Daily Archives: August 4, 2018

August 4: In Grief

Isaiah 7:1–8:22; Luke 2:22–52; Job 2:11–13

It’s difficult to know how to respond to people suffering grief. Those brave enough to speak often attempt to rationalize another’s grief with ill-timed theological truths. Those who feel inadequate or awkward about reaching out to grieving people sometimes avoid them altogether.

Job’s friends are well known for misinterpreting Job’s suffering. But they aren’t often recognized for the moments when they responded to Job’s anguish with wisdom. When Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar first heard of the tragedy, they immediately came to comfort Job:

“Thus they lifted up their eyes from afar, but they did not recognize him, so they raised their voice, and they wept, and each man tore his outer garment and threw dust on their heads toward the sky. Then they sat with him on the ground for seven days and seven nights, but no one spoke a word to him because they saw that his suffering was very great” (Job 2:12–13).

Often we try to diminish grief with clichés that seem helpful and fill the awkward silence, like “God is in control.” Job’s friends realized that such spoken attempts—even spoken truths—would only interrupt and add to the grieving that was necessary and appropriate. Instead, they shared his grief, offered their presence, and didn’t speak a word.

Job’s friends didn’t keep silent for long, though, and when they did speak, Job wished they would be silent: “O that you would keep completely silent and that it would become wisdom for you” (Job 13:5). Our response to grief should be measured and prayerful. Attempts to explain events that we don’t ultimately understand can bring even more pain. However, shared grief and empathy can bring comfort to someone who knows truth but is struggling to come to grips with a new reality.

How can you empathize rather than rationalize grief?

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.

Video: Voddie Baucham Says “Sexual Orientation” Doesn’t Exist — Pulpit & Pen

Listen to this excellent message from Voddie Baucham on the topic of homosexuality and, in particular, Same Sex Attraction. As always, brings strength and substance to a very needed conversation. Please note that Voddie denies the concept of “sexual orientation.” Good on him.

via Video: Voddie Baucham Says “Sexual Orientation” Doesn’t Exist — Pulpit & Pen

Saving faith vs Human faith

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

15 When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. 17 When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them. Luke 2:15-20 (NASB)

Human faith is not the same thing as saving faith…

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August 4 The Source of True Love

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God. … We love, because He first loved us” (1 John 4:7, 19).


True love cannot be generated on the human level. It’s a gift from God.

Scripture often makes seemingly impossible demands of us. For example, Jesus said, “Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you” (Matt. 5:44). That’s easy to say, but how is it possible? Our natural tendency is to love our friends and hate our enemies. But Jesus said, “If you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax-gatherers do the same? And if you greet your brothers only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?” (vv. 46–47).

Israel viewed tax-gatherers as traitors and Gentiles as spiritual outcasts. Yet even traitors and outcasts show love and kindness to those who reciprocate. Jesus calls us to a much higher standard of love—one that is impartial, like God demonstrates when He “causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (v. 45). As we see from God Himself, it extends even to those who aren’t worthy: “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8).

Despite generations of rebellion and slander against His holy will and name, God sacrificed His beloved Son, thereby providing the means by which sinners can be saved. Out of love, Jesus willingly endured the pain and shame of the cross and paid the price of our redemption. Now that’s divine love in action!

God commands you to love as He loves—impartially and sacrificially. That may sound impossible on the human level, but remember that God never requires you to do anything He hasn’t already enabled you to do. At the moment of your salvation, the Holy Spirit took up residence within you and began producing the fruit of love (Gal. 5:22). You don’t have to muster it on your own. All you have to do is invite the Spirit to take control, allowing Him to govern your thoughts and actions. As you do, His precious fruit will be multiplied in your life.


Suggestions for Prayer:  Thank God for the love of the Spirit He has placed within you. ✧ Ask Him for opportunities today to learn how to love more perfectly.

For Further Study: Memorize Galatians 5:22–23.[1]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 229). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

Number of Russians With Positive Opinion About US Doubles Within 2 Months – Poll – Sputnik International

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The number of Russians, who have a positive opinion about the United States, has doubled within last two months from 20 percent in May up to 42 percent in July, a fresh poll issued on Thursday said.
— Read on sputniknews.com/amp/world/201808021066894629-russians-opinion-us-polls/

Court Orders Pastor Paula White to Pay Woman Over $13,000 in Copyright Lawsuit

A U.S. District Court in Florida has ordered Pastor Paula White to pay $13,707 to a woman for causing “emotional harm” by suing her for copyright infringement after she posted videos criticizing her church and ministries.

The ruling concerns White’s attempt last year to sue the woman, Shirley Johnson, who posted videos on YouTube using clips and images from the New Destiny Christian Center and Paula White Ministries to criticize them. The lawsuit was dismissed and Johnson filed a countersuit for “malicious prosecution,” according to techdirt.com.

White is the senior pastor at New Destiny Christian Center in Apopka, Florida, and one of President Donald Trump’s spiritual advisers. She has been ordered to pay Johnson $1,207 in economic damages and $12,500 in noneconomic compensatory damages, totaling $13,707.

“Johnson’s testimony about the mental anguish she suffered from the Copyright Infringement Action was credible,” the ruling states. “Specifically, Johnson testified about the lack of sleep, diminished enjoyment in various hobbies, and overall worry about the litigation and its consequences on her life.”

The court, it continues, also found that “Johnson, as an individual unfamiliar with the legal process, credibly suffered emotional harm from the Copyright Infringement Action. But as Johnson did not seek medical treatment and her symptoms have abated, the court finds a minimal award for these damages appropriate. Thus, the court awards Johnson $12,500.00 for these damages.”

A ruling in another case Johnson filed against White, for allegedly deliberately misrepresenting copyright infringement, is still pending.

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: Christian Post, Anugrah Kumar
— Read on www.christianpost.com/news/court-orders-paula-white-pay-woman-12500-copyright-lawsuit-226603/


My sheep hear my voice…and they shall never perish.

John 10:27–28

It should be illuminating to us that the difference between unbelief and faith, between man’s point of view and God’s, often comes to light as the believer faces death.

We are told that when John Wesley was dying, he tried to sing but his voice was nearly gone. Although his own theology was Armenian, he was trying to sing the words of an old Calvinist hymn:

I will praise my Maker while I’ve breath,

And when my soul is lost in death,

Praise shall employ my nobler powers.

That is at least one reason why I cannot get all heated up about contending for one theological position over another.

If Isaac Watts, a Calvinist, could write such praise to God and John Wesley, an Armenian, could sing it with yearning in his last moments, why should I allow anyone to force me to confess, “I don’t know which I am!”

I was created and redeemed that I should worship Him and enjoy Him forever. That is the primary issue in our Christian walk!

Lord, when it’s time for me to pass from this life to the next, I pray that it will be a glorious transition from praising You in this life to that of worshiping You face to face in Your holy presence.[1]

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

Report: Obama Wealth Grew 40-Fold Since Entering White House

Former President Barack Obama and wife Michelle entered the White House in 2008 with a net worth of $1.3 million, but in the 10 years since that time, that has grown to an estimated $40 million, and could earn as much as $242.5 million in the years ahead.Obama made $20…

Source: Report: Obama Wealth Grew 40-Fold Since Entering White House

Report: Abortion Accounts for 61% of Black Deaths in America

Induced abortion is the leading cause of death in the United States, and accounts for a disturbing 61 percent of deaths of African Americans, according to researchers from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Source: Report: Abortion Accounts for 61% of Black Deaths in America

Will Trump Administration Ever Defund Planned Parenthood?

One pro-life leader is questioning the Trump administration on its vow to put an end to federal funding of Planned Parenthood – the biggest abortion chain in the nation.

Besides being a major campaign promise President Donald Trump’s promise is something that he has continued to speak about throughout his first two years of presidency.

Jim Sedlak of American Life League contends that Trump is not making good on his promise so far.

“Almost two years after the election – when President Trump said that he would take all money away from Planned Parenthood – they’re still getting money,” Sedlak asserted. “The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has now announced that they have grants going out, and Planned Parenthood will be getting them.”

This federal funding is Title X money for family planning services.

However, HHS held a public comment period on a proposed new rule that would prohibit tax dollars for any entity associated with abortion.

OneNewsNow asked Sedlak whether the money still flows because the proposal is not yet a firm rule, and the pro-life activist contended that – regardless – the money should not go to the abortion cartel.

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: One News Now, Charlie Butts

Source: Will Trump Administration Ever Defund Planned Parenthood?