February 26, 2017: Daily Devotional Guide Collection

February 26

Handling God’s Word

These words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.

Deuteronomy 6:6–7

 

Spiritual growth cannot occur without the regular intake of God’s Word, just as physical growth cannot occur without regular food intake—that’s why eating is a daily necessity! Going to church on Sunday to hear a message and then hoping that it is enough to last for the whole week is like eating dinner on Sunday and expecting it to sustain you until the following Sunday. You need to eat every day of the week. The same is true spiritually: there must be a daily feeding on the Word of God for optimum growth.

Mature Christians know that there is even greater glory in giving out the Word than in feeding on it. As you proclaim the Word, you cement it in your life. In this way, the saying “The more you give away, the more you keep” is true. I have found that I tend to remember the things I teach to others but forget the things I read and never pass on. So give a high priority to passing on to others what you’re learning from God’s Word each day.[1]


February 26 God Is Faithful to Keep Us

“Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.”

1 Thessalonians 5:24

✧✧✧

God is faithful in forgiving our sins and securing our salvation.

We have learned that God protects us from temptation, but what happens when we don’t rely on God and give in to sin? John has the answer: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). The Lord says in Jeremiah 31:34, “I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.” God has promised to forgive, and He is faithful to do so.

God’s faithfulness stands out especially in His preserving His people for glory. He secures our salvation. Paul says, “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 1:6). God will preserve us so that we may be “without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” because He is “faithful” (1 Thess. 5:23–24).

There was once a boy whose dad left him on a downtown street corner and told him to wait there until he returned in about half an hour. But the father’s car broke down, and he could not get to a phone. Five hours went by before the father managed to get back, and he thought his son would be in a state of panic. But when the father returned, the boy was standing in front of the corner dime store, looking in the window and rocking back and forth on his heels. The father threw his arms around him, apologized, and said, “Weren’t you worried? Did you think I was never coming back?” The boy replied, “No, Dad. I knew you were coming. You said you would.”

God is always faithful to His promises. The father in the story was unable to keep his promise because of circumstances out of his control. But God is able to overcome any circumstances to keep His word. With a simple faith like that boy’s, we can always say, “I knew you would do it, God. You said you would.”

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Ask God for simple faith to trust Him whatever the situation.

For Further Study: David rejoices in God’s faithfulness in Psalm 103. Make a list of all the ways God demonstrates His faithfulness in this psalm.[2]


FEBRUARY 26

IF WE’VE LOST MAJESTY

They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power; to make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom.

—Psalm 145:11-12

If you want to pray strategically, in a way which would please God, pray that God might raise up men who would see the beauty of the Lord our God and would begin to preach it and hold it out to people, instead of offering peace of mind, deliverance from cigarettes, a better job and a nicer cottage….

What good is all our busy religion if God isn’t in it? What good is it if we’ve lost majesty, reverence, worship—an awareness of the divine? What good is it if we’ve lost a sense of the Presence and the ability to retreat within our own hearts and meet God in the garden? If we’ve lost that, why build another church? Why make more converts to an effete Christianity? Why bring people to follow after a Savior so far off that He doesn’t own them?

We need to improve the quality of our Christianity, and we never will until we raise our concept of God back to that held by apostle, sage, prophet, saint and reformer. When we put God back where He belongs, we will instinctively and automatically move up again; the whole spiral of our religious direction will be upward. AOG194-195

Lord, may I learn to see You not as a functional God who fulfills my requests but as a beautiful God of glorious majesty. May I hold that concept out for others to see, that they might also behold Your majesty. Amen. [3]


February 26

Spiritual Hunger’s First Object—Salvation

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.—Matt. 5:6

The first objective of spiritual hunger by the lost sinner is salvation. The righteousness the unbeliever begins to hunger for—after he or she sees their sin, mourns over it, and gently submits self to God—is the righteousness that repents of sin and submits to the lordship of Christ.

In the Old Testament, righteousness is often a synonym for salvation. Through Isaiah, God declared, “My righteousness is near, My salvation has gone forth” (Isa. 51:5). Daniel said, “Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever” (Dan. 12:3).

In Jesus’ day, the great obstacle to receiving the gospel for so many members of His Jewish audience was self-righteousness—their confidence in their own works to achieve a self-styled holiness. They believed that as members of God’s chosen nation of Israel, they were assured of entrance into heaven. But Christ taught them that they would not find the path to salvation unless they hungered and thirsted for the Father’s righteousness instead of their own. And that is the case for everyone today, no matter what race, religion, or economic status.

ASK YOURSELF
It’s easy for the wonder and majesty of our salvation to be lost on us as time goes by. Let today be another opportunity to realize how empty you were before and how full He has made you in Christ. Put your worship into prayerful words.[4]

FEBRUARY 26

“BE STILL AND KNOW”

Be still, and know that I am God.

Psalm 46:10

 

Prayer among evangelical Christians is always in danger of degenerating into a glorified “gold rush.” Almost every book on prayer deals mainly with the “get” element. How to get things we want from God occupies most of our space.

Christians should never forget that the highest kind of prayer is never the making of requests.

Prayer at its holiest moment is the entering into God to a place of such blessed union as makes miracles seem tame and remarkable answers to prayer appear something very far short of wonderful, by comparison.

We should be aware that there is a kind of school where the soul must go to learn its best eternal lessons. It is the school of silence. “Be still and know,” said the psalmist (46:10).

It might well be a revelation to some Christians if they were to get completely quiet for a time—a time to listen in the silence for the deep voice of the Eternal God!

 

Heavenly Father, I desire my prayer time to be more than a “wish list.” Help me to spend more time listening for Your voice than making personal requests.[5]


February 26 Enjoying a Bountiful Harvest

“… bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Col. 1:10).

✧✧✧

Your fruitfulness is directly related to your knowledge of divine truth.

Every farmer who enjoys a plentiful harvest does so only after diligent effort on his part. He must cultivate the soil, plant the seed, and then nurture it to maturity. Each step is thoughtful, disciplined, and orderly.

Similarly, bearing spiritual fruit is not an unthinking or haphazard process. It requires us to be diligent in pursuing the knowledge of God’s will, which is revealed in His Word. That is Paul’s prayer in Colossians 1:9, which he reiterates in verse 10.

The phrase “increasing in the knowledge of God” (v. 10) can be translated “increasing by the knowledge of God.” Both renderings are acceptable. The first emphasizes the need to grow; the second emphasizes the role that knowledge plays in your spiritual growth.

As your knowledge of God’s Word increases, the Holy Spirit renews your mind and transforms your thinking. As you gaze into the glory of the Lord as revealed in Scripture, you “are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory” (2 Cor. 3:18). You “have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him” (Col. 3:10).

One of Satan’s ploys to retard spiritual productivity is to get Christians preoccupied with humanistic philosophy and other bankrupt substitutes for God’s truth. That’s why he planted false teachers at Colosse to teach that knowing God’s will is inadequate for true spirituality. Paul refuted that claim by affirming that Christ is the fullness of Deity in bodily form (Col. 2:9). In Him “are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:3). He is all you need!

Scripture commands you to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18). Is that characteristic of your life? Are you looking forward to a bountiful spiritual harvest?

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Suggestions for Prayer:  Thank God for the privilege of knowing His will and studying His Word. ✧ Prayerfully guard your mind from sinful influences. Saturate it with God’s truth.

For Further Study: Read the following passages, noting the effects of God’s Word: Psalms 119:9, 105; Acts 20:32; Romans 10:17; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:14–17; Hebrews 4:12–13; 1 John 2:14.[6]


FEBRUARY 26

THE IMPORTANCE OF RIGHT RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our Spirit, that we are children of God.

ROMANS 8:16

Many men and women are seeking counsellors to aid them with their confessed feelings of emptiness and inadequacy. Each seems to have a plea about becoming a “whole person.”

The importance of coming back into right relationship with God cannot be overestimated as we seriously think and study and pray.

By the mysterious operation of the Spirit of God in the new birth, that which is called by Peter “the divine nature” enters the deep-in core of the believer’s heart and establishes residence there. “If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his,” for “the Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God” (Rom. 8:9, 16).

Such a one is a true Christian, and only such. Baptism, confirmation, the receiving of the sacraments, church membership—these mean nothing unless the supreme act of God in regeneration also takes place!

Religious externals may have a meaning for the God-inhabited soul; for any others they are not only useless but may actually become snares, deceiving them into a false and perilous sense of security.

“Keep thy heart with all diligence” is more than a wise saying; it is a solemn charge laid upon us by the One who cares most about us![7]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 69). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

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

[3] Tozer, A. W., & Eggert, R. (2015). Tozer on the almighty god: a 365-day devotional. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[4] MacArthur, J. (2008). Daily readings from the life of Christ (p. 65). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

[5] Tozer, A. W. (2015). Mornings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[6] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 69). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[7] Tozer, A. W., & Smith, G. B. (2015). Evenings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

February 25, 2017: Daily Devotional Guide Collection

February 25

Praise for Answers

Pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks.

1 Thessalonians 5:16–17

 

When God answers prayers about a particular situation, we have the privilege of being a part of His work and of praising Him for it. When we don’t participate through prayer, we miss the opportunity to give Him glory.

Suppose someone came to a prayer meeting and said, “I’ve had the most wonderful thing happen: the lady I’ve been witnessing to has opened her heart to Christ. She is now a believer and is here with us tonight. Thank you for praying for her these last few months.” The people present can praise the Lord, especially those who had been praying for this woman’s conversion.

But there would also be some who, while offering praise, would not have felt a sense of being involved because they had not prayed for the lady. You need to be in on what God is doing so you can offer heartfelt praise.[1]


February 25 God Is Faithful to Care for Us

“God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”

1 Corinthians 1:9

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God is completely faithful to do what He has promised.

We live in a day of unfaithfulness, don’t we? Some husbands and wives are unfaithful to their marriage vows. Children are often unfaithful to the principles taught by their parents. Parents are often unfaithful to meet the needs of their children. And all too frequently we are unfaithful to God.

Only God is always faithful, a fact often celebrated in Scripture: “Know therefore that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God” (Deut. 7:9). “Thy lovingkindness, O Lord, extends to the heavens, Thy faithfulness reaches to the skies” (Ps. 36:5). “Great is Thy faithfulness” (Lam. 3:23).

Let’s look at several areas in which God is faithful to us. First, He’s faithful in taking care of us. Peter says, “Let those also who suffer according to the will of God entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right” (1 Peter 4:19). The word translated “entrust” is a banking term that speaks of a deposit for safekeeping. We’re to give our lives to our “faithful Creator,” who is best able to care for us because He created us. “My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19).

God is also faithful in helping us resist temptation: “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it” (1Cor.10:13). No believer can legitimately claim that he was overwhelmed by temptation or that “the Devil made me do it.” When our faithfulness is tested, we have God’s own faithfulness as our resource. “The Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one” (2 Thess. 3:3).

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Thank God for His faithfulness in taking care of you and protecting you from temptation.

For Further Study: God had promised Abraham a son, and He finally gave him Isaac. But God made a strange request. Read Genesis 22:1–18 and Hebrews 11:17–19. How did Abraham demonstrate his trust? ✧ In what areas do you have trouble trusting God?[2]


FEBRUARY 25

A RIGHT CONCEPTION OF GOD

For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods…. O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.

—Psalm 95:3, 6

The history of mankind will probably show that no people has ever risen above its religion, and man’s spiritual history will positively demonstrate that no religion has ever been greater than its idea of God. Worship is pure or base as the worshiper entertains high or low thoughts of God….

A right conception of God is basic not only to systematic theology but to practical Christian living as well. It is to worship what the foundation is to the temple; where it is inadequate or out of plumb the whole structure must sooner or later collapse. I believe there is scarcely an error in doctrine or a failure in applying Christian ethics that cannot be traced finally to imperfect and ignoble thoughts about God.

It is my opinion that the Christian conception of God current in these middle years of the twentieth century is so decadent as to be utterly beneath the dignity of the Most High God and actually to constitute for professed believers something amounting to a moral calamity. KOH001, 003

Lord, establish in me a proper conception of You, our great King, that I will have a strong foundation for my life of faith. Amen. [3]


February 25

The Meaning and Necessity of Spiritual Hunger

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.—Matt. 5:6

The “hunger and thirst” Jesus speaks of here are far more intense than even strong physical pangs for food and drink, which come when we miss several meals. All true followers of Christ have a continuing hunger and thirst for righteousness—they will regularly long for holiness. Jesus’ analogy shows us that righteousness is necessary for spiritual life just as food and water are necessary for physical life.

But sadly, most people are by nature starved for spiritual life. The tendency of such unbelievers is to turn toward their physical appetites and the world’s ways rather than toward spiritual life (cf. Prov. 26:11; 2 Peter 2:22). Apart from divine revelation and the Spirit’s promptings, these people don’t recognize their spiritual needs or know what will truly satisfy them.

Seeking satisfaction for our spiritual hunger only in God and His gracious provision identifies us as members of His kingdom. Such people sincerely want their sin to be replaced with virtue and their disobedience with obedience.

The first three beatitudes are essentially negative and require costly and painful personal sacrifice to accomplish, even with the help of God’s Spirit. This fourth one, however, is more positive, coming about when we possess the other three. When we have put aside self and our enslavement to sin and turned to the Lord, we will have a genuine, growing desire for righteousness. The true Christian desires to obey God, even though he or she still struggles with unredeemed humanness (cf. Rom. 8:23).

ASK YOURSELF
What spiritual hungers are growling the loudest in your heart right now? When you have sought to satisfy them in disobedience or in any way other than God intends, what has always been the result? How do you intend to see them fed now?[4]

FEBRUARY 25

“NOW IT IS THE LORD”

In Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us…sanctification.

1 Corinthians 1:30

 

Is it possible to become so enamored of God’s good gifts that we fail to worship Him, the Giver?

Dr. Albert B. Simpson, the founder of The Christian and Missionary Alliance, invited to preach in a Bible conference in England, discovered on his arrival that he was to follow two other Bible teachers. All three had been given the same topic, “Sanctification.”

From the pulpit, the first speaker made clear his position that sanctification means eradication—the old carnal nature is removed. The second, a suppressionist, advised: “Sit on the lid and keep the old nature down!”

Dr. Simpson in his turn quietly told his audience that he could only present Jesus Christ Himself as God’s answer.

“Jesus Christ is your Sanctifier, your all and in all! God wants you to get your eyes away from the gifts. He wants your gaze to be on the Giver—Christ Himself,” he said.

This is a wonderful word for those who would worship rightly:

Once it was the blessing;

Now it is the Lord!

 

Father, this morning I praise You for Your holy presence in my life. Glorify Yourself through me today.[5]


February 25 Living in a Worthy Manner

“… so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects” (Col. 1:10).

✧✧✧

Your manner of life should be consistent with Christ’s.

In Colossians 1:9 Paul speaks of being controlled by the knowledge of God’s will. In verse 10 he speaks of walking in a manner worthy of the Lord. There is a direct cause-and-effect relationship between those verses. When you are controlled by the knowledge of God’s will, you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord.

The Greek word translated “walk” means “to order one’s behavior.” It’s a common New Testament metaphor for one’s lifestyle. Paul made a similar plea to the Thessalonians: “so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory” (1 Thess. 2:12).

The thought of being worthy of the Lord might raise some eyebrows, because we usually relate worthiness to merit or something deserved. But that isn’t Paul’s point at all. The Greek word translated “worthy” in Colossians 1:10 speaks of something that weighs as much or carries the same value as something else. He isn’t saying we deserve Christ, but that our conduct should be consistent with His.

That is also Peter’s point in 1 Peter 2:21: “You have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps.” John said, “The one who says he abides in [Christ] ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked” (1 John 2:6). He added in 2 John 6, “Walk according to His commandments.” That’s how you demonstrate your love for Christ (John 14:15) and please Him in every respect.

As a word of encouragement, a worthy walk is not a walk of sinless perfection. That won’t happen until you are fully glorified. But each day you are growing in godliness as a result of the Spirit’s transforming work in you (2 Cor. 3:18). Be faithful to that process. Set your affections on Christ, look to His Word, and rejoice in the privilege of becoming more like Him today.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer:  Thank God for the power and guidance of His Spirit in your life. ✧ Be diligent to confess your sin when you stray from a worthy walk.

For Further Study: Read Ephesians 4:1–3 and Philippians 1:27–30. ✧ What specific attitudes are involved in a worthy walk? ✧ Does a worthy walk eliminate the possibility of suffering or persecution? Explain.[6]


FEBRUARY 25

THE EARLY DISCIPLES BURNED WITH AN INWARD FIRE

…In whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.

1 PETER 1:8

If there is any reality within the whole sphere of human experience that is by its very nature worthy to challenge the mind, charm the heart and bring the total life to a burning focus, it is the reality that revolves around the Person of Christ!

If He is who and what the Christian message declares Him to be, then the thought of Him should be the most stimulating to enter the human mind.

God dwells in a state of perpetual enthusiasm. He is delighted with all that is good and lovingly concerned about all that is wrong. No wonder the Spirit came at Pentecost as the sound of a rushing mighty wind and sat in tongues of fire on every forehead. In so doing, He was acting as one of the Persons of the blessed Godhead.

Whatever else happened at Pentecost, one thing that cannot be missed was the sudden upsurging of moral enthusiasm. Those first disciples burned with a steady, inward fire. They were enthusiastic to the point of complete abandon!

But what do we find in our day? We find the contradictory situation of noisy, headlong religious activity carried on without moral energy or spiritual fervor! In the churches it is hard to find a believer whose blood count is normal and whose temperature is up to standard. We look in vain among the professed followers of Christ for the flush and excitement of the soul in love with God.

The low level of moral enthusiasm among us may have a significance far deeper than we are willing to believe![7]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 68). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

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

[3] Tozer, A. W., & Eggert, R. (2015). Tozer on the almighty god: a 365-day devotional. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[4] MacArthur, J. (2008). Daily readings from the life of Christ (p. 64). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

[5] Tozer, A. W. (2015). Mornings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[6] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 68). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[7] Tozer, A. W., & Smith, G. B. (2015). Evenings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

February 24, 2017: Verse of the day

img_1200

16:7 his appearance … height of his stature. Samuel needed to be reminded that God’s anointed was not chosen because of physical attributes. This was initially a difficult concept for Samuel as he was accustomed to a king whose only positive attributes were physical. the Lord looks at the heart. The Hebrew concept of “heart” embodies emotions, will, intellect, and desires. The life of the man will reflect his heart (cf. Mt 12:34, 35).

MacArthur Study Bible

16:7 man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart. Outward appearance cannot predict whether someone will faithfully obey the Lord, for a person’s actions flow from his heart (cf. 2 Chron. 16:9; Ps. 51:10; Prov. 4:23; Mark 7:21–23; Luke 6:45; 1 Thess. 2:4). The “heart” in Scripture refers to a person’s inward moral and spiritual life, including the emotions, will, and reason.

ESV Study Bible

February 24, 2017: Daily Devotional Guide Collection

February 24

A Prayer Prerequisite

If we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.

1 John 5:14

 

Praying in Jesus’ name is more than a formula. Some people think that they have to close every prayer with the phrase “In Jesus’ name, amen.” But the proper kind of prayer involves much more than a formula.

What does it mean to pray in Jesus’ name? In Scripture, the name of God embodies all that He is. When God told Moses His name, He said, “I am who I am” (Ex. 3:14). Likewise, Jesus’ name embodies all that He is. When you pray in His name, what you ask should be consistent with who He is. Praying in Jesus’ name is praying in accord with God’s will.

When our requests are in line with God’s sovereign plan, He will answer them and our faith will increase. Instead of invoking a formula at the end of your prayers, perhaps you could say, “I pray this because I believe it to be the will of Christ.”[1]


February 24 God Is True

“He who has received His witness has set his seal to this, that God is true.”

John 3:33

✧✧✧

Since God is true in everything He does, we can trust Him and His Word.

God’s truthfulness is taught often in Scripture. Balaam, though no righteous man, got this right: “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent; has He said, and will He not do it?” (Num. 23:19). Samuel said to King Saul that God “will not lie or change His mind; for He is not a man that He should change His mind” (1 Sam. 15:29). Paul tells us, “God … cannot lie” (Titus 1:2), and “Let God be found true, though every man be found a liar” (Rom. 3:4). Jesus calls the Holy Spirit the “Spirit of truth” (John 14:17; 15:26; 16:13).

Because God is true, and “all Scripture is inspired by God” (2 Tim. 3:16), it follows that His Word is completely true. The psalmist says, “The sum of Thy word is truth” (Ps. 119:160), and Jesus says, “Thy word is truth” (John 17:17).

The Bible, and therefore God Himself, is constantly under attack by critics. They say God doesn’t exist. But the Bible says, “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God’ ” (Ps. 14:1; 53:1). They say the world came into being by itself. But Scripture says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). They say the miracles in the Bible never happened. But God’s Word says that Jesus came “with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him” (Acts 2:22).

Always treat the Bible for what it is: the very words of God. Never deny its truthfulness, neither in your thinking nor in your living. Instead, “be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15).

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Thank God that He and His Word are absolutely true and trustworthy. ✧ If you have denied the truthfulness of the Bible, either in your thoughts or in your life, pray for forgiveness and for understanding in what the Bible has to say.

For Further Study: Read 2 Timothy 3:16–17. What useful qualities are inherent in God’s Word? Meditate on these, and think of ways they can and should affect your behavior.[2]


FEBRUARY 24

ALL ELOQUENCE IS DONE

Who can utter the mighty acts of the LORD? who can shew forth all his praise?

—Psalm 106:2

Old Novatian said, “That in the contemplation of God’s majesty, all eloquence is done,” which is to say that God is always greater than anything that can be said about Him. No language is worthy of Him. He is more sublime than all sublimity, loftier than all loftiness, more profound than all profundity, more splendid than all splendor, more powerful than all power, more truthful than all truth. Greater than all majesty, more merciful than all mercy, more just than all justice, more pitiful than all pity. Nothing anybody can say about Him is enough….

If God is not the biggest thing in the world to you, not all your talk will ever impress me. We ought to be where God is everything, where we walk into a meeting and see God and think God and feel God. We ought to see God all around us, where He comes down over us and we see Him in a vision, in the cool of the day. We ought to see Him in a mountain, in thunder and fire. We ought to see Him on the cross in blood and tears, and coming down through the sky, riding a white horse, and sitting on a throne judging the nations. But always, we see God and God is everything. SAT039-041

Lord, You are worthy of praise, though words are inadequate to express Your majesty. Today I bow in silence, for what have I to say about the God who is everything? Amen. [3]


February 24

Why Gentleness Is Necessary

Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.—Matt. 5:5

Four basic reasons prove the necessity for people to demonstrate Jesus’ trait of gentleness. First, genuine spiritual gentleness is necessary for salvation. Jesus later instructed His listeners that “unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 18:3; cf. Ps. 149:4).

Second, gentleness is necessary because God commands it. James exhorts his readers, “Putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21). Centuries earlier, the prophets agreed with James’s concern (e.g., Zeph. 2:3), knowing that without a gentle, humble spirit we can’t even hear God’s Word correctly, much less grasp and apply it.

Third, gentleness is a necessity for effective witnessing. Peter tells us, “Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence” (1 Peter 3:15). Pride will always be a barrier between us and those we talk to.

Lastly, gentleness is necessary because it always glorifies God. Pride wants its own glory, but gentleness wants God’s. Gentleness in relation to fellow believers especially glorifies Him: “Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus, so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 15:5–6).

ASK YOURSELF
Oh, what we lose by not choosing a life of gentleness, by not letting the Lord grow in us what (for some) is perhaps the most unnatural of His character traits. What temptations work the hardest against your desire to personify the meekness of Christ?[4]

FEBRUARY 24

GIVE TIME TO GOD

In his law doth he meditate day and night.

Psalm 1:2

 

I have often wished that there were some way to bring modern Christians into a deeper spiritual life painlessly by short, easy lessons; but such wishes are vain. No shortcut exists!

God has not bowed to our nervous haste nor embraced the methods of our machine age. It is well that we accept the hard truth now: The man who would know God must give time to Him!

He must count no time wasted which is spent in the cultivation of His acquaintance.

He must give himself to meditation and prayer hours on end. So did the saints of old, the glorious company of the apostles, the goodly fellowship of the prophets and the believing members of the holy Church in all generations.

And so must we if we would follow in their train!

May not the inadequacy of much of our spiritual experience be traced back to our habit of skipping through the corridors of the kingdom like little children through the marketplace, chattering about everything but pausing to learn the true value of nothing?

 

Dear Lord, help me order my time so that I may get to know You and Your Word more intimately.[5]


February 24 Understanding God’s Will

“We have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding” (Col. 1:9).

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Godly living results from being controlled by the principles of God’s Word.

Paul’s prayer for the Philippians (Phil. 1:9–11) is closely paralleled by his prayer for the Colossians (Col. 1:9–12). Both epistles were written from the same Roman prison at about the same time in Paul’s life. Both prayers focus on godly living, but they approach it from slightly different perspectives.

The Philippians were gracious people who needed to exercise greater knowledge and discernment in their love. The Colossians also were gracious, but their devotion to Christ was being challenged by heretics who taught that Christ is insufficient for salvation and godly living. True spirituality, the false teachers said, is found in Christ plus human philosophy, religious legalism, mysticism, and/or asceticism. Paul encouraged the Colossian believers and refuted the false teachers by showing the utter sufficiency of Christ.

At the outset of his prayer Paul stressed the importance of being controlled by the knowledge of God’s will (which is revealed in His Word). That’s the meaning of the Greek word translated “filled” in verse 9. “Knowledge” translates a word that speaks of a deep, penetrating knowledge that results in behavioral change. “Spiritual wisdom and understanding” refers to knowledge that cannot be known through human reasoning or philosophy. It is imparted by the Holy Spirit Himself.

In effect Paul was saying, “I pray that you will be continually controlled by the life-transforming knowledge of God’s will, which the Holy Spirit imparts as you prayerfully study and meditate on God’s Word.”

Scripture supplies the principles you need to live a godly life. And the Spirit gives you the power to do so. Many false teachers will try to divert you from the simplicity of devotion to Christ by offering you philosophy, psychology, and a myriad of other hopeless alternatives. Don’t be victimized. In Christ you have everything you need!

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Suggestions for Prayer:  Thank God for His all-sufficient Son and for the resources that are yours in Him. ✧ Ask for wisdom to apply those resources to every situation you face today.

For Further Study: Read Colossians 1:15–2:23. ✧ What was Christ’s role in creation? ✧ What was Paul’s goal as a minister? ✧ What warnings and commands did Paul give?[6]


FEBRUARY 24

GOD WILL NOT PLAY ALONG WITH ADAM

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.

PHILIPPIANS 2:5

There is great need for us to learn the truths of the sovereignty of God and the Lordship of Christ.

God will not play along with Adam; Christ will not be “used” by any of Adam’s selfish brood.

We had better learn these things fast if this generation of young Christians is to be spared the supreme tragedy of following a Christ who is merely a Christ of convenience and not the true Lord of glory at all!

I confess to a feeling of uneasiness about this when I observe the questionable things Christ is said to do for people these days. He is often recommended as a wonderfully obliging but not too discriminating Big Brother who delights to help us to accomplish our ends, and who further favors us by forbearing to ask any embarrassing questions about the moral and spiritual qualities of those ends.

In our eagerness to lead men to “accept” Christ we are often tempted to present for acceptance a Christ who is little more than a caricature of “that holy thing” which was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the virgin Mary, to be crucified and rise the third day to take His place on the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens.

The whole purpose of God in redemption is to make us holy and to restore us to the image of God! To accomplish this, He disengages us from earthly ambitions and draws us away from the cheap and unworthy prizes that worldly men set their hearts upon.[7]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 67). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

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

[3] Tozer, A. W., & Eggert, R. (2015). Tozer on the almighty god: a 365-day devotional. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[4] MacArthur, J. (2008). Daily readings from the life of Christ (p. 63). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

[5] Tozer, A. W. (2015). Mornings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[6] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 67). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[7] Tozer, A. W., & Smith, G. B. (2015). Evenings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

The quality of charisma many wolves possess

The End Time

Introduction

This week GraceLife Pulpit’s pastor Phil Johnson tweeted out a link to a Nautilus magazine article in a positive light. I usually like what Pastor Johnson likes, so I thought his positive remark to the article might be worth a read. It was. The article is titled “The Anatomy of Charisma“.

I first began hearing the word ‘charisma’ as a very young person. After President Kennedy was assassinated, which occurred when I was nearly three years old, the word became indelibly attached to Kennedy and then the Presidency itself. I used to hear it a lot. This Japan Times article notes that Kennedy set the bar for charisma and the Presidency.

It’s interesting to note that ‘charisma’ and ‘presidency’ are usually intertwined. Or any national leadership position. Truly charismatic people do not remain unknown. Their peculiar light ends up shining more and more brightly to ever widening…

View original post 1,513 more words

February 23, 2017: Verse of the day

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Love Your Enemies

But I say to you, love your enemies. (5:44a)

Here is the most powerful teaching in Scripture about the meaning of love. The love that God commands of His people is love so great that it even embraces enemies.

William Hendriksen comments,

All around him were those walls and fences. He came for the very purpose of bursting those barriers, so that love-pure, warm, divine, infinite-would be able to flow straight down from the heart of God, hence from his own marvelous heart, into the hearts of men. His love overleaped all the boundaries of race, nationality, party, age, sex. …
When he said, “I tell you, love your enemies,” he must have startled his audience, for he was saying something that probably never before had been said so succinctly, positively, and forcefully. (The Gospel of Matthew [Grand Rapids: Baker, 1973], p. 313)

The scribes and Pharisees were proud, prejudiced, judgmental, spiteful, hateful, vengeful men who masqueraded as the custodians of God’s law and the spiritual leaders of Israel. To them, Jesus’ command to love your enemies must have seemed naive and foolish in the extreme. They not only felt they had the right but the duty to hate their enemies. Not to hate those who obviously deserve to be hated would be a breach of righteousness.

Jesus again sets His divine standard against the perverted human standards of that heretical Jewish tradition and reinforces it with the emphatic I. In Greek verbs a pronominal suffix indicates the subject, as here with lēgo (I say), and the separate pronoun I would not have been necessary had Jesus intended simply to give information.

But here, as in each preceding instance in the sermon (vv. 22, 28, 32, 34, 39), the emphatic form (egō … legō) gives not only grammatical but theological emphasis. In placing what He said above what tradition said, He placed His word on a par with Scripture-as His hearers well understood. Jesus not only placed emphasis on what was said but on who said it. It was not just that His teaching was the standard of truth, but that He Himself was the standard of truth. “Your great rabbis, scribes, and scholars have taught you to love only those of your own preference and to hate your enemies, ” Jesus was saying. “But by My own authority, I declare that they are false teachers and have perverted God’s revealed truth. The divine truth is My truth, which is that you shall love your enemies.”

As we have noted, the Old Testament concept of neighbor included even personal enemies. That is the truth Jesus expands in the parable of the Good Samaritan. The point of the parable is not primarily to answer the lawyer’s question, “And who is my neighbor?” though it does that, but to show that Gods’ requirement is for us to be neighbors to anyone who needs our help (Luke 10:29, 36–37).

The human tendency is to base love on the desirability of the object of our love. We love people who are attractive, hobbies that are enjoyable, a house or a car because it looks nice and pleases us, and so on. But true love is need-oriented. The Good Samaritan demonstrated great love because he sacrificed his own convenience, safety, and resources to meet another’s desperate need.

The Greek language has four different terms that are usually translated “love.” Philia is brotherly love and the love of friendship; storgē is the love of family; and erōs is desiring, romantic, sexual love. But the love of which Jesus speaks here, and which is most spoken of in the New Testament, is agapē, the love that seeks and works to meet another’s highest welfare.

Agapē love may involve emotion but it must involve action. In Paul’s beautiful and powerful treatise on love in 1 Corinthians 13, all fifteen of the characteristics of love are given in verb form. Obviously love must involve attitude, because, like every form of righteousness, it begins in the heart. But it is best described and best testified by what it does.

Above all, agapē love is the love that God is, that God demonstrates, and that God gives (1 John 4:7–10). “The love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. … [and] God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us“ (Rom. 5:5, 8). Because of His love, we can love, and “if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us” (1 John 4:11–12).

When Jesus told the disciples, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you” (John 13:34), He had just finished washing their feet as an example of humble, self-giving love. The disciples had done nothing to inspire Jesus’ love. They were self-centered, quarrelsome, jealous of each other, and sometimes even argued with and contradicted the One whom they confessed to be their God, Savior, and Lord. Yet everything that Jesus said to them and did for them was completely and without exception for their good. That was the kind of love He commanded them to have for Him and for each other. And that is the kind of love He commands all of His followers to have even for their enemies.

The commentator R. C. H. Lenski writes,

[Love] indeed, sees all the hatefulness and the wickedness of the enemy, feels his stabs and his blows, may even have something to do toward warding them off; but all this simply fills the loving heart with the one desire and aim, to free its enemy from his hate, to rescue him from his sin, and thus to save his soul. Mere affection is often blind, but even then it thinks that it sees something attractive in the one toward whom it goes out; the higher love may see nothing attractive in the one so loved, … its inner motive is simply to bestow true blessing on the one loved, to do him the highest good. … I cannot like a low, mean criminal who may have robbed me and threatened my life; I cannot like a false, lying, slanderous fellow who, perhaps, has vilified me again and again; but I can by the grace of Jesus Christ love them all, see what is wrong with them, desire and work to do them only good, most of all to free them from their vicious ways. (The Interpretation of St. Matthew’s Gospel [Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1964], p. 247)

Love’s question is never who to love-because we are to love everyone-but only how to love most helpfully. We are not to love merely in terms of feeling but in terms of service. God’s love embraces the entire world (John 3:16), and He loved each of us even while we were still sinners and His enemies (Rom. 5:8–10). Those who refuse to trust in God are His enemies; but He is not theirs. In the same way, we are not to be enemies of those who may be enemies to us. From their perspective, we are their enemies; but from our perspective, they should be our neighbors.

In 1567 King Philip II of Spain appointed the Duke of Alba as governor of the lower part of the nation. The Duke was a bitter enemy of the newly-emerging Protestant Reformation. His rule was called the reign of terror, and his council was called the Bloody Council, because it had ordered the slaughter of so many Protestants. It is reported that one man who was sentenced to die for his biblical faith managed to escape during the dead of winter. As he was being pursued by a lone soldier, the man came to a lake whose ice was thin and cracking. Somehow he managed to get safely across the ice, but as soon as he reached the other side he heard his pursuer screaming. The soldier had fallen through the ice and was about to drown. At the risk of being captured, tortured, and eventually killed-or of being drowned himself-the man went back across the lake and rescued his enemy, because the love of Christ constrained him to do it. He knew he had no other choice if he was to be faithful to His Lord (Elon Foster, New Cyclopedia of Prose Illustrations: Second Series [New York: T. Y. Crowell, 1877], p. 296).

The Scottish Reformer George Wishart, a contemporary and friend of John Knox, was sentenced to die as a heretic. Because the executioner knew of Wishart’s selfless ministering to hundreds of people who were dying of the plague, he hesitated carrying out the sentence. When Wishart saw the expression of remorse on the executioner’s face, he went over and kissed him on the cheek, saying, “Sir, may that be a token that I forgive you” (John Foxe, Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, ed. W Grinton Berry [Grand Rapids: Baker, 1978], p. 252).

Our “enemies,” of course, do not always come in such life-threatening forms. Often they are ordinary people who are mean, impatient, judgmental, self-righteous, and spiteful-or just happen to disagree with us. In whatever personal relationships we have, God wants us to love. Whether a conflict is with our marriage partner, our children or parents, our friends and fellow church members, a devious business opponent, spiteful neighbor, political foe, or social antagonist, our attitude toward them should be one of prayerful love.

Pray for Your Persecutors

and pray for those who persecute you. (5:44b)

All men live with some sense of sin and guilt. And guilt produces fear, which in its ultimate form is fear of death and of what is beyond death. In various ways, therefore, most people have devised religious beliefs, rituals, and practices they are convinced will offer them some relief from guilt and judgment. Some people try to get rid of guilt simply by denying it or by denying the existence of a God who holds men accountable for sin.

Throughout history the worst persecutions have been religious. They have been the strongest against God’s people, because the divine standards He has given to them and which are seen in them are a judgment on the wickedness and corruption of false religion. God’s Word unmasks people at their most sensitive and vulnerable point, the point of their self-justification-whether that justification is religious, philosophical, or even atheistic.

Because persecution is so often the world’s response to God’s truth, the Lord assures us that, just as He was persecuted, so will we be (John 15:20). Therefore His command for us to pray for our persecutors is a command that every faithful believer may in some way have opportunity to obey. It is not reserved for believers who happen to live in pagan or atheistic lands where Christianity is forbidden or severely restricted.

Jesus taught that every disciple who makes his faith known is going to pay some price for it, and that we are to pray for those who exact that price from us. Spurgeon said, “Prayer is the forerunner of mercy,” and that is perhaps the reason why Jesus mentions prayer here. Loving enemies is not natural to men and is sometimes difficult even for those who belong to God and have His love within them. The best way to have the right attitude, the agapē love attitude, toward those who persecute us is to bring them before the Lord in prayer. We may sense their wickedness, their unfairness, their ungodliness, and their hatred for us, and in light of those things we could not possibly love them for what they are. We must love them because of who they are-sinners fallen from the image of God and in need of God’s forgiveness and grace, just as we were sinners in need of His forgiveness and grace before He saved us. We are to pray for them that they will, as we have done, seek His forgiveness and grace.

Our persecutors may not always be unbelievers. Christians can cause other Christians great trouble, and the first step toward healing those broken relationships is also prayer. Whoever persecutes us, in whatever way and in whatever degree, should be on our prayer list. Talking to God about others can begin to knit the petitioner’s heart with the heart of God.

Chrysostom said that prayer is the very highest summit of self-control and that we have most brought our lives into conformity to God’s standards when we can pray for our persecutors. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the pastor who suffered and eventually was killed in Nazi Germany, wrote of Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 5:44, “This is the supreme demand. Through the medium of prayer we go to our enemy, stand by his side, and plead for him to God” (The Cost of Discipleship, trans. R. H. Fuller [2d rev. ed.; New York: Macmillan, 1960], p. 166).

Manifest Your Sonship

in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. (5:45)

To love our enemies and to pray for our persecutors shows that we are sons of [our] Father who is in heaven. The aorist tense of genēsthe (may be) indicates a once and for all established fact. God Himself is love, and the greatest evidence of our divine sonship through Jesus Christ is our love. “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). “God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him” (1 John 4:16). In fact, “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen” (v. 20).

Loving as God loves does not make us sons of the Father, but gives evidence that we already are His children. When a life reflects God’s nature it proves that life now possesses His nature by the new birth.

One of the commonest and most damaging criticisms of Christianity is the charge that Christians do not live up to their faith. Even though the world has a limited and often distorted idea of what the gospel is, they know enough about the teachings of Christ and the life of Christ to realize that most people who go by His name do not do all that He commanded and do not live as He lived.

But even a person who has never heard of Christ or the teachings of the New Testament would suspect there is divine power behind a life that loves and cares even to the point of loving enemies-simply because such a life is so utterly uncharacteristic of human nature. A life of self-giving love gives evidence of sonship of the Father who is in heaven. That phrase emphasizes the heavenly realm in which the Lord dwells, the realm that is the source of this kind of love.

Those who are God’s children should show impartial love and care similar to what God shows. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. Those blessings are given without respect to merit or deserving. If they were, no one would receive them. In what theologians traditionally have called common grace, God is indiscriminate in His benevolence. His divine love and providence in some forms benefit everyone, even those who rebel against Him or deny His existence.

An old rabbinic saying tells of the drowning of the Egyptians in the Red Sea. As the story goes, when the Egyptians were destroyed the angels began to rejoice; but God lifted up His hand and said, “The work of My hands are sunk in the sea and you would sing?” (William Barclay, The Gospel of Matthew, 2 vols. [rev. ed.; Philadelphia: Westminster, 1975], 1:176).

“The eyes of all look to Thee, and Thou dost give them their food in due time,” the psalmist testifies. “Thou dost open Thy hand, and dost satisfy the desire of every living thing” (Ps. 145:15–16). There is no good thing-physical, intellectual, emotional, moral, spiritual, or of any other sort-that anyone possesses or experiences that does not come from the hand of God. If God does that for everyone, His children should reflect that same generosity.

MacArthur New Testament Commentary

February 23, 2017: Daily Devotional Guide Collection

February 23

Why God Answers Prayer

Whatever you ask in My name, that I will do,that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

John 14:13

 

Why does God answer prayer? The last part of today’s verse gives the answer: He answers prayer for His sake as well as ours. He does it to put Himself on display. Understanding this concept increases our confidence in prayer: we can know God will answer because it is an opportunity for Him to receive glory. We will grow spiritually as we interact with God through prayer and see His power on display.

The context of John 14:13 shows that the disciples were greatly distressed because Jesus told them He would be leaving. The disciples had relied on Jesus for so long that they feared being without Him. He had provided all their resources. He was their beloved friend and their spiritual, theological, and economic resource. He was their future as well as their present. They panicked at the thought of His leaving, but He left them and us the promise of John 14:13—whatever we need and ask for in His name, He will do.[1]


February 23 God’s Wrath

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.”

Romans 1:18

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God hates sin and will judge unrepentant sinners.

We now come to a topic that is perhaps unpleasant to discuss, but it is essential if we are to have a right understanding of God: His wrath. The idea of a wrathful God goes against the wishful thinking of fallen human nature. Even much evangelism today speaks only of the joys and blessings of salvation without mentioning that those who are without God are under His wrath (Eph. 2:3).

God’s attributes are balanced in divine perfection. If He had no righteous anger, He would not be God, just as He would not be God without His gracious love. He perfectly loves righteousness and perfectly hates evil (Ps. 45:7).

But God’s wrath isn’t like ours. The Greek word used for God’s wrath in the New Testament refers to a settled, determined indignation. God does not “fly off the handle,” whereas we tend to be emotional and uncontrolled in our anger.

Many times God expressed His wrath to sinful mankind in past ages. He destroyed all mankind except Noah and his family in the great Flood (Gen. 6–7). He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for their sins (Gen. 18–19). The Lord told unfaithful Israel, “Behold, My anger and My wrath will be poured out on this place, on man and on beast and on the trees of the field and on the fruit of the ground; and it will burn and not be quenched” (Jer. 7:20).

Some people today foolishly think the God of the Old Testament was a God of wrath and the New Testament God was a God of love, but His wrath is just as clearly taught in the New Testament. Jesus says, “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:36). In the end–times Jesus will return “dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus” (2 Thess. 1:8). God is the same God, and He will always hate sin.

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Suggestions for Prayer: Praise God for His righteous hatred of sin.

For Further Study: Read more about God’s wrath in Romans 1:18–2:16. What specifically causes His wrath? ✧ How does He display His wrath to the unrighteous?[2]


FEBRUARY 23

OUR GOD IS TOO SMALL

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

—Genesis 1:1

I am positively sure after many years of observation and prayer that the basis of all of our trouble today, in religious circles, is that our God is too small.

When he says magnify the Lord, he doesn’t mean that you are to make God big, but you are to see Him big. When we take a telescope and look at a star, we don’t make the star bigger, we only see it big. Likewise you cannot make God bigger, but you are only to see Him bigger….

What is the most important verse in the Bible? It is not the one you think it is: “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8). Nor is it the other one you think it is: John 3:16, “For God so loved the world….”The most important verse in the Bible is this one: “In the beginning God…” (Genesis 1:1). That is the most important verse, because that is where everything must begin. God is the mountain out of which everything springs, and He is the foundation upon which everything rests. God is all in all. SAT036-037

Lord, I fall to my knees in worship before the God who is all in all, the great Creator and Foundation upon which everything rests. May I see you bigger today, I pray. Amen. [3]


February 23

The Result of Gentleness

Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.—Matt. 5:5

God rewards the gentle with His own joy and gladness. But more specifically, He allows such saints to “inherit the earth.” In the future the Father will completely reclaim earth, and believers will rule it with Him. Because only believers are truly gentle, Jesus could confidently proclaim “they shall inherit the earth.”

“Inherit” denotes the receiving of one’s allotted portion and correlates perfectly with Psalm 37:11—“the humble will inherit the land.” We sometimes wonder why the godless seem to prosper while the godly suffer, but God assures us that He will ultimately make things right (cf. Ps. 37:10). We must trust the Lord and obey His will in these matters. He will settle everything in the right way at the right time. Meanwhile, we can trust His promise that we, as those who are gentle, will inherit the earth. This promise also reminds us that our place in Christ’s kingdom is forever secure (cf. 1 Cor. 3:21–23).

The promise of a future inheritance also gives us hope and happiness for the present. More than a century ago George MacDonald wrote, “We cannot see the world as God means it in the future, save as our souls are characterized by meekness. In meekness we are its only inheritors. Meekness alone makes the spiritual retina pure to receive God’s things as they are, mingling with them neither imperfection nor impurity.”

ASK YOURSELF
Yes, it often seems as though everyone “inherits the earth” but us mild-mannered believers. But what truly makes life enjoyable on the earth? And why do the curt and the coarsest among us not really get to experience its simple pleasures?[4]

FEBRUARY 23

THE SPIRIT ILLUMINATES

Your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

1 Corinthians 2:5

 

When we study the New Testament record, we see plainly that Christ’s conflict was with the theological rationalists of His day.

John’s gospel record is actually a long, inspired, passionately outpoured account trying to save us from evangelical rationalism—the doctrine that says the text is enough.

Divine revelation is the ground upon which we stand. The Bible is the book of God, and I stand for it with all my heart; but before I can be saved, there must be illumination, penitence, renewal, inward deliverance.

In our Christendom, we have tried to ease many people into the kingdom but they have never been renewed within their own beings. The Apostle Paul told the Corinthians that their faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God! There is a difference.

We must insist that conversion to Christ is a miraculous act of God by the Holy Spirit—it must be wrought in the Spirit. There must be an inward illumination!

 

Lord, I pray for my family, neighbors, and friends who do not yet know You. Illumine their hearts and minds by Your Holy Spirit.[5]


February 23 Realizing the Ultimate Priority

“… to the glory and praise of God” (Phil. 1:11).

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To glorify God is to reflect His character in your words and deeds.

Paul’s prayer in Philippians 1:9–11 closes with a reminder that love, excellence, integrity, and righteousness bring glory and praise to God.

God’s glory is a recurring theme in Paul’s writings, and rightly so, because that is the Christian’s highest priority. But what is God’s glory, and what does it mean to bring Him glory? After all, He is infinitely glorious in nature, so we can’t add anything to Him. And His glory can never be diminished, so it doesn’t have to be replenished or bolstered.

In Exodus 33:18–19 Moses says to God, “‘I pray Thee, show me Thy glory!’ And [God] said, ‘I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the Lord before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.’” In effect God was telling Moses that His glory is the composite of His attributes.

That suggests you can glorify God by placing His attributes on display in your life. When others see godly characteristics such as love, mercy, patience, and kindness in you, they have a better picture of what God is like. That honors Him. That’s why it’s so important to guard your attitudes and actions. Paul admonished Timothy to be exemplary in his “speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity” (1 Tim. 4:12). That should be true of every believer!

Another way to glorify God is to praise Him. David said, “Ascribe to the Lord, O sons of the mighty, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. Ascribe to the Lord the glory due to His name; worship the Lord in holy array. … In His temple everything says, ‘Glory!’” (Ps. 29:1–2, 9).

You cannot add to God’s glory, but you can proclaim it in your words and deeds. What picture of God do others see in you? Does your life bring glory to Him?

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Suggestions for Prayer:  In 1 Chronicles 16:8–36 David instructs Asaph and Asaph’s relatives on how to glorify God. Using that passage as a model, spend time in prayer glorifying God.

For Further Study: Reread 1 Chronicles 16:8–36, noting any specific instructions that apply to you.[6]


FEBRUARY 23

KEYS TO GREATNESS: SUBMISSION AND SERVICE

…Whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant.

MATTHEW 20:26, 27

The essence of Christ’s teaching concerning greatness was this: true greatness among humans must be found in character, not in ability or position.

While a few philosophers and religionists of pre-Christian times had noted the fallacy in man’s ideas of dominion and status, it was Christ who defined and demonstrated true greatness.

“Let him be your minister: let him be your servant.” It is that simple and that easy—and that difficult!

We have but to follow Christ in service to the human race, a selfless service that seeks only to serve, and greatness will be ours! That is all, but it is too much, for it runs counter to all that is Adam in us. Adam still feels the instinct for dominion; he hears deep within him the command, “Replenish the earth and subdue it.” Therefore he does not take kindly to the command to serve! Sin must go and Adam must give way to Christ: so says our Lord in effect. By sin men have lost dominion, even their very right to it, until they win it back by humble service.

Though redeemed from death and hell by the vicarious labor of Christ on the cross, still the right to have dominion must be won by each man separately. Each must fulfill a long apprenticeship as a servant before he is fit to rule.

After Christ had served (and His service included death) God highly exalted Him and gave Him a name above every name. As a man He served and won His right to have dominion. He knew where true greatness lay—and we do not.[7]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 66). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

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

[3] Tozer, A. W., & Eggert, R. (2015). Tozer on the almighty god: a 365-day devotional. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[4] MacArthur, J. (2008). Daily readings from the life of Christ (p. 62). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

[5] Tozer, A. W. (2015). Mornings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[6] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 66). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[7] Tozer, A. W., & Smith, G. B. (2015). Evenings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

February 22, 2017 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report

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Feb. 22, 2017 |

BLOOMBERG

The foreign ministers of Mexico and Canada presented a unified front ahead of potential trade talks with Donald Trump’s administration, stressing the North American Free Trade Agreement has benefited all three countries.

The Trump administration outlined a sweeping crackdown on undocumented immigrants Tuesday, proclaiming that it would seek to swiftly deport many more people without court hearings and target migrants charged with crimes or thought to be dangerous, not just convicts.

The world’s largest courier took a step closer to that future on Monday, launching an unmanned aerial vehicle from the roof of a UPS truck about a quarter-mile to a blueberry farm outside Tampa, Florida. The drone dropped off a package at a home on the property, and returned to the truck, which had moved about 2,000 feet.

Crude prices could plunge toward $30 a barrel — a rout of about 40 percent from current levels — unless OPEC extends production cuts that are propping up the market, ABN Amro Bank NV said.

AP Top Stories

The Trump administration is working on a new set of directives on the use of school bathrooms by transgender students, the White House said Tuesday. The announcement alarmed LGBT groups across the country that have urged President Donald Trump to safeguard Obama-era guidelines allowing students to use school restrooms that match their gender identity, not their assigned gender at birth.

The United States is not about to plunder Iraq’s petroleum reserves, Defence Secretary Jim Mattis, who was in Baghdad Monday, said as he sought to soothe partners rattled by President Donald Trump.

President Donald Trump’s recent comments about immigration in Sweden made many question the inspiration behind his statement, but the country was tops in Europe for having the highest percentage of foreign born individuals living there last year.

A U.S. judge in Austin issued a preliminary injunction on Tuesday halting Texas’ plan to cut Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood, saying the state did not present evidence of a program violation that would warrant termination.

With an uptick in the volume of international arms exchange estimated to be at its highest in 2012-16 for any five-year period since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War in 1991, the world may be a far more dangerous place now than ever, according to newly released data.

Relatives wailed in grief or stared stoically as flowers were placed on 20 caskets at a mass funeral Tuesday for the latest group of inmates who died miserably in Haiti’s largest prison, most without ever having been convicted of any crime.

Former Hong Kong leader Donald Tsang was jailed for 20 months on Wednesday for misconduct in public office, making him the most senior city official to serve time behind bars in a ruling some said reaffirmed the financial hub’s vaunted rule of law.

A significant segment among the Canadians said the mark of 40,000 refugees expected to enter the country this year was too high. One in four Canadians said their government should have implemented its own refugee ban policy similar to the U.S. president’s executive order.

Britain’s top court backed a government attempt to limit immigration by ruling on Wednesday that an income test for those who want to bring their non-European spouses to the UK is acceptable and does not infringe human rights.

China, in an early test of U.S. President Donald Trump, has nearly finished building almost two dozen structures on artificial islands in the South China Sea that appear designed to house long-range surface-to-air missiles, two U.S. officials told Reuters.

Global stocks hit record highs on Wednesday, pushing gains for the year above those for all of 2016, while the dollar rose before Federal Reserve minutes that will be scoured for clues on the timing of the next U.S. interest rate rise. European shares followed Asian bourses higher, buoyed by all main indexes on Wall Street touching record closing highs on Tuesday.

Aerospace company Boeing is in the process of changing the way satellites are built and made operational, according to the Wall Street Journal, with an eye toward automating much of the process and making it easier to ramp production while also increasing overall efficiency

BBC

South Korean women will be the first in the world to have an average life expectancy above 90, a study suggests.

A US Muslim-led fundraising project to help repair a Jewish cemetery that was vandalized has raised almost three times its $20,000 target. The crowdfunding campaign, which calls for “solidarity with the Jewish-American community”, aims to help “rebuild this sacred space”.

A Mexican man has apparently taken his own life just half an hour after being deported from the United States. He jumped from a bridge at the border after he was deported for the third time.

A new toy billed as the world’s “first transgender doll” has created a buzz on social media.The doll is modelled on a teenage activist who was born a boy, but lives as a female. Jazz Jennings shot to fame when she was interviewed about her gender dysphoria by US TV presenter Barbara Walters.

A member of Texas’ House of Representatives has filed a resolution to urge Texans to stop using an emoji representing the Chilean flag when they really mean to use the Texan flag.

WND

NASA thinks aliens might be hiding on the frozen moon of Jupiter, called Europa, and as such, is sending out a search spaceship to root them out, the aeronautics agency reported.

Technology insiders are predicting it won’t be long before robots have taken over key roles within the main U.S. military branches, performing everything from mine sweeps to truck driving. As the San Diego Union-Tribune reported: the wide sweep of robotic technology into America’s military could put “both rear-echelon and front-line positions in jeopardy.”


Top News – 2/22/2017

Test subjects type fast – using only their brains
Unlike other BCI devices that are placed on either the scalp or the surface of the brain, the system used here is implanted inside the brain where 100 electrodes connect with the electrical activity of individual nerve cells in the motor cortex. The device, which is known as the BrainGate Neural Interface System, is a silicon chip, about the size of a baby aspirin, and the electrodes penetrate into the brain at roughly the thickness of a quarter.

Russia’s defense chief to mobilize new cyber army
“The Information operations forces have been established, that are expected to be a far more effective tool than all we used before for counter-propaganda purposes,” he said. “Propaganda should be smart, competent and effective,” the defense minister stressed.

British ISIS suicide bomber was ex-Gitmo detainee who won £1mn compensation
He left for Syria in 2014, ten years after he was released from the notorious detention facility, only to be killed on Monday.

ISIS releases ‘proof’ it fired rockets on Israel
The Islamic State group on Wednesday morning released images of Katyusha rockets purporting to provide evidence to its claim that it was indeed responsible for the rocket fire that targeted southern Israel on Tuesday. The images show a militant linked to the ISIS affiliate in Egypt, known as the Sinai Province, as he prepares two rockets prior to launching them from the restive Sinai Peninsula.

IDF jets allegedly attack Hezbollah targets in Syria overnight
Israeli jets allegedly struck targets near the Syrian capital overnight on Wednesday, reportedly a weapons shipment to the Shiite militant group Hezbollah, Lebanese media reported. Syrian media reported witnesses hearing “loud explosion sounds” in the early morning hours. According to Lebanese media, the targets that were hit around 3.00 a.m. were affiliated with the Assad regime and were the regime army’s 3rd Division in the al-Katif suburbs of the capital.

South Africa’s decision to leave ICC ruled ‘invalid’
South Africa’s decision to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC) has been ruled “unconstitutional and invalid” by the High Court. South Africa notified the UN of its intention to leave last October, saying the ICC undermined its sovereignty and pursued “regime change”. But the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) argued that the government had to first seek parliamentary approval.

Germany’s Bavaria to ban full-face veil
The German state of Bavaria has announced plans to ban the full-face veil in government workplaces, schools, universities and while driving. “Communication happens not only via language but also looks, facial expressions and gestures,” said state Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann. But critics say the ban will have little practical impact in a state with only a small number of Muslims.

Trump administration widens net for immigrant deportation
The Trump administration has issued tough guidelines to widen the net for deporting illegal immigrants from the US, and speed up their removal. Undocumented immigrants arrested for traffic violations or shop-lifting will be targeted along with those convicted of more serious crimes. The memos do not alter US immigration laws, but take a much tougher approach towards enforcing existing measures.

Syria war: Arab-Kurdish fighters enter IS-held Deir al-Zour province
A US-backed alliance of Kurdish-Arab fighters has advanced into territory held by so-called Islamic State (IS) in Deir al-Zour province, eastern Syria. Kurdish military sources said the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) had captured some 15 villages from IS. Unidentified air strikes killed 11 people in one IS-held village, though it was unclear if this was linked.

US sends specialist ‘nuke sniffer’ plane to the UK as ‘radiation spike’ sparks fears Putin has tested nuclear weapon in the Arctic
FEARS are mounting Vladimir Putin’s military have carried out a secret Arctic nuclear test after a huge spike in dangerous radiation levels were detected across Europe. The worrying claims came as the US Air Force sent a special WC-135 Constant Phoenix – whose main mission is to detect and identify nuclear explosions from the air – to RAF Mildenhall.

Powerful storms continue to batter Northern California amid concern about levees
An “atmospheric river” continued to batter parts of Northern California on Tuesday, causing widespread flooding. The heavy rains prompted the National Weather Service to warn of a dam failure outside Carson City, Nev…But less than 90 minutes after issuing the alert, the agency changed its report to say…it was full and overflowing into drainage areas…However, Lyon County, Nev., emergency officials warned that the situation could change in the next few hours.

Millennials are the most narcissistic generation ever
We might not agree on phone etiquette, or what to put on the radio – but there’s one thing older and younger generations agree on. Millennials (born between 1980 and 1994) are the most narcissistic – according to a study that consulted both millennials and their grandparents’ generations. But there is one thing they disagree on: the extent of their narcissism. Older generations think millennials’ narcissism goes beyond what millennials themselves will admit.

Wednesday Morning Briefing: Iran ready to give U.S. ‘strong slap in the face’
The United States should expect a “strong slap in the face” if it underestimates Iran’s defensive capabilities, a commander of the elite Revolutionary Guards said on Wednesday, as Tehran concluded war games. Since taking office last month, U.S. President Donald Trump has pledged to get tough with Iran, warning the Islamic Republic after its ballistic missile test on Jan. 29 that it was playing with fire and all U.S. options were on the table.

U.S. appeals court upholds Maryland’s ban on assault rifles
A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld Maryland’s ban on assault rifles, ruling gun owners are not protected under the U.S. Constitution to possess “weapons of war,” court documents showed. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit decided 10-4 that the Firearm Safety Act of 2013, a law in response to the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, by a gunman with an assault rifle, does not violate the right to bear arms within the Second Amendment.

DHS chief calls for 5,000 more border agents, end of ‘catch-and-release’ policies
Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly has called for increased Border Patrol agents and the end of so-called “catch-and-release” policies…DHS took steps toward implementing President Donald Trump’s immigration-related executive order, which called for the removal of people in the U.S. illegally who “have been convicted of any criminal offense,” “have been charged with any criminal offense,” “have committed acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense” or “are subject to a final order of removal.”

Anne Graham Lotz Praises Melania Trump’s ‘Courageous’ Lord’s Prayer Reading Amid Heavy Ridicule
Evangelist Anne Graham Lotz has come to the defense of First Lady Melania Trump for her reading of the Lord’s Prayer at a rally in Melbourne, Florida, for her husband, President Donald Trump, after leftists mocked and ridiculed the First Lady online.

THE FINAL BETRAYAL: Dutch MPs set to force through EU deal voters REJECTED in referendum
Parliamentarians in The Hague were poised to approve the highly contentious pact between Brussels and Kiev which will grant 40 million Ukrainians visa-free access to Europe. Their decision comes despite the fact that two-thirds of Dutch voters rejected the agreement in a referendum last spring, a result which establishment politicians immediately insisted they would ignore.

Top Israeli Minister Says Real Chance for Peace With Trump
Israel Public Security Minister Gil’ad Erdan on Monday said that with US President Donald Trump rewriting the rule of Mideast peacemaking, there was now a real chance for a genuine agreement between the Jewish state and its Arab neighbors.

Church Fails to Give Moral Lead
Is it not time to say: ‘enough is enough’? Undermining the authority of the Bible only leads to heresy within and confusion without. Sure, the watching world sees a church divided, and some would say that is a bad witness. But there are surely issues over which it is impossible to compromise.

Global arms sales at highest level since Cold War
It says the volume of international weapons transfers has “grown continuously since 2004 and increased by 8.4% between 2007-11 and 2012-2016,” with the flow of arms to the Middle East, Asia and Oceania spiking in part due to conflicts raging in the Middle East and tensions in the South China Sea.

Netanyahu hails Trump for taking ‘strong stand against antisemitism’
Netanyahu, who started a five day-visit to Australia on Wednesday, made the remarks to loud applause in a packed synagogue in Sydney regarding comments Trump made the day before about a resurgence of antisemitism in the US.

Is Genetic Engineering Recreating the Sin of Noah’s Generation?
New technology enabling scientists to manipulate genes, mixing human genes and organs with those of animals, is a disturbing trend in science which one rabbi believes mirrors the sin that led to global destruction in the generation of Noah.

Defying Washington, Iran to Begin “Grand Prophet 11” Missile Tests
General Mohammad Pakpour, commander of the Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard force’s ground units, announced the upcoming military exercise on Iranian media on Saturday, saying the exercises were aimed at demonstrating Iran’s “complete preparedness to deal with the threats” and “humiliating sanctions” from Washington. It was not revealed what type of missiles will be used in the exercise.

Left-Wing Front Groups Make Anti-Trump Money Untraceable
Dark money advocacy groups are required to disclose little about their donors, but two left-wing organizations fighting President Donald Trump’s cabinet nominations are using a tax law loophole to make their finances even more opaque.

Iran Renews Destructive Cyber Attacks on Saudi Arabia
After a four-year hiatus, Iran recently resumed destructive cyber attacks against Saudi Arabia in what U.S. officials say is part of a long-term strategy by Tehran to take over the oil-rich kingdom and regional U.S. ally.

Syrian government forces press attack on Damascus outskirts
Syrian government forces fired rockets at a rebel-held area on Damascus’s outskirts on Sunday, pressing an attack that began the day before and has killed up to 16 people, a medical worker and war monitors said.

EXCLUSIVE: Cardinal Zen says ‘naïve’ Pope and bad advisors are betraying underground Church in China
Cardinal Joseph Zen says the Vatican is betraying Catholics living their faith out clandestinely in China. In an exclusive interview with LifeSiteNews, he says he has been urged to speak out by Catholics who lack the freedom to speak for themselves. Priests and bishops in the underground church have faced imprisonment for adhering to the Holy See, rather than submitting to the patriotic church approved by the Communist government.

Facebook freezes out Christian mom for quoting Bible about homosexuality
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg says he wants to use his platform to build a worldwide “inclusive community.” However, a Christian ‘vlogger’ found out there appears to be no room in it for her as long as she quotes Bible passages about homosexuality.

Police: Suspects in N. Korean death coated hands with poison
The women suspected of fatally poisoning a scion of North Korea’s ruling family were trained to coat their hands with toxic chemicals then wipe them on his face, police said Wednesday, announcing they were now seeking a North Korean diplomat in connection with the attack.

U.S. judge blocks Texas plan to cut Planned Parenthood Medicaid funds
A U.S. judge in Austin issued a preliminary injunction on Tuesday halting Texas’ plan to cut Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood, saying the state did not present evidence of a program violation that would warrant termination.

Florida Teacher “Reassigned” After Facebook Post Praising Trump On Immigration
“The funny part about immigrants staying home is the rest of us who pay for them are here at work like we’ve always been.  Looks like less mouths to feed today.  Have fun while you still can.  So glad to hear about massive deportation.  Let’s make America great again.  Thanks Donald Trump!!”


The Briefing 02-22-17

Trump administration poised to reverse Obama’s transgender bathroom directive, leaving issue to states

Economic bullying: Global corporations and NFL threaten Texas over proposed bathroom bill

New C-SPAN poll ranking the US presidents says more about the historians involved than the presidents

Michael Novak, major conservative intellectual and defender of human dignity, dies at 83

The post The Briefing 02-22-17 appeared first on AlbertMohler.com.


Virtually Everyone Agrees That Current Stock Market Valuations Are Not Sustainable And That A Great Crash Is Coming

Stock Market Collapse Toilet Paper - Public DomainCurrent stock market valuations are not sustainable.  If there is one thing that I want you to remember from this article, it is that cold, hard fact.  In 1929, 2000 and 2008, stock prices soared to absolutely absurd levels just before horrible stock market crashes.  What goes up must eventually come down, and the stock market bubble of today will be no exception.  In fact, virtually everyone in the financial community acknowledges that stock prices are irrationally high right now.  Some are suggesting that there is still time to jump in and make money before the crash comes, while others are recommending a much more cautious approach.  But what almost everyone agrees on is the fact that stocks cannot go up like this forever. (Read More…)


Cash = Bad

MIA has written quite a bit in recent years about the accelerating global war against cash. This war, orchestrated by the global socialists who are hell-bent on establishing a global/one-world government, is about totally controlling people, their finances, their movements – indeed every aspect of their lives. If they can monitor and control all of your spending – they can completely control you, and if you do not completely cooperate with the Big Brother system, or if you in any way resist their tyranny (i.e., if you become “a person of interest”), they can pull the electronic plug on your finances – and you cannot buy, sell, travel, or function.

The cashless society is far advanced in socialist countries like Sweden, and is advancing rapidly across Europe, in America, and in most Western countries. In most parts of the world, you can no longer buy an airplane ticket with cash. Many hotels no longer accept cash. Cash withdrawals from banks are now being restricted in many parts of the world. Very shortly, buying firearms or ammunition with cash will be prohibited. People are being searched for cash and even arrested at airports, on highways in America, and in various places in the US and around the world – using the excuse that they are “suspected money launderers, drug dealers, terrorists, or tax cheats” – and the cash is confiscated by police.

(Excerpt from McAlvany Intelligence Advisor, October 2016)


Top Headlines – 2/22/2017

  • Euro Slips, Bonds Gain as Investors Turn Cautious (Read More)
  • Fed Minutes Could Offer Hints on Timing of Rate Rises, Balance Sheet Moves (Read More)
  • Trump’s new security advisor differs from him on Russia, other key issues (Read More)
  • Tillerson, Kelly Head to Mexico for Talks Amid Diplomatic Tensions (Read More)
  • Why Trump’s Immigration Crackdown Could Sink U.S. Home Prices (Read More)
  • Auto Makers Ask EPA’s Pruitt to Reverse Fuel-Economy Decision (Read More)
  • Canada PM: will not halt illegal border crossing despite opposition (Read More)
  • North Korean Embassy Official Sought in Kim Jong Nam Killing (Read More)
  • McDonald’s to Cut Prices on Drinks as Fast-Food Industry Slumps (Read More)
  • IPO’s 543% Surge Halted by Hong Kong Regulators on Its Debut (Read More)
  • Wall Street Getting Anxious on Bank Rally as Downgrades Pile Up (Read More)
  • Uber CEO Apologizes for Company Culture (Read More)
  • Spokesman for Turkey’s Erdogan calls on Israel to halt ‘illegal settlements’ (Read More)
  • Britain’s top court backs government on immigration income test (Read More)
  • Planting Decision a No-Brainer as U.S. Farmers Switch From Corn to Soy (Read More)
  • In Bavarian town, Syrian sisters get to grips with Germany’s freedoms (Read More)
  • U.S. appeals court upholds Maryland’s ban on assault rifles (Read More)
  • ABB Uncovers $100 Million Korean Fraud as Suspect Vanishes (Read More)
  • Iran ready to give U.S. ‘slap in the face’: commander (Read More)
  • PSA says will honor existing Opel job guarantees (Read More)

Egyptian, Jordanian leaders uncompromising on two-state solution

Netanyahu to Australia amid calls by former PMs to recognize ‘Palestine’

Obama administration torpedoed regional peace bid by trying to impose terms last year, Israeli official says

US Jewish leader wants world conference to fight anti-Semitism

Jewish groups seek action from Trump to match his words on anti-Semitism

Trump at African-American History Museum Denounces Anti-Semitism and Racism: ‘It Has to Stop’

White house on increase in anti-Semitism: ‘we condemned it but it’s never enough for them.’

Anne Frank Center: Trump administration ‘infected’ with anti-Semitism

Investors bet on Israel tech stock windfall under Trump

Liberman tells Hezbollah’s Nasrallah to ‘stay in his bunker’

Iran Supreme Leader calls on Palestinians to pursue intifada against Israel

Ayatollah: We will liberate ‘Palestine’, remove cancer of Israel

Iran’s leader calls Israel a ‘fake’ nation, ‘dirty chapter’

Russia To Send Iran $1 Billion-Worth Of Missile Defense Systems

U.A.E. to Build Russian Warplane as Mideast Tensions Rise

Kremlin: Trump associates’ peace plan for Ukraine ‘absurd’

UN says upcoming Syria talks aimed at ‘political transition’

Missouri man accused of plotting ISIS attack in Kansas City

China opposes U.S. naval patrols in South China Sea

China finishing South China Sea buildings that could house missiles – U.S. officials

Military branches drafting expansion plans as Trump vows to rebuild ‘depleted’ force

Lawmakers to Request Probe of $418M Arms Sale to Kenya on Obama’s Last Day

France’s Le Pen cancels meet with Lebanon grand mufti over headscarf

Rioting erupts in immigrant-dominated Swedish suburb

Bodies of 74 migrants heading to Europe wash up in Libya

The migrant slave trade is booming in Libya. Why is the world ignoring it?

Canada PM: will not halt illegal border crossing despite opposition

Poll: Americans overwhelmingly oppose sanctuary cities

Trump administration issues new immigration enforcement policies, says goal is not ‘mass deportations’

Trump administration seeks to prevent ‘panic’ over new immigration enforcement policies

Trump adviser says new travel ban will have ‘same basic policy outcome’

Homeland Security unveils sweeping plan to deport undocumented immigrants

Travel Ban Aside, Trump Has Vast Legal Arsenal for Deporting Millions

DHS cancels Obama policies, orders agents to expand deportations

ICE raids have day laborers on edge across Southern California

After Trump travel ban, immigrants seek to naturalize

American Jewish groups decry new immigration rules as ‘cruel,’ ‘dangerous’

Alumni, former staff at Jared Kushner’s yeshiva ask him to oppose travel ban

Activists drape ‘Refugees Welcome’ banner on Statue of Liberty

Independent cinemas in the US to show 1984 as Trump protest

DHS computer systems reportedly suffer glitch

As market hits record, Vanguard founder Jack Bogle says investors shouldn’t get ‘carried away’

6.5 magnitude earthquake hits near Padilla, Bolivia

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits the Southwest Indian Ridge

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 15,000ft

Every 200 years California suffers a storm of biblical proportions – this year’s rains are just a precursor

Storm brings record rainfall, gusts up to 199 mph and flooding to Northern California

Modesto prepares for the Tuolumne River to rise above flood stage as storm batters Northern California

Nearly 200 Evacuated From Flooded Homes In South San Jose

Powerful storms continue to batter Northern California amid concern about levees

Fierce California storm forces rescues, evacuations

Manhattan-Sized Iceberg Breaks Away From Antarctic Glacier

Bolivia declares emergency over locust plague

China reports more severe form of bird flu, threat to poultry: WHO

Sotomayor questions whether lethal injection is ‘our most cruel experiment yet’

Va. gov vetoes bill to defund Planned Parenthood

Judge blocks Texas from cutting Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood

Trump administration poised to change transgender student bathroom guidelines

Trump Retains LGBT State Department Official, Frustrating Christian Conservatives

Milo Yiannopoulos Says Homophobia Did Not Play Role in CPAC Disinvite, Resigns From Breitbart News

Milo backlash is the latest fault line in conservatives’ civil war

Millennials are the most narcissistic generation ever

Church’s Jesus Statue Beheaded for 2nd Time; Jewish Cemetery Vandalized

Celebrating Charismatic Catholicism … As If They Don’t Have Enough To Worry About

Hillsong: Slouching Towards Jerusalem

The Shack’s Author William Paul Young on Substitutionary Atonement

What to Know Before You Buy Jim Bakker’s Morningside Gourmet Meals

59 Percent of Millennials Raised in a Church Have Dropped Out—And They’re Trying to Tell Us Why

MSNBC Anchor says ‘Our job’ is to control ‘exactly what people think’

Poll: Americans overwhelmingly oppose sanctuary cities

Hundreds of campuses encourage students to turn in fellow students for offensive speech

ISIS Affiliate Calls Christians ‘Favorite Prey,’ Warns Believers More Attacks Are Underway

Trump administration working on new transgender bathroom directive

Posted: 22 Feb 2017 07:39 AM PST

The Trump administration is working to undo an Obama-era directive that allows students to use school restrooms that correspond with their gender identity, the White…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Virginia Governor Benches Home School Athletes

Posted: 22 Feb 2017 06:17 AM PST

Gov. Terry McAuliffe, D-Va., has effectively sidelined all home school athletes in the state who’d like to compete for their public high school. For the…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Movie Theaters Hosting Screenings of ‘1984’ to Protest Trump

Posted: 22 Feb 2017 06:11 AM PST

Dozens of cinemas across the United States are planning to screen the film adaption of George Orwell’s 1984 in protest of reports that President Donald…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

New York Teacher Under Fire For Handing Out “Anti-Trump” Assignment

Posted: 22 Feb 2017 06:07 AM PST

A veteran Staten Island teacher who slipped an anti-President Trump question into her homework assignment to her sixth-grade class has been disciplined by school authorities…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Franklin Graham Claims ‘NFL Is Trying to Push Homosexuality Through a New Pro-Same-Sex Ad’

Posted: 22 Feb 2017 06:02 AM PST

In a warning about the sinfulness of gay sex and the deceit in calling such acts “love,” Christian preacher Franklin Graham criticized a new Ad…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Brazil’s poorest region suffers worst drought in a century

Posted: 22 Feb 2017 05:57 AM PST

A cow’s skull lies baking in the sun and nearby another dead cow rots, symbols of the desolation gripping northeastern Brazil during its worst drought…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Life Expectancy to Rise Beyond 90 by 2030

Posted: 22 Feb 2017 05:54 AM PST

Average life expectancy will rise in many countries by 2030, breaking through 90 years in some places, and policymakers need to make more efforts to…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

‘Possessed’ Girl screams while pastor expels demons…

Posted: 22 Feb 2017 05:50 AM PST

Disturbing footage shows a 13-year-old girl being held down by her family while screaming in agony in an apparent exorcism. Filmed in the deeply Catholic…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Campuses encourage students to turn in fellow classmates for offensive speech…

Posted: 22 Feb 2017 05:45 AM PST

Universities are the cradle of free speech, where ideologies and ideas clash, where academics and activists can agree, disagree, or be disagreeable. This is particularly…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Iran ready to give U.S. ‘slap in the face’

Posted: 22 Feb 2017 05:41 AM PST

The United States should expect a “strong slap in the face” if it underestimates Iran’s defensive capabilities, a commander of the elite Revolutionary Guards said…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Mayor Declares State of Disaster After 4 Tornadoes Strike San Antonio

Posted: 21 Feb 2017 06:59 PM PST

On Monday night, Mayor Ivy Taylor issued a disaster declaration for the City of San Antonio, the first step in getting state and federal help…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

6 tons of tilapia die in South Cotabato fish kill

Posted: 21 Feb 2017 06:52 PM PST

Six tons of tilapia died in another fish kill incident in Lake Sebu town in South Cotabato. The town’s lake warden, Rudy Muyco, said the…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Disappearing honey bee population could spell trouble for some crops

Posted: 21 Feb 2017 06:49 PM PST

The honey bee contributes to a third of the country’s food supply but the population is declining. Last year eight percent of the bees disappeared…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Ayatollah Vows To liberate ‘Palestine’ and remove “Cancer of Israel”

Posted: 21 Feb 2017 06:43 PM PST

Iran’s spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, called for the “complete Liberation of Palestine” on Tuesday, and slammed the Jewish state as a “cancerous tumor”. The…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Is Genetic Engineering Recreating the Sin of Noah’s Generation?

Posted: 21 Feb 2017 06:39 PM PST

New technology enabling scientists to manipulate genes, mixing human genes and organs with those of animals, is a disturbing trend in science which one rabbi…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Venezuelans Forced to Eat Flamingos to Survive Socialist ‘Maduro Diet’

Posted: 21 Feb 2017 06:34 PM PST

Thousands of locals can’t even think straight as they go into the second year of the “Maduro diet” and are forced to find ANYTHING they…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Robots poised to take over wide range of U.S. military roles

Posted: 21 Feb 2017 05:59 PM PST

Technology insiders are predicting it won’t be long before robots have taken over key roles within the main U.S. military branches, performing everything from mine…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

DEVELOPING: Weather service warns of imminent dam failure in Nevada…

Posted: 21 Feb 2017 05:54 PM PST

An “atmospheric river” continued to batter parts of Northern California on Tuesday, causing widespread flooding. The heavy rains prompted the National Weather Service to warn…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Global Arms Sales At Highest Level Since Cold War

Posted: 21 Feb 2017 05:51 PM PST

Global Arms sales have skyrocketed in the last five years, reaching their highest level since the Cold War in sales to the Middle East, according…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Facebook Suspends Christian Homeschool Mom’s Account Over Posts Citing Bible on Homosexuality

Posted: 21 Feb 2017 02:00 PM PST

A Christian mother is accusing the social media giant Facebook of censorship after her account was suspended over posts on what the Bible says about…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Michigan Woman Claims Sam’s Club Refused to Put a Cross on Son’s Cake

Posted: 21 Feb 2017 01:55 PM PST

Per a Fox 2 report, a woman claimed Sam’s Club in Southgate, MI denied her request for a cross on a cake. “I was taken…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

‘Not My President’ Rallies Continue in America

Posted: 21 Feb 2017 01:51 PM PST

Anti-Trump activists in California and the U.S. participated in “Not My President Day” rallies on Monday, which marked the public holiday of Presidents’ Day. In…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Professors Warned Not to Assume Gender of Any Student

Posted: 21 Feb 2017 01:47 PM PST

In response to growing concerns over “implicit bias and stereotype threat,” Penn State professors have been provided a checklist suggesting ways to avoid microaggressing students,…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

More False Prophets Declaring the World Will End in 2017

Posted: 21 Feb 2017 01:40 PM PST

A fundamentalist Christian website has cited evidence from the Bible to say that the end of the world is nigh. The website ‘Signs of End…

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Dozens of Outback, Carrabba’s, and Bonefish restaurants Closing

Posted: 21 Feb 2017 01:36 PM PST

Forty “underperforming” Carrabba’s, Outback, Bonefish Grill and Flemings restaurants will be closing by the end of the year, according to the company that owns them….

Read more at End Time Headlines.

President Trump speaks out on anti-Semitic threats

Posted: 21 Feb 2017 01:32 PM PST

President Trump spoke out Tuesday against the wave of anti-Semitic threats against Jewish community centers, calling them “horrible” reminders of the bigotry that still exists…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

RUMORS OF WAR: US twin sea buildup against China, N.Korea and Iran

Posted: 21 Feb 2017 11:20 AM PST

Donald Trump marked his first month as US President with two major military gambits in the Middle East, Asia and the South China Sea. Early…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Iran Preparing For War In the Mideast? Russia To Send $1B In Weapons To Tehran

Posted: 21 Feb 2017 11:16 AM PST

Russia was set to send Iran about $1 billion worth of missile defense systems, Russian news agency Tass reported Monday. The deal was the result…

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LGBT Groups Planning ‘Glitter Ash Wednesday’ in 21 States for Lent

Posted: 21 Feb 2017 11:13 AM PST

An LGBT group is launching an Ash Wednesday observance in which they will take the traditional ash cross on the forehead and add glitter to…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

DEVELOPING: Mysterious ‘Radiation spike’ sparks fears Putin tested nuke in Arctic…

Posted: 21 Feb 2017 11:09 AM PST

Fears are mounting Vladimir Putin’s military have carried out a secret Arctic nuclear test after a huge spike in dangerous radiation levels were detected across…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Severe Storms Unleash Texas Tornadoes and California Floods

Posted: 21 Feb 2017 11:06 AM PST

Severe weather in California and Texas has unleashed deadly flooding, powerful winds, and destructive tornadoes in the two states. At least six tornadoes tore through…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

More than 100 headstones vandalized at historic Jewish cemetery…

Posted: 21 Feb 2017 10:59 AM PST

Investigators with the University City Police Department are working to determine who knocked over or damaged dozens of headstones at a local Jewish cemetery Thursday…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Jesus statue in Indy decapitated twice in two weeks

Posted: 21 Feb 2017 10:56 AM PST

For the second time in two weeks, members of a church on the south side of Indianapolis have found their Jesus statue vandalized, giving it…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Teen wakes up headed to own funeral

Posted: 21 Feb 2017 10:54 AM PST

A 17-year-old boy reportedly came to while he was being transported to his own funeral, authorities said. The teenager was rushed to a hospital after…

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Celebrating Charismatic Catholicism … As If They Don’t Have Enough To Worry About

Most people are unaware that charismania exists within the Roman Catholic Church. But it does.  The movement is growing and for good reason. Bud Ahlheim informs us that because the RCC was losing millions of adherents to what they deem apostate Protestantism the church’s hierarchy took the advice of Brazilian Catholic priest Marcelo Rossi who urged them to incorporate some of the features of evangelical churches into a more “modernized, spiritualized, and experientially emphatic Roman Catholic church. The primary feature Rossi mimicked was the charismatic element.”

The Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR) will be celebrating fifty years of the movement this month, which is “not cause for celebration, but for lamenting,” says Ahlheim.  In the following blog post over at Pulpit & Pen, he takes a look at the CCR:

According to a recent story in Religion News Service, “This month marks the 50th anniversary of the birth of the most important Catholic lay movement of the past century.”

That lay movement is called the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. And, just like its Pentecostalism forebear, the movement was birthed in the U.S.A.   Though adherents and proponents of it also claim a lineage to the days of the first-century church, charismania of any flavor is a recent phenomenon. Its lineage doesn’t nearly go back two millennia. Barely a century old, charismania was birthed in America in 1900 in Topeka, Kansas. (For more on it, you could read THIS.)

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