Daily Archives: September 2, 2018

September 2: Only the Very Beginning

Hosea 3:1–5:15; Acts 2:1–41; Job 15:10–20

Beginnings are exciting. The freshness of a new project or a new relationship sharpens our senses. When that novelty diminishes, though, it’s difficult to maintain the same level of excitement.

Acts 2 is all about beginnings. In this passage we get an inside view of how God worked to gather a new community of believers to Himself. Pentecost and the arrival of the Holy Spirit signaled a new era and produced a new community, as both Jews and “devout men from every nation under heaven” converted to the Christian faith (Acts 2:5).

From where we stand, it’s easy for us to see Pentecost as the pivotal moment in the history of the Church—an unparalleled event that changed the world forever. Magnificent things happened. Peter gave a moving testimony. Three thousand people came to faith.

When we celebrate the holiday of Pentecost, however, we are remembering the firstfruits of the harvest—the coming of the Holy Spirit and the original community of believers under Jesus Christ. Firstfruits are only the start of a harvest; they hint at future abundance. The wonders that began at Pentecost are still happening today. God is active and present in our lives, just as He was gathering His Church then.

We need a fresh perspective. We need the motivation and the boldness of Peter. We need to rekindle our original excitement when announcing that the kingdom of heaven is at hand, because He is at work, in us and around us.

How are you sharing this hope?

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.

September 2 Preparing for Battle

“Be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil” (Eph. 6:10–11).

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Adequate preparation is the key to spiritual victory.

The Gulf War introduced some highly sophisticated weapons that had never been proven under live battle conditions. Most of the troops hadn’t experienced war either. Yet, troops and machinery combined in a display of military conquest unparalleled in history.

Thorough preparation proved to be an indispensable element in that overwhelming victory. That included developing and testing high-tech weaponry, recruiting and training troops, and engaging in mock battles. Generals know that if they dare enter a battlefield ill-prepared, they’re destined for defeat. Consequently, they do everything possible to prepare their troops for victory.

Similarly, your success in spiritual warfare is directly proportional to your preparedness. You must “be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might” (Eph. 6:10) and must also put on your armor (v. 11). God is your strength and source of victory, but you must trust Him and must appropriate your spiritual resources. As Oliver Cromwell said, “Trust in God and keep your powder dry.”

If you delay preparation until the battle is upon you, it’s too late. If your armor isn’t in place, you’re vulnerable to the arrows of the enemy. If you neglect prayer, worship, Bible study, accountability, and the other disciplines of faith, you can’t expect to prevail when spiritual skirmishes arise.

No soldier who values his own life would step onto a battlefield unprepared. How much more should soldiers of Christ prepare themselves to fight against Satan’s forces! Be diligent. Christ guarantees ultimate victory, but you can lose individual battles if you’re unprepared. It’s even possible to lapse into periods of spiritual lethargy, indifference, impotency, and ineffectiveness, but that’s utterly inconsistent with your mandate to “fight the good fight” (1 Tim. 1:18).

Don’t be caught off-guard! Keep your armor on, and remain alert to the advances of the enemy.

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Suggestions for Prayer:  Ask God to keep you alert to the reality of spiritual warfare and to the need to be prepared at all times for battle. ✧ Thank Him for the times He protected you when your armor wasn’t as secure as it needed to be.

For Further Study: Memorize 2 Timothy 2:4 as a reminder to be spiritually prepared at all times.[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 258). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

SEPTEMBER 2 ATTRIBUTES OF GOD

And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.

Acts 2:3

What a broad world in which to roam; what an expansive sea in which to swim—and I speak of the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!

He is eternal, which means He is wholly independent of time. Time began in Him and will end in Him.

He is immutable, which means that He has never changed and can never change in any smallest measure. Being perfect, He cannot become more perfect. If He were to become less perfect, He would be less than God.

He is omniscient, which means that He knows in one free and effortless act all matter, all spirit, all relationships, all events. He is; and none of the limiting terms of creatures can apply to Him. Love and mercy and righteousness are His, and holiness so ineffable that no comparisons or figures will avail to express it.

In the pillar of fire, He dwelt. The fire that glowed in the “holy place” was called the Shekinah, the Presence. Then when the Old gave way to the New, He came at Pentecost as a fiery flame and rested upon each disciple!

What a day it will be, Lord, when Your children see You in all Your glory and share in Your eternal riches. While we wait for Your return, Father, help us to remain faithful to You.[1]


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

The Two Americas; Democrat vs Republican, Summed Up by This Hilarious Cartoon

The hilarious cartoon below brilliantly illustrates the divide between the two Americas, one Democrat and the other Republican:

Nails it!

While the half of the country that pays attention to the mainstream media is miserable as they think the sky is falling, the other half is quite happy with the progress made so far by President Trump.

Source: The Two Americas; Democrat vs Republican, Summed Up by This Hilarious Cartoon

New poll hits NFL with extremely bad news less than a week from the start of the 2018 season

With less than a week before the start of the 2018 NFL regular season, a new poll shows fewer people are closely following the NFL compared to just a few years ago.

The difference between now and then? Highly divisive national anthem demonstrations.

What did the poll find?

The Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found that just 52 percent of registered voters are closely following the NFL this season, a 3 percent increase from January. However, the figure is down six points from 2014 when the same poll found that 58 percent of Americans closely follow the league.

To no surprise, the poll found that men older than 50 follow the NFL more closely than any other demographic. Unfortunately, that’s also the demographic that is most likely to view national anthem demonstrations as not appropriate.

“It’s not going in the right direction,” Democratic pollster Fred Yang told the Wall Street Journal.

Overall, 54 percent of respondents said the national anthem demonstrations are inappropriate while 43 percent said they are appropriate.

Independents and Republicans are most likely to view the protests negatively while black voters are most supportive of the protests, the poll found.

American sentiment corroborates the poll. Tommy Davis, a lifelong Dallas Cowboys fan, told the WSJ he stopped watching the NFL last year over the protests and doesn’t plan to begin following the league anytime soon.

“I’m pretty much over it. I’m sticking with college football from here on out,” he said.

The NFL regular season kicks off Thursday, Sept. 6, with a matchup between the Atlanta Falcons and the Philadelphia Eagles, this year’s Super Bowl champions.

Source: New poll hits NFL with extremely bad news less than a week from the start of the 2018 season

September 2, 2018 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

4  Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!

5  For the LORD is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ps 100:4–5). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.


5 God’s people adumbrate God’s name on account of his goodness to them. He is “good” (106:1; 107:1; 136:1), full of “love” (ḥesed) and “faithfulness” (ʾemûnâ; for these covenantal perfections, see Ex 34:6–7). He remains faithful to his people because he has covenanted to do so (see Reflections, p. 271, The Perfections of Yahweh).[1]


100:5 / The closing verse provides the formal rationale for the above commands (though v. 3 has already provided some reasons). Their basis lies on Yahweh’s beneficent attributes: his good ness, love, and faithfulness. This psalm contains two statements, “the Lord is God” and the Lord is “good,” that encapsulate two fundamentals of theology: God is all-powerful and God is good.[2]


Thanking God for His Faithful Love (100:4–5)

100:4–5. Drawing out the implication of Israel as being the “sheep” of God’s “pasture,” the psalmist exhorted his people to offer God thanksgiving and praise because of His lovingkindness and faithfulness toward them (see comments on 5:7; 88:11). The conclusion is God’s faithfulness to Israel forever: The Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting and His faithfulness to all generations (v. 5; cf. 36:5–7; Jr. 31:34–37).[3]


100:5 the Lord is good: The shout of the goodness of God in this verse is buttressed by an appeal to His mercy and His truth. The Hebrew word for truth comes from the root meaning “to be established” or “to be confirmed.” From this root also comes the word amen, meaning “surely” or “truly.” God’s goodness is based on His loyal love and His truth.[4]


Enter His courts with thanksgiving (100:4–5)

100:4–5. This second part of the psalm is a call to the saints to enter Jerusalem (God’s gates) and to go to the temple (His courts) to offer their thanksgiving sacrifices for His blessings to them.

The people should praise the Lord for His goodness, love, and faithfulness. These benefits endure from generation to generation. So every generation that experiences God’s goodness, love, and faithfulness can join in praising Him with “The Old One-Hundredth.”[5]


100:5 the Lord is good. God is the source and perfect example of goodness. His lovingkindness. See note on Ps 85:7. His faithfulness. God’s faithfulness in the sense of keeping His promises.[6]


100:5 good. Full of generosity (cf. 23:6; 25:7–8). steadfast love … faithfulness. These terms evoke Ex. 34:6; the foundation of joy for God’s people is his enduring character of gracious love, of keeping his promises. to all generations. Exodus 34:7 says that God keeps his steadfast love “for thousands,” which, in view of Deut. 7:9, is probably “generations in their thousands.” The worshipers delight to think of the people of God being preserved forever, and of the prospect of their own descendants being members of that people (cf. Gen. 17:7; Ps. 103:17–18); this, too, is the measure of God’s enduring love.[7]


100:5 For The psalmist declares that the earth must praise and thank God because He faithfully cares for Israel.

his loyal love God’s chesed is one of His essential characteristics. See note on 25:10.[8]


100:5 his steadfast love. God’s lovingkindness to people who are in covenant with Him.[9]


[1] VanGemeren, W. A. (2008). Psalms. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Psalms (Revised Edition) (Vol. 5, p. 743). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[2] Hubbard, R. L. J., & Johnston, R. K. (2012). Foreword. In W. W. Gasque, R. L. Hubbard Jr., & R. K. Johnston (Eds.), Psalms (p. 387). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[3] Rydelnik, M., Vanlaningham, M., Barbieri, L. A., Boyle, M., Coakley, J., Dyer, C. H., … Zuber, K. D. (2014). Psalms. In M. A. Rydelnik & M. Vanlaningham (Eds.), The moody bible commentary (p. 841). Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[4] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (p. 715). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.

[5] Ross, A. P. (1985). Psalms. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 1, pp. 865–866). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[6] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Ps 100:5). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[7] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 1064). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[8] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Ps 100:5). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[9] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 824). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.

POTUS gets best revenge after not being invited to Trump-bashing McCain funeral

Donald Trump went about his business this week.

The anti-Trump zealots at CNN are furious at President Donald Trump for doing exactly what millions of other Americans did during the late Sen. John McCain’s funeral Saturday: Live their lives. In the president’s case, this amounted to playing golf at the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia, and tweeting, two activities he partakes in almost every weekend.

For this — for not grinding his life to a halt on behalf of a bitter backstabber who hated his guts — the president is a monster, or so the brilliant minds at CNN allege.

“While we watched this moving memorial service, the president was at his golf club outside of Washington, D.C. But he was also tweeting. Tweeting about the absence of Canada, NAFTA and other issues including the Mueller probe,” CNN host Wolf Blitzer kvetched Saturday evening.

CNN history commentator Douglas Brinkley concurred, saying, “I thought that was disrespectful of President Trump to be tweeting during the memorial service. I might be old-fashioned in that regard, but I think he should have taken a time-out with it.”

..

Listen:

Did any other American take a time-out Saturday? Had President Donald Trump not been banned from McCain’s funeral, he may have very well attended it. But because McCain was as vindictive as his daughter, he left the president with no other option but to send others on his behalf.

Just to be clear, none of the president’s tweets even referenced McCain. Instead Trump tweeted complaints about the Justice Department and information about his ongoing trade talks with Canada.

Here are just a few of his tweets:

The all caps MAGA tweet is likely in response to the claim McCain’s vindictive daughter made during her dad’s eulogy that America was always great: “The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again because America was always great,” she said..

Brinkley claimed that the only people who disliked McCain were the Russians, as in the Russians whom leftists like him are convinced the president colluded with to affect the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.

“I thought Dr. [Henry] Kissinger made a point that maybe we haven’t reflected on — that dissidents all over the world loved John McCain, meaning dissidents for freedom and democracy,” Brinkley added.

“And who this week hasn’t fallen in love with John McCain? Russia, the Moscow Times is just beating him up as a relic of the Cold War and just writing nasty things about him. But anywhere around the world where people are fighting for democracy, the name John McCain meant something. He exported our American ideals all over the globe.”

In reality, a lot of people disliked McCain — just like a lot of people (likely millions) also spent this Saturday just living their lives. Oh, the horror that Trump was one of them!

Source: POTUS gets best revenge after not being invited to Trump-bashing McCain funeral

Desperate for collusion proof, FBI ‘tried & failed to recruit Russian oligarchs’ – report

FBI agents tried to turn Russia’s once-richest man into a US mole, according to an explosive NYT report. It claims that Oleg Deripaska was one of six oligarchs targeted for information in a Russiagate-related intelligence flop.

Source: Desperate for collusion proof, FBI ‘tried & failed to recruit Russian oligarchs’ – report