Daily Archives: April 5, 2019

April 5 Lessons in Gethsemane

Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 5:1–9

Key Verses: 2 Corinthians 5:7–8

For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.

One of the most painful experiences in Jesus’ life on earth was the night He spent with His disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane before He went to the cross. The thought of being separated from God—if even for a few days—was excruciating to Him. Despite the pain that Jesus endured, His obedience to God’s plan allowed Him to triumph over death and for mankind to find salvation.

Whenever we find ourselves in our own Garden of Gethsemane experiences, we can reflect upon Jesus’ night there with hope. What God did was more perfect and more amazing than any man could ever imagine. In the midst of our pain and suffering, we find God is at work. God will spare no experience, effort, or pain to prepare us for His good plans and purposes.

Paul wrote that it was God that prepared us for his purposes (2 Corinthians 5:5, 7–8). The way God prepares us is not always easy, but it is perfecting us to accomplish something in the future that we cannot foresee. Our nights in the Garden of Gethsemane result in bright days ahead.

Through our obedience to God during these times, His perfect plan for our lives begins to unfold and we see His perfect purpose.

Lord, I fear separation from You. Yet those times when I walk through dark valleys, I know You are working out Your purposes. Thank You that I can entrust my life to You.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 100). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

YOKED WITH JESUS: Experience The Assurance Of The Lord’s Power In Your Life And How To Surrender Your Burdens To Him In Your Time Of Need — These Christian Times

A physical yoke bound oxen together to carry heavy loads. In contrast, the spiritual yoke Jesus offers us is light, granting peace and a restful spirit. We simply weren’t created to carry heartache and troubles on our own. Shoulder to shoulder with Him, every burden is eased. In this message, Dr. Stanley explains how we can experience this assurance of the Lord’s presence and power in our lives. When we surrender, He responds: “Trust Me, and there’s nothing we can’t handle together. Walk with Me, and you will never be alone.”

via YOKED WITH JESUS: Experience The Assurance Of The Lord’s Power In Your Life And How To Surrender Your Burdens To Him In Your Time Of Need — These Christian Times

Four Things Jesus Finished on The Cross — Unlocking the Bible

When he had received the drink, Jesus said, ‘It is finished.’  With that, he bowed his head and gave up his Spirit. (John 19:30)

At Easter, Jesus went through the agony of his suffering, enduring all the pains of hell. He has cried out from the depths, but now he’s announcing his victory. He moves into death, not defeated, but triumphant: “It is finished.”

What did Jesus finish?

1. The long night of his suffering

I put this first because John described how someone held up a sponge soaked in vinegar on a stick, and the Apostle says, “When Jesus had received the drink, he said ‘It is finished.’” Matthew Henry says:

When He had received that last indignity in the vinegar they gave Him, He said, “This is the last. I am now going out of their reach.” [i]

This was the end of his excruciating suffering. Jesus knows suffering from the inside—more than anyone has ever known it. But he is not suffering now. He’s done with that. It is finished. He’s not in the grave either. He’s at the right hand of the Father where he intercedes for us.

That is of massive importance for us. A suffering world needs a savior who knows about suffering. A savior who is overwhelmed by suffering, a savior who remains in suffering is of no use to us.

We need a Savior who has triumphed over suffering. That is what we have in Jesus. He was plunged into indescribable suffering, but he was not overcome by it. He came through it and he triumphed in it.

2. The full course of his obedience

Remember why Jesus came into the world. The Son of God became a man to live the life you and I would have to live in order to enter heaven. Jesus lived the perfect life. There was no sin in him.

The night before he died, he was able to say to his Father, “I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do” (John 17:4). Spurgeon says:

Examine the life of the Savior from Bethlehem to Calvary, look minutely at every portion of it, the private as well as the public, the silent as well as the spoken part, you will find that it is finished, complete, perfect.[ii] 

Jesus said, “I have not come to abolish [the law] but to fulfill [it]” (Matthew 5:17). Every commandment of God was fulfilled in the life of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Throughout his life, Jesus loved God the Father with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength, and he loved his neighbor as himself. He’s the only person who has ever done it.

Jesus’ perfect life of obedience was now complete and he was about to lay it down, so he said, “It is finished.”

3. The decisive battle with his enemy

The life of Jesus was a life of suffering, it was a life of obedience, but it was also a life of conflict with our great enemy the devil. Look at the world today and ask the question:

Where does evil come from? Why do so many marriages fail? Why do wars keep happening?  

Jesus spoke with absolute clarity about Satan or the devil. Confronting the devil was the first act of Jesus’ public ministry. The Spirit led him into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. Throughout his ministry we see Jesus casting out evil spirits that were holding human lives in bondage.

The story of this conflict goes back to the beginning of the Bible. Satan tempted the man and the woman and led them into sin that caused them to lose the joys of the paradise of God.

They got the knowledge of evil and came under the power of the evil one. That’s been our story ever since. It is the explanation of what we see in the world today.

But God promised that a Redeemer would come, saying to Satan, “You will bite his heel, but he will crush your head” (Genesis 3:15). What a picture!

God’s promise in Eden is precisely what happened at the cross. In Christ’s death, he breaks the devil’s power:

Having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. (Colossians 2:15)

When Jesus died, he went beyond the reach of Satan. Satan could no longer tempt him. The devil could no longer afflict him or cause him to suffer. When Jesus went into death, it was “game over” for the devil and “game on” for us. The decisive battle with the enemy had been won.

4. The complete work of his atonement

Jesus came to seek and save the lost. He came to give his life as a ransom for many, and on the cross he says, “It is finished.” He has borne the guilt of our sins. He has endured the punishment of our hell. The divine wrath has been spent on him. The justice of God has been satisfied in him.

The perfect sacrifice has been offered. Complete atonement has been made. Hell has been vanquished. The condemnation has been removed.  Now the Redeemer says, “It is finished.” Jonathan Edwards wrote:

Though millions of sacrifices had been offered; yet nothing was done to purchase redemption before Christ’s incarnation… so nothing was done after His resurrection, to purchase redemption for men. Nor will there be anything more done to all eternity. [v]

What can be added to Jesus’s redemptive work, his death and resurrection? It is finished! His long night of suffering is over. He’s no longer on the cross. The full course of his obedience is over. The decisive battle with his enemy is over.

Christ finished. You haven’t. But with him you will.

[This article was adapted from Pastor Colin’s sermon, “Crossing the Finish Line,” from his series 7 Words from the Cross.]

____________

[i] Matthew Henry, “Commentary on the Whole Bible,” Vol. 5 http://www.ccel.org/ccel/henry/mhc5.John.xx.html

[ii] C. H. Spurgeon, sermon #2344, “Christ’s Dying Word for His Church,” Nov. 3, 1889  http://www.spurgeongems.org/vols40-42/chs2344.pdf

[iii] Ronald Wallace, “Words of Triumph,” p. 76, John Knox press, 1964 http://www.amazon.com/Words-triumph-words-Cross-application/dp/B0007IYO9I/

[iv] http://www.billygrahamcenter.com/museum/index.htm

[v] Jonathan Edwards, “Works,” Vol. 1, p. 572, Banner of Truth, 1974 http://www.billygrahamcenter.com/museum/rotund-Jonathan.htm

via Four Things Jesus Finished on The Cross — Unlocking the Bible

04/05/19 “I Tell You, Get Up!” — ChuckLawless.com

READING: Joshua 10-12; Luke 7:11-35

Sometimes I wish I could have walked with Jesus in the midst of the stories of the Gospels. In today’s reading, Jesus encounters a funeral procession – the sad reality of the death of the only son of a widow. The mother would have been not only grieving, but also wondering about her future. No one remained to support her. Surely some of her hope for the future died with her son.

But . . . Jesus showed up at the funeral. “Don’t weep,” He told her (Luke 7:13), knowing He was about to end any reason for grieving. He touched the coffin, called the son to get up, and the son did exactly what Jesus commanded: “The dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother” (Luke 7:15). Rightly so, the people were struck with awe and glorified God. How could they not do so when they saw resurrection in their midst?

We may not have seen resurrection take place, but we know the stories of the Bible. If we truly believe this Word we’re studying, we, too, should be filled with holy fear and resounding praise when we think of Christ. He is still the Lord of life!

PRAYER: “Jesus, You are life. Thank You for defeating death and giving us the promise of life.”

TOMORROW’S READING: Joshua 13:1-15:12; Luke 7:36-8:8

via 04/05/19 “I Tell You, Get Up!” — ChuckLawless.com

April 5 Grace Plus Nothing

Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:1–28

Key Verse: Hebrews 10:12

This Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God.

Many Christians lack joy because they are not sure of their relationship with Christ. The Jews of Jesus’ day believed the only way they could be sure of their standing with God was by keeping the law. It provided measurable evidence of their devotion.

However, Jesus offered a new theology, one based on God’s unconditional love and acceptance. The Jewish leaders were bound by the law and refused to accept salvation as being a gift of grace. Imagine their dismay when Jesus told them that He was the fulfillment of the law. Through Christ, we have personal access to God the Father without bearing the burden of the law and its consequences. Only grace secures our position with God.

Jesus told Nicodemus, “You must be born again” (John 3:7). His words indicated a need for a spiritual rebirth or regeneration. It is something human hands cannot achieve. There is nothing we can do to earn salvation. Salvation equals grace plus nothing.

The next time you are tempted to doubt your salvation, think of the Cross where grace paid the eternal price for all of our sins. We are saved and sure by the power of His grace—nothing more, nothing less.

Father, I am saved by grace—nothing more, nothing less. I accept it. Thank You![1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 100). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

A Lesson for Pope Francis on Walls and Muslims

by Raymond Ibrahim
PJ Media
April 2, 2019

https://www.meforum.org/58124/lesson-pope-francis-walls-muslims

“I appeal not to create walls but to build bridges” has long been Pope Francis’s mantra.

Most recently, when asked last Sunday “a question about migration in general and about U.S. President Donald Trump’s threat to shut down the southern border with Mexico,” the pope pontificated in platitudes: “Builders of walls,” he said, “be they made of razor wire or bricks, will end up becoming prisoners of the walls they build…. With fear, we will not move forward, with walls, we will remain closed within these walls.”

Less than a week earlier, Pope Francis lectured the mayor of Rome about the need to be more welcoming to Muslim migrants. “Rome,” he declared, “a hospitable city, is called to face this epochal challenge [Muslim migrants demanding entry] in the wake of its noble history; to use its energies to welcome and integrate, to transform tensions and problems into opportunities for meeting and growth.”

“Rome,” he exulted, “city of bridges, never walls!”

The grand irony of all this is that Pope Francis lives in the only state to be surrounded by walls—Vatican City—and most of these bastions were erected to ward off centuries of Islamic invasions.

Most notably, in 846, a Muslim fleet from North Africa consisting of 73 ships and 11,000 Muslims, landed in Ostia near Rome. Muslim merchants who frequently visited Italy had provided them with precise intelligence that made the raid a success. Although they were unable to breach the preexisting walls of the Eternal City, they sacked and despoiled the surrounding countryside, including—to the consternation of Christendom—the venerated and centuries-old basilicas of St. Peter and St. Paul. The Muslim invaders desecrated the tombs of the revered apostles and stripped them of all their treasures.

Pope Leo IV (847-855) responded by building many more walls, including fifteen bastions along the right bank of the Tiber River, the mouth of which was forthwith closed with a chain to protect the sacred sites from further Muslim raids and desecrations. Completed by 852, the walls were in places 40 feet high and 12 feet thick.

Further anticipating the crusades against Islam by over two centuries—and thus showing how they were a long time coming—Pope Leo (and after him Pope John VIII) offered the remission of sins for those Christians who died fighting Islamic invaders.

Such was the existential and ongoing danger Muslims, referred to in contemporary sources as “Sons of Satan,” caused for Europe—more than two centuries before the First Crusade was launched in 1095.

Indeed, just three years after the initial Muslim invasion of Rome, “in 849 the Muslims attempted a new landing at Ostia; then, every year from around 857 on, they threatened the Roman seaboard,” explains French medieval historian C. E. Dufourcq:

In order to get rid of them, Pope John VIII decided in 878 to promise them an annual payment [or jizya] of several thousand gold pieces; but this tribute of the Holy See to Islam seems to have been paid for only two years; and from time to time until the beginning of the tenth century, the Muslims reappeared at the mouth of the Tiber or along the coast nearby.

Today, many Muslims, not just of the ISIS-variety, continue to boast that Islam will conquer Rome, the only of five apostolic sees never to have been subjugated by jihad (unlike Antioch, Alexandria, Jerusalem, and Constantinople). Similarly, Muslims all throughout Europe continue exhibiting the same hostility and contempt for all things and persons non-Islamic, whether by vandalizing churchesand breaking crosses, or by raping “infidel” women as theirs by right. As for Italy, click here, here, and/or here for an idea of how Muslim migrants behave.

And that is the point Pope Francis misses: walls should only go down and bridges should only be extended when both parties are willing to live in amicable peace—as opposed to making the destructive work of those who have been trying to subjugate Europe in the name of Islam that much easier.

Raymond Ibrahim, author of the new book, Sword and Scimitar, Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West, is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute and a Judith Friedman Rosen Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum.

April 5 The Gift of Grace

Scripture reading: Titus 3:4–7

Key verse: Proverbs 3:34

Surely He scorns the scornful,

But gives grace to the humble.

If God’s offer of grace is so rich and free, why do so many people fail to receive the gift of salvation? The inability to receive the grace of God is almost always connected with an overdose of pride.

It is often difficult for some persons to receive a helping hand from another person in regard to material matters. They would rather earn the gift offered on their own initiative and can even be insulted by the generosity of the giver.

Perhaps you can identify with that feeling. You may have had a definite need. Someone graciously volunteered to meet that need, but you refused the offer because it wounded your pride, your sense of self-esteem.

Perhaps in some way you devised a means to satisfy your need. But in the spiritual realm, there is no substitute for grace. You cannot supplant good works or performance for grace. You can either receive it or reject it. It is yours to enjoy by faith or yours to turn away by pride.

Do not refuse the offer of God’s grace in salvation. There is no other ground by which a man can be saved. Let go of pride and receive the grace of God.

Take my pride, Lord. I want to receive the fullness of Your grace.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 100). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Chick-Fil-A Crisis: Banned From Another Airport Over Anti-LGBTQ Claims | ZeroHedge News

Chick-Fil-A has been banned from opening a location at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BNIA) after a New York politician attacked the fast-food chain for discriminating against the LGBTQ community, reported The Daily Signal.

New York State Assemblyman Sean Ryan applauded the decision by the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) and Delaware North to immediately halt all projects associated with bringing Chick-fil-A to BNIA.

“I was disappointed to learn of the NFTA’s decision to introduce Chick-fil-A as a restaurant option at the Buffalo-Niagara International Airport. Chick-fil-A has a long history of supporting and funding anti-LGBTQ organizations,” Ryan said in a Facebook post last week.

“The views of Chick-fil-A do not represent our state or the Western New York community, and businesses that support discrimination have no place operating in taxpayer-funded public facilities,” he continued.

Shortly after Ryan’s social media posts, NFTA published a statement that was in line with the assemblyman’s stance.

“First and foremost, the NFTA is an organization that prides itself on its strong commitment to diversity and inclusion and stand firmly against any form of discrimination,” the statement said. “We have the utmost respect for Assemblyman Ryan and consider him a great partner and friend to us.”

Ryan then praised NFTA’s decision. “I don’t believe there is anything to discuss with NFTA on the issue,” Ryan wrote. “We can’t allow companies who support anti-LGBTQ groups to do business at state-owned facilities.”

The decision comes a little over a week after the San Antonio City Council banned Chick-fil-A from opening in the San Antonio International Airport, citing the restaurant chain’s “legacy of anti-LGBTQ behavior.”

In 2012, Dan T. Cathy, the company’s CEO, said he opposed gay marriage. Later it was revealed that the company’s non-profit arm, Chick-Fil-A Foundation, donated large sums of money to political groups that were hostile to LGBTQ rights. It was reported later that year, Chick-Fil-A published a statement that said it would leave same-sex marriage to the government.

A 2017 tax filing showed the foundation continued to donate millions of dollars to three groups with anti-LGBTQ policies.

Chick-fil-A has taken a political stand for what its Bible-quoting CEO believes in, but over the last several years, mainly since the left-wing media has waged an all-out war on the Trump administration, the fast-food, conservative-loving, chicken-chain has been under an intense microscope from leftist organizations.

It appears the Chick-fil-A crisis has just begun, in the coming weeks and or months, there could be many more airports and or other public facilities across the country that refuse Chick-fil-A from establishing a restaurant in their food courts. Political polarization is widening, it’s only now starting to damage commerce.

Source: Chick-Fil-A Crisis: Banned From Another Airport Over Anti-LGBTQ Claims

Pope Francis Appoints Pro-Gay Archbishop Wilton Gregory To Oversee Transition Of The Catholic Church In Welcoming LGBTQP Members — Now The End Begins

The Vatican announced today that Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory of Atlanta will be the successor of embattled Cardinal Donald Wuerl to lead the Archdiocese of Washington D.C., one of the most prominent sees in the United States.

Any time you have a large corporation that is embarking on a new transition, it is customary to appoint leaders who have a passion for the project as well as the credentials to act as an effective liaison between workers and management, and between company and customers. So it only makes sense, as Pope Francis continues to steer the Catholic Church through the murky waters of opening wide the doors to the LGBTQP, to appoint a Catholic leader who has a lifetime history of promoting the LGBTQP movement. Meet Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory!

“And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Revelation 18:4 (KJV)

Currently, the Catholic church is plagued with incessant in-fighting, relentless pedophile sex scandals, and a whole host of other pressing issues. But Catholics take heart, the “glory days” are about to return the the Vatican. What do I mean by that? Well, the bible tells us that during the time of Jacob’s trouble, the Catholic Church will reclaim her former glory and power of ruling the world from Rome. Revelation 17 and 18 shows us the Vatican as the Whore of Babylon, and she appears to be unstoppable. But she will be stopped, and by the very One she claims to follow.

“And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.” Revelation 13:2 (KJV)

The Vatican under Antichrist will finally be the true One World Religion she has always sought to be, and Satan will imbue her with mind-boggling power. But her end will come in one hour at the Battle of Armageddon at the Second Coming. Jesus Christ Himself will lead the charge to the destruction of the Vatican and the Catholic church. In the meantime, please enjoy this story of Pope Francis appointing a pro-gay bishop to help the Catholic church join with the global LGBTQ+P for pedophile community.

Pope appoints pro-LGBT Wilton Gregory to Archdiocese of Washington. Catholic laity protest

FROM LIFESITE NEWS: Numerous faithful Catholic laity are outraged over the appointment of Gregory. The Archbishop has a history of showing support for homosexuality, contrary to Catholic teaching, along with other unorthodox positions.

The group “Catholic Laity for Orthodox Bishops and Reform” had urged the Holy See to “seek out a worthy candidate who is without ties to Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, Mr. Theodore McCarrick, or Donald Cardinal Wuerl.”

“The Archdiocese of Washington needs a worthy shepherd with a proven record of teaching and practicing the fullness of the Catholic Faith. We need a robust leader for Catholicism, with the Heart of Christ, focused on the Gospel message, not liberal politics,” the group said earlier this week when rumors of Gregory’s appointment surfaced.

In a press release today, the group said that it “continues to ask for a worthy shepherd who will be a robust teacher of the Catholic Faith and defender of Catholic morals.”

“We also continue to seek for the laity better communication with the hierarchy and the Holy See. We are ready to work with Archbishop Gregory to achieve these goals,” it stated. Archbishop Gregory said he was grateful to the Pope for the appointment.

“I am deeply grateful to Pope Francis for this appointment to serve the Archdiocese of Washington and to work with all of the members of this faith community,” he said. “I look forward to encountering and listening to the people of this local Church as we address the issues that face us and continue to grow in the Love of Christ that sustains us.”

Gregory’s support for the LGBT agenda is of public record. As head of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, Gregory has displayed an uncritical willingness to accept LGBT ideology.

Pope Francis’ New Appointee Will Merge The Catholic Church With The LGBTQP, Here Is Wilton Gregory’s Track Record On The Issues:

Gregory’s actions also reveal a lack of orthodoxy to Catholic teaching in other areas. These include:

  • Giving the keynote address in 2017 at the Association of United States Catholic Priests (AUSCP) conference. The group backs the ordination of women to the priesthood and is open to the idea of the Church approving the use of contraception.
  • Signaling an openness to allow divorced and “remarried” Catholics to receive communion contrary to perennial Catholic teaching. He was one of two featured speakers at a gathering of liberal theologians and 15 bishops at Boston College in October 2017. The event, “Understanding Amoris Laetitia,” was hosted by progressive Cardinal Cupich. Gregory appeared to endorse communion for divorced and remarried Catholics when he said Amoris Laetitia “challenges the church and its pastors to move beyond thinking that everything is black and white, so that we sometimes close off the way of grace and growth.”
  • Misrepresenting — along with now defrocked former cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Gregory — the contents of a letter from Cardinal Ratzinger, then the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which counseled American prelates to deny Communion to Catholic politicians who support abortion during the 2004 presidential campaign season. They instead paraphrased the letter, telling their brother bishops that they should exercise their own judgment regarding pro-abortion politicos. The U.S. bishops ended up voting 183-6 to leave the decision up to each diocese.

Archbishop Gregory has served in various important roles in the United States. In 2001, he was elected president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and was vice president under Bishop Joseph Fiorenza for three years thereafter. He joined other bishops in drafting and implementing the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People,” the so-called Dallas Charter in response to the sexual abuse crisis. In 2006, he was inducted into the Martin Luther King Board of Preachers at Morehouse College, Atlanta.

Catholic laity are already signing a petition to Pope Francis asking that he stop the appointment.

“Faithful and orthodox American Catholics oppose this appointment and call on the Holy Father to directly intervene to stop this from going forward,” states the petition launched by LifeSiteNews.

“Knowingly installing a man who flagrantly departs from Catholic moral teaching to Washington, D.C., suggests that the Vatican doesn’t seem to care about listening to church-going American Catholics,” it adds. READ MORE

Why the Vatican selected Archbishop Wilton Gregory

Do not allow yourself to be distracted by the appointment of the”first black bishop” and all that nonsense. Wilton Gregory was not appointed for his blackness but rather for his gayness. 

via Pope Francis Appoints Pro-Gay Archbishop Wilton Gregory To Oversee Transition Of The Catholic Church In Welcoming LGBTQP Members — Now The End Begins