Daily Archives: June 17, 2018

June 17: Learning from Enemies

Ezra 3:1–4:24; 1 John 3:11–18; Psalm 106:16–29

If a new venture is really worth pursuing, it will probably be opposed. Some people will refuse to get on board, and others will intentionally get in the way. While these people may be trying protect their own interests, it’s more likely that they don’t like change—even if it’s for the better.

God’s work among His people is not that different from innovation; after all, He is the Author of all good ideas since all ideas come from His creation. And just like new ventures, God’s work is often rejected. The difference between new ventures and God’s work, though, is that all people who oppose God’s work are opposing Him, their Creator; they’re choosing to put their own interests before His interests, which are only for good.

Jeshua and Zerubbabel faced this type of opposition in the book of Ezra. After they had restored worship in Jerusalem, they began to organize the effort to lay the foundation of the temple—the place where God’s people were meant to worship. Then, the unexpected happened: Enemies arrived and began to cause trouble (Ezra 3:1–4:5). We often view such people as hateful, but in reality they were acting in their own interests. These enemies likely didn’t realize the land they claimed as their own had been stolen from God’s people in the first place; they probably thought they were protecting what was rightfully theirs (compare Ezra 4:6–16; see 2 Kgs 24–25).

This is often the case in our lives as well: We think we’re doing what’s legally or morally right, but we may actually be opposing God’s work. Sometimes trying to act rightly can lead us to do the wrong thing. Rather than insisting on what seems or feels right, we must pause to pray about it. We must ask God what He is really doing. And if God is working through someone else, we need to step out of the way. He is innovating—are we willing to innovate with Him?

In what ways is God innovating around you? How does He want to use you in this process? In what areas should you step aside to let His work happen?

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.

The Same Democrats Excoriating Trump’s Immigration Policy Had Nothing To Say About Obama’s Illegal Immigrant Family Detention Centers — Now The End Begins

The House will use “its full arsenal of constitutional weapons” to ensure Justice Department compliance to outstanding subpoenas for documents related to the FBI’s probe of Hillary Clinton’s email server, Rep. Trey Gowdy said Sunday.

via The Same Democrats Excoriating Trump’s Immigration Policy Had Nothing To Say About Obama’s Illegal Immigrant Family Detention Centers — Now The End Begins

June 17 The Impartiality of God

“My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism” (James 2:1).

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Because God is impartial, we as Christians must be impartial too.

People are prone to treat others differently based upon external criteria such as looks, possessions, or social status, but God is utterly impartial. He never shows favoritism and always judges righteously.

Favoritism can be defined as a preferential attitude and treatment of a person or group over another having equal claims and rights. It is unjustified partiality. James 2:1–13 confronts this as sin and admonishes us to avoid it at all costs.

God’s impartiality is seen throughout Scripture. For example, Moses said to the people of Israel, “The Lord your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality, nor take a bribe. He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing. So show your love for the alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt” (Deut. 10:17–19). Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, warned his judges to rule without partiality because God Himself has “no part in unrighteousness, or partiality” (2 Chron. 19:7).

God’s impartiality is also seen in His gracious offer of salvation to people of every race. In Acts 10:34–35 Peter says, “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right, is welcome to Him.”

God is also impartial in judgment. Romans 2:9–11 says that God will bring “tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil … but glory and honor and peace to every man who does good. … For there is no partiality with God.”

Our text is a timely admonition because prejudice, discrimination, and bigotry are ever-present evils in our society—both inside and outside the church. I pray that God will use these studies to guard you from favoritism’s subtle influences and to strengthen your commitment to godly living.

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Suggestions for Prayer:  Ask God to reveal any partiality you might be harboring. As He does, confess it and turn from it.

For Further Study: Read Ephesians 6:5–9 and 1 Timothy 5:17–21. How does God’s impartiality apply to how you should respond to your co-workers and your church leaders?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 181). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

Sunday Talks: Representative John Ratcliffe Discusses IG Report – Preparations Underway For Potomac Two-Step Monday… — The Last Refuge

Inspector General Michael Horowitz and FBI Director Christopher Wray will appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee tomorrow at 2pm. Thus begins the Potomac Two-Step; a generally well known DC approach to protect the interests of the swamp. Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley might ask some pointed questions; however, other than re-election ‘talking point’ campaign questioning […]

via Sunday Talks: Representative John Ratcliffe Discusses IG Report – Preparations Underway For Potomac Two-Step Monday… — The Last Refuge

Sunday Talks: Chairman Trey Gowdy Discusses IG Report and Friday Night Meeting With FBI and DOJ Leadership… — The Last Refuge

Appearing on Fox News Sunday, House Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy discusses the recently released Inspector General report on FBI and DOJ conduct in the run-up to the 2016 election and the exoneration of Hillary Clinton. Additionally, Chairman Gowdy discusses the meeting held last friday night with FBI Director Christopher Wray and Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein. […]

via Sunday Talks: Chairman Trey Gowdy Discusses IG Report and Friday Night Meeting With FBI and DOJ Leadership… — The Last Refuge