Daily Archives: September 15, 2018

September 15: The Pain of Idolatry

Micah 1:1–3:12; Acts 13:13–14:7; Job 22:14–30

Idolatry causes pain. If this truth were present in our minds each time we placed something before God, we would make different decisions. Micah’s account of the sins of Samaria makes this fact painfully and dramatically clear:

“So I [Yahweh] will make Samaria as a heap of rubble in the field, a place for planting a vineyard. And I will pour down her stones into the valley and uncover her foundations. Then all her idols will be broken in pieces, and all her prostitution wages will be burned in the fire, and all her idols I will make a desolation. For from the wage of a prostitute she gathered them, and to the wage of a prostitute they will return. On account of this I will lament and wail. I will go about barefoot and naked. I will make a lamentation like the jackals, and a mourning ceremony like the ostriches” (Mic 1:6–8).

Throughout this section, God and the prophet’s voices intermingle, a common occurrence in prophetic literature. This device creates a sense of empathy, both for God’s perspective on idolatry and for the people’s pain as the consequences of their idolatry bear down on them. Micah’s position is one we should emulate. When we understand what God feels, we begin to see the world from His perspective. When we feel what others feel, we’re able to meet their needs and learn to love them as fully and radically as God loves us.

Micah’s depiction of idolatry—how God views it and what it does to us—should be a wake-up call. When God takes second place in our lives, we inflict pain on Him, ourselves, and others. We shove Him out of His rightful place and thus move ourselves out of relationship with Him. But when He is the focus of our lives, we have an opportunity to empathize with others and to love them—and our idols dissipate like smoke.

How are you combating idolatry in your life? How are you showing love to people who love idols?

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.

September 15 Developing Practical Righteousness

“Stand firm therefore … having put on the breastplate of righteousness” (Eph. 6:14).

✧✧✧

Practical righteousness is moment-by-moment obedience to God.

We’ve seen the importance of putting on the breastplate of righteousness as protection against Satan’s attempts to pervert your thinking and emotions. But Scripture speaks of three kinds of righteousness: self-righteousness, imputed righteousness, and practical righteousness. Which did Paul have in mind in Ephesians 6:14?

Paul wasn’t speaking of self-righteousness because that is what the breastplate of righteousness is designed to protect you from. Self-righteousness deceives a person into thinking, “I can please God and reach Heaven on my own merit.” But Isaiah said, “All our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment” (Isa. 64:6). Far from getting you to Heaven, self-righteousness will condemn you to eternal Hell because it rejects the merits of Christ’s atonement.

Similarly, Paul wasn’t speaking of imputed righteousness—the righteousness of Christ granted to every believer at the moment of salvation. This is also called “positional righteousness” because it results from your position or standing in Christ. Second Corinthians 5:21 says that God made Christ, “who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” Every believer is clothed in the garment of Christ’s righteousness. You don’t put that on. It’s already yours in Christ.

Only practical righteousness remains—that which flows from obedience to God’s Word. Although in God’s eyes you are righteous in Christ, you must also pursue righteous behavior. In other words, your practice should match your position. That’s what Paul meant when he said, “Work out your salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil. 2:12). John added that “the one who says he abides in [Christ] ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked” (1 John 2:6).

As you learn to live in obedience to God’s Word, you’ll be protected by the breastplate of righteousness.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer:  Ask the Spirit to help you search your heart and to reveal any self-righteous attitudes that might be making you vulnerable to Satan’s attacks. Confess them, and then praise Christ for the true righteousness that is yours in Him.

For Further Study: Read Romans 3:10–23. What kind of righteousness did Paul describe here?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 271). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

Should Christians Listen to Secular Music?

Should Christians listen to secular music? From our 2017 National Conference, W. Robert Godfrey, Michael Horton, Stephen Nichols, and Derek Thomas weigh in on this question. When you have biblical and theological questions, just Ask.Ligonier.org.

Source: Should Christians Listen to Secular Music?

Militants Brought Chlorine Gas to Idlib to Stage Chemical Attack – Russian MoD

Terrorists from the Tahrir al-Sham group transported several barrels of chlorine gas to the village of Basankul, in Syria’s province of Idlib, to stage a false-flag chemical attack, according to a Saturday statement from the Russian Defense Ministry’s Center for Syrian Reconciliation.

Source: Militants Brought Chlorine Gas to Idlib to Stage Chemical Attack – Russian MoD

‘Chlorine delivered’: Idlib militants ‘readying false flag attack’ in Syrian village – Russian MoD

Militants in Syria’s Idlib have transported several canisters containing chlorine to the village of Bsanqul, apparently preparing to stage a false flag chemical attack, the Russian Defense Ministry has said.

Source: ‘Chlorine delivered’: Idlib militants ‘readying false flag attack’ in Syrian village – Russian MoD

Air Strikes Target Damascus: Syrian Officials Say “Israeli Missile Attack” Thwarted

Syrian state media has just confirmed that several Israeli airstrikes targeted Damascus international airport, and that Syrian air defenses have been activated, attempting to shoot down the incoming missiles.

Various journalists in the region are also reporting that locals in Damascus reported hearing multiple loud explosions during the Saturday evening hours.

Syrian official state-run SANA posted this update: “Syrian air defenses confront Israeli missile attack on Damascus International Airport, shooting down a number of enemy missiles.”

Damascus sources say the attack has been thwarted, with missile defense systems intercepting several Israeli missiles according to early unconfirmed reports.

Pro-government media accounts have posted early unconfirmed video that appears to show a missile intercept of an incoming projectile near Damascus International Airport.

Developing…

Source: Air Strikes Target Damascus: Syrian Officials Say “Israeli Missile Attack” Thwarted

Obama HUMILIATED After Indisputable Evidence Proves He Has NOTHING to do With Trump’s Economy

Obama is out on the campaign trail, embarrassing himself, trying to rewrite history – but, not so fast.

Let’s face it – Obama’s policies only benefited big business, urban interests, big banks, and foreign interests, like China, who happily snatched up a bunch of real estate in our cities

In truth, the Obama economy was about federal jobs and part-time burger flipping jobs.

His policies and regulations suffocated the working class and suffocated the heartland.

Now, however, Trump’s economic policies are starting to breathe life back into the middle class.

Thanks to President Trump, we now have good full-time jobs with living wages and benefits, in manufacturing and related sectors.

These are jobs all across the country…..not elite jobs and federal jobs in certain progressive areas, like Silicon Valley and Hollywood.

Furthermore, employers have to compete to get workers.

After 8 years of suffocating under Obama, the American middle class can finally breathe again.

Americans can finally breathe again because of Trump’s America First agenda.

Daily Beast

The collapse of Lehman Brothers 10 years ago today began the financial crisis that crippled and even killed for some the American dream as we had known it. Donald Trump might be starting to change that, at least for Americans who aren’t determined to remain in our bluest and priciest cities.

Overall an estimated nine million jobs and nearly $20 trillion in household wealth were lost. Job levels finally recovered but most of those who suffered from the Great Recession—and particularly current and former middle-income homeowners—did not see their wealth restored when the economy turned around.

Perhaps worst of all, the recession undermined our traditional belief in a better day ahead. Just one in five Americans is confident that life for today’s children will turn out better than it did for their parents, according to a 2014 survey conducted by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal.Nearly three in five Americans expect today’s children to be worse off, according to a 2017 Pew survey.

Some of this pain was self-inflicted, to be sure, as buyers seeking to catch up and get ahead of the market—they thought prices would just keep rising—drove up the home-ownership rate with dodgy loans many could not afford to repay. After approaching 70 percent, the rate is now back in the 63-to-65-percent range of the quarter-century preceding the housing bubble.

But there are two key reasons that most Americans still haven’t recovered their wealth or position from a decade earlier, and that most young adults find themselves starting the race far behind: slow wage growth across the nation and increasingly unaffordable housing prices in the most expensive , and often most desired markets.

Wages for working and middle class people, at least until this year, have stagnated. Overall, only upper-income households have recovered financially from the Great Recession, while the vast majority of middle-income and lower-income households have yet to recover their pre-recession wealth, according to Pew.

In the meantime, housings costs have kept climbing, driven by conscious but misguided policies, particularly in coastal states, that have restricting new building. National Association of Realtors second quarter data shows median house prices in many deep blue enclaves areas have shot past their 2008 bubble peaks. In Portland, Seattle and San Francisco, prices are up 30 percent over the decade. In Denver, prices are up more than 80 percent. They have risen 60 percent in San Jose, where the median price for houses is now a staggering $1.4 million.

Source: Obama HUMILIATED After Indisputable Evidence Proves He Has NOTHING to do With Trump’s Economy

SEPTEMBER 15 HUMILITY—AND WORSHIP

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God.

1 Peter 5:6

Real worship is, among other things, a feeling about the Lord God! It is in our hearts, and we must be willing to express it in an appropriate manner.

We can express our worship to God in many ways. But if we love the Lord and are led by His Holy Spirit, our worship will always bring a delighted sense of admiring awe and a sincere humility on our part.

There must be humility in the heart of the person who would worship God in spirit and in truth. So, the proud and lofty man or woman cannot worship God anymore acceptably than can the proud devil himself!

Unfortunately, many of us are strictly “Santa Claus Christians.” We need to go on from an elementary kind of love, in which we think of God as putting up a kind of Christmas tree and putting all our gifts underneath. We need, rather, to be delighted in the presence of utter, infinite excellence!

Such worship will have the ingredient of fascination, the personality captured by the Presence of God!

Father, I pray for many of our churches today that think of worship as a mode of entertainment. O God, help these churches to stop focusing on their own pleasures and lead them to delight in You alone.[1]


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

Top Weekly Stories from ChristianNews.net for 09/15/2018

After Chinese Officials Shut Down Chengdu House Church, Members Take the Gospel to the Streets   Sep 11, 2018 08:22 pm

CHENGDU, China — Members of a house church in China recently took the gospel to the streets after the government shut down their unregistered church, video footage reveals. A video shared on Sunday by Christopher Gregory of the organization China Missions shows Christians gathering in the public park to sing, preach and pray. Sometimes they walk the sidewalks,…

Continue reading the story


Christian Girl Attacked for Refusing to Marry Muslim, Convert to Islam   Sep 09, 2018 02:53 pm

Photo Credit: Furquanlw/Wikipedia (Evangelical Focus) — A 18-year-old Christian girl from Karachi, Pakistan almost died when her Muslim friend tried to kill her because she refused to marry him and convert to Islam. Binish Paul, a high school student, was being stalked by a Muslim man who was her friend, and when she said no to his petition, he got angry….

Continue reading the story


Judge Strikes Down Texas Law Requiring Burial, Cremation of Aborted Babies as ‘Burden’ on ‘Right’ to Abortion   Sep 11, 2018 02:00 pm

AUSTIN, Texas — A Hawaiian federal judge that was asked in 2013 to assist with the caseload in Texas by U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts has struck down a Texas law that would require preborn babies killed at abortion facilities to be buried or cremated instead of being discarded as medical waste. Referring to the murdered unborn as only “potential…

Continue reading the story


New Mexico Late-Term Abortion Facility Sued After Mother Dies Along With Her Baby   Sep 12, 2018 07:52 pm

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A New Mexico abortion facility that offers abortions throughout all three trimesters has been sued by the family of a woman who obtained a late-term abortion last year and died two days later from an infection and sepsis. According to the legal challenge, Keisha Atkins, 23, had been referred by the University of New Mexico Hospital to…

Continue reading the story


Canadian Group to Indoctrinate Children on ‘Gender Identity’ With Videos Featuring Girl Puppet Who Identifies as Boy   Sep 10, 2018 08:04 pm

A Canadian group has released several short videos for teachers and parents featuring a girl puppet who identifies as a boy, as well as “social and emotional guides,” in an effort to “help children with the process of identity affirmation.” The Jasmin Roy Sophie Desmarais Foundation, which focuses on providing resources to address bullying and discrimination in…

Continue reading the story


Appeals Court Reluctantly Upholds Ruling Ordering Removal of Florida Cross, Calls for Own Decision to Be Overturned   Sep 12, 2018 12:59 pm

Photo Credit: Freedom From Religion Foundation PENSACOLA, Fla. — A panel with the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a ruling ordering the removal of a cross from a public park in Florida, stating that they were “bound by existing circuit precedent.” Two of the three judges said they were uncomfortable with the result and consequently called upon the the…

Continue reading the story


School Board Decides to Fight Lawsuit After Initially Ordering Students to Paint Over Christian Logo on Football Field   Sep 13, 2018 03:29 pm

Photo Credit: Christ Fit Gym/Facebook SHREVEPORT, La. — A school board in Louisiana has unanimously voted to fight a lawsuit filed by Americans United for Separation of Church and State after it initially instructed the field crew to spray paint over a paid advertisement on the Benton High School football field that includes a Scripture citation and a…

Continue reading the story


Judge Thwarts South Carolina Governor’s Order Ending Medicaid Funding to Planned Parenthood   Sep 10, 2018 02:26 pm

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A federal judge appointed to the bench by then-President Barack Obama has issued a preliminary injunction thwarting an order from the governor of South Carolina that directed the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DDHS) to deem abortion facilities as being “unqualified to provide family planning services” and to cancel their…

Continue reading the story


‘God Showed Them They Could Be Washed and Cleansed’: African Orphans Thrive in Christ Despite Traumatic Past   Sep 11, 2018 03:32 pm

East Africa (Mission Network News) — Reports released this week detail the rescue of 85 minors from forced labor in Sudan. According to authorities, the minors came from several African nations: Chad, Eritrea, Niger, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and South Sudan. Human trafficking poses a major threat to Africa’s 52 million orphans. With no adult…

Continue reading the story


Closure of Large Church in Beijing Deepens Shadow on Religious Freedom in China   Sep 12, 2018 03:10 pm

(Morning Star News) – The growing crack-down on unofficial churches in China deepened on Sunday (Sept. 9) when authorities closed one of the largest churches in Beijing, according to reports. The Beijing Chaoyang District Civil Affairs Bureau informed Zion Church that it was “legally banned” for organizing events without registering as an official Three-Self…

Continue reading the story

White Helmets Stage Attacks to Give Pretext to US to Attack Syria – Prof

Haaretz reported that Turkey has dispatched troops to Idlib, Syria to reinforce its presence in the province. The reinforcements come despite the Turkish defense minister’s recent warnings against a military solution.

Source: White Helmets Stage Attacks to Give Pretext to US to Attack Syria – Prof