Monthly Archives: June 2018

June 30: By Your Example

Esther 8:1–10:3; 3 John 5–15; Psalm 118:17–29

By nature, we are creatures of imitation. Children mimic the traits of their parents, and even in later life we are influenced by the habits of our friends. People naturally imitate, even if they don’t realize it or intend to. This is one reason why “lead by example” is such a powerful principle. It’s also why leaders can change the direction of a whole community—for better or worse (Jas 3:1).

Diotrephes, an ambitious member of the early church who misused his power, was unwilling to heed the advice of John and others who reprimanded him. In his letter to Gaius, a church leader known for his faithfulness and love, John gives this advice regarding Diotrephes: “Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. The one who does good is of God; the one who does evil has not seen God” (3 John 11).

Throughout his letters, John emphasizes that people’s actions reflect their heart. Diotrephes’ actions told a dismal story. Whether he was a church leader or someone who battled for leadership, he was characterized by his selfish ambition: He wanted to be “first,” and he did “not acknowledge” those in leadership roles (3 John 9). He was also known for speaking evil words that undermined other leaders (3 John 10), and he spread contention by refusing to receive missionaries and intimidating those who wanted to (3 John 10). These actions didn’t reflect the work of the Spirit in his life.

We’re not sure what happened to Diotrephes. Perhaps he left the Christian community. Perhaps he repented when John “call[ed] attention to the deeds he [was] doing” (3 John 10). His story, though, shows us that we shouldn’t imitate blindly. Instead, we should “test the spirits to determine if they are from God” and respond wisely (1 John 4:1).

Where in your life do you need to be more careful whom you imitate? Where do you need to set a positive example?

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.

June 30 Sacrificial Faith on Display

“In the same way was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works, when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? Just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead” (James 2:25–26).


True faith willingly makes whatever sacrifices God requires.

It’s understandable that James would use Abraham as an illustration of living faith—especially to his predominately Jewish readers. Rahab, however, is a different story. She was a Gentile, a prostitute, a liar, and lived in the pagan city of Jericho. How could such a person illustrate true faith?

Rahab knew very little about the true God, but what she knew, she believed, and what she believed, she acted on. She believed that God had led His people out of Egypt and defeated the Amorite kings (Josh. 2:9–10). She openly confessed that the Lord “is God in heaven above and on earth beneath” (v. 11). Her faith was vindicated when she aided the Hebrew spies who entered Jericho just prior to Joshua’s invasion.

Both Abraham and Rahab valued their faith in God above all else. Both were willing to sacrifice what mattered most to them. For Abraham it was Isaac; for Rahab it was her own life. Their obedience in the face of such great sacrifice proved the genuineness of their faith.

James calls each of us to examine ourselves to be sure we have a living faith. The acid test is whether your faith produces obedience. No matter what you claim, if righteousness doesn’t characterize your life, your faith is dead, not living. James likened that kind of faith to hypocrites who offer pious words to the needy but refuse to meet their needs, to demons who believe the truth about God but are eternally lost, and to a lifeless, useless corpse. Those are strong analogies, but God does not want you to be deceived about the quality of your own faith.

I pray that you are rejoicing in the confidence that your faith is genuine. God bless you as you live each day in His wonderful grace.


Suggestions for Prayer:  Ask God for the grace and courage to make any sacrifice necessary as you live out your faith.

For Further Study: Read Joshua 2:1–24, 6:1–27, and Matthew 1:1–5. ✧ How did Rahab protect the spies? ✧ How did God bless Rahab?[1]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 194). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

Condemning Historical Figures For Racism Is A Slippery Slope ⋅ FaithfulNews

Public Domain Photo

Laura Ingalls Wilder is the latest historical figure to be posthumously exiled from polite society by people who think “Nineteen Eighty-Four” is an instruction manual. The legendary author of the “Little House on the Prairie” series has had her name dropped from a prestigious children’s literature award given by the American Library Association. Wilder is guilty of being culturally insensitive, it seems. She is no longer safe for children.

The president of the Association explained it this way:

Wilder’s books are a product of her life experiences and perspective as a settler in America’s 1800s. Her works reflect dated cultural attitudes toward Indigenous people and people of color that contradict modern acceptance, celebration, and understanding of diverse communities.

The New York Times catalogs some of Wilder’s most egregious offenses:

Despite their popularity, Ms. Wilder’s books contain jarringly prejudicial portrayals of Native Americans and African Americans.

In the 1935 book “Little House on the Prairie,” for example, multiple characters espoused versions of the view that “the only good Indian was a dead Indian.” In one scene, a character describes Native Americans as “wild animals” undeserving of the land they lived on.

“Little Town on the Prairie,” published in 1941, included a description of a minstrel show with “five black-faced men in raggedy-taggedy uniforms” alongside a jolting illustration of the scene.

In other words, the characters in the book (and presumably Wilder herself) had attitudes and beliefs common to their time and place. This, we have determined, is unforgivable. Only books from the past that do not read like books from the past may be read today. Only people from the past who live up to our modern standards of racial enlightenment can be remembered and honored today. Of course, the only problem is that almost nobody in the past can live up to that standard.

Racial bias was a simple fact of life across the world, across every race, across history, up until the last few decades or so. Even today, racial bigotry is quite common and mainstream in many places — non-western countries, especially. It is safe to say that you will find considerably less racial tolerance in, say, Saudi Arabia or Egypt or India, than in the United States. The idea of complete racial equality is uniquely modern and uniquely western.

Historically, even ethnic tolerance was not ethnically tolerant. Lincoln wanted to free the slaves. He also wanted to ship them all back to Africa because he certainly didn’t want to live among them as equals. Grant’s wife owned slaves and Grant himself was an alleged anti-Semite who famously attempted to expel all the Jews from the areas he controlled in western Tennessee. These men were more progressive on racial matters than most people of their time, but they’d be depraved, backwards, slobbering bigots if we plucked them from their home in the mid-19th century and plopped them into the American society of 2018. Is that how we should judge them? Should we judge them as if they lived in our time? And if so, who, in all of history, could possibly pass through that filtration system and emerge on the other side as a safe and enlightened figure worthy of our admiration?

Here’s another question: why do we only apply this impossible standard to white, western historical people? Why aren’t we shaming Native Americans for cherishing an ancestral heritage that almost always included wars of conquest and slavery, and sometimes included cannibalism and human sacrifice? Why don’t we scold those of north African descent for the historical sin of the Barbary slave trade? Why don’t we look with disgust on Mongolians who build monuments to Genghis Khan? It seems that even Genghis Khan’s never-ending campaign of rape and pillage, and the Aztec (or Mayan or Incan, etc.) habit of slaughtering children to appease their deities, can be seen in the context of the time — but a few harsh words in “Little House on the Prairie” is enough reason to send Laura Ingalls Wilder to history’s proverbial ash heap. This seems a bit unbalanced.

But I could perhaps tolerate the blatant double standard if the standard applied to white people made any sense at all. It doesn’t. A rational person ought to be able to see that the racism of a 19th century pioneer or a 17th century pilgrim is not nearly as indictable as the racism of a 21st century white supremacist. Racism itself is an objective evil and has always been an objective evil. But the moral guilt of the racist person obviously begins to lessen considerably as you go further back in time.

People in the past did not possess the information we possess. They did not have the same biological understanding of the human species as we have. They did not look at things from the global perspective that we do. When they encountered people from another race or culture, it was akin to modern man making contact with space aliens. Indeed, if we ever did have a close encounter of the third kind, and we noticed that these alien creatures are similar to us yet profoundly different, and they have habits and customs that, to us, are strange and gross and sometimes horrifying, there would certainly be a debate about the exact moral standing of this new and unknown species. We would probably be wrong in all of our conclusions.

This doesn’t justify any of the racism in the past, but it does put it into some perspective. I am not suggesting that we see racism from a morally relativistic vantage point. I am just suggesting merely that we see it within its historical context. (And this should be no trouble for the actual moral relativists in our culture, yet they are precisely the ones who become stringent moral absolutists when it comes to pre-modern white people.)

If we must now line up and spit on the graves of all of history’s “racists,” we will be doing quite a lot of spitting. We will have to spit on every grave, basically. We will have to spit on history itself. And that might make us feel very good and very superior, but, in the end, the real fools and bigots will be ourselves.

— Source:

“Truly An Embarrassment”: Ex-CNN Producer Calls Out Jim Acosta For Heckling Trump During Annapolis Eulogy

A former CNN producer has called out Jim Acosta for giving “all good journalists a bad name” after he heckled President Trump during remarks about the five journalists who lost their lives in Thursday’s deadly newsroom attack in Annapolis, Maryland.

“This attack shocked the conscience of our nation and filled our hearts with grief. Journalists, like all Americans, should be free from the fear of being violently attacked while doing their job,” President Trump said.

This prompted CNN’s Jim Acosta to start heckling Trump – asking the President “Will you stop calling the press the enemy of the people?

A man in front of Acosta is visibly annoyed, turning around several times to shush the CNN employee.

For that, former CNN digital producer Steve Krakauer took Acosta to task for drawing links between Trump’s criticism of the media and the shooting – even after it was known that the shooter had a long-standing grudge against the paper, had been reported to police at least twice, and that a restraining order against the suspect had been taken out against him by a journalist.

“Truly an embarrassment, on multiple levels. Jim Acosta’s self-serving antics give all good journalists a bad name,” tweeted Krakauer.

As John Nolte of Breitbart points out – Acosta was literally manufacturing fake news, as there’s no way Trump could have heard him.

Acosta is clearly too far away to be seen or heard by the president.

Nevertheless, although there is no way he will be heard, Acosta drops all pretense of professionalism to still holler a question to the president

In other words, Acosta knows Trump cannot hear him, but like a heckler out to spoil the moment for everyone else, he still screams his question at him.

Watch as Acosta turns around to look at his cameraman and appears to ask if they got the shot. Then the camera lights are shut off, which again reveals just how staged and artificial all of this is. –Breitbart

“This is not journalism,” concludes Nolte.

Nearly three weeks prior, Acosta decided to insert himself again – heckling Trump and Kim Jong Un during their historic Singapore summit.

On one hand, it would be easy for the White House to yank Acosta’s press pass. Then again, watching CNN perpetually embarrass itself has become an American pastime.

Source: “Truly An Embarrassment”: Ex-CNN Producer Calls Out Jim Acosta For Heckling Trump During Annapolis Eulogy

It’s All Over For Acosta! He Was Just BUSTED Manufacturing FAKE NEWS! – Truthfeed

Jim Acosta is done.

His press pass should be yanked, and he should be chased out of town for his fake news antics, that were just revealed on video.

Here’s how it happened:

On Friday, Acosta attended President Trump’s event to discuss the six-month mark of his incredible tax reform, and where he also made a comment on the murder of five people at an Annapolis, Maryland, newspaper by a man with a years-long feud with the paper.

At that time, Acosta, from the very back of the large room, shouted a rude question at the president, which made it appear to his CNN audience as if Trump was solely responsible for the shooting at the newspaper.

At the end of the video, Acosta is heard asking the cameraman if he “got the shot,” and then the cameraman turns off the lights.

This was not some “off the cuff” moment in journalism, as Acosta paints it, later in a tweet. This was a setup, designed to embarrass the president and “manufacture” a news story.

Jim Acosta and CNN STAGED a propaganda moment of 100 percent fake news for their audience and to attack our America First President.

There was no way President Trump would have heard the question from the back of the room.

That moment was designed to lead CNN viewers to believe that President Trump’s angst with the fake news media was to blame for the shooting at the Annapolis Gazette.

Sickening – and completely false and shamefully phony.

From Breitbart

CNN anti-Trump activist Jim Acosta was caught on video Friday not only engaging in shameless grandstanding, but in the actual act of manufacturing fake news.

In the video embedded below, Acosta is present at a White House event where President Trump delivered remarks about the five journalists murdered in Maryland on Thursday. As you will see, though, Acosta is clearly too far away to be seen or heard by the president.

Nevertheless, although there is no way he will be heard, Acosta drops all pretense of professionalism to still holler a question to the president: “Will you stop calling the press the enemy of the people, sir?”

In other words, Acosta knows Trump cannot hear him, but like a heckler out to spoil the moment for everyone else, he still screams his question at him.

Watch for yourself:


CNN’s @Acosta repeatedly shouts “Mr. President, will you stop calling the press the enemy of the people” at @realDonaldTrump and is shushed by an onlooker!

— Jon Levine (@LevineJonathan) June 29, 2018

It is only at the end of the video that we discover Acosta’s true motive, and it is the opposite of journalism. Watch as Acosta turns around to look at his cameraman and appears to ask if they got the shot. Then the camera lights are shut off, which again reveals just how staged and artificial all of this is.

This is not journalism.

Acosta and CNN knew Trump was too far away to hear the question.

This is staging news, manufacturing news, a fictional piece of propaganda produced as a means to deliberately mislead the public and embarrass the president.

If these staged theatrics are not bad enough, Acosta and CNN then doubled down in their deliberate crusade to mislead. “I tried to ask the president if he would stop calling us the enemy of the people. He did not respond,” Acosta tweeted Friday:

I tried to ask the president if he would stop calling us the enemy of the people. He did not respond.

— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) June 29, 2018

Again, this is Acosta and the far-left CNN’s calculated attempt to deceive, to make it seem as though Trump was asked a direct question and refused to answer

Acosta is so far away from Trump, you can barely make out the president from where Acosta is standing, and yet, to fabricate fake news, Acosta films the propaganda of him shouting a futile question and then publicly accuses Trump of refusing to answer.

If the media do not want to be called the “enemy of the people,” maybe they should stop acting like it.
— Read on

Brannon Howse: June 29, 2018 | Worldview Weekend

Guest: Dr. Jimmy DeYoung. Topic: Pastors that refuse to teach through the book of Revelation are some of the same pastors that either defended or would not condemn interfaith dialogue in the summer of 2017. If a pastor does not understand the coming one-world religion because of their lack of understanding of Bible prophecy then one would expect they would show little concern over IFD. Topic: The demonic world told Alice Bailey how globalism would come about and now it is being set up as they revealed. Topic: Revelation 18 and the three legged stool. Topic: Israel readies nuclear reactors for a missile attack from Hezbollah and Iran. Topic: Turkish President Erdogan wins Presidential election and confirms absolute power. Topic: Vladimir Putin eyes a Middle East role for Russia, for the future. Topic: Trump gives green light for Israel to attack Iran.
— Read on


Consecrate yourselves to day to the Lord,…that he may bestow upon you a blessing this day.

Exodus 32:29

Today more than ever we Christians need to learn how to sanctify the ordinary. This is a blasé generation. People have been overstimulated to the place where their nerves are jaded and their tastes corrupted. Natural things have been rejected to make room for things artificial. The sacred has been secularized, the holy vulgarized and worship converted into a form of entertainment. A dopey, blear-eyed generation seeks constantly for some new excitement powerful enough to bring a thrill to its worn-out and benumbed sensibilities. So many wonders have been discovered or invented that nothing on earth is any longer wonderful. Everything is common and almost everything boring.

When the whole moral and psychological atmosphere is secular and common, how can we escape its deadly effects? How can we sanctify the ordinary and find true spiritual meaning in the common things of life? The answer has already been suggested. It is to consecrate the whole of life to Christ and begin to do everything in His name and for His sake.

Dear Lord, at the start of this new day, I consecrate my life and my work to You. Help me find spiritual fulfillment and meaning in the routine tasks of this day. Amen.[1]

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

Top Weekly Stories from for 06/30/2018

‘The Shack’ Author Claims Unsaved Can Still Be Reconciled to God After Death: ‘I Don’t Think Death Is Our Damnation’   Jun 26, 2018 05:37 pm

Photo Credit: Screenshot YouTube/Faith Words William P. Young, the author of the best-selling novel “The Shack,” which was made into a major motion picture and decried by some as containing blasphemous and false doctrine, outlined in a recent interview that he believes people are still given chances to receive Christ’s sacrifice after death, remarking, “I…

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Arkansas False Teacher Claims at Funeral: ‘Hell Is an Imaginary Place,’ ‘All That Stuff Is a Fairytale’   Jun 25, 2018 12:58 pm

BLYTHEVILLE, Ark. — Concerns are being raised after the leader of Prince of Peace Church in Blytheville, Arkansas recently claimed at a young man’s funeral that “Hell is an imaginary place,” and that Hell is just what a person creates upon the Earth. Footage of the funeral was posted to social media this past week, showing Timothy Rogers asserting that people…

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Pastor Laments Professing Christians Who Defend TV Drama ‘Lucifer’: ‘It Is Deceptive Lie … to Claim Devil Could Be Redeemed’   Jun 27, 2018 12:39 pm

SIMI VALLEY, Calif. — A California pastor who is known for his warnings about the glorification of evil by Hollywood and the secular music industry has weighed in on reports that Netflix has decided to pick up the fourth season of the fantasy police drama “Lucifer” and the fact that a number of professing Christians are defending the show in asserting that it…

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Abortion Workers Sing Karaoke, Blare Ozzy Osbourne’s ‘Crazy Train’ Outside Facility as Pregnant Mothers Arrive to Have Babies Killed   Jun 23, 2018 04:06 pm

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — Workers who identify as “escorts” at an abortion facility in Virginia recently set up a loudspeaker on the back of a truck and began blaring Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train” and various other rock songs, breaking out into karaoke at times and laughing and dancing, in an effort to drown out Christians who were preaching the gospel on the public…

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Outrage After Philippine President Calls God ‘Stupid’   Jun 27, 2018 08:28 am

MANILA (Channel NewsAsia) — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte faced growing outrage on Tuesday (June 26) in his largely Catholic nation after calling God “stupid,” the latest furor he has sparked with an unfiltered broadside. Duterte took aim at the biblical creation story during a speech, raising the question of why God would create Adam and Eve and then…

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High School Football Coach Who Lost Job for Praying on Field Petitions U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Appeal   Jun 27, 2018 08:56 pm

Photo Credit: First Liberty WASHINGTON — Attorneys for former high school football coach Joe Kennedy have filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court in hopes that it would accept an appeal surrounding Kennedy’s loss of employment as school district officials decided in 2016 not to renew his coaching contract in the midst of a battle over his desire to pray…

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Disregard for Human Life Leads to Hundreds of Deaths at UK Hospital   Jun 24, 2018 10:21 pm

(The Christian Institute) — Up to 650 people died at a hospital on the south coast of England due to an institutional culture which hastened death and undermined the sanctity of life, a major report has found. The review into Gosport War Memorial Hospital, led by the former Bishop of Liverpool, found 456 patients were given opioid drugs “without appropriate…

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Supreme Court Sides With Calif. Pregnancy Centers Challenging Law Requiring Provision of Info on Govt. Abortion Programs   Jun 26, 2018 11:00 am

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in a 5-4 decision that a California law requiring pro-life pregnancy centers to provide information to clients regarding how they can take part in government programs that would allow them to obtain an abortion at little or no cost “likely violates the First Amendment.” The court ruled that the State of California has…

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US Supreme Court Asks Washington Supreme Court to Revisit Florist Judgment in Light of Masterpiece Cakeshop Ruling   Jun 25, 2018 07:20 pm

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court has asked the Washington State Supreme Court to revisit a ruling against a florist who was found guilty of discrimination for providing referrals to a regular customer who wanted her to furnish his same-sex ceremony, directing the court to review the matter in light of the high court’s Masterpiece Cakeshop decision, which found…

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Mexican Pastor Killed Nine Years on From Son’s Murder   Jun 28, 2018 11:28 pm

(World Watch Monitor) — A Mexican pastor interviewed last year by World Watch Monitor was shot dead earlier this month in another exhibition of lawlessness in the troubled city of Juarez, which is just across the border from El Paso, Texas. Eduardo ‘Lalo’ Garcia was shot at least six times on 8 June, as he was chased by unidentified assailants believed to be…

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Weekend Snapshot — Top Stories This Week for June 30, 2018

Kennedy Retires — SCOTUS Tidal Change?

The retirement of Justice Kennedy has consigned Democrats to an alternating bipolar state of apoplexy and shear panic.

Six Potential Targets of Trump’s Supreme Court

Replacing Kennedy might just mean overturning some really bad precedents.

SCOTUS Narrowly Upholds Constitution

Three clear issues regarding Rule of Law divide the High Court along ideological lines.

SCOTUS Punts on Florist’s Religious Liberty

The Court ordered Washington State to reconsider the case of Barronelle Stutzman.

Leftmedia: Trump Caused Newspaper Attack

The murderer was motived by his own personal animosity. It had nothing to do with Trump.

Media’s Constant Attacks on Trump Backfiring

Donald Trump is the modern-day Dread Pirate Roberts — immune from “iocane powder.”

Dems Ratchet Up the Hate Rhetoric Against Trump

Chasing administration officials out of restaurants and besieging their homes. This is tolerance.

Democrat Protagonists Are Masters of Hypocrisy

If hypocrisy were a virtue, Democrats would be the most virtuous among us.

Selective Separation Anxiety

While Democrats rage about kids at the border, their policies have destroyed black families.

On Trump’s Authority, Due Process and ‘Racism’

The president can deny entry to illegals, but leftists insist law enforcement is racist.

Why Empowered, Intelligent Women Should Be Conservative

Women are trending Democrat, but there are many reasons to reconsider that shift.

Profiles of Valor: Army 1st Lt. Garlin M. Conner

An American hero from World War II finally received his due recognition with the Medal of Honor.

Quote Of The Week

“All last week Democrats were crying with outrage over inhumane treatment of migrant children. Today they’re crying with outrage at the idea they might not be able to kill unborn children. And here I thought Democrats cared about the children!” —Liz Wheeler

“The Patriot Post ( )”

June 30, 2018 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

85:10 The answer to the prayer for revival is given in the closing verses. They describe the idyllic conditions which will prevail when the Lord Jesus reigns over restored Israel in the coming age of glory. But in a broader poetic sense they tell what it is always like when revival fires are burning.

Mercy and truth have met together. In human affairs strict adherence to the claims of truth usually prevent the display of love and mercy. But God can shower His steadfast love on His people because all the claims of truth were fully met by the Lord Jesus on the cross. In the same sense, righteousness and peace have kissed. Believers enjoy peace with God because all the claims of divine justice were met by the substitutionary work of the Savior.

Our sins were placed on Jesus’ head.

’Twas in His blood our debt was paid.

Stern justice can demand no more,

And mercy can dispense her store.

Albert Midlane[1]

85:10 Lovingkindness … truth … Righteousness … peace. These 4 spiritual qualities characterizing the atmosphere of the future kingdom of Christ, will relate to each other in perfect harmony and will saturate kingdom life (cf. vv. 10, 13).[2]

85:10Loyal love and faithfulness will meet one another The psalmist portrays mutual faithfulness between Yahweh and Israel. God’s chesed (“steadfast love”; see note on 6:4) is His defining characteristic (see Exod 34:6).

righteousness and peace Israel’s unfaithfulness has made it impossible for righteousness and peace to exist together because Yahweh’s righteousness could not tolerate Israel’s waywardness (see Ps 85:8). Israel’s unrighteousness offended God and caused injustice within the nation.[3]

85:10 meet … kiss each other. This verse has long been interpreted to refer to the reconciliation that Jesus Christ effected between God’s justice, that cannot tolerate sin, and His mercy, that does not rejoice in the death of the wicked (Ezek. 33:11; 2 Pet. 3:9). Justice and mercy came together in the cross of Christ. See “God Is Light: Divine Holiness and Justice” at Lev. 11:44.[4]

[1] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 680). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[2] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Ps 85:10). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[3] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Ps 85:10). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[4] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 812). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.

June 30 Two Groups

Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.—Matt. 7:13–14

“Many” and “few” describe two groups of people. Those who enter through the wide gate and travel the broad way, toward the destination of destruction, are many. They include pagans and nominal Christians, atheists and religionists, theists and humanists, Jews and Gentiles—every person from every age, background, persuasion, and circumstance who has not come to saving obedience in Jesus Christ.

In the day of judgment many will claim to be followers of Christ: “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness’ ” (Matt. 7:22–23). Those who are excluded will not be just atheists or rank pagans, but nominal Christians who professed to know and trust Christ but who refused to come to Him on His terms.

The group that goes through the narrow gate and travels the narrow way and is destined for life are few in number. Jesus said, “Many are called, but few are chosen” (Matt. 22:14).

Make sure you are numbered with the few and not with those who will receive Jesus’ shocking declaration at the day of judgment.


What are some of the greatest lies that lead the mildly religious into believing they have accepted Christ into their hearts? In what ways do our churches today accommodate these? How can we work against this devious scheme of the enemy?[1]

[1] MacArthur, J. (2008). Daily readings from the life of Christ (p. 190). Chicago: Moody Publishers.


For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels….


The joyful and personal element in what we call the “blessed hope,” the return of Christ to earth, seems to be altogether missing in our day.

If the tender yearning is gone from the advent hope there must be reasons for it, and I think I know what they are.

One is simply that popular fundamentalist theology has emphasized the utility of the cross rather than the beauty of the One who died on it. The saved man’s relation to Christ has been made contractual instead of personal. The “work” of Christ has been stressed until it has eclipsed the person of Christ, and what He did for me seems to be more important than what He is to me! Redemption is seen as an across-the-counter transaction which we “accept,” and the whole thing lacks emotional content. We must love someone very much to stay awake and long for his corning, and that may explain the absence of power in the advent hope even among those who still believe in it.

History reveals that times of suffering for the Church have also been times of looking upward. Tribulation has always sobered God’s people and encouraged them to look for and yearn after the return of their Lord. God will wean us from the earth some way—the easy way if possible, the hard way if necessary![1]

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

June 30 Wake Up!

Therefore He says, “Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”

Ephesians 5:14

Today’s verse quotes what the prophet Isaiah said in Isaiah 60:1: “Arise, shine, for your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you.” That verse looked forward to the Messiah, and Paul’s interpretation looks back to what Christ has done.

Many Bible commentators believe that Ephesians 5:14 is a line from an Easter hymn sung by the early church. They see it as an invitation—a gospel presentation. The sinner is the one who sleeps, and the invitation is to awake and arise. The Savior is Christ, who will give light.

Like Rip Van Winkle, men and women are sleeping through an age—an age of grace. When they wake up it will be too late. So Paul encourages them, as should we, to awake and arise from the dead.[1]

[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 199). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

June 30, 2018 Morning Verse Of The Day

5:2 The words led Israel out speak of David’s service as a military leader during Saul’s reign. The word shepherd is a vivid metaphor of the relationship between a king and his people. The Scriptures apply this metaphor both to God and to human rulers (Ps. 23:1; Ezek. 34:1–10).[1]

5:2 David unites Israel and Judah under one head, fulfilling God’s prophetic purpose (1 Sam. 16:1) and prefiguring the greater unity of God’s people to be accomplished in Christ (1 Corinthians 12; Eph. 4:1–16).[2]

5:2 were leading Israel in and out Referring to David’s leadership in battle (compare 1 Sam 18:5, 13, 16; 19:8).

shall be the shepherd of See 1 Sam 9:3 and note.

the leader The Hebrew word used here is nagid, which can also be translated “ruler.”[3]

5:2 led out and brought in Israel. An idiom for leading military campaigns (1 Sam. 18:13, 16). The second reason for wanting to make David king was his military success (1 Sam. 17:32, 45–47; 18:7; 25:28).

the Lord said to you. The third reason is David’s divine appointment (1 Sam. 16:1 note).

shepherd. This designation is often used metaphorically in the Bible, either for God (Gen. 49:24; Ps. 23:1; 80:1; etc.), for His Son Jesus (John 10:11; Heb. 13:20; 1 Pet. 5:4; Rev. 7:17; etc.), or for divinely appointed human leaders (7:7; Num. 27:15–17; etc.). The image is one of intimate, caring leadership (v. 12 note).[4]

5:2 Robert Bergen notes, “Though the prophetic revelation regarding David in v. 2 was not presented in the preceding narratives, it is consistent with other biblical claims relating to him” (cp. 1Sm 13:14; 25:30; Ps 78:71).[5]

[1] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (p. 394). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.

[2] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 549). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[3] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (2 Sa 5:2). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[4] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 433). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.

[5] Beyer, B. E. (2017). 2 Samuel. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 466). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

June 30 Integrity Brings True Success

“So this Daniel enjoyed success in the reign of Darius [even] in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.”

Daniel 6:28


True success is more a matter of character than of circumstances.

By anyone’s standards Daniel was a remarkably successful man. After entering Babylon as one of King Nebuchadnezzar’s young Hebrew hostages, he quickly distinguished himself as a person of unusual character, wisdom, and devotion to his God. Within a few years Nebuchadnezzar had made him ruler over the province of Babylon and chief prefect over all the wise men. Many years later Nebuchadnezzar’s son, Belshazzar, promoted him to third ruler in his kingdom, and later King Darius made him prime minister over the entire Medo–Persian Empire.

As successful as Daniel was, being successful in the world’s eyes was never his goal. He wanted only to be faithful to God. And because he was faithful, God honored and exalted him in Babylon. But God’s plans for Daniel extended far beyond Babylon. Daniel’s presence in Babylon opened the door for the Hebrew people to return to Jerusalem (Ezra 1:1–3), and it also paved the way for the Magi’s visit to Bethlehem centuries later (Matt. 2:1–12). Those wise men heard of the Jewish Messiah through Daniel’s prophecies (Daniel 9).

God used Daniel in marvelous ways, but Daniel was just one part of a much bigger picture. Similarly, God will use you and every faithful believer in marvelous ways as He continues to paint the picture of His redemptive grace. As He does, He may exalt you in ways unimaginable, or He may use you in humble ways. In either case, you are truly successful if you remain faithful to Him and use every opportunity to its fullest for His glory.


Suggestions for Prayer: Thank the Lord for Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed–nego and for the principles we have learned this month from their lives. Pray daily that your life, like theirs, will be characterized by godly integrity and that God will use you each day for His glory.

For Further Study: Memorize Joshua 1:8 and 1 Corinthians 4:1–2. What key to success did God give Joshua? ✧ How does the apostle Paul describe a successful servant of Christ? ✧ Would your friends and relatives characterize you as a truly successful person?[1]

[1] MacArthur, J. (1997). Strength for today. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

06/30/18 Open Rebellion —

READING: Jonah 1-4

“Jonah got up to flee to Tarshish from the Lord’s presence.”

Jonah 1:3

Many of us know the book of Jonah as only the story of a prophet swallowed by a fish. We understand that Jonah was at first disobedient to God’s call, but I’m not certain we consider enough the depth of that disobedience. He had rejected God’s call to go to Nineveh, and he instead fled via ship toward Tarshish. Not only was he readily willing to flee in the direction away from God’s plan, but he also later fell “into a deep sleep” in his disobedience (Jonah 1:5). Somehow, he found it possible to sleep soundly in his sin. Even the pagan sailors asked him in great wonder, “What are you doing sound asleep?” (Jonah1:6).

Then, while he was willing to confess that he was a follower of “the Lord, the God of the heavens, who made the sea and the dry land” (Jonah 1:9)—thus, one much greater than Baal, considered the god of the heavens—Jonah was also apparently willing to admit that he was rebelling against his God. I’ve known a lot of people living in open rebellion against God, but it’s not often that I’ve talked with folks who openly admit their disobedience. If they do anything, they tend to give excuses to justify their choices. Perhaps it was the storm that brought Jonah to his admission, but it seems as if he were in fact more willing to be thrown overboard to his death than he was to follow God’s will toward Nineveh.

Jonah said he feared the Lord, but his actions certainly suggested otherwise. To fear the Lord genuinely is to follow the Lord fully—and Jonah wasn’t there yet. While I pray that my rebellion against God is not at the level of Jonah’s, I must not forget that any rebellion reveals my heart. I want to fear Him and love Him, following Him wherever He wants me to go and doing whatever He wants me to do. Nothing less should be an option.


  • Determine honestly whether you are rebelling against God’s will in any area of your life. If so, repent.
  • Pray for a people and/or a person that you struggle with loving (as Jonah did with the Ninevites).

PRAYER: “God, I want to love You and love the nations like You do. Help me to live in full obedience to You.”

TOMORROW’S READING:  Review and makeup day

via 06/30/18 Open Rebellion —


No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

—John 1:18

I always note with a little chuckle the frustrations of the translators when they come to such passages [as John 1:18]….

God’s Word is just too big for the translators. They come to this phrase in the Greek: The Son hath declared Him. In the English of the King James Version it is just declared. In other versions they skirt it, they go around it, they plunge through it. They use two or three words and then they come back to one. They do everything to try to say what the Holy Ghost said, but they have to give up. Our English just will not say it all.

When we have used up our words and synonyms, we still have not said all that God revealed when He said: Nobody has ever seen God, but when Jesus Christ came He showed us what God is like (paraphrase of John 1:18).

I suppose that our simple and everyday language is as good as any.

“He has revealed Him—He has shown us what God is like!”

He has declared Him. He has set Him forth. He has revealed Him. In these ways the translators shift their language trying to get at this wondrous miracle of meaning. CES018-019

Lord, I am too limited to fully understand or express who You are. Fix my eyes on Jesus, that I might see You. Amen.[1]

[1] Tozer, A. W., & Eggert, R. (2015). Tozer on the almighty god: a 365-day devotional. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

When the Church Becomes Worldly (Guinness)

The Reformed Reader Blog

 Here’s a helpful commentary by Os Guinness on worldliness in the church:

It would be idle to speculate what terrible new order today’s trendy clerics and faithless Christian activists are greasing the slipway for.  But we need not wait for the outcome.  The truth is that the greatest enemy of the Western church is not the state or any ideology such as atheism, but the world and the spirit of the age.  Anything less than a full-blooded expression of the Christian faith ahs no chance of standing firm against the assaults and seductions of the advanced modern world.

So when the church becomes worldly, she betrays her Lord, and she also fails to live up to her calling to be dangerously different and thus to provide deliverance from the world by a power that is not of the world.  When ‘saving us from ourselves’ has become the widespread problem of…

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Bill Hybels, Willow Creek Have ‘Undone 40 Years of Trust:’ Scot McKnight on Sexual Misconduct — Christian Research Network

“Willow Creek’s leadership chose what I said immediately was an egregiously unwise decision: it chose to narrate the allegations as lies, the women as liars, and the witnesses to the women as colluders.” 

(Stoyan Zaimov – Christian Post)  New Testament scholar and author Scot McKnight, who attended Willow Creek Community Church for 10 years, is speaking out on the sexual misconduct accusations against founder Bill Hybels, saying that he and the church have “undone 40 years of trust.”

McKnight, who is a professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lisle, Illinois, revealed on his Jesus Creed blog on Wednesday that at least 50 different people have asked him to comment on the Willow Creek scandal, given that he attended the church for nearly a decade.

“My aim is not to act like I know all that happened. I do not. I believe the women on the basis of what I have learned,” he said.

“What I do know is this: Bill Hybels and Willow Creek’s leadership have undone forty years of trust for many.

“A church that has stood valiantly for women in ministry, that has always stood for Christian grace and truth and forgiveness for repenters, that has supported #metoo in various places, that then responds to women as they did to these women unravels the thread Willow has woven for four decades.”

Back in April, Hybels resigned prematurely from the church he founded in 1975, after multiple women accused him of sexual misconduct in an investigation published a month earlier by the Chicago Tribune   View article →

via Bill Hybels, Willow Creek Have ‘Undone 40 Years of Trust:’ Scot McKnight on Sexual Misconduct — Christian Research Network