Daily Archives: May 27, 2018

May 27: Math: Maybe Not a Mystic Language After All

1 Chronicles 21:1–22:19; 2 Timothy 2:14–26; Psalm 86:1–87:7

In a world of metrics, it’s easy to become obsessed with statistics and start to quantify every aspect of our lives. Stats can even become a type of scorekeeping between churches or pastors: “We have more members than you do.” We may never say those words out loud, but we think them; more than one person has made the mistake of measuring a ministry based on attendance. But God has His own method for measuring success.

Prompted by an adversary (“Satan” is often better translated as “adversary” or “accuser” in the Old Testament), David decides to seek metrics—to count the people of Israel. This account illustrates the harm of seeking gratification or understanding in numbers. In 1 Chronicles 21, major problems emerge from this: including placing an adversary’s will above God’s and predicting God’s will rather than seeking it regularly.

Rather than counting our successes, we should be counting on God for success. We should also be tallying how often He is faithful rather than how many we are in number. We’re more likely to see God’s faithfulness when we’re looking for it rather than looking for probabilities. David succeeded as a warrior and king not because he deserved it, but because God chose for him to do so. In 1 Chronicles 21, David forgets God’s role, even though his (often wrong and bloodthirsty) general reminds him otherwise. In fact, God’s use of Joab as His messenger demonstrates that God’s providential will can come from the least likely places.

Keeping a tally isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and we shouldn’t avoid metrics and stats. But we need to keep information in perspective. It’s not about baptizing 200 people on a Sunday—although that’s a blessed thing. It’s about lives being transformed and people being blessed so that they can experience transformation.

How can you count on what God is doing instead of counting what you deem success?

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 27 From Terrorism to Discipleship (Simon the Zealot)

The twelve apostles included “Simon the Zealot” (Matt. 10:4).

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Even people of vastly different backgrounds can minister together for Christ.

During the time between the Old and New Testaments, a fiery revolutionary named Judas Maccabaeus led the Jewish people in a revolt against Greek influences on their nation and religion. The spirit of that movement was captured in this statement from the apocryphal book of 1 Maccabees: “Be ye zealous for the law and give your lives for the covenant” (1 Maccabees 2:50). That group of politically-oriented, self-appointed guardians of Judaism later became known as the Zealots.

During the New Testament period, Zealots conducted terrorist activities against Rome to free Israel from Roman oppression, prompting Rome to destroy Jerusalem in a.d. 70 and to slaughter people in 985 Galilean towns.

After the destruction of Jerusalem, the few remaining Zealots banded together under the leadership of a man named Eleazar. Their headquarters was at a retreat called Masada. When the Romans laid siege to Masada and the Zealots knew defeat was imminent, they chose to kill their own families and to commit suicide themselves rather than face death at the hands of the Romans. It was a tragedy of monumental proportions, but such was the depth of their fiery zeal for Judaism and their hatred for their political enemies.

Before coming to Christ, Simon was a Zealot. Even as a believer, he must have retained much of his zeal, redirecting it in a godly direction. We can only imagine the passion with which he approached the ministry, having finally found a leader and cause transcending Judaism and political activism.

It’s amazing to realize that Simon the Zealot and Matthew the tax-gatherer ministered together. Under normal circumstances Simon would have killed a traitor like Matthew. But Christ broke through their differences, taught them to love each other, and used them for His glory.

Perhaps you know believers who come from totally different backgrounds than yours. Do you have trouble getting along with any of them? If so, why? How can you begin to mend your differences? Be encouraged by the transformation Christ worked in Simon and Matthew, and follow their example.

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Suggestions for Prayer:  Pray for a spirit of unity in your church.

For Further Study: According to Romans 12:9–21, what attitudes should you have toward others?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 160). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

Michelle Lesley Explains the Pharisee Card — Pulpit & Pen

 

At Pulpit & Pen we are often condemned as “pharisees”.  Such is the result of being polemical of and discerning about today’s money-and-popularity-driven evangelical industrial complex. This type of condemnation is such a frequent occurrence that we published an article, The Pharisee Card with which to page slap the frequent detractors who send us emails accusing us of being pharisaical.   The term “pharisee” has come to be abused, used as an epithet for anyone who would speak against unholiness and doctrinal error.  Michelle Lesley is a popular Christian blogger and a discerning critic of (what passes for) female-oriented Christian literature.  She is outspokenly polemical of popular authors such as Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer, Lysa Terkeurst, Jen Hatmaker, Anne Voskamp, Sarah Young, and Joyce Meyer.  I imagine she also frequently falls victim to being incorrectly labeled a pharisee.  That’s why I was glad to see a video she released today in which she provides an astute, biblically-grounded analysis of the proper use of the term “pharisee.”

 

via Michelle Lesley Explains the Pharisee Card — Pulpit & Pen

Giuliani: ‘The Basis on Which’ Mueller Was Appointed Is ‘Illegitimate’

Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani said the “basis” on which special counsel Robert Mueller was appointed to probe Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election was “illegitimate.” Giuliani said, “First of all there are two different investigations.

Source: Giuliani: ‘The Basis on Which’ Mueller Was Appointed Is ‘Illegitimate’

GOP Rep Meadows: ‘No Question’ a ‘Spy’ Was Collecting Info on Trump Campaign

Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” House Freedom Caucus chairman Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) said there was “no question” a “spy” who was “collecting information” during the 2016 presidential campaign of Donald Trump. Meadows  said, “There is no question that there was a spy that was collecting information, and the definition of that: somebody who does something in secret without the knowledge of another person.” He added, “At what point do we as Americans say, it is not right to spy on a campaign? Whether it’s Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders, it’s not right.”

Source: GOP Rep Meadows: ‘No Question’ a ‘Spy’ Was Collecting Info on Trump Campaign

POTUS Trump: Mueller Phony Russia Witch Hunt Has Devastated and Destroyed Many Lives — The Gateway Pundit

The gloves are off.

President Trump slammed Robert Mueller and his team of hack lawyers AGAIN Sunday morning in a pair of tweets.

The President said many lives have been devastated and destroyed by Mueller’s phony Russian collusion witch hunt. 

 

Robert Mueller is a dirty cop.

Mueller and his team of Hillary-Obama donors have hunted down anyone and everyone in Trump’s inner circle for the sole purpose to destroy lives.

To this date, the FBI has not done a forensic inspection of the DNC servers to determine if they were hacked, and if hacked, by whom?

Yet here we are two years later with an unconstitutional witch hunt costing taxpayers millions of dollars.

President Trump says Mueller has destroyed many lives.

Trump tweeted: Who’s going to give back the young and beautiful lives (and others) that have been devastated and destroyed by the phony Russia Collusion Witch Hunt? They journeyed down to Washington, D.C., with stars in their eyes and wanting to help our nation…They went back home in tatters!

The President then slammed Crooked Hillary and brought up the DNC’s servers. 

Round two: Why didn’t the 13 Angry Democrats investigate the campaign of Crooked Hillary Clinton, many crimes, much Collusion with Russia? Why didn’t the FBI take the Server from the DNC? Rigged Investigation!

GENERAL MIKE FLYNN

For no legitimate reason, Mueller has made life hell for Mike Flynn, a three-star General who served this country honorably for decades.

Because of Mueller’s witch hunt, General Flynn got buried in mounting legal fees causing him to sell one of his homes.

CARTER PAGE

In a recent interview with the New York Post’s Paul Sperry, Carter Page says the FBI witch hunt ruined his life.

FBI surveillance of former Trump campaign advisor Carter Page cost him business, income and even his girlfriend.

Page tells The Post that during the media barrage he faced in late 2016, he visited his girlfriend at her London flat, where she was “freaking out with the fake news about me.”

MICHAEL CAPUTO

Trump campaign adviser Michael Caputo says Mueller has made life hell for him and his family.

Caputo went off on the Senate Intel panel recently.

“Forget about all the death threats against my family. I want to know who cost us so much money, who crushed our kids, who forced us out of our home, all because you lost an election,” Caputo said. “I want to know because God damn you to hell.”

GEORGE PAPADOPOULOS

Papadopoulos was a Trump campaign volunteer who was enticed by cash and a trip to London by FBI informant Stefan Halper.

As a result he plead guilty to making a false statement to the FBI and will receive his sentence very soon.

PAUL MANAFORT

Trump’s former campaign Chairman, Paul Manafort was raided by the FBI at gunpoint last summer and indicted on charges that have nothing to do with Russian collusion.

As a result, Manafort has lost his freedom and is fighting Mueller in two different cases which of course is costing him a lot of money.

MICHAEL COHEN

One of Trump’s personal lawyers was recently raided by the FBI on Rosenstein’s orders with Mueller’s blessing.

The only reason Cohen is being hunted down is because he is connected to President Trump.

As a result his financial records have been leaked to the public.

Cohen has also become of target of Mueller’s investigation.

ROGER STONE

Stone is one of Trump’s longtime friends and advisors and also a target of Mueller’s witch hunt along with his aides.

The Special Counsel has recently probed Stone’s finances including his tax returns.

In a recent op-ed for The Gateway Pundit, Roger Stone said, “Mueller can indict a ham sandwich but I’m not interested in being his lunch.”

These are just a few people who are caught up in Mueller’s political witch hunt.

Many other lives have been affected including members of Trump’s family.

Just as Tom Fitton always says, “SHUT IT DOWN!”

via POTUS Trump: Mueller Phony Russia Witch Hunt Has Devastated and Destroyed Many Lives — The Gateway Pundit

MAY 27 THE HUMBLE PLACE

All of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility.

1 Peter 5:5

I have met two classes of Christians: the proud who imagine they are humble, and the humble who are afraid they are proud!

There should be another class: the self-forgetful men and women who leave the whole thing in the hands of Christ and refuse to waste any time trying to make themselves good. They will reach the goal far ahead of the rest.

The truly humble person does not expect to find virtue in himself, and when he finds none he is not disappointed. He knows that any good deed he may do is the result of God’s working within him.

When this belief becomes so much a part of any man or woman that it operates as a kind of unconscious reflex, he or she is released from the burden of trying to live up to the opinion they hold of themselves. They can relax and count upon the Holy Spirit to fulfill the moral law within them.

Let us never forget that the promises of God are made to the humble: The proud man by his pride forfeits every blessing promised to the lowly heart, and from the hand of God he need expect only justice!

Lord, it is very difficult to “put on humility” in a culture that idolizes self-promotion and individuality. I invite You to do a work in me, Lord, molding my life to be a useful instrument in Your hands.[1]


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

Rudy Giuliani: The Spying on Trump by the Obama Administration “Completely Taints” the Entire Mueller Probe (VIDEO) — The Gateway Pundit

Rudy Giuliani made the rounds this morning on the Sunday talk shows.

Rudy told FOX News Sunday that the spying on Trump by the Obama administration and deep state players comletely taints the investigation.

Rudy Giuliani: The whole thing with this investigation that was going on which we consider spying was done before Mueller got involved but it completely taints his investigation.

He’s right.

The Obama administration and cohorts in the British intelligence community were spying on Trump since 2015 and never were able to find collusion between any Trump official and the Russian government.

via Rudy Giuliani: The Spying on Trump by the Obama Administration “Completely Taints” the Entire Mueller Probe (VIDEO) — The Gateway Pundit

Paige Patterson Covered up For Paul Pressler, Molester of Males — Zwinglius Redivivus

Pressler, along with Patterson, were the two Fundamentalist leaders that dismantled Southeastern Seminary’s faculty and staff while I was there including seeing to it that the trustees, a collective of cowards. carried out the dismissal of Randall Lolley, President, and many distinguished professors.

These two craven evildoers have now been exposed to be the lowest sort of criminals, not only engaging in molestation (Pressler) but covering up those molestations and rapes (Patterson).

These servants of Satan ruined so many lives.  May they feel the sting of God’s eternal justice.

via Paige Patterson Covered up For Paul Pressler, Molester of Males — Zwinglius Redivivus

Church Of England Pushing For Transgender Priests — The Gateway Pundit

Get ready for Father-Mother Pat. The Church Of England is staging a “diversity drive”, and one of their specific goals is to recruit transgender folks for Priesthood.

The Telegraph reports:

Bishops in the diocese of Lichfield have issued new guidance to parishioners and clergy reminding them that LGBT people “can be called to roles of leadership and service in the local church”.

The guidance, titled “welcoming and honouring LGBT+ people”, warns that the church’s reputation as being unwelcoming towards gay and transgender people is stopping young people attending.

“We very much hope that they, like everyone else, feel encouraged to serve on PCCs, or as churchwardens and worship leaders, for instance, and are supported in exploring vocations to licensed lay and ordained ministries,” the guidance says.

“Nobody should be told that their sexual or gender identity in itself makes them an unsuitable candidate for leadership in the Church.”

The group, led by diocesan bishop The Rt Revd Dr Michael Ipgrave, also warn against “intrustive questioning about someone’s sexual practices or desires, or their experience of gender”, saying it is “almost always inappropriate”.

(The Church) voted to support the introduction of a new liturgy for transgender people, though bishops announced earlier this year that one was not needed, and that people in this circumstance could instead use the existing liturgy for affirmation of baptismal faith. 

The new guidance, which is signed by three other bishops within the diocese, warns clergy that they may not “tell or insinuate to people that sexual orientation or gender identity will be changed by faith or that homosexuality or gender difference is a sign of immaturity or a lack of faith”.

Progressive groups within the church welcomed the move. OneBodyOneFaith, which works to promote LGBT inclusion, said the guidance was “encouraging”. 

At the time the Archbishop of Canterbury said: “All bullying, including homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying causes profound damage, leading to higher levels of mental health disorders, self-harm, depression and suicide.

“Central to Christian theology is the truth that every single one of us is made in the image of God.”

Priests and bishops in the Church of England are allowed to enter civil partnerships, but not same-sex marriages.

They are allowed to enter into same-sex relationships only on the understanding that they will remain celibate.

Several gay priests have left the church in order to get married, while one, Jeremy Pemberton, lost a discrimination case after he was prevented from taking up a post as a hospital chaplain having married his male partner.

via Church Of England Pushing For Transgender Priests — The Gateway Pundit