Daily Archives: March 15, 2018

March 15: The Power Struggle

Numbers 16:1–50; John 21:1–25; Psalm 17:1–15

Every leader faces power struggles—from those who follow the leader and from those the leader follows. If there isn’t some sort of struggle, the leader probably isn’t doing his or her job well. It’s simple: those who make everyone happy probably aren’t pushing people to be better, and pushing will—at times—frustrate both the leaders and the followers.

Moses regularly experienced leadership struggles. In Numbers 16, Korah—accompanied by 250 men who were leaders in Israel—calls Moses and Aaron’s leadership into question, saying, “You take too much upon yourselves! All of the community is holy, every one of them, and Yahweh is in their midst, so why do you raise yourselves over the assembly of Yahweh?” (Num 16:3). They’re using Moses’ words, spoken on behalf of Yahweh, against him here: “you will belong to me as a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Exod 19:6). But they made one faulty assumption in doing so. Yahweh had prefaced these words by saying, “if you will carefully listen to my voice and keep my covenant, you will be a treasured possession for me out of all the peoples, for all the earth is mine, but …” and then He continued with the line Korah quoted (Exod 19:5–6).

Surely Moses knows this, and he is well aware of their folly. But rather than answering the fool according to his folly, he responds by prostrating himself—an act of worship toward God and humility toward those he serves: the people of Israel. He then says, “Tomorrow morning Yahweh will make known who is his and who is holy, and he will bring him near to him, whomever he chooses he will bring near to him” (Num 16:5). It appears that in that moment of prostration, Moses prayed and was immediately given an answer. He insists on bringing the matter before God Himself.

Moses could have defended himself by insisting upon the special nature by which God had revealed Himself to him. Or he could have noted to Korah that he is only out of Egypt—and thus able to call Moses into question—because Moses was obedient to God. He even could have noted that Korah was only in leadership at all because Moses listened to God and appointed him. But instead, he insisted on bringing it before God. He did, though, follow up by telling Korah that he had plenty of authority and shouldn’t be so greedy (Num 16:8–11).

This event demonstrates the kind of faith that we should all have in what God asks us to do.

How do you respond when people question what God has asked you to do? How can your response in the future be more like Moses’?

John D. Barry[1]


[1] Barry, J. D., & Kruyswijk, R. (2012). Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

March 15 Putting God First

“Hallowed be Thy name” (Matt. 6:9).

✧✧✧

Prayer should always exalt God.

The Disciples’ Prayer illustrates the priority that God should hold in our prayers. Jesus began by exalting the Father—“Hallowed be Thy name” (v. 9), then requested that the Father’s Kingdom come and His will be done (v. 10). He concluded with an anthem of praise: “For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen” (v. 13). His prayer literally begins and ends with God.

“Hallowed be Thy name” exalts the name of the Lord and sets a tone of worship and submission that is sustained throughout the prayer. Where God’s name is hallowed, He will be loved and revered, His Kingdom eagerly anticipated, and His will obeyed.

“Thy name” speaks of more than a title such as “God,” “Lord,” or “Jehovah.” It speaks of God Himself and is the composite of all His attributes. The Hebrews considered God’s name so sacred they wouldn’t even speak it, but they missed the point. While meticulously guarding the letters of His name, they slandered His character and disobeyed His Word. Because of them the name of God was blasphemed among the Gentiles (Rom. 2:24).

Psalm 102:15 says, “So the nations will fear the name of the Lord, and all the kings of the earth Thy glory.” It’s not the letters of God’s name that the nations fear; it’s the embodiment of all He is. As Jesus prayed, “I manifested Thy name to the men whom Thou gavest Me” (John 17:6). He did that by revealing who God is. John 1:14 says, “The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Jesus told Philip, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). Jesus is the manifestation of all that God is.

Manifesting the priority of God in your prayers involves acknowledging who He is and approaching Him with a reverent, humble spirit that is yielded to His will. As you do that, He will hallow His name through you.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer:  Praise God for His holiness. ✧ Ask Him to use you today to demonstrate His holiness to others.

For Further Study: Read Numbers 20. How did Moses show irreverence for God’s name?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 87). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

BuzzFeed Acquires The Gospel Coalition

NEW YORK, NY—In what was rumored to be a multi-million-dollar deal, popular clickbait website BuzzFeed has purchased The Gospel Coalition, journalists learned Wednesday. TGC had reportedly been restructuring and refocusing its content for the past several years in an attempt to merge with a larger clickbait site, and according to TGC council members, BuzzFeed was […]

The post BuzzFeed Acquires The Gospel Coalition appeared first on The Babylon Bee.

The entertainment-driven church

Charles Spurgeon once said of church: If you have to give a carnival to get people to come to church, then you will have to keep giving carnivals to keep them coming back.

So, why would church leaders want people to come to a Sunday worship service to be entertained? In the 1800’s, Spurgeon saw the entertainment-driven church looming on the horizon when he was preaching and he spoke out against it. Today the goats who fill the chairs expect their church experience to be entertaining. And if it isn’t? They’re out of there!

Professing Christians leave churches for a myriad of reasons. For example, they leave because they feel that the sermon is too long, too preachy, boring, politically incorrect, or they don’t care for the music…people are unfriendly…people judge you…no youth groups or the ones they offer don’t meet their standards…parking issues…the church stops offering snacks or the snacks become smaller — for some it’s about bigger snacks, as you will see in Elizabeth Prata’s piece over at The End Time. Prata tackles the conundrum over whether or not pastors should try to entice people to church by offering them “prizes & trinkets, promises of fun, snacks, entertainment and the like.” She writes:

The End Time

I love a serious church.

When I attend a worship service on Sunday that has all gravitas, seriousness, and intent to learn about, praise, and glorify the Lord, I am lifted up to great heights.

Our church is a Reformed-doctrine church that adheres to the ecclesiology of a plurality of elders. Our main teaching pastor exposits the scriptures verse by verse, book by book. He is good at it. We also have a confession time, where one of the elders gives us some scriptures to think about as he explains them, and then there’s a time of silence to repent or plead with God in any way we need to in order to prepare for receiving the preached word. Our music is doctrinal and Christ-exalting too. We do not pass the offering plate, but instead we have spots around the sanctuary during the service to place our money. Also we…

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Beth Moore Says Fighting Donald Trump is A Fight for the Faith

(Pulpit & Pen) Beth Moore, who is a wildly popular female Bible teacher heavily promoted in evangelical circles and aligned with the Southern Baptist Convention’s Lifeway Christian Resources, has steadily been opposing President Donald Trump since his presidential primary. She is not on record ever having opposed President Barack Obama.

Moore, who claims to hear audibly from God – going so far as writing down what she says God specifically told her – said in a tweet this week that getting political was necessary because of the “mountain of manure hitting the fan” and that for her and others it is a “fight for the faith.” …

As President Barack Obama was actively seeking to increase abortions nationwide, lighting up the White House in rainbow-colored flood lights and challenging the Right of Conscience for traditional family advocates, it was apparently not a giant pile of manure hitting the fan. But Trump’s policies, somehow, now must be opposed in the name of fighting for the faith.

The context of Moore’s March 12 tweet is Donald Trump. Moore has received heated criticism from the Soccer Mom contingent of Republican voters, who happen to be the very same demographic that is prone to follow Christian mommy-bloggers and read Beth Moore. A plethora of articles online have detailed Moore’s constant hen-pecking of Trump in social media, for which she receives accolades from some and condemnation from others. Riding a wave of virtue-signaling, wind-shifting popular public opinion, Moore has determined to err on the side of feminism and political correctness.View article →

Source: Beth Moore Says Fighting Donald Trump is A Fight for the Faith

MARCH 15 “TEARS OF JOY—AMEN!”

He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.

Luke 3:16

We need not be afraid of a genuine visitation of the Spirit of God!

Blaise Pascal, the famed seventeenth-century French scientist and philosopher, experienced in his lifetime a personal, overwhelming encounter with God that changed his life. Those who attended him at his death found a worn, creased paper in his clothing, close to his heart—apparently a reminder of what he had felt and sensed in God’s very presence.

In Pascal’s own hand it read:

From about half past ten at night, to about half after midnight—fire! O God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob—not the God of philosophers or the wise. The God of Jesus Christ who can be known only in the ways of the Gospel. Security. Feeling. Peace. Joy. Tears of joy—Amen!

Were these the expressions of a fanatic, an extremist? No; it was the ecstatic utterance of a yielded man during two awesome hours in the presence of God. The astonished Pascal could only describe the visitation in one word—“Fire!”

Dear Lord, I pray that I will experience the “fire” of Your holy presence in my life. Burn away all the dross by Your Spirit. I want to live for You and You only.[1]


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

Three Reasons We Should Care About Saint Patrick

“We make too little of you, Lord, too often,” my coworker prayed. Our staff had been reading The Ten Commandments, and Exodus 20:7 had prompted his prayer:

“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.”

Saint Patrick’s Day is a day when our culture makes much revelry, making too little of our Lord. Even Christians make too little of our Lord by failing to revere him, forgetting to acknowledge him and thoughtlessly making casual statements about him. But the holiday’s namesake was a man who, by his own Confession, delighted to revere the Lord. It’s a funny thing we’ve founded our worldly revelry in remembrance of his life, which gives quite the opposite impression.

Who Was Saint Patrick?

Dr. Philip Freeman gives us a good introduction to this man:

The historical Patrick was not Irish at all, but a spoiled and rebellious young Roman citizen living a life of luxury in fifth-century Britain when he was suddenly kidnapped from his family’s estate as a teenager and sold into slavery across the sea in Ireland…He went to Ireland an atheist, but there heard what he believed was the voice of God.

Patrick escaped Ireland after six years, but returned to preach Christ to the people there. “He was a man of great insecurities who constantly wondered if he was really cut out for the task he had been given” (Freeman), which is clear as you read his confession.

How do we honor God’s name, rather than take it in vain, on Saint Patrick’s Day and every day?

Three Reasons We Should Care About Saint Patrick

Here are three ways Saint Patrick made much of God’s name by telling of his works—and three reasons Christians should care about him. He did this in his little book, “which Patrick, a sinner without learning, wrote in Ireland.” It was his confession before he died (62).

1. He made much of Jesus’ Lordship.

Saint Patrick writes in his confession:

…there is no other God, nor will there ever be, nor was there ever, except God the Father. He is the one who was not begotten, the one without a beginning, the one from whom all beginnings come, the one who holds all things in being—this is our teaching.

And his son, Jesus Christ, whom we testify has always been, since before the beginning of this age, with the father in a spiritual way. He was begotten in an indescribable way before every beginning. Everything we can see, and everything beyond our sight, was made through him. He became a human being; and, having overcome death, was welcomed to the heavens to the Father. The Father gave him all power over every being, both heavenly and earthly and beneath the earth.

Let every tongue confess that Jesus Christ, in whom we believe and whom we await to come back to us in the near future, is Lord and God. He is judge of the living and of the dead; he rewards every person according to their deeds. He has generously poured on us the Holy Spirit, the gift and promise of immortality, who makes believers and those who listen to be children of God and co-heirs with Christ…This is the one we acknowledge and adore—one God in a trinity of the sacred name. (4)

We revere the Lord by confessing that Jesus Christ is Lord, and by living in obedience to him, not depending on our own efforts to be made more like him, but depending on the Spirit whom he has given to us. In this we honor the Father.

Will you revere the Lord by confessing that Jesus Christ is Lord and God, by repenting of your sins to him, the Judge, and by living by faith according to his commands through the help of the Holy Spirit?

2. He made much of God’s Word and prayer.

In the Notes section following Saint Patrick’s 64-point confession, we find these words:

Patrick often quotes parts of the Bible directly. Even more frequently he uses phrases from the Bible as a normal part of his writing…To give every single possible allusion would make this translation far too unwieldy.

Reading Saint Patrick’s confession proves this note abundantly true. You feel as if every other sentence is a quote from Scripture—so much so that the editors thought it too daunting a task to include all the references. God’s Word had clearly taken root in this man’s heart and was highly regarded by him, “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” ( Matthew 12:4).

Not only was Scripture on his heart and tongue, but also prayer. He says:

I tended sheep every day, and I prayed frequently during the day. More and more the love of God increased, and my sense of awe before God. Faith grew, and my spirit was moved, so that in one day I would pray up to one hundred times, and at night perhaps the same. I even remained in the woods and on the mountain, and I would rise to pray before dawn in snow and ice and rain. I never felt the worse for it, and I never felt lazy—as I realise now, the Spirit was burning in me at that time. (16, emphasis added)

Saint Patrick made prayer top priority, no doubt paired with the intake of Scripture. Why? It fueled his love for God, for “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19). To revere God is to love him by seeking him in prayer and wanting to know him through his Word.

Will you revere the Lord by prioritizing loving fellowship with him through his Word and prayer?

3. He made much of God’s mission.

I commend my soul to my most faithful God. For him I perform the work of an ambassador, despite my less than noble condition. (56)

But this I know for certain, that before I was brought low, I was like a stone lying deep in the mud. Then he who is powerful came and in his mercy pulled me out, and lifted me up and placed me on the very top of the wall. That is why I must shout aloud in return to the Lord for such great good deeds of his, here and now and forever, which the human mind cannot measure. (12, emphasis added)

It is right to spread abroad the name of God faithfully and without fear, so that even after my death I may leave something of value to the many thousands of my brothers and sisters—the children whom I baptised in the Lord. (14)

Saint Patrick confesses that he “never had any other reason for returning to that nation from which [he] had earlier escaped, except the gospel and God’s promises” (61). What would compel a man to return to a land where he was enslaved? Only a tale worth telling, worth eternity. For, “we believe in and adore the true sun, that is, Christ, who will never perish. Nor will they perish who do his will but they will abide forever just as Christ will abide forever” (60). “It is right to make known the gift of God and his eternal consolation” (14).

Christian, it’s right to “shout aloud” of what God has done for you! This gives him glory. It’s right to make known his free gift of salvation, available in Christ. Will you revere the Lord by telling others about the free gift of eternal life he offers through Jesus Christ, and how faith in Jesus has changed your life? Who will you talk to today?

Whether it’s among family or while sipping Shamrock shakes, make much of the Lord this Saint Patrick’s Day.

[Photo Credit: Unsplash]

RELATED POSTS:

The post Three Reasons We Should Care About Saint Patrick appeared first on Unlocking the Bible.

“London Closes 500 Churches; Opens 423 New Mosques”

Read the following article which describes the demise of Christianity in the UK while at the same time the Islamic religion flourishes. Note the following statement from the article: “Given the current trends, Christianity in England is becoming a relic, while Islam will be the religion of the future.” … [Read more…]

The post “London Closes 500 Churches; Opens 423 New Mosques” appeared first on Lighthouse Trails Inc.

Democrats Announce All 2020 Candidates Will Forego Armed Security To Protest Gun Violence

U.S.—Democratic National Committee spokesperson Michael Tyler announced Thursday that all candidates who run in the 2020 presidential election as Democrats will completely forego armed security for the entirety of their campaigns, in a clear and bold stance against gun violence in America. “We’ve talked to all possible candidates and everyone has agreed. Gun violence is […]

The post Democrats Announce All 2020 Candidates Will Forego Armed Security To Protest Gun Violence appeared first on The Babylon Bee.

March 15, 2018 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

BLOOMBERG

The leaders of the U.S., Germany and France said that all evidence pointed to Russia bearing the responsibility for the poisoning of two people in England and called for an urgent explanation from President Vladimir Putin’s government.

Tax cuts for individuals should be made permanent under ‘phase two’ of an overhaul, according to Larry Kudlow, the incoming White House economic adviser. “Individuals deserve a permanent break,” Kudlow said.

NATO members increased overall defense spending for a second consecutive year in 2017 as President Donald Trump turned longstanding U.S. calls for Europe to foot more of the common security bill into blunt criticism of allies.

Toys “R” Us Inc. is officially packing up its playroom. The retailer said Thursday it intends to liquidate its U.S. business and shutter all of its 735 domestic toy stores and Babies “R” Us stores. It is exploring a reorganization and sale of its Canada division and other international operations.

IHeartMedia Inc., the biggest U.S. radio-station owner, filed for bankruptcy with a plan to halve its debt load of more than $20 billion, the legacy of a leveraged buyout that hobbled the company as the digital era spawned new rivals.

After a 71-year run, Italy’s bankrupt Alitalia SpA may soon slide into the history books. Several international players are now looking to carve up the air travel market in Europe’s fourth-largest economy, with two Persian Gulf carriers leading the way.

Home prices in the U.S. surged 8.8 percent in February — the biggest monthly gain in four years — as buyers battled for an increasingly scarce resource: homes.

Singapore is the world’s most expensive city for the fifth straight year in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s latest Worldwide Cost of Living report, with Paris and Zurich tied for second place.

Apartment rents are dropping in Manhattan. Units that found tenants in February spent an average of just 34 days on the market — the shortest stretch since October 2011 — as owners cut rents, offered incentives and did whatever else they could to fill vacancies, according to a report

China is first out of the blocks in the global race to secure raw material supplies critical for the batteries that will power the electric vehicles of the future.

U.S. filings for unemployment benefits fell for the third time in four weeks and remain near the lowest level in 48 years, underscoring tightness in the job market, Labor Department figures showed Thursday. Jobless claims decreased by 4k to 226k.

AP Top Stories

After initially refusing to explicitly blame Russia for the poisoning of a former spy in Britain, the Trump administration said Wednesday that the Kremlin “is responsible for the attack” – though the president himself has remained mum on the topic.

Students and teachers at more than 2,000 schools across the country staged a national walkout to call for an end to gun violence on Wednesday, one month after 17 people were killed in a mass shooting at a Florida high school.

The Russian chemist who first revealed the existence of “Novichok” nerve agents says only the Russians can be behind the weapon’s use in Britain against a former spy and his daughter.

The Philippines said on Thursday its withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC) could be “the beginning of the end” for the institution, as more countries would follow suit and non-members would be discouraged from joining.

The Afghan capital is now the main focus of the anti-Taliban fight, with U.S. Special Forces conducting raids in the sprawling city and additional American military advisers arriving to help beleaguered local police, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan said Wednesday.

Japan is considering a summit between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, local media reported, as diplomatic efforts to engage Pyongyang ramp up.

Oklahoma state leaders have announced nitrogen hypoxia will replace lethal injections for death row inmates.

A Texas immigration crackdown on “sanctuary cities” took effect Tuesday after a federal appeals court upheld a divisive law backed by the Trump administration that threatens elected officials with jail time and allows police officers to ask people during routine stops whether they’re in the U.S. illegally.

BBC

Thousands of civilians are fleeing a town in the besieged rebel-held Eastern Ghouta region outside Syria’s capital, Damascus, as government forces advance.

A plane laden with tons of gold-silver alloy was taking off from Yakutsk airport in Siberia when a loading hatch broke off. Some 200 bars, each weighing about 44 pounds, were then scattered across the runway. All of the bars have now been recovered.

Rwanda has banned mosques in the capital, Kigali, from using loudspeakers during the call to prayer.

Libya has issued 205 arrest warrants for Libyans and foreigners suspected of being involved in a smuggling network for migrants heading to Europe. They include accusations of human trafficking, torture, murder and rape.

Angela Merkel has been sworn in for a fourth term as German chancellor, after months of political wrangling that left her weakened.

WND

Undercover videos of Planned Parenthood executives and other abortionists discussing the profitable trade in unborn baby body parts reveal “criminal, illegal, and unethical acts,” and should be made available to law enforcement, Congress and the public, contends a new brief before the Supreme Court.


The Briefing — Thursday, March 15, 2018

1) Stephen Hawking, one of the most recognized scientists of the modern age, dies at age 76

New York Times (Dennis Overbye) –
Stephen Hawking Dies at 76; His Mind Roamed the Cosmos

2) The failure of materialism: Why a biblical worldview is the only worldview that can explain the meaning of life

The Guardian (Roger Penrose) –
‘Mind over matter’: Stephen Hawking – obituary by Roger Penrose

3) A seminary in turmoil: President under fire after past opposition to homosexuality is revealed

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Peter Smith) –
Lutheran seminary faces leadership crisis over president’s past LGBTQ beliefs


News – 3/15/2018

World War 3: Saudi Arabia to develop NUCLEAR BOMB in defence of IRAN – Crown Prince says
“Saudi Arabia does not want to acquire any nuclear bomb, but without a doubt if Iran developed a nuclear bomb, we will follow suit as soon as possible,” Prince Mohammed bin Salman told CBS in an interview that will air on Sunday.Saudi Arabia previously warned it will not hesitate to defend itself against Iran amid warnings the region is being pushed into a “dangerous abyss”. Fears of World War 3 have increased in recent months amid a spiralling fallout between the Saudi monarchy and Tehran.

Haley: Russia must account for its use of chemical weapons
“Let me make one thing clear from the very beginning: the United States stands in absolute solidarity with Great Britain,” Haley said. “The United States believes that Russia is responsible for the attack on two people in the United Kingdom using a military-grade nerve agent.”

Trump’s Win is the Reichstag Fire of Internet Censorship
It’s no coincidence that the central conspiracy theory surrounding the 2016 election involves free speech or that the solution is internet censorship. The claim that Russian trolls and bots rigged the election has zero actual evidence behind it. But it’s a convenient tool for not only delegitimizing Trump but the very idea of a free and open internet where anyone can say anything they choose. It’s not Russia they want to crack down on, it’s us.

Russia says U.S. plans to strike Damascus, pledges military response
Russia said on Tuesday it had information that the United States planned to bomb the government quarter in Damascus on an invented pretext, and said it would respond militarily if it felt Russian lives were threatened by such an attack.

One Small Step: A Win For Medical Freedom; 4 Vaccine Bills Defeated
…According to Green Med Info, the two identical bills submitted to the Florida Senate and the House of Representatives in January mandating HPV vaccines for school children have been defeated. Two other bills released the same month which would have forced those who opt out of vaccines for their children to be entered into a centralized database which would track their whereabouts (and make possible State-mandated “home visits” to coerce and force vaccine compliance), have also been withdrawn from the Florida Senate and House. All four bills were permanently withdrawn on 3/10/2018.

Make a Church Post Satan’s Phone Number?
..Making a pro-life center post a phone number so women can get referrals for tax-funded abortions is akin to making a church — or one of Mother Teresa’s shelters — post Satan’s phone number. As a previous iteration of Jerry Brown might have said: It is crazy.

University of Minnesota Students Narrowly Pass Pro-BDS Referendum That ‘Fuels Discrimination’ Against Jewish Peers
University of Minnesota students have narrowly approved a divestment referendum targeting Israel, which has been condemned for exacerbating divisions on campus, the school elections commission announced on Sunday.

This 3-D-printed house costs $10,000 and can be built in 24 hours
…the innovation isn’t in the structure or materials — it’s in the design and building. ICON, the company that builds the 650-square-foot house, claims it costs just $10,000 to build and can be 3-D-printed by a Vulcan printer in 12 to 24 hours using the most common building material on Earth.

Radical Atheist Who Trashed Billy Graham after His Death Is Set to Become a Navy “Chaplain”
Radical atheist Jason Heap is hoping to become a Navy chaplain. The US Navy is seriously considering the approval of this anti-Christian activist for a spot in its Chaplain Corps.

What Stephen Hawking said about God, his atheism and his own death
British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking schmoozed with popes during his lifetime, even though he was an avowed atheist. The famous scientist, who died Wednesday in England at 76, was often asked to explain his views on faith and God. During interviews, he explained his belief that there was no need for a creator.

Iranian official on TV: ‘Liberation of Jerusalem is the most important thing’
Hassan Rahimpour Azghadi of the Iranian Supreme Council for Cultural Revolution said in a lecture that aired on IRIB Ofogh TV on March 2 that the West was trying to prevent Iraq from becoming the leader of the Arab world.

Searching souls with brain imaging
In the March issue of Scientific American, brain-imaging expert John Gabrieli says that we can now use functional magnetic-resonance-imaging (fMRI) technology to predict whether depressed patients will benefit from certain therapies, whether smokers will be able to quit, and whether criminals will land back in jail soon.  But he leaves unanswered some questions he raises—namely, if we find that we can reliably obtain this kind of information, what should we do with it?

Did President Trump give Israel the greatest gift possible
‘President Trump finally killed idea of making Jerusalem an international city,’ says former Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold.

Leftism and Degeneracy: A Beautiful Thing
…In a nutshell, leftists are using government to make the weird and freaky mainstream while trampling traditional principles and values underfoot – declaring them hateful, intolerant, and laughable.


Catholic Archbishop Says Pedophilia Is ‘Spiritual Encounter With God’

(YourNewsWire) One of the highest-ranking officials in the Catholic Church says sexually abused children can experience “a spiritual encounter with God through the priest” while being molested.

Australia’s most powerful clergy, Archbishop of Melbourne Denis Hart, says the Catholic practice of confession is satisfactory for dealing with pedophilia in the church as it helps priests absolve “their own guilt” after sexually abusing children.

Asked whether he was prepared to be jailed for failing to report child sex abuse by Catholic pedophile priests, Archbishop Hart confirmed he was willing to serve prison time. He also claimed the right to cover for pedophiles in the church is an “absolutely sacrosanct communication of a higher order.“

He made the shocking statement in response to the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse which stated there should be “no excuse, protection nor privilege” for Catholic clergy who failed to alert police of abuse within the church.

But Archbishop Hart disagreed and insisted that sexual abuse was “a spiritual encounter with God through the priest” and was “of a higher order” than criminal law.

A new report by the commission proposed 85 sweeping changes to the criminal justice system and recommended that priests face criminal charges for failing to report serious crimes such as sexual abuse to the police. View article →


Mid-Day Snapshot

Mar. 15, 2018

The Adolescent 2nd Amendment Puppet Protests

Students across America walked out of their schools, using free speech to protest gun rights.

The Foundation

“Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclination, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” —John Adams (1770)


Headlines – 3/15/2018

After Tillerson ousted, Netanyahu says he is ‘very impressed’ with replacement

Report: Differences on North Korea key to Trump’s Tillerson decision

Fears grow for future of Iran nuclear deal in wake of Tillerson’s removal

Iranian official: U.S. determined to leave nuclear deal

Trump: Iran is ‘behind every problem’ in the Middle East

UN Palestinian agency in urgent search for cash at global gathering

UN seeks $540 million for Palestinian aid, mostly for Gaza

World Bank says Gaza’s economy requires trade, not just aid

UN envoy condemns Gaza attack on Palestinian PM as a ‘grave incident’

Hamas claims to know who tried to assassinate Palestinian PM

Bombs set off along Gaza fence, causing no injury; IDF tanks retaliate

Assad says will confront plans against Syrian unity

Assad may win Syria’s war, but he will preside over a broken country

The fall of Ghouta threatens Israel, U.S. interests and the West

Syria war: Wounded leave Eastern Ghouta under evacuation deal

Bodies of 21 Coptic Christians beheaded by ISIS to return to Egypt

Russia-Iran alliance bolstered with multi-million dollar oil fields deal

Allies question Trump’s response to spy’s poisoning

US envoy says Russia is ‘a growing concern’

Russian spy: White House backs UK decision to expel diplomats

Analysis: Britain’s expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats marks a return to Cold War ejections

Russian spy: Retaliation could be painful for UK business

As Another Arctic Freeze Approaches Europe, Fears Grow Over Gas Supplies

May Seeks Alternatives for Russian Gas After Spy Scandal

McMaster, Shulkin and Kelly could be next to go in White House ‘bloodbath,’ sources say

Congress plunges into gun debate with school safety bill, hearing on FBI’s Cruz failure

National School Walkout: Thousands Protest Against Gun Violence Across the US

Dow closes more than 200 points lower, as Boeing slides on fears of a China trade war

Senate passes rollback of banking rules enacted after financial crisis

Toys ‘R’ Us plans to close all U.S. stores; 33,000 jobs at risk: source

Nobel secretary regrets Obama peace prize

Samsung Electronics says to start building new China memory chip line this month

Fake News? NOAA Debunks Rumors of Geomagnetic Storm Hitting Earth

About a quarter of U.S. adults say they are ‘almost constantly’ online

Court orders Japan government to pay new Fukushima damages

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Nuku’alofa, Tonga

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Ile Hunter, New Caledonia

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Khorixas, Namibia

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near San Miguel, Philippines

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 31,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 21,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 16,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 15,000ft

Turrialba volcano in Costa Rica erupts to 12,500ft

Kirishimayama volcano on Japan erupts to 12,000ft

Will Erie, Pennsylvania, Reach 200 Inches of Snow, Surpassing the All-Time Snowiest Winter in Buffalo, New York?

Alarmists Resurrect Theory That Global Warming Is Making Winters Colder

Orthodox Jews in Florida make 11th hour push to stop all-year daylight saving time bill

The Push to Make Human-Chimp Hybrids

Searching souls with brain imaging – If technology can predict a criminal’s likely future, what should we do?

‘Body on a chip’ may help drug evaluation by replicating multiple organs

Complaint: ‘Drug epidemic of mass proportions’ fueled by pharma companies

Measles warning issued for Detroit airport fliers after disease travels from overseas

Did School Book Fair Try to Indoctrinate First Graders trying to hide a gay-themed book from children?

Stormy Daniels’s attorney says other women have reached out about potential cases against Trump

We don’t need Stormy Daniels to tell us about Trump’s character

Pa. County Continues Fight Against Atheists’ Lawsuit Demanding Cross Be Removed From Seal

Stephen Hawking Was an Atheist. Here’s What He Said About God, Heaven and His Own Death

Stephen Hawking led a brilliant life of contradictions

Prof. Stephen Hawking’s love-hate relationship with Israel

Stephen Hawking once boycotted Israel, but an Israeli academic inspired one of his biggest discoveries

Lawmaker’s tweet after physicist Stephen Hawking’s death draws criticism: “Stephen Hawking now knows the truth about how the universe was actually made.”

Scientists Now Resort To Calling Christians Crazy – ‘New Study’ Attempts to establish a link between religious fundamentalism and brain damage

Discovery of 3,600-Y-O Burial Chamber in Biblical Book of Revelation City ‘Stuns’ Archaeologists

Posted: 15 Mar 2018 07:07 AM PDT

Discovery of 3,600-Y-O Burial Chamber in Biblical Book of Revelation City ‘Stuns’ ArchaeologistsArchaeologists say they are stunned by the discovery of a “magnificent and untouched” 3,600-year-old burial chamber in the ancient Canaanite city-state of Megiddo, which is mentioned in the book of Revelation in the Bible.  National Geographic reported Wednesday that the “extraordinary” find could offer potential clues into the royal dynasty that ruled the area south of Haifa, today part of Israel, before its conquest by Egypt in the 15th century B.C.  For nearly five millennia, from 3000 B.C. to 1918,

Megiddo served as an important strategic pass for international military and trade routes, offering the stage for numerous historic battles. It is described in Revelation 16:16 as a place called “Armageddon,” which derives from Har-Megiddo, or “Hill of Megiddo.” Archaeologists now say they have discovered a tomb there from the 15th century B.C., when Megiddo was besieged for seven months by the forces of Egyptian Pharaoh Thutmose III, eventually surrendering. Thutmose III then moved to incorporate Canaan as a province in his empire. READ MORE

God Is Separating the Wheat and Chaff Now More Than Ever Before

Posted: 15 Mar 2018 07:00 AM PDT

God Is Separating the Wheat and Chaff Now More Than Ever Before(By David Hoffman) Speaking of Jesus, John the Baptist, Matthew 3:12 (NIV) says, “His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will clear His threshing floor, gathering His wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”  In this verse, Jesus is portrayed as someone who will separate the wheat from the chaff, gathering the wheat into His barn and burning up the chaff in a conflagration. This is the first instance that the idea of separation is brought up within the New Testament. Though the full meaning of this verse has eschatological significance, it could be argued that this verse is applicable at all times and places. God is always, in varying degrees, separating the wheat from the chaff in His church and separating the wheat from the chaff in the individual lives of His people as well. Whenever I browse

throughout Christian news sources, there seems to be an underlying theme at work within the American church—separation and sanctification. Christians are being faced with many choices. For example, will they serve Christ or seek the “riches” of this world? Will they faithfully hold on to the truth of God’s Word, or will they compromise with the culture? Will they live in holiness or give way to the decadence around them? Will they look to the world for their hope, or will they look to Christ? CONTINUE

Putin tests new Satan-2 Nuke capable of wiping Britain off the map!

Posted: 15 Mar 2018 06:49 AM PDT

Putin tests new Satan-2 Nuke capable of wiping Britain off the map!Vladmir Putin has ordered a second high-profile test of the world’s most unstoppable nuclear missile – the Satan 2 – capable of WIPING OUT Britain three times over with one blast.  The shockingly deadly missile is more than 3000 times more powerful than the bomb which leveled Hiroshima – and it is virtually undetectable. As Russia faces condemnation across the planet for the state-sponsored act of

terror on the streets of Salisbury, the test is being seen as a clear and hostile message of war to the world. Putin and his cronies have reacted to evidence Russia ordered the poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury by raising tensions with barely veiled warnings of military action. And the latest is the testing of the terrifying ‘Satan 2’ – formally known as an RS-28, which makes all Russia’s existing nukes look like firecrackers. READ MORE

Toys ‘R’ Us plans to close all U.S. stores; 33,000 jobs at risk…

Posted: 15 Mar 2018 06:39 AM PDT

Toys ‘R’ Us plans to close all U.S. stores; 33,000 jobs at risk…Bankrupt Toys ‘R’ Us Inc is preparing to sell or close all 885 stores in its U.S. chain, risking up to 33,000 jobs, after failing to reach a deal to restructure billions of dollars in debt, a person familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.   With shoppers flocking to online platforms like Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) and children choosing electronic gadgets over toys, Toys ‘R’ Us has struggled to service debt from a $6.6 billion leveraged buyout by private equity firms KKR & Co LP (KKR.N) and Bain Capital and real estate investor Vornado Realty Trust (VNO.N) in 2005.

Toys ‘R’ Us had been closing one-fifth of its U.S. stores as part of efforts to emerge from one of the largest ever bankruptcies by a specialty retailer.  But creditors decided they can get more from liquidating assets of the toy seller, the largest in the United States and one of the best known in the world, rather than finding a way to keep the business alive, the person said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the private negotiations. READ MORE

Debunking the 11 Arguments Against Divine Healing

Posted: 15 Mar 2018 06:27 AM PDT

Debunking the 11 Arguments Against Divine Healing(By Joseph Mattera) In this two-part series, we will explore debunking eleven primary arguments against divine healing. The following are the first five arguments:

Through the years I have witnessed many astonishing answers to prayer along with supernatural physical healings. In my beginning years as a believer, I saw virtually nobody healed, which led me to diligently search the Scriptures and church history as well as the lives of contemporary ministers God was using to bring God’s healing power to people. (I reasoned if I want to learn about something—I should study those who have already been successful in that area of my focus. If I want to learn about nutrition I will go to a nutritionist—not a car mechanic.

If I want to learn how to hit a baseball I don’t go to a quarterback coach. If I want to learn divine healing I am not only going to study the views of a cessationist theologian who never experienced or walked in God’s healing power.) Consequently, I studied the life, methodology and theology of countless people of faith, starting with the Old Testament Scriptures on toward those used of God for healing in the 20th century up till the present time. My study of church history also showed me that there were always threads of divine healing since the beginning of the church; it was not merely a phenomenon that started after the Pentecostal explosion of the 20th century. CONTINUE

Daylight fireball explodes over Oklahoma and Texas, Sonic boom reported

Posted: 15 Mar 2018 06:24 AM PDT

Daylight fireball explodes over Oklahoma and Texas, Sonic boom reportedA daylight fireball was recorded streaking Oklahoma and Texas around 21:16 UTC (16:16 CDT) on March 13, 2018. The object turned ‘blindingly bright’ before it disappeared and was followed by a sonic boom.  Numerous residents across central Oklahoma and northern Texas reported a ‘shaking boom’ shortly after 16:00 CST yesterday.

Several hours later, a video emerged showing a very fast daylight fireball over Plano, northern Texas, leading authorities to conclude it as a source of the boom. The American Meteor Society (AMS) received 36 reports about this fireball. Eyewitnesses described the object as light blue to green. Some said a large green flash was produced in the sky, followed by a loud sonic boom. READ MORE

DEVELOPING: Travelers who landed in Detroit, Newark, Memphis pop up with measles…

Posted: 14 Mar 2018 06:21 PM PDT

DEVELOPING: Travelers who landed in Detroit, Newark, Memphis pop up with measles…Visitors to airports in Detroit; Newark, N.J.; and Memphis may have been exposed to measles after cases were confirmed in two international travelers, health officials in two states said Tuesday. But people who received the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine twice as children are considered protected for life, federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials said. Others who have not been vaccinated or had only one shot could come down with the disease, which can be life-threatening. The specifics:

• DetroitPeople who visited the North Terminal at Detroit Metropolitan Airport on the afternoon of March 6 likely were exposed to the highly contagious virus, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Someone infected could develop symptoms as late as next week

• NewarkPassengers in terminals B and C of Newark Liberty International Airport also were exposed and could develop symptoms as late as April 2, according to the New Jersey Department of Health.

• Memphis. The young child diagnosed with measles arrived in Newark from Brussels and flew to Memphis International Airport that evening, exposing others along the way, New Jersey health officials said.  READ MORE

Why Christians Desperately Need to Stop Chasing an Experience

Posted: 14 Mar 2018 06:15 PM PDT

Why Christians Desperately Need to Stop Chasing an Experience(By Francis Frangipane) If we truly find Him, no one will have to tell us to be humble. No one need convince us our old natures are as filthy rags. As we truly find God, the things that are so highly esteemed among men will become detestable in our sight (Luke 16:15). What could be more important than finding God? Take a day, a week, or a month and do nothing but seek Him, persisting until you find Him. Find God, and once you have Him, determine to live the rest of your life in pursuit of His glory. As you touch Him, something will come alive in you: something eternal, someone Almighty! Instead of looking down on people, you will seek to lift them up. You will dwell in the presence of God. And you will be holy, for He is holy.

A Time to Seek –  There are certain times when the Lord calls us out of the routine of our daily lives. These are special seasons where His only command is “Seek My face.” He has something precious and vitally important to give us that the familiar pattern of our daily devotions cannot accommodate. During such times people are often delivered of sins that have plagued them for years; others discover a depth in their walk with God that leads to greater effectiveness in ministry and prayer; still others experience breakthroughs in their families and are used by God to see loved ones brought into the kingdom. READ MORE

Pentagon To Begin Moving Classified Data To AMAZON Secret Cloud…

Posted: 14 Mar 2018 10:36 AM PDT

Pentagon To Begin Moving Classified Data To AMAZON Secret Cloud…For the first time, the Defense Department will begin moving classified data and applications to Amazon Web Services’ Secret Region—the same cloud environment developed for the CIA and intelligence community several years ago.  U.S. Transportation Command—the part of the department responsible for moving troops and equipment around the globe—announced its intent to make use of AWS’ Classified Secret Commercial Cloud Services in December after the company expanded its

capabilities and availability to non-intelligence agencies. The Defense Department’s sole-source decision—a contract awarded without a full and open competition—was protested by Microsoft, which itself offers a variety of cloud services to the federal government. The company withdrew its protest March 8, allowing TRANSCOM to begin migrating data to the AWS Secret Region. In a statement to Nextgov, Microsoft said it withdrew its protest “because the issues involved were resolved” to the company’s satisfaction. READ MORE

US Monitoring Possible North Korea Military Base in Syria…

Posted: 14 Mar 2018 10:30 AM PDT

US Monitoring Possible North Korea Military Base in Syria…The United States is monitoring information indicating that North Korea may be running a large underground military base in Syria that could be used for advanced weaponry and nuclear-related work, according to regional reports and U.S. officials tracking the situation.  Regional reports have begun to surface indicating North Korea has neared completion of the construction of an underground military base located near Qardaha in Syria, the hometown of embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

“According to … satellite images and a military source the underground facility has been under construction for seven years, started by the beginning if the Syrian revolution in March 2011,” Zaman Al Wasl, a Syrian news outlet, reported earlier this month. “The high level of secrecy and tight guard in the North Korean base raise speculations whether it’s a nuclear facility or overseas depot for North Korean weapons.” U.S. officials told the Washington Free Beacon they are monitoring these reports and efforts by North Korea to help Assad rebuild Syria’s chemical weapons factories. READ MORE


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Rev. Graham Shares 1 Question He Would Have Asked Stephen Hawking, in 1 Hour Gets 5,000 Shares

(Western Journal) Christian evangelist Franklin Graham wished he could have asked world-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking one question before his death on Wednesday at 76 regarding the existence of God.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday, Graham shared an article from USA Todaytitled, “Heaven ‘is a fairy story’: This is what Stephen Hawking says happens when people die.”

In the piece, Hawking, who suffered from motor neuron disease since the age of 21, is quoted from a 2011 interview saying, “I have lived with the prospect of an early death for the last 49 years. I’m not afraid of death, but I’m in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first.” …

He continued, “I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.”

In response, Graham wrote, “I wish I could have asked Mr. Hawking who he thought designed the human brain.”

He explained that Apple, Dell and Hewlett-Packard have created wonderful computers over the years, but nothing comes close to the capabilities of the human mind.

“Who do you think designed the human brain?” the evangelist queried. “The Master Designer–God Himself. I wish Stephen Hawking could have seen the simple truth that God is the Creator of the universe he loved to study and everything in it.” View article →

Source: Rev. Graham Shares 1 Question He Would Have Asked Stephen Hawking, in 1 Hour Gets 5,000 Shares

March 15, 2018 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

Christ’s Impression on the Samaritans

From that city many of the Samaritans believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all the things that I have done.” So when the Samaritans came to Jesus, they were asking Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. Many more believed because of His word; and they were saying to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world.” (4:39–42)

Following the interlude of verses 31–38, the Samaritans reenter the narrative as the story builds to a powerful conclusion. Many of the villagers believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all the things that I have done.” Surely we can assume that she gave the details of His supernatural knowledge, not just this summary comment. That supernatural knowledge of the details of her past settled for them that He was in fact the Messiah. Therefore when they came to Jesus at the well, they were continually asking Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. During that time many more believed because of His word. Though they were influenced by the woman’s testimony, hearing from Jesus Himself was the clincher. So they were saying to her, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world.” Such words were not intended to denigrate her testimony, but rather to indicate that their time with Jesus confirmed it.

The Samaritans’ confession of Jesus as the Savior of the world (cf. 2 Cor. 5:19; 1 John 2:2; 4:14) was especially significant because they were not Jewish. Had He come only to save Israel as the Jews preferred to think (and not the whole world), the Samaritans would have been excluded. But the Lord did not come to save Israel alone. His saving mission extended far beyond the borders of Judea and Galilee, encompassing men and women from every nation on earth.

Through His conversation with a non-Jewish woman, Jesus gave an entire non-Jewish village the opportunity to receive salvation. In so doing, He set the precedent for the worldwide impact of His saving work. As His forerunner John the Baptist had earlier exclaimed, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (1:29).[1]


The Savior of the World

John 4:39–42

Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. And because of his words many more became believers.

They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”

If ever there was a great spiritual climax to a story, that climax is found in the phrase with which John the evangelist ends his account of Christ’s conversation with the woman of Samaria. The woman had believed in Jesus as the result of his conversation with her and had immediately gone off to her own city to tell others about him. These came and believed. They asked Christ to stay with them. When he did, others believed also. John’s account of this miniature revival in Samaria is then rounded off with the concluding testimony of these new believers concerning Jesus: “They said to the woman, ‘We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world’ ” (John 4:42).

This great phrase—“the Savior of the world”—concludes John’s story and is therefore particularly significant. Of course, no one really wanted a Savior of the world in Christ’s day. The Jews wanted a savior of Jerusalem. The Samaritans wanted a savior of Samaria, as their conduct at a later time indicates (cf. Luke 9:52, 53). The Greeks wanted to save Greece; the Romans, to save Rome. But Jesus was not this kind of a savior. Jesus is the Savior of the world. Jesus appeared on earth for men of all races in order that he might die for them and be the means of their salvation.

It is because he did this that you and I, who are not Jews, have a Savior.

The Human Race

Before we look at this phrase—“the Savior of the world”—we need to look at the very important word “world.” In Greek the word is kosmos. It occurs about 185 times in the New Testament, but what is highly significant for our study is that 105 of these 185 occurrences are in the books traditionally attributed to John. The word kosmos occurs 78 times in the Gospel of John, 24 times in John’s epistles, and 3 times in Revelation. We get a sense of how unusual John’s use of the word is when we realize that Matthew uses the word only 8 times and that it occurs just 3 times each in the Gospels of Mark and Luke. In other words, we are dealing here with one of the great concepts, or themes, of John’s Gospel.

But what does the word kosmos mean? Initially the word probably denoted an ornament; that is, an object that was decorative or beautiful because it was well proportioned or well constructed. This usage appears many times in Homer and is preserved for us in our English word “cosmetic.” From this original use, the word passed quite naturally into a word describing the universe because of its beauty and harmony. The universe is God’s ornament. This sense of the word is retained in one of the three uses of it in John 1:10, which tells us that the world (meaning the universe) was made by Jesus Christ. Since the earth with its order and beauty was the most significant part of the universe for mankind, it was natural that the word kosmos should next be applied to this earth and, after that, to the men who live upon it.

This latter idea is the one normally used by John. In John the word kosmos most often means “the human race.” In the later chapters of the Gospel particularly, the word denotes the human race in its opposition to God. Consequently, those who are called to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ are distinguished from it. We find John writing: “It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love” (John 13:1). Later, Jesus makes the distinction even clearer by praying on behalf of the disciples: “I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours” (John 17:9).

In these later chapters the line of distinction is drawn between those who are Christ’s and those who are merely “of the world.” In the early chapters (that is, before Jesus has begun to do much of his work) the references deal with Christ’s actions toward the human race generally.

God’s Light

Let us look at some of these references. The first important one is John 1:9, which says, “The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.”

What does that mean? If we are to understand this verse, we need to remember, first of all, that it does not refer to some imagined divine light or spark of divinity that is said to be innate to mankind. That is a view which has been held by the Quakers and peripheral Christian denominations, but it is not what the verse is teaching. We discussed this issue in one of our studies of John’s first chapter. The “Light” of the verse really refers to the historical Jesus. The point of the verse is that Jesus shone upon all men—from the outside, as a spotlight shines upon the darkened front of an empty house—rather than there being any light shining forth from within.

The fact that Jesus shines upon all men is, however, important. It is important because it tells us that he is the light, rather than another. The verse says that he is the “true” or “genuine” light. It is important because we are told that the light is for all.

Do you realize that it is only because of the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ that you, a Gentile (if you are a Gentile), have spiritual light? Before Christ’s coming, salvation was, as Jesus maintained, “of the Jews.” To the Jews belonged the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises (Rom. 9:4). That is true; it is a fact of our history. On one occasion, when Daniel O’Connell, a nineteenth-century Irish politician, taunted the great English statesman Benjamin Disraeli in the House of Commons about his being a Jew, Disraeli replied, “Yes, I am a Jew; and when the ancestors of this right honorable gentleman were brutal savages in an unknown island [he meant Ireland], mine were priests in the temple of Solomon and were giving law and religion to the world.” It was a just rebuke. For centuries the true light of divine revelation was confined to Judaism. Now, however, through Jesus Christ the light of God’s law and true religion have come to us Gentiles.

Have you recognized that the Lord Jesus Christ came to be your Light? If you will allow him to do so, he will use that light first to reveal the darkness of your heart and life to you and then to lead you into the light of his truth and righteousness.

The Lamb

The second important reference to the relationship of Jesus Christ to the world of men is that he came to be the world’s Savior. That is the teaching of John the Baptist who declared, “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!’ ” (John 1:29). Jesus is only the Savior of those who believe on him, for salvation is through faith alone. “Without faith it is impossible to please God,” says the author of Hebrews (Heb. 11:6). Yet it is also correct to say that he died in order that all might come to repentance.

I wonder if you have ever pondered on all that is involved in that phrase, “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” At the very least it referred to the sacrifices, as I pointed out in an earlier study. The sacrificial lamb had always figured highly in Israel’s religious culture. Abel had sacrificed a lamb and thereby received God’s blessing. Abraham had performed various sacrifices. The offering of lambs figured in the worship at the temple and was practiced daily. Thus, when John the Baptist termed Jesus the “Lamb of God,” he was clearly identifying Jesus as the innocent substitute who would die in place of all those who have sinned.

However, John’s phrase also referred to the culmination and far-reaching effect of the sacrifices. To understand the importance of this truth, we need to go back to the time when God first instituted sacrifices. There in the Garden of Eden, after man had sinned, God shed the blood of one animal for one person and then established this as a repeatable form of worship on the basis of which a sinful man might come to him. When Abel did that, God judged him righteous (Heb. 11:4). He rejected the more beautiful offering of Cain because it was not a sacrifice.

For thousands of years men lived with this basic one-lamb-for-one-person institution. The time came when the Jews were in slavery in Egypt and God was about to bring them out and lead them into their own land. At this time God instituted the Passover. Each family in Israel was to take a lamb and examine it for defects. Only a perfect lamb could be chosen. After three days, on the night of the Passover, the lamb was to be killed and eaten and its blood spread upon the lintel and side posts of the door of the house as a sign to the angel of death to pass over that house as it went through Egypt slaying the firstborn that night. One lamb for a person? Yes! But here God revealed that it could also be one lamb for one family.

The Exodus took place, and several months later the people were at Mount Sinai where God gave them the law. In the law were instructions for the Day of Atonement, on which the high priest was to kill a lamb for the nation and then take its blood within the veil into the Holy of Holies, where it was sprinkled upon the mercy seat beneath the wings of the cherubim. Here was the progression: one lamb for one person, one lamb for one family, one lamb for one nation. … But then Jesus came, and it was John’s role to identify him as one lamb for this world.

For some years now I have been convinced that this was the primary meaning of Palm Sunday. Men who love liturgy and liturgical parades have seized upon this event, as men will, and have built it into a day of triumph in which Jesus supposedly presented himself as King to a warm and enthusiastic populace. But that is not what Palm Sunday is about. Jesus did not present himself as King to the people of Jerusalem only to be surprised several days later by their rejection of him. The day of crucifixion was the necessary prelude to Easter, and Palm Sunday was the necessary prelude to the day of the crucifixion. At Calvary Jesus died as God’s Lamb. Palm Sunday was the day on which that Lamb was led into Jerusalem. Palm Sunday was the day on which Jesus offered himself as our substitute.

This was probably true in a very literal way. We must remember that the idea that Jesus was crucified on what we call Good Friday is a tradition inherited from a later period of church history and is therefore not necessarily accurate. In fact, recent studies have indicated that Jesus may have died just before sundown on Thursday of Passover week; that is, before a Friday Passover beginning on Thursday evening. According to this reckoning, there would have been two sabbaths in that particular Passover week, the regular Saturday Sabbath and the Friday Passover Sabbath. Thus, Jesus would have died on Thursday, would have spent three days and three nights in the tomb, as he foretold, and would have risen from the grave before sunrise on Sunday morning, which was (by Jewish reckoning) the first day of the week.

The bearing that all this has upon the matter of the Passover lambs is readily apparent. For if Jesus was crucified on Thursday before a Friday Passover and if he entered Jerusalem on Sunday, as the Bible indicates, then Jesus was entering Jerusalem at the precise moment at which the thousands of Passover lambs were being led into the city to be taken into the thousands of Jewish homes. What better way could Jesus have dramatized the claim that he was God’s Lamb? When he later died, as he did, at the precise moment when, according to John, the Jewish people were actually killing their lambs and feeding on them, the imagery was complete.

Do you realize that Jesus Christ truly is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of this world? Do you realize that he came to die for you? Each of us should believe these things and commit ourselves to him.

God So Loved the World

The final important reference to the world in the opening chapters of the Gospel is in John 3:16. There we read: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Where can a sinful human being such as you or I learn that God is love? You will not find it taught in books on human history. You will not find it in philosophy or in your own reasoning. You will not even find it in the other religions of this world. You will find this truth only in Christianity, at the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ. How do we know that God loves us? It is not because someone else tells us so. He may be mistaken. It is not because the universe is beautiful; the universe is also horrible at times. There is no love in space; space is nothingness. Even on earth we must admit that there are tidal waves and hurricanes, earthquakes and disease, just as there are gorgeous spring days and beautiful sunsets. How do we know that God loves us? Only because Jesus of Nazareth died for us! The Bible says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8).

He died for us even when we were hostile toward him. What did men do when Jesus appeared as the Light? Men rejected the Light. What did men do when he appeared as the Lamb? Men crucified the Lamb. What did men do when Jesus appeared as the great and supreme manifestation of God’s love? Men hated that love and despised it.

So we ask ourselves: Can God really love a race that rejects his Light, crucifies his Lamb, and despises his love? Everything within ourselves would say no. But the reality of the crucified Christ forces us to say yes, for he is indeed the Savior of such a sinful and rebellious world. Samuel Medley expressed this in a song written toward the middle of the eighteenth century:

Awake, my soul, in joyful lays,

And sing thy great Redeemer’s praise:

He justly claims a song from me,

His loving-kindness is so free.

He saw me ruined in the fall,

Yet loved me notwithstanding all,

And saved me from my lost estate;

His loving-kindness is so great.

May the knowledge of the truth of the love of God for our race, found so long ago by the woman of Samaria and her friends, be yours as you come to know our great Savior.[2]


42 On the basis that the corresponding verbal form originally means “to babble or stammer,” some have translated lalian (“what you said,” GK 3282) rather disparagingly as “chatter.” Since “chatter” is an inadequate basis for belief, we need not consider the suggestion seriously. Personal acquaintance with Jesus had led many of the Samaritans in that village to confess that Jesus “really is the Savior of the world.” In the OT, God is often portrayed as the one bringing salvation to his people. In Isaiah 43:3 God says, “For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” Although Jesus is often referred to as Savior (Lk 2:11; Php 3:20; 2 Ti 1:10), the title “Savior of the world” is applied to him only here and in 1 John 4:14. Some have suggested that this reluctance stems from the fact that in the secular world it was used as a technical term for a number of pagan gods. Adolf Deissmann (Light from the Ancient East [London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1910], 364–65) notes that it was often applied to the Roman emperor as well. That Jesus came as Savior of the world is precisely the point of John 3:17, which says that God sent his Son not to condemn the world “but to save the world through him.” The redemptive work of God has no geographic, cultural, or ethnic boundaries. Jesus is the Savior of the world.[3]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). John 1–11 (pp. 159–160). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Boice, J. M. (2005). The Gospel of John: an expositional commentary (pp. 330–335). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[3] 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. 416). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

MARCH 15 GOD’S VOICE STILL ENTREATS LOST MANKIND

For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

ROMANS 8:19, 22

Why is it that the shining world of which men have dreamed, and that every man secretly believes is somewhere before him, is nevertheless lost to men?

It can only be because we are out of the way.

The world we inhabit is a lost world. It is a sick, fallen planet upon which we ride. The sacred revelation declares plainly that the inhabitants of the world are also lost, by a mighty, calamitous visitation of woe which is still upon them.

But with this, it also tells us a glorious fact—that this lost race has not been given up!

Thankfully, there is a voice that calls, a voice that entreats! If we were not lost, there would be no voice behind us saying, “This is the way, walk ye in it.”

I say again that we have not been given up. That is plain from the book of Genesis. Recall that the sound of God’s gentle voice was heard saying, “Adam, where art thou?”—and that voice has never died out!

All of His entreating calls blend into one, whether it be the voice of God’s love, or the voice of Jesus’ blood, or the voice of conscience, or the voice of the dead or of the living, or of the lost or of the saved!

So, the holy writer says the lost planet is full of vanity and has lost its meaning, crying like a woman in travail but waiting, as it were, to be born again into the liberty of the sons of God, and saved from decay and corruption![1]


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

March 15 The Prize of Peace—Eternal Sonship

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

The result of peacemaking is eternal blessing as God’s children in God’s kingdom. Peacemakers “shall be called sons of God.”

Most of you are thankful for your heritage, your ancestors, your parents, and your family name. It is especially gratifying to have been influenced by godly grandparents, parents, or both. But even the greatest human heritage cannot match our heritage in Christ (Rom. 8:17). After all, what could compare to being a child of God?

Peacemaking is a hallmark of God’s children. Only God determines who His children are, and He has determined that we are to be humble, penitent over sin, gentle, seekers of righteousness, merciful, pure in heart, and ultimately peacemakers.

As the next beatitude makes abundantly clear, we often don’t have peace in the world; we have persecution instead. In Christ we have forsaken the false peace of the world, and consequently we won’t find much peace with it. But as God’s children we can always have peace within, even while we are in the world—the peace of God, which the world can’t give and the world can’t take away.

Today begin to live as a peacemaking child of God—it is your calling.

ASK YOURSELF

Review the beatitude summaries mentioned in today’s reading—those qualities of life that distinguish the sons and daughters of God from others. Is anything worth keeping you from exemplifying these characteristics? Can anything rival being known as a child of God?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2008). Daily readings from the life of Christ (p. 83). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

March 15 All Authority

All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.

Matthew 28:18

Before Christ issued the Great Commission, to “make disciples of all the nations,” He had to establish His divine authority to give it. Otherwise, the command would have seemed impossible to fulfill.

As the disciples followed Jesus for three and a half years, they learned much about His authority. He showed them that He had authority over sickness (Matt. 4:23) and death (John 11:43–44). He gave His disciples the same power He had to overcome disease and demons (Matt. 10:1). He established that He had the authority to forgive sins (Matt. 9:6) and judge all men (John 5:25–29). And He proved that He had the authority to lay down His life and take it up again (John 10:18).

Submission to that absolute authority of Christ is not an option—it is your supreme obligation.[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 88). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

40 Days to the Cross: Week Four – Thursday

Confession: Psalm 30:1–5

I will exalt you, O Yahweh,

because you have drawn me up,

and have not made my enemies rejoice over me.

O Yahweh, my God,

I cried for help to you,

and you healed me.

O Yahweh, you have brought my life up from Sheol.

You preserved me alive

from among those going down to the pit.

Sing praises to Yahweh, you his faithful ones,

and give thanks to his holy fame.

For there is a moment in his anger;

there is a lifetime in his favor.

Weeping lodges for the evening,

but in the morning comes rejoicing.

Reading: Mark 14:1–2

Now after two days it was the Passover and the feast of Unleavened Bread, and the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how, after arresting him by stealth, they could kill him. For they said, “Not at the feast, lest there be an uproar by the people.”

Reflection

Dastardly fear often drives men to the greatest crimes. He who is not brave enough to be master of his own spirit, and to follow the dictates of his own conscience, may do, before long, he little knows what. Because of the fear of the people, the chief priests and scribes were driven to compass the death of Christ by craft, and to bring Him to His death by the cruel betrayal of Judas—one of His own apostles.

—Charles H. Spurgeon

The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons

Response

Are your actions guided by fear? What ways can the good and true fear of God drive out these fears?[1]


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

March 15, 2018 Morning Verse Of The Day

25 “When you father children and children’s children, and have grown old in the land, if you act corruptly by making a carved image in the form of anything, and by doing what is evil in the sight of the LORD your God, so as to provoke him to anger, 26 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that you will soon utterly perish from the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess. You will not live long in it, but will be utterly destroyed. 27 And the LORD will scatter you among the peoples, and you will be left few in number among the nations where the LORD will drive you. 28 And there you will serve gods of wood and stone, the work of human hands, that neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell. 29 But from there you will seek the LORD your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul. 30 When you are in tribulation, and all these things come upon you in the latter days, you will return to the LORD your God and obey his voice. 31 For the LORD your God is a merciful God. He will not leave you or destroy you or forget the covenant with your fathers that he swore to them.

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Dt 4:25–31). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.


4:25–31 Cf. 8:18, 19. In fact, this briefly outlined the future judgment of Israel, which culminated in the northern 10 tribes being exiled to Assyria (ca. 722 b.c.; 2Ki 17) and the southern two tribes being deported to Babylon (ca. 605–586 b.c.; 2Ki 24, 25). Although the Jews returned in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah (ca. 538–445 b.c.), they never regained their autonomy or dominance. Thus, the days of promised restoration and return look forward to Messiah’s return to set up the millennial kingdom.

4:27 the Lord will scatter you. Moses warned Israel that the judgment for idolatry would be their dispersion among the nations by the Lord (see 28:64–67).

4:30 the latter days. Lit. “the end of days.” Moses saw in the distant future a time when repentant Israel would turn again to the Lord and obey Him. Throughout the Pentateuch, “the latter days” refers to the time when Messiah will establish His kingdom (see Ge 49:1, 8–12; Nu 24:14–24; Dt 32:39–43).

4:31 the covenant with your fathers. God mercifully, not because they deserve it, will fulfill the covenant He made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob with repentant Israel in the future. God will not forget the Word that He has given to Abraham and his seed (cf. Ro 11:25–27).[1]


4:29–30 Exile is not the end. There remains hope of repentance and return (see 30:1–10). with all your heart and with all your soul. See note on 6:5. obey his voice. Returning to the Lord means forsaking the worship of visible forms and obeying his commands. See note on 4:12.

4:31 merciful. God’s mercy does not compromise his jealous anger (v. 24; cf. 5:9–10; Ex. 34:6–7). In Deuteronomy, mercy is grounded in the Lord’s faithfulness to the Abrahamic promises (9:27; 30:5, 20). God will maintain his covenant with Abraham, even if Israel forgets it (4:23; see Rom. 3:3–4). God also swore those promises under oath (Gen. 22:16; Heb. 6:13, 17–18). Cf. note on Deut. 1:8.[2]


4:29 from there you shall seek Yahweh See Deut 4:31.

heart In ancient Israelite thought, emotions, thoughts, and intentions were associated with the heart (Gen 6:5; Exod 4:21).

soul In parallel with the heart, the soul represented the center of a person’s thoughts and desires (Ezek 24:25; Job 23:13; compare note on Deut 6:5). The mention of the heart and the soul here emphasizes that true repentance is a complete change of heart (compare Ezek 36:26–32).[3]


4:25–29 Here in brief form is found the warning embodied in the curses of 28:15–68. But here also is a promise to the repentant.

4:27 the Lord will scatter you. Such passages have been taken by some as indication that Deuteronomy was not written by Moses, but by someone in the sixth century b.c. during the Jewish exile in Babylon. However, the warning is general, and there is no mention of captivity in Babylon or of conditions in that later period.

4:30 the latter days. This phrase, repeated in 31:29, refers to any general future time of apostasy and renewal (cf. Num. 24:14).

4:31 a merciful God. This description may allude to the name of God given in Ex. 34:6 (“the Lord, a God merciful”). The theme of God’s love for His people is highlighted in Deuteronomy (7:7–9, 13; 10:15, 18; 23:5; 33:3), anticipating the more complete revelation of God’s love in the New Testament (John 3:16; Rom. 5:8; Eph. 2:4, 5; 1 John 3:1).[4]


4:29–31 Even Israel’s apostasy would not invalidate God’s covenant with Abraham. The verb “forsake” in v. 31 means to “let go” of something. The Lord’s mercy keeps Him from letting go of any who belong to Him. Not every descendant of Abraham would be a child of God, but He had promised Abraham that there would always be an Israel. This passage prophesies a national repentance. Though national repentance has not come, how can one doubt its inevitability when studying all the fulfillments of other prophecies (cf. Zech. 12:10; Rom. 11:26)? All men are instructed to come to God just as Israel must come, seeking Him with all their hearts and souls.[5]


4:29–31 When Israel went into exile they would find the Lord when they sought him with all their heart and soul. Yet the promise is clear that this would happen, because they would in fact return to the Lord in the future. The Lord’s promises to his chosen people must come to pass because he has sworn by his own reputation to make it so (30:6–10; Gn 17:3–8; Jr 31:31–34; Ezk 36:24–30; Rm 11:1–2, 25–26). He thus provides the grace by which Israel can believe, repent, and return (Rm 11:28–32).[6]


25–28 Moses’ overview of God’s past dealings with Israel (chs. 1–3) and his exhortation for the generation camped at the brink of the Promised Land (ch. 4) leads to his concern for future generations. If future generations of Israelites violate this divine prohibition of idolatry, the curses of the covenant will become operative, i.e., Israel will be scattered among the nations (cf. chs. 27–32). By calling heaven and earth as witnesses, Moses emphasizes the intensity of his concern. Moses warns them that they will experience divorce from the land if they rebel against Yahweh. As part of his relationship with Israel, Yahweh has given the land of Canaan to Israel as their inheritance. He also regards Israel as his inheritance and demands that they live in accordance with that relationship. Moses wants Israel to understand that if covenantal faithfulness is missing, Israel has no claim to the land. There is no divinely granted right to the land they are entering without covenantal faithfulness. If they violate their relationship with Yahweh, their relationship with or enjoyment of the land will be interrupted as well.

He also promises that they will experience the shortening of life (long life’s being an honor and blessing), dispersion among the nations, and destruction among the nations (become few in number), and they will be allowed to practice devotion to futile idolatry. Contrary to the pagan assumption that the gods ate the sacrifices offered to them, saw their devotees’ processions, and smelled the incense, idols were in fact man-made, formed from inanimate substances, and insensitive to their surroundings, let alone their worshipers. Under divine judgment, the Israelites will have to do what they have freely chosen to do—serve other gods!

According to Moses, if Israel, knowing a God who has carried them (Ex 19:4; Dt 1:31; Isa 46:3–4), wants to serve gods that they will have to carry for themselves, they have some hard lessons to learn. In 4:16–19, Moses shows how idolatry reverses the divine order of creation. In a similar fashion, the judgment God promises for rebellion represents the reversal of the Abrahamic covenant. According to the Abrahamic covenant, God promised to provide a great land and a great people. However, God promises he will evict his people from the land and drastically reduce their population if they practice idolatry in rebellion against him.

29–31 Moses does not just have bad news for Israel. Even in the midst of divine judgment of great severity God provides the potential of covenantal restoration. He first establishes the precondition: genuine seeking after Yahweh (4:29–30). From their place of dispersion (“from there”), Yahweh will hear the repentant cry of his people. Unlike the pagan gods, who are territorial, Yahweh is not limited to his land. He can respond to his people wherever they might be. For Israel to seek after God wholeheartedly (see Note on 6:5) will obviously entail the abandonment of idolatry.

One of the features of a covenantal relationship with Yahweh is that “a rebel may return.” The basis for any hope of restoration resides in God himself. Because Yahweh is characterized by compassion, he longs to spare his people from unnecessary sorrow and judgment. Even in the midst of judging his covenantal people, Yahweh will not forget his covenantal commitments to them. The fact that he has sworn (see Note on 1:8) to be their God guarantees his perpetual love for them and willingness to restore them. Some might think that the statements about God in 4:24 (God is a consuming fire and a jealous God) and 4:31 (above) are mutually exclusive or contradictory. Consider Wright’s (Deuteronomy, 53) helpful comments about these verses:

The fire of Yahweh as a jealous God is the fire of an exclusive commitment to this people that demands an exclusive commitment in return. It is, in short, the fire of redeeming love that had brought them out of the fires of bondage (v. 20) and would therefore tolerate no rival. The apparent contradiction between verse 24 and verse 31 is in reality a vital consistency. For mercy functions precisely in the context of judgment. It was the fire of God’s mercy and covenantal faithfulness to this people. In rebellion and idolatry they would find the God of verse 24. In return and obedience they would find the God of verse 31. This is the same unchanged God, responding to a tragically changeable people.[7]


4:29–31 / Moses turns the dynamic of the covenant into a theology of history. No place would be too far and no time too distant for Israel to come back to God. Beyond sin and judgment there was always hope—as their recent past history had already proved. Ever since the apostasy of the golden calf in Exodus 32–34, Israel had known that its very survival depended not on its ability to keep the covenant but on God’s willingness to sustain it by God’s own forgiving grace and unswerving commitment to the ancestral promise and oath. God would not forget God’s word. And since that same event, Israel had known that remarkable statement of divine self-identity: “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness …” (Exod. 34:6). The basis of their future hope, then, was the definitive character of God; the Lord your God is a merciful God (v. 31). But the condition of their finding that God was wholehearted, repentant recommitment (vv. 29f.). As in 1:19–46, the sequence of verbs is rich, giving a ripple effect in describing Israel’s restoration: You seek … you will find … you look … you will returnand obey. Similarly, in response, God’s commitment is affirmed in three staccato negatives: he will not abandon … not destroy … not forget. On the basis of such reciprocal truth, Jeremiah could write echoing words of hope to a generation for whom verse 27 had crashed into reality (Jer. 29:11–14).[8]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Dt 4:25–31). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[2] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 338). 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 (Dt 4:29). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[4] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 251). 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., Dt 4:29–31). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[6] Merrill, E. H. (2017). Deuteronomy. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 272). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

[7] Grisanti, M. A. (2012). Deuteronomy. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Numbers–Ruth (Revised Edition) (Vol. 2, pp. 525–526). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[8] Wright, C. J. H. (2012). Deuteronomy. (W. W. Gasque, R. L. Hubbard Jr., & R. K. Johnston, Eds.) (p. 54). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

March 15 Threats to Humility: Riches and Wealth

“Walk … with all humility.”

Ephesians 4:1–2

✧✧✧

Our possessions and positions in life are from God; we can’t take credit for them.

Many today take pride in their economic status. They boast about their riches and trust their money, thinking they must be great for acquiring all they have. But remember what Moses said to the Israelites before they entered the Promised Land: “You may say in your heart, ‘My power and the strength of my hand made me this wealth.’ But you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth” (Deut. 8:17–18). Everything you have, God gave to you. Don’t parade your possessions as if you obtained them through your self–created abilities.

A related area is pride in one’s class, which involves looking down on those in “lower” levels of society. Such people don’t want lower–class people in their neighborhoods and certainly wouldn’t invite them to dinner. If you are guilty of this sort of pride, keep in mind that God loves poor people. Jesus Himself was poor in this world and spent most of His time ministering to the poor.

Sometimes in moving up the social ladder, people may demand a certain kind of treatment. They expect the best of everything and get offended when they don’t receive it. One of the things Jesus criticized the scribes and Pharisees for was this: “They love the place of honor at banquets, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called by men, Rabbi” (Matt. 23:6–7). Resist the temptation to seek worldly honor, glamour, and privileges.

Advertisers today continually entice us to draw attention to ourselves by what we wear. But undue attention to appearance can make people haughty, boastful, and indulgent, trying to show themselves as better than others. God hates that sin (Isa. 3:16–26).

John said, “Do not love the world, nor the things in the world…. The world is passing away, and also its lusts” (1 John 2:15, 17). Don’t let the world tell you what you should seek or value. Remember instead that “the one who does the will of God abides forever” (v. 17).

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Ask the Lord to give you contentment with your present status and to help you reach out to those not so blessed.

For Further Study: Read Luke 14:8–10; 1 Timothy 2:9–10; and James 2:2–8 and see if you are guilty of materialism or social pride.[1]


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

MARCH 15 FULL COMPREHENSION IS YET TO COME

And the glory of the LORD abode upon mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days: and the seventh day he called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud.

—Exodus 24:16

We know very well that the human mind cannot comprehend or encompass the person of God. We can know what God is not, but in this earthly life it is impossible for us to say, “I know what God is.” We never can know because God belongs to a realm entirely different from ours. The great God exists in awesome wonder. He is uncreated holiness, high above all the things that the hands of mankind have made….

There is neither preacher nor teacher anywhere in the world who can say, “Let me tell you all about God!” God told Moses and Israel, and He tells us: “Always there will be the cloud about Me. Always there will be a veil covering My person. While you are on My earth, you will sense this obscurity, for I Am who I Am!”…

And I can say this from personal experience: After you have known God and walked with Him by faith for fifty years, growing daily in His grace and the knowledge of Him, you will still see a cloud on Mount Sinai. You will still sense the obscurity. Your mind and your spirit will still bow before Him. Your day of full comprehension is yet to come. MMG082-083

I long for that day, Lord, when the cloud is completely removed and I shall know You completely. Amen.[1]


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