Daily Archives: April 19, 2018

April 19: He’s Dead, But You Can Be Alive

Joshua 1:1–3:17; 2 Corinthians 9:1–5; Psalm 47:1–9

“My servant Moses is dead” (Josh 1:2).

Imagine the shock of this moment for Joshua, Moses’ right-hand man. He probably already knew about Moses’ death before God told him (Deut 34:1–8), but it’s in this moment that he really feels the tragedy.

If you’ve experienced death, you know this feeling—the moment when someone looks you in the eyes and says, “They’re gone.” You can’t prepare for it. It’s death; there’s nothing you can do to change it or handle it.

This was also the moment when Joshua was confronted with the great leadership burden that he would now carry as a result of Moses’ passing—equivalent to the emotional burden a vice president carries as he’s being sworn into office after the president has died.

Yahweh tells Joshua, “Get up and cross the Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the children of Israel. Every place that the soles of your feet will tread, I have given it to you, as I promised to Moses” (Josh 1:2–3). There isn’t a moment to spare; it’s time to move. So Joshua leads. Of all the incredible moments in his life—the battles he won and bravery he showed in the face of danger—this moment is probably the most impressive because he simply does it (Josh 2:1).

And Joshua does so in the face of the great fear of foreign warriors: “From the wilderness and the Lebanon, up to the great river, the river Euphrates, all of the land of the Hittites, and up to the great sea in the west, will be your territory” (Josh 1:4). He will face these warriors while still overcoming grief.

We all experience moments like these that will shape who we become. We’ll experience grief, pain, and difficult decisions. We may be called to lead people. What we do in these moments is what defines us; it determines what kind of Christ followers we will be.

Joshua experienced the great comfort of God’s Spirit and guidance, and Christians have the opportunity to do the same (Deut 34:9–12; John 17). That’s something that no one can take away from us and no circumstance can overcome.

How are you handling grief or pain in your life? What important moments and decisions are in front of you? How can you incorporate the Spirit into everything you do at this moment?

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.

04/19/2018 — Wretched

WR2018-0419 •Is the Pope Catholic? No, really. •Get ready to learn about Christian Liberty •Making sanctification and biblical sexuality illegal •The problematic life of George Whitefield, slave owner •Where was Ken Copeland during this week’s weather? •How to create a missionary sending culture at your church Download Now (right click and save) Subscribe to Wretched…

via 04/19/2018 — Wretched

April 19 Thinking Biblically

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matt. 5:8).


The way you think determines the way you behave.

God is concerned about the way you think. That’s why Paul said, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom. 12:2). In Philippians 4:8 he instructs us to think about that which is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good repute, excellent, and praiseworthy.

When Jesus spoke of a pure heart in Matthew 5:8, He was talking about sanctified thinking. The Greek word translated “heart” is kardia, from which we get the word cardiac. While we often relate heart to the emotions (e.g., “He has a broken heart”), the Bible relates it primarily to the intellect (e.g., “Out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders,” Matt. 15:19). That’s why you must “watch over your heart with all diligence” (Prov. 4:23).

In a secondary way, however, heart relates to the will and emotions because they are influenced by the intellect. If you are committed to something, it will affect your will, which in turn will affect your emotions.

The Greek word translated “pure” in Matthew 5:8 means “to cleanse.” In the moral sense it speaks of being free from the filth of sin. It also refers to something that is unmixed, unalloyed, or unadulterated. Spiritual integrity and sincere motives are appropriate applications of its meaning to the Christian life.

Jesus was saying the Kingdom citizen is blessed because he or she has pure thoughts and pure motives that together produce holy living. Someone might claim to be religious and have pure motives, but if his behavior isn’t righteous, his heart isn’t fixed on God. Similarly, you can go to church, carry a Bible, and recite verses, but if your heart isn’t clean, you haven’t met God’s standard.

You must do the will of God from a pure heart (Eph. 6:6). Toward that end, make David’s prayer yours as well: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Ps. 51:10).


Suggestions for Prayer:  Memorize Psalm 19:14 and make it a part of your daily prayers.

For Further Study: Read the following verses, noting the characteristics of a pure heart: Psalm 9:1; 26:2; 27:8; 28:7; 57:7.[1]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 122). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

The Bee Explains: Theological Liberalism — The Babylon Bee

During your daily poring over of The Babylon Bee‘s award-winning coverage of all theological camps, you may have found yourself wondering about the worldview known variably as “theological liberalism,” “liberal theology,” “liberal Christianity,” or “butter in sunshine.” Well, wonder no more! We have put together this short, accurate, plain-English crash course on the essentials of…

via The Bee Explains: Theological Liberalism — The Babylon Bee

‘Zero real evidence’ Assad behind chemical attack – US congressman — RT US News

US government officials offered “zero real evidence” that the Syrian government was behind the alleged chemical attack in Douma, relying instead on information circulating online, Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Kentucky) said.
— Read on www.rt.com/usa/424607-zero-real-evidence-assad-congressman/

Staged suffering? Interview with boy in Douma video raises more doubts over ‘chem attack’ — RT World News

The boy portrayed as a ‘victim’ in a video of the alleged chemical attack in Douma has told a Russian TV crew that he was asked to go to hospital, where people “grabbed” him and started “pouring water” over his head.
— Read on www.rt.com/news/424563-douma-boy-chemical-video/


Being justified by his grace…heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Titus 3:7

Let me say this to any of you who are still trying to add up your human merits—look away in faith to the Lord of abundant mercy!

Fixing yourself over and trying to straighten yourself out will never be sufficient—you must come to Jesus as you are!

Our Lord told about two men who went up into the temple to pray. One said, “God, here I am—all fixed up. Every hair is in place!”

The other said, “Oh God, I just crawled in off skid row. Have mercy on me!”

God forgave the skid row bum, but sent the other man away, hardened and unrepentant and unforgiven.

We come to Him just as we are but in humble repentance. When the human spirit comes to God knowing that anything it receives will be out of God’s mercy, then repentance has done its proper work!

God promises to forgive and forget and to take that man into His heart and teach him that all of God’s kindnesses are due to His mercy. What more can a sinner ask?

Dear Lord, You know me as I really am, yet You extended Your great mercy toward me. Thank You for Your divine love and forgiveness.[1]

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

Christ’s Church is a Mess…But I’m Not Bailing — The Blazing Center

I don’t want to shame or brood. I’m no ex-evangelical, but I am an exhausted one. I’ve spent the last few years watching many trade principles for partisanship. I’ve watched ministerial heroes of mine fall hard. I’ve watched people die on theological hills at the expense of church unity. I’ve overheard gossip and been cut…

via Christ’s Church is a Mess…But I’m Not Bailing — The Blazing Center

When You Face The Impossible — The Blazing Center

Every one of us will face impossible situations at one time or another. It may be a situation at work or school, or a financial need. We just can’t see any possible way to change things. I think the most tempting “impossible” situation we face is a loved one who is not saved. Especially when…

via When You Face The Impossible — The Blazing Center

Why Are We Afraid Of Death? — David Fiorazo

Just a week ago I was in the hospital after having a procedure on my heart and guess what? Here I am, thank God! But not everybody makes it through surgery. In fact, not everybody makes it home from work. It brings up the question of the ages: What happens to us after we die?…

via Why Are We Afraid Of Death? — David Fiorazo

Glenn Beck Selling His Private Jet as His Media Empire Crumbles — Christian Research Network

(Breitbart) Glenn Beck is reportedly downsizing his assets as his media empire dwindles, posting his private jet for sale for an undisclosed amount on a site that sells used aircraft. The Daily Beast reported that Beck listed his 1966 DC9-15 aircraft–which he purchased for $1 million in 2015–for sale on Controller, a online retailer for used aircraft. The…

via Glenn Beck Selling His Private Jet as His Media Empire Crumbles — Christian Research Network

April 19, 2018 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

5 The Lord is the host at a banquet (cf. Isa 25:6–8) prepared for his child. The “table” is laden with food and drink. Before entering into the banquet hall, the host would anoint the honored guest with oil (45:7; 92:10; 133:2; Am 6:6; Lk 7:46) made by adding perfumes to olive oil. The “cup” symbolizes the gracious and beneficent manner of entertainment. The overflowing cup pictures the Lord as giving the best to his child. It symbolizes the care and provision of God, previously represented by “green pastures” and “quiet waters.” Moreover, the Lord vindicates his servant “in the presence of [his] enemies,” expressing both the adversities of life itself as well as God’s demonstration of his love toward his own. In the presence of God, the fragrance of his rewards (“oil”) and the bounty of his provision (“cup”) make one forget troubles and tears. His is “the cup of salvation” (116:13) that pertains to both body and spirit.[1]

God as host in this life (v. 5)

David affirms that God’s provisions for his guests are both constant and abundant.

The constancy of God’s provisions means that God’s people have them in every situation and circumstance. We have already noted that the saints of God have enemies in the hour of death. They have them all through life as well. These enemies are the world, the flesh and the devil.

Knowing about these enemies, David here subjects God’s care to what we might call the ultimate test. He asserts that God’s care cannot be negated or destroyed by these fierce enemies. David sees himself sitting at a banquet table while they gather all around. While they threaten and snarl, he feasts. Such is the care of God!

David emphasizes the abundance of God’s care in these terms:

You anoint my head with oil;

My cup runs over.

(v. 5b).

It was customary in those days to receive a guest by anointing him with fragrant perfume and with a cup filled with a choice wine. In this way, the host indicated that nothing was to be considered too good for his guest.

David declares that God’s care surpasses even this. His head had been anointed, and his cup was overflowing.

Such care compelled David to say:

Surely goodness and mercy

shall follow me

All the days of my life; …

(v. 6a).

God’s goodness is that disposition which causes him actively to seek the wellbeing of his creature. His mercy is that quality that inclines him to relieve misery. Because he had seen so very much of God’s faithful care in every conceivable situation, David knew he could count on God’s goodness and mercy every step of the way.[2]

23:5 In the meantime, the Shepherd prepares a table before us in the presence of our enemies. On the table are spread all the spiritual blessings which He purchased for us with His precious blood. The table pictures everything that is ours in Christ. Though surrounded by enemies, we enjoy these blessings in peace and security.

J. H. Jowett illustrates:

Eastern hospitality guarantees the security of the guest. “All the hallowed sanctions of hospitality gather around him for his defense. He is taken into the tent, food is placed before him, while his evaded pursuers stand frowningly at the door.”

He also anoints our heads with oil. Shepherds anoint the heads of their sheep to soothe the scratches and wounds. For priests the anointing oil speaks of consecration to their work. For kings the anointing oil is associated with coronation. Every believer is anointed with the Holy Spirit the moment he receives the Savior. This anointing guarantees him the teaching ministry of God the Spirit.

When we think of all the riches of grace which we have in Christ Jesus, we burst forth with the grateful acknowledgment, “My cup runs over!”

His love has no limit,

His grace has no measure,

His power has no boundary known unto men:

For out of His infinite riches in Jesus

He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.

Annie Johnson Flint[3]

23:5a table before me: God’s provision is so luxurious, it is as though He has prepared a banquet. anoint: Typically an honored guest in the ancient Middle East was anointed with olive oil that contained perfumes. My cup: God’s provision is as abundant as the wine offered to a guest by a generous host. The lavish treatment of the guest is indicative of the loving care of God for His people.[4]

The Lord as Provider (23:5)

23:5. In this verse the scene changes to a banquet hall where a gracious host provides lavish hospitality. Under this imagery the psalmist rejoiced in the Lord’s provision. What was comforting to David was that this was in the presence of his enemies. Despite impending danger, the Lord spread out a table for him, that is, God provided for him.

The image of anointing the head with oil, which was refreshing and soothing, harmonizes with the concept of a gracious host welcoming someone into his home. In view of the table and the oil David knew that his lot in life (his cup) was abundant blessing from the Lord.[5]

[1] VanGemeren, W. A. (2008). Psalms. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Psalms (Revised Edition) (Vol. 5, pp. 255–256). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[2] Ellsworth, R. (2006). Opening up Psalms (pp. 50–52). Leominster: Day One Publications.

[3] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 581). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[4] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (p. 664). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.

[5] Ross, A. P. (1985). Psalms. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 1, p. 812). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

Exorcism by cellphone: Beating the devil in the 21st century — Christian Research Network

Catholics are not the only ones who make use of their Smartphones to communicate with spirits. While on stage in front of hundreds of (undiscerning) fans, Shawn Bolz, who supposedly has a prophetic and healing anointing, uses his phone to foretell a person’s future. He claims he can see deceased folks in heaven and pass…

via Exorcism by cellphone: Beating the devil in the 21st century — Christian Research Network

Benny Hinn’s Nephew Calls Bethel Church Leader Kris Vallotton ‘False Prophet’ Who ‘Deceives People’ — Christian Research Network

(Leah MarieAnn Klett – Christian Post) “In a recent interview with Justin Peters, Hinn further opened up about the extreme lifestyle his uncle kept while traveling the world to preach his prosperity gospel.” Costi Hinn, the nephew of Benny Hinn who frequently speaks out against his uncle’s “prosperity theology,” called Bethel Church leader Kris Vallotton a “false prophet”…

via Benny Hinn’s Nephew Calls Bethel Church Leader Kris Vallotton ‘False Prophet’ Who ‘Deceives People’ — Christian Research Network

04/19/18 Riches — ChuckLawless.com

READING: Psalms 49, 84, 85, 87 “His wealth will not follow him down.” Psalm 49:17 Sometimes a devotion is as much a confession as it is a teaching. Today is one of those days. I’ve spoken the words many times, and I believe them intellectually. I would be lying, though, to say that I think about…

via 04/19/18 Riches — ChuckLawless.com

A Morning Prayer — Daily Devotions

Did you get up this morning with a lump in your throat? Is your heart heavy? Is there a heaviness in your soul? Could you use an extra ounce (or pound) of the Holy Spirit’s peace? You are not alone. Let’s pray the truths of Psalm 5 together. O Lord, the always present, always watching, […]

via A Morning Prayer — Daily Devotions


And he trembling and astonished said, LORD, what wilt thou have me to do?…

ACTS 9:6

The most harmful mistake we make concerning time is to think that it has somehow a mysterious power to perfect human nature and change the human personality.

We say of a foolish young man, “Time will make him wiser,” or we see a new Christian acting like anything but a Christian and hope that time will someday turn him into a saint.

The truth is that time has no more power to sanctify a man than space has. Indeed, time is only a fiction by which we account for change. It is a transformation, not time, that turns fools into wise men and sinners into saints, Christ bringing it about by means of the changes He works in the heart!

Saul the persecutor became Paul the servant of God, but time did not make the change. Christ wrought the miracle, the same Christ who once changed water into wine. One spiritual experience followed another in fairly rapid succession until the violent Saul became a gentle, God-enamored soul, ready to lay down his life for the faith he once hated. It should be obvious that time had no part in the making of the man of God!

Human nature is not fixed and for this we should thank God day and night! We are still capable of change. We can become something other than what we are. By the power of the gospel the covetous man may become generous, the egotist lowly in his own eyes. The thief may learn to steal no more, the blasphemer to fill his mouth with praises unto God.[1]

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

April 19 Reconciling with Others

Make friends quickly with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way, so that your opponent may not hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. Truly I say to you, you will not come out of there until you have paid up the last cent.—Matt. 5:25–26

The time for reconciliation with others is always now, just as it is with salvation. Tomorrow may be too late. No excuse is valid to allow bitterness, anger, hatred, or any other sin to keep us separated from another person. Jesus illustrates here that we should make good on any debt or settle any grievance before it is too late and we’re imprisoned.

In the Roman Empire, two opponents at law could settle an issue on the way to court, but not after a judge became involved. To avoid judgment and imprisonment, the guilty person had to pay “the last cent,” or everything owed in debt.

Being thrown into prison and not being able to get out until a debt is paid is Jesus’ analogy to the Father’s punishment. We can’t miss the Son’s teaching here: we must make every effort possible, with no delay, to mend any broken relationship with a brother before we can avoid divine chastening and have a right relationship with God.

We know that because of sin, none of us is ever completely at peace or perfectly related to another. And since it’s impossible to have perfectly right attitudes toward others or God, no worship is ever fully acceptable. All of Jesus’ teachings in this passage and the rest of the Sermon on the Mount show us again the utterly perfect standard of God’s righteousness and the absolute impossibility of our meeting that standard on our own.


There ’s no denying the pain of strained and severed relationships. But there ’s nothing like knowing you’ve done everything you can to make it right. Can you live in the Lord’s peace even if nothing changes?[1]

[1] MacArthur, J. (2008). Daily readings from the life of Christ (p. 118). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

April 19 Your Two Options

For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.

1 Peter 3:17

You have two options. The first is to do right, even if it results in suffering. You then accept suffering as part of God’s wise and sovereign plan for your life.

The second option is to do wrong, which also will result in suffering. Both options are available according to God’s will. God wills that you suffer for doing right so you will receive spiritual strength and glorify God. But He also wills that you suffer divine chastisement for doing wrong. So do good, and avoid bringing suffering on yourself for all the wrong reasons.[1]

[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 124). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.