Daily Archives: March 28, 2018

March 28: Risk: Oversold and Underplayed

Numbers 32:1–42; 1 Corinthians 14:26–15:11; Psalm 27:1–14

The fears of the psalmist are not our fears today, and the fact that they aren’t should bother us. The psalmist remarks, “Do not give me over to the desire of my enemies, because false witnesses have arisen against me, and each breathing out violence. Surely I believe that I will see the goodness of Yahweh in the land of the living” (Psa 27:12–13). How many of us have legitimate enemies because of our faith? And how many of us experience violence because of the way we believe?

There are many problems with Christianity today, but one of the most pervasive is the lack of willingness to take major risks for Jesus. Likewise, there is unbelief in God’s incredible ability to overcome all that we face.

We may say that we affirm God’s power to beat all odds, but we don’t face the odds as if that were true. If we did, there would be far more world-changing Christians than there are. Instead, most Christians, at least in the Western world, are quite comfortable with a faith that generally allows for them to live a life of comfort rather than a life of being stretched for God’s causes. And when I use “them,” I mean that as “we.” We struggle with this, as a people and as individuals.

I think our fear of taking risks for Jesus is directly connected to our lack of knowledge about what to do when they come along. The psalmist tells us, “Wait for Yahweh. Be strong and let your heart show strength, and wait for Yahweh” (Psa 27:14). Notice that the psalmist tells us to wait for Yahweh twice. Only something of grand importance would a poet state twice. Strength is found in Yahweh, and that strength should be shown in how we live.

How can you take more risks for God? What are you waiting on, and how are you praying about that?

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 28 Forgiving as You Are Forgiven

“And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. … For if you forgive men for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions” (Matt. 6:12, 14–15).

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An unforgiving Christian is a contradiction in terms.

It’s possible to confess your sins and still not know the joy of forgiveness. How? Failure to forgive others! Christian educator J. Oswald Sanders observed that Jesus measures us by the yardstick we use on others. Jesus didn’t say, “Forgive us because we have forgiven others,” but “Forgive us as we have forgiven others.”

An unforgiving Christian is a contradiction in terms because we are the forgiven ones! Ephesians 4:32 says, “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” God forgave us an immeasurable debt, saving us from the horrors of eternal Hell. That should be motivation enough to forgive any offense against us, and yet some Christians still hold grudges.

Here are three practical steps by which to deal with the sin of unforgiveness. First, confess it to the Lord, and ask Him to help you mend the relationship in question. Second, go to the person, ask for forgiveness, and seek reconciliation. You might discover that he or she wasn’t even aware of the offense. Third, give the person something you highly value. This is a very practical approach based on our Lord’s teaching that where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matt. 6:21). Whenever I’ve given a book or other gift to someone who had wronged me, I’ve felt a great sense of liberty in my spirit. In addition, my joy is compounded because I feel the joy of giving as well as the joy of forgiving.

Don’t ever let a grudge stand between you and another person. It will rob you of the full joy of God’s forgiveness.

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Suggestions for Prayer:  Before praying, examine your heart. If you harbor bitterness toward another person, follow the procedure given above. Then pray, thanking the Lord for the joy of reconciliation.

For Further Study: Read the Parable of the Servant in Matthew 18:21–35. ✧ What question prompted the parable? ✧ How did the king respond to his servant’s pleading? ✧ What did the servant do later on? Why was that wrong?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 100). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

How to find the little-known ‘kill switch’ that lets you use Facebook with the maximum amount of privacy (FB)

(Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

  • There’s a Facebook setting that acts as a “kill switch” to keep apps and other websites from sharing or accessing your information.
  • It’s called “Platform.” And you can turn it off.
  • With Platform “off” you can make your Facebook as private as possible without deleting the account altogether.
  • Here are the instructions.

There’s a Facebook setting that acts as a “kill switch” to keep apps and other websites from sharing or accessing your information. It’s a useful trick that many people don’t know about, especially if you want as much privacy as possible while maintaining your account. And, frankly, Facebook doesn’t exactly advertise its existence.

It’s called “Platform.” It’s the way third-party games (like Candy Crush) or websites (“Would you like to sign in using Facebook?”) are integrated with your profile.

It allows not only the apps or sites you visit to access your data, but the apps and sites your Facebook friends visit as well. “Platform” is the way that apps — and bad actors — are able to grab the personal data you put on Facebook. If you turn Platform off, you will keep the maximum amount of your personal data from being harvested en masse by companies like Cambridge Analytica. With Platform “off” you can use Facebook safe in the knowledge that the only data you are sharing is the stuff you have personally shared on your timeline or profile. It’s the most private you can make your Facebook without deleting the account altogether.

This is how you turn Platform off:

First, go to the right-hand corner and click “Settings”:

Facebook / BI

Now go to settings.

Facebook / BI

Then, select “Apps” from the left-hand side.

Facebook / BI

In the next screen scroll down and you’ll see “Apps, Websites and Plugins.” Click “Edit.”

Facebook / BI

Now you can turn off “Platform.” Remember, this means you won’t be able to log into websites or apps using Facebook, and friends won’t be able to share information with you through apps. Read the explainer before making your decision.

Facebook / BI

And … you’re done!

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ONE WORLD: Evangelicals Join Interfaith Leaders In Washington To Create A ‘Multi-Religious Body’ To Bring About ‘World Peace’

As hundreds of Jewish, Muslim and Christian faith leaders from the United States and abroad descended on Washington for a conference on religious tolerance this week, attendees were quick to note an unexpectedly large delegation from one particular religious group: evangelical Christians.

“And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.” Revelation 13:11 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: One of the many spiritually deadly legacies of evangelist Billy Graham is the embracing of ecumenism, the idea that the Christian church can free mix and mingle itself with various assortments of differing world religions and ‘work together’. It cannot, and remain true to it’s calling to preach the gospel of the grace of God that Paul tells us about. The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ is not “a way”, or an “expression of truth”, the Bible teaches that Jesus Christ is the ONLY way to the absolute exclusion of all other forms of faith and practice. The ecumenical movement comes from Rome, who the Bible says will create the One World Religion during the time of Jacob’s trouble. What you’re seeing here is the dress rehearsal for that day.

Speakers at the “Alliance of Virtue for the Common Good” repeatedly highlighted their surprise and delight over the noticeable contingent of evangelicals among the more than 400 attendees at the glitzy, three-day series of discussions and speeches.

The presence of so many evangelicals, a group often associated with a negative view of Islam, provided a welcome backdrop for an event aimed at championing tolerance, many said.

Hamza Yusuf, president of Zaytuna College, America’s first accredited Muslim college, said the evangelical presence was especially notable given recent polling: According to a 2017 poll from Pew Research, nearly three-quarters of white evangelicals say there is a natural conflict between Islam and democracy, compared with roughly half or fewer of those in other major religious groups who express the same view.

The false teachings of Billy Graham paved the way to merge Christianity with the world’s religions

Our story on the false teachings of Billy Graham, published on the day he died, made some people pretty mad, but now maybe you can see why we did it. Graham virtually created the ecumenical movement single-handedly as a result of his alliance with the Vatican and the pope. Many in the world will embrace the coming One World Religion as a result of Graham’s “evangelism”. 

White evangelicals were also the major religious group most supportive of President Trump’s 2017 travel ban — sometimes called a “Muslim ban” — barring immigrants and refugees from several Muslim-majority countries, according to a 2017 survey from the Public Religion Research Institute.

“The evangelicals coming took great courage, because of a lot of the attitudes within that community,” Yusuf told Religion News Service on Feb. 7, the conference’s last day.

“The evangelicals coming took great courage, because of a lot of the attitudes within that community.” — Hamza YusufAt one point, Bob Roberts, an evangelical pastor at Northwood Church in Keller, Texas, asked evangelicals in the crowd to clap if they were excited about the conference and its message.

“This is new for us — it shouldn’t be new for us,” he said over the applause. “I’m not a Muslim, but I just really care about religious freedom. … The tribal way we are doing religion today is going to destroy us.”

In a separate interview with RNS, Roberts said the “older, higher levels” of evangelicalism are unlikely to embrace the message of the conference, because they “have an old worldview.” But he argued that younger evangelicals have “realized the world has shifted” and that the conference is a model for future efforts to protect religious liberty.

“Here’s something that’s really problematic about how we think about religious freedom: We get Christians together and say, ‘Here’s how we’re going to do it.’ That day is over,” he said. “If we don’t have conversations on religious freedom with Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Jews — they’re wasted conversations.”

Deborah Fikes, a Texas-based Southern Baptist and former permanent representative from the World Evangelical Alliance to the United Nations, also discussed the challenges of interfaith work among conservative Christian groups.

“Growing up, Catholics were criticized, Muslims were criticized … the Methodists were criticized. … It was always such a focus on our differences,” she said during a Wednesday panel. “Yes, there are definitely obstacles [to tolerance] for evangelicals because of that culture.”

Fikes said that in her U.N. work, she observed that American military actions abroad can foster negative perceptions, especially when conflated with the belief that the U.S. is a “Christian nation.” She expressed concern that the “conservative political party’s policies” in the U.S. are “really hurting the most vulnerable,” pointing to evangelical support for the Trump administration’s recent decision to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel — despite widespread objection among Middle Eastern Christians.

“I know that conservative Christians … are so passionate about protecting Christian minorities in the Middle East, but that one decision has greatly harmed and compromised the Christian minorities we want to protect,” she said.

The conference also touted its declaration, released Thursday, at the end of the gathering.

“Recognizing that our shared values are more important than our differences, and that we are strongest when we act together, we pledge to combine our best efforts to foster unity where there is discord, aid the impoverished, tend the vulnerable, heal the poor in spirit, and support measures that will ensure respect for the dignity of every human being,” the declaration reads in part.

It later adds: “There is no room for compulsion in religion, just as there are no legitimate grounds for excluding the followers of any religion from full and fair participation in society.”

“This is new for us — it shouldn’t be new for us.” — Bob RobertsIn addition, the statement, referred to as the “Washington Declaration,” called for concrete steps: serving a billion meals to victims of violence and conflict and proposing the creation of a “multireligious body” that would “support mediation and reconciliation that will act in accordance with our shared values to build peace in the world.”

“I recommend we create an alliance from our religious traditions … to be a mediating team for reconciliation between conflicting groups,” Sheikh Abdallah Bin Bayyah, president of the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies and a driving force behind the gathering, said to the crowd while speaking through a translator.

During the same panel, Rabbi David Rosen, international director for the American Jewish Committee’s Department of Interreligious Affairs, described the event as “an incredibly historic gathering that sets the stage for a new era.”

Other participants included Bishop Efraim Tendero, secretary-general of the World Evangelical Alliance; Timo Soini, minister for foreign affairs of Finland; and Rabbi David Saperstein, director emeritus of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism and former U.S. ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom.

The declaration did not mention Trump’s travel ban, and it was not clear how many attendees — if any — hailed from the Muslim-majority countries listed in the most recent iteration of the ban: Syria, Iran, Chad, Libya, Yemen and Somalia. source

 


 

The post ONE WORLD: Evangelicals Join Interfaith Leaders In Washington To Create A ‘Multi-Religious Body’ To Bring About ‘World Peace’ appeared first on Now The End Begins.

MARCH 28 LET FEAR BECOME TRUST

Ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear.

Romans 8:15

What can we do but pray for the throngs of defiant men and women who believe that their humanistic view of life is all sufficient? They believe that they are responsible “captains” of their own souls.

The sad fact is that even while they are joining in the age-old rejection of Jesus Christ—“We will not have this Man to rule over us”—they still are beset with fears within.

The present competitive world and its selfish society have brought many new fears to the human race. I can sympathize with those troubled beings who lie awake at night worrying about the possible destruction of the race through some evil, misguided use of the world’s store of nuclear weapons. The tragedy is that they have lost all sense of the sovereignty and omnipotence and faithfulness of the living God.

Although the material world has never understood it, our faith is well placed in the Scriptures! Those who take God’s Word seriously are convinced of an actual heavenly realm as real as this world we inhabit!

Dear Lord, thank You that You are a strong tower where we can find shelter and protection. I choose to put my trust in You.[1]


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