to provide us guidance and direction. There will be many times when life will leave us stretched into an awkward position. We should always remember that our Father is watching nearby, ready to act when called.

Father, I thank You that You will never leave me or forsake me. Help me remember that You are always nearby, just waiting to act in my behalf when called upon to do so.[11]


October 20

I delight in the law of God according to the inward man.

Lord, I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day. Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart. I sat down in his shade with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste. I have treasured the words of Your mouth more than my necessary food.

I delight to do Your will, O my God, and Your law is within my heart. Jesus said, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.”

Your statutes, Lord God, are right, rejoicing my heart; Your commandment is pure, enlightening my eyes. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Enable me to be a doer of the word, and not a hearer only, deceiving myself. For if I am a hearer of the word only and not a doer, I am like a man observing his natural face in a mirror.

Lord God, enable me to remember and do what Your Word commands and know the joy of doing so.

Romans 7:22; Psalm 119:97; Jeremiah 15:16; Song of Solomon 2:3; Job 23:12; Psalm 40:8; John 4:34; Psalm 19:8, 10; James 1:22–23[12]


Morning, October 20

 

“Grow up into him in all things.”

— Ephesians 4:15

 

Many Christians remain stunted and dwarfed in spiritual things, so as to present the same appearance year after year. No up-springing of advanced and refined feeling is manifest in them. They exist but do not “grow up into him in all things.” But should we rest content with being in the “green blade,” when we might advance to “the ear,” and eventually ripen into the “full corn in the ear?” Should we be satisfied to believe in Christ, and to say, “I am safe,” without wishing to know in our own experience more of the fulness which is to be found in him? It should not be so; we should, as good traders in heaven’s market, covet to be enriched in the knowledge of Jesus. It is all very well to keep other men’s vineyards, but we must not neglect our own spiritual growth and ripening. Why should it always be winter time in our hearts? We must have our seed time, it is true, but O for a spring time—yea, a summer season, which shall give promise of an early harvest. If we would ripen in grace, we must live near to Jesus—in his presence—ripened by the sunshine of his smiles. We must hold sweet communion with him. We must leave the distant view of his face and come near, as John did, and pillow our head on his breast; then shall we find ourselves advancing in holiness, in love, in faith, in hope—yea, in every precious gift. As the sun rises first on mountain-tops and gilds them with his light, and presents one of the most charming sights to the eye of the traveller; so is it one of the most delightful contemplations in the world to mark the glow of the Spirit’s light on the head of some saint, who has risen up in spiritual stature, like Saul, above his fellows, till, like a mighty Alp, snow-capped, he reflects first among the chosen, the beams of the Sun of Righteousness, and bears the sheen of his effulgence high aloft for all to see, and seeing it, to glorify his Father which is in heaven.

 

Evening, October 20

 

“Keep not back.”

— Isaiah 43:6

 

Although this message was sent to the south, and referred to the seed of Israel, it may profitably be a summons to ourselves. Backward we are naturally to all good things, and it is a lesson of grace to learn to go forward in the ways of God. Reader, are you unconverted, but do you desire to trust in the Lord Jesus? Then keep not back. Love invites you, the promises secure you success, the precious blood prepares the way. Let not sins or fears hinder you, but come to Jesus just as you are. Do you long to pray? Would you pour out your heart before the Lord? Keep not back. The mercy-seat is prepared for such as need mercy; a sinner’s cries will prevail with God. You are invited, nay, you are commanded to pray, come therefore with boldness to the throne of grace.

 

Dear friend, are you already saved? Then keep not back from union with the Lord’s people. Neglect not the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. You may be of a timid disposition, but you must strive against it, lest it lead you into disobedience. There is a sweet promise made to those who confess Christ—by no means miss it, lest you come under the condemnation of those who deny him. If you have talents keep not back from using them. Hoard not your wealth, waste not your time; let not your abilities rust or your influence be unused. Jesus kept not back, imitate him by being foremost in self-denials and self-sacrifices. Keep not back from close communion with God, from boldly appropriating covenant blessings, from advancing in the divine life, from prying into the precious mysteries of the love of Christ. Neither, beloved friend, be guilty of keeping others back by your coldness, harshness, or suspicions. For Jesus’ sake go forward yourself, and encourage others to do the like. Hell and the leaguered bands of superstition and infidelity are forward to the fight. O soldiers of the cross, keep not back. [13]


October 20

Lord, Make Me!

Scripture Reading: Ephesians 3:14–21

Key Verse: Ephesians 3:16

He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man.

In his book Walking with Christ in the Details of Life, Patrick Morley explains the growth of the prayer life:

We are needy people. When God found us, we were consumed with needs: relational, emotional, financial, moral, psychological, and spiritual needs … It seems quite natural, then, that until our temporal lives begin to straighten out, temporal needs would preoccupy our early prayers. The distinctive of our prayers in this first phase of our spiritual life is that they are prayers of petition …

When once we see the faithfulness of God to care for us, we want to learn how to follow Him. We come to that point where we want to surrender the silliness of our own ideas to the way of the Lord. Instead of praying, “Lord, give me,” we start praying, “Lord, make me.” Surrendering to the will of God becomes pre-eminent in our thinking.

This maturity in attitude is implied in what the apostle Paul prayed for the Ephesian church. The day-to-day concerns of the believers were essentially no different from yours today, but notice what Paul requested for them: “That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man” (Eph. 3:16 nasb).

The Lord wants you to come to Him for even the smallest detail. But He wants you to feel free to pray for deeper spiritual riches as well.

Precious Lord, make me! I surrender to Your will. Strengthen my inner man with power through Your Spirit according to the riches of Your glory.[14]


October 20

Don’t Give the Devil a Foothold

Ephesians 4:26–27

Do not … give place to the devil.

It’s easy to allow the devil entry into our lives. The King James Version of the Bible translates Ephesians 4:27 as, “Neither give place to the devil.” Better is the New American Standard’s “Do not give the devil an opportunity.”

But perhaps the most graphic is the New International Version’s, “Do not give the devil a foothold.” The American Heritage Dictionary says that a foothold is “a firm or secure position that provides a base for further advancement.” All we need do is give the devil a foothold—a little place where he can bide his time and wait for the opportunity to advance further—to ultimately find ourselves in big spiritual trouble.

Unconfessed bouts of anger, pride, deceit, lust, envy—or any sin—may seem small to you, but they are just what the devil is looking for. If need be, confess them now, and purpose to leave no place for the devil to get a foothold in your life.[15]


 

God Is on Your Side  October 20 

You ask where conversion comes in this view of mine. Just where it does in the other at the moment of belief, only it is belief in a different sort of God altogether. I go to a sinner now and say, “Poor soul, God loves you; God is your Father; He is on your side. He came down to this world in a human body, just to take your lot upon Him and to bear your sins and sorrows. He met your enemy and conquered him, so that you need not fear him any more. He is not angry with you.

He took your sins upon Him and made your cause His own. He is reconciled to you. He declared that He forgave you when He was on earth, and He declares it still in the Record He left behind Him. He says if you will only trust Him He will get you out of all your troubles He will beget His own spiritual life in you, and make you a partaker of the Divine nature. You shall be born of the spirit, and be filled with the spirit, and so shall love holiness and hate sin just as much and as really as you now love sin and hate holiness. He will save you now from your sins, and some day will take you to live with Him in never ending joy.

The sinner begins to believe this, and the moment he believes it, God begins to work. The sinner is born again. It is beautifully simple.

—To Anna, January 21, 1881, 4653 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, Pa.[16]


October 20th

Is God’s will my will?

This is the will of God, even your sanctification. 1 Thess. 4:3.

It is not a question of whether God is willing to sanctify me; is it my will? Am I willing to let God do in me all that has been made possible by the Atonement? Am I willing to let Jesus be made sanctification to me, and to let the life of Jesus be manifested in my mortal flesh? Beware of saying—‘Oh, I am longing to be sanctified.’ You are not, stop longing and make it a matter of transaction—“Nothing in my hands I bring.” Receive Jesus Christ to be made sanctification to you in implicit faith, and the great marvel of the Atonement will be made real in you. All that Jesus made possible is made mine by the free loving gift of God on the ground of what He performed. My attitude as a saved and sanctified soul is that of profound humble holiness (there is no such thing as proud holiness), a holiness based on agonizing repentance and a sense of unspeakable shame and degradation; and also on the amazing realization that the love of God commended itself to me in that while I cared nothing about Him, He completed everything for my salvation and sanctification (see Rom. 5:8). No wonder Paul says nothing is “able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Sanctification makes me one with Jesus Christ, and in Him one with God, and it is done only through the superb Atonement of Christ. Never put the effect as the cause. The effect in me is obedience and service and prayer, and is the outcome of speechless thanks and adoration for the marvellous sanctification wrought out in me because of the Atonement.[17]


October 20

A Successful Combination

Scripture Reading: 2 Chronicles 6:1–10

Key Verse: James 1:6

But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.

Imagine the billions of prayers that reach the throne of God each day: prayers for healing, help, favor, and honor. When you lift your personal prayers to God, do you have faith that He will respond? Faith combined with prayer is a successful combination.

The Bible tells us that we must pray in faith, without doubting, in order to have our requests answered (James 1:2–8). This concept often confuses new and seasoned believers alike. However, clarification can be gained from today’s Key Verse. James advises us to pray wholeheartedly unto the Lord. He does not say that when we pray without doubting we will automatically receive exactly what we asked for, in the exact moment we request it. The key is to pray with undivided trust. God always answers prayers, but His solutions and timelines may be different from ours.

Our responsibility is to rid our minds of doubt. Prayer-related doubt can occur when our problems takes precedence over God. Doubt can also stem from a lack of familiarity with God’s Word. God will fulfill His promises, even if it is not in the way we expect or in the time frame we want (2 Chronicles 6:1–4, 6–10).

Examine your level of faith the next time you have a need in your life. As you take your request to God, ask yourself, “Do I genuinely trust God, or am I allowing my mind to be divided by doubt?”

Lord, when my problems get so big that they block my view, it means I have forgotten to trust in You. Help me to leave my burdens with You.[18]


October 20

Who is among you that feareth the Lord … that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God

Isa. 50:10

“In fierce storms,” said an old seaman, “we can do but one thing, there is only one way; we must put the ship in a certain position and keep her there.”

This, Christian, is what you must do. Sometimes, like Paul, you can see neither sun nor stars, and no small tempest lies on you; and then you can do but one thing; there is only one way. Reason cannot help you. Past experiences give you no light. Even prayer fetches no consolation. Only a single course is left. You must put your soul in one position and keep it there. You must stay upon the Lord; and, come what may—winds, waves, cross seas, thunder, lightning, frowning rocks, roaring breakers—no matter what, you must lash yourself to the helm, and hold fast your confidence in God’s faithfulness, His covenant engagement, His everlasting love in Christ Jesus.

Richard Fuller[19]


 

October 20  Serving a New Master 

“I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.”

Romans 6:19

✧✧✧

You must live consistent with your new nature.

It is a truism that in the spiritual realm, no one stands still. Sin leads to more sin, while holy living leads to further righteousness. All unbelievers are slaves of sin and have no choice but to sin; yielding to sin comes naturally to them. They are inwardly full of “impurity” and hence outwardly given to “lawlessness.” They continually spiral downward; sin leads to more sin, which leads in turn to still more sin. Ultimately, sin will drag a person into the depths of Hell.

For Christians, however, the spiral is an upward one. Having become new creatures at salvation (2 Cor. 5:17), believers are no longer servants of sin. The Christian life is the process of bringing one’s lifestyle into line with one’s nature. As believers “present their members as slaves to righteousness,” the inevitable result is further “sanctification.” Decreasing frequency of sin, therefore, is a sure sign of a mature believer.

Paul knew all too well from his own experience that the believer’s body is a battleground. In his spiritual autobiography he wrote, “I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wishes to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind, and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?” (Rom. 7:21–24).

How are you faring in the daily battle with sin? If victories are few and far between, perhaps you have forgotten Paul’s exhortation to “present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship” (Rom. 12:1).

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Pray with the psalmist, “Establish my footsteps in Thy word, and do not let any iniquity have dominion over me” (Ps. 119:133).

For Further Study: Identify one area in which you lack self–control. Use a concordance to see what Proverbs teaches about your problem.[20]


Reading for Today:

Jeremiah 25:1–26:24
Psalm 119:25-32
Proverbs 27:17
2 Thessalonians 2:1-17
Notes:

Jeremiah 25:11 seventy years. Here is the first specific statement on the length of the exile. This period probably began in the fourth year of Jehoiakim, when Jerusalem was first captured and the temple treasures were taken. It ends with the decree of Cyrus to let the Jews return, spanning from ca. 605/04 B.C. to 536/35 B.C. The exact number of Sabbath years is 490 years, the period from Saul to the Babylonian captivity. This was retribution for their violation of the Sabbath law (Lev. 26:34, 35; 2 Chr. 36:21).

Jeremiah 26:12 Jeremiah spoke. Leaders and people threatened to kill him (v. 8). The prophet defended himself while in extreme danger. He did not compromise but displayed tremendous spiritual courage. He was ready to die (v. 14), yet warned the crowd that God would hold the guilty accountable (v. 15).

Proverbs 27:17 iron sharpens iron. The benefits of intellectual and theological discussion encourage joy through a keener mind and the improvement of good character which the face will reveal.

2 Thessalonians 2:7 the mystery of lawlessness. This is the spirit of lawlessness already prevalent in society (1 John 3:4; 5:17), but still a mystery in that it is not fully revealed as it will be in the one who so blatantly opposes God that he blasphemously assumes the place of God on earth which God has reserved for Jesus Christ. The spirit of such a man is already in operation (1 John 2:18; 4:3), but the man who fully embodies that spirit has not come. taken out of the way. This refers not to spatial removal (therefore it could not be the Rapture of the church) but rather “a stepping aside.” The idea is “out of the way,” not gone. This restraint will be in place until the Antichrist is revealed, at the midpoint of the Tribulation, leaving him 42 months to reign (Dan. 7:25; Rev. 13:5).

2 Thessalonians 2:9, 10 the lawless one. He will do mighty acts pointing to himself as supernaturally empowered. His whole operation will be deceptive, luring the world to worship him and be damned. The career of the coming lawless one is more fully described in Revelation 13:1–18.

DAY 20: What is the “falling away” that Paul speaks of in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4?

The Day of the Lord cannot occur until a deliberate abandonment of a formerly professed position, allegiance, or commitment occurs (the term was used to refer to military, political, or religious rebellion). Some have suggested, on questionable linguistic evidence, that this refers to a “departure” in the sense of the Rapture. Context, however, points to a religious defection, which is further described in v. 4.The language indicates a specific event, not general apostasy which exists now and always will. Rather, Paul has in mind the apostasy. This is an event which is clearly and specifically identifiable and unique, the consummate act of rebellion, an event of final magnitude. The key to identifying the event is to identify the main person, which Paul does, calling him the “man of sin.” Some texts have “man of lawlessness,” but there is no real difference in meaning since sin equals lawlessness (1 John 3:4). This is the one who is called “the prince who is to come” (Dan. 9:26) and “the little horn” (Dan. 7:8), whom John calls “the beast” (Rev. 13:2–10, 18) and most know as the Antichrist. The context and language clearly identify a real person in future times who actually does the things prophesied of him in Scripture. He is also called “the son of perdition” or destruction, a term used of Judas Iscariot (John 17:12).

“The falling away” is the abomination of desolation that takes place at the midpoint of the Tribulation spoken of in Daniel 9:27; 11:31 and Matthew 24:15. This man is not Satan, although Satan is the force behind him (v. 9) and he has motives like the desires of the devil (Is. 14:13, 14). Paul is referring to the very act of ultimate apostasy which reveals the final Antichrist and sets the course for the events that usher in the Day of the Lord. Apparently, he will be seen as supportive of religion so that God and Christ will not appear as his enemies until the apostasy. He exalts himself and opposes God by moving into the temple, the place for worship of God, declaring himself to be God and demanding the worship of the world. In this act of satanic self-deification, he commits the great apostasy in defiance of God.

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.


October 20 – Jesus’ Deity in His Honor

“‘. . . so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life’” (John 5:23–24).

The Father’s purpose in entrusting all judgment to Jesus is “so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father.” It is only fitting that those equal in nature (vv. 17–18), works (vv. 19–20), power and sovereignty (v. 21), and judgment (v. 22) would be accorded equal honor. The Father’s honor is not diminished by the honor paid to Christ; on the contrary, it is enhanced.

Although the unbelieving Jews thought they were truly worshiping God while rejecting His Son (cf. 16:2), instead the opposite was true: “he who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.” “He who hates Me,” Jesus warned, “hates My Father also” (John 15:23). Those who refuse to honor the Son while claiming to honor the Father are actually self-deceived.

That the Father and the Son are to be afforded equal honor forcefully asserts Christ’s deity and equality with God, who declared through the prophet Isaiah, “I will not give My glory to another” (Isa. 42:8; cf. 48:11). Yet the Father has commanded that “all will honor the Son.” Willingly or unwillingly, everyone will eventually obey the Father’s command to honor Jesus Christ. The blessed promise to those who believe is that they “do not come into judgment, but [have] passed out of death into life.”

Ask Yourself

Many in our culture today still don’t have a lot of trouble believing in God, but Jesus is quite another matter. Are you sometimes convinced that a person is spiritually sound because he talks favorably of God and exhibits some good qualities? How do you speak to an individual like this about his or her need for Jesus?

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.


Jesus’ Teaching on Divorce – Part One

Theme: Marriage and Divorce
In this week’s lesson we learn about Jesus’ teachings on divorce.

SCRIPTURE
Matthew 19:1-10

Now when Jesus had finished these sayings, he went away from Galilee and entered the region of Judea beyond the Jordan. And large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.
And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”
The disciples said to him, “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.”

LESSON

“Whom, therefore, God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.” These are the words that end the most common form of marriage service used in Christian churches. They come just before the benediction. But men are “putting asunder,” and women too. The statistics tell us that nearly one in two marriages taking place in the United States today will end in divorce, and the statistics are not much better for Christian marriages. We see the evidence of decay all around us. What are we to make of these statistics, especially when we turn to the Bible and find that God requires chastity before marriage, fidelity afterward and lifelong unions of Wives and husbands without easy divorce as an escape?

When we compare our practices with God’s standards we might very well exclaim, as the disciples do in Matthew 19, “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” (v. 10).

But it is good to marry! The problem is not with the institution of marriage, since marriage is God’s idea. It was God who brought the first bride to the first groom in Eden, after all. Everything God does is good. The problem is sin or, to put it another way, it is with our hard hearts, which Jesus refers to explicitly in verse 8. Jesus said, referring to the Old Testament law about divorce (Deuteronomy 24:14), “You shall not oppress a hired worker who is poor and needy, whether he is one of your brothers or one of the sojourners who are in your land within your towns.”

I am sure this is why, in Matthew’s gospel, the long discussion of divorce in chapter 19 (vv. 1-12) follows immediately after the equally long discussion in chapter 18 (vv. 21-35) of the need of Christ’s followers to be forgiving of other people, knowing that they have themselves been forgiven much, much more by God. Marriage is the most intimate of all relationships. It is where the most piercing pain can be experienced. If follows that it is the relationship above all others that must be upheld by that “seventy-seven times” forgiveness about which Jesus speaks.

This important discussion of divorce and marriage was occasioned by a question the Pharisees asked Jesus. It was a question that had been debated seriously among the rabbis, but Matthew says here that it was asked to test him (v. 3). “And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” Presumably they wanted to force Jesus to one side of the issue or the other, thereby automatically alienating him from at least half the Jewish leaders. But perhaps, knowing that Jesus was conservative in his views and was likely to oppose divorce, or at least easy divorces, they also wanted to brand him with a view they knew would be unpopular with the masses.

The discussion among the rabbis was over the meaning of Deuteronomy 24:1-4, the only Old Testament passage that explicitly discusses divorce. It uses the words “something indecent” to describe what a man might find in his wife as a ground for his action. What does that refer to? And regardless of what it refers to, does the passage grant a husband the right to a divorce?1 The adherents of the Qumran sect judged all divorces to be wrong. The well-known Rabbi Shammai permitted divorce but only because of gross indecency, though he did not spell out clearly what that was. The equally well-known Rabbi Hillel permitted divorce for all kinds of offenses, even preparing bad meals. Hillel was the liberal spokesman on this matters; Shammai was the conservative.

1 Women had no rights of divorce; that was not even a question.

STUDY QUESTIONS

What is the problem causing, the high divorce statistics in society today?
What is a possible reason this discussion of divorce follows the discussion on forgiveness?
How was the particular question about divorce asked by the Pharisees considered a “test” for Jesus?

KEY POINT

Marriage is the most intimate of all relationships.

PRAYER

Pray For married couples you know, asking God to give them tender hearts.

James Montgomery Boice


Ripples on the Shores of Your Life – Part Four

SCRIPTURE
John 11:1-6

Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”
Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone you, and are you going there again?” Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” After saying these things, he said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him.” The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep. Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus has died, and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” So Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

LESSON

Some of us are like the man who found a penny when he was ten and was hunchbacked by the time he was fifty looking for another one. In the course of that time he found two dimes, four pennies, three nickels, and an assortment of safety pins, bent nails and other things. But he never saw a sunset and never saw anything else, simply because of the fact that he had become stultified in all his life and living. Many people are so occupied with their noses to the grindstone that God sometimes has to put them on their backs to get them to look up. Therefore, you can thank God for the things that come into your life.

And the Lord says, “It is for you that this happened, for your disciples, for your family, for your friends, for your acquaintances and the bystanders, but it’s also for Me; it’s for Me.” And God is saying, “I’m in the midst of an invisible war. The repercussions of what I’m doing will be known in eternity. What I do, thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter.”‘ Even the invisible world was watching this event. If He can say that there’s more joy in heaven over one sinner who is converted than over ninety-nine just persons, do you think the angels weren’t watching? Do you think the lord of death wasn’t watching?

It says in the Bible that Satan used to have the keys of death. But suddenly, here in the midst of Satan’s empire, the Lord Jesus Christ shouted, “Lazarus, come forth!” And all the forces of Satan shook, for they knew what was going to happen the next week. They began to realize that they were fighting the power of the resurrection. And they realized that before man, angels and demons, the whole universe was seeing Satan was just a “sawdust Caesar”-that he really didn’t have any power except that which he graspingly took and boastingly vaunted. As Colossians 2 tells us, when Jesus died, He disarmed the principalities and powers, and triumphed over them, making a public example of them. (See Col. 2:15.) And thus, it was that Jesus Christ was glorified.

In the beginning Lucifer had said, “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God:… I will be like the Most High, I will be like the Most High.” (See Isa. 14:13-14.) And God had said, “All right, here’s your first problem, I’ll make the earth without form and void and darkness shall cover the face of the deep. Take that darkness away and remove chaos from the globe.” And Satan wasn’t even able to do an engineering job on this the smallest of many little bits of dust that were on the universe. “I will be like the Most High”-but he was totally unable to solve problem one on page one. And thus was Satan’s meat as it has been through the centuries and as it shall be.

Here once more it is proven that in the invisible realm he who had the keys of death was not able to withstand the Lord of life. “Lazarus come forth!” And Lazarus came forth bound. And as Jesus Himself said, in verse 4, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.”

That’s true of anything that ever came to you. I tell you it makes all the difference in the world, if you lose your job and say, “This catastrophe is not for my dishonor and my hurt, but it’s for the glory of God that Christ may be magnified.” The doctor comes and says to you, “I’m sorry to tell you that as far as I know, medical science can do absolutely nothing for you. Your case, from our point of view, with the present knowledge of medicine, is incurable.” It’s a wonderful thing to say, “My Father measured this. He it is that put the spoon to my lips. The medicine may be a little bitter, but He knows what He’s doing. He’s the Great Physician. And He’s the Great Resurrector. He’s the One who’s constantly able to bring life out of death. And out of the death of my circumstances, He is able to bring the life of joy and victory and triumph.”

And lastly, in verse 53 of this chapter, we see the divine purposes in all this. Having Lazarus be sick and die was the chain in the event that led to the cross of Christ and to the fulfillment of the eternal plan of Jehovah God. “From that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death” (v. 53). It was this sickness and death of Lazarus that revealed the pretentions of the Pharisees and the Sadducees to be what they were. From that day forth, hatred mounted. From then on, they knew they could not have Him around. They had thought themselves white, until He came and stood beside them, and then the jaundice yellow of their position was immediately revealed by the contrast-and they hated Him. Everything they had ever pretended to be, was shown to be hollow. And now they said, “We will not have this man to reign over us. We’ll kill Him.” The sickness and death of Lazarus so revealed the glory of God, that they stirred the hatred of men.

The human logician may come along and say, “Well, if it hadn’t been Lazarus, it would have been something else.” But, that’s not the way God does it. God used the sickness and death of Lazarus as the fuse that set off the cross of Jesus Christ. And it made all of the rest of these marvelous events of our redemption a fact.

Now then, here is the conclusion for you. The sickness and death of Lazarus, is still down through the centuries, like the expanding circle on the water when a stone has fallen into the pool. The fact that this man grew sick and died comes to you today to tell you that your sicknesses and your catastrophes are not too great; that you are in the hands of the Saviour; that nothing has ever touched you that has not passed through His will; that He wants you as you are for His honor and His glory; that He is able to take care of that situation in your home; that He is able to give you triumph in a body that is crippled or that is diseased or that is losing some of its faculties; that He knows what He’s doing. He’s with you in your loneliness. He knows all about it. Let the ripples of Lazarus’ experience wash the shores of your life today.

And as you go on in life, you can go with a renewed certainty in the sovereignty of God that He doeth all things well, that nothing has ever come to you that wasn’t tailor-made and measured to fit your exact circumstances and your exact need. Our Lord is on the throne!

STUDY QUESTIONS

How do you make sure that you are able to enjoy the things of God and not get too caught up in a “busy life”?
In what ways was God’s sovereignty manifest in this story?
Why did Jesus perform miracles like this?

Donald Grey Barnhouse


Mon, October 20, 2014

We Are the Church

When viewed from the perspective of eternity, the most critical need of this hour may well be that the Church should be brought back from its long Babylonian captivity and the name of God be glorified in it again as of old. Yet we must not think of the Church as an anonymous body, a mystical religious abstraction. We Christians are the Church, and whatever we do is what the Church is doing. The matter, therefore, is for each of us a personal one. Any forward step in the Church must begin with the individual.

What can we plain Christians do to bring back the departed glory? Is there some secret we may learn? Is there a formula for personal revival we can apply to the present situation, to our own situation? The answer to these questions is yes.

Yet the answer may easily disappoint some persons, for it is anything but profound. I bring no esoteric cryptogram, no mystic code to be painfully deciphered. I appeal to no hidden law of the unconscious, no occult knowledge meant only for the few. The secret is an open one that the wayfaring man may read. It is simply the old and ever-new counsel: Acquaint thyself with God. To regain its lost power, the Church must see heaven opened and have a transforming vision of God.

Verse
I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; / I will glorify your name forever.
Psalm 86:12

Thought
To regain its lost power, the Church must see heaven opened and have a transforming vision of God.

Prayer
We long to know You better, Father. Help us to reacquaint ourselves with You.

A. W. Tozer


CONFESSION: Lament and Confess the Corruption of your Entire Being

4.5

The corruption of the whole man: Irregular appetites towards those things that are pleasing to sense, and inordinate passions against those things that are displeasing, and an alienation of the mind from the principles, powers, and pleasures of the spiritual and divine life.

We are born of the flesh, and we are flesh. John 3:6(ESV) Dust we are: Genesis 3:19(ESV) We have borne the image of the man of dust; 1 Corinthians 15:49(ESV) and in us (that is, in our flesh) dwells nothing good. For we have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out; for we do not do the good we want, but the evil we do not want is what we keep on doing. Romans 7:18-19(ESV)

We have a law in our members waging war against the law of our mind and making us captive to the law of sin that dwells in our members; Romans 7:23(ESV) so that when we want to do right, evil lies close at hand, Romans 7:21(ESV) and clings to us so closely. Hebrews 12:1(ESV)

The whole head is sick, the whole heart is faint; from the sole of the foot even to the head, there is no soundness in us, but bruises and sores and raw wounds. Isaiah 1:5-6(ESV)

There is in us a bent to turn away from the living God: Hosea 11:7(ESV) Our hearts are deceitful above all things and desperately sick; who can understand them? Jeremiah 17:9(ESV) They start aside like a treacherous bow. Hosea 7:16(ESV)

Matthew Henry’s Method for Prayer


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

[2] Osbeck, K. W. (1996). Amazing grace: 366 inspiring hymn stories for daily devotions (p. 315). 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. 306). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[5] Stanley, C. F. (2002). Seeking His face (p. 307). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[6] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 317). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

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

[8] Stanley, C. F. (2004). God’s way day by day (p. 313). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[9] Spurgeon, C. H. (1892). Daily Help (p. 297). Baltimore: R. H. Woodward & Company.

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

[11] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 307). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[12] Jeremiah, D. (2007). Life-Changing Moments With God (p. 315). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[13] Spurgeon, Charles 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. 307). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[15] Jeremiah, D. (2002). Sanctuary: finding moments of refuge in the presence of God (p. 307). Nashville, TN: Integrity Publishers.

[16] 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.

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

[18] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 307). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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

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

Originally posted on Possessing the Treasure:

by Mike Ratliff

6 Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away; 7 but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory; 8 the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory; 9 but just as it is written, “ Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, And which have not entered the heart of man, All that God has prepared for those who love Him.” 10 For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. (1 Corinthians 2:6-10 NASB)

I’m sure the title of this post struck some of you…

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Originally posted on Wintery Knight:

From the Alliance Defending Freedom web site.

Excerpt:

Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed a federal lawsuit and a motion for a temporary restraining order Friday to stop officials in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, from forcing two ordained Christian ministers to perform wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples.

City officials told Donald Knapp that he and his wife Evelyn, both ordained ministers who run Hitching Post Wedding Chapel, are required to perform such ceremonies or face months in jail and/or thousands of dollars in fines. The city claims its “non-discrimination” ordinance requires the Knapps to perform same-sex wedding ceremonies now that the courts have overridden Idaho’s voter-approved constitutional amendment that affirmed marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

“The government should not force ordained ministers to act contrary to their faith under threat of jail time and criminal fines,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco. “Many have denied that pastors…

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Originally posted on Theologue:

The person who brought the Lordship Salvation controversy to the fore-front of evangelical theology was John MacArthur with the publication of his book The Gospel According to Jesus in 1988.  The term ‘Lordship Salvation’ was coined by McArthur’s critics who were proponents of the ‘Free Grace’ theology (called “easy-believism” by critics).

Here is McArthur’s statement on Lordship Salvation today:

“The gospel that Jesus proclaimed was a call to discipleship, a call to follow Him in submissive obedience, not just a plea to make a decision or pray a prayer. Jesus’ message liberated people from the bondage of their sin while it confronted and condemned hypocrisy. It was an offer of eternal life and forgiveness for repentant sinners, but at the same time it was a rebuke to outwardly religious people whose lives were devoid of true righteousness. It put sinners on notice that they must turn from sin and embrace…

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Originally posted on Zwinglius Redivivus:

The only reason big business spends so much on elections is because they know that once in office, politicians will do their bidding.  It doesn’t matter who you vote for- at the end of the day, that politician is already bought and paid for and he or she will not represent the interests of the people, just the interests of donors.

This problem isn’t a Democratic or Republican problem, it is a problem with the American political culture.  Big business is winning, thanks to their toadies in Washington.  And there’s nothing you can do about it because there are no honest politicians.  Everyone who runs for public office has an agenda and that agenda has to do only with the acquisition of power and wealth.

View original

Originally posted on Zwinglius Redivivus:

View original

Originally posted on Wintery Knight:

Most churches these days are not doing a good job of helping Christians to understand how to explain and defend Christianity to non-Christians. They tend to be focused on providing comfort and entertainment, which is why so much of the focus is on compassion, singing and being “nice”. Logical arguments are out. Scientific evidence is out. Historical evidence is out. There is a terrible fear of disagreeing with anyone. Everyone is focused on being “nice” and being “liked” by non-Christians. Instead of teaching people what Christians think is true, we teach people how to recycle cans and how to color pictures of Jesus.

Church is typically a mishmash of mysticism, piety and emotivism. Pastors in particular are often opposed to connecting anything the Bible says to evidence outside the Bible, whether it be research or experiments or philosophical arguments. Even the very best preaching pastors just assert things and then…

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Scripture: “We are human, but we do not wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:4-5

Have you ever felt defeated and weak in your faith? The Bible teaches that we are in a spiritual war. There are 4 vital things to know in order to win the spiritual war.

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Do you have questions about spiritual warfare? Click to learn more about spiritual warfare in the 30 Day Guide series.

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“God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” 1 John 5:11

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4 To be “approved by God” (perfect tense, dedokimasmetha, GK 1507) entails a process of testing, success in completing the tests, and a consequent state of endorsement by God. After calling Paul on the Damascus road, God subjected him to necessary rigors to demonstrate his capability for his assigned task. Having thus prepared him, God committed to Paul the gospel message for proclamation among Gentiles such as these readers. On the basis of this commission, the missionary team spoke wherever they went. They did nothing superficial simply “to please men.” Ultimately, they sought God’s approbation. Such a goal excluded anything ulterior or hidden from the eyes of him “who tests our hearts.” The scrutiny of a God who is able to sound the depths of every thought (cf. Ro 8:27 as to God’s awareness of all people’s thoughts) is Paul’s ultimate court of appeal in summoning evidence for his own absolute sincerity.

The Expositor’s Bible Commentary


October 19: Big Picture Hope

Ezekiel 38:1–39:24; Revelation 19:1–10; Job 38:12–24

Some Bible passages are so perplexing that we’re not really sure what to make of them. Such is the case with Ezek 38:1–39:24. As we closely examine this text, we can easily lose sight of its message. We can find ourselves so lost in the details that the big picture becomes fuzzy. So what is the big picture presented in this passage? God is on the side of His people; He will fight for them.

This message is comforting. We all experience times when we feel like an ancient Israelite, lost and wandering in the desert. We go through times when we’re not sure what’s next or how it will all end up. But when we realize that God is there to war on our behalf—even in the midst of supreme chaos and paradise interrupted (compare Ezek 37)—our viewpoint quickly shifts.

When we feel as though we’re blindly grasping for answers in the smoke that is the future, startling realizations like the type Ezekiel envisions can provide us with the hope we need (compare Heb 11:1). The book of Revelation casts similar visions. After the lament over Babylon and all the “woes,” John the Apostle experiences rejoicing in heaven—salvation has arrived: “After these things I heard something like the loud sound of a great crowd in heaven saying, ‘Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, because his judgments are true and righteous, because he has passed judgment on the great prostitute who corrupted the earth with her sexual immorality, and has avenged the blood of his slaves shed by her hand!’ ” (Rev 19:1–2).

The big picture of the confusing passages of the Bible is indeed big. God is bringing judgment against the evil in the world and ushering in His great and glorious salvation. He will war on our behalf against all we fear. He has, and will, fight for us. He is a glorious and powerful God, worthy of praise.

What is the big picture of the current situation you’re dealing with? How does it give you hope?

John D. Barry[1]


October 19

AM I A SOLDIER OF THE CROSS?

Isaac Watts, 1674–1748

Endure hardship with us like a good solder of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs—he wants to please his commanding officer. (2 Timothy 2:3, 4)

The Church founded by Christ has been built on the blood of martyrs. It has been estimated that at least 50 million persons have had a martyr’s death since the crucifixion of our Lord. Even today, in our 20th century civilized culture, large numbers of believers live under conditions of harassment and persecution.

According to historical tradition, many of Christ’s disciples and followers were persecuted by enemies of their Master with the following fates:

Matthew—suffered martyrdom by being slain in the city of Ethiopia.

Mark—died at Alexandria, after being dragged through the streets of that city.

Luke—hanged on an olive tree in the classic land of Greece.

John—put in boiling oil. Afterward branded at Patmos.

Peter—crucified at Rome with his head downward.

James the Lesser—thrown from a pinnacle of the temple, then beaten to death.

Bartholomew—flayed alive.

Andrew—bound to a cross, where he preached to his persecutors until he died.

Jude—shot to death with arrows.

Matthias—first stoned and then beheaded.

Barnabas of the Gentiles—stoned to death at Salonica.

Paul—after various tortures and persecutions, beheaded at Rome by Emperor Nero.

In Isaac Watts’ time, much persecution was inflicted upon the English Dissenters—those who had split from the official, state Anglican church. Stalwarts such as Isaac Watts became resolute and fearless in their proclamation and defense of the gospel. “Am I a Soldier of the Cross?” was written in 1724, following a sermon by Watts titled “Holy Fortitude or Remedies Against Fears.” These words are still a challenge for us today:

Am I a soldier of the cross? A foll’wer of the Lamb? And shall I fear to own His cause or blush to speak His name?

Must I be carried to the skies on flow’ry beds of ease, while others fought to win the prize and sailed thru bloody seas?

Are there no foes for me to face? Must I not stem the flood? Is this vile world a friend to grace, to help me on to God?

Sure I must fight if I would reign—Increase my courage, Lord! I’ll bear the toil, endure the pain, supported by Thy Word.

For Today: 1 Corinthians 16:13; Ephesians 6:10–20; 1 Timothy 6:12; Jude 3

Even now, pray for those who are suffering for Christ and the work of the gospel in difficult areas around the world. Reflect on these musical questions—[2]


October 19

Intro

Welcome to Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Today’s reading is First Samuel 19 through 23. Our lesson is from First Samuel 20:16–17, “So Jonathan made a [covenant] with the house of David, [saying], ‘May the Lord require [it] at the hands of David’s enemies.’ Jonathan made David vow again because of his love for him, because he loved him as he loved his own life.” (NASU)

Lesson

As one matures in life, it becomes more evident of the need of having good and well established friendships. Today’s text shows three traits of Jonathan and David’s relationship.

First, Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David. If we review the previous chapters, we can see that King Saul was jealous of David. Saul becomes enraged with his son Jonathan when he wants to intercede on David’s behalf. Saul is out to try to kill David.

However, Jonathan does not agree with his father. He took a step of courage in defending David and wanting to continue his friendship. Jonathan went so far as to protect his friend from Saul who wanted to murder David. He was willing to be in disfavor with his father because of the injustice done to David.

Next, Jonathan made David renew his vow. For a relationship to be healthy, it must be bi-directional. Both parties need to work together and be committed to it. Jonathan asks his friend David to be as devoted as he is to their friendship. As a matter of fact, they both make a promise to extend their relationship to their houses. In other words that it extend down through the generations. What an act of dedication on both parts!

Last, Jonathan loved David as much as he loved himself. For any relationship to last there must be true love and care for each other. Obviously, this was an essential component in the lives of Jonathan and David. They were both loyal to each other in the midst of great tension and difficulty. Both were willing to serve each other.

In conclusion, Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David. Jonathan made David renew his vow. And Jonathan loved David as much as he loved himself.

The words of Jesus are appropriate when He speaks to His disciples and calls them friends. Jesus is the ultimate example of friendship. He demonstrated His love in dying on the cross. He was innocent yet made Himself guilty for our sins. In addition, He promised that He would be with us forever.

Jesus treated the disciples as real friends. They made missteps and he was patient with their inadequacies. Peter is a prime example. Jesus is the true friend of all believers.

Let’s learn to value friends when they come our way. Truly, Jesus is our greatest friend. May we devote our lives to serve Him.

End

It has been a pleasure to share with you Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Tomorrow’s Bible reading is First Samuel 24 through 27. 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]


 

October 19

 

Gaining True Wisdom

 

“The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple” (Ps. 19:7).

✧✧✧

God’s Word imparts wisdom and knowledge beyond the realm of mere human understanding.

David’s characterization of God’s Word as “the testimony of the Lord” (Ps. 19:7) speaks of its role as God’s witness to who He is and what He requires of us. In addition, it’s a “sure” witness. That means it’s unwavering, immovable, unmistakable, reliable, and trustworthy.

Peter made the same point when, after recounting his incredible experience with Christ on the Mount of Transfiguration (2 Peter 1:16–18), he said, “but we have a testimony more sure than that—the prophetic word” (v. 19, literal translation). The testimony of God’s written Word is a surer and more convincing confirmation of God’s truth than even apostolic experiences with Christ Himself!

Perhaps that’s why our Lord prevented the two disciples on the Emmaus Road from recognizing Him as He gave them a Biblical basis for the things they had seen and heard (Luke 24:27). Their faith and preaching were to be based on Scripture, not merely on their own personal experiences—no matter how profound or moving those experiences may have been.

The benefit of God’s sure Word is that it makes the simple wise (Ps. 19:7). It takes undiscerning, ignorant, and gullible people and teaches them profound truth from God that they can apply to their lives. As they do this, they become skilled in the art of godly living.

That was the psalmist’s joy when he wrote, “Thy commandments make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever mine. I have more insight than all my teachers, for Thy testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the aged, because I have observed Thy precepts” (Ps. 119:98–100).

Applying that principle to New Testament believers, Paul prayed that we would be “filled with the knowledge of [God’s] will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding” (Col. 1:9). As that occurs, we’re enabled to “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord [and] to please Him in all respects” (v. 10). That’s the outworking of godly wisdom and the key to holy living.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Pray that God’s wisdom will increase and abound in your life today and every day.

For Further Study: Read Luke 24:13–35, noting how Jesus ministered the Word to the disciples on the Emmaus Road.[4]


October 19

Praying for the Lost

Scripture reading: Acts 24:10–27

Key verse: Acts 24:25

Now as he reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and answered, “Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you.”

In Acts 24, Paul stood before Felix with a clear conscience. He had professed the gospel message without violating the moral and judicial laws of his day. Yet he was arrested and accused of stirring up dissension and being “a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes” (v. 5). Knowing Paul’s citizenship rights, the governor had little recourse except to be lenient in his judgment of the apostle.

God is creative in His approach to mankind’s need for salvation. Paul did not compromise his convictions; he preached the gospel of Christ openly in the temple and later under house arrest to the guards who were chained to his side. Sensitivity to the leading of the Holy Spirit achieves far more in the area of witnessing than we ever could accomplish in our own strength.

As a result of Paul’s obedience to Christ and then to the authorities over him, Felix began visiting Paul and inquiring about the Way (terminology used by early Christians to describe their life in Christ). Although it appears that Felix never accepted Jesus as his Savior, he was given a divine opportunity to do so through the testimony of the apostle Paul. What a privilege it is to witness to and pray for our government officials. Even though they have tremendous authority, they are not above God in their decisions; they need your prayers.

Father, I thank You for the opportunity to witness to and pray for government officials.[5]


October 19

Asking in Faith

But let him ask in faith, with no doubting.

James 1:6

A believer should request wisdom in confident trust in God. If you lack wisdom, it’s not God’s fault. If you don’t understand your trial—why your spouse died, your health is deteriorating, your finances are a mess, or why you are having problems with your car, your job, or your children—then you probably haven’t asked God with unwavering faith to give you wisdom.

Perhaps you have prayed somewhat insincerely with wrong motives like those whom James condemned as praying for wisdom only to help with their lusts (4:3). Maybe you’re not praying in accord with 1 Timothy 2:8, which says to pray “without wrath or doubting,” and you doubt whether God is able or willing to help.

Unwavering faith simply believes that God is a sovereign, loving God who will supply everything needed for understanding the trial and being able to endure it. Whatever the trial is, you can believe that God allowed it for His purpose and your spiritual maturity.[6]


October 19

“GOD is for me.” He was “for us” or he would not have given his well beloved Son. And because he is “for us,” the voice of prayer will always insure his help. “When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies be turned back.” This is no uncertain hope, but a well-grounded assurance—“this I know.” I will direct my pryer unto thee, and will look up for the answer, assured that it will come, “for God is for me.” O believer, how happy art thou with the King of kings on thy side. How safe with such a Protector! How sure thy cause, pleaded by such an Advocate! If God be for thee, who can be against thee?[7]


October 19  Order

scripture reading:

 

Nehemiah 1

 

key verse:

 

Matthew 14:23

 

When He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there.

Sociological studies show that despite increased leisure time, Americans feel more pressured than ever. With increased freedoms and opportunities come more choices; with more choices, more decisions are required.

The key to living an orderly life in the midst of such frenzy is an established prayer life in which you can present your needs and agenda to the all–wise God. Nehemiah understood this foundational principle.

When he heard the news of Jerusalem’s plight, he did not immediately organize a rescue squad or launch a new organization. Nehemiah’s response was to pray: “I sat down and wept and mourned for days; and I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven” (Neh. 1:4 nasb).

For four long months, Nehemiah interceded on Jerusalem’s behalf, asking God for direction and wisdom. Then when the time came to petition King Artaxerxes, Nehemiah’s request was granted miraculously (Neh. 2:1–6).

Order in your life begins with the rule of the Holy Spirit and the outworking of God’s plan. The discernment to implement His plan comes as you spend time in fervent prayer, seeking His mind and purposes.

Dear heavenly Father, I realize that order in my life begins with the rule of Your Holy Spirit—so please, come and rule and reign in my life. Implement Your plan and purposes. Bring order out of chaos.[8]


October 19

The Product of Obedience

He stores up sound wisdom for the upright.

Proverbs 2:7

god has provided in His Word all that we need, but we are the ones who must choose to walk “upright.” To be “upright” is the result of right living; it is the product of obedience. The “upright” isn’t a class of people to whom God reveals wisdom—as if we were to say that God reveals His wisdom to those who are tall, short, thin, fat, blond, brunette, and so forth. It is those who choose to obey God and who follow through and do what God commands who become the “upright.”[9]


Day 19

Adoration

How great You are, O Sovereign Lord! There is no one like You, and there is no God besides You, according to all that I have heard with my ears. (2 Samuel 7:22; 1 Chronicles 17:20)

You alone are the Lord.

You made the heavens,

The heaven of heavens, and all their host,

The earth and all that is on it,

The seas and all that is in them.

You give life to all that is in them,

And the host of heaven worships You. (Nehemiah 9:6)

Pause to express your thoughts of praise and worship.

Confession

Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I tell you, not seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” (Matthew 18:21–22)

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 like those who draw near to You with their mouths and honor You with their lips, but whose hearts are far from You, and whose reverence for You is made up only of rules taught by men. (Isaiah 29:13)

I desire not only to call You Lord but to do what You say. By Your grace, I will come to You, hear Your words, and put them into practice. Then I will be like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock, and when a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. (Luke 6:46–48)

Pause to add your own prayers for personal renewal.

Petition

Guard my soul and rescue me;

Let me not be ashamed, for I take refuge in You.

May integrity and uprightness protect me,

For I wait for You. (Psalm 25:20–21)

Faithfulness as a Steward

Of time

Of talents

Of treasure

Of truth

Of relationships

My activities for this day

Special concerns

Intercession

May I submit myself to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. (Romans 13:1–2)

Government

Spiritual revival

Local government

State government

National government

Current events and concerns

Affirmation

Before I was afflicted I went astray,

But now I keep Your word.

It was good for me to be afflicted,

So that I might learn Your statutes.

I know, O Lord, that Your judgments are righteous,

And that in faithfulness You have afflicted me. (Psalm 119:67, 71, 75)

I know that if my earthly house, or tent, is destroyed, I have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this house I groan, longing to be clothed with my heavenly dwelling, because when I am clothed, I will not be found naked. For while I am in this tent, I groan, being burdened, because I do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now it is God who has made me for this very purpose and has given me the Spirit as a guarantee. (2 Corinthians 5:1–5)

Pause to reflect upon these biblical affirmations.

Thanksgiving

Because the Lord God helps me,

I will not be disgraced.

Therefore I have set my face like flint,

And I know I will not be put to shame.

He who vindicates me is near;

Who will contend with me?

Surely the Lord God will help me;

Who is he that will condemn me? (Isaiah 50:7–9)

I did not receive a spirit of slavery again to fear, but I received the Spirit of adoption by whom I cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself testifies with my spirit that I am a child of God. (Romans 8:15–16)

Pause to offer your own expressions of thanksgiving.

Closing Prayer

Lord Jesus, all that the Father gives You will come to You, and whoever comes to You, You will never cast out. For You have come down from heaven not to do Your own will, but the will of Him who sent You. And this is the will of Him who sent You, that You will lose none of all that He has given You, but raise them up at the last day. For Your Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him may have eternal life, and You will raise him up at the last day. (John 6:37–40)[10]


October 19

Moving Forward in Faith

Scripture reading: 2 Chronicles 17:3–5

Key verse: 1 Thessalonians 5:24

He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.

Jehoshaphat had admonished Israel to return to the Lord, reminding a rebellious nation of the God who had freed it from bondage in Egypt and sustained it through much adversity. Then came the report that three tribes were mounting an attack on Israel.

Jehoshaphat’s response was a godly example not only for Israel but also for us today. The king’s first act was to immediately seek the Lord. By doing so, Jehoshaphat inherently demonstrated the knowledge that God is interested in all of man’s problems and that nothing is bigger than God.

Becoming a Christian does not give you a free ride from the problems of life. When you encounter trouble, your first response always should be to seek the Lord. God will give you a solution to the problem in His timing. You may have to wait for His answer, and the wait may be long. He often uses such times to mold your character and to teach you principles He knows you lack. Sometimes, you may not be ready for His perfect answer, so He has to prepare you.

Finally, God’s answer to your Christ-centered (not problem-centered) prayers usually requires an act of faith on your part. Sometimes—as with having a choir lead an army into battle—His plans won’t immediately make sense. But they are perfect. “He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it” (1 Thess. 5:24).

I choose Your way, Lord—even when it doesn’t make sense in the natural. Give me the strength to move forward in faith.[11]


October 19

The Lord will be your confidence, and will keep your foot from being caught.

Lord, surely the wrath of man shall praise You; with the remainder of wrath You shall gird Yourself. The king’s heart is in Your hand, Lord, like the rivers of water; You turn it wherever You wish. When my ways please You, You make even my enemies to be at peace with me.

I wait for You, Lord, my soul waits, and in Your word I do hope. My soul waits for You, Lord, more than those who watch for the morning—yes, more than those who watch for the morning. I sought You, Lord, and You heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

You, eternal God, are my refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms; You will thrust out the enemy from before me, and will say, “Destroy!” I am blessed for I trust in You, Lord, and my hope is in You.

What then shall I say to these things? If God is for me, who can be against me?

Your Word reveals wonderful reasons for me to be confident in You. I praise You, Lord God, for being my Refuge, my Strength, and my Deliverer.

Proverbs 3:26; Psalm 76:10; Proverbs 21:1; Proverbs 16:7; Psalm 130:5–6; Psalm 34:4; Deuteronomy 33:27; Jeremiah 17:7; Romans 8:31[12]


Morning, October 19

 

“Babes in Christ.”

— 1 Corinthians 3:1

 

Are you mourning, believer, because you are so weak in the divine life: because your faith is so little, your love so feeble? Cheer up, for you have cause for gratitude. Remember that in some things you are equal to the greatest and most full-grown Christian. You are as much bought with blood as he is. You are as much an adopted child of God as any other believer. An infant is as truly a child of its parents as is the full-grown man. You are as completely justified, for your justification is not a thing of degrees: your little faith has made you clean every whit. You have as much right to the precious things of the covenant as the most advanced believers, for your right to covenant mercies lies not in your growth, but in the covenant itself; and your faith in Jesus is not the measure, but the token of your inheritance in him. You are as rich as the richest, if not in enjoyment, yet in real possession. The smallest star that gleams is set in heaven; the faintest ray of light has affinity with the great orb of day. In the family register of glory the small and the great are written with the same pen. You are as dear to your Father’s heart as the greatest in the family. Jesus is very tender over you. You are like the smoking flax; a rougher spirit would say, “put out that smoking flax, it fills the room with an offensive odour!” but the smoking flax he will not quench. You are like a bruised reed; and any less tender hand than that of the Chief Musician would tread upon you or throw you away, but he will never break the bruised reed. Instead of being downcast by reason of what you are, you should triumph in Christ. Am I but little in Israel? Yet in Christ I am made to sit in heavenly places. Am I poor in faith? Still in Jesus I am heir of all things. Though “less than nothing I can boast, and vanity confess.” yet, if the root of the matter be in me I will rejoice in the Lord, and glory in the God of my salvation.

 

Evening, October 19

 

“God, my maker, who giveth songs in the night.”

— Job 35:10

 

Any man can sing in the day. When the cup is full, man draws inspiration from it. When wealth rolls in abundance around him, any man can praise the God who gives a plenteous harvest or sends home a loaded argosy. It is easy enough for an Aeolian harp to whisper music when the winds blow—the difficulty is for music to swell forth when no wind is stirring. It is easy to sing when we can read the notes by daylight; but he is skilful who sings when there is not a ray of light to read by—who sings from his heart. No man can make a song in the night of himself; he may attempt it, but he will find that a song in the night must be divinely inspired. Let all things go well, I can weave songs, fashioning them wherever I go out of the flowers that grow upon my path; but put me in a desert, where no green thing grows, and wherewith shall I frame a hymn of praise to God? How shall a mortal man make a crown for the Lord where no jewels are? Let but this voice be clear, and this body full of health, and I can sing God’s praise: silence my tongue, lay me upon the bed of languishing, and how shall I then chant God’s high praises, unless he himself give me the song? No, it is not in man’s power to sing when all is adverse, unless an altar-coal shall touch his lip. It was a divine song, which Habakkuk sang, when in the night he said, “Although the fig-tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” Then, since our Maker gives songs in the night, let us wait upon him for the music. O thou chief musician, let us not remain songless because affliction is upon us, but tune thou our lips to the melody of thanksgiving. [13]


October 19

A Temple for His Presence

Scripture Reading: 2 Chronicles 7:12–18

Key Verse: 2 Chronicles 7:15

My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place.

Solomon had just completed the construction of the temple. Sacrifices were made to God along with a commitment to follow the Lord all the days of his life. God was pleased, and in 2 Chronicles, He acknowledged Solomon’s devotion: “My eyes shall be open and My ears attentive to the prayer offered in this place” (2 Chron. 7:15 nasb).

In her book Adventures in Prayer, Catherine Marshall declared,

God insists that we pray, not because He needs to know our situation, but because we need the spiritual discipline of asking. Similarly, making our requests specific forces us to take a step forward in faith.

The reason many of us retreat into vague generalities when we pray is not because we think too highly of God, but because we think too little. If we pray for something definite and our request is not granted, we fear to lose the little faith we had. So we fall back on the safe route of highly “spiritual” prayers—the kind that Jesus brushed aside as not true prayer at all, just self-deceptive “talking to ourselves.”

As Solomon stepped back and viewed the glory of the temple of God, he was struck with the awesome reality of God’s presence all about him. The shekinah glory of God literally filled the place.

When you pray, allow God to expose the true devotion of your heart. Ask Him to cleanse you and make you a temple fit for His presence.

Master, expose the true devotion of my heart. Cleanse me and make me a temple fit for Your presence.[14]


October 19

Seeking Solid Role Models

Philippians 2:29

Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness, and hold such men in esteem.

When Raphael was painting his famous Vatican frescoes, a couple of cardinals stopped by to watch and criticize. “The face of the apostle Paul is too red,” said one. Raphael replied, “He blushes to see into whose hands the church has fallen.”

No one needs to remind us that we live in an age of fallen heroes. But maybe instead of spending so much time analyzing our failures, we ought to seek out some solid role models to emulate and then determine to become the same for the generation that is looking to us.

Paul introduces three such people in the last half of Philippians 2. We learn that Paul himself is an example of selflessness. Paul then presents his spiritual son, Timothy, as an example of service. Finally, we are introduced to Epaphroditus as an example of suffering. Paul was an apostle, Timothy was a pastor, and Epaphroditus was a layman. While it is true that Jesus Christ is the Christian’s model, these men are presented as model Christians. Jesus poured Himself out in service to God. These men poured themselves out as servants of Jesus Christ! [15]


 

Nothing Less Can Satisfy

 

October 19

 

Those lines about the flowerets are from “The Light of Asia,” page 121. I believe the Lord has taught me the flowerets’ secret, and I too am growing content. How can it be otherwise when once the soul knows God? Just to say, “God is,” seems enough to me now to answer every thought of need. Every dispensation the Lord permits to come upon me seems to be meant only to settle me deeper and deeper in God. I find it true, as Faber says

God only is the creature’s home,

Though rough and straight the road,

And nothing less can satisfy

The love that longs for God.”

How thankful I am that He will not permit anything else to satisfy! I think I see in the undertone of dissatisfaction that runs through your letters, that He is bringing you to the place where He Himself, and not work for Him, nor friends, nor success, nor anything else can satisfy you. All the writers on the advancing life say that a renunciation of all the activities of the soul must come before God can be all in all. I mean an inward renunciation, not necessarily outward. We must be “content” to grow as God pleases, even if on an Alpine height in an unseen crevice. For it is for His pleasure we were and are created!

—To _____[?], 1880[16]


October 19th

The unheeded secret

My kingdom is not of this world. John 18:36.

The great enemy to the Lord Jesus Christ in the present day is the conception of practical work that has not come from the New Testament, but from the systems of the world in which endless energy and activities are insisted upon, but no private life with God. The emphasis is put on the wrong thing. Jesus said, “The kingdom of God cometh not with observation; … for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you,” a hidden, obscure thing. An active Christian worker too often lives in the shop window. It is the innermost of the innermost that reveals the power of the life.

We have to get rid of the plague of the spirit of the religious age in which we live. In Our Lord’s life there was none of the press and rush of tremendous activity that we regard so highly, and the disciple is to be as his Master. The central thing about the kingdom of Jesus Christ is a personal relationship to Himself, not public usefulness to men. It is not its practical activities that are the strength of this Bible Training College, its whole strength lies in the fact that here you are put into soak before God. You have no idea of where God is going to engineer your circumstances, no knowledge of what strain is going to be put on you either at home or abroad, and if you waste your time in over-active energies instead of getting into soak on the great fundamental truths of God’s Redemption, you will snap when the strain comes; but if this time of soaking before God is being spent in getting rooted and grounded in God on the un-practical line, you will remain true to Him whatever happens.[17]


October 19

Finding Favor with God

Scripture Reading: Proverbs 3:1–4

Key Verse: Proverbs 3:3

Let not mercy and truth forsake you;

Bind them around your neck,

Write them on the tablet of your heart.

Whenever we find favor with someone, we feel their support. In everything we do, we are encouraged. It’s not that we feel we can do no wrong, but we feel that we will always do right. Verses pepper the Bible with ways we can find favor with God. The most basic of ways begins with opening God’s Word and instilling it into our hearts and minds.

Solomon wrote, “Let not mercy and truth forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart” (Proverbs 3:3). God’s truth is written on our hearts when we begin a daily diet of reading His Word, taking time to understand the principles and concepts that make up His kingdom. In the Bible, we find the sustenance for life, the strength to persevere, the hope to conquer our fears.

Every lesson taught in the Bible is a direct reflection of the nature and character of God, pointing us toward the manner by which He desires for us to live. Through reading God’s Word, we begin to understand more about Him and more about the nature of Jesus Christ. As we put these principles to practice in our lives, we find that the favorable hand of the Lord is surrounding us.

Lord, as I search Your Word, take Your truths and carve them into my heart so that they may come to me quickly when I need them.[18]


October 19

The Lord set a mark upon Cain

Gen. 4:15

We speak of the mark of Cain as if it was the mark of a curse. In reality it was the mark of God’s mercy, a defense against his enemies.

D. J. Burrell[19]


 

October 19

 

Slaves of Righteousness

 

“But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.”

Romans 6:17–18

✧✧✧

True freedom comes from being a servant of Jesus Christ.

I once knew a man who, though intellectually convinced that the gospel was true, balked at committing his life to Jesus Christ. When I asked him why, he replied, “Because I don’t want to give up my freedom.” He understood clearly that genuine saving faith requires submission to Christ’s lordship. But he was tragically deceived in thinking that non–Christians are free—they aren’t. Unbelievers are slaves to sin (John 8:34). Only Christians have true freedom (John 8:31–32)—the freedom not to sin.

Paul reminded the Roman Christians that before they were saved, they ”were slaves of sin.” The apostle’s use of the imperfect tense indicates that the Romans, like all unbelievers, had been in a continual state of slavery to sin. Every human ever born—since Adam and Eve plunged the human race into sin—has been born enslaved to sin—except of course, for Christ.

When a person comes to faith in Christ, he or she becomes “obedient from the heart” to the Lord Jesus Christ. A Christian’s initial act of obedience, repenting and believing the gospel message (Mark 1:15), is the first step in a lifelong path of obedience. In the words of the apostle Peter, Christians are those who “have in obedience to the truth purified [their] souls” (1 Peter 1:22).

Paradoxically, it’s only those who have made themselves servants of Jesus Christ who are truly free. They alone are free to do what is right; even unbelievers’ “good deeds” are sinful, since they aren’t done to glorify God. Christian liberty is not the freedom to choose to sin, but the freedom to choose not to.

Renew today your commitment to be an obedient servant of God, knowing that “you are not your own. For you have been bought with a price” (1 Cor. 6:19–20).

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Praise God for freeing you from slavery to sin. ✧ Ask Him to show you those areas in your life that you have not yielded fully to Him.

For Further Study: Memorize Matthew 5:6; 1 Timothy 6:10–12; and Hebrews 12:14. ✧ Ask God to help you pattern your life after Jesus Christ.[20]


 

October 19 – Jesus’ Deity in His Judgment

“‘For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son’” (John 5:22).

Jesus’ authority to grant spiritual life to whomever He chooses is consistent with His authority to judge all men on the last day (cf. 3:18–19; 12:48). Since God is the “Judge of all the earth” (Gen. 18:25), the fact that the Father judges no one, but “has given all judgment to the Son,” further attests to Christ’s deity. Because their wills are in perfect harmony, all judgment can be given to Christ in the assurance that His judgment will be, in fact, the very same as the Father’s judgment. Although judgment was not the primary purpose of Christ’s first coming to earth (3:17; 12:47), it remains the inescapable final result of rejecting the salvation He offers (3:18).

In the future, “the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus” (2 Thess. 1:7–8), because God “has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:31). On that final, terrible day of judgment, those who rejected Jesus will hear Him say, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness” (Matt. 7:23).

Take the time right now to examine your relationship to Christ. Make sure you are depending on His grace and mercy for salvation, not on your own sincere efforts.

Ask Yourself

Knowing ourselves and our tendency to sin, our view of God’s power is perhaps most clearly seen, not in His ability and authority to judge but in His willingness to continually restrain it. That He doesn’t begrudge His sacrifice but keeps applying it to our need is evidence of the highest form of mercy. Thank Him heartily for this today.

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.


Reading for Today:

Jeremiah 23:1–24:10
Psalm 119:17-24
Proverbs 27:15-16
2 Thessalonians 1:1-12
Notes:

Jeremiah 23:3, 4 I will gather. God pledged to restore exiled Israelites to their ancient soil. The land in view was Palestine, being contrasted with all the other countries (v. 3), thus assuring that the regathering would be as literal as the scattering. The restoration of Judah from Babylon is referred to in language which in its fullness can only refer to the final restoration of God’s people (“out of all countries” and v. 8), under the Messiah. “Nor shall they be lacking” indicates that no one will be missing or detached. These are prophecies not yet fulfilled.

Jeremiah 23:4 shepherds…will feed them. Zerubbabel, Ezra, Nehemiah, and others were small fulfillments compared to the consummate shepherding of the Messiah Jesus.

Jeremiah 23:5 Branch. The Messiah is pictured as a branch (literally, “shoot”) out of David’s family tree (23:5; 33:15, 16; Is. 4:2; 11:1–5; Zech. 3:8; 6:12, 13), who will rule over God’s people in the future.

Jeremiah 23:29 like a fire…hammer. God’s word has irresistible qualities to prevail over the deception in the shepherds’ false messages.

Psalm 119:18 Open my eyes. Perhaps this is the supreme prayer that a student of Scripture could speak since it confesses the student’s inadequacy and the divine Author’s sufficiency (vv. 98, 99, 105, 130).

DAY 19: What should a believer’s attitude be toward suffering?

In 2 Thessalonians 1:4, Paul speaks of the “patience and faith” of the Thessalonians. Nowhere was their growth in faith and love more evident than in the way they patiently and faithfully endured hostilities and suffering from the enemies of Christ. Although there was no need to speak, since the Thessalonians’ lives spoke clearly enough (1 Thess. 1:8), Paul’s joy before the Lord over their perseverance bubbled up.

Having a right attitude toward suffering (v. 5) is essential, and that required attitude is concern for the kingdom of God. They were not self-centered but concentrated on God’s kingdom. Their focus was not on personal comfort, fulfillment, and happiness, but on the glory of God and the fulfillment of His purposes. They were not moaning about the injustice of their persecutions. Rather, they were patiently enduring the sufferings they did not deserve (v. 4). This very attitude was “manifest evidence” or positive proof that God’s wise process of purging, purifying, and perfecting through suffering was working to make His beloved people worthy of the kingdom (2:12) by being perfected (James 1:2–4; 1 Pet. 5:10).

For believers, afflictions are to be expected (1 Thess. 3:3) as they live and develop Christian character in a satanic world. Suffering is not to be thought of as evidence that God has forsaken them, but as evidence that He is with them, perfecting them (Matt. 5:10; Rom. 8:18; 2 Cor. 12:10). So the Thessalonians demonstrated that their salvation, determined by faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ, was genuine because they, like Christ, were willing to suffer on account of God and His kingdom. They suffered unjustly as objects of man’s wrath against Christ and His kingdom (Acts 5:41; Phil. 3:10; Col. 1:24).

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.


Sun, October 19, 2014

An Announcement, a Command, and a Call

The whole matter of moral choice centers around Jesus Christ. Christ stated it plainly: “He that is not with me is against me,” and “No man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” The gospel message embodies three distinct elements: an announcement, a command, and a call. It announces the good news of redemption accomplished in mercy; it commands all men everywhere to repent and it calls all men to surrender to the terms of grace by believing on Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

We must all choose whether we will obey the gospel or turn away in unbelief and reject its authority. Our choice is our own, but the consequences of the choice have already been determined by the sovereign will of God, and from this there is no appeal.

The Lord descended from above,

And bowed the heavens most high,

And underneath His feet He cast

The darkness of the sky.

On cherubim and seraphim

Full royally He rode,

And on the wings of mighty winds

Came flying all abroad.

He sat serene upon the floods,

Their fury to restrain;

And He, as sovereign Lord and King,

For evermore shall reign.

Psalm paraphrase, by Thomas Sternhold

Verse
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
John 14:6

Thought
Our choice is our own, but the consequences of the choice have already been determined by the sovereign will of God, and from this there is no appeal.

Prayer
Thank You, Father, for the gift of choice that You sovereignly placed in our hearts.

A. W. Tozer


ADORATION: Recognize God’s Perfect Knowledge and Unsearchable Wisdom

2.3

That he has a perfect knowledge of all persons and things, and sees them all, even that which is most secret, at one clear, certain, and unerring view.

All things are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account, even the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12-13(ESV)

Your eyes are in every place keeping watch on the evil and the good: Proverbs 15:3(ESV) They run to and fro throughout the whole earth, that you may give strong support to those whose hearts are blameless toward you. 2 Chronicles 16:9(ESV)

You search the heart and test the mind, that you may give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds. Jeremiah 17:10(ESV)

O God, you have searched us and known us! You know when we sit down and when we rise up; you discern our thoughts from afar. You search out our path and our lying down and are acquainted with all our ways. Even before a word is on our tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether. Psalm 139:1-4(ESV) Such knowledge is too wonderful for us; it is high; we cannot attain it. Psalm 139:6(ESV)

Darkness is as light with you. Psalm 139:12(ESV)

2.4

That his wisdom is unsearchable, and the counsels and designs of it cannot be fathomed.

Your understanding, O Lord, is infinite, for you determine the number of the stars, and give to all of them their names. Psalm 147:4-5(ESV)

You are wonderful in counsel and excellent in wisdom; Isaiah 28:29(ESV) wise in heart and mighty in strength. Job 9:4(ESV)

O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom have you made them all; Psalm 104:24(ESV) all according to the counsel of your own will. Ephesians 1:11(ESV)

Oh, the depth of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! Romans 11:33(ESV)

Matthew Henry’s Method for Prayer


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

[2] Osbeck, K. W. (1996). Amazing grace: 366 inspiring hymn stories for daily devotions (p. 314). 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. 305). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[5] Stanley, C. F. (2002). Seeking His face (p. 306). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[6] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 316). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

[7] Spurgeon, C. H. (1892). Daily Help (p. 296). Baltimore: R. H. Woodward & Company.

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

[9] Stanley, C. F. (2004). God’s way day by day (p. 312). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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

[11] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 306). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[12] Jeremiah, D. (2007). Life-Changing Moments With God (p. 314). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[13] Spurgeon, Charles 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. 306). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[15] Jeremiah, D. (2002). Sanctuary: finding moments of refuge in the presence of God (p. 306). Nashville, TN: Integrity Publishers.

[16] 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.

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

[18] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 306). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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

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

Code: B141017

by John MacArthur

Editor’s Note: To commemorate the one-year anniversary of the Strange Fire Conference, we are posting an article by John MacArthur which will appear in the next issue of the TMS Journal. For the purposes of this blog, the article is posted in three parts. Click here to read Part 1 and Part 2.

A Departure from the Inerrant Word

A final point to consider, specifically with reference to modern prophecy, is that by eliminating the simple biblical standard by which false prophets may be identified, modern charismatics have opened the door for chaos and doctrinal confusion in the church. Fake healings and false tongues are bad enough, but when someone claims to have private revelation from God, the sufficiency and singularity of Scripture is instantly clouded, and the authority of Scripture is undermined. It is a terribly dangerous breach of a fundamental principle of evangelical Protestant and biblical conviction.

The Bible is authoritative revelation. It sets forth truth in words and propositions.  The authors of Scripture wrote down those words exactly as God ordained—“not . . . words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit” (1 Corinthians 2:13). That’s why a prophet was judged by the accuracy of what he said. If he said, “Thus said the Lord,” and the Lord didn’t really say that, he was to be stoned.

When someone claims to have received an “impression” from God—a non-verbal revelation—the door is opened wide for all kinds of confusion.  Personal impressions are inherently enigmatic, vague, and frankly dubious. Non-verbal sensations cannot articulate truth. But charismatics are taught to accept their impressions and hope that somehow this legitimate revelation of God doesn’t get messed up when we try to verbalize it. Frequently, when they verbalize or act on what they believe God has told them, it is absurd—sometimes even reckless in the extreme. But a strong impression is never to be doubted on those grounds, they insist, because God moves in mysterious ways. That is why charismatics are so prone to embrace rather than question all kinds of strange and innately irrational phenomena like drunken behavior and uncontrollable laughter.

When you believe God is trying to communicate through some non-verbal, intellectually vacant means, all meaning inevitably gets lost in translation. This is not how God reveals truth. Seeking messages from God in one’s own feelings and imagination is a practice rooted in pagan superstition, and it wreaks havoc in the lives of anyone who thinks that impression in his mind or feeling in his gut is a message from God. Scripture says, “He who trusts in his own heart is a fool” (Proverbs 28:26).

True believers in Jesus Christ must return to the basic truths of the sufficiency, authority, verbal inspiration, and inerrancy of God’s Word. Every word that proceeds from the mouth of God is true. That is the principle of biblical inerrancy. The charismatic notion of “fallible prophecy” directly undermines it. The more casual the church becomes in these categories, the more her people will falter, and the weaker her testimony will be. The evidence of this is already all too obvious across the entire evangelical movement.

The Shepherds’ Conference next March will be a major summit on the topic of inerrancy. Ten keynote speakers have been invited to address the issue. Our commitment to biblical inerrancy is the core principle that defines and delimits everything else we confess and teach at The Master’s Seminary. This is what we want to be known for. We affirm without reservation the authority, sufficiency, and reliability of Scripture, and we believe the Bible supersedes and stands in judgment over all other truth claims, all other worldviews, and all beliefs that are rooted only in general revelation or natural theology. For the honor of the Lord and the safety of His people we must hold settled, biblically sound views on these issues, and we must be able to proclaim the truth with clarity and genuine conviction. That means no matter how popular and widespread an erroneous doctrine may be, we nevertheless must point it out and offer biblical correction.

Listen to some of the pundits and trend-setters among the evangelical elite, and you might think the only options left for conservative evangelicals are to fall in line with the prevailing evangelical drift or else become a pariah because you represent a threat to peace and unity. Scripture points us in a totally different direction: “Be steadfast, immovable” (1 Corinthians 15:58)—“holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict” (Titus 1:9). “Fight the good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 6:12). “Retain the standard of sound words [and] guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you” (2 Timothy 1:13-14). “Preach the word . . . in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction”—even when people just want to have their ears tickled (2 Timothy 4:2-3). And “be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen” (2 Peter 3:17-18).


Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B141017
COPYRIGHT ©2014 Grace to You

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