Daily Archives: April 24, 2018

April 24: Tongues, Flames, and Other Things That Devour

Joshua 12:1–13:32; 2 Corinthians 11:7–15; Psalm 52:1–53:6

I’d like to skip over the description of the “mighty man” in Psa 52. Of all of his destructive influences, the mighty man is most judged for his use of words. The psalmist’s words burn because I’ve set more than a few forests ablaze with careless words (Jas 3:5). So how should someone like me respond to the psalmist’s judgment?

“Why do you boast about evil, O mighty man? The loyal love of God endures continually. Your tongue plans destruction, like a sharp razor, working deceit. You love evil more than good, a lie more than speaking what is right. You love all devouring words, O deceitful tongue” (Psa 52:1–4).

Prideful self-reliance is at the root of the evil man’s devouring, razor-sharp tongue. He boasts to make himself appear mighty. He takes “refuge in his destructiveness” (Psa 52:7). In contrast, the psalmist finds refuge in God, in the sanctuary of His loyal love: “But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God. I trust in the loyal love of God forever and ever” (Psa 52:8).

On my own, I’m more like the mighty man than the stable and prosperous olive tree. I can try to manage my words, fabricating my sense of security on the basis of good behavior. But efforts born out of self-reliance—the root problem of my flippant speech—always fail me. Unless I recognize the foolishness of my pride, I cannot see my desperate need for God. Without hope in Jesus, who provided refuge through His sacrifice, I’ll never resemble the psalmist’s prosperous olive tree.

Oftentimes, the places where we fail so miserably, where we need the most grace, are also the places we see God’s work all the more. His Spirit changes us into people who bear the fruit of thankfulness. It makes us ever more eager to say with the psalmist: “I will give thanks to you forever, because of what you have done” (Psa 52:9).

Where do you see pride and self-reliance taking root in your life?

Rebecca Van Noord[1]

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

Is the SBC Slowly Becoming Catholic? — Pulpit & Pen

Beth Moore The idea that Roman Catholics can simultaneously be born-again believers is new and novel among Protestants. The controversy has always been the issue of justification. The question is, “How is one justified before God?” Southern Baptists have thus far been convinced that there is no salvation outside of belief if grace alone (Sola…

via Is the SBC Slowly Becoming Catholic? — Pulpit & Pen

04/24/2018 — Wretched

WR2018-0424 •Culture wars and the rape crisis in India •Western Culture is not “white culture” •When should judges show mercy? •Are parking tickets unjust when parking isn’t available? •An abused wife skips her abuser’s trial and goes to jail. •Fragments of Truth; a documentary about the manuscript evidence for the Bible •Islamic persecution of Christians…

via 04/24/2018 — Wretched

April 24 Christ Is Our Peace

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matt. 5:9).


Christ’s atonement made it possible for man to be at peace with God.

After World War II the United Nations was created to promote world peace. But since its inception in 1945 there has not been a single day of global peace. That’s a sad commentary on man’s inability to make peace. In fact, someone once quipped that Washington D.C., has so many peace monuments because they build one after every war!

It hasn’t always been that way. Prior to the fall of man, peace reigned on the earth because all creation was in perfect harmony with its Creator. But sin interrupted peace by alienating man from God and bringing a curse upon the earth. Man couldn’t know true peace because he had no peace in his heart. That’s why Jesus came to die.

I once read a story about a couple at a divorce hearing whose conflict couldn’t be resolved. They had a four-year-old boy who became distressed and teary-eyed over what was happening. While the couple was arguing, the boy reached for his father’s hand and his mother’s hand and pulled until he joined them.

In a sense that’s what Christ did. He provided the righteousness that allows man and God to join hands. Romans 5:1 says that those who are “justified by faith … have peace with God through the Lord Jesus Christ.” Colossians 1:20 says that God reconciled all things to Himself through the blood of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.

Yet on the surface, the scene at the cross wasn’t peaceful at all. Pain, sorrow, humiliation, hatred, mockery, darkness, and death were oppressively pervasive. But through it all Christ was doing what He alone could do: making peace between man and God. He paid the supreme price to give us that precious gift.

In the future Jesus will return as Prince of Peace to establish a Kingdom that will usher us into an eternal age of peace. In the meantime He reigns over the hearts of all who love Him. Let His peace reign in your heart today!


Suggestions for Prayer:  Thank God for the peace of heart that comes from knowing Christ.

For Further Study: Read Philippians 4:6–9. What must a person do to know God’s peace?[1]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 127). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

Bible Ban? CA Fast-Tracks Bill Aimed at Censoring Biblical Christian Teachings

A California bill with the aim of banning Christian books and resources which address issues of homosexuality and gender identity could pass in the California Senate as soon as late May.

Source: Bible Ban? CA Fast-Tracks Bill Aimed at Censoring Biblical Christian Teachings

April 24, 2018 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)


A divided Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted in favor of Mike Pompeo to be the next secretary of state, paving the way for the CIA director to gain approval from the full Senate later this week and handing a victory to President Donald Trump.

French President Emmanuel Macron arrived in Washington on Monday for a three-day visit heavy on symbolism and substance as Donald Trump hosts the first official state visit of his presidency.

India is seeking more oil, drones and aircraft from the U.S. to help narrow its $28 billion trade surplus amid rising concerns of possible collateral damage to its economy from President Donald Trump’s trade spat with China.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will dine together Friday after the first inter-Korean summit in 11 years at the border village of Panmunjom.

A driver plowed a rental van through a crowd of pedestrians on a busy Toronto sidewalk Monday, killing 10 and injuring 15, in Canada’s worst mass killing in almost three decades.

A bronze statue of women’s rights campaigner Millicent Fawcett was unveiled Tuesday outside Britain’s Parliament – the first woman to be commemorated there alongside statues of 11 men including Nelson Mandela, Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill.

Dozens of former senior U.S. military leaders pressed senators to block Gina Haspel from becoming the next CIA director, citing allegations that she oversaw torture in interrogation programs overseas.

At least four Chinese carmakers and three Chinese-owned startups-SF Motors Inc., NIO and Byton-plan to sell cars in the U.S. starting next year. At the same time, Warren Buffett-backed BYD Co. is building electric buses in California; Baidu Inc. is partnering with Microsoft Corp., TomTom NV and Nvidia Corp. on a self-driving platform; and Beijing-based TuSimple Inc. is testing autonomous-driving big rigs in Arizona.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note hit 3 percent intraday for the first time in more than four years on Tuesday.

Apple’s five largest device assemblers reported a sharp slowdown after peaking at the end of last year, suggesting demand for the high-end device may have faded just a quarter after its release.

AP Top Stories

Inspecting its 737 engines round-the-clock on Monday, Southwest canceled 3 percent of its total flights, inconveniencing several thousand passengers.

The EU and UN begin a two-day conference to drum up fresh aid pledges for war-torn Syria and reinvigorate the faltering Geneva peace process as the conflict enters its eighth year.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has expressed his “bitter sorrow” after dozens of Chinese tourists were killed when a bus they were travelling in plunged off a bridge.

The United Nations called Tuesday on Nicaragua to investigate a crackdown on protests that have left at least 27 dead, saying that a number of the killings may have been “unlawful”.

Two Palestinians wounded in clashes with Israel were pronounced dead Monday, a Gaza official said, bringing the toll from Israeli fire since March 30 to 40.

Standard & Poor’s said Tuesday that its S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller national home price index reported a 6.3% annual increase in February, up from 6.1% a month earlier. Year-over-year prices have risen continuously for the past 70 months, since May 2012.

China’s Didi Chuxing, already disrupting the global ride-hailing market and taking on U.S. rival Uber, has its sights set on an even bigger potential prize: designing and getting built its own dedicated fleet of Didi cars.


Oil prices hit $75 on Tuesday, the highest level in nearly three and a half years, as fears mounted over the prospect of new US sanctions on Iran.

The Spanish resort city of Palma, on the island of Majorca, is to ban flat owners from renting their apartments to travelers, becoming the first place in Spain to introduce such a measure. The restrictions follow complaints from residents of rising rents due to short holiday lets through websites and apps.

A Tunisian man who once allegedly protected Osama Bin Laden has lived in Germany since 1997 and gets $1427 a month in welfare payments.

Baroness Tessa Jowell has become the first person to donate her medical information to a new global database. Researchers will be able to access the anonymized data in the UCD, set up by an Australian billionaire, for free.

Two dams in Kenya are close to overflowing because of heavy rains, threatening the lives of thousands of people. 200,000 had already been displaced because of flooding, many staying in schools or open areas.

Hackers have used ransomware to take the website of Ukraine’s energy ministry offline and encrypt its files.

Iran’s central bank has banned other banks from dealing in crypto-currencies, over concerns the technology could be used illegally.


Former President George H.W. Bush, who just buried his wife first lady Barbara Bush on Saturday, is in intensive care, CNN has learned.

Multiple states lack the ability to guarantee the accuracy of election outcomes in the event of a suspected breach. The big picture: Five states – Louisiana, Georgia, South Carolina, New Jersey and Delaware – have no paper trails of votes. The other nine are in better shape, but still do not have all their counties’ machines spitting out a paper record.

According to a new study, a quarter of children six and under actually own a mobile device.

News – 4/24/2018

Swedish Activist: “Everyone’s Afraid To Be Branded A Racist”
If I speak about Islam, they interpret it as hating Muslims. But I do not hate Muslims. I believe that this ideology is dangerous for all mankind. The Muslim community will also suffer under the Sharia.” — Mona Walter, Swedish activist from Mogadishu, Somalia. Jesus said we should love our enemies, but not that we should be stupid.”

Israel Strikes Syrian Army Position After Mortar Lands in Golan Heights
The Israel Defense Force (IDF) on Monday fired on a Syrian army position in the Golan Heights in retaliation for a mortar that hit Israel’s side of the Golan Heights region. “The IDF views the Syrian regime as responsible for everything that happens in its territory and will not tolerate any attempt to harm the sovereignty of the State of Israel and the security of its residents,” the IDF said in a statement.

Iran warns Trump: Remain in nuclear deal or ‘face severe consequences’
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned US President Donald Trump on Tuesday to remain in the nuclear deal Tehran signed with world powers in 2015, or face “severe consequences.”

The Politics Of Pope Francis Is Getting Ready To Split The Catholic Church Right Down The Middle
After all, the schisms of East and West, Catholic and Protestant, were world-shaking, often bloody events. But in today’s Church—and specifically in this pope—Douthat sees the possibility that the Roman Catholic Church will once again break apart.

US CENTCOM Chief Makes “Secret And Unprecedented” Visit To Israel As Russia Mulls Arming Syria
Since the massive strike which involved the US, UK, and France launching over 100 cruise missiles, Russia is rumored to be moving forward on delivery of its advanced S-300 missile defense system, which would be a monumental upgrade allowing Syrian defenses to far surpass current capabilities which utilize the Soviet-made S-125 and S-200 air defense systems.

Report: Facebook Spent More on Swamp Lobbyists in 1Q than Ever Before
After the 2012 election, Facebook went on a spending spree in D.C., amassing a bipartisan group of Swamp denizens to help Zuckerberg’s FWD.us political group push for amnesty legislation and massive increases in H-1b visas for technology companies. Facebook, which reportedly spent $11.5 million on Swamp lobbyists in 2017, is now actively looking to hire at least 11 more DC lobbyists to more aggressively defend its own interests as the company has come under fire from both sides of the political aisle after the 2016 election.

IDF hits Syrian targets after mortar shell lands in Israel
A mortar shell fired from Syria, likely the result of errant fire from the raging civil war, landed inside Israeli territory in the Golan Heights on Monday, prompting the IDF to carry out a precision artillery strike on a Syrian military position. No one was hurt in the stray mortar fire, which landed east of the border fence near Quneitra.

German CEO: Israel should no longer rely on Germany for its existence
In an eye-popping commentary…Mathias Döpfner, the pro-Israel CEO of the Axel Springer media conglomerate in Berlin, wrote that the Jewish state should no longer depend on Germany if it is attacked and its existence is on the line. Döpfner wrote that in the past, he would answer “Yes” to the…question…about whether Germany would send weapons and soldiers if the Jewish state faced attacks that threatened its survival.

‘Bin Laden bodyguard’ on German welfare
A Tunisian man who once allegedly protected Osama Bin Laden has lived in Germany since 1997 and gets €1,168 (£1,022) a month in welfare payments. The figure was revealed by a regional government, after the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) asked about the man, known as Sami A. German media have not reported the man’s full name for privacy reasons.

Nicaragua riots: Relatives of US embassy staff told to leave
The state department has ordered relatives of US government employees based in Nicaragua to leave the Central American country. Services at the US embassy in the capital in Managua will be curtailed. The order comes after days of deadly rioting triggered by planned changes to Nicaragua’s social security system.

New form of DNA discovered inside living human cells
A new DNA structure inside human cells known as the “i-motif”, has been identified by scientists. This form resembles a twisted “knot” of DNA, instead of the well-known double helix first described by James Watson and Francis Crick. Lab work has previously suggested the existence of DNA in this form, but this is the first time it has been observed in living cells.

Netanyahu turns up volume as Iran deadline nears
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a fresh call Monday for an overhaul of the Iran nuclear deal as US President Donald Trump’s deadline for further Iranian concessions edged closer. Trump has threatened to tear up the 2015 agreement that lifted sanctions on Iran in exchange for curbs to its nuclear activity, unless it curbs its ballistic missile programme by May 12.

Trump’s revenge: U.S. oil floods Europe, hurting OPEC and Russia
As OPEC’s efforts to balance the oil market bear fruit, U.S. producers are reaping the benefits – and flooding Europe with a record amount of crude. Russia paired with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries last year in cutting oil output jointly by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd), a deal they say has largely rebalanced the market and one that has helped elevate benchmark Brent prices close to four-year highs.

Exotic Tick Species Arrives In Garden State
A tiny parasite could become a big problem this year in New Jersey. It’s an exotic tick that’s never been seen before in the United States. It was first spotted on a sheep in Hunterdon County, and efforts to wipe it out have failed. New Jersey has always been home to different species of ticks – five to be exact. But a new variety of the bloodsucking bug is now in the mix.

Iran, China Seek to Loosen Dollar’s Grip on Global Markets
…Iran last week became the latest when it pledged to replace the dollar with the euro in its foreign-currency accounting. China introduced the world’s first yuan-denominated oil contracts last month, part of a continuing effort to raise its currency’s global profile, while Venezuela launched a bitcoin-like cryptocurrency earlier this year. Russia has ramped up its gold reserves to diversify away from the dollar.

State Department drops ‘occupied’ from West Bank description
For years, the international community and the U.S. government have described the West Bank in Israel as “occupied.”  That is, governed by Israel even though Palestinians claim ownership.But just days ago, the U.S. State Department discontinued that description.

New Zealand Braces For ‘Super Gonorrhea’: It’s A Matter Of ‘WHEN, Not If’
The island nation of New Zealand is bracing itself for what scientists are calling “super gonorrhea.”  They say it is not a matter of ‘if’ the nation will be impacted by the disease, but a matter of ‘when.’

Iran Dumps The US Dollar: ‘The Dollar Has No Place In Our Transactions Today’
The nation of Iran has dumped the United States dollar in favor of the European euro amid tensions with Washington.  Tehran’s supreme leader has proclaimed that the “dollar has no place in our transactions today.”

Putin warns Russian students in the UK that they should leave IMMEDIATELY and return home – what does he know?
Russian students and graduates living in Britain should go home immediately, so they can be sent to study or work in Siberia, says a new official initiative.

Venezuela Banned Guns. Now Their Murder Rate Is Skyrocketing.
Want an example of how dangerous gun prohibition for citizens can be? Try Venezuela, where since April 2017 at least 163 pro-democracy protesters have been murdered by the Maduro dictatorship.

Pelosi Laments ‘Rising Temperatures, Surging Seas and Record Floods, Fires and Storms’
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi put out a statement to memorialize Earth Day, warning that “global leadership is needed” to “combat the growing climate crisis.”

Army Building “Self-Aware” Squid-Like Robot That Can Be “3-D Printed” During Combat
The Army Research Laboratory’s next robot weapon isn’t a new predator drone or even a robot dog like the infamous prototype developed by Boston Labs. Instead, it’s a “self-aware” robot built from flexible materials inspired by invertebrates like squid, the Army Times reports.

AG Sessions Builds Legal Wall Against Caravan’s Economic Migrants
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is quickly building a legal wall to block asylum claims by economic migrants in the so-called “caravan” which has traveled from Honduras to Texas.

Health Ministry warns of possible measles outbreak in Israel
Health ministry officials are concerned that Israel could be facing an outbreak of measles after an unusually high number of cases struck the country in recent weeks.

Mexico murder rate soars with 7,667 killed in 3 months
Some 7,667 people were killed in Mexico in the first quarter of 2018, up 20 percent on the same period last year, making it the most violent year in two decades, government figures showed Sunday.

Google Tech Can Pick Voices Out Of A Crowd
Google engineers are currently developing a new system capable of isolating voices out of a crowd.

WAR AGAINST THE NEW WORLD ORDER – Hungary victorious in their battle against Soros, as he decides to move his organizations out of the country
In February, Hungarian legislators introduced a “Stop Soros” bill in parliament with the express intention of “empower[ing] the interior minister to ban non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that support migration and pose a national security risk.”

SHOWDOWN=> DHS Vows to Arrest, Prosecute Caravan of Illegal Aliens if They Enter US
On Monday, the Department of Homeland Security vowed to arrest and prosecute the caravan of illegal aliens currently marching through Mexico if they enter the United States.

Leaked: New Purge Film Pushes White-On-Black Race War
Alex Jones covers The First Purge, a new film coming out July 4 which pushes racial division in America:

Headlines – 4/24/2018

US envoy says Jerusalem under Israel is ‘model for coexistence in the world’

Twitter suspends MK who said Palestinian teen ‘deserved a bullet’ in the kneecap

Israel Security Forces Arrest Hamas Cell in Samaria

Nasrallah: assassination of Hamas engineer a ‘Zionist crime’

Killing of engineer a possible blow to Malaysian terror hotbed

Israeli intelligence company mining Facebook for counterterrorism data

Israel strikes Syrian army position after mortar shell hits Golan

Commander of US troops in Syria makes unannounced first visit to Israel

Trump’s Grand Strategy: Get the United States out of the Middle East, Now

Report: Israel asked Moscow not to give Syria advanced missiles

Russia to move air defenses to Syria ‘soon,’ warns Israel against attack

Syria: western nations may seek to bypass Russian veto at UN

Syrian army targets south Damascus insurgent enclave

Syrian regime drops leaflets warning Homs, Hama residents of imminent strike

Global donors to seek more than $6 billion for Syrian aid

Russia’s New Energy Gamble in the Middle East

Russia, China vow to block any US attempt to ‘sabotage’ nuke deal with Iran

Nuclear test ban monitor says he sees hope of Iran joining treaty

France’s Macron visits Trump as Iran nuclear deal hangs in balance

Iran says ‘either all or nothing’ on nuclear deal

Netanyahu vows to prevent Tehran getting nukes as Iran deadline nears

Iran Says It’s Ready to Attack Israel at Any Moment

Iran bans cryptocurrencies as Rial hits all-time low

Iran, China Seek to Loosen Dollar’s Grip on Global Markets

China conducts live fire combat drills in East China Sea

Saudi Arabia Says It Intercepted Missiles Fired at Major Oil Facility by Houthis

Saudi-led Airstrikes Kill at Least 20 at Yemen Wedding

Yemen war: Houthi political leader Saleh al-Sammad ‘killed in air raid’

Egypt’s Rice Farmers Brace for Crisis as Ethiopia Prepares Nile Mega-dam

Egypt’s New Internet Law Blocks Sites Over ‘National Security Concern’

Nicaragua riots: Relatives of US embassy staff told to leave

New U.S. Drone Base in Niger Ramps Up War Against Extremism in Africa

Serzh Sargsyan: Armenian PM resigns after days of protests

‘Kippah march’ to be held in Berlin to fight ant-Semitism

French Muslims blast anti-Semitism letter as attack on Islam

NYPD On The Hunt After Orthodox Jewish Man Attacked In Brooklyn

UAE minister: Qatar’s ‘terrorist wedding’ undermined dozens of Doha’s PR efforts

Carnage in Toronto: Van mows down pedestrians, killing at least 10

Canada police say deadly ramming ‘deliberate’ but refrain from calling it terror

Toronto: Bodies and debris scattered over mile-long strip

Waffle House shooter arrested, after cops say he stole BMW days before deadly rampage

Colombia’s Migrant Crisis Worsens With Venezuela Nearing ‘Implosion’

WikiLeaks To Countersue Democrats; “Discovery Is Going To Be Amazing Fun”

UK government moving forward as one on Brexit plans

How Looming Privacy Regulations May Strengthen Facebook and Google

Media Declares ‘End of Internet as We Know It’ after Net-Neutrality Repeal

YouTube says computers helped it pull down millions of objectionable videos in three months

5.6 magnitude earthquake hits near Jiquilillo, Nicaragua

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Samsat, Turkey

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Neira, Colombia

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Mawlaik, Burma

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits the Southern East Pacific Rise

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 27,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 22,000ft

Klyuchevskoy volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 18,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 16,000ft

Langila volcano Papua New Guinea erupts to 13,000ft

Tropical Cyclone Fakir forming near Madagascar

Exceptional Drought in Parts of Seven States in Southwest

Pentagon Warns of Major Incoming Cyberattacks

Posted: 24 Apr 2018 09:37 AM PDT

Pentagon Warns of Major Incoming CyberattacksCyber experts have warned that within the next two or three weeks, the U.S. and other countries may face an even more widespread and damaging infrastructure cyberattack.  Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said in a Pentagon briefing that there has been a “2,000 percent increase in Russian trolls in the last 24 hours,” following the coordinated military strike against Syria, according to the Christian Emergency Network (christianemergencynetwork.org).

In May, 2017 Cyber Command Commander and Director of the National Security Agency, Admiral Mike Rogers, told Congress he was concerned about foreign nations using attacks against critical infrastructures that run the electric grid, financial systems, communications networks, the transportation systems and other key infrastructure systems. Rogers warned of foreign nations attacking the U.S. using cyber attacks as “trial balloons” to determine vulnerabilities or to damage our critical infrastructure for a prolonged period of time. READ MORE

State Department drops ‘occupied’ from West Bank description

Posted: 24 Apr 2018 09:19 AM PDT

State Department drops ‘occupied’ from West Bank descriptionFor years, the international community and the U.S. government have described the West Bank in Israel as “occupied.”  That is, governed by Israel even though Palestinians claim ownership. But just days ago, the U.S. State Department discontinued that description. The agency’s new “Country Reports on Human

Rights Practices for 2017, released Friday, assesses human rights in nearly 200 countries and territories. “These reports are required by U.S. law and are used by a variety of actors including the U.S. Congress, the executive branch, and the judicial branch as a factual resource for decision making in matters ranging from assistance to asylum,” the department said. READ MORE


Google rejects Christian publisher over ‘faith we express’

Posted: 24 Apr 2018 07:00 AM PDT

Google rejects Christian publisher over ‘faith we express’Concordia Publishing House has been in business since 1869 as the official publishing arm of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod denomination.   But apparently, the Christian content of its website, particularly an ad for an upcoming Vacation Bible School, is too much for Google AdWords, the online advertising service. Google, said Concordia CEO Bruce Kintz in a Facebook post-Monday, will no longer

do business “because of the faith we express on our website,” the Federalist reported. Kintz said one of his associates was told by Google AdWords, as an example, that the “Bible Challenge” on the publishers Vacation Bible School Web page “would clearly need to come down before they could consider us for ads.” “Incredibly sobering and disappointing,” Kintz wrote. “It is an uphill battle but our mission and customers are worth it. It is why we are here.” READ MORE


Abraham’s Bosom and the Location of Hell

Posted: 24 Apr 2018 06:52 AM PDT

Abraham’s Bosom and the Location of HellIn this second message of our latest series, We will dig deeper in the topic of Abraham’s Bosom mentioned in Luke Chapter 16 as well as discuss the location of the Underworld called Hades or as many know it as “Hell”. For the entire message watch the video below:

Quarter of children Under 7 now own a smartphone!

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 02:15 PM PDT

Quarter of children Under 7 now own a smartphone!How young is too young when it comes to owning a smartphone? Believe it or not, according to a new study, a quarter of children six and under actually own a mobile device.  Researchers with musicMagpie, a company that helps people declutter by selling their unwanted electronics online, conducted the study after they noted a 300% increase year-over-year in customers who were buying first-time phones for their children.

A third of parents made the purchase simply because their kids asked, while one in five bought it to keep the little ones entertained.  Though the study didn’t indicate how many parents were surveyed, the results showed that most agreed 11 was the “ideal” age for children to receive their first smartphone. Nonetheless, the stunning findings showed 25% of parents purchased devices for children six and under. What’s worse, nearly half of those kids spent as much as 21 hours per week on the devices.  READ MORE

RUMORS OF WAR: Russia to move air defenses to Syria ‘soon,’ warns Israel against attack …

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 11:13 AM PDT

RUMORS OF WAR: Russia to move air defenses to Syria ‘soon,’ warns Israel against attack …Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has denied reports that Moscow will supply Syria with S-300 anti-aircraft defense systems “soon” after a senior Russian official warned Israel that it would “suffer catastrophic consequences” if it attacks the system.  TASS News Agency quoted Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying on Monday Moscow had not yet decided whether it would deliver the advanced systems to Syria, but that it would not be a secret if it took such a decision.  “We know what

President Vladimir Putin said. He has discussed such matters with an official of our Defense Ministry from the standpoint of preventing a situation where Syria might turn out insufficiently prepared for aggressive attacks, like the one that occurred on April 14. It remains to be seen what decisions will be made by the Russian leadership and Syrian officials,” he said. According to Lavrov, Moscow has warned the US and Europe of carrying out additional strikes in Syria, but “certainly, one should be prepared to see more provocations.” READ MORE

DEVELOPING: Van strikes numerous pedestrians in Toronto, 9 Dead and 16 Injured

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 11:05 AM PDT

DEVELOPING: Van strikes numerous pedestrians in Toronto, 9 Dead and 16 InjuredPolice say a white van has struck numerous pedestrians in Toronto. The incident happened at the busy intersection of Yonge Street and Finch Avenue, according to the Toronto Police Service. Initial estimates

suggest eight to 10 people were struck. The extent of injuries is unknown and ambulances are on the scene. Photos posted online show multiple individuals on the ground. Toronto paramedics are advising people to stay out of the area of Yonge Street near Finch and Sheppard Avenue. READ MORE

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What Should I Do? Some Great Promises Of God To Lead And Guide His Children — The Blazing Center

Have you ever found yourself not knowing which direction to go? What to do with your life or your time? Maybe you wonder, as The Clash asked, “Should I stay or should I go?” Maybe you don’t know what your gifts are, where you should serve, how can you best use your life to glorify…

via What Should I Do? Some Great Promises Of God To Lead And Guide His Children — The Blazing Center

Pope Francis Tells People to Not to “Idolize Truth,” but Instead Turn to Mary — Pulpit & Pen

Don’t idolize truth. Worship Mary instead. Here’s a list of things that are actual idols: Icons of Mary and the Saints Supposed holy relics Dead people, when you pray to them Rosary beads and holy water Those are idols; physical objects or created beings who are worshiped, prayed to, or ascribed with spiritual power. You…

via Pope Francis Tells People to Not to “Idolize Truth,” but Instead Turn to Mary — Pulpit & Pen


He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.

Song of Solomon 2:4

Consider with me the appealing Old Testament story of the beautiful young woman in the Song of Solomon. Deeply in love with the young shepherd, she is also actively sought out by the king, who demands her favor. She remains loyal to the simple shepherd, who gathers lilies and comes to seek her and calls to her through the lattice.

In many ways, this is a beautiful picture of the Lord Jesus, of His love and care for His Bride, the Church. In the scriptural account, she does turn her loved one away with simple excuses. But condemned in heart, she rises to go out and search for him. As she seeks, she is asked: “What is he above others that you should seek him?” (see 5:9).

“Oh, he is altogether lovely,” she replies. “He came and called for me, and I had not the heart to go!” (see 5:16).

But at last she is able to confess, “I have found him whom my soul loveth!” (3:4).

He had been grieved but He was not far away. So it is with our Beloved—He is very near to us and He awaits our seeking!

Lord, You are “altogether lovely.” Thank You for pursuing the human race even in our state of unloveliness.[1]

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

What A Man of God Looks Like — Paul Washer — Pulpit & Pen


In today’s Christian culture it is easy to have a false idea of what the image of a godly man looks like. With celebrity pastors, spokespeople and defenders of the faith always looking their best and never having a bad photo or word spoken it is easy to get a false image of what a…

via What A Man of God Looks Like — Paul Washer — Pulpit & Pen

Are today’s Evangelicals following Jesus or following Trump? — Christian Research Network

(Cal Thomas – Fox News) “What would happen in our culture and especially in our politics if all of those who call themselves evangelicals began obeying the commands of Jesus of Nazareth?” “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the…

via Are today’s Evangelicals following Jesus or following Trump? — Christian Research Network

The Cure for Spiritual Amnesia — The Master’s Seminary

There is always more we can learn from the living Word—even from passages we have studied for years. And we should certainly approach familiar passages with a heart eager to learn more. But there is another posture we should also cultivate as we approach well-known texts: a readiness to be reminded. The post The Cure…

via The Cure for Spiritual Amnesia — The Master’s Seminary

April 24, 2018 Mid-Day Snapshot

Mid-Day Snapshot

Apr. 24, 2018

Toronto Van Attack — It’s the Crime, Not the Tool

Ten people were killed by a very sick individual driving a rental van onto a crowded sidewalk.

The Foundation

“We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion.” —John Adams (1798)

The Briefing — Tuesday, April 24, 2018

1) How morality, not just economics, factors in to Amazon’s search for HQ2

Washington Post (Jonathan O’Connell) –
The unspoken factor in Amazon’s search for a new home: Jeff Bezos’s support for gay rights

2) Massachusetts schools adopt new curriculum aimed at normalizing LGBTQ lifestyle

Boston Herald (Kathleen McKiernan) –
State comes out with new LGBTQ curriculum

3) What worldview will be taught as ‘teachable moments’ arise in public schools?

Chicago Tribune (Amanda Marrazzo) –
Supporters rally for gay teacher amid discrimination claim after he told 1st-graders about same-sex marriage

4) Schools become the new battleground for the sexual revolution as the number of transgender teachers increases

NPR (Anya Kamenetz) –
More Than Half Of Transgender Teachers Surveyed Tell NPR They Are Harassed At Work

5) Regular church attendance remains one of the best indicators of how one will vote, view question of same-sex marriage

BoingBoing (Rob Beschizza) –
The last Americans holding out against same-sex marriage

April 24, 2018 RenewAmerica Newsletter

April 24, 2018
WES VERNON — Today in the early 21st century, we have for the past four years been living in a period marked by a full 100 years since the starting point of then unprecedented and recurring killing beyond what could have been imagined in previous eras…. (more)

April 23, 2018
ALAN KEYES — Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or the Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both. (18 U.S. Code I.67 §1385)… (more)

April 23, 2018
PHILIP KLEIN — Five-time political candidate Mitt Romney wanted delegates to this past weekend’s Utah Republican convention to know one thing: He isn’t running for the Senate because he’s interested in a political career. Romney, who suffered an embarrassing loss over the weekend in a vote of grassroots activists serving as delegates, is nonetheless expected to coast to victory in the primary and general election in a highly-Republican state where he enjoys strong popularity among the broader electorate. What’s amusing is that he’s still trying to perpetuate the narrative that he’s really a nonpolitician…. (more)

April 23, 2018
BYRON YORK — When a political figure is accused of wrongdoing, a conversation begins among journalists, commentators, and public officials. Are the charges true? Can the accusers prove it? That’s the way it normally works. But now, in the case of the Trump dossier – – the allegations compiled by a former British spy hired by the Clinton campaign to gather dirt on presidential candidate Donald Trump – – the generally accepted standard of justice has been turned on its head…. (more)

April 23, 2018
NEWSMAX — With the Justice Department’s issuance of a criminal referral related to fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, President Donald Trump is finally fighting back against the Deep State plot to smear him, says Jerome Corsi, author of The New York Times bestseller “Killing the Deep State: The Fight to Save President Trump.”… (more)

April 23, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — Tucked inside the inspector general’s report on former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe was the story of an August 2016 phone call from a high-ranking Justice Department official who Mr. McCabe thought was trying to shut down the FBI’s investigation into the Clinton Foundation while Hillary Clinton was running for president…. (more)

April 23, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — Roger Stone, a former Trump campaign ally, responded to the Democratic National Committee’s Russia collusion lawsuit Monday, telling it to preserve its databases, records and servers for inspection. “[We] intend to test the basic underlying claims that ‘Russians’ hacked, stole, and disseminated DNC data, rather than the various other plausible scenarios, including internal theft,” wrote Robert Buschel, an attorney representing Mr. Stone, in a letter to the DNC’s lawyers…. (more)

April 23, 2018
NEWSMAX — Harvard law professor and author Alan Dershowitz argued Monday that former FBI director and current special counsel Robert Mueller should be investigated for his role in protecting a notorious FBI informant – – and that civil liberties are at stake…. (more)

April 23, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — A small bipartisan gesture at the end of a fiercely partisan fight Monday has put Mike Pompeo on course to Senate confirmation as the nation’s next secretary of state. During a day of wild parliamentary back-and-forth in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the former congressman from Kansas and outgoing CIA director secured the crucial vote of lone Republican holdout Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, only to face rejection from the panel because fellow Republican committee member Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia missed the Monday evening confirmation vote to attend a funeral back home…. (more)

April 23, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — For 38 years, EMW Women’s Surgical Center has been performing abortions in Louisville, Kentucky. It’s now the last abortion provider in the state, and it’s fighting to keep its doors open and to prevent Kentucky from becoming the first state in the nation without an abortion option. The administration of Gov. Matt Bevin, a Republican, said last year that EMW doesn’t have valid transfer agreements with an ambulance service and hospital. State law requires transfer agreements in case a procedure goes wrong…. (more)

April 23, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — An Illinois woman who runs a child care service out of her home is suing the state, saying its restrictions on day care facilities make it illegal for her to keep a gun in her house for self-defense. Jennifer Miller’s lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for central Illinois after the state emerged as a battleground in the post-Parkland gun debate, with citizens and various localities trying to stake claims on either side of the issue…. (more)

April 23, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — “Mom, you won’t believe what my teacher’s talking about right now.” That is the text message Regina Young, a parent in North Carolina’s Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, said she received from her seventh-grade daughter one day. “Before I could even respond to her text,” Ms. Young said, “she told me how uncomfortable she was to hear her teacher tell stories about her transgender home.”… (more)

April 23, 2018
Web giant’s move ‘incredibly sobering and disappointing’
WORLDNETDAILY — Concordia Publishing House has been in business since 1869 as the official publishing arm of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod denomination. But apparently the Christian content of its website, particularly an ad for an upcoming Vacation Bible School, is too much for Google AdWords, the online advertising service…. (more)

April 23, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — President Trump said Monday that he has instructed the Department of Homeland Security not to allow the reported caravans of people traveling through Mexico to be admitted to the U.S. “Despite the Democrat inspired laws on Sanctuary Cities and the Border being so bad and one sided, I have instructed the Secretary of Homeland Security not to let these large Caravans of people into our Country. It is a disgrace. We are the only Country in the World so naive! WALL,” Mr. Trumptweeted…. (more)

April 22, 2018
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — The Democratic National Committee’s multimillion-dollar lawsuit against the Trump campaign, the Russian government, and WikiLeaks on Friday was met with fanfare not only from the Democratic front, but also from one of the main defendants. The legal offensive alleges a conspiracy between the trio to disrupt the 2016 presidential campaign in order to get Donald Trump elected. The DNC’s complaint was filed in a federal district court in Manhattan, N.Y…. (more)

April 22, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — The Democratic National Committee’s Russia collusion law suit against the Trump campaign cites a number of press stories, tweets and investigative reports as evidence, but there is one notable absence. The 66-page suit doesn’t mention the Christopher Steele dossier, an investigation financed by the very same DNC as well as the Hilary Clinton campaign and sourced to Kremlin operatives…. (more)

April 22, 2018
SALT LAKE TRIBUNE — After 11 hours of political elbowing and shoving at the Utah Republican Convention – – held appropriately at a hockey arena – – delegates forced Mitt Romney into a primary election against state Rep. Mike Kennedy in the U.S. Senate race. In fact, Kennedy – – a doctor and lawyer – – finished in first place at the convention with 51 percent of the vote to Romney’s 49 percent. The former GOP presidential nominee fell far short of the 60 percent needed to clinch the nomination outright…. (more)

April 22, 2018
NEWSMAX — Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said Saturday that he would make a decision on whether to support President Donald Trump in 2020 “down the road” as he campaigns for a Senate seat in this November’s elections. “I will make that decision down the road,” Romney, the 2012 presidential candidate, told CNN before speaking at the Utah Republican Convention in West Valley…. (more)

April 22, 2018
NATIONAL REVIEW — Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, who was scorned for touting his “amazing leadership” following the Valentine’s Day shooting in Parkland, Fla., will face a “vote of no confidence” from the union representing his deputies…. (more)

April 21, 2018
VICTOR DAVIS HANSON — If collusion is the twin of conspiracy, then there are lots of colluders running around Washington. Robert Mueller was tasked to find evidence of Trump and Russia collusion that might have warped the 2016 campaign and thrown the election to Trump. After a year, his investigation has found no concrete evidence of collusion. So it has often turned to other purported Trump misadventures. Ironically, collusion of all sorts – – illegal, barely legal, and simply unethical – – has been the sea that Washington fish always swim in…. (more)

April 20, 2018
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — Former FBI agent Terry Albury is likely to receive between three and five years in prison when he’s sentenced for giving classified information to reporters, raising questions of a double standard benefiting the men who led the bureau at the time of his leaks…. (more)

April 20, 2018
OSC Hatch Act probe sidetracked by dismissal
WASHINGTON TIMES — Former FBI Director James Comey was being investigated by the government’s Office of Special Counsel for potential Hatch Act violations at the time he was fired, according to new documents released Friday as part of a Freedom of Information Act case. The OSC investigation was cut short by the firing, since the office doesn’t probe people once they’re out of government…. (more)

April 20, 2018
NEWSMAX — Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney will face a number of unhappy delegates at Utah’s Republican state convention next week, according to The Salt Lake Tribune columnist Robert Gehrke. Although Romney has already accumulated the necessary amount of signatures to appear on the GOP primary ballot to replace Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch, a large amount of “notoriously prickly delegates” seem unconvinced that he’s the night choice…. (more)

April 19, 2018
JERRY NEWCOMBE — After my recent column on “fake news,” someone sent me an email accusing me of propagating fake news by saying the Bible had anything to do with the founding of America. The email stated the common charge that the Constitution was the product of men of the Enlightenment, many of whom were under Masonic influence as well…. (more)

April 19, 2018
MICHAEL BARONE — As the likelihood of the charges of Trump campaign “collusion” with Russia seems headed toward zero, the likelihood of proof of a different form of “collusion” seems headed upward toward certainty. The Russia collusion charge had some initial credibility because of businessman Trump’s dealings in Russia and candidate Trump’s off-putting praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin. It was fueled by breathless media coverage of such trivial events as Jeff Sessions’ exchange of pleasantries with the Russian ambassador at a Washington reception…. (more)

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April 24 Tuesday: Betrayed by a Close Friend

By James Boice on Apr 24, 2018 12:00 am

There is a significant difference between the setting of the two earlier psalms of betrayal and this one. In Psalms 52 and 54 David is in the wilderness fleeing from his enemy Saul, a low point in his career, while in Psalm 55 he is apparently established in Jerusalem, his capital city. This must mean that Saul is dead and that David is now king. We would expect this situation to be good. David’s troubles should be over. But we find that this is not the case and that David is as much troubled in his ascendancy as he was when a fugitive.

Read more…

April 24 Enjoying our Priesthood

Keep my commands and follow them. I am the Lord. Do not profane my holy name, for I must be acknowledged as holy by the Israelites. I am the Lord, who made you holy and who brought you out of Egypt to be your God. I am the Lord. Lev 22:31-33

What tenderness and compassion there is in those verses! I am the LORD, he says, who brought you out of bondage, out of slavery. I set you free. And I want to heal your life and bring you into a land of abundance and promise, of excitement and blessing and fruitfulness, with a sense of worth and power, and to be your God, to be available to you to teach you how to live as men were ordained to live in the beginning — in dominion over all the earth, over all the powers and principalities that exist in the universe, and to walk as free people, healed and whole. That is why I speak to you this way, the LORD says. That is why at times I will not allow you to exercise ministry even though you want to, until you deal with the blemishes of your life. When they are healed, then your ministry can begin.

When we submit to this, we discover that our priesthood begins to be rich and fulfilling and exciting. God begins to enlarge our borders. A sense of worthwhileness comes into our life — beyond anything that we ever dreamed. We discover that God is not so much interested in our activity as he is in our attitudes — our being rather than our doing — and that we can please God while we are washing the dishes, by the right attitude of heart, that we can please God and be used of God when we are spading in the yard or working in the shop. His life begins to flow through us so that we are effective in applying the death of Christ to the disease and heartbreak of humanity around us and are effective in encouraging and building up and feeding and enriching by the bread of God the lives of those with whom we come in contact. There is an entire world around us waiting to be ministered to, hundreds and thousands of people with whom we are in touch each day and who need to be helped, need deliverance.

Thank you, Lord, because deep in my heart I don’t want to be phony. I want to be real and to be genuine. I want to be whole and able to help others to wholeness. Thank you for that possibility, Father, and thank you for the privilege of my priesthood.

Life Application
Are we continually mindful that our actions and attitudes reflect on our High Priest whom we are called and privileged to serve? What is His purpose in calling us to a lifestyle distinctly different from the world’s values?
Related Message
For more on this portion of Scripture read the message:
Free to Serve

April 24, 2018 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

what they did in relation to the law

you, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that one should not steal, do you steal? You who say that one should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? (2:21–22)

A third area of false security was related to what most Jews did in response to the law they claimed to know and teach. Paul here contends that their understanding and teaching not only fell far short of God’s law but that they themselves disobeyed it. Even when they taught the truth, they taught it hypocritically. Just as Satan sometimes disguises himself as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14), false teachers sometimes teach the truth for their own selfish and perverse ends.

In theological terms, their preaching reflects orthodoxy (right doctrine), but their living does not reflect orthopraxy (right practice). They are much like corrupt police officials or judges, whose lives are in direct contradiction of the laws they have sworn to uphold and enforce. And because of their greater responsibility, they bring upon themselves greater punishment when they break those laws.

The psalmist sternly warned ungodly men who presume to teach in God’s name. “To the wicked God says, ‘What right have you to tell of My statutes, and to take My covenant in your mouth? For you hate discipline, and you cast My words behind you. When you see a thief, you are pleased with him, and you associate with adulterers. You let your mouth loose in evil, and your tongue frames deceit. You sit and speak against your brother; you slander your own mother’s son’ ” (Ps. 50:16–20).

Even teachers who are true believers are held especially accountable for living out what they teach. James therefore gives the somber caution: “Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we shall incur a stricter judgment” (James 3:1).

Like the wicked teachers the psalmist castigated, the hypocritical Jew of Paul’s day would often teach another person the truths of God’s Word but would fail to teach them to himself. Even less would he obey those truths himself. Such men were typified by the scribes and Pharisees, of whom Jesus said, “They say things, and do not do them” (Matt. 23:3).

Paul mentions three areas of their spiritual and moral hypocrisy: stealing, adultery, and sacrilege. You who preach that one should not steal, do you steal? he asks. Despite the clear pronouncements of the Mosaic law against theft, it was very common in ancient Judaism. Isaiah rebuked those who “turned to their own way, each one to his unjust gain” (Isa. 56:11). Ezekiel denounced those who “have taken bribes to shed blood; … taken interest and profits, and … injured [their] neighbors for gain by oppression” (Ezek. 22:12). Amos wrote of those who stole by making “the bushel smaller and the shekel bigger” and by cheating “with dishonest scales” (Amos 8:5). Malachi accused his fellow Jews even of robbing God by withholding some of the tithes and offerings owed to Him (Mal. 3:8–9).

When Jesus cleansed the Temple during the last week of His earthly ministry, He censured the money changers and sacrifice merchants for making His Father’s house “a robbers’ den” (Matt. 21:13; cf. John 2:16). On another occasion He scathingly condemned the scribes and Pharisees—the self-appointed authorities on righteousness—for devouring “widows’ houses” under the pretense of serving God (Matt. 23:14).

The second area of hypocrisy related to sexual sin. You who say that one should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? As with stealing, the clear implication is that they practiced the very evil they condemned in others. Many Jewish men tried to circumvent the Mosaic command against adultery by divorcing their wives and marrying another woman to whom they were attracted. But Jesus declared that divorce and remarriage on any ground other than sexual infidelity results in adultery just as surely as if no divorce is involved (Matt. 5:32; 19:9). Adultery can even be committed without the physical act. “Everyone who looks on a woman to lust for her,” He said, “has committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Matt. 5:28).

The third area of hypocrisy related to sacrilege. You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? The root word behind bdelussō (abhor) means “to stink, to reek.” Although Israel had fallen into idolatry repeatedly during the period of the monarchies, since the Babylonian exile Jews have never practiced that evil to any significant degree. During the Greek and Roman occupations after their return from Babylon, Jews developed a strong abhorrence for anything remotely resembling idolatry. Because some Caesars had declared themselves to be gods, Jews even loathed handling Roman coins, because Caesar’s image was inscribed on them (see Matt. 22:19–21).

To rob temples may have referred to Jews who robbed their own Temple in Jerusalem. As noted above, they often robbed God by withholding part of their tithes and offerings. According to the Jewish historian Josephus, some Jews also robbed the Temple in other devious ways. He reports that on one occasion a group of Jewish men enticed a wealthy Roman woman into giving a large sum of money to the Temple. But instead of putting the money in the Temple treasury, they divided it among themselves.

But Paul’s reference to abhorring idols suggests that he had something else in mind in regard to temple robbery. The Mosaic law strictly forbade Israelites from making personal gain from the idols they seized after conquering pagan enemies. “The graven images of their gods you are to burn with fire; you shall not covet the silver or the gold that is on them, nor take it for yourselves, lest you be snared by it, for it is an abomination to the Lord your God” (Deut. 7:25).

Although by New Testament times the nation of Israel had long since ceased conquering Gentile territories, it is possible that individual rogue Jews plundered pagan temples for purely mercenary reasons. The statement by the town clerk at Ephesus that Paul and his associates were not robbers of temples (Acts 19:37) suggests that it was not uncommon for Jews to be guilty of that offense. It is possible that, despite the clear Mosaic prohibition, the offending Jews rationalized such theft by thinking they were doing God a favor by striking a blow at paganism. But Paul condemns their hypocrisy. Their motive was not religious, but mercenary.[1]

2:21 But these things in which the Jew boasted had never changed his life. It was simply pride of race, religion, and knowledge without any corresponding moral transformation. He taught others but did not take the lessons to heart himself. He preached against stealing but did not practice what he preached.[2]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1991). Romans (Vol. 1, pp. 155–157). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 1684). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.


If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.


Because the will is master of the heart, it is important to realize that the root of all evil in human nature is the corruption of the will!

The thoughts and intents of the heart are wrong and as a consequence the whole life is wrong. Repentance is primarily a change of moral purpose, a sudden and often violent reversal of the soul’s direction.

The prodigal son took his first step upward from the pigsty when he said, “I will arise and go to my father.” As he had once willed to leave his father’s house, now he willed to return.

To love God with all our heart we must first of all will to do so. We should repent our lack of love and determine from this moment on to make God the object of our devotion. We should read the Scriptures devotionally and set our affections on things above and aim our hearts toward Christ and heavenly things!

If we do these things we may be sure that we shall experience a wonderful change in our whole inward life. Our emotions will become disciplined and directed. We shall begin to taste the “piercing sweetness” of the love of Christ. The whole life, like a delicate instrument, will be tuned to sing the praises of Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood![1]

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