December 8, 2016: Verse of the day

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2:11, 12 Echoing the promise to Abraham (Ge 12:3), many nations will join themselves to the Lord (cf. 6:15; 8:20–23; Is 2:2–4; 56:6, 7; 60:3). But this will not alter God’s choice of His people, they will still be “His portion in the holy land” (cf. Dt 32:9).

MacArthur Study Bible

2:11 The nations too will come and join themselves to (enter covenant with) the Lord in that day (see Isa. 56:3–5; Jer. 50:3). The result will be Jews and Gentiles together in one nation, my people, with the Lord dwelling in their midst (cf. Eph. 2:13–16).

ESV Study Bible

2:11 on that day Refers to the day that Yahweh returns to Jerusalem.
they will be my people The Israelites were the original people of Yahweh, the nation He redeemed from Egypt (see Exod 3:7; 5:1; 6:7). This verse proclaims that foreigners have the same opportunity to become the people of God. See note on Jer 30:22; note on Ezek 11:20; compare Zech 8:7–8.

The covenant formula (Lev 26:12) that had reflected Israel’s special relationship with Yahweh will one day be extended to include all nations. Prophetic oracles of restoration often hinted at Yahweh’s plan for future rule of the nations where the nations would also worship Yahweh in Jerusalem (e.g., Isa 56:6–7). See Isa 2:2–4; note on Zech 2:2.

Faithlife Study Bible

2:11 many nations. The extent of the vision transcends anything the Jews could accomplish in their day. The vision captures a time when salvation will not be limited to the Jewish nation but will extend God’s grace to the world. That day has come in Christ’s inauguration of the kingdom of God.

Reformation Study Bible

December 8, 2016: Daily Devotional Guide Collection

December 8 Christ’s Identification with Sinners

“… Made in the likeness of men.”

Philippians 2:7

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Christ was fully God and fully man.

In his Systematic Theology theologian Charles Hodge wrote, “The Scriptures teach that Christ had a complete human nature. That is, He had a true body and a rational soul. By a true body is meant a material body which in everything essential was like the bodies of ordinary men…. It is no less plain that Christ had a rational soul. He thought, reasoned, and felt.”

Hodge’s assessment is correct, for Christ was given all the essential attri–butes of humanity. He was more than God in a body. He became the God–man, being fully God and fully man. Like a man, Jesus was born and increased in wisdom and physical maturity (Luke 2:52). Hebrews 2:14 says, “Since then the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same.” Christ had the same flesh and blood that we have. When He came into the world, He came in normal human flesh that experienced all the effects of the Fall. He knew sorrow, suffering, pain, thirst, hunger, and death. He felt all effects of the Fall without ever knowing or experiencing the sin of the Fall.

Hebrews 2:17 points out how Christ’s humanity has a direct bearing on your life: Jesus “had to be made like His brethren in all things, that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest.” For Christ to feel what you feel, He needed to be made like you. He experienced all the tests and temptations you do, but He never gave in to sin. That’s why He is such a faithful and understanding High Priest. Be encouraged, for we “do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15).

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Suggestions for Prayer: Thank Christ for being your faithful High Priest.

For Further Study: What human characteristics did Christ show in the following verses: Matthew 4:2; 9:36; 23:37; John 4:6–7; 11:34–35; 19:30?[1]


December 8

The Blessing of Supporters

Some indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife, and some also from goodwill.

Philippians 1:15

It hurts to think of so dear a saint as Paul enduring opposition to the point of reporting, “At my first defense [the first trial in Rome] no one stood with me, but all forsook me” (2 Tim. 4:16). When Paul wrote to the Philippians, he was so bereft of friends that he said of Timothy, “I have no one like–minded” (Phil. 2:20).

But Paul also wrote that some were preaching Christ “from goodwill” according to today’s verse, which denotes satisfaction and contentedness. Paul’s supporters were content with what God was doing in their own lives and in Paul’s life. They were sympathetic toward him and grateful for his ministry.

There are also people like that today—what a blessing, encouragement, and source of joy they are! I thank God for filling my life with people like that.[2]


DECEMBER 8

THE ESSENCE OF WORSHIP

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

—Matthew 22:37

In worship several elements may be distinguished, among them love, admiration, wonder and adoration. Though they may not be experienced in that order, a little thought will reveal those elements as being present wherever true worship is found.

Both the Old and the New Testaments teach that the essence of true worship is the love of God. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” (Matthew 22:37). Our Lord declared this to be the sum of the Law and the Prophets….

It is quite impossible to worship God without loving Him. Scripture and reason agree to declare this. And God is never satisfied with anything less than all: “all thy heart… all thy soul… all thy mind.” This may not at first be possible, but deeper experience with God will prepare us for it, and the inward operations of the Holy Spirit will enable us after a while to offer Him such a poured-out fullness of love. TIC126

Lord, weed out of my life any conflicting interests, that I might indeed love You with all my heart, soul and mind. Amen. [3]


December 8

Parable of the Sower: Main Elements

Hear then the parable of the sower … —Matt. 13:18

The Bible is God’s written Word, but His Son is the Living Word who gives Scripture life. Christ told the Jewish leaders, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me” (John 5:39).

This parable centers on proclaiming the gospel and, perhaps more important, concerns the “heart soils” on which that truth, in seed form, falls as the sower preaches. Our Lord goes on to describe four such soils, representing four different hearts that hear the gospel.

Although every human heart is essentially hostile toward God (Rom. 8:7; Eph. 2:15–16), every one has the potential for redemption. If a heart does not respond savingly, it is because of its own sin and refusal to believe. Jesus declares, “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out” (John 6:37).

In a general sense, any of us who preaches or testifies to the gospel is a sower of God’s Word. This parable thus reminds us of the need to be faithful in truly presenting the gospel, given the wonderful results that can occur. As William Arnot wrote: “As every leaf of the forest and every ripple on the lake, which itself receives a sunbeam on its breast, may throw the sunbeam off again, and so spread the light around; in like manner, everyone, old or young, who receives Christ into his heart may and will publish with his life and lips that blessed name.”

ASK YOURSELF
How have you experienced one or more of the various soils’ responses to your sharing of gospel truth? What have you learned about the reasons why various people respond to Christ’s message of salvation in different ways?[4]


December 8 Christ’s Radiance and Representation

“He is the radiance of [God’s] glory and the exact representation of His nature” (Heb. 1:3).

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Jesus is both God manifest and God in substance.

Just as the rays of the sun give light, warmth, life, and growth to the earth, so Jesus Christ is the glorious light of God shining into the hearts of men and women. As “the radiance of God’s glory,” Jesus expresses God to us. No one can see God in His full glory; no one ever will. The radiance of that glory that reaches us from God appears in the Person of Jesus Christ.

Just as the sun was never without and can never be separated from its brightness, so God was never without and cannot be separated from the glory of Christ. Never was God without Him or He without God, and never in any way can He be separated from God. Yet the brightness of the sun is not the sun, and neither is Jesus’ incarnation glory exactly the same as God in that sense. He is fully and absolutely God, and yet a distinct Person within the Triune Godhead.

Jesus said, “I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12). As the radiance of God’s glory, Christ can transmit that light into your life and mine, so we can radiate the glory of God to a dark world.

In using the term “exact representation” to describe Christ’s relationship to God’s nature, the writer employs terminology usually associated with an impression reproduced on a seal by a die or a stamp. Jesus Christ is the reproduction of God—the perfect, personal imprint of God in time and space.

How wonderful to realize that Jesus Christ, who is both the full expression of God and the exact reproduction of God’s nature in human history, can come into our lives and give us light to see and to know God! His light is the source of our spiritual life. And His light gives us purpose, meaning, happiness, peace, joy, fellowship, everything—for all eternity.

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Suggestions for Prayer:  Thank God that He determined to become a man so we could know what He is like.

For Further Study: Read 2 Corinthians 4:3–6 and note who allows people to see or not see spiritually.[5]


DECEMBER 8

MORE THAN PARDON

For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of.

2 Corinthians 7:10

It is a fact that the New Testament message of good news, “Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures,” (1 Corinthians 15:4) embraces a great deal more than an offer of free pardon.

Surely it is a message of pardon—and for that may God be praised—but it is also a message of repentance!

It is a message of atonement—but it is also a message of temperance and righteousness and godliness in this present world!

It tells us that we must accept a Savior—but it tells us also that we must deny ungodliness and worldly lusts!

The gospel message includes the idea of amendment—of separation from the world, of cross carrying and loyalty to the kingdom of God even unto death!

These are all corollaries of the gospel and not the gospel itself; but they are part and parcel of the total message which we are commissioned to declare. No man has authority to divide the truth and preach only a part of it. To do so is to weaken it and render it without effect!

Lord, I pray for You to anoint every believer with a “holy boldness” to proclaim Your gospel and all of its implications. It may not be an attractive message, but it will be the Truth for those with ears to hear.[6]


DECEMBER 8

GOD HAS AN INTEREST IN MAKING US RIGHTEOUS

Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the working of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.

TITUS 3:5

A whole new generation of Christians has come up believing that it is possible to “accept” Christ without forsaking the world.

But what saith the Holy Ghost? “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4:4), and “If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15).

This requires no comment, only obedience.

It is an error to assume that we can experience justification without transformation. Justification and regeneration are not the same; they may be thought apart in theology but they can never be experienced apart in fact!

When God declares a man righteous He instantly sets about to make him righteous.

The error today is that we do not expect a converted man to be a transformed man, and as a result of this error our churches are full of substandard Christians. Many of these go on day after day assuming that salvation is possible without repentance and that they can find some value in religion without righteousness. A revival is, among other things, a return to the belief that real faith invariably produces holiness of heart and righteousness of life![7]


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

[2] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 369). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

[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. 351). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

[5] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 355). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

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

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

December 8, 2016: Daily Quotation Collection

Making Haste Slowly.

To live long, it is necessary to live slowly.

Cicero.


Affliction.

Let us be patient! These severe afflictions Not from the ground arise, But oftentimes celestial benedictions Assume this dark disguise.

H. W. Longfellow.


Human and Divine.

Human things must be known to be loved, but divine things need to be loved to be known.

Anon.


Distrust.

Distrust that man who tells you to distrust. He takes the measure of his own small soul And thinks the world no larger.

Ella Wheeler.


Libraries.

Libraries are the wardrobes of literature.

James Dyer.


Salt.

Salt in its orthodox salt-cellar looks well and is useless — but when scattered and lost amid corruption it works and purifies — so with Christian life. Duncan Macgregor.


Temptations to Doubt.

He that has something to do has less temptation to doubt than the man who has nothing else to do but to doubt. Heresies in the Christian church come never from the faithful pastor, but always from the gentlemen at ease, who take no actual part in our holy war.

C. H. Spurgeon.


CHOICE QUOTATIONS IN  POETRY AND PROSE

(From the Master Minds of all Ages)

ARRANGED FOR DAILY USE BY THOMAS W. HANFORD (“ELMO”) copyright c. 1895

“Ten minutes each morning spent in the perusal of the page for the day will supply the mind with material for wise musings through all the day.”

“Great thoughts are valuable not only for the truth they contain, but for the truth they suggest. The thought that provokes thought is much more valuable than the thought that is only the echo of an accepted truth.”

December 7, 2016 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

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Dec. 7, 2016 |

BLOOMBERG

The House blocked an effort Tuesday by conservatives to force an impeachment vote against Internal Revenue Service commissioner John Koskinen, effectively taking the question off the congressional agenda for this year.

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld a California insider-trading conviction in a ruling that will make it easier for prosecutors to bring cases against some people on Wall Street and in other parts of the country.

Credit Suisse Group rose in Zurich trading, leading European bank shares higher, as Chief Executive Officer Tidjane Thiam pledged to cut an additional $1 billion in expenses and lowered profit targets that were seen as too ambitious.

Over the years, Apple Inc. has become the poster child for U.S. multinationals accused of sheltering overseas profits to avoid the IRS. What’s gone largely unnoticed is that it’s been paid more than half a billion dollars by the U.S. government to do just that.

Some mortgage bond traders tangled up in investigations are moving into the shadow banking system, where their new employers have greater latitude to hire people with blemishes on their records.

Starbucks Corp. plans to add 12,000 locations globally in the next five years, signaling that the world’s largest coffee-shop chain still considers brick-and-mortar expansion a major part of its growth strategy. The target includes expanding to 5,000 cafes in China.

China’s investment is transforming its smaller Southeast Asian neighbors like never before while helping turn Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar into bigger destinations for its exports.

JPMorgan Chase, HSBC Holdings and Credit Agricole were fined a total of $521 million for rigging the Euribor benchmark as European Union antitrust regulators wrapped up a five-year investigation into the scandal.

Earlier this year, a couple of Russian programmers released an app called FindFace. It lets people take pictures of complete strangers and then almost instantly find them on social networks. See a pretty girl or guy on the street? Snap a pic, get to know them. What could go wrong?

AP Top Stories

On the morning of Dec. 7, 1941, a Sunday, Japanese bombers flew across Oahu, Hawaii, and began their assault. The attack killed more than 2,300 people, nearly half of them on the battleship USS Arizona. More than 1,100 were injured. After the attack, President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered a speech before Congress, calling Dec. 7 a “date which will live in infamy.” The U.S. declared war against Japan.

A strong 6.4-magnitude undersea earthquake rocked Indonesia’s Aceh province early on Wednesday, killing at least 25 people and causing dozens of buildings to collapse.

A man charged with firing an assault rifle in a packed Washington pizzeria on Sunday told police he had read online that children were being held as sex slaves there and he wanted to rescue them, police said on Monday.

The British government launched a Supreme Court battle on Monday over who has the power to trigger the formal process of leaving the European Union, seeking to overturn a legal ruling that could derail its Brexit strategy.

On Monday morning, Amazon unveiled its new vision for the future of brick-and-mortar grocery stores: Amazon Go. The new service offered by the online-shopping colossus allows customers to walk into the store, grab what they want and simply leave the building – without interacting with another human being or waiting in line. Amazon says the company brought together the most advanced machine learning and artificial intelligence to eliminate cash registers in a new 1,800-square-foot store in Seattle.

The New York Post on Monday called Amazon’s register-less shopping experiment, Amazon Go, the “next major job killer” in the latest doomsday headline for retail workers.

BBC

Syrian rebels have left the last areas they held in Aleppo’s old city, while calling for a five-day truce to allow the evacuation of civilians.

A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight with 48 people on board has crashed in the north of the country. The army has recovered at least 21 bodies from the crash site.

A five-year-old Australian child born genetically male will grow up as a sterilized female after a court agreed to her having surgery. The child identifies as a girl but has no female reproductive organs. People with a combination of sex characteristics are called intersex.

India’s central bank has unexpectedly held interest rates at a six-year low. The cost of borrowing will remain unchanged at 6.25% ahead of a possible increase in US interest rates later this month.

Malta has become the first European country to ban gay conversion therapy. The bill against the practice, which aims to “cure” a non-heterosexual person of their sexuality, was voted through unanimously.

WND

Fifteen years after the U.S. government declared antibiotic-resistant infections to be a grave threat to public health, a Reuters investigation has found that infection-related deaths are going uncounted, hindering the nation’s ability to fight a scourge that exacts a significant human and financial toll.

Connecticut’s openly gay comptroller is targeting the American Family Association, one of the nation’s most prominent and respected Christian ministries. If Comptroller Kevin Lembo has his way, AFA could be kicked out of the Connecticut State Employees’ Campaign for Charitable Giving (CSEC) – even though they are qualified as a charity under the rules.

A group of legislators led by Republican Texas Sen. John Cornyn introduced a resolution Monday demanding the National Museum of African American History and Culture include Justice Clarence Thomas in its exhibits.


Top News – 12/7/2016

Trump chosen as Time’s ‘Person of the Year’
Donald Trump was chosen by Time magazine as “Person of the Year.” Following him in second place was his competitor for the presidency…

Fulfilling Ezekiel’s Prophecy, Jacob’s Biblical Sheep Arrive in the Promised Land
The 2,000-year saga of the return of Jacob’s sheep to the Holy Land as prophesied by Ezekiel was officially launched with the first of 11 flights that took place last week. The timing of this tremendous occurrence is deeply Biblically significant and may in fact shed light on the fascinating history of the patriarch’s herd.

Fulfilling Ezekiel’s Prophecy, Jacob’s Biblical Sheep Arrive in the Promised Land
The 2,000-year saga of the return of Jacob’s sheep to the Holy Land as prophesied by Ezekiel was officially launched with the first of 11 flights that took place last week. The timing of this tremendous occurrence is deeply Biblically significant and may in fact shed light on the fascinating history of the patriarch’s herd.

Over Saturn’s Turbulent North
The view shows part of the giant, hexagon-shaped jet stream around the planet’s north pole. Each side of the hexagon is about as wide as Earth. A circular storm lies at the center, at the pole.

At least 97 dead after earthquake rocks Indonesia
At least 97 people were killed and dozens were missing or hospitalized after an earthquake struck the northwestern Indonesian province of Aceh early Wednesday morning, officials said. The death toll rose as rescuers pulled more bodies from the rubble.

Buzzfeed: White People Are A ‘Plague To The Planet’
Buzzfeed published a listicle Monday containing insulting and racist messages towards white people. The listicle, entitled, “19 School Powerpoint Presentations……

Ohio lawmakers pass ‘heartbeat’ abortion legislation
Ohio lawmakers approved a bill that bans abortion once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, as early as six weeks after conception, clearing the way for one of the most stringent abortion restrictions in the United States if it becomes law. The Republican-led state House of Representatives and Senate passed the so-called “heartbeat” measure late on Tuesday, sending it to be signed into law by Republican Governor John Kasich.

GOP Readies Cuts to Federal Workforce Under Trump
For years, Republicans in Congress have been eyeing an overhaul of the federal workforce — by reducing the number of workers and curtailing benefits and pay while making it easier to fire bad employees. Now, with a president-elect who has promised to do much the same, 2017 could be the best time in recent memory to make sweeping changes affecting those who work for the bureaucracy.

‘Detailed’ Brexit plan demanded by Labour ahead of vote
Labour will demand the government publishes a “pretty detailed” negotiating plan when MPs debate the UK’s Brexit strategy later. MPs are expected to vote in favour of the government’s timetable, of starting formal talks by the end of March, while also calling on the PM publish a “plan” beforehand. The government has so far refused a “running commentary” on its strategy.

Report: Hezbollah accuses Israel of striking targets near Damascus
Hezbollah on Wednesday accused the Israeli Air Force of striking targets near Damascus early on Wednesday morning, according to Arabic-language media reports affiliated with the Lebanese terrorist group. According to reports, the strikes hit Mezze airforce base near the Syrian capital close to President Bashar Assad’s palace at around 4 am, causing large explosions and damage.

Settlement bill marks a revolutionary moment in Israeli history
A bill which could be tantamount to annexation of Area C of the West Bank and which overturns almost 40 years of Israeli judicial rulings on private Palestinian property rights, is set to head to the Knesset for a first reading on Wednesday. …The settlement bill would retroactively legalize those homes thereby solving a problem for the Israeli residents of Judea and Samaria.

U.N. nuclear watchdog confirms Iran shipped sensitive material abroad: diplomat
Iran has shipped 11 tonnes of heavy water abroad to bring its stock back under a limit set by its landmark nuclear deal with major powers, according to a diplomat citing a confidential U.N. nuclear watchdog report.

Rookie’ Trump must fall into line: China media
Donald Trump is a “diplomatic rookie” who must learn not to cross Beijing on issues like trade and Taiwan, Chinese state media said Tuesday, warning America could pay dearly for his naivety.

Central NZ rattled by 4.7 magnitude earthquake, now over 8000 aftershocks since Kaikoura big one
The quake struck at 9:40am and was centred 25km south-east of Seddon at the depth of 35km according to GeoNet. At least 100 people felt the quake, as far north as New Plymouth.

Two magnitude-4.0 earthquakes rattle Northern California in two days
Northern California has been rattled by two earthquakes in the past two days. An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 4.4 struck off the coast at 9:07 a.m. on Tuesday and was centered 107 miles west of Crescent City and 117 miles west-northwest of Eureka.

At least four people dead and dozens more trapped under rubble after 6.8-magnitude earthquake strikes off the coast of Indonesia
At least four people have been killed and dozens more left trapped and injured after an earthquake struck off the coast of Indonesia. Heavy machinery is being used to rescue people from collapsed homes after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake hit north Sumatra at 5am local time.

Strong earthquake rocks Indonesia’s Aceh province
The U.S. Geological Survey says the shallow 6.4-magnitude earthquake that struck at 5:03 a.m. (2203 GMT) Wednesday was centered about 10 kilometers (6 miles) north off Reuleut, a town in northern Aceh, at a depth of 17.2 kilometers (11 miles).

Massive 6.2 earthquake rocks Trinidad and Tobago
An earthquake, magnitude 6.2, hit Trinidad and Tobago at roughly 5:42pm on Tuesday afternoon. The epicenter of the earthquake occurred just 16km south east of Scarborough, Tobago at a depth of 29km. It was located 78 km north east of Arima and 99 km north east of Port of Spain.

Donald Trump gets tough on China by using Beijing’s tactics against them
This time, the “get tough on China” talk could be more than empty rhetoric — and leaders in Beijing may even recognize some of the tactics Donald Trump plans to use against them.

5 Afghan Teens In Sweden Charged With Raping Boy
Swedish authorities on Tuesday charged five teenagers from Afghanistan with aggravated rape for allegedly dragging another Afghan boy into a forest, threatening him with a knife and raping him.

Time Warner CEO Jeffrey Bewkes Says Democrats Were Bigger First Amendment Threat Than Trump
“The threat to the First Amendment came from the Democratic side more,” he says, arguing that journalists viewed a Democratic plank “overly charitably” as campaign finance reform.

CRISPR heavyweights battle in US patent court
During the hearing in Alexandria, Virginia, the USPTO judges challenged Berkeley’s central claim: that once its researchers demonstrated that CRISPR–Cas9 could be used to edit DNA in bacteria, any reasonably skilled person could have adapted the technique for use in more complex cells.

Is RNA splicing the key to a longer and healthier life?
a Harvard team has discovered a link between aging and a core biological process known as RNA splicing, which may be manipulated to not only increase our lifespan, but help us stay healthier for longer.

The Grand Canyon Between Islam and Christianity
The god of Islam is most definitely not the same as the God worshipped by Christians and Jews…the author (writing with Atif Debs) – both of whom are former Muslims – makes a convincing case that Islamic theology amounts to a complete contradiction of the Judeo-Christian faith.

The Emergence of the White Jew
A few weeks ago, I said to a close family member that radical feminists are hurting their own cause. “You are a white privileged male,” was the response I got in return. This new curse took me by complete surprise, as I have never considered myself either privileged or white.

Holland LISTENS to the people – Dutch MPs REJECT EU power grab fearing voter revolt
HOLLAND looks set to block plans for another European Union (EU) power grab, fearing it would fuel support for anti-Brussels right-winger Geert Wilders.


The Briefing 12-07-16

A date that still lives in infamy: Remembering the attack on Pearl Harbor 75 years later

The real problem of fake news: Why does the Left give late night television a pass?

The post The Briefing 12-07-16 appeared first on AlbertMohler.com.


Proof That The Elite Really Do Want A Global Society With No Possessions, No Privacy And No Freedom

global-elite-public-domainIf you listen closely, the global elite are telling us exactly what they intend to do. If they get their way, our world is going to look vastly different than it does now in the not too distant future. These elitists share a dream of an environmentally-friendly dystopian socialist paradise in which individual freedom is severely restricted for the good of the collective. Where you live, what you do for a living, what you are allowed to eat and how many children you are permitted to have would all be determined by an all-powerful central government that nobody would question or challenge. This may sound very bizarre to you, but the global elite really do dream of these things. (Read More…)


War On The Homeless: Cities All Over America Are Passing Laws Making It Illegal To Feed And Shelter Those In Need

homeless-man-public-domainIf you want to be a “Good Samaritan” to the homeless in your community, you might want to check and see if it is legal first.  All over the country, cities are passing laws that make it illegal to feed and shelter the homeless.  For example, in this article you will read about a church in Maryland that was just fined $12,000 for simply allowing homeless people to sleep outside the church at night.  This backlash against homeless people comes at a time when homelessness in America is absolutely exploding.  In a previous article, I shared with my readers the fact that the number of homeless people in New York City has just set a brand new all-time high, and the homelessness crisis in California has become so severe that the L.A. City Council has formally asked Governor Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency.  Sadly, instead of opening up our hearts to the rapidly growing number of Americans without a home, way too many communities are trying to use the law to force them to go somewhere else. (Read More….)


Top Headlines – 12/7/2016

  • Futures rise for third day in a row (Read More); Banks Lead Stock Rally as Bonds Gain With Hopes Pinned on Draghi (BBG)
  • Monte dei Paschi bolsters European stocks, ECB looms (Read More)
  • Finding Risk in All the Wrong Places as Trump Era Begins (Read More)
  • Goldman Tells Stock Pickers to Rejoice as Correlations Decline (Read More)
  • Trump’s ‘Wall’ at Mexico Border Vanishing as GOP Lawmakers Bolt (Read More)
  • AT&T CEO: Time Warner Deal Would ‘Disrupt’ Cable TV Model (Read More)
  • Americans Are Paying Apple Millions To Shelter Overseas Profits (Read More)
  • China premier says steady growth this year to lay good foundation for 2017 (Read More)
  • The ‘Weird’ Commodity Hurting the Bears as Prices Double (Read More)
  • Aleppo rebels call for five-day ceasefire (Read More)
  • China calls Iowa’s Branstad ‘old friend’ after report he picked as ambassador (Read More)
  • How Iran closed the Mosul ‘horseshoe’ and changed Iraq war (Read More)
  • Brazil Supreme Court deal might keep Senate head in place: report (Read More)
  • BP oil exports from U.S. to Asia could open new routes (Read More)
  • Forget Robots???People Skills Are the Future of American Jobs (Read More)
  • Britain fines Pfizer record $107 million for huge drug price hike (Read More)
  • Trump Says He Will Leave Family Business. The Pros Tell Him How (Read More)
  • Nearly 100 killed, hundreds hurt as quake strikes Indonesia’s Aceh (Read More)
  • Fed May Struggle to Signal What Comes After December (Read More)
  • Kazakhstan detains suspected oil thieves linked to Islamists (Read More)
  • Pearl Harbor Survivors Gather for 75th Anniversary Reunion (Read More)
  • Plane with some 47 people on board crashes in north Pakistan (Read More)

U.N. nuclear watchdog confirms Iran shipped sensitive material abroad: diplomat

Iran says UN atomic agency chief to visit Tehran again

Obama calls defeat of terror by dropping more bombs a ‘false promise’

Rouhani: we won’t let Trump tear up US-Iran nuclear deal

Iran-style diplomacy needed for ‘Israel and Palestine,’ Obama says

Kerry: Iran deal made Israel safer

Online petition calls on Trump to move US Embassy to Jerusalem

Bennett: Netanyahu must tell Trump what Israel wants as settlement in region

Mattis said Israel can be a pain, but few in pro-Israel camp seem to care. Why?

Four liberal Jewish groups join call on Trump to nix national security adviser choice

Israel votes to authorise illegal settler homes in Palestine

Israeli map reveals thousands of Hezbollah positions along border

Comptroller: Israel woefully unprepared for rocket onslaught

Netanyahu: Submarines needed to ensure Israel can destroy those threatening it

Israeli Arabs sign up for Israel’s army

Ramallah to name street after Fidel Castro

King Bibi for a day: golden Netanyahu statue is toppled

Freedom of Speech Tested in Israel

Biblical sheep in Israel for first time in millennia

In first, Israel denies BDS activist entrance to the country

Russian fighter jet crashes in Mediterranean, pilot safe

Syria: Celebrations as families return to homes in Aleppo

ISIS throws man off roof for being gay; mob pelts corpse with rocks

Saudi court sentences 15 people to death for spying for Iran

Yemen’s war leaves children on the brink of famine

China sends another 120 army peacekeepers to South Sudan

DR Congo: Ethnic clashes leave 31 dead

NATO chief trumpets new ‘momentum’ with EU military ties

Merkel’s call for burqa ban in Germany draws backlash

‘Attack them in markets, roads and clubs,’ Isil’s new spokesman tells European followers

FBI investigating ‘very specific’ threat to Los Angeles transit system

House Report: US facing biggest Islamic terror threat since 9/11

Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube agree to curb terror content online

We Don’t Talk About ‘Radicalization’ When an Attacker Isn’t Muslim. We Should.

Obama defends counterterror record in parting security speech, amid new warnings

Trump to visit victims of Ohio State attack

Trump lays out non-interventionist US military policy

Japanese leader Abe won’t apologize at Pearl Harbor

Is Taiwan a bargaining-chip for Trump on China?

Donald Trump gets tough on China by using Beijing’s tactics against them

‘Rookie’ Trump must fall into line: China media

Naked selfies used as collateral for Chinese loans

Sextortion: The U.S. military’s dirty little secret is a growing national security concern

Trump Fires Adviser’s Son From Transition for Spreading Fake News

Trump Targets Boeing for ‘Out of Control’ Air Force One Costs

Anti-Trumpers trying to sow chaos in Electoral College

Michigan election recount now in doubt; Pennsylvania sets hearing

Banks, Telecoms Lift Dow to New Record

ECB poised to extend its bond-buying program into next September amid heightened Italy risk

Teetering Italian bank looks for investors

Could the European Union fall apart?

Goldman Sachs Alum Turns to Virtual Reality to Sell $57 Million Mansion

North Korea ‘hacks South’s military cyber command’

North Carolina McDonald’s drive-thru allegedly hacked

‘Less creepier than Google Glass’: Snapchat Spectacles as social media’s hottest ‘sexcessory’

Google’s Amazing Timelapse Reveals How Insanely Fast China Has Grown

Area 51 Aerial Time Lapse Shows How the Secretive Location Has Grown

‘To The Moon And Back’: Private Firm Reveals Its Plan Of Taking Tourists To The Moon In 2026, How Cool Is That?

70-Mile-Long Crack Opens Up in Anatarctica

At least 25 dead after magnitude-6.4 earthquake rocks Indonesia

5.9 magnitude earthquake hits near Scarborough, Trinidad and Tobago

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near L’Esperance Rock, New Zealand

Central NZ rattled by 4.7 magnitude earthquake, now over 8000 aftershocks since Kaikoura big one

Two magnitude-4.0 earthquakes rattle Northern California in two days

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 27,000ft

Copahue volcano in Argentina erupts to 12,000ft

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 12,000ft

Dukono volcano in Indonesia erupts to 10,000ft

Severe flooding in southern Thailand kills 14

Southern Madagascar to suffer drought impact into 2017

Massive pile up in Montreal as drivers struggle to deal with winter snow

Weather Channel to Breitbart: Stop using us to mislead public on climate change

‘Free range’ Christmas turkeys cooped up in barns under emergency bird flu measures

Egypt busts organ trading racket, arrests 45 people

‘Expendable Christians ‘Victims of Organ Harvesting’ in China

French Court Upholds Ban on Pro-Life Ad Featuring Children with Down Syndrome

Ohio House passes revised “Heartbeat bill” to ban abortion; Now goes to governor

Texas May Face Lawsuit Over New Abortion Regulations

Abortion Rate in NYC is 60 Percent of Birth Rate

Argentine judge rules woman can marry her own stepdaughter

Pedophile trumpeter beaten to death with own instrument by angry parents

Teen charged with decapitating high school classmate to be tried as adult

Leah Remini: Scientology ‘goes after people that speak out about it’

Second coming of Jesus to spark apocalypse on New Year’s Eve, according to computer programmer

“Season of Popcorn Is Here!” Says God (through the prophet Lana Vawser)

2Tim 3:2 Alert: NARcissist Todd White: Jesus Saved Us Because We Are “So Valuable”

God Calls Perry Noble to be a Church & Business Consultant

Progressive Christians and their doctrines of devils


Christianity Should Have Bigger Part in U.S. Schooling, Trump’s Education Secretary Says

Posted: 07 Dec 2016 07:46 AM PST

The billionaire philanthropist chosen by President-elect Donald Trump to be his education secretary, Betsy DeVos, has expressed her preference in the past to give Christianity…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

US & UN criticize Israeli settlement bill viewed as step towards West Bank annexation

Posted: 07 Dec 2016 07:43 AM PST

The UN has voiced strong concerns after Israeli lawmakers gave the green light to a bill which would legalize West Bank settlements. While Washington voiced…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

UPDATE: Nearly 100 killed, Hundreds injured as quake strikes Indonesia’s Aceh

Posted: 07 Dec 2016 07:38 AM PST

Nearly 100 people were killed and hundreds injured in Indonesia on Wednesday when a strong earthquake hit its Aceh province and rescuers used earth movers…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

65 Million Americans Suggested To Not Pay Taxes

Posted: 07 Dec 2016 07:29 AM PST

Until democracy is restored, The approximately 65 million Democrats who voted for Hillary Clinton should pledge that in the future if a Republican wins the…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Honda’s latest electric car detects ‘human emotions’

Posted: 07 Dec 2016 07:18 AM PST

Car manufacturer Honda has come up with a better way to interact with humans: it has created a car that it says can feel emotions….

Read more at End Time Headlines.

5 Ways to Break the Fear of Praying Publicly

Posted: 07 Dec 2016 07:12 AM PST

(By Jennifer LeClaire) I still remember the fear striking my heart every Friday night. Corporate intercession before service was mandatory for leaders in the church,…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

UK facing tsunami threat from unstable Canary Island, waves could devastate British coastal towns

Posted: 07 Dec 2016 07:07 AM PST

The UK is facing the threat of a tsunami which is being downplayed, an expert has claimed. Unstable volcanic land in La Palma, Canary Islands,…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Microchip in hand allows you to pay for goods in UAE

Posted: 07 Dec 2016 07:03 AM PST

It might sound like something from a dystopian science fiction fantasy but you could soon be able to pay for goods and services with a…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Chicago breaks 1940 snowfall record…

Posted: 07 Dec 2016 06:57 AM PST

The first snowfall to hit Illinois this fall was no polite dusting, but a record-breaking event. State Climatologist Jim Angel said Sunday’s snowfall total was…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

BREAKING NEWS: Dozens of buildings collapse after Powerful 6.5 quake in Indonesia

Posted: 06 Dec 2016 06:26 PM PST

At least one person has been killed and many are feared trapped under the rubble of collapsed buildings after a powerful 6.5 earthquake struck off…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Meteor explodes over Siberian city, turning night into day

Posted: 06 Dec 2016 03:08 PM PST

People in the Republic of Khakassia in southwest Siberia witnessed a large fireball exploding in the sky on Tuesday, which briefly made the evening as…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Are The Days Of A Bible In Every Hotel Room Coming To An End?

Posted: 06 Dec 2016 02:48 PM PST

The tradition of offering Bibles in hotel rooms could be in decline as increasing numbers of guests access spiritual literature via apps on their phones….

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Gay bureaucrat wages war with Christian ministry

Posted: 06 Dec 2016 02:44 PM PST

(Reported By Todd Starnes) Donald Trump may be the next president of the United States but the war on religious liberty rages on. The other…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

These 3 things will produce a Harvest of God’s Glory!

Posted: 06 Dec 2016 02:40 PM PST

(By Ricky Scaparo) Many Believers don’t place much concern or emphasize on Worship, but in reality, it is what breaks up the Fallow Ground of…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

DAYS OF LOT: Argentine judge rules woman can marry her own stepdaughter

Posted: 06 Dec 2016 02:08 PM PST

An Argentinian judge created quite a precedent, and an uproar, when he overrode the country’s Civil Code and authorized a woman to marry her stepdaughter….

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Amazon opens a grocery store without a checkout line

Posted: 06 Dec 2016 02:01 PM PST

Amazon is testing a grocery store in downtown Seattle that lets customers walk in, grab food from the shelves and walk out again, without ever…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Don’t become a permanent resident in familiarity!

Posted: 06 Dec 2016 11:49 AM PST

(By Ricky Scaparo) Believe it or not, there are many people you will discover that will actually despise blessings. They will present little faith to…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Are you building up his Kingdom or tearing down his Kingdom?

Posted: 06 Dec 2016 11:44 AM PST

(By Ricky Scaparo) Many years ago I read about a man on the Internet who boasted about how he was successful at causing thousands of…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

UK Gives the ‘OK’ to Keep Christ in Christmas

Posted: 06 Dec 2016 11:21 AM PST

British officials are encouraging people around the country to embrace their Christian faith during the holidays — even at work. “There are a lot of…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Biblical sheep in Israel for first time in a thousand years!

Posted: 06 Dec 2016 09:46 AM PST

The sheep have landed. After three years of high-level negotiations between the Israeli and Canadian governments, 119 heritage sheep, which trace their lineage back 5,000…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

 


Our Time is Short

Read: Recommitting Your Life To God and Jesus Christ – Restoration and Forgiveness With God and Jesus Christ (Updated Version)


What is The Gospel?

God made everything out of nothing, including you and me. His main purpose in creation was to bring him pleasure.

The chief way in which we as humanity do this is through loving, obeying, and enjoying him perfectly.

Instead of this, we have sinned against our loving Creator and acted in high-handed rebellion.

God has vowed that he will righteously and lovingly judge sinners with eternal death.

But God, being merciful, loving, gracious, and just, sent his own son, Jesus Christ, in the likeness of man to live as a man; fulfilling his perfect requirements in the place of sinners; loving, obeying, and enjoying him perfectly.

And further, his son bore the eternal judgment of God upon the cross of Calvary, as he satisfied the eternal anger of God, standing in the place of sinners. God treated Jesus as a sinner, though he was perfectly sinless, that he might declare sinners as perfect.

This glorious transaction occurs as the sinner puts their faith (dependence, trust) in the Lord Jesus Christ as their substitute. God then charges Christ’s perfection to the sinner, and no longer views him as an enemy but instead an adopted son covered in the perfect righteousness of his son.

God furnished proof that this sacrifice was accepted by raising Jesus from the dead.

God will judge the world in righteousness and all of those who are not covered in the righteousness of Christ, depending on him for forgiveness, will be forced to stand on their own to bear the eternal anger of God.

Therefore, all must turn from sin and receive Christ Jesus as Lord.


Do You Know Him?


What Is the Gospel?

There is no greater message to be heard than that which we call the gospel. But as important as that is, it is often given to massive distortions or over simplifications. People think they’re preaching the gospel to you when they tell you, ‘you can have a purpose to your life’, or that ‘you can have meaning to your life’, or that ‘you can have a personal relationship with Jesus.’ All of those things are true, and they’re all important, but they don’t get to the heart of the gospel.

The gospel is called the ‘good news’ because it addresses the most serious problem that you and I have as human beings, and that problem is simply this: God is holy and He is just, and I’m not. And at the end of my life, I’m going to stand before a just and holy God, and I’ll be judged. And I’ll be judged either on the basis of my own righteousness–or lack of it –or the righteousness of another. The good news of the gospel is that Jesus lived a life of perfect righteousness, of perfect obedience to God, not for His own well being but for His people. He has done for me what I couldn’t possibly do for myself. But not only has He lived that life of perfect obedience, He offered Himself as a perfect sacrifice to satisfy the justice and the righteousness of God.

The great misconception in our day is this: that God isn’t concerned to protect His own integrity. He’s a kind of wishy-washy deity, who just waves a wand of forgiveness over everybody. No. For God to forgive you is a very costly matter. It cost the sacrifice of His own Son. So valuable was that sacrifice that God pronounced it valuable by raising Him from the dead – so that Christ died for us, He was raised for our justification. So the gospel is something objective. It is the message of who Jesus is and what He did. And it also has a subjective dimension. How are the benefits of Jesus subjectively appropriated to us? How do I get it? The Bible makes it clear that we are justified not by our works, not by our efforts, not by our deeds, but by faith–and by faith alone. The only way you can receive the benefit of Christ’s life and death is by putting your trust in Him–and in Him alone. You do that, you’re declared just by God, you’re adopted into His family, you’re forgiven of all of your sins, and you have begun your pilgrimage for eternity.


The Gospel In A Nutshell

Now, with regard to this rule of faith—that we may from this point acknowledge what it is which we defend—it is, you must know, that which prescribes the belief that there is one only God, and that He is none other than the Creator of the world, who produced all things out of nothing through His own Word, first of all sent forth; that this Word is called His Son, and, under the name of God, was seen “in diverse manners” by the patriarchs, heard at all times in the prophets, at last brought down by the Spirit and Power of the Father into the Virgin Mary, was made flesh in her womb, and, being born of her, went forth as Jesus Christ; thenceforth He preached the new law and the new promise of the kingdom of heaven, worked miracles; having been crucified, He rose again the third day; (then) having ascended into the heavens, He sat at the right hand of the Father; sent instead of Himself the Power of the Holy Ghost to lead such as believe; will come with glory to take the saints to the enjoyment of everlasting life and of the heavenly promises, and to condemn the wicked to everlasting fire, after the resurrection of both these classes shall have happened, together with the restoration of their flesh. This rule, as it will be proved, was taught by Christ, and raises amongst ourselves no other questions than those which heresies introduce, and which make men heretics.

Tertullian, “On Prescription Against Heretics,” Chapter XIIl


What Is the Gospel?

This post is adapted from the tract “What Is the Gospel?” by Greg Gilbert.


A Message from God

What exactly do Christians mean when they talk about the “gospel of Jesus Christ”? Since the word “gospel” means “good news,” when Christians talk about the gospel, they’re simply telling the good news about Jesus! It’s a message from God saying, “Good news! Here is how you can be saved from my judgment!” That’s an announcement you can’t afford to ignore.

Why Is the Gospel Good News?

So, what is the good news about Jesus Christ?

Since the earliest Christians announced the good news about Jesus, it has been organized around these questions:

  1. Who made us, and to whom are we accountable?
  2. What is our problem?
  3. What is God’s solution to our problem?
  4. How can I be included in his solution?

Christians through the centuries since Christ have answered those questions with the same truth from the Bible.

  1. We are accountable to God.
  2. Our problem is our sin against him.
  3. God’s solution is salvation through Jesus Christ.
  4. We come to be included in that salvation by faith and repentance.

Let’s summarize those points like this: God, Mankind, Jesus Christ, and Our Response.

God

The first thing to know about the good news of Jesus is that “in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). Everything starts from that point, so if you get that point wrong then everything else that follows will be wrong. Because God created everything—including us—he has the right to tell us how to live. You have to understand that in order to understand the good news about Jesus. To understand just how glorious and life-giving the gospel of Jesus Christ is, we have to understand that God is also holy and righteous. He is determined never to ignore or tolerate sin. Including ours!

Mankind

When God created the first human beings, Adam and Eve, he intended for them to live under his righteous rule in perfect joy—obeying him and living in fellowship with him. When Adam disobeyed God, though, and ate the one fruit that God had told him not to eat, that fellowship with God was broken. Moreover, Adam and Eve had declared rebellion against God. They were denying his authority over their lives.

It’s not just Adam and Eve who are guilty of sin. The Bible says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Sin is the rejection of God himself and his authority over those to whom he gives life.

Once you understand sin in that light, you begin to understand why “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). That’s not just physical death, but spiritual death, a forceful separating of our sinful, rebellious selves from the presence of God forever. The Bible teaches that the final destiny for unbelieving sinners is eternal, active judgment in a place called “hell.”

But . . .

Jesus Christ

The word “Christ” means “anointed one,” referring to anointing a king with oil when he is crowned. So, when we say “Jesus Christ,” we’re saying that Jesus is a King!

When Jesus began his public ministry, he told the people, “The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe the good news!” As Jesus died on a cross, the awful weight of all our sins fell on his shoulders. The sentence of death God had pronounced against rebellious sinners struck. And Jesus died. For you and me!

But the story doesn’t end there. Jesus the Crucified is no longer dead. The Bible tells us that he rose from the grave. Jesus’s rising from the grave was God’s way of saying, “What Jesus claimed about who he is and what he came to do is true!”

Our Response

What does God expect us to do with the information that Jesus died in our place so we can be saved from God’s righteous wrath against our sins? He expects us to respond with repentance and faith.

To repent of our sins means to turn away from our rebellion against God. Repentance doesn’t mean we’ll bring an immediate end to our sinning. It does mean, though, that we’ll never again live at peace with our sins.

Not only that, but we also turn to God in faith. Faith is reliance. It’s a promise-founded trust in the risen Jesus to save you from your sins. If God is ever to count us righteous, he’ll have to do it on the basis of someone else’s record, someone who’s qualified to stand in as our substitute. And that’s what happens when a person is saved by Jesus: All our sins are credited to Jesus who took the punishment for them, and the perfect righteousness of Jesus is then credited to us when we place our trust in what he has done for us! That’s what faith means—to rely on Jesus, to trust in him alone to stand in our place and win a righteous verdict from God!


Ravi Zacharias explains the gospel in two minutes:


The Gospel on 5 Fingers

The five main components of the gospel can be remembered on 5 fingers of one hand. Here they are:

1) Jesus’ birth
2) Jesus’ life
3) Jesus’ death
4) Jesus’ resurrection
5) Jesus’ ascension

Obviously each point can be elaborated on depending on how much time you have. Here’s the short version:

1) Jesus’ birth – Jesus, God himself, the creator of the universe, the Messiah, became a human being – took on flesh, and was born of a virgin.

2) Jesus’ life – Jesus lived a life of perfect obedience to his Father. Though he was tempted in every way as we are, he never once sinned.

3) Jesus’ death – on the cross, Jesus himself took all our sins and paid for them. God the father counted all our sins to Jesus as if he himself had personally committed them. Then Jesus bore God’s wrath towards sin – the punishment we deserved – as a substitute for us.

4) Jesus’ resurrection – within 3 days, Jesus rose physically from the dead, proving that his sacrifice for sins have been accepted by God, since the punishment for sin was death. Jesus was seen by numerous people after he rose including 500 at one time (1 Corinthians 15).

5) Jesus’ ascension – Jesus ascended physically into heaven where he reigns as King of kings and Lord of lords. And someday he will return to the earth.

That’s the gospel, the good news, and if we believe in Jesus Christ and this good news and call upon him he will save us from our sins and give us eternal life.

That’s a simple way to remember the gospel – five fingers. Even a child can do it. So ask God to give you opportunities to share his good news today.


Please take the time to watch this clip, so that you might understand the authentic Gospel


This is the Gospel:

Friend, God is holy. There is a God in heaven who has created you and me, and He is the authority over both of us. He is perfectly holy. “In Him is Light, and there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). And the problem with that is that if we want to have fellowship with God, we have to be light and no darkness at all. And yet here’s the problem: we are darkness. We are sinful. We’ve all broken His law. We’ve all lied, stolen, we’ve all looked with lust, we’ve all been angry with our brothers in our hearts. We’ve all fallen short of the glorious standard of perfection that God requires (Rom 3:23). And there’s nothing we can do about it. No amount of works, no amount of contrition, no amount of bad feelings, no amount of church attendance, no amount of Bible reading, no amount of evangelism can earn forgiveness of our sins and the righteousness which God requires (Titus 3:5; cf. Isa 64:6).

And yet God is gracious, and He loves us, and as His creatures He wants to display His glory in us by rescuing us from that. And so He sent His Son—God in the flesh, the Lord Jesus Christ—to be born as a helpless little baby (John 1:14; 3:16; Col 2:9). God of the universe, Sustainer of the universe, Himself being sustained in the womb of a teenage Hebrew girl, and upholding the world by the word of His power (Heb 1:3) while He is upheld by the nutrients from her own body! Unspeakable! And in great humility, He grows up with the growing pains of life in a fallen world, though He Himself never being with any sin—without sin entirely (2 Cor 5:21; Heb 4:15; 7:26). And He lives a perfectly righteous life. The way that you and I have failed to live before God—the way that we have failed in thought, word, and deed, and fallen short of God’s glory—Christ never did. Not even a thought. He loved God, His Father, perfectly. He always walked in perfect righteousness. He lived the life that you were commanded to live, that I was commanded to live, that we failed to live. He lived that perfect life that God is worthy of.

And not only did He live for us, He died for us. He went to the cross. Our sin demanded death. Our sin demanded eternal punishment. Our sin demanded wrath—just wrath exercised on us for eternity (Rom 6:23). But because of the infinite worth of Christ’s person, He was on that cross. And on that cross, God exercised upon Him the full fury of His own anger (Rom 3:24–26; 2 Cor 5:21; Gal 3:10–14), that was rightly due to me and rightly due to you, and that you will experience if you don’t turn from your sin and trust in this Messiah. Christ was born, lived, died, and was raised (1 Cor 15:3–4). And He rose from the grave after being dead, demonstrating His victory over sin and death.

And now God promises that if you turn from your sin, if you repudiate all that you are and all that you were and all that you love, and you turn away from a life of pursuing sin—and if you repudiate not only your bad works but your good works, if you turn from trying to earn your salvation by all the good deeds that you might want to do as a moral person—if you turn away from all of that (Acts 17:30–31), and you trust in Christ alone for righteousness (Phil 3:7–8; cf. Rom 3:28; 10:4), God promises that He will forgive you. He will have treated Christ on the cross as if Christ lived your life. And He will then treat you, justly and legally and righteously, as if you lived Christ’s perfect life of righteousness (2 Cor 5:21). And you can be saved to know the God you were created to love and enjoy. You can have the fullness of joy, the eternal pleasures that are at the Father’s right hand in heaven (Ps 16:11), and begin even now, because eternal life is to know God (John 17:3).

Friend, would you repent? Would you turn from your sin and trust in this perfect Savior to avail for you before God, to pay for your sin and to provide your righteousness?


Ready to start your new life with God?

Who do you think that I am?

With that brief question Jesus Christ confronted His followers with the most important issue they would ever face. He had spent much time with them and made some bold claims about His identity and authority. Now the time had come for them either to believe or deny His teachings.

Who do you say Jesus is? Your response to Him will determine not only your values and lifestyle, but your eternal destiny as well.

Consider what the Bible says about Him: Read more


Resource Links

CanIKnowGod.com is a website inspired by LifesGreatestQuestion.com, with new content, images, audio and video that will help you understand more about who God is and how to know Him. The site is mobile responsive and has an infinite scroll which makes for a very user-friendly experience. After you indicate a decision on CanIKnowGod.com, you are directed to a page that details what it means to have a new and transformed life through Jesus Christ. There’s even a Facebook page for daily updates, encouragement and scripture sharing.

Look to Jesus
Have you ever felt a little lost and wished there was a quick-start guide to your relationship with God? This is it!

30 Day Next Steps
John Beckett, a leading Christian businessman, has written a series to read over 30 days for new believers.

New Believers Guide
The New Believer’s Guide is a series of articles designed to show you how to walk in the new life Christ has given you— a life of faith and freedom.

Jesus Booklet
Jesus is the Savior of the world. Discover who Jesus is today in this series.

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed


The Perseverance (Security) of the Saints

Notice all the Scripture references!

It is not just a handful of texts that teach the perseverance of the saints: the entire gospel sustains and confirms it. The Father has chosen them before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4), ordained them to eternal life (Acts 13:48), to be conformed to the image of his Son (Rom. 8:29). This election stands (Rom. 9:11; Heb. 6:17) and in due time carries with it the calling and justification and glorification (Rom. 8:30). Christ, in whom all the promises of God are Yes and Amen (2 Cor. 1:20), died for those who were given him by the Father (John 17:6, 12) in order that he might give them eternal life and not lose a single one of them (6:40; 17:2); he therefore gives them eternal life and they will never be lost in all eternity; no one will snatch them out of his hand (6:39; 10:28).

The Holy Spirit who regenerates them remains eternally with them (14:16) and seals them for the day of redemption (Eph. 1:13; 4:30). The covenant of grace is firm and confirmed with an oath (Heb. 6:16–18; 13:20), unbreakable like a marriage (Eph. 5:31–32), like a testament (Heb. 9:17), and by virtue of that covenant, God calls his elect. He inscribes the law upon their inmost being, puts his fear in their heart (Heb. 8:10; 10:14ff.), will not let them be tempted beyond their strength (1 Cor. 10:13), confirms and completes the good work he has begun in them (1 Cor. 1:9; Phil. 1:6), and keeps them for the return of Christ to receive the heavenly inheritance (1 Thess. 5:23; 2 Thess. 3:3; 1 Pet. 1:4–5).

In his intercession before the Father, Christ acts in such a way that their faith may not fail (Luke 22:32), that in the world they may be kept from the evil one (John 17:11, 20), that they may be saved for all times (Heb. 7:20), that their sins will be forgiven them (1 John 2:1), and that they may all be where he is to behold his glory (John 17:24). The benefits of Christ, which the Holy Spirit imparts to them, are all irrevocable (Rom. 11:29). Those who are called are also glorified (8:30). Those who are adopted as children are heirs of eternal life (8:17; Gal. 4:7). Those who believe have eternal life already here and now (John 3:16). That life itself, being eternal, cannot be lost. It cannot die since it cannot sin (1 John 3:9). Faith is a firm ground (Heb. 11:1), hope is an anchor (6:19) and does not disappoint us (Rom. 5:5), and love never ends (1 Cor. 13:8).

Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics: Holy Spirit, Church, and New Creation, volume 4 (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2008), 270.


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CultureWatch: Moral Relativism, Political Correctness and the Death of Truth

Today we are heavily infected with the three plagues of political correctness, moral relativism, and a war on truth. All three of these big ticket items more or less stand or fall together. They have had a major impact on Western culture, and sadly they have had a major impact on Western Christianity as well.

So most people today have bought the lie that there are no moral absolutes and objective truths, and everything is just a matter of opinion or personal taste. And even if some people still do believe in such things, most are too afraid to make any statement about anything, for fear of being labelled intolerant and bigoted and hateful and narrow-minded.

culture-warsA smothering censorship lingers over the West because of political correctness, the freedom-hating left, and the mental and moral dumbing down of an entire generation. And the results are pretty ugly to behold. I have documented hundreds of cases of this on my site.

Let me offer three more, beginning with a quick line offered elsewhere on the social media. Some of us were discussing the terrific wins in Parliament with the defeat of moronic and diabolical pro-homosexual and anti-Christian bills, when one enlightened soul wrote in with this comment: “Jesus was all about accepting the outsider for who they are, which means championing diversity. Looks like none of you know Jesus.”

Um, no. Looks like the reality is he does not know the Bible. Jesus never accepted anyone for who they were, but pleaded with everyone to come in faith and repentance so they could become who they were meant to be. And no, he was not into “diversity”. His stern exclusivism, his rejection of false teachers, and his no-nonsense moral demands were as tough as you can get.

But this is just one of many clueless Christians who have fully soaked up the world’s values of relativism and “tolerance” – wrongly so-called. And it has infected millions of people. Consider the lament of one philosophy professor in America who says that students are now too fearful to debate controversial topics anymore:

The art of debate and discourse on campus has largely been lost due to students who no longer feel comfortable openly deliberating ideas that might get them labeled a racist or misogynist or some other name. That according to University of Texas at Austin philosophy Professor Daniel Bonevac, who has experienced firsthand the impact of this trend.
In 2011, seeing signs of this phenomenon, he stopped teaching an extremely popular course examining contemporary moral problems — a class he offered for more than 20 years — because today’s students are unwilling to debate controversial, politicized issues. Political correctness has frozen debate to the point that the trouble and backlash he might receive by offering such a course is not worth it, he said. At this point, he’s not willing to resume teaching the class.
“Students clam up as soon as conversation veers close to anything controversial and one side might be viewed as politically incorrect,” he told The College Fix via email. “The open exchange of ideas that used to make courses such as Contemporary Moral Problems exciting doesn’t happen. It’s not possible to teach the course the way I used to teach it.”

The article concludes:

“Ninety-nine percent of the students might be excited to encounter arguments they had never heard before, whether they were inclined to agree with them or not. But the one percent who are not can poison the well. Indeed, they have poisoned the well, even if they say nothing in class,” Bonevac said. The rise of political correctness makes students unwilling to “say anything that could get them denounced as racist, sexist, xenophobic,” and the like, according to the professor.
“But there’s another, less-noticed dimension,” he continued. “Students know there’s a politically correct view on a lot of issues. So, when anything connected to race, sex, etc., arises, I see a lot of students turn off. I think they see it this way: Either what comes next is politically correct and they’ve heard before, in which case it’s pointless and boring, or it presents a challenge to that perspective, in which case it’s dangerous.”

Another university lecturer also can speak to all this from firsthand experience. Consider the plight of Canadian psychology professor Jordan Peterson who is in real hot water for refusing to run with the PC gender pronoun foolishness. I have discussed his plight earlier: billmuehlenberg.com/2016/11/05/pronoun-police-political-correctness-death-freedom/

A recent interview with the beleaguered prof is well worth reading. Let me feature a few bits of it here:

There have been lots of cases where free speech has come under attack, why did you choose this particular issue?
This is very compelled speech. The Supreme Court in the United States has held that compelled speech is unacceptable for two reasons. One is to protect the rights of the speaker, the other is to protect the rights of the listener. The listener has the right to be informed and instructed without being unduly influenced by hidden sources. If your speech is compelled, it isn’t YOU who is talking, it’s some other entity that’s compelling your speech. So I actually think that Bill C-16 is unconstitutional. I’m using American case law, but the principles apply. It just hasn’t been pushed to our Supreme Court yet.
For me this became an issue because there is not a chance I’ll use radical, authoritarian language. I’ve studied this psychologically, and I know what it does.
I was also quite profoundly influenced by [Alexsandr] Solzhenitsyn’s book The Gulag Archipelago. People say that real Marxism has never been tried – not in the Soviet Union, in China, in Cambodia, in Korea, that wasn’t real Marxism. I find that argument specious, appalling, ignorant, and maybe also malevolent all at the same time. Specious because Solzhenitsyn demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt that the horrors [of the Soviet system] were a logical consequence of the doctrines embedded within Marxist thinking. I think Dostoyevsky saw what was coming and Nietzsche wrote about it extensively in the 1880s, laying out the propositions that are encapsulated in Marxist doctrine, and warning that millions of people would die in the 20th century because of it.
You’ve painted a pretty bleak picture for the future.
There are bleak things going on. To start with, Bill C-16 writes social constructionism into the fabric of the law. Social constructionism is the doctrine that all human roles are socially constructed. They’re detached from the underlying biology and from the underlying objective world. So Bill C-16 contains an assault on biology and an implicit assault on the idea of objective reality. It’s also blatant in the Ontario Human Rights Commission policies and the Ontario Human Rights Act. It says identity is nothing but subjective. So a person can be male one day and female the next, or male one hour and female the next.
How do you see the future of public discourse in this country if we don’t reverse course on things like C-16?
I have no idea. I think that we’re in a time of chaos and anything can happen in a time of chaos. I don’t know what will happen at the university in the next week. There is a debate on Saturday at 9:30 in the morning. It’ll be live-cast on my YouTube channel. I have no idea what the consequences of the debate will be, I have no idea whether I’ll be teaching in January. The university has told me that that every time I insist that I won’t use those [gender neutral] pronouns, the probability that I’ll be teaching in January decreases.
Do you believe that you or others could be imprisoned for refusing to comply with these laws?
There’s no doubt about that. The human rights tribunals have been given the right to hold people in contempt. Well, you’re going to be in contempt if you don’t pay the fine. My opponents say ‘you’re just scare-mongering. We don’t really have that much power.’ Then why change the criminal code? Why put the hate speech amendments in there? The final word in law is incarceration. There is no question about this.

And a few more quotes as he looks at the bigger picture on all this:

How do you define social justice warriors?
They’re the ones who weaponize compassion.
Do you view social justice culture as a threat to democracy, and why?
Absolutely. There’s nothing about the PC authoritarian types that has any gratitude for any institutions. They have a term – patriarchy. It’s all-encompassing. It means that everything our society is, is corrupt. There’s no line, they mean everything. Go online, go look at ten women’s studies websites. Pick them at random. Read them. They say ‘western civilization is a corrupt patriarchy right down to the goddamned core. We have to overthrow it.’
Which means democracy, which means liberalism, which means human rights.
It means the whole thing. The whole edifice. And what do they compare it to? Utopia. Why do you think the feminists would go after Ayaan Hirsi Ali? She’s a hero, that woman. She’s from Somalia. She grew up in a very oppressive patriarchy – a real one. She escaped from an arranged marriage, and moved to Holland and she fell in love with Holland. Two things really struck her initially before she went to university and became a student of the Enlightenment. Number one – she would stand where there was public transport, and a digital sign would say when the public transport was going to arrive, and it would arrive exactly when it said it was going to. It was unbelievable to her. And the other thing she couldn’t believe was that police would help you. You know you’re in a civilized country when the police don’t just rape you and steal everything you have. The radical left people don’t give a damn about any of that.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
You asked what people can do. They can refuse. They can refuse to be pushed in this direction any further. Anything that’s predicated upon group identity, we need to get rid of. Albertans were very sceptical of Pierre Trudeau and all his changes, especially with the introduction of the Charter and they were right about that too. We should never have had a bill of human rights in Canada. That was an import of French Civil Law over top of English Common Law, and it was a mistake. In English Common Law, you have all the rights there are except those that are expressly forbidden by law. In the French system, you enumerate people’s rights – that makes it look like rights are granted to you by the government, and that’s not true. Then we started talking more about identity in Canada, and that was a deviation from the tradition of enlightenment individualism.

All this is cultural Marxism. All this is the bitter fruit of the radical left. All this is a war on the West, on freedom, on reason, on reality, and on God. That is why all these things matter. That is why I write about them, and that is why you should be very concerned about them.

And if we don’t push back, things will simply continue to get worse – much worse.

http://www.thecollegefix.com/post/30168/?utm_content=bufferf0dc4&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer
http://www.c2cjournal.ca/2016/12/were-teaching-university-students-lies-an-interview-with-dr-jordan-peterson/

[1882 words]

The post Moral Relativism, Political Correctness and the Death of Truth appeared first on CultureWatch.

December 7, 2016: Verse of the day

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27:1 light. This important biblical word picture with exclusively positive connotations pictures the light of redemption in contrast to the darkness of condemnation (cf. Pss 18:28; 36:9; 43:3; Is 60:1, 19, 20; Mic 7:8; Jn 8:12; 12:46; 1Jn 1:5).

27:2 to devour my flesh. An allusion to the psalmist’s enemies being like vicious beasts (cf. Pss 7:2; 14:4; 17:12; Job 19:22; Jer 30:16; 50:7). This wording was also employed to describe slander and defamation (cf. a close Aram. parallel in Da 3:8; 6:24). they stumbled and fell. This doublet conveys thorough defeat (cf. Is 3:8; 8:15; 31:3; Jer 46:6).

MacArthur Study Bible

27:1 Christ is the light of the world (John 8:12).

27:2 to eat up my flesh. The picture here is probably of evildoers as wild animals who would “devour” the faithful (cf. 14:4 and Mic. 3:3 for similar expressions; see Ps. 7:2; 10:9; 17:12; 22:13, 21 for the comparison).

ESV Study Bible

27:1 light. God brings clarity, order, and understanding, while darkness is evil and chaotic. See Nah. 1:8, where the defeat of the enemy is shown by their being pursued into darkness. Also see “God Is Light: Divine Holiness and Justice” at Lev. 11:44.

27:2 eat up my flesh. The enemy seeks the physical harm of the psalmist. The expression also has a figurative meaning, “to slander me.”

Reformation Study Bible

December 7, 2016: Daily Devotional Guide Collection

December 7 Christ as a Servant

“Taking the form of a bond–servant.”

Philippians 2:7

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Christ submitted Himself to the Father’s will.

When Christ emptied Himself, He not only gave up His privileges but also became a servant. First, He was a servant by nature. Paul used the Greek word morphe (“form”) again to indicate that Christ’s servanthood was not merely external but His essence. It was not like a cloak that could be put on and taken off. Christ was truly a servant. The only other New Testament use of morphe is in Mark 16:12. There Jesus appears in a resurrection morphe—a form fully expressing the nature of a resurrection body. In Philippians 2 Christ is shown as a true bond–servant, doing the will of the Father. He submitted to the Father and to the needs of men as well. Jesus was everything that Isaiah 52:13–14 depicted—a Messiah who was a servant.

Second, Christ was a servant by position. As God, Christ owns everything. But when He came into this world, He borrowed everything: a place to be born, a place to lay His head, a boat to cross the Sea of Galilee and preach from, an animal to ride into the city when He was triumphantly welcomed as King of kings and Lord of lords, and a tomb to be buried in. The only Person ever to live on this earth who had the right to all its pleasures instead wound up with nothing and became a servant. Although He was the rightful heir to David’s throne and God in human flesh, He had no advantages or privileges in this world. He owned little but served everyone.

Christ, the perfect servant, said to His disciples, “Whoever wishes to become first among you shall be your slave” (Matt. 20:27). What about you? Are you seeking greatness by wanting others to serve you, or are you being truly great by serving God and others? Make it your ambition to be a true servant.

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Suggestions for Prayer: Ask the Lord to help you be like Christ—a true servant of God.

For Further Study: What can you learn from Luke 2:41–52 about Christ’s submission and humility?[1]


December 7

Distress in the Ministry

Some indeed preach Christ… from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains.

Philippians 1:15–16

I am often asked, “What has been the most discouraging thing in your ministry?” As far as I can remember, my answer has remained consistent over the years.

There are two issues that deeply distress me. One is seeing those who ought to be the most mature in the faith—the ones who know the Word of God well, have experienced the blessings of spiritual growth and fellowship, and have seen God’s power demonstrated time and again—turn their backs on the faith and embrace sin. That’s much more discouraging than when a new, untrained Christian falls into sin through ignorance.

The second is being falsely accused by fellow preachers of the gospel. Some men seem to desire to discredit the ministry of others. As a result, they falsely accuse other ministers, not because they have valid reasons, but simply for the satisfaction of discrediting them.

As you live a godly life, expect that your service to God will be attacked. But don’t let that affect your joy.[2]


DECEMBER 7

A CONSISTENT STATE OF MIND

I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

—Psalm 34:1

Worship must always come from an inward attitude. It embodies a number of factors, including the mental, spiritual and emotional. You may not at times worship with the same degree of wonder and love that you do at other times, but the attitude and the state of mind are consistent if you are worshiping the Lord.

A husband and father may not appear to love and cherish his family with the same intensity when he is discouraged, when he is tired from long hours in business or when events have made him feel depressed.

He may not outwardly show as much love toward his family, but it is there, nonetheless, for it is not a feeling only. It is an attitude and a state of mind. It is a sustained act, subject to varying degrees of intensity and perfection. WHT083

Whether I feel like it or not, whether I see Your hand in my circumstances or not, whatever enters my life today, “I will bless the LORD at all times” (Psalm 34:1). Amen. [3]


December 7

Parables Reveal

But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.—Matt. 13:16–17

As believers, we can understand God’s profoundest revelation, whether parables or other teachings, because biblical writers have recorded them and the Spirit has illumined them for us (cf. 1 Cor. 2:9–10). When Christ finished explaining some parables to the apostles and asked if they understood them, they could honestly answer “Yes” (Matt. 13:51). That’s not because they were more intelligent than the educated yet unbelieving Jewish leaders, but because the apostles’ eyes and ears were opened to God’s truth by way of their belief.

In part, our Lord’s ministry was to provide understanding of His Word to His followers (see Mark 4:34). Right to the end of His time on earth, Jesus “explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures” (Luke 24:27; cf. v. 45).

Not even the most faithful Old Testament believers had the insights to revelation that the disciples and every believer since have had.

As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. (1 Peter 1:10–12)

ASK YOURSELF
The psalmist prayed, “Open my eyes, that I may behold wonderful things from Your law” (Ps. 119:18). Make this your heartfelt prayer today, knowing that God will delight in answering you.[4]


December 7 The Creator of the World

“In these last days [God] has spoken to us in His Son … through whom also He made the world” (Heb. 1:2).

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Christ is the agent through whom God created the world.

John 1:3 testifies, “All things came into being through Him; and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.” Jesus has the ability to create something out of nothing (cf. Rom. 4:17), and that sets Him apart from mere creatures. Only God can create like that; we can’t. If you could create, you’d live in a different house, drive a different car, and probably have a different job—if you had any job at all. You could just sit in your backyard and make money. Fortunately, God didn’t give depraved men and women the right to be creators.

The ability to create ex nihilo (out of nothing) belongs to God alone, and the fact that Jesus creates like that indicates He is God and establishes His absolute superiority over everything. He created everything material and spiritual. Though man has stained His work with sin, Christ originally made it good, and the very creation itself longs to be restored to what it was in the beginning (Rom. 8:19–21).

The common Greek word for “world” is kosmos, but that’s not the one used in Hebrews 1:2. The word here is aionas, which does not refer to the material world but to “the ages,” as it is often translated. Jesus Christ is responsible for creating not only the physical earth, but also time, space, energy, and matter. The writer of Hebrews does not restrict Christ’s creation to this earth; he shows us that Christ is the Creator of the entire universe and of existence itself. And He made it all without effort.

What about you? If you don’t recognize God as the Creator, you’ll have difficulty explaining how this universe came into being. Where did it all come from? Who conceived it? Who made it? It cannot be an accident. Someone made it, and the Bible tells us who He is: Jesus Christ.

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Suggestions for Prayer:  Praise God for the wonder of His creation, which we can so easily take for granted.

For Further Study: Read Colossians 1:16–23 to discover the relationship between the creation and your salvation.[5]


DECEMBER 7

WHERE IS THE RADIANCE?

He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself.

1 John 5:10

I keep looking, but with little success, for a distinguishing radiance in life and testimony among our evangelical Christians.

Instead of an inner witness, too many professing Christians are depending upon logical conclusions drawn from Bible texts. They have no witness of an encounter with God, no awareness of inner change!

I believe that where there is a divine act within the soul, there will be a corresponding awareness. This act of God is its own evidence: It addresses itself directly to the spiritual consciousness.

Thankfully, there are elements that are always the same among men and women who have had a personal meeting with God.

There is the compelling sense of God Himself—of His Person and of His Presence. From there on, the permanent results will be evident in the life and walk of the person touched as long as he or she lives!

Heavenly Father, I pray that Your Church will go out into the lost world exhibiting a “distinguishing radiance in life and testimony.” As a result, may many lost souls be attracted to You, Lord Jesus.[6]


DECEMBER 7

HOPE: THE ATMOSPHERE OF THE ENTIRE BIBLE

Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil.

HEBREWS 6:19

In the New Testament, the word “hope” becomes one of the great words that Christ gave us. It was a word often used before but it has received new and wonderful meaning because the Saviour took it into His mouth.

Hope is the music, the drift and direction of the whole Bible. It sets the heartbeat and atmosphere of the Bible, meaning as it does desirable expectation and pleasurable anticipation!

Human hopes will fail and throw us down. But the Christian’s hope is alive. The old English word “lively” meant what the word “living” means now; the word coming from God Himself for it is the strongest word in the Bible for life. It is the word used of God Himself when it says He is the Living God. So it is that God takes a Christian’s hope and touches it with Himself and imparts His own “livingness” to the hope of the believer. The true Christian hope is a valid hope! We have been born of God. There has been a new creation. No emptiness there, no vanity, no dreams that can’t come true. We have no great place of beauty in this world—Taj Mahal, Buckingham Palace or the White House—that can compare with the glory that belongs to the true child of God who has known the major miracle, who has been changed by an inward operation of supernatural grace unto an inheritance, a living hope!

Your expectation should rise and you should challenge God, and begin to dream high dreams of faith and spiritual anticipation. Remember, you cannot out-hope the living God![7]


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

[2] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 368). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

[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. 350). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

[5] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 354). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

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

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

December 7, 2016: Daily Quotation Collection

The Width of a Grave.

There’s a narrow ridge in the graveyard Would scarce stay a child in his race, But to me and my thought it is wider Than the star-sown vague of Space.

James Russell Lowell.


Charity.

Charity is an eternal debt.

Pasquier Quesnel.


A Poor Home.

A bad tent to dwell under is discontent.

Anon.


The One Test of Littleness.

All finery is a sure sign of littleness.

Lavater.


Paradise vs. Home.

To Adam, Paradise was home; to the good among his descendants, home is paradise.

Julius Hare.


The Happy Man.

He is happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home.

J. Von Goeth.


The Strength of a Nation.

The strength of a nation, especially of a republican nation, is in the intelligent and well ordered homes of the people.

Mrs. Sigourney.


Stumbling-blocks or Stepping-stones.

Our environments are stumbling-blocks, or stepping-stones, just as we use them.

Elmo.


The Gates of Circumstance.

The massive gates of Circumstance, Are turned upon the smallest hinge, And thus some seeming petty chance Oft gives our life an after tinge.

Anon.


CHOICE QUOTATIONS IN  POETRY AND PROSE

(From the Master Minds of all Ages)

ARRANGED FOR DAILY USE BY THOMAS W. HANFORD (“ELMO”) copyright c. 1895

“Ten minutes each morning spent in the perusal of the page for the day will supply the mind with material for wise musings through all the day.”

“Great thoughts are valuable not only for the truth they contain, but for the truth they suggest. The thought that provokes thought is much more valuable than the thought that is only the echo of an accepted truth.”