The need for the Fed to shove billions into the repo market to keep that market’s interest rate near the Fed’s target shows the Fed is losing its power to control the price of money.
No sooner did President Trump Tweet his determination to remove US troops from the “endless” war in Syria than the entire Washington Beltway had a total breakdown. From Mitch McConnell to Ilhan Omar the cry was identical: “How dare you! How dare you bring US troops home!” Will the President cave in to his enemies in Washington and the media? Or will he keep his promises and fulfill the wishes of a majority of Republicans?
As the phony impeachment investigation targeting President Donald Trump rumbles on, there really is no definitive list of questions that as yet remain unanswered. Were anyone to compile such a list, it would probably start with five questions that strike at the heart of the entire affair.
These questions clarify whether the current process is being conducted correctly or is colored by partisan hostility – and, indeed, whether the Russian “collusion” investigation was similarly tainted.
1. Ukraine-DNC Connection?
It seems curious, to say the least, that neither the FBI nor former special counsel Robert Mueller discovered the successful 2016 efforts by the Democratic National Committee to reach out to the Ukrainian government to provide dirt on Trump and his campaign associates. Considering that both of those investigations were focused on uncovering a possible conspiracy with a foreign power to influence the presidential election, why was the Ukraine-DNC connection not looked into? It can only be gross incompetence or a deliberate decision to overlook that vital piece of the puzzle.
2. Anonymous Witnesses?
The so-called whistleblower who came forward with a complaint about the nature of the president’s phone conversation with the new Ukrainian president is hardly a credible witness since he or she had no firsthand knowledge of the call. Democrats are already making elaborate but secretive plans to extract testimony from this individual. Can his or her identity be kept from the public – and from the president – indefinitely?
The president’s opponents cannot possibly believe that they can impeach Trump using secondhand allegations provided by an anonymous source. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has vowed that, if Democrats refuse to identify this “whistleblower,” then he will ensure that any Senate impeachment trial will do so. Further, it would be necessary for the identities of White House sources from whom the whistleblower claims to have obtained information to be exposed.
Regardless of laws and rules designed to protect whistleblowers, any formal impeachment cannot be based upon testimony from unknown persons. Given that Democrats, since day one of the Trump presidency, have made no secret of their desire to impeach the president, the entire credibility of such an effort would stand or fall on complete transparency. The American public and the president himself deserve nothing less than to know the identities of the accusers and the sources from which they drew their information.
3. Another Whistleblower?
At least one additional whistleblower has now come forward, according to reports, but does this fact change anything? Indeed, the outrage over the phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appears even more fabricated the more that anonymous individuals come forward with complaints. Already, it is highly suspicious that almost three weeks passed between the phone call itself and the filing of a complaint about what was said. Additional complaints filed even later hardly bolster the credibility of the case against Trump.
4. Schiff’s Role?
How has Rep. Adam Schiff’s (D-CA) role in this latest assault upon the president compromised the entire process? Schiff has been less than forthcoming about his knowledge of events or the extent to which his own staffers worked with the whistleblower even before any complaint was filed with the intelligence community’s inspector general.
As if the congressman were not already looking foolish and dishonest, his performance at a recent hearing was reason enough for Schiff to be compelled to recuse himself. During the event, he read out his own version of what Trump said to Zelensky – which bore no resemblance to the now-public transcript. The very idea that Schiff has either the capability or the desire to conduct a fair and objective investigation is utterly laughable.
5. Window Of Opportunity?
Finally, how big is the window of opportunity for congressional Democrats to impeach the president? They may have so far avoided making the process official, but articles of impeachment must, at some point, be brought to the floor of the House for a vote.
Once the opposition party chooses its presidential nominee, the campaign for the White House begins in earnest, and impeaching Trump during an election campaign is going to be seen as purely an attempt to influence the 2020 election – even by those Americans who do not already see it as such.
Democrats, therefore, have around eight months to conclude their investigations, draw up articles of impeachment, and bring them up for debate and a vote. The holiday season will take a bite out of that time, so the clock is ticking. The chances of impeachment going before the Senate before the 2020 Democratic National Convention are slim to none.
These five basic questions, when answered objectively, determine whether there is any realistic chance of Trump’s enemies removing him from office before the next election or this entire exercise is, for Democrats, a political catastrophe.
In a new anti-war rant, President Donald Trump called the decades-long US military involvement in the Middle East “the worst decision ever made,” claiming the country has spent $8 trillion on the wars under false premises.
The US president took to Twitter on Wednesday, issuing yet another statement to defend his decision to withdraw troops from Syria’s northeast. The move has caused an uproar in Washington, with Trump’s critics accusing him of betraying Syria’s Kurdish-led militias, who are now facing Turkish troops.
The US decision to fight endless wars in the Middle East was “the worst ever made in the history of our country,” Trump stated, ripping into the pretexts of the American invasion of Iraq to topple Saddam Hussein back in 2003.
“We went to war under a false & now disproven premise, weapons of mass destruction. There were none!” Trump wrote.
Also on rt.com
DETAILS TO FOLLOW
Planned Parenthood Votes has launched a campaign to flip the senate and defeat President Donald Trump in 2020 — and say they will spend AT LEAST $45 million on it.
The Super PAC branch of the controversial organization focuses on abortion policy and supporting pro-abortion laws.
The campaign will be aimed at funding “large-scale grassroots” movements as well as media and mailers to support pro-abortion candidates in local, state and national races. Specifically, they plan to target Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
“Next November, our very rights and freedoms will be on the ballot,” Kelley Robinson, executive director of Planned Parenthood Votes, told The Hill. “Already, we’ve seen Trump and his buddies in Congress and state legislatures do everything they can to strip us of our rights and access to health care.”
“We have steadily been building our power over the last decade and we are ready to set the table on our terms. We are fired up, we are engaged, and we are going to win,” Robinson continued.
Planned Parenthood lost millions of dollars in federal funding earlier this year when the Trump administration banned abortion referrals from the federal family planning program.
Last week, the Washington Free Beacon reported that a new political action committee launched by George Soros donated $350,000 to Planned Parenthood Virginia.
“The Democracy PAC, Soros’s PAC that was created earlier this year for the 2020 election cycle, sent a $350,000 donation to Planned Parenthood Virginia’s committee in September, according to filings on the Virginia Public Access Project’s website.The donation appears to be the the largest outside contribution ever received by the committee. A majority of its funds previously came from its action fund and the super PAC Planned Parenthood Votes,” the Free Beacon noted.
The best half hour of TV in a decade occurred last night on Laura Ingraham’s “The Ingraham Angle”. Guests former mayor of New York and President Trump’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani, and former US Attorney Joe diGenova tore into the Democrat’s phony impeachment and then went to the heart of all the corruption in D.C. and they were brilliant.
Shortly before a break Laura’s guests shared the following –
Rudy – For years Obama had a pay for play operation in his administration and it’s disgusting and one of the reasons they’re fighting so hard – If Biden comes out, so does Clinton come out and about three others. This goes right to the top of the Obama administration and the administration that says, ‘I didn’t have scandals’ will be the most scandal ridden administration in our history. Obama didn’t care about ethics. He didn’t care otherwise it wouldn’t happen.
Joe – That’s right
Rudy – A Vice President should have been stopped from doing this by a President who had the slightest bit of integrity. But a Chicago ‘pol’ like Obama – pay for play eight times – millions of dollars to your Vice President [Biden] and hundreds of millions of dollars to your Secretary of State [Hillary Clinton]. They just bought the offices. Crooks.
Obama, Biden, Hillary and the Democrats should be very worried. Their corruption is trickling out now – diGenova believes it’s going to be a “Bang, Bang” couple of weeks.
Is the New York Stock Exchange Index (NYSE) about to send the S&P 500 a fresh bearish message? Possible!
The NYSE index has been much weaker than the S&P 500 for the past couple of years (see lower right ratio chart).
The NYSE index actually peaked in January of 2018 at (1) and has created a series of lower highs inside of this falling channel.
When it broke support at (2), it and the broad markets sold off hard.
The index is currently testing a key support level at (3) while remaining inside of the falling channel.
What this broad index does at this key test of support, will send an important message to the broad markets heading into year-end.
This is “impeachment made simple”. Really. Share this with everyone, everywhere. All your friends, all your social media. Even, especially your friends and relatives outside of the country. Blanket the world with this. The subject matter is a bit complex, but this will clarify everything, really.
Former Rep. Trey Gowdy has reportedly signed on to serve as outside counsel to President Donald Trump as part of his efforts to fight the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry
Democrats know that this impeachment gambit is every bit as legit as the 2.5 year Russian Collusion investigation which is to say, a total farce. But not having an candidate able to beat Trump in a head-to-head election, this is their only hope of stopping him. With the addition of Trey Gowdy as outside legal counsel on the Trump defense team, that hope being nursed by Nancy and her fellow thugs in Congress has sunk to sub-basement levels,
Trey Gowdy has a razor-sharp legal mind, and will be a very steady guide for the Trump Team as they begin to fight back against this ridiculous impeachment effort. This addition does not bode well for the Democrats, so expect the dirty tricks and foul play to intensify from here on in. They can’t win in a real and fair fight, and they know it.
Report: Trey Gowdy Joins President Trump’s Legal Team to Help Fight Impeachment
FROM BREITBART NEWS: An unnamed administration official confirmed the move to the Associated Press on Tuesday evening. Trey Gowdy, who retired from Congress last year, represented South Carolina’s 4th Congressional District for eight years.
The former lawmaker served as House Oversight Committee chairman and oversaw the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the events surrounding the 2012 terror attack in Benghazi, Libya. Since leaving Washington, D.C., Gowdy joined the law firm Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough and signed on as a Fox News Channel contributor.
The development came after the White House sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) confirming it will not cooperate with the impeachment probe, branding it “illegitimate” and “unconstitutional.”
The letter, written by White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, accused the speaker of attempting to “overturn the results” of the 2016 presidential election.
“Given that your inquiry lacks any legitimate constitutional foundation, any pretense of fairness, or even the most elementary due process protections, the Executive Branch cannot be expected to participate in it,” the letter read. “Because participating in this inquiry under the current unconstitutional posture would inflict lasting institutional harm on the Executive Branch and lasting damage to the separation of powers, you have the President no choice.
“Consistent with the duties of the President of the United States, and in particular his obligation to preserve the rights of future occupants of his office, President Trump cannot permit his Administration to participate in this partisan inquiry under these circumstances,” it added.
Nancy Pelosi responded later Tuesday to President Trump with a letter of her own, vowing to hold him “accountable.”
“This letter is manifestly wrong, and is simply another unlawful attempt to hide the facts of the Trump Administration’s brazen efforts to pressure foreign powers to intervene in the 2020 elections,” the California Democrat wrote. “Despite the White House’s stonewalling, we see a growing body of evidence that shows that President Trump abused his office and violated his oath to ‘protect, preserve and defend the Constitution.”
“Mr. President, you are not above the law. You will be held accountable,” she concluded.
Pelosi kicked off the probe against President Trump late September after a partisan CIA officer accused the president in a so-called “whistleblower” complaint of asking Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to look into allegations of corruption against former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden. Both have denied any pressure was applied to probe into the Biden family, and in a nod to transparency, the White House released a transcript of the presidents’ call to show no wrongdoing occurred.
On Tuesday, the Washington Examiner reported that the so-called “whistleblower” — who had been previously outed as a registered Democrat — in fact, had a previously “professional relationship’ with a 2020 Democrat White House hopeful. READ MORE
Trey Gowdy To Join Trump’s Legal Team On Impeachment Inquiry
Former South Carolina Representative Trey Gowdy is joining President Trump’s legal team on impeachment inquiry. Gowdy was the former chair of the House Oversight and Reform Committee.
Facebook on Tuesday shut down a request from Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign to pull a Trump campaign advertisement.
|scripture reading:||Psalm 100|
|key verse:||Matthew 6:33|
Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
A flaw in a product can go unnoticed for long periods of time before the defect finally emerges. Likewise, many believers can grow quite rapidly in their faith before a dormant spiritual fault is revealed in a time of testing. It is then that the most common defect is discovered—operating on personal agendas.
The goal of the Christian life is to exalt and worship the person of Jesus Christ. Faith in anything but His will is idolatry. Substituting your plans for His purposes is idolatry. Faith practiced solely for achieving your personal objectives, as noble as they may seem, is idolatry.
Paul’s overwhelming ambition was to know and please Christ, to do everything to His glory. Is that your passion? Do you enter His presence with gratefulness, excitement, and reverence for Him?
It is all right to pray for personal needs and guidance, but all such requests are secondary to faith’s primary aim—experiencing God’s will for your life and personal communion with the Father. If God is accomplishing that purpose in your life, your faith will not be shaken even when the going gets rough. You will depend on God not to grant your every desire but to fulfill His purposes, whatever they may be.
Dear Father, I do not want any flaws in my faith. Create in me a pure faith so that when the going gets rough, my faith will not be shaken. Make the focus of my faith a passion to know and please You.
Grieving the Holy Spirit
“And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” Ephesians 4:30
suggested further reading: Isaiah 63:7–19
The Spirit of God is in your heart, and it is very, very easy indeed to grieve him. Sin is as easy as it is wicked. You may grieve him by impure thoughts. He cannot bear sin. If you indulge in lascivious expressions, or even if you allow imagination to dote upon any lascivious act, or if your heart goes after covetousness, if you set your heart upon anything that is evil, the Spirit of God will be grieved, for thus I hear him speaking of himself. “I love this man, I want to have his heart, and yet he is entertaining these filthy lusts. His thoughts, instead of running after me, and after Christ, and after the Father, are running after the temptations that are in the world through lust.” And then his Spirit is grieved. He sorrows in his soul because he knows what sorrow these things must bring to our souls. We grieve him yet more if we indulge in outward acts of sin. Then is he sometimes so grieved that he takes his flight for a season, for the dove will not dwell in our hearts if we take loathsome carrion in there. A cleanly being is the dove, and we must not strew the place which the dove frequents with filth and mire; if we do he will fly elsewhere. If we commit sin, if we openly bring disgrace upon our religion, if we tempt others to go into iniquity by our evil example, it is not long before the Holy Spirit will be grieved. Again, if we neglect prayer; if our closet door is cobwebbed; if we forget to read the Scriptures; if the leaves of our Bible are almost stuck together by neglect; if we never seek to do any good in the world; if we live merely for ourselves and not for Christ, then the Holy Spirit will be grieved.
for meditation: If we are grieving the Spirit, it is absolutely impossible for us to obey the command to “be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18).
sermon no. 278
Regarding the Gift of God
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:8–9
suggested further reading: Acts 4:1–14
Let us humble ourselves before God, both for what is past and also for what is to come. For what is past, let us acknowledge that God has plucked us out of the pit of hell, and that though we were by nature damned, he has deigned to have us as his children. Let us glorify him as he deserves and assure ourselves that he has pulled us back from death so that the beginning, source, root, and only cause of our salvation is his free goodness and grace. In effect, it is a mark of true humility to give all the glory of our salvation to God.
For that which is to come, we should know that we cannot stir one of our little fingers to do any good unless we are governed by God and receive good works at his hand and from his Holy Spirit.
As often as we feel our own weakness, let us flee to him for refuge. When we have done any good, let us not be puffed up with any pride, but let us regard ourselves as so much more bound to God. He that is very weak must confess himself exceedingly indebted to God’s mercy for supporting him, but he that excels above others and is a mirror of all holiness must confess that he is even more indebted to God.
Why? He has nothing of his own but holds all things from God. Therefore, let us throughout life walk in such a way that we may from year to year, from month to month, from day to day, from hour to hour, and from minute to minute continually acknowledge ourselves indebted to God for the goodness he has given us through his pure mercy. And let us know that we hold all things from him.
for meditation: The essence of the Christian faith is to find salvation in another, namely, Jesus Christ. As soon as we cease to give all the glory to him, or begin to think that we had anything to contribute to our own salvation, we stray from the gospel. Sadly, our hearts are constantly inclined in this direction. But wonderfully, we cannot lose our salvation as a result of these thoughts, for we are saved by grace; yet we must fight against them today and pray daily that we may live to his glory alone.
On October 31, 2016, Pope Francis announced that after five hundred years, Protestants and Catholics now “have the opportunity to mend a critical moment of our history by moving beyond the controversies and disagreements that have often prevented us from understanding one another.” From that, it sounds as if the Reformation was an unfortunate and unnecessary squabble over trifles, a childish outburst that we can all put behind us now that we have grown up.
But tell that to Martin Luther, who felt such liberation and joy at his rediscovery of justification by faith alone that he wrote, “I felt that I was altogether born again and had entered paradise itself through open gates.” Tell that to William Tyndale, who found it such “merry, glad and joyful tidings” that it made him “sing, dance, and leap for joy.” Tell it to Thomas Bilney, who found it gave him “a marvellous comfort and quietness, insomuch that my bruised bones leaped for joy.” Clearly, those first Reformers didn’t think they were picking a juvenile fight; as they saw it, they had discovered glad tidings of great joy.
GOOD NEWS IN 1517
At the beginning of the sixteenth century, Europe had been without a Bible the people could read for something like a thousand years. Thomas Bilney had thus never encountered the words “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Tim. 1:15). Instead of the Word of God, they were left to the understanding that God is a God who enables people to earn their own salvation. As one of the teachers of the day liked to put it, “God will not deny grace to those who do their best.” Yet what were meant as cheering words left a very sour taste for everyone who took them seriously. How could you be sure you really had done your best? How could you tell if you had become the sort of just person who merited salvation?
Martin Luther certainly tried. “I was a good monk,” he wrote, “and kept my order so strictly that I could say that if ever a monk could get to heaven through monastic discipline, I should have entered in.” And yet, he found:
My conscience would not give me certainty, but I always doubted and said, “You didn’t do that right. You weren’t contrite enough. You left that out of your confession.” The more I tried to remedy an uncertain, weak and troubled conscience with human traditions, the more daily I found it more uncertain, weaker and more troubled.
According to Roman Catholicism, Luther was quite right to be unsure of heaven. Confidence of a place in heaven was considered errant presumption and was one of the charges made against Joan of Arc at her trial in 1431. There, the judges proclaimed,
This woman sins when she says she is as certain of being received into Paradise as if she were already a partaker of . . . glory, seeing that on this earthly journey no pilgrim knows if he is worthy of glory or of punishment, which the sovereign judge alone can tell.
That judgment made complete sense within the logic of the system: if we can only enter heaven because we have (by God’s enabling grace) become personally worthy of it, then of course no one can be sure. By that line of reasoning, I can only have as much confidence in heaven as I have confidence in my own sinlessness.
That was exactly why the young Martin Luther screamed with fear when as a student he was nearly struck by lightning in a thunderstorm. He was terrified of death, for without knowledge of Christ’s sufficient and gracious salvation—without knowledge of justification by faith alone—he had no hope of heaven.
And that was why his rediscovery in Scripture of justification by faith alone felt like entering paradise through open gates. It meant that, instead of all his angst and terror, he could now write:
When the devil throws our sins up to us and declares that we deserve death and hell, we ought to speak thus: “I admit that I deserve death and hell. What of it? Does this mean that I shall be sentenced to eternal damnation? By no means. For I know One who suffered and made satisfaction in my behalf. His name is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Where he is, there I shall be also.”
And that was why the Reformation gave people such a taste for sermons and Bible reading. For, to be able to read God’s words and to see in them such good news that God saves sinners, not on the basis of how well they repent but entirely by His own grace, was like a burst of Mediterranean sunshine into the gray world of religious guilt.
GOOD NEWS IN 2017
None of the goodness or relevance of the Reformation’s insights have faded over the last five hundred years. The answers to the same key questions still make all the difference between human hopelessness and happiness. What will happen to me when I die? How can I know? Is justification the gift of a righteous status (as the Reformers argued), or a process of becoming more holy (as Rome asserts)? Can I confidently rely for my salvation on Christ alone, or does my salvation also rest on my own efforts toward and success in achieving holiness?
Almost certainly, what confuses people into thinking that the Reformation is a bit of history we can move beyond is the idea that it was just a reaction to some problem of the day. But the closer one looks, the clearer it becomes: the Reformation was not principally a negative movement about moving away from Rome and its corruption; it was a positive movement, about moving toward the gospel. And that is precisely what preserves the validity of the Reformation for today. If the Reformation had been a mere reaction to a historical situation five hundred years ago, one would expect it to be over. But as a program to move ever closer to the gospel, it cannot be over.
Another objection is that today’s culture of positive thinking and self-esteem has wiped away all perceived need for the sinner to be justified. Not many today find themselves wearing hair-shirts and enduring all-night prayer vigils in the freezing cold to earn God’s favor. All in all, then, Luther’s problem of being tortured by guilt before the divine Judge is dismissed as a sixteenth-century problem, and his solution of justification by faith alone is therefore dismissed as unnecessary for us today.
But it is in fact precisely into this context that Luther’s solution rings out as such happy and relevant news. For, having jettisoned the idea that we might ever be guilty before God and therefore in need of His justification, our culture has succumbed to the old problem of guilt in subtler ways and with no means to answer. Today, we are all bombarded with the message that we will be more loved when we make ourselves more attractive. It may not be God-related, and yet it is still a religion of works, and one that is deeply embedded. For that, the Reformation has the most sparkling good news. Luther speaks words that cut through the gloom like a glorious and utterly unexpected sunbeam:
The love of God does not find, but creates, that which is pleasing to it. . . . Rather than seeking its own good, the love of God flows forth and bestows good. Therefore sinners are attractive because they are loved; they are not loved because they are attractive.
ONCE AGAIN, THE TIME IS RIPE
Five hundred years later, the Roman Catholic Church has still not been reformed. For all the warm ecumenical language used by so many Protestants and Roman Catholics, Rome still repudiates justification by faith alone. It feels it can do so because Scripture is not regarded as the supreme authority to which popes, councils, and doctrine must conform. And because Scripture is so relegated, biblical literacy is not encouraged, and thus millions of poor Roman Catholics are still kept from the light of God’s Word.
Outside Roman Catholicism, the doctrine of justification by faith alone is routinely shied away from as insignificant, wrongheaded, or perplexing. Some new perspectives on what the Apostle Paul meant by justification, especially when they have tended to shift the emphasis away from any need for personal conversion, have, as much as anything, confused people, leaving the article that Luther said cannot be given up or compromised as just that—given up or compromised.
Now is not a time to be shy about justification or the supreme authority of the Scriptures that proclaim it. Justification by faith alone is no relic of the history books; it remains today as the only message of ultimate liberation, the message with the deepest power to make humans unfurl and flourish. It gives assurance before our holy God and turns sinners who attempt to buy God off into saints who love and fear Him.
And oh what opportunities we have today for spreading this good news! Five hundred years ago, Gutenberg’s recent invention of the printing press meant that the light of the gospel could spread at a speed never before witnessed. Tyndale’s Bibles and Luther’s tracts could go out by the thousands. Today, digital technology has given us another Gutenberg moment, and the same message can now be spread at speeds Luther could never have imagined.
Both the needs and the opportunities are as great as they were five hundred years ago—in fact, they are greater. Let us then take courage from the faithfulness of the Reformers and hold the same wonderful gospel high, for it has lost none of its glory or its power to dispel our darkness.
This post was originally published in Tabletalk magazine.
By Elizabeth Prata
I found this online. It’s a list that is sourced. Recently I’ve been a bit downcast by the in-fighting on social media. I guess after 24 years online going from BBS forums to CompuServe to commenting online newspapers to Disqus to blogs to Facebook to Twitter … I’m finally social media world-weary with the lack of grace and patience. Let’s love each other.
1. …Be at peace with each other. (Mark 9:50)
2. …Wash one another’s feet. (John 13:14)
3. …Love one another… (John 13:34a)
4. …Love one another… (John 13:34b)
5. …Love one another… (John 13:35)
6. …Love one another… (John 15:12)
7. …Love one another (John 15:17)
8. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love… (Romans 12:10)
9. …Honor one another above yourselves. (Romans 12:10)
10. Live in harmony with one another… (Romans 12:16)
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No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. – Matthew 6:24
Scripture reading: 1 Kings 18:17-22
Ahab pulls one of the most common tricks guilty people use. He tries to shift blame. “Not I,” said Adam, “but you, God, and Eve are to blame.” “Not I,” says Ahab, “but you, Elijah, you are the troubler of Israel.” Elijah rebukes him. He had simply announced God’s judgment; Ahab’s abandonment of God had earned it. Israel was experiencing God’s promise for disobedient people (see Deuteronomy 28:15, 23). And notice Ahab’s response. Not an outright rejection of the Word of God. He obeys Elijah and summons the prophets to Carmel. Having confronted the king, Elijah addresses the people and asks them why they will not give wholehearted devotion to their covenant God. They are wavering. They do not want to forget the Lord nor do they wish to reject Baal. They want both.
This is a temptation we all face. For a variety of reasons – fear, peer pressure, boredom – we don’t give unwavering devotion to Christ. But he calls us to. If we confess the Lord is God, which we unfailingly do, then we must follow Him. We must let nothing – money, pleasure, reputation – capture our affections. A jealous God is looking for exclusive devotion.
The Bible tells us the people did not answer Elijah’s confrontation though it doesn’t tell us why. What is your response to this call to commitment? Only the conviction of both the futility of other gods and the destruction of those who serve them and the surpassing greatness of having Jesus Christ as Lord will compel us to respond with, ‘We will take up our cross and follow Christ.’
Suggestions for prayer
Pray that the Lord would teach us His way that we may walk in His truth, that He would unite our hearts to fear His name (Psalm 86:11). Ask that God, by His Word and Spirit, might capture our affections by showing us the Prince of Glory so that we would gladly give our souls, our lives, our all.
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.
In this episode of Incarnate Investigation, Jimmy Wallace (J. Warner’s son) taps into his experience as a police officer to discuss our inclination to minimize the sin in our lives, especially when we compare ourselves with others. Incarnate Investigation podcasts will be featured occasionally as part of the Cold-Case Christianity Podcast collection.
DOCUMENTATION AND ADDITIONAL READING