Daily Archives: July 26, 2019

July 26 Experiencing God’s Love

Scripture Reading: Hebrews 5:6–10

Key Verse: Hebrews 5:8

Though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.

What happens when you ignore God? In your mind, do you picture Him just walking away, looking forlorn and rejected? Or do you have a mental image of God getting mad at you and banishing you to forty years of wilderness wandering?

Neither is correct. God loves you perfectly. And His love for you is not based on your obedience. Though He tells us in His Word that obedience is better than sacrifice, the thing that God wants most from you is a love that comes from your heart.

He doesn’t stop loving you just because you do something wrong. None of us can earn God’s love by being good or trying to be perfect. For one, we do not have the ability to do either of these on our own. We need a Savior. And this is why Jesus came to die for you and me. He does the very thing that you cannot do for yourself. He makes you acceptable in God’s eyes. He sets you free from sin.

When we ignore the Lord, we are the ones who suffer and miss a great opportunity for blessing. God is not a strong and mighty taskmaster who waits for us to do something wrong so He can pounce. He is a loving God who listens for our cry. When He draws you to Himself, He uses love, not a rod of thunder. God knows that once you drink of His love, the world’s appeal will fade. Give Him your heart, and you will be blessed by what you receive from Him.

Thank You for Your love, Father. It sets me free from sin and makes me acceptable in Your sight. I rejoice in that![1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 217). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

July 26 Jealousy

Scripture Reading: 1 Samuel 18:1–12

Key Verse: James 3:16

Where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.

Both Paul and James almost invariably used the same companion adjective or noun when describing jealousy. Wherever there is jealousy, there is also strife. Jealousy breeds conflict. It incites anger and bitterness. It promotes emotional and physical hostility.

Are you envious over another’s success? Do you covet the looks or possessions of another? Do you feel as if you have been given a raw deal—while others seem to have a china closet full of silver spoons?

The emotional tangle of jealousy can be prevented when we understand God’s principle of contentment. Biblical contentment means we thank God that He has given us everything we need. Others may be promoted while we languish. Others may have great physical talents or appearance while we are plain and mediocre.

But God, our Creator and Provider, will give us all good things as we trust in Him. Our lives can be fully satisfying when we know our Father is not impartial or unjust, but gives to each the full measure of grace needed for a productive, joyful life.

Father God, free me from the grasping tentacles of jealousy. Help me realize that I have all I need to live a productive and joyful life.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 217). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

July 26 When God Says Go

Scripture reading: Genesis 12:1–9

Key verses: Genesis 12:2–3

I will make you a great nation;

I will bless you

And make your name great;

And you shall be a blessing.

I will bless those who bless you,

And I will curse him who curses you;

And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.

Hannah Whitall Smith once wrote, “Sight is not faith, and hearing is not faith, neither is feeling faith; but believing when we neither see, hear, nor feel is faith … Therefore, we must believe before we feel, and often against our feelings if we would honor God by our faith.”

As you read the account of Abram’s life, you realize he was a man of extreme faith. God asked him to do something many would find difficult, and that was to leave his family and friends and go to an unfamiliar land.

Yet God’s reassuring words in Genesis 12:2–3 lessened Abram’s fear.

Abram—or Abraham as he was later called by God—gave little thought to the fact that his name would be made great. The most important thing to him was the exercise of his faith through obedience.

When God calls you to move in a certain direction by faith, He will provide you reassurance. Your responsibility is to obey and follow Him. Abram left everything because he heard God say, “Go.” Are you willing to do the same? Pray that your response to the Lord is always one of faith, love, and obedience. That way you will never miss a single blessing.

God, give me the faith to obey and follow You when You say, “Go.” I don’t want to miss a single blessing You have for me![1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 217). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Trump Campaign Posts Hard-Hitting New Video Ad: “The Squad – Meet the Leaders of the Democrat Party” — The Gateway Pundit

The Trump reelection campaign posted a new hard-hitting video Friday on ‘the Squad’, a group of four loud-mouth, radical freshman Democrat House members pulling the party to the far left. The video is titled, “The Squad – Meet the Leaders of the Democrat Party”.

The ad features President Trump at a recent campaign rally in Greenville, North Carolina quoting the words of the four Squad members followed by video clips of the Squad using those words, illustrated with hipster graphics.

The video was posted to Trump’s YouTube channel with the statement, “I don’t believe the four Congresswomen are capable of loving our Country. It’s sad that they are the new leaders of the Democrat Party!”

The Squad is comprised of:

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN)

Omar is called out by Trump for pleading for compassion for ISIS recruits and for looking down on Americans as ignorant.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI):

Tlaib is cited by Trump for calling him a “motherf***er” at an event in 2019. Tlaib is also shown acting like a crazed lunatic while being thrown out of a 2016 Trump rally.

Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA):

Trump pointed out Pressley’s recent racist comments that people of the same skin color must think the same, saying that black and brown people must be black and brown “voices”.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY):

AOC is called out by Trump for saying illegal aliens or more American than Americans trying to secure our borders.

Video was also posted to Twitter by the campaign’s Trump War Room:

via Trump Campaign Posts Hard-Hitting New Video Ad: “The Squad – Meet the Leaders of the Democrat Party” — The Gateway Pundit

After Mueller’s Testimony and His Obvious Dementia Issues Rod Rosenstein Should Be Immediately Arrested and Charged with Running a Scam — The Gateway Pundit

On May 17, 2017 Deputy and Acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein signed the document to appoint former FBI Chief Robert Mueller as Special Counsel to investigate President Trump on collusion with Russia during the 2016 campaign.

Rosenstein knew there was no collusion but ordered the Special Counsel anyway.  Rosenstein then approved controversial far left Democrat Andrew Weissmann to run the Special Counsel.  Rosenstein knew Rosenstein would run the operation because he knew Robert Mueller was suffering from severe dementia.

Weissmann then hired all far left Hillary supporting attorneys and went to work.  Weissmann indicted and jailed Trump associates on process crimes.  He refused to investigate the criminal actions of the Obama administration’s spying on candidate Trump.  Weissmann indicted Russian operatives and companies to appear legitimate.  Weissmann harassed Trump officials for two years in the hope that someone would fabricate a story so he could indict Trump.

Shortly after Rosenstein hijacked the Justice Department from Jeff Sessions and became the de facto Attorney General, he penned his first scope memo on May 17, 2017 authorizing Robert Mueller to investigate the so-called (non-existent) Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, authorized Mueller to investigate three areas: “i) any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump; ii) any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation; [and] iii) any other matters within the scope of [obstruction of justice laws].”

In the Spring of 2018, it was revealed that Rosenstein penned his second scope memo on August 2nd, 2017 and from what we have seen in the unredacted portions, he authorized Special Counsel Robert Mueller to investigate allegations that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort “committed a crime or crimes by colluding with Russian government officials with respect to the Russian government’s efforts to interfere with the 2016 election for President of the United States, in violation of United States law,” as well as allegations that Paul Manafort “committed a crime or crimes arising out of payments he received from the Ukrainian government before and during the tenure of President Viktor Yanukovych.”

It’s important to note that Rosenstein’s scope memo giving Mueller authorization to hunt down Manafort was 2 weeks after the FBI raided Manafort’s home looking for bank records.

To this day, that second ‘scope memo’ is redacted and only a handful of lawmakers have seen it.

Rosenstein, Weissmann and Mueller used the bogus Steele dossier from 2016 to 2019 knowing it was a bogus report.

Rosenstein withheld information that the FBI had opened an obstruction of justice probe o President Trump before the Mueller investigation.

Rod Rosenstein lied to President Trump and said he was not under investigation.

Rod Rosenstein plotted to oust President Trump by wearing a wire to a White House meeting.

And on Wednesday the country found out Rod Rosenstein and Andrew Weissmann used Robert Mueller in their plot to remove President Trump.

It was very clear from Mueller’s testimony that he is suffering from severe dementia.

Rosenstein and Weissman knew this.

That’s why Mueller was NEVER at the meeting with Trump lawyers.

Rosenstein and Andrew Weissmann knew Robert Mueller was suffering from severe dementia.  They used him anyway to con the American public that their nefarious plot to remove the president was legitimate.

Rod Rosenstein should be arrested immediately

via After Mueller’s Testimony and His Obvious Dementia Issues Rod Rosenstein Should Be Immediately Arrested and Charged with Running a Scam — The Gateway Pundit

Liberalism’s Warm Fuzzy god (Reprise) — Christian Research Network

This article by CRN managing editor Marsha West was first published May 11, 2015.

For a number of years a woman I know, I’ll call her Rachel, has wrestled with giving her life to Christ. She admits she really wants to, but how can she when she’d have to serve a God who allows murderers into heaven and sends “good people” to hell? It would be awkward to have to explain to her husband, family and friends that they’re bound for hell if they reject Christ. In other words, Rachel won’t play by God’s rules because His rules make her uncomfortable. In her way of thinking the God of the Bible is too punitive for her sensibilities. And besides, what kind of God would allow a serial murderer into heaven who professed a belief in Christ only minutes before going to the gas chamber while at the same time condemn “good people” to hell for their unbelief?

Liberals like Rachel require a more palatable religion, one that’s all-inclusive and, of course, fair. They desire a warm fuzzy God. The liberal’s ideal God is a sort of jolly ol’ St. Nick figure. The liberal’s jolly ol’ god has a Naughty and Nice list but his heart is so big that he often overlooks naughty children’s indiscretions (even the ones who are unrepentant) and delivers the goods to them anyway. He’d be unloving if he didn’t bend a little.

Rachel has yet to place her faith in Christ because it’s unthinkable that God would send “good people” to hell. Her major stumbling block is that she’s acquainted with a number of “good people” who aren’t Christians — and are a whole lot nicer than some Christians she knows.

Rachel contends that a just God wouldn’t send nice folks to hell for all eternity simply because they reject Jesus Christ.

But the Bible says otherwise. “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

People like Rachel sincerely believe they could do a far better job of running the universe than the One who created it. Talk about chutzpah!

No human being has the wisdom to determine if a person is fundamentally good or evil for the simple reason that no one knows for certain what’s in a person’s heart! No one can ever truly know a person’s motives.

For those who hold to a relativistic worldview, good and evil, ethics and morality are simply cultural inventions and cannot be objectively defined. Liberals perceive the Bible as a book of myths and fables, thus it mustn’t be taken seriously. Those who do take the Bible seriously are considered “unenlightened” – a bunch of addlepated dunderheads.

Unbelievers carp that the Bible should not be the standard by which we judge good and bad. So my question is, if not the Bible, then what standard do we use to determine ethics and morality? And how should right and wrong be determined? By consensus opinion?

Another one of Rachel’s grievances against Christianity is that many so-called Christians behave the same as unbelievers. In other words, the lives of Christians she comes in contact with are inconsistent with what they profess to believe in. They claim Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, but they lie, cheat, steal, binge drink, sleep around, view pornography, plus they’re lazy. In other words, they act like heathens.

Rachel has a point.

Many people want Jesus to be their Savior — because they know they’re dirty rotten sinners. But they’re unwilling to humble themselves before the throne of God and put their complete trust in Him. Obedience comes at a cost (take up your cross and follow me) and the price is too high. They may believe in Jesus Christ, that He’s the Savior of the world and all. But their pride gets in the way of allowing Christ to take the helm of the ship. As poet William Earnest Henley noted:

It matters not how strait the gate,

How charged with punishments the scroll:

I am the master of my fate:

I am the captain of my soul. 

Contemporary Christians

In order to make my point, I created three typical Christians.

Michelle professes faith in Christ. She attends church every Sunday, sings in the praise band, mans the coffer bar, and attends an occasional Bible study. She rarely shares Christ with anyone, unless she’s forced into it, whereby she quickly spouts the condensed version of the gospel to avoid making the person feel uncomfortable. Her excuse is that evangelism is not her spiritual gift. Michelle believes God has gifted her with the ability to sing. Her voice rivals Judy Garland’s so she really belts out a song in church. But when it comes to sharing her faith she’s as timid as a mouse. She feels that as long as she’s in a committed relationship, having sexual relations is not sinful. Nor is aborting a child. Michelle became pregnant and had an abortion so as not to bring an unwanted child into the world. She also swears like a sailor and dresses like a Hollywood pop-tart.

Jeff accepted Christ at a Billy Graham Crusade when he was a teen. Ever since then he has tried to be a good person and lead a moral life. Unless his kids have a sports event, the family is in church most Sundays. He and his wife participate in a small group that meets in their home for Bible study and prayer. Jeff is generous with his time, talent and treasure. He tithes 10 percent of his income and he’s always there to lend a hand. One thing Jeff enjoys is getting together with the guys for Monday night football at a local sports bar. He limits his beer intake to two schooners because any more than that could impair his driving. Jeff believes he has the spiritual gift of evangelism and often brags about sharing his faith with dudes he meets at sports events or bars. When Jeff does his income tax he uses “creative accounting practices.” On occasion he views pornography on the Internet and thinks it’s no big deal. Unbeknownst to his wife he regularly emails a woman he met in a chat room.

Michelle and Jeff profess Christ. They both consider themselves good people and for the most part they try to live godly lives – but they’re quick to admit they’re not perfect! They reject the “fundamentalist fringe” of Christianity and the “fundies” constant harping on God’s holiness. God knows we all have our faults, so why does a pastor need to belabor the point? Michelle and Jeff do the best they can, and at least their hearts are in the right place. In the long run going to heaven is what really counts anyway, and since they accepted Christ (on their terms), they’re there! They may get through the pearly gates by the skin of their teeth, but at least they’ll be in!

Michelle and Jeff typify a lot of church-goers. All they need is enough of God to feel comfortable. Neither one of them want the fire and brimstone God the “fundies” preach about. That God is too harsh, too judgmental – way too scary! That God can be mean!

Wilber Reese sums up the attitude of a large number of contemporary Christians:

I would like to buy 3 dollars worth of God, please. Not enough to explode my soul or disturb my sleep, but just enough to equal a cup of warm milk or a snooze in the sunshine. I don’t want enough of him to make me love a black man or pick beets with a migrant. I want ecstasy, not transformation. I want the warmth of the womb not a new birth. I want about a pound of the eternal in a paper sack. I’d like to buy 3 dollars worth of God, please.

Far too many Christians are looking for an ecstatic experience – they’re not looking to be transformed. Why? Because transformation involves change. Change takes work. It’s often slow and at times painful.

For transformation to occur believers must immerse themselves in the Bible. It’s the instrument God uses to conform His people to the image of Christ. And by the way, there is no such thing as a solitary Christian. No one should try to do Christianity on their own. Christians are a part of a body — the Body of Christ — with Christ as the head. Members of the church body are designed to function together as a whole. Moreover, they are meant to lean on each other when the going gets tough. Every believer should have a friend they can call at a moments notice. This friend can assist with good advice and hold them accountable.

It’s not uncommon for the Christian to “crawl off the alter” and slink back into the world every once in a while. Some believers can’t seem to shed what Paul calls our “flesh” because it’s like slipping one’s feet into a favorite pair of shoes. But God will deliver us “out of the body of death.” (Romans 7:24-25)

Listen to what Paul has to say about transformation:

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect (Romans 12: 1-2).

If you’re a Christian, you must present yourself “holy and acceptable to God!” Offering your life to Christ, holy and pleasing, is a prerequisite for discernment. If this was happening, discernment wouldn’t be almost non-existent in the visible Church. Sadly, professing Christians are dependent on the government for their education, health care, food, shelter, retirement, and all sorts of other “stuff.” And it doesn’t help that God’s people are involved in a whole host of unbiblical practices, including Eastern mysticism, which God expressly forbids. I’ve already covered this topic in “Got Meat?” so I won’t belabor the point.

Returning to Rachel, it hasn’t been lost on her that most professing Christians she knows share her liberal worldview. And they behave like heathens! This means (a) they’re unaware of God’s rules; (b) they’re aware of what the rules are but lack the will to conform. A religion that breeds hypocrites turns Rachel off. For that reason she has chosen to concoct a user-friendly religion with an open-minded god that has very few rules, a god that loves and accepts everyone. Before I move on, it’s important to point out that Christians who have no desire to live their lives in accordance with what the Bible teaches could very well be false converts.

Rachel’s generic god does not require an atoning sacrifice for our sins. I mean, please. The atonement thing is so yesterday! “Self” has replaced the Savior of mankind. In other words, “I” will go to heaven, but “I” will make it on “my” own, without anyone’s help, because “I” deserve it. So move over Jesus!

Generic god is very cool.  In fact, he/she is so cool that there’s no penalty for sin!  Man is judged solely on his good deeds….or whatever.  Rachel assumes her performance on Earth will pass muster and that generic god will welcome her into his/her kingdom when the time comes.  But what happens if Rachel’s performance doesn’t pass muster?  Wishy-washy Generic God can always be persuaded to change his/her mind.

Rachel is well aware that the God of the Bible offers no hope for those who reject His Son:

Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness’ (Matthew 7:23).

What did Jesus mean by, “the will of my Father?”  God’s will is that we repent of our sins and put our faith in Christ.  Performing miraculous signs and wonders, doing good deeds, and being a “good person” does not cut it with God.  Here’s the reason:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).

I’ll close this with one last comment about Michelle, one of the women mentioned above. If you recall, Michelle claims she doesn’t have the gift of evangelism, so she’s off the hook when it comes to sharing the gospel. Really?

Not according to Paul:

I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.  For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith” (Romans 1:14-17). (emphasis added)

Resources:

Does the Bible really say we’re not to judge? By Marsha West

A culture of counterfeit Christians By Marsha West

Book: The Holiness of God By R.C. Sproul

Copyright by Marsha West, 2015.  All rights reserved.

via Liberalism’s Warm Fuzzy god (Reprise) — Christian Research Network

July 26, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

4. There is no doubt but that God by thus reproving Jonah condemns his intemperate warmth. But since God alone is a fit judge of man’s conduct, there is no reason for us to boast that we are influenced by good intentions; for there is nothing more fallacious than our own balances. When therefore we weigh facts, deeds, and thoughts, by our own judgment, we deceive ourselves. Were any disposed rhetorically to defend the conduct of Jonah, he might certainly muster up many specious pretences; and were any one inclined to adduce excuses for Jonah, he might be made to appear to us altogether innocent: but though the whole world absolved him, what would it avail, since he was condemned by the mouth of God himself, who alone, as I have already stated, is the judge? We ought then to feel assured, that Jonah had done foolishly, even if no reason was apparent to us; for the authority of the Supreme Judge ought to be more than sufficient.

Now God expressly condemns his wrath. Had Jonah modestly expostulated, and unburdened his griefs into the bosom of God, it would have been excusable; though his ardour would not have been free from blame, it might yet have been borne with. But now, when he is angry, it is past endurance; for wrath, as one says, is but short madness; and then it blinds the perceptions of men, it disturbs all the faculties of the soul. God then does not here in a slight manner condemn Jonah, but he shows how grievously he had fallen by allowing himself to become thus angry. We must at the same time remember, that Jonah had sinned not only by giving way to anger; he might have sinned, as we have said, without being angry. But God by this circumstance—that he thus became turbulent, enhances his sin. And it is certainly a most unseemly thing, when a mean creature rises up against God, and in a boisterous spirit contends with him: this is monstrous; and Jonah was in this state of mind.

We hence see why an express mention is made of his anger,—God thus intended to bring conviction home to Jonah, that he might no more seek evasions. Had he simply said, “Why! how is it that thou dost not leave to me the supreme right of judging? If such is my will, why dost not thou submissively acknowledge that what I do is rightly done? Is it thy privilege to be so wise, as to dictate laws to me, or to correct my decisions?”—had the Lord thus spoken, there might have remained still some excuse; Jonah might have said, “Lord, I cannot restrain my grief, when I see thy name so profaned by unseemly reproaches; can I witness this with a calm mind?” He might thus have still sought some coverings for his grief; but when the Lord brought forward his anger, he must have been necessarily silenced; for what could be found to excuse Jonah, when he thus perversely rebelled, as I have said, against God, his Judge and Maker? We now then understand why God expressly declares that Jonah did not do well in being thus angry.

But I wonder how it came into Jerome’s mind to say that Jonah is not here reproved by the Lord, but that something of an indifferent kind is mentioned. He was indeed a person who was by nature a sophister, (cavillator—a caviller;) and thus he wantonly trifled with the work of falsifying Scripture: he made no conscience of perverting passages of holy writ. As, for instance, when he writes about marriage, he says that they do not ill who marry, and yet that they do not well. What a sophistry is this, and how vapid! So also on this place, “God,” he says, “does not condemn Jonah, neither did he intend to reprove his sin; but, on the contrary, Jonah brings before us here the person of Christ, who sought death that the whole world might be saved; for when alive he could not do good to his own nation, he could not save his own kindred; he therefore preferred to devote himself and his life for the redemption of the world.” These are mere puerilities; and thus the whole meaning of this passage, as we clearly see, is distorted. But the question is more emphatical than if God had simply said, “Thou hast sinned by being thus angry;” for an affirmative sentence has not so much force as that which is in the form of a question.

God then not only declares as a Judge that Jonah had not done well, but he also draws from him his own confession, as though he said, “Though thou art a judge in thine own cause, thou canst not yet make a cover for thy passion, for thou art beyond measure angry.” For when he says לך, lak, with, or, in thyself, he reminds Jonah to examine his own heart, as though he said, “Look on thyself as in a mirror: thou wilt see what a boisterous sea is thy soul, being seized as thou art by so mad a rage.” We now then perceive not only the plain sense of the passage, but also the emphasis, which is contained in the question, which Jerome has turned to a meaning wholly contrary. I will not proceed farther; for what remains will be sufficient for to-morrow’s lecture.

Prayer

Grant, Almighty God, that as thou seest us implicated in so many errors, that we often fall through want of thought, and as thou also seest that the violent emotions of our flesh wholly blind whatever reason and judgment there is in us,—O grant, that we may learn to give up ourselves altogether to obey thee, and so honour thy wisdom as never to contend with thee, though all things may happen contrary to our wishes, but patiently to wait for such an issue as it may please thee to grant; and may we never be disturbed by any of the hinderances which Satan may throw in our way, but ever go on towards the mark which thou hast set before us, and never turn aside from thee, until, having gone through all dangers and overcome all impediments, we shall at length reach that blessed rest, which has been obtained for us by the blood of thy Son. Amen.[1]


4 Yahweh responded incisively with a rhetorical question which both condemned Jonah’s attitude and at the same time struck home to the audience. “What right do you have to be angry?”, three simple words in the Hebrew (ההיטב חרה לך), conclude the section forcefully and serve the didactic point of the narrator admirably. Jonah is angry, but without merit.

Note that Yahweh ignored Jonah’s request to die. It was a stupid request, voiced out of frustration and pettiness, and Yahweh did not honor it with a response. The heart of the issue was not Jonah’s status, but his narrow attitude. Could Jonah then provide any logical rejoinder to Yahweh’s question? Of course not. His own confession in v 3 has condemned him. If Yahweh is a forgiving God, and Jonah is his servant, what right indeed does he have to be angry at what Yahweh has done for Nineveh? It is upon this question that the coda which concludes the book is based, the flashback serving to heighten and expand the divine challenge to Jonah, and to the audience as well.[2]


RebellionThe Lesson of God’s Pity (4)

Had you been writing this last chapter, you probably would have shown Jonah in the city of Nineveh, carefully teaching the people and helping them in their spiritual decisions. But God does not write it that way. Instead of meeting a rejoicing preacher, we meet a rebellious preacher, angry at the people and angry at God. We see an adult acting like a child, a believer acting like an unbeliever. We see Jonah sitting outside the city, trying to make himself comfortable, and actually hoping that God’s judgment will fall on the people. Here is an amazing thing: God sent a great awakening under the preaching of a man who did not even love the souls of the people he preached to!

This is the key lesson of the book: God’s love and pity for lost souls. Jonah felt sorry for himself, and even felt sorry for the plant that sheltered him and then died, but he had no heartfelt love or pity for the multitudes in the city of Nineveh. It is possible to serve the Lord and yet not love the people. How unlike Jesus Christ he is in this chapter, for Jesus looked upon a city of lost souls and wept. God could control the wind and waves in chapter 1, the fish in chapter 2, and the gourd, worm, and wind in chapter 4, but He could not control Jonah without the prophet’s surrender. Everything in nature obeys the Word of God except human beings, and human beings have the greatest reason to obey. It would seem that Jonah did get right with God, confess his sins, and continue his ministry. And God did spare the city of Nineveh for another century and a half.

Of course, Jonah is a type of Jesus Christ (Matt. 12:39–41) in His death, burial, and resurrection. Christ was greater than Jonah in His person (He is the Son of God), His outreach (the whole world, not one city), His sacrifice (He did die to save others), and His love for those who did not deserve it. Some also see in Jonah a picture of the Jewish nation: disobedient; cast out of the land; “swallowed up” by the sea of Gentiles; preserved in spite of opposition; brought back again and given another chance.[3]


[1] Calvin, J., & Owen, J. (2010). Commentaries on the Twelve Minor Prophets (Vol. 3, pp. 129–132). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[2] Stuart, D. (1987). Hosea–Jonah (Vol. 31, pp. 503–504). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.

[3] Wiersbe, W. W. (1993). Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines on the Old Testament (Jon 4). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

Judicial Watch Files House Ethics Complaint against Rep. Ilhan Omar over Potential Immigration, Marriage, Tax, and Student Loan Fraud | Press Releases – Judicial Watch

(Washington, DC)Judicial Watch announced today that it hand-delivered ethics complaint to Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Office of Congressional Ethics David Skaggs calling for a full investigation into potential crimes tied to allegations that Rep. Ilhan Omar may have married her biological brother.

“The evidence is overwhelming Rep. Omar may have violated the law and House rules.  The House of Representatives must urgently investigate and resolve the serious allegations of wrongdoing by Rep. Omar,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “We encourage Americans to share their views on Rep. Omar’s apparent misconduct with their congressmen.”

The Judicial Watch complaint is reprinted below:

Ethics Complaint Against Rep. Ilhan Omar Concerning Possible Violations of Federal and State Law 

Dear Chairman Skaggs,

Judicial Watch is a non-profit, non-partisan educational foundation, promoting transparency, accountability and integrity in government and fidelity to the rule of law. We regularly monitor congressional ethics issues as part of our anti-corruption mission.

This letter serves as an official complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE).

Substantial, compelling and, to date, unrefuted evidence has been uncovered that Rep. Ilhan Omar may have committed the following crimes in violation of both federal law and Minnesota state law: perjury, immigration fraud, marriage fraud, state and federal tax fraud, and federal student loan fraud.

Such violations would also breach the Code of Ethics for Government Service, to which all federal officeholders are subject, “Any person in Government service should uphold the Constitution, laws, and legal regulations of the United States and all governments therein and never be a party to their evasion.”) Rep. Omar actions in this suspected immigration fraud, marriage fraud, perjurious statements on her Minnesota divorce filings, and falsifications on her tax returns, merit your immediate investigation.

In the words of investigative reporter David Steinberg: “The facts describe perhaps the most extensive spree of illegal misconduct committed by a House member in American history.”

The evidence developed against Rep. Omar was the result of a three-year-long investigation in both the United States and the United Kingdom by Mr. Steinberg and his investigative reporter colleagues Preya Samsundar and Scott Johnson. It is supported by information gathered from public records, social media postings, genealogy databases, computer forensic analysis, unaltered digital photographs, discussions between the investigative reporters and the subjects of the investigation themselves, and information supplied by confidential sources within the Somali-American community.

Documented-based reporting by Steinberg, et al. has developed the following information: Rep. Ilhan Abdullahi Omar, a citizen of the United States, married her biological brother, Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, a citizen of the United Kingdom, in 2009, presumably as part of an immigration fraud scheme. The couple legally divorced in 2017. In the course of that divorce, Ms. Omar submitted an “Application for an Order for Service by Alternate Means” to the State of Minnesota on August 2, 2017 and claimed, among other things, that she had had no contact with Ahmed Nur Said Elmi after June 2011. She also claimed that she did not know where to find him. The evidence developed by Mr. Steinberg and his colleagues demonstrates with a high degree of certainty that Ms. Omar not only had contact with Mr. Elmi, but actually met up with him in London in 2015, which is supported by photographic evidence. Ms. Omar signed the “Application for an Order for Service by Alternate Means” under penalty of perjury. The very document that Ilham Omar signed on August 2, 2017 bears the following notation directly above her signature: “I declare under penalty of perjury that everything I have stated in this document is true and correct. Minn. Stat. § 358.116.”

Of particular importance are archived photographs taken during a widely reported trip by Ilhan Omar to London in 2015, posted to her own Instagram account under her nickname “hameey”, in which she poses with her husband/presumed brother, Ahmed Elmi. These photographs from 2015 are documentary evidence that in fact she met up with Mr. Elmi after June 2011 and before the date she signed the divorce document in August 2017, thereby calling into question the veracity of her claim that she had not seen Mr. Elmi since June 2011.

Rep. Omar’s potential crimes far exceed perjurious statements made in a Minnesota court filing.

Rep. Omar’s conduct may include immigration fraud. It appears that Rep. Omar married her brother in order to assist his emigration to the United States from the United Kingdom. The same immigration fraud scheme may have aided Mr. Elmi in obtaining federally-backed student loans for his attendance at North Dakota State University. Mr. Elmi and Rep. Omar simultaneously attended North Dakota State University and may have derived illicit benefits predicated on the immigration fraud scheme.

The State of Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board has already determined that Rep. Omar violated state campaign finance laws for improper use of campaign funds. She was forced to reimburse her campaign thousands of dollars. More significantly, the Board discovered that the federal tax returns submitted by Rep. Omar for 2014 and 2015 were filed as “joint” tax returns with a man who was not her husband, named Ahmed Hirsi, while she was actually married to Ahmed Elmi.

Under federal law, specifically, 26 U.S. Code & 7206.1, “Any person who willfully makes and subscribes any return, statement, or other document, which contains or is verified by a written declaration that it is made under the penalties of perjury, and which he does not believe to be true and correct as to every material matter … shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $100,000 ($500,000 in the case of a corporation), or imprisoned not more than 3 years, or both, together with the costs of prosecution.”

Rep. Omar’s federal tax returns must be examined to determine whether any additional falsifications were made.

Mr. Steinberg, et al. have engaged in meticulous research and reporting over a period of years. They have demonstrated with a high degree of probability that Rep. Ilhan Omar has violated House Ethics Rules, federal and state laws.

We call upon the Office of Congressional Ethics to launch an investigation into Rep. Omar’s conduct immediately.

Sincerely,

Tom Fitton, President, Judicial Watch

Source: Judicial Watch Files House Ethics Complaint against Rep. Ilhan Omar over Potential Immigration, Marriage, Tax, and Student Loan Fraud

Information Enigma: 21-minute video explains intelligent design

WINTERY KNIGHT

Can random mutation and natural selection create new functional information? Can random mutation and natural selection create new functional information?

The video is here:

I have read and listened and watched a lot of material on intelligent design, but I have never seen so much value packed into such a short lecture. I really hope you’ll watch this and that it’s helpful to you.

Summary:

  • the big question when discussing the origin of life: where did the information in living systems come from?
  • Until 530 million years ago, the oceans were largely devoid of life
  • In a 10 million year period, many new forms of animal life emerged
  • New biological forms of life require new information
  • the discovery of DNA shows that living systems work because cells have information that allows them to build the components of molecular machines: cell types, proteins, etc.
  • can random mutation and natural selection create new functional information?
  • normally, random mutations tend to degrade the functionality of…

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These are the ‘Most Post-Christian Cities in America’ — Faithwire

Eight cities in the Northeast and New England just made the top of the Barna Groups yearly most “post-Christian” cities list, despite the rich history of religious ties the area has.

The list is curated by Barna in order to show the distribution of Christians in the United States, and what kind of specific beliefs and practices they follow.

Among the cities on the list were: Springfield-Holyoke, Portland-Auburn, Maine; Providence, Rhode Island; New Bedford, Massachusetts; Burlington, Vermont; Boston, Massachusetts; Manchester, New Hampshire.

Springfield-Holyoke in Western Massachusetts was number one on the list due to the fact that about 60 percent of its residents said they “never made a commitment to Jesus,” and another 65 percent “had not attended a Christian church in the last six months.”

A staggering 87% in the town said they had not read the Bible over the course of the past week.

Michael Kriesel, the lead pastor at Vibrant Church in South Burlington, said that the list did not come as a surprise to him, especially seeing his town move from fifth to fourth place this year.

“It doesn’t surprise us,” Kriesel said. “It’s hard to get people to go to church in New England.”

“What we found was that we were living all of this [resistance to religion], and then the research came out, and put words to it,” said Diana Kriesel, Kriesels wife and assistant pastor at Vibrant Church/

Instead of shying away from the locals because of the statistics, they’ve used the research from Barna as a tool in ministering to the community around them.

“It becomes a mission field…the prayer of the Northeast: Lord, wake up New England,”’ Kriesel said.

The findings should come as little surprise, given Barna’s recent study showing the most Biblically literate cities/towns in America. According to that survey, Chattanooga was tops for putting Bible upfront in their lives, while New England barely registered a blip on the radar, with New Haven narrowly cracking the top 100.

via These are the ‘Most Post-Christian Cities in America’ — Faithwire