Daily Archives: July 30, 2019

July 30 Reacting to Temptation

Scripture Reading: James 1:1–8

Key Verse: James 1:2

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials.

Temptation is an enticement to go beyond the bounds of our God-given desires. While we ourselves have to take responsibility for caving in to such an attraction, it should nonetheless be helpful to recognize the source of all temptation: Satan, the enemy of our souls.

The enemy is crafty and intelligent. He also is savage and relentless. His goal is to alienate you from God, to destroy your fellowship with your Creator and Savior. His purpose is to stunt your growth as a believer and minimize your impact for God’s kingdom. He knows your weaknesses; he also knows how to surprise, stage, and camouflage.

This is why it is imperative for every believer to maintain his or her defense by means of a vibrant, abiding fellowship with Jesus Christ. He is our refuge and rear guard, and His Word is our very effective weapon.

It is a mistake to accuse others for your own failures. For instance, some people attribute their current faults to the mistakes of their parents. While parental influence can be great, every person is responsible for his or her own choices and actions. Even more so, it is an error to try and blame God for the temptations that lure you. God is holy; Satan is evil.

React to temptation with the knowledge that its source is an evil enemy who attempts daily to steal your joy and destroy your effectiveness as a child of God. Then turn to the Lord and ask Him to help you overcome. He is the One who is able and eager to free you and give you victory.

Lord, help me to overcome the temptations of the enemy. Give me the victory and set me free![1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 221). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

July 30 Distraction

Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 2:14–16

Key Verse: Philippians 3:8

Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ.

After winning a gold medal in the 1988 Olympics, the muscular wrestler was asked if he had any secrets of preparation. “My only secret is that I didn’t let anything hinder my goal of winning,” he related. “I refused to be distracted by any other competition.”

That same zealous pursuit of our relationship with Christ is the highest goal for the believer. Paul termed it “undistracted devotion to the Lord” (1 Cor. 7:35 nasb).

That is true for every Christian—married or unmarried, rich or poor, small or great. God will not tolerate competition (Matt. 6:24).

The relevant question then is, Is there anything or anyone in your life who is in competition with Christ’s claim on your life? Does money, marriage, your job, recreation, or your hobby vie for your allegiance to Christ? Do you seek Him first by daily acknowledging His lordship and obeying His will?

When other objects or people distract us from this primary focus to serve and worship the Lord, our spiritual growth is short-circuited. Having undistracted devotion to Christ means putting Christ first in all of our activities, submitting them to His will and guidance. When we do, we always win (2 Cor. 2:14).

Precious Lord, I am easily distracted from the paths of my spiritual journey. Free me from all that competes with Your claims in my life. I want to put You first in all things.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 221). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

How to Handle Rejection — The Master’s Seminary

Rejection is difficult no matter the circumstances in which it comes. But as believers in Jesus, we stand in a long line of those who have all, in one way or another, faced rejection for their commitment to follow Christ. Some have lost their families, others their reputations, and even others their lives.

Rejection is, in many ways, our heritage. As our Lord Himself said, if the world hated Him, it is not surprising that the world hates us, His slaves (John 15:18–21). If we are faithfully living out the Christian life and proclaiming the gospel with our words, we are sure to encounter rejection. In spite of this and other assurances from Scripture, though, many of us still shy away from evangelism for fear of being rejected.

So, what do we do when unbelievers reject the gospel we proclaim to them? Do we walk away? But their eternal souls are at stake. Do we push the conversation harder? But at what point are we casting pearls before swine? We need to have a plan for what to do when the gospel we preach is rejected.

When to Walk Away

We are responsible to present the gospel clearly and understandably. If you have been faithful to do this, you have not failed in your evangelism, regardless of the response of the unbeliever. God remains sovereign. He may see fit to use your proclamation and example in drawing someone to repentance in the future. However, it may be that, in this instance, your preaching of the gospel is ordained only to harden an unbeliever and to increase his accountability before God (Isaiah 55:10–11). In either case, we must remain faithful to our role as heralds, while trusting God to save as He sees fit.

But to those who are fixed in their rejection, how long should we continue to preach the gospel to them?

Here is a helpful rule of thumb: Leave when the message is openly mocked and resolutely rejected.

Both Matthew 10:14 and Luke 10:1–16 recount the instructions of Christ in sending out the seventy to proclaim the gospel. He told His disciples that in any place they went, they were to leave when the gospel message was rejected. When an unsaved person is fixed in his rejection of the gospel, when it is clear that they have no desire to repent, we must be good stewards of our time and focus our efforts elsewhere.


Let the rejection drive you to your knees, not to bitterness or self-pity.


We are to urge men to repentance (2 Corinthians 5:20). God is patient and long-suffering with us, not wishing that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9). We should persevere as long as there is even a glimmer of hope. But when they mock the message of God and reject you as its messenger, leave them to the Lord to deal with in the way He sees fit.

But note this: this is not a license to be judgmental or self-righteous. On the contrary, this is a call to humility, to recognize that we are not sovereign to save, no matter how clever or crafty our presentation. This is a call to persistently and sorrowfully pray for them (Luke 19:41–42) and to thank the Lord that in His grace He has opened our blind eyes.

But if we are rejected, what should we do next?

What to Do Next

Do not argue.

Do not jeopardize your testimony (and potentially build barriers for other believers who may engage this person in the future) by needless arguing simply to prove a point. Let the gospel, not your personality, be the only offense to the unbeliever.

Remember, the Word of God has not failed (Isaiah 55:10–11). He may even use your meek and gracious response to prick the person’s conscience. It only falls to us to be faithful to the message. The results are the work of God.

Do not take their rejection personally.

If you are being faithful to confront with the gospel, we must remember that they are ultimately not rejecting us, they are rejecting Christ (1 Thessalonians 2:13). Be patient and kind, and do not abandon the friendship. Be faithful to get the message right, and then leave the rest to God. Having this understanding will keep you from being discouraged, because it isn’t up to you to save someone. That is the role of God alone.

Continue to pray for their repentance.

Your responsibility is now to ask God for the salvation of this person. Ask the Lord to make His hand heavy upon the person’s conscience and to draw him to Himself. Let the rejection drive you to your knees, not to bitterness or self-pity.

Continue to live out Christ-likeness and be available for future reference.

Make them aware of how to contact you if they ever have questions about spiritual issues. Assure them you will continue to pray for them, and then be faithful to do it.

End with a warning.

Every encounter with the gospel is dangerous for the unbeliever, as increased exposure to the message only increases one’s accountability (Luke 12:47–48). It is a fearful thing to hear the gospel proclaimed clearly and then to go on rejecting it (Matthew 11:21–24). Therefore, we should end such encounters with a gracious yet nevertheless firm warning.

Here are a few options of what to say in a warning:

  • “You have made strong statements against what I showed you from Scripture, and I want you to know that what I showed you is the only way you may be forgiven of your sin…”
  • “By not repenting you are making the decision to reject the only means of salvation…”
  • “From what you have said, it is clear that you are unconcerned for your own soul. But what could be more valuable than your eternal soul? I will continue to pray for your salvation.”
  • “The Bible tells us that punishment will be greater for those who have heard the gospel but reject it. Please continue to think about these things. I’ll be praying that you reconsider.”

Conclusion

Responding well to rejection requires discernment, grace, and practice. But it should motivate us to remember that we too once rejected the gospel, and that our eyes opened only by the grace of God. Our prayer is that God would open the eyes of the lost around us as well.

Michael Riccardi is a faculty associate in the theology department at The Master’s Seminary. He is also the pastor of local outreach ministries and pastors the GraceLife fellowship group at Grace Community Church.

via How to Handle Rejection — The Master’s Seminary

Drag Queen Agenda, Part of the LGBTQ+ Roll-Out — David Fiorazo

David Fiorazo

The goal has always been the children. The current drag queen phenomena is no different. Convert kids to liberalism and if they have any belief in God or any understanding of biblical morality, retrain them through education. And if their parents are conservative or have taught them anything other than what aligns with LGBTQ ideology, draw them away from their parents.

A few weeks ago at the American Library Association’s annual conference, librarians learned how to sidestep community objections to events like Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH). One workshop was titled, “Creating Queer-Inclusive Elementary School Library Programming.”

This and much more with the help of our tax dollars.

From Hollywood and politics and the government school system to the American Library Association, the systematic roll-out of godless moral confusion via drag queens and transgender ideology was planned long ago.

If you’re just now hearing some of these stories about the exploitation of children, gender confusion and delusion, drag queens, and so-called “gender reassignment surgery,” we’re in more trouble than I thought.

The plan is to force Drag Queen Story Hour into communities across the country. Another workshop at the American Library conference was called, “A Child’s Room to Choose: Encouraging Gender Identity and Expression in School and Public Libraries.” You might be wondering what this has to do with the lost art of reading good books. Nothing.

The left has simply found yet another way to reach young, impressionable children.

The conference featured bisexual bathroom facilities of course, and other workshops focused on diversity, so-called “equality,” inclusion, and race, including instruction on the United States, “a country built on white supremacy.” One book on the reading list is called “Disrupting Whiteness.”

Still other workshops taught on how to celebrate queer sex and how to manage pushback from concerned parents. Editor of the Federalist, Joy Pullman, encourages us to note how librarians are told to resist feedback from taxpayers, placing the government and this agenda above American citizens and the will of the people.

In June of 2017, the American Library Association celebrated Gay Pride month by calling it “GLBT Book Month” and a dispatch was sent out from a small town librarian with tips on how to be a “secret librarian advocate operative.” Instructing librarians to sneak LGBTQ books and events into current programs and, “Firmly defend” them in the libraries, advice was offered when someone challenged or opposed the agenda.

“…be ready to listen to the complaint, and respond in a calm matter stating that your library purchases items for ALL the members of your community; Often in these situations people just want to be heard, and are satisfied to move on when they’re sure that they have been [heard].”

One queer librarian has been working on this agenda since 2010, promoting drag queen and LGBT parties, fundraisers, and advocacy for “queer libraries,” queer librarians and those who love them.

Thankfully, there are some God-fearing Christian parents and concerned citizens opposing this radical agenda and working to raise awareness about it. One who has been responsible for getting several drag queen events cancelled and who has taken her share of hits is author of Not On My Watch, Elizabeth Johnston, “The Activist Mommy.”

Johnston has had death threats and has had to hire armed security for her and her family due to the ‘tolerant’ left and activists who hate. She has reported on stories where some libraries have tried to distance themselves from the Drag Queen Story Hour madness.

After Johnston’s successful email and social media campaigns to get a few DQSH’s cancelled, drag queen Selena T. West called on supporters to notify Child Services about Johnston apparently saying she is an unfit mother. West also falsely claimed that the Activist Mommy and her followers called in death threats to the library. This lie provoked actual death threats against Johnston’s family.

We discussed big tech censorship last week, and in this case, it’s not surprising there is also an effort to remove The Activist Mommy from Facebook. Change.org has a petition to take down Johnston’s account for allegedly inviting “violence against the LGBTQ+ community and encouraging her followers to spread hate.”

Truth is hate to those who hate the truth. And remember, Jesus is the Way and the Truth.

It’s not difficult to understand this worldview: remove God, His Law, and any fixed, moral authority – and guess what? Anything goes. And I mean, anything. The Bible warns us about “men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness” and the wrath of God that comes as a result.

We have denied not only the supremacy of God but His very existence. This naturally leads to the worship of self. Idolatry in this context is worshiping lifestyles and human beings, creating a god in our own likeness according to worldly, pagan preferences.

We’ve passed this down to the next generation. Society has programmed us to cater to ourselves which leads to the worship of the creature rather than the Creator. Writing to Christians of the early church in Rome, the Apostle Paul stated that people “exchanged the truth of God for a lie (Romans 1:25).”

We’re witnessing a cultural transformation from truth to fiction and from the sane to the insane. God has given them over to a depraved mind, and history teaches us that there will be consequences. God gave us a conscience. Romans 1:19 and 21 states:

“…because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them… For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.”

It’s not only the federally-funded American libraries we need to be concerned about. The Left has controlled the nation’s schools more than five decades, and we need to understand that rather than providing a true education, progressive teachers’ unions are grooming young extremists every single day. But that’s for another article.

It all points to the decline of morality in American culture and the increase of wickedness which Jesus predicted as one of the signs we’re approaching the end times. As a result of lawlessness and blatant celebration of evil, He said that “the love of most will grow cold…(Matt. 24:12).”

When our hearts harden, we avoid engaging in the many battles within the culture war which essentially is a war on truth.

We’re seeing that now. There are some God-fearing people who have chosen to ignore the rebellion against our Creator and try living peaceful, problem-free lives. But that’s just a fantasy. Jesus said in this world we will have trouble and true peace can be found only in Him.

It’s understandable. But we are still called to expose evil, point people to Jesus, and to shine the light of Christ in this present darkness. Peter reminds believers to not be surprised by the intensifying trials of life.

Believers are also instructed: “do not conform to this world,” and,  “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:2, 21)

Watch and pray, friends. Things are about to get more interesting.

*Video courtesy of FreedomProject Media

via Drag Queen Agenda, Part of the LGBTQ+ Roll-Out — David Fiorazo