Daily Archives: September 26, 2019

September 26 Saved by Grace

Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 5:14–17

Key Verse: 2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

Grace is God’s goodness and kindness freely extended to the utterly undeserving—you and me. Because of His grace, He offers salvation through Jesus Christ so that we might have a relationship with Him. In that relationship, His viewpoint of us has changed. God, in His grace, does these things for us:

  • Declares we are righteous. Christ’s righteousness is credited as our own (2 Corinthians 5:21). The guilt and shame of sin has been removed (Romans 8:1). We can live boldly for Jesus no matter who we once were.
  • Claims us as family. A spiritual adoption has taken place so that we might become children of God and call Him “Father.” No matter how insignificant the world says we are, we are to live our days remembering we’re children of the King.
  • Gives us, who were spiritually dead, a new heart and a new spirit. We are born again. We have a fresh start in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).
  • Raises us out of the life we used to live into a new life with Him. The seal of this new life is the presence of the Holy Spirit, whose fruit is love, joy, and peace.
  • Sets us free from the power of sin, Satan, and self. Obedience and victory become a reality as we grow in faith and trust.

Praise God for His unending grace!

Thank You for Your unending grace, Lord. Thank You for declaring me righteous and claiming me as family, providing an inheritance, setting me free from sin, and raising me from the old life to a new life.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 281). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Joel Osteen Opens Church Cafe That Only Serves Lukewarm Beverages — The Babylon Bee

HOUSTON, TX—Lakewood Church has everything you could want for a fine day of churchgoing, shopping, and fine dining. But Pastor Joel Osteen was never comfortable with the church’s cafe, which only served hot or cold beverages.

“These hot and cold beverages are making me uncomfortable and their negativity is really rubbing off on me,” Osteen said at a recent leadership team luncheon as he opened up a fortune cookie, immediately scribbling down whatever it said for use in his next sermon. “I think from now on we should just serve lukewarm coffees and teas—not too hot, not too cold, just middle of the road, easygoing, not rockin’ the boat too much, you know?”

Church leaders jumped into action and began making the switch. The cafe’s grand reopening occurred this past Sunday. Lakewood church attendees reported they were very happy with the lukewarm beverages, as they weren’t “too extreme” but had just the right amount of complacency for a satisfying taste and mouthfeel.

“The problem with hot or cold beverages is that I want to spit them out of my mouth,” Osteen said. “I’m always like, ‘Oh, how I wish it were lukewarm, like a victorious Christian life!'”

via Joel Osteen Opens Church Cafe That Only Serves Lukewarm Beverages — The Babylon Bee

September 26 Staying on Course

Scripture Reading: Philippians 3:7–10

Key Verse: Philippians 3:8

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

Jesus was very clear when He gave parting instructions to His followers: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 28:19 nasb).

This is the mission of the church today—or should be. Some churches, large and small, drift away theologically and doctrinally from the absolute truth of Scripture. Others suffer from a lack of Christ-centered leadership, with much friction between the pastor and the staff. And some leaders forfeit the trust of the congregation by willfully pursuing sin. If not addressed, these problems bog down the church and cause it to lose sight of the ultimate purpose.

Take a serious look at the vitality and activity of your church:

  • Is Bible teaching a priority?
  • Is evangelism emphasized?
  • Are people involved in service to the community?
  • Is the worship service meeting the needs in your life?
  • Are there real opportunities for fellowship and support?

If you find the answers to these questions less than satisfying, ask God to show you how to pray for its leaders. Be willing to obey Him, and make it your goal to worship with people who are committed to Christ above all else.

O Lord, let my church be a place where Your Word, worship, and evangelism are emphasized. Draw us to serve our community. Make our fellowship one of mutual support. Bless our leaders. Help us stay on course to accomplish our mission.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 281). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

September 26 Born for Adversity

Scripture reading: Psalm 35:9–15

Key verse: Proverbs 17:17

A friend loves at all times,

And a brother is born for adversity.

You’ve probably heard the homespun phrase that you never know who your real friends are until trouble comes. But perhaps you didn’t realize that a biblical principle is behind the saying.

Today’s verse states, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” Maybe you’ve wondered who among your friends would love you at all times, not just when there are peace and plenty. But have you ever stopped to consider whether you are that kind of friend? Are you a brother or sister who was born for adversity?

One of life’s most difficult challenges is to be a stalwart for a hurting friend, particularly if his trial involves potential wrongdoing or error on his part. Sometimes we are quicker to judge and condemn than to pray and be available to vicariously share a burden.

Take a moment to consider how you have reacted to the adversities of your friends throughout the years. Did you steer clear for a while until the situation settled? Did you cease relations altogether? Or did you put an arm around your struggling buddy and lend an ear, encouragement, and prayer?

Christ called His disciples friends. And when they hurt, He was there. Always. His example remains perfect today, and you’ll never know what kind of real friend you are until their trouble comes.

Dear Lord, help me be a true friend to those in need, a strength to the weak, a comfort to the hurting.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 281). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

President Trump Delivers Remarks About Ukraine Call and IC “Whistleblower” From Joint Base Andrews… — The Last Refuge

Arriving at Joint Base Andrews President Trump delivers remarks to the press pool about the ongoing fiasco with an unnamed hearsay “whistleblower” and the political use of a constructed controversy.  [Video Below, Transcript will Follow]

“I just watched a little of the news on TV. It’s a disgrace.” – “It’s Adam Schiff making up stories.” – “Democrats are going lose the election and they know it. That’s why they are doing it.” – “It should never be allowed.” – “I have to put up with Adam Schiff on an absolutely perfect phone call with the new president of Ukraine. That was a perfect call.” – “But Adam Schiff doesn’t talk about Joe Biden and his son walking away with millions of dollars from Ukraine, and then millions of dollars from China.”…

via President Trump Delivers Remarks About Ukraine Call and IC “Whistleblower” From Joint Base Andrews… — The Last Refuge

Judicial Watch Sues for Records of V.P. Biden Pressuring Ukraine | CNS News

Joe Biden (Getty Image/Joshua Lott)

Judicial Watch has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit for records about the firing of Ukraine’s top prosecutor after then-Vice President Joe Biden threated to withhold aid. The lawsuit was filed Wednesday against the U.S. Department of State (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:19-cv-02893)).

The suit was filed after the State Department failed to respond to a May 7, 2019, FOIA request seeking access to the following records:

  1. Any and all records regarding, concerning, or related to Viktor Shokin’s investigation of Mykola Zolchevsky and Shokin’s resignation at Ukraine’s Prosecutor General.
  2. Any and all records of communication between any official, employee, or representative of the Department of State and any official, employee, or representative of the Office of the Vice President regarding Viktor Shokin.

In a widely distributed video, Joe Biden confirmed that he successfully pressured, under threat of withholding $1 billion in U.S. government aid, the Ukrainian government to fire Shokin, who had allegedly launched an investigation into Burisma, which had purportedly paid Biden’s son Hunter $50,000 a month.

“The latest assault on President Trump is an obvious attempt to protect Joe Biden from the corruption scandals involving his son,” said Tom Fitton. “Judicial Watch’s latest lawsuit will be the first to of many to try to get to the bottom of this influence-peddling scandal.”

Source: Judicial Watch Sues for Records of V.P. Biden Pressuring Ukraine

FIGURES. Rep. Ratcliffe Reveals Trump-Hating Whistleblower Based His Complaint on Anti-Trump Fake News Media Including WaPo, NY Times, and Politico (VIDEO) (VIDEO) — The Gateway Pundit

The House Intelligence Committee led by Rep. Adam Schiff and ranking member Rep. Devin Nunes held a committee hearing on the anti-Trump whistleblower report with DNI Director Maguire.

Rep. John Ratcliffe stood out during the hearing. Ratcliffe destroyed all hopes for impeachment during his questioning of DNI Maguire.

Ratcliffe, who was asked by President Trump to take over the Director of National Intelligence but withdrew his name, tore into the liberal media lies and omissions.

Rep. Ratcliffe pointed out numerous errors, conjecture and lies in the whistleblower report on President Trump’s July conversation with President Zelensky from Ukraine.

Ratcliffe then revealed that the anti-Trump whistleblower based his complaint on fake news outlets The Washington Post, New York Times, Politico, The Hill, etc.
Wow!

Rep. Ratcliffe: The Democrats are intent on impeaching President Trump for lawful conduct… The whistleblower then goes on to say, ‘I was not a direct witness to the events described’ … In other words, all of this is secondhand information. None of it is firsthand information. The sources the whistleblower bases his complaints on include the Washington Post, The New York Times, Politico, The Hill, Bloomberg, ABC News and others. In other words, much like the Steel Dossier the allegations in whistleblower’s complaints are based on third-hand mainstream media sources, rather than first hand information

Rep. Ratcliffe DESTROYED the liberal hack and whistleblower.
It was an incredible drubbing of this latest Democrat clown show.

via FIGURES. Rep. Ratcliffe Reveals Trump-Hating Whistleblower Based His Complaint on Anti-Trump Fake News Media Including WaPo, NY Times, and Politico (VIDEO) (VIDEO) — The Gateway Pundit

IT BEGINS: Pelosi Accuses Trump of “Cover Up” After Trump-Zelensky Transcript and Whistleblower Complaint Declassified, Released to Public (VIDEO) — The Gateway Pundit

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) accused the Trump Administration of a “cover up” in spite of the transcript of the phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and the ‘whistleblower complaint’ being declassified and released to the public.

Pelosi and her Democrat Caucus have nothing to pin on Trump so they are desperately trying to shape public opinion in favor of impeaching President Trump.

“The complaint states that the White House tried to lock down all records of the call…that gave the whistleblower reason to believe that they [the White House] understood the gravity of what transpired in that call,” Pelosi said.

“This is a cover up,” Pelosi said reading the part of the complaint that alleged Trump stored the transcripts of his call with Zelensky in a classified electronic records system. *Gasp*

This so-called whistleblower doesn’t even have first-hand knowledge of Trump’s conversations, but Pelosi is moving full steam ahead with her ‘impeachment inquiry.’

WATCH:

The whistleblower complaint was declassified Wednesday night and released to the public Thursday morning.

Congressman Nunes broke down the complaint Thursday morning during Acting DNI Joseph Maguire’s hearing:

  • The complaint relied on hearsay evidence provided by the whistleblower.
  • The Inspector General did not know the contents of the phone call at issue.
  • The Inspector General found that the whistleblower displayed “arguable political bias” against Trump.
  • The Department of Justice investigated the complaint and determined no action was warranted.

The Trump-Zelensky transcript was declassified and the full, unredacted 5-page transcript was released Wednesday morning.

The transcript destroyed the Democrat-Deep State-media narrative that Trump threatened Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky or engaged in quid pro quo to get him to agree to investigate Joe Biden’s son Hunter for his involvement with Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian natural gas company.

The transcripts show a very pleasant exchange between President Trump and Volodymyr Zelensky.

The conversation between the two leaders was very cheerful and Zelensky was delighted to speak with President Trump — there were no threats, no quid pro quo.

In spite of Trump’s transparency and willingness to declassify and release documents to the public, Pelosi is still accusing him of a cover up.

The Democrats refuse to accept the results of the 2016 election and will do anything to remove President Trump from office (or prevent him from winning in 2020).

“A whistleblower with second hand information? Another Fake News Story! See what was said on the very nice, no pressure, call. Another Witch Hunt!”Trump said in a tweet Thursday afternoon.

via IT BEGINS: Pelosi Accuses Trump of “Cover Up” After Trump-Zelensky Transcript and Whistleblower Complaint Declassified, Released to Public (VIDEO) — The Gateway Pundit

September 26, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

Qohelet once again resorts to “better-than” proverbs. He promotes the end over the beginning of a matter in the first colon. In the second colon, he prefers patience over pride.

At first glance, this verse has no obvious connection with the broader context. In addition, it is not immediately obvious how the first colon of the verse is related to the second. Closer analysis, however, recognizes a link with the overall theme of death.

In 7:1b, for instance, Qohelet preferred the day of death (the end of life) over the day of birth (its beginning). While v. 8a has a much broader application, it is surely connected with the idea that the matter here is life.

The second proverb of the verse gives the relative value of patience over pride. Literally, the terms are translated “length of spirit” and “height of spirit,” respectively, and these spatial terms are used metaphorically here. Bringing this out more explicitly, we might translate, “Better long patience than soaring pride.” The expression for patience (ʾerek rûaḥ) is a hapax, but its meaning cannot be disputed. It is synonymous with another expression for patience, namely ʾerek-ʾappayim (“long of anger”), found in Proverbs 14:29 and elsewhere. rûaḥ substitutes for ʾappayim here because of the parallel with gᵊbah-rûaḥ. Also, rûaḥ connotes “anger” (Isa. 25:4; Prov. 16:32) and “impatience” (Mic. 2:7; Prov. 14:29).

R. N. Whybray has suggested a plausible connection between the two parts of the verse: “self-control is needed to carry through any project.” I would go on to add that no one can know the outcome of anything until it is completed, so patience, not pride, is called for, the latter presuming to control the future or outcome. Crenshaw quotes the proverb in 2 Kings 20:11: “Let not the person putting on armor brag like the one taking it off.”[1]


7:8 It seemed to Solomon that the end of a thing is better than its beginning. Perhaps he was thinking of the tremendous inertia that must often be overcome to begin a project and of the drudgery and discipline that go into its early stages. Then by contrast there is the sense of achievement and satisfaction that accompanies its completion.

But it doesn’t take much insight to realize that the rule does not always hold. The end of righteous deeds is better than the beginning, but the end of sin is worse. The latter days of Job were better than the beginning (Job 42:12), but the end of the wicked is indescribably terrible (Heb. 10:31).

The Preacher was on firmer ground when he said that the patient in spirit is superior to the proud in spirit. Patience is an attractive virtue, whereas pride is the parent sin. Patience fits a man for God’s approval (Rom. 5:4), whereas pride fits him for destruction (Prov. 16:18).[2]


8. connected with Ec 7:7. Let the “wise” wait for “the end,” and the “oppressions” which now (in “the beginning”) perplex their faith, will be found by God’s working to be overruled to their good. “Tribulation worketh patience” (Ro 5:3), which is infinitely better than “the proud spirit” that prosperity might have generated in them, as it has in fools (Ps 73:2, 3, 12–14, 17–26; Jam 5:11).[3]


Ver. 8.—Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof. This is not a repetition of the assertion in ver. 1 concerning the day of death and the day of birth, but states a truth in a certain sense generally true. The end is better because we then can form a right judgment about a matter; we see what was its purpose; we know whether it has been advantageous and prosperous or not. Christ’s maxim, often repeated (see Matt. 10:22; 24:13; Rom. 2:7; Heb. 3:6, etc.), is, “He that shall endure unto the end shall be saved.” No one living can be said to be so absolutely safe as that he can look to the great day without trembling. Death puts the seal to the good life, and obviates the danger of falling away. Of course, if a thing is in itself evil, the gnome is not true (comp. Prov. 5:3, 4; 16:25, etc.); but applied to things indifferent at the outset, it is as correct as generalizations can be. The lesson of patience is here taught. A man should not be precipitate in his judgments, but wait for the issue. From the ambiguity in the expression dabar (see on Ch. 6:11), many render it “word” in this passage. Thus the Vulgate, Melior est finis orationis, quam principium; and the Septuagint, Ἀγαθὴ ἐσχάτη λόγων ὑπὲρ ἀρχήν αὐτοῦ, where φωνή, or some such word, must be supplied. If this interpretation be preferred, we must either take the maxim as stating generally that few words are better than many, and that the sooner one concludes a speech, so much the better for speaker and hearer; or we must consider that the word intended is a well-merited rebuke, which, however severe and at first disliked, proves in the end wholesome and profitable. And the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. “Patient” is literally “long of spirit,” as the phrase, “short of spirit,” is used in Prov. 14:29 and Job 21:4 to denote one who loses his temper and is impatient. To wait calmly for the result of an action, not to be hasty in arraigning Providence, is the part of a patient man; while the proud, inflated, conceited man, who thinks all must be arranged according to his notions, is never resigned or content, but rebels against the ordained course of events. “In your patience ye shall win your souls,” said Christ (Luke 21:19); and a Scotch proverb declares wisely, “He that weel bides, weel betides.”[4]


8 Many commentators (e.g., W. Zimmerli, R. Gordis) consider vv 8–10 as a unit in which Qoheleth offers advice that is very much like traditional wisdom. It is certainly true that vv 8–9 reflect such wisdom.

Taken independently, v 8a could be understood as a comment on vv 1–2. But paired with v 8b, it suggests a venerable wisdom ideal. The sage is better off for being at the end than at the beginning. He is not subject to overconfidence or pride (v 8b); he knows, for experience has taught him. The patient spirit is the opposite of the “short of spirit” (Prov 14:29), who lacks self-control (cf. Prov 25:28). The impatient and proud cannot wait for the final result; they act precipitously; cf. 1 Kgs 20:11. Instead, the wise are careful and cautious. The metaphors with רוּחַ, “spirit,” are determined by extension in space. If רוּחַ is stretched out, it is patient; if stretched high, it is proud (cf. Prov 14:29, “short of spirit”; 16:5, “high of heart”).[5]


[1] Longman, T. (1998). The Book of Ecclesiastes (pp. 187–188). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[2] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 901). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[3] Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 1, p. 409). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[4] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). Ecclesiastes (p. 158). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

[5] Murphy, R. (1992). Ecclesiastes (Vol. 23A, p. 65). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.