Daily Archives: March 11, 2017

March 11, 2017 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

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Top News – 3/11/2017

Congress told to brace for ‘robotic soldiers’
“There has been lot of speculation … about how soon it will be before robotic soldiers take the place of the fight in the kinetic world,” Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas) asked the panel of cyber experts. “How soon will A.I. supplant the need … for all these human beings to be able to defend these networks and do what we do?” Healey answered that he expects the capability to be developed more quickly than anticipated.

Mass Graves Found Under Church-Run Orphanage
The remains of babies, ranging from new-born to three-years-old, have been found in the sewers of a former church-run home for unmarried mothers in Ireland, the government said on Friday. A report from an inquiry the government ordered in 2014 backed up a historian’s claim that up to 800 children may lie in an unmarked grave at the home.

Breaking: Malik Obama Tweets Alleged Barack Obama Birth Certificate in Kenya
Barack Obama’s brother Malik Obama tweeted out a birth certificate on Thursday allegedly belonging to his brother Barack. The certificate is from a hospital in Mombassa, Kenya.Baby Barack was a bouncing 7 pounds 1 ounce. The certificate says Barack Obama was born on August 4, 1961 in Mombassa, Kenya.

Israel fears ISIS chemical attack in Europe
The National Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Bureau is concerned that ISIS terrorists might be plotting to carry out chemical attacks in Europe in the coming months. The bureau intends to issue a travel advisory to…Israelis who are planning to vacation in Europe over the upcoming Passover holiday…The bureau is…concerned with the possibility that…foreign fighters there will return to their homes in Europe and carry out attacks along the lines of the truck attack in Berlin…with the possibility that ISIS would try to carry out a mass casualty chemical attack in a main European city…

UN: World facing greatest humanitarian crisis since 1945
The world is facing its largest humanitarian crisis since 1945, the United Nations says, issuing a plea for help to avoid “a catastrophe”. UN humanitarian chief Stephen O’Brien said that more than 20 million people faced the threat of starvation and famine in Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and Nigeria. Unicef has already warned 1.4m children could starve to death this year.

EU summit: Poland cries blackmail over subsidies
Polish PM Beata Szydlo has accused the French president of trying to blackmail her country, in a row over Thursday’s re-election of EU leader Donald Tusk. At the end of an EU summit, she said it was unacceptable for Francois Hollande to threaten to stop funds because Poland was “not behaving properly”. Poland had tried but failed to stop Mr Tusk’s re-election, and refused to endorse the summit’s joint statement.

State Department was ‘unaware’ of Mexico visit
Mexican Foreign Secretary Luis Videgaray met senior White House aides without the State Department’s knowledge, according to an official. State Department acting spokesman Mark Toner said he was “unaware” the foreign minister was in Washington. The secretary of state typically receives foreign diplomats during visits to the nation’s capital.

Trump travel ban: Judge declines to reinstate ruling
A US judge has declined to issue an emergency order banning President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban. The ruling came from Seattle district judge James Robart, the same judge who had issued the order that in effect halted implementation of the first ban. Judge Robart said lawyers needed to file more extensive documentation.

Light war: space-based lasers among Beijing’s high-tech arms
China’s military is developing powerful lasers, electromagnetic railguns and high-power microwave weapons for use in a future “light war” involving space-based attacks on satellites. Beijing’s push to produce so-called directed-energy weapons aims to neutralize America’s key strategic advantage: the web of intelligence, communication and navigation satellites enabling military strikes of unparalleled precision expeditionary warfare far from US shores.

Mumps outbreaks reported across USA
Hundreds of cases of mumps have been reported across the country since the start of 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention…Though cases of the mumps fluctuate each year from a few hundred to a few thousand, the high number of cases so early in 2017 has some health officials concerned.

Iran accuses Israel of hiring assassins to take out nuclear scientists
Iranian Envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Reza Najafi accused Israel on Thursday of being behind the assassinations of several scientists working on Iran’s nuclear energy plan. “While nuclear scientists all across the Middle East have been assassinated by the terrorists hired by this regime, the nuclear experts of this regime have access to the nuclear facilities of some countries of the region,” said Najafi.

Double suicide attack kills 40 in Damascus: report
At least 40 people were killed and dozens more wounded in an attack by two suicide bombers in Damascus on Saturday, Hezbollah’s al-Manar TV reported, in an attack the Syrian Observatory said targeted Shi’ite pilgrims. The attack took place near the Old City of Damascus. Al-Mayadeen, a Lebanon-based TV station, said the bombings targeted buses transporting pilgrims to the Bab al-Saghir cemetery near one of the seven gates of the Old City of Damascus.

US nukes just got a lot deadlier — and experts say it could cause Russia to attack
A recent report from the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists details how the US massively upgraded the lethality of its submarine-based nuclear missiles — and US adversaries like Russia may be spooked to the point of considering countermeasures.

FBI Used Best Buy’s Geek Squad To Increase Secret Public Surveillance
Recently unsealed records reveal a much more extensive secret relationship than previously known between the FBI and Best Buy’s Geek Squad, including evidence the agency trained company technicians on law-enforcement operational tactics, shared lists of targeted citizens and, to covertly increase surveillance of the public, encouraged searches of computers even when unrelated to a customer’s request for repairs.

Jeff Sessions Asks All Remaining Obama-Appointed U.S. Attorneys To Resign
“As was the case in prior transitions, many of the United States Attorneys nominated by the previous administration already have left the Department of Justice. The Attomey General has now asked the remaining 46 presidentially appointed U.S. Attorneys to tender their resignations in order to ensure a uniform transition.” – DOJ

GOP Rep Mike Kelly: “Obama Is In Washington For One Reason Only, To Run A Shadow Government”
“President Obama himself said he was going to stay in Washington until his daughters graduated.  He’s only there for one purpose, and one purpose only, and that is to run a shadow government that is going to totally upset the new agenda.  It just doesn’t make sense.”

Trump invites Palestinian leader Abbas to White House: aide
U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday invited Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to the White House, an Abbas spokesman said, after the two leaders spoke by phone for the first time since Trump took office.

China Warns Of Nuclear First Strike In Response To THAAD Deployment
China warns that it is reconsidering its policy not to use nuclear weapons against South Korea in response to the U.S. deploying the THAAD missile system and sending B-52 bombers to protect its ally.


Top Weekly Stories from ChristianNews.net for 03/11/2017

1,000 ‘Faith Leaders’ Endorse Blasphemous ‘Shack’ Film Based on Universalist Novel Depicting God as Woman   Mar 07, 2017 03:10 pm

A website dedicated to marketing the controversial film “The Shack” states that 1,000 “faith leaders” have given their endorsement of the movie—a film that is based on William P. Young’s bestselling novel of the same name, which some say contains universalistic doctrine and teaches that God is all love and no holiness, wrath or justice. Endorsements…

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California Man on Quest to Transition Into ‘Genderless’ Alien Says He Might Adopt Children Someday   Mar 08, 2017 07:12 pm

LOS ANGELES — A 22-year-old California man who has spent $50,000 and undergone over 100 procedures in his quest to transition into a “genderless” alien told a British television show this week that he might adopt children someday. “You’re young now. What about when you’re much older, when you’re a 70-year-old alien? Is there a worry that at any point that…

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CNN Host Reza Aslan Sparks Outrage After Eating Part of Human Brain While Meeting With Cannibals   Mar 10, 2017 10:46 am

CNN host Reza Aslan, a Muslim, is sparking outrage after eating part of a human brain during a televised meeting with a cannibalistic extreme Hindu sect called the Aghori. The meeting was part of his television series “Believer,” which is said to feature the “world’s most fascinating faith-based groups.” The Aghori, while identifying as worshipers of Shiva,…

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‘We Will Not Compromise’: Alabama Theater Won’t Show ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Due to ‘Gay Moment’   Mar 05, 2017 06:01 am

HENAGAR, Ala. — A drive-in theater in Alabama has decided not to show the new “Beauty and the Beast” live-action film after the movie’s director revealed to reporters this past week that one of the characters is portrayed as homosexual and has a “gay moment.” The owners of Henagar Drive-In Theater posted a notice on social media on Thursday explaining that…

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Missouri Teen Tells Court Girl’s Murder Was Plotted as Satanic Sacrifice   Mar 06, 2017 06:02 am

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — A Missouri teenager has plead guilty to murdering another teen and says that the killing was part of a Satanic sacrifice. Amanda Bennett, 17, changed her plea last week from not guilty to guilty of second degree murder in the death of Kaytlin Root, also 17. She told the court that she and Sebastian Dowell, 18, had decided in October that they…

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Judge Rejects ACLU’s Attempt to Recover $230K in Costs From Kim Davis Over ‘Gay Marriage’ License Legal Battle   Mar 07, 2017 06:02 am

FRANKFORT, Ky. — A federal judge has rejected the American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) attempt to recover more than $230,000 in costs from Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis over its recent legal battle surrounding her refusal to issue marriage licenses to homosexuals as long as her name was on the document. “he plaintiffs are not ‘prevailing parties’ within the…

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‘Beauty and the Beast’ Star Emma Watson Donates Money From Advice Booth to Planned Parenthood   Mar 09, 2017 01:55 pm

“Beauty and the Beast” star Emma Watson recently donated proceeds from an advice booth to the abortion and contraceptive giant Planned Parenthood, declaring, “They’re the best.” Watson, also known for her role as Hermione Granger in the “Harry Potter” films, recently participated in “Vanity Fair’s” video series “Derek Does Stuff With a Friend.” In the segment,…

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Illegal Immigrant MS-13 Gang Members Charged With Murdering Teen to Appease Satan   Mar 04, 2017 11:59 am

HOUSTON, Texas — Two members of the Salvadoran gang MS-13, who are reportedly in the U.S. illegally, have been arrested and charged with kidnapping three teenage girls and killing one to appease Satan’s desire for a soul sacrifice. Miguel Alvarez-Flores, 22, and Diego Hernandez-Rivera, 18, have been charged with aggravated kidnapping and murder and now face…

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Christian Physicist Says New Evidence of Africa’s Wet Past Points to Biblical Great Flood   Mar 06, 2017 06:01 am

New research has confirmed that the dry, desolate climate of the Sahara Desert was once a lush tropical climate—an observation that correlates well with the predictions of biblical creationists, a physicist with the Institute for Creation Research says. A team of international researchers collected and analyzed marine sediments from off the coast of west Africa,…

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Texas High School Makes Room Available for Muslim Students to Hold Friday Prayers   Mar 10, 2017 06:01 am

FRISCO, Texas — A high school in Texas has made one of its classrooms available for Muslim students to hold Friday or Jummah prayers after some students were leaving campus each week to participate in the prayers. “t kind of started when a core group of students were leaving campus every Friday for Friday prayer,” Liberty High School Principal Scott Warstler…

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Which Jesus does your Roman Catholic friend believe in?

Roman Catholics say that they believe in Jesus.  But many do not believe it the correct Jesus, says Jordan Standridge of The Cripplegate.  Standridge suggests three questions to ask if you want to find out which Jesus your Catholic friend believes in:

As we celebrate the 500th year of the reformation this year, I’ve been very encouraged by the fact that there are so many in the church who understand that the reformation is not over.

Coming to America after growing up in Italy was very interesting. The world has a lot to learn from the American church, who, for so many years, has supplied the world with most of its Christian missionaries, and yet the American church has a lot to learn from the rest of the world when it comes to being able to condemn false religions.

This year is an opportunity for the American church to really explore what the Roman Catholic church actually is, and ask whether or not it teaches the truth. Secondly, each believer must ask himself whether, when speaking with the Catholic individual, they are asking the right questions.

Many Christians may accept the fact that the Roman Catholic church is a false church that teaches works-righteousness, but may have “the neighbor” who says he really loves Jesus, making it very difficult to figure out how to really know if they believe in grace or if they believe in works.

I understand the dilemma. I have had many conversations recently during which someone, either Mormon or Catholic, who had all the same words until we got to the heart of the Gospel, and then simply denied it. I think that, and perhaps this sentence will be controversial, when you are dealing with a Roman Catholic, you must begin from a skeptical position when it comes to whether they are saved or not.

The church, as we know, has made salvation very easy. Over the years, many evangelists and pastors have boiled it down to just saying a prayer; perhaps, out of a desire to see more decisions for Christ, they have lowered the bar. Over the years, this way of evangelism has trickled down to us. So many believers, out of a godly desire to be encouraging, have perhaps neglected questioning and embraced accepting people at face value.  View article →

See our Research Paper on Roman Catholicism


Beauty and the Beast: Why Christians Can Calm Down

Sara Wallace of The Gospel-Centered Mom reminds Christians not to panic. “Yes, Hollywood has an agenda,” says Wallace “but so do we. If Hollywood is trying to indoctrinate our kids then we must indoctrinate them first. You must speak of God’s word to your children ‘when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up.’ (Deuteronomy 11:19)”

On March 1st my newsfeed exploded with angry moms. Our beloved Beauty and the Beast is GAY.
 
Well, not exactly. And perhaps that’s where we should start. Is this a “Gay” movie? Or is this just another worldly movie made by worldly people with worldly agendas? Believe me, I’m upset, too. But there is an important difference here worthy of a second look.
 
Al Mohler, at the recent Shepherd’s Conference, summarized this distinction well. He said there’s a difference between culture being infused into a movie and a movie glorifying a particular sin. Gay characters will be the norm in movies from now on. That’s the agenda. The question we should ask is: Does it glorify the sin, or does it discuss/portray an aspect of culture?
 
This is the culture God has appointed for us to raise our children in. We need to know how to live in it and interact with it. Our kids are watching us. Our response to this issue will shape how they live within this culture. As we respond to Beauty and the Beast there are two words that should not characterize us as Christian parents.

The Basics are Critical

Sometimes Christians get so wrapped up in the ways we have always done things that we lose sight of what is really important: the Basics. In no area is this more true or important than in the role of church. We go every week and “do our thing,” but how many of us have taken the time to see how God defines “church” and the requirements He has placed upon it?

First up today is our guest, Doug Wakefield, of Best Minds, Inc. to give us a healthy perspective on the economy, stock market ups and downs, and a refresher on what Christians need to be focusing on. Doug writes the monthly research newsletter, The Investor’s Mind.

In our second segment, we cover a few disappointing news stories practically condemning the liberal media of complicit bias. We also briefly review the job of a news-person today and the principles of journalism. (You’re not going to believe the Associated Press story – which they redacted – that led to fear, misreporting, and even violence all because of the anti-Trump agenda of the AP.)

In our third segment, we get back to the basics explore exactly how God defines church and the marching orders He has given her. Are we fulfilling the commands for the church that the Lord has given us in His Word?

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Carl Gallups: ‘Yoking ourselves to Baal,’ Agenda 2030, and ‘Big Brother’

Today we take a look at several Old Testament Scriptures revealing how God deals with people. Even though many prophecies were unique or specific for the nation of Israel, there are principles that we can learn and patterns of behavior we can avoid. We discuss idolatry in America, spiritual warfare including witches casting spells on President Trump, as well as the dangers of government spying on private citizens and its ability to hack any of our technological devices.

On the program is author, pastor, and prophecy expert, Carl Gallups. He teaches and comments on Israel and the book of Numbers, and explains how we may be following in their footsteps by going after false gods here in America.

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Using “The Shack” for God’s Glory

The Shack is a very controversial book within professing Christian circles that is now out in a movie that many professing Christians are excited to see. And Christian churches, ministries and radio stations (not ours) are promoting it heavily under the guise that it can be a tool to share the gospel with unsaved friends. But there is a slight problem: the true gospel does not even remotely appear in the book or the movie.

This morning we discuss The Shack with James Walker of Watchman.org and look at the life and theology of the author, comparing the movie’s theology with the Word of God. And we will attempt to equip you to accomplish what the promoters are claiming the movie can do: reach the lost with the saving gospel of Jesus Christ.

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Expectations of the Christian Life

What should committed disciples of Jesus Christ expect out of this life? Well, these days that often depends on which Christian teacher you follow. If you follow a pastor or teacher who preaches the “prosperity gospel” your expectations might be great health, tremendous wealth and a life without problems. If you follow a pastor who is constantly reminding you just how depraved and wicked you are–even after God’s saving grace–well you probably expect nothing but a life of misery and constant chastisement from God.

The truth of the life followers of Jesus Christ should expect is of course contained in God’s Word–the only source for eternal truth. This morning we search the scriptures to get a picture of what the life of a true Christian should look like, and what reasonable expectations are for our lives in a fallen world. Dave Wager of Nicolet Bible Institute and Silver Birch ranch joins us.

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Reasons for Hope Despite Increased Attacks on Bible

Already in the first week of this month, we’ve heard about stories that reinforce the fact our culture, our country, and this world just seem to keep spinning out of control. The truth however, is that the God of the universe and author of Creation has never left his throne.

Disney is getting backlash over its recent promotion of LGBTQ agenda which features a gay moment in the new Beauty and the Beast, Satanists are seeking religious rights in America, a UK court considers reading the Bible out loud a criminal matter, and the radical Alinsky left in this nation is keeping its foot on the gas pedal of their anti-American agenda. There’s so much going on we must get back to the basics and remember who is in control.

Though the world and things around us appear to be falling apart, the Bible teaches us things are actually falling into place. Many solid pastors and ministry leaders in the committed remnant of true believers remind us we are living in the greatest times of biblical prophecy since Jesus walked the earth. We must hold loosely the things of this world as we set our hearts and minds on things above.

Today’s guest is Carl Kerby, the President of Reasons for Hope Inc. Carl shares his extensive knowledge and understanding of God’s creation. Providing answers for difficult questions, Carl inspires people to dig deeply into God’s Word to debunk the lies and myths that attack the Christian faith.

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Radical Take Down of America: Has The Left Won?

Today, we are going to discuss two evil, influential political philosophies that have shaped the direction of our nation over the past 50-plus years as well as the devastating effects we are seeing from Americans who are (for the most part) unknowingly embracing them.
Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” and The Cloward-Piven Strategy: these two progressive, Marxist philosophies and their implemented agendas have been used together to bring our nation to the precipice of economic and moral destruction. First, a quote from: Rules for Radicals: “In the beginning the organizer’s first job is to create the issues or problems.”

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7 Reasons Why Obamacare 2.0 Is All But Guaranteed to Impose Crushing Costs on Voters, Hurt Trump’s Base, And Hand Power Back to the Democrats

If passed in its current form, the GOP’s Obamacare 2.0 bill will impose brutal costs Americans still struggling to make it through a great recession—particularly President Donald Trump’s base—and risk handing Congress and the presidency back to Democrats.
1) The bill’s provisions increase healthcare costs for Trump voters in critical states.

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Top Headlines – 3/11/2017

Trump invites Abbas to White House ‘soon’ to discuss stalled peace process

Abbas set to restate commitment to peace before Trump during phone call

John Kerry apprentice to lead Israeli-Palestinian portfolio at State Department

Conservatives want Obama/Kerry ally booted from State Dept.

2016 was ‘one of Israeli economy’s best years,’ finance minister says

Retail Tech Innovation Is Booming In Israel

Latest bomb scare hits Jewish senior center in Brooklyn

Hamas condemns mosque loudspeakers bill, warns of Arab backlash

21 injured at annual Tel Aviv Purim bash

Iran UN envoy says Israel behind assassinations of nuclear scientists

Putting Iran on notice puts Tehran off balance

New Lebanese army chief warns against ‘Israel’s plots’

UN says world faces largest humanitarian crisis since 1945

Iraqi troops find fear and hunger in west Mosul

Iraq: No sign of IS unconventional weapons use in Mosul

IS conflict: US sends Marines to support Raqqa assault

Drug trafficking Los Zetas cartel creates ISIS-style beheading video to spread fear

Iraq unsure if U.N. help needed to probe Islamic State crimes

Israel fears ISIS chemical attack in Europe

Syrian government urges UN to make Turkey withdraw from Syria

Turkey-PKK conflict: UN report tells of ‘2,000 dead’ since truce collapse

Merkel tells Turkey to stop Nazi references; Turkey repeats comparison

US officials reportedly state that Trump to ask Merkel for advice on Putin, Ukraine

Turkey seeks to build Syrian military cooperation with Russia

Russian police detain prominent Putin critic after his prison release

Official: Russian UN ambassador died from heart attack

US nukes just got a lot deadlier – and experts say it could cause Russia to attack

U.S. forges ahead with South Korea missile defenses, despite upheaval

North Korea could have missile capable of striking US in ‘the next few years’

North Korea tried to sell nuclear-weapon material

North Korea jumps on South Korean president’s ouster, calling her a ‘criminal’

China Kicking out Dozens of South Korean Missionaries

EU leaders seek unity as Britain heads for the exit

Europe on Edge: Immigration fears boost Dutch far right

Trump administration to reportedly send more judges to immigration centers

ACLU files complaint against revised Trump travel ban

Federal judge not ready to rule on blocking new travel ban

New Trump travel ban can’t be enforced on Syrian family trying to flee to Wisconsin, judge says

Almost 100 California entities are interested in building Trump’s border wall

France rebukes construction firm’s offer to help build Trump’s border wall

Sessions asks 46 Obama-era US attorneys to resign

Anger mounts over handling of US attorney firings

Sanders: Trump a ‘pathological liar’ with authoritarian ambitions

Four times Republicans faced outrage for things Dems did first

GOP rep backs off claim Obama running ‘shadow government’

WikiLeaks revelations put CIA on back foot

UN pushes for cyber surveillance treaty, but controversy may arise

Strong U.S. job growth, rising wages set stage for Fed rate hike

Twitter is now marking entire profiles as ‘sensitive’

As many as 48 million Twitter accounts aren’t people, says study

5.5 magnitude earthquake hits near La Vela de Coro, Venezuela

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Vinchina, Argentina

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits the Norwegian Sea

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Izu Islands, Japan region

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits the Central East Pacific Rise

Klyuchevskoy volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 20,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 19,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 15,000ft

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 11,000ft

Cyclone Enawo: Five dead in Madagascar

Nor’easter may bury mid-Atlantic, New England with heavy snow next week

The numbers are in on this freakishly warm February

‘Where is the help?’: black tea and dark despair as Somalia edges closer to famine

Mumps outbreaks reported across USA

Trump stands with House GOP on proposal to revise Obamacare, spokesman says

Abortion language in GOP bill draws criticism from both sides of the aisle

The GOP Obamacare replacement defunds Planned Parenthood and restricts abortion coverage

Republican Health Plan Could End Insurance Coverage of Abortion

New Orleans Transgender Community On Edge After 2 Murders Days Apart

Boston St. Patrick’s Day parade planners will allow gay vets to march

Therapist Who Fought to ‘Cure’ Gays Dies in California at 70

Lawsuit Filed After Teen Allegedly Forced To Have Sex With 1,000 Men Over 2 Years

Marines nude photo scandal expands to all branches of military

Pope Francis Willing to Allow Married Men to Become Priests Amid Clergy Shortage

Church cops? Congregation eyes its own unusual police force

South Dakota governor signs religious adoption protections

Middle Tennessee struck by multiple Tornadoes

Posted: 10 Mar 2017 08:20 PM PST

If you live in middle Tennessee your fears may have become a reality as the National Weather Service has just confirmed that multiple tornadoes reportedly struck…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Losing Our Brethren in the Wilderness and in the House

Posted: 10 Mar 2017 07:26 PM PST

(By Ricky Scaparo) In this segment, we will show you how we are losing brothers and sisters in the Wilderness and in the House of…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Best Buy’s Geek Squad Used By FBI’s Secret Public Surveillance

Posted: 10 Mar 2017 07:20 PM PST

Here is a story that will raise some eyebrows for the techy people who like places like Electronic Stores other Retail Stores that are similar. According…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Deadly Wildfires leave thousands of cattle dead In Plains

Posted: 10 Mar 2017 07:08 PM PST

Thousands of Cattle in the Pains of the United States have been left dead after a report of deadly wildfires burned through nearly 2 million acres…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Woman Falls In Love With Robot

Posted: 10 Mar 2017 07:00 PM PST

A bizarre story is being reported by the New York Post regarding the new CNNgo series called “Mostly Human featuring Laurie Segall” who investigates the darker, and…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Will Facebook Soon Be Able to Predict the Future?

Posted: 10 Mar 2017 06:41 PM PST

(By Kelly McDonald, Jr) The top Artificial Intelligence (AI) officer of Facebook, Yann LeCun, has recently said he wants to use the site to predict…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Troubling Heresy About Angels Rising in This Hour

Posted: 10 Mar 2017 06:34 PM PST

(By Jennifer Leclaire) There are many myths circulating the body of Christ about angels these days. You can trace the root of most of them…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Do Drones Pose Major Risk to United States Nuclear Facilities?

Posted: 10 Mar 2017 06:28 PM PST

(By Kelly McDonald, Jr) A recent Washington Times piece reported that one of the greatest threats to Military Nuclear Facilities are drones. General John Hyten…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

CIA Secrets Leaked to Tech Companies

Posted: 10 Mar 2017 06:23 PM PST

(By Kelly McDonald, Jr) Julian Assange, notoriously known for leaking classified and top-secret information, has recently announced that he has discovered secret hacking tools used…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Texas High School Makes Room for Muslim Students to Hold Friday Prayers

Posted: 10 Mar 2017 11:55 AM PST

What do you think your son or daughter’s High School would say if you requested a day and time to be set aside for prayer…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

The Dark Secrets Of The Catholic Church Are Starting To Come Out

Posted: 10 Mar 2017 10:49 AM PST

(Reported By Michael Snyder) We aren’t supposed to talk about what goes on behind closed doors when the cameras are off and the public can’t see…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Christian Mother and Son Arrested in Iran Bibles Seized in Crackdown

Posted: 10 Mar 2017 10:42 AM PST

Persecution continues against Christians overseas as reports are now indicating that a professed Christian Mother and her Son were just arrested and their bibles seized…

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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March 11, 2017: Verse of the day

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The Reason

For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. (3:3)

Paul stresses the reason that living in the heavenlies is to be the norm for the believer. Believers have died to the world system, through their faith union with Christ in His death and resurrection. Paul wrote in Galatians 6:14, “May it never be that I should boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” The past tense of apothnēskō (you have died) indicates that a death took place at salvation. “If any man is in Christ,” Paul writes to the Corinthians, “he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Cor. 5:17).

In what sense has the believer died? In the sense that the penalty for sin has been paid. The wages of sin is death, so we must die. By union with Jesus Christ, we die the required death in Him, thus the penalty is paid and sin can never claim us again. We have thus died to sin in the sense of paying its penalty. Its presence and power still affect us —but it cannot condemn us.

Not only have believers died to sin, but also their lives are hidden with Christ in God. What does with Christ in God mean? First, believers share a common life with the Father and Son. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 6:17 that “the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him.” Believers are “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Pet. 1:4).

Second, that new life is concealed from the world. Unbelievers are unable to grasp the full import of the believer’s new life, since “a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised” (1 Cor. 2:14). Paul pointed out that the true manifestation of the sons of God is yet to come in the next world, so that people cannot see what believers really are like (Rom. 8:19). The apostle John implied as much about our true identity when he wrote: “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not yet appeared what we shall be” (1 John 3:2). The false teachers troubling the Colossians could not grasp the truth that the Colossians had already gained transcendent spiritual knowledge and life, and thus had no need of their false teaching.

Third, believers are eternally secure, hidden protectively from all spiritual foes. The blessings of salvation are “an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you” (1 Pet. 1:4). Our great high priest “is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them” (Heb. 7:25). Those to whom the Son gives eternal life “shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand” (John 10:28). They are hidden away deep in the shelter of their God.

No passage states that glorious truth more eloquently than Romans 8:31–39:

If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or na- kedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, “For Thy sake were being put to death all day long; We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

All the riches of the eternal God are available to those whose lives are hidden with Him through His Son.

MacArthur New Testament Commentary

March 11, 2017: Daily Devotional Guide Collection

March 11

The Motive of the Church

To Him be glory in the church.

Ephesians 3:21

 

If you were to survey a group of people and ask them to name the primary purpose of the church, you would probably get a variety of answers.

Some might suggest that the church is a place to form friendships with godly people. It’s where believers strengthen each other in faith and where love is cultivated and shared.

Others might suggest that the mission of the church is teaching the Word, training believers for various responsibilities, and instructing children and young people with the purpose of helping them mature in Christ.

Still others might say that another purpose of the church is to praise God. The church is a community of praise that exalts God for who He is and what He has done. Some would suggest that since praise is the central activity of heaven, it must also be the primary responsibility of those on earth.

But as important as fellowship, teaching, and praise are, the primary motive of the church is to glorify God. The apostle Paul described salvation as being “to the praise of the glory of his grace”(Eph. 1:6).[1]


March 11 Understanding Who We Are

“Walk … with all humility.”

Ephesians 4:1–2

✧✧✧

The first step to humility is understanding our sinfulness.

I’ll never forget a meeting I had at my house with some seminary students. One student asked me, very seriously, “John, how did you finally overcome pride?” I said jokingly, “Well, it was two years ago when I finally licked it, and it’s never been a problem since then. It’s so wonderful to be constantly humble.” Of course, I have not completely overcome pride; it’s a battle I face every day. Satan makes sure we always struggle with it.

Overcoming pride in even one area is difficult, but Ephesians 4:2 requires “all humility.” Having some humility isn’t enough. We must have total, complete humility in every relationship, every attitude, and every act.

So we all have a lot of work to do. But where do we start? How can we become humble?

Humility begins with self–awareness. We need to look at ourselves honestly. We can mask who we really are and convince ourselves that we’re something wonderful. But we are sinners and need to confess our sins daily before God (cf. 1 John 1:9). Even Paul called himself the foremost of sinners (1 Tim. 1:15) and realized he had not yet reached the goal of Christlikeness (Phil. 3:12–14). Whenever you’re tempted to be proud, remember you haven’t arrived yet spiritually.

And don’t fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others. Paul said, “We are not bold to class or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves; but when they measure themselves by themselves, and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding” (2 Cor. 10:12). If we’re to be honest with ourselves and with God, we need to evaluate ourselves by an outside standard—God’s standard. Humility starts when we take off the rose–colored glasses of self–love so we can see ourselves as unworthy sinners. We must recognize our faults and confess our sins daily.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Confess any known sins to God, and ask for help in overcoming them. ✧ Ask God to keep you from comparing yourself to others instead of to His perfect standard.

For Further Study: Many consider Paul to be the greatest Christian who ever lived, but he viewed himself very differently. Read 1 Timothy 1:12–17. How did he see himself? ✧ As he saw his sinfulness, what was his response to God?[2]


MARCH 11

GOD MADE COLOR

And the heavens shall praise thy wonders, O LORD: thy faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints.

—Psalm 89:5

Some people are afraid of color. They think that spirituality consists in being drab. But God made color! He made all shades of colors. Look at the sunset—what is it, just something scientific? Do you think that God splashed the lovely, beautiful sky with rose, cerise, blue and white and wasn’t smiling when He did that? Is that just an accident of nature, scientifically explained? Then you’ve got too much learning for your own good! Go empty your head and get your heart filled and you’ll be better off. The Holy Spirit wrote 150 psalms and in those psalms He celebrates the wonders of God’s creation….

We ought to stop thinking like scientists and think like psalmists.

This infinite God is enjoying Himself. Somebody is having a good time in heaven and earth and sea and sky. Somebody is painting the sky. Somebody is making trees to grow where only gashes were a year ago. Somebody is causing the ice to melt out of the river and the fish to swim and the birds to sing and lay their blue eggs and build their nests and hatch their young. Somebody’s running the universe. AOG011-013

Indeed, Lord, the heavens shall praise Your wonders! Thank You for running the universe with beauty, variety, intricacy and color. Amen. [3]


March 11

The Great Enemy of Peace

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.—Matt. 5:9

The great enemy of peace is sin. Sin separates people from God and causes disharmony and enmity with Him. To talk of peace without establishing the need for repentance from sin is foolish. The corrupt religious leaders of ancient Israel proclaimed, “Peace, peace,” but there was no peace, because they and the rest of the people were not “ashamed because of the abomination they had done” (Jer. 8:11–12).

To be an effective peacemaker, you must recognize that any conflict is the result of sin. If you separate conflicting parties from each other but don’t confront their sin, at best you will create only a temporary truce. You can’t circumvent sin; it is the source of every conflict.

In what appears on the surface to be the antithesis of the seventh beatitude, Jesus says, “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword” (Matt. 10:34). His meaning is clear: the peace He brings is not peace at any price. The sword Christ uses is His Word—the sword of truth and righteousness. Like the surgeon’s scalpel, it must cut before it heals, because peace cannot exist where sin remains.

To be a peacemaker you must live a holy life and call others to embrace the gospel of holiness.

ASK YOURSELF
How have you seen sin decimate and destroy relationships? How has your own sin contributed to whatever strain exists between you and another person? If you have not yet repented of a sin that has caused distance between you and someone else, choose repentance today. If others need correction, ask for the Lord’s grace and supply in seeking it.[4]

MARCH 11

THE GREAT PHYSICIAN

When Jesus saw him…he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?

John 5:6

 

If you are a discouraged and defeated Christian believer, you may have accepted the rationalization that your condition is “normal for all Christians.”

You may now be content with the position that the progressive, victorious Christian life may be suitable for a few Christians—but not for you! You have been to Bible conferences; you have been to the altar—but the blessings are for someone else.

Now, that attitude on the part of Christian believers is neither modesty nor meekness. It is a chronic discouragement resulting from unbelief. It is rather like those who have been sick for so long that they no longer believe they can get well.

Jesus is still saying, as He said to the man lying by the gate at the Jerusalem pool, “Do you want to be made whole?” (see John 5:6). Jesus made him whole—because of his desire! His need was great, but he had never lapsed into that state of chronic discouragement.

 

Thank You, Lord, that a victorious Christian life can be the norm—even in the midst of this chaotic, malevolent world. Fill me anew with Your Spirit, and shine through me today.[5]


March 11 Praying for God’s Glory

“O Lord, in accordance with all Thy righteous acts, let now Thine anger and Thy wrath turn away from Thy city Jerusalem, Thy holy mountain; for because of our sins and the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and Thy people have become a reproach to all those around us. So now, our God, listen to the prayer of Thy servant and to his supplications, and for Thy sake, O Lord, let Thy face shine on Thy desolate sanctuary.

“O my God, incline Thine ear and hear! Open Thine eyes and see our desolations and the city which is called by Thy name; for we are not presenting our supplications before Thee on account of any merits of our own but on account of Thy great compassion. O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and take action! For Thine own sake, O my God, do not delay, because Thy city and Thy people are called by Thy name” (Dan. 9:16–19).

✧✧✧

God’s glory must be the ultimate goal of every prayer request we make.

Someone once said, “Show me your redeemed life and I might believe in your Redeemer.” That’s a fair request! As Christians, we are Christ’s ambassadors to a dying world. With His Spirit in our hearts and His Word in our hands, we are to speak His truth in love and live a life that lends credibility to what we say.

When we fail to do that, we dishonor God and provide ammunition for those who seek to discredit His work. That was certainly true of Israel. They were God’s chosen people, and yet His name was blasphemed among the Gentiles because of Israel’s unbelief and disobedience (Rom. 2:24).

Daniel knew Israel didn’t deserve mercy, but he asked God to forgive and restore them to their homeland for His own name’s sake. Therein would He be glorified.

When you pray according to God’s will, fervently confessing your sins and interceding for others, you’re following in the godly tradition of Daniel and every other saint who sought God’s glory above all else. May it be so today!

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer:  Pray for the nation of Israel, that God might redeem many Jewish people for His name’s sake (cf. Rom. 10:1).

For Further Study: Read Ezekiel 36:16–38. ✧ Why did God scatter Israel? Why will He regather her? ✧ How will the Gentile nations react to her regathering?[6]


MARCH 11

ANTICIPATION OF HEAVEN: MORE THAN ESCHATOLOGY

But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

HEBREWS 11:16

We have come to a wretched emphasis in the Christian church, so that when we talk about the future we talk about “eschatology” instead of heaven!

We must confess that Christians are living too much in the “present now”—and the anticipation of better things to come has almost died out of the church of Christ.

We find ourselves so well-situated now, that we don’t really need any tomorrow’s heaven. We don’t need to hope—we have everything well enough now!

In this kind of emphasis, the fact remains that the true Christian is one who is kind of sick of this world. When God works a miracle within the human breast, heaven becomes the Christian’s home immediately, and he is drawn to it as the bird is drawn in the springtime to fly north.

The Christian does have a homeland, and the fact that we are not anticipating it and looking forward to it with any pleasure is a serious mark of something that is wrong with us.

When I find someone who is settled down too snugly into this world and its system, I am forced to doubt whether he has ever truly been born again.

Actually, it is true that all of the Christians I meet who really amount to something for God are those very much out of key with their age—very, very much out of tune with their generation! Remember, you are on earth and God is in heaven so don’t be afraid to dream high spiritual dreams, believing what your Bible says.[7]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 84). 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. 79). 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. 83). 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: Saturday)

Saturday

Confession: Psalm 130:5–8

I await Yahweh; my soul awaits,

and I wait for his word.

My soul waits for the Lord

more than watchmen for the morning.

Yes, more than watchmen for the morning.

O Israel, wait for Yahweh.

For with Yahweh there is loyal love,

and with him there is abundant redemption.

And he will redeem Israel

from all its iniquities.

Reading: Mark 10:17–31

And as he was setting out on his way, one individual ran up and knelt down before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do so that I will inherit eternal life?” So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.’ ” And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have observed from my youth.” And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: Go, sell all that you have, and give the proceeds to the poor—and you will have treasure in heaven—and come, follow me.” But he looked gloomy at the statement and went away sorrowful, because he had many possessions.

And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How difficult it is for those who possess wealth to enter into the kingdom of God!” And the disciples were astounded at his words. But Jesus answered and said to them again, “Children, how difficult it is to enter into the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter into the kingdom of God.” And they were very astounded, saying to one another, “And who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With human beings it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.” Peter began to say to him, “Behold, we have left everything and followed you.” Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields on account of me and on account of the gospel who will not receive a hundred times as much now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and fields, together with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”

Reflection

The law says, You shall not commit adultery; but you may not even desire—kindling passion by curious and earnest looks. You shall not kill, says the law; but you are not even to return a blow. On the contrary, you are to offer yourself to the smiter. How much more ascetic is the gospel than the law! You shall not swear is the law; but you are not to swear at all, either a greater or a lesser oath, for an oath is the parent of perjury. You shall not join house to house, nor field to field, oppressing the poor; but you are to set aside willingly even your just possessions, and to be stripped for the poor, that without hindrance you may take up the cross and be enriched with the unseen riches.

—Gregory Nazianzen

Select Orations of Saint Gregory Nazianzen

Response

What cares of this world have you elevated above following Jesus? Sometimes we prioritize even good things above our call to discipleship. Pray that your desire to follow Jesus would trump all of the good things in your life.[1]

 

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