February 12, 2016 Devotional Guide Collection

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February 12

WHAT WONDROUS LOVE IS THIS

Anyone who is hung on a tree is under God’s curse. (Deuteronomy 21:23)

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13)

Not father or mother has loved you as God has, for it was that you might be happy He gave His only Son. When He bowed His head in the death hour, love solemnized its triumph; the sacrifice there was complete.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

This beloved hymn, with its plaintive modal sound, is one of the best known of our authentic American folk hymns. Like all true folk music, the origins of this text and music remain unknown. It is simply the product of devout people who, when reflecting seriously on the sacrificial gift of God’s Son, respond spontaneously with amazed adoration for this “wondrous love.”

One typical folk hymn characteristic found in these words is the repetition of key phrases such as “O my soul” and “I’ll sing on.” Since folk music is generally learned aurally without the assistance of the printed page or musical notation, such repetition is necessary. Note also how effectively the curving melodic lines enhance the thought and personal application of the words.

The hymn first appeared in 1835 in a collection titled William Walker’s Southern Harmony. These simply stated words with their appealing music have since ministered to people everywhere, extolling the profound truth of Christ’s love for each of us. Allow the hymn to move you to awe even now.

What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul! What wondrous love is this, O my soul! What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss to bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul, to bear the dreadful curse for my soul.

When I was sinking down, sinking down, when I was sinking down, sinking down; when I was sinking down beneath God’s righteous frown, Christ laid aside His crown for my soul; Christ laid aside His crown for my soul.

To God and to the Lamb I will sing, I will sing; to God and to the Lamb I will sing; to God and to the Lamb who is the great “I Am,” while millions join the theme, I will sing, I will sing; while millions join the theme, I will sing.

And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on, and when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on; and when from death I’m free, I’ll sing and joyful be, and through eternity I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on, and through eternity I’ll sing on.

For Today: Numbers 21:8; Jeremiah 31:3; John 3:14–18; 1 John 3:1; Revelation 1:5, 6

Reflect once again on the wondrous love of Christ in your behalf. Determine to share your Lord and His wondrous love with another.[1]


February 12: Liar or Lord?

Exodus 28:1–29:46; John 5:16–30; Song of Solomon 4:1–3

When Jesus made a defense of His healing on the Sabbath, He was upping the ante instead of defusing the situation: “My Father is working until now, and I am working” (John 5:17). For the Jews, such a claim was blasphemous. Not only was Jesus breaking the Sabbath, He was equating Himself with the Father and thus claiming to be God. He was presenting the people with a choice.

Jesus provides compelling insight into His relationship with God. Jesus’ authority stems from His relationship with the Father, which is one of complete submission. In fact, He can do nothing on His own. Whatever the Father does, He does likewise. There is complete trust and openness—the Father loves the Son and shows Him all that He is doing. Both the Father and the Son give life. But with authority, the Father has also given the Son judgment.

Jesus presents His audience with an ultimatum as He carries out God’s will on earth: “The one who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. Truly, truly I say to you that the one who hears my word and who believes the one who sent me has eternal life, and does not come into judgment” (John 5:23–24). His claims require bold acts—total faith or total rejection. He is not merely a prophet sent from God.

How do you respond to Jesus’ claim? Are you completely and solely devoted to following Him?

Rebecca Van Noord[2]


February 12

Intro

Welcome to Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Today’s reading is Mark 5 through 8. Our lesson is from Mark 6:12–13, “They went out and preached that [men] should repent. And they were casting out many demons and were anointing with oil many sick people and healing them.” (NASU)

Lesson

One of the most fascinating things about Jesus as a leader is to observe how He trained the disciples to do the work of the ministry. Jesus did the work of the ministry while the disciples watched Him. Later, the disciples did ministry and finally, Jesus would send them out to do ministry tasks. This is clearly demonstrated in verses 7 through 11. Let’s see the three actions of the disciples.

First, the disciples went out and preached. The message was that people had to repent. They went out with a specific message. There are people who say that preaching repentance of sins is offensive so therefore we should not speak about that at all. This is so far from the biblical truth.

Repentance is the door that opens up to eternal life. It was the message of the prophets in the Old Testament. John the Baptist, Jesus, the apostles and the early Church all proclaimed it. The Good News cannot be good news without the forgiveness of sins.

Next, the disciples cast out many demons. To some in the secularized Western culture, the spirit world is nothing more than superstition. The world view of modern day culture denies spiritual realities. But the Bible makes the reality of spiritual beings abundantly clear both in the Old and New Testaments.

Verse 7 states that Jesus gave authority to His disciples. The significance is that it is Jesus’ authority. He is the spiritual source for power that advances the kingdom of God over the kingdom of darkness. In the name of Jesus, all tongues will confess that He is Lord and every knee will bow to Him. He has dominion over all the demons.

Lastly, the disciples healed many people anointing them with oil. Anointing the people with oil is an act of obedience. The oil in itself does not heal. It is the name of Jesus. Christ gave His authority to the disciples and the believing community in the Great Commissions in Matthew and Mark. It is the role of the Church to appropriate and use the power given by Jesus Christ Himself.

In review, the disciples went out and preached. The disciples cast out many demons. And the disciples healed many people, anointing them with oil.

Let us not forget to use the authority given to us by Jesus Christ. We are to be His representatives on earth to advance His kingdom over the kingdom of darkness. Preaching and praying for the sick is our privilege and responsibility.

End

It has been a pleasure to share with you Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Tomorrow’s Bible reading is Mark 9 through 12. Let’s not forget the words of the psalmist, “The law of Your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.” Until tomorrow and may God bless you in abundance as you study the Word of God.[3]


 

February 12

 

The Joy of Participation

 

“ . . in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now” (Phil. 1:5).

✧✧✧

You share in a sacred partnership with Christ and your fellow-Christians for the advancement of the gospel.

In recent years the Greek word koinōnia has become familiar to many Christians as the New Testament word for “fellowship.” However, it is also translated “partnership” and “participation.” In Philippians 1:5, Paul uses it to emphasize the participation of the Philippians in common ministry goals.

Romans 12:13 gives one aspect of that partnership and participation: monetary contributions. That’s one aspect of fellowship that the Philippian church eagerly shared with Paul. As he says in Philippians 4:15–16, “At the first preaching of the gospel, after I departed from Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving but you alone; for even in Thessalonica you sent a gift more than once for my needs.” They were partners in his ministry because their financial support made it possible for him to preach the gospel more effectively.

The Philippians knew that Paul carried a tremendous burden in his heart for all the churches. In listing many of the trials he endured as an apostle, he added, “Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure upon me of concern for all the churches” (2 Cor. 11:28). The Philippian church eased that burden somewhat by being committed to Paul, to his teaching, and to godly living. That brought great joy to him.

How about you? Do your leaders derive encouragement and joy from your participation in the gospel? Remember, you share in a sacred partnership with Christ and your fellow-Christians in the advancement of the gospel, just as the Philippians shared a partnership with Paul. Rejoice in that privilege, and make the most of it today.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Thank the Lord for the Christian fellowship you enjoy. ✧ Ask for wisdom on how you might advance the gospel more effectively. ✧ Always seek to ease the burden of your spiritual leaders by faithfully participating in the ministry of your church as God has gifted you.

For Further Study: Read Ephesians 4:11–16. ✧ What is the goal of Christian ministry? ✧ What is the role of a pastor/teacher in achieving that goal? ✧ What is your role (see also Rom. 12:6–8; 1 Cor. 12:4–11; 1 Peter 4:10–11)?[4]


February 12

Dropping the Dead Weight

Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.

Hebrews 12:1

Whenever we excuse our sin, we are blaming God. Adam did that when God questioned Him about eating the forbidden fruit. He answered, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate” (Gen. 3:12). Adam did not accept responsibility for his sin but blamed God, who had given Eve to him.

Sin is never God’s fault, nor is it the fault of a person or circumstance that God brings into our lives. Excusing sin impugns God for something that is our fault alone. If He chooses to chasten us, we deserve it.

That’s why confession of sin is essential to spiritual growth. When you openly face the reality of your sin and confess it, you have less dead weight to drag you down in the process of growth. As today’s verse indicates, your growth will increase as the weight of sin drops off through confession.[5]


 

February 12

 

God Has Unlimited Power

 

“Thine, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Thine is the dominion, O Lord, and Thou dost exalt Thyself as head over all.”

1 Chronicles 29:11

✧✧✧

God has unlimited power and ultimate control over everything.

There is no limit to God’s power. Revelation 19:6 says, “The Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.” In fact, one Hebrew name for God is El Shaddai (El means “God”; Shaddai means “almighty”). Another word for “almighty” is “omnipotent.”

God can do anything effortlessly. It is no more difficult for Him to create a universe than it is for Him to make a butterfly. We get tired when we work, but God’s infinite power never lessens: “The creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired” (Isa. 40:28).

Not only does God have unlimited power but also the authority to use it. “Our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases” (Ps. 115:3). But God’s power, authority, and will are in harmony with His nature. He cannot sin, neither can He accept impenitent sinners. Such actions would contradict His holiness.

People often question what God does because they don’t understand that He can do anything He wants. They ask, “Why did God do that?” I’ve often replied, “Because He wanted to.” He showed His sovereignty—His ultimate control of everything—in showing mercy to some like Isaac and Jacob, while hardening the hearts of others like Pharaoh (Rom. 9:6–21). To those who object to God’s right to control such things, Paul said, “Who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, ‘Why did you make me like this,’ will it? Or does not the potter have a right over the clay … ?” (vv. 20–21).

Never question God’s use of His power. He is in control, and “The Lord is righteous in all His ways, and kind in all His deeds” (Ps. 145:17). We can trust that whatever He does, it’s for the best.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Praise God for His infinite power and sovereignty.

For Further Study: Read Isaiah 40:21–31. How has God demonstrated His power? ✧ How has He demonstrated His sovereignty? ✧ What comfort should that bring to you?[6]


February 12

God Meets Our Needs

The Lord raises those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous.

Psalm 146:8

God is aware of, concerned about, and involved in every area of need you have, great or small.

Too often, however, we want to face and deal with only our external needs. We want God to provide a quick answer for us only in the tangible, material realm of life. To dig deeper into our neediness is something we perceive as painful, unnecessary, or too spiritual. God doesn’t agree with that approach. While He is concerned about the needs we face in the practical and natural realm of life, He is even more concerned about the needs that impact our very identity and our potential as human beings.[7]


February 12

Captive Thoughts

Scripture reading: Philippians 4:4–9

Key verse: 2 Corinthians 10:5

Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.

A clear conscience brings peace to the heart and a sense of contentment to the mind. People who are continually rushing and running in and through trouble shouldn’t be surprised to find it hard to relax and forsake feelings of anxiety.

One of the roles of the Holy Spirit is to lead us into all truth, an essential element in gaining a clear conscience. The apostle Paul wrote, “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace shall be with you” (Phil. 4:8–9 nasb).

The verses immediately preceding these also add insight: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!… The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (vv. 4–7 nasb).

When your thoughts are captivated with things that are not of God, it is difficult to experience the hope of His truth. Only when you are in tune with His loving Spirit can you sense His grace and mercy at work in your life.

Lord, help me to be in tune with Your loving Spirit so I can sense Your grace and mercy at work in my life.[8]


February 12 The Ministry of Intercession

scripture reading:

 

Colossians 4:2–3, 12

 

key verse:

 

Philippians 1:19

 

I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.

The model quarterback is Joe Montana or Bernie Kosar. The model evangelist is Billy Graham. The model pilot is Chuck Yeager. Each possesses the skills and attributes that younger generations seek to emulate.

For intercessors, the clear choice is Epaphras, Paul’s dedicated coworker who prayed with fervor for the Colossian people. His strategy is a proven model that will work in any age. Epaphras always prayed for the Colossian church.

As an intercessor, you must persevere as you allow the Lord to pray through you His concerns for others. Prayers may be answered not within your urgent framework but according to God’s timing. When you intercede for someone, you are to keep praying until you see the need met.

Epaphras labored in his intercession. Prayer for others is hard work; it does not come naturally; it can seem toilsome. But wouldn’t you want someone else to labor in prayer on your behalf?

His purpose in intercession was that the Colossians “may stand perfect and fully assured in all the will of God” (Col. 4:12 nasb). The intercessor must make the will of God for others the chief pursuit.

Do you want to be used by God? Then pray for others and watch God work.

I want to be used by You, Lord. I want to faithfully intercede for others, to labor in prayer in their behalf. It doesn’t come naturally, so I’m trusting in You to make me an intercessor.[9]


February 12

The Word of Truth

Scripture reading: Colossians 3:1–8

Key verse: John 14:6

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

Everyone must eventually answer three questions: (1) Where did we come from? (2) Why are we here? and (3) Where are we going?

Philosophers, sages, and prophets have sought to provide solutions, all usually with unsatisfactory conclusions. The Bible claims to have the only adequate response to each of these questions because it provides God’s omniscient perspective in contrast to the futile reasoning of man, who is limited by time, education, observation, culture, and prejudice.

First, we come from God. He created us in His image. We were placed on earth by God and for God. We are not the products of impersonal time or chance. Our origins are rooted in the eternal mind of God.

Second, we are here on earth to know and glorify God in our relationships and through our works.

Third, we shall return to God—for judgment if we have ignored or rejected His terms for knowing Him (reconciliation through the Cross) or for everlasting joy if we have embraced His purposes and presence through the person of Jesus Christ.

All of these answers are revealed in the Word of truth—the Bible—which alone can answer the perplexing problems that confront each generation.

O Lord, thank You for the Word of truth, which answers all my questions.[10]


February 12

The Remedy for Sin

Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 5:14–21

Key Verse: Romans 8:1

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

D L. Moody once said, “Looking at the wound of sin will never save anyone. What you must do is to look at the remedy.”

Worrying about temptation and past sins only leads to episodes of guilt. If you truly want to break the pattern of sin in your life, look to the cross of Jesus Christ. This is your only remedy for sin. It was where God displayed His unconditional love and forgiveness to all of mankind.

You may think what you have done in the past is too horrendous for God to forgive. But nothing can separate you from the love of God. His forgiveness and cleansing are for all who come to Him. You may be a believer who has given in to temptation; God wants to free you from this bondage. However, condemnation is not His way (Rom. 8:1).

He draws us to Himself through the gift of His love. You can scold a person for doing wrong, and he may change his outward actions, but his heart remains unchanged. God goes after the heart. The Word of God provides instruction on how to live a godly life; to this He adds His unconditional love. God knows once a person meets Jesus Christ, his life is eternally changed.

When dealing with people who have fallen, pray to have a Christlike attitude, one that is firm but loving. Let forgiveness be representative of your life, and develop a willingness to help restore people who have sinned.

Precious heavenly Father, I look to the cross of Jesus Christ as the remedy for my sin. You displayed Your unconditional forgiveness there. Thank You for that precious sacrifice, the gift of Your love.[11]


February 12

The Grace to Forgive

Scripture Reading: Romans 6:13–17

Key Verse: Romans 6:16

Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?

All of our lives, we have heard the old adage, “Time heals all wounds.” While this rings true occasionally, it is certainly not an all-encompassing rule. There are times when we can actually subvert the effectiveness of time to heal our wounds. Moreover, we can actually work against the power of God to heal our hurts.

What would cause us to do this? It is a matter of forgiveness. When we allow unforgiven hurts to dominate our lives, we are in effect saying, “I do not want to be free from this pain. I want to keep it, nurse it, feed it, and help it to grow. Then, when the time is right, I will thrust this pain upon someone else, hoping to bring misery upon him as well.” Most likely, we never actually voice these intentions, but the effect is the same: we refuse to forgive, and therefore we suffer the pain anew every day.

As Christians, we celebrate that God has chosen not only to forgive our sins but to absolutely forget them as well. According to Psalm 103:12, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” You see, when God forgives us, our sins and failures are totally removed. They are gone—never to be seen, thought of, or heard from again. Ask God today to search your heart and reveal any unforgiven sins that have caused you pain, and ask for the grace to forgive and forget.

Lord, do not let me use the chains of unforgiveness to rebind that which You have set free—my soul and that of my neighbor.[12]


February 12

“They shall be Mine,” says the Lord of hosts, “on the day that I make them My jewels.”

Jesus, You have manifested God’s name to all whom He has given You out of the world. We were His, He gave us to You, and we have kept His word. You pray for us … not for the world but for us whom God has given You. All Yours are God’s, all God’s are Yours; to glorify You. You desire that we also whom God gave You may be with You where You are, that we may behold Your glory which God has given You; for He loved You before the foundation of the world.

You will come again and receive me to Yourself. You will come, in that Day, to be glorified in Your saints and admired among all of us who believe. Then those of us who are alive and remain shall be caught up in the clouds to meet You in the air. And thus we shall always be with You, Lord. I shall also be a crown of glory and a royal diadem in Your hand, my God.

I am Yours—and always will be! What amazing love and hope and joy! Thank You for choosing me and loving me.

Malachi 3:17; John 17:6, 9–10, 24; John 14:3; 2 Thessalonians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 4:17; Isaiah 62:3[13]


February 12

Finding Real Love

Galatians 5:22

But the fruit of the Spirit is love.

I’m convinced that what we need most in our world today—in our churches, in our homes and in our personal lives—is a great outpouring of agape love. It is not an accident that God has put love at the top of the list of the fruit of the Spirit, because when that is right, everything else has the greatest potential to fall into place.

How can we get this love in our lives? By finding out how much God really loves us. We love Him because He first loved us.

If your heart is filled with bitterness, resentment, and hard feelings, God loves you just as you are in spite of that. But when you go to His Word and contemplate His love for you, when you see the price He paid that you might have Him and His love, when you drink deeply of His love and thank Him for loving you, the wonder of it all begins to break in on your consciousness.

Then real love, agape love, God’s love, can begin to develop in your life. Get caught up in how God loves you and watch your life respond. The more we know about God and His love for us, the more that love begins to fill our being until we become like Him.[14]


February 12

OH! it is a happy way of smoothing sorrow when we can say, “We will wait only upon God.” Oh, ye agitated Christians, do not dishonor your religion by always wearing a brow of care; come, cast your burden upon the Lord. I see ye staggering beneath a weight which He would not feel. What seems to you a crushing burden, would be to him but as the small dust of the balance. See! the Almighty bends his shoulders, and he says, “Here, put thy troubles here.”

“Come unto Me, and I will give you rest.”[15]


February 12

What mean these stones?… Ye also as living stones

Josh. 4:21; 1 Peter 2:5 (R.V.)

There should be something so remarkable, so peculiar about the life and conversation of a Christian that men should be compelled to ask, “What does this mean?” … Is there anything in your character, words, and habits of life so different from the world around you that men are involuntarily compelled to ask themselves or others, “What does this mean?” Not that there is to be a forced singularity, a peculiarity for the sake of being peculiar; that were merely to copy the pharisaism of ancient days.… Oh, that we might realize that this is the purpose for which God sends us into the world, as He sent His only begotten Son!

S. A. Blackwood[16]


Day 12

Adoration

Great is the Lord, and most worthy of praise

In the city of our God, His holy mountain.

We have meditated on Your unfailing love, O God,

In the midst of Your temple.

As is Your name, O God,

So is Your praise to the ends of the earth;

Your right hand is filled with righteousness. (Psalm 48:1, 9–10)

O come, let us worship and bow down,

Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. (Psalm 95:6)

Pause to express your thoughts of praise and worship.

Confession

Who can discern his errors?

Cleanse me from hidden faults.

Keep Your servant also from presumptuous sins;

Let them not rule over me.

Then will I be blameless,

And innocent of great transgression. (Psalm 19:12–13)

Ask the Spirit to search your heart and reveal any areas of unconfessed sin. Acknowledge these to the Lord and thank Him for His forgiveness.

Renewal

Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy; love does not boast, it is not arrogant, it does not behave rudely; it does not seek its own, it is not provoked, it keeps no record of wrongs; it does not rejoice in unrighteousness but rejoices with the truth; it bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:4–8)

May my love abound more and more in full knowledge and depth of insight, so that I may be able to approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ—having been filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. (Philippians 1:9–11)

Pause to add your own prayers for personal renewal.

Petition

Since I died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, may I not submit to its regulations as though I still belonged to it. (Colossians 2:20)

Growth in Christ

Greater desire to know and please Him

Greater love and commitment to Him

Grace to practice His presence

Grace to glorify Him in my life

My activities for this day

Special concerns

Intercession

There should be no division in the body, but its members should have the same concern for each other. If one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now we are the body of Christ, and each one of us is a member of it. (1 Corinthians 12:25–27)

Churches and Ministries

My local church

Other churches

Evangelism and discipleship ministries

Educational ministries

Special concerns

Affirmation

I am not competent in myself to claim anything for myself, but my competence comes from God. He has made me competent as a minister of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. (2 Corinthians 3:5–6)

It is because of God that I am in Christ Jesus, who has become for me wisdom from God and righteousness and sanctification and redemption. (1 Corinthians 1:30)

Pause to reflect upon these biblical affirmations.

Thanksgiving

It is in You, Lord Jesus, that I have peace. In this world I will have tribulation, but I will be of good cheer, because You have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

I have been set apart for the gospel of God—I am among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ. (Romans 1:1, 6)

Pause to offer your own expressions of thanksgiving.

Closing Prayer

The Lord is my shepherd;

I shall not be in want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures;

He leads me beside quiet waters;

He restores my soul.

He guides me in the paths of righteousness

For His name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil, for You are with me;

Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.

You anoint my head with oil;

My cup overflows.

Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life,

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (Psalm 23:1–6)[17]


Morning, February 12 

 

“For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.”

— 2 Corinthians 1:5

 

There is a blessed proportion. The Ruler of Providence bears a pair of scales—in this side he puts his people’s trials, and in that he puts their consolations. When the scale of trial is nearly empty, you will always find the scale of consolation in nearly the same condition; and when the scale of trials is full, you will find the scale of consolation just as heavy. When the black clouds gather most, the light is the more brightly revealed to us. When the night lowers and the tempest is coming on, the Heavenly Captain is always closest to his crew. It is a blessed thing, that when we are most cast down, then it is that we are most lifted up by the consolations of the Spirit. One reason is, because trials make more room for consolation. Great hearts can only be made by great troubles. The spade of trouble digs the reservoir of comfort deeper, and makes more room for consolation. God comes into our heart—he finds it full—he begins to break our comforts and to make it empty; then there is more room for grace. The humbler a man lies, the more comfort he will always have, because he will be more fitted to receive it. Another reason why we are often most happy in our troubles, is this—then we have the closest dealings with God. When the barn is full, man can live without God: when the purse is bursting with gold, we try to do without so much prayer. But once take our gourds away, and we want our God; once cleanse the idols out of the house, then we are compelled to honour Jehovah. “Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord.” There is no cry so good as that which comes from the bottom of the mountains; no prayer half so hearty as that which comes up from the depths of the soul, through deep trials and afflictions. Hence they bring us to God, and we are happier; for nearness to God is happiness. Come, troubled believer, fret not over your heavy troubles, for they are the heralds of weighty mercies.

 

Evening, February 12

 

“He shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever.”

— John 14:16

 

Great Father revealed himself to believers of old before the coming of his Son, and was known to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as the God Almighty. Then Jesus came, and the ever-blessed Son in his own proper person, was the delight of his people’s eyes. At the time of the Redeemer’s ascension, the Holy Spirit became the head of the present dispensation, and his power was gloriously manifested in and after Pentecost. He remains at this hour the present Immanuel—God with us, dwelling in and with his people, quickening, guiding, and ruling in their midst. Is his presence recognized as it ought to be? We cannot control his working; he is most sovereign in all his operations, but are we sufficiently anxious to obtain his help, or sufficiently watchful lest we provoke him to withdraw his aid? Without him we can do nothing, but by his almighty energy the most extraordinary results can be produced: everything depends upon his manifesting or concealing his power. Do we always look up to him both for our inner life and our outward service with the respectful dependence which is fitting? Do we not too often run before his call and act independently of his aid? Let us humble ourselves this evening for past neglects, and now entreat the heavenly dew to rest upon us, the sacred oil to anoint us, the celestial flame to burn within us. The Holy Ghost is no temporary gift, he abides with the saints. We have but to seek him aright, and he will be found of us. He is jealous, but he is pitiful; if he leaves in anger, he returns in mercy. Condescending and tender, he does not weary of us, but awaits to be gracious still.

 

Sin has been hammering my heart

Unto a hardness, void of love,

Let supplying grace to cross his art

Drop from above.[18]


February 12

Genesis 45; Mark 15; Job 11; Romans 15

I shall comment briefly on the two readings set for the day.

Zophar’s speech (Job 11) carries forward the unfolding drama of the book of Job. Like Bildad, Zophar begins by condemning Job’s addresses (11:2–3). To him, it sounds as if Job is claiming personal perfection: “You say to God, ‘My beliefs are flawless and I am pure in your sight’ ” (11:4). Job has been wishing that God would answer him. Well and good, responds Zophar: “Oh, how I wish that God would speak” (11:5). No less than Job, he would love it if God would reply—and he is quite certain that, were God to do so, he would powerfully rebuke Job.

Just for a moment, Zophar seems to take a healthy turn. He begins to deal with the fathomless knowledge and wisdom of the Almighty, far beyond human capacity. If that had been all Zophar had said, he would have anticipated part of the answer of God himself later in the book (chaps. 38–41). Sadly, however, Zophar immediately turns this in a mischievous direction, following the same path as Eliphaz and Bildad: a God so great in knowledge can certainly recognize deceitful men, “and when he sees evil, does he not take note?” (11:11). Once again, the argument degenerates to a fairly mechanical theory of recompense. There is no category for innocent suffering. Job must be very wicked, for he is suffering much; the only reasonable option for him is to turn from the sin that must obviously be engulfing him (11:13–20).

The second passage is of a very different sort. Consider the way Paul here exhorts the Romans to pray: “I urge you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. Pray that I may be rescued from the unbelievers in Judea and that my service in Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints there, so that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and together with you be refreshed. The God of peace be with you all. Amen” (Rom. 15:30–33). Note: (a) What Paul asks for is prayer for himself. (b) If the Romans respond by praying, they will by their prayer be joining Paul in his struggle. (c) The particular struggle Paul has in mind is his relationship with unbelievers in Judea; he wants his service for the poor there to be so acceptable that he will be able to leave quickly and make his way to Rome. (d) Within the context of the chapter, this trip to Rome is part of his plan to evangelize Spain. In short, Paul asks for prayers that will further the Gospel in various ways.

What do you characteristically pray for?[19]


February 12

Genesis 45; Mark 15; Job 11; Romans 15

In mark 15 people speak better than they know.

“What shall I do, then,” Pilate asks, “with the one you call the king of the Jews?” (15:12). Of course, he utters the expression “king of the Jews” with a certain sneering contempt. When the crowd replies, “Crucify him!” (15:13, 14), the politically motivated think this is the end of another messianic pretender. They do not know that this king has to die, that his reign turns on his death, that he is simultaneously King and Suffering Servant.

The soldiers twist together a crown of thorns and jam it on his head. They hit him and spit on him, and then fall on their knees in mock homage, crying, “Hail, king of the Jews!” (15:18). In fact, he is more than the King of the Jews (though certainly not less). One day, each of those soldiers, and everyone else, will bow down before the resurrected man they mocked and crucified, and confess that he is Lord (Phil. 2:9–11).

Those who passed by could not resist hurling insults: “So! You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, come down from the cross and save yourself!” (15:29–30). The dismissive mockery hid the truth they could not see: earlier Jesus had indeed taught that he himself was the real temple, the antitype of the building in Jerusalem, the ultimate meeting-place between God and human beings (John 2:19–22). Indeed, Jesus not only insisted that he is himself the temple, but that this is so by virtue of the fact that this temple must be destroyed and brought back to life in three days. If he had “come down from the cross” and saved himself, as his mockers put it, he could not have become the destroyed and rebuilt “temple” that reconciles men and women to God.

“He saved others but he can’t save himself” (15:31). Wrong again—and right again. This is the man who voluntarily goes to the cross (14:36; cf. John 10:18). To say “he can’t save himself” is ridiculously limiting. Yet he couldn’t save himself and save others. He saves others by not saving himself.

“Let this Christ, this King of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe” (15:32). But what kind of Christ would they then have believed in? A powerful king, doubtless—but not the Redeemer, not the Sacrifice, not the Suffering Servant. They could not long have believed in him, for the basis of this transformation in them was the very cross-work they were taunting him to abandon.

“Surely this man was the Son of God” (15:39). Yes; more than they knew.[20]


February 12.—Morning. [Or March 25.] “The Lord heareth your murmurings.”

Exodus 15:22–27

SO Moses brought Israel from the Red sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water.

Their first trouble was too much water, the second is too little; our trials are of all kinds.

23 ¶ And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah. (This was tantalizing, they had water, but could not drink it).

24 And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink?

25, 26 And he cried unto the Lord; and the Lord shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them, And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee. (God has provided remedies for all ills, sweetening trees for bitter waters, and the cross to sweeten all.)

27 ¶ And they came to Elim, where were twelve wells of water, and threescore and ten palm trees: and they encamped there by the waters. (It is not all rough work with pilgrims to Canaan, they have their pleasant seasons. Let them thank God for them.)

Exodus 16:1–10

AND they took their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came unto the wilderness of Sin. (It was strange that God should lead two millions of people into a desert, but wisdom directed his course. Strange providences are gracious providences.)

And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness: and said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger. (With shameful readiness they ran to a low-minded form of complaining. There was no spirit in them. The flesh pots and the bread were all they thought of; the brick-making and the whips they overlooked. It is easy to make out the past to have been bright when we wish to find fault with the present.)

4, 5 Then said the Lord unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no. And it shall come to pass, that on the sixth day they shall prepare that which they bring in; and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily. (Our mercies are tests; let us eat and drink to God’s glory.)

6, 7 And Moses and Aaron said unto all the children of Israel, At even, then ye shall know that the Lord hath brought you out from the land of Egypt: And in the morning, then ye shall see the glory of the Lord; for that he heareth your murmurings against the Lord: and what are we, that ye murmur against us?

And Moses said, This shall be, when the Lord shall give you in the evening flesh to eat, and in the morning bread to the full; for that the Lord heareth your murmurings which ye murmur against him: and what are we? your murmurings are not against us, but against the Lord. (We think it a small thing to murmur against parents and friends, but this sheds a new light upon the matter. It is clear that a discontented heart really murmurs against God himself.)

9, 10 ¶ And Moses spake unto Aaron, Say unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, Come near before the Lord: for he hath heard your murmurings. (This is a solemn truth; let all grumblers remember it.) And it came to pass, as Aaron spake unto the whole congregation of the children of Israel, that they looked toward the wilderness, and, behold, the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud.

The cross on which the Saviour died,

And conquer’d for his saints;

This is the tree by faith applied

To sweeten all complaints.

When we by faith behold the cross,

Though many griefs we meet;

We draw a gain from every loss,

And make our Marahs sweet.

February 12.—Evening. [Or March 26.] “I am the living bread.”

Exodus 16:11–31

AND the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel: speak unto them, saying, At even ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know that I am the Lord your God.

One would have expected a far severer rebuke than this, but the Lord was very pitiful towards them, as he is also towards us. These first murmurings were not visited so severely as those further on. The Lord is loath to use his rod.

13, 14 And it came to pass, that at even the quails came up, and covered the camp: and in the morning the dew lay round about the host. And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the ground.

15 And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the Lord hath given you to eat. (They had the best of flesh and better than the best of bread. No king’s table was better spread than theirs. Rest assured he who fed murmurers will not desert believers.)

16 ¶ This is the thing which the Lord hath commanded, Gather of it every man according to his eating, an omer for every man, according to the number of your persons; take ye every man for them which are in his tents. (Heaven’s bread must be gathered. We must hear the word, and retain it, or it cannot profit us.)

17 And the children of Israel did so, and gathered, some more, some less.

18 And when they did mete it with an omer, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every man according to his eating.

19, 20 And Moses said, Let no man leave of it till the morning. Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto Moses: but some of them left of it until the morning, and it bred worms, and stank: and Moses was wroth with them.

There were misers in the wilderness, and their hoardings stank; there are other misers now upon the earth, whose scrapings are cankered and corrupt. Covetousness is loathsome.

21 And they gathered it every morning, every man according to his eating: and when the sun waxed hot, it melted. (Yet it could be cooked! Strange that it could bear one heat and not another.)

22 ¶ And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man: and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses.

23, 24 And he said unto them, This is that which the Lord hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the Lord: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning. And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade: and it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein.

25, 26 And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath unto the Lord: to day ye shall not find it in the field. Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none. (Thus the seventh day was honoured by the ceasing of the visible manna, but our first-day Sabbath has a double fall of spiritual manna, and we ought to gather in good store for all the week-days.)

27 ¶ And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none. (This was the surest way of stopping the sin, but it was very grievous that a people so marvellously favoured should be guilty of such a superfluous provocation.)

28, 29, 30 And the Lord said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws? See, for that the Lord hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day. So the people rested on the seventh day.

31 And the house of Israel called the name thereof Manna: and it was like coriander seed, white; and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey. (God might have made it bitter, but he delights to see his creatures happy. What a blessed God he is!)

Day by day the manna fell;

Oh! to learn this lesson well:

Still by constant mercy fed,

Give me, Lord, my daily bread.

“Day by day,” the promise reads;

Daily strength for daily needs;

Cast foreboding fears away;

Take the manna of to-day.[21]


February 12th

Must I listen?

And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die. Exodus 20:19.

We do not consciously disobey God, we simply do not heed Him. God has given us His commands; there they are, but we do not pay any attention to them, not because of wilful disobedience but because we do not love and respect Him. “If ye love Me, ye will keep My commandments.” When once we realize that we have been ‘disrespecting’ God all the time, we are covered with shame and humiliation because we have not heeded Him.

“Speak thou with us … but let not God speak with us.” We show how little we love God by preferring to listen to His servants only. We like to listen to personal testimonies, but we do not desire that God Himself should speak to us. Why are we so terrified lest God should speak to us? Because we know that if God does speak, either the thing must be done or we must tell God we will not obey Him. If it is only the servant’s voice we hear, we feel it is not imperative, we can say, ‘Well, that is simply your own idea, though I don’t deny it is probably God’s truth.’

Am I putting God in the humiliating position of having treated me as a child of His while all the time I have been ignoring Him? When I do hear Him, the humiliation I have put on Him comes back on me—‘Lord, why was I so dull and so obstinate?’ This is always the result when once we do hear God. The real delight of hearing Him is tempered with shame in having been so long in hearing Him.[22]


February 12 – Why the Priority of Humility?

“‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven’” (Matthew 5:3).

This beatitude was uttered first because humility is the foundation of all other graces and a crucial aspect to salvation (cf. Matt. 18:3–4). The door into Christ’s kingdom is narrow and low, and no one who sees himself or herself too large or too tall will ever pass through. It makes about as much sense to attempt to grow fruit apart from a tree and its branches as to expect the other graces of the Christian life to grow apart from humility.

Until we humble ourselves to recognize our own spiritual poverty and our need of Christ, we cannot see and experience His gracious, saving riches. Jesus said of the contrite tax collector, “I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other [the Pharisee]; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 18:14).

No person can receive the kingdom of God until he or she realizes they are unworthy of that kingdom. The proud Laodicean church declared collectively, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” but in reality the members were “wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked” (Rev. 3:17). People like the Laodiceans remind us of the story of the Roman slave girl who would not recognize her blindness, insisting that her world was just permanently dark.

Until the proud are willing to be poor in spirit, they can’t receive the King or enter His kingdom.

Ask Yourself

We see that pride is the chief barrier between people and God, between sinful souls and Christ’s glorious salvation. But what else does pride restrict us from experiencing and enjoying? What other residual costs does it incur in our lives?

From Daily Readings from the Life of Christ, Vol. 1, John MacArthur. Copyright © 2008. Used by permission of Moody Publishers, Chicago, IL 60610, http://www.moodypublishers.com.


February 12

Reading for Today:

Exodus 35:1–36:38
Psalm 22:1-8
Proverbs 8:6-11
Matthew 26:26-50
Notes:

Psalm 22:1 This heavy lament rivals Job 3; Psalm 69; Jeremiah 20:14–18. My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? The repeated noun of direct address to God reflects a personal molecule of hope in a seemingly hopeless situation.“ Forsaken” is a strong expression for personal abandonment, intensely felt by David and supremely experienced by Christ on the cross (Matt. 27:46).

Proverbs 8:10, 11 The most valuable reality a young person can attain is the insight to order his life by the standard of truth (see 3:14, 15; 8:19–21; also Job 28:12–28; Ps. 19:10).

Matthew 26:39 this cup. See v. 42. A cup is often the symbol of divine wrath against sin in the Old Testament (Is.51:17, 22; Jer. 25:15–17, 27–29; Lam. 4:21, 22; Ezek. 23:31–34; Hab. 2:16). The next day Christ would “bear the sins of many” (Heb. 9:28)—and the fullness of divine wrath would fall on Him (Is. 53:10, 11; 2 Cor. 5:21). This was the price of the sin He bore, and He paid it in full. His cry of anguish in 27:46 reflects the extreme bitterness of the cup of wrath He was given. not as I will, but as You will. This implies no conflict between the Persons of the Godhead. Rather, it graphically reveals how Christ in His humanity voluntarily surrendered His will to the will of the Father in all things—precisely so that there would be no conflict between the divine will and His desires. See John 4:34; 6:38; 8:29; Phil. 2:8.

DAY 12: Why did Jesus institute the Lord’s Supper?

In Matthew 26:26, “Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body,’” thus transforming His last Passover into the first observance of the Lord’s Supper. He is the central antitype in both ceremonies, being represented symbolically by both the paschal lamb of the Passover and the elements in the communion service. His statement, “this is My body,” could not possibly have been taken in any literal sense by the disciples present that evening. Such metaphorical language was a typical Hebraism. No eucharistic miracle of transubstantiation was implied, nor could the disciples have missed the symbolic intent of His statement, for His actual body—yet unbroken—was before their very eyes.

When He took the cup of wine, He said that this is “My blood of the new covenant” (v. 28). Covenants were ratified with the blood of a sacrifice (Gen. 8:20; 15:9, 10). Jesus’ words here echo Moses’ pronouncement in Exodus 24:8. The blood of the New Covenant is not an animal’s blood, but Christ’s own blood, shed for the remission of sins. See Jeremiah 31:31–34; Hebrews 8:1–10:18, especially 8:6.Thus He established the observance as an ordinance for worship (1 Cor. 11:23–26). Passover had looked forward to the sacrifice of Christ; He transformed it into an altogether different ceremony, which looks back in remembrance at His atoning death.

From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville, TN 37214, http://www.thomasnelson.com.


Fri, February 12, 2016

Make Time to Pray

“Am I faithful in prayer?” Ask yourself that. “Well, I’m busy,” you say. Yes, you are busy. So was the Lord Jesus. So was Martin Luther. Luther said, “In the morning I have so much work to do that I am going to have to pray longer today.” Are you faithful in prayer, and do you meditate on the Word? How much of Scripture have you read lately? Have you read it wth meditation and tenderness? These are a few questions. You can answer them evasively and the snow lies there. Or you can answer them honestly and see the springtime come to your heart. Put yourself in the hands of the One who loves you infinitely. If you have failed Him, you will have to admit that there is a rut or snow on the meadow. Tell Him so–don’t hide it. He will not turn His back in anger and say, “You disappoined me and betrayed me.” There is a balm in Gilead, plenty of it. The balm and healing in the blood of the Lamb will get you out of the rut.

Verse
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
Ephesians 6:18

Thought
Prayer that is prayer is honest, straightforward communication with God. It is not a monologue, a complaint recital, an endless wish list. It is communing with God and listening to Him.

Prayer
Lord, teach me to pray, really pray.

A. W. Tozer
http://www.cmalliance.org/devotions/tozer


Faith’s Checkbook: God Delights to Give

After Lot had departed, the Lord said to Abram, “Look from the place where you stand to the north, south, east, and west. I will give all the land that you see to you and your descendants forever. – Gen 13:14-15 NET

A special blessing for a memorable occasion. Abram had settled a family dispute. He had said, “Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between thee and me, for we be brethren”; and hence he received the blessing which belongs to peacemakers. The Lord and giver of peace delights to manifest His grace to those who seek peace and pursue it. If we desire closer communion with God, we must keep closer to the ways of peace.

Abram had behaved very generously to his kinsman, giving him his choice of the land. If we deny ourselves for peace’s sake, the Lord will more than make it up to us. As far as the patriarch can see, he can claim, and we may do the like by faith. Abram had to wait for the actual possession, but the Lord entailed the land upon him and his posterity. Boundless blessings belong to us by covenant gift. All things are ours. When we please the Lord, He makes us to look everywhere and see all things our own, whether things present or things to come, all are ours, and we are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.

C. H. Spurgeon


CONFESSION: Confess and Bewail your Original Corruption

3
We must therefore confess and bewail our original corruption in the first place: that we are the children of apostate and rebellious parents, and the nature of man is depraved and has wretchedly degenerated from its primitive purity and rectitude, and such is our nature.

Lord, you made man upright, but they have sought out many schemes; Ecclesiastes 7:29(ESV) and being in pomp, they did not understand, and therefore did not remain, but became like the beasts that perish. Psalm 49:20(ESV)

Through one man sin came into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned: Romans 5:12(ESV) By that one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, including all of us. Romans 5:19(ESV)

We are the offspring of evildoers; Isaiah 1:4(ESV) our father was an Amorite and our mother a Hittite; and we ourselves were called (and not miscalled) rebels from before birth, and you knew we would deal treacherously. Isaiah 48:8(ESV)

The nature of man was planted a choice and noble vine, wholly of pure seed, but it has turned degenerate and become a wild vine, Jeremiah 2:21(ESV) producing the grapes of Sodom and the clusters of Gomorrah. Deuteronomy 32:32(ESV) How the gold has grown dim, how the pure gold is changed! Lamentations 4:1(ESV)

Behold, we were brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did our mothers conceive us. Psalm 51:5(ESV) For, who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? There is not one. Job 14:4(ESV) We are by nature children of wrath, because children of disobedience, like the rest of mankind. Ephesians 2:2-3(ESV)

All flesh has corrupted their way; Genesis 6:12(ESV) we have all turned aside; together we have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one. Psalm 14:3(ESV)

Matthew Henry’s method for prayer


 

[1] Osbeck, K. W. (1996). Amazing grace: 366 inspiring hymn stories for daily devotions (p. 53). Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications.

[2] Barry, J. D., & Kruyswijk, R. (2012). Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

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

[4] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 55). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[5] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 55). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

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

[7] Stanley, C. F. (2004). God’s way day by day (p. 51). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[8] Stanley, C. F. (2002). Seeking His face (p. 45). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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

[10] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 45). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[11] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 45). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[12] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 45). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[13] Jeremiah, D. (2007). Life-Changing Moments With God (p. 53). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[14] Jeremiah, D. (2002). Sanctuary: finding moments of refuge in the presence of God (p. 45). Nashville, TN: Integrity Publishers.

[15] Spurgeon, C. H. (1892). Daily Help (p. 47). Baltimore: R. H. Woodward & Company.

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

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

[18] Spurgeon, C. H. (2006). Morning and evening: Daily readings (Complete and unabridged; New modern edition.). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers.

[19] Carson, D. A. (1998). For the love of God: a daily companion for discovering the riches of God’s Word. (Vol. 2, p. 25). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[20] Carson, D. A. (1998). For the love of God: a daily companion for discovering the riches of God’s Word. (Vol. 1). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[21] Spurgeon, C. H. (1964). The Interpreter: Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible (pp. 85–86). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.

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

 

Posted in C. H. Spurgeon, Charles Stanley, D. A. Carson, David Jeremiah, Devotional Guide, John MacArthur | Leave a comment

Is the Lord’s Return Imminent?

Christ could come at any moment. I believe that with all my heart—not because of what I read in the newspapers, but because of what I read in Scripture.

From the very earliest days of the church, the apostles and first-generation Christians nurtured an earnest expectation and fervent hope that Christ might suddenly return at any time to gather His church to heaven. James, writing what was probably the earliest of the New Testament epistles, expressly told his readers that the Lord’s return was imminent:

Be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door! (James 5:7–9).

Peter echoed that same expectation when he wrote, “The end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers” (1 Pet 4:7). The writer of Hebrews cited the imminent return of Christ as a reason to remain faithful: “Let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (Heb 10:24–25). He wrote, “Yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry” (v. 37).

And the apostle John made the most confident pronouncement of all: “Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour” (1 John 2:18). When John recorded his vision in the book of Revelation, he prefaced it by saying these things “must shortly take place” (Rev 1:1).

The New Testament writers often wrote of Christ’s “appearing,” and they never failed to convey the sense that this could happen imminently. “And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming” (1 John 2:28; cf. 3:2; Col 3:4; 2 Tim 4:8; 1 Pet 5:4).

All those texts suggest that in the early church expectation of Christ’s imminent return ran high. A solid conviction that Christ could return at any time permeates the whole NT.

When the apostle Paul described the Lord’s coming for the church, he used personal pronouns that show he clearly was convinced he himself might be among those who would be caught up alive to meet the Lord: “We who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord . . . . we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thess 4:15, 17). He obviously looked for Christ to return in his lifetime.

He furthermore made it plain that a watchful, hopeful expectancy about Christ’s Second Coming is one of the godly attitudes divine grace teaches all believers:

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. (Titus 2:11–13)

How Could Christ’s Coming Have Been Imminent in the Early Church?

Some argue that Christ’s coming could not possibly have been imminent for the early church, given the obvious fact that two thousand years later, He has still not returned.

Skeptics often ridicule Christianity or challenge the inerrancy of Scripture on that very ground. After all, the verses cited at the beginning of this chapter do prove that James, Peter, John, Paul, and the writer of Hebrews all believed Christ’s return was very near—”at the door” (Jas 5:9); “at hand” (Phil 4:5;
1 Pet 4:7); “approaching” (Heb 10:25); “com[ing] quickly” (Rev 3:11; 22:7).

How can it be, then, that two thousand years later Christ still has not returned? Could the apostles have been in error about the timing? That is precisely what some skeptics claim.

What shall we make of such skeptical allegations? Does the passing of two thousand years indeed prove that Christ’s coming was not imminent in the early church era, and that the apostles were mistaken?

Certainly not. Remember the clear statement of Christ in Matt 24:42: “You do not know what hour your Lord is coming.” The exact time remains hidden from us, as it was from the apostles. But Christ could nonetheless come at any time. The Judge is still at the door. The day is still at hand. There are no other events that must occur on the prophetic calendar before Christ comes to meet us in the air. He could come at any moment. And it is in that sense that Christ’s coming is imminent.

In the very same sense, His coming was imminent even in the days of the early church.

I suppose it is also possible that Christ could delay his coming another two thousand years or longer. Given the rapid decline of society, I do not see how that is possible, but neither did the apostles when they surveyed the state of the world in their time. He still could delay His coming. That is why Christ taught us to be prepared, whether He comes immediately or delays longer than we think possible (cf. Matt 24:42–25:12).

In any case, the passing of two thousand years is no reproach whatsoever against the faithfulness of God or the trustworthiness of His Word. This is precisely the point Peter made when he anticipated the scoffers who would arise, mocking the promise of Christ’s return (2 Pet 3:3-4). Peter’s reply to those scoffers? “With the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (v. 8).

The amount of earthly time that passes is of no consequence. It is certainly irrelevant from God’s timeless point of view. A moment is like many eons in His mind, and eons pass like moments. He is not bound by time as we are, and no amount of time can ever nullify His faithfulness. “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (v. 9).

In other words, the real reason for the Lord’s delay is not that He is negligent or careless in fulfilling his promises, but simply because He is longsuffering and kind, delaying Christ’s coming and the wrath that will accompany it while he calls out people to salvation. And Christ will not return before the merciful
purposes of God are complete. Far from suggesting apathy or neglect on God’s part, the long delay before Christ’s appearing simply underscores the remarkable depth of His nearly inexhaustible mercy and longsuffering.

And therefore the fact that two-thousand years have elapsed is utterly irrelevant to the doctrine of Christ’s imminent return. Christ’s coming is still imminent. It could occur at any moment. The command to be ready and watchful is as applicable to us as it was to the early church. In fact, the return of Christ should be an even more urgent issue for us, because it is drawing nearer with the passing of each day.

We still do not know when Christ is coming, but we do know that we are two thousand years closer to that event than James was in those earliest days of the Christian era, when the Holy Spirit moved him to warn the church that the coming of the Lord was at hand and the Judge was already standing at the door.

Today’s post was adapted from Dr. MacArthur’s MSJ article entitled “Is Christ’s Return Imminent?” Click here to read the full article.

The post Is the Lord’s Return Imminent? appeared first on The Master’s Seminary.

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Christians’ true status in this lost and dying world

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

17 And HE came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near; 18 for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit. (Ephesians 2:17-22 NASB)

11 Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. 12 Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing…

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The Corruption of Fox News Network: A Tragedy Which Was Inevitable

Absolute Truth from the Word of God

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 16: The FOX News logo at FOX Studios on August 16, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Getty Images)

A news organization is only as good as its leadership and those in the decision making positions with the most clout. Sadly, we are seeing this in the one Cable Network which took on the status quo – the Mainstream media who has always been in the pocket of the progressives.

A little history of Fox News:

On October 7th of 1996, Fox News was introduced to the world as the first cable network to offer a “conservative” alternative to the the mainstream media which has also supported the Dems – forever.

Through the years, with shows such as O’Reilly and Sean Hannity, truth was finally available to the little guy watching the news.  Attacks came as they knew they would.  Fox News was called “Fox Noise” and the mainstream folks laughed at even the thought of this “experiment” having legs and ultimately being successful.

Well, the laughter ceased –…

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Trampling Christ, Christians, and Country: LGBT Troops Steamroll Religious Freedom

Eradicate: Blotting Out God in America

Children seduced by LGBTIt is undeniable the LGBT movement has grown in acceptance, public opinion, influence, and more recently – in boldness throughout the West. Almost simultaneously, just over fifty years ago Christians in America became less active, visible, and vocal in public while LGBT proponents gladly stepped in. As our passion for truth and biblical morality faded, those fighting against God and Christian values have become more committed and emboldened.

Last week: in Illinois, a transgender student was granted access to a public school’s female locker room after filing a civil rights complaint with the school, in Minnesota, a judge ruled that a national check-print company must pay $115,000 and apologize to a transgender man for banning “her” from the women’s bathroom, and the International Olympic Committee has just ruled that transgendered athletes can now compete against the gender with which they identify. Translation: male athletes can compete against women (without even…

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February 11, 2016 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

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Feb. 11, 2016

BLOOMBERG

The Republican-led U.S. House panel investigating Hillary Clinton’s response to the 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, is drafting its final report, which probably will be used to criticize the former secretary of state on the presidential campaign trail.

The Senate overwhelmingly voted to authorize new U.S. sanctions against North Korea, days after the country launched a long-range rocket.

Rank-and-file House Republicans on Wednesday were offered a chance to vote against President Barack Obama’s proposed 2017 fiscal budget, but with a catch — they also would have to vote on a budget bill offered by Republican leaders.

Filings for unemployment benefits in the U.S. declined to a seven-week low as hiring managers demonstrated confidence in the outlook after temporary adjustments around the holidays. Jobless claims dropped by 16,000 to 269,000 in the week ended Feb. 6.

Christine Lagarde is set to win a second term as managing director of the International Monetary Fund, after no candidates emerged to challenge her.

Gold climbed to the highest in a year as investors sought a haven from tumbling stock markets after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen suggested the central bank may delay raising interest rates. The metal jumped as much as 3.8 percent to $1,242.26 an ounce.

The yen climbed against every major currency as a drop in global stocks and rising tensions between North and South Korea boosted demand for havens.

South Korea plans to cut off power and water to a joint factory park in North Korea to punish Kim Jong Un for his recent nuclear test and rocket launch, said a government official with knowledge of the matter, shuttering the last avenue for economic cooperation between the countries.

Kyle Bass, the hedge fund manager who successfully bet against mortgages during the subprime crisis, said China’s banking system may see losses of more than four times those suffered by U.S. banks during the last crisis.

AP Top Stories

The last four armed occupiers of a national wildlife refuge in eastern Oregon said they would turn themselves in Thursday morning after law officers surrounded them in a tense standoff.

A gunman fatally shot a sheriff’s deputy inside a crowded restaurant at lunchtime Wednesday and killed another deputy in a shootout, authorities and witnesses said. The gunman was killed in the exchange of gunfire not far from the shopping center where the restaurant was located, Harford County MD Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler said. Remarkably, no bystanders were hurt.

A man was arrested in the shooting and decapitation of his grandmother and her husband at an Oklahoma City home where they operated a day care, police said Wednesday.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Thursday that two U.S. aircraft had bombed the Syrian city of Aleppo on Feb. 10, and that Russian planes had not been operating in the area.

Senator John McCain, the head of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, on Wednesday increased pressure on the Pentagon and the Air Force, demanding answers over the continued use of Russian rocket engines for U.S. satellite launches.

A wild elephant went on an hours-long rampage in a town in eastern India on Wednesday, damaging about 100 homes, shops and other buildings, a state minister said.

Dubbed ‘super confessors’, for one year only they can absolve sins usually only pardoned by the pope himself. And on Wednesday over 1,000 of these “missionaries of mercy”, handpicked by Pope Francis, were sent forth to win back the hearts of those who have left the Catholic Church and open the door to repentant sinners across the world.

BBC

NATO ships are being deployed to the Aegean Sea to deter people-smugglers taking migrants from Turkey to Greece, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said.

North Korea has vowed to cut two key communication hotlines with the South, amid rising tensions after Pyongyang’s recent rocket and nuclear tests.

An attacker has opened fire at an education department office in Saudi Arabia’s southern Jazan province, killing six employees. Two other people have been wounded in the assault.

Los Angeles, known as the homeless capital of the US, has passed a $1.87bn plan to help get an estimated 40,000 people off the streets. City authorities hope to expand homeless shelters and build quality housing over the next 10 years.

Colombia’s largest rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), has announced that it will stop recruiting minors.

At least 56 people have been killed in a double suicide bombing at a camp sheltering people displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency in north-east Nigeria. The bombers, both female, detonated their explosives while the camp’s residents were queuing for rations.

WND

Freedoms of religion and speech, protected in the U.S. by its Constitution and recognized widely in other parts of the free world in law and practice, are under attack again, this time in Kentucky where a local commission is demanding – at the request of a homosexual organization – that a printer produce T-shirts with a message that violates his Christian faith.

Large numbers of babies with borderline normal head sizes were born in Brazil as far back as 2012, two years before the Zika virus is thought to have entered the country, say researchers searching for answers to urgent questions.

Practicing Christians are now a minority in the UK and the Catholic and Anglican churches must pull together in order to survive, according to two senior British clerics. The Right Reverend Richard Chartres, Bishop of London, said “we are all minorities now.” “What I see, particularly around London, is that increasingly we are living in a post-denominational era.”


Top News – 2/11/2016

Russian engineers working with ISIS in Syria to produce gas
At the largest gas facility in Syria, the Tuweinan gas facility, Russian engineers are working together with ISIS forces to produce natural gas, according to reports from rebels and Turkish officials.

Vatican: Bishops not required to report abuse
ROME, Feb. 11 (UPI) — A newly released Catholic church document tells bishops they don’t have to report clerical child abuse accusations to the police.

U.S. tells allies campaign to defeat Islamic State must be accelerated
The United States is pressing allies on Thursday to contribute more to a U.S.-led military campaign against Islamic State that it says must be accelerated, regardless of the fate of diplomatic efforts to end Syria’s civil war.

Russian Patriarch Kirill flies to Cuba for historic meeting with Pope Francis
Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill has started his journey to Latin America for a historic meeting with the Pontiff to discuss the persecution of Christians in conflict zones, in particular in the Middle East. The unprecedented meeting, which will take place at Havana’s international airport, is expected to last as long as is necessary to agree on a joint declaration.

Scientists to unveil proof of Einstein’s theory of relativity
In a presentation set for Thursday at the Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana, US researchers are expected to announce that they have detected gravitational waves for the very first time, a century after they were proposed by Albert Einstein. “Cornish will provide a status report on the effort to detect gravitational waves – or ripples in the fabric of spacetime – using the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO),”

Modern Sanhedrin and Ancient Jewish Sage Agree: UN, Ban Ki-Moon Cannot Deny the Jewish People’s God-Given Right to the Land
In response to Ban’s comments, the Nascent Sanhedrin recently issued a proclamation calling for the State of Israel to leave the UN. The dispute is not over a point of international law, or even a point in the Middle East peace negotiations. Rather, the Sanhedrin reasons that it is fighting for the essential identity of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish People. They feel that the UN and Ban Ki-Moon are rejecting the validity of the Biblical covenant, and perhaps of the Bible itself. In the words of the Sanhedrin:

Top U.S. Intelligence Official Calls Gene Editing a WMD Threat
Genome editing is a weapon of mass destruction. That’s according to James Clapper, U.S. director of national intelligence, who on Tuesday, in the annual worldwide threat assessment report of the U.S. intelligence community, added gene editing to a list of threats posed by “weapons of mass destruction and proliferation.”

North Korea to cut hotlines with South amid Kaesong shutdown
North Korea has vowed to cut two key communication hotlines with the South, amid rising tensions after Pyongyang’s recent rocket and nuclear tests. It comes after Seoul suspended its operations at the jointly-run Kaesong industrial complex in the North. Kaesong is one of the last points of co-operation between the two Koreas and a key source of revenue for Pyongyang.

Emerging split within Hamas’ military wing following member’s execution
A split began to emerge in the ranks of Hamas’ military wing in recent days after the group executed one of its own members, signaling growing tensions between the organization’s local leadership in Gaza and its leadership abroad. On Monday, Hamas posted on one of its social media accounts that its military wing had executed Mahmoud Rashid Eshtaiwi, for ”behavioral and ethical excesses.”

Next Big Future: Russia and Iran appears close to handing a military victory to Assad in Syria
Days of intense bombing that could soon put the critical city of Aleppo back into the hands of Syrian President Assad’s forces. The USA says there could be no military solution to Syria. The Russians may be proving the United States wrong. There may be a military solution, one senior American official conceded Wednesday, “just not our solution,” but that of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.

NYPD reshuffles forces to focus on gang violence, will dismantle Organized Crime Bureau
The NYPD is launching a major reshuffling of its investigative forces, consolidating several in an effort to tackle the city’s biggest crime problem — violence by gangs and youth crews.

FBI closes in on last Oregon refuge occupiers
The FBI appears to be closing in on the last of the occupiers of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon. Details of exactly what was happening remained unclear late Wednesday. Some of the occupiers were on the phone with a Nevada state assemblywoman, Michele Fiore, on a livestream on YouTube, saying they feared an armed assault by agents was imminent, though there was no confirmation of that.

Senate passes bill to hit North Korea with harsher sanctions
Seeking to derail North Korea’s drive for nuclear weapons, Republican and Democratic senators set aside their partisan differences Wednesday to unanimously pass legislation aimed at starving Pyongyang of the money it needs to build an atomic arsenal.

With fewer U.S. troops in Afghanistan, pressure grows for more air strikes
Pressure is growing on the U.S. military to do more to help Afghan forces repel the threat posed by Taliban militants, and commanders in Washington and Kabul agree that enhanced air power may be where it can make the most difference.

Damascus expects tough but short battle for Aleppo
The Syrian government expects a tough battle for Aleppo, the city that has become the focal point of the country’s long civil war, but is confident of victory and says it won’t be a long fight.

Female suicide bombers kill over 60 people in northeast Nigeria: officials
Two female suicide bombers killed more than 60 people at a camp for people displaced by an insurgency of the jihadist Boko Haram group in the northeast Nigerian town of Dikwa, military and emergency officials said on Wednesday.


Top Headlines – 2/11/2016

Jordanian MP threatens to topple government over Israeli gas import

PA asks EU to recognize ‘Palestine’

Netanyahu: Situation not ripe for two-state solution

After Labor rules out Palestinian state in the short term, Netanyahu says: ‘Good morning, Herzog’

In Meeting with Jewish Group, In Meeting with Jewish Group, Corbyn Endorses Two State Solution Endorses Two State Solution

French FM Fabius steps down, Mideast initiative still on table

French, Israeli ambassadors quarrel in Twitter battle

Erekat: Netanyahu’s plan to surround Israel with fences like South African ‘Bantustan’ system

IDF warns Hamas is focusing on one major terror tunnel

Gaza – a human time bomb

Emerging split within Hamas’ military wing following member’s execution

UN and Palestinian authorities appeal for aid amid Palestinian attacks

Palestinian rock thrower killed in clash with IDF

Orthodox Jewish man, 25, stabbed in Brooklyn in morning attack

Consternation at Austrian case of Nazi camp survivors called ‘a plague’

Bret Stephens: The next US president may not be pro-Israel

US missile defense aid to Israel to cut sharply in 2017

Yaalon: Deal with Turkey only if Hamas returns soldiers’ bodies

Turkey, Greece seek NATO mission in Aegean – German official

Turkey’s Erdogan warns patience will run out on Syria

Erdogan accuses US of making a ‘pool of blood’

Turkey: Taking in some refugees would support Syria’s ‘ethnic cleansing’

Turkey’s Erdogan chastises U.S. for support of Syrian Kurd rebels

Report: Death toll in 5-year Syrian civil war is 470,000

UN warns of hunger in Homs as Syrian offensive strands 120,000

US will not rule out Saudi ground troops being sent into Syria

As sands shift, US struggles to stitch together Syria ceasefire

Iran blames ‘terrorists’ for Syria peace talks collapse

Iran-Backed Militias Lead Attacks on Christians in Baghdad

Iran seeks tourism boost as nuclear chill ends

Senate passes North Korea sanctions bill as nuclear worries grow

Israel says ‘always watching’ Iran’s missile developments following announcement of missile upgrade

Senior Iranian military official: US is subordinate to Iran in Middle East

Iranians mock US sailors on revolution anniversary

US Navy rips Iran after new footage shows captured sailor crying

Attn. Vladimir Putin: U.S. and NATO beef up defenses on Russian border

Chechen Leader Threatens Foes in Bid to Gain Putin’s Support

With fewer U.S. troops in Afghanistan, pressure grows for more air strikes

US Army orders hundreds of soldiers back to southern Afghanistan

Female suicide bombers kill 58 in a Nigerian camp meant to be a safe haven

French parliament approves stripping citizenship from terrorists

North Korea’s military chief reportedly executed

North Korea: South pulling out of industrial zone is ‘declaration of war’

U.S. Senate approves sanctions against North Korea after rocket launch

Anger: Anti-Beyonce Rally Planned For Next Week At NFL Headquarters

NYPD reshuffles forces to focus on gang violence, will dismantle Organized Crime Bureau

Feds sue Ferguson to force police reform

Oregon standoff: FBI moves in on last refuge occupiers

Documents suggest State Dept. asked Clinton to delete classified emails

Official: Top Clinton aides also handled ‘top secret’ intel on server

Assange: Vote for Hillary Clinton is ‘vote for endless, stupid war’ which spreads terrorism

Cameron: Time for WikiLeaks Leader to Face Rape Charges

Commentators Hail Sanders’ Historic Victory, Warn Jewish Factor Could Ignite Antisemitism

Yellen warns of rising risks to US economy

Yellen: Persistent economic weakness could slow rate hikes

This Is Why the Fed Is Paying Interest to Big Banks

Futures drop as oil falls, investors digest Yellen remarks

Global Stocks Retreat Sharply After Fed Sparks Investor Concerns

Are We Heading For A U.S. And European Crash?

China is on a massive gold buying spree

Biohackers implant computers, earbuds and antennas in their bodies

Thanks to science, you can soon wipe out your worst memories

Science and superheroes: how close are we to creating real superpowers?

That Wasn’t a Meteorite That Killed a Man in India, NASA Says

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Pangai, Tonga

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Pangai, Tonga

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Kirakira, Solomon Islands

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

Taiwan earthquake death toll rises to 59; 76 still missing

Karymsky volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 20,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 17,000ft

Copahue volcano in Argentina erupts to 12,000ft

Dukono volcano in Indonesia erupts to 10,000ft

Tengger Caldera volcano in Indonesia erupts to 10,000ft

Thames Barrier to be closed for first time this winter to prevent flooding in London

Blizzard causes flooding for coastal Massachusetts

Looming cold snap could break records for Valentine’s Day weekend

Despite carbon ruling, White House says U.S. can meet climate deal goals

Study finds concerning trends among Dutch assisted suicide cases

Walgreens to roll out kiosks that dispense drug antidote without prescription

MRSA superbug found in supermarket pork raises alarm over farming risks

Scientists attack Zika virus from multiple angles

CDC detects Zika in tissue of Brazilian babies who died of microcephaly, finds strongest link yet

Several states seek to block 2nd trimester abortion method

Ohio Senate votes to defund Planned Parenthood after hearing limited public testimony

Pro-life investigator hits back with new footage after judge blocks release of abortion sting videos

Abortion Activist Laughs About Using Aborted Babies to Grow Rat Parts

Barack Obama Pushes FDA to Allow Scientists to Create Three-Parent Embryos

Judge Clears Kim Davis of Interfering With Gay Marriage Licenses

Pope faces Mexicans worshipping skeletal ‘Death Saint’

Obama offers prayer for persecuted Christians suffering under ‘unspeakable violence’


A 918 Point Stock Market Crash In Japan And Deutsche Bank Denies That It Is About To Collapse

Financial Crisis 2016On Tuesday junk bonds continued to crash, the price of oil briefly dipped below 28 dollars a barrel, Deutsche Bank was forced to deny that it is on the verge of collapse, but the biggest news was what happened in Japan.  The Nikkei was down a staggering 918 points, but that stock crash made very few headlines in the western world.  If the Dow had crashed 918 points today, that would have been the largest single day point crash in all of U.S. history.  So what just happened in Japan is a really big deal.  The Nikkei is now down 23.1 percent from the peak of the market, and that places it solidly in bear market territory.  Overall, a total of 16.5 trillion dollars of global stock market wealth has been wiped out since the middle of 2015.  As I stated yesterday, this is what a global financial crisis looks like. (Read More….)


The Briefing 

1) Argument rejecting CDC’s advice for women to abstain from alcohol a rejection of God’s design

Should all women not on birth control give up drinking?, Lost Angeles Times (Rebecca Kukla)

2) Attempts to change vocabulary around alcohol abuse remove moral responsibility

Language of addiction itself can hurt, advocates say, Boston Globe (Felice J. Freyer)

3) Crisis pregnancy centers challenge law that forces them to be complicit in the culture of death

Pregnancy Clinics Fight for Right to Deny Abortion Information, New York Times (Erik Eckholm)

 

In other news…

The Library Card, The Atlantic (Deborah Fallows)

A Question of Moral Radicalism, New York Times (David Brooks)
Why A Post-Christian Nation Needs a President of Faith, Christianity Today (O. Alan Noble)
Pope Francis Will Stand With Migrants at U.S. Border, Wall Street Journal (Dudley Althaus and Jose De Cordoba)

Pope faces Mexicans worshipping skeletal ‘Death Saint’, Yahoo News (Laurent Thomet)


Frontrunning: February 11

  • Gold Roars to One-Year High as Turmoil Drives Safe Haven Demand (Read More)
  • Banking Stocks Pummeled in Europe (Read More)
  • Dollar, stocks plunge sparks scramble for safety (Read More)
  • Nymex Crude Slips Below $27 a Barrel (Read More)
  • No Respite for S&P 500 as U.S. Stock Futures Join Global Selloff (Read More)
  • Walgreens Threatens to End Theranos Agreement (Read More)
  • Next Task for Clinton, Sanders: Securing the Minority Vote (Read More)
  • Yen Advances to 15-Month High as Korean Tensions Stoke Haven Bid (Read More)
  • Meet the Man Who Helps Trump Be Trump (Read More)
  • FBI tightens grip on final occupiers at Oregon wildlife refuge (Read More)
  • SocGen Slumps as Quarterly Profit Hurt by Securities Drop (Read More)
  • HSBC CEO Gulliver Said to End Pay Freeze After Staff Revolt (Read More)
  • Donors urge Clinton to sharpen message ahead of debate with Sanders (Read More)
  • Dark Pools’ Market Share Drops for First Time in Europe: Chart (Read More)
  • Russia says U.S. planes bombed Syria’s Aleppo on Wednesday (Read More)
  • Benghazi Panel Nears Final Report Examining Clinton’s Response (Read More)

Daily Digest

February 11, 2016

THE FOUNDATION

“I am not influenced by the expectation of promotion or pecuniary reward. I wish to be useful, and every kind of service necessary for the public good, become honorable by being necessary.” —Nathan Hale, 1776

TOP RIGHT HOOKS

There’s Nothing Democratic About Democrat Primaries

2016-02-11-ea040a92_large.jpg

Hillary Clinton is winning handily against Bernie Sanders. Oh sure, the Democratic Socialist, with his message pledging a “political revolution” against Wall Street, tied in Iowa and cleaned up in the New Hampshire primary. But Clinton campaigned where it matters: to the Democrat Party’s superdelegates — lawmakers and key players in the party that can vote for whomever they want at the convention. Leaving New Hampshire, Sanders had the support of 42 delegates. Clinton? 394. The eventual Democrat candidate for president needs 2,382 delegates to win the party’s nomination.

For all their talk about dark money polluting the political system, Democrats sure do operate an unequal system. National Review’s Jim Geraghty wrote that 10,000 young Democrat primary voters feelin’ the Bern are equal to one superdelegate voting how they please, and those superdelegates are rallying to protect the establishment’s favorite politician in a pantsuit.

It’s false advertising to call the Democrat Party democratic. Why does the party even care about voter ID laws, or even participatory politics with a system tilted with superdelegates? So much for the principle of one person, one vote. The New Democrat Party is one where “Democrats” and Socialists is a distinction without a difference.

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Ferguson: Rally the Black Vote

As the nation’s news junkies focused their attention on the New Hampshire primary returns, the City Council of Ferguson, Missouri, took another twist related to the 2014 justified shooting death of Michael Brown. The six-member council voted unanimously to approve the Justice Department’s settlement to reform the city’s unjust policing practices — but “subject to certain conditions.” The DOJ responded to the city’s request by filing a lawsuit against Ferguson, just in time to agitate the black vote in the southern primaries.

The city council wants to amend the section of the 131-page consent decree that stipulates a pay increase for its police officers. If you recall, the city was balancing its budget through aggressive policing practices and a court system that collected fines from city residents hand over fist. With the reform already in place, Ferguson is running a $2.8 million deficit, and the DOJ’s plan would increase expenditures $3.7 million in the first year. Perhaps DOJ didn’t understand that unlike the federal government, local governments have to operate on a balanced budget.

“So just to make it clear,” Reason’s Scott Shackford explained, “the city stands accused of having an abusive law enforcement agency that violates the rights of its citizenry in order to fund itself and its court employees, and the correction being imposed by the Department of Justice is to force the city to have to find sources of even more money to fork over to the very officers that have been abusing residents.” What’s Ferguson to do? Raise taxes on its poor residents?

Make no mistake: Timing is everything. The DOJ’s actions will benefit Hillary Clinton throughout the southern primaries, as blacks are reminded once again of injustice. Never mind that Ferguson (and every other city in which Black Lives Matter is fomenting discord) is run by Democrats. “Residents of Ferguson have suffered the deprivation of their constitutional rights — the rights guaranteed to all Americans — for decades,” said Attorney General Loretta Lynch. “They have waited decades for justice. They should not be forced to wait any longer.” As long as Democrats run the show, they will have to wait longer.

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Presstitutes and the Clintons Who Pimp Them

For at least two prominent Beltway journalists, trading independence for fleeting scoops is all part of the media churn. A recent batch of emails released by the State Department thanks to a FOIA requests contained a 2009 exchange between former Atlantic contributing editor Marc Ambinder and Hillary Clinton mouthpiece Philippe Reines that demonstrated a clear example of transactional journalism. Clinton was a few months into her appointment as secretary of state when she gave a July 15 speech to the Council on Foreign Relations — a speech that The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple notes nobody remembers anymore. Ambinder contacted the Clinton machine to ask for an advance transcript of the speech. In the reply email, Reines said he would hand over the transcript, provided Ambinder complied with three conditions.

1) You in your own voice describe them as “muscular”

2) You note that a look at the CFR seating plan shows that all the envoys — from Holbrooke to Mitchell to Ross — will be arrayed in front of her, which in your own clever way you can say certainly not a coincidence and meant to convey something

3) You don’t say you were blackmailed!

“Got it,” Ambinder replied. And sure enough, in the journalist’s finished piece, all three of Clinton’s demands were met in the first paragraph. Fellow Beltway scribbler Mike Allen of Politico also used the adjective “muscular” to describe Clinton’s speech, implying that he too followed directions from Clinton’s spin machine.

The two journalists violated a key tenet of the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics: To act independently because “[t]he highest and primary obligation of ethical journalism is to serve the public.” People may debate whether or not Clinton generally receives favorable media coverage, but it seems evident that some reporters are content to become Clinton’s presstitutes. And then they wonder why nobody trusts the Leftmedia.

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Don’t Miss Alexander’s Column

Read Clinton’s Democrats and Sanders’ Socialists, on how the “New” Democrats are all Socialists — but at least Sanders has the integrity to admit it.

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FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

Identity Politics and Demo Damnation

By Allyne Caan

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For millennia, humankind has searched for the secret to salvation. At long last, the mystery is revealed — for women, at least. To escape hellfire and brimstone, one must simply vote for Hillary Clinton.

Welcome to the gospel according to former Secretary of State Madeline Albright, who recently implied of female Bernie Sanders supporters, “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other!”

This is truly ironic. Whereas once women battled discrimination due to lack of certain equipage in the nether regions, today’s feminists demand preference on grounds of the same absence. Whereas once women fought to be judged by their minds and not their bodies, today’s “progressives” demand females reject the matter between their ears and vote according to what’s between their legs. Whereas once women sought to show the world they could think for themselves, today’s leftists require blind adherence to their ideology.

Talk about a “war on women.”

Make no mistake, for anyone not deemed an heir to “white male privilege,” anything less than absolute submission to the leftist cause is unacceptable.

But it’s not just Democrat women who are expected to kowtow to the party as a condition of their existence (or of their eternal souls). Leftists have elevated identity politics to a religion.

Consider, for example, the recent story by University of Southern California Professor Roberto Suro. Reporting on Ted Cruz’s and Marco Rubio’s respective showings at the Iowa Caucuses, Suro explained why their achievements were not recognized as historic Latino wins. “The answer is not that complicated: Neither Mr. Cruz nor Mr. Rubio meets conventional expectations of how Latino politicians are supposed to behave.”

How is that? For starters, a true Latino would support a path to citizenship for illegal aliens, as this “is central to most organized Latino political interests and … is supported by a great majority of Latino elected officials and Latino voters.” In fact, Univision anchor Jorge Ramos wrote in no uncertain terms, “There is no greater disloyalty than the children of immigrants forgetting their own roots. That’s a betrayal.” In other words, authentic Latino identity requires believing illegal immigrants should be granted citizenship.

But it doesn’t end there. Added to gender and ethnicity, race rounds out the identity trio.

Suro notes that Ramos’ “betrayal,” is a “criticism that echoes the rhetoric aimed at Justice Clarence Thomas of the Supreme Court and other successful members of minority groups who are perceived as failing to uphold their own group’s interests.”

Indeed, remember Senator Harry Reid bemoaning the “five white men” of the Supreme Court who voted in favor of rights of conscience in the Hobby Lobby case? Justice Thomas dared defy leftist ideology and was summarily blanched.

Tim Scott, the first black Republican Senator from South Carolina and the first African-American elected to both the House and Senate, also misses the mark of “blackness.” The NAACP — whose acronym-indicated mission is the “advancement of colored people” — gave Scott a failing grade on its legislative scorecard. Forget that Scott has achieved what blacks only dreamed of 150 years ago. For “progressives,” degree of “blackness” is directly correlated to towing the Democratic Socialist Party line.

And leftists can hardly stand the existence of Mia Love, the first black female Republican in Congress. Just after Love’s historic win in 2014, the Huffington Post headlined, “She looks black, but her politics are red.” (As in “red state,” of course, not Democratic Socialist red — which, by the way, is precisely the reason the Leftmedia changed the political colors 25 years ago.) The story noted that Love — female, black and Mormon — is a member of traditionally “oppressed” groups. Yet her values “do not necessarily represent her interests as a member in any of these oppressed groups.” Clearly, these gatekeepers of what blacks are supposed to think would have us believe Love is denying what’s “expected” of her as a female black Mormon by daring to espouse conservative values.

Bottom line, leftists want you to think for yourself — provided that what tow the party line based on race, class, gender and ethnicity. Dare to think differently, and you have failed your identity test.

And failure, as you know, will send you straight to hell.

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MORE ORIGINAL PERSPECTIVE

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

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TOP HEADLINES

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Mona Charen: “Like Sanders, [Donald Trump is] not interested in reform so much as looking for scapegoats. Sanders blames greedy billionaires for the problems of the middle class and the poor; Trump blames treacherous immigrants, crafty foreigners and incompetent leadership in Washington. Some people seemed surprised that there was overlap between Sanders and Trump supporters, but it makes perfect sense. Some commentators on the right, particularly on talk radio, have ridden the hobbyhorse of immigration very hard — even to the point of welcoming Trump’s rise as a ratification of their fixation. But in Iowa, immigration was rated important by only 13 percent of GOP caucus participants. In New Hampshire, only 15 percent said it was important to their vote. Terrorism, government spending and the economy all ranked higher. Trump and Sanders are disruptive, and people who welcome chaos for its own sake are dangerous. The Founding Fathers of this country were extremely wary of excessive power — whether in an executive or in a mob. They designed the system to be stable and somewhat resistant to every shift in public mood, and it has served us very well. But the voters are the ultimate custodians of the American system, and by turning to demagogues in both parties, they’ve ventured into scary terrain.”

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SHORT CUTS

Insight: “When a new source of taxation is found it never means, in practice, that an old source is abandoned. It merely means that the politicians have two ways of milking the taxpayer where they had only one before.” —H.L. Mencken (1880-1956)

For the record: “The people of New Hampshire have a quaint self-delusion that they pick Presidents. In fact, they like to denigrate Iowa specifically by saying ‘Iowa picks corn, New Hampshire picks Presidents.’ The actual truth is that New Hampshire has been on an unrelenting losing streak that goes back over three decades, for both parties. In every contested primary — Republican or Democrat — since 1992, New Hampshire has picked a candidate who either a) lost their party’s nomination or b) lost the general election.” —Leon Wolf

Belly laugh of the week: “I just saw a story the other day showing that if you rank all 50 states across categories like education levels and household incomes, and race and religion, the one state that most closely mirrors America as a whole is Illinois, this state.” —Barack Obama

Delusions: “We saved the economy from a depression. We brought back an auto industry from the brink of collapse. We helped our businesses create 14 million new jobs over the past six years. We cut the unemployment rate from 10% to 4.9%. We covered nearly 18 million more Americans with health insurance. We ignited a clean energy revolution. We got bin Laden. We brought the vast majority of our troops home to their families. We got a lot done. We’re still getting a lot done. And our political system helped make these things possible, and the list could go on. There’s no doubt America is better off today than when I took office.” —Barack Obama

“We don’t have a common basis for what’s true and what’s not. I mean, if I listened to some of these conservative pundits, I wouldn’t vote for me either. I sound like a scary guy. … Nine years to the day that I first announced for this office, I still believe in that politics of hope.” —Barack Obama

Transparency: “I don’t think there is any doubt that [Obama] wants Hillary to win the nomination and believes she would be the best candidate in the fall and the most effective as president in carrying forward what he has achieved.” —former Obama spokesman Jay Carney

Non Compos Mentis: “We haven’t seen a true leftist since FDR, so many millions are coming out of the woodwork to vote for Bernie Sanders.” —Bill Maher

Late-night humor: “Valentine’s Day is the only holiday where a plant suddenly becomes astronomically expensive and we’re OK with it. It would be like if on Easter they charged $20 an egg.” —Jimmy Kimmel

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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis!
Managing Editor Nate Jackson

Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.

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For the Good of the Country, Hillary Should Quit

A former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency under the Obama administration says Hillary Clinton should “step down” from the presidential race to clear the way for the probe of her private email server by the FBI.

The Daily Caller News Foundation reports in an exclusive interview that Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn (USA-Ret.) thinks the former secretary of state – “for the good of the country” – should quit her run for president and “let this FBI investigation play out.”

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Bachmann on Muslim Migration: ‘This Is A Planned Invasion’ For The ‘Purpose of Destroying Western Christendom’

“”We saw this mass migration, this people movement, which is a historic people movement of Muslims from Islamic nations tending to be the most radicalized nations — from those nations into nations that are known as Western Christendom,” said Rep. Bachmann during a Feb. 6 interview on the Understanding The Times with Jan Markell radio program.

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Rapture Before John Darby

Darby is a favorite target for every non-pretrib activist with a blogger account, as well as a string of published anti-pretribulational writers. They claimed no one prior to Darby ever taught a “dual-phase” Second Advent, much less the pretrib rapture. Most accused Darby of being influenced by the unstable Margaret MacDonald or Edward Irving.

Here’s a typical example from Robert Van Kampen’s website:

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Obama ‘recovery’? $16.5 trillion plunge in global equity markets

‘Crash of 2016’ could dwarf bank crisis that triggered economic recession

The prospect of recovery in global equity markets remains dim, given economic projections indicating the price of oil worldwide will remain at or below $30 a barrel for the remainder of 2016, suggesting global equity markets may be on the precipice of an historic sell-off that could end up with the “Crash of 2016.”

Such a crash could dwarf the bank crisis that triggered a global economic recession at the end of President George W. Bush’s second term in office.

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The Bigger One Is Coming – Todd Strandberg

I have noticed that several fault zones around the world are strangely long overdue in producing a major earthquake. The San Francisco bay area; the U.S. Pacific Coast and southern segments of the state; Tokyo, Japan; Jakarta, Indonesia; the holy city of Jerusalem are all on borrowed time. I can only guess that God is storing up wrath for the Tribulation hour. It is my hope that believers living in the Pacific Northwest will soon be transported to a higher ground that no tsunami can reach.

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Hallmark Ignites Controversy Over Gay Couple Valentine’s Day Ads

Hallmark, America’s largest greeting card company, has stirred controversy over a Valentine’s Day ad campaign that features gay couples talking about their romantic relationships.

The company launched the social media marketing campaign last month, stating that they wanted “to celebrate romantic love of all kinds.”

Known as #CareEnough, the series of video ads posted to YouTube include two same-sex couples, one being two men with a daughter and the other two women.

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Shame on the Pastors Who Anointed Hillary Clinton as President

This is a righteousness issue, and it is shameful for ministers of the gospel to bless a candidate who stands for a woman’s “right” to shed innocent blood in the womb (through all nine months of pregnancy), who aggressively supports the redefinition of marriage and who calls for the changing of cherished religious beliefs.

Shame on those who partook in this ceremony.

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The Coming One World Religion and Government

It is inevitable according to the Word of God:  The world will turn to Satan and anti-christ for the “solutions” to the crisis that the world is experiencing.  And while no one knows the exact date this will happen Jesus did warn us to look at the signs of the season so we might know […]

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Is Twitter Censoring Non-Politically Correct Viewpoints?

According to The Daily Signal:

TwitterThe folks running Twitter may be too young to have heard of George Orwell, or perhaps they simply do not care that their new advisory council sounds frighteningly Orwellian. Either way, the brand new “Twitter Trust and Safety Council” seems like a board ready to censor comments in deference to political correctness.

It doesn’t help that among the more than 40 organizations that make up the council, one finds such groups as the “Dangerous Speech Project,” a group with ties to the liberal John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and to financier George Soros’ Open Society Institute.

Another council member is GLAAD, formerly an acronym for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (the organization now goes by just its initials). Feminist Frequency, which also seeks to monitor free speech, is another member of the council.

The council does include some groups that appear to do good work preventing cyber-bullying against the young. Absent, however, are any conservative-leaning groups.

Read more


15 Questions for Following Jesus on Social Media

How are you using social media to follow Jesus? Or is it leading you into darkness? This article appeared first on Unlocking the Bible and is used with permission. –Ed. BCC logo Social media is everywhere today. We can’t watch anything on TV without being reminded of the option to tweet about what we are watching. Now with smartphones we can use social media in the car, in the bathroom, at a meeting, and even—gasp!–at church.

When we stray from our God-given purpose, we quickly fall away from where he wants us to be.

While there are many advantages to social media, we should ask the question: Is it good for us? More importantly, how can we obey the Great Commandment to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength while using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+?

1. Are you seeking to glorify God through social media?

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31)

The foundational question “Are you seeking to glorify God?” can be addressed to any situation in life because we were created to glorify God (Isaiah 43:7). When we stray from our life’s God-given purpose, we quickly fall away from where God wants us to be.

2. Does social media lead you into sin?

If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. (Matthew 5:29)

Social media is itself a morally neutral thing, neither inherently good nor bad. But when put in the hands of sinful human beings, it should be no surprise that it can be used for a host of sinful behaviors: bullying, sinful relationships, sexual perversion, worldly ideas, and allowing yourself to be led astray by bad influences. Pray that God would reveal your sins and the idols that may exist or be fed through social media, and for the grace and power to repent.

3. Does your speech build up or tear down?

From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. (James 3:10)

Social media is rampant with gossip, bullying, pessimism and complaining. Instead of conforming to the world, be a light and use your words to build others up. Know your weaknesses and be on your guard when someone posts something that pushes one of your buttons. Before you post, pray Psalm 19:14:

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

4. Do people see the light of Christ in you based on what you post?

…let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)

Social networks present a unique opportunity to let your light shine before others by show the hope you have in Jesus Christ. You are able to challenge and encourage others to believe in Christ and follow him. Don’t forget the awesome opportunity you have to proclaim to the world the unsearchable riches of Christ!

5. Is social media your master?

“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything.” (1 Corinthians 6:12)

Don’t become a slave to the beeping of your phone or computer and always be checking your notifications online. Do you really need to check each notification, or can you check a few times throughout the day? Instead of constantly checking notifications with spare moments, read Scripture, pray, or let your mind rest.

6. Does your use of social media help you redeem the time?

…making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:16)

Let’s be honest: Some social media sites act as a black hole that suck up our time. It can be easy to go on Facebook to “check one thing” and to stay on for an hour. What else could you have done with that hour? Was that making the best use of the short life God has given you?

7. Does your use of social media help you renew your mind in God’s truth?

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2)

God can use little moments we give to him throughout our day to grow us, including time on social media. You can use your Facebook and Twitter streams to grow your faith by following accounts that honor God. I have sought to develop the discipline to stop and read Scripture whenever I see it posted to remind me that everything else posted is of limited importance compared to the Word of God that has eternal importance (1 Peter 1:24-25).

8. Do you use social media as a platform to complain?

Do all things without grumbling or disputing… (Philippians 2:14)

Paul had a lot he could have complained about (2 Corinthians 11:23-28), yet he still tells us to “do all things without grumbling or disputing.” Some turn to social media to complain, but God’s will for his children is that they give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Which characterizes you: thankfulness or constant complaining?

9. Do you use social media for unprofitable arguments?

A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion. (Proverbs 18:2)

There is no shortage of social media arguments about politics, sports, religion – you name it! While some conversations can prove profitable, many others are a waste of time. Instead of arguing with fools, invest your time and energy into something more worthwhile.

10. Do you value social media interactions more than real-life relationships?

You shall love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 22:39)

God made us for relationships. Increasingly today, these relationships can take place through technology and can make people less social in real life. (So much for social media!) Instead of merely “liking” a picture or favoriting a tweet, invest in real relationships by having meaningful conversations. Take the extra step by letting people important to you know that you care about them. Or take an even greater extra step – actually talk with your friend face-to-face!

11. Does social media make you a healthier and more productive person?

You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. (Deuteronomy 6:5)

Social media causes some people to have a shorter attention span, lose sleep, and even be depressed. Is that you? God desires that we honor God with not only our body, but also our entire being. Don’t let social media suck away your ability to follow that command.

12. Do you have any relationships through social media that you should cut off?

Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” (1 Corinthians 15:33)

Social networks like Facebook and Twitter make it easy to connect with everyone you’ve ever known – for better or for worse. Some of our connections can discourage us in our faith or lure us into sins like gossip, bullying, and rekindling unhealthy relationships. Many divorces today are caused by discontented spouses rekindling old flames on Facebook. Don’t let this happen to you! Exercise godly wisdom and cut off “bad company” that will hinder a holy life.

13. Does social media help you be content?

…godliness with contentment is great gain. (1 Timothy 6:6)

Social media can add fuel to the fire of covetousness and insecurity because it can lead us to compare ourselves to others and their relationships, possessions, and lifestyle. Have you ever thought that your friend always posting pictures of their possessions might not be content? The secret to contentment is not having everything you want, but being thankful with what you have. May we learn to be like Paul who learned to be content in every situation (Philippians 4:11-13).

14. Do you use social media to boost your ego?

For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? (Mark 8:36)

We can believe the lie that we only have value if people follow us or like our posts. If your mood depends on the number of “Likes” or “Retweets” your post receives, you care too much about gaining the approval of man. Rejoice in the fact that the gospel says that God accepts you because of what Christ has done.

15. Do you use social media to hide?

Like clouds and wind without rain is a man who boasts of a gift he does not give. (Proverbs 25:14)

Have you ever known someone who acts cool online but is a radically different person in real life? Unfortunately, social media can act as a mask hiding our true identity. The root of this issue is pride – we want people to think we are cool and have it all together. Remember the truth of James 4:10:

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.


The Daily Discovery (February 11, 2016)

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ARTICLES I LIKE FROM AROUND THE WEB:
(Click title to go to full article)

Is War Ever Justified? A Reality Check – “The words of Jesus are unambiguous: ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.’ (Matt. 5:9) These familiar words from the Sermon on the Mount form the basis of any Christian understanding of war and its morality. For the Christian, the standard is already set and the goal is absolutely clear–we are to seek the peace.”

Adorable And Dangerous – “She’s adorable with her big eyes, Southern drawl and funny (while also touching) stories that resonate with women. She makes the Bible seem so personal. And lately she assures women that Jesus longs to romance each of them–an idea that I can’t help understanding as a sort of divine polygamy. Okay, so I don’t adore Beth Moore.”

Five Reasons to Not Observe Lent – “No more than 24 hours into the 2015 Lenten season and a plethora of Evangelical #lent posts began appearing in the social media world. The Lenten season and Evangelical’s strange desire to participate, is as confounding as it is misguided. This strange situation is undoubtedly the unholy fruit of rapidly increasing Biblical and confessional illiteracy within the overall Protestant church and its many denominations.”

Giving up Lent – “Today is Ash Wednesday, so the big talk this week around the office involves fasting. It’s always a curious thing to hear avowedly secular people discuss Lenten fasting. It’s become a kind of cultural artifact—it’s something you do because everyone else does, or because your family always did–like secular Jews celebrating the ‘high holy days.’ People I know who deny the God of Scripture or the deity of Jesus are still fasting (though they are very particular about the exact rules—I won’t do this at these certain times in these certain circumstances). It’s interesting to see that, in doing this, they’re creating another man-made law to follow, and willingly taking on the yokes they shape themselves. It’s like, deep down, there’s still a desire to fashion our own righteousness…”

Gleanings from Judges – “Judges can be a disturbingly dark and tragic book. We see the people of God sliding into apostasy, becoming like the pagans the were told to destroy from out of the land. But the book of Judges really begins in Genesis, for that is where we have the record of Canaan’s cursing after Ham’s sing against his father, Noah (Genesis 9:20-28). The Canaanites became the inhabitants of the land God promises to Israel, and throughout Genesis and Exodus, the people who descended from Canaan persecuted the people of Israel and engaged in unimaginable wickedness.”


SERMON:

Pastor Dan

Dan Phillips – A Prisoner’s Glorious Prayer


VIDEOS:

Biblical Love

An Evangelical Christian’s Opposition to Gospel Preaching


“All death can do to the believer is deliver him to Jesus.  It brings us into the eternal presence of our Savior.” – John MacArthur

The post The Daily Discovery (February 11, 2016) appeared first on Entreating Favor.


A La Carte (February 11)

Today’s Kindle deals include The Power of Suffering by John MacArthur ($1.99); A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War by Joseph Laconte ($3.99); Help My Unbelief by Barnabas Piper ($3.99); To Live Is Christ To Die Is Gain by Matt Chandler ($3.99); and Mindscape by Timothy Witmer ($2.99). I know Christians are still divided on Harry Potter, but if you enjoy the series, there is now a Complete Collection for just $14.99 that gets you all 7 books.

Conscripted for Life, Not War

There are a couple of key lines in this article. “God gave women marvelous strength. Strength that wasn’t meant to be compared or measured against a man. Last time I checked, I’d never met a man able to give birth. I’ve also never known a man able to handle months of sleep deprivation during which he fed a tiny human round the clock from his very own body…”

I Love My Church!

I enjoyed this pastor’s expression of love for his church.

Hollow Square Hymnal

Hollow Square Hymnal is a new album just released by Cardiphonia. You can buy it or listen to the whole thing online.

5 Tips for Young Apologists

Yes! Here are some great tips for young apologists.

Don’t Be Embarrassed by Your Ordinary Church

“When I talk to people about their churches I almost sense a little embarrassment about the size and perceived scope of their church. Apologetic words like small and ordinary come out. I would argue that these words are not bad at all—and perhaps even quite accurate—but it is the sentiment behind them that is concerning, especially in light of what the church is and does.”

This Day in 1948. 68 years ago today, Wayne Grudem was born! As we celebrate Dr. Grudem’s life, let’s continue to pray for his fight against Parkinson’s disease. *

Don’t Play Travel Ball

Jim Hamilton argues that it’s best to skip travel ball and to keep your kids in rec leagues.

The Triumph of Trans Lysenkoism

Rod Dreher: “This is how they work: screaming that anyone who doesn’t bend to their demands is causing trans suicides, is creating unsafe spaces, and so forth. When applied to science, it is LGBT Lysenkoism, the Soviet-era agricultural disaster caused by trying to make science fit into Stalinist political correctness.”

Ferguson

It is misleading to say that God accepts us the way we are. Rather he accepts us despite the way we are. —Sinclair Ferguson


Fukushima clean-up ‘may take 40 years’

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 07:10 AM PST

Cleaning up Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, which suffered catastrophic meltdowns after an earthquake and tsunami hit in 2011, may take up to 40 years. The crippled nuclear reactor is now stable but the decommissioning process is making slow progress, says the plant’s operator Tokyo Electric Power Co, better known as TEPCO.

“If I may put this in terms of mountain climbing, we’ve just passed the first station on a mountain of 10 stations,” said Akira Ono, head of the Fukushima plant. It’s almost five years since the earthquake and the tsunami it triggered killed more than 15,000 people and destroyed coastal towns on March 11, 2011.TEPCO has attracted fierce criticism for its handling of the disaster. READ MORE

The post Fukushima clean-up ‘may take 40 years’ appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Russia and Iran appears close to handing a military victory to Assad in Syria

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 07:01 AM PST

Days of intense bombing that could soon put the critical city of Aleppo back into the hands of Syrian President Assad’s forces. The USA says there could be no military solution to Syria. The Russians may be proving the United States wrong. There may be a military solution, one senior American official conceded Wednesday, “just not our solution,” but that of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.

The Russian military action has changed the shape of a conflict that had effectively been stalemated for years. Suddenly, Mr. Assad and his allies have momentum, and the United States-backed rebels are on the run. If a cease-fire is negotiated here, it will probably come at a moment when Mr. Assad holds more territory, and more sway, than since the outbreak of the uprisings in 2011.

Mr. Kerry enters the negotiations with very little leverage: The Russians have cut off many of the pathways the C.I.A. has been using for a not-very-secret effort to arm rebel groups, according to several current and former officials. Mr. Kerry’s supporters inside the administration say he has been increasingly frustrated by the low level of American military activity, which he views as essential to bolstering his negotiation effort. READ MORE

The post Russia and Iran appears close to handing a military victory to Assad in Syria appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Why are so many Christians biblically illiterate?

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 06:57 AM PST

Emblematic of the Bible’s declining influence is what Harper Lee penned in her 1960 novel “To Kill a Mockingbird,” in which the character Miss Maudie says, “Sometimes the Bible in the hand of one man is worse than a whiskey bottle in the hand of [another]. Most Christians know enough about the Bible to be dangerous. The Bible in America is a massive industry ($2.5 billion) yet it is the best seller few read and fewer understand.

The Bible has become a moving target. One can strip it down, twist it, misread it, add to it, supplement it, and even overrule it, and, unfortunately, 95 percent of the congregation will not realize it. Why? Because Americans no longer know the Bible. The evidence is overpowering that contemporary Christianity is Bible-ish, at best, and at worst, in some cases, Bible-less. The American Bible Society releases an annual State of the Bible report and their research is persuasive in understanding the declining influence of the Bible in America. READ MORE

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First case of Zika identified in Alabama, Virus has now spread to 20 U.S. states

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 06:49 AM PST

The first case of the Zika virus has been confirmed in Alabama.  Officials in Alabama said the person had recently traveled to a country affected by the virus and returned infected. The individual, who has not been identified, is a resident of Morgan County in the Tennessee Valley and is said to be ‘fine’. Four other people have been tested and are awaiting results, while another person, who had returned from Latin American country, came back negative.

‘The person is fine,’ Dr Jim McVay, from the Alabama Department of Public Health, told Al.com.  Dr Tom Miller, acting state health officer, said he expected more cases to be identified in Alabama. ‘We knew it was only a matter of time before we would have the first positive case of an individual in Alabama with Zika virus,’ he said. ‘Given the frequency of international travel to affected areas, we anticipate having additional positive cases. We are working with the medical community to identify high-risk individuals.’ The Zika virus is now believed to have spread to 20 states, as well as Washington, DC. READ MORE

 

 

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Health officials warn of Zika outbreak in Florida

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 06:40 AM PST

Urging Congress to provide more resources in the fight against Zika, a top federal health official on Wednesday warned Congress that the virus is likely to spread into tropical areas of the United States such as Puerto Rico and South Florida, where the Aedes aegypti mosquito is common. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Thomas Frieden told members of the Foreign Affairs Committee that the number of U.S. Zika cases has risen and cautioned that if the virus takes root, it could spread as rapidly as the chikungunya virus did in 2014,

when the disease, also carried by mosquitoes, crisscrossed Puerto Rico in less than a year. Acknowledging that a case of Zika was spread through sexual contact in Dallas, Frieden said much was still unknown about the virus, including the depth of its health effects and how long it could survive in bodily fluids. He said mosquito eradication remained the best way to fight the virus. READ MORE

 

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The world can’t afford another financial crash – it could destroy capitalism as we know it

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 06:25 AM PST

They bounce back after terrorist attacks, pick themselves up after earthquakes and cope with pandemics such as Zika. They can even handle years of economic uncertainty, stagnant wages and sky-high unemployment. But no developed nation today could possibly tolerate another wholesale banking crisis and proper, blood and guts recession.
We are too fragile, fiscally as well as psychologically.

Our economies, cultures and polities are still paying a heavy price for the Great Recession; another collapse, especially were it to be accompanied by a fresh banking bailout by the taxpayer, would trigger a cataclysmic, uncontrollable backlash. The public, whose faith in elites and the private sector was rattled after 2007-09, would simply not wear it. Its anger would be so explosive, so-all encompassing that it would threaten the very survival of free trade, of globalisation and of the market-based economy. There would be calls for wage and price controls, punitive, ultra-progressive taxes, a war on the City and arbitrary jail sentences. READ MORE

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DEVELOPING: Sweden Cuts Rates Deeper Into Negative Territory, May Go Further

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 06:21 AM PST

Sweden’s central bank lowered its key interest rate even further below zero and said it’s prepared to use its full toolbox of measures as it battles to revive inflation and keep the krona from appreciating. The repo rate was reduced to minus 0.50 percent from minus 0.35 percent, the Stockholm-based bank said. A cut was predicted by 10 of the 18 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg, though only three had anticipated this magnitude.

The bank said government bond purchases will continue as planned for the first six months of 2016 and that it “will reinvest maturities and coupons from the government bond portfolio until further notice.” “Uncertainty regarding global developments is still high, with low inflation and several central banks pursuing more expansionary monetary policy,” the Riksbank said. “Swedish monetary policy must relate to this. Otherwise the krona exchange rate is at risk of strengthening at a faster rate than in the forecast, which would make it harder to push inflation and stabilize it around 2 percent.” READ MORE

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Dollar and Global Stocks trampled in stampede to safety

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 06:17 AM PST

The dollar hit a 16-month low against the yen on Thursday to put it on course for its worst week since the Lehman crisis as investors scrambled for relative safety, buying up gold and top-rated bonds and dumping stocks. Investors were spooked by worries over the direction of the global economy and by cautious comments from the head of the U.S. Federal Reserve that were taken to mean further rate hikes are unlikely in the near term.

Wall Street <ESc1> <NQc1> was expected to open almost 2 percent lower. European stocks <.FTEU3> were down over 3 percent at a 2-1/2 year low led by another 6 percent plunge in banks, and the Swedish crown <SEK=> tumbled as its central bank waded in with a surprise cut to its already deeply negative interest rates. “What this shows is that the risk-off mode has come back very quickly and that the worst may still be to come in these markets,” said Rabobank European strategist Emile Cardon. READ MORE

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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.


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 on 5 Fingers

If you picked up a hitchhiker (not that I recommend doing that) and he saw a Bible on your car seat and said, “I’ve heard about this thing called the Gospel – can you explain it to me before you drop me off in one minute up the street?” What would you say?

Can you explain the gospel in 30 seconds? In one minute? In five minutes?

Here’s one way I have found helpful. 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.


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


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February 11, 2016 Devotional Guide Collection

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February 11

THE WONDER OF IT ALL

Words and Music by George Beverly Shea, 1909–

What is man that You are mindful of him, the Son of Man that You care for Him? (Hebrews 2:6)

What many Christians need today is a rebirth of wonder and awe. We know the gospel intellectually, but it seldom reaches our emotions and will. We take the incarnation, resurrection, ascension, the indwelling Holy Spirit, and the eternal reign of Christ merely as theological concepts without letting them grip our inmost being. And the wonder that this great God knows, loves and cares for us doesn’t often thrill us as it should. We even become very blasé when we witness a life that has been dramatically transformed by the love of God. Our spiritual condition can be likened to those Christians at the church in Laodicea mentioned in Revelation 3:14–22: “neither cold nor hot”—just lukewarm. We need to recapture the wonder of it all.

George Beverly Shea, one of the all-time favorite gospel singers, gives this account of the writing of this hymn in his book Songs That Lift the Heart:

England figures in the story behind this hymn written in 1955. I was on my way to Scotland for meetings there aboard the S.S. United States bound for Southampton when inspiration came from conversation with another passenger. He wanted to know what went on at our meetings and after detailing the sequence of things at a typical Billy Graham Crusade meeting, I found myself at a loss for words when I tried to describe the response that usually accompanied Mr. Graham’s invitation to become a Christian. “What happens then never becomes commonplace … watching people by the hundreds come forward … oh, if you could just see the wonder of it all.”

“I think I should,” he answered. Then he wrote these words on a card and handed it back to me: THE WONDER OF IT ALL.

“That sounds like a song to me.” Later that night, I wrote words on that theme and roughed out a melody to go with them.

* * * *

There’s the wonder of sunset at evening, the wonder as sunrise I see; but the wonder of wonders that thrills my soul is the wonder that God loves me.

There’s the wonder of springtime and harvest, the sky, the stars, the sun; but the wonder of wonders that thrills my soul is a wonder that’s only begun.

Refrain: O, the wonder of it all! The wonder of it all! Just to think that God loves me. O, the wonder of it all! The wonder of it all! Just to think that God loves me.

For Today: Psalm 8; 2 Corinthians 5:19; Ephesians 2:10; 3:19.

Take time to reflect with awe on the wonder of your personal relationship with the God of the universe. Determine to live throughout the day with this attitude as you think of “the wonder of it all.”[1]


February 11: God’s Will: It’s Confusing

Exodus 26–27; John 5:1–15; Song of Solomon 3:6–11

It’s sometimes difficult to understand why God does what He does, or why He asks us to do certain things. God goes so far as to list precise materials and calculations in Exod 26 for the tabernacle—the portable temple the Hebrew people built for God in the wilderness. You can imagine the conversation:

Nadab says, “Aaron, is it okay if I use leather for this curtain?”

Aaron responds, “No, you know the rules. If God commands it, you have to do it. I don’t want another golden calf incident. I made that mistake once; I won’t make it twice.”

“But there is more leather,” says Nadab.

“I’m not having this discussion any longer,” Aaron says sternly. “Let’s just get the job done.” (“For an elder, you think he would know better,” Aaron says under his breath.)

Aaron, in this fictional scene, is rightfully frustrated because God does know better. Most of us know the answer before we ask God, “Why?” But we ask Him anyway. God’s will can be confusing, and it’s for this reason that discerning it requires great prayer and a dedication to an ongoing relationship with Him. Trying to understand God’s will without that close relationship cannot only be detrimental to us, but also to others. We see this in the golden calf incident later in the exodus narrative (Exod 32).

And isn’t this often the case? God knows what we need before we do; we just don’t always realize that He has already given instructions.

Has God already given instructions for your current situation that you may not have realized yet?

John D. Barry[2]


February 11

Intro

Welcome to Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Today’s reading is Mark 1 through 4. Our lesson is from Mark 1:1, “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” (NASU)

Lesson

Mark is the action packed gospel. Jesus is very active and moves quickly from place to place. He is untiring. Let’s view the three truths presented by Mark in our verse.

First, Mark introduces the readers to the gospel. The word “gospel” literally means “good news.” The world both in Jesus’ day and currently is in desperate need of good news. Later, Mark further adds that the gospel is for one to repent and believe in it. The basic components are to repent of one’s sins and believe. Of course, belief is not lived out in a void but is measured by a response through lifestyle. The reader is immediately confronted with the gospel and challenged to believe.

The demonstration of the gospel is very much related to signs and wonders. Jesus is constantly confronting the powers in darkness in Mark. As a matter of fact, the commissioning of the disciples in chapter 16 is closely tied to signs and wonders. The signs point to Jesus and the advancement of the kingdom of God.

Second, Mark informs the readers that the gospel is Jesus Christ. The “good news” has to do with a person. That person is Jesus Christ and what He has done. The term “Christ” means anointed. This is closely connected with the long awaited hope of Israel the Messiah. By Jesus being called the Christ, Mark is pointing to Him as the fulfillment of God’s promise to Israel. Jesus Christ is God’s response to humanity’s dilemma regarding a relationship with a holy God.

Last, Mark tells the readers that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. By stating this, he lets everyone know Jesus Christ is divine. The boy who was born in Bethlehem is now called the Son of God.

Mark’s assertion goes beyond a simple title or expression. He is not using “Son of God” in the sense of Greek mythology as a half-human god. These were myths and the imagination of certain authors.

For all of the gospel writers, Jesus Christ lived in real history and was a human being. He was a Jew and had parents. He was both 100% man and 100% God.

In summary, Mark introduces the readers to the gospel. Mark informs the readers that the gospel is Jesus Christ. And, Mark tells the readers that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

The basis for the entire understanding of the gospel has to do with the person and work of Jesus Christ. His death and resurrection are crucial to the core of the gospel. Let’s serve Jesus Christ wholeheartedly.

End

It has been a pleasure to share with you Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Tomorrow’s Bible reading is Mark 5 through 8. Let’s not forget the words of the psalmist, “The law of Your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.” Until tomorrow and may God bless you in abundance as you study the Word of God.[3]


 

February 11

 

The Joy of Intercession

 

“… always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all” (Phil. 1:4).

✧✧✧

Intercessory prayer is a powerful tool in the hands of a righteous person.

A story is told of a special nurse who knew the importance of intercessory prayer. Because each day she used her hands as instruments of God’s love and mercy toward those in her care, she found it natural to use her hand as a scheme of prayer. Each finger represented someone she wanted to pray for. Her thumb was nearest to her and reminded her to pray for those who were closest and dearest. The index finger was used for pointing, so it stood for her instructors. The third finger was the tallest and stood for those in leadership. The fourth finger was the weakest, representing those in distress and pain. The little finger, which was the smallest and least important, reminded the nurse to pray for her own needs.

Undoubtedly that nurse knew the joy of praying for others. Paul knew it too. Given the same circumstances, a lesser man would be consumed with his own well-being, but Paul modeled what he teaches in Philippians 2:4: “Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” Such an attitude is the heart of effective intercessory prayer.

Those who lack the joy of the Holy Spirit often harbor negative thoughts toward others, which debilitates compassion and hinders prayer. That’s tragic because intercessory prayer is a powerful tool in the hands of righteous people (James 5:16).

Analyze your own prayers. Are they generous with praise to God for His goodness to others? Do you pray for the needs of others? Practice doing so, and the joy of intercession will be yours.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Pray for specific people and specific needs. ✧ Thank God for what you see Him doing in the lives of others.

For Further Study: John 17 is Christ’s intercessory prayer for His disciples, including us (v. 20). After reading that chapter, complete the following statements ✧ Eternal life is ____________________________. ✧ Christ’s mission on earth was to _______________________________. ✧ The world’s reaction to Christ and His followers is__________________________________. ✧ The best way to convince the world that Christ was sent by the Father is to ________________________.[4]


February 11

The Success Syndrome

If I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.

Philippians 2:17

American society is breeding a generation of Christians who primarily want to be successful. Seldom do they have a humble attitude of service. They are unwilling to make sacrifices for the cause of Christ because they have been taught, whether verbally or not, that Christians should be rich, famous, successful, and popular.

Such an orientation toward personal success rather than humble service is the opposite of what glorifies God. Living for the glory of God means knowing you are expendable and being ready to die, if necessary, to accomplish God’s ends. Such a humble attitude glorifies God.

To grow spiritually, we must lose ourselves in the lordship of Christ at the moment of salvation and allow Him to dominate our lives from then on. In doing so, we must seek only His glory—not our own comfort and success. We will not grow when we choose our own way or serve God with the wrong motive.[5]


 

February 11

 

God Is Always with Us

 

“The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth.”

Psalm 145:18

✧✧✧

Understanding God’s omnipresence should encourage us in times of distress and keep us from sinning.

It is a great comfort as a Christian to know that God is always present in me both essentially and relationally. No matter what the trial, He is there. Sometimes He might seem faraway, but He’s really no further away than He’s ever been. His promise to us is, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you” (Heb. 13:5).

God is always with us to support our service to Him. When God called Moses to proclaim His message and lead Israel out of slavery, Moses protested because of his lack of speaking abilities (Ex. 4:10). But God said, “I … will be with your mouth, and teach you what you are to say” (v. 12). Jesus commands us, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations … and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:19–20). If you doubt you have the power to witness, remember that you have the same resource as any evangelist—the presence and power of God!

God’s continual presence is also a shield against sin. “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” (1 Cor. 10:13). Nothing will ever tempt us without His giving us the strength to resist.

The omnipresence of God should also motivate us to holiness. Most of us prefer to sin with no one else watching. But when we sin—whether in thought, word, or action—we sin in the presence of God. “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, watching the evil and the good” (Prov. 15:3). “His eyes are upon the ways of a man, and He sees all his steps. There is no darkness or deep shadow where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves” (Job 34:21–22). Don’t do anything you wouldn’t want God to see, because He’ll see it anyway!

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Thank God for the comfort He brings to you through His continual presence.

For Further Study: Hebrews 13:5 is a quote from Deuteronomy 31:6. Read Deuteronomy 31:1–8. What was the basis for Moses’ admonition to “be strong and courageous”?[6]


February 11

Knowing God

Wisdom is better than strength.

Ecclesiastes 9:16

The person who is seeking to walk in wisdom is going to reflect often about his own relationship with the Lord and how the Lord desires to work in his life. He is going to want to please the Lord, to grow in his relationship with the Lord.…

As we walk in wisdom, we see God’s hand at every turn. We know He is with us. We become more and more familiar with His voice … His prompting … His leading … His tug at our hearts. We don’t merely know more about God—rather, we truly come to know God in a deeper and more intimate way.[7]


February 11

Something Worth Thinking About

Scripture reading: 2 Corinthians 5:14–17

Key verse: 2 Corinthians 5:17

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

Controlling your thoughts can be difficult, especially if you open the door to thoughts that are not in keeping with the thoughts of Christ. Many people say, “Well, that’s not my problem. I don’t think about sinful material or things that would compromise my relationship with God.”

But they overlook their negative thoughts and feelings toward themselves and others. Hidden within the vast resources of our minds is a tremendous ability to store and retrieve data. The brain is so complex that scientists still do not know all its capabilities. However, one thing is clear: we view ourselves in light of what we believe to be true. If we have a negative belief system concerning who we are, then we will act negatively.

Thus the adage “Winners never lose and losers never win” is true. Not because winners win and losers lose, but because of how each group views itself.

For the next week refuse to react to negative thoughts about yourself or others. Look in the mirror and tell yourself: “I’m a child of God, and He loves me the way I am.” End of discussion! God will never belittle or embarrass you. He leads you to His altar of forgiveness so you can experience His glorious care on a personal basis. He gives you a totally new beginning. Now that’s worth thinking about!

Lord, I’m Your child. You love me the way I am. I praise You.[8]


February 11 Praying to the Lord

scripture reading:

 

Matthew 6:5–15

 

key verse:

 

John 6:15

 

When Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone.

Although Christ’s disciples saw Him work many miracles during their three–year apprenticeship, the Bible records only one instance in which they asked their Master to explain His phenomenal power. “Lord, teach us to pray,” they requested after observing Christ in a concentrated time of communion with the Father (Luke 11:1). They must have grasped that somehow prayer was the invisible source of Jesus’ ministry and their success depended on understanding its secrets.

What followed was a pattern for all believers. At the heart of Christ’s instructions was the pivotal phrase: “Thy kingdom come. / Thy will be done, / On earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10 nasb). That is the core of genuine prayer, seeking and submitting to the will of God in every circumstance. That was Jesus’ primary concern: “not as I will, but as Thou wilt” (Matt. 26:39 nasb).

Evangelist Dwight L. Moody explained, “Prayer means that I am to be raised up into feeling, into union and design with Him; that I am to enter into His counsel and carry out His purpose fully.”

Whatever your circumstance today, let prayer steer you into His will.

Teach me to pray, dear Lord, even as You taught Your disciples. Let Your kingdom come. Let Your will be done.[9]


February 11

The Ultimate Escape Artist

Scripture reading: John 8:31–36

Key verse: John 8:36

If the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

Have you ever felt uncomfortable during church? Even in an age in which quaint hand fans have been replaced by powerful air-conditioning systems and wooden pews have been exchanged for upholstered ones, people can still feel terribly uncomfortable during a worship service. This discomfort has nothing to do with a church building’s amenities. Often, it has everything to do with the Holy Spirit’s conviction.

Sometimes God will use a statement by your pastor or a reading of Scripture to burn a truth into your heart. Often, the message can be uplifting. At other times, it can be a sobering reminder that you still have an issue with which you must obey and trust God.

If God has pricked your heart, deep down you will know the truth. And the longer you delay in dealing with the issue on God’s terms, the more difficult it will be to finally submit to God’s will.

There is an escape to the trap that the enemy has laid for you. Jesus said, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31–32).

When you accepted Christ as your Savior, His Holy Spirit fully equipped you for freedom. Chains of bondage are a needless hazard for the believer. The truth can make you the ultimate escape artist.

Equip me for freedom through Your Word, O Lord. Break the chains that bind me so I can escape from captivity to sin.[10]


February 11

Consequences of Compromise

Scripture Reading: Judges 2

Key Verses: Judges 2:1–2

The Angel of the Lord came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said: “I led you up from Egypt and brought you to the land of which I swore to your fathers; and I said, ‘I will never break My covenant with you. And you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you shall tear down their altars.’ But you have not obeyed My voice. Why have you done this?”

Peter Marshall once said, “We are too Christian really to enjoy sinning, and too fond of sinning to enjoy Christianity. Most of us know perfectly well what we ought to do; our trouble is that we do not want to do it.”

D. L. Moody wrote of a time when he had to stand for his personal convictions rather than be a part of compromise:

Once I got into a place where I had to get up and leave. I was invited to a home, and they had a later supper, and there were seven kinds of liquor on the table. I am ashamed to say they were Christian people. A deacon urged a young lady to drink until her face was flushed. I rose from the table and went out; I felt that it was no place for me. They considered me very rude. That was going against the custom; that was entering a protest against such an infernal thing. Let us go against custom when it leads us astray.

Some convictions are obvious because God outlines them in His Word. Others are personal between you and Him. Regardless, the principle remains the same. When God sets a warning in front of you, and you deliberately go against His command, you compromise your relationship with Him.

God cannot bless disobedience or compromise. If you want His best, tell Him that wherever He leads, you will follow—forsaking all that does not bring glory and honor to Him.

Lord, You cannot bless disobedience or compromise, so I want to follow where You lead, forsaking all that does not bring glory and honor to You.[11]


February 11

You Are Forgiven

Scripture Reading: Colossians 3:5–9

Key Verse: Romans 5:8

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Many people quake in fear after reading the list of sins in 1 Corinthians 6:9–10. Others read the list and breathe a sigh of relief, because their sins are not on the list. Unfortunately, the apostle Paul continued his list of vices in Galatians 5:19–21, Ephesians 5:3–5, and Colossians 3:5–9.

When these passages are seen together, it becomes very clear that every believer has some aspect of sin in his or her life. Clearly, Paul took a very hard view of sin. In many of these passages, he refers to the sinners listed as those who will not enter the kingdom of God. This is the ultimate punishment, and this is what we each deserve.

However, the hope offered to the Corinthians is still our hope today. We are washed in Jesus’ blood. It has removed the stain of our sin; we are sanctified because our union with Christ has drawn us into the people of God; and we are justified by Christ’s work on the cross that has drawn us into a restored, personal relationship with the Creator God.

There is joy in knowing that we have been forgiven. We must remember that our sin does not surprise God; on the contrary, “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Knowing who and what we are, our loving Father sent His Son to save us. Ask God to help you forgive yourself, just as He has already forgiven you in Christ.

Lord Jesus, through Your death and resurrection You have washed my soul and removed the stains of sin. Thank You.[12]


February 11

Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord listened and heard them; so a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who meditate on His name.

So it was, while the two believers conversed and reasoned, that You, Lord Jesus, drew near and went with them. Where two or three are gathered together in Your name, You are there in the midst of us … Your fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life.

May Your Word, Christ Jesus, dwell in me richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing others in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in my heart to the Lord. May we believers exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of us be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

Every idle word I may speak, I will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by my words I will be justified, and by my words I will be condemned. Behold, it is written before You … You will repay.

Make me sensitive to Your presence with me today, Lord Jesus, that I may honor You with my actions, my words, my thoughts.

Malachi 3:16; Luke 24:15; Matthew 18:20; Philippians 4:3; Colossians 3:16; Hebrews 3:13; Matthew 12:36–37; Isaiah 65:6[13]


February 11

No Quality without Quantity

Deuteronomy 6:7

You shall teach [God’s commands] 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.

It’s not the quantity, but the quality of time that really counts.” Simply defined, the statement means that one can make up for having minimal moments with his family by making certain that the time he does have is quality time.

On the surface, this concept seems to make a lot of sense. It is possible to spend much time with one’s family that is seemingly meaningless. All of us experience times when we are at home physically but our minds are wand-ering miles away. I can remember days with the family that could have been “scratched” in terms of “quality.”

So what is the “quality time” myth? It’s as phony as the fake diamond in a one-dollar ring. The fact is, there is no quality without quantity.

Too many parents live with the regrets of abandoned moments. It takes time to be silly, to share a secret, to heal a hurt, to kiss away a tear. Moments of uninhibited communication between child and parent cannot be planned; they just happen. The only ingredient we bring to that dynamic of family life is our availability … and that is spelled T-I-M-E.[14]


February 11

IF I desired to put myself in the most likely place for the Lord to meet with me, I should prefer the house of prayer, for it is in preaching, that the Word is most blessed; but still I think I should equally desire the reading of the Scriptures; for I might pause over every verse, and say, “Such a verse was blessed to so many souls; then, why not to me? I am at least in the pool of Bethesda; I am walking amongst its porches, and who can tell but that the angel will stir the pool of the Word, whilst I lie helplessly by the side of it, waiting for the blessing?”[15]


February 11

As many as I love I … chasten

Rev. 3:19

I once saw a dark shadow resting on the bare side of a hill. Seeking its cause I saw a little cloud, bright as the light, floating in the clear blue above. Thus it is with our sorrow. It may be dark and cheerless here on earth; yet look above and you shall see it to be but a shadow of His brightness whose name is Love.

Dean Alford[16]


Day 11

Adoration

Your testimonies, which You have commanded,

Are righteous and trustworthy.

Your righteousness is everlasting,

And Your law is truth. (Psalm 119:138, 142)

My heart is steadfast, O God;

I will sing praises with all my soul.

Awake, harp and lyre!

I will awaken the dawn.

I will praise You, O Lord, among the peoples;

I will sing of You among the nations.

Your merciful love is higher than the heavens,

And Your truth reaches to the skies. (Psalm 108:1–4)

Pause to express your thoughts of praise and worship.

Confession

Blessed is the man You discipline, O Lord,

The man You teach from Your word. (Psalm 94:12)

Ask the Spirit to search your heart and reveal any areas of unconfessed sin. Acknowledge these to the Lord and thank Him for His forgiveness.

Renewal

You are God Almighty; may I walk before You and be blameless. (Genesis 17:1)

May I love my enemies, do good to them, and lend to them, expecting nothing in return. Then my reward will be great, and I will be a child of the Most High; for He is kind to the ungrateful and evil. May I be merciful just as my Father is merciful. (Luke 6:35–36)

Pause to add your own prayers for personal renewal.

Petition

May I not be dishonest in judgment, in measurement of weight or quantity. May I be honest and just in my business affairs. (Leviticus 19:35–36)

Personal Concerns

Spiritual warfare

The world

The flesh

The devil

Growth in character

Personal disciplines

Physical health and strength

My activities for this day

Special concerns

Intercession

Defend the weak and the fatherless;

Do justice to the afflicted and destitute.

Rescue the poor and needy;

Deliver them from the hand of the wicked. (Psalm 82:3–4)

World Affairs

The poor and hungry

The oppressed and persecuted

Those in authority

Peace among nations

Current events and concerns

Affirmation

I am not trying to win the approval of men, but of God. If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:10)

The fear of man brings a snare,

But he who trusts in the Lord is set on high. (Proverbs 29:25)

My help is in the name of the Lord,

Who made heaven and earth. (Psalm 124:8)

Pause to reflect upon these biblical affirmations.

Thanksgiving

Since God’s children have partaken of flesh and blood, He too shared in their humanity so that by His death He might destroy him who holds the power of death, that is, the devil, and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. (Hebrews 2:14–15)

Christ had to be made like His brothers in every way, in order that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. Because He Himself suffered when He was tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted. (Hebrews 2:17–18)

Pause to offer your own expressions of thanksgiving.

Closing Prayer

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked

Or stand in the way of sinners

Or sit in the seat of scorners.

But his delight is in the law of the Lord,

And in His law he meditates day and night.

And he shall be like a tree planted by streams of water,

Which yields its fruit in its season

And whose leaf does not wither;

And whatever he does will prosper. (Psalm 1:1–3)[17]


Morning, February 11

 

“And they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.”

— Acts 4:13

 

A Christian should be a striking likeness of Jesus Christ. You have read lives of Christ, beautifully and eloquently written, but the best life of Christ is his living biography, written out in the words and actions of his people. If we were what we profess to be, and what we should be, we should be pictures of Christ; yea, such striking likenesses of him, that the world would not have to hold us up by the hour together, and say, “Well, it seems somewhat of a likeness;” but they would, when they once beheld us, exclaim, “He has been with Jesus; he has been taught of him; he is like him; he has caught the very idea of the holy Man of Nazareth, and he works it out in his life and every-day actions.” A Christian should be like Christ in his boldness. Never blush to own your religion; your profession will never disgrace you: take care you never disgrace that. Be like Jesus, very valiant for your God. Imitate him in your loving spirit; think kindly, speak kindly, and do kindly, that men may say of you, “He has been with Jesus.” Imitate Jesus in his holiness. Was he zealous for his Master? So be you; ever go about doing good. Let not time be wasted: it is too precious. Was he self-denying, never looking to his own interest? Be the same. Was he devout? Be you fervent in your prayers. Had he deference to his Father’s will? So submit yourselves to him. Was he patient? So learn to endure. And best of all, as the highest portraiture of Jesus, try to forgive your enemies, as he did; and let those sublime words of your Master, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do,” always ring in your ears. Forgive, as you hope to be forgiven. Heap coals of fire on the head of your foe by your kindness to him. Good for evil, recollect, is godlike. Be godlike, then; and in all ways and by all means, so live that all may say of you, “He has been with Jesus.”

 

Evening, February 11

 

“Thou hast left thy first love.”

— Revelation 2:4

 

Ever to be remembered is that best and brightest of hours, when first we saw the Lord, lost our burden, received the roll of promise, rejoiced in full salvation, and went on our way in peace. It was spring time in the soul; the winter was past; the mutterings of Sinai’s thunders were hushed; the flashings of its lightnings were no more perceived; God was beheld as reconciled; the law threatened no vengeance, justice demanded no punishment. Then the flowers appeared in our heart; hope, love, peace, and patience sprung from the sod; the hyacinth of repentance, the snowdrop of pure holiness, the crocus of golden faith, the daffodil of early love, all decked the garden of the soul. The time of the singing of birds was come, and we rejoiced with thanksgiving; we magnified the holy name of our forgiving God, and our resolve was, “Lord, I am thine, wholly thine; all I am, and all I have, I would devote to thee. Thou hast bought me with thy blood—let me spend myself and be spent in thy service. In life and in death let me be consecrated to thee.” How have we kept this resolve? Our espousal love burned with a holy flame of devoutedness to Jesus—is it the same now? Might not Jesus well say to us, “I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love”? Alas! it is but little we have done for our Master’s glory. Our winter has lasted all too long. We are as cold as ice when we should feel a summer’s glow and bloom with sacred flowers. We give to God pence when he deserveth pounds, nay, deserveth our heart’s blood to be coined in the service of his church and of his truth. But shall we continue thus? O Lord, after thou hast so richly blessed us, shall we be ungrateful and become indifferent to thy good cause and work? O quicken us that we may return to our first love, and do our first works! Send us a genial spring, O Sun of Righteousness. [18]


February 11

Genesis 44; Mark 14; Job 10; Romans 14

Job 10 is the second part of job’s response to Bildad the Shuhite. Bildad has argued that God cannot pervert justice (Job 8; see meditation for February 9). In chapter 9 Job replies, rather impatiently, that he knows all that: “Indeed, I know that this is true” (9:2). Job does not doubt that he too, like other mortals, cannot stand up beside the matchless righteousness of God: “But how can a mortal be righteous before God?” (9:2). So Job argues that that is precisely the problem: in this particular case, Job insists he is blameless (9:21), free from any evil that should have attracted the miseries inflicted upon him, but God remains unanswerable. Job is certainly not more evil than many contemporaries who are unscathed by the passing years. But how can a mere mortal plead his case before the Almighty? “He is not a man like me that I might answer him, that we might confront each other in court” (9:32). There is not even available a suitable arbitrator (9:33). As for Job’s “friends,” they increase his suffering, for they will not admit that he is innocent (9:28); they are more than eager to drop him into the nearest slime pit to prove that he is dirty (9:30–31).

Job now turns to address God (chap. 10). He wants to know what charges God has against him (10:2). Full of self-acknowledged bitterness (10:1), Job asks, “Does it please you to oppress me, to spurn the work of your hands, while you smile on the schemes of the wicked?” (10:3). Certainly Job is prepared to acknowledge that God shaped him in the womb, carefully nurtured him, gave him life, and providentially watched over him (10:8–12). But now, it seems, there is another side: God will not only hunt him down if he sins, but even if Job is innocent he finds he cannot answer this God or compete against the pressures God is able to bring to bear (10:13–17). So why did God bring him to life in the first place? Or why did Job not die as soon as he was born, carried from the womb to the grave (10:18–22)?

This is the rhetoric of anguish and despair. We still await God’s answer. But Romans 14 may have something to say to Job’s miserable “friends”: “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification” (14:19). Of course, in the context of Romans 14, Paul is focusing on Christian self-restraint for the sake of others, especially in the matter of eating food offered to idols (as in 1 Cor. 8; see vol. 1, meditation for September 3). Yet the broad principle applies nonetheless to Job’s friends: do they speak out of passionate commitment to “mutual edification” or out of frightened self-justification?[19]


February 11

Genesis 44; Mark 14; Job 10; Romans 14

Up to this point in the narrative (Gen. 44), Judah has not appeared in a very good light. When Joseph’s brothers first declare their intention to kill him (Gen. 37:19–20), two of them offer alternatives. Reuben suggests that Joseph should simply be thrown into a pit from which he could not escape (37:21–22). This proposal had two advantages. First, murder could not then be directly ascribed to the brothers, and second, Reuben hoped to come back later, in secret, and rescue his kid brother. Reuben was devastated when his plan did not work out (37:29–30). The other brother with an independent proposal was Judah. He argued that there was no profit in mere murder. It would be better to sell Joseph into slavery (37:25–27)—and his view prevailed.

Judah reappears in the next chapter, sleeping with his daughter-in-law (Gen. 38), and, initially at least, deploying a double standard (see meditation for February 6).

Yet here in Genesis 44, Judah cuts a more heroic figure. Joseph manipulates things to have Benjamin and his brothers arrested for theft, and insists that only Benjamin will have to remain in Egypt as a slave. Perhaps Joseph’s ploy was designed to test his older brothers to see if they still resented the youngest, if they were still so hard that they could throw one of their number into slavery and chuckle that at least they themselves were free. It is Judah who intervenes, and pleads, of all things, the special love his father has for Benjamin. He even refers to Jacob’s belief that Joseph was killed by wild animals (44:28), as if the sheer deceit and wickedness of it all had been preying on his mind for the previous quarter of a century. Judah explains how he himself promised to bring the boy back safely, and emotionally pleads, “Now then, please let your servant remain here as my lord’s slave in the place of the boy, and let the boy return with his brothers. How can I go back to my father if the boy is not with me? No! Do not let me see the misery that would come upon my father” (44:33–34).

This is the high point in what we know of Judah’s pilgrimage. He offers his life in substitution for another. Perhaps in part he was motivated by a guilty conscience; if so, the genuine heroism grew out of genuine shame. He could not know that in less than two millennia, his most illustrious descendant, in no way prompted by shame but only by obedience to his heavenly Father and by love for guilty rebels, would offer himself as a substitute for them (Mark 14).[20]


February 11.—Morning. [Or March 23.] “He hath triumphed gloriously.”

Exodus 15:1–21

WE will now read the song of Moses, which is prophetically typical of the ultimate victory of the Lord Jesus.

Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the Lord, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.

The Lord is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him.

3, 4 The Lord is a man of war: the Lord is his name. Pharaoh’s chariots and his host hath he cast into the sea: his chosen captains also are drowned in the Red sea.

The depths have covered them: they sank into the bottom as a stone.

6, 7 Thy right hand, O Lord, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O Lord, hath dashed in pieces the enemy. And in the greatness of thine excellency thou hast overthrown them that rose up against thee: thou sentest forth thy wrath, which consumed them as stubble.

And with the blast of thy nostrils the waters were gathered together, the floods stood upright as an heap, and the depths were congealed in the heart of the sea.

The enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; my lust shall be satisfied upon them; I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them.

10 Thou didst blow with thy wind, the sea covered them: they sank as lead in the mighty waters.

11 Who is like unto thee, O Lord, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?

12 Thou stretchedst out thy right hand, the earth swallowed them.

13 Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed: thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation.

14, 15, 16 The people shall hear, and be afraid: sorrow shall take hold on the inhabitants of Palestina. Then the dukes of Edom shall be amazed; the mighty men of Moab, trembling shall take hold upon them; all the inhabitants of Canaan shall melt away. Fear and dread shall fall upon them; by the greatness of thine arm they shall be as still as a stone; till thy people pass over, O Lord, till the people pass over, which thou hast purchased.

17 Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance, in the place, O Lord, which thou hast made for thee to dwell in, in the Sanctuary, O Lord, which thy hands have established.

18 The Lord shall reign for ever and ever.

19 For the horse of Pharaoh went in with his chariots and with his horsemen into the sea, and the Lord brought again the waters of the sea upon them; but the children of Israel went on dry land in the midst of the sea.

20, 21 And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.

In order to leave the song unbroken, we have reserved our few notes for the end of it.

Observe the sublimity and simplicity of the composition. Fine, florid language suits the little elegancies of man but not the glories of the Lord. Note how all the song is to the praise of the Lord alone, there is not a note for Moses or for Aaron; no hint of secondary agents, but Jehovah alone is exalted. Remark the noise, hurry, and violence of the foe, in verse 9, and the calmness of the Lord, in verse 10. It will be well to read them both again. Man is raving and threatening, and the Lord in placid omnipotence defeats his rage. Consider also, how the poet infers the future from the present. God who brought his people through the sea, would surely bring them into their heritage. He who has wrought marvels of grace already, will not leave us till grace is turned into glory.

What a noble hallelujah is that of verse 18, “Jehovah shall reign for ever and ever.” It is a plain inference from his overthrow of his enemies. Let us triumph in our reigning God. He has overcome sin, death, and hell for us; let us therefore, like Miriam, rejoice with all the saints. Let our heart dance, and our hand make music unto our Redeemer, who has cast our enemies into the depths of the sea.

February 11.—Evening. [Or March 24.] “Thou art the Lord that doest wonders.”

ON this occasion we shall read

Psalm 77

This will show us the way in which holy men of old derived comfort from the great miracle of the Red Sea. Here is Asaph, almost in despair, encouraged by remembering the Lord’s wonders of old.

I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God with my voice; and he gave ear unto me.

In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord: my sore ran in the night, and ceased not: my soul refused to be comforted.

His spirits sank so low that like a sick man who cannot eat what is good for him, he was unable to believe cheering truths.

I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. (God’s people know by experience the lonely glens of soul trouble.) Selah. (This is a musical pause, or perhaps it means “lift up the tune.” Let us lift up our hearts.)

Thou holdest mine eyes waking: I am so troubled that I cannot speak.

I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times.

I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search.

Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will he be favourable no more? (These questions are suggested by fear, but they may serve as the cure of fear. Their answers are both self-evident and heart-cheering.)

Is his mercy clean gone for ever? doth his promise fail for evermore?

Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies? Selah.

10 And I said, This is my infirmity: (This accounts for most of our fears. They have no real ground, but are based upon our weakness of faith. The evil is in us, not in providence; the change in our hearts, not in the immutable God:) but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High.

11 I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember thy wonders of old.

12 I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings. (“Remember,” “meditate,” “talk,”—this is a wise order. Imitate it.)

13 Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God?

14, 15 Thou art the God that doest wonders: thou hast declared thy strength among the people. Thou hast with thine arm redeemed thy people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah.

16 The waters saw thee, O God, the waters saw thee; they were afraid: the depths also were troubled. (Quiet caves of the sea, far down in the abyss, were stirred with fright; and the waters fled as if they feared the face of the Lord.)

17 The clouds poured out water: the skies sent out a sound: thine arrows also went abroad.

Lightnings flew like bolts from the bow of God, and the rain dashed down in torrents.

18 The voice of thy thunder was in the heaven: the lightnings lightened the world: the earth trembled and shook. (According to Josephus there was a terrible storm when the Egyptians were in the midst of the sea; there would seem from the text to have been rain, tempest, and earthquake combined. All the elements are the allies of Israel, and the enemies of the ungodly.)

19 Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known.

Our God has mysterious ways of delivering his people, but deliver them he will.

20 Thou leddest thy people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

They felt no storm and feared no ill, but were as quiet and safe as sheep protected by their shepherd. Even thus shall all the saints be secure, while their enemies are utterly overwhelmed.

I’ll call to mind thy works of old,

The wonders of thy might;

On them my heart shall meditate,

Them shall my tongue recite.

Thy people, Lord, long since have thee

A God of wonders found:

Long since hast thou thy chosen seed

With strong deliv’rance crown’d.

 

Sound the loud timbrel o’er Egypt’s dark sea!

Jehovah hath triumph’d: his people are free.

Sing, for the pride of the tyrant is broken,

His chariots and horsemen all splendid and brave,

How vain was their boasting! the Lord hath but spoken,

And chariots and horsemen are sunk in the wave.

Sound the loud timbrel o’er Egypt’s dark sea!

Jehovah hath triumph’d: his people are free.[21]


February 11th

Is your hope in God faint and dying?

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose imagination is stayed on Thee. Isaiah 26:3 (R.V. marg.).

Is your imagination stayed on God or is it starved? The starvation of the imagination is one of the most fruitful sources of exhaustion and sapping in a worker’s life. If you have never used your imagination to put yourself before God, begin to do it now. It is no use waiting for God to come; you must put your imagination away from the face of idols and look unto Him and be saved. Imagination is the greatest gift God has given us, and it ought to be devoted entirely to Him. If you have been bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, it will be one of the greatest assets to faith when the time of trial comes, because your faith and the Spirit of God will work together. Learn to associate ideas worthy of God with all that happens in Nature—the sunrises and the sunsets, the sun and the stars, the changing seasons, and your imagination will never be at the mercy of your impulses, but will always be at the service of God.

‘We have sinned with our fathers … and have forgotten’—then put a stiletto in the place where you have gone to sleep. ‘God is not talking to me just now,’ but He ought to be. Remember Whose you are and Whom you serve. Provoke yourself by recollection, and your affection for God will increase tenfold; your imagination will not be starved any longer, but will be quick and enthusiastic, and your hope will be inexpressibly bright.[22]


February 11 – What Is Poverty of Spirit?

“‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven’” (Matthew 5:3).

Poverty of spirit means recognizing how truly deficient we are apart from God. It means seeing ourselves as we really are: spiritually lost, hopeless, and helpless. Without the gospel of Jesus Christ, everyone is spiritually impoverished, regardless of his or her material accomplishments, educational achievements, or even religious knowledge and church activities.

The “poor in spirit” are people who have recognized their spiritual destitution and their total inability to save themselves—their complete dependence on God. They know their only hope of salvation is to repent and ask for forgiveness, leaning on the sovereign grace and mercy of God. Such a person knows he has no spiritual merit of his own and that his personal strength or wisdom is insufficient to earn him lasting spiritual reward.

“In spirit” expresses the understanding that poverty of spirit can’t be merely a hypocritical, outward act. Being a genuine spiritual beggar reflects true humility, not some phony, pretentious, mild-mannered behavior. Real poverty of spirit is what the prophet said the Lord looks for and affirms: “But to this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word” (Isa. 66:2; cf. Pss. 34:18; 51:17).

Augustine in his Confessions says pride was his greatest barrier to salvation. Until he realized that his achievements and possessions were nothing, Christ could do nothing for him. It’s the same for any who would be poor in spirit.

Ask Yourself

What specific items or attitudes threaten your ability to remain “poor in spirit”? How does a person maintain a comfort level in God’s presence without losing the perspective of being undeserving of the privilege?

From Daily Readings from the Life of Christ, Vol. 1, John MacArthur. Copyright © 2008. Used by permission of Moody Publishers, Chicago, IL 60610, http://www.moodypublishers.com.


February 11

Reading for Today:

Exodus 33:1–34:35
Psalm 21:8-13
Proverbs 8:1-5
Matthew 26:1-25
Notes:

Exodus 33:12–17 Again Moses entered earnestly and confidently into the role of intercessor before God for the nation whom he again referred to as “Your people” (vv. 13, 16). Moses clearly understood that without God’s presence they would not be a people set apart from other nations, so why travel any further? Moses’ favored standing before the Lord comes out in the positive response to his intercession (v. 17).

Matthew 26:2 Passover. This was God’s chosen time for Christ to die. He was the antitype to which the Passover Lamb had always referred. Christ had always avoided His enemies’ plots to kill Him (Luke 4:29, 30; John 5:18; 10:39), but now it was His time. The true Lamb of God would take away the sin of the world (John 1:29).

Matthew 26:11 For you have the poor with you always. Jesus certainly was not disparaging ministry to the poor—especially so soon after the lesson of the sheep and goats judgment (see 25:35, 36). However, He revealed here that there is a higher priority than any other earthly ministry, and that is worship rendered to Him. This would be an utter blasphemy for anyone less than God, so yet again He was implicitly affirming His deity.

DAY 11: How does Moses’ veiled face represent the inadequacy of the Old Covenant?

The first time on Mount Sinai (Ex. 24:12–32:14), unlike the second time (34:29–35), had not left Moses with a face which was reflecting some radiance associated with being in the presence of the Lord for an extended period of time.

The second time, in comparison with the first, was not interrupted by the Lord’s sending Moses away because of sin in the camp (32:7–10). A compliant and not defiant people feared the evidence of God’s presence. When not speaking to the Lord or authoritatively on His behalf to the people, Moses veiled his face.

The apostle Paul advised that the veil prevented the people from seeing a fading glory and related it to the inadequacy of the Old Covenant and the blindness of the Jews in his day (2 Cor. 3:7–18). Paul says that “we all,” not just Moses, or prophets, apostles, and preachers, but all believers are “with unveiled face.” Believers in the New Covenant have nothing obstructing their vision of Christ and His glory as revealed in the Scripture. Though the vision is unobstructed and intimate (“beholding as in a mirror”), believers do not see a perfect representation of God’s glory now, but will one day (see 1 Cor. 13:12). As they gaze at the glory of the Lord, believers are continually being transformed into Christlikeness. The ultimate goal of the believer is to be like Christ (see Rom. 8:29; Phil. 3:12–14; 1 John 3:2), and by continually focusing on Him the Spirit transforms the believer more and more into His image. “From glory to glory”—from one level of manifesting Christ to another. The more believers grow in their knowledge of Christ, the more He is revealed in their lives (see Phil. 3:12–14).

From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville, TN 37214, http://www.thomasnelson.com.


Be Careful of What You Think

Ask yourself another question: “Am I using my money wisely? Am I using my money to bless people? Am I using my money to help find the lost sheep? Am I using my money to help feed the hungry children?” Here is yet anogther question: “Do I gossip about people? Have I been a troublemaker?” Some people are disease carriers who are not sick themselves. They carry some disease, but they are not ill–just carriers. There are some Christians who are carriers. They can say “amen” with the best can can sing “Nearer My God to Thee” with the loudest, but they are not around very long until suspicions begin to enter the minds of Christians. They are troublemakers and trouble carriers. Then, “Have I judged other Christians? Your present frozen condition may be a judgment of God, for as you judge others so you will be judged by God. Your present frozen condition may be that you have judged somebody else to be frozen, and the Lord allowed the thing to turn around on you.” Am I heavenly minded or earthy minded? Where do my thoughts tend to stray when they are free to stray where they will? What do I brood over? Are my thoughts pure and charitable?” If you can find out what you brood over, you will know what kind of a Christian you are and what kind of a heart you have. We always brood over things that we love, or that we hate if we are holding a grudge against somebody.

Verse
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think about such things.
Philippians 4:8

Thought
To be Christian we must think Christian. Spiritual transformation is by means of mind renewal. Elsewhere A. W. Tozer said: “What we think about when we are free to think about what we will–that is what we are or will soon become” (Born After Midnight, 4

Prayer
I recognize responsibility for what I think, Father. Help to develop new habit tracks and thought patterns focusing on spiritual reality.

A. W. Tozer
http://www.cmalliance.org/devotions/tozer


Faith’s Checkbook: Are the Children In?

For I will pour water on the parched ground and cause streams to flow on the dry land. I will pour my spirit on your offspring and my blessing on your children. – Isa 44:3 NET

Our dear children have not the Spirit of God by nature, as we plainly see. We see much in them which makes us fear as to their future, and this drives us to agonizing prayer. When a son becomes specially perverse, we cry with Abraham, “Oh, that Ishmael might live before thee!” We would sooner see our daughters Hannahs than empresses. This verse should greatly encourage us. It follows upon the words, “Fear not, O Jacob, my servant,” and it may well banish our fears.

The Lord will give His Spirit; will give it plentifully, pouring it out; will give it effectually, so that it shall be a real and eternal blessing. Under this divine outpouring our children shall come forward, and “one shall say, I am the Lord’s; and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob.”

This is one of those promises concerning which the Lord will be inquired of. Should we not, at set times, in a distinct manner, pray for our offspring? We cannot give them new hearts, but the Holy Spirit can; and He is easily to be entreated of. The great Father takes pleasure in the prayers of fathers and mothers. Have we any dear ones outside of the ark? Let us not rest till they are shut in with us by the Lord’s own hand.

C. H. Spurgeon


ADORATION: Reverently Adore God

2
We must reverently adore God, as a Being transcendently bright and blessed, self-existent and self-sufficient, an infinite and eternal Spirit who has all perfections in himself, and give him the glory of his titles and attributes.

O LORD our God, you are very great! You are clothed with splendor and majesty, you cover yourself with light as with a garment; Psalm 104:1-2(ESV) and yet to us you make darkness your canopy, Psalm 18:11(ESV) for we cannot draw up our case because of darkness. Job 37:19(ESV)

This is the message which we have heard of you, and we set our seal to it that it is true: God is light, and in him is no darkness at all; 1 John 1:5(ESV) God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 1 John 4:16(ESV)

You are the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change, and from whom proceeds every good and perfect gift. James 1:17(ESV)

You are the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. 1 Timothy 6:15-16(ESV)

Matthew Henry’s method for prayer


 

[1] Osbeck, K. W. (1996). Amazing grace: 366 inspiring hymn stories for daily devotions (p. 52). Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications.

[2] Barry, J. D., & Kruyswijk, R. (2012). Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

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

[4] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 54). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[5] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 54). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

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

[7] Stanley, C. F. (2004). God’s way day by day (p. 50). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[8] Stanley, C. F. (2002). Seeking His face (p. 44). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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

[10] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 44). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[11] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 44). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[12] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 44). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[13] Jeremiah, D. (2007). Life-Changing Moments With God (p. 52). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[14] Jeremiah, D. (2002). Sanctuary: finding moments of refuge in the presence of God (p. 44). Nashville, TN: Integrity Publishers.

[15] Spurgeon, C. H. (1892). Daily Help (p. 46). Baltimore: R. H. Woodward & Company.

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

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

[18] Spurgeon, C. H. (2006). Morning and evening: Daily readings (Complete and unabridged; New modern edition.). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers.

[19] Carson, D. A. (1998). For the love of God: a daily companion for discovering the riches of God’s Word. (Vol. 2, p. 25). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[20] Carson, D. A. (1998). For the love of God: a daily companion for discovering the riches of God’s Word. (Vol. 1). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[21] Spurgeon, C. H. (1964). The Interpreter: Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible (pp. 83–84). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.

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

 

Posted in C. H. Spurgeon, Charles Stanley, D. A. Carson, David Jeremiah, Devotional Guide, John MacArthur | Leave a comment

Are you still in your sins?

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own order:Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, 24 then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. (1 Corinthians 15:22-24 NASB)

“Christian Universalists” say that God would not send people to burn in Hell for eternity. What is their basis for this? They misquote passages such as the one I placed at the top of this post saying that “all’ and “all’ means all people. The basis for taking this stand is this, “I reject that God will send all unbelievers to burn in Hell eternally!” Really? On what are you basing that? It sure cannot be Sacred Scripture unless you are one who…

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When Satan Dresses Up The World

The Reformed Reader

Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices (Puritan Paperbacks) One  of the many things Satan does to try to keep us from growing in holiness and serving the Lord is to attempt to get the Christian to love the world.  He dresses up the world and tries to make it desirable for the Christian, with the aim that the Christian walk away from Christ.  How can we fight this temptation of Satan?  Thomas Brooks has some good advice – I especially like the story of Chrysostom in #2:

  1. The first remedy against this device of Satan is to dwell upon the impotency and weakness of all these things here below.  They are not able to secure you from the least evil, they are not able to procure you the least desirable good.  The crown of gold cannot cure the headache….

  2. The second remedy against this device of Satan is to dwell upon the vanity of them [worldly things] as…

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February 10, 2016 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

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Feb. 10, 2016

BLOOMBERG

Chair Janet Yellen said the Federal Reserve still expects to raise interest rates gradually while making it clear that continued market turmoil could throw the central bank off course from the multiple increases that policy makers have forecast for 2016.

Treasuries fell before a scheduled auction of 10-year notes that may draw the lowest yield since 2012, and as Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen stuck to her call for gradual interest-rate increases.

U.S. and European Union regulators reached an agreement on oversight of the $553 trillion global derivatives market, seeking to prevent capital increases from hitting EU banks this year and enabling CME Group Inc. to continue settling some of the world’s most common contracts.

Worldwide mobile application store revenue is set to reach $101 billion in five years as smartphones become cheaper and data plans more accessible, drawing in people in developing countries, according to data provider App Annie.

Japan widened sanctions against North Korea in response to the Kim Jong Un regime’s recent nuclear test and rocket launch.

Google Inc.’s artificial-intelligence system will be interpreted as a driver by federal regulators, a step toward compliance that would help the tech giant’s self-driving cars hit U.S. roads.

Credit Suisse has turned bearish on the U.S. dollar versus the other two G3 currencies for the first time since the greenback’s scintillating rally began in the middle of 2014.

Stan Kroenke, the billionaire owner of the NFL’s Rams, has agreed to purchase the historic W.T. Waggoner Estate Ranch in Texas, representatives of the ranch said on Tuesday. Terms for the purchase of the more than 520,000-acre estate were not disclosed. The ranch had been listed with an asking price of $725 million.

In anticipation of America’s most glamorous yacht convention, the Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show, a privately owned Benetti ship is estimated to cost $73 million. Called the 11.11, it has a top speed of 17.5 knots and its four decks are kitted-out so that 12 guests can travel in total luxury.

AP Top Stories

With 92 percent of precincts reporting, Trump was trouncing the rest of the field, with 35 percent of the vote; his closest rival, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, trailed by 19 percentage points.

The Democratic race was over the second that polls closed in New Hampshire at 8 p.m. ET Tuesday night, when Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders was instantly declared the winner. By the time all the votes had been counted, five hours later, Sanders had defeated his rival Hillary Clinton by an eye-popping 21 percentage points, the largest margin of victory in a contested Democratic primary in the Granite State since the start of the modern era.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is set to propose spending hundreds of millions more to address Flint’s water crisis and to update infrastructure, including lead water pipes, in the city and across the state.

Moscow on Wednesday warned that Washington’s deployment of a US missile defence system to South Korea could spark an arms race in the region.

Iran will sign a contract with Russia for the purchase of Sukhoi-30 fighter jets, Iran’s defense minister said Wednesday.

North Korea has executed its army chief of staff, Ri Yong Gil, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported on Wednesday, which, if true, would be the latest in a series of executions, purges and disappearances under its young leader.

A Russian-backed regime onslaught in northern Syria was reported Wednesday to have killed more than 500 people this month, as Turkey faced mounting pressure to open its border to people fleeing the violence.

A Russian-backed regime onslaught in northern Syria was reported Wednesday to have killed more than 500 people this month, as Turkey faced mounting pressure to open its border to people fleeing the violence.

Identity thieves attempted to breach computer systems at the Internal Revenue Service to file fraudulent tax refunds. The criminals were especially after E-file PINs, which are used by some individuals to electronically file a return, the agency said in a statement released Tuesday. Around 464,000 unique social security numbers were involved, and of that total, 101,000 SSNs were used to successfully access an E-file PIN.

BBC

Cybersecurity experts have said parents should boycott or at least be cautious of VTech’s electronic toys because of how it has handled a hack attack.

President Obama has released the final budget proposal of his presidency, a $4.1tn program that includes a $10.25 per barrel tax on oil.

A group of vulnerable Cuban migrants (113, including children and pregnant women) have been flown by the Costa Rican authorities to a Mexican border town, from where they are expected to enter the US.

WND

The name of Jesus is not welcome in the Johnson Space Center newsletter, according to a complaint filed on behalf of a group of Christians who work for NASA.

40 Days for Life, the pro-life campaign to end abortion, begins on Wednesday, Feb. 10, in 273 cities around the world. The movement starts at the local level and encompasses prayer, fasting, community outreach and vigils outside abortion centers. Originally started in 2004 by a group in Bryan-College Station, Texas, the group has official affiliates active in 32 countries.

The city of San Diego is being charged with taking political correctness to “a whole new extreme” by banishing the phrase “Founding Fathers” from the vocabulary of city employees.


 

Top News – 2/10/2016

London on emergency flood alert as Thames Barrier is raised to protect capital
Storm Imogen has seen heavy rain lash the country causing river levels to rise dramatically. The high river flow coupled with rising tide has forced the Environment Agency to shut the barrier today. Tide alerts have been issued for riverside properties and it is expected to remain high all week.

A Seat at the Table: Kurds Could Participate in Syrian Peace Talks
There is a great probability that Syrian Kurds will take part in the next round of Geneva peace talks on Syria’s reconciliation, Syrian opposition figure Qadri Jamil said Wednesday.

Supreme Court halts Obama’s climate-change plans
Obama’s regulations on carbon emissions must be put on hold until a litany of lawsuits by 27 states are resolved, the judges ruled. The states argued Obama’s EPA regulations were tantamount to “an unprecedented power grab.”

Hawaii’s Big Island declares emergency over dengue fever infections
The mayor of Hawaii’s Big Island declared a state of emergency on Monday to deal with a growing outbreak of dengue fever…with 250 cases confirmed over the past four months. As a result of Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi’s order people on the Big Island will be allowed to resume disposing of old tires in landfills, since tires which are left lying around are a known breeding spot for mosquitoes.

Obama climate initiative: Supreme Court calls halt
President Barack Obama’s plans to regulate emissions of carbon dioxide from US power plants have been stalled by the US Supreme Court. The court ruled that the president’s Clean Power Plan could not go forward until all legal challenges were heard. Designed to cut US emissions by 32% by 2030, the scheme put huge emphasis on a shift to renewable energy.

‘End of Europe’: Trump slams Merkel’s refugee policy, wants good relations with Russia
Donald Trump lambasted German Chancellor Angela Merkel for allowing thousands of migrants into Germany, saying this could be “the end of Europe.” Trump also said the US could have “very good relations” with Russia. “If you don’t treat the situation competently and firmly, yes, it’s the end of Europe. You could face real revolutions,” Trump was quoted as saying, as cited by Reuters.

Russia has offered US ‘concrete plan’ to end Syrian crisis – Lavrov
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has revealed the US is studying Moscow’s “concrete” plan to end the war in Syria, while expressing concerns that rhetoric over the humanitarian issue is hindering efforts to resolve the crisis in the Arab country.

French parliament approves stripping citizenship from terrorists
Lawmakers in France’s lower house of parliament on Tuesday night narrowly voted to pass a highly controversial proposal to amend the constitution to strip people convicted of terrorist offences of their French nationality, AFP reported.

Ignoring Obama, Iran upgrades its nuclear-capable Emad missile
n open defiance of recent US sanctions on Iran’s ballistic missile program, Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan on late Tuesday told local media that Tehran will soon be rolling out an upgrade of its nuclear-capable medium-range Emad missiles.

U.S. & India consider joint patrols in South China Sea – U.S. official
The United States and India have held talks about conducting joint naval patrols that a U.S. defense official said could include the disputed South China Sea, a move that would likely anger Beijing, which claims most of the waterway.

Why the West is standing by amid Russia’s campaign in Syria
German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she is “horrified” by the impact that Russia’s relentless airstrikes on Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, are having on civilians.

Chile earthquake: Strong tremor strikes near Tongoy and La Serena
A strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.4 has struck off the coast of central Chile, centered off Tongoy and La Serena, seismologists say. No tsunami warnings have been issued.

When Maine Required Childless Adults to Work to Get Food Stamps, Guess What Happened
One trillion dollars—that’s how much the government spent last year on means-tested welfare aid, providing cash, food, housing, medical care, and social services to poor and low-income individuals. The food stamp program is the nation’s second largest welfare program.

Strong earthquake hits Solomon Islands
A magnitude 6.4 earthquake hit the Solomon Islands at 12.19am today, according to the Malaysian Meterological Department.


Top Headlines – 2/10/2016

Netanyahu: Israel needs fences on all borders to keep out ‘predators’ in region

Palestinian killed in Gaza tunnel collapse

‘Our tunnel counter-measures are hidden from public view,’ chief of staff says

One injured in stabbing attack in Gush Etzion

Israel locks down Palestinian village after settler stabbed

UK ‘concerned’ over punishment of minor stone-throwers in fatal attack

Abbas: Children carry out attacks because of Duma

Building freeze in Judea and Samaria – ‘It’s not a building freeze, it’s an eviction’

Haniyeh headlines Turkish conference to ‘liberate Jerusalem’

Israel, India to sign weapons deal

Pentagon budget requests $146 million in support for Israel defense

Is the Mirowitz Jewish school bomb threat connected to similar international incidents?

Report: Israel, EU conducting secret talks over settlement labeling plan

50 European MPs slam Israel’s NGO bill as ‘inherently discriminatory’

Iran said to hack former Israeli army chief-of-staff, access his entire computer

Iran to unveil upgraded ballistic missiles that could reach Israel

Turkey’s Erdogan chastises US for support of Syrian Kurd rebels

Turkey detains 34 people with explosives, suicide vests at Syrian border

Leftwing US academic hits back at Erdogan, accusing him of double standards on terrorism

Top intel official confirms ISIS made, used chemical weapons

Russian special forces ’embedded in ISIS,’ top official says

Scant hope of Syria peace breakthrough as Russia pounds rebels

Syrian opposition to Obama: Stop Putin from killing our children

‘UK military games in Jordan may be preparation for future anti-Russia operations’

Why the West is standing by amid Russia’s campaign in Syria

Damascus vows to recapture Aleppo from rebels

Syria: Assad regime kills so many detainees it amounts to ‘extermination’ of civilian population, UN says

Syrian opposition group claims missile attack on Assad’s mother’s funeral

‘Islamic State Commander’ Found Living As Refugee In Rural German Village

Canada to turn 7 military bases into refugee camps, taxpayers to fund mosques

As Europe faces Syrian refugee crisis, Gulf States slammed for not taking in Arab brethren

NATO Weighs Mission to Monitor Mediterranean Refugee Flow

Erdogan threatened to ‘open doors to Greece and Bulgaria’ and flood EU with migrants

Intel Community Foresees Worst Year Ever for Jihadi Terror Against U.S.

ISIS determined to strike U.S. this year, Senate told

Iraqi PM calls for major cabinet reshuffle

Iraq’s largest dam at ‘higher risk’ of failure: US

US Source: North Korea satellite in stable orbit but not seen transmitting

N. Korea starts to feel neighbors’ wrath over rocket launch

Intelligence chief: North Korea restarts plutonium reactor

North Korea may get plutonium from restarted reactor in weeks: U.S.

North Korea Nuclear Effort Seen as a Top Threat to the U.S.

U.S. & India consider joint patrols in South China Sea – U.S. official

China’s message to dissenters: Flee if you dare

DNI: China Continues Cyber Espionage

US intelligence chief: we might use the internet of things to spy on you

Facebook’s India stumble could embolden other regulators

Judge irked by State Dept.’s delay in releasing rest of Clinton’s emails

‘Voter-Shaming’ Mailer That Made Noise in Iowa Shows Up in New Hampshire

Astrologers predict New Hampshire results: whoever wins will be president

Man Attempts Exorcism On Ted Cruz During Rally

Trump, Sanders ride U.S. anti-establishment tide to New Hampshire win

$365,694,500,000: U.S. Merchandise Trade Deficit With China Hit Record in 2015

This ‘Chart of Doom’ explains when a global recession will begin

Global central banks are running ‘out of ammo’

99 Cent Gas May Be on Its Way

Will oil be so cheap that it won’t pay to pump it out of the ground?

Oil rises toward $31 as Russia floats idea of supply cut

Supreme Court blocks Obama carbon emissions plan

Indian scientists study chunk that fell from sky, killed man

6.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Ovalle, Chile

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Ovalle, Chile

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Pangai, Tonga

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits the Carlsberg Ridge

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 16,000ft

Karymsky volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 14,000ft

Zhupanovsky volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 12,000ft

Copahue volcano in Argentina erupts to 12,000ft

Tengger Caldera volcano in Indonsia erupts to 10,000ft

Zika Virus May Strain Blood Supply As Blood Banks Turn Away Potential Donors

China Reports First Case of Imported Zika Virus

Report: Number Of Bed Bugs At NYC Hotels Skyrocketing

Yoga Emergency Therapy As Alternative To Urgent Care, Hospital ER

Company Developing ‘Tech Tattoos’ So People Can Track Their Medical, Financial Info

Latest Undercover Video Shows Leading Abortion Group Calling ‘Scheme to Profit Off Baby Body Parts’ a ‘Win-Win’

Nigeria blasts UN for pushing ‘LGBT’ agenda

Texas Judge Says Because Of His ‘Faith In God’ He Will ‘Only Be Conducting Traditional Marriages’

Georgia Bill Would Allow Prayer Back in Schools


Frontrunning: February 10

  • Global Stocks Bounce Back After Market Selloff; Asia Stumbles (Read More)
  • New Hampshire Bucks the Establishment to Back Trump and Sanders (Read More)
  • Trump shows his U.S. presidential bid is no mere publicity stunt (Read More)
  • Clinton Is Outdone by a Competitor Once Considered a Fringe Candidate (Read More)
  • Deutsche Bank Jumps as Lender Said to Consider Bond Buyback (Read More)
  • Bank Executives Leading Surge of Insider Buying Amid Stock Rout (Read More)
  • Morgan Stanley Trading Executive Provides Grim Picture for Wall Street (Read More)
  • Carlyle starts $200m share buyback as quarterly profits drop (Read More)
  • Deutsche Bank’s Short-Term Fix (Read More)
  • Russia’s Biggest Oil Producer Skeptical on Output Deal With OPEC (Read More)
  • Credit Suisse chief says bank sector sell-off ‘not justified’ (Read More)
  • Turkish soldiers clash with Kurdish militants crossing from Syria (Read More)
  • Nomura head blames SWFs for Japan sell-off (Read More)
  • Supreme Court blocks Obama carbon emissions plan (Read More)
  • No easy way out for Deutsche Bank as investors ‘lose faith’ (Read More)
  • Dollar Bulls Await Yellen as Citigroup Says Pessimism May Reign (Read More)
  • Spain’s Abengoa asks for loan of up to 750 mln euros (Read More)
  • U.S., Russia Make Syria Diplomacy Push as Assad Gains Ground (Read More)
  • Pimco Boosts Government Debt as Treasuries Rally to Top Place (Read More)
  • U.S. 10-Year Sale’s Lowest Yield Since 2012 May Diminish Demand (Read More)

The Briefing 

1) Results of New Hampshire primary reflect the truth that even geography matters to worldview

Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders Win the New Hampshire Primaries, New York Times (Patrick Healy and Jonathan Martin)

New Hampshire Now Least Religious State in U.S., Gallup (Frank Newport)

2) Bernie Sanders’s “religious feelings” have no doctrinal content yet still trouble atheists

Bernie Sanders disappoints some atheists with his ‘very strong religious’ feelings, Salt Lake Tribune (Kimberly Winston)

Sick and Tired of ‘God Bless America’, New York Times (Susan Jacoby)

3) GOP shouldn’t cut the “God talk,” religion a good indicator of worldview and policy

Republicans should cut the God talk, USA Today (Cal Thomas)

4) Florida man’s crime of assault with a deadly alligator a picture of human ingenuity in sin

Assault with a deadly weapon: Florida man charged with throwing alligator into Wendy’s, Washington Post (Niraj Chokshi and Sarah Larimer)

 

In other news…


Suicide Epidemic: Why Does The Number Of People Killing Themselves Just Keep Going Up?

Suicide - Public DomainDid you know that more Americans now die from suicide than are killed in car crashes each year?  According to the CDC, there has been a substantial spike in suicide deaths in the United States in recent years.  Today, approximately 9.3 million Americans admit to having suicidal thoughts, and approximately 2.7 million Americans each year actually make a plan for how they would commit suicide.  We are a deeply, deeply unhappy nation, but of course this phenomenon is not just limited to America.  According to the World Health Organization, suicide is now the third highest cause of death in the entire world.  Globally, suicide rates have soared by 60 percent over the past 45 years, and the WHO is now projecting that by the year 2020 someone will be committing suicide somewhere in the world every 20 seconds. (Read More…)


 

A 918 Point Stock Market Crash In Japan And Deutsche Bank Denies That It Is About To Collapse

Financial Crisis 2016On Tuesday junk bonds continued to crash, the price of oil briefly dipped below 28 dollars a barrel, Deutsche Bank was forced to deny that it is on the verge of collapse, but the biggest news was what happened in Japan.  The Nikkei was down a staggering 918 points, but that stock crash made very few headlines in the western world.  If the Dow had crashed 918 points today, that would have been the largest single day point crash in all of U.S. history.  So what just happened in Japan is a really big deal.  The Nikkei is now down 23.1 percent from the peak of the market, and that places it solidly in bear market territory.  Overall, a total of 16.5 trillion dollars of global stock market wealth has been wiped out since the middle of 2015.  As I stated yesterday, this is what a global financial crisis looks like. (Read More….)


Nervousness About Global Banking Giants Intensifies

Read More


Zerohedge: The Complete Breakdown Of Every Hillary Clinton Speech, And Fee, Since 2013

Read More


Daily Digest

February 10, 2016

THE FOUNDATION

“[T]he mild voice of reason, pleading the cause of an enlarged and permanent interest, is but too often drowned, before public bodies as well as individuals, by the clamors of an impatient avidity for immediate and immoderate gain.” —James Madison, 1788

FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

Trump, Sanders Ride Populist Wave

By Nate Jackson

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The clear winners in New Hampshire Tuesday were Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. The two populists rode voter discontent to sizeable victories. Sanders, of course, had near home field advantage being from next-door Vermont. And Trump’s New York values obviously played well among a moderate electorate. Neither (“yuge”) win was surprising, so here are a few things that stood out on the GOP side (more on Sanders and the Democrats in Mark Alexander’s essay this afternoon).

  • Since the current primary format began in 1976, no Republican has lost both Iowa and New Hampshire and gone on to win the nomination. That said, 2016 is unlike any election cycle in memory, and our hope is that Trump joins Pat Buchanan (1996) and John McCain (2000) in the annals of Republicans who won New Hampshire and failed to become the nominee. Trump is running strong throughout the South, however, and he’s still the odds-on favorite.
  • Ted Cruz came in a surprising third after investing relatively little in doing well in a state with an electorate stacked against him. His showing only strengthens his position heading into the South.
  • Marco Rubio’s fifth-place finish could prove disastrous. Coming off his impressive showing in Iowa, falling behind John Kasich and Jeb Bush was obviously a huge disappointment for the Florida senator. Both governors will stay in the race, making the path forward harder for all three. Rubio’s debate gaffe — repeating memorized talking points in response to criticism for repeating memorized talking points — almost surely cost him dearly, even if vision matters more than experience. He admitted as much, telling supporters, “I did not do well on Saturday night. So listen to this: That will never happen again.”
  • John Kasich’s investment in the Granite State paid off with a second-place showing, though he still won less than half Trump’s share of the vote. Given that the Ohio governor so far spent most of his resources in New Hampshire, the question now is where he goes from here. He doesn’t poll strongly in any of the upcoming primary states (especially in the South) and has virtually no national campaign organization. Team Kasich should enjoy the attention while it lasts, because this is probably the high-water mark of his bid.
  • Jeb Bush continues to be the “not dead yet” candidate. He not only accomplished what he had to in order to stay alive — beating Rubio — but he’s got a bit of momentum heading to South Carolina, which is a state very friendly to the Bush family. He’s also got money, even after outspending Cruz 30 to 1 in New Hampshire. So as he had to instruct an audience recently, “please clap.”
  • Chris Christie put all his marbles into performing well in New Hampshire and all he could muster was 7.5%, good for sixth place. He didn’t benefit from his debate broadside against Rubio. And instead of heading to South Carolina, he’s flying back to New Jersey to assess his campaign. Look for a drop-out announcement soon.
  • Ben Carson didn’t even wait for the results before flying to South Carolina. Carly Fiorina’s terrific debate performances haven’t translated into actual votes. Jim Gilmore won 130 votes, which is less laughable than the 12 he secured in Iowa. All three should head for the exits.

In the end, New Hampshire provided some clarity in the race, but not much — in fact, it may have done the opposite. At least five candidates will move on, and a protracted battle looms. The biggest problem is that the circular firing squad may prove to be the party’s undoing in November in what should have been a “gimme” election.

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TOP RIGHT HOOKS

Obama’s Real Power Plan

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Any way you cut it, Barack Obama wins. The Supreme Court on Tuesday placed a stay on a key portion of the chief executive’s Clean Power Plan. At the request of 27 states and coal industry monoliths, the court in a 5-4 decision signaled that it had serious concerns about Obama’s plan to limit carbon emissions by legislating through regulating. The move was somewhat unusual because SCOTUS didn’t wait for a ruling by a lower court. Obama’s spokesman Josh Earnest responded to the temporary stay saying the EPA regulations are grounded in the nation’s other environmental laws and the administration will continue to implement the regs without directly defying the court. “Even while the litigation proceeds, EPA has indicated it will work with states that choose to continue plan development and will prepare the tools those states will need,” Earnest said. “At the same time, the administration will continue to take aggressive steps to make forward progress to reduce carbon emissions.” Under Obama’s plan, the carbon emission regulations wouldn’t go into effect until 2020, but states needed to submit plans on how they were going to comply with the regs relatively soon.

Obama had to have gambled the courts would check his Clean Power Plan, but he still gets political credit on the Left for trying to implement it. Heading into the presidential election year, Obama is showing his fellow ecofascists how important it is for them to elect Democrats so they can seat leftists on courts. It’s the same play as with immigration and Obama’s other executive actions.

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Threat Assessment: ISIL Coming to U.S.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday, with an annual assessment of threats to U.S. vital interests and national security. Clapper noted that “homegrown violent extremists” will pose “the most significant Sunni terrorist threat to the U.S. homeland in 2016.” He estimated this would be terrorists who are inspired by foreign terror groups, not under the direct control of those groups, similar to the Chattanooga and San Bernardino attacks in 2015. Clapper described the Islamic State as “the pre-eminent global terrorist threat,” and said their “estimated strength worldwide exceeds that of al-Qaida.” He noted, “In 2014, the FBI arrested nine ISIL supporters — in 2015, that number increased over five-fold.” Ominously, he warned that ISIL has succeeded in making and using chemical weapons — the first terrorists group to use “chemical warfare agent in an attack since Aum Shinrikyo used sarin in Japan in 1995.”

When asked by Arizona Sen. John McCain about whether he’d ever seen such diverse challenges to security, Clapper replied, “In my 50-plus years in the intelligence business, I cannot recall a more diverse array of challenges and crises that we confront as we do today.” Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart also provided testimony and warned that ISIL would likely be capable of striking the continental U.S. within the year. “ISIL will probably attempt to conduct additional attacks in Europe, and attempt to direct attacks on the U.S. homeland in 2016.”

Despite Barack Obama’s assurances that “we’ve contained them,” apparently that’s not the case.

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Will Lynch Rig the Clinton Investigation?

The FBI has officially announced that it is, in fact, investigating Hillary Clinton’s email subterfuge. Obviously, this creates more pressure on Clinton, just as voters head to the polls in New Hampshire. But it’s also causing the pressure to mount on Attorney General Loretta Lynch to recuse herself. Lynch’s Justice Department will be the arbiter of whether an FBI investigation yields an indictment, and anyone who doesn’t think Lynch is a partisan hack isn’t paying attention. A few months back, Barack Obama declared Hillary’s whole email kerfuffle was no big deal, saying, “I can tell you that this is not a situation in which America’s national security was endangered.” That’s a blatant lie given that a couple dozen of Clinton’s 1,500 classified emails can’t be released even in redacted form because the top secret information contained therein would be too damaging if made public. But given Obama’s declaration, will his attorney general effectively disagree and countenance an indictment? Many Republicans don’t think so and are calling for a special prosecutor. Part of the reason is Lynch’s own partisan history. She gave $10,700 to Democrats between 2004 and 2008, including $4,600 to Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. And she might have a continued job in a future Clinton administration. The bottom line is, never underestimate the willingness of Democrats to circle the wagons.

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MORE ORIGINAL PERSPECTIVE

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

For more, visit Right Opinion.

TOP HEADLINES

For more, visit Patriot Headline Report

OPINION IN BRIEF

Ben Shapiro: “[C]onservatism has very little to do with attitude. Conservatism demands Constitutionalism, and in the aftermath of a century of progressive growth of government — including growth at the hands of so-called conservatives — change need not be gradual. The attitude matters less than the goal. We can have hard-charging conservatives like Mark Levin; we can have 10-dollar-word conservatives like many of the writers at National Review. What we can’t have is nonconservatives redefining conservatism as an attitude, and then ignoring the underlying philosophy. Yet that’s precisely what we have in this race. The entire Republican race thus far has avoided policy differentiations in favor of critiques of attitudes. Who is more palatable, the shifty-seeming Cruz, or the smooth-talking Rubio? Who is more worthwhile, the brusque Chris Christie or the milquetoast Jeb Bush? Who cares? Republicans have spent so long in the wilderness that they’ve forgotten what animated them in the first place. At some point, Republicans forgot that their job was to determine the best face for a conservative philosophy, and instead substituted the face for the philosophy. The conservatism simply fell away. … Conservatives need to worry less about how they fight — whether they wear creased pants or hurl nasty insults — and instead contemplate why they’re fighting in the first place.”

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SHORT CUTS

Insight: “Everything is destroyed by its own particular vice: the destructive power resides within. Rust destroys iron, moths destroy clothes, the worm eats away the wood; but greatest of all evils is envy, impious habitant of corrupt souls, which ever was, is, and shall be a consuming disease.” —Menander (342-292 BC)

Upright: “Madeleine Albright … said just a couple days ago women who don’t help women, essentially don’t support Hillary, have a special place in hell. I think it was Mark Twain who said heaven for the climate, hell for the company. It looks like the sisterhood of the marching pant suits is going to have to dress light. If she loses women, it shows you how much of a shellacking she took.” —Charles Krauthammer

Thanks Obama: “Tonight we serve notice to the political and economic establishment of this country that the American people will not continue to accept … a rigged economy where ordinary Americans work longer hours for lower wages while almost all new income and wealth goes to the top 1%.” —Bernie Sanders on the “recovery” brought to us by his fellow socialist

A vast right-wing conspiracy: “Senator Sanders and I both want to get secret, unaccountable money out of politics. And let’s remember … Citizens United, one of the worst Supreme Court decisions in our country’s history, was actually a case about a right-wing attack on me and my campaign. A right-wing organization took aim at me and ended up damaging our entire democracy. So, yes, you’re not going to find anybody more committed to aggressive campaign finance reform than me.” —Hillary Clinton (Translation: Free speech is bad when people criticize her.)

Dezinformatsia: “People talk about the liberal media and they say the whole media is liberal and the whole establishment is liberal. It’s not true. … If you are a liberal, you are not a majority in this country and you know it and it always feels this way.” —MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow

Non Compos Mentis: “Two weeks ago I paid $1.51 a gallon for gasoline in downstate Illinois. … I think we’re missing an opportunity here — a 5-cent increase in the federal gas tax can really fund an infrastructure program that can help create new jobs in this economy and help businesses. Now is the time to do it.” —Sen. Dick Durbin

Late-night humor: “I saw that the unemployment rate in the U.S. just fell below 5 percent, which is the lowest it’s been in eight years. When asked for comment on the number of unemployed Americans, Obama said, ‘Uh … I can’t wait to be one of them!'” —Jimmy Fallon

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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis!
Managing Editor Nate Jackson

Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.

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Further Proof That Barack Obama Is An Anti-Christian Muslim Spokesman

While standing in front of a glass wall where the word “Allah” was written 99 times in Arabic calligraphy, the President took a stab at Republican Presidential hopeful Donald Trump by stating there was “inexcusable anti-Islamic rhetoric in the political sphere.

Amidst all of the American flags and presidential seals, there was something missing when President Barack Obama gave an economic speech at Georgetown University in 2009 — Jesus. The White House asked Georgetown to cover a monogram symbolizing Jesus’ name in Gaston Hall, which Obama used for his speech. But when Obama gave a speech at the  mosque of the Islamic Society of Baltimore, nothing was covered up.

The name of Allah was on full display for all to see.

While standing in front of a glass wall where the word “Allah” was written 99 times in Arabic calligraphy, the President took a stab at Republican Presidential hopeful Donald Trump by stating there was “inexcusable anti-Islamic rhetoric in the political sphere.”

The White House staff were even gifted Qurans at the event.

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So where are all the White House photos with Barack Obama in a church, any church, and holding a Bible? You will never see them because they don’t exist. What does exist are endless images of Obama and Islam. When was the last time he gave a speech about the persecution of Christians? The last time he gave a speech thanking Christians for starting this nation?

When someone shows you who they are, believe them

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We feel it important that you know exactly where your president stands in regards to his faith and his god. Click on the image above to read the 20 quotes he has made about Islam, and 20 quotes he has made about Christianity. Nothing edited or mashed up, just exactly in the context he originally spoke them in with fully-sourced links so you can see where they come from.

If after reading this, you still want to think he is not a Muslim, then that will be your right to do so. But it won’t be because someone didn’t try to warn you and open your eyes to the truth.


Super Bowl 50 Breakfast: Tony Dungy Urges Athletes to Make Faith Ultimate Priority: 'If You Follow the Lord, You'll Be Okay'

Super Bowl 50 Breakfast: Tony Dungy Urges Athletes to Make Faith Ultimate Priority: ‘If You Follow the Lord, You’ll Be Okay’

Posted on February 10, 2016 by Gospel Herald

During his address at the Super Bowl 50 breakfast, 2-time Super Bowl Champion and TV analyst Tony Dungy opened up about how his faith has influenced his impressive career and exhorted his fellow athletes to make their spiritual lives the ultimate priority.

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Megachurches Have Less Involved Members Than Smaller Congregations, Study Finds

Megachurches Have Less Involved Members Than Smaller Congregations, Study Finds

Posted on February 10, 2016 by Christian Post

Members of large churches are less involved than those of smaller congregations, according to a recent study from Duke University.

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NASA Bans the Word 'Jesus'

NASA Bans the Word ‘Jesus’

Posted on February 9, 2016 by Gospel Herald

It seems the name of Jesus doesn’t sound good for NASA officials. A group of lawyers representing NASA issued an order that bans the word “Jesus” on Johnson Space Center (JSC) newsletter. The national space agency’s decision roused the anger and disbelief among Christians throughout the country.

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Designer Babies: Is Genetic Editing of Human Embryos Equal to Playing God?

Designer Babies: Is Genetic Editing of Human Embryos Equal to Playing God?

Posted on February 9, 2016 by Gospel Herald

British scientists this month received permission to alter the DNA of human embryos within the overall mission of correcting devastating diseases in the womb. The work of one authorized stem cell scientist, using embryos donated by couples with a surplus after IVF treatment, will look at the fertilized eggs’ development from a single cell to about 250 cells. The research could help scientists understand why some women lose their babies before term, and provide better clinical treatments

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The Danger of “Easy Theism”

Faith Is Not BlindNot long ago, Oprah Winfrey interviewed distance swimmer, Diana Nyad, and inadvertently started an online firestorm over their comments related to atheism and theism. During the show, Nyad identified herself an atheist and said, “I can stand at the beach’s edge with the most devout Christian, Jew, Buddhist, go on down the line, and weep with the beauty of this universe and be moved by all of humanity. All the billions of people who have lived before us, who have loved and hurt and suffered. So to me, my definition of God is humanity and is the love of humanity.” After hearing this, Oprah responded, “Well, I don’t call you an atheist then. I think if you believe in the awe and the wonder and the mystery, then that is what God is. That is what God is. It’s not a bearded guy in the sky.” Nyad attempted to reaffirm her lack of belief in a Divine Being, but Oprah seemed to miss the point, attempting instead to rope her into some form of theism on the basis of Nyad’s admitted awe of God’s creation. Later in the show, Nyad spoke of her belief in the soul, in spite of her atheistic worldview: “We all have souls and I feel their (humanity’s) collective souls.” When Oprah asked her what happens when we die, Nyad said, “I think that the soul lives on because we have created so much energy and when we display courage and hope it lives on. But I do believe the body goes back to ash and it is never more.”

Both Oprah and Nyad displayed a similar form of what I call “Easy Theism”. Oprah is willing to accept any expression of awe and wonder as some form of belief in God, and Nyad (although she claims to be an atheist) accepts a form of substance dualism (as exhibited by her belief in a soul) incompatible with atheistic materialism. Both Oprah and Nyad have cobbled together a worldview, borrowing ideas from one another until they’ve created something palatable and comfortable. If nothing else, this exchange between Oprah and Nyad illustrates the danger of Easy Theism:

Easy Theism Fails to Recognize the Irreconcilable Differences
The obviously subjective nature of Easy Theism reflects the contemporary view of tolerance (“all views have equal merit and none should be considered better than another”). From Oprah’s perspective, anything close to theism is close enough. Muslims, Christians, New Age mystics, Jewish believers, Hindus or Buddhists; all forms of theism are equally acceptable, true and worthy under this view. The problem, of course, is the refusal to recognize the distinct, contradictory claims of these theistic worldviews. Each makes a conflicting claim about the character of God, the nature of Jesus and the way of Salvation. They can all be wrong, but they can’t all be right. Easy Theism ignores the irreconcilable differences between these belief systems. This is precisely why so many atheists were offended by Oprah’s statement. Theists aren’t the only ones want the distinctions to be recognized. Atheists are just as dogmatic about their distinctive views and reject any attempt to minimize the dissimilarities.

Easy Theism Fails to Recognize the Irrational Inconsistencies
All too often, those who are willing to borrow from theism to create a personal form of atheism fail to see the logical inconsistencies. If atheism is true, we live in a purely material universe. Faithful and consistent atheists openly deny the existence of the soul. Atheism proposes a universe populated by matter and governed by the laws of physics. Such a universe has no room for immaterial souls. When Nyad embraces the idea of a soul capable of living beyond the grave, she is borrowing from theism and creating a new form of Easy Theism, even as she clings to her identity as an atheist.  She fails to see her logical inconsistency. In addition, we might ask why she would “weep with the beauty of this universe.” What makes the universe so beautiful or awesome? Is it simply a matter of her personal opinion? I’ve known many bank robbers over the years who couldn’t care less about the beauty of the universe. For them, the most beautiful sight was an un-crowded bank lobby without video cameras or bandit barriers. Whose version of beauty should we accept and honor? From an atheistic worldview, why would one subjective opinion about beauty be any more valid than the other? Nyad seems to recognize something transcendent about the beauty of the universe as she offers it to us as evidence of her “spiritual” inclinations. Once again, she’s borrowing from theism. From a theistic worldview the transcendent beauty of nature is directly connected to the transcendent nature of its Creator.

Easy Theism is far more popular these days than other “dogmatic” views of the world. Both Oprah and Nyad seem uncomfortable with the unflinching doctrinal claims of theism and atheism. Oprah seems to be willing to compromise the distinct nature of theism in an effort to embrace every possible view, and Nyad incorporates elements of theism in an effort to avoid the doctrinal claims of atheism. It’s time for all of us to become comfortable with the resolute claims of our respective worldviews. We can still love and accept each other without compromising our beliefs or embracing inconsistent elements of opposing views in an effort to create a form of Easy Theism.

J. Warner Wallace is a Cold-Case Detective, a Christian Case Maker, and the author of Cold-Case Christianity and God’s Crime Scene


The Daily Discovery (February 10, 2016)

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ARTICLES I LIKE FROM AROUND THE WEB:
(Click title to go to full article)

Yes, Abortion Fans Resent Children. That Should Come as No Surprise. – “When I saw the Doritos ad I thought it was just another one of these kinds of things — disturbing but also cute, but also terrifying. In the commercial, a pregnant woman is undergoing an ultrasound while her husband stands by and eats Doritos. The baby somehow notices his dad snacking and ejects himself from his mother’s uterus so he can have a chip. End scene. Stupid, crass, but whatever. It didn’t have a deeper meaning, it was just a dumb commercial.”

A Six-Inch Swath of Orange Shag – “So the other night at the recent Republican debate, three candidates said they would be fine with women having to register for the Selective Service. Those three were Christie, Bush, and Rubio. After the debate, Cruz said that he thought the idea was ‘nuts.’ ‘We have had enough with political correctness — especially in the military,’ Cruz said. So let us talk about this for a minute, shall we? I have some random thoughts on the subject, which will probably require systematic organization later.”

When I Die – “When I die, let it be known that I will never become an angel. I, as a sinful human being have been granted the blessed opportunity to respond to and preach the gospel that the angels long to look upon (1 Peter 1:12). I will put on the imperishable and join the heavenly hosts, to worship my beloved savior forever, but I will always be of human kind (1 Cor. 15:53).”

Is Church Membership Really Required? – “This month we will be inducting new members into the most honored body the world has ever known: the church of Jesus Christ. The initiation fee for this club is so high that no human could have ever paid it; God himself had to pick up the tab. The benefits of the club never expire. The fellowship of the club is unmatched; you receive intimate access to the Lord himself (John 17:23).”

What Christians can’t forget about work – “One of the worst times in my life was when I was underemployed for several months immediately after college ended. I’d spent months trying to find work so I could graduate and go to work the next day. I’d done my best with interviews (though I interviewed terribly at the time), and tried to put together a winning portfolio and résumé. I’d taken all the advice I’d been given and in the end? I was still working at the bookstore in the mall, rather than in my field of study.”


SERMON:

art-azurdia

Art Azurdia – So Who is the Holy Spirit? The Sacred Communicator.


VIDEOS:

Jesus never said anything about homosexuality?

Holy Discontentment


“All death can do to the believer is deliver him to Jesus.  It brings us into the eternal presence of our Savior.” – John MacArthur

The post The Daily Discovery (February 10, 2016) appeared first on Entreating Favor.


A La Carte (February 10)

Today’s Kindle deals include The Supremacy of God in Preaching by John Piper ($2.99); What Is Reformed Theology? by R.C. Sproul ($2.99); Mark: The Gospel of Passion by Michael Card ($2.99); Your Future Other Half by Rebecca Vandoodewaard ($2.99); Faithful Preaching by Tony Merida ($2.99); Moments Together for Couples by Dennis & Barbara Rainey ($1.99).

Speedos or Shorts? Bikinis or Bathing Suits?

I appreciate the big point in Carl Trueman’s article, but it’s equally worth reading for the one-liners like this: “quackery has never been a bar to influence.” (And he’s not even writing about the presidential primaries.)

You Won’t Be So Passionate When You’re 40

Erik Raymond describes an experience that was similar to one I had at a similar age.

Why the Founding Fathers Spoke the King James Bible

Here’s a great little article from Thomas Kidd. “One of the besetting problems of ‘Christian America’ history writing is that it often interprets biblical quotes from the Founders as evidence that they were personally devout…”

Ecstasy and Exodus

The Economist writes about the worldwide influence of Pentecostalism. This line is particularly telling: “In every country where Pentecostalism has thrived, its leading practitioners have faced investigations of their finances.”

Prayer Triads

I have read before of prayer triads and quite like the idea. Melissa Kruger explains what they are and how they function in her church.

This Day in 1546. 470 years ago today, German Reformer Martin Luther wrote in a letter to his wife Kate: “Pray, and let God worry.” *

Crucial Questions

Westminster Books is offering a great deal on R.C. Sproul’s Crucial Questions series of booklets.

3 Ways Our Culture Is Different

Gavin Ortlund outlines 3 ways that our culture is different from every culture before it.

MacArthur

The transformed and renewed mind is the mind saturated with and controlled by the Word of God. —John MacArthur


Check Out

Blogs

Change… Friend? or Foe? | Homeschool on the Croft
An old friend from Scotland reflects on changes in her life in a way that resonated with some recent changes in my own life too.

The past year has seen so many changes in our lives. None of them have been tragic. None of them have caused sorrow and grief – unlike the case for so many people, some of whom are known to me and very dear to me. None of the changes have broken my heart, and yet… there’s a ‘but still….

Learning from a Giant: Three reasons to read John Owen | Matthew Barrett and Michael Haykin, Credo Magazine
“Why should we read, get to know, and learn from a Puritan like John Owen? As J. I. Packer has argued, we need to read the Puritans, and John Owen especially, because we are spiritual dwarfs by comparison.”

Breaking Through the Despair of Unbelief | Tony Reinke, Desiring God
“Michael Reeves may now serve as the President of Union School of Theology in Oxford and be recognized as the author of wonderful books like Delighting in the Trinity and Rejoicing in Christ – but those affections for God were hard-won.”

3GT Short: On Grieving | Gentle Reformation
A podcast in which the participants’ recent painful bereavements are discussed in the light of God’s Word.

3 Ways Our Culture Is Different than Every Other Culture in History | Gavin Ortlund, TGC
“Here are three ways our culture is eccentric in its basic instincts about God, morality, and life”

The Beauty and Challenge of Singleness | Drew Hunter, TGC
“What does it mean to live as a single man in today’s world? Some men are single at 20, others at 60. Some are single by choice, others by undesired circumstance. Some have always been single, others become so again following divorce or the death of a spouse. How does God’s Word give us a vision for living single for his glory?”

3 Truths to Fight Pastoral Despair | Scott Slayton, TGC
“Pastors preach the gospel every week. We stand behind the pulpit, look across the room, and proclaim the free pardon of sin found in Christ alone. We remind people of the hope they have in Christ when they walk through life’s darkest valleys-then we wrestle with crippling despair ourselves as we forget the very gospel we preach to others.”

Kindle Deals

Fire, 7″ Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB – Includes Special Offers, Black on sale for $39.99. An inexpensive tablet and a Kindle reader.
Bible Atlas & Companion by Hudson and Barrett ($2.99) Not useful for the traditional Kindle, but great for Kindle App on your tablet or Desktop.
God in a Brothel: An Undercover Journey into Sex Trafficking and Rescue by Daniel Walker ($2.99)
Relationships: A Mess Worth Making by Timothy S. Lane and Paul David Tripp ($1.99)
No Shortcuts to the Top: Climbing the World’s 14 Highest Peaks by Ed Viesturs and David Roberts ($1.99).

And a couple of others that may interest you. Contending with Christianity’s Critics: Anwering New Atheists and Other Objectors by William Lane Craig ($0.99) The Supremacy of God in Preaching by John Piper ($2.99)

Video

David Powlison: “Depression and Suffering: Finding Hope and Healing for Ourselves and Others” | TGC
Click through for an outline and video of David Powlison’s address on depression delivered at RTS Charlotte on January 18, 2016.


Kirk Franklin to Appear on Kanye West’s Blasphemous ‘Gospel Album With a Whole Lot of Cursing’

Posted: 10 Feb 2016 08:34 AM PST

Grammy Award-winning gospel artist Kirk Franklin recently joined blasphemous rapper Kanye West in the studio as he is set to appear on the rapper’s seventh release, which is self-described as a “gospel album with a whole lot of cursing.”
A photo surfaced online days ago showing Franklin with the profanity-laden West, alongside other secular artists such as Kid Cudi, Puff Daddy, 2 Chainz and French Montana. West, who also goes by the name Yeezus, a spin off of Jesus, confirmed Franklin’s contribution to the project this past week.

“When I was sitting in the studio with Kirk—Kirk Franklin—and we’re just going through it, I said, ‘This is a gospel album with a whole lot of cursing on it, but it’s still a gospel album,’” he stated in an interview on Big Boy Radio. “It’s the gospel according to Ye. It’s not exactly what happened in the Bible, but it’s this story idea of Mary Magdalene becoming Mary.” READ MORE

The post Kirk Franklin to Appear on Kanye West’s Blasphemous ‘Gospel Album With a Whole Lot of Cursing’ appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Is World War III Setting Up In The Middle East?

Posted: 10 Feb 2016 08:29 AM PST

Are Saudi Arabia and Turkey about to send ground troops into Syria? If so, how will Russia, Iran and the Syrian government respond? In 2016, Syria has become ground zero for a conflict that has been raging for centuries. For more than a thousand years, the Sunnis and the Shiites have been wrestling with one another for control of the Middle East. Saudi Arabia, Turkey and other Sunni nations had hoped to turn Syria into a Sunni nation, and for years they have been funding and arming ISIS and other Sunni insurgent groups in an attempt to overthrow the Assad regime.

Initially the Assad regime was losing quite a bit of ground, but the tide turned once the Syrians invited the Russians and the Iranians to help them. Of course the Iranians have their own long-term goals. Once Assad leaves power, the Iranians hope to turn Syria into a truly Shiite nation that is run and dominated by Hezbollah. At this moment, the Sunnis are losing and the Shiites are winning. Relentless Russian airstrikes have enabled Syrian, Iranian and Hezbollah ground forces to advance, and now they have surrounded Aleppo. Before the war Aleppo was the largest city in Syria, and if it falls, the war will be very close to over. READ MORE

The post Is World War III Setting Up In The Middle East? appeared first on End Time Headlines.

New NBC Sitcom Suggests Jesus Is a Full-On Homosexual

Posted: 10 Feb 2016 08:23 AM PST

(Jennifer Leclaire) How far across the line will Antichrist agendas go? Isn’t it bad enough to suggest that God is a woman and that Jesus is a transgender? I’d expect that from the gay lobby that’s working to influence the culture through media and entertainment. But when NBC gets on board with this blasphemy, it surprises even me.

NBC is propagating a false—homosexual—Jesus in its freshman show Superstore. This is no small offense—and it’s not accidental. No, Justin Spitzer, who serves as writer and executive producer, appears to be blatantly smearing Christ and angering many of His followers. In Superstore, “America Ferrera (Ugly Betty) and Ben Feldman (Mad Men, A to Z) star in a hilarious workplace comedy (from the producer of The Office) about a unique family of employees at a supersized megastore,” NBC reports. READ MORE

The post New NBC Sitcom Suggests Jesus Is a Full-On Homosexual appeared first on End Time Headlines.

What US Pastors Can Expect Soon: It’s Going to Get Ugly

Posted: 10 Feb 2016 08:19 AM PST

(Bethany Blankley) On May 18, 2014 Belfast Pastor James McConnell could not have known that the sermon he preached, “There is but One God,” would lead to his prosecution on two counts for violating Northern Ireland’s Communications Act of 2003. A guilty verdict carries a punishment of six months in prison and a hefty fine. In his sermon he called Islam “satanic” and “a doctrine spawned in hell.” He preached that the one true God is not Allah and that Christians are being persecuted for rejecting Islam.

McConnell led Whitewell Metropolitan Tabernacle Belfast for 57 years. It is now one of the largest evangelical congregations in the U.K. McConnell was served papers nearly 18 months after he preached this sermon. The trial did not take place until December 2015. Prior to court proceedings, McConnell was given the option to sign an admission of guilt, otherwise called an “informed warning,” to avoid prison. McConnell refused and was prosecuted instead. Of his refusal, he told the Belfast Telegraph,”I am 78 years of age and in ill health but jail knows no fear for me. They can lock me up with sex offenders, hoodlums and paramilitaries and I will do my time. I have no regrets about what I said. I do not hate Muslims but I denounce Islam as a doctrine and I make no apologies for that. I will be pleading ‘not guilty’.” READ MORE

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There are now 260,000 robots working in American factories

Posted: 10 Feb 2016 08:16 AM PST

There are now more than 260,000 robots working in U.S. factories. Orders and shipments for robots in North America set new records in 2015, according to industry trade group Robotic Industries Association. A total of 31,464 robots, valued at a combined $1.8 billion, were ordered from North American companies last year, marking a 14% increase in units and an 11% increase in value year-over-year.

Shipments rose 10% over 2014 to 28,049 units. The biggest increase in robot orders came from buyers in the automotive, semiconductor and electronics industries, according to the trade group. The most popular jobs for these robots were industrial, including coating and dispensing, material handling and spot welding. READ MORE

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Pope Francis to stand with migrants at U.S. border

Posted: 10 Feb 2016 08:00 AM PST

Pope Francis, who has spent the past several months pressing nations, including America, to embrace those fleeing the unrest in the Middle East, Africa and Asia with open arms – and open borders – is now taking that stance to a new political level and planning a solidarity stand with migrants along the U.S.-Mexico boundary. Market Watch reported Francis is due to arrive in Mexico on Friday for a six-day visit. And as part of that visit, he is planning to stand on the U.S. border, in Ciudad Juarez, and deliver a mass.

The town is located just 90 yards from U.S. land. About 200,000 are expected to turn out for the mass on the Mexico side, and another 50,000 from Rio Grande in Texas, the Wall Street Journal reported. “This is one community, despite the fence,” said Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi, during a press conference reported by Market Watch. “I think it will be moving to see this single community even though it is located on two sides of the border.” FULL REPORT

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Tennessee health officials confirm first case of Zika virus

Posted: 10 Feb 2016 06:47 AM PST

The Tennessee Department of Health confirmed Tuesday that the first case of the Zika virus has been reported in East Tennessee. Health officials said the person recently traveled to South America before returning to Tennessee. “We have been expected an imported case of Zika virus disease and we believe more infections are likely as people travel to and from areas where the disease is currently being transmitted,” said Dr. John Dreyzehner, Tennessee Department of Health commissioner, in a release.

Affected areas include many countries in the Caribbean and South and Central America. Officials said Zika virus is almost always a mild illness. Testing is not necessary for most people. In pregnant women, there have been increased cases of microcephaly associated with the Zika virus. Microcephaly is a condition where the child’s head is smaller than normal and may lead to the child experiencing other health problems. READ MORE

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UPDATE: That Wasn’t a Meteorite That Killed a Man in India, So what was it?

Posted: 10 Feb 2016 06:28 AM PST

The news reported by Indian newspapers and picked up by many outlets around the world was startling: A bus driver was killed and three people were injured after a meteorite hit a college campus on Saturday. If true, it would have been the first scientifically confirmed report in history of someone being killed by a meteorite impact. By Tuesday, however, the story appeared to be fizzling as scientific experts weighed in.

The early reports included images of a crater, five feet deep and two feet wide. Witnesses described hearing an explosion, and the police recovered a black, pockmarked stone from the site, in southeast India. The chief minister of the state, Jayalalithaa Jayaram, promised compensation for the families of the driver, who was hit by debris, and for the other three people, The Times of India reported. READ MORE

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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.


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


The Gospel on 5 Fingers

If you picked up a hitchhiker (not that I recommend doing that) and he saw a Bible on your car seat and said, “I’ve heard about this thing called the Gospel – can you explain it to me before you drop me off in one minute up the street?” What would you say?

Can you explain the gospel in 30 seconds? In one minute? In five minutes?

Here’s one way I have found helpful. 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.


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


Truth2Freedom Blog Disclaimer

This post was originally posted on:

https://truth4freedom.wordpress.com

(Alternative News, Apologetics, Current Events, Commentary, Opinion, Theology, Discernment Blog, Devotionals, Christian Internet Evangelism & Missions Activist).

“A simple layman armed with Scripture is to be believed above a pope or a council without it…” – Martin Luther

“In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.”

— Augustine

This blog is an aggregator of news and information that we believe will provide articles that will keep people informed about current trends, current events, discussions and movements taking place within our church and culture.

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107,material here is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

A headline link on this blog post doesn’t necessarily mean that there is agreement or approval with all the views and opinions expressed within the headline linked article. Caution is also warranted with regards to the advertisements and links that are embedded within the headline linked article.


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Barna Update | Perceptions of Jesus, Christians & Evangelism in the UK

Jesus remains a central figure in the American context, but what does the rest of the world know and believe about Jesus? In a new study, Barna Group uncovers perceptions of Jesus, Christians, and evangelism in the UK.

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Perspectives on the Popularity of Socialism Today

The Appeal of Socialism to our Youth

Twenty years ago if a Presidential candidate called himself a Socialist, he would have lasted in the race for about two minutes.  These days we have two Democratic candidates tripping all over themselves to prove they are a bigger socialist than the other.  Youth are flocking to the campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders, an avowed […]

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Socialism, Sanders and (In)Sanity

With a hardcore socialist seeking to become President of the United States, and having just won the New Hampshire primary, it is worth looking briefly at both matters: Sanders and socialism. As to the former, the Vermont Senator is a self-declared socialist whose proposed policies are frightening in the extreme.

Nick Sanchez highlights the hardcore ideas of Sanders:

Bernie Sanders’ success in the Democratic primary is a sure sign that many liberal Americans have swung leftward to embrace a “socialist” label that even Barack Obama avoided during his own campaign just eight years ago. The reported that Sanders is “so liberal he resisted joining the Democratic Party for decades” and “hasn’t changed his views since his first election to office 35 years ago.”
Gathered below are 10 socialist ideas the Vermont senator is pushing in his race for the White House.
1. Free college
2. Single-payer healthcare
3. Scandinavian-style socialism
4. Massive wealth redistribution sanders b
5. Political revolution aimed at the wealthy
6. A big minimum wage increase
7. A hefty estate tax
8. Economic protectionism
9. Expand Social Security
10. Curtailing free speech

Or as Paul Sperry writes, Sanders

proposes completely nationalizing our health care system and putting private health insurance and drug companies “out of business.” He also wants to break up “big banks” and control the energy industry, while providing “free” college tuition, a “living wage” and guaranteed homeownership and jobs through massive public works projects. Price tag: $18 trillion. Who will pay for it all? You will. Sanders plans to not only soak the rich with a 90 percent-plus tax rate, while charging Wall Street a “speculation tax,” but hit every American with a “global-warming tax.” Of course, even that wouldn’t cover the cost of his communist schemes; a President Sanders would eventually soak the middle class he claims to champion. From each according to his ability, to each according to his need, right?…
What’s revolting is how this hardcore commie’s campaign has gotten this far. With his ascendancy in both Iowa and New Hampshire, Sanders is no longer just a fool; he’s now a dangerous fool. While it may be hard to hate the old codger, it’s easy — and virtuous — to hate his un-American ideas. They should be swept into the dustbin with the rest of communist history.

For more background on this guy, read the entire article. But Sperry is right to say “he’s not even a socialist. He’s a communist.” But instead of focusing on Clinton’s main competition for the Democratic nomination, let me spend the rest of this piece reminding you what socialism is really all about.

With whole libraries already available on the topic, I cannot do too much here. Indeed, my own library of hundreds of books on this topic is safely sitting back at home, but I am on the other side of the country at the moment. So let me offer just a smattering of quotes – some of my favourite quotes on the dangers and delusions of socialism.

“The Communists. The Jacobins. The Communards. The Maoists. The Khmer Rouge. They all caused untold suffering in the phony and vain attempt to make everyone equal… phony because it was just a fig leaf for terrible people to seize power. We are not supposed to be all equal. Let’s just forget that. We are supposed to have equal rights under law. If we do that, we have done enough. If we try to engineer outcomes, if we overturn tradition to make everyone the same, we ruin society. If we upset tradition to allow for an equal shot at the starting gate, everyone wins, except for the charlatans and would be dictators. Yet another reason to be a Republican. Give everyone an equal shot — but do not require equal outcomes or even roughly equal outcomes by law. That way lies catastrophe. Every soul deserves a shot at a Cadillac, but not everyone should be guaranteed a Cadillac… that way lie the tumbrels and the guillotine.” Ben Stein

“How do you spot a communist? Well, it’s someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you spot an anti-communist? It’s someone who understands Marx and Lenin.” Ronald Reagan

“Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.” Ronald Reagan

“Millions of individuals making their own decisions in the marketplace will always allocate resources better than any centralized government planning process.” Ronald Reagan

“Socialism only works in two places: Heaven where they don’t need it and hell where they already have it.” Ronald Reagan

“Socialists ignore the side of man that is the spirit. They can provide you shelter, fill your belly with bacon and beans, treat you when you’re ill, all the things guaranteed to a prisoner or a slave. They don’t understand that we also dream.” Ronald Reagan

‎”Socialists have always spent much of their time seeking new titles for their beliefs, because the old versions so quickly become outdated and discredited.” Margaret Thatcher

‎”For the socialist, each new discovery revealed a ‘problem’ for which the repression of human activity by the state was the only ‘solution’ ” Margaret Thatcher

“No theory of government was ever given a fairer test or more prolonged experiment in a democratic country than democratic socialism received in Britain. Yet it was a miserable failure in every aspect.” Margaret Thatcher

“To cure the British disease with socialism was like trying to cure leukaemia with leeches.” Margaret Thatcher

“I went to the University of Chicago as a Marxist, after a year of studying under Milton Friedman I was still a Marxist, but one summer of working for the government was enough to turn me around. I realized that government was nowhere near capable of doing what the people on the Left wanted government to do, and we’d be lucky if they didn’t make matters worse.” Thomas Sowell

“If the preconceptions of the Left were correct, central planning by educated elites who had vast amounts of statistical data at their fingertips and expertise readily available, and were backed by the power of government, should have been more successful than market economies where millions of individuals pursued their own individual interests willy-nilly. But, by the end of the 20th century, even socialist and communist governments began abandoning central planning and allowing more market competition.” Thomas Sowell

“Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it.” Thomas Sowell

“The strongest argument for socialism is that it sounds good. The strongest argument against socialism is that it doesn’t work. But those who live by words will always have a soft spot in their hearts for socialism because it sounds so good.” Thomas Sowell

“What socialism, fascism and other ideologies of the left have in common is an assumption that some very wise people – like themselves – need to take decisions out of the hands of lesser people, like the rest of us, and impose those decisions by government fiat.” Thomas Sowell

“In the Western world, countries that were once the crucible of freedom are slipping remorselessly into a thinly disguised serfdom in which an ever higher proportion of your assets are annexed by the state as superlandlord. Big government is where nations go to die – not in Keynes’ ‘long run,’ but sooner than you think.” Mark Steyn

“If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand.” Milton Friedman

“A society based on the freedom to choose is better than a society based on the principles of socialism, communism and coercion.” Milton Friedman

“I reject as impracticable the insane Socialist idea that we could have a system whereby the whole national production of the country, with all its infinite ramifications, should be organized and directed by a permanent official, however able, from some central office. The idea is not only impossible, but unthinkable. If it was even attempted it would produce a most terrible shrinkage and destruction of productive energy.” Winston Churchill

“The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.” Winston Churchill

“There is no virtue in compulsory government charity, and there is no virtue in advocating it. A politician who portrays himself as “caring” and “sensitive” because he wants to expand the government’s charitable programs is merely saying that he’s willing to try to do good with other people’s money. Well, who isn’t? And a voter who takes pride in supporting such programs is telling us that he’ll do good with his own money – if a gun is held to his head.” P.J. O’Rourke

“Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word, equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.” Alexis de Tocqueville

“A society that chooses between capitalism and socialism does not choose between two social systems; it chooses between social cooperation and the disintegration of society. Socialism is not an alternative to capitalism; it is an alternative to any system under which men can live as human beings.” Ludwig von Mises

“Liberalism is really piecemeal socialism, and socialism always attacks three basic social institutions: religion, the family, and private property. Religion, because it offers a rival authority to the state; the family, because it means a rival loyalty to the state; and property, because it means material independence of the state.” Joseph Sobran

“Socialism is the religion people get when they lose their religion.” Richard John Neuhaus

http://www.newsmax.com/TheWire/bernie-sanders-socialist-ideas-pushing/2016/02/08/id/713300/
http://nypost.com/2016/01/16/dont-be-fooled-by-bernie-sanders-hes-a-diehard-communist/

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When Anointings Compete – Rafael Cruz Gets Some Pub From Kenneth Copeland

This piece over at Pulpit & Pen includes a video showing Arch Heretic Kenneth Copeland laying hands on GOP candidate Ted Cruz’s father. Many supporters of Sen. Ted Cruz are unaware that dear ol’ dad is ensconced in the unbiblical New Apostolic Reformation movement (NAR). Copeland says he believes with all his heart that Ted Cruz “is called and anointed to be next President of the United States.” Really? Five years ago former Texas governor Rick Perry was approached by NAR “prophets” who convinced him that God had told them that he was the “anointed president” and that the state of Texas would lead the U.S. to an economic and spiritual recovery. Obviously the voice that spoke to these self-professed prophets wasn’t God. We know this because Rick Perry flubbed up so badly during one of the debates that he had to drop out of the race. Perhaps Gov. Perry felt he should be the one to cast the first stone at those who prophesied falsely…? We may never know.

So, now to Seth Dunn’s report…

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Kirk Franklin to Appear on Kanye West’s Blasphemous “Gospel Album With a Whole Lot of Cursing”

Christian News Network reports:

Grammy Award-winning gospel artist Kirk Franklin recently joined blasphemous rapper Kanye West in the studio as he is set to appear on the rapper’s seventh release, which is self-described as a “gospel album with a whole lot of cursing.”

A photo surfaced online days ago showing Franklin with the profanity-laden West, alongside other secular artists such as Kid Cudi, Puff Daddy, 2 Chainz and French Montana. West, who also goes by the name Yeezus, a spin off of Jesus, confirmed Franklin’s contribution to the project this past week.

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Perspectives on The Hillary Clinton Speech Issue

What Clinton said in her paid speeches, ‘She sounded more like a Goldman Sachs managing director.’

Hillary and former Goldman Sachs CEO and disgraced financier John Corzine. Photo: Truthdig
Hillary and former Goldman Sachs CEO and disgraced financier John Corzine. Photo: Truthdig

The speeches are starting to leak out. I wonder what she said when she addressed other banks? I wonder what Bill Clinton said in his speeches? That would be pretty interesting.

Hillary and Robert Rubin. Former Co-Chairman of Goldman Sachs
Hillary and Robert Rubin. Former Co-Chairman of Goldman Sachs  Photo:Commondreams.org
Hillary and Lloyd Blankfein, current CEO of Goldman Sachs
Hillary and Lloyd Blankfein, current CEO of Goldman Sachs

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Zerohedge: The Complete Breakdown Of Every Hillary Clinton Speech, And Fee, Since 2013

Screenshot (22)

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Truth2Freedom Blog Disclaimer

This post was originally posted on:

https://truth4freedom.wordpress.com

(Alternative News, Apologetics, Current Events, Commentary, Opinion, Theology, Discernment Blog, Devotionals, Christian Internet Evangelism & Missions Activist).

“A simple layman armed with Scripture is to be believed above a pope or a council without it…” – Martin Luther

“In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.”

— Augustine

This blog is an aggregator of news and information that we believe will provide articles that will keep people informed about current trends, current events, discussions and movements taking place within our church and culture.

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107,material here is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

A headline link on this blog post doesn’t necessarily mean that there is agreement or approval with all the views and opinions expressed within the headline linked article. Caution is also warranted with regards to the advertisements and links that are embedded within the headline linked article.

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February 10, 2016 Devotional Guide Collection

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February 10

AND CAN IT BE THAT I SHOULD GAIN?

Charles Wesley, 1707–1788

To Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood … (Revelation 1:5)

Can any believer contemplate the “amazing love” of Calvary without sharing the awe and wonder of Charles Wesley’s questions in today’s hymn? Written a short time after his “heart-warming” Aldersgate experience on May 20, 1738, this song of grateful adoration for God’s great plan of redemption has been one of the most deeply moving and treasured hymns for more than 200 years.

Even though he had a strict religious training in his youth, education at Oxford University, and missionary service in the new colony of Georgia, Charles Wesley had no peace or joy in his heart and life. Returning to London after a discouraging time in America, he met with a group of Moravians in the Aldersgate Hall and came to realize that “salvation is by faith alone.” In his journal of May 20th he wrote:

At midnight I gave myself to Christ, assured that I was safe, whether sleeping or waking. I had the continual experience of His power to overcome all temptation, and I confessed with joy and surprise that He was able to do exceeding abundantly for me above what I can ask or think.

In this spirit of joyous enthusiasm, Charles began to write new hymns with increased fervor. He traveled throughout Great Britain with his older brother John a quarter of a million miles, mostly on horseback, leading great crowds in singing his hymns in mass outdoor services of 40,000 people.

With every new spiritual experience or thought that crossed Charles’ mind, a new hymn was born. Even on his deathbed it is said that he dictated to his wife a final hymn of praises to the Lord he had loved so intimately and served so effectively.

And can it be that I should gain an int’rest in the Savior’s blood? Died He for me, who caused His pain? For me, who Him to death pursued?

He left His Father’s throne above, so free, so infinite His grace! Emptied Himself of all but love, and bled for Adam’s helpless race.

No condemnation now I dread; I am my Lord’s and He is mine: Alive in Him, my living Head, and clothed in righteousness divine.

Refrain: Amazing love! How can it be that Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

For Today: Romans 5:8; Colossians 1:12-14; Hebrews 9:11, 12; 1 Peter 1:18, 19; Revelation 5:9

Live in the joy and freedom of being “alive in Him” and free of all condemnation. Carry this musical truth with you—[1]


February 10: Longing for the Ideal

Exodus 24:1–25:40; John 4:43–54; Song of Solomon 3:3–5

Pastors avoid or over-interpret it. We’re often confused by it. But the Song of Solomon is in our Bible. Although we might stumble over the imagery (comparing a woman to a mare would hardly go down well in the modern world), we can’t help but be entranced by the idealism and the tender, rather racy relationship of the joyful couple.

“ ‘Have you seen the one whom my heart loves?’ … I found him whom my heart loves. I held him and I would not let him go” (Song 3:3–4).

Their relationship appeals to what is pristine and ideal—a picture of what God created marriage to be. The lovers physically delight in each other and woo each other with affectionate words. We might brush off this poem like other romantic poetry and literature—ideal, but hardly plausible in our world, which would take pleasure over love. We further deconstruct the purity of the Song of Solomon based on the reality we experience (or at least know about): the lust, sexual abuse, and promiscuous relationships that are rampant in our world (and more rampant than we’d like to think, even in Christian circles).

Despite hesitations, we shouldn’t brush aside the fact that this book is included in the biblical canon. The Song of Solomon shows us that we were created for a different life—for an ideal. We were made by a God who is perfect and intended for us to live bountifully. This realization makes us thankful that we live in the grace that Christ bought. And through the Spirit, we can put to death the sins that entangle us. It can help us look forward to a time when all that is perverted is judged, and when we ourselves are made perfect, purified from all the dross.

How does the relationship depicted in Song of Solomon help you understand what God intended for humanity? How does it turn you to Christ’s sacrifice?

Rebecca Van Noord[2]


February 10

Intro

Welcome to Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Today’s reading is Exodus 37 through 40. Our lesson is from Exodus 39:42–43, “So the sons of Israel did all the work according to all that the Lord had commanded Moses. And Moses examined all the work and behold, they had done it; just as the Lord had commanded, this they had done. So Moses blessed them.” (NASU)

Lesson

The Lord had given instructions to Moses on how to build the tabernacle and make the utensils for worship in the tabernacle. Now in this passage, God instructs Moses about the priestly garbs. Let’s look at three observations about Moses.

First, Moses instructed Israel. But before he can instruct the people, Moses needs to hear from God. This is a part of leadership. The leader needs to hear from God and communicate what God says to the people. Spiritual authority comes from walking close to God and leading God’s people according to His purposes.

One of the primary roles of a leader is to know what the Lord wants and then communicate it to the people. That’s what we note here: God told Moses precisely what colors and materials to use in making the priestly garbs. Moses, in turn, relayed God’s message to the people about what to do.

Leadership is about taking God’s people to where the Lord wants them to go. If a Christian leader does not hear from God, he is missing the mark.

Next, Moses examined the work of Israel. Part of the role of leadership is to do follow-up and hold others accountable. This is what Moses did. He gave specific instructions from the Lord and then made sure the people followed those instructions accordingly.

Israel was responsible not only to God but to Moses in fulfilling the task. This is what accountability is all about. There are those who say that they are responsible to God and not to man. If there is no accountability to another person, how can we be sure that that person is truly accountable to God? Accountability to God is shown by submission to others. The people did God’s will because Moses instructed them and examined their work.

Finally, Moses blessed Israel. The people had done a good job in following God’s commands through Moses. Moses demonstrated his approval by blessing the people. As a leader it is important to encourage the people when they do a good job. So often, good work goes unnoticed. I am sure the people were appreciative of Moses’ blessing.

In review, Moses instructed Israel. Moses examined the work of Israel. And Moses blessed Israel.

Let’s learn to do our best when it comes to the work of the Lord. We demonstrate excellence by using our skills and abilities to serve Him like Israel did.

End

It has been a pleasure to share with you Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Tomorrow’s Bible reading is Mark 1 through 4. Let’s not forget the words of the psalmist “The law of Your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.” Until tomorrow and may God bless you in abundance as you study the Word of God.[3]


 

February 10

 

The Joy of Recollection

 

“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you” (Phil. 1:3).

✧✧✧

A key to Christian joy is to recall the goodness of others.

Though Paul was under house arrest in Rome when he wrote to the Philippians, his mind wasn’t bound. Often he reflected on his experiences with the Philippian Christians. As he did so, his thoughts turned to prayers of praise and thanksgiving for all the Lord had done through them.

I’m sure Paul remembered when he preached in Philippi and God opened Lydia’s heart to believe the gospel (Acts 16:13–14). Subsequently everyone in her household was saved (v. 15). Surely her kindness and hospitality were bright spots in an otherwise stormy stay at Philippi.

He must also have remembered the demon-possessed girl whom the Lord delivered from spiritual bondage (v. 18), and the Philippian jailer who threw Paul and Silas into prison after they had been beaten severely (vv. 23–24). Perhaps the girl became part of the Philippian church—the text doesn’t say. We do know that the jailer and his whole household were saved, after which they showed kindness to Paul and Silas by tending to their wounds and feeding them (vv. 30–34).

The many financial gifts the Philippians sent to Paul were also fond memories for him because they were given out of love and concern. That was true of their present gift as well, which was delivered by Epaphroditus and went far beyond Paul’s need (Phil. 4:18).

Paul’s gratitude illustrates that Christian joy is enhanced in your life by your ability to recall the goodness of others. A corollary is your ability to forgive shortcomings and unkindnesses. That goes against the grain of our “don’t get mad—get even” society, but is perfectly consistent with the compassion and forgiveness God has shown you. Therefore, be quick to forgive evil and slow to forget good.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Take time to reflect on some people who have shown kindness to you and encouraged you in your Christian walk. Thank God for them. If possible, call them or drop them a note of thanks. Assure them of your prayers, as Paul assured the Philippians. ✧ If you harbor ill will toward someone, resolve it quickly, and begin to uphold that person in prayer.

For Further Study: Read Matthew 5:23–26; 18:21–35. What were our Lord’s instructions regarding forgiveness and reconciliation?[4]


February 10

Confronting an Evil World

If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.

1 Peter 4:14

No one can live for God’s glory and be entirely comfortable in this world. You shouldn’t be obnoxious or try to be a misfit, but if your life is Christ–like, then you will bear some of the reproach He bore.

We live in a day when many want to make Christianity easy, but the Bible says it is hard. Many want to make Christians lovable, but God says they’ll be reproachable. Christianity must confront the system by being distinct from it. It must expose sin before it can disclose the remedy.

Be sure your life reflects your commitment to Christ. That’s what will make you distinct from the world.[5]


 

February 10

 

God Is Everywhere

 

“But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain Thee.”

1 Kings 8:27

✧✧✧

God is in all places; He is not confined by space.

No matter how big the universe is, God is bigger. His being fills up all of infinity. He is omnipresent—everywhere present. God says, “Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?” (Jer. 23:24). Solomon said at the dedication of the temple, “Will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain Thee, how much less this house which I have built!” (1 Kings 8:27). There are no limits of time or space to His presence.

Some may object to the doctrine of omnipresence, saying, “Wouldn’t the sin in the world defile an omnipresent God?” No. God is in the hearts of sinners convicting them of sin. He is also in Hell where He “is able to destroy both soul and body” (Matt. 10:28). Though God’s essence is everywhere, He never mingles with impurity. In a similar way, Jesus lived among sinners and was “tempted in all things as we are, yet [He was] without sin” (Heb. 4:15).

Isaiah exhorts people to “call upon [God] while He is near” (55:6); yet Proverbs 15:29 says, “The Lord is far from the wicked.” How can He be near some people and far from others when He is everywhere all the time? To answer this, we must distinguish between God’s essence and His relation to people. He is everywhere in His essence, but with specific individuals He is far or near relationally. When we become Christians, Christ dwells in us. God can fill us with His fullness (Eph. 3:19), and the Spirit who lives in us can also fill us (1:13; 5:18). But before God’s Spirit indwelt us relationally, His essence convicted us of sin and saved us.

The Old Testament tells us that God dwelt between the wings of the cherubim on the Ark of the Covenant. That location was a symbol of God’s presence. Today the church represents God’s presence on earth. In the Millennium, Christ’s rule on the throne of David in Jerusalem will represent God’s presence. In Heaven His presence will be represented by the throne of Revelation 4–5. Remember, though, that the symbol of God’s presence never restricts His essence.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Praise God that He is omnipresent, and thank Him that He lives in you.

For Further Study: What does Psalm 139:7–18 teach about God’s omnipresence? ✧ What was David’s response (vv. 17–18)?[6]


February 10

Becoming God’s Best

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who … has begotten us again to a living hope.

1 Peter 1:3

God desires that we develop in our talents, aptitudes, and ministry gifts every day of our lives. We should never stop practicing or stop learning, no matter how experienced and skilled we may become. I’m told that the truly great concert pianists still practice scales on a routine basis. Top athletes still work out and practice “basic drills” during training camps and warm-up sessions, no matter how many years they’ve been in the professional ranks.…

God will not lead you to “become” something without aiding you to become the “best” you can possibly be in that area. He will not give you a talent and then fail to give you opportunities for discovering, using, developing, practicing, and perfecting it.[7]


February 10

Feeling Unworthy

Scripture reading: 2 Corinthians 3:4–6

Key verse: 2 Timothy 1:7

God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

There is an interesting aspect of inadequacy that many people face. Theirs is the reverse of having a strong sense of adequacy; they struggle with feeling unworthy. For the Christian, this is certainly counterproductive. God wants you to learn to depend on Him—not because He is forcing you to do so, but because He loves you and knows what is best for your life. He knows your potential. When you give Him all of yourself, He takes your life and makes something beautiful out of it.

Remember, when God calls you to do something, He will take care of the details. When He opens a door of opportunity, He expects you to go through it, all the while relying on Him to provide the knowledge and strength you need to do the task.

Don’t be plagued by doubts and fears. These can keep you from trying something new, something that could turn out to be a wondrous gift from God. Sometimes fear may strike so that everything within you wants to pull back where it is safe. But God has not called you to be fearful or afraid (2 Tim. 1:7).

Be determined. Ask Him to encourage you and speak to your heart as you step out in faith. Keep the eyes of your heart focused on the Lord. Let Him be your Guide and Refuge. Then when doubts or fears arise, He will be your Light of protection and your King of hope.

Dear heavenly Father, please encourage me to step out in faith. Be my Guide and Refuge.[8]


February 10 Solving Problems Through Prayer

scripture reading:

 

2 Chronicles 20

 

key verse:

 

2 Chronicles 20:12

 

O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.

Karl Marx, the Communist philosopher of the last century, sarcastically referred to religion as “the opium of the people.” Christians obviously refute such tainted logic, but in practice we tend to treat prayer in a similar vein.

Prayer too often is seen as a last resort, a divine escape hatch if all else fails. We turn all the knobs, pull all the strings, exhaust all our resources—and then begrudgingly turn to prayer if what we do does not work.

Prayer is not a spiritual crutch. It is not begging God to help after all our efforts have failed. Instead, prayer is the most effective problem solver we can employ. It is a divine management tool that can be availed, regardless of the nature of our predicament.

Why don’t we always view prayer as such? Pride. We do not want to admit our dependence on Christ. Sure, we had to call on Him to save us, but now we can handle most things just fine, thank you!

How blind we are; how twisted is our notion of prayer. God offers us His help, and we, in our human haughtiness, turn Him down.

God wants you to lean on Him. He longs to work on your behalf, to guide you and help you. Prayer is His divine provision. Should you ignore God’s helping hand?

I confess my dependence on You. I can’t handle the circumstances of my life alone, Father. Thank You for the divine provision of prayer to manage the affairs of my life.[9]


February 10

A Love for God’s Word

Scripture reading: Psalm 119:57–64

Key verse: 2 Timothy 2:15

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Paul’s final words to his understudy Timothy were words that God wants us to apply to our lives: “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God.”

A part of becoming approved is learning how to flee from the temptations that keep you from becoming all that God has planned for you to be.

Immersing yourself in the study of His Word prepares you not only for the trials of life but also for the blessings that come your way. And God has many blessings stored up for those who walk in the light of His truth.

His Word is a road map, a framework, and a blueprint to life. Paul knew that regardless of what Timothy faced, as long as God’s Word was hidden within his heart, he could meet all challenges victoriously.

Becoming approved of God is not a work you perform. It requires the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Time spent in the study of God’s Word teaches you more about Christ’s personal love and desire for you. While He wants you to attend church, His greater joy comes in watching you study His Word and then apply it to your life.

Through the power of the Holy Spirit, God will teach you how to accurately handle His Word. If you are ready for a true adventure, pick up the Bible and ask God to breathe fresh life into your love for His Word.

Father, through the power of Your Holy Spirit, teach me how to handle Your Word. Breathe fresh life into my love for Your Word this day.[10]


February 10

Sensitivity to Sin

Scripture Reading: Numbers 22

Key Verse: Psalm 139:23

Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties.

In Numbers 22, we read how Balak, the Moabite king, sought to persuade Balaam to prophesy against Israel by offering the pagan prophet a significant sum of money to curse God’s chosen people.

God warned Balaam not to accept the offer. However, when Balak’s men showed up at his door with an extra-large sum of cash, temptation won out. Balaam went back to God to see if there was a chance He had changed His mind. The Lord gave Balaam permission to go, but was angry at him for not heeding His first command.

God knows the true motivation of our hearts. Balaam told the men he would go with them but could say only what God told him to say. Here’s the catch: Balaam wanted the money more than he wanted to do what was right. He knew God did not want him to go, but he was willing to risk everything in order to cash in on the situation.

Balaam’s donkey was the only thing that saved him from God’s wrath. She saw a mighty angel blocking their path and stopped. However, Balaam became so angry that he beat her.

The Spirit of God always reveals sin. However, we can choose to go against God’s warning by compromising our convictions. When this happens, we suffer in our disobedience. Ask the Lord to make you sensitive to sin. Pledge your devotion to Christ, and He will guard your life.

Dear God, make me sensitive to sin. Reveal the true motivations of my heart. I pledge my devotion to Christ. Let His power and truth guard me and direct my spiritual journey.[11]


February 10

Unchanging Love

Scripture Reading: Romans 6:7–12

Key Verse: Romans 8:1

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

After God exposed David’s sin with Bathsheba, David’s heart was filled with remorse. His spirit was crushed by what he had done, and evidence of his sin and steps of repentance is found in 2 Samuel 11–12.

At one point, David’s shame became so great he cried out: “I have sinned against the Lord”(2 Samuel 12:13). Notice David did not deny his sin or excuse it. No. He owned up to what he had done and sought God’s forgiveness.

When we confess our sin to the Lord, we are in essence agreeing with Him that what we have done is wrong and not in keeping with His moral standards. It is at this point that we acknowledge our sin and decisively turn from it. This is what David did.

Sin has its consequences. Bathsheba became pregnant with David’s baby who later died. Not only did David have to endure the sorrow connected with his sin, but he also had to face the death of his son. Yet we never hear David wallowing in guilt and shame. He sought God’s forgiveness in humility and then set his heart on continuing to be the king God had called him to be.

When you sin, pray as David did. Know God’s mercy keeps you. Confession and repentance are your hope. The moment you seek His forgiveness, He restores you. And it is there that you will find His love is unchanged by your failure.

Lord, I ask Your forgiveness for the times I have wallowed in my guilt. I want to walk forward with You, not looking back.[12]


February 10

The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light.

My natural self does not receive the things of Your Spirit, God, for they are foolishness to me; nor can I know them, because they are spiritually discerned. Open my eyes, Lord, that I may see wondrous things from Your law.

Jesus is the light of the world. I, following Him, shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life. And with an unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror Your glory, Lord, I am being transformed into the same image by the Spirit of the Lord. It is You, God, who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who have shone in my heart to give the light of the knowledge of Your glory in the face of Jesus Christ.

You, the God of my Lord Jesus Christ and the Father of glory, give me the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of You, that I may know the hope of Your calling, the riches of the glory of Your inheritance in the saints.

Open my eyes, Lord God: I want to see Jesus and Your truth more clearly.

Luke 11:34; 1 Corinthians 2:14; Psalm 119:18; John 8:12; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 2 Corinthians 4:6; Ephesians 1:17–18[13]


February 10

Walk by Faith

2 Corinthians 5:7

For we walk by faith, not by sight.

Faith is seeking and finding God in Christ—desiring Him and being fulfilled by Him. To say it another way, faith is wholly leaning on Christ for everything in your life. It is trusting Him for eternity. Faith is the acceptance of a gift at the hand of Almighty God. That’s what faith is, and anything that doesn’t meet that standard, while it may be a spiritual term, is not faith. The Bible tells us that not only do we walk by faith and live by faith every day, but also faith plays a part in our life as we continue to seek a deeper relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

We have a problem in that we have isolated faith to the act of becoming a Christian instead of living the ongoing Christian life. Certainly, faith is at the center of our entrance into salvation. But if we leave it there and do not continue to exercise faith daily, we will fail to live an obedient spiritual life. We literally must walk by faith as believers or we will not walk at all.[14]


February 10

MOST of the grand truths of God have to be learned by trouble; they must be burned into us with the hot iron of affliction, otherwise we shall not truly receive them. No man is competent to judge in matters of the kingdom, until first he has been tried; since there are many things to be learned in the depths which we can never know in the heights. He shall best meet the wants of God’s people who has had those wants himself; he shall best comfort God’s Israel who has needed comfort; and he shall best preach salvation who has felt his own need of it.[15]


February 10

He loveth our nation and he hath built us a synagogue

Luke 7:5

Marble and granite are perishable monuments, and their inscriptions may be seldom read. Carve your names on human hearts; they alone are immortal!

Theodore Cuyler[16]


Day 10

Adoration

You are He; You are the first,

And You are also the last. (Isaiah 48:12)

The God and Father of the Lord Jesus is blessed forever. (2 Corinthians 11:31)

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being, upholding all things by His powerful word. After He cleansed our sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name He has inherited is more excellent than theirs. (Hebrews 1:3–4)

Pause to express your thoughts of praise and worship.

Confession

The ways of a man are before the eyes of the Lord,

And He examines all his paths. (Proverbs 5:21)

Ask the Spirit to search your heart and reveal any areas of unconfessed sin. Acknowledge these to the Lord and thank Him for His forgiveness.

Renewal

Since I live in the Spirit, may I also walk in the Spirit. (Galatians 5:25)

May God fill me with the knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that I may walk worthy of the Lord and please Him in every way, bearing fruit in every good work, and growing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power according to His glorious might, so that I may have great endurance and patience with joy. (Colossians 1:9–11)

Pause to add your own prayers for personal renewal.

Petition

I cry out to You, O Lord,

And say, “You are my refuge,

My portion in the land of the living.” (Psalm 142:5)

Family and Ministry

Family

Ministry

Sharing Christ with others

Helping others grow in Him

Career

My activities for this day

Special concerns

Intercession

As the Father sent the Son into the world, He also has sent us into the world. And He has prayed for those who will believe in Him through our message. (John 17:18, 20)

Missions

Local missions

National missions

World missions

The fulfillment of the Great Commission

Special concerns

Affirmation

Like Jesus, my food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to accomplish His work. (John 4:34)

This is love: that I walk in obedience to God’s commandments. And this is the commandment: that as I have heard from the beginning, I should walk in love. (2 John 6)

Pause to reflect upon these biblical affirmations.

Thanksgiving

The Lord God will swallow up death forever,

And He will wipe away the tears from all faces;

He will remove the reproach of His people from all the earth.

For the Lord has spoken.

And it will be said in that day,

“Behold, this is our God;

We have waited for Him, and He will save us.

This is the Lord;

We have trusted in Him.

Let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation.” (Isaiah 25:8–9)

The Holy City, new Jerusalem, will come down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. A loud voice from the throne will say, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God, and He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the first things have passed away.” He who is seated on the throne will say, “Behold, I make all things new.” (Revelation 21:2–5)

Pause to offer your own expressions of thanksgiving.

Closing Prayer

You have sworn by Yourself;

The word has gone out of Your mouth in righteousness

And will not return.

Every knee will bow before You,

And every tongue will acknowledge You. (Isaiah 45:23)

You are worthy to take the scroll

And to open its seals,

Because You were slain,

And with Your blood You purchased men for God

From every tribe and language and people and nation.

You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,

And they will reign on the earth. (Revelation 5:9–10)[17]


Morning, February 10 

 

“I know how to abound.”

— Philippians 4:12

 

There are many who know “how to be abased” who have not learned “how to abound.” When they are set upon the top of a pinnacle their heads grow dizzy, and they are ready to fall. The Christian far oftener disgraces his profession in prosperity than in adversity. It is a dangerous thing to be prosperous. The crucible of adversity is a less severe trial to the Christian than the refining pot of prosperity. Oh, what leanness of soul and neglect of spiritual things have been brought on through the very mercies and bounties of God! Yet this is not a matter of necessity, for the apostle tells us that he knew how to abound. When he had much he knew how to use it. Abundant grace enabled him to bear abundant prosperity. When he had a full sail he was loaded with much ballast, and so floated safely. It needs more than human skill to carry the brimming cup of mortal joy with a steady hand, yet Paul had learned that skill, for he declares, “In all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry.” It is a divine lesson to know how to be full, for the Israelites were full once, but while the flesh was yet in their mouth, the wrath of God came upon them. Many have asked for mercies that they might satisfy their own hearts’ lust. Fulness of bread has often made fulness of blood, and that has brought on wantonness of spirit. When we have much of God’s providential mercies, it often happens that we have but little of God’s grace, and little gratitude for the bounties we have received. We are full and we forget God: satisfied with earth, we are content to do without heaven. Rest assured it is harder to know how to be full than it is to know how to be hungry—so desperate is the tendency of human nature to pride and forgetfulness of God. Take care that you ask in your prayers that God would teach you “how to be full.”

 

“Let not the gifts thy love bestows

Estrange our hearts from thee.”

 

Evening, February 10

 

“I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.”

— Isaiah 44:22

 

Attentively observe the instructive similitude: our sins are like a cloud. As clouds are of many shapes and shades, so are our transgressions. As clouds obscure the light of the sun, and darken the landscape beneath, so do our sins hide from us the light of Jehovah’s face, and cause us to sit in the shadow of death. They are earth-born things, and rise from the miry places of our nature; and when so collected that their measure is full, they threaten us with storm and tempest. Alas! that, unlike clouds, our sins yield us no genial showers, but rather threaten to deluge us with a fiery flood of destruction. O ye black clouds of sin, how can it be fair weather with our souls while ye remain?

 

Let our joyful eye dwell upon the notable act of divine mercy—“blotting out.” God himself appears upon the scene, and in divine benignity, instead of manifesting his anger, reveals his grace: he at once and for ever effectually removes the mischief, not by blowing away the cloud, but by blotting it out from existence once for all. Against the justified man no sin remains, the great transaction of the cross has eternally removed his transgressions from him. On Calvary’s summit the great deed, by which the sin of all the chosen was for ever put away, was completely and effectually performed.

 

Practically let us obey the gracious command, “return unto me.” Why should pardoned sinners live at a distance from their God? If we have been forgiven all our sins, let no legal fear withhold us from the boldest access to our Lord. Let backslidings be bemoaned, but let us not persevere in them. To the greatest possible nearness of communion with the Lord, let us, in the power of the Holy Spirit, strive mightily to return. O Lord, this night restore us! [18]


February 10

Genesis 43; Mark 13; Job 9; Romans 13

“let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law” (Rom. 13:8). Some Christians have used this verse to argue that all debt is wrong and condemned by God. Pay your way as you go. “Let no debt remain outstanding.” The strongest voices argue that it is wrong to take a mortgage for a house or for a church building.

The flow of the passage, however, argues against such an interpretation. The opening verses exhort Christians to submit to the civil authorities, not only because they are constituted by God, but also because, when they function properly, they enforce what is right and punish what is wrong (13:1–4). So it is important to submit to such authorities, not only so as to avoid punishment, “but also because of conscience” (13:5): Christians want to keep a clear conscience by doing what is right. That is also why we pay taxes. The civil authorities are “God’s servants, who give their full time to governing” (13:6). Like others of God’s servants, they are sometimes disobedient and foolish, but in God’s ordering of society taxes are God’s means of supporting those whose task it is to govern. So we should pay what we owe: “If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue” (13:7).

More broadly yet, pay whatever is owed: “If respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another” (13:7–8).

“Debt,” then, in this context, has only a secondary reference to financial obligation. The passage has everything to do with the ongoing obligations of personal relationships in a society ordered by God. Moreover, insofar as finances are concerned, some financial obligations, such as taxes, are paid again and again; as they come due, we pay them. In precisely the same way, in a contracted mortgage, as the payments come due, we pay them. For all kinds of reasons it may be best to avoid fiscal debt of all kinds. But that is scarcely the point the apostle is making here.

The way Paul talks about love as “the continuing debt” reinforces the point. Some “debts,” such as taxes, recur; the debt of love does not so much recur as continue: it is ever with us. The commandments that bear on horizontal relationships (what today we would call social relationships) may be summed up in this one rule: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (13:9; Lev. 19:18). Love is thus the “fulfillment” of the Law (13:10)—that is, love is that to which the Law points, in this time of eschatological fulfillment (13:11–14), and this we always owe.[19]


February 10

Genesis 43; Mark 13; Job 9; Romans 13

Christians have often disagreed over the precise interpretation of Mark 13. But whatever disagreements prevail, we cannot fail to note the stunning contrast between the perspectives of the disciples when they look around the temple complex and the perspectives of Jesus himself.

The disciples are impressed by the “massive stones” and by the “magnificent buildings” (13:1). What draws their attention is the architecture, the product of human creativity and ingenuity. But Jesus thinks on another plane. He evaluates the patterns of evil in this world, the false religious pretensions, the persecution of his disciples, the judgment that will fall. As for the stones and the buildings, he foresees judgment: “Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down” (13:2). A mere forty years elapse before this prediction is literally fulfilled.

This passage is reminiscent of another. In Acts 17:16ff., Paul finds himself in Athens. What is striking is his reaction to the city. Luke does not say that Paul was impressed by the spectacular architecture, by the history of sheer learning, by the literature that its citizens had produced, or by the glory of her heritage. Far from it. Paul looked around this venerable old city and was “greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols” (17:16).

In neither case, then—neither in Jesus’ estimate of Jerusalem, nor in Paul’s estimate of Athens—was the analysis superficial. In both cases, the evaluation looked at things from God’s perspective. Those who are impressed by mighty buildings and spectacular human accomplishments could profitably think through the account of the tower of Babel (Gen. 11). Doubtless there were some then who were impressed by the edifice. But God, looking at the human heart and the reasons for the building, saw it as one more evidence of insufferable hubris.

In much the same way, we too are called to understand and evaluate our culture from God’s perspective. Because human beings are made in the image of God, there is much that we can do that is worthy and admirable. Theologically speaking, this is the product of “common grace.” But it is possible to be far too impressed by wealth, power, architecture, fame, learning, physical prowess, and technology, with the result that we do not think through the moral and spiritual dimensions of the world around us. We may see the glory, and overlook the shame; we may detect human accomplishments, and neglect the undergirding idolatry; in short, we may be impressed by all that impresses God’s fallen image-bearers, but fail to assess these realities in the light of the cross and in the light of eternity. We would do far better to follow the examples of Jesus and Paul.[20]


February 10.—Morning. [Or March 21.] “Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.”

Exodus 13:17, 18; 20–22

AND it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt:

18 But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red sea: and the children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt: (The Lord is mindful of the infirmities of his people. He meant them to see many wars hereafter, but as yet they were all unused to fighting, and therefore were to be led by a quieter though a longer road. Blessed be God, our troubles shall not be ready for us till we are ready for them.)

20, 21, 22 And they took their journey from Succoth, and encamped in Etham, in the edge of the wilderness. And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people. (The pillar was their infallible conductor; it also screened them by day and lit up the camp by night. God’s mercies are many-sided. We can only do one thing well at a time, but the Lord accomplishes many devices at one stroke.)

Exodus 14:1–5; 8–14

AND the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, that they turn and encamp before Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, over against Baal-zephon: before it shall ye encamp by the sea.

This seemed a strange direction, but Moses obeyed it without question. Let us go where the Lord bids us though the way be perilous.

3, 4 For Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, They are entangled in the land, the wilderness hath shut them in. And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, that he shall follow after them; and I will be honoured upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host; that the Egyptians may know that I am the Lord. And they did so.

¶ And it was told the king of Egypt that the people fled: and the heart of Pharaoh and of his servants was turned against the people, and they said, Why have we done this, that we have let Israel go from serving us?

And the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued after the children of Israel: and the children of Israel went out with an high hand. (God’s plagues had not changed the King’s rebellious nature. When he saw that he had lost his valuable slaves, his greed made him rush after them.)

But the Egyptians pursued after them, all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, and his horsemen, and his army, and overtook them encamping by the sea, beside Pi-hahiroth, before Baal-zephon.

10, 11 And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto the Lord. And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt?

12 Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness. (This unbelief was both unjust and cruel. Had they not seen the Lord’s works in the great plagues? Could they not believe that he who had wrought such marvels could and would deliver them? They were smitten with panic, and were willing to return to bondage; whereas true freemen never debate which of the two to choose, slavery or death.)

13, 14 And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace. (This meekest of men answered the people meekly and believingly, for prayer enabled him to conquer his own spirit.)

Forward! but whither shall we go?

The desert is on either side,

Behind us the Egyptian foe,

Before, the interposing tide!

Yet while we thy command obey,

Our road impassable pursue,

The ocean yields an open way,

And lets thy ransomed people through.

February 10.—Evening. [Or March 22.] “The Lord shall reign for ever and ever.”

Exodus 14:15–31

AND the Lord said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward:

We read not that Moses had spoken a word; but his heart cried unto the Lord. The Lord bade him no longer hesitate, but cry, “Forward,” and advance through the sea.

16, 17, 18 But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea. And I, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them: and I will get me honour upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen. And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gotten me honour upon Pharaoh, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen.

19 ¶ And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them:

The glory of the Lord was their rereward.

20 And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night. (Both God’s word and providence have a twofold aspect, they frown on sinners while they smile on saints. Thus God still sets a difference between Israel and Egypt.)

21 And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.

22 And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left. (Calmly the historian records it, but what a wonder is here! Water erect like solid ice, and a damp sea bed made dry and fit to be a highway for a marching army.)

23 ¶ And the Egyptians pursued, and went in after them to the midst of the sea, even all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen.

What infatuation! Were they beguiled by the darkness around them or that within them?

24 And it came to pass, that in the morning watch the Lord looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians,

25 And took off their chariot wheels, that they drave them heavily: so that the Egyptians said, Let us flee from the face of Israel; for the Lord fighteth for them against the Egyptians.

One look from Jehovah was enough, one flash from his eye of fire, struck the host with panic.

26 ¶ And the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the sea, that the waters may come again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen.

27 And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to his strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it; and the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea.

28 And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them; there remained not so much as one of them.

Even thus “our tyrannous sins are buried and drowned, and though they be sought for they shall not be found.”

29, 30 But the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left. Thus the Lord saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore. (So completely was Egypt shattered, that though the Israelites were for forty years close to the Egyptian borders, they were never molested by their former oppressors.)

31 And Israel saw that great work which the Lord did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared the Lord, and believed the Lord, and his servant Moses. (And well they might, but, alas, this good state of mind did not last long.)

Awake, awake, thou mighty Arm,

Which has such wonders wrought!

Which captive Israel freed from harm,

And out of Egypt brought.

Art thou not it which Rahab slew?

And crush’d the dragon’s head?

Constrain’d by thee the waves withdrew

From their accustom’d bed.

Again thy wonted prowess show,

Be thou made bare again:

And let thine adversaries know

That they resist in vain.[21]


February 10th

Is your imagination of God starved?

Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things. Isaiah 40:26.

The people of God in Isaiah’s day had starved their imagination by looking on the face of idols, and Isaiah made them look up at the heavens; that is, he made them begin to use their imagination aright. Nature to a saint is sacramental. If we are children of God, we have a tremendous treasure in Nature. In every wind that blows, in every night and day of the year, in every sign of the sky, in every blossoming and in every withering of the earth, there is a real coming of God to us if we will simply use our starved imagination to realize it.

The test of spiritual concentration is bringing the imagination into captivity. Is your imagination looking on the face of an idol? Is the idol yourself? Your work? Your conception of what a worker should be? Your experience of salvation and sanctification? Then your imagination of God is starved, and when you are up against difficulties you have no power, you can only endure in darkness. If your imagination is starved, do not look back to your own experience; it is God Whom you need. Go right out of yourself, away from the face of your idols, away from everything that has been starving your imagination. Rouse yourself, take the gibe that Isaiah gave the people, and deliberately turn your imagination to God.

One of the reasons of stultification in prayer is that there is no imagination, no power of putting ourselves deliberately before God. We have to learn how to be broken bread and poured-out wine on the line of intercession more than on the line of personal contact. Imagination is the power God gives a saint to posit himself out of himself into relationships he never was in.[22]


February 10 – Distinctiveness of the Beatitudes

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3).

The series of conditional blessings Jesus promises, beginning with this verse and continuing through verse 12, are known as the Beatitudes. This name refers to a state of happiness or bliss. The blessedness promised in each is a divine characteristic, one that men and women can realize only as they share in God’s nature (cf. 2 Peter 1:4). When believers are truly blessed, they don’t experience merely an external, circumstantial feeling of happiness, but a deep sense of spiritual contentedness and well-being based on the objective spiritual reality that they belong to God.

We must understand that Christ’s beatitudes are distinctive and firm pronouncements, not merely ambiguous probabilities. Our Lord does not say that if we have the qualities the Beatitudes set forth, we are only likely to be happy; nor is this simply His wish for us. Adherence to these attitudes and practices will result in blessedness, just as surely as judgmental woes await those who are the subject of His pronouncements in Matthew 23.

The blessed life is the opposite of the cursed life. Blessedness is possessed by those who truly have the inner characteristics of the Beatitudes. Conversely, cursedness represents those who don’t know the Beatitudes, such as the Jewish religionists of Jesus’ time.

The Beatitudes are also distinctively progressive, each leading to the next in logical succession. Poverty of spirit demonstrates a right attitude about ourselves. That leads to mourning, gentleness, hungering and thirsting for righteousness, showing mercy, purity of heart, and peacemaking. If we have these traits we will rebuke the world so that it persecutes us and allows us to be lights in its midst.

Ask Yourself

We have often stated—rightly so—that God is more interested in making us holy than making us happy. So does it surprise you to see that happiness is a gift Jesus offers to those who take His Word to heart? What’s wrong with a theology that looks suspiciously at happiness?

From Daily Readings from the Life of Christ, Vol. 1, John MacArthur. Copyright © 2008. Used by permission of Moody Publishers, Chicago, IL 60610, http://www.moodypublishers.com.


February 10

Reading for Today:

Exodus 31:1–32:35
Psalm 21:1-7
Proverbs 7:24-27
Matthew 25:31-46
Notes:

Exodus 32:4 a molded calf. The young bull, which Aaron caused to be fashioned, was a pagan religious symbol of virile power. A miniature form of the golden calf, although made of bronze and silver, was found at the site of the ancient Philistine city of Ashkelon. Since it dates to about 1550 B.C. it indicates that calf worship was known not only in Egypt, but also in Canaan prior to the time of Moses. In worshiping the calf, the Israelites violated the first 3 commandments (20:3–7).

Exodus 32:6 rose up to play. The Hebrew word allows for the inclusion of drunken and immoral activities so common to idolatrous fertility cults in their revelry. Syncretism had robbed the people of all ethical alertness and moral discernment (see 1 Cor. 10:7).

Exodus 32:32 blot me out of Your book. Nothing more strongly marked the love of Moses for his people than his sincere willingness to offer up his own life rather than see them disinherited and destroyed. The book to which Moses referred, the psalmist entitled “the book of the living” (Ps. 69:28).Untimely or premature death would constitute being blotted out of the book. The apostle Paul displayed a similar passionate devotion for his kinsmen (Rom. 9:1–3).

Psalm 21:3 You set a crown of pure gold upon his head. This is symbolic of superlative blessing (note the reversal in Ezek. 21:25–27).

DAY 10: Did Jesus Christ believe in everlasting punishment for the wicked?

Look at His words in Matthew 25:46.“And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” The same Greek word is used in both instances. The punishment of the wicked is as never-ending as the bliss of the righteous. The wicked are not given a second chance, nor are they annihilated. The punishment of the wicked dead is described throughout Scripture as “everlasting fire” (v. 41); “unquenchable fire” (3:12); “shame and everlasting contempt” (Dan. 12:2); a place where “their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched”(Mark 9:44–49); a place of “torments” and “flame” (Luke 16:23, 24); “everlasting destruction” (2 Thess. 1:9); a place of torment with “fire and brimstone” where “the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever” (Rev. 14:10, 11); and a “lake of fire and brimstone ”where the wicked are “tormented day and night forever and ever” (Rev. 20:10).

Here Jesus indicates that the punishment itself is everlasting—not merely the smoke and flames. The wicked are forever subject to the fury and the wrath of God. They consciously suffer shame and contempt and the assaults of an accusing conscience—along with the fiery wrath of an offended deity—for all of eternity. Even hell will acknowledge the perfect justice of God (Ps.76:10); those who are there will know that their punishment is just and that they alone are to blame (see Deut. 32:3–5).

From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville, TN 37214, http://www.thomasnelson.com.


TOZER DEVOTIONAL

Wed, February 10, 2016

Cleaning Out the Closets

Another question to put to yourself is, “Do I have any habits I am ashamed to let anybody know I have? Have I any personal habits that I am ashamed of? Do I hide something when the pastor is coming? If everything were known in the church about how I lived, would I go back to church?” You can dodge this, twist it around and answer evasively, but the snow will lie on your heart. If you answer God honestly and go to work to get rid of it and clean it up, springtime will come for you. Then ask yourself, “Is my speech clean?” One of the most shocking things in the church is the dirty-mouthed Christian who always walks on the borderline. There is no place for borderline stories that embarass some people, and there is nothng about sex or the human body that is funny if your mind is clean. There was once a gathering of officers, and George Washington was present in the room. One of the young officers began to think about a dirty story that he wanted to tell, and he got a smirk on his face. He looked around and said, “I”m thinking of a story. I guess there are no ladies present.” Washington straightened up and said, “No, young man, but there are gentlemen.” The young officer shut his mouth and kept the dirty story inside his dirty head and heart. Anything you could not tell with Jesus present, do not tell. Anything you could not laugh at were Jesus present, do not laugh at.

Verse
But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man “unclean.” For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.
Matthew 15:18-19

Thought
Strange things are sometime hidden in the closets of the heart–things that do not belong in one who is a temple of the Holy Spirit.

Prayer
Lord, I want to clean out all the closets of my heart. Beam You light into all the areas. For Christ”s sake.

A. W. Tozer
http://www.cmalliance.org/devotions/tozer


Faith’s Checkbook: A Constant Witness

because you will be his witness to all people of what you have seen and heard. – Acts 22:15 NET

Paul was chosen to see and hear the Lord speaking to him out of heaven. This divine election was a high privilege for himself; but it was not intended to end with him; it was meant to have an influence upon others, yea, upon all men. It is to Paul that Europe owes the gospel at this hour.

It is ours in our measure to be witnesses of that which the Lord has revealed to us, and it is at our peril that we hide the precious revelation. First, we must see and hear, or we shall have nothing to tell; but when we have done so, we must be eager to bear our testimony. It must be personal: “Thou shalt be.” It must be for Christ: “Thou shalt be his witness.” It must be constant and all absorbing; we are to be this above all other things and to the exclusion of many other matters. Our witness must not be to a select few who will cheerfully receive us but to “all men” — to all whom we can reach, young or old, rich or poor, good or bad. We must never be silent like those who are possessed by a dumb spirit; for the text before us is a command, and a promise, and we must not miss it — “Thou shalt be his witness.” “Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord.”

C. H. Spurgeon


CONCLUSION: Beg for the Acceptance of your Prayers for Christ’s Sake

2
We may then beg for the audience and acceptance of our poor weak prayers for Christ’s sake.

Now may the God of Israel grant us the things we have requested of him. 1 Samuel 1:17(ESV)

Let the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, our Rock and our Redeemer. Psalm 19:14(ESV)

Let your eyes be open to the plea of your servants and to the plea of your people Israel, giving ear to them whenever they call to you, for they are your people and your heritage. 1 Kings 8:51-52(ESV)

O our God, let your ears be attentive to the prayers that we have made: O do not turn away the face of your Anointed One; remember your steadfast love for David your servant, 2 Chronicles 6:40-42(ESV) even Jesus, who is at your right hand interceding for us. Romans 8:34(ESV)

Lord, you have assured us that whatever we ask the Father in Christ’s name, you will give it to us. John 16:23(ESV) We ask all these things in that name, that powerful name that is above every name; Philippians 2:9(ESV) that precious name which is as oil poured out. Song of Solomon 1:3(ESV) O make your face to shine upon us, Numbers 6:25(ESV) for the Lord’s sake, Daniel 9:17(ESV) who is the Son of your love, Matthew 17:5(ESV) and whom you always hear. John 11:42(ESV) Good Lord, enable us to hear him, and be well pleased with us in him. Matthew 17:5(ESV)

Matthew Henry’s Method for prayer


 

[1] Osbeck, K. W. (1996). Amazing grace: 366 inspiring hymn stories for daily devotions (p. 51). Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications.

[2] Barry, J. D., & Kruyswijk, R. (2012). Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

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

[4] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 53). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[5] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 53). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

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

[7] Stanley, C. F. (2004). God’s way day by day (p. 49). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[8] Stanley, C. F. (2002). Seeking His face (p. 43). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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

[10] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 43). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[11] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 43). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[12] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 43). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[13] Jeremiah, D. (2007). Life-Changing Moments With God (p. 51). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[14] Jeremiah, D. (2002). Sanctuary: finding moments of refuge in the presence of God (p. 43). Nashville, TN: Integrity Publishers.

[15] Spurgeon, C. H. (1892). Daily Help (p. 45). Baltimore: R. H. Woodward & Company.

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

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

[18] Spurgeon, C. H. (2006). Morning and evening: Daily readings (Complete and unabridged; New modern edition.). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers.

[19] Carson, D. A. (1998). For the love of God: a daily companion for discovering the riches of God’s Word. (Vol. 2, p. 25). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[20] Carson, D. A. (1998). For the love of God: a daily companion for discovering the riches of God’s Word. (Vol. 1). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[21] Spurgeon, C. H. (1964). The Interpreter: Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible (pp. 81–82). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.

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


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Posted in C. H. Spurgeon, Charles Stanley, D. A. Carson, David Jeremiah, Devotional Guide, John MacArthur | 2 Comments

“#BroadwayFiances to become #HillsongHusbands?”

churchwatch central

Hillsong informed Chris Rosebrough last year that Carl Lentz was counselling the #BroadwayFiances, Reed Kelly and Josh Canfield.

“Now when I covered the story earlier last week, I made it clear that I had heard through channels that Carl Lentz had said that they had addressed this and that the pastors of Hillsong were “privately counseling” the couple.” [Source]

Clearly Hillsong think they have done a “fantabulous” job with their private counselling sessions (whatever that means). And it’s great to know that Hillsong senior pastor Brian Houston claims to be a traditional church and does not accept same-sex marriage…

Unless he’s lying again.

Now the #BroadwayFiances have some news to share with the world:

Josh Canfield announces,

Wanted to share this beautiful moment. I was so surprised because I wasn’t expecting a ring until our wedding. #wedding2016#broadwayfiances#survivorlove#tiffanyandco#gaynyc#loveislove#comitted@thereedkelly

proof_Instagram-BroadwayFiance-HillsongHusbands_10-02-2016

Here is the video from the Instagram announcement:

[Click…

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Posted in Postmodern Church/Apostasy, Reblogged Guest Post | 2 Comments

Therefore, having been justified by faith…

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

1 Δικαιωθέντες οὖν ἐκ πίστεως εἰρήνην ἔχομεν πρὸς τὸν θεὸν διὰ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ (Romans 5:1 NA28)

1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:1 translated from the NA28 Greek text)

In this post we will look at Romans 4:13-5:1 which is the application of the theology that Paul presents in Romans 3:20-31, which could be summarized with the statement, “By works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight since through the law come knowledge of sin, but the righteousness of God is manifest through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.”  In this time of “doctrinal indefiniteness” that seems to have overridden most of the “visible church,” we must become determined to define the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ biblically and in no uncertain terms that we truly…

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The Essence of Faith: Neither Obedience Nor Love

The Reformed Reader

The Christian's Reasonable Service, 4 Volumes In Reformed theology when we talk about the essence of justifying faith, we exclude love and obedience.  In other words, justifying faith is passive, outward looking, and receptive: it does not work or earn, but receives a free gift of grace that comes from God in Christ.  Wilhelmus a Brakel says it well when he explains what the essence of justifying faith is not:

First, faith does not consist in love, which is what the papists and the Arminians maintain.  Love is not the essence of faith, for 1) faith and love are two distinct virtues (1 Cor. 13:13).  It is rather obvious that one virtue cannot be the essence of another.  2) Love is the fruit of faith (Gal. 5:6).  Faith does not derive its efficacy from love, but rather faith is efficacious toward the operation of love.  …The result of something cannot be its essence.

Secondly, faith…

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February 9, 2016 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

img_3032


Feb. 9, 2016

BLOOMBERG

President Obama will ask Congress to double funding for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission over the next five years, bolstering two financial regulators that the White House sees as integral to curbing Wall Street excesses.

Global stocks tumbled toward a bear market as measures of financial-market volatility rose amid concern that global growth is stagnating at the same time that promises of additional central-banks stimulus have done little to bolster investor confidence.

More than $7 trillion of government bonds offered yields below zero globally as of Monday, making up about 29 percent of the Bloomberg Global Developed Sovereign Bond Index. The total is poised to swell further after Japan’s 10-year yield went below zero for the first time on record on Tuesday, as central-bank easing policies push borrowing costs to new depths.

The global oil surplus will be bigger than previously estimated in the first half, increasing the risk of further price losses, as OPEC members Iran and Iraq bolster production while demand growth slows. Supply may exceed consumption by an average of 1.75 million barrels a day in the period, compared with an estimate of 1.5 million last month.

Two commuter trains crashed head-on Tuesday morning in southern Germany, killing at least nine people and injuring around 150, slamming into each other on a curve without braking after an automatic safety system apparently failed to stop them.

In November, about two weeks after American Pharoah retired, his 2016 stud fee was set at $200,000, the highest ever for an unproven, first-year stallion. Only one other active stud-a tested, 15-year-old veteran named Tapit-commands that much per successful cover. Tapit’s first-year fee was $15,000; his rate rose to its current $300,000 only after a decade of producing stakes-winning foals.

Kim Jong Un can’t be deterred. The North Korean leader, whose Feb. 7 long-range rocket launch drew condemnation from China, Russia and the U.S., showed again that global criticism and the threat of more sanctions won’t sway him from his ultimate goal: building a missile that can strike the U.S.

AP Top Stories

A Texas legal panel voted on Monday to disbar a former prosecutor for sending an innocent man to death row by presenting tainted testimony and making false statements that undermined the defendant’s alibi.

Authorities in Somalia have released video footage from inside Mogadishu’s airport that they say shows a laptop packed with explosives being handed to a passenger before the mid-air explosion that forced a Daallo Airlines flight to make an emergency landing last week.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan threatened in November to flood Europe with migrants if European Union leaders did not offer him a better deal to help manage the Middle East refugee crisis, a Greek news website said on Monday.

A suburban police chief’s daughter began serving five to 10 months in jail on Monday for a group attack on a gay couple that prompted Philadelphia to add sexual orientation to its hate crime laws.

Sears said Tuesday that it will include, but not be limited to, about 50 stores that the company recently announced it would be shuttering in the next few months.

Consumers owed a total of $936 billion in credit-card and other revolving debt in December, according to Federal Reserve data released on Feb. 5. They’ve added $103 billion since April 2011, but they still have less revolving debt than just before the financial crisis in 2008, when they owed $1.02 trillion.

The day of the $1,500-an-hour lawyer has arrived. Partners at some of the nation’s top law firms are approaching-and, in a few cases, surpassing-that watershed billing rate, making the $1,000-an-hour legal fees that once seemed so steep look quaint by comparison.

BBC

North Korea has restarted a plutonium production reactor that could provide a stockpile for nuclear weapons, US intelligence chief James Clapper said.

The chief executive of Google, Sundar Pichai, has been awarded $199m in shares, a regulatory filing has revealed. It makes him the highest-paid chief executive in the US.

Dozens of migrants in the northern Mexican city of Reynosa managed to escape when a gas explosion ripped through the house where a gang was holding them captive. Five Guatemalan migrants were injured in the blast, two of them seriously. They told officials that they had been abducted a week ago.

A network of hidden caves has helped reveal the lush rainforests that thrived in one of Australia’s harshest deserts between three and five million years ago.

South Africa’s top court is hearing an opposition case that the president must repay some of the $23m of state funds used to renovate his home.

An Indian soldier who was buried in an avalanche that struck the Siachen glacier in Indian-administered Kashmir six days ago has been found alive.

A satellite sent into space by North Korea is in orbit but it is not yet clear whether it is working, South Korea’s defense ministry has said.

WND

Texas hit a major setback on Monday after a federal judge rejected its efforts to block Syrian refugees from resettling in the Lone Star State.

Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi decared a state of emergency over dengue fever, a virus that’s transferred by mosquitoes – and as part of the government response, the local landfill has announced it would start accepting tires. Tires collect water and serve as breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

An unknown hacker on Sunday posted the details of almost 10,000 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) employees online, which he claimed to obtain by hacking the Justice Department.


Top News – 2/9/2016

Setting the News Agenda
Al Jazeera might want to change its motto from “Setting the news agenda” to “Setting the news agenda that protects Muhammad.” An Al Jazeera spokesman told Breitbart London on Monday that editing out criticism of Muhammad in a conversation about censorship was a pure coincidence.

Christians “Should be Eradicated”: Researchers Document Anti-Christian Agenda Among Powerful Elite
The researchers say that while Christianophobia — which the sociologists define as “unreasonable hatred or fear of Christians” — isn’t common among common people, it does characterize those in the upper echelons of American society. It’s intense, too. The book’s title was apparently inspired by elitist interviewees lamenting how there were “so few lions,” referencing the Roman Empire’s practice of throwing Christians into an arena to be slaughtered by the wild cats.

China’s experimental fusion reactor maintains superheated hydrogen plasma for 102 seconds
Wendelstein 7-X made headlines last week after generating a quarter-of-a-second pulse of hydrogen plasma, and now scientists at China’s Institute of Physical Science have flexed their fusion muscle to sustain the gas for an impressive 102 seconds.

More evidence emerges for ‘transmissible Alzheimer’s’ theory
Autopsies reveal plaques in the brains of people who died after receiving grafts from cadavers.

Breaking: First-ever Malaria Parasite Found in Whitetail Deer
According to a press release from UVM, a malaria parasite called Plasmodium odocoilei was found in whitetail deer, and these were not isolated cases. Researchers believe the parasite is actually incredibly widespread and is estimated to be present in roughly 25 percent of all whitetail deer on the East Coast.

Lyme disease: CDC discovers new cause, new symptoms for life-threatening disease
“The new bacteria is related to a strain that has long been linked to the disease and was thought to be the only cause of lyme in the U.S. Researchers came across the new bacteria after lab tests from six people with suspected Lyme came back unusual. The bacteria was genetically distinct from the usual suspect.”

Dragon + Bear: China seeks Russia’s help in mastering Arctic, sets sights on Antarctic
China wants to further explore the Antarctic and Arctic, according to the Chinese State Oceanic Administration. Deep-sea mining and deep-sea space stations are on the agenda, while Beijing wants to arrange a joint Arctic expedition with Russia.

MINOR CME IMPACT POSSIBLE TODAY
NOAA forecasters estimate a 40% chance of minor geomagnetic storms today, Feb. 9th, when a CME could deliver a glancing blow to Earth’s magetic field.

5.7-magnitude earthquake felt in New Zealand capital
New Zealand’s capital city Wellington was rocked by 5.7-magnitude earthquake on Tuesday (Feb 9), according to the country’s earthquake monitoring service. The quake’s epicentre was 35km southeast of St Arnaud, a small town in the north of the country’s South Island, at a depth of 62km, according to Geonet’s website.

Report: Bloomberg confirms he is considering 2016 presidential run
Bloomberg, a billionaire media magnate who served three terms as New York mayor, said for the first time that he was seriously thinking about throwing his hat in the ring in an interview with the Financial Times published on its website Monday evening, hours before the first U.S. primary election in New Hampshire.

Arabs responsible for 59% of all murders in Israel
According to the statistics that the police have, 21 percent of the Israeli population is Arab, however their involvement in criminal activities stands at 59 percent, which is an unprecedented statistic,” he said.

The Islamic Rape and Murder of Christian Boys
A group of Muslim men recently went into a Christian district in Pakistan, abducted a 7-year-old boy, and took turns gang raping him before finally strangling him to death with a rope. Locals found the child’s body dumped in a field the next day:

Massive earthquake hits near Papua New Guinea island of Bougainville
A 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit near the Papua New Guinea island of Bougainville early on Tuesday morning. The undersea quake struck at 3.19am local time (5.19am NZ time), at a depth of 30.6 kilometres, the US Geological Survey said.

Zika prompts urgent debate about abortion in Latin America
Across Latin America, calls to loosen some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the world in the face of the Zika virus outbreak are gaining momentum but encountering strong and entrenched opposition. In El Salvador, where abortions are banned under any circumstance, the health minister has argued for a revision of the law because of the dangers the virus poses to fetal development.

Americans are ‘being betrayed by their own president’
The Obama administration is ordering Border Patrol agents to release illegal immigrants without making them appear in court or keeping track of their whereabouts, and it’s also dramatically rolling back aerial surveillance along the southern border, leading a senior congressman to suggest the public is unaware it is being “betrayed” by its commander in chief.

More than 1 million are besieged in Syria, new report says
NEW YORK — More than one million Syrians are trapped in besieged areas, a new report says in a challenge to the United Nations, which estimates just half that amount and has been accused by some aid groups of underplaying a crisis.

Iraqi woman charged with role in Kayla Mueller’s death
WASHINGTON — The wife of a senior Islamic State leader who was killed in a U.S. raid last year has been charged in federal court with holding American Kayla Mueller hostage and with contributing to the aid worker’s death, the Justice Department said Monday.

Russians Arrest 7 in Alleged ISIS-Related Terror Plot
Russian security services have arrested seven people accused of plotting terror attacks on behalf of the Islamic State in major Russian cities, the country’s FSB intelligence agency said today. The arrests were made in the city of Ekaterinburg, located in the Urals region on the edge of Siberia, the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation said in a written statement.

Zika Virus Outbreak Prompts CDC to Activate Highest Emergency Ops Level
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Emergency Operations Center has been moved to Level 1, the agency’s highest level, due to the risk of Zika virus transmission in the U.S., officials said today. The Level 1 activation is “reflecting the agency’s assessment of the need for an accelerated preparedness to bring together experts to focus intently and work efficiently in anticipation of local Zika virus transmission by mosquitoes,” the agency said in a statement.

Suspected Bomb Hand-Off Caught on Camera Before Ill-Fated Flight
Authorities in Somalia have released video footage from inside Mogadishu’s airport that they say shows a laptop packed with explosives being handed to a passenger before the mid-air explosion that forced a Daallo Airlines flight to make an emergency landing last week.

TED CRUZ, COMMON CORE, HOMESCHOOLING AND HIS PROPOSED S-306 BILL
His Scary Federal Education “Choice” as a Civil Right, His Fake Repeal of Common Core, and His Phony Support of Homeschools Revealed. Ted Cruz forces Common Core onto every private, religious, and homeschool in his proposed S 306 with Federal Choice (which is NO choice at all). Explaining the Disastrous Impact of Ted Cruz’s S 306 and His Federal Choice. Sen. Ted Cruz redefines a homeschool as a private school, thereby forcing homeschooled children to come under the federal Title I net which mandates Common Core.

Saudi offer to send troops to Syria comes with uncertainty
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Saudi Arabia’s offer to send troops to fight Islamic State in Syria is as much about the kingdom’s growing determination to flex its military might as it is about answering U.S. calls for more help from its allies in the Middle East.

ISIS: The Latest Phase of the Jihad
The best way to understand the Islamic State (ISIS) is to see it as the next phase of al-Qaeda. All Sunni Islamic jihadi groups—Boko Haram, ISIS, Taliban, al-Shabaab, al-Qaeda, even Hamas—share the same motivations based on a literal and orthodox reading of Islamic history and doctrine: resurrecting a caliphate (which existed in various forms from 632 to 1924) that implements and spreads the totality of sharia, or Islamic law.

Liberty Counsel Moves to Dismiss a Suit to Silence Pro-Life Sidewalk Counselor
Washington, DC – Liberty Counsel filed a motion over the weekend to dismiss a legal complaint from Two Rivers Public Charter School against veteran pro-life advocate Larry Cirignano for his peaceful, lawful, constitutionally protected speech for unborn children.

Ted Cruz needs an intervention
It is no disgrace to lose a presidential primary. Many distinguished people have run for president, and the vast majority of them have lost, many of them badly. Howard Baker, Jack Kemp, George H.W. Bush (1980) and Ronald Reagan (1976) all lost a run for the presidency; some never made it. Sometimes a candidate is not ready, and sometimes the electorate is not ready to hear the message (e.g., Reagan in ’76). But it is quite another thing to lose because you, throughout your life, have been hated if not uniformly, then widely and passionately.

Russian firepower helps Syrian forces edge toward Turkey border
The Syrian army advanced toward the Turkish border on Monday in a major offensive backed by Russia and Iran that rebels say now threatens the future of their nearly five-year-old insurrection against President Bashar al-Assad.

North Korea rocket launch may spur U.S. missile defense buildup in Asia
North Korea’s latest rocket launch might kick off a buildup of U.S. missile defense systems in Asia, U.S. officials and missile defense experts said, something that could further strain U.S.-China ties and also hurt relations between Beijing and Seoul.

Canada to end bombing missions in Iraq and Syria
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Monday Canada would pull out six jets that have been bombing targets in Iraq and Syria, ending a controversial combat role in the fight against Islamic State.

Iraqi woman charged with role in Kayla Mueller’s death
The wife of a senior Islamic State leader who was killed in a U.S. raid last year has been charged in federal court with holding American Kayla Mueller hostage and with contributing to the aid worker’s death, the Justice Department said Monday.


Top Headlines – 2/9/2016

Herzog calls to unilaterally divide Israel to avoid ‘Israestine’

Rivlin: Peace with Palestinians seems impossible right now

Israel: Palestinians using UN chief’s words to justify terror

Cabinet sparring over Israeli action against Gaza tunnel threat

Ya’alon slams ‘childish’ Bennett for demanding IDF attack on Hamas tunnels

Red Cross in Gaza closes office due to violent Palestinian protests

Hamas denies Israeli charge Gaza treating ISIS terrorists

Border Police thwart stabbing attack at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem

Radio host compares IDF soldiers to terrorists, sparks furor

‘If Israel wasn’t occupying West Bank, Palestinian kids wouldn’t need to kill Jews’

Khamenei slams US support for ‘child-killing zionists’

Iran: We still fund Hamas, because fighting Israel is our policy

Israel takes first step to pass contentious NGO law

Coalition rebel Oren: NGO bill downgrades Israeli democracy in world’s eyes

Gas from Israel’s Leviathan could reach markets by late 2019

Israel criticizes North Korean rocket launch

Pentagon confirms North Korea launched satellite into orbit

North Korea satellite ‘tumbling in orbit,’ U.S. official says

US hopes to send anti-missile system to South Korea ‘as quickly as possible’

Egypt Begins Rebuilding Christian Churches Destroyed Under Muslim Brotherhood

Iraqi Government Says It Fully Recaptured Ramadi From IS

The Latest: UN fears mass exodus from Syrian city of Aleppo

Russian airstrikes displace 40,000 in Syria’s Aleppo: Sources

Russian troops put on high alert as part of massive drills

Russian firepower helps Syrian forces edge toward Turkey border

Merkel Voices ‘Outrage’ Over Syrian Offensive and Russian Airstrikes

Russia rejects Merkel’s criticism: No evidence of civilian deaths in our Syria bombings

EU’s Tusk says Russian bombings make situation in Syria even worse

Saudi offer to send troops to Syria comes with uncertainty

In Syria, war crimes don’t take sides, U.N. report says

Suicide blast at Damascus police club kills several – interior ministry

U.S. defense intelligence chief predicts increased ISIS attacks

Google will begin showing anti-ISIS ads to counter terrorism

Russians Arrest 7 in Alleged ISIS-Related Terror Plot

Syrian government, terrorists engaging in prisoner ‘extermination,’ UN finds

Bomb scare forces London Stratford shopping center into lockdown

Somalia plane bomber was meant to board Turkish flight: airline executive

‘Somalia plane bomber given bomb in laptop’ on CCTV

Iraqi woman charged with role in Kayla Mueller’s death

More than 1 million are besieged in Syria, new report says

30,000 Syrian refugees mass at Turkish border: Turkey PM

UN refugee agency urges Turkey to open borders to Syrians

Protests Grow Against Greek Plans to Build Migrant Camps

Senate report: Illegal immigrants benefited from up to $750M in ObamaCare subsidies

California grants driver’s licenses to 605,000 undocumented

Beyonce turns Super Bowl halftime into Black Panthers, Black Lives Matter, Malcom X rallying cry

Protesters and Police Clash at Lunar New Year Festivities in Hong Kong

In Tehran, Tsipras says he hopes Greece will be Iran-EU bridge

Why a selloff in European banks is ominous

Russia shuts down two more banks

How Europe’s Banks Got Hit by a Perfect Storm in Five Charts

Banking shares plummet on economic slowdown fears

European Stocks Tumble as Greek Shares Fall to Lowest Since 1990

Global stocks hit the rocks after Asian markets slump

Stocks trim losses, Dow halves 400-point dive

Fed May Lack Legal Authority for Negative Rates: 2010 Memo

IEA Warns Oil Prices Could Fall – Energy Journal

Here Comes the ‘Cashless Society’

Obama seeks over one-third rise in US cyber security funding

US Internet control ‘will expire September 30’

Facebook Ordered To Stop Tracking Non-Users In France

FBI formally confirms its investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email server

Company tracked Iowa caucusgoers’ phones

Virtual Reality Used to Conquer Fear of Public Speaking

An icky new hero: Roach-like robots may help in disasters

An asteroid is about to pass so close to Earth that we’ll see it in the sky

Asteroid Threats To Earth Continue Well After 2013 TX68 Passes Our Home Planet

6.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Panguna, Papua New Guinea

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits the Northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits the Northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Neiafu, Tonga

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Semisopochnoi Island, Alaska

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Bristol Island, South Sandwich Islands

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Masachapa, Nicaragua

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits the Northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge

Study offers link between California earthquakes, injection

Earth changes intensifying: Volcanoes across the globe go ballistic as 2016 arrives

Zhupanovsky volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 22,000ft

Colima volcano in Mexico erupts to 17,000ft

Santa Maria volcano in Guatemala erupts to 17,000ft

Sheveluch volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 17,000ft

Karymsky volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 15,000ft

Turrialba volcano in Costa Rica erupts to 12,000ft

Copahue volcano in Argentina erupts to 12,000ft

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 12,000ft

Tengger Caldera volcano in Indonesia erupts to 10,000ft

Cruise ship tossed in hurricane-force storm turning around, officials say

Record number of shark attacks on humans in 2015

Hawaii’s Big Island declares emergency over dengue fever infections

Lyme disease just got nastier

A New Bacteria Causing Lyme Disease Discovered – Borrelia mayonii

Obama seeks $1.8B to combat Zika, despite proposing agency cuts in 2011

Zika Virus Outbreak Prompts CDC to Activate Highest Emergency Ops Level

Colombia: 3,177 Pregnant Women With Zika; No Microcephaly

Replace female genital mutilation with new rites of passage, says U.N. chief

Gay Voter to Marco Rubio: ‘Why Do You Want to Put Me Back in the Closet?’

NASA bans the word ‘Jesus’

Mike Jones: Peeping Tom Pastor Sentenced to 2 Years in Prison

What’s Wrong With ‘The Passion’ Translation

Lance Wallnau’s Prophetic Super Bowl Analysis

Catholic Author Raises Two Million to Get Souls Out of Purgatory

Abortion Doc Defends Abortions: “My Christianity Leads Me to a Place of Non-Judgment”

Israel: Archaeologists Uncover Inscriptions in Jesus’ Language

Atheist Alternative to Air Force Basic Training Church Gatherings Hits Record Attendance

Idaho: Pediatrics Group Backs Changing ‘Faith-Healing’ Exemption

A Peek Behind Belgiums Euthanasia Curtain


The Briefing 

1) Rise of socialism’s popularity on the Left reveals many unaware of historical failures

How Democrats’ Shift to the Left Is Helping Bernie Sanders, Wall Street Journal (Laura Meckler and Richard Rubin)

Why Socialism Isn’t A Bugaboo For Millennials, Investor’s Business Daily (Catherine Rampell)

2) Clash of worldviews on the Left puts Hollywood and young voters at odds with feminists

Hollywood Enthusiasm, If Not Money, Flows to Bernie Sanders, Wall Street Journal (Erich Schwartzel and John R. Emshwiller)

Gloria Steinem and Madeleine Albright Rebuke Young Women Backing Bernie Sanders, New York Times (Alan Rappeport)

3) Global unrest has direct impact on 2016 presidential race in candidacy of Rand Paul

The Reinventions of Rand Paul, Time (Michael Sherer)
In other news…

My Secret Life as a Forbidden Second Child in China, Foreign Policy (Karoline Kan)

Michael Bloomberg Confirms He Is Weighing an Independent Run for President, New York Times (Alexander Burns)

‘Massive and systemetized violence:’ The UN released a horrifying report on Assad’s human-rights abuses, Business Insider (Armin Rosen)

The Evangelical Roots of American Economics, Atlantic (Bradley W. Bateman)

I’m an Atheist. So Why Can’t I Shake God?, Washington Post (Elizabeth King)


Frontrunning: February 09

  • Investors dump stocks (Read More)
  • Global Bond Rally Near `Panic’ Level With Japan Yield Below Zero (Read More)
  • Global Growth Fears Hit Bank Stocks (Read More)
  • GOP Race for Second in New Hampshire Intensifies (Read More)
  • N.H. Primary: Where Each 2016 Candidate Needs to Place to Build Momentum (Read More)
  • ‘Risk parity’ strategy shows strain (Read More)
  • U.N. fears for hundreds of thousands if Syria troops encircle Aleppo (Read More)
  • World’s Negative-Yielding Bond Pile Tops $7 Trillion (Read More)
  • Nine dead, more than 100 hurt in train crash near Bavarian spa town (Read More)
  • Central Banks Make Global Economy Vulnerable, OECD’s White Says (Read More)
  • Rubio needs strong New Hampshire showing to rebut debate critics (Read More)
  • Hong Kong Police Clash With Rioters in Shopping District (Read More)
  • Wagers on technology and banks are now costing some investors (Read More)
  • Americans Can’t Help Themselves From Borrowing More on Credit Cards (Read More)

World War III Starts In The Middle East? Saudi Arabia And Turkey Consider A Ground Invasion Of Syria

Skull War - Public DomainAre Saudi Arabia and Turkey about to send ground troops into Syria?  If so, how will Russia, Iran and the Syrian government respond?  In 2016, Syria has become ground zero for a conflict that has been raging for centuries.  For more than a thousand years, the Sunnis and the Shiites have been wrestling with one another for control of the Middle East.  Saudi Arabia, Turkey and other Sunni nations had hoped to turn Syria into a Sunni nation, and for years they have been funding and arming ISIS and other Sunni insurgent groups in an attempt to overthrow the Assad regime.  Initially the Assad regime was losing quite a bit of ground, but the tide turned once the Syrians invited the Russians and the Iranians to help them.  Of course the Iranians have their own long-term goals.  Once Assad leaves power, the Iranians hope to turn Syria into a truly Shiite nation that is run and dominated by Hezbollah.  At this moment, the Sunnis and losing and the Shiites are winning.  Relentless Russian airstrikes have enabled Syrian, Iranian and Hezbollah ground forces to advance, and now they have surrounded Aleppo.  Before the war Aleppo was the largest city in Syria, and if it falls, the war will be very close to over. (Read More…)


Day Of Reckoning: The Collapse Of The Too Big To Fail Banks In Europe Is Here

Europe Lightning - Public DomainThere is so much chaos going on that I don’t even know where to start.  For a very long time I have been warning my readers that a major banking collapse was coming to Europe, and now it is finally unfolding.  Let’s start with Deutsche Bank.  The stock of the most important bank in the “strongest economy in Europe” plunged another 8 percent on Monday, and it is now hovering just above the all-time record low that was set during the last financial crisis.  Overall, the stock price is now down a staggering 36 percent since 2016 began, and Deutsche Bank credit default swaps are going parabolic.  Of course my readers were alerted to major problems at Deutsche Bank all the way back in September, and now the endgame is playing out.  In addition to Deutsche Bank, the list of other “too big to fail” banks in Europe that appear to be in very serious trouble includes Commerzbank, Credit Suisse, HSBC and BNP Paribas.  Just about every major bank in Italy could fall on that list as well, and Greek bank stocks lost close to a quarter of their value on Monday alone.  Financial Armageddon has come to Europe, and the entire planet is going to feel the pain. (Read More….)


Dot-Com Bubble 2.0 Is Bursting: Tech Stocks Are Already Down Half A Trillion Dollars Since Mid-2015

Tech Bubble 2.0Do you remember how much stocks went down when the first dot-com bubble burst?  Well, it is happening again, and tech stocks are already down more than half a trillion dollars since the middle of 2015.  On Friday, the tech-heavy Nasdaq dropped to its lowest level in more than 15 months, and it has now fallen more than 16 percent from the peak of the market.  But of course some of the biggest names have fallen much more than that.  Netflix is down 37 percent, Yahoo is down 39 percent, LinkedIn is down 60 percent, and Twitter is down more than 70 percent.  If you go back through my previous articles, you will find that I specifically warned about Twitter again and again.  Irrational financial bubbles like this always burst eventually, and many investors that got in at the very top are now losing extraordinary amounts of money. (Read More….)


 

Kim Jong-Un And North Korea Quietly Putting Global Weapons Arsenal Into Place

The new satellite passed almost right over Levi’s Stadium about an hour after the Super Bowl ended.

Go ahead and keep laughing at Kim Jong-Un and North Korea, that’s exactly how they want it. Focus on his wacky haircut in the same way our parents and grandparents laughed at Hitler’s “funny, little moustache“. Did you know that North Korea had a satellite circling over the Super Bowl on Sunday? Yeah, keep laughing.

Whatever motives Pyongyang may have about using its rocket launches to develop nuclear-tipped long-range missiles, it now has two satellites circling the Earth, according to NORAD, the North American Aerospace Command, which monitors all satellites in orbit.

Both of the Kwangmyongsong, or “Shining Star,” satellites complete their orbits in about 94 minutes and based on data released by international organizations tracking them, the new one passed almost right over Levi’s Stadium about an hour after the Super Bowl ended.

U.N. Security Council condemns North Korean rocket launch

At an emergency meeting Sunday, members of the U.N. Security Council “strongly condemned” the rocket launch by North Korea and reaffirmed that “a clear threat to international peace and security continues to exist, especially in the context of the nuclear test.”

Security Council members have previously threatened “further significant measures” if there was another North Korean launch and now will “adopt expeditiously a new Security Council resolution with such measures in response to these dangerous and serious violations,” according to a statement read by Venezuela’s ambassador to the United Nations after the meeting.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the launch is “deeply deplorable” and in violation of Security Council resolutions “despite the united plea of the international community against such an act.


Daily Digest

February 9, 2016

THE FOUNDATION

“Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual — or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.” —Samuel Adams, 1781

TOP RIGHT HOOKS

New Hampshire Primary: The Race to Second Place

2016-02-09-69a972d2_large.jpg

If the fickle polls ahead of the New Hampshire primary are any indicator, then Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders will walk away winners. The question then becomes: Did the two win big enough? According to Real Clear Politics, Trump has a 17-point lead. But if the ultimate poll — the vote itself — shows a more lackluster support from living, breathing voters, then Trump faces a rocky road as he didn’t meet “yuge” expectations.

For the rest of the GOP field, the race has come down to who can finish with a strong second. The polls place Marco Rubio, John Kasich, Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush in a dead heat. Rubio’s strong third-place finish in last week’s Iowa caucus raised his profile, but that surge was perhaps tempered during Saturday’s debate performance that involved scripted talking points in response to scripted talking points from Chris Christie.

Furthermore, New Hampshire primary goers are much more moderate than those in Iowa. The Granite State could be where the establishment strikes back. Kasich — the GOP candidate who told a voter he’s “the right temperature” between Clinton and Sanders — has placed a strong New Hampshire performance at the cornerstone of his campaign strategy. Whatever the returns may be tonight, we expect some of the GOP candidates to pack their bags and drop from the race as the field becomes further defined.

Meanwhile in the Democrat primary, Hillary Clinton is trying to limit the damage from Sanders’ expected win, but she faces problems from outside and within her campaign. Inside Clinton campaign headquarters, the “inevitable” candidate has been criticizing her campaign staff, dissatisfied with how her campaign communicates her message. (We sympathize: It’s hard to keep the lies straight.) Leaving New Hampshire, she’s reportedly planning to restructure her operation. Looming on the horizon, the FBI finally officially acknowledged that it is investigating Clinton’s homebrew email server. If charges are eventually brought, then Clinton’s New Hampshire results won’t matter.

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Clinton’s XX Chromosome Voter Mandate

Hillary Clinton is a female. This just in, we know. But it appears she thinks flaunting her status as a victim of the war on women might be her golden ticket to the Democrat nomination. During last Thursday’s Democrat debate, Clinton said, “Senator Sanders is the only person who I think would characterize me — a woman running to be the first woman president — as exemplifying the establishment.” She can’t be establishment; she’s a woman. Never mind her two and a half decades in Washington.

And she’s working that line of attack on Sanders, even deploying Bill Clinton to defend her womanhood. Bill spoke of a Hillary-supporting blogger who writes pseudonymously because she has been “subject to vicious trolling and attacks that are literally too profane often, not to mention sexist, to repeat.” Welcome to the Internet. And yes, Bill Clinton, who has been credibly accused of rape, is worried about someone being sexist.

Meanwhile, feminist icon Gloria Steinem mused, “When you’re young, you’re thinking: ‘Where are the boys?’ The boys are with Bernie.” Isn’t that, well, sexist?

On top of that, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright declared, “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other!” The implication, we suppose, is that people with two X chromosomes must vote for Hillary Clinton, or risk hellfire and damnation. When asked about that on Sunday morning TV, Hillary immediately began her grating and awkward laughter.

In any case, Clinton’s record speaks for itself, and even were she a man, she’d be unfit for command.

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Obama Ordered Cleansing of DHS Terrorist Connections

In 2009, an Islamist planned to kill 290 civilians on a Christmas Day flight from Europe to Detroit. Fortunately, the bomb material concealed in Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s underwear failed to detonate after alert passengers subdued and detained him. At that time, Obama condemned the intelligence community, declaring, “This was not a failure to collect intelligence, it was a failure to integrate and understand the intelligence that we already had.” In the latest report from DHS whistleblower Philip Haney, just before the “underwear bomber” incident, he was “ordered by my superiors at the Department of Homeland Security to delete or modify several hundred records of individuals tied to designated Islamist terror groups like Hamas from the important federal database, the Treasury Enforcement Communications System (TECS). These types of records are the basis for any ability to ‘connect dots’. … Even worse, going forward, my colleagues and I were prohibited from entering pertinent information into the database. … [T]he type of information that the Obama administration ordered removed from travel and national security databases was the kind of information that, if properly assessed, could have prevented subsequent domestic Islamist attacks like the ones committed by Faisal Shahzad (May 2010), Detroit ‘honor killing’ perpetrator Rahim A. Alfetlawi (2011); Amine El Khalifi, who plotted to blow up the U.S. Capitol (2012); Dzhokhar or Tamerlan Tsarnaev who conducted the Boston Marathon bombing (2013); Oklahoma beheading suspect Alton Nolen (2014); or the Muhammed Yusuf Abdulazeez attack (2015) killing five military personnel in Chattanooga Tennessee.”

Haney also notes the 2015 San Bernardino attack, killing 14 and severely wounding 22 others, could have been thwarted had intelligence not been scrubbed.

This politically correct “cleansing” of references to Islamic terrorist ties from critical national security databases is not only reckless, but is reminiscent of the last Democrat president’s obsession with keeping up PC appearances. In 1998, almost three years prior to the devastating 9/11 attack on our nation, then-Demo chief Bill Clinton, who had already declined to capture Osama bin Laden twice — and kill him twice — also refused an FBI field agent’s efforts to open a case file on Arab nationals who were, curiously, training to fly commercial aircraft, but not training for takeoffs or landings. The stated reason for the case file denial was to avoid the appearance of any presumption of religious bias against Muslims.

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FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

A Chance to Defeat the ‘Assault Weapon’ Deception

By Paul Albaugh

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Despite Barack Obama and the Left’s continued assault on the Second Amendment, gun rights advocates (a.k.a. those who cling to their guns) received some welcome news. And it’s the kind of news that is certain to put many Democrats and those who hate the freedom to defend all other freedoms into panic mode.

We previously noted that the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the state of Maryland’s “assault weapons” ban, which had in effect prohibited some semiautomatic rifles and so-called high-capacity (read: standard-capacity) magazines. Following a 2-1 decision, the Appeals Court sent the case back to the U.S. District Court with instructions to apply “strict scrutiny.”

If the U.S. District Court follows those instructions, then it will almost certainly have to delve into the meaning of the term “assault weapon” and what constitutes a firearm being in “common use,” per previous Supreme Court rulings. This is what has anti-gun groups in a state of fear; that the truth about assault weapons may be exposed.

For starters, the term “assault weapon” is often confused with the term “assault rifle.” Prior to 1989, the term “assault weapon” was unheard of, but anti-gun publicists started using the term to expand the category of “assault rifles.” For the most part, they succeeded in lying to the American public in order to scare them. Who would need an “assault weapon,” after all?

An assault rifle is a firearm that has the capability of firing fully automatic, or in other words by holding the trigger, it will continue to fire. Machine guns and the military’s M4A1 carbine (which can fire a three-round “burst”) fall into this category and are severely limited for being sold to the public — as in next to no one owns them. So-called “assault weapons” are not fully automatic; they are semiautomatic. That means only one round can be fired each time the trigger is pulled. The AR-15, pistols, revolvers and most hunting and sport rifles fall into this category, and all are popular among the public.

Following more than a decade of deceiving the American public that “assault weapons” were the same as assault rifles, the first Federal Assault Weapons Ban (AWB) was introduced in Congress in 1993. But in order to ban these, legislators had to define them and they came up with “semi-automatic firearms that shared too many cosmetic features with their fully automatic counterparts.” The perception that a firearm was fully automatic was the key.

(One of the more infamously funny episodes in explaining these cosmetic features was Rep. Carolyn McCarthy’s (D-NY) claim that a barrel shroud is the “shoulder thing that goes up.”)

On Sept. 13, 1994, the federal ban went into effect. Fortunately, Republicans in Congress forced the inclusion of a sunset provision for the ban to expire, and, 10 years later, a Republican Congress declined to renew the ban.

In 2011, there were 8,583 murders by criminals using guns, yet FBI data for that year shows that 323 murders were committed with rifles of any kind. Nearly 500 murders were committed with hammers and clubs, while another 1,700 were committed with knives. Yet the gun-hating Left would have us believe that semiautomatic rifles should be banned. Their logic is outright incomprehensible, though the emotional appeal has deceived many Americans into believing that those evil black rifles must be taken away.

The question that leftist gun grabbers refuse to answer is what part of “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” is not understood? They don’t ever answer this question because, for them, it’s not about your rights, it’s about the government’s control.

So we can rejoice that in Maryland, there was a legal victory for Rule of Law and Liberty. In part that’s because the victory creates an appeals court split, which could ensure the Supreme Court takes on the issue. Therefore, this year’s election is all the more important, as we determine who will choose the justices to fill any vacancies. Should the High Court decide to hear the case and reach a decision, it will most likely be a narrow one — though we certainly hope it will be in favor of the truth and ultimately Liberty.

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MORE ORIGINAL PERSPECTIVE

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

For more, visit Right Opinion.

TOP HEADLINES

For more, visit Patriot Headline Report

OPINION IN BRIEF

Tony Perkins: “Like Governors Jeb Bush (R-Fla.) and Chris Christie (R-N.J.), [Marco] Rubio has no problem with ordering our daughters to the front lines — a fundamental departure from the Western worldview shaped largely by Christianity, which recognizes the unique roles of the sexes. … Here’s the underlying problem the GOP candidates are exposing in their rush to embrace a female draft: they’re making it clear that they lack the motivation and courage necessary to undo the damage done to the military under Obama. After seven years of sexual experimentation with the ranks, the next president is already inheriting a mess of morale and dysfunction. Under normal circumstances, we may be able to get away with electing a typical Republican who merely slows down the military’s demise. But these are not normal circumstances. The very survival our republic is in question. And we must have a bold leader who is not afraid to swim against the political currents.”

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SHORT CUTS

Insight: “Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a law breaker, it breeds contempt for the law.” —Justice Louis D. Brandeis (1856-1941)

Upright: “There’s not a single Republican in this field who would, by virtue of inexperience, make the mistakes Obama is making, because Obama is not making mistakes. Obama has an agenda. I think the real important question here to ask and answer is why won’t anybody but Rubio and Cruz say it?” —Rush Limbaugh

Belly laugh of the week: “Republicans are running more ads against me than they run against each other. … Because they are afraid of me. They know that I will be a president who, yes, I will listen to people, but I will stand my ground and I know how to get things done. That’s the last thing these guys want to see again.” —Hillary Clinton

A promise she just might keep: “Yes, let’s fix the VA, but we will never let it be privatized, and that is a promise.” —Hillary Clinton

That’s not the point: “The secretary of state was not personally responsible [for Benghazi] because no secretary of state had ever overseen the details of security operations, even Colin Powell, who was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.” —Bill Clinton

Honesty? “Sometimes, when I’m at a rally, on a stage like this, I wish we weren’t married. Then I could say what I really think.” —Bill Clinton, who has probably frequently wished they weren’t married

Wrong prescription: “The ideal situation would be to overturn [Citizens United] that allows for … unregulated money for the independent and regulated for the campaign.” —Jeb Bush

Late-night humor: “At the debate, Hillary Clinton addressed the controversy of her personal email server and said she has ‘no concerns about it whatsoever.’ Democrats were like, ‘Yeah, that’s what concerns us.'” —Jimmy Fallon

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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis!
Managing Editor Nate Jackson

Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.

“The Patriot Post (http://patriotpost.us/subscribe/ )”


Big Banks Trash Gold While Buying It with Both Hands

There are currently some huge contradictions in the gold and silver markets: While the majority of gold/silver investors and most analysts and Wall Street advisors remain incredibly bearish on the metals, demand for physical metals began to turn very strong in July and August. The first (and perhaps most important) development now taking place in precious metals markets is a surge in demand for bullion coins, bars, and rounds. The US Mint suspended sales of Silver Eagles for most of July because it couldn’t keep up with demand. The Mint’s sales of Gold Eagles in July reached their highest monthly total in more than two years. (Sales of Gold Eagles went from 21,500 in May to 76,000 in June, to 143,500 in July.) Much of this demand is believed to come from first time buyers.

The Royal Canadian Mint had such demand for silver coins that they had to halt sales in July.

Australia’s Perth Mint reports its inventories are being cleared out by surging demand, especially from Asia“Everything we get in is going straight out the door as soon as we refine it,” said Perth Mint Treasurer Nigel Moffatt in a Bloomberg interview. Private mints are swamped as well, pushing out delivery for weeks while scrambling to obtain raw silver for minting so they can keep the manufacturing process running at full tilt. The various mints say they are seeing the greatest demand for silver coins, rounds, and bars, and for gold coins that they have seen since 2008.

While giant financial institutions such as Goldman Sachs and HSBC are advising the public NOT to buy gold, they are aggressively buying gold bullion. On August 6, Goldman Sachs took delivery of 3.2 tons of physical gold. The same day, HSBC took delivery of 3.9 tons. Central banks are also doubling and tripling their gold bullion purchases. Goldman and HSBC are buying either for themselves or for some very large clients while they are publicly trashing gold while the price is low. Is this just for a trading profit, or do they smell a major financial crisis coming?

(Excerpt from McAlvany Intelligence Advisor, September 2015)


Pope believes Putin is the man to help Christians around the world

Pope believes Putin is the man to help Christians around the world

Posted on February 9, 2016 by Tru News

Pope Francis believes Russian President Vladimir Putin can help Christians around the world. The pope and Russian Patriarch Kirill planned a last minute meeting, which is set for Friday.

Read Full Article »


FBI admits it is investigating Hillary Clinton

FBI admits it is investigating Hillary Clinton

Posted on February 9, 2016 by Tru News

The FBI has declared formally that it is investigating Hillary Clinton and her use of a private email server. Several months ago the State Department asked the FBI if it was probing Clinton and the agency declined to confirm it.

Read Full Article »


What is the Best Way to Protect Yourself against False Teaching?

What is the Best Way to Protect Yourself against False Teaching?

Posted on February 8, 2016 by Crosswalk

But while counterfeits may change, Scripture stays the same.

Read Full Article »


Turkey may next to enter war in Syria, sparking conflict with Russia

Turkey may next to enter war in Syria, sparking conflict with Russia

Posted on February 8, 2016 by Tru News

Turkey may be gearing up for battle in Syria. President Tayyip Erdogen said over the weekend that his country could enter the war to fight with forces against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Read Full Article »


Very few Syrian Christian refugees being admitted to U.S.

Very few Syrian Christian refugees being admitted to U.S.

Posted on February 8, 2016 by Tru News

Syrian refugees coming to the U.S. has increased since the November terror attack in Paris, but only .3 percent are Christian. Of 573 migrants admitted, only 2 are Christians

Read Full Article »


Does the Bible really say we’re not to judge?

By Marsha West Some professing Christians become infuriated when a “watchblogger” has the chutzpah to report on a false teacher by name, as if naming names is unbiblical. High-profile leaders and bloggers who mention heretics by name are often accused of demonizing or judging them. For example, when I expose Rick Warren’s latest effort to […]

The post Does the Bible really say we’re not to judge? appeared first on Berean Research.


Perceptions of Kay Arthur and Precept Ministries International

Bible study author, speaker and blogger Michelle Lesley has done a stellar job of delving into the teaching of conservative evangelical Kay Arthur, who is held up as a “great Bible teacher.” Michelle begins with this clarification: I want to be clear from the outset of this article that, while I regret that I cannot […]

The post Perceptions of Kay Arthur and Precept Ministries International appeared first on Berean Research.


Rob Bell, Aaron Rodgers and “How To Be Here”

Rob Bell’s new book, How to Be Here: A Guide to Creating a Life Worth Living, is going to hit the bookstores soon. And Rob will start a multi-city tour. And do the Oprah thing. The doctrine-denying author’s latest book promises yet another round of worldly, self-focused fulfillment. Not in Christ, but in, you know, […]

The post Rob Bell, Aaron Rodgers and “How To Be Here” appeared first on Berean Research.


Christian Clichés: The Hedge of Protection

“The popular cliché has managed to develop a mystical quality of cosmic proportions,” says Cameron Buettel of Grace to You.    According to Buettel, God may put up a “hedge of protection” but He may also remove it, as he did in Job’s case in order to put his faith to the test. “When He […]

The post Christian Clichés: The Hedge of Protection appeared first on Berean Research.


This is why Christianity is on the ropes

If Christians would read their bibles it would clear up a lot of deception, says Bill Muehlenberg of Culture Watch.  In this piece Muehlenberg addresses sexual sin and the lengths professing Christians will go to justified having sex outside of marriage. He points out that Satanic deception has become so rampant in our churches that, […]

The post This is why Christianity is on the ropes appeared first on Berean Research.


Christian meditation: what’s biblical and what’s not

By Marsha West In Joshua 1:8 God said: “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it.” So, what exactly did God have in mind when He told […]

The post Christian meditation: what’s biblical and what’s not appeared first on Berean Research.


Let’s stop snuggling the wolves

No matter how much love and humility Bereans have, they tend to take a lot of arrows from their own when contending. Many times when those who stand firm in God’s Word as truth are told they have a critical spirit, it is because we have stepped on the tender toes of a teacher that […]

The post Let’s stop snuggling the wolves appeared first on Berean Research.


Meet the “Harbinger Man”?

“There are few books that change the course of a nation. Rabbi Jonathan Cahn’s book, The Harbinger, is such a book.” – WND Seriously? WND, a ministry that promotes everything from blood moons to mystical soaking prayers, is the go-to news site for millions of Christians. It also heavily promotes author Jonathan Cahn. WND is […]

The post Meet the “Harbinger Man”? appeared first on Berean Research.


NASA Bans the Word “Jesus,” Christian Club Threatens to Sue

NASA bans the word “Jesus” from all future newsletters, but a Christian group of employees says that this is “religious discrimination.”

Credit: NASA

Credit: NASA


The Liberty Institute, a legal group grounded in fighting for religious liberty, is representing Christian employees at NASA who are saying they legally have the right to use the word “Jesus” as they please, including in the government agency’s newsletter.

In mid-2015, NASA attorneys told the Christian club, JSC Praise and Worship Club, that they needed to refrain from using the word “Jesus” in NASA newsletters, which are circulated by email. This demand was prompted after the group included “Jesus” in their club announcement last year, saying that the theme for the next meeting would be, “Jesus is our life.”

NASA’s reasoning is to avoid being accused of violating the Establishment Clause in the Constitution, which states that the government may not establish or endorse any religion, including Christianity. The club was told that any future announcements featuring the word “Jesus” would be censored.

Credit: Liberty Institute

Credit: Liberty Institute

Nearly a year later, the group has recruited Liberty Institute’s legal team to fight against what they say is “religious discrimination.” Jeremy Dys, an attorney from Liberty Institute, told Fox News that after the religious club offered to put in a disclaimer every time they use the word “Jesus,” affirming that this is not the official endorsement of NASA, they were denied. It was after this incident they then sought help from the legal group.

Did NASA take it too far in their effort to remain secular and in accordance with the Establishment Clause? Some might say that this is all a part of the alleged “War on Christianity,” but others might just say that this is a balancing out of the prior focus on Christianity over all other religions in the United States. Though some articles have referenced a previous incident in which NASA struck down an atheist’s attempt to stop the astronauts on Apollo 8 from reading the Christian Creationist stories on live TV, we must remember that this was 48 years ago, and our country’s effort to be inclusive of other religions rather than exclusive has evolved dramatically since then.

What are your thoughts on the matter? Is the government institution going too far to protect themselves?

This article (NASA Bans the Word “Jesus,” Christian Club Threatens to Sue) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and TrueActivist.com


Zika Virus and the Pale Horse of the Apocalypse

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the Zika virus a “public health emergency of international concern.” The virus is linked to the fetal deformity microephaly (which can cause neurological defects and seizures), of which there are now over 4,000 suspected cases in Brazil.

Over 20 countries have confirmed cases of the Zika virus, with Brazil having an estimated 1.5 million. According to the WHO’s estimate, around 4 million cases can be expected by the year’s end.

View Article


Why Prophecy Matters

When I hear well-intentioned Christians, and even worse, church clergy, state that they don’t study or teach prophecy because they say it distracts people from Jesus, I want to slap them, err…I mean, lovingly extend the right-hand of fellowship to the back of their heads, and scream, who do you think prophecy is about?

View Article


Mark Driscoll Rises from the Ashes in Phoenix

Driscoll has left a wake of destruction so severe that the entire network of churches he founded had to shutter its doors. He has never taken full responsibility for his abusive tactics, never apologized to many of the individuals who he wronged, and doesn’t appear to have absorbed much of a lesson at all from his failings.

View Article


The Holocaust: What’s That?

This video was produced by Rhonda Fink-Whitman, veteran TV and radio personality as well as an award-winning screenwriter, longtime Jewish educator, author of the true novel, 94 Maidens, a poignant and dramatic story about her mother, a Holocaust survivor. As the survivors of the holocaust become fewer and fewer, Rhonda hits the college campuses and is appalled by the ignorance of the native Pennsylvanian students who received a public school education. They just don’t know anything. The way to prevent genocide anywhere and everywhere is by being educated. Rhonda made this video so that Pennsylvania would join New York, New Jersey, Illinois, California and Florida in making holocaust studies mandatory.

View Video


Michele Bachmann: Jesus Is ‘Coming Soon’ With Unexpected Biblical Warning

“I think this lines up with scripture,” Bachmann said on air. She then went on to explain that the race for natural resources provides the motivation for an invasion of sorts, especially when one considers the natural gas that Israel has recently discovered.”

View Article


WVW-TV Presents: Financial News Report For February 2016:
Craig Smith joins us to discuss what the drastic drop in oil prices means for the trillions of dollars in derivatives being held by world banks. In 1988 the Economist Magazine ran an article about the death of world currencies and the rise of a global currency by 2018. Is the next financial crisis going to see that come to pass? What are central banks doing that should have us all concerned? What is an MS 61, MS 62, or MS 63 rating? These topics and much more is covered in this must see financial report. Click here to watch now:
http://www.worldviewweekend.com/news/article/wvw-tv-presents-financial-news-report-february-2016


 

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The German Menace of Islamo-Fascism
http://www.worldviewweekend.com/news/article/german-menace-islamo-fascism


 

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Yale Professor on Nazi Environmentalism: So Close, yet So Far
http://www.worldviewweekend.com/news/article/yale-professor-nazi-environmentalism-so-close-yet-so-far


Beth Moore Teams Up With Joyce Meyer for LoveLife 2016

Pulpit & Pen has the story:

Beth MooreBeth Moore, the preacher highly promoted by Southern Baptists’ Lifeway Christian Resources, is headlining Joyce Meyer’s LoveLife Women’s Conference this year. Joining Moore will be Hillsong Word-Faith ‘pastor,’ Christine Caine, and Kari Jobe, the worship ‘pastor’ at Robert Morris‘ Gateway Church.

Moore, who has for several years boasted of repeatedly and prophetically hearing the words of God (source link), recently started a television show on Trinity Broadcasting Network, which is sponsored by the Southern Baptist book retail outlet, Lifeway (source link).

Read more


Perceptions of Kay Arthur and Precept Ministries International

Bible study author, speaker and blogger Michelle Lesley has done a stellar job of delving into the teaching of conservative evangelical Kay Arthur, who is held up as a “great Bible teacher.” Michelle begins with this clarification:

I want to be clear from the outset of this article that, while I regret that I cannot endorse Kay Arthur’s materials or conferences, I do not believe the content of her written or verbal teaching contains or promotes false doctrine, and I am not labeling her a false teacher or a heretic.

Kay Arthur might be considered, and deservedly so, one of the “founding mothers” of women’s Bible study. Kay and her husband Jack served as missionaries in Mexico for 3½ years before returning to the United States and founding Precept Ministries International in 1970. The teaching goal of Precept is to instruct Christians in the Bible “book by book, verse by verse, using the Inductive Bible Study method.” Now in her eighties, Kay is still going strong. She has written numerous books, teaches all over the world, and hosts Precepts for Life, a daily television, radio, and on-line Bible study program.

Read more


The Daily Discovery (February 9, 2016)

ARTICLES I LIKE FROM AROUND THE WEB:
(Click title to go to full article)

Christian Cliches: Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin – “We live in a therapeutic culture that seems determined to do away with sin. Adultery and every form of immorality has been re-classified as sex addictions. Addictions to drugs and alcohol are classified as diseases, not the results of deliberate actions. And guns are now perceived as a greater evil than the murderers pulling the trigger. Whatever the sin may be, there always seems to be a way to excuse, redefine, or minimize it.”

Joyful Noise: Praise with the Volume Pumped Up – “On 27 August 1883, the earth let out a noise louder than any it has made since. It was 10:02 AM on the island of Krakatoa. The erupting volcano was heard nearly 3,500 miles away in Mauritius. That’s like someone in New York hearing a noise coming from London, taking about four hours to cover that distance. A barometer in Batavia, 100 miles away, registered a spike in air pressure from which they calculated the sound at 188 decibels, an unimaginably loud noise, which ruptured the eardrums of sailors 40 miles away. The air pressure spike caused by the eruption was detected in weather stations of 50 cities, every 34 hours, for five days. This means that the sound waves circled the earth four times. But there is something that generates an impact that reverberates through this world, the spiritual realm, and the Universe: a joyful church.”

The Worth of Waiting: A Word to Aspiring Elders – “Waiting is a challenging lesson. The better we perceive something to be, the stronger the desire. And the stronger the desire, the harder the wait tends to be. I’m keenly aware of this because I’m prayerfully waiting for the Lord to open the door for me to serve as an elder in my local church. Scriptures tell us this office is a good gift. Paul writes ‘The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task’ (1 Tim. 3:1). Do you desire to be an elder? Be encouraged. You aspire to a noble task. But just a couple chapters later, we see there’s something of a waitlist, as Paul tells Timothy, ‘Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands…’ (1 Tim. 5:22) I’ll be honest, that’s been a hard verse to read in the past. Why would Paul give those instructions to Timothy? Here are a few answers I’m learning during my time of waiting.”

The Voyage Begins Again! – “There will never be another global Flood. That was God’s promise to us in Genesis 9:15, when He gave us the rainbow as a sign of His covenant with man and all living creatures. The Bible makes it clear, however, that there will be another global judgment: next time by fire. As God’s Word states, it will be the Final Judgment as: ‘the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up’ (2 Peter 3:12).”

A Great Teacher Can Simplify without Distortion – “The K-I-S-S principle is frequently requested in a learning environment. The acrostic stands for ‘Keep it simple, stupid.’ It seems we are a people who loathe difficult study. We want easy answers and we want them quickly. Mastery of a subject, however, requires years of diligent labor and study. But once the teacher has mastered his material, how does he transmit it to his students?”


SERMON:

gunner

David “Gunner” Gundersen – Adorning the Gospel: An Urgent Opportunity for the Family of God (Titus 2:1-15)


VIDEOS:

Does Hebrews 6 teach you can lose your salvation?

Paul Washer | Life is Best | Behind the Scenes


“All death can do to the believer is deliver him to Jesus.  It brings us into the eternal presence of our Savior.” – John MacArthur


A Wallet, A Dollar, the Existence of God (Part 2 – The Case for Personal Theism)

An argument for personal theism based on the philosophical truth that the first, uncaused, cause of this caused universe had the ability to “decide”. We take the second step toward Christian Theism by using a wallet and a dollar to illustrate the point. Can an impersonal force account for the sudden appearance of space, time and matter? If the force that caused the universe is also caused, how did this cause come into existence?

Watch Part 1 of this argument: A Wallet, A Dollar, the Existence of God (Part 1 – The Case For Theism)

To see more Cold Case Christianity Visualization Videos with J. Warner Wallace, visit the YouTube playlist.


A La Carte (February 9)

Today’s Kindle deals include several volumes in the Biblical Theology of the New Testament Series at $7.99 each: Mark; Luke & Acts; John’s Gospel and LettersJames, Peter, and Jude ($7.99). Also consider Locating Atonement and Advancing Trinitarian Theology by Oliver Crisp & Fred Sanders ($7.99 each); The Gospel in Genesis by Martyn Lloyd-Jones ($2.99); Marriage Matters by Winston Smith ($1.99).

Please Keep This Between Us

“Please don’t tell anyone else this, but I wanted to process something with you. If you could just keep it between you and me? I assume you know I wouldn’t want it to get around, I want to make sure people really understand my side of things and that can only happen if I communicate about it directly. You understand right?”

Women at War & the GOP

This article aptly makes the argument for why allowing women in front-line combat is a poor idea. From a biblical perspective, ERLC says that drafting women is Experimental Barbarism. And then Joe Carter has an FAQ on the whole matter.

Read Scripture: Numbers

Here’s a great little video introduction to the book of Numbers.

15 Practical Steps to Racial Reconciliation

I’ve been enjoying a lot of articles at the site of the Reformed African American Network, including this one on racial reconciliation.

This Day in 1881. 135 years ago today, Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky died. *

The Rich Young Blogger

Here’s a modern take on a well-known story.

Scary New Ways the Internet Profiles You

It is good to be aware of how all that information is being used (and how it may be used in the future).

Ryle

One thief was saved that no sinner might despair, but only one, that no sinner might presume. —J. C. Ryle


Check Out

Blogs

Driving with Rosaria Butterfield: An Encounter with Gospel-Driven Hospitality | Leanna Shepard, True Woman
“Here’s an illustration I heard from Rosaria: A believer in Christ is like a bridge. What is the purpose of a bridge? A bridge’s job is to get walked on. We don’t like the sound of that, do we? But as followers of the suffering Savior, we should count it no great loss to sacrifice a little for the sake of the kingdom. What is one evening of our week or a few extra dollars from the grocery budget in comparison to what Christ gave up to redeem sinners from eternal condemnation?”

Biblical Counseling and Synaptic Pruning in Schizophrenics | Thinking Christianly…In a Therapeutic Culture
Here’s an article on schizophrenia revealing welcome developments in biblical counseling.

“A friend sent me a copy of an article entitled Genetic Study Provides First-ever Insight into Biological Origin of Schizophrenia. My friend wanted to know what I thought about it as a biblical counselor. Are these findings good? Are they bad? Can a Christian worldview explain these findings?”

Regular Exercise & Depression | Paul Tautges, Counseling One Another
“The author cites the following benefits to regular exercise. Exercise relieves stress and anxiety. Exercise alleviates depression. Exercise treats mild to moderate depression as effectively as antidepressant medicines. Exercise improves our mood. As has been mentioned, exercise also releases endorphins, powerful chemicals in our brain that energize our spirits and simply make us feel good. Exercise sharpens our brainpower. The same endorphins that make us feel better also help us concentrate and feel mentally sharp for a task that may be at hand. Exercise is an investment in your mind, body, and soul. Exercise assists in energy gain; it has a rejuvenating effect.” (See below for link to book)

What exactly is Puritan Theology? | Jonathan Tomes, Reformation21 Blog
“‘Puritan’ has been co-opted by many Reformed evangelicals to mean ‘whatever I think is good, noble, and true’. ”

The Rich Young Blogger | Mike Leake, Borrowed Light
“This might be what the story of the rich young ruler would be like today…”

Why Drafting Women Would Be A Big Mistake | Amy Otto, The Federalist
A response to Republican insanity about drafting women. Also see Threats Of Drafting Women Reveal The Lies Of Equality.

New Book

Fit for the Master: Glorifying God in a Healthy Body by John Lehman ($15.00)

Kindle Deals

Protest at Selma: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by David J. Garrow ($1.99)
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Biblical Theology of the New Testament Series on sale for $7.99. Also on offer in this excellent series: John’s Gospels and Letters (as pictured); Mark’s Gospel; Luke and Acts; James, Peter, and Jude.


Ford Shifting Future Auto Production To Mexico As Obama Signs Pacific Trade Deal

Posted: 09 Feb 2016 07:56 AM PST

Just as President Barack Obama’s deputy signed the unpopular Trans Pacific Partnership free-trade deal during an election year, Ford Motor Company has announced it will doubling production capacity at a Mexico factory, instead of enlarging U.S. factories. The new factory will manufacture hybrid autos with gasoline and electric engines, whose development has been partly funded by U.S. taxpayers via federal research programs. According to The Wall Street Journal, Ford is planning to build 500,000 vehicles at its new Mexican factory, starting in 2018. That is double Mexico’s 2015 production.

Ford has begun to build a new factory in San Luis Potosí, Mexico, to assemble several models including, a new model meant to rival Toyota’s Prius hybrid vehicle. In turn, U.S.-based plants will focus on light trucks and sport-utility vehicles. Insiders say Ford will spend $1 billion to build the expansion factory in Mexico. That’s in addition to the $2.5 billion already earmarked for expansion in the neighboring nation. FULL REPORT

The post Ford Shifting Future Auto Production To Mexico As Obama Signs Pacific Trade Deal appeared first on End Time Headlines.

2016: The Year of the Rising Remnant

Posted: 09 Feb 2016 07:50 AM PST

(Rob Winters) This prophetic word for 2016 addresses neither the world, nor the church at large, but instead the remnant church.

For the past seven years (2009-2015) the Lord addressed His remnant as the Jacob Generation—who with clean hands and a pure heart daily ascended the hill of the Lord to seek His face in the secret place. This remnant received a promise of blessing from the Lord that will now be realized in this next seven-year season (2016-2022).

“Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart; who has not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He will receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him, who seek Your face. Selah” (Ps. 24:3-6, MEV).

During this next seven-year season, the Lord is bringing forth His rising remnant as the Joshua Generation, who will accompany the King of Glory, the Lord of Armies, into battle. Indeed, the remnant church is entering a season not only of blessing, but also of glory and of war. CONTINUE

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Is North Korean Satellite Orbiting Over USA Equipped With EMP Weapons System?

Posted: 09 Feb 2016 07:27 AM PST

Now that the North Korean missile launch is “over,” most would assume there is no cause for concern.  That assumption is incorrect, because Kim Jung-Un has already declared there will be more missiles launched.  Rice, the U.S. National Security Advisor has already stated that the Koreans did indeed launch using an ICBM.  The very first thing we can do is present an excellent site that tracks satellites, their trajectories, orbits, and other useful data.

The site can be found here:  www.n2yo.com/?S=39026.  Be advised, that last number at the end of the site stands for the “Kwangmyong-3 satellite,” and by looking for this satellite (in orbit, as can be seen) I found the site. This newest launch of 2/7/16 can be found by searching www.n2yo.com/?S=41322.  Take note the 5-digit number on the end of the website address is the NORAD identification number for the satellite; in this case, the satellite is KMS-4.

As you will find, the satellite travels at a speed of 4.73 miles per second, with an altitude of 508 km/315 miles above the earth.  The satellite period (the time it takes for a complete orbit) is 95 minutes. Regarding the actual launch itself, the UN has convened an emergency UN Security Council meeting to discuss this event.  One of the most significant items was reported by the Washington Post on launch day: FULL REPORT

The post Is North Korean Satellite Orbiting Over USA Equipped With EMP Weapons System? appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Some Claim Zika Virus is Result of Opening of Fourth Seal

Posted: 09 Feb 2016 06:02 AM PST

Millions stand in the line of fire of the Zika virus, an explosive mosquito-borne disease that has the power to alter world population. Experts consider the virus especially horrific for pre-born children, who once infected, could be born with “no foreheads and very strange heads.” International governments are pleading with couples to avoid pregnancy for the foreseeable future in a move that could fall under Revelation’s fourth seal.

“When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, ‘Come!’” Revelation 6 prophesies. “So I looked, and there was a pale horse, and the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed him. Power over a fourth of the earth was given to them, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth,” the passage continues. FULL REPORT

The post Some Claim Zika Virus is Result of Opening of Fourth Seal appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Day Of Reckoning: The Collapse Of The Too Big To Fail Banks In Europe Is Here

Posted: 09 Feb 2016 05:42 AM PST

(Michael Snyder) There is so much chaos going on that I don’t even know where to start. For a very long time I have been warning my readers that a major banking collapse was coming to Europe, and now it is finally unfolding. Let’s start with Deutsche Bank. The stock of the most important bank in the “strongest economy in Europe” plunged another 8 percent on Monday, and it is now hovering just above the all-time record low that was set during the last financial crisis. Overall, the stock price is now down a staggering 36 percent since 2016 began, and Deutsche Bank credit default swaps are going parabolic.

Of course my readers were alerted to major problems at Deutsche Bank all the way back in September, and now the endgame is playing out. In addition to Deutsche Bank, the list of other “too big to fail” banks in Europe that appear to be in very serious trouble includes Commerzbank, Credit Suisse, HSBC and BNP Paribas. Just about every major bank in Italy could fall on that list as well, and Greek bank stocks lost close to a quarter of their value on Monday alone. Financial Armageddon has come to Europe, and the entire planet is going to feel the pain. The collapse of the banks in Europe is dragging down stock prices all over the continent. At this point, more than one-fifth of all stock market wealth in Europe has already been wiped out since the middle of last year. That means that we only have four-fifths left. The following comes from USA Today…FULL REPORT

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New York Governor Announces Regulations Banning Help for Homosexual Youth

Posted: 09 Feb 2016 05:38 AM PST

The Democratic governor of New York announced on Saturday that multiple agencies within the state have taken steps to ban mental health facilities from providing help to homosexual youth to overcome temptation. Andrew Cuomo, a homosexual rights advocate who has lived with his girlfriend Sandra Lee since 2005, called the practice known as conversion therapy “hateful” and decried efforts to change youth from “being who they are.”

“Conversion therapy is a hateful and fundamentally flawed practice that is counter to everything this state stands for,” he wrote in a statement. “New York has been at the forefront of acceptance and equality for the LGBT community for decades—and today we are continuing that legacy and leading by example. We will not allow the misguided and the intolerant to punish LGBT young people for simply being who they are.” FULL REPORT

The post New York Governor Announces Regulations Banning Help for Homosexual Youth appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Hawaii declares state of emergency over Dengue, 250 diagnosed with virus over 4 days

Posted: 09 Feb 2016 05:30 AM PST

Move over, Zika. Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi decared a state of emergency over dengue fever, a virus that’s transferred by mosquitoes – and as part of the government response, the local landfill has announced it would start accepting tires. “The state of emergency will suspend the law that prohibits tires being accepted at county landfills as a means of effectively controlling and eliminating the dengue fever virus,” Big Island Now reported.

Tires collect water and serve as breeding grounds for mosquitoes. The news outlet reported 250 individuals were diagnosed with dengue since Friday, and three of those are still considered “potentially infectious” by health officials, Big Island Now reported. FULL REPORT

The post Hawaii declares state of emergency over Dengue, 250 diagnosed with virus over 4 days appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Strong 5.7 Magnitude Earthquake felt throughout New Zealand

Posted: 09 Feb 2016 05:24 AM PST

A strong 5.7 magnitude earthquake has rocked central New Zealand. The 1.38pm quake was 35km south-east of St Arnaud, Nelson, at a depth of 65km. Geonet duty seismologist Anna Kaiser said the shake was felt throughout the upper South Island and lower North Island. “It was widely felt from Taranaki to Canterbury,” she said. There were also five reports from Auckland and one from Otago.

“It was a decent shake,” she said. “With that level of shaking, it would rattle things around but we wouldn’t expect major structural damage.” People have reported feeling the slow-rolling quake in the lower North Island and upper South Island. Several people in Wellington have posted about the earthquake online. FULL REPORT

The post Strong 5.7 Magnitude Earthquake felt throughout New Zealand appeared first on 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.


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 on 5 Fingers

If you picked up a hitchhiker (not that I recommend doing that) and he saw a Bible on your car seat and said, “I’ve heard about this thing called the Gospel – can you explain it to me before you drop me off in one minute up the street?” What would you say?

Can you explain the gospel in 30 seconds? In one minute? In five minutes?

Here’s one way I have found helpful. 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.


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


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NTEB: Is Hillary Clinton The First U.S. Presidential Candidate Campaigning While Under FBI Investigation?

Source: Is Hillary Clinton The First U.S. Presidential Candidate Campaigning While Under FBI Investigation?

In a letter disclosed Monday in a federal court filing, the FBI confirms one of the world’s worst-kept secrets: It is looking into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.

Why say this at all, since it was widely known to be true?  Because in August in response to a judge’s direction, the State Department asked the FBI for information about what it was up to.  Sorry, the FBI said at the time, we can neither confirm nor deny the existence of any investigation.

Now, in a letter dated February 2 and filed in court Monday, the FBI’s general counsel, James Baker, notes that in public statements and congressional testimony, the FBI “has acknowledged generally that it is working on matters related to former Secretary Clinton’s use of a private email server.”

Baker says the FBI has not, however, “publicly acknowledged the specific focus, scope or potential targets of any such proceedings.”

Ben Shapiro: Hillary Clinton Lies… A Lot

He ends the one-paragraph letter by saying that the FBI cannot say more “without adversely affecting on-going law enforcement efforts.”

The letter was filed in one of the Freedom of Information Act cases brought against the State Department over access to documents from Hillary Clinton’s time as secretary of state.  This one was filed by Judicial Watch. source

Posted in Truth2Freedom Headline Alerts | 1 Comment

Liberals Silent After Racist, Anti-Police Performance Of ‘Formation’ By Beyoncé At Super Bowl 50

Rep. King Bashes Beyonce’s Super Bowl Performance: It Was ‘Pro-Black Panther And Anti-Cop’

Rep. King Bashes Beyonce’s Super Bowl Performance: It Was ‘Pro-Black Panther And Anti-Cop’

Posted on February 9, 2016 by Tru News

Rep. Peter King criticized Beyonce’s Super Bowl performance Sunday night because he said it was “pro-Black Panther and anti-cop.” King called out the singer in a lengthy Facebook post on Monday.

Read Full Article »


Beyonce turns Super Bowl halftime into Black Panthers, Black Lives Matter, Malcom X rallying cry

Pop star Beyoncé turned one of America’s greatest annual sporting events into a political propaganda statement with a halftime show honoring the controversial Black Lives Matter movement.

As she belted out her new song “Formation,” a celebrated anthem for black pride, dancers performed in wardrobe similar to members of the Black Panthers.

View Article


Liberals Silent After Racist, Anti-Police Performance Of ‘Formation’ By Beyoncé At Super Bowl 50

Singer Beyoncé Knowles brought black liberation politics to the Super Bowl halftime show Sunday in a performance that appeared to pay tribute to the Black Panthers.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Evidentially, racism in America can only be done by white people because when black people do it Liberals have nothing at all to say about it. Beyonce’s uber-angry performance of ‘Formation’ at Super Bowl 50 not only was overtly racist, supportive of domestic terrorist groups like the Black Panthers, it was also anti-police and anti-law enforcement. When rich mega-millionaires like Beyonce and Jay-Z sing about “tearing down the system” that made them wealthy in the first place, it is the height of hypocrisy. But as far as the Progressive Liberals are concerned, it’s “par for the course”. When the race war they are intent on starting finally comes, I wonder which one of their mansions they will be hiding in as the fighting rages in the streets?

Backed by a cadre of backup dancers sporting Black Panther berets, Beyoncé performed her new single “Formation” in homage to the Black Lives Matter movement. At one point during the performance, the dancers formed an X seemingly in tribute to black Muslim activist Malcolm X and raised their fists in the “black power” salute.

The choreography wasn’t restricted to the football field; the halftime show was part of a marketing plan that put out messaging across multiple platforms, from social media to mainstream media.

A picture posted to Twitter also showed several of the performance’s backup dancers giving the black power salute while holding a sign reading, “Justice for Mario Woods.” Woods was shot by police after refusing to drop a knife in 2015.

It’s the latest move by Beyonce Knowles and husband Jay-Z to associate themselves with the Black Lives Matter movement. Just last week, Jay-Z announced he was giving $1.5 million from his struggling streaming music service Tidal to the Black Lives Matter movement and other groups.

On Saturday, Knowles suddenly dropped the music video for her new song “Formation.”

As Breitbart News reported, the video contains sequences involving white police officers harassing young black people, including a shot of graffiti that reads “stop shooting us.” The video also shows Beyoncé lying on a flooded New Orleans police car, in a reference to the Katrina disaster that many blame on George W. Bush.

An Instagram photo posted by Beyoncé’s mother Tina Knowles showed the black leather-clad dancers raising clenched fist in a Black Power salute — a powerful mix of iconic imagery guaranteed to grab eyeballs and make headlines. The irony, of course, is that Beyoncé Knowles and Jay-Z owe their success to the capitalist system the leftist Black Lives Matter movement is intent on destroying. Jay-Z’s story of going from rags to riches is well-known, as he went from being a drug dealer in the projects of New York to becoming an entertainment star and entrepreneur. Beyoncé is the child of a small business owner and a sales manager for Xerox. Both biographies fly in the face of the Black Lives Matter narrative that black people somehow need to be “liberated” from the free market. source

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Rev. Graham: Gay Marriage, Transgenders, “Just the Beginning of a Moral Onslaught on This Nation”

Franklin Graham: Left’s agenda over last 8 years ‘Just the Beginning of a Moral Onslaught’ on U.S.

Franklin Graham: Left’s agenda over last 8 years ‘Just the Beginning of a Moral Onslaught’ on U.S.

Posted on February 9, 2016 by Tru News

Rev. Franklin Graham said he believes the left’s push for same-sex marriage, abortion, and transgender rights is the beginning of a moral onslaught.

Read Full Article »


CNS News reports:

Rev. Franklin Graham urged evangelical Christians to get involved in the electioral process and “make their vote count,” adding that the 2016 race is vitally important because homosexual marriage, abortion, and now transgender laws are on the table, marking “just the beginning of a moral onslaught on the nation.”

“[T]his is ridiculous,” said Rev. Graham,” for a person to be able to wake up in the morning and say, ‘You know, I feel like I’m a woman today,’ For a man to say, ‘I feel like a woman, I’m going to go into a woman’s bathroom.’ … This is ridiculous.”

Read more

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February 9, 2016 Devotional Guide Collection

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February 9

I AM HIS AND HE IS MINE

George Wade Robinson, 1838–1877

Your life is now hidden with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:3)

Spiritual maturity is a growing appreciation of God simply for who He is. Only then can we begin to revel in our eternal union with Him. This realization gives all of life a different perspective. Life takes on a new dignity, worth, and meaning. Even nature is viewed differently—“earth around is sweeter green …” Learning to abide in Christ means that we live with a calmer, more relaxed attitude because we rely on God rather than ourselves—“things that once were wild alarms cannot now disturb my rest.” John Wesley often spoke of this kind of life as “living with a loose rein.” Our union with Christ also makes us victors when we realize that “while God and I shall be,” nothing in life can ever separate us from this eternal love relationship (Romans 8:35).

The author of this text, George Wade Robinson, was a pastor of Congregational churches in England. The composer, James Mountain, was an Anglican minister who became greatly influenced by the Moody-Sankey campaigns in England in the early 1870’s. Mountain later devoted his life to the work of evangelism both in Great Britain and world-wide. “I Am His and He Is Mine” first appeared in James Mountain’s collection, Hymns of Consecration and Faith, published in 1876. The truths this hymn presents so well become more meaningful each time we sing it.

Loved with everlasting love, led by grace that love to know—Spirit, breathing from above, Thou hast taught me it is so! O this full and perfect peace, O this transport all divine— In a love which cannot cease, I am His and He is mine.

Heav’n above is softer blue; earth around is sweeter green; something lives in ev’ry hue Christless eyes have never seen! Birds with gladder songs o’erflow, flow’rs with deeper beauties shine, since I know, as now I know, I am His and He is mine.

Things that once were wild alarms cannot now disturb my rest; closed in everlasting arms, pillowed on the loving breast! O to lie forever here, doubt and care and self resign, while He whispers in my ear—I am His and He is mine.

His forever, only His—Who the Lord and me shall part? Ah, with what a rest of bliss Christ can fill the loving heart! Heav’n and earth may fade and flee, first-born light in gloom decline, but while God and I shall be, I am His and He is mine.

For Today: Song of Solomon 6:3; John 14:1–8; 15:9–11; Galatians 2:20

Take time to truly meditate upon God and all that He is. Then revel and rejoice in the glorious truth that you are inseparably united with Him.[1]


February 9: Speaking Up

Exodus 21:1–23:33; John 4:27–42; Song of Solomon 3:1–2

Because we convince ourselves that people won’t accept our testimony about God’s work in our lives, we’re not usually ready to share it. We might prejudge their reactions or simply lack confidence. Soon, staying silent becomes a way of life. We become accustomed to the monotony and forget our calling in the world.

But we’re called to action. Our words have power, and not because of our own storytelling talent or our ability to tap into others’ emotions. God can and will use our words to draw people to Him through His Spirit—perhaps without our even being aware of it. In John 4:27–42, Jesus uses a Samaritan woman with a tarnished reputation to bring Samaritans (people whom the disciples and the Jews looked down upon) to faith.

Like the disciples, we have to realize the urgency of the good news. We have to show others that the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

We are called to action. Verbalizing, with humility, what God has done for us is an important part of faith. We shouldn’t shy away from it or doubt that He will use it to bring others to Himself. This should bring us to a place of confidence and humility. And it should compel us to speak.

Do you speak to others about your faith? How can you begin telling others about the work God has done in you?

Rebecca Van Noord[2]


February 9

Intro

Welcome to Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Today’s reading is Exodus 33 through 36. Our lesson is from Exodus 33:14, “And He said, ‘My presence shall go [with you], and I will give you rest.’ ” (NASU)

Lesson

We will begin our study with a brief overview of chapter 33. The Lord speaks to Moses about Israel. He tells Moses that Israel is an obstinate people. The Lord admonishes the people; they admit their stubbornness and repent. They feel guilty before the Lord. On the other hand, God speaks to Moses face to face like a friend. Let’s examine the three characteristics of God’s presence.

First, God’s presence was with Moses. This was both a great confirmation and consolation to Moses. It was the presence of the Lord that gave Moses spiritual authority and helped him fulfill the task of freeing Israel from the oppression of Pharaoh and Egypt. Moses knows the source of his success is the Lord. He realizes that it is God who makes or breaks a ministry. Moses is to obey God and then God does what needs to be done. God’s presence is powerful in breaking down barriers in our real-life situations today just as He was in Moses’ day. It is important to realize this biblical truth and apply it to our lives.

Secondly, God’s presence gives rest. We live in a fast paced world. At times it feels like the faster we run, the farther we get behind. But the Lord tells Moses that His presence will give him rest. Rest in the biblical sense does not mean “to do nothing.” The concept is one of trust in God and knowing that He is faithful to accomplish what He has promised. It is an exercise of faith and obedience which gives one a sense of God’s active involvement in our lives and ministries.

Lastly, God’s presence distinguishes His people from the rest of humanity. This is clearly stated in verse 16. But note that His presence in our lives does not mean we are to think that we are superior to others. As a matter of fact, our attitude should be totally the opposite. We should be humbled by the fact that the Lord has chosen us to be a part of His people. We are to serve others so that they, too, may become God’s people. That is our mission. We are to be God’s missionary people in all of life’s circumstances.

In conclusion, God’s presence was with Moses. God’s presence gives rest. And God’s presence distinguishes His people from others.

Let’s not forget the promise that Jesus made to the disciples in the Great Commission that He would be with His disciples to the end. We can count on His presence through the Holy Spirit to help us fulfill our task.

End

It has been a pleasure to share with you Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Tomorrow’s Bible reading is Exodus 37 through 40. Let’s not forget the words of the psalmist, “The law of Your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.” Until tomorrow and may God bless you in abundance as you study the Word of God.[3]


 

February 9

 

The Joy of God’s Peace

 

“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:2).

✧✧✧

Nothing you face today is beyond the purview of God’s grace and peace.

Paul’s wonderful benediction for grace and peace was ever on his heart. He offered it in each of his epistles and expounded on it throughout his writings.

Grace is the outpouring of God’s goodness and mercy on undeserving mankind. Every benefit and provision you receive is by God’s grace. That’s why Peter called it “the manifold grace of God” (1 Peter 4:10). Just as your trials are manifold or multifaceted, so God’s multifaceted and all-sufficient grace is correspondingly available to sustain you.

Peace, as used in Philippians 1:2, speaks of the calmness and absence of strife characteristic of one in whom God’s grace is at work. The New Testament also links it to mercy, hope, joy, and love. To experience those graces is to experience true peace.

It is said that when Bible translators were seeking a word or phrase for “peace” in the language of the Chol Indians of South Mexico, they discovered that the words for “a quiet heart” gave just the meaning they were looking for. That’s an appropriate parallel because peace guards the soul against anxiety and strife, granting solace and harmony.

Colossians 3:15 says, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body.” In Philippians 4:6–7 Paul says to “be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Although “grace to you and peace” was a common greeting in the early church, it was an uncommon experience in the unbelieving world. The same is true today, because only those who belong to God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ receive grace and peace.

Are you experiencing God’s peace? Remember, nothing you face today is beyond the purview of God’s all-sufficient grace and surpassing peace.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Read Ephesians 2:14–18, and praise God for Christ, who is your peace, and for His gracious work on your behalf.

For Further Study: What is the first step to acquiring peace (John 16:33; 1 Peter 5:14)? ✧ What does the God of peace desire to accomplish within you (1 Thess. 5:23; Heb. 13:20–21)?[4]


February 9

Feeling What God Feels

Whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.

Romans 14:8

I remember one young woman who learned to feel pain when God was dishonored. She left a little town in West Virginia to live with a guy who was a student at UCLA. After a while, he kicked her out. She wandered around and tried to take her life several times, but each time she survived. My sister and I met her and had the opportunity to lead her to Christ. Soon after that she decided to go back to her hometown so she could tell her mother and friends about Christ.

Several months later, she wrote me a letter. This is some of what she wrote:

“I can almost feel the unbearable sadness that God feels when someone rejects and doesn’t glorify Him. He’s God! He made us. He gave us everything. We continue to doubt and reject Him. It’s awful! When I think of how I hurt Him, I hope I can someday make it up.

“It’s all so clear to me that God must be glorified. He deserves it, and it’s long overdue. I can’t wait to just tell Jesus, and thus God indirectly, that I love Him. I want God to be God and to take His rightful place. I’m tired of the way people put Him down.”[5]


 

February 9

 

God Doesn’t Change

 

“Thou art the same, and Thy years will not come to an end.”

Psalm 102:27

✧✧✧

God never changes, so He can be trusted to do what He says.

God alone is unchanging (or as the theologians say, immutable). The psalmist says, “Even [the heavens and earth] will perish, but Thou dost endure…. Thou art the same, and Thy years will not come to an end” (Ps. 102:26–27). Though Israel deserved destruction for its sin, God was faithful to His covenant with Abraham, saying, “I, the Lord, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed” (Mal. 3:6). James calls God “the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow” (1:17).

What about those verses that say God changed His mind (e.g., Amos 7:3, 6; Jonah 3:10)? Let’s look at an example. Jonah warned the wicked city of Nineveh of impending judgment. The city immediately repented, and “when God saw their deeds, that they turned from their wicked way, then God relented concerning the calamity which He had declared He would bring upon them. And He did not do it” (3:10). Who changed? The people of Nineveh! God’s nature to punish evil and reward good remained the same, but the object changed.

You can’t blame the sun for melting the wax and hardening the clay. The problem is in the substance of the wax and clay, not in the sun. In a similar way, our standing before God determines how God acts toward us.

What does God’s unchanging character mean? To unbelievers, it means judgment. When God says, “The person who sins will die” (Ezek. 18:20) and “The wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23), He means it. When He says Hell is eternal (Matt. 25:46; Rev. 20:10, 13–15), then it is.

To Christians, His immutability means comfort. If He loved me in the past, He loves me now and forever. If He forgave and saved me, He did so forever. If He promised me anything, His promise stands forever. If the Bible says, “My God shall supply all your needs” (Phil. 4:19), we know the power that supplied Paul’s needs is the same power that will supply ours. God told Israel, “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jer. 31:3), and His love for us is the same.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Praise God for His immutability, and thank Him for the comfort that brings you.

For Further Study: Find some promises God makes to His children in Scripture, and ask for faith to believe them, even when belief is difficult.[6]


February 9

Develop Your Gifts

There are many plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless the Lord’s counsel—that will stand.

Proverbs 19:21

If you are not fully aware today of the unique talents and gifts that God has given to you—and that have been present in you from your birth—ask God to reveal those gifts to you.

Once God reveals your unique talents, ask Him to help you develop them. Be sensitive to ways in which you might receive further training in your area of talent.…

As you develop your talents, ask God to reveal ways in which you can use your talents for His glory. Don’t wait until you are an expert. Part of the way to become an expert is to start using your talents for God’s purposes.[7]


February 9

Super You

Scripture reading: Ephesians 2:1–10

Key verse: Ephesians 2:10

We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Sometimes feelings of low self-esteem may stem from an image of how you are supposed to be, a false and unrealistic ideal. In his book, Healing for Damaged Emotions, David Seamands explains:

Super You believes the myth: “I’ve always got to be super-happy.” But are you always happy? Never depressed? Bubbling over with “Praise the Lord”? Is there never a time of struggle … when you do things out of sheer duty, without happy feelings?…

When you waste time and energy trying to be Super Self, you rob yourself of growth and the friendship of God. And you never let God accept and love the Real You for whom Christ died … Super You is an illusion of your imagination, a false image, an idol …

You can be yourself in Jesus, and you need not compare yourself to anyone else. He wants to heal you and to change you in order that Real You can grow up to be the person He intended you to be …

When you stop wasting your spiritual energies to maintain this false Super You and start using those energies in cooperating with the Holy Spirit for true growth, you will find yourself free in Jesus Christ, liberated from false oughts and shoulds, freed from the approval and disapproval of other people, freed from that awful condemnation of the performance gap between what you’re trying to be and what you really are.

Dear Lord, I need to be set free from the condemnation of the gap between what I’m trying to be and what I really am. Let me be the real me.[8]


February 9  Your Greatest Privileges

scripture reading:

 

Ephesians 1:15–23

 

key verses:

 

Ephesians 1:15–16

 

I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers.

Two compelling factors make prayer an exercise worth your wholehearted devotion.

Prayer is a means by which you come to know God. Is there anyone else you would rather know intimately than the living, eternal, awesome God? Can there be any greater pursuit than knowing God?

When you pray, you come to know God in the most practical and personal way possible. You seek His mind and His will. You learn to understand His character, and you enter into the temple of the Most High. Knowing God can make a dull life exciting, a doubting life sure, a timid life bold, a wandering life purposeful.

Prayer is also a means by which you worship God. Have you ever thought how you worship God? Certainly you can exalt Him through your lips and actions; but when you pray, you truly acknowledge Him as the Source and End of all.

Prayer is an act of worship by which you confess your reverence and dependence on God. The Bible refers to the prayers of God’s people as incense, symbolic of praise and worship.

Knowing God and worshiping God are two of the greatest privileges a Christian can enjoy. For these reasons, prayer is worth your complete devotion.

Have you prayed today?

I want to know You. There is no greater pursuit. I want to worship You. There is no greater privilege. Lord, I commit myself anew to prayer.[9]


February 9

The Inspired Word of God

Scripture reading: 2 Timothy 3:16–17

Key verse: 1 Timothy 4:15

Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all.

As we read through Paul’s letters to his young protégé, Timothy, we find that their content is written just as much for us. Every man, woman, and young person who studies God’s Word comes face to face with truth inspired by God.

Henry Thiessen commented on inspiration:

God has revealed himself in nature, history, and conscience. He has also revealed himself in his Son and in his Word. The Holy Spirit so guided and superintended the writers of the sacred text, making use of their own unique personalities, that they wrote all that he wanted them to write, without excess or error.

Several things must be noted. (1) Inspiration is inexplicable. It is the operation of the Holy Spirit. (2) Inspiration is limited to the authors of Scripture. Other books are not inspired in the same sense. (3) Inspiration is essentially guidance. That is, the Holy Spirit supervised the selection of the materials to be used and the words to be employed in writing. (4) The Holy Spirit preserved the authors from all error and from all omission. (5) Inspiration extends to the words of the Bible, not merely to the thoughts and concepts.

Although these concepts may seem difficult to grasp, they show us one thing: God has taken great care to preserve His Word. It is His gift to you and me for our instruction and encouragement as we grow in our love for Him.

Thank You for preserving Your Word for me, Lord. Help me build my life and ministry upon its eternal, unchanging truths.[10]


February 9

The Divine Scapegoat

Scripture Reading: Leviticus 16:1–22

Key Verse: Isaiah 53:6

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

Through repeated usage, the term scapegoat has become quite familiar to our secular culture. Its meaning—“an innocent party being blamed”—has its roots, however, in an ancient Hebrew ritual known as the Day of Atonement.

This holy day occurred once each year. The high priest took two male goats as a sin offering for the iniquities of the people. One goat was slaughtered, and its blood was sprinkled on the mercy seat. The remaining goat was sent into the wilderness—after the high priest had placed his hands on the goat’s head and confessed the sins of the nation over it. Through this “scapegoat” observance, God showed His mercy to the Israelites, allowing Him to continue His covenant relationship with them.

In much the same way, Jesus became the divine scapegoat for the sins of the world. He was and is the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29 nasb).

Our sins were placed on Him at Calvary. Indeed, our sins put Him there.

Jesus took the blame so that we could live. Have you trusted in His atonement? Have you come to Him for the forgiveness of your sins? Have you been healed of your transgressions through His sacrifice?

Almighty God, thank You for the sacrifice of Your Son, Jesus, as the divine scapegoat for my sins. I praise You that He took the blame, so I could live. I rejoice in the liberating truth of His atonement for me.[11]


February 9

Forgiving Yourself

Scripture Reading: Psalm 51:1–19

Key Verse: Psalm 51:1

Have mercy upon me, O God,

According to Your lovingkindness;

According to the multitude of Your tender mercies,

Blot out my transgressions.

Guilt settled in like a thick fog. David had sinned horribly against God by taking another man’s wife, committing murder, and making sure that his actions had remained undiscovered. Then, when it appeared that the coast was clear, he breathed a sigh of relief. That is when God sent the prophet Nathan to awaken King David’s conscience.

Crushed and broken in spirit, David threw himself to his knees. Fear crept into his mind as he thought, How can I approach God now? Have I completely destroyed my relationship with the Lord?

Armed only with a broken and contrite heart, the fallen David approached the Lord. He prayed, “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions” (Psalm 51:1).

After asking for a clean heart (verse 10), David boldly stated his belief that God can and will restore him. Not only did God forgive, but He continued to actively use David. Despite his guilt and shame, David’s failures did not exclude him from serving his Lord. Because God forgave him, he was able to forgive himself.

If guilt is preventing you from fully experiencing the joyful forgiveness God offers, pray today for His help in laying down your chains and escaping the bondage of unholy guilt.

Lord Jesus, I offer to You the sins I have committed and the guilt that makes me feel worthless. I thank You that I am blameless because of Your sacrifice for me.[12]


February 9

Now he is comforted.

The sun shall no longer go down, nor shall the moon withdraw itself; for You, mighty Lord, will be my everlasting light, and the days of my mourning shall be ended. You will swallow up death forever, and You, Lord God, will wipe away tears from all faces; the rebuke of Your people You will take away from all the earth. These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of Jesus the Lamb. Therefore they are before Your throne, Lord God, and serve You day and night in Your temple. You who sit on the throne will dwell among them. They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; for the Lamb in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And You, Lord God, will wipe away every tear from my eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying; and there shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.

What a glorious promise and picture of hope! I thank You, Lord God, for this promise of comfort eternal that awaits fulfillment when Jesus returns to reign!

Luke 16:25; Isaiah 60:20; Isaiah 25:8; Revelation 7:14–17; Revelation 21:4[13]


February 9

Christ Cures

1 Peter 2:24

[Christ] Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.

For true comfort we must turn to the Master Healer. The apostle Peter gives us the promise of healing when we turn to Christ, “Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls” (1 Peter 2:24–25).

We are comforted by the knowledge that because of our Savior’s lonely suffering and death and His glorious resurrection, we also will rise again to have eternal life in heaven. Even when our loved ones die and leave us behind, we can become true survivors in Christ and not be overwhelmed by the pain of separation and aloneness, for we are not forever separated from them nor are we ever truly alone. Our Savior is always with us and through His power we know that the death of an earthly body is not the end of life, but the beginning of eternal happiness. Knowing this gives us comfort.[14]


February 9

THE canon of revelation is closed; there is no more to be added; God does not give a fresh revelation, but he rivets the old one. When it has been forgotten, and laid in the dusty chamber of our memory, he brings it forth and cleans the picture, but does not paint a new one. It is not by any new revelation that the Spirit comforts. He does so by telling us old things over again; he brings a fresh lamp to manifest the treasures hidden in Scripture; he unlocks the strong chests in which the truth has long lain, and he points to secret chambers filled with untold riches; but he coins no more, for enough is done.[15]


February 9

Therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious unto you

Isa. 30:8

This is God’s way. In the darkest hours of the night His tread draws near across the billows. As the day of execution is breaking, the angel comes to Peter’s cell. When the scaffold for Mordecai is complete, the royal sleeplessness leads to a reaction in favor of the threatened race.

Ah, soul, it may have come to the worst with thee ere thou art delivered; but thou wilt be! God may keep thee waiting, but He will ever be mindful of His covenant, and will appear to fulfill His inviolable word.

F. B. Meyer[16]


Day 9

Adoration

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,

The world and all who dwell in it.

For He founded it upon the seas

And established it upon the waters. (Psalm 24:1–2)

God sits enthroned above the circle of the earth,

And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers.

He stretches out the heavens like a curtain

And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.

He reduces rulers to nothing

And makes the judges of this world meaningless. (Isaiah 40:22–23)

Pause to express your thoughts of praise and worship.

Confession

The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold,

But the Lord tests the hearts. (Proverbs 17:3)

Ask the Spirit to search your heart and reveal any areas of unconfessed sin. Acknowledge these to the Lord and thank Him for His forgiveness.

Renewal

May I know God and serve Him with a whole heart and with a willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts and understands every motive behind the thoughts. (1 Chronicles 28:9)

May I be an imitator of God as a beloved child, and walk in love, just as Christ loved me and gave Himself up for me as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Ephesians 5:1–2)

Pause to add your own prayers for personal renewal.

Petition

May I not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but of the world. And the world and its lusts are passing away, but the one who does the will of God abides forever. (1 John 2:15–17)

Faithfulness as a Steward

Of time

Of talents

Of treasure

Of truth

Of relationships

My activities for this day

Special concerns

Intercession

The Lord has said, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

Government

Spiritual revival

Local government

State government

National government

Current events and concerns

Affirmation

The righteous will live by his faith. (Habakkuk 2:4)

I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” (Romans 1:16–17)

Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous will live by faith.” (Galatians 3:11)

Before faith in Christ came, we were guarded by the law, confined for the faith which was later to be revealed. So the law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. (Galatians 3:23–25)

Pause to reflect upon these biblical affirmations.

Thanksgiving

The Lord upholds all who fall

And lifts up all who are bowed down.

The eyes of all look to You,

And You give them their food at the proper time.

You open Your hand

And satisfy the desire of every living thing. (Psalm 145:14–16)

Pause to offer your own expressions of thanksgiving.

Closing Prayer

The Lord Jesus is the first and the last, and the Living One; He was dead, and behold He is alive forevermore and holds the keys of death and of Hades. (Revelation 1:17–18)

Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,

To receive power and riches and wisdom

And strength and honor and glory and blessing! (Revelation 5:12)[17]


Morning, February 9

 

“And David enquired of the Lord.”

— 2 Samuel 5:23

 

When David made this enquiry he had just fought the Philistines, and gained a signal victory. The Philistines came up in great hosts, but, by the help of God, David had easily put them to flight. Note, however, that when they came a second time, David did not go up to fight them without enquiring of the Lord. Once he had been victorious, and he might have said, as many have in other cases, “I shall be victorious again; I may rest quite sure that if I have conquered once I shall triumph yet again. Wherefore should I tarry to seek at the Lord’s hands?” Not so, David. He had gained one battle by the strength of the Lord; he would not venture upon another until he had ensured the same. He enquired, “Shall I go up against them?” He waited until God’s sign was given. Learn from David to take no step without God. Christian, if thou wouldst know the path of duty, take God for thy compass; if thou wouldst steer thy ship through the dark billows, put the tiller into the hand of the Almighty. Many a rock might be escaped, if we would let our Father take the helm; many a shoal or quicksand we might well avoid, if we would leave to his sovereign will to choose and to command. The Puritan said, “As sure as ever a Christian carves for himself, he’ll cut his own fingers;” this is a great truth. Said another old divine, “He that goes before the cloud of God’s providence goes on a fool’s errand;” and so he does. We must mark God’s providence leading us; and if providence tarries, tarry till providence comes. He who goes before providence, will be very glad to run back again. “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go,” is God’s promise to his people. Let us, then, take all our perplexities to him, and say, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” Leave not thy chamber this morning without enquiring of the Lord.

 

Evening, February 9

 

“Lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil [or, the evil one].”

— Luke 11:4

 

What we are taught to seek or shun in prayer, we should equally pursue or avoid in action. Very earnestly, therefore, should we avoid temptation, seeking to walk so guardedly in the path of obedience, that we may never tempt the devil to tempt us. We are not to enter the thicket in search of the lion. Dearly might we pay for such presumption. This lion may cross our path or leap upon us from the thicket, but we have nothing to do with hunting him. He that meeteth with him, even though he winneth the day, will find it a stern struggle. Let the Christian pray that he may be spared the encounter. Our Saviour, who had experience of what temptation meant, thus earnestly admonished his disciples—“Pray that ye enter not into temptation.”

 

But let us do as we will, we shall be tempted; hence the prayer “deliver us from evil.” God had one Son without sin; but he has no son without temptation. The natural man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upwards, and the Christian man is born to temptation just as certainly. We must be always on our watch against Satan, because, like a thief, he gives no intimation of his approach. Believers who have had experience of the ways of Satan, know that there are certain seasons when he will most probably make an attack, just as at certain seasons bleak winds may be expected; thus the Christian is put on a double guard by fear of danger, and the danger is averted by preparing to meet it. Prevention is better than cure: it is better to be so well armed that the devil will not attack you, than to endure the perils of the fight, even though you come off a conqueror. Pray this evening first that you may not be tempted, and next that if temptation be permitted, you may be delivered from the evil one. [18]


February 9

Genesis 42; Mark 12; Job 8; Romans 12

Bildad the shuhite is scandalized by Job’s response to Eliphaz and offers his own searing rebuttal (Job 8).

“How long will you say such things?” Bildad asks. “Your words are a blustering wind” (8:2). We would say they are nothing but hot air. From Bildad’s perspective, Job is charging God with perverting justice. “Does the Almighty pervert what is right?” (8:3). But Bildad cannot let the point linger as a merely theoretical point to be debated by theologians. The implications of his rhetorical question Bildad now drives home in a shaft that must have pierced Job to the quick: “When your children sinned against him, he gave them over to the penalty of their sin” (8:4). In other words, the proper explanation of the storm that killed all ten of Job’s children (1:18–19) is that they deserved it. To say anything else would surely mean, according to Bildad, that God is unjust, that he perverts justice. So the way forward for Job is “to look to God and plead with the Almighty” (8:5). If Job humbles himself and is truly pure and upright, God will restore him to his “rightful place.” Indeed, all the fabulous wealth Job formerly enjoyed will seem like a mere piffle compared with the rewards that will come to him (8:6–7).

For his authority Bildad appeals to longstanding tradition, to “the former generations.” The opinions he and his friends express are not newfangled ideas but received tradition. Bildad and his friends, regardless of how old they are, can only have learned by experience what can be tasted in one lifetime. What they are appealing to, however, is not the experience of one lifetime, but accumulated tradition. That tradition says that the godless and those who forget God perish like reeds without water; they enjoy all the support of those who lean on spiders’ webs (8:11–19). Conversely, “Surely God does not reject a blameless man or strengthen the hands of evildoers” (8:20).

Of course, this is roughly the argument of Eliphaz, perhaps somewhat more bluntly expressed; and while Eliphaz appealed to visions of the night, Bildad appealed to received tradition. Once again, parts of the argument are not wrong. At one level, on an eternal scale, it is right to conclude that God vindicates righteousness and condemns wickedness. But as Bildad expresses the case, he claims to know more about God’s doings than he really does (neither he nor Job knows the behind-the-scenes setup in chapter 1). Worse, he applies his doctrine mechanically and shortsightedly, and ends up condemning a righteous man.

Can you think of instances where premature or unbalanced application of biblical truth has turned out to be fundamentally mistaken?[19]


February 9

Genesis 42; Mark 12; Job 8; Romans 12

The exchange between Jesus and some of his opponents in Mark 12:13–17 is full of interest. Mark says that Jesus’ interlocutors set out “to catch him in his words” (12:13). Doubtless that is why they begin with some pretty condescending flattery about how principled a teacher he is, utterly unwilling to be swayed by popular opinion. It is all a setup. “Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” they ask. “Should we pay or shouldn’t we?” (12:14–15).

They thought they had him. If he answered “No,” then he would be in trouble with the Roman authorities, who certainly were not going to allow a popular religious preacher in a volatile country like this one go around advocating nonpayment of taxes. Jesus might even be executed for treason. But if he answered “Yes,” then he would lose the confidence of the people and therefore diminish his popularity. Many ordinary Jews not only felt the ordinary human resentment of taxes, but raised theological objections. How could conscientious Jews pay in coins that had the image of the emperor on them, especially coins that ascribed titles of deity to him? Besides, if Jews were really righteous, would not God come down and deliver his people again, this time from the Roman superpower? Does not principled fidelity to God demand nonpayment of taxes?

Whatever answer Jesus gave, he would be a loser. But he refuses to yield. Instead, he asks for a coin, asks whose image is on it, and argues that it is right to give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s. Jesus thereby neatly escapes their snare, and his interlocutors are amazed.

But there are layers of implications here. Under a strict theocracy, Jesus’ words would be incoherent: the rule of God is mediated by the king, so that their domains are not so easily separable. Moreover, the old covenant structure was, on paper, tightly bound to theocratic rule. Yet here is Jesus announcing that a distinction must be made between Caesar’s claims and the claims of the living God.

Of course, this does not mean that Caesar’s domain is entirely independent of God’s domain, nor that God does not remain in providential control. But it is hard to avoid the conclusion that Jesus is announcing a fundamental change in the administration of the covenant community. The locus of the community is no longer a theocratic kingdom; it is now an assembly of churches from around the world, living under many “kings” and “Caesars,” and offering worship to none of them. And that is why many Christians around the world trace the history of the non-establishment of a particular religion to this utterance of the Lord Jesus himself.[20]


February 9.—Morning. [Or March 19.] “When I see the blood I will pass over you.”

ISRAEL’S deliverance from Egypt was a redemption both by blood and by power. In the following chapter we read of the redemption by blood.

Exodus 12:1–15

1, 2 And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. (To be redeemed is the greatest event in a man’s history. The day in which we realise redemption must be the pearl of days to us for ever.)

3, 4 Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb.

Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year; ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: (Jesus was perfect, and in the fulness of his strength when he became the lamb of our passover.)

And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. (It was both in the evening of the day and in the evening of time, that by the general voice of the nation, Jesus was put to death.)

And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. (Not on the threshold, for woe unto the man who tramples on the blood of Christ.)

And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. (Do these bitter herbs signify our repentance or the Redeemer’s woes? Perhaps both.)

Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof.

Our Lord’s sufferings are well symbolised by the fire before which the lamb was roasted.

10 And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire. (We must feed upon Christ and upon a whole Christ.)

11, 12 And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the Lord’s passover. For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord.

13 And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt. (Mark that word, “when I see the blood.” Our sight of the atonement brings us comfort, but the Lord’s own sight of it is the true reason of our salvation.)

14 And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the Lord throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.

15 Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel.

SIN is that sour leaven which must go from the heart where Jesus is the Saviour. The apostle Paul puts this more at length in

1 Cor 5:6–8

Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? (It is a spreading thing, and if any be left it will speedily multiply itself.)

Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:

Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. (May the Holy Spirit grant us grace to accomplish this sweeping of the house. Where the precious blood is sprinkled, no sin can be tolerated.)

Saints behold your Paschal lamb,

Trust his blood, and praise his name;

Keep the sacred feast and be

Now from guile and malice free.

Stand as pilgrims, staff in hand,

Quitting soon this servile land,

Follow on where Christ has trod,

Till he brings you home to God.

February 9.—Evening. [Or March 20.] “The Lord hath redeemed Jacob.”

OUR last reading set forth the Lord’s command as to the passover, we shall now see it obeyed.

Exodus 12:21–36

21, 22 Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said unto them, Draw out and take you a lamb according to your families, and kill the passover. And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the bason, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the bason; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning. (They must abide under the shelter of the blood or perish.)

23 For the Lord will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the Lord will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you. (Else had Israel died as well as Egypt. It was not character or position, but the sprinkled blood which made the difference. The sacrifice of Jesus is the true reason of our salvation.)

24 And ye shall observe this thing for an ordinance to thee and to thy sons for ever.

Whatever else we forget we must hold by the substitutionary atonement as long as time endures.

25 And it shall come to pass, when ye be come to the land which the Lord will give you, according as he hath promised, that ye shall keep this service.

26 And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you, What mean ye by this service?

27 That ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the Lord’s passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses. And the people bowed the head and worshipped.

The youngest ought to be instructed in the doctrine of atonement by blood: it is the most vital truth of our most holy faith.

28 And the children of Israel went away, and did as the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron, so did they.

29 ¶ And it came to pass, that at midnight the Lord smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle.

30 And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead.

Death reigned where the blood was not sprinkled, and so must it be. Are we all marked with the blood of our Great Substitute?

31, 32 And he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Rise up, and get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel; and go, serve the Lord, as ye have said. Also take your flocks and your herds, as ye have said, and be gone; and bless me also. (Here was the overthrow of pride. The haughty tyrant surrenders, and becomes himself a suppliant. God’s sword can reach the heart of leviathan himself, though he thinks himself invulnerable and invincible.)

33 And the Egyptians were urgent upon the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste; for they said, We be all dead men.

34 And the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneading-troughs being bound up in their clothes upon their shoulders.

35 And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment. (These were not borrowed as we understand the word, but asked for, and freely given, because the people honoured the Israelites, and were afraid to incur their anger.)

36 And the Lord gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them such things as they required. And they spoiled the Egyptians.

Their long and unpaid services were thus, in a measure, requited by the gifts of the Egyptians.

When souls are spiritually set free from sin, the Lord is pleased to adorn them with many precious things; for he is abundant in loving kindness towards his people.

Paschal Lamb, by God appointed,

All our sins on Thee were laid:

By almighty love anointed,

Thou hast full atonement made:

All Thy people are forgiven

Through the virtue of Thy blood:

Open’d is the gate of heaven;

Peace is made ’twixt man and God.[21]


February 9th

Are you exhausted spiritually?

The everlasting God … fainteth not, neither is weary. Isaiah 40:28.

Exhaustion means that the vital forces are worn right out. Spiritual exhaustion never comes through sin but only through service, and whether or not you are exhausted will depend upon where you get your supplies. Jesus said to Peter—“Feed My sheep,” but He gave him nothing to feed them with. The process of being made broken bread and poured-out wine means that you have to be the nourishment for other souls until they learn to feed on God. They must drain you to the dregs. Be careful that you get your supply, or before long you will be utterly exhausted. Before other souls learn to draw on the life of the Lord Jesus direct, they have to draw on it through you; you have to be literally ‘sucked’, until they learn to take their nourishment from God. We owe it to God to be our best for His lambs and His sheep as well as for Himself.

Has the way in which you have been serving God betrayed you into exhaustion? If so, then rally your affections. Where did you start the service from? From your own sympathy or from the basis of the Redemption of Jesus Christ? Continually go back to the foundation of your affections and recollect where the source of power is. You have no right to say—‘Oh Lord, I am so exhausted.’ He saved and sanctified you in order to exhaust you. Be exhausted for God, but remember that your supply comes from Him. “All my fresh springs shall be in Thee.”[22]


February 9 – This Sermon Is for Today

“He opened His mouth and began to teach them” (Matthew 5:2).

Because of the Sermon on the Mount’s seemingly impossible demands and behavioral standards that are counter to everything the world practices and holds dear, many Christians have taught that the Sermon applies only to the millennial age. If it were not just for a future kingdom era, the argument goes, Jesus would not have commanded believers to be perfect, just as their “heavenly Father is perfect” (Matt. 5:48).

But such an argument is invalid, for a number of reasons. First, and most obvious, the body of Jesus’ sermon nowhere indicates or even implies that its message should be set aside for a future age. Second, Jesus was delivering these instructions to people of the present age—His original hearers and us—not those living in the Millennium. Furthermore, many of the teachings become meaningless if we apply them to the Millennium. (For instance, there will be no persecution of Christians at that time; see Matt. 5:10–12, 44.)

The fourth reason these teachings have to apply now is that every principle and command Jesus sets forth is further applied by the writers of the New Testament epistles, directed to believers both then and now. And fifth, many other New Testament passages teach us standards that are equally unattainable as those in the Sermon on the Mount. Only with aid of the indwelling Spirit can these be done, even part of the time (cf. Phil. 1:9–10; Col. 3:1–2; 1 Peter 1:15–16).

Jesus’ sermon certainly does apply to us, marking out the distinctive lifestyle we should display to all those around us.

Ask Yourself

Which of the individual teachings from the Sermon on the Mount have you basically dismissed as being unattainable? Why have you classified one or more in this way? What could this deliberate refusal to obey tell you about the condition of your heart?

From Daily Readings from the Life of Christ, Vol. 1, John MacArthur. Copyright © 2008. Used by permission of Moody Publishers, Chicago, IL 60610, http://www.moodypublishers.com.


February 9

Reading for Today:

Exodus 29:1–30:38
Psalm 20:6-9
Proverbs 7:6-23
Matthew 25:1-30
Notes:

Exodus 29:45 I will dwell. That He would be God of the children of Israel and they would be His people was one thing, but that He would also dwell or tabernacle with them was a very important reality in the experience of the new nation. They were to understand not only the transcendence of their God, whose dwelling place was in the heaven of heavens, but also the immanence of their God, whose dwelling place was with them. Their redemption from Egypt was for this purpose (v. 46).

Psalm 20:7 Some trust in… Trust, boast, and praise must not be directed to the wrong objects but only to God Himself (see, e.g., Deut. 17:16; 20:1–4; Lev. 26:7, 8; Ps. 33:16, 17; Is. 31:1–3; Jer. 9:23, 24; Zech. 4:6).

Proverbs 7:8 took the path. Against the advice of Proverbs 4:14, 15, he put himself right in the harlot’s place. “Fleeing immorality” (1 Cor. 6:18) starts by not being in the harlot’s neighborhood at night.

Matthew 25:15 talents. A talent was a measure of weight, not a specific coin, so that a talent of gold was more valuable than a talent of silver. A talent of silver (the word translated “money” in v. 18 is literally silver) was a considerable sum of money. The modern meaning of the word “talent,” denoting a natural ability, stems from the fact that this parable is erroneously applied to the stewardship of one’s natural gifts.

DAY 9: What do the parables of the 10 virgins and of the talents tell us about Christ’s second coming?

The parable of the 10 virgins (Matt. 10:25:1–13) is given to underscore the importance of being ready for Christ’s return in any event—even if He delays longer than expected. The wedding would begin at the bride’s house when the bridegroom arrived to observe the wedding ritual. Then a procession would follow as the bridegroom took the bride to his house for the completion of festivities. For a night wedding, “lamps,” which were actually torches, were needed for the procession. For those not prepared when He does return, there will be no second chances (vv. 11, 12).

The parable of the talents (Matt. 25:14–30) illustrates the tragedy of wasted opportunity. The man who goes on the journey represents Christ, and the servants represent professing believers given different levels of responsibility. Faithfulness is what he demands of them (v. 23), but the parable suggests that all who are faithful will be fruitful to some degree. Both the man with five talents and the man with two received exactly the same reward, “the joy of your lord,” indicating that the reward is based on faithfulness, not results. The slothful servant (v. 24) does not represent a genuine believer, for it is obvious that this man had no true knowledge of the master. This fruitless person is unmasked as a hypocrite and utterly destroyed (v. 30).

From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville, TN 37214, http://www.thomasnelson.com.


Tue, February 09, 2016

Lovingly Truthful

Here are some questions I recommend you ask yourself. In quiet silence ask, “Am I always truthful and honest? I claim to be a Christian, and I believe that the root of the matter is in me and the seed of God is in my heart. I believe I am the Lord”s child, but I am not satisfied with the frozen-over rut. Lord, help me to be honest while I answer. Am I always truthful on the telephone? Am I always honest with my creditors, with my employers, with my employees and in all social contracts and contacts?” Somebody may say, “What’s the difference?” Dishonesty and shading of the truth are sins that grieve the Holy Spirit and bring on the winter. The winter of your discontent may be upon you, and like the life in a leafless tree, your life is buried within. You may have grieved the Holy Spirit by untruthfulness. One of the first things Christians have to do is become perfectly honest with God and perfectly truthful in everything they say.

Verse
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.
Ephesians 4:15

Thought
To be lovingly truthful is an expressiion of the Spirit”s control. At times we may be untruthful even so slightly. At times we may be brutally truthful but unlovingly so.

Prayer
O God, You have been so lovingly truthful to me. Make me an instrument of loving truthfulness.

A. W. Tozer
http://www.cmalliance.org/devotions/tozer


Faith’s Checkbook: The Dross Purged

Then I will bring the remaining third into the fire; I will refine them like silver is refined and will test them like gold is tested. They will call on my name and I will answer; I will say, ‘These are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’” – Zech 13:9 NET

Grace transmutes us into precious metal, and then the fire and the furnace follows as a necessary consequence. Do we start at this? Would we sooner be accounted worthless, that we might enjoy repose, like the stones of the field! This would be to choose the viler part — like Esau, to take the pottage and give up the covenant portion. No, Lord; we will gladly be cast into the furnace rather than be cast out from Thy presence!

The fire only refines; it does not destroy. We are to be brought through the fire, not left in it. The Lord values His people as silver, and therefore He is at pains to purge away their dross. If we are wise, we shall rather welcome the refining process than decline it. Our prayer will be that our alloy may be taken from us rather than that we should be withdrawn from the crucible.

O Lord, Thou triest us indeed! We are ready to melt under the fierceness of the flame. Still, this is Thy way, and Thy way is the best. Sustain us under the trial and complete the process of our purifying, and we will be Thine forever and ever.

C. H. Spurgeon


INTERCESSION: Pray for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Lands

2
For the propagation of the gospel in foreign parts and the enlargement of the church by the bringing in of many to it.

O let the gospel be proclaimed to the whole creation; Mark 16:15(ESV) for how are men to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? Romans 10:14-15(ESV) And who shall send out laborers but the Lord of the harvest? Matthew 9:38(ESV)

Let the people dwelling in darkness see a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them let a light dawn. Matthew 4:16(ESV)

Add to your church day by day those who are being saved; Acts 2:47(ESV) enlarge the place of its tent, lengthen its cords, and strengthen its stakes. Isaiah 54:2(ESV)

Bring your offspring from the east and gather them from the west; say to the north, “Give up,” and to the south, “Do not withhold; bring your sons from afar and your daughters from the end of the earth.” Isaiah 43:5-6(ESV) Let them come with acceptance to your altar, and beautify your beautiful house; let them fly like a cloud, and like doves to their windows. Isaiah 60:7-8(ESV)

In every place let incense be offered to your name, and pure offerings; and from the rising of the sun to its setting, let your name be great among the nations, Malachi 1:11(ESV) and let the offering of the Gentiles be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:16(ESV)

O let the earth be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. Isaiah 11:9(ESV)

Matthew Henry’s Method For Prayer


 

[1] Osbeck, K. W. (1996). Amazing grace: 366 inspiring hymn stories for daily devotions (p. 50). Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications.

[2] Barry, J. D., & Kruyswijk, R. (2012). Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

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

[4] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 52). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[5] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 52). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

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

[7] Stanley, C. F. (2004). God’s way day by day (p. 48). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[8] Stanley, C. F. (2002). Seeking His face (p. 42). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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

[10] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 42). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[11] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 42). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[12] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 42). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[13] Jeremiah, D. (2007). Life-Changing Moments With God (p. 50). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[14] Jeremiah, D. (2002). Sanctuary: finding moments of refuge in the presence of God (p. 42). Nashville, TN: Integrity Publishers.

[15] Spurgeon, C. H. (1892). Daily Help (p. 44). Baltimore: R. H. Woodward & Company.

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

[17] Boa, K.