Monthly Archives: October 2019

October 31 End of Construction

Scripture Reading: Ephesians 4:1–3

Key Verse: Ephesians 4:1

I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called.

In her book, Footprints of a Pilgrim, Ruth Bell Graham provides a suggested epitaph for herself: “End of construction. Thank you for your patience.”

Though humorous, her expression is based in truth. In Philippians 1:6, Paul placed his confidence in the fact that God will continue perfecting the good work He began in us until the day of Christ Jesus. This process of perfection began with sanctification—being set apart—and continues until the end of our lives. It is the period of progression between these two events that requires our full attention.

Once we have been born again, we should begin a life of progressive growth toward Christlikeness. We should seek to be conformed to the likeness of Christ in character, conversation, and conduct (Romans 12:1–2). We should also progress by allowing Christ to live out His life through us (Ephesians 4:1).

Of course, as Christians, we will all stumble and fall at times. However, as we understand more truth and apply it to our lives, we will be better equipped to avert the enemy’s fiery darts.

Examine your life in terms of spiritual growth and progress. Have you increased in biblical knowledge since your conversion? Are you experiencing new levels of intimacy with God? If not, begin moving forward today—away from complacency and toward perfection in Christ.

I know, Lord, that I am under construction and that I will only be completed when I go to be with You. Help me to be a willing participant in this process of sanctification.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 318). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

October 31 The Moments That Sustain You

Scripture Reading: Psalm 34

Key Verse: Psalm 34:5

They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces were not ashamed.

You are made for fellowship with the Lord. Blaise Pascal said, “Happiness is neither within us only, or without us; it is the union of ourselves with God.” Though you may try to fill that void with busyness or a flurry of activity, your deep-rooted need for intimacy with God remains.

Do you set aside a specific time each day to come into His presence, pray, and meditate on His Word? Every area of your life feels the impact of the loss if you do not. That meeting time with God is worth protecting.

In his book Peaceful Living in a Stressful World, Ron Hutchcraft explains,

We’re built to begin our day with our Creator. It started with Adam who met “the Lord God as He was walking in the garden in the cool of the day” (Genesis 3:8). Since then, men and women have been incomplete—whether they recognize it or not—without their morning walk with God.

David told us while literally running for his life, “Seek peace and pursue it.” With stress his constant pursuer, how could he be so preoccupied with peace? He explained: “I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant … Taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:4–5, 8). David could then go on to “pursue peace” because he had found his quiet center. It came from his time with the Lord!

Dear heavenly Father, as I travel life’s pathway, let me never forget what sustains me and gives me strength for the journey—prayer, meditation, and the Word.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 318). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Happy 502nd Reformation Day — Pulpit & Pen

(Berean Nation) On 31 October 1517, Martin Luther, in an attempt to spark discussion among other religious scholars, posted a notice on the local bulletin board – the Castle Church door in Wittenburg, Germany.

A handful of printers (4 specifically we are told) with printing press technology found that notice, now known to history as the 95 theses, and literally spread that notice all over the countryside, without Luther’s knowledge or permission.

The reformation of God had begun in earnest. Even as the Roman “church” was selling Indulgences as a way to raise money, God was taking the ideas raised by these 95 theses and showing that not only was the Roman idea of purgatory a deadly false doctrine, but that in fact humankind would be saved through faith alone, by grace alone, in Christ alone, seen in the Scriptures alone (as opposed to the traditions that were made up by the false religion of a false church), to the glory of God alone.

Luther was not a perfect man, but God used him by His grace to ignite a fire to know God and to return the real Gospel of Christ through His Word to prominence. Other reformers followed, namely Ulrich Zwingle, John Calvin, John Knox, and more began to study God again as He revealed Himself through the Scriptures.

Today, all of Protestant Christianity stands on the shoulders of this one monk turned minister of grace. Thank God for men like Luther, who with all of his imperfections, served Christ by Faith.

For more information about Luther, his life and ministry, for a limited time, you can see the documentary Luther in full for free on YouTube, courtesy of Ligonier Ministries.

[Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared at BereanNation.com and is used with full permission.]

via Happy 502nd Reformation Day — Pulpit & Pen

A Blind Man in a Bell Tower — Ligonier Ministries Blog

Martin Luther didn’t intend to start the Reformation. In this brief clip, R.C. Sproul explains how Luther’s 95 Theses spread across Germany and sparked a chain of events he never saw coming.

This Reformation Month, watch a short video every day on the history and insights of the Protestant Reformation. And don’t forget that today is the last day you can request your free digital download of R.C. Sproul’s video teaching series Luther and the Reformation plus the ebook edition of The Legacy of Luther, edited by R.C. Sproul and Stephen Nichols at ligm.in/Reformation. Offer ends October 31, 2019.

Transcript

The 95 Theses were written in Latin. That’s a key point. Because when he attached them to the church door at Wittenburg, he wasn’t doing violence to the church. That was the bulletin board where announcements were made, and invitations were given to the faculty for academic discussions among themselves. So what Luther was proposing was a serious scholarly discussion about the whole structure of the indulgence system. What happened without Luther’s permission and without his knowledge, some students say the 95 Theses translated them into German and took advantage of the printing press. And within two weeks they were in every village and hamlet throughout Germany, and this huge uproar took place. Karl Barth makes the observation that Luther, when he posted the 95 Theses, was like a blind man climbing a tower in the church, in the bell tower. He began to lose his balance, and he reached out to grab something to stabilize himself but what he grabbed in his blindness was the rope for the church bell and accidentally awakened the whole town by the ringing of the bells.

via A Blind Man in a Bell Tower — Ligonier Ministries Blog

Lesser-Known Protestant Leaders to Remember on Reformation Day — BCNN1 – Black Christian News Network

A view of the Reformation Wall with statues of William (Guillaume) Farel, John (Jean) Calvin, Theodore de Beze, and John Knox, from left to right, at Bastion Park in Geneva, Switzerland, Friday, June 19, 2009. The commemorations of the 500th anniversary of John Calvin’s birth has started in Geneva. Calvin was a principal figure in the development of the system of Christian theology later called Calvinism. | (Photo: AP / KEYSTONE / Salvatore Di Nolfi)

When one thinks about the Protestant Reformation and its leadership, names like Martin Luther, John Calvin, and Ulrich Zwingli often come to mind.

While these figures were prominent, the sixteenth century spanned much of Europe and included many other figures including theologians, clergy, and academics.

As with their more famous contemporaries, these individuals were part of the Reformation and oftentimes experienced intense backlash from Catholic authorities. Here are five such people.

Guillaume Farel (1489-1565)

Guillaume Farel (1489-1565), a French Protestant Reformation preacher and writer who was a contemporary of John Calvin. Wikimedia Commons

Reformer and preacher Guillaume Farel is often credited with introducing the Reformation to the French-speaking population of Switzerland.

A native of France, Farel was raised in a devout Catholic home. He graduated from the University of Paris in 1517 and became a supporter of the Reformation soon after.

A preacher known for being confrontational, he moved to Geneva and famously convinced John Calvin to do the same in order to establish a strict Protestant society.

“As lion-like and controversial as Farel could be, he was committed to the spiritual vitality of the French-speaking people,” wrote Johnathon Bowers for DesiringGod.org.

“He produced some of the first Reformation works available in French, writing a commentary on the Apostles’ Creed and the Lord’s Prayer in 1524 and a summary of Reformed teaching in 1529.”

Caspar Schwenckfeld (1489-1561)

Caspar Schwenckfeld (1489-1561), a Polish Protestant Reformation leader of German ancestry. Wikimedia Commons

Born into a noble family in what is now Poland, Caspar Schwenckfeld was a royal court advisor when the Reformation began in 1517. He immediately offered his support for the movement.

After failing to fully join Luther’s movement in 1526, Schwenckfeld developed a following of his own, called the “Confessors of the Glory of Christ” or simply “Schwenkfelders.

Schwenckfeld often found himself at odds with both the Catholic Church and many of his fellow Protestants and spent his remaining years in hiding from both groups.

Due to frequent persecution, most of his followers eventually migrated to colonial Pennsylvania in 1734, where their communities exist to the present day.

Peter Martyr Vermigli (1499-1562)

Peter Martyr Vermigli (1499-1562), Italian leader in the Protestant Reformation. Public Domain

Peter Martyr Vermigli was a native of Florence, Italy and the son of a shoemaker. He was ordained a priest in 1525, but by the 1540s he had come to support the Reformation.

After being exiled from his home in Italy, he traveled to the Central European city of Strassburg in the 1540s and then taught at Oxford in England beginning in 1547.

Vermigli was again forced to flee persecution from Catholic authorities when Queen Mary took power in England, eventually returning to Strassburg.

“Peter Martyr is little remembered today, but in his day he was widely recognized for his brilliance, his learning, his piety and his influence,” wrote W. Robert Godfrey of Westminster Seminary California in 1999.

“Excerpts from his writings circulated widely as Loci Communes published in Latin in 1576 and in English in 1583. Josiah Simler who preached a funeral oration for him aptly named him ‘an ambassador of Jesus Christ, to divers cities and nations.’”

Click here to read more.
Source: Christian Post

via Lesser-Known Protestant Leaders to Remember on Reformation Day — BCNN1 – Black Christian News Network

What Was the Reformation All About? — Ligonier Ministries Blog

Over 500 years ago, a German monk named Martin Luther started a protest that exploded into a worldwide movement. So what was the Protestant Reformation all about? This short video narrated by R.C. Sproul is a tool to help you give an answer. Share it with your family and friends. Also available in Chinese, FrenchGerman, ItalianPortuguese, and Spanish.

This Reformation Month, watch a short video every day on the history and insights of the Protestant Reformation. And don’t forget that for this month only, you can request your free digital download of R.C. Sproul’s video teaching series Luther and the Reformation plus the ebook edition of The Legacy of Luther, edited by R.C. Sproul and Stephen Nichols at ligm.in/Reformation. Offer ends October 31, 2019.

Transcript

500 years ago, a German monk named Martin Luther started a protest that exploded into worldwide movement. At that time, Europe lived in the shadow of the Roman Catholic Church. It was more like an empire than a church. It crowned and cast down kings, and used its dominance to keep people in the darkness of superstition. That sounds pretty unfamiliar.

But in some ways, Luther’s day was very much like our own. Just like today, everyone had an opinion about the Bible even though almost no one had actually read it. Like so many of us, they were trusting the thought-leaders and taste-makers of their day to tell them what was in the Bible and whether or not to believe it. Luther was one of the very few people actually reading the Bible, and what he found was earth-shattering. Even though he was a monk, Luther hated the God of the Bible. But when he studied it, the world around him began to make sense. God made sense. The significance of Jesus became clear to him. He discovered the answer to his deepest question: how could evil be overcome? Specifically, how could his own evil—his own sin—be dealt with?

Luther discovered that he couldn’t do anything to fix this problem himself. He had to rely on the finished work of Christ alone. Luther had discovered a central truth. It changed his life. It changed the world. The Protestant Reformation was about two things. It was about who can say what’s true and it was about how to reconcile who we are with who God is. It recognized that God’s Word is the ultimate authority in this world, and that the perfect life and sacrificial death of Jesus Christ are the only answer for evil and the only basis on which sinners can stand before a holy God. The Protestant Reformation is a story of transformation—a transformation from hate to love, from slavery to freedom, and from blind faith to a glorious discovery of the truth in Jesus Christ.

via What Was the Reformation All About? — Ligonier Ministries Blog

October 31 Your Unmet Needs

Scripture reading: Job 23:1–12

Key verse: Job 13:15

Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.

Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him.

While waiting on God’s answer for your unmet needs, you may want to question yourself. Examine your heart. Do your best to objectively consider your motives and to separate desires from needs. In short, contemplate your attitude.

What you hear from God will be affected by the manner in which you ask Him to talk to you. In other words, if you are a proud, egotistical, self-sufficient, rebellious, or indifferent person, your communication with God is hampered.

However, if in approaching God to attend to your unmet needs you are submissive, trusting, and grateful, your petitions will be pleasing in God’s sight. He will answer your prayers in His perfect timing and in His perfect way, but your attitude and faith are catalysts.

Being submissive means agreeing in advance that whatever God decides or asks, you will say, “Yes, Father.” Being trusting means telling God in genuine faith that you know He will never lead you in the wrong direction. You believe what He says is best. Being grateful means that whatever your present circumstance or future answer from God, you’re thankful and secure in the truth that He has your best interests at heart and never will leave or forsake you. In good and bad, thank Him for all He has done, is doing, and will do for you.

Lord, I am so thankful that You have my best interests at heart, both in the present and in the future. I thank You for all You have done, are doing, and will do for me.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 318). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Tom Brokaw Suggests Democrats Don’t Have ‘the Goods’ to Impeach Trump | The Epoch Times

Longtime NBC anchor Tom Brokaw said that, unlike the impeachment effort of President Richard Nixon, Democrats lack “the goods” on President Donald Trump.

Brokaw was speaking while promoting his new book, “The Fall of Richard Nixon.”

“The big difference is … if they still don’t have what you would call ‘the goods’ on this president in terms of breaking the law and being an impeachable target for them,” Brokaw said during an appearance on MSNBC this week, “they’re going to start the process but they don’t have the same kind of clarity that the people who were opposed to Richard Nixon had because it was so clear that these were criminal acts he was involved in.”

Host Andrea Mitchell noted that the tapes from the Oval Office helped bring Nixon down.

“There are no more taping systems in the Oval Office,” Brokaw said.

“That we know of,” Mitchell said. Brokaw agreed.

House Democrats have for weeks been conducting an impeachment inquiry, trying to establish grounds for impeaching Trump.

President Donald Trump delivers remarks during the Medal of Honor ceremony for Army Master Sgt. Matthew Williams in the East Room of the White House in Washington on Oct. 30, 2019. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The House was slated on Thursday to vote for a resolution laying out the next phase of the inquiry, including the possibility of public hearings, while changing key rules from the impeachment inquiries of Nixon and President Bill Clinton to give Republicans and Trump fewer rights.

Democrats have hyped the transparency they say the resolution would bring to the process while Republicans have railed against the majority party for the rule changes.

The session was slated to start at approximately 10:30 a.m., with a vote coming after debate and procedural motions.

During his appearance, Brokaw said a big takeaway from his book is the different environment the current inquiry is happening in versus the era of Nixon.

“I think the big lesson I took away from the book, at that time, everybody took it very seriously, it was not something that played out like a television game show, which we have a lot of that now with the President, you know, having comments about everything. Everybody has access to an opinion of one kind or another,” he said.

“Social media has changed everything, frankly. I mean, I think it’s a great, great instrument, but you don’t know what you can believe and what you can’t believe. That’s a huge, huge difference between then and now.”

Source: Tom Brokaw Suggests Democrats Don’t Have ‘the Goods’ to Impeach Trump

Senior NatSec Official Who Was on Trump-Zelensky Phone Call DESTROYS Schiff – Testifies, ‘I Was Not Concerned That Anything Illegal Was Discussed’ — The Gateway Pundit

Tim Morrison

Tim Morrison, the National Security Council’s Senior Director for European Affairs appeared on Capitol Hill Thursday to testify in Schiff’s sham impeachment hearing.

WATCH:

Morrison, who was on the July 25 Trump-Zelensky call testified Thursday that nothing illegal was discussed.

This is why Schiff is conducting the hearings behind closed doors.

Schiff doesn’t want the American public to know that President Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was completely above board.

“I want to be clear, I was not concerned that anything illegal was discussed,” Morrison said.

“Morrison also testified that the memorandum of the call released by the White House is accurate to his recollection and he does not know the whistleblower’s identity,” reported CBS News White House correspondent Arden Farhi.

The Federalist reported that Morrison testified that the Ukrainians weren’t even aware that security aid was being delayed by the Trump Administration.

Morrison testified that Ukrainian officials were not even aware that certain military funding had been delayed by the Trump administration until late August 2019, more than a month after the Trump-Zelensky call, casting doubt on allegations that Trump somehow conveyed an illegal quid pro quo demand during the July 25 call.

“I have no reason to believe the Ukrainians had any knowledge of the [military funding] review until August 28, 2019,” Morrison said. That is the same day that Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the chief anti-Trump inquisitor in the U.S. House of Representatives, disclosed on Twitter that funding had been held up. Politico also published a story that day, sourced to anonymous leaks, that military funding had been temporarily held up.

There was no quid pro quo and no threats, yet the Democrats are moving full steam ahead with their Soviet-style impeachment proceedings.

via Senior NatSec Official Who Was on Trump-Zelensky Phone Call DESTROYS Schiff – Testifies, ‘I Was Not Concerned That Anything Illegal Was Discussed’ — The Gateway Pundit

More Secret Hearings Still Scheduled After House ‘Impeachment Inquiry’ Vote | Breitbart

More secret, closed-door hearings in the “impeachment inquiry” are scheduled for the next several days, despite a vote by the full House of Representatives Thursday to authorize public hearings.

Source: More Secret Hearings Still Scheduled After House ‘Impeachment Inquiry’ Vote