Daily Archives: October 25, 2019

October 25 Keys to Successful Parenting

Scripture Reading: Ephesians 6:1–4

Key Verse: Ephesians 6:2

“Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise.

Unfortunately, there are many Scripture passages that are often taken out of context, whereby half the passage is lauded and the rest is hushed or dropped off completely. Ephesians 6:1–4 is such a passage. Certainly, most of us recognize the admonition in verses 1–3 for children to honor and obey their parents. This is obviously an important task, as verse 2 points out, in that this was the first of God’s Ten Commandments to include a promise of blessing if the command is followed.

However, the fourth verse is often left out of our recollection. This equally relevant instruction reads, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (nasb).

Basically, while children should always seek to respect their parents, the parents themselves must strive to be mothers and fathers worthy of that respect. This can be accomplished by placing God as an important part of your family and your private life.

Are there parts of your life about which you do not want your children to know? Does your language, demeanor, or morality change in the presence of your kids? Children not only need to hear God’s instruction; they need to see it as well. Our kids see this dramatically displayed in how we live our lives. From today forward, strive to live a life worthy of the little one in your care.

Lord, I have often failed as a parent. Help me to be an example to my children and all other children to whom I serve as an example.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 312). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

What Is Reformation Day? — Ligonier Ministries Blog

A single event on a single day changed the world. It was October 31, 1517. Brother Martin, a monk and a scholar, had struggled for years with his church, the church in Rome. He had been greatly disturbed by an unprecedented indulgence sale. The story has all the makings of a Hollywood blockbuster. Let’s meet the cast.

First, there is the young bishop—too young by church laws—Albert of Mainz. Not only was he bishop over two bishoprics, he desired an additional archbishopric over Mainz. This too was against church laws. So Albert appealed to the Pope in Rome, Leo X. From the De Medici family, Leo X greedily allowed his tastes to exceed his financial resources. Enter the artists and sculptors, Raphael and Michelangelo.

When Albert of Mainz appealed for a papal dispensation, Leo X was ready to deal. Albert, with the papal blessing, would sell indulgences for past, present, and future sins. All of this sickened the monk, Martin Luther. Can we buy our way into heaven? Luther had to speak out.

But why October 31? November 1 held a special place in the church calendar as All Saints’ Day. On November 1, 1517, a massive exhibit of newly acquired relics would be on display at Wittenberg, Luther’s home city. Pilgrims would come from all over, genuflect before the relics, and take hundreds, if not thousands, of years off time in purgatory. Luther’s soul grew even more vexed. None of this seemed right.

Martin Luther, a scholar, took quill in hand, dipped it in his inkwell and penned his 95 Theses on October 31, 1517. These were intended to spark a debate, to stir some soul-searching among his fellow brothers in the church. The 95 Theses sparked far more than a debate. The 95 Theses also revealed the church was far beyond rehabilitation. It needed a reformation. The church, and the world, would never be the same.

One of Luther’s 95 Theses simply declares, “The Church’s true treasure is the gospel of Jesus Christ.” That alone is the meaning of Reformation Day. The church had lost sight of the gospel because it had long ago papered over the pages of God’s Word with layer upon layer of tradition. Tradition always brings about systems of works, of earning your way back to God. It was true of the Pharisees, and it was true of medieval Roman Catholicism. Didn’t Christ Himself say, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light?” Reformation Day celebrates the joyful beauty of the liberating gospel of Jesus Christ.

What is Reformation Day? It is the day the light of the gospel broke forth out of darkness. It was the day that began the Protestant Reformation. It was a day that led to Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Knox, and may other Reformers helping the church find its way back to God’s Word as the only authority for faith and life and leading the church back to the glorious doctrines of justification by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. It kindled the fires of missionary endeavors, it led to hymn writing and congregational singing, and it led to the centrality of the sermon and preaching for the people of God. It is the celebration of a theological, ecclesiastical, and cultural transformation.

So we celebrate Reformation Day. This day reminds us to be thankful for our past and to the Monk turned Reformer. What’s more, this day reminds us of our duty, our obligation, to keep the light of the gospel at the center of all we do.

via What Is Reformation Day? — Ligonier Ministries Blog

October 25 Your Fertility Factor

Scripture Reading: Matthew 13:1–9

Key Verse: Matthew 13:9

He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

The parable of the sower and the seeds is a story about how we listen to God’s Word. Some people are unreceptive, some are so-so, and some are fertile and ready to burst forth with growth. Here are some key ways to enhance your “fertility factor”:

Commit yourself to listening carefully. When you are involved in Bible study, wherever you are, make the conscious decision to keep your ears open and your concentration focused.

Resist all outside clutter. Part of concentration means getting rid of distractions. If you’re at home, don’t position yourself next to the phone or the TV or the refrigerator. Even with all the willpower in the world, you set yourself up for a wandering mind.

Evaluate your spiritual needs right away. When the study session is over, take some time to look back over your notes and determine which points are personally applicable. If the message was especially long or intense and you need to back away for a while, write down a specific time for later to review what you learned.

These tips may seem obvious at first glance, but developing a disciplined routine in Bible study pays off tomorrow as you form good habits. With proper management, good soil becomes productive over the years as nutrients seep in and penetrate each layer.

Precious heavenly Father, make the soil of my life more productive as the nutrients of Your Word penetrate each layer. Enhance my fertility factor.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 312). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

What Are the Pagan Roots of Halloween and Why Should We Care? | CrossWalk

What Are the Pagan Roots of Halloween and Why Should We Care?

What is the origin of Halloween? According to this article, many believe it began with the ‘Summer’s End’ festival, or Samhain celebrated 2,000 years ago as the beginning of the Celtic year. During this festival time, Celtic farmers brought livestock in for the winter and harvested their crops. They sacrificed fruits of the harvest and the best of their flocks to appease pagan gods.

Celts Believed the Dead Could Walk on October 31

Celtic legends taught that fairies cast spells and the dead walked among the living during Samhain. On October 31, these ancient Northern Europeans believed they could visit the dead and discover their future from immortal spirits.

The Celts were highly superstitious and thought these evil spirits could damage crops, possess the living, and spread incurable sickness. That’s why they dressed up in scary costumes and animal hides while hovering in fear around bonfires.

Pagan Roots of Popular Halloween Traditions

Trick-or-Treating also began during Samhain. The tradition was an ancient custom of “souling.” The poor would go from house to house to beg for soul cakes. In return for the “soul cakes” the beggars would pray for family members who had recently died. Soul cakes were round loaves of bread filled with currants.

Pumpkins and Jack-o-Lanterns were also part of Celtic lore. A tale was told that a drunken farmer named Stingy Jack was so wicked that when he died, he restlessly wandered between heaven and hell, unable to enter either one. As he roamed the darkness, he hollowed out a turnip and placed a burning coal inside to light his way.

Celts carved “Jack-o-Lanterns” to guide lost souls home on the eve of Samhain.

Bobbing for apples also has mythical roots. The Celts believed that the practice used to be considered a form of divination. According to NPR, bobbing for apples was a practice where people would dunk their heads in a vat of water and try to bite into floating fruit in a quest to figure out their future spouse. Ladies would mark an apple and toss it into the tub. The thinking was they’d be destined to whoever pulled it out of the water.

In 800 A.D., the Catholic church moved “All Saint’s Day” from Spring to November 1. Hallow’s Mass is November 1, and All Saint’s Day is November 2.

One would think this Catholic celebration would be an opportunity to Christianize Halloween, but it is not.

Author Scott P. Richert, content manager for Sunday Visitor, the largest Catholic publishing company, writes that the purpose of All Souls Day is to pray people out of purgatory by prayer, almsgiving, and the Mass. But purgatory, and praying people out of purgatory is an anti-biblical practice.

How Should Christians Handle Halloween?

First, I believe it is the choice of the Christian parent to allow or disallow children to participate in the festivities. If the children are old enough to understand, I think it’s appropriate to explain the pagan roots of Halloween. It’s a great opportunity to teach what the Bible says about the finality of death, the promise of heaven through Jesus, and the hope of resurrection.

Churches can use Halloween as a time to build community, to show compassion and to share the message of Christ. Our church celebrates “Boogers and Halloweenies,” where communities in our area hold cookouts and free food for neighbors, while sharing the Good News of Christ.

Many churches around the country have harvest festivals or other events to provide a safe place for families to celebrate.

Communities need to know that Christians are not isolationists. They can welcome trick-or-treaters with ‘Snickers’ and a smile.

Halloween, however, should not be celebrated in ignorance. We need to teach its origins and contrast it with biblical truth.

What Do Our Children Need to Know?

God loves us and sent His Son Jesus to die in our place. When we place our faith in Christ’s death and resurrection, our sins are forgiven and our home is heaven. Death is final. Eternity is real. Jesus is victorious over evil. We can stand secure and unafraid!


headshot of author Dr. Julie BarrierDr. Julie Barrier, along with her pastor-husband, Dr. Roger Barrier, have taught conferences on marriage and ministry in 35 countries. The Barriers are founders and directors of Preach It, Teach It, providing free resources in 10 languages to 5 million visitors in 229 countries. The Barriers pastored 35 years at Casas Church in Arizona, Julie has served as a worship minister, concert artist and adjunct professor at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary. She has authored or composed of over 500 published works.

Photo Credit: ©GettyImages

Source: What Are the Pagan Roots of Halloween and Why Should We Care?

Faith Alone, Grace Alone, Christ Alone — Ligonier Ministries Blog

Roman Catholics believe salvation is by faith plus works, grace plus merit, and Christ plus our own righteousness. In this brief clip, R.C. Sproul looks at the Reformers’ objections to this view.

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

Transcript

In the Roman Catholic view, it is faith plus works that gives us justification. It is grace plus merit that gives us justification. It is Christ plus me and my inherent righteousness that gives me justification. That’s the formula in a nutshell. The reformers objected strenuously to this and said, “No.” This is crossed out by the reformers. This is crossed out by the reformers, and my inherent righteousness is crossed out, so that you have faith alone, grace alone, Christ alone.

via Faith Alone, Grace Alone, Christ Alone — Ligonier Ministries Blog

October 25 A Restless Spirit

Scripture reading: Esther 6:1–7:10

Key verse: Esther 6:1

That night the king could not sleep. So one was commanded to bring the book of the records of the chronicles; and they were read before the king.

The night before King Ahasuerus’s edict to destroy all Jews was to be executed by Haman, the king could not sleep. Eventually, he called for the book of records to be read to him. In those records was an account of where Esther’s uncle, Mordecai, had reported an assassination plot on the king’s life. The record reminded the king that Mordecai, a Jew, had saved his life.

In the end, Mordecai and the nation of Israel were saved because God put a stop to Haman’s wicked plan. Haman, not Mordecai or the Jews, was the one executed. How did all of this come about? God gave King Ahasuerus a restless spirit. He could not sleep, so he began searching for answers to what was troubling him.

One of the ways God gets your attention is to give you a restless spirit. Often, in those times when “something is just not right,” God wants you to stop and wait on a word from Him. Inevitably, when you ignore the static in your spirit and continue on your own path, you will only worsen what could have been a much less troublesome situation.

Do you feel that you’re continually striving without really getting anywhere? Do you keep winding up at the same spiritual spot? God will bring you back to that starting point until you agree that His direction will be yours. Then come rest and peace.

Thank You for a restless spirit, Lord, which directs me to Your perfect will. Use it to bring me into conformity to Your will.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 312). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

ANOTHER STOCK MARKET CRASH? Nobel Prize winning economist Robert Shiller sees ‘bubbles everywhere’ | RT – Daily news

Nobel Laureate Robert Shiller, who famously predicted the 2000 and the 2007 stock market crashes, says this time that bubbles are everywhere, including stocks, bonds, and housing.

He told investors in Los Angeles: “There’s no place to go. You just have to ride it out. You invest even though you expect the price to decline.”

Also on rt.com

Beware! Two ‘black swans’ may come out of nowhere & kill stocks this summer, experts warn

The economics professor at Yale University said he sees “bubbles everywhere,” adding that “you get… in a situation where you know it’s going to decline, but you still saved enough to hold you over; you have no choice.”

The warning comes on the 90th anniversary of the stock market crash of 1929. In the aftermath, the US and the rest of the industrialized countries spiraled into the Great Depression, the worst and longest economic downturn in the history of the Western industrialized world, lasting until 1939.

Shiller said he expects just 4.4 percent average annual returns in US stocks over the next 30 years. He also raised concerns over bonds, which continue to be one of the hottest asset classes going as investors seek safety.

Also on rt.com

Recession likely to be years away thanks to Trump’s bullish effect on market – Nobel prize winner Robert Shiller

“It [the bond bubble] seems to be related to people not paying enough attention, thinking through the simple logic… this can’t keep going and it’s going to end badly,” he said. “These things may sink at some point.”

Talking about the housing market, the economist said it is in a bubble phase. “It’s like 2005 again… San Francisco and L.A. are already slowing down,” he said, explaining that’s a “bad indicator,” as those markets have been going up for years.

Source: ANOTHER STOCK MARKET CRASH? Nobel Prize winning economist Robert Shiller sees ‘bubbles everywhere’

The Fed Is On Its Last Legs & Foreign Central Banks Are Going For Gold by Ron Paul

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• Ron Paul Liberty Report

The U.S. government & it’s monopoly money-printer known as The Federal Reserve have painted themselves into a bankruptcy corner. Not only are more and more foreign nations rejecting America’s aggressive and militant foreign policy, but they’re also ripping themselves away from the The Fed’s dollar. Foreign central banks are increasingly gravitating to sound money like gold. The Fed is on its last legs. All this and more on today’s Liberty Report!

BOOM! Trump Approval Up to 42% with Black Males — Makes 2020 Election Impossible for Democrats — The Gateway Pundit

This is absolutely devastating news for the Socialist-Democrats.

A recent Hill-HarrisX survey found that President Trump has historic numbers with black voters for any Republican in decades.

According to the poll President Trump has up to a 42% approval rating with

In the last ten presidential election cycles the highest black vote share for a Republican was 12% for Bob Dole in 1996.

If Donald Trump captured 25 percent of the African American vote he would win the 2020 election in a landslide.

black vote democrats

If Republicans were to peel off even 25% of black voters from the Democrat Party — Democrats would be the minority party for decades.
Thank you Donald Trump!

via BOOM! Trump Approval Up to 42% with Black Males — Makes 2020 Election Impossible for Democrats — The Gateway Pundit