Daily Archives: August 18, 2018

August 18: Connecting the Dots

Isaiah 37:14–38:22; Luke 13:1–35; Job 9:1–11

When we don’t have all the facts, we still like to connect the dots. Questions make us uncomfortable, so we draw lines with answers that make us feel safe and that fit our worldview. But sometimes we hold too tightly to the picture that results.

Job’s friends were guilty of this error. Although they affirmed true things about God’s character, they connected the dots in unhelpful ways. For example, in Job 8, Bildad pointed to God’s justice and stated that Job’s hardship couldn’t be for nothing. Therefore, he must have sinned. Job also affirmed God’s justice, wisdom, and strength, but he didn’t buy into Bildad’s worldview. In Job 9, he acknowledged that God was beyond his understanding. Job might have suffered, but he kept his high opinion of God.

Job wanted answers, too. He longed for God to make Himself known and settle the matter (Job 9:3). Job mourned that he had no way of defending himself before God: “There is no arbiter between us that he might lay his hand on both of us. May he remove his rod from me, and let his dread not terrify me; then I would speak and not fear him, for in myself I am not fearful” (Job 9:33–35). In the end, when Job requested an answer from God—who alone could answer his questions—God silenced him. He restored Job’s prosperity, but Job still had to live without knowing why.

When we don’t have the answer, we should still affirm God’s love and goodness, acknowledging that “He is the one who does great things beyond understanding and marvelous things beyond number” (Job 9:10). And we do have one answer that quiets our fretful hearts—we know the arbiter and what He has done for us, which makes it easier to live with the unanswered questions.

How are you sharing the good news of Jesus with someone who is dealing with difficult questions?

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.

August 18 Treating Others with Consideration

“[Love] does not act unbecomingly” (1 Cor. 13:5).

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Considerate behavior demonstrates godly love and adds credibility to your witness.

When I was a young child, I loved to slurp my soup. I didn’t see any harm in it, even though my parents constantly objected. Then one evening I ate with someone who slurped his soup. He was having a great time, but I didn’t enjoy my meal very much. Then I realized that proper table manners are one way of showing consideration for others. It says, “I care about you and don’t want to do anything that might disrupt your enjoyment of this meal.”

On a more serious note, I know a couple who got an annulment on the grounds that the husband was rude to his wife. She claimed that his incessant burping proved he didn’t really love her. The judge ruled in her favor, stating that if the husband truly loved her, he would have been more considerate. That’s a strange story but a true one, and it illustrates the point that love is not rude.

“Unbecomingly” in 1 Corinthians 13:5 includes any behavior that violates acceptable Biblical or social standards. We could paraphrase it, “Love is considerate of others.” That would have been in stark contrast to the inconsiderate behavior of the Corinthians—many of whom were overindulging at their love feasts and getting drunk on the Communion wine (1 Cor. 11:20–22). Some women were overstepping bounds by removing their veils and usurping the role of men in the church (1 Cor. 11:3–16; 14:34–35). Both men and women were corrupting the worship services by trying to outdo one another’s spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 14:26).

Undoubtedly the Corinthians justified their rude behavior, just as we often justify ours. But rudeness betrays a lack of love and is always detrimental to effective ministry. For example, I’ve seen Christians behave so rudely toward non-Christians who smoke that they destroyed any opportunity to tell them about Christ.

Be aware of how you treat others—whether believers or unbelievers. Even the smallest of courtesies can make a profound impression.

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Suggestions for Prayer:  Ask the Holy Spirit to monitor your behavior and to convict you of any loveless actions. As He does, be sure to confess and forsake them.

For Further Study: Read Luke 7:36–50. How did Jesus protect the repentant woman from the Pharisee’s rudeness?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 243). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

AUGUST 18 GOD’S ETERNAL WORK

The creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption.

Romans 8:21

Is it possible that some of our brothers and sisters in Christ have forgotten that even though we are Christians, we live day by day in unredeemed physical bodies?

Yes, brethren, this is orthodox Christian theology, given to us by the Apostle Paul in these words: “Even though we have the firstfruits of the Spirit, we groan within ourselves, waiting for the redemption of the body” (see Romans 8:23). These bodies of ours will be redeemed, for that is the promise of God. But in this life they are not yet actually redeemed. That is why we cannot do God’s eternal work ourselves, for only the Holy Spirit of God can bring about His eternal purposes.

If we are to successfully engage in the Christian witness God expects of us while we are here on this earth, we must consciously know and experience the indwelling illumination of the Holy Spirit of God. We must depend upon His gifts and His enduement and His anointing if we hope to cope with the universal blight which is upon mankind.

Lord, Your Word says that “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41). I know from personal experience that I need the power of Your indwelling Spirit to overcome the influence of the flesh.[1]


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

How The Left Is Outsourcing Censorship Of The Internet…

Liberals control every newspaper in America, as far as I know, except the Manchester Union Leader. They control CBS, ABC, NBC and every cable network except Fox News. They control what is left of the news magazines, and pretty much every other magazine, too. Only talk radio and the pesky internet lie outside their grasp, so that is where they seek to impose censorship.

But they have a problem: the First Amendment. The government can’t suppress conservative speech on the ground that it is “hate speech,” i.e., something that liberals don’t like. That was recently reaffirmed by a 9-0 decision of the Supreme Court.

So liberals have outsourced censorship of the internet to the tech titans of Silicon Valley.

Unfortunately, most political conversation these days occurs not on the “free” internet, where independent sites like Power Line reside, but rather on social media–Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and so on. Other players include Google (in its search capacity), Apple, Pinterest, Spotify, etc. Happily–if you are a leftist–all of these tech companies are run by liberals. And because they are private companies, they are not constrained by the First Amendment. They can restrict or ban conservative communications on the ground that they are “hate speech,” or on no grounds whatsoever, with impunity.

And that is exactly what they are doing. This is a big topic. I brought it up this morning while hosting the Laura Ingraham radio show, and it blew up, ultimately consuming half of the three-hour show. Many aspects of the left’s outsourcing of censorship to liberal-run corporations need to be explored, but for now, this is an astonishing example: “Silicon Valley Strikes Back: Facebook Censors PragerU After Google Lawsuit.”

Source: How The Left Is Outsourcing Censorship Of The Internet…

Clinton Saga Continues: Watchdog Publishes New Batches of Hillary’s Emails

The email scandal continues to haunt Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state and ex-Democratic presidential nominee, as Judicial Watch, a non-profit conservative organization, has unearthed two new batches of Clinton’s emails and called for a new investigation into her mishandling of classified government data.

Source: Clinton Saga Continues: Watchdog Publishes New Batches of Hillary’s Emails