Daily Archives: July 9, 2019

July 9 Facing Fear

Scripture Reading: Isaiah 41:10–20

Key Verse: Deuteronomy 3:22

You must not fear them, for the Lord your God Himself fights for you.

Many times, instead of facing our fears with courage, we cower. Somehow, we cannot imagine having the strength to overcome the many trials that come our way, but we have the strength we need to overcome the adversity within our lives.

Paul wrote to Timothy, who was faced with a tremendous task—maintaining a spirit of worship and Christian growth in the early church. If there were ever reasons for fear, Timothy had a few. However, Paul knew that if Timothy caved into his fears, then his ministry would be ruined. Therefore, Paul wrote to admonish his young protégé: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).

God wants us to face fear with the knowledge that He will give us the ability to conquer fear’s attempt to paralyze us. “Do not fear them, for the Lord your God is the one fighting for you” (Deuteronomy 3:22 nasb). We triumph over fear as we look to God for the strength to move forward, courageously pressing on because He is the One strengthening us.

Africans say that when a lion is stalking its prey, it will roar very loudly. You would think that the prey would run, but actually the roar paralyzes it with fear. Don’t allow Satan’s roar to paralyze you in your faith. Christ is your Savior, and He is your eternal strength.

Lord, when Satan roars and I am afraid, I know that You have already defeated him. I put my trust in You.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 200). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

July 9 Phobias

Scripture Reading: Psalm 46

Key Verse: Isaiah 41:10

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

God’s Word is alive with strength and courage to help us counter every phobia that plagues us. Isaiah 41:10 is a timeless prescription that has helped many Christians confront and conquer their fears because it is loaded with fear-busting truth.

“Fear not, for I am with you.” You are not alone with your fears. God lives in you to help you. Knowing Christ is with you always brings great comfort and encouragement.

“Be not dismayed, for I am your God.” God in all His power, wisdom, love, and mercy is on your side. He is personally acquainted with you. You are part of His family, and He looks after you in a fatherly manner.

“I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you.” In your weakness, God promises to make you strong. He never tires or falters. His shoulders are eternally broad. How much can He help you? As much as you let Him.

“I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” God is your Advocate. He keeps and protects you. He is your Stronghold, your Refuge. Though you may be shaken, He never is. His everlasting arms are underneath to hold you in your most desperate moments.

Almighty God, I turn all my stressful fears and anxieties to You. I do not need to be anxious because You have promised strength and help. You will uphold me with Your righteous right hand.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 200). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

July 9 When the Odds Are Against You

Scripture reading: Nehemiah 4:1–14

Key verse: Nehemiah 8:10

Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

After a horrifying accident while mountain climbing, Tim Hansel came to a profound conclusion: the joy of the Lord was his only strength (Neh. 8:10). With pain filtering through his body, Hansel sought help from God.

In You Gotta Keep Dancin’ he writes,

My rage [desire] to live was real, but I had, without knowing or intending it, put a lid on it by saying to myself, “When I am strong, then I’ll be joyful. When the pain eases, then I’ll be joyful.” I had enough excuses to last a lifetime.

The problem was reality. The pain didn’t subside. And I had placed myself in the position of waiting until things got better, waiting until I knew more of God, waiting until I had enough strength to be joyful.

But through this profound and simple passage from Nehemiah God reminded me again and again that I cannot choose to be strong, but I can choose to be joyful. And when I am willing to do that, strength will follow … It wasn’t the pain that was thwarting me as much as it was my attitude toward the pain. I realized that though the difficulties were undeniably real and would remain so for the rest of my life, I had the opportunity to choose a new freedom and joy if I wanted to.

Lasting joy and true faith are based only in Jesus Christ and not your circumstances. If the odds are against you, He will be your strength.

Lord, help me understand that lasting joy is based on You—not my circumstances. Strengthen my faith when the odds are against me.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 200). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

One Of Convicted Pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s Sex Slaves Says She Personally Saw Former President Bill Clinton On ‘Orgy Island’ With Two Young Girls — Now The End Begins

Former President Bill Clinton took a romantic jaunt in 2002 to convicted pedophile pal Jeffrey Epstein’s ‘orgy island’ with “two young girls” from New York, according to a shocking new interview.

This is a story from the NY Post, first published back in 2015, and we are showing it to you because most of us have forgotten how close Bill Clinton came to being exposed by it when the story first came to light. What is happening right now with Jeffrey Epstein is not new, it is a continuation of events already in motion. Epstein was caught and given a slap on the wrist, but remember, his ‘country club’ conviction came during the Obama years. Times are completely different now with Trump in the White House, and with a Justice Department that is actually looking to punish Epstein for his crimes against children.

At every step of the investigation, Bill Clinton’s name appears alongside Epstein’s back in 2015, as it still does now in 2019. Clinton was tracked as having flown on the ‘Lolita Express‘ 26 times with Epstein, with stops at Orgy Island on some of those occasions. We have also posted videos from the time period between 2015-2018 so again you can see and remember that Bill Clinton has been connected to this every step of the way. Why do you think he has all but vanished from the public eye? Because he wants the public to forget. This article will help  you to remember, please share and repost it.

‘Sex slave’ claims Bill Clinton visited Epstein’s ‘orgy island’

FROM THE NY POST: Virginia Roberts, who’s accused Epstein of turning her into a “sex slave” at age 17 and forcing her to sleep with his powerful friends, claimed Clinton stayed in one of the many villas on Epstein’s US Virgin Islands estate — where group sex was a “regular occurrence.”

“I remember asking Jeffrey, ‘What’s Bill Clinton doing here?’ kind of thing, and he laughed it off and said, ‘Well, he owes me a favor,’ ” Roberts told her lawyers in a 2011 interview obtained by RadarOnline.com. “He never told me what favors they were.”

Bubba was accompanied by two of Epstein’s regular girlfriends and “two young girls that I could identify,” Roberts claimed.

“I never really knew them well anyways. It was just two girls from New York,” she said. According to flight logs, Clinton flew on Epstein’s private Boeing 727, which Roberts said was outfitted with a special bed for kinky, high-altitude romps, the Web site said.

Christine Pelosi Knows The Jig Is Up

Check out this tweet from Nancy Pelosi’s daughter from two days ago, the Democrats know this is going to hit them hard and are preparing their people for the fallout. The only question is does Bill Clinton still retain enough power to cover this up, or like John Gotti, has the teflon finally run out? 

“It was a lot of the same things that went down on the ground,” she claimed. “There would be sexual conduct; there would be foreplay. There was a bed in there, so we could basically re-enact exactly what happened in the house. It would start off with massaging or we would start off with foreplay. Sometimes it would lead to, you know, orgies.”

Roberts denied she ever slept with Clinton and said she never witnessed him having sex with anyone else.

But on “orgy island,” the stunning blonde allegedly engaged in group sex with Epstein, Britain’s Prince Andrew and eight other girls. Epstein pimped out Roberts and other underage girls to his prominent pals — so he could gather information on them to blackmail them later on, Roberts alleged in a new affidavit.

“Epstein required me to describe the sexual events that I had with these men, presumably so that he could potentially blackmail them,” the now 31-year-old wrote. She added: “I also understood that Epstein thought he could get leniency if he was ever caught doing anything illegal, or more so that he could escape trouble altogether.”

Roberts has claimed to have had sex with “powerful men, including politicians and business executives” — as well as with the British prince and powerhouse attorney Alan Dershowitz, which the two men vehemently deny. READ MORE

Donald Trump Exposed BIll Clinton On ‘Orgy Island’ Back In 2016

Listen as candidate Donald Trump casually drops the BOMB that he knew Bill Clinton had taken numerous trips to Orgy Island with Jeffrey Epstein. You need to remember that before Donald Trump ran for president, he was close pals with both HIllary and Bill, and knows most of their secrets.

Lolita Express: Clinton’s Secret Service agent threatens damaging info on former prez

A former Secret Service agent is threatening to release damaging information on former President Bill Clinton’s trips aboard the “Lolita Express” ‒ Jeffrey Epstein’s private jet. Epstein was convicted in 2008 for soliciting sex from an underage girl. RT America’s Ed Schultz discusses the potential fallout from this salacious story with host of “America’s Lawyer,” Mike Papantonio.

via One Of Convicted Pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s Sex Slaves Says She Personally Saw Former President Bill Clinton On ‘Orgy Island’ With Two Young Girls — Now The End Begins

In Wake of Beth Moore Crisis, Some Evangelicals Warn People Against Discernment! — Christian Research Network

“These people can’t contend for the truth. They don’t know it. The best they can do is beg people not stare at the light. And it’s a good thing, too, because when people read discernment blogs they turn on their ideological captors.”

(JD Hall – Pulpit & Pen)  Beth Moore is in crisis mode, and along with her, are the whole army of Social Justice Warriors who have relied upon her shrill, ignorant voice to champion their cause over the last year. Discernment ministries have warned for years that Moore was unorthodox, and they didn’t listen. In light of her dramatic shift on homosexuality, and with no one else to blame for their embarrassment, Social Justice Warriors are out in force today, trying to warn people to stay away from discernment ministries.

Pulpit & Pen published a post earlier today about ERLC board member and SBC Voices blogger, Dave Miller, claiming that discernment blogs are a giant threat to the SBC. He was the man who previously called discerning Christians “wolves” for criticizing Beth Moore. When one has been so embarrassingly and provably wrong, it’s natural to lash out at the people who can say, “I told you so.”

Another Social Justice Warrior (one of many) is out attacking discernment ministries today in an attempt at suppressing that still, small voice that says, “I told you so.” His name is Matt Emerson, and he’s a pastor at Frontline Church, a multi-site church in Oklahoma. And this pastor really, really hates discernment ministries.

Emerson is also an associate professor of religion at Oklahoma Baptist University and holds the Dickinson Chair of Religion. He received his B.A. from Auburn University and his Ph.D., unsurprisingly, from ultra-woke Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

He also has connections with and a strong affinity, so it seems, for SJW leaders Duke Kwon, Russell Moore, and Andrew Walker. And birds of a feather flock together.

Emerson writes…  View article →



via In Wake of Beth Moore Crisis, Some Evangelicals Warn People Against Discernment! — Christian Research Network

Nations Largest Teacher’s Union Officially Affirms Abortion as a “Fundamental Right” — Reformation Charlotte

The teachers that make up the nation’s largest teacher’s union, the National Education Association (NEA) are the future of America. Keep in mind, these are the people who are educating our children. What comes out of these unions will ultimately make its way into the classrooms. Needless to say, good teachers are hard to find these days.

Recently, the NEA voted to adopt Business Item 56 which states that it “vigorously opposes all attacks on the right to choose and stands on the fundamental right to abortion” and “will honor the leadership of women, non-binary, and trans people, and other survivors who have come forward to publicly name their rapists and attackers in the growing, international, #MeToo movement.”

The measure also rejects the personhood of unborn children and their right to control their own bodies.

Read more: Nations Largest Teacher’s Union Officially Affirms Abortion as a “Fundamental Right” — Reformation Charlotte

RenewAmerica Newsletter for July 9, 2019

July 9, 2019
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — Attorney General William Barr said Monday that the Justice Department has a new legal strategy for adding a question about citizenship status onto the 2020 census, according to a new report…. (more)

July 9, 2019
‘Severe, serious abuses’ by U.S. agencies targeted future president
WORLDNETDAILY — A powerful House Republican says President Obama’s FBI and CIA committed “severe, serious abuses” against then-presidential candidate Donald Trump that soon will be exposed. Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., told John Catsimatidis of New York City’s AM 970 “The Answer” that the Obama administration had no legal basis to probe the Trump campaign, The Hill reported…. (more)

July 9, 2019
‘The GOP will mock & sow confusion until it’s their home swept away’
WORLDNETDAILY — A torrential rainstorm stuck the nation’s capital Monday, creating a chaotic situation with numerous motorists forced to abandon their cars on flooded roads. That prompted U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., to politicize the weather, as she promoted her climate-change agenda…. (more)

July 7, 2019
NEW YORK POST — Home Depot shoppers have been threatening to boycott the store after its co-founder, Bernie Marcus, revealed in a recent interview that he’d be donating to President Trump’s re-election bid…. (more)

July 7, 2019
HUMAN EVENTS — President Trump’s citizenship question on the upcoming U.S. census is, contrary to popular opinion, the norm for the decennial survey. Barack Obama was the first President to exclude a question on citizenship in the U.S. Census…. (more)

July 7, 2019
Snopes calls claim of candidate’s father ‘unproven’
WORLDNETDAILY — An old article by Sen. Kamala Harris’ father stating his ancestors owned slaves has presented supporters of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate with an unpleasant choice. They either must accuse Harris’ father of lying or admit that their candidate, who made racism a major issue in the first debate, lacks credibility…. (more)

July 7, 2019
DAILY MAIL — The 7.1 magnitude earthquake that sparked huge fires and caused multiple injuries in Southern California on Friday evening was 11 times stronger than the 6.4 tremor in the same region just 32 hours earlier, geologists say. Shockwaves from Friday’s quake were felt in Las Vegas and downtown Los Angeles as a rolling motion that seemed to last at least a half-minute. Dr Lucy Jones, a seismologist for the California Institute of Technology (CalTech), said it was the most powerful to hit Southern California since another 7.1 temblor in the same area in 1999…. (more)

July 7, 2019
BREITBART — Police have been called in to investigate allegations of death threats made to cinema theater owners in Canada who had scheduled to screen the pro-life movie Unplanned. B.J. McKelvie, president of Cinedicon, the Canadian distributor of the film that tells the story of Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood manager-turned pro-life activist, confirmed two Canadian independent cinema owners reported threats that caused them to be “fearful for their families,” said LifeSiteNews…. (more)

July 7, 2019
NEWSMAX — U.S. authorities said on Friday they were seeking a court order requiring Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman to forfeit $12.7 billion following his conviction for racketeering and drug trafficking crimes earlier this year…. (more)

July 5, 2019
NEWSMAX — The family of the American tourist who died after being held in North Korea have filed a claim to the North Korean cargo ship seized in May by the United States, CNN reported Friday. Otto Warmbier’s family won at $500 million lawsuit against the North Korean government in December over his treatment. Warmbier was a college student when he visited North Korea in late December 2015, and was arrested and convicted on charges of stealing a propaganda poster from his hotel room…. (more)

July 5, 2019
C-SPAN — President Trump delivered remarks at the 2019 Fourth of July celebration at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. He was joined by first lady Melania Trump, Vice President Pence and second lady Karen Pence. President Trump recounted many Americans in history, including founding fathers, inventors, and military heroes. He talked about the strength of the U.S. military and presided over fly-overs from planes and helicopters of the five military branches…. (more)

July 5, 2019
‘Today, we come together as one nation with this very special Salute to America’
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — President Trump appeared to stick to the script and delivered a Fourth of July speech saluting the five branches of the U.S. military. The decision to hold this “Salute to America,” which included flyovers from military planes and the presence of tanks of the National Mall, drew considerable controversy in the days leading up to it, including concerns about the militarization of the holiday and the cost. An estimated $2.5 million was spent by the National Park Service to fund Trump’s event…. (more)

July 5, 2019
GEORGE WILL — On this 243rd anniversary of the beginning of the best thing that ever happened – – “The Great Republic” was Winston Churchill’s tribute – – many of today’s most interesting arguments about America’s nature and meaning are among conservatives. One concerns the relevance of the Declaration of Independence to the contested question of how to construe the Constitution…. (more)

July 5, 2019
NEWSMAX — Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich on Thursday argued that July 4th “should be a universal holiday,” that is celebrated around the world. Gingrich, in an op-ed published by Newsweek, writes that “the Fourth of July is the most important political holiday in the world. In fact, it should be a universal holiday.”… (more)

July 4, 2019
Barometer of nation as 2020 campaign heats up
WORLDNETDAILY — A new Pew poll documents the sharp partisan divide over socialism as Democratic presidential candidates move the party further to the left ahead of the 2020 election. The survey, notes Andrew Malcolm at HotAir.com, found more than eight of 10 Republicans have a negative view of socialism, with nearly two-thirds having a very negative view…. (more)

July 4, 2019
REV. MARK H. CREECH — July 4th – it is the main national holiday of the United States. We call it Independence Day. Alan Keyes, former ambassador during Reagan days and conservative political activist, pundit, and author today, says it really ought to be called “Declaration of Independence Day.”… (more)

July 4, 2019
BRYAN FISCHER — Uh-oh. New data from the notorious pro-homosexual organization GLAAD reveals that America is rapidly falling out of love with the radical LGBT movement. And guess who is leading this wave of disaffection? Millennials aged 18-34…. (more)

July 4, 2019
THE HILL — The “Salute to America” event in Washington, D.C., on July 4 is set to have the largest and longest fireworks display the capital city has ever seen, officials said. Following President Trump’s speech from the Lincoln Memorial and flyover from military jets, the fireworks display has been bulked out thanks to donations from two major firework distributors, according to the Washington Examiner…. (more)

July 4, 2019
YOUTUBE — Expected Live at 6:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, July 4th in Washington, D.C. President Trump will take center stage at this year’s July 4th festivities that will include Army tanks, military flyovers and remarks by the president…. (more)

July 4, 2019
WHITEHOUSE.GOV — President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump will celebrate Independence Day at the White House by welcoming military families to the South Lawn for an afternoon picnic. In the evening, staff and guests will join the military families to enjoy the traditional fireworks display provided by the National Park Service…. (more)

July 4, 2019
BREITBART — First, there will be a new event at the Lincoln Memorial that is specifically dedicated to honoring the United States armed forces called “Salute to America.” The one-hour “Salute to America” program from 6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. ET will feature an address by Trump, military aircraft flyovers, and performances by each branch of the military…. (more)

July 4, 2019
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — Stormy weather could play spoiler for people hoping to catch a glimpse of President Trump’s Fourth of July celebration in the nation’s capital, but the show will go on rain or shine…. (more)

July 4, 2019
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., screamed at federal law enforcement agents “in a threatening manner” during a visit to a Border Patrol facility in El Paso, Texas, and refused to tour the facility, according to two people who witnessed the incident…. (more)

July 1, 2019
FOX NEWS — The 8-year-old child actor who went viral for impersonating Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY, is no longer going to make videos due to death threats and harassment she and her family have received…. (more)


July 9, 2019 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)


President Donald Trump boasted about his administration’s environmental
record on Monday, saying America can lead the world in fighting pollution
at the same time it is promoting fossil fuels, in a speech green groups
derided as “utter fantasy.”

The future of Obamacare could be at stake on Tuesday when a coalition of
Democratic-led states and House of Representatives urge a federal appeals
court to overturn a Texas judge’s ruling that the U.S. healthcare reform
law is unconstitutional.

The foreign ministers of Germany, France, Britain and the European Union
said on Tuesday that they were concerned about Iran scaling up its uranium
enrichment and urged Tehran to revert to upholding the 2015 nuclear deal.

Italy’s government plans to throw more resources into its fight against
boat migrants, an official said on Tuesday, as the number of new arrivals
gathers speed, putting pressure on Interior Minister Matteo Salvini.

Seven members of a family were killed in an air strike in the northern
Baghlan province of Afghanistan, the Afghan ministry of defense said in a

European regulators have ordered inspections on some older Airbus A380
superjumbo airplanes after some cracks were detected in wings on the
world’s largest passenger aircraft.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said on Tuesday the extradition bill that
sparked the Chinese-ruled city’s biggest crisis in decades is dead and that
government work on the legislation had been a “total failure”, but critics
accused her of playing with words.

The U.S. special envoy for peace in Afghanistan wound up on Tuesday the
seventh round of talks he has held with the Taliban in Qatar, after signs
of progress in efforts to end the longest war the United States has ever

France will introduce a tax on airlines flying from its airports to help
support the environment, the transport minister said on Tuesday, in a move
expected to raise around $202 million from 2020.

The United States and China are set to relaunch trade talks this week after
a two-month hiatus, but a year after their trade war began there is little
sign their differences have narrowed.

British billionaire Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic plans a stock market
listing by the end of the year, becoming the first space tourism firm to
tap public markets for funding.

The U.S. State Department has approved the possible sale to Taiwan of M1A2T
Abrams tanks, Stinger missiles and related equipment at an estimated value
of $2.2 billion, the Pentagon said on Monday, despite Chinese criticism of
the deal.

AP Top Stories

Mexican officials using a large X-ray scanner at a checkpoint in the
central state of Zacatecas found 51 Central American migrants in hidden
compartments inside a truck.

Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli
announces operations will begin to remove illegal immigrants who have been
lawfully ordered to leave the country.

Two junior Indian antitrust research associates and a law school student
were behind a complaint that sparked a probe into Google’s alleged
anti-competitive practices in the country, in what has become another
regulatory challenge for the U.S. firm.

SunTrust Banks, the lender merging with BB&T Corp., said it won’t
provide future financing to companies that manage private prisons and
immigration holding facilities. SunTrust’s decision follows similar moves
by Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase. and Wells Fargo.

Authorities seized about $3.7 million in undeclared U.S. currency after
searching an abandoned boat on the coast of Puerto Rico on Sunday.

Iran’s decision to further challenge the United States by boosting its
uranium enrichment beyond limits in its 2015 nuclear deal has deepened
fears among Iranians that their country will remain in crisis mode over the
long term.

New York governor Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation opening up the
possibility for Congress to access Donald Trump’s state tax returns through
the Empire State’s government. The bill was signed into law on Monday, and
would allow New York officials to release the tax returns of public
officials, if the records were requested by “congressional tax-related
committees” citing “specified and legitimate legislative purpose” for the

Apple is apparently considering doubling down on biometric authentication,
as 9to5Mac reports that iOS 13, iPadOS 13, and macOS Catalina beta testers
have been given the option to sign in to their iCloud.com accounts using
either Face ID or Touch ID, depending on which device they’re using to
access the site.

Israel’s military on Monday shot down a drone that crossed into its
territory from the Gaza Strip and discovered an attack tunnel running under
the Gaza perimeter fence. The military said it recovered the downed drone
and took it in for examination.


A migrant center on the Italian island of Sicily which had been one of the
largest of its kind in Europe, which at its peak housed more than 4,000
people, has been officially shut down.

Over the past few months, bricks of cocaine with a street value of millions
have been washing up in eastern coastal provinces in the Philippines.

A motorbike ban aimed at curbing crime has come into effect in Ethiopia’s
capital, Addis Ababa.


At least 100 men, women and children have been incinerated in a
“well-targeted attack” on Christians by jihadists in central Mali,
according to reports.

An all-ages, drag queen show in Denver on Sunday drew protesters, who were
kept behind a fence with a strong police presence. About a dozen people
participated in the show. The show has taken place the first Saturday of
the month for the past six months.

Mid-Day Snapshot · July 9, 2019

The Foundation

“A rigid economy of the public contributions and absolute interdiction of all useless expenses will go far towards keeping the government honest and unoppressive.” —Thomas Jefferson (1823)

Left Laments Trump’s Environmental Success

The president touts his EPA’s impressive record while panning the Green New Deal.

U.S. Women Win Whiner’s World Cup

Phony gender griping dominates what should have been a unifying national victory.

Cronyism Threatens Capitalism

Accepting government favoritism is a recipe that ultimately undermines the free market.

Armed With the Truth: The Bible & the Constitution

A new book contends that fundamentalists are ruining religion and government.

NY Puts Gov’t Between You and Your Veterinarian

A law banning onychectomy — declawing — of cats is a regulatory step too far.

Young Man Makes Flags for America’s Fallen Soldiers

“Personally, this is not a job. To me this is a career,” says Alexander, who greatly admires vets.

Video: Bill Clinton Endorses Trump’s Platform

“We are a nation of immigrants. But we are also a nation of laws,” Clinton said … in 1995.

Video: Was Jesus a Socialist?

If socialism is nothing more than being kind to other people, then you might think the answer is yes.

Today’s Opinion

Hans von Spakovsky
Antifa Is Dangerous and It’s Time for the Feds to Step In
Stephen Moore
Busing, No; School Choice, Yes
Cal Thomas
Not a ‘Total Loser’
Tony Perkins
The Rights Stuff: Pompeo’s New Commission Tackles Freedom
Gary Bauer
Standing With Israel
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

Tuesday Top News Executive Summary

2020 census, border arrests drop, Hispanic population surges, Iran uranium enrichment, and more.

Tuesday Short Cuts

Notable quotables from Antonin Scalia, Chris Coons, Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, 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 – 7/9/2019

US women’s soccer team drops, steps on American flag celebrating World Cup victory
A player on the U.S. women’s national soccer team intentionally dropped the American flag on the ground during post-victory celebrations after the team’s big win against the Netherlands in the World Cup final on Sunday. Midfielder Allie Long initially dragged the flag on the ground, and when she turned toward a camera to pose alongside Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan, she dropped the flag at her feet for the photo op and can be seen stepping on it.

When Pride Parades Increase, So Should the Messianic Response
LGBTQ activists are so proud of their agenda that they make sure everyone knows it; why is the same not true of Messianics?

A Bird’s Eye View of ‘Trump Heights’ in Northern Israel
Love him, or hate him, in the Jewish State of Israel, Donald Trump is a rockstar. Last month, Israel sought to thank the US president by announcing a new settlement named after him on the Golan Heights. “Trump Heights” is little more than a sign at this point, but plans are being drawn up for a new community that will no doubt draw a great many Israeli residents. (video)

Just In: Ilhan Omar Fesses Up to Fake Story She Told 400 Students About ‘Racism’ and ‘Injustice’
When pressed, the congresswoman acknowledged that some of the facts in her “America-is-terrible” story might have been completely wrong.

AG Barr Determines Trump Admin Can Legally Add Citizenship Question to Census
Attorney General William Barr stated on Monday that there is a legal path to adding the citizenship question to the 2020 United States Census, despite a negative ruling at the Supreme Court.

Good News: Egypt Legalizes 127 Churches in Sweeping Approval
While the committee still has many churches to legalize, this is a promising start for a country in which Coptic Christians have faced fierce levels of violence and persecution for decades.

Researchers: ‘We Have Found Biblical Ziklag’
The name Ziklag is unusual in the lexicon of names in the Land of Israel, since it is not local Canaanite-Semitic. It is presumed to be a Philistine name, given to the town by the alien invaders from the Aegean sea. Ziklag is mentioned multiple times in the Bible. The runaway David episode was one; Ziklag was also the scene of an Amalekite raid that featured burning and taking local women and children captive, including two of David’s wife.

Deep-CEE: The AI deep learning tool helping astronomers explore deep space
Deep-CEE builds on Abell’s approach for identifying galaxy clusters but replaces the astronomer with an AI model that has been trained to “look” at colour images and identify galaxy clusters. Chan trained the AI by repeatedly showing it examples of known, labelled, objects in images until the algorithm is able to learn to associate objects on its own.

Earth’s eighth persistent lava lake found on remote sub-Antarctic island
Persistent lava lakes on the other hand, are very rare. In fact, among the 1,500 land-based, potentially active volcanoes on Earth, only seven persistent lava lakes have been found so far, until now. The seven known persistent lava lakes are Mount Nyiragongo (DR Congo), Erta Ale (Ethiopia), Mount Erebus (Antarctica), Ambrym and Mount Yasur (Vanuatu), Kilauea (Hawaii) and Masaya (Nicaragua). After 30 years of suspecting its existence and location, a team of scientists from the British Antarctic Survey and University College London, has finally confirmed number eight….

Top Trump officials to speak to Christians United for Israel
Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton are set to address the annual Christians United for Israel conference, a sign of how much President Donald Trump values pro-Israel evangelicals. Pence, Pompeo, Bolton as well as ambassador to Israel David Friedman and Jason Greenblatt, the top U.S. Middle East negotiator, will speak Monday and Tuesday at the conference taking place in Washington D.C. Such a broad array of top senior foreign policy and security officials is rare for pro-Israel groups.

TROPICAL UPDATE: Chance for tropical development in Gulf increases to 70 percent
An area of low pressure is expected to form Wednesday in the northeast Gulf along a stalled front. The National Hurricane Center increased the tropical formation odds to 70% within the next 5 days This potential tropical weather system will bring heavy rains to the US Gulf coast, especially to the central and eastern Gulf states.

Russia to start delivery of S-500 air defense system ‘ahead of schedule’
Russia’s latest S-500 air defense missile system will be delivered to troops ahead of schedule following successful trials, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov said…”The successful preliminary trials have enabled the Defense Ministry of Russia to make a decision on cutting the time of starting the serial deliveries of this surface-to-air missile system to the troops.

Hong Kong extradition bill ‘is dead’ says Carrie Lam
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam has said the controversial bill that would have allowed extradition to the Chinese mainland “is dead”. At a press conference on Tuesday, Ms Lam said the government’s work on the bill had been a “total failure”. But she stopped short of saying it had been fully withdrawn, and protesters have vowed to continue mass rallies.

Afghanistan talks agree ‘roadmap to peace’
A landmark peace conference between the Taliban and influential Afghans, including government officials, has agreed a “roadmap for peace” that could hasten the end of the 18-year war. A statement called for an end to civilian casualties and the protection of women’s rights within an “Islamic framework”. The non-binding agreement comes as the US and Taliban continue to negotiate an American withdrawal.

Government faces no-deal backlash from its business experts
The government’s attempts to find a technological solution to its Irish border Brexit problem have run into immediate difficulties with its own business advisers. The BBC has obtained internal documents, including the terms of reference which some of its business experts are refusing to sign off on. They are concerned the terms could be used to endorse a plan of action in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Washington D.C. Flooding Leads to Water Rescues, Stranded Vehicles
A flash flood emergency was declared Monday morning for the nation’s capital and surrounding areas in Maryland and Virginia after the area received nearly a month’s worth of rain in an hour. The heavy rains flooded numerous roads causing dozens of drivers to be stranded. All lanes of the Capital Beltway’s inner loop shut down about 8:30 a.m. at the American Legion Bridge, the Washington Post reported.

Jerusalem court: PA must pay compensation for Hamas, Jihad terror attacks
Jerusalem District Court ruled Monday that the Palestinian Authority must pay compensation for 17 attacks carried out by terrorist organizations such as the PLO, Hamas and Islamic Jihad at the start of the millennium… The attacks cited in the ruling include the October 2000 lynching of two IDF soldiers in Ramallah; the December 2001 suicide bombing on Ben Yehuda Street in Jerusalem; and the March 2002 attack at the Gavish family home in Elon Moreh.

U.S. appeals court to take up constitutionality of Obamacare
The future of Obamacare could be at stake on Tuesday when a coalition of Democratic-led states and House of Representatives urge a federal appeals court to overturn a Texas judge’s ruling that the U.S. healthcare reform law is unconstitutional. Republicans have repeatedly tried to repeal Obamacare…and while the Justice Department would normally defend a federal law, the Trump administration has declined to defend its constitutionality…

Church of England says it will recognize marriages of transgender worshipers
The marriage of worshipers who transition to a different gender will still be valid, the Church of England has said.

River flooding in Tennessee ruins cotton, soybean crops
Lush green fields of cotton and soybeans turned into lakes Tuesday as flooding from the overfull Mississippi River covered thousands of acres of farmland in Lauderdale County in west Tennessee.

US Gulf Coast put on alert for potential tropical storm to form late week
After more than a month of inactivity in the tropical Atlantic basin, development is likely in the northern Gulf of Mexico with potential impacts to residents and visitors later this week and this weekend.

APA: We’d Like to Teach the World to Swing…
Just when you think you’ve heard it all, the American Psychological Association (APA) decides this: Monogamy is the new bigotry. That’s right. According to the supposed “mental health experts,” open marriages are the tolerant approach to intimacy. And they’ve launched a task force to prove it to the world.

VILE AFFECTIONS: Mile High Comics In Denver Sponsors ‘All Ages Drag Show’ Targeting Children, Helping To Pave The Way For Acceptance Of Pedophiles
In case you haven’t been paying attention, drag queen children are all the rage these days. This time last year, I only knew of less than half a dozen of the drag queen kids like Desmond Is Amazing, but blink your eyes and *Presto!*, drag queen events for children are suddenly all across the country. Why sudden rush to promote drag to kids? Simple, because once you have gotten people to mentally sign off on that, getting you to also tolerate pedophilia will be a slam-dunk. Don’t think it will happen in America in the next one to two years? You’re an idiot and a fool if you think otherwise.

TRUMP OFFICIAL: ICE Ready to Deport 1M Illegal Aliens with Final Orders | Neon Nettle
The director of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services has confirmed that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is ready to begin deporting around one million illegal aliens.

ACLU Told CA Teachers To Help Students Obtain Abortions Without Parental Notification, Video Reveals
Video footage purportedly shows the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) instructing teachers on progressive sexual education and gender theory in collaboration with California school districts and Planned Parenthood.

‘Church Is Not The Building, It’s The People’: Does Watching Church Online Count?
Church attendance in America has been on the decline in recent years.  According to Pew Research, only 36 percent of Americans attended weekly services in 2014, a 14 percent decline from a 1950’s Gallup Report.

The UN and AMLO Are Transforming Mexico Into a Military Enemy of the United States
Recently, I received the following communication from an anonymous Mexican official. He is concerned that his government and military are being taken over by the United Nations. This is not a farfetched claim as it was announced in the media that the Mexican National Guard was being trained by the United Nations..

ACLU Told CA Teachers To Help Students Obtain Abortions Without Parental Notification, Video Reveals
Video footage purportedly shows the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) instructing teachers on progressive sexual education and gender theory in collaboration with California school districts and Planned Parenthood.

Pedophiles Are Now Calling Themselves ‘Minor Attracted Persons’ And Want Inclusion In LGBTQ Movement
For years now, we’ve been telling you that eventually the ever-growing alphabet soup that is the LGBTQ Movementwould, at some point, have to add a ‘P’ to their acronym. The letter ‘P’ of course standing for pedophile. Why is this inevitable? Because of their motto, ‘all love is love‘. The word of God says otherwise.

STUDY: Leaked Huawei Resumes Reveal Extensive Ties To Chinese Intel Agencies
As we previously highlighted, grenade attacks and deadly shootings in Sweden – concerns over which were once derided as a conspiracy theory by the media – now represent a “national emergency” according to a new report.

“Get Used To It” – Sweden Is Experiencing A “Small Scale War”
As we previously highlighted, grenade attacks and deadly shootings in Sweden – concerns over which were once derided as a conspiracy theory by the media – now represent a “national emergency” according to a new report.

Headlines – 7/9/2019

Pence at CUFI Summit: US will never compromise on Israel’s security – For peace to be lasting and to real it must be negotiated – We will keep dreaming and keep working for peace

Greenblatt: Trump may decide to release peace plan before Israeli elections

IDF uncovers cross-border attack tunnel from southern Gaza

Gaza drone enters Israeli airspace, is shot down by IDF

IDF: Officer killed in failed Gaza raid was felled by friendly fire

Israeli court says terror victims can sue PA for hundreds of millions of dollars

Netanyahu downplays Palestinian ties to the land, highlighting larger debate

As archaeologists say they’ve found King David’s city of refuge, a debate begins

Israel pushes back on US report spotlighting religious freedom woes

Florida principal reassigned after he told parent he ‘can’t say the Holocaust is a factual, historical event’

Epstein case oozes into Israeli political mud as Netanyahu, Barak trade barbs

Syria has right to recover the Golan Heights from Israel, envoy tells UNHRC

Netanyahu and Putin discuss ‘further coordination’ on Iran, Syria

Nuclear watchdog confirms Iran breached uranium enrichment cap

Iran says uranium enrichment passes 45 pct, exceeding deal cap

White House: Trump, Macron discuss Iran’s nuclear program

Bolton: US to keep raising pressure until Iran abandons nuclear arms program

Pence warns Tehran against escalating tensions, takes talks offer out of speech

Erdogan says Russia preparing S-400 systems for delivery

Stricken Russian Nuke Sub Crew Prevented ‘Planetary Catastrophe’

Arab Coalition intercepts, destroys Houthi drone targeting Saudi Arabia

UAE says it is reducing troops in war-torn Yemen

US State Department proposes $2 bln sale of arms to Taiwan

New Zealand struggles to round up banned firearms under new gun control law

Pompeii ruins ‘hiding 10 unexploded WW2 bombs,’ archaeologists warn

Trump says US will ‘no longer deal’ with British ambassador after leaked anti-Trump cables

UK offers ‘full support’ for its US envoy in Trump row

Venezuela’s rule of law has crumbled under Maduro, says legal watchdog

N.Y. Gov. Cuomo signs bill allowing Congress to access Trump’s state tax returns

Iowa, Nevada to launch caucus voting by phone for 2020

Instagram’s anti-bullying feature warns users if they’re about to post a mean comment

How conspiracy theories followed man to the Moon

Robots, Not Humans, Are The New Space Explorers

Elon Musk’s Satellites Dot the Heavens, Leaving Stargazers Upset

NASA Warns Violent Explosions On Sun’s Surface Will Increase

The Mystery of Unexplained Earthquakes – From the UK to South Korea, seismic detectives” are tracking the causes of anomalous tremors

Quakes alert Californians to be ready for dreaded ‘Big One’

After Powerful Quakes Rock The Ridgecrest Area, Many Would Rather Stay Outdoors

Before and After Photes: Massive crack opens in earth after Ridgecrest earthquake

5.8 magnitude earthquake hits near Kota Ternate, Indonesia

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Kota Ternate, Indonesia

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 27,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 24,000ft

Ruiz volcano in Colombia erupts to 20,000ft

Sangeang Api volcano in Indonesia erupts to 10,000ft

NOAA says there’s an 80% chance Tropical Storm Barry will hit the Gulf of Mexico this week

Tropical depression forecast to form in Gulf of Mexico this week, could strengthen into hurricane

Nearly a month’s worth of rain in 1 hour triggers travel nightmare in DC area

Historic Flash Flood Hits DC, Stranding Cars in High Water

Roads become rivers, drivers swim to safety in DC flood emergency

White House basement floods during DC rainstorm

National Archives confirm Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights safe after D.C. flooding

Trump Touts ‘Environmental Leadership,’ Even As D.C. Floods And Critics Pounce

Stay out the water: Bacteria close all Mississippi Gulf Coast mainland beaches

Central America’s choice: Pray for rain or migrate – Ravaged by drought, farmers in rural Honduras and Guatemala live on the edge of hunger

Reports of scabies, shingles and chickenpox at Texas border facility

Five Couples Agree to CRISPR Their Babies to Avoid Deafness

All-Ages Drag Show Draws Controversy, Protests

Gay voters take pride in Pete Buttigieg’s candidacy, but many question whether he can win

Jeffrey Epstein Documents Could Expose Powerful Politicians, Businessmen

What did Epstein’s famous friends know and see?

Jeffrey Epstein ordered held without bail in kid sex traffic case, pleads not guilty

Jeffrey Epstein Is Accused of Luring Girls to His Manhattan Mansion and Abusing Them

Vatican lifts diplomatic immunity for archbishop facing sexual misconduct allegations

Family brawls at Disneyland as children watch

Florida county cannot ban invocations by atheists -U.S. appeals court

Bible shortage? Publishers say tariffs could cause it

Apostasy Watch Daily News

Excluding God from America’s Founding

Justin Peters – My Thoughts on Beth Moore’s Blog Post

Why Church ‘Cult’ Survivor is Speaking Out: ‘I Fear They’re Going to Kill Somebody’

Paula White Says Wherever She Steps Becomes Holy Ground

Lifeway Publishing New “Bible Study” By Hillsong’s Female Pastor, Christine Caine

Beth Moore and Harry Emerson Fosdick: “Shall the Fundamentalists Win?”

Ireland – Doctor and His Colleagues Won’t Abort Babies: “We Will Not be Bullied Into Performing Abortions”

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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 9, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

Jesus Loves the Little Children


Then some children were brought to Him so that He might lay His hands on them and pray; and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” And after laying His hands on them, He departed from there. (19:13–15)

All children raised in a Christian home or who have attended Sunday school when they were young, long remember singing such songs as “Jesus Loves Me” and “Jesus Loves the Little Children.” Those lovely sentiments are based on clear biblical truth. Jesus does love little children, as this text from Matthew attests. The parents of these children wanted Jesus to touch them and bless them, and He was more than willing to accommodate that desire.

Some years ago, a family in our church experienced a great tragedy. The mother and the two daughters were planning to fly the next day to New Zealand to join the husband and father, who was on a preaching mission there. As the wife was learning some new crotchet stitches to use on the long flight, the girls went outside to play. A few moments later the mother heard the screeching of automobile tires, but since there was no sound of a crash she thought little of it—until her older daughter came running into the house crying that her sister, Tanya, had been hit by a car.

The girl was unconscious but showed no sign of serious injury. While the mother bent over her, Tanya breathed a heavy sigh and turned her head to the side. At the hospital the neurosurgeon told the mother that the girl had suffered massive brain damage and had little chance of surviving. Relatives and friends prayed fervently and the mother kept a vigil with her precious daughter throughout the night, praying with great intensity that God would spare and restore her daughter. But she also prayed that, above all, God’s will be done, even if it meant taking Tanya to be with Himself.

A relative who was a doctor explained that Tanya’s breathing and heartbeat were functioning at the hospital solely by artificial means. “Her body is being kept working,” he said, “but Tanya isn’t there anymore. She is with the Lord.” With a radiant face her mother said to the Lord, “Have thy will, not mine.” To her friends and loved ones she explained, “I shall not forsake my Lord; because if I did, I would be saying Tanya is gone forever. I [will] do as King David in the Old Testament had done when his child was taken. He washed his face, changed his clothes, and went about his business, satisfied that God knew best.”

At that moment she determined there would be no more begging God to bring her little girl back. Tanya was in the Lord’s care, and her mother believed she had entered His presence when, lying unconscious on the street, she sighed and turned her head. The mother testifies that she was filled with an inner strength that was foreign to her. She recalled that for several months previously Tanya had prayed, “Lord, I want to go and be with You while I’m young.” When her mother asked why she made that request, Tanya smiled and replied, “Because I want to sit on Jesus’ lap when I get there; and I don’t want to be too big.” On remembering those words, said the mother, “New assurance and peace surged through my sorrowful soul. I was refreshed with a joy that we were all in good hands and that God hadn’t forsaken us for an instant.”

That mother and the rest of the family could rejoice even in the death of that beloved little girl because they knew where she had gone. Because she had been led to the Savior, she was now gathered into His arms, where she had longed to be.

Every Christian parent should take deeply to heart Paul’s admonition to bring up their children “in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4). If the children die, parents know where they are. If the children live, parents know to Whom they belong and for Whom they live.

Perhaps only a short while after Jesus had finished teaching the Twelve about marriage, divorce, remarriage, and singleness (Matt. 19:3–12), another group of people then came seeking His ministry. At that time some children were brought to Him, doubtlessly by their parents. Both Mark and Luke use the imperfect tense (“they were bringing”), indicating a continuing process and likely an extended period of time (Mark 10:13; Luke 18:15). When word spread that Jesus was in the area, parents were drawn to this Teacher whose love of children had become known throughout Palestine (cf. 17:18; 18:2–3; John 4:50).

The Greek word used here for children was paidia, a term referring to young children from infancy through perhaps toddler age. In his parallel passage, Luke tells us “they were bringing even their babies” (18:15).

But the disciples resented the intrusion into their private time with Jesus, and they rebuked the parents. The Greek verb behind rebuked could carry the idea of threatening, and its being in the imperfect suggests that the rebuke was as continuous as the bringing. As more and more parents brought their children to Jesus, the disciples continued to try to repulse them. Obviously the Twelve, who had spent the better part of two years living with Jesus and hearing every word He spoke and observing everything He did, did not yet fully share His mind and heartbeat.

Only a few days earlier Jesus had taken a young child in His arms in the disciples’ presence. Specifically for the sake of the disciples, who were in the midst of a dispute about who was the greatest in the kingdom, He had declared, “Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 18:1–4). No doubt at countless other times the Twelve had witnessed similar expressions of Jesus’ tenderness and gentleness and His great patience with those who came to Him for help. They had seen His compassion pour out in an endless flow of healing, encouragement, and comfort.

They also knew that the Talmud taught Jewish parents to bring their children to respected rabbis for blessings and prayer. A father would customarily bring his infant child to the synagogue and pray for the child himself. He would then hand it to the elders, who would each hold it and pray for God’s blessing on the young life. Many churches today follow a somewhat similar pattern in prayerfully dedicating small children to the Lord.

Following in that tradition, those Jewish parents in Perea, “the region of Judea beyond the Jordan” (v. 1), brought their children to Jesus to be blessed. He not only was a popular, if controversial, rabbi known for His miracle working power but was also known for His compassion and His willingness to meet the needs of even the lowliest and most helpless people of society. If He were indeed the Messiah, as He claimed to be, those parents saw a marvelous opportunity to have their children blessed by the Lord’s own Anointed One, the Deliverer of Israel.

Because Jesus did not rebuke the parents or resist blessing their children, it is obvious that their motives were pure. They did not comprehend Jesus’ true greatness, and probably few, if any, of them had put their trust in Him as Lord and Savior. But they recognized Him as a genuine teacher from God who loved them and who cared for their precious little ones. They therefore sought His intercession with God on their children’s behalf, in the hope that they might grow up as the Talmud admonished: strong in the law, faithful in marriage, and known by good works.

Jesus was not naively sentimental about children. Having created them, He well knew they are born with a sinful nature. Children have a certain innocence, but they are not sinless. He knew that they did not have to be taught to do wrong, that their little hearts were naturally bent toward evil. But He loved them with a special compassion and, because of their natural openness and trustfulness, He held them up as examples of the attitude required for kingdom citizenship (Matt. 18:3–5).

Those who share the mind of Christ share His concern and love for children. No church or Christian movement has prospered spiritually that has disregarded or neglected the care and training of its children. The heart that is warm toward the Lord will inevitably be warm toward children.

One writer has made this beautiful observation:

As the flower in the garden stretches toward the light of the sun, so there is in the child a mysterious inclination toward the eternal light. Have you ever noticed this mysterious thing that, when you tell the smallest child about God, it never asks with strangeness and wonder, “What or who is God? I have never seen Him”—but listens with shining face to the words as though they were soft loving sounds from the land of home? Or when you teach a child to fold its little hands in prayer, it does this as though it were a matter of course, as though there were opening for it that world of which it had been dreaming with longing and anticipation. Or tell them, these little ones, the stories of the Savior, show them the pictures with scenes and personages of the Bible [and] see how their pure eyes shine, how their little hearts beat. (R. C. H. Lenski, The Interpretation of St. Matthew’s Gospel [Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1943], p. 743)

Jesus therefore said to the Twelve, and still says to His disciples today: “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me. The Greek verb behind let … alone is in the aorist tense, whereas the verb behind do not hinder is in the present tense with a negative, indicating a call to stop something. The Lord was therefore saying, “Let the children alone, beginning immediately, and stop hindering them from coming to Me.”

From Mark we learn that Jesus was greatly indignant with the disciples (10:14). They frequently frustrated and disappointed the Lord by their insensitivity and selfishness, but this is one of only two or three occasions on which He actually became angry with them.

It is likely there were a number of reasons He was angry with them. He was angry because He loved little children with great affection, and He no doubt felt special compassion for them because of the sinful, painful, corrupt world into which they had been born and whose evils they would progressively have to face as they grew up. He was angry because He also loved parents and understood the special longings and anxieties they have for their children. He realized that loving little children was a way to their parents’ hearts. He was angry because no one, not even the tiniest infant, is outside the care and love of God. He was angry because of the disciples’ persistent spiritual dullness and hardness. And He doubtlessly was angry because the disciples presumed to determine who could and could not approach Him, the Christ and Son of God. It was neither within their prerogative nor their competency to make such choices. It was rank presumption for them to hinder the parents and their children from coming to Jesus. Specifically, He was angry because the kingdom of heaven belongs to, that is, it encompasses and is characterized by, children such as these.

There is nothing in the text to indicate that, as some claim, Jesus was isolating these supposedly elect children from others who were nonelect. Furthermore, He makes no mention of baptism, parental covenant, parental faith, or ecclesiastical rite. Nor does He mention personal faith on the part of the children, who were probably too young to have exercised such belief. The Lord was simply saying that those children, representative of all children, were a picture of the humility, dependency, and trust of those of any age who enter His kingdom.

The kingdom of heaven is the sphere of God’s rule in Christ through gracious salvation. For those who have reached the age when personal saving faith can be exercised, the kingdom is entered only by a divinely illuminated understanding of what it means to trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. The implication of such as these is that for those who, because of young age or mental deficiency, are incapable of exercising saving faith, God grants them, in the event of death, entrance into the kingdom by the sovereign operation of His grace. When children die before they reach the age of decision, they go into the presence of Jesus Christ, because they are under the special protection of the sovereign King.

It was that glorious and comforting truth that David expressed when he lost his infant son born to Bathsheba. “I shall go to him,” David said, “but he will not return to me” (2 Sam. 12:23). While that statement may indicate little more than a resignation to their both entering the realm of the dead, the personal pronouns I and him, as well as David’s confident belief in the life to come (see Acts 2:25–28; Ps. 16:8–11), lend credence to the idea that he was confident of personal consciousness and identity in the life to come. David knew that he himself belonged to God and would one day enter His presence, and he had equal confidence that, when he entered the Lord’s presence he would meet the little son who had preceded him there.

It is not that small children are regenerate and then lose their salvation if they do not later receive Christ as Lord and Savior. It is rather that His atoning death is applied on their behalf if they die before they are able to choose on their own. It may be that the infant mortality rate is so high in many countries where the gospel has not yet penetrated because the Lord is taking those little ones to Himself before they can grow up in a culture where it is so difficult to encounter the gospel and believe.

But what an awesome responsibility faces Christian parents to make sure that their children are taught about Christ and are led to receive Him as Savior when they are able to exercise saving faith.

Just as the children’s parents requested, Jesus laid His hands on them and blessed them. In Mark’s account of this incident (10:16), the Greek form behind “blessing” is intensive, indicating a passionate fervency. Jesus must have smiled with infinite kindness as He looked into the faces of those tiny children. We do not know the specific nature of His blessing, but we can surmise that He promised the provision of God on their behalf and the care of God over each one of them.

Luke reports that Jesus then declared, as He had a short while earlier, “Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it at all” (Luke 18:17; cf. Matt. 18:3). In other words, the kingdom is populated by only two kinds of subjects, those who die while little children and those who come in the trusting and humble attitude of little children. Only those enter God’s kingdom who come to Him in the simplicity, openness, dependency, lack of pretension, and lack of hypocrisy of little children. As John Calvin commented, “The passage broadens to give kingdom citizenship to both children and those who are like them.”

Some years ago a young Hindu man from southern India named Paul Pillai was converted to Christ and received a call to reach the northern part of his country for Christ. After attending seminary in the United States, he returned to India and founded Grace Bible College, dedicated solely to training young men called to the ministry.

After graduation, students are helped by the school for a period of some six months in establishing a local church in a village or city. One of their most effective means of winning converts, however, is a children’s home. Orphaned and abandoned children are taken to the home, where they are fed, clothed, and sheltered. They attend public schools in order to keep identity with their own culture, but they are also given concentrated study in God’s Word. Although adult Hindus and Muslims are extremely difficult to evangelize, those young children are open to the gospel, and many of them confess Christ as Lord and Savior. A large percentage of the boys from that home go on to attend the Bible college and become effective evangelists and pastors. Because they were reached with the gospel at an early age, they were open and responsive to the claims of Christ.

Five key words can prove helpful in giving guidance to parents and Christian workers in leading children to Christ. The first word is remember. We should remember that every child is created by God and, in that sense, already belongs to Him. “Thou didst form my inward parts,” the psalmist declared, “Thou didst weave me in my mother’s womb.… I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Ps. 139:13–14). All “children are a gift of the Lord; the fruit of the womb is a reward,” given to parents as gracious blessings (Ps. 127:3). It is God’s plan and desire that every child be returned to Him for His use. “Train up a child in the way he should go,” we are told in Proverbs, and “even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Prov. 22:6).

A second key word is teach. Christian parents have the high calling of bringing up their children “in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4). Timothy became especially useful to the Lord and to the apostle Paul in part because from childhood his mother, Eunice, and his grandmother, Lois, had taught him “the sacred writings which are able to give … the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 3:15; cf. 1:5).

That pattern for godly instruction was set forth early in Israel’s history. Through Moses, God commanded His people to believe in and worship in the right way: “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one!” (Deut. 6:4). He also commanded them to personally and sincerely accept that truth with uncompromising conviction and devotion: “And you shall love the Lord Your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart” (vv. 5–6). More than that, they were commanded to teach godly truth and obedience to their children, talking about those things at home and in the community, from the time they arose until the time they went to bed (v. 7). God’s Word was to be taught to their children and exemplified before them.

As important as special times of family Bible study and prayer are, only consistent godly living by parents will clarify and cement God’s Word in their children’s minds, hearts, and lives. Parents should also provide visual reminders of God’s Word. Just as Israelites were to bind God’s Word on their hands and foreheads and write it on the their doorposts and gates (Deut. 6:8–9), so Christian parents can have Bible verses and plaques throughout the house to reinforce scriptural truths. When Bible stories and truths are sung, further reinforcement is given.

In that Deuteronomy passage God gave ancient Israel a final warning not to forget Him and His Word after they had come into the Promised Land and were surfeited with material blessings, “lest you forget the Lord who brought you from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery” and “follow other gods, any of the gods of the people who surround you” (6:12, 14). Like their parents, children need to beware of the many false idols by which the world lures them away from the Lord.

A third key word is model. Children not only need godly precepts put godly patterns. Eli the priest was a negative example to his two sons. Following the ungodly model of their father’s life, they went even to further extremes of immorality and sacrilege. When Eli rebuked them they paid no attention, partly because his rebuke was halfhearted and far too mild and partly because they had no respect for him due to his own compromised living (1 Sam. 2:12–25).

In a similar way, even the great David failed to be a godly example to his sons. His son Absalom was so wicked and rebellious that he sought to kill his father and usurp his throne. His son Solomon took hundreds of wives and concubines, including many foreigners whose pagan ways turned him from loyalty to the Lord. Not only was Solomon’s family shattered but also the kingdom. King Hezekiah disobeyed God’s instruction by showing the royal jewels to the king of Babylon, and his son Manasseh surpassed his father’s compromise and totally abandoned God’s law.

Writing in Eternity magazine (May 1979, p. 35), Tom Cowan observed,

Parents must be aware of the personal value of truth for their own sakes and not just for the sakes of their children. We cannot simply make a child believe in a truth because it’s good for them. Their perceptive spirits will sense when we are doing something to engineer or manipulate a certain response. Instead it is the authenticity of parental commitment to truth apart from the lives of children that brings the freedom to share and to pass on that truth to them. In other words, a mature motive for passing on truth is that as a parent I hold that truth to have value for my life, independent of my children and their response to it.

A fourth key word is love, so obviously imperative that little needs to be said about it. Only parents who lovingly weep with their children, rejoice with them, hurt with them, unselfishly serve them, show them genuine affection, and sacrifice for them will effectively influence them in the things of the Lord.

A final key word is trust. After parents have done everything humanly possible to raise their children in the way of the Lord, they must ultimately trust Him to make those efforts fruitful. Only the Holy Spirit can reach into the human heart, including the heart of a child, and only His power can give spiritual life and empower spiritual faithfulness.[1]

Caring for the Whole Family of God

Matthew 19:10–15

Then little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked those who brought them. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there. (Matt. 19:13–15)

Sometimes we simply get left out. We may be sitting on a porch when the discussion turns to cigars, your favorite country music performer, or the history of guacamole. Lacking any knowledge of the topic, our body is present, but our mind is excluded. It is an awkward feeling.

Today, it is easier than ever to feel left out at a social level. Current statistics indicate that about 23 percent of American households consist of a father and mother and kids living together, 26 percent of households consist of a single person living alone. Since the 23 percent of family households each have several members in them, far more people still live in families than live alone. Still, a great number of people live alone, and the percentage in 2005 was roughly twice as high as it was in 1960, and rising.

Gilligan’s Island was an improbable television success in the 1960s. In it, the skipper and Gilligan, Mary Ann and Ginger, the professor, and the Howells went on an afternoon tour on the Minnow. The weather started getting rough, and the tiny ship was nearly lost. They shipwrecked on an island, but even though they had anticipated a three-hour tour, they cleverly brought enough clothes and tools to last for four years. On that island, there were three single men, two single women, and one married couple. Statisticians say we are becoming a Gilligan’s Island nation: single adults (sometimes known as “marriage-free”) may eventually become the majority.

Many people place singleness and loneliness together in their mental map, but that would be simplistic. Some singles have a rich web of relationships, and some married folk are virtual singles. Some are trapped in a cold relationship; others live in two different cities.

There are many ways to become trapped and lonely. The actor who played Gilligan, Bob Denver, was a celebrity because he once played Gilligan and the reruns reran forever. In real life (no surprise) Denver was not at all like Gilligan. Yet his former character trailed him, trapped him, wherever he went—and he never even received compensation for the burden because the show was filmed before such matters entered contracts.

In Matthew 19, Jesus addresses two of the life situations that can lead to loneliness or exclusion; he speaks of singles and of children. In each case, he embraces the people who might be left out. Because he cares for the whole family of God, we should care enough to embrace them too.

Jesus’ Perspectives on the Single Life

There are many ways to be single. Jesus mentions four reasons why people are single: fear of the commitment, physical inability to marry, inability to marry imposed by others, and a willingness to be single to serve the Lord in a unique way.

Fear of The Risks of Marriage

As we saw in the previous passage, the Pharisees realized that marriages can easily sour, so they asked Jesus about divorce as a way of escape (19:7–9). When Jesus said frivolous divorce is adultery, both the Pharisees and the disciples balked. As men of their times, they assumed that divorce was always an option and it seemed comforting to have that option. Without it, they said, “it is better not to marry” (19:10). That is, if Jesus is that strict the disciples think people will boycott marriage entirely. Since they knew God favors marriage, they were asking Jesus to reconsider.

But Jesus declined and invited them to reconsider instead: “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given” (19:11). That is, if they cannot enter marriage with a resolve to be faithful to the end, it is better not to marry at all.

The thought of lifelong commitment has always had the capacity to strike fear into the heart of skeptics and doubters. Today there are more reasons than ever to resist marriage:

  • Fear of divorce. Today’s singles have seen so many divorces, so many bad marriages, they hesitate to take the plunge, especially if their own parents divorced.
  • Alternatives to marriage are ever more acceptable: living with Mom and Dad, finding a long-term roommate, cohabitation.
  • As the median age for marriage steadily rises, ever more singles establish their identity so deeply that they find it difficult to give up their lifestyle in order to marry someone who has one’s own strong set of preferences.

So some people prefer to avoid the risks and costs of marriage. But Jesus mentions three more reasons why people may never marry: “Some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it” (19:12).

Some Cannot Marry

Some are eunuchs, that is unable to marry, “because they were born that way” (19:12). For genetic reasons, from the day of their birth, they cannot marry.

Others were born healthy but were made eunuchs “by men.” That is, they suffered the violence of castration that was sometimes imposed on a king’s servant. They may also have suffered a war injury or suffered an accident, so that they are physically unable to marry. To this day, some are stricken by genetic disorders or tragic events in their personal history so they cannot marry.

Some Choose the Kingdom

So then some are afraid to marry and others cannot marry. A third group has “renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven.” They choose to give up marriage and family in order to dedicate themselves to God’s service. The mind easily turns to the two great men of that day who remained single in order to serve God’s people: John the Baptist and Jesus. Paul apparently chose to remain single, once widowed (1 Cor. 7:8). These people chose the single life because it gave them freedom to fulfill their life mission.

John the Baptist and Paul lived in constant danger and suffered martyrdom in the end. They chose not to bring a wife or a child into their life of risk and suffering. They were free to give everything, to risk everything for the gospel ministry. Jesus sacrificed his life on the cross and chose to face that alone, for our sake.

Throughout church history, great Christians have followed their example: Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, and John Stott, to name a few. Aquinas and Stott gave their lives to teaching and scholarship. Mother Teresa gave her life to the poorest of the poor and sickest of the sick. Could she bring a husband or children into that life?

At the time of the Reformation, western European churches required all priests to be single. Martin Luther was single when he wrote his theses, and John Calvin was single when he wrote the first edition of the Institutes. As they founded their Protestant churches, they wanted to restore what they believed the church had wrongly forbidden. They believed that both marriage and singleness are callings and ways of life God can bless. So at the age of forty-two Luther married, and at the age of thirty-five or so, Calvin did too. They believed they could serve the Lord perfectly well whether married or single.

Singleness in the Bible

In the Old Testament, singleness is the exception. In the beginning, God designed people to find companionship in marriage. There were exceptions (Isaac was forty when he married, according to Gen. 25:20), but in Bible times, people tended to marry at an early age. In Israel and in various other societies, singleness was typically a temporary or transitional stage. People married relatively soon after they reached physical maturity. Although there were exceptions, strictly arranged marriages were rare, and even when parents proposed a spouse, children had the right to veto the parents’ choice. Still, parents often helped select a spouse. People who were widowed or divorced often remarried in a short time. To be single, to be childless, was typically viewed as misfortune, even a curse or a tragedy.

In the New Testament, both marriage and singleness are good. John the Baptist, Jesus, and Paul were all single for the sake of the kingdom. They show that a man or woman can have a rich and meaningful life as a single person. Since Paul says singleness is a gift, for some singles at least, it is a blessing and a calling.

With so many single adults, society may be a little more kind to singles, but many still ask faintly suspicious questions of single people. Seeing a thirty-something man, they wonder if he is immature, irresponsible, or perhaps gay. They whisper that a thirty-something woman is too choosy or wonder if she knows how to attract a man. The church can be guilty of the same judgmental spirit, as any single seminary student who hopes to be anything but a youth pastor can attest.

Paul calls singleness a gift (1 Cor. 7:7). But as one single Christian said, “If singleness really is a gift, why doesn’t anybody want it?” If it is a gift, it’s like the Christmas sweater that makes you think, “It’s OK, I suppose, but I really wanted the other one.” Most single adults, but especially single women, say they would rather have the gift of marriage than the gift of singleness. Of course, such comments probably mean the speaker has a temporary call to singleness, rather than the gift for it. Why then is the gift rare and the call rarely desired?

Sociologist Deborah Tannen says, “Though all humans need both intimacy and independence, women tend to focus on the first and men on the second.” Most pastors and counselors would probably agree. For whatever reason, women who are single seem to care about it more, whereas men can be unconcerned.

But it is important not to generalize too much. There are all kinds of singles. Some are lifelong singles, others are single again. Some are desperate, some are contented. Others are disillusioned; they have given up on finding a mate. People may be single by choice or because their career or avocations seem to demand it.

People have all kinds of opinions about singles: they are lonely or brave, deprived or strong, patient or picky. But those who are married should beware lest our opinions become judgments. It is best for married couples to listen to their single friends, one by one, and to listen to Scripture, to understand and to love singles as they are.

Both singleness and marriage are callings from God. Further, in the end, everyone will be single, for marriage ends when the Lord returns (Matt. 22:30). The family is very big and very happy in the new heavens and the new earth. Then all who gave up marriage for the Lord’s sake will be repaid, and all who suffered through a broken family will be comforted.

The Freedom of the Single

Jesus and Paul both affirm that there are advantages to the single life. Both say singles have greater freedom to serve God: “An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife” (1 Cor. 7:32–33).

Singles clearly possess certain kinds of freedom that the married do not have. They can move without uprooting a spouse and children. They can come and go without feeling they have to tell anyone when they come and where they go. They can rise early or go to bed late without waking anyone.

This does not mean that the single life is easier, however. In fact, the single life is harder in important ways. Of course, singles still must work and care for all the essentials of life. A married couple can divide the labor, according to their interests and abilities, of caring for the home, meals, clothes, finances, social calendar. Singles generally cannot.

Singles have other challenges. The freedom and mobility that produce a unique opportunity to serve the Lord also produce the potential for self-service. Marriage and parenting force us into the process of maturation. Husbands, wives, and children force us to pay attention to them, to listen, to sacrifice, and to lay aside our goals for the sake of their interests and needs.

Years ago, I had a single friend in his thirties who was trying to tape, from his television, every Bugs Bunny cartoon ever made. As the time of diminishing returns set in, he sometimes ran his VCR sixty hours a week and, reviewing his tapes, failed to find one new cartoon. Eventually, he met the woman of his dreams, started a family at once, and gave up his cartoon quest. If we serve our spouse well, some of our silly quests drop out of our lives. Clearly, every life situation has both liberating and constraining elements.

Called to the Single Life?

Whether we are married or single, contented or discontented, Paul states a principle that speaks to everyone: “Each one should retain the place in life that the Lord assigned to him and to which God has called him” (1 Cor. 7:17). In context, Paul originally spoke to men and women who found themselves in a bad marriage and wanted to flee. He declared that even a poor marriage is a calling assigned by God.

The broader lesson is that God calls everyone to a place, a “life assignment.” This idea is so vital that Paul repeats twice: “Each one should remain in the situation which he was in when God called him.… So, brethren, in whatever state each was called, there let him remain with God” (7:20 NIV, 24 RSV).

People who are unhappy with their lives think a change of circumstances will cure their problems. But Paul says no one needs to change his place to please his God. Changing our place may not even be the key to finding happiness. After all, the most fundamental factors for happiness in any place are God and the self, and God is everywhere and we take ourselves wherever we go.

A moment later, Paul illustrates his point through slavery: “Were you a slave when you were called? Don’t let it trouble you—although if you can gain your freedom, do so” (7:21). This is simply astonishing: Paul tells slaves, “Don’t let that bother you” (CEV), as if slavery were “no problem” (literally “not a concern to you”). Paul is not endorsing slavery; rather, he is telling believers how to live within a pervasive, entrenched institution until Christian principles bring it down centuries later. But for now, he says, everyone belongs to someone. Believers are “bought at a price,” so that we are now “Christ’s slaves” (7:22–23). Yet slaves who belong to Christ are spiritually free. Our spiritual liberation is so radical that, by comparison, even enslavement matters little. So, Paul said, everyone is free to serve God, whatever his life situation. The person who is single should, therefore, consider it to be God’s calling and strive to serve the Lord there. Struggling singles need to rest in God’s providence.

If this text speaks to unhappy singles, we should remember that Jesus and Paul do praise those who embrace the single life for the sake of the kingdom. The mission of Christ requires some singles—and some couples—to give radical service to the kingdom. Today we think that the sacrifice of the single person is “giving up sex,” but it was more radical, in Jesus’ day, to give up heirs. This was an especially daunting sacrifice in a time when family—not insurance or government programs—cared for the sick, the poor, and the aged. In that day, to give up heirs was to declare, “My future is not guaranteed by the family but by the church.” The church, as the concentration point of God’s kingdom, is now a believer’s primary hope and primary loyalty. The person who is single for the sake of the kingdom wholly believes that in the church he finds his father and mother, sister and brother (Matt. 12:46–50).

Singles in the Family of God

The church must love its singles, and singles should love the church. The church loves singles first by knowing them, understanding that singles, like couples, have phases too. It is one thing to be single at twenty-two or twenty-five years. Friends are starting to get married but most are still single. There may be pressure to have a boyfriend or girlfriend and some relatives may ask nosy questions, but it is definitely acceptable for someone in the twenties to be single.

As an unmarried adult approaches thirty, the pressure builds as more and more friends marry. Meanwhile, a few friends are already divorced and that causes more caution. At the age of thirty-five or more, a man feels significant pressure, but a woman who wants to become a mother may feel desperate as her biological clock ticks away the months. Even someone who has chosen to be single and generally enjoys it may wonder if he or she has made the right choice when it starts to feel irreversible.

The divorced are single, but their situation is different. Some feel like second-class citizens at church. They may feel socially ostracized. They may think that people feel awkward around them. The age of the widowed and the divorced matters greatly. Is remarriage probable, possible, or unlikely? What are the pros and cons as they assess a second, more calculating turn in the marriage game? Married folk must listen to their single friends carefully and empathetically, until they hear what their experience of singleness is.

The idea that the single life has stages should hardly be a surprise. We have long recognized that marriage has varied stages, each with its joys and challenges. Newlyweds have to adjust their lifestyles. New parents have adjustments too, for the first child especially, and also for the third, because when the third child arrives, the parents are outnumbered! Parents of toddlers, grade school children, and senior high school children all have unique duties and worries. Even empty nesters have to make their adjustments.

Every life situation has its challenges, and everyone wants to avoid the darker ones. There is always some pasture that looks greener. Whether married or single, whether life seems easy or hard, the Lord is sovereign and has called us to the life we lead. For the single and the disappointed, it is important to remember his promise never to leave, never to forsake us. Whether he fulfills this promise directly or through his church, we will do as he said.

Once I was surprised to see an old friend from another state at a large gathering. Like me, he is a middle-aged senior pastor who works to stay in shape, both for the joy of sports and exercise and so our bodies serve our minds and spirits well. He sized me up, grabbed my shoulder, and declared, “You’re looking good.”

“Maybe,” I lamented, “but I just strained my hamstring and it’s killing me.” He laughed, “Man, you always look like you’re in shape, but every time I see you, you’re wounded.”

“True enough,” I replied, “and that covers more than my body.”

Indeed, my friend offered a fair description of most of our lives. We look good, but we’re wounded. That is true of everyone, whether married or single. And it is one way to approach the gospel. We generally look good, but we are wounded. Some are tempted to think that the divorced and the older singles are more wounded, but we all are broken, whatever our life situation may be.

Happily, Jesus loves us, wounded as we are. He added, “As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34). Love is a bedrock value of the church, and each church must find ways to build fellowship and community and thus to show that we are a large but genuine family. We do more than worship and learn and serve together. We enter each other’s homes and lives to support and encourage one another. Everyone, even the most socially adept, can feel left out at times, but there is a special challenge for some singles. After all, God did design marriage, in part, to solve the problem of loneliness (Gen. 2:18). So let those of us who are married make a special effort to welcome singles into our lives.

For those who are single, let us remember the perspective Jesus offers. Some people are single from birth, others from one of the tragedies of life, since someone mistreated them. But it is also possible to be single for the sake of the kingdom. Anyone can use the opportunities that uniquely come to singles as they strive to serve the Lord Jesus.

Jesus and Children

If singles can be excluded, children can also suffer neglect in the church. Of course, we have our classes and programs for them, but we still have ways of shunting them aside. Not so with Jesus. Soon after Jesus finished addressing marriage and singleness, we read that parents brought their children to Jesus “for him to place his hands on them and pray for them” (Matt. 19:13). People could tell that Jesus was gracious and kind; parents and children were attracted to him and sought his blessing.

But the disciples “rebuked those who brought them” (19:13). They apparently thought children were unworthy of his time and attention. So they rebuked the parents and sought to send the children away. Jesus responded two ways. First, he said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (19:14).

Second, he touched them. He “placed his hands on them” (19:15). Mark says, “He took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them” (10:16).

Today many people fawn and dote over children. Others, like the disciples, think children should be kept quiet and out of the way. When I finished my seminary training, I took a call to revive a nearly failed church plant. I preached, my wife played the piano. One day when our nursery was not functioning, my wife handed our six-month-old baby to a friend as she rose to play the final hymn. In her hurry, she forget to mention that our little child was already an avid crawler. The holder, not knowing how mobile our little girl was, put her down. Off she went, crawling past people’s feet and through the rows of chairs during the hymn. Did the Lord think that was terrible? Some people do. They think children should sit still, be quiet, and stay out of the way, until as one adult told me, “they get interesting.” But when they finally do “get interesting,” they will have learned long ago that such adults are not interested in them.

But Jesus is interested. He lets the little children come to him. Throughout Matthew 18 and 19, the Gospel repeatedly asks who is a member of God’s kingdom:

  • Not those who gobble up the offer of God’s forgiveness, but refuse to forgive others (18:21–35).
  • Not the Pharisees who come to Jesus, asking, “What is the least I can do and still be considered a good man?” (19:1–12).
  • Not the proud ruler who comes to Jesus swearing he has kept all the commandments, but then refuses to follow Jesus (19:16–30).

Who then is a member of the kingdom? Not once, but twice, Jesus says the kingdom belongs to “such as these” children. He does not mean that all children automatically enter the kingdom. But he says the kingdom belongs not to the proud, but to those who are humble, like a child (18:4). He says the kingdom belongs to those who seek his blessing, such as these parents and children (19:14).

Because God blesses children, we also try to bless children and to care for them as Jesus did. Therefore we organize programs for children such as Sunday school, catechism classes, choirs, and youth groups. But to welcome children is more than a program, it is a spirit that welcomes children in worship even if they squirm and whisper a bit.

Children can sense when they are welcomed. They love their teachers and pastors when they know they are loved and taken seriously. They can learn spiritual things from classes and even from sermons at remarkably early ages, especially if their parents expect it of them by asking them what they heard and learned (if a child goes to school all day, he can sit still—more or less—for an hour of worship). Jesus says, “Let the little children come to me” (19:14). So let them come in private, in the home, and in the church.

We have surveyed the various stages or situations of life. People are either married or single, either children or adults. Every situation has its challenges and its blessings. Each is a call of God, at least for a time. The Lord gives us two resources for our callings: his love for us, shown through Christ, and our love for each other, shown day by day. May we embrace God’s calling and seek his grace for it.[2]

14. Suffer children. He declares that he wishes to receive children; and at length, taking them in his arms, he not only embraces, but blesses them by the laying on of hands; from which we infer that his grace is extended even to those who are of that age. And no wonder; for since the whole race of Adam is shut up under the sentence of death, all from the least even to the greatest must perish, except those who are rescued by the only Redeemer. To exclude from the grace of redemption those who are of that age would be too cruel; and therefore it is not without reason that we employ this passage as a shield against the Anabaptists. They refuse baptism to infants, because infants are incapable of understanding that mystery which is denoted by it. We, on the other hand, maintain that, since baptism is the pledge and figure of the forgiveness of sins, and likewise of adoption by God, it ought not to be denied to infants, whom God adopts and washes with the blood of his Son. Their objection, that repentance and newness of life are also denoted by it, is easily answered. Infants are renewed by the Spirit of God, according to the capacity of their age, till that power which was concealed within them grows by degrees, and becomes fully manifest at the proper time. Again, when they argue that there is no other way in which we are reconciled to God, and become heirs of adoption, than by faith, we admit this as to adults, but, with respect to infants, this passage demonstrates it to be false. Certainly, the laying on of hands was not a trifling or empty sign, and the prayers of Christ were not idly wasted in air. But he could not present the infants solemnly to God without giving them purity. And for what did he pray for them, but that they might be received into the number of the children of God? Hence it follows, that they were renewed by the Spirit to the hope of salvation. In short, by embracing them, he testified that they were reckoned by Christ among his flock. And if they were partakers of the spiritual gifts, which are represented by Baptism, it is unreasonable that they should be deprived of the outward sign. But it is presumption and sacrilege to drive far from the fold of Christ those whom he cherishes in his bosom, and to shut the door, and exclude as strangers those whom he does not wish to be forbidden to come to him.

For of such is the kingdom of heaven. Under this term he includes both little children and those who resemble them; for the Anabaptists foolishly exclude children, with whom the subject must have commenced; but at the same time, taking occasion from the present occurrence, he intended to exhort his disciples to lay aside malice and pride, and put on the nature of children. Accordingly, it is added by Mark and Luke, that no man can enter into the kingdom of heaven unless he be made to resemble a child. But we must attend to Paul’s admonition, not to be children in understanding, but in malice, (1 Cor. 14:20.)[3]

14 Jesus does not want the little children prevented from coming to him, not because the kingdom of heaven belongs to them, but because the kingdom of heaven belongs to those like them (so also Mark and Luke, stressing childlike faith). Jesus receives them because they are an excellent object lesson in the kind of humility and faith he finds acceptable.[4]

14–15 Children matter in the kingdom of heaven, which can be entered only by those who are like children and where those of the lowest status are the great ones (18:3–4). Here, as in 18:2, it is literal children who focus the issue, but here too, as in 18:5, the use of “such” rather than “these” indicates that the thought is broader than the literal children who are present in the narrative setting. Those who are to be welcomed and encouraged in Jesus’ name include also those who are spiritually in the position of children, the unimportant, the dependent, the vulnerable; the statement that the kingdom of heaven belongs to such people reminds us of 5:3, 10, where the same statement is made about the “poor in spirit” and the persecuted. To keep such people away from Jesus is to run a risk worse than being drowned with a millstone (18:6).

The laying on of hands as a mark of blessing appears in a variety of biblical contexts. In this gospel we have met it in relation to healing (9:18, and cf. “touch” in 8:3, 15; 9:29) and in 17:7 Jesus’ touch brought reassurance in panic. Laying on of hands for healing is mentioned also in Mark 6:5; 7:32; 8:23, 25; Luke 4:40; 13:13; Acts 9:12, 17; 28:8. But the gesture is also appropriate for commissioning someone for a special responsibility (Acts 6:6; 13:3; 1 Tim 4:14; 5:22; 2 Tim 1:6) and for conveying the gift of the Spirit (Acts 8:17–19; 19:6) and it apparently held an unspecified place in the regular ministry of at least one branch of early Christianity (Heb 6:2). In view of this wide usage it is not appropriate to look for any more specific significance here than as a mark of blessing to accompany prayer. This pericope thus has no direct bearing on the issue of whether young children should be baptized, though those who debate that issue need to be sure that their conclusions and their practice enshrine an appropriate welcome to children to whom “the kingdom of heaven belongs,” and do not turn them away.[5]

19:13–15 / When little children were brought to Jesus so that he might lay his hands on them and pray, the disciples rebuked those who brought them (Phillips says that they “frowned on the parents’ action”). The disciples were annoyed that their journey to Jerusalem was being slowed down. Jesus, however, had different priorities. Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to the childlike. So first he gave them his blessing (i.e., placed his hands on them) and then he continued on his way. Verse 14 has often been used in support of child baptism (cf. Cullmann, Baptism in the New Testament, pp. 71–80), but the argument lacks force (cf. Tasker, p. 185).[6]

Ver. 14.—Suffer [the] little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me. He speaks as though the infants were ready and eager to come to him, if they were not prevented. He thus intimates the truth that, though incompetent to understand God’s blessing, children were not incompetent to receive it. There was no natural impediment to bar the way. Unconscious infants, under the Mosaic dispensation, were admitted to the privileges of the Jewish Church by the rite of circumcision; in Christ’s kingdom analogous mercies were to be extended to them. From this passage has been derived a cogent argument for infant baptism, because Christ herein showed, not only that tender age and immaturity of reason put no obstacle in the way of his blessing, but that children were the standard by which fitness for his kingdom was to be tested. For of such is the kingdom of heaven. They who would enter Christ’s kingdom must be pure, simple, obedient, as little children (comp. ch. 18:3). That is why he says, “of such,” not “of these,” intimating that it is not to the age, but to the disposition and character, that he refers. Some, not so suitably, confine the saying to such as are dedicated to God in baptism. It is well said that what children now are is God’s work; what they shall be hereafter is their own.[7]

Jesus’ judgment on children (19:13–15)

If Jesus caused consternation by the revolutionary attitude he displayed towards marriage and divorce, what he has to say about children is no less staggering. Children in ancient society, Greco-Roman and Jewish alike, were there to be seen and not heard. They had no rights, no status. They did not matter very much until they grew up. So when the disciples shooed away people who were bringing little children to Jesus for his blessing, they were acting in a typically Jewish (and for that matter Gentile) manner. But that is not the attitude Jesus wants to see in the kingdom. Children matter, and have much to teach us. They are usually more sensitive to the things of God than adults are. Their attitudes of trust, simplicity, inability to put forward their own achievements, and dependence, all characterize true disciples. Those qualities are priceless in the kingdom of God, and therefore children can provide a signpost towards life in the kingdom style. So Jesus stands their assumption of the irrelevance of children on its head. His response reveals several things.

First, Jesus welcomed little children. He did not drive them away. He was irresistibly attractive to children—and that is one of the marks of a great person. Secondly, Jesus rebuked those who wanted to keep the children away from him. He was not too self-important to bother with them. It is interesting that the phrase do not hinder them (mē kōluete) became part of a baptismal formula for children in the second and third centuries. The welcoming attitude of Jesus to children was one of the indicators that led Christendom to baptize children, though of course this passage had no original connection with baptism. Thirdly, children can actually receive a blessing from the hands of Jesus, even when they are too young to understand. Moreover, they can enter the kingdom. ‘The kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these’ (14). And most important of all, children can and do model the conditions of entry into the kingdom of God. Their unself-consciousness is a paradigm for us all.

These are among the reasons that have led the majority of Christians to baptize the children of believers. That is reasonable, and in line with the Old Testament recognition of the place of children within the covenant: boys were given circumcision, the mark of initiation, at seven days old. But that is not the main purpose of the passage, which is designed to show the reversal of human judgment once we allow Jesus to dominate our attitudes. To him the children are not to be despised or kept away; they are important, and indicate the way into the kingdom.[8]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1985). Matthew (Vol. 3, pp. 177–184). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Doriani, D. M. (2008). Matthew & 2. (R. D. Phillips, P. G. Ryken, & D. M. Doriani, Eds.) (Vol. 2, pp. 184–195). Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing.

[3] Calvin, J., & Pringle, W. (2010). Commentary on a Harmony of the Evangelists Matthew, Mark, and Luke (Vol. 2, pp. 390–391). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[4] Carson, D. A. (2010). Matthew. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Matthew–Mark (Revised Edition) (Vol. 9, p. 475). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[5] France, R. T. (2007). The Gospel of Matthew (pp. 727–728). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publication Co.

[6] Mounce, R. H. (2011). Matthew (pp. 182–183). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[7] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). St. Matthew (Vol. 2, p. 247). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

[8] Green, M. (2001). The message of Matthew: the kingdom of heaven (pp. 205–206). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

July 9 The Key to Servanthood

scripture reading: Philippians 3:1–11
key verse: Philippians 2:17

If I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.

The gift of serving Christ in the small, often unnoticed realms of life is the true testament of devotion to the Lord. Oswald Chambers wrote of the importance of serving God in My Utmost for His Highest:

Are you willing to be offered for the work of the faithful—to pour out your life blood as a libation on the sacrifice of the faith of others? Or do you say “I am not going to be offered up just yet, I do not want God to choose my work. I want to choose the scenery of my own sacrifice; I want to have the right kind of people watching and saying, “Well done.”

It is one thing to go on the lonely way with dignified heroism, but quite another thing if the line mapped out for you by God means being a door–mat under other people’s feet. Suppose God wants to use you to say, “I know how to be abased”—are you ready to be offered up like that?

Are you ready to be not so much as a drop in the bucket—to be so hopelessly insignificant that you are never thought of again in connection with the life you served? Are you willing to spend and be spent; not seeking to be ministered unto, but to minister? Some saints cannot do menial work and remain saints because it is beneath their dignity.

I want to serve You, Lord—to minister rather than seek to be ministered to. I offer up my life to be used to reach others. Make me willing to do even menial tasks in Your name.[1]

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

9 july (preached 25 march 1860) 365 Days with Spurgeon


“For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” Philippians 4:11

suggested further reading: 1 Timothy 6:6–11

The apostle Paul was a very learned man, but not the least among his manifold acquisitions in knowledge was this—he had learned to be content. Such learning is far better than much that is acquired in the schools. Their learning may look studiously back on the past, but too often those who cull the relics of antiquity with enthusiasm, are thoughtless about the present, and neglect the practical duties of daily life. Their learning may open up dead languages to those who will never derive any living benefit from them. Far better the learning of the apostle. It was a thing of ever-present utility, and alike serviceable for all generations; one of the rarest, but one of the most desirable accomplishments. I put the senior wrangler and the most learned of our Cambridge men, in the lowest form compared with this learned apostle; for this surely is the highest degree in humanities to which a man can possibly attain, to have learned in whatsoever state he is, to be content. You will see at once from reading the text, upon the very surface, that contentment in all states is not a natural propensity of man. Ill weeds grow apace; covetousness, discontent, and murmuring, are as natural to man as thorns are to the soil. You have no need to sow thistles and brambles; they come up naturally enough, because they are indigenous to earth, upon which rests the curse; so you have no need to teach men to complain, they complain fast enough without any education. But the precious things of the earth must be cultivated. If we would have wheat, we must plough and sow; if we want flowers, there must be the garden, and all the gardener’s care. Now, contentment is one of the flowers of heaven, and if we would have it, it must be cultivated.

for meditation: Proverbs 30:7–9: the balanced prayer of Agur, an observant and humble man. Covetousness is the enemy of contentment.

sermon no. 320[1]

[1] Spurgeon, C. H., & Crosby, T. P. (1998). 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 1) (p. 197). Leominster, UK: Day One Publications.

9 JULY 365 Days with Calvin

Asking While Abiding

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. John 15:7

suggested further reading: James 4

Believers often feel that they are starved and very far from that rich fatness which is necessary for yielding abundant fruit. For this reason, Scripture tells us that, whatever those who are in Christ may need, there is a remedy provided for their poverty as soon as they ask it from God. This is a very useful admonition, for the Lord often suffers us to hunger to train us to be earnest in prayer. But if we fly to him, we shall never lack what we ask for; rather, out of his inexhaustible abundance, he will supply us with everything that we need (1 Cor. 1:5).

In saying “If my words abide in you,” Christ means that we must take root in him by faith; for as soon as we depart from the doctrine of the gospel, we seek Christ separately from himself. When he promises that he will grant whatever we wish, he does not give us permission to form wishes according to our own fancy. God would do what was ill fitted to promote our welfare if he were so indulgent and so ready to yield to us, for we know well that men often indulge in foolish and extravagant desires. But here he limits the wishes of his people to the rule of praying in a right manner, and that rule is subject to the good pleasure of God in all our affections. This is confirmed by the context in which the words stand; for he means that his people will or desire not riches, or honor, or anything of that nature, which the flesh foolishly desires, but the vital sap of the Holy Spirit, which enables them to bear fruit.

for meditation: A Christian’s prayer should ultimately be that God’s will be done. Any petition that deviates from God’s will is not appropriate. But what is God’s will? The answer is found in these words: “if my words abide in you.” With God’s Word as our guide, we may pray in confidence, knowing that “it shall be done unto us.”[1]

[1] Calvin, J., & Beeke, J. R. (2008). 365 Days with Calvin (p. 209). Leominster; Grand Rapids, MI: Day One Publications; Reformation Heritage Books.

July 9, 2019 Morning Verse Of The Day

31 Sovereignty of God. Ultimate success comes from God and not from human efforts. The contrast here is between the plans and efforts for the battle (“the horse is made ready for the day of battle”) and the true acknowledgment of the source of victory (“the Lord”; see Pss 20:7; 33:17).[1]

31  Verset 31a presents the war-horse, a military innovation that gave the armies using it a surpassing advantage, as a concrete military example of human wisdom. Verset 31b complements and contrasts this human initiative with the Lord’s final word. The difference between the initial human initial word and the Lord’s final word is so great in achieving victory, not necessarily in their content, the conjunction binding the parallels is best glossed but, even though the parallels are essentially synthetic, not antithetic. This proverb presupposes that a war horse that draws the chariot (cf. Mic. 5:10 [9]; Ps 20:7 [8] is prepared (see 6:8) for (the purpose of) the day of (see 16:4) hand-to-hand fighting in battle (see 20:18). The war-horse, which functions as a synecdoche for all the paraphernalia of war, was used to pull the war chariot because of its agility, speed, and endurance; it can cover up to 100 km per day.110 Solomon introduced it to the army as a principal weapon of war (1 Kgs. 10:26–28). He also served as a middle merchant in their trade from Egypt to the Hittites and to the Aramaeans (1 Kgs. 10:29). In the battle of Qarqar (853 BC) against Shalmanezer III, King Ahab of Israel presented the largest contingent of war chariots in the anti-Assyrian coalition. Verset B, however, implicitly warns the king and his counselors against trusting horse and chariot (Ps. 20:7 [8]). Something, or better Someone else, is more decisive. Victory (see 11:14) belongs to113 the Lord (see 21:1, 30). The secular capability of the war-horse threatened Israel’s faith in the Lord and drew heavy theological criticism (cf. Deut. 17:16; Isa. 31:1; Hos. 1:7; Zech. 9:10). Micah 5:10–16 [9–15] equates trust in military hardware with idolatry and witchcraft. This proverb was part and parcel of the king’s godly guidance before battle (Prov. 20:18; 24:6; cf. 2 Chron. 32:2–8). The two words of verset B function as a doxology in Jonah 2:10, but here the words are reversed, perhaps to make “victory” the last and final word in this unit on the triumph of doing righteous and justice (20:29–21:31).[2]

21:31 / Antithetic. Preparations for war (horse) can and should be made, but ultimately all depends on the Lord (1 Sam. 17:47), who alone is wise (Sir. 1:8). See also Psalms 20:7; 28:7; Jeremiah 9:23. This proverb specifies the more general saying in verse 30.[3]

Ver. 31.—The horse is prepared against the day of battle. The horse is an emblem of military power and activity. To the earlier Jews, who are unaccustomed to its use, and indeed forbidden to employ it (Deut. 17:16), the horse and horse-drawn chariots were objects of extreme terror (Josh. 17:16; Judg. 4:3), and through Solomon had largely imported them from Egypt (1 Kings 4:26; 10:26, etc.), these animals were used exclusively for war, and, at this time, their services were never applied to agricultural purposes. The proverb asserts that, though all preparations are made for the battle, and material forces are of the best and strongest description, but safety (victory) is of the Lord (see Ps. 20:7; 33:16, etc.). Septuagint, “But from the Lord is the help (ἡ βοήθεια).” The great truth here taught may be applied to spiritual matters. The only safety against spiritual enemies is the grace of God; We can cry, with St. Paul (1 Cor. 15:57), “Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” “By the name ‘horse,’ ” says St. Gregory (‘Moral.,’ xxxi. 43), “is understood the preparation of right intention, as it is written, ‘The horse is prepared,’ etc.; because the mind prepares itself indeed against temptation, but contends not healthfully unless it be assisted from above.”[4]

31 This verse is related to v 30 in that it provides a concrete example of a face-off between humans and God. Even wars, which seem to be humanly accountable and which humans only too readily prepare for, do not escape the overarching causality of the Lord, without whom victory cannot be achieved.[5]

21:31. Human effort, like human wisdom (v. 30), has its limitations. It is useless to fight against God (v. 30), or without Him (v. 31). Soldiers may use horses in battle, but the superiority of a cavalry unit against foot soldiers is no guarantee of victory. That comes only from the Lord, who can turn battles His way in spite of man’s efforts (cf. Pss. 20:7; 33:17).[6]

21:31 Men may go to elaborate plans to insure military success, but victory on the day of battle comes from the Lord alone. It is better to trust in Him than in horses—or in nuclear weapons—(see Ps. 20:7).

Plumptre summarizes verses 30 and 31 as follows:

Verse 30: Nothing avails against God.

Verse 31: Nothing avails without God.[7]

[1] Ross, A. P. (2008). Proverbs. In T. Longman III, Garland David E. (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Proverbs–Isaiah (Revised Edition) (Vol. 6, p. 186). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[2] Waltke, B. K. (2005). The Book of Proverbs, Chapters 15–31 (p. 192). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[3] Murphy, R. E., & Carm, O. (2012). Proverbs. In W. W. Gasque, R. L. Hubbard Jr., & R. K. Johnston (Eds.), Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs (p. 107). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[4] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). Proverbs (pp. 409–410). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

[5] Murphy, R. E. (1998). Proverbs (Vol. 22, p. 162). Dallas: Thomas Nelson.

[6] Buzzell, S. S. (1985). Proverbs. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 1, p. 952). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[7] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (pp. 846–847). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

07/09/19 In Spite of Fears — ChuckLawless.com

READING: Ezra 1-3, Acts 10:9-33

Fear has a strange way of capturing us and shutting us down. From the person who won’t speak of Jesus for fear of losing a relationship to the Christian who refuses to share the gospel because of the threat of persecution, fear can be debilitating. It grabs us, clings to us, magnifies its existence, extends its power, and diverts us from obedience to God.

On the other hand, fear need not win in our lives. When the Hebrews of Ezra’s day made their way back to Jerusalem to build the Temple, their fear of the people around them could easily have been distracting. The people of God had been out of Jerusalem for 70 years, and those who replaced them, as well as their neighboring countries, may have seen their return as a threat. We know for certain that their enemies make themselves known in Ezra 4. What these enemies could not do in Ezra 3, however, was keep the returning people of God from re-building the altar and offering sacrifices: “They set up the altar on its foundation and offered burnt offerings for the morning and evening on it to the Lord even though they feared the surrounding peoples” (Ezra 3:3). Despite the fear that might have led others to stop the re-building process, God’s people moved forward with their plans.

Apparently, serving God faithfully trumped any fears they had. Indeed, it may be that the people knew they needed God’s protection—and they had learned from experience that not obeying God’s commands was hardly the way to secure His shelter. Step-by-step, they re-built the altar “as it is written in the law of Moses, the man of God” (Ezra 3:2).

I am reminded today that no fear should keep us from serving God. Fear may seek to control us, but our trust must be in the One who is in control. We must obey Him, in spite of our fears.

PRAYER: “Father, grant me trust in You that overcomes any fears I have.”

TOMORROW’S READING:  Ezra 4-7, Acts 10:34-48

via 07/09/19 In Spite of Fears — ChuckLawless.com

Brannon Howse: July 8, 2019 | Worldview Weekend

Guest: Olivier Melnick. Topic: Iran may already have a nuclear weapon and they are openly bragging about wiping Israel off the face of the earth. Topic: High school principle refuses to declare that the holocaust is a matter of fact. Topic: Some of the folks behind the boycott of Israel are also supporting the idea of an Antifa network. Topic: Where did the term anti-semitism come from? Topic: What was the origin of the yellow star that Jews were forced to where during the holocaust? Topic: We take your calls. 

Download File Here

— Read on www.worldviewweekend.com/radio/audio/brannon-howse-july-8-2019

The Jeffrey Epstein Sex Scandal Has Some Of The Biggest Names In America Shaking In Their Boots Right Now – End Of The American Dream

Are we about to see some of the biggest names from Hollywood, Wall Street and Washington actually go to prison?  As I discussed in the first part of this series, the prosecution of Jeffrey Epstein has the potential to erupt into the biggest scandal that America has ever seen.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York intends to put Epstein away for the rest of his life, and the only hope that Epstein has of ever tasting freedom again is to cooperate with the prosecutors.  That would mean giving up everything that he knows about all of his famous friends, and the end result would be big name after big name going to prison.  For years, Epstein hosted wild parties at his homes all over the world where his famous guests would have sex with underage girls.  For years, Epstein would fly his famous friends on his private plane to his very secluded private island where his famous friends would have sex with underage girls without having to worry that they would be caught.  And according to Miami Herald investigative reporter Julie Brown, sometimes Epstein’s famous friends would call him up and let him know what hotel they were staying at so that he could send a girl over

‘We don’t know how deep this went, how far reaching it went in government but there’s been a lot of people that I could see their names on these message pads, as part of the evidence, these message pads where they would call Epstein and leave messages such as, “Oh, I’m at this hotel”.

‘Why do you do that except that you’re expecting him perhaps to send a girl to visit you at your hotel? So there’s probably quite a few powerful and important people who are sweating it out right now,’ Brown said.

We are talking about evil on a scale that is difficult to even talk about.

Of course not everyone that ever socialized with Jeffrey Epstein was involved in committing sexual crimes.

And we should allow the legal process to play out before we presume that anyone in particular is guilty.

But based on the evidence that was presented when Epstein was previously found guilty in 2008, we know a tremendous amount about the crimes that were committed at his homes, on his plane and on his private island.

And we also know that some of the biggest names in the entire world showed up in his “little black book and flight logs”

Epstein’s little black book and flight logs read like a virtual Who’s Who: Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, Larry Summers, Kevin Spacey, Prince Andrew, and Naomi Campbell all hitched rides on Epstein’s private planes. Socialites and distinguished scientists went to visit Epstein’s island in St. Thomas, and cavorted at epic dinner parties at his palatial townhouse—then the largest privately owned residence in New York, as he liked to brag. There, they picked at elaborate meals catered by celebrity chefs like Rocco DiSpirito, marvelled at Epstein’s opulent decor, and noted the pack of very, very young model-types with whom Epstein always seemed to surround himself.

Once again, that doesn’t mean that all of those individuals were involved in committing sex crimes.

Without a doubt, many famous people simply socialized with him because he was a very prominent and very wealthy member of New York society.

But it appears likely that at least a few of his friends will be implicated in the coming days.  Here are some more of the big names that were found in Epstein’s black book

Ralph Fiennes
Alec Baldwin
David Blaine
Jimmy Buffett
Courtney Love
Charlie Rose
Mike Wallace
Barbara Walters
Ehud Barak
Tony Blair
David Koch
John Gutfreund
Prince Andrew

Of course there are two names that people all over America are buzzing about right now.

For years, many Republicans have been frustrated that Bill Clinton has never been held accountable for the crimes that he may or may not have committed during his extremely close friendship with Jeffrey Epstein.  According to Fox News, Epstein’s private plane was “reportedly outfitted with a bed where passengers had group sex with young girls”, and flight logs show that Clinton was a passenger on that plane 26 times…

Former President Bill Clinton was a much more frequent flyer on a registered sex offender’s infamous jet than previously reported, with flight logs showing the former president taking at least 26 trips aboard the “Lolita Express” — even apparently ditching his Secret Service detail for at least five of the flights, according to records obtained by FoxNews.com.

Clinton’s presence aboard Jeffrey Epstein’s Boeing 727 on 11 occasions has been reported, but flight logs show the number is more than double that, and trips between 2001 and 2003 included extended junkets around the world with Epstein and fellow passengers identified on manifests by their initials or first names, including “Tatiana.” The tricked-out jet earned its Nabakov-inspired nickname because it was reportedly outfitted with a bed where passengers had group sex with young girls.

On the other side, many Democrats are salivating at the prospect that President Trump could somehow be dragged into this scandal.

According to Bloomberg, Trump and Epstein frequently socialized with one another in the old days…

The financier was a member of Trump’s Palm Beach club, Mar-a-Lago, and the men dined at one another’s homes. Trump flew on Epstein’s plane at least once. According to Brown, Epstein is quotedin court papers as saying he wanted to set up his modeling agency – which prosecutors believe he used to get access to underage girls – “the same way Trump set up his modeling agency.”

And Democrats have been plastering an old quote from Trump from 2002 all over the Internet

“I’ve known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy,” Trump told New York magazine in 2002. “He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side.”

It should also be noted that an unidentified woman filed a lawsuit against Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign in which she claimed that Trump assaulted her “at a party at Epstein’s Upper East Side townhouse in Manhattan”.  That lawsuit was later dropped, and we haven’t heard anything about that matter since.

In addition, Democrats are also making a huge deal out of the fact that Trump’s Secretary of Labor played a key role in the sweetheart deal that Epstein received in 2008

Alexander Acosta, who is now President Donald Trump’s labor secretary, was the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida in 2008 and he supervised the group of lawyers that forged the Epstein deal. Members of Acosta’s team from that period have said that they lacked the evidence to prove Epstein had violated federal law and did as much as they could to see that justice was served. But Julie Brown, a Miami Herald reporter, published a series of storieslast fall that raised questions about Acosta’s independence and prompted the new federal probes of the U.S. Attorney’s office in Miami.

Needless to say, there are going to be lots of calls for Acosta to resign.

On the the other hand, Republicans are pointing out that President Trump was extremely cooperative when Epstein was being investigated the first time around.

Florida attorney Bradley Edwards represented one of Epstein’s key accusers during that period of time, and he only had good things to say about Trump

Edwards: The only thing that I can say about President Trump is that he is the only person who, in 2009 when I served a lot of subpoenas on a lot of people, or at least gave notice to some pretty connected people, that I want to talk to them, is the only person who picked up the phone and said, let’s just talk. I’ll give you as much time as you want. I’ll tell you what you need to know, and was very helpful, in the information that he gave, and gave no indication whatsoever that he was involved in anything untoward whatsoever, but had good information. That checked out and that helped us and we didn’t have to take a deposition of him in 2009.

Also, it is being widely reported that Trump actually banned Epstein from his Mar-a-lago resort after Trump “caught him hitting on a young girl”

In January 2016, Vice.com ran Silverstein’s story on Trump’s ties to Epstein, which framed them as more social – including dinner parties, two plane trips, and Epstein hanging out at Trump’s Mar-a-lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida. As Radar reported last April, “According to an investigation by Radar, Trump was among dozens of renowned New Yorkers who knew Epstein socially but ostracized him after Palm Beach police uncovered the financiers sleazy double life,” adding that Trump “once barred child molester Jeffrey Epstein from his famed Mar-a-lago club after the presidential candidate caught him hitting on a young girl.”

As this drama plays out, much of the focus in the mainstream media will be on Trump and Clinton, but there are dozens of other big names that had very close ties to Epstein.

In the end, we will see what directions the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York wants to take this investigation.  Perhaps they will ultimately decide to concentrate solely on Epstein and disregard the crimes of his famous friends.  I don’t think that is going to happen, but it is definitely a possibility.

We live at a time when the integrity of our entire system is being called into question, and the entire world is going to be watching this case very carefully.

Will justice finally be served for Epstein and for those among his friends that also abused underage girls?

Let’s hope so, because that would go a long way toward restoring faith in our deeply broken system of justice.
— Read on endoftheamericandream.com/archives/the-jeffrey-epstein-sex-scandal-has-some-of-the-biggest-names-in-america-shaking-in-their-boots-right-now

The Jeffrey Epstein Case Has The Potential To Be The Biggest Scandal In American History

We are about to open up a can of worms that could turn our entire country completely upside down by the time it is all said and done. Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein’s horrific crimes have been well known for a very long time, and I have been writing about them for many years. In fact, there were some people that really, really didn’t like it when I wrote about Bill Clinton’s connections to Jeffrey Epstein and “the Lolita Express” during the 2016 presidential election. Flight records show that Bill Clinton took 26 trips on board Jeffrey Epstein’s infamous private plane, and Clinton also spent an enormous amount of time on Epstein’s secluded private “sex island” where underage girls were routinely abused. Of course Jeffrey Epstein had lots of other very famous friends as well, and it has been documented that his “black book” was absolutely filled with marquee names from Hollywood, Wall Street and Washington. But despite everything that we knew about what was going on, for a very long time it looked like justice would never be served. Epstein got an absolutely ridiculous sweetheart deal from prosecutors in 2008, and none of his famous friends were ever charged with anything. They all probably thought that they had escaped the grasp of law enforcement forever, but this month everything has suddenly changed.

In recent days, authorities apprehended Epstein after his plane returned from an overseas trip, they raided his home, and they formally charged him with sex trafficking and conspiracy

Fund manager Jeffrey Epstein used his wealth and power to sexually abuse dozens of young girls for years at one of the biggest mansions in Manhattan, paying them hundreds of dollars in cash for each encounter and hundreds more if they brought in more victims, U.S. prosecutors said.

Now, federal prosecutors are charging him with sex trafficking and conspiracy. They’re seeking to send him prison for years and seize that Manhattan home.

The indictment unsealed on Monday against the well-connected financier came days after his arrest upon returning from overseas and just hours after federal agents used a crowbar to enter the townhouse.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York is prosecuting Epstein, and they don’t mess around. They win more than 90 percent of the cases that actually go to trial, and Epstein has good reason to be shaking in his boots at this point.

And it is also extremely interesting to note that James Comey’s daughter is one of the prosecutors on this case

Maurene Comey, daughter of former FBI Director James Comey, is reportedly a prosecutor in the new criminal case against convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. This details comes out of a new CNN report. The source is described as a person “with knowledge of the case.”

Will that turn out to be significant?

We shall see as this drama plays out.

In the legal community, everyone has an agenda, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York certainly has an agenda in this case.

But what is their goal?

Why have they decided to pursue this specific case at this specific time?

Perhaps the primary goal is to nail Epstein to the wall once and for all. If Epstein is convicted of all the charges against him, he will spend the rest of his life in prison. And if that is all there is to this story, it won’t be an enormous national scandal.

However, it could also be possible that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York wants to use Epstein to get to one or more of his famous friends, and that is where things could get very “interesting”.

And the fact that this case “is being overseen by the Public Corruption Unit of the SDNY” would seem to indicate that something is up…

Second, what should we make of reporting that Epstein’s prosecution is being overseen by the Public Corruption Unit of the SDNY? Short answer: It’s too soon to say. It could mean that a public official is being investigated or will be charged with Epstein. That could be a minor public figure or a major one. It could mean that SDNY is investigating misconduct in the plea that Epstein was given in 2008. Or it could mean none of those things.

After everything that Epstein went through in 2008, you would think that he would clean up his life and get rid of all the stuff that got him into so much trouble in the first place.

But when authorities raided his home, they discovered a “vast trove” of photographic evidence…

Prosecutors said a search of Epstein’s Manhattan mansion after his arrest turned up a ”vast trove” of nude photos of what appeared to be underage girls. Officials said in court papers that the pictures included some on CDs with handwritten labels, including “Misc nudes 1,” “Girl pics nude” and the names of specific young women.

It has also previously been reported that in the old days Epstein would actually record “the sordid orgies he threw for VIPs at his luxury homes using cameras hidden in the walls of guest bedrooms”, but it is not known if those recordings still exist or if authorities were able to find any such recordings when they raided Epstein’s home.

In any event, there is clearly an enormous amount of evidence against Epstein already, and that means his only hope of avoiding prison for the rest of his life is to cooperate with authorities.

And as former federal prosecutor Elie Honig has pointed out, Epstein’s former friends from Hollywood, Wall Street and Washington should be quite scared right now…

We do not know if Epstein will cooperate, but even if he does not, others will very likely be implicated. It seems clear from the indictment that others helped Epstein run his alleged sex trafficking operation and otherwise participated in it. At least some of those names will come out in court proceedings, public filings, potentially trial and perhaps additional indictments. And it’s worth noting that the Epstein case is being handled by the SDNY’s Public Corruption Unit — in my experience, human trafficking cases usually are handled elsewhere in the office — which strongly suggests that public officials could be under a microscope here. Anybody who helped Epstein in any way needs to get a lawyer and get scared.

Of course Epstein could choose to sacrifice himself and protect his friends by not talking, but that isn’t likely to happen. In fact, Jack Posobiec is reporting that Epstein’s lawyers have already made it clear to the SDNY that their client will cooperate as long as he can get a reduced sentence…

SCOOP: Epstein’s lawyer has already made a proffer to SDNY. Epstein will agree to cooperate with the investigation, including giving up the names of individuals that paid for activities with underage girls in exchange for a maximum sentence not to exceed 5 years

In addition to Epstein’s potential testimony, just a few days ago a judge ordered the unsealing of records in a related case that detail allegations of “sexual abuse” by “numerous prominent American politicians, powerful business executives, foreign presidents, a well-known prime minister and other world leaders”

This news comes just days after a judge ordered the unsealing of nearly 2,000 pages of records related to a civil case that could reveal how he and his accused accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell allegedly trafficked underage girls

The documents that will be unsealed are from a defamation case that was settled after Epstein entered a guilty plea guilty to a single charge of soliciting and procuring a person under age 18 for prostitution.

Records in the defamation case contained descriptions of sexual abuse by Epstein along with new allegations of sexual abuse by ‘numerous prominent American politicians, powerful business executives, foreign presidents, a well-known prime minister and other world leaders.’

We will talk about who some of those individuals might be in the second part of this series which I will post later tonight on The Most Important News.

I have been writing about corruption in the political world for a long time, but this could be the scandal of all scandals.

So stay tuned, because I believe that things are about to get extremely interesting.
— Read on theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/the-jeffrey-epstein-case-has-the-potential-to-be-the-biggest-scandal-in-american-history

Are You Bearing the Marks of Jesus or the Mark of the Beast?

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

14 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. 15 For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. 16 And those who will walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.
17 From now on let no one cause trouble for me, for I bear on my body the brand-marks of Jesus. Galatians 6:14-17 (NASB) 

The Apostle Paul did indeed bear the marks of persecution on his body. He had been found to be worthy to suffer shame for the name as had Peter and John (Acts 5:17-42). Paul had been stoned, beaten, imprisoned, run out of town, and would die as a martyr. Why were the Apostles persecuted so? They preached…

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July 9 For the love of God (Vol. 2)

Joshua 11; Psalm 144; Jeremiah 5; Matthew 19


here i shall briefly reflect on a number of elements of the depravity to which the citizens of Judah had succumbed (Jer. 5):

(1) God challenges Jeremiah to find a single honest man on the streets of Jerusalem (5:1), anticipating the search of Diogenes in the Greek world. Even one such person would have been enough, according to God, to forestall judgment on the city. But of course that is another way of saying how slippery the moral life of the city had become, how extensive the sin was, how insincerity and moral corrosion had damaged the city’s children.

(2) Initially Jeremiah thinks that perhaps the negative results of his search could be laid at the door of the disadvantages of the lower classes. Of course, even the poor were supposed to know and keep the Law of God, but it is compassionate to make allowances. So Jeremiah goes off to examine the sophisticated, the privileged, the articulate—and finds no less moral rot there than elsewhere (5:4–5). Intelligent sinners use their intelligence to sin; sophisticated sinners concoct sophisticated reasons for thinking sin is not sin; upper-crust sinners indulge in upper-crust sin. “But with one accord they too had broken off the yoke and torn off the bonds” (5:5).

(3) The common stance toward God is that he is absent or ineffective (5:12); the common stance toward genuine prophets is that they are windbags (5:13). So God will bring about catastrophic judgment to show his power, and he will speak to the people in the words of a foreign language (5:14–17). They so much love to serve foreign gods in their own land; they will henceforth serve foreigners in a land not their own (5:19).

(4) By and large, the people have learned nothing from God’s wise and generous providential care (5:24). Equally they have learned nothing from the times when God has chastened them by depriving them of harvest (5:25). Whether he is gentle or firm, whether he is generously forbearing or promptly just, they ignore him or rebel against him. What is he to do? Sooner or later he must respond to the violence, deceit, and corruption in the coinage of punishment (5:26–29).

(5) There may be hope for the people of God when their leaders call them back to faithfulness and integrity, or when the people try to check and remove errant leaders. But what do we have here? “A horrible and shocking thing has happened in the land: The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way [cf. 2 Tim. 3:1–7]. But what will you do in the end?” (5:31).

How many of these elements are playing out today?[1]

[1] Carson, D. A. (1998). For the love of God: a daily companion for discovering the riches of God’s Word. (Vol. 2, p. 25). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

07/08/2019 — Wretched


•Putting the worst construction on things
•Giving people the same benefit of the doubt you give yourself
•The root of every sin is…
•Why God made your mouth, according to Scott Hubbard
•3 reasons patience matters for Christians

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via 07/08/2019 — Wretched