Daily Archives: March 8, 2017

March 8, 2017 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

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Mar. 8, 2017 |

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The Obamacare replacement bill, unveiled on Monday night and endorsed by President Donald Trump with a tweet on Tuesday morning, eliminates the net investment income tax, a 3.8 percent surcharge on almost all earnings from investments. The net investment income tax is paid only by single people with incomes above $200,000 and married couples earning more than $250,000.

For International Women’s Day, a coalition of activists, including those behind the Women’s March, is asking women across the U.S. to do something that’s become nearly verboten for many American workers in the past several decades: They’re calling for a strike.

Tokyo’s first-ever female governor has set an ambitious target to accelerate her plans for change: having women take a majority of seats in July’s city assembly election.

Of all the shortages that plague Venezuela – of food and medicine, even money- the lack of passports is in some ways the cruelest. For sheer hardship, it can’t match the kind of suffering inflicted by a scarcity of, say, drinking water or high-blood pressure pills, but it has the surreal effect of making people feel like they’re trapped, like they’re prisoners in their own dysfunctional land.

China’s foreign minister urged North Korea to halt its nuclear activities and the U.S. to suspend nearby military drills, as a way to quell growing tensions and get Kim Jong Un back to the negotiating table.

U.S. airports estimate they need almost $100 billion for capital projects during the next five years and can only fund about half of that on their own, according to a study by a group representing commercial airport owners.

Eight of the world’s largest oil companies are responsible for as much of the climate-damaging pollution spewed into the atmosphere as the entire U.S., according to a study by a London-based researcher.

AP Top Stories

An increasing number of school districts have announced the cancellation of classes in order to accommodate employees who have planned to participate in the “A Day Without a Woman” national protest on Wednesday. Event organizers have encouraged women to take the day off from work and not to patronize any businesses to recognize “the enormous value that women of all backgrounds add to our socio-economic system — while receiving lower wages and experiencing greater inequities, vulnerability to discrimination, sexual harassment, and job insecurity.”

A new round of bomb threats against Jewish community centers across the United States and in Canada forced lockdowns and evacuations on Tuesday, and all 100 U.S. senators asked the federal government to help them enhance security.

The US government has slapped $1.2 billion in fines on Chinese telecom giant ZTE for violations of US export controls for selling goods to Iran and North Korea, officials announced Tuesday.

Iran says it has successfully tested a Russian-made long-range missile, stoking anxieties as tensions between the nation and the United States continue to climb. A report Saturday from the official IRNA news agency claimed that Iran officials had successfully launched an S-300 System missile from in the nation’s central desert during military tests.

The way we respond to oil spills may have just changed for good. A new material created by Seth Darling and other researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory can absorb up to 90 times its weight in oil, and it can be reused.

Israel has stepped up its battle against outside supporters of an international boycott movement against the Jewish state with a new law that would bar entry to them.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday scrapped plans to hear a major transgender rights case and threw out a lower court’s ruling in favor of a transgender Virginia student after President Donald Trump rescinded a policy protecting such youths under federal law.

A U.S. Navy ship changed course toward Iranian Revolutionary Guard vessels in the Strait of Hormuz on Saturday, a guard commander was quoted as saying on Wednesday while issuing a warning. Multiple fast-attack vessels from the Revolutionary Guard had come within 600 yards of the USNS Invincible, a tracking ship, forcing it to change direction.

BBC

More than 30 people have been killed after attackers dressed as doctors stormed the largest military hospital in Kabul, Afghan officials said. Militants armed with guns and grenades gained entry after one detonated explosives at a hospital gate and then opened fire on staff and patients.

Armed thieves masquerading as police have carried out a robbery at Johannesburg’s international airport in South Africa, reports said. The thieves are said to have driven into a restricted zone on Tuesday evening and taken containers of cash.

Brazil has been in recession for two years, the latest figures show, marking the deepest economic decline since records began. The economy contracted by 3.6% in 2016, meaning it is now 8% smaller than it was in December 2014.

More than 200 weather records were broken during Australia’s most recent summer, a climate group has warned.

The US aid organization Mercy Corps said Turkey has revoked its registration, forcing it to stop operations that help hundreds of thousands of Syrians.

WND

Peter Pan Syndrome hits an all-time low. Today’s “manolescent,” the same who may have played with dolls in his mom’s basement, is being lured to take his fetish all the way; all the way to Lumidolls, a startup brothel of, get this, blow-up “adult” dolls operating in a nondescript apartment building in Barcelona, Spain.

Texas – There’s a special space for Muslim students at Liberty High School – room C112 – an empty classroom provided by the school for daily prayer sessions.


Top News – 3/8/2017

North Korea Could Soon Launch Attack on Hawaii
North Korea could soon have the capacity to launch an attack on Hawaii that would devastate America’s Pacific military bases, accelerating the need for the United States to upgrade missile defenses in the area.

Reports: The Obama administration wiretapped Trump, world leaders, journalists, everyone?
Team Obama monitored the phones of the Trump campaign, wiretapped 35 world leaders, bugged a private climate change strategy meeting between United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin and tapped officials at the World Trade Organization, Italian diplomats, European Union economic officials, the report said. Wikileaks on March 5 tweeted excerpts from a report it released last month detailing Obama’s wiretapping history:

Could Catholicism handle the discovery of extraterrestrial life?
As it happens, Pope Francis is three years ahead of us. “If an expedition of Martians arrives and some of them come to us and if one of them says: ‘Me, I want to be baptized!’, what would happen?” the pope said during morning Mass in May of 2014. Simple. For the pope of the peripheries, no matter how distant they may be, the Church does not turn others away.

I Expect US Embassy in Jerusalem Soon, Defense Minister Liberman Tells VP Pence
The comment came on the heels of a factfinding mission by two Republican senators to Jerusalem last weekend. The members of the House Subcommittee on National Security affirmed during the trip, which included scouting locations for the embassy, that President Donald Trump would not veto the Jerusalem Embassy Act when it comes up for review again in May.

Public erupts on N.Y. Times promoting itself as ‘Truth’
‘Support fact-based journalism. Hilarious’

Shocker! CIA can mimic Russian cyber hack
If the WikiLeaks revelation about CIA hacking capabilities is any indication, the bugging of Trump Tower could have been done without wiretaps or formal court warrants. That’s because it is now confirmed that the U.S. government has the ability to use everyday items to listen in on private conversations.

Trump tests Israel’s ‘special relationship’ with Germany
And there is concern in Berlin that ties could become even more strained with Donald Trump as US president. He has expressed ambivalence about the creation of a Palestinian state—a central aim of German policy in the Middle East—and offered only the mildest of criticism of Israeli settlements.

USGS study says massive earthquake along San Andreas Fault is way overdue in Grapevine
A recently published study reveals new evidence that a major earthquake is way overdue on a 100 mile stretch of the San Andreas Fault from the Antelope Valley to the Tejon Pass and beyond.

Netanyahu: Israel can normalize ties with Arab states if ‘we act wisely’
Israel is the strongest country in the Middle East and should use its stance as leverage, said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday. Speaking to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Netanyahu stressed that both diplomatically and militarily, Israel is strong and only getting stronger. Netanyahu added that by understanding regional interests, Israel could achieve diplomatic ties with regional Arab countries.

China calls on N Korea to suspend missile and nuclear tests
China has proposed that North Korea suspend its tests of missile and nuclear technology to “defuse a looming crisis”. Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that in exchange, the US and South Korea could halt annual joint military drills, which consistently infuriate the North. The appeal comes after North Korea test-launched four missiles on Monday, breaking international sanctions.

Afghanistan: IS gunmen dressed as medics attack Kabul military hospital
Attackers dressed as doctors have stormed the largest military hospital in Kabul and a gun battle is under way, the Afghan defence ministry says. At least three people have been killed, officials say, but some reports suggest the final toll could be higher. Afghan commandos have landed on the Sardar Daud hospital roof and are fighting the militants.

China sees first monthly trade deficit in three years
China has reported its first monthly trade deficit in three years, after imports surged and a slowdown during the Lunar New Year holidays hit output. Higher commodity prices and domestic demand were credited with pushing February’s imports up 38.1% on a year earlier. But exports unexpectedly fell 1.3%, giving a trade deficit of $9.2bn for the month.

WikiLeaks publishes ‘biggest ever leak of secret CIA documents’ The US intelligence agencies are facing fresh embarrassment after WikiLeaks published what it described as the biggest ever leak of confidential documents from the CIA detailing the tools it uses to break into phones, communication apps and other electronic devices. The thousands of leaked documents focus mainly on techniques for hacking and reveal how the CIA cooperated with British intelligence to engineer a way to compromise smart televisions and turn them into improvised surveillance devices.

North Korea preps new missile test as THAAD arrives in South Korea
As a controversial U.S. missile defense system arrives in South Korea, U.S. officials have told CBS News that North Korea appears to be preparing for another launch of a new medium-range missile it first test fired last month, and may also be testing engines for a longer-range intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

U.S. ship changed course toward Iranians on Saturday: Iran commander
A U.S. Navy ship changed course toward Iranian Revolutionary Guard vessels in the Strait of Hormuz on Saturday, a guard commander was quoted as saying on Wednesday while issuing a warning. A U.S. official told Reuters on Monday that multiple fast-attack vessels from the Revolutionary Guard had come within 600 yards (550 meters) of the USNS Invincible, a tracking ship, forcing it to change direction.

House panels to launch fight in Congress over Obamacare replacement
A potentially lengthy U.S. legislative fight over replacement of the Obamacare health law gets underway on Wednesday as two House of Representatives committees begin negotiating over changes to a Republican plan backed by President Donald Trump. Both Democrats and Republicans are expected to try to reshape legislation that dismantles key provisions of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, Democratic former President Barack Obama’s signature domestic policy achievement.

Chinese Military Enters Afghanistan Fray with Pentagon’s Knowledge
The United States is aware of, but not openly reacting to, Chinese military ground operations inside war-ravaged Afghanistan. Adam Stump, a Department of Defense (DoD) spokesman, confirmed to Breitbart News that the Pentagon is fully “aware” of the communist country’s military operations on Afghan soil, adding that the U.S. mission continues apace.

Former NSA Whistleblower: “Trump Is Absolutely Right, Everything Was Being Monitored”
Legendary NSA whistleblower William Binney (and creator of NSA’s global surveillance system) confirmed to Fox News, that President Trump is “absolutely right” to claim he was wiretapped and monitored… he was.

Pat Buchanan Exposes The Beltway Conspiracy To Break Trump
Russian hacking of the DNC is a problem, not a scandal. The scandal is this: Who inside the government of the United States is trying to discredit, damage or damage or destroy the President of the United States?

IBM to build quantum computers, selling machines millions of times faster than anything made before
IBM has taken its first step towards selling computers that are millions of times faster than the one you’re reading this on. The company has set up a new division, IBM Q, that is intended to make quantum computers and sell them commercially. Until now, quantum computers have mostly been a much hyped but long away dream. But IBM believes they are close enough to reality to start work on getting software ready for when they become commercially available.

A seafood company killed a lobster – and was convicted of animal cruelty
An Australian seafood company was recently convicted of animal cruelty – for killing a lobster. The legally actionable problem was not actually taking the life of the lobster. It’s that the lobster was killed in a way deemed to be unnecessarily – and illegally –

Israel parliament approves travel ban for foreign supporters of BDS movement
Israel’s parliament has approved a new law banning anyone found to support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement from entering the country. The bill, proposed by the pro-settlement Jewish Home party, comes after a human rights organisation had a visa denied for spreading “Palestinian propaganda” and warnings from the UN over a crackdown on activists.

Ivanka Trump clothing line reports record sales
Ivanka Trump’s eponymous women’s fashion line is reporting record sales figures despite calls for a boycott and controversies surrounding President Trump.


The Briefing 03-08-17

Trump calls their bluff: Planned Parenthood won’t stop abortions—only “3%” of organization—for funding

Reviewing ‘The Shack’: The missing art of evangelical discernment

The post The Briefing 03-08-17 appeared first on AlbertMohler.com.


Every ‘Conspiracy Theorist’ In America Has Just Been Vindicated…

Conspiracy Pyramid Eye - Public DomainYes, the government can use your phone, your computer and even potentially your television to spy on what you are doing inside your own home. On Tuesday, Wikileaks released thousands of documents that prove what virtually every “conspiracy theorist” in America has been saying for years about government spying. And I don’t even like to use the term “conspiracy theorist” much, because the truth is that most “conspiracy theorists” are simply citizen journalists that are attempting to expose things that the mainstream media doesn’t want to talk about. And one of the things that the mainstream media has always been hesitant to address is the unconstitutional surveillance that U.S. intelligence agencies systematically conduct on their own citizens. (Read More…)


This Region Of The World Is Being Hit By The Worst Economic Collapse It Has Ever Experienced

South America On The Globe - Public DomainThe ninth largest economy in the entire world is currently experiencing “its longest and deepest recession in recorded history”, and in a country right next door people are being encouraged to label their trash so that the thousands upon thousands of desperately hungry people that are digging through trash bins on the streets can find discarded food more easily.  Of course the two nations that I am talking about are Brazil and Venezuela.  The Brazilian economy was once the seventh largest on the globe, but after shrinking for eight consecutive quarters it has now fallen to ninth place.  And in Venezuela the economic collapse has gotten so bad that more than 70 percent of the population lost weight last year due to a severe lack of food.  Most of us living in the northern hemisphere don’t think that anything like this could happen to us any time soon, but the truth is that trouble signs are already starting to erupt all around us.  It is just a matter of time before the things currently happening in Brazil and Venezuela start happening here, but unfortunately most people are not heeding the warnings. (Read More…)


Top Headlines – 3/8/2017

  • GOP Disagrees on How???and Whether???to Pay for Tax Cuts (Read More)
  • ‘It’s like kumbaya:’ Trump’s genial private meetings with CEOs jar with public attacks (Read More)
  • New Health Plan Sparks Debate Over Obamacare Comparisons (Read More)
  • China Grants Preliminary Approval to 38 New Trump Trademarks (Read More)
  • Questions About Loyalty to Trump Stall Treasury Picks (Read More)
  • Women in U.S. plan to stay off the job, rally in anti-Trump protests (Read More)
  • CEOs Widen Income Gap Over Staff as Survey Shows 5.5% Pay Jump (Read More)
  • Investors Who Missed Bitcoin Rally Go for Dash, Ether, Monero (Read More)
  • Stocks Have Tripled Since Crisis, but Low Rates Are Still Squeezing Savers (Read More)
  • China Shuts Hershey-Lotte Plant in Latest Missile Spat Response (Read More)
  • Swift Banking System Bars North Korean Banks (Read More)
  • New Adidas CEO Plans Fast-Fashion Focus to Catch Up to Nike (Read More)
  • Brazil’s worst-ever recession unexpectedly deepens in late 2016 (Read More)
  • Swirl of Government Corruption Unnerves Brazil (Read More)
  • SoftBank to Move 25% Stake in ARM to Saudi-Backed Fund (Read More)
  • Eight Fossil Fuel Giants Pollute as Much as the Whole U.S. (Read More)
  • U.S., Russia Counter Erdogan in Syria as Kurds Get Shield (Read More)
  • IS leader Baghdadi abandons Mosul fight to field commanders, U.S. and Iraqi sources say (Read More)
  • Iran Wields Growing Influence in Unexpected Places (Read More)
  • Who’s to Blame for the Trucker Shortage? (Read More)
  • As North Korea missile threat grows, Japan lawmakers argue for first strike options (Read More)

Arab League to resist embassies moving to Jerusalem

US envoy at UN makes bid for reviving Israeli-Palestinian talks

US, Israel discussing settlement restrictions – State Department

Defense minister rejects annexing Judea and Samaria

Anti-Trump sentiment may turn against Israel, Ya’alon warns

Sixth wave of threats hits Jewish centers across North America

While some parents pull out of JCCs, others vow to remain despite bomb threats

Entire US Senate demands Trump take action on threats to Jewish centers

White House condemns anti-Semitism in ‘strongest terms’

Knesset holds emergency debate about US anti-Semitism

Christian groups launch TV series defending Israel

Switzerland funds NGOs that call for Israel’s destruction

Israel passes law barring entry for supporters of boycott of Jewish state

As drugs flood into Gaza, Hamas to get tougher on smugglers

Hamas accuses Abbas of contributing to ‘siege’ of Gaza

IDF forces defuse two explosive devices found near Gaza border

Netanyahu: Israel won’t tolerate violations of its borders

Netanyahu, Trump ‘speak at length’ about the Iranian threat

Archeologists discover 2,000-year-old ‘Emperor’s Road’ near Beit Shemesh

Europe court backs Belgium’s rejection of visa to Syrians

UN says Trump’s revised travel ban will worsen plight of refugees

Hawaii plans to fight President Trump’s ‘Muslim Ban 2.0’

‘ISIS fighters trying to flee Mosul, Iraqi forces to prevail’

After advance deep into Mosul, daring raid turns into IS ambush

Malaysia foils ‘Yemeni attack on Arab royals’

Iran setting up shell shipping companies to export weapons and illicit goods: investigation

North Korea warns of ‘actual war’, U.S. calls it ‘pariah’

North Korea says missiles were drill for strike on US bases

North Korea bars Malaysians from leaving, in ‘diplomatic meltdown’

China Proposes Deal to Ease Tensions Over North Korean Missiles

China’s anger over U.S. antimissile system poses challenge to Trump

China to develop satellite-delivery rockets released from airplanes

WikiLeaks releases ‘entire hacking capacity of the CIA’

WikiLeaks Posts Thousands of Purported CIA Cyberhacking Documents

Edward Snowden: WikiLeaks document dump on CIA hacking capability ‘looks authentic’

FBI prepares for new hunt for WikiLeaks’ source

WikiLeaks CIA documents are most recent weapon in US-Russia battle

The CIA may be spying on you through your TV

CIA planned to hack cars and trucks

House intelligence chair says he has seen no evidence Obama administration ordered wiretap of Trump

NSA Whistleblower Backs Trump Up on Wiretap Claims

Josh Earnest Won’t Deny Trump Tower Was Surveilled By Obama Administration

Franken says he thinks Sessions committed perjury

O’Reilly: How Obama Admin May Have ‘Created Chaos’ for Trump WH

Donald Trump has no intention to back off tweets

Facebook begins flagging ‘disputed’ (fake) news

West Virginia Removes 36,635 Departed Voters from Voter Rolls

Self-driving bus with no back-up driver nears California street

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross: If we don’t use robots, everyone else will

IBM to build quantum computers, selling machines millions of times faster than anything made before

Brazil’s worst-ever recession unexpectedly deepens in late 2016

To fund border wall, Trump administration weighs cuts to Coast Guard, airport security

Man accused of decapitating mother was in US illegally

A section of the San Andreas fault close to L.A. could be overdue for a major earthquake

California fault capable of producing magnitude-7.4 earthquake, study says

5.7 magnitude earthquake hits near Mutsu, Japan

5.6 magnitude earthquake hits near Tobelo, Indonesia

5.6 magnitude earthquake hits near Port-Olry, Vanuatu

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Ile Hunter, New Caledonia

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Kuripan, Indonesia

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

Colima volcano in Mexico erupts to 14,000ft

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 10,000ft

Madagascar Braces for Extreme Rains From Category 2 Tropical Cyclone Enawo

Oklahoma declares state of emergency after wildfires in four states kill 6

Famine warning signs were clear – so why are 20 million lives now at risk?

8 Dead, 28 Injured in Stampede After Church Advertises Free Food at Prayer Meeting in Zambia

A seafood company killed a lobster – and was convicted of animal cruelty

Drugs are killing so many people in West Virginia that the state can’t keep up with the funerals

Forget your GP, robots will ‘soon be able to diagnose more accurately than almost any doctor’

Conservatives push back on ObamaCare repeal bill, vow to introduce their own

Did Paul Ryan intentionally sabotage his own health care plan?

HHS Secretary Price: GOP ObamaCare replacement bill ‘a work in progress’

Millions Risk Losing Health Insurance in Republican Plan, Analysts Say

Planned Parenthood Rejects Trump Compromise on Funding: Abortion ‘Vital to Our Mission’

Transgender candidate running for Conn. governor

Idaho school turmoil over sex survey

‘Day Without a Woman’ strike will see some schools shut in solidarity with teachers

Stephen Sizer – Jesus is the True Temple

The Den at the Epicenter of Hillsong for Youth?

1,000 ‘Faith Leaders’ Endorse Blasphemous ‘Shack’ Film

The Shack Movie Bombs as “Evangelism Tool”

Jane Whaley/WOFF – Fiery NC church leader could be mistaken for successful CEO

Mindfulness, meditation techniques being used in public schools, over 750,000 students impacted

Canada’s New Blasphemy Laws

Major Christian Charity Is Closing India Operations Amid a Crackdown -Suspected of Engaging in Religious Conversion

Proof That Zechariah 12:3 Is Literally Unfolding Before Our Eyes

Posted: 08 Mar 2017 07:48 AM PST

(By Susan Michael) For the Christian reader, it’s a name that invokes the Psalms describing its beauty, its spiritual significance and the importance of praying…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

School Teaches Zi and Zir Without Permission from Mom and Dad

Posted: 08 Mar 2017 07:36 AM PST

(Reported By Todd Starnes) Indiana parents are furious after eighth-graders at Lincoln Junior High School were exposed to a classroom lesson on sexual orientation, gender…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Supreme Court Censures Judge for Telling Media She Can’t Do ‘Gay Weddings’

Posted: 08 Mar 2017 07:30 AM PST

The censorship and bullying continue for those who take a stand for their convictions and faith! Such is the case coming out of Wyoming where…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Why The Church Must Restore the Message of Repentance!

Posted: 08 Mar 2017 07:21 AM PST

In this segment, we will discuss how the early Church preached a message that today is systematically being removed from pulpits across the Land and…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Statue of Liberty mysteriously goes dark except for crown and torch

Posted: 08 Mar 2017 07:15 AM PST

Concerns have risen over the recent incident that has taken place in New York City regarding the statue of liberty. According to reports, Sections of…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Biblical king’s palace uncovered beneath shrine destroyed by ISIS

Posted: 08 Mar 2017 07:01 AM PST

Another Biblical discovery has been made recently after reports indicate that Archaeologists in Mosul discover a major find under the Tomb of the Prophet Jonah…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Nike Rolls Out Swoosh Branded Muslim Hijab Sportswear

Posted: 08 Mar 2017 06:50 AM PST

Are you ready for the new Muslim Hijab with the Nike swoosh branded on the side? According to reports, the Sports clothing manufacturer is rolling out a…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Facebook Begins Flagging ‘Fake News’

Posted: 08 Mar 2017 06:41 AM PST

And so it begins! Facebook is ready to move to the next level of removing all forms of “Fake News” from it’s social media platform….

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Planned Parenthood Rejects Trump, Claims Abortion ‘Vital to Our Mission’

Posted: 08 Mar 2017 06:27 AM PST

Looks like Planned Parenthood isn’t shutting down shop anytime soon and now has reportedly rejected the recent proposal by the President of the United States…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Dozens of Chinese Christians Arrested for Worshiping in House Churches

Posted: 08 Mar 2017 06:18 AM PST

Even in 2017 Americans truly don’t understand the definition of real persecution for their faith in Christ. However, in other parts of the World, it…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

This Region Of The World Is Being Hit By The Worst Economic Collapse It Has Ever Experienced

Posted: 08 Mar 2017 06:06 AM PST

(Reported By Michael Snyder) The ninth largest economy in the entire world is currently experiencing “its longest and deepest recession in recorded history”, and in…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Coca-Cola Begins Promoting the Gay Agenda

Posted: 08 Mar 2017 06:00 AM PST

I hear Christians constantly say they are going to boycott every company that sides with agendas that are contrary to their moral beliefs. The only problem…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Has ‘Conspiracy Theorists’ Just Been Vindicated?

Posted: 08 Mar 2017 05:49 AM PST

(Reported By Michael Snyder) Yes, the government can use your phone, your computer and even potentially your television to spy on what you are doing…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Transgender candidate running for Conn. governor

Posted: 07 Mar 2017 08:27 PM PST

Connecticut may see their first transgender governor if Jacey Wyatt wins the race! According to a report, She has run for local office in Branford, Conn….

Read more at End Time Headlines.

DEVELOPING: Record Setting Cold Front in Canadian Arctic poised to invade eastern U.S. this weekend

Posted: 07 Mar 2017 08:23 PM PST

Hope you’re ready for bone-chilling winter air to come with a vengeance this weekend? According to reports, In recent days, some of the coldest March air in…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

LATEST UPDATE: The Earth Continues To Groan and Travail

Posted: 07 Mar 2017 08:08 PM PST

In this segment, we will discuss recent events taking place around the world dealing with the persistent travail of creation and how headlines are shadowing…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Powerful Insights into the Word of God!

Posted: 07 Mar 2017 06:01 PM PST

In this segment we will be discussing the powerful benefits and promises connected to reading, meditating and releasing the Word of God over our lives!

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Sea of Galilee Experiencing lowest water levels in 100 Years

Posted: 07 Mar 2017 02:17 PM PST

A new report coming out of Israel is revealing that water levels of the Sea of Galilee has declined to its lowest level in a…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

How to know if I am a son or daughter of the Most-High

Posted: 07 Mar 2017 02:09 PM PST

In this segment, we will be discussing how we can be assured in our hearts that we are a son and daughter of the Most-High…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Mysterious ‘Doorway To The Underworld’ in Switzerland Rapidly Growing In Size

Posted: 07 Mar 2017 02:00 PM PST

According to the latest reports coming out of Switzerland, there is a massive hole in the ground known as the “doorway to the underworld” that…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Switzerland Struck with Largest Earthquake In 12 Years

Posted: 07 Mar 2017 01:46 PM PST

We are receiving reports that Switzerland has just been struck with the largest earthquake in 12 years. According to reports from a local affiliate, the earthquake…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Massive Sinkhole Swallows House In South Africa Prompting Fears

Posted: 07 Mar 2017 01:40 PM PST

According to a report from a local affiliate out of South Africa, There is anger and fear in Khutsong on the West Rand after a…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Wikileaks Reveals CIA planned to hack cars and trucks to carry out undetectable assassinations

Posted: 07 Mar 2017 01:28 PM PST

A chilling new report from WikiLeaks has claimed the CIA planned to hack cars and trucks to carry out assassinations. The secretive organisation said the…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Tel Aviv Fulfilling Biblical Prophecy and Future Promises!

Posted: 07 Mar 2017 01:20 PM PST

President Trump has pledged to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. While the Old City of Jerusalem is the center of biblical…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Major earthquake ‘Certain’ to hit Southern California

Posted: 07 Mar 2017 01:17 PM PST

It is simply a matter of time before a major earthquake hits Southern California, according to a new study by the US Geological Survey (USGS),…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

DEVELOPING: More bomb threats at Jewish groups

Posted: 07 Mar 2017 10:57 AM PST

Five bomb threats were made against Jewish organizations in New York City Tuesday morning, igniting another wave of anti-Semitism across the country. Calling it “unprecedented”…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

BREAKING: Four Dead, Thousands Evacuate After Strong Winds Fan Wildfires in Four Plains States

Posted: 07 Mar 2017 10:52 AM PST

Destructive and deadly wildfires broke out in the Plains on Monday and grew quickly in size, forcing thousands to evacuate and contributing to the deaths…

Read more at End Time Headlines.


What is The Gospel?


Who Do You Think That I Am?

Selected Scriptures

Code: A335

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:

JESUS IS GOD

While Jesus was on earth there was much confusion about who He was. Some thought He was a wise man or a great prophet. Others thought He was a madman. Still others couldn’t decide or didn’t care. But Jesus said, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). That means He claimed to be nothing less than God in human flesh.

Many people today don’t understand that Jesus claimed to be God. They’re content to think of Him as little more than a great moral teacher. But even His enemies understood His claims to deity. That’s why they tried to stone Him to death (John 5:18; 10:33) and eventually had Him crucified (John 19:7).

C.S. Lewis observed, “You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to” (Mere Christianity [Macmillan, 1952], pp. 40-41).

If the biblical claims of Jesus are true, He is God!

JESUS IS HOLY

God is absolutely and perfectly holy (Isaiah 6:3), therefore He cannot commit or approve of evil (James 1:13).

As God, Jesus embodied every element of God’s character. Colossians 2:9 says, “In Him all the fulness of Deity dwells in bodily form.” He was perfectly holy (Hebrews 4:15). Even His enemies couldn’t prove any accusation against Him (John 8:46)

God requires holiness of us as well. First Peter 1:16 says, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

JESUS IS THE SAVIOR

Our failure to obey God—to be holy—places us in danger of eternal punishment (2 Thessalonians 1:9). The truth is, we cannot obey Him because we have neither the desire nor the ability to do so. We are by nature rebellious toward God (Ephesians 2:1-3). The Bible calls our rebellion “sin.” According to Scripture, everyone is guilty of sin: “There is no man who does not sin” (1 Kings 8:46). “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). And we are incapable of changing our sinful condition. Jeremiah 13:23 says, “Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil.”

That doesn’t mean we’re incapable of performing acts of human kindness. We might even be involved in various religious or humanitarian activities. But we’re utterly incapable of understanding, loving, or pleasing God on our own. The Bible says, “There is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; all have turned aside, together they have become useless; there is none who does good, there is not even one” (Romans 3:10-12).

God’s holiness and justice demand that all sin be punished by death: “The soul who sins will die” (Ezekiel 18:4). That’s hard for us to understand because we tend to evaluate sin on a relative scale, assuming some sins are less serious than others. However, the Bible teaches that all acts of sin are the result of sinful thinking and evil desires. That’s why simply changing our patterns of behavior can’t solve our sin problem or eliminate its consequences. We need to be changed inwardly so our thinking and desires are holy

Jesus is the only one who can forgive and transform us, thereby delivering us from the power and penalty of sin: “There is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

Even though God’s justice demands death for sin, His love has provided a Savior, who paid the penalty and died for sinners: “Christ … died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, in order that He might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18). Christ’s death satisfied the demands of God’s justice, thereby enabling Him to forgive and save those who place their faith in Him (Romans 3:26). John 3:16 says, “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” He alone is “our great God and Savior” (Titus 2:13).

JESUS IS THE ONLY ACCEPTABLE OBJECT OF SAVING FAITH

Some people think it doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you’re sincere. But without a valid object your faith is useless

If you take poison—thinking it’s medicine—all the faith in the world won’t restore your life. Similarly, if Jesus is the only source of salvation, and you’re trusting in anyone or anything else for your salvation, your faith is useless.

Many people assume there are many paths to God and that each religion represents an aspect of truth. But Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (John 14:6). He didn’t claim to be one of many equally legitimate paths to God, or the way to God for His day only. He claimed to be the only way to God—then and forever.

JESUS IS LORD

Contemporary thinking says man is the product of evolution. But the Bible says we were created by a personal God to love, serve, and enjoy endless fellowship with Him

The New Testament reveals it was Jesus Himself who created everything (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16). Therefore He also owns and rules everything (Psalm 103:19). That means He has authority over our lives and we owe Him absolute allegiance, obedience, and worship.

Romans 10:9 says, “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.” Confessing Jesus as Lord means humbly submitting to His authority (Philippians 2:10-11). Believing that God has raised Him from the dead involves trusting in the historical fact of His resurrection—the pinnacle of Christian faith and the way the Father affirmed the deity and authority of the Son (Romans 1:4; Acts 17:30-31).

True faith is always accompanied by repentance from sin. Repentance is more than simply being sorry for sin. It is agreeing with God that you are sinful, confessing your sins to Him, and making a conscious choice to turn from sin and pursue holiness (Isaiah 55:7). Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John 14:15); and “If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine” (John 8:31).

It isn’t enough to believe certain facts about Christ. Even Satan and his demons believe in the true God (James 2:19), but they don’t love and obey Him. Their faith is not genuine. True saving faith always responds in obedience (Ephesians 2:10).

Jesus is the sovereign Lord. When you obey Him you are acknowledging His lordship and submitting to His authority. That doesn’t mean your obedience will always be perfect, but that is your goal. There is no area of your life that you withhold from Him.

JESUS IS THE JUDGE

All who reject Jesus as their Lord and Savior will one day face Him as their Judge: “God is now declaring to men that all everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:30-31).

Second Thessalonians 1:7-9 says, “The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.”

HOW WILL YOU RESPOND?

Who does the Bible say Jesus is? The living God, the Holy One, the Savior, the only valid object of saving faith, the sovereign Lord, and the righteous Judge.

Who do you say Jesus is? That is the inescapable question. He alone can redeem you—free you from the power and penalty of sin. He alone can transform you, restore you to fellowship with God, and give your life eternal purpose. Will you repent and believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?


Available online at: https://www.gty.org/library/articles/A335
COPYRIGHT ©2017 Grace to YouYou may reproduce this Grace to You content for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Grace to You’s Copyright Policy (http://www.gty.org/connect/copyright).


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A Culture of Counterfeit Christians (Reprise)

Marsha West, General Editor CRN

Have you ever run over a dead skunk in the road?  I have, during a heat wave.  The smell got into my tires and permeated our garage for days!  I’ll go out on a limb and say that no one takes pleasure in the highly offensive smell of skunk spray, dead or alive.

My point in bringing this up is that to God the stench of sin is far worse than skunk.  For an example of just how much the Lord hates sin, grab a cup of coffee and read First and Second Kings.  But given our penchant for wanting everything now, here’s a snippet from 1 Kings 16 to illustrate how God dealt with one of Israel’s most ruthless kings:

Since I exalted you out of the dust and made you leader over my people Israel, and you have walked in the way of Jeroboam and have made my people Israel to sin, provoking me to anger with their sins, behold, I will utterly sweep away Baasha and his house, and I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat. Anyone belonging to Baasha who dies in the city the dogs shall eat, and anyone of his who dies in the field the birds of the heavens shall eat.  (1 Kings 16:1-4)

God had already destroyed Jeroboam for his flagrant sins, yet Baasha repeated the same mistakes.  God rebuked the Israelites for their sinful ways and vowed to punish them.

Fast forward to 2017.  According to a recent Pew Research survey, seven in ten Americans identify as Christians.  If this is accurate then how is it that so many professing Christians behave pretty much the same way as the pagans did when Baasha was king?

Scripture teaches that Christians are to have a biblical foundation and that the Christian’s behavior should be Christlike.  Yet many who say they’re followers of Jesus wallow in sin!

Admittedly, when someone’s new to the faith it takes a while for the fruit to become ripe.  In other words, reaching maturity is a process. Sanctification, as the Bible calls it, doesn’t happen overnight.  There comes a time, though, when the vine brings forth fruit.  However, when a fruit tree remains barren year after year, one can’t help but wonder if the tree was pollinated.

One of my favorite pastimes is discussing (debating, dissecting) the Bible with brothers and sisters in Christ.  So it troubles me when I strike up a conversation with a long time believer who knows very little about the Bible.

Most Christians have heard the verse, “Sanctify [set apart for a holy use] them in the truth; your word is truth. John 17:17  Through reading and studying God’s Word, believers will learn about Christ, with their goal being to become more like Him. Moreover, they’ll grow in their faith and receive divine guidance on how to live their lives.

To have a close relationship with a person we must get to know them.  So the obvious course of action is to ask probing questions.  We’ve got to dig below the surface to uncover the intimate details of his/her life.  If we’re not interested in a meaningful relationship, we won’t probe!

Because our Father in heaven loves His children, His desire is to be in relationship with each one of us – to pull His beloved into a bear hug!  Those who sincerely wish to be in relationship with the Father must dig deep into the scriptures, because that’s the one and only place to learn about God and His ways. “What we believe about God,” said A. W. Tozier, “is the most important thing about us.”

View article →

March 8, 2017: Verse of the day

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The Invitation

Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’ ” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. (7:37–39)

This was neither Jesus’ first public invitation to believe in Him (cf. 3:12–18; 5:24, 38–47; 6:29, 35–36, 40, 47), nor was it the first time He had pictured salvation as living water (4:10–14; 6:35). (The Lord also had earlier used a similar metaphor, describing Himself as the Bread of Life [6:30–59].) Drawing upon imagery from Isaiah’s prophecy (12:3; 55:1), Jesus’ reference to salvation as living water would have been familiar to His hearers. In the relatively dry land of Israel, thirst was an apt picture of one’s need for salvation.

Jesus gave His invitation on the last day, the great day of the feast of Tabernacles. Whether this was the seventh day or the eighth day, on which a special festival assembly was held (Lev. 23:36), is not clear. In either case, it was a different day from the one on which the events of vv. 14–36 took place (cf. v. 14). As He had done earlier (v. 28), Jesus cried out in a loud voice, calling all to hear and heed His invitation. That the Lord stood to deliver His message (rabbis normally sat when they taught; cf. Matt. 5:1; 13:2; 26:55; Luke 4:20; 5:3), further emphasized its importance.

By using water to illustrate the truth about Himself, Jesus capitalized on a very prominent ceremony that was happening at the feast. The major feature of the Feast of Tabernacles was the booths (shelters) which the people prepared (Lev. 23:42; Neh. 8:14). But on each of its seven days there was also an important water ritual. That ceremony was not prescribed in the Old Testament, but had become a tradition in the centuries just before Jesus’ time. It commemorated God’s miraculous provision of water during Israel’s wilderness wandering (Ex. 17:6; Num. 20:8–11; Deut. 8:15; Neh. 9:15; Pss. 105:41; 114:8; Isa. 48:21), and anticipated the blessings of the messianic age (cf. Isa. 30:25; 35:6–7; 43:19–20; 44:3–4; 49:10; Ezek. 47:1–9; Joel 3:18; Zech. 14:8). It was also a symbolic prayer for rain.

Each day of the feast the high priest drew water from the pool of Siloam and carried it in a procession back to the temple. At the Water Gate (on the south side of the inner court of the temple), three blasts were sounded on a shofar (a trumpet made out of a rams’ horn) to mark the joy of the occasion. Isaiah 12:3 (“Therefore you will joyously draw water from the springs of salvation.”) was also recited. At the temple the priests marched around the altar while the temple choir sang the Hallel (Pss. 113–118). The water was then poured out as an offering to God.

It was against the backdrop of that ceremony that Jesus spoke His stunning words, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.” If He gave this invitation on the seventh day of the feast, it would have coincided with the finale of the water ceremony. (On the seventh day, the priests marched around the altar seven times before pouring out the water.) Our Lord was inviting thirsty souls to come to Him for spiritual, eternal, life-giving water, instead of the physical, temporal water of the ceremony. If it was the eighth day (when there was no ceremony), it may not have been as dramatic an announcement, but the people could still make the connection with the water drawing ceremony each day. In either case, Jesus shifted the focus from the need of the parched mouths in the wilderness to the spiritual need of the thirsty soul for the water of life.

Three key words summarize Jesus’ gospel invitation. First, the thirsty ones are those who recognize their spiritual thirst (cf. Isa. 55:1; Matt. 5:6). Next, if they are to find relief, such individuals must come to Jesus, the only source of living water. But not all who acknowledge their need and approach Him have their thirst quenched. The rich young ruler, though he eagerly “ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and asked Him, ‘Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?’ ” (Mark 10:17), in the end “went away grieving” (v. 22) with his thirst still unquenched. Having approached Christ, he was unwilling to take the critical third step and drink; that is, appropriate Him by faith.

Only those who do will receive the living water in Christ; all others prove themselves to be false disciples (6:53), whose repentance is insincere and incomplete. The “repentance that leads to life” (Acts 11:18) and results in the “forgiveness of sins” (Luke 24:47) involves far more than mere remorse. Those who manifest genuine repentance acknowledge the deep thirst of their personal guilt before holy God, realizing that they can do nothing on their own to avert His judgment that they deserve. Thus they rely on the sacrifice of Jesus Christ (as payment for their sins), affirming Him to be the only Savior (John 14:6; Acts 4:12), and the Lord of their lives (Rom. 10:9–10). In this way, they drink the living water that He provides, which becomes in them “a well of water springing up to eternal life” (John 4:14). In the words of Horatio Bonar’s hymn, “I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say,”

I heard the voice of Jesus say,
“Behold, I freely give
The living water; thirsty one
Stoop down and drink and live.”
I came to Jesus and I drank
Of that life-giving stream;
My thirst was quenched, my soul revived,
And now I live in Him.

But God did not intend for believers to be ponds in which the living water of salvation stagnates. Instead, Jesus declared, “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’ ” The Lord’s words were not a direct quote of a specific Old Testament text, but reflect such passages as Proverbs 11:25, Ezekiel 47:1–9, and Zechariah 13:1. Believers are to be channels through which the rivers of living water are sent to others. Leon Morris writes, “The believer is not self-centered. As he receives the gift of God, so he passes it on to others. Or to put the same thought in another way, when a man believes he becomes a servant of God, and God uses him to be the means of bringing the blessing to others” (The Gospel According to John, The New International Commentary on the New Testament [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1979], 426). By evangelizing the lost (which is the primary emphasis here) and edifying the saints (1 Cor. 12:4–11; 1 Peter 4:10–11), believers allow the spiritual life within them to spill over and impact those around them.

As the apostle John’s inspired footnote indicates, Jesus spoke of the Spirit, through whom eternal life is imparted to those who believe (3:5–8; 6:63; Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 6:11; 1 Peter 1:1–2). The Spirit also empowers them to bring the living water of salvation to other thirsty souls (cf. Acts 4:31; Rom. 15:18–19; Eph. 4:11). When the Lord spoke, the promise that those who believed in Him were to receive the Holy Spirit was still future, for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

This comment needs an explanation so that there is no misunderstanding of the Spirit’s work. Our Lord is not saying that the Holy Spirit was not present or active at that time, or in past redemptive history. He was saying that there was to come for believers a giving of the Spirit by which unique power would be provided for ministry and evangelism.

The words of Jesus in John 14:17 are helpful in this matter: “the Spirit of truth … you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.” Clearly in that Upper Room dinner with the apostles, Jesus promised a future coming of the Holy Spirit (14:16, 20, 26; 15:26–27; 16:13–14). But the comment in 14:17 that “He abides with you” affirms the obvious fact that no one in any era of redemptive history could be saved or sanctified, empowered for service and witness, or guided in understanding Scripture and praying in the will of God apart from the Spirit’s presence.

There are Old Testament references to the Spirit’s ministry, such as the following:

Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” (Gen. 6:3)
Do not cast me away from Your presence
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. (Ps. 51:11)
Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the dawn,
If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
Even there Your hand will lead me,
And Your right hand will lay hold of me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me,
And the light around me will be night,”
Even the darkness is not dark to You,
And the night is as bright as the day.
Darkness and light are alike to You. (Ps. 139:7–12)
Teach me to do Your will,
For You are my God;
Let Your good Spirit lead me on level ground. (Ps. 143:10)
I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. (Ezek. 36:27)

Prior to Pentecost the Spirit was the author of repentance (cf. John 16:8–11) and the power behind regeneration (John 3:4–5). He also illuminated believers in the face of persecution (Mark 13:11; Luke 12:11). Still, after Pentecost the Spirit was given to believers in a new fullness that became normative for all believers since (Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 12:13).

That Jesus was not yet glorified (cf. 12:16; 17:4–5) refers to His ascension to heavenly glory (Acts 1:9–11), at which point the Father sent the Holy Spirit. This sending of the Spirit after Christ’s return to heaven made possible the “greater works” believers do (John 14:12).

Those who responded to Christ’s invitation received the living water of salvation He offered that very day. But the Spirit would not be given in fullness until several months later, on the Day of Pentecost, following Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension (16:7; Acts 1:4–5, 8; 2:1–4). Since the close of the transitional period in the book of Acts, however, all Christians receive the Holy Spirit at the moment of salvation.

MacArthur New Testament Commentary

March 8, 2017: Daily Devotional Guide Collection

March 8

A Living Hope

His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope.

1 Peter 1:3

 

When God saved you and transformed you, He gave you “an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away” (1 Pet. 1:4). As a result, Christians can live in the hope of that eternal inheritance.

Why is this hope important? Unbelievers do not trust Him, so they cannot hope in Him. But as a believer, you have seen that God has been faithful in your past and present and that gives you the hope that He will be faithful in the future. And that gives Him glory.

Simply put, God is glorified when you trust Him. He’s glorified when you believe Him. And He is glorified when you hope in His future promise. The God who has given you such a great salvation is worthy of your hope.[1]


March 8 Realizing the Need for Seriousness

“Let your laughter be turned into mourning, and your joy to gloom.”

James 4:9b

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The humble individual will come to see that sin is not a laughing matter.

Humor has always had a place in popular culture. But in recent decades a more worldly side to humor has emerged. Situation comedies dominate the list of top–rated TV shows, but many are far from what’s really best for people to view. The shows’ contents so often pander to the immoral and tend to put down scriptural values. Meanwhile, the world also runs headlong after activities that stress fun and self–indulgence. Most people just want to enjoy life and not take anything too seriously.

God’s Word acknowledges that there is a proper time and place for joy and laughter: “a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance” (Eccles. 3:4). The psalmist tells of one appropriate time for laughter and happiness: “When the Lord brought back the captive ones of Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with joyful shouting” (Ps. 126:1–2).

But the Lord requires that anyone who would have a relationship with Him must begin on a sober, serious, humble note. In today’s Scripture, James urges sinners to exchange worldly laughter and frivolity for godly mourning and gloom over their sin. The laughter spoken of here is the kind that indicates a leisurely indulging in human desires and pleasures. It pictures people who give no serious thought to God, to life, death, sin, judgment, or God’s demands for holiness. Without mincing words, it is the laughter of fools who reject God, not that of the humble who pursue Him.

James’s message is that saving faith and proper humility consist of a serious, heartfelt separation from the folly of worldliness as well as a genuine sorrow over sin. If these characteristics are present in your life, it is fairly safe evidence that you are one of the humble (see 1 John 2:15–17).

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Suggestions for Prayer: Seek forgiveness for any thoughts and actions that have kept you from a serious attitude in your walk with God.

For Further Study: Read 1 John 2:15–17. Think of several examples under each of the categories of worldliness in verse 16. Which of these are problems for you? ✧ What steps can you take, with God’s help, to overcome them?[2]


MARCH 8

THE WONDERS OF CREATION

Behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth.

—Isaiah 40:26

If you will really give yourself to study, you will discover that the Old Testament is a marvelous rhapsody on the natural creation. Start with Moses, and when you get beyond the Levitical order you will find him soaring in his acute consciousness of the presence of God in all of creation.

Go on to the book of Job and in the closing sections you will be amazed at the sublimity of the language describing the world around us.

Then go on to the Psalms and you will find David literally dancing with ecstatic delight as he gazes out upon the wonders of God’s world.

Begin reading in Isaiah and you will find the loftiest imagery. It is neither fanciful nor flighty but a presentation of the wonders of creation as the prophet observed them.

These men, who were some of the holiest and godliest men of that ancient time, revealed in their writings that they were intensely in love with every natural beauty around them. But always they saw nature as the handiwork of an all-powerful, all-wise, glorious Creator. WHT043

Lord, I desire to glory in Your creation, not for nature’s sake but because it is the work of a majestic Creator. I bow in wonder before Your mighty hand. Amen. [3]


March 8

The Way to Holiness

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.—Matt. 5:8

Throughout the history of the church, many have thought the best way to achieve spiritual purity and holiness is by living apart from the normal cares and distractions of the world and devoting oneself entirely to meditation and prayer. The problem with sin, however, is not primarily the world around us but the worldliness within us, which we cannot escape by living in isolation from other people.

But God always provides for what He demands, and He has provided ways for us to live purely. First, we must realize that we are unable to live a single holy moment without the Lord’s guidance and power. “Who can say, ‘I have cleansed my heart, I am pure from my sin’?” (Prov. 20:9). The obvious answer is, “No one.” Cleansing begins with recognition of weakness, which in turn reaches out for the strength of God.

Second, we must stay in God’s Word. It is impossible to stay in God’s will apart from His Word. Jesus said, “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you” (John 15:3).

Third, it is essential to be controlled by and walking in the will and way of the Holy Spirit. Galatians 5:16 says, “Walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.”

Fourth, we must pray. We cannot stay in God’s will or understand and obey His Word unless we stay near Him. With David we cry, “Create in me a clean heart, O God” (Ps. 51:10).

Begin to pursue the right ways to develop holiness in your life.

ASK YOURSELF
How is impurity showing itself most visibly in your heart—or perhaps disguising itself most subtly? Realize afresh that holy living is impossible outside of a living, active relationship with Christ and the ongoing enablement of the Holy Spirit. Commit yourself to surrendering all to follow Him in righteousness.[4]

MARCH 8

WE KNOW WHAT WE BELIEVE

If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled…not moved away from the hope of the gospel.

Colossians 1:23

 

The hope of the Christian Church still lies in the purity of her theology—that is, her beliefs about God and man and their relation to each other.

It is a fact that positive beliefs are not popular these days. I sense that the modern efforts to popularize the Christian faith have been extremely damaging to that faith. The purpose has been to simplify truth for the masses by using the language of the masses instead of the language of the Church. It has not succeeded but has added to rather than diminished religious confusion.

A mistaken desire to maintain a spirit of tolerance among all races and religions has produced a breed of Janus-like Christians with built-in swivels, remarkable only for their ability to turn in any direction gracefully!

Our Christian beliefs have been revealed by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in the sacred Scriptures. Everything there is clear-cut and accurate. We dare not be less than accurate in our treatment of anything so precious!

 

Lord, Your Word is sacred and true, even though so many people disregard and disrespect it today. I pray that there will be an explosion of interest in the Bible during this generation.[5]


March 8 Confessing Your Sins

“I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed” (Dan. 9:4).

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Confession brings forgiveness and guards God’s character.

Confessing your sins means you agree with God that you have offended His holy character and are worthy of punishment and in need of forgiveness. That’s exactly what we see Daniel doing in verses 5–16. Verse 20 summarizes his prayer: “I was speaking and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God.”

Unlike some who suffer God’s chastening, Daniel didn’t shift the blame for Israel’s calamity. Instead he admitted that his people had willfully disobeyed God’s Word and ignored His prophets, thereby bringing judgment upon themselves. Once they were a nation blessed by God; now they were aliens and captives in a foreign land. God had kept His promise to curse them if they disobeyed Him (Deut. 28:15).

In verses 12–15 Daniel analyzes the consequences of Israel’s sin, which included her captivity and the guilt she bore for her arrogance and her reluctance to repent.

Verse 14 reflects perhaps the most important aspect of confession—Daniel’s affirmation that “the Lord our God is righteous with respect to all His deeds which He has done.” The Gentile nations knew that the Israelites were God’s chosen people. Surely the fall of Jerusalem raised questions about God’s character: What kind of God would stand idly by while His people are ravaged and His Temple plundered? What is the benefit of having a God like that? This, in effect, is Daniel’s response: “God is righteous in everything He does. We deserve this punishment, so don’t accuse Him of acting unjustly.”

Confession therefore serves a dual purpose: it brings forgiveness, and it frees God to chasten us without bringing accusations of inequity or injustice upon Himself.

Daniel’s prayer came at a special time in Israel’s history, but undoubtedly confession was a regular part of his life. That should be your pattern as well. Don’t wait until disaster strikes before you confess your sin. Make it a daily practice.

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Suggestions for Prayer:  ✧ If you have not developed a systematic approach to prayer, the ACTS format is a good way to start. ✧ Adoration—praising God.  ✧ Confession—confessing sin. ✧ Thanksgiving—expressing gratitude to God. ✧ Supplication—praying for others.

For Further Study: Read about David’s sin in 2 Samuel 11:1–12:25 and his confession in Psalm 51. What are the similarities and differences between David’s confession and Daniel’s?[6]


MARCH 8

A GREAT NEED AMONG US: MORE REVERENCE

Let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.

HEBREWS 12:28

The theory held in some churches seems to be that if the service is unplanned the Holy Spirit will work freely. Now that would be true if all the worshipers were reverent and Spirit-filled. But mostly there is neither order nor Spirit, just a routine prayer that is, except for minor variations, the same week after week, and a few songs that were never much to start with and have long ago lost all significance by meaningless repetition!

We of the nonliturgical churches tend to look with some disdain upon those churches that follow a carefully prescribed form of service, and certainly there must be a good deal in such services that has little or no meaning for the average participant—this not because it is carefully prescribed but because the average participant is what he is.

The liturgical service is at least beautiful, carefully worked out through the centuries to preserve a spirit of reverence among the worshipers. In many of our meetings there is scarcely a trace of reverent thought, no recognition of the unity of the body, little sense of the divine Presence, no moment of stillness, no solemnity, no wonder, no holy fear!

The whole Christian family stands desperately in need of a restoration of penitence, humility and tears. May God send them soon![7]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 81). 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. 76). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

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

[6] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 80). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

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

40 Days to the Cross: Reflections from Great Thinkers (Week One: Wednesday)

Wednesday

Confession: Psalm 25:11–15

Also, for the sake of your name, O Yahweh,

forgive my sin, because it is great.

Who is the man fearing Yahweh?

He will instruct him in the way he should choose.

His soul will lodge in prosperity,

and his offspring will possess the land.

Intimate fellowship with Yahweh is for those who fear him,

and he makes known his covenant to them.

My eyes are continually toward Yahweh,

because he will take my feet from the net.

Reading: Mark 9:42–50

“And whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it is better for him if instead a large millstone is placed around his neck and he is thrown into the sea. And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off! It is better for you to enter into life crippled than, having two hands, to go into hell—into the unquenchable fire! And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off! It is better for you to enter into life lame than, having two feet, to be thrown into hell! And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out! It is better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye than, having two eyes, to be thrown into hell, ‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not extinguished.’ For everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is good, but if the salt becomes deprived of its salt content, by what can you make it salty? Have salt among yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”

Reflection

There is a perfect cure for all the ills that man is heir to. There is a cure that is sovereign, sufficient, sure, and speedy. Jesus Christ announced that cure long ago, but the overwhelming majority of men and women have not listened, and so our evils, miseries, and despair continue. You will find that our Lord Jesus Christ proposed the cure for all our ills in Matthew 11:28–30, “Come to me, all of you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke on you and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to carry and my burden is light.” Christ Jesus Himself is the cure for all our evils. He came to “destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8). He does it for all who receive Him. Poverty, sickness, bereavement, failure, bitterness of heart, despair, and death—as well as sin and unbelief—are all works of the devil. We can have done with them by coming to Jesus, the Christ of God.

I propose to take up these various evils and show how Jesus, the Christ of God, is the cure for them all and how each one of us may be done with them right now.

—R. A. Torrey

The Gospel for Today

Response

What sins are present in your life right now? Ask your spouse or a trusted friend in your church community to help you recognize and address these sins. Pray that God would shed light on the darkness in your life and use you to spread light.[1]

 

[1] Van Noord, R., & Strong, J. (Eds.). (2014). 40 Days to the Cross: Reflections from Great Thinkers. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.