Daily Archives: September 24, 2019

September 24 A Grace-Filled Relationship

Scripture Reading: John 1:14–17

Key Verse: Luke 19:5

And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.”

We need only to look at Jesus to know our God is a God of grace. Jesus’ actions personify grace. We see Him dealing with all kinds of people, not to condemn them, but to lift them up, encourage them, and turn them toward God.

He told the adulterous woman He didn’t condemn her; she was just to go and sin no more (John 8:11). Although He knew about Zaccheus’s ill-gotten gains as a hated tax collector, Jesus was nevertheless willing to visit the man’s house (Luke 19:5). Jesus demonstrated grace even to the hypocritical, legalistic Pharisees: He pointed out their sins so they would repent.

Grace also means forgiveness for the times we sin. Does that mean we can live in any manner we choose and get away with it? No. While God forgives His children, He also disciplines them. Allowing us to get by with something God knows will ultimately destroy our lives wouldn’t be an act of grace. It would be an act of careless indifference, and that’s simply not who He is. He’s a God of grace.

The theme of the Christian life is grace—God’s abundant goodness, love, and mercy toward His children. The truth is, before we ever finish enjoying the goodness and kindness that He’s given us, He piles on more goodness and kindness, and then more again. John calls it “grace upon grace” (John 1:16 nasb).

Having been saved by grace and now walking in a grace-filled relationship with God, we are to respond in grace toward others. Ask the Holy Spirit to widen your vision of God’s grace, and seek ways to live it out.

Widen my vision, Holy Spirit. Assure me of Your grace at work in me and show me ways to live it out each day.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 279). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

September 24 You Are a Minister

Scripture Reading: Zechariah 4:5–7

Key Verse: Colossians 1:27

To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

He had been a Christian for ten years and often prayed for God to allow him to work for a Christian organization. However, as the years went by, God provided no change in his line of work. Eventually he began to wonder, How can God use me in a place like this?

Too often we look at those who work for churches and ministries and think what they are doing is the most important work for the kingdom of God. It is important, but so is what you are doing right where you are. Only you can accomplish what God has given you to do. Working in a Christian organization is no more sacred than working in a factory or department store as long as your motive is to honor God.

You may work with someone who is trapped in sin. You don’t know it, but he feels helpless and longs for a way out. Because you know the Way, you also know the person who can break through his darkness with the light of eternal hope.

You are a minister of the gospel right where God has planted you. Praise Him for giving you this opportunity, and make every effort to take advantage of it. You are His only hope to a lost and dying world (Col. 1:27).

Almighty God, thank You for the opportunity to be a minister. Show me how to take advantage of it. Use me today—right where I am![1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 279). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

God Is Glorified in His Gospel of Grace — Paul Tautges

The good news of salvation through Jesus Christ is first for the glory of God, and then for the good of man. The gospel shines light upon the mercy, love, and grace of God in ways that creation could never do. This is partly what the apostle Paul means when he writes in Ephesians 2:4-8

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith.

Earlier in that same letter, the apostle makes it clear that the work of God in salvation displays the glory of His grace. Three times, he uses the phrase “to the praise of his glorious grace.”

The pure gospel glorifies God’s grace because it makes much of Jesus, and little of us. It reminds us that we are hopeless, helpless sinners who could never have saved ourselves. So God, rich in His mercy toward His enemies; deep in His love for sinners; and abounding in His grace toward those who are undeserving, has done it all.

In Jesus Christ, God did all that was necessary to atone for the sins of man. The just One died for the unjust, and the just became the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. It is this glorious gospel of grace that Paul defends in his letter to the Galatians.

In Galatians 1:11-24, we see the apostle lift up the works of God which are accomplished because of, and through the power of God that is put on display by the gospel. There are four works of God that the Holy Spirit wants to impress upon your heart, mind, and soul.

  1. God communicated His gospel through Jesus Christ (vv. 11-12).
  2. God confronts religious sinners by means of His gospel (vv. 13-14).
  3. God calls and consecrates His servants through His gospel (vv. 15-20).
  4. God converts His enemies by the power of His gospel (vv. 21-24).

Properly understood, the gospel of God’s grace toward us in Jesus Christ reserves all glory for God. Let us beware of any distortions of the gospel which may subtly encourage us to add something to the work of Jesus Christ, or puff us up. All glory belongs to God.

You can watch or listen to the sermon here.

via God Is Glorified in His Gospel of Grace — Paul Tautges

September 24 Eternal Friendship

Scripture reading: Luke 10:1–9

Key verse: Proverbs 18:24

A man who has friends must himself be friendly,

But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Jesus did not send His disciples out alone. He sent them two by two. This is a strong indication that God intends for us to need the help and companionship of others. Ecclesiastes 4:9–10 tells us,

Two are better than one

Because they have a good return for their labor.

For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.

Friendship softens us and makes us easier to live with. God uses the presence of friends to remind us of Himself. Often the avenue of blessing begins with a friend. But beyond our earth-bound friendships is the love of Christ, who is our dearest Friend. Through His Spirit, we receive the gift of His friendship.

The Holy Spirit instructs us in the ways of God, provides discernment, shouts a warning when we get off course, and provides a deep, residing sense of peace to all who have learned to rest in Christ. But the Spirit’s greatest goal is to lead us into an intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Nothing comes close to the friendship you can have with God through the Holy Spirit. In the Greek language, He is our Comforter—the One who has been instructed to come alongside us whenever we are hurting, lonely, or fearful.

Jesus told His disciples, “I will never leave you.” He meant it. The Holy Spirit is Christ living in you, your eternal source of friendship.

Lord, thank You for Your eternal friendship. I will never be alone. You are always with me.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 279). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Fake News Media Salivating As 145 House Democrats Order 4PM Meeting Today On Beginning Impeachment Hearings On President Trump, But What About Burisma Holdings? — Now The End Begins

The fresh calls for impeachment proceedings come as House Democrats are heading into a closed-door meeting Tuesday with Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

It’s got to be hard to be a Democrat in the Trump era, I’ll give you that. First, the Democrats were assured of a more than a ‘99% chance’ that Crooked Hillary would win in 2016, and that failed. Then to stop him, they created a story out of thin air that President Trump had won because of ‘Russian collusion’, and launched a 2.5 year, multimillion dollar witchhunt investigation to prove it, and that failed. Then they put Robert Mueller on the stand for a ‘slam-dunk’ event to prove their case for impeachment, and that too also failed spectacularly. Now they are sure they have President Trump right where they want him, and at 4 PM EST today, they are meeting like rats on the Titanic to discuss bringing impeachment proceedings.

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Albert Einstein

Now, what is the real issue about President Trump and Ukraine, what are the Democrats really trying to do damage control on? Burisma Holdings, that’s what. Burisma Holdings is a natural gas producer operating in Ukraine, on whose board say Hunter Biden, son of former vice president and currently running for the Democratic nomination for president. According to the Times, Hunter Biden was paid “as much as $50,000 per month in some months” as a board member of Burisma Holdings, a natural gas firm owned by a member of the Ukrainian oligarchy. So what does Hunter Biden know about ‘the exploration, production, processing, transportation, and final sale of hydrocarbons’? Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Hunter was just there to get paid, and his dad Creepy Joe used the office of vice president to keep the money rolling in.

Starting to see the ‘real picture’ yet? 

The Democrats created the whole Russian collusion hoax to cover up for the fact that it was Crooked Hillary and then-president Obama who actually colluded with the Russians. The desperately needed to switch the spotlight away from their own party’s involvement, and to that point, they were successful. Now they seek to do the same thing, put President Trump on the hotseat to deflect from the real story about Joe Biden using his influence so his son could become a millionaire sitting on the board of Burisma Holdings. Let’s see if it works this time, but something tells me it will not.

A Ukraine gas company tied to Joe Biden’s son is at the center of the Trump-whistleblower scandal

A Ukrainian gas company called Burisma Holdings is at the center of a complicated scandal involving a whistleblower complaint that’s been linked to President Donald Trump, Ukraine, former Vice President Joe Biden, and his son Hunter Biden. Here’s what we know about the company and how it’s involved in the back-and-forth between Trump and the Bidens.

What we know about Hunter Biden’s role at Burisma:

  • In April 2014, Biden’s son Hunter joined the board of Burisma Holdings. Hunter served on the board until early 2019.
  • At the time, a news release from the company said Hunter would be “in charge of the Holdings’ legal unit and will provide support for the Company among international organizations.”
  • Hunter told the New York Times that the news release was not accurate and he was never in charge of the company’s legal affairs.
  • He joined the company about a month after Russia annexed Crimea, a cataclysmic moment that continues to put the US at odds with Russia and is linked to ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine.
  • During his time with Burisma, Hunter reportedly received compensation up to $50,000 a month.
  • From the start, Hunter’s role at Burisma was criticized by ethics watchdogs as a conflict of interest for his father, who was still vice president at the time and heavily focused on pressuring Ukraine to do a better job rooting out corruption. But some ethics watchdogs at the time also said that unless there was clear evidence Hunter got the job to influence US foreign policy then there was no cause for concern.
  • His hiring by Burisma was seen as an attempt by the company to bolster its image and the perception it had strong ties to the US as the world vilified Russia for its annexation of Crimea, the Times reported.
  • Yoshiko M. Herrera, a professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and an an expert on Russia and Eurasia, told The Washington Post: “I think there is a conflict of interest even if it doesn’t break any laws. It’s a big deal. It’s the vice president, who is the point person of the Obama administration’s policy on Ukraine, and his son is suddenly hired to be a director on the board of Ukraine’s largest private gas producer.” READ MORE

Biden Made Ukraine Fire Top Prosecutor Investigating Son’s Firm

Listen to Joe Biden bragging about withholding funds to Ukraine if a top prosecutor wasn’t fired, hmm, why does that sound familiar? 🤔 That prosecutor also, just coincidentally, was investigating Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, who was making $50,000 per month working for Burisma Holdings. Hmm, again. Now can you see why the Democrats want so badly to impeach President Trump? I sure do. 

Trump ordered aid frozen; more Democrats want impeachment

FROM THE AP: President Donald Trump ordered his staff to freeze nearly $400 million in aid to Ukraine a few days before a phone call in which he pressured the Eastern European nation’s leader to investigate the family of political rival Joe Biden, a revelation that comes as more Democrats move toward impeachment proceedings.

Trump, in remarks to reporters at the United Nations on Tuesday, confirmed that he held up the aid but said he did so to fight corruption and urge European nations to share in helping out Ukraine.

“As far as withholding funds, those funds were paid,” Trump said. “They were fully paid. But my complaint has always been, and I’d withhold again and I’ll continue to withhold until such time as Europe and other nations contribute to Ukraine.” He named Germany and France as among the countries that should “put up money.”

He also used the moment to again suggest that the Biden family inappropriately benefited from their ties to Ukraine.

Trump’s order was first reported by The Washington Post and was confirmed to The Associated Press by two people familiar with but not authorized to discuss private conversations. They spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Late Monday, an influential group of freshmen Democrats who served in the military and national security before winning office said Trump’s actions cut to the core of the country’s defenses. Their views, as centrist lawmakers from previously Republican-held districts where Trump has been popular, hold sway with party leadership.

The fresh calls for impeachment proceedings come as House Democrats are heading into a closed-door meeting Tuesday with Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Nancy Pelosi and her leadership team on the various oversight committees are considering bringing forward a resolution that will put the House on the record on this matter, according to a Democratic leadership aide unauthorized to discuss the private talks. The aide was granted anonymity.

Still, Democrats remained divided on moving forward with an effort to impeach Trump. Pelosi has resisted calls for impeachment and is sticking with her position that Congress must not start formal proceedings unless the American public demands it.

However, Pelosi said Sunday that unless the administration provides more information to Congress by the scheduled Thursday hearing at the intelligence committee, its officials “will be entering a grave new chapter of lawlessness which will take us into a whole new stage of investigation.” READ MORE

Calls For Impeachment Grow From Democrats

Several moderate House Democrats are joining the call to impeach President Trump. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will meet with key committee chairs Tuesday afternoon, before her entire Democratic caucus discusses the whistleblower complaint about Mr. Trump’s phone call with Ukraine’s president. Nancy Cordes reports.

via Fake News Media Salivating As 145 House Democrats Order 4PM Meeting Today On Beginning Impeachment Hearings On President Trump, But What About Burisma Holdings? — Now The End Begins

President Donald Trump Addresses 2019 United Nations General Assembly… — The Last Refuge

In his remarks to the United Nations General Assembly, President Trump lays out his vision for a more prosperous and free future for all nations. [WH Background Link]:

[Video Below – Transcript will Follow]

via President Donald Trump Addresses 2019 United Nations General Assembly… — The Last Refuge

Democrats Rush To Impeach Trump Without Viewing Alleged ‘Whistleblower’ Complaint Or Transcripts — The Federalist

House Democrats are pushing forward with impeachment proceedings this week after new allegations, based on hearsay, accused President Donald Trump of conspiring with a foreign power to investigate political opponents.

On Tuesday, during a speech on the House floor, Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., officially endorsed impeachment along with other lawmakers who came out in favor of pursuing the proceedings. Reports suggest House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will join the rest of her caucus Tuesday evening in pushing for impeachment.

“I truly believe the time to begin impeachment proceedings against this president has come,” Lewis wrote on Twitter.

The future of our democracy is at stake. I truly believe the time to begin impeachment proceedings against this president has come. To do otherwise would betray the foundations of our democracy.

— John Lewis (@repjohnlewis) September 24, 2019

Pelosi — who has been hesitant to get behind Democrats calling for impeachment, as many members of her caucus hail from moderate districts whose members oppose the measure — is expected to join the calls for impeachment after discussing the proceedings with House Democrats in light of the new allegations against the president.

Very solid #Dem House leadership source just confirmed to me that @SpeakerPelosi will announce a formal impeachment inquiry this afternoon and imply that she herself favors impeachment of @realDonaldTrump.

— Howard Fineman (@howardfineman) September 24, 2019

The push for impeachment comes as the White House faces heightened scrutiny over a July phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. An apparent “whistleblower,” who, according to reports, has no firsthand knowledge of the conversation, has submitted a formal complaint accusing the president of requesting that the foreign leader investigate 2020 Democratic front-runner and former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden over their business dealings with a Ukrainian energy company.

The intelligence inspector general deemed the complaint credible and urgent, but officials at the Department of National Intelligence have come to a different conclusion and have not released the report to Congress.

Democrats on the campaign trail have also used the new allegations as ammunition to fuel their persistent calls for impeachment.

Trump is pressuring another foreign government to dig up dirt on a political opponent.

We need a new commander in chief—and we need to absolutely begin impeachment proceedings. He’s gotta go.

— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) September 23, 2019

I said it on the floor of the US Senate in May & I’ll say it again: Congress must fulfill its Constitutional duty & begin impeachment proceedings against the President. Nobody is above the law – not even the President of the United States. pic.twitter.com/S5uNJyiQNK

— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) September 24, 2019

We appear to have a president who may have used funds designed to protect the security of the United States as a means to gain political dirt on an opponent.

We need to begin the impeachment process immediately.

— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) September 24, 2019

Impeachment is a risk for Democrats, however, as the public remains opposed to the measure. A recent Politico/Morning Consult poll shows only 37 percent of voters support the start of impeachment proceedings against Trump.

via Democrats Rush To Impeach Trump Without Viewing Alleged ‘Whistleblower’ Complaint Or Transcripts — The Federalist

Ukraine Allegations Fuel Democrat Cries for Impeachment, Trump Blasts ‘Witch Hunt – Here We Go Again’ | CBN News feeds

Democrats are building momentum towards impeaching President Trump over allegations that he withheld aid to pressure Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son. Calls for impeachment are growing to a fever pitch, even before any evidence has been presented.

With news that Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi may be planning an impeachment resolution with the Democrat caucus, Trump announced Tuesday afternoon that he’ll be releasing the full transcript of his phone call with Ukraine’s president in an effort to shed more light and less heat on the case.

“I am currently at the United Nations representing our Country, but have authorized the release tomorrow of the complete, fully declassified and unredacted transcript of my phone conversation with President Zelensky of Ukraine,” Trump tweeted. “You will see it was a very friendly and totally appropriate call. No pressure and, unlike Joe Biden and his son, NO quid pro quo! This is nothing more than a continuation of the Greatest and most Destructive Witch Hunt of all time!”

Pelosi had been demanding the administration release the whistleblower report and the private phone conversation between President Trump and the president of Ukraine. Trump’s response has been clear, arguing he did nothing wrong.

“It’s just a Democrat witch-hunt. Here we go again. They failed with Russia, they failed with everything, and now they’re bringing this up,” Trump told reporters Monday.

In a new Washington Post report, it’s alleged that Trump ordered aides to freeze millions of dollars in aid to Ukraine days before he spoke with the country’s president.

The report cites an administration official who says the freeze was out of concerns of corruption in Ukraine, and Senate Republicans who said Trump was trying to determine if the new president was pro-West or pro-Russia.

Democrats believe the president offered to release the aid, only if Ukraine launched a corruption investigation into Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter’s involvement in a Ukrainian energy company.

“I put no pressure on them. I think it probably, possibly could have been OK if I did, but I didn’t put any pressure on them whatsoever,” Trump said in response to the allegations.

“There’s a difference between Donald Trump telling the Ukrainian president, ‘Hey you might want to look at Joe Biden.’ It’s another thing to say, ‘You better look at Joe Biden and if not we have a few hundreds of millions of dollars of aid,'” CBN News Chief Political Analyst David Brody said on Faith Nation.

In an op-ed published in the Washington Post late Monday, seven freshman Democrat lawmakers who served in the military and national security said that if the allegation against Trump is true, it’s impeachable.

These Democrats hold sway with House leadership because many of them are from Republican-held districts where Trump has been popular, and have so far been against impeachment.

Republicans say they don’t have enough information yet and point to the allegations against Joe Biden’s actions as Vice President when his son worked with a Ukrainian company that was under scrutiny by a government prosecutor.

“What’s Hunter Biden doing on the board of directors of a major Ukraine natural gas company? And did his dad call off or ask to have the prosecutor call off in a way that would inure to the benefit of his company? I don’t know, I just think it all looks bad, all of it,” Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) said.

Speaker Pelosi set a deadline for Thursday to receive the whistleblower report, promising new investigations if it’s not handed over.

Now there are reports that she’s quietly discussing whether it’s time to proceed with impeachment.

Source: Ukraine Allegations Fuel Democrat Cries for Impeachment, Trump Blasts ‘Witch Hunt – Here We Go Again’

‘Immense power’: Trump blasts social media companies over censorship in UNGA speech as US lawmakers push for more control | RT USA News

US President Donald Trump used his speech to the UN General Assembly to slam efforts by social media companies to censor and control what people can see and are allowed to say online.

Trump blasted the “small number of social media platforms” which he said were “acquiring immense power over what we can see and over what we are allowed to say.”

A free society, Trump said, “cannot allow social media giants to silence the voices of the people” — and a free people “must never, ever be enlisted in the cause of silencing, coercing, canceling, or blacklisting their own neighbors.”

He said his administration has made it clear to social media companies that it would “uphold the right of free speech.”

Trump, an avid Twitter user himself, has often weighed into the debate over social media censorship and argued that platforms like Facebook and Twitter are biased against conservative views.

Also on rt.com

Trump mulling executive order against tech censorship… while demanding more tech censorship?

His latest comments come as US lawmakers and establishment media are increasingly calling on companies like Facebook and Twitter to engage in more censorship under the guise of combating “hate speech” and “fake news.”

Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have all taken steps over the past year to ban controversial conservative figures and other agitators from their platforms, seeming to arbitrarily apply their “rules” and “community guidelines.”

Source: ‘Immense power’: Trump blasts social media companies over censorship in UNGA speech as US lawmakers push for more control

Trump at U.N. Gives Powerful Defense of Nationalist Philosophy | LifeZette

President Donald Trump, at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday morning, ripped into open-border proponents for advocating for what he called an “evil” agenda under the “cloak” of social justice — all while warning Iran to abandon its confrontational course of action.

The president also took on China vis-a-vis the ongoing trade war. “For decades, the international trading system has been easily exploited by nations acting in very bad faith,” he said on that subject. “As jobs were outsourced, a small handful grew wealthy at the expense of the middle class.”

The president delivered “arguably his most robust defense yet of his nationalist philosophy,” noted Fox News in an analysis.

“Today, I have a message for those open-border activists who cloak themselves in the rhetoric of social justice: Your policies are not just. Your policies are cruel and evil,” said Trump, accusing people of promoting human smuggling and the “erasure of national borders.”

“You are empowering criminal organizations that prey on innocent men, women and children. You put your own false sense of virtue before the lives and well-being of countless innocent people,” he also said. “When you undermine border security, you are undermining human rights and human dignity.”

He delivered a broader message defending border security, both in the U.S. and around the world.

He also railed against globalism and “globalists” in front of the United Nations — a “world body increasingly known for espousing that approach,” as Fox News and other outlets pointed out.

Instead, he promoted patriots.

“If you want freedom, take pride in your country,” Trump also said. “If you want democracy, hold onto your sovereignty. And if you want peace, love your nation.”

“The president’s tone was steady and somber. But the message was that of a muscular nationalism that he has spent the better part of three years defining. As part of his speech, he later ripped into social media giants, media groups and academics — whom he accused of being part of a ‘permanent political class’ that sought to undermine the will of the people,” noted the Fox News piece.

“Wise leaders always put the good of their own people and their country first. The future does not belong to globalists, the future belongs to patriots,” Trump said earlier on in the speech. “The future belongs to sovereign and independent nations who protect their citizens, respect their neighbors, and honor the differences that make each country special and unique.”

He also talked about “national renewal.”

And Trump advised other member states, “If you want freedom, take pride in your country. If you want democracy, hold on to your sovereignty. If you want peace, love your nation.”

Read more on this story here.

Watch this video — and share your thoughts.

Source: Trump at U.N. Gives Powerful Defense of Nationalist Philosophy

The Cult of Greta Thunberg — Pulpit & Pen

16-year-old Swedish Climate activist Greta Thunberg speaks at the 2019 United Nations Climate Action Summit at U.N. headquarters in New York City, New York

And now the green cult has pushed Ms Thunberg into the position of its global leader, its child-like saviour, the messiah of their miserabilist political creed…They celebrate Thunberg because she tells them how horrible they are: it is an entirely S&M relationship, speaking to the deep self-loathing of the 21st-century elites.

[Spiked] Anyone who doubts that the green movement is morphing into a millenarian cult should take a close look at Greta Thunberg. This poor young woman increasingly looks and sounds like a cult member. The monotone voice. The look of apocalyptic dread in her eyes. The explicit talk of the coming great ‘fire’ that will punish us for our eco-sins. There is something chilling and positively pre-modern about Ms Thunberg. One can imagine her in a sparse wooden church in the Plymouth Colony in the 1600s warning parishioners of the hellfire that will rain upon them if they fail to give up their witches.

It actually makes sense that Ms Thunberg – a wildly celebrated 16-year-old Swede who founded the climate-strike movement for schoolkids – should sound cultish. Because climate-change alarmism is becoming ever stranger, borderline religious, obsessed with doomsday prophecies. Consider Extinction Rebellion, the latest manifestation of the upper-middle classes’ contempt for industrialisation and progress. It is at times indistinguishable from old fundamentalist movements that warned mankind of the coming End of Days. I followed Extinction Rebellion from Parliament Square to Marble Arch yesterday and what I witnessed was a public display of millenarian fear and bourgeois depression. People did dances of death and waved placards warning of the heat-death of the planet. It felt deeply unnerving.

It struck me that this was a march against people. Most radical protest and direct action is aimed at officialdom or government or people with power. This macabre schlep through London was aimed squarely at ordinary people. Banners and placards made no disguise of the marchers’ contempt for how the masses live. We were told that ‘Meat = heat’ (that is, if you carry on eating meat, you fat bastards, the planet will get even hotter) and that driving and flying are destroying Mother Earth. Of course, it’s okay for them to fly – Emma Thompson jetted first-class from LA to London to lecture us plebs about all our eco-destructive holidaymaking. It’s only a problem when we do it; it’s only bad when we take advantage of the miracle of mass food production and the expansion of flight to make our lives fuller and more pleasurable. They detest that. They detest mass society and its inhabitants: the masses.

To continue reading, click here.

[Editor’s Note: This article was written by Brendan O’Neill and first published at Spiked]

via The Cult of Greta Thunberg — Pulpit & Pen

TRUMP STOMPS AT THE U.N.: ‘The Future Does Not Belong To Globalists, The Future Belongs To Patriots’ — The Gateway Pundit

It was a speech to foreign leaders, but President Trump was really talking directly to Americans.

Trump swept into the United Nations on Tuesday and lectured foreign leaders on their shortcomings.

“Looking around and all over this large, magnificent planet, the truth is plain to see,” Trump said. “If you want freedom, take pride in your country. If you want democracy, hold onto your sovereignty. And if you want peace, love your nation. Wise leaders always put the good of their own people and their own country first.”

Then he uttered the line of the day: “The future does not belong to globalists. The future belongs to patriots.”

“The future belongs to sovereign and independent nations who protect their citizens, respect their neighbors, and honor the differences that make each country special and unique. It is why we in the United States have embarked on an exciting program of national renewal. In everything we do, we are focused on empowering the dreams and aspirations of our citizens,” Trump said.

Trump segued into abortion, not a usual topic for U.S. presidents speaking at the U.N.

“We want to support religious freedom for all. And Americans will never tire of defending innocent life. We are aware that many United Nations projects assert a global right to taxpayer-funded abortion on demand. Right up until the moment of delivery,” he said.

“Global bureaucrats have absolutely no business attacking the sovereignty of nations that wish to protect innocent life. Like many nations, we in America believe, that every child, born and unborn, is a sacred gift from God. There’s no circumstance under which the United States will allow international entities to trample on the rights of our citizens,” he said.

via TRUMP STOMPS AT THE U.N.: ‘The Future Does Not Belong To Globalists, The Future Belongs To Patriots’ — The Gateway Pundit

‘A Trojan Horse for Socialism’: A Dramatic Week in the Climate Change Movement — CBN News feeds

Environmental activist Greta Thunberg, of Sweden, addresses the Climate Action Summit in the United Nations General Assembly, Sept. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

Climate change activists have made headlines over the last couple of days, from Greta Thunberg’s passionate speech at the UN telling world leaders “You are failing us,” to demonstrators in Washington, DC working to shut down traffic in the nation’s capital to bring attention to their climate change concerns.

“This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be up here,” Thunberg said. “I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you have come to us young people for hope. How dare you. You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words.”

Critics of climate change say she is right, that children shouldn’t be seen as the experts on this issue.

“Kids are powerful pawns,” Rich Lowry wrote in the conservative National Review on Tuesday. “There’s a reason that we don’t look to teenagers for guidance on fraught issues of public policy.”

Hundreds of climate change activists took to the streets on September 23 in an effort to disrupt traffic across Washington, DC.

Protestors associated with the group Extinction Rebellion (XR)parked a boat in the intersection of 16th and K Street, two blocks from the White House.

Some protestors affixed themselves to the boat with chains and steel tubes. Metro Police cordoned off the area, preventing access to the boat as they set about freeing the protestors using saws.

Police provided the protestors with flame-resistant blankets and ear protection while they sawed through their bonds.

Brad Polumbo with the Washington Examiner says the climate change protests are just a “trojan horse” for socialism.

via ‘A Trojan Horse for Socialism’: A Dramatic Week in the Climate Change Movement — CBN News feeds

TRUMP’S APPROVAL HITS 53% As Coup-Driven Democrats Plot Impeachment Proceedings — 9 Points Better than Obama — The Gateway Pundit

President Trump’s approval rating jumped to 53% Tuesday as Democrats push their impeachment proceedings. This is despite of the continued barrage of fake news and vicious media attacks since he won the 2016 election.

President Trump continues to break records with the US economy and he boasts the best foreign policy in decades. Trump is the first president in decades who has not brought the US into a new war.

President Obama’s approval rating at the same time in his presidency was 44% – Nine points behind President Trump’s number.

This is also despite national mainstream media reporting negatively on the highly successful President Trump 92% of the time.

Barack Obama had a cake walk with the media.

In August pollster John McLaughlin reported that his polling shows Americans want Trump reelected by a 51-38 margin.

via TRUMP’S APPROVAL HITS 53% As Coup-Driven Democrats Plot Impeachment Proceedings — 9 Points Better than Obama — The Gateway Pundit

JOE BIDEN Calls for Trump Impeachment After Trump Outs Biden Family Money Laundering Operation (Video) — The Gateway Pundit

Democrat leader and former Vice President Joe Biden will call for President Trump’s impeachment on Tuesday afternoon.
The Washington Examiner reported:

Joe Biden will publicly use a Tuesday afternoon press conference to back the impeachment of President Trump if he fails to cooperate with Congress over claims by an intelligence community whistleblower about his dealings with Ukraine.

“He’s going to make the point that Trump’s latest abuses are on top of all of his prior abuses. He’s going to call on Trump to comply with all of Congress’ outstanding, lawful requests for information — in the Ukraine matter, and in the other investigations — and if Trump does not comply, Congress has no choice but to impeach,” a Biden campaign spokesman told the Washington Examiner.

This comes after President Trump repeatedly called out the Biden Family money laundering operation.

President Trump attacked the Democrat leader again this morning after media continued to grill him on his conversations with Ukrainian leaders.

Trump told the liberal media this morning, “They have no idea how to stop me. They only way they can try is through impeachment. This has never happened to a president before. There’s never been a thing like this before… When you see the readout of that call you will understand. That call was perfect… What Joe Biden did for his son. That they should be looking at.”

After leaving office in 2017, Vice President Joe Biden Bragged about strong-arming the government of Ukraine to fire its top prosecutor.

Joe Biden made the remarks during a meeting of foreign policy specialists. Biden said he, “Threatened Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in March 2016 that the Obama administration would pull $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees, sending the former Soviet republic toward insolvency, if it didn’t immediately fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin.” Biden suggested during his talk that Barack Obama was in on the threat.

In April John Solomon revealed what Biden did not tell his audience. Joe Biden had Poroshenko fired because he was investigating Joe Biden’s son Hunter.

Poroshenko was investigating $3 million in funds that were being transferred out of Ukraine and into accounts in the United States at that time.
Joe Biden had him fired.

 

John Solomon joined Hannity back in April to drop this bomb on the Biden crime family.

 

via JOE BIDEN Calls for Trump Impeachment After Trump Outs Biden Family Money Laundering Operation (Video) — The Gateway Pundit

Ukraine May Open an Investigation Into Alleged Biden Corruption — National Review

The Ukrainian government may open an investigation into the corruption cases that President Trump cited during a July call with Volodymyr Zelensky.

via Ukraine May Open an Investigation Into Alleged Biden Corruption — National Review

September 24, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

rejoice in hope (12:12a)

Living the supernatural life inevitably brings opposition from the world and sometimes even sparks resentment by fellow Christians. Even after years of faithful service to the Lord, some see few, if any, apparent results from their labors. Without hope we could never survive. “For in hope we have been saved,” Paul has already explained, “but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one also hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it” (Rom. 8:24–25).

Rejoicing in that hope, we know that, if we are “steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord,” our “toil is not in vain” (1 Cor. 15:58). We can therefore look forward to one day hearing, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matt. 25:21). We know that “in the future there is laid up for [us] the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to [us] on that day; and … to all who have loved His appearing” (2 Tim. 4:8).

persevere in tribulation (12:12b)

It is because we can rejoice in hope that we also can persevere in tribulation, whatever its form or severity. Because we have perfect assurance concerning the ultimate outcome of our lives, we are able to persist against any obstacle and endure any suffering. That is why Paul could declare with perfect confidence that “we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Rom. 5:2–5).

be devoted to prayer (12:12c)

Doubtless one of the reasons the Lord allows His children to go through tribulation is to drive them to Himself. The believer who has the strength to persevere in trials, afflictions, adversity, and misfortune—sometimes even deprivation and destitution—will pray more than occasionally. He will be devoted to prayer, in communion with his Lord as a constant part of his life. So should we all be, no matter what the circumstances of our lives.

Proskartereō (devoted) means literally to be strong toward something, and it also carries the ideas of steadfast and unwavering. It was with such devoted … prayer that early Christians worshiped, both before and after the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (Acts 1:14; 2:42). It was to enable the apostles to devote themselves “to prayer, and to the ministry of the word” (Acts 6:4) that deacons were first appointed in the church.

Devoted, steadfast prayer should be as continual a part of a Christian’s spiritual life as breathing is a part of his physical life. The victorious Christian prays “with the spirit and … with the mind” (1 Cor. 14:15). As he prays with his own spirit, he also prays “in the Holy Spirit” (Jude 20; cf. Eph. 6:18). He prays “without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17). Paul therefore admonished Timothy to have “the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands” (1 Tim. 2:8).[1]


Love in Action

Romans 12:10–13

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

I pointed out in the last study that although the various exhortations of Romans 12:9–13 seem in most translations merely to be strung together in no specific order and with no apparent relationship to one another, in the Greek they are arranged quite carefully. To begin with, they fall into two separate portions: s: verse 9, which introduces the subject of love in a general way, and verses 10–13, which show how genuine love is to function. We saw that the Greek words for hate and cling in verse 9 are actually participles linked to the words “love must be sincere.” So the sentence actually reads, “Love must be sincere, hating what is evil and clinging to what is good.” This tells us that the love Paul is talking about is no mere sentimental mush but rather is concerned for what is good. It is both genuine and discriminating. In the next verses, after describing this love generally, Paul shows how it is to operate in nine areas.

That is the second important fact about this arrangement. In the Greek text these are nine nouns in the dative case, each of which comes first in its clause for emphasis. We usually translate a dative with the word to, as in “to the store” or “to church.” But in this case the meaning is something like “as regards” or “with respect to.” John Murray does not stick to the nine items specifically, but he provides a translation of verses 10–13 that gives a good idea how this goes: “In brotherly love being kindly affectioned to one another, in honor preferring one another, in zeal not flagging, in spirit fervent, serving the Lord, in hope rejoicing, in affliction being patient, in prayer continuing instant, in the needs of the saints partaking, hospitality pursuing.”

This is how the love introduced in verse 9 is to function.

Kindness to One Another

The first thing Paul writes about is being kind to one another. Our translation says, “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.” I pointed out in the last study that in the Greek language there are four words for love: agapê, philia, storgê, and eros. The last word refers to sexual love and does not occur in the New Testament, no doubt because this kind of love had become so debased among the heathen. The first word, agapê, is the great New Testament word for God’s love and for the love of Christians for God and one another. It is the word used in verse 9. The remaining two words, philia and storgê, are in this verse, which means that all three of the New Testament’s words for love are in verses 9 and 10.

But they occur in combinations. In the Greek text the first words of Paul’s command are “in brotherly love.” That is philadelphia in Greek, the word for love being combined with the word for brother. The second combination is the Greek word philostorgoi, rendered devoted in the New International Version. These words mean that “in respect to the love of our Christian brothers and sisters, we are to be marked by a devotion that is characteristic of a loving, close-knit, and mutually supportive family.”

The King James Version reads, “Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love.” Kindly is based on the word kin, meaning family. So again, we are being told that we are to love and treat Christians as we would members of our family.

Christians are our family, of course, regardless of their background, race, nationality, occupation, wealth, or education—or even whether we are attracted to or like another believer. That is irrelevant. The first verse of “Blessed Be the Tie That Binds” goes like this:

Blessed be the tie that binds

Our hearts in Christian love;

The fellowship of kindred minds

Is like to that above.

“Kindred minds” means the minds of those who are spiritual kin—members of God’s new family on earth. So our devotion to one another is not to be a matter of liking but of life. The contemporary church will never have the power of the early church until today’s Christians love one another as a close-knit family.

Preferring One Another

The second of Paul’s datives is about honor and is closely related to what has just been said. A literal translation might be, “And in respect to honor, lead the way for each another.” In other words, “Don’t wait around for people to recognize your contributions and praise you. Instead, be alert to what they are contributing and honor them.”

Unfortunately, if we look at today’s church, we must conclude that the exact opposite is more often the case. Instead of thinking about and appreciating other Christians and what they are doing, our minds are usually on ourselves, and we are resentful that we are not sufficiently recognized or appreciated. Therefore we are jealous of other Christians. Great harm has been done by such jealousy. Ministries have been seriously weakened. Churches have been split. Valuable causes have been set back for generations and sometimes for good. Paul must have seen this as a potential danger for the church at Philippi, for he wrote to those believers: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Phil. 2:3–4).

This is how true love functions. It gets to the front of the line not to receive its own honors, but to show honor and respect for other people.

Never Flagging in Zeal

Verse 11 contains three statements about true love, beginning with a negative: “Never be lacking in zeal.” A more literal rendering, highlighting the dative construction, would be: “In regard to what you ought to be doing, don’t be lazy.” This is directed against weariness in well-doing (Gal. 6:9), and it is a real problem when trying to live the Christian life for any length of time. It is easy to get discouraged. It is hard to keep on steadily.

At this point the King James Version says, “Not slothful in business.” To most people business suggests commercial dealings only, which is why newer versions drop that word. But it is helpful to think of it in this way.

  1. The business of being a Christian. It is a puzzle to me how anyone can take on the most important business of all, the business of being a follower of Jesus Christ, and do it in a passive, apathetic, part-time, or slovenly manner. Yet many do. What we should do is follow after Jesus Christ with all our hearts and minds and with all the energy at our disposal. We should work at being Christians. Robert Candlish writes about this wisely: “Your sanctification must be made a matter of business. It must be cared for and prosecuted in a business-like way; not indolently and slothfully, as if it were a process that might be left to itself, but industriously, sedulously, diligently, with regularity and punctuality, as you would manage a worldly concern, on the common principles of worldly energy and worldly care and worldly zeal.”
  2. The business of being a Christian father or mother. Raising a family takes work, and Christian love demands that this too be done steadily and without being lazy. Children will not raise themselves in godliness. Left to themselves they will grow up like an untended garden, full of weeds and other wild things. It takes work to raise children well.
  3. Church business. I am always surprised how church leaders will so often conduct the work of the church in a slipshod manner, doing whatever needs to be done to just get by, when they would never think of conducting their own business in that way or running their own home on such principles. The work of the church, including how we manage the building, should be done in the best possible way we know how. After all, if it is done well, the church will remain as a place for worship and work long after we are gone and our businesses and homes have passed to other hands.

We should be diligent in our spiritual battles too. Candlish says, “If you would fight for Christ, you must fight deliberately, with [a] cool head as well as [a] warm heart; with fixed and resolute determination, upon principle rather than upon impulse. If you would work for Christ, you must work systematically, and you must work on with patient and persevering energy, with firm purpose not to give up or to give in.”

  1. The business of earning a living. I said earlier that the word business in verse 11 (kjv) does not refer to commercial enterprises, but to everything we should be doing. On the other hand, it does not exclude the ways in which we make our livings but rather embraces them. Christians should excel in how they work. Paul told the Colossians, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (Col. 3:23–24). The last sentence means that love for Christ should prod us to work both well and hard in everything.

Fervent in Spirit

The word fervor (niv) or fervent (kjv) is from a verb meaning to boil. So a literal translation of this phrase would be: “In respect to the spirit (or Spirit), boiling.” Unfortunately, since boiling suggests heat and we think of heat as having to do with anger, it would be better to think of this as a Christian “bubbling over” or even, as the Revised Standard Version has it, “being aglow with the Spirit.”

This probably refers not to the Holy Spirit, but to a personality that radiates the presence of Jesus Christ. On the other hand, this does not happen apart from the Holy Spirit, and in this sense the translation Spirit is not wrong. Donald Grey Barnhouse wrote, “The glow of the Spirit is the warmth of the soul touched by the love of Christ. It cannot exist apart from the knowledge that we have been loved, that Christ gave himself for our sins, that we have been redeemed, and that the Holy Spirit has come to dwell in our hearts. Such knowledge causes us to yield in full surrender to him as Lord of all. The Holy Spirit, who dwells in all believers, will glow through those who allow him to fill and direct their lives.”

Serving the Lord

“Serving the Lord” has probably been added to “keep your spiritual fervor” to show that the “glow” of the Spirit is not without direction but is instead focused on the work and cause of Christ. Still, this is another dative construction that sets it apart as a separate item. Literally it reads, “As regards the Lord, serving.” We remember how Jesus once asked, “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46), meaning that if he is our Lord, we must obey and serve him. We will do no less if we truly love him. Moreover, the way we will show we love other people is by serving them. Even Jesus “did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28).

Rejoicing in Hope

Verse 12 introduces three more items, which also go together. It might be paraphrased, “In so far as we have cause to hope, let us be joyful; in so far as we have cause of pain, let us hold out; in so far as the door of prayer is open to us, let us continue to use it.”

In the Bible hope always has to do with what God has promised but that we have not seen or received yet. In particular it refers to that “blessed hope,” which is “the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13) and to the fact that when he appears “we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2). The fact that we do not see this yet is important, for it means that as Christians we will have our eyes fixed on invisible, spiritual things, like Abraham, who did not set his affection on the things of this life but who “was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God” (Heb. 11:10).

More than anything else, this is what sets Christians apart from those about us who are merely secular. Others have their horizons bounded by what is seen. Like Carl Sagan, for them “the cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be.” The horizons of Christians are not cut off like this. They are wider even than the universe, for Christians look to God, hope in God, and look forward expectantly to an eternity with him.

And what a difference this makes in daily life. Robert Haldane says, “The hope of the glory of God, in which the apostle here affirms that Christians ought to rejoice, is provided as an important part of the believer’s armor—a helmet to cover his head to defend him against the attacks of spiritual enemies (1 Thess. 5:8). It supports him when [he is] ready to be cast down.… It soothes the bitterness of affliction when the believer is resting on the promises of God. In prosperity it elevates his affections, and fixing his expectation of the glory that shall be revealed, disengages him from the love of this world.… It comforts him in the prospect of death.”

Patient in Affliction

While waiting for the glory that is still to be revealed the Christian sometimes suffers persecution or affliction. Therefore, Paul adds that “in respect to affliction” the one who trusts God should be “patient”—not just resigned in a fatalistic, stoic sense, accepting what cannot be changed, but waiting confidently for God’s own resolution of the problem, knowing that he will reward the good and punish evil in his own time.

Meanwhile, we should not to be overly confident that we are among the good or that our actions, especially those that are criticized, are without any evil motives or are beyond reproach. Rather, we must be careful to “make [our] calling and election sure” (2 Peter 1:10) and examine ourselves to see whether we truly love Jesus Christ and are serving him or are merely pursuing our own interests.

In Prayer Continuing Faithful

A literal translation of this verse might be “and in regard to prayer, continuing.” Continuing is an interesting word to use. We might have expected any one of a number of other words. But Paul says continuing because he was aware that this is just the problem. It is not that we never pray. We almost have to, if we are Christians. But we get tired of praying, our minds wander, and we neglect prayer precisely when we most need it.

Our Lord was aware of this too, which is why he said so much about prayer. If you go through the gospels and study what he said, you will find that in nearly all instances the bottom line of his teaching was simply that we should pray—not that we should be paragons of prayer, or eloquent in prayer, or even that we pray on until we get what we desire, though that is sometimes implied—simply that we should pray. He said this because we don’t, at least not when we most need to.

Do you remember Jesus’ teaching about prayer in Luke 11? After he had given the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus told about a man who knocked on a neighbor’s door late at night because a friend had come and he had nothing to give him, and although the neighbor did not want to get out of bed to help, eventually he did because of the man’s persistence. Jesus also told about human fathers who willingly give their children food when they ask for it, not substituting a snake for a fish or a scorpion for an egg. Those stories were meant to illustrate our need on the one hand, and God’s willingness to meet that need on the other.

Then Jesus said, “So … ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (Luke 11:9). In other words, “Pray.” Just pray! The only reasons we might fail to pray are that: (1) we do not think we need God’s help, thinking that we are adequate of ourselves, or (2) we do not believe God really is a loving heavenly father. Why else would we not pray or even be in prayer continually?

Participating in the Need of the Saints

The last of Paul’s nine datives is a compound phrase that fills all of verse 13. In our translation it appears as two distinct ideas: (1) “Share with God’s people who are in need” and (2) “Practice hospitality.” But the Greek text actually combines the ideas, saying, “In regard to the need of the saints, participating, practicing hospitality.”

This means that Paul is not just talking about giving money to poor Christians. In fact, he is not thinking about money specifically at all. He is thinking about the needs of Christians and about identifying with them in those needs. If a person is mourning, we should identify with him in his sorrow and give what comfort we can. If another is lonely or abandoned, we should be company for her to the degree we are able. We should give to the financial needs of impoverished people, too. Jesus made such things a test of whether a person is truly a Christian, saying in Matthew 25, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me” (Matt. 25:34–36). Those who had not done that were sent away “to eternal punishment” (v. 46).

I do not know how anything can be more practical than this. To love one another, to honor one another, to serve one another, to pray for one another, and to meet one another’s needs is the very heart of applied Christianity.[2]


12 The nature of “hope” (elpis, GK 1828) as confident expectation is something that should always be the cause of rejoicing. But because hope is in reference to something not yet seen, it can often weaken instead of providing the strength that it should. Hope is meant to sustain the servant of Christ and enable him or her to be “patient in affliction” (thlipsis, GK 2568). Paul brought together the same constellation of ideas earlier in 5:3–4. The last item in these verses is the Christian’s need to be “faithful [proskarterountes, GK 4674; lit., “persevering”] in prayer.” Regular prayer, of course, is a characteristic of the vibrant Christian. In brief, the thrust of vv. 11–12 is that Christians are called to live in a way that is consistent with the grace they have received.[3]


12  The three admonitions in this verse are closely related in both style and content. For hope, endurance, and prayer are natural partners. Even as we “rejoice in hope,” gaining confidence from God’s promise that we will share the glory of God, we recognize the “down side”: the path to the culmination of hope is strewn with tribulations. Paul, ever the realist, knows this; and so here, as he does elsewhere, he quickly moves from hope to the need for endurance.49 At the same time, we realize that our ability to continue to rejoice and to “bear up under” our tribulations is dependent on the degree to which we heed Paul’s challenge to “persist in prayer.” (Note that Paul moves from hope to endurance to prayer also in Rom. 8:24–27.)[4]


12:10–13 / Ten poignant examples of agapē comprise this section, all of which are cast in parallel form. Each begins in Greek with a substantive in the dative case which is followed by a response in the participial mood; i.e., first a virtue, then an action with respect to it. The sequence is enclosed between two homophones in Greek, Philadelphia (brotherly love, v. 10) and philoxenia (hospitality, v. 13). The following attempts to reproduce the flavor of the original:

In brotherly love, being devoted to one another;

in honor, outdoing one another;

in zeal, never flagging;

in the Spirit, being aglow;

to the Lord, serving;

in hope, rejoicing;

in tribulation, being patient;

in prayer, being constant;

to the needs of the saints, sharing generously;

in hospitality, being diligent.

The sequence begins with Christian fellowship: be devoted to one another in brotherly love (v. 10). Two words define the love of verse 9 in terms of the family. The first, Philadelphia (brotherly love), refers to sibling love, while philostorgos (devoted) refers to the love of parents for children. Intimate affection among family members thus becomes a fitting model for the church. In reality, of course, families are not always charitable, and neither are churches. Nevertheless, with this term at the head of the sequence, Paul establishes familial love as the ideal characteristic of Christian fellowship.

The second word is to honor one another above yourselves. The Greek is somewhat obscure, but it seems to mean “prefer one another with honor” (cf. Phil 2:3, “consider others better than yourselves”). If our neighbor is one for whom Christ died, and if, as Matthew 25:31–46 makes abundantly clear, the Son of Man is mysteriously present in our neighbor (and especially in the needy neighbor), then our neighbor represents Christ to us and is worthy of greater honor than we show ourselves. This essential virtue became the masthead of the Rule of St. Benedict, namely, to receive all strangers as Christ.

The third word is, never be lacking in zeal (v. 11). True love, like any meaningful experience, wants to express itself, and it is no different with Christian love. Christians are constantly confronted by new challenges in life, in the face of which they cannot remain spectators. When such challenges represent the call of God and present opportunities for serving Christ, idleness is disobedience. The word translated never be lacking (Gk. oknēros), means the indolence or laziness of a slave as opposed to the eager motivation of a free citizen. The real enemy of zeal is not opposition but complacency, being “neither cold nor hot” (Rev. 3:15).

In conjunction with zeal Paul says to keep your spiritual fervor (v. 11). The Greek word for fervor, meaning to “boil or bubble,” is used to describe the ardent spirit of Apollos in Acts 18:25. Is there a more attractive model of faith or a more worthy vessel of love than the glowing spirit of a Christian? The very image of ardor, however, warns against zealotry or false enthusiasm. Therefore, lest zealous Christians think themselves more deserving of God than others, let them recall the words of Jesus, “So that you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty’ ” (Luke 17:10).

To zeal and spiritual fervor Paul adds, serving the Lord (v. 11). A few ancient manuscripts read “time” here rather than Lord, but the niv, following the majority of manuscripts, is doubtlessly correct in its rendering. Paul is not thinking of seizing or savoring the moment (e.g., the classical idea of carpe diem), but of serving Christ. And lest anyone were to confuse zeal and spiritual fervor with mere spiritual effervescence, the apostle interjects the sanguine note of serving. The ardor of the Spirit does not dissipate in emotionalism but produces the constructive energy of service.

The sixth word is, be joyful in hope (v. 12). There is a slight oxymoron in the combination of hope and joy. Joy normally stems from favorable circumstances in the present, whereas hope looks to the good of the future. Consequently, joy may be shortsighted regarding the future, and hope oblivious of the present. Paul, however, says to be joyful in hope. Christian joy finds its source not in the present (whether favorable or not), for that is a hope which “disappoint[s] us” (5:5). Christian joy consists in the hope of “our adoption as sons [and] the redemption of our bodies” (8:23–25).

Not coincidentally, Paul follows being joyful in hope with being patient in affliction (v. 12). Earlier he said that suffering produces perseverance, character, and hope (5:3–4). Afflictions are not illusions as some religions maintain, nor are they necessarily the result of human or even religious failure. If the world hates Christ (Matt. 10:22; John 15:18), then affliction is one of the inevitable consequences for the follower of Christ. James says to “consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials” (1:2). Where affliction cannot be accepted with joy, then it must be endured with patience. Endurance (5:3; Col. 3:13, “putting up with”) is itself a Christian virtue. If one cannot overcome one’s enemies, one may still hope to outlive them! Since the present world is not the final state of affairs, Christians hold on and hold out for the hope to come (John 16:33). For the present, enduring troubles prepares the soul for “an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Cor. 4:17).

There is a logical connection between being patient in affliction and faithful in prayer (v. 12). Prayer makes endurance possible. The verb rendered faithful carries the sense in Greek of “holding fast to” or “persisting in,” and is frequently associated with prayer (Luke 18:1; Acts 1:14; 2:42; 6:4; Eph. 6:18; Col. 4:2; 1 Thess. 5:17). There is nothing either in the ot or in Judaism corresponding to the early Christian ideal of constant prayer. Here again constancy in prayer prepares the soul for its future glory. With the possible exception of faith, nothing in the Christian life requires more effort than prayer. It is a battle between flesh and Spirit, the world and God (Gal. 5:16ff.). Christians pray, and rightly so, for deliverance from harm and adversity on their earthly pilgrimage. But if their prayer is not answered accordingly they must not conclude that God is punishing them or give up their faith. The gospel is indeed a hospice of heaven in this life, but it is more often, and more importantly, a training camp for the life to come. The Spirit does not exempt Christians from hardship, but he promises to support them in it. The nt lays great emphasis on the virtue of endurance (Mark 13:13), and on patience, faithfulness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22–23) as signs of genuine faith.

The ninth admonition is to share with God’s people who are in need (v. 13). Hospitality and generosity were hallmarks of early Christianity, and sharing was an important way by which Christians identified themselves (Acts 2:43ff.; 4:32ff.; James 2:14ff.). Sharing (Gk. koinōnein) is a concrete expression of “brotherly love” (v. 10) and defines the ideal of the church as a koinōnia, a sharing community of believers. Sharing was an appropriate reminder for Roman Christians who, because they lived in the capital city, received many visitors. In at least some quarters local inns were places of ill-repute. When this was the case, principle was augmented by necessity to provide lodging for the community’s needy, and particularly for itinerant missionaries and preachers. In light of the probable conflicts between Jewish and Gentile Christians in Rome following the edict of Claudius (see Introduction), verse 13 may have been more than a general platitude. Paul clearly envisioned practical acts of giving as a way of overcoming the estrangement between Gentiles and Jews (15:26ff.). Given the fact that Western Christians today enjoy a standard of living considerably higher than the majority of people in the world, the relevance of this particular injunction would appear to surpass mere historical interest.

Paul concludes with hospitality (v. 13). This was a matter of practical necessity in a period when there were no church buildings or social agencies. The Greek word for hospitality, philoxenia, literally means “kindness to strangers” and complements Philadelphia, “kindness to the brotherhood,” at the head of the list (v. 10). The word for practice (Gk. diōkein) actually means “to press or pursue.” Practice hospitality, therefore, carries the sense of intentionally striving to embrace strangers and needy individuals. Again, in the modern West where jobs are increasingly characterized by bureaucracy and depersonalization, and where cities contain entire districts inhabited by ethnic and racial minorities, it would seem incumbent on the church to consider anew the implication of this imperative for the present day.[5]


THE CHRISTIAN LIFE IN EVERYDAY ACTION

Romans 12:9–13

Your love must be completely sincere.

Hate that which is evil and cling to that which is good.

Be affectionate to one another in brotherly love.

Give to each other priority in honour.

Do not be sluggish in zeal.

Keep your spirit at boiling point.

Seize your opportunities.

Rejoice in hope.

Meet tribulation with triumphant fortitude.

Be persevering in prayer.

Share what you have to help the needs of God’s dedicated people.

Be eager in giving hospitality.

Paul presents his people with twelve concise rules for ordinary, everyday life. Let us look at them one by one.

(1) Love must be completely sincere. There must be no hypocrisy, no play-acting, no ulterior motive. There is such a thing as cupboard love, which gives affection with one eye on the gain which may result. There is such a thing as a selfish love, whose aim is to get far more than it is to give. Christian love is cleansed of self; it is a pure outgoing of the heart to others.

(2) We must hate that which is evil and cling to that which is good. It has been said that our one security against sin lies in our being shocked by it. It was Thomas Carlyle who said that what we need is to see the infinite beauty of holiness and the infinite damnability of sin. The words Paul uses are strong. It has been said that no virtue which is not passionate is safe. No one whose life consists of a prudent avoidance of evil and a calculating adherence to that which is good is safe. We must hate evil and love good. With regard to one thing, we must be clear: what many people hate is not evil but the consequences of evil. No one is really good when that goodness simply comes from fear of the consequences of being bad. As Robert Burns had it in his ‘Epistle to a Young Friend’,

The fear o’ Hell’s a hangman’s whip

To haud the wretch in order;

But where ye feel your honour grip,

Let that ay be your border.

Not to fear the consequences of dishonour, but to love honour passionately, is the way to real goodness.

(3) We must be affectionate to one another in mutual love. The word Paul uses for affectionate is philostorgos, and storgē is the Greek for family love. We must love each other, because we are members of one family. We are not strangers to each other within the Christian Church; much less are we isolated units; we are brothers and sisters, because we have the one father, God.

(4) We must give each other priority in honour. More than half the trouble that arises in churches concerns rights and privileges and prestige. Someone has not been given his or her place; someone has been neglected or unthanked. The mark of the truly Christian man or woman has always been humility. One of the humblest of all people was that great saint and scholar John Cairns, Principal of the United Presbyterian Divinity Hall, Edinburgh. Someone recollects an incident which showed Cairns as he was. He was a member of a platform party at a great gathering. As he appeared, there was a tremendous burst of applause. Cairns stood back to let the man next to him pass, and began to applaud himself; he never dreamt that the applause was for him. It is not easy to give each other priority in honour. There is enough natural instinct in most of us to want others to recognize our rights; but Christians have no rights—they have only duties.

(5) We must not be sluggish in our zeal. There is a certain intensity in the Christian life; there is no room for lethargy in it. Christians cannot take things in an easy-going way, for the world is always a battle ground between good and evil; the time is short, and life is a preparation for eternity. Christians may burn out, but they must not rust out.

(6) We must keep our spirit at boiling point. The one whom the risen Christ could not stand was the person who was neither hot nor cold (Revelation 3:15–16). Today, people are apt to look askance upon enthusiasm; the modern battle cry is: ‘I couldn’t care less.’ But Christians are people who are desperately in earnest; they are aflame for Christ.

(7) Paul’s seventh rule may be one of two things. The ancient manuscripts vary between two readings. Some read: ‘Serve the Lord,’ and some read: ‘Serve the time,’ that is, ‘Grasp your opportunities.’ The reason for the double reading is this. All the ancient scribes used contractions in their writing. In particular, the more common words were always abbreviated. One of the most common ways of abbreviating was to miss out the vowels—as shorthand does—and to place a stroke along the top of the remaining letters. Now, the word for Lord is kurios and the word for time is kairos, and the abbreviation for both of these words is krs. In a section so filled with practical advice, it is more likely that Paul was saying to his people: ‘Seize your opportunities as they come.’ Life presents us with all kinds of opportunities—the opportunity to learn something new or to cut out something wrong; the opportunity to speak a word of encouragement or of warning; the opportunity to help or to comfort. One of the tragedies of life is that we so often fail to grasp these opportunities when they come. There are three things which do not come back—the spent arrow, the spoken word and the lost opportunity.

(8) We are to rejoice in hope. When Alexander the Great was setting out upon one of his campaigns, he was distributing all kinds of gifts to his friends. In his generosity, he had given away nearly all his possessions. ‘Sir,’ said one of his friends, ‘you will have nothing left for yourself.’ ‘Oh, yes, I have,’ said Alexander, ‘I still have my hopes.’ Christians must be essentially optimists. Just because God is God, Christians are always certain that ‘the best is yet to be’. Just because they know of the grace that is sufficient for all things and the strength that is made perfect in weakness, Christians know that no task is too much for them. There are no hopeless situations in life; there are only men and women who have grown hopeless about them. There can never be any such thing as a hopeless Christian.

(9) We are to meet tribulation with triumphant courage. Someone once said to someone who bore suffering bravely: ‘Suffering colours all life, doesn’t it?’ ‘Yes,’ came the reply, ‘it does, but I propose to choose the colour.’ As the poet William Cowper’s hymn has it:

Set free from present sorrow,

We cheerfully can say,

‘Even let the unknown tomorrow

Bring with it what it may,

It can bring with it nothing

But he will bear us through.’

When Nebuchadnezzar cast Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego into the burning fiery furnace, he was amazed that they came to no harm. He asked if three men had not been cast into the flames. He was told it was so. He said: ‘But I see four men unbound, walking in the middle of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the fourth has the appearance of a god’ (Daniel 3:25). We can meet anything when we meet it with Christ.

(10) We are to persevere in prayer. Is it not the case that there are times in life when we let day add itself to day and week to week, and we never speak to God? When we cease to pray, we rob ourselves of the strength of Almighty God. We should not be surprised when life collapses if we insist on living it alone.

(11) We are to share with those in need. In a world intent on getting, Christians are intent on giving, because they know that ‘what we keep we lose, and what we give we have’.

(12) Christians are to offer hospitality. Over and over again, the New Testament insists on this duty of the open door (Hebrews 13:2; 1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8; 1 Peter 4:9). The sixteenth-century Bible translator William Tyndale used a magnificent word when he translated it that the Christian should have a harborous disposition. A home can never be happy when it is selfish. Christianity is the religion of the open hand, the open heart and the open door.[6]


12. Be joyful in hope, enduring in affliction, persistent in prayer.

The hope of future salvation (cf. 5:2, 4, 5; 8:24, 25; 15:4, 13) stimulates present joy; in fact, to such an extent that God’s children are even able patiently to endure in the midst of affliction. This endurance indicates strength to bear up under stress, plus the persistent application of this strength. It is not the product of human wisdom or skill but of God’s grace. Therefore Paul immediately adds “(Be) persistent in prayer.”

Without constant prayer such joy and endurance would be impossible. The opposition coming from the side of the world and the doubts from within would prove too strong. In fact, without steadfastness in prayer obedience to none of the exhortations of chapter 12 or of other passages can be expected.[7]


12:12. While Paul refers to life in the church in verse 10 (referring to “brotherly love”), here is the first hint of persecution—Be … patient in affliction. Paul, no stranger to affliction for the sake of the gospel, stated a principle in Acts 14:22 which summarizes what he is beginning to share with the believers in Rome: “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.” Only the believer who has made a decision to be a living sacrifice can maintain zeal and patience in affliction. Joy in hope was a theme in Romans 5:2, as was prayer in Romans 8:26–27. Once again we see Paul going back to the doctrinal part of his letter and making application for the present situation. The knowledge that the Holy Spirit is able to intercede through us in times of trouble can be a lifeline to the other side of the quagmire.[8]


12:9–13. While one should serve mainly in the area of his giftedness, sometimes he or she must help more broadly, and this passage explains how that must be done. An act of love (v. 9) can be hypocritical if it cloaks an attitude of reluctance or self-seeking. Abhor means “a strong feeling of revulsion or aversion.” Cling means “to glue something together.” Devoted (v. 10) means “to be tender and affectionate” to another, as if to a cherished family member (brotherly love, Gk. philadelphia). Give preferencein honor means “being eager to value or promote the reputation of another” ahead of oneself. Not lagging behind (v. 11) means “not being slack in accomplishing what is worthwhile.” For diligence, see 12:8. Fervent means lit., “boiling, seething,” but here connotes having eagerness and enthusiasm (cf. Ac 18:25). In spirit may refer to one’s inner disposition, but probably refers to the genuine gusto that comes from the Holy Spirit. Rejoicing in hope (v. 12) indicates “rejoicing because of hope.” Contributing (v. 13) is from the verb koinoneo, and means “to share”; in this context, sharing one’s resources to help when others have serious needs.[9]


12:9–13. Paul now moves from discussing the proper use of spiritual gifts (vv 6–8) to the motivation undergirding their use. Love is the foundation that should move believers to behave honorably in their service. Love as a priority is a typical theme for Paul (Rom 13:8–10; 1 Cor 12:13–14; Gal 5:14; Eph 5:2; Col 3:14; 1 Thess 4:9; 1 Tim 1:5).

Paul develops the theme of love by describing its characteristics or attributes. First, Paul discusses the proper use of spiritual gifts in vv 6–8 (cf. 1 Cor 12). Then these gifts propelled by love will cause one to abhor evil (cf. Ps 97:10; 119:104, 128, 163; Prov 8:13; 13:5; 28:16; Heb 1:9; Rev 2:6) and to do good in vv 9–21 (1 Cor 13:1–7; cf. 1 Pet 3:11). The terms evil and good in vv 9 and 21 serve as an inclusio to emphasize love without hypocrisy (anypokritos, lit., “without play-acting”).

Christian love should manifest itself in concrete ways. Believers should be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love. Members of God’s family must treat one another with the kindness, respect, and love that human families should show each other, even to the point of giving preference to one another.

This is done by not lagging in diligence and being fervent in spirit (cf. Acts 18:25; 1 Cor 5:3; 7:34; Col 2:5; 1 Tim 4:12). Being fervent literally means “to boil with heat.” Today, one might express this kind of serving the Lord as being “on fire for Jesus.”

If one is on fire for Jesus, he will be rejoicing in hope for the future that awaits in heaven. This will require being patient when tribulation comes. How does a Christian do this? By continuing steadfastly in prayer (cf. 1 Thess 5:17). Constant communication with God is the lifeblood that gives a believer power to endure life’s problems.

The final elements in Paul’s list are two of the major virtues that ought to characterize Christians. First, believers should be distributing to the needs of other saints (i.e., believers; cf. 1:7). One way to do this is through hospitality, sharing one’s home with traveling Christians. In those days lodging was expensive and travelers lacked funds to acquire it (cf. Heb 13:2; 1 Pet 4:9).[10]


12. Rejoicing in hope, &c. Three things are here connected together, and seem in a manner to belong to the clause “serving the time;” for the person who accommodates himself best to the time, and avails himself of the opportunity of actively renewing his course, is he who derives his joy from the hope of future life, and patiently bears tribulations. However this may be, (for it matters not much whether you regard them as connected or separated,) he first forbids us to acquiesce in present blessings, and to ground our joy on earth and on earthly things, as though our happiness were based on them; and he bids us to raise our minds up to heaven, that we may possess solid and full joy. If our joy is derived from the hope of future life, then patience will grow up in adversities; for no kind of sorrow will be able to overwhelm this joy. Hence these two things are closely connected together, that is, joy derived from hope, and patience in adversities. No man will indeed calmly and quietly submit to bear the cross, but he who has learnt to seek his happiness beyond this world, so as to mitigate and allay the bitterness of the cross with the consolation of hope.

But as both these things are far above our strength, we must be instant in prayer, and continually call on God, that he may not suffer our hearts to faint and to be pressed down, or to be broken by adverse events. But Paul not only stimulates us to prayer, but expressly requires perseverance; for we have a continual warfare, and new conflicts daily arise, to sustain which, even the strongest are not equal, unless they frequently gather new vigour. That we may not then be wearied, the best remedy is diligence in prayer.[11]


Ver. 12.—Patience, hope, and prayer. In the preceding verse the active, energetic side of religion is presented with vivacity and completeness. And this is perhaps the most important of all the trustful results of true Christianity. It was an end worthy of the Divine interposition to introduce amongst men the purpose and the power to serve the Lord with fervour and with diligence. Yet this is not all which our religion does for us. Our life is not altogether in our own hands; we cannot control and govern all that concerns us. We have all to learn the lesson that Divine providence has appointed for us; not only to work, but to submit; that we have not only to serve, but to suffer. True religion must give us, not only a law and impulse for fulfilling life’s duties, but also a power by which we shall endure life’s calamities and weakness. However our natural character may make active exertion congenial, however our lot may be, on the whole, one of cheerful and devoted service; there comes a time to all—a time, it may be, of sickness, or of infirmity, of calamity, or of old age—when another aspect of religion must be realized; when we must turn to Christ for grace, that we may be found “in hope joyful, in trial patient, in prayer unwearied.”

  1. To Christians tribulation is Divine discipline. The text implies, not only that the human lot is characterized by affliction, but that affliction is the occasion of the calling forth of Christian virtues. There would scarcely be such an emotion as hope unless the present were a condition from which (in some respects) it is desirable to be released, or, at all events, a condition susceptible of great improvement. Unless we had something to bear, there would be no scope for the virtue of patience. If all things were as we could wish them, if we had nothing to contend with, if nothing occurred to make us feel our own helplessness—in such case prayer would scarcely be felt to be urgently, or at all events constantly, necessary. Life is a very different thing to those who are enlightened by revelation, as this verse conclusively shows us. How truly Christian are these precepts, and how truly Christians those who fulfil them, appears, if we think of the heathen, and realize how they failed alike in patience, in hope, and in prayer. Philosophers inculcated patience in adversity, but they imparted no principle or power which enabled people generally to cherish this disposition. The hope which the unenlightened pagans cherished respected this life alone, and even the wisest and best knew nothing of a hope of immortality so vivid and powerful as to awaken joy. Their prayers were either purely matter of custom and form, or, being addressed to deities morally imperfect and capricious, were faithless, fitful, and uninfluential even upon their own nature. It is the glory of Christianity to have changed all this. Among the lowliest of the Saviour’s followers we find fortitude in the endurance of affliction, arising from the conviction that it is the chastening of a Divine Father. Hope—especially as reaching beyond this brief existence, and as a mighty sustaining power—is a virtue distinctively Christian. Whilst prayer, instead of being an occasional, doubting, and unprofitable exercise, is the atmosphere the Christian breathes, the power which sustains him in all trouble, and which inspires within him a hope founded upon the faithfulness and the promises of his redeeming God.
  2. As respects the present, the Christian is supported by patience. Patience suffers without murmuring the ills which Providence permits. Patience waits for the relief which, in due time, Providence will send. Suffering and waiting complete this unusual virtue. It is not easy for any one to be patient; it is easier to work with diligence and strenuousness than to endure trial without complaint—than to wait until a power not our own shall bring the trial to a close. Christian patience is not a stoical aquiescence in the inevitable, upon the principle “What can’t be cured must be endured” 1. It is the result of a belief in a wise and merciful Providence. We do not bow to fate; we submit to a Father in heaven. Often we cannot understand why he should permit all that befalls us. But faith assures us that the counsels of God towards us are counsels of love. We cannot shut out from the universe the unseen hand that guides and governs all for our highest and eternal good. We believed in our own earthly father’s heart, though sense could never have told us of it; and similarly our souls are patient, because we are assured that a heavenly Parent cares for us, and strengthens and heals as well as smites. 2. It is the fruit of fellowship with Jesus. There was no quality for which our Saviour was more to be admired than for his patience. He was patient with the misunderstandings of his own disciples; he was patient with his enemies and murderers; he was patient under insult and agony. In all this he left us an example; and an apostle prays that God may direct our hearts into the patience of Christ. Many, through faith in the meek and patient Saviour, have been enabled by Divine grace to overcome a naturally impatient and imperious, hasty and violent temper. 3. It is a virtue in which we are instructed and practically disciplined by the Spirit of God. “Tribulation worketh patience.” The lesson is not learned all at once. Let not those dispositions to which it is not naturally easy be discouraged. “Let patience have its perfect work.” Patience is tried, not that it may give way, but that it may be established. It is the handiwork of the living Spirit; and the day shall come when the Maker shall pronounce this and all his works to be very good.

III. As respects the future, the Christian is inspired by hope. Now, hope is an easier and more natural exercise of the human spirit than is patience. A person may rebel and fret under present discipline, and yet may hope for better times.

“… the darkest day,

Live till to-morrow, will have passed away.”

The Christian’s hope is, however, far superior to any other. Whilst he has higher pleasures and stronger supports now, he has brighter prospects for the great hereafter. There are several elements of superiority in this hope. 1. It is well founded, resting as it does upon the faithful promises of God. God is designated “the God of hope.” Hence the Christian’s hope is not vague, but definite; it is not hesitating, but sure. 2. It is hope of grace for all the needs that are to come. This means hope of deliverance from all dangers, support under all difficulties, consolation under all troubles, guidance in all perplexities. 3. It is hope which reaches beyond this present life; such hope as none has been able to inspire but he who “abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light by the gospel.” Hope of rest, of victory, of a kingdom; a hope as “an anchor unto the soul, sure and steadfast, which entereth into that within the veil.” 4. It is hope which brings joy. Making the future real, bringing the future near, hope chases away the gloom and darkness, and creates a spiritual joy, pure, serene, and unspeakable. Thus, in the night, songs of joy and gladness ascend to heaven. “Patience worketh experience, and experience hope.”

  • By prayer patience is perfected and hope inspired. It is evident that the admonition to prayer is introduced here with a special purpose in view. It is intended to point out to us that the demeanour here commended can only be maintained through cultivating a prayerful spirit. It is not easy, whilst pursuing this pilgrimage, to be patient amidst its difficulties, to be joyful when the present is dark, and the ray of hope alone illuminates the night. Still, though not easy, it is possible. That is to say, it becomes possible by prayer. Grace can be obtained, if sought in God’s appointed way; but it must be sought, not occasionally or fitfully, but steadfastly, perseveringly, constantly, habitually. This is reasonable enough. There is nothing in our condition that should put a close to our prayers, and nothing in our hearts. We do not become independent of the aid which such fellowship with Heaven alone can bring. There is every inducement, in the declarations and promises of God’s Word, to “pray without ceasing,” “always to pray and not to faint.” God’s fatherly heart does not cease to pity; Christ does not cease to intercede for his people. As long as our Lord is on the throne of power, and we are in poverty and need and helplessness, we may well continue our prayers. Private, domestic, and public; silent and uttered; stated and ejaculatory;—the prayers of God’s people are acceptable, and are heard.

Application. 1. The tribulations of life are common to all mankind. Why should any hearer of the gospel endure those tribulations without the grace that can sustain and comfort, the hopes that can animate and inspire? 2. If Christians are weighed down and distressed by the trials of life, is it not because they fail to give heed to the admonitions of God’s Word, because they neglect to use the means of grace and help which are placed within their reach? Tribulation will come. We can be sustained under it only by patience and by hope; and these virtues are the fruits of prayer.[12]


12 τῇ ἐλπίδι χαίροντες, “rejoicing in hope”; “let hope keep you joyful” (neb). As earlier, ἐλπίς has its usual Hebraic sense of confident trust (sure hope) rather than the more Greek sense of tentative expectation (hoping for better things); see on 4:18. Since the dative can contain both senses, we should not push for a choice between a local dative (“rejoice in”—TDNT 9:369 n.91; Schlier) and an instrumental dative (“rejoice by virtue of”—BDF §196; Michel). Paul here may be deliberately recalling earlier and more developed words of encouragement, or was following familiar parenetical sequences: in vv 12a and 12b the thought is obviously very close to that of 5:2–5 (χαίρω/καυχάομαι, θλῖψις, ὑπομονή/ὑπομένω); and a similar progression of thought to that in 8:24–27 is evident in vv 12a, 12c (hope, prayer). Clearly implicit also is both the sense of eschatological excitement (“rejoicing”) and the note of eschatological reserve (“in hope”); cf. 15:13 and 1 Thess 2:19. For joy as a characteristic of earliest Christianity, cf. also, e.g., 14:17; 15:13; 2 Cor 6:10; Gal 5:22; Phil 1:4, 25; 2:17–18; 3:1; 4:1, 4; 1 Thess 3:9; 5:16; Acts 2:46; 13:52; 1 Pet 1:8; 1 John 1:4.

τῇ θλίψει ὑπομένοντες, “steadfast in affliction.” The sequence again echoes 1 Cor 12–13 (here 13:7); see Form and Structure. For θλῖψις see on 5:3. ὑπομένω occurs regularly in earliest Christian literature in the sense “endure, hold out, stand one’s ground” in trouble, affliction, persecution—e.g., Mark 13:13; 1 Cor 13:7; 2 Tim 2:10; Heb 10:32; 12:2; James 1:12; 1 Pet 2:20; 1 Clem 45.8; Did. 16.5; Mart. Pol. 2.2 (see further BGD). The translation “endure” should not be given a too passive connotation: as with its correlate ὑπομονή, ὑπομένω implies a positive attitude to suffering (TDNT 4:586–87); as also does the connection with the preceding phrase (cf. 2 Cor 7:4; 8:2; 13:9; Col 1:24; 1 Thess 1:6). The degree to which Paul successfully integrates suffering into his understanding of the process of salvation is one of the strongest features of his soteriology (see further on 5:3 and 8:17; Dunn, Jesus, 326–88).

τῇ προσευχῇ προσκαρτεροῦντες, “persisting in prayer.” προσκαρτερέω is an even stronger, or more positive, word—“to busy oneself with, be devoted to, hold fast to or persevere in something” (BGD). It is particularly so with reference to prayer (Acts 1:14; 2:42; 6:4; Col 4:2); cf. the equivalent thought of unceasing prayer (Luke 18:1; Eph 6:18; 1 Thess 5:17); and contrast the more sober rabbinic advice in Str-B, 2:237–38. As in 8:26–27, prayer is the natural expression of the eschatological tension: only by maintaining a constant “open line” to God in the Spirit can the tension be experienced as a positive sign and recreative force.[13]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1991). Romans (Vol. 2, pp. 191–193). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Boice, J. M. (1991–). Romans: The New Humanity (Vol. 4, pp. 1597–1604). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.

[3] Harrison, E. F., & Hagner, D. A. (2008). Romans. In T. Longman III &. Garland, David E. (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Romans–Galatians (Revised Edition) (Vol. 11, p. 190). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[4] Moo, D. J. (1996). The Epistle to the Romans (p. 779). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[5] Edwards, J. R. (2011). Romans (pp. 292–296). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[6] Barclay, W. (2002). The Letter to the Romans (3rd ed. fully rev. & updated, pp. 192–197). Louisville, KY; London: Westminster John Knox Press.

[7] Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953–2001). Exposition of Paul’s Epistle to the Romans (Vol. 12–13, pp. 415–416). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

[8] Boa, K., & Kruidenier, W. (2000). Romans (Vol. 6, p. 375). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[9] Vanlaningham, M. G. (2014). Romans. In The moody bible commentary (pp. 1765–1766). Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[10] López, R. A. (2010). The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans. In R. N. Wilkin (Ed.), The Grace New Testament Commentary (p. 689). Denton, TX: Grace Evangelical Society.

[11] Calvin, J., & Owen, J. (2010). Commentary on the Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans (pp. 466–467). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[12] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). The Pulpit Commentary: Romans (pp. 360–362). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

[13] Dunn, J. D. G. (1988). Romans 9–16 (Vol. 38B, pp. 742–743). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.

A majority of the ultra-wealthy expect a recession next year and are hunkering down | CNBC

More than half of the super-rich around the world are already preparing for a recession.

CNBC: Bill Gates SB 180507-004

Bill Gates

Lacy O’Toole | CNBC

More than half of the super-rich around the world are already preparing for a recession.

That is according to a UBS survey of 360 global family offices with an average family wealth of $1.2 billion. Results showed 55% of family offices see a recession by 2020, and to mitigate risks, 45% are already adjusting their portfolios including shifting to bonds and real estate, while 42% are increasing their cash reserves.

“We are very cautious, even now with the market we don’t feel very comfortable,” said a survey respondent, who is a managing partner at a multi-family office in North America.

An escalated trade war between the U.S. and China has deepened fears of a recession, while the so-called yield curve inversion, a bond market phenomenon that’s historically predictive of an economic downturn, also intensified the concerns. Many notable investors and economists including Jeffrey Gundlach and David Rosenberg have recently warned of heightened recession risks.

“Who knows what will happen with Brexit, what will happen in the EU, and what will happen between the U.S. and China,” said another survey respondent, a CEO of a single family office in Europe. “There are so many open questions, and this could have a dramatic impact on the market. In general, we think we have reached our peak.”

The survey also revealed a fifth of family offices are reducing their leverage exposure within their investments in response to their expectations for a recession next year.

The ultra-wealthy’s prediction of a recession came as many democratic presidential candidates have proposed wealth taxes to cut income inequality. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have both unveiled tax proposals that would tax the richest Americans’ assets.

Source: A majority of the ultra-wealthy expect a recession next year and are hunkering down

Top-level climate modeler goes rogue, criticizes ‘nonsense’ of ‘global warming crisis’ | American Thinker

A scientist worthy of the name exposes the shaky foundations of climate alarmism. But whom are you going to believe: a superbly qualified Japanese scientist or a Swedish teenager with mental issues?

A highly qualified and experienced climate modeler with impeccable credentials has rejected the unscientific bases of the doom-mongering over a purported climate crisis.  His work has not yet been picked up in this country, but that is about to change.  Writing at the Australian site Quadrant, Tony Thomas introduces the English-speaking world to the truth-telling of Dr. Mototaka Nakamura (hat tip: Andrew Bolt, John McMahon).

There’s a top-level oceanographer and meteorologist who is  prepared to cry “Nonsense!”on the “global warming crisis” evident to climate modellers but not in the real world. He’s as well or better qualified than the modellers he criticises — the ones whose Year 2100 forebodings of 4degC warming have set the world to spending $US1.5 trillion a year to combat CO2 emissions.

The iconoclast is Dr. Mototaka Nakamura. In June he put out a small book in Japanese on “the sorry state of climate science”. It’s titled Confessions of a climate scientist: the global warming hypothesis is an unproven hypothesis, and he is very much qualified to take a stand. From 1990 to 2014 he worked on cloud dynamics and forces mixing atmospheric and ocean flows on medium to planetary scales. His bases were MIT (for a Doctor of Science in meteorology), Georgia Institute of Technology, Goddard Space Flight Centre, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Duke and Hawaii Universities and the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology. He’s published about 20 climate papers on fluid dynamics. [i]

Today’s vast panoply of “global warming science” is like an upside down pyramid built on the work of a few score of serious climate modellers. They claim to have demonstrated human-derived CO2 emissions as the cause of recent global warming and project that warming forward. Every orthodox climate researcher takes such output from the modellers’ black boxes as a given.

Dr. Nakamura has just made his work available to the English-speaking world:

There was no English edition of his book in June and only a few bits were translated and circulated. But Dr Nakamura last week offered via a free Kindle version his own version [sic] in English. It’s not a translation but a fresh essay leading back to his original conclusions.

And the critique he offers is comprehensive.

Data integrity

(AT just published the story of Canada’s Environment Agency discarding actual historical data and substituting its models of what the data should have been, for instance.)

Now Nakamura has found it again, further accusing the orthodox scientists of “data falsification” by adjusting previous temperature data to increase apparent warming “The global surface mean temperature-change data no longer have any scientific value and are nothing except a propaganda tool to the public,” he writes.

The climate models are useful tools for academic studies, he says. However, “the models just become useless pieces of junk or worse (worse in a sense that they can produce gravely misleading output) when they are used for climate forecasting.” The reason:

These models completely lack some critically important  climate processes and feedbacks, and represent some other critically important climate processes and feedbacks in grossly distorted manners to the extent that makes these models totally useless for any meaningful climate prediction.

I myself used to use climate simulation models for scientific studies, not for predictions, and learned about their problems and limitations in the process.

Ignoring non-CO2 climate determinants

Climate forecasting is simply impossible, if only because future changes in solar energy output are unknowable.  As to the impacts of human-caused CO2, they can’t be judged “with the knowledge and technology we currently possess.”

Other gross model simplifications include

# Ignorance about large and small-scale ocean dynamics

# A complete lack of meaningful representations of aerosol changes that generate clouds.

# Lack of understanding of drivers of ice-albedo (reflectivity) feedbacks: “Without a reasonably accurate representation, it is impossible to make any meaningful predictions of climate variations and changes in the middle and high latitudes and thus the entire planet.”

# Inability to deal with water vapor elements

# Arbitrary “tunings” (fudges) of key parameters that are not understood

Concerning CO2 changes he says,

I want to point out a simple fact that it is impossible to correctly predict even the sense or direction of a change of a system when the prediction tool lacks and/or grossly distorts important non-linear processes, feedbacks in particular, that are present in the actual system …

… The real or realistically-simulated climate system is far more complex than an absurdly simple system simulated by the toys that have been used for climate predictions to date, and will be insurmountably difficult for those naïve climate researchers who have zero or very limited understanding of geophysical fluid dynamics. I understand geophysical fluid dynamics just a little, but enough to realize that the dynamics of the atmosphere and oceans are absolutely critical facets of the climate system if one hopes to ever make any meaningful prediction of climate variation.

Solar input, absurdly, is modelled as a “never changing quantity”. He says, “It has only been several decades since we acquired  an ability to accurately monitor the incoming solar energy. In these several decades only, it has varied by one to two watts per square metre. Is it reasonable to assume that it will not vary any more than that in the next hundred years or longer for forecasting purposes? I would say, No.”

There is much, much more. Read the whole thing.

But who are you going to believe: a superbly qualified Japanese scientist or a Swedish teenager with mental issues?

Image credit: Pixabay.

Source: Top-level climate modeler goes rogue, criticizes ‘nonsense’ of ‘global warming crisis’

Jordan and Meadows: Democrats Have ‘Nothing Else’; Ukraine Controversy Will ‘Start to Unravel’ | CNS News

Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Mark Meadows (R-NC) attend a hearing of the House Oversight Committee on February 27, 2019. (Photo by Andrew CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) – Why is a second-hand whistleblower complaint being taken so seriously, before the facts are in?

Because Democrats have got “nothing else,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) told Fox News’s Laura Ingraham Monday night;

“The Michael Cohen hearing didn’t work for them, the John Dean hearing didn’t work for them, the Bob Mueller hearing didn’t work for them,” Jordan said.

“Last week, the Corey Lewandowski hearing didn’t work for them — so they said, shazam! I know what we’ll do, let’s say President Trump coordinated with some foreign government. Let’s see if that works.

“Even though they’ve done that for the last two years with Russia, they’re now going to try it with Ukraine. So They’ve got nothing else. They’re out to get this president, and this is the best they’ve got, which is laughable.”

Ingraham noted that the latest Trump controversy has been a “shot in the arm” to impeachment, as more Democrats join the call to go in that direction. In fact, Democrats planned to meet Tuesday afternoon to discuss impeachment.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) predicted it won’t work:

“What they’ll soon find out is what the rest of America has found out on the two previous allegations is that (Rep.) Adam Schiff is the young man who cried wolf. And we’re going to see that with this, because this is all going to start to unravel.

“You know, it is interesting. The Democrats were really for Ukraine meddling in the election before they were against it. And that’s what all the evidence shows.” According to Meadows, “When the story comes out, it’ll be the Democrats that will have a problem, not President Trump.”

Jordan said Democrats always accuse Republicans of what they’re doing, and he said that’s true in the latest controversy:

“You know, I always go back to what Chuck Schumer said on January 3rd, 2017. He said, you mess with the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday of getting back at you. This is one of thos six ways. Because we don’t know who this whistle-blower is who never even first-hand saw this evidence, but he’s alleging the whole thing. And again this is what the sequel to the Trump-Russia collusion is that we watched for two years.

Meadows predicted that if and when the whistleblower’s details emerge, “ultimately the president will be exonerated.”

Meadows also turned the focus on Hunter Biden, Joe’s hapless son, who — witihout qualification except that of his birth — got a cushy job on the board of a Ukraine gas company.

“You know, we said, how did Hunter Biden get this job?” Meadows asked. “Well, we now know because of some reporting that just happened that Joe Biden meets with the prime minister of Ukraine, and within 30 days, voila, Hunter Biden has a job in the Ukraine because he has got all this expertise. You know, it smells a little fishy.”

Laura Ingraham said, “Everyone I know who works in this field, including throughout Asia, I’m talking about big-deal people, this was an open secret about Hunter Biden. Everyone knows he’s getting a sweetheart deal.

“Like, what the heck, this guy has no experience at all. You cannot get on a payroll of that kind of company with that kind of cash unless you are connected with someone who can pull the levers of power or you have big experience, big knowledge, big expertise. He had one of those two things.”

Source: Jordan and Meadows: Democrats Have ‘Nothing Else’; Ukraine Controversy Will ‘Start to Unravel’