Conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh said he believes special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation was launched to “cover-up” the misdeeds within the Justice Department, including the FBI’s attempted “coup” against President Donald Trump.
President Trump delivered a brutal blow to the Socialist leaders in Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua and here at home in America on Monday.
The President spoke to Cuban and Venezuelan exiles in Miami, Florida.
He demanded the Socialist Maduro regime in Caracas step aside.
He called out the Socialist regimes in Nicaragua and Cuba.
And President Trum had a message for Socialists here in America.
“To Those Who Would Try to Impose Socialism on The United States – America WILL NEVER Be a Socialist Country!”
This was a historic speech!
It was a bad day for the Socialists in the Western hemisphere.
by Mike Ratliff
9 I was once alive apart from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin became alive and I died; 10 and this commandment, which was to result in life, proved to result in death for me; 11 for sin, taking an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. 12 So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.
13 Therefore did that which is good become a cause of death for me? May it never be! Rather it was sin, in order that it might be shown to be sin by effecting my death through that which is good, so that through the commandment sin would become utterly sinful.
14 For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. 15 For what I am doing, I do…
View original post 1,722 more words
Trump brought the mother of Venezuelan activist Oscar Morales on stage in Miami to share about her son who was murdered by the Maduro regime.
President Trump calls out the evils of Socialism in historic speech.
The president called out the evil regimes in Cuba and Venezuela.
“The twilight hour of socialism has arrived.”
President Trump: “The socialists have done in Venezuela that socialists, communists, and totalitarians have done everywhere.”
President Trump: “Socialism by its very nature does not respect borders or boundaries or the sovereign rights of its citizens.”
President Trump: “In Venezuela socialism is dying & liberty prosperity & democracy are being reborn.”
And President Trump: “The twilight hour of socialism has arrived in our hemisphere and frankly in many many places around the world.”
President Trump addresses Venezuelan Americans in Miami, Florida: “We’re here to proclaim a new day is coming in Latin America … in Venezuela and across the Western Hemisphere, socialism is dying and liberty, prosperity and democracy are being reborn” https://t.co/oIOsCtnSFn pic.twitter.com/SYbZvEVQz4
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) February 18, 2019
Pres Trump speaking in Miami FL “In Venezuela socialism is dying & liberty prosperity & democracy are being reborn” Pres Trump Making America & Latin America Great! #TheFive #PresidentsDay #MondayMotivation pic.twitter.com/Xbwc2Tm77g
— Ryan Cale (@rcale1776) February 18, 2019
President Trump: “The twilight hour of Socialism has arrived.”
Scripture Reading: Luke 3:3–6
Key Verse: Matthew 3:2
[John the Baptist said,] “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”
When John the Baptist called out, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand,” no one knew he was preparing the way for the coming of the Messiah.
John had been selected to preach repentance so that when Christ came, the hearts and minds of the people would be open to the truth of God. Many who heard his message repented and turned from evil. Others considered him foolish and extreme.
Repentance and sincere devotion to Christ separate a person from the natural ways of the world. Many people need God’s forgiveness, but they resist any involvement with Him that disrupts their present lifestyle.
True repentance is a humble, quiet, life-changing experience between you and God. It involves a renewing of your mind and offers a new perspective on life—one of hope and lasting joy. Through repentance, we turn away from sin completely.
W. E. Vine defines this as “the adjustment of the moral and spiritual vision and thinking to that of the mind of God, which is designed to have a transforming effect upon the life.”
Paul urged his readers, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Rom. 12:2 nasb). That was the same type of call John issued right before Jesus began His public ministry, and it is God’s call to you today.
Master, I answer Your call today. Adjust my moral and spiritual vision. Align my thinking with Yours. Renew my mind. Transform my life.
President Trump lashed out at Andrew McCabe and Rod Rosenstein on Monday morning, calling their discussions to remove him from office via the 25th Amendment, “illegal and treasonous.”
President Trump also reserved some choice words for AWOL Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Disgraced FBI official Andrew McCabe sat down with CBS’s “60 Minutes” which aired Sunday night.
McCabe went into a little more detail in his interview about DAG Rod Rosenstein’s plot to wear a wire and record President Trump. “I never get searched when I go into the White House. I could easily wear a recording device,” Rosenstein told McCabe.
President Trump unleashed on the coup plotters Monday morning.
TRUMP: Wow, so many lies by now disgraced acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe. He was fired for lying, and now his story gets even more deranged. He and Rod Rosenstein, who was hired by Jeff Sessions (another beauty), look like they were planning a very illegal act, and got caught
TRUMP: There is a lot of explaining to do to the millions of people who had just elected a president who they really like and who has done a great job for them with the Military, Vets, Economy and so much more. This was the illegal and treasonous “insurance policy” in full action!
President Trump is not shy about his contempt for failed Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
President Trump repeatedly expressed his frustration in picking Jeff Sessions to be his Attorney General.
When candidate Donald Trump first began his run for President, no Washington insiders would stand up and support him until a little known Senator from Alabama, Jeff Sessions, did. The story line was that Sessions was strong on borders and he liked candidate Trump’s stance on illegal immigration and building a wall.
It is rumored that the only position Sessions would take on the Trump team was AG and he seemed a good fit after being a US Attorney, the AG in Alabama and a US Senator for years.
However, things really went wrong – off the charts actually. Sessions was appointed and approved by the Senate and then almost immediately Sessions recused himself from everything related to the 2016 Presidential campaign.
On Thursday, March 2, 2017 the Department of Justice announced AG Sessions’ recusal:
“During the course of the confirmation proceedings on my nomination to be Attorney General, I advised the Senate Judiciary Committee that ‘[i]f a specific matter arose where I believed my impartiality might reasonably be questioned, I would consult with Department ethics officials regarding the most appropriate way to proceed.’
“During the course of the last several weeks, I have met with the relevant senior career Department officials to discuss whether I should recuse myself from any matters arising from the campaigns for President of the United States.
“Having concluded those meetings today, I have decided to recuse myself from any existing or future investigations of any matters related in any way to the campaigns for President of the United States.
But based on what we currently know, Sessions never should have recused himself. Gregg Jarrett from FOX News explains:
I explained this in my book “The Russia Hoax: The Illicit Scheme to Clear Hillary Clinton and Frame Donald Trump.” As I wrote, Sessions misread or misinterpreted the Code of Federal Regulations (28 C.F.R. 45.2) when he testified before Congress that he was “required” to recuse himself.
In fact – and this is critically important – the attorney general was not required to bow out of the Russia probe.
Sessions was either duped by holdovers from the Obama Justice Department, or simply failed to comprehend the plain meaning of the regulations. If Sessions knew what he was doing, he would have ended the Russia investigation at its outset, saving our nation millions of dollars and the continued national discord the probe has spawned.
People who know Jeff Sessions and who worked with him during the 2016 campaign would say that Sessions is a man of integrity and that is why recused himself. But day by day this perception becomes less and less tolerable.
After Sessions’s recusal, Rod Rosenstein took over the DOJ and made a mockery of the Department. He immediately appointed corrupt cop Robert Mueller to run the Trump – Russia witch hunt. Rosenstein and Mueller are more conflicted than Sessions was. They were involved in possibly the biggest scandal in US history – Uranium One – the sale of 20% of US uranium to Russia by the Obama Administration and Hillary Clinton. After this sale the Clintons received more than $140 million in donations to the Clinton Foundation from individuals related to the sale. Mueller and Rosenstein were in the middle of this mess.
Mueller is also best friends with fired and disgraced Obama FBI Director James Comey.
Rosenstein drafted Comey’s resignation letter and then set up the Mueller investigation to look into it. Rosenstein also signed off on FISA document to spy on the President after the Mueller investigation was set up. He also recently was outed for wanting to wear a wire when meeting with President Trump, hoping to frame him in a compromising situation to force his removal from office.
It’s clear that by removing himself from “the campaigns for President of the United States”, Sessions opened the door for ultra-corrupt Rosenstein and Mueller and their gangs to target the President and attempt to have him removed from office by any means necessary. Sessions also has accomplished nothing of any substance while allowing the Clintons and members of the corrupt Obama Administration to go unchecked. Facts currently show that crimes were committed by these gangs and yet nothing happens – criminals from the Obama and Clinton teams walk free. All of this because Sessions recused himself when he had no reason to!
Jeff Sessions was not on the up and up. He was not genuine. His actions proved this.
Sessions allowed the Deep State coup to go on for two years against an innocent President.
Sessions refused to prosecute the real lawbreakers in the Obama regime.
Trump canned Sessions for good reason.
Joe diGenova calls in to WMAL radio to discuss Andrew McCabe, Rod Rosenstein and the Sixty Minutes interview.
•Trans-mothers and Vegans giving last rights to cows
•Charisma Mag tells stories of angels and pot-bellied demons
•Hillsong answers accusations with chin-boogie
•Bethel’s healing for a nervous breakdown leads to a book deal
•Which preacher is punchier
•Should we do announcements during the worship service?
•Martina Navratilova blasts trans-women cheating in sports
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•What can we learn from the firing of James MacDonald?
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No one is so mad or stupid as to want to throw away or hate his body or its members, or cause them pain or harm, just because the body is filthy and impure. Instead, he nourishes and cares for it, St. Paul says, and the more fragile it is, the more he cares for it [Eph. 5:29; 1 Cor. 12:23]. And if it lacks something, the feet go running and the hands reach out, ready and willing to help it. If the body is scurfy, he seeks advice on healing the scurf or at least for keeping it in check. If it begins to swell or fester, he purifies and cleanses it, yet in such a way as not to harm the impure member. If [his body] cannot defecate, he avails himself of the pharmacist and every kind of medicine, all in order to purge and cleanse it out thoroughly.
In short, even when the body is most healthy it cannot be pure; it must defecate, spit, blow the nose, and continually be preoccupied with cleaning out its filth, and still it remains a repulsive, scurfy, stinking body. None of this can be removed from the body or entirely avoided without completely destroying it, not until the final hour comes when it is laid in the earth and buried, and the worms and maggots lay claim to it and devour the filth until it is made entirely new and pure.
Meanwhile, you have to trudge around with it all the same, leave it as it is, and not cut off and throw away a member if it is unhealthy, diseased, yes, even useless and deformed. Rather, if there is nothing more to be done, you bear it and are patient with it—unless it becomes so bad that it can remain on the body no longer, but, being totally rotten and dead, separates itself and threatens to corrupt the other members as well.
Spiritually, too, a human being (even if he is a Christian) remains impure in this life, for he is not yet without sin, even though he has forgiveness of sins and has been sanctified by the Holy Spirit. — Martin Luther
Scripture reading: Luke 24:44–49
Key verse: John 3:16
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
The concept of news in our culture is overwhelmingly pessimistic. Murder, extortion, political corruption, disease, poverty, war—these are the staple elements in the majority of influential news periodicals and television programming.
Perhaps that is why the good news (the translation of the Greek word for “gospel”) is viewed with skepticism and cynicism.
“There must be a catch somewhere,” modern man sneers. “I do not know of anything today that is completely good.”
What he fails to understand is that this gospel, this good news, is about the perfect God-man, the Lord Jesus Christ, whose offer of salvation is untainted and unblemished. The startling good news of the gospel is that Jesus Christ has dealt with the bad news about sin, which infects all men, receiving its death blow on our behalf. Now, man can receive the fantastic free gift of salvation by simple faith in Christ, believing that He died for our sins and rose again on our behalf.
The good news of the gospel is for the asking. It is free. It is permanent. It is for every age, every temperament, every color, and every creed. No prejudice. No strings. No gimmicks.
The gospel is this: God loves you, died for your sins, and offers you His eternal friendship—all that’s needed is your personal response of faith.
Father, thank You for the good news of the gospel, which is revealed in Your Word. Thank You that Your offer of salvation is free. I humbly receive it!
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) (Screenshot)
How many caravans of illegal aliens does it take to constitute an emergencyat the U.S. southern border, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) asked Sunday.
Appearing on ABC’s “This Week,” Rep. Jordan responded to host Martha Raddatz quoting Republicans in Congress who oppose President Donald Trump’s emergency declaration. The caravans assaulting our borders, and the drug smuggling putting millions of American lives at risk, comprise an emergency, Jordan argued.
What’s more, the Republicans who are now opposing the emergency declaration are the same ones who refused to fight to secure the border back when Republicans held both the House and Senate, Rep. Jordan said:
“Martha, this is an emergency. I mean, what are we on now, the fifth caravan? Probably, just ask those senators: how many caravans do we need – six, seven, or just an endless caravan, one that never stops?
“What did we have just a few weeks ago? A drug bust that was enough fentanyl to kill 57 million Americans? What do we need, 58 million, 59 million Americans, enough fentanyl to kill that many? So, you tell me.
“I think it’s an emergency. What I also think is interesting is those Republicans who are criticizing the president for wanting to do this executive order are the same kind of Republicans who just a year ago didn’t want us to debate and push for the wall funding when we had the majority in both the House and the Senate.
“In fact, after Chuck Schumer had shut down the government, because he said amnesty was more important than funding the government and we had that big omnibus spending bill, that’s when we should have done this.
“So, I think that it’s kind of interesting. Those same Republicans who were against fighting for it back then are the same ones who are criticizing the president now for his executive order.”
As Brian Stelter and CNN work overtime to pretend that the MSM didn’t uncritically promote Jussie Smollett’s absurd “hate crime” claim in a giddy rush to frame Trump supporters as violent, journalist Andy Ngo has pushed back.
In a running thread of hate-crime hoaxes that the MSM either uncritically reported – or gave little attention to once the truth came out, Ngo lists hoax after hoax designed to smear conservatives.
Click on the first tweet and go from there, or keep scrolling:
Days after the Pittsburgh massacre, Trump supporters were blamed for Nazi vandalism at a Brooklyn synagogue & fires in a Jewish community. Turns out the perpetrator was a gay black man who had worked with city council on an initiative to fight hate crimes. https://t.co/6y8UvHVA90
— Andy Ngo (@MrAndyNgo) February 17, 2019
In Nov 2016 a Muslim student at the University of Louisiana said two white racist Trump supporters brutally assaulted her, ripped off her hijab, & robbed her. The story went viral.
It was a lie. Media never identified her by name after hoax was revealed. https://t.co/l3AcfROnMe
— Andy Ngo (@MrAndyNgo) February 17, 2019
In Dec 2016 a Muslim woman said she was attacked by 3 white Trump supporters in NYC on the subway. She said they tried to rip off her hijab.
Yasmin Seweid lied. CAIR said Muslims are under tremendous “stress & pressure” resulting in incidents like this. https://t.co/gNRM58Qhai
— Andy Ngo (@MrAndyNgo) February 17, 2019
In Nov 2018 students at Goucher College demanded social justice training & safe spaces after racist, Nazi, & KKK graffiti was found on campus. Someone even wrote the names of black students. Trump was blamed.
Fynn Arthur, a black student, was responsible. https://t.co/iErOd2M21e
— Andy Ngo (@MrAndyNgo) February 17, 2019
In Nov 2016 a Philadelphia neighborhood was rattled when property was vandalized with pro-Trump and anti-black messages. William Tucker was identified as the vandal through CCTV footage. https://t.co/g0fcGJFtJN pic.twitter.com/Rz4QTNp6K4
— Andy Ngo (@MrAndyNgo) February 17, 2019
In Nov 2017 near @KState University, a black man’s car was vandalized with racist messages. Class was cancelled & students held demonstrations. Dauntarius Williams later admitted to police that he did it himself. Police did not charge him. https://t.co/TJIh3JBrcj
— Andy Ngo (@MrAndyNgo) February 18, 2019
.@UMich student Halley Bass told police a Trump supporter attacked her by scratching her face in Nov 2016. She said she was targeted for wearing a pin in support of UK Remain. As her story fell apart, she admitted to scratching herself. https://t.co/le9KEHF7s3
— Andy Ngo (@MrAndyNgo) February 18, 2019
2016: Muslim student at @UMich claimed she was attacked by a white man who threatened to burn her hijab. It never happened. CAIR said the attack is “just the latest anti-Muslim incident reported since the election of Donald Trump as president.” https://t.co/w57Xwsz0Tf #HateHoax
— Andy Ngo (@MrAndyNgo) February 18, 2019
On election night, Canadian Chris Ball said he was beaten by anti-gay Trump supporters in Santa Monica. His friend shared a photo on social media (notice the immaculate watch). Police said he never filed report & he didn’t go to any hospitals in the area. https://t.co/Yud66ORMt4 pic.twitter.com/bTExPTHuFC
— Andy Ngo (@MrAndyNgo) February 18, 2019
Nov 2016: Students at @WilliamsCollege dumped fake blood on campus & wrote “AM KKK KILL.” Campus police notified FBI & state police. Investigation found that perpetrators did it “to bring attention to the effects of the presidential election.” https://t.co/n96EQ1VwnW #HateHoax
— Andy Ngo (@MrAndyNgo) February 18, 2019
Nov 2016 Chicago: Taylor Volk, a bisexual student at @NPU said she received hateful pro-Trump, anti-gay messages. “This is a countrywide epidemic all of a sudden,” she said at the time. The investigation found that she fabricated the story. https://t.co/EldYBPtfGH #HateHoax pic.twitter.com/h3o4YlMxov
— Andy Ngo (@MrAndyNgo) February 18, 2019
ATLANTA, GA—While Empire actor Jussie Smollett has been having a tough week so far, there appears to be a silver lining: cable news channel CNN has offered Smollett a job as an investigative reporter and on-air anchor after witnessing his skills at fabricating a story entirely out of thin air.
CNN producers were reportedly impressed throughout the ongoing saga of Smollett’s apparent hoax attack on himself. They realized early on the facts didn’t add up but were fascinated with how well the actor kept the narrative going. An HR rep quickly reached out to Smollett to see if he’d be interested in taking on a position at the news organization after news broke that the entire thing was probably fabricated.
“Smollett has exactly the kind of skills we look for at our fine organization,” said CNN correspondent Brian Stelter. “He picked a narrative, made up all the relevant facts and details, and stuck with his story in spite of glaring holes in the plot. It’s hard to find people who understand our core values here at CNN, but Smollett seems to be just the guy for us.”
The actor has accepted the offer and is now undergoing training to learn how to weave even more intricate narratives ex nihilo, according to insiders.
A secret meeting of former President Barack Obama’s financial backers convened in Washington early this month: Organized by David Jacobson and John Phillips, Mr. Obama’s former ambassadors to Canada and Italy, the group interviewed an array of 2020 presidential candidates and debated whether to throw their wealth behind one or two of them.
Mr. Obama had no role in the event, but it unfolded in his political shadow: As presidential hopefuls like Senators Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar and Sherrod Brown auditioned before them, the donors wondered aloud whether Mr. Obama might signal a preference in the race, according to three people briefed on the meeting, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
David Axelrod, Mr. Obama’s former chief strategist, told the group they should expect no such directive. Mr. Axelrod confirmed in an interview that he briefed the gathering, recalling: “They asked me about Obama endorsing. I said, ‘I don’t imagine he will.’”
Mr. Axelrod said he had been sharing his own perspective, not speaking as an official Obama emissary. But his forecast matches what Mr. Obama has told friends and likely presidential candidates in private: that he does not see it as his role to settle the 2020 nomination, and prefers to let the primary unfold as a contest of ideas. Michelle Obama, the former first lady, also has no plans to endorse a candidate, a person familiar with her thinking said.
Even former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. does not expect to secure Mr. Obama’s backing if he runs, according to allies of Mr. Biden’s.
Yet if Mr. Obama has all but officially taken a vow of neutrality, he remains the party’s most convincing model for success at the national level, and continues to shape the mind-set and strategy of Democratic presidential candidates.
[Who’s in, who’s out, who might be in. Check out the Democratic field with our candidate tracker.]
He has counseled more than a dozen declared or likely candidates on what he believes it will take to beat President Trump, holding private talks with leading contenders like Ms. Harris, Mr. Booker and Senator Elizabeth Warren; underdogs like Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind.; and prominent figures who remain undecided on the race, like Eric H. Holder, his former attorney general, and Michael R. Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York.
During these informal conversations, usually at his office in Washington, Mr. Obama has offered a combination of supportive advice and sober warnings, cautioning candidates that running for president is a more punishing process than they could ever imagine, according to seven people who have spoken with him directly or were briefed in detail on the meetings.
Mr. Obama continues to express frustration that he did not anticipate Mr. Trump’s victory, these people said, even after years of clashing with the forces of right-wing populism as president. He has urged candidates to push back on Mr. Trump’s bleak and divisive rhetoric about economic change, and to deliver a competing message that can resonate even in Republican-leaning areas, courting rural voters and other communities that tend to distrust Democrats.
Eric Schultz, a senior adviser to Mr. Obama, said the former president was encouraged by the “diverse, experienced and principled” field of candidates taking shape, and said Mr. Obama had been “happy to speak privately with candidates seeking his guidance on the best way to lead the country.”
“President Obama counsels candidates to always show up and make their case even in areas or in front of audiences they may not necessarily win; express views and positions that reflect their genuine beliefs; and share a positive vision for the country true to their own personal story,” he said.
The discreet role Mr. Obama is taking reflects his longstanding ambivalence about acting as a partisan political leader, and has the potential to disappoint Democrats who pine for him to intercede more decisively. Known for his lack of interest in intraparty wrangling when he was president, Mr. Obama has privately voiced both an impatience to move on from politics and an urgent sense of responsibility to do what he can to thwart Mr. Trump.
Some Democrats still hope Mr. Obama might help resolve the primary in an active way, perhaps if the contest narrows to just two candidates and he believes one of them cannot beat Mr. Trump. Steve Westly, a California investor who was a major fund-raiser for Mr. Obama, said he expected the race to “come down to two or three candidates very quickly” and foresaw an opening for Mr. Obama to act.
“I am sure he feels, as an American, that he wants to make sure the Democratic Party puts up the best possible candidate,” Mr. Westly said.
[Make sense of the people, issues and ideas shaping American politics with our newsletter.]
Mr. Obama has indicated to candidates that he worries about the possibility of a damaging primary fight, and has urged them to avoid attacking each other in bitterly personal terms that could help Mr. Trump. He has also hinted that he sees a relatively open space for a more moderate Democrat, given the abundance of hard-charging liberals in the race.
Democrats have kept the meetings almost entirely confidential, out of deference to Mr. Obama. Beto O’Rourke, the former Texas Senate candidate, briefly described his session with the former president in an interview with Oprah Winfrey this month, recalling that Mr. Obama spoke with disarming candor about the personal strain of running for president. Mr. O’Rourke said Mr. Obama had not lobbied him to run.
“You asked if he encouraged me to; he did not,” Mr. O’Rourke said. “But he was very generous in sharing what his thought process was, leading up to that decision.”
Other candidates have declined to share details of their meetings with Mr. Obama, but invoke him reverently on the campaign trail. Mr. Booker drew laughter and applause from a crowd in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, last weekend, when he declared: “I miss Obama — and I miss her husband, too!”
The primary will represent something of a test for Mr. Obama’s brand of politics, if perhaps not of his influence within the party. He is personally revered by many Democrats, and his achievements like the Affordable Care Act, the Paris climate agreement and the regulations he imposed on banks and coal companies are seen as sacrosanct by most liberals.
But Mr. Obama’s party has also plainly moved leftward on core matters of policy since his term ended, and some factions have grown contemptuous of the consensus-seeking approach Mr. Obama took as president. The coming primary campaign may hinge in part on whether Democratic voters favor making gradual improvements to Mr. Obama’s legacy or pursuing more disruptive policy changes like enacting single-payer health care.
Mr. Obama’s doctrine of nonintervention could represent a setback, though not an unexpected one, to Mr. Biden. The former vice president and his political allies have confided to potential supporters that they do not expect Mr. Obama to issue an endorsement in the primary, for Mr. Biden or anyone else.
But the two men have discussed the race, and allies of Mr. Biden hope Mr. Obama might speak favorably about Mr. Biden’s service as his running mate and vice president, people who have spoken to Mr. Biden’s inner circle said.
Bill Russo, a spokesman for Mr. Biden, declined to comment.
In public and private, Mr. Obama has spoken admiringly about a few potential presidential candidates as they burst upon the national scene, applauding signs that a newer generation of leaders is rising in the party. He has told friends that Mr. O’Rourke and Mr. Buttigieg represent precisely that kind of generational change, and expressed deep admiration for Mitch Landrieu, the former mayor of New Orleans, for his approach to removing Confederate statues in his city.
After campaigning in Georgia last fall, Mr. Obama described Stacey Abrams, the party’s nominee for governor in 2018, as one of the most impressive candidates he had encountered.
And Mr. Obama took a keen interest in Deval Patrick, the former governor of Massachusetts, when he was considering a presidential run last year. A former civil rights lawyer with moderate instincts, Mr. Patrick spoke repeatedly with Mr. Obama before announcing in December that he would not run, citing the strain a campaign would impose on his family.
Mr. Obama has spoken out selectively since leaving office, usually focusing on themes related to the integrity of the political system. He campaigned widely in the midterm elections, focusing many of his endorsements on promoting women and candidates of color, and he has taken a leading role in a group set up to fight congressional gerrymandering, the National Democratic Redistricting Committee. Mr. Obama is expected to help raise money in the coming months for the organization, said a spokesman for the group, which is helmed by Mr. Holder.
To some veteran Obama supporters, there is a certain irony to Democrats wishing that Mr. Obama would act as an old-school party leader and decree his preferences from on high.
Rufus Gifford, a top Obama fund-raiser who served as ambassador to Denmark, suggested that the diversity of the Democratic candidates was a consequence of Mr. Obama’s pathbreaking presidency. He said the 2020 field was a tribute to the former president, even it left voters and donors struggling to parse their options.
“You look at the number of women, the racial diversity, the diversity of experience, the different levels of public service — I think a lot of that can and should be attributed to the legacy of Barack Obama,” Mr. Gifford said.
Jonathan Martin contributed reporting.
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[Morgan Greene and Patrick M. O’Connell | Chicago Tribune] and As snow coated the Rolling Meadows campus of Harvest Bible Chapel, congregants watched a video recorded sermon Sunday from Pastor Rick Donald titled “How to Respond in a Storm.”
“If I had to choose a word that kind of describes where we’re at as a church right now, I would use the word storm,” Donald said.
The sermon, which drew from the Samuel 1:30 story about David’s battle with the Amalekites and how he faced down the storm — by remembering God, doing what God says and waiting for God’s “provision” — was originally delivered at a Saturday night service, where it prompted a number of people in attendance to walk out.
Last week, the church announced that Senior Pastor James MacDonald had been fired, nearly one month after elders said the popular preacher was taking an “indefinite sabbatical.” MacDonald described actions that “can only be called sin” as the primary reason why he was taking leave. His removal “accelerated,” elders said, when “highly inappropriate recorded comments made by Pastor MacDonald were given to the media and reported.”
Now, some congregants are taking issue with Donald, a longtime assistant senior pastor and elder, and the fact that he was delivering the sermon in the aftermath of MacDonald’s firing. Donald was viewed as the right-hand man of MacDonald, a founding member of the network of evangelical churches in Chicago and the suburbs that attracts thousands of worshippers.
Rene Cross, of Carol Stream, was among the dozens of attendees who walked out of the service Saturday and headed to another area of the church to pray.
“I’m willing to stay, and I’m willing to rebuild,” said Cross, a member for more than seven years. “But I was really surprised that they chose Rick Donald to come in and preach, seeing as he’s been James MacDonald’s friend and they built the church up for 30-plus years.
“I just got up quietly and walked out because I felt like that’s the right thing to do,” Cross said. “We’re not in a storm. It was sin.”
Congregant Jen Thorman echoed that in a Facebook post addressing why she walked out of Saturday’s service.
“Our church is not in a trial,” said Thorman. “Our church is being disciplined and experiencing consequences of decades of unchecked sin. These are very different things.”
“Sometimes you have to take a stand and allow other people to know to not be afraid,” Cross said.
As part of the video message played at Sunday’s 9 a.m. service in Rolling Meadows, Bill Sperling, an elder on the executive committee, said the executive committee will be completely replaced in the coming months.
Sperling said it’s been “without question one of the most difficult weeks in the history of the church.” He acknowledged the elders must hold themselves accountable and “failed in some of those areas,” including direction, discipline and response time.
“We failed to identify opportunities to prevent new grievances and in addressing these matters privately we failed to communicate with the church in a timely manner and in a way that gave clarity and prevented confusion among the congregation,” he said.
Sperling also said the elders will be announcing changes in the near future regarding the composition and structure of the board.
The turning point for church leadership may have been the audio recordings broadcast on Erich “Mancow” Muller’s morning radio show on WLS-AM 890 in which MacDonald appears to disparage his critics.
Muller, once friends with MacDonald, said last week that MacDonald is “a carnival barker actor” who was running the church as “essentially a giant Ponzi scheme.”
[Editor’s Note: This article was written by Morgan Greene and Patrick M. O’Connell and originally published at the Chicago Tribune. Title changed by P&P.]
8 Micah now asks and answers the question, “What does the Lord require of you?” He does so in a verse justly regarded as one of the memorable and timeless expressions of OT ethical religion (cf. Jas 1:27). It is a heart’s response to God demonstrated in the basic elements of true religion, as shown to Israel in the social concerns reflected in the Mosaic legislation.
God has told his people what is good. The Mosaic law differentiates between good and bad and reflects God’s will in many areas of their religious and social lives. It indicates what God requires (dāraš, “seeks”) of them. They are to act justly (lit., “do justice,” mišpāṭ). The word “justly” here has the sense of “true religion,” that is, the ethical response to God that has a manifestation in social concerns as well (cf. Note on 3:8). “To love mercy” is freely and willingly to show kindness to others (cf. Notes below). The expression “to walk humbly with your God” means to live in conscious fellowship with God by exercising a spirit of humility before him. These great words recall similar words of our Lord in Matthew 23:23.
The prophet is not suggesting that sacrifice is completely ineffectual and that simply a proper attitude of heart toward God will suffice. In the preceding verse he painted a caricature—a purposefully exaggerated picture—of the sacrificial system to indicate that God has no interest in the multiplication of empty religious acts. Jeremiah 7:22–23 is often appealed to as evidence that the prophets rejected the Levitical system; yet Jeremiah promised that the offerings would be acceptable if the people were obedient (Jer 17:24–26). A similar attitude toward sacrifice is expressed in Psalm 51:16–17, but the succeeding verses show the author to be indicating that the Levitical sacrifices are acceptable to God only when accompanied by a proper attitude of heart toward him (51:18–19).
The ethical requirements of v. 8 do not comprise the way of salvation. Forgiveness of sin was received through the sacrifices. The standards of this verse are for those who are members of the covenantal community and delineate the areas of ethical response that God wants to see in those who share the covenantal obligations.
The Prophet now inquires, as in the name of the people, what was necessary to be done: and he takes these two principles as granted,—that the people were without any excuse, and were forced to confess their sin,—and that God had hitherto contended with them for no other end and with no other design, but to restore the people to the right way; for if his purpose had only been to condemn the people for their wickedness, there would have been no need of these questions. But the Prophet shows what has been often stated before,—that whenever God chides his people, he opens to them the door of hope as to their salvation, provided those who have sinned repent. As this then must have been well known to all the Jews, the Prophet here asks, as with their mouth, what was to be done.
He thus introduces them as inquiring, With what shall I approach Jehovah, and bow down before the high God? Shall I approach him with burnt-offerings, with calves of a year old? But at the same time there is no doubt, but that he indirectly refers to that foolish notion, by which men for the most part deceive themselves; for when they are proved guilty, they indeed know that there is no remedy for them, except they reconcile themselves to God: but yet they pretend by circuitous courses to approach God, while they desire to be ever far away from him. This dissimulation has always prevailed in the world, and it now prevails: they see that they whom God convicts and their own conscience condemns, cannot rest in safety. Hence they wish to discharge their duty towards God as a matter of necessity; but at the same time they seek some fictitious modes of reconciliation, as though it were enough to flatter God, as though he could be pacified like a child with some frivolous trifles. The Prophet therefore detects this wickedness, which had ever been too prevalent among them; as though he said,—“I see what ye are about to say; for there is no need of contending longer; as ye have nothing to object to God, and he has things innumerable to allege against you: ye are then more than condemned; but yet ye will perhaps say what has been usually alleged by you and always by hypocrites, even this,—‘We wish to be reconciled to God, and we confess our faults and seek pardon; let God in the meantime show himself ready to be reconciled to us, while we offer to him sacrifices.’ ” There is then no doubt, but that the Prophet derided this folly, which has ever prevailed in the hearts of men: they ever think that God can be pacified by outward rites and frivolous performances.
He afterwards adds, He has proclaimed to thee what is good. The Prophet reproves the hypocrisy by which the Jews wilfully deceived themselves, as though he said,—“Ye indeed pretend some concern for religion when ye approach God in prayer; but this your religion is nothing; it is nothing else than shamelessly to dissemble; for ye sin not either through ignorance or misconception, but ye treat God with mockery.”—How so? “Because the Law teaches you with sufficient clearness what God requires from you; does it not plainly enough show you what is true reconciliation? But ye close your eyes to the teaching of the Law, and in the meantime pretend ignorance. This is extremely childish. God has already proclaimed what is good, even to do judgment, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with God.” We now perceive the design of the Prophet.
As then he says here, With what shall I appear before God? we must bear in mind, that as soon as God condescends to enter into trial with men, the cause is decided; for it is no doubtful contention. When men litigate one with another, there is no cause so good but what an opposite party can darken by sophistries. But the Prophet intimates that men lose all their labour by evasions, when God summons them to a trial. This is one thing. He also shows what deep roots hypocrisy has in the hearts of all, for they ever deceive themselves and try to deceive God. How comes it that men, proved guilty, do not immediately and in the right way betake themselves to God, but that they ever seek windings? How is this? It is not because they have any doubt about what is right except they wilfully deceive themselves, but because they dissemble and wilfully seek the subterfuges of error. It hence appears that men perversely go astray when ever they repent not as they ought, and bring not to God a real integrity of heart. And hence it also appears, that the whole world which continues in its superstitions is without excuse. For if we scrutinize the intentions of men, it will at length come to this,—that men carefully and anxiously seek various superstitions, because they are unwilling to come before God, and to devote themselves to him, without some dissembling and hypocrisy. Since it is so, certain it is, that all who desire to pacify God with their own ceremonies and other trifles cannot by any pretext escape. What is said here is at the same time strictly addressed to the Jews, who had been instructed in the teaching of the Law: and such are the Papists of this day; though they spread forth specious pretences to excuse their ignorance, they may yet be refuted by this one fact,—that God has prescribed clearly and distinctly enough what he requires: but they wish to be ignorant of this; hence their error is at all times wilful. We ought especially to notice this in the words of the Prophet; but I cannot proceed farther now.
Grant, Almighty God, that as thou hast made known to us thy Law, and hast also added thy Gospel, in which thou callest us to thy service, and also invitest us with all kindness to partake of thy grace,—O grant, that we may not be deaf, either to thy command or to the promises of thy mercy, but render ourselves in both instances submissive to thee, and so learn to devote all our faculties to thee, that we may in truth avow that a rule of a holy and religions life has been delivered to us in thy law, and that we may also firmly adhere to thy promises, lest through any of the allurements of the world, or through the flatteries and crafts of Satan, thou shouldest suffer our minds to be drawn away from that love which thou hast once manifested to us in thine only-begotten Son, and in which thou daily confirmest us by the teaching of the Gospel, until we at length shall come to the full enjoyment of this love in that celestial inheritance, which has been purchased for us by the blood of thy only Son. Amen.
We have seen in the last lecture that hypocrites inquire how God is to be pacified, as though they were very solicitous about the performance of their duty; and that in the meantime these are mere disguises; for by circuitous windings they turn here and there, and never wish to come directly to God. The way might have been easily known by them; but they closed their eyes, and at the same time pretended that they had some concern for religion. And this is also very commonly the case in our day; and common experience, if any one opens his eyes, clearly proves this,—that the ungodly, who deal not sincerely with God, profess a very great concern, as though they were wholly intent on serving God, and yet turn aside here and there, and seek many bypaths, (diverticula,) that they may not be constrained to present themselves before God. We have already seen, that this false pretence is fully exposed, inasmuch as God has enough, and more than enough, demonstrated in his Law, what he approves and what he requires from men. Why then do hypocrites, as still uncertain, make the inquiry? It is because they are wilfully blind at mid-day; for the doctrine of the Law ought to have been to them as a lamp to direct their steps; but they smother this light, yea, they do what they can wholly to extinguish it: they ask, as though perplexed, How can we pacify God?
But it ought also to be observed, (for the Prophet says, Shall I give my first-born, and the fruit of my loins, as an expiation for my soul?) that hypocrites will withhold nothing, provided they are not to devote themselves to God. We see the same thing under the Papacy at this day; they spare no expense, nor even the greatest toils: provided the ungodly have always a freedom to live in sin, they will easily grant to God all other things. For through a false conceit they make a sort of agreement with God: if they mortify themselves, and toil in ceremonies, and if they pour forth some portion of their money, if they sometimes deprive nature of its support, if with fastings and by other things they afflict themselves, they think that by these means they have fully performed their duties. But these are frivolous trifles; for in the meantime they consider themselves exempt from the duty of obeying God. Being yet unwilling to be regarded as alienated from God, they, at the same time, obtrude on him their meritorious works, to prevent his judgment, and to exempt themselves from the necessity of doing the principal thing, that which he especially requires—to bring a sincere heart. Thus then hypocrites wish to divide things with God, that they may remain within such as they are; and they spread forth outwardly many frivolous things for the purpose of pacifying him. And this is the reason why the Prophet says now, Shall I give my first-born? for hypocrites wish to appear as though they were burning with the greatest zeal,—“Rather than that God should remain angry with me, I would not spare the life of my first-born; I would rather be the executioner of my own son: in short, nothing is so valuable to me, which I would not be ready to part with, that God may be propitious to me.” This indeed is what they boast with their mouth; but at the same time they will not offer their heart as a sacrifice to God: and as they deal dishonestly with God, we see that all is nothing but dissimulation.
If any one objects and says,—that the other rites, of which the Prophet speaks here, had been enjoined by God’s Law, the answer is easy; but I shall not now but briefly touch on what I have elsewhere more largely handled: The Prophet denies, that sacrifices avail any thing for the purpose of propitiating God. This may seem inconsistent with the teaching of the Law; but in fact it altogether agrees with it. God indeed wished sacrifices to be offered to him; and then this promise was always added, “Iniquity shall be atoned.” But the object must be noticed; for God did not command sacrifices, as though they were of themselves of any worth; but he intended to lead the ancient people by such exercises to repentance and faith. It was therefore his design to remind the Jews that they did no good, except they themselves became sacrifices; and it was also his will that they should look to the only true sacrifice, by which all sins are expiated. But hypocrites, like falsifiers of documents, abused the command of God, and adulterated the sacrifices themselves. It was then a profane sacrilege for them to think that God would be propitious to them, if they offered many oxen and calves and lambs. It was the same thing as if one asked the way, and after having known it, rested quietly and never moved a foot. God had shown the way, by which the Jews might come to repentance and faith: and they ought to have walked in it; but they wickedly trifled with God; for they thought that it would be a satisfaction to his justice, if they only performed outward rites. Whenever then the Prophets in God’s name repudiate sacrifices, the abuse, by which God’s Law was corrupted, is ever to be considered, that is, when the Jews brought sacrifices only, and had no respect to the end in view, and did not exercise themselves in repentance and faith. It is for this reason that our Prophet declares, that all sacrifices were of no account before God, but were vain things: they were so, when they were separated from their right end.
He then says, that God had shown by his Law what is good; and then he adds what it is, to do justice, to love mercy, or kindness, and to be humbled before God. It is evident that, in the two first particulars, he refers to the second table of the Law; that is, to do justice, and to love mercy. Nor is it a matter of wonder that the Prophet begins with the duties of love; for though in order the worship of God precedes these duties, and ought rightly to be so regarded, yet justice, which is to be exercised towards men, is the real evidence of true religion. The Prophet, therefore, mentions justice and mercy, not that God casts aside that which is principal—the worship of his name; but he shows, by evidences or effects, what true religion is. Hypocrites place all holiness in external rites; but God requires what is very different; for his worship is spiritual. But as hypocrites can make a show of great zeal and of great solicitude in the outward worship of God, the Prophets try the conduct of men in another way, by inquiring whether they act justly and kindly towards one another, whether they are free from all fraud and violence, whether they observe justice and show mercy. This is the way our Prophet now follows, when he says, that God’s Law prescribes what is good, and that is, to do justice—to observe what is equitable towards men, and also to perform the duties of mercy.
He afterwards adds what in order is first, and that is, to humble thyself to walk with God: it is thus literally, “And to be humble in walking with thy God.” No doubt, as the name of God is more excellent than any thing in the whole world, so the worship of him ought to be regarded as of more importance than all those duties by which we prove our love towards men. But the Prophet, as I have already said, was not so particular in observing order; his main object was to show how men were to prove that they seriously feared God and kept his Law: he afterwards speaks of God’s worship. But his manner of speaking, when he says, that men ought to be humble, that they may walk with their God, is worthy of special notice. Condemned, then, is here all pride, and also all the confidence of the flesh: for whosoever arrogates to himself even the least thing, does, in a manner, contend with God as with an opposing party. The true way then of walking with God is, when we thoroughly humble ourselves, yea, when we bring ourselves down to nothing; for it is the very beginning of worshipping and glorifying God when men entertain humble and low opinion of themselves. Let us now proceed—
6:8 / Yahweh’s answer to such blasphemy is spoken through Micah. God has showed Israel what is good, verse 8. Through all the long centuries of Israel’s prophetic and cultic activity, carried by story in its oral traditions and set down in its written narratives, God’s will has been shown to his people and made very clear (cf. Luke 16:31; John 5:45–47). That will is what is good, and it is good because it is the will of Yahweh, the Lord and redeemer of Israel’s life. There is no other good outside of God, no virtue, no ideology, no civil, political or religious scheme that can qualify unless it accords with God’s desire for human life. Thus, the Israelite speaker is addressed here as ʾādām, man, mortal, creature before the creator and subject totally to the creator’s definitions of good. God has created human life on this earth, and as its creator, God alone can say what and how it should be lived.
But the Lord is a “gracious God and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love” (Jonah 4:2 rsv; cf. Exod. 34:6; Num 14:18; Ps. 86:5, 15; Joel 2:13; Mic. 7:18), and so once more God spells out the “good” requirements for his impatient and exasperated people’s communion with him, verse 8, telling them that this is what he is “seeking” or “looking for” (Hb. dôrēš, require niv). God wants them to “do mišpāṭ,” which the niv has translated as act justly. The phrase can indicate the performance of justice within a court of law, and certainly that meaning is included here, in accord with Micah’s earlier statements (cf. 2:2, 9; 3:1–3, 10–11). But in this generalized setting, the phrase means to set up every area of Israel’s life in accord with God’s will, and not according to human advantage, comfort, or desire. The “just” society is one in which God’s order for human life is established.
The second requirement then follows naturally—“to love ḥesed,” which the niv translates to love mercy. It is possible to translate the Hebrew noun with “mercy,” but ḥesed’s meaning goes far beyond that. Ḥesed is “covenant love,” being bound together in solidarity with both God and human beings, so that community is established between poor and rich, weak and strong, female and male, slave and free, alien and Israelite (cf. Gal. 3:28), and all care for one another in mutual respect and protection and sharing. Ḥesed binds people together as one in the bundle of life, so that God is not worshiped and obeyed apart from concern for one’s fellow human being (cf. Matt. 5:23–24; Gal. 5:14; 6:2). That is the community solidarity that Israel is to “love”—the verb is ʾāhab, which is used of the deepest love of a wife for her husband or of a child for his or her parent.
The third “good” that God expects from the Israelites in his covenant relation with them is to walk humbly with your God. “To walk with God” means to live with God in constant communion. Here, the nature of that walk is characterized by the hiphil infinitive absolute, haṣnēaʿ, which is translated as the adverb “humbly” in the English. More is involved in the word’s meaning than simply our thoughts of “modest,” “lowly,” or “self—effacing,” as in Isa. 57:15 or 66:2, though certainly that meaning is included here over against Israel’s exasperated blasphemy against its God. It has had the audacity to quarrel and become impatient with this Lord of its life! But the meaning of “humbly” here can also be “attentive,” “paying attention to,” “watching” Yahweh during their journey together. Walking humbly with God is living from God’s word and not one’s own, paying attention to God’s will and not following one’s own desires, turning one’s eyes to God as a servant turns his or her eyes to the master (cf. Ps. 123:2) for guidance, approbation, and correction. It is such a humble walk with God that makes it possible to act justly and to love ḥesed, and thus this requirement sums up the other two. Israel is put in its place here and shown to be lacking. These are the things it should have done but has not done. It stands indicted at the bar of God and can make no further reply.
This instruction is aimed entirely at Israel in this passage, and man is not to be taken in a general sense to include all of humanity, as many have interpreted it. These are requirements laid upon those who stand in covenant with the Lord witnessed to in Old Testament and New. Thus, they are just as surely requirements laid upon the church of Jesus Christ, the people of the new covenant in him.
6:8. Micah then told the nation (O man means any person in Israel) exactly what God did desire from them. God did not want them to be related to Him in only a ritualistic way. God wanted them to be related inwardly—to obey Him because they desired to, not because it was a burden on them. That relationship, which is good (beneficial), involves three things: that individuals (a) act justly (be fair in their dealings with others), (b) love mercy (ḥeseḏ, “loyal love”; i.e., carry through on their commitments to meet others needs), and (c) walk humbly with … God (fellowship with Him in modesty, without arrogance). “Humbly” translates the verb ṣāna‘ (which occurs only here in the OT); it means to be modest. (The adjective ṣānûa‘ occurs only once, in Prov. 11:2.) The Lord had already told them of these demands (Deut. 10:12, 18). Doing justice “is a way of loving mercy, which in turn is a manifestation of walking humbly with God” (James Luther Mays, Micah: A Commentary, p. 142). Many people in Micah’s day were not being just (Micah 2:1–2; 3:1–3; 6:11), or showing loyal love to those to whom they were supposed to be committed (2:8–9; 3:10–11; 6:12), or walking in humble fellowship with God (2:3).
6:8 This verse speaks about the underlying attitudes that must accompany all true worship. what does the Lord require of you: The idea here is that God seeks certain characteristics of true worship from His people. do justly … love mercy … walk humbly: These phrases summarize biblical piety in true worship. The majority of the people of Israel had violated each of these standards repeatedly. The rulers did not know justice (3:1), had no interest in mercy (3:2, 3), and demonstrated no humility (3:11). with your God: It is the Lord who ultimately gives a person strength, courage, and ability to exercise the virtues of godly living.
6:8 — What does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?
To be a “good Christian” requires more than personal devotions and a warm feeling inside. God wants us to show the outside world what He is doing inside of us—and that takes humble, merciful, just action.
What the Bible Says About
What a tragedy that we have lost our ability to function in society the way God originally intended! He left us here to be a light to our world. People should be able to look our way and see something wonderfully different about us. Not our clothes or our hairstyle—US! The good things God places on the inside of us should show up in practical ways on the outside.
The prophet Micah said it like this: “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Mic. 6:8). And don’t think Micah gave an exclusively Old Testament perspective! The New Testament tells us, “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world” (James 1:27).
This means there should be something different in the way we do business. There should be some clear differences in the way we raise our children. Our marriages should testify to the love of Christ. Those outside the church should feel powerfully attracted to the unity and love they see among believers.
Unfortunately, that rarely happens today. Consequently, our society has a warped view of the person and work of Christ. It is no wonder that so many non-Christians want nothing to do with Christ or His church. They know too many Christians!
We cannot expect anyone to embrace a Savior they know nothing about. We certainly cannot expect them to surrender to a Lord whose servants can’t even get along with each other. As ambassadors for Christ, believers have the God-given responsibility to live in such a way that others see Christ in us. As the body of Christ, we are His hands and His feet. We are His mouthpiece.
Pardon the cliché, but we are the only Jesus most people will ever know.
|See the Life Principles Index for further study:||24. To live the Christian life is to allow Jesus to live His life in and through us.|
|Our society has a warped view||of the person||and work
6:8 Micah’s terse response (v. 8) indicated they should have known the answer to the rhetorical question. Spiritual blindness had led them to offer everything except the one thing He wanted—a spiritual commitment of the heart from which right behavior would ensue (cf. Dt 10:12–19; Mt 22:37–39). This theme is often represented in the OT (cf. 1Sa 15:22; Is 1:11–20; Jer 7:21–23; Hos 6:6; Am 5:15).
6:8 The Lord desires the primary forms of love—justice (do justice), mercy (love kindness), and faithfulness (walk humbly)—as the expressed response of his people to his redemptive acts (Matt. 23:23; cf. Deut. 10:12–13; 1 Sam. 15:22; Isa. 1:11–17; Hos. 6:6). On the meaning of “justice,” see notes on Isa. 42:1; Jer. 22:3; Amos 5:7. your God. The complement to “my people” (Mic. 6:3, 5).
6:8 Sacrifices cannot replace the need for justice and kindness. The focus on real righteousness anticipates Jesus’ teaching (Matt. 5:23–24; 9:13; 15:10–20) and is fulfilled in Jesus’ own righteousness (Acts 3:14; Rom. 8:1–4).
6:8 does Yahweh ask from you This verse gives the answer to the question the prophet asked in Micah 6:6–7. What God requires is heartfelt love and obedience.
to do justice A proper relationship with God also involves a proper relationship with one’s neighbor. See 3:1; Isa 5:7 and note.
kindness The Hebrew word here often occurs in reference to Yahweh’s covenant with Israel (see Deut 7:9, 12; 1 Kgs 8:23; Neh 1:5).
humbly This Hebrew word occurs only here in the ot. It traditionally has been understood as referring to humility, but it also can indicate carefulness or thoughtfulness.
6:8 Those who believe themselves to be God’s people and who rely on the sacrifice for sin which God has provided (Heb. 10:12) have sometimes assumed that because their sins are dealt with, it does not matter how they live (Rom. 6:1). The Bible emphasizes that those who would live in fellowship with a holy God as His people must live in a way which reflects the holiness of God (cf. Lev. 20:7; 1 Pet. 1:16; 1 John 1:5). “Mercy” (hesed, Heb.) is a rich word which includes the idea of faithful love in action (cf. Jer. 2:2, note). Walking with God implies a manner of life characterized by gratefulness and obedience to God (cf. Is. 38:15). “Humbly” stresses that man must remember that he is man, and God is God. The proud man will find that God resists him (1 Pet. 5:5; cf. Prov. 11:2; Matt. 23:23; James 4:6–10).
 Stanley, C. F. (2005). The Charles F. Stanley life principles Bible: New King James Version (Mic 6:8). Nashville, TN: Nelson Bibles.
 MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Mic 6:8). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.
 Criswell, W. A., Patterson, P., Clendenen, E. R., Akin, D. L., Chamberlin, M., Patterson, D. K., & Pogue, J. (Eds.). (1991). Believer’s Study Bible (electronic ed., Mic 6:8). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
U.S.—The nation’s liberals were struck by a devastating blow this week after finding out a hate crime, reported by Empire actor Jussie Smollet, didn’t actually happen.
“I needed this to be true,” said liberal columnist Hanna Spalding. “When I first heard the news of this attack, I was filled with so much hope. I felt so validated. Then that was taken away. Now I just want to cry into my pillow.”
The attack had been called “a modern-day lynching” by democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker but after Chicago police reported that the “trajectory of the investigation” into Smollet’s story had shifted, Smollet was stripped of his victim status. Booker became irate, phoning the Chicago police chief and shouting repeatedly, “Check it again! CHECK IT AGAIN!”
After some deep breathing exercises, Booker spoke with reporters. “How are we supposed to intentionally turn the nation against each other and exploit these divisions for political power if people won’t commit a simple hate crime once in a while?”
Candlelight vigils are being arranged in liberal cities across the country as millions mourn the loss of one of the most potentially divisive crimes in the last decade. “There was so much promise there. Now there’s just emptiness,” said one mourner in Berkley, CA.
“While Smollet’s attack may have been a hoax, our emotions have undergone a modern-day lynching,” said activist Andrea Jones at a vigil in Chicago. “If you think about it, this is even worse than if the crime had actually happened. A lot of people put a lot of hope into Smollet’s story. Our expectations have been violently assaulted. Yesterday we thought one man had been attacked. Today, our narrative is the one in a hospital bed, sucking Jell-O through a straw and fighting for its life.”