Daily Archives: October 2, 2019

October 2 The Fullness of Blessing

Scripture Reading: Proverbs 12:1–5

Key Verse: Proverbs 12:2

A good man obtains favor from the Lord,

But a man of wicked intentions He will condemn.

While the phrase “walking with the Lord” may sound like a trite, overly-used phrase within the Christian world, its imagery is perfect in describing what a life with God should be like.

Our relationship with God should not wear us out; rather, it should be refreshing. That does not mean that we will not be challenged from time to time and stretched in our faith. However, God isn’t trying to leave us behind. A steady, thriving relationship with God is one in which we grow in our understanding of who He is and what He wants to do with our lives. And in the process of nurturing this relationship, we find His favorable hand resting upon us.

Proverbs 12:2 describes a good man. We become “good” men and women when we walk with God. Our desire for righteousness increases as we walk in the light of His glory. We recognize sin in our lives and long for Him to transform us completely.

In order to stay step-for-step with God, we must maintain our pace with Him, seeking to honor and glorify Him in all that we do. It is there that we find His favor and experience the fullness of His blessing upon our lives.

Lord, I want to walk in Your presence, side by side with You. Take my hand and keep me on pace when I am apt to wander or fall behind.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 289). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

October 2 Walking with God

Scripture Reading: Psalm 23

Key Verse: Psalm 23:3

He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

Think of the times when you and a friend walked down a country road, strolled along a stretch of beach, or took a long walk in the neighborhood. Perhaps you shared some concerns. Maybe you just talked pleasantly. Or you didn’t say much at all. You simply enjoyed the company of a good friend.

This is the encouraging tenor that can describe your relationship with Jesus Christ. In several instances, the Bible talks about men walking with God (Gen. 5:22; 6:9). In the New Testament, believers are urged to walk in the Spirit, to keep in step with the Spirit’s leadership. The grand, sweeping idea in all instances is that you can enjoy the sweet friendship of the personal Christ.

Sure, God wants obedience and holiness. But when we walk with Him—talking, listening, sharing, confessing—such spiritual traits naturally mark us. God is your Friend. He made you for glad-hearted fellowship with Him. He delights in your good company, spending time revealing His character, love, and wisdom to you.

You can be completely honest with the Father. You can talk about anything with Him. He isn’t embarrassed, and you won’t ever be condemned.

Your life in Christ is a relationship, and it is with the best Friend you could ever want. Enjoy His company and come into His presence with a joyful heart.

Lord, You are my best Friend. I come into Your presence to talk, listen, confess, and share. Thank You for Your friendship.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 289). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

October 2 The Will of God

Scripture reading: Romans 12:1–2

Key verse: Micah 6:8

He has shown you, O man, what is good;

And what does the Lord require of you

But to do justly,

To love mercy,

And to walk humbly with your God?

What is God’s will for your life? Does it include some detailed, elaborate plan with twists and turns and heroic acts? Chances are, it doesn’t. The will of God is basically a reflection of the words written by the prophet Micah (Mic. 6:8).

The will of God is not that difficult to discover, though many fail to experience it. Their sights are set on what they believe God wants them to achieve. God’s will for you and me is simply a matter of loving Him. He may call you to a certain profession, but this is not His ultimate goal. His goal in the life of a believer is one of intimate fellowship.

It is true that God has a plan for your life that corresponds with His will. When God thinks of you, He thinks thoughts of love and mercy, hope and goodness. You can spend a lifetime trying to achieve recognition and a sense of accomplishment, but when you die, the only things that will matter are your love for and obedience to God’s Son.

When you surrender your will to God, He will make sure your life is in line with His perfect plan. The blessings that follow, and there are many, will only bring a sense of satisfaction to all that you do.

Lord, help me to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with You. I surrender my will to You. Bring my life into alignment with Your perfect plan.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 289). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

October 2, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

25 Yahweh is good to those who wait on him,
to the person that seeks him.
26 It is good to wait in silence
for the salvation of Yahweh.
27 It is good for a man who carries
the yoke of his childhood.

Harris, W. H., III, Ritzema, E., Brannan, R., Mangum, D., Dunham, J., Reimer, J. A., & Wierenga, M. (Eds.). (2012). The Lexham English Bible (La 3:25–27). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.


3:25–27 / Tet. All three verses not only begin with the same letter of the Hebrew alphabet (tet), but the very same word tob, “good.” The poet presents three things that are good for those who are faithful to him.

The first good stated comes from the Lord. The Lord is good to those who put their hope in him. The poet, speaking in the persona of the “man of affliction,” has already stated that he has hope (v. 21, though the previous verse had stated that his hope was gone). According to the second colon of this verse, the one who has hope actively pursues God. The natural tendency of one who suffers at the hand of God is to try to run away, but the better course, as spelled out by verse 25, is rather to seek God. To seek God means to communicate with him, to come into his presence, and to get his help. In the light of the sin that has brought on the punishment, it likely means that they confess and repent of wrongdoing (see vv. 40–42). The Lord will be good to such people. God’s goodness would begin by withdrawing from the punishment that he was presently directing at his people. He would restore them and bring them prosperity rather than pain.

The second and third lines in this stanza state what good things God’s people can do. The first involves quiet (patient?) waiting for the salvation of God. This statement needs to be read in the context of Lamentations, which are words directed toward God with the hope of eliciting relief from his punishment. The poet is not silent, but neither is the poet angry and fuming toward God. He raises challenges toward God’s continued affliction, but he does not question the fundamental justice of it. In other words, he acknowledges that it is punishment for their sin. However, he believes that enough is enough. He will go on to argue that the enemies that God used have overstepped their bounds and now deserve God’s punishment (see vv. 52–66).

The final good of the stanza states that it is good to bear the yoke when one is young. The yoke here is the yoke of God’s discipline. As a yoke channels the energies of animals, so God’s yoke of discipline curbs the wayward actions of his people. The implication of the statement seems to be that if one experiences God’s chastisement when young, then later in life the person will walk the straight and godly path. The mention of the yoke is reminiscent of Jeremiah 27 and 28. There the prophet is described as wearing a yoke and declaring God’s charge that his people submit themselves to Nebuchadnezzar’s rule. In other words, Nebuchadnezzar was God’s instrument of discipline and the people should accept that and learn. If they did, then they would be able to stay in the land. However, if they did not, then God would bring “sword, famine and plague” (Jer. 27:13) on them, which is exactly what happened. The people chose to listen to false prophets of peace like Hananiah rather than to Jeremiah. Accordingly, they suffered a fate worse than the wooden yoke of discipline that Jeremiah wore.[1]


3:26 good: Not only is God good to those who wait and hope on Him (v. 25), but it was also good for the people. hope and wait quietly: A quiet confidence in the salvation of the Lord is always in order. Verses 22–26 focus on the renewal of hope in the midst of terrible distress.[2]


3:26 wait quietly. In a posture of prayer and expectation. salvation. In this instance, deliverance from peril, not salvation from sin.[3]


3:26 In the midst of Jeremiah’s wailing dirge, the prophet is overwhelmed by thoughts of God’s promised salvation. Hope wells up within him and his spirit is quieted, leading him to the expression of those great truths of God’s providence. Jeremiah had “food to eat” that the average person did not know (cf. John 4:32).[4]


It is, indeed, an abrupt phrase when he says, Good and he will wait; for these words are without a subject; but as it is a general statement, there is no ambiguity. The Prophet means that it is good to hope and to be silent as to the salvation of God. Then the verbs in the future tense ought to be rendered as subjunctives, as though it was said, “It is good when any one hopes in the salvation of Jehovah, and is silent, that is, bears patiently all his troubles until God succours him.”

But the Prophet here reminds us, that we are by no means to require that God should always appear to us, and that his paternal favour should always shine forth on our life. This is, indeed, a condition sought for by all; for the flesh inclines us to this, and hence we shun adversities. We, then, naturally desire God’s favour to be manifested to us; how? in reality, so that all things may go on prosperously, that no trouble may touch us, that we may be tormented by no anxiety, that no danger may be suspended over us, that no calamity may threaten us: these things, as I have said, we all naturally seek and desire. But in such a case faith would be extinguished, as Paul tells us in his Epistle to the Romans, “For we hope not,” he says, “for what appears, but we hope for what is hidden.” (Rom. 8:24, 25.) It is necessary in this world that the faithful should, as to outward things, be miserable, at one time exposed to want, at another subject to various dangers—at one time exposed to reproaches and calumnies, at another harassed by losses: why so? because there would be no occasion for exercising hope, were our salvation complete. This is the very thing which the Prophet now teaches us, when he declares that it is good for us to learn in silence to wait for the salvation of God.

But to express more clearly his mind, he first says, He will wait, or hope. He teaches the need of patience, as also the Apostle does, in Heb. 10:36; for otherwise there can be no faith. It hence appears, that where there is no patience, there is not even a spark of faith in the heart of man; how so? because this is our happiness, to wait or to hope; and we hope for what is hidden. But in the second clause he explains himself still more clearly by saying, and will be silent. To be silent means often in Scripture to rest, to be still; and here it signifies no other thing than to bear the troubles allotted to us, with a calm and resigned mind. He is then said to be silent to God, who remains quiet even when afflictions supply occasion for clamouring; and hence this quietness is opposed to violent feelings; for when some trouble presses on us, we become turbulent, and are carried away by our fury, at one time we quarrel with God, at another we pour forth various complaints. The same thing also happens, when we see some danger, for we tremble, and then we seek remedies here and there, and that with great eagerness. But he who patiently bears his troubles, or who recumbs on God when dangers surround him, is said to be silent or to rest quietly; and hence the words of Isaiah, “In hope and silence;” for he there exhorts the faithful to patience, and shews where strength is, even when we trust in God, so as willingly to submit to his will, and to be ready to bear his chastisements, and then when we doubt not but that he will be ready to bring us help when we are in danger. (Isa. 30:15.)

We now perceive what the Prophet means when he says, that it is good if we wait and be silent as to the salvation of God; even because our happiness is hid, and we are also like the dead, as Paul says, and our life is hid in Christ. (Col. 3:3.) As then it is so, we must necessarily be silent as to God’s salvation, and cherish hope within, though surrounded with many miseries. [5]


26. quietly wait—literally, “be in silence.” Compare La 3:28 and Ps 39:2, 9, that is, to be patiently quiet under afflictions, resting in the will of God (Ps 37:7). So Aaron (Le 10:2, 3); and Job (Job 40:4, 5).[6]


Ver. 26.—Should both hope and quietly wait; rather, should wait in silence. “Silence” is an expression of the psalmist’s (the Lamentations are psalms) for resignation to the will of God; comp. Ps. 62:1 (Hebrew, 2), 65:1 (Hebrew, 2), and see Authorized Version, margin. The thought of the verse is that of Ps. 37:7.[7]


26 Though the phrase “it is good to wait silently” (טוב ויחיל ודומם) is a rare construction in the OT (see Note 26.a.), the concept of waiting silently for God’s deliverance certainly is not (see Pss 37:9; 62:2, 6 [ET 62:1, 5]). Lam 2:10 describes the elders of Zion sitting in stupefied silence. This silence, however, seems to be one of expectation. Renkema (396) argues that this silence in 3:26 “ought to be understood as more than simply sitting in a sort of paralyzed amazement. The present text speaks rather of a tenacious intensification of ‘being silent,’ of a conscious option for remaining silent.” In other words, this text transforms silence from a posture of the defeated to one of the soon-to-be delivered. Further, this silence does not preclude prayer, given 2:11–19 and 3:19–24. Thus, the silence heightens the waiting that will eventually be rewarded with “the salvation of the Lord” (לתשׁועת יהוה), though at this point the speaker does not specify what such salvation entails.[8]


[1] Longman, T., III. (2012). Jeremiah, Lamentations. (W. W. Gasque, R. L. Hubbard Jr., & R. K. Johnston, Eds.) (pp. 369–370). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[2] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (p. 952). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.

[3] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 1487). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[4] Criswell, W. A., Patterson, P., Clendenen, E. R., Akin, D. L., Chamberlin, M., Patterson, D. K., & Pogue, J. (Eds.). (1991). Believer’s Study Bible (electronic ed., La 3:26). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[5] Calvin, J., & Owen, J. (2010). Commentaries on the Prophet Jeremiah and the Lamentations (Vol. 5, pp. 412–413). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[6] Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 1, p. 563). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[7] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). Lamentations (p. 33). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

[8] Garrett, D. (2004). Song of Songs, Lamentations (Vol. 23B, p. 416). Dallas, TX: Word, Incorporated.

October 2 Building on a Firm Foundation

scripture reading: 1 Corinthians 3:5–15
key verse: 1 Corinthians 3:11

No other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

The fifty–five–story skyscraper began to sway and vibrate as the earth tremors grew more intense. The quake climbed to 7.0 on the Richter scale. Smaller buildings crumpled into unrecognizable heaps of rubble. When the shaking stopped and the thick dust cleared, the skyscraper was still standing.

Developers and contractors had planned for the worst, and their foresight paid off. Fortifying the structure with extra steel beams and a special shock–absorption coil system had cost thousands of additional dollars. But when the ultimate test came, their investment stood firm.

In His parable of the wise builder, Jesus made this very point: the foundation is everything. A life built on self–reliance and self–seeking motivations is destined for collapse. But a life based on the lordship of Christ and obedience to God’s principles is unshakable.

Are you a wise builder, or have you settled for the sinking sands of convenience? Sometimes, following the Lord’s direction may appear to be unprofitable, especially when you are criticized or ridiculed for doing so. But when the storms come, temporary rewards are blown away, and unwise builders are left with nothing.

Heavenly Father, I don’t want to settle for the sinking sands of convenience. If I build on my self–reliance, I am destined for collapse. Let me build my life on the lordship of Your Son, Jesus Christ.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1998). Enter His gates: a daily devotional. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

2 october (1859) 365 Days with Spurgeon

The blood of the everlasting covenant

“The blood of the everlasting covenant.” Hebrews 13:20

suggested further reading: Hebrews 9:15–26

With regard to Christ, his precious blood shed in Gethsemane, in Gabbatha and Golgotha, is the fulfilment of the covenant. By this blood sin is cancelled; by Jesus’ agonies justice is satisfied; by his death the law is honoured; and by that precious blood in all its mediatorial efficacy, and in all its cleansing power, Christ fulfils all that he stipulated to do on behalf of his people towards God. Oh, believer, look to the blood of Christ, and remember that there is Christ’s part of the covenant carried out. And now, there remains nothing to be fulfilled but God’s part, there is nothing for thee to do; Jesus has done it all; there is nothing for free will to supply; Christ has done everything that God can demand. The blood is the fulfilment of the debtor’s side of the covenant, and now God becomes bound by his own solemn oath to show grace and mercy to all whom Christ has redeemed by his blood. With regard to the blood in another respect, it is to God the Father the bond of the covenant. When I see Christ dying on the cross, I see the everlasting God from that time, if I may use the term of him who ever must be free, bound by his own oath and covenant to carry out every stipulation. Does the covenant say, “A new heart will I give you, and a right spirit will I put within you?” It must be done, for Jesus died, and Jesus’ death is the seal of the covenant. Does it say, “I will sprinkle pure water upon you and you shall be clean; from all your iniquities will I cleanse you?” Then it must be done, for Christ has fulfilled his part.

for meditation: The very character of God doubles the reliability of his purposes and promises (Hebrews 6:13–18).

sermon no. 277[1]

 

[1] Spurgeon, C. H., & Crosby, T. P. (1998). 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 1) (p. 282). Leominster, UK: Day One Publications.

2 Oct 2019 – Rapture Ready News

Over 50% of young Americans think climate change means the world is about to end: 
More than half of young Americans fear the end of humanity is near because of climate change, according to a recent survey.

Hindu radicals livestream attack on Christians to ‘make area free of Christianity’
Indian authorities jailed church leaders and their families after Hindu extremists disrupted a worship service, beat individuals, and livestreamed the events on Facebook in efforts to make the area “free of Christianity.”

More than 1,600 die in India’s heaviest monsoon season for 25 years
The heaviest monsoon rains to lash India in 25 years have killed more than 1,600 people since June, government data showed on Tuesday, as authorities battled floods in two northern states and muddy waters swirled inside a major city.

Dozens of Extreme Leftist Congressional Democrats Are Members of the Communist Party In Pelosi Led Coup Against the USA
Trevor Loudon’s expert research skills are on display as dozens of modern Democrats are discovered to have close ties to the Democratic Socialists and the American Communist Party.

A Failed Schiff/CIA Led Coup Against Trump Will Bring Hillary Into the Presidential Race with Dire Consequences
On the way to writing an article, I received a call from an insider source that confirmed and expanded upon what I knew about the latest attempt to impeach President Trump and who is behind it.

Aviation Color Code Red, ash emissions intensifying at Etna volcano, Italy
Ash emissions at Italy’s Etna volcano are intensifying on October 1, 2019, INGV reports. The Aviation Color Code has been raised to Red.

Teen Experiences Serious Complications after School Inserts Birth Control Implant Without Parental Consent
…Nicole Lambert’s then-sixteen-year-old daughter was complaining of arm pain, so her mother took her to the pediatrician, who discovered that an improperly inserted Nexplanon birth control device was the culprit. It was the school nurse who inserted it.

Bill Gates wants to spray millions of tonnes of dust into the stratosphere to stop global warming
The plan sounds like science fiction — but could be fact within a decade; every day more than 800 giant aircraft would lift millions of tonnes of chalk dust to a height of 12 miles above the Earth’s surface and then sprinkle the lot high around the stratosphere.

EXPLOSIVE REPORT: Rep. Adam Schiff Linked to Prominent Ukrainian Arms Dealer!
Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff is connected to a Ukrainian arms dealer. Is this why he’s willing to lie in front of the nation when accusing President Trump of crimes?

Annual ‘Bring Your Bible to School Day’ Set for Oct. 3, Send Your Photos with Friends to CBN News
Students across the country are being invited to live their faith by bringing their Bibles to school on Thursday, Oct. 3.

Did The Democrats Bring Impeachment In Order To Remove Frontrunner Joe Biden And Allow Hillary Clinton To Steal The Nomination…Again?|
With each passing day, it becomes more and more apparent as to exactly why the Democrats chose to impeach Donald Trump over a scandal in Ukraine that has very little to do with him, but everything to do with Joe Biden.

Science Catastrophe In South America Could Kill Millions
The releases of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) into the natural environment is having a catastrophic and irreversible impact on our planet. A company known as Oxitec, based out of the United Kingdom, which had announced plans to release genetically-engineered, or transgenic, mosquitoes into the wild.

Church Of Sweden Announced Greta Thunberg ‘Successor’ Of Jesus
The Church of Sweden, which has routinely promoted teen climate change alarmist Greta Thunberg, announced the young girl a “successor” to Jesus Christ last December.

Democratic Candidate Joe Biden Refers To 63,000,000 Donald Trump Supporters As The ‘Dregs Of Society’ In Speech At LGBTQ+P For Pedophile Event
Democrats want you to know two things right off the bat. First thing is pretty obvious, Donald Trump lives in their heads and they hate him for it. Second, the Democrats hate you if you voted for Donald Trump in 2016.

— Read on www.raptureready.com/2019/10/02/2-oct-2019/

Wednesday Briefing October 2, 2019 – AlbertMohler.com

PART I

 Why Has the Democratic Party Turned Against Big Tech? The Theology of the Church of Techno-Optimism

PART II

 The Separation of Cultural Christianity and American Patriotism: Have the Cultural Elites Received Exactly What They Demanded?

PART III

 The Elite Failure of the Transgender Revolution: Gender Confusion on the Rugby Field and in Celebrity Culture


DOCUMENTATION AND ADDITIONAL READING

PART I

NEW YORK TIMES

 The Church of Techno-Optimism, by Margaret O’Mara

PART II

PART III

WATCH: The Media Has Been Pushing For Trump’s Impeachment Since Before He Took Office (VIDEO) | The Gateway Pundit

The media and the Democrats have a lot in common.

Neither of them have ever accepted the outcome of the 2016 election, and both of them have been talking about impeaching Trump all along.

You may not remember how far back this goes. They were talking about it before Trump was even sworn in.

News Busters reports:

35 Straight Months: Even Before Trump Took Office, Media Began Impeachment Obsession

The liberal media have begun yet another round of frenzied impeachment speculation, this time in reaction to anonymously-sourced media reports about a supposed whistleblower complaint that has not been released. But media clucking about impeachment is nothing new — in fact, their obsession with evicting Donald Trump from the White House predates his actual Presidency.

By November 10, 2016 — just two days after the election! — television talking heads were already conjuring up theoretical scenarios in which Donald Trump could be removed from office.

Since then, TV journalists have amassed quite a repertoire of possible causes for a premature end to the Trump White House, including (but not limited to): his tax returns; his family’s business dealings, both home and abroad; his firing of various cabinet officials; and of course, his tweets.

This video starts in November of 2016 and comes right up to the present. Watch:

These people are so obsessed.

The media is so dishonest.

They think no one remembers how differently they treated Obama.

They’re wrong.

Cross posted from American Lookout.

— Read on www.thegatewaypundit.com/2019/10/watch-the-media-has-been-pushing-for-trumps-impeachment-since-before-he-took-office-video/

2 OCTOBER 365 Days with Calvin

God’s Electing Choice

According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love. Ephesians 1:4

suggested further reading: Romans 9:6–21

We see how God’s goodness shines forth to us in the preaching of the gospel to us, for in it we have, as it were, a token that he pities us, loves us, calls us, and attracts us to him. But we also see how receiving the doctrine preached to us with heart and affection is a further and more special token by which we perceive that God intends to be our Father and has adopted us to be his children.

Not without reason, then, Paul says in this passage that we are blessed by God even before the foundation of the world, according to his election. For that does not happen because we have come to him or sought him. But to fulfill in every respect what the prophet Isaiah says (Isa. 65:1), God shows himself to those who did not seek him and were far off, yet saw him near at hand. He says to them, “Here I am, here I am. Although you have despised me, yet I condescend to come to you because I care for your salvation.” This is what Paul is aiming at in this passage.

How, then, do we come to God? How do we obey him? How do we have a quiet mind that yields itself to him in accordance with faith? As all these things come from him, so it follows that he must do everything himself. Wherefore let us observe that, in saying that God elected us before the creation of the world, Paul presupposes what is true, namely, that God could not see anything in us except the evil that was there, for there was not one drop of goodness for him to find. Seeing that he has elected us, we must regard this as a very clear token of his free grace.

for meditation: God did not need to tell us that he chose us before the foundation of the world, and yet he did reveal that. We should glory in this truth, not be ashamed of it. That he knew us and loved us before we existed is a wonder beyond description. Let us thank him for that, for there is no other way that we could have been saved except that he chose us.[1]

 

[1] Calvin, J., & Beeke, J. R. (2008). 365 Days with Calvin (p. 294). Leominster; Grand Rapids, MI: Day One Publications; Reformation Heritage Books.

Brannon Howse: October 1, 2019 | Worldview Weekend

Guest: Olivier Melnick. Topic: What is anti-semitism, how did it start & by whom? How have the early church fathers contributed to anti-semitism? How has the centuries of anti-semitism by Christians made many Jews very leery of Christians? How can we as Christians address this problem? Topic: Why do many of those that defend the Jews come under attack? Topic: We take your calls. 

Download File Here

— Read on www.worldviewweekend.com/radio/audio/brannon-howse-october-1-2019

October 2 – God’s man — Reformed Perspective

Now Elijah the Tishbite, of Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, before whom I stand, there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word.” – 1 Kings 17:1

Scripture reading: 1 Corinthians 1:18-31; 1 Kings 17:1-5

No scholar seems able to tell us about Tishbe. Neither do we know much about Elijah’s parents except what is most important: in a day of rampant unbelief they confess their faith in the covenant Lord by naming their son Elijah, meaning, My God is the Lord. God’s chosen servant’s beginnings are clouded in obscurity yet Elijah’s character explodes in this introduction.Elijah is a man of courage, addressing the king of Israel, one who is no friend of God’s prophets. What emboldened him?

First, conviction that God lives, in contrast to Baal, who according to pagan mythology, annually died. Second, consciousness of God. God was not simply one before Whom he stood but before Whom he stands. To Elijah, the colossal figure of the King towers above the king. Third, confidence in God’s promise to punish idolatrous people (Deuteronomy 28:15, 23-24). Elijah is also a committed man. He is told to go and he goes (vv. 2, 5). It doesn’t seem that significant except that people like that were scarce in his day and also in ours. But it should be common among Christians. Whatever God calls me to do, I will do. Whatever He forbids, I will forgo.

This is the man Elijah. He was like Christ, the greater Prophet, who was chosen from obscurity, courageous before men, and committed to serving His God unstintingly. The Spirit upon Christ is the Spirit upon Elijah and is the Spirit upon us to shape us to be that kind of Christian.

Suggestions for prayer

Ask that God would pour out His Holy Spirit upon us to conform us to the image of Christ so that we might fearlessly serve Him in his Church and our nation. Pray that God would make your Minister a man of courage and commitment.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. John van Eyk is the Senior Pastor of Trinity Reformed Church (United Reformed) in Lethbridge, Alberta.

via October 2 – God’s man — Reformed Perspective

Soli Deo Gloria: To God Alone Be the Glory — Ligonier Ministries Blog

Soli Deo gloria is the motto that grew out of the Protestant Reformation and was used on every composition by Johann Sebastian Bach. He affixed the initials SDG at the bottom of each manuscript to communicate the idea that it is God and God alone who is to receive the glory for the wonders of His work of creation and of redemption. At the heart of the sixteenth-century controversy over salvation was the issue of grace.

It was not a question of man’s need for grace. It was a question as to the extent of that need. The church had already condemned Pelagius, who had taught that grace facilitates salvation but is not absolutely necessary for it. Semi-Pelagianism since that time has always taught that without grace there is no salvation. But the grace that is considered in all semi-Pelagian and Arminian theories of salvation is not an efficacious grace. It is a grace that makes salvation possible, but not a grace that makes salvation certain.

In the parable of the sower we see that regarding salvation, God is the one who takes the initiative to bring salvation to pass. He is the sower. The seed that is sown is His seed, corresponding to His Word, and the harvest that results is His harvest. He harvests what He purposed to harvest when He initiated the whole process. God doesn’t leave the harvest up to the vagaries of thorns and stones in the pathway. It is God and God alone who makes certain that a portion of His Word falls upon good ground. A critical error in interpreting this parable would be to assume that the good ground is the good disposition of fallen sinners, those sinners who make the right choice, responding positively to God’s prevenient grace. The classical Reformed understanding of the good ground is that if the ground is receptive to the seed that is sown by God, it is God alone who prepares the ground for the germination of the seed.

The biggest question any semi-Pelagian or Arminian has to face at the practical level is this: Why did I choose to believe the gospel and commit my life to Christ when my neighbor, who heard the same gospel, chose to reject it? That question has been answered in many ways. We might speculate that the reason why one person chooses to respond positively to the gospel and to Christ, while another one doesn’t, is because the person who responded positively was more intelligent than the other one. If that were the case, then God would still be the ultimate provider of salvation because the intelligence is His gift, and it could be explained that God did not give the same intelligence to the neighbor who rejected the gospel. But that explanation is obviously absurd.

The other possibility that one must consider is this: that the reason one person responds positively to the gospel and his neighbor does not is because the one who responded was a better person. That is, that person who made the right choice and the good choice did it because he was more righteous than his neighbor. In this case, the flesh not only availed something, it availed everything. This is the view that is held by the majority of evangelical Christians, namely, the reason why they are saved and others are not is that they made the right response to God’s grace while the others made the wrong response.

We can talk here about not only the correct response as opposed to an erroneous response, but we can speak in terms of a good response rather than a bad response. If I am in the kingdom of God because I made the good response rather than the bad response, I have something of which to boast, namely the goodness by which I responded to the grace of God. I have never met an Arminian who would answer the question that I’ve just posed by saying, “Oh, the reason I’m a believer is because I’m better than my neighbor.” They would be loath to say that. However, though they reject this implication, the logic of semi-Pelagianism requires this conclusion. If indeed in the final analysis the reason I’m a Christian and someone else is not is that I made the proper response to God’s offer of salvation while somebody else rejected it, then by resistless logic I have indeed made the good response, and my neighbor has made the bad response.

What Reformed theology teaches is that it is true the believer makes the right response and the non-believer makes the wrong response. But the reason the believer makes the good response is because God in His sovereign election changes the disposition of the heart of the elect to effect a good response. I can take no credit for the response that I made for Christ. God not only initiated my salvation, He not only sowed the seed, but He made sure that that seed germinated in my heart by regenerating me by the power of the Holy Ghost. That regeneration is a necessary condition for the seed to take root and to flourish. That’s why at the heart of Reformed theology the axiom resounds, namely, that regeneration precedes faith. It’s that formula, that order of salvation that all semi-Pelagians reject. They hold to the idea that in their fallen condition of spiritual death, they exercise faith, and then are born again. In their view, they respond to the gospel before the Spirit has changed the disposition of their soul to bring them to faith. When that happens, the glory of God is shared. No semi-Pelagian can ever say with authenticity: “To God alone be the glory.” For the semi-Pelagian, God may be gracious, but in addition to God’s grace, my work of response is absolutely essential. Here grace is not effectual, and such grace, in the final analysis, is not really saving grace. In fact, salvation is of the Lord from beginning to end. Yes, I must believe. Yes, I must respond. Yes, I must receive Christ. But for me to say “yes” to any of those things, my heart must first be changed by the sovereign, effectual power of God the Holy Spirit. Soli Deo gloria.

This post was originally published in Tabletalk magazine.

via Soli Deo Gloria: To God Alone Be the Glory — Ligonier Ministries Blog

October 2, 2019 Morning Verse Of The Day

God’s Judgment over the Gods (82:1)

1 God (Elohim) is portrayed here as ready to judge. He “presides” (niṣṣāb; cf. Isa 3:13; Am 7:7; 9:1) as the Great Judge. God assembles the “gods” together for judgment in “the assembly of El” (MT; NIV, “the great assembly”). The assembly of El is a borrowed phrase from Canaanite mythology, according to which El, the chief of the pantheon, assembled the gods in a divine council (see Dahood, 2:269).

For Israel there is no other God than Yahweh. He embodies within himself all the epithets and powers attributed to pagan deities. The God of Israel holds a mock trial so as to impress his people that he alone is God. Zimmerli, 155, has expressed the superiority of Israel’s God well in these words: “Whenever a hymn speaks of those other divine powers, whose existence is by no means denied on theoretical grounds, it can only be with reference to the One who will call their actions to judgment (Ps. 82), or in the spirit of superiority that mocks their impotence (Pss. 115:4–8; 135:15–18).”[1]


1 Verse 1 serves as an orientation, or an opening for the scene. It transfers the reader to a space rarely seen by humans. The assembly of El is often referred to as the divine council. This would be a familiar mythological theme in the ancient near East. ʾĒl is a known name for the king god of the Canaanite pantheon, and his myths predate the exodus. The God of the Israelites, the Lord, subsumed this title as an epithet, so that El becomes synonymous with YHWH. The function of El was to serve as the creator, parent, king and the head of the council of the gods.10 God arises and judges the gods as a function of the king of the divine council.[2]


82:1 / In the opening verse a liturgist or prophetic voice provides the congregation with the psalm’s visionary setting in God’s heavenly royal council chambers. Here, we enter a world very foreign to us.[3]


God’s Position (82:1)

82:1. The congregation in which God takes his stand (i.e., to execute judgment, as God’s “standing” is elsewhere intended; cf. Is 3:13) was the congregation (i.e., people) of Israel, to whom this same expression “congregation (of the Lord)” is elsewhere applied (cf. Nm 27:17; Jos 22:16–17). So too the rulers (Hb. elohim, lit., “gods”) in the midst of whom He judges were the leaders of Israel to whom the ministry of teaching, modeling, and enforcing God’s Word was entrusted, such as the judges and priests in the OT and the scribes and Pharisees in the NT. The gods (v. 6a) here were the same contextually as those Jesus cited (cf. Jn 10:34). He further defined “gods” as those “to whom the word of God came” (Jn 10:35; see comments there). Both on the lips of Jesus and here, the word referred to men such as Moses (designated elohim in Ex 4:16), the judges who assisted him (designated elohim in Ex 21:6; 22:7–8, 27), and the subsequent judges and leaders of Israel (cf. Jdg 5:8; Ps 138:1). In all these instances where the epithet “gods” (elohim) is applied to men, it should be understood in the sense of “proxies or representatives of God.” The point of this verse is thus to underscore God’s preeminent position as the final Judge who will pass judgment on all other judges.[4]


1. “God standeth in the congregation of the mighty.” He is the overlooker, who, from his own point of view, sees all that is done by the great ones of the earth. When they sit in state he stands over them, ready to deal with them if they pervert judgment. Judges shall be judged, and to justices justice shall be meted out. Our village squires and country magistrates would do well to remember this. Some of them had need go to school to Asaph till they have mastered this Psalm. Their harsh decisions and strange judgments are made in the presence of him who will surely visit them for every unseemly act, for he has no respect unto the person of any, and is the champion of the poor and needy. A higher authority will criticise the decision of petty sessions, and even the judgments of our most impartial judges will be revised by cthe High Court of heaven. “He judgeth among the gods.” They are gods to other men, but he is God to them. He lends them his name, and this is their authority for acting as judges, but they must take care that they do not misuse the power entrusted to them, for the Judge of judges is in session among them. Our puisne judges are but puny judges, and their brethren who administer common law will one day be tried by the common law. This great truth is, upon the whole, well regarded among us in these times, but it was not so in the earlier days of English history, when Jeffries, and such as he, were an insult to the name of justice. Oriential judges, even now, are frequently, if not generally, amenable to bribes, and in past ages it was very hard to find a ruler who had any notion of justice apart from his own arbitrary will. Such plain teaching as this Psalm contains was needful indeed, and he was a bold, good man who, in such uncourtly phrases, delivered his own soul.[5]


1 The court in session. Presides is translated ‘takes his place’ in an identical context in Isaiah 3:13. The Great Judge himself enters to give judgment among the ‘gods’—but who are ‘the gods’?[6]


82:1 The court is called to order. The Judge has taken His place at the bench. It is God Himself. He has called a special session of the divine council in order to reprove the rulers and judges of the earth. They are called gods because they are representatives of God, ordained by Him as His servants in order to maintain an ordered society. Actually, of course, they are only men like ourselves. But because of their position, they are the anointed of the Lord. Even if they do not know God personally, yet they are God’s agents officially and therefore dignified here with the name of gods. The basic meaning of the name is mighty ones.[7]


82:1 His own congregation. The scene opens with God having called the world leaders together. midst of the rulers. The best interpretation is that these are human leaders, such as judges, kings, legislators, and presidents (cf. Ex 22:8, 9, 28; Jdg 5:8, 9). God the Great Judge, presides over these lesser judges.[8]


82:1 in the divine council; in the midst of the gods. Many would take these terms in vv. 1 and 6 as describing the assembly of angelic beings who surround God’s throne as a divine court (cf. 1 Kings 22:19; Job 1:6; 2:1). This finds support in the way that the title “sons of the Most High” matches the label “sons of God” in Job; cf. also the “heavenly beings” (or “gods”) in Ps. 8:5 (see note there). On the other hand, these “gods” are said to “judge” among men (82:2–4) and to die like men (v. 7); God is to judge the earth and to inherit the nations (where mankind lives, v. 8). This makes it better to see these as human rulers, who hold their authority as representatives of the true God (and therefore deserve respect; cf. 58:1; Rom. 13:1–7; 1 Pet. 2:13–17). Of course this does not require ultimate loyalty that overrides faithfulness to God, or that silences testimony about God’s justice, as this very psalm makes clear. Jesus seems to have read the psalm in this way, since in John 10:34–35 he cites Ps. 82:6, describing the “gods” as those to whom the word of God came, which means they were human. See also note on v. 6.[9]


82:1 stands The Hebrew word used here, nitsav, is a singular verbal form, which means that its subject, which is elohim in Hebrew—and could be translated as “God” or “gods”—should be translated in the singular as “God.” The imagery that extends from this verb is one of presiding, since the setting is a formal council meeting.

the divine assembly A descriptive phrase used of the heavenly host. Like other ancient Near Eastern cultures, the psalmist conceived of God as directing the affairs of the unseen world through an administration of divine beings. The members of the heavenly host are often referred to as a “council” or “assembly” (see 1 Kgs 22:19–23).

in the midst of the gods The Hebrew preposition used here, qerev, requires the Hebrew word elohim to be translated as a plural here—as “gods.” The gods in the verse are the council members, the heavenly host (see Psa 82:6). A council of divine beings is also mentioned in 89:5–7, where they are depicted as in heaven or the skies.[10]


82:1 The reference to “gods” (˒elohim, Heb.) is best understood here and in v. 6 as an allusion to the corrupt and unjust judges of Israel (cf. 45:6; also Ex. 21:6; 22:8, 9). Human rulers who administer justice are looked upon in Scripture as being divinely appointed and responsible before God (cf. Deut. 1:17; Rom. 13:1–7).[11]


82:1 The phrase God stands indicates sentencing or judgment in progress (74:22; 94:2; Is 3:13; 33:10) since judges normally sat (Ex 18:14; Jdg 4:5; Is 28:6). The divine assembly has its equivalents in Ugaritic, Mesopotamian, and Egyptian mythology, where it refers to “lesser gods” in a pantheon. In the OT, the designation either refers to heavenly servant beings (103:19) or judges and governors appointed by God as political leaders (Ex 21:6; 22:8; 2Ch 19:5–6). The Scriptures place God in the presence of a divine council consisting of good and evil spirits (1Kg 22:19–22), sometimes designated as “sons of God” (Jb 1:6–12). The emphasis on judgment (vv. 1–3, 8) reinforces the failure of God’s servants.[12]


1. God sitteth in the assembly of God. It is unquestionably a very unbecoming thing for those whom God has been pleased to invest with the government of mankind for the common good, not to acknowledge the end for which they have been exalted above others, nor yet by whose blessing they have been placed in so elevated a station; but instead of doing this, contemning every principle of equity, to rule just as their own unbridled passions dictate. So infatuated are they by their own splendour and magnificence, as to imagine that the whole world was made only for them. Besides, they think that it would derogate from their elevated rank were they to be governed by moderate counsels; and although their own folly is more than enough to urge them on in their reckless career, they, notwithstanding, seek for flatterers to soothe and applaud them in their vices. To correct this arrogance, the psalm opens by asserting, that although men occupy thrones and judgment-seats, God nevertheless continues to hold the office of supreme ruler. God has made even a heathen and licentious poet bear testimony to this truth in the following lines:—

“Regum timendorum in proprios greges,

Reges in ipsos imperium est Jovis,

Clari giganteo triumpho,

Cuncta supercilio moventis.”

Horatii, Carm. Liber iii. Ode i.

“Kings rule their subject flocks; great Jove

O’er kings themselves his reign extends,

Who hurl’d the rebel giants from above;

At whose majestic nod all nature bends.”

Boscawen’s Translation.

That the potentates of this world may not arrogate to themselves more than belongs to them, the prophet here erects a throne for God, from which he judges them all, and represses their pride; a thing which is highly necessary. They may, indeed, admit that they owe their elevation to royal power to the favour of God, and they may worship him by outward ceremonies, but their greatness so infatuates them that they are chargeable with expelling and casting him to a distance from their assembly, by their vain imaginations; for they cannot bear to be subject to reason and laws. Thus the design of the prophet was to deride the madness by which the princes of this world are bewitched, in leaving God no place in their assembly. The more effectually to overthrow this irrational self-confidence with which they are intoxicated, civil order is termed the assembly of God; for although the divine glory shines forth in every part of the world, yet when lawful government flourishes among men, it is reflected therefrom with pre-eminent lustre. I indeed grant that it is quite common for the Hebrews to adorn with the title of God whatever is rare and excellent. But here it would appear, from the scope of the passage, that this name of the Divine Being is applied to those who occupy the exalted station of princes, in which there is afforded a peculiar manifestation of the majesty of God; even as Solomon, in Prov. 2:17, calls marriage “the covenant of God,” from the peculiar sanctity by which that relation is distinguished.

In the second clause of the verse, it is not material whether we read, He will judge in the midst of the gods, or, He will judge the gods in the midst. The first construction, however, is the most easy and natural, That however much the rulers of the world may exalt themselves, they cannot in the least impair the authority of God, by divesting him of his sovereignty over them and of the government of all things, which he will ever retain as his inalienable prerogative. But here, as also a little after, the name gods is to be understood of judges, on whom God has impressed special marks of his glory. To apply it to angels is a fancy too strained to admit of serious consideration.[13]


Ver. 1.—God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; or, “in the congregation of God”—“the Divine assembly” (see Job 1:6; 2:1; Isa. 6:1, 2, etc.). El, in the singular, can scarcely mean the “mighty ones of earth.” He judgeth among the gods. He “holds a court of judgment in heaven, surrounded by the Divine ministers, who will execute his behests” (Canon Cook).[14]


[1] VanGemeren, W. A. (2008). Psalms. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Psalms (Revised Edition) (Vol. 5, p. 623). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[2] Tanner, B. (2014). Book Three of the Psalter: Psalms 73–89. In E. J. Young, R. K. Harrison, & R. L. Hubbard Jr. (Eds.), The Book of Psalms (p. 642). Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

[3] Hubbard, R. L. J., & Johnston, R. K. (2012). Foreword. In W. W. Gasque, R. L. Hubbard Jr., & R. K. Johnston (Eds.), Psalms (p. 336). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[4] Rydelnik, M., Vanlaningham, M., Barbieri, L. A., Boyle, M., Coakley, J., Dyer, C. H., … Zuber, K. D. (2014). Psalms. In The moody bible commentary (p. 827). Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[5] Spurgeon, C. H. (n.d.). The treasury of David: Psalms 56-87 (Vol. 3, p. 411). London; Edinburgh; New York: Marshall Brothers.

[6] Motyer, J. A. (1994). The Psalms. In D. A. Carson, R. T. France, J. A. Motyer, & G. J. Wenham (Eds.), New Bible commentary: 21st century edition (4th ed., p. 539). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press.

[7] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 674). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[8] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Ps 82:1). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[9] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (pp. 1041–1042). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[10] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Ps 82:1). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[11] Criswell, W. A., Patterson, P., Clendenen, E. R., Akin, D. L., Chamberlin, M., Patterson, D. K., & Pogue, J. (Eds.). (1991). Believer’s Study Bible (electronic ed., Ps 82:1). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[12] Warstler, K. R. (2017). Psalms. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 891). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

[13] Calvin, J., & Anderson, J. (2010). Commentary on the Book of Psalms (Vol. 3, pp. 328–330). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[14] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). Psalms (Vol. 2, p. 177). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

Core Christianity | When God Feels Far Away in Your Suffering

Grief with Good Theology

“God, I know you’re not mean, but it feels like it today.” My wife, Sarah, and I were sitting—devastated—in the car outside our doctor’s office. My wife’s blunt prayer was all she could muster.

Our prior appointment was to confirm a long-awaited pregnancy after the still-birth of our daughter and multiple miscarriages. However, instead of seeing the grainy flutter of a miniature beating heart, our doctor told us that we had a false-positive pregnancy—a blighted ovum. Despite climbing hormone numbers and the creation of a home for a baby, there was no embryo. 

We were crushed. This grief felt cruel. God seemed like he was a million miles away. Don’t get me wrong, my wife and I believed in God’s sovereignty and goodness. We often anchored our hearts to the truth that “for those who love God all things work together for good” (Rom. 8:28). Our theology was solid. But this moment was hard—really, really hard.

Sitting in the car with the crushing waves of sorrow, my wife lamented. She voiced painful circumstances that didn’t appear to line up with God’s goodness. Sarah wasn’t cursing God for his perceived absence. She was complaining—talking honestly to God about her pain.

It’s Okay to Complain?

If you read the Psalms, you’ll quickly discover a lot of creative complaining. Over a third of the Psalms are laments—prayers in pain that lead to trust. These prayers of protest turn to God instead of being silent, tell God what is wrong instead of pretending, ask for his help instead of doubting his care, and lead to trust instead of hopeless despair. 

Lament is the biblical language for people who feel like God is distant.

Some people are skeptical when they learn about the category of biblical complaint. Let me be clear, I’m not giving you permission to vent self-centered rage at God. Nor am I suggesting that you have a right to be angry with God. 

But consider the fact that the following inspired words are not only written in the Bible, but they were set to music and sung by a congregation:

“Why, O LORD, do you stand far away? 
Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?” (Psalm 10:1)
“How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? 
How long will you hide your face from me?” (Psalm 13:1)

Even Jesus poured out a complaint. While hanging on the cross he quoted Psalm 22—a lament: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46). Psalms of lament help us to see that when God feels far away, we should tell him. Instead of giving in to despair (“There’s no hope”) or denial (“Everything’s fine”), we can complain—the right way. 

Complaining the Right Way

When God feel like he’s distant, we can cry out to him. The biblical language of lament allows us to be honest about our struggles while helping us trust him. If God feels far away in your suffering, here are a few steps for practicing biblical complaint:

Come Humble

A complaint must be offered with a humble heart. Proud, demanding questions because you believe God owes you something will never create true, life-giving lament. Before you start complaining, be sure you’ve checked arrogance at the door. Come with your pain, not your pride. 

Pray the Bible

As you consider this prayer language, consider memorizing a portion of a lament Psalm. The verses will capture the essence of your struggle. You’ll find poignant language to pray. The lament psalms are in the Bible for a reason. Start complaining the right way by praying the Bible. 

Be Honest

Biblical complaint only works if you are honest with God about your pain, fears, or frustrations. Remember, you have a Savior who understands your struggles (Heb. 4:15). What’s more, we have the Spirit of God who intercedes for us with “groanings too deep for words” (Rom. 8:26). The triune God is not surprised by your struggles. So, tell him.

Don’t Just Complain

Finally, complaint was never meant to be an end in itself. Lament does not give you an excuse to wallow in your questions or frustrations. It is a means to another end: trust. Bring your complaints to the Lord for the purpose of moving toward him—make the choice to trust.

When suffering arrives and it feels as if God has left, allow lament to turn you toward the Man of Sorrows. Talk to God about your struggles. Even if it’s messy or embarrassing, let biblical complaining help you to be honest about your pain while opening your heart to God’s help.

When raw feelings and painful emotions flood your life, lament guides us back to the safe harbor of trusting God’s goodness. The honest opening of our souls can become a pathway to trust, especially when God feels far away.

Content adapted from Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy by Mark Vroegop. This article first appeared on Crossway.org; used with permission.

— Read on corechristianity.com/resource-library/3/1520

Are You A Serious Christian? — Wretched

Are You A Serious Christian?

-Episode 2539-

Segment 1 (00:00) Todd stresses the importance of being a serious Christian and goes though an exam to test the viewer’s seriousness.

Segment 2 (08:44) A self examination of the soul.

Segment 3 (16:39) A self examination of the soul continued.

Wretched Surprise! (26:19) More “You’re not a serious Cristian if”

via Are You A Serious Christian? — Wretched

The Dangers of Jealousy (Part 2 of 2) – Programs – Truth For Life

Jealousy may seem like a harmless emotion, but in truth, it’s a dangerous sin that can decimate relationships. Learn how to gain victory over envy when you join us on Truth For Life with Alistair Begg. 
Listen…

Quick Shot Responses to “You Can’t Trust the Bible Because It Was Written by Humans” (Cold-Case Christianity S5E26) — Cold Case Christianity

In this episode of the Cold-Case Christianity Broadcast, J. Warner offers a number of brief, rhetorically powerful responses to the objection: “You Can’t Trust the Bible Because It Was Written by Humans.” Is Christian scripture limited and flawed due to the fact it was written by Christians? Does this truth explain the apparent existence of “contradictions” in the Bible? These Quick Shot responses are designed to help you remove intellectual obstacles when talking about God with your friends and family members. They are also available on the Cold-Case Christianity Phone App so you can access them as you are interacting with others.

Be sure to watch the Cold-Case Christianity Broadcast on NRBtv every Monday and Saturday! In addition, here is the audio podcast (the Cold-Case Christianity Weekly Podcast is located on iTunes or our RSS Feed):

via Quick Shot Responses to “You Can’t Trust the Bible Because It Was Written by Humans” (Cold-Case Christianity S5E26) — Cold Case Christianity

Did The Democrats Bring Impeachment In Order To Remove Frontrunner Joe Biden And Allow Hillary Clinton To Steal The Nomination…Again? — Now The End Begins

Hillary’s choice of the word “tornado” is a poker tell — resonant for those old enough to remember how her former business partner Jim McDougal served as her fall guy for the Whitewater affair, a real estate development scheme that failed amid crime and scandal.

With each passing day, it becomes more and more apparent as to exactly why the Democrats chose to impeach Donald Trump over a scandal in Ukraine that has very little to do with him, but everything to do with Joe Biden. Donald Trump didn’t break any laws with his Ukraine phone call, but Joe Biden sure broke a few by using and selling the influence of his then-office of vice president of the United States, so his son Hunter could get a job he wasn’t qualified for that paid him $50K per month. Creepy Joe has been set up by his own party. Why? So Hillary Clinton can enter the race and take a third shot at becoming president. That’s why.

“That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.”Ecclesiastes 3:15 (KJV)

Crooked Hillary calls President Trump a ‘corrupt human tornado‘, and there is a reason why she chose that exact phrase. That’s what the people who took the fall for her and Slick Willy back in the 1990’s called her, a ‘corrupt human tornado’ who looted and pillaged the White House and the American taxpayer for 8 long years, going from scandal to scandal like the true pro that she is. Setting up Joe Biden to take the fall may just be the most aggressive thing she’s ever attempted, outside of the Clinton Body Count, that is.

She is very good at what she does, give the Devil her due. If Biden falls, as we have already told you he will, watch as Crooked Hillary steps right in.

As Biden falters, Hillary attacks Trump and positions herself to enter presidential race

FROM AMERICAN THINKER: Hillary Clinton remains shackled to her lust for power and revenge and now is signaling that she may enter the Democrats’ presidential contest when ex–vice president Joe Biden withdraws and serves as the fall guy for Ukraine’s collusion with her 2016 presidential campaign.  She realizes that her party’s frenzy to unseat President Trump will consume the ambition of the hapless halfwit to gain the Oval Office that rightfully belongs to her, as his familial dirty laundry is aired in an effort to find Trump impeachment fodder in Ukraine.

Hillary is not committing to the race, but keeping that option very open.  It is evident from her latest video statement that a lot of work has gone into her appearance recently, with her face losing the bloat that had recently developed from her chardonnay-guzzling, and her hairstyle and outfit looking business-like.

Almost three years after her defeat at the polls, she still complains and calls President Trump an “illegitimate president” and a “corrupt human tornado” in an interview taped for CBS Sunday Morning.

Her choice of the word “tornado” is a poker tell — resonant for those old enough to remember how her former business partner Jim McDougal served as her fall guy for the Whitewater affair, a real estate development scheme that failed amid crime and scandal.  McDougal died in prison at the age of 58, convicted of fraud by Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr after the collapse of Madison Guaranty Savings & Loan in Arkansas, the lender he ran that financed the Whitewater real estate scam that the Clintons hoped would earn them their first fortune.  Before his death, McDougal ruefully observed about his and his wife Susan’s imprisonment, as well as the other people whose futures were sacrificed while the Clintons remained above the law:

“I think the Clintons are really sort of like tornadoes moving through people’s lives,” he once said. “I’m just one of the people left in the wake of their passing by.” Jim McDougal

Joe Biden probably doesn’t realize that he is being set up as a fall guy just like McDougal.  The prima facie corruption of his totally unqualified son receiving six hundred grand a year from a Ukrainian oligarch while Biden was the point man on Ukraine for Barack Obama will be the shiny object for the counter-attack on the current Democrat impeachment frenzy.  Meanwhile, the larger picture of Ukrainian corruption’s role on the 2016 election will fall by the wayside:

[A] July 2017 letter from the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee [Chuck Grassley] sent to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein raised concerns over reports that Ukraine’s political leadership “opposed the candidacy of Donald Trump for president of the United States and worked with a Democratic National Committee consultant to undermine his campaign.”

“This consultant allegedly had various meetings with Ukrainian government officials, including embassy staff, to coordinate the dissemination of incriminating information about Trump campaign officials,” wrote Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) in a press release announcing the letter. “It appears that this consultant was operating to advance the interests of both the Democratic National Committee, the Clinton campaign, and a foreign government, which would have required registration under FARA.”

Citing several reports from mainstream news outlets, the letter reads in part:

According to news reports, during the 2016 presidential election, “Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump” and did so by “disseminat[ing] documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter…”[1]  Ukrainian officials also reportedly “helped Clinton’s allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers.”[2]  At the center of this plan was Alexandra Chalupa, described by reports as a Ukrainian-American operative “who was consulting for the Democratic National Committee” and reportedly met with Ukrainian officials during the presidential election for the express purpose of exposing alleged ties between then-candidate Donald Trump, Paul Manafort, and Russia.[3]  Politico also reported on a Financial Times story that quoted a Ukrainian legislator, Serhiy Leschenko, saying that Trump’s candidacy caused “Kiev’s wider political leadership to do something they would never have attempted before: intervene, however indirectly, in a U.S. election.”[4]

Reporting indicates that the Democratic National Committee encouraged Chalupa to interface with Ukrainian embassy staff to “arrange an interview in which Poroshenko [the president of Ukraine] might discuss Manafort’s ties to Yanukovych.”[5]  Chalupa also met with Valeriy Chaly, Ukraine’s ambassador to the U.S., and Oksana Shulyar, a top aid to the Ukrainian ambassador in March 2016 and shared her alleged concerns about Manafort.  Reports state that the purpose of their initial meeting was to “organize a June reception at the embassy to promote Ukraine.”  However, another Ukrainian embassy official, Andrii Telizhenko, told Politico that Shulyar instructed him to assist Chalupa with research to connect Trump, Manafort, and the Russians.  He reportedly said, “[t]hey were coordinating an investigation with the Hillary team on Paul Manafort with Alexandra Chalupa” and that “Oksana [Shulyar] was keeping it all quiet…the embassy worked very closely with” Chalupa.[6]

Chalupa’s actions appear to show that she was simultaneously working on behalf of a foreign government, Ukraine, and on behalf of the DNC and Clinton campaign, in an effort to influence not only the U.S voting population but U.S. government officials.  Indeed, Telizhenko recalled that Chalupa told him and Shulyar, “[i]f we can get enough information on Paul [Manafort] or Trump’s involvement with Russia, she can get a hearing in Congress by September.”[7]  Later, Chalupa did reportedly meet with staff in the office of Democratic representative Marcy Kaptur to discuss a congressional investigation.  Such a public investigation would not only benefit the Hillary Clinton campaign, but it would benefit the Ukrainian government, which, at the time, was working against the Trump campaign.  When Politico attempted to ask Rep. Kaptur’s office about the meeting, the office called it a “touchy subject.”

Hillary is betting that Biden’s scalp will suffice to wrap up the Ukraine narrative, and his withdrawal will open the door for her to enter the race as a “moderate” Democrat who can keep the money spigot from Wall Street and the American oligarchs flowing into Democrat coffers. READ MORE

Hillary Clinton: Trump is a “corrupt human tornado”

In this preview of an interview for “CBS Sunday Morning”, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton talks about her opponent in the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump. In the interview with Jane Pauley, to be broadcast September 29, Clinton describes President Trump as “a clear and present danger” to the rule of law, and says she supports an impeachment inquiry.

Clinton’s Scandals In Real Estate and Savings & Loan Deals

James B. “Jim” McDougal (August 25, 1940 – March 8, 1998), a native of White County, Arkansas, and his wife, Susan McDougal (the former Susan Carol Henley), were financial partners with Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton in the real estate venture that led to the Whitewater political scandal of the 1990s. Starting in 1982, McDougal operated Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan. (NOTE: Jim McDougal was the one to call Crooked Hillary a “tornado” so it might be quite enlightening to remind ourselves about the many scandals of the Clintons. 

via Did The Democrats Bring Impeachment In Order To Remove Frontrunner Joe Biden And Allow Hillary Clinton To Steal The Nomination…Again? — Now The End Begins