Daily Archives: July 1, 2018

July 1: God Makes Good out of Trouble

1 Samuel 1:1–2:21; James 1:1–8; Psalm 119:1–16

God often shows His goodness to us through trials, making good out of human error. We see this principle in the lives of Elkanah and Hannah. Elkanah was prone to make mistakes. His first mistake was to marry two wives (1 Sam 1:1–4); his second blunder was to ignore his wives’ disputes (1 Sam 1:6). On top of that, he repeatedly imposed his own form of justice by giving Hannah double what he offered Peninnah, his other wife (1 Sam 1:5). In this story, however, the goodness of God redeems the mistakes made by fallible people.

Despite Elkanah’s generosity to her, Hannah was deeply disturbed: Nothing Elkanah offered could compensate for her barrenness (1 Sam 1:8–10). In this period, women who had not borne children were often considered accursed and second rate, as demonstrated by Peninnah’s persecution of Hannah. In her distress, Hannah prayed to God at the temple, seeking redemption. Eli the priest recognized the sincerity of her plea and blessed her (1 Sam 1:15–18).

God also recognized Hannah’s sincerity, and He answered her call by giving her a son, Samuel, who would grow up to be a great prophet (1 Sam 1:19–28). Hannah’s son offered her hope; in response, she delivered a beautiful piece of poetry to honor Yahweh’s goodness (1 Sam 2:1–11). This poem was so significant that Mary would later echo it in her own song of praise (see Luke 1:46–56). Through Hannah’s story, we see that God’s work among His people is so interconnected that He often chooses to answer not only our prayers, but also the prayers of others in the process.

In scenes like this—where God not only makes good out of a bad situation, but also sets up a providential event in the history of His people—we see much of the framework for the Christian life. New Testament writers including James drew on stories such as Hannah’s when discussing the trials of God’s people. In the first century ad, James remarks in a letter: “Consider it all joy, my brothers [and sisters], whenever you encounter various trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing” (Jas 1:2–4).

Hannah’s story shows us that when we pray to God, He shows up. And in the midst of our dire circumstances, He answers the call of not one, but many people. Here, in the pain, we learn what it means to know our Lord and savior.

What trials are you currently experiencing? What do you think God is doing through them?

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.

Christian transformation vs works righteouosness

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

2 καὶ μὴ συσχηματίζεσθε τῷ αἰῶνι τούτῳ, ἀλλὰ μεταμορφοῦσθε τῇ ἀνακαινώσει τοῦ νοὸς εἰς τὸ δοκιμάζειν ὑμᾶς τί τὸ θέλημα τοῦ θεοῦ, τὸ ἀγαθὸν καὶ εὐάρεστον καὶ τέλειον. Romans 12:2 (NA28)

2 And do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may discern the will of God, that which is good and well pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2 (translated from the NA28 Greek text)

Despite the fact that the unregenerate refuse to accept what I am about to say as being true, it does not change the fact that it is the truth. The true Christian walk is one of faith that results in faithfulness while the counterfeit or false Christian walk is one of works righteousness that results in a pragmatic form of religious works meant to counter failures of the flesh. The true Christian will be on…

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July 1 Enjoying Spiritual Privileges

“Coming to Him as to a living stone … you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood. … You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession … you are the people of God … you have received mercy” (1 Peter 2:4–10).

✧✧✧

You have enormous privileges in Christ.

A university student once confessed to a pastor, “I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t believe in God.” “I see,” the pastor replied. “Please tell me about the God you don’t believe in.” The student proceeded to describe a vengeful, unfair, arbitrary, cosmic ogre who delighted in watching earthlings stumble through life in search of meaning and direction. After listening to that portrayal of God, the pastor wisely replied, “I don’t believe in that God either.”

Like that student, most people have a warped view of God because they can’t see beyond their circumstances and the conditions that plague our fallen world. Their distorted worldview keeps them from understanding God’s goodness and mercy. But we as believers understand because we see beyond the physical realm and experience His grace and kindness in many ways.

Scripture speaks pointedly about the duties and responsibilities of Christians, but all of that is balanced by the rights and benefits we have in Christ. In writing to Christians who were experiencing severe persecution, the Apostle Peter reminded them of their privileges and called them to praise God for His abundant grace (1 Peter 2:9). That is your calling as well.

This month we will consider many of those privileges, including your union with Christ, access to God, the priestly role, spiritual security, election, dominion, and inheritance. The implications of them all are staggering and should be a source of great joy and thanksgiving as you study them from God’s Word.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer:  Thank God for the privilege of being His child. ✧ Pray that He will strengthen and encourage you with the truths you learn from these studies. ✧ Regardless of your circumstances, learn to focus on God’s glory and grace, allowing them continually to fill your heart with praise and worship.

For Further Study: Read 1 Peter 1:3–9 and 2:4–10. Make a list of the spiritual privileges Peter mentions.[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 195). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

JULY 1 WARNING IN THE GOSPEL

He that believeth not is condemned already.

John 3:18

When God warns a nation or a city, a church or a person, it is a grievous sin to ignore such warning. In conservative Christianity, we believe that the Christian message does indeed contain an element of alarm, but not all Christians believe this.

Some have been taught that the Christian gospel is “good news exclusively.” They believe that the only way to explain the full meaning of the Christian gospel is to quote one verse: “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (see Acts 16:31).

“That is it! That is all there is to it,” they say.

They surely need to be reminded that in the use of language, it is impossible to make certain definite statements without bringing to mind that which is exactly opposite. So, when the Scriptures admonish us to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved, there comes to our mind the fact of mankind’s lost condition and the starkly plain message to those who do not believe: “He that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18).

Lord, Your Great Commission (see Matthew 28:19–20) tells us to spread Your good news around the world. I pray especially for those involved in creative efforts to share the gospel in countries where preaching Christ is forbidden.[1]


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

NBC’s Chuck Todd: Trump ‘Is Winning,’ Dems Are ‘Reeling’

Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” host Chuck Todd said President Donald Trump “is winning.” Todd said, “The announced retirement of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy this week helped make one political reality clear: Despite his overall unpopularity, President Trump is winning, and the Democrats right now are reeling.” He continued, “How about the Republican Party?

Source: NBC’s Chuck Todd: Trump ‘Is Winning,’ Dems Are ‘Reeling’

‘News media is not telling you Obama back in 2014 separated many children from their parents’

More than 700 Rallies have been taking place in towns and cities throughout Saturday, from New York and Washington DC, to Los Angeles. People are speaking out against the separation of migrant families on the U.S.-Mexico border. Check out http://rt.com RT LIVE http://rt.com/on-air Subscribe to RT!

How Can I Sing God Bless America? — The Ignorant Fishermen Blog

How Can I Sing God Bless America(Gal. 1:4, Col. 3:1-4, Heb. 11:6,10-14, 2 Peter 1:4, Rev. 21, 22:1-5)Words of Personal Testimony and Music- DJP I.F.Arrangement Assistant – Adam J. BooneMusical Arrangement and Music – Matthew R. BennettVocals – Unto the Chief Musician Men’s ChoirThis present day, I stand amazed At the realms which lawless men…

via How Can I Sing God Bless America? — The Ignorant Fishermen Blog

SHOCK REPORT: Obama’s Massive D.C. Staff is Concrete PROOF He’s Creating a ‘SHADOW GOVERNMENT’

Obama is operating a shadow government.

Unlike George W. Bush who happily watched as Obama destroyed the country for 8 long years, Obama is not just an active participant in the Democrat #Resistance, he’s the one pulling the strings.

After all, Obama’s Deep State are the cronies who “set up” President Trump, and concocted the entire phony “Russia probe,” and the actual culprits who interfered in the 2016 election.

Well, now, we have proof of Obama’s shadow government, and it’s worse than we even thought.

From 100 Percent Fed Up

Don’t be fooled into believing that because you don’t see Barack Obama attacking President Trump from behind a microphone, that he’s not active in behind the scenes efforts to take down President Trump and destroy his Make America Great Again agenda.

Barack Obama could’ve moved back to Chicago, the place he falsely calls home, the place where residents are on the hook for $200 million to build a shrine to him.

Barack Obama, who grew up in Hawaii, but likes to call Chicago his hometown, landed the ultimate slap in the face to Chicago residents. The man without a legacy and his good friend, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, are pulling a disgusting bait and switch on Illinois residents. Instead of building a presidential library, as promised to the City Council, the Obama Presidential Center organizers will instead, build a massive shrine to Barack and Michelle Obama, at the cost of almost $200 million to Illinois taxpayers.

If Barack and Michelle had such close ties to the city of Chicago, why did they choose to stay embedded in DC?

Thursday night, Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairman Tom Perez introduced former President Barack Obama as America’s “real president” at a DNC fundraiser.

“Let’s give it up for the real president of the United States,” Perez said at Thursday’s fundraiser, Politico reported.

Obama reportedly then told the crowd of Democratic donors that they are “right to be concerned” about Trump’s presidency.

Perez’s false descriptor for Obama is just the latest instance of prominent Democrats abandoning political norms in order to undermine President Trump. –Daily Caller

Paul Sperry of the New York Post reports – If you believe recent media accounts, the former Democratic president has suddenly transcended the political fray. It’s as if a newly “Zen-like” Barack Obama is content to just write his memoir and let Donald Trump and Republicans write the next chapter of history.

In a cover story asking “Where is Barack Obama?” for example, New York magazine concluded that the 44th president has “virtually disappeared” from the political scene and is sitting idly by as his legacy is dismantled piece by piece. From an exclusive interview, the periodical concluded Obama was “modeling his political engagement out of office after George W. Bush’s” — that is, staying out of the rough-and-tumble of politics, maintaining distance from his former office and resigning himself to be an elder statesman fading into the sunset.

Don’t buy it.

Obama is doing far more to shape the political landscape than is visible. In fact, for an ex-prez, he’s taking an unusually active role in politics, including helping radical protest groups fight Trump and his policies and devising a scheme to flip the GOP majority in the House and permanently turn red seats blue.

From his sprawling DC office not far from the White House, where he oversees a full-time staff of 20, Obama has held regular meetings with Democratic lawmakers, as well as DNC chief Tom Perez, whom he personally helped install to run the Democratic Party. Obama has also met with his attorney general, Eric Holder, to craft a strategy to redraw congressional district maps in Democrats’ favor, according to Politico. Holder now runs the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, which Obama helped his old friend launch.

Obama, who maintains a home in Chicago, originally said he only planned to stay in Washington temporarily, until his youngest daughter, Sasha, now 17, finished high school there. But the family is clearly putting down deeper roots. They recently bought their DC rental home and erected a massive security wall around the property, which includes offices, and are installing a swimming pool.

While it may be true Obama does not want to engage directly in Washington politics, including personally protesting Trump’s policies, he is using a political-organizing group he founded to do that for him.

That nonprofit — Organizing for Action — is not exactly a household name. But it is no less than the organizing and training hub of the anti-Trump resistance.

Most recently, OFA helped stage rallies across the country against the administration’s border policies, which it has decried as “cruel and inhumane.” OFA describes itself as a “nonpartisan grass-roots-driven organization,” but it clearly has a pro-Obama agenda. In fact, it’s run almost entirely by alums from Obama’s campaign and White House, including Jon Carson and Jim Messina, who co-chair the group, and Katie Hogan, who serves as its executive director, according to recent tax filings by the nonprofit.

Though Obama has no official or legal role in OFA, he features the group along with his foundation on his post-presidency Web site and rallies its foot soldiers, who wear blue T-shirts with big white “OFA” letters, in conference calls. After Trump won, for example, he phoned to “fire up” Carson and his team and told them not to worry, that they would “cook up all kinds” of strategies to reclaim the agenda, according to a Nov. 14, 2016, White House transcript of his OFA conference call. More recently, Obama sent an e-mail to “OFA supporters” urging them to “keep going in 2018,” because “there’s simply too much at stake this year.” Obama has tweeted from OFA’s account before and after leaving the White House, and while he was in the White House, he let OFA control his Twitter account, according to The Atlantic.

Earlier this year, moreover, he met with Hogan to discuss how the group can flex its muscles during the midterm campaign to help Democrats recapture the House, according to The New York Times. To that end, OFA plans to train and deploy organizers in 27 Republican-held congressional districts, many with heavy Latino populations, that could be key to a Democratic takeover of the House. With offices in DC and Chicago, OFA has already trained more than 40,000 leftist agitators in person or by webinar, according to tax records.

Source: SHOCK REPORT: Obama’s Massive D.C. Staff is Concrete PROOF He’s Creating a ‘SHADOW GOVERNMENT’

As was true of so many other children of the 70s (and surrounding generations), Laura Ingalls Wilder played a surprisingly prominent role in my childhood. Her “Little House” books were first read to me by my mother. Then, when I was old enough to read on my own, I went through them so many times I lost count. As far as I was concerned, she was the consummate pioneer. Her descriptions of frontier life were vivid and exciting and, to my mind, perfectly true.

But when I had children and began to read the books to them, I quickly came to see they weren’t quite as true as I had thought. I understood that her books were fiction as much as fact—a mix of true and could-be-true that told of frontier life in a way that would appeal to children even at the expense of reality. I also realized that her books were troubling in parts. She was a woman of her time, and some of what was considered normal in the late 1800s when she lived and even in the mid-1900s when she wrote had since been seen in clearer light. Though the books are primarily still childhood stories merging into a coming-of-age tale, they contain threads of racial superiority. Famously, an early edition of one of her books says, “there were no people. Only Indians lived there,” while characters sometimes repeat the mantra, “the only good Indian is a dead Indian.” There’s also that blackface scene and the references to black people as “darkies.” And then, of course, the whole premise of a couple of the books is that white settlers deserve the Indian’s land and are right to displace them and take it for themselves.

Wilder and her books are back in the news this week. Since 1954, the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has awarded the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal to writers or illustrators of children’s books who have made a lengthy contribution to children’s literature. Last week it was announced that henceforth the award would be renamed the Children’s Literature Legacy Award. ALA President Jim Neal and ALSC President Nina Lindsay released the following joint statement:

Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books have been and will continue to be deeply meaningful to many readers. Although Wilder’s work holds a significant place in the history of children’s literature and continues to be read today, ALSC has had to grapple with the inconsistency between Wilder’s legacy and its core values of inclusiveness, integrity and respect, and responsiveness through an award that bears Wilder’s name. 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.

For those reasons, the award will no longer bear her name, though they make it clear this should not “be construed as censorship, as we are not demanding that anyone stop reading Wilder’s books, talking about them, or making them available to children.”

via On Renaming the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal — Tim Challies

Russia’s Foreign Ministry on Syria, OPCW and Skripal Incident

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)

Despite important victories by Syrian and allied forces, endless US-led war on Syria continues, ISIS and other terrorists armed and given other material support by Washington, NATO, Israel, and their rogue allies.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova (MZ below) explained that Moscow’s enemies, she and other Kremlin officials falsely call “partners,” continue supporting terrorists they claim to oppose.

MZ: “On June 24, the Syrian Government forces launched an offensive in southwestern Syria to eradicate the terrorists and restore the country’s integrity.”

Her briefing preceded reports of a ceasefire between Russia and US-supported terrorists in southwestern Syria, a reconciliation agreement to follow – similar to what was arranged earlier in Aleppo and Eastern Ghouta.

Terms include surrendering their heavy and other lethal weapons, keeping small arms. Syrian forces not involved in the deal continue their rapid advance.

Restoring US funding of al-Qaeda-connected White Helmets is more evidence of where the Trump regime stands – replacing Syria’s legitimate government with pro-Western puppet rule Washington’s objective.

The OPCW operates as a Western imperial tool, flagrantly violating its mandate, newly empowered to name perpetrators of CW attacks – clearly aimed at falsely blaming Syria for incidents carried out by US-supported terrorist – MZ saying:

“By resorting to political manipulations and directly bribing a number of delegations, and resorting to open blackmail, London and other parties managed to railroad their odious draft resolution vesting the OPCW’s Technical Secretariat with powers that are not within its purview, i.e., allowing it to determine those guilty of using chemical weapons in Syria.”

The “same document instructs the Director-General of the OPCW’s Technical Secretariat to submit proposals for the establishment of a similar investigative mechanism to provide technical assistance to other states, parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention, at their request, in exposing perpetrators, masterminds and sponsors of using chemical agents as weapons on specific national territories.”

“These proposals are to be (formally) approved at a regular session of the Conference in November…We consider this resolution to be illegitimate.”

Indeed it is, likely a way to invent reasons for further Pentagon-led terror-bombing of Syrian forces and other targets, maybe Damascus on Washington’s target list.

The OPCW is mandated to enforce Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) provisions, nothing in them empowering the organization with judge and jury powers.

CWC’s integrity is threatened. Using it to invent pretexts for greater aggression than already renders it an enemy of global peace and stability.

Nearly four months after the US/UK-staged Skripal incident, falsely blamed on Russia, Moscow continues being denied contact with its own citizens.

MZ raised concerns about their health, well-being and status. Father and daughter Skripal are pawns in a dirty US/UK Russia bashing game.

The Theresa May regime rejected cooperation with Russia in the case. The Skripals may never be free again, never permitted to have contact with their family members, never allowed to go home if they wish.

MZ: The case “is veiled in mystery…developments surrounding it…so absurd that even Britain’s allies are increasingly skeptical and doubtful as to the veracity and objectivity of its anti-Russia insinuations.”

The official story lacked credibility when first announced. Russia bashing persists in the West, European countries submissive to US interests – even when harming their own.

Source: Russia’s Foreign Ministry on Syria, OPCW and Skripal Incident

Christian Death Toll Rises to 200 in 4-Day Muslim ‘Killing Spree’ in Nigeria

The death toll of last weekend’s massacre of Nigerian Christians by militant Muslim Fulani herdsmen has risen to at least 200, according to a report released Friday by Open Doors, an organization that monitors Christian persecution.

Source: Christian Death Toll Rises to 200 in 4-Day Muslim ‘Killing Spree’ in Nigeria

Must Watch: Maria Bartiromo Interviews President Donald Trump… — The Last Refuge

Maria Bartiromo continues to distance herself from all Sunday talk-show competition with some of the best and most insightful interviews and topics available.  Today Mrs. Bartiromo interviews President Donald Trump.  The substantive content is excellent.

From a position of understanding Trump policy, and expanding/predicting how each policy will carry forward, this really is one of the best interviews to date.  Bartiromo hits on most topics of interest and expands on the topics of greatest consequence.  Anyone who seeks to understand where the administration is going with economics and trade only needs to keep revisiting this one interview – it’s all there.

Domestic discussion includes the Supreme Court, trade and tariffs, immigration, border security, ICE, mid-term election, taxes, jobs and the ongoing battle between congress and the DOJ/FBI.  Foreign discussion includes trade and geopolitics with Canada, China, the EU, North Korea, Iran and the upcoming summit with Russia.  The intersection of economics and geopolitics via the Trump Doctrine is clear as day.

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[There was a time, not too long ago, when Bartiromo didn’t *get* the Trump doctrine and how economic leverage is used to achieve strategic geopolitical benefits; ultimately ending with massive wins for America.  You can tell she understands the strategy now.]

 

via Must Watch: Maria Bartiromo Interviews President Donald Trump… — The Last Refuge

July 1, 2018 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

16:7 — But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Even a godly man like Samuel couldn’t help but judge a man’s character by his appearance. This is why we must continually go to the Lord for His wisdom; only He sees the heart.[1]


16:7 his appearance … height of his stature. Samuel needed to be reminded that God’s anointed was not chosen because of physical attributes. This was initially a difficult concept for Samuel as he was accustomed to a king whose only positive attributes were physical. the Lord looks at the heart. The Hebrew concept of “heart” embodies emotions, will, intellect, and desires. The life of the man will reflect his heart (cf. Mt 12:34, 35).[2]


16:7man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lordlooks on the heart. Outward appearance cannot predict whether someone will faithfully obey the Lord, for a person’s actions flow from his heart (cf. 2 Chron. 16:9; Ps. 51:10; Prov. 4:23; Mark 7:21–23; Luke 6:45; 1 Thess. 2:4). The “heart” in Scripture refers to a person’s inward moral and spiritual life, including the emotions, will, and reason.

16:7 The choice of David contrasts with people’s looking on outward appearance (10:23–24). The contrast prefigures people’s rejection of Christ’s humiliation and suffering (Isa. 53:3; 1 Cor. 1:18–31).[3]


16:7the heart God emphasizes that superficial and non-spiritual considerations are not to be critical criteria for the choice of God’s leaders.[4]


16:7 stature, because I have rejected him. The reference to “stature” as a false measure of an individual’s qualification to be king, along with the notice that this son of Jesse is “rejected,” is reminiscent of Saul, who was notable for his height (9:2; 10:23) but was rejected (15:23, 26).

the Lord looks on the heart. It is an axiom that God’s standards are inward, not outward (13:14 note; Rom. 2:28, 29). See “God Sees and Knows: Divine Omniscience” at Prov. 15:3.[5]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (2005). The Charles F. Stanley life principles Bible: New King James Version (1 Sa 16:7). Nashville, TN: Nelson Bibles.

[2] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (1 Sa 16:7). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[3] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 517). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[4] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (1 Sa 16:7). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[5] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 402). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.

How Love of Family Can Blind Us to Truth: Pray for Dr. Charles Stanley and His Son Andy

Absolute Truth from the Word of God

I have always loved Charles Stanley.

I have written in other articles how Dr. Stanley provided spiritual nourishment to me as a young Christian.  I was not being fed at churches I was attending in those early years.  Watching Dr. Stanley’s sermons on TV provided me with sound teaching from the Word.

Andy Stanley

Dr. Stanley has gone through very difficult years since his wife divorced him. For a while there was much tension between Charles and his son Andy. At times, the tension would be better described as heated anger and even rage.

When Dr. Stanley’s wife, Anna, proceeded with the divorce, Andy told his father to send in a letter of resignation and then to leave it to the congregation as to whether they wanted him to remain.  Charles would not do it.

There were years of anger and frustration between Dr. Stanley and his son Andy. Eventually…

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July 1 Jesus Warns of False Prophets

Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.—Matt. 7:15

False prophets are not simply wrong teachers, propagating a different philosophy or alternative theology. They are spiritually dangerous and we should not expose our souls and minds to their perverse, poisonous influence. These purveyors of error and heresy are spiritual beasts and far more deadly than any physical ones. Peter warns that they are “like unreasoning animals.… reveling in their deceptions … enticing unstable souls” (2 Peter 2:12, 13, 14; cf. Jude 10). Therefore, perfectly understanding all this, Jesus’ admonition to “beware of the false prophets” is not merely a mention of something but a warning to be on guard against and keep our minds away from what is spiritually harmful.

For the benefit of His listeners, it was natural for Jesus to compare false prophets with wolves. In Palestine, wolves roamed the landscape seeking to prey upon stray or lagging sheep. When a wolf found a defenseless sheep, it attacked quickly and tore the sheep to pieces. Just like those merciless and ferocious animals, false teachers are always seeking new victims.

Jude’s letter warns against false prophets and tells how we can safeguard ourselves against them: “Keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life” (v. 21). Our first priority is to be right with the Lord, living in a place of divine fellowship and sound teaching. Then we can warn others of false prophets and carefully rescue them from the damning influences (Jude 22–23).

ASK YOURSELF

Are there any spiritual half-truths that have worked on you in the past? How did they prove to be wolf-like after tricking their way into your thinking?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2008). Daily readings from the life of Christ (p. 191). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

A Break From Internet Squabbles — The Outspoken TULIP

The evangelical world, and indeed the world at large, has been engulfed in all sorts of controversies and internet squabbles these past few months, and I see no sign that the arguing will ease up. Some of the matters are, admittedly, silly and trivial. Others, however, call Scripture’s authority into question, and therefore Christians absolutely must take an uncompromising stand.

But all too often even the legitimately necessary controversies can inadvertently distract us from the beautiful Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Even in attempting to serve God, we often forget to marvel at Who He is and what He’s done for us. Worse, we forget that everything is for the purpose of bringing honor and glory to Him.

Praise God for hymn writers who faithfully draw our attention back that Gospel, and in doing so remind us of our wonderful Savior. The hymn I selected to feature today turns my attention away from all the disputes and back to Him. Perhaps it will give you the same refreshing outlook.

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via A Break From Internet Squabbles — The Outspoken TULIP

Will You Pray for Awakening? Download Your Free Prayer Guide — Ligonier Ministries Blog

We live in a world that needs awakening. What is awakening? It is a powerful movement of the Spirit of God to convert many people to Christ and to renew in His church a zeal for His truth, for spiritual growth, and for missions. This was R.C. Sproul’s passion, and in the final years of his life, he was constantly in prayer for awakening. He prayed and labored to see nonbelievers and the church itself awakened to the true character of God. So vital is this concern to Ligonier Ministries, we made awakening the theme of our 2018 National Conference and dedicated the entire year to pray for awakening.

When just two men–Paul and Silas–prayed, the earth itself shook (Acts 16:25–26). To help as many people as possible, we produced this free prayer guide. Download it today at PrayForAwakening.com, find it in the PrayerMate app, or order the prayer booklet in packs of ten to share with your friends, family, and church community.

To use the guide, find the prayer that corresponds to the current week. Each week of the month focuses on a different group to pray for, starting with you and your family and expanding to larger communities. Please share your desire to #PrayForAwakening on social media.

JULY PRAYER FOCUS:

  • Week 1: Pray that you and your family would put no confidence in the flesh or human methods but rather lean on God to bring awakening. “We are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh.” (Phil. 3:3)
  • Week 2: Pray that your church would be committed to making true disciples of the next generation so that renewal continues. “You shall teach [God’s commandments] diligently to your children.” (Deut. 6:7)
  • Week 3: Pray that your nation would be turned upside down and changed through the preaching of the biblical gospel. “They dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, ‘These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also.’” (Acts 17:6)
  • Week 4: Pray that God would raise up Christians who are willing to go to the ends of the earth, to the most out-of-the-way places in order to proclaim the gospel to those who haven’t heard it. “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
  • Week 5: Pray that your church would remain discerning and would remain devoted to truth and not be deceived by the teachings of demons. “Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons.” (1 Tim. 4:1)

We hope this prayer guide encourages you this year and in future years. Join us in praying fervently for a mighty movement of God’s Spirit today, thankful that He has graciously promised to hear us, and confident that He will answer our prayers according to His will.

via Will You Pray for Awakening? Download Your Free Prayer Guide — Ligonier Ministries Blog