Daily Archives: January 12, 2018

January 12 The High Cost of Free Grace

“In [Christ] we have redemption through His blood” (Eph. 1:7, emphasis added).

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Redeeming grace is free to us, but its cost to God is inestimable.

Sin is not a serious issue to most people. Our culture flaunts and peddles it in countless forms. Even Christians who would never think of committing certain sins will often allow themselves to be entertained by those same sins through television, movies, music, and other media.

We sometimes flirt with sin, but God hates it. The price He paid to redeem us from it speaks of the seriousness with which He views it. After all, we “were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold … but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ” (1 Peter 1:18–19).

In Scripture the shedding of blood refers to violent physical death—whether of a sacrificial animal or of Christ Himself. Sin is so serious that without bloodshed, there is no forgiveness of sin in God’s sight (Heb. 9:22).

The sacrificial animals in the Old Testament pictured Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. That’s why John the Baptist called Jesus “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).

The Old Testament sacrifices were necessary but incomplete. Christ’s sacrifice was perfect, complete, and once for all (Heb. 10:10). No further sacrifices are needed other than the “sacrifice of praise to God” for what He has done (Heb. 13:15) and our very lives in service to Him as “a living and holy sacrifice” (Rom. 12:1).

By His sacrifice Christ demonstrated not only God’s hatred for sin, but also His great love for sinners. You could never redeem yourself, but Christ willingly paid the price with His own precious blood. He “gave Himself up for [you], an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma” (Eph. 5:2). His sacrifice was acceptable to the Father; so your redemption was paid in full.

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Suggestions for Prayer:  Worship God for His wonderful plan of salvation. ✧ Worship Christ for the enormous sacrifice He made on your behalf. ✧ Worship the Holy Spirit for applying Christ’s sacrifice to your life and for drawing you to Christ in saving faith. ✧ Ask God to help you guard your heart from flirting with sin.

For Further Study: Read 2 Samuel 11. ✧ What circumstances led to David’s sin with Bathsheba? ✧ How did David attempt to cover his sin? ✧ How did David finally deal with his sin (see Ps. 51)?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 24). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

JANUARY 12 SATAN WOULD BIND US IN OUR OWN GRAVE CLOTHES

…For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

1 JOHN 3:8

It is part of the devil’s business to keep the Christian’s spirit imprisoned. He knows that the believing and justified Christian has been raised up out of the grave of his sins and trespasses. From that point on, Satan works that much harder to keep us bound and gagged, actually imprisoned in our own grave clothes!

He knows that if we continue in this kind of bondage we will never be able to claim our rightful spiritual heritage. He knows also that while we continue bound in this kind of enslavement we are not much better off than when we were spiritually dead.

This is one reason why the Christians in today’s churches are behaving like a flock of frightened sheep so intimidated by the devil that we can’t even say “Amen!”

I am sure that it is not glorifying to our God that Christians should be so intimidated and silenced in our day. It was Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, who came down and took our human body for Himself. He was a man, born of a woman, a man wearing our own nature—but He was also God!

He went out to the cross and they sacrificed Him there. The Father, God Almighty, accepted His sacrifice as the one, final fulfillment and consummation of all the sacrifices ever made on Jewish altars. After three days, He came out of the grave, then ascended as Victor over death and hell!

Believing this, we ought to be the most fearless, the happiest and most God-assured people in the whole world![1]


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

January 12, 2018 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

BLOOMBERG

President Donald Trump plans to bring a big delegation with him to the small Swiss ski town of Davos in two weeks, including eight Cabinet members and some of the White House’s senior staff.

President Donald Trump has ditched plans to visit London next month to open a new U.S. embassy, in a decision that’s put fresh strain on the so-called “special relationship” with the U.K.

South African Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba told the ruling party’s top leadership the government will need $970 million to fund President Jacob Zuma’s plan to scrap tuition fees for students from poor homes, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

China is stepping up its policing of international companies such as Inditex SA-owned Zara and Delta Air Lines Inc. and demanding they respect the government’s position on long-standing territorial disputes from Taiwan to Tibet.

China’s trade with North Korea shrank by more than half last month, as Beijing implements United Nations sanctions against Kim Jong Un’s nuclear weapons program.

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry warned citizens to avoid travel to the U.S., citing the growing risk of terrorist attacks and other violence — a day after the State Department said the same about Turkey.

Arizona Republican Congresswoman Martha McSally called on the national GOP to “grow a pair of ovaries” as she launched her bid for the U.S. Senate on Friday, joining the race to replace retiring GOP Sen. Jeff Flake by embracing President Donald Trump and his outsider playbook in one of the nation’s premier Senate contests.

The U.S. budget deficit is widening on increased spending, just as tax cuts look set to knock the other side of the government’s ledger: revenue. The U.S. budget gap rose 7 percent to $225 billion in the first quarter of the government’s fiscal year from a year earlier.

Retirements and departures from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have shrunk its workforce to levels not seen since the Reagan administration.

The two-year Treasury yield jumped above 2 percent, marking a rebound to a key psychological level last seen just as the U.S. sank into the depths of the financial crisis in September 2008.

Next year, General Motors Co. will no longer need an engineer in the front seat babysitting the robot brain that controls its self-driving Chevrolet Bolt. The steering wheel and pedals will be gone, giving total control to the machine.

AP Top Stories

Protests broke out across Pakistan on Thursday after the rape and murder of a 7-year-old girl in a district south of Lahore, due to public anger at what is seen as the authorities’ failure to investigate such cases.

A particularly deadly flu virus has reportedly become widespread in 46 states across the country. The CDC reported the severe flu season has already resulted in the deaths of at least 13 children since it began in October.

The United States unveiled a way to warn its citizens about the dangers of foreign travel Wednesday, with a four-point safety ranking system for countries and an interactive world map.

In India this week the country’s only openly gay prince, Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil, announced that he would be opening an LGBTQ center on the grounds of his ancestral palace.

Prosecutors in Vietnam were seeking long jail terms on Thursday for a former member of the country’s ruling politburo and a high-profile former official over losses of hundreds of millions of dollars at a state oil firm, domestic media said.

A professor’s first week teaching a new class titled “White Racism” was dominated by backlash from critics outside his classroom at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU), so much so that two campus police officers were stationed near the building as a precaution when his class met for the first time on Tuesday.

Vermont has become the ninth state to legalize recreational use of pot, defying attempts by the US attorney-general Jeff Sessions to crack down on cannabis.

When Joe Arpaio, the former Maricopa County sheriff, announced his Senate candidacy on Tuesday, he became the fourth viable Republican 2018 congressional candidate who’s been convicted of a crime. And like two of the other GOP cons running for office, he has cited his criminal record as a partial justification for his candidacy.

Authorities in northern China’s coal country have demolished a well-known Christian mega-church, underscoring long-standing tensions between religious groups and the officially atheistic Communist Party.

BBC

The Ecuadorean government has confirmed that Julian Assange was granted Ecuadorean citizenship on 12 December.

US President Donald Trump will continue to suspend key sanctions on Iran, and so avoiding jeopardizing the 2015 nuclear agreement, US officials say.

A court in Ethiopia sentenced more than 30 people to long prison terms for belonging to Ginbot 7, a group committed to overthrowing the government.

WND

North Korean children are being trained to fire automatic weapons and launch grenades in Kim Jong-un’s tyrannical regime as the rogue state bids to weaponize the population in preparation for war, a leading South Korean general has claimed.

A homework assignment asked fourth-graders at a private school in Wauwatosa to argue why slavery was a good thing. It prompted an apology from the principal of Our Redeemer Lutheran School, who said the question wasn’t supposed to have an answer because there are no good reasons for slavery.


The Briefing — Friday, January 12, 2018

1) Changing American religious landscape reveals changing American mission field as Muslim population grows significantly

Pew Research Center (Besheer Mohamed) –
New estimates show U.S. Muslim population continues to grow

2) How the rise of social media has led to an increase in perfectionism amongst young people

USA Today (Sean Rossman) –
Millennials strive for perfectionism more than past generations, study says

3) Americans turn to astrology apps in search of happiness and meaning

New York Times (Amanda Hess) –
How Astrology Took Over the Internet


News – 1/12/2018

6.0-magnitude earthquake hits Myanmar’s southern region
An earthquake of 6.0 magnitude hit Myanmar’s Bago region in the early hours of Friday, said the Meteorology and Hydrology Department. The earthquake struck at 00:56 a.m. local time. The epicenter was 27.3 km west-southwest of Phyu city in Bago region. It was also followed by two shallow 5.3-magnitude aftershocks within a few minutes, a statement from the Myanmar Earthquake Committee said.

Giza Pyramid: Scientist Suggests There is an ‘Iron Throne’ in Unexplored Cavity
The newly discovered cavity in the Giza Pyramid has left scientists around the world wondering what lies inside the mysterious chamber. Italian mathematician Giulio Magli may have some answers. Magli believes that the answer can be found in the burial religion of the ancient Egypt. There is a possible interpretation, which is in good agreement with what we know about the Egyptian funerary religion as witnessed in the Pyramids Texts. In these texts it is said that the pharaoh, before reaching the stars of the north, will have to pass the “gates of the sky” and sit on his “throne of iron,” Magli was reported as saying by Eurekalert.

After Trump’s J’lem declaration, PA turns to UN to lead talks
The Palestinian Authority’s ruling faction will plan its response to President Donald Trump’s December recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital during an upcoming meeting next week, and will weigh proposals including a plan to rescind its recognition of Israel, AFP reported Friday.

Trump to tap pro-Israel Rumsfeld adviser to State Dep.
According to the report, President Trump is poised to announce the selection of David Schenker to serve as the State Department’s Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs. The move would make Schenker America’s top diplomat to the Middle East. If chosen, Schenker would be the first non-career diplomat to fill the position in some two decades. If chosen, Schenker would replace Anne Patterson, a career State Department employee who once defended the Palestinian Authority policy of providing stipends to jailed terrorists and the families of terrorists killed during attacks on Israelis.

President Trump is a real life James Bond
Normally, spy-masters have to use a “honey-trap” to ensnare an intelligence asset in order to blackmail him into giving up his government’s secrets. Another spy-craft called the “money-trap” uses money to entice the asset only to blackmail him once he’s taken the money. Uniquely, President Trump successfully executed the first “tweet-trap” in the history of intelligence. In essence, while the deep state chattered, President Trump’s PsyOp single-handedly exposed North Korea’s deepest military secrets,

Trump cancels London trip over ‘bad’ Embassy deal
“Reason I canceled my trip to London is that I am not a big fan of the Obama Administration having sold perhaps the best located and finest embassy in London for ‘peanuts,’ only to build a new one in an off location for 1.2 billion dollars. Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO!” Trump wrote Thursday night.

Iran nuclear deal: Trump to extend sanctions waiver – reports
US President Donald Trump will continue to suspend key sanctions on Iran, and so avoiding jeopardising the 2015 nuclear agreement, US officials say. But Mr Trump is expected to set a deadline for Congress and European allies to improve the deal or the US will abandon it, the officials say. He is also likely to impose a new set of sanctions targeting Iranian firms and individuals, a top aide has said.

Cyclone Joyce: Australian residents warned to take shelter
Communities in Australia’s north-west are bracing for a tropical cyclone, the second to hit the region in two weeks. Cyclone Joyce, currently a category one system, is due to make landfall near Broome in Western Australia on Friday. Authorities have told local residents to secure their homes and take shelter.

WikiLeaks’s Julian Assange becomes Ecuadorean citizen
The Ecuadorean government has confirmed that Julian Assange was granted Ecuadorean citizenship on 12 December. Ecuador subsequently asked the UK to recognise Mr Assange as a diplomatic agent – a move that could have given him immunity. The UK has refused, saying Mr Assange – who has been at the embassy since 2012 – should now leave and “face justice”.

Twitter…Algorithms to Censor Opposing Political Opinions
In…undercover Project Veritas video investigation, current and former Twitter employees are…explaining steps…to censor political content that they don’t like…“One strategy is to shadow ban so you have ultimate control. The idea of a shadow ban is that you ban someone but they don’t know they’ve been banned, because they keep posting and no one sees their content. So they just think that no one is engaging with their content, when in reality, no one is seeing it.”

Army Rips Out Chinese-Made Surveillance Cameras Overlooking U.S. Base
The U.S. Army said it removed surveillance cameras made by a Chinese state-backed manufacturer from a domestic military base, while a congressional committee plans to hold a hearing this month into whether small businesses face cybersecurity risks from using the equipment. Fort Leonard Wood, an Army base in Missouri’s Ozarks, replaced five cameras on the base branded and made by Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co. , said Col. Christopher Beck…

US Navy bolting LASER WEAPON onto lead warship for futuristic warfare
Top Navy officials said the device is slated to be installed on the USS Portland by this autumn. Crucially, the prototype will not be used in combat, but may pave the way for high-tech lasers that will be used during warfare. Captain Brian Metcalfe said: “They’ve got what I call ‘power modules’ that control the laser that will just fit in those open and reserve weight spaces and then the laser itself gets bolted onto the deck.

Does the gender “spectrum” also include pedophilia? Canadian group announces “naked swim day” at public pool, encourages children to attend 
Local Calgarians are expressing deep concern about an upcoming event at a public recreation center in Calgary, Canada, where individuals both young and old will be swimming in the nude together at a “naked swim day” that many feel has overtones of encouraging pedophilia.

Trump Administration Moves to Halt Abortion of Fourth Illegal Immigrant Teen
The Trump administration has again moved to block a fourth illegal immigrant minor from obtaining an abortion in the United States, stating the federal government is not required to facilitate abortions for these individuals.

US Teachers Replace American Flags With LGBT Rainbows In Classroom
Teachers at Banks High School in Oregon have caused outage amongst parents after they replaced the American flags with LGBT flags in their classrooms.

Trump’s National Security Adviser Rushes To Save Obama Era Iran Nuclear Deal
A new report suggests that President Donald Trump’s national security advisor H.R. McMaster is rushing to save the deeply flawed nuclear Iran deal, which was seen as a hallmark of former President Obama’s legacy, ahead of Friday’s deadline for recertification.

Paula White Reps. Scrub Web Page of Language Urging ‘First Fruits’ Offering of Day, Week, Month’s Wages, ‘Consequences’ for Not Giving
Following media reports and public backlash over the matter, representatives for false teacher Paula White, who also serves as the chair of President Trump’s Evangelical Advisory Board, have scrubbed a page on White’s website of any mention that she had urged followers to give a “first fruits” offering of a day, week, or month’s wages—and that there are “consequences” for those who don’t give God their first fruits out of “ignorance or direct disobedience.”

As Media Obsesses On Oprah 2020, FISA Pushed To Let FBI Spy On You Without A Warrant 
While Americans were distracted by the possibility of Oprah’s 2020 presidential campaign following her speech at the Golden Globes, the United States government has ramped up its campaign to let the FBI legally spy on Americans without a warrant.

Monsanto Trying To Hide GMO Foods Under The Term “Biofortified”
Do genetically engineered crops and their pesticides make you think of the term “biofortified”? Chances are, the term biofortified makes you think of vitamins in kids’ cereals.

BREAKING: Obama’s Deep State FBI and DOJ Caught Synchronizing Anti-Trump Classified Leaks to Liberal Media
Obama’s Deep State DOJ and FBI were not only leaking classified intelligence to the mainstream media (MSM) but they were synchronizing their leaks to various outlets to achieve the most impact. These criminal acts are beyond any imagination and show how criminal and corrupt the Obama justice team was by the end of his eight years in office.

The Hillary scandal everyone’s ignoring
The Federal Election Commission is examining a complaint that the Hillary Victory Fund — a $500 million joint fundraising committee between the Clinton campaign, the Democratic National Committee and Democratic state parties — engaged in a scheme to illegal direct some $84 million directly to Clinton’s campaign.

Rep. Harris: End Obama-Era Policy of Funding ‘Opposition Media’ in Hungary
Representative Andy Harris (R-MD) has asked colleagues to sign a letter urging the U.S. State Department to improve relations with Hungary and end the Obama-era policy of funding media to “interfere in Hungarian elections”.

Jon Voight Part of Team on Roe v Wade Film About ‘Real Story’
A film project examining Roe v. Wade from a pro-life prospective has Academy Award-winning actor Jon Voight, actor/producer Nick Loeb, and Alveda King involved.

Switzerland Rejects Citizenship Bids of Residents Who Have Been on Welfare
A new civil rights act has come into force in Switzerland that prevents residents who have been on welfare in the past three years from becoming citizens unless they pay back the money they received to the state.


January 12, 2018
WES VERNON — It says here, in an article by Washington Free Beacon’s Bill Gertz, that China has secretly been supplying missiles to North Korea, and has been bolstering its war-making ability provided that North Korea “halts further nuclear tests.” So this means “Rocket Man,” who rules North Korea by starving his own people, gets to play with his toys as long as he doesn’t use them?… (more)

January 11, 2018
Devin Nunes wants to know what the FBI knew about the document and when they knew it
WASHINGTON TIMES — One year ago, BuzzFeed took the momentous step of posting an unsubstantiated, 35-page scandal sheet against then-President-elect Trump – – and Washington hasn’t been the same since. The news website’s post, which oddly came with a disclaimer, immediately took on the name “dossier.” Sometimes it was the “Trump dossier” or the “Russia-Trump dossier” or the “Steele dossier,” after its author, former British spy Christopher Steele…. (more)

January 11, 2018
Used senator to pass document to Obama-era intel agencies
WORLDNETDAILY — The founders of the controversial opposition research firm Fusion GPS admitted that they helped the researcher hired to compile the infamous, largely discredited 35-page dossier on President Donald Trump to share the document with Sen. John McCain…. (more)

January 11, 2018
BYRON YORK — One of the most contentious issues surrounding the Trump dossier is the question of whether the FBI used unverified material from the dossier – – a Clinton campaign opposition research product – – to apply for permission to spy on Americans. Investigators from both House and Senate have long wanted to see any FISA applications (that is, spying requests filed with the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court) that dealt with the Trump-Russia affair…. (more)

January 11, 2018

CONRAD BLACK — Having encountered Michael Wolff and having had an acidulous public exchange with him, I attest that he is an utterly odious man. He can’t write properly, has no professional integrity, and is a sociophobic mud-slinger and myth-maker…. (more)


January 11, 2018
VICTOR DAVIS HANSON — George H. W. Bush gave up power quietly and turned to charity work and occasional ceremonial speaking after his reelection defeat in 1992. George W. Bush – – like Jerry Ford in 1977 and Ronald Reagan in 1989 – – did the same when Barack Obama assumed power in 2009. R… (more)

January 11, 2018
Nevada rancher walks free after judge finds ‘outrageous’ prosecutorial misconduct
VALERIE RICHARDSON — Rancher Cliven Bundy no longer faces federal charges in the 2014 Nevada standoff, but that doesn’t mean his legal fight with the Justice Department is over. Attorney Larry Klayman said Mr. Bundy is considering filing lawsuits for malicious prosecution and civil-rights violations stemming from the court battle that ended Monday with a federal judge dismissing all charges against him over “flagrant prosecutorial misconduct.”… (more)

January 11, 2018
NATIONAL REVIEW — On January 20, 2017, the executive power peacefully transitioned from President Obama to President Trump. At least one judge in San Francisco didn’t get the memo. Yesterday, Judge William Alsup ordered the Trump administration to keep its predecessor’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in place. This remarkable 49-page order has all the aesthetics of a judicial decision but is, at heart, an amateur act of punditry. Judge Alsup paints the picture of a divided White House, wherein “the Chief Executive publicly favors the very program [his Administration] has ended.”… (more)

January 11, 2018
Affirms that Trump has power to pick acting director
WASHINGTON TIMES — President Trump had the power to name his own acting head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a judge ruled Wednesday, delivering a legal victory to the administration in its battle to control one of the government’s most powerful independent agencies…. (more)

January 11, 2018
NEWSMAX — A film project examining Roe v. Wade from a pro-life prospective has Academy Award-winning actor Jon Voight, actor/producer Nick Loeb, and Alveda King involved. According to the crowdfunding site, Indiegogo, the feature-length film, “Roe v Wade: The Untold Story” will reprise “the most corrupt court case in history.”… (more)

January 11, 2018

NEWSMAX — Former lawman and now-Senate candidate Joe Arpaio declared Wednesday he is “not gonna back down” on the discredited claim President Barack Obama’s birth certificate is a fake. In an interview with WABC radio hosts Rita Cosby and Curtis Sliwa, the ex-Arizona sheriff said he considers the issue a mission whether or not he wins the Senate seat held by retiring Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz…. (more)


January 11, 2018
BOB UNRUH — He set up work camps for jail inmates and clothed them in pink during his decades as sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona. He also fought on the front lines of the war against illegal aliens entering the United States and sued Barack Obama over the issue…. (more)

January 9, 2018
NATIONAL REVIEW — President Trump will make some important decisions this month that could not only end the controversial 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran but also convey America’s support for Iranian protesters and hasten the overthrow of Iran’s ruling mullahs…. (more)

January 9, 2018

ANDREW C. MCCARTHY — When you look at it hard, two conclusions are impossible to escape: First, at the height of the 2016 campaign, Obama intelligence officials anxiously adopted Christopher Steele’s allegations of traitorous conduct by then-candidate Donald Trump rather than first subject his “dossier” to rigorous investigation – – even though Steele himself admits that his “raw,” “unverified” reports might not be true…. (more)


January 9, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — Senators confirmed President Trump’s 20th federal judge Tuesday, approving William L. Campbell Jr. to a seat on a federal court in Tennessee by a 97-0 vote. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, said the Senate will have three more district court nominees on its agenda this week as well, but he complained it will consume the chamber’s entire floor time as they overcome Democrats’ procedural hurdles…. (more)

January 9, 2018
NEWSMAX — More than 163,000 people have signed a grassroots petition insisting The New York Times apologize for and rewrite its obituary of Thomas S. Monson, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Prophet who died last week…. (more)

January 9, 2018
ART MOORE — A third Muslim imam in the United States has been recorded citing an Islamic text that prophesies the killing of Jews by Muslims…. (more)

January 9, 2018
ALAN KEYES — In a Politico article published last month, Jason Schwartz asserts: “Authoritarian rulers across the globe are adopting President Donald Trump’s favorite phrase to limit free speech, with prominent leaders or state media in at least 15 countries using his “fake news” line to denounce their critics, according to a Politico review.”… (more)

January 8, 2018

JOAN SWIRSKY — When my husband Steve was almost 13, his grandfather died. Just a few months before, the old man he loved and respected had tutored him for his Bar Mitzvah. To this day, Steve remembers the burial ceremony vividly. When the rabbi had finished the prayers at the outdoor burial site and his grandfather’s son and daughters and grandchildren were wiping the tears from their eyes, Steve told me that “my grandmother let out a blood-curdling scream and jumped into the grave – – literally – – right on top of the wooden coffin! And I remember three or four men had to reach in and jump in after her to lift her out.”… (more)


January 8, 2018

USA TODAY — LAS VEGAS – – Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, his two sons and a militia member will not face a retrial on charges that they led an armed rebellion against federal agents in 2014. A federal judge Monday said the federal prosecutors’ conduct was “outrageous” and “violated due process rights” of the defendants…. (more)


January 8, 2018
BYRON YORK — There’s been a lot of confusion about the decision by Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley and crime subcommittee chairman Lindsey Graham to refer Christopher Steele, author of the Trump dossier, to the Justice Department for a possible criminal investigation…. (more)

January 7, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — The Supreme Court announced Monday it would not hear cases challenging a Mississippi law that allows religious organizations to refuse to hire persons or provide services in situations that run afoul of their sincerely held religious beliefs. Gay-rights groups had challenged Mississippi’s 2016 law, HB 1523, which was aimed at affirming rights of those who believe marriage is between a man and a woman, an individual’s gender is determined at birth and sexual relations are reserved for married couples…. (more)

January 7, 2018
ART MOORE — The failure to repeal and replace Obamacare is regarded as perhaps the biggest legislative failure of President Trump’s first year in office. Yet, Trump managed to eliminate the linchpin of Obama’s signature law, the individual mandate, through the tax-reform bill passed in December…. (more)

January 7, 2018
GREG COROMBOS — The Trump administration is advancing plans to open up the vast majority of the Outer Continental Shelf to energy exploration and development, a move that a leading national security voice in Congress says will be another major boost to the economy and protect American interests by ending any dependence on rogue states that sit on a lot of oil…. (more)

January 7, 2018

TIMES OF ISRAEL — Former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been arrested by authorities for allegedly inciting unrest against the government, the London-based daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi reported Saturday, citing “reliable sources in Tehran.”… (more)


MID-DAY SNAPSHOT

JAN. 12, 2018

The Uncensored President

Democrats and their Leftmedia allies strategically paint Trump as a racist to prevent real immigration reform.

THE FOUNDATION

“Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence, (I conjure you to believe me fellow citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake; since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of Republican Government.” —George Washington (1796)


Headlines – 1/12/2018

Abbas to meet Putin in February to discuss Trump’s Jerusalem moves

Abbas looking to fill US-sized hole with more support from EU

Egypt orders ‘urgent’ probe into report it backed Trump on Jerusalem

Trump’s Mideast ‘achievement’: A growing rift with the Palestinians

PA preparing for diplomatic confrontation with Israel

COGAT: ‘Cutting economic aid to Palestinians will increase dependency on Israel’

Palestinians say two protesters killed in clashes with IDF

Terror victim’s wife to PM: ‘We don’t want to feel like land thieves’

Peace Now: Israel OKs more construction in West Bank settlements

US Attorney General sets up Hezbollah investigation team

Trump to extend Iran sanctions relief, keeping nuclear deal intact

Saudi Arabia intercepts a ballistic missile launched by Houthis at Najran

EU presidency calls for better relations with Turkey

‘A mad scramble’: How Trump tweet on Pakistan blindsided U.S. officials

Hard-won victories of Arab spring appear more fragile than ever

Tunisia deploys army, makes 300 arrests as violent unrest continues

Tunisia protests: authorities accused of indiscriminate crackdown

Possible joint Koreas parade at Pyeongchang Olympics under discussion

Putin calls Kim Jong Un ‘competent and mature’ leader

Trump Boasts of ‘Very Good Relationship’ With North Korean Leader

Trump’s ‘madman’ rhetoric may have scared North Korea to talks

Trump denounces immigration from ‘sh*thole countries,’ is accused of racism

Time cover depicts Trump’s hair on fire to sum up his first year

Trump says messages between FBI employees were treasonous

Bannon to testify before Congress on Russian interference in 2016 election

Kremlin: US report accusing Russia of election meddling harms relations

Ecuador gives Assange citizenship, seeks end to embassy stay

Trump ‘cancels’ London visit to dedicate new U.S. Embassy, citing ‘bad deal’ to sell and relocate building

Donald Trump calls off visit to London amid fears of mass protests

Canada increasingly convinced Trump will pull out of NAFTA

Commentary: The dawn of American socialism

Dow spikes 205 points to record close, led by Boeing

Cryptocurrency mining puts electrical grid of small Washington state county ‘to the test’

If Pentagon Knows More About Missing Satellite, It’s Not Saying

It’s coming: The ‘super blue blood moon eclipse’

6.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Pyu, Burma

5.5 magnitude earthquake hits South of the Fiji Islands

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Pyu, Burma

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Pyu, Burma

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Tilaran, Costa Rica

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 16,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 14,000ft

Nevados De Chillan in Chile erupts to 14,000ft

Turrialba volcano in Costa Rica erupts to 12,000ft

Ebeko volcano in the Kuril Islands erupts to 11,000ft

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 11,000ft

US cold snap was a freak of nature, quick analysis finds

199-MPH Sierra wind gust sets California record

3-D printing creates super soft structures that replicate brain and lungs

Trump Administration Moves to Halt Abortion of Fourth Illegal Immigrant Teen

High Praise: Pot Churches Proliferate As States Ease Access To Marijuana

1 in 12 Christians worldwide persecuted, report shows


What is The Gospel?


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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Google Rolls Out New ‘Worldview-Checker’

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA—In a move to combat the spread of dangerous worldviews that disagree with those of Google executives and employees, the tech behemoth has announced a new feature in its search engine: an ‘approved worldview checker’ to ensure all opinions expressed online line up with progressive ideals. The feature was automatically added to Google […]

. . . finish reading Google Rolls Out New ‘Worldview-Checker’.

Friday’s Featured Sermon: “Attitudes of Effective Evangelism”

Luke 10:1-4

Code: B180112

What makes evangelism effective? Is it a particular proven strategy, a clever way to pitch the promise of the gospel, or a personality that makes the message more palatable?

In his sermon “Attitudes of Effective Evangelism,” John MacArthur argues that it’s the motivation of the missionaries—not the cleverness of their message—that drives the work of evangelism and advances the progress of the gospel.

And let me tell you this: If you’re going to do evangelism, if you’re going to be a missionary, if you’re going to proclaim the kingdom of God, if you’re going to tell people about the King, the Lord Jesus Christ, it’s going to start with an attitude. It’s going to start in the heart. You could train people till you’re blue in the face. You can give them all kinds of information, you can load their theological gun, you can give them strategies and methodologies. But effective evangelism is done by highly motivated people. Understand that. It’s not about training, it’s about motivation. It’s not about what you know. It’s about what you feel; it’s about what drives you.

John goes on to highlight five necessary attitudes and motivations that the Lord highlighted when He commissioned the seventy evangelists in Luke 10:1-4. It is those attitudes—compassion, prayer, urgency, vigilance, and trust—that inform and undergird the work of Christ’s kingdom missionaries.

Moreover, John MacArthur has encouragement for believers who don’t think they are called to the work of evangelism; that they don’t possess the necessary abilities and aptitudes to be missionaries for the kingdom of God.

The instruction and the interaction that Jesus has with the seventy is very helpful for us because we are virtually called to the same responsibility. We are witnesses to Christ in the world. That’s really the reason we’re here. As I’ve said on many occasions, we’ve been saved, and that’s partly to enjoy fellowship with God and with each other, but the fellowship is imperfect here, it’s not satisfying to us or God. We are saved to be obedient, but the obedience is limited, it’s neither satisfying to us or God. We are saved to worship, but the worship isn’t all it should be. It’s not perfect; neither does it satisfy our hearts or His. Why does He leave us here? Why not perfect fellowship, perfect obedience? Because there’s one thing you’ll never do in heaven and that’s evangelize lost people. The primary task of the church then is that. That’s why we’re here. And so we are, as it were, an extension of the seventy. We can’t be apostles, but we can be at this level.

The work of God’s kingdom is the task every believer has been called to. Just as Christ commissioned the seventy evangelists in Luke 10, He has likewise equipped and called us to the preaching of the gospel and the work of His kingdom.

Click here to listen to “Attitudes of Effective Evangelism.”

 


Available online at: https://www.gty.org/library/blog/B180112
COPYRIGHT ©2018 Grace to You

You may reproduce this Grace to You content for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Grace to You’s Copyright Policy (http://www.gty.org/about#copyright).

Twitter Censors Conservative Speech

In the latest undercover Project Veritas video investigation, current and former Twitter employees are on camera explaining steps the social media giant is taking to censor political content that they don’t like.

This video release follows the first undercover Twitter exposé Project Veritas released on January 10th which showed Twitter Senior Network Security Engineer Clay Haynes saying that Twitter is “more than happy to help the Department of Justice with their little [President Donald Trump] investigation.” Twitter responded to the video with a statement shortly after that release, stating “the individual depicted in this video was speaking in a personal capacity and does not represent or speak for Twitter.” The video released by Project Veritas today features eight employees, and a Project Veritas spokesman said there are more videos featuring additional employees coming.View article →

Source: Twitter Censors Conservative Speech


Undercover Video of Twitter: So You Would Just Get Rid of Conservatives?

Frontpagemag

How do you know you’ve been shadowbanned? You may be tweeting, but you’re no longer being heard. You wonder if maybe people just aren’t interested in what you have to say.

But they might be interested. Twitter just isn’t interested in letting them read your messages.

View Article

Paula White Reps. Scrub Web Page of Language Urging ‘First Fruits’ Offering of Day, Week, Month’s Wages, ‘Consequences’ for Not Giving

(Heather Clark – Christian News Network) Following media reports and public backlash over the matter, representatives for false teacher Paula White, who also serves as the chair of President Trump’s Evangelical Advisory Board, have scrubbed a page on White’s website of any mention that she had urged followers to give a “first fruits” offering of a day, week, or month’s wages—and that there are “consequences” for those who don’t give God their first fruits out of “ignorance or direct disobedience.”

As previously reported, Leonardo Blair of the Christian Post had first reportedon White’s pitch, in which she declared via the web page (which includes a recorded video), “When we apply the Principle of First Fruits, we see that all firsts should be given to the Lord: the first of the day, week (Sabbath), month, and the first of our harvest—be it the wages for the first day, week, or the month.”

She asserted that “2018 is a year of life and deliverance from struggle [and] it begins right now with first fruits.” White noted that part of the Hebrew word for 18 means “alive” or “living.”

“We are demanding life to your purpose,” White declared. “And with obedience to this first fruits instruction, which is putting God first now, your purpose, your year, your prosperity, and your power will have life and be resurrected!”

She said that she personally gives one month’s wages every year, and noted that others “sow a month’s pay, a week’s pay, [or] a day’s pay,”—whatever is their best.

“Each January, I put God first and honor Him with the first of our substance by sowing a first fruits offering of one month’s pay. That is a big sacrifice, but it is a seed for the harvest I am believing for in the coming year,” White outlined.

“When you apply this, everything comes in divine alignment for His plan and promises for you. When you don’t honor it, whether through ignorance or direct disobedience, there are consequences,” she also warned.

White urged followers, both in the video and article, to click on a donate button to give their first fruits offering to her ministry. Depending on the amount donated, she offered a book, devotional and/or wall calendar, repeating several times that one should give God “their best.”  View article →

Source: Paula White Reps. Scrub Web Page of Language Urging ‘First Fruits’ Offering of Day, Week, Month’s Wages, ‘Consequences’ for Not Giving

January 12, 2017 “This ‘n’ That” (Week In Review)

  • For those of you who have children, here are some suggested devotionals for the kiddos (note that I can’t vouch for any of them).
  • We must be careful not to engage in reductionist evangelism. Remember, even the demons believe.
  • This would never happen to me.
  • Moody has been busy. This happened. Then this happened.
  • Here’s your weekly dose of adorable.
  • I get it that it’s cool and trendy to shun all things logical these days. Modern medicine? Who needs it? Filtered and purified water? Bah, I’d rather drink my share of infectious organisms!
  • I can’t decide which aspect of this story saddens me most.
  • It might not hurt to know the basics about these trinitarian controversies.
  • I love this. I would help free the moose, too!
God never places us in any position in which we cannot grow. We may fancy that He does. We may fear we are so impeded by fretting, petty cares that we are gaining nothing, but when we are not sending any branches upward, we may be sending roots downward. Perhaps in the time of our humiliation, when everything seems a failure, we are making the best kind of progress. God delights to try our faith by the conditions in which He places us. A plant set in the shade shows where its heart is by turning towards the sun, even when unable to reach it. —Elizabeth Prentiss

‘1984’ Moved To Current Affairs Section

U.S.—According to a representative from the American Booksellers Association as well as a representative from publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, retail shops and online book resellers will now be asked to stock George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984 exclusively in the “Current Affairs” section of their retail locations and online storefronts. The reclassification came as a wave […]

. . . finish reading ‘1984’ Moved To Current Affairs Section.

The Modern Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit

Those involved in the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) continually blaspheme the Holy Spirit. This is a grave sin, brethren. Sadly, people involved in this movement refuse to receive correction, even when it is coming from highly regarded Bible scholars. A complete misunderstanding of the function and activity of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer has become epidemic in the Church. For example, charismatics would have us believe that the Spirit of God is responsible for bringing people to a point of making strange sounds, crawling on all fours, heads and bodies shaking uncontrollably, crying, laughing (dubbed “Holy Laughter“), getting “drunk in the Spirit,” and other bizarre phenomena. Are charismatics right in saying that this sort of behavior is a manifestation of the Spirit? No, says Bible expositor John MacArthur.

Dr. MacArthur preached a sermon on what the scriptures actually teach about the Holy Spirit, which is far, far different from what NAR leaders would have us believe. You’re about to see that what is taught in the inspired, infallible Word of God is NOT the view NAR leaders foolishly clings to — not even close.

Listen to John MacArthur’s sermon or read the transcript over at Grace to You:

Well, now that I don’t have to preach on anything but what I want to preach on, since I finished the New Testament, I find myself all over the place, trying to decide what to preach on in sequence.  It’s a new kind of experience for me and I’m working on some kind of sequence that makes sense over the future.  But I am sort of at the liberty point of my life where whatever is on my heart is where I can go, and this is a wonderful opportunity for me.  And there is a subject that has concerned me for a long time, and I have wanted to address this subject, but it hasn’t been a part of the preaching through the gospels in the way that it can be now and that is the subject of the Holy Spirit – the Holy Spirit.

After all the emphasis of so many years, 25 years of preaching through the four gospels, and much emphasis, of course, on the person of Christ, as it should be, much emphasis on the character of God and the nature of God as manifest in Christ and is seen elsewhere in Scripture, it is time now to give honor to the third member of the Trinity; namely, the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit is the most forgotten, the most misrepresented, the most dishonored, the most grieved, the most abused, and I might even say the most blasphemed of the members of the Trinity.  That’s a sad thing.

When our Lord cleansed the temple in John 2, He said that He was, in a sense, fulfilling the attitude of David from Psalm 69:  “Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up, the reproaches that fall on you are fallen on Me.”  And what our Lord was saying was, “When God is dishonored, I feel the pain.”  “You have taken My Father’s house, which is to be a house of prayer, and turned it into a den of robbers.  You’ve corrupted My Father’s house.  You’ve blasphemed My Father’s name.  You’ve dishonored My Father.”  And I can say that I have long felt that same thing with regard to the Holy Spirit.  Yes, I grieve when God is dishonored.  It is a constant grief to me.  I grieve when Christ is dishonored.

But in this contemporary sort of Christian evangelical church world, people are a little less reluctant to bring dishonor on the name of God and the name of Christ, but they think they have a free run at dishonoring and abusing the Holy Spirit, apparently, because so much of that goes on.  I’m not here to defend the Holy Spirit; He can defend Himself.  But I am here to say that reproaches that are falling on His holy name are falling on me as well, and mostly this comes in the professing church from Pentecostals and Charismatics who feel they have free license to abuse the Holy Spirit and even blaspheme His holy name – and they do it constantly.

How do they do it?  By attributing to the Holy Spirit words that He didn’t say, deeds that He didn’t do, and experiences that He didn’t produce, attributing to the Holy Spirit that which is not the work of the Holy Spirit.  Endless human experiences, emotional experiences, bizarre experiences, and demonic experiences are said to come from the Holy Spirit.  Visions, revelations, voices from heaven, messages from the Spirit through transcendental means, dreams, speaking in tongues, prophecies, out-of-body experiences, trip to heaven, anointings, miracles – all false, all lies, all deceptions – attributed falsely to the Holy Spirit.

You know enough to know that God does not want to be worshiped in illegitimate ways.  God wants to be worshiped for who He is, for what He has done in the way He has declared.  It is open season on abusing the Holy Spirit, outrageous dishonor of the Holy Spirit, claiming He is saying things and doing things and generating things that have nothing to do with the Holy Spirit at all.  It is a reckless kind of movement.  It is a shameful and dangerous sin to heap such abuse on the Holy Spirit.  In fact, the idea of bringing dishonor on the Holy Spirit ought to make any thinking person tremble.  People seem less interested, I think, in claiming that God is doing certain things or saying certain things or that Christ is doing things or saying certain things than they are at saying the Holy Spirit did this, the Holy Spirit said this, the Holy Spirit is producing and generating this, that there just seems to be no restraint on the things that are blamed on the Holy Spirit.

A way to perceive this would be to see it as a contrast to what we see in Matthew chapter 12, for example.  The leaders of Israel committed the unpardonable sin, and what was that unpardonable sin?  It was attributing to Satan the work of the Holy Spirit.  Remember that?  It was attributing to Satan the work of the Holy Spirit, Matthew 12:31-32.  What’s going on today is the opposite.  Attributing to the Holy Spirit the work of Satan.  That’s what’s going on.  Attributing to the Holy Spirit the work of Satan.  Satan is alive and at work in deception, false miracles, bad theology, lying visions, lying dreams, lying revelations, deceptive teachers who are in it for the money and power and influence.  Satan is alive and well, and the work of Satan is being attributed to the Holy Spirit.  That is a serious blasphemy, just as attributing to Satan the work of the Holy Spirit is a serious blasphemy.

I couldn’t even begin to give you all the illustrations.  You have enough of them in your own mind.  You can turn on your television and see any litany of them that you would choose.  And in order to give credibility to all these things, all these lies, they attach them to the Holy Spirit as if it’s a freebie, as if there’s no price to pay for that kind of blasphemy.

The latest wave of this – I’ll just give you one illustration.  The latest wave of this that is gaining traction and has entered into sort of national news is a new form of Charismania, bringing reproach on the Holy Spirit called the New Apostolic Reformation, NAR, the New Apostolic Reformation.  It is not new, it is not apostolic, and it is not a reformation, by the way.  It is like Grape Nuts – it’s not grapes and it’s not nuts.  It’s like Christian Science – it’s not Christian and it’s not scientific.  Well, the New Apostolic Reformation isn’t new, it isn’t apostolic, and it isn’t a reformation.  But it is a rapidly expanding movement being generated by some of the same old troubling false teachers and false leaders that have been around in Charismania for decades, always dishonoring the Holy Spirit, always dishonoring the Scripture, always claiming miracle signs, wonders, visions, dreams.  Peter Wagner, the Kansas City “Prophets,” Mike Bickle, Cindy Jacobs, Lou Engle, and on and on and on it goes.

In fact, this is exploding so fast that they have a 50-state network that are now involved in this.  This is a new kind of Charismania, it’s sort of on steroids.  One writer said it’s Charismania with shots of adrenalin.  And here’s what their basic claim is:  that the Holy Spirit has revealed to them that in the year 2001, we entered into the second apostolic age – in the year 2001 we entered into the second apostolic age.  What does that mean?  It means that the long-lost offices of New Testament prophet and New Testament apostle have been restored, the Holy Spirit has given the power of prophecy and the power and authority of an apostle to certain people in this generation of the church since 2001.  It seems very odd to me that the Holy Spirit would give that to people whose theology is unbiblical and totally aberrant.  I’m pretty sure the Holy Spirit wouldn’t authenticate false teachers, so we know it’s not the Holy Spirit, but that’s what they claim.  But the Holy Spirit gets blamed for everything; this is just the newest one.

For example, they have authority equal to the apostles, they have the same power the apostles had through the Holy Spirit to do miracles and to exercise that power, and they’ve had it since 2001.  Some of them fall into the prophet category, some of them fall into the apostle category.  They speak what the Holy Spirit reveals to them with the same authority the apostles have.  This authority and this power has been demonstrated in the world because one of the apostles stopped mad cow disease in Germany – so he claims.  The movement is marked by super-excess ecstatic, bizarre behavior.  Emotionalism ran amok, all kinds of crazy revelations, behaviors.  Peter Wagner is the father of this, as he has been involved in all kinds of other aberrations through the years, including starting the Church Growth Movement, which gave life to the Pragmatism movement, which, as we know, is so ubiquitous.  Their influence has been growing and recently jumped into the political realm, and I’ll tell you how.  View article →

Related:

Michael Brown Attacks Christian Authors  & Defends NAR Cult

Heresy Hunter’s Open Letter to Michael Brown

Bethel Church blaspheming God’s holy Name

Source: The Modern Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit

January 12, 2018 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

51:11 Don’t give up on me, Lord, or banish me from Your presence. I can’t stand the thought of being away from You, or of having Your Holy Spirit taken from me. In this age in which I live, You do take Your Holy Spirit from men when they walk in disobedience to You. You did it to Saul (1 Sam. 16:14)—I shudder to think of the consequences. Please, Lord, spare me from this fate.[1]


51:11 Your Holy Spirit from me. This is a reference to the special Holy Spirit anointing on theocratic mediators.[2]


51:11take not your Holy Spirit from me. Some have taken this to imply that the Holy Spirit can be taken from someone, at least in the OT; others have suggested that the Holy Spirit is viewed here in his role of empowering David for his kingly duties, and that this is a prayer that God not take the kingship and the divine anointing for kingship from David as he did from Saul (see note on 1 Sam. 16:14; cf. 1 Sam. 16:13). To evaluate these views, one should observe that the OT rarely discusses the Holy Spirit’s role in cleansing the inner life (besides here, Ezek. 36:27 is the main OT text on the subject), and certainly does not enter into technical questions of the Spirit’s permanent indwelling. Further, the fact that this is a psalm for the whole congregation argues against the idea that this is David’s personal prayer about his kingship. The whole tenor of this psalm is that, if strict justice were God’s only consideration, he would have the right to bring dire judgment on those who sin (which includes all of his own people), and that the only possible appeal is to his mercy. The function of the psalm, as a song sung by the entire congregation, is to shape their hearts so that they feel this at the deepest level, lest they ever presume upon God’s grace.[3]


51:11do not take your Holy Spirit from me The psalmist may have been thinking of when God removed His Spirit from Saul after Saul became His enemy (see 1 Sam 16:14 and note).

The psalmist hopes his sin will not make him an enemy of God, but that he will enjoy God’s presence (see note on Ps 4:6; note on 21:6).[4]


51:11 Holy Spirit. The Old Testament does not make a full disclosure of the personhood of the Holy Spirit. David understands that his spiritual well-being depends on God’s presence with him. He fears that the Spirit may be taken away, because the Spirit is holy and David is sinful. See “The Holy Spirit” at John 14:26.[5]


51:11 David was painfully aware of what had happened previously to Saul. In the O.T., the Holy Spirit’s departure from a man, as in the case of Samson (cf. Judg. 16:20) or Saul (cf. 1 Sam. 16:14), does not mean that his salvation is lost; rather, it denotes the loss of the empowering or filling or ministry of the Spirit. Note how the Hebrew parallelism equates the Holy Spirit with the presence of God (cf. 139:7).[6]


51:11 At Pentecost the risen and ascended Christ sent His Holy Spirit (Acts 2:32–33) to abide with every believer. But before the incarnation and resurrection of the Son of God, the Spirit appears to function differently in the life of the people of God. The Spirit “came upon” or “indwelt” people responsible for administering the rule of God: prophets, priests, and kings. The presence of God’s Spirit set them apart and enabled them to lead (see Is 61:1), but His indwelling was not always permanent as it is in the NT. Thus, when Saul sinned against the Lord and was rejected from kingship, the Spirit left him (1 Sm 16:14). David the king probably had this possibility in mind. His prayer is a typical OT petition that he not be removed from service because of his sin. Christians would not express this thought in the same way; since Jesus Christ lives and reigns, His Holy Spirit indwells them permanently as the seal of eternal life. Still, NT believers can pray the same thing David meant: “Do not remove me from service.” (On the Holy Spirit in the OT, see Jdg 3:10; 1 Sm 18:12.)[7]


11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy rholy spirit from me.

From thy presence, i.e. from thy favour, and care, and gracious communion with thee. Thy Holy Spirit; thy sanctifying Spirit, by which alone I can have acquaintance and fellowship with thee.[8]


[1] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 630). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[2] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Ps 51:11). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[3] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 1000). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[4] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Ps 51:11). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[5] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 782). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.

[6] Criswell, W. A., Patterson, P., Clendenen, E. R., Akin, D. L., Chamberlin, M., Patterson, D. K., & Pogue, J. (Eds.). (1991). Believer’s Study Bible (electronic ed., Ps 51:11). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[7] Cabal, T., Brand, C. O., Clendenen, E. R., Copan, P., Moreland, J. P., & Powell, D. (2007). The Apologetics Study Bible: Real Questions, Straight Answers, Stronger Faith (p. 836). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

[8] Poole, M. (1853). Annotations upon the Holy Bible (Vol. 2, p. 84). New York: Robert Carter and Brothers.

Albert Mohler Blog: “Moralism is not the Gospel (But Many Christians Think It Is)

In this essay, Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr. discuss the problem of moralism in evangelical theology. Mohler writes:

“We sin against Christ and we misrepresent the Gospel when we suggest to sinners that what God demands of them is moral improvement in accordance with the Law. Moralism makes sense to sinners, for it is but an expansion of what we have been taught from our earliest days. But moralism is not the Gospel, and it will not save. The only gospel that saves is the Gospel of Christ. As Paul reminded the Galatians, ‘But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons’ [Gal. 4:4-5].”

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January 12 An Upward Look by a Downcast Soul, Part 5

By James Boice on Jan 12, 2018 12:00 am

He challenges himself to do what should be done. The second step in the battle against depression follows from the act of addressing oneself in this manner. Indeed, it is a part of it. It is to challenge oneself to do what the spiritual self well knows should be done: “Put your hope in God.” There can be no lasting hope in anything else in this sinful, failing world. There never has been. There never will be. Besides, the believer has put his or her trust in God in past days. He can do so again. It is a mark of simple sanity to do what the psalmist urges should be done.

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JANUARY 12 DEALING WITH SIN

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life.

Romans 6:23

Many evangelical teachers insist so strongly upon free, unconditional grace as to create the impression that sin is not a serious matter and that God cares very little about it!

They make it seem that God is only concerned with our escaping the consequences.

The gospel, then, in practical application, means little more than a way to escape the fruits of our past!

But the heart that has felt the weight of its own sin and has seen the dread whiteness of the Most High God will never believe that a message of forgiveness without transformation is a message of good news. To remit a man’s past without transforming his present is to violate the moral sincerity of his own heart.

To that kind of thing God will be no party! For to offer a sinner the gift of salvation based upon the work of Christ, while at the same time allowing him to retain the idea that the gift carries with it no moral implications, is to do him untold injury where it hurts him most!

Father, thank You for changing me from the inside out. Empower me by Your Spirit to live in the light of Your forgiveness today.[1]


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

January 12 The Tempter Is Real

And the tempter came and said to Him … —Matt. 4:3a

It is not popular today to believe in a literal, personal devil, even among professing Christians. The devil is increasingly seen as being somewhere between a figment of our imagination and a useful device to coerce obedience.

Yet in addition to the name used here (“tempter”), the New Testament gives Satan many other names: “ruler of this world” (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11); “the prince of the power of the air” (Eph. 2:2); “the god of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4); “Abaddon” and “Apollyon,” both of which mean “destroyer” (Rev. 9:11); and “the serpent of old” (Rev. 12:9).

With these and many other references to the devil in God’s infallible Scripture—all of which assume a real, supernatural person—it’s clear that Satan does exist. And he never made himself more personally manifest than when he confronted Jesus in the wilderness. The Lord’s opponent was an actual, personal foe in every sense of that expression.

Since the Fall, Satan has directed his full attention and fury against God and His kingdom work. While Christ was on earth, that opposition was particularly intense against the Son and His redemptive mission, beginning at the very outset of His ministry. Yet all the forces of hell continue to present us with real challenges as we endeavor to advance God’s kingdom. Thus all believers must remain ever vigilant and prayerful against a genuine spiritual foe.

ASK YOURSELF

Have you grown lax in guarding yourself from the “roaring lion” (1 Peter 5:8) who actively seeks to devour you? He is not to be feared, for your God is triumphant, but he is definitely in need of accounting for. Ask the Lord to make you wise and wary of the enemy’s presence.[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2008). Daily readings from the life of Christ (p. 20). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

January 12 A Treasure Store

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with everyspiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.

Ephesians 1:3

There is no way to comprehend the riches God has provided for those who love His Son. The treasures He has prepared are infinite. Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it goes and sells all that he has, and buys that field” (Matt. 13:44). The apostle Paul quotes the prophet Isaiah when he says, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Cor. 2:9).

The good news is, if we love the Son of God, we inherit all the riches of the Father. If we believe in Christ, we have treasure beyond imagination.[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 23). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

January 12, 2018 Morning Verse Of The Day

The Lord GOD Will Seek Them Out
11 “For thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out. 12 As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his sheep that have been scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. 13 And I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land. And I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the ravines, and in all the inhabited places of the country. 14 I will feed them with good pasture, and on the mountain heights of Israel shall be their grazing land. There they shall lie down in good grazing land, and on rich pasture they shall feed on the mountains of Israel. 15 I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I myself will make them lie down, declares the Lord GOD. 16 I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, and the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them in justice.

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Eze 34:11–16). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.


34:11–16 God intervenes to reverse, step by step, the process described above. He successively undoes the damage inflicted by the failed shepherds (vv. 2–6, 8) by seeking the scattered (v. 12), gathering (v. 13) and feeding them (v. 14), and ensuring they live in security (v. 15). On the announcement of God himself as shepherd (v. 15), see v. 23. The summary in v. 16 portrays the judgment of the shepherds and the restoration of the flock as two aspects of a single work of God. In John 10:9, Jesus speaks of the sheep finding “pasture” (evoking Ezek. 34:14).[1]


34:11 I … will search. God, the true Shepherd, would search out and find His sheep in order to restore Israel to their land for the kingdom which the Messiah leads (vv. 12–14).

34:12 a cloudy and gloomy day. This refers to the “day of the Lord” judgment on Israel (cf. Jer 30:4–7).

34:12–14 Here is the promise of a literal regathering and restoration of the people of Israel to their own land from their worldwide dispersion. Since the scattering was literal, the regathering must also be literal. Once they are regathered in Messiah’s kingdom, they will no longer want (vv. 15, 16).

34:15, 16 I will feed My flock. In contrast to self-indulgent leaders who took advantage of the sheep, God will meet the needs of His sheep (people). This is clearly reminiscent of Ps 23 and will be fulfilled by the Good Shepherd (Jn 10:1ff.), who will reign as Israel’s Shepherd.[2]


34:11 even I, will seek my flock Since the shepherds would not search for the sheep (Ezek 34:8), Yahweh must do so Himself. The failure of Israel’s leaders has left Ezekiel with little faith in any earthly leader; he trusts in the direct rule of Yahweh.

Yahweh is described as a shepherd to Jacob in Gen 48:15. In ancient Mesopotamia, the gods’ association with shepherding was just as prominent as the king’s (see note on Ezek 34:2). For example, the Babylonian god Marduk is known by the divine title (or epithet), “the shepherd of the people.” A divine epithet identifies Yahweh as shepherd in Gen 49:24. His role as the ultimate “Good Shepherd” is seen through the many actions He undertakes on behalf of His flock (e.g., feeding, leading, watching over, seeking, rescuing, gathering; see Isa 40:11; Pss 23; 95:7; 100:3; Mic 7:14; Zech 10:3; 11:7).

Ezekiel 34:11–22 OTSS:MP

Ezekiel 34:1–31 Ezekiel 21–37 (AYBC)

34:12 the day of storm and stress A reference to the Day of Yahweh, the time of His wrath and judgment. See Ezek 30:3 and note.

34:13 I will gather them from the countries As promised in 11:17.

34:14 I will feed them in good pasture Compare Psa 23:2.

34:15 I myself will allow them to lie down Reminiscent of Psa 23:2.

34:16 I will seek the lost Yahweh will assume and fulfill every obligation the shepherds failed to perform in Ezek 34:4.[3]


34:11–16 Compare the Lord’s persistent shepherding and guiding of His people with the faithlessness of Israel’s leaders in v. 6 (see also vv. 25–31; Jer. 23:1–6; John 10:1–30). See also Ps. 23, where similar ideas pertain to God’s shepherding of the individual rather than corporate Israel. The cloudy and dark day was the day Jerusalem fell (see 30:1–5; Zeph. 1:15). It may also speak of the future day of deliverance when God will seek out His sheep (see 36:16–36). Israel, though guilty and misguided, would eventually be rescued by the divine Good Shepherd and restored to the Promised Land (see chs. 33–39).[4]


34:11–16 Compare the Lord’s persistent shepherding and guiding of His people with the faithlessness of Israel’s leaders in v. 6 (vv. 25–31; Jer. 23:1–6; John 10:1–30). See also Ps. 23, where similar ideas pertain to God’s shepherding of the individual rather than corporate Israel. The cloudy and dark day was the day Jerusalem fell (30:1–5; Zeph. 1:15). It may also speak of the future day of deliverance when God will seek out His sheep (36:16–36). Israel, though guilty and misguided, would eventually be rescued by the divine Good Shepherd and restored to the promised land (chs. 33–39).[5]


34:11–16 He will be their Shepherd and will … gather them to the land and rule over them (during the Millennium). Evangelist D. L. Moody nicely outlines God’s ministry to His sheep:

Notice the “I will’s” of the Lord God on behalf of his sheep.

The Shepherd and the sheep:—

  1. 11. I will search them and seek them out.
  2. 12. I will deliver them.
  3. 13. I will bring them out.
  4. 13. I will gather them together.
  5. 13. I will bring them in.
  6. 14. I will feed them.
  7. 15. I will cause them to lie down.
  8. 16. I will bind up the broken.
  9. 16. I will strengthen the sick.

There are a good many lean sheep in God’s fold, but none in his pasture.

Some people, including a certain type of preacher, try to suggest that the God of the OT is a harsh and unloving Deity, in contrast to God as He is presented in the NT. John Taylor beautifully ties together the revelations of God as Shepherd in both Testaments for us:

The picture of the shepherd searching out the wanderer, in verse 12, is a remarkable foreshadowing of the parable of the lost sheep (Lk. 15:4ff.), which our Lord doubtless based on this passage in Ezekiel. It illustrates as clearly as anything can do the tender, loving qualities of the God of the Old Testament, and strikes a death-blow at those who try to drive a wedge between Yahweh, God of Israel, and the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Nor is it the only passage that speaks of the tender shepherd (cf. Pss. 78:52f.; 79:13; 80:1; Is. 40:11; 49:9f.; Je. 31:10).[6]


[1] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (pp. 1554–1555). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[2] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Eze 34:11–15). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[3] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Eze 34:11–16). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[4] The NKJV Study Bible. (2007). (Eze 34:11–16). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[5] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (p. 992). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.

[6] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 1061). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

JANUARY 12 MADE FOR HIGHER WORLDS

Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

—Colossians 3:2

God has revealed Himself many times and in many ways to assure men and women made in His image that there is another and a better world than this vale of tears we refer to as home….

When people around us learn that we are involved in a spiritual kingdom not yet visible, they think we are prime candidates for a mental institution. But this we know: Those same people around us are subject to the cruel tyranny of material and temporal things—things that will decay and pass away. No world dictator ever ruled his cowering subjects with any more fierce and compulsive domination than the material, visible things rule the men and women of this world.

Of all the calamities that have been visited upon this world and its inhabitants, the willing surrender of the human spirit to materialistic values is the worst! We who were made for higher worlds are accepting the ways of this world as the ultimate. That is a tragedy of staggering proportions.

We who were meant to commune with the Creator God, with the angels, archangels and seraphim, have decided instead to settle down here. As well might the eagle leave his lofty domain to scratch in the barnyard with the common hens. MMG101-102

It’s so easy, Lord, to become enamored with and ensnared by the things of this barnyard. Help me to be more lofty in my affections today. Amen.[1]


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

January 12 The Importance of Brotherly Love

“Let love of the brethren continue.”

Hebrews 13:1

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Genuine love among Christians is a testimony to the world, to ourselves, and to God.

The importance of brotherly love extends well beyond the walls of your local church or fellowship hall. In John 13:35 Jesus says, “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” In effect, God has made love for one another the measuring stick by which the world can determine if our Christian profession is genuine. That’s why it’s so important that we have a selfless attitude and sincerely place the interests of our brothers and sisters in Christ ahead of our own.

If you are a parent, you know what a delight it is when your children love and care for one another. Such harmonious relations make for a close–knit family and fulfill the words of the psalmist: “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!” (Ps. 133:1). God is both pleased and glorified when Christian brothers and sisters love each other and minister together in harmony.

Neither the author of Hebrews nor the apostle John is equating love with a sentimental, superficial affection. As already suggested, practical commitment marks true brotherly love. If you do not have such commitment, it is fair to question your relationship to God (1 John 3:17). Refusing to help a fellow believer when you can, John reasons, reveals that you don’t really love him. And if you don’t love him, God’s love can’t be in your heart, which proves that you don’t belong to Him. This logic is sobering and persuasive. It should motivate us all the more to see the importance of practicing brotherly love: “Let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. We shall know by this that we are of the truth, and shall assure our heart before Him” (1 John 3:18–19).

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Suggestions for Prayer: Ask the Lord’s forgiveness for times when you did not show brotherly love or when you were reluctant to help another Christian in need.

For Further Study: Read Luke 6:31–35 and notice how our duty to love extends even beyond the sphere of fellow believers. What kind of reward results?[1]


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