Daily Archives: March 10, 2018

March 10 Relying on God’s Character

“Alas, O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments. … Righteousness belongs to Thee, O Lord. … To the Lord our God belong compassion and forgiveness” (Dan. 9:4, 7, 9).

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God’s attributes authenticate your prayers.

Prior to the Babylonian Captivity, God had warned His people not to adopt the idolatrous ways of their captors, whose gods were idols that could neither hear nor deliver from distress (Isa. 46:6–7).

In marked contrast, our God loves us and delivers us from evil. When we confess our sins and intercede for others, He hears and responds. In Isaiah 45:21–22 He says, “There is no other God besides Me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none except Me. Turn to Me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other.”

In his prayer Daniel mentions several attributes of God that have a direct bearing on answered prayer. In verse 4 he calls Him “the great and awesome God.” That speaks of His power and majesty. You can pray with confidence because God is powerful enough to change your circumstances when it serves His purposes.

God’s faithfulness is reflected in the phrase “who keeps His covenant” (v. 4). He always keeps His promises. He made a covenant with Israel that if they repented He would forgive them (Deut. 30:1–3). He promised never to forsake them (Deut. 31:6; cf. Heb. 13:5).

God’s love is seen in His acts of mercy toward those who love Him (v. 4). His justice and holiness are inherent in the phrase “righteousness belongs to Thee” (v. 7). God’s actions are always loving and righteous. He never makes a mistake (Gen. 18:25).

Verse 9 mentions two final attributes: compassion and forgiveness. “Compassion” is a synonym for mercy. “Forgiveness” means He pardons your wrongdoings by canceling the penalty that sin has charged to your account. He reconciles you to Himself in sweet communion.

What a gracious God we serve! Rejoice in His love, and lean on His promises. He will never fail you.

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Suggestions for Prayer:  Praise God for His attributes of power, majesty, faithfulness, love, holiness, compassion, and forgiveness.

For Further Study: Read Isaiah 44, which sternly warns Israel to avoid the idolatry of Babylon during the Babylonian Captivity. ✧ What promises did God make to Israel? ✧ How did God characterize idolaters?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 82). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

Killing Sin Does Not Make You New

“Christian maturity is not only marked by sins that have been put to death, but by a deeper personal knowledge of and intimacy with God, and a deeper commitment to his people, the church (Ephesians 4:13). Yes, sexual immorality, anger, and deceit are being put off. But something breathtaking is being put on in their place: love.”

If we boil the Christian life down to simply killing sin, we rob ourselves of the deepest hope and highest joys.

Yes, every true Christian will be killing sin. Any other version or distortion of Christianity falls short of what Christ died for. “Put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires” (Ephesians 4:22). “If you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live” (Romans 8:13). If we do not kill sin, we will die in our sin. But if we wage war against our sin, in the power of the Spirit, we prove that Christ is alive in us, and that we will never die.

Killing sin is essential to the Christian life, but it’s not the essence of the Christian life. When Christ calls us to deny ourselves, take up our cross daily, and follow him — and he does summon us to deny ourselves — he does so that we “may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). What we put on is far greater than anything we put off or leave behind.

The New You

God has given us hit lists of sins to kill. For instance, Colossians 3:58–9: “Put to death what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. . . . Put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices.”

We cannot follow Christ without putting off something, but that doesn’t mean following Christ is only about what we put off.

Just keep reading in Colossians 3, next verse: “ . . . and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator” (Colossians 3:10). You have not only put off your old self. You have put on a new self. And your new self looks more and more like the one who created and sustains every corner of the universe. As horrible as we looked in our sin where God found us, we are now being rebuilt and refined in his spectacular image.

We find similar language in 2 Corinthians 4:16: “Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.” We are being made into the image of an infinitely big, perfectly holy God. That process happens painstakingly slow — one day at a time — from one precious degree of glory to another (2 Corinthians 3:18).

The Power of Knowing God

But how are we being changed? “[You] have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.” What does it mean to be renewed “in knowledge”?

This is not the first mention of “knowledge” in Colossians,

We have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. (Colossians 1:9–10)

Putting on the new man is not something first we do, but something we know — and in particular, someone we know. Notice how knowledge is the beginning and end of this kind of spiritual growth. Knowledge equips us to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord — “so as to walk . . . ” — and we walk in a manner worthy of the Lord because we want to know him more — “increasing in the knowledge of God.”

Christian maturity is not only marked by sins that have been put to death, but by a deeper personal knowledge of and intimacy with God, and a deeper commitment to his people, the church (Ephesians 4:13). Yes, sexual immorality, anger, and deceit are being put off. But something breathtaking is being put on in their place: love. Again, Paul prays, “It is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment” (Philippians 1:9).

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The post Killing Sin Does Not Make You New appeared first on The Aquila Report.

11 signs someone is lying to you

• The signs that someone is lying aren’t always easy to decipher.

• And, unfortunately, there’s no way to determine whether or not someone’s being honest with 100% certainty.

• But there are some obvious signs that someone might be lying to you that you can watch out for.

How can you to tell if someone is lying to you? It’s a question people have probably been asking themselves since lies were invented.

Research by Dr. Leanne ten Brinke, a forensic psychologist at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, and her collaborators, suggests that our instincts for judging liars are actually fairly strong — but our conscious minds sometimes fail us.

Luckily, there are signs we can look for when trying to detect a lie.

Dr. Lillian Glass, behavioral analyst, body language expert, and “The Body Language of Liars” author, said when trying to figure out if someone is lying, you first need to understand how the person normally acts.

With that in mind, here are some signs that someone is lying to you:

SEE ALSO: 15 signs your coworker is a psychopath

1. People who are lying tend to change their head position quickly

If you see someone suddenly make a head movement when you ask them a direct question, they may be lying to you about something.

“The head will be retracted or jerked back, bowed down, or cocked or tilted to the side,” wrote Glass.

This will often happen right before the person is expected to respond to a question.

2. Their breathing may also change

When someone is lying to you, they may begin to breathe heavily, Glass said. “It’s a reflex action.”

When their breathing changes, their shoulders will rise and their voice may get shallow, she adds. “In essence, they are out of breath because their heart rate and blood flow change. Your body experiences these types of changes when you’re nervous and feeling tense — when you lie.”

3. They tend to stand very still

It’s common knowledge that people fidget when they get nervous, but Glass said that you should also watch out for people who are not moving at all.

“This may be a sign of the primitive neurological ‘fight,’ rather than the ‘flight,’ response, as the body positions and readies itself for possible confrontation,” said Glass. “When you speak and engage in normal conversation, it is natural to move your body around in subtle, relaxed, and, for the most part, unconscious movements. So if you observe a rigid, catatonic stance devoid of movement, it is often a huge warning sign that something is off.”

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

In Spite of Evidence, CM&A Denomination Clears Ravi Zacharias on Cyber Adultery

(Pulpit & Pen News) We released the text messages from Ravi Zacharias that indisputably proved he carried on an affair via electronic communication, received illicit images of his paramour, begged her not to tell her husband, and ultimately insinuated he would kill himself if she confessed and repented openly. You can find that post, On the Adulterous Affair of Ravi Zacharias and the Cover-Uphere. Other press outlets were content to only report the spun words from Zacharias’ ministry.

Amidst a scandal related to Zacharias’ inflation of credentials (which included not only treating honorary doctorates as the real thing but more seriously, included fabricating jobs he never worked and education programs he never attended), the adultery evidence simply compiled upon an already embattled Christian celebrity. Sadly, because many of his critics are atheists – like the attorney Steve Baughman – evangelicals have been all-too-eager to act as though their evidence doesn’t matter.

In addition to the intentional rug-sweeping of Christian media of which they’re prone, it has been hypothesized that the couple intentionally “set-up” Zacharias and that they are of suspect character, trying to extort the apologist. While the scenario may be plausible, there is little to no doubt that Zacharias acted improperly, committed at least some form of tawdry, sexualized behavior, and attempted to cover it up. Those are facts that have been well-established. It is also reported and widely known that the woman in question received a settlement from Zacharias, which rarely means innocence.

Zacharias, who received his ministry credentials from the Christian and Missionary Alliance (CM&A), has been cleared from discipline by the denomination. The CM&A was founded 1897 as a loose affiliation, and more formally in 1974. The denomination has a little more than 400k members and 2k churches, and boasts notable Christian leaders like Mike Tomlin, A.W. Tozer, and Phil Vischer (the creator of Veggie Tales).

The CMA issued a statement defending Zacharias from disciplinary measures, stating:

Ravi Zacharias has maintained his licensing credentials through The Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA) for 45 years. Along with all C&MA licensed workers, he is subject to the Uniform Policy on Discipline, Restoration, and Appeal.

Recently Mr. Zacharias has been accused of exaggerating his academic credentials. Mr. Zacharias and his employer, Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, have revised and clarified their communications to address these concerns. The C&MA has determined that there is no basis for formal discipline regarding this matter.

Mr. Zacharias has also been accused of engaging in an immoral relationship with a woman through the use of electronic communications. The C&MA recently completed a thorough inquiry of these accusations, including interviews with those involved and a review of all available documentation and records. While it is not appropriate to publicly discuss the nuances of these allegations, the available evidence does not provide a basis for formal discipline under the C&MA policy.

That was the full statement. There was no further explanation for why clear evidence like text messages, a non-disclosure payout, and demonstrably false statements made by Zacharias’ ministry regarding his credentials do not meet the CM&A qualifications for censure.

The CM&A has a history of not taking seriously the abuses or sins of its licensed ministers. In 1995, more than 30 alumni from their children’s school in New Guinea, demanded restitution and resolution regarding abuse at the school that had been repeatedly reported since the 1980s. In spite of well more than a decade of complaints regarding abuse, the CM&A failed to act for similar reasons by which they have exonerated Zacharias. In 1998, the CM&A finally had to admit their error and ask for forgiveness for not taking the sins of their ministry professionals seriously.

Published with Pulpit & Pen’s permission (Source)

Related:

On Discerning Ravi Zacharias: It’s Time to Say What Needs to Be Said

Ravi Zacharias Responds to Sexting Allegations, Credentials Critique

Ravi Zacharias: Why I Don’t Think His Response at Christianity Today Cleared Things Up – See our Disclaimer

Source: In Spite of Evidence, CM&A Denomination Clears Ravi Zacharias on Cyber Adultery

MARCH 10 EFFECTIVE PRAYER: LETTING ALL OUR PRETENSES GO

Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

MATTHEW 23:28

The basic artificiality of civilized human beings is hard to shake off. It gets into our very blood and conditions our thoughts, attitudes and relationships much more seriously than we imagine.

The desire to make a good impression has become one of the most powerful of all the factors determining human conduct. That gracious (and scriptural) social lubricant called courtesy has in our times degenerated into a completely false and phony etiquette that hides the true man under a shimmery surface as thin as the oil slick on a quiet pond. The only times some persons expose their real self is when they get mad.

With this perverted courtesy determining almost everything men and women say and do in human society, it is not surprising that it should be hard to be completely honest in our relations with God. It carries over as a kind of mental reflex and is present without our being aware of it.

Nevertheless, it is an attitude extremely hateful to God. Christ detested it and condemned it without mercy when He found it among the Pharisees. The artless little child is still the divine model for all of us. Prayer will increase in power and reality as we repudiate all pretense and learn to be utterly honest before God as well as before men![1]


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