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. (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. 79–80). 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 | Leave a comment

Christian unity through humility

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

12 So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. 14 Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. (Colossians 3:12-17 NASB)

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A Vile Man Named George Soros And How He is Affecting Your Children

Absolute Truth from the Word of God

soros-628x356

There are some in this world whom I believe are demon possessed. One such person is George Soros.  Oh, you’ve heard of him?  Rich man, yes?   Perhaps there are some things about him that have been hidden. Let’s take a look at some the history of Soros before I show the reader how this man is manipulating the minds of your children on college campuses. It’s time you know about the life of this diabolical global tyrant:

From the Blogmocracy:

“György Schwartz, better known to the world as George Soros, was born August 12, 1930 in Hungary. Soros’s father, Tivadar, was a fervent practitioner of the Esperanto language invented in 1887, and designed to be the first global language, free of any national identity. The Schwartz’s, who were non-practicing Jews, changed the family name to Soros, in order to facilitate assimilation into the Gentile population, as the Nazis…

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NTEB: Super Bowl 50 Filled With Illuminati And Pro-LGBT Imagery Dominates Halftime Show

Source: Super Bowl 50 Filled With Illuminati And Pro-LGBT Imagery Dominates Halftime Show

In these photos you can clearly see the obelisk-shaped platform combined with a cross, and a throng of people rushing in to symbolize the global embrace of the One World agenda.

Continuing in a vein that has now become firmly entrenched over the past few years, the Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show was a non-stop cavalcade of pro-LGBT and Illuminati imagery pushing a One World sensibility. Everything from rainbow-colored everything to the stage itself forming a cultic New Age cross whose center was a swirling chaos of confusion, the message was driven home. Super Bowl 50 was for the One World generation.

pro-lgbt-illuminati-cold-play-beyonce-images-on-display-super-bowl-50

In these photos you can clearly see the obelisk-shaped platform combined with a cross, and a throng of people rushing in to symbolize the global embrace of the One World agenda.

cold-play-pro-lgbt-images-on-display-super-bowl-50

No longer are these shows about the music, it is all about the “message”. All these people are waiting for now is the appointed “messenger”. Antichrist. That’s what this unsaved world can expect to receive. But to us who are saved, we are waiting for the “blessed hope” promised to all born again, blood washed believers.

“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;” Titus 2:13 (KJV)

Posted in Culture, Opinion/Commentary, Truth2Freedom Headline Alerts, Worldview | Leave a comment

February 8, 2016 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

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Feb. 8, 2016

BLOOMBERG

President Obama will ask Congress for $1.8 billion in emergency funding to combat the Zika virus. The request comes as thousands of pregnant women in South America, Central America and the Caribbean have been infected with the mosquito-borne virus that has been linked to a birth defect.

American call-center jobs may be one casualty of a pending Pacific trade deal that would allow U.S. federal contract work to be shifted to Malaysia, Vietnam and Brunei. Opponents of the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership are seizing on the provision as an example of how the pact may help U.S. companies with overseas operations to cut costs when vying for their own government’s work, and hurt U.S. workers in the process.

After the Bank of Japan cut some rates below zero last month to spur growth and inflation, strategists are weighing the Federal Reserve’s options in case of a crisis. If the world’s biggest economy weakens enough that traditional policy measures don’t help, the Fed may consider pushing rates below zero, according to Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase.

Hackers used malware to penetrate the defenses of a Russian regional bank and move the ruble-dollar rate more than 15 percent in minutes, according to a Moscow-based cyber-security firm hired to investigate the attack.

Anglo American Platinum, the world’s biggest producer of the metal, said profit fell 86 percent as it wrote down mines and operations by $876 million.

Foreign central banks are playing a larger role in the Federal Reserve’s plan to increase interest rates, largely at the expense of domestic money funds.

AP Top Stories

North Korea’s newest satellite passed almost right over the stadium just an hour after it ended.

The South Korean navy fired warning shots at a North Korean patrol boat that intruded over their disputed maritime border Monday, a day after the North’s launch of a long-range rocket raised tensions.

A suspected suicide bomber who blew a hole in the fuselage of a Daallo Airlines plane last week and forced it to make an emergency landing in Mogadishu was meant to be on a Turkish Airlines flight, the Daallo chief executive said on Monday. The bomber was sucked out of the plane through the one-meter wide hole when the blast ripped open the pressurized cabin in mid-air.

A 19-year-old killed his mother and two neighbors before turning his gun on himself in a shooting that brought SWAT and various emergency vehicles to a rural area in Texas.

Chechen spies loyal to the Kremlin have infiltrated Islamic State in Syria and are gathering intelligence the Russian air force uses to select bombing targets, the hardline leader of Chechnya told Russian state TV.

Miss. – A former court clerk who pleaded guilty to embezzlement must pay back more than $1 million, at $600 a month, a Mississippi judge has ruled.

Experts on microcephaly, the birth defect that has sparked alarm in the current Zika virus outbreak, say they are struck by the severity of a small number of cases they have reviewed from Brazil.

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Sunday called on other countries not to interfere in the kingdom’s internal affairs in what appeared to be a rebuke to Riyadh’s main foe Iran, which it accuses of attempting to stir unrest.

After the attacks in Paris and New Year’s security scares, Germans have been snapping up self-defense equipment like stun guns – to the delight of a Czech manufacturer who corners the market.

The armed wing of Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, said Sunday it had executed one of its members, with sources familiar with the case calling him a senior official accused of spying for Israel.

China’s foreign exchange reserves have fallen $99.5 billion to their lowest level in more than three years, the central bank said Sunday, as Beijing sells dollars to stop the yuan from depreciating further.

A record 4,279 individuals renounced their U.S. citizenship or long-term residency in 2015, according to data released by the Treasury Department.

BBC

The Syrian government has carried out a state policy of extermination against thousands of detainees, UN human rights investigators said. Many detainees were tortured, some were beaten to death, and others died from lack of food, water, or medical care.

Millions of people across Brazil have joined the first day of the annual carnival festivities despite concerns about the outbreak of the Zika virus.

At least 24 migrants have died off the Turkish coast trying to reach the Greek island of Lesbos, Turkish media said.

WND

Authorities in Ohio have filed criminal charges, “contributing to the delinquency of a minor,” against homeschool parents in two families, with trials later this month that could result in fines and jail time if convicted for missing paperwork deadlines.

The NFL’s Super Bowl 50 halftime show was embedded with an array of political messages hiding in plain view. From the rainbow theme to the Black Panther suits worn by Beyoncé’s dancers.

A U.S. judge on Friday granted a preliminary injunction stopping the distribution of surreptitious videos taken by anti-abortion activists who alleged Planned Parenthood staff discussed the illegal sale of aborted fetal tissue.


Strong 6.3-magnitude earthquake strikes off Papua New Guinea
A strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.3 has struck off the town of Panguna in Papua New Guinea, seismologists say, but no tsunami warnings have been issued.

ISIS Playbook – Look Like Western Christians
Samuel Smith for the Christian Post reported that a detailed Islamic State “secret agent” training manual had been distributed on the Internet. It was designed to provide prospective ISIS supporters in Western nations with ways to disguise themselves and their motives when trying to plan and carrying out “lone wolf” attacks and espionage missions. Things to do include: wearing necklaces with a cross – but only those without Arabic names on their passports because “it may look strange”.

Protesters use ‘WW2 tank’ to demonstrate against migrant crisis during carnival
GERMANS used weekend carnival processions as a platform to protest against asylum seekers – including a WW2 lookalike tank emblazoned with the word “asylum defence” near to an Iron Cross emblem. The panzer float in the procession in the town of Steinkirchen in Bavaria drew cheers from some onlookers and boos from others.

FINALLY! UAE and Saudi Arabia join fight against ISIS and WILL put boots on the ground
On Sunday, the UAE, said it stands ready to supply ground troops to support and train international coalition soldiers in the war-ravaged country. Saudi Arabia has also said it is prepared to take part in ground operations in Syria if the US-led coalition decides to go in that direction.

‘Me or terrorists?’ Furious Erdogan tells US to choose between Turkey and Syrian Kurds
Riled by a meeting between a US official and members of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which controls the Syrian town of Kobane, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has told Washington to choose between Turkey and, as he put it, the “terrorists.”

Herzog calls to unilaterally divide Israel to avoid ‘Israestine’
Opposition head and Zionist Union chairperson MK Yitzhak Herzog took part on Monday morning in Arutz Sheva’s Jerusalem Conference, where he presented his “separation plan” from the Palestinian Arabs involving a unilateral division of Israel.

Woman who accused Bill Clinton of assault to campaign against Hillary presidential run
Kathleen Willey, a former White House volunteer who says Bill Clinton groped her in an Oval Office hallway in 1993 when she came to him tearfully seeking a paid job, said she had agreed to become a paid national spokeswoman for a group being created by Roger Stone.

Earth changes intensifying: Volcanoes across the globe go ballistic as 2016 arrives
A volcano eruption in western Mexico has sent a spectacular plume of smoke and ash high into the air. Colima volcano is one of three that make up the Colima Volcanic Complex, near the west coast of Mexico. It is one of the most active volcanoes in the country and has erupted more than 40 times, including several times in the past few years.

European stocks plunge as Lunar New Year offers no cheer
European shares plunged to 16-month lows on Monday, extending a aggressive sell-off, while bond yields and oil also fell as investors shed risky assets on persistent concern over the pace of global growth. Data over the weekend showing China’s foreign reserves fell for a third straight month in January, as dollars were dumped to defend the yuan and curb capital outflows, did nothing to calm investors.

Migrant crisis: ’33 dead’ off Turkey as two boats sink
At least 33 migrants have drowned near Turkey after their boats capsized on the way to Greece, Turkish media say. Both the Anadolu and Dogan agencies reported that 22 people died close to the Greek island of Lesbos. Dogan said another 11 people died in a separate incident further south, near Dikili in Turkey.

‘Somalia plane bomber given bomb in laptop’ on CCTV
Somali intelligence officials have released a video showing a passenger being given a laptop they say contained a bomb that blew a huge hole into a passenger plane last Tuesday. More than 20 people have been arrested in connection with the incident, a government spokesman told BBC Somali.

Turkey looking to warm ties with Egypt after trying with Israel
Turkey is looking to upgrade diplomatic ties with Egypt, after relations became strained when President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ousted president Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2013, Turkish media reported on Sunday. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would allow ministerial-level talks between the two countries, but ruled out meeting with the Egyptian president.

‘ISIS operatives in Sinai are receiving medical treatment at Hamas hospitals in Gaza’
Islamic State terrorists in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula have received medical treatment in Gaza Strip hospitals, Maj.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai, the coordinator of government activities in the territories, charged in an interview with online Arabic newspaper Elaph on Monday. “We have received authenticated reports that ISIS members in Sinai entered the Gaza Strip through tunnels in order to receive treatment at Hamas hospitals,” Mordechai said.

Another Exponential Chart: Record Numbers Renounce Their U.S. Citizenship In 2015
Another year, another record number of Americans willing to not only pay the $2,350 fee, but also appear in the US Treasury’s “name of shame” list published every, quarter which reveals all the now-former US citizens who have decided to hand over their US passport back to Uncle Sam and expatriate.

Professor Who Said Christians, Muslims Share A God Is Leaving Christian College
A professor at an evangelical Christian college who was suspended for saying Christians and Muslims worship the same God will no longer be teaching at the school. As we’ve reported, Larycia Hawkins, an associate political science professor who had tenure at Wheaton College in Illinois, was suspended from her job in December. She was put on paid administrative leave after vowing to wear a hijab for Advent in solidarity with Muslims — not because of the headscarf, but because of a Facebook post about her decision where she wrote about the relationship between Islam and Christianity and said, “as Pope Francis stated last week, we worship the same God.

Russia having success in hybrid war against Germany
Now, as the German chancellor flounders domestically because of her open-door refugee policy, she has made herself vulnerable to attack. “I’ve never seen so much glee from the Russians as during Germany’s refugee crisis,” said a diplomat in Berlin.

Zika virus discourages many Americans from Latin America travel
The rapidly spreading Zika virus is discouraging many Americans from traveling to Latin America and the Caribbean, with 41 percent of those aware of the disease saying they are less likely to take such a trip, a Reuters/Ipsos poll shows.

10-Year Old Austrian Boy Raped By Iraqi Refugee Due To “Sexual Emergency”
The refugee – who at that point had gone back to swimming and diving – was arrested on the spot and taken into custody where he told police that he was experiencing a “sexual emergency.”

Chelsea Clinton accidentally calls Bernie ‘President Sanders’
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn., Feb. 5 (UPI) — Chelsea Clinton, campaigning for her mother in Eden Springs, Minn., made a verbal slip at a town hall, accidentally calling Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders “President Sanders.”

Hamas kills its own commander for unnamed ‘violations’
Hamas says it has killed one of its own commanders over unnamed “moral and behavioral violations.” The Islamic militant group, which has ruled the Gaza Strip since 2007, said in a short Twitter statement Sunday that Mahmoud Eshtewi was killed after he confessed.

UN Security Council calls emergency meeting after North Korea rocket launch
North Korea fired a long-range rocket and placed a satellite into space Sunday morning, an act immediately condemned internationally.


Headlines – 2/8/2016

PM: Military aid package with US may not be completed during Obama’s term

Netanyahu: If U.S. Military Aid Doesn’t Address Israel’s Security Needs, We’ll Wait for Next President

American officials tell Netanyahu he won’t get a better military aid package from Obama’s successor

Labor Party votes to freeze two-state solution; Yacimovich boycotts vote

Herzog: ‘Messianic’ Bennett would love to kill two-state idea

Jordan tells Israel to halt Western Wall expansion plans

Turkey looking to warm ties with Egypt after trying with Israel

Israel mulling twin gas pipelines to Turkey, Greece

S & P’s confirms Israel’s A+ credit rating with a stable outlook

Israel agrees to return terrorists’ bodies

Israeli envoy Danon: Palestinians citing UN Secretary General to excuse terror

State comptroller, Likud MKs lock horns over tunnel threat

Hamas calls for suicide bombings in Israeli buses

Gaza staying out of current ‘intifada,’ Hamas claims

Hamas kills its own commander for unnamed ‘violations’

Hamas executes military commander who ‘spied for Israel’

‘Israeli man conspired to help jihadi infiltrate into Israel to carry out terror attacks’

Hamas and Fatah make yet another try at reconciliation

Gaza: Hamas-ISIS ties tighten

‘ISIS operatives in Sinai are receiving medical treatment at Hamas hospitals in Gaza’

Saudi clerics call for jihad against Russia in Syria – to back ISIS?

Top Ukraine official backs idea ‘to help ISIS take revenge on Russian soldiers in Syria’

Russia having success in hybrid war against Germany

Canada to withdraw its warplanes from anti-IS alliance

Trump calls for waterboarding, other methods in US fight against ISIS

Spain Arrests 7 Suspected of Supplying Cash and Weapons to ISIS

ISIS forced to cut fighters’ pay 50 percent because of airstrikes

Iran-backed militia warns against sending Arab forces to Syria, Iraq

Pope pleas for help for Syrians fleeing war so they survive

Migrant crisis: ’33 dead’ off Turkey as two boats sink

Anti-Migrant Protesters Rally in Several Major European Cities

Iran-backed militia warns against sending Arab forces to Syria, Iraq

Several dual citizens in Iran face espionage charges

8 dead after explosive-laden motorcycle rams Pakistani security forces vehicle

Suicide bomber in Afghan city kills 3, wounds 14

Investigators find video of possible Somalia bomb handoff

Somalia jet explosion raises questions over airline security

Pilot after emergency: Somali airport security is ‘zero’

South Korean naval vessel fires warning shots near North Korean patrol amid high tension

Japan did not try to shoot down North Korean rocket: NHK

North Korea celebrates rocket launch as others see it as a covert missile test

Global outrage over North Korea rocket launch

Kremlin strongly condemns North Korea’s rocket launch

North Korea rocket launch may spur U.S. missile defense buildup in Asia

North Korean satellite flies over Super Bowl site shortly after game

India Blocks Facebook’s Free Basics, Other Zero-Rated Mobile Services Over Net Neutrality

Adblock Plus, scourge of websites, seeks industry deal

Another Exponential Chart: Record Numbers Renounce Their U.S. Citizenship In 2015

42% of Democrats are in favor of socialism

Super Bowl ads: What financial crisis?

China’s currency reserves plunged in January

Iran wants euro payment for new and outstanding oil sales

Crude oil slips as Saudi, Venezuela meeting yields little

Death toll from Taiwan quake hits 34, hunt on for survivors

Colima volcano in Mexico erupts to 22,000ft

Santa Maria volcano in Guatemala erupts to 18,000ft

Zhupanovsky volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 17,000ft

Copahue volcano in Argentina erupts to 12,000ft

Sakurajima volcano in Japan erupts to 11,000ft

Mt. Bromo Eruptions Force Malang Airport in Indonesia to Close Again

Powerful storm to bring snow, coastal flooding

Drought In Southwestern United States May Continue Says Research

Unusually warm Arctic winter stuns scientists with record low ice extent for January

Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches New Record Maximum

Pentagon orders commanders to prioritize climate change in all military actions

Zika virus discourages many Americans from Latin America travel

Report: Alleged Zika-Microcephaly Crisis May Be Just ‘Hype,’ ‘Hysteria’

UN Suggests Access to Contraception and Abortion to Countries Affected by Zika Virus

Facing Boycott, Girl Scouts Hide Support for Planned Parenthood, Abortion

Doritos Slammed by Abortion Rights Group for Cute Super Bowl Ad-But Americans’ Reactions Are Fierce

Aborting Rape-Conceived Babies Called ‘Sweet Spot,’ ‘Act of Self Defense’ by Jeb Bush, Chris Christie at GOP Debate

UN Peacekeepers Accused of Trading Cookies for Sex with Children as Young as 7

Thousands of NY state sex offenders due to disappear from public registry

FBI: Kids 13 to 17 rescued from Super Bowl prostitution

National sex trafficking sting nets nearly 600 arrests before Super Bowl

Woman who accused Bill Clinton of assault to campaign against Hillary presidential run

Body of mystic monk in crystal coffin goes on the road in Italy

Professor Who Said Christians, Muslims Share A God Is Leaving Christian College

UK Unitarian Church Offers Transgender Baptisms

UK: Tory MP, Says NHS Doctors Could Use Astrology To Treat Patients

Catholic Idoaltry: Body of Italian monk in crystal coffin to go on display at Vatican

Popes False Gospel: Baptism Unites Catholics and Protestants

Nancy Pelosi Quotes Mohammad at National Prayer Breakfast

The LA Times Wants You to Feel Bad About Babies Being Born

NARAL Attacks Doritos Ultrasound Ad For ‘Humanizing Fetuses’

Why some African governments are clamping down on churches – “Man of God” or “Prophet of God” Churches Under Scrutiny


ISIS Plot To Shoot Up A Detroit Megachurch Revealed As ‘Christianophobia’ Spreads Across America

Aggression - Public DomainIf you are a Christian, you better brace yourself for great persecution. It has gotten very little attention from the mainstream media, but federal authorities have uncovered an ISIS plot to “shoot up” a Detroit megachurch. 21-year-old Khalil Abu-Rayyan of Dearborn Heights, Michigan told authorities that he actually intended to take a gun into a very large church in Detroit that can seat up to 6,000 people and start killing Christians. He has been charged with supporting the Islamic States and with “illegally having a firearm while using a controlled substance”. Abu-Rayyan actually admitted that since he can’t be part of the jihad in the Middle East, that he would “do my jihad over here”.  As I have warned so many times before, ISIS terrorists are already here, and what we have seen so far is just the beginning. (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….)


 

Frontrunning: February 08

  • European stocks plunge as Lunar New Year offers no cheer (Read More)
  • European Stocks Fall, Credit Weakens as Signs of Distress Abound (Read More)
  • Management trouble at world’s biggest hedge fund: Bridgewater succession plan in flux as heir Greg Jensen steps back (Read More)
  • U.S. athletes should consider not attending Olympics if fear Zika – officials (Read More)
  • Geithner Gets JPMorgan Credit Line to Invest With Warburg Pincus (Read More)
  • Top Clinton Donor Wants a Law Against $1 Million Gifts Like His (Read More)
  • Private equity groups under pressure to buy own stock (Read More)
  • Before New Hampshire primary, Trump campaign shows mellower side (Read More)
  • Big Companies Pull Back After Rough Quarter (Read More)
  • A Dying Breed: Currency Traders Are Left Out of New Wall Street (Read More)
  • Bill Clinton Launches Attack on Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire (Read More)
  • Consumption Seen Dropping as Japan’s Workers Eke Out 0.1% Rise (Read More)
  • Peyton Manning handed Budweiser $3.2 million in free ads after the Super Bowl (Read More)
  • Guggenheim’s $240 Billion Man Says Nasdaq to Tumble Below 3,800 (Read More)
  • Some Australian asylum seekers to be deported have cancer, terminal illnesses (Read More)
  • High-Value Banknotes Should Be Binned to Fight Crime, Sands Says (Read More)
  • Job Site Hired Raises $40 Million and Forecasts Profit by 2017 (Read More)

February 8, 2016
WES VERNON, RA ANALYST — Beneath the breathless and largely substance-starved wall-to-wall coverage of the horse race in the presidential debates lie the transformational cross-roads of America’s post Cold War battle for its very survival… (more)

February 8, 2016
BRYAN FISCHER — As Americans make their way through this election season, there is one question that is not being asked of those who would be president. This question is more important even than questions about social policy, domestic policy, foreign policy, and fidelity to the Constitution, as important as all those questions are…. (more)

February 8, 2016
JOAN SWIRSKY, RA ANALYST — So many issues, so little time, which is why I am studiously avoiding any issues about Hillary other than that voice! I am definitely not going into the terminal dishonesty thing, you know, when she told the American public, and also the parents of the murdered victims in Benghazi, that the four patriots who lost their lives to a savage Islamic attack was because of an anti-Islam video… (more)

February 8, 2016
CLIFF KINCAID — Responding to one of Anderson Cooper’s softball questions, socialist Bernie Sanders (I-VT) told the CNN Town Hall on Wednesday night that he lives a frugal life and indicated that he doesn’t care about money or status. “I have a small Chevrolet,” he said. “It is one of the smallest Chevys that they make.” He said it was about five years old…. (more)

February 8, 2016
MARK SHEPARD — Who doesn’t agree that one of the biggest problems with our federal government is corruption? Elections are won with money from political favors on the taxpayers’ dime. Bills so large nobody understands them become law, while loopholes protect Congress and those who feed their campaign coffers. The debt we are leaving our children and grandchildren is staggering…. (more)

February 8, 2016
PETER LEMISKA — At no time in recent history has America’s need for leadership been so desperate. Seventy percent of Americans believe the country is going in the wrong direction. That suggests the rest of the country is simply not paying attention. The problems we’re facing are real…. (more)

February 7, 2016
CHERYL CHUMLEY — The final Republican debate before New Hampshire voters head to the primary polls kicked off with confusion – – due to mix-ups over candidate introductions – – and included several testy moments of back-and-forth among contenders, most notably between Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. Marco Rubio, and a much-anticipated broach of the topic of the week: The Ted Cruz-Ben Carson Iowa caucus flap…. (more)

February 7, 2016
ABC NEWS — Click here to see ABC News’ selection of video clips from Saturday night’s GOP debate in New Hampshire…. (more)

February 6, 2016
WORLDNETDAILY — In 2009, Marco Rubio was a plucky challenger for the open Senate seat in Florida, taking on incumbent Republican Gov. Charlie Crist. Though Rubio was trailing in the polls, one leading conservative activist thought he had real potential and vowed to help him…. (more)

February 6, 2016
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama issued a final warning Friday night to New Hampshire Republicans about making the wrong decision at the polls on Tuesday…. (more)

February 6, 2016
BREITBART — According to recent FEC filings, top political donors at Goldman Sachs shifted their giving to Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)79% in the last three months of last year. Jeb Bush had been the top recipient of donations from the Wall Street investment bank. Donations to Bush shrank to a trickle as his campaign faded…. (more)

February 6, 2016
LEO HOHMANN — The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is planning to cut 50 percent of the budget for aerial surveillance along the U.S.-Mexico border, agents revealed at a congressional hearing Thursday…. (more)

February 6, 2016
NEWSMAX — Twitter says it has suspended more than 125,000 accounts for promoting or threatening terrorism since last summer. In a blog post on its site, the social media company says it’s “horrified” by violent extremism, like the shooting in San Bernardino, Calif. by husband-and-wife Islamic State supporters and the ISIS attacks in Paris, saying Twitter rules “make clear” posts promoting terror are banned…. (more)

February 6, 2016
FOX NEWS — Two Republican lawmakers introduced a bill Thursday requiring women to register for the draft – – in a move meant to take the decision out of the hands of the military so it can be debated in Congress…. (more)

February 5, 2016
WASHINGTON TIMES — A federal appeals court challenged the legality of Maryland’s assault weapon and high-capacity magazine ban on Thursday, saying the law infringes on the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, in a 2-1 ruling, ordered the original district judge to use stricter constitutional standards in reconsidering an earlier decision that upheld the ban…. (more)

February 5, 2016
ANDREW C. MCCARTHY — Politico reports that Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) has given the go-ahead to House Oversight Committee chairman Jason Chaffetz (R., Utah) to investigate the lack of executive branch compliance with the recordkeeping and records-production provisions of the Federal Records Act (FRA) and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)…. (more)

February 5, 2016
BOB UNRUH — The lawyer who brought the first legal challenge to the brand-new gun limits announced by President Obama last month now is asking a judge for a quick ruling, insisting there’s really nothing to argue over…. (more)

February 5, 2016
WORLDNETDAILY — Few Americans can say they know what it’s like to escape from a firing squad. But Rafael Cruz, father of GOP presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, can recall when as a young man he was arrested and accused of taking part in Fidel Castro’s insurgency against Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista…. (more)

February 5, 2016
NEWSMAX — U.S. Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson on Thursday planned to eliminate 50 staff positions, or nearly half his staff, in a major downsizing of his flagging campaign, The Washington Post reported…. (more)

February 5, 2016
LEO HOHMANN — Jeb Bush found himself in the awkward position of having to answer for his father’s legendary statements on the need to create a “new world order.”… (more)

February 5, 2016
DOUGLAS ERNST — Talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh wants to know why President Obama became a Christian when his public comments indicate he is mesmerized by the Islamic faith…. (more)


February 5, 2016
REUTERS — Germany’s domestic intelligence agency (BfV) has received more than 100 tip-offs that there are Islamic State fighters among the refugees currently staying in Germany, Berliner Zeitung newspaper cited the agency’s chief as saying…. (more)


February 5, 2016
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — In a shocking reversal of policy, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents are being told to release illegal immigrants and no longer order them to appear at deportation hearings, essentially a license to stay in the United States, a key agent testified Thursday…. (more)


February 5, 2016
NEWSMAX — President Barack Obama wants oil companies to pay a $10 tax for every barrel of oil to help fund investments in clean transportation…. (more)

February 5, 2016
NEWSMAX — Saudi Arabia is willing to send ground troops to Syria to fight Islamic State if the U.S.-led coalition agrees, the Associated Press reported on Thursday, citing the Saudi military spokesman…. (more)


The Briefing 

1) NARAL’s outrage over Doritos ultrasound ad reveals that pro-choice means anti-baby

NARAL Super Bowl Tweet, Twitter (@NARAL)

2) Feminist laments lack of sympathy from feminist friends after miscarriage, mourns child

Unpregnant: The silent, secret grief of miscarriage, Globe and Mail (Alexandra Kimball)

3) Necco candy chooses gay couple for Valentine’s ad, attempts to capitalize on moral revolution

For Necco, a different kind of ‘Sweethearts’, Boston Globe (Katie Johnston)

4) $4.5 billion: cost of the battle for our eyeballs over 50 years of Super Bowl advertising

Super Bowl, Supersized: $4.5 Billion in Ad Spending Over 50 Years, Ad Age (Bradley Johnson)
In other news…

Gloria Steinem and Madeleine Albright Scold Young Women Backing Bernie Sanders, New York Times (Alan Rappeport)

North Korean rocket puts object into space, angers neighbors, U.S., Reuters (Ju-Min Park and Louis Charbonneau)
Cruz: ‘Nuts’ to draft women into the military, Washington Post (David Weigel)

Coming Out as Gay Superheroes, New York Times (George Gene Gustines)
Researchers Weigh Risks of Zika Spreading at Rio Olympics, New York Times (Simon Romero and Rebecca R. Ruiz)
A Better Way to Be Evangelical, Christianity Today (Anthony L. Blair)

Daily Digest

February 8, 2016

THE FOUNDATION

“In reality there is perhaps no one of our natural passions so hard to subdue as pride. Disguise it, struggle with it, beat it down, stifle it, mortify it as much as one pleases, it is still alive, and will now and then peek out and show itself.” —Benjamin Franklin, 1771

TOP RIGHT HOOKS

Obama Ignores the Jobs Number That Really Matters

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Perhaps the economy has been good as Barack Obama claims, but is it resilient? On Friday, the chief executive used the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ January Jobs Report to boast about his prowess of managing the U.S. economy. America has “the strongest, most durable economy in the world,” Obama said. As proof, he pointed to the jobs report, which said the unemployment rate dipped to 4.9% — the lowest it has ever been in eight years — and the fact that the hourly wage increased 12 cents. Obama also pointed to more people buying health insurance and cheap oil prices as evidence that his economy was working. First, Obama cannot force people to buy health insurance then say it’s a sign that his economy works. And as for cheap oil, Obama used his weekly address the next day to rail against “dirty fuels” and to push for greater government investment into green fuels — funded by a $10-a-barrel tax on the struggling oil industry. Meanwhile, the U-6 unemployment rate — a better measure of labor underutilization — skims along at 9.9%, and the labor force participation rate stands at a near-record low of 62.7%. Economists are now saying the economy is due for another recession, and we doubt the Obama administration’s boast of eight years of job growth will prepare the nation for a downturn.

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Doritos Super Bowl Ad Humanized the Unborn

It’s a free country. If a person or group doesn’t like something, they can air their grievances, no matter how morally thin or ignorant they are. Without question, the Super Bowl is a cultural event, where a few diehard sports fans cheer on the game while the rest of us perk up from the seven-layer dip to watch the commercials. For example, NARAL Pro-Chose America took to Twitter to criticize Super Bowl ads that didn’t conform to their leftist agenda. While the Willem Dafoe Snickers commercial earned chuckles, curmudgeonly NARAL decried the 30-second spot as “transphobic.” But NARAL’s Twitter-spew became disturbing when it leveled criticism against Doritos’ advertisement featuring a couple seeing their unborn baby via ultrasound. The ad showed the baby in utero trying to reach for a Doritos chip held by his or her father, and NARAL saw it as pure propaganda. In response, the group wrote, “#NotBuyingIt — that @Doritos ad using #antichoice tactic of humanizing fetuses & sexist tropes of dads as clueless & moms as uptight.” The tweet illustrates the lengths to which the pro-abortion crowd has to go to deny unborn children’s personhood in order to justify killing them. To imply that the child has likes, a will and an interest in Doritos undermines the whole pro-abortion argument. What America saw as a clever, humous ad, NARAL saw as a threat to its twisted worldview.

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$150,000 Is Chump Change for Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton’s acceptance of shady donations has lost her the environmental activist vote. Climate change activist group 350 Action published a video from a Clinton campaign event last week where 350 activists asked Clinton about the $150,000 her campaign accepted from the oil industry — an industry that has drawn particular ire from liberals. “Yeah, I don’t even know what you’re referring to,” Clinton replied, “but Big Oil knows I’m not their friend, so I can’t imagine. They must have put it in the wrong envelope. I’ve been very clear about that, and I want to take away all their subsidies.” As 350 Action asked, Clinton doesn’t know who funds her? Greenpeace also criticized Clinton’s oil money. The ecofascist group pointed out another video where 350 Action followed up with Clinton, questioning her commitment to the “progressive” dream policy of campaign finance reform because of the donation. Clinton responded, “When you raise a $120 million, $150,000 isn’t very much. Let’s be honest.”

Not very much? For the vast majority of Americans, $150K is a lot of money. If her family really was as “dead broke” as she claimed it was upon leaving the White House, she’d know the value of $150,000 — or the $675,000 she was paid for speaking to Goldman Sachs. Instead, it shows she accepts money from anyone who waves a check, and her claim that she’s a principled politician is both ridiculous and demonstrably false. If the oil industry wanted to change her campaign platform, it should have tripled its donation.

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FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

Cultivating Ignorance and Arrogance

By Arnold Ahlert

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“No nation is permitted to live in ignorance with impunity,” wrote Thomas Jefferson.

Millions of Americans remain puzzled by the legions of fellow citizens who would trade capitalism and exceptionalism for the siren song of “free” stuff proposed to varying degrees by Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton and, to some extent, Donald Trump. They shouldn’t be. A pernicious combination of civic illiteracy, coupled with a growing sense of entitlement, especially among Millennials, is rapidly approaching critical mass.

The American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) has released a sobering report regarding civic illiteracy. “The Crisis in Civic Education” reveals that numerous surveys show “recent college graduates are alarmingly ignorant of America’s history and heritage,” the report’s summary states. “They cannot identify the term lengths of members of Congress, the substance of the First Amendment, [or] the origin of the separation of powers. They do not know the Father of the Constitution, and nearly 10% say that Judith Sheindlin — ‘Judge Judy’ — is on the Supreme Court.”

This is no accident. ACTA surveyed more than 1,100 colleges and universities, and discovered that only 18% of them have course requirements in government or civics. High schools are equally deficient. A 2014 civics test administered by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) revealed that only 23% of high school seniors had “proficient” or better level of knowledge in civics, and a dismal 18% are at the same level with regard to history. Both percentages represented “no significant change” since 2010.

Moreover, as the Washington Examiner’s Eric Bledsoe explains, attempts to address civic deficiencies “conflate rhetoric with results. The Department of Education’s ‘A Crucible Moment’ and the Lumina Foundation’s ‘Degree Qualifications Profile (DQP)’ emphasize ‘civic engagement,'” amounting to “little beyond verbose abstraction.”

Yet perhaps the most devastating illustration of what is really occurring was revealed by Glen Fairman in a 2012 American Thinker column. Fairman recounts his time as a graduate student working as a substitute teacher at Puente High School in Southern California. One day he was assigned to cover a social studies class while the regular teacher was on a field trip. During that assignment he discovered a “set of thirty-year-old textbooks from the mid-1960s” whose contents “burned themselves into my brain.”

“As I flipped through the pages, I was astonished to find what I would now consider an upper-level college textbook under color of what in the high schools used to be termed ‘civics,'” he reveals. “This text contained a very detailed understanding of political theory, constitutional law, macroeconomics, American history, and comparative political systems. I spent the rest of the day in slack-jawed amazement, perusing what a student in a working-class town was expected to know before the mavens of education began tinkering with the curricula of our schools.”

That would be the overwhelmingly “progressive” mavens of education.

When he asked the returning instructor why those books were no longer in use, the instructor explained they were no longer comprehensible by the vast majority of students. When he asked other older teachers regarding whether education had been “dumbed-down,” he discovered “this question unleashed volatile diatribes on how dull children had become since the responders had begun as idealistic young men and women in the field.”

In short, what former President George W. Bush once referred to as the “soft bigotry of low expectations” has been institutionalized.

And not just at the high-school level. Fairman adds, “Campus speech codes and filtered curricula have denuded the classical goal of the acquisition of a free and analytic mind.”

Unfortunately, that is somewhat of an understatement. College campuses are now citadels of safe spaces, micro-aggressions, trigger warnings, and speech and sexual conduct codes, all designed with the purpose of teaching students what to think, not how to think. As historian Victor Davis Hanson so deftly explains, “[T]oday’s campuses mimic ideological boot camps” replete with tenured professors who “seek to indoctrinate young people in certain preconceived progressive political agendas,” and grade-conscious and indebted students willing to make the “necessary ideological adjustments” that ensure their survival. Those adjustments include embracing “the glories of larger government, income redistribution, greater entitlements, radical environmentalism, abortion, multiculturalism, suspicion of traditional religion, and antipathy to the international role of the United States in the past and present.”

In other words, every agenda you would find being championed at any Clinton campaign stop or “feel the Bern” rally.

Couple the “blame America” attitude to an audacious sense of self-entitlement, civic and historical illiteracy, and ideological insulation that embraces censorship of competing ideas. Is it any wonder why the siren song of big government, and living off the “unjustly” acquired wealth of others — promoted as “free” — resonates?

“An honest and comprehensive study of (America’s) history and constitution is the only guarantee of the cultivation of an informed electorate,” Bledsoe warns.

No doubt, but Bledsoe may be laboring under a false assumption. An informed electorate, and by extension a nation of people willing to both think and do largely for themselves, is utterly anathema to the big-government and collectivist ambitions of the American Left. Ambitions that require the “fundamental transformation of the United States of America” to be realized.

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MORE ORIGINAL PERSPECTIVE

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

For more, visit Right Opinion.

TOP HEADLINES

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Peggy Noonan: “On a recent trip I watched candidates in town halls and forums in middle-school gyms, community clubhouses, hotel ballrooms. I keep thinking of the young woman, black, about 20, I saw departing a Sanders event with a friendly young Asian man the same age. Are you for Bernie? I asked. ‘Have you seen my T-shirt?’ she replied, and opened her jacket: ‘Carson 2016.’ I laughed and asked if she was trolling. She was startled. ‘No, we just go see all the candidates.’ This of course is a great New Hampshire cliché — they won’t vote for you unless they’ve met you three times. Yet when you see it, something stops you. Every adult in New Hampshire seems to go hear every candidate at least once. They listen and take their measure; they give it the most precious thing they have, time. They take their duty seriously not because they’re jerky and self-important but because they have self-respect. They believe they are the winnowers. Their function is to get the Reasonable Possibles, put down a marker on their favorite, and then throw it to the South. At the meetings they don’t ask meek, deferential questions. I saw them lecture candidates, mildly upbraid them, inform them. … They have complete democratic confidence. They’re not shy. They’re doing due diligence.”

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SHORT CUTS

The Gipper: “This cold war between great sovereign nations isn’t really a new struggle at all. It is the oldest struggle of human kind, as old as man himself. … [S]ome of us came toe to toe with this enemy this evil force in our own community in Hollywood, and make no mistake about it, this is an evil force. Don’t be deceived because you are not hearing the sound of gunfire, because even so you are fighting for your lives.”

For the record: “It’s an old rejoinder, but a true one, that if you think money buys elections, ask President H. Ross Perot, or President Steve Forbes. Romney built his fortune; John Kerry and John McCain married into theirs, and none of their presidential bids succeeded. Michael Huffington — once Arianna’s husband — spent $28 million in a Senate bid in 1994, the most money ever spent on a non-presidential campaign at that point. He lost. Tom Golisano spent $93 million on three independent gubernatorial campaigns in New York; he never won.” —Jim Geraghty

Braying Jenny: “Service is the rent we pay for living in this great country.” —Hillary Clinton (Freedom isn’t free, but her idea of our nation isn’t freedom.)

Non Compos Mentis: “I am impressed by the quality of his foreign policy.” —Bernie Sanders on Barack Obama’s foreign policy malfeasance

The Biggest Sore Loser: “I only came in second because of the fact that Cruz took a lot of votes away from Carson.” —Donald Trump with a fictitious recounting of the Iowa Caucus

Belly laugh of the week: “[Michelle is] going to want to travel and roam around the world in ways we can’t do when we’re traveling in official capacities.” —Barack Obama

Late-night humor: “During last [week’s] Democratic town hall Hillary Clinton told voters, ‘I never thought I’d be standing on a stage here asking for people to vote for me for president.’ Because she thought she’d already be done being president by now.” —Seth Meyers

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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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Assisted Suicide Law Considered In Canada, Christian Doctors Struggling With Conscience

Assisted Suicide Law Considered In Canada, Christian Doctors Struggling With Conscience

Posted on February 8, 2016 by Gospel Herald

Thousands of Canadian Christian doctors may be forced to execute assisted suicide if a proposed new law passes. The Supreme Court of Canada ruled the country’s prohibition on suicide assistance was a breach of an individual’s Charter rights. Government representatives have until June to pass new legislation, but a Christian physicians’ group is already sounding alarm about the implications of a change in the law.

Read Full Article »


The Porn Problem In America Is So Much Worse Than You Think

The Porn Problem In America Is So Much Worse Than You Think

Posted on February 8, 2016 by Tru News

The porn problem is growing in exponential terms, and is creating a society dulled to pure sexuality, and is quickly becoming a cultural cancer.

Read Full Article »


Nominal Nation—The Shift Away From Self-Identified Christianity

Nominal Nation—The Shift Away From Self-Identified Christianity

Posted on February 8, 2016 by Christianity Today

The decline of nominal Christianity is an opportunity for the gospel

Read Full Article »


How to Respond to Unrequited Love

How to Respond to Unrequited Love

Posted on February 7, 2016 by Crosswalk

During these periods of waiting, God is still working, and we need to be as well.

Read Full Article »


5 Christian Movies to Watch This Year

5 Christian Movies to Watch This Year

Posted on February 7, 2016 by Crosswalk

It’s time to shine the spotlight on five upcoming Christian movies which look certain to please. Don’t miss this year’s top faith-based films!

Read Full Article »


4 Factors That Define an Evangelical Christian

4 Factors That Define an Evangelical Christian

Posted on February 7, 2016 by Crosswalk

While the term “evangelical” used to describe those who believed faith required conversion of the heart, it has come to mean “narrow-minded,” “intolerant,” and “hatemonger.”

Read Full Article »


Most Americans Believe in a Creator

By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible. Hebrews 11:3 The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Psalm 19:1 The universe reveals a complexity, design, and magnificence that […]


God Bless America Again – Terry James

“We will make America great again!” is a current presidential politics proclamation. No, “we” won’t. We have proven, through our actions and lack thereof, that as a people, we want to take America in the other direction. “We” didn’t make America great in the first place, and we certainly can’t make it great in the future.

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Here Comes the ‘Cashless Society’

Beyond that, cash is probably the last arena of personal autonomy left. It can be spent anyway one pleases, with no one watching. It can be hidden from the government to avoid taxes. It can be used to engage in transactions of a semi-legal nature. It has power that the government cannot control; and that is why it has to go.

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How Strong Delusion is Setting the Final Stage – Part 2

Jan Markell, Eric Barger and Michele Bachmann continue in part 2 of programming talking about how the strong delusion that has been poured out on the earth, is setting the final stage. Perhaps this is why evil seems to now be empowered. The three remind listeners that God remains in control and the events are fulfilling some predicted scenarios in the Bible. Bachmann also comments on the Trump phenomenon, the 2016 election, and about a coming financial implosion. We use the mobile app at http://www.oneplace.com.

Access Programming Here or Here


The State of Our Union – Thomas Sowell

What is at stake for Americans in 2016?

Some people are surprised at how many young people look favorably on socialism. But socialism is a wonderful-sounding idea. Those who have lived through the era of its disasters in the 20th century, or learned about them from history, are likely to see through the appearances to the reality. A young age prevents the former and our dumbed-down education prevents the latter.

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Obama DHS scrubs records of hundreds of Muslim terrorists

Pamela Geller asks, ‘How is this not impeachable?’

Not only did the Obama administration scrub counter-terror programs of jihad and Islam, now we find out that his administration scrubbed the records of Muslim terrorists. If the enemedia were not aligned with the jihad force, this would be front-page news across the nation.

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National Prayer Breakfast 2016: Uniting for Satan

On February 4, 2016 U.S. President Barack Obama delivered a sermon on the subject of faith and unity. As he usually does, our Lecturer in Chief stood behind his lectern to lecture the American people on how he wants us to think and believe as we go about our daily lives.

The president twisted the Word of God for his own purposes in order to deceive half-hearted and backslidden Christians into following along with the global program. He tried to sucker those who only want to pay lip service to the God of the Bible, without actually having to commit their hearts to Him.

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The Daily Discovery (February 8, 2016)

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

Debunking Silly Statements About the Bible – “First of all, it’s not true we’re dealing with ‘a translation of translations of translations,’ as if the original Greek first went into Chinese which went into German which went into Polish and finally we got around to putting it into English. No, we’re able to translate directly from the original Greek and Hebrew, so at worst we’re dealing with a translation, full stop. But what should we say about that that idea, the charge that all we have available to us are ‘hand-copied copies of copies of copies of copies’?”

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, in their confusion, Christians often use arguments that usually come from atheists and sexual libertines, such as ‘love is all that matters; God looks at the heart; we don’t need lists of rules, etc, etc.’”

On Defending the Unpopular – “A few weeks ago, I found myself in Washington DC with my son, Gus. We have a family tradition to take each child on a trip for their 10th birthday so Gus decided it would be fun to take in the White House, monuments, museums, and most importantly, room service. While I recognized that 10 year olds can overdose on sightseeing pretty quickly, we set up some fun stuff to do and we covered a lot of ground. I learned that 10 year olds like to set speed records in museums. They’re not big on reading explanatory plaques.”

Capturing Weak Women – “It can be a dangerous thing to walk into a Christian bookstore. It can be a dangerous thing to listen to Christian radio or watch Christian television or attend that big conference. It can be dangerous because the Christian world is polluted by so much bad teaching. There are so many leaders who claim to be teaching truth when they are, in fact, teaching error. The healthy, growing Christian must learn to tell the difference.”

My response to “Holy” Yoga – “As I’ve researched Yoga, and what some call the ‘Christianized’ version, or so-called ‘Holy’ Yoga, I’ve come to some conclusions via a study in the Word of God. God actually does have a lot to say about Yoga, though you won’t find that word anywhere in Scripture. At the bottom of this article, I’ve included some very helpful articles and interviews for you to research. More importantly, please scroll over the verses highlighted here to see what God’s Word says.”


SERMON:

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Nate Pickowicz – The Sufferings of Christ (John 19:1-11)


VIDEOS:

The Insanity of Abortion.

College student accuses Mark Spence of Circular Reasoning


“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 8, 2016) appeared first on Entreating Favor.


A La Carte (February 8)

Today’s Kindle deals include A Loving Life by Paul Miller ($3.99); Loving the Way Jesus Loves by Philip Ryken ($3.99); New from GLH Publishing is The Freedom of the Will by Jonathan Edwards ($0.99). Zondervan has a series of theological works on sale: Bible Doctrine by Wayne Grudem ($5.99); The Holy Spirit by Christopher Holmes ($5.99); Understanding Biblical Theology by Edward Klink ($3.99); Faith Alone by Thomas Schreiner ($5.99); The Crucified King by Jeremy Treat ($3.99).

Four Things to Help Overcome Gridlock in Your Marriage

“Have you ever found yourself in a place in your marriage where you and your spouse disagree and it seems like there is no way forward?” We have all been there at one time or another, haven’t we?

We Will Never Let Our Daughters Die for Us

Quite right: “Christian dads should never allow their little girls to die for them. This is the opposite of manhood. This is the opposite of honor.”

Why I Don’t Share The Gospel

Here’s an honest look at a common reason we don’t share the gospel.

Wheaton, Larycia Hawkins agree to part ways

“Wheaton College and Larycia Hawkins, the political science professor who started a furor over theology and academic freedom after declaring on social media that Christians and Muslims serve the same God, announced tonight they are amicably parting ways.”

This Day in 356. 1,660 years ago today, Athanasius went into hiding after escaping five thousand soldiers who surrounded his church. *

The Story Behind the Jesus Storybook Bible

Christianity Today interviews Sally Lloyd-Jones whose Jesus Storybook Bible has now sold 2 million copies.

What Ivy League Students Are Reading that You Aren’t

“If you want an Ivy League education, you could fork over $200 grand or so and go to Cornell or Harvard for four years. Alternatively, you could save a ton of cash by simply reading the same books Ivy League students are assigned.”

Thunderstorm Time-lapse

Check out this amazing time-lapse footage of a thunderstorm.

Ferguson

High degrees of Christian assurance are simply not compatible with low levels of obedience. —Sinclair Ferguson


Check out

Blogs

Q+A: The Story Behind the Jesus Storybook Bible
An interview with Sally Lloyd-Jones about her her bestselling Jesus Storybook Bible which has sold over 2 million copies.

A Social Media Heart Check
Four questions to check our hearts in our use of social media.

Loneliness grows from individual ache to public health hazard
“Scientists who have identified significant links between loneliness and illness are pursuing the precise biological mechanisms that make it such a menace, digging down to the molecular level and finding that social isolation changes the human genome in profound, long-lasting ways.”

This is your child’s brain on reading
“When parents read to their children the difference shows in children’s behavior and academic performance. And according to a new study, the difference also shows in their brain activity.”

Puritan Zeal
“Many churches today are looking less like armies engaged in war and more like people taking a nap.”

8 Ways to Order Your Marriage
Nicholas Macdonald looks at different ways husbands and wives negotiate differences.

Kindle Books

God’s Crime Scene: A Cold-Case Detective Examines the Evidence for a Divinely Created Universe $2.99.

A Loving Life: In a World of Broken Relationships by Paul Miller (author of A Praying Life) $3.99.

Loving the Way Jesus Loves by Phil Ryken $3.99. I loved this Christ-centered study of 1 Corinthians 13..

Last Explorer: Hubert Wilkins, Hero of the Golden Age of Polar Exploration $1.99. Might hook a teenage boy into reading a bit more.


DEVELOPING: Selloff in European Banks is Ominous

Posted: 08 Feb 2016 07:38 AM PST

European banks have been caught in a perfect storm of market turmoil, lately. Lackluster profits and negative interest rates, have prompted investors to dump shares in the sector that was touted as one of the best investment ideas just a few months ago. The region’s banking gauge, the Stoxx Europe 600 Banks Index FX7, -4.81% has logged six straight weeks of declines, its longest weekly losing stretch since 2008, when banks booked 10 weeks of losses, beginning in May, according to FactSet data.

“The current environment for European banks is very, very bad. Over a full business cycle, I think it’s very questionable whether banks on average are able to cover their cost of equity. And as a result that makes it an unattractive investment for long-term investors,” warned Peter Garnry, head of equity strategy at Saxo Bank. The doom-and-gloom outlook for banks comes as the stock market has had an ominous start to the year. FULL REPORT

The post DEVELOPING: Selloff in European Banks is Ominous appeared first on End Time Headlines.

North Korea’s New Satellite Flew Over Super Bowl Location

Posted: 08 Feb 2016 07:35 AM PST

Here’s a bit of Super Bowl trivia: North Korea’s newest satellite passed almost right over the stadium just an hour after it ended. 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. “It passed almost directly overhead Silicon Valley, which is where I am and where the stadium is,” tech watcher Martyn Williams said in an email to The Associated Press. “The pass happened at 8:26 p.m., after the game. I would put it down to nothing more than a coincidence, but an interesting one.” FULL REPORT

The post North Korea’s New Satellite Flew Over Super Bowl Location appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Legendary Investor Jim Rogers Warns: “Most People Are Going To Suffer The Next Time Around”

Posted: 08 Feb 2016 05:55 AM PST

Back in the 1970’s as recession gripped the world for a decade, stocks stagnated and commodities crashed, investor Jim Rogers made a fortune. His understanding of markets, capital flows and timing is legendary. As crisis struck in late 2008, he did it again, often recommending gold and silver to those looking for wealth preservation strategies – move that would have paid of multi-fold when precious metals hit all time highs in 2011. He warned that the crash would lead to massive job losses, dependence on government bailouts, and unprecedented central bank printing on a global scale.

Now, Rogers says that investors around the world are realizing that the jig is up. Stocks are over bloated and central banks will have little choice but to take action again. But this time, says Rogers in his latest interview with CrushTheStreet.com, there will be no stopping it and people all over the world are going to feel the pain, including in China and the United States. FULL REPORT

The post Legendary Investor Jim Rogers Warns: “Most People Are Going To Suffer The Next Time Around” appeared first on End Time Headlines.

3 Ways America Could Repeat History and Succumb to Islam

Posted: 08 Feb 2016 05:46 AM PST

The thousand-year Byzantine Empire was one of the most powerful and vast empires the world has ever known, and it was Christian. During its lengthy reign, it produced a mass trove of Christian art, architecture, legal jurisprudence, theology and culture. It built, perhaps, the most magnificent church building ever built, the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople, which is said to have changed the history of architecture.

Yet, the mighty Byzantine Empire fell to Islam in the 15th century and serves as a reminder to us that we must not trust in our advanced technology, stock market wealth, or military might, but our trust must be in the Lord. As David said in Psalm 20:7, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.”

Why did the Byzantine Empire fall to Turkish Ottoman invaders in 1453? I will address three reasons in this article—three trends that weakened the church and Empire and made both vulnerable to the Islamic invaders. They are (1) The church’s preoccupation with political power; (2) the loss of personal faith to outward ritual and liturgical formalism; and (3) theological rigidity and strife. FULL REPORT

The post 3 Ways America Could Repeat History and Succumb to Islam appeared first on End Time Headlines.

China Close To Creating ‘Artificial Sun’ That Could End Reliance On Fossil Fuels

Posted: 08 Feb 2016 05:42 AM PST

Chinese scientists have managed to create a hydrogen gas that is three times hotter than the sun. The artificial solar energy could eventually be used as an inexhaustible source of power, ending reliance on fossil fuels and solving the world energy crisis. Chinese boffins created the gas in a huge magnetic fusion reactor at the Institute of Physical Science in Hefei. Invented by Soviet scientists in the 1950s, the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) features a massive metallic doughtnut-shaped chamber twisted into a figure of eight.

Researchers were able to use the reactor to produce temperatures of 50 million Kelvins (49.999 million°C) and maintain them for 102 seconds.The core of the sun is believed to around 15 million Kelvins. Although a previous experiment by German scientists claims to have produced temperatures hotter than this, it was unable to sustain them for as long. FULL REPORT

The post China Close To Creating ‘Artificial Sun’ That Could End Reliance On Fossil Fuels appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Peruvian volcano may be awakening from dormancy after 540 years

Posted: 08 Feb 2016 05:38 AM PST

The Peruvian volcano El Misti appears to have woken from centuries of dormancy with signs of increased activity. Note, this DOES NOT mean there will be a volcanic eruption and activity remains within a normal range of an active volcano. However, this is an interesting an opportune time for geologists to study the inner workings of volcanoes to better predict and understand their activity. Geologists are piecing together an interesting set of data that are indicative of an increase in activity. With the help of seismic monitoring systems, Peruvian scientists will be able to link seismic activity to gas release.

Volcanic eruptions are very hard to predict, however, there are a number of signs that geologists have identified as potential precursors to an eruption. Physical changes on the volcano, such as a slight increase in the surface temperature, an increased release of volcanic gases, ground fissures, and slight tremors are often signs of an increased likelihood of eruption. El Misti has exhibited several of these changes in the past weeks; however it’s very important to note the scale of the changes in activity. The slight increase in activity is not the same scale seen when a volcano eruption is imminent. FULL REPORT

The post Peruvian volcano may be awakening from dormancy after 540 years appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Earth changes intensifying: Volcanoes across the globe go ballistic as 2016 arrives

Posted: 08 Feb 2016 05:35 AM PST

A volcano eruption in western Mexico has sent a spectacular plume of smoke and ash high into the air. Colima volcano is one of three that make up the Colima Volcanic Complex, near the west coast of Mexico. It is one of the most active volcanoes in the country and has erupted more than 40 times, including several times in the past few years. The volcano is permanently monitored by the University of Colima.

Kilauea Volcano – Hawaii: (Jan 10, 2016) Nature’s fury was on full display as a rock fall in Hawaii cause an impressive explosion at Kilauea volcano. Volcano watchers recorded the massive explosion on Friday morning, when rocks splashed into the lake of lava at Halemaumau crater. These types of explosions are likely to occur when the lava lake level is relatively high, as it was on Friday, scientists say.

In fact, the lake was about 100 feet below the vent’s rim right before the blast. When the lava lake is high, scientists say rocks in the vent wall heat up, expand and then become unstable causing a big section of the rocks to collapse. Fortunately, the explosion does not pose a threat to any neighboring communities. Kileaua’s ongoing eruption began way back in January of 1983.

Mount Makaturing – Philippines: (Jan 22, 2016) Authorities in Lanao del Sur are investigating the cause of a fire that destroyed the mountain forests of Butig town near Cagayan de oro City, in the Philippines on Thursday night, with the nearby Mount Makaturing volcano high on the suspect list. The magma mount is one of the most active in the Philippines and sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire.

The 1,940-metre peak is believed to have erupted 10 times in the past, and could be due another as the last on record was in March 1882. According to locals, heavy smoke enveloped the area near the town as well as Alamada in Wao town and the blaze appeared “lava-like,” as it glowed from the distance throughout Thursday night and into the early hours. FULL REPORT

The post Earth changes intensifying: Volcanoes across the globe go ballistic as 2016 arrives appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Satellites Show Mystery Construction at Iran’s Top-Secret Military Site

Posted: 08 Feb 2016 05:22 AM PST

Newly released satellite images of Iran’s top-secret Parchin military complex reveal that even as Iran was working to negotiate a nuclear deal, it was apparently working to hide its atomic work of the past and hedge its bets for the future.
Forecasting site Stratfor.com says the images published Monday show Iran building a tunnel into a heavily guarded mountain complex inside the Parchin facility, some 20 miles southeast of Tehran, while also working to erase signs of alleged high-explosive testing at another area on the site.

“We’re not saying they’re cheating on the nuclear deal,” Stratfor analyst Sim Tack told The Daily Beast. “The images show Iran was going through the motions to hide what it’s done before, and it is still…developing facilities that the IAEA may or may not have access to,” Tack said, referring to the International Atomic Energy Agency. FULL REPORT

The post Satellites Show Mystery Construction at Iran’s Top-Secret Military Site 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


Truth2Freedom Blog Disclaimer

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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

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Christianity Is Not a Religion, It’s a Relationship

Source: Christianity Is Not a Religion, It’s a Relationship

Romans 5:10-11; James 1:27

Code: B160208

by Cameron Buettel

The word religion has become a pejorative in the pulpits of too many preachers, and it has spread to the pews, as well. Well-meaning evangelists and church leaders are willing to labor long and hard to portray religion like a straight-jacket of rules and regulations. The way of Christ is then put forth as the fresh alternative to the villainy of religion. Such efforts are more based in the desire to erase negative perceptions than in an accurate portrayal.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the commonly used Christian cliché, “Christianity is not a religion, it’s a relationship.”

Finding Religion

You don’t have to knock on doors, shave your head, avoid meat, or ride a mountain bike while wearing a tie to be “religious.”  A group of people adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices qualifies as a religion. In that sense, all people are religious in some way. Atheists are far more religious than they are rational about their unbelief, insisting that nothing created everything. Sports fanatics idolize their favorite players and attend every performance. Epic guitarists are worshiped by their fans as rock gods. And large groups of everyday “irreligious” people spend their days devoted to their electronic devices.

Don’t be deceived. You are religious even if you religiously deny that you’re religious. The critical question is whether the religion you adhere to is true or false. Does your religion honor God or does it offend Him? Scripture sheds light on this matter by defining a religion that is pure and reflects a right relationship with God: “Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world” (James 1:27). In his commentary on that passage, John MacArthur explains what biblical religion looks like in practice:

Godly religion, that is, biblical Christianity, is a matter of holy obedience to God’s Word—reflected, among other ways, by our honesty in regard to ourselves, by our selflessness in regard to the needs of others, and by our uncompromising moral and spiritual stand in regard to the world. [1] John MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: James (Chicago: Moody Press, 1998) 92.

The pure and undefiled religion, as described in James, is the overflow of a human heart in right relationship with the one true God and thus obedient to His commands. And this points us to the second half of the cliché: “Christianity is not a religion, it’s a relationship.” The religion we practice is a reflection of our relationship with God.

What Kind of Relationship?

Evangelists who offer sinners “a relationship with Jesus Christ” are too late. The crucial point that seems lost on many modern evangelicals is that everyone has a relationship with Jesus Christ. The question is whether that relationship is a good one or a bad one.

The New Testament defines mankind’s relationship with God under two major categories—those who are His enemies and those who are reconciled to Him. And conversion is the transition between those two states.

For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, then how much more, having been reconciled, will we be saved by His life!  And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have now received this reconciliation through Him. (Romans 5:10–11)

Christians ought to have a proper appreciation for the wickedness of our lives prior to salvation. It’s not as if we were somehow spiritually neutral. In Adam we all rebelled against God, and that rebellion sets the tone for our lives from the moment we are born. The vileness of our sin coupled with the holiness of God’s character is what makes grace so amazing. It is a barrier so impossible to cross that it required God, in human form, to fulfill the law that we have broken, suffer the punishment that we deserved, and appease God’s just wrath against us (Colossians 2:14). But that’s lost when we boil down God’s work in salvation to an invitation into a vague “relationship.”

The problem was never that we lacked a relationship with our Creator, but rather that it was hostile. And that remains the relationship status for all unbelievers. It’s why Paul describes evangelism, not as the ministry of relationship, but as “the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:18)—we are calling people to be reconciled to God through the substitutionary work of Jesus Christ on behalf of sinners (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Saying that “Christianity is not a religion, it’s a relationship” actually creates a false dichotomy. It deceives people into thinking that they have to choose between a religion and a relationship. Instead, the division needs to be made between true and false religion, and between a reconciled and an estranged relationship. Are you reconciled to God and, if so, is that reconciliation evident through the practice of “pure and undefiled” religion?

Clichés: Their Detection and Response

There is an over-arching principle that we hope you will take away from this series on Christian clichés. There is a critical difference between something that sounds right and something that is right. In order to differentiate between them we need to have deep biblical roots and sharp biblical discernment. Clichés often sound right in the same way that political promises sound believable and greeting cards sound sincere—we want to believe them, so we do. But clichés, like every other truth claim, must always be measured against the plumb line of Scripture. We need to discipline ourselves to think in clear, biblical terms, and not merely those that sound biblical.


Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B160208
COPYRIGHT ©2016 Grace to You

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What Is Forgiveness?

Source: What Is Forgiveness?

In the past few months I have encountered several conflicting ideas about forgiveness in unexpected counseling situations. Nor is the confusion confined to the uninformed or immature. The biblical idea of forgiveness is an elusive one that is often missed entirely or sometimes mixed with other ideas—ideas that are not necessarily bad, but that are not exactly what the Bible is trying to convey by its use of the word forgiveness, either. Note the following:

  • Forgiveness is clinically defined as releasing thoughts/feelings of animosity, bitterness, or revenge toward someone who has wronged you. Biblically speaking, this is the immediate response required of all those who have been wronged. Period. We should not harbor and nurture bitter thoughts of vengeance—vengeance is not the proper purview of the individual, but rather that of God and the state; further, such bitter intentions can be personally/psychologically debilitating (Rom 12:19, etc.). The idea of “letting go of bitter feelings,” however, while necessary to biblical forgiveness (the root meaning of ἀφίημι, in fact, is “to release” or “let go”), is more of a prequel to forgiveness than the act of forgiveness itself. IOW, while forgiveness requires “letting go,” it is more than this.
  • Forgiveness is legally defined as releasing the wrongdoer from all punitive or legal debt/obligation. This legal definition is sometimes reflected in Scripture, especially when the forgiveness of a material debt in in view (Matt 18:27), but this definition likewise does not exhaust the semantic range of the term. We also observe in Scripture that while the cancellation of the consequences of sin may be a gracious accoutrement of forgiveness, it need not be in every case. Even God’s own forgiveness of his children does not mean that he will automatically free us from every consequence of sin. This is particularly important in a counseling setting, in that it makes room for a Christian victim to seek legal protection from, file legal complaint against, and even seek reparations from a wrongdoer without violating God’s command to be ready to forgive.
  • Forgiveness is popularly imagined at times to involve ignoring an offense or pretending that a sin has never happened. For this understanding, appeal is sometimes made to 1 Peter 4:8, where “love covers a multitude of sins.” Now this verse surely teaches that, having been biblically addressed and forgiven, sins should not be made a matter of public broadcast to be rehearsed over and again (so also 1 Cor 13:5). Peter is most definitely not teaching, however, that believers must adopt a general policy of ignoring or concealing sins (so Matt 18:15, among dozens of other texts). Not only is such a policy detrimental to the spiritual life of the offender, but it can also put the safety of other potential victims at risk (e.g., when we “cover up” chronic abuse, sexual assault, or tendencies to physical violence)….so again, counselor, be warned. Forgiving and forgetting are not coextensive concepts; more than this, forgiving and ignoring are mutually exclusive concepts.
  • An amalgamated construct of forgiveness extracted from pieces of all three concepts above is the idea that forgiveness necessarily includes the reinstatement of a wrongdoer to the status/office/rank that he held before being caught in a sin. This simply does not follow. Just as there may be lingering legal consequences for the forgiven, so also there may be practical consequences for the forgiven. An elder, for instance, who violates the qualifications requisite to his office (1 Tim 3) forfeits his office even when he is forgiven. And it goes without saying that we should not restore a person caught abusing a child or embezzling funds, upon being forgiven, to the functions that he may have had in prior to his sin in, say, children’s ministry or the treasurer’s office, respectively. That simply is not what forgiveness is. That’s stupid!
  • What, then, does biblical forgiveness require? Well, some of the ideas above contribute to our understanding, but none, I think, captures the totality of the idea of forgiveness. Forgiveness begins by abandoning feelings of bitterness and vengeance and may graciously expand to include the cancellation of debts (financial and/or punitive), but these are not properly forgiveness, the former being a prequel to forgiveness and the latter a hopeful accessory of forgiveness. The heart of biblical forgiveness is instead reconciliation, or the restoration of a mutual relationship and even mutual respect (1 Cor 5:17–21). The term mutual is critical here, and suggests that forgiveness rests necessarily on an overture by the wrongdoer: forgiveness in its proper sense is not a unilateral action; the offender must instead humble himself to seek it by expressing repentance. Only then may the “record of the offense” be erased and the sin “covered.” The biblical requirement is not that believers forgive willy-nilly, but that they stand ready at all times to extend forgiveness to those who confess and repent of their sins, following the example of God in Christ (Eph 4:32; 1 John 1:9).

To summarize, God’s requirement that we forgive others as God has forgiven us does not mean that we must (1) ignore sin, (2) conceal sin, (3) endure sin silently, (4) let sins go unresolved, or (5) abandon all hope of relief from abusive sin.

But his call to forgive others as he has forgiven us does demand that the obedient Christian (1) eschew bitterness/vengefulness, (2) seek reconciliation and stand ready to extend it instantly upon a genuine expression of repentance, and, thereupon, (3) respect the repentant wrongdoer enough to “cover” the sin without resentment or personal censure.

For more information on this topic, see Moises Silva, NIDNTTE, 1:444–49 and esp. Chris Brauns, Unpacking Forgiveness (Crossway, 2008).

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Dealing with Manipulation

Mental Health Today

distrust-and-narcissism

Previously, we looked at 5 Traits of Those Who Are Vulnerable to Manipulators. Today, we will look at the manipulator’s tactics and I will give you some ground rules for dealing with manipulation.

The Manipulator’s Tactics

Manipulation in a relationship usually progresses over a long period of time. Manipulators learn over time how far they can go. They are unlikely to attempt to manipulate the other person at the beginning of a relationship since this could bring things to an immediate end. They observe the other person’s vulnerabilities and learn eventually how to exploit them for their own purposes.

There are two basic tactics that are used to exert control and they usually go hand in hand. The first is a promise of gain. That is, the manipulator will promise to provide something if the partner goes along with what the manipulator wants. “No arguments for a week…

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MYSTICISM MONDAY – WARNING YOU OF HOW MYSTICISM IS NOW RAPIDLY ENTERING THE CHURCH AND DECEIVING MANY CHRISTIANS TODAY

Living4HisGlory's Blog

Capture Test the spirits 1 John 4 1

Have you unknowingly been lured into New Age mystical practices by teachers claiming that certain “new ways to pray” will bring you closer to God? Have you signed up for classes in Spiritual Formation, or has your pastor been preaching on it? Have you been involved in “ChristianYoga, Centering Prayer, Contemplative Prayer, or Lectio Divina? Well, this series of posts in the new Category of posts that I have entitled, ‘MYSTICISM MONDAYS,‘ will attempt to not only peel back the layers of the many forms of spiritual deception that have been entering the church in order to reveal them to you as being lies of the enemy of our souls, but also the intention of these posts is to present you with the truth of God’s Word in order to expose the spiritual dangers of these practices.

Lord willing, at least once a month…

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Posted in Postmodern Church/Apostasy, Reblogged Guest Post | Leave a comment

February 8, 2016 Devotional Guide Collection

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February 8

O LOVE THAT WILT NOT LET ME GO

George Matheson, 1842–1902

I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with lovingkindness. (Jeremiah 31:3)

The writing of this thoughtful and artistically constructed text is most remarkable! It was authored by an esteemed Scottish minister who was totally blind and who described the writing as the “fruit of much mental suffering.” Many conjectures have been made regarding the cause of the “mental suffering.” Fortunately, Dr. George Matheson did leave this account:

My hymn was composed in the manse of Innelan on the evening of the 6th of June, 1882, when I was 40 years of age. I was alone in the manse at that time. It was the night of my sister’s marriage, and the rest of the family were staying overnight in Glasgow. Something happened to me, which was known only to myself, and which caused me the most severe mental suffering. The hymn was the fruit of that suffering. It was the quickest bit of work I ever did in my life. I had the impression of having it dictated to me by some inward voice rather than of working it out myself. I am quite sure that the whole work was completed in five minutes, and equally sure that it never received at my hands any retouching or correction. I have no natural gift of rhythm. All the other verses I have ever written are manufactured articles; this came like a dayspring from on high.

A very popular account for the writing of this hymn, though never fully substantiated, claims that it was the result of the reminder at his sister’s wedding of the great disappointment that Matheson had experienced just before he was to have been married to his college fiancée. When told of his impending total blindness, she is said to have informed him, “I do not wish to be the wife of a blind preacher.”

It is very possible that the lingering memory of this rejection from an earthly lover prompted George Matheson to write this beautiful expression of an eternal love that will never be broken:

O Love that wilt not let me go, I rest my weary soul on Thee; I give Thee back the life I owe, that in Thine ocean depths its flow may richer, fuller be.

O Light that follow’st all my way, I yield my flick’ring torch to Thee; my heart restores its borrowed ray, that in Thy sunshine’s blaze its day may brighter, fairer be.

O Joy that seekest me thru pain, I cannot close my heart to Thee; I trace the rainbow thru the rain, and feel the promise is not vain that morn shall tearless be.

O Cross that liftest up my head, I dare not ask to fly from Thee; I lay in dust life’s glory dead, and from the ground there blossoms red life that shall endless be.

For Today: Romans 8:35–39; 1 John 3:1; Revelation 1:5, 6

Rest securely in God’s eternal love, regardless of the human difficulty or suffering you may be experiencing. Allow this musical message to help you—[1]


February 8: It’s Standing between You and God

Exodus 19–20; John 4:1–26; Song of Solomon 2:14–17

There is nothing more frustrating than being ordered around. Few people take to a drill sergeant. Although we like to cite the Ten Commandments (Exod 20) because they’re the norm, the rebellious part of our spirits has trouble with them. If we’re honest with ourselves and take them the way Jesus did (Matt 5–7), we’re confronted with the fact that we’ve all violated them at some point or another. (I don’t know anyone who has always honored their father and mother.)

If everyone lived by the Ten Commandments, the world would be a peaceful place. But again, we’re rebellious. The Ten Commandments reveal something about us: we’re weaker than we would like to believe. They also reveal something about our place before God: it’s not good—not without Jesus’ saving act that redeems us from our sins.

In John 4:1–26, we see Jesus confront a woman at a well who, like us, is a commandment-breaker. And because, as a Samaritan woman, she worships in a different place and in a different way than Jewish people, she is further frowned upon by the people around her. This makes Jesus’ remark to her all the more startling: “If you had known the gift of God and who it is who says to you, ‘Give me water to drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water” (John 4:10). Jesus tells her that He is what she is searching for—not rules or justification for her lifestyle as a commandment-breaker.

We commandment-breakers can live as legalists or attempt to justify our own decisions. Or we can do something entirely different and admit our need for the living water: Jesus. We can recognize that our religion or inability to keep commandments is not what matters most—what really matters is what God can do for us. We must acknowledge our weakness and need for Him. We must say, like the woman, “He [being Jesus] told me everything that I have done” (John 4:39).

How is religion, self-deprivation, or legalism standing between you and God?

John D. Barry[2]


February 8

Intro

Welcome to Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Today’s reading is Exodus 29 through 32. Our lesson is from Exodus 31:1–2, “Now the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ‘See, I have called by name Bezalel, the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah.’ ” (NASU)

Lesson

Bezalel is not a very common name nor is he a well known Bible character. Yet, as we search the Scriptures, there are many things that we can learn from him. The Lord greatly used this man to accomplish some very specific tasks. Let’s analyze three traits about Bezalel and his relationship with the Lord.

First, Bezalel was called by the Lord. One of the exciting things about serving the Lord is His call. Throughout the Bible, God calls many men and women to fulfill a certain task for Him. In addition, the call is to a specific ministry. Our passage adds that he was called by name. It was not his brother or another member of the family but Bezalel personally.

Second, Bezalel was full of the Spirit of the Lord (v. 3). The Holy Spirit is the equipper for service unto the Lord. In the New Testament we notice an amplification of the work and gifting of the Spirit. Here we see how the Spirit of God empowers Bezalel for his ministry. The empowerment of the Holy Spirit had to do with “wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge and in all kinds of craftsmanship.” How encouraging to see how the Lord empowers believers to do a task and gives them the ability to fulfill that mission.

Finally, Bezalel was gifted by the Lord in all kinds of craftsmanship. There are times that we think of gifting only in the area of spiritual gifts as taught by Paul in the New Testament. Yet, from our text, we notice that Bezalel’s skills and abilities to work with gold, silver and stones are part of his service unto the Lord. With these skills, he was to make the tent of meeting, the mercy seat, the furniture and the utensils. Some may think these things are not very spiritual but how wrong they are.

In review, Bezalel was called by the Lord. Bezalel was full of the Spirit of the Lord. And, Bezalel was gifted by the Lord in all kinds of craftsmanship.

One of the encouraging factors that stand out is the Lord’s calling and equipping. Sometimes we have done a disservice to Scripture in overemphasizing the spiritual gifts at the expense of natural abilities. If there is anything that stands out in today’s text it is the fact that the Lord looks at persons in a holistic manner. God has made us total human beings so that our natural gifts can be used by Him. Let us put them at His service.

End

It has been a pleasure to share with you Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Tomorrow’s Bible reading is Exodus 33 through 36. 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 8

 

The Joy of Spiritual Unity

 

“… to all the saints … including the overseers and deacons” (Phil. 1:1).

✧✧✧

Faithful spiritual leaders are worthy of your appreciation and esteem.

Paul’s salutation includes the “overseers and deacons” at Philippi. That probably is not a reference to elders and deacons as we know them, but is a general reference to all the Philippian saints, including spiritual leaders (overseers) and those who followed (servants).

That implies unity and submission within the church, which brings joy to leaders and followers alike. Hebrews 13:17 emphasizes that point: “Obey your leaders, and submit to them; for they keep watch over your souls, as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.”

Spiritual leadership is a sacred responsibility. Leaders are to lead, feed, and guard the flock of God, which Christ “purchased with His own blood” (Acts 20:28). They are accountable to God Himself for the faithful discharge of their duties.

You have a sacred responsibility as well: to obey and submit to your leaders. Hebrews 13:7 says, “Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the outcome of their way of life, imitate their faith.” Paul adds in 1 Thessalonians 5:12–13, “Appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, and … esteem them very highly in love because of their work.”

Sadly, our society encourages criticism and mistrust of anyone in authority. Verbal assaults and character assassinations are common. Many within the church have adopted that attitude toward their spiritual leaders, whom they view as functionaries or paid professionals. Consequently, many churches today are weak and ineffective from disunity and strife. Many pastors suffer untold grief from disobedient and ungrateful people.

You must never succumb to that mentality. Your leaders deserve your appreciation and esteem, not because they are exceptionally talented or have winsome personalities, but because of the sacred work God has called them to do.

Your godly attitude toward spiritual leaders will contribute immeasurably to unity and harmony within your church.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Thank God for your spiritual leaders. Pray for them and encourage them often.

For Further Study: Read 1 Corinthians 9:3–14. ✧ What right was Paul discussing? ✧ What illustrations did he use?[4]


February 8

Consumed with God’s Glory

You cannot bear those who are evil.

Revelation 2:2

We should be so consumed with God’s glory that we hurt when He is dishonored. That was certainly the attitude of David when he said, “Because zeal for Your house has eaten me up, and the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me” (Ps. 69:9). David was deeply hurt when God was dishonored.

As a father, I understand what David was saying. If you hurt someone in my family, you hurt me. Often I have cried for someone I love whose heart was broken. When you identify with God in that way, you will care about His honor much more than about what happens to you.[5]


 

February 8

 

Becoming Holy

 

“But like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’ ”

1 Peter 1:15–16

✧✧✧

God requires holiness and in Christ provides us the means to attain it.

As we have learned, God is holy, and absolute holiness is the standard for anyone who wishes to be in His presence. “God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment” (2 Peter 2:4). In the same way, men who reject God are sent “into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matt. 25:41).

How then can anyone become holy? There’s only one way: through faith in Jesus Christ. It is through Christ’s sacrifice for us that God can credit holiness to our account (2 Cor. 5:21). First Corinthians 6:11 says, “But you were washed, but you were sanctified [made holy], but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God.” We are now called saints, and the Greek word for this in Scripture actually means “holy ones.”

So, by God’s grace we are positionally holy. By contrast, however, we are too often unholy in practice. But the Bible says, “Be holy yourselves also in all your behavior” (1 Peter 1:15) and “Let every one who names the name of the Lord abstain from wickedness” (2 Tim. 2:19). We need to be separate from the way the world lives. We need to let others know there is a difference in how Christians live.

When we live holy lives, we will have peace. “There is no peace … for the wicked” (Isa. 57:21), but God “disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness” (Heb. 12:10). And that discipline “yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness” (v. 11). If you lack peace, you may well have let sin come between you and God. If so, follow David’s example in Psalm 51:9–10 and pray for a clean heart. You should also spend time with those who lead holy lives (Prov. 13:20; compare 1 Cor. 15:33).

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Thank God again that He has made you positionally holy in Christ. ✧ Confess any sins you are aware of, and pray that you would live righteously today.

For Further Study: Answer the following questions, based on 2 Corinthians 5:14–21: What did Christ do for us on the cross? ✧ What happened to us when we were saved? ✧ How should we live as a result?[6]


February 8

Standing in Awe

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

Proverbs 9:10

“Fear” in this verse refers to reverence for God. Those who fear God stand in awe of God. They have at least a glimmer of understanding that God is omniscient (all-wise), omnipotent (all-powerful), omnipresent (present in every moment and throughout all eternity), and all-loving, and that they are not. They stand before God in wonderment and amazement that God, who is all, has all, and controls all, cares, loves, reaches out, and blesses the individual human being. To fear God is not to fear God’s judgment; it is to stand in awe that God has all authority to judge and to forgive, to show mercy, and to grant His grace in overflowing abundance.[7]


February 8

The Father Is with You

Scripture reading: Psalm 25:16–21

Key verse: John 16:32

Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.

Exasperated from running and hiding among caves during his flight from Saul, David knew the grip of loneliness. He cried out to God, acknowledging that he was lonely and afflicted, and he asked God to turn to him and be gracious.

David’s example is ideal for all who suffer loneliness. It is one thing to know why you’re lonely, to be able to readily identify a source like divorce or death. It is quite another to question the source of your emotions and whether something is wrong with you.

But think about this: God doesn’t want you to be lonely. He knew even before you were born that you would encounter this season, and He is as close as you will let Him be. Just like David, you have the privilege of calling out to the Lord, asking Him to be the friend and confidant you need.

One way to overcome loneliness is to drown out Satan’s lies with the truth. Do not respond to loneliness on the basis of feelings, but go to God’s Word. In John 14:16–18, Jesus promised the disciples that He would not leave them alone but would send the Holy Spirit as their Helper, a pledge He fulfilled for all believers.

In John 16:32, Jesus reminded the disciples that even in His darkest hour, even after they had deserted Him, He would not be alone “because the Father is with Me.” Right now, this very moment, the Father is with you.

Heavenly Father, You are with me. Let me feel Your presence.[8]


February 8  Devoted to Prayer

scripture reading:

 

Luke 18:1–8

 

key verse:

 

Colossians 4:2

 

Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving.

A ten–year–old boy was asked to take piano lessons during school. Weekly lessons continued for several months until the piano teacher sent a note home recommending that the child drop the lessons because of his disinterest. When asked by his parents to explain his indifference, the boy said the lessons interfered with his recess period.

Similarly most of us are not likely to be devoted to someone or some objective unless we are convinced of its importance. It is not surprising then that Paul’s appeal in today’s passage—for the Christian to be devoted to prayer—is taken so casually. We must first be persuaded of the significance of prayer before we commit ourselves to it.

Prayer is an avenue through which the supernatural power of God is released into your circumstances. Do you have a need for God’s power, for God’s provision today in a relationship or endeavor? Prayer is a God–ordained method through which you can have access to His unlimited resources for your problems.

Prayer is the means by which you come to experience the loving will of God. When you pray, you confess your dependence on your sovereign, mighty God to accomplish His purposes in you and through you; and His will is then done on earth as it is in heaven.

Father, thank You for the privilege of prayer. I confess my dependence on You. Accomplish Your purposes in and through me. Let Your will be done this day.[9]


February 8

Disciples of the Word

Scripture reading: John 5:24–38

Key verse: Galatians 5:1

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.

Oswald Chambers wrote,

A spiritually minded man or woman will never come to you with the demand, “Believe this and that,” but with the demand that you square your life with the standards of Jesus.

We are not asked to believe the Bible, but to believe the One whom the Bible reveals (John 5:39–40). We are called to present liberty of conscience, not liberty of view. If we are free with the liberty of Christ, others will be brought into that same liberty—the liberty of realizing the dominance of Jesus Christ.

Always keep your life measured by the standards of Jesus. Bow your neck to His yoke alone, and to no other yoke whatever; and be careful to see that you never bind a yoke on others that is not placed by Jesus Christ. It takes God a long time to get us out of the way of thinking that unless everyone sees as we do, they must be wrong. That is never God’s view. There is only one liberty, the liberty of Jesus at work in our conscience enabling us to do what is right.

Don’t get impatient, remember how God dealt with you with patience and with gentleness; but never water down the truth of God. Let it have its way and never apologize for it.

Jesus said, “Go and make disciples,” not “make converts to your opinions.”

Dear Lord, help me make disciples to Your Word rather than converts to my opinions. Set me free through Your Word and then empower me to share that freedom with others.[10]


February 8

Freedom from Sin

Scripture Reading: 1 Samuel 15

Key Verses: Psalm 51:3–4

I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight—that You may be found just when You speak, and blameless when You judge.

Saul deliberately disobeyed God, and even worse, he knowingly lied about it to the prophet Samuel. It was then that Samuel had to deliver the dreaded message that God had rejected Saul as king.

Was Saul sorry? Yes, but he never did accept full blame for his actions. You can hear the attempt at justification in his response: “I have sinned. I violated the Lord’s command and your instructions. I was afraid of the people and so I gave in to them” (1 Sam. 15:24 niv).

Now look at the words of King David, whom God appointed to be ruler after Saul. David had sinned grievously as well, but he said this: “I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned” (Ps. 51:3–4 niv).

Can you tell the difference between these two confessions? Saul did not really repent because he refused to acknowledge the sin as his own. But David knew better. He fully acknowledged his sin, and he asked God for forgiveness.

That is the kind of repentance God wants from you. He knows your heart and your weaknesses, and He wants you to admit them. The Lord wants you to experience the relief and peace of being forgiven through Christ.

Master, I know my transgressions. My sin is always before me. Against You, and You only, have I sinned. I repent. Thank You for the blood of Jesus that cleanses my sin.[11]


February 8

The Results of Forgiveness

Scripture Reading: Romans 6:1–6

Key Verse: Romans 6:6

… knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.

Perhaps you have been hurt by someone you love. If you don’t deal with the problem early enough, there is a likelihood that some form of bitterness will sink roots deep within your spirit.

The consequences of an unforgiving spirit are severe. First, if you allow your heart to harden toward others, you can expect to suffer emotional bondage, especially as it relates to the source of your pain. Your joy and freedom in Christ will be limited because you have chosen to harbor resentment and derision. This can have a paralyzing effect throughout your life.

One of the worst effects of unforgiveness is that it erodes our fellowship with God. He provided the ultimate sacrifice for our sins and expects us to remember Christ’s death on the cross and graciously extend forgiveness to others, even when they don’t ask for it. There is no true rationalization for holding a grudge while also claiming to live in the shadow of the cross.

Unforgiveness also leads to broken relationships. The words “I’m sorry; please forgive me” are very difficult to utter. The words “I accept your apology, and I forgive you” also require humility and a heart and mind led by the Lord’s Spirit. When both parties approach a hardship in this manner, God can restore a relationship to even fuller love. Jesus took upon Himself the sin of the world, and we should demonstrate love and liberty as a result.

Dear heavenly Father, help me forgive and accept forgiveness. I want to demonstrate Your love to a needy world.[12]


February 8

No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends.

You, Lord God, said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing?” It has been given to me to know the mysteries of Your kingdom. You, Lord God, have revealed them to me through Your Spirit. For Your Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God … the hidden wisdom which You ordained before the ages for my glory.

I am blessed, for You chose me, and cause me to approach You, that I may dwell in Your courts. I shall be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, Your holy temple. Your secret is with me; I fear You, and You have shown me Your covenant. Jesus has given to me the words which You have given Him. I have received them, and have known surely that He came forth from You. I believe that You sent Jesus.

Father, I am Your friend if I do whatever You command me.

Friendship with the Almighty and with His Son, Jesus—Lord, thank You for that privilege and joy! Enable me to honor You with faithful obedience and steadfast love.

John 15:15; Genesis 18:17; Matthew 13:11; 1 Corinthians 2:10; 1 Corinthians 2:7; Psalm 65:4; Psalm 25:14; John 17:8; John 15:14[13]


February 8

God Is Gracious

James 1:5

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

James says that God gives to all men “liberally,” which means two things. First, the word means “to stretch out,” and it pictures God stretching or spreading out His table of wisdom. God dispenses His wisdom to those of us who ask by lavishly pouring out to us the full supply of that which we need. The second meaning reflects the word “singly.” God is the opposite of the “double-minded” man mentioned in 1:8. God gives His wisdom simply, plainly, and individually to all who will ask of Him.

God also gives His wisdom without reproach (that is, without insult). When we pray for wisdom, God does not scold us for coming. He is a God who is generous and gracious, so seekers should approach Him in faith. If we approach God without faith, we have decided to live life our own way, to make our own decisions, to separate ourselves from Him.

James says the person who prays while doubting is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed about by the wind. However, the faithful man is stable, looking in only one direction for the wisdom he needs. And he knows the God to whom he prays is able and willing to respond to his need.[14]


February 8

SOME persons say they cannot bear to be an hour in solitude; they have got nothing to do, nothing to think about. No Christian will ever talk so, surely; for if I can but give him one word to think of—Christ—let him spell that over forever; let me give him the word Jesus, and only let him try to think it over, and he shall find that an hour is naught, and that eternity is not half enough to utter our glorious Saviour’s praise.

From a sweet fountain of thought we shall have sweet waters of talk. It is sweet to live in the thoughts of those we love.[15]


February 8

Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house.… Abraham … was gathered to his people

Gen 12:1; Gen. 25:8

After all communion we dwell as upon islands, dotted over a great archipelago, each upon his little rock with the sea dashing between us; but the time comes when, if our hearts are set upon that great Lord whose presence makes us one, there shall be no more sea and all the isolated rocks shall be parts of a great continent.… If we cultivate that sense of detachment from the present and of having our true affinities in the unseen, if we dwell here as strangers because our citizenship is in heaven, then death will not drag us away from our associates nor hunt us into a lonely land, but will bring us where closer bonds shall knit the “sweet societies” together, and the sheep shall couch close by one another because all gathered round the one Shepherd. Then many a tie shall be re-woven, and the solitary wanderer meet again the dear ones whom he had “loved long since and lost awhile.”

Alexander Maclaren[16]


Day 8

Adoration

Can you bind the cluster of the Pleiades?

Can you loose the cords of Orion?

Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons

Or guide the Bear with its cubs?

Do you know the ordinances of the heavens?

Can you set their dominion over the earth? (Job 38:31–33)

I know that You can do all things

And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted. (Job 42:2)

Pause to express your thoughts of praise and worship.

Confession

I know, O Lord, that a man’s way is not his own;

It is not in a man who walks to direct his steps.

O Lord, correct me, but with justice—

Not in Your anger, lest You reduce me to nothing. (Jeremiah 10:23–24)

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 receive the words of wisdom

And treasure her commands within me,

Turning my ear to wisdom

And applying my heart to understanding.

If I cry for discernment

And lift up my voice for understanding,

If I seek her as silver

And search for her as for hidden treasures,

Then I will understand the fear of the Lord

And find the knowledge of God.

Then I will understand righteousness and justice and honesty—

Every good path.

For wisdom will enter my heart,

And knowledge will be pleasant to my soul.

Discretion will protect me,

and understanding will guard me. (Proverbs 2:1–5, 9–11)

Pause to add your own prayers for personal renewal.

Petition

Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me;

O Lord, be my helper.

You turned my mourning into dancing;

You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,

That my heart may sing praise to You and not be silent.

O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever. (Psalm 30:10–12)

Relationships with Others

Greater love and compassion for others

Loved ones

Those who do not know Christ

Those in need

My activities for this day

Special concerns

Intercession

The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore, I will pray that the Lord of the harvest will send out workers into His harvest. (Matthew 9:37–38; Luke 10:2)

Evangelism

Friends

Relatives

Neighbors

Coworkers

Special opportunities

Affirmation

You are my hiding place and my shield;

I have put my hope in Your word. (Psalm 119:114)

Every word of God is tested;

He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. (Proverbs 30:5)

The earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. (Romans 8:19)

Pause to reflect upon these biblical affirmations.

Thanksgiving

All the kings of the earth will give thanks to You, O Lord,

When they hear the words of Your mouth.

Yes, they sing of the ways of the Lord,

For the glory of the Lord is great.

Though the Lord is on high,

Yet He looks upon the lowly,

But the proud He knows from afar. (Psalm 138:4–6)

Pause to offer your own expressions of thanksgiving.

Closing Prayer

My days are like a lengthened shadow,

And I wither away like grass.

But You, O Lord, will endure forever,

And the remembrance of Your name to all generations.

Of old, You laid the foundations of the earth,

And the heavens are the work of Your hands.

They will perish, but You will endure;

They will all wear out like a garment.

Like clothing, You will change them, and they will be discarded.

But You are the same,

And Your years will have no end. (Psalm 102:11–12, 25–27)[17]


Morning, February 8

 

“Thou shalt call his name Jesus.”

— Matthew 1:21

 

When a person is dear, everything connected with him becomes dear for his sake. Thus, so precious is the person of the Lord Jesus in the estimation of all true believers, that everything about him they consider to be inestimable beyond all price. “All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia,” said David, as if the very vestments of the Saviour were so sweetened by his person that he could not but love them. Certain it is, that there is not a spot where that hallowed foot hath trodden—there is not a word which those blessed lips have uttered—nor a thought which his loving Word has revealed—which is not to us precious beyond all price. And this is true of the names of Christ—they are all sweet in the believer’s ear. Whether he be called the Husband of the Church, her Bridegroom, her Friend; whether he be styled the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world—the King, the Prophet, or the Priest—every title of our Master—Shiloh, Emmanuel, Wonderful, the Mighty Counsellor—every name is like the honeycomb dropping with honey, and luscious are the drops that distil from it. But if there be one name sweeter than another in the believer’s ear, it is the name of Jesus. Jesus! it is the name which moves the harps of heaven to melody. Jesus! the life of all our joys. If there be one name more charming, more precious than another, it is this name. It is woven into the very warp and woof of our psalmody. Many of our hymns begin with it, and scarcely any, that are good for anything, end without it. It is the sum total of all delights. It is the music with which the bells of heaven ring; a song in a word; an ocean for comprehension, although a drop for brevity; a matchless oratorio in two syllables; a gathering up of the hallelujahs of eternity in five letters.

 

“Jesus, I love thy charming name,

’Tis music to mine ear.”[18]


February 8

Genesis 41; Mark 11; Job 7; Romans 11

In the second part of his response to eliphaz, Job addresses God directly (Job 7), though we are meant to understand that this agonizing prayer is uttered in such a way that Eliphaz and his friends overhear it. In fact, as we shall see, there is a tight connection between chapters 6 and 7.

The first ten verses of moving complaint, full of descriptions of sleepless nights and festering sores, are focused on “reminding” God how brief human life is. “Life is hard, and then you die” is the contemporary expression; more prosaically, Job asks, “Does not man have hard service on earth? Are not his days like those of a hired man?” (7:1). Physically, he will not last much longer.

“Therefore,” Job argues, “I will not keep silent; I will speak out in the anguish of my spirit, I will complain in the bitterness of my soul” (7:11). To God, Job says, in effect, I am not a monster—so why pick on me? My life is without meaning (7:16); I would rather be strangled to death than continue to live as I am now living (7:15).

Why should God make so much of a mere mortal as to pay him the attention God is obviously paying Job (7:17–18)? Though he is unaware of any sin in his life that has attracted such suffering, Job knows he is not sinless. But why should that attract so much suffering? “If I have sinned, what have I done to you, O watcher of men? Why have you made me your target? Have I become a burden to you?” (7:20).

Now it should be easier to see how this chapter is tied to the argument at the end of chapter 6. There Job protests to Eliphaz that his (Job’s) integrity is at stake. The thrust of Eliphaz’s argument was that Job must be suffering for wrongdoing he had never confessed; the way ahead is self-abnegation and confession. But Job replies to the effect that his friends should still be his friends; that they are condemning him because they themselves cannot bear the thought that an innocent person might suffer; that their rebuke calls into question his lifelong integrity. In chapter 7, when Job turns to address God, his stance is entirely in line with what he has just told Eliphaz. Far from confessing sin, he tells God that he is being picked on. Or if he has sinned, he has not done anything to deserve this sort of minute attention and painful judgment. Indeed, Job comes within a whisker of implying that God himself is not quite fair. Thus Job maintains his integrity.

So the drama of this book builds. The way ahead is still to be explored. Meanwhile, meditate on Job 42:7.[19]


February 8

Genesis 41; Mark 11; Job 7; Romans 11

The exchange between Jesus and some of his opponents, reported in Mark 11:27–33, is one of the strangest in the four Gospels. Jesus ducks their crucial question by asking one of his own, one that they cannot answer for political reasons. Why doesn’t Jesus respond in a straightforward manner? Doesn’t this sound a little like brinkmanship, or, worse, a petty jockeying for power and one-upmanship?

At one level, the question of the chief priests, the teachers of the law, and the elders was entirely legitimate. By what authority does Jesus clear the temple courts, accept the accolades of countless thousands as he is ushered into Jerusalem on a donkey, and preach with robust confidence? His is not the authority of the rabbinic schools, nor of those who hold high ecclesiastical and political office. So what kind of authority is it?

How might Jesus have responded? If he said he was simply doing these things on his own, he would sound presumptuous and arrogant. He could not name an adequate earthly authority. If he insisted that everything he said and did were the words and deeds of God, they could have had him up on a blasphemy charge. It is not obvious what true answer he might have given them that would have simultaneously satisfied them and preserved his own safety.

So Jesus tells them, in effect, that he will answer their question if they will answer one of his: “John’s baptism—was it from heaven, or from men? Tell me!” (11:30). His interlocutors weigh their possible answers on the basis of political expediency. If they say, “From heaven,” they reflect, he will condemn them for not becoming disciples of John. Worse, they cannot fail to see that this is also a setup for the answer to their question. For after all, John the Baptist pointed to Jesus. If they acknowledge that John’s ministry is anchored in heaven, and John pointed to Jesus, then Jesus has answered their question; his ministry, too, must have heaven’s sanction behind it. But if they say, “From men,” they will lose face with the people who cherished John. So they say nothing, and forfeit their right to hear an answer from Jesus (11:31).

A pair of pastoral implications flow from this exchange. The first is that some people cannot penetrate to Jesus’ true identity and ministry, even when they ask questions that seem to be penetrating, because in reality their minds are made up, and all they are really looking for is ammunition to destroy him. The second is that sometimes a wise answer is an indirect one that avoids traps while exposing the two-faced perversity of the interlocutor. While Christians should normally be forthright, we should never be naive.[20]


February 8.—Morning. [Or March 17.] “Pride goeth before destruction.”

Exodus 7:1–5; 10–22

AND the Lord said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet. Thou shalt speak all that I command thee: and Aaron thy brother shall speak unto Pharaoh, that he send the children of Israel out of his land. And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt. But Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you, that I may lay my hand upon Egypt, and bring forth mine armies, and my people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great judgments. And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I stretch forth mine hand upon Egypt, and bring out the children of Israel from among them. (God’s judgments hardened Pharaoh’s heart. They are sure to harden if they do not soften. The monarch was of such a nature that terrors and plagues only made his spirit more unbending.)

10 ¶ And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so as the Lord had commanded: and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his servants, and it became a serpent. (They had delivered their message, they here show their credentials.)

11, 12 Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments. For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods.

13 And he hardened Pharaoh’s heart, that he hearkened not unto them; as the Lord had said.

He concluded that Moses was only a magician, like those in his own pay, and he therefore again defied the power of Jehovah.

14, 15 And the Lord said unto Moses, Pharaoh’s heart is hardened, he refuseth to let the people go. Get thee unto Pharaoh in the morning; lo, he goeth out unto the water; and thou shalt stand by the river’s brink against he come; and the rod which was turned to a serpent shalt thou take in thine hand.

16, 17, 18 And thou shalt say unto him, the Lord God of the Hebrews hath sent me unto thee saying, Let my people go, that they may serve me in the wilderness: and, behold, hitherto thou wouldest not hear. Thus saith the Lord, In this thou shalt know that I am the Lord: behold, I will smite with the rod that is in mine hand upon the waters which are in the river, and they shall be turned to blood. And the fish that is in the river shall die, and the river shall stink; and the Egyptians shall lothe to drink of the water of the river.

They had before defiled the river with the blood of innocents, and now it appears to them in blood-red colours; as if it published aloud their murderous deeds.

19 ¶ And the Lord spake unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and stretch out thine hand upon the waters of Egypt, upon their streams, upon their rivers, and upon their ponds, and upon all their pools of water, that they may become blood; and that there may be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in vessels of wood, and in vessels of stone.

20 And Moses and Aaron did so, as the Lord commanded; and he lifted up the rod, and smote the waters that were in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh, and in the sight of his servants; and all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood.

21 And the fish that was in the river died; and the river stank, and the Egyptians could not drink of the water of the river; and there was blood throughout all the land of Egypt.

Horrible! A crowd of horrors! Their drink becomes blood; the river which they accounted sacred pours forth an intolerable stench; the delicious water grows worse than putrid; and the fish which were a great part of their food float dead upon the abominable stream! This was a plague indeed.

22 And the magicians of Egypt did so with their enchantments: and Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, neither did he hearken unto them; as the Lord had said. (Proud Pharaoh cares not. His magicians ingeniously imitate the miracle by sleight of hand, and the heartless king cares nothing for the sufferings of his people.)

Lo, Moses scatters plagues of wrath,

A ministry of fire and death,

But our Immanuel cometh forth,

With life and love in every breath.

He turn’d their water into blood,

For vengeance was his dread design:

But, thanks to our incarnate God,

He turn’d our water into wine.

February 8.—Evening. [Or March 18.] “The Lord will destroy the house of the proud.”

AS our endeavour is to gather up the substance of the Scriptures during the reading of one year, we are unable to pause over each of the ten great plagues. We ought, each one of us, to read them for our own instruction. We have them for our family reading summed up in

Psalm 105:24–38

24 And he increased his people greatly; and made them stronger than their enemies. (The Lord is just as able to increase his church at this time, and he will do so in answer to prayer.)

25 He turned their heart to hate his people, to deal subtilly with his servants. (Persecution generally attends the prosperity of the church. Where God blesses, Satan is sure to stir up all his wrath to vex the church.)

26 He sent Moses his servant; and Aaron whom he had chosen. (When evil days come, the Lord has deliverers provided, who shall appear at the exact moment when they are most required. Let us pray the Lord to raise up eminent ministers and evangelists at this time, for they are greatly needed.)

27 They shewed his signs among them, and wonders in the land of Ham.

28 He sent darkness, and made it dark; and they rebelled not against his word. (This unusual darkness filled all hearts with horror, and the Egyptians were so cowed that they yielded for the time, but were hardened again when the plague was over.)

29 He turned their waters into blood, and slew their fish.

30 Their land brought forth frogs in abundance, in the chambers of their kings.

Fish died, but frogs lived. God can with one hand kill our comforts, and with the other multiply our miseries. This time Pharaoh himself had to endure personal annoyance, for frogs swarmed upon the royal bed.

31 He spake, and there came divers sorts of flies, and lice in all their coasts.

Here filthiness and venom were united; these little tormentors made the Egyptians feel the power of the great God. Often little plagues are the worst of plagues. From this visitation Pharaoh’s bodyguards could not defend his royal person. Such enemies laughed at sword and spear.

32 He gave them hail for rain, and flaming fire in their land.

It is a judgment indeed when the fountains of blessing become the channels of wrath, and the very rain is fire. Let the enemies of God beware.

33 He smote their vines also and their fig trees; and brake the trees of their coasts.

God’s blows are heavy, and they leave no place unbruised. Egypt must miss its wine and its pleasant fruits if it will not obey the Lord.

34 He spake, and the locusts came, and caterpillers, and that without number,

35 And did eat up all the herbs in their land, and devoured the fruit of their ground.

Locusts literally eat up every green thing, and there is no preserving anything from them. God has many ways of punishing men. In this case we wonder at the hardness of heart of those who stood out against such humbling judgments. He who can with a word bring up countless hosts of devourers is not a God to be trifled with.

36 He smote also all the firstborn in their land, the chief of all their strength. (This was the last and heaviest blow, and the proud king and nation staggered under it. When one arrow does not suffice, the Lord has others in his quiver, and one way or another he will hit the mark.)

37 He brought them forth also with silver and gold: and there was not one feeble person among their tribes.

What a miracle that after all their toil and bondage they should all be in health. They were all called to go upon a long journey, and therefore the Lord prepared them for it.

38 Egypt was glad when they departed: for the fear of them fell upon them.

Thus can providence so work that the stoutest opponents shall only be too glad to yield.

Let us beware of provoking this terrible God. Let us by faith enlist him upon our side: then we shall have no ground for fear, for all the creatures he has made will be our friends. Fire and water, locusts and flies, darkness and death, were all the allies of Israel. He who is at peace with God has the whole creation enlisted upon his side.

Thus shall the nations be destroy’d

That dare insult the saints;

God hath an arm t’avenge their wrongs,

An ear for their complaints.

Thine honours, O victorious king,

Thine own right hand shall raise,

While we thine awful vengeance sing,

And our Deliverer praise.[21]


February 8th

Instantaneous and insistent sanctification

And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly. 1 Thess. 5:23–24 .

When we pray to be sanctified, are we prepared to face the standard of these verses? We take the term sanctification much too lightly. Are we prepared for what sanctification will cost? It will cost an intense narrowing of all our interests on earth, and an immense broadening of all our interests in God. Sanctification means intense concentration on God’s point of view. It means every power of body, soul and spirit chained and kept for God’s purpose only. Are we prepared for God to do in us all that He separated us for? And then after His work is done in us, are we prepared to separate ourselves to God even as Jesus did? “For their sakes I sanctify Myself.” The reason some of us have not entered into the experience of sanctification is that we have not realized the meaning of sanctification from God’s standpoint. Sanctification means being made one with Jesus so that the disposition that ruled Him will rule us. Are we prepared for what that will cost? It will cost everything that is not of God in us.

Are we prepared to be caught up into the swing of this prayer of the apostle Paul’s? Are we prepared to say—‘Lord make me as holy as You can make a sinner saved by grace’? Jesus has prayed that we might be one with Him as He is one with the Father. The one and only characteristic of the Holy Ghost in a man is a strong family likeness to Jesus Christ, and freedom from everything that is unlike Him. Are we prepared to set ourselves apart for the Holy Spirit’s ministrations in us?[22]


February 8 – Sermon on the Mount’s Significance

“When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him” (Matthew 5:1).

The gospel of the kingdom’s foundational truth (contained in the Sermon on the Mount) has had an impact for two thousand years on all who read and hear it. At least five reasons come to mind as to why Jesus’ greatest of sermons is so important.

First, the Sermon demonstrates the necessity of the new birth. In order for us to recognize our sin, Jesus made a fuller, clearer presentation of the law, followed by His offer of salvation. Jesus’ message here clarifies the reasons for sin’s curse and shows that we have no righteousness of our own to survive God’s scrutiny. Only those who have a new nature through Christ can meet the law’s demands. By no other way but saving faith can we have righteous attitudes as well as actions and be fully right with God.

Second, the Sermon points all listeners to their dependence on Christ’s enabling power to meet God’s standards.

Third, Jesus’ message gives us the Father’s pattern for true happiness and peace (cf. John 14:27; Phil. 4:7). It provides the real pathway to the believer’s sanctification.

Next, the principles in the Sermon on the Mount are some of the greatest scriptural resources for evangelism. If you as a Christian personify these truths, your life will attract others to the Lord.

Last, the life that is obedient to the Sermon’s teachings is the only one that truly pleases God—and that is the highest, noblest objective of the Christian life.

Ask Yourself

Embarking on a devotional study of something as monumental as the Sermon on the Mount, you’re always sure to discover truths and insights you’ve never noticed before. Which one or two of the five statements above do you think you’re most ready to hear more about?

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 8

Reading for Today:

Exodus 27:1–28:43
Psalm 20:1-5
Proverbs 7:1-5
Matthew 24:29-51
Notes:

Exodus 27:9 the court of the tabernacle. The dimensions of the rectangular courtyard space, bordered by curtains and poles around the tabernacle were also precisely given (vv. 9–19; 150 feet by 75 feet). The outer hangings were high enough, 5 cubits or 7.5 feet, to block all view of the interior of the courtyard (v. 18). Entry into the courtyard of God’s dwelling place was not gained just generally and freely from all quarters.

Exodus 28:1 minister to Me as priest. The 3-fold repetition of this phrase in the opening words about Aaron’s priestly wardrobe would appear to stress the importance of his role in the religious life of the nation. Aaron’s sons were part of the priesthood being set up. The Hebrew text groups the sons in two pairs, the first pair being Nadab and Abihu, both of whom died because of wanton disregard of God’s instructions (Lev. 10:1, 2). Aaron and his descendants, as well as the tribe of Levi, were selected by God to be Israel’s priests—they did not appoint themselves to the position. The law clearly defined their duties for worship and the sacrifices in the tabernacle and for the individual worshiper and the nation’s covenantal relationship to God.

Proverbs 7:2 apple of your eye. This expression refers to the pupil of the eye which, because it is the source of sight, is carefully protected (see Deut. 32:10; Ps. 17:8; Zech. 2:8). The son is to guard and protect his father’s teachings because they give him spiritual and moral sight.

Matthew 24:37 as the days of Noah were. Jesus’ emphasis here is not so much on the extreme wickedness of Noah’s day (Gen. 6:5), but on the people’s preoccupation with mundane matters of everyday life (“eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage”—v. 38), when judgment fell suddenly. They had received warnings, in the form of Noah’s preaching (2 Pet. 2:5)—and the ark itself, which was a testimony to the judgment that was to come. But they were unconcerned about such matters and therefore were swept away unexpectedly in the midst of their daily activities.

DAY 8: How should Jesus’ prophetic statements, many of which are found in Matthew 24 and 25, be interpreted?

The prophetic passages present a particular challenge for those seeking to understand a correct interpretation of Jesus’ words. The Olivet discourse (Matthew 24; 25), for example, contains some details that evoke images of the violent destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. Jesus’ words in 24:34 have led some to conclude that all these things were fulfilled—albeit not literally—in the Roman conquest of that era. This view is known as “preterism.” But this is a serious interpretive blunder, forcing the interpreter to read into these passages spiritualized, allegorical meanings unwarranted by normal exegetical study methods. The grammatical-historical hermeneutical approach to these passages is the approach to follow, and it yields a consistently futuristic interpretation of crucial prophecies.

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.


Mon, February 08, 2016

Getting Honest With God

Try what I call the pad and pencil method. This method is very simple and consists of getting on your knees with your Bible, a pad of paper and a pencil. Read the Bible and then write down what is wrong with you. The only way to remain spiritual is to keep after yourself. The pad and pencil method is good. Read, for example, the Sermon on the Mount. When the Holy Spirit says, “You are that person,” write it down. Read on. When the Holy Spirit says you are wrong here or there, write it down. Then set your Bible aside and go over your list before God in confession with the promise that you will never be caught doing those things again. Commune with your own heart, be still and question yourself like a doctor with your open Bible before you. You will find that this will bring sunshine to your life, and you will have springtime in your heart. When you get before God realizing that there has been a bit of snow on the ground and that the happy song of the birds is not heard in the land and that the sweet smell of the flowers is not within you, begin to question yourself before God with the open Bible. The symptoms you already know, but try to get at the causes. If you are evasive with God, then there will be no help. If you are evasive with yourself, if you rationalize your weaknesses, you will get no help.

Verse
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Psalm. 139:23-24

Thought
Being honest with God can lead to shocking revelations on His part. But it is the only way back to the springtime.

Prayer
Search me, O God, and know my heart. Help me to forthrightly deal with what You reveal.

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


Faith’s Checkbook: Joyful Security

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you! Don’t be frightened, for I am your God! I strengthen you – yes, I help you – yes, I uphold you with my saving right hand! – Isa 41:10 NET

Fear of falling is wholesome. To be venturesome is no sign of wisdom. Times come to us when we feel that we must go down unless we have a very special support. Here we have it. God’s right hand is a grand thing to lean upon. Mind, it is not only His hand, though it keepeth heaven and earth in their places, but His right hand: His power united with skill, His power where it is most dexterous. Nay, this is not all; it is written, “I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” That hand which He uses to maintain His holiness and to execute His royal sentences — this shall be stretched out to hold up His trusting ones. Fearful is our danger, but joyful is our security. The man whom God upholds, devils cannot throw down.

Weak may be our feet, but almighty is God’s right hand. Rough may be the road, but Omnipotence is our upholding. We may boldly go forward. We shall not fall. Let us lean continually where all things lean. God will not withdraw His strength, for His righteousness is there as well. He will be faithful to His promise, and faithful to His Son, and therefore faithful to us. How happy we ought to be! Are we not so?

C. H. Spurgeon


THANKSGIVING: Thank God for the Many Instances of His Goodness and Kind Providence (continued)

The heavens are the LORD’s heavens, but the earth you have given to the children of man; Psalm 115:16(ESV) and you have put all things under their feet, and given them dominion over the works of your hands; Psalm 8:6(ESV) so that the fear of man and the dread of man is upon every beast of the earth and upon the birds of the heavens, and into his hand they are delivered; Genesis 9:2(ESV) because you had a favor to him and delighted in the children of man. Proverbs 8:31(ESV)

You cause the grass to grow for the livestock and plants for man to cultivate, that you may bring forth food from the earth and wine to gladden the heart of man, oil to make his face shine, and bread to strengthen his heart. Psalm 104:14-15(ESV)

You give to all life and breath and everything; Acts 17:25(ESV) and the earth, O LORD, is full of your steadfast love. Psalm 119:64(ESV)

All the creatures look to you, to give them their food in due season. When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are filled with good things. Psalm 104:27-28(ESV) When you send forth your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground. This, your glory, shall endure forever, and you rejoice in these works. Psalm 104:30-31(ESV)

It is through your goodness, O Lord, that as one generation of mankind goes, another generation comes; Ecclesiastes 1:4(ESV) and that you have not blotted out the name of that corrupt and guilty race from under heaven. Deuteronomy 29:20(ESV)

Matthew Henry’s Method For Prayer


 

[1] Osbeck, K. W. (1996). Amazing grace: 366 inspiring hymn stories for daily devotions (p. 49). 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. 51). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[5] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 51). 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. 47). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[8] Stanley, C. F. (2002). Seeking His face (p. 41). 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. 41). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[11] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 41). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[12] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 41). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[13] Jeremiah, D. (2007). Life-Changing Moments With God (p. 49). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[14] Jeremiah, D. (2002). Sanctuary: finding moments of refuge in the presence of God (p. 41). Nashville, TN: Integrity Publishers.

[15] Spurgeon, C. H. (1892). Daily Help (p. 43). 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. 77–78). 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 | 3 Comments

Sola Scriptura and unbelief

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

Sola Scriptura       In Sacred scripture alone we find
Sola Gratia            Salvation is by grace alone
Sola Fide               Through faith alone
Solus Christus      In Christ alone
Soli Deo Gloria!    For the glory of God alone!

3 And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” 4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘ Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.'” (Matthew 4:3-4 NASB)

Unbelief is the fruit of arrogance. I hear nearly every day from some Emergent/Post-Modern know-it-all that certainty is the product of pride and the only ones who are truly humble are those who view uncertainty in all things as a virtue. What is unbelief in this context?…

View original post 1,500 more words

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From hip hop to squeaky clean, Super Bowl QBs Manning & Newton both evangelical Christians

From hip hop to squeaky clean, Super Bowl QBs Manning & Newton both evangelical Christians

Posted on February 7, 2016 by Christian Examiner

As the world turns its eyes toward Super Bowl 50, most of the attention is falling to two quarterbacks with evangelical backgrounds.

Read Full Article »

Posted in Truth2Freedom Headline Alerts | Leave a comment

February 6-7, 2016 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

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Top News – 2/7/2016

Debt, defaults, and devaluations: why this market crash is like nothing we’ve seen before
A global recession is on the way. This truism of economics holds at any point in which the world is not in the grips of a contraction. The real question is always when and how deep the upcoming downturn will be. “The crash will come, but it would be nice if it came two years from now”, Thomas Thygesen, head of economics at SEB told over 200 commodity investors and analysts in London last month.

NY to probe ‘radioactive’ water leak at Indian Point
ALBANY – New York will investigate the Indian Point Energy Center after Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he learned that “radioactive tritium-contaminated water” leaked into the groundwater at the nuclear facility in Westchester County. Cuomo…called for the probe after he said Entergy Corp., the Buchanan plant’s owner, reported “alarming levels of radioactivity” at three monitoring wells.

Migrants should be rounded up and put into detention centres, urges Government politician
MIGRANTS should be put in closed detention centres and be banned from obtaining permission to remain in the country, a politician has said. At a party conference the Oslo delegation passed several policies, including deporting youth migrants when they reach 18 and banning migrants from obtaining leave to remain in the country. The delegation also called for the Schengen agreement to be scrapped and for Norway to leave the Refugee Convention’s additional protocol of 1967 meaning migrants from Africa, Asia, and South-America would no longer have the right to apply for asylum.

China’s currency reserves plunged in January
China’s foreign currency reserves plunged by $99.5bn in January, the People’s Bank of China reported. China has been running down its vast foreign currency reserves in an attempt to boost the value of its own currency and stem a flow of funds overseas. At $3.23 trillion, China still has the world’s biggest reserve of foreign currency holdings.

North Korea rocket launch: UN Security Council to meet
The UN Security Council is to hold an emergency meeting later following North Korea’s launch of a long-range rocket. The meeting was requested by South Korea, Japan and the US to agree on a collective response to the launch. Pyongyang said it fired the rocket to place a satellite in orbit, but critics believe the real purpose was to test a ballistic missile.

Tunisia builds anti-terror barrier along Libya border
Tunisia says it has completed the first part of a 200km (125-mile) barrier along its border with Libya, designed to deter terrorism. The barrier is made of sand banks and water trenches. It was announced last summer after 38 people were killed on a beach by a gunman said to have trained in Libya.

Senior PA official: ‘Do we have to hijack planes for you to care about our cause?’
A senior Palestinian Authority official has suggested that the West ignores the Palestinians when they maintain security, rhetorically asking if they have to resort to “hijacking planes” and “destroying airports” to garner Western support for the Palestinian cause. In an interview translated by MEMRI on the PA-backed station Awdha TV last week, Nabil Sha’ath asserted that being moderate does not turn heads.

Next time it’ll be 100,000: UK and EU cities see day of co-ordinated anti-Islamic rallies
UK PEGIDA has warned there will be “100,000 Britons marching on the streets against Islam” by the end of the year after a day of sometimes violent anti-Islamic migrant protests were staged across Europe.

Growing support for an OPEN FIRE border policy on illegal refugees in Germany
This, say observers, is proof of the greatest fear among liberal politicians – citizens pushed into the embrace of the far-right and its intolerant attitudes which brought Hitler to power in the 1930’s.

Swine flu to KILL OFF ISIS: Panicked Daesh issues urgent health warning after dozens die
The reported death toll, which rose to “around 20 people” this week, has put the panicked terrorists on edge and prompted a desperate health shut down. According to watchdog Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently (RIBSS), the epidemic had triggered “panic among civilians” and taken the lives of at least two children so far.

Brink of WORLD WAR 3? US threatens SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES after North Korea launches ROCKET
NORTH Korea has vowed to launch more long-range rockets after successfully firing a satellite into space. Pyongyang claimed the latest rocket launch, which was fired from a launch pad on the west coast between 9.30am and 9.35am local time, had successfully delivered a satellite into orbit and vowed to continue launching satellites in future.

‘Astonishing’: CNN rips into Ted Cruz for ‘categorically false’ characterization of Iowa controversy
“What Senator Cruz said tonight in the debate is categorically false,” the statement read. “CNN never corrected its reporting because CNN never had anything to correct. The Cruz campaign’s actions the night of the Iowa caucuses had nothing to do with CNN’s reporting. The fact that Senator Cruz continues to knowingly mislead the voters about this is astonishing.”

Somali officials: Suicide bomber may have blown hole in jet
A suicide bomber is suspected to have set off the explosive that blew a hole in a jetliner, sucked the man out of the plane and forced the aircraft to make an emergency landing on Tuesday in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, Somali officials said Saturday.

Turkey must cut migrant flows to Europe, top EU official says
Europe needs Turkey to dramatically cut the number of migrants reaching Greece within weeks or the pressure for more border closures and fences will grow, the EU’s top official in charge of ties with Ankara warned on Saturday.

8 dead after explosive-laden motorcycle rams Pakistani security forces vehicle
A man rammed his explosive-laden motorcycle into a Pakistani security forces’ vehicle, setting off a blast that killed at least eight people and injured about 20 others, officials said.

Taiwan Quake Kills at Least 18 as Search for Missing Continues
A strong earthquake rocked a region of Taiwan that’s a hub for chipmaking suppliers to the likes of Apple Inc. and Qualcomm Inc., killing at least 18 people and forcing rescuers to pull hundreds from the rubble of collapsed buildings.

N Korea launches long-range rocket despite warnings
North Korea has launched a long-range rocket, violating UN resolutions and doubling down against an international community already determined to punish Pyongyang for a nuclear test last month.


Top Headlines – 2/7/2016

Kerry set to come to Israel to try to restart peace bid

State Dep’t: Kerry not coming to Israel soon or planning new peace bid

Senior PA official: ‘Do we have to hijack planes for you to care about our cause?’

Initial report: Israeli wounded in suspected terror attack in Ashkelon

Netanyahu: Arab MKs who visited terrorists’ families are building ‘walls of hate’

EU demands Israel stop demolishing illegal Arab settlements

Israel, US gear up for large-scale missile defense drill

UAE says ready to send ground troops to Syria

Thousands protest in Poland against ‘Islamisation’ of Europe

Germany’s Catholic Church calls for ‘reduction’ in refugees

Tunisia unveils anti-jihadi fence on Libyan border

Suicide bomber kills eight, injures dozens in Pakistan city of Quetta

Somali officials: Suicide bomber may have blown hole in jet

Nancy Pelosi Invokes Prophet Muhammad at National Prayer Breakfast, Compares Islam and Christianity

North Korea fires long-range rocket despite warnings

North Korea launches rocket it says ‘carrying satellite’

US, Japan, S.Korea ask for emergency UN meeting on N.Korea

Kerry: US to work with UN to hold N.Korea accountable for rocket

Colima volcano in Mexico erupts to 16,000ft

Santa Maria volcano in Guatemala erupts to 15,000ft

Karymsky volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 15,000ft

Soputan volcano in Indonesia erupts to 14,000ft

Copahue volcano in Argentina erupts to 11,000ft

5.5 magnitude earthquake hits near Hihifo, Tonga

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Rota, Northern Mariana Islands

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Dadali, Solomon Islands

Over 130 people trapped in quake-hit Taiwan tower

Austrian Police: 5 Skiers Killed in ‘Massive’ Avalanche

NY to probe “radioactive” water leak at Indian Point

New York Gov. Cuomo announces regulations to prevent gay ‘conversion therapy’

Maine governor stops bureaucrats from imposing transgender bathroom rules on schools

Brazil mayor imposes breathalyzer tests for sober town hall meetings

Archaeologists Find Pool of Siloam, Confirm Gospel of John Accurate

Pastors Lay Hands on ‘President-To-Be’ Hillary Clinton to Decree the Favor of the Lord

Creflo Dollar honored by lawmakers at Georgia State Capitol

Creflo Dollar Highway Proposal to Honor Megachurch Pastor Upsetting Georgia Residents

Joel Osteen featured on the February cover of Success magazine

Joel Osteen’s “Power of I Am”  = New Age Pagan Book

America’s largest cross begins construction in Corpus Christi, Texas

Video Shows Planned Parenthood Sought to Hide Profits From Sale of Baby Parts


 

Top News – 2/6/2016

Trump’s Ban on Muslims: The Discussion the Media Won’t Have
◾Trumps call to ban the entry of Muslims to the U.S. seemed to indicate that it should be temporary, until the American leadership has figured out what in the complex reality of the Muslim world – religious, political, economic, cultural, and so on– contributes to turning a significant portion of Muslims into jihadi operatives at war with the United States.

The parents of a Briton who travelled to Syria and has been dubbed ‘Jihadi Jack’ were arrested by police after sending their son money
The parents of a British man who travelled to Syria and has been dubbed “Jihadi Jack” were arrested by police on suspicion of sending money overseas which could have been used for terrorism purposes, Channel 4 News revealed.

First case of Zika confirmed in Austin, disease continues to spread in U.S.
According to the department’s website, a man under the age of 50 contracted the virus while abroad in Columbia. Currently, there are 10 confirmed Zika cases in Texas including seven in Harris County, one in Bexar County and two in Dallas County.

Baghdad to build a WALL and a MOAT around city to keep ISIS out
A GIGANTIC wall and moat is being built around Baghdad in a bid to protect it from bomb attacks by Islamic State. A 100km barrier, almost four metres high is being consructed that will surround the city and help to keep out suicide car bombers and terrorists.

EUROPE’S CLOSED: 70,000 Syrians head for Turkish border as authorities shut off country
UP to 70,000 Syrians are flocking to the border with Turkey to flee the civil war which has seen Aleppo bombed to obliteration.

Bombshell: Obama cutting border surveillance in half
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is planning to cut 50 percent of the budget for aerial surveillance along the U.S.-Mexico border, agents revealed at a congressional hearing Thursday. In an effort to understand why DHS is cutting funding, Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott and Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, wrote a bipartisan letter to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson. “Any decrease in aerial observation is not only imprudent, but contradicts the very mission of border security enforcement,” the letter states.

5.2 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Nepal, Tremors Felt In Bihar
The quake’s epicenter was in the Sindhupalchowk district, 55 km north-east of Kathmandu, according to The National Seismological Centre, news agency Press Trust of India reported. People were injured as they ran from their houses in panic during the tremor, the Nepal home ministry spokesperson said.

Earthquake shakes Tokyo, no tsunami risk
An earthquake has struck close to Tokyo, shaking much of the metropolitan region. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage, and no tsunami risk. The Japan Meteorological Agency said the 7.41am Friday morning quake had a preliminary magnitude of 4.6.

Iran’s army chief vows to bolster ballistic missile program
Iran will continue to develop its missile program, and it should not be considered a threat to neighboring and friendly countries, Iran’s…news agency quoted the head of the army as saying on Thursday. Under a deal reached between Iran and six major world powers in 2015, most international sanctions imposed on Iran due to its nuclear program were lifted last month. However, sanctions imposed on its missile program remain in place.

Magnitude-6.4 earthquake hits Taiwan; 5 dead
At least five people were killed Saturday morning when a magnitude-6.4 earthquake hit Taiwan, the Taiwanese Disaster Response Center said.

Brazil finds Zika in saliva, urine; expert warns against kissing
Scientists identified the Zika virus in the saliva and urine of two infected patients… prompting its president to urge pregnant women not to kiss strangers just as local carnival celebrations begin. The discovery added to the rising concern over Zika, which is spreading rapidly in the Americans and has been linked to thousands of severe birth defects in Brazil.

Japanese volcano erupts, nearby nuclear plant unaffected
A Japanese volcano about 50 km (30 miles) from a nuclear plant erupted on Friday, shooting ash nearly 2 km into the night sky along with fountains of lava, but there were no immediate report of damage and operations at the power station were not affected.

Highest EU Court Considers Criminalizing Website Hyperlinks
The highest court in the European Union this week heard arguments which could impact the ability to link to content on the Internet. …Meanwhile in the US…news aggregator Matt Drudge…told Infowars …copyright laws which prevent websites from linking to news stories were being debated. “I had a Supreme Court Justice tell me it’s over for me,” said Drudge.

Immortality Quest Aims to Preserve Brain 100 Years
…Neuroscientists are pursuing new methods for preserving brains for future revival. They’re being spurred on by visions of post-humans and a cash prize that’s now well over $100,000. Someone always seems to be hot on the trail of human immortality, but this time the competitors are… neuroscientists vying for the Brain Preservation Foundation‘s Tech Prize have impressive credentials and come to the table with published research.

North Korea advances ‘satellite’ launch
North Korea has brought forward the possible date of a controversial “satellite” launch to as early as Sunday, regional governments say. The secretive state will launch the satellite-bearing rocket between 7-14 February, the Japanese government has said, according to reports. Pyongyang previously said the launch would take place between 8-25 February.

Iran’s crude oil sales to Europe surpass 300,000 barrels post-sanctions
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said on Saturday that Iran’s crude oil sales to Europe after the lifting of international sanctions on Tehran had already reached above 300,000 barrels, according to the ministry’s news agency. …After the rubber-stamping of the nuclear deal with world powers last year, however, Tehran has ordered a 500,000 bpd increase in oil output.

Steinitz: ‘Egypt floods Hamas tunnels, in part due to Israel’s request’
Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said Saturday that Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ordered the flooding of several Hamas tunnels linking Egypt to the Gaza Strip, to a certain extent, “due to Israel’s request.” The minister affirmed that security cooperation between Israel and Egypt is “better than ever,” and asserted that “flooding is a good solution” for the challenge of tackling Hamas’ intricate tunnel system…

Defeat BDS the non-government way
Government should concentrate on international diplomacy and leave public diplomacy to non-government organizations and Zionist groups which it must help with funding. The Israeli government has 108 delegations abroad, and plans to close 6 of them. The 22 Arab League nations alone have 1799 delegations. Turkey has 233 delegations. That is more than double the number of Israeli missions abroad. With its limited manpower, the Israeli government cannot cope with the added responsibility of challenging the thousands of global non-government, anti-Israel, groups that are practicing BDS and delegitimization of Israel

Palm Bay, FL Protects Religious Freedom, Rejects GLBT Ordinance
The proposed ordinance would have directly infringed on the religious freedom of churches, religious organizations, businesses, and individuals. Palm Bay, FL – At 1:30 AM this morning, the Mayor and City Council of Palm Bay voted 4-1 to reject a proposed ordinance that would have added “sexual orientation,” “gender identity” and “gender expression” to its non-discrimination policy that applies to employment and public accommodations, including churches, religious organizations and businesses. Liberty Counsel provided a letter analyzing and detailing the clear danger and far-reaching consequences this ordinance posed to the Palm Bay community.

Obama’s faith: hidden in plain sight
Based upon context—the ongoing 7 year pattern of concrete deeds—one can only surmise an active and “secret” Muslim faith. No other reasonable conclusion can be drawn. As a so-called Christian Mr. Obama should easily recognize Romans 2:6 in which it is written: “God will repay each person according to what they have done.” Applying colloquial language to Scripture it means ‘evaluate every person by their behavior not their words’. With this sensible standard as a guide, Mr. Obama is so stalwart in his Christian faith that when giving a 2012 speech at Catholic-founded Georgetown University all religious signs and symbols were covered up including the small letters IHS, signifying the name of Jesus Christ.

Hear Obama! Muslims Are Not The Victims, They Are The Perpetrators
Obama’s recent visit to the Islamic Society of Baltimore, a radical mosque with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, is a slap in the face to all Americans whose lives have been altered due to Islamic warfare. While Obama continues to lecture us about the “victimized” Muslim community here in the United States, his comments fly in the face of reality. Who is really victimized here?

Rome Enters the Presidential Election
Pope Francis and his global warming slogan-chanting, singing nuns have wandered far away from God who created our “Common Home” and closer to the growing pagan religion of Gaia. God Bless” on Planned Parenthood, Catholic nuns have jumped into the fray to elect his successor, abortion advocate Hillary Clinton. With songs and slogans, 13 congregations of Catholic Sisters of the Upper Mississippi River Valley hit the campaign trail in Iowa earlier this week.

UN chief: 34 groups now allied to Islamic State extremists
UNITED NATIONS — Thirty-four militant groups from around the world had reportedly pledged allegiance to the Islamic State extremist group as of mid-December — and that number will only grow in 2016, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a report Friday.

Strong quake hits Taiwan, killing 3; 221 rescued from rubble
TAIPEI, Taiwan — Rescuers in the southern Taiwanese city of Tainan pulled out 221 people and three dead from a residential high-rise complex that collapsed when a shallow 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck before dawn Saturday, leaving still others trapped inside.

Ted Cruz’s Campaign Spread False Report in Iowa That Ben Carson Was Quitting Race
As Iowa Republicans headed to the caucuses on Monday night, Senator Ted Cruz’s campaign left recorded messages for supporters with “breaking news” that Ben Carson would drop out of the race, and told them to “inform any Carson caucus-goers of this news and urge them to caucus for Ted instead.” The false report, echoed in an email and in a text message sent to campaign volunteers, was trumpeted by at least some Cruz precinct captains when they addressed their caucuses. When Mr. Carson’s wife, Candy Carson, arrived at two precincts to speak on his behalf, she was furious to learn that speakers for Mr. Cruz had suggested moments earlier that her husband was quitting the race.


Top Headlines – 2/6/2016

Abbas signals solidarity for terrorism, as Gaza talks of war again

Steinitz: ‘Egypt floods Hamas tunnels, in part due to Israel’s request’

As terror rages in Israel, hundreds of ex-combat troops get gun licenses

Netanyahu: War on terror is a long one, but we can win

‘We cannot allow Jerusalem to be a pilgrimage site for terrorists’

Recognizing ‘Palestine’ and the French diplomatic initiative du jour

Ban Ki-moon ‘ashamed’ at lack of progress in peace talks

Ban Ki-Moon doubles down on justifying murdered Jews

Jewish cemeteries, Holocaust memorials vandalized across Germany

Israel hands over bodies of 3 Palestinian terrorists from Jerusalem attack

Thousands of Palestinians turn out for terrorists’ funerals in West Bank

Turkey planning $5 billion for Gaza seaport

Iranian Army Chief of Staff: US Seeking to Assassinate Revolutionary Guards Quds Force Commander

Iran’s crude oil sales to Europe surpass 300,000 barrels post-sanctions

Canada lifts most Iran sanctions

Iran’s army chief vows to bolster ballistic missile program

Iran mocks Saudi offer to send ground troops to Syria

Syrian foreign minister says any foreign ground troops who enter Syria will return home in wooden coffins

Fearing a full government siege of Aleppo, Syrian refugees wait and worry on Turkish border

Ban: Situation in Syria close to hell on earth

UN chief: 34 groups now allied to Islamic State extremists

EU Parliament Recognizes ISIS’ Genocide of Christians, Calls on World Leaders to Take Action

White House Explains Why Obama Won’t Call Islamic State’s Murder of Christians ‘Genocide’

Trump says Obama ‘goes to a mosque and apologizes’ while Americans are targeted by terrorists

Trump: Christian ban would have been less controversial than Muslim proposal

Grassley raises concerns on prisons using terror-tied groups to vet Islamic chaplains

FBI says Michigan man pledged support to ISIS, father thwarted mass shooting at church

French PM vows to extend state of emergency, says terror threat in France ‘here to last’

Twitter combats extremism: Over 125,000 terror-linked accounts taken off-line

German security chief warns of Islamic State militants posing as refugees

Merkel urges better protection of EU external borders

Suicide bomber targeting security forces kills 8 in Pakistan

Pakistan to Host New Afghan Peace Talks Saturday

North Korea may be ready to launch a rocket by Super Bowl kickoff Sunday

Citi: ‘We Should All Fear Oilmageddon’

Citi: World economy seems trapped in ‘death spiral’

Oil falls in volatile trade ahead of key oil producer meeting

Chicago Stock Exchange Says It’s Being Sold to Chinese-Led Group

Tech-stock wreck destroys $529B this year

Global stocks fall after U.S. jobs report muddles Fed outlook

Sluggish jobs report raises questions about the direction of U.S. economy

UK wants authority to serve warrants in U.S.

Drone Hits Empire State Building: NYPD

6.4 magnitude earthquake topples buildings, leaving at least 11 dead and hundreds injured Taiwan

5.5 magnitude earthquake hits near Nadi, Fiji

5.2 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Nepal, Tremors Felt In Bihar: Reports

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Nadi, Fiji

Taxi drivers see ‘ghosts’ after Japan tsunami

Soputan volcano in Indonesia erupts to 23,000ft

Zhupanovsky volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 22,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 20,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 15,000ft

Santa Maria volcano in Guatemala erupts to 15,000ft

Karymsky volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 15,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 14,000ft

Turrialba volcano in Costa Rica erupts to 12,000ft

Sakurajima volcano in Japan erupts to 10,000ft

Tengger Caldera volcano in Indonesia erupts to 10,000ft

Hurricane Patricia’s winds reached record 215 mph

‘Wrong type of trees’ in Europe increased global warming

Immortality Quest Aims to Preserve Brain 100 Years

CDC issues new safe-sex guidelines around Zika virus

Sperm banks draft Zika virus policy

Abortion Advocates Complain More Babies Were Born When Texas Defunded Planned Parenthood

U.S. judge grants injunction against anti-abortion activists

Could it soon be illegal for doctors to believe in male and female?

Sologamy Rises as the Latest Marriage Perversion Trend

Porn Star Suing Josh Duggar Admits Lie In Sexual Assault Case And Drops Lawsuit

‘Pastors’ Lay Hands on ‘President-to-Be Clinton’ to ‘Decree and Declare Favor of the Lord’

Iowa Democratic party altered precinct’s caucus results during chaotic night

Issa: FBI Has No Choice But To Recommend Clinton Indictment

Email Scandal Spin: No, Hillary, Powell and Rice Didn’t ‘Do It Too’


The American Dream Is Dead, And Now Even The Mainstream Media Is Starting To Admit It

Cemetary Graveyard - Public DomainAre you living “the American Dream”?  If so, you should consider yourself to be very fortunate, because most Americans are not.  In fact, as you will see below, a new survey has found that there is nowhere on the entire planet where the average wage earner is making enough money to live “the American Dream”.  Once upon a time, the United States had the largest and most prosperous middle class in the history of the world, but now the middle class makes up a minority of the population, 51 percent of all American workers make less than $30,000 a year, and poverty is growing rapidly.  The American Dream is essentially dead, and even the mainstream media is starting to figure this out. (Read More…)


22 Signs That The Global Economic Turmoil We Have Seen So Far In 2016 Is Just The Beginning

Skyline Globe Clock Gears - Public DomainAs bad as the month of January was for the global economy, the truth is that the rest of 2016 promises to be much worse.  Layoffs are increasing at a pace that we haven’t seen since the last recession, major retailers are shutting down hundreds of locations, corporate profit margins are plunging, global trade is slowing down dramatically, and several major European banks are in the process of completely imploding.  I am about to share some numbers with you that are truly eye-popping.  Each one by itself would be reason for concern, but when you put all of the pieces together it creates a picture that is hard to deny.  The global economy is in crisis, and this is going to have very serious implications for the financial markets moving forward.  U.S. stocks just had their worst January in seven years, and if I am right much worse is still yet to come this year.  The following are 22 signs that the global economic turmoil that we have seen so far in 2016 is just the beginning… (Read More….)


The descent of evolution

The descent of evolution

Posted on February 6, 2016 by World Magazine

SCIENCE | Observable scientific data does not support Darwin’s theory of macroevolution

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Billy Graham's Grandson Tullian Tchividjian: God Has Met My Guilt With His Grace

Billy Graham’s Grandson Tullian Tchividjian: God Has Met My Guilt With His Grace

Posted on February 5, 2016 by Christian Post

Tullian Tchividjian, the grandson of Billy Graham who resigned as pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Florida in June, says God has met him in his darkest moments and has helped him heal.

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Tullian Tchividjian Reflects on Past Indiscretions, Adultery, Reveals He's Doing Better 'Spiritually, Emotionally and Mentally'

Tullian Tchividjian Reflects on Past Indiscretions, Adultery, Reveals He’s Doing Better ‘Spiritually, Emotionally and Mentally’

Posted on February 5, 2016 by Gospel Herald

After enduring a difficult 2015, in which he in which he filed for divorce from his wife amid multiple adultery accusations and resigned from his position at Coral Ridge Church, Tullian Tchividjian, grandson of the Rev. Billy Graham, has revealed that today, he is doing better “spiritually, emotionally and mentally” than he has in years.

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Why should Christians care about theology?

Why should Christians care about theology?

Posted on February 5, 2016 by Christian Today

Theology can often seem dense and unappealing, but Krish Kandiah believes it’s an essential companion to our flourishing as Christian disciples.

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Googling God: What autocomplete tells us about modern faith-seeking

Googling God: What autocomplete tells us about modern faith-seeking

Posted on February 5, 2016 by Christian Today

Internet giant Google’s automatic search suggestion function has been in the news this week, after allegations of mysterious political bias.

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Franklin Graham Shares Thoughts on Obama's Controversial Mosque Visit: 'The Foundations of This Nation Have Nothing to Do With Islam'

Franklin Graham Shares Thoughts on Obama’s Controversial Mosque Visit: ‘The Foundations of This Nation Have Nothing to Do With Islam’

Posted on February 4, 2016 by Gospel Herald

The Rev. Franklin Graham emphasized that the “foundations of this nation have nothing to do with Islam” after U.S. President Obama visited a mosque in an effort to recast what he said was “a warped image” of the Muslim faith.

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February 6, 2016
NEW YORK TIMES — It’s the final Republican presidential debate before voters in New Hampshire head to the polls on Tuesday. Donald J. Trump has decided to take part. Carly Fiorina has been excluded. Since the most recent debate last week, the Republican race has been reordered by the results in the Iowa caucuses, with Senator Marco Rubio on the rise, Gov. Chris Christie on the ropes and Mr. Trump fighting to stay atop the polls. Here’s how to tune in to the Saturday night action (and what our reporters are looking for)…. (more)

February 6, 2016
WORLDNETDAILY — In 2009, Marco Rubio was a plucky challenger for the open Senate seat in Florida, taking on incumbent Republican Gov. Charlie Crist. Though Rubio was trailing in the polls, one leading conservative activist thought he had real potential and vowed to help him…. (more)

February 6, 2016
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama issued a final warning Friday night to New Hampshire Republicans about making the wrong decision at the polls on Tuesday…. (more)

February 6, 2016
BREITBART — According to recent FEC filings, top political donors at Goldman Sachs shifted their giving to Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)79% in the last three months of last year. Jeb Bush had been the top recipient of donations from the Wall Street investment bank. Donations to Bush shrank to a trickle as his campaign faded…. (more)

February 6, 2016
LEO HOHMANN — The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is planning to cut 50 percent of the budget for aerial surveillance along the U.S.-Mexico border, agents revealed at a congressional hearing Thursday…. (more)

February 6, 2016
NEWSMAX — Twitter says it has suspended more than 125,000 accounts for promoting or threatening terrorism since last summer. In a blog post on its site, the social media company says it’s “horrified” by violent extremism, like the shooting in San Bernardino, Calif. by husband-and-wife Islamic State supporters and the ISIS attacks in Paris, saying Twitter rules “make clear” posts promoting terror are banned…. (more)

February 6, 2016
FOX NEWS — Two Republican lawmakers introduced a bill Thursday requiring women to register for the draft – – in a move meant to take the decision out of the hands of the military so it can be debated in Congress…. (more)

February 5, 2016
WASHINGTON TIMES — A federal appeals court challenged the legality of Maryland’s assault weapon and high-capacity magazine ban on Thursday, saying the law infringes on the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, in a 2-1 ruling, ordered the original district judge to use stricter constitutional standards in reconsidering an earlier decision that upheld the ban…. (more)

February 5, 2016
ANDREW C. MCCARTHY — Politico reports that Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) has given the go-ahead to House Oversight Committee chairman Jason Chaffetz (R., Utah) to investigate the lack of executive branch compliance with the recordkeeping and records-production provisions of the Federal Records Act (FRA) and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)…. (more)

February 5, 2016
BOB UNRUH — The lawyer who brought the first legal challenge to the brand-new gun limits announced by President Obama last month now is asking a judge for a quick ruling, insisting there’s really nothing to argue over…. (more)

February 5, 2016
WORLDNETDAILY — Few Americans can say they know what it’s like to escape from a firing squad. But Rafael Cruz, father of GOP presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, can recall when as a young man he was arrested and accused of taking part in Fidel Castro’s insurgency against Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista…. (more)

February 5, 2016
NEWSMAX — U.S. Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson on Thursday planned to eliminate 50 staff positions, or nearly half his staff, in a major downsizing of his flagging campaign, The Washington Post reported…. (more)

February 5, 2016
LEO HOHMANN — Jeb Bush found himself in the awkward position of having to answer for his father’s legendary statements on the need to create a “new world order.”… (more)

February 5, 2016

DOUGLAS ERNST — Talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh wants to know why President Obama became a Christian when his public comments indicate he is mesmerized by the Islamic faith…. (more)


February 5, 2016

REUTERS — Germany’s domestic intelligence agency (BfV) has received more than 100 tip-offs that there are Islamic State fighters among the refugees currently staying in Germany, Berliner Zeitung newspaper cited the agency’s chief as saying…. (more)


February 5, 2016

WASHINGTON EXAMINER — In a shocking reversal of policy, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents are being told to release illegal immigrants and no longer order them to appear at deportation hearings, essentially a license to stay in the United States, a key agent testified Thursday…. (more)


February 5, 2016
NEWSMAX — President Barack Obama wants oil companies to pay a $10 tax for every barrel of oil to help fund investments in clean transportation…. (more)

February 5, 2016
NEWSMAX — Saudi Arabia is willing to send ground troops to Syria to fight Islamic State if the U.S.-led coalition agrees, the Associated Press reported on Thursday, citing the Saudi military spokesman…. (more)

February 5, 2016
NEWSMAX — Bill Cosby “will have to face the fact that this case is going to proceed,” famed attorney Gloria Allred told Newsmax TV on Thursday after a Pennsylvania judge voided a prosecutor’s 2005 decision granting the comedian immunity in a sex-assault case…. (more)

February 4, 2016

NEWSMAX — Former Democratic president Jimmy Carter said Wednesday that he would choose Donald Trump for the Republican presidential nomination over Ted Cruz…. (more)


February 4, 2016

NEWSMAX — Donald Trump’s insulting tirades have become something to expect after the GOP presidential front-runner doesn’t get his way, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz tells Newsmax TV…. (more)


February 4, 2016

BREITBART — Thursday in an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” former Sen. Rick Santorum, who dropped his bid for the Republican presidential nomination on Wednesday, was asked to name any accomplishments of Sen. Marco Rubio, the candidate he endorsed upon departing the race…. (more)


February 4, 2016
CLIFF KINCAID — Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and his supporters have been attacking the “corporate media” for not paying enough favorable attention to his “democratic socialist” campaign. But Sanders has his own “alternative media” outlets prepared to give him serious time and attention. They are led by Russia Today (RT), the anti-American propaganda channel funded by Vladimir Putin’s regime…. (more)

February 4, 2016
ANDREW C. MCCARTHY — The latest revelations regarding Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified information are stunning. For example, several of the former secretary of state’s “private” emails contain national-defense information so sensitive that it is classified at the highest levels…. (more)

February 4, 2016

NEWSMAX — The Rev. Franklin Graham Wednesday lashed out at President Barack Obama’s visit to a mosque, saying on Facebook that “the foundations of this nation have nothing to do with Islam.”… (more)

‘Pastors’ Lay Hands on ‘President-to-Be Clinton’ to ‘Decree and Declare Favor of the Lord’   Feb 04, 2016 02:12 pm

ClintonPHILADELPHIA — Dozens of African American “pastors” from across the nation recently gathered at a private event for pro-abortion, homosexual “marriage” advocate Hillary Clinton, and laid hands on her to “decree and declare the favor of the Lord” on her for the presidency. “Until He comes again, Secretary Clinton and President-to-be Clinton, we decree and declare…

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A Headache for Evolutionists? Scientists Discover ‘Unimaginable Complexity’ in DNA   Feb 01, 2016 08:56 am

DNA genesCAMBRIDGE, England – In what appears to be a serious setback for evolutionists, a team of researchers from Cambridge University discovered that DNA and the way it is affected by modifications are much more complex than previously thought. A group of scientists with the University of Cambridge recently published a report in the journal “Nature Structural and…

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Pastor Convicted of Helping Ex-Lesbian Flee Country With Daughter Ordered to Report to Prison   Feb 03, 2016 09:51 am

MillerBURLINGTON, Vt. — A Mennonite pastor who was convicted of providing assistance to an ex-lesbian who fled the country with her daughter has been ordered to report to prison next month after losing his appeal. As previously reported, Kenneth Miller of Stuarts Draft, Virginia was convicted in August 2012 for helping Lisa Miller (no relation) and her young daughter…

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ISIS Video Threatens Attack on Western World Worse Than 9/11 for Crushing Muslim Rule in Spain   Jan 31, 2016 11:59 am

ISIS-compressedThe barbaric Islamic group ISIS, which identifies itself as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, released a video on Saturday that threatened an attack on the Western world worse than 9/11 and last year’s Paris attacks out of revenge for Spaniards crushing Muslim rule in ancient Andalusia 500 years ago. The video, believed to have been filmed in Nineveh, shows a…

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‘I’ve Changed My Mind’: Homosexual Rights Activist Now Supports Fined Christian Bakers   Feb 02, 2016 08:29 am

AsherBELFAST, Northern Ireland — A homosexual rights activist states that he has changed his mind and now supports the rights of a Christian bakery that was fined last year for declining to print the phrase “support gay marriage” on a cake. He says that while discrimination against people is wrong, rejecting ideas is indeed lawful. As previously reported, in May 2014,…

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Oklahoma High School Wrestlers Charged With Raping Male Teammates on Bus   Feb 02, 2016 11:58 am

Bus pd-compressedNORMAN, Okla. — Four high school wrestlers in Oklahoma have been charged with raping two of their male teammates during a hazing incident last month. Tanner Shipman, 18, Sage Gandenberger, 17, and Chase Smith, 16, are charged with two counts of first-degree rape by instrumentation by force and fear, and first-degree rape by instrumentation of a victim under the…

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Catholic Seminarian Arrested for Seeking Sexual Relations With Infants, Toddlers   Feb 01, 2016 10:53 am

Wright-compressedSAN DIEGO, Calif. — A former priest-in-training has been arrested for allegedly seeking to have sexual relations with infants and toddlers in Mexico following an undercover investigation. Joel Wright, 23, of Columbus, Ohio was arrested on Saturday and is expected to be arraigned in federal court today. He has been charged with traveling with the intent to…

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Obama Calls Upon Muslims, Christians to ‘Build Bridges’: ‘We’re All Descendants of Abraham’   Feb 04, 2016 08:38 am

Obama-compressedBALTIMORE, Md. — During his first trip to an Islamic mosque during his presidency, Barack Obama called upon Christians to “build bridges” with Muslims and vice versa, urging greater tolerance for the Islamic religion, which he contended “has always been a part of America.” As previously reported, Obama’s visit to the Islamic Society of Baltimore on Wednesday was…

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Restaurateur Sentenced to Nine Years Behind Bars for Slipping Girlfriend Abortion Drug   Feb 03, 2016 05:12 pm

Woodward-compressedNEW YORK — A former famed restaurateur has been sentenced to nine years behind bars for slipping his girlfriend an abortion drug, resulting in the death of their unborn child. Gail Greaves was 39 years old and 13 weeks pregnant when Joshua Woodward, the owner of the restaurant Table 8, with locations in both New York and California, secretly administered the drug…

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Trump Shows Off Bible Gifted by Mother in Effort to Woo Evangelicals   Jan 31, 2016 09:21 am

Trump-compressedJust days before the Iowa caucuses, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump showed off the Bible gifted to him by his mother in an effort to win evangelical votes. “I really appreciate the support given to me by the evangelicals,” Trump states in the video entitled “Trump: Christian values,” released on Saturday. “They’ve been incredible. Every poll says…

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Weekend Snapshot

Feb. 6, 2016
Top Stories This Week
Top Opinion
Tony Perkins: Open Door Creates Draft for Women
Cal Thomas: The Failure of Multiculturalism
Peggy Noonan: Socialism Gets a Second Life
More Opinion →
Quote of the Week

“[Barack Obama] talks about how awesome Islam is all the time. … My question is, given all this, why did he choose to become a Christian? I’ve always wondered that. He’s such a defender and promoter of Islam, and, on the other hand, he and his party are constantly denigrating Christians.” —Rush Limbaugh

How to Feel Ugly (and a Big Reveal!)

by Jessie Minassian

The key to feeling beautiful is to know exactly what to do to feel ugly. Here’s how.

What a Hat Taught Me About ‘Cute’

by Jessie Minassian

Sure, the hat was cute. Just not cute on me. Find out what a hat gone wrong taught me about my beauty.

Racism: It’s Deeper Than the Color of Our Skin

by Jennifer Case Cortez

You asked for some deep thinking on a difficult topic, so here we go. Let’s roll up our sleeves and tackle racism.

3 Ways Darth Vader Points to a Greater Story

by Paula Hendricks Marsteller

As I watched Star Wars, I realized I was already familiar with a similar plot line—not from a fictional story, but from God’s infallible Word. Vader’s story parallels Satan’s story in at least three ways.


Is there a test by which Christians can choose the best candidate?

Bible believing Christians, who take biblical doctrines seriously, may use this test, but apostate Christians and those who have caved to the immorality of the day are disqualified, not to mention disinterested, in such a test.

The Bible clearly warns that a man’s words and his deeds must line up. In politics the words are changed slightly to a candidate’s record and his or her rhetoric. In either case it is a simple matter of the synchronization of a person’s words and deeds.

This is test one.

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Citi: World economy seems trapped in ‘death spiral’

“This is fundamental to avoiding a proper/full global recession and dangerous disorder across financial markets. The stakes are high, perhaps higher than they have ever been in the post-World War II era,” he said.

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Christians “Should be Eradicated”: Researchers Document Anti-Christian Agenda Among Powerful Elite

Professors George Yancey and David Williamson shared their findings in their newly released book So Many Christians, So Few Lions: Is There Christianophobia in the United States? 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.

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How Strong Delusion is Setting the Final Stage (Part 2)

Jan Markell, Eric Barger and Michele Bachmann continue in part 2 of programming talking about how the strong delusion that has been poured out on the earth, is setting the final stage. Perhaps this is why evil seems to now be empowered. The three remind listeners that God remains in control and the events are fulfilling some predicted scenarios in the Bible. Bachmann also comments on the Trump phenomenon, the 2016 election, and about a coming financial implosion. We use the mobile app at http://www.oneplace.com.

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Low Information Voter in Action

Media analyst Mark Dice conducted a man-on-the-street experiment in which he asked passersby to sign a petition in support of Hillary Clinton’s just-announced running mate: her and President Obama’s long-time economic adviser Karl Marx.

No one blinks an eye at the name, even when Dice describes him openly as “Communist Karl Marx.”

View Stunning 4-minute video


Facebook’s War on Freedom of Speech

Now one of the most sinister stories of the past year was hardly even reported. In September, German Chancellor Angela Merkel met Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook at a UN development summit in New York. As they sat down, Chancellor Merkel’s microphone, still on, recorded Merkel asking Zuckerberg what could be done to stop anti-immigration postings being written on Facebook. She asked if it was something he was working on, and he assured her it was.

View Article


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 […]

Read more of this post


Merchandising the Gospel

https://www.sermonaudio.com/code_sourcefeatured.asp?iframe=TRUE&reversecolor=FALSE&showoverview=FALSE&flashplayer=TRUE&tiny=FALSE&minimal=TRUE&eventtype=EVENTID&series=SUBTITLE&speaker=SPEAKERNAME&sermonid=18161914396
(35 Minutes)Link: http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=18161914396

10 Ways to Hate People

A few weeks ago I listed 10 Ways To Hate God. Today, 10 ways to hate people, which Paul says comes very naturally to us (Titus 3:3).

1. Grudge their success

2. Blacken their name

3. Desire their failure

4. Ignore their graces and gifts

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5. Suspect their motives

6. Rejoice when they fall or fail

7. Refuse their confession

8. Highlight only their defects

9. Despise their callings and roles

10. Take vengeance upon them

But God’s love can turn the worst of haters into the best of lovers, as Paul immediately highlights:

“But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.” (Titus 3:4-5)  

The post 10 Ways to Hate People appeared first on ChurchLeaders.com.


This Week in Calvinism – February 5, 2016

  • Dear non-Calvinist…
  • Mitch Bogen discusses Bob Dylan’s “beautiful Calvinism.”
  • Calvinism as an apologetic.
  • Roger Olson writes, “‘Reformed’ is a spiritual-theological identity not tied to ‘five point Calvinism’ and certainly not tied to complementarianism or belief in biblical inerrancy.”
  • Richard Mouw reflects on Abraham Kuyper’s words regarding the mingling of church and state.
  • The impact of Calvinism on culture.
  • From Christianity Today: “American Christians apparently aren’t Calvinists when it comes to football.” True. Even though I know the outcome of the game is predetermined, I still cheer like an Arminian.
  • Writes Arminian William Birch:

    Calvinists evoke mental images of an impersonal and analytic God who cares primarily about rescuing numbers — objects — instead of caring about and loving helpless sinners in need of His grace and mercy. We are presented with a calculated God who gives people cancer, like John Piper’s God (link), and who has decreed that people suffer, while they evoke their myriad passions during the suffering He has brought about, while He shows no passion whatsoever.

    When all else fails, create a straw man.


W4YW: Becoming a Prolific Writer, Stats on Porn, & the Trump Phenomenon

That’s right, folks, Wisdom For Your Weekend is back! I hope you missed me. In some small way, I missed you, too.

For those of you who may be new to this (welcome!), W4YW is our weekly installment of what we’ve been reading (and watching) around the web.

Articles of the Week

Four Arguments Against Christianity Turned On Their Heads, Trevin Wax & Randy Huff. We share Wax’s love for the larger-than-life G. K. Chesterton. And this article shows one of the many reasons why. In the space of a few short words, Chesterton is able to undo what seem like air-tight arguments against Christianity. Whether you agree with Chesterton or not, one thing is for certain: you would not want to enter a war of wits with the man.

Six Tips in Becoming a Prolific Writer, Dan Darling. In addition to having one of the more iconic names in existence, Darling has a knack for language. But as he points out here, it’s not something that comes without effort. If you see yourself as a wordsmith in need of some fine-tuning (even better, if you see yourself as a wordsmith who doesn’t need fine-tuning), start here.

Three Questions Christians Should Ask about Donald Trump, John Stemberger, CNN. Perhaps you’re tired of hearing about Sir Donald. Perhaps not. But like him or not, the fellow won’t go quietly into that good night. As we take more and more steps into the gruelingly lengthy primary season, it’s important for us to know what questions to ask about our candidates. And Stemberger has three insightful ones about Trump. (Also, don’t miss Bruce Ashford—one of the Summit’s directional elders—and his cheeky insight concerning Trump: Evangelicals, Take Off Your Beer Goggles Before You Vote)

The Porn Phenomenon: A Comprehensive, Ground-Breaking New Survey, Dan Wooding. According to this article, this recent survey by Worldlink Media is the “most comprehensive, in-depth, and wide-ranging” study on pornography in the American church. Definitely worth a close look. Not a lot here in the way of prognosis, but as a diagnosis, it’s pretty telling. As one of many examples, take this surprising fact: young adults consider not recycling more immoral than pornography. (And, by the by, if you’re looking for more prognosis on pornography, don’t miss the invaluable resource from Brad Hambrick: False Love)

The One Question To Ask When You Are Left Out, Sharon Hodde Miller. This is a clever article taking a principle of photography—what isn’t in the picture is as important as what is—and applying it to our social media lives. The natural question to ask when you are “left out of the picture” (literal or metaphorical) is, “Why wasn’t I there?” But Sharon’s got an infinitely more important question we should all be asking: “Who else was left out?”

On The Lighter Side

The Most Cringeworthy Christian T-Shirts of All Time, Relevant Magazine. It may be my penchant for the punny, but I actually think some of these are pretty good. Well, sorta.

Wisdom For Your Weekend is presented to you by Chris Pappalardo, with occasional guidance from J.D. Greear. This is our attempt to reflect Proverbs 9:9: “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.”


This ‘n’ That

  • How did God start His church?
  • One of my favorite books, The Attributes of God, by A.W. Pink, is free for Kindle.
  • Chintzy, seeker-driven, false teaching pastors are joining Netflix. Fantastic, now we really are surrounded by nonsense. It’s cool, though, because Ed Young Jr. says, “I believe if Jesus were on planet Earth today in the flesh, He’d be on Netflix.” Uh huh. Yeah…
  • Speaking of false teaching and chintzy pastors, Mark Driscoll has reinstated himself to ministry and is starting a new church in Phoenix.
  • Here’s your weekly dose of adorable.
  • Um…what used to be the deal with Christians and puppets? These awkward Christian music album covers are terrifying (thanks a lot, Lori!).
  • Pastors, do you want to be faithful, or popular?
  • Um…wait…”Pa” Ingalls looks nothing like Michael Landon. This may have shattered my childhood.
  • If Echo wants to be a human, that’s fine, but it’s not my job as a parent to tell it that it is.” If? If? I do not understand.
  • Old and New Testament parallels reveal a continuity that only God could create.
  • Preparing for spiritual war:

Falling Oil Prices and the Future of the World Economy

Yesterday my wife paid $1.99 per gallon for gasoline, a price lower than almost anyone expected a few years ago. From 2010 to early 2014, oil prices were fairly steady at close to $100 per barrel. Beginning in June 2014, oil prices began falling, recently falling below $30 per barrel. It is not clear how low oil might go.

Economists and forecasters are concerned about the low price of oil because it reflects the fact that growth of the world economy is slowing and recession is likely. Low oil prices, like low economic growth rates, however, may last a few years, but eventually rise. The best response of governments to the upcoming recession and to declining oil prices is to do nothing and allow market forces to bring things back to normal.

Read: Saudi Arabia Versus the Keystone Pipeline

Oil prices are important in high-income and developing countries. Problems arise when they rise or fall too rapidly. Why does the price of oil fluctuate so sharply? The price of oil, like other prices, is determined by supply and demand. The recent low prices of oil are the result of supply increasing faster than demand. The daily world oil supply has risen by about 7 percent since 2012. Demand has been growing in China and other developing countries, but not enough to keep up with supply.

One reason oil prices fell so much is that consumption and supply are not very responsive to price. When supply increases and demand falls, price must fall considerably to motivate consumers to buy the additional oil being supplied. Oil producers also do not cut their production much when price falls. Most of their costs are fixed, so that even when the price is $25 per barrel, they earn more on each barrel than it costs to pump. They would lose even more money if they stopped pumping the oil.

Falling oil prices are bad for oil producers, but good for consumers and producers of energy-intensive goods like automobiles. Low oil prices mean that consumers spend less on gasoline and heating oil, which frees up money for them to spend on other goods and services. It also means fewer jobs in oil-producing states like North Dakota.

Since the United States is still a net importer of oil, it might seem that lower oil prices should provide positive net benefits to the U.S. economy. The problem is that a large percentage of recent capital investment has been in the oil and gas sectors. Falling oil and gas prices threaten many oil-service companies with bankruptcy and may have a negative effect on some large financial institutions that lent to oil producers.

In spite of the current glut, the world has been running out of oil. Even with technology increases, the amount of oil that can be recovered from shale is limited. Thus, supply is likely to decline in the future as more oil is used. One way to deal with the current low prices would be to store the oil in hopes of selling it in the future at higher prices. Storing oil, however, is very costly. Also, some investors are afraid that alternative energy sources will become cost competitive with oil, which could keep oil prices from rising.

Read: The Menacing World Economy

So what’s next? Asian and European governments are trying to stimulate their economies by quantitative easing, something the U.S. Federal Reserve stopped doing more than a year ago. This may raise or stabilize the price of oil in Japanese yen, Euros and other currencies, but it won’t keep the dollar price of oil from falling. When recession comes to the United States, which is likely in the next year or two, we can expect the Federal Reserve to resume quantitative easing here as well. When that happens, if not before, oil prices will likely begin rising again.

If you are an investor, and if you are patient, you can eventually profit from rising oil prices. Now may be too early, but in the next few years oil prices will start rising, and just as they fell rapidly, they are likely to rise quickly, too. The only thing that would prevent this would be large reductions in the price of alternative-energy sources that can be used as a substitute for oil, or discovery of new oil reserves and advancements in technology that lower the cost of making oil available to consumers.

The best way to deal with falling prices, whether oil or other goods, is for governments and central banks to leave markets alone and let them adjust. Falling prices are good for savers and would also hasten the process by which unwise investments made in the past are liquidated. This would free up resources to be invested in industries expected to be profitable in the future, which may eventually include the oil industry.


The Daily Discovery (February 5, 2016)

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

4 Reasons the Bible Can’t Be “Probably” True – “I remember sitting in my seat, stunned quite a number of years ago by what I’d just heard. My mind replayed the words of the recent seminary grad just to make sure I didn’t mishear him. ‘We can’t be absolutely sure the Bible is true or that the God of the Bible exists,’ he stated again in the Sunday School class. What’s worse is that he went on with the approval of the silently nodding heads in the room as if he had just communicated what everyone had always thought. They were just not intellectually honest enough to admit it. The class went on, and the teacher went on to argue how God and the Bible are practically absolute because they are so probably absolute.”

Psalms 3-9: Glory lost, glory found – “The book of Psalms begins with the pillars of God’s authority and the reality of his glory. Psalm 1 tells us that blessing comes from wisdom and worship, while Psalm 2 describes God’s authority while it gives a warning for those who would revolt against him. Then comes Psalms 3–9. Here the book shifts focus, and begins to tell a story of glory lost and glory realized through the life experiences of David.”

5 Rookie Pastor Mistakes – “Finally, after all your training and praying and longing, you receive a call from your first church. You are elated—and determined to do a great job. They are God’s people, and he has graciously allowed you to serve them as their pastor. You have so many ideas for how to make them a stronger, more doctrinally sound, more Christ-centered church. Three years later, after a series of anonymous letters, tense deacon confrontations, and rancorous business meetings, you are summarily dismissed from the office you couldn’t wait to hold. What happened? What could you have done differently? Could you have avoided this outcome?”

The Deadly Sin of Coveting – “Many individuals are like the Rich Young Man when Jesus said to him, ‘You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother, and You shall love your neighbor as yourself’ (Matthew 19:18-19), readily reply, ‘All these I have kept’ (Matthew 19:20). A person may rationalize they have never murdered, committed adultery, or stolen, however untrue their claim may be, but no person in their right mind would say they have never coveted. The final commandment of the Ten Commandments, ‘You shall not covet,’ stands out from the rest. In those few words, the very heart of the Law is laid open to us. God’s Law does not concern itself with our actions alone. ‘You shall not covet’ unreservedly proclaims that our thoughts, feelings, inclinations–matters of the heart–matter a great deal to the Lord.”

How Colossians 1 Combated Erroneous Teaching in the Church – “Today we are seeing the rapid decline of the church all over the Western world. While different influences have played their part in this, we cannot overlook the fact that this decline has come about largely as a result of the church’s acceptance of the day’s philosophy: evolution and millions of years. The appeal to the church to accept the philosophy of the day, however, is not new to modern times. The Apostle Paul understood the challenge that philosophy posed to the church in his day. In his Epistle to the Colossians, Paul wrote to them so that no one would ‘deceive [them] with persuasive words,’ (Colossian 2:4) and to warn them not to be taken captive by ‘philosophy’ (Colossians 2:8).”


SERMON:

Andy Lynch – Comparing True & Fickle Faith (John 8:31-38)


VIDEOS:

Catholicism, Robert Schuller, Billy Graham

Martyrs Read Joel Osteen Tweets!


“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 5, 2016) appeared first on Entreating Favor.


Wisdom for the Young (Part Two)

Young adults are often concerned about their future direction and anxious about making the right decisions. We have the privilege and responsibility to walk with them, support them, and to help them to understand what God’s will for their lives looks like. Godly counsel to the young includes helping them set the right goal for their lives and pointing them to the way of wisdom. Continue reading

Perry Noble Twists Scripture to Defend Driscoll

PROGRAM SEGMENTS:

00:10:31  – Vicar Nicky Gumbel Declares 2016 The Year of Jubilee
00:20:43 – Tavner Smith Says It is Illegal for God to Operate in the Earth
00:37:30 – Perry Noble Twist Scripture to Defend Driscoll
00:56:14 – Joel Osteen Gets Grilled by Stephen Colbert
01:14:19 – Sermon Review:  I’m Happy Without Jesus by Alex Farncomb

Email your questions or comments to: talkback@fightingforthefaith.com


Random Aberrations, Apostasies, and Heresies

Todd Friel exposes a lot about false teachings in charismatic churches, Bethel Redding, IHOP, Jesus Culture, et al.  The sad thing about this article/video is the comment section with comments by all sorts of people lacking discernment and attacking Todd for exposing this junk — often with ad hominem attacks.  Many of these commenters sound like cult members.

“Churches” are getting more and more bizarre every day.
The cult of homosexuality is invading so many churches, and so many Christians have been brainwashed into the idea of “acceptance,” that too many people have never really been told the truth about what God says about homosexuality.  I wrote an article five years ago in which I demonstrated conclusively from Scripture that homosexual behavior is NEVER acceptable to God.  Too many Christian leaders, though, are trying to justify this sin when they should be calling for repentance.
More proof of the cultic nature of the Church of Christ.
More proof that Bethel Redding is not a place where the real Faith is celebrated, or the real Christ is worshipped. (Just to make a point from the title of the article, he’s canceling “debts” not “death.”)
Chapter 3 Ministries has part 2 of her review of Beth Moore’s September “Living Proof Live Simulcast.”  Along with this, Pirate Christian radio analyzes Moore’s teachings, allowing you to actually hear what Beth is saying — and it isn’t pretty!
A good examination of the charismatic “hedge of protection.”
The Jehovah’s Witnesses have always had a very bizarre, aberrational, and heretical view of Creation.  Their day=epoch teaching, trying to fit in evolution, is totally unbiblical and scientifically untenable.
Rick Joyner is another false teacher — a ravening wolf in sheep’s clothing — who is really, really dangerous!  Just look at the spiritual damage to the people of his “church.”
Here’s an example of why C. Peter Wagner is another false prophet wolf.
I finally finished an arduous job of making A Reference Blog post of Links for Latter-day Saints Research.  If you are seeking information on Mormons, go here before Googling.  Don’t forget — I also have my own blog exposing Mormonism.
Doug Evans has an excellent article about Roman Catholicism and the road to ecumenicism.
Bill Johnson— sigh.
Oh, my!  It’s hard to comment on this — a church actuallyaccepted this as a conversion testimony!?!?!?!
If you have not been previously convinced that Steven Furtick is a false teacher, you need to take a look at this evidence.
Pastors, protect the women in your congregation.
Fred Butler continues his review of Which Bible Would Jesus Use?
You shall know them by their fruits.  Matthew 7:16, an abused Scripture.
Joel Osteen’s “new age” teachings are in line with many others who seem to think they are God.
Lastly, the Watchman Fellowship has a new profile out on Tibetan Buddhism.

The Problem of Evil: The Role of Love and Character Development (Cold-Case Christianity Broadcast #58)

In this episode of the Cold-Case Christianity Broadcast, J. Warner Wallace examines the classic problem of evil and offers a cumulative case response. In this second of several related broadcasts, J. Warner examines the roles that love and character development play in helping understand why an all-powerful, all-loving God would allow evil to exist in the universe. For more information about the cumulative case for the existence of God and the problem of evil, see J. Warner’s latest book, God’s Crime Scene.

Here is the audio podcast (the Cold-Case Christianity Weekly Podcast is located on iTunes or our RSS Feed):

https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/4125890/height/50/width/580/theme/standard/autoplay/no/autonext/no/thumbnail/yes/preload/no/no_addthis/no/direction/backward/no-cache/true/


America Sends Mennonite Pastor to Prison For Protecting Child Against Homosexual Abuse

LTRP Note: For 6 years, Lighthouse Trails has been following the story of homosexual-turned-Christian-believer, Lisa Miller and her young daughter, Isabella. “Pastor Convicted of Helping Ex-Lesbian Flee Country With Daughter Ordered to Report to Prison” By Heather Clark Christian News Network BURLINGTON, Vt. — A Mennonite pastor who was convicted of providing assistance to an ex-lesbian […]

The post America Sends Mennonite Pastor to Prison For Protecting Child Against Homosexual Abuse appeared first on .


God’s Bigger Purpose for Proverbs

You probably know the book of Proverbs as a collection of practical advice for God’s people. Proverbs itself, though, defines its purpose in a deeper, more significant way.

Watch Now


How do we protect ourselves against false teaching?

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One of the things I’ve done terribly over the years is address false teaching. As a new Christian—and worse, a new Christian developing doctrinal convictions—I tended to wield my lofty opinions (some of which were even right) as a mighty hammer with which to smash my perceived foes. So I would do stupid things like blurt out, “Why would you read that—don’t you know it’s heretical nonsense?”

And let me tell you, that does not win friends or influence people.

But over time, I’ve smartened up a little bit (I hope), as I’ve come to realize that sometimes my mighty theological hammer of justice doesn’t always have the effect I intend. And frankly, trying to argue people into orthodoxy doesn’t really work all that well. After all, as my wife is so fond of saying, those convinced against their will are of the same opinion still.

The problem, of course, starts with the fact that far too many of us—even in churches committed to expository preaching—are woefully biblically illiterate. We either have no idea what the text says, what it means, or how it makes a difference in our lives. And because of this, we’re so easily swayed by teaching that sounds wise, helpful and spiritual, but might be complete nonsense.

We are easy prey because we don’t know that what we’re hearing is wrong.

So how do we protect ourselves? I’ve really come to appreciate the simple truth that the best way to protect ourselves against false teaching (and protect others from it as well) is not always with lofty arguments, but with the consistent study of Scripture. J.C. Ryle makes the point well:

What is the best safe-guard against false teaching? Beyond all doubt the regular study of the word of God, with prayer for the teaching of the Holy Spirit. The Bible was given to be a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. (Psalm. 119:105.) The man who reads it aright will never be allowed greatly to err. It is neglect of the Bible which makes so many a prey to the first false teacher whom they hear. They would have us believe that “they are not learned, and do not pretend to have decided opinions.” The plain truth is that they are lazy and idle about reading the Bible, and do not like the trouble of thinking for themselves. Nothing supplies false prophets with followers so much as spiritual sloth under a cloak of humility.1

The most important words when dealing with any teaching is to consistently ask ourselves, “What do the Scriptures say?” When we read a book, even by a generally trustworthy source, we need to ask this. When we listen to our pastors’ sermons, we ought to do likewise. When we read blogs and tweets and other such things, we must always ask this question. When we do this, when we are committed to, with the help of the Holy Spirit, seeking to understand the Scriptures to the best of our ability, and when we hold all teaching—even good teaching—up to its light, there is no place for false teaching to hide.


Gospel Challenges…

Math really is the worst.

Truth2Freedom

The Curse of the Over-Thinker!

Over-thinking: Did you know this is another name for a habitual worrier? Guest writer and biblical counselor Julie Ganschow of Reigning Grace Counseling Center shares help and hope for people prone to worry. This article appeared first on Julie’s blog and is used with permission.

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I know a woman who has spent a large part of her life as an over-thinker.

What is an over-thinker you ask? An over-thinker is nothing more than a habitual worrier. This is the kind of person who wakes up at 5 in the morning and wonders what she will make for supper at 5 PM. She goes over an exhaustive mental checklist of things before she is even out of bed. She feels like she cannot take a breath or a moment to relax because she has so much to do. Understandably, this woman is overwhelmed by life.

The Lord gives us some very sound advice and wisdom when he tells us not to worry about tomorrow.

Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34

The Problem of Worry

It is the cares of this world that will choke the life out of the Word He puts into our hearts. It’s the little worries about things that always seem to get us. We do not always trust what we cannot see (God). And because we do not understand what is happening to us or why, we fret and worry as though God were not in control.

Our worrying and fretting is really us telling God that He is not big enough, smart enough, or powerful enough to handle any problem we could possibly have. We can be such faithless creatures.

In Matthew 6 Jesus reduces our responsibilities to those of today. If you are an over thinker or a habitual worrier, narrow your focus from the big picture to the little one. Today is all the Lord has asked you to manage, and He is here to help you do that.

Worriers Get Stuck in Their Own Plans

The command not to worry must be applied in times of circumstantial difficulty. You can’t practice not worrying when times are good. We imagine that a little worry and concern will show how wise we really are when in fact, it is an indication of how foolish and sinful we really are.

Here is another important point: If we were content to let God have his own way, we would not be worried. But because we are determined to have our own way, we worry that something is going to happen that will upset our little idea of what reality should be. If all this weren’t enough, understand that when we worry we are in effect telling God that his plans are not good enough for us either.

Sometimes we act like God has a way of messing up our plans. We plan things without counting God in and then are somewhat surprised and dumbfounded when He shows up! We like to leave God out of the everyday activities of our lives unless it is a spiritual thing. With those things we think it is necessary and even desirable to invite Him to participate, but the mundane and ordinary tasks of life we think we can handle ourselves. We must keep in mind that we are the servants, He is the Master. We are to be available to do his bidding and work regardless of our personal thoughts on the matter.

Worriers Pray Little

Habitual worriers tend not to pray much. To overcome worry God says I must pray, and I must not be anxious and doubt that God will answer my prayers.

My responsibility is to prayerfully present my needs, and my questions, and my desires and longings to God; and to do so with humility and thanksgiving for everything I have in my life (Philippians 4:6).

Suggestions for prayer

You can begin praying by telling God the very things you worry about. The people in your life, the items on your list of things to do, or the money that you have or that you don’t have.

Offer Him rights to your home, your possessions, and last but not least, give God give yourself to God. You belong to Him anyway, so you might as well agree with Him in prayer that He has the right to change any part of your day or life that He chooses or needs to do so to accomplish His will in you and glorify Himself. Doing this changes your outlook on things when the unexpected comes up.

Once you have given the Lord His rightful ownership over your time, schedule, family, and all the rest you can proceed to your day. Having prepared your mind, planned your day, and then prayed over it and through it, you can proceed in faith and obedience.

You will find an amazing thing will happen! Whatever the challenge, task, crisis, or interruption, God will provide for you. He will provide wisdom (James 1:5), strength (Philippians 4:13), and whatever you need (Philippians 4:19). Since God has commanded us not to worry, He will certainly provide a way for us to obey Him in this.

God Teaches Worriers in Their Trials

One final thought; when I look back on challenging times in my life when I did not succeed with not worrying, I am well aware that God was teaching me through it. He enabled me to deal with difficult circumstances. His grace was completely sufficient, and I grew spiritually because of what I faced.

I can also tell you, I’m a much stronger Christian today because of those times in my life that were full of legitimate reasons to worry. As a result, I know more about God today. I know more about waiting, trusting, and persevering.

So, where does today find you?

What are the circumstances of your life? Are your emotions stretched to the limit? What fires are purifying your faith?

Whatever it is that burdens you today, Jesus is calling you to live one day at a time. He is commanding you not to worry about tomorrow and to be anxious about nothing. No matter what your particular challenges are, praying and trusting God by faith will help you as you manage life’s demands.

God is here to help us as we face daily life and he promises we will see beautiful fruit from our obedience and reliance upon him.


The Impact of Calvinism on Culture

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be posting expanded extracts of a popular-level address I gave on “The Impact of Calvinism on Culture.” Here’s an introduction to the series. (You might also want to read a few previous posts There’s More to Calvinism Than the Five Points of Calvinism,  There’s More to The Doctrines of Grace than the Doctrines of Grace, and The Five Distortions of Calvinism).


If there’s one thing that Calvinism’s friends and enemies agree about, it’s that Calvinism has had a huge impact upon culture. After narrating how much hostility to Calvinism he had found in various academic locations, Australian theolgian Peter Jensen observed, ”The enemies of Calvinism are right in seeing in Calvinism an extraordinarily powerful ideology, one which they do well to be alarmed about.” [1]

In Engaging with Calvin, Mark Thompson wrote: “He [Calvin] can legitimately lay claim to being one of the most influential of all Western thinkers.”[2] Thomson also asserted that Calvinism “is a movement that has not only contributed to the origin of the modern world but has played a socially and ecclesiastically significant role on all continents down to the present day.”[3]

In Calvin and CultureRichard Tewning confirms this by demonstrating that “Calvinism carried Calvin’s teachings across Europe and into the New World—North America.”[4]

Despite this agreement about Calvinism’s impact on the culture, when we get down to details, there is much debate about three main words in the title of this series. First, what is “culture”? Second, what is “Calvinism”? Third, what is “impact”? So let’s briefly answer some of the questions about the question before we get to some of the answers about the question in future posts.

First, for the purposes of this series, we will limit the word “culture” to six particular areas: education, politics, economics, marriage/the family, the law, and the arts. As we shall see, Calvinism has had a significant impact on these central components of Western culture, and consequently on American culture.

But I want to finish the series with a focus on American culture in particular, noting seven historical phases in Calvinism’s impact on America, from the first immigrants all the way up to New Calvinism, which Time magazine (March 12, 2009) ranked as one of the ten most influential ideas of our generation.

Second, as the inclusion of “Calvinism” in the title suggests, we will be tracing how Calvin and his followers (not just Calvin) applied his thought to various areas of life in influential ways.

Third, when measuring “impact” we’re talking about positive impact. Professor of Apologetics, Robert Knudsen asked:

Why is it that Calvinism has had a positive attitude toward culture and has been able to make constructive cultural contributions? Why indeed is it that this positive attitude belongs to the very genius of Calvinism, so much so that Calvin had in view not only a reformation in doctrine, in individual life, and in the life of the church, but also a transformation of all of culture in the name of Christ? [5]

In terms of positive impact, we won’t just highlight what Calvinism introduced that was brand new, but also at how it tweaked existing ideas and influences, and how it built upon them in ways that made them better.

Next time, we’ll begin to look at Calvinism’s impact on education.


[1] Peter F. Jensen, Engaging with Calvin: Aspects of the Reformer’s Legacy for Todayed. Mark D. Thompson (Nottingham: Apollos, 2009), 255.

[2] Introduction, Engaging with Calvin, 11.

[3] Oliver D. Crisp, Engaging with Calvin, 145.

[4] Richard C. Chewning, Calvin and Culture: Exploring a Worldview, ed. David W. Hall and Marvin Padgett (Phillipsburg: P&R, 2010), 207.

[5] Robert Knudsen, John Calvin: His Influence in the Western World, ed. W Stanford Reid (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1982), 14.


Check Out

Blogs

15 Practical Steps to Racial Reconciliation | Jarvis Williams, Reformed African American Network
“I applaud and praise God for the progress that has been made on race relations in the evangelical movement. However, I think every aspect of the evangelical movement can do much better on race relations. Therefore, I offer evangelicals (and anyone else with ears to hear!) 15 practical steps they can take toward reconciliation.”

Do You Keep Your Commitments – Even When It Hurts? | Jim Newheiser, Biblical Counseling Coalition Blogs
“Times will come when one might regret making a commitment, but…it is necessary to keep one’s word. In other words, let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes.’”

My Indebtedness to the Puritan | Joel Beeke
“While there are many ways that the Bible-saturated books of the Puritans have influenced me, I would like to highlight three special lessons I have learned from them about experiential, practical Christian living.”

Learning to Pastor from Leviticus | Derek Rishmawy, TGC
“When I was a college minister, Leviticus wasn’t the book I typically went to for pastoral theology. Actually, Leviticus wasn’t the book I typically went to for most things, with the exception of an atonement talk here or there. I suspect I’m not alone. Most of us don’t relish the idea of delighting our parishioners with details of cleansing skin diseases.  But I’ve recently been learning how mistaken we are when we take this approach to Leviticus.”

5 Rookie Pastor Mistakes | Hershael York, TGC
“…often conflicts arise because well-intentioned pastors make rookie mistakes—the missteps that occur at the intersection of the ideal and reality.”

13 Helps For When a Friend Battles Depression | Mike Leake, Borrowed Light
#4: “Take seriously the way they relate their feelings and distresses. It does no good to tell them, ‘this is all imaginary’.”

Feeding on Christ Leadership Principles and Pastoral Ministry | Nicholas T. Batzig, Feeding on Christ
“The Psalmist summed up David’s leadership in the following manner: ‘David shepherded [Israel] with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them’ (Ps. 78:72). A minister needs to have both an upright heart and a skillful hand.”

New Book

Christian Freedom (Grace Essentials) by Samuel Bolton ($7.99)

Kindle Deals

Finding Truth: 5 Principles for Unmasking Atheism, Secularism, and Other God Substitutes by Nancy Pearcy ($3.99).
Understanding the Times: A Survey of Competing Worldviews by Jeff Myers and David A. Noebel ($3.99)
The A to Z Guide to Finding It in the Bible: A Quick-Scripture Reference Baker Books ($1.99)
When to Speak Up and When To Shut Up by Dr. Michael D. Sedler ($0.99)


Jonah and the Whale

The post Jonah and the Whale appeared first on ChurchLeaders.com.


Questions Raised as Obama Promotes Islam at Baltimore Mosque

Speaking at the Islamic Society of Baltimore the day before the National Prayer Breakfast, President Obama again sent an ideological message in need of fact-checking to Americans as he called for tolerance toward Muslims and unity of all faiths. Obama’s visit to the U.S. mosque was controversial because its former imam, Mohamad Adam el-Sheikh, was […]


Advice to Young People

James Montgomery Boice has some excellent advice to young people in his sermon series on the Minor Prophets (volume 2, p. 510). He identifies a major problem with young people today:

As I counsel with people in our day, many of them young people, I am convinced that one of their biggest problems is that they expect shortcuts. They want a simple principle that will explain all the Bible and eliminate the need for concentrated and prolonged Bible study. They want an experience that will set them on a new spiritual plateau and eliminate the need for hard climbing up the steep mountain paths of discipleship. They want a fellowship that has all the elements of a perfect heavenly fellowship without the work of building up those elements by their own hard work and active participation. This is not the way God has ordered things. He could have given shortcuts, but he has not.

To young people out there: there are no shortcuts. And if there are, they usually lead to long delays, as Pippin would say in The Fellowship of the Ring. Things are not going to be handed to you on a platter. Life is not something you can simply let happen to you. This is not a popular message in an age of instant gratification.

Young Christians often think this way as well. After the euphoria of conversion is passed, they often come to a hard shock: the Christian life is hard work! They often think that they didn’t sign up for this. As Pliable turns back in the Slough of Despond, the very first sign of trouble, so also do many today who call themselves Christians. However, as any seasoned Christian can tell you, conversion is the peace with God that starts the war on the world, the flesh, and the devil. In many ways, life is far more difficult after conversion than before.

Do not think of the Christian life as having shortcuts. Study your Bible thoroughly and deeply. Pray over it and meditate over it. Wrestle with God in prayer. Prepare for the Sabbath Day every single week, so that the Word will dwell richly in you. The Christian life is cumulative.


Non-Discerning Christians Don’t Like False Teaching Exposed


Weekend A La Carte (February 6)

This has been a bit of a slow week for Kindle deals. That is, in part, because so many of the deals cycle on a regular basis and I try not to link to them if they’ve come up recently. There should be some new ones on Monday. Until then, here’s some reading for you:

Unearthing Treasures of Gilgamesh

“Out of the destruction and looting [in Iraq], and partly because of it, emerge striking gains in knowledge of our oldest literary inheritance.”

What’s So Special About Singing on Sundays?

This is a good one from Bob Kauflin. He focuses on what makes singing in church different from every other kind of singing.

The Ultimate Unsolicited Redesign

Here’s an interview with Adam Lewis Greene who Kickstarted a beautiful redesign of the Bible. “The expected form of the Bible almost across the board for the last 200 years or so has not been conducive to appreciating biblical literature as literature. Rather, the Bible is designed to be an easily-navigated theological encyclopedia.”

Clippings

If you read with Kindle, you may be interested in Clippings, a service that does a great job of extracting and formatting your notes and highlights. You can also use it to copy your notes right over to Evernote or other programs.

The Deep Ditches of Doubt

Here are a few things to remember in those times you stumble into the deep ditches of doubt.

This Day in 1951. Sam Storms turns 65 today! You can wish Sam a Happy Birthday on Twitter.

Psallos

Have you ever checked out Psallos? It is a concept album based on the book of Romans.

CBMW Preconference

If you are heading to Together for the Gospel, you might be interested in CBMW’s preconference. They’ve got quite a list of speakers for you to hear.

Canadians Together for the Gospel

Also, if you are from Canada or interested in ministry in Canada, be sure to come to this breakout.

Why the Bible Is Hard to Understand—and What You Can Do About It

My thanks goes to Zondervan for sponsoring the blog this week with “Why the Bible Is Hard to Understand—and What You Can Do About It.”

Lewis

A man can’t be always defending the truth; there must be a time to feed on it. —C.S. Lewis


Giant Crack Appears after Taiwan Magnitude 6.4 Earthquake

Posted: 07 Feb 2016 03:10 AM PST

At least 18 people were killed and more than 500 were injured Saturday morning when a magnitude-6.4 earthquake hit Taiwan, the official Central News Agency reported. More than 350 people were rescued from damaged structures, many from a 16-story residential building that collapsed in Tainan, officials told CNN. At least 16 of the dead were from the Weiguan Jinlong building, CNA said.

As of Saturday night, dozens of children were among at least 153 people still unaccounted for in Tainan, CNA reported, citing the local fire department. A cold wave moving into the area added to their sense of urgency. The video shows what appears to be a huge opening in the earth that was a direct result of the powerful earthquake that struck the region. FULL REPORT

The post Giant Crack Appears after Taiwan Magnitude 6.4 Earthquake appeared first on End Time Headlines.

10 Well-Known Pastors and Leaders Respond to the Question: “Is Homosexuality a Sin”

Posted: 06 Feb 2016 08:59 PM PST

These pastors and leaders all spoke out publicly on their views about homosexuality and same-sex marriage. We believe it’s important for pastors and leaders to have an answer ready on this hot-button cultural issue.

So we invite you to watch how these well-known pastors handled themselves in the public space when asked directly, “Is homosexuality a sin?” and we encourage you to share your feedback in the comment section below. CONTINUE

The post 10 Well-Known Pastors and Leaders Respond to the Question: “Is Homosexuality a Sin” appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Rick Joyner Claims Panthers Win in Super Bowl Will Usher in Third Spiritual ‘Great Awakening’

Posted: 06 Feb 2016 08:45 PM PST

Rick Joyner is predicting that if the Carolina Panthers win the Super Bowl on Sunday, it will user in the third spiritual Great Awakening in America and possibly “the greatest in-gathering of all time.” Rick Joyner of MorningStar Ministries in Fort Mill, South Carolina explained his position on his broadcast “Prophetic Perspectives” on Tuesday, which was also posted online.

He said that the first person to make the prediction was the late Bob Jones, who he also billed as a prophet. “[Jones predicted that] when our Carolina Panthers won the Super Bowl, major revival, awakening, moves of God are going to break out in America,” Joyner said. He told the story of when the Black Panthers, a black power organization, came to Charlotte, North Carolina in the 1980’s. Joyner said that he received a call from Jones about the development, which he found to be concerning. FULL REPORT

The post Rick Joyner Claims Panthers Win in Super Bowl Will Usher in Third Spiritual ‘Great Awakening’ appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Colorado Shaken Up By Rare Magnitude 4.0 Earthquake

Posted: 06 Feb 2016 08:38 PM PST

Colorado has been struck by a noteworthy M4.0 earthquake at the Trinidad, CO oil + gas pumping (fracking injection) operation. This is the largest earthquake to strike Colorado in a fairly long time, well over a year. This M4.0 range fracking operation movement was expected to occur this week, (read below for more information). Clearly this location is part of a much larger gas injection / extraction operation.

The earthquake forecast issued 6 days ago SPECIFICALLY called for M4.0 earthquake activity to strike the midwest Colorado + Oklahoma fracking operations this week. Today (Feb. 6), hours before this earthquake in Colorado, we saw another near M4.0 earthquake strike due East at the Oklahoma fracking operations. FULL REPORT

The post Colorado Shaken Up By Rare Magnitude 4.0 Earthquake appeared first on End Time Headlines.

WAR DRUMS: Japan Vows To Take Action After North Korea Rocket Launch

Posted: 06 Feb 2016 08:30 PM PST

North Korea has fired a long-range rocket over Japan, drawing international condemnation. The Pentagon confirmed the launch, which saw the rocket fly over Okinawa, where Patriot missiles had been stationed with orders to shoot it down if it threatened Japanese territory. The U.S. and South Korea were tracking the rocket’s trajectory but have provided no other details. South Korean Press reported that the rocket launch failed – however this has not been confirmed by any official source.

North Korean state television said the satellite successfully made it into space, and that Pyongyang was planning further launches.  A rocket was seen soaring into the air shortly after the launch.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called the launch ‘absolutely unacceptable’ as he vowed to take action against North Korea.  ‘We absolutely cannot allow this. We will take action to totally protect the safety and well-being of our people,’ he said. South Korean President Park Geun-hye called the launch a ‘challenge to world peace’. FULL REPORT

 

The post WAR DRUMS: Japan Vows To Take Action After North Korea Rocket Launch appeared first on End Time Headlines.

WAR DRUMS – Moscow claims Turkey is planning to Invade Syria after discovering ‘hidden preparations of armed forces’

Posted: 06 Feb 2016 08:20 PM PST

The Russian military has claimed it has ‘reasonable grounds’ to suspect that Turkey is making intensive preparations for a military invasion of neighboring Syria. Images of a checkpoint on the border between the Turkish town of Reyhanli and the town of Sarmada in Syria taken in late October and late January show a buildup of transportation infrastructure. The Russian military claims the infrastructure could be used for moving in troops, ammunition and weapons, spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said in an English-language written statement.

He said these were among growing signs of ‘hidden preparation’ of the Turkish armed forces for active actions on the territory of Syria. ‘Maybe, in peacetime, these facts would indicate the expectation of trade turnover growth between the neighboring countries,’ Konashenkov said. ‘However, during wartime, in such a way the transport infrastructure is preparing on the eve of military intervention.’ FULL REPORT

 

The post WAR DRUMS – Moscow claims Turkey is planning to Invade Syria after discovering ‘hidden preparations of armed forces’ appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Americans are ‘being betrayed by their own president’

Posted: 06 Feb 2016 08:02 PM PST

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. What’s sad is the people of the United States don’t recognize that they’re being betrayed by their own president and also betrayed by those people in the Congress and the Senate who have been going along with this amnesty program,” said Rep. Dana Rohrbacher, R-Calif., a leading voice against amnesty and for border enforcement.

On Thursday, reports emerged that the Obama administration was effectively telling U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents to stand down and not process people entering the United States illegally. They further state that agents are told not to order illegals to appear at a deportation hearing and not make efforts to track them down inside the U.S. FULL REPORT

 

The post Americans are ‘being betrayed by their own president’ appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Michigan Man Supported ISIS Plan to Target Mega-Church

Posted: 06 Feb 2016 07:57 PM PST

Federal authorities are accusing a Dearborn Heights man of supporting Islamic State extremists and planning to “shoot up” a Detroit church. Khalil Abu-Rayyan, 21, hasn’t been charged with terrorism-related crimes but faces federal charges of illegally having a firearm while using a controlled substance. But a complaint unsealed Thursday in U.S.

District Court reveals the FBI has been investigating him since May “regarding increasingly violent threats he has made to others about committing acts of terror and martyrdom — including brutal acts against police officers, churchgoers and others — on behalf of the foreign terrorist organization Islamic State of Iraq and Levant.” Besides allegedly using Twitter to express support for the terror group — often referred to as ISIS or ISIL — Abu-Rayyan reportedly told an undercover FBI employee about a plot to target a church. FULL REPORT

The post Michigan Man Supported ISIS Plan to Target Mega-Church appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Iran seeks to dump dollar in crude trade

Posted: 06 Feb 2016 06:35 AM PST

Iran wants post-sanctions’ oil contracts denominated in dollars and have buyers pay in euros, Reuters reported. Tehran is also keen to receive money owed to it since the pre-sanctions days in the European currency. The country’s crude deliveries are to be restored soon, with companies such as the French giant Total, Spanish refiner Cepsa and Litasco and the trading arm of Russia’s Lukoil already holding contracts. Reuters source at state-owned National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC) told the agency that Tehran wants to receive payment in euros.

“In our invoices we mention a clause that buyers of our oil will have to pay in euros, considering the exchange rate versus the dollar around the time of delivery,” the source said. Tehran also wants to receive billions of dollars worth of assets frozen under the sanctions in euros, said another source. Iran has an estimated $100 billion in assets and around half of these would be unfrozen under the upcoming sanctions relief. FULL REPORT

The post Iran seeks to dump dollar in crude trade appeared first on End Time Headlines.

China Conducts Final Tests on Most Powerful Homegrown Rocket

Posted: 06 Feb 2016 06:25 AM PST

China’s largest and most powerful rocket the Long March 5 underwent final tests at the Wen-chang Satellite Launch Center in Hainan province. The rocket’s first flight will be conducted in September, according to a senior project manager. The Long March 5 is China’s latest and most technologically advanced rocket. The tests were conducted for more than 130 days of September last year.

The Chang’e 5 lunar probe, which will land on the moon and take samples before returning to Earth, also took part in the tests, said Li Dong, a senior designer at the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology and head of the Long March 5 project, newspaper China’s Daily reported. Li said the tests were the riskiest and most sophisticated that China has ever conducted on its rockets and involved about 300 engineers. FULL REPORT

 

The post China Conducts Final Tests on Most Powerful Homegrown Rocket appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Kenneth Copeland Declares That Ted Cruz Has Been ‘Called And Anointed’ By God To Be The Next President

Posted: 06 Feb 2016 06:15 AM PST

Earlier this year, Ted Cruz’s father and primary presidential campaign surrogate, Rafael, spoke at Pastor Kenneth Copeland’s church in Texas, where Copeland declared that Ted Cruz has been anointed by God to be the next president.  Copeland introduced Cruz’s father by asserting that “I believe, with all my heart, that his son is called and anointed to be the next president of the United States.”.

After Cruz delivered his speech urging Christians to vote in order to turn the Nation back to God, Copeland asked him to recount how the Holy Spirit had descended upon a Cruz family prayer session and convinced Ted to seek the presidency, which Rafael took as a sign that “God has raised him up for such a time as this.”   After his speech, several church elders gathered around Cruz and laid hands upon him and prayed while Eagle Mountain International Church senior pastor George Pearsons proclaimed that “we are in the midst right now of the new birth of this nation.” FULL REPORT

The post Kenneth Copeland Declares That Ted Cruz Has Been ‘Called And Anointed’ By God To Be The Next President appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Trump promises “forward motion” on gay issues

Posted: 05 Feb 2016 08:32 PM PST

The frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination today promised “forward motion” on gay and lesbian equality if he is elected.  In an interview with NECN’s Sue O’Connell just days before the crucial New Hampshire primary, Trump cast himself as a uniter on LGBT issues.  O’Connell, who is also Bay Windows’ Publisher, identified herself as a lesbian in a question that noted the progress the LGBT community has made in the last two decades and asked Trump if voters can expect him to continue that momentum if elected.

O’Connell, who is also Bay Windows’ Publisher, identified herself as a lesbian in a question that noted the progress the LGBT community has made in the last two decades and asked Trump if voters can expect him to continue that momentum if elected.

“When President Trump is in office can we look for more forward motion on equality for gays and lesbians?” O’Connell asked him.  “Well, you can,” Trump answered. ” And look, again, we’re going to bring people together, and thats your thing and other people have their thing. We have to bring all people together and if we don’t we’re not going to have a country anymore.” FULL REPORT

The post Trump promises “forward motion” on gay issues appeared first on End Time Headlines.

UPDATE: Powerful Earthquake hits Taiwan; 160 pulled alive, many trapped

Posted: 05 Feb 2016 07:40 PM PST

Rescuers in the southern Taiwanese city of Tainan pulled out 221 people and three dead from a residential high-rise complex that collapsed when a shallow 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck before dawn Saturday, leaving still others trapped inside. Firefighters and soldiers scrambled with ladders, cranes and other equipment to the building that folded like an accordion in a pile of rubble and twisted metal and extracted dazed survivors.

The emergency response center told The Associated Press that three people were killed, including a 10-day-old infant, a 55-year-old woman and a 50-year-old man. Taiwan’s official news agency said the infant and the man were pulled out of a 17-story Wei Guan residential building and that both were later declared dead. The agency said 256 people were believed to have been living in 92 households. FULL REPORT

The post UPDATE: Powerful Earthquake hits Taiwan; 160 pulled alive, many trapped appeared first on End Time Headlines.

When a ‘Radical’ Muslim Finds Jesus

Posted: 05 Feb 2016 06:59 PM PST

Growing up in the United States, there is a common belief that the very nature of prison itself is so awful that it would inspire in criminals a conviction never to return, and therefore to stay on the “straight and narrow.” This perspective, though, doesn’t account for the reality that numerous factors – education, access to jobs, a stable family life, and a sense of purpose – impact recidivism (the rate at which people return to prison). In fact, a sense of purpose – faith – may be the most important among these factors that influence change. And faith is something that can develop inside prison walls.

Walking through the gates that separate R.J. Donovan State Prison from the rest of the world, it’s difficult not to imagine what it would be like to come into this place knowing that you wouldn’t be coming back out. This is the reality for the majority of the inmates I met on my visit to the prison with The Urban Ministry Institute (TUMI.) TUMI facilitates a seminary class for interested inmates that teaches coursework on spiritual disciplines, and I was invited with a group of colleagues to catch up with these inmates on their work. I was not prepared for what I encountered there. FULL REPORT

The post When a ‘Radical’ Muslim Finds Jesus appeared first on End Time Headlines.

North Korea ready to launch rocket by Super Bowl kickoff

Posted: 05 Feb 2016 06:24 PM PST

Satellite images taken this week of North Korea’s Sohae rocket launch site show apparent fueling activity seen in the past one to two weeks before a rocket launch, a US think tank said on Friday. North Korea has told UN agencies it will launch a rocket carrying what it called an earth observation satellite some time between 8 and 25 February, triggering international opposition from governments that see it as a long-range missile test.

Commercial satellite images from Wednesday and Thursday show the arrival of tanker trucks at the launch pad, said Washington-based 38 North, a North Korea-monitoring project. It said the presence of the trucks likely indicated the filling of tanks within bunkers at the site rather than a rocket itself. “In the past, such activity has occurred one to two weeks prior to a launch event and would be consistent with North Korea’s announced launch window,” the report said. FULL REPORT

The post North Korea ready to launch rocket by Super Bowl kickoff appeared first on End Time Headlines.

How One Man Was Delivered From Homosexuality and Drug Addiction

Posted: 05 Feb 2016 06:17 PM PST

Pastor and speaker Kegan Wesley lives a lifestyle of love. But years ago, he expressed those some sentiments by a different standard: As a gay man addicted to drugs. It started when he was raped and molested at a birthday party when he was 9. “I didn’t know where to go or who to go to,” Wesley says. “…

but I didn’t know if they would believe me, so I began to believe that lie in my heart.” But at 18, he encountered God. “I was borderline atheist. I didn’t believe because I didn’t know Jesus,” Wesley says. “Long story short, I went to the altar that night, didn’t know what to say, or how to pray.” FULL REPORT

The post How One Man Was Delivered From Homosexuality and Drug Addiction appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Top Headlines

 Obama at Prayer Breakfast: ‘Jesus is a Good Cure for Fear’
 Spread of Zika Virus Puts Pressure on Catholic Church to Change Its View on Contraception
 Newsboys’ Frontman Endorses Ted Cruz for President
 Duggars’ ‘Rebel’ Cousin Amy Duggar King Reveals New Tattoo and Other Details of Her Life
 EU Puts ‘Genocide’ Tag on Islamic State
 New Hampshire Legislators Vote Down Bills to Protect Unborn Babies
 1,700-Year-Old Turkish Church is Damaged in Fighting between Government Forces and Kurdish Separatists
 Focus on the Family President Condemns Indictment of Pro-life Journalists
 Trump Increases Vulgar and Profane Speech While on Campaign Trail in New Hampshire
 Rick Santorum Ends Presidential Bid, Endorses Marco Rubio

Opinion

 4 Factors That Define an Evangelical Christian
 Can New Advances in Medicine Help Schizophrenics?
 ‘The Blind Side’ Player’s Surprising Road to the Super Bowl
 Jesus ‘n Jimmy Kimmel: How Late-Night TV May Shape the Election
 Putting Your Christian Worldview to Work with the Colson Fellows Program

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.

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How to Play Church (Sunday Sermon)

Truth Endures—February 9, 1969

Matthew

This morning I want to present to you a discussion on the particular verses, Matthew 7:21–23 and talk about … well as the subject was advertised … how to play church, church … or the false church incorporated within the true church. Because I think that we have to examine ourselves to begin with to see where we really are before we know what we need. And so, this Sunday and next Sunday I’ll be presenting messages dealing with the church and the ministry.

If you have your Bibles, note please Matthew 7 beginning at verse 21, “Not everyone that saith unto Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter into the Kingdom of heaven but he that doeth the will of My Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name, or preached in Thy name and in Thy name have cast out demons and in Thy name done many wonderful works?’ And then will I profess unto them, ‘I never knew you, depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.’ ” May we pray.

Our Father, this morning as we approach this most serious passage of Scripture, may the Spirit of God use it to penetrate our hearts like a knife, to lay bare our inmost self that we might know whether our relation to Jesus Christ is real or whether it is not. God, we pray that Christ might be exalted in this particular message this morning, that He might be lifted up for it’s in His name we pray. Amen.

The Bible tells us in Matthew 13 that the church is going to be a very strange … the Church Age is going to be a very strange age. You remember that in Matthew 12 the Pharisees and those connected with them had committed the unpardonable sin of attributing to Satan the works of Christ and He said I can forgive you for anything but not that. In other words, if you’ve seen all the things that I’ve done, if you’ve seen everything that I’ve done and all the miracles and heard everything I’ve said and all you can conclude is that I do them by the power of Satan, you’re beyond the possibility of believing. If you’ve had all this revelation and haven’t accepted, you’ve had it. There isn’t any more you can have. To follow Me, to see Me, to watch Me, to listen to Me and to conclude it’s Satanic puts you out of the category of the possibility of belief.

The Church Age then comes up in Matthew 13. Having set Israel aside because of her unbelief, Christ begins to institute a group of parables that discuss the Church Age and they present the Church Age as a very unique age. He talks about the fact that in the Church Age there is going to be the wheat and the tares, that is the true and the false. And they’re going to be so hard to tell apart that you won’t be able to tell them apart until God who is the final judge decides between them.

And then we read about the fact that there are various dimensions of the church. The mustard seed illustration gives the idea that the church is going to explode and it’s going to be a great big thing including real and unreal, true and false. And so the Church Age is going to be a very strange era and truly it is. For under the name church, quote/unquote, we have all kinds of things going on today. Christ commanded John in Revelation to write to the Sardis church, “I know thy works that thou hast the name that thou art alive and art dead.” What a commentary on most churches today. They have a title, they have a name, but they’re dead. And why are they dead? Well they’re dead initially because the people within them are dead. I would say that the great majority of church members in America today probably … probably and according to Billy Graham statistics this is pretty accurate, probably the majority of them don’t even know what it is to be a Christian and they’re dead spiritually. Paul says in Ephesians 2, “They’re dead in sin.” Consequently dead people are going to constitute a dead church and the church is not suffering today or dying today because of a tax from the outside, most churches Satan wouldn’t even waste powder and shot on them, they’re dead from the inside.

But on the other hand, a vital church, a living church, a church that in reality knows Jesus Christ and proclaims His gospel, that kind of church is always going to be under attack because that kind of a church must be the conscience of the community. A church that is alive, a church that is one proclaiming the message of Jesus Christ is going to become an issue in the community. Jesus said, “Woe unto you when all men speak well of you.” The church in the world must always be at opposite poles because light and darkness have no fellowship. What concord hath Christ with Belial, there’s no relationship.

Very important to understand this and Paul elucidates it in 2 Corinthians 6 beginning in verse 14 where he brings up the fact that the love of Christ is a very basic issue and that what is really important is that the church is involved in making new creations out of these dead people. A church that is a real living vital church is a church that is in the business of taking dead people and communicating to them the gospel that alone can make them alive. That’s the mission of the church. There is no way biblically under the sun that the church can ever court the world. The church must be the conscience of the world. The church must be so well defined that it becomes the antagonist of the world. For those outside of Jesus Christ, this church I trust, I pray, this church will be the most uncomfortable seat in the world because we present a gospel that divides.

It’s so true that when the church courts the world it dies, as I read to you from Revelation 3:1, the Sardis church thought it was live but it was courting the world and so it wasn’t alive, it was dead. The duty of the church is not only to teach saints but the duty of the church is to warn men of God’s standards. And we’re not fair and we’re not faithful to the call of God if all we do is advertise the abundant life. Now that’s a great dimension of salvation, but somewhere along the line we’ve got to proclaim that man is a sinner, that he’s separated from a holy God and that in the eyes of God he’s an object of God’s judgment, he’s a child of wrath, as Paul says in Ephesians. To boldly proclaim Jesus Christ, to boldly proclaim the truth about Jesus Christ, to boldly proclaim the truth about man in his sin is to divide. If you’ll remember correctly the words of Jesus Christ in Matthew 10:34 you will remember that He said, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth, I came not to send peace but … what?… a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father and the daughter against her mother and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law and a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.” So says Christ.

The true church of Jesus Christ is not a religious institution which welcomes everybody, it is the body of Jesus Christ set apart unto God, uniquely married and wedded to the self same Christ, redeemed by faith. And no one outside of that faith redemption can be a part of it for that is the requirement for the church and it is our task as a people and a preacher to warn those who have not received Christ, to warn them in love but to warn them nonetheless how they are in danger of the terror of the Lord. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:11, “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men.” He says when I stop to think about the coming of the judgment of God, I get busy sharing the gospel. This is our task.

And our text is such a warning this morning. Our text is a warning to those who are comfortably entrenched in the church are who think they’re comfortably entrenched in the church but who in reality are not. This is not a warning to outside people. This is a warning to us who are involved in the church to be sure that it’s real. And I think it only fair to begin our ministry here that we stop and really approach this with a sense of sobriety and earnestness, to understand how we stand in view of God right now as individuals.

I’m sure that in this church right here there are people who come who do not know Jesus Christ in a personal vital way. I am convinced that because of the size of the congregation this morning there are some sitting right here in this audience who have come to church many times but who do not know Jesus Christ. And perhaps they even have religious sensations and perhaps they even have sanctimonious emotions but they do not know Jesus Christ. And it is my conviction that before we as a church can move together as a body, as a unit, we must become a unit and the only way we can ever be united and become one as Christ prayed that we might be is that when we are all are real in Christ. And so I want us to carefully examine our lives this morning.

Notice the scene in verse 21. There is a phrase “in that day.” It’s a very important phrase because it says that there is coming a particular day when Christ is going to judge. The idea of “in that day” in the Bible is connected with judgment. This picture is a picture of that day. “In that day” appears in 1 Corinthians 3 in connection with the time of the judgment of believers. It appears in various places in the Bible in connection with the judgment of unbelievers. But it is always a phrase tied in with judgment, the finality of judgment.

There is coming a day when God is going to judge. There is coming a day when the Great White Throne is going to be a reality. In Revelation 20 and I think it bears our careful reading, in Revelation 20 in verse 11 the Bible paints this great picture of final judgment. “And I saw a Great White Throne and Him that sat on it from whose faith the earth and the heaven fled away and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead small and great stand before God and the books were opened and another book was opened which is the Book of Life and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books according to their works.” In other words, they had no faith to commend them, all they could go on was their works. And if you know anything about that you know that the Bible says, “By the deeds of the law shall … what?… no flesh be justified.” “And the sea gave up the dead that were in it and the death and Hades delivered up the dead that were in them and they were judged every man according to his works.” Again no faith, it had to be works. “And the result of works and death and hell, or Hades, were cast into the Lake of Fire, this is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the Lake of Fire.”

Now in Matthew 7:21–23 we are taken to the final judgment. We are at the Great White Throne. And we are seeing some of the people who are confronting Christ at that time. And they are saying unto Him, “Lord, Lord, here we are, we are the ones who were religious people.” Peter calls this day the day of the judgment and predition of ungodly men. And the phrase that he uses, “ungodly men,” may seem like a very difficult phrase in view of the fact that these are religious people. There is an awesome silence at this judgment. And then the silence is pierced by the words of Jesus Christ as He says in verse 21, “Not everyone that saith unto Me Lord, Lord shall enter into the Kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of My Father who is in heaven.” Here we have, first of all, the condition for entrance to the Kingdom, the condition for entrance to the Kingdom.

What is that condition? How is it that a man enters the Kingdom of God? How is it that a man becomes a part of the Kingdom of God? How is it that a man can be in, as it were, with God in a real vital relationship? How is it? Well, first of all, it’s not the ones who say, “Lord, Lord.” But it’s those who do the will of God. In Matthew 25:1–13 you have a very interesting story. You have a story of ten virgins. And they were invited to the feast. And five of them came and they had prepared by bringing oils and putting … bringing oil and having it in their lamps. The other five were foolish and they did not prepare. And in verse 11 of Matthew 25 the door is shut and the five are on the outside and you remember what they say, they say, “Lord, Lord, open to us.” And the Lord of the feast says, “Verily I say unto you, I know you not.”

Interesting, isn’t it, that they were invited to the feast. They had heard the gospel, in a sense, symbolically. They had heard the proclamation, “Come to the feast.” This is an illustration of God’s call to the world. They even prepared to the extent that they had their lamps. They even had the right clothes on. They even arrived at the meeting house. But they didn’t get in and their cry was the same as it is in Matthew 7, “Lord, Lord, open to us.” But He says it is not those that say, “Lord, Lord,” but those that do My will.

What a solemn warning. At the end of that parable Christ says, “Watch therefore for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man comes.”

Hosea illustrates this in the eighth chapter in the first two verses. It’s an interesting story. Hosea’s people were just about at the bottom historically. Israel had really hit the skids and by the time you get to Hosea’s prophecy he is ranting and raving about their lack of knowledge. He says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” He says that they don’t have any reality on the inside. He likens them to the early morning dew that evaporates. They don’t have any substance to them. They have neglected God. They have forsaken God. They don’t even go near the house of God.

And by the time you come to chapter 8 and verses 1 and 2 you have a most interesting thing. Hosea paints the picture of a vulture. It’s called in the Authorized Version an eagle but it’s the Hebrew word for vulture. It has the idea of a vulture swooping over the house of God. And it symbolizes the fact that with all of the religious activity in Israel, with all of the things that were going on by way of performance that the real truth was that the place was dead and it’s seen because of the vulture that’s swooping over it. There was nothing but dead carcass. Israel forsook God’s temple as a scene of a relationship to God and the scene became a tragedy, a picture of a flying vulture speaking of the fact that judgment was coming. And then Hosea goes on to prophesy that Israel because of her neglect of God will be crushed.

Israel was still religious. Israel still had religious feelings. The Israelites still went through some of the motions but they were dead. There wasn’t a reality to their religion only a formality. And then in verse 2 of Hosea 8, you know what they say? When the judgment call comes from Hosea, God puts it through Hosea, they say this, “My God, we know Thee.” Just like Matthew 7, “Lord, Lord, it’s us.” What do You mean judging us, the Jews said in Hosea 8, we know You, it’s us. My God, they cry out, it’s us. What a tragedy.

God doesn’t know them though. At that point, that particular generation of people had set aside their relationship with God by their own desire.

Well you can see that it’s not those who wish to enter the Kingdom who get in necessarily. It’s not even those who ask to enter that get in necessarily. It’s not enough to ask, it’s not enough to wish, it is enough to be obedient. God has set certain rules for entrance to the Kingdom, they must be obeyed or there is no entrance. You may want to enter. In fact, you may want to to the degree that you come to church and you get involved, but not too involved. Unless you come by the way of Jesus Christ you cannot enter, all your religious operation and all the formality that you go through is meaningless. Peter said in that great sermon in the fourth chapter of Acts, he said, “Neither is there salvation in any other for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.” There is no other name than Jesus Christ, none other name.

There was a blind man on a bridge in London. He was reading his Braille Bible. And he was reading in Acts 4:12 and his fingers were running over this and he … he had lost his place. And being oblivious to anyone around him because of his blindness, he kept running his fingers over the same phrase, “None other name, none other name, none other name.” There was a group of people who gathered around as he stumbled a little bit, they had already been there collecting on the bridge for the interest’s sake of just watching the river go by. And as they watched him there they began to mock him and laugh at him as he fumbled with his Bible and kept repeating, “None other name.” There was a man standing on the edge of the crowd, not mocking but listening. That man walked away that night, went home, fell on his knees and invited Christ into his life. And he retestified in a meeting that the thing that brought him to Jesus Christ was a blind man on a bridge stumbling over the word, “None other name … none other name … none other name.”

It is only through personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ that you or I or anyone else will ever know the Kingdom of God. It is not through our religious emotion. It is not through our sanctified feelings. It is through the precious blood of Jesus Christ. Lip profession is no good, there must be obedience. And in the statement, “Lord, Lord,” you get the idea of some kind of surprise, don’t you? Like they’re shocked. “You mean, we’re not even getting in?” But listen to Jesus Christ in Luke 6:46, you remember what He says? He says, “Why call ye Me Lord, Lord and … what?… do not the things I say?”

The following verse is on an old slab in a cathedral of Leubek(?), Germany. It goes like this, “Thus speaketh Christ our Lord to us, you call Me Master and obey Me not, you call Me light and see Me not, you call Me the way and walk Me not, you call Me life and live Me not, you call Me wise and follow Me not, you call Me fair and love Me not, you call Me rich and ask Me not, you call Me eternal and seek Me not, you call Me gracious and trust Me not, you call Me noble and serve Me not, you call Me mighty and honor Me not, you call Me just and do not accept My justice. If I condemn thee, blame Me not.”

God has set in order the requirement for entrance to the Kingdom of heaven. It has nothing to do with a building, it has to do with Jesus Christ. Calling Christ Lord or anything else is not enough, it is doing the will of God that is the answer.

You say, “Well what is the will of God?” Paul told Timothy in 1 Timothy 2, he says, “God our Savior who will have all men to be … what?… saved.” That’s the will of God. That is what God’s will is. This is literally His will. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no man comes unto the Father but by Me,” that’s God’s will. In John 5:39 the Father comments on His Son and says, “And this is My will,” and then He points out … Christ points out that the will of God is that He sent Christ, that everyone who sees Christ, who believes on Christ may have everlasting life. Hearing and seeing and believing and receiving, this is God’s will. And that’s why in John 1:12 the Bible says very plainly, “But as many as received Him, to them gave He the power to become the sons of God.” It is by receiving Christ for without faith it is impossible to please God and that means faith in Jesus Christ. It’s not by sincerity, it’s not by religiosity, it’s not by reformation, it’s not by kindness, it’s not by service to the church, it’s not even simply by naming the name of Christ, it’s by personal trust and faith in that same Christ.

So Christ announces the condition for the Kingdom. Now watch the cry of those refused entrance. First of all, in verse 21 we saw the condition for entrance. In verse 22 we see the cry of those who were refused entrance. “Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name and in Thy name have cast out demons and in Thy name done many wonderful works?” Here is the cry of the people, it’s an outburst. When Christ in judgment says not everyone that says “Lord, Lord,” all of a sudden there’s an outburst, there’s a plea from the hearts of these people and they cry out and they say we’ve done all these things. Many people are going to go to heaven, perhaps with nothing to show but simple faith in Jesus Christ. But many more people are going to go to hell, eternally disappointed because they thought their religiosity was enough. Millions of people depend on their morality, their good deeds, their baptism, their church membership, their religious feelings. There will be many church workers in hell, there are going to be many pastors there, sad to say, many teachers in so-called religious schools and I’m sure there are going to be many there as we see in Matthew 7, many of these are going to say to Christ, “Christ, it’s us, we prophesied in Your name.” But Jesus will tear off the sheepskin and lay bare the ravening wolf.

That’s exactly what He’s been talking about in verses 15–20. That’s why I had Paul read that because that bears the very same truth, false prophets … those who claim to have reality and have it not. What a picture it is. The false revealed.

In Luke 13 I think we ought to take the time to note what is indicated there because it bears tremendous pressure at this point. Luke 13:25, “When once the master of the house is risen up and hath shut the door and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us. And He shall answer and say unto you, I know you from where you … from where you are. Then shall you begin to say we’ve eaten and have drunk in Thy presence and Thou hast taught in our streets. But He shall say, I tell you I know you not from where you are, depart from Me all you workers of iniquity. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you shall see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the Kingdom of God and you yourselves thrust out and they shall come from the east and from the west and from the north and from the south and shall sit down in the Kingdom of God. And behold, there are last who shall be first and there are first who shall be last.” What a picture of that same day. Those who are cast aside because all they had was the name of Christ without the reality of faith in Him. How sad to see them outside crying to gain entrance.

I’m reminded of those people who must have been doing much the same thing only in a less severe way, perhaps, because it was physical when they were banging on the doors of the ark trying to let Noah know that they finally believed that what he said was true was true. When they were banging and wanting to come in and they could not.

Do you have only a form of godliness? Do you know the Lord personally? Do you see yourself at the Great White Throne with your feeble excuses? Jesus told Nicodemus, “Except a man be born again he cannot see the Kingdom of God.”

What do you mean born again? Simply to receive Jesus Christ and allow God to make of you a new creation born eternally into the family of that same God. Nicodemus came to Christ and he had a lot to commend, he was a religious man, he was THE teacher in Israel … THE teacher. You would think with all the religious steps that he had taken Christ would have said, “Well all you need to do, Nicodemus, you’re such a great guy, you’ve gone so far, you’ve had such a fantastic life, you’ve done these wonderful things, all you need to do is take one more giant step and you’re in.” But Christ looked at Nicodemus as if to say you’ve done everything there is to do religiously, Nicodemus, now forget it all, go back and be a baby, be born all over. It wasn’t good to take another step, he had to start from the beginning.

Well it’s kind of a useless defense, isn’t it? The condition of the Kingdom, doing the will of God. The will of God is to receive Christ. Those who are standing there and haven’t done that cry out in horror but it’s a useless defense and then the judge speaks again in verse 23. Listen to what the Judge says, for we find the condemnation of those without Christ. We’ve seen the condition for entrance to the Kingdom. We’ve seen the cry of those who are left out. And here is the condemnation of those without Christ.

“And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you, depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.” Profess is an interesting word, it means to openly proclaim. And here Christ openly proclaims that He does not know them. That same word, homologia(?), that same word is used in Matthew 10:32, you know what that verse says? “Whosoever therefore shall confess Me before men, him will I confess before My Father.” The same word is used. If you’re not willingly openly proclaiming Christ here, then He will not openly proclaim you there. Instead He says, “I never knew you.”

Now we come to one of the most important concepts in all of Scripture, the word “know.” This is a very very important concept. From time to time you might find me repeating this because it’s critical. What does it mean for God to know somebody and not to know somebody else? Now we know it doesn’t mean that He’s not aware of somebody. We know it doesn’t mean He’s saying I don’t know who you are. Not at all, He knows who everybody is. He’s got everybody’s hair of their head numbered. He knows when a sparrow falls. He knows everything there is to know as far as cognizant or awareness is concerned.

Well then what is He saying when He says I never knew you? Now watch this cause this is critical, it’s very important. Second Timothy 2:19 gives us the key because it says this, “The Lord knows them that are His.” Let me give you that verse again, 2 Timothy 2:19, “The Lord knows them that are His.”

Now what does that mean? What is he trying to say? The word “know” in Scripture implies a unique love relationship. In Amos 3:2 God says, “Israel only have I known.” Now is Israel the only nation God knew about? Were they? No … no, He knew about everybody. What was He saying? He was saying with Israel I have an intimate relationship.

In the Old Testament the concept of a man and a woman coming together in a relationship that produces a child is spoken of as a man knowing his wife. For example, in Genesis 4:17 the Bible says, “Cain knew his wife.” Now we’re not to assume that he knew his wife in the pure sense of just knowing her, that’s obvious or he wouldn’t have married her in the beginning if he hadn’t known her. It’s got to be more than that. It says, “Cain knew his wife and she bear a son.” In other words, to know implies the pinnacle, the most unique human love relationship possible even on a human level.

You remember the Bible says that Joseph had not known Mary. That’s what shook him up so much when Mary was pregnant. That’s why he had a choice of either stoning her or putting her away properly because she was pregnant and he had never known her. The word “know” in a human realm implies a unique love relationship between two people. And in terms of God’s relationship it’s the same thing, it’s the very same thing. For Paul says in Galatians 4, I think it’s verse 9, he says, “Believers are known of God.” Isn’t that a beautiful concept? The intimacy, it’s likened to a man knowing his wife. And is that not what happened in Scripture? Did not God say that Israel was his wife? And is the church not the bride and Christ the bridegroom?

We have an intimate love relationship with God, it’s a fantastic thing. And it’s illustrated beautifully for us in the words of John 10 where John points out the fantastic truth of this relationship by recording the words of Jesus Christ and I want to share them with you. Find the right page, John 10:14 He says, “I am the Good Shepherd,” Christ says, “and … what?… know My sheep.” Oh, that’s fantastic. Now as we go through this, in your mind substitute the word love for every time the word “know” comes up. I’m going to read it with the word love instead of the word know. “I am the Good Shepherd and love My sheep and are loved of Mine. As the Father loves Me, even so love I the Father and I lay down My life for the sheep.” Look at verse 27, “My sheep hear My voice and I love them and they follow Me and I give unto them eternal life and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand. My Father who gave them to Me is greater than all and no man is able to pluck them out of My hand. I and My Father are one.”

Do you see the beauty of the love relationship we have with Jesus Christ? Do you see the intimacy of it? In Romans 11 the Apostle Paul says, “God has not set aside His people Israel whom He foreknew.” God has a predetermined love relationship with you if you’re a Christian. Did you know that? Did you know that you were in Christ before you were ever created? In the counsel of God it was foreordained by God’s sovereign act of His will that you should be a child of God. You have a predetermined love relationship with God, just like Israel did and does. And the intimacy of that love relationship is so beautiful that God speaks of it in the most magnificent of human terms, that consummating act between the love of a man and a woman. That’s the kind of love relationship you have with God. When God says I know My sheep, when Christ says I know who you are, that means you and I have an intimate love relationship. What a glorious thought.

But to these who do not have that love relationship, He says, “I never knew you.” We had no such predetermined love relationship. We had no such relationship as a sheep and a shepherd, as a bride and a bridegroom. To be outside that special love relationship is to suffer for He says, “Depart from Me.” The saddest three words in the Bible … Depart from Me. What a tragedy. Nothing ever sadder than that. The harsh words in Matthew 25:41 again reiterated, “Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”

Oh how sad it is that the final picture of judgment is a picture of sadness. The final picture of judgment in the Bible is a tragedy, as the unbelieving of all the ages are brought before God, Jesus Christ reiterates the condition for the Kingdom, to do the will of God, they cry out, those who have been held out, “But we’ve done all this,” and the Judge speaks finally and says, “But wait a minute, you’re condemned because we never had a love relationship.”

Christianity is not a formality. Christianity, if you please, in the modern term is not a religion, it is a personal love relationship with Jesus Christ. Do you have that love relationship? Do you know that same Christ?

I close with this illustration. There was an actor at a drawing room function who was asked to recite. And he stood up and he wanted to be gracious to his audience so he said, “I’ll recite anything you would like me to recite.” And no one suggested anything so an old preacher happened to be there, he was sitting in the back. I don’t know how he got there, he probably crashed the party. Normally preachers don’t get invited to drawing room functions on a high society level, but he was there. And he stood up and he said, “I’d like to hear you recite the Twenty-Third Psalm.”

Well the actor was a little shocked at that but he had thrown himself open so he had to do what the man asked him to do. He happened to know it so he said, “All right, I’ll do that.” So he repeated the Twenty-Third Psalm with complete eloquence, masterfully interpreted it. Diction was beautiful. And when he was done there was spontaneous applause throughout the entire room. And the actor figuring he’d get back at the old gentleman said, “Now, sir, I’d like to hear you recite it.” The old gentleman hadn’t bargained for that. But because of his love for Christ he stood up and he repeated the Twenty-Third Psalm. His voice cracked, it broke, wasn’t very beautiful. The interpretation wasn’t really that good. When he got done there was no applause. But there wasn’t a dry eye in the room.

And the actor sensing his own emotion stood up and said, “Ladies and gentlemen, I reached your eyes and ears and he reached your heart.” And he said, “The difference is this. I know the Psalm, he knows the Shepherd.”

Our Father, we thank You this morning for this opportunity of sharing together in Thy Word. God, what a sobering passage of Scripture we have dealt with today that causes us to shudder in our spirits to see those sad, sad people standing at the throne of God and being shut out because they did not know the Shepherd. O God, You love us and You provided salvation for us. God, I pray that if there’s one in this church this morning who does not know Jesus Christ in a personal, intimate, love relationship that right now as they sit in their seats they might invite that Christ into their lives.

This transcript, along with related media, can also be found here on the Grace to You website.[1]

 

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2014). John MacArthur Sermon Archive. Panorama City, CA: Grace to You.

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February 7, 2016 Devotional Guide Collection

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February 7

JESUS, LOVER OF MY SOUL

Charles Wesley, 1707–1788

The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him. (Nahum 1:7)

The universal recognition of a personal dependence upon the infinite God has no doubt made this appealing hymn the best loved of the more than 6500 texts of Charles Wesley. Written shortly after Charles’ “heart-warming” experience at the Adlersgate Hall in London in 1738, this text has since brought comfort and inspiration to countless numbers during “the storms of life.”

The simple yet vivid language of this hymn gives it a special quality. Some have called it the “finest heart-hymn in the English language.” Also the exaltation of Christ is truly noteworthy in such picturesque terms as “lover,” “healer,” “fountain,” “wing,” and “pilot.” But possibly the greatest appeal of these lines is the assurance they give of Christ’s consolation and protection through all of life and then for eternity.

There is no authenticated information as to what particular situation caused Wesley to write this text. A frightening storm at sea that he experienced while returning home from America may account for the nautical references. A story also has been mentioned of a bird flying into Charles’ cabin for safety, while another incident is given of his hiding under a hedge after an attack by an angry mob opposing his ministry. Still others see this text as a picture of Wesley’s own life as a young man as he struggled to find his peace with God before his dramatic Aldersgate conversion experience.

How important it is that we learn the truth taught in these words!

Jesus, lover of my soul, let me to Thy bosom fly. While the nearer waters roll, while the tempest still is high! Hide me, O my Savior, hide—till the storm of life is past; safe into the haven guide, O receive my soul at last!

Other refuge have I none—hangs my helpless soul on Thee. Leave, ah, leave me not alone; still support and comfort me! All my trust on Thee is stayed—All my help from Thee I bring. Cover my defenseless head with the shadow of Thy wing.

Thou, O Christ, art all I want, more than all in Thee I find. Raise the fallen, cheer the faint, heal the sick and lead the blind. Just and holy is Thy name—I am all unrighteousness; false and full of sin I am; Thou art full of truth and grace.

Plenteous grace with Thee is found, grace to cover all my sin; let the healing streams abound; make and keep me pure within. Thou of life the fountain art— Freely let me take of Thee; spring Thou up within my heart; rise to all eternity.

For Today: Psalm 37:39, 40; 2 Corinthians 1:3–7; Revelation 7:17

Remember to fly to Christ for refuge whenever the “storm of life” becomes overwhelming. He alone is our refuge and the one true foundation of life.[1]


February 7: Bread from Heaven and Water from a Rock

Exodus 16–18; John 3:22–36; Song of Solomon 2:8–13

For many years, I said that I believed God would provide for me, but I’m not sure I actually did. Somewhere inside I was still convinced that I was on my own. It wasn’t until recently that I felt convicted about this, and God began working in me to make the necessary changes. As I was dealing with this, I started contemplating what trust issues might’ve looked like for the ancients. Of nearly all biblical characters, Noah must have seemed the craziest to his friends. But I think Moses faced some of the greatest interpersonal struggles involving trust.

Over and over again, the people Moses is leading blame him for all their problems. And they rarely give him credit for his good attributes. God is faithful, though. It’s Moses who sees bread come from heaven (Exod 16) and water from a rock (Exod 17:1–7).

And this really puts it in perspective: if God is capable of this kind of deliverance, what am I so afraid of? It’s not my own strength that will empower me, and even if it were, what good is it? If I put my trust in my own abilities, how will I grow in my trust in God?

Like Moses, I must be willing to be audacious. If God calls me to look to the heavens for providence, I must do it. If He calls me to strike the rock, I must strike it. As the Gospel of John says, “The one who comes from above is over all. The one who is from the earth is from the earth and speaks from the earth” (John 3:31). Let’s be the people who seek the one from above: Jesus.

How do you trust in yourself instead of in God for your needs? How does this impede your relationship with Him and the work He wants to do through you?

John D. Barry[2]


February 7

Intro

Welcome to Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Today’s reading is Exodus 25 through 28. Our lesson is from Exodus 28:1, “ ‘Then bring near to yourself Aaron your brother, and his sons with him, from among the sons of Israel, to minister as priest to Me—Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron’s sons.’ ” (NASU)

Lesson

In the previous chapters, we can see how Israel built the tabernacle where the presence of the Lord resided in their midst. The Lord gave the instructions on how to build the place for His presence and now, we can note the directives for the manner in which to minister to Him. Let’s look at the three remarks of our text.

First, Aaron and his sons were set apart for the Lord. This action did not make them superior to any one else. As a matter of fact, they had more responsibilities. Their role was one of being a servant leader. They were set apart for a special ministry among the people. Pride and arrogance due to position does not have a place in servant leadership. The reason is that the leaders are chosen by God.

Secondly, Aaron and his sons were to serve the Lord. Since the Lord chose Aaron and his sons, their first duty is to serve Him. They were to be God’s representative to the people. Their first priority had to do with ministering unto the Lord. Aaron and his sons were to fear God with all of their hearts. They were to be blameless before the eyes of the Lord.

Thirdly, Aaron and his sons were chosen as priests unto the Lord. As priests, they were to represent the wishes of the Lord before the people and visa versa. Their role was that of interceding before God for the people. They were to offer agreeable sacrifices before the Lord on behalf of Israel. This was a tremendous responsibility.

In assessment, Aaron and his sons were set apart for the Lord. Aaron and his sons were to serve the Lord. And, Aaron and his sons were chosen as priests unto the Lord.

Jesus Christ in the Epistle to the Hebrews is the maximum high priest. He surpassed the Aaronic priesthood, which was looking forward to the greater priesthood. Jesus Christ represents humanity before God and God to humanity as High Priest and at the same time the sacrifice for the sins of humanity. His priesthood is never ending and His sacrifice was once and for all.

Jesus Christ is God’s final word. If you are not sure of your relationship with God, let Jesus be your intercessor right now. The Bible assures the forgiveness of sins to those that believe in Jesus. Call on His name right now for the certainty of eternal life. He is waiting for you. Respond to His gracious hand.

End

It has been a pleasure to share with you Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Tomorrow’s Bible reading is Exodus 29 through 32. 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 7

 

The Joy of Sacrificial Giving

 

“… saints … who are in Philippi” (Phil. 1:1).

✧✧✧

As you give toward the needs of others, God will supply your needs.

Perhaps more than any other New Testament church, the Philippian church was characterized by generous, sacrificial giving. Their support for Paul extended throughout his missionary travels and was a source of great joy to him. In addition to money, they also sent Epaphroditus, a godly man who ministered to Paul during his imprisonment (Phil. 2:25–30; 4:18).

Paul was selective about accepting financial support from churches because he didn’t want to be a burden or have his motives misunderstood. First Corinthians 9:6–14 tells us he had the right to receive support from those he ministered to, but he waived that right so the gospel would not be hindered in any way. In 2 Corinthians 11:9 he says, “When I was present with you and was in need, I was not a burden to anyone … in everything I kept myself from being a burden to you, and will continue to do so.”

Similarly he wrote to the Thessalonians, “We did not act in an undisciplined manner among you, nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with labor and hardship we kept working night and day so that we might not be a burden to any of you” (2 Thess. 3:7–9).

In contrast, Paul’s willingness to accept support from the Philippian church speaks of the special trust and affection they shared.

Apparently the Philippians’ generosity was so great, it left them with needs of their own. Paul assured them that their sacrifices were well-pleasing to God and that He would supply all their needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:18–19).

Like the Philippians, you should be characterized by generous, sacrificial support of those who minister God’s Word to you. Faithful pastors and elders are worthy of such honor (1 Tim. 5:17–18), and generous giving brings joy to you and to others.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Thank God for those who faithfully minister to you. ✧ Ask for wisdom in how you might best support the financial needs of your church.

For Further Study: Read 1 Corinthians 9:1–14, 2 Corinthians 9:6–14, and 1 Timothy 6:6–9. ✧ What attitudes and principles are reflected in those passages? ✧ How might you incorporate them into your financial practices?[4]


February 7

The Aim of Your Life

Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

1 Corinthians 10:31

When you confessed Jesus as Lord, you did so to the glory of God. Now whatever else you do—even the most mundane functions of life such as eating and drinking—should be focused on the glory of God. That should be the underlying attitude of your life.

Jesus observed His focus in this way: “I honor My Father…. I do not seek My own glory” (John 8:49, 50). You will grow spiritually when you follow Christ’s example of ssubmit your life to Christ’s lordship, you will be characterized by His humble desire to glorify the Father.[5]


 

February 7

 

God’s Holiness Revealed

 

“The Lord is righteous in all His ways.”

Psalm 145:17

✧✧✧

God’s holiness is evident in everything He does, particularly in creation, the law, judgment, and salvation.

The whole purpose of the Old Testament is to reveal the holiness and righteousness of God, who is utterly perfect and pure. In fact, the Hebrew word for “holy” is used more than 600 times in the Old Testament to indicate moral perfection.

What are some areas in which we see God’s holiness? First, we see it in the original perfection of His creation: “God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good” (Gen. 1:31). All of creation was in tune with God’s holy character.

Later God laid down His righteous, moral law for Israel. In it He gave rules about worship and society. He prescribed penalties for murder, adultery, and stealing. He condemned lying, coveting, and many other sins. There were many rules, but they revealed a God who is infinitely right and without error, flaw, or tolerance for sin. The law showed God’s character: “The Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good” (Rom. 7:12).

God’s holiness will ultimately be demonstrated “when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power” (2 Thess. 1:7–9). His judgment on sin is a reflection of His holiness; He must punish it.

Perhaps the supreme expression of God’s holiness is seen in sending His Son to die on the cross (cf. Rom. 8:3–4). God paid the highest price, but it was the only price that could satisfy His holiness. Jesus Christ is Himself “the Holy and Righteous One” (Acts 3:14); so only He could “put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself” (Heb. 9:26). God’s holiness is so infinite, and our unholiness is so great, that only the sacrifice of the God–man could pay for the enormity of our sin.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Thank God that He sent His Son to die for our sins, so we could be “holy and blameless before Him” (Eph. 1:4).

For Further Study: Some of God’s laws for the Israelites are given in Exodus 21–23. Note in particular the penalties for breaking these laws. What does this passage teach you about God’s character?[6]


February 7

God Rescues Us

The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer.

Psalm 18:2

Bad things happen. Trouble appears at the most inopportune times. Disaster strikes. And we are left to face the consequences.…

We step blindly into a wasps’ nest of trouble and find ourselves nursing painful wounds, trying to pull out the stingers and vowing never again to get hurt, only to find that we don’t have the power to keep free from the dangers that cross our paths.

But often, sudden tragedy or personal loss can open us up to our need for help, comfort, and guidance. And it is at this very point of need that our kind and loving God can open the window to our hearts. When we give the okay, God will come to our rescue.[7]


February 7

Your True Identity

Scripture reading: 1 Peter 1:1–5

Key verse: Luke 9:24

Whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.

Researchers say that a lack of true identity is the reason for the high suicide rate among young adults. Many people spend a lifetime trying to gain recognition and a sense of belonging and accomplishment.

Because we are Christians, our identity is found only in Jesus Christ. Searching for it in another person or thing brings disappointment, insecurity, frustration, and anxiety. Far too often those who profess Jesus as Lord are entrapped by the same things enslaving our world—pride, selfishness, and materialism.

Jesus said that in order to save your life, you must be willing to lose it unto Him (Luke 9:24). You cannot experience the freedom and purity of your identity in Christ if you are still longing to be identified with the things of this world.

In reminding the early church of their identity, Peter told them, yes, it was true: They were aliens, strangers to this world. Yet they had been chosen by God to know and experience all the wonder and goodness of His glory and grace. Therefore, their identity was secure in Christ.

Have you settled the need for identity in your life? If so, rest in the power of His embrace.

Lord, my true identity is in You. I rest in the power of Your embrace.[8]


February 7  A Prayer Burden

scripture reading:

 

Nehemiah 1

 

key verse:

 

Colossians 1:3

 

We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you.

Nehemiah was a tremendous example of how God uses burden praying to unleash His power in others’ lives. A prayer burden must come from God. Nehemiah wasn’t out looking for a burden; God placed it on his heart after Nehemiah conversed with his fellow Jews from Jerusalem.

A good start is to ask God to burden your heart with His concerns. You may be surprised at His response. God may bring to your mind an individual or a circumstance you never would have chosen.

Such a burden is usually one that forces you into a new sense of dependence on God. Nehemiah wept, prayed, and fasted for God’s intervention. You must know that only the power of God can bring a solution.

You must be willing to persist in burden praying. Four months passed before Nehemiah mentioned his burden to the king. The burden that God places on your heart for an unsaved mate, a crumbling marriage, or a bitter friend may last for years—even a lifetime.

Are you willing to pay the price for the burden that God puts on your heart? Will you persevere until God acts?

Burden my heart with Your concerns, Father, then help me persevere until victory comes. Make me willing to pay the price.[9]


February 7

Faithful to the Word

Scripture reading: 1 Peter 1:22–25

Key verses: 2 Cor. 11:13–15

For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.

One of the major concerns of the New Testament was false teachings that contradicted the message of the gospel. Early church leaders such as Peter, James, and John wrote strong appeals to young believers to remain true to the way of Christ and not to compromise their faith by being drawn away in error.

Satan is the master of deception. He mixes just enough truth within his lies to catch the attention of weak and undiscerning people. Complacency and a heart divided by sin are breeding grounds for apostasy.

You may think this was a problem faced only by the early church, and surely, it is not our problem today. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Today Islam makes up nearly 20 percent of the world’s population. It is the fastest growing religion, second in size only to Christianity.

Shocked? Our tolerance and lack of godly conviction have led us to weather courtroom battle after battle where we have witnessed the Word of God being confined—and many times banned from use—within our society. We are a world no longer interested in the sole purpose and passion of God.

However, God is not changed by our rebellion. His faithfulness remains. His Word and holiness are the standards by which all things will be judged. May your sincere love for Him keep you faithful to His Word.

Keep me faithful to Your Word, O Lord. Don’t let me be drawn away by error.[10]


February 7

Complete Redemption

Scripture Reading: 2 Samuel 12:1–23

Key Verse: Psalm 32:1

Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.

Once his sin was exposed, David was filled with remorse. Over the years he had enjoyed a close, personal relationship with God. When he found out that his fellowship with God was in jeopardy, he cried out, “I have sinned against the Lord” (2 Sam. 12:13 nasb). God forgave David, yet the consequences of his sin remained, and the child who was born as a result of his adultery with Bathsheba died.

Sin corrupts. It’s like rust on a new car; it eats into the finish and hides in hard-to-see places. Often when it is too late, the rust is exposed, but the car is ruined. David knew his only hope for restoration rested in God’s forgiveness.

Psalm 32 is a beautiful testimony to God’s cleansing touch in David’s life. It also is a witness to us of God’s mercy and unconditional forgiveness. No matter what you have done, God can and will forgive you. He promises to restore the years the locusts have eaten away—the years sin and disappointment devoured your purity (Joel 2:25).

In Isaiah 1:18, He tells us that He will make our sins as white as snow. Are you telling yourself that God can never use you because of something in your past? That is Satan’s lie. God uses the broken and chipped things of this world to prove His redemption is complete and extended to all mankind. It is yours, and you can depend on His forgiveness when you come to Him as David did.

Dear heavenly Father, restore what the locusts have consumed—the years that sin and disappointment have devoured. You have a great plan for me, regardless of my past. I look with anticipation toward the future.[11]


February 7

The Gift of Forgiveness

Scripture Reading: Psalm 130:1–8

Key Verses: Psalm 130:3–4

If You, Lord, should mark iniquities,

O Lord, who could stand?

But there is forgiveness with You,

That You may be feared.

Sometimes well-meaning believers proclaim that their anger toward something or someone is “righteous indignation.” They may even note that Jesus Himself turned over the tables of the money changers in the temple and often rebuked religious leaders.

Jesus was perfect, however, and we are not. The problem with our indignation and anger is that we often let it ferment until it spoils our hearts. When someone sins against us or wrongs us, it can be tempting to raise an eyebrow, tug our symbolic robes, and esteem ourselves better than our oppressor.

Too often, we worsen the situation by letting it simmer for long periods. One pastor compared this to buying beautifully ripe fruit, only to leave it in a bowl on the counter for a month. What once was vibrant and perfectly conditioned becomes bitter and rotten if left to ferment.

Forgiveness is God’s gift to us through the shed blood of His Son, Jesus Christ. He expects us, in turn, to share forgiveness with those who sin against us. We cannot allow pride to dictate our reaction. It requires humility to give a gift as precious as forgiveness.

It is difficult to function in the present or look to the future when we are constantly looking back and weighing how we have been treated. God tells us not to let the sun go down on our anger, because He wants us to deal with it immediately.

Bitterness, wrath, and anger are by-products of failing to promptly deal with a problem. However, the timing of a tender heart is impeccable.

Lord, cleanse me from bitterness, wrath, and anger. Help me to forgive others as You have forgiven me.[12]


February 7

When you have eaten and are full,… you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land which He has given you.

Lord God, I am aware not to forget You. One of the ten paralytics, a Samaritan, saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving Him thanks. Jesus said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?”

Lord God, every one of Your creatures is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by Your word and prayer. I who eat, eat to You, Lord, for I give You thanks. Your blessing, Lord, makes me rich, and You add no sorrow with it.

My soul blesses You, Lord; and with all that is within me, I bless Your holy name! My soul blesses You, Lord, who forgive all my iniquities, who crown me with lovingkindness and tender mercies.

May I always be prompt with my thanks

and sincere in my gratitude, Lord God.

May all that is within me bless Your holy name!

Deuteronomy 8:10–11; Luke 17:15–18; 1 Timothy 4:4–5; Romans 14:6; Proverbs 10:22; Psalm 103:1–4[13]


February 7

Parenting by Faith

Ephesians 6:1, 4

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.… And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.

There is no such thing as painless parenting. Pain—even excruciating pain—is a natural part of the family process in our broken world. Women know better than anyone that pain is how the family got started. And the aches and pains, the hurts and hassles will continue to intrude into the parenting pathway through the years, whether we like it or not.

That’s why a vital faith in Jesus Christ is so crucial to a happy family. God equips us through faith to meet all the challenges of parenting, even in a toxic environment.

Consider Ephesians 6:1, for example: “Children, obey your parents.” How? “In the Lord.” Or read Ephesians 5:25: “Husbands, love your wives.” How? “As Christ loved the church.” Or Ephesians 5:22: “Wives, submit to your own husbands.” How? “As to the Lord.” All these instructions to the family wrap around a core of faith in God and Jesus Christ.

Don’t try to build your family without faith in God. Throw yourself on His grace and mercy and say to Him, “Lord, I know that apart from You, I can’t do anything but mess this thing up. So I’m going to hang onto You with both hands. Together, we’ll make this family work.”[14]


February 7

DOST thou know, O saint, how much the Holy Spirit loves thee? Canst thou measure the love of the Spirit? Dost thou know how great is the affection of his soul towards thee? Go measure heaven with thy span; go weigh the mountains in the scales; go take the ocean’s water, and tell each drop; go count the sand upon the sea’s wide shore; and when thou hast accomplished this, thou canst tell how much he loveth thee. He has loved thee long, he has loved thee well, he loved thee ever, and he still shall love thee; surely he is the person to comfort thee, because he loves.[15]


February 7

Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord

Hosea 6:3

The Lord has brought us into the pathway of the knowledge of Him, and bids us pursue that path through all its strange meanderings until it opens out upon the plain where God’s throne is. Our life is a following on to know the Lord. We marvel at some of the experiences through which we are called to pass, but afterwards we see that they afforded us some new knowledge of our Lord.… We have not to wait for some brighter opportunity; but by improvement of the present are to build for ourselves a bridge to that future.

G. Bowen[16]


Day 7

Adoration

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. (John 1:1–2)

There is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom I live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom I live. (1 Corinthians 8:6)

Pause to express your thoughts of praise and worship.

Confession

I know that You are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness, a God who relents from sending calamity. (Jonah 4:2)

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 not be like those rocky places on whom seed was thrown, who hear the word and at once receive it with joy, but since they have no root, last only a short time; when affliction or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. And may I not be like those among the thorns on whom seed was sown, who hear the word, but the worries of this world, the deceitfulness of riches and pleasures, and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it immature and unfruitful. Instead, may I be like the good soil on whom seed was sown, who with a noble and good heart hear the word, understand and accept it, and with perseverance bear fruit, yielding thirty, sixty, or a hundred times what was sown. (Matthew 13:20–23; Mark 4:16–20; Luke 8:13–15)

Pause to add your own prayers for personal renewal.

Petition

If a man dies, will he live again?

All the days of my hard service

I will wait for my renewal to come. (Job 14:14)

Spiritual Insight

Understanding and insight into the word

Understanding my identity in Christ

Who I am

Where I came from

Where I am going

Understanding God’s purpose for my life

My activities for this day

Special concerns

Intercession

All of us have become like one who is unclean,

And all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;

We all shrivel up like a leaf,

And our iniquities, like the wind, sweep us away.

But now, O Lord, You are our Father.

We are the clay; You are the potter;

We are all the work of Your hand. (Isaiah 64:6, 8)

Believers

Personal friends

Those in ministry

Those who are oppressed and in need

Special concerns

Affirmation

Like Abram, when I believe in Your promises, You will credit it to me as righteousness. (Genesis 15:5–6)

Whatever things were written in the past were written for our learning, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. (Romans 15:4)

Like Abraham, I am looking for a city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. (Hebrews 11:10)

Pause to reflect upon these biblical affirmations.

Thanksgiving

I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart,

And I will glorify Your name forever.

For great is Your love toward me,

And You have delivered my soul from the depths of the grave. (Psalm 86:12–13)

Rejoice in the Lord, you who are righteous,

And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name. (Psalm 97:12)

Pause to offer your own expressions of thanksgiving.

Closing Prayer

I love You, O Lord, my strength.

The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;

My God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.

He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

I call upon the Lord, who is worthy of praise,

And I am saved from my enemies. (Psalm 18:1–3)

Many are the sorrows of the wicked,

But he who trusts in the Lord, lovingkindness shall surround him. (Psalm 32:10)[17]


Morning, February 7

 

“Arise, and depart.”

— Micah 2:10

 

The hour is approaching when the message will come to us, as it comes to all—“Arise, and go forth from the home in which thou hast dwelt, from the city in which thou hast done thy business, from thy family, from thy friends. Arise, and take thy last journey.” And what know we of the journey? And what know we of the country to which we are bound? A little we have read thereof, and somewhat has been revealed to us by the Spirit; but how little do we know of the realms of the future! We know that there is a black and stormy river called “Death.” God bids us cross it, promising to be with us. And, after death, what cometh? What wonder-world will open upon our astonished sight? What scene of glory will be unfolded to our view? No traveller has ever returned to tell. But we know enough of the heavenly land to make us welcome our summons thither with joy and gladness. The journey of death may be dark, but we may go forth on it fearlessly, knowing that God is with us as we walk through the gloomy valley, and therefore we need fear no evil. We shall be departing from all we have known and loved here, but we shall be going to our Father’s house—to our Father’s home, where Jesus is—to that royal “city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” This shall be our last removal, to dwell for ever with him we love, in the midst of his people, in the presence of God. Christian, meditate much on heaven, it will help thee to press on, and to forget the toil of the way. This vale of tears is but the pathway to the better country: this world of woe is but the stepping-stone to a world of bliss.

 

“Prepare us, Lord, by grace divine,

For thy bright courts on high;

Then bid our spirits rise, and join

The chorus of the sky.”

 

Evening, February 7

 

“And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither.”

— Revelation 11:12

 

Without considering these words in their prophetical connection, let us regard them as the invitation of our great Forerunner to his sanctified people. In due time there shall be heard “a great voice from heaven” to every believer, saying, “Come up hither.” This should be to the saints the subject of joyful anticipation. Instead of dreading the time when we shall leave this world to go unto the Father, we should be panting for the hour of our emancipation. Our song should be—

 

“My heart is with him on his throne,

And ill can brook delay;

Each moment listening for the voice,

‘Rise up and come away.’ ”

 

We are not called down to the grave, but up to the skies. Our heaven-born spirits should long for their native air. Yet should the celestial summons be the object of patient waiting. Our God knows best when to bid us “Come up thither.” We must not wish to antedate the period of our departure. I know that strong love will make us cry,

 

“O Lord of Hosts, the waves divide,

And land us all in heaven;”

 

but patience must have her perfect work. God ordains with accurate wisdom the most fitting time for the redeemed to abide below. Surely, if there could be regrets in heaven, the saints might mourn that they did not live longer here to do more good. Oh, for more sheaves for my Lord’s garner! more jewels for his crown! But how, unless there be more work? True, there is the other side of it, that, living so briefly, our sins are the fewer; but oh! when we are fully serving God, and he is giving us to scatter precious seed, and reap a hundredfold, we would even say it is well for us to abide where we are. Whether our Master shall say “go,” or “stay,” let us be equally well pleased so long as he indulges us with his presence. [18]


February 7

Genesis 40; Mark 10; Job 6; Romans 10

Job’s response to eliphaz takes up two chapters. In Job 6 he argues as follows:

(1) In the opening verses (6:1–7) Job insists he has every reason for bemoaning his situation: his anguish and misery are beyond calculation (6:2–3). Nor does Job flinch from the obvious: in God’s universe, God himself must somehow be behind these calamities—“The arrows of the Almighty are in me … God’s terrors are marshaled against me” (6:4). Not even a donkey brays without a reason (6:5), so why should Job’s friends treat him as if he is complaining without a reason?

(2) Job utters his deepest request: that God would simply crush him, “let loose his hand and cut me off” (6:9). This is more than a death wish: “Then I would still have this consolation—my joy in unrelenting pain—that I had not denied the words of the Holy One” (6:10). From this, three things are clear. (a) Despite his agony, Job is still thinking from within the framework of a committed believer. His suffering is not driving him to agnosticism or naturalism. (b) More importantly, his primary desire is to remain faithful to God. He sees death not only as a release from his suffering but as a way of dying before the intensity of his suffering should drive him to say or do something that would dishonor God. (c) Implicitly, this is also a response to Eliphaz. A man with such a passionate commitment to remain faithful to “the words of the Holy One” (6:10) should not be dismissed as a light and frivolous prevaricator.

(3) Eliphaz’s position depends on the assumption that if Job acts as Eliphaz advises, all his wealth and power will be restored to him. Job insists he is well beyond that point: he has no hope, no prospects. He cannot conduct himself in such a way as to finagle blessings from God (6:11–13).

(4) Meanwhile, Job reproaches Eliphaz and his colleagues (6:14–23). “A despairing man should have the devotion of his friends, even though he forsakes the fear of the Almighty” (6:14); that is what real friendship is like. Job analyzes the real reason why his friends have proved “as undependable as intermittent streams” (6:15): they have seen something dreadful and they are afraid (6:21). Their neat theological categories have been blown away by Job’s suffering, since they had believed he was a righteous man. They must now prove him to be unrighteous, deserving of his sufferings, or they too are under threat.

(5) Job ends with a wrenching plea (6:24–30). As far as he is concerned, his own integrity is at stake; he will not fake repentance when he knows he does not deserve this suffering. “Relent, do not be unjust” (6:29), he tells his friends.[19]


February 7

Genesis 40; Mark 10; Job 6; Romans 10

Trusting God’s providence is not to be confused with succumbing to fatalism. It is not a resigned sigh of Que sera, sera—“What will be, will be.” This Joseph understood (Gen. 40).

The account of Pharaoh’s cupbearer and baker does not tell us which of the two, if either, was actually guilty of something; it only tells us which of the two Pharaoh decided was guilty. Even then, we are not told the nature of the crime. The focus, rather, is on their respective dreams, and the fact that only Joseph, of those in prison, is able to interpret their dreams. The interpretations are so dramatic, and so precisely fulfilled, that their accuracy cannot be questioned.

Joseph himself is under no illusion as to the source of his powers. “Do not interpretations belong to God?” he asks (40:8). Even before Pharaoh, where he might have been expected to slant his explanations just a little so as to enhance his own reputation, Joseph will later insist even more emphatically that he cannot himself interpret dreams; God alone can do it (41:16, 25).

Yet despite this unswerving loyalty to God, despite this candid confession of his own limitations, despite the sheer tenacity and integrity of his conduct under unjust suffering, Joseph does not confuse God’s providence with fatalism. The point is demonstrated in this chapter in two ways.

First, Joseph is quite prepared to tell his predicament to the cupbearer (the servant who will be released in three days and restored to the court) in the hope that he might be released (40:14–15). Joseph’s faith in God does not mean that he becomes entirely passive. He takes open action to effect improvement in his circumstances, provided that action is stamped with integrity.

Second, when he briefly describes the circumstances that brought him into prison, Joseph does not hide the sheer evil that was done. He insists he “was forcibly carried off from the land of the Hebrews” (40:15). The point was important, for most slaves became such because of economic circumstances. For example, when people fell into bankruptcy, they sold themselves into slavery. But that was not what had happened to Joseph, and he wanted Pharaoh to know it. He was a victim. Further, even during his life as a slave in Egypt he did “nothing to deserve being put in a dungeon”—which of course means he was incarcerated unjustly. Thus Joseph does not confuse God’s providential rule with God’s moral approbation.

Fatalism and pantheism have no easy way of distinguishing what is from what ought to be. Robust biblical theism encourages us to trust the goodness of the sovereign, providential God, while confronting and opposing the evil that takes place in this fallen world.[20]


February 7.—Morning. [Or March 15.] “When I am weak, then am I strong.”

Exodus 4:1–16

AND Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, the Lord hath not appeared unto thee. (Those whom God sends are often slow to go, and yet men whom the Lord never sent push themselves into office eagerly.)

2, 3 And the Lord said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod. And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it. (This was a sign to him that though now a humble shepherd he would become so powerful as to terrify Pharaoh. The pastoral staff should be dreadful as a serpent.)

And the Lord said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail. And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand:

That they may believe that the Lord God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath appeared unto thee. (Here he learned that the power with which he was endowed while it would be as a terrible serpent towards Egypt, would be for himself and for Israel a harmless shepherd’s crook. Both the signs would encourage Moses.)

¶ And the Lord said furthermore unto him, Put now thine hand into thy bosom. And he put his hand into his bosom: and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous as snow.

7, 8 And he said, Put thine hand into thy bosom again. And he put his hand into his bosom again; and plucked it out of his bosom, and, behold, it was turned again as his other flesh. And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe thee, neither hearken to the voice of the first sign, that they will believe the voice of the latter sign. (Thus he saw that the Lord can both wither and restore. All who work for the Lord should remember this.)

And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe also these two signs, neither hearken unto thy voice, that thou shalt take of the water of the river, and pour it upon the dry land: and the water which thou takest out of the river shall become blood upon the dry land.

10 ¶ And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.

11, 12 And the Lord said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.

13 And he said, O my Lord, send, I pray thee, by the hand of him whom thou wilt send.

By this reluctance Moses lost much honour, for Aaron became the high priest, and he obtained a helper who also proved to be a hindrance.

14, 15, 16, And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses, and he said, Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee: and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart. And thou shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth: and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do. And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God.

IT is interesting to note that other eminent prophets besides Moses have shrunk at first from their commission. We will read how Jeremiah did so.

Jeremiah 1:6–9

Then said I, Ah, Lord God! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.

7, 8 But the Lord said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord.

Then the Lord put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the Lord said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.

O Lord, grant that all thy ministers may have their mouths touched in the same manner.

Father of mercies, bow thine ear,

Attentive to our earnest prayer;

We plead for those who plead for thee,

Successful pleaders may they be!

Lord, how can sinful lips proclaim

The honours of so great a name!

O for thine altar’s glowing coal,

To touch their lips, and fire their soul.

February 7.—Evening. [Or March 16.] “Though He cause grief, yet will He have compassion.”

Exodus 5:1–4; 6–23

AND Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness.

And Pharaoh said, Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go. (Though his proud spirit defied Jehovah, he had before long good reason to know who Jehovah was.)

And they said, The God of the Hebrews hath met with us: let us go, we pray thee, three days’ journey into the desert, and sacrifice unto the Lord our God; lest he fall upon us with pestilence, or with the sword. (This was by no means a large demand, and was doubtless meant to be a test question. He who would not yield the less would be sure to refuse the greater.)

And the king of Egypt said unto them, Wherefore do ye, Moses and Aaron, let (or hinder) the people from their works? get you unto your burdens. (With what impudent scorn he defied the messengers of the Lord, haughtily treating them as slaves, who had better go back to their labour at once.)

6, 7, 8, 9 And Pharaoh commanded the same day the taskmasters of the people, and their officers, saying, Ye shall no more give the people straw to make brick, as heretofore, let them go and gather straw for themselves. And the tale of the bricks, which they did make heretofore, ye shall lay upon them; ye shall not diminish ought thereof: for they be idle; therefore they cry, saying, Let us go and sacrifice to our God. Let there more work be laid upon the men, that they may labour therein; and let them not regard vain words. (As the bricks were made of mud mixed with straw, and the straw had hitherto been supplied to them in the brickfields, it was a heavy addition to their toils when they had to collect straw themselves.)

10, 11 ¶ And the taskmasters of the people went out, and their officers, and they spake to the people, saying, Thus saith Pharaoh, I will not give you straw. Go ye, get you straw where ye can find it: yet not ought of your work shall be diminished.

12, 13 So the people were scattered abroad throughout all the land of Egypt to gather stubble instead of straw. And the taskmasters hasted them, saying, Fulfil your works, your daily tasks, as when there was straw.

14 And the officers of the children of Israel, which Pharaoh’s taskmasters had set over them, were beaten, and demanded, Wherefore have ye not fulfilled your task in making brick both yesterday and today, as heretofore?

15, 16 Then the officers of the children of Israel came and cried unto Pharaoh, saying, Wherefore dealest thou thus with thy servants? There is no straw given unto thy servants, and they say to us, Make brick: and, behold, thy servants are beaten; but the fault is in thine own people. (These poor Israelitish officers thought that the Egyptian taskmasters were unwarrantably keeping back the straw, but indeed they were acting under the King’s own orders.)

17, 18, 19 But he said, Ye are idle, ye are idle: therefore ye say, Let us go and do sacrifice to the Lord. Go therefore now, and work; for there shall no straw be given you, yet shall ye deliver the tale of bricks. And the officers of the children of Israel did see that they were in evil case, after it was said, Ye shall not minish ought from your bricks of your daily task.

20, 21 And they met Moses and Aaron, who stood in the way, as they came forth from Pharaoh: And they said unto them, The Lord look upon you, and judge: because ye have made our savour to be abhorred in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to slay us.

Things are always worst when they are about to mend, but these downcast spirits could not see far before them.

22 And Moses returned unto the Lord, and said, Lord, wherefore hast thou so evil entreated this people? why is it that thou hast sent me?

23 For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in thy name, he hath done evil to this people; neither hast thou delivered thy people at all.

Moses did well thus to refer the case to the Lord. Let us bring all our troubles to our heavenly Father.

Mighty Redeemer set me free

From my old state of sin,

O break these bonds of slavery,

This iron worn within.

From daily load and daily smart

Thy pleading captive free,

Then shall my liberated heart

Thy willing servant be.[21]


February 7th

The discipline of dejection

But we trusted … and beside all this, to-day is the third day … Luke 24:21.

Every fact that the disciples stated was right; but the inferences they drew from those facts were wrong. Anything that savours of dejection spiritually is always wrong. If depression and oppression visit me, I am to blame; God is not, nor is anyone else. Dejection springs from one of two sources—I have either satisfied a lust or I have not. Lust means—I must have it at once. Spiritual lust makes me demand an answer from God, instead of seeking God Who gives the answer. What have I been trusting God would do? And to-day—the immediate present—is the third day, and He has not done it, therefore I imagine I am justified in being dejected and in blaming God. Whenever the insistence is on the point that God answers prayer, we are off the track. The meaning of prayer is that we get hold of God, not of the answer. It is impossible to be well physically and to be dejected. Dejection is a sign of sickness, and the same thing is true spiritually. Dejection spiritually is wrong, and we are always to blame for it.

We look for visions from heaven, for earthquakes and thunders of God’s power (the fact that we are dejected proves that we do), and we never dream that all the time God is in the commonplace things and people around us. If we will do the duty that lies nearest, we shall see Him. One of the most amazing revelations of God comes when we learn that it is in the commonplace things that the Deity of Jesus Christ is realized.[22]


February 7

Reading for Today:

Exodus 25:1–26:37
Psalm 19:7-14
Proverbs 6:32-35
Matthew 24:1-28
Notes:

Exodus 25:17 mercy seat. The lid or cover of the ark was the “mercy seat” or the place at which atonement took place. Between the Shekinah glory cloud above the ark and the tablets of Law inside the ark was the blood-sprinkled cover. Blood from the sacrifices stood between God and the broken law of God!

Exodus 25:31 lampstand. Situated opposite the table of showbread on the south side of the Holy Place stood an ornate lampstand, or menorah, patterned after a flowering almond tree. It provided light for the priests serving in the Holy Place. Care was taken, according to God’s instructions (27:20, 21; 30:7, 8; Lev. 24:1–4), to keep it well supplied with pure olive oil so that it would not be extinguished. The lampstand is seen as typifying the Lord Jesus Christ, who was the true Light which came into the world (John 1:6–9; 8:12).

Matthew 24:2 not one stone shall be left here. These words were literally fulfilled in A.D. 70. Titus, the Roman general, built large wooden scaffolds around the walls of the temple buildings, piled them high with wood and other flammable items, and set them ablaze. The heat from the fires was so intense that the stones crumbled. The rubble was then sifted to retrieve the melted gold, and the remaining ruins were “thrown down” into the Kidron Valley.

Matthew 24:14 preached in all the world. Despite all the tribulations that would come—the deception of false teachers, the wars, persecutions, natural disasters, defections from Christ, and all the obstacles to the spread of the gospel—the message ultimately penetrates every part of the globe. God is never without a witness, and He will proclaim the gospel from heaven itself if necessary (see Rev. 14:6). and then the end will come. “The end” refers to the final, excruciating birth pangs. This is how Christ characterizes the time of Great Tribulation described in the verses that follow.

DAY 7: Why all the specific details about the tabernacle, and what do they mean for us today?

Ever since God dictated the blueprints of the tabernacle to Moses, people have wondered about the significance of the exact details. Several terms are used to indicate times in the Bible when events, persons, or things represent larger ideas: typology and foreshadowing. For example, the sacrifice of the lambs in the Old Testament had not only a limited immediate significance in understanding the cost of forgiveness, but this practice also foreshadowed the eventual sacrifice of the Lamb of God, Jesus, on the cross.

Because at least some parts of the tabernacle hold special significance—the ark representing God’s covenant with His people—students of Scripture have looked for other possible deeper meanings. Ingenuity in linking every item of furniture and every piece of building material to Christ may appear most intriguing; but if New Testament statements and allusions do not support such linkage and typology, students ought to proceed with caution. The beauty and efficiency of the tabernacle’s design presents a tribute to God’s creative character, but those who look for hidden meaning in every tent peg and covering stitch run the risk of missing the big picture in the details. The New Testament points repeatedly to the awesome fact of God’s presence with people as represented in the Tabernacle. Other New Testament lessons (particularly the Book of Hebrews) help identify the intended symbols and deeper meanings.

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.


February 7 – Healings’ Extraordinary Confirmations

“Large crowds followed Him from Galilee and the Decapolis and Jerusalem and Judea and from beyond Jordan” (Matthew 4:25).

The healing miracles of Jesus accomplished things that surpassed and were far more significant than the obvious, immediate benefit to those healed. First, they demonstrated He was the Son of God, since no mere man could do such feats. Jesus later instructed Philip and the other disciples, “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves” (John 14:11).

Second, the marvelous healings revealed that God, through Christ, was and is compassionate to all who suffer: “Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes; and immediately they regained their sight and followed Him” (Matt. 20:34).

Third, Jesus’ healings proved He was the predicted Messiah of the Old Testament. Jesus directly told John the Baptist’s disciples, “Go and report to John what you hear and see: the blind receive sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them” (Matt. 11:4–5; cf. Isa. 35:5–10; 61:1–3).

Finally, the healing miracles proved that God’s kingdom is a reality (cf. Matt. 9:35; 10:7–8). Perhaps even more marvelous for us is that Jesus’ healings were a foretaste of a future kingdom: “The eyes of the blind will be opened and the ears of the deaf will be unstopped. Then the lame will leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute will shout for joy” (Isa. 35:5–6; cf. Ps. 96:10).

Ask Yourself

Certainly, many in the “large crowds” came for what they viewed as a sideshow, an entertaining diversion from the humdrum. But are we often guilty of following while expecting nothing? Are you still willing to believe God for the unexplainable?

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.


Sun, February 07, 2016

Springtime of the Heart

It is possible for us to go through spiritual experiences that can rouse us, the spiritual equivalent of a springtime in the meadow. I have seen it happen, and I would like to see it happen today. . . . . . . We can have the spiritual equivalent of springtime in the meadow, but we have to enter in. The tree waits it out, and even the animals have to wait it out. But you and I, being made in the image of God and having wills of our own, can do something about it. We can appeal directly to our hearts. We do not need to lie like a field covered over with snow. We can stir ourselves up. We can run to meet the sun. We can create our own crisis, because the job is not for meadow and grass, but for our own hearts. These other things only illustrate spiritual springtime. We can stir ourselves up. We can bring out the sun, and we can bring on the springtime. How do we get this to happen? First it must come to the individual. I have no faith in anything that happens to a church that does not happen to the individual. If it does not affect the individual, numbers of individuals, if it is only a sort of social overtone that affects everybody momentarily, I have no faith in it at all.

Verse
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Psalm. 51:10

Thought
Wrote William Quayle: “Christ is come and has changed my winter into laughing spring.” He can change your winter, too!

Prayer
Father, like the lost son, I get up and come to You. I embrace the springtime.

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


Faith’s Checkbook: Return from Backsliding

If you return to the Almighty, you will be built up; if you remove wicked behavior far from your tent, – Job 22:23 NET

Eliphaz, in this utterance, spoke a great truth, which is the summary of many an inspired Scripture. Reader, has sin pulled you down? Have you become like a ruin? Has the hand of the Lord gone out against you so that in estate you are impoverished and in spirit you are broken down? Was it your own folly which brought upon you all this dilapidation? Then the first thing to be done is to return to the Lord. With deep repentance and sincere faith find your way back from your backsliding. It is your duty, for you have turned away from Him whom you professed to serve. It is your wisdom, for you cannot strive against Him and prosper. It is your immediate necessity, for what He has done is nothing compared to what He may do in the way of chastisement, since He is Almighty to punish.

See what a promise invites you! You shall be “built up.” None but the Almighty can set up the fallen pillars and restore the tottering walls of your condition; but He can and He will do it if you return to Him. Do not delay. Your crushed mind may quite fail you if you go on to rebel; but hearty confession will ease you, and humble faith will console you. Do this, and all will be well.

C. H. Spurgeon


THANKSGIVING: Thank God for the Many Instances of His Goodness and Kind Providence

With reference to all the creatures and the world of mankind in general. [continued]

You did not leave yourself without witness among the nations, in that you did good by giving them rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying their hearts with food and gladness. Acts 14:17(ESV)

You cover the heavens with clouds, and prepare rain for the earth, and make grass grow on the hills. You give to the beasts their food, and to the young ravens that cry. Psalm 147:8-9(ESV)

You bring rain on the desert in which there is no man, to satisfy the waste and desolate land. Job 38:26-27(ESV)

You visit the earth and water it; you greatly enrich it; the river of God is full of water; you provide their grain, for so you have prepared it. You water its furrows abundantly, settling its ridges, softening it with showers, and blessing its growth. You crown the year with your bounty; your wagon tracks* overflow with abundance. Psalm 65:9-11(ESV)

You make springs gush forth in the valleys; they flow between the hills; they give drink to every beast of the field; and beside them the birds of the heavens dwell; they sing among the branches. Psalm 104:10-12(ESV)

You have set the earth on its foundations, so that it should never be moved; Psalm 104:5(ESV) you set a boundary to the waters of the sea, so that they might not again cover the earth. Psalm 104:9(ESV) You have shut up the sea with doors, Job 38:8(ESV) and prescribed limits for it, saying, “Thus far shall you come, and no farther; here shall your proud waves be stayed.” Job 38:10-11(ESV) And you have made good what you have sworn, that the waters of Noah shall no more go over the earth. Isaiah 54:9(ESV)

Your covenant with the day and with the night is not broken; Jeremiah 33:20(ESV) but still you give the sun for light by day and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, Jeremiah 31:35(ESV) and are faithful to that covenant of providence: That while the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease. Genesis 8:22(ESV)

Matthew Henry’s Method For Prayer


 

[1] Osbeck, K. W. (1996). Amazing grace: 366 inspiring hymn stories for daily devotions (p. 48). 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. 50). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[5] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 50). 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. 46). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[8] Stanley, C. F. (2002). Seeking His face (p. 40). 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. 40). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[11] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 40). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[12] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 40). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[13] Jeremiah, D. (2007). Life-Changing Moments With God (p. 48). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[14] Jeremiah, D. (2002). Sanctuary: finding moments of refuge in the presence of God (p. 40). Nashville, TN: Integrity Publishers.

[15] Spurgeon, C. H. (1892). Daily Help (p. 42). 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. 75–76). 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 | 3 Comments

Ways People Try To Soothe Their Guilty Conscience

The Reformed Reader

Christopher Ash’s book, Discovering the Joy of a Clear Conscience, is a helpful resource on what the conscience is, how it works, and what it means to have it renewed and shaped by the Word.  In chapter six Ash talks about the hardened conscience and takes some time to explain how people make their guilty conscience hurt less.  Here are a few of the many was which people try to soothe their guilty conscience (I’ve edited these for the sake of space):

  1. Moral effort.  Some people, troubled by a guilty conscience, respond by just trying harder to be good.  They try extra hard not to sin.  But, as John Owen noted in Indwelling Sin, people who do this find that sin is stronger than they had first thought, much to strong to defeat by their own moral effort.  Paradoxically the renewed moral effort that was intended to…

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Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin

Matthew 18:15-17

Code: B160205

by Cameron Buettel

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.

That determination to separate who a person is and what he does has also infiltrated the church. The exhortation to “love the sinner and hate the sin” is a clever Christian cliché regularly used to deflect people’s responsibility and accountability for their sin. While it’s true that we should both love sinners and hate sin, the cliché distorts those truths by unbiblically severing the two.

Gnosticism Revived

That sort of dualism was prevalent among the Gnostic heretics of the first century AD. The error of the Gnostics was so seductive that the apostle John wrote his first epistle as a direct response to their false teaching. John MacArthur made the following observations regarding the situation facing the church in 1 John:

Gnosticism (from the Greek word gnōsis [“knowledge”]) was an amalgam of various pagan, Jewish, and quasi-Christian systems of thought. Influenced by Greek philosophy (especially that of Plato), Gnosticism taught that matter was inherently evil and spirit was good. That philosophical dualism led the false teachers whom John confronted to accept some form of Christ’s deity, but to deny His humanity. He could not, according to them, have taken on a physical body, since matter was evil. [1] John MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: 1–3 John (Chicago: Moody Press, 2007) 8.

But it was the Gnostics’ personal application of their dualistic views that echoes today in the efforts to separate the sinner from his sin.

The Gnostics’ philosophical dualism also caused them to be indifferent to moral values and ethical behavior. To them, the body was merely the prison in which the spirit was incarcerated. Therefore, sin committed in the body had no connection to or effect on the spirit. [2] 1–3 John, 8.

The cliché of loving the sinner and hating the sin follows the same dualistic reasoning as Gnostic heresies—that we ought to effectively divorce the sinner from the culpability and consequences of his sin.

Worse still, it confuses and corrupts the very concept of what it means to love a sinner. True love does not demand willful ignorance. You wouldn’t simply pretend that a cancer patient was suddenly free from his disease. Nor would you ignore his affliction in hopes that it would go away on its own.

The same holds true for sinners—the most loving thing you can do for them is not to blithely ignore their sin or excuse it away, but to confront it. In other words, you cannot possibly love a sinner if you don’t also hate his sin.

Not Dualism—Dual Responsibilities

I’ll grant that the way we confront sin can vary depending on the nature of the sin and the spiritual condition of the sinner. You might need to show more gentleness with an unbeliever blinded by his own depravity than with a fellow Christian who ought to know better. And even within the church, we need to be measured and considerate with how we confront one another, yet still bold and clear enough to preserve the purity of the Body of Christ.

In fact, church discipline is an essential part of protecting the church’s purity (Matthew 18:15–20). John MacArthur, while commenting on that passage, points out:

A Christian who is not deeply concerned about bringing a fellow Christian back from his sin needs spiritual help himself. Smug indifference, not to mention self-righteous contempt, has no part in the life of a spiritual Christian, nor do sentimentality or cowardice that hide behind false humility. The spiritual Christian neither condemns nor justifies a sinning brother. His concern is for the holiness and blessing of the offending brother, the purity and integrity of the church, and the honor and glory of God. [3] John MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Matthew 16–23 (Chicago: Moody Press, 1985) 128.

In response to those who see the confrontation of sin as inherently unloving, John adds:

In the eyes of much of the world and even in the eyes of many immature believers, such action is considered unloving. But discipline given in the right way expresses the deepest kind of love, love that refuses to do nothing to rescue a brother from unrepentant sin and its consequences. Love that winks at sin or that is more concerned for superficial calm in the church than for its spiritual purity is not God’s kind of love. Love that tolerates sin is not love at all but worldly and selfish sentimentality.

To preach love apart from God’s holiness is to teach something other than God’s love. No awakening or revival of the church has ever occurred apart from strong preaching of God’s holiness and the corresponding call for believers to forsake sin and return to the Lord’s standards of purity and righteousness. No church that tolerates known sin in its membership will have spiritual growth or effective evangelism. In spite of that truth, however, such tolerance is standard in the church today-at all levels. [4] Matthew 16–23, 128.

Some people appeal to God’s unconditional love as if that trumps or invalidates His other attributes, most notably His wrath. But as John emphatically argues, such sentiment amounts to nothing less than a popular form of idolatry.

Belief in a God who is all love and no wrath, all grace and no justice, all forgiveness and no condemnation is idolatry (worship of a false god invented by men), and it inevitably leads to universalism-which, of course, is what many liberal churches have been preaching for generations. Salvation becomes meaningless, because sin that God overlooks does not need to be forgiven. Christ’s sacrifice on the cross becomes a travesty, because He gave His life for no redemptive purpose. Not only that, but it becomes apologetically impossible to explain the common question about why a loving God allows pain, suffering, disease, and tragedy. Removing God’s holy hatred of sin emasculates the gospel and hinders rather than helps evangelism. [5] Matthew 16–23, 130.

We should love sinners. We should hate sin. And we shouldn’t divide those two truths into separate categories. Our hatred of sin should manifest itself in a love that warns sinners—compassionately, but no less clearly—of the dire consequences their sin demands. Short of that, how could we ever claim to truly love them?


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TULIP and the Doctrines of Grace

By Dr. C. Matthew McMahon – Posted at A Puritan’s Mind:

The doctrines of grace are the best doctrines you will ever know or embrace – Jesus Christ’s Gospel is all of grace. These doctrines speak of God’s infinite Love and Mercy to His people.

There are only two views concerning the Gospel of Jesus Christ. First, there is what the modern church calls Calvinism, or more precisely, the doctrines of grace. Then, the second, we find varying degrees of unbelief. These are your two choice for or against the Gospel.

The essential doctrines concerning salvation, which the Puritans and all good Christians cling to, are summed up in the acronym T.U.L.I.P.

Total Depravity


Unconditional Election

Limited Atonement

Irresistible Grace

Perseverance of the Saints

A tulip is a flower with intertwining petals, and without which, it would not make up a complete flower. If one petal is removed from the flower, it ceases, for all intents and purposes, to be complete. It is the same with the essential doctrines of salvation. Each doctrine is essentially linked to the others. If one of them is removed, then the whole system falls into absurdity and contradiction. (Thus, there would be no such thing as a 3 point Calvinist or a 4 point Calvinist (like Amyraldianism)–it would be better to say they are confused Arminians.)

Source: TULIP and the Doctrines of Grace

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Manipulations in Relationships

Mental Health Today

Conflict

We are all vulnerable to being manipulated in relationships, whether between romantic partners, friends, parents, children, employers, coworkers, or neighbors. When we allow another person to manipulate us, we are colluding with their desire to control our feelings, motives, and even our thoughts through deceptive, exploitative, and unfair means. A manipulative relationship is one-sided and unbalanced, advancing the goals of the manipulator at the expense of the person being manipulated. These relationships become troubled over time. If you want to change this kind of relationship, you must first recognize the features of manipulation and then look within to understand your contribution to the manipulation. There are effective ways to stand up to manipulation and bring balance back into the relationship.

Manipulation is not the same as influence. We all use influence with other people to advance our goals and this is one of the hallmarks of healthy social functioning…

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Next time you don’t feel like a Christian

The Isaiah 53:5 Project

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The next time you don’t “feel” like a Christian, do a gut check. Go to God and ask, “Have I sinned against you?” (See Psalm 139:23-24.) If you determine your bad feelings are a result of sin, ask God to forgive you. And ask the Holy Spirit to help you go on walking with God.

And think about those times when you’re on fire for God. What are you doing during those times that gives you joy? You’re probably reading your Bible, spending time in prayer, hanging out with Christians, going to Bible studies, telling others about your faith.

These are the kinds of things you need to do regularly and consistently. As you do, I think you’ll experience fewer and fewer roller-coaster rides and that fire will burn stronger all the time.

Christianity Today

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