Daily Archives: June 8, 2019

June 8 Tested Faith

Scripture Reading: James 1:2–8

Key Verse: James 1:6

But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.

Losing faith in God in the midst of difficult circumstances undermines what we claim to believe about Him. However, a faith tested and proven yields immeasurable fruit in the kingdom of God.

God’s desire is to mold and shape us into His image so that we reflect His beauty, love, and grace to a dying world. He allows certain situations to touch our lives so that our faith in Him will be strengthened.

The testing of our faith gives us an answer to questions like these: Do we really say what we believe? Or are we spouting off biblical truths without trusting them in our hearts?

James wrote, “The testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:3–4 nasb).

When our faith goes on trial, we should slow down and set our focus on Christ. Attempting to get to the other side of adversity too quickly will sometimes prevent us from learning the lesson God wants to teach us.

Learning to endure such hardships will benefit us, maturing us as believers and strengthening the foundation of our faith. Instead of allowing ourselves to be swayed by our emotions in the moment, we can live victoriously by faith when we refuse to let our faith be shaken. God always brings to completion the works He begins.

Lord, in the midst of my asking You to be present in my difficult times, let me accept Your shaping and molding. Grant me an unwavering faith.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 167). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

June 8 When Your World Turns Upside Down

Scripture Reading: John 11:17–22

Key Verse: John 11:22

Even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.

Few of us are prepared for the worst when it comes. Often tragedy strikes without notice—the sudden death of a loved one, a layoff at work, or a medical report confirming a terminal illness.

These events and many more have the potential to turn our world upside down. How do we handle circumstances that leave us suddenly feeling out of control and frightened?

At the death of her brother, Martha longed for Jesus to return to Bethany. The pain was too great for her to bear alone. She knew He was the Christ, the Son of God; and yet she was torn emotionally by her human feelings. Had Jesus been present when Lazarus became ill, she reasoned, he never would have died.

Faith versus human reasoning—in this case faith won out. Fighting back tears, Martha said, “Even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You” (John 11:22). She believed Jesus had complete control over the situation. No matter how upside down her world appeared, Christ’s presence restored order and hope.

God may not completely remove the painfulness of your circumstances. But He will bring order and peace if you will turn to Him. He is your present help in troubled times.

Precious Lord, when it seems my world is upside down and all is out of control, help me have faith in You. Although You may not remove the pain of my circumstances, You will be my Guide in troubled times.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 167). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

June 8 The Roots of Rebellion

Scripture reading: 1 Samuel 15:1–23

Key verse: 1 Samuel 15:23

For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft,

And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.

Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,

He also has rejected you from being king.

Partial obedience is not obedience. It is rebellion that turns aside to selfish desires while ignoring the wishes of those in authority over us. At first glance rebellion may appear insignificant, but don’t be fooled. The roots of rebellion grow quickly and run deep.

God directed Saul to destroy the Amalekites. When the dust on the battlefield settled, however, Saul and his army spared the Amalekite king and the best of his flocks. With disobedience standing between him and God, Saul tried in vain to explain his actions. He claimed he saved the best of the spoil as a sacrifice to God, but the true intent of Saul’s heart was selfish gain. This one act of rebellion cost him the throne. Years later, it cost Israel the lives of some of its strongest fighting men.

Ultimately, all rebellion circumvents God’s control even though its aim is usually directed at human authority. It quenches our fellowship with God and derails His blessings. You may think your rebellion is justifiable, but God never blesses anything that contradicts His will. Rebellion is always at enmity with God.

Ask Him to surface any hidden rebellion within your heart. When you come to Him in repentance, He always responds in love and grace.

Father, please surface any hidden rebellion in my heart, then help me repent of it. Let me respond with obedience to You and those in authority over me.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 167). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Whoah! Gutsy! Pastor Opens Legislative Session with Imprecatory Prayer Upon Politicians Who Support Abortion — Pulpit & Pen

Darren Bailey with Cory Musgrave

This Illinois pastor was asked to lead the prayer over the Illinois House of Representatives, a time-tested tradition which is largely a ceremonial hat-tip to a time gone by. In his prayer, the pastor pled God’s forgiveness and prayed down God’s wrath upon the legislators for keeping abortion legal.

We don’t know if Corey Muskgrave has a seminary degree, but he has intestinal fortitude like you can’t believe.

Musgrave is the pastor of New Beginnings Church and was asked to open the house in prayer by Representative Darren Bailey. He subsequently took a page from the Psalmist’s playbook and prayed an imprecatory prayer.

An imprecatory prayer is a prayer that is invoking God’s wrath and judgment, and they’re modeled for us in the imprecatory Psalms, which include Psalms 5, 6, 11, 12, 35, 37, 40, 52, 54, 56, 57, 58, 59, 79, 83, 94, 137, 139, and 143.

This might be the first time we have seen such an act of bravery amidst a bunch of pro-choice legislators.

Illinois lawmakers are considering the Reproductive Health Act, which would codify into law a “fundamental right” to abortion. Several more liberal states are considering these laws in response to the heartbeat laws currently being passed throughout the Bible belt. The legislation passed the Illinois House of Representatives already and will probably pass the state Senate, which is controlled by Democrats.

After a very long, godly prayer, Musgrave prayed, “We have one final appeal left, that is to the courts of Heaven. God Almighty, I make an appeal to Heaven today, to you the perfect judge, the one who presides over Heaven court, I ask you to rise up, oh God, and judge Illinois for the sanctioned destruction for the innocent unborn. For when your judgments are in this state, the inhabitants of Illinois learn righteousness.

via Whoah! Gutsy! Pastor Opens Legislative Session with Imprecatory Prayer Upon Politicians Who Support Abortion — Pulpit & Pen

Foreign Secretary ‘deeply disturbed’ by number of Christians being persecuted for their faith | Christian Today

A policeman stands guard outside St John’s Cathedral Church in Peshawar, Pakistan.Reuters

Jeremy Hunt has reiterated his commitment to addressing the global persecution of Christians in a new report from the Foreign Office on the state of democracy and human rights around the world.

The Foreign Secretary said in the preface to the report that he was “deeply disturbed” to learn that 215 million Christians faced persecution last year, according to figures from Christian campaign group Open Doors.


Source: Foreign Secretary ‘deeply disturbed’ by number of Christians being persecuted for their faith

It’s an Intimidating Age for Christians. Here’s How to Respond… | CBNNews.com

Make no mistake, the world is trying to intimidate and marginalize Christians. In the Western world, atheists and secularists have created a culture that belittles the followers of Christ in an ongoing effort to bully—yes, I’ll use that word—us into silence.

Source: It’s an Intimidating Age for Christians. Here’s How to Respond…

Meadows: FBI Knew ‘Within 60 Days’ That Russia Probe ‘Built On A Foundation Of Sand’ | ZeroHedge News

Mark Meadows confirmed what many have suspected about the Trump-Russia for a long time; the FBI knew early on that the foundation of its counterintelligence investigation against the Trump campaign was built on ‘a foundation of sand,’ reports the Daily Caller‘s Chuck Ross.

North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows (R) told Hannity Friday night that the FBI knew “within 60 days of them opening the investigation, prior to [Robert] Mueller coming on, the FBI and the [Department of Justice] knew that Christopher Steele was not credible, the dossier was not true, George Papadopoulos was innocent.” 

Meadows did not elaborate on why he believes the FBI knew their investigation was built on a mountain of lies, however according to The Hill‘s John Solomon last month, memos which were retroactively classified by the DOJ reveal that a high-ranking government official who met with Christopher Steele in October 2016 determined that information in the Trump-Russia dossier was inaccurate, and likely leaked to the media.

Meadows also suggested that the FBI had exculpatory information on Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos, who was fed the rumor that Russia had negative information on Hillary Clinton, and later bilked for said information by a Clinton-linked Australian diplomat. Papadopoulos would later be subject to a spying operation in which the FBI sent in two operatives to trick the Trump adviser in a failed business / honeypot operation.

The bureau opened its investigation of the Trump campaign on July 31, 2016, after receiving a tip about Papadopoulos from the Australian government. Within those two months, the FBI team leading the investigation received information from Steele’s dossier. The FBI also dispatched a longtime FBI informant, Stefan Halper, to meet with Papadopoulos.

The pair met in London in mid-September 2016 after Halper offered Papadopoulos $3,000 to write a policy paper. Halper, a former Cambridge professor, was accompanied by a woman he claimed was his assistant, Azra Turk. She is reportedly a government investigator.

Meadows in the past has suggested the FBI had exculpatory information on Papadopoulos that showed the Trump aide was not working with Russia. –Daily Caller

The FBI relied on the Steele dossier to obtain surveillance warrants on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, ostensibly allowing the Obama administration to surveil those Page was in contact with.

Source: Meadows: FBI Knew ‘Within 60 Days’ That Russia Probe ‘Built On A Foundation Of Sand’

Gaetz: ‘The American People Are Sick and Tired of a Double Standard That Seems to Pave a Yellow Brick Road to the Exoneration for Hillary Clinton’ | Breitbart News

Friday on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity,” Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), an outspoken critic of the so-called deep state, offered his optimism that the Department of Justice under Attorney General William Barr would work to root out “corruption” within his department and compared his leadership to that of his predecessor former Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Source: Gaetz: ‘The American People Are Sick and Tired of a Double Standard That Seems to Pave a Yellow Brick Road to the Exoneration for Hillary Clinton’

Ramadan 2019 Deadlier than 2018: Taliban Responsible for over 40% of Nearly 2,000 Casualties | Breitbart News

Predominantly Sunni jihadi groups carried out 187 terrorist attacks across nearly 30 countries on Ramadan this year, driving the number of fatalities up to 911 and injuries to 1,006 when compared to the casualties during the holiest month for Muslims in 2018, a Breitbart News database analysis shows.

Source: Ramadan 2019 Deadlier than 2018: Taliban Responsible for over 40% of Nearly 2,000 Casualties

“The Skid Is Everywhere” And We Just Got Confirmation That The Worst Is Yet To Come | ZeroHedge News

Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,

All over America, large portions of our major cities are being transformed into stomach-churning cesspools of squalor.  Thousands of tens cities are popping up from coast to coast as the homeless population explodes, even the New York Times admits that we are facing “the worst drug crisis in American history”, there were more than 28,000 official complaints about human feces in the streets of San Francisco last year alone, and millions of rats are currently overrunning the city of Los Angeles.  And yet the authorities continue to insist that the economy is in good shape and that everything is going to be just fine.

Perhaps everything may seem “just fine” if you live in a heavily sanitized wealthy suburban neighborhood and you only get your news from heavily sanitized corporate media sources, but in the real world things are getting really bad.

The other day, LZ Granderson authored an editorial in which he described what life is like in Los Angeles right at this moment…

LA spent nearly $620 million in tax dollars last year to address the issue, and yet the number of homeless people increased by 16%,reaching nearly 60,000 people.

As a Los Angeles resident, I am among those who wonder what the mayor’s office is doing. When I lived downtown it was virtually impossible to walk a full block in any direction without seeing a homeless person. In Silver Lake where I live now, there are tent cities. On my drive to work I see people living underneath the highway overpasses. It’s no longer Skid Row here. The skid is everywhere.

Of course that phrase, “the skid is everywhere”, could also apply to San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Denver, Minneapolis, Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis, Memphis, Cleveland, Baltimore, Philadelphia and countless other U.S. cities.

But without a doubt, L.A. is particularly disgusting at this point.  In fact, last weekend a columnist for the Los Angeles Times admitted that “Los Angeles has become a giant trash receptacle”

A swath of Los Angeles has devolved into a wasteland with rats scurrying among piles of decaying garbage and squalid tent cities, according to a series of stomach-churning photos that the Los Angeles Times says depict the “collapse of a city that’s lost control.”

“The city of Los Angeles has become a giant trash receptacle,” columnist Steve Lopez complained on Sunday.

We are seeing this happen at a time when we are being told that the U.S. economy is still relatively stable.

And I will concede that point.  Right now, the U.S. economy is a whole lot more stable than it will be in the months ahead.

So if things are this bad already in our major cities, what are those cities going to look like once we get deep into the next economic downturn?

On Friday, the Labor Department reported that 75,000 jobs were added to the U.S. economy in May.  That number is consistent with the extremely disappointing figure that ADP reported a few days earlier, and it is well below the number of jobs that we need just to keep up with population growth each month.

Prior to this latest report, there were already more working age Americans without a job than at any point during the last recession, and now things just got even worse.

But the government conveniently categorizes the vast majority of working age Americans without a job as “not in the labor force”, and so officially the unemployment rate is “very low” right now.

What a joke.

The truth is that the middle class has been steadily shrinking for an extended period of time, and all of the numbers that have been rolling in seem to indicate that an economic slowdown has begun.

For instance, when economic activity is expanding demand for key industrial resources such as copper, zinc and lumber increases and prices tend to go up.

But when economic activity is contracting, demand for those key industrial resources diminishes and prices tend to go down.

And right now we are seeing prices for copper, zinc and lumber decline precipitiously

Copper prices have fallen 6% in just the past month while zinc is down 8.5%. Copper and zinc are big components for many industrial and technology companies. People pay so much attention to copper as a barometer that traders jokingly call it Dr. Copper, as if it has a PhD in economics.

Lumber prices are falling as well, plunging about 10% in the past month. That could be viewed as a sign that the housing market — particularly new home construction — is weakening.

If you were looking for some exceedingly clear indications of where the U.S. economy is heading in the near future, you just got them.

But most Americans will continue to live in denial until the very end.  And even though 59 percent of the population is living paycheck to paycheck, people continue to rack up debt as if there was no tomorrow.

In fact, we just learned that the average size of a new vehicle loan in the U.S. just hit a brand new record high

People buying a new vehicle are borrowing more and paying more each month for their auto loan.

Experian, which tracks millions of auto loans each month, said the average amount borrowed to buy a new vehicle hit a record $32,187 in the first quarter. The average used-vehicle loan also hit a record, $20,137.

People ask me all the time about how they can prepare for the next economic downturn, and one of the key pieces of advice that I always give is to not take on more debt.

Right now everyone should be building up their financial cushions, because what is coming is not a joke.

Unfortunately, most Americans are still completely in denial about what is happening, and they will find themselves ill-prepared to handle the very harsh economic environment that is ahead.

Source: “The Skid Is Everywhere” And We Just Got Confirmation That The Worst Is Yet To Come

Four Dumb Myths Charismatics Believe That Aren’t Real — Pulpit & Pen

Charismatics believe some notoriously silly things. Believing that the signs given in the New Testament to verify Apostleship (2 Corinthians 12:12) still exist, they’re always looking for “signs, wonders, and mighty deeds.” Unfortunately, this leaves them settling for fake miracles, stupid visions, and parlor tricks.

For nineteen-hundred years, the Christian church has largely believed that the Apostolic sign gifts (which include prophecy, tongues, and miracles wrought by the hands of men) no longer exist because the Apostles are no longer with us. These gifts were meant to signify Apostles and were distributed only to the Apostles and upon those whom the Apostles laid their hands. Charismatics disagree with the bulk of church history, however, and in doing so fall repeatedly for charlatans, crooks, carnival barkers, frauds, phoneys, mentalists, and parlor tricksters.

Here’s a list of 5 dumb things that charismatics believe that aren’t real.

Read more: Four Dumb Myths Charismatics Believe That Aren’t Real — Pulpit & Pen

Video: Watch this Brave 13 Year-Old Compare Abortion to Slavery and Get Booed, Heckled by Adults — Pulpit & Pen

Mercy sakes. This video is absolutely incredible. This young woman is incredible. The adults heckling her are horrible.

This is the most articulate young woman I’ve ever heard. She kept going in spite of being yelled at from the crowd. Comparing abortion to slavery, she stood up and spoke the truth.

When she argued that those killing babies are like those who enslaved black people, the crowd erupted. She kept going. She spoke over the moderator who had to call for order. This girl is a hero.

We need more like her. And be sure to watch the crowd after she gets done speaking. Crazy.

via Video: Watch this Brave 13 Year-Old Compare Abortion to Slavery and Get Booed, Heckled by Adults — Pulpit & Pen

Weekend Snapshot · June 8, 2019 – Top Stories This Week

Judicial Activism? Tyranny Is More Like It

Hamilton dismissed the judiciary’s threat, but Jefferson was prescient about the “despotic branch.”

Mexico Blinks Over Trump’s Tariff Threat

Mexico agrees to send troops to its southern border and work on changing asylum protocols.

Border Invasion for One Reason: Democrats’ Invitation

The drastic increase in apprehensions of migrants at the border is a man-made crisis.

Dems Desperate to Block Census Citizenship Question

It’s a full-court press to sway Chief Justice John Roberts against Donald Trump.

Rush to Subvert Electoral College Hits Roadblock

Democrats in Maine and Nevada decline to join the National Popular Vote initiative.

Biden Plagiarizes His ‘Green’ Homework

His climate plan for “revolution” and “justice” didn’t properly cite his sources.

‘Woke Christians’ Offended by Prayer for President

The pastor who prayed over Trump is forced to defend his decision.

Tech Monopolies Under Scrutiny

Meanwhile, Facebook breaches user privacy to help Leftmedia dox a private citizen.

King Corn Wins Again

Trump’s EPA authorizes expanded use of E15 through the summer months.

Common Core Has a Core Problem

Instead of leading to better education, the standards have devolved into a battle over funding.

Why Remembering Midway Matters

As we mark 75 years since D-Day, another battle 77 years ago this week merits mention.

D-Day at 75: Two Flags and a Son’s Promise Kept

To honor our Veterans, strive to be, first and foremost, an American citizen worthy of their sacrifice.

Today’s Meme

For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.

Today’s Cartoon

For more of today’s cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.

Quote Of The Week

“75 years ago: young Americans braved Nazi fire on beaches to liberate a continent and defend Constitutional rights. Today: young Americans whine about people making mean jokes about them on YouTube and demand censorship.” —Ben Shapiro


Top Weekly Stories from ChristianNews.net for 06/08/2019

Illinois Pastor’s Prayer Before House Asks God to Judge State for ‘Sanctioned Destruction of Innocent Unborn’   Jun 02, 2019 08:39 pm

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — A pastor in Illinois who opened the state House of Representatives in prayer on Friday asked Heaven’s court to judge the state for sanctioning the “destruction of the unborn” through the passage of the so-called Reproductive Health Act. Corey Musgrave, who leads New Beginnings Church in Fairfield, began by thanking God for his blessings upon…

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Canadian Preacher Arrested for ‘Disturbing the Peace’ as Crowd Rejects Message of the Gospel   Jun 07, 2019 10:53 am

TORONTO — A Canadian preacher was arrested on Tuesday and charged with disturbing the peace as he was met with opposition while sharing the gospel in a section of Toronto known as “the Gay Village.” David Lynn of Christ’s Forgiveness Ministries had been on a preaching tour throughout Toronto, and says that he was not specifically targeting homosexuals when he…

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‘You Intended Evil, But God Works All for Good:’ Man Who Threw Boy Over Mall of America Balcony Sentenced   Jun 05, 2019 11:36 am

Photo Credit: Farragutful/Wikipedia MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — A Minnesota man who threw a five-year-old boy over a third-floor balcony at the Mall of America earlier this year has been sentenced to prison. The child’s parents wrote in victim impact statements that while the man “chose to listen to the devil that day” and “intended evil,” their son “is a witness to…

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13-Year-Old’s Speech Before Raleigh City Council Comparing Abortion to Slavery Met With Angry Shouts   Jun 07, 2019 09:44 pm

RALEIGH, N.C. — A 13-year-old girl’s speech on abortion drew criticism and angry shouts from the public on Tuesday night as she spoke before the Raleigh, North Carolina City Council. “I strongly believe that abortion is murder. I also believe murder is wrong,” said Addison Woosley as she came to the podium. “So, I’m here to ask you to make abortion illegal in…

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Jerry Falwell Jr. Deletes Crude Tweet Regarding David Platt’s Explanation of Prayer Over Trump at Church   Jun 06, 2019 08:12 pm

LYNCHBURG, Va. — Jerry Falwell Jr., the president of Liberty University, which hails itself as the world’s largest Christian university, has deleted a vulgar tweet that provided his personal opinion on David Platt’s explanation to his church on why he decided to pray for President Trump on stage when he arrived on Sunday with short notice. Falwell had…

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David Platt Prays Over President Trump During Unannounced Visit to McLean Bible Church   Jun 03, 2019 10:25 am

VIENNA, Va. — David Platt, the former president of the Southern Baptist International Missions Board (IMB) and current pastor of McLean Bible Church in Virginia, prayed over President Trump on Sunday after he made an unannounced visit to the church to meet with Platt and pray for the victims of Friday’s mass shooting in Virginia Beach. Platt pointed to 1 Timothy…

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Wisc. Elementary School Teacher Who Identifies as ‘Both’ Male and Female Records ‘Coming Out’ Video for Students   Jun 06, 2019 05:15 pm

MADISON, Wisc. — An elementary school science teacher in Wisconsin recently recorded a “coming out” video for his students to “introduce anew” as neither male or female but “Mx.” Some parents are now reportedly upset that they were not informed of the intended announcement. Mark Busenbark, who teaches K-5 students at Frank Allis Elementary School in Madison, had…

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United Methodist ‘Church’ to Host Screening of Homosexual ‘Arthur’ Episode, ‘Wedding Party’ for Mr. Ratburn   Jun 03, 2019 08:59 pm

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — A United Methodist “church” in Alabama has decided to host a “wedding party” featuring a free screening of the “Arthur” episode surrounding the same-sex “wedding” of Mr. Ratburn after Alabama Public Television said that it would not air the broadcast. The screening is a joint effort between The Sidewalk Film Festival, the Shout LGBTQ Film…

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Pastor’s Son Laid Down His Life to Save Friends During Virginia Shooting   Jun 03, 2019 11:41 am

(Heavy) — Ryan Keith Cox was a hero of the Virginia Beach mass shooting, said survivors who credit their lives to him. Cox, an account clerk at Virginia Beach Public Utilities, saved the lives of seven women who were also in building 2 of the Virginia Beach Municipal Center Friday when a suspect began “firing indiscriminately” at people on all three levels…

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Netherlands Teen Who Was Sexually Abused, Raped Ends Her Life Due to ‘Unbearable’ Pain   Jun 05, 2019 08:51 am

(New York Post) — A Dutch teen who was sexually assaulted at age 11 and raped at 14 chose to end her life because she couldn’t deal with the anguish anymore. Noa Pothoven, 17, who lived in the Netherlands, wrote in a now-deleted Instagram post about her heartbreaking decision to stop eating — leading to her death Sunday. “Love is letting go, in this…

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June 8, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

1. O Lord, thou art my God. Hitherto Isaiah has prophesied about the judgments of God, which threatened not only a single nation, but almost the whole world. Now, it was impossible that the contemplation of calamities so dismal as those which he foresaw should not give him great uneasiness; for godly persons would desire that all mankind should be saved, and, while they honour God, they desire also to love all that belongs to him; and, in short, so far as any man sincerely fears God, he has a powerful and lively feeling of the divine judgments. While wicked men stand amazed at the judgments of God, and are not moved by any terror, godly men tremble at the slightest token of his anger. And if this be the case with us, what do we suppose was experienced by the Prophet, who had almost before his eyes those calamities which he foretold? For, in order that the ministers of the word might be convinced of the certainty of what they taught, it was necessary that they should be more powerfully impressed by it than the generality of men.

Since therefore the Lord held out to Isaiah, as in a picture, those dreadful calamities, he found it necessary, under the overpowering influence of grief and anxiety, to betake himself to the Lord; otherwise the confused emotions of his mind would have agitated him beyond measure. He therefore takes courage from the belief that, in the midst of these tempests, the Lord still determines to promote the advantage of his Church, and to bring into subjection to himself those who were formerly estranged. Isaiah therefore remains firm and steadfast in his calling, and does not allow himself to be drawn aside from his purpose, but continually relies on the expectation of mercy, and therefore perseveres in celebrating the praises of God. Thus we learn that this thanksgiving is connected with the former prophecies, and that Isaiah considers not only what he foretold, but why the Lord did it; that is, why the Lord afflicted so many nations with various calamities. It was, that he might subdue those who were formerly incorrigible, and who rushed forward with brutal eagerness, who had no fear of God, and no feeling of religion or godliness.

Thou art my God. Being as it were perplexed and confused, he suddenly raises his thoughts to God, as we have already said. Hence we ought to draw a very useful doctrine, namely, that when our minds are perplexed by a variety of uneasy thoughts on account of numerous distresses and afflictions which happen daily, we ought immediately to resort to God, and rely on his providence; for even the smallest calamities will overwhelm us, if we do not betake ourselves to him, and support our hearts by this doctrine. In order to bring out more fully the meaning of the Prophet, the word but or nevertheless may be appropriately inserted in this manner: “Whatever temptations from that quarter may disturb me, nevertheless I will acknowledge thee to be my God.” Thus he promises that he will give to God the praise which is due to him; and this cannot be, unless a firm belief of his grace dwell in our hearts, and hold a superiority, from which grace springs a joy, which yields to us the most abundant ground for praises, when we are certain of our salvation, and are fully convinced that the Lord is our God. Accordingly, those who are influenced by no desire to praise God, have not believed and have not tasted the goodness of God; for if we actually trust in God, we must be led to take great delight in praising his name.

For thou hast done a wonderful thing. He uses the word פלא, (pĕlĕ,) wonderful, in the singular number instead of the plural. The Prophet does not confine his view to the present appearance of things, but looks to the end; for even men who in other respects are heathens, behold in the government of the world astonishing events, the sight of which overwhelms them with amazement; which undoubtedly happened to the inhabitants of Tyre and Sidon, and to the Babylonians and Moabites. But those only who have tasted his goodness and wisdom can profit by the works of God; for otherwise they undervalue and despise his works, and do not comprehend their excellence, because they do not perceive their end, which is, that God, wonderfully bringing light out of darkness, (2 Cor. 4:6,) raises his Church from death to life, and regulates in the best manner, and directs to the most valuable purpose, those things which to the eye of man appear to be confused.

Counsels whch have been already decreed of old. Now, in order to bestow still higher commendation on the providence of God, he adds, that the “counsels have been already decreed of old;” as if he had said, that to God nothing is sudden or unforeseen. And indeed, though he sometimes appears to us to act suddenly, yet all things were undoubtedly ordained by him before the creation of the world. (Acts 15:18.) By this word, therefore, the Apostle means that all the miracles which happen contrary to the expectation of men, are the result of that regular order which God maintains in governing the world, arranging all things from the beginning to the end. Now, since we do not understand those secret decrees, and our powers of understanding cannot rise so high, our attention must therefore be directed to the manifestation of them; for they are concealed from us, and exceed our comprehension, till the Lord reveal them by his word, in which he accommodates himself to our weakness; for his decree is (ἀνεξεύρητον) unsearchable.

Firm truth. From the eternal decrees of God the Prophet thus proceeds to doctrines and promises, which he undoubtedly denotes by the word truth; for the repetition would be frivolous, if this word did not signify a relation; because, when God has revealed to us his purpose, if we believe his sayings, he then appears to be actually true. He commends the firmness and certainty of the word, when he says that it is “steadfast truth;” that is, that everything that comes from God, everything that is declared by him, is firm and unchangeable.[1]

1 You are my God. This intensely personal affirmation sets the tone for the whole song. In place of the raucous drinking songs whose purpose was forgetfulness and the loosening of inhibitions with the result that the worst side of humanity was revealed, this is a song of heightened awareness and true freedom in commitment. The singer says, “I want a being like you for my God. I want to belong to one as powerful and faithful as you.” But he also says, “You have shown me that you do truly belong to me, because you have not abandoned me to the oppressor, you have kept faith with me when I was so afraid you had forgotten me. You are my God.” The personal note here is a helpful reminder that although God did deal with his people as a group, every individual in that group counted because God related to the group as to an individual. Thus instead of the person being lost in the group, the group became a person and the importance of persons was safeguarded.

for you have done wonderful things. The biblical faith is rooted in the concept of a God who is not captive to the normal. He is able to do the remarkable things, and does, in order to save his people. Modern religion has stripped God of his miraculous powers and, using process parlance, has deified the physico-psycho-social system while continuing to call itself Christianity, and thus has drifted far from its biblical roots. That kind of god neither excites nor deserves the kind of ecstatic praise recorded here. Wonders are not part of its makeup.

things planned long ago expresses a thought which is especially Isaianic. God’s wonders, his amazing acts, are not “off-the-cuff.” They are part of the divine purpose in the universe. The idols have no plans, which is to be expected since the wind and rain from which the idols come have none. People make plans feverishly, but all too often they come to nothing. But Isaiah knows a God who, at the right moment, does something which from one point of view is utterly new, but from another is consistent with plans formed before the universe began. This is the only being into whose hands it makes sense to entrust oneself from Isaiah’s point of view. No other plan is worth anything.[2]

Ver. 1.—Thou art my God; I will exalt thee (comp. Exod. 15:2 and Ps. 118:28). To Isaiah the “Song of Moses” seems to have been a pattern thanksgiving, from which he delighted to draw his phrases when he was bent on formally singing praise to God. Compare the following: Exod. 15:2 with ch. 12:2, “He is become my salvation;” the same with ch. 25:1, “He is my God; I will exalt him;” Exod. 15:6 with ch. 13:16, “Hath dashed in pieces;” Exod. 15:7 with ch. 47:14, “Consumed them as stubble;” Exod. 15:11 with ch. 46:5, “Who is like,” etc.? the same with ch. 25:1, “Doing wonders;” Exod. 15:16 with ch. 8:13, “Fear and dread;” Exod. 15:18 with ch. 24:23, “The Lord shall reign.” Wonderful things; thy counsels of old are, etc.; rather, thou hast wrought wonders, counsels of old, faithfulness and truth. The wonders for which God is praised were decreed in his counsels from all eternity; their accomplishment shows forth God’s “faithfulness” and “truth.”[3]

When is the appropriate time to praise the Lord?
Is. 25:1
Praise the Lord often, regardless of your circumstances. Many people praise the Lord only when something good happens to them or when they receive an unexpected blessing—but the Lord is worthy of our praise at all times, in all circumstances.

We do not praise the Lord on the basis of our circumstances; we praise the Lord on the basis of who He is in the midst of our circumstances.

We do not praise the Lord because of the way we feel; we praise the Lord because of who He is and the way He feels about us.

Don’t limit your praise to the songs you sing at the Sunday church service. Praise the Lord often, in both words and songs that you create spontaneously. All around you, at all times, you can find countless things for which to praise the Lord. Look for those things, and throughout the day voice your heartfelt praise and thanksgiving to God.

When you ride alone in your car, get into an empty elevator, sit alone in your office or work space, or find yourself alone in your home, take every opportunity to voice praise to the Lord for who He is. Praise Him for what He has done through the ages, for what He has done in your life and in the lives of your loved ones, and for what you know without doubt the Lord is doing for you and will do for you both now and throughout all eternity.

You can never run out of things for which to praise the Lord!

When you voice your praise to the Lord, you open yourself up to experiencing the presence of God with you. The Bible tells us that the Lord is “enthroned” in the praises of His people (Ps. 22:3).

The greater your praise, the smaller your problems will appear.

The more frequent your praise, the less you will find yourself with time to worry or feel anxious.

The more you praise the Lord, the more you are going to “see” things worthy of His praise.

As you praise Him, your entire attitude will shift from an unhealthy “I focus” and “problem focus,” to a healthy and joyful “God focus” and “answer focus.” So take a cue from the prophet Isaiah and proclaim: “O Lord, You are my God, I will exalt You, I will praise Your name, for you have done wonderful things; Your counsels of old are faithfulness and truth” (Is. 25:1).[4]

[1] Calvin, J., & Pringle, W. (2010). Commentary on the Book of the Prophet Isaiah (Vol. 2, pp. 189–192). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[2] Oswalt, J. N. (1986). The Book of Isaiah, Chapters 1–39 (pp. 460–461). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[3] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1910). Isaiah (Vol. 1, p. 399). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

[4] Stanley, C. F. (2005). The Charles F. Stanley life principles Bible: New King James Version (Is 25:1). Nashville, TN: Nelson Bibles.

June 8 Fear

scripture reading: Psalm 46
key verse: Psalm 56:3

Whenever I am afraid,
I will trust in You.

Fear seemed to be one of the first abnormal symptoms that the man experienced following the fall from perfect union and fellowship with God: “Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, ‘Where are you?’ And he said, ‘I heard the sound of Thee in the garden, and I was afraid’” (Gen. 3:9–10 nasb).

Since then every heart has known the panic and trembling that fear brings. Fear of failure. Fear of today. Fear of the future.

We live in fearful times. The only antidote for fear is trust. David, who knew the depth of fear as few people ever have, came to this conclusion as he was seized by the Philistines: “When I am afraid, / I will put my trust in Thee” (Ps. 56:3 nasb). David did not deny his fear. He did not rationalize it or try to outman it. He admitted his fear and then affirmed his trust in the Lord.

Elizabeth Cheney wrote this succinct and powerful poem:

Faith came singing into my room

And other guests took flight.

Grief, anxiety, fear, and gloom

Sped out into the night.

Identify the source of your fear. Bring it before God. Then confidently assert His ability to handle your fears and His willingness to replace your fears with His courage and peace.

Heavenly Father, I confess—I am fearful. Replace my fears with Your courage and peace. Whenever I am afraid, I will put my trust in You.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1998). Enter His gates: a daily devotional. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

8 june (1856) 365 Days with Spurgeon

Salvation to the uttermost

“Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” Hebrews 7:25

suggested further reading: Romans 8:31–34

It is pleasant to look back to Calvary’s hill, and to behold that bleeding form expiring on the tree; it is sweet, amazingly sweet, to pry with eyes of love between those thick olives, and hear the groanings of the Man who sweat great drops of blood. Sinner, if you ask me how Christ can save you, I tell you this—he can save you, because he did not save himself; he can save you, because he took your guilt and endured your punishment. There is no way of salvation apart from the satisfaction of divine justice. Either the sinner must die, or else someone must die for him. Sinner, Christ can save you, because, if you come to God by him, then he died for you. God has a debt against us, and he never remits that debt; he will have it paid. Christ pays it, and then the poor sinner goes free. And we are told another reason why he is able to save: not only because he died, but because he lives to make intercession for us. That Man who once died on the cross is alive; that Jesus who was buried in the tomb is alive. If you ask me what he is doing, I bid you listen. Listen, if you have ears! Did you not hear him, poor penitent sinner? Did you not hear his voice, sweeter than harpers playing on their harps? Did you not hear a charming voice? Listen! What did it say? “O my Father! Forgive!” Why, he mentioned your own name! “O my Father, forgive him; he knew not what he did. It is true he sinned against light, and knowledge, and warnings; sinned willfully and woefully; but, Father, forgive him!” Penitent, if you can listen, you will hear him praying for you. And that is why he is able to save.

for meditation: How often do you stop and think what Christ is doing for you right now, if you are a Christian (1 John 2:1)?

sermon no. 84[1]

[1] Spurgeon, C. H., & Crosby, T. P. (1998). 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 1) (p. 166). Leominster, UK: Day One Publications.

8 JUNE 365 Days with Calvin

The Gifts of Forgiveness and Repentance

In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Matthew 3:1–2

suggested further reading: John 8:1–11

The gospel message consists of two parts: forgiveness of sins and repentance. Matthew relates the first of these to the kingdom of heaven. We may thus conclude that people are in a state of deadly enmity with God. They are altogether shut out from the heavenly kingdom until God receives them into favor.

Though John, when he introduces the grace of God, urges men to repentance, yet we should remember that repentance is just as much the gift of God as inheriting the heavenly kingdom. As God freely pardons our sins and delivers us by his mercy from the condemnation of eternal death, so he also conforms us to his image so that we may live unto righteousness.

As God freely adopts us as his children, so he regenerates us by his Spirit in order that our life may testify that we do not falsely address him as our Father. In like manner, Christ washes away our sins by his blood and reconciles our heavenly Father to us by the sacrifice of his death. As a consequence of “our old man being crucified with him and the body of sin destroyed” (Rom. 6:6), he makes us “alive” unto righteousness.

The sum of the gospel here is that God through his Son takes away our sins and admits us to fellowship with him, so that we, in denying ourselves and our own nature, may “live soberly, righteously, and godly.” We may thus conduct ourselves rightly on earth while meditating on the heavenly life.

for meditation: Inheriting the kingdom of God is a great gift that involves both forgiveness and repentance, as Calvin says. These two are to be distinguished but never separated. Examine yourself today: are you both forgiven and penitent? If so, thank God today for these priceless gifts that lead to eternal life. If not, flee to Christ immediately.[1]

[1] Calvin, J., & Beeke, J. R. (2008). 365 Days with Calvin (p. 178). Leominster; Grand Rapids, MI: Day One Publications; Reformation Heritage Books.

NSFW: 4 Shocking Moments From the Latest Planned Parenthood Video — The Federalist

Technicians pick through baby bodies in a petri dish looking for organs to sell, among other things.

We originally published this article on July 28, 2015. We’re republishing it today in author Bre Payton’s memory, on her birthday. Congress still has not defunded Planned Parenthood.

Another undercover video revealing Planned Parenthood’s organ trafficking scheme was released Tuesday. This is the third and by far the most shocking video in a series by the Center for Medical Progress.  Here are the four most shocking moments from the 11-minute video:

1. Aborted Baby Bodies Get Ripped Apart in Petri Dishes

The end of the video actually shows technicians picking through aborted fetuses in order to find organs to use. Tiny body parts, like arms and spinal tissue, are seen dismembered in petri dishes while Planned Parenthood doctors ask about how much money they could get from harvesting each part.

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2. Former Stem Express Employee Describes First Gruesome Day On The Job

The bulk of the video focuses on an interview with Holly O’Donnell, a former procurement technician for StemExpress, an organ harvesting warehouse that offered discounts for ordering body parts in bulk.

O’Donnell describes her first day on the job:

I see someone come in with a bottle of something, and there’s blood in it… Then they went over to the sink, and emptied it out in a strainer, then put it on the pie dish and lit it up.


My trainer comes over and puts on gloves and grabs tweezers and she’s picking the parts away form the vaginal tissue… She has tweezers and she’s like, ‘Okay, well this is a head, this is an arm, this is a leg.’


I remember grabbing a leg, and I said, ‘This is a leg.’ And the moment I picked it up, I could feel death and pain… And I blacked out basically.


One nurse looked at me and said, ‘Oh you’re new, huh? Don’t worry, it still happens to a bunch of us… Some of us don’t ever get over it.’

3. There’s More Proof Stem Express and Planned Parenthood Profited From Baby Organs

O’Donnell describes how hard her bosses at Stem Expressed worked the technicians to make sure that they got as many organs as possible out of each body:

We were asked to procure certain tissues like brain, livers, thymus, pancreas, heart, lungs, and pretty much anything on the fetus. It’s basically a huge trafficking of fetal tissues.


StemExpress is a company that hires procurement techs to draw blood and dissect dead fetuses and sell the parts to researchers.


The main nurse was always trying to make sure that we got our specimens. She knew Planned Parenthood was getting compensated. so she wanted to make sure everything was going great for us, everything was going great for them.


The harder and more valuable the tissue, the more money you get. So if you can somehow procure a brain or a heart you’re going to get more than chorionic villi or umbilical chord…So I guess that’s an incentive to try and get more hard stuff.

4. The Other Videos Get More Context

Clips from the previous two videos were sprinkled throughout this third installment. Remember Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Planned Parenthood’s senior director for medical services, sharing how they like to do a little better than “breakeven”? Or last week’s video featuring Dr. Mary Gatter, the medical director for Planned Parenthood Los Angeles, haggling over the selling price of organs, then casually mentioning she wanted a Lamborghini?

In the wake of those two videos Planned Parenthood furiously backpedaled,saying that their words were taken out of context. Small clips from those videos are shown again right after Dr. Savita Ginde, Vice President and Medical Director of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, is seen talking about how to get the most money from an 11-week-old baby:

“The per-item thing works a little better because you can see how much you can get out of it.”

via NSFW: 4 Shocking Moments From the Latest Planned Parenthood Video — The Federalist