Daily Archives: January 16, 2018

January 16 Anticipating Your Inheritance

“In [Christ] also we have obtained an inheritance” (Eph. 1:10–11).

✧✧✧

As a member of God’s family, you have obtained a future inheritance that has many present benefits.

An inheritance is something received by an heir as the result of a will or a legal process. It’s a legacy one receives from family connections.

As a member of God’s family, you are an heir of God and a fellow-heir with Christ (Rom. 8:17). As such you have obtained an inheritance that Peter called “imperishable and undefiled … reserved in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:4). It cannot perish, fade away, or be defiled because Heaven is timeless and sinless. It is a secure inheritance.

In Ephesians 1:11 Paul refers to it in the past tense (“have obtained”). That’s significant, because the fullness of your inheritance won’t be revealed until you are glorified in God’s presence (1 John 3:2). But your inheritance is so sure that Paul refers to it as if it is already in hand.

Although its fullness lies in the future, your inheritance has present benefits. In addition to inheriting Christ and the Holy Spirit, you also inherit peace, love, grace, wisdom, joy, victory, strength, guidance, mercy, forgiveness, righteousness, discernment, and every other possible spiritual benefit. Paul sums it all up in 1 Corinthians 3:22–23: “All things belong to you … and you belong to Christ; and Christ belongs to God.”

Nowadays many Christians are so preoccupied with acquiring material goods that they miss many of the present benefits of their spiritual inheritance and the joy of anticipating its future fulfillment. Don’t fall into that trap!

Looking forward to your eternal inheritance will help you maintain a proper perspective on temporal things and will motivate you to praise and adore God.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer:  Praise the Lord for the incredible inheritance that awaits you in Heaven. ✧ Thank Him for the present benefits of your inheritance, which are yours to enjoy daily.

For Further Study: One precious aspect of your eternal inheritance is God’s mercy. Psalm 136 reflects on the lovingkindness God demonstrated toward Israel. Read that psalm, noting the manifestations of God’s love that relate to your life.[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 28). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

JANUARY 16 THE GRACE OF GOD CANNOT BE EXTINGUISHED

And the grace of our LORD was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

1 TIMOTHY 1:14

Brethren, we should be keenly aware that the living God can no more hide His grace than the sun can hide its brightness!

We must keep in mind also that the grace of God is infinite and eternal. Being an attribute of God, it is as boundless as infinitude!

The Old Testament is indeed a book of law, but not of law only. Before the great flood Noah “found grace in the eyes of the Lord,” and after the law was given God said to Moses, “Thou hast found grace in my sight.”

There never was a time when the law did not represent the will of God for mankind nor a time when the violation of it did not bring its own penalty, though God was patient and sometimes “winked” at wrongdoing because of the ignorance of the people.

The great source and spring of Christian morality is the love of Christ Himself, not the law of Moses; nevertheless there has been no abrogation of the principles of morality contained in the law. The grace of God made sainthood possible in Old Testament days just as it does today!

God has promised that He will always be Himself. Men may flee from the sunlight to dark and musty caves of the earth, but they cannot put out the sun. So men may in any dispensation despise the grace of God, but they cannot extinguish it![1]


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

January 16, 2018 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

BLOOMBERG

Palestinian leaders called on President Mahmoud Abbas to withdraw recognition of Israel and break off security cooperation, in a move that follows the Trump administration naming Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.

Japanese national broadcaster NHK issued a false alert about a N. Korean missile launch, adding to questions about the reliability of early-warning systems after a similar incident in Hawaii.

The new U.S. Embassy in London, criticized last week by President Donald Trump as too expensive and poorly located, opened its doors to the public Tuesday for the first time.

Ethiopia said it’s preparing to release 528 detainees including the chairman of an opposition party, state-affiliated media reported, in what would be the first round of pardons announced by the government this month.

January’s cryptocurrency selloff got fresh impetus on Tuesday when bitcoin slumped as much as 20 percent, as the prospect of regulatory crackdowns appeared to spread.

AP Top Stories

Wall Street’s main indexes rose sharply on Tuesday, with the Dow hitting the 26,000 mark for the first time, as the fourth-quarter earnings season kicked into high gear.

Thirteen malnourished siblings, ranging in age from 2 to 29, were rescued by police in California from a house where some of them had been chained to beds, and their parents have been charged with torture, officials said on Monday.

American citizens who wish to visit North Korea should write a will, make funeral arrangements and designate carers for their children and pets, a chilling travel advisory from the US State Department has warned.

Two suicide bombers blew themselves up at a busy street market in central Baghdad on Monday, in back-to-back explosions that killed at least 38 people, Iraqi health and police officials said.

Israel’s justice ministry said Monday it had fined pharmaceutical giant Teva $22 million for bribing foreign officials in a settlement that spares the company a potential criminal trial.

Pope Francis flew in to Chile’s capital Monday night for a visit expected to be met with protests over sexual abuse by priests and confronted by many Chileans deeply skeptical about the Roman Catholic Church.

The top U.S. military officer, Marine General Joseph Dunford, said on Monday he was committed to the U.S.-Pakistan relationship, which has been strained in recent weeks as Washington piles pressure on Islamabad to crack down on militants.

Myanmar and Bangladesh have agreed to repatriate hundreds of thousands of displaced Rohingya within a two-year period, Dhaka said Tuesday, the first concrete timeline given for the refugees’ return despite many refusing to go back to their homeland.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte personally made a decision to let China conduct scientific research off the Philippines’ Pacific coast, his spokesman said on Monday, despite concern among critics about threats to maritime sovereignty.

Turkey’s president said Sunday the country will launch a military assault on a Kurdish enclave in northern Syria “in the coming days” and urged the U.S. to support its efforts.

Four mobile cranes purchased by the United States arrived Monday at a rebel-held port in Yemen, the United Nations said, after months of delays imposed by the Saudi-led coalition. The cranes will boost the capacity of the Huthi-controlled Hodeida port to receive food, fuel and medical supplies as Yemen remains on the brink of famine after nearly three years of war.

The US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group said on Sunday it was working to create a 30,000-strong border security force in northern Syria, drawing sharp condemnation from Turkey.

Pope Francis said on Monday he was really afraid about the danger of nuclear war and that the world now stood at “the very limit”.

Tunisian police arrested 41 more protesters after fresh violent protests against austerity measures in the North African country, the interior ministry said on Monday, bringing the number of arrested to around 850.

The United Arab Emirates accused neighboring Qatar of “intercepting” two Emirati passenger planes en route to Bahrain on Monday in the latest incident between the Gulf rivals.

Transgender Americans are openly enlisting in the U.S. military for the first time, saying they feel confident that court rulings blocking Republican President Donald Trump’s ban on their service will stand.

Raytheon Company’s RTN Integrated Defense Systems (IDS) business segment recently secured a contract worth $641.6 million to perform Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) test related activities for multiple radar platforms. Work related to this will be carried out in Huntsville, AL and Colorado Springs, CO.

BBC

Nine people in California have been charged after they handed out food to the homeless, violating a rule about sharing food in public places.

Nigeria’s military says it has released 244 “repentant” Boko Haram suspects who have undergone rehabilitation. The authorities say they have been de-radicalized and can re-enter society, but critics are skeptical about whether they have repented.

December set the record for the least amount of sunshine seen in Moscow, Russian weather experts said. “The sun didn’t come out even once for the entire month.”

WND

Three levels of selfie addiction: borderline, acute, and chronic. Those who take three selfies in a day but don’t post them on social media fall into the borderline category. Those who post at least three per day are considered acute, and those who have an “uncontrollable urge” to take selfies all the time and post at least six on social media per day are considered chronic.


The Briefing — Tuesday, January 16, 2018

1) In the name of eliminating all discrimination, University of Iowa discriminates against Christian student group

AP (David Pitt) –
Iowa lawsuit pits gay rights against religious freedom

Des Moines Register (Jacob Estell) –
Why did University of Iowa single out Christian campus group?

2) Religious liberty threatened even more explosively as Chinese authorities dynamite major church

New York Times (Russell Goldman) –
Chinese Police Dynamite Christian Megachurch

3) Hard lessons learned in the state of California on the issues of work and welfare and the distinction between political intentions and political reality

LA Times (Kerry Jackson) –
Why is liberal California the poverty capital of America?

4) A false warning that was heeded in Hawaii vs. a real warning that is being ignored to eternal peril

Washington Post (Amy Wang) –
Hawaii missile alert: How one employee ‘pushed the wrong button’ and caused a wave of panic


News – 1/16/2018

Israeli security forces find cell phone bomb in Joseph’s Tomb
Israeli security forces removed a bomb on Monday from Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus in the West Bank, according to the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit. The bomb, found in a cell phone during a security scan to secure the tomb for about 1,000 worshipers, was removed from the tomb and detonated by security forces. Protestors threw stones at security forces upon their entry to and departure from the site, damaging their bus but resulting in no casualties.

Rohingya crisis: Bangladesh and Myanmar agree repatriation timeframe
Bangladesh and Myanmar have agreed a timeframe for repatriating hundreds of thousands of Rohingya who fled crackdowns from the military. Myanmar has agreed to accept 1,500 Rohingya each week, Bangladesh says, adding that it aims to return all of them to Myanmar within two years. More than 740,000 Rohingya have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh amid violence in Rakhine state in 2016 and 2017.

China rights lawyer Yu Wensheng loses licence
A Chinese human rights lawyer says his licence has been revoked three months after he wrote an open letter criticising the ruling Communist Party. Yu Wensheng, 50, received the news in a letter from Beijing’s Bureau of Justice on 15 January, a photo of which he has since tweeted (in Chinese). Mr Yu has long been a frequent and vocal critic of the government.

Brexit: EU ‘tightens transition guidelines’ on immigration, trade and fishing
The UK’s freedom to determine its own rules on immigration, trade and fishing in a transition period after Brexit may be further restricted, according to revised EU guidelines on a transition. Draft EU documents would see full freedom of movement extended until the start of 2021. The UK would also need “authorisation” to stick with existing EU trade deals.

Iowa lawsuit pits gay rights against religious freedom
The University of Iowa is caught up in a legal fight with a conservative Christian student group that denied a leadership position to a student who is gay. The case pits a university policy barring discrimination based on sexual orientation against the religious beliefs of a 10-member group called Business Leaders in Christ. The group sued after the state’s flagship university in Iowa City revoked its campus registration in November.

U.S. and China Prepare for Trade Clash of the Titans
The last time Washington mobilized for a trade war, Ronald Reagan was president and Japan the adversary. Today, the White House is readying the same big guns—a mix of tariffs and quotas—aimed mainly at Chinese imports. It has in its sights everything from steel to solar panels and washing machines. A record Chinese annual trade surplus with the U.S., announced last week, is the potential catalyst for hostilities after a year of bluster from President Donald Trump.

America’s Fastest Spy Plane May Be Back—and Hypersonic
For years, Lockheed Martin Corp. has been developing a successor to one of the fastest aircraft the world has ever seen, the SR-71 Blackbird, the Cold War reconnaissance craft that the U.S. Air Force retired almost three decades ago. Lockheed officials have said the hypersonic SR-72—dubbed the “Son of Blackbird” by one trade journal—could fly by 2030.

Nafta Trio to Gather in Davos as Negotiations Resume in Canada
The three ministers leading negotiations to revamp Nafta will get two chances for face-to-face talks this month… U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo and Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland are due to attend the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, which begins on Jan. 23, the same day the sixth round of North American Free Trade Agreement talks get underway across the Atlantic in Montreal.

Think Flu Season is Bad? It Might Get Even Worse
The influenza virus that’s sickened millions of Americans is already the most widespread outbreak since public health authorities began keeping track… Now, with the threat of more strains emerging, it might get even worse. “Flu is everywhere in the U.S. right now,” said Dan Jernigan…of the …Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. “This is the first year we have had…widespread activity in all of the continental U.S. at this point.”

‘Eye-bleeding fever’ outbreak CONFIRMED: Fears of PANDEMIC as disease hits SECOND country
Uganda’s health ministry has today finally admitted it is facing the risk of a large-scale explosion of the viral hemorrhagic fever (VHF). VHF causes victims to suffer a burning fever before beginning to bleed from orifices including their eyes, anuses and mouths. It comes after a girl, nine, was reportedly killed by the infection Uganda, and three people died in neighbouring South Sudan of similar symptoms.

Israel Gearing up for 70th Independence Day Celebrations
The government is already preparing for a massive celebration on April 18th, the 70th anniversary of the modern miracle that is the State of Israel. (video)

A Strong Israeli Army is the Answer to International Holocaust Remembrance Day
International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which is observed on January 27, is a day set aside by the UN to memorialize victims of the Holocaust, encourage educational programs about one of the darkest times in history, and prevent future acts of genocide. To that end, the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) runs a meaningful program called, “Witnesses in Uniform”. The program, funded by Yahad-United for Israel’s Soldiers and IFCJ, sends hundreds of IDF officers and reservists to Germany and Poland to visit concentration and death camps, the ghettos and the old communities of destroyed European Jewry.

Putin Pals Panic Over US “Corrupt Oligarchs” List, Begin Liquidating Assets
Russian oligarchs are growing increasingly nervous over the U.S. Treasury’s upcoming “Official Oligarch” list, which is being created pursuant to an Aug. 2, 2017 law requiring that the Treasury and State Departments identify officials and oligarchs as determined by “their closeness to the Russian regime and their net worth” an Executive Order signed quietly in Late December which freezes the U.S. housed assets of foreign government officials or executives of foreign corporations deemed to be corrupt.

Netanyahu: Abbas’ speech exposed his true colors
Using particularly jarring language, Abbas said, “Trump, ‘ikhrab beitak’” – an Arabic curse meaning “may your house be destroyed.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is on a state visit to India, said, “Abbas has shown his true colors. He has torn off his mask and made clear the simple truth that I have been trying to expose for many years: The root of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict lies with the Palestinians’ fundamental and constant refusal to recognize a Jewish state in any borders.”

Abbas: Israel a colonial project that has nothing to do with Jews
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said during a conference of the PLO’s Central Committee that “Israel is a colonial project that has nothing to do with Jews.” “Europeans wanted to bring the Jews here to preserve their interests in the region,” Abbas added.

Trump Designates $55 Million to Help Christians, Religious Minorities Rebuild in Iraq
In the wake of Vice President Mike Pence’s announcement last October that the United States government would provide direct aid to persecuted Iraqi Christians struggling to rebuild following the liberation of the Nineveh Plains, the Trump administration has taken concrete steps to follow through on its promises.

U.S. Deploys Electronic Warfare Aircraft To Korean Peninsula
The United States Air Force has deployed an aircraft designed for electronic warfare to the Korean Peninsula. As reported by The Aviationist Monday, an EC-130H Compass Call aircraft recently left Japan’s Yokota Air Base and arrived at Osan Air Base in South Korea.

Now global warming blamed for refugee madness
Rising oceans. Flooded shorelines. Horrific storms. Cold winters. Hot summers. An Arctic without ice or snow. Water flooding into the 9/11 memorial in New York. You’ve heard all the dire warnings about what global warming is doing.  But there’s a new one: It’s causing immigration.

Pray to Allah, Soap Opera Tells German Kids
Native German kids must learn to pray to Allah, a soap opera recommended. A segment from Lindenstraße, a state-funded TV show, shows a young German woman telling a boy that there’s “another name for God,” and that name is Allah.

WATCH: Cops Raid Park, Arrest a Dozen People, Including a Child—For Helping the Homeless
In spite of the myriad of stories over the years, in which police and governments across the United States have been exposed as tyrants, cities and their armed agents continue to persecute good people who help those less fortunate than them. The latest case of police oppressing those who’d dare to help the homeless comes out of El Cajon, California this week in which more than a dozen good Samaritans were arrested.

Obama Lied and Argued Against Executive Amnesty, Then Lied and Said DACA Only Temporary, Now Lies and Calls Trump Racist for Scrapping DACA!
….But Obama lied.  He didn’t really believe what he was saying, he only hoped  Americans believed him. A short time later, in June 2012,  Obama went on to push through his Executive Amnesty plan referred to as DACA.  During his announcement at the White House, Obama claimed that the law would be temporary –

Mass Surveillance: The Government’s Secret Tool To Convict By Violating Rights
A devious process, known as “parallel reconstruction,” lurks behind many cases being brought to trial in America, these days.  It’s actually a mass surveillance tool for the government and it violates the rights of every single person in the United States.

ENEMY OF THE JEWS: Obama and his deep hatred of Israel on full display
It’s outlandish how friends become enemies and enemies become friends on this in-depth video about Obama’s relationship (or lack thereof) with Israel. Once you see it all together, the puzzle pieces begin to fall into place.

Damning Oprah Video Surfaces; Anti-Christianity Rant Goes Viral
That Oprah 2020 presidential run just ended after this vintage yet damning video surfaced.

More Than 100 Are Dead As The Worst Flu Epidemic In Years Sweeps Across The United States
This flu season is already off to a record-setting beginning, and many believe that it could ultimately be the worst that we have seen in decades.  In fact, it has been reported that if we stay on this current pace that this could truly be the worst flu season in more than 50 years.  As you will see below, the CDC is reporting widespread flu activity from coast to coast, and the death toll has already crossed 100.  Here in the United States, flu season usually begins in October and ends in May, and so we still have a long way to go before it is over.

Abbas Furious: Trump Wants Palestinian Capital in Abu Dis
“What would you want if Jerusalem were to be lost? Would you want to make a state with Abu Dis as its capital?” Abbas asked rhetorically. “That’s what they are offering us now. I call on the Central Council to revise all the agreements signed between the PLO and Israel because Israel has brought these agreements to a dead end,” said Abbas. “Israel has ended the Oslo agreement, so the PLO Central Council must decide where should we go from here?”

Prince Alwaleed Moved To Highest Security Saudi Prison After Refusing To Pay $6 Billion For Freedom: Report
Goodbye Ritz Carlton. Saudi Arabia’s billionaire prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, has been carted off to Al Ha’ir prison, south of Riyadh, after refusing to pay a reported $6 billion to Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman to secure his freedom, following a massive consolidation of power on November 4, 2017 in which over 300 princes, ministers and other elites were rounded up in an “anti-corruption” purge. Bin Salman came to power last summer after King Salman changed the order of succession and made Bin Salman crown prince. In addition to his “anti-corruption” puge to consolidate power and wealth, the country has embarked on an ambitious plan called “Vision 2030”- which aims to modernize Saudi Arabia and break its dependence on oil production, as well as combat human rights violations.

New U.S.-backed ‘border force’ in Syria infuriates Ankara, Damascus
Syria, Turkey and Russia responded vehemently on Monday to new U.S.-backed plans to set up a 30,000-strong “border force” inside Syria to protect territory held by Washington’s mainly Kurdish allies.

PA President Abbas Damns U.S. Aid Money, Says ‘Israel a Colonial Project … Nothing to Do with Jews’
Mahmoud Abbas lashed out at Jews, Israel, Europe’s leaders and U.S. President Donald Trump in a two-hour speech full of bile and embittered regret. Addressing a conference of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)’s Central Council on Sunday, Mr. Abbas declared that “Europeans wanted to bring the Jews here to preserve their interests in the region. They asked Holland, which had the world’s largest fleet, to move the Jews.”

New U.S.-backed ‘border force’ in Syria infuriates Ankara, Damascus
Syria, Turkey and Russia responded vehemently on Monday to new US-backed plans to set up a 30,000-strong “border force” inside Syria to protect territory held by Washington’s mainly Kurdish allies. The Syrian government vowed to drive the US presence from the country. Turkey, an increasingly estranged US ally within NATO, accused Washington of setting up a “terror army” on the Turkish border, and said it would take steps to protect itself.

Russia says no to Trump fixing or nixing Iran nuclear deal
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday Moscow will not support attempts by Washington to modify the Iran nuclear deal, arguing such a move could also complicate diplomacy over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. Lavrov spoke days after US President Donald Trump said he would waive nuclear sanctions against Iran for the last time to give Washington and its European allies a chance to fix the “terrible flaws” of the 2015 nuclear deal.

Chile complains of World Bank unfair treatment
Chilean officials have accused the World Bank of treating the country unfairly for several years. Foreign Minister Heraldo Muñoz, tweeted “fake news was becoming fake statistics”. He was responding to an interview given by the bank’s chief economist, Paul Romer, who said indicators for Chile may have been manipulated for political reasons to show a decline in Chile’s business conditions.

Baghdad double suicide attack kills many
At least 35 people have been killed in a double suicide bombing in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, medical sources say, the second attack in three days. More than 90 were injured in the attack in Tayaran Square, in the city centre. Baghdad has repeatedly been the target of bombings and armed attacks since the Islamic State (IS) group overran large areas of the country in 2014.

Non-believers call on God when faced with a crisis – despite insisting they’re not religious
A new survey has revealed that one in four non-believers pray when confronted by tough times – despite insisting they are not religious. For atheists and agnostics, personal crisis or tragedy is the most common reason for them to resort to prayer, with a quarter admitting they pray for comfort or to feel less lonely.

Criminal charges against street preachers dismissed
A group of five Washington state Christian street preachers who received prior approval of their public evangelism efforts but were nevertheless charged criminally under the guise of violating a noise ordinance won dismissals with the assistance of a nonprofit First Amendment legal defense group. Police in Washougal, Washington, cited the five for disturbing the peace outside a high school in November.

Britain scrambles two Typhoon jets to intercept Russian planes
Britain scrambled two Royal Air Force Typhoon jets on Monday from Scotland to intercept Russian planes near the United Kingdom’s airspace, a defense ministry spokesman said. The Typhoons were scrambled from RAF Lossiemouth in Moray, Scotland.

Pope Francis Claims It’s A Sin To Reject Migrants and Refugees
Pope Francis has defined hostility and rejection of refugees and migrants as sin, encouraging people to overcome their “fully comprehensible” fears that these new arrivals might “disturb the established order” of local communities.

US Set to Cut UN Money for Palestinian Refugees
The Trump administration is preparing to withhold tens of millions of dollars from the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees, cutting the year’s first contribution by more than half or perhaps entirely, and making additional donations contingent on major changes to the organization, according to U.S. officials.

Australia’s Hard Choice Between China And US
Canberra has always deftly balanced between Beijing and Washington but it may soon need to choose one over the other…

Conservative Message Continues To Disappear From Social Media
Twitter has become so adept at keeping Conservative masses from finding the truth that it even gets away with hiding the Tweets of the President of the United States of America from public view.

Attorney: Google Has ‘Re-Education’ Camps For Its Conservative Employees
Those who don’t toe the party line on any politically sensitive topic tend not to last very long – they’re either removed or forced to change their way of thinking to match the prevailing power until diversity of thought is a thing of the past.

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau: Pro-Life Groups Are ‘Not In Line’ With Canadian Government Or Society
On Wednesday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau held a town hall at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. During the event, a first-year student asked the PM about free speech as it relates to the pro-life movement.

Trump To Dems: ‘DACA Is Probably Dead’
Democrats may use failure to compromise on DACA as opportunity to shut down government on Jan. 19

Belgium Euthanizing People Sans Consent
Medical professionals and leaders of the Belgian Catholic Church claimed Belgian officials are abusing euthanasia laws to kill people without reasonable consent.

Famous Christ Statue Set Ablaze
A fire of dubious origin damaged the famous Christ of the Pacific statue in Lima, Peru, charring it days before Pope Francis’ visit to South America.


More Than 100 Are Dead As The Worst Flu Epidemic In Years Sweeps Across The United States

This flu season is already off to a record-setting beginning, and many believe that it could ultimately be the worst that we have seen in decades.  In fact, it has been reported that if we stay on this current pace that this could truly be the worst flu season in more than 50 years.  As you will see below, the CDC is reporting widespread flu activity from coast to coast, and the death toll has already crossed 100.  Here in the United States, flu season usually begins in October and ends in May, and so we still have a long way to go before it is over. (Read More…)


January 16, 2018
ALAN KEYES — I think my positions are going to be what the people in this room come up with,” Trump said. “If they come to me with things I’m not in love with, I’m going to do it. Because I respect them.” Conservatives who were prominent in the effort to elect Donald Trump to the presidency reacted with foreboding to the impression of impending compromise created by last Tuesday’s meeting between President Trump and key Democratic and Republican leaders focused on immigration…. (more)

January 15, 2018
JOAN SWIRSKY — I started watching Miss America and Miss Universe competitions when I was a little girl, mostly because I loved the gowns. To this day, I still tune in, especially toward the end, when all the gowns are on display. A couple of years ago, I saw my all-time favorite! As the expression goes: TDF – – to die for!… (more)

January 15, 2018
NEWSMAX — Sixty-one percent of Republicans say they are satisfied with the direction of the U.S., according to a new Gallup poll. It marks the highest level of Republican satisfaction since February 2007, according to Gallup…. (more)

January 15, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — Radio host Rush Limbaugh came out swinging on Monday against “phony” media outrage over President Trump’s language behind closed doors. The man behind “the golden EIB microphone” says last week’s “sh – -hole” remarks attributed to the president during policy negotiations have spotlighted media bias yet again. Mr. Limbaugh told millions of listeners that racism claims and concerns over presidential rhetoric are all part of an act…. (more)


January 15, 2018
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — The White House called out CNN after anchor Chris Cuomo referred to White House principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah as “Raj whatever-his-name-is.”… (more)


January 15, 2018
FOX NEWS INSIDER — An early member of the “Saturday Night Live” cast returned Saturday to join in the lampooning of “Joe & Mika,” Steve Bannon and author Michael Wolff. The show opened with Alex Moffat and Kate McKinnon playing engaged MSNBC couple Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski…. (more)

January 15, 2018
THE GUARDIAN — For many non-believers, it is an instinctive response to a crisis: “Please, God.” So perhaps it should not be surprising that a new survey has found that one in five adults pray despite saying they are not religious…. (more)

January 15, 2018
ROBERT KNIGHT — After Roe v. Wade plaintiff Norma McCorvey became a Christian and revealed that she had not been gang raped as her legal team had claimed, many Americans came to understand that this landmark ruling that legalized abortion was based on a lie…. (more)


January 15, 2018
FOX NEWS — A former U.S. Army Green Beret commander expressed his disbelief at the claim by Hawaii officials that one person’s error caused Saturday’s statewide alert about an incoming missile…. (more)


January 15, 2018
NEWSMAX — The U.S. military has conducted training exercises in North Carolina and Nevada in case a war with North Korea breaks out, and next month will train more than 1,000 reserve soldiers on how to set up so-called mobilization centers that move military forces overseas in a hurry, according to a report in the New York Times…. (more)

January 15, 2018
NEWSMAX — North Korea has the satellite capability to strike the United States, but “it shuts down the infrastructure,” Georgia Republican Sen. David Perdue told Newsmax TV on Friday…. (more)

January 14, 2018
TOWNHALL — Today, as you read this, my website Right Wing News is shutting down operations. It has been around since 2001, but became massive a few years ago because of Facebook. Remember the mainstream media liberals going out of their minds because the Russians reached almost 150 million people with their $100,000 Facebook ad buy?… (more)

January 14, 2018
WARNER TODD HUSTON — Can liberals tell the difference between the Communist Manifesto and the Democratic Party platform? In his latest man-on-the-street video, Ami Horowitz proved that voters have a difficult time with that very question…. (more)

January 13, 2018
SELWYN DUKE — t’s a shocking claim made by a political insider: The Deep State is so opposed to draining the swamp that it will, if necessary, kill President Trump to prevent it. Roger Stone, a longtime Trump advisor and confidante, certainly knows his way around Washington, having worked as a senior campaign aide to Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and Senator Bob Dole, as well as having held many other political positions…. (more)

January 13, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — Glenn Simpson, the Fusion GPS founder who sponsored the unverified anti-Trump dossier, claimed in August and again Jan. 2 that the FBI has a source inside the Trump camp who lent credence to the document. When a transcript of his secret August testimony was released on Tuesday, news headlines immediately latched onto the disclosure as a boon to a dossier whose core charges of Donald Trump-Russia collusion have been denied and not confirmed publicly…. (more)

January 13, 2018
ART MOORE — A crowdfunding site for a theatrical drama in production that promises to tell the “true story” of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that established a “right” to abortion has been blocked by Facebook…. (more)

January 13, 2018
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — Marilou Danley, the girlfriend of the Las Vegas shooter, informed authorities she occasionally helped Stephen Paddock load ammunition into magazines and, as a result, her fingerprints were probably on some bullets, according to unsealed court documents…. (more)


January 13, 2018
BOB UNRUH — If President Trump wants to be known as a president seeking the restoration of the U.S. Constitution, one of his goals should be to turn federal lands – – the millions of acres run by the Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service and National Park Service – – over to the states…. (more)

January 13, 2018
BLM’s 2014 effort ended in armed standoff
WASHINGTON TIMES — It’s hard to imagine how the 2014 federal effort to impound Cliven Bundy’s cattle could have gone any worse, but environmentalists are demanding that the Bureau of Land Management go back and try it again. Days after a federal judge threw out the case against Mr. Bundy and two of his sons, environmental groups urged Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to remove the family’s cattle from the property near Bunkerville, Nevada…. (more)


January 13, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — An emergency alert warning Hawaii of a ballistic missile threat Saturday was issued by mistake, authorities said afterwards. “EMERGENCY ALERT,” read an alarm sent to cellphones across Hawaii shortly after 8 a.m. Saturday morning. “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.”… (more)

January 13, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — Women’s March organizers are moving away from the iconic “pussyhat” because it may be offensive to trans women who don’t have female genitalia. “I personally won’t wear one because if it hurts even a few people’s feelings, then I don’t feel like it’s unifying,” Phoebe Hopps, founder and president of Women’s March Michigan, told the Detroit Free Press…. (more)

January 13, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says anyone who disagrees that there is a right to abortion is “not in line” with “where we are as a society.” The remark was prompted at a town hall in Hamilton, Ontario, on Wednesday by an audience member who asked where the government draws the line on free speech…. (more)

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
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)

Mid-Day Snapshot

Jan. 16, 2018

Leftists Make MLK Whatever They Need Him to Be

King’s true legacy was not socialism or “environmental justice,” but legitimate and needed racial reconciliation.

The Foundation

“The most sacred of the duties of a government [is] to do equal and impartial justice to all citizens.” —Thomas Jefferson (1816)

ZeroHedge Frontrunning: January 16

  • GE to Take Massive Charge to Shore Up Insurance Reserves (Read More)
  • GOP Leaders Struggle to Avert Shutdown After Immigration Blow-Up (Read More)
  • DACA Squabbling Imperils Ability to Avert a Shutdown (Read More)
  • Bitcoin Plunges 20% (Read More)
  • China Escalates Crackdown on Cryptocurrency Trading (Read More)
  • Wall St. Braces for a Different Year of U.S. Inflation (Read More)
  • Days after Hawaii alert gaffe, Japan issues false alarm about a missile launch (Read More)
  • Under Trump, the Business World Notches a Net Success (Read More)
  • Lawmakers urge AT&T to cut ties with Huawei (Read More)
  • Not just Florida: Tourism big in other states opposing coastal drilling (Read More)
  • U.S. Warned Jared Kushner on Wendi Deng Murdoch (Read More)
  • Trust in news media takes a hit during Trump presidency (Read More)
  • Sell the New York Times. Now (Read More)
  • Battle Stations: U.S. and China Prepare for Trade Clash of the Titans (Read More)
  • Platinum Industry Faces a Crisis (Read More)
  • Saudi Aramco snubs UBS and Bank of America for listing roles (Read More)
  • Pentagon Plans New Nuclear Weapons (Read More)
  • Sweden’s Worst Housing Slump Since 2008 Is Ripe for Sanity Check (Read More
  • Spotify Challenges Bankers on IPOs (Read More)
  • Five Potential Risks to the Oil Rally (Read More)
  • Uber to introduce mandatory rest breaks for UK drivers (Read More)

Headlines – 1/16/2018

Palestinian leaders vote to urge PLO to suspend recognition of Israel

Abbas denies Jewish connection to Israel in speech to Palestinian leadership

Palestinian Central Council calls for struggle against Israel “in all forms”

Across the Mideast, Palestinians brace for Trump aid cuts

Russian FM: Moscow ‘understands’ Palestinian anger at Trump

Israeli envoy: UN must condemn Abbas’s ‘vile fabrications’

Rivlin slams Abbas for peddling ‘terrible’ anti-Jewish ‘conspiracies’

Lieberman: “Abbas trying to destroy everyone’s home’

Israel to ban all humanitarian visits by Hamas members

Israel seizes largest ever shipment of military clothes headed to Gaza

Netanyahu: Abbas tore off mask, without change in position there will be no peace

Indian official: UN vote against Trump Jerusalem move won’t affect Israel ties

Netanyahu and Modi praise ‘new era’ in India – Israel ties

Seven years later: The Arab Spring’s messy endings

Sisi vows to protect Egypt’s water supply

ISIS in Sinai: Battered, weakened but still dangerous

Egypt’s leader seeks to defuse tension with Sudan, Ethiopia

‘People were screaming’: troops destroy $200,000 aid camps in Somalia

At least nine killed in clashes near airport in Libyan capital – official

Tunisia arrests 41 more after fresh anti-austerity protests

Al-Qaeda terrorist stabs French prison guards to avoid extradition to US

Syria vows to end US presence; Russia, Turkey warn over ‘border force’ plan

Erdogan accuses US of planning to form ‘terror army’ in Syria

Erdogan: we will ‘strangle’ U.S.-backed force in Syria “before it’s even born”

Baghdad suicide bombers kill dozens in attack on labourers

Pakistan briefs senior US envoy on counterterrorism efforts

Trump thanks Qatar for efforts to combat terrorism

Saudi Arabia condemns Qatari fighter jets’ interception of two UAE planes

Iran frees 440 people arrested during protests

Lavrov: Russia will not support US bid to change Iran nuclear deal

Britain scrambles two Typhoon jets to intercept Russian planes

Visiting North Korea? Draft a will and make funeral plans, State Department says

Missile-alert error reveals uncertainty about how to react

Pope warns world is one step away from nuclear war

Canada, Mexico vow to fight Trump if he pulls US from NAFTA

CNN Tweets Martin Luther King Was a Socialist ‘Before It Was Cool,’ Internet Freaks

NAACP Says MLK’s Vision Can’t Be Achieved Without Fighting Global Warming

Boeing’s ‘Son of Blackbird’ hypersonic strike aircraft could go five times the speed of sound

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Nishinoomote, Japan

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 26,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 22,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 16,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 15,000ft

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 14,000ft

Turrialba volcano in Costa Rica erupts to 13,000ft

Nearly 15,000 evacuate as Philippine volcano erupts

What Is Dog Flu? Contagious Disease Spreads Across the United States

Chicago O’Hare travelers possibly exposed to measles

Transgender US military recruits enlist amid uncertainty

Iowa lawsuit pits gay rights against religious freedom

Non-believers turn to prayer in a crisis, poll finds

Teen’s Escape Leads to Discovery of 13 Malnourished Victims Held Captive in Perris Home, Including Kids Chained to Beds: Sheriff

Torture investigation launched after 13 believed held captive in California home

Palestinian leader attacks Trump, calling his peace deal the ‘slap of the century’

Abbas Calls Oslo Accords Dead and Blasts US: ‘Damn Your Money!’

Peace efforts can only resume under international mediation: Abbas

Abbas: ‘Israel a colonial project that has nothing to do with Jews’

Abbas confirms Palestinians being offered Abu Dis as capital of future state

Latest tunnel strike puts Hamas leaders in a tough spot with Cairo

Hamas tunnel was built to blow up main humanitarian crossing to Gaza

General says ‘Jewish brains’ have found solution to eliminate all Hamas tunnels

Liberman vows Israel will find and destroy all Gaza tunnels by end of 2018

Netanyahu in India warns Islamic Jihad, Hamas amid strike on terror tunnel

Trump to cut millions from UN agency for Palestinian refugees – officials

In compromise, US set to cut only some aid for UN Palestinian refugee agency

Hamas official in Lebanon wounded in car bomb, organization fingers Israel

Arab Israeli man accused of plotting Islamic State-inspired attack

Jewish actress Gal Gadot causes furor by sporting Lebanese designer’s dress

Thousands attend Tel Aviv anti-corruption protest against Netanyahu

In Iran, Protester ‘Suicides’ Stir Anger and Calls for Accountability

Violence flares after Tunisians rally to mark revolution’s anniversary

Police use tear gas on protesters in Tunisia, reports say

US urges caution, warns of possible terror attacks in Kosovo

Trump Designates $55 Million to Help Christians, Religious Minorities Rebuild in Iraq

North Korea is Worst Place for Christian Persecution, Group Says

Two Koreas in fresh talks on Winter Olympics

China absence looms over Canada meeting on how to pressure North Korea

North Korea slams South Korean president for Trump credit remark, praises Kim Jong Un’s policy for ‘reunification’

Military Quietly Prepares for a Last Resort: War With North Korea

Trump says newspaper misquoted him on Kim Jong Un, points to audio tape

France vs. fake news offers test case for democratic dilemma

G.O.P. Senator Says Trump Didn’t Use Vulgarity for Haiti and African Nations

Trump quiets his critics by floating immigration deal, but infuriates his base

Blaming Democrats, Trump says immigration deal ‘probably dead’

Pope: It’s a sin if fear makes us hostile to migrants

Anti-Trump demonstrators march in Swiss capital

US to ‘carefully’ review GM request on autonomous car: Chao

1 dead, 57 hurt in Peruvian quake

5.5 magnitude earthquake hits near Madang, Papua New Guinea

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Luganville, Vanuatu

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Paluan, Philippines

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 26,000ft

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 17,000ft

Agung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 17,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 16,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 15,000ft

Mayon volcano in the Philippines erupts to 12,000ft

Strengthening Tropical Storm Berguitta threatens La Reunion, Mauritius with damaging wind, flooding rain

Heat wave breaks records in Southland; Lake Forest is hottest place in U.S.

Control for street drug trade pushes Tijuana to grisly new record: 1,744 homicides

Sperm ‘obstacle course’ created by scientists to select healthiest ones for IVF

Women taking their right to go topless to state’s high court

Condoleezza Rice on #MeToo: ‘Let’s not turn women into snowflakes’

Sale of controversial ‘miracle’ tonic results in dozens of charges

California Man Who Says He Was ‘Blind’ Without Christ Turns Himself in for Murder Committed 25 Years Ago

7 Ethiopian Christians Arrested, Denied Bail After Praying on Mountain

‘Destiny Readings’? ‘Expert Seers’?: Australian Group ‘Christalignment’ Drawing Concerns Over New Age Practices in the Name of God

Posted: 15 Jan 2018 07:21 PM PST

‘Destiny Readings’? ‘Expert Seers’?: Australian Group ‘Christalignment’ Drawing Concerns Over New Age Practices in the Name of GodAn Australian group that identifies itself as “Christalignment” is drawing concerns over practices that have been deemed New Age and occultic, including its use of “expert seers,” who provide “destiny readings,” dream interpretations and “energy impartation”—all in the name of God and evangelism. Christalignment is run by Ken and Jen Hodge, who are the parents of Ben Fitzgerald, a listed missionary with Bethel Church of Redding, California. According to the Christalignment website, Jen Hodge is characterized as a “seer [who] specializes in healing from negative energies/cleansing.”

“The Christalignment team, based in Melbourne, Australia, are trained spiritual consultants, gifted in various modalities. We practice a form of supernatural healing that flows from the universal presence of the Christ,” the site reads. “We draw from the same divine energy of the Christ spirit, as ancient followers did and operate only out of the third heaven realm to gain insight and revelation.” It outlines that its team members are trained in “destiny reading, Presence therapy, trauma recovery, entity cleansing, relationship alignment and physical healing using divine energy,” and also offer dream interpretations and “encounters coming from the third heaven realm.” READ MORE

The Original Sin

Posted: 15 Jan 2018 06:19 PM PST

The Original SinATTENTION: The following does not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of ETH

(By Jeff Roberts) The difference between looking at a subject in Hebrew or modern day English should be the same as most Christians will say that the Bible will not be changed. Where do Christians get that idea from? Well the answer is a misquote from Matthew 5:18 “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. This is quite interesting considering the Greek word used for law is “nomos”. What law is Matthew discussing? The Mosaic Law.

If you ask a Christian why do we live in such a fallen state? They will tell you because Adam and Eve sinned. When asked what the sin was these people will claim that they disobeyed YHWH. Is that really all that happened? If you asked a Jew they will tell you what happened in the Garden, what happened in Genesis 6 and what really occurred at the Tower of Babel.

Genesis 3:1 starts off telling us that “Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. א  וְהַנָּחָשׁ, הָיָה עָרוּם, מִכֹּל חַיַּת הַשָּׂדֶה, אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים; וַיֹּאמֶר, אֶל-הָאִשָּׁה, אַף כִּי-אָמַר אֱלֹהִים, לֹא תֹאכְלוּ מִכֹּל עֵץ הַגָּן.  The serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field. Let’s look at the word for subtle. It’s H6175 which can mean subtle or shrew but the root of the word is arom which means very cunning or crafty. The term beast is not referring to wildlife or animals. It’s referring to anything living as its root word means life. Here is the most important part. What was Eve deceived by? A serpent? Serpents do not talk. That being said every Hebrew verse has four meanings.

When someone tricks us or deceives us what do we call them? A Snake. This term was never meant to be taken literally. The word for serpent is H5175 “Nachash” but has other meanings as well. Genesis 3, Isaiah 14, and Ezekiel 28 seemingly involve Satan, a Nachash, or some type of angelic or spiritual entity. The Hebrew root is the basis for noun, verb and adjective. The verb form means to practice divination, deceive or sorcery. The noun form means the diviner, deceiver or sorcerer. The adjective means bronze or brazen or bright shine. In the noun for it would mean the shining one or illuminated one. This is normal in Hebrew to address divine being in scripture.

So when the “Serpent” speaks to Eve he is obviously in close proximity and also apart of YHWH’s Divine Counsel and living with YHWH in Eden. It is a divine being associated with the Divine Council who freely chose to oppose God’s plan for humanity by prompting the humans to disobey God so they would either be killed or removed from God’s council and family.  Genesis 3:14 And the LORD God said unto the serpent: ‘because thou hast done this, cursed art thou from among all cattle, and from among all beasts of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life. Now YHWH could be referring to Sheol but Satan is not in Sheol as he is the Prince of the Power of the Air. Nor does the serpent need to eat dust to sustain life. YHWH is simply saying that he is the lowest of the low and eventually spend eternity in the bottomless pit.

So what really happened? Eve was commanded by God to not to eat or touch the fruit that was in the midst of the garden. The Serpent’s response is paramount to understanding the story. He said that you will not surely die BUT that God knows that if you eat of the tree then your eyes will be open and you will know all good and evil and be as gods. The Hebrew word eyes is “Ayin”. This is referring to spiritual sight. The same symbol of the all-seeing-eye is about obtaining spiritual knowledge. The Hebrew word for know is “Yada”. It might be worth noting that word means to know someone intimately as well. So not only did Adam and Eve disobey Gods commandments they wanted to be just like God or be equal to him. When the Messiah died on the cross he said “it is finished”. What was he referring to? The name for Jesus in Hebrew also means “The Hand That Destroys The Establishment of The Eye. TO BE CONTINUED

HOUSE DIVIDED: President Donald Trump’s Evangelical Council Divided Over ‘S***hole’ Comments

Posted: 15 Jan 2018 12:18 PM PST

HOUSE DIVIDED: President Donald Trump’s Evangelical Council Divided Over ‘S***hole’ CommentsMegachurch pastor Jentezen Franklin who leads the Free Chapel Church and serves as a member of President Donald Trump’s evangelical advisory council condemned on Sunday recent comments allegedly made by the president and branded as racist in which he called Haiti, El Salvador and nations in Africa “s***hole countries.” “I don’t agree with what the president said this week. It was wrong what he said. I say that respectfully.

There are no nations that are trash and I’m putting it kind what he said. There are no people in those nations that are worthless and trash,” Franklin said as his congregation applauded near the end of his sermon. Sources first reported by The Washington Post alleged that at a meeting in the Oval Office discussing protections for immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and Africa last Thursday, Trump asked: “Why are we having all these people from s***hole countries come here?” READ MORE

How prayer and fasting can reult in Mercy triumphing Judgment!

Posted: 15 Jan 2018 12:07 PM PST

How prayer and fasting can reult in Mercy triumphing Judgment!(By Ricky Scaparo) In this message, we will continue our series on Prayer and Fasting and will reveal to you how a season of Prayer and Fasting can actually release the Mercy of God to cancel Judgement and cause the Lord to relent from bringing destruction to a Nation or an individual. For the entire message, watch the video below:

Chinese Christians Must Choose To Worship The State Or Jesus

Posted: 15 Jan 2018 12:04 PM PST

Chinese Christians Must Choose To Worship The State Or JesusMany Christians in the United States and around the world feel free to put up Christian symbols, such as crosses, scripture passages, and pictures of Jesus, inside and outside their homes. Christians in Southeastern China, however, were recently told by state officials to take down these images and symbols. Instead, they were given posters of President Xi Jinping to display. Most of them complied since, in impoverished rural areas, they feared the loss of government support.

In another incident in 2015, over 1,200 crosses were torn down from church buildings in Zhejiang Province and hundreds of house church leaders were arrested. “Many rural people are ignorant,” said one official. “They think God is their Savior.” The Communist Party prefers that people look to the state for help. It appears that the Communist Party in China is gearing up to crack down on Christians who are independent of the state-sanctioned church. Since the majority of Chinese Christians operate in underground “house churches” outside of government control, officials are concerned that these groups could create negative views of the Party. READ MORE

 

When Your Holy Fire Grows Dim

Posted: 15 Jan 2018 11:54 AM PST

When Your Holy Fire Grows Dim(By Becky Dvorak) Has your flame for God gone out? Are you a Christian in name only? Do you say one thing about your walk with God, but do another? Will your example lead others to a living relationship with Jesus? What will it take for you to get right with God again? These are some tough questions, but we must examine our own hearts and repent from a lukewarm attitude towards our Savior. Let’s ask ourselves the first question, “Has my flame for God gone out?” If so, why has it gone out? Usually it is because of sin issues, and sin issues come in all shapes and sizes. But no matter the shape and size of the sin, without repentance it just produces more sin, and sin separates us from God.

“But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He will not hear” (Isa. 59:2). Are you a Christian in name only? Unfortunately, many people are. I remember years ago, we were hosting a particular team from a church in the States. And I had asked the team members to share how they came to Christ. We were listening to these wonderful God-encounters that led to the salvation of these people until we came to one of the co-leaders of the team. And this person shared in front of everyone that her salvation was a private matter. We all knew immediately what that meant. This person who was asked to be an assistant team leader was not a true believer, but in name only. READ MORE

More Than 100 Dead as Flu Rapidly Approaches the Worst It’s Been in a Half-Century

Posted: 15 Jan 2018 11:48 AM PST

More Than 100 Dead as Flu Rapidly Approaches the Worst It’s Been in a Half-Century(By Michael Snyder) This flu season is already off to a record-setting beginning, and many believe that it could ultimately be the worst that we have seen in decades. In fact, it has been reported that if we stay on this current pace that this could truly be the worst flu season in more than 50 years. As you will see below, the CDC is reporting widespread flu activity from coast to coast, and the death toll has already crossed 100. Here in the United States, flu season usually begins in October and ends in May, and so we still have a long way to go before it is over. Normally the mainstream media tries very hard to keep the public calm about these things, but even The Washington Post admits that we are having “a terrible, horrible, no good,

very bad flu season”… The nation is having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad flu season. Flu is widespread in 46 states, according to reports to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nationally, as of mid-December, at least 106 people had died of the infectious disease. Usually, a flu outbreak is centered in one portion of the country, but this one is different. According to the CDC, this outbreak is affecting the entire nation, and the number of cases climbed another 5.8 percent within the past week… “Flu is everywhere in the US right now,” said Dr. Dan Jernigan, director of the CDC’s influenza branch. “This is the first year we’ve had the entire continental U.S. at the same level (of flu activity) at the same time.” READ MORE

Pope Warns That We’re At the “Very Limit of Nuclear War”

Posted: 15 Jan 2018 11:44 AM PST

Pope Warns That We’re At the “Very Limit of Nuclear War”Pope Francis said on Monday he was really afraid about the danger of nuclear war and that the world now stood at “the very limit.” His comment, made as he flew off for a visit to Chile and Peru, came after Hawaii issued a false missile alert that provoked panic in the U.S. state and highlighted the risk of possible unintended nuclear war with North Korea.

Asked if he was worried about the possibility of nuclear war, Pope Francis said: “I think we are at the very limit. I am really afraid of this. One accident is enough to precipitate things.” He did not mention Hawaii or North Korea. Pope Francis has often flagged the danger of nuclear warfare and in November he appeared to harden the Catholic Church’s teaching against nuclear weapons, saying countries should not stockpile them even for the purpose of deterrence. READ MORE

Your Soul and Not All The Glittering Goods in the World Are What Matter to God in the End

Posted: 15 Jan 2018 10:49 AM PST

Your Soul and Not All The Glittering Goods in the World Are What Matter to God in the End(By Irenie How) Today is Monday. Today I am in Singapore. Today I didn’t know what to do with myself, so I took the train to Orchard Road after a steamed bun breakfast on the 14th floor of an HDB apartment block. I only got lost a couple of times. The sights that greeted me once there were rather unfamiliar to my small-town eyes. Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co., Rolex, Michael Kors and more—branded

labels galore. Outside, high-rise lined footpaths seemed to flow like water with the people streaming down them. Inside was not much different, pavement giving way to tiles and lights and endless escalators. The glittering shop fronts promised delights and rewards, fulfillment for those game enough to venture inside and spend their money: a fair exchange of cash for goods on the surface. It got me wondering if that was really it, if we shop just because we need stuff. READ MORE

Alabama Declares State Of Emergency Over Flu Epidemic As Death Toll Rises

Posted: 15 Jan 2018 07:08 AM PST

Alabama Declares State Of Emergency Over Flu Epidemic As Death Toll RisesCiting a strain on “overwhelmed” health resources, Governor Kay Ivey declared an official State of Emergency in Alabama on Thursday due to the rapidly spreading flu epidemic. WHEREAS the State Health Officer has reported that an outbreak of the influenza virus has occurred in the State of Alabama; and WHEREAS this outbreak poses a high probability of widespread exposure to an infectious agent that poses significant risk of substantial harm to a large number of people in the affected population; and WHEREAS the health care facilities and personnel of the State are overwhelmed by the number of ill

patients and taxed to such an extent that care of patients may now no longer be provided in the traditional, normal, and customary manner nor is the utilization of traditional, normal, and customary standards of care possible. NOW, THEREFORE, I, Kay Ivey, Governor of the State of Alabama, pursuant to relevant provisions of the Alabama Emergency Management Act of 1955, section 31-9-1 et seq., Code of Alabama (1975), on the recommendation of the State Health Officer, do hereby declare that a State Public Health Emergency exists in the State of Alabama. I direct the appropriate state agencies to exercise their statutory and regulatory authority to assist the communities and entities affected. READ MORE

Two Quakes (M4.0, M4.3) strike northern Vancouver Island within 10 minutes along the Cascadia subduction zone

Posted: 15 Jan 2018 06:59 AM PST

Two Quakes (M4.0, M4.3) strike northern Vancouver Island within 10 minutes along the Cascadia subduction zoneTwo shallow earthquakes have struck off the northern coast of Vancouver Island within 10 minutes on January 14, 2017. The first tremor (M4.0) occurred at 10:54 a.m. About 10 minutes later, a 4.3-magnitude earthquake struck in the same area. The epicenter for both quakes was 159 kilometers west of Port Hardy, at a depth of 10 kilometers. Seismologists do not expect it to have been felt on the Island.

The Cascadia Subduction Zone is a very active region. It’s a part of the plate margin, the region between the Pacific plate and North American plate where we see hundreds of earthquakes each year. The earthquake waves tend to lose quite a bit of energy as they travel from the oceanic plates onto the continental plate, onto Vancouver Island. READ MORE

Are Thousands of People Really Converting to ‘Jediisim?’

Posted: 15 Jan 2018 06:54 AM PST

Are Thousands of People Really Converting to ‘Jediisim?’Star Wars is a work of intergalactic science fiction – and a brilliant one at that. So, it will come as no surprise to you that “Jedi’s” do not actually exist. But that isn’t stopping thousands of people from entering into a religion based on some of the central characters of the movie franchise. “Jediism” came to the public’s attention back in 2001 when a number of people recorded their religion as “Jedi” on national censuses.

Now, these Jedi fanatics have established their own “temple” that seeks to disciple followers and, by all accounts, appears to take itself seriously as a world religion. Interestingly, Temple of the Jedi Order states on its website that it is distinctly different to the Jediism featured in the Star Wars movies: “We are a Jedi church and international ministry of the religion Jediism and the Jedi way of life. Jedi at this site are not the same as those portrayed within the Star Wars franchise. Star Wars Jedi are fictional characters that exist within a literary and cinematic universe.” READ MORE

Media Continues To Ignore Worldwide Christian Persecution

Posted: 15 Jan 2018 06:45 AM PST

Media Continues To Ignore Worldwide Christian PersecutionWhile Christianity traces its birthplace to the Middle East, that region has been arguably the most hostile area for the religion in recent years. A new report by the Christian charity group Open Doors has found that most of Israel’s neighbors, including Egypt, Jordan, Syria and the Palestinian territories, are among the world’s most dangerous places for Christians.  Susan Michael, U.S. director for the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ), told JNS that “Islamic extremism originated in the Middle East

and is the main cause of persecution of Christians in the world today. It is a dangerous and violent ideology that must be stopped.” Egypt’s embattled Christian minority, which comprises roughly 10 percent of the country’s population and stands as the largest Christian community in the region, has been the frequent target of Islamic terrorism. Coptic churches in Alexandria and Tanta were struck by suicide bombers last April, killing 45 people on Palm Sunday. Last December, at least eight Christians were killed in a terror attack on a Coptic church south of Cairo. CONTINUE

15 injured in knife rampage at Russian school

Posted: 15 Jan 2018 06:42 AM PST

15 injured in knife rampage at Russian schoolAt least 14 students and a teacher were injured in a knife rampage at a school in the Russian city of Perm. The teenagers who started the assault may have been inspired by the Columbine High School massacre, according to reports. It all started Monday morning when a knife fight broke out between an 11th grader and a former student “on the grounds of personal enmity,” local investigators told RT. The brawl then spilled into a classroom of fourth-grade students.

The teacher and children tried to separate the two, sustaining injuries as a result. That account is challenged by the students, however, who say there was no fight. They say the two teenagers entered a classroom and went directly to the teacher to stab her before attacking other children in the classroom. This echoes an initial report by the mayor’s office, which said the school had been attacked by masked assailants. READ MORE

DEVELOPING: 12,000 flee as lava oozes from Philippine volcano

Posted: 15 Jan 2018 06:36 AM PST

DEVELOPING: 12,000 flee as lava oozes from Philippine volcanoThousands fled from their homes as lava oozed out of a rumbling Philippine volcano on Monday in what volcanologists described as a “quiet eruption”, warning it could lead to a hazardous explosion within days.  Lava was slowly flowing out of the Mayon volcano’s crater along with a spectacular 1,000-metre (3,280-foot) ash plume rising into the sky, the nation’s volcanology institute said.  More than 12,000 people have been ordered to leave a seven-kilometer (four-mile) danger zone around the crater, as officials warned them of potentially destructive mudflows and toxic clouds.

“Technically, the volcano is erupting but the eruption is fairly quiet. It may escalate into a hazardous eruption,” Paul Alanis, science research specialist at the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), told AFP. A hazardous or explosive eruption means a lava fountain or a spray of hot rocks and gases that could move as fast as 60 kilometers per hour, Alanis added. READ MORE

Newly Released FBI Documents Reveal Never-Before-Seen Clues in Las Vegas Massacre

Posted: 15 Jan 2018 06:31 AM PST

Newly Released FBI Documents Reveal Never-Before-Seen Clues in Las Vegas MassacreA federal judge in Nevada unsealed hundreds of pages of FBI documents about the Las Vegas massacre Friday, giving new insight into the gunman and the months leading up to the deadly mass shooting. The documents, which were released in response to several media lawsuits, include more than a dozen search warrant affidavits. They reveal that gunman Stephen Paddock exchanged emails about buying rifles and bump stocks months before he killed 58 people and wounded more than 500 others when he opened fire on a crowd from a hotel room in October.

The documents show Paddock received an email from a Gmail account in July encouraging him to try an AR-style rifle before buying one. “We have a huge selection in the las vegas area,” the message read. Paddock replied saying that he wanted to test several scopes and different types of ammunition. An email in response suggested trying a bump stock on a 100-round magazine rifle, saying it would be “a thrill.” Paddock’s personal email address and the Gmail address had similar names, leading investigators to suspect he may have been emailing himself, but don’t understand why. READ MORE

Convicted Army Private Bradley Manning, Who Now Presents Himself as a Woman, Announces Run for U.S. Senate

Posted: 15 Jan 2018 06:27 AM PST

Convicted Army Private Bradley Manning, Who Now Presents Himself as a Woman, Announces Run for U.S. SenateConvicted Army Private Bradley Manning, who declared “I am a female” and changed his name to Chelsea in 2013 after being sentenced to prison for leaking classified information to Wikileaks, has announced his run for the U.S. Senate.  “Yup, we’re running for Senate,” Manning tweeted on Sunday, receiving 9,000 likes as of press time. He also shared a campaign video that likewise announced his candidacy and criticized the status quo in Washington.

“We need to stop expecting that our systems will somehow fix themselves. We need to actually take the reins of power from them. We need to challenge them at every level,” it states. “We need to fix this. We don’t need them anymore. We can do better. You’re [expletive] right, we got this.” USA Today reports that Manning filed the paperwork on Thursday, and will be running as a Democrat. The seat is currently held by Sen. Ben Cardin, who serves on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. READ MORE

How and Why the Media Is Deliberately Deceiving You

Posted: 15 Jan 2018 06:18 AM PST

How and Why the Media Is Deliberately Deceiving You(By Larry Tomczak) Tens of thousands of dedicated Christians recently gathered in Kansas City for the “One Thing” annual conference. Mike Bickle, the pioneer of the International House of Prayer (IHOP) hosting the event, opened the gathering with a challenge from Mathew 24 and exhorted us to be extremely discerning in these turbulent times. Do you know the primary sign that Jesus gave in this chapter concerning the time prior to His return? He made reference to it four times.

Deception

If ever there was a time when we needed to sharpen our skills of discernment it’s now. Accurate information and biblically informed analysis is desperately needed today. God’s end-time revelation is for the “mature, for those who through practice have powers of discernment that are trained to distinguish good from evil” (Heb.5:14). With demonic activity intensifying alongside blatant dishonesty in the media, we must learn to discern as well as prepare our children and local churches in this critical task. It is precisely why the Bullseye Challenge initiative was launched and commended by national leaders as a video/book resource.

Propagandizing the People

In his book, How Do You Kill 11 Million People? Andy Andrews urged readers to be careful students who seek accurate facts to avoid dangerous deceptions like those perpetrated under Nazism. Even the majority of churches in Germany were horribly misled because of their failure to discern what was happening. A current example in our culture is the blind acceptance of recreational marijuana. The push for marijuana legalization is accelerating similar to the push for gay marriage only a few years ago. READ MORE

 

One in four non-believers pray when crisis strikes…

Posted: 15 Jan 2018 06:08 AM PST

One in four non-believers pray when crisis strikes…A new survey has revealed that one in four non-believers pray when confronted by tough times – despite insisting they are not religious. For atheists and agnostics, personal crisis or tragedy is the most common reason for them to resort to prayer, with a quarter admitting they pray for comfort or to feel less lonely. Church attendance in Great Britain dropped from 6.5 million to just over 3 million between 1980 and 2015, according to the website Faith Survey.

However, more than half of all adults in the UK pray regularly despite only one in three praying in a place of worship, according to a poll carried out by ComRes on behalf of the Christian aid agency, Tearfund. A third of people pray in the morning or before they go to sleep. People are also increasingly likely to solicit support from God while cooking or exercising. And one in five pray while doing household chores while 15 percent pray while they commute. READ MORE

 

ALIBABA AI Outguns Humans in Reading Test…

Posted: 15 Jan 2018 06:03 AM PST

ALIBABA AI Outguns Humans in Reading Test…Alibaba has developed an artificial intelligence model that scored better than humans in a Stanford University reading and comprehension test. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. put its deep neural network model through its paces last week, asking the AI to provide exact answers to more than 100,000 questions comprising a quiz that’s considered one of the world’s most authoritative machine-reading gauges.

The model developed by Alibaba’s Institute of Data Science of Technologies scored 82.44, edging past the 82.304 that rival humans achieved. Alibaba said it’s the first time a machine has out-done a real person in such a contest. Microsoft achieved a similar feat, scoring 82.650 on the same test, but those results were finalized a day after Alibaba’s, the company said. The Chinese e-commerce titan has joined the likes of Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Baidu Inc. in a race to develop AI that can enrich social media feeds, target ads and services or even aid in autonomous driving. READ MORE


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?


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Disagreeing With Progressives On Social Issues Now Qualifies As Federal Hate Crime

U.S.—The U.S. Department of Justice confirmed Monday that disagreeing with any progressive on any social issue now qualifies as a federal hate crime which will be punished to the full extent of the law. Liberals took to social media after the announcement to celebrate the victory. “I’m thrilled. I’ve always known that anyone who disagrees […]

. . . finish reading Disagreeing With Progressives On Social Issues Now Qualifies As Federal Hate Crime.

Counting on Mercy in Suffering

From the pits of grief and suffering, the human heart and soul can yearn to know the cause of earthly pain. Did a particular sin bring this suffering upon me, or did I need discipline?

Tender answers might pour into the soul from Scripture—Job was a noble man who suffered and grieved (Job 1:8). And the man born blind in John’s gospel was not provided by Jesus with a personal sin corresponding to his pain (John 9:2-3). We cannot always draw straight lines between cause and effect for our individual suffering (Isaiah 55:9). In How Long, O Lord?: Reflections on Suffering and Evil, D. A. Carson writes,

It is the uncertainty of reading what is going on that sometimes breeds pain. Is the particular blow I am facing God’s way of telling me to change something? Or is it a form of discipline designed to toughen me or soften me to make me more useful? Or is it part of the heritage of all sons and daughters of Adam who live this side of the parousia, unrelated to discipline but part of God’s mysterious providence in a fallen world? But must we always decide? If a little self-examination shows us how to improve, we ought to improve. But there are times when all that the Christian can responsibly do is to trust his heavenly Father in the midst of the darkness and pain. (Carson 66)

“Must we always decide?” We can heed Carson to welcome needed growth in obedience that “a little self-examination” uncovers. Yet, he also warns that our inability to understand the full purposes of God behind our suffering can cause us sorrow on top of sorrow.

Draw Near to the Merciful Savior

While we sit in the mysteries of God’s providence, there is a promise we can be certain of. It’s a theme Carson repeats throughout his book: “From the biblical perspective, it is because of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed” (Carson 44).

As I grow to have a higher and higher view of God being God—creating and owning me, being pure and dwelling in unapproachable light, and deserving of my unwavering devotion and holy fear, I am increasingly unable to view any of my sins as insignificant or any of my fleshly contributions as meaningful. This principle Carson writes of has been crucial for me, especially in the seat of suffering.


We cannot possibly count what we have in Christ.
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Approaching God for mercy in a manner that communicates, “I’ve got nothing,” is the biblical way (Zuber). Kevin Zuber preaches this approach to God based upon the account of the father who grieves the sickness of his son in Matthew 17:14-15,

And when they came to the crowd, a man came up to him [Christ] and, kneeling before him, said “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he has seizures and he suffers terribly. For often he falls into the fire, and often into the water.”

While witnessing the agony of his clearly beloved son—which a mother or father knows becomes the agony of the parent too—this father bends his knees to Christ and asks for the undeserved mercy of God. This is outward evidence of his commendable spiritual posture.

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)

Don’t Forget Your Sin While Suffering

Approaching God for mercy, I am able to draw near to his throne of grace. And this God has, indeed, been merciful. Look with me at the example of Psalm 40.

In this psalm, David speaks of being in a pit—a miry bog of suffering. As the Psalm progresses, two variations of suffering are mentioned—personal sins (Psalm 40:12) and a near-death experience at the hand of others (Psalm 40:13-14). Note that the latter doesn’t appear to correspond to a particular sin David has committed, for David openly declares that the sins of others are to their shame.

For evils have encompassed me

beyond number;

my iniquities have overtaken me,

and I cannot see;

they are more than the hairs of my head;

my heart fails me. (Psalm 40: 12)

 

Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me!

O LORD, make haste to help me!

Let those be put to shame and disappointed altogether

Who seek to snatch away my life. (Psalm 40:12-14a)

In such suffering from others who seek to take his life, David makes a theological step in his thinking that is often unnatural to those in pain. David does not forget about his own sin (Psalm 40:12). He does not forget about the grander biblical perspective for his life—that before God, is not exempt from being in need of mercy.

As those later in history than David, we can think of the new covenant by Christ’s blood and the suffering brought upon Christ on the cross on the basis of sins. To me, there is no clearer correlation in Scripture between suffering and sin—and none more helpful to my posture before him—than in the case of Christ. It’s my sins that held him there.

Find Joy in and Praise His Mercy

Meditating upon what God’s mercy meant for Jesus on the cross, the believing soul yields praise in suffering and grief. David does not withhold his own:

I have told the glad news of deliverance

in the great congregation;

behold, I have not restrained my lips,

as you know, O LORD.

I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart;

I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation;

I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness

from the great congregation. (Psalm 40:9-10)

David doesn’t seem to be praising God here for deliverance from his physical suffering—from those who were pursuing him. For in the last verse of the Psalm, David asks God to “not delay” (Psalm 40:17). His request for physical deliverance still stands. Yet, he doesn’t underestimate God’s spiritual deliverance—from the edge of death, he speaks about this good news. When suffering abounds, his joy in who God is and who God is to him multiplies countlessly more.

You have multiplied, O Lord my God,

your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us;

none can compare with you!

I will proclaim and tell of them,

yet they are more than can be told. (Psalm 40:5)

“None can compare with him!” writes David. Does your perspective yield this praise while suffering? We may count the number of days we have been bereaved, the manifestations of our suffering and pain, and the people who have inflicted evil upon us, all the while sitting in the unknown about God’s full purposes behind our sorrows. But, we cannot possibly count what we have in Christ.

In David’s suffering that was directly caused by his sin and in his event of running from those who sought to snatch his life, he held to a singular stance before God. He leans on mercy.

In my times of illness and grief, I am not troubled by the mysterious providences of God. For my suffering here, no matter how severe, could never graduate me from being utterly, moment-by-moment requiring of God’s mercy. To not be presently consumed by his wrath is evidence I look upon often—and do not fathom. And this is mercy Christ suffered for me to joyously receive.

Indeed, none can compare with him.

[Photo Credit: Unsplash]

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The post Counting on Mercy in Suffering appeared first on Unlocking the Bible.

Black Lives Matter Leader Leads Séance In Methodist Church: Summons Spirits Of Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, And Shaka Zulu

(Jeffrey Cawood – Daily Wire) “Abdullah methodically poured bottled water into a potted plant displayed before the pulpit as the audience responded by chanting, ‘Ase,’ awaiting ancestral energy to fill the chapel.”

Dr. Melina Abdullah — a professor at California State University who also leads the Los Angeles chapter of Black Lives Matter — recently summoned the spirits of several deceased people to fill a Methodist church with ethereal energy, including Martin Luther King, several other slain civil rights leaders, victims of police brutality, and an African warrior named Shaka Zulu.  View article →

Source: Black Lives Matter Leader Leads Séance In Methodist Church: Summons Spirits Of Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, And Shaka Zulu

University of Iowa lawsuit pits gay rights against religious freedom

Huh?

(News 4 Tucson) The University of Iowa is caught up in a legal fight with a conservative Christian student group that denied a leadership position to a student who is gay.

The case pits a university policy barring discrimination based on sexual orientation against the religious beliefs of a 10-member group called Business Leaders in Christ. The group sued after the state’s flagship university in Iowa City revoked its campus registration in November. [

The group says its membership is open to everyone, but that its leaders must affirm a statement of faith that rejects homosexuality. The university says it respects the right of students, faculty and staff to practice the religion of their choice but does not tolerate discrimination of any kind. View article →

Source: University of Iowa lawsuit pits gay rights against religious freedom

A Move of the Holy Spirit & Christian Emotionalists

Christians who depend on signs and wonders, such as gold dust falling from the ceiling, personal prophecies and other visible signs, are seeking a golden calf of experience over faith says Elizabeth Prata of The End Time.  It is Prata’s belief that believers who seek after signs are dishonoring the Holy Spirit and robbing Him of his glory. In the Comments, Sheryl brings up a good point. “If you’re depending on emotional experiences, then you’re subjectively looking inward to feelings that are deceptive and fluctuate, which results in instability of assurance of salvation.”

Now to Elizabeth’s blog post, which includes a quote by Charles Spurgeon’s on “Christian emotionalists”:

We hear a lot about the big moves of the Holy Spirit. We see Youtube clips of young millennials falling to the floor, or standing with arms upstretched in front of smoke filled stages, pulsing lights, glitter, laughing and sobbing. Afterward they smile tiredly, saying “The Holy Spirit really moved!” Or, “The Holy Spirit really showed up!”

As an aside, I dislike that phrase, ‘The Holy Spirit showed up.’ It’s crass. It’s akin to attending a funeral and saying to the bereaved, “So your wife croaked, eh?’ The Holy Spirit doesn’t ‘show up.’ He isn’t hailing a taxi running late, throwing a scarf around his neck while jumping out of the cab and huffing into the church. The Spirit doesn’t ‘show up’. The Holy Spirit governs the universe.

To the main point regarding big moves of the Spirit. Successive years of successive generations of younger church-goers have twisted Hebrews 11:1‘s statement of what faith is:

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Into –

Now faith is the substance of things we’ve come to tangibly possess, the evidence of things seen and experienced.

Spurgeon had something to say about these “Christian emotionalists” in Sermon 898, A Word with Those Who Wait for Signs and WondersAnd when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign... (Luke 11:29-30View article →

See Berean Research’s White Paper on Discernment

Source: A Move of the Holy Spirit & Christian Emotionalists

The Danger and Pain of Nihilism

Fewer millennials go to church than any American generation before them. And fewer are marrying. Because of that lack of matrimony, for the first time in US history, single adults now outnumber married ones. “Marriage is becoming extinct. And our generation is leading the way,” said Jennifer Murff of Millennials for Marriage. One reason many may never tie the knot is the number who have seen or lived through the trauma caused by divorce in their family of origin.

“They’re concerned and hesitant to jump into a relationship because they don’t want to see that same kind of pain and heartbreak in their own lives,” Josh Craddock of Personhood USA told CBN News. “25 percent of Millennials never get married,” Murff added. But the real number may turn out to be 50% or more. In 1980, 70% of 25-34-year-olds were married – but today that number has dropped to 40%.

The great majority of millennials have been programmed by the culture, the educational system, and the media to be liberal, and of those who voted in the recent election, the overwhelming majority voted for Hillary Clinton, as they did for Barack Obama four and eight years earlier. That they have been captured by the political left has ominous implications for our political future – especially since the country is presently split almost evenly between the Old (traditional values) America and the New (socialist/hedonist values) America. Tens of millions of liberal millennials are likely to tilt the scales to the political left in future elections. They are presently being recruited by the far left to demonstrate against Donald Trump.

Recent studies show that 72% of millennials do not go to church and have no interest in God – the highest such number in US history. While 51% of older Americans attend church services weekly, just 28% of millennials do, according to the Pew Research Center. It is also true that millennials (in the great majority) are more accepting of gay marriage, premarital sex, and even abortion – all strongly prohibited by the Bible and in most religions.

Studies show that 90-95% of them are sexually active outside of marriage – the great majority beginning in their early to mid-teenage years. They have been programmed this way by the imploding American culture, the far-left government school system, the US entertainment industry, and the political left. But many of them admit that they are empty and without purpose in life. Growing numbers of millennials are committing suicide. And many admit that they are looking for answers.

(Excerpt from McAlvany Intelligence Advisor, May 2017)

January 16, 2017 Sheep That Conquer, Tuesday

By James Boice on Jan 16, 2018 12:00 am

A person would never expect this psalm to be a lament from reading the beginning stanzas. This is because it begins with a remembrance of God’s past acts of deliverance (vv. 1-8), and these by their very nature are both positive and grounds for thanksgiving. At this point we would expect the psalm to be a thanksgiving psalm, a praise psalm, or a psalm of confidence. These remembrances are mature remembrances too, in the sense that the author and his contemporaries know that Israel’s past military victories had not been achieved by their own exceptional might or skill, but by the power of God.

Read more..

January 16, 2018 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

Jesus’ reply, If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word (cf. 17:6), explained that He will not reveal Himself to those who refuse to love and obey Him. This is the third time in this section (cf. vv. 15, 21) that Christ linked obedience with genuine love for Him (cf. 8:31). Not only will He love those who love Him (cf. 1 Peter 1:1–2), the Father also will love them. Further, both the Father and the Son will come to them and make their abode with them.[1]


23 Jesus gives no direct answer to Judas’s question but encourages him to understand the promise in terms of the abiding presence of the Father and Son in the life of the obedient believer. Once again, he joins love and obedience (cf. vv. 15, 21). The reward for those whose love is real and therefore issues in obedience is, “My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him” (monē, “home,” GK 3665, occurs only here and in v. 2 in the NT). The reality of God’s presence in the daily experience of those who truly believe cannot be emphasized too strongly. While eternal life is life without end, it is (perhaps even more important) a quality of life that stems from the presence of the Eternal One. The Pauline mystery, “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col 1:27), is firmly based in Jesus’ teaching of the indwelling of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.[2]


A resident guest who comforts the lonely (v. 23)

The word translated ‘home’ is the same Greek word that is used at the beginning of the chapter when Jesus says, ‘In my Father’s house are many rooms’ (v. 2). The picture is developing. Jesus said that through his death and resurrection he was making it possible for his followers to be the permanent guests in his eternal home. But before they got there, the triune God—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—would come and be a resident guest in their lives.[3]


14:22–24. The Holy Spirit lives actively in us all the time; we do not need to pray for him to come to a certain meeting, or a certain occasion, or at a certain time. He is not some kind of theological or spiritual helicopter looking for a place to land.

The disciples always wanted to know why Jesus treated them differently than he did the world, and we find that question again in verse 22. But the answer is always the same. Jesus reveals himself to people he knows will respond to him and obey his teaching. The key word of these three verses is obey or perhaps even the phrase obey my teaching. Again the Lord linked himself with the Father and indicated that the Father and the Son through the Spirit take up residence in the lives of believers.

Judas is also mentioned in Luke 6 and Acts 1 but only here does he speak. Likely he is the same person as the Thaddaeus of Matthew 10:3 and Mark 3:18. His interruption, like those of Thomas and Philip, reminds us not only that the disciples were confused about all this doctrine, but also that they felt comfortable enough in the presence of the Lord to interrupt him with questions. But what is the answer to his question? Quite simply, love. The obedient children of the Father receive the Holy Spirit who will manifest (show) Jesus to them, although his true nature will still be hidden from the world.[4]


23. Jesus answered and said to him, If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him.

For the meaning of the first part of this conditional sentence see on verse 15. There the plural was used; here the singular. The form of the sentence and the use of the singular emphasizes the responsibility of each disciple to ask himself whether he personally loves Jesus. The term my word here in verse 23 is explained by my precepts in verse 15.

Such love, having Jesus as its object, receives a rich reward: “My Father (note my, and see on 1:14) will love him,” etc. The question, “Which love is first?” has been answered in connection with verse 21b. Note that the active expression “and my Father will love him,” corresponds to the passive “he will be loved of my Father” in verse 21; hence, see also on that verse.

And we will come to him and make our home with him. In the Spirit (see preceding context) both the Father and the Son will come to (πρός, face to face with; see on 1:1) the one who loves the Lord, and will make their home with (παρά: by the side of) him.

This presence is very real. Its operation can be felt. The Spirit will convict of sin, lead to daily repentance, impart assurance of salvation, bestow the peace of God that passes all understanding, admonish, comfort; all of this in connection with the Word. It is in that way that Christ has promised to manifest himself to the disciples, but not to the world (see on 14:21, 22).

The clause, “and make our home with him,” (home is μονή; see on 14:2) indicates a very close and intimate relationship. Father and Son, in and through the Spirit, are ever by the side of (παρά) those who love their Lord, ready to comfort, ready to cheer, ready to extend any and all necessary help.

That the promise of this coming, though primarily referring to Pentecost and the present dispensation, receives its ultimate fulfilment at Christ’s return and in the new heaven and earth has been shown (see on 14:18).[5]


14:23 If a person truly loves the Lord, he will want to keep all of His teachings, not just isolated commandments. The Father loves those who are willing to obey His Son without questions or reservations. Both Father and Son are especially near to such loving and obedient hearts.[6]


14:23 loves Me … keep My word: In response to Judas’s question (v. 22), Jesus explained that His manifestation to the disciples would be in response to their love and obedience. make Our home with him: If a believer loves and obeys the Lord, he or she will experience fellowship with God.[7]


14:23–24. Jesus answered that He and the Father will not manifest themselves to those who are disobedient to His teaching. Obedience grows out of love for Jesus and His Word (cf. vv. 15, 21; 1 John 2:3; 3:22, 24; 5:3). And as a result, the Father and the Son abide (make Our home) with him. “Home” is monēn, the singular of plural monai, translated “rooms” in John 14:2. This word occurs in the New Testament only in those two verses. To rebel against Jesus’ word is to rebel against God the Father who sent Him. Jesus’ words were not His own, as He had said previously (12:49; 14:10).[8]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2008). John 12–21 (p. 118). Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[2] Mounce, R. H. (2007). John. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Luke–Acts (Revised Edition) (Vol. 10, p. 568). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Paterson, A. (2010). Opening Up John’s Gospel (pp. 124–125). Leominster: Day One Publications.

[4] Gangel, K. O. (2000). John (Vol. 4, p. 269). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[5] Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953–2001). Exposition of the Gospel According to John (Vol. 2, pp. 283–284). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

[6] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 1548). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[7] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (p. 1347). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.

[8] Blum, E. A. (1985). John. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 324). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

JANUARY 16 GOD SETS NO LIMIT

Let no man deceive you with vain words.

Ephesians 5:6

Do you know that there are Bible “interpreters” now who believe they can set up rules as to how much we can have of God? However, the Lord Himself has promised that as far as He is concerned, He is willing to keep the candles of my soul brightly burning!

So, my heart tells me to ignore the modern scribes whose interpretations, I fear, are forcing the Spirit, the blessed Dove, to fold His wings and be silent. I turn rather to one of Dr. A.B. Simpson’s hymns rarely sung now, probably because very few believers have this experience of which he wrote:

I take the hand of love divine,

I count each precious promise mine

With this eternal countersign—

I take—He undertakes!

I take Thee, blessed Lord,

I give myself to Thee;

And Thou, according to Thy Word

Dost undertake for me!

Lord, fill me anew with Your precious Spirit. I pray that others will see You living in me today.[1]


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

January 16 Trust in God Transcends the Temporal

He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’ ”—Matt. 4:4

James, the Lord’s earthly half-brother, reminds us that this life is very temporary and uncertain—it is not even guaranteed that we will have an earthly future. James’s practical letter teaches us: “Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that’ ” (James 4:14–15).

Like Jesus, what we are all about and the ultimate goals of our lives should focus on the eternal, not the temporary. The guiding principle and central motive of our lives must be to please God and trust Him for absolutely everything (cf. Matt. 6:33).

Jesus posed some searching questions in the Sermon on the Mount:

Why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!” (Matt. 6:28–30)

We always suffer and miss out to some extent on spiritual blessings when we shortsightedly worry about the temporal instead of focusing on the eternal. Jesus’ response to the devil’s temptations is again our model.

ASK YOURSELF

How much time do you spend listening to the nagging complaints of worry? How much is fretting a part of your thought process? When are you most susceptible to letting anxiety rise up within you, stealing your joy and perspective? Pray for freedom from anxiety—and the faith to replace it.[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2008). Daily readings from the life of Christ (p. 24). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

January 16 Undeserved Favor

Where sin abounded, grace abounded much more.

Romans 5:20

Salvation does not come by confirmation, communion, baptism, church membership, church attendance, trying to keep the Ten Commandments, or living out the Sermon on the Mount. It does not come by giving to charity or even by believing that there is a God. It does not come by simply being moral and respectable. Salvation does not even come by claiming to be a Christian. Salvation comes only when we receive by faith the gift of God’s grace. Hell will be full of people who tried to reach heaven some other way.

The apostle Paul said, “The law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 5:20–21). The first provision of the gospel is grace, which is neither earned nor deserved.

Dr. Donald Grey Barnhouse said, “Love that gives upward is worship; love that goes outward is affection; love that stoops is grace.” God has stooped to give us grace. Will you receive it?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 27). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

January 16, 2018 Morning Verse Of The Day

3:30 contend. This can mean “come to hand blows,” or, with legal overtones, “accuse a man.”[1]


3:30 Here we are warned against picking a fight with a man when he has done nothing to provoke it. There is already enough strife in the world without needlessly going around to stir up more![2]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Pr 3:30). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[2] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 800). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

JANUARY 16 THE IMPERATIVE OF MEETING GOD

Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God.

—Ezekiel 1:1

Sometimes preachers get carried away and start sermonizing on the great calamities posed by communism and secularism and materialism. But our greatest calamity is the closed heaven, the silent heaven. God meant for us to be in fellowship with Him. When the heavens are closed, men are left to themselves. They are without God.

Ezekiel and all the rest of God’s faithful servants learned something that we must learn. If there is anything worth having, it will have to be something that we get from God Himself. The heavens have been closed since mankind began reasoning God out of our world. What used to be the hand and providence of God is now just natural law….

But in the Christian faith it is imperative that the individual meet God. We are not talking about just the possibility of meeting God. We are not saying just that it would be a good thing to meet God. Meeting God is imperative! MMG119-120

Lord, deliver me from Your absence today; open the doors of heaven and bestow upon me Your presence. May this be imperative in my life, both now and always. Amen.[1]


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

January 16 Contentment: How to Enjoy It

“Let your way of life be free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, ‘I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,’ so that we confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What shall man do to me?’ ”

Hebrews 13:5–6

✧✧✧

Your relationship with God allows you to enjoy genuine contentment.

In view of yesterday’s lesson, you may be asking, “But how can I enjoy contentment and be satisfied with what I have?” You can begin by realizing God’s goodness and believing that He will take care of you since you are one of His children. You can claim again the promise in Romans 8: “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (v. 28).

Second, you should truly realize that God is omniscient—He knows all things and all your personal needs. He recognizes your individual needs long before you do and even before you pray about them. Jesus affirms, “Your Father knows that you need these things” (Luke 12:30).

You can also enjoy contentment by remembering that what you want or need is one thing; what you deserve is another. The patriarch Jacob confessed, “I am unworthy of all the lovingkindness and of all the faithfulness which Thou hast shown to Thy servant” (Gen. 32:10). Contentment will more likely be yours if you consider that God’s smallest favor or blessing to you is more than you deserve.

Ultimately, however, real contentment will be yours if you have vital communion with God through Jesus Christ. Then, like the apostle Paul, temporal things will not matter so much: “I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ” (Phil. 3:8).

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: God may or may not grant you some new blessing today or this week. In any case, pray that you would be content.

For Further Study: What do Ecclesiastes 2:24; 3:12–13; and 8:15 all say about contentment? ✧ What does Psalm 37:7 say our everyday attitude should be?[1]


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

January 15 Daily Help

DELIGHT in divine service is a token of acceptance. Those who serve God with a sad countenance, because they do what is unpleasant to them, are not serving Him at all; they bring the form of homage, but the life is absent. That obedience which is not voluntary is disobedience, for the Lord looketh at the heart, and if He seeth that we serve Him from force, and not because we love Him, He will reject our offering. Service coupled with cheerfulness is heart-service, and therefore true. Take away joyful willingness from the Christian, and you have removed the test of his sincerity.

Cheerfulness is the support of our strength; in the joy of the Lord are we strong.[1]


[1] Spurgeon, C. H. (1892). Daily Help (p. 19). Baltimore: R. H. Woodward & Company.

January 15, 2018 Evening Verse Of The Day

51:7 hyssop. Old Testament priests used hyssop, a leafy plant, to sprinkle blood or water on a person being ceremonially cleansed from defilements such as leprosy or touching a dead body (cf. Lv 14:6ff.; Nu 19:16–19). Here hyssop is a figure for David’s longing to be spiritually cleansed from his moral defilement. In forgiveness, God washes away sin (cf. Ps 103:12; Is 1:16; Mic 7:19).[1]


51:7hyssop. A plant with hairy leaves and branches; bunches of the branches are good for sprinkling. For its use in a cleansing ceremony, cf. Lev. 14:6; Num. 19:6. As with Ps. 51:2 (see note on vv. 1–2), the psalm highlights the inner condition to which the ceremonies point.

51:7 Hyssop alludes to cleansing ceremonies (Lev. 14:4; Num. 19:18) that point forward to the final cleansing from sin through the work of Christ (Heb. 9:19–28).[2]


51:7hyssop Israelites used hyssop branches to apply the blood of the Passover lamb to their doorposts (see Exod 12:22 and note). They were also used in other purifying rituals (Lev 14:49–53; Num 19:18–19).

I shall be whiter than snow Signifies the complete purity the psalmist wishes for (see Isa 1:18 and note).[3]


51:7 with hyssop. The allusion is to Lev. 14:6, 7, where the cleansing of a leper is described.

wash me. This may be an allusion to Num. 19:19, where instructions are given for ritual washing after contact with a dead person. On the need for washing the heart, see “Legalism” at Matt. 23:4.[4]


51:7 “Hyssop,” a small leafy shrub, was an integral element both in the purification of the leper (cf. Lev. 14:4, note) and also in removing the defilement resulting from contact with a dead body (cf. Num. 19:6). This verse is reflected in Is. 1:18.[5]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Ps 51:7). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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

[3] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Ps 51:7). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[4] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 781). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.

[5] 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 51:7). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.