Daily Archives: January 26, 2017

January 26, 2017 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

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Jan. 26, 2017 |

BLOOMBERG

President Donald Trump’s border wall plan has blown up into a showdown with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto just days before the Mexican leader and Trump are scheduled to meet face-to-face in Washington.

Leaders from across Latin America said they’ll unite to confront the threat posed by “protectionist” U.S. policies, just hours after President Donald Trump took the first step to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

Some of hedge fund billionaire George Soros’s short positions dating back to 2012 were published on the Dutch financial market regulator’s website this week due to “human error,” according to the regulator AFM.

Filings for U.S. unemployment benefits rose more than forecast last week amid holiday-related volatility, while remaining low by historical standards. Jobless claims rose by 22,000 to a four-week high of 259,000 in the period ended Jan. 21, which included the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

AP Top Stories

The Twitter account for Badlands National Park posted and then deleted a series of messages relaying climate change facts Tuesday, the same day that the Trump administration issued a media blackout for the Environmental Protection Agency.

The North Korean regime is on an inexorable decline towards collapse, with its people increasingly disillusioned but its nuclear ambitions undimmed, a top defector said Wednesday. “I’m sure and I can say that Kim Jong-Un’s days are numbered,” said Thae Yong-Ho, who fled his post as North Korea’s deputy ambassador to Britain in August.

Flint’s water system no longer has levels of lead exceeding the federal limit, a key finding that Michigan environmental officials said Tuesday was good news for a city whose 100,000 residents have been grappling with the man-made water crisis.

A relic from America’s first space tragedy is finally going on display this week; 50 years after a fire on the launch pad killed three astronauts at the start of the Apollo moon program. The scorched Apollo 1 capsule remains locked away in storage. But NASA is offering visitors at Kennedy Space Center a look at the most symbolic part: the hatch that trapped Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee in their burning spacecraft on Jan. 27, 1967.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed this weekend that Autopilot will be rolling out to cars equipped with the company’s newest hardware suite, dubbed HW2, via over-the-air updates. This new version of Autopilot comes with Autosteer functionality that is limited to a top speed of 45 mph.

Congressional Republicans are set to overturn a slew of Obama-era regulations next week, including a controversial anti-bribery rule aimed at U.S. resource companies such as Exxon Mobil Corp and Chevron Corp , according to a top lawmaker. Other rules eyed for quick overturning by Congress include newly minted environmental, gun control and labor relations measures, sources said.

American Airlines says it is dropping seat-back screens from its in-flight entertainment on its 100 new Boeing 737 Max jets because most passengers carry their own screens.

A US judge has ordered that Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman appear by video link at his next court hearing to avoid unnecessary transfers for one of the world’s most notorious criminals.

Iraq’s prime minister on Tuesday declared eastern Mosul “fully liberated” from Islamic State group militants after a day of fierce fighting and more than three months after a massive U.S.-backed operation to retake the city began.

Florida has gone halfway around the world to get help with its python problem. Wildlife officials recruited tribesmen from India to hunt the Burmese pythons believed to be decimating native mammals in the Everglades.

US Defense Secretary James Mattis plans to travel to Japan and South Korea next month on his first trip as the Pentagon’s new chief, a spokesman said Wednesday

Share prices surged on Wednesday for U.S. companies that could benefit from U.S. President Trump’s plans to push ahead with a border wall with Mexico and his approval of key energy pipeline expansion projects.

BBC

Insurgent factions in Syria have joined together to fight off an assault by a powerful jihadist group which launched an attack on rebels this week.

A girl aged 16 has been jailed by a German court for six years for what is seen as the country’s first attack by a sympathizer of jihadist group Islamic State (IS).

Brazil’s health ministry has ordered 11.5 million doses of yellow fever vaccine amid the largest outbreak of the disease in the country since 2000. Seventy cases – including 40 deaths – are confirmed, mostly in rural areas of the state of Minas Gerais. More than 300 cases are under investigation.

The US will upgrade and expand its facilities on Philippine military bases this year, the Philippine defense minister has announced. Delfin Lorenzana said President Rodrigo Duterte would honour plans for the US to build barracks, warehouses and runways in at least three locations.

The bodies of a man and a woman have been pulled from a hotel in Italy that was hit by an avalanche, bringing the final death toll to 29.

The Ministry of Defense is “tracking” 252 allegations of humanitarian law violations by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, the BBC has learned.

WND

An abandoned Walmart building in Brownsville, Texas, will be used to shelter illegal immigrants streaming across the U.S.-Mexico border.

A North Carolina woman made a shocking discovery during a visit to a medical facility: Her physician listed “lesbianism” as one of her “medical problems.”


Top News – 1/26/2017

A Vatican-Democratic Party Alliance? (Catholics Ask Trump Administration to Investigate)
We were alarmed to discover that, during the third year of the first term of the Obama administration your previous opponent, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and other government officials with whom she associated proposed a Catholic “revolution” in which the final demise of what was left of the Catholic Church in America would be realized.[1]  Approximately a year after this e-mail discussion, which was never intended to be made public, we find that Pope Benedict XVI abdicated under highly unusual circumstances and was replaced by a pope whose apparent mission is to provide a spiritual component to the radical ideological agenda of the international left.

Senior staff resigns en masse from State Department
A group of top career officials at the State Department resigned en masse the same day Secretary of State-designate Rex Tillerson paid a visit to Foggy Bottom to introduce himself, it was reported Thursday. Among those bailing on the Trump administration was Patrick Kennedy, State’s longtime undersecretary for management, the Washington Post reported.

Report: Israel okays historic plan to absorb child refugees from Syria war
srael has allegedly agreed, for the first time, to grant asylum to some 100 children orphaned by neighboring Syria’s bloody civil war, Channel 10 News reported Wednesday night.  According to the report, Interior Minister Arye Deri recently approved the humanitarian plan under which Israel would absorb the child refugees from Syria.

Mexico: We will not pay for Trump border wall
Mexico will not pay for Donald Trump’s border wall, the country’s president has said in a message to the nation. Enrique Pena Nieto said he “lamented” the plans for the barrier, adding that “Mexico doesn’t believe in walls”. But he made no mention of cancelling or postponing a trip to Washington on 31 January to meet the new US president.

Theresa May says US and UK can lead world again, ahead of Trump meeting
Theresa May is to vow to renew the UK’s special relationship with the US “for this new age” as she prepares to meet Donald Trump for the first time. She travels to Philadelphia later to address Republican leaders at an event attended by the US president. She will tell them that after Brexit, a “sovereign, global” Britain wants to enhance ties with its “old friends”.

Trump orders weekly publication of crimes committed by illegals in sanctuary cities
In order to better inform Americans about the impact illegal aliens are having on crime rates in sanctuary cities, President Donald Trump today ordered the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to publish a weekly list of crimes committed by illegals. In an executive order titled “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States,” Trump directed Secretary John Kelly to be transparent with citizens.

Restaurants: The next front for the immigration debate?
The national debate over immigration policy could be coming to a diner near you.  From down-home delis to upscale bistros, dozens of restaurants nationwide are seeking “sanctuary” status, a designation owners hope will help protect employees in an immigrant-heavy industry and tone down fiery rhetoric sparked by the presidential campaign.

The US Navy plans to fire laser weapons off of ships within a year
The U.S. Navy is moving at warp speed to develop lasers with more lethality, precision and power sources as a way to destroy attacking missiles, drones aircraft and other threats.  “We’re doing a lot more with lasers,” Rear Adm. Ronald Boxall, director, Surface Warfare Division, said earlier this month…The Navy plans to fire a 150-kw weapon off a test ship within a year, he said. “Then a year later, we’ll have that on a carrier or a destroyer or both.”

Chile court rejects Palestinain suit
A complaint against three Israeli Supreme Court justices has been rejected in Chile for a second time. The three – Former Judge Asher Grunis, Judge Uzi Feldman, and Judge Nil Handel – had complaints against them for their part in permitting the construction of the West Bank security barrier in the Beit Jala area.

Lebanon claims to have uncovered Israeli spy cell
Lebanese security forces announced Wednesday afternoon that they exposed and captured a spy cell working for the Israeli security services. According to reports in Lebanese newspapers, five members of the cell were arrested in Lebanese territory, two of whom were said to have been born in the country.  One of the suspects is alleged to be a Palestinian refugee while two others are believed to be from Nepal.

U.S. Congress member met with Assad in Syria, discussed peace: CNN
Democratic U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard said on Wednesday she met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Syria and discussed the possibility of achieving peace. The Hawaii Democrat told CNN in an interview that during her four-day visit, she wanted to get a first-hand view of the suffering of the Syrian people. She said she met with Assad because “we’ve got to be able to meet with anyone that we need to if there is a possibility that we could achieve peace, and that’s exactly what we talked about.”

Turkey says waiting to see outcome of Trump’s Syria safe zones call
Turkey is waiting to see the outcome of U.S. President Donald Trump’s pledge to order safe zones in Syria, and has long advocated such a plan, Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Huseyin Muftuoglu said on Thursday. Trump said on Wednesday he “will absolutely do safe zones in Syria” for refugees fleeing violence. According to a document seen by Reuters, he is expected to order the Pentagon and State Department in the coming days to craft such a plan.

Dear Bernie, Meet the “Big Mac ATM” That Will Replace All Of Your $15 Per Hour Fast Food Workers
Dear Bernie, as you continue in your never-ending “Fight for $15”, we thought you might benefit from a simple example of how economics work in a real life, functioning, capitalistic society.

Trump Promises Supreme Court Pick Next Week As Cruz Threatens “Nuclear Option” To Bypass Dems
Republicans will need at least eight Democrats to support Trump’s nominee to overcome the 60-vote filibuster hurdle. But Cruz suggested the GOP shouldn’t rule out the so-called “nuclear option” to reduce the threshold to a majority.

German police search homes in crackdown on far-right extremists
About 200 German police searched a dozen homes in six states on Wednesday as part of an investigation into a far-right extremist group suspected of planning armed attacks against police, Jews and asylum seekers, the chief federal prosecutor’s office said.

Google has banned 200 publishers since it passed a new policy against fake news
Google kicked 200 publishers off one of its ad networks in the fourth quarter, partly in response to the proliferation of fake news sites. The company banned the publishers from its AdSense network, an ad placement service that automatically serves text and display ads on participating sites based on its audience. The ban was part of an update to an existing policy that prohibits sites that mislead users with their content.

Economist: Stock Market Gained $2 Trillion in Wealth Since Trump Elected
Club For Growth founder Stephen Moore reacted to reporting that since President Trump was elected, the stock market gained $2 trillion in wealth.

Texas Showdown: Governor, Sanctuary City Clash Over Immigration
Texas Governor Greg Abbott vowed to cut funding to Austin’s new sheriff after she announced her county would scale back cooperation with federal immigration officials over deportations, marking a showdown over so-called sanctuary cities that may resonate beyond the Lone Star state.

Universal Wins Bidding War for Michael Bay-Produced Script About Trump-Like Dystopia
Described by sources as a “sci-fun” story rather than “sci-fi,” the tale is set in a dystopian future where a Donald Trump-like president has bankrupt America and China has called in its debts. The Asian giant now owns America and many Americans have immigrated to China looking for work.

North Korea’s Kim Jong Un Will Destroy Los Angeles With A Nuclear Bomb If US Continues Threats, Defector Warns
Man, Kim Jong Un just really didn’t like “The Interview.” More than two years after North Korea hacked Sony Pictures over the release of its comedy film portraying the assassination of Kim, the isolated dictator has built up a nuclear arsenal allowing him to destroy Los Angeles with the single push of a button, North Korea’s most senior defector said in an interview this week.

GOP Acknowledges It Won’t Meet Self-Imposed Deadline to Repeal Obamacare
Two days before Republicans’ self-imposed deadline for producing legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act, GOP lawmakers acknowledged they were unlikely to meet it. Both the GOP-controlled House and Senate passed budgets this month requiring four committees to deliver proposals by Jan. 27 to roll back major tenets of the 2010 health-care law.

Radio Station Bans Madonna After Comments On Blowing Up White House
A Texas radio station has announced it will no longer air songs from the singer Madonna after comments she made at a rally over the weekend sparked a Secret Service investigation.

Another Live-Streamed Suicide Puts Spotlight on Social Media Ethics
A teenage girl in Miami Gardens, Fla., committed suicide early Sunday morning while streaming live on Facebook, the latest disturbing incident to be spread via this burgeoning—and largely uncharted—broadcast medium.

Trump Admin Prepares Exec Order to End Funding for UN Agencies Giving Full Membership to PA, PLO
The New York Times reported Wednesday in a breaking story that the staff of U.S. President Donald J. Trump is preparing an executive order that would terminate funding for any United Nations agency or other international organization that gives full membership to the Palestinian Authority or the Palestine Liberation Organization. In addition, the order terminates funding for programs or activities that fund abortion or circumvent sanctions against Iran or North Korea.


The Briefing 01-26-17

Senate Democrats promise fight if Trump’s Supreme Court nominee isn’t “mainstream”

Divinity schools abandon theological heritage and require gender-inclusive language to refer to God

Defender of the faith? Queen’s chaplain resigns after criticizing Koranic reading in Christian service

The post The Briefing 01-26-17 appeared first on AlbertMohler.com.


CIA Dir. Pompeo: ‘Jesus Christ Our Savior Is Truly the Only Solution For Our World’

Speaking at a church event in Wichita, then-Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kansas), the newly confirmed Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, said radical Muslims want “to wipe Christians from the face of the Earth,” and that Christians need to pray, fight, and understand that “Jesus Christ our Savior is truly the only solution for our world.”

View Article


Now It Is The Elite That Are Feverishly ‘Prepping’ For The Collapse Of Society

Prepper - Photo by Nomadic Lass on FlickrOnce upon a time, “prepping” was something that was considered to be on “the lunatic fringe” of society. But in 2017, wealthy elitists are actually the most hardcore preppers of all. This is particularly true in places such as Silicon Valley, where a whole host of young tech moguls are putting a tremendous amount of time, effort and money into preparing for apocalyptic scenarios. So while interest in prepping among the general population has fallen extremely low right now, the election of Donald Trump has given liberal wealthy elitists even more urgency to prepare for what they believe is a very uncertain future. (Read More…)


Is It Just A Coincidence That The Dow Has Hit 20,000 At The Same Time The National Debt Is Reaching $20 Trillion?

Dow Fueled By DebtThe Dow Jones Industrial Average provides us with some pretty strong evidence that our “stock market boom” has been fueled by debt.  On Wednesday, the Dow crossed the 20,000 mark for the first time ever, and this comes at a time when the U.S. national debt is right on the verge of hitting 20 trillion dollars.  Is this just a coincidence?  As you will see, there has been a very close correlation between the national debt and the Dow Jones Industrial Average for a very long time. (Read More…)


Top Headlines – 1/26/2017

  • Trump heads to Philly to charm congressional Republicans (Read More)
  • Trump Set to Lay Out Plans for Safe Zones Inside Syria (Read More)
  • Trump Wants to Build a Wall. Finding Workers Won’t Be Easy (Read More)
  • Sanctuary cities face huge cuts by Trump policy (Read More)
  • Trump Faces Criticism Over Prospect of Enhanced Interrogation Techniques (Read More)
  • U.K. Commons to Complete Article 50 Bill Debate in Two Weeks (Read More)
  • Blacklisting Muslim Brotherhood Carries Risks (Read More)
  • Six shot during vigil for gunshot victim in Chicago (Read More)
  • China Said to Order Banks to Curb New Loans in First Quarter (Read More)
  • U.K. Brexit Boom Still Sees Economy Plagued by Old Problems (Read More)
  • Dutch Regulator Accidentally Posts Soros’s Short Positions (Read More)
  • In Trump era, Democrats and Republicans switch sides on states’ rights (Read More)
  • World Leaders Seek Cues From May’s Visit to Trump (Read More)
  • TransCanada has not yet broached Keystone XL with shippers (Read More)
  • RBS Gains After $3.8 Billion Charge Tied to U.S. Mortgage Probe (Read More)
  • Ford Motor quarterly profit matches Street expectations (Read More)
  • Apple’s IPhone Sales Set to Rebound, But for How Long? (Read More)
  • Fiat Chrysler says to nearly halve net debt in 2017 (Read More)
  • Philippines says U.S. military to upgrade bases, defense deal intact (Read More)

The United Nations May Be Trump’s Next Target

UN funding: alarm at reports Trump will order sweeping cuts

Trump said set to halt funding for UN agencies, other groups that give PA, PLO full membership

Palestinians say Obama’s last-minute $221 million payout frozen by Trump

Giuliani: Trump backs Jerusalem embassy move, but reality is complex

UN condemns Israel’s West Bank settlement plans

UN discusses latest Israeli settlement plan, takes no action

Arab League says Israel showing ‘contempt’ with settlement plans

New settlement homes are just a ‘taste,’ Netanyahu tells MKs

In rare move, Australia criticizes settlement expansion

Germany: New settler homes cast doubt on Israel’s commitment to 2 states

Palestinians and Israelis are paying for the stalled peace process with their lives

IDF troops attacked during West Bank overnight arrest raid

Palestinian opens fire on troops in drive-by attack, is shot

Upgraded David’s Sling aces new anti-missile tests

Israel slated to be 4th country to land vehicle on the moon

Five alleged ‘Israeli spies’ arrested in Lebanon

Israel issues travel warning on Egypt’s uprising anniversary

Jewish groups decry Trump draft order temporarily barring some refugees

Anti-Defamation League vows ‘relentless fight’ against Trump over refugee ban

Trump defends restricted entry for Muslims

U.S.-backed Iraqis battling ISIS blast Donald Trump’s anti-immigration executive order: ‘How is this our fault?’

Trump says he will order ‘safe zones’ for Syria

Turkey: Syria Peace Talks ‘Serious Diplomatic Success’

Strange bedfellows: The Russian-Turkish-Iranian axis

Taliban tell Trump: ‘it’s time to leave Afghanistan’

Extremist Gunmen Storm Hotel in Somali Capital, 11 Killed

At least 4 killed in trio of suicide attacks in Nigeria

Trump says torture works, US will review policies in war on terror

Democrats introduce bill to take nuclear football out of Trump’s hands

North Korea Defector Says Elite Turning Their Backs On Kim Jong Un

North Korea’s Kim Jong Un Will Destroy Los Angeles With A Nuclear Bomb If US Continues Threats, Defector Warns

President Trump Tells ABC News’ David Muir: Construction of Border Wall Will Begin in ‘Months’

Border Patrol Union: Trump’s Border Plan ‘Gives Us the Tools We Need’

Mexican president ‘considering’ scrapping US trip, says will not pay for wall

Mexico opposition leader urges UN lawsuit over Trump wall

‘Sanctuary Cities’ Vow to Resist Trump Order Despite Funding Threat

Priebus on sanctuary cities: ‘If you defy the laws of this country, you shouldn’t receive federal taxpayer dollars’

Education Department report finds billions spent under Obama had ‘no impact’ on achievement

Economist: Stock Market Gained $2T in Wealth Since Trump Elected

Dow closes above 20,000 for first time as Trump orders send stocks flying

The Fragile Economic Foundation of Dow 20000

Top Forecaster Says Fed to Hike Rates Every Quarter in 2018

China’s shadow banking crusade risks bond market crash

Tech billionaires reportedly stock up on ‘apocalypse insurance’

Theresa May says US and UK can lead world again, ahead of Trump meeting

Secret Service vets shocked at agent’s claim she won’t take a bullet for Trump

Trump’s flashy executive actions could run aground – The White House failed to consult with many of the agencies and lawmakers who will be critical for their success

Trump promises ‘major investigation’ into alleged voter fraud

Trump considers executive order on voter fraud

Russians fear for privacy as hacking accusations swirl

Americans distrustful after hacking epidemic: survey

Dear Bernie, Meet the “Big Mac ATM” That Will Replace All Of Your $15 Per Hour Fast Food Workers

Google has banned 200 publishers since it passed a new policy against fake news

Another Live-Streamed Suicide Puts Spotlight on Social Media Ethics

Man executed in front of Detroit school after dropping son off

Iceland, world’s safest country, in shock over rare slaying

Teen arrests for robberies rising in DC

The price of admission to the press: You can’t riot while you’re working and expect your pass to protect you

Pipeline protests resume after Trump revives Keystone, Dakota projects

Pipeline leaks 138,000 gallons of diesel in Iowa

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Palaikastron, Greece

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Dobo, Indonesia

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Kirakira, Solomon Islands

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Minatitlan, Mexico

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Miyako, Japan

Earthquake near Greek island felt in Israel

Colima volcano in Mexico erupts to 23,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 18,000ft

Sheveluch volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 13,000ft

A woman flew through a tornado in a bathtub and survived

Brazil sees sharp rise in yellow fever cases

Rogue Twitter accounts spring up to fight Donald Trump on climate change

Veteran Federal Workers Fire Back At ‘Overblown’ Media Reports Of A Trump Gag Order

Scientists planning their own march in Washington

GOP Acknowledges It Won’t Meet Self-Imposed Deadline to Repeal Obamacare

Transgender Activists Complain Women’s March Unfairly Linked Sex to Biology

North Carolina woman shocked to see ‘lesbianism’ listed as medical problem on health chart

Planned Parenthood: Our Name Is ‘Deceptive,’ We Don’t Help Pregnant Women

Republicans Push Deeply Unpopular ‘Personhood’ Bill in Congress

Jewish organizations lament Trump severing foreign aid over abortions

The Dutch are opposing Trump by offering to fund abortions abroad

Global Gag Rule Will Cause More Abortions, Not Fewer, Groups Say

Pro-lifers pack Paris streets to March for Life

Abortion Foes Aim to Compete With Turnout for Women’s March

Trump White House Hints at ‘Heavy’ March for Life Participation. Who Will Be There?

Trump Promises Supreme Court Pick Next Week As Cruz Threatens “Nuclear Option” To Bypass Dems

Christian leaders call on White House to form ‘Commission on National Healing’

U.S. Missionary Working to Get Russia’s Anti-Evangelism Law Overturned

Chuck Baldwin – Forty Four Years and Sixty Million Dead Babies

Joel McDurmon – Abolitionism versus the establishment — a convicting mirror

Ray Yungen – The “Regeneration of the Churches” – An Occult Dream Come True

Denver Community Church Apostate ‘Elder Team’ Welcomes Homosexuals ‘In Any and All Levels of Leadership’ After ‘Seeking Unity’

Leaving the NAR Church: Katie’s story

Pastor Resigns From Southern Baptist Mission Board Over Legal Brief Supporting New Jersey Mosque

Imam at Trump’s Prayer Service Recited a Condemnation of Jews and Christians

Pagans, Wiccans, Satanists can now practice religion in Ohio prisons

Bill would bring ‘Bible literacy’ to Ky schools

Posted: 25 Jan 2017 07:12 PM PST

If two Kentucky lawmakers get their way, the crucifixion of Jesus, the trials of Job and the Ten Commandments could land on high school syllabuses….
Democrats introduce bill to curb Trump’s ability to launch a nuclear strike

Posted: 25 Jan 2017 07:05 PM PST

Rep. Ted W. Lieu and Sen. Edward J. Markey, both Democrats, introduced legislation on Tuesday that would forbid the president from launching a nuclear strike…
Massive sinkhole opens up in neighborhood, nearly swallows pick-up truck

Posted: 25 Jan 2017 06:55 PM PST

Emergency crews had their work cut out for them after a dangerously large sinkhole formed in a Montgomery County neighborhood. It happened about 4 a.m….
Is the UN the Next Target On Trump’s Scope?

Posted: 25 Jan 2017 06:50 PM PST

Two executive orders currently being prepared by the Trump administration promise to reduce the U.S. role in the United Nations by dramatically cutting funding and…

Trump halfway to killing globalist plan

Posted: 25 Jan 2017 06:46 PM PST

By signing a presidential memorandum withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, President Trump completed half the job of removing the United States from the…
Massive Two Mile Crack Discovered in Arizona Desert

Posted: 25 Jan 2017 06:41 PM PST

A fissure almost two miles long has been discovered in the Arizona desert. Drone footage uploaded to YouTube by the Arizona Geological Survey shows the…
NORAD responds after Russian bombers zoom around Japan

Posted: 25 Jan 2017 06:36 PM PST

A pair of Russian Tu-95 Bear nuclear-capable bombers flew around Japan on Tuesday, prompting the Japanese military to scramble fighter jets as the North American…
Abandoned Walmart opens as shelter for illegals

Posted: 25 Jan 2017 06:26 PM PST

An abandoned Walmart building in Brownsville, Texas, will be used to shelter illegal immigrants streaming across the U.S.-Mexico border. Brownsville, which is located at the…
New ‘DOOMSDAY’ Prediction Takes Aim At Trump!

Posted: 25 Jan 2017 11:45 AM PST

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists will announce on Thursday whether the minute hand on its “Doomsday Clock” will be adjusted, now that President Donald…
America Given Best Chance for Pro-Life Measures in Years

Posted: 25 Jan 2017 11:38 AM PST

Pro-life Americans are among the happiest with Donald Trump’s victory because he’s promised them more than almost any presidential winner of the past. And now…
Has America Compromised With the Jezebel Spirit?

Posted: 25 Jan 2017 11:31 AM PST

(By Landon Schott) I was traveling across the country on a ministry trip when I saw the recent Women’s March begin to dominate the news…
Divinity School Told to Use Gender-Neutral Terms for God

Posted: 25 Jan 2017 11:26 AM PST

The use of gender-neutral language for references to God is being promoted at two of America’s top divinity schools. Students at the divinity school of…

Cities in America Are Passing Laws to Ban Feeding and Sheltering The Homeless and Poor

Posted: 25 Jan 2017 11:18 AM PST

(Reported By Michael Snyder) If you want to be a Good Samaritan to the homeless in your community, you might want to check and see…
GOOGLE bans 200 publishers in crackdown on ‘fake news’…

Posted: 25 Jan 2017 11:10 AM PST

Google kicked 200 publishers off one of its ad networks in the fourth quarter, partly in response to the proliferation of fake news sites. The…
Construction of Border Wall Will Begin in ‘Months’

Posted: 25 Jan 2017 11:06 AM PST

In his first one-on-one television interview since being sworn in as the 45th president of the United States, President Donald Trump told ABC News anchor…

Our Time is Short

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


What is The Gospel?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Do You Know Him?


What Is the Gospel?

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

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

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


The Gospel In A Nutshell

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

Tertullian, “On Prescription Against Heretics,” Chapter XIIl


What Is the Gospel?

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


A Message from God

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

Why Is the Gospel Good News?

So, what is the good news about Jesus Christ?

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

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

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

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

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

God

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

Mankind

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

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

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

But . . .

Jesus Christ

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

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

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

Our Response

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

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

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


Ravi Zacharias explains the gospel in two minutes:


The Gospel on 5 Fingers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


This is the Gospel:

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

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

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

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

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


A Gospel Presentation

God is Holy

The Bible teaches that the entire universe was created by God. And that God who has created everything has spoken to humanity in the Bible. And the Bible tells us that a fundamental characteristic of God is that He is holy. 1 John 1:5 says, “God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.” That’s a way of saying that He’s entirely pure. God’s character is one of perfect moral uprightness. He is the essence of all that is good—so much so that, as the verse says, He can have absolutely no fellowship with “darkness”—no fellowship with that which is not perfectly holy, righteous, and pure.

God’s righteous character was expressed in the law He gave to Moses and the Israelites. You’ve heard of the Ten Commandments. They summarized the perfection of God’s character. These laws were directives for how people who were in a proper relationship with God must act.

We are Sinful

The problem is: all of us are sinful. We have all broken God’s law. All humanity has “gone astray like sheep, and each one of us has turned to his own way” (Isaiah 53:6). We’ve tried to live our lives without God, according to our own standards, in our own ways. Whether we’re drug addicts and murderers, or white collar, well-to-do, upstanding citizens, we do what we do because we want to do it, with no consideration for God and what He would have us to do. The Bible calls that sin. It is the missing of the mark, the falling short of God’s standard of righteousness.

And in your heart of hearts you know you’re a sinner. I don’t know anyone who would say that they are perfect, even by their own standards. Ecclesiastes 7:20 says, “There is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins.” And if God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all, then in order to have fellowship with Him, we’d need to be perfectly holy like Him. But we’re not. Romans 3:23 says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” We are stained by the “darkness” of our sin. And this is a problem, because if darkness can’t dwell with light, and we’re darkness and God is light, we’re cut off from a relationship with Him. We become absolutely incapable of doing the very thing we were created and designed to do: to enjoy a relationship with our Creator.

There is a Penalty for Sin

But it’s not just that we and God can’t be friends. There’s a penalty to be paid for sin. The Bible tells us that that penalty is death, Romans 6:23: “The wages of sin is death.” But the death that Paul talks about there isn’t just physical death. It’s not like we pay for our sins by going out of existence. The death talked about in that verse is a spiritual death. This is hell: eternal conscious torment. Jesus Himself calls it “a furnace of fire,” where there will be “weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 13:50).

The idea of hell grates against the sensibilities of modern people, because nobody thinks they’re really bad enough to deserve something like eternal torment. They might admit that they’re not the greatest of people, but surely they don’t deserve that. But their reasoning is skewed. The punishment for sin isn’t merely measured by the sin itself. In other words, while there are qualitative differences in the experience of divine punishment, murder, lust, and lying all receive the sentence of an eternity in hell. That’s because punishment for sin is measured by the One sinned against. All sin is fundamentally a sin against God, and He is infinitely holy. Therefore, sin against an infinitely holy God demands an infinite punishment. That’s why the punishment is so serious: because God is actually that righteous.

And so the bad news is that we’re sinful, separated from God, and doomed to spend eternity in hell. There’s nothing we can do about it. We can’t simply tell God we’re sorry and we won’t do it again. What would you say about a judge who let a guilty, convicted criminal go free because he was sorry and said he wouldn’t do it again? You’d call him an unjust judge. But God is a perfectly just, perfectly righteous Judge. God’s justice demands that sin be punished, and the only payment is eternal spiritual death.

God Became Man

But the Good News is: God saw the miserable condition of humanity, and took pity on us. He knew that there was no way we could ever earn our way back to Him. We could never pay for our sins. But just when man was absolutely hopeless, when we were all doomed to spend eternity in hell with no way to pay our penalty, God the Father sent His Son to the earth on a mission. He was miraculously born to a virgin. The Bible says that the Holy Spirit miraculously conceived Jesus in Mary’s womb. And so being conceived by the Holy Spirit, Jesus was God. And being born to a human being, He was human. This is the greatest mystery in the universe. As finite human beings, we can’t entirely wrap our minds around this, but it’s true: Jesus was fully God and fully man.

He lived for 33 years on the earth. He grew up just like every other child. He became a carpenter like Joseph, His earthly father. The great difference, though, between Jesus and every other human being, was that He never sinned. Never once did He ever break God’s law. He always loved God with all His heart, soul, mind, and strength in everything He did. He never sought satisfaction outside of the Father Himself. He never disobeyed His parents, He was never selfish, He never spoke sinful words. In a word, He lived the life that you and I should have lived, but failed to live. He lived a life totally worthy of God, a life that was purely “Light,” like we said before, with no darkness at all.

Jesus Paid the Penalty

And because He was perfectly righteous, He was fit to be the substitute for sinners. The Bible records for us that the Jews plotted to kill Jesus because He preached a message that was very different to the religious establishment of His day. It was against the Jewish law to put people to death, so they sought help from the Romans, who were the governing body in Israel. Because the governor, Pontius Pilate, feared that the people would riot if he didn’t give them what they wanted, he agreed to crucify Jesus.

At the same time, Scripture also tells us that God sent His Son to die this way. It was all part of God’s plan. God used the sinful desires of the Jews and the Romans to accomplish something for His own good purpose. On the cross, Jesus suffered for sins. But He didn’t suffer for His own sins. He had no sins. He lived an entirely perfect life. No, on the cross, God “caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.”

The verse right before that, Isaiah 53:5, says, “He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.” What was happening on the cross was: God was carrying out the punishment against my sins—i.e., the pouring out of His wrath—on His innocent Son. Jesus voluntarily laid down His life in order to pay the penalty for sins. On the cross, God treated Jesus if He lived my life. And because I believe in Him, He treats me as if I lived Jesus’ life. See, because God is perfectly righteous, the only way to get to heaven is to be perfectly righteous. But because Jesus was perfectly righteous, and traded places with me on the cross, the perfect righteousness I need to go to heaven is His righteousness applied to my account.

After Jesus died, God miraculously raised Him from the dead three days later in order to show that He was satisfied with His sacrifice. Jesus was dead, but then He came back to life! It was a miracle. The Bible says God did this to “furnish proof to all men” that this message is true (Acts 17:30-31).


Law or Gospel — Which comes first?

Sometimes in life, the question is posed to us, “Which do you want first — the bad news or the good news?”

In response to this question, some choose to hear the good news first. It appears they desire to be thoroughly overwhelmed with the positive before getting their dose of the negative.

Others choose differently. They would rather hear the bad news first, get it out of the way, and put behind them their wonder and worry. Then, after processing the ramifications of the bad news, they hope to soothe the pain an end the conversation on a good note with positive vibes.

Well, Scripture does not offer us options. The Bible makes the choice for us, and it chooses to present the negative before the positive. The Bible declares bad news before declaring good news. It first presents the holy, wise, beneficial and condemning Law, then it publishes the “good tidings of great joy” or the Gospel. (Is. 60:1-2)

Understanding God’s Law

God’s Law was first presented in the opening chapters of Genesis. Some of it was stated; all of it was written upon man’s heart. Adam and Eve were to be entirely holy and obedient. They were to worship God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength, all the time. Whether they ate, or drank, or whatsoever they did, they were do to it all for the glory of God. As image-bearers, they were to keep up God’s image. As men and women created in his likeness, they were to be like God. Vocationally, they were to enjoy and steward the garden and all God’s creatures. Relationally, they were to love one another and populate the planet. Ceremonially, they were to enjoy and glorify the Lord by walking with him in the cool of the day and never eating from the forbidden tree. These were some of their obligations, and as long as they performed perfectly they were guaranteed life in the family and kingdom of God.

However, things soon went from glorious to ghastly. Outside of them, they experienced the testing of God and the temptation of Satan. Within them they chose to question God’s truth, wisdom, and affection. Then, drawn away by their own lusts and enticed, they followed their internal sinful inclinations and externally ate of the forbidden fruit. Therefore, the holy, wise, and beneficial Law became a harsh taskmaster. It showed them the standard, showed them their guilt, and plagued their consciences. It encouraged them to hide, fear, and religiously self-medicate. It declared them wicked, separated from God, at enmity with God, and deserving of death, and it promised this for both them and their children. Yes, the Law of God promised to give them that which they deserved. It promised to pay them based upon performance, and this proved to be very, very bad news.

Understanding God’s Gospel

God, through the Law declared to Adam and Eve who they were, what they had done, and what they had justly earned — condemnation. Then God mercifully, graciously, and lovingly went to work. He performed on their behalf and promised them an eternity of undeserved blessings:

He predetermined to love his enemies.
He sought out his enemies while they hid from him in fear.
He called to the man and woman who vainly had self-medicated themselves.
He promised to rescue them and their children; they would be removed from Satan’s family.
He promised to do so by means of a special Son – one to come who would be fiercely bitten yet ultimately victorious.
He promised to damn the Evil One.
He then covered or clothed Adam and Eve by means of his ceremonial sacrifice.
He perfectly performed for and made promises to them who had performed so wickedly for him.
Friends, are we seeing the difference? The Law presents our duty to perfectly perform, and it only results in bad news. For there is none who keep all the Law, all the time, both internally and externally. However, the Gospel is not like the Law. The Gospel presents not our duty to perform for God, but it presents God’s performance and promise for us. Through the Law we lose our credentials to be a part of God’s family and enjoy his kingdom. Through the Gospel we gain credentials that cannot be earned or lost.

A Great Illustration

Perhaps nowhere is the distinction better seen between Law and Gospel than on Calvary’s cross. On that day, the Law had placed a criminal beside Jesus. There he was guilty, vile, dying, hopeless, and still hurling insults at the Son of God. He was getting that which he earned and deserved. He was being treated justly and fairly. His payment was based upon his performance, and he had hell to pay. The Law had nothing good to say to the thief on the cross. But then God went to work; Jesus granted the Law-breaking criminal complete pardon, intimate communion, and never-ending paradise. These blessings were not based upon any labors of his own, but only based upon the performance and promise of God. These blessings were not earned; they were a gift. A divine swap occurred. Jesus (The Law Keeping Man) received that which he did not deserve so that the thief (The Law Breaking Man) might also receive that which he did not deserve. And this is a fantastic picture of the Gospel. Communion with God that was lost by man seeking to keep the Law, was granted to man as a gift of God.

Responding to the Gospel

Therefore, how should we respond to the Gospel? While believing in divine sovereignty, what is our human responsibility?

Let us make the Gospel our Gospel. Along with the Apostle Paul let us call it “mine.” The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit offer this gift to you. They command you to receive it and enjoy it. If you find yourself with faith, willing to repent and receive, call out to Jesus in prayer right now. Call Jesus, “My Jesus.” Call Jesus’ righteousness, “My Righteousness.” Call Jesus’ Gospel, “My Gospel.” (Rom. 2:16; 2 Tim. 2:8) Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. As a matter of fact, if you draw near to God, it is only because he has already been drawing nearer to you.

Let us not water down the Gospel. This is always our tendency, to add human works to the sufficient work of Jesus Christ. Friends, re-read the letter to the Galatians. If we must perform, it is not Gospel. If we must labor, it is not Gospel. If it involves our works, it is not Gospel. If it is conditioned upon us in anyway, it is not Gospel. If it is a contract, it is not Gospel. If it can be lost, it is not Gospel. The Gospel represents the unilateral work of God on behalf of men. The Law ought never be divorced from the Gospel, but it must never be confused either.

Let us celebrate the Gospel. William Tyndall wrote of the Gospel, “It makes a man’s heart glad, and makes him sing, dance, and leap for joy.” It is the best of news. It means we can sabbath. It means we can boldly approach the throne of grace with confidence. It means we are seen as Christlike image-bearers. Give God the celebratory praise he deserves. He has labored perfectly on your behalf, give him reverent and radical praise and worship.

Let us not be ashamed of the Gospel. (Rom.1:16) Paul wrote, “Woe if I do not preach the Gospel. (1 Cor. 9:16) He wrote, “How beautiful are the feet of those who spread the Good News.” Friends, just as Adam and Eve were to physically reproduce, we are to spiritually reproduce around the world. This is our mission. This is our great mission. This is our Great Commission. Let us be humble, for we cannot make someone believe. Let us be zealous, for God has a tendency to honor those who labor hard. And let us become flexibly relevant in order to better spread the Gospel. (1 Cor. 9:22-23) As Gospel-lovers and Gospel-beneficiants, let us do that which is Lawful and bring in the Gospel-harvest.

Then, let us live Lawfully in accordance with the Gospel. Now that we have been saved from having to perform, let us perform. Yes, with Gospel-eyes, let us look at the Law and enjoy practicing that which is holy, wise, beneficial, and worshipful. Living in the power of the Gospel, let us enjoy becoming more and more like Jesus — the Author and Finisher of our Faith. And when we look at the Law, let us not get frustrated and despondent. Instead, let us glory in the Law, for there is the description of who we are in Christ today, and it also shows us all we will be in glory tomorrow when our old flesh is finally exterminated.

Bottom line, the Law shows us how to perform for God, but the Gospel shows us how God performs for us. This is radical. This is crazy. This is beautiful. This is truth.


Our Response

And now, God promises that…

  • if you acknowledge that you are a sinner—that you have broken His law,
  • and if you admit that there is no way that you could earn His favor and His forgiveness,
  • and if you purpose to turn away from your life of sin and commit your life to Him,
  • and if you trust in Jesus’ righteousness alone for your acceptance before this holy God,

…then He will have treated Jesus as if He lived your life, and will treat you as if you lived Jesus’ life. You will be saved from the penalty of your sin, and will be able to enjoy fellowship with God forever in heaven, and even fellowship with Him starting now.

In other words, if you believe that you’re a sinner and deserve God’s punishment because of your sin, but you also believe that God sent Jesus to endure that punishment in your place, and that His sacrifice is the only way you can be forgiven, then God promises that He will forgive you and you will be saved. You’ll know the God who created you.

Don’t Waste Your Life

God designed your soul. And He designed you so that, just as a car engine is designed to run on gasoline, you’re designed to run on Him. He is what life is about. All of the disappointments, discouragements, and uncertainties of your life find their resolution in Him. And all of the satisfactions, fun experiences, and joys of life find their consummation in Him. Everything good in our lives is like a trail of breadcrumbs that leads us to the feast of God Himself. And everything bad in our lives is a reminder that life lived apart from knowing God in Christ is not the way it was meant to be.

And I also don’t want to see you waste your life. God created us for the purpose of rightly knowing and worshiping Him. That’s the meaning of life. That’s where true happiness and satisfaction are found. When you don’t live your life for that purpose, you waste it. So many people go through life seeking that happiness, but never find it because they don’t know what life is really about. I don’t want that for you. I don’t want you to suffer God’s wrath eternally for your sin. I want to spend eternity in heaven worshiping God with you, praising Him for how gracious He was to forgive our sins because of Christ’s sacrifice.

Receive Forgiveness

So would you receive Christ? Would you acknowledge your sinfulness before God and admit you can’t do a thing about it? Would you turn from your sin, and seek to live your life in submission to Jesus Christ? Would you trust in Jesus alone for your righteousness before God? Would you join me in worshiping the God we were created to know?

Source


Ready to start your new life with God?

Who do you think that I am?

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

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

Consider what the Bible says about Him: Read more


Resource Links

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

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

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

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

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

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed


The Perseverance (Security) of the Saints

Notice all the Scripture references!

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

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

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

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


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10 Top Biblical Counseling Bloggers

Where do you go when you want to learn more about biblical counseling in the Christian blogosphere? Here are the top 10 biblical counseling blogs from individuals that I read and recommend—in alphabetical order.

Kevin Carson: Pastor Kevin’s Blog

Pastor Kevin Carson, a biblical counseling professor and a caring pastor, writes with wisdom and compassion about daily Christian living and biblical counseling. You can read Kevin’s blog here: Pastor Kevin’s Blog. If you want to send the link to others, here it is:https://pastorkevinsblog.com/

Dave Dunham: Pastor Dave Online

Pastor Dave not only writes insightful blog posts, he crafts excellent book reviews. Read Dave’s materials here: Pastor Dave Online. If you want to send the link to others, here it is: https://pastordaveonline.org/

Julie Ganschow: Biblical Counseling for Women

Julie Ganschow is a leader in the biblical counseling movement. At her blog, you’ll not only read her posts, but frequent guest posts from other biblical counseling leaders—especially female biblical counselors. Learn and grow here: Biblical Counseling for Women. If you want to send the link to others, here it is: http://bc4women.org/blog-2/

Brad Hambrick: A Counselor for the Church

Brad Hambrick is prolific. He reminds me of myself when I was twenty years younger—and had five times the energy I have now! Brad not only posts excellent biblical counseling blogs, he also provides scores of in-depth resources. Visit Brad at: A Counselor for the Church. If you want to send the link to others, here it is:http://www.bradhambrick.com/

Charles Hodges: Good Moods Bad Mood Blog

Dr. Charles Hodges is the author of, you guessed it, Good Mood Bad Mood, a book about biblical counseling and mood disorders. At his blog, Dr. Hodges provides up-to-date research and insight on depression, anxiety, emotions, and biblical counseling. Read Dr. Hodges here: Good Mood Bad Mood Blog. If you want to send the link to others, here it is:http://www.goodmoodbadmood.com/blog

Bob Kellemen: RPM Ministries/Changing Lives

I’m not going to say a lot about this guy, since he’s me! I blog, craft book reviews, post free resources, and also offer guest blog posts at: RPM Ministries/Changing Lives. If you want to send the link to others, here it is: http://www.rpmministries.org/blog/

Tim Lane: Institute for Pastoral Care

Tim Lane is a trusted author, biblical counselor, and leader of the biblical counseling movement. Read his blog and benefit from his resources here: Institute for Pastoral Care. If you want to send the link to others, here it is: http://timlane.org/blog/

Lucy Ann Moll: Counseling Hope to Your Heart 

Lucy Ann Moll is a creative, compassionate blogger, ministering online at: Counseling Hope to Your Heart. If you want to send the link to others, here it is:http://www.lucyannmoll.com/blog/

Mark Shaw: Truth in Love

Pastor Mark Shaw has a special focus on biblical counseling and addiction issues, but his training, experience, education, and writing go well beyond just this important area of addictions. Learn from Dr. Shaw at: Truth in Love. If you want to send the link to others, here it is: http://www.histruthinlove.com/

Paul Tautges: Counseling One Another

Pastor Paul Tautges is another prolific writer, speaker, and blogger. He writes with winsome wisdom at: Counseling One Another. If you want to send the link to others, here it is: http://counselingoneanother.com/

Extra! Extra!: 6 Top Biblical Counseling Organizational Blogs  

The preceding 10 blog sites are from individuals, not organizations. The next 6 blog sites are from biblical counseling organizations that I read and recommend—in alphabetical order.

Join the Conversation 

What biblical counseling blog sites—either written by individuals or by organizations—do you read and recommend?

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World Watch List: At Least 1,207 Christians Martyred in 2016

Authoritarian North Korea retained the top ranking as the worst country for Christians. Curry said North Korea considers Christians traitors and can execute them just for owning a Bible. Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, and Eritrea filled out the top 10 nations where Christians endure extreme persecution.

(WNS)–Persecution against Christians worsened again in 2016, with an estimated 215,000 experiencing “high, very high, or extreme persecution” in 50 nations around the world, according to the 2017 World Watch List.

Open Doors, an international organization that monitors and supports persecuted Christians, compiled the list and released it on Jan. 11 in Washington, D.C., calling it a “wake up call for Christians” to advocate on behalf of their persecuted brothers and sisters and “a call to world leaders to take action.”

In light of the deteriorating situation for religious minorities, Open Doors USA President and CEO David Curry urged the incoming Trump administration to make religious freedom a top priority in foreign policy and take action in its first 100 days.

Based on meetings with transition team members, Curry said, “we are hopeful that they will take it seriously. If they don’t, I think we will see this administration fail because this is the major challenge.”

Although reliable figures were not available for all nations, Open Doors estimated at least 1,207 Christians were killed because of their faith, and roughly 1,329 churches were attacked or damaged in 2016.

Just weeks ago, Egypt mourned 24 Coptic Christians killed by a suicide bombing during Mass. Egypt ranks 21st on the new list.

Authoritarian North Korea retained the top ranking as the worst country for Christians. Curry said North Korea considers Christians traitors and can execute them just for owning a Bible.

Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, and Eritrea filled out the top 10 nations where Christians endure extreme persecution.

Open Doors found several trends contributing to rising persecution.

Dr. Ron Boyd-MacMillan, director for strategic research at Open Doors, called religious nationalism in Asia a long-term trend that came into its own in 2016. He said the problem is “most visible in India” where Hindu extremists are powerful. India rose to No. 15 on the list.

Another trend was nationalist crackdowns by insecure governments in places like China, where even state-sanctioned, high profile church pastors aren’t safe from arrest.

Islamic extremism also continued to spread, especially in Africa, driving persecution in 35 of the 50 ranked nations, including Pakistan. Pakistan ranked fourth overall but had the highest level of violence.

Christian Missionary Alliance Pastor Edward Awabdeh of Damascus shared his experience with radical Muslims invading a peaceful village and immediately destroying the cross and all symbols of Christianity. He described the fear and feeling of shells landing and exploding on the roof of a building he was in, but also the beauty of Christian churches sheltering Muslims in need.

He said they see “thick, dark evil all around” as Syria is being torn apart, but also encouraging and hopeful signs. “The Lord has opened new doors for ministry,” and Syrian Christians have been encouraged to see people find “real hope and peace only in Jesus” amid the tumult, he said.

When asked how people should pray for Syrian Christians, Edward said for “power and courage. This divine sense of peace. This way the church can be effective and instill this life of hope and peace in others. And for wisdom and vision for church leadership.”

© 2017 World News Service. Used with permission.

The post World Watch List: At Least 1,207 Christians Martyred in 2016 appeared first on The Aquila Report.

Keeping Your Assurance

The Reformed Reader

A Treatise of Effectual Calling and Election If you’re assured of your salvation in Christ; if you know you’re a child of God by grace, how can you stay strong in that assurance and knowledge? Or how can you grow in assurance?  Christopher Love (d. 1651) gave some biblical answers to these questions in a sermon on 2 Peter 1:10: “Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election” (NIV).  I’ve edited some of them and posted them below:

  1. Keep close to God in the duty of prayer.  Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete (John 16:24).  Jesus’ words imply that if you keep close to God in the duty of prayer, your spirits shall be complete and full.
  2. Keep close to God in the duty of reading the Word often.  By often reading the Word, you will often meet with promises and supports for your comforts. …

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This Is No Longer A War Between Parties: It Is A Full Scale War Between God and Satan

Absolute Truth from the Word of God

war-against-satan

Have you noticed that the people in the United States seem to be going crazy? The vitriolic language coming from the left is completely out of control.  George Soros (a pawn of the devil) continues to fund all marches of left wing liberal causes.

Do not ever think that marches such as the so-called “March for Women’s rights” just spontaneously erupt?  Please understand that there are numerous groups owned and funded by Soros, and when we see a march or protest which happens across the country, be assured that it was carefully planned by these demonic groups.  And as always, they are funded by billionaire George Soros.

From frontpagemag.com

THE ANTI-SEMITE WHO ORGANIZED THE ‘WOMEN’S MARCH ON WASHINGTON’

And the half-million lemmings who showed up in “solidarity.”

It would be interesting to know how many of the useful idiots donning “pussy hats” at Saturday’s massive “Women’s March on Washington”…

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The post-modern golden calf

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

1 “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3 If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. 4 And you know the way where I am going.” John 14:1-4 (NASB) 

1 This is now, beloved, the second letter I am writing to you in which I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, 2 that you should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles.
3 Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will…

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January 26, 2017: Verse of the day

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Psalm 40

Up from the Pit

I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the Lord.
Blessed is the man
who makes the Lord his trust.
verses 1–4

Yet I am poor and needy;
may the Lord think of me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
O my God, do not delay.
verse 17

There are portions of Scripture that need substantial introductions, because they are not well known, and there are sections that need very little introduction, because they are. Psalm 40 is in the second category. It tells of a man who was stuck in a slimy pit, bogged down in mud and mire, but then was rescued by God, who set his feet on a rock and gave him a firm place to stand. That man was King David.

Perhaps that is the most important thing to say at the beginning of this study. I remind you that David was the beloved king of Israel, who reigned powerfully and well for forty years. He was installed, blessed, and approved by God, who called him “a man after his own heart” (1 Sam. 13:14). David was nearly always in close fellowship with God, and he wrote almost half of the psalms. By his writings and by his common speech he regularly and faithfully proclaimed the grace of God to others. Yet in Psalm 40 he describes himself as having been mired down in a pit from which he was unable to escape.

So I begin with the truth that muddy times may be the experience even of the greatest saints and slimy pits the lot even of kings and preachers.

Is this a messianic psalm? Saint Augustine, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, William L. Pettingill, and Harry A. Ironside thought so, in large part because verses 6 and 7 are applied to Jesus Christ in the New Testament. But this is an unnecessary and misleading assumption for the psalm as a whole. The mere fact that the psalmist confesses his sin in verse 12 warns us against applying everything in the psalm to Jesus Christ.

A more interesting question concerns the relation of this psalm to Psalm 70, which is an almost exact repetition of verses 13–17. A number of scholars, particularly those of the critical school, think that Psalm 40 was originally two psalms, verses 1–12 being the first and verses 13–17 being the second, and that they were put together somewhat awkwardly by an unknown editor. They think it awkward, because the first part speaks of deliverance from the pit and the second part is still seeking a deliverance. Such a combination of apparently diverse ideas is not strange to the psalms, however. It is equally possible—I believe this is actually the case—that Psalm 70 was detached from the longer psalm in order to salvage it for general use in a later period. The placing of the two psalms in the Psalter, the first in an early section among the many psalms of David and the second in a later, somewhat more eclectic section, may point in this direction.

Psalm 40 has three clear sections: an opening joyful testimony of God’s past deliverance (vv. 1–3); a present reflection on God’s goodness (vv. 4–10); and a prayer for God’s deliverance in the future (vv. 11–17). The tone is established in the last verse, which is presented to us as a poor man’s cry to God for God’s help.

A Joyful Testimony

In the thirty-eighth chapter of Jeremiah there is a well-known incident in which Jeremiah is thrown into a cistern because of his unpopular prophecies about the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians. It is a grim story. The cistern was empty of water, or Jeremiah would have drowned. But the bottom was filled with the accumulated mud of centuries so that Jeremiah sank down into it, into the “mud and mire.” He would have perished there if a foreigner from Cush named Ebed-Melech had not interceded for him with the king, who instructed the friendly Cushite to take thirty men and draw Jeremiah out of the cistern with ropes (Jer. 38:1–13).

Jeremiah was placed in the mud and mire of a pit quite literally, but there is no reason to think of the words pit, mud, and mire as anything more than metaphors in Psalm 40. We do not know what David was describing in this way, but it must picture a period in his life in which circumstances had trapped him so that he was unable, as we might say, to free himself.

It is good that we do not know the literal meaning of this pit, because we can the more easily see our own slimy pits in David’s reference. What is your slimy pit? I do not know the answer to that question. You will have to answer it for yourself. But I can think of a number of possible examples.

The pit of sin. Some people are caught in the mud and mire of sin. David himself was an example of this at one point in his life, although we do not know whether this is what he was describing in Psalm 40. He began his descent into this pit by staying home from battle in the season when kings were supposed to be at war. While enjoying himself in Jerusalem, he saw a woman named Bathsheba bathing herself on the roof of a home close to the palace. He asked about her and learned that she was married to a soldier named Uriah. In spite of that, David brought her to the palace, slept with her, and then, when he learned she was pregnant, arranged to have Uriah abandoned in battle so that he was killed by enemy soldiers. David continued nearly a year in this condition. The story is in 2 Samuel 11.

Maybe you are caught in just such a sin. Perhaps one sin has led to another. You know what is happening, but you can’t get out of it. That is no surprise. Sin is like that. Romans 1 describes the downward pull of sin on all people. When you are caught in this way, there is no point beyond which you may not go. You need help. Where is your help to come from if not from God?

The pit of defeat. Some people have a very different kind of pit from which they need to be lifted. It is the pit of personal defeat, whether at work or school or in the home or in some other setting or relationship. Some people would say that their entire lives have been one long and unending defeat. They have never succeeded at anything.

I do not know the answer in your specific case, of course. And I do not want to trivialize your discouragement or make light of it. But I can tell you this. God does have things he wants you to succeed at, and he will enable you to succeed at those, even though they may be different from what you are doing now. The place to begin is where David began. He began by laying his problem before the Lord. I repeat that I do not know what David was referring to by his metaphor of the pit, but there was a time early in his life when he could have spoken very graphically of his defeats. No matter what he did he was unable to please King Saul, and Saul in his hatred and jealousy of David ruthlessly hounded the young man from place to place. It was many years before the Lord intervened to remove Saul and eventually bring David to the throne. If you are defeated, bring your defeats to God. Wait on God. David “waited patiently for the Lord.” That is how Psalm 40 begins (v. 1). If you wait patiently, you too will learn that God has important things for you to do, and he will give you significant victories in his own perfect time.

The pit of bad habits. Other people are stuck in a pit of bad habits. Some of these habits are terribly destructive, like addictive drugs. Others are merely harmful, like an uncontrolled temper, patterns of self-pity, laziness, or overeating. Bad habits can be broken. New habits can take their place. But where are you going to learn these new habits? The best place is from God, who has made you in his image and wants to develop you into the fullness of the character of Jesus Christ. If that is to happen, you must turn to him and seek his help.

The pit of circumstances. The last example of a slimy pit that I think of here is circumstances, like the pattern of severe trials the apostle Paul mentions in 1 and 2 Corinthians. These were not sin, or defeats necessarily, or even the result of bad habits. Just the opposite was true. Paul had been persecuted because of his stand for Jesus Christ.

Nevertheless, as he says,

Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches (2 Cor. 11:24–28; cf. 1 Cor. 4:9–13; 2 Cor. 6:4–10).

Circumstances like those could be a pit for anyone. Yet Paul sought help from God, and God answered. Though he did not change the circumstances, he did help Paul, so that he was able to say, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Cor. 4:8–9).

David’s testimony in respect to his own difficult and seemingly hopeless circumstances is that God heard him and helped him step by step. It is what verses 1–3 are all about. He says that God did five things: God turned to him, noticing his plight, God heard his cry, God lifted him out of the pit, God set his feet on a rock, giving him a firm place to stand, and God placed a new song of praise in his mouth.

Psalms, Volume 1 (Psalms 1-41): An Expositional Commentary by James Montgomery Boice

January 26, 2017: Daily Devotional Guide Collection

January 26

Is Anyone Listening?

I will very gladly spend and be spent for your souls; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I am loved.

2 Corinthians 12:15

 

There have been times in my ministry as a pastor that I’ve wondered if anyone is listening to what I’m teaching. Do people really appreciate me or the teaching of the Word? It’s easy to fall into that kind of woe–is–me complex.

Maybe you’ve felt the same way in your ministry. If so, you must remember that as long as you look at the ministry you’re in as something you give, you will never have that problem. But if you look at the ministry as something you get, you will end up with a twisted view of what real ministry is.

If you’re ever tempted to view your ministry with a selfish attitude, adopt the attitude Paul exhibited in today’s verse. Even if the people hated him, he would still love them. The main characteristic of love is unselfish giving.[1]


January 26 The Bond of Peace

“Being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

Ephesians 4:3

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The key to peace in the church is selfless love.

People often delude themselves that there is peace when there is no real peace (Jer. 8:11). However, we can show the world that Jesus is the true peacemaker if we have a community of peaceful, loving, united believers. Others will realize then that Christ must be sent from God, because only God can make true, lasting peace.

“The bond of peace” is what holds our unity together. The Greek word translated “bond” refers to a belt. It pictures the Body of Christ being wrapped with the belt of peace, a peace that is born of love.

Our bond of peace is vital to our testimony. As Christians, we have “peace with God” (Rom. 5:1) and “the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Cor. 5:18), the privilege of telling others how they may have peace with God. If we don’t have peace among ourselves, why would unbelievers look to us to find peace with God?

The Corinthian church teaches us how not to have peace. Members would have a “love feast,” followed by Communion. Apparently, though, those who brought food gorged themselves and became drunk, leaving the poorer believers to go hungry (1 Cor. 11:17–22). Those gluttons not only dishonored the Lord but also hurt their fellow believers, causing resentment and conflict.

During their worship services, everyone wanted attention. Paul laments, “Each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation” (1 Cor. 14:26)—and they all wanted to speak at once. They weren’t interested in building up each other, only in being heard. The result was a loud, confusing mess.

The Corinthians’ disharmony was evident in different ways, but the root cause was the same: selfishness.

So where does peace come from? Selflessness, the primary characteristic of Christian love. Philippians 2:3 says, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself.” We must humble ourselves and focus on the needs of others. When that happens, there will be harmony and unity.

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Suggestions for Prayer: Confess any selfishness, and ask God to help you grow in selfless love.

For Further Study: What does Romans 8:6 equate peace with? Memorize this verse during the next few days.[2]


JANUARY 26

GOD IS A PERSON

But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

—Psalm 1:2

We have almost forgotten that God is a person and, as such, can be cultivated as any person can. It is inherent in personality to be able to know other personalities, but full knowledge of one personality by another cannot be achieved in one encounter. It is only after long and loving mental intercourse that the full possibilities of both can be explored….

God is a person, and in the deep of His mighty nature He thinks, wills, enjoys, feels, loves, desires and suffers as any other person may. In making Himself known to us He stays by the familiar pattern of personality. He communicates with us through the avenues of our minds, our wills and our emotions. The continuous and unembarrassed interchange of love and thought between God and the soul of the redeemed man is the throbbing heart of New Testament religion. POG013-014

Lord, how careless I am with the privilege of deep and intimate interaction with You! May I learn to delight in constant, loving communication with You, that I may more fully know You. Amen. [3]


January 26

Christ Our Example in Overcoming Temptation

But He answered and said, “It is written … it is written … it is written …”—Matt. 4:4a, 7b, 10b

The Lord Jesus Christ is indeed our supreme example for how to resist temptation. Hebrews 4:15 reminds us, “We do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin” (cf. 2:18). Our responsibility is to consider the many ways He was tempted, look to Him, and follow His example in turning away from sin.

Jesus met the worst temptations Satan could hurl at Him, and He emerged victorious. Now He is ready to share the joy of victory with all His saints: “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it” (1 Cor. 10:13).

The key to our triumph over temptation is to resist it the way Jesus did, by completely obeying God and His Word. Just as in every aspect of the Christian life, we will have success in resisting temptation by “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith” (Heb. 12:2). Like the hurdler who learns to keep his eyes on the finish line as he runs, thereby not tripping over any individual hurdle, so we must keep our eyes on the ultimate goal—being with our glorious Lord and Savior forever in heaven.

ASK YOURSELF
God’s Word is such that the more time we spend in it, the more it sinks into us—into our hearts, into our thoughts, into our impulses, reactions, and conversations. Are you mining daily from this treasure? Make sure Satan has to climb over a lot of Scripture to get to you.[4]


January 26 Maintaining a Clear Perspective

“I pray that … you may know … what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints” (Eph. 1:18).

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How you perceive your spiritual resources dictates how you live.

Throughout Ephesians 1 Paul is clearly struck with the magnificence of our inheritance in Christ. Here he prays that we will know the riches of its glory.

Some commentators see “His inheritance” as a reference to believers, who are God’s inheritance or special possession (v. 14). That view stresses the value God places on us as believers, as demonstrated in Christ’s death, the forgiveness of our sins, and the abundant grace that He lavishes on us (vv. 7–8).

Others see it as referring to the believer’s inheritance, which Paul calls “His inheritance” because God is its source. Just as “His calling” (v. 18) issued from Him and was received by believers, so His inheritance issues from Him.

Both views are theologically sound, but the second seems more consistent with Paul’s emphasis in verses 11 and 14. In either case Paul’s point is clear: redemption and its accompanying blessings are so profound that we must have supernatural help to understand them. That’s why he prayed for our enlightenment (v. 18).

Such enlightenment is crucial because how you perceive your spiritual resources dictates how you live. If, for example, you realize you have every resource for godly living (Eph. 1:3), you are less likely to succumb to temptation. Knowing God has given you His very best in Christ (Rom. 8:32) assures you that He won’t withhold lesser things, and consequently you’ll not tend to worry about earthly needs. Understanding that you have already received “grace upon grace” (John 1:16), abundant life (John 10:10), and “everything pertaining to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3) gives you confidence that God’s future grace and resources will be more than sufficient (2 Cor. 12:9).

Let that motivate you to praise your rich and glorious God for His rich and glorious inheritance!

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer:  Thank God for the privilege of being His child. ✧ Memorize Ephesians 1:3 and 2 Peter 1:3 and recite them often as anthems of praise for the Lord’s abundant grace.

For Further Study: Read 2 Corinthians 11–12. ✧ What kinds of trials did Paul face? ✧ How did God respond to Paul’s prayer to remove his “thorn in the flesh”? ✧ How might Paul’s response influence you when you face difficulties?[5]


JANUARY 26

JOURNEY OF THE HEART

And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.

Acts 16:31

 

I object to the charge that “Tozer preaches experience.” I preach Christ, the Savior—that is my calling! But I am positive about the validity, the reality and the value of genuine Christian experience. We can talk to Jesus just as we talk to our other friends.

As a boy, I was not a Christian. I did not have the privilege of growing up in a home where Christ was known and loved. God spoke to me through a street preacher who quoted the words of Jesus, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

That invitation let me know that Jesus is still calling “Come now!” I went home and up into the attic. There in earnest prayer I gave my heart and life to Jesus Christ. My feet had taken me home and into the attic. But it was my heart that went to Jesus! Within my heart I consented to go to Jesus. I have been a Christian ever since that moment.

 

Dear Jesus, I want to thank You for saving me through Your difficult journey to the cross. Give me grace and strength to honor Your sacrifice through my life this week.[6]


JANUARY 26

FAITH RESTS UPON THE CHARACTER OF GOD

…So now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

PHILIPPIANS 1:20, 21

The witness of the Christian church is most effective when she declares rather than explains, for the gospel is addressed not to reason but to faith. What can be proved requires no faith to accept and faith rests upon the character of God, not upon the demonstrations of laboratory or logic.

The power of Christianity appears in its antipathy toward, never in its agreement with, the ways of fallen men. At the heart of the Christian system lies the cross of Christ with its divine paradox and the truth of the cross is revealed in its contradictions.

The cross stands in bold opposition to the natural man. Its philosophy runs contrary to the processes of the unregenerate mind, so that Paul could say bluntly that the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness. To try to find a common ground between the message of the cross and man’s fallen reason can only result in an impaired reason, a meaningless cross and a powerless Christianity!

Note this also about the cross-carrying Christian: when he looks at the cross he is a pessimist, for he knows that the same judgment that fell on the Lord of glory condemns in that one act all nature and all the world of men. He rejects every human hope out of Christ because he knows that man’s noblest effort is only dust building on dust.

Yet he is calmly, restfully optimistic, for the resurrection of Christ guarantees the ultimate triumph of good throughout the universe. Through Christ, all will be well at last and the Christian waits the consummation![7]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 37). 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. 34). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

[5] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 38). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

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

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