Daily Archives: November 10, 2019

November 10 Transparent Intimacy

Scripture Reading: Matthew 26:36–39

Key Verse: Matthew 26:38

Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.”

Transparency is an oft-overlooked element in our path to growing closer to Jesus Christ. Intimacy with the Lord requires our full, humble, and honest openness before Him.

Jesus Himself was a wonderful model of openness as He dealt with His disciples. For instance, we read in today’s Bible verse that, in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus shared with the disciples His anguish over His upcoming crucifixion and brief separation from God the Father.

Knowing that the sins of the entire world were about to be cast upon Him, Jesus grieved, even to the point of near death. Here was God, clothed in human flesh, being completely honest, open, and forthright about His emotions.

This is how Christ would have us react to Him. A proud, arrogant, egotistical, self-sufficient Christianity bristles at the thought of such transparency. “Why should I burden God with this when I can handle it myself? I’m just not going to deal with God about this.” Such thinking and behavior go against everything for which God created us. However, God cherishes and honors a humble, contrite spirit from someone trying to be him- or herself before the Lord.

Confess sin, worry, doubt, and fear. He already knows all, but your willingness to intimately share with Him all the details speaks volumes about the bent of your heart.

Father, I confess my worry, doubt, and fears. I want to share all the intimate details of my life with You.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 329). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

November 10 Take Out Your Earplugs

Scripture Reading: 1 Samuel 3:1–10

Key Verse: 1 Samuel 3:10

The Lord came and stood and called as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel answered, “Speak, for Your servant hears.”

Visit a major airplane construction plant and you will be amazed by two things: the size of the airplanes under construction and the noise level.

Much of the machinery used to assemble aircraft is driven by air-pressure devices. Because of this, a person in the assembly plant is subjected to constant noise pollution. Safety is a top concern, and workers are given earplugs and safety glasses for protection. Plant managers also have keen eyes as to potential dangers. Once the earplugs are in place and the machinery turned on, there is no way you can yell to a coworker and be heard.

Many of God’s people are like employees in an airplane production plant. They cannot hear God’s voice because they are too busy assembling the pieces of their lives. They wear the earplugs of worldly thinking, becoming complacent toward the things of God. When the bottom drops out, they wonder why God allowed it. But in actuality, God spent months and in some cases years shouting warnings that went unheeded.

In your life, is it time to take out the earplugs, turn off the machinery of the world, and listen to God’s voice?

O Lord, I’m too busy trying to assemble my life. Please help me to take out my earplugs, turn off the machinery of the world, and listen to Your voice.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 329). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Don’t Believe the Fake Media — Unfathomable Grace

Satan would have you believe he is god. This is not the case. The devil is not equal to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

He would have you believe he is eternal. Again, this would be wrong. Lucifer is a created being. He was spoken into existence like you and me.

Satan would have you believe he is omnipresent. He would have you believe he is here, there, and everywhere. Friends, only God is ever-present. The Adversary has no such divine attribute.

The devil would also have you believe he is omnipotent. He presents himself as the “Dark Force” who holds equal power over the planet. Again, he has no such might. He has some abilities, but not sovereign power.

He would have you believe he is omniscient. Sure, the Accuser knows quite a bit. However, the Prince of Darkness is not bright enough to thwart the purposes of God.

Satan would have you believe he is winning, that momentum is heading in his direction, that Jesus is frustrated, and Christ’s church is going down for the count. Again, The Liar is wrong. All of this is “Fake News.”

So, what exactly is true truth? Where is Jesus today, what is he doing, and how powerful is he?

But from now on the Son of Man shall be seated at the right hand of the power of God.     (Luke 22:69)

The stoop of humiliation Jesus experienced was planned and foretold. It was always his intention to come, add a human nature, subject himself to men, be rejected, arrested, tried, tortured, blasphemed, crucified, and buried. All of this worked out in perfect accord with his eternal plan.

However, the stoop of humiliation was determined to be very temporary. Following his passion week, things took a different turn. His stage of exaltation began. Jesus magnificently showed himself to his friends on earth. After doing so, he ascended to the heavenly realm before his eyes. There, he took his rightful seat at the “right hand of the power of God.” And ever since, from the throne of God, Jesus has sovereignly ruled and reigned over the universe gifted to him by his Heavenly Father.

Oh, struggling friends, let’s pray that we might really believe this truth. Let’s pray that Christ’s Spirit might grant us greater knowledge, wisdom, and faith. I know you are confused. I know you are hurting. I know you are having a tough time giving thanks this Thanksgiving season, but Jesus really is Lord over …

  • Physical health and disease
  • Mental stability and disorder
  • Life and death
  • Marital vibrancy and divorce
  • Children following and falling
  • Generational blessings and curses
  • Ecclesiastical revival and hardening
  • Church unity and division
  • Religious freedom and oppression
  • Economic profitability and depression

Therefore, because Jesus is Lord, there is no need for any arrogance. He is the one working out his plans. When success and blessings come, he is the one making it happen. Let’s not give ourselves or anyone else one iota of the credit deserved by God.

In addition, because Jesus is Lord, there is no need for depression. He is the one working out his plans. When success and blessings do not appear to come, he is the one sovereignly shaking things out behind the scenes. There is no need to blame ourselves or any other created being. Jesus is sovereign, and he does what he wants with the affairs of men, angels, and demons.

Yes friends, let us not look at men and think more highly of them that we ought. Created beings do have some power and influence, but they have all-power and unchecked influence. We are the Lord’s people. We attend the Lord’s church. We have the Lord’s children. We are citizens of the Lord’s nation. We are suffering the Lord’s curse, and we are buffeted by the Lord’s devil, demons, and enemies.

Jesus is Lord. Jesus is sovereign. Jesus is the one at the “right hand of the power of God.” Jesus is the King of kings, he occupies the throne, and this is true truth.

via Don’t Believe the Fake Media — Unfathomable Grace

November 10, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

The Parousia

For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and will then recompense every man according to his deeds. (16:27)

Parousia is a noun form of the Greek verb behind to come and is often used to refer to Christ’s second coming, of which this is the first mention in the New Testament.

A day of judgment is coming, Jesus reminded the disciples and the multitude. The Father “has given all judgment to the Son” (John 5:22), and when the Son of Man, who is also the Son of God, comes in the glory of His Father with His angels (an event further described in Matt. 24–25), He will then recompense every man according to his deeds. Christ’s holy angels are the instruments of His service and His judgment, and when He comes to earth again they will come with Him, to raise “those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life” and “those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment” (John 5:29).

That general truth had been proclaimed long before by the psalmist: “Thou dost recompense a man according to his work,” the psalmist declared (Ps. 62:12). It was also echoed by Paul in his letter to the church at Rome. In 2:5–8, he is specific:

But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who will render to every man according to his deeds: to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation.

“Each one of us,” the apostle later wrote, “shall give account of himself to God” (Rom. 14:12). Matthew 25 records the Lord’s teaching about the judgment of the nations. They, too, will be judged by their works (vv. 31–46).

As the Lord reviews the life of each person who has ever lived, He will say, as it were, “There is a believer. I can tell by his works, because they are the product of My Holy Spirit. There is an unbeliever, as I can also tell by his works, because they are the product of the flesh.” It is not that works save, but that they are the product of salvation. James teaches that the only kind of faith that saves is the kind that results in righteous behavior (James 2:14–26; cf. Eph. 2:10).

Those whose works are pleasing to the Lord are those who, by God’s sovereign grace and power, have trusted in Christ as saving Lord, while denying self, taking up their crosses, and following Him. They will receive everlasting life and all the blessings of heaven. Those whose works are rejected by the Lord are those who put their hope and trust in the ephemeral things of this life. They will receive eternal damnation and all the torments of hell.

The call to salvation is a call to discipleship as described in this passage. When God saves, He produces this kind of follower.[1]


27 Not only Jesus’ example (v. 24; cf. 10:24–25) but the judgment he will exercise is an incentive to take up one’s cross and follow him. The Son of Man (see comments at 8:20; 16:13) will come “in his Father’s glory”—the same glory God his Father enjoys (cf. 26:64; Jn 17:1–5), another implicit claim to the status of deity—along with his angels, who both enhance his glory and serve as his agents for the eschatological ingathering (13:41; 24:31; 25:31–32; Lk 9:26). They are his angels. He stands so far above them that he owns them and uses them. At that time he will reward each person kata tēn praxin autou (“according to what he has done”). The language is that of Psalm 62:12, where Yahweh rewards his people, and the Yahweh-Jesus exchange is not uncommon. The use of praxis (“conduct,” “deeds,” GK 4552) is Matthew’s rendering of the Hebrew collective singular by a corresponding singular in Greek (Gundry, Use of the Old Testament, 138). For the concept of rewards, see comments at 5:12.[2]


27 The “for” which introduces this saying links this judgment scene with the disciple’s loyalty and martyrdom: it is worth remaining faithful even to the loss of earthly life because there is an ultimate judgment to come, and on the outcome of that judgment the enjoyment of true life will depend. In Dan 7:9–10 the judgment takes place at the throne of the Ancient of Days, surrounded by ten thousand times ten thousand angelic attendants; when the Son of Man “comes” to that courtroom scene it is as the one in whose favor judgment is given. But the result of that judgment is that he in his turn receives “dominion, glory and kingship” over all nations for ever (Dan 7:14), and so Jesus’ saying here merges the two roles, and he comes not to be judged but to judge. He thus shares “his Father’s glory,” and the angels who surround the throne of God become “his angels” (see p. 635, n. 4). There may also be an echo here of Zech 14:5, the vision of the eschatological “coming” of God “and all the holy ones with him.” Thus here, as in 25:31–34, Jesus speaks of his future glory as Son of Man in terms which merge his role and dignity with that of God himself. It then follows naturally that in v. 28 the “kingship” is ascribed not to God but to the Son of Man.

As judge, he will “repay every person according to what they have done.” The whole clause closely echoes Ps 62:12 (cf. Prov 24:12), which speaks of God’s universal judgment; again language appropriate to God himself is transferred to the glorified Son of Man. “Repay” is used for divine rewards in 6:4, 6, 18, and here too the primary emphasis in context is probably on the reward for loyalty even to the point of martyrdom, the reward which results in “finding one’s psychē.” But the term is no less applicable to punishment for disloyalty, and a judgment of every person “according to what they have done” must be expected to envisage either reward or punishment, as will be spelled out more fully in 25:31–46. This saying is thus not only an encouragement to the faithful, but also a warning to those whose loyalty may be wavering. “What they have done” is a broad term, but in the present context the focus is not on lifestyle in general, but on whether or not they have maintained their commitment to Jesus in the face of hostility. A more focused perspective on the basis of final judgment will be provided in 25:31–46, and we shall consider at that point how this prospect of judgment on the basis of “what they have done” relates to the Pauline doctrine of justification by grace through faith.[3]


16:27 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory. Jesus alludes to Daniel 7:13–14 for a second time (see comments on 10:23). In Daniel 7:13–14 the picture is of “one like a son of man, coming on the clouds of heaven,” enthroned and given authority over all things for an everlasting kingdom. Jesus implicitly claims his future vindication by God. The same phrasing of “Son of Man” and “coming” (erchomai) is repeated in 16:28.

he will reward each person according to what they have done. In Matthew, Jesus frequently references final judgment, as he does here. In line with his use of Daniel 7, Jesus claims that he (“the Son of Man”) will be the one to judge all peoples. People’s actions will matter in that final day, as has already been emphasized at 7:24–27; 13:41–42 (also 25:31–46). For Matthew, this truth does not negate the reality of God’s grace and forgiveness in believers’ lives, since human covenant loyalty is always in response to the reality of God’s initiating covenant loyalty and grace.[4]


27. For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father, with his angels, and then shall he render to each according to his deeds. For “Son of man” see on 8:20. The Father will reward this Son of man, the One who from suffering attains to glory, in achieving salvation for his people. The Father will impart his own glory to him and give to him his own angels (cf. Dan. 7:10) to be his brilliant retinue (Matt. 25:31). The glory of the Son of man is revealed also in this very fact, that he will be the Judge who will render to each man according to his deeds.

Entrance into or exclusion from the new heaven and earth will depend on whether one is clothed with the righteousness of Christ. Apart from Christ there is no salvation at any time (Acts 4:12; cf. John 3:16; 14:6; 1 Cor. 3:11). Salvation is wholly by grace, through faith (Eph. 2:8).

Nevertheless, there will be degrees of punishment and also degrees of glory. Note the expression “many stripes … few stripes” (Luke 12:47, 48), and see also Dan. 12:3; 1 Cor. 3:12–14.

The degree of glory or of punishment will depend on two considerations:

  1. What amount of “light” (knowledge) has this person received? (Rom. 2:12).
  2. How has he used the light which he has received? (Luke 12:47, 48). Has he been faithful? And if so, in what measure? Has he been faithless? And if so, to what extent? This will be evident from his works. These works will show both whether or not a person is a genuine believer in Christ, and also to what extent he has used or abused the light which he received (Rev. 20:13; then 1 Cor. 3:12–14). Hence the passage under consideration says, “Then shall he render to each according to his deeds.”[5]

16:27. Jesus then explained the wisdom of following and accepting the suffering and loss implicit in following him. Using the title the Son of Man in eschatological, messianic sense, Jesus foretold the day when all the losses of his obedient followers would be abundantly compensated. In contrast to his first coming to earth in humility, the next coming would be in his Father’s glory with his angels. Now he has come as the sacrificial Son of Abraham; then he will come as the sovereign Son of David.

Although Jesus’ intention in the context of Matthew 16 was to give hope to his followers, the word reward does include the “repayment” or judgment of those works that do not honor Christ. Each person does not mean only those disciples who will be rewarded, but also those who seek the world and end up forfeiting their lives (Col. 3:23–25). Therefore, “repay” or “recompense” is a preferable translation over “reward.”

The repayment will be according to what he had done. Christ was seeking to motivate his followers to work hard and invest their lives for eternity. Scripture makes it very clear that there are differing degrees of reward for believers, based on their stewardship of life opportunities (Matt. 25:14–30; Rom. 2:6; 14:12; 1 Cor. 3:13; 2 Cor. 5:10; Eph. 6:8; Col. 3:23–25; Rev. 2:23; 20:12; 22:12). In 2 Timothy 2:10–13, the apostle Paul summed up the basis of the disciple’s reward as endurance.[6]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1985). Matthew (Vol. 3, p. 52). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Carson, D. A. (2010). Matthew. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Matthew–Mark (Revised Edition) (Vol. 9, p. 431). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] France, R. T. (2007). The Gospel of Matthew (pp. 639–640). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publication Co.

[4] Brown, J. K. (2015). Matthew. (M. L. Strauss & J. H. Walton, Eds.) (p. 193). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[5] Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953–2001). Exposition of the Gospel According to Matthew (Vol. 9, pp. 658–659). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

[6] Weber, S. K. (2000). Matthew (Vol. 1, p. 257). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

OUTRAGEOUS! Democrats Refuse All GOP Requests for Witnesses in Their Sham Investigation – Say Republicans’ Requests Based on ‘Sham’ Claims — The Gateway Pundit

US Rep Devin Nunes, Ranking Republican on the House Intel Committee, provided a list of individuals that the Republicans would like to interview in the sham Democrat impeachment hearings.

The list includes Adam Schiff, who plotted with the whistleblower before he filed his complaint. The list also includes DNC operative Alexandra Chalupa who worked with the whistleblower Eric Ciaramella in 2016, the whistleblower Eric Ciaramella, Hunter Biden, Nellie Ohr and Ambassador Kurt Volker.

One requested witness is the corrupt son of the corrupt former Vice President Biden, Hunter Biden.

The Democrats have denied this request, calling it a ‘sham’.

As the Democrats move forward with their insane impeachment hearing in the House, the levels of insanity reach new levels.

The Democrats created an impeachment process where the individual leading the process was involved in creating it with a CIA spy who leaked information from a Presidential call.  The CIA spy was kicked out of the White House in 2017 for leaking.

The spy met with Adam Schiff and his team before filing his complaint under the Whistleblower statute although this didn’t meet the standards for such a complaint.  Whistleblower complaints are only legitimate in the Intel Community if related to a member of the Intel community.  The President was the subject of the complaint and he is not a member of the Intel community.

The whistleblower form in the Intel community was updated to allow for second hand information.  This was not allowed before this complaint.   The Inspector General (IG) of the Intel community is involved in the Russia witchhunt.  He worked in the DOJ and was involved in the fraudulent filings of FISA warrants.  He then moved to his IG position and allowed for the complaint from a CIA spy who was kicked out of the White House for leaking.

Schiff and his team flew to the Ukraine before the complaint and met with some of the individuals who testified in Schiff’s court held in the basement of the US capital.  The Republicans are not allowed to bring in witnesses.  The witnesses are coached by Schiff.  The Republicans’ questions are constantly interrupted by the likes of ‘President’ Swalwell, a failed Democrat candidate for President, and other Democrats.

The President and his team was not allowed to interview the witnesses.  The witnesses are basing their testimonies in some cases on 4th hand information.

Schiff is in charge of the impeachment hearings set up based on the CIA spy’s complaint.   Schiff is the same individual who created the incident that the impeachment is based on.  All rules and guidelines are created by him alone.  He decides who interviews and when and what they are allowed to say.  He tells witnesses whether they are allowed to answer questions or not from the Republicans on the Committee.

The whole SHAM is based on the President requesting the new President from the Ukraine to look into the 2016 campaign.  The President asked that Ukraine leader see if he could find anything on Hillary’s server, which some people believe may be in the Ukraine, as well as Crowdstrike, the Ukrainian owned firm that the FBI and DNC relied upon in 2016 when it claimed that Russians hacked Hillary’s emails.  Crowdstrike’s claim to this day is the only information used by the FBI, DOJ and Mueller team as evidence that the Russians hacked Hillary’s emails.

The US has a treaty with the Ukraine that allows for the US and the Ukraine to assist each other with criminal investigations.  Based on a Mutual Legal Assistant Treaty with the Ukraine, the President had every right and even a duty to dig into criminal activities in the Ukraine that involve Americans.

The President of the Ukraine asked on the call whether he should look into the Bidens’ actions in the Ukraine.  A video where the former Vice President bragged about having a Ukrainian prosecutor kicked off a case where he was investigating his son, Hunter Biden, was shared all over the Internet.  The judge was removed in a quid pro quo arrangement.  The Ukrainians removed the prosecutor and then they received $1 billion from the US.

Biden’s son Hunter, was placed on the Board of Burisma Holdings in the Ukraine and he and Devon Archer, who’s connected to former Secretary of State, John Kerry, who was also on the Burisma Board, made $50,000 a month each in spite of knowing nothing about Burisma’s business.

The Republicans on the Intel Committee want to interview these two young Burisma Board members. These two were included in the list of nine individuals currently on the Republican’s list.  Below is the letter to Adam Schiff requesting these testimonies –

Per news late Sunday night, in less that 24 hours, the Head of the Impeachment sham, Shifty Adam Schiff had already denied the Republican’s request saying it won’t probe “sham claims” –

In response [to Nunes’ memo], Schiff confirmed that Biden will not be testifying but agreed to review the rest of the Republicans’ list. “This inquiry is not and will not serve as a vehicle to undertake the same sham investigations into the Bidens or 2016 that the President pressed Ukraine to conduct for his personal political benefit,” the top Democrat said, according to The Washington Post, “or facilitate the President’s effort to threaten, intimidate, and retaliate against the whistleblower who courageously raised the initial alarm.”

Americans know that Obama and the Bidens were corrupt.  The entire Obama Administration was corrupt.  The Obama Administration was a pay-for-play enterprise.  Everyone wanting to see or do business with the Obama Administration, with Obama, Hillary, Biden, Kerry and more, had to pay.  This is what this is all about.  This is why America voted for Trump!

The Democrats are making up a sham investigation not based on the law that they think they can get away with.  We, the American people, won’t let them!

via OUTRAGEOUS! Democrats Refuse All GOP Requests for Witnesses in Their Sham Investigation – Say Republicans’ Requests Based on ‘Sham’ Claims — The Gateway Pundit

Rep. McCarthy: This is a calculated coup orchestrated by Adam Schiff | Fox News

GOP releases impeachment probe witness list; House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy weighs in.

https://video.foxnews.com/v/embed.js?id=6102324163001&w=466&h=263Watch the latest video at foxnews.com

Source: Rep. McCarthy: This is a calculated coup orchestrated by Adam Schiff

Video: Tucker Carlson Exposes Obama Judge Who Is Totally Screwing Roger Stone | DC Dirty Laundry

POSTED BY: DEAN JAMES

Two things are patently obvious in the federal government’s case against long-time GOP operative Roger Stone: 1) He’s going to be convicted of “lying to Congress,” and 2) he’ll spend the rest of his life in jail, without a pardon from President Trump.

Tucker Carlson make that very clear without really saying those words during his Wednesday evening program, as he ticked off one example after another about how the system is so stacked against Stone there’s no way he’s going to get a fair trial.

The biggest reason why is the federal judge overseeing the case: Obama appointee Amy Berman Jackson, who is blatantly biased against Stone and against President Trump to the point where she doesn’t even try to hide it.

Because she doesn’t have to. After all, she’s got a lifetime appointment to the federal bench — and when was the last time Congress impeached a federal judge for misconduct and bias?

Never.

From eye-rolling at Stone to approving jurors who have massive conflicts of interest and who have vocalized in her court how much they despise the president, it’s clear that Stone — a long-time political adviser to the president — will never get a fair trial.

Not in the deep blue haven of D.C., where the Garbage Party rules with an iron fist and no approval of the president is either permissible or tolerated.

So he’s going to be convicted of lying to Congress, Carlson noted with sarcasm, adding that lawmakers face no such legal jeopardy when they lie their tails off to the American people.

“What ought to be automatically disqualifying is Amy Berman Jackson’s behavior from the bench,” Carlson noted.

“No fair-minded person could condone it. If there were still honest liberals left in this country, they would be protesting outside the courtroom,” he added.

Watch:

More Tucker…

This article originally appeared at The National Sentinel and was republished with permission.

Source: Video: Tucker Carlson Exposes Obama Judge Who Is Totally Screwing Roger Stone

Rand Paul: Trump has “every right” to use quid pro quo with Ukraine | Axios

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday that he thinks it’s a mistake for the White House to argue there was no quid pro quo with Ukraine to investigate President Trump’s political rivals, and that Trump has “every right” to condition military aid on fighting corruption.


“I think we’ve gotten lost in this whole idea of quid pro quo. … If you’re not allowed to give aid to people who are corrupt — there’s always contingencies on aid. … Presidents since the beginning of time have resisted Congress, and there’s been this sort of back and forth jockeying over what is sent. But also presidents have withheld aid before for corruption. I think it’s a mistake to say, ‘Oh, he withheld aid until he got what he wanted.’ Well, if it’s corruption and he believes there to be corruption, he has every right to withhold aid.”
Rand Paul

Why it matters: Paul will act as a juror in the Senate trial in the likely event that Trump is impeached by the House. His argument that there’s nothing wrong with using military aid as leverage to push Ukraine to carry out investigations is one of several shifting strategies that defenders of the president have deployed.

  • Democrats counter that Trump has displayed no interest in fighting “corruption,” as Paul argues, and that the investigations he wanted Ukraine to pursue specifically concerned the president’s domestic political rivals — Joe Biden and the Democratic National Committee.
  • Bloomberg also reported on Saturday that the State Department “quietly authorized” the release of $141 million of the aid to Ukraine after lawyers found that the White House had no legal standing to block the funds, which had been appropriated by Congress.

Worth noting: Paul told NBC’s Chuck Todd that he opposes aid to Ukraine altogether. “I wouldn’t give them the aid because we don’t have the money,” the senator said. “We have to actually borrow the money from China to send it to Ukraine, so I’m against the aid and I think it’s a mistake to do the aid so I wouldn’t have played any of these games.”

Go deeper: The GOP’s war over naming the Ukraine whistleblower

Source: Rand Paul: Trump has “every right” to use quid pro quo with Ukraine

Schiff Rejects GOP Whistleblower Testimony Demand, Due To “The President’s Threats” | ZeroHedge News

In the least-surprising news item of the day, House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff has rejected GOP calls for the so-called whistleblower to testify in the sham impeachment hearings.

Schiff explains in a letter to Rep. Devin Nunes that the whistleblower’s testimony is “redundant and unnecessary,” claiming that the impeachment inquiry has gathered evidence that “not only confirms, but far exceeds” information in the original complaint.

Schiff also made it clear that the impeachment inquiry will not be used to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, or allegations of Ukrainian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections.

Schiff’s stunningly hypocritical response to Nunes is below:

Dear Ranking Member Nunes:

The Committee is in receipt of your letter, dated today, proposing witnesses for the impeachment inquiry’s open hearings. The Committee is carefully evaluating the witness list you provided, along with the written justifications you included.

Consistent with H. Res. 660 and as noted in my November 6, 2019 letter, the Committee will give due consideration to witnesses within the scope of the impeachment inquiry.

In doing so, the Committee is mindful that this inquiry is a solemn undertaking, enshrined by the Founders in the Constitution, to determine whether the President of the United States warrants impeachment by the House of Representatives.

As we move to open hearings, it is important to underscore that the impeachment inquiry, and the Committee, will not serve as vehicles for any Member to carry out the same sham investigations into the Bidens or debunked conspiracies about 2016 U.S. election interference that President Trump pressed Ukraine to conduct for his personal political benefit.

The Committee also will not facilitate efforts by President Trump and his allies in Congress to threaten, intimidate, and retaliate against the whistleblower who courageously raised the initial alarm. It remains the duty of the Intelligence Committee to protect whistleblowers, and until recently, this was a bipartisan priority. The whistleblower has a right under laws championed by this Committee to remain anonymous and to be protected from harm.

The impeachment inquiry, moreover, has gathered an ever-growing body of evidence – from witnesses and documents, including the President’s own words in his July 25 call record – that not only confirms, but far exceeds, the initial information in the whistleblower’s complaint.

The whistleblower’s testimony is therefore redundant and unnecessary.

In light of the President’s threats, the individual’s appearance before us would only place their personal safety at grave risk.

As a reminder, Schiff initially said the whistleblower would testify to Congress but backed away after the contact between the person and his team was revealed.

This latest decision comes after Nunes complained that Democrats had yet to treat President Trump with “fairness” in the impeachment process, directing witnesses not to answer questions from GOP committee members and withholding transcripts.

In addition to the whistleblower, Republicans also requested the following witnesses:

  • Hunter Biden: The son of former Vice President Joe Biden, and a former board member for Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian gas company that has been plagued for years by corruption concerns. President Donald Trump asked Ukraine’s president in a July 25 phone call to consider investigating whether Joe Biden pressured the Ukrainian government in 2016 to shut down an investigation of Burisma.
  • Devon Archer: One of Hunter Biden’s business partners and a former Burisma board member.
  • Alexandra Chalupa: A former DNC consultant who met with Ukrainian embassy officials during the 2016 presidential campaign. Chalupa, who is Ukrainian-American, dug up dirt on Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
  • David Hale: The undersecretary of state for political affairs. Hale testified in a closed-door deposition Wednesday.
  • Tim Morrison: The former senior director for European and Eurasian affairs on the National Security Council. Morrison is one of only two individuals, including National Security Council’s Ukraine director, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, to have listened to the July 25 phone call between Trump and Zelensky. Morrison testified that he did not hear anything illegal on the call, while Zelensky, who will be called to testify by Democrats, said that he had serious concerns with what Trump said in the call.
  • Nellie Ohr: The wife of Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, and a former contractor for Fusion GPS. Ohr told Congress in an Oct. 19, 2018, interview that Serhiy Leshchenko, a former Ukrainian lawmaker and investigative journalist, was a source of information for Fusion GPS, which peddled the infamous Steele dossier. Leshchenko, who has acknowledged having contact with Chalupa, helped publish information in August 2016 that led to Manafort’s firing as Trump campaign chairman.
  • Kurt Volker: The former special envoy to Ukraine. Volker was a liaison between Rudy Giuliani and the Zelensky administration. He testified Oct. 3 that he did not witness a Trump quid pro quo to Ukraine.

What are the odds that any of these people will be allowed by Schiff?

Source: Schiff Rejects GOP Whistleblower Testimony Demand, Due To “The President’s Threats”

Judge Jeanine Pirro of Fox News Delivers Blunt ‘Primers’ to Trump-Hating Democrats | LifeZette

On her Fox News program on Saturday night, “Justice with Judge Jeanine,” host Jeanine Pirro minced no words about the blatant and partisan “witch hunt” that’s occurring right now against President Donald Trump, fueled by House Democrats’ dislike of their political opponent and the attention they’re paying to the so-called Ukraine phone call whistleblower.

Public hearings on the impeachment inquiry are set to begin this coming Wednesday.

But Pirro talked about the deep hate by the deep state for Trump — which began to emerge just days after the president was inaugurated back in January 2017.

She also said Congress will “take any complaint” that emerges from almost anyone, in order to go after the commander-in-chief.

And she called out Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) — who tried to run for the 2020 Democratic nomination and failed, after polling at zero — for some of his recent commentary.

“It’s an abuse of power,” claimed Swalwell on CNN’s “New Day” last week, “to remove an ambassador for political reasons if you don’t like what they’re doing period.”

“Hey, Swalwell, a primer,” said Pirro after playing a clip of that comment by him. “You’re still polling at zero!”

“Another primer,” she added. “The president of the United States can get rid of an ambassador, just like the president had the right to the get rid of [former FBI Director] Jim Comey, just like [former President] Bill Clinton had the right when he cleared out the U.S. attorneys from the Department of Justice? Don’t you remember your hero Obama saying ‘elections have consequences’? Or are you a special kinds of stupid?” said Pirro.

Here’s more of her commentary.

“Now, I don’t want to get into all of this because nobody really cares,” she said.

“But this State Department guy George Kent — he says the president demanded that [the] Ukraine president investigate the 2016 election. Then he says he has no firsthand knowledge of this evidence. To me, cancel him out!”

“Then he said Rudy [Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer,] didn’t like the way he talked about [former ambassador to Ukraine] Marie Yovanovich. So what? Cancel him out.”

“They all say the president is undermining the rule of law. What rule of law are they talking about?”

“Here’s yet another primer. Whenever the federal government gives you money, they make a demand in return. It’s called a quid pro quo with politics, but it’s not illegal and it’s not impeachable,” said Pirro.

Related: Judge Jeanine Pirro Delivers This Truth About President Trump

“If you are a city, town, village, state, or even a local D.A., like me, and you ask the federal government for money, they will require that in exchange for that money, you do and prove that you did X, Y and Z.”

“The United States government does not give money because they’re nice guys. They give money because they want something in return. It’s never a gift.”

“So, what do we have here?” she continued.

“We have a wannabe whistleblower motivated by his hate for the president, along with his attorney … What information puts this alleged whistleblower at risk? We’re entitled to know what motivates them and what information did he reveal that puts him at risk.”

“And was his hearsay second-, third- or fourth-hand? Did [Rep. Adam] Schiff [D-Calif.] provide a lawyer for him? Is he an agent of the coup? What brought this person to us? Why was he even in the White House?”

“The statute, by the way,” added Judge Jeanine, “does not give the whistleblower anonymity. But everyone wants to protect [him].”

“Everyone,” she said, wants to go “along with the Schiff narrative so we don’t get to find out what this person’s role was or how long he was being groomed [for this role]. In the end, none of this matters or rises to the level of an impeachable offense.”

Related: White House Releases Transcript of July 25 Phone Call

“I still want to know what quid pro quo Barack Obama got,” she added.

“I still want to know what Barack Obama was promising [Vladimir] Putin to [Dmitri] Medvedev [who was then the Russian president] and the hot-mic moment that he could do [something] after the election.”

“If you don’t like the president’s policy, vote for somebody else,” said Pirro.

“In the meantime, let the president do the job we elected him to do.”

See this video — and share your thoughts.

Source: Judge Jeanine Pirro of Fox News Delivers Blunt ‘Primers’ to Trump-Hating Democrats

Lindsey Graham: When We Find Out Whistleblower Is from the Deep State — ‘This Thing’s Going to Stink to High Heaven’ | Breitbart News

On this week’s broadcast of Fox News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said he was “confident” the whistleblower is from the “deep state.”

Source: Lindsey Graham: When We Find Out Whistleblower Is from the Deep State — ‘This Thing’s Going to Stink to High Heaven’

UN Envoy Issues Grim Warning Over Assange’s Life | ZeroHedge News

Via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

A United Nations expert in torture diagnosis has in the past week issued a stark warning that Australian whistleblower Julian Assange is in danger of dying from extreme prison conditions in Britain.

It is testimony to the rank hypocrisy of British and American governments who lecture others around the world about democracy, human rights and international law.

One can only imagine the hysterical outcry among Western governments and media if somehow Assange was being detained in a Russian prison.

The 48-year-old Assange has been held in a maximum-security prison in London since April this year when he was forcibly removed from the Ecuadorean embassy. His arrest was itself a staggering breach of international law. Assange had been confined to the embassy for nearly seven years where he sought asylum to avoid being extradited to the US.

He should have been released on September 22 when his sentence for a past bail infringement had been served out. Instead, a British judge has ordered Assange to be detained until the extradition trial to the US gets underway next year. If Assange is extradited to the US he is facing 175 years in prison if convicted for espionage. Few would believe that he will receive a fair trial in Britain or the US. He has been denied due process of consulting with his defense lawyers.

Assange’s “espionage” charge stems from the fact that his whistleblower site Wikileaks published volumes of damning information exposing massive US and NATO war crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. His publications of leaked data also exposed Western diplomatic malfeasance in several countries, as well as illegal global spying on citizens by US intelligence agencies in collusion with British counterparts.

Assange has provided vital information to the international public which demonstrates systematic corruption by Washington and its allies. For telling the truth, he is now being persecuted, just as his whistleblowing colleagues, Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden are. Manning has been repeatedly imprisoned in the US, while Snowden has had to seek asylum in Russia for fear of being summarily incarcerated as a “traitor” if he returns to the US.

Nils Melzer, an internationally recognized expert on torture treatment, visited Assange back in May this year during his ongoing detention in Belmarsh Category A prison under conditions of solitary confinement. He concluded then that Assange was suffering psychological torture by the British authorities. His latest warning is based on up-to-date medical information pertaining to Assange’s health, and it makes for a grim assessment.

In comments to the AFP news agency, which this week received little Western media coverage, Melzer said:

“Mr Assange’s health has entered a downward spiral of progressively severe anxiety, stress and helplessness typical for persons exposed to prolonged isolation and constant arbitrariness.”

In a grave conclusion, he added:

“While the precise evolution is difficult to predict with certainty, this pattern of symptoms can quickly develop into a life-threatening situation involving cardiovascular breakdown or nervous collapse.”

Melzer said the measures he urged back in May to protect Assange’s health and dignity have been pointedly ignored. “However, what we have seen from the UK government is outright contempt for Mr Assange’s rights and integrity… Despite the medical urgency of my appeal, and the seriousness of the alleged violations, the UK has not undertaken any measures of investigation, prevention and redress required under international law.”

In a further damning comment, Melzer said that Julian Assange “continues to be detained under oppressive conditions of isolation and surveillance, not justified by his detention status. While the US government prosecutes Mr Assange for publishing information about serious human rights violations, including torture and murder, the officials responsible for these crimes continue to enjoy impunity.”

The appalling assessment corroborates what Assange’s father told Strategic Culture Foundation in an interview published on September 24. John Shipton warned then that he feared his son was being killed extrajudicially by the British and American authorities.

Despite Assange’s award-winning journalism and truth-telling, the Western mainstream media have shown utter disregard for his plight. Indeed, such media have tended to bolster the vilification and character assassination piled on Assange by the American and British governments.

The hypocrisy is further underscored by recent US media attempts to lionize a so-called whistleblower who has helped launch impeachment proceedings against President Trump over alleged corruption in connection with Ukraine. By contrast, the same media in their callous indifference towards Assange are condemning him to torture for acts of whistleblowing which were truly historic in their scope and importance.

However, one thing that has severely disadvantaged the cause of Assange is the smear campaign against him, accusing him of being a “Russian asset” or “cyber terrorist”. These smears have been peddled by Western media.

So, evidently, when so-called whistleblowing serves power it is deemed praiseworthy. But when whistleblowers challenge and discredit power then they are persecuted as criminals, even to the point of death.

Arguably, if President Donald Trump had any scruples he would drop the trumped-up espionage case against Assange. After all, it was Wikileaks’ exposures of corruption by Hillary Clinton and her Democratic Party chiefs which partly boosted Trump’s election in 2016. Assange obtained those leaks from a Democratic insider, not from Russian hackers, as is commonly asserted by deluded “Russiagaters”.

Julian Assange while he was free and now while in prison exposes the systematic criminality and immorality of Western governments and their lackey corporate media. That’s why he finds himself in the hellish dungeon conditions today in a British prison.

We can only hope that mounting public pressure can be brought to bear on Washington and London to restore Assange’s freedom and life. In the meantime, the cruel vindictiveness of both governments, their lawlessness and profound contempt for human rights, is surely an eye-opening spectacle.

Source: UN Envoy Issues Grim Warning Over Assange’s Life

Sunday’s Hymn: To God Be the Glory — Rebecca Writes

To God be the glory, great things he hath done!
So loved he the world that he gave us his Son,
Who yielded his life an atonement for sin,
And opened the life gate that we may go in.

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the earth hear his voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the people rejoice!
O come to the Father through Jesus the Son,
And give him the glory, great things he hath done!

O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood!
To ev’ry believer the promise of God;
The vilest offender who truly believes,
That moment from Jesus forgiveness receives.

Great things he hath taught us, great things he hath done,
And great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son;
But purer, and higher, and greater will be
Our wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see.

—Fanny Crosby

 

Other hymns, worship songs, or quotes for this Sunday:

via Sunday’s Hymn: To God Be the Glory — Rebecca Writes

November 10 Learning to Praise

scripture reading: Psalm 150
key verse: Psalm 150:6

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord!

“Praise the Lord!” the psalmist repeated in his song to God. For God’s mighty acts, for His excellent greatness and holy character, he praised the Lord with all his soul and being. You can almost feel the intensity and fervent energy as you read the words.

God created you to praise Him, to recognize Him as eternal, sovereign Lord and King of all creation. There are no other gods before Him, and none besides the Almighty deserve your adoration and deepest love.

When you pray, do you praise God before you bring Him your petitions? Is worship your primary concern? Learning to praise God is key to spiritual growth, to understanding who He is and how He works in your life.

It is difficult to pull your mind off personal problems and place it on God, especially when your heart is troubled. But by focusing on Him, you can see your life the way God does. You are aware of His grace and daily care, and your spirit is revitalized. Pride and self–reliance vanish in the face of an all–sufficient Lord.

Read and heed Psalm 147:1: “It is good to sing praises to our God.” As you give God glory and honor, you experience His joy and peace in a fresh, transforming way.

I praise You, O God, for Your mighty acts, Your excellent greatness, and Your holy character. You are eternal, sovereign Lord and King of all creation. There are no other gods before You![1]

 

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

A Singing Heart | Thoughts about God


And whenever the tormenting spirit from God troubled Saul, David would play the harp and Saul would feel better, and the evil spirit would go away” I Samuel 16:23

King Saul had disobeyed God and the spirit of the Lord had left him. Instead, the Lord had sent a tormenting spirit that filled him with depression and fear. As a result, some of Saul’s aides sent for David, who was not only a talented harp player but was handsome, brave and strong and had good, solid judgment. What is more, the Lord was with him.

Every believer experiences warfare between flesh and spirit. As an act of the will we decide whether we are going to allow the flesh or the Spirit to control our lives. One of the best ways to cause an evil spirit to go away is to listen to music of praise and worship and thanksgiving to God. The language of heaven is praise. Listen to music that causes your heart to sing praises to God. Also, saturate your mind with the Word of God. The psalms especially exalt and honor God and express the praise of the psalmist.

I like to begin the day praising God on my knees. During the course of the day, I listen to praise music as well as portions of Scripture that are appropriate and sermons that are helpful.

Are you discouraged, depressed, frustrated? Have problems in your life caused you to feel that God has left you? If so, may I encourage you to begin to praise the Lord. Purchase cassettes that honor our Lord, that cause your heart to sing and make melody to the Lord, and play them over and over again.

Bible Reading: Psalm 92:1-5

Today’s Action Point:

Today I will make a special point of praising the Lord not only through the reading of psalms but also by listening to music of praise. I will remember that praise is one of the expressions of a life that is lived in the supernatural power of God.

By Dr. Bill Bright
Used by Permission

Comments: If you don’t see our response form, please go to https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/bill-bright_a-singing-heart/

Learn more about knowing Jesus at: http://thoughts-about-god.com/four-laws/

Source: A Singing Heart

Keith Getty: Modern worship mov’t is ‘utterly dangerous,’ causing ‘de-Christianizing of God’s people’ | The Christian Post

Keith and Kristyn Getty are the preeminent married musicians and songwriters from North Ireland. | The Gettys

“In Christ Alone” writer Keith Getty is warning church leaders about the modern worship movement, which he describes as one of “cultural relevance” that is “utterly dangerous” and is contributing to the “de-Christianizing of God’s people.”

In an interview with The Christian Post, Getty said many modern worship songs focus on emotionalism rather than sound doctrine and Scriptural truths. This, he said, leads to a generation ill-equipped to understand or defend the Christian faith.

“An authentic generation doesn’t begin with catharsis; it has to begin with an authentic picture of the God of the Bible,” he explained. “Over 75 percent of what are called the great hymns of the faith talk about eternity, Heaven, Hell, and the fact that we have peace with God. Yet, less than 5 percent of modern worship songs talk about eternity.”

“Many worship songs are focused on this Earth,” Getty said. “I believe that the modern worship movement is a movement for cultural relevance It’s a de-Christianizing of God’s people. It’s utterly dangerous. I have no quibbles saying, ‘Enough is enough.’ This can’t happen to build an authentic generation.”

Keith Getty and his wife, Kristyn, are passionate about fostering a “reformation” in worship music: “Part of our campaign is to get our generation to know the great hymns of the faith,” Getty told CP. “It’s not about a fascination with the time period; it’s about writing music that explains the Gospel and is also beautiful art.”

“Beautiful art lasts,” he said. “At the end of the day, a song you sing for 50 years is more valuable than one you sing for 50 months. We live in the most exciting generation to be a Christian, but it’s also the most challenging generation. This idea that Christianity is cool or easy is not biblical. It’s a misnomer for our generation. Through music, we want to build deep believers who know and love Christ.”

In October, the Gettys released their latest album, Sing! An Irish Christmas – Live at the Grand Ole Opry House. Recorded live at the iconic Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tennessee, the Gettys brought together a group of world-class guest artists to perform song selections that span across hundreds of years of celebration of Jesus’ birth.

“We are promoting songs we want you to sing around your house and in your churches and for years to come,” the Northern Irish Christian singer shared. “The heart of this album is to get listeners to know and sing the great carols of the faith to themselves and as a family this Christmas.”

In the album, the Gettys present new interpretations on Christmas staples such as “Joy To the World,” “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus,” and “Silent Night.” The songs will be performed live by the Gettys and friends on TBN’s special “Sing! An Irish Christmas” airing this December.

The Gettys

Getty, who has been writing Christmas music for 10 years, said he is continually struck by the “pastoral” impact Christmas carols have on audiences.

“I look at people at a cold winters night huddled together and singing, ‘Come Thou Long Expected Jesus,’ and I wonder what sadness or disappointments they’ve had this year,” he shared. “What doctor’s news have they had this year; what person is no longer there this Christmas? What aspect of their life needs to know that, dear Christ will enter in?”

Other familiar songs such as “Silent Night” and “God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman” drive home the importance of the Sabbath, Getty said. “People in Manhattan on the 18th of December, for example, don’t understand rest. They’re trying to balance kids and church, family dysfunction and getting ready for Christmas. Sitting in the quiet, singing, ‘Silent Night,’ is so healing,” he stressed.

According to Getty, Sing! An Irish Christmas combines his love of his historic carols and passion for congregational singing.

“In a culture where marriage is in a state of confusion, children are growing up in dysfunction, and we can’t even have a frank discussion about social and political issues, what could be more radical than people gathering together to sing about the Christ-child?” he declared. “What could be more community building and affirming than the Good News of the Gospel?”

Three years ago, the Gettys — who this year won a Dove Award for Inspirational Album of the Year — launched the Sing! Conference to bring together worship leaders, pastors, and those involved in church music ministry to explore together the connection between music, theology, and artistry.

Now, the Sing! Conference is a global movement. This year, the couple hosted sell-out Sing! conferences at the Belfast arena in their native Northern Ireland, and another at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall, marking the launch of the first Sing! global arena tour.

In August, the Sing! Conference in Nashville featured speakers John Piper, Joni Eareckson Tada, along with musical performances by the Gettys, Ellie Holcomb, and Trip Lee, among others. The three-day event saw over 13,000 attendees, nearly half of whom were younger than 40 years old.

“We think, after this year, with the number of universities getting involved, the Sing! Conference will be a majority under 40s conference,” Getty said. “There are 82 church music conferences in America and this is the largest. And this is the only one that doesn’t work with contemporary radio. We don’t use the lights-camera-action stuff of the previous generation. We’ve dumped all of that, yet we’re getting more under 40s of any church music conference.”

Over 13,000 people gathered for a night of praise and worship led by Keith and Kristyn Getty at Bridgeston Arena in Nashville, Tennessee, on Aug. 20, 2019. | Sing! Conference

The success of the Sing! Conference with millennials, the songwriter noted, indicates younger generations are “less convinced by the seeker-sensitive purpose-driven hype of making Christianity seem cool.”

“They want to know, ‘is this true or not?’” he contended. “People think this conference is conservative and on one level it is, but on another level, the range of denominations attending is pretty broad. They’re all terrified of what the next generation is singing and don’t know what to do.”

“We don’t know all the answers,” Getty added, “but we’re trying to get people to sing doctrine and get hymn writers that are writing high-quality music with artistic merit.”

Source: Keith Getty: Modern worship mov’t is ‘utterly dangerous,’ causing ‘de-Christianizing of God’s people’

What Do You Sing About? — The Outspoken TULIP

One Personal Care Attendant of mine, upon hearing my attempt to sing, sweetly suggested that I stick to my writing and digital art. I had to agree.

But I do sing in my heart, as well as out loud in church, without reservation. The Lord has given me cause to sing His praises, not to fancy myself a gifted singer, but to express the joy of His love for me. Who cares that I can’t carry a tune or properly enunciate the words? The focus belongs on my Savior.

My song shall ever be about Jesus. He alone deserves the attention and glory because He is marvelous and wonderful!

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via What Do You Sing About? — The Outspoken TULIP

10 november (preached 8 november 1857) 365 Days with Spurgeon

A call to the unconverted

“For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” Galatians 3:10

suggested further reading: Matthew 25:31–46

Suddenly a voice is heard, and shrieks from some, and songs from others—he comes—he comes—he comes; and every eye must see him. There he is; the throne is set upon a cloud, which is white as alabaster. There he sits. It is He, the Man that died on Calvary—I see his pierced hands—but ah, how changed! No thorn crown now. He stood at Pilate’s bar, but now the whole earth must stand at his bar. But listen! The trumpet sounds again: the Judge opens the book, there is silence in heaven, a solemn silence: the universe is still. “Gather mine elect together, and my redeemed from the four winds of heaven.” Swiftly they are gathered. As with a lightning flash, the angel’s wing divides the crowd. Here are the righteous all in-gathered; and sinner, there are you, on the left hand, left out, left to abide the burning sentence of eternal wrath. Listen! The harps of heaven play sweet melodies; but to you they bring no joy, though the angels are repeating the Saviour’s welcome to his saints. “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” You have had that moment’s respite, and now his face is gathering clouds of wrath, the thunder is on his brow; he looks on you that have despised him, you that scoffed his grace, that scorned his mercy, you that broke his Sabbath, you that mocked his cross, you that would not have him to reign over you; and with a voice louder than ten thousand thunders, he cries, “Depart, ye cursed.” And then—No, I will not follow you. I will not tell of quenchless flames: I will not talk of miseries for the body, and tortures for the spirit. But hell is terrible; damnation is doleful. Oh, escape! escape!

for meditation: Any one of your sins would send you to hell (James 2:10). No one but Jesus can divert you to heaven (Acts 4:12). Make sure you are trusting in him alone for your salvation.

sermon no. 174[1]

 

[1] Spurgeon, C. H., & Crosby, T. P. (1998). 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 1) (p. 321). Leominster, UK: Day One Publications.

10 NOVEMBER 365 Days with Calvin

Taking the Name of Christ

Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. 2 Timothy 2:19

suggested further reading: John 10:1–21

We cannot take the name Christian upon us, we cannot say that we belong to the children of God and are of his church, unless we have been delivered from our filthiness.

If a person calls himself the servant of a prince and yet is a thief, shouldn’t he be doubly punished because he abused the title that did not truly belong to him? Behold the Son of God, who is the fountain of all holiness and righteousness! If we try to hide ourselves and cover all our filthiness, is not it so much more shameful if we do so under his name? Does not this horrible sacrilege deserve the most severe punishment?

It is true that, whatever pains we may take to serve God in pureness, we do not cease to be wretched sinners, full of blemishes, and to have many wicked imperfections in us. But it is a right affection if we desire to do well; if we hate sin, though we falter, seeing our purpose is good; and if we strive to go forward in the fear of God and in obedience to his will. Jesus Christ then accounts us as though we were just; he frees us from all our faults and does not charge them to our account. The faithful, though they are not entirely perfect and though they have many sins, are considered to be God’s children. Jesus Christ considers it no dishonor that they are called by his name, for he causes the goodness that is in them and through his grace makes them acceptable to God.

Let us, then, mark well what the word Christian means, for those who claim that title are members of the Son of God! Christ was pleased to accept us, so we must cleave to him in all righteousness, for he has received all fullness that he might make us partakers of his grace.

for meditation: Departing from iniquity is the lifelong calling and pursuit of true Christians. Are you intimately involved in this pursuit? Do you long and strive to walk in the King’s highway of holiness on a daily basis?[1]

 

[1] Calvin, J., & Beeke, J. R. (2008). 365 Days with Calvin (p. 333). Leominster; Grand Rapids, MI: Day One Publications; Reformation Heritage Books.

SSB Sunday Gathering – November 10, 2019 — Spiritual Sounding Board

This is your place to gather and share in an open format.

Scripture is taken from the Book of Common Prayer, Readings for Ordinary Time, Year 1 and may be found here.

Psalm 93

The Lord reigns, he is robed in majesty; the Lord is robed in majesty and armed with strength; indeed, the world is established, firm and secure. Your throne was established long ago; you are from all eternity.

The seas have lifted up, Lord, the seas have lifted up their voice; the seas have lifted up their pounding waves. Mightier than the thunder of the great waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea — the Lord on high is mighty.

Your statutes, Lord, stand firm; holiness adorns your house for endless days.

Acts 24: 10 – 21

When the governor motioned for him to speak, Paul replied: “I know that for a number of years you have been a judge over this nation; so I gladly make my defense. You can easily verify that no more than twelve days ago I went up to Jerusalem to worship. My accusers did not find me arguing with anyone at the temple, or stirring up a crowd in the synagogues or anywhere else in the city. And they cannot prove to you the charges they are now making against me. However, I admit that I worship the God of our ancestors as a follower of the Way, which they call a sect. I believe everything that is in accordance with the Law and that is written in the Prophets, and I have the same hope in God as these men themselves have, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked. So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man.

“After an absence of several years, I came to Jerusalem to bring my people gifts for the poor and to present offerings. I was ceremonially clean when they found me in the temple courts doing this. There was no crowd with me, nor was I involved in any disturbance. But there are some Jews from the province of Asia, who ought to be here before you and bring charges if they have anything against me. Or these who are here should state what crime they found in me when I stood before the Sanhedrin — unless it was this one thing I shouted as I stood in their presence: ‘It is concerning the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial before you today.’”

Luke 14: 12 – 24

Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, “Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.”

Jesus replied: “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’

“But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’

“Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’

“Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’

“The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’

“‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’

“Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full. I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.’”

***

***

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you: wherever he may send you;

may he guide you through the wilderness: protect you from the storm;

may he bring you home rejoicing: at the wonders he has shown you;

may he bring you home rejoicing: once again into our doors.

***

Feel free to join the discussion.

You can share your church struggles and concerns.

Let’s also use it as a time to encourage one another spiritually.

What have you found spiritually encouraging lately?

Do you have any special Bible verses to share, any YouTube songs that you have found uplifting?

via SSB Sunday Gathering – November 10, 2019 — Spiritual Sounding Board