SSB Sunday Gathering – November 18, 2018 — Spiritual Sounding Board

 

Spiritual Sounding Board – This is your place to gather and share in an open format.

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You may think we’re out early morning for beer, but we’re out for coffee.

-by Kathi

***

I spent Saturday at work for four hours doing a job that only should take one hour. Then had a family gathering. Then came home to finish up work.

Today is Sunday Gathering Lite. What’s on your mind? How was your last week? What are you looking forward to this week?

This coming week is Thanksgiving. Holidays can be a mixed bag of feelings for everyone. I hope you are able to enjoy time with family and friends. If holidays are a difficult time for you please know we are here to listen and support. Do the best you can to get through the days. Don’t overwhelm yourself. Take care of yourself.

***

 

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May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you: wherever he may send you;

may he guide you through the wilderness: protect you from the storm;

may he bring you home rejoicing: at the wonders he has shown you;

may he bring you home rejoicing: once again into our doors.

***
Feel free to join the discussion.
You can share your church struggles and concerns.
Let’s also use it as a time to encourage one another spiritually.
What have you found spiritually encouraging lately?
Do you have any special Bible verses to share, any YouTube songs that you have found uplifting?

 

Photo credit: Kathi

SSB Sunday Gathering – November 18, 2018 — Spiritual Sounding Board

My Only Hope — The Upward Call

I love this song. My daughter and I sang it together once for special music. It’s not a rendition really good for congregational version, but there are other versions with similar lyrics.

Depth of mercy, can there be?
Mercy still reserved for me?
Can my God, your wrath forebear,
Me the chief of sinners spare?

Chorus:

It’s my only hope,
My only hope,
My only hope of heaven,
At the cross forgiven.

And I have long withstood your grace,
Long provoked you to your face.
Would not hearken to your calls
Grieved you by a thousand falls.

There for me the Saviour stands,
Shows his wounds and spreads his hands.
Face to face before the Son
Like Isaiah, I’m undone

Depth of mercy vast and free,
So much deeper than the sea;
God of love, you heard my cry;
Now into your open arms I fly.

My Only Hope — The Upward Call

Sunday Word of the Week: Fruit of the Spirit, Kindness — The End Time

By Elizabeth Prata

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

kindness here in Greek (xrēstótēs) means a useful kindness, referring to meeting real needs, in God’s way, in His timing (fashion). Hence 5544 (xrēstótēs) is listed as a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22). With the believer, 5544 /xrēstótēs (“divine kindness”) is the Spirit-produced goodness which meets the need and avoids human harshness (cruelty). Strong’s

People have shown me kindness before in the big things in meeting physical needs, which is always amazing and welcome. Kindness shown in the little things too, are also a welcome act and often more precious than the big acts. A hug well-timed, a kind word, a surprise donation, a small gift for no reason, deference shown, restraint in a tough situation, all these are kindnesses. Below in Further Resources, Alistair Begg preaches that kindness softens peoples’ hearts to hear the Gospel.

At Ligonier, we read that patience and kindness are tied together. Excerpt:

Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness, and honor” (Prov. 21:21).

As we continue our study of Christian character, let us remember that the fruit of the Spirit as listed in Galatians 5:22–23 provides a helpful way to see if we are imitating Christ. Jesus alone perfectly displayed these fruits in His life, and we must strive to do the same if we have trusted in Him. As we seek to follow the example of Christ, we must recognize that we are able to follow Him on account of the Holy Spirit. …

The Lord has not only been patient to us, He has been kind. Therefore, we must mimic this kindness in our dealings with other people. We must avoid the temptation to be petty in our dealings with other people. We must overlook minor faults in love, and we will only be able to do this when we are patient, recognizing that not every situation is equally deserving of our correction.

In Acts 28:2 we read that

The native people showed us unusual kindness, for they kindled a fire and welcomed us all, because it had begun to rain and was cold.

They showed us not little kindness. So far were they from making a prey of this shipwreck, as many, I fear, who are called Christian people, would have done, that they laid hold of it as an opportunity of showing mercy. …

When in the extremities of bad weather we find ourselves fenced against the rigours of the season, by the accommodations of a warm house, bed, clothes, and a good fire, we should think how many lie exposed to the present rain, and to the cold, and pity them, and pray for them, and help them if we can. ~Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible

The Maltese people came out in the torrential rain to serve and save those drenched sailors washed up on shore. It was winter, cold, storming, and these people put themselves out in order to show kindness. There were several hundred sailors, on commenter says. It must have been no small thing to mount a bonfire large enough to warm all of them, and in the drenching winter rain, too.

In the end, kindness defined is simple but doing it Christ’s way is hard. We must meet needs (extravagantly) and avoid harshness (at all times). Be kind.

Further Resources

Alistair Begg sermon – Cultivating Kindness

Ligonier Devotional – A Call to Kindness

word cloud

Sunday Word of the Week: Fruit of the Spirit, Kindness — The End Time

November 18 Looking to the Future

“By faith even Sarah herself received ability to conceive, even beyond the proper time of life, since she considered Him faithful who had promised; therefore also there was born of one man, and him as good as dead at that, as many descendants as the stars of heaven in number, and innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore” (Heb. 11:11–12).

✧✧✧

Your faith in Christ will influence future generations.

I’ve been blessed with a wonderful Christian heritage. In fact, I’m the fifth generation of preachers in our family. The faith of my predecessors has had an enormous impact on my life—either directly or indirectly. I have the same responsibility they did to influence others for good, as do you.

Hebrews 11:11–12 gives a very personal example of how one man’s faith influenced an entire nation. Verse 11 is better rendered: “By faith Abraham, even though he was past age—and Sarah herself was barren—was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise” (niv).

God had promised Abraham that he would become the father of a great nation (Gen. 12:2). But Sarah, Abraham’s wife, had always been barren, and both of them were advanced in years. At one point Sarah became impatient and decided to take things into her own hands. She persuaded Abraham to have a son by her maid, Hagar (16:1–4). That act of disobedience proved to be costly because Ishmael, the child of that union, became the progenitor of the Arab people, who have been constant antagonists of the Jewish nation.

Despite his times of disobedience, Abraham believed that God would keep His promise. God honored Abraham’s faith by giving him not only Isaac, the child of promise, but descendants too numerous to count. One man’s faith literally changed the world!

Similarly, the faith you exercise today will influence others tomorrow. So, be faithful and remember that despite your failures, God “is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us” (Eph. 3:20).

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer:  Thank God for those who have had a righteous influence on you. ✧ Pray for greater opportunities to influence others for Christ.

For Further Study: Read the account of Abraham and Sarah in Genesis 18–21 and 23.[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 335). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

EChurch@Wartburg- 11.17.18: featuring Pete Briscoe on Law and Grace —

Cornucopia
Cornucopia

How long has it been since you have sung this one? A Thanksgiving hymn.

A Plimouth (this is the correct spelling) Plantation prayer for Thanksgiving link

O Lord our God and heavenly Father, which of Thy unspeakable mercy towards us,
hast provided meate and drinke for the nourishment of our weake bodies.
Grant us peace to use them reverently, as from Thy hands, with thankful hearts:
let Thy blessing rest upon these Thy good creatures, to our comfort and sustentation:
and grant we humbly beseech Thee, good Lord, that as we do hunger and thirst for this food of our bodies,
so our soules may earnestly long after the food of eternal life,
through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour,
Amen.

George Washington’s prayer for guidance as found in his prayer journal at Mount Vernon link

The National Thanksgiving Proclamation was the first formal proclamation of Thanksgiving in the United States. President George Washington declared Thursday, November 26, 1789 as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer.

O eternal and everlasting God,
I presume to present myself this morning before thy Divine majesty,
beseeching thee to accept of my humble and hearty thanks,
that it hath pleased thy great goodness
to keep and preserve me the night past from all the dangers poor mortals are subject to,
and has given me sweet and pleasant sleep,
whereby I find my body refreshed and comforted for performing the duties of this day,
in which I beseech thee to defend me from all perils of body and soul….
Increase my faith in the sweet promises of the gospel;
give me repentance from dead works;
pardon my wanderings, and direct my thoughts unto thyself,
the God of my salvation; teach me how to live in thy fear, labor in thy service,
and ever to run in the ways of thy commandments;
make me always watchful over my heart,
that neither the terrors of conscience,
the loathing of holy duties, the love of sin,
nor an unwillingness to depart this life, may cast me into a spiritual slumber,
but daily frame me more and more into the likeness of thy son Jesus Christ,
that living in thy fear, and dying in thy favor,
I may in thy appointed time attain the resurrection of the just unto eternal life
bless my family, friends, and kindred.
Amen

Another oldie on giving thanks.

Scripture: Romans 7:1-6

Do you not know, brothers and sisters
—for I am speaking to those who know the law
—that the law has authority over someone only as long as that person lives?
2 For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive,
but if her husband dies, she is released from the law that binds her to him.
3 So then, if she has sexual relations with another man while her husband is still alive,
she is called an adulteress.
But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress if she marries another man.
4 So, my brothers and sisters,
you also died to the law through the body of Christ,
that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead,
in order that we might bear fruit for God.
5 For when we were in the realm of the flesh,
the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in us,
so that we bore fruit for death.
6 But now, by dying to what once bound us,
we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit,
and not in the old way of the written code.

Alive and Free: Part 1: Normal  by my former pastor Pete Briscoe at Bent Tree Church

We will be featuring sermons by Pete Briscoe on the weeks that Wade Burleson has guest preachers. How to walk in grace and not veer off into legalism or license.

This sermon is important to me. I recently encountered a Christian who claims that I cannot be friends with those who believe differently than he thinks they should. He is wrong.he needs two understand of God’s grace.

Be encouraged, dear friends. Pete transparently shares his journey into liberty. This is a good one!

Benediction: Jude 24-25

Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling
and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy,
to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory,
majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever.
Amen.

via EChurch@Wartburg- 11.17.18: featuring Pete Briscoe on Law and Grace —

What does it mean to “fall away”? | Monergism

The visible church of Christ is mixed; having both wheat and tares. It is the characteristic of God’s people to persevere to the end because God preserves them (John 6:38-40, John 10:28-29, Romans 8:28-39). Those who fall away demonstrate that they had spurious faith. (See 1 John 2:19) The Holy Spirit quickens His people and since His seed abides in them He keeps them from falling away because they have been born again (1 John 3:19). He also preserves His own by disciplining us when we fail to judge ourselves, so that we won’t be condemned along with the world (1 Cor 11:31-32). God also uses his word as a means of preserving us by calling us to persevere and giving us warnings of what will occur if we don’t. The elect hear his voice in the word and take heed. The non-elect (tares) do not hear his voice and fall away.

—–

Chapter XVII. Of the Perseverance of the Saints

Section I.–They whom God hath accepted in his Beloved, effectually called and sanctified by his Spirit, can neither totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace; but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved.

Section II.–This perseverance of the saints depends, not upon their own freewill, but upon the immutability of the decree of election, flowing from the free and unchangeable love of God the Father; upon the efficacy of the merit and intercession of Jesus Christ; the abiding of the Spirit and of the seed of God within them; and the nature of the covenant of grace; from all which ariseth also the certainty and infallibility thereof.

Section III.–Nevertheless they may, through the temptations of Satan and of the world, the prevalence of corruption remaining in them, and the neglect of the means of their perseverance, fall into grievous sins; and for a time continue therein: whereby they incur God’s displeasure, and grieve his Holy Spirit; come to be deprived of some measure of their graces and comforts; have their hearts hardened, and their consciences wounded; hurt and scandalise others, and bring temporal judgments upon themselves.

—–

Related

Standing Fast or Falling Away? by Thomas Vincent
“Falling Away?”  by J. Ligon Duncan
‘Don’t fall away’: the biblical theology of Hebrews by Thomas Schreiner
Can a Regenerate Christian Fall Away from the Faith?: Biblical Reflections on Hebrews 6  by John Hendryx

More on Apostasy here….

— Read on www.monergism.com/blog/what-does-it-mean-fall-away

$50 for Thanksgiving food at Aldi, Trader Joe’s, Walmart, Whole Foods

How Acme, Aldi, Trader Joe’s, Walmart and Whole Foods stacked up when I tried to spend just $50 to feed eight people for Thanksgiving.

If you’ve ever hosted Thanksgiving dinner, you know that it can be expensive. This year, hosts will spend an average of $31 per guest, according to a new report from LendingTree. But a dinner featuring staples like turkey and mashed potatoes doesn’t need to be that pricey, as long as you’re willing to make some things from scratch and stick to a budget: the American Farm Bureau Federationestimates the average 10-person meal costs $48.90. Their menu includes turkey, gravy, stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls, peas, cranberry sauce, as well as a vegetable tray as an appetizer and pumpkin pie and coffee for dessert.

I set out to determine if I could split the difference and feed eight for under $50.

That’s a lot of food for not a lot of money, especially since I live in New York, where food prices are higher than the national average. Taking a cue from the Farm Bureau, I opted for a straightforward menu consisting of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce and crescent rolls, as well as apple pie for dessert (sorry, not a fan of pumpkin). Oh, and coffee.

The final shopping list for Thanksgiving dinner came to 22 items. For the purposes of my test I assumed that I would already have on hand pantry staples like flour, sugar, oil, salt and pepper. I took that list to five popular grocery chains: Acme, Aldi, Trader Joe’s, Walmart and Whole Foods.

Here’s how much I was able to get for $50 at each store.

— Read on www.cnbc.com/2018/11/16/50-dollars-for-thanksgiving-food-at-aldi-trader-joes-walmart-whole-foods.html

Syria: ‘US-led airstrikes targeting IS kill more than 40 people including civilians’ – Sky News

More than 40 people – including several children – have been killed in US-led airstrikes on the last Islamic State stronghold in eastern Syria, according to a war monitoring body and state media.
— Read on news.sky.com/story/amp/syria-us-led-airstrikes-targeting-is-kill-more-than-40-people-including-civilians-11557086

Press Freedom v. Major Media Disinformation and Fake News – Stephen Lendman

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org  Home – Stephen Lendman)

First Amendment “freedom of speech (and) the press” includes no major media rights to willfully report disinformation, Big Lies and fake news – suppressing what’s true and verifiable on issues mattering most.

CNN notoriously is the most distrusted name in so-called television news. Along with other Western media, it’s a virtual mouthpiece for wealth, power and privileged interests.

They feature a daily drumbeat of deplorable rubbish, abandoning journalism the way it’s supposed to be.

CNN is the worst of the worst. Ted Turner’s 1980 creation reflects both travesty and tragedy – polar opposite how the American Press Institute defines journalism, saying:

It’s “the gathering, assessing, creating, and presenting news and information,” adding:

Its “characteristics and practices…separate journalism from other forms of communication…mak(ing) it indispensable to democratic societies.”

“(J)ournalism provide(s) citizens with the information they need to make the best possible decisions about their lives, their communities, their societies, and their governments.”

Media scholar/critic Robert McChesney said “collapse of a viable journalism (in America) is a significant factor — but by no means the only one — in explaining the shriveled and dilapidated state of US democracy.”

A free press in America exists in name only. Legitimate journalism is absent in the mainstream, available only through alternative sources, mainly online.

What passes for major media in America replicates what goes on in all totalitarian societies – political systems where ruling authorities exert total control, including over media.

In the US, the fourth estate goes along with the dirty system voluntarily, sticking with the official censored narrative on major geopolitical and domestic issues, truth-telling banished from reporting, concealing what powerful dark forces want suppressed.

Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, major media overwhelming were one-sided for Hillary, functioning as de facto press agents, criticizing Trump for the wrong reasons, not the right ones – continuing biased reporting post-election.

They’re militantly Russophobic and hostile to virtually all other sovereign independent countries for not subordinating their interests to Washington.

Disinformation and fake news are what they do best, journalism used as advocacy for powerful interests.

Time and again, CNN was caught red-handed reporting fake news, proving it’s the most untrustworthy name in television news.

It makes painful watching, insulting viewers, never letting facts interfere with its willfully deceptive reporting.

Following a DLT shouting match with CNN’s arrogant/ill-mannered Jim Acosta, Trump suspended his White House press pass “until further notice.”

CNN sued for reinstatement. On Friday, federal Judge Timothy Kelly ordered the White House to temporarily reinstate Acosta – rejecting the Trump regime’s claim that “(n)o journalist has a First Amendment right to enter the White House.”

He’s yet to rule on whether the suspension was constitutional. A White House statement said it’ll reinstate Acosta’s press pass, but will “further develop rules and processes to ensure fair and orderly press conferences in the future.”

Acosta and others like him mock what legitimate journalism is all about. Inviolable press freedom doesn’t give reporters, commentators, and editors the right to lie, deceive, and otherwise betray viewers and readers with disinformation and fake news.

It’s what CNN and the rest of America’s major media establishment do best.

It’s why following their reporting assures knowing nothing about issues mattering most – only what powerful interests want people to know.
— Read on stephenlendman.org/2018/11/press-freedom-v-major-media-disinformation-and-fake-news/

The White House press corps — Triablogue

I’m struck by the fact that David French and Ben Shapiro are siding with CNN over the Acosta kerfuffle. They act like Trump violated Acosta’s Constitutional rights.
This is concerning because it goes to the issue of judicial philosophy. Conservatives typically champion strict constructionism rather than a living Constitution.
A president can’t shut down the press. The press has a right to report on the Executive branch. Has the right to investigate the Executive branch.
However, there’s no Constitutional right to have a White House press corps. There’s no Constitutional right for journalists to be stationed at the White House. There’s no Constitutional mandate that a president hold press conferences. Or have a press secretary. Those are traditions that developed long after the Constitution was ratified.
There’s no Constitutional mandate that a president call upon a particular reporter. There’s no Constitutional mandate that a particular reporter from a particular news outlet have access to the White House. Those are traditions that developed long after the Constitution was ratified.
Banning a reporter from the White House grounds isn’t a criminal penalty. The only folks who are really entitled to be on White House grounds are White House employees.
It’s disturbing when David French and Ben Shapiro hail the ruling of a judge in favor of Acosta. That’s the kind of judicial overreach that conservatives are supposed to oppose. Inventing Constitutional rights that have no basis in the text, logic, or history of the Constitution. Their antipathy towards Trump is skewing their judgment.
BTW, I’ve never seen the point of the White House press corps. The press secretary will defend whatever the current policy happens to be, whether the policy is logical, illogical, factual, or demonstrably false. It’s a vacuous, predictable game in which reporters pose argumentative questions while the press secretary gives evasive, disingenuous, scripted answers. This is equally true for Democrat or Republic administrations. It’s not a productive way to elicit useful information.

The White House press corps — Triablogue

Hillsong Christmas Musical Trailer Depicts Jesus Born in a Bar — Pulpit & Pen

Increasingly, Hillsong Church’s Christmas musical productions seem to break the blasphemy barrier of the year before. In 2015, Hillsong made international news for a “Sleazy Night” Christmas special, which was a cabaret and burlesque-type show that incorporated Christmas hymns. At the time, charismatic apologist, Michael Brown, defended Hillsong from critics, claiming that they meant well  (Brown also defended Hillsong’s Carl Lentz when he made pro-abortion comments and defended Hillsong when they had gay choir directors). Two years later, Hillsong one-upped the Sleazy Night presentation with yet another Christmas sensuality show. Blaspheming God by masquerading flesh-peddling as “worship” is nothing new, with Hillsong famously having a “naked cowboy” appear at a women’s conference in 2016 and then a “naked Santa” later that year.

While there’s still time to see how flesh will be on display at Hillsong Australia’s Christmas program this year (mark it down; it will be), Hillsong London’s Christmas program seems to be attempting to break the barrier of the worst re-telling of the Christmas narrative ever.

The trailer for the Hillsong London’s Christmas program depicts the “Three Wisemen” hunting down the newborn Christ at the Inn. The Inn, in the Hillsong depiction, was a place where patrons were swilling mugs of beer at a bar, while serving wenches danced on tables. As the scene progresses, Jesus is depicted with Mary and Joseph in the midst of the bar scene, among much mirth and merriment.

In reality, Jesus was born in the stable – not in the Inn, which had no vacancy for his expectant mother – and laid in a manger, or feeding trough (Luke 2:12). The Wisemen, or Magi (a sect of astronomers and seers going back to the prophet, Daniel -Daniel 2:48 ), whose number is unknown, found Jesus at his home sometime during the first year after his birth (Matthew 2:11), just prior to their midnight flight to Egypt. Inns of the first century in Jerusalem, by the way, were not bars or brothels resembling Old West taverns, but informal guest rooms in larger residential houses.


For why Hillsong music is dangerous for your church, click here.

To understand how Hillsong uses music to attract people to the aberrant teachings, read about the Arian Snare, or Snarianism, click here.

Hillsong Christmas Musical Trailer Depicts Jesus Born in a Bar — Pulpit & Pen

In Preparation for the Lord’s Day: Come Down, O Love Divine — The Thirsty Theologian

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/6HPKL1wOVXk?rel=0&showinfo=0

Come Down, O Love Divine
DOWN AMPNEY

imageCome down, O Love divine,
seek Thou this soul of mine,
and visit it with Thine own ardor glowing;
O Comforter, draw near,
within my heart appear,
and kindle it, Thy holy flame bestowing.

O let it freely burn,
till earthly passions turn
to dust and ashes in its heat consuming;
and let Thy glorious light
shine ever on my sight,
and clothe me round, the while my path illuming.

Let holy charity
mine outward vesture be,
and lowliness become mine inner clothing:
true lowliness of heart,
which takes the humbler part,
and o’er its own shortcomings weeps with loathing.

And so the yearning strong,
with which the soul will long,
shall far outpass the pow’r of human telling;
no soul can guess its grace,
till he become the place
wherein the Holy Spirit makes His dwelling.

Hymns to the Living God (Religious Affections Ministries, 2017).

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/6HPKL1wOVXk?rel=0&showinfo=0

The current hymnal for this series is Hymns to the Living God, recently published by Religious Affections Ministries. This is such a good hymnal that I’m pretty sure I could happily post every hymn it contains, but I’ll be limiting selections to hymns I have never posted here before, especially those unfamiliar to me (of which there are many). For more information and to purchase this hymnal, visit Religious Affections Ministries.

via In Preparation for the Lord’s Day: Come Down, O Love Divine — The Thirsty Theologian

Australian news interviews victims of Hillsong’s pedophile founder

In Australia, 60 Minutes has managed to get exclusive interviews with the victims of Hillsong’s pedophile founder, Frank Houston. We are seeing already vitriolic Hillsong members peddling the lies of Hillsong leadership to malign the media and the general public to defend their beloved brand. This article is to act as a tool to combat the lies and mistruths of Hillsong members.

Here is the trailer of the upcoming story:


Issues of behaviour with Hillsong advocates

After assessing the commentary from Hillsong leadership and observing Hillsong supporters comments on social media regarding this exclusive 60 Minute story, we have noticed Hillsong members are often espousing the following:

  • The Royal Commission is at fault for attacking the integrity of Brian Houston.
  • Hillsong had nothing to do with Frank Houston and Frank’s CLC ministry.
  • The sexual abuse happened years ago and had nothing to do with Hillsong.
  • Hillsong members should not watch media…

View original post 1,051 more words

November 18 Revelation Sovereignly Given

All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.—Matt. 11:27

Human ideas and concepts are temporal and completely incapable of producing spiritual truth or guidance. Only because God has sovereignly given all things to Christ and in turn revealed the Son to men and women can any of us be saved. God must break into the vacuum of the sinful human heart and reveal Himself before we can know Him.

Because the Father gave the Son all authority in the universe, Jesus had full right to send out His disciples to “make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you” (Matt. 28:19–20a). When our Lord pronounced this Great Commission, His earthly ministry had already illustrated His sovereign authority and control over sin, disease, and death, as well as His supreme prerogative to forgive sins and redeem all who believe from the wrath to come. This was a divine preview of the complete authority Christ will have during His millennial reign over the earth.

Of God’s sovereignty in revelation and salvation, we can apply the insight of the Reformer Martin Luther: “Here the bottom falls out of all merit, all powers and abilities of reason or the free will men dream of, and it all counts nothing before God. Christ must do and must give everything.”

ASK YOURSELF

What did Christ reveal to you about Himself that led you to place your faith in Him? What has He revealed of Himself to you in recent days—fresh glimpses into His character, His nature, and His dealings with man?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2008). Daily readings from the life of Christ (p. 331). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

Nolan: The DOJ Charging Julian Assange Underscores the Special Treatment of Hillary Clinton | Breitbart

The Department of Justice recently revealed that it is charging WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange for the dump of classified U.S. documents in 2010 — in stark contrast with the agency’s selective enforcement against Hillary Clinton, who had classified information on her personal email server left open to the world’s hackers.
— Read on www.breitbart.com/tech/2018/11/16/nolan-the-doj-charging-julian-assange-underscores-the-special-treatment-of-hillary-clinton/

11/18/18 Sexual Immorality — ChuckLawless.com

READING: 1 Corinthians 5-7

Today’s devotion was one of the most read devotions of 2015. I repeat it today because the issue remains a critical one. This reading of 1 Corinthians 5-7 reminds us over and over again why godliness in the arena of sexuality is so important:

  1. Apparently, sexual immorality is sometimes so acceptable that even believers become comfortable with it: “It is widely reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and the kind of sexual immorality that is not even tolerated among the Gentiles” (1 Cor. 5:5).
  2. Unrepentant sexual immorality necessitates church discipline, even isolation, in order to call offenders to repentance: “But now I am writing you not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer who is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or verbally abusive, a drunkard or a swindler. Do not even eat with such a person” (1 Cor. 5:11).
  3. My body is created for God’s glory, and sexual sin distorts that goal: “The body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body” (1 Cor. 5:13).
  4. Jesus paid a price — the ultimate price — for me (including my body): “You are not your own, for you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body” (1 Cor. 6:19-20)
  5. My body is the sanctuary of the Holy Spirit: “Don’t you know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God?” (1 Cor. 6:19).
  6. God has, for some, granted a spouse to meet our sexual needs as we give ourselves to one another: “But because sexual immorality is so common, each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband” (1 Cor. 7:2).
  7. Urgency demands obedience. The time is limited, and the world is passing away; thus, I should want to be found fully holy and completely committed to Christ: “And I say this, brothers: The time is limited . . . For this world in its current form is passing away” (1 Cor. 7:29, 31).

God’s direction is clear. All of our life — our thoughts, our actions, our body, our spirit and soul — is His. To ignore that truth for the sake of temporary sexual pleasure is costly. Selfish. Risky. Short-sighted.

Actually, it’s idolatrous . . . .

ACTION STEPS:  

  • Strive today to be completely godly. Reject immoral thoughts. Ignore immoral talk. Turn away from immoral images. Close your computer, and turn off your phone if necessary.
  • Thank God for any victory you gain.

PRAYER: “Father, grant me grace to focus on You alone today. Help me to find such great pleasure in You than any other potential pleasure loses its lure in my life.”

TOMORROW’S READING:  1 Corinthians 9-11

via 11/18/18 Sexual Immorality — ChuckLawless.com

The Obamas are ‘Becoming’ a billion-dollar brand

Michelle and Barack ObamaMichelle and Barack Obama Getty Images

The Obamas are “Becoming” — billionaires.

The launch of Michelle Obama’s cross-country book tour for her new memoir, “Becoming,” last week is just the latest marker on the road to fabulous wealth for the former first couple, who are on their way to becoming a billion-dollar brand.

In addition to a $65 million book advance and an estimated $50 million deal with Netflix, both of which she shares with husband Barack Obama, the former first lady is poised to rake in millions from appearances on her 10-city US tour and sales of merchandise connected to her autobiography.

And like her husband, Michelle Obama is currently in demand as a speaker for corporations and non-profits, commanding $225,000 per appearance, The Post has learned.

Forbes estimated the couple made $20.5 million in salaries and book royalties between 2005 — when Obama became a federal senator and they first arrived in Washington — and 2016. They are now worth more than $135 million.

And that figure does not include the cash they are raking in for public speaking.
— Read on nypost.com/2018/11/17/the-obamas-are-becoming-a-billion-dollar-brand/amp/

Did Jesus Teach Justification by Faith Alone? — White Horse Inn

Sometimes Christians will say things like, “I’m not interested in all those heavy doctrines that Paul talks about. I’m only interested in the simple teachings of Jesus.” But did Paul reshape the Christian message, or was he actually a faithful apostle? To put the question more sharply, did Paul invent the doctrine of justification by grace alone through faith alone on account of Christ alone, or was this something that Jesus himself clearly taught in a variety of ways throughout his earthly ministry? That’s the focus of this edition of White Horse Inn.

hwcdn.libsyn.com/p/0/9/8/09821a4257744f10/wi20181118.mp3