Originally posted on The Domain for Truth:

CarlTrueman

Earlier this month Westminister Theological Seminary has made available for free online on ITunes University their historical theology lecture series on the Reformation.  It is taught by Dr. Carl Trueman.  I am half way through the series and it is pretty good!

Dr. Trueman is a capable scholar and also one who teaches history in a way that is not boring.  He’s conversant with the material at hand, insightful and funny.

One of the things I really got out of the series thus far is the further appreciation for the historical context in which the Reformation took place.  I thought Trueman was also insightful in his observation that Martin Luther was really a Medieval man even as the age of modernity and the Reformation was dawning with Luther as the leader.

You can access the lectures on Itunes by clicking here: The Reformation

Or if you want to access it…

View original 7 more words

You’re reading Part 2 of a two-part blog series by Sherry Allchin on emotions. Yesterday in Part 1, Sherry explained biblical principles for handling our emotions maturely. Today, Sherry explores biblical principles for bringing biblical balance to our emotional life. Continue reading

Originally posted on Watch Your Life and Doctrine Closely...:

I wrote the following tonight as a response to a Facebook discussion, and since time is quite precious, I’ll post it here as well.  I’m learning to double-dip that way.

The post gave this quote :

“There is no vision, no experience, and no miracle that will tell you more about God than he has already told you about himself in the pages of scripture.”

The post then asked for responses, and there were plenty…but they weren’t as helpful as I would have hoped, which really disappointed me.  Facebook usually doesn’t let me down in this regard.  If I had a dime for every time I struggled to sort through a complex issue and found a consistent and well-reasoned argument or a piece of sage biblical wisdom on Facebook, I’d have…uh…about this much.

20-indian-rupees

Here’s my response to the quote:

View original 921 more words

Originally posted on Wintery Knight:

Here’s a podcast featuring J. Warner Wallace. This is an after action report from Wallace’s recent missions trip to Utah to evangelize Mormons.

The MP3 file is here. (74 minutes)

Topics:

  • Mormons disagree with Christians about the nature of God, Jesus and salvation
  • The differences are so dramatic that the two religions are completely different views
  • Mormons try to portray themselves as a denomination of Christianity
  • The Utah missions trip: how Christians were trained to engage with Mormons
  • Mormonism is a works-based religion – you earn your way to eternal life by doing works
  • In Christianity, eternal life is a free gift from God to anyone who accepts Jesus as their leader and redeemer
  • Mormons believe that doctrines can change from generation to generation (progressive revelation)
  • Mormons commonly make the case for a works-based theology by appealing to Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount
  • Mormons believe that you have to…

View original 557 more words

Originally posted on :

JD will challenge you on Friday’s program, and will mention this article, to start a new Reformation Day tradition. Keep in mind that some people call this holiday “Halloween” and it has something to do with costumes – or so we hear. For those who prefer a candy-infused celebration that doesn’t involve dressing up as demons or promiscuous nurses in fishnet stockings, perhaps a Christ-centered holiday is for you.

Celebrating Reformation Day began in 1567, fifty years after Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the church door in Wittenberg, Germany. This began the Protestant Reformation, which kicked off perhaps the greatest move of the Holy Spirit post the Apostolic Age. Call us crazy, but we think it seems more worthy of celebration than the Great Pumpkin or whatever it is that Halloween is about.

Ligonier summarizes the events leading up to Reformation Day as follows…

“An heir of…

View original 750 more words

Christianity Today reports on a survey commissioned by Ligonier Ministries to assess Americans’ theological beliefs:

Most American evangelicals hold views condemned as heretical by some of the most important councils of the early church.

Read more

Webcasts will set the tone for intercessory prayer

Open Doors USA is inviting the public to join a live interactive webcast on Saturday (November 1), while churches are invited tojoin a special webcast designed for their Sunday night services on November 2.

Read more

Also to be observed on Nov. 9 Don’t Stand in Silence – International Day of Prayer – World Evangelical Alliance
Prayer Alert: 2 Years on- Remembering astor Saeed Abadini – International Day of Prayer

Not all sin is the same. While every sin places you under the wrath of God, and while any sin is sufficient to create an eternal chasm between God and man, not every sin is identical. In chapter 9 of his work Overcoming Sin and Temptation, John Owen wants you to think about that besetting sin in your life to consider if it is an “ordinary” sin, or if it is one that is particularly deadly and that, therefore, requires something more than the usual pattern of putting sin to death. The deadliness of a sin is not related so much to the category of that sin, but to how deeply-rooted it is in your life, and to how you have responded to God as he has revealed it to you.

Here are seven marks of a deeply deadly sin.

Read more

What leads people away from religion and into atheism? That’s the question that fascinated Larry Taunton so much that he launched a nationwide series of interviews with hundreds of college-age atheists.

His question was simple: “What led you to become an atheist?”

The answers were surprising, creating a completely unexpected composite sketch of American college-aged atheists. Here’s a summary from his article, Listening to Young Atheists: Lessons for A Stronger Christianity. Read more

ghostShould we impart an anointing of the Spirit on someone’s head?  Does the Holy Spirit posses us, or indwell us?  Yes, big difference between these two terms. Here is a new video series from film producers Tim Wirth and Sandy Simpson, two watchmen who have created a youtube channel to expose some very concerning the false Signs and Wonders movement in the visible church.There are about seven movies in the series. Each video is about an hour and is full of research information to help you discern.

Up first:  Holy Ghost Movie Exposé

Read more

IMG_1387.JPG

3:11 no one is justified by the Law. Cf. Ro 3:20. justified. Made righteous before God. See note on Ro 3:24. The righteous man shall live by faith. See note on Ro 1:17. Paul’s earlier OT quote (v. 10; cf. Dt 27:26) showed that justification does not come from keeping the law; this quote from Hab 2:4 shows that justification is by faith alone (cf. Heb 10:38).

MacArthur Study Bible

3:11 The OT itself points out that righteousness cannot be achieved through the law, as Hab. 2:4 illustrates.

ESV Study Bible

11 This juxtaposition continues as Paul writes, “Clearly no one is justified before God by law, because, ‘The righteous will live by faith.’ ” Paralleling the thought of v. 10, Paul reiterates the fact that no one is justified by the law. Paul’s scriptural argument, then, essentially continues along the lines of the preceding verses: “righteousness” is the domain of faith, while “curse” is the stronghold of law.

There is a measure of textual confusion with Paul’s quote of Habakkuk 2:4 in v. 11. The Hebrew text reads “the righteous will live by his faith,” while one text of the LXX reads “the righteous will live by my [God’s] faithfulness,” and another reads “my righteous one will live by faith.” Paul’s omission of the possessive pronoun “my,” however, would not have affected his argument in any case. Bruce, 162, has observed, “The faith by which one becomes righteous in God’s sight is faith in God, believing acceptance of his promise, as Abraham showed.”

Paul’s use of Habakkuk is probably his appropriation of an early Christian expression of faith. The early church would have used this “word of faith” as a vehicle to remind one another of the basis of life in Christ (cf. Longenecker, 119). The point Paul seems to be making with this quotation is that one who is “within this faith” shall live (ek pisteōs, “from within this faith”). In other words, Paul “strips faithfulness to its core of faith in God” (Fung, 144–45), thus expressing the validity of Habakkuk’s message as applied to his Galatian converts. Essentially, Paul is simply again emphasizing his previous point that the one who would emulate Abraham and share in his blessing is the one who exercises faith in God’s promise and integrity.

The Expositor’s Bible Commentary


October 30: An Obstructed View

Daniel 9:1–10:21; 2 Thessalonians 2:1–17; Job 42:1–9

We need to see ourselves as we truly are, but we can’t do that on our own. Our communities can help us glimpse a more accurate reflection, but we truly know ourselves only when we know God. His light brings us understanding.

After suffering incredible loss, Job tries to understand his pain. He speaks some truth, but he often misunderstands God’s motives and minimizes His love. As his friends try to help him grapple with his grief, they sometimes point out truth, but more often they cause even more pain and confusion. It’s only when God arrives to enlighten Job’s understanding that everything changes. First God questions Job’s knowledge (Job 38:19–21), power (Job 38:25–38), and ideas about justice (Job 40:10–12). Then He shows Job that He is all of these things.

The realization exposes Job’s heart. “Then Job answered Yahweh and said, ‘I know that you can do all things, and any scheme from you will not be thwarted. “Who is this darkening counsel without knowledge?” Therefore I uttered, but I did not understand; things too wonderful for me, but I did not know. “Hear and I will speak; I will question you, then inform me.” By the ear’s hearing I heard of you, but now my eye has seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes’ ” (Job 42:1–6).

We might struggle to understand our frailty before a God who is all-knowing and all-powerful. We might be blinded by pride and self-righteousness, which can hinder us from seeing our need for God. But it is only then that we discover how we can be redeemed from our needy state.

Although God had never stopped loving Job, He further demonstrated His love by blessing Job once again. We can be convinced of God’s love for us because He sent His only Son to die for our sins. Although He is great and we are small, He was willing to die for our sins. We can be assured of His love for us.

What area of your life is filled with pride? How can you humbly allow God to expose who you truly are?

Rebecca Van Noord[1]


October 30

HOLD THE FORT

Words and Music by Philip P. Bliss, 1838–1876

Only hold on to what you have until I come. (Revelation 2:25)

God’s call to each believer is to be obedient and faithful—not to seek a life of earthly success. Difficulties and defeats are a normal part of every Christian’s life. Our response to negative situations can either shatter us or they can intensify our perseverance and confidence in a sovereign God. It has been said that a mark of a champion athlete is not how he/she responds to a victory, but how a difficult loss on a previous day has been met.

As was true of so many of Philip P. Bliss’s gospel songs, this stirring hymn was inspired by an illustration used by Major Whittle, an officer in the American Civil War, while addressing a YMCA meeting on the text from Revelation 2:25. Major Whittle’s illustration was about a small Northern force of soldiers in charge of guarding a great quantity of supplies. They were being hard pressed by greatly superior Confederate forces. Finally, the Confederate general, General French, commanded the Federal troops to surrender. At that moment the troops saw a signal from their leader, General Sherman, on a hill some miles away, which said, “Hold the fort, I am coming. Sherman.” The story so captivated Bliss’s interest that he could not retire that evening until he had completed both the text and the music for this rousing gospel song. It later became a great favorite in the Moody-Sankey campaigns both in Great Britain and in the United States.

We too have a commander now in heaven who has promised to return for us. Victory is certain! Our responsibility is to faithfully “hold the fort” and to “occupy till He comes” (Luke 19:13 KJV).

Ho, my comrades, see the signal waving in the sky! Reinforcements now appearing, victory is nigh.

See the mighty host advancing, Satan leading on; Mighty men around us falling, courage almost gone!

See the glorious banner waving! Hear the trumpet blow! In our Leader’s name we triumph over ev’ry foe.

Fierce and long the battle rages, but our help is near; Onward comes our great Commander—cheer, my comrades, cheer!

Chorus: “Hold the fort, for I am coming,” Jesus signals still; wave the answer back to heaven, “By Thy grace we will.”

For Today: Matthew 10:22; Romans 5:3; 2 Timothy 2:10; Hebrews 12:2, 6, 7; James 1:12

Reflect seriously on these lines: “Christ’s cause is hindered everywhere, and people are dying in despair. The reason why? Just think a bit—The church is full of those who quit.” Carry this musical truth with you—[2]


October 30

Intro

Welcome to Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Today’s reading is First Kings 14 through 17. Our lesson is from First Kings 17:20–22, “He called to the Lord and said, ‘O Lord my God, have You also brought calamity to the widow with whom I am staying, by causing her son to die?’ Then he stretched himself upon the child three times, and called to the Lord and said, ‘O Lord my God, I pray You, let this child’s life return to him.’ The Lord heard the voice of Elijah, and the life of the child returned to him and he revived.” (NASU)

Lesson

There is a lot of discussion in certain circles if when a person prays to the Lord if they need to continue to repeat their petitions. Some say just mentioning our requests once is fine because the Lord is All-knowing. Others respond with the need to persevere. What to do? I believe it is both. Let’s look to our text for guidance.

First, Elijah called to the Lord. The prophet was the guest of the widow and as was the custom, he was considered a part of the household. God had blessed the woman because of her generosity and faith. A new situation arose.

The widow’s boy had died. The prophet immediately responded by calling on the only One who could do something, the Lord. This is a great lesson for all of us to learn when a desperate situation comes our way, to respond by seeking God’s reply.

Second, Elijah called on the Lord a number of times. He did this as he stretched himself upon the child. This must have been a time of great intercession. It was a desperate and impossible situation. The widow now blamed the prophet. As we see, he was totally incapable of doing anything in his own power yet he knew the answer only could come from the Almighty. Who could give back life but only the Creator?

Finally, Elijah was heard by the Lord. Oh how wonderful it is when the Lord responds! It not only is a boost to our faith but can inspire others. There are times when a believer can feel that the prayers seem unanswered as if God does not listen. This is really a time for the Lord to build character in the believer and to learn to trust in Him. Desperate situations can be a time of testing and if one confides in the Almighty, it can propel us to new levels of commitment.

In review, Elijah called to the Lord. Elijah called on the Lord a number of times. And Elijah was heard by the Lord.

Ask the Holy Spirit if possibly there are unanswered prayers. If so, take time to call on the name of the Lord so He may respond.

End

It has been a pleasure to share with you Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Tomorrow’s Bible reading is First Kings 18 through 22. 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 30

 

Increasing Your Spiritual Strength

 

“All Scripture is … profitable for … correction” (2 Tim. 3:16).

✧✧✧

God’s Word strengthens the repentant sinner.

If you’re a gardening buff, you know that skillful pruning promotes the overall growth and productivity of a plant. Jesus assumed His audience knew as much when He said, “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you” (John 15:1–3).

Jesus was comparing believers to branches, which the Father prunes for maximum productivity. The Word is His pruning shear, which He applies with skill and precision to remove our imperfections and to promote godliness. He wants to eliminate anything from our lives that may restrict our spiritual growth.

The word translated “correction” in 2 Timothy 3:16 speaks of the strengthening work of God’s Word. Scripture not only exposes your sin, but it also strengthens you and restores you to a proper spiritual posture. It convicts you and then gives you instruction to build you up again.

Job 17:9 says, “The righteous shall hold to his way, and he who has clean hands shall grow stronger and stronger.” Paul added, “I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified” (Acts 20:32).

As the Spirit uses Scripture to expose sin in your life, forsake that sin, and follow what Scripture says to do instead. You will be strengthened in your spiritual walk as a result. To aid in that process, be “constantly nourished on the words of the faith and … sound doctrine” (1 Tim. 4:6).

I firmly believe that any weaknesses you have can become areas of great strength as you allow God’s Word to do its sanctifying work within you.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Thank God for the strengthening and restoring power of His Word. ✧ If there’s an area of your life that is weak and vulnerable to temptation, confess it to the Lord, and begin today to strengthen it according to the Word.

For Further Study: Read Ephesians 1:18–23 and 3:14–21. ✧ What did Paul pray for? ✧ How did God demonstrate His power toward believers? ✧ Is God’s power sufficient for all your spiritual needs? Explain.[4]


October 30

Let Your Light Shine

Scripture reading: Colossians 3:12–17

Key verse: Colossians 3:12

Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering …

Jesus told the people: “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 5:16 nasb).

Following this theme, Paul wrote, “Those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness …” (Col. 3:12 nasb).

The “good works” we do in Christ never consist of worldly honors and material gains. On our own, we can never achieve the level of spirituality Christ spoke of. But thanks to His presence in us, this is attainable. We honor God by allowing the Holy Spirit to reflect Christ’s life in us.

The Light of your life should be Jesus Christ. A heart of compassion, a look of kindness and true humility, or a gentle spirit cannot be forced. It is an overflow of the Holy Spirit’s presence in the life of a believer.

Can we block His activity? Yes. Sin, legalism, complacency, and lack of repentance block God’s work in and through us.

When God sees you, He sees the very core of your being. Allow Him to work through you to reveal His nature so that when people see you, they will see Jesus, and lives will be changed.

Dear God, work through me to reveal Your nature so that when people see me, they will see You.[5]


October 30

God’s Goodness

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above.

James 1:17

Things that come from God are good and perfect. God could never produce evil because His nature is good. Rather, He produces unending good. Whereas we possess a nature that gives rise to sin, God does not.

Why would we try to satisfy ourselves with evil desires that result in death when God is pouring out everything we could ever want for our satisfaction? Only a fool would be lured away by such a trap when all the goodness of God is available by His grace. Likewise, our flesh can be compared to a well of stagnant water. It is ludicrous to believe we could be satisfied by drinking from it when we can come to the fountain of Living Water Himself who gives us every good and perfect gift.[6]


October 30  Walking in Holiness

scripture reading:

 

Ephesians 4:17–24

 

key verse:

 

Ephesians 4:24

 

And that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.

Oswald Chambers wrote in Our Brilliant Heritage,

The one marvelous secret of a holy life lies not in imitating Jesus, but in letting the perfections of Jesus manifest themselves in my mortal flesh. Sanctification is “Christ in you.” It is His wonderful life that is imparted to me in sanctification, and imparted by faith as a sovereign gift of God’s grace.…

Sanctification means the impartation of the holy qualities of Jesus Christ. It is His patience, His love, His holiness, His faith, His purity, His godliness, that is manifested in and through every sanctified soul. Sanctification is not drawing from Jesus the power to be holy; it is drawing from Jesus the holiness that was manifested in Him, and He manifests it in me. Sanctification is an impartation, not an imitation.

Many Christians run into difficulty when they work to imitate Jesus. They cannot do it and remain simple and pure in their spiritual focus. The key to living like Christ is found not in striving but in letting go of aspirations and seeking the Lord above all else.

When you pray to be holy, pray to be like Jesus. He lived life as a reflection of the Father. His holiness and purity were natural overflows that comforted and cared for all who were lonely and wayward in heart. He drew people to Himself not by being mechanical in His worship of the Father but by being a light of hope to a darkened world.

Christ in me! The very thought is overwhelming. Dear Lord, I draw upon the resources of this divine life flow within to walk in holiness today.[7]


October 30

Draw Closer to God

The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of His heart to all generations.

Psalm 33:11

god desires to meet your needs, but His need-meeting is part of a greater process. God is always seeking to develop a closer and more intimate relationship with you. He is molding and fashioning you into the person with whom He desires to spend all eternity. He is seeking to draw you ever closer and closer to Himself.

Many of God’s delays in meeting our needs are aimed at bringing us to a place where we will turn to God, trust in God, ask of God, and rely upon God. His purpose is to teach us what it means to be in fellowship with Him and to walk closely with Him day by day.[8]


October 30

IF our Lord is so ready to heal the sick and bless the needy, then, my soul, be not thou slow to put thyself in his way, that he may smile on thee. Be not slack in asking, if he be so abundant in bestowing. Give earnest heed to his word now, that Jesus may speak through it to thy heart. Where he is to be found, there make thy resort, that thou mayst obtain his blessing. When he is present to heal, may he not heal thee? But surely he is present even now, for he always comes to hearts which need him. And dost not thou need him? Ah, he knows how much! Thou Son of David, turn thine eye and look upon the distress which is now before thee and make thy suppliant whole.[9]


Day 30

Adoration

May I fear You, the Lord my God; may I serve You, hold fast to You, and take my oaths in Your name. For You are my praise, and You are my God, who performed for me these great and awesome wonders which I have seen with my own eyes. (Deuteronomy 10:20–21)

You are the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who keeps His covenant of lovingkindness. (Nehemiah 9:32)

Pause to express your thoughts of praise and worship.

Confession

From within, out of the hearts of men, proceed evil thoughts, sexual immorality, thefts, murders, adulteries, greed, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance, and folly. All these evil things come from within and defile a man. (Mark 7:21–23)

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

I will not let sin reign in my mortal body that I should obey its lusts. Nor will I present the members of my body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but I will present myself to God as one who is alive from the dead and my members as instruments of righteousness to God. (Romans 6:12–13)

May I put away all filthiness and the overflow of wickedness, and in meekness accept the word planted in me, which is able to save my soul. (James 1:21)

Pause to add your own prayers for personal renewal.

Petition

I have called on You, O God, for You will answer me;

Incline Your ear to me and hear my prayer.

Show Your wonderful lovingkindness,

O Savior of those who take refuge at Your right hand

From those who rise up against them.

Keep me as the apple of Your eye;

Hide me in the shadow of Your wings. (Psalm 17:6–8)

Growth in Wisdom

Developing an eternal perspective

Renewing my mind with truth

Greater skill in each area of life

My activities for this day

Special concerns

Intercession

No one should seek his own good, but the good of others. (1 Corinthians 10:24)

Family

My immediate family

My relatives

Spiritual concerns

Emotional and physical concerns

Other concerns

Affirmation

The day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the elements will be destroyed by intense heat, and the earth and its works will be laid bare. The day of God will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt with intense heat. (2 Peter 3:10, 12)

There will be a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth will pass away, and there will no longer be any sea. (Revelation 21:1)

Pause to reflect upon these biblical affirmations.

Thanksgiving

Lord, You said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. You made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. You also made the stars; You set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And You saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:14–19)

You made the earth and created man upon it. Your own hands stretched out the heavens, And You ordered their starry hosts. (Isaiah 45:12)

Pause to offer your own expressions of thanksgiving.

Closing Prayer

All Your works will praise you, O Lord,

And Your saints will bless You.

They will speak of the glory of Your kingdom

And talk of Your power,

So that all men may know of Your mighty acts

And the glorious majesty of Your kingdom.

Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,

And Your dominion endures through all generations. (Psalm 145:10–13)

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens,

And Your glory above all the earth. (Psalm 108:5)[10]


October 30

Praying for God’s Will

Scripture reading: Colossians 1:9–14

Key verse: Psalm 68:28

Your God has commanded your strength;

Strengthen, O God, what You have done for us.

The most powerful act anyone can perform is to pray for someone. Of course, the power is not in the praying, but in the release God gives in His perfect answer to our prayers. Paul provided an example of one of the most effective prayers we could utter. He prayed for the Colossian church:

  • to be filled with the knowledge of God’s will. What a wonderful gesture to ask God to make clear for family members or friends the precise, exact decisions He wishes them to make in every circumstance.
  • to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord. This means asking that someone’s life will have weight—will count eternally and not temporally.
  • to bear fruit in every good work. We should pray for loved ones to remain so Christ-centered that He through them determines their conversation, conduct, and character.
  • to increase in the knowledge of God. Can there be a more precious request than that of wanting someone to grow ever closer to our heavenly Father?
  • to be strengthened and sustained with the power of God. Within an evil world system, we need the supernatural power of God to help us bear up under the strain.
  • to give thanks for having qualified as saints of God. There is nothing for which we should be more appreciative.

Father, today I pray for those I love—that they will be filled with the knowledge of Your will and walk in a manner worthy of You. Let them bear fruit in every good work and be strengthened and sustained by Your power.[11]


October 30

It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.

Have You, Lord, forgotten to be gracious? Have You in anger shut up Your tender mercies? I said in my haste, “I am cut off from before Your eyes”; nevertheless You heard my supplications when I cried out to You.

Shall You, God, not avenge me, Your own elect, who cries out day and night to You, though You bear long with me? You will avenge me speedily. I wait for You, Lord, and You will save me.

I rest in You, Lord, and wait patiently for You; I do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.

I will not need to fight in this battle. I position myself, stand still and see Your salvation, Lord God.

Let me not grow weary while doing good, for in due season I shall reap if I do not lose heart. I see the farmer wait for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain.

As I wait for You to work in my life, keep me doing good for Your kingdom and confident of Your salvation.

Lamentations 3:26; Psalm 77:9; Psalm 31:22; Luke 18:7–8; Proverbs 20:22; Psalm 37:7; 2 Chronicles 20:17; Galatians 6:9; James 5:7[12]


Morning, October 30 

 

“I will praise thee, O Lord.”

— Psalm 9:1

 

Praise should always follow answered prayer; as the mist of earth’s gratitude rises when the sun of heaven’s love warms the ground. Hath the Lord been gracious to thee, and inclined his ear to the voice of thy supplication? Then praise him as long as thou livest. Let the ripe fruit drop upon the fertile soil from which it drew its life. Deny not a song to him who hath answered thy prayer and given thee the desire of thy heart. To be silent over God’s mercies is to incur the guilt of ingratitude; it is to act as basely as the nine lepers, who after they had been cured of their leprosy, returned not to give thanks unto the healing Lord. To forget to praise God is to refuse to benefit ourselves; for praise, like prayer, is one great means of promoting the growth of the spiritual life. It helps to remove our burdens, to excite our hope, to increase our faith. It is a healthful and invigorating exercise which quickens the pulse of the believer, and nerves him for fresh enterprises in his Master’s service. To bless God for mercies received is also the way to benefit our fellow-men; “the humble shall hear thereof and be glad.” Others who have been in like circumstances shall take comfort if we can say, “Oh! magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together; this poor man cried, and the Lord heard him.” Weak hearts will be strengthened, and drooping saints will be revived as they listen to our “songs of deliverance.” Their doubts and fears will be rebuked, as we teach and admonish one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. They too shall “sing in the ways of the Lord,” when they hear us magnify his holy name. Praise is the most heavenly of Christian duties. The angels pray not, but they cease not to praise both day and night; and the redeemed, clothed in white robes, with palm-branches in their hands, are never weary of singing the new song, “Worthy is the Lamb.”

 

Evening, October 30

 

“Thou that dwellest in the gardens, the companions hearken to thy voice: cause me to hear it.”

— Song of Solomon 8:13

 

My sweet Lord Jesus remembers well the garden of Gethsemane, and although he has left that garden, he now dwells in the garden of his church: there he unbosoms himself to those who keep his blessed company. That voice of love with which he speaks to his beloved is more musical than the harps of heaven. There is a depth of melodious love within it which leaves all human music far behind. Ten of thousands on earth, and millions above, are indulged with its harmonious accents. Some whom I well know, and whom I greatly envy, are at this moment hearkening to the beloved voice. O that I were a partaker of their joys! It is true some of these are poor, others bedridden, and some near the gates of death, but O my Lord, I would cheerfully starve with them, pine with them, or die with them, if I might but hear thy voice. Once I did hear it often, but I have grieved thy Spirit. Return unto me in compassion, and once again say unto me, “I am thy salvation.” No other voice can content me; I know thy voice, and cannot be deceived by another, let me hear it, I pray thee. I know not what thou wilt say, neither do I make any condition, O my Beloved, do but let me hear thee speak, and if it be a rebuke I will bless thee for it. Perhaps to cleanse my dull ear may need an operation very grievous to the flesh, but let it cost what it may I turn not from the one consuming desire, cause me to hear thy voice. Bore my ear afresh; pierce my ear with thy harshest notes, only do not permit me to continue deaf to thy calls. To-night, Lord, grant thine unworthy one his desire, for I am thine, and thou hast bought me with thy blood. Thou hast opened mine eye to see thee, and the sight has saved me. Lord, open thou mine ear. I have read thy heart, now let me hear thy lips. [13]


October 30

A Fresh Encounter with God

Scripture Reading: Isaiah 6:1–9

Key Verse: Psalm 139:3

You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways.

Have you ever approached your devotional time with the idea of actually meeting with God? It is easy to reduce a quiet time to little more than a perfunctory Bible reading or study and a quick prayer if you forget the real purpose of setting aside that time.

God wants you to have a real and fresh encounter with Him each day. You don’t generate this meeting through any formula or particular method; you simply come before Him with a humble, repentant heart and a genuine desire to know Him more.

You gain a sense of His presence. Isaiah knew immediately that he was in the presence of the living God. When the meeting ended, Isaiah walked away a changed man. You cannot experience God’s presence and be the same; God’s holiness is life changing, and through the Holy Spirit, He lives inside you forever.

You are never without His presence. You sense your unworthiness. As you come face-to-face with God’s holiness, you realize your needy state. His awesome brightness eclipses even the angels in heaven.

The standard of His righteousness illuminates the sin in your life. You need to understand His forgiveness. The purpose of recognizing sin is not for condemnation and guilt, but for repentance. Christ forgives all your sins, but He wants you to confess them in order to experience His wondrous grace.

Precious Lord, I want to have a fresh encounter with You today. I want to know You better. Meet with me, and when our meeting ends, let me walk away changed.[14]


October 30

Getting to “Yes” the Hard Way

Hebrews 12:6

Whom the Lord loves, He chastens.

Until we are faced with the consequences of what we do wrong, we won’t even admit it to ourselves. We are the most marvelous people at rationalizing wrongdoing.

In our culture, absolutes are almost gone. We face a major problem in the church today with people doing what is absolutely wrong and having a good case for why it is not so bad. Until we face the penalty for our wrongdoing, we often won’t be honest with ourselves.

I think Jonah probably had a good case for not being the right man for the Assyrian job until the gastric juices started working on him in the belly of the fish. Then he started to say, “Well, maybe I am the right man for the job after all.”

Some people think that this type of foxhole decision isn’t genuine. But just because we say “yes” to God under pressure doesn’t mean we aren’t being honest. It means we had to get to “yes” the hard way, but we got there all the same.[15]


 

From Death to Life

 

October 30

 

I see your difficulty in regard to that pessimistic view of human nature, and I don’t agree with it anymore than you do. That was the old-fashioned theology, which no one in those days who tried to be religious at all dreamed of disputing. That was not the point in the book that attracted me. It was the profound philosophy of its teaching concerning the death of the selfish life in us. The clue you has missed is this, that we are created human beings but are called to become divine beings. It is a question of moving out of a lower form of being into a higher. It is as if the choice were deliberately put before a monkey whether he would like to become a man. He is good enough as a monkey perhaps, but if he is to develop into a man he must consent to let the monkey nature die and must receive the man nature in its place. He must lose his own lower life in order to find his own higher life.

Can’t you understand this? We are good enough perhaps as human beings, (though this has never been my experience), but we want to be more than human, we want to become “partakers of the Divine nature,” and the only way out of one life into another must be by the way of death and resurrection. “Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die it abideth alone.” This is in the very nature of things. Out of the death of the lower always springs the resurrection of the higher. Out of the death of babyhood springs the glory of manhood. The two lives cannot exist together. Because life is an interior principle, and not a system of outward action; and if I persist in being a monkey I cannot be a man, let me ape a man’s manners as much as I may.

Fenelon’s whole teaching is to show us how to let the lower life die, and the higher life take its place. Doesn’t this give you the clue? And doesn’t it also answer your question as to what the “Higher Life” so called is? It is the divine life lived out practically, to put it in short. I’ll send you my “Christian’s Secret,” which if Miss Dike will care to read it, contains my “views” on the subject. Perhaps you had better read it thyself, since I don’t believe you ever did.

—To Daughter Mary, October 9, 1881[16]


October 30th

Faith

Without faith it is impossible to please Him. Hebrews 11:6.

Faith in antagonism to common sense is fanaticism, and common sense in antagonism to faith is rationalism. The life of faith brings the two into a right relation. Common sense is not faith, and faith is not common sense; they stand in the relation of the natural and the spiritual; of impulse and inspiration. Nothing Jesus Christ ever said is common sense, it is revelation sense, and it reaches the shores where common sense fails. Faith must be tried before the reality of faith is actual. “We know that all things work together for good,” then no matter what happens, the alchemy of God’s providence transfigures the ideal faith into actual reality. Faith always works on the personal line, the whole purpose of God being to see that the ideal faith is made real in His children. For every detail of the commonsense life, there is a revelation fact of God whereby we can prove in practical experience what we believe God to be. Faith is a tremendously active principle which always puts Jesus Christ first—‘Lord, Thou hast said so and so’ (e.g., Matthew 6:33), ‘it looks mad, but I am going to venture on Thy word.’ To turn head faith into a personal possession is a fight always, not sometimes. God brings us into circumstances in order to educate our faith, because the nature of faith is to make its object real. Until we know Jesus, God is a mere abstraction, we cannot have faith in Him; but immediately we hear Jesus say—“He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father,” we have something that is real, and faith is boundless. Faith is the whole man rightly related to God by the power of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.[17]


October 30

Successful Sanctification

Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:1–7

Key Verses: 1 Peter 1:1–2

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To the … elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied.

In many places throughout the Scriptures, we find the word sanctification. Sanctification means “to make holy” or “to separate from a common use to a sacred use.” When you trusted Jesus Christ as your Savior, He sanctified you, setting you apart for a very sacred purpose.

The process of sanctification begins at salvation, where those who believe are deemed saints (1 Corinthians 1:1–2). Every believer is a saint, because God has made it so (1 Peter 1:2). Positionally, we are saints, even if our conduct is un-Christlike.

This is because, at the pivotal moment of salvation, we changed positions (Ephesians 2:1–5). We were born again, our sins were forgiven, we were adopted into the family of God, and we are now living under the grace of God instead of under His wrath.

It is important to understand that this first stage of sanctification was done for us by God. No human is holy in himself. We are sanctified only by the blood of Jesus Christ, the work completed for us by a loving heavenly Father. Stop to thank and praise God for His purifying love and grace.

Praise You, Lord, for setting aside this ordinary human to be used for Your sacred purposes. Thank You that it is not accomplished by my work, but by Your grace.[18]


October 30

He placed … cherubims, and a flaming sword … to keep the way of the tree of life.… Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree at life

Gen. 3:24; Rev. 22:14

How remarkable and how beautiful it is that the last page of the Revelation should come bending round to touch the first page of Genesis! The history of man began with angels with frowning faces and flaming swords barring the way to the Tree of Life. It ends with the guard of cherubim withdrawn; or rather, perhaps, sheathing their swords and becoming guides to the no longer forbidden fruit, instead of being its guards. That is the Bible’s grand symbolical way of saying that all between—the sin, the misery, the death—is a parenthesis. God’s purpose is not going to be thwarted. The end of His majestic march through history is to be men’s access to the Tree of Life, from which, for the dreary ages that are but as a moment in the great eternities—they were barred out by their sin.

Alexander Maclaren[19]


 

October 30

 

The Solution to the Sin Dilemma

 

“Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!”

Romans 7:24–25

✧✧✧

Christians have been delivered from sin’s power and will one day be delivered from its presence.

The godly Puritan writer Thomas Watson once said that a sure sign of sanctification is a hatred and loathing of sin. It was his hatred of sin that caused Paul to cry out as he wrapped up his spiritual autobiography, “Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?” That cry expresses the distress and frustration the apostle experienced in his spiritual battle. David expressed that same frustration in Psalm 13:1–2: “How long, O Lord? Wilt Thou forget me forever? How long wilt Thou hide Thy face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart all the day?”

When he exclaimed, “Who will set me free from the body of this death?” Paul referred to his physical body that was subject to sin and death. It is there that the battle with sin is joined. The verb translated “set me free” was used to speak of a soldier rescuing a wounded comrade in the midst of battle. Paul longed to be rescued from his sinful, unredeemed flesh.

But the story doesn’t end there, with Paul frustrated and in despair. Certain of his eventual triumph over sin, the apostle says, “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” As he goes on to explain in Romans 8:18–19, 22–23 (and in 1 Cor. 15:53, 57), believers will one day receive their glorified bodies and enter Christ’s presence, never to struggle again with sin. Paul elaborates on that glorious truth in Philippians 3:20–21: “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.”

What a triumphant hope is ours!

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Thank God in advance for the glorified body that will one day be yours.

For Further Study: Read 1 John 3:2–3. Are you fixing your hope on your glorification when Christ returns? ✧ Is that hope having a purifying effect on your lifestyle now?[20]

 


Reading for Today:

Jeremiah 45:1–46:28
Psalm 119:105-112
Proverbs 28:4
2 Timothy 3:1-17
Notes:

Jeremiah 45:3 Woe is me now! Baruch felt anxiety as his own cherished plans of a bright future were apparently dashed; even death became a darkening peril (v. 5). Also, he was possibly pressed by human questionings about God carrying through with such calamity (v. 4). Jeremiah spoke to encourage him (v. 2).

Jeremiah 45:5 you seek great things. Baruch had his expectations far too high and that made the disasters harder to bear. It is enough that he be content just to live. Jeremiah, who once also complained, learned by his own suffering to encourage complainers.

2 Timothy 3:1 the last days. This phrase refers to this age, the time since the First Coming of the Lord Jesus. perilous times. “Perilous” is used to describe the savage nature of two demon-possessed men (Matt. 8:28). The word for “times” had to do with epochs rather than clock or calendar time. Such savage, dangerous eras or epochs will increase in frequency and severity as the return of Christ approaches (v. 13). The church age is fraught with these dangerous movements accumulating strength as the end nears.

2 Timothy 3:8 Jannes and Jambres. Although their names are not mentioned in the Old Testament, they were likely two of the Egyptian magicians that opposed Moses (Ex. 7:11, 22; 8:7, 18, 19; 9:11). According to Jewish tradition, they pretended to become Jewish proselytes, instigated the worship of the golden calf, and were killed with the rest of the idolaters (Ex. 32). Paul’s choice of them as examples may indicate the false teachers at Ephesus were practicing deceiving signs and wonders.

DAY 30: How does 2 Timothy 3:16 describe Scripture?

“All Scripture”—both Old Testament and New Testament Scripture are included (2 Pet. 3:15, 16, which identify New Testament writings as Scripture). “Is given by inspiration of God.” Literally, “breathed out by God” or “God-breathed.” Sometimes God told the Bible writers the exact words to say (Jer. 1:9), but more often He used their minds, vocabularies, and experiences to produce His own infallible, inerrant Word (1 Thess. 2:13; Heb. 1:1; 2 Pet. 1:20, 21). It is important to note that inspiration applies only to the original autographs of Scripture, not the Bible writers; there are no inspired Scripture writers, only inspired Scripture. So identified is God with His Word that when Scripture speaks, God speaks (Rom. 9:17; Gal. 3:8). Scripture is called “the oracles of God” (Rom. 3:2; 1 Pet. 4:11) and cannot be altered (John 10:35; Matt. 5:17, 18; Luke 16:17; Rev. 22:18, 19).

“And is profitable for doctrine.” The divine instruction or doctrinal content of both the Old Testament and the New Testament (2:15; Acts 20:18, 20, 21, 27; 1 Cor. 2:14–16; Col. 3:16; 1 John 2:20, 24, 27). The Scripture provides the comprehensive and complete body of divine truth necessary for life and godliness. “For reproof.” Rebuke for wrong behavior or wrong belief. The Scripture exposes sin (Heb. 4:12, 13) that can then be dealt with through confession and repentance. “For correction.” The restoration of something to its proper condition. The word appears only here in the New Testament, but was used in extrabiblical Greek of righting a fallen object or helping back to their feet those who had stumbled. Scripture not only rebukes wrong behavior but also points the way back to godly living. “For instruction in righteousness.” Scripture provides positive training (“instruction” originally referred to training a child) in godly behavior, not merely rebuke and correction of wrong behavior (Acts 20:32; 1 Tim. 4:6; 1 Pet. 2:1, 2).

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 30 – John the Baptist and His Doubt, Part 2

“Now when John, while imprisoned, heard of the works of Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to Him, ‘Are You the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else?’” (Matthew 11:2–3).

That John the Baptist sent some of his disciples to Jesus testifies to his genuine faith. John was not seeking more information about Christ but confirmation. In essence, he asked, “Even though I firmly believed You are the Messiah, could I have been wrong?” It was the same attitude as the father of the boy the Lord had cleansed of an evil spirit—“I do believe; help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24).

After being in prison for months, unable to minister and interact with the outside world except through periodic visits by his disciples, John had many doubts and uncertainties about Jesus. Those misgivings settled on his mind even though he had announced, baptized, and declared Jesus to be the Messiah.

This prompted John’s disciples to ask Jesus directly, “Are You the Expected One?” This was a common title for the Messiah, along with Branch, Son of David, and King of kings. The name first appears in Psalms 40:7 and 118:26, and the gospel writers often use it (e.g., Matt. 3:11; Mark 1:7; Luke 3:16; John 1:27). There was no mistaking the fact that John wanted to know for sure if Jesus was indeed the promised Messiah.

Many Christians today wrestle with doubt from time to time, so it should reassure them that one with the spiritual stature of John the Baptist also doubted. And it ought to encourage us, as we’ll see in the following days, that our doubts come for the same reasons as John’s—and we, like he, can overcome them.

Ask Yourself

What (if anything) has caused you to doubt the reality of God’s existence or the veracity of His promises? How did He bring you through the maze and mist of uncertainty into a surer place of confidence? What did you learn about Him and about yourself in the process?

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.


Thu, October 30, 2014

Someone There

The world’s own prophets, the unbelieving psychologists (those eyeless seekers who seek for a light that is not God’s light) have been forced to recognize at the bottom of religious experience this sense of something there. But better far is the sense of Someone there. It was this that filled with abiding wonder the first members of the Church of Christ. The solemn delight that those early disciples knew sprang straight from the conviction that there was One in the midst of them. They knew that the Majesty in the heavens was confronting them on earth: they were in the very Presence of God. And the power of that conviction to arrest attention and hold it for a lifetime, to elevate, to transform, to fill with uncontrollable moral happiness, to send men singing to prison and to death, has been one of the wonders of history and a marvel of the world.

Our fathers have told us and our own hearts confirm how wonderful is this sense of Someone there. It makes religion invulnerable to critical attack. It secures the mind against collapse under the battering of the enemy. They who worship the God who is present may ignore the objections of unbelieving men. Their experience is self-verifying and needs neither defense nor proof. What they see and hear overwhelms their doubts and confirms their assurance beyond the power of argument to destroy.

Verse
Out of the north he comes in golden splendor; / God comes in awesome majesty.
Job 37:22

Thought
Those who worship the God who is present may ignore the objections of unbelieving men.

Prayer
Confirm in our hearts, Wonderful Father, the sense that You are there, close by.

A. W. Tozer


Art Not Thou Also One of His Disciples? – Part Five

SCRIPTURE
John 13:12-20

When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled, ‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’ I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.”

LESSON

In John 19:38 we read that Joseph of Arimathea was “a disciple of Jesus, but secretly.” Interestingly enough, this is the only time in the New Testament where the word disciple is mentioned without calling it His disciple or My disciple. Every other time you find the word disciple, it is “His disciple” or Jesus says, “My disciple.” Only once does it say, “A disciple.” In other words, he was a coward. Joseph fits the words of John 12:42-43, “Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on Him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him lest they should be put out of the synagogue: For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. Such disciples are not happy ones.”

I wonder if some of you work in surroundings where you do not let the boss know you are a believer. “Oh,” you say, “but he is a member of the Knights of Columbus-a faithful knight-and if I let him know that I was a strong Protestant I might lose my job.” So what? Do you think God is not able to keep you in employment for Himself? He calls you to witness for Him. You don’t have to flaunt it. You don’t have to come in and call him names, but you can point out the fact that you’re a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, that you believe in Him.

In John 6:66 it says, “Many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.” That’s one of the saddest verses in the Scripture. “Many of his disciples went back and walked no more with him.”

All the joyful times were passed. Why? Simply because He taught them some new doctrines and they were afraid. Things weren’t done exactly the way they were accustomed to have them. I wonder sometimes that these people would destroy fellowship.

I once published in a magazine an article entitled, “I Have Read the RSV.” Because I pointed out that there were people who were ignorant, who were damning the Revised Standard Version without having read it, and therefore, didn’t know how good a tool it could be, we had three people write in and cancel their subscriptions. “Oh no, if you don’t cross the T’s the way we cross them, we will no longer fellowship with you!” (Fortunately, we had, from several parts of the country, people who sent in ten dollars and said, “Here are three subscriptions for the three that were cancelled.” So we came out better in the end, perhaps, than we were before.)
I thought of the timidity of people who won’t talk with anybody that doesn’t walk exactly the way they walk; that do not understand the love of a disciple; that perhaps do not understand how people can be very good Christians, and not belong to what they belong to. They may not believe in the second coming of Christ as you believe it. They may not believe in baptism as you believe it or in church policy as you believe it. So what?

As long as we believe that Jesus Christ is God and that salvation is by the blood, we can be Presbyterians when we come to 18th and Spruce in Philadelphia, but when we go outside we can be Christians-disciples. Everywhere we go, let men and women understand that we are continuing in His Word; that we would be His disciples indeed; that we will be marked by our love for one another; and marked by the fact that we bear much fruit. These are the phrases that Jesus Himself has added to the word disciple. “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed.” `By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” “If ye abide in me … that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.”

May God search our hearts that we may walk very close to Him.

STUDY QUESTIONS

How can we be more open with our faith?
Has there been a time when you found something in scripture you didn’t like? How did you deal with that issue?
How can we be more faithful to Christ as disciples today?

PRAY

Pray that God would give you boldness to talk about your faith with family, friends and co-workers.

Donald Grey Barnhouse


Little Children and a Young Man – Part Four

Theme: Riches and Blessing
This week’s lesson teaches us how sacrifice brings blessing.

SCRIPTURE
Matthew 19:28-30

“Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.

LESSON

There is disagreement among commentators as to what Jesus meant when he promised that the disciples would “sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (v.28). Some refer it to a literal rule by the disciples over Israel under Christ’s overall messianic rule during a future earthly millennium. Others think of it as a participation of all the saved in the judgment of Christ to be exercised at the last day. Still others refer it to some kind of rule by Christians in this present age. I think the words “at the renewal of all things” and Christ’s “glorious throne” decide the matter in terms of a future millennial age, however that may be conceived.

But that is not the most significant thing. What is profoundly striking, is Christ‘s premise of blessing in the present age. All along, Jesus has been telling his listeners that in order to be disciples they must deny themselves and give up what they possess. He has done it in the case of the rich young filler in this very chapter. Now Jesus says that if his disciples do that, they will receive a hundred times as much as what was given up, and not only in some future life, but now.

In Matthew, Jesus’ exact words are: “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life.” (vv. 28-29).

He ends with the paradoxical statement, “But many who are first will be last, and the last first” (v. 30), meaning, I suppose, that those who have most here will not necessarily have the most in heaven.

This statement becomes more and more astonishing as we study it. It is surprising that it speaks of rewards, first of all, since there is nothing in the mere notion of discipleship that requires them. At best we are unprofitable servants. However, in addition to speaking of rewards (perhaps spiritual rewards would suffice), it speaks specifically of homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, children, and even fields.

And what about a hundred times as much? Even Job received only double his possessions after God restored his prosperity.
We must exercise some caution at this point, of course. For one thing, nothing in Christ’s teachings would encourage us to think of this in crass materialistic terms, as if Jesus were here merely giving a formula for sure wealth. Even this saying is ludicrous if taken in that way. If this is a formula for wealth, then what we should do is, first, earn all we can (taking years to do it if necessary); second, give up those earnings for Jesus and then, finally, wait for Jesus to multiply our charitable gift by one hundred. That would discourage discipleship rather than promote it.

Again, this promise does not necessarily apply to every individual. It is clear that some believers (though not all) are called to poverty. No matter how much they have and give up, they will always have only the most modest means, because that is what God has called them to have. I suppose that most of the disciples were in this category.

Still the text is a true promise, and it does have to do with earthly relationships and material possessions. At the least, it means that the true follower of Christ will not lack for any good thing (“My cup overflows,” Psalm 23:6) and that, in normal circumstances, a Christian will be blessed with earthly goods abundantly. Personally, I am convinced that Jesus gives us every good thing that he can possibly give us without rendering us unfit for his work or destroying our souls. The reason why many of us do not have more is that the Lord knows we would misuse it.

STUDY QUESTIONS

What is the significant message from Christ’s mention of the twelve tribes?
What does Christ mean by the phrase, “the first shall be last, and the last first”?
How might verse 29 be misinterpreted?

REVIEW

Review the text in Matthew 13:28-30. What is the meaning of the paradox?

James Montgomery Boice


PETITION: Pray for God’s Grace to Equip you for Everything Good and to Beget and Sustain New Life

4.2

We must pray for grace to equip us for every good thought, word, and work, that we may not only be kept from sin, but may be in everything as we should be, and do as we should do.

Let Christ be made of God to us not only righteousness, but wisdom, sanctification, and redemption. 1 Corinthians 1:30(ESV)

Let us be planted together in the likeness of Christ’s death and resurrection, that just as he was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so may we too walk in newness of life. Romans 6:4(ESV)

4.2.1

That the work of grace may be wrought where it has not yet begun.

Lord, teach transgressors your ways, and let sinners return to you; Psalm 51:13(ESV) and let the disobedient be turned to the wisdom of the just, and make ready for the Lord a people prepared. Luke 1:17(ESV)

Let those be quickened who are yet dead in trespasses and sins: Ephesians 2:1(ESV) Say to them, “Live!” Yes, say to them, “Live!” Ezekiel 16:6(ESV) And the time shall be a time of love. Ezekiel 16:8(KJV)

Open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified. Acts 26:18(ESV)

Because of the blood of the covenant, set the prisoners free from the waterless pit, that they may return to the stronghold as prisoners of hope. Zechariah 9:11-12(ESV)

Let the word of God prevail to the destroying of strongholds and the destroying of arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and let every thought be taken captive to obey Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:4-5(ESV)

4.2.2

That where it has begun it may be carried on and at length perfected, and the foundation that has been well laid may be happily built upon.

Fulfill in us every resolve for good and every work of faith by your power. 2 Thessalonians 1:11(ESV)

Let the God who began a good work in us bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6(ESV)

Fulfill, O God, your purpose for us; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever: do not forsake the work of your hands. Psalm 138:8(ESV)

Lord, let your grace be sufficient for us, and let your power be made perfect in weakness, that where we are weak, there we may be strong, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10(ESV) strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Ephesians 6:10(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. 325). 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. 316). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[5] Stanley, C. F. (2002). Seeking His face (p. 317). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[6] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 327). 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. 323). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[9] Spurgeon, C. H. (1892). Daily Help (p. 307). 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. 317). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[12] Jeremiah, D. (2007). Life-Changing Moments With God (p. 325). 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. 317). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[15] Jeremiah, D. (2002). Sanctuary: finding moments of refuge in the presence of God (p. 317). 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. 317). 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

16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17 NASB)

Over the years that this blog has been online I have received numerous negative comments from people that I have never allowed to be posted. Why? It is because those who made those comments either do not bother to follow the rules clearly posted, which are assiduously enforced, or they have failed to read them. Their error is that they they attack what is posted here from Sacred Scripture as truth, in context, clearly exposited and exegeted with innuendo, human philosophy, but never, I repeat, never do they go to God’s Word and make any attempt to show me where I have erred in my exegesis of the text. In…

View original 1,130 more words

You can work your way to heaven, but only for your sentencing at the court of divine judgment. —Jerry Wragg

IMG_1386.JPG


Oct. 29, 2014

BLOOMBERG

President Obama revived a familiar message Tuesday in his brief statement on the U.S. response to the Ebola virus: Calm down, we’ve got this.

Governor Andrew Cuomo issued guidelines for three-week quarantines that will be applied to travelers returning to New York from Ebola-stricken West Africa.

Developer Larry Silverstein sold $1.6 billion of tax-exempt bonds to finance the construction of 3 World Trade Center, the largest-ever unrated deal in the municipal market.

A new poll from CBS News finds that Americans overwhelmingly back some less-than-politically-correct ideas for preventing foreigners from Ebola-stricken nations from entering the United States. Only 14 percent-14 percent!-of people favor allowing travelers from West Africa to enter the United States unhindered if they show no signs of the disease.

The White House disclosed a potential threat on its network hours after Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson ordered increased protection for federal government buildings, citing terror concerns.

Swedish central bankers’ decision to cut the benchmark interest rate to zero was the latest evidence that moving too fast to remove emergency stimulus is a risky business.

Lausanne, Switzerland, is starting Oct. 31, the willingness of at least some citizens to be injected with a piece of the Ebola virus. The city will host the largest study for the leading experimental vaccine to fight Ebola, a key step in halting the outbreak.

For all the noise about oil’s collapse, the market is saying not that much has really changed: Higher prices will be back soon enough because the current slowdown in demand growth will prove fleeting.

Phillips 66, the largest U.S. refining company by market value, reported a surge of cash in the third quarter as lower crude-oil prices spurred a more than doubling in profit.

Solar may be cheaper than average electricity-bill prices in 47 U.S. states — in 2016.

AP Top Stories

New York health officials estimate about 700,000 residents are still experiencing mental health problems from the Superstorm Sandy, which hit on Oct 29, 2012. New Jersey officials did not have a similar estimate but in the 15 months after Sandy, the state supported a disaster mental health program that served 500,000 people.

A report warned Wednesday of a looming tuberculosis-diabetes epidemic as the two diseases intertwine in many countries, driven in part by a rise in unhealthy lifestyles. Having diabetes triples a person’s risk of contracting TB, which killed about 1.5 million people last year.

A gunman opened fire on two men in front of the courthouse in this small North Carolina; the suspect was caught in the late afternoon after a manhunt. A second suspect was still on the loose.

A nurse who fueled Ebola fears by flying to Cleveland after being infected by her dying patient was released Tuesday from a hospital isolation unit, where doctors defended her as a courageous front-line caregiver.

Radical Islam poses a critical security threat to Germany, Interior Minister de Maiziere warned, saying the number of people capable of staging attacks in the country stood at an all-time high.

The U.S. government sued AT&T, alleging the No. 2 U.S. wireless carrier sold consumers unlimited data plans but would reduce their Internet speeds once they exceeded a certain amount of data.

Red-hot lava from a slow-erupting volcano has reached a home on Hawaii’s Big Island and is threatening an entire town. The lava flow from the Kilauea volcano, advanced some 90 yards in the past 24 hours towards the town of Pahoa, on the eastern tip of the island.

An unmanned U.S. supply rocket exploded shortly after lifting off from a commercial launch pad in Virginia, the first disaster since NASA turned to private operators to run cargo to the International Space Station.

BBC

Free Syrian Army fighters arrived in Kobane to help the defense of the Syrian border town under siege by Islamic State militants, sources there said.

About 100 people are feared dead after a landslide buries dozens of homes in central Sri Lanka, the government said.

South Africa’s first black billionaire, Patrice Motsepe, donated $1m to Guinea to help the country fight the deadly Ebola virus.

The head of Bangladesh’s largest Islamist party was sentenced to death for war crimes committed during the independence war against Pakistan.

Tens of thousands of Hungarians marched through Budapest against plans to tax internet use, in the biggest anti-government protest for years.

Egypt is reportedly planning to create a 500m buffer zone along the border with the Gaza Strip to block the smuggling of weapons.

WND

A man beheaded a woman at her Long Island apartment Tuesday night and dragged her out into the street where he kicked her severed head about 20 feet before jumping in front of a train, cops and witnesses said.

Challenging the scientific basis for the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation, a study concludes 31 days may be required to have a 95 percent certainty a person has not contacted Ebola.

New British government threats that a Christian school, which previously was rated “good” and “excellent,” may be closed if it doesn’t promote “other faiths” are based on new regulations that need to be reviewed.


Daily Digest for Wednesday

October 29, 2014

THE FOUNDATION

“[In a democracy] a common passion or interest will, in almost every case , be felt by a majority of the whole; a communication and concert results from the form of government itself; and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party or an obnoxious individual.” –James Madison, Federalist No. 10, 1787

TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS

Obama Jokes About Voting Only Once

In a rare campaign rally appearance, Barack Obama exhorted attendees to get out and vote. “One week, Wisconsin. One week,” he said. “One week from today you get to choose a new governor. And because early voting runs through this Friday, you don’t have to wait until Election Day. You can vote all week.” He then clarified, “I mean you can only vote once. This isn’t Chicago now.” After pausing for laughter, he added, “I’m teasing Chicago, I’m messing with you. That was a long time ago.” Yeah, well, Obama joked about having the IRS audit political opponents, too, and look how that turned out. Voter fraud benefits Democrats, which is why he’s laughing it up.

Leak: Ferguson Officer Wilson Won’t Be Indicted

We already know the autopsy of Michael Brown, the black thug shot by Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson, reveals he was shot at close range and that the evidence so far supports Wilson’s account. Now, the “hacktivist” group Anonymous says they’ve obtained leaked evidence “from two separate and unrelated sources regarding the long awaited Grand Jury decision” in the case. (They say “regarding the murder of Mike Brown by Ferguson PD Officer Darren Wilson,” so you know where they stand.) According to Anonymous, “On or about November 10, 2014 the Grand Jury decision will be announced. Darren Wilson will NOT be indicted on ANY charges related to the murder of Mike Brown. All local police Chiefs and jail commanders have been notified to begin preparing for major civil unrest.” We suspect the only reason this decision on the shooting was being withheld is that police were waiting for cold weather. Fewer protesters rioters will hit the streets when it’s cold. More…

Obama Fails to Yell ‘Fore’ Prior to Taking ISIL Shot

In September, Barack Obama announced a strategy to fight ISIL — essentially a mulligan in Iraq. Well, it turns out he didn’t really consult with the Pentagon before taking his first shot off the tee, and the ball ended up in the sand trap. Politico Magazine reports, “First, the Pentagon was surprised by the president’s timing, according to a senior defense official. ‘We didn’t know it was going to be in the speech,’ he said, referring to Obama’s Sept. 10 address to the nation. Second, the White House neglected to give Pentagon lawyers a chance to revise and approve the proposed legislative language before it went to the Hill, which is considered standard practice. Staffers working for Rep. Buck McKeon, the Republican chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said they were appalled by what they saw: language so sloppy that it failed to mention adequate protections against so-called ‘green-on-blue’ attacks by trainees on American troops, and effectively left the Defense Department liable for funding the mission against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) — even though the president was telling members of Congress he didn’t need money for this new mission, since the Saudis were putting it up. ‘What came over would have not have been a mission the DoD could have executed,’ says a senior Republican committee staffer.” In other words, it’s par for the course with the Obama regime. More…

Obama’s Relationship With Israel Deteriorates

The senior White House official who called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a chickens–t is only the last American official to fling a barb towards Israel. According to journalist Jeffery Goldberg, the Obama administration has frequently jabbed Israeli leadership for its perceived cowardliness. Specifically, the administration is displeased because the Netanyahu-led government announced settlements in the West Bank, possibly undermining John Kerry’s hoped-for legacy of forging a peace deal. Netanyahu announced those projects to possibly win more favor for a re-election bid, and Obama officials are in a “red-hot anger” over it. Pot, meet kettle. “There is a crisis with the Americans and it has to be treated like a crisis,” the Finance Minister for Israel, Yair Lapid, wrote. “Relations with the U.S. are critical and important to Israel, and everything must be done to resolve the crisis and restore good ties.” This tiff comes at a critical time, when the West is working on a nuclear deal with Iran. Unfortunately, Barack Obama seems determined to damage the U.S.-Israel relationship permanently. More…

Wind Power Blowing Electricity Prices Up

Wind power, Americans were told, was supposed to lower energy prices, but the only thing it seems to be blowing around are dollar bills and rhetoric. Forbes’ James Taylor reports: “Electricity prices are soaring in states generating the most wind power, U.S. Energy Information Administration data show. Although U.S. electricity prices rose less than 3 percent from 2008-2013, the 10 states with the highest percentage of wind power generation experienced average electricity price increases of more than 20 percent.” Idaho topped the list at 34%, followed by Wyoming (33%), Kansas (26%), South Dakota (25%), North Dakota (23%), Minnesota (22%), Iowa and Oregon (16%), Colorado (14%) and Oklahoma (the one state that improved, with -2%). That’s a median increase of 20.7%. Energy costs need a cool down, but that won’t happen as long as bureaucratic hot air is the only thing getting blown around. More…

2014-10-29-9cc13ecf_large.jpg

RIGHT ANALYSIS

Biden Sums Up Obama’s Economic Record

2014-10-29-3a524dd0.jpg

Ebola, ISIL and a host of other crises have pushed the economy from the headlines, but jobs and the anemic recovery are what people really care about in the coming election. And, believe it or not, Joe Biden put his finger on the problem: The middle class is struggling in Barack Obama’s economy.

In his most sagacious statement since taking office, Biden said Obama’s economic policies have done nothing to help the average American. He didn’t quite put it that way, of course, but it’s a fair interpretation. The vice president was touting positive economic growth and deficit reduction on the stump when he oddly concluded that none of it matters. “You know the truth: The middle class is still in trouble,” Biden said. “You don’t have to know the numbers, you can feel it. You can feel it in your bones.” For once he’s right.

It’s plain something is amiss given that 48 million people (20% of the population) are on food stamps and 50 million are below the poverty line.

But there is one good sign. In January, the federal government returned to the policy adopted in the 1996 Welfare Reform Act, requiring more from able-bodied persons who receive benefits. As National Review’s Jillian Kay Melchior explains, “Unless a state has extraordinarily high unemployment or a dearth of jobs, able-bodied adults who are younger than 50 and without a dependent must spend 20 hours a week productively if they wish to continue drawing food-stamp benefits longer than three months.”

This policy shift is important because it will encourage people to get back to work. The workforce participation rate — the number of Americans actually working — has plunged since Obama was elected. When he took office, nearly 66% were employed. Now, the percentage is 62.8 — the lowest since January 1978, during the term of another Democrat president. And Obama’s unemployment numbers are as phony as a three-dollar bill. Forbes says it’s 13%; the Hill says 18%. Whatever it is, we dang well know it’s not the headline rate of 6%.

There are still millions who can’t find work and millions who work part-time because they can’t find a full-time job. Employers, hard pressed by the cost of ObamaCare, are afraid to hire more employees lest taxes, fines and expenses grow any worse. Obama claims to have created 10 million jobs during his six-year tenure, but that’s a debatable figure. And even if it’s accurate, it pails in comparison to his predecessors. (Of course, presidents don’t create jobs, businesses do — in spite of Hillary Clinton’s inadvertent candor the other day.) Under the economic leadership of Ronald Reagan, the economy created 16 million real jobs with a smaller population, and Bill Clinton, still enjoying the fruits of Reaganomics, saw an increase of 22 million.

Yet Obama continues telling us the economy is blazing. “There’s almost no economic measure by which we are not better off than when I took office,” he proclaimed. Just drop the “not” in his boast and he’s on to something.

The good news is, after the expiration of the unemployment extension in January, employers have been more willing to create jobs and workers are more willing to take them. The New York Federal Reserve Bank reported the number of new jobs that had opened each month shot up 20% to 4.7 million by June. And according to The Washington Times, “The rate of job openings also soared to its pre-recession peak of 3.3 percent of all workers just months after Congress allowed the benefits to end after Democrats and Republicans failed to agree on an acceptable way to pay for them.”

This one small change (requiring those on unemployment benefits to work a little) toward a more free-market approach in our economy has produced more than all of Obama’s boastful machinations and lies put together. Perhaps this small step will boost the economy, and, no doubt much to Biden’s relief, the middle class may even begin to recover.

Here Come the Post-Election Executive Orders

2014-07-16-bc61f766.jpg

On the eve of the 2012 elections, the Obama administration had its fires to put out. Jihadis killed an ambassador and three other Americans in Libya in September. In October, a hurricane blew up the East Coast and gave Obama the opportunity to show the president in action — or to showcase a clumsy government trying to patch things before Election Day. This year, Barack Obama is waiting until after the election for his fireworks.

In some respects, the election two years ago was a harbinger of what this congressional election has become. Before his re-election, Obama delayed the EPA’s ozone rules. That was just one legislative delay. The administration waited until after the 2012 election to move forward on 24 “economically significant” regulations. In the months leading up to that election, it worked on only eight.

In this election, the Democrat Party has all but abandoned the president. The governor of Connecticut accepts the endorsement of Bill Clinton, but shuns the fundraisers where Obama makes an appearance. Obama chases after his party, saying that all his polices are on the ballot, but Democrat politicians won’t even say if they voted for the man. The scandals abound in the IRS, the VA, the jihadi prisoner swap for Bowe Bergdahl, etc. And like every other facet of election-year politics, Obama has backlogged his executive actions, waiting until the results come in to release them in one big rush.

This is the home stretch for Obama. This is the last major election until he retires to Chicago, or Hawaii, or wherever his golf-happy heart desires. And that’s why this election is so scary: He has less reason than ever to behave within constitutional bounds. The next two years are his last chance to pad his legacy with imperial actions.

The White House expects a Republican-controlled Congress. Obama’s White House staff is cynical that a new Congress will get anything done. “Republicans in control in the Senate, [Hill insiders] say, would mean two years of obstruction, subpoenas and brutal confirmation fights,” Politico reporter Edward-Isaac Dovere writes. “Instead of 2016 creating pressure to get things done, it will set up yet another cycle of running the clock with the majority up for grabs again in two years.”

So the Rambo in chief will load his pen and heft his phone to go hunting in the swamp along the Potomac. He has prey aplenty. The pundits anticipate Obama’s biggest prize will be some kind of action on immigration. He’s promised the Congressional Hispanic Caucus an executive action if they would just be patient, and the ever-political Obama will likely give those all-important constituents something juicy to smooth over the relationship.

And while Attorney General Eric Holder announced his resignation, he hasn’t exactly packed his boxes and left the building, as Obama has yet to nominate a replacement for him. Could the next AG be worse than Holder? The New York Post certainly thinks so, speculating Obama’s first pick may be now-Labor Secretary Thomas Perez — a more radical race baiter than even Holder.

But many of Obama’s delayed actions have also been to avert some more … uncomfortable situations. The U.S. Army is sitting on its completed investigation into Bowe Bergdahl. But we’ll just have to wait until after the election to find out the Army’s assessment of Bergdahl’s actions. By delaying, the Obama administration pushes a summertime scandal out of sight.

To avoid giving the Right rhetorical ammunition, the Obama administration delayed the release of this year’s ObamaCare premium numbers. By all accounts, rates will increase substantially, smacking the low-income earners shopping in the most inexpensive bracket, bronze, with an estimated 14% hike. Worse, a new study says hikes could reach 78%. Such sticker shock would fail to persuade only the most ardent of Obama supporters.

It’s difficult to get a bead on Obama’s real plans because the administration obfuscates the facts so thoroughly. Even lefty journalists in Washington warn about the Obama administration’s stonewalling, intimidation and general lack of transparency on a regular basis.

“I’m worried that whatever happens with this administration, that’s the new floor for the next administration,” said USA Today Washington Bureau Chief Susan Page. “And that we’ll never regain access, ability to do reporting, ability to do our job unless we just constantly fight the battle.”

It’s not just the press/politician relationship that’s at stake. Obama’s phone-and-pen tactics, his lack of accountability and his disregard for the Constitution could set a precedent for future American presidents. The most lasting legacy the Obama administration may leave is putting the word “bully” in “bully pulpit.”

TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS

OPINION IN BRIEF

British novelist C. S. Lewis (1898-1963): “Hitherto the plans of the educationalists have achieved very little of what they attempted, and indeed we may well thank the beneficent obstinacy of real mothers, real nurses, and (above all) real children for preserving the human race in such sanity as it still possesses.”

Economist Stephen Moore: “We have seen the denigration of economic success in the war against the rich, the attacks against energy industry profits, tax increases on successful businesses and workers, and health care mandates on employers. Many wonder why businesses are so reluctant to reinvest profits and hire more workers. It is statements like [Hillary] Clinton’s that give employers pause. Apparently, businesses are virtuous to liberals only when they lose money — in which case they deserve handouts and bailouts. Corporations that try to minimize their tax burdens are attacked regularly in the press and on Capitol Hill as ‘traitors.’ … One of the more noble and rewarding pursuits in life is to start a business. It takes drive, imagination and nerves of steel. Two out of three new businesses fail during their first 10 years. The business owner is the last to get paid, not the first. Only someone who never has started a business would disparage those who do and succeed at it.”

Economist Walter E. Williams: “Poverty is not a cause but a result of Africa’s problems. What African countries need the West cannot provide. They need personal liberty. That means a political system in which there are guarantees of private property rights, free markets, honest government and the rule of law. Africa’s poverty is, for the most part, self-inflicted. … Though there’s a strong case for us to help with the Ebola crisis, the worst thing Westerners could do to Africa would be to send more foreign aid. Foreign aid provides the financial resources that enable Africa’s grossly corrupt and incompetent regimes to buy military equipment, pay off cronies and continue to oppress their people. It also provides resources for the leaders to live lavishly and set up ‘retirement’ accounts in foreign banks.”

Comedian Jimmy Fallon: “Halloween is just a few days away and the Obamas have invited children to go trick-or-treating at the White House on Friday. It will be fun until the Secret Service tackles a kid and says, ‘We finally got one. He’s dressed like a Ninja Turtle and tried to get in here.'”

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/ )”


Will the Fed take the Drunkbowl Away?
Astronomical money printing will lead to a lot of pain for everyone, says Jim Rogers.

http://economiccollapsenews.com/2014/10/27/jim-rogers-were-all-going-to-pay-a-terrible-price-for-central-bank-stimulus/


Federal Reserve to Markets: You’re Too Easy!

Durable Goods Orders in U.S. Decrease for Second Month

The Day The POMO Died

The Scariest Number Revealed Today: $1.114 Trillion In Eurozone Bad Debt


The ambivalent American: Obama fights Ebola, not ISIS, retreats on battlefield but wages war against weather

Why is Obama fighting Ebola and not ISIS?

What are we to make of a president who won’t fight a terrorist army — but will deploy 3,000 Marines to fight Ebola?

An administration that pre-emptively announces troop withdrawals while, in the next breath, declares global warming the greatest threat to America?

A White House that won’t make a single phone call to free a decorated Marine in Mexico — but will trade five Taliban terrorists with American blood on their hands for a likely deserter?

Our “ambivalent-American” leadership lacks the moral foundation — let alone moral compass — to distinguish between right and wrong, good and bad, righteousness and evil.
In my “infantryman” brain — having faced Islamists in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay — these comparisons just don’t compute.

Why would we definitively rule out deploying forces to fight radical Islamists but rush to deploy them to fight a virus?

Why do we retreat on the battlefield but charge full speed against the weather?

And why can’t we distinguish between valor and desertion?

These things make no sense to me, and to common-sense-led Americans everywhere.

Read more


Reinstatement of Rev. Frank Schaefer a failure of United Methodists to maintain own doctrine

Pastor who performed gay marriage keeps ordination, Associated Press (Travis Loller)

Frank Schaefer wins final reinstatement with Methodists, Religion News Service (Cathy Lynn Grossman)

Top court affirms Schaefer’s reinstatement as clergy, United Methodist News (Linda Bloom)


Pope’s attempts to reconcile creation and evolution foments confusion, departs from ex nihilo

Pope Francis: ‘Evolution … is not inconsistent with the notion of creation’, Religion News Service (Josephine McKenna)


Report reveals influence of secular schools as engines of secularism

Falling away, The Economist


Superheroes, Heresies and the God-man


Video: The Truth About Halloween: Trick or Treat


Those Pesky Emotions!: Part 1—Handling Emotions Maturely

You’re reading Part 1 of a two-part blog series by Sherry Allchin on emotions. Today Sherry explains biblical principles for handling our emotions maturely. Tomorrow, Sherry explores biblical principles for understanding our emotions and bringing biblical balance to our emotional life. Continue reading →


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.

 

THE SPIRIT OF HALLOWEEN 

by Johanna Michaelsen

Last Halloween when the doorbell rang, I was greeted by an adorable bunch of little kids doing their level best to look like gruesome witches and vampires. I bent down as I distributed apples and oranges in response to lusty cries of “trick or treat!”

“You kids want to know something?” I asked very softly.

Read more »

Code: B141029

by John MacArthur

There is nothing more basic to Bible study than Bible reading. Imagine trying to interpret a middle chapter in the allegorical Pilgrim’s Progress without knowing the larger story, or studying the significance of World War II without a good understanding of World War I. Proper Bible study cannot be built on a scattered compilation of pet verses or a narrow study of a particular doctrine—it must be grounded in a comprehensive understanding of broad biblical themes and history. And the only way to obtain that is faithful, diligent Bible reading.

Ironically, many people engage in studying the Bible without ever reading it. They may read a lot of books about the Bible, but there is no substitute for reading Scripture on its own. My suggestion is that you follow a deliberate reading plan that will take you all the way through both the Old and New Testaments.

The Old Testament

A healthy goal for all Christians is to read through the Old Testament once a year. There are thirty-nine books in the Old Testament, and if you read about twenty minutes a day, you should be able to get through it in one year.

As you do this year after year, you’ll be building comprehension as you read. I would also suggest, as you read, that you make notations in the margin to mark places that you don’t yet understand. As you continue to re-read the Old Testament you will begin to check those notations off as you gain increasing understanding of the portions that once confused you. Whatever remains unanswered can be used for individual study with a commentary or other sources to find the meaning.

It is unrealistic to expect to exhaustively learn the meaning of every Old Testament verse. Such an unattainable goal will only cultivate a sense of intimidation for such a large reading program. Trust the Holy Spirit to do His illuminating work as you persist with your daily schedule. You will gain an ever-expanding knowledge of the material.

The New Testament

Paul described the New Testament as the unveiling of the Old Testament (Colossians 1:25–26). He alluded to the Old Testament insofar as it illustrated and elucidated and supported the New Testament.

The message of the New Testament is the culmination of revelation. It is that which embodies and engulfs all that was in the Old Testament. In a sense, the New Testament will summarize for you the content of the Old Testament, as well as lead you further into the fullness of revelation. It is for this reason our major thrust in Bible study should be reading the New Testament.

My Strategy

When I was in seminary I decided to read 1 John every day for thirty days. You should try it; it will only take you about twenty-five minutes to read it all the way through. Fight the temptation on about the eighth day to think you’ve got it down. If you stick with it, you’ll gain a tremendous comprehension of 1 John.

When preparing sermons, I always read through the pertinent book repeatedly until the whole book fills my mind in a kind of visual perception. It is also very helpful to take a three-by-five card and write down the major theme of each chapter. As you do this you’ll begin to develop a mental map of the book you’re studying.

After 1 John, go to a large book in the New Testament like the gospel of John. Don’t be intimidated by the twenty-one chapters, just divide it into three sections. Read the first seven chapters for thirty days, the second seven for thirty days, and the third seven for thirty days. At the end of those ninety days you will have pretty well mastered the content of the gospel of John along with memorizing the major theme of each chapter.

After the gospel of John you might want to go to Philippians, another short book. Then you might want to go to Matthew, then to Colossians, and then to Acts. Divide it up like that, continually going back and forth between a small book and a large book. Such a plan is highly achievable if you keep moving forward one step at a time. In approximately two and a half years you will have finished the whole New Testament—and you’ll be on your third time through the Old Testament! You should read the Bible anyway, so you might as well read it in a way that you can remember it.

The Benefit

The Bible is “living and active” (Hebrews 4:12). It will come alive in your life as you read it in a repetitious manner. When I started using this method I was amazed at how fast I began to retain the New Testament. Isaiah said that we learn, “Order on order, order on order, line on line, line on line, a little here, a little there” (Isaiah 28:13).

You learn by repetition. The reading retention you gain from that will lay a wonderful foundation for the vital task of rightly interpreting the sacred text. Sound Bible interpretation is the next phase of Bible study and we’ll look at that next time.  

 

(Adapted from How to Study the Bible)


Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B141029
COPYRIGHT ©2014 Grace to You

“How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!’” (Romans 10:14-15 ESV).

The Apostle Paul addresses the world’s greatest need and the church’s Great Commission in Romans 10:14. Each day around 150,000 people die around the world, tens of thousands of them never having repented of their sins and trusted in Christ. In fact, many haven’t even heard the gospel. It has been said that a missionary is one who can’t get used to the sound of pagan footsteps on the way to a Christless eternity. That certainly resonates for those of us who have been called to reach the unreached and teach them everything Christ commanded.

So why wait? After all, we have the Holy Spirit, God’s call, and a passport. Our duty is to obey Christ and rescue the perishing. Why shouldn’t we grab our passport and head to the airport immediately when God calls us to go and serve?

The answer to this question lies in what Christ has actually called us to do as well as a realistic look at how that is done. In Matthew 28:19-20, Christ commanded us to do one thing — make disciples. Specifically, he commanded us to make disciples and to do so by going, baptizing, and teaching all he had commanded. Yet in order to do that, the one who goes must be prepared. With the call to go and serve comes the call to prepare.

Read more

A consistent theme I have seen in many churches is in the area of church finances. Many church leaders operate out of a mode of scarcity instead of abundance. While I realize that churches cannot and should not spend foolishly, too many church leaders just don’t recognize that God has provided more than they think.

Often the issue is not lack of funds, but unwise choices of church expenditures. There are many reasons for this reality; I plan to address them in a future post.

A Checklist for Your Consideration

For now, I offer a checklist of questions. As you answer these questions, I hope you will be motivated to think how your church might look at its expenditures and budgets in a different light.

Read more

Posted by Christine Pack

Besides our general concerns about the New Age philosophies and beliefs that often undergird alternative/naturopathic/holistic treatments, we also have concerns that due to the unregulated nature of the alternative industry, these unregulated products (1) may not do what they claim to do, and (2) might not even be what they purport to be. From the article entitled The Truth About Nutrition Supplements (Fitness Magazine, Oct 2009):

Read more

Originally posted on Zwinglius Redivivus:

They won’t use it for the reasons they tell you.

Within hours of Superstorm Sandy slamming the East Coast two years ago, Americans opened their wallets to help — donating millions to the first charity that came to mind: the American Red Cross.

President Obama, like most elected officials and celebrities, vouched for the organization,encouraging people to give.

In the months after the disaster, the Red Cross touted its success in delivering food, clothes and shelter to tens of thousands of people left homeless by the storm. Gail McGovern, the Red Cross president and CEO, told NBC News two weeks after the storm: “I think that we are near flawless so far in this operation.”

The truth, however, is different.

Read it all- and don’t give anything to the Red Cross if you don’t want it to be misused.  And I happen to know at first hand how…

View original 96 more words

Originally posted on Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog:

Train wreck in motion?

Train wreck in motion?

(Central Israel) — The United States of America is going to turn against the State of Israel.

I wish it weren’t true, but Bible prophecy indicates that “all the nations of the earth” will turn hostile towards Israel, her capital of Jerusalem, and the Jewish people in the “last days,” and that as a result God will judge “all the nations.”

Examples:

  • “Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples around; and when the siege is against Jerusalem, it will also be against Judah.It will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it.” (Zechariah 12:2-3)
  • “For behold, in those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather…

View original 732 more words

Originally posted on Wretched with Todd Friel:

Episode 1479

View original

Originally posted on Wintery Knight:

When a pastor does the right thing, I have to feature it.

This is from CNS News.

Excerpt:

Reverend Franklin Graham, son of world renowned evangelical pastor Billy Graham, said that President Barack Obama was “fundamentally mistaken” about radical Islam; questioned why peaceful Muslims do not collectively condemn jihadist terrorism; and argued that Islam “is a false religion” and that “it is impossible for a false religion to be a true religion of peace.”

Rev. Franklin Graham also cited examples from a speech he recently gave outside the White House, decrying the actions of followers of a “peaceful religion” who practice “female circumcision,” hijacking, kidnapping, “honor” killings, and decapitation.

Rev. Graham commended President Obama for sending some U.S. troops to fight the Islamic State but, citing Obama’s Sept. 24  speech at the United Nations where the president said “Islam teaches peace,” the reverend said, “I also believe our president…

View original 476 more words

Originally posted on Defending. Contending.:

Big Bang Theory true according to Pope Francis

Once again, the world has the distinction of hearing “Thus says the man in the white robe” instead of “thus says the Lord.” If we question the veracity of God’s Word and the foundations which He has established, then it will be easy to cut out further parts of Scripture. Here are a few things to consider as to whether pope Francis is right or wrong.

There are several problems with Christians accepting the Big Bang Theory and the theory of evolution.

1.  It questions the validity and work of the Trinity. Genesis states that each member of the Triune Godhead was involved in creation.

A.  God the Father is attributed with the work of creation throughout the Old Testament. If creation is not true, then we must exclude every writer who spoke and wrote falsely giving credit to the holy God…

View original 829 more words

Originally posted on Zwinglius Redivivus:

“You do nothing more than latch on to a small word and smear over with your spittle as you please, but meanwhile you do not take into account other texts which overthrow you who smear and spits, so that you are up-ended with all four limbs in the air”.  — Martin Luther

Don’t you just want to hug him?  I do, and I’m not a hugger…

View original

Categories

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 612 other followers

Blog Stats

  • 245,778 hits

Blog Post Calendar

October 2014
S M T W T F S
« Sep    
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031  

Twitter Posts

Blog Posting Archives

Truth2Freedom Blog Pages

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 612 other followers

%d bloggers like this: