Daily Archives: May 3, 2018

May 3: If Life Were a Musical

Judges 4:1–6:10; Philippians 1:19–30; Psalm 65:1–13

Maybe life should be more like a musical or an oratorio—like Les Misérables or Handel’s Messiah. How we feel is often expressed better in song or poetry than anything else. Literary criticism tells us that poets write verse because prose simply can’t capture the emotions they’re feeling. So much of the Bible is poetry, suggesting that maybe, in a way, poems and songs are the language of God.

Deborah and Barak understood this. After Yahweh claimed victory over Israel’s foes through them, they “sang on that day” (Judg 5:1). The Bible records their song. It was epic—the earth trembling (Judg 5:4, 5), the people rejoicing (Judg 5:7), and everyone singing as they recounted “the righteous deeds of Yahweh” and made their way to the city gates (Judg 5:11). This is music, after all; it’s expressive.

Paul breaks out in a type of song in Philippians as well (Phil 2:5–11). His song is a result of his raw excitement from reflecting on the work of the good news of Jesus in himself and others (Phil 1:12–26) and his hope that believers will be filled with “one purpose” (Phil 2:2). To truly worship God, you just have to sing. You have to feel and sound like a poet. God’s too exciting for anything else to suffice.

I know someone who thinks of life as a musical. Life is joy for that person because there’s a soundtrack for everything. If God is at work in everything, then we should want to worship Him constantly. We should sing His praises. We should write about our journeys, speak about them, share them, and experience God’s work among us collectively.

Christianity isn’t meant to be stale or dull—the early church was anything but. It was exciting, like God Himself, because His Spirit was working among believers. And his Spirit is working today. So clap, sing a little louder, and share your story. Find the soundtrack to it all.

How can you praise God more fully?

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.

May 3 Overcoming Spiritual Inadequacies

“Having summoned His twelve disciples . . .” (Matt. 10:1).

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Jesus can overcome any inadequacy you might have.

Most people think of the disciples as stained-glass saints who didn’t have to struggle with the faults and frailties of normal people. But they had inadequacies just like we all do. Seeing how Jesus dealt with them gives us hope that He can use us too.

One inadequacy common to all the disciples was their lack of understanding. For example, Luke 18 tells us that Jesus gave them details about His future suffering, death, and resurrection, but they didn’t understand anything He said (vv. 31–34). Jesus overcame their lack of understanding by constantly teaching them until they got it right.

Another inadequacy was their lack of humility. More than once they argued among themselves about who would be the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven (e.g., Mark 9:33–37). Jesus dealt with their lack of humility by His own example. He likened Himself to a servant, and even washed their dirty feet (John 13).

In addition to their lack of understanding and humility, they also lacked faith. Jesus often said to them, “O men of little faith.” In Mark 16:14 He rebuked them for not even believing the reports of His resurrection.

They also lacked commitment. Just prior to Christ’s death Judas betrayed Him, Peter denied Him, and the others deserted Him. Jesus dealt with their lack of commitment by praying for them (e.g., Luke 22:31–32; John 17:15).

Finally, they lacked spiritual power, which Christ overcame by giving them the Holy Spirit.

Those are significant inadequacies, but despite all that, the book of Acts tells us that the disciples turned the world upside-down with their powerful preaching and miraculous deeds. They were so much like Christ that people started calling them Christians, which means “little christs.”

Jesus still transforms inadequacies into victories. He does it through the Spirit, the Word, and prayer. Don’t be victimized by your inadequacies. Make those spiritual resources the continual focus of your life.

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Suggestions for Prayer:  Thank the Lord for your inadequacies because they help you realize your dependence on Him. ✧ Ask for grace always to rely on your spiritual resources rather than your human abilities.

For Further Study: Read Matthew 20:20–28. ✧ Who spoke to Jesus on behalf of James and John? ✧ What was His response? ✧ How did the other disciples respond? ✧ What was Jesus’ concluding principle?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 136). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

Former SBC Prez: God’s Heart For This Nation is Unity — Pulpit & Pen

Ripping Ephesians 4:3, completely out of context, a passage Paul wrote to the Church, Ronnie Floyd declares that God’s heart for America is “unity,” and that the National Day of Prayer should be focused on praying for this ecumenical and paganized unity. “The people of God need to get their act together in unity so…

via Former SBC Prez: God’s Heart For This Nation is Unity — Pulpit & Pen

MAY 3 AN EXCLUSIVE ATTACHMENT

But now, after that ye…are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements?

Galatians 4:9

I am not in the business of trying to downgrade any other believer’s efforts to win souls. I am just of the opinion that we are often too casual and there are too many tricks that can be used to make soul-winning encounters completely “painless” and at “no cost” and without any “inconvenience.”

Some of the unsaved with whom we deal on the “quick and easy” basis have such little preparation and are so ignorant of the plan of salvation that they would be willing to bow their heads and “accept” Buddha or Zoroaster if they thought they could get rid of us in that way.

To “accept Christ” in anything like a saving relationship is to have an attachment to the Person of Christ that is revolutionary, complete and exclusive!

It is more than joining some group that you like. It is more than having enjoyable social fellowship with other nice people. You give your heart and life and soul to Jesus Christ—and He becomes the center of your transformed life!

Lord, as Your followers share the gospel around the world today, I pray that each hearer will have a clear understanding of the consequences of the decision they will make to either accept or reject Jesus.[1]


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

Israel Braces for All Out War with Iran After Intelligence Reveals True Nuclear Aspirations — Absolute Truth from the Word of God

The acquisition of documents from the heart of Iran by Israeli’s Mossad, showing clearly that Iran lied about their nuclear ambitions; has brought the reality of a major war between Israel, Iran and the other pro Iranian countries that much closer. The documents have been studied by experts and have been deemed authentic. Could […]

via Israel Braces for All Out War with Iran After Intelligence Reveals True Nuclear Aspirations — Absolute Truth from the Word of God

Benjamin Netanyahu Makes 3 Very Bold Moves As He Prepares Israel To Take On Iran Militarily In Quest To Stop Their Nuclear Ambitions — Now The End Begins

In three bold moves this week — with F-15s, a PowerPoint presentation and the passage of a contentious new law — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has strengthened his hand in trying to foil Iran’s strategic ambitions, while potentially pulling the two nations closer to direct conflict. “But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions,…

via Benjamin Netanyahu Makes 3 Very Bold Moves As He Prepares Israel To Take On Iran Militarily In Quest To Stop Their Nuclear Ambitions — Now The End Begins

May 3, 2018 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

BLOOMBERG

After 30 years of pivotal decisions on the U.S. Supreme Court, Justice Anthony Kennedy is about to make his biggest one yet. For the second straight year, Kennedy, 81, is the focus of retirement speculation as the court approaches the late-June end of its term. A retirement by the court’s swing justice would give President Donald Trump his second Supreme Court vacancy to fill before Republicans’ Senate majority goes on the November election ballot. It also would drop a political bomb into what is already one of the country’s most divisive eras since the Civil War.

Top automakers will meet with President Donald Trump at the White House in coming days amid growing concerns over the president’s policies on trade and a looming schism with California over environmental regulations.

Brazil avoided a possible default as Congress approved funds for the payment of a loan guarantee made to Venezuela and Mozambique.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is pressing ahead with a goal of legalizing recreational marijuana in Canada within months, as senators push for changes and a delay of as much as a year.

A prisoner at the Guantanamo Bay detention center has been sent back to his native Saudi Arabia to serve out the remainder of a 13-year sentence, making him the first detainee to leave the U.S. base in Cuba since President Donald Trump took office.

Italian President Sergio Mattarella will hold a new round of talks with parties next week in a final attempt to form a political government two months after inconclusive elections, a senior state official said.

Mining companies including Anglo American Plc agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit from workers who said they contracted deadly lung diseases in South African gold mines.

AP Top Stories

A crew of nine Puerto Ricans were flying an Air National Guard C-130 into retirement in Arizona when it crashed onto a highway in Georgia on Wednesday, and authorities said there are no survivors.

A Russian fighter jet crashed after taking off from an airbase in Syria on Thursday, killing both pilots, Moscow’s defense ministry said in a statement carried by news agencies.

Vice President Mike Pence appeared at an event in Tempe, Arizona, on Tuesday, where he stood alongside and doled out accolades to former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who has been convicted of illegally targeting Latinos.

Myanmar will “scrutinize” the identity of displaced people in war-torn Kachin State to ensure ethnic insurgents do not receive humanitarian aid after weeks of fighting, a government spokesman said on Thursday.

Texas and six other states have filed a federal lawsuit to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

A senior Iranian member of parliament vowed on Tuesday that his country will react to “Israeli aggression” against it in Syria, issuing his warning following a missile strike on Syrian military bases at the weekend.

President Donald Trump has all but decided to withdraw from the 2015 Iran nuclear accord by May 12 but exactly how he will do so remains unclear, two White House officials and a source familiar with the administration’s internal debate said on Wednesday.

China has deployed long-range missiles on three distant outposts in the South China Sea, US media said, a move which is seen as a major step towards Beijing dominating the strategically important waters.

The first death has been reported in a national food poisoning outbreak linked to romaine lettuce. The death was reported in California, but state and federal health officials did not provide any other details.

Hundreds of German police officers raided a refugee shelter in the southern town of Ellwangen on Thursday, days after an angry mob of migrants prevented authorities from deporting a 23-year-old man from Togo.

Residents of the Puna district on Hawaii’s Big Island are being urged to remain alert after hundreds of small earthquakes at the Kilauea volcano’s east rift zone. The quakes, which hit in recent days, indicate an eruption could be imminent.

The Commerce Department says the trade deficit – the difference between what America sells and what it buys in foreign markets – slid to $49 billion, down from $57.7 billion in February and lowest since September.

BBC

At least 95 people have been killed and scores more injured in fierce dust storms that hit the northern Indian states of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.

“The big one” – an earthquake of 9.0 magnitude – is forecast to hit the tiny Washington town of Joyce hard, and it could happen at any time. It’s a threat that’s united neighbors who are stocking up, readying shelter, and pledging to ride it out.

The US state of Iowa has approved an abortion law banning most abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected.

Australia’s Commonwealth Bank has admitted losing the bank records of almost 20 million people.

WND

Mark Mobius, founding partner at Mobius Capital Partners, told CNBC’s Joumanna Bercetche Wednesday. A 30 to 40 percent adjustment is “not unreasonable,” he said, speaking on developed as well as emerging markets. “I’m not predicting that, I’m just saying we’ve got to be ready for that,” he added.

Thousands of students in as many as 400 schools are walking out of their classes Wednesday to join 16-minute rallies in support of the Second Amendment.


The Briefing — Thursday, May 3, 2018

1) Sexual liberation vs. the morality of consent: #MeToo feminists find themselves at odds with an earlier generation of feminists

LA Times (Kay S. Hymowitz) –
#MeToo feminists may not realize it, but their other target is sex and drugs and rock ‘n’ roll

2) Why are many feminists so absolutely insistent on abortion as an essential human right?

New York Times (Elizabeth Gumport) –
The Forgotten Anger of ‘Our Bodies, Ourselves’

3) With urbanization on the rise, a very clear cultural and moral change comes with it

Wall Street Journal (Kevin D. Williamson) –
Republicans Do Well in Texas. Except for Dallas, Houston, Austin . . .

Don’t Call Them ‘Boy’ Scouts

After 108 years, the BSA’s Boy Scouts program is changing its name so as to eliminate “Boy” altogether.

Deputy AG Defiant in Face of Impeachment Threat

Congressional Republicans, tired of DOJ’s slow-walking requested documents, take action.

Should the Government Determine a Life’s Value?

What happens when government determines a person’s value? China and the UK offer examples.

Facebook Promises to Police News ‘Trustworthiness’

Social media giant plans to create a system designed to limit “fake news.” What could go wrong?

Homophobes, Hypocrites and Joy Reid

If “progressives” didn’t have double standards, they’d have no standards at all.

EPA’s Emissions Rules Rollback Taken to Court

California leads 17 other states in fighting to keep Obama’s onerous emissions regulations.

National Day of Prayer

Please join us, and millions of our countrymen, in prayer for our nation today at 12:00 local time.

Video: Stossel on Socialist Propaganda

Venezuelans starve, but their government spends money on videos that blame capitalism.

The Deconstruction and Repeal of the Second Amendment

There is a growing chorus of leftist calls to amend the 2A until they can rally enough populist support to fully repeal it.

Thursday Short Cuts

Hillary Clinton is now blaming her “capitalist” sensibilities for her 2016 loss.

Thursday Opinion

Read Veronique de Rugy, Ed Feulner, Hans von Spakovsky, Rebecca Hagelin, Victor Davis Hanson and more.

Thursday Top Headlines

North Korea, Iran, Stormy Daniels, Clinton the “capitalist,” voter ID and more.

Today’s Meme


Today’s Cartoon


The Foundation

“It is the duty of parents to maintain their children decently, and according to their circumstances; to protect them according to the dictates of prudence; and to educate them according to the suggestions of a judicious and zealous regard for their usefulness, their respectability and happiness.” —James Wilson (1791)

News – 5/3/2018

Pentagon Accelerates Testing Of New B61 Nuclear Gravity Bomb
President Donald Trump’s promises to rebuild the American nuclear arsenal are starting to bear fruit, and according to a US Air Force general update from May 1, the US has already conducted more than two dozen tests of its new B61-12 guided nuclear gravity bomb. …the B61 possess an advanced capability that its cousins don’t: Underground penetration. This allows it to strike fortified command and control centers, while its explosive yield is estimated at 50 kilotons.

The unreliable ‘facts’ of a fact-checking site
Snopes.com plays fast and loose with the First Amendment and makes Christianity a target.

End Times Bombshell As Archaeologists Uncover The Lost Biblical City Of Eglon Where Israel Was Held Captive For Their Disobedience
The fact that this find comes mere days ahead of the 70th anniversary of regathered Israel on May 14th, 1948, and the fact that Elgon is a place where God chose to judge the Jews, makes this archaeological discovery amazing all by itself. “And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD: and the LORD strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done evil in the sight of the LORD.” Judges 3:12 (KJV) Archaeologists digging at the Tel Eton site in Jerusalem have made a fascinating discovery. They have unearthed what they believe to be the first evidence ever for the the existence of the biblical city of Eglon, mentioned 13 times in the King James Bible.

‘A fair fight now’: Mueller meets ‘his match’ in Clinton impeachment lawyer
Trump’s new attorney will never let special counsel interview president, says source.

Back to the future: Rejuvenating China pushes Marxism as ‘true path’
With chat shows claiming “Marx was Right” and cartoons of his wild youth, China has gone to great lengths to show that the theories of German philosopher Karl Marx are still relevant today, ahead of the 200th anniversary of his birth on Saturday.

Putin invites descendants of Sobibor rebellion to ‘Victory Day’
Putin’s office invited 12 people related to seven rebels at Sobibor to the Victory Day march May 9 in his nation’s capital. His office is paying travel and accommodation expenses for the visitors from Israel, according to one of the guests, Lea Hirsch. This will be the first time that descendants of the Sobibor Uprising are invited to the official parade in Moscow. “It’s a great honor and terrific recognition,” Hirsch said of the gesture honoring her uncle, Josef Kopf.

‘Let Abbas’s vile words be his last as Palestinian leader,’ NYT says
The piece, titled “Let Abbas’s vile words be his last as Palestinian leader,” asserted that the president has “shed all credibility as a trustworthy partner if the Palestinians and Israelis ever again have the nerve to try negotiations.”

Iranians Were ‘Right on Their Tail’ Before Mossad Agents Escaped
Hadashot evening news reported on Tuesday that on Jan. 31—10 days before an Iranian drone breached Israeli airspace and was downed by an Israel Air Force Apache helicopter—the Iranians discovered the massive security breach, attempted to chase after the perpetrators and were “right on their tail.” Nevertheless, the Mossad agents managed to get the documents and themselves out of Iran.

Excitement in Israel as Countries Prepare to Raise Flags at New Embassies in Jerusalem
“Wonderful to see Guatemala’s flag flying proudly above the new Guatemalan embassy in Israel’s capital, Jerusalem,” Yuval Rotem, Director General of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, wrote on Twitter. “Looking forward to seeing many more flags joining Guatemala’s in the city of peace.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was also very “moved.”

Shin bet arrests reveal Gaza-Turkey-West Bank money chain
Israel’s Shin Bet security agency on Thursday announced the arrest of two Hamas activists in the West Bank on suspicion of receiving thousands of Euros of funding for the terrorist organization. According to a statement…24-year-old Hamas operative Omar Kiswani from the West Bank village of Beit Iksa was arrested in a joint undercover operation by the Shin Bet, the Israel Police and the IDF on March 7…

U.N. Secretary General: Withdrawal from nuclear deal will likely mean war
If the US walks away from the nuclear deal with Iran, there is a real risk of war, UN Secretary General António Guterres said in an exclusive interview with the BBC on Thursday morning. Calling the Iran agreement an “important diplomatic victory” Guterres argued that, unless there is a good alternative, the deal should be maintained.

India dust storms: Nearly 100 killed in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan
At least 95 people have died and scores more injured in fierce dust storms that hit the northern Indian states of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. The storms on Wednesday disrupted electricity, uprooted trees, destroyed houses and killed livestock. Many of the dead were sleeping when their houses collapsed after being struck by intense bursts of lightning.

Scientists build ‘synthetic embryos’
Dutch scientists have built “synthetic” embryos in their laboratory using mouse cells other than sperm and eggs. The stem cell breakthrough, described in Nature journal, is not for cloning people or animals, but about understanding why many pregnancies fail at an early stage – implantation. The embryos, made in a dish, attached to the womb lining of live female mice and grew for a few days.

Pro-LGBT Baptist Church Dis-Fellowshipped
A West Virginia Baptist association expelled one of its churches after the pastor declared that the church should accept homosexuality as not sinful.

Iowa One Signature Away From Banning Abortion
The state of Iowa is one signature away from potentially changing the entire nation’s abortion laws.

BLM: Hate Israel To Not Be Racist
Black Lives Matter activist Tamika Mallory claims the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) can’t lead “anti-bias training” because they support Israel and have history of “attacking black people.” There’s only one problem: No such history exists.

UK Watchdog May Go After Christian Group
…And just when you thought it couldn’t get worse, the Christian legal group that took the lead in representing the Evans family may be investigated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, a watchdog group that works with the government.

Police Cadets Expose Dept. For Training Cops To View Public As ‘Cockroaches’ They Are At War With
Several cadets have quit and exposed the Austin police department in Texas for training cops to think of the public as cockroaches they are at war with.  Rather than training cops to protect and serve, Austin PD appears to want an entire elite class of warriors who view the public as less than human.

Facial Recognition For ALL International Inbound and Outbound Passengers Begins at Orlando Airport — Data Retained for “75 Years”
…According to the Orlando Sentinel, British Airways has become the first in the nation to employ the new routine at Orlando International Airport, but all of the airport’s 25 international carriers are expected to adopt biometric processing in the near future:

Crisis In Cali: Workers Face ‘Buckets Of Feces And Needles’ As Homelessness Worsens
Workers in California, who are desperately trying to clean up the state because of the skyrocketing homeless population, are facing grotesque conditions. Some workers even fear for their health after being faced with buckets of fecal matter and dirty needles.

Hundreds of dead newborn Muslim girls have been found dumped in garbage piles in Pakistan, as their cultural obsession with having boys has led to staggering baby murders
Hundreds of dead newborn girls have been found dumped in garbage piles in Pakistan over the last year amid a cultural preference for boys, it has emerged.

Oslo Police Declare “We Have Lost the City”…Islam Has Taken Over
Grønland, a district in the city of Oslo that is said to have “apocalyptic level of culturally-enriched violence.” It is only two subway stops from the Parliament, one stop from the Central Station, and fairly close to the government offices that were bombed by Breivik.

Episcopal Church Removes Terms Husband, Wife and Procreation from Marriage to Make it More LGBT Compliant
The Episcopal Church (TEC) is removing the terms husband, wife, and procreation from its marriage service in favor of creating a more modern, LGBT compliant service. The terms will be replaced with gender-neutral pronouns such as two people or spouse.

Boy Scouts To Remove Word ‘Boy’ From Name
…The Boy Scouts of America announced Wednesday its plan to remove the word “Boy” from its iconic program. According Chief Scout Executive Mike Surbaugh, a new campaign entitled “Scout Me In” aims to push for more inclusiveness in the organization’s ranks.

Soros-Funded App Helps Illegals Avoid Feds
A Soros-funded group has launched a smartphone application to help illegals avoid federal law enforcement inside the United States.

Facebook Brings In Eric Holder’s Law Firm to Advise on Its Anti-Conservative Censorship and Bias
In March former Obama Attorney General Eric Holder threatened Republicans with a knife fight. Today Facebook is using his law firm to advise on its anti-conservative bias.

President Trump Formally Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize by 18 Republican Members of Congress
President Donald Trump has officially been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize by a group of 18 Republican members of Congress.

Dozens of illegals caught in Texas … after coming from ISIS recruiting grounds
Hundreds of illegal aliens from ISIS recruiting grounds have been caught entering the United States this year, a new report documents.

Rod Rosenstein Overcome by Soros Swamp Gas
….Other hires from the Maryland US attorney’s office in recent months include Sujit Raman, who managed the appellate practice in Maryland and is serving as an associate deputy attorney general … and Marcia Murphy, who was the public affairs officer in Maryland and is now Rosenstein’s confidential assistant.

Christian College Student Sang ‘Jesus Loves Me’ Before She Was Shot Dead in Waffle House
DeEbony Groves, the 21-year-old Christian Belmont University student who was shot dead along with three others in a mass shooting at a Waffle House in Antioch, Tennessee, sang “Jesus Loves Me” inside the restaurant shortly before she took her final breath.


Headlines – 5/3/2018

Farmland in flames as Gaza protests give rise to ‘kite terrorism’

World fumes over Abbas’s antisemitism

UN follows EU, U.S. in blasting Abbas for ‘contemptuous anti-Semitic slurs’

Let Abbas’s Vile Words Be His Last as Palestinian Leader

Rivlin: How can Abbas portray himself as a peace partner?

In rare move, German Palestinian group slams Abbas’ claims that Jews brought Holocaust on themselves

Yad Vashem blasts Abbas for anti-Semitic bid to blame Jews for their own murder

Palestinian official: Abbas didn’t deny Holocaust, Israel distorted his words

Israel eyes airbase to handle tourist boom, wartime overspill

London Lag B’Omer bonfire erupts into fireball; said to injure 30

Abbas says he rejected offer from Egypt’s Mursi to settle Palestinians in Sinai

Japan, Israel PMs hold talks on Mideast peace, cybersecurity

Japan’s Abe tells Netanyahu: Israel must curb settlements, won’t move embassy to Jerusalem

Japan PM said to tell Netanyahu his country still supports Iran nuclear deal

Lapid says PM seriously harmed national security with Iran revelations

Trump has all but decided to withdraw from Iran nuclear deal

If Trump destroys the nuclear deal, Iran will fall to its hardliners

Iran nuclear deal: UN urges Trump not to walk away

UN: ‘US withdrawal from Iranian nuclear deal – real risk of war’

Cancel Iran deal and you’re back to square one, John Kerry says

Iran’s envoy to UK: Tehran ‘ready’ to scrap nuclear deal if US withdraws

Argentinian President Claims Former Obama Official Asked The Country To Provide Iran With Nuclear Fuel

Pentagon puzzled as typically-aggressive Iranian navy lies low in Strait of Hormuz

Despite Iran’s threats, Israeli army pushes aggressive line against Tehran in Syria

Tehran terrified, ex-Pentagon official says, after daring Mossad operation

Israeli arms sales skyrocket, increasing 41.5% in one year

Assad regime claims it found Israeli arms in rebel hands

Lieberman: ‘If Syrian air defenses are turned against us, we’ll respond’

Syrian rebels prepare to quit south Damascus

Crippled by Syrian conflict and debt, IMF says Lebanon must restructure economy

ISIS suicide bombers attack Libyan electoral commission, killing at least 12

‘Russian military spending falls for first time in 20 years, likely to affect operations’

US judge orders Iran to pay $6 bln to families of 9/11 victims

UN chief Guterres sees meaningful negotiation ahead on North Korea

Peace between North, South Korea won’t mean a homecoming for US troops in the Korean Peninsula

North Korea moves 3 detained Americans to hotel, reports say; Trump says ‘Stay tuned!’

North Korea releases U.S. detainees, bows to another Trump demand

North Korea Will Open Its Doors to Christianity

US-China trade talks center on rivalry over technology

Trump escalates GOP’s clash with Justice Department

Can Trump be forced to testify? Legal precedents suggest yes

Trump Adds Clinton Impeachment Lawyer, Bracing for a Fight on Multiple Fronts

Rudy Giuliani blasts Mueller probe, says ‘disgraceful’ Comey should be indicted

In ‘stunning revelation,’ Giuliani says Trump repaid Cohen for porn star payment

Giuliani says Trump paid $130G to Cohen for ‘expenses’ over several months

Rudy Giuliani May Have Just Implicated President Trump In Serious Campaign Finance Violations

Trump accuser seeks ‘Apprentice’ recordings as evidence for defamation case

Trump ‘dictated’ his own glowing health report – doctor

6.0 magnitude earthquake hits the Easter Island region

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits the Easter Island region

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Kirakira, Solomon Islands

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Villa Presidente Frei, Nunoa, Santiago, Chile, Chile

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits the Easter Island region

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits the Reykjanes Ridge

Hawaii volcano could erupt after 250 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours

As threat of Kilauea eruption looms, residents told to prepare for worst

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 25,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 21,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 16,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 15,000ft

‘Tornado drought’ ends in the Plains

Several large tornadoes raked the Plains on Tuesday; another round starts this evening

77 killed as powerful dust storms ravage north India

Giant sinkhole opens up after record rain in Rotorua, NZ

Multiple sinkholes open in Florida neighborhood, spurring evacuations

Allergy season is getting worse every year, it’s not your imagination

Wave Of Huge Alligators Wreaking Havoc Across Southern States

Labor shortage: More businesses are mellowing out over hiring marijuana smokers

Mobile phone cancer warning as malignant brain tumours double

Scientists build ‘synthetic embryos’

Iowa lawmakers pass strictest abortion law in the US

Pakistan female infanticide: Hundreds of dead bodies of newborns recovered from garbage piles

104-year-old Australian scientist travels to Switzerland to end his life by “voluntary euthanasia”

Boy Scouts are dropping the word ‘Boy’ from flagship program; Girl Scouts shrug

Ben Shapiro: Left’s Attempt to Obliterate Sexual Distinctions in Boy Scouts Is a ‘Fascistic Matter’

Episcopal Church Removes Terms Husband, Wife and Procreation from Marriage to Make it More LGBT Compliant

Church Booted From Baptist Association After Pastor Supports Pro-LGBT Legislation

Teenage girl interested in human sacrifice sentenced for stabbing boy during sex


ApostasyWatch Daily News

Don Venoit – Leaning Toward Heresy

Anglican ‘Peacemaker’ Calls For Christians to be Part of The Solution in Ending Israel – Palestine Conflict

Author, Discernment Minister Al Dagar Dead at 78

Tim Keller, John Piper, and Andy Stanley Among the 12 ‘Most Effective’ Preachers

Copeland’s Oppressive Yokes: Watch Kenneth Copeland Beat up the Sheep for Not Being Rich

Give Protestants a Taste of Catholic Communion, German Bishops Tell Vatican

Christian School at Center of Scripture Skirmish Seeks Injunction After Board Votes to Shut It Down

DAYS OF LOT: Mandatory LGBT history lessons for schoolchildren approved by Illinois senate

Posted: 03 May 2018 06:38 AM PDT

DAYS OF LOT: Mandatory LGBT history lessons for schoolchildren approved by Illinois senateIllinois state senators have passed a bill requiring LGBT history to be taught in public schools.  The bill proposes that history lessons on Illinois and the U.S. more widely must include the contributions made by the LGBT community. Schoolbooks bought by the state must “accurately portray the diversity of our society,” the bill stated.  Every public elementary and high school must teach children about “the

significant role of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals in society,” the bill’s sponsors wrote. Private and religious schools are not bound by the bill. The regional superintendents would be required to ensure the rule is enforced.  Senator Heather Steans put forward Senate Bill 3249, which was passed by 34 votes to 18. It must now pass the state House before it can be rolled out.  READ MORE

DAYS OF NOAH: Human clone fears as Euro scientists create life from ‘nothing’

Posted: 03 May 2018 06:31 AM PDT

DAYS OF NOAH: Human clone fears as Euro scientists create life from ‘nothing’Scientists have created a living embryo in a laboratory without using either egg or sperm in ground-breaking but hugely controversial experiments.  The experimental research combined two types of stem cells and created a viable embryo – which the team say would provide an unlimited stock for medical research. The created embryos would also be used for medical treatment testing and help shed light on one of the biggest infertility enigmas – why embryos fail to implant in the womb. However critics say it is

a huge step towards human cloning. The researchers believe the wonder creation could see mice being cloned in three years time, and humans two decades later.  Lead researcher, Professor Nicholas Rivron of Maastricht University, said the main use for the embryos would be to test drugs and solve the infertility riddle. He said: “As you know, embryos are very precious, and it is impossible to use to test drugs on them as you don’t have the numbers. READ MORE

Phone cancer warning as malignant brain tumors surge…

Posted: 03 May 2018 06:22 AM PDT

Phone cancer warning as malignant brain tumors surge…Fresh fears have been raised over the role of mobile phones in brain cancer after new evidence revealed rates of a malignant type of tumor have doubled in the last two decades.  Charities and scientists have called on the Government to heed longstanding warnings about the dangers of radiation after a fresh analysis revealed a more “alarming” trend in cancers than previously thought.  However, the new study,

published in the Journal of Public Health and Environment, has stoked controversy among scientists, with some experts saying the disease could be caused by other factors.  The research team set out to investigate the rise of an aggressive and often fatal type of brain tumor known as Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM). They analyzed 79,241 malignant brain tumors over 21 years, finding that cases of GBM in England have increased from around 1,250 a year in 1995 to just under 3,000. READ MORE

North Korea Will Open Its Doors to Christianity

Posted: 03 May 2018 06:14 AM PDT

North Korea Will Open Its Doors to Christianity(By J. Lee Grady) A few months ago, North Korea’s dictator, Kim Jong-un, was firing missiles over Japan and threatening to send nuclear bombs in our direction.  But last week, the young leader dropped a different kind of surprise on the world: He met with South Korean president Moon Jae-in on April 27 and announced that the 67-year-old Korean conflict is over. “I came here to put an end to the history of confrontation,” Kim Jung-un told Moon in a meeting on the border town of Panmunjom.

“There will be no more war on the Korean peninsula, and a new age of peace has begun,” the two leaders said in a joint statement. Kim Jong-un, who has built the fourth largest army in the world—with 1.19 million soldiers—says he will now focus on rebuilding his country’s shattered economy. Boom. Just like that, swords were converted into plowshares. The two leaders, all smiles for the cameras, agreed they will denuclearize the Korean peninsula within a year. They also agreed to set up reunions with families that have been divided since the Korean War started in 1950. READ MORE

Well-Known Atlanta Pastor Is Adding Scantily Clad Aerialists to Worship Services

Posted: 02 May 2018 01:15 PM PDT

Well-Known Atlanta Pastor Is Adding Scantily Clad Aerialists to Worship ServicesIn recent years, churches across the world have added anything from strobe lights to bumping base to their worship services, which have attracted a variety of people. But as Christians, is the “show” becoming more import than the act of worshipping.  Recently, a church in Atlanta added a new act to

their worship service. Embassy Church International announced that they would be adding aerialists as a regular part of their services.  Apostle Bryan Meadows, the head pastor and founder of Embassy Church International, made the announcement on Instagram, sharing photos and video of an aerialist at the Christian conference. READ MORE

New Bill Banning Biblical Views on Sexual Identity Forces Ministry to Shut Down Conference

Posted: 02 May 2018 01:12 PM PDT

New Bill Banning Biblical Views on Sexual Identity Forces Ministry to Shut Down ConferenceA new California bill is the reason Summit Ministries has decided to cancel their upcoming conference at Biola University outside of Los Angeles.  The Ministry is being forced to cancel due to the possibility that what they teach will go against the new California law. AB 2943 an Assembly Bill that states that any

book or conference that preaches against things like homosexuality or transgenderism cannot be allowed.  AB 2943 states that any biblical books (including the Bible) cannot be taught, and anyone who does will risk being penalized. Same goes for preaching at a conference, hence why Summit Ministries had to cancel their conference at Biola University.  READ MORE

17 Year-Old Texas teen planned ISIS-inspired mall shooting

Posted: 02 May 2018 12:59 PM PDT

17 Year-Old Texas teen planned ISIS-inspired mall shootingA 17-year-old has been arrested and accused of planning an ISIS-inspired mass shooting spree at a North Texas mall.  Federal investigators said Matin Azizi-Yarand was planning to attack Stonebriar Centre in Frisco later this month. According to his arrest warrant affidavit, he sent more than $1,400 to others to buy weapons and tactical gear. And he allegedly wrote a plan to spread his “Message to America” to explain the reason for his attack.

“This is a message for America and any other country that is fighting Islam and slaughtering the Muslims with their fighter jets and other such weaponry,” the message said in part. Azizi-Yarand discussed his deadly plans with a confidential FBI source. He talked about the number of people he could kill by simply firing into the crowd and possibly setting stores on fire, according to the affidavit.  READ MORE

Boy Scouts are dropping the word ‘Boy’ from their signature name

Posted: 02 May 2018 12:25 PM PDT

Boy Scouts are dropping the word ‘Boy’ from their signature nameThe Boy Scouts of America doubled down Wednesday on its quest to become the scouting organization of choice for boys and girls, announcing it will drop “Boy” from the name of its signature program. Chief Scout Executive Mike Surbaugh also unveiled the group’s new “Scout Me In” marketing campaign aimed at promoting inclusiveness. “As we enter a new era for our organization, it is important that all youth can see themselves in Scouting in every way possible,” Saurbaugh said.

The umbrella organization will retain its name, Boy Scouts of America or BSA. The term Cub Scouts, for kids 7-10 years old, is gender neutral and also will go unchanged. Boy Scouts, which includes kids from 10 to 17, will become Scouts BSA in February. Change has been coming quickly to the iconic if shrinking organization. In October, it announced it would provide programs for girls. READ MORE


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(Alternative News, Apologetics, Current Events, Commentary, Opinion, Theology, Discernment Blog, Devotionals, Christian Internet Evangelism & Missions Activist).

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The Only Course of Action in Face of Rank Hypocrisy — Zwinglius Redivivus

The word that came to Jeremiah from Yahweh, saying, ‘Stand at the gate of the Temple of Yahweh and there proclaim this message. Say, “Listen to the word of Yahweh, all you of Judah who come in by these gates to worship Yahweh.  Yahweh Sabaoth, the God of Israel, says this: Amend your behaviour and your actions and I will let you stay in this place. Do not put your faith in delusive words, such as: This is Yahweh’s sanctuary, Yahweh’s sanctuary, Yahweh’s sanctuary!

But if you really amend your behaviour and your actions, if you really treat one another fairly, if you do not exploit the stranger, the orphan and the widow, if you do not shed innocent blood in this place and if you do not follow other gods, to your own ruin, then I shall let you stay in this place, in the country I gave for ever to your ancestors of old.

Look, you are putting your faith in delusive, worthless words! Steal, would you, murder, commit adultery, perjure yourselves, burn incense to Baal, follow other gods of whom you know nothing? – and then come and stand before me in this Temple that bears my name, saying: Now we are safe to go on doing all these loathsome things! Do you look on this Temple that bears my name as a den of bandits? I, at any rate, can see straight, Yahweh declares.  “Now go to the place which used to be mine at Shiloh, where I once gave my name a home; see what I have done to it because of the wickedness of my people Israel!

And now, since you have done all these things, Yahweh declares, and refused to listen when I spoke so urgently, so persistently, or to answer when I called you, I shall treat this Temple that bears my name, and in which you put your heart, the place that I gave you and your ancestors, just as I treated Shiloh, and I shall drive you out of my sight, as I did all your kinsfolk, the whole race of Ephraim.”

‘You, for your part, must not intercede for this people, nor raise either plea or prayer on their behalf; do not plead with me, for I will not listen to you.  (Jer. 7:1-16)

via The Only Course of Action in Face of Rank Hypocrisy — Zwinglius Redivivus

WATCH: CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Says Slaughtering Kids in Yemen is Worth It Because It Creates Jobs

According to an analysis from Unicef, more than 5,000 children have been slaughtered in the war, with the death toll from violence alone surpassing 10,000—as millions teeter on the brink of starvation. The number of casualties has only continued to increase, as a report from the United Nations noted that the parties involved are conducting operations “heedless of their impact on civilians.”

As The Free Thought Project has reported, the current situation in Yemen is nothing short of genocide, as there are 7 million civilians in starvation, and 19 million out of the country’s 27 million population in need of some form of aid.” Saudi Arabia has repeatedly facilitated famine, continued to murder children, and all of it is with the help and approval of the United States.

Just last week, TFTP reported on a bombing that took place at a wedding near Yemen’s capital city of Sana’a. A report from the Associated Press which barely registered as a blip in the rest of the media claimed that the majority of people who were killed were “women and children who were gathered in one of the tents set up for the wedding party in the district of Bani Qayis.”

U.S. Report Finds Religious Freedom Conditions ‘Continued to Deteriorate’ Worldwide in 2017

Photo Credit: Elvis Santana WASHINGTON — An annual government report outlining the state of affairs for religious freedom across the globe has found that “conditions continued to deteriorate” and remained on a “downward trend” in 2017. “Religious freedom conditions continued to deteriorate in countries across the globe in 2017.

Source: U.S. Report Finds Religious Freedom Conditions ‘Continued to Deteriorate’ Worldwide in 2017

#NationalDayOfPrayer — Zwinglius Redivivus

“So, Jeremiah, do not pray for these people. Do not cry out to me or petition me on their behalf. Do not plead with me to save them. For I will not listen to them when they call out to me for help when disaster strikes them.” Jer 11:14

I cite that text because there is simply no doubt that the America of today is just as wicked, just as reprobate, just as distant from God as the nation of Judah was in the day of Jeremiah.  To call Christians to prayer in support of a State that daily violates the very spirit of Jesus himself is an absurdity.

Were it a call to national repentance I could get behind it.  Short of that, this is just another day when people will pretend to be Christians while completely ignoring Christ- and I will have no part of it.

 

via #NationalDayOfPrayer — Zwinglius Redivivus

May 3, 2018 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

The Gospel Truth Reaches the World

which has come to you, just as in all the world (1:6a)

The gospel is also universal; it has come to you, just as in all the world. Christianity was not just another of the local sects of the Roman Empire. It was not merely one more cult like the others at Colossae. It was and is the good news for the whole world. The gospel transcends ethnic, geographic, cultural, and political boundaries.

This universality of the gospel is repeatedly emphasized in Scripture:

And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations, and then the end shall come. (Matt. 24:14)

Again therefore Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, because your faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world.… For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. (Rom. 1:8, 16)

But I say, surely they have never heard, have they? Indeed they have; “Their voice has gone out into all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.” (Rom. 10:18)

For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything. (1 Thess. 1:8)

After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” (Rev. 7:9–10)

The diffusion of the gospel throughout the Roman Empire foreshadowed its spread throughout the world. It is a message of hope for all people in all cultures. The true church, the Body of Christ, is made up of people from all over the world (cf. Rev. 5:9–11).

The Gospel Truth Reproduces Fruit

it is constantly bearing fruit and increasing, even as it has been doing in you also since the day you heard of it (1:6b)

The gospel is not merely a stagnant system of ethics; it is a living, moving, and growing reality. It bears fruit and spreads. Hebrews 4:12 says, “The word of God is living and active.” When the gospel enters a divinely prepared heart, it results in fruit (Matt. 13:3–8). It possesses a divine energy that causes it to spread like a mustard seed growing into a tree (Matt. 13:31–32). Peter says it brings spiritual growth (1 Pet. 2:2).

The gospel has both an individual and a universal aspect. It is both bearing fruit and increasing. Paul tells the Colossians he is thankful the gospel had done both among them since the day you [the Colossians] heard of it. He is grateful they believed the gospel message when Epaphras shared it with them.

The gospel produces fruit both in the internal transformation of individuals, and also in the external growth of the church. The two concepts are interrelated. The spiritual growth of individuals will lead to new converts being won to Christ. That was the pattern of the early church. Acts 9:31 tells us that “the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria enjoyed peace, being built up … going on in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit,” and as a result, “it continued to increase.” First Thessalonians 1:6 speaks of the spiritual growth of the Thessalonians as they imitated Paul and the Lord. As a result, “the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything” (v. 8).

The living gospel is the power that transforms lives. As it does so, the witness of those transformed lives produces fruit, including new converts. So as the gospel produces fruit in individual lives, its influence spreads.

The Gospel Truth Is Rooted in Grace

and understood the grace of God in truth. (1:6c)

Grace is the very heart of the gospel. It is God’s freely giving us the forgiveness of sin and eternal life, which we do not deserve and cannot earn. Christianity contrasts sharply with other religions, which assume man can save himself by his good works. Nothing is more clearly taught in Scripture than the truth that “by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast” (Eph. 2:8–9).

After hearing Peter’s account of the conversion of Cornelius, the rest of the apostles exclaimed, “Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life” (Acts 11:18). Lydia was saved after “the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul” (Acts 16:14). Paul told the Thessalonians he was thankful “because God has chosen [them] from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth” (2 Thess. 2:13). He wrote to Titus that “the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age” (Titus 2:11–12). Salvation is a gracious act on God’s part (see also Acts 15:11; 18:27; Rom. 3:24; 4:1–8).

Paul describes saving grace as the grace of God in truth. The phrase in truth carries the sense of genuineness. It is truly the grace of God in contrast to all other claimants to the true gospel. God is freely, sovereignly merciful and forgiving. We can do nothing to cause our own salvation; God saves us freely by His grace. The hymn “Jesus Paid It All” expresses that thought in these familiar words:

For nothing good have I

Whereby Thy grace to claim.

I’ll wash my garments white

In the blood of Calv’ry’s Lamb.

Jesus paid it all,

All to Him I owe;

Sin had left a crimson stain

He washed it white as snow.[1]


6 The gospel that came to the Colossians is said to be “bearing fruit and growing” all over the world. The scope and expansion of the gospel is global. It is like a luxuriant plant that flourishes and yields a bountiful harvest. While Paul’s description of the gospel’s dissemination at that juncture in Christian history is hyperbolic, his theological vision of its all but inevitable progress is notable. Paul was convinced that the transformative power of God’s grace, about which the Colossians heard and subsequently understood, would invariably reach the entire cosmos, and he labored to such an end (1:24–2:5). A message that was centered on a cosmic Christ (1:15–17), the apostle reckoned, could not be confined to or contained within a corner of the Mediterranean world; it must go to and grow in all the world.[2]


1:6 / Here the emphasis continues to be on the truthfulness of the gospel. In 1:5 it was linked with hope; here the association is with the grace of God. From this, one could conclude that Paul is concerned to show that the message of the gospel is true with respect to hope and grace. But more likely he has the entire message in mind. This gospel, in contrast to the false teachings to which the Colossians have been exposed, is a true message.

The truthfulness and power of the gospel have practical dimensions as well. First of all, the gospel is universal in scope, that is, growing throughout the entire Roman Empire. The gospel of Christ is for everyone (inclusive) and not for a select few (exclusive) as the heretics are teaching (2:8–15). Second, the gospel is bringing blessings (lit., bearing fruit) to the whole world, even as it is to the Christians in Colossae. The true word of God is something that reproduces and grows (cf. the parable of the sower in Mark 4:1–20 and parallels); it does not sprout and then die out quickly (1 Pet. 1:23–25) as the false teaching was prone to do (2:14–15, 19).

Paul is establishing criteria by which the Colossians can counter the claims of the false teachers. With a concern much like the Apostle John, who wrote, “test the spirits to see whether they are of God” (1 John 4:1), Paul wants his readers to test the claims of these heretics against the claims of the gospel. Is it God’s truth? Is it universal? Does it bear fruit in people’s lives? If not, then it cannot be the gospel that they have received. The gospel needs to bear fruit in order for it to be the gospel![3]


1:6. The gospel bears fruit not only in the lives of individual believers but all over the world. Paul wanted the Colossians to understand that the gospel is not just another mystery religion isolated in the Lychus Valley and Asia Minor. These Colossians were part of a grand movement of God because the message they had believed and embraced was the seed of truth that was springing up with rich fruit all over the world. It’s just as true today as it was in a.d. 60. As Eugene Peterson translates this verse, “[The message] doesn’t diminish or weaken over time. It’s the same all over the world” (The Message, Colorado Springs: NavPress, 1993).

The gospel message is not just true and good; it’s also a message of grace. Grace means “unmerited favor or undeserved kindness.” Mercy is when God doesn’t give us what we do deserve. Grace is God giving us what we don’t deserve. He gives us heaven when we deserve hell; he grants us forgiveness when we deserve to be forgotten; he offers us life when we deserve death. It’s all grace. None of the good things we receive from God are earned. Salvation didn’t come to the Colossians because of their attachment to a complicated series of intermediate spirit emanations, or their adherence to a set of demanding rituals, or their adventures into the realm of ascetic experience. Those were the experiences the false teachers said were necessary to be truly saved and spiritual. Paul says, “No, it’s just grace.” Jesus died for us, and he offers us life. That truth, when adequately understood, takes root in our heart and bears fruit.[4]


1:6 The truth of the gospel had come to the Colossians even as it had in all the then-known world. This must not be taken in an absolute sense. It could not mean that every man and woman in the world had heard the gospel. It may mean, in part, that some from every nation had heard the good news of salvation (Acts 2). It may also mean that the gospel was for all men, and was being spread abroad without purposeful limitation. Paul is also describing the inevitable results which it produced. In Colosse and in all the other parts of the world where the gospel was preached, it bore fruit and was growing (NKJV margin5). This is stated to show the supernatural character of the gospel. In nature, a plant does not usually bear fruit and increase at the same time. Many times, it has to be pruned in order to bear fruit, for if it is allowed to grow wild, the result is that all the life of the plant goes into leaves and branches rather than into fruit. But the gospel does both at the same time. It bears fruit in the salvation of souls and in the upbuilding of the saints, and it also spreads from city to city and from nation to nation.

This is precisely the effect that the gospel had in the lives of the Colossians since the day they heard and knew the grace of God in truth. There was numerical growth in the church at Colosse and, in addition, there was spiritual growth in the lives of the believers there.

It appears that great strides had been made in the first century, and that the gospel did reach Europe, Asia, and Africa, going farther than many persons have supposed. Still, there is no ground for thinking that it covered the entire earth. The grace of God is used here as a lovely description of the gospel message. What could more beautifully summarize the glad tidings than the wonderful truth of God’s grace bestowed on guilty men who deserve God’s wrath![5]


6 Paul goes out of his way to stress the powerful and almost personal character of the gospel: it has made its triumphal progress, coming to the Colossians and taking up a sure place in their lives. All over the world (which does not mean everywhere or to each person under heaven, but in the large cities and towns, e.g. Damascus, Tarsus, Antioch, Cornith and Ephesus, which served as centres of outreach), the gospel has been bearing fruit and growing. This phrase is used in the OT of human growth (Gn. 1:22, 28; 8:17; 9:1, 7) and of Israel’s population increase (Je. 3:16; 23:3); in the NT it is used to describe the seed (i.e. the word) in the parable of the sower (Mk. 4). Like that seed the gospel ‘bears fruit’, producing a crop of good deeds (i.e. godly actions) in the lives of believers (cf. Phil. 1:11), and it ‘grows’ as the number of converts increases. The Colossians heard this message of God’s grace in Christ and came to know its reality when they were converted.[6]


1:6. Paul thanked God because the gospel was spreading all over the world. In fact, in an obvious hyperbole, Paul wrote in verse 23 that the gospel was being “proclaimed to every creature under heaven” (cf. Rom. 1:8). But Paul stressed not only the universality of the gospel but also its practicality, for it was producing fruit and growing. As a tree bears fruit and grows in size, so the gospel produces spiritual “fruit” in believers’ lives (cf. “the fruit of the Spirit,” Gal. 5:22–23; “the fruit of righteousness,” Phil. 1:11) and spreads to and influences others (cf. the same words “bearing fruit” and “growing” in Col. 1:10). Heresies (such as the one at Colosse) are local and harmful; but truth is universal and helpful. One of the unmistakable characteristics of the true gospel is God’s grace in all its truth. Some preach a “different gospel—which is really no gospel at all” (Gal. 1:6–7). This is because it is a gospel of grace plus works, or faith plus works. But the true gospel is one of grace alone (Rom. 11:6; Eph. 2:8–9; Titus 3:5–7).[7]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1992). Colossians (pp. 21–23). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Still, T. D. (2006). Colossians. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Ephesians–Philemon (Revised Edition) (Vol. 12, p. 281). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Patzia, A. G. (2011). Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon (p. 19). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[4] Anders, M. (1999). Galatians-Colossians (Vol. 8, pp. 279–280). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[5] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 1990). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[6] O’Brien, P. T. (1994). Colossians. In D. A. Carson, R. T. France, J. A. Motyer, & G. J. Wenham (Eds.), New Bible commentary: 21st century edition (4th ed., p. 1263). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press.

[7] Geisler, N. L. (1985). Colossians. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 670). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

U2 comes out as pro-abortion, urges repeal of Ireland’s pro-life law — Christian Research Network

Before we get to the article, you need to know that U2 front man Bono is an outspoken “Christian.” Bono may profess Christ, but his beliefs do not line up with what the Bible teaches on much of anything. In fact, Bono’s Jesus has been reimagined to fit in with the rock star’s decidedly “progressive”…

via U2 comes out as pro-abortion, urges repeal of Ireland’s pro-life law — Christian Research Network

The God of Israel, History – and America? — Stand Up For The Truth

Fulfilled prophecy and God’s faithfulness throughout the Bible encourage us because we know we can trust that He will make good on the remaining prophecies regarding Israel, the return of Christ, and the end times. No nation or world leader comes into power apart from God causing or allowing it to happen. The book of…

via The God of Israel, History – and America? — Stand Up For The Truth

U2 comes out as pro-abortion, urges repeal of Ireland’s pro-life law — Christian Research Network

Before we get to the article, you need to know that U2 front man Bono is an outspoken “Christian.” Bono may profess Christ, but his beliefs do not line up with what the Bible teaches on much of anything. In fact, Bono’s Jesus has been reimagined to fit in with the rock star’s decidedly “progressive”…

via U2 comes out as pro-abortion, urges repeal of Ireland’s pro-life law — Christian Research Network

May 3 Jesus on God’s Love: That We Exceed Others’ Actions

For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?—Matt. 5:46–47

These words of Jesus were perhaps the most devastating and offensive ones the religious leaders had ever heard. The Lord bluntly stripped away their hypocrisy to reveal that their love was nothing more than the ordinary self-centered love common among the despised tax collectors and Gentiles. Tax collectors were dishonest, traitorous extortioners; Gentiles were considered unfit to be people of God.

Yet the type of love displayed by the scribes and Pharisees, according to Jesus’ infallible assessment, was no better than the persons’ whom they so looked down upon. In essence, our Lord declared that their righteousness was no better than that of the worst and lowest of other classes and groups.

Christ urges believers to have a much higher standard of righteousness than the world’s low standard. The world should notice Christians as being more honest employees and more helpful and caring neighbors. The culture should always notice that saints love as God loves: “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 5:16). J. Oswald Sanders once wrote, “The Master expects from His disciples such conduct as can be explained only in terms of the supernatural.”

ASK YOURSELF

Yes, we can become so comfortable in our culture and so indoctrinated in its ways that we are nearly indistinguishable in our likes, our schedules, and our matters of importance. Ask yourself what makes you appear different from the unsaved world around you. Is it just by what you don’t do, or by Jesus’ active brand of love and righteousness?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2008). Daily readings from the life of Christ (p. 132). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

MAY 3 CHRIST DOES IN US WHAT WE CANNOT DO

When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

COLOSSIANS 3:4

Writing to the Corinthian believers, Paul promised full spiritual deliverance and stability in the knowledge that Jesus Christ “is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption.” He also assured the Colossian believers: “You are complete in Him!”

Our great need, then, is simply Jesus Christ. He is what we need. He has what we need. He knows what we need to know. He has the ability to do in us what we cannot do—working in us that which is well-pleasing in God’s sight.

This is a difficult point in spiritual doctrine and life for many people who may have been prominent and ambitious, and used to doing their own thing in their own way!

But no matter who we are, we must acknowledge that it is a gracious plan and provision for men and women in the kindness and wisdom of God. Brothers and sisters, we get Christ and glory and fruitfulness, a future and the world to come and the spirits of just men made perfect; we get Jesus, mediator of a new covenant, and the blood of the everlasting covenant; an innumerable company of angels and the church of the firstborn and the New Jerusalem, the city of the living God!

And before we get all that, we have the privilege and the prospect of loving and joyful service for Christ and for mankind on this earth![1]


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