Daily Archives: July 27, 2018

July 27: The Tricks We Play on Ourselves

2 Samuel 18:1–33; 2 Peter 2:12–22; Psalm 144:1–15

A great deal of leadership is based on consistency. King David is a prime example: He struggled most when he was inconsistent.

David’s son, Absalom, committed horrific acts against David and others (2 Sam 14–17). David repeatedly responded in a manner unbefitting a king, finally sending men out to destroy Absalom’s troops (2 Sam 18:1–4). As the troops headed out, he ordered his commanders—within hearing of the army—to “deal gently” with Absalom (2 Sam 18:5). With this order, David again acted beneath his role and duty as king: He asked for the leader of a rebellion to be spared—essentially using his own warriors as pawns in a game to regain his fallen son. Absalom didn’t deserve to be dealt with gently; he was a ruthless, terrorizing dictator and had opposed God’s chosen king. His time was up. For this reason, and perhaps others, Joab, one of David’s commanders, chose to kill Absalom (2 Sam 18:14).

It’s unlikely any of us will ever be in a position like David or Joab’s, but their story presents some lessons in leadership. Joab demonstrates that sometimes the “right hand man” knows better than the commander-in-chief. David’s repeated inability to separate his emotions from the situation (he made this same mistake with Saul) could have resulted in his untimely death and the complete destruction of the kingdom God had given him to steward. If David was willing to be so merciful, he could have invited Absalom back into the kingdom. David’s actions show us that we should seek the advice of others, asking that they help us think through the full ramifications of our actions. If David would have sought advice from Joab or another of his trusted leaders, he probably would have made a wiser decision—and preserved his dignity as king.

Based on David’s track record as a military leader, he would have dealt swiftly with any other uprising, but he ignored resistance from his own son to the point of peril. The events between David and Absalom don’t portray David as a man of love and mercy; instead, they reveal him as a man too easily swayed by conflicting feelings.

Selfishness is David’s ultimate downfall. He wanted Absalom to live because it seemed best in his mind—it was the ideal future he envisioned. In making a move to create that future himself, David jeopardized everyone he should have protected. He even jeopardized his own reign, which itself was a gift from God.

What are you currently being selfish about that has, until now, been deceiving you?

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.

July 27 Rejoicing in Your Inheritance

“In this you greatly rejoice” (1 Peter 1:6).

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Contemplating your eternal inheritance should give you joy that transcends any temporal circumstance.

Joy is a major theme in Scripture. The psalmist said, “Sing for joy in the Lord, O you righteous ones; praise is becoming to the upright” (Ps. 33:1); “My lips will shout for joy when I sing praises to Thee; and my soul, which Thou hast redeemed” (Ps. 71:23).

Even creation itself is said to rejoice in the Lord: “Thou dost make the dawn and the sunset shout for joy. … Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all it contains; let the field exalt, and all that is in it. Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy before the Lord. … Let the mountains sing together for joy before the Lord; for He is coming to judge the earth” (Ps. 65:8; 96:11–13; 98:8–9).

Joy is the special privilege of every believer, regardless of his or her circumstances. You might suffer untold heartache and persecution for your faith in Christ, but amid the severest trials, God wants you to know profound joy. That’s why Peter said, “To the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing; so that also at the revelation of His glory, you may rejoice with exultation” (1 Peter 4:13).

First Peter 1:6–9 identifies five elements of your Christian life that should bring you joy amid trials. The first is your protected inheritance. That’s what Peter referred to when he said, “In this you greatly rejoice” (v. 6, emphasis added). Other elements include a proven faith, a promised honor, a personal fellowship, and a present deliverance (vv. 6–9), which we will explore in coming days.

The Greek word translated “greatly rejoice” in 1 Peter 1:6 is not the usual Greek word for “rejoice.” Peter here used a more expressive and intense word that speaks of one who is happy in a profound spiritual sense rather than in a temporal or circumstantial sense. That’s the quality of joy God grants to those who trust in Him and who look beyond their temporal trials to the glory of their eternal inheritance. Let that be your focus as well.

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Suggestions for Prayer:  Thank God for the joy that transcends circumstances.

For Further Study: Read John 16:16–22. ✧ According to Jesus, why would the disciples lament? ✧ What would bring them joy? ✧ What does their experience teach you about the basis for your joy as a Christian?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 221). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

JULY 27 GOD NEEDS NO ADJECTIVES

I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the Lord, and the praises of the Lord, according to all that the Lord hath bestowed on us.

Isaiah 63:7

We do not need any enlarging adjectives when we speak of God, or of His love or mercy. God Almighty fills the universe and overfills it because it is His character—infinite and unlimited!

We do not need to say God’s “great” love, although we do say it. We do not need to say God’s “abundant” mercy, although we do say it. I expect we say it to cheer and elevate our own thoughts of God, not to infer that there is any degree in the mercy of God.

Our adjectives can be useful only when we talk about earthly things—when we refer to the great love of a man for his family, or of a man’s fabulous wealth.

But when we are speaking of God, there can be no such measuring point. When we speak of the riches of God, we must include all the riches there are! God is not less rich or more rich—He is rich! He holds all things in His being!

So it is with mercy. God is not less merciful or more merciful. Thankfully, He is full of mercy. Whatever God is, He is that in the fullness of unlimited grace!

Heavenly Father, the depth and breadth of Your attributes are beyond human measure and comprehension. God, there is no other god like You![1]


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

July 27, 2018 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

19:7. In verses 7–9 David described the efficacious nature of the Law of the Lord. Just as the sun is the dominant feature of God’s natural revelation (vv. 4c–6), so the Law was the dominant element in God’s specific revelation in the Old Testament.

The perfect Law of God (cf. “flawless” in 12:6; 18:30; Prov. 30:5) can change people. It revives the soul and the Law’s statutes can be trusted to make one wise.[1]


19:7 On law, see note on 1:2. perfect. See note on 19:13. reviving the soul. That is, giving refreshment (see Prov. 25:13, “refreshes the soul”; Ps. 23:3 uses a similar expression). Sure, or trustworthy. simple. See Introduction to Proverbs: Character Types in Proverbs.

19:7 The close relation between God’s instruction through creation (vv. 1–6) and through his law (vv. 7–14) anticipates the role of Christ as mediator in creation and redemption (Col. 1:15–20).[2]


19:7 is perfect The Hebrew word used here, tamim, means to be “perfect” or “blameless”; it emphasizes personal integrity.[3]


19:7 The second part of the psalm extols specific revelation; that is, revelation in verbal form through divine inspiration (e.g., Ex 20:1; 1 Co 2:9–10; 2 Pt 1:21). The law did not come from a sun god, but from the Lord, the sovereign Creator. His revelation is open to all, to guide them in righteousness; the full revelation of the Godhead will come in Jesus Christ (Heb 1:1–3). Critical interpreters have suggested that this psalm is a composite of two psalms because of the sudden shift here from the realm of nature to the realm of Israelite law. Such a view ignores that God’s moral law—His principles for human behavior—are grounded in the structure of the universe (Rm 1:17–25). The creative power of God underlies the integrity of the law. The relationship of the created and moral orders was aptly expressed by Immanuel Kant: “Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe, the oftener and more steadily we reflect on them: the starry heavens above me, and the moral law within me.”[4]


[1] Ross, A. P. (1985). Psalms. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 1, p. 808). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[2] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 961). 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 (Ps 19:7). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[4] Cabal, T., Brand, C. O., Clendenen, E. R., Copan, P., Moreland, J. P., & Powell, D. (2007). The Apologetics Study Bible: Real Questions, Straight Answers, Stronger Faith (p. 807). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

July 27 The Barrier of Personal Riches

Another of the disciples said to Him, “Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.” But Jesus said to him, “Follow Me, and allow the dead to bury their own dead.”—Matt. 8:21–22

This man, perhaps a hanger-on who had followed Jesus around the countryside for a while, makes what seems at first to be a reasonable statement. His seeking permission to go and bury his father, however, did not mean his parent was already dead. It was and is a common Middle Eastern figure of speech referring to a child’s (mainly a son’s) responsibility to help with the family business until the father dies and the inheritance is available. Such a commitment can conceivably take a long time to fulfill. It’s the same as saying, “I need to wait until I receive my inheritance.”

This superficial disciple did not want devotion to Jesus to get in the way of receiving what was coming to him. He was okay with associating with the Lord by name, but his personal prosperity and well-being came ahead of serving Christ.

Jesus’ reply was right on the mark with another proverbial saying, “Follow Me, and allow the dead to bury their own dead.” In other words, “Let the world take care of the things of the world.” We should let the spiritually dead manage their own affairs.

Believers must not pattern their thinking after the world’s ways, but be disciples of Christ and bring the good news of eternal life to the world, relying on His grace and enabling.

ASK YOURSELF

Are there any plans and hopes and dreams you are still holding on to that may not square with the will of God for your life? If you had to surrender any of these for the cause of Christ, how do you think you’d react?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2008). Daily readings from the life of Christ (p. 217). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

JULY 27 ABSENCE OF REPENTANCE BRINGS SPIRITUAL UNCERTAINTY

In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.

2 TIMOTHY 2:25

The man who is seriously convinced that he deserves to go to hell is not likely to go there, while the man who believes that he is worthy of heaven will certainly never enter that blessed place.

I use the word “seriously” to accent true conviction and to distinguish it from mere nominal belief.

It is possible to go through life believing that we believe, while actually having no conviction more vital than a conventional creed inherited from our ancestors or picked up from the general religious notions current in our social circle. If this creed requires that we admit our own depravity, we do so and feel proud of our fidelity to the Christian faith. But from the way we love, praise and pamper ourselves it is plain enough that we do not consider ourselves worthy of damnation!

The poor quality of Christian faith and the uncertainties that mark the lives of a host of church members grow out of our modern evangelistic scene’s absence of real repentance. So, too, the absence of repentance is the result of an inadequate view of sin and sinfulness held by those who present themselves in the inquiry room. “No fears, no grace,” said Bunyan. “Though there is not always grace where there is fear of hell, yet, to be sure, there is no grace where there is no fear of God. For the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, and they that lack the beginning have neither middle nor end.”[1]


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

Nikki Haley Shares How a Fateful Knock at the Door Changed Her Indian-Sikh Family Forever — Faithwire

United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, has delivered some powerful remarks to the Religious Freedom Summit. Revealing fascinating details of her Sikh family’s emigration to the United States, Haley opened up about her own conversion to Christianity and the staggering privilege she’s experienced growing up in a country that champions religious freedom.

‘The Human Rights Council Is a Farce’: Nikki Haley Brings House Down, Reveals ‘Faith Journey’ That Led Her to Christ 20 Years Ago

https://www.faithwire.com/2018/07/25/the-human-rights-council-is-a-farce-nikki-haley-brings-house-down-reveals-faith-journey-that-led-her-to-christ-20-years-ago/embed/#?secret=Xs5P3tgGgQ

The three-day Ministerial for the Advancement of Religious Freedom was poignantly hosted at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C., running from Tuesday thru Thursday this week.

“It says everything about our country that this first ministerial has been devoted to the importance of preserving, protecting and expanding religious freedom,” Haley opened in her keynote address.

“America’s respect for religious freedom informs our foreign policy. It is an overlooked weapon in our modern arsenal of democracy.”


Ambassador Haley said that the expansion of religious freedom is “a means to protect peace and security.”

Then, the former governor of South Carolina revealed that Religion freedom is also “personal” to her.

“I’m fortunate to benefit from religious tolerance. My parents emigrated to a small town in South Carolina from India in 1969 as members of the Sikh faith,” Haley explained. “My Dad wore a turban and still does to this day. We were the first Indian-American family in our small town in South Carolina.”

“We stood out,” Haley quipped, to laughter from the crowd.

The Ambassador went on to explain how many of the locals in their town would arrive at the door in an attempt to evangelize the family.

“People would show up at our door asking us to convert to their religion. Some had tears in their eyes because they sincerely believed that eternal damnation awaited those who didn’t share their faith,” she said.

“My older sister was given a Bible once from these well-meaning visitors. When my mom saw it, she told my sister to read it cover to cover. ‘There’s truth in there,’ she said,” Haley recalled.

The politicians then remarked on her personal faith in Jesus.

“Twenty years ago my faith journey took me to Christianity,” she said, adding: “I have found great strength in my faith and trust in my heart, but I am a person who is humble in my faith. I don’t claim to have the wisdom to know what God has in store for me or for other people.”

“But I do know this,” Haley continued, “there are many places in the world where my faith journey would have been impossible, places where governments deny their people the right to choose their faiths the right to have a faith at all. ”

The Ambassador said that it was to her “great fortun” that her parents were able to “legally emigrate to America.”

“Here, we not only protect our inalienable right to know God’s grace, we also know that true grace cannot be imposed by government. It must be embraced freely from within,” she said.

Haley also noted that her experience as ambassador to the United Nations had “given the opportunity to see the most intimate and personal issue impacts entire nations and peoples.”

She added: “It has given me the chance to extend the remarkable example of American religious freedom, something I experienced first-hand, into the international arena.”

The Ambassador also noted that at the UN, she has witnessed how “peace and security are being threatened from the denial of religious freedom.”

In a brilliantly articulated remark, Haley said that the denial of religious freedom is “so destructive” because it “represents the state elevating itself above the divine.”

“In America, our rights are outside of the realm of government,” she added. “Denial of religious freedom is the ultimate authoritarianism. Limiting or denying religious freedom is a key way for governments to exert control over their people.”

Haley concluded: “Where there is religious tolerance, there is political tolerance. And where there is political tolerance, there is peace, security and prosperity.”

(H/T: CBN News)

via Nikki Haley Shares How a Fateful Knock at the Door Changed Her Indian-Sikh Family Forever — Faithwire

July 27 Respecting What Is Right

Respect what is right in the sight of all men.

Romans 12:17, nasb

If you sincerely respect others, including your enemies, you will be predisposed to do the right thing concerning them. Such respect helps you to discipline and prepare yourself ahead of time to respond in all situations in a manner pleasing to God.

Behaving in a way that respects what is right and demonstrates graciousness and forgiveness toward others, even your enemies, should be a positive testimony to them. It will also “adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things” (Titus 2:10).[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 228). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

There’s a Direct Line from Obama, Holder, Rice, Lerner, Clinton to FBI Scandals

Defying Congress, weaponizing government, lying to voters and erecting a justice double standard created a bitter harvest today

Former President Barack Obama’s eight years in the White House were marked by four huge scandals, each of which uniquely contributed to the unprecedented level of corruption now being exposed in the FBI’s Russia Collusion investigation.

The four scandals include:

1.) Fast & Furious (2011), which exposed the Department of Justice (DOJ) selling high-powered rifles and other firearms to individuals known to be straw buyers for Mexican drug cartels.

2.) Benghazi (2012), the terrorist attack that killed four Americans in a U.S. Consulate in Libya, including J. Christopher Stevens, the country’s Ambassador to Libya, and the Obama administration’s false explanation of it.

3.) IRS Targeting (2013), in which the federal tax agency’s illegally singled out Tea Party, conservative and evangelical non-profit applicants for illegal harassment during the 2010 and 2012 election campaigns.

4.) Hillary Email (2015), which included hundreds of emails containing highly sensitive classified information to and from then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on her private server, which was compromised by multiple foreign powers and hackers.

Official wrong-doing seen separately in each of these four scandals came together to create the current FBI scandal. Here’s how:

Defying Congress: When then-Attorney General Eric Holder was held in contempt of Congress on June 28, 2012, he became the first sitting member of a presidential cabinet to be so voted. The vote was the result of Holder’s refusal to turn over Fast & Furious documents sought by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

The committee, led by its chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), wanted to know why hundreds of an estimated 2,000 weapons — including AK-47s and .50 Calibre sniper rifles — whose sale to straw purchasers was sanctioned by DOJ, were turning up at crime scenes in Mexico and the U.S. After months of negotiations between Issa and DOJ failed, Holder simply refused to provide the requested documents.

Lying to America: For days after the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghaz, Libya, Obama, National Security Adviser Susan Rice, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha Powers, among many others in the administration, claimed the four Americans who died were victims of a spontaneous protest of an obscure Internet documentary critical of Muslims.

Rice notably repeated that claim on the five most-watched morning news programs on the Sunday following the Sept. 11, 2012 attack in Libya. Clinton also repeated it to relatives of the four men killed when their bodies were returned to the U.S. for burial.

In fact, U.S. officials knew soon after the start of attack, which included two highly coordinated waves and lasted nearly 12 hours, that the Libyan terrorist group Ansar al-Sharia was behind it. Clinton even told daughter Chelsea in an email during the attack that it was mounted by “an Al Queada-like group” of terrorists.

Weaponizing Law Enforcement: When Congress approved and Obama signed Obamacare into law in 2010, debate over it had already sparked the Tea Party protest movement of mostly conservative and populist middle-class Americans, many of whom had never before participated in the political process other than voting.

Related: These Five FBI Scandal Figures May Never Get Out of the FISA Woods

To combat the movement, IRS senior executive Lois Lerner began in 2010 imposing extremely intrusive demands for information on Tea Party, conservative and evangelical non-profit applicants and delaying decisions on their applications for tax exemption.

The illegal harassment begun in 2010 continued through Obama’s successful re-election campaign in 2012. Four years later, the IRS admitted its conduct was wrong and apologized.

The Lerner operation helped Obama’s re-election campaign, according to a 2017 study by four scholars from Stockholm University, Harvard’s Kennedy School for Government and the American Enterprise Institute. They calculated that IRS targeting cost Republicans as many as 8.5 million votes in 2012 in an election that saw Obama defeat Mitt Romney by 5 million votes.

Double Standard for Justice: Congressional investigators, according to The Hill, found “passages in FBI documents stating the ‘sheer volume’ of classified information that flowed through Clinton’s insecure emails was proof of criminality as well as an admission of false statements by one key witness in the case, the investigators said.

“The name of the witness is redacted from the FBI documents but lawmakers said he was an employee of a computer firm that helped maintain her personal server after she left office as America’s top diplomat and who belatedly admitted he had permanently erased an archive of her messages in 2015 after they had been subpoenaed by Congress.”

Related: Lisa Page May Seek Immunity, Judicial Watch’s Chris Farrell Says

Even so, former FBI counter-intelligence chief Peter Strzok made a key change in the draft of then-FBI Director James Comey’s July 2016 statement to the nation on the bureau’s Hillary email investigation: Strzok changed the words “grossly negligent” to “extreme carelessness.”

Because federal law requires prosecution of federal officials, regardless of their title, for “gross negligence” in handling classified information, Strzok’s change, which Comey approved and spoke to the nation, effectively gave Clinton a free pass just months before voters went to the polls to decide between her and Donald Trump.

Even Comey’s revelation of new Clinton emails 11 days before the polls opened and his second absolution two days before the voting couldn’t deflate her seemingly invincible status on election day as overwhelmingly favored to defeat Trump.

Nearly three years after Clinton’s grossly negligent mis-handling of classified information was first reported, she still has a security clearance that gives her access to … classified information.

And Then Came The Steele Dossier:

Strzok eventually joined special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation in May 2017 of allegations that aides to President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign against Clinton colluded with Russian interests.

But then a second messaging scandal broke, this one involving thousands of texts sent on FBI cell phones to and from Strzok and his lover, then-FBI lawyer Lisa Page. Their messages revealed deep, bitter, determined opposition to Trump and provided a map of their influence on the Hillary email and Russia collusion probes, the latter led by special counsel Robert Mueller, beginning in May 2017.

Related: Gowdy Shreds IG’s Reasons for Ignoring ‘Textbook Bias’

Strzok was removed from the Mueller probe and demoted to the FBI’s human resources department, while Page left the bureau entirely. Their departures from the active investigations, however, did nothing to change the facts about a profoundly dirty document at the heart of the Russia collusion investigation.

That document is the dossier prepared by former British spy Christopher Steele, based on material gathered in great part from Russian intelligence sources and described by former FBI Director James Comey as “salacious and unverified.”

The dossier painted an extremely negative portrait of Trump and was funded by Clinton’s 2016 campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC), which she then controlled. The funding was channeled to Steele via the Perkins Coie law firm to Fusion GPS, a Washington, D.C.-based opposition research firm.

The dossier is at the heart of the Mueller probe because the FBI made it the primary basis of four applications to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Act seeking permission to spy on former Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page.

The FISA court approved the surveillance but the FBI concealed from the judges the fact the dossier was funded by Clinton. The FBI also assured the court that the information in its applications for surveillance authority was credible and verified. Mueller has indicted multiple people but not Page.

Virtually all that has been learned about the Steele dossier, the FISA warrant, the Strzok/Page texts and protecting Clinton from prosecution, as well as the key facts in the four preceding scandals listed resulted from three sources:

Most prominent at every stage has been congressional investigations, especially the House Judiciary Committee, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Related: This FISA Passage Points to the Heart of Mueller’s Collusion Case Against Trump

Republican leaders on those panels have brought pressure through subpoenas, contempt citations and impeachment threats. Also prominent was the June 9 report of DOJ’s Inspector General that exhaustively documented the virulent hatred for Trump in the Strzok/Page text messages.

Finally, the non-profit government watchdog Judicial Watch, has adroitly used Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits to obtain court orders forcing release of key documents in all of the scandals covered in this post. The Judicial Watch document archive is a rich resource for those interested in fully understanding these scandals.

Just as Holder refused to turn over Fast & Furious documents sought by Congress, DOJ and the FBI have done the same thing.

Just as Obama, Rice, Powers and Clinton lied about Benghazi, so did Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (appointed by Trump), former FBI Director James Comey (appointed by Obama) and former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe (promoted by Comey) when they signed the FISA applications and thereby certified the credibility of the material included in the documents.

Just as Lerner weaponized the IRS against the Tea Party, using the FISA process and the Steele dossier to enable surveillance of Page was a raw exercise of federal law enforcement and intelligence resources in an effort to harm Trump and thereby help Clinton.

Finally, just as the double standard of justice protected Clinton, the FBI investigation of the Russian collusion allegations led to the Mueller probe against Trump, even though it was Clinton who paid for Russian dirt on Trump.

That may be the ultimate example of a double standard in American justice.

— Read on www.lifezette.com/2018/07/theres-a-direct-line-from-obama-holder-rice-lerner-clinton-to-fbi-scandals/