Daily Archives: May 18, 2018

May 18: A Higher Calling

1 Chronicles 6:1–81; 1 Timothy 4:6–16; Psalm 78:13–29

It’s easy to get self-absorbed when we’re criticized—or when we think others are criticizing us. Because of our real or imagined defects, we start to believe other people don’t take us seriously. It’s easy to get off course in an attempt to defend ourselves.

As a young leader, Timothy may have dealt with criticism in the Ephesian community because of his age. Paul gives him advice: “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity” (1 Tim 4:12).

Paul doesn’t offer defensive solutions. Rather, he calls Timothy to be a living example of his teaching. He reinforces Timothy’s calling by encouraging him to stay focused on his call, speech, and conduct. By being the contrast to the rumors about him, Timothy thwarts criticism.

But Paul isn’t simply giving leadership advice. By reaffirming Timothy’s purpose and calling, he is helping Timothy focus on God’s work instead of his own abilities (or a defense of them). Paul doesn’t want Timothy to be guided by fear of others; he wants him to think about God.

We don’t have to be in a leadership position to experience this type of criticism or to respond in the way that Paul suggests. When feeling defensive or concerned about other people’s opinions, we shouldn’t be concerned about defending ourselves. We’re not intended to reaffirm our own stellar traits or abilities. That flies in the face of the gospel. Instead, we should act in a way that points people to God’s work, shifting both our focus and their focus to the one whose opinion truly matters.

Are your attempts at earning the respect or favor of others making you self-absorbed? How can you shift your focus to God and the work He wants you to do?

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.

Almost half of US families can’t afford basics like rent and food

The economy may be chugging along, but many Americans are still struggling to afford a basic middle class life.

Nearly 51 million households don’t earn enough to afford a monthly budget that includes housing, food, child care, health care, transportation and a cell phone, according to a study released Thursday by the United Way ALICE Project. That’s 43% of households in the United States.

The figure includes the 16.1 million households living in poverty, as well as the 34.7 million families that the United Way has dubbed ALICE — Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. This group makes less than what’s needed “to survive in the modern economy.”

“Despite seemingly positive economic signs, the ALICE data shows that financial hardship is still a pervasive problem,” said Stephanie Hoopes, the project’s director.
— Read on

money.cnn.com/2018/05/17/news/economy/us-middle-class-basics-study/index.html

Episcopal Priest Forced To Resign After Revealing He Believes In God — The Babylon Bee

PETERBOROUGH, NH—In a major scandal, Episcopal priest Frederick Willumsberth was forced to resign from his position after confessing to believing in a “higher power” in a statement released Friday. The shocking revelation came after months of rumors, as church members claimed they had seen Willumsberth praying, reading his Bible, and occasionally referencing “the Man upstairs”…

via Episcopal Priest Forced To Resign After Revealing He Believes In God — The Babylon Bee

05/18/2018 — Wretched

WR2018-0518

•Your questions and corrections
•The importance of the Virgin Birth
•Clearing up the confusion regarding the two Irelands
•Justin Bieber; instrument of Revival
•Marvel has a female Muslim superhero
•What is the deal with Analytical Theology?
•One seeker church opens their new sanctuary with bad secular cover songs
•Should women participate in discussion during mixed Bible studies?
•What we lose when we unhitch our faith from the Old Testament
•Zionism and the Jerusalem embassy
•What do Christians believe about the Illuminati and other secret societies?
•Should I worry if my pastor never calls people to repentance?

Download Now (right click and save)

via 05/18/2018 — Wretched

May 18 Avoiding Prejudice (Bartholomew)

The twelve apostles included “Bartholomew [Nathanael]” (Matt. 10:3).

✧✧✧

Prejudice can destroy relationships and prevent people from coming to Christ.

Prejudice is an uncalled-for generalization based on feelings of superiority. It is an ugly sin that has fueled hatred and conflicts for centuries, dividing entire nations and bringing untold misery. But prejudice is most damning when it blinds people to God’s Word. The prophet Jonah was so prejudiced against the Assyrians, he refused to go to Nineveh to preach to them. Even after God convinced him to obey, he wanted to die because the people of Nineveh had repented and God had spared them.

Prejudice also reared its ugly head in Nathanael, whose last name was Bartholomew (meaning “son of Tolmai”). John 1:45–46 says, “Philip found Nathanael, and said to him, ‘We have found Him, of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.’ And Nathanael said to him, ‘Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?’” Nathanael was a student of the Word and was looking for the Messiah, but he couldn’t understand how the Messiah could come from Nazareth.

Nazareth lay on the fringes of the Jewish world—the last stop before Gentile territory. Perhaps the people of Cana, Nathanael’s hometown, were more refined and educated than the people of Nazareth. Whatever the cause, Nathanael’s perspective seemed to be that nothing but trouble could come out of Nazareth.

Prejudice has blinded many people to the gospel. The Jewish religious leaders rejected Jesus because He didn’t fit their idea of a Messiah, wasn’t from Jerusalem, and wasn’t trained in their synagogues. Fortunately, Nathanael’s desire for truth overpowered his prejudice, and he came to Jesus.

Perhaps you have family or friends who are resisting the gospel because of prejudice. If so, don’t be discouraged, and don’t give up! Jesus broke through Nathanael’s prejudice and redeemed him, and He has done the same for millions of others.

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Suggestions for Prayer:  Pray for those you know who are blinded by prejudice, asking God to open their spiritual eyes to His truth. ✧ Confess any prejudice you might have in your own heart.

For Further Study: Practicing unity and humility is the best way to overcome prejudice within the Body of Christ. Read Ephesians 4:1–6 and Philippians 2:1–8. ✧ What attitudes did Paul encourage? Discourage? ✧ Whose example of humble service on behalf of others are we to follow?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 151). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

May 18, 2018 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

News – 5/18/2018

Report: IG refers FBI, Justice officials for criminal prosecution
State Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz has found “reasonable grounds” for believing the FBI and the Justice Department violated federal criminal law in their handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation, according to investigative reporter Paul Sperry. Horowitz, who informed members of Congress Wednesday that his draft report has been completed, has referred his findings to John W. Huber, the U.S. attorney in Utah, for possible criminal prosecution, Sperry said.

Ebola Outbreak Spreads In Congo And The Death Count Is Rising
Ebola has spread to a major city in Congo, and the death toll is rising rapidly. Congo officials have reported 23 are dead and that there are 42 confirmed cases of the deadly virus. First discovered close to Congo’s Ebola River in 1976,

Report: Hamas Leader Haniyeh ‘Severely Admonished’ by Egypt Over Gaza Border Violence
During a visit to Cairo on Monday, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh was “severely admonished” by the Egyptian government over that day’s violence on the Israel-Gaza Strip border, Israel Hayom reported.

France suffering ‘intifada,’ Jewish lawmaker says following Paris attack
Following the stabbing of five people in central Paris by a man who shouted about Allah, a French-Jewish lawmaker said France was experiencing a “knife intifada.”

Palestinians to submit applications to join three U.N. agencies
The Palestinians intend to submit applications to join three United Nations agencies as full members in the coming days, a Palestinian Authority official said on Thursday. The three agencies include bodies that PA President Mahmoud Abbas previously told the US administration they would not join, according to the official, who said he could not reveal the names of the organizations.

Trump to announce new federal funding curbs on US abortion clinics
The Trump administration is expected to announce that organisations that offer or mention abortion to their patients will lose federal funding. One such organisation, Planned Parenthood, said the proposal was “dangerous” and “outrageous” and would “have devastating consequences”. Anti-abortion activists thanked US President Donald Trump for “delivering on a key promise”.

Growing resistance to antifungal drugs ‘a global issue’
Scientists are warning that levels of resistance to treatments for fungal infections are growing, which could lead to more outbreaks of disease. Intensive-care and transplant patients and those with cancer are most at risk because their immune systems cannot fight off the infections. Writing in Science, researchers said new treatments were urgently needed.

Google’s Selfish Ledger is an unsettling vision of Silicon Valley social engineering
Google has built a multibillion-dollar business out of knowing everything about its users. Now, a video produced within Google and obtained by The Verge offers a stunningly ambitious and unsettling look at how some at the company envision using that information in the future…The video…imagines a future of total data collection, where Google helps nudge users into alignment with their goals…and even guides the behavior of entire populations…

Hamas secures Egyptian humanitarian relief in return for dialing back protests
During his meeting in Egypt with the country’s intelligence chiefs this past Sunday, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh agreed to decrease the number of people attending border protests and their severity as well as halt plans for a mass exodus towards Israel in return for humanitarian relief measures for the isolated enclave, a Lebanese newspaper reported Friday morning.

Paraguay to open Jerusalem embassy next week
Paraguay’s President Horacio Cartes will open the country’s new embassy to Israel in Jerusalem on Tuesday, following similar steps by the United States and Guatemala. Government spokesman Mariano Mercado said Cartes will leave for the trip to Israel on Saturday. The decision to move the embassy to Jerusalem has been controversial in Paraguay.

George Soros-Linked Think Tank Partnering With Facebook
Facebook is partnering with the Atlantic Council to combat election meddling, the company announced on Thursday. The Atlantic Council, an anti-President Donald Trump, George-Soros funded think tank, has a “stellar reputation looking at innovative solutions to hard problems,” Facebook said in a press release.

Pope Francis Demotes Jesus Christ to Third, and Claims Mary as the Source of Our Hope
Pope Francis, the Jesuit, now claims that mother mary is the source of our hope, not Jesus Christ. The blasphemy sustained in this statement should make every catholic repent and turn to the truth; The Bible, rather than the doctrine of lies, the Catholic Church.

Watch: South Africa Announces Plan To Steal All Private Property, Black And White
Major humanitarian crisis lies ahead

Broke Illinois Pension System Leaves Every Resident With $11,000 Of Debt
For those unfamiliar, here’s a quick recap: Illinois (rate just one notch above junk) is drowning under a mountain of debt, unpaid bills and underfunded pension liabilities and it’s largest city, Chicago, is suffering from a staggering outbreak of violent crime not seen since gang wars engulfed major cities from LA to New York in the mid-90’s, while rising taxes have prompted a mass exodus with the state lost 1 resident every 4.3 minutes in 2017.

Golfers brave erupting volcano in Hawaii to sneak in a round: PHOTOS
Photographer Mario Tama captured images of two men playing golf in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park with the massive ash plumes from Kilauea rising behind them, which you can see below.

Guatemalan Embassy opens in Jerusalem: ‘This Is the Land of Jesus’
…Guatemalan congressman Marcos Fernano Yax, whose constituency is 96% indigenous Mayan President Jimmy Morales traveled to Israel for the occasion. “It is important because this is the land of God. This is the land of Jesus,” he told reporters outside the embassy, praising the “wonderful” decision by President Jimmy Morales to move the Guatemalan embassy back to Jerusalem.

PROPHECY IN MOTION: Young French Jews are fleeing France in droves as Islamic anti-semiti reaches unimaginable levels in the once beacon of freedom
More than 50,000 Jews, or 10% of the Jewish population in France, have already departed in just the past few years – emigrating mainly to Israel – as the handwriting on the wall becomes hard to ignore. Unlike past generations, these young people do not want to take the chance that the new Nazis of Europe, today known as ‘IslamoNazis,’ will try to finish off what Hitler started.

57 Muslim nations urged to besiege Israel with a united Islamic army
A Turkish newspaper close to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his ruling party is urging 57 Islamic nations to build a joint army specifically to attack Israel, notes a new report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

Virus Found in Pigs Could Threaten Humans, Study Suggests
A pig virus found in China in 2012 and in Ohio in 2014 could threaten humans, researchers found when they studied the virus in a lab setting.

Obama Armed Al-Qaeda Linked Rebels: Infowars Vindicated Again
Jake Lloyd reports on the Fox news article proving that arms sent to rebels by Obama ended up in the hands of Al-Qaeda… which Infowars reported 5 years ago.

Sounding More Like A King, Pope Francis Lashes Out With Another Stinging Critique Of Global Capitalism
EDITOR’S NOTE: Pope Francis, who rarely misses a chance to miss the chance to preach the gospel of the grace of God, never misses the chance to pontificate on such biblical topics like global capitalism, credit default swaps and income redistribution. Not finding those topics in your King James Bible? Well, they’re not there, just like the office of a pope, a ruling class of priests, and a magic cookie that becomes the ‘body of Christ’ aren’t there either.  Ruling over Babylon is not enough for Francis, he desires to be the king that Revelation 17 says the Roman pope will be. 

Hamas Turns Away Truckloads of Israeli Humanitarian Aid Destined For Gaza – Geller Report
Hospitals in the Gaza Strip have been reportedly dealing with scores of wounded “Palestinians” — but when Israel tried to provide aid via truckloads of supplies, Hamas turned away the trucks.

The Briefing — Friday, May 18, 2018

1) Questions of morality, truth, and spycraft raised as Haspel is confirmed as CIA director

New York Times (Nicholas Fandos) –
Senate Confirms Gina Haspel to Lead C.I.A. Despite Torture Concerns

2) The reality of morality: Is there such a thing as absolute right or wrong?

Wall Street Journal (Fay Vincent) –
At the CIA, Immorality Is Part of the Job

3) What do spiralizers, kale leaf strippers, and avocado slicers tell us about the world in which we live?

New York Times (Penelope Green) –
All Those Kitchen Gadgets, but a Sharp Knife Just Might Do

Mid-Day Snapshot

‘Animals’: The Leftmedia’s Latest BIG Lie

The mainstream media is exposed for spinning a narrative to paint Trump as a racist.

Trump Uses Reagan Rule to Block Abortion Funding

Contrary to the Leftmedia narrative, this does not amount to “sweeping new abortion restrictions.”

The Cultural Shift Against Free Speech

Social media has changed the way American think about First Amendment issues.

Taxpayers Get Half-Billion-Dollar Bill for Nassar’s Crimes

Michigan State agrees to a $500 million settlement for the victims of Nassar’s sexual abuse.

Farm Subsidies and the Farm Bill: Truth vs. Fiction

The farm bill is currently constructed in a way that ignores several realities.

Video: Why Did America Fight the Korean War?

Mention the Korean War today and most people will look at you with a blank stare.

Friday Short Cuts

“The sexual revolution has been a catastrophic failure… Maybe it’s time to cut our losses and go back to the old way” —Matt Walsh

Friday Opinion

Read Marc A. Thiessen, Erick Erickson, David Harsanyi, Rich Lowry and Tony Perkins.

Friday Top Headlines

Texas shooting, DOJ Clinton probe complete, Haspel confirmed, Warren’s plan, and more.

Today’s Meme


Today’s Cartoon


The Foundation

“It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself. Subject opinion to coercion: whom will you make your inquisitors?” —Thomas Jefferson (1781)

Headlines – 5/18/2018

Longtime Palestinian official speaks on protests, violence, Israel and seeking peace without U.S. help

Middle East needs a new honest broker

Mideast Turmoil Complicates Arab Support for Trump Peace Plan

Former Shin Bet chief: Hamas doesn’t want a conflict, it wants a state

Palestinians to submit applications to join three U.N. agencies

Israel condemned for ‘eye for an eyelash’ violence in Gaza deaths

Arab League demands probe into Israeli ‘crimes’ on Gaza border

Erdogan hosts Islamic summit to back Palestinians, condemn Israel

Israeli diplomats said scrambling to nix UN rights probe into Gaza deaths

‘Agreeing’ with Hamas, Netanyahu defends Israeli actions on Gaza border

Netanyahu tells world about Gaza clashes: ‘We’re defending our families, you would too’

Security forces remain on high alert in Jerusalem, Gaza border and West Bank despite apparent calm

Israeli army prepares for mass Gaza protests on first Friday of Ramadan

‘Day of Rage’ declared in Arab sector in solidarity with Gaza

Egypt and Qatar working on long-term ceasefire, Hamas disarmament plans for Gaza

Kuwait urges international force on Gaza border

Why Does the Media Keep Encouraging Hamas Violence?

Israel denies rejecting Hamas prisoner swap offer

US thanks Guatemala, urges others to move embassies to Jerusalem

Paraguay to open Jerusalem embassy next week

Netanyahu: Israel thwarted terror attacks in more than 30 countries

Netanyahu implies Israel moving closer to Arab states, says public isn’t aware

Israel activates Iron Dome missile defense after false alarm triggers rocket sirens on Syrian border

Congress set to consider proposal to recognize Israeli sovereignty over Golan Heights, ending decades of refusal to accept 1981 annexation

Bashar Assad travels to Russia to meet with Putin

Putin meets Assad, says ‘foreign armed forces will start leaving Syria’

France freezes company assets over Syria chemical weapons

UN calls on Iraq to probe election complaints

Iraq’s election result is a backlash against foreign influence – and a curveball for the US and Iran

‘Shame upon shame’: Iran denounces US, Saudi sanctions against Hezbollah

Has Turkey violated UN sanctions by selling Israeli equipment to Iran?

Maersk says U.S. sanctions make doing business in Iran impossible

Trump’s Iran deal withdrawal sparks corporate exodus

Iran nuclear deal: The EU’s billion-dollar deals at risk

EU sets course for US clash with law blocking Iran sanctions

German economy minister: If US adopts ‘America First’ policy Europe will respond

Washington: Accelerating sanctions is first step towards defeating Iran

Washington seeks global ‘coalition’ against Tehran

Deadly protests continue in southern Iran for a second day: ‘Streets look war-torn’

Egypt’s military kills 19, arrests 20 in Sinai operation

France says foiled suspected terror attack

Ukraine leader enacts new sanctions against Russia

North Korea says won’t hold talks with ‘incompetent’ South unless differences settled

S. Korea downplays Pyongyang’s threats to cancel talks

Trump promises N.Korea’s Kim can stay in power

Trump’s warning to Kim Jong-un: make a deal or suffer same fate as Gaddafi

Pentagon stands firm: No talk of scaling back U.S.-South Korean military drills

Trump: US dealing with North Korea ‘as though nothing happened’

China says it stands for stability, peace on Korean peninsula

China is reportedly offering Trump a $200 billion trade-deficit reduction package, and the US’s largest exporter is poised to be the biggest winner

Qatar, Kushner and Cohen: The Latest Scandal Rocking the Trump White House

Avenatti: Two more women claim they were paid hush money to stay quiet about Trump affairs

Donald Trump claims Robert Mueller probe is interfering with his presidential duties

Trump: Report that Obama FBI spied on campaign could be ‘bigger than Watergate’

Now that’s power: Trump tweets reach 76% of the nation

Google’s Selfish Ledger is an unsettling vision of Silicon Valley social engineering – a Google concept for how total data collection could reshape society

Watch List Shields T.S.A. Screeners From Threatening, and Unruly, Travelers

Intel is testing self-driving cars in ‘challenging’ Jerusalem conditions

Why Is A Government Drone Flying Over A Sacramento Neighborhood?

Pope warns of ‘a ticking time bomb’ whose explosion would devastate market

Peso plunge: Collapse of currency dredges up old frustrations, threatens Argentina’s president

Scientists Lost Track Over Over 900 Asteroids

6.2 magnitude earthquake hits South of the Kermadec Islands

5.8 magnitude earthquake hits near Nemuro, Japan

5.7 magnitude earthquake hits near L’Esperance Rock, New Zealand

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Mala, Peru

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Raoul Island, New Zealand

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Hihifo, Tonga

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Tadine, New Caledonia

Two strong earthquakes in Bardarbunga volcano

Explosive eruption at Kilauea summit sends ash 5 miles into air

New eruption at Hawaii Kilauea volcano prompts evacuation, produces volcanic ash cloud higher than Mount Everest

Explosive eruption at Kilauea summit was ‘short-lived’ but more possible, scientist says

‘Ballistic blocks’ shoot from Hawaii volcano, may mark start of violent eruptions

Kilauea Eruption Now Threatens Hawaii With Damaging Earthquakes, Acid Rain, ‘Vog’

Quakes damage roads as ash streams from Hawaii volcano

Hawaii’s erupting volcano is still going, and now it’s a threat to passing planes, too

Hawaii volcano eruption costs tourism industry millions

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 24,000ft

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 24,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 16,000ft

Turrialba volcano in Costa Rica erupts to 12,500ft

Sakurajima volcano on Japan erupts to 12,000ft

Flooding fears downstream of Colombia’s largest dam project prompt evacuations

Earth just had its 400th straight warmer-than-average month thanks to global warming

If Renewables Are So Great for the Environment, Why Do They Keep Destroying It?

Ebola outbreak in the Congo spreads to major city, health officials confirm

Americans are having fewer kids than ever before, fueling fears of a ‘demographic time bomb’

Trump to Propose Sweeping New Abortion Restrictions

Trump Administration to Tie Health Facilities’ Funding to Abortion Restrictions

Mobile blood donation unit to be set up at gay pride event in Tel Aviv

Hong Kong’s behind-closed-doors gay weddings


ApostasyWatch Daily News

Warren. B. Smith – Jesus Calling, Contemplative Prayer, the New Age, and Psalm 46:10

Cries for False Unity Increase As End Times Deepens

God Sends a Moth to Show the Gullibility of Charisma Magazine

The Great Somali Welfare Rip-Off


Five dead, nearly 500,000 without power after deadly storms engulfs US Northeast

Posted: 18 May 2018 06:07 AM PDT

Five dead, nearly 500,000 without power after deadly storms engulfs US NortheastAt least 5 people died and nearly 500 000 homes were left without power after severe thunderstorms swept through the US Northeast on May 15, 2018. And it is not over! Now, the eastern US is at risk until the end of the week!  Two people died in Connecticut, including a Danbury man who was killed

when a tree fell on his truck. Connecticut State Police say a tree also fell on a car on Brush Hill Road in New Fairfield, killing a 41-year-old woman. In Kunkletown, Pennsylvania, a man was killed when a tree fell on a vehicle near the town of Effort in the Poconos. An 11-year-old New York girl was killed when a large tree toppled onto the car she was in with her mother in Newburgh. Another woman was killed in the same town of Newburgh when a tree fell on her vehicle.  READ MORE

DEVELOPING: Multiple explosions reported at Syrian military base near Hama

Posted: 18 May 2018 06:01 AM PDT

DEVELOPING: Multiple explosions reported at Syrian military base near HamaSyrian state television has reported a series of explosions at a military base near Hama in the west of the country.  Local sources are reporting hearing four explosions at the site. No casualties or injuries

have been reported. Syrian journalist Mousa Alomar tweeted a video showing a large plume of smoke in the aftermath of the explosions. A short time later another explosion was heard inside the airport, according to Syrian state media. MORE

Cross Removed From Michigan Hillside Following Complaint

Posted: 18 May 2018 05:53 AM PDT

Cross Removed From Michigan Hillside Following ComplaintA cross that has stood on a Michigan hillside since 1950 has been removed following a complaint from a local resident who asserted that crosses shouldn’t be displayed on state property.  While the cross is displayed atop Sackrider Hill in the Waterloo Recreation Area, it belongs to the Grass Lake Ministerial Association, which holds a permit to erect the display on state property. Residents who hike up the hill will find it at the top overlooking I-94. According to a YouTube video by Brian Kruger, who hosts a

local “Guess What I Found Series” to highlight landmarks in the area, local congregations have held a sunrise service every year atop the hill since the 1930’s. Evangelist George Bennard, who penned the hymn “The Old Rugged Cross,” was a participant of one of the services. “The cross was brought up by the congregations. Every year they’d bring [it] up and set it here, and then they’d take it down and do it again next year,” he explained. READ MORE

Nearly 51 Million Households In The United States ‘Can’t Afford Basics Like Rent And Food’

Posted: 18 May 2018 05:45 AM PDT

Nearly 51 Million Households In The United States ‘Can’t Afford Basics Like Rent And Food’(By Michael Snyder) If the U.S. economy is performing well, then why can’t 51 million households in the United States “afford basics like rent and food”.  A stunning new report that was just put out by the United Way ALICE Project shows that the gap between the wealthy and the poor in this country is perhaps the biggest that it has been in any of our lifetimes.  In some of the wealthiest areas of the nation, homes are now selling for up to 100 million dollars, but meanwhile tens of millions of families are barely scraping by from month to month.  Many believe that this growing “inequality gap” is setting the stage for major societal problems.  In general, the U.S. economy seems to be performing better than expected so far in 2018, but the ranks of the poor and the working poor just continue to grow.  The following comes from CNN… . Nearly 51 million households don’t earn enough to afford a

a monthly budget that includes housing, food, childcare, healthcare, transportation and a cell phone, according to a study released Thursday by the United Way ALICE Project. That’s 43% of households in the United States.  The figure includes the 16.1 million households living in poverty, as well as the 34.7 million families that the United Way has dubbed ALICE — Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. This group makes less than what’s needed “to survive in the modern economy.” MORE

 

 

CA Public high school yearbook has lavish two-page Islam presentation entitled “ALLAH AKBAR”

Posted: 18 May 2018 05:37 AM PDT

CA Public high school yearbook has lavish two-page Islam presentation entitled “ALLAH AKBAR”“Allahu akbar” means Allah is greater, i.e., greater than your god. It’s a declaration of superiority. Jihad mass murderers the world over scream “Allahu akbar” as they murder people.” 9/11 hijacker Mohamed Atta reminded himself to “shout, ‘Allahu Akbar,’ because this strikes fear in the hearts of the non-believers.”  And here it is in the Rancho Cucamonga High School yearbook, because they are tolerant, multicultural, diverse, and against “racism.” The Rancho Cucamonga High School yearbook

contains no pages on Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc. Why does it contain these pages on Islam? Because it is the prevailing view among Leftists today that Muslims are persecuted, harassed and discriminated against on a large scale in America today, and that this happens because of Americans’ ignorance of Islam.  Both claims are nonsense. The FBI’s latest hate crime statistics show that Jews are twice more likely to be the victims of hate crimes than Muslims. Yet there is no presentation on Judaism in Rancho Cucamonga High School’s yearbook. READ MORE

Scientists Bring A Severed Brain Back To Life, Humans Next?

Posted: 18 May 2018 05:20 AM PDT

Scientists Bring A Severed Brain Back To Life, Humans Next?Has science gone too far? That’s the question some experts are asking after Yale University researchers announced that they have successfully reanimated a pig’s brain, which had been severed from its body.   Yale neuroscientist Nenad Sestan revealed the breakthrough during a meeting at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on March 28. Sestan’s team reportedly experimented on over 100 pig brains obtained from a slaughterhouse and restored their circulation using a system of pumps,

heaters, and artificial blood. The researchers said they managed to reactivate the brains for up to 36 hours. “It’s at the extreme of technical know-how, but not that different from preserving a kidney,” Steve Hyman of the Broad Institute said, via MIT Technology Review. “It may come to the point that instead of people saying ‘Freeze my brain,’ they say ‘Hook me up and find me a body,’” the director of psychiatric research added. READ MORE

‘Explosive increase’ in Ebola cases feared as outbreak spreads to city…

Posted: 17 May 2018 10:49 AM PDT

‘Explosive increase’ in Ebola cases feared as outbreak spreads to city…Experts fear an ‘explosive increase’ in Ebola cases after an outbreak in Congo entered a ‘new phase’ and spread to a city.  The deadly virus was detected in the northwest city of Mbandaka, with a population of about 1 million people, the country’s health minister revealed last night.  So far, the 23 deaths believed to have been caused by Democratic Republic of Congo’s latest Ebola outbreak were in more isolated areas, giving authorities a better chance of ring-fencing the virus.

The first urban case to be announced threatens to change that. The World Health Organisation, which on Wednesday deployed the first experimental vaccines in the vast central African country, will decide tomorrow whether to declare a ‘public health emergency of international concern’.  Such a declaration by the Emergency Committee would trigger more international involvement, mobilizing research and resources, WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier said. READ MORE

 

Hawaii volcano experiences ‘explosive’ eruption sends ash plume soaring

Posted: 17 May 2018 10:42 AM PDT

Hawaii volcano experiences ‘explosive’ eruption sends ash plume soaringAn “explosive” eruption from Hawaii’s Kilauea summit sent a plume of ash soaring 30,000 feet into the air Thursday morning that threatened to cover parts of the Big Island, as residents nearby are being urged to shelter in place. The National Weather Service issued an ashfall advisory in effect until 8 a.m. Friday.

Watch the latest video at foxnews.comUSGS Volcanoes reported the explosion around 5 a.m. local time, showing photos at the Halemaumau crater that captured volcanic ash billowing out. Officials said wind could carry the ash toward the southeast and told residents to shelter in place and avoid driving, due to low visibility and slick roads. READ MORE 


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This ‘n’ That for 05/18/2018

  • Having never been someone who really got into journaling, I found these thoughts from my friend, DebbieLynne, really insightful. Be mindful of your motives!
  • Yes! Get a cat!
  • This happened this week, which I think is very cool.
  • Three guesses as to where we find the first promise of the Messiah!
  • Um…this is creepy. Remind me not to move to Canada.
  • The Old Testament sacrifices could never take away sin.
  • Oh yeah, we’re definitely dumber than our grandparents.
  • I think archaeology is fascinating, and I love that discoveries consistently demonstrate the truth of the Bible.
  • Since Jesus affirmed the Old Testament, we probably shouldn’t “unhitch” ourselves from it, but unfortunately, Marcionism is alive and well.
If by excessive labor we die before reaching the average age of man, worn out in the Master’s service, then glory be to God. We shall have so much less of earth and so much more of heaven. It is our duty and our privilege to exhaust our lives for Jesus. — Charles Spurgeon

Source: This ‘n’ That

Let’s Stop Calling It Liberalism — American Thinker

 “…if we are to move forward during the Trump presidency and when it comes to its close, men and women of dignity across the land must abandon the words “liberal,” “progressive,” and “Democrat.”  Yes, a linguistic turn is that important.  To continue with misleading propaganda is to carry forth in darkness, when we have been given one last chance at the light.”

America is being made great again in the wake of Obama’s failed presidency, which in hindsight already appears as nothing more than the absurd climax of affirmative action gone off the rails.  Trump has wiped the floor with his legacy while building an incredible one of his own.

Now, I propose, is the perfect time for the American people to seal their own deal: let’s make a campaign ourselves to expire terms such as “Democrat,” “liberal,” “leftist,” and “progressive,” and let’s call it what it is: totalitarianism.

Early in the campaign that resulted in Trump’s election to the presidency, the general public formed its television-inspired consensus: “he’s too extreme” morphed into “I like him, but he goes too far,” which in turn morphed into a myriad of secondhand critiques centering in on a wariness regarding Trump’s zero tolerance for liberal double standards, the roots of which are totalitarianism.

Now that Trump is midway through his second year as president, I believe we can now announce without fear of the Post-Orwellian Thought Police: the enemies of President Trump are the enemies of the family, the Constitution, morality, and sanity.  They are collectively the enemies of our nation’s future, who actively seek to flood the nation with third-world refugees while disarming the native population.  In a word, President Trump’s enemies are barbarians within the gates, and they have gotten this far because they do a good job of weeping when retaliation looms.  We now must update our terminology if we are consciously to move ahead: the words “liberal,” “progressive,” “Democrat” are what “National Socialist” are to “Nazi.”  They are a lot of misleading verbiage.

The success of the totalitarian party has nothing to do with being morally superior, but being eternal victims.  The key to destroying eternal victimhood is to recognize it.View article →

RenewAmerica Newsletter for 05/18/2018

May 18, 2018
WES VERNON — John F. Kennedy has been quoted as saying that there are powerful hidden forces at work aimed at moving world events and that he intended to learn their identity before his presidency was completed. Of course, that ambition was short-circuited by an assassin’s bullet on Nov. 22, 1963. Accused shooter Lee Harvey Oswald’s (later reported) communist background was downplayed or ignored by an establishment media that had salivated to pin the blame on the “right-wing political climate” in Dallas, the scene of the shooting. The media and other key influences of public opinion attempted, in the following weeks, to recoup from the embarrassment of their early snap judgments by assigning responsibility on unidentified “hate.”… (more)

May 18, 2018
Horowitz ‘found reasonable grounds’ for violations in Hillary probe
ART MOORE — State Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz has found “reasonable grounds” for believing the FBI and the Justice Department violated federal criminal law in their handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation, according to investigative reporter Paul Sperry…. (more)

May 18, 2018
Rush Limbaugh indicts Comey, Clinton, Obama, others
BOB UNRUH — Talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh Thursday released his own list of people who should be indicted as a result of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential race…. (more)


May 18, 2018
Planned ‘rolling production’ will only allow ‘dribbles of benign documents’ to be released
BOB UNRUH — A Washington watchdog lawyer suing to obtain access to special counsel Robert Mueller’s communications with the media is asking a court to order that the documents be made available now – – not in “dribbles” over coming months or years…. (more)

May 17, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — North Korea’s abrupt threat this week to pull out of the upcoming summit with President Trump was highly calculated, according to intelligence officials who say Pyongyang wanted to harden its negotiating position against a quick “Libya-style” surrender of its nuclear programs sought by the Trump White House and buy time to hide its nuclear weapons…. (more)

May 17, 2018
DAVID A. PATTON — First Baptist Dallas senior pastor Dr. Robert Jeffress, whose early and heartfelt support for Donald Trump’s candidacy in 2016 was a source of frustration to some establishment Republicans, fired back Wednesday at 2012 GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who on Sunday branded Jeffress a “religious bigot.”… (more)

May 17, 2018
NEWSMAX — The average global temperature dropped by more than half a degree Celsius from February 2016 to February 2018, according to recent NASA data. According to RealClear Markets, the average temperature around the world fell 0.56 degrees Celsius during that time period, the biggest dip in temperatures since a decrease of 0.47 degrees Celsius from 1982-1984…. (more)

May 17, 2018
NATIONAL REVIEW — An armed school-resource officer prevented what could have been a massacre at a central Illinois high school Wednesday by shooting and subsequently disarming a 19-year-old former student. The suspect reportedly arrived at Dixon High School around 8 a.m. and opened fire on school-resource officer Mark Dallas, Dixon city manager Danny Langloss said in a statement to WQAD-TV…. (more)

May 17, 2018
This is not a job for law enforcement
NATIONAL REVIEW — The president of Santa Monica College is instructing students to file a report with campus police if they witness hate speech. “Recently an outside visitor brought hate speech onto one of Santa Monica College’s campuses,” states a letter that SMC President Kathryn E. Jeffery sent to students and employees on May 3. “This will not be tolerated.”… (more)


May 17, 2018
NEWSMAX — A former member of the National Guard who helped stop a terror attack on a Paris-bound train in 2015 is now running for office. Alek Skarlatos announced his candidacy for a Douglas County Commissioner seat in Oregon this week, according to The News-Review…. (more)

May 17, 2018
NEWSMAX — The nation’s surgeon general came to the rescue Wednesday of a sick passenger on a flight from Atlanta to Jackson, Miss. – – answering a call if there was a doctor in the house with a buoyant “why yes.” Surgeon General Jerome Adams tweeted some details of the “medical emergency” Wednesday afternoon…. (more)

May 17, 2018
NEWSMAX — The United States has hit a 40-year-low in its fertility rate, with only about 1.76 births per woman for the 2017 provisional estimate, according to numbers released on Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention…. (more)

May 17, 2018
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — The House passed legislation Wednesday to allow more veterans to see doctors outside the Veterans Affairs system. The bill, the VA MISSION Act, passed the House 347-70. It would allow more veterans to go outside the VA healthcare system and use private-sector doctors when VA medical centers can’t provide appointments within a month, veterans have to drive more than 40 minutes to access care, or when care is determined inadequate by VA leaders…. (more)

May 16, 2018
Newspaper blasted as ‘reprehensible’ after cover that lacks ‘any sort of decency’
WORLDNETDAILY — In its Tuesday cover story, the New York Daily News mercilessly ridiculed Ivanka Trump as “Daddy’s little ghoul” and called the first daughter “seemingly oblivious” because she made an appearance at the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem this week…. (more)

May 16, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — North Korea sent shock waves through the Trump administration’s hope for a history-making summit with Kim Jong-un, angrily canceling a planned meeting with South Korean officials Wednesday to protest joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises and calling into doubt President Trump’s announced meeting with Mr. Kim in Singapore in less than a month…. (more)

May 16, 2018
ANDREW C. MCCARTHY — My weekend column dealt with the claim by Glenn Simpson that the FBI had a confidential informant embedded in the Trump campaign. Simpson is the co-founder of Fusion GPS. In August 2017, he related to the Senate Judiciary Committee that the former British intelligence officer, Michael Steele, told him that the FBI had a spy in the Trump campaign. Steele, of course, is the former British spy who collaborated with Simpson in 2016 on a Clinton campaign anti-Trump research project, now known as the Steele dossier…. (more)

May 16, 2018
Decides ‘not within the scope of access to healthcare services’
WORLDNETDAILY — A judge in California has pulled the plug on the state’s assisted-suicide law, and while Attorney General Xavier Becerra is expected to continue to fight for the provisions that can be used to take peoples’ lives, the decision offers a reprieve from that process for now…. (more)

May 15, 2018
ALAN KEYES — “Heritage Foundation Defends Facebook’s ‘Right’ to Censor, Will Oppose Regulation.” So read the headline of an article at Breitbart.com reporting the opinion of “the think tank’s senior research fellow for technology,” Klon Kitchen. “I think Facebook is a private company,” said Kitchen, a former national security adviser to Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb. “Facebook can ultimately make decisions about what kind of speech it wants to have on its platform.”… (more)

May 15, 2018
NEWSMAX — Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Monday praised President Donald Trump’s decision to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, The Hill has reported…. (more)

May 15, 2018
ART MOORE — Amid violent Palestinian protests, the U.S. officially opened a new embassy in Jerusalem on Monday, drawing effusive praise from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu…. (more)


May 15, 2018
THE HILL — Special counsel Robert Mueller has withstood relentless political attacks, many distorting his record of distinguished government service. But there’s one episode even Mueller’s former law enforcement comrades – – and independent ethicists – – acknowledge raises legitimate legal issues and a possible conflict of interest in his overseeing the Russia election probe…. (more)


May 15, 2018
BYRON YORK — The FBI began its Trump-Russia investigation in July 2016. Special counsel Robert Mueller picked up the probe in May 2017. This summer the investigation will enter its third year…. (more)

May 15, 2018
ANDREW C. MCCARTHY — It was July 31, 2016. Just days earlier, the Obama administration had quietly opened an FBI counterintelligence investigation of Russian cyber-espionage – – hacking attacks – – to disrupt the 2016 election. And not random, general disruption; the operating theory was that the Russians were targeting the Democratic party, for the purpose of helping Donald Trump win the presidency…. (more)

May 15, 2018
NEWSMAX — A Green Beret who supports embattled CIA nominee Gina Haspel had his pals subject him to waterboarding for nearly 45 minutes and livestreamed it in a bid to prove the notorious interrogation technique is not torture…. (more)


May 15, 2018
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — Monday’s historic opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem is a wonderful acknowledgment from the United States of our solidarity with Israel and recognizing Jerusalem as its rightful capitol. I applaud President Trump for having the courage to follow through with this American promise after so many prior administrations would not. But one of the more bizarre criticisms of the scheduled ceremonies came from former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, focusing his ire on Robert Jeffress, a Baptist pastor who will speak at the event…. (more)

 

Weekly Watchman for 05/18/2018

Is the Christian Church in America becoming Confused and Worldly?

Every Friday we answer your questions and read your comments on air. Some of your questions and comments this week allude to a church in America that seems to have lost its focus and moral compass There is confusion about Islam, an ineffectiveness in addressing the social and cultural issues of our times, and the melding of seemingly contradictory philosophies like Universalism, Calvinism, and Social Justice.

Here are some of the topics we cover today:

When is it biblical and necessary to divide over doctrines and break fellowship with professing Christians?
A Christian who formerly supported the LGBTQ, even to the point of pushing others into those lifestyles, admits she was wrong and has repented. Why are people like her in the minority of believers today?
How do pastors avoid watering down their sermon/message knowing there are new believers in the congregation as well as mature disciples of Christ?
Why do the media seem to despise Israel and the heritage of the Jewish people? Is the Left that sold out to progressive ideology to report the truth?
Should we not invite people to church if our pastor does not preach the gospel and the whole counsel of God?
The hypocrisy of Democrat Christians toward other Christians who support or voted for President Trump
How do you prevent yourself from becoming legalistic when studying God’s law in the Old Testament?
Should Christians be concerned about Sharia Law and the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood in our government and on our fading religious freedoms?
Does the move of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem have any prophetic implications?
Is Islam the one world religion we are warned about in Revelation?

Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and more can be found on Stand Up For The Truth.

Read more


Don’t You Dare Bring God into This!

As secular culture turns more hostile toward God and His Word every day, secular humanists are doing all they can to make certain God’s perfect truth is no longer a part of helping people trapped in sin. Instead, the left is encouraging people to not only agree with them, but to insist that others accept their sin as righteous. Isaiah 5:20 warns us about calling evil good.

The city of Milwaukee recently passed an ordinance that bans so-called “conversion therapy” for minors struggling with homosexuality or gender issues, but many pastors in the community are uniting to fight the proposed ordinance. We also discuss a California Supreme Court decision that actually reverses a CA law that approved assisted suicide, and the Supreme Court decision regarding sports betting (gambling) leaving it up to each state whether or not to legalize betting on sports.

Julaine Appling of Wisconsin Family Action is in studio today to discuss these issues along with why so many people are ignorant or uninformed about the Christian faith and what the Bible actually teaches.

Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and more can be found on Stand Up For The Truth.

Read more


A Potential Schism Within Southern Baptists

While Southern Baptists comprise less than 10% of professing Christians in America, it has historically been a strongly evangelistic denomination, rejecting the Calvinistic view of predestination.  Over the past decade or two however, the denomination has seen the rise of what are called the “New Calvinists,” along with what many see as an infiltration of the Social Justice Movement.  And in a few short weeks Southern Baptists will elect their new president, giving a strong indication of the direction of the denomination.

We are seeing similar theological battles brewing in virtually every denomination of Christianity and today we look at this particular controversy against the background of an increasingly divided Christian Church in America.

In our final segment we look at an interesting article by Dale Hudson about how so many young people today are “building their own god” by selectively choosing scriptures that [seem to] support their individual values and beliefs.

Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and more can be found on Stand Up For The Truth.

Read more


Can’t We All Just Coexist in Peace?

In our final segment, we look at the rioting by Hamas against Israel – as well as the response of the IDF – as the Trump administration officially recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city and location of the U.S. embassy. We’ll look at the facts versus how the news is being reported in the mainstream media. Is Hamas manipulating the West?

First, we catch up with Jay Seegert of The Starting Point Project to discuss the following:

How do we start a conversation with friends or neighbors that have a COEXIST bumper sticker on their car? Don’t start by telling them to “get that stupid Coexist sticker off your car!”

Does the Bible really say Christians should not judge others?

What are your plans for the summer and whatever happened to reading books? Also, what worthwhile projects can you and your family undertake that will glorify God and help you grow as Christians?

Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and more can be found on Stand Up For The Truth.

Read more


Courageously Standing With Israel

Today Israel marks the seventieth anniversary of its rebirth as a nation, a biblical prophecy from thousands of years ago fulfilled in 1948. The United States is marking the anniversary by officially moving its embassy to Jerusalem, the long-standing capital of Israel, against opposition from almost the entire world.

Many believe this will incite Muslim nations to attack Israel with the greatest severity since the 1973 war, and that it could quickly spread to a major regional or even world war. Iran’s growing influence, the rise of Turkey as a radical Muslim power, and the strong presence of Russia in the Middle East all point to a potentially serious conflict.

Jan Markell of Olive Tree Views and host of Understanding the Times Radio joins us this morning to discuss this significant anniversary in Israel’s history and discuss what might lie ahead.

In our final segment we talk with Wisconsin State Representative Andre Jacque and ask if the groundbreaking pro-life legislation recently signed into law in Iowa could also happen here in Wisconsin.

Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and more can be found on Stand Up For The Truth.

Read more

Out Of Ideas To Keep Church Relevant, Pastor Resigns Himself To Just Preaching Gospel — The Babylon Bee

PORTLAND, OR—After finally exhausting his ideas for wacky stunts and relevant movie clips, cutting-edge TV show references, and hokey church skits, local Pastor Jim Auburn resigned himself to just preaching the “plain ol’ gospel” as revealed in Scripture this coming Sunday, sources close to the pastor confirmed. After preaching through every Marvel and Disney movie…

via Out Of Ideas To Keep Church Relevant, Pastor Resigns Himself To Just Preaching Gospel — The Babylon Bee

MAY 18 RESPONDING TO THE SPIRIT

Quench not the Spirit. Hold fast that which is good.

1 Thessalonians 5:19, 21

Are we raising a whole generation of young men and women without any sensitivity to the voice of God’s Holy Spirit?

I am on record, and I will be as long as I live, that I would rather lose a leg and hobble along throughout the rest of my life than to lose my sensitivity to God and to His voice and to spiritual things!

Oh, how I want to keep that sensitivity within me—within my soul!

I am thinking about a great throng of men and women raised in Christian homes. They have been brought up in Sunday school. They probably cut their first baby tooth on the edge of a hymnbook when the mother was not watching.

Still, to this day, they are not right with God. Some have made a kind of profession but have never been able to delight themselves in the Lord.

The reason? They have lost sensitivity to the message and the voice of God. If the Holy Spirit cannot move something within their beings every day, they are not going to be effective Christians—if they are Christians at all!

Lord, today my heart goes out to mediocre Christians who “know” the truth of the gospel but who have not experienced a personal relationship with You. Lord, will You give them a divine nudge so that they will find delight in truly knowing You?[1]


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

May 18, 2018 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

Remember Your Calling

according to the power of God, who has saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity, but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, (1:8b–10)

A fourth means for guarding against being ashamed of Christ is simply to remember our holy calling from our heavenly Father, who, as Paul has just declared, shares His divine power with His children.

These few verses are a study of soteriology, the doctrine of salvation, in miniature. The apostle was not, of course, teaching Timothy new truths, but simply reminding him of the cardinal, well-known truths of the gospel, truths that should motivate every believer to faithfulness, to courageous witness and living for Jesus Christ.

Remembering these truths and placing our confidence in the God who has given them enables us to “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience” (Col. 1:10–11).

Because of the power of God, we can say with Paul, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13). We can testify with Peter that we “are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:5). The all-powerful God who has saved us has equally sufficient power to keep us. If we were “reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life” (Rom. 5:10).

God’s power does not always manifest itself in our lives in obvious ways. When Paul had prayed three times that God would remove a certain affliction, “a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet” him, God answered, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:7–8). Without hesitation or disappointment, Paul replied, “Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong” (vv. 9–10).

Our loving heavenly Father is both willing and “able to keep [us] from stumbling, and to make [us] stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy” (Jude 24). In light of that truth Paul prayed for believers at Ephesus, where he had ministered faithfully for a number of years: “[May God] grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man; so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God” (Eph. 3:16–19).

God sovereignly designed salvation, and He sovereignly initiates, sustains, and completes salvation. He has forgiven us, justified us, and delivered us from sin and Satan, from death and hell. In every sense and in every tense—past, present, and future—God is our Savior.

That is a major theme in the pastoral letters. The Almighty is frequently called Savior (1 Tim. 1:1; 2:3; 4:10; Titus 1:3; 2:10; 3:4), as is Jesus (2 Tim. 1:10; Titus 1:4; 2:13; 3:6). Likewise, the saving work of God in Christ is presented together in several places (1 Tim. 2:3–6; 4:10; 2 Tim. 2:8–10; Titus 2:11–14; 3:4–7).

The God who has saved us also has called us with, or to, a holy calling. Paul is not speaking of God’s calling unbelievers to repentance and salvation but of His effectual, saving call of believers, those who have been saved, to holy living and, ultimately, to eternal and perfect holiness (cf. 1 John 3:2).

Just as the Lord did not save us according to our works but by His grace, neither has He called us to live according to our works, but according to His own purpose (the plan) and grace (the means of operating the plan). Just as that inexplicable truth is the foundation of the saving gospel, so it also is the foundation of God’s sustenance of those He has saved. He will keep all the elect until they reach glory. Jesus made clear that the divine purpose, working through divine grace, would reach complete fulfillment. He promised,

All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him, may have eternal life; and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.… No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. (John 6:37–40, 44; cf. Phil. 1:6; Jude 24–25)

God “chose us in Him [Christ] before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him” (Eph. 1:4; cf. 1 Peter 1:2), that is, that we should live according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity. Our destiny was determined and sealed before the world began. Because we now belong to Christ, we can praise and thank our heavenly Father that He has loved us, just as He has loved His only Son, “before the foundation of the world” (John 17:24). He has chosen us and loved us “in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Eph. 3:11).

But this divine plan from all eternity only now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. Most often in the New Testament (see, e.g., 1 Tim. 6:14; 2 Tim. 4:1, 8; Titus 2:13), epiphaneia (appearing) refers to Christ’s second coming. But here it obviously refers to His first coming, when He abolished death.

Katargeō (abolish) literally means to render inoperative. It is not that death no longer exists or that believers are promised escape from it, unless they are raptured. But for believers, death is no longer a threat, no longer an enemy, no longer the end. Quoting first from Isaiah 25:8 and then from Hosea 13:14, Paul exulted, “When this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’ ” (1 Cor. 15:54–55). “Since then the children share in flesh and blood,” the writer of Hebrews explains, “He Himself [Christ] likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil” (Heb. 2:14).

More than simply abolishing death, at His first appearing Christ brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. It was not until the Son of God became incarnate in Jesus Christ that God chose to reveal the full truth about eternal life and immortality. Bringing them to light means making them known. That is our area of expertise. We know the immeasurable reality of eternal, immortal existence. That also is our joy and hope in Christ.[1]


1:9–10 / In a fashion typical of these letters, Paul supports his point with a semicreedal formulation, which gives a brief, and not necessarily complete, expression of the gospel, which is at the same time particularly adapted to the concerns of the present argument (see disc. on Titus 2:11–14 and 3:4–7). In this case the emphases are particularly fitting for one whose gift needs “fanning into flame” and who is being urged “not to be ashamed of the gospel but to take his part in the suffering.” (All of vv. 8–11 in fact are a single sentence in Gk.)

Having noted that Timothy’s taking his part in suffering can only be accomplished “by the power of God,” Paul emphasizes that this is the same God who saved us and called us, and that this saving act resided in God’s own gracious purpose … before the beginning of time, but was revealed historically as an expression of grace … through the appearing of … Christ, whose work in this instance is defined as destroying death and revealing immortality. Thus he braces Timothy’s resolve by emphasizing God’s sovereign grace and purpose to render death inoperative, and by insisting that this revelation resides in the very gospel for which Timothy is to “take his part in suffering”!

The formulation begins with a common theme in the pe: It is “God” who has saved us (see disc. on 1 Tim. 1:1; 2:3–4; 4:10; Titus 1:3; 2:10; 3:4–5). In a typically Pauline fashion, such salvation also constitutes our calling (see disc. on 1 Tim. 6:12; cf., e.g., 2 Thess. 2:13–14; 1 Cor. 1:9, 24, 26; Rom. 8:28–30). God both initiated and effected salvation. In this case the call is qualified as (literally) “a holy calling.” This is a Semitic construction whose meaning is not altogether certain. It could be a dative of means, “with a holy calling” (rsv, nasb), because it comes from a holy God. More likely it is a dative of interest, to a holy life (cf. esp. 1 Thess. 4:7) or “to be a holy people” (cf. neb; cf. “called to be saints” or “God’s holy people,” 1 Cor. 1:2, etc.).

As in Titus 3:5 and elsewhere in Paul (e.g., Eph. 2:8–9), God’s saving act is based not on what we have done, but on his own purpose and grace. This is a thoroughly Pauline way of saying it (cf. Rom. 8:28–30), as are the descriptions of that purpose and grace that follow—although the stating of them is a bit convoluted. God’s saving us, Paul says to Timothy, is predicated on his purpose and grace, both of which, not just his grace, find expression (were given us) in Christ Jesus. Because he is a God of grace, he purposed our salvation in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time (cf. Titus 1:2), but only now has it been revealed through the appearing (epiphaneia; see disc. on Titus 2:11, 13; 3:4; cf. 1 Tim. 6:14) of our Savior, Christ Jesus (cf. Titus 1:4; 3:6). For this very Pauline view of things, see the discussion on Titus 1:2–3 (cf. 1 Cor. 2:7–10; Eph. 1:4).

Finally, and especially significantly for this context of bolstering Timothy’s resolve to take his share of the suffering, Paul describes the effect of this “manifestation”: He has destroyed death (“rendered death ineffectual,” Berkeley) and has brought life and immortality (lit., “life and incorruptibility,” cf. Rom. 2:7) to light. As usual in Paul, salvation has an eschatological outlook. But the immortality that is yet to be is in a sense already ours, because in his appearing (incarnation), and especially through the cross and resurrection, our last enemy, death, has already received its mortal wound. So his word to Timothy is plain: “Be steadfast; rekindle your gift; take your part in the suffering; for we are already among those who have overcome death through Christ.”

All of this has been brought to light, Paul notes, through the gospel; and just as the mention of “the power of God” at the end of verse 8 launched Paul into this creedlike statement of God’s saving activity, so now this mention of the gospel will, as often before, prompt him to restate his own role in proclaiming that gospel.[2]


God’s Gospel (verses 9, 10)

It is striking to hear Paul pass at once from a reference to ‘the gospel’ to the central affirmation ‘God … saved us’. For it is really impossible to speak of the gospel without going on in the same breath to speak of salvation. The gospel is precisely this, good news of salvation, or good news ‘of our Saviour Christ Jesus’ (10). Ever since the glad tidings of great joy were first announced on Christmas Day in terms of the birth of ‘a Saviour who is Christ the Lord’ (Lk. 2:10, 11), the followers of Jesus have recognized its essential content. Paul himself never wavered. In Pisidian Antioch during the first missionary journey he referred to his gospel as ‘the message of this salvation’. In Philippi during the second missionary journey he and his companions were described as ‘servants of the Most High God, who proclaimed to you the way of salvation’. And writing to the Ephesians from Rome he called the word of truth ‘the gospel of your salvation’ (Acts 13:26; 16:17; Eph. 1:13).

So here, as Paul writes about the gospel, the terminology which he has made familiar recurs, namely that we are saved in Christ Jesus by God’s purpose, grace and call, and not by our own works. For he is expounding the same gospel in his last letter (2 Timothy) as he expounded in his first (Galatians). His gospel has not changed with the passing years. There is only one gospel of salvation. And although both words ‘gospel’ and ‘salvation’ need today to be translated into terms meaningful to modern man, we have no liberty to alter the substance of our message. As we come to look more closely at the concise statement of God’s gospel which he makes in these verses, we shall see that he indicates its character (what it is), its source (where it comes from) and its ground (on what it rests).

  • The character of salvation

We need to bring together the three clauses which assert that he ‘saved us’, he ‘called us with a holy calling’ and he ‘brought life and immortality to light’. For these make it plain that salvation is far more than forgiveness. The God who ‘saved’ us also and simultaneously ‘called us with a holy calling’, i.e. ‘called us to be holy’ (jb). The Christian calling is a holy calling. When God calls a man to himself, he calls him to holiness also. Paul has laid much emphasis on this in his earlier letters. ‘God has not called us for uncleanness, but in holiness.’ For all of us are ‘called to be saints’, called to live as the holy, the separated people of God (1 Thes. 4:7; 1 Cor. 1:2). But if holiness is an integral part of God’s plan of salvation, so is the ‘immortality’ of which he writes in the following verse (10). Indeed, ‘forgiveness’, ‘holiness’ and ‘immortality’ are all three aspects of God’s great ‘salvation’.

The term ‘salvation’ urgently needs to be rescued from the mean and meagre concepts to which we tend to degrade it. ‘Salvation’ is a majestic word, denoting that comprehensive purpose of God by which he justifies, sanctifies and glorifies his people: first, pardoning our offences and accepting us as righteous in his sight through Christ, then progressively transforming us by his Spirit into the image of his Son, until finally we become like Christ in heaven, with new bodies in a new world. We must not minimize the greatness of ‘such a great salvation’ (Heb. 2:3).

  • The source of salvation

Where does such a great salvation come from? Paul answers, ‘not in virtue of our works but in virtue of his own purpose and the grace which he gave us in Christ ages ago’ (9). If we would trace the river of salvation to its source, we must look right back beyond time to a past eternity. The apostle’s actual words are ‘before eternal times’, an expression variously rendered ‘before the world began’ (av), ‘before time began’ (jbp) and ‘from all eternity’ (neb).

In order to put beyond question the truth that God’s predestination and election belong to eternity and not to time, Paul uses an aorist participle to indicate that God actually gave us something (dotheisan) from all eternity in Christ. What he gave us was ‘his own purpose and grace’, a hendiadys for ‘his own purpose of grace’. His saving purpose was not arbitrary, but gracious. It is plain, therefore, that the source of our salvation is not our own works. For God gave us his own purpose of grace in Christ before we did any good works, before we were born and could do any good works, indeed before history, before time, in eternity.

We have to confess that the doctrine of election is difficult to finite minds. But it is incontrovertibly a biblical doctrine. It emphasizes that salvation is due to God’s grace alone, not to man’s merit; not to our works performed in time, but to God’s purpose conceived in eternity, ‘that purpose’, as Bishop Ellicott expressed it, ‘which was suggested by nothing outward, but arose only from the innermost depths of the divine eudokia’. Or, in E. K. Simpson’s words, ‘the Lord’s choices have their unfathomable grounds, but they are not founded on the innate eligibility of the chosen’. Thus understood, God’s purpose of election is bound to be mysterious to men, for we cannot aspire to an understanding of the secret thoughts and decisions of the mind of God. However, the doctrine of election is never introduced in Scripture either to arouse or to baffle our carnal curiosity, but always for a practical purpose. On the one hand, it engenders deep humility and gratitude, for it excludes all boasting. On the other, it brings both peace and assurance, for nothing can quieten our fears for our own stability like the knowledge that our safety depends ultimately not on ourselves but on God’s own purpose of grace.

  • The ground of salvation

Our salvation rests firmly grounded upon the historical work performed by Jesus Christ at his first appearing. For though God ‘gave’ us his grace in Christ Jesus ‘before eternal times’, he ‘manifested’ it in time, ‘now’, through the appearing of the same Christ Jesus, our Saviour. Both divine stages were in and through Jesus Christ, but the giving was eternal and secret, while the manifesting was historical and public.

What, then, did Christ do when he appeared and proceeded to manifest God’s eternal purpose of grace? To this Paul gives in verse 10 a double answer. First, Jesus Christ ‘abolished death’. Secondly, he ‘brought life and immortality to light through the gospel’.

First, Christ abolished death.

‘Death’ is, in fact, the one word which summarizes our human predicament as a result of sin. For death is the ‘wage’ sin pays, its grim penalty (Rom. 6:23). And this is true of each form which death takes. For Scripture speaks of death in three ways. There is physical death, the separation of the soul from the body. There is spiritual death, the separation of the soul from God. And there is eternal death, the separation of both soul and body from God for ever. All are due to sin; they are sin’s terrible though just reward.

But Jesus Christ ‘abolished’ death. This cannot mean that he eliminated it, as we know from our everyday experience. Sinners are still ‘dead through the trespasses and sins’ in which they walk (Eph. 2:1, 2) until God makes them alive in Christ. All human beings die physically and will continue to do so, with the exception of the generation who are alive when Christ returns in glory. And some are going to die ‘the second death’, which is one of the fearful expressions used in the book of Revelation for hell (e.g. Rev. 20:14; 21:8). Indeed, Paul has written previously that the final abolition of death still lies in the future, as the last enemy of God to be destroyed (1 Cor. 15:26). Not until the return of Christ and the resurrection of the dead shall we be able to shout with joy ‘Death is swallowed up in victory’ (1 Cor. 15:54; cf. Rev. 21:4).

What is triumphantly asserted in this verse by Paul is that at his first appearing Christ decisively ‘defeated’ or ‘overthrew’ death. The Greek verb katargeō is not in itself conclusive, for it can be used with a variety of meanings, which must be determined by the context. Nevertheless, its first and foremost meaning is “make ineffective, powerless, idle’ or ‘nullify’ (ag). So Paul can liken death to a scorpion whose sting has been drawn and to a military commander whose army has been defeated, and can cry out with defiance: ‘O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?’ (1 Cor. 15:55). For Christ ‘has broken the power of death’ (ag, neb).

It is surely significant that this same verb katargeō is used in the New Testament with reference to the devil and to our fallen nature as well as to death (Heb. 2:14; Rom. 6:6). Neither the devil, nor our fallen nature, nor death has been annihilated. But by the power of Christ the tyranny of each has been broken, so that if we are in Christ we can be set free.

Consider in particular how Christ has ‘abolished’ or ‘nullified’ death.

Physical death is no longer the grim ogre it once seemed to us and still seems to many whom Christ has not yet liberated. “Through fear of death’ they are ‘subject to lifelong bondage’ (Heb. 2:15). But for Christian believers death is simply ‘falling asleep’ in Christ. It is, in fact, a positive ‘gain’, because it is the gateway to being ‘with Christ’ which is ‘far better’. It is one of the possessions which become ‘ours’ when we are Christ’s (1 Thes. 4:14, 15; Phil. 1:21, 23; 1 Cor. 3:22, 23). It has been rendered so innocuous that Jesus could even state that the believer, though he dies, ‘shall never die’ (Jn. 11:25, 26). What is absolutely certain is that death will never be able to separate us from God’s love in Christ (Rom. 8:38, 39).

Spiritual death has, for Christian believers, given place to that eternal life which is communion with God begun on earth and perfected in heaven. Further, those who are in Christ will ‘not be hurt by the second death’, for they have already passed out of death into life (Rev. 2:11; Jn. 5:24; 1 Jn. 3:14).

Secondly, Christ brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.

This is the positive counterpart. It is by his death and resurrection that Christ abolished death. It is through the gospel that he now reveals what he has done, and offers men the life and immortality which he has won for them. Whether we should distinguish between the words ‘life’ and ‘immortality’ is not clear. They may be synonymous, the second word defining the first. That is, the kind of life Christ has secured for us, and now discloses and offers through the gospel is eternal life, a life that is immortal and incorruptible. Only God possesses immortality in himself. But Christ gives it to men. Even our bodies after the resurrection will share in this immortality (1 Cor. 15:42, 52–54). So will the inheritance which we shall receive (1 Pet. 1:4). On the other hand, as C. K. Barrett writes: ‘possibly “life” refers to the new life made available in this world, “immortality” to its prolongation after death’.1 Whichever way we take the words, both are ‘revealed’ or ‘brought to light’ through the gospel. There are many hints in Old Testament Scripture about a life after death, and a few bright flashes of faith, but on the whole the Old Testament revelation was what Bishop Moule called a ‘comparative dusk’.2 Now, however, the gospel has thrown floods of light upon the offer of immortal life through Christ’s conquest of death.

In order to appreciate the full force of this Christian affirmation, we need to call to mind who it is who is making it. Who is this who writes so confidently about life and death, about the abolition of death and the revelation of life? It is one who is facing the prospect of imminent death himself. Any day now he expects to receive the death sentence. Already the final summons is ringing in his ears. Already he can see in his imagination the flash of the executioner’s sword. And yet, in the very presence of death, he can shout aloud: ‘Christ has abolished death’. This is Christian faith triumphant!

How one longs for the contemporary church to recover its lost certainty about the victory of Jesus Christ and to declare this good news to a world for whom death is the great unmentionable. The Observer magazine devoted a whole issue to death in October 1968 and commented: ‘Far from being prepared for death, modern society has made the very word almost unmentionable … we have brought all our talents into use to avoid the prospect of dying—and when the time comes we may react with anything from excessive triviality to total despair.’

One of the most searching tests to apply to any religion concerns its attitude to death. And measured by this test much so-called Christianity is found wanting with its black clothes, its mournful chants and its requiem masses. Of course dying can be very unpleasant, and bereavement can bring bitter sorrow. But death itself has been overthrown, and ‘blessed are the dead who die in the Lord’ (Rev. 14:13). The proper epitaph to write for a Christian believer is not a dismal and uncertain petition, ‘R.I.P.’ (requiescat in pace, ‘may he rest in peace’), but a joyful and certain affirmation ‘C.A.D.’ (‘Christ abolished death’) or—if you prefer the classical languages—its Greek or Latin equivalent!

Such, then, is the salvation which is offered us in the gospel and which is ours in Christ. Its character is man’s re-creation and transformation into the holiness of Christ here and hereafter. Its source is God’s eternal purpose of grace. Its ground is Christ’s historical appearing and abolition of death.

Putting these great truths together, we seem to detect five stages by which God’s saving purpose unfolds. The first is the eternal gift to us in Christ of his grace. The second is the historical appearing of Christ to abolish death by his death and resurrection. The third is the personal call of God to sinners through the preaching of the gospel. The fourth is the moral sanctification of believers by the Holy Spirit. And the fifth is the final heavenly perfection in which the holy calling is consummated.

The sweep of God’s purpose of grace is majestic indeed, as Paul traces it from a past eternity through a historical outworking in Jesus Christ and in the Christian to an ultimate destiny with Christ and like Christ in a future immortality. Is it not truly wonderful that, although Paul’s body is confined within the narrow limits of an underground cell, his heart and mind can thus soar into eternity?[3]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1995). 2 Timothy (pp. 22–24). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Fee, G. D. (2011). 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus (pp. 229–230). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[3] Stott, J. R. W. (1973). Guard the Gospel the message of 2 Timothy (pp. 34–40). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

Sharing Faith Is Increasingly Optional to Christians – Barna Group

(Barna) “Christians today, more than 25 years ago, perceive social barriers to sharing their faith. They are more likely to agree that faith-sharing is only effective when they already have a relationship with the other person (47% vs. 37% in 1993) and to admit they would avoid a spiritual conversation if they knew their non-Christian friend would reject them (44% vs. 33%).”

When was the last time you had a conversation about God? For most people, the unfortunate and surprising answer to that question is not very often. Spiritual conversations are exceedingly rare for most Americans, and even for Christians, who are at best reluctant to have them.

In 1993, Barna partnered with Lutheran Hour Ministries to research reasons why people did and did not engage in intentional outreach. A lot has changed since that initial study, so 25 years later we asked follow-up questions to see if talk of faith has become labored in a culture that is more digital, secular and contested than ever. The resulting report, Spiritual Conversations in the Digital Age, is now available for purchase.

Sharing Faith: Then and Now A growing number of Christians don’t see sharing the good news as a personal responsibility. Just 10 percent of Christians in 1993 who had shared about their faith agreed with the statement “converting people to Christianity is the job of the local church”—as opposed to the job of an individual (i.e., themselves). Twenty-five years later, three in 10 Christians who have had a conversation about faith say evangelism is the local church’s responsibility (29%), a nearly threefold increase. This jump could be the result of many factors, including poor ecclesiology (believing “the local church” is somehow separate from the people who are a part of it) or personal and cultural barriers to sharing faith. Yet the most dramatic divergence over time is on the statement, “Every Christian has a responsibility to share their faith.” In 1993, nine out of 10 Christians who had shared their faith agreed (89%). Today, just two-thirds say so (64%)—a 25-point drop. View article →
— Read on www.barna.com/research/sharing-faith-increasingly-optional-christians/

Has God Cast Away His People? GOD FORBID! (VIDEO)

Absolute Truth from the Word of God

 

I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of  the tribe of Benjamin.  God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew” (Romans 11: 1-2)

Pauls’ words from Romans 11 should resonate with every born again, blood washed believer in Yeshua!  God saved Saul of Tarsus as he was on the road to Damascus to persecute and kill Christians!

God changed his name to Paul who became the greatest evangelist in all of  history!

Can you imagine living your life thinking that you are a true Christian, but dying and meeting the Lord Jesus Christ and having Him say to you:

“I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Those dreaded words come from this passage of Scripture:

“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter…

View original post 2,531 more words

Bullying: LGBT Lobby is Criminalizing Christianity Before Our Eyes – TheResurgent.com

Christians are being forced by government to choose between their livelihood and their faith convictions. It’s wrong.

It seems absurd to suggest that the United States is witnessing the tempered unfolding of the criminalization of Christianity. After all, the vast majority of the American population claims affiliation with the Christian tradition – just over 70% in the most recent Pew Research study.

But while I still regard the threats of religious interrogations and incarcerations overly exaggerative and hyperbolic, it’s anti-intellectual to pretend current legislative action occurring in numerous states and municipalities does not represent a direct threat to the legal expression of traditional, orthodox Christian thought. Specifically, thinking and acting according to Christian sexual ethics is becoming illegal – the criminalization of Christianity.

— Read on www.themaven.net/theresurgent/contributors/bullying-lgbt-lobby-is-criminalizing-christianity-before-our-eyes-16R9jEQ5o0aBnuKAKXR36w/

May 18 Value and Importance of Knowing the Father

Our Father who is in heaven … —Matt. 6:9b

Knowing God as our Father carries with it a definite list of spiritual privileges and benefits. First, it means we need not fear, as pagans do before their false gods or unbelievers do in their agnosticism.

Second, real knowledge of God resolves uncertainties and gives us hope. A good earthly father does what it takes to protect and provide for his children; so our heavenly Father does much more to love and sustain His children (cf. Matt. 7:11; John 10:29; 14:21).

Third, knowing the Father alleviates loneliness. Family, friends, and even other believers may reject us, but we can be sure that God never will (John 14:21; cf. Ps. 68:5–6).

Fourth, knowing God as Father settles the issue of selfishness. Jesus used the plural possessive pronoun in reference to God because we share His fatherhood with millions of other Christians. Thus we ought to pray for others, not just ourselves.

Fifth, genuine knowledge of the Father means all His heavenly resources are available to us (Eph. 1:3).

Finally, this comprehension settles the issue of obedience. If Jesus in His incarnation did only His Father’s will (John 6:38), we as adopted spiritual children must also do only God’s will. This proves our relationship to Him (Matt. 12:50). Yet God in His grace still loves His children who disobey (cf. Luke 15:11–24).

Being our Father reveals God’s willingness to lend His ear, power, and blessings to His children, for their best and His glory.

ASK YOURSELF

Which of these six benefits of God’s Fatherhood struck you as most comforting and compelling today? What needs in your life does this particular blessing of God meet? And how does it do so in ways that no person could ever accomplish?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2008). Daily readings from the life of Christ (p. 147). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

Bitter Root, Rotten Fruit — Paul Tautges

Hebrews 12:15-17 warns,

See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled; that there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal. For you know that even afterwards, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears.

Let’s take a few minutes to counsel one another about the corruption of bitterness and what steps we can take to kill this nasty weed.

What is bitterness and what does it do?

  • Bitterness [harsh, distasteful attitude) springs from a shortage of grace (“See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God”). When I am bitter against someone for sinning against me–intentionally or unintentionally–then I am not functioning as a grace-dispensing believer.
  • Bitterness is a “root” attitude of heart. Roots grow downward, getting deeper and more deeply embedded and entangled. If my shortage of grace is prolonged then my heart will become increasingly hardened toward others.
  • Bitterness has fruit that grows upward and outward, touching others (“springing up”). When I am bitter it is impossible for me to be the only one infected. Others around me will also be poisoned.
  • Bitterness “causes trouble.” When I have nurtured the root of bitterness in my heart its rotten fruit will cause further harm, and lead to further sin. It is an entangling sin.
  • Bitterness, if not repented of, can harden the heart to the point of no return (“Esau…found no place for repentance”). A sober warning!

Weed-killer for Bitterness

  • Forgive from your heart those who have hurt you (Matthew 18:35).
  • Bless those who have hurt you; overcome evil with good (Romans 12:19-21).
  • Actively choose not to remember sins committed against you. Actively choosing not to remember is different than forgetting. In Jeremiah 31:34, God says he will “remember no more” the sins of his people. This is not memory failure, or forgetfulness. This is God’s conscious choice to no longer hold our sins against us. We must do the same with the sins of others.
  • Destroy “lists of sins” committed against you, mental lists or actual, written lists (1 Cor. 13:5).
  • Make peace with others, as much as is in your power (Rom. 12:18)
Listen to the related audio sermon here.
TWO HELPFUL MINI-BOOKS

[This article was originally posted July 5, 2011.]

Read the follow-up post “15 Ways to Kill Bitterness

via Bitter Root, Rotten Fruit — Paul Tautges

MAY 18 GOD DOES NOT HAVE POWER: GOD IS POWER

God hath spoken once: twice have I heard this: that power belongeth unto God.

PSALM 62:11

It is hard for us sons of the machine age to remember that there is no power apart from God! Whether physical, intellectual, moral or spiritual, power is contained in God, flows out from Him and returns to Him again. The power that works throughout His creation remains in Him even while it operates in an atom or a galaxy!

The notion that power is something God separates from Himself and tosses out to work apart from Him is erroneous. The power of nature is the Presence of God in the universe. This idea is woven into the book of Job, the Psalms and the Prophets.

The writings of John and Paul in the New Testament harmonize with this Old Testament doctrine, and in the book of Hebrews it is said that Christ upholds all things by the word of His power.

We must not think of the power of God as wild, irrational energy coursing haphazardly through the world like a lightning strike or a tornado. This is the impression sometimes created by Bible teachers who keep reminding us that dunamis, the Greek word for power, is the root from which comes our word “dynamite.” Little wonder that sensitive Christians shrink from contact with such a destructive and unpredictable force.

The power of God is not something God has: it is something God is! Power is something that is true of God as wisdom and love are true of Him. It is, if we might so state it, a fact of His being, one with and indivisible from everything else that He is. The power of God is one with God’s will and works only as He wills that it should. It is His holy Being in action![1]


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