Daily Archives: July 1, 2019

July 1 Freedom from Sin

Scripture Reading: Psalm 25:8–18

Key Verse: Psalm 25:18

Look on my affliction and my pain,

And forgive all my sins.

Sometimes the sin in our hearts clutches us so tightly that we wonder if anyone sees the pain on our faces. We wonder if we must always mask the darkness beneath the surface. Despite confessing that our hope is in Jesus Christ, a sense of hopelessness can breed within us. But God wants to shatter the bondage of sin and shame into which our lives may have fallen.

We must take the first step in going to Him and asking Him to free us from the sin in our lives. Oftentimes, we fear going to God with our sins because we misunderstand the heart of our heavenly Father. He doesn’t backhand us—He opens His hands to receive us back into His arms. No matter what particular sin we have committed or how many times we have done it, God’s grace and forgiveness reaches deeper, desiring not only to cleanse us but to transform us. He wants to set us free.

The change may not always be instant, but as we commit to turning to Him during our moments of temptation—and times of failure—God will begin to bring freedom to our lives. The sin in our lives that once held us so tightly will be washed away as waves of the Lord’s freeing forgiveness crash over us.

Lord, all I need to do when I have sinned is come before You. There is no sin deep enough to separate my repentant heart from You.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 192). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

July 1 The Great Escape

Scripture Reading: Titus 3:3–7

Key Verses: Colossians 1:13–14

He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.

Harry Houdini was a master escape artist. Tied by chains and ropes and placed in confining quarters, he could be counted on to free himself from his predicaments. One day Houdini did not escape—but died.

Although the nonbeliever may invent all kinds of escape devices to deal with his life on earth—drugs, vacations, riches, pleasures, good works—he never can escape eternal death. Born in sin and alienated from the Source of life, the Lord Jesus Christ, man is bound by the chains of death. All of his attempts to avoid the divine decree of eternal punishment are utterly futile.

There is only one path of escape from the judgment of everlasting separation from the God of the ages: personal faith in and reliance upon the Savior, Christ Jesus. The instant a person turns to Christ to forgive his sins, he has made the great escape from eternal death into eternal life.

What an escape! From darkness to light. From despair to hope. From futility to meaning. From the domain of Satan to the kingdom of God (Col. 1:13–14).

Have you looked to Christ as your only escape from sin’s penalty of death? If not, run to the cross today—where Jesus shed His blood to pay for all of your sins—to receive your everlasting liberation.

Dear Lord, You released the chains of death that bound me and gave me eternal life. You brought me from darkness to light, from despair to hope, from futility to meaning. Thank You for making me part of Your kingdom.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 192). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

July 1 Mustard Seed Faith

Scripture reading: Mark 11:23–26

Key verse: Matthew 17:20

Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.”

Mary Damron refuses to stare at her mountain, not even the impoverished one she calls home. Mary is from the poor coal mining hollows of West Virginia, but she is rich beyond measure.

In his book Living Beyond the Limits, Franklin Graham devotes a chapter to Mary, who is a walking testimony of the life-changing power of faith in Christ. In 1994, Mary learned Graham needed gift-filled shoe boxes to distribute to the war-scarred children of Bosnia. Instead of focusing on her struggling Appalachian family, Mary traversed her community, asking for donations from churches and groups.

The day after Thanksgiving, she delivered to Graham twelve hundred shoe boxes in a twenty-ton truck. A year later, Mary delivered more than six thousand shoe boxes in time for Christmas. Her devotion and uncanny faith resulted not only in Graham’s sending her to Bosnia to help deliver gifts, but also in President Bill Clinton’s honoring her at the White House. Mary boldly asked the president for permission to pray for him, and she did.

The story of Mary Damron can be duplicated by anybody. She started small, with a mustard seed of faith and a mountain-sized heart for Jesus. And just as He will do for you whenever you are within His will, He made sure nothing stopped Mary’s twenty-ton truck full of shoe boxes.

Lord, give me mustard seed faith to move mountains. Use me for Your glory![1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 192). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Corporations Drop LGBT Community Like Hot Tamale Now That Pride Month Over — The Babylon Bee

U.S.—With pride month having ended, corporations across the nation who bravely took a stand for LGBT rights are now tearing down rainbow banners and throwing colorful promotional products in the garbage at an alarming rate. “Take the rainbows down guys, they’re giving me a headache,” Carl Krumpitz, CEO of fortune 500 company Milner Motor Oil commanded a work crew on the morning of July 1st. “I don’t know why the heck motor oil needs to have an opinion on sexuality but whatever, it’s July now. Get out the red, white, and blue. And make me a Martini!”

LGBT activist Carol Gaines told reporters, “I’m not sure what products I should buy now that they aren’t all blatantly pandering to me.”

“It’s so nice of these companies to take such a big financial hit for one month out of the year to support such a controversial cause,” said another gay activist, Carla Gainsley. “The bravery is just stunning. The gay community—and we are a community—appreciate it.”

via Corporations Drop LGBT Community Like Hot Tamale Now That Pride Month Over — The Babylon Bee

Rent Is Becoming Unaffordable For Many U.S. Workers | ZeroHedge News

The National Low Income Housing Coalition has published its latest “Out of Reach” report which shows that renting is becoming increasingly unaffordable for countless Americans.

Its central statistic is the Housing Wage which is an estimate of the hourly wage a full-time worker must earn to rent a homewithout spending more than 30 percent of his or her income on housing costs. As Statista’s Niall McCarthy notes, for 2019, the Housing Wage is $22.96 and $18.65 for a modest two and one-bedroom flat respectively based on the “fair market rent”.

A worker earning the federal wage would have to put in 127 hours every week – equivalent to more than two full-time jobs – to afford a two-bedroom apartment. It isn’t just a regional issue – there isn’t a single state, metro area or county in the U.S. where a full-time worker earning the minimum wage can afford to rent a two-bedroom property.

It isn’t just workers on the minimum wage who are effected.

The report also states that the average renter’s hourly wage is $1.08 less than the Housing Wage for a one-bedroom rental and $5.39 less than a two-bedroom rental. That means that an average renter in the U.S. has to work a 52 hour week, something that becomes increasingly difficult if that renter is a single parent of someone struggling with a disability. When it comes to the situation in different occupations, a median-wage worker in eight of the country’s largest ten occupations does not earn enough to afford a one-bedroom apartment.

You will find more infographics at Statista

Software developers, general managers and nurses are able to meet both Housing Wages but for many other occupations and accomodations, renting is becoming increasingly difficult. Medical assistants, laborers and janitors are among those falling short while the gap back to minimum wage workers is even greater still. Worryingly, these are the ten jobs that are expected to see the biggest growth over the coming decade and that is likely to result in an even greater disparity between wages and housing costs by 2026.

Source: Rent Is Becoming Unaffordable For Many U.S. Workers

A Friend of Women: Trump Kicks ‘Transgender’ Men Out of Women’s Shelters — Pulpit & Pen

Thanks to former President Obama, homeless shelters were made even more dangerous due to a ruling that forced them to accept people into whichever shelter or sleeping space they wanted, based upon their gender preference. Sitting President Trump has now reversed that rule, allowing shelters to take “biological sex” into consideration instead of gender preference.

Imagine being a battered woman, now homeless because you’ve fled your abusive boyfriend or husband. Having been raped and beaten by abusive men in your life, you seek housing at your city’s local homeless shelter. but because of an Obama ruling, you have to sleep next to a man who is pretending to be a woman. He’s allowed to shower next to you and follow you in and out of the restroom. Sleeping with one eye open, this would be a nightmare for women in need.

Caring for homeless women and children while applying a dose of common sense, President Donald J. Trump has reversed the 2016 Obama ruling allowing people admittance based upon their preferred gender. That Department of Housing and Urban Development ruling insisted that biology didn’t matter, and gender identity had to be respected over actual gender.

Now, under the leadership of Ben Carson, the Department of Housing and Urban Development will ensure that women will be a top priority at women’s homeless shelters.

The abstract of the department’s proposal reads as follows, “This proposed rule provides … shelter operators under HUD programs which permit single-sex or sex-segregated facilities (such as bathrooms or temporary, emergency shelters and other buildings and facilities with physical limitations or configurations that require and are permitted to have shared sleeping quarters or bathing facilities) may establish a policy – consistent with state and local law – by which such Shelter Provider considers an individual’s sex for the purposes of determining accommodation within such shelters and for purposes of determining sex for admission to any facility or portion thereof.”

So now, such shelters, though permitted to take gender-identity into consideration, will not be forced to make decisions solely based upon gender identity and can weigh biological sex in considering an individual for admittance.

Thankfully, it will now be harder for perverts and pedophiles masquerading as the wrong gender to prey upon the abused homeless and destitute. More and more, it appears that President Trump is a friend of women.

via A Friend of Women: Trump Kicks ‘Transgender’ Men Out of Women’s Shelters — Pulpit & Pen

Kamala Harris’ Ex-Lover Willie Brown: No Democrats Can Beat Trump, Including Kamala

Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, who admitted earlier this year to having an extramarital affair with Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), wrote in his column over the weekend that none of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates can beat President Donald Trump.

Source: Kamala Harris’ Ex-Lover Willie Brown: No Democrats Can Beat Trump, Including Kamala

CNN Admits 2020 Democrats’ “Voters, You’re All Wrong” Strategy Is The Dumbest Ever | ZeroHedge News

Democratic presidential candidates appear to have painted themselves into a corner – abandoning their giant moderate base in order to ‘out-left’ each other, while promoting “radical, nonsensical, unpopular ideas that please only a slim minority of your own people” according to CNN‘s S. E. Cupp.

In a blistering monologue on Saturday, Cupp suggested that the 2020 candidates may be setting themselves up for failure in the general election with one of the “dumbest strategies” she’s ever encountered.

Proposals that were widely agreed upon by the candidates included; support for a woman’s unfettered access to abortion, free heathcare for people who live here illegally. Other items that had some support on the debate stage; government-run healthcare for all, free college tuition, and decriminalizing illegal border crossings. 

For people who, I don’t know, think that there should be some abortion restrictions, who believe we should probably work on increasing access to healthcare for American citizens, people who might like to keep their private insurance – who don’t want to pay other students’ college debt, who cross the border legally and pay taxes.”

Are there any Democrats running for those people? People who, I’m guessing probably constitute a majority?

Who stood up on that stage this week and attempted to reach any disaffected Trump  voters? Moderates? Independents? I guess in the Democratic party those folks don’t matter. They’re unimportant. They don’t count.

Only the far-left progressives who believe government is the cure-all for every problem deserve a presidential candidate’s attention and concern. The rest of you, well, you’re just wrong. If you think the economy is doing well, you’re wrong according to Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker. All 71% of you. If you think you’re health insurance works just fine and you’d like to keep it, you’re wrong, according to Warren, Bill de Blasio and Bernie Sanders.

If you think record unemployment is a good sign of a strong economy, you’re wrong – it isn’t, according to Kamala Harris.

Telling a majority of voters you’re all wrong has to be one of the dumbest strategies I’ve ever encountered.

If this is the message Democrats have for voters, they should all just change their slogans to “I know better than you.”

If the aim is to beat the President, I’m pretty sure that’s a loser idea.

So is pitching radical, nonsensical, unpopular ideas that please only a slim minority of your own people. In fact, the winner of both debates might just have been Donald Trump.


Source: CNN Admits 2020 Democrats’ “Voters, You’re All Wrong” Strategy Is The Dumbest Ever

How a Christian Patriot Might Love His Wayward Country — Denny Burk

I love G. K. Chesterton’s reflections on what it means to be a Christian patriot. If you have never read it, I encourage you to read “The Flag of the World” in his classic work Orthodoxy. Chesterton contends that love of one’s homeland is not like house-hunting—an experience in which you weigh the pros and cons of a place and choose accordingly. He writes:

A man belongs to this world before he begins to ask if it is nice to belong to it. He has fought for the flag, and often won heroic victories for the flag long before he has ever enlisted. To put shortly what seems the essential matter, he has a loyalty long before he has any admiration.

We do not choose our homeland. It is something that we are born into. Thus our acceptance of our home is not like a house that we can leave when we tire of it. It is like the love we have for our family:

It is the fortress of our family, with the flag flying on the turret, and the more miserable it is the less we should leave it. The point is not that this world is too sad to love or too glad not to love; the point is that when you do love a thing, its gladness is a reason for loving it, and its sadness a reason for loving it more.

Love for family is not based on what is deserved. It is a loyalty that precedes any prior condition. Because love of country is not based on pros and cons—because it is unconditional love—true patriotism means that we must seek the nation’s good and flourishing no matter its condition. This love therefore becomes transformative.

True patriotism motivates reform and improvement because it is realistic about the nation’s shortcomings. A man may love his mother unconditionally, but that love does not mean that he is indifferent to her if she is a drunk. His love moves him to seek her welfare and improvement. His love does not simply affirm her sad condition. In the same way, the patriot loves his home not because she is perfect. He knows that she isn’t. The patriot’s love moves him to work for her welfare and improvement.

If Christian patriots love America as mothers love children, arbitrarily, because it is theirs, America may yet become fairer than Florence. Why? Because that kind of love seeks the nation’s perfection. In Chesterton’s words:

People first paid honour to a spot and afterwards gained glory for it. Men did not love Rome because she was great. She was great because they had loved her.

This kind of patriotism does not close its eyes to the sins that bedevil the nation. One cannot excuse evil simply because it is being committed by the nation that we love and are loyal to. Chesterton says that it is evil to “defend the indefensible.” Such is the anti-patriot, and “he will not wash the world, but whitewash the world.”

The real challenge for the patriot is the same challenge that the Christian faces in his relationship to the world writ large:

One must somehow find a way of loving the world without trusting it; somehow one must love the world without being worldly.

This analogy is instructive, and it reveals an irony that may lead us toward the best kind of patriotism. After all, the Bible tells us that God loves the world while telling us not to.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

“Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15).

How can these two expressions be reconciled? They reveal a love for the world that is good and a love for the world that is bad. The evil love is the kind that loves the world for its vices. The good love is that kind that seeks the world’s welfare and transformation.

Likewise, the good love of the world produces the best kind of patriotism—a love for the nation that works for its good and welfare. It’s a love that seeks the nation’s good and transformation even when the nation is wayward—in fact, precisely because she is wayward.

I think patriotism for the Christian will become more difficult in the days ahead. Our nation is wayward in so many ways. In many ways it is becoming more hostile to Christians. For that reason, our calling will be to love a nation that may very well not love us back. Our children may be called to love a nation that makes itself an enemy to the true faith. Nevertheless, the call to love the nation and not its vices endures for us and our children.

This is what Chesterton calls the “mystic patriotism”—the love for nation that is undeserved. It requires a love that is supernatural. Who is adequate for these things?

“Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life” (2 Cor. 3:5-6).

This is the love that has been shed abroad in the hearts of God’s people, and we have been called for such a time as this.

via How a Christian Patriot Might Love His Wayward Country — Denny Burk

July 1, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

The Reverence He Deserves

Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was. (17:5)

Having accomplished everything according to the predetermined plan of God, Jesus knew that He would be exalted to the place where He had been before His incarnation—at the glorious right hand of His Father (cf. Mark 16:19; Eph. 1:20). With that exaltation in sight, Jesus expressed His desire to return to the glory of heaven. Therefore He asked the Father to glorify Him, together with the Father, with the glory He had shared with the Father before the world was. The apostle John described the eternal fellowship Christ had enjoyed with the Father in the prologue to his gospel: “In the beginning was the Word [the Son], and the Word was with (lit. ‘face-to-face with’) God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God” (John 1:1–2). After an earthly life of submission and humiliation during the incarnation, Jesus was ready to return to the full glory that awaited Him at the Father’s right hand. It was time for His coronation, which Paul described in Philippians 2:9–11:

For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Jesus looked beyond the humiliation and suffering in obedience, His death on the cross (Phil. 2:5–8), to the glory that awaited Him upon His return to heaven. The glory He would receive was rightfully His, both by His divine title (as the second member of the Trinity) and by His perfect submission (since He had submitted to His Father perfectly). He also knew that His death would bring eternal life to all who would believe in Him, thus causing joy in heaven (Luke 15:7, 10) and adding voices to the eternal choir of those who will praise and worship Him forever. The contemplation of those marvelous realities enabled Him to rejoice in the cross, even though He despised the shame of bearing sin (Heb. 12:2) and the horror of being forsaken by the Father (Matt. 27:46).

As those on the other side of the cross, removed from it by nearly two thousand years, believers must never lose sight of the glory and honor Christ deserves because of His redemptive work. What He endured on the cross is now the anthem of Christian praise and worship. And it will be for all of eternity, as believers forever praise the Lamb who was slain (Rev. 5:9). Though the Gospels record His earthly life and ministry—including the agony and suffering of His passion—it must always be remembered that He is no longer on the cross or in the tomb. He is even now the glorified Son of God, seated at His Father’s right hand in power and glory (Rev. 1:13–20; cf. Dan. 7:13–14). The joy of seeing and praising Him in triumph awaits all those who love Him, while all who reject Him will be rejected by Him (Matt. 7:23; 25:41).

The glorious truth is that the cross made eternal life possible for all who sincerely believe in Jesus Christ (Rom. 10:9–10), and even before the cross all who genuinely repented of sin and trusted the forgiveness and mercy of God as their only hope (cf. Isa. 55:6–7). Were it not for the cross, there would be no salvation from sin for anyone in any age, no gospel of grace, no hope for this life, and no eternal destiny but hell. Without the cross, the eternal plan of salvation that God promised from before the beginning of time would never have come to fruition. The contemplation of those truths should cause everyone who knows and loves the Lord Jesus Christ to say with the apostle Paul, “But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (Gal. 6:14).[1]

5. The glory which I had with thee. He desires to be glorified with the Father, not that the Father may glorify him secretly, without any witnesses, but that, having been received into heaven, he may give a magnificent display of his greatness and power, that every knee may bow to him, (Philip. 2:10.) Consequently, that phrase in the former clause, with the Father, is contrasted with earthly and fading glory, as Paul describes the blessed immortality of Christ, by saying that he died to sin once, but now he liveth to God, (Rom. 6:10.)

The glory which I had with thee before the world was. He now declares that he desires nothing that does not strictly belong to him, but only that he may appear in the flesh, such as he was before the creation of the world; or, to speak more plainly, that the Divine majesty, which he had always possessed, may now be illustriously displayed in the person of the Mediator, and in the human flesh with which he was clothed. This is a remarkable passage, which teaches us that Christ is not a God who has been newly contrived, or who has existed only for a time; for if his glory was eternal, himself also has always been. Besides, a manifest distinction between the person of Christ and the person of the Father is here expressed; from which we infer, that he is not only the eternal God, but also that he is the eternal Word of God, begotten by the Father before all ages.[2]

Mission Accomplished

John 17:4–5

“I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.” (John 17:4–5)

Few satisfactions in life rival that of a job well done. Anyone who follows a task through to completion is rewarded with the approval of others and a personal sense of achievement. It is, of course, true that nothing we do in this life merits true and ultimate satisfaction, since none of our works is perfectly good. Moreover, our work is virtually never finished. An immaculately clean house soon gets dirty. Every workplace is constantly beset with new problems and challenges that must be met. For this reason, our job satisfaction is only partial and fleeting at best.

There is one person, however, who is completely and eternally satisfied with his work, having perfectly accomplished his mission in life. Jesus Christ prayed out of his own satisfaction and the Father’s approval of the work that he achieved to perfection for our salvation: “I glorified you on earth,” Jesus prayed to the Father, “having accomplished the work that you gave me to do” (John 17:4).

Christ Received a Work

As Jesus faced his death on the night of his arrest, he looked upon his life with a perfectly clean conscience. Frédéric Godet comments: “He does not perceive in His life, at this supreme moment, either any evil committed, or even any good omitted. The duty of each hour has been perfectly fulfilled. There has been in this human life which He has now behind him, not only no spot, but no deficiency.” The words of Psalm 40:7–8 were the watchword of Jesus’ life: “Behold, I have come; in the scroll of the book it is written of me: I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.’ ”

Not only did Jesus perfectly obey the Father all his life, but he prays about a specific mission that he came into the world to fulfill. He prays to the Father, “I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do” (John 17:4).

When did Jesus receive this work from God the Father? There is ample evidence in the Bible that in eternity past the members of the Trinity entered into a pact for the redemption of the elect. This agreement is known by theologians as the covenant of redemption. We see evidence of this precreation covenant in John 17:4, where Jesus speaks of accomplishing a prearranged work, for which he receives a stipulated reward. He had previously told the disciples: “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work” (4:34). The book of Hebrews concludes with a benediction appealing to “the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant” (Heb. 13:20). This eternal covenant, fulfilled on the cross, is mentioned by Peter when he speaks of Jesus as the Lamb slain “before the foundation of the world” (1 Peter 1:20). Isaiah foretold Jesus’ crucifixion in terms of this precreation pact, saying, “It was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring.… Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; … he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors” (Isa. 53:10–12). These verses describe the cross in terms of Christ’s reward for fulfilling his mission of salvation.

Louis Berkhof summarizes the biblical data concerning this precreation pact: “The Father required of the Son, who appeared in this covenant as the Surety and Head of His people, and as the Last Adam, that he should make amends for the sin of Adam and of those whom the Father had given him, and should do what Adam failed to do by keeping the law and thus securing eternal life for all His spiritual progeny.” This mission involved the following particulars:

  1. God the Son should take up a human nature by being born of a woman, thus experiencing all the weakness and infirmity of our nature, except for sin (Gal. 4:4–5; Heb. 2:10–15; 4:15);
  2. he, the Son of God, would place himself under the law, making himself liable for his own obedience and for the penalty of his people’s sins (Ps. 40:8; Matt. 5:17–18; John 8:28–29; Phil. 2:6–8); and
  3. after securing forgiveness and eternal life for his people, he would send the Spirit to apply this salvation through the new birth into saving faith, through which his people would be saved by grace (John 10:16; 16:14–15; Heb. 2:10–13; 7:25).

For his part, God the Father pledged a number of blessings to the Son:

  1. the Father would give to the Son a people in reward for his accomplished work, “a seed so numerous that it would be a multitude which no man could number” (Pss. 22:27; 72:17);
  2. the Father “would prepare the Son a body, which would be a fit tabernacle for him” (Luke 1:35; Heb. 10:5);
  3. the Father would send the Holy Spirit to equip Jesus for his divine work in the flesh, and with the Son would send the Holy Spirit to regenerate and sanctify the people given to Christ;
  4. the Father would, upon the Son’s mission accomplishment, “commit to Him all power in heaven and on earth for the government of the world and of His Church (Matt. 28:18; Eph. 1:20–22; Phil. 2:9–11); and would finally reward Him as Mediator with the glory which He as the Son of God had with the Father before the world was (John 17:5).”

Understanding the covenant of redemption shows us how it is that Jesus secured our salvation: he fulfilled the eternal terms by which the Father has bound himself to grant Christ’s people eternal life. Thus, our salvation does not rest on the brittle foundation of our personal faith. We receive salvation through faith alone, because Christ accomplished our salvation by his works, fulfilling a covenant with the Father that was sealed in eternity past.

Lest we think of the covenant of redemption as a matter of academic and abstract theology, the Puritan John Flavel reminds us of how personally this covenant involved each believer in Christ. He imagines a dialogue between the Father and the Son. The Father says, “My Son, here is a company of poor miserable souls, that have utterly undone themselves, and now lie open to my justice! Justice demands satisfaction for them, or will satisfy itself in the eternal ruin of them: What shall be done for these souls?” Christ replies, “O my Father, such is my love to, and pity for them, that rather than they shall perish eternally, I will be responsible for them as their Surety; bring in all thy bills, that I may see what they owe thee; Lord, bring them all in, that there may be no after-reckonings with them; at my hand shalt thou require it. I will rather choose to suffer thy wrath than that they should suffer it: upon me, my Father, upon me be all their debt.” “But my Son,” says God, “if thou undertake for them, thou must reckon to pay the last mite, expect no abatements; if I spare them, I will not spare thee.” And Christ replied, “Content, Father, let it be so; charge it all upon me, I am able to discharge it: and though it prove a kind of undoing to me, though it impoverish all my riches, empty all my treasures … yet I am content to undertake it.”

Flavel concludes from that exchange, which resonates with the biblical record, that we cannot remain ungrateful to One so pure who bore our stain, One so rich who took our poverty, and One so innocent who paid the penalty for our guilt because of love. How can we, he asks, ignore so great a salvation or complain about the duty of obedience to Christ? Flavel writes, “O if you knew the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ in this his wonderful [compassion] for you, you could not do it.”

Christ Completed His Work

Throughout his life and ministry, Jesus referred constantly to being sent by the Father on a saving mission (John 3:16, etc.), saying that he “must work the works of him who sent me” (9:4). Now, praying on the brink of his arrest, Jesus sees the completion of the work given to him by God, speaking of having “accomplished the work that you gave me to do” (17:4). Jesus includes the cross among his finished works, since, as Augustine asserted, “Christ says He has finished that which He most surely knows He will finish.” Praying in the disciples’ hearing, Jesus looked back on his taking up a human nature, his perfect, lifelong obedience to the letter and spirit of God’s holy law, and his faithful rebuff of Satan’s attempt to dissuade Jesus during his forty days in the wilderness. J. C. Ryle writes: “He did what the first Adam failed to do, and all the saints in every age fail to do: He kept the law perfectly, and by so keeping it brought in everlasting righteousness for all them that believe.”7 Paul explains Jesus’ covenant perfection as the foreordained remedy for Adam’s covenant failure and ours: “For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous” (Rom. 5:19).

All that remained was for Jesus to bear the cross, as his sovereign will was committed to do. By his perfect life, lived on our behalf, Jesus provided the righteousness that his people lacked in themselves but need in order to stand in the holy presence of God. Now, Jesus would redeem us from the guilt of our sin. Isaiah foretold: “He was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.… He poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors” (Isa. 53:5, 12).

William Barclay, the often-helpful but sometimes quite liberal commentator on the Bible, compared Jesus’ achievement to that of a courier boy who died delivering his message during the German bombing of Bristol. His dying words were: “I have delivered my message.” Barclay mentions another example from the First World War, when a battlefield engineer was celebrated for sacrificing his life to connect the line that enabled the message to get through. Barclay compares this to what Jesus accomplished: “He had given his life that the message might get through. That is exactly what Jesus did. He had completed His task; He had brought God’s love to men. For Him that meant the Cross.” It is true that Jesus delivered a message of God’s love on the cross. But it is false that this was the sum of what Jesus achieved. Jesus did not die merely so that God’s message of salvation would get through to us: God’s Son died actually to achieve our salvation by laying down his life as an atoning Sacrifice for our sins. Therefore, while Jesus prays now of completing his work, he would not utter the decisive words, “It is finished” (John 19:30), until the moment came for him to die for our sins. Jesus died not merely to send a message but to complete a work, the result of which was salvation for those belonging to him.

We know that Jesus finished his work and accomplished his mission not only because he prayed in this way, but because the Father publicly declared his own satisfaction. I mentioned the satisfaction of a job well done: there has never been any satisfaction so infinitely great as the Father’s satisfaction in the covenant-fulfilling work of his divine Son. The proof of God’s satisfaction was Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. Paul writes that Jesus was therefore “declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead” (Rom. 1:4). The apostle adds that Jesus “was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification” (4:25). This means that “by the resurrection God gave notice that Christ’s death was that perfect substitution for sin he entered this world to make and that he, the Father, had accepted it in place of the condemnation of the sinner.” Since the Father has validated Jesus’ mission accomplishment, we rejoice in Paul’s declaration: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (8:1).

Christ’s Work Glorified God

Not only was the Father satisfied by Jesus’ job fulfillment, but Christ was himself satisfied by what he had done. This is why he prays, “I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do” (John 17:4). As Isaiah had foretold: “Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied” (Isa. 53:11). Jesus saw that his achievement would save his beloved people while bringing glory to the Father.

It is evident that Jesus has two different kinds of glory in mind in this prayer. In verse 5 he speaks of the divine glory he had before creation, and in verse 4 Jesus speaks of the glory he achieved on earth. The idea of glory in the latter sense is well expressed by the Greek word doxa, which stems from the verb dokeo, meaning “to seem.” Paul uses this verb in Galatians 2:6 to speak of people who “seemed to be influential.” The noun form was used for what one thinks. We have it in our word orthodox, which connotes thinking correctly, and heterodox, which connotes thinking differently. Over time, the word doxa stood for something that was of good repute so as to be especially praiseworthy. In this sense, doxa was used in the Greek translations to speak of God’s glory. Psalm 24:10, for instance, states, “The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory!” Today, we sing the Doxology, a hymn praising God’s glory.

In this sense, to glorify God is to display his praiseworthy qualities or attributes. This is, of course, what Jesus did in the world, showing in himself the glory of what God is like. Jesus’ life did not embrace worldly glory, but instead, through his life of humble obedience and ministry, Jesus displayed the infinitely praiseworthy character of God: his holiness, power, goodness, sovereignty, justice, truth, and mercy.

It would especially be in his self-sacrifice of the cross that Jesus would display the Father to the world. He began his prayer by asking the Father to enable him to do this: “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you” (John 17:1). On the cross, Jesus displayed the glory of God’s love and grace for sinners. At the same time, Jesus displayed as never before the perfect justice of God as the Father poured out the whole of his wrath upon sin, even when borne by his beloved Son. The cross displays the sovereignty of God as reams of biblical prophecy are brought into focus and fulfillment. In like manner, Jesus displayed the perfections of the glory of all the attributes of God when he bore the cross to free us from our sins.

Just as Jesus glorified the Father on the earth by completing the work given him to do, we, too, will glorify God by doing the work that he has given us to do. We glorify the Father by believing the gospel of the Son whom he has sent. We glorify God by pursuing lives of holiness in obedience to his Word. We display God’s glory by laboring together to build up the church and obey the Great Commission, making disciples of all kinds of people through our witness to the gospel. It is one thing to praise God with our lips, but quite another to praise God with our lives! J. C. Ryle comments: “To sing ‘Glory, glory,’ on a death-bed, after living an inconsistent life, is, to say the least, a proof that a man is a very ignorant Christian.”

Christ Was Glorified for His Work

Christ received a work from the Father, he completed the work, and he brought glory to the Father by his work. Finally, Jesus prays to be glorified for his work with the glory he had with the Father in eternity past: “And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed” (John 17:5).

Matthew Henry points out four truths grounded in this request. First, Jesus asserts his full deity, coequal and coeternal with the Father. This is the truth expressed in the opening lines of John’s Gospel: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God” (John 1:1–2). Second, Christ was eternally full of glory, as was the Father. Henry writes: “He was from eternity the brightness of his Father’s glory.… Christ undertook the work of redemption, not because he needed glory, for he had a glory with the Father before the world, but because we needed glory.” Third, Jesus makes it clear that he divested himself of his outward glory in taking up a human nature. “He laid down this glory for a time, as a pledge that he would go through with this undertaking, according to the appointment of the Father.” Fourth, having performed and fulfilled God’s appointed work, Christ ascended into heaven and resumed his former outward glory, now glorified as both God and man. Henry urges us to seek after the glory of Christ rather than the tarnished glory of this world. “Let the same mind be in us,” he writes; “Lord, give the glories of this world to whom thou wilt give them, but let me have my portion of glory in the world to come.”

Jesus’ petition in verse 5 employs a second idea of glory. He speaks of a kind of glory that he temporarily laid down during his life on earth, even while he glorified the Father during his life and ministry. This second idea of glory is frequently seen in the Old Testament: glory as the radiance of the splendor of the light of God. Psalm 104:1–2 exclaims: “You are clothed with splendor and majesty, covering yourself with light as with a garment.” When Moses descended from meeting with God on Mount Sinai, the people asked him to cover his face because of the brightness of the glory reflected on it. When Solomon dedicated the temple on Mount Zion, the glory cloud “filled the house of the Lord” (1 Kings 8:10). In many Jewish writings, this glory was called the shekinah glory, the outshining of the brilliance of the light of God. It is this visible glory, the splendor of divine radiance, that Jesus prays to resume as the reward for fulfilling God’s work.

We know from the Bible that Jesus did take up this radiant glory upon his ascension into heaven. John himself would see it when Jesus appeared to him on the Isle of Patmos. In the book of Revelation, John tells us that he saw Jesus in glory,

clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, as white as snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters.… His face was like the sun shining in full strength.

When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.” (Rev. 1:13–18)

This vision was given to encourage John and his friends in their great trials. It shows that Jesus has entered into the glory for which he prayed on the night of his arrest. He has ascended to the right hand of God, reigning with divine, sovereign power over heaven and earth (Matt. 28:18; Eph. 1:20–22). It is this glory of Christ that is heaven’s great song and the joy of Christ’s people forever: “Worthy are you …, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.… Worthy is the Lamb who was slain!” (Rev. 5:9–12).

Are We Satisfied?

In accomplishing the Father’s mission, Jesus was satisfied, and he asked to receive the glory promised to him as the Son of Man. God the Father was satisfied, declaring in the resurrection his acceptance of Christ’s saving work. The only remaining question is whether we are satisfied in the finished work of Jesus Christ. Are you looking for Jesus to do something more than living a perfect life on your behalf and shedding his life’s blood for your sins? Do you desire the lesser, fleeting glory of the world, sin, and the flesh? If you realize your urgent need to be forgiven of your sins and for a righteousness to stand in the presence of God’s glory, then you will be satisfied in the finished work of Christ. Realizing what Jesus has accomplished for us, we sing:

Jesus paid it all,

All to him I owe;

Sin had left a crimson stain,

He washed it white as snow.

If we realize that Jesus finished his work, that his mission is accomplished, then we will cease trying to do something more for our salvation. Our great need now is not to add our works to Christ’s finished work but for the glorious Christ to reign in us with his power. Seeing Jesus robed in the splendor of his heavenly glory becomes our hope and joy. We sing:

He ever lives above, for me to intercede,

His all-redeeming love, his precious blood to plead;

His blood atoned for ev’ry race, his blood atoned for ev’ry race,

And sprinkles now the throne of grace.

God is satisfied in Jesus and has glorified his Son in heaven. The only thing that he desires even more is for Jesus to be glorified in our hearts. This is the goal of our salvation, which we receive by believing in him, so that God would shine in our hearts “to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6).[3]

5 A second stage in revealing the glory of God will be the glorification of the Son when he returns to the place he enjoyed before the world began. The preexistence of the Son is clearly taught throughout the fourth gospel. John’s prologue begins with the assertion that “when all things began, the Word already was” (NEB). In 8:58 Jesus exclaimed, “Before Abraham was born, I am!” (see also 12:28 and Paul’s word in Php 2:6).

Jesus anticipates his return to the presence of the Father because it sets the stage for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (16:7) and the founding and expansion of the early church (Ac 1:4; 2:1–4). It is by bringing men and women to faith in Jesus that the redemptive mission of the Son is carried out in time. When the church is obedient to its mandate to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Mt 28:19), glory and praise is brought to God.[4]

5 Now Jesus prays God to glorify him. He looks for glory in the last place that people would look for it, namely in the cross. And he sees this glory for which he prays as linked with his preincarnate glory with the Father.22 There is a clear assertion of Christ’s pre-existence here (we have already seen such a claim, 1:1; 8:58; 16:28). There is also the claim that he had enjoyed a unique glory with the Father in that preexistent state. And now, as evil men are about to do their worst to him, he looks for the Father to glorify him again in the same way.24 It is the Father who will glorify him with true glory in the cross, and in what follows. Paul tells us that Christ “was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father” (Rom. 6:4). In the passion and all that was associated with it Jesus would be glorified with the true glory, a glory continuous with, and indeed identical with, the glory he had “before the world began.” For “the world” see Additional Note B, pp. 111–13. The noun occurs eighteen times in this prayer, which is considerably more than in any section of comparable length anywhere else in this Gospel. Clearly the right relationship of the disciples to the world was of great moment to our Lord as he contemplated leaving them.[5]

4–5 Jesus now reverses the order of his opening petition (“Glorify your Son, so that the Son might glorify you,” v. 1) in such a way that the Son’s glorification of the Father comes first: “I glorified you on the earth. … And now you, Father, glorify me in your own presence, with the glory I had in your presence before the world was” (vv. 4–5, italics added). More specifically, he has glorified the Father on earth by “having completed the work12 you have given me that I should do” (v. 4). Long before, and in a very different setting, he has said, “My food is that I might do the will of the One who sent me and complete his work” (4:34). The nature of that “work” he will spell out shortly (vv. 6–8), but for the moment he mentions it only briefly, as the basis for the twin petitions, “Glorify your Son” (v. 1) and “glorify me in your own presence” (v. 5). The result is a kind of chiasm:

a    “Glorify your Son” (v. 1a)

b    “So that the Son might glorify you” (v. 1b)

b′   “I have glorified you” (v. 4)

a′   “And now glorify me” (v. 5)

Jesus is asking the Father for “glorification” (a and a′) on the basis of having glorified the Father already on earth (b′), and with the promise of continuing to do so (b). This continuing glorification of the Father by the Son is probably best understood as the continuing gift of eternal life to all those whom the Father has given him (see v. 2), with life understood as knowledge of “the only True God” (v. 3). This will take place through the testimony of the Advocate among those who are disciples already, and in the end through the written Gospel itself (see 20:31).

The “glory” for which Jesus is asking is here defined as “the glory that I had in your presence before the world was” (v. 5). This is consistent with the notion that this “glory” is understood as the Son’s reunion with the Father, but more specifically it revisits the Gospel’s opening affirmation that “the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (1:1). While the allusion to the Gospel’s beginning is indirect rather than direct, the reader is expected to know that Jesus was “with God in the beginning” (1:2), and that he shared in the Father’s glory (see 1:14b). He alluded occasionally to his preexistence, in such expressions as “I came down from heaven” (6:38), or “[what] if you see the Son of man going up where he was at first?” (6:62), or “The things I have seen in the Father’s presence I speak” (8:38), or “before Abraham came to be, I am” (8:58). But more often he spoke ambiguously of having “come into the world,” or being “sent” from the Father, expressions consistent with preexistence while not quite demanding it (see 1:6, where John too is a man “sent from God”). Jesus’ language here in prayer to the Father, accenting where he came from and where he is going, recalls his “plain” revelation to the disciples just a few verses earlier, “I came forth from the Father, and I have come into the world. Again, I am leaving the world and going off to the Father” (16:28). Turning his face now toward the Father, he asks that his journey back to the Father might begin. At the same time, the disciples are very much on his mind (see vv. 2–3), and the future glorification for which Jesus prays is, as we will see (v. 24), as much for their sakes as for his.[6]

It is about future glory (v. 5)

Before coming to this world of ours and sharing our humanity, Jesus fully experienced the glory that was his by right as God’s eternal Son. But in taking our humanity, that glory was veiled. On the Mount of Transfiguration it peeped through briefly, but when Jesus ascended to his Father forty days after his resurrection, he was once again fully revealed in all his glory. But have you realized that something had changed? When Jesus returned to his Father’s presence it was with a glorified body—a body he did not possess before his incarnation. And today, in that glorified body he is as fully revealed as God’s one and only precious Son as he was before the world began. Little wonder that John struggles to find appropriate words when he is given a sight of the glorified Saviour in heaven in Revelation 1:12–18.[7]

5. And now—in return.

glorify thou me—The “I Thee” and “Thou Me” are so placed in the original, each beside its fellow, as to show that a perfect reciprocity of services of the Son to the Father first, and then of the Father to the Son in return, is what our Lord means here to express.

with the glory which I had with thee before the world was—when “in the beginning the Word was with God” (Jn 1:1), “the only-begotten Son in the bosom of the Father” (Jn 1:18). With this pre-existent glory, which He veiled on earth, He asks to be reinvested, the design of the veiling being accomplished—not, however, simply as before, but now in our nature.[8]

Ver. 5.—And now (νῦν)—the very point of time has come—glorify thou me, O Father, explaining the opening of the prayer, “Glorify thy Son.” He identifies his own Personality—“me”—with that of “the Son,” and “thy Son.” With thy own self (παρὰ σεαυτῷ); in closest connection and fellowship with thyself—a relation which has been arrested or suspended since I have been “Jesus Christ,” and glorifying thee amid the toil and sorrow of this earthly pilgrimage. This immediate glorification of the Son embraces the glory of vicarious death, the triumphant resurrection, the mystery of ascension in the strength of his human memories to the right hand of God (ch. 13:31, 32). He still further defines this wondrous prospect, as with the glory which I had with thee before the world was—before the being of the κόσμος παρὰ σεαντῷ … παρὰ σοι. Παρὰ in John represents local relationships (see ch. 1:40; 4:40; 14:25; Rev. 2:13) or intimate spiritual associations (ch. 14:23). So our Lord remembers and anticipates a “glory with the Father.” That which he refers to as before the existence of the world has been softened down by Grotius, Weltstein, Schleiermacher, and some moderns to mean the glory of the Divine thought and destination concerning him; but the expression παρὰ σοι is far from being exhausted by such a rendering. He who wrote the prologue (ch. 1:2, 18) meant that, as the Logos had been πρὸς τὸν Θέον and εἰς τὸν κόλπον τοῦ Πατρός, and at a special epoch “became flesh,” the beamings forth of his glory on earth were those which belonged to human life, to the form of a servant, and were profoundly different from that μορφὴ Θεοῦ in which his innermost self-consciousness, the centre of his Personality, originally dwelt. And now he seeks to carry this new appanage of his Sonship, this God-glorifying humanity, up into the glory of the pre-existent majesty (cf. Phil. 2:9; 1 Tim. 3:16; Heb. 1:8, 13). The δόξα which was visible to the disciples on earth (ch. 1:14) was glory limited, coloured, conditioned, by human life and death; but so complete was the Lord’s union with the Logos, that it did not quench his memory of the glory of his omnipresent, eternal Being, nor his remembrance of absolute coexistence with the Father before all worlds. He would lift humanity to the very throne of God by its union with his Person. This stupendous claim both as to the past and future would be utterly bewildering if it stood alone; but the Old Testament has prepared the mind of the disciples for this great mystery (Prov. 8.; Isa. 6.). The theophanies generally, and ch. 8:25 and Heb. 1, with numerous other passages, sustain and corroborate the conception that the Logos of God was throughout all human history on the verge of manifestation in the flesh. The record of the extraordinary God-consciousness of Jesus does transcend all human experience, and baffles us at every turn; but the human consciousness of Jesus appears gradually to have come into such communion with the Logos who had become flesh in him, that he thought the veritable thoughts and felt the emotions of the eternal God as though they were absolutely his own. In addition to this idea of his resumption of his own eternal state, Lange and Moulton, in opposition to Meyer, lay emphasis on the answer to this prayer, consisting in such a manifestation of the premundane glory in his flesh, that it should perfectly establish the relation between the glory of the Father before all worlds, and the glory of utter and complete self-sacrifice for the redemption of the world. The glory of omnipotence and omnipresence is lost in the greater glory of infinite love. Thus the glory which he had with the Father would be best seen in the completion of his agony, the τετέλεσται of the cross.[9]

5 The prayer for glory, accordingly, is for a restoration of that which the Son enjoyed with the Father prior to creation (cf. 1:1–5). Haenchen points out that this prayer assumes that the incarnation entailed a forfeiture of the glory that the Son once possessed; it calls into question therefore Käsemann’s contention that the Evangelist’s representation of the glory of Jesus in his ministry undermines the reality of the incarnation, and made of Jesus a “god walking about the earth” (see Käsemann’s Testament of Jesus, 8–26, and Haenchen, 502). Perhaps we should heed Schnackenburg’s observation, that the glory of Jesus “before the world was made” characterizes not the pre-mundane but the supra-mundane existence of the Logos, and therefore ultimately the superiority of the Revealer to and his transcendence over the world (3:174). Such an interpretation of the Son in relation to the Father in no way cancels out the fundamental utterance of 1:14, “The Word became flesh.”[10]

5. And now Father, glorify thou me in thine own presence with the glory which I had with thee before the world existed.

Here the thought of verse 2 is resumed. Jesus is again requesting that the Father glorify him. This time he is thinking especially of the reward upon his mediatorial work. He yearns to go home to his Father. The erstwhile glory which had been his delight before the foundation of the world (orderly universe; see Vol. I, p. 79, footnote , meaning 1) had never been absent from his mind. Throughout his ministry of suffering he, the Man of Sorrows, longed to regain that which he, in the interest of sinners, had voluntarily surrendered (the serene enjoyment of the Father’s presence, unmixed with suffering; cf. Phil. 2:7). “To return again to the very presence of the Father so as to be face to face with him” is what he now requests. See on 1:1. In this connection Heb. 12:2 immediately occurs to the mind: “For the joy that was set before him he endured the cross.” The meaning is that he endured the cross in order that he might exchange it for the crown. For the meaning of the preposition παρά in the phrase “in thine own presence” see on 14:23, footnote . It is hardly necessary to add that in this yearning for future glory (17:5) or for future joy (Heb. 12:2) there was not even a trace of vulgar selfishness (cf. 17:1). To be sure, whatever God does he does for his own glory, and Jesus is God! Even in his mediatorial capacity it is the divine person who is speaking his words and performing his deeds. Nevertheless, when we remember that “God is love,” that (according to the Fourth Gospel) the persons in the Holy Trinity glorify one another, and that the glory and the joy of the exalted Mediator includes also this element that “he ever lives to make intercession for those who draw near unto God through him” (Heb. 7:25), the problem has been solved. Here in 17:5 the Son is looking forward to the glory of rejoicing in the joy of his saved people, the very people whose salvation he (together with the Father and the Spirit) had planned from eternity, before the world existed. God ever delights in his own works. The Son glories in the Father’s glory, and rejoices in the joy of all the redeemed. When they sing, he sings! (cf. Zeph. 3:17).[11]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2008). John 12–21 (pp. 254–256). Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[2] Calvin, J., & Pringle, W. (2010). Commentary on the Gospel according to John (Vol. 2, p. 169). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[3] Phillips, R. D. (2014). John. (R. D. Phillips, P. G. Ryken, & D. M. Doriani, Eds.) (1st ed., Vol. 2, pp. 405–415). Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing.

[4] Mounce, R. H. (2007). John. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Luke–Acts (Revised Edition) (Vol. 10, p. 599). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[5] Morris, L. (1995). The Gospel according to John (p. 639). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[6] Michaels, J. R. (2010). The Gospel of John (pp. 860–862). Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, UK: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

[7] Paterson, A. (2010). Opening Up John’s Gospel (pp. 141–142). Leominster: Day One Publications.

[8] Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 2, p. 159). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[9] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). St. John (Vol. 2, pp. 343–344). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

[10] Beasley-Murray, G. R. (1999). John (Vol. 36, pp. 297–298). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.

[11] Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953–2001). Exposition of the Gospel According to John (Vol. 2, pp. 351–352). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

July 1, 2019 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)


President Donald Trump on Saturday appealed a U.S. judge’s ruling that blocked his administration from using $2.5 billion in funds intended for anti-drug activities to construct a wall along the southern border with Mexico.

President Donald Trump’s appointee Brett Kavanaugh consistently delivered during his first term as a justice for conservatives who had hoped he would move the U.S. Supreme Court further to the right while still managing to keep a low profile following his acrimonious Senate confirmation process.

Iran has breached the limit of its enriched uranium stockpile set in a 2015 deal with major powers, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Monday, according to the ISNA news agency, defying a warning by European co-signatories to stick to the deal despite U.S. sanctions.

Afghan security forces killed five Taliban gunmen who stormed a building in Kabul on Monday after detonating a bomb-laden truck that wounded at least 105 people, including 51 children.

The United States and China agreed on Saturday to restart trade talks after President Donald Trump offered concessions including no new tariffs and an easing of restrictions on tech company Huawei in order to reduce tensions with Beijing.

OPEC and its allies look set to extend oil supply cuts this week at least until the end of 2019 as Iran joined top producers Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Russia in endorsing a policy aimed at propping up the price of crude amid a weakening global economy.

Hundreds of Hong Kong protesters stormed the legislature on the anniversary of the city’s 1997 return to China on Monday, destroying pictures and daubing walls with graffiti in a direct challenge to China as anger over an extradition bill spiraled out of control.

U.S. candidates running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination on Sunday criticized President Donald Trump’s latest overture to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, saying the leaders’ meeting lacked substance and elevated a ruthless dictator.

Florida’s Republican governor on Friday signed a bill to restore the voting rights for felons who have served their time but he wants them to pay all fines and restitution before casting a ballot, a hurdle that immediately drew a lawsuit from civil rights groups.

A small Japanese fleet caught their first whales in Japan’s first commercial hunt in more than three decades, a move that has aroused global condemnation and fears for the fate of whales.

Almost half of new cars sold in Norway in the first six months of 2019 were powered by fully electric engines, up from just over a quarter in the same period last year, ensuring the Nordic nation retains its top global ranking in electric vehicle sales.

AP Top Stories

Israeli warplanes attacked military positions in central Syria early Monday, with a missile near Damascus killing four civilians and wounding 21, Syrian state media reported.

Spaniards can again drive through central Madrid without fear of punishment after the city’s new government suspended fines for entering a restricted zone for cars.

The Vatican on Monday reaffirmed Catholic teaching that priests cannot reveal what they learn in confession, in an apparent response to moves in Australia and elsewhere to force them to do so in cases of sexual abuse.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and its opponents in a California lawsuit agreed on Friday to delay implementing a rule that would allow medical workers to decline performing abortions or other treatments on moral or religious grounds, according to a federal court filing.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen will spend four nights in the United States this month while visiting Caribbean diplomatic allies, her government said on Monday, angering China, which urged Washington not to allow her to visit.

Facebook will ban ads that discourage people from voting ahead of the 2020 U.S. presidential election, according to its second annual Civil Rights Audit published on Sunday.

Like the broader movement of which it is a part, the black LGBTQ community is celebrating advances since the historic Stonewall riots in New York — while continuing to face serious discrimination and ill-treatment.

Iran will no longer require Chinese visitors to obtain visas, state media reported Sunday, as the sanctions-hit country attempts to boost tourism in the face of an economic crisis.

Taliban insurgents killed eight election officials in a bomb attack in the southern Kandahar province, Afghan officials said on Sunday.


Six suburbs in the Mexican city of Guadalajara were carpeted in a thick layer of ice after a heavy hailstorm. The ice was up to 5ft thick in places, half-burying vehicles.

Maria Joaquina is 11 years old and a prize-winning roller-skater. She is transgender and fighting to compete among girls. The South American Skating Confederation allows skaters to compete as women if they have a female name on their official ID, which Maria doesn’t.


Authorities have fined a Christian couple the equivalent of three months’ wages for handing out a Christian booklet to children. The incident has taken place in Azerbaijan, the small country between Iran and Russia which has a 96 percent Muslim population.

A mother renowned in the Palestinian territories for having six terrorist sons who have murdered a total of at least 10 Israelis, became a grandmother this week after smuggling out of prison the sperm of one of her sons. The mother urged all other terrorist prisoners to smuggle out their sperm to father “as many babies as possible” for the Palestinian people.

The current legislative year, recently concluded in many states, saw four huge failures for proponents of state-by-state bans on so-called “conversion” therapy in which counselors are not allowed to help juveniles overcome unwanted same-sex attractions.

Mid-Day Snapshot · July 1, 2019

The Foundation

“Your love of liberty — your respect for the laws — your habits of industry — and your practice of the moral and religious obligations, are the strongest claims to national and individual happiness.” —George Washington (1789)

‘Gay Pride’ Month — ‘LGBTQ’ Support Declines

The outcome of their “being visible and vigilant” is precisely why their support is dropping.

Antifa Thugs Attack Journalist; Other Journalists Pile On

Andy Ngo was assaulted in Portland, while Leftmedia journalists said he had it coming.

Only Donald Trump Could Go to North Korea

Trump becomes the first U.S. president to set foot in the Hermit Kingdom.

Student-Loan Forgiveness: Moral Hazard on Steroids

Democrats appeal to people’s self-entitlement with a massive income-redistribution scheme.

The Fifth Amendment Matters After All

SCOTUS rules on an important case regarding property rights in the wake of Kelo.

Americans Reject Bill for Climate ‘Mitigation’

And make no mistake: The cost will eventually hit everyday Americans in the wallet.

Hip-Hop Over Hymnals?

Snoop Dogg? What happened to the black church at the BET Awards?

Video: Crenshaw Slams Google for Calling PragerU ‘Nazis’

“What kind of education do people at Google have that they think that religious Jews are Nazis?”

Video: AOC’s Sad Story About AOC

Ben Shapiro slams Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s whining about student-loan debt.

Today’s Opinion

Todd Starnes
Leftists Mock Journalist Hospitalized With Brain Bleed After Antifa Attack
Hans von Spakovsky
Criminals Take Advantage of Sanctuary Policies for Illegal Immigrants
William Federer
How Do Politicians Become Corrupt? ‘The Love of Power and the Love of Money’
L. Brent Bozell & Tim Graham
‘Fact-Checkers’ Find Democrats Are Truth Tellers
Kathryn Jean Lopez
Pausing to Ask, ‘Who Are We? What Are We Doing?’
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

Monday Top News Executive Summary

Trump visits North Korea, unrest in Hong Kong, Iran flouts nuke deal, border-barrier ban, and more.

Monday Short Cuts

Notable quotables from Jimmy Carter, Julian Castro, Bernie Sanders, and more.

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.

News – 7/1/2019

Pro-Third Temple Party Makes Move “Guaranteeing Spot in the Next Government”
Zehut, the only political party in Israel’s current election calling for the rebuilding of the Third Temple, has agreed to join forces with Former Education Minister and head of the ‘New Right’ party, Naftali Bennett reports Ynet. Each party was just shy of the required mandates needed to pass Israel’s electoral threshold. However, running on a joint list should have them passing the four-seat minimum threshold required to enter the Knesset (parliament) with flying colors.

Massive Cyprus explosion believed connected to Israeli strikes in Syria
The possibility of a misdirected Israeli or Syrian missile were among the numerous theories floated as to the cause of a loud explosion and large fire in Turkish-controlled northern Cyprus early Monday. Initial reports indicate that the object was a Russian missile, fired against Israeli attacks…

Fatah members threaten to ‘hunt down’ Bahrain conference participants
They go on to say that they will strike with “an iron fist the necks of anyone” who sells out the Palestinian rights and anyone who participates in the Bahrain workshop. Those who attend the workshop, they say, have “opened the gates of Hell on themselves.”

New discovery in Jerusalem’s City of David: 2,000-year-old pilgrimage road
The ancient street is referred to as “Pilgrimage Road,” since archeologists are convinced that this is the path millions of Jews took three times a year when performing the commandment of aliyah l’regel – going up to the holy city of Jerusalem to bring sacrifices to God during Judaism’s three key holidays, Passover, Shavuot and Sukkot. The Pilgrimage Road goes all the way from the Shiloah Pool to the area adjacent to the Western Wall known as Robinson’s Arch, where today you can still see remnants of the ancient stairway that led into the Jewish Temple.

Turkey’s Erdogan says S-400 systems will be delivered within 10 days
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said the first delivery of the Russian S-400 missile defense system would take place within 10 days, broadcaster NTV reported on Sunday, a day after he said there would be no U.S. sanctions over the deal.

A shocking night for Syria – Analysis
Airstrikes and active air defense across Damascus into the mountains near Lebanon and near Homs 160 km to the north awoke Syrians after midnight in the first hours of Monday. It was the largest series of airstrikes many had seen in months or years,…

Ex-Palestinian Authority Minister Hints that Arabs who attended Bahrain Summit will be Tortured or Executed
Breaking Israel News ran an expose revealing the various torture techniques used by the Palestinian Authority to punish those accused of collaborating with Israel or the “occupation. Some of the victim’s testimonies included prolonged hanging upside-down, boiling plastic to drip onto skin, the removal of nails and teeth, sterilization, sleep deprivation, starvation, murder and even the rape of family members…

US deploys F-22 stealth fighters to Qatar as tensions with Iran surge
The United States has deployed F-22 Raptor stealth fighter jets to Qatar for the first time, according to the US Air Forces Central Military Command on Friday. The deployment, to the Al Udeid Air Base, a forward headquarters of U.S. Central Command and headquarters of U.S. Air Forces Central Command, is intended to “defend American forces and interests,” said officials in a statement. It was not stated how many of the jets were deployed.

Left-Wing Organization Launches Campaign to Troll Democratic Presidential Candidates Against Israel
A radical left-wing group of activists who are against Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria is expanding its organization in hopes of influencing the Democratic primaries. ‘IfNotNow’, a group of anti-Israel activists have opened a non-profit 501(c)(4) and is training their activists to troll Democratic candidates in an effort to force the Israeli/Arab conflict and compel the candidates to take a stand against Israel,…

Papua New Guinea volcanic eruptions force 15,000 from their homes
Volcanic eruptions in Papua New Guinea (PNG) have forced 15,000 villagers in the country’s northeast to flee their homes, aid agencies said on Sunday. Mount Ulawun on PNG’s northeastern island of New Britain exploded suddenly on Wednesday, shooting an ash column 18 km (11.18 miles) into the air, while nearby Manam erupted on Friday, sending dangerous pyroclastic flows down its slopes.

Tucker Carlson: Debate Shows Democratic Party Has Broken From Reality Into Self-Righteous Fantasy
The Democratic Party went completely insane on Wednesday. That’s been happening for a while, of course — insanity is a process. But Wednesday night at the first Democratic primary debate of the 2020 season, they made it official. Elite Democrats have permanently broken with reality. They no longer care about what’s true, what’s possible, even what’s real. They live in a kind of dream-state, a place of fantasy punctuated by howls of self-righteousness.

A shocking night for Syria
Airstrikes and active air defenses across Damascus into the mountains near Lebanon and near Homs 160 km. to the North woke up Syrians after midnight in the first hours of Monday. It was the largest series of airstrikes many had seen in months or years, according to social media accounts tweeting from Syria or in touch with people on the ground.

At least 15 killed during alleged Israeli airstrikes in Syria – report
At least 15 people, among them six civilians including an infant were killed and 21 others wounded by an alleged Israeli airstrike in Damascus and Homs in Syria, Syrian media reported on Monday. “A military source said that the army air defenses confronted hostile missiles launched by Israeli warplanes at midnight from Lebanese airspace towards some of our military sites in Homs and the surrounding of Damascus,” SANA reported.

Hong Kong: Police and protesters clash on handover anniversary
Police in Hong Kong have clashed with protesters marking the anniversary of its handover from UK to Chinese rule. In chaotic scenes on Monday, police used pepper spray and batons to contain protesters outside a venue hosting an annual flag-raising ceremony. A small group of protesters also smashed into the government building.

Trump in North Korea: KCNA hails ‘amazing’ visit
North Korean state media have hailed US President Donald Trump’s impromptu visit to the country as “an amazing event”. On Sunday, Mr Trump became the first sitting US president to set foot in North Korea, accompanied by leader Kim Jong-un. Mr Trump had earlier tweeted asking Mr Kim if he would like to meet while the US president was in South Korea.

EU summit: Leaders resume talks after disagreement over top jobs
EU leaders meeting in Brussels remain divided over who should get the EU’s top jobs, including a successor to Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker. Talks resumed over breakfast on Monday morning, after the member countries failed to reach agreement at the emergency summit convened on Sunday. Summit chair Donald Tusk decided to have a break for bilateral talks.

Mexico hail: Ice 1.5m thick carpets Mexico’s Guadalajara
Six suburbs in the Mexican city of Guadalajara have been left carpeted in a thick layer of ice after a heavy hail storm. The ice was up to 1.5m (5ft) thick in places, half-burying vehicles. Civil protection machinery was deployed to clear streets in the city of five million located north of Mexico City. Local officials also reported flooding and fallen trees, but no-one is thought to have been hurt.

New York Pride: Bumper crowds attend LGBT march
Hundreds of thousands of revellers have thronged the streets of New York for WorldPride, one of the largest LGBT celebrations in the world. Around 150,000 people took part in the march, 50 years on from the Stonewall riots, with many more watching. The riots, after a police raid on the Stonewall Inn, helped to energise the fight for gay equality. This year’s march started outside the inn.

New data shows depth of U.S. mental health crisis
U.S. suicide rates are at the highest level since World War II, according to a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, per Bloomberg’s Cynthia Koons. By the numbers: From 2000 to 2006, the suicide rate in the U.S. increased by an average of about 1% a year. From 2006 through 2016, it increased by 2% a year. There were 1.4 million suicide attempts in 2017 and 47,000 deaths.

Russia plans to tow a nuclear power station to the Arctic. Critics dub it a ‘floating Chernobyl’
Next month, a floating nuclear power plant called the Akademik Lomonosov will be towed via the Northern Sea Route to its final destination in the Far East, after almost two decades in construction. It’s part of Russia’s ambition to bring electric power to a mineral-rich region. The 144-meter (472 feet) long platform painted in the colors of the Russian flag is going to float next to a small Arctic port town of Pevek, some 4,000 miles away from Moscow.

Russia beating U.S. in race for global influence, Pentagon study says
The U.S. is ill-equipped to counter the increasingly brazen political warfare Russia is waging to undermine democracies, the Pentagon and independent strategists warn… The…white paper, prepared for the Joint Chiefs of Staff…says the U.S. is still underestimating the scope of Russia’s aggression, which includes the use of propaganda and disinformation to sway public opinion across Europe, Central Asia, Africa and Latin America.

China Confirms Submarine-Launched Missile Test
China’s Defense Ministry this week confirmed the test firing of a new submarine-launched ballistic missile the Pentagon regards as a strategic weapon capable of striking anywhere in the United States from underwater launch points. Asked about the test of the new JL-3 submarine-launched ballistic missile, Sr. Col., Ren Guoqiang, a Defense Ministry spokesman, acknowledged the test firing.

Syrian missile fending off alleged Israeli strike hits Cyprus
A Turkish Cypriot official said…that a Syrian anti-aircraft missile trying to fend off an alleged Israeli raid missed its target and hit ethnically divided Cyprus, causing an explosion outside a village in east Mediterranean island… No injuries were reported. Intensive Israeli airstrikes, reportedly targeting Syrian government targets and Hezbollah bases near the Syrian-Lebanon border…were taking place at the time of the blast…

U.S. envoys on hand at controversial ceremony in Jerusalem
U.S. envoys attended the inauguration of a Jewish heritage site in East Jerusalem on Sunday, signaling support for Israel’s hold over parts of the city that Palestinians want for a future state. Palestinians – who view the heritage project and settlement activities in the Silwan district as moves by Israel to further cement control over areas it captured in the 1967 Middle East war – called the U.S. presence at the event a hostile act.

Palestinians: 95 wounded in East Jerusalem clashes over weekend
At least 95 people were wounded and 20 others had been arrested over the weekend in East Jerusalem as the clashes which were sparked last Thursday over the killing of a Palestinian man by Israeli security forces, show no signs of slowing down. On Saturday evening, the rioters threw rocks and launched fireworks at the police forces, who in turn responded with crowd dispersal measures, which included stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets.

Gun battle rages in Afghan capital after Taliban blast injures 100
Afghan security forces on Monday were battling Taliban gunmen who stormed a building in the capital, Kabul, after a bomb-laden truck exploded near the defense ministry at rush hour, injuring at least 100 people, including 35 children… For hours after the attack, sporadic gunfire and explosions could be heard in the area… At least three gunmen entered a building around the defense ministry after the blast, a government security official said.

Headlines – 7/1/2019

West Bank mayor renames street to protest Bahrain hosting US-led economic summit

Netanyahu says Palestinians determined to continue conflict at all cost

Netanyahu: Those who urge me to go to war in Gaza will be the ones to slam me if I do so

Political-security cabinet to convene in light of Gaza incendiary balloon terror

US envoys to attend opening of controversial archaeological site in E. Jerusalem

Under Palestinian homes, US envoys hammer open an ancient East Jerusalem road

Palestinians slam US ‘war crimes’ after envoys open East Jerusalem tunnel

Canadian candidate removed for tweets accusing Israel of committing genocide

Syrian air defenses engage ‘enemy missiles’ – Report

Syria claims Israel attacked in Damascus and Homs

Syrian media says missiles allegedly fired by Israel intercepted above Damascus, casualties reported

Syria says four killed as Israeli jets hit targets in Homs and Damascus

Satellite intel firm: Syria’s entire S-300 air defenses likely operational

Officials: Mystery object crashes, explodes in northern Cyprus

US envoy on Iran warns of sanctions against countries importing Iranian oil

Iran says EU has ‘not done enough’ to help it avoid US sanctions

Europe Plans No Immediate Sanctions if Iran Breaches Nuclear Deal

Eastern Libyan authorities arrest two Turks over Turkey’s support for ‘militias’

Turkey’s Erdogan says “some people” paying “serious money” to bury Khashoggi issue

Haftar’s army forces say they destroyed a Turkish drone in Tripoli

Endorsed by Trump, Saudi Prince Steps Back Out on World Stage

Powerful explosion heard in diplomatic district of Kabul

Tens of Thousands Resume Protests in Sudan After Deadly Crackdown Weeks Earlier

Sudan protests: Deadly unrest as masses oppose the military

Thousands Of Protesters Demand Civilian Rule In Sudan, Soldiers Fire Shots In Air

Two aides of Lebanese minister shot dead as convoy hit by gunfire

Trump meets Kim Jong Un, becomes first sitting U.S. president to step into North Korea

Trump’s North Korean steps could be felt in Mideast – analysis

After surprise Trump-Kim meeting, U.S. and North Korea to reopen talks

Trump’s DMZ Summit Shows How Little Kim Has Conceded on Nukes

Pandemonium in Panmunjom: Kim and Trump’s hasty DMZ date

‘Let’s do it:’ 3 hours at the DMZ and a made-for-TV moment

Kim-Trump border meeting: History or just a photo-op?

Tucker Carlson says Trump ‘dominated’ Kim as ‘wheezing’ North Korean dictator struggled

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham roughed up by North Korean security guards

China warns of long road ahead for deal with U.S. after ice-breaking talks

China tests latest submarine-launched ballistic missile: Report

Pentagon study: Russia outgunning U.S. in race for global influence

Venezuelan Navy Captain Accused of Rebellion Dies After Signs of Torture

36 arrested as Jewish group protests outside ICE detention center

Pence to social conservatives: there’s ‘nothing compassionate about open borders’

Israeli-made virus bypasses Apple firewalls, infects Macs

Facebook announces civil rights task force to fight meddling in 2020 election and census

Total Solar Eclipse 2019: Path, Viewing Maps and Photo Guide

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Mutsu, Japan

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Karakenja, Tajikistan

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Nikol’skoye, Russia

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 26,000ft

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 24,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 14,000ft

Flood apocalypse in Eastern Siberia kills five and maroons 9,919 whose homes destroyed or damaged

Massive damage after worst floods in history hit Irkutsk region of Siberia, Russia

Putin travels to Siberia as floods turn deadly

Russia allocates 15.5 mln USD to flood-stricken victims in Irkutsk

Freak hail storm strikes Mexican city of Guadalajara

Climate scientists are linking the Europe heat wave to climate change

UN chief urges action to avert climate change ‘catastrophe’

Black vultures are roosting in Kentucky and eating animals alive

New data shows depth of U.S. mental health crisis

The Government Is Ending Fetal Tissue Research. Some Scientists Say We Don’t Need It.

Madonna Argues That ‘Jesus Would Agree’ with Abortion, Franklin Graham Claps Back

How the LGBTQ Agenda Is Targeting Your Children

‘This is where the revolution began’: Thousands celebrate WorldPride in NYC

Marchers protest New York’s ‘commercialized’ Pride parade

World Pride parade preempted by anti-corporate dissidents

LBGTQ Activists Hold Rally in Istanbul Despite Ban on Pride March, Tear Gas Launched

Tensions between trans women and gay men boil over at Stonewall anniversary

Joe Biden’s awkward ‘gay waiter’ remark irks crowd at LGBT event

Millennials, Gen Z growing more uncomfortable with LGBT movement: survey

Australian Rugby Star’s Anti-Gay Post Exposes Fault Lines Over Religious Freedom

Suppressing God and faith in America is like ‘schizophrenia,’ Ben Carson says

Apostasy Watch Daily News

Douglas Kelly – The Binding of Satan

Jim Bakker Now Selling Elixir for Venereal Disease

Adonai with female body parts?

Newly Consecrated Gay Episcopal Bishop Declares God Is A Woman

Hollywood’s Jim Caviezel credits Virgin Mary for acting success

Miriam Adelson Hopes There Will Be a Biblical ‘Book of Trump’

3 million Christians rally in streets of São Paulo to proclaim Gospel, pray to end corruption

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“A simple layman armed with Scripture is to be believed above a pope or a council without it…” – Martin Luther

July 1 The Call to Commitment

scripture reading: Exodus 3
key verse: Exodus 3:4

When the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.”

God called Moses to a task that required a tremendous commitment. Once he accepted the challenge, there was no turning back. He could not lead the nation of Israel out of Egypt and then decide he had made a wrong decision.

True commitment changes a person’s life forever. It changed Moses. Once he committed himself to God’s call, everything else became insignificant.

However, it was not always that way. It took forty years of molding and reshaping Moses’ character before he was ready for the mission God had for him. Then one day a flash of light on the side of Mount Horeb caught his eye. A bush was ablaze; yet the fire did not consume it.

When Moses stepped toward the burning bush, he took a step toward a lifelong commitment. Before that moment, his eyes were on his flocks, his family, his hurts, and his desires.

The Bible tells us, “When the Lord saw that [Moses] turned aside to look, God called to him.” That was Moses’ point of commitment—the turning of his heart to the things of God.

Has God placed a burning bush in your life, but you are afraid of the commitment? Moses could have avoided the call, but he never would have known the wonder of the holiness of God. Nothing is worth missing God’s wonderful plan for your life.

Heavenly Father, I turn aside right now in renewed commitment to You. Change my focus from myself—my job, my hurts, my desires—to Your purposes. Nothing is worth missing Your plan for my life.[1]

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

1 july (1855) 365 Days with Spurgeon

The necessity of increased faith

“And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.” Luke 17:5

suggested further reading: Romans 4:13–25

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” They went to the right person. They did not say to themselves, “I will increase my faith;” they did not cry to the minister, “Preach a comforting sermon, and increase my faith;” they did not say, “I will read such-and-such a book, and that will increase my faith.” No, they said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” Faith’s author can alone increase it. I could inflate your faith till it turned into presumption, but I could not make it grow. It is God’s work to feed faith, as well as to give it life at first; and if any of you desire to have a growing faith, go and take your burden this morning to God’s throne, crying, “Lord, increase our faith!” If you feel that your troubles have been increased, go to the Lord, and say, “Increase our faith!” If your money is accumulating, go to the Lord, and say, “Increase our faith;” for you will want more faith as you get more prosperity. If your property is diminishing, go to him, and say, “Increase our faith,” so that what you lose in one scale you may gain in the other. Are you sickly and full of pain this morning? Go to your Master, and say, “Increase our faith, so that I may not be impatient, but be able to bear it well.” Are you tired and weary? Go and supplicate, “Increase our faith!” Have you little faith? Take it to God, and he will turn it into great faith. There is no hot-house for growing tender plants in like a house that is within the curtains—the tabernacle of God, where his glory dwells.

for meditation: The Christian has no need to undertake pilgrimages and to seek out so-called holy men to increase his faith. The expert in increasing faith is the very one in whom we have faith, who lives in us by his Spirit (Hebrews 12:2).

sermon no. 32[1]

[1] Spurgeon, C. H., & Crosby, T. P. (1998). 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 1) (p. 189). Leominster, UK: Day One Publications.

1 JULY 365 Days with Calvin

Finding Refuge under his Wings

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Matthew 23:37

suggested further reading: Romans 3:10–18

We now perceive the reason why Christ, speaking in the person of God, compares himself to “a hen.” It is to inflict deeper disgrace on the wicked nation that had treated with disdain his gentle invitation. This invitation proceeds from more than maternal kindness. It is an amazing and unparalleled example of love that God does not disdain to stoop to those persuasions by which he might tame rebels into subjection.

Prophets were sent to “gather together” wandering and dispersed people into the bosom of God. By this he means that whenever the Word of God is exhibited to us, God opens his bosom to us with maternal kindness. Not satisfied with this, he condescends to the humble affection of a hen watching over her chickens. When he compares himself to a mother, he descends very far below his glory; how much more, then, when he takes the form of a hen and deigns to treat us as his chickens?

Besides, if this charge was justly brought against the ancient people who lived under the law, it is far more applicable to us. For though the complaints that we find in Isaiah are just in saying that in vain God spread out his hands every day to embrace a hard-hearted and rebellious people (Isa. 65:2), that though he rose up early (Jer. 7:13), he gained nothing by his incessant care of them; yet now, with far greater familiarity and kindness, he invites us to himself by his Son. Therefore, whenever he exhibits to us the doctrine of the gospel, dreadful vengeance awaits us if we do not quietly hide ourselves under his wings, by which he is ready to receive and shelter us. At the same time, Christ teaches us that all enjoy safety and rest who by the obedience of faith are “gathered together” to God; because under his wings they have an impregnable refuge.

for meditation: If neither God’s awesome majesty and power nor his gracious condescending love can draw us to him, what other proofs do we need that our hearts are deceitful and desperately wicked? Go to him with all your heart today, asking for forgiveness and mercy.[1]

[1] Calvin, J., & Beeke, J. R. (2008). 365 Days with Calvin (p. 201). Leominster; Grand Rapids, MI: Day One Publications; Reformation Heritage Books.

Christians Facing Worldwide Surge in Oppression — Juicy Ecumenism

Human rights advocates told a bipartisan congressional commission yesterday that Christians and other religious minorities in China, Nigeria, Iran, and other countries are being killed, imprisoned, tortured, and discriminated against for their faith, and it’s getting worse.

The hearing comes after coordinated suicide attacks on multiple churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday targeting the country’s minority Christian community left 290 people dead and 500 injured, including many children. The Sri Lankan government attributes the bombings to the National Thowheed Jamaath, an Islamist militia believed to have ISIS connections.

“As shocking as such news was, I cannot say it was surprising,” said Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) who co-chairs the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission with Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA).

“We stand for human dignity and respect for life of whomever is oppressed,” said Smith, “and this commission has and will continue to highlight the suffering of religious minorities around the globe.”

The June 27 hearing was held to publicize violations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948. Under its Article 18: “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.”

It is estimated that nearly 80 percent of the global population experiences severe limitations on their right to practice their chosen religion or faith.

In his testimony before the commission Ambassador-at-Large for Religious Freedom Sam Brownback, head of the U.S. State Department’s Office of International Religious Freedom, said that Christians are currently being targeted in 144 countries and are facing “the most wide-spread harassment of any religious group,” according to a recent Pew study. Religious persecution in Iran and Nigeria is particularly egregious, he said, and is also on the rise in China.

“The current assault on China’s religious minorities under President Xi Jinping – especially on Christians, Muslims, and Tibetan Buddhists – is the most comprehensive attempt to manipulate and control religion since the Cultural Revolution,” said Religious Freedom Institute President Thomas Farr in his testimony. “Xi’s policy should be seen as a particularly troubling aspect of the global crisis in religious freedom, one in which over three-quarters of the world’s people live in nations where religion is highly, or very highly, restricted. China is one of those nations.”

During the hearing Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) asked about the persecution of Muslim minority groups, which is also on the rise. Omar, a member of the commission, is co-sponsoring a bill that would attempt to hold accountable officials from Brunei who recently implemented a new draconian penal code that mandates stoning for adultery, same-sex relations, blasphemy, and theft. Under the Islamic code women who have abortions are to be flogged.

Omar also asked witnesses about Uyghur Muslims being detained in Chinese Communist camps. According to The New York Times, Muslims in such camps are being ordered to renounce their devotion to Islam and have been detained for “reciting a verse of the Quran at a funeral.”

Farr said that Christians, Uyghur Muslims, and Tibetan Buddhists in China are being targeted for “violent repression” due to “the native communist need to control and maintain power.”

According to Christian advocacy organization Open Doors USA President David Curry, Christians globally are facing a dramatic rise in violent attacks over previous years—a reality the group attributes to the spread of Islamic jihadist ideology in Nigeria, Afghanistan, Somalia, Syria, and Iraq, along with increasing extreme nationalism among Hindu leaders in Asia, particularly in India.

“It’s resulted in a shocking rise of attacks in [Indian] Christian churches, with nearly 300 churches attacked thus far in 2019 and hundreds of cases of pastors held without trial—just for being Christian pastors,” Curry testified.

According to Open Doors’ World Watch List, more than 4,000 Christians were killed worldwide for “faith-related” reasons, and more than 1,200 Christian churches or buildings were attacked between October 31, 2017 and November 1, 2018.

In her testimony Vice Chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom Nadine Maenza highlighted religious persecution in Eritrea, where the government has been shutting down Catholic-run hospitals and arresting and detaining Christians. Since June, five Orthodox priests and 30 Pentecostal Christians have been arrested in the country. Earlier this month 141 Christians, predominantly women and children, were detained and many are believed to remain in custody.

“We must stand in solidarity with those who suffer,” said Maenza. “We must remind the persecuted that the world has not forgotten them.”

via Christians Facing Worldwide Surge in Oppression — Juicy Ecumenism

Living In an Age of Hate [Updated] | Power Line

Byron York takes a dispassionate look at today’s political/cultural landscape, which is beginning to resemble the one that preceded the Civil War:

The toxicity of the resistance to President Trump has risen in recent days, with the nation’s most respected newspapers publishing rationalizations for denying Trump supporters public accommodation and for doxxing career federal employees, while a journalist found himself under physical attack from the so-called anti-fascist group Antifa, which has stepped up its violent activities since Trump’s election.

Advocacy of incivility and violence isn’t coming only from the zany far left. It finds a home in formerly respectable news outlets, like the Washington Post and the New York Times, as well as among Democratic Party office-holders.

The justification for denying public accommodation came from the Washington Post in an op-ed by Stephanie Wilkinson, the owner of a farm-to-table restaurant in Lexington, Virginia. Wilkinson became famous in June of last year, when she refused to serve White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders and and told Sanders and her family to leave the restaurant. Wilkinson’s staff then followed the Sanders group in protest as they tried to find another place to eat.
In her new article, Wilkinson discussed the case of The Aviary, a trendy bar in Chicago where a waitress recently spat on Eric Trump, the president’s son. Wilkinson wrote that the incident, along with her own decision to oust Sanders, shows that in the age of Trump “new rules apply” in public accommodations: Americans who work for the administration or support the president should stay away.

Democrats obviously think that the “new rules” will never apply to them. Why is that? Evidently, they believe–correctly–that we conservatives are better people than they are. But our patience is not infinite.

The apology for doxxing came from the New York Times in a piece by Kate Cronin-Furman, an assistant professor of human rights at University College London. The article focused on the treatment of illegal immigrant children in detention centers near the U.S.-Mexico border.

Which has actually improved somewhat since the Obama administration. And, in any event, if a Central American is concerned about how his children will be treated if he brings them along as he tries to cross our border illegally, he should consider not doing that.

Cronin-Furman discussed the detentions, as well as actions by employees of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, in terms of the Holocaust and genocides in Cambodia and Rwanda. Those are, of course, contexts which most Americans would likely dismiss as preposterous and offensive but which Cronin-Furman and the New York Times apparently take seriously.

These comparisons are so idiotic as not to require refutation. But the New York Times publishes them; not because they are remotely plausible, but because the Times doesn’t care. The Times exists solely to launch one hysterical attack after another against President Trump on behalf of the Democratic Party.

Then we have the case that I wrote about earlier today:

Finally, there was Antifa’s recent attack on Andy Ngo, a freelance journalist often associated with the pro-free thought cultural publication Quillette. At a demonstration in Portland, at which Trump was a focus of dispute, Antifa fighters beat up and milkshaked Ngo, apparently because he was there and he was not on their side.

The Democratic Party has abandoned all norms of civility and constitutional government. Somehow, though, liberals believe they are immune from having to live by their own “new rules.” They sow the wind, but think they never will reap the whirlwind. Why?

Liberals act as though they are spoiling for a civil war, or at least a slow-motion approximation thereof. Is that really what they want? Fighting in the streets? And, evidently, the restaurants? Do they have reason to think they would fare well if they actually got what they claim to want? 

We conservatives are, of course, morally superior to leftists, and far more pacific, as they believe. But, as I said, our patience is not infinite. There are many places in America where, unlike Portland, fascists would meet with a strong reaction if they tried to beat up bystanders on the street, burn down buildings, and smash store windows. The New York Times, the Washington Post, and their Democratic Party seem entirely oblivious to this fact.

UPDATE: Commenter Devilpup writes:

So cake bakers have to serve everyone but liberal cafe owners can pick and choose who they will serve??????

Good point! Just another instance of how the liberals’ “new rules” are a one-way street. They can get away with such nonsense to the extent that we on the right have no political power.

— Read on www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2019/06/living-in-an-age-of-hate.php

The Mailbag: Potpourri (Tithing, Beth Moore on abortion, wife earning more than husband…) — Michelle Lesley

Welcome to another “potpourri” edition of The Mailbag, where I give short(er) answers to several questions rather than a long answer to one question. I also like to take the opportunity in these potpourri editions to let new readers know about my comments/e-mail/messages policy. I’m not able to respond individually to most e-mails and messages, so here are some helpful hints for getting your questions answered more quickly. Remember, the search bar can be a helpful tool!

In these potpourri editions of The Mailbag, I’d also like to address the three questions I’m most commonly asked:

“Do you know anything about [Christian pastor/teacher/author] or his/her materials? Is he/she doctrinally sound?”

Try these links: 
Popular False Teachers /
 Recommended Bible Teachers / search bar
Is She a False Teacher? 7 Steps to Figuring It Out on Your Own
(Do keep bringing me names, though. If I get enough questions about a particular teacher, I’ll probably write an article on her.)

“Can you recommend a good women’s Bible study?”

No. Here’s why:
The Mailbag: Can you recommend a good Bible study for women/teens/kids?
The Mailbag: “We need to stop relying on canned studies,” doesn’t mean, “We need to rely on doctrinally sound canned studies.”.

“You shouldn’t be warning against [popular false teacher] for [X,Y,Z] reason!”

Answering the Opposition- Responses to the Most Frequently Raised Discernment Objections

Any good info you can send in about tithing? Is it for NT believer? Are we in sin if we don’t?

Great question – and it’s one that a lot of Believers probably wonder about. For the long answer, check out my article To Tithe or Not to Tithe… (and don’t forget to click on the links in that article to the helpful resources I’ve included).

The short answer is no. Christians are not required by Scripture to tithe. The main Scripture that covers the principles for New Testament giving is 2 Corinthians 9:7:

Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

We are to give thoughtfully, decisively, generously, willingly, and gladly. Now, if you consider your finances and the needs of your church, you and ask God to help you make a wise decision about how much to give, and ten per cent is the prayerful conclusion you come to, then by all means, give ten per cent. If it’s fifty per cent or two per cent or 97 per cent or some other amount, give that. New Testament giving is about glad generosity of heart and godly decision-making, not rote fulfillment of a non-applicable Mosaic Covenant law.

Are you in sin if you don’t tithe? It depends on the reason you’re not tithing. If you’re not tithing (or giving) because you’re selfish and greedy and you don’t want to give anything to the church, then, yes, you’re sinning. If you’re not tithing because you’re barely scraping by and can only afford to give five per cent to the church, which you give with a joyful and generous heart, no, you’re not sinning. But for sure, if your pastor or someone else is attempting to coerce or compel you to tithe, he is putting you under the yoke of the law, he is violating 2 Corinthians 9:7, and he is in sin.

What is Beth Moore’s position on abortion?

I received this question from several readers in connection with the publication of An Open Letter to Beth Moore(which you can still sign if you haven’t yet, ladies).

I don’t know what Beth’s position on abortion is. I Googled “Beth Moore abortion” and the closest thing I came up with was a tweet thread from 2016 that had something to do with the presidential election and whether or not Beth supported Hillary Clinton (it wasn’t 100% clear since some of the tweets have since been deleted or made private). Some questioned Beth in that thread about her stance on abortion since they believed she supported Clinton, but while Beth clearly said she did not support either candidate, unless I missed a tweet or it was deleted, she did not state what her position on abortion was.

If you want to know Beth’s position on abortion, you will have to ask her. Since she is Southern Baptist, you may wish to ask her if she agrees with the portion of Article XV of the Baptist Faith and Message (BFM2000– the SBC’s statement of faith) which states,

“We should speak on behalf of the unborn and contend for the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death.”

It is possible Beth would be willing to give a pro-life answer since it is likely much more acceptable among her followers for her to stand against abortion than to stand against homosexuality. But since she has already demonstrated that she is unwilling to take a firm biblical stand on an issue when doing so might diminish her popularity, I imagine she will respond to questions about abortion the same way she responded to our questions about homosexuality: ignore the questions as much as possible, or answer them in an obfuscatory or cryptic manner when pressed.

As a woman, am I sinning by witnessing to a man?

Nope. Not under the auspices of 1 Timothy 2:12, anyway. What you’re doing is carrying out the Great Commission, Jesus’ mandate to all Christians. A couple of articles that explain more and that you might find helpful:

Rock Your Role FAQs (#11)

The Mailbag: Is it biblical for women to carry out The Great Commission?

One of my loved ones says she hears God’s voice, still small voice, a new revelation from Him and so on. How can I search your website to get information on this?

May God bless you for wanting to help your loved one! I think these articles will help:

Basic Training: The Bible Is Sufficient

Basic Training: The Bible Is Our Authority

The Mailbag: Potpourri (Michelle’s a money-grubber, Still small voice, Husband of one wife…)

Wondering what kind of instruction you received to teach what [you] have on your website. I have studied the Scriptures for many years, but am disappointed that I did not spot some of the false and lacking “teachers” you have written about. I found you, thankfully, by following a rabbit trail regarding false teachers. Thanks.

Thanks for asking! The biblical instruction I’ve received:

•Sitting under good preaching and teaching at my own church

•Studying straight from the Bible itself (not workbook/DVD studies, etc.) during my daily Bible study time

•Listening to good sermons and Bible teaching online

•Reading good, solid theological books by doctrinally sound authors.

I have audited one or two online seminary classes, but I’ve never been enrolled in a seminary, nor do I have a seminary degree.

I’ve explained a bit more about how I got started learning discernment here. Many of the authors, pastors, and teachers I’ve listened to can be found in the sidebar to your left (Blogs and Podcasts I Follow and Links I Love) and at the Recommended Bible Teachers tab at the top of this page.

This is part of the reason I’m forever hounding women to put aside the “canned” studies and systematically study straight from the Bible for themselves and to get faithfully invested in a doctrinally sound church – it’s not only biblical, it works.

Biblical views on a wife making more than her husband financially?

To my knowledge, there is no passage in the Bible that explicitly prohibits a woman from having a larger salary than her husband’s, assuming that they are both employed in a manner that doesn’t violate biblical standards. (Readers- For the purposes of this question, let’s assume that neither spouse is neglecting his/her biblical duties to the marriage, children, or home by being employed in this season of his/her life.)

In other words, if they’re both employed full time and her position or field just happens to pay more than his position or field, that doesn’t violate any Scripture I’m aware of. Or there could be situations such as: a husband is ill or disabled and unable to work full time (or at all), or the husband has had to reduce his workload temporarily to care for an ill family member, go back to school, etc. However, if it’s a situation like the wife is making more money because the husband is a lazy bum who refuses to work enough hours (or at all) to support his family, that would be sinful on his part.

If there’s nothing unbiblical about the wife’s or the husband’s employment situation but it bothers one or both of them that her salary is larger, they should sit down, talk it out, and pray through the issue to discover and resolve the problem. I would also recommend setting up an appointment with their pastor or a biblical counselor for counseling (see Biblical Counseling Resources tab at the top of this page).

If you have a question about: a Bible passage, an aspect of theology, a current issue in Christianity, or how to biblically handle a family, life, or church situation, comment below (I’ll hold all questions in queue {unpublished} for a future edition of The Mailbag) or send me an e-mail or private message. If your question is chosen for publication, your anonymity will be protected.

via The Mailbag: Potpourri (Tithing, Beth Moore on abortion, wife earning more than husband…) — Michelle Lesley

The Heart of the Difference Between Revoice Theology and Reformed Theology – the Sinfulness and Mortification of Sinful Desires

Building Old School Churches

At the PCA General Assembly this week, we had several speakers (the most prominent being self-proclaimed Gay PCA pastor Greg Johnson) take issue with the Nashville Statement on the grounds that it condemns a homosexual self-identity. The speakers clearly indicated that they believe that to identify as homosexual and to admit that their lives are dominated by homosexual desires and affections is not sinful unless those desires are actually acted upon. In other words, they may constantly struggle as “Gay Christians” with sinful desires and temptations to have homosexual sex and homosexual relationships, because that is part of their nature as homosexuals, but that unless they actually act upon them, thus joining will with desire simply having those desires is not sinful. They also make it clear that they do not believe that people born with homosexual desires can ever be free of them in this life. Therefore, the life…

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“Latest Pro-LGBT Proposal Targets Christian Therapists, Pastors — Lighthouse Trails Inc

LTRP Note: The following is posted for informational and research purposes.

By Jody Brown, Steve Jordahl (OneNewsNow.com)

The head of the Pacific Justice Institute says a non-binding resolution just introduced in the California legislature raises a “red flag” that the state is on the verge of telling Christian pastors and counselors what they can and cannot say to certain people in deep pain.

Assembly Concurrent Resolution 99 proclaims that the state’s legislators have “found that being [LGBT] is not a disease, disorder, illness, deficiency, or shortcoming”; contends that attempts to help a person struggling with same-sex attraction are harmful; and blames churches and faith-based counselors for the epidemic of suicides within the LGBT community. Click here to continue reading.

via “Latest Pro-LGBT Proposal Targets Christian Therapists, Pastors — Lighthouse Trails Inc

Is Suicide the Unpardonable Sin? — Ligonier Ministries Blog

What is the unforgivable sin? From one of our live Ask Ligonier events, Sinclair Ferguson helps us understand this sin and what to do if you think you’ve committed it.

Do you have a biblical or theological question? We invite you to Ask.Ligonier.org.

via Is Suicide the Unpardonable Sin? — Ligonier Ministries Blog