Daily Archives: January 8, 2017

How NOT to follow the Holy Spirit

Jeff Hagan of Pulpit & Pen has listed the ways the Holy Spirit does not lead the believer. For example, the Holy Spirit does not direct a person to sin. To “hear men in charismatic circles say that ‘God told’ them to divorce their wives and marry the woman they’ve been having an affair with” isn’t all that unusual for him. He admonishes: “That’s nothing but foolishness and selfishness. According to Scripture that is clearly sinful, it is wrong.”

So now to Hagan’s tips on how not to follow the Holy Spirit.  He writes:

Do you ever wonder if maybe you made a mistake and missed out on a blessing because you resisted it thinking perhaps it was some kind of temptation from the enemy? At times, when we let our emotions get too involved in something, it makes it more difficult to discern the leading of the Holy Spirit — especially when we, in our flesh, don’t like the way He seems to be heading. Sometimes our flesh battles against God’s Spirit (Gal. 5:7). But when we surrender ourselves to God’s will, when we look to His Word and live accordingly, recognizing the Spirit’s lead becomes easier as we grow in Christ.

Now, with that being said, there are definitely some ways in which the Holy Spirit does not lead. False teaching, being ignorant of His ways, being spiritually lazy, and over-emphasizing the so-called “miraculous” have deceived many into being led to follow the world, or the flesh, or even the enemy while thinking it was the Holy Spirit. And, as one can imagine, this has brought about an incredible amount of pain and heartache into people’s lives. I have listed a few things to be cautious of, some ways the Holy Spirit does not lead us.

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RANKED: The 12 best diets of 2017

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

If you’re trying to prioritize dieting in 2017, keep in mind that not all diets are created equal.

Often, the ones that garner the most attention aren’t even among the best.

For its annual list, US News & World Report ranked 38 eating plans, considering different criteria including how easy the diet is to follow, its effects on weight loss (both short and long term), how nutritional and safe the diet is, and how well it helps prevent diabetes and heart disease.

The ranking drew on the expertise of a panel of dietitians and nutritionists, but didn’t account for any costs associated with the diet plans or how exercise fit into the programs.

Here’s which diets ranked above the rest to make the top 10.

But first, the worst-performing diets.

Shutterstock/stockcreationsIn the 38 plans US News & World Report looked at, a few numbers weren’t up to snuff.

The Whole30 diet, in particular, was the lowest-ranked diet for the second year in a row. The Dukan and paleo diets were also toward the bottom of the list, which US News attributed to the diets being too restrictive. The diets didn’t have the same long-term staying power as others that ranked higher.

Learn more about what experts think of the Whole30 diet »

No. 10 (TIE): Vegetarian diet

David Saddler / Flickr (CC-BY-2.0)Vegetarian diets cleared the top 10 in the 2017 ranking, up from No. 13 in 2016. The diet is simple: no meat allowed. Ideally, the meat is replaced with more vegetables, which could help you feel fuller.

More on what US News & World Report experts thought of this diet »

No. 10 (TIE): Ornish diet

wordridden/FlickrDeveloped by Dr. Dean Ornish, this diet looks at food on a “spectrum,” with some things being healthier than others — essentially, the less processed the better. The diet emphasizes whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and some fat if it contains omega-3 fatty acids.

The diet was also ranked one of the best for heart health.

More on what US News & World Report experts thought of this diet »

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Pastrix Paula White to Wax Eloquent Against Critics Avoiding Fundamentals of Scripture

Amidst claims that she’s a heretic, “Pastor” Paula White, who’s a word-faith/health & wealth/name it and claim it teacher, appeared on CNN to let the world know that her critics are mistaken and that the views she holds are orthodox. Richard Haas of Pulpit & Pen sets aside White’s heretical teaching and instead tackles her credentials to pastor a church.  According to Haas, Pastrix Paula should not be Trump’s spiritual adviser because a woman is unqualified to hold the position of pastor. He writes:

Speaking on CNN, this past Thursday, January 5th, 2016, Paula White, spiritual adviser to Trump and Senior Pastor of New Destiny Christian Center in Apopka, Florida defended herself against accusations of being a Trinity-denying false teacher and preaching the false gospel known as the “Prosperity Gospel.”  Over the past years, much criticism has been rightly raised by those in Orthodox Evangelical circles about Pastrix Paula White’s validity due to her heretical theological stance on core essentials of the Christian faith. In the past at Pulpit & Pen, our authors and contributors have raised much concren over Paula White and her false teachings.

While many within Orthodox Christianity are critiquing Paula White’s teachings, one fundamental point is continually being missed or even ignored by those in the larger evangelical crowd. This point is a simple and a straightforward one. Paula White, by scriptural mandate, is not to be the pastor of New Destiny Christian Center or any other church for that matter. By White claiming to be a “pastor” she is superseding her given spiritual authority. In short, this also would logically necessitate that  White should not be Trump’s spiritual advisor because once again she’s putting herself in an authoritative position that she is unqualified to hold.

Let me make something very clear at this point. When I make these claims, I am not being chauvinistic or have something against women.  I believe that women have an exceedingly distinguished identity in the church body. I am only following what Scripture is teachings us about the roles of male and females in the confines of church leadership. With that said, women are not to be in the role of leadership over men in the context of the church structure.  The problem is that for too many people in modern-day “American Evangelicalism,” the idea of specific gender roles is a foreign concept. In many churches across America, those boundaries are becoming more and more blurred with every passing day because of the modern ideas of social gender integration and total disregard for the inerrancy of Scripture.

However, Scripture clearly tells us different than what society wants dictates as the role of women in the church. In 1 Timothy 2:12-13 the role of women in the context of the church setting is as stated, “But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve.”  Take note that this is not cultural mandate, the Apostle Paul uniquely adds a clarifier that this is from the creation of man and women establishing the order of Federal Headship and which gender is to lead the church. In other words, Paul’s words here are not an opinion but a doctrinal statement.

The above verses alone disqualify Pastrix White from being in any official leadership position within the church. However, one does not build doctrine on one verse alone. In 1 Timothy 3:15 the following is stated; “but in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar, and support of the truth.” This verse clearly puts forth an authority structure set up by God dealing within the context of “the household of God” or in today’s context “the church.” This verse clearly is teaching that the male is to be in an authoritative position within the framework of the body of the church, not the female.

To further fortify the foundation of the biblical inerrancy of male leadership in the church we need to look no further than Titus 1:6 which states, ”namely, if any man is above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion.” This Scripture clearly teaches that the Pastor, Elder or a leader of a congregation must be male. Thus, how can Paula White claim to be a “pastor” when she cannot be a “husband of one wife?” Based on Scripture alone, White is unable to meet the qualifications to call herself a pastor. White cannot call herself a preacher biblically because she cannot hold to the gender requirements that fit that role.

Even if one could twist and bend Scripture enough to warp the gender requirements of the office of pastor into allowing females; Paula White would still be disqualified to fill this leadership role. White would be ineligible since she is on her third marriage.  As stated above in Titus 1:6 a pastor must be “husband of one wife” meaning that even if you neglect the gender qualifications of being a pastor, White is disqualified based on her current marital status alone. The fact that she is on marriage number three violates the Scriptural requirements.  The problem is that once you reject one Scriptural requirement for being a Pastor, it is easy to discard all the others. People who ae willing to accept women as pastors must then be willing to accept theological error and noncompliance with Scripture. Thus, allowing for larger false teachings and heresies to be accepted.

Whether it is by Paula White’s heretical teachings and preaching of a false Prosperity Gospel or by the violation of fundamental roles of leadership found in scriptural and doctrinal datum; Paula White is disqualified from the office of Pastor. Paula White has, can, nor ever will be a legitimate Pastor regardless how much White wants to “fire back” at her critics. White will always be a Pastrix or “fake pastor” based on not opinion but on what Scripture alone teaches about the qualifications of being a pastor.

Source: Pastrix Paula White to Wax Eloquent Against Critics Avoiding Fundamentals of Scripture

January 8, 2017: Verse of the day

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A Submissive Will

And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (1:4)

A third means to perseverance in trials is a submissive will. The only way out of a trial is through it. The Lord promises no bypasses, only that He always will see His people through the trials without their suffering spiritual harm. But God cannot do His perfect and complete work in and through us without our willing submissiveness. When we learn to rejoice in our trials and come to understand that our gracious heavenly Father uses them not to harm us but to strengthen and perfect us, we are motivated to embrace them as beneficial.

Eliphaz, one of Job’s friends, declared wisely, “As for me, I would seek God, and I would place my cause before God; who does great and unsearchable things, wonders without number. He gives rain on the earth and sends water on the fields, so that He sets on high those who are lowly, and those who mourn are lifted to safety” (Job 5:8–11).

David testified in prayer, “O Lord, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty; nor do I involve myself in great matters, or in things too difficult for me. Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; like a weaned child rests against his mother, my soul is like a weaned child within me” (Ps. 131:1–2). David had grown and matured through the troubles and afflictions he already had endured, from a nursing infant, as it were, to a newly weaned child. But he continued to stay intimate with the Lord, just as the weaned child continues to cling to his mother.

Perfect is from teleios, which does not connote moral or spiritual perfection, or sinlessness, but rather refers to that which is fully developed. Later in this letter James clearly acknowledges that “we all stumble in many ways” (3:2; cf. 1 John 1:10). The word is therefore better rendered “mature,” referring to spiritual maturity fulfilled in Christlikeness, which is the goal of endurance and perseverance. “Let us therefore, as many as are perfect,” Paul says, “have this attitude” (Phil. 3:15), referring to our commitment “toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (v. 14). Paul beautifully expresses the concept of spiritual maturity in his letter to believers in Galatia, whom he describes as “my children, with whom I am again in labor until Christ is formed in you” (Gal. 4:19, emphasis added).

Complete translates a form of holoklēros, which carries the idea of being whole, entire. The prefix holo is the term from which we get holograph, a 360-degree, three-dimensional depiction of an object. To allow no possibility for misunderstanding, James adds lacking in nothing, reinforcing the comprehensiveness of his point. That is the end result of trials: maturity, completeness, not lacking in anything of spiritual importance and value. “After you have suffered for a little while,” Peter assures us, “the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you” (1 Pet. 5:10).

Moab was a pagan nation southeast of Israel, of whom Jeremiah wrote: “Moab has been at ease since his youth; he has also been undisturbed on his lees, neither has he been emptied from vessel to vessel, nor has he gone into exile. Therefore he retains his flavor, and his aroma has not changed” (Jer. 48:11). Good wine had to be repeatedly “emptied from vessel to vessel” in order for it to become sweet and drinkable. In that process, the lees, or dregs, would remain in the bottom of each vessel, until, after several pourings and settlings, the wine was pure and clear. Jeremiah’s point was that Moab’s undisturbed, untested life had left its people unpurified. That was also Esau’s problem. He cared nothing for the things of God, being content with satisfying only his physical appetites. He was immoral and godless, selling “his own birthright for a single meal” (Heb. 12:16).

But David writes assuringly:

Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who carries out wicked schemes. Cease from anger and forsake wrath; do not fret; it leads only to evildoing. For evildoers will be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord, they will inherit the land. Yet a little while and the wicked man will be no more; and you will look carefully for his place and he will not be there. But the humble will inherit the land and will delight themselves in abundant prosperity. (Ps. 37:7–11)

Apart from the unique ordeal that Jesus endured on the cross, perhaps the severest trial faced by any human being was that of Abraham when called by God to sacrifice his son Isaac. The Lord commanded, “Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you” (Gen. 22:2). Abraham had several reasons for being completely astounded by God’s demand. Not only was Isaac his greatly beloved son but was the only son by Sarah and therefore the son of God’s promise, through whom “all the families of the earth [were to] be blessed” (Gen. 12:3; cf. 17:1–8, 19–21; 18:10–14).

From the human perspective, the death of Isaac would clearly prevent the promise from being fulfilled and would therefore nullify the covenant. Not only that, but human sacrifice was utterly pagan, the antithesis of everything Abraham knew of the holy and just God he served. And, as if to add unutterable cruelty, Abraham was to kill Isaac by his own hand, though God’s law forbade it. Every aspect of God’s demand was inconceivable. If ever the Lord commanded one of His saints to do something that justified an argument, or at the very least a careful explanation, this was that command. But Abraham made no argument and asked for no explanation. As already noted, no instance of willing submission to the Lord except that of Jesus to His Father could exceed Abraham’s on that occasion.

Without hesitation, resentment, or question, Abraham made the necessary preparations, began the journey at first light the next day, and continued carrying out the Lord’s orders until the moment the Lord intervened, saying, “Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me” (Gen. 22:12). Although he had earlier told Isaac, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son” (v. 8), Abraham was about to plunge the knife into Isaac’s heart when no animal was in sight. The writer of Hebrews tells us that Abraham “considered that God is able to raise men even from the dead, from which he also received him back as a type” (Heb. 11:19).

But whatever Abraham’s human understanding may have been, we have God’s own testimony that “by faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son” (v. 17, emphasis added). Abraham did not count on there being a way out; he counted only on God’s righteousness, faithfulness, and power to raise the dead, which he believed God would do to keep His covenant (see Heb. 11:17–19). And because of the unreserved and unconditional faith to which Abraham’s readiness to sacrifice his son testified, God counted him righteous (Gen. 15:6; Rom. 4:3; Gal. 3:6). No wonder, then, that he became “the father of all who believe” (Rom. 4:11; cf. v. 16; Gal. 3:7), and that “those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer” (Gal. 3:9).

Although we will never be tested in the way or to the extreme that Abraham was tested, we nevertheless can be certain of having tests. Our Lord assures us that “in the world [we will] have tribulation” (John 16:33), and even more explicitly that “ ‘a slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you” (15:20). Reflecting that truth, the Puritan theologian John Trapp wrote, “One son God hath without sin, but none without sorrow” (cited in I. D. E. Thomas, A Puritan Golden Treasury [Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1977], 11).

MacArthur New Testament Commentary

January 8, 2017: Daily Devotional Guide Collection

January 8

Fulfilling the Law

Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

Matthew 5:48

Jesus faced much opposition during His ministry when He didn’t agree with contemporary Jewish theology (Matt. 15:1–3). Because it was hypocritical, He denied the Pharisees’ so–called devotion.

Many in His day were saying, “Is Jesus saying new truth?  Is He really speaking for God? He doesn’t say what the Pharisees say. He, in fact, says the opposite of what we’re taught.”

Jesus said, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill” (Matt. 5:17). Jesus did not condemn Old Testament law, but He did condemn the tradition that had been built up around it. The religious leaders had so perverted God’s law that Jesus declared, “I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven” (v. 20).

Whose righteousness are you depending on? Your own or Christ’s?[1]


January 8 Divinely Chosen and Called

“I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, entreat you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called.”

Ephesians 4:1

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We didn’t choose God; He chose us.

What is “the calling with which [we] have been called”? It is simply the position we have now as Christians. Paul said the Christians at Corinth were “saints by calling” (1 Cor. 1:2). Peter instructed his readers to make certain about God’s calling and choosing them (2 Peter 1:10). Our calling is a high calling (Phil. 3:14), “a holy calling” (2 Tim. 1:9), and “a heavenly calling” (Heb. 3:1).

Who called us? Jesus has the answer: “No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him” (John 6:44). Jesus also said, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you” (15:16). Those “whom [God] predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified” (Rom. 8:30). God called out to us, we responded in faith, and He saved us.

Suppose after investigating all the different religions of the world, a person chose Christianity. If Christianity were nothing more than a simple, personal choice to be saved, this person would have a certain level of commitment—that is, “Since I’ve decided to do it, it’s worth doing.” But if I’m a Christian because before the world began, the sovereign God of the universe chose me to spend eternity in His presence, that creates a much greater level of commitment.

If a single woman approached a bachelor, told him he had characteristics she admired, and asked him if he would be interested in marrying her, there would be something missing in that courtship. But suppose he approaches this woman first and says, “I have gone from one end of the world to the other, and your character and beauty surpass all others. Will you marry me?” We know then that nothing is missing.

Magnify that illustration by considering God’s perspective. We didn’t ask God if we could get in on a salvation deal. Out of all the people in the world, He chose us to receive His mercy! That’s a high, holy, heavenly calling. Such a calling demands a response of commitment, doesn’t it?

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Suggestions for Prayer: Thank God for His grace in choosing and calling you.

For Further Study: Read Romans 8:29–39. How did Paul respond to the knowledge of God’s calling for his life? ✧ How should God’s calling affect your attitude?[2]


JANUARY 8

THE SUM TOTAL OF OUR HUNGERS

My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?

—Psalm 42:2

One of the big milk companies makes capital of the fact that their cows are all satisfied with their lot in life. Their clever ads have made the term “contented cows” familiar to everyone. But what is a virtue in a cow may be a vice in a man. And contentment, when it touches spiritual things, is surely a vice….

Religious complacency is encountered almost everywhere among Christians these days, and its presence is a sign and a prophecy. For every Christian will become at last what his desires have made him. We are all the sum total of our hungers. The great saints have all had thirsting hearts. Their cry has been, “My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?” Their longing after God all but consumed them; it propelled them onward and upward to heights toward which less ardent Christians look with languid eye and entertain no hope of reaching.

Orthodox Christianity has fallen to its present low estate from lack of spiritual desire. Among the many who profess the Christian faith, scarcely one in a thousand reveals any passionate thirst for God. ROR059-061

Oh, Lord, deliver me from the complacency that is so prevalent both around me and within me. Give me an unquenchable thirst for You that I may cry out for You along with the saints of long ago. Amen. [3]


January 8

Jesus’ Deity—Central to the Gospel

A voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”—Matt. 3:17

The truth that Jesus Christ is God’s perfect Son is a key feature of the gospel message. The author of the letter to the Hebrews makes this clear at the outset of his writing:

God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they. For to which of the angels did He ever say, “You are My Son, today I have begotten You”? And again, “I will be a Father to Him and He shall be a Son to Me”? And when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says, “And let all the angels of God worship Him.” And of the angels He says, “Who makes His angels winds, and His ministers a flame of fire.” But of the Son He says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, and the righteous scepter is the scepter of His kingdom.” (1:1–8; cf. Col. 1:15–19; 2:9)

The New Testament presents God more as the Father of Jesus (John 14:6–11; Phil. 2:9–11) than as the Father of believers (Matt. 6:9). We cannot worship God unless we also worship Christ as one with Him (cf. John 5:23).

ASK YOURSELF
Are you as “well-pleased” with the Son—your Savior—as the Father is? And are you willing to declare it, as if boomed from the heavens? Pray that God would renew your love for Him today and fill you with boldness to pronounce your devotion at every opportunity.[4]

JANUARY 8

BENEFITS OF GRACE

But now in Christ Jesus ye…are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

Ephesians 2:13

Only a believing Christian can testify, “I am a sinner—saved by the grace of God!” But that is not the whole story. All that we have is cut of His grace. Jesus Christ, the eternal Word who became flesh and dwelt among us, is the open channel through whom God moves to provide all the benefits He gives, both to saints and to sinners—yes, even to sinners!

Even though you may still be unconverted and going your own way, you have received much out of the ocean of His fullness. You have received the pulsing life that beats in your bosom.

You have received the brilliant mind and the brain without which you could not function. You have received a memory that strings the events you cherish as a jeweler strings pearls into a necklace.

When we say to an unbelieving man, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ,” we are actually saying to him: “Believe on the One who sustains you and upholds you and who has given you life. Believe in the One who pities you and spares you and keeps you. Believe on the One out of whom you came!”

Lord, You are such a merciful God! Your offer of salvation is available to all men, women and children. You send Your rain on both the just and the unjust. Lord, open my eyes to those in my sphere of influence who don’t know You.[5]


January 8 Matching Your Practice to Your Position

“[God] chose us … that we should be holy and blameless before Him” (Eph. 1:4).

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The challenge of Christian living is to increasingly match your practice to your position.

God chose you in Christ to make you “holy and blameless” in His sight. To be “holy” is to be separated from sin and devoted to righteousness. To be “blameless” is to be pure, without spot or blemish—like Jesus, the Lamb of God (1 Peter 1:19).

Ephesians 1:4 is a positional statement. That is, Paul describes how God views us “in Him [Christ].” God sees us as “holy and blameless” because Christ our Savior is holy and blameless. His purity is credited to our spiritual bank account. That’s because God made Christ “who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21).

Despite our exalted position in God’s sight, our practice often falls far short of His holy standard. Therefore, the challenge of Christian living is to increasingly match our practice to our position, realizing that sinless perfection won’t come until we are fully glorified in Heaven (Rom. 8:23).

How do you meet that challenge? By prayer, Bible study, and yielding your life to the Spirit’s control. Commit yourself to those priorities today as you seek to fulfill the great purpose to which you’ve been called—the “good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10).

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer:  Thank God that He does not expect you to earn your own righteousness but has provided it in His Son. ✧ Ask His Spirit to search your heart and reveal any sin that might hinder your growth in holiness. Confess that sin, and take any steps necessary to eliminate it from your life.

For Further Study: Read Philippians 1:9–11. ✧ What ingredients must be added to Christian love to produce sincerity and blamelessness? ✧ What is the primary source of those ingredients (see Ps. 119:97–105)? ✧ What specific steps are you going to take to add or increase those ingredients in your life?[6]


JANUARY 8

TRUE WORSHIP: FULLY SEEKING THE LORD WE ADORE

O come, let us worship and bow down….

PSALM 95:6

An old creed says that we worship one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

If we could set forth all of God’s attributes and tell all that He is, we would fall on our knees in adoring worship.

The Bible tells us that God dwells in light that is unapproachable, whom no man can see or has seen, and whom no man can see and live.

It says that God is holy and eternal and omnipotent and omniscient and sovereign, and that He has a thousand sovereign attributes. And all of these should humble us and bring us down!

I have come to believe that no worship is wholly pleasing to God until there is nothing in us displeasing to God. If there is anything within me that does not worship God, then there is nothing in me that worships God perfectly.

Note that I am not saying that God must have a perfection of worship or He will not accept any worship at all. I would not go so far; if I did, I would rule myself out. But, I do say that the ideal God sets before us is to worship as near to perfectly as we can. Faith and love and obedience and loyalty and high conduct of life—all of these must be taken as burnt offerings and offered to God!

True worship seeks union with its beloved, and an active effort to close the gap between the heart and the God it adores is worship at its best![7]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 19). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

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

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

[4] MacArthur, J. (2008). Daily readings from the life of Christ (p. 16). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

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

[6] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 20). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

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

God gave them over to a depraved mind to do those things which are not proper

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; 32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them. Romans 1:28-32 (NASB) 

For those who are nonplused at the utter foolishness running rampant throughout the visible church what you have to come to understand is that all of it is rooted in one thing, unbelief. Also, all of you reading this who have…

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