Daily Archives: September 25, 2019

September 25 A Miracle of Life

Scripture Reading: Psalm 45:1–15

Key Verse: Psalm 45:15

With gladness and rejoicing they shall be brought;

They shall enter the King’s palace.

Why is it that so many of us who have trusted Jesus Christ as Savior spend our Christian lives struggling and feeling defeated? One reason may be that we have never grasped exactly what took place at salvation, and we furthermore fail to understand its current meaning in our lives.

God’s viewpoint is that, before trusting Christ as Savior, we were spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:5), under His wrath (John 3:36), and condemned to eternal separation from Him (Revelation 20:15). He saw us in these ways:

  • Walking dead people, who couldn’t make themselves alive
  • People deserving judgment, who couldn’t remove themselves from divine anger by their own efforts
  • Rebellious people who were unable to turn to God apart from the Spirit’s drawing power

Clearly, something outside of ourselves was needed. The Lord loved us to the point that He was willing to do whatever was necessary to rescue us from our desperate condition. God’s solution was grace:

  • He provided a Savior who bore our sins, became sin for us, and endured the wrath of God for those sins.
  • He sent His only Son to pay the debt we owed for our sins—a debt we could not pay.

What took place? A miracle of life for us, who were once spiritually dead.

Thank You for the miracle, God. Thank You for sending a Savior who bore my sin and paid my debt. Thank You for the assurance of eternal life![1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 280). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

How to know the difference between the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error — Denny Burk

The apostle John explains to his readers how to tell the difference between the Spirit of God and the spirit of antichrist:

1 John 4:6We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.”

This means that if you want to know Jesus and if you want to know the truth, then you must listen to His apostolic witnesses. If you refuse to listen to and to believe in the apostolic portrait of Jesus, you are listening to the spirit of antichrist (1 John 4:3).

This is John’s expansion of what Jesus himself said in the upper room discourse. Jesus told his apostles that he would uniquely reveal himself to his apostles and would enable them to faithfully communicate his revelation to the world:

John 14:25 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you [apostles] all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.”

John 16:13 “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you [apostles] into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.”

The spirit of Christ is saying, “listen to my apostles.” The spirit of error says, “Don’t get hung up on the apostolic teaching; just focus on Jesus.” The spirit of error trades in the lie that we can know Christ apart from the apostolic revelation of him in scripture.

Even though Paul was not with the eleven when Jesus told them that he would guide them into all truth, we know that Jesus intends for us to view Paul as having the same revelatory authority as the other apostles. How do we know that? Because Jesus himself discloses this intention when he appears to Ananias in a vision and said this concerning Paul:

Acts 9:15-16 “Go, for [Paul] is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name’s sake.”

Likewise, consider Jesus’ words about Paul in Acts 26:16-18:

Acts 26:16-1815 And I said, ‘Who art Thou, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. 16 ‘But arise, and stand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you a minister and a witness not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I will appear to you; 17 delivering you from the Jewish
people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you, 18 to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, in order that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me’” (italics mine).

Jesus called Paul to be an apostle just as he called the other eleven. Jesus also specifically directed Paul to proclaim his name among the Gentiles. Jesus appointed Paul for this task and intends for Paul’s listeners (and now readers) to heed the message that Paul proclaims.

If Jesus chose and appointed Paul to bear His name among the gentiles, then who are we to gainsay Jesus? Doesn’t King Jesus have the authority to select and enable His own spokesmen? Jesus has chosen to reveal His words and deeds through apostolic witnesses, and he has directed us to listen to the likes of Paul.

When we read the apostolic testimony in the New Testament, we are hearing directly from Christ himself. It was not a generic spirit that inspired the words of Scripture. It was the Spirit of Christ that moved the authors to write what they wrote. Jesus describes the Spirit this way in John 15:26, “When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father…He will bear witness of Me.” This is the Spirit that Jesus sends to inspire the apostolic witness. It is the same Spirit that inspired the Old Testament, and it is the same Spirit that Peter calls “the Spirit of Christ.”

1 Peter 1:10-1110 As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful search and inquiry, 11 seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow.”

Paul too spoke of “the Christ who speaks in me” in 2 Corinthians 13:3. That means that there is no daylight between Jesus and Paul when it comes to what Paul communicates to us in scripture. Paul speaks for Christ. If we want to be obedient to Christ, then we must obey the canonical words of Paul and of the other apostles. Those who wish to honor biblical authority will avoid attempts to pit Jesus’ words against Paul’s words, for the words of Paul and of the other apostolic authors of Scripture are nothing less than the very words of Christ.

—————

*The material above is an adaptation of pages 76-84 from my book What Is the Meaning of Sex? (Crossway, 2013).

via How to know the difference between the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error — Denny Burk

September 25 So Send I You

Scripture Reading: John 20:19–23

Key Verse: John 20:21

Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”

George Grenfell (1849–1906), missionary and explorer of the Congo, made the following entry into his diary:

Thank God we are safely back! It might have been otherwise, for we have encountered perils not a few. But the winds, which sometimes were simply terrific, and the rocks, which knocked three holes in the river steamer as we were running away at night from cannibals, have not wrecked us. We have been attacked by natives about twenty different times, we have been stoned and shot at with arrows, and have been the marks for more spears than we can count.

For thirty–two years, Grenfell labored in Africa planting churches. His memoirs read more like a war novel than a mission’s report and detail wild hardships, dangers, and disappointments. Tenacious in his efforts to spread the gospel, he launched six voyages up the Congo River. The result was the establishment of several mission stations in an area that until his coming had remained unreachable.

This is not a time for fainthearted Christians. Grenfell sailed up the Congo for the gospel’s glory. When you are faced with trials, remember these words: “So send I you,” as well as the One who said them (John 20:21 kjv).

Dear God, this is no time for fainthearted Christians. Increase my dedication and commitment to fulfill Your call. You have sent me. I will go.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 280). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

The Whole of the Christian Life Is Repentance — Ligonier Ministries Blog

We don’t just repent once. In this brief clip, Sinclair Ferguson explains that the Christian life requires daily repentance and submission to the authority of Jesus Christ.

Transcript

Most of you know the story of Martin Luther nailing his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of the castle church in Wittenberg. The first of these theses was this: When our Lord Jesus said “repent.” He meant that the whole of the Christian life should be repentance. You ever heard somebody say, well I repented twenty years ago, thirty years ago, ten years ago, it’s done and dusted. No it’s not done and dusted for Jesus. It is the whole of the Christian life. This transformation, this newness, this difference that is the Christian life, takes place only when we find ourselves bowing down to the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ.

via The Whole of the Christian Life Is Repentance — Ligonier Ministries Blog

September 25 Healing for Your Heart

Scripture reading: Psalm 37:1–40

Key verse: Psalm 37:9

Evildoers shall be cut off;

But those who wait on the Lord,

They shall inherit the earth.

One subject that dominates many Christian counseling sessions is the subject of abuse. People seek help in working through the emotional agony that comes from being abused.

We now understand that abuse can be emotional, physical, or psychological. A controlling, domineering person can do as much damage as one who physically takes advantage of another person.

The devastation that follows abuse is a damaged personhood with undertows of low self-esteem, guilt, and shame. Abuse of any kind strikes at the core of who we are and, if not attended to, can put a thick covering over God’s intended purpose for our lives. Those who have been abused often say they feel worthless, shameful, and purposeless. It is difficult to imagine why such pain happens. However, denying it does not remove or help the hurt.

Most of us know someone who has suffered due to the thoughtless actions of another. At times, healing may seem difficult. If you have been abused and continue to struggle emotionally and mentally, you may want to talk with your pastor or a trusted Christian friend. Ask him to listen and then to pray with you about what has happened in your life. While thoughts of revenge are a natural response, they cause only more heartache. God wants to set you free. Give Him your emotional pain, and He will bring healing to your heart.

Heavenly Father, take all my emotional baggage, and bring healing to my heart. Help me forgive my abuser. Set me free from the pain.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 280). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Press Warns That Trump Is Actually A Wolf Coming To Devour The Village And This Time They Mean It — The Babylon Bee

U.S.—In the latest bombshell allegations that will definitely end the Trump presidency and expunge him from all existence, several media outlets are reporting that Trump is actually a wolf coming to devour the village and “this time we mean it.”

During a routine CNN broadcast about Trump Tuesday evening, a reporter came running into the newsroom in a flurry, all out of breath and panting. “Guys!” he cried out. After being lectured on the use of the gender-specific term “guys” and regaining his breath, he continued: “Trump isn’t actually just Hitler—in fact, he is a wolf. A whistleblower told me. And he’s coming this way right now to devour all of us! Run!!!”

Using standard CNN operating procedure, news executives didn’t vet the claim at all but immediately went to print and interrupted the station’s live broadcast to tell everyone that Trump is a wolf. This is the 43rd time that they have run this report. Each one has turned out to be a false alarm. Several interns were seen running around the newsroom with their hair on fire.

However, despite the insanity of the reporting on Trump, there does seem to be some evidence that he has some wolf-like qualities, though not as many as some past presidents. Often they devoured entire villages but the press spun their activities as “environmental activism.” Unfortunately, nobody will believe them when Trump actually devours a village. Sad!

via Press Warns That Trump Is Actually A Wolf Coming To Devour The Village And This Time They Mean It — The Babylon Bee

“We Had a Good Phone Call, It Was Normal” – Ukrainian President Zelensky Defends Call with President Trump at UN Meeting (VIDEO) — The Gateway Pundit

President Trump met with Ukrainian President Zelensky at the United Nations in New York City on Wednesday at 2:15 PM Eastern.

The entire meeting was televised.

This comes after the White House released the transcript earlier today of their call in July.

Ukrainian President Zelensky told reporters on the Trump phone call, “We had a good phone call. It was normal.”

via “We Had a Good Phone Call, It Was Normal” – Ukrainian President Zelensky Defends Call with President Trump at UN Meeting (VIDEO) — The Gateway Pundit

Justice Department clears Trump on Ukraine call | WND

With attention focused on the release of the transcript of President Trump’s conversation with the Ukrainian president about former Vice President Joe Biden, the Justice Department’s criminal division said Wednesday it already has investigated the matter and concluded Trump did not violate campaign finance laws.

The Washington Times reported a separate division of the department has also ruled that the administration did not break the law by failing to immediately share a whistleblower’s complaint with Congress.

Officials explained the matter didn’t meet the definition of “urgent,” as required by the law.

The transcript of the conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky showed Trump talked about Biden but did not threaten to withhold military aid as Democrats charge.

Zelensky said a newly appointed prosecutor will “look into the situation” regarding Hunter Biden’s dealings with Ukraine.

“The issue of the investigation of the case … so we will take care of that and work on the investigation of the case,” the Ukrainian president said.

President Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, has said he has records of laundered payments from the Ukrainian energy company Burisma to a Hunter Biden business account amounting to more than $3 million.

In a Fox News interview Tuesday night, Giuliani explained he got involved in his capacity of defending the president. He said that the prosecutor “that Biden helped to put in” dismissed a case against an organization “that was collecting false information about Donald Trump, about Paul Manafort, and feeding it to the Democratic National Committee.”

The organization, he said, was run by left-wing billionaire financier George Soros.

Justice: Trump hasn’t asked us to contact Ukraine

On Wednesday, Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said Attorney General William Barr was first made aware of the Ukraine call several weeks after it took place.

“The president has not spoken with the attorney general about having Ukraine investigate anything related to former Vice President Biden or his son,” Kupec said in a statement. “The president has not asked the attorney general to contact the Ukraine — on this or any other matter.”

The spokeswoman said Barr also has not communicated with Ukraine regarding the Bidens or “anything relating to Ukraine with Rudy Giuliani.”

A whistleblower reported Trump’s conversation to authorities Aug. 12, despite not having first-hand knowledge. Citing information from “White House officials,” the whistleblower said it appeared Trump was trying to pressure Ukraine to help him win the 2020 election.

The intelligence community inspector general found the report credible while concluding the whistleblower showed political bias.

The IG said the report was urgent enough to be shared with Congress by the director of national intelligence. But the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel concluded the complaint does not fall within the statutory definition of “urgent concern.”

The Office of Legal Counsel also ruled the president’s conversation with the Ukrainian president was a diplomatic communication and not an intelligence activity.

“Such matters simply do not relate to ‘the funding, administration or operation of an intelligence activity within the responsibility and authority’ of the DNI,” wrote Steven Engel, the assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel.

He said that if there were to be an investigation, it should be done by the Justice Department.

That is what happened, the Washington Times said, and the Justice Department’s criminal division concluded Trump was not soliciting a contribution by asking Ukraine to probe an opponent.

Source: Justice Department clears Trump on Ukraine call

Biden Campaign Calls Trump Ad Racist and Sexist for Showing Democrats Obsessed With Impeachment — The Gateway Pundit

Kamau Marshall, Director of Strategic Communications for the Joe Biden presidential campaign, called President Trump’s campaign ad yesterday on Democrats’ obsession with impeachment racist and sexist, saying on Twitter, “This is a problematic video from a problematic president, particularly targeting people of color and powerful women.”

Screen image from Trump campaign ad showing Rep. Al Green (D-TX) saying, “If we don’t impeach this president, he will get reelected.”

Marshall’s statement was retweeted by Biden campaign spokesman Bill Russo, putting the campaign’s imprimatur on the statement.

Trump campaign video posted Tuesday after Speaker Pelosi announced her approval for an impeachment inquiry against the President:

The video shows numerous Democrat Congressmen and Senators, including presidential candidates, speaking about impeaching Trump (in order of appearance): Rep. Cedric Richmond (LA), presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (MA), presidential candidate Tom Steyer (CA), Richmond again, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (MI), Rep. Ted Lieu (CA), Rep. Ilhan Omar (MN), senior Obama administration official Jen Psaki, presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (CA), Rep. Adam Schiff (CA), Rep. Maxine Waters (CA), House Majority Whip Rep. Jim Clyburn (SC), Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (CA) and Rep. Al Green (TX).

Full statement by Marshall and retweeted by Russo, “The first person in this Trump video is the former CBC Chairman, @CedricRichmond. VP @JoeBiden has said – there’s no low too low for this president. This is a problematic video from a problematic president, particularly targeting people of color and powerful women.”

Marshall added, “The last person in the video is my former boss @RepAlGreen who’s been at DJT for sometime now. I stand by and support these individuals for calling Trump out on all his rhetoric. He isn’t above the law. As VP
@JoeBiden has said, this is a national problem.”

Screen image of Bill Russo retweet.

via Biden Campaign Calls Trump Ad Racist and Sexist for Showing Democrats Obsessed With Impeachment — The Gateway Pundit

Impeachment Odds Plummet As Trump Releases Ukraine Transcript | ZeroHedge News

Impeachment Odds Plummet As Trump Releases Ukraine Transcript

The Trump administration has released a White House transcript of a phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the heart of a whistleblower complaint.

Among other things, the transcript shows Trump discussing former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

Here’s the ‘pressure’ Trump put on Zelensky:

“The other thing, There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it… It sounds horrible to me.” 

Earlier in the conversation, Trump says: “I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike … I guess you have one of your wealthy people… The server, they say Ukraine has it There are a lot of things that went on, the whole situation I think you’re surrounding yourself with some of the same people. I would like to have the Attorney General call you or your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it. As you saw yesterday, that whole nonsense ended with a very poor performance by a man named Robert Mueller, an incompetent performance, but they say a lot of it started with Ukraine. Whatever you can do, it’s very important that you do it if that’s possible.

Read below:

Meanwhile, the left is already taking issue with calling this a ‘transcript,’ as is it is a “memorandum” – which would suggest it’s not a verbatim account of the conversation.

Regardless, Trump’s odds of impeachment by the end of Trump’s first term has taken a precipitous nosedive according over the past 24 hours, since Trump announced that he would release the transcript and whistleblower complaint.

Source: Impeachment Odds Plummet As Trump Releases Ukraine Transcript