Daily Archives: November 29, 2018

Video: “Peace, Love, Grace” By Alistair Begg — Truth For Life Blog

Closing his letter to the Ephesians similarly to how he opened it, Paul blessed his readers with the peace, love, and grace of God. Alistair Begg considers each of these elements in turn, pointing out that only God’s grace and love provide a lasting solution to man’s restlessness. When we faithfully believe and trust in Jesus, God’s unwarranted favor triumphs over our brokenness. As a result, we—like Paul—are given a new view of ourselves, others, and God.

via Video: “Peace, Love, Grace” By Alistair Begg — Truth For Life Blog


By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

—Hebrews 13:15

One of the greatest tragedies that we find, even in this most enlightened of all ages, is the utter failure of millions of men and women ever to discover why there were born….

Those who have followed the revelation provided by the Creator God have accepted that God never does anything without a purpose. We do believe, therefore, that God had a noble purpose in mind when He created us. We believe that it was distinctly the will of God that men and women created in His image would desire fellowship with Him above all else.

In His plan, it was to be a perfect fellowship based on adoring worship of the Creator and Sustainer of all things.

If you are acquainted with the Shorter Catechism, you know that it asks an age-old, searching question: “What is the chief end of man?”

The simple yet profound answer provided by the Catechism is based upon the revelation and wisdom of the Word of God: “The chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.” WHT049, 051

May You be pleased, Father, as I seek to fulfill my chief aim today—to glorify You and enjoy You forever. Amen. [1]

[1] Tozer, A. W., & Eggert, R. (2015). Tozer on the almighty god: a 365-day devotional. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

November 29, 2018 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)


President Donald Trump’s longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty on Thursday to making false statements in connection with the federal investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 U.S. election, according to a court hearing.

President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he had not ruled out granting a pardon to his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who has pleaded guilty to a range of federal charges from money laundering to unregistered lobbying.

Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday was nominated as expected by fellow Democrats to be speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, but her level of support may fall short of what she needs for a sure win in January’s election for the top job in the chamber.

The U.S. Senate voted to advance a resolution to end military support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen’s civil war, setting the stage for a possible final vote on the measure within days.

The United States sent two Navy ships through the Taiwan Strait on Wednesday in the third such operation this year, as the U.S. military increases the frequency of transits through the strategic waterway despite opposition from China.

The United States on Thursday displayed pieces of what it said were Iranian weapons deployed to militants in Yemen and Afghanistan, a tactic by President Donald Trump’s administration to pressure Tehran to curb its regional activities.

A flight carrying British academic Matthew Hedges landed at London Heathrow airport on Tuesday morning, a day after he was pardoned in the United Arab Emirates from a life sentence for spying.

The Trump administration is considering new background checks and other restrictions on Chinese students in the United States over growing espionage concerns, U.S. officials and congressional sources said.

U.S. consumer spending increased by the most in seven months in October, but underlying price pressures slowed, with an inflation measure tracked by the Federal Reserve posting its smallest annual increase since February.

Police raided six Deutsche Bank offices in and around Frankfurt on Thursday over money laundering allegations linked to the “Panama Papers”, the public prosecutor’s office in Germany’s financial capital said.

Contracts to buy previously owned U.S. homes fell 2.6 % in October, the National Association of Realtors said on Thursday.

AP Top Stories

Tijuana’s authorities are increasingly concerned about the spread of diseases in the city, as 5,000 members of the migrant “caravan” camp in temporary shelters, awaiting the chance to apply for asylum in the United States. The government of Baja California – the state in which the Mexican border city lies – has treated hundreds of migrants for respiratory infections and other ailments.

At least 10 people were killed after a massive blast outside a British security company’s compound in Kabul late Wednesday, officials said, with the attack claimed by the Taliban in the latest violence to target the Afghan capital.

Magnus Carlsen of Norway defeated American challenger Fabiano Caruana to retain his World Champion Chess title.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan said his political party and the nation’s powerful military are “all on one page” in wanting to mend ties with arch-rival India.

Negotiators from Iran, Russia and Turkey met in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana on Wednesday for two days of talks aiming to preserve a fragile 10-week-old truce in northern Syria, the Kazakh foreign ministry said.

Italy on Wednesday adopted far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini’s tough anti-migrant and security decree, despite fierce criticism from the left.

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called Wednesday for the country to boost its naval forces as a deterrent against its enemies and hailed the deployment of new ships.

An imprisoned murderer is being investigated after confessing to 90 killings across four decades in the US. The FBI believe Samuel Little, who is 78, may be among the most prolific serial killers in US criminal history. State and federal agencies are now working to match his confessions with the deaths of dozens of women across the country from 1970 to 2005. Investigators say they have already linked him to 34 murders and are working to corroborate many others.


South Korea’s top court has ordered a Japanese firm to compensate Koreans it used as forced labor in World War Two.

Life expectancy in the US has dropped once again, thanks in part to rising suicide and drug overdose rates, according to new government reports. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found nearly 70,000 more Americans died in 2017 than 2016, with rising rates of death among 25- to 44-year-olds. The suicide rate is also the highest it has been in decades.

A court in the United States has sentenced the former head of Venezuela’s treasury, Alejandro Andrade, to 10 years in prison for money laundering and taking $1bn in bribes in exchange for offering access to preferential foreign currency exchange rates.

Salome Zurabishvili has won Georgia’s presidential election, becoming the first woman to hold the office.


Many of the estimated 6,000 migrants from Central America living in a makeshift shelter in Tijuana, Mexico, are preparing to return home, expressing regret for making the arduous journey.

Mid-Day Snapshot

The Foundation

“If duties are too high, they lessen the consumption; the collection is eluded; and the product to the treasury is not so great as when they are confined within proper and moderate bounds. This forms a complete barrier against any material oppression of the citizens by taxes of this class, and is itself a natural limitation of the power of imposing them.” —Alexander Hamilton (1787)

Actually, the Tax Cuts ARE Working

Despite the GM debacle, overall business investment is significantly up this year.

White Leftists Dumb Down Language for Minorities

Researchers find a “competence downshift” based upon biased assumptions about minorities.

Pelosi Will Take the Speaker’s Gavel Again, to Trump’s Delight

With her party’s nomination, the California Democrat is a shoo-in for the post.

Has the Illegal-Immigrant Population Dropped?

Maybe. But the exact number doesn’t matter so much as the policies that buoy lawbreaking.

Ukraine: Red Storm Rising … Again

Putin’s renewed aggression is a familiar pattern of his bolstering support at home.

‘1984’ — on Steroids

Privacy is dead. It’s death is best described as a homicide committed by tech titans.

Video: Thanks Obama but You Didn’t Build That

The former president thinks very highly of himself about all kinds of things.

Video: Socialism Leads to Violence

Gloria Alvarez says it leads to government using force against its own citizens.

Good Samaritan Folds, Returns American Flag Blown Off Pole

Homeowner was in awe of stranger’s thoughtful gesture.

An ‘Independent Judiciary’ Reality Check

Chief Justice John Roberts’s assertion that we have an “independent judiciary” lacks credibility.

Thursday Short Cuts

“I don’t care what Obama did. I care what Trump is doing right here right now!” —Sunny Hostin displaying Trump Derangement Syndrome

Thursday Top Headlines

Migrants self-deporting, judicial nominees stonewalled, Pelosi nominated, life expectancy declines, and more.

Today’s Opinion

Edwin J. Feulner
‘Government Control? Try People Control’
Cal Thomas
Apocalypse When?
Ryan T. Anderson
Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) Laws Are Not Fairness for All
Larry Elder
On Immigration, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry Discover Their Inner Trump
Gary Bauer
Border Security Is National Security

Today’s Meme

Today’s Cartoon

News – 11/29/2018

China specialists now warning of Beijing’s efforts to influence American society
“Except for Russia, no other country’s efforts to influence American politics and society is as extensive and well-funded as China’s,” the specialists say in a report to be issued Thursday by a working group convened by the Hoover Institution and the Asia Society’s Center on U.S.-China Relations.

IDF Completes ‘Fortress of Zion’ Command Center
The new bunker war room, code-named “Fortress of Zion,” is expected to ‎become fully operational in the next few weeks. It will replace the ‎current IDF bunker, dubbed “The Pit,” which was built in 1966.‎

Scientists call for a halt to genetically editing embryos, rebuke Chinese researcher
“At this summit we heard an unexpected and deeply disturbing claim that human embryos had been edited and implanted, resulting in a pregnancy and the birth of twins,” said the summit’s organizing committee, which called for independent verification of He’s claims that have so far not been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Report: Sisi, Saudis push Arab nations to trade with Israel
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who met late Monday night, resolved to encourage Arab nations to establish economic relations with Israel… Sisi and bin Salman also discussed the possibility of establishing an Arab Quartet with the participation of Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian Authority.

U.N.: Israelis, Palestinians must reaffirm 2 states based on ’67 lines
Israeli and Palestinian leaders must recognize a two-state resolution to the Israeli based on the pre-1967 lines with east Jerusalem as its capital, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said… “I call on…the leadership of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, to take bold steps and restore faith in the promise of Resolution 181, of two states living side-by-side in peace and security, fulfilling the legitimate national aspirations of both peoples, with borders based on the 1967 lines and Jerusalem as the capital of both states – East Jerusalem being the capital of the Palestinian state,” Guterres said.

Hamas to U.N.: Support Palestinian right to bear arms against Israel
In an unusual move Hamas called on the United Nations to support its right to bear arms against Israel in a letter the terror group’s political leader Ismail Haniyeh wrote to UN General Assembly President Maria Fernada Spinosa. He spoke out in advance of UN debate later today on a UNGA debate later today condemning Hamas rocket fire against Israel.

IDF’s largest battalion drills urban fighting in preparation for Gaza war
The IDF’s Kfir Brigade has completed a period of brigade-level drills simulating maneuvering and fighting against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, the IDF’s Spokesperson’s Unit announced on Thursday. The drill was the IDF’s 11th brigade-level exercise to take place in 2018 as part of the military’s work on improving it’s readiness.

Ukraine-Russia sea clash: Poroshenko urges Nato to send ships
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has urged Nato to send ships to the Sea of Azov following a naval confrontation with Russia off Crimea. He told Germany’s Bild newspaper he hoped the ships could be relocated “to assist Ukraine and provide security”. On Sunday, Russia opened fire on three Ukrainian ships and seized their crews in the Kerch Strait between the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.

Deutsche Bank headquarters raided over money laundering
The Frankfurt headquarters of Deutsche Bank have been raided by prosecutors in a money laundering investigation. Germany’s public prosecutor alleged that two staff members have helped clients launder money from criminal activities. Police cars were seen outside the tower blocks that house the headquarters of Germany’s biggest bank.

HIV epidemic as Eastern Europe sees its highest ever rate of infection and health bosses warn more must be done to combat its spread
MORE than 130,000 people were newly diagnosed with HIV last year in Eastern Europe, the highest rate ever for the region. As the number of infected sky rocketed in one half of the continent the number of new cases in Western Europe declined according to a report from the World Health Organisation. European Union and European Economic Area countries saw a reduction in 2017 rates, mainly driven by a 20 percent drop since 2015 among men who have sex with men.

Researchers suddenly see alarming spike in dolphin deaths across southwest Florida
Over the past few days, an alarming number of dead dolphins have washed ashore along southwest Florida beaches, including in the Tampa Bay area. It’s a reminder that red tide is still a looming threat in the gulf. This latest trend has many wondering whether we’ll see another tragic increase of dead dolphins here in the Tampa Bay area.

Strange waves rippled around the world, and nobody knows why
On the morning of November 11, just before 9:30 UT, a mysterious rumble rolled around the world. The seismic waves began roughly 15 miles off the shores of Mayotte, a French island sandwiched between Africa and the northern tip of Madagascar. The waves buzzed across Africa, ringing sensors in Zambia, Kenya, and Ethiopia. They traversed vast oceans, humming across Chile, New Zealand, Canada, and even Hawaii nearly 11,000 miles away.

Mystery glowing green fireball buzzes over Putin’s top-secret research labs sparking fears Russia is testing advanced ‘space weapons’
A GLOWING green fireball buzzing over Russia’s hi-tech “scientific city” in Siberia has sparked claims Vladimir Putin could be developing space weapons. The bright flash and streaking tail was seen by stunned motorists close to the research town of Akademgorodok near Novosibirsk, Russia. Research institutes in the area are dubbed Vladimir Putin’s “secret weapon” in the global hi-tech arms race.

Ireland edges closer to banning Israeli settlement goods
The Irish Senate partially approved Wednesday a bill meant to outlaw the import of goods from Jewish settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, as well as cities and towns in the Golan Heights. Thirty Senate members voted in favor of the Control of Economic Activities (Occupied Territories) Bill—the first stage of which was approved in July—with 13 members opposing the legislation.

Two U.S. Navy ships pass through Taiwan Strait, opposing China
The United States sent two Navy ships through the Taiwan Strait on Wednesday in the third such operation this year, as the U.S. military increases the frequency of transits through the strategic waterway despite opposition from China. The voyage risks further raising tension with China but will likely be viewed in self-ruled Taiwan as a sign of support from U.S. President Donald Trump’s government amid growing friction between Taipei and Beijing.

Trump: Israel is one reason we’re staying in the Middle East
US President Donald Trump hinted on Tuesday that Israel is one of the reasons that he is keeping US military forces in the Middle East.

UN envoy: Trump peace plan ‘completed,’ to be unveiled in early 2019
US President Donald Trump’s administration has told Israel that it will present its long-awaited Israeli-Palestinian peace plan early next year, Israel’s envoy to the United Nations said Tuesday.

Storm Diana: ESB working to restore power to customers as weather warnings lifted
ESB Network crews are working to restore power to homes, farms and businesses as Storm Diana lashed across Ireland.

It’s Been One of the Most Miserable Starts to Winter on Record
It’s already one of the coldest and snowiest starts to the winter season in parts of the Northeast, Midwest and Plains, and we haven’t finished November yet.

British Universities Replace ‘Woman’ with ‘Womxn’ to Be ‘Inclusive’
Two universities in London have stopped using the word “woman” because it is not inclusive enough. They have adopted “womxn” as its replacement to “promote intersectionality.”

“George Soros is again seeking to influence the European Parliamentary elections”
George Soros “is again seeking to influence the European Parliamentary elections”, the communications director of ruling party Fidesz told Hungarian public media on Tuesday, adding that the US financier was backing “pro-migration forces”.

BIBLE IN MOTION: Noah’s Ark Plans to Sail to Israel
A reproduction of Noah’s Ark built to Biblical proportions may come to Israel but it may take more than 40 days and 40 nights.

UN Blames American Voters For Obstructing Its Climate Agenda
The United Nations took a thinly veiled swipe at conservative voters in its latest assessment of global progress on climate change.

CNN Contributor Condones Palestinian Violence Against Israelis
CNN contributor Marc Lamont Hill trashed Israel during his speech at the United Nations commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on Wednesday.

Rep. Jim Jordan: Republicans Have Five Weeks to Fund Trump Border Wall
Conservative favorite Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) told FOX and Friends on Tuesday that Congress has only five weeks to pass border wall funding.

Supreme Court Limits Federal Power to Designate Private Land as Protected Habitat
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday handed a victory to timber company Weyerhaeuser Co and other landowners seeking to limit the federal government’s power to designate private land as protected habitat for endangered species in a property rights case involving a warty amphibian called the dusky gopher frog.

Heavily Armed Central American Paramilitary Troops Crossing the US Border In Remote Locations-Russian False Flag Is Looming
Repeatedly, I have bee informed by deep cover intelligence sources, that the Port of Entry (POE) locations along the border (eg Tijuana) will not be where the real action lies. The real action will lie in remote border crossings where low lying fences and water are the only barriers.

Border Crisis Being Readied to Morph into UN-Controlled Medical Martial Law
It starts here and is coming to a city near you. With each successive wave of caravan migrants, comes an increased risk of deadly pandemic outbreaks for which Americans have no immunity.

Shocking! UN Publicly Embraces Depopulation Programs
The United Nations orders Trump to admit all migrants. Further, and shockingly, the UN says it will be the global authority by the year 2030. Now the  UN is publicly embracing depopulation programs. Here are the details of this incredible story.

Islamists in Pittsburgh pocket cash raised for Jewish community in wake of mass shooting
Islamic groups in Pittsburgh appear to have pocketed hundreds of thousands of dollars from fundraisers set up in the wake of the horrific October mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue, which killed eleven Jews and injured several congregants and police officers who responded to the scene.

U.N. Urges ‘Unprecedented and Urgent Action’ to Stop Climate Change
In its “Emissions Gap Report 2018,” the United Nations (U.N.) declared Tuesday that total annual greenhouse gases emissions reached a record high in 2017 and that “more ambitious” measures are needed by 2020 to keep global warming below established goals.

Headlines – 11/29/2018

UN: Eastern Jerusalem must be capital of ‘Palestine’

No peace settlement without Jerusalem: Palestinian official

Arab League: Israel is ‘Judaizing’ Jerusalem

US Ambassador Friedman: Support from moderate Arab states will help promote peace

Egyptian president and Saudi prince promote Arab recognition of Israel

Saudi Arabia pledges $50 mln to UN Palestinian refugee agency

Son of Brazil’s president-elect confirms to Jared Kushner that the country’s embassy will move to Jerusalem

Veiled threats of terrorist attacks and the cancelling of trade agreements are making Australia step back from moving its Embassy to Jerusalem

Chad said to condition resumed ties with Israel on ‘extensive’ weapons sales

Rand Paul on his blocking military aid to Israel: We can’t be doing it forever

Rand Paul: Aid to Israel should be ‘limited in time and scope’

Ultra-Orthodox protesting military draft clash with police in Jerusalem

Netanyahu to elite commandos: IDF strength ‘best answer’ to antisemitism

Outrage over CNN commentator’s anti-Israel speech at UN

72 Jewish groups call on Congress to pass bills to combat anti-Semitism

Hungary pledges $3.4 million to fight anti-Semitism in Europe

David Friedman calls for release of US citizen arrested by Palestinians for selling land to Jews

Dutch ministry calls on Jews around world to criticize Israeli occupation

US Jews sue Airbnb for delisting rentals at West Bank settlements

Israel asks US states to act against Airbnb delisting of rentals at settlements

Ireland advances bill criminalizing sale of goods made in settlements

In letter to UN, Hamas condemns ‘miserable’ US-led resolution against it

Hamas leader invited to Moscow as Russia seeks greater Mideast involvement

Hundreds of injured Gazans at risk of infection, medical charity says

United Nations wants Syria to account for war dead, detainees

Russia ‘Ready’ to Resume Attacks in Syria As Deal with Turkey Risks Collapse

Congress passes bill to provide relief to ISIS genocide victims after nearly 2 years

US indicts Iranian hackers responsible for deploying ‘SamSam’ ransomware

Justice Department charges Iranian hackers with attacks on US cities, companies

Iran Suspends Gas Exports To Iraq After Earthquake

Irony of Iran sanctions and falling oil prices

France, Germany taking charge of EU-Iran trade move but oil sales in doubt

German/French entities may be sanctioned for busting Iran sanctions, U.S. envoy says

EU reiterates commitment to Iran nuclear deal in talks with Zarif

Khamenei: Iran should increase its military capability to ward off enemies

US finalizes $15 billion sale of missile defense system to Saudi Arabia

Yemen war: Vote in US Senate delivers rebuke to Trump over his response to the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi

Pompeo, Mattis Urge U.S. Senate Not to Downgrade Ties With Saudi Arabia Over Khashoggi Murder

U.S. defense chief: ‘No smoking gun’ linking Saudi crown prince to Khashoggi killing

Once feted, Saudi crown prince faces cold shoulder abroad

UN Secretary General willing to meet Saudi crown prince at G20 summit

Yemen ceasefire resolution blocked at UN after Saudi and UAE ‘blackmail’

Truck bomb kills 10 near British compound on outskirts of Afghan capital

Uganda helped South Sudan breach EU arms embargo, says source

Ukraine Warns Russian Forces Amassing Along Border

Ukraine Calling on NATO to Deploy Ships to Site of Ongoing Standoff With Russia

Ukraine Declares Martial Law and Putin Claims that Kiev Could Get Away With ‘Eating Babies’

Ukraine-Russia sea clash staged, says Putin

Kremlin says it expects Putin-Trump meeting to go ahead

Malls, railway station evacuated in Moscow over bomb threats

Putin says Russia comfortable with $60/b oil price, to continue work with OPEC

Oil prices tumble below $50 for the first time this year

South Korea buys Israeli radar tech, likely to counter North’s missiles

Hawaii man who suffered heart attack during missile false alarm sues state

Trump’s behavior toward military ‘disturbing’: Retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal

Tapped Out: Tijuana Mayor Says City Can’t Cope with $30,000 Per Day Bill for ‘Migrant Caravan’

Migrants in Tijuana Regret the Caravan: ‘I’m Done With the United States’

Border Patrol Arrests MS-13 Member Who Traveled with Caravan

Trump floats possibility of controversial pardon in Russia probe

Mueller protection bill falls short in Senate

Former AG Gonzales: ‘I Have a Problem’ With Mueller Team If ‘Perjury Traps’ Are Being Set

Trump shares image calling for his opponents to face trials for ‘treason’

Stormy Daniels says Michael Avenatti sued Trump for defamation against her wishes

Stocks rise after embattled Fed chair tempers talk of interest rate hikes

Dow surges 600 points, biggest rally in eight months, after Powell signals rates are near neutral

Bank warns no-deal could see UK sink into recession

British minister promotes post-Brexit trade in Israel

Venezuela Is Said to Tell IMF That Inflation Hit 860% Last Year

Hackers are using leaked NSA hacking tools to covertly hijack thousands of computers

Strange waves rippled around the world, and nobody knows why

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Taron, Papua New Guinea

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits the Central East Pacific Rise

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 28,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 17,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 16,000ft

Veniaminof volcano in Alaska erupts to 15,000ft

Turrialba volcano in Costa Rica erupts to 14,000ft

Santa Maria volcano in Guatemala erupts to 14,000ft

Ebeko volcano in the Kuril Islands erupts to 12,000ft

Sakurajima volcano in Japan erupts to 10,000ft

‘Some of the worst I’ve seen’: Sydney has wettest November day since 1984 – almost a month’s worth of rain in 2 hours

Sydney flooding, Queensland bushfires continue streak of extreme weather across Australia

Thousands flee their homes as firefighters tackle ‘catastrophic’ wildfires in Australia

Swarms of Drones Can Now Plant Trees in Areas Devastated by Fires

Scientists Respond To Trump’s Latest Unhinged Climate Remarks: ‘It’s Almost Satire’

Al Gore to host 24-hour climate change TV special featuring Moby, Goo Goo Dolls

HIV Infection Rate Hits All-time High in Eastern Europe, New Report Says

Scientist Who Crispr’d Babies Bucked His Own Ethics Policy

Science Summit Denounces Gene-Edited Babies Claim, But Rejects Moratorium

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America’s ‘Most Sinful Cities’ Released: Vegas, Los Angeles, New York Top List

America’s ‘Most Sinful Cities’ Released: Vegas, Los Angeles, New York Top List(The Christian News Network) – WalletHub has released its annual “Most Sinful Cities in America” report, which ranks American cities by their bad behavior, including lust, greed, laziness, vanity, excesses and vices, jealousy, anger and hatred. Las Vegas, Nevada topped the list again this year, but WalletHub noted that sin infects the entire country. “Las Vegas isn’t the only ‘Sin City’ in America. In other cities, bad things happen and stay there, too,” the site states.

“From beer-loving Milwaukee to hedonistic New Orleans, the U.S. is filled with people behaving illicitly. No place is innocent. We all have demons.” Cities were ranked based on various factors, such as adult entertainment establishments per capita, teen birth rate, casinos per capita, drug overdose deaths, DUI-related fatalities per capita, excessive drinking, share of obese adults, thefts per capita, violent crimes per capita, sex offenders per capita, disconnected youth and debt to income ratio. READ MORE

“Forgive Us Our Debts”: The Lord’s Prayer Is A Gospel Prayer — Blog – AlbertMohler.com

This article is an excerpt from my book, The Prayer that Turns the World Upside Down: The Lord’s Prayer as a Manifesto for Revolution. This post is the sixth in an eight part series on the Lord’s Prayer. 

The Gospel Foundation of the Lord’s Prayer 

We are a nation of debtors. Millions of young people are on the verge of bankruptcy with unpayable credit card debt that compounds yet more interest every month. The problem of school debt, often running into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, has now become a national crisis. Even the federal government is in debt–debt that has soared into untold trillions of dollars.

Yet while many Americans view debt as an annoyance, in the ancient world debt was punishable by prison sentence. In the Roman Empire, prisons were not generally filled with criminals; they were populated with debtors. Most convicted criminals were executed or were forced to serve some other form of punishment for their crimes, but those who could not make good on their payments were incarcerated until they could pay what they owed. This system was meant to put pressure on the families of the incarcerated debtor to find the necessary money to pay their debts to free their loved one from prison.

In the Roman Empire, then, debt typically meant severe pain and tragedy for an individual and a family. In our day we experience frustration and anxiety with debt, but in the days of Jesus, debt was a matter of life and death. This is the context in which Jesus teaches us to pray “forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” Jesus’ use of the word debts is meant to evoke in our mind both a serious offense and a corresponding serious punishment. To be forgiven a debt was no mere trifle, but an act of extravagant mercy.

If the petition “give us this day our daily bread” emphasizes our most urgent physical needs, the petition “forgive us our debts” emphasizes our most urgent spiritual need. Saying we owe a debt to God means that we have failed to pay up. Thus, as sinners, we stand before God condemned, rightly deserving his just wrath. Only God’s forgiveness can clear our guilt and establish a meaningful relationship between God and us.

This petition reminds us that the Lord’s Prayer is not a casual prayer for the generically religious. This prayer is a gospel prayer. We can only say these words and ask these things of God when we stand on the finished, atoning work of Jesus Christ. Indeed, this petition demonstrates that the theological bedrock of the Lord’s Prayer is nothing less than the gospel. We can only rightly pray the Lord’s Prayer when we recognize that we are deeply sinful and only God’s grace in Christ can remedy our souls.

Getting the Gospel Right 

The logic of this particular petition in the Lord’s Prayer has been misconstrued so often that we would do well to remind ourselves of what Scripture teaches about the gospel. Nothing is more central to the message of Scripture than the gospel. If we err on this point, we err on all others. Many interpreters believe that Jesus is saying that God only forgives us when we earn his forgiveness through forgiving others. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, this petition does not say “forgive us our debts because we forgive our debtors,” but “forgive us our debts as we have forgiven our debtors.” The difference between those two phrases, as we shall see, is the difference between the gospel of Jesus Christ and no gospel at all.

The sum and substance of the gospel is that a holy and righteous God who must claim a full penalty for our sin both demands that penalty and provides it. His self-substitution is Jesus Christ the Son, whose perfect obedience and perfectly accomplished atonement on the cross purchased all that is necessary for our salvation. Jesus Christ met the full demands of the righteousness and justice of God against our sin.

Paul summarized the work of Christ in 2 Corinthians 5:21: “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” Christ is our substitute and his life is sacrificed for our sin so that God’s wrath against us is removed.

How then do we benefit from the sacrifice of Christ for us? Paul answered that we do not earn the righteousness of God in Christ; instead it is given to us freely when we believe the gospel: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 3:23-24). Indeed, nothing in us or achieved by us is the grounds of our acceptance with God. Instead, as Paul made clear, “To the one who does not work but believes in him who justified the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness” (Rom. 4:5)…

The apostle was very clear. We are saved by faith alone in the work of Christ. All this comes from the grace of God. But we are not freed just from the penalty of sin; we are also freed from the power of sin. While our salvation is not a “result of works,” Paul noted that it does result in works, ones that God himself prepared for us to do. The portrait of the gospel is indeed astounding. We are saved by grace along through faith alone in Christ alone, which then results in our being transformed into the image of Christ (2 Cor. 3:18). Indeed the whole of our salvation proclaims the glory of God…

If you have ever been tempted to think that the gospel is nowhere present in the Lord’s Prayer, think again! This petition only makes sense in the context of Christ’s provision for us. By agreeing with God that we are sinners and repenting of that sin by asking for forgiveness, God clears our debts on account of Christ’s work for us.

If this does not shock us, then we have grown fare too familiar with the gospel and the glory of God’s grace. The extravagant mercy of God shown in this petition should be on our lips and in our hearts daily. When we recognize we are debtors, then we see ourselves as we truly are, beggars at the throne of grace. Martin Luther, the great Reformer of the sixteenth century, certainly understood and reveled in this truth. When Luther came to die, his last moments were characterized by delirium and moving in and out of consciousness. Yet in one last moment of clarity Luther said (mixing German with Latin), “Wir sind bettler. Hoc est verum“–We are beggars, this is true.

To read more, purchase your copy of The Prayer that Turns the World Upside Down at AmazonBarnes and Noble, or ChristianBook.com.

via “Forgive Us Our Debts”: The Lord’s Prayer Is A Gospel Prayer — Blog – AlbertMohler.com

Media Slam Melania for Christmas Beauty but Cheer Celine for Gender-Neutral Kids Clothing

Call it liberal hypocrisy, a double standard, whatever you want when it comes to the mainstream media coverage of those on the Right and the Left — but the recent “reporting” about events connected to first lady Melania Trump and Canadian singer Celine Dion takes the cake.

The media continue to lambast Mrs. Trump over the Christmas decorations and designs she selected for the White House this year.

At the same time, the media are praising Dion for promoting an extremely odd line (to put it mildly) of gender-neutral children’s clothing called Celinununu (sold in conjunction with the online retailer Nununu).

Showing blunt anti-Trump bias, Mic senior political reporter Emily C. Singer wrote on Twitter of the White House holiday decor, “Melania’s Christmas decorations look like they’re straight out of ‘The Shining.’”

And since Melania picked red Christmas trees as decorations for a White House entryway, The Washington Post also felt the need to explain why it did not think that was a very good color.

The publication pointed out that in Europe, red trees are a bad sign because they are sick and dying — ignoring that these are not real trees, number one, and two, that Washington, D.C., by the way, is not Europe.

The beauty magazine Elle said Melania decorated the White House “like a nightmare” and called her Christmas decorating “creepy.”

Meanwhile, Buzzfeed called the red trees “blood trees.”

Related: Meanest Things Media Are Saying About Melania’s Decorations

In contrast, the same types of media outlets spoke glowingly of singer Celine Dion’s controversial new clothing line which, according to its official site, “liberates children from the traditional roles of boy/girl, and enables younger people to grow on values of equality with freedom to strengthen their own power of personality based on mutual respect.”

The media, interestingly, did not seem to have a problem with outfits for little kids featuring skulls, an illuminati-style all-seeing eye, and more.

Unlike much of the media, however, Fox News contributor Raymond Arroyo is not so fond of the new line.

He made that clear during a Wednesday night segment of “The Ingraham Angle” on Fox News with host Laura Ingraham.

“They have demonic designs with horn hoodies for kids,” he said of the clothing line. “It’s very dark. It’s really sick.”

“Unless you’re a member of the Adams Family or a satanic cult, why would you dress your kids up like this?” he added.

“It’s bizarre. Her heart may go on, but her sales are going to go the way of the Titanic.”

Regardless, other outlets heaped praise on Dion, such as Buzzfeed, which called Dion’s clothing line “iconic” and said she “has cancelled the dusty-a** concept of gender.”

Meanwhile, People magazine said Dion was ending “stereotypes” and promoting equality.

Related: Melania Trump Is Mocked for Her 2018 Christmas Decorations

Vox also praised Dion’s line of clothing, saying, “The time is ripe for the type of products Celinununu offers.”

And while Elle called Melania’s Christmas decorating “creepy,” the publication did not say the same of Dion’s wanting boys to dress like girls and vice versa.

Instead, it praised Dion and said, “The children will tell us their gender if and when they’re ready and, as Gender Claus Celine Dion once sang, “And that’s the way it IS!”

Certainly, the disdain for the first lady for wanting to have bold and gorgeous Christmas decorations and the praise for the destruction of traditional gender roles shows exactly where priorities lie in the left-leaning media sphere.

Check out this video:

Tom Joyce is a freelance writer from the South Shore of Massachusetts. He covers sports, pop culture, and politics and has contributed to The Federalist, Newsday, and other outlets.

Source: Media Slam Melania for Christmas Beauty but Cheer Celine for Gender-Neutral Kids Clothing

The Trinitarian Controversy: Is Jesus God and Creator – or was He created?

Eradicate: Blotting Out God in America

Was Jesus created or is He the Creator? On this doctrine, eternity depends. Is He the Messiah and is the Bible true?

If Jesus Christ is God and if the Bible is inspired – literally “God-breathed” by the Holy Spirit – then everything Jesus said and taught is true. If everything He said is true, then Christians had better understand what the Scriptures say about Him and obey his teachings. Jesus stated:

Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.(Luke 21:22)

For this study, we are well beyond the ridiculous claim some people make that Jesus was a myth and never existed. One young woman said He was “made up by religious people in order to control society.” This is complete ignorance of the evidence, history, archaeology, prophecy, and of course, hundreds of eye-witnesses who saw the risen Christ.

Then there are those who…

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Why Are So Many Millennials Ignorant Anti-Americans? — Christian Research Network

The survey also asked which is better for America’ future: capitalism or socialism? Overall, 61% of the public favors capitalism. Given the appalling record of socialism, that is a shockingly low percentage.

(Investors Business Daily)  Mis-education: Congratulations to the leftists who’ve taken over the nation’s public education system. They’re now producing generations of Americans who know little about their own country, other than that they hate it. That’s what a new survey shows, anyway.

A new YouGov poll asked more than 1,000 people aged 14 and up about their knowledge of the country’s history and institutions, and their patriotic feelings toward the U.S. The nationwide survey, sponsored by the Foundation for Liberty and American Greatness, produced some alarming results.

Basically, it found younger generations — millennials (age 22-27) and Gen Z (age 14-21) — are less likely to love and respect the country. And they’re less informed about American history, and way more likely to embrace socialism. Is that just evidence of youthful ignorance? Or is it the result of a school system that indoctrinates children in leftist ideology?

Here’s a rundown of the poll’s findings: View article →

via Why Are So Many Millennials Ignorant Anti-Americans? — Christian Research Network

November 29 Practice Makes Perfect

The things you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these things do.

Philippians 4:9

In today’s verse, the apostle Paul emphasizes that the Philippian believers needed to practice what they learned, received, heard, and saw in his life.

First, they learned from his personal instruction, which included preaching, teaching, and discipling (cf. Acts 20:20). He expounded Old Testament truths and the meaning of New Testament revelation, explaining how it applied to their lives.

Next, what they received from Paul was the direct revelation from God. Scripture makes it clear that Paul received direct revelation from the Lord and then made it known to the believers (cf. 1 Cor. 11:2; 15:1–3; 1 Thess. 4:1).

From other sources, they also heard about Paul’s character, lifestyle, and preaching. They were aware of his impeccable reputation.

And what the Philippian believers saw in Paul they knew to be true from firsthand experience.

Like Paul, your life should be worthy of imitation by other believers. So “be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (James 1:22).[1]

[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 358). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

Study proves what we already knew: Leftists are the real racists who patronize minorities to virtue signal

Eternity Matters

I’m not surprised at the results of this study, but I am surprised it didn’t get suppressed — though of course, the Leftist media will ignore it.  Way too much truth for the Left to handle!  Via Source: White liberals ‘patronize’ minorities by downplaying competence — conservatives don’t.

White liberals present themselves as less competent when addressing minorities, while conservatives use the same vocabulary no matter what the race of their audience, according to a newly released study.Yale and Princeton researchers found that white Democratic presidential candidates and self-identified liberals played down their competence when speaking to minorities, using fewer words that conveyed accomplishment and more words that expressed warmth. On the other hand, there were no significant differences in how white conservatives, including Republican presidential candidates, spoke to white versus minority audiences.“White liberals self-present less competence to minorities than to other Whites — that is, they patronize minorities stereotyped…

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Christian mother Asia Bibi is being hunted house-by-house in Pakistan


The sign the Pakistani men are holding should read "Hang Asia" The sign the Pakistani men are holding should read “Hang Asia”

Have you heard about Asia Bibi? She’s the Christian woman who was imprisoned because of unsubstantiated charges made against her by her neighbors in Pakistan. Although she was finally found innocent, she remains in Pakistan. But she can’t live there because radicals trying to kill her. And they don’t want to let her leave the country.

The radically leftist UK Guardian says:

The family of Asia Bibi, the Christian woman who spent eight years on death row in Pakistan for blasphemy before being acquitted three weeks ago, claim they are being hunted by extremists going house to house with their photographs to try to track them down.

Bibi’s family have been in hiding since her acquittal by the country’s supreme court. She is in protective custody as part of a deal between the government and a hardline Islamic party, under which violent protests…

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Pray for the Church – Why We Should Be Concerned About the Sins of the Church


LastWelldocumentedGrasshopper-size_restrictedAs we come to St Andrews day tomorrow and to pray for the nation   we need to think about the state of the Church as well.   In this article I want to look at the state of the Church in Scotland – but those of you from other nations may be able to empathise and apply to your own situations.

In the article on the State of the Nation  I mentioned John Owen’s discourse on this subject.  He goes on to say “We may do well, brothers, to consider the state of the church of God in the world, among ourselves, and our own conditions…How is it with the church of Christ in our nation?” 

That’s the question:

Screenshot 2018-11-29 at 17.19.57“There is a very great decay in all churches of Christ in the nation, especially among those of us who have had most peace, most prosperity.  That which we…

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November 29, 2018 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

Happy Are the Hungry


Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. (5:6)

This beatitude speaks of strong desire, of driving pursuit, of a passionate force inside the soul. It has to do with ambition—ambition of the right sort—whose object is to honor, obey, and glorify God by partaking of His righteousness. This holy ambition is in great contrast to the common ambitions of men to gratify their own lusts, accomplish their own goals, and satisfy their own egos.

As no other creature, Lucifer basked in the splendor and radiance of God’s glory. The name Lucifer means “star of the morning” or, more literally, “the bright one.” But he was not satisfied with living in God’s glory, and he said in his heart, “I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, and I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High” (Isa. 14:13–14). His ambition was not to reflect God’s glory but to usurp God’s sovereign power—while forsaking righteousness. Therefore when Satan declared his intention to make himself like the Most High, the Most High responded by declaring to His adversary, “You will be thrust down to Sheol, to the recesses of the pit” (v. 15).

As king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar ruled over the greatest of all world empires. One day as he walked on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, “the king reflected and said, ‘Is this not Babylon the great, which I myself have built as a royal residence by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty?’ ” (Dan. 4:29–30). Nebuchadnezzar lusted after praise just as Lucifer lusted after power. God’s reaction was immediate: “While the word was in the king’s mouth, a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is declared: sovereignty has been removed from you, and you will be driven away from mankind, and your dwelling place will be with the beasts of the field. You will be given grass to eat like cattle, and seven periods of time will pass over you, until you recognize that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind, and bestows it on whomever He wishes’ ” (vv. 31–32).

Jesus told a parable about a rich farmer whose crops were so abundant that he did not have enough space to store them. After planning to tear down his old barns and build bigger ones, he said, “ ‘I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.” ’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’ So is the man who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God” (Luke 12:16–21).

Lucifer hungered for power; Nebuchadnezzar hungered for praise; and the rich fool hungered for pleasure. Because they hungered for wrong things and rejected God’s good things, they forfeited both.

Jesus declares that the deepest desire of every person ought to be to hunger and thirst for righteousness. That is the Spirit-prompted desire that will lead a person to salvation and keep him strong and faithful once he is in the kingdom. It is also the only ambition that, when fulfilled, brings enduring happiness.

The American Declaration of Independence asserts that citizens have the right to the pursuit of happiness. The founding fathers did not presume to guarantee that all who pursue it would find it, because that is beyond the power of any government to provide. Each person is free to seek whatever kind of happiness he wants in the way he wants within the law. Sadly, most US citizens, like most people throughout all of history, have chosen to pursue the wrong kind of happiness in ways that provide no kind of happiness.

Jesus says that the way to happiness, the way to being truly blessed, is the way of spiritual hunger and thirst.

The Necessity for Spiritual Hunger

Hunger and thirst represent the necessities of physical life. Jesus’ analogy demonstrates that righteousness is required for spiritual life just as food and water are required for physical life. Righteousness is not an optional spiritual supplement but a spiritual necessity. We can no more live spiritually without righteousness than we can live physically without food and water.

Since the great famine in Egypt during the time of Joseph, and probably long before then, the world has been periodically plagued by famines. Rome experienced a famine in 436 B.C., which was so severe that thousands of people threw themselves into the Tiber River to drown rather than starve to death. Famine struck England in a.d. 1005, and all of Europe suffered great famines in 879, 1016, and 1162. In our own century, despite the advances in agriculture, many parts of the world still experience periodic famines. In recent years Africa has seen some of the most devastating famines in the world’s history. In the last 100 years tens of millions throughout the world have died from starvation or from the many diseases that accompany severe malnutrition.

A starving person has a single, all-consuming passion for food and water. Nothing else has the slightest attraction or appeal; nothing else can even get his attention.

Those who are without God’s righteousness are starved for spiritual life. But tragically they do not have the natural desire for spiritual life that they do for physical. The tendency of fallen mankind is to turn to itself and to the world for meaning and life, just as “ ‘a dog returns to its own vomit,’ and ‘a sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire’ ” (2 Pet. 2:22; cf. Prov. 26:11).

The heart of every person in the world was created with a sense of inner emptiness and need. Yet apart from God’s revelation men do not recognize what the need is or know what will satisfy it. Like the prodigal son, they will eat pigs’ food, because they have nothing else. “Why,” God asks, “do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy?” (Isa. 55:2). The reason is that men have forsaken God, “the fountain of living waters, to hew for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water” (Jer. 2:13). Though God has created men with a need for Himself, they try to satisfy that need through lifeless gods of their own making.

Again like the prodigal son, men are prone to take good things God has given—such as possessions, health, freedom, opportunities, and knowledge—and spend them on pleasure, power, popularity, fame, and every other form of self-satisfaction. But unlike the prodigal, they are often content to stay in the far country, away from God and away from His blessings.

People are warned not to “love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:15–17).

Seeking satisfaction only in God and in His provision is a mark of those who come into His kingdom. Those who belong to the King hunger and thirst for the King’s righteousness. They desire sin to be replaced with virtue and disobedience to be replaced by obedience. They are eager to serve the Word and will of God.

Jesus’ call to spiritual hunger and thirst also follows logically in the progression of the Beatitudes. The first three are essentially negative, commands to forsake evil things that are barriers to the kingdom. In poverty of spirit we turn away from self-seeking; in mourning we turn away from self-satisfaction; and in meekness we turn away from self-serving.

The first three beatitudes are also costly and painful. Becoming poor in spirit involves death to self. Mourning over sin involves facing up to our sinfulness. Becoming meek involves surrendering our power to God’s control.

The fourth beatitude is more positive and is a consequence of the other three. When we put aside self, sins, and power and turn to the Lord, we are given a great desire for righteousness. The more we put aside what we have, the more we long for what God has.

Martyn Lloyd-Jones says, “This Beatitude again follows logically from the previous ones; it is a statement to which all the others lead. It is the logical conclusion to which they come, and it is something for which we should all be profoundly thankful and grateful to God. I do not know of a better test that anyone can apply to himself or herself in this whole matter of the Christian profession than a verse like this. If this verse is to you one of the most blessed statements of the whole of Scripture, you can be quite certain you are a Christian. If it is not, then you had better examine the foundations again” (Studies in the Sermon on the Mount [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1971], 1:73–74).

The person who has no hunger and thirst for righteousness has no part in God’s kingdom. To have God’s life within us through the new birth in Jesus Christ is to desire more of His likeness within us by growing in righteousness. This is readily clear from David’s confession in Psalm 119:97, “O how I love Thy law.” Paul echoes David’s passion for righteousness in Romans 7:22, where he testifies, “I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man.” The true believer desires to obey, even though he struggles with unredeemed flesh (cf. Rom. 8:23).

The Meaning of Spiritual Hunger

Most of us have never faced life-threatening hunger and thirst. We think of hunger as missing a meal or two in a row, and of thirst as having to wait an hour on a hot day to get a cold drink. But the hunger and thirst of which Jesus speaks here is of a much more intense sort.

During the liberation of Palestine in World War I, a combined force of British, Australian, and New Zealand soldiers was closely pursuing the Turks as they retreated from the desert. As the allied troops moved northward past Beersheba they began to outdistance their water-carrying camel train. When the water ran out, their mouths got dry, their heads ached, and they became dizzy and faint. Eyes became bloodshot, lips swelled and turned purple, and mirages became common. They knew that if they did not make the wells of Sheriah by nightfall, thousands of them would die—as hundreds already had done. Literally fighting for their lives, they managed to drive the Turks from Sheriah.

As water was distributed from the great stone cisterns, the more able-bodied were required to stand at attention and wait for the wounded and those who would take guard duty to drink first. It was four hours before the last man had his drink. During that time the men stood no more than twenty feet from thousands of gallons of water, to drink of which had been their consuming passion for many agonizing days. It is said that one of the officers who was present reported, “I believe that we all learned our first real Bible lesson on the march from Beersheba to Sheriah Wells. If such were our thirst for God, for righteousness and for His will in our lives, a consuming, all-embracing, preoccupying desire, how rich in the fruit of the Spirit would we be?” (E.M. Blaiklock, “Water,” Eternity (August 1966), p. 27).

That is the kind of hunger and thirst of which Jesus speaks in this beatitude. The strongest and deepest impulses in the natural realm are used to represent the depth of desire the called of God and redeemed have for righteousness. The present participle is used in each case and signifies continuous longing, continuous seeking. Those who truly come to Jesus Christ come hungering and thirsting for righteousness, and those who are in Him continue to know that deep longing for holiness.

The parallel passage in Luke says, “Blessed are you who hunger now” (6:21). Desire for righteousness is to characterize our life now and in the rest of our earthly existence.

When Moses was in the wilderness, God appeared to him in a burning bush. When he went back to Egypt to deliver his people, he saw God’s might and power in the miracles and the ten plagues. He saw God part the Dead Sea and swallow up their Egyptian pursuers. He saw God’s glory in the pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire which led Israel in the wilderness. He built a Tabernacle for God and saw the Lord’s glory shining over the Holy of Holies. Over and over Moses had sought and had seen God’s glory. “Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend” (Ex. 33:11). But Moses was never satisfied and always wanted to see more. He continued to plead, “I pray Thee, show Thy glory” (v. 18).

Moses never had enough of the Lord. Yet from that dissatisfaction came satisfaction. Because of his continual longing for God, Moses found favor in His sight (v. 17), and God promised him, “I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the Lord before you” (v. 19).

David declared, “O God, Thou art my God,” but continued, “I shall seek Thee earnestly; my soul thirsts for Thee, my flesh yearns for Thee, in a dry and weary land where there is no water” (Ps. 63:1).

Paul had great visions of God and great revelations from God, yet he was not satisfied. He had given up his own righteousness “derived from the law” and was growing in “the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith.” But still he longed to “know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death” (Phil. 3:9–10). Peter expressed his own great desire and hunger when he counseled those to whom he wrote to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 3:18).

John Darby wrote, “To be hungry is not enough; I must be really starving to know what is in God’s heart toward me. When the prodigal son was hungry, he went to feed on the husks, but when he was starving, he turned to his father.” That is the hunger of which the fourth beatitude speaks, the hunger for righteousness that only the Father can satisfy.

Several years ago someone told me of a friend who had begun coming to a Bible study but soon gave it up, explaining that she wanted to be religious but did not want to make the commitment that Scripture demands. She had little hunger for the things of God. She wanted to pick and choose, to nibble at whatever suited her fancy—because basically she was satisfied with the way she was. In her own eyes she had enough, and thereby became one of the self-adjudged rich whom the Lord sends away empty-handed. It is only the hungry that He fills with good things (Luke 1:53).

The Object of Spiritual Hunger

As with the other beatitudes, the goal of hungering and thirsting for righteousness is twofold. For the unbeliever the goal is salvation; for the believer it is sanctification.

for salvation

When a person initially hungers and thirsts for righteousness he seeks salvation, the righteousness that comes when one turns from sin to submit to the lordship of Jesus Christ. In poverty of spirit he sees his sin; in mourning he laments and turns from his sin; in meekness he submits his own sinful way and power to God; and in hunger and thirst he seeks God’s righteousness in Christ to replace his sin.

In many Old Testament passages righteousness is used as a synonym for salvation. “My righteousness is near, My salvation has gone forth,” the Lord said through Isaiah (51:5). Daniel wrote of the time when “those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever” (Dan. 12:3).

When a person abandons all hope of saving himself, all confidence in self-righteousness, and begins to hunger for the salvation that brings God’s righteousness and the obedience that God requires, he will be blessed, be made divinely happy.

The Jews’ greatest obstacle to receiving the gospel was their self-righteousness, their confidence in their own purity and holiness, which they imagined was created by good works. Because they were God’s chosen race, and as keepers of the law—or, more often, keepers of men’s interpretations of the law—they felt heaven was assured.

The Messiah told them, however, that the only way to salvation was by hungering and thirsting for God’s righteousness to replace their own self-righteousness, which was really unrighteousness.

for sanctification

For believers, the object of hungering and thirsting is to grow in the righteousness received from trusting in Christ. That growth is sanctification, which more than anything else is the mark of a Christian.

No believer “arrives” in his spiritual life until he reaches heaven, and to claim perfection of any sort before then is the ultimate presumption. Children of the kingdom never stop needing or hungering for more of God’s righteousness and holiness to be manifest in them through their obedience. Paul prayed for believers in Philippi that their love might “abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ” (Phil. 1:9–10).

In the Greek language, verbs such as hunger and thirst normally have objects that are in the partitive genitive, a case that indicates incompleteness, or partialness. A literal English rendering would be: “I hunger for of food” or “I thirst for of water.” The idea is that a person only hungers for some food and some water, not for all the food and water in the world.

But Jesus does not here use the partitive genitive but the accusative, and righteousness is therefore the unqualified and unlimited object of hunger and thirst. The Lord identifies those who desire all the righteousness there is (cf. Matt. 5:48; 1 Pet. 1:15–16).

Jesus also uses the definite article (tēn), indicating that He is not speaking of just any righteousness, but the righteousness, the only true righteousness—that which comes from God and, in fact, is God’s very own righteousness which He has in Himself.

It becomes obvious, then, that we cannot possibly have our longing for godliness satisfied in this life, so we are left to continually hunger and thirst until the day we are clothed entirely in Christ’s righteousness.

The Result of Spiritual Hunger

The result of hungering and thirsting for righteousness is being satisfied. Chortazō was frequently used of the feeding of animals until they wanted nothing more. They were allowed to eat until they were completely satisfied.

Jesus’ divine pronouncement is that those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be given total satisfaction. The giving of satisfaction is God’s work, as the future passive tense indicates: they shall be satisfied. Our part is to seek; His part is to satisfy.

Again there is a marvelous paradox, because though saints continually seek God’s righteousness, always wanting more and never getting all, they nevertheless will be satisfied. We may eat steak or our favorite pie until we can eat no more, yet our taste for those things continues and even increases. It is the very satisfaction that makes us want more. We want to eat more of those things because they are so satisfying. The person who genuinely hungers and thirsts for God’s righteousness finds it so satisfying that he wants more and more.

God’s satisfying those who seek and love Him is a repeated theme in the Psalms. “For He has satisfied the thirsty soul, and the hungry soul He has filled with what is good” (Ps. 107:9). “The young lions do lack and suffer hunger; but they who seek the Lord shall not be in want of any good thing” (34:10). The best-loved of all psalms begins, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want,” and later declares, “Thou dost prepare a table before me … my cup overflows” (23:1, 5).

Predicting the great blessings of Christ’s millennial kingdom, Jeremiah assured Israel that in that day, “ ‘My people shall be satisfied with My goodness,’ declares the Lord” (Jer. 31:14). Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well in Sychar that “whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life” (John 4:14). To the crowds near Capernaum, many of whom had been among the five thousand He fed with the five barley loaves and the two fish, Jesus said, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst” (John 6:35).

The Testing Of Spiritual Hunger

There are several marks of genuine hunger and thirst for God’s righteousness. First is dissatisfaction with self. The person who is pleased with his own righteousness will see no need for God’s. The great Puritan Thomas Watson wrote, “He has most need of righteousness that least wants it.” No matter how rich his spiritual experience or how advanced his spiritual maturity, the hungering Christian will always say, “Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?” (Rom. 7:24).

Second is freedom from dependence on external things for satisfaction. A hungry man cannot be satisfied by an arrangement of lovely flowers, or beautiful music, or pleasant conversation. All of those things are good, but they have no ability to satisfy hunger. Neither can anything but God’s own righteousness satisfy the person who has true spiritual hunger and thirst.

Third is craving for the Word of God, the basic spiritual food He provides His children. A hungry man does not have to be begged to eat. Jeremiah rejoiced, “Thy words were found and I ate them, and Thy words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart” (Jer. 15:16). The more we seek God’s righteousness, the more we will want to devour Scripture. Feeding on God’s Word increases our appetite for it.

Fourth is the pleasantness of the things of God. “To a famished man any bitter thing is sweet” (Prov. 27:7). The believer who seeks God’s righteousness above all other things will find fulfillment and satisfaction even in those things that humanly are disastrous. Thomas Watson comments that “the one who hungers and thirsts after righteousness can feed on the myrrh of the gospel as well as the honey.” Even the Lord’s reproofs and discipline bring satisfaction, because they are signs of our Father’s love. “For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives” (Heb. 12:6).

A final mark of true spiritual hunger is unconditionality. When our spiritual hunger and thirst are genuine they will make no conditions; they will seek and accept God’s righteousness in whatever way He chooses to provide it and will obey His commands no matter how demanding they may be. The least of God’s righteousness is more valuable than the greatest of anything we possess in ourselves or that the world can offer. The rich young ruler wanted only the part of God’s kingdom that fit his own plans and desires, and he was therefore unfit for the kingdom. He thirsted more for other things than for the things of God. His conditions for God’s blessings barred him from them.

The spiritually hungry do not ask for Christ and economic success, Christ and personal satisfaction, Christ and popularity, or Christ and anything else. They want only Christ and what God in His wisdom and love sovereignly provides through Christ—whatever that may or may not be.

The spiritually hungry cry, “My soul is crushed with longing after Thine ordinances at all times” (Ps. 119:20), and they confess, “At night my soul longs for Thee, indeed, my spirit within me seeks Thee diligently” (Isa. 26:9).[1]

Guaranteed Satisfaction

Matthew 5:6

Ever since famine drove Joseph’s brothers to Egypt in the second millennium b.c. (and probably also before that time) crop failures, and consequent hunger and starvation, have been a chronic problem of mankind. Drought, wars, and plant disease have swept through history, leaving behind a trail of misery and death. Often little could be done to stop them.

Famine came to Rome in 436 b.c., causing thousands of people to throw themselves into the Tiber River and end their lives. Famine struck England in 1005. All Europe suffered in 879, 1016, and 1162. Even in the nineteenth century, with its great advances in technology and commerce, hunger stalked many countries—Russia, China, India, Ireland—and many died. Today, in India, thousands die of malnutrition and its accompanying diseases, and hundreds more perish in the nations of Latin America and the other emerging nations. Hunger, like war and pestilence, has always been a bellicose neighbor to large sectors of the human race.

Unfortunately, the physical hunger of some men is only a pale reflection of a far more serious hunger that affects all mankind. It is a spiritual hunger, which is satisfied only by God through the Lord Jesus Christ. St. Augustine spoke of this hunger when he wrote, “Thou hast made us for thyself, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in thee” (Confessions, I, 1). Jesus showed how this hunger could be satisfied. He said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” (Matt. 5:6). This statement of Jesus Christ’s is the fourth beatitude of the Sermon on the Mount. It is God’s answer to man’s spiritual longing.

God’s Answer

This beatitude follows in a very definite order upon the first three of Christ’s beatitudes, and there is a sense in which it stands at the heart of this short compendium of Christ’s teachings.

The first three verses of the Sermon on the Mount have all pointed to man’s need and have shown the type of approach that is necessary if a man is to be made spiritually happy by God. First, the man who comes to God must be “poor in spirit.” He must recognize that he is spiritually bankrupt in God’s sight and that he has no claim upon him. Second, he must “mourn.” This does not refer simply to the kind of sorrow experienced for the sick or dying. It is sorrow for sin. And it implies that the one who sorrows must come to God for comfort. Third, the man who would experience God’s salvation must also be “meek.” This refers to his taking a lowly place before God in order that he might receive God’s salvation. These beatitudes have all expressed man’s need. Now in the fourth beatitude there comes a solution: if a man will hunger and thirst after righteousness, God will fill him with righteousness and will declare him righteous. That man will be justified before God, and he will embark upon the blessed and effective life outlined in the remainder of Christ’s sermon.

Does this verse touch your heart as an expression of all that is most precious in the Christian gospel? Dr. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones writes of this verse, “This beatitude again follows logically from the previous ones; it is a statement to which all the others lead. It is the logical conclusion to which they come, and it is something for which we should all be profoundly thankful and grateful to God. I do not know of a better test that anyone can apply to himself or herself in this whole matter of the Christian profession than a verse like this. If this verse is to you one of the most blessed statements of the whole of Scripture, you can be quite certain you are a Christian; if it is not, then you had better examine the foundations again.” The verse is precious because it offers the solution to man’s great need by pointing to the offer of God’s greater remedy in Christ.

True Righteousness

The verse is most specific about how one can obtain this happiness, but the reason why so many people are unhappy spiritually is that they will not accept God’s remedy. What must man do? First, he must desire righteousness. Second, he must desire a perfect (and, therefore, a divine) righteousness. Third, he must desire it intensely. That is, he must desire it enough to abandon all hope of achieving salvation by his own efforts, and cling instead to the efforts made for him by God. Each of these points is suggested explicitly in the beatitude.

In the first place, the man who would be happy must come to God seeking righteousness. So many come seeking anything and everything else. Some seek happiness itself. But the verse says that the happy people are those who seek, not happiness primarily, but holiness before God. Some people seek happiness through other things, such as fortune or fame. Some seek it through sex and marriage. The Bible teaches that happiness comes only through righteousness.

A moment’s reflection will show why this must be so. God is the source of all good things: fortune, fame, sex, success, happiness, and other things besides. James says, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17). But God is also holy, and, because he is, he can have no dealings with those who are not holy. Men are sinners. Sin breaks the fellowship that should exist between men and God; it makes all who are sinners God’s enemies. The only way that man can enter again into fellowship with God and find the happiness and blessing he longs for is to possess a righteousness and holiness that will commend him to God.

Can this be done? Not by man, certainly. But God can and will do it. The heart of the gospel of Jesus Christ is that in him God has obtained our redemption and provided all who believe in Christ with that righteousness. The Bible says that Jesus Christ “has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption” (1 Cor. 1:30). And those who hunger and thirst after his righteousness shall be filled.

Moreover, Christians must hunger and thirst after righteousness. For that which enters into their becoming a Christian must also characterize their life. Dr. Lloyd-Jones writes, “There are large numbers of people in the Christian Church who seem to spend the whole of their life seeking something which they can never find, seeking for some kind of happiness and blessedness. They go around from meeting to meeting, and convention to convention, always hoping they are going to get this wonderful thing, this experience that is going to fill them with joy, and flood them with some ecstacy. They see that other people have had it, but they themselves do not seem to get it. … Now that is not surprising. We are not meant to hunger and thirst after experiences; we are not meant to hunger and thirst after blessedness. If we want to be truly happy and blessed we must hunger and thirst after righteousness. We must not put blessedness or happiness or experience in the first place.”

What is the case in your life? Do you put righteousness first or do you seek after something else, even something quite good in itself? Do not forget that righteousness must come first. Jesus said, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matt. 6:33).

A Perfect Righteousness

The second point of the fourth beatitude is that the one who would know true happiness must desire not merely righteousness but perfect righteousness, and this means desiring the righteousness of God. It is necessary that we see this and see it clearly, for you and I are always ready to settle for something less than God requires, and if it were possible, we should always rush to substitute some of our own goodness for God’s.

In order to understand how this point emerges from the text it is necessary to point out a fact of Greek grammar. In the Greek language it is a rule of good grammar that verbs of hungering and thirsting are followed by nouns in the genitive case. This is the case that is expressed by the proposition “of” in English. An example of a genitive would be the last words in the phrases “peace of mind,” “love of God,” “object of faith,” and so on. The Greek would express a feeling of hunger by saying something like this: “I am hungry for of food” or “I am thirsty for of water.”

This particular use of the genitive case has an unusual characteristic on the basis of which it is called a partitive genitive. This means that it has reference only to a part of the object that occurs in the sentence. Thus, when the Greek would say, “I am hungry for of food,” he would be saying that he was hungry only for part of the food in the world, not all of it. And similarly, when he would say that he would like some water, the genitive would indicate that he did not want all the water the world has to offer, but only some of it. In more modern times the same grammatical structure appears in French. When seated at the table, you would never say, “Passez le pain, s’il vous plait”—that would mean pass all the bread there is. Instead to say, “Passez du pain,” for that means, “I would like some of the bread, please.”

The significance of this point for interpreting the fourth beatitude lies in the fact that the normal Greek usage is entirely abandoned in this verse. Instead of the word “righteousness” occurring in the genitive, as it should, it occurs in the accusative. And the meaning is that the one who hungers and thirsts as Christ intends him to hunger and thirst must hunger, not after a partial or imperfect righteousness (either his own or God’s), but after the whole thing. He must long for a perfect righteousness, and this means, therefore, a righteousness equal to and identical with God’s.

Of course, this is exactly what most people will not do. Most men and women have a desire for some degree of righteousness. Their self-esteem demands at least that. Thieves will have some code of honor among themselves, however debased. A murderer will strive for some small spark of nobility. A good man will take great pride in his philanthropy or good deeds. But the problem comes from the fact that few (and none unless God has prodded them) seek for the perfect goodness which comes only from him. If I were to rephrase the verse in order to recapture this flavor of the language, I would say, “O how happy is the man who knows enough not to be satisfied with any partial goodness with which to please God, who is not satisfied with any human goodness. He alone is happy who seeks for the divine righteousness, because God will certainly provide it.”

Hunger and Thirst

The third point of advice in Christ’s statement about how to discover God’s righteousness is that a man must desire it intensely. In Christ’s words, he must “hunger and thirst for righteousness” if he is to be filled. How quickly these words pierce to the spiritual heart of a man! And how quickly do they separate real spiritual hunger from mere sentimentality and vaguely religious feeling!

Since there is almost nothing in our experience today to suggest the force of Christ’s words, we must put ourselves in the shoes of his listeners if we are to fully understand them. Today almost none of us knows hunger. And few of us have ever known more than a momentary thirst. But it was not that way for Christ’s contemporaries. In the ancient world men often knew hunger. Wages were low, if they existed at all. Unless men were of the aristocracy they seldom grew fat on the fruit of honest labor. Many starved. Moreover, in a desert country where the sun was scorching and sand and wind storms were frequent, thirst was man’s constant companion. To such a world hunger meant the hunger of a starving man, and thirst, that of a man who would die without water.

It was against this background that Christ’s words were spoken. And they were, in effect, “So you think that you would like to be pleasing to God, that you would like to taste of his goodness. Well, how much do you want it? Do you want it as much as a starving man wants food or a parched man wants water? You must want it that desperately in order to be filled. For it is only when you are really desperate that you will turn to me and away from your own attempts to earn that goodness.”

Several years ago an article appeared in Eternity magazine by Dr. E. M. Blaiklock on the significance of water in the Bible, part of which is quite relevant here. The article was one in a series of articles on Bible imagery, and in one part of it Dr. Blaiklock referred by way of illustration to a book by Major V. Gilbert called The Last Crusade, an account of part of the British liberation of Palestine in World War I. Dr. Blaiklock wrote of the book: “Driving up from Beersheba, a combined force of British, Australians and New Zealanders were pressing on the rear of the Turkish retreat over arid desert. The attack out-distanced its water-carrying camel train. Water bottles were empty. The sun blazed pitilessly out of a sky where the vultures wheeled expectantly.

“ ‘Our heads ached,’ writes Gilbert, ‘and our eyes became bloodshot and dim in the blinding glare. … Our tongues began to swell … our lips turned a purplish black and burst …’ Those who dropped out of the column were never seen again, but the desperate force battled on to Sheria. There were wells at Sheria, and had they been unable to take the place by nightfall, thousands were doomed to die of thirst. ‘We fought that day,’ writes Gilbert, ‘as men fight for their lives. … We entered Sheria station on the heels of the retreating Turks. The first objects which met our view were the great stone cisterns full of cold, clear, drinking water. In the still night air the sound of water running into the tanks could be distinctly heard, maddening in its nearness; yet not a man murmured when orders were given for the battalions to fall in, two deep, facing the cisterns.’

“He describes the stern priorities: the wounded, those on guard duty, then company by company. It took four hours before the last man had his drink of water, and in all that time they had been standing 20 feet from a low stone wall, on the other side of which were thousands of gallons of water.

“ ‘I believe,’ Major Gilbert concludes, ‘that we all learned our first real Bible lesson on that march from Beersheba to Sheria wells.’ If such were our thirst for God, for righteousness, for His will in our life, a consuming, all-embracing, preoccupying desire, how rich in the fruits of the Spirit would we be.”

Christ, Our Satisfaction

The conclusion of this study is that where there is this desire for righteousness there will be filling. And the filling will be Christ himself.

In this first sermon, given early in his three-year ministry, Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness; for they will be filled,” but he did not elaborate further on the filling. Later, when his teachings began to make their impact on the small circle of his listeners, he did. He said to the woman of Samaria, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water. … Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:10, 13–14). To the disciples who had witnessed the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves in Galilee he added, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty” (John 6:35).

Have you drunk deeply at that spring and fed on that bread? Or are you still feeding on things that do not satisfy? When the prodigal son left home he expected to find complete satisfaction. He wanted to live; and life to him meant money, clothes, food, companionship, and gay times. Instead of these things he found poverty, rags, hunger, loneliness, and misery. When he was hungry he turned to feeding swine. It was only when he was finally starving that he turned back to his father. In his father’s company he found all he had thought to find in the world. His father clothed him, fed him, welcomed him, and rejoiced in his return.

How sad if you should turn from the One who guarantees satisfaction in life to things that will never satisfy for long! How blessed for you to return to the Father through the way in which he has told you to come, through the Lord Jesus Christ![2]

6 “Hunger and thirst” vividly express desire. The sons of Korah cried, “My soul thirsts for God, for the living God” (Ps 42:2; cf. 63:1). The deepest spiritual famine is hunger for the word of God (Am 8:11–14).

The precise nature of the righteousness for which the blessed hunger and thirst is disputed. Some argue that it is the imputed righteousness of God—eschatological salvation or, more narrowly, justification: the blessed hunger for it and receive it (e.g., Grundmann; McNeile; Zahn; Barth [“Matthew’s Understanding of the Law,” 123–24]; Bultmann [Theology of the New Testament, 1:273]; Schrenk [TDNT, 2:198]). This is certainly plausible, since the immediate context does arouse hopes for God’s eschatological action, and hungering suggests that the righteousness that satisfies will be given as a gift.

The chief objection is that dikaiosynē (“righteousness,” GK 1466) in Matthew does not have that sense anywhere else (cf. Przybylski, Righteousness in Matthew, 96–98). So it is better to take this righteousness as simultaneously personal righteousness (cf. Hill, Greek Words, 127–28.; Strecker, Weg der Gerechtigkeit, 156–58) and justice in the broadest sense (cf. Ridderbos, Coming of the Kingdom, 190–91; Turner). These people hunger and thirst, not only that they may be righteous (i.e., that they may wholly do God’s will from the heart), but that justice may be done everywhere. All unrighteousness grieves them and makes them homesick for the new heaven and new earth—the home of righteousness (2 Pe 3:13). Satisfied with neither personal righteousness alone nor social justice alone, they cry for both. In short, they long for the advent of the messianic kingdom. What they taste now whets their appetites for more. Ultimately they will be satisfied (same verb as in 14:20; Php 4:12; Rev 19:21) without qualification only when the kingdom is consummated (see discussion in Gundry).[3]

Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (6)

Already in the Virgin Mary’s song, the Magnificat, the spiritually poor and the spiritually hungry have been associated, and both have been declared blessed. For God ‘has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent empty away’. This general principle is here particularized. The hungry and thirsty whom God satisfies are those who ‘hunger and thirst for righteousness’. Such spiritual hunger is a characteristic of all God’s people, whose supreme ambition is not material but spiritual. Christians are not like pagans, engrossed in the pursuit of possessions; what they have set themselves to ‘seek first’ is God’s kingdom and righteousness.7Righteousness in the Bible has at least three aspects: legal, moral and social.

Legal righteousness is justification, a right relationship with God. The Jews ‘pursued righteousness’, Paul wrote later, but failed to attain it because they pursued it in the wrong way. They sought ‘to establish their own’ righteousness and ‘did not submit to God’s righteousness’, which is Christ himself. Some commentators have seen such a reference here, but this is scarcely possible since Jesus is addressing those who already belong to him.

Moral righteousness is that righteousness of character and conduct which pleases God. Jesus goes on after the beatitudes to contrast this Christian righteousness with pharisaic righteousness (20). The latter was an external conformity to rules; the former is an inner righteousness of heart, mind and motive. For this we should hunger and thirst.

It would be a mistake to suppose, however, that the biblical word ‘righteousness’ means only a right relationship with God on the one hand and a moral righteousness of character and conduct on the other. For biblical righteousness is more than a private and personal affair; it includes social righteousness as well. And social righteousness, as we learn from the law and the prophets, is concerned with seeking man’s liberation from oppression, together with the promotion of civil rights, justice in the law courts, integrity in business dealings and honour in home and family affairs. Thus Christians are committed to hunger for righteousness in the whole human community as something pleasing to a righteous God.

Luther expressed this concept with his customary vigour: ‘The command to you is not to crawl into a corner or into the desert, but to run out, if that is where you have been, and to offer your hands and your feet and your whole body, and to wager everything you have and can do.’ What is required, he goes on, is ‘a hunger and thirst for righteousness that can never be curbed or stopped or sated, one that looks for nothing and cares for nothing except the accomplishment and maintenance of the right, despising everything that hinders this end. If you cannot make the world completely pious, then do what you can.’2There is perhaps no greater secret of progress in Christian living than a healthy, hearty spiritual appetite. Again and again Scripture addresses its promises to the hungry. God ‘satisfies him who is thirsty, and the hungry he fills with good things’. If we are conscious of slow growth, is the reason that we have a jaded appetite? It is not enough to mourn over past sin; we must also hunger for future righteousness.

Yet in this life our hunger will never be fully satisfied, nor our thirst fully quenched. True, we receive the satisfaction which the beatitude promises. But our hunger is satisfied only to break out again. Even the promise of Jesus that whoever drinks of the water he gives ‘will never thirst’ is fulfilled only if we keep drinking. Beware of those who claim to have attained, and who look to past experience rather than to future development! Like all the qualities included in the beatitudes, hunger and thirst are perpetual characteristics of the disciples of Jesus, as perpetual as poverty of spirit, meekness and mourning. Not till we reach heaven will we ‘hunger no more, neither thirst any more’, for only then will Christ our Shepherd lead us ‘to springs of living water’.3More than this, God has promised a day of judgment, in which right will triumph and wrong be overthrown, and after which there will be ‘new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells’. For this final vindication of the right we also long, and we shall not be disappointed.

Looking back, we can see that the first four beatitudes reveal a spiritual progression of relentless logic. Each step leads to the next and presupposes the one that has gone before. To begin with, we are to be ‘poor in spirit’, acknowledging our complete and utter spiritual bankruptcy before God. Next we are to ‘mourn’ over the cause of it, our sins, yes, and our sin too—the corruption of our fallen nature, and the reign of sin and death in the world. Thirdly, we are to be ‘meek’, humble and gentle towards others, allowing our spiritual poverty (admitted and bewailed) to condition our behaviour to them as well as to God. And fourthly we are to ‘hunger and thirst for righteousness’. For what is the use of confessing and lamenting our sin, of acknowledging the truth about ourselves to both God and men, if we leave it there? Confession of sin must lead to hunger for righteousness.

In the second half of the beatitudes (the last four) we seem to turn even more from our attitude to God to our attitude to our fellow human beings. Certainly the ‘merciful’ show mercy to men, and ‘peacemakers’ seek to reconcile men to each other, and those who are ‘persecuted’ are persecuted by men. It seems likely therefore that the sincerity denoted by being ‘pure in heart’ also concerns our attitude and relation to our fellow human beings.[4]

5:6. Hunger and thirst are characteristics, again, of the oppressed and downtrodden. Jesus again clarified that the realm of which he spoke is the spiritual, not the physical. A person who is starving for righteousness, whether in one’s own life or in one’s environment, is not a happy person, if that person is focused on his or her immediate circumstances. Happiness comes from the assurance that all righteousness will some day be fulfilled. The believer will personally become perfected, never to sin again, and the kingdom will be purged of all unrighteousness.

Skeptics of Christianity argue that the Bible cannot be true because of all the evil in the world. “Why has not God done anything about that?” they sneer. One Christian responded, “Your skepticism only seeks to excuse yourself. For the moment, let us set aside the evil ‘out there.’ The question you should be asking is, ‘What shall we do about the evil in you?’ ” For kingdom servants, there should certainly be a hunger and thirst for righteousness to be restored in our surrounding world. But there must be an even deeper hunger that such restoration begin within our own heart. (Old Testament parallels include Pss. 32; 37; 51; 73; 139:23–24; Prov. 8:22–36.)[5]

The Bliss of the Starving Spirit

Matthew 5:6

‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.’

Words do not exist in isolation; they exist against a background of experience and of thought; and the meaning of any word is conditioned by the background of the person who speaks it. That is particularly true of this beatitude. It would convey to those who heard it for the first time an impression quite different from the impression which it conveys to us.

The fact is that very few of us in modern conditions of life know what it is to be really hungry or really thirsty. In the ancient world, it was very different. A working man’s wage was one denarius, not a wage on which anyone ever got fat. A working man in Palestine ate meat only once a week, and in Palestine the working man and the day labourer were never far from the borderline of real hunger and actual starvation.

It was still more so in the case of thirst. It was not possible for the vast majority of people to turn a tap and find the clear, cold water pouring into their house. A traveller might be on a journey, and in the middle of it the hot wind which brought the sandstorm might begin to blow. There was nothing for him to do but to wrap his head in his hooded cloak and turn his back to the wind, and wait, while the swirling sand filled his nostrils and his throat until he was likely to suffocate, and until he was parched with an overpowering thirst. In the conditions of modern western life, there is no parallel at all to that.

So, the hunger which this beatitude describes is no genteel hunger which could be satisfied with a mid-morning snack; the thirst of which it speaks is no thirst which could be quenched with a cup of coffee or an iced drink. It is the hunger of someone who is starving for food, and the thirst of someone who will die unless given something to drink.

Since that is so, this beatitude is in reality a question and a challenge. In effect, it demands: ‘How much do you want goodness? Do you want it as much as a starving person wants food, and as much as someone dying of thirst wants water?’ How intense is our desire for goodness?

Most people have an instinctive desire for goodness, but that desire is wistful and vague rather than sharp and intense; and when the moment of decision comes they are not prepared to make the effort and the sacrifice which real goodness demands. Most people suffer from what the author Robert Louis Stevenson called ‘the malady of not wanting’. It would obviously make the biggest difference in the world if we desired goodness more than anything else.

When we approach this beatitude from that side, it is the most demanding, and indeed the most frightening, of them all. But not only is it the most demanding beatitude; in its own way it is also the most comforting. At the back of it, there is the meaning that those who are blessed are not necessarily the people who achieve this goodness, but the people who long for it with their whole heart. If blessedness came only to those who achieved, then none would be blessed. But blessedness comes to all who, in spite of failures and failings, still clutch to themselves the passionate love of the highest.

The writer H. G. Wells somewhere said: ‘A man may be a bad musician and yet be passionately in love with music.’ Robert Louis Stevenson spoke of even those who have sunk to the lowest depths ‘clutching the remnants of virtue to them in the brothel and on the scaffold’. Sir Norman Birkett, the famous lawyer and judge, once, speaking of the criminals with whom he had come into contact in his work, spoke of the inextinguishable something in every individual. Goodness, ‘the implacable hunter’, is always at their heels. The worst of all people are ‘condemned to some kind of nobility’.

The true wonder of human beings is not that we are sinners, but that even in our sin we are haunted by goodness, that even in the mud we can never wholly forget the stars. David had always wished to build the Temple of God; he never achieved that ambition; it was denied and forbidden him; but as the Revised Standard Version has it, God said to him: ‘You did well that it was in your heart’ (1 Kings 8:18). In his mercy, God judges us not only by our achievements but also by our dreams. Even if we never attain goodness, if to the end of the day we are still hungering and thirsting for it, we are not shut out from blessedness.

There is one further point in this beatitude, a point which only emerges in the Greek. It is a rule of Greek grammar that verbs of hungering and thirsting are followed by the genitive case. The genitive case is the case which, in English, is expressed by the word of; of the people is the genitive case. The genitive which follows verbs of hungering and thirsting in Greek is called the partitive genitive, that is the genitive of the part. The idea is this. When a Greek said: ‘I hunger for of bread,’ it was some bread that was desired, a part of the bread, not the whole loaf. When a Greek said: ‘I thirst for of water,’ it was some water that was desired, a drink of water, not all the water in the tank.

But in this beatitude, most unusually, righteousness is in the direct accusative, and not in the normal genitive. Now, when verbs of hungering and thirsting in Greek take the accusative instead of the genitive, the meaning is that the hunger and the thirst are for the whole thing. To say I hunger for bread in the accusative means I want the whole loaf. To say I thirst for water in the accusative means I want the whole pitcher. There, the correct translation is:

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for the whole of righteousness, for complete righteousness.

That is in fact what people seldom do. They are content with a part of righteousness. Some people, for instance, may be good in the sense that, however hard one tried, one could not pin a moral fault on to them. Their honesty, their morality and their respectability are beyond question; but it may be that no one could go to them and pour out a sorry story to them; they would freeze if one tried to do so. There can be a goodness which is accompanied with a hardness, a censoriousness, a lack of sympathy. Such a goodness is a partial goodness.

On the other hand, people may have all kinds of faults; they may drink, swear, gamble and lose their temper; and yet, if anyone is in trouble, they would give the last penny out of their pocket and the very coat off their back. Again, that is a partial goodness.

This beatitude says that it is not enough to be satisfied with a partial goodness. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for the goodness which is total. Neither an icy faultlessness nor a faulty warm-heartedness is enough.

So, the translation of the fourth beatitude could run:

o the bliss of those who long for total righteousness as the starving long for food, and those perishing of thirst long for water, for they will be truly satisfied![6]

6 In keeping with the preceding, the fourth beatitude names the literally hungry and thirsty, i.e., the downtrodden and oppressed, who especially hunger and thirst after the justice associated with the coming of God’s eschatological rule. There is, then, no significant difference between the Matthean and Lukan versions of the beatitude, despite the additional words καὶ διψῶντες τὴν δικαιοσύνην, “and thirst for justice,” in Matthew. That δικαιοσύνη here means “justice” rather than “personal righteousness” is clear from the context. The poor, the grieving, and the downtrodden (i.e., those who have experienced injustice) are by definition those who long for God to act. They are the righteous who will inherit the kingdom. Yet this interpretation does not altogether exclude the sense of δικαιοσύνη as personal righteousness. The justice of God’s eschatological rule presupposes the δικαιοσύνη of those who enjoy its blessings (cf. 2 Pet 3:13). Thus, albeit to a slight degree, this verse may anticipate the stress on δικαιοσύνη in v 20 and 6:33. This beatitude seems to reflect the language of Ps 107 (LXX: 106), where, after a reference to the hungry and thirsty (v 5), the psalmist writes, “Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress” (v 6), and then a few verses later continues, “For he satisfies the thirsty and the hungry he fills with good things” (v 9), where the LXX contains the same verb χορτάζειν, “to fill,” as in Matthew. This is the language of messianic fulfillment: he has filled the hungry soul with good things (cf. Luke 1:53). It is the language of those who at long last have been “redeemed from trouble” (cf. Ps 107:2; for a similar sense of “thirsting” for salvation, cf. Pss 42:1–3; 63:1). In the first instance it is God’s righteousness that satisfies (cf. the “divine passive”) these hungry and thirsty souls (cf. John 6:35; Rev 7:16–17). (On “righteousness” in Matthew, see Comment on 3:15.)[7]

6. Happy are they who hunger. To hunger and thirst is here, I think, used as a figurative expression, and means to suffer poverty, to want the necessaries of life, and even to be defrauded of one’s right. Matthew says, who thirst after righteousness, and thus makes one class stand for all the rest. He represents more strongly the unworthy treatment which they have received, when he says that, though they are anxious, though they groan, they desire nothing but what is proper. “Happy are they who, though their wishes are so moderate, that they desire nothing to be granted to them but what is reasonable, are yet in a languishing condition, like persons who are famishing with hunger.” Though their distressing anxiety exposes them to the ridicule of others, yet it is a certain preparation for happiness: for at length they shall be satisfied. God will one day listen to their groans, and satisfy their just desires: for to Him, as we learn from the song of the Virgin, it belongs to fill the hungry with good things, (Luke 1:53.)[8]

Ver. 6. Hunger and thirst after righteousness.—A figurative mode of indicating a desire so intense as to be painful. Wetstein. (The substantive is here in the accusative, τὴν δικαιοσύνην, though commonly in the genitive.) Δικαιοσύνη, with the article, the only genuine righteousness, the righteousness of the kingdom of heaven; but, above all, righteousness not as a work of our own, but as a gift,—a fact not of the outer, but of the inner life. Hence the expression refers neither to the Christian religion (Kuinoel) nor to uprightness, the restoration of which was, according to Meyer, the grand object of Christ. Righteousness is correspondence to the law; the righteousness of the kingdom of heaven, that to the law of the Spirit.

They shall be filled, i. e., with righteousness.—This promise applies neither exclusively to justification by faith, nor to final acquittal in judgment; but includes both justification, sanctification, and final acquittal,—all of which, indeed, are inseparably connected with justification.[9]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1985). Matthew (Vol. 1, pp. 177–185). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Boice, J. M. (2002). The Sermon on the Mount: an expositional commentary (pp. 37–42). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[3] Carson, D. A. (2010). Matthew. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Matthew–Mark (Revised Edition) (Vol. 9, p. 164). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[4] Stott, J. R. W., & Stott, J. R. W. (1985). The message of the Sermon on the mount (Matthew 5-7): Christian counter-culture (pp. 44–47). Leicester; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[5] Weber, S. K. (2000). Matthew (Vol. 1, p. 59). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[6] Barclay, W. (2001). The Gospel of Matthew (Third Ed., pp. 114–118). Edinburgh: Saint Andrew Press.

[7] Hagner, D. A. (1998). Matthew 1–13 (Vol. 33A, p. 93). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.

[8] Calvin, J., & Pringle, W. (2010). Commentary on a Harmony of the Evangelists Matthew, Mark, and Luke (Vol. 1, p. 263). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[9] Lange, J. P., & Schaff, P. (2008). A commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Matthew (p. 102). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

November 29 Living Unselfishly

“Making the most of your time, because the days are evil.”

Ephesians 5:16


Time will tell whether you’re unselfish or selfish.

In 1842 Robert Murray M’Cheyne, pastor of St. Peter’s Church in Dundee, Scotland, wrote a pastoral letter to an individual who was an unbeliever. The following is an excerpt from his letter:

I was reading this morning (Luke 2:29), what old Simeon said when he got the child Jesus into his arms: “Now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace, according to Thy word: for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation.” If you get a firm hold of the Lord Jesus, you will be able to say the same…. God is leading you to the very spot where the Redeemer is,—a lowly, despised, spit–upon, crucified Saviour. Can this be the Saviour of the world? Yes, dear soul; kneel down and call Him your Redeemer. He died for such as you and me.

M’Cheyne lived unselfishly, caring for the spiritual welfare of both believers and unbelievers. Because of poor health, he died at age twenty–nine after ministering but a short seven and a half years. His spiritual legacy of passionate love for the Lord and pastoral love for people continues to serve as an inspiring example for believers today.

M’Cheyne’s life illustrates what the apostle Paul was saying to the Ephesian believers: make the most of your time. In Ephesians 5:16 the Greek term translated “making the most of” means “buy up for yourself.” That doesn’t mean you’re to hoard your time for your own use; rather, you’re to buy up for yourself time that will give God glory. Every day brings new opportunities to be seized for God—opportunities for good, for righteousness, for holiness.

Like M’Cheyne, buy up opportunities daily for God’s glory and the good of others. Be committed to minister to the spiritual needs of believers and unbelievers. By doing so, you will make your time count for eternity.


Suggestions for Prayer: Ask God to help you be unselfish and serve others effectively by His grace.

For Further Study: Read the following verses: Galatians 6:10; 1 Corinthians 10:24; Philippians 2:3–4. How do they say you are to live?[1]

[1] MacArthur, J. (1997). Strength for today. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

November 29 Daily Help

IN the evening of the day opportunities are plentiful: men return from their labor, and the zealous soul-winner finds time to tell abroad the love of Jesus. Have I no evening work for Jesus? If I have not, let me no longer withhold my hand from a service which requires abundant labor. Jesus gave both his hands to the nails; how can I keep back one of mine from his blessed work? Night and day he toiled and prayed for me; how can I give a single hour to selfish indulgence? Up, idle heart; stretch out thy hand to work, or uplift it to pray: heaven and hell are in earnest; let me be so, and this evening sow good seed for the Lord my God.[1]

[1] Spurgeon, C. H. (1892). Daily Help (p. 337). Baltimore: R. H. Woodward & Company.

November 29 Conquering in Conflict

“By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they had been encircled for seven days” (Heb. 11:30).


Faith is the key to spiritual conquest.

Forty years had elapsed since the Israelites refused to enter the Promised Land. That unbelieving generation had perished in the wilderness. Now Joshua was leading a new generation into the land. The first obstacle they faced was Jericho—a well-fortified city that was near the mouth of the Jordan River.

Some city walls of that day were wide enough at the top to allow two chariots to ride side by side. That was probably true of Jericho because of its strategic location. That, coupled with the caliber of its army, made the city virtually impregnable—especially to unsophisticated Israelites, who lacked military training.

But what is impossible for man is easy for God. And the stage was set for Him to demonstrate His power and for the Israelites to demonstrate their faith and humility.

One can only imagine how embarrassed the Hebrew people felt as they marched around Jericho once a day for six days. That certainly is not your typical military strategy. But on the seventh day, after marching around the city seven times, with the priests blowing their rams’ horns, the priests gave one final blast, the people all shouted out loud, and the walls of the city collapsed (Josh. 6:20). Faith had reduced a formidable obstacle to a crumbled ruin.

Can you identify some spiritual obstacles you’ve faced recently? How did you handle them? You’ll always have them to deal with in your Christian walk, but don’t fret. See them as opportunities to exercise faith and to see God’s power on display in your life. Continue to trust the Lord and to demonstrate your faith by courageously doing what He has called you to do.


Suggestions for Prayer:  Ask God to help you humbly trust in God’s power when you face spiritual conflicts.

For Further Study: Read about the conquest of Jericho in Joshua 6:1–21. Note each occasion where the people obeyed one of Joshua’s commands without hesitation.[1]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 346). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

Hillary Clinton in new, BIG legal trouble (ouch!) – The Horn News

Think Hillary Clinton is out of the woods? Not so fast! Here’s why a U.S. District Court just ordered Hillary to submit to questioning. Hint: Is she finally trapped!?

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Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton probably thought her legal troubles were over after she lost her second presidential campaign.

She was wrong — and a U.S. District Court just announced that she’s wanted for questioning.

Legal watchdog group Judicial Watch won a lawsuit earlier this month that has compelled Hillary to submit answers on her illegal use of a private email server that was ultimately compromised by hostile foreign powers.

As of Nov. 14, Hillary has 30 days to answer two questions, Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said.

Her answers will be under oath. That means if she lies (or intentionally omits the truth) she could be arrested for obstruction of justice.

Judge Emmet Sullivan has ordered Hillary to answer these questions:

Describe the creation of the clintonemail.com system, including who decided to create the system, the date it was decided to create the system, why it was created, who set it up, and when it became operational.

During your October 22, 2015 appearance before the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on Benghazi, you testified that 90 to 95 percent of your emails “were in the State’s system” and “if they wanted to see them, they would certainly have been able to do so.” Identify the basis for this statement, including all facts on which you relied in support of the statement, how and when you became aware of these facts, and, if you were made aware of these facts by or through another person, identify the person who made you aware of these facts.

In the past, Hillary has refused to answer these two questions under oath.

Now, she’s compelled by law to answer — or else.

“A federal court ordered Hillary Clinton to answer more questions about her illicit email system – which is good news,” Fitton said in a Judicial Watch press release.

— Read on thehornnews.com/hillary-clinton-in-new-big-legal-trouble-ouch/

Thursday Briefing Nov. 29, 2018 – AlbertMohler.com

Download MP3

Jerome Corsi faces prison … for forgetting – WND

Tucker Carlson on Mueller probe: ‘How would any of us fare under this standard?’

(Fox News) — Jerome Corsi is 72-years-old. He has a Ph.D. in political science from Harvard. He has written two New York Times bestsellers about politics. He is the kind of person who could, and probably should be happily retired by now. Instead, he’s facing felony charges from Robert Mueller.

How did this happen?

Earlier this year, the independent counsel subpoenaed Corsi and seized his laptop and personal phone. – They had all of his communications. They know exactly what he did and didn’t say.

— Read on https://www.wnd.com/2018/11/jerome-corsi-faces-prison-for-forgetting/