Daily Archives: May 1, 2019

May 1 The Priority of Prayer

Scripture Reading: Matthew 6:5–8

Key Verse: Proverbs 15:29

The Lord is far from the wicked,

But He hears the prayer of the righteous.

A few words offered up without much thought—that is what many Christians regard as their “prayer life.” Only in times of desperation or great tragedy is any thought put into the words spoken to the God of the universe.

Prayer is so much more than that. It is when we communicate with God, sharing with Him our hearts as He shares His with us. And then we respond to what He says, walking in the direction that He desires for us to go.

Instead of being an afterthought to our busy days, prayer should be a constant. It should be the element of our lives that we establish and maintain with as much diligence as we do getting up in the morning.

Not only did Jesus spend a large portion of His teaching ministry talking about the importance of prayer, He also modeled a life of prayer, escaping often to the mountaintop to commune with God. In our desire to become more like Christ, we can imitate His actions as much as His words. And His actions speak much louder than words in this case.

Jesus realized it was imperative to maintain a constant relationship with His heavenly Father if He was going to obey Him. And He knew that no matter what happened, God would hear Him. “He hears the prayer of the righteous” (Proverbs 15:29).

Lord, I have been careless with my prayers. Help me to take more seriously these conversations with You, so that I can better understand Your will.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 128). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

May 1 A Quick Response

Scripture Reading: 2 Chronicles 20:1–4

Key Verse: 2 Chronicles 20:3

Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.

Jehoshaphat received devastating news. Judah was about to be invaded: “A great multitude is coming against you.” The first thing the king did was go to God in prayer: “[He] turned his attention to seek the Lord; and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah” (2 Chron. 20:2, 3 nasb).

When trials or tragedies come, let your quick response be one of petition and prayer. The people realized there was nothing they could do to save themselves from the approaching army. Only God could intervene. In prayer we must be willing for Him to do whatever it takes to bring about a victory.

Second, we must humble ourselves before God, confessing our need of His wisdom and deliverance. When adversity strikes, many people try to work out their circumstances on their own. But God told Jehoshaphat the battle was not his. It was God’s.

Judah was delivered, but not by conventional means. God instructed the choir to go before the army and sing songs of praise to Him. As the battle cry rose, the Lord delivered His people from the hand of the enemy, and He will do the same for you.

Prayer, praise, and trust are key elements to victory. Are you trusting the Lord for the solution to the problem facing you? If not, you can begin right now. Give your burdens to Him in prayer, and praise Him for the victory.

Dear God, I trust You to work out every problem I face today. I give my burdens to You and ask You to reign as Lord over each circumstance.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 128). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

May 1 His Deeds and Greatness

Scripture reading: Psalm 150:1–6

Key verse: Psalm 95:6

Oh come, let us worship and bow down;

Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.

Two basic truths can lead to sincere worship, changing the perspective on problems and giving hope for endurance:

“Praise Him for His mighty acts” (Ps. 150:2). God created the heavens and earth. He created you. He sent His Son to earth to bear your sin so you might receive eternal life. He has filled you with the Holy Spirit, who always extends the mercy and grace of God for your every need. The list goes on. Think of those special times when God answered your prayers, provided guidance in critical situations, protected you from harm, and specifically worked in your life. Thank Him that He is still working in your present circumstances to bring about positive future results, even though that may seem impossible right now.

“Praise Him according to His excellent greatness!” (Ps. 150:2). God never changes. He is always loving, always caring, always working for your good. His power stands firm in the midst of any storm. Spend time thanking Him for who He is.

Praise lights the candle of hope and encouragement in the midst of blackness that no ill wind can snuff out. Worship is the way to put your problems in God’s capable hands.

I praise You for Your mighty deeds, Father. I thank You that You have answered prayer and that You are working in my present circumstances to bring positive future results.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 128). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Trump approval highest in two years in CNN poll | TheHill

President Trump’s approval rating stands at its highest level in two years, according to a CNN poll released on Wednesday.

Trump’s 43 percent approval rating is the highest since a CNN poll conducted in April 2017 around the 100-day mark of his presidency. His disapproval rating stands at 52 percent in the new survey. 

The president’s job approval rating now includes roughly half — 46 percent — of all independents and 86 percent of Republicans. Only 5 percent of Democrats gave Trump a favorable performance review. 

In addition, 59 percent of respondents said they do not feel that Trump should be impeached and removed from office, compared to 37 percent who said he should be ousted.

The poll comes after special counsel Robert Mueller concluded his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Mueller released a redacted version of the report last month, which stated that the special counsel was unable to “conclusively determine”  that no criminal conduct occurred regarding whether Trump obstructed justice.

Nearly half of the CNN poll’s respondents — 48 percent — said they believed Trump committed obstruction of justice during the course of the investigation, compared to 45 percent who said he did not.

Fifty-eight percent want Congress to investigate whether Trump committed obstruction of justice during the course of the Mueller probe, according to the CNN poll. And a majority — 61 percent — said they want their representatives to pursue legal action to obtain the full, unredacted version of the report.

A Justice Department spokeswoman said Tuesday that Mueller expressed “frustration” to Attorney General William Barr in late March over the lack of context in the attorney general’s four-page memo describing his investigation’s findings.

Mueller sent a letter stating that Barr’s March 24 memo on his report did not “capture the context, nature, and substance” of his findings.

Forty-eight percent in the new poll said they have a favorable opinion of Mueller himself, up from 36 percent last fall. Additionally, 59 percent said they approve of the way he handled the investigation, up from 48 percent before it was completed, according to CNN.

The CNN poll of 1,007 adults, conducted April 25–28, has a margin of error of 3.8 percentage points.

— Read on thehill.com/homenews/administration/441521-trump-approval-highest-in-two-years-in-cnn-poll

Ron Paul Warns: “Hapless” Guaido Now “Worth More Dead Than Alive” To Washington’s Venezuelan Coup-Creators | Zero Hedge

“…right now that he is actually now worth more dead than alive not only to the CIA…A shot in the crowd or something like that to take Guaido out…the CIA is pretty good at this kind of things.”

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido failed to kick-start a military uprising on Tuesday. After this fizzle, RT reports that his life may be in danger from his own CIA backers, the director of the Ron Paul Institute argued in a debate.

Daniel McAdams and Ron Paul, the former libertarian representative from Texas, discussed the repeated attempts by Guaido to oust Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro with the backing from the US government. Despite all the efforts, Maduro remains in power, supported by many Venezuelans and in control of its military and police forces.

Paul said he was concerned that the Latin American country may be plunged into large-scale violence by some provocation.

“The big danger is a hard war breaking out. I’d still bet it won’t be too bad, with thousands of troops moving. But it could be a guerrilla war or something like that. If there is a false flag or some important official on either side gets killed, you can’t tell what might happen,” he said.

McAdams pointed out that Guaido himself, with his record of failing to mobilize the protest against the Maduro government, could be a target for such a provocation.

He has been a kind of a hapless figure so far. He calls for mass protests and no one shows up. I don’t think he realizes right now that he is actually now worth more dead than alive not only to the CIA, but also to his own opposition people. A shot in the crowd or something like that to take Guaido out. It might shock you, Dr. Paul, but the CIA is pretty good at this kind of things.

He said Tuesday’s events, when Guaido declared a military-backed coup to be underway in Caracas which as of now seems to have led to little consequence for Maduro, seemed like an act of desperation.

“[Guaido] said: ‘this is the final phase of [the] plan to overthrow the government’. It sort of smacks of desperation because he declared himself [interim] president in January and nothing happened. He kept trying to do things to get the military to turn and he was unsuccessful,” he said.

Paul blasted US officials rooting vigorously for Guaido and his efforts to seize power in Venezuela while denouncing with indignation things like the alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

“How many places have we been involved in in the last 20-30-40-50 years? I mean – that’s our business. It’s solidifying our empire,” he said. “I think it’s pure hypocrisy for us to think that we are doing [the interference in Venezuela] and we are against government interference. We love it, except’ when we don’t.”

The devoted constitutionalist added people like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo or National Security Advisor John Bolton, who appealed to Venezuelan soldiers to protect their nation’s constitution by siding with Guaido, were “a bunch of clowns.”

They don’t have the vaguest notion about what the constitutional law in our country would be like. And they are going to restore the constitutional law in other countries? It’s just clichés and nonsense!

CNN, MSNBC Ratings Plunge After Release Of Mueller Report Destroys Their Collusion Obsession — The Gateway Pundit

CNN’s prime-time ratings plunged 26 percent in April, compared to 2018. MSNBC’s ratings fell 14 percent compared to last year.

For the record, the report from special counsel Robert Mueller, which cleared President Trump of allegations he and his campaign colluded with Russia to alter the 2016 election, came out April 18.

The two liberal networks have been hyping the Russia collusion story for more than two years. Mueller’s exhaustive report said there was no proof of collusion or obstruction of justice, putting a dagger through the heart of that story.

According to Nielsen Media Research’s ratings, CNN suffered its lowest-rated month in viewers since October 2015. CNN had just 767,000 average primetime viewers, down from 1.04 million in April 2018. “In the 25- to 54-year-old demographic that advertisers covet most, it was the network’s least-watched month since Aug. 2015,” The Hill reported.

In prime time, Fox News beat CNN and MSNBC for the 208th month in a row. MNSBC had double the viewership of CNN — and Fox News tripled CNN total viewers.

While the collusion story is all but dead, CNN and MSNBC have simply moved on to hype the next conspiracy theory. On Tuesday, reports emerged that Mueller reportedly told Attorney General William Barr that his summary “did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance” of the work the special counsel’s office performed.

“CNN gave the Mueller letter wall-to-wall coverage during primetime and MSNBC dedicated the vast majority of their programming to it as well,” Fox News reported. “Only MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow managed to dedicate a segment on the chaotic power struggle in Venezuela between the two liberal cable news networks on Tuesday night.

CNN chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin blasted Barr for “distort[ing]” and “shap[ing] the public perception of the Mueller Report forever” and said he could tell that “Mueller was pissed.”

CNN anchors Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon piled on the attorney general during their handoff. Cuomo called Barr and “agent” for President Trump instead of the American people while Lemon called him a “political hack” and a “mercenary for the president.”

“You don’t have to be a lawyer to see when someone is trying to pull the wool over your eyes,” Lemon told Cuomo. “You don’t have to be a lawyer to understand how William Barr got this job, how he auditioned for it, how he conducted himself during the hearings, and how he conducted himself at the press initial press conference with the letter and the second press conference.”

via CNN, MSNBC Ratings Plunge After Release Of Mueller Report Destroys Their Collusion Obsession — The Gateway Pundit

May 1, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

9. Ascend on the high mountain. He proceeds with the same subject; for the Lord, having formerly promised that he would give prophets who should soothe the grief and fear of the people by promises, now commands that this consolation shall be more widely spread; because it is his pleasure to diffuse his grace throughout the whole of Judea.

Lift up thy voice aloud, O Jerusalem. Formerly he had given to Jerusalem and Zion the hope of this joyful message; now he commands that the same voice shall be spread and shall be heard through other cities, and, for this reason, gives orders that the loud voice shall be lifted up, and proclaimed from a lofty place. Although by the words “Zion” and “Jerusalem” he means the same thing, yet the repetition is emphatic; for he shews that one city excels all other cities, for no other reason than because God hath chosen it to be his sanctuary.

That bringest tidings. He gives to the city this appellation, because there the priests and Levites were instructed according to the injunctions of the Law, that they might be the teachers of the whole people, and by their labours might spread the doctrine of salvation. (Mal. 2:7.) Yet we ought carefully to observe this commendation which God bestows on his Church, that it may not be without a clear mark of distinction; for an assembly in which the preaching of heavenly doctrine is not heard does not deserve to be reckoned a Church. In this sense also, Paul calls it (1 Tim. 3:15) “the pillar and foundation of the truth;” for although God might have governed us by himself, and without the agency of men, yet he has assigned this office to his Church, and has committed to it the invaluable treasure of his Word. For the same reason it will be called in another passage, “the mother of all believers.” (Isaiah 54:1; Gal. 4:26.) Hence it follows that, nothing is more absurd and wicked than for dumb idols to boast of the name of the Church, as is done in Popery.

We are likewise taught, that the Church has not been instructed by God, in order that she may keep her knowledge hidden within herself, but that she may publish what she has learned. Besides, he commands that grace shall be freely and boldly proclaimed, that prophets and teachers may not speak with timidity, as if it were a doubtful matter, but may shew that they are fully convinced of the certainty of those things which they promise, because they know well that “God, who cannot lie,” (Tit. 1:2,) is the Author of them. He enjoins the witnesses of his grace to proceed from Zion, that they may fill with joy the whole of Judea.

Behold your God! This expression includes the sum of our happiness, which consists solely in the presence of God. It brings along with it an abundance of all blessings; and if we are destitute of it, we must be utterly miserable and wretched; and although blessings of every kind are richly enjoyed by us, yet if we are estranged from God, everything must tend to our destruction. From this circumstance it ought also to be remarked, that nothing is more opposite to faith than to estimate by the present appearances of things what God declares by his prophets, who at that time must have been struck dumb, had they not raised their views above the world, and thus, through the power of unshaken boldness and perseverance, dared to draw others along with them, that they might cherish good hopes when matters were at the worst. And indeed when wicked men and wickedness prevail, the greater the terror that is spread all around, and the greater the seeming wretchedness of the Church, the more ought we to extol the grace of God, and to point out his presence to believers.[1]

40:9 In this section of Isaiah (40:1–55:13), Zion is an endearing term for the remnant who have remained faithful to God. The good tidings are that God has come to rescue His enslaved people. Behold your God: Compare John 1:36; 19:5.[2]

40:9 Zion … good news … Jerusalem … good news. Like a messenger on a mountain, to be seen and heard by all, the prophet called on the city to proclaim loudly to the rest of Judah’s cities the good news of God’s presence there (cf. 2:3). Here is your God! The restoration of Israel to the Land is to include the resumption of God’s presence in Jerusalem after many centuries (Eze 43:1–7; Rev 21:22, 23; cf. Eze 11:22, 23).[3]

40:9 high mountain. The reliability of God’s promise calls for wholehearted public announcement (cf. 52:7). fear not. They are to proclaim the message by faith, whatever the conditions at the time (cf. 35:3–4). cities of Judah. The Jewish exiles will return to the Promised Land, for that is where the divine Messiah is to appear (cf. 48:20; Mic. 5:2).[4]

40:9 Zion, bringer of good news Rather than identifying Zion or Jerusalem as the herald, the Hebrew allows for the reading “herald of good news for Zion” and “herald of good news for Jerusalem” in the parallel line. In the context of the prophet’s message and charge to preach, it is reasonable to read v. 9 as addressed to him along with v. 8. See v. 1 and note.

Here is your God The simple call to look upon their God is expanded and amplified in vv. 10–31.[5]

[1] Calvin, J., & Pringle, W. (2010). Commentary on the Book of the Prophet Isaiah (Vol. 3, pp. 213–214). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[2] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (p. 846). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.

[3] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Is 40:9). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[4] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 1310). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[5] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Is 40:9). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

CNN Drops 26% In Prime Time As Fox News Dominates April Cable Ratings | Forbes.com

Fox News extends its lead as America’s most-watched cable news network to 208 consecutive months.

As CNN prepares to move its prime time studios and operations to a glitzy new building at New York City’s brand new–and widely reviled–Hudson Yards development, the network saw its prime time lineup drop 26% in April compared to the same month one year ago. CNN’s total audience in prime time was well under a million viewers–767,000–while competitors MSNBC and Fox News finished the month far ahead: MSNBC in second place overall with 1.660 million total viewers, and Fox News leading all of cable with a total audience of 2.395 million.

April ranks as CNN’s lowest-rated month among total viewers in nearly four years, since October 2015. CNN’s Cuomo Primetime, which has been the network’s highest-rated hour, drew a total audience of 917,000 viewers in April, the show’s worst-ever performance.

Among viewers 25-54, the demographic most coveted by national advertisers, the falloff for CNN was even more stark: down 41 percent. CNN drew 198,000 viewers in the demo, behind MSNBC (255,000) and Fox News (389,000). All three networks saw year-over-year declines in April, with MSNBC down 36% and FNC down 19%.

Read more: CNN Drops 26% In Prime Time As Fox News Dominates April Cable Ratings