Daily Archives: April 13, 2019

April 13 Oh, the Wonderful Cross!

Scripture Reading: Romans 5:1–8

Key Verse: Romans 5:6

For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

The Cross is where love became a five-letter word. Eternal, incomprehensible, unconditional love is spelled C-R-O-S-S.

Romans 5:1–5 explains this great love and how God expressed it by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for our sins. The Cross is the hinge point of history where a holy God made a way for fallen, sinful man to have a relationship and fellowship with Him.

In one awesome, indescribable moment, justice and mercy met at the Cross. There was enough justice at the Cross to punish every sin of all humanity. There was enough mercy at the Cross to envelop all of humanity in God’s wonderful, loving forgiveness. God not only poured out His wrath on sin—which is justice—but He even exhibited mercy by lovingly providing Jesus so we would not have to face the death penalty of sin.

God also demonstrated His wisdom at the Cross. His goal was the redemption of mankind, the forgiveness of mankind’s sins. God’s plan and purpose are always the very best, and He chose the best route to accomplish His plan when He sent Jesus to die on the cross.

Was there any other way in which a holy God could breech the divide between Himself and sinful man and still remain just? Think about it. No other plan could so perfectly accomplish His will and yet direct all of the honor and glory to God and not one shred of glory to man.

Lord, thank You for demonstrating Your love at the Cross. Thank You, Lord, that Your mercy was great enough to envelop all of humanity—including me![1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 108). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

April 13 The Foundation of Forgiveness

Scripture Reading: 1 John 1:8–2:2

Key Verse: Romans 6:6

Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.

Firemen ran, shouted, hauled hoses, and sprayed countless gallons of water. But within minutes the building was engulfed in flames. Just when they thought everyone was safely out, they heard another voice yelling for help.

One fireman chose to go inside. He knew the odds. The ceiling was ready to collapse at any second, but without hesitation he answered the call. Moments later, a man was pushed from a window into the net below. But the fireman never came out.

Moving stories like this one about heroism in the face of death are examples of the kind of compassion Jesus talked about when He said, “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13 nasb). When Jesus said that, He wasn’t referring to an abstract ideal that sounds good only on paper.

Jesus knew the cost. Long before you were even born, at the time of creation, God laid down the penalty for sin: death and separation from Him forever. And although God loves you dearly, He cannot overlook His own law; someone has to pay the price for your sin. Christ came to trade places with you, His innocent life taking the place of your guilty one.

Have you accepted the gracious offer of your Rescuer, or have you pushed Him away? He is the only One who can truly save you.

You laid down Your life for me, Jesus. You paid the penalty for my sin. You took my place. How I praise You![1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 108). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

April 13 The Inner Sanctum of Your Heart

Scripture reading: Psalm 16:1–11

Key verse: Isaiah 26:3

You will keep him in perfect peace,

Whose mind is stayed on You,

Because he trusts in You.

God will meet any real need when you set your mind and focus on Him. But sometimes you can confuse a quest for worldly pleasures as need. False teachers have spawned entire movements out of errant philosophy that says all you must do is name your desire and God will fulfill your every wish.

In his book Far from Home, Joseph M. Stowell explains in a compelling illustration:

We’re like kids at Christmas, begging “Give me the gift! Give me the gift!” and forgetting that it’s out of love that the gifts were given to us by our parents. Of course, our parents love to give to us and to bless us with gifts, but what they really want is a love relationship with us. Intimacy is about a relationship, not a gift exchange. When we live expectantly, serve Him purely, slow down and spend seasons on our knees with His Word in prayer and meditation, He fills our souls with Himself.

God doesn’t meet us at the mall. He seeks us in the inner sanctum of our hearts. If it’s intimacy we want, we need to be more intrigued with the Giver than the gifts. It’s not the stuff He does for us that we should be loving; it’s Him. If we want to experience Him more than we do, we need to love Him more than we do, more than all those other things we are attracted to, more than all the provisions we expect from Him.

Help me to slow down and spend more time with You in prayer and in the Word. Come and meet with me in the inner sanctum of my heart, Father.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 108). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Playtime in the Church — The Watchman’s Bagpipes

Children’s ministries have for years focused on playtime and coloring; teens have been treated like large children who need to be entertained with contemporary music and a multitude of games and activities; adults are not to be bored with biblical exposition and theology. These practices stem from the late sixties, when the rebellious and spoiled baby-boomers…began to reshape everything (including the church) in their own image. Two generations of Christians have come and are moving through the church, many of whom have never experienced what a biblical church should be. So far removed are many Christians from the New Testament paradigm that many do not know that anything else exists or ever existed.
Gary E. Gilley with Jay Wegter, This Little Church Had None: A Church in Search of the Truth, by pg.222

via Playtime in the Church — The Watchman’s Bagpipes

Tucker explains Democrats’ really racist reaction to Trump sanctuary idea

(Image: screenshot)

Fox News host Tucker Carlson called out Democrats for their hypocrisy and “racist” reaction to President Donald Trump’s idea of relocating detained illegal immigrants to sanctuary cities.

“Talk about great news for Blue America,” Carlson said in the opening monologue of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” Friday, referring to reports that the Trump administration had proposed a plan to release illegal immigrant detainees into sanctuary cities to relieve overcrowding at detention centers.

Carlson likened the idea to being given the “gift of a lifetime” by your sworn enemy, noting that “in the end, if you were smart, you’d take the gift.”

He explained how the president basically called the Democrats’ bluff in confirming the plan was under “strong consideration.”

Due to the fact that Democrats are unwilling to change our very dangerous immigration laws, we are indeed, as reported, giving strong considerations to placing Illegal Immigrants in Sanctuary Cities only….

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 12, 2019

“The left really couldn’t be clearer on this question. All immigration is good. More immigration is better. There is no distinction between legal and illegal varieties of immigration. And if you disagree with any of this, you are a white nationalist,” Carlson said after airing several video clips of Democrats declaring how their support of illegal immigrants and how they would welcome them.

“That’s what they say almost every day for the past two years but we watch carefully, so have you,” Carlson added.

“Now, here, completely out of the blue, comes the man they despise the most in the world, Donald J. Trump, offering the one thing they want more than anything, more immigrants. Immediately delivered right to their door at federal expense,” he continued, referring to the president confirming what The Washington Post first reported about the administration’s two attempts to release the detainees into the so-called sanctuary cities, such as the San Francisco district represented by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Enraged libs ‘destroy their own argument’ over report Trump admin wanted to release migrants in ‘sanctuary cities’ https://t.co/3ZZfVFlWam

— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) April 12, 2019

“It must’ve been like Christmas morning. You think you are getting another pair of socks, yet there it is. A pony tethered to your mailbox. Holy smokes, amazing. Best day of your life!” Carlson joked.

He slammed criticism from Democrats like Pelosi and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke who complained about the president “dumping” people.

“If you want to defile someone’s pristine city, you ‘Dump immigrants on it?’ Whoa. That sounds a little … Searching for the word here … Racist! A lot racist, actually!” Carlson exclaimed.

“But Nancy Pelosi agrees with it, turns out. She lives in one of these cities that might be dumped on, so she immediately issued a statement decrying it,” he added, reading the California lawmaker’s statement.

“The extent of this administration’s cynicism and cruelty cannot be overstated,” the statement said. “Using human beings — including little children — as pawns in their warped game to perpetuate fear and demonize immigrants is despicable.”

“This is getting really confusing,” Carlson said.

“It doesn’t seem to make sense – how can the presence of immigrants ‘Perpetuate fear’?” he asked. “Immigrants aren’t dangerous – they’ve told us that a thousand times. They’re safer than you are, they’re amazing. Much more amazing than you are.”

“So why is it bad that Trump wants to send more immigrants to San Francisco?” he continued, noting the city “subverted federal law in the hope that more illegal immigrants would come there.”

Carlson then challenged Democrats to put their money where their mouth is by listing affluent neighborhoods in the nation where liberals rally in the name of diversity and open borders but don’t actually house any of those illegal immigrants.

“Nobody hates diversity more than rich liberals, the very people pushing it,” Carlson said after positing that even former President Obama would not rail against illegal immigrants being dropped into his wealthy Washington, D.C. neighborhood of Kalorama.

“Let’s hope immigrants are watching all of this on TV and drawing their own conclusions,” Carlson wrapped up. “The left can say endlessly that they love you, but if they don’t want you in their neighborhood, they don’t want you going to school with their kids, they’re lying.”

Source: Tucker explains Democrats’ really racist reaction to Trump sanctuary idea

‘Hostile And Aggressive’ Migrants Break Through Border Into Southern Mexico, Join US-Bound Caravan

A group of around 350 Central American migrants broke the locks on a gate at the Guatemala-Mexico border, forcing their way into Mexico to join a larger caravan of 2,000 or so migrants headed towards the United States, AP reports.

According to the National Immigration Institute, the migrants were acting in a “hostile” and ” aggressive” manner – and said that they were attacking local police in the Mexican village of Metapa near the city of Tapachula.

The incident echoed a similar confrontation on the same border bridge between Mexico and Guatemala last year.

Migrants breach Guatemala-Mexico border in October, 2018

Several groups of migrants in the southern border state of Chipas have expressed frustration at Mexico’s cold attitude towards them, as they have been slowed or stopped during their northbound journey, according to AP.

A group of several hundred Cuban, African and Central American migrants have been waiting at the immigration offices in Tapachula for documents that would allow them to travel to the U.S. border, where most plan to request asylum.

Some members of that group have scuffled with immigration authorities and broken windows at the offices in recent days, accusing officials of making them wait too long for papers. –AP

One group of Central American and Cuban migrants estimated at 2,500 strong have been stuck for at least a week in the Chipas town of Mapastepec, north-west of Tapachula.

Source: ‘Hostile And Aggressive’ Migrants Break Through Border Into Southern Mexico, Join US-Bound Caravan

The Battlefield of the Mind — Christian Research Network

“As believers who are engaged daily in an ongoing battle for our mind there are only two choices to consider: either submit to the will of Christ who loves us or to the will of Satan who wants to destroy us. There is no third option.”

(Darrell B. Harrison – Just Thinking)  If I were to ask you where does Jesus rank among your daily priorities, how would you respond? Would your first impulse be to give a “spiritual” answer—that is, to say what you think you’re supposed to say as a Christian—or would you reply with what you know in your heart to be true?

These questions aren’t in any way meant to be presumptive or accusatory. Not at all. The truth is none of us, including yours truly, consistently gives Christ the rightful place He deserves in our life. In fact, if we were honest, most of us would have to admit that we are so preoccupied with worldly attentions and concerns that thoughts of God rarely cross our minds—until we need Him (Matt. 15:8).

It was several years ago that a former pastor of mine said something that I remember to this day, and hope hereafter to call to mind, that the battlefield of Satan is the mind. I have since discovered in my own life how right he was—and still is.

It is through the mind that Satan attacks believers. Since the Garden of Eden his modus operandi—that we exchange the truth of God for a lie—has not changed nor wavered. And why should it since it has served him so well for so long? As Jonathan Edwards said, “The devil can counterfeit all the saving operations and graces of the Spirit of God.” Conversely, A.W. Pink said that, “Satan is not an initiator, but an imitator.” View article →


Spiritual Warfare


H/T Aquila Report

via The Battlefield of the Mind — Christian Research Network

58 Years Ago President Dwight Eisenhower Warned The American People Of The Dangers Of A Permanent Military-Industrial Complex — Now The End Begins

On Jan. 17, 1961, President Dwight Eisenhower gave the nation a dire warning about what he described as a threat to democratic government.

Almost 3 months to the day before I was born, outgoing president Dwight Eisenhower gave his farewell speech that was broadcast on the still-new medium called television. In it, he spoke openly of his time in office and warned future generations about something he called the military-industrial complex. That is to say a permanent armaments industry that would one day be a threat to democracy. Eisenhower also warned that technology, then in its infancy, would combine with the military in creating a nearly unstoppable monster. \

Eisenhower’s speech stunned the audience of his day because he had been one of the main architects of America’s victory in WWII, and here he was now warning that a full-time military presence could only serve to weaken a free society. In 2019, 58 years after this chilling speech, think of the world in which we now live in.

He warned about technology being twisted for evil purposes, today we see Google partnering with the Defense Department to create armies of killer robots. Robotics and AI are transforming our society to a degree only previously imagined in science fiction novels. How is it possible that a search engine company, started by nerds whose slogan used to be ‘Don’t Be Evil‘, become one of the Pentagon’s leading suppliers of military software, applications and technological weaponry?

Welcome to the  Military-Industrial-Technological Complex, and it’s bigger and more powerful than anything Eisenhower ever dreamed about.

Ike’s Warning Of Military Expansion, 58 Years Later

FROM NPR: He called it the military-industrial complex, a formidable union of defense contractors and the armed forces. Eisenhower, a retired five-star Army general, the man who led the allies on D-Day, made the remarks in his farewell speech from the White House.

As NPR’s Tom Bowman tells Morning Edition co-host Renee Montagne, Eisenhower used the speech to warn about “the immense military establishment” that had joined with “a large arms industry.”

Here’s an excerpt:

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist.”

Since then, the phrase has become a rallying cry for opponents of military expansion.

Eisenhower gave the address after completing two terms in office; it was just days before the new president, John F. Kennedy, would be sworn in. Eisenhower was worried about the costs of an arms race with the Soviet Union, and the resources it would take from other areas — such as building hospitals and schools.

Bowman says that in the speech, Eisenhower also spoke as someone who had seen the horror and lingering sadness of war, saying that “we must learn how to compose differences not with arms, but with intellect and decent purpose.”

Another concern, Bowman says, was the possibility that as the military and the arms industry gained power, they would be a threat to democracy, with civilians losing control of the military-industrial complex.

In his remarks, Eisenhower also explained how the situation had developed:

“Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of ploughshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions.”

The difference, Bowman says, is that before the late 1950s, companies such as Ford built everything from jeeps to bombers — then went back to building cars. But that changed after the Korean War.

Bowman says that it’s important to note that during the Cold War, the U.S. military didn’t draw down its troops like it did after World War II.

“It kept a large standing army after the Korean War,” he says.

America’s new reliance on sophisticated weapons technology also helped bring about what Bowman calls “a technology race with the Soviets.” And that meant that weapons manufacturing became more specialized.

“So for a company like Ford, going from cars to jeeps is one thing; cars to missiles is quite another,” Bowman says.

In an effort to control the expansion of the military-industrial complex, Eisenhower consistently sought to cut the Pentagon’s budget. The former general wanted a budget the country could afford, Bowman says. He upset all the military services with his budget cuts, especially the Air Force.

Citing another quote from Eisenhower — this one from another speech on military spending — Bowman says, “The jet plane that roars overhead costs three quarters of a million dollars. That’s more than a man will make in his lifetime. What world can afford this kind of thing for long?”

In today’s government, Eisenhower has a fan in his fellow Kansan Secretary of Defense Robert Gates — who keeps a portrait of the former general in his office at the Pentagon, Bowman says.

Speaking at the Eisenhower Library last year, Gates talked about America’s insatiable appetite for more and more weapons:

“Does the number of warships we have, and are building, really put America at risk, when the U.S. battle fleet is larger than the next 13 navies combined — 11 of which are our partners and allies?

Is it a dire threat that by 2020, the United States will have only 20 times more advanced stealth fighters than China?

These are the kinds of questions Eisenhower asked as commander-in-chief. They are the kinds of questions I believe he would ask today.”

But, Bowman says, it has only become more difficult to control the size of the nation’s military industry.

First, “there are only a handful of defense giants,” he says, “which means you can’t shop around for a better price.” And companies such as Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman are also adept at both lobbying and marketing to promote their interests.

Bowman says, “they also spread the jobs around the country, to lock in political support.”

Gates has also discussed the difficulty of cutting military spending:

“What it takes is the political will and willingness, as Eisenhower possessed, to make hard choices — choices that will displease powerful people both inside the Pentagon, and out.”

Bowman says that some industry observers believe that “the one thing that could create that political will is the nation’s huge deficit.” Only that might force cuts in the overall defense budget. READ MORE

Eisenhower 1961 Speech Warning Of A Military-Industrial Complex

via 58 Years Ago President Dwight Eisenhower Warned The American People Of The Dangers Of A Permanent Military-Industrial Complex — Now The End Begins

Democrats file legislation to force all Americans to accept the LGBTQ agenda

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Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi March 13 introduced the so-called Equality Act, a bill that would add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” as protected classes under federal civil rights law.

The legislation, known as the Equality Act would specifically include all LGBTQ definitions and would penalize everyday Americans for their beliefs about marriage and biological sex. Similar sexual orientation and gender identity laws at the state and local level have already been used in this way.

While liberal Democrats and some liberal Republicans in the House of Representatives are lauding the proposed legislation, some conservatives are calling it a “frontal assault on religious liberty.”

If the Equality Act becomes law, it would impact essentially every part of American life. It would force employers and workers to conform to new sexual norms or else lose their businesses and jobs. It would force hospitals and insurers to provide and pay for these therapies against any moral or medical objections. It would force parents to provide sexual reassignment treatments for their children who are confused about their sexual identity. It would force religious institutions that provide adoptions to permit same sex couples to adopt children, and the list goes on.

Monica Burke, a research assistant in the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation, in a critique of the proposed legislation noted that most Americans “don’t want a nationwide bathroom requirement, health care mandate, or “preferred pronoun” law based on gender identity, but congressional Democrats seem to think it’s time to impose them.”