Daily Archives: November 18, 2019

November 18 Our Christian Growth

Scripture Reading: Ephesians 2:1–10

Key Verse: Ephesians 2:1

And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins.

After planting watermelon seeds, you water and eagerly watch for them to sprout. As they grow, you continue to water, fertilize, and anticipate their fruit. From the moment you accept Christ, you begin growing in your likeness to Him (Ephesians 4:24).

The Christian life is a growing process with several stages essential to spiritual growth:

  • Unbelief. Without Christ we are dead in our trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1).
  • Salvation. God’s gift of salvation is available to all who believe (Titus 2:11).
  • Service. A natural response after receiving new life in Christ is the desire to share the joy and peace that comes from a personal relationship with God and encourage other believers in their faith (Ephesians 4:11–12).
  • Frustrated inadequacy. God does not want us to become self-centered or satisfied in our relationship with Him or to feel that we can accomplish His work in our own strength.
  • Total dependence on God. Without Christ we are nothing and can do nothing (Galatians 2:20).

By seeking God, you will continue to learn, develop, and grow in Christ—producing spiritual fruit far beyond anything you can imagine (Galatians 5:22–23).

Father, I reject unbelief. Use me in Your service and help me depend totally on You.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 337). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

November 18 Positioned to Hear His Voice

Scripture Reading: 2 Samuel 5:22–25

Key Verse: Psalm 62:5

My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him.

David had just been anointed king over Israel when the Philistines attacked. The first thing he did was to go to God in prayer and inquire: “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Wilt Thou give them into my hand?” (2 Sam. 5:19 nasb). The Lord affirmed the victory to David.

Israel captured the Philistine camp. In desperation, the Philistines attempted another raid. David could have looked at the situation from a human perspective. His army easily won the first victory; what was there to stop them from repeating the same action? Plenty, and David knew it. Joshua failed to seek God at Ai and lost to a much smaller army than the one David faced (Josh. 7:1–12). Making decisions such as that one apart from God invited defeat. David immediately went back to God for the solution.

The Lord told him not to attack the enemy! Instead, he was to wait until he heard the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees. Try to imagine what David felt. He knew the enemy was poised and ready to strike, but he had to wait for God’s timing.

Times of waiting are times of great blessing. When we learn to wait on the Lord, we position ourselves to hear His voice. God’s timing is always perfect. And when you commit yourself to following His lead, you will never be disappointed.

O God, help me wait for Your timing, even when I frantically feel I must do something. I commit myself to follow You. I know I won’t be disappointed.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 337). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

How Do Creeds and Confessions Help Us? — Ligonier Ministries Blog

The historic creeds and confessions help to guard us from basing our faith on changing moods and whims. From one of our Ask Ligonier events, Burk Parsons appeals to the usefulness of these time-tested statements of orthodoxy.

Ask your biblical and theological questions live online at Ask.Ligonier.org.

via How Do Creeds and Confessions Help Us? — Ligonier Ministries Blog

November 18 A Twofold Objective

Scripture reading: Philippians 4:5–13

Key verse: Psalm 30:5

His anger is but for a moment,

His favor is for life;

Weeping may endure for a night,

But joy comes in the morning.

When things are going your way, it’s easy to attribute the circumstances to the Lord. It is much more difficult to utter praise when you have suffered hurt or injustice.

Jerry Bridges addresses this inner conflict in his book Trusting God:

Well known theologian J. I. Packer defines providence as, “The unceasing activity of the Creator, whereby, in overflowing bounty and goodwill, He upholds His creatures in ordered existence, guides and governs all events, circumstances, and free acts of angels and men, and directs everything to its appointed goal, for His own glory.”

Clearly there is no concept of stop-and-go, part-time governance on God’s part in this definition … Nothing, not even the smallest virus, escapes His care and control. But note also, the twofold objective of God’s providence: His own glory and the good of His people. These two objectives are never antithetical; they are always in harmony with each other. God never pursues His glory at the expense of the good of His people, nor does He ever seek our good at the expense of His glory.

What comfort and encouragement this should be to us. If we are going to learn to trust God in adversity, we must believe that just as certainly as God will allow nothing to subvert His glory, so He will allow nothing to spoil the good He is working out in us and for us.

Reveal Your glory through me, Father. I know that nothing will spoil the good You are working in and through me.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 337). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Barr Routs The ‘Resistance’: “It Is The Left That Is Shredding Norms, Undermining The Rule Of Law” | ZeroHedge News

Authored by James Howard Kunstler via Kunstler.com,

Anyone who doubts that the Attorney General is dead serious about cleaning up the goddamned mess of sedition spawned by the Democratic Party, its agents in the permanent Washington bureaucracy, and its public relations arm in the news media, might invest a little time and attention in William Barr’s speech to the Federalist Society Friday evening. (Text of speech here and video here.)

Mr. Barr declared unambiguously and in plain English that “in waging a scorched earth, no-holds-barred war of ‘Resistance’ against this Administration, it is the Left that is engaged in the systematic shredding of norms and the undermining of the rule of law.”

Is any part of that unclear? The confounded might take in this more detailed lesson in recent history from the speech:

Immediately after President Trump won election, opponents inaugurated what they called ‘the Resistance,’ and they rallied around an explicit strategy of using every tool and maneuver available to sabotage the functioning of his administration.  Now, ‘resistance’ is the language used to describe insurgency against rule imposed by an occupying military power. It obviously connotes that the government is not legitimate. This is a very dangerous — indeed incendiary — notion to import into the politics of a democratic republic.  What it means is that, instead of viewing themselves as the “loyal opposition,” as opposing parties have done in the past, they essentially see themselves as engaged in a war to cripple, by any means necessary, a duly elected government.”

And anyone who takes in the nauseating spectacle of Congressman Adam Schiff’s House Intel Committee impeachment process can see that shredding of norms on full shameless display, where the attempted defense of nakedly absurd charges against the president is thwarted by a chicane of deceitful rules outside any concept of due process, concocted by Mr. Schiff and his task force of Lawfare hustlers — no right to call witnesses, no right of cross-examination, and no right to argue that set of rules cribbed from the Stalin show trials by way of the Spanish Inquisition.

They’re pouring it on this week ahead of a post-Thanksgiving cold water deluge of bad news that will detail charges against the progenitors of RussiaGate. The roll-call may be a long one, including many actors whose turpitudes have been publicly and richly documented for many months – Messers, Brennan, Clapper, Comey, Rosenstein, McCabe, Strzok, Halper, Ms. Page, et. al – and, if real justice is on order, not a few figures lurking in the Deep State deep background — John Carlin, Bill Priestap, Dana Boente, Michael Gaeta, Sally Yates, Loretta Lynch, Susan Rice, Samantha Power, and perhaps even the archangel Barack Obama, just in time for Christmas, too. Robert Mueller and Andrew Weissmann deserve to be included for what amounted to a blatant, arrantly mendacious malicious prosecution, knowing that they had no case and proceeding anyway for two whole years.

I hope the roundup will extend to the very latest ploys leading to RussiaGate’s successor subterfuge, UkraineGate, namely the exploits of “whistleblower” Eric Ciaramella, his handlers and enablers in Mr. Schiff’s office, and the actions of his accomplice, Michael Atkinson, the current Intelligence Community Inspector General, with obvious conflicts of interests as a major player in the previous RuissiaGate dodge — he was legal counsel to Assistant Attorney General John Carlin, who headed the Department of Justice’s National Security Division at the birth of the FBI’s “Crossfire Hurricane” gambit, and before that he was Robert Mueller’s chief of staff at the FBI. Anything to see there, ya think? The “whistleblower” himself was, in fact, a CIA spy in the White House. You may recall that the CIA is prohibited from spying on Americans in their own country, and doing that in the White House is arguably the essence and height of lawless sedition.

Obviously, Rep. Adam Schiff will at some point be called to face the atonal music he composed (with a little help from Karlheinz Stockhausen — give a listen) in a court of law, where different rules apply than the ones now on display in his committee. He has a lot to answer for in his campaign to blow smoke up America’s ass for three years running, with deleterious effect on the national project generally and on the honor and dignity of the legislature in particular.

The American public also deserves to know exactly who has been leaking transcripts from Mr. Schiff’s star chamber depositions to the news media – most recently last Friday when the supposedly secret testimony of diplomat David Holmes, lately of the US embassy in Kiev, Ukraine, found its way to CBS News reporter Margaret Brennan. A logical presumption would be that the leaker is someone on Mr. Schiff’s staff. Who else might have access to it? (Well, possibly the NSA and thereby the CIA.) It shouldn’t be too difficult to find out. Perhaps one of the minority members of the House Intel Committee might put the question to Mr. Schiff when the hearings re-open on Wednesday — if Mr. Schiff will allow the question to even be entertained.

Source: Barr Routs The ‘Resistance’: “It Is The Left That Is Shredding Norms, Undermining The Rule Of Law”

Kanye West Defends Joel Osteen to Standing Ovation During Lakewood Service: ‘God Is Not the Negative Part’ — Christian Research Network

Osteen’s message on Sunday again touched on God opening doors and opportunities for His people, advising those listening to make positive confessions over themselves, such as “I am enough,” “I am strong enough” and “I am attractive enough.”

(Heather Clark – Christian News) Rapper turned gospel artist Kanye West, who referred to himself as “the greatest artist that God has ever created,” spoke to the defense of motivational speaker and author Joel Osteen on Sunday, resulting in a standing ovation from many in attendance at Lakewood and Osteen joking that he had “made it” by having West’s support.

“There’s a lot of people in the Christian community that try to give Joel a hard time because when you turn on the radio, he keeps on showing you how good God is,” West said to much applause, with many standing to their feet. “God is not the enemy. God is not the negative part. God is not just the perception of fire and brimstone.”

“God is love, is the greatest, is the glory,” he continued. “God is family. God is friendship. God is prosperity. … Keep your eye on the beauty and the love and the grace of God. The grace that allows us to be here today with all of our sins. We know that when we accept Jesus as our lord and savior, we will be granted eternal life.”

Osteen nodded.  View article →

Research

Word of Faith/Prosperity Gospel

via Kanye West Defends Joel Osteen to Standing Ovation During Lakewood Service: ‘God Is Not the Negative Part’ — Christian Research Network

November 18, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

Ver. 10.—The reproof is given in the form of questions, in order to rouse the sleeping conscience of the people. Are there yet the treasures of wickedness in the house of the wicked? Do the wicked still continue to bring into their houses treasures obtained by wrong? The old versions compare this ill-gotten wealth to a fire which shall consume the homes of its possessors. Septuagint, Μὴ πῦρ καὶ οἶκος ἀνόμου θησαυρίζων θησαυροὺς ἀνόμους; “Is there fire and the house of the wicked treasuring up wicked treasures?” Vulgate, Adhuc ignis in domo impii thesauri iniquitatis? So the Syriac; the Chaldee keeps to the Masoretic reading. The scant measure; literally, the ephah of leanness. The ephah was about three pecks. According to Josephus (‘Ant.,’ xv. 9. 2), it contained one Attic medimnus, which would be nearly a bushel and a half. Fraudulent weights and measures are often denounced (Lev. 19:35, etc.; Deut. 25:14, etc.; Prov. 20:10, 23; Amos 8:5). Vulgate, Mensura minor iræ plena, where the Hebrew has, that is abominable. Such frauds are hateful to God, and are marked with his wrath.


Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). Micah (p. 89). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

Ken Starr: Impeachment Inquiry Is a ‘Coup D’etat’ by House Democrats, Not Like Watergate | The Epoch Times

Former independent counsel Ken Starr, who led the prosecution during former President Bill Clinton’s impeachment in the 1990s, blasted the House Democrats’ inquiry into President Donald Trump, describing it as a “coup d’etat.”

He added that the current inquiry is “far removed” from the Watergate scandal that ensnared former President Richard Nixon, ultimately leading to his resignation.

Starr told Fox News that the Democrats’ current investigation has revealed no star witness in the vein of John Dean, the former White House counsel for President Richard Nixon. Dean testified against Nixon in the early 1970s.

“Here’s John Dean testifying dramatically: ‘I’m in the Oval Office and I am participating in a criminal conspiracy with the president of the United States,’” said Starr, who headed the Whitewater probe into former President Clinton.

During the current inquiry into Trump, Democrats “have a witness who does not have a connection to the president … and knows of no crime. So it’s really night and day.”

Former President Richard Nixon talks about his 1974 resignation in a series of interviews conducted by former White House aide Frank Gannon in New York City on June 10, 1983. (Copyright Raiford Communications/AP Photo)

On Friday, former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch testified before the House Intelligence Committee during a televised hearing for about six hours. She told lawmakers that she didn’t have any firsthand information regarding any alleged criminal activity or bribes.

Democrats have alleged Trump withheld military aid and engaged a pressure campaign to force Ukraine to investigate a political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden. Trump has categorically denied the allegations.

“This goes back to the entire process point,” Starr said. “And, I must say, when you depart from tradition you may be doing the right thing, you may be reforming, or you may be really fouling up.”

House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) (L) and Ranking Member Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) during the first public hearings held by the House Intelligence Committee as part of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill in Washington on Nov. 13, 2019. (Saul Loeb/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) who heads the House Intelligence Committee, is the primary driving force behind the impeachment inquiry.

“And so, the Democrats decided to depart radically from tradition and to make Chairman Schiff the new head of the Judiciary Committee,” he told Fox.

As a result, “there has essentially been a coup d’etat in the House of Representatives. And so, when we look at each procedure, we see some departure from the past,” Starr remarked.

Source: Ken Starr: Impeachment Inquiry Is a ‘Coup D’etat’ by House Democrats, Not Like Watergate

Bannon Wanted Eric Ciaramella Kicked Off National Security Council Amid Concerns Over Leaks | Zero Hedge

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• Zero Hedge – Tyler Durden

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon said in a Friday interview that in 2017, he was involved in an effort to remove alleged whistleblower Eric Ciaramella from the National Security Council over concerns about leaks.

“When I was in the White House there was a number of people in the National Security Council — the named individual eventually got let go, I believe because people were suspicious, not me, but other people around him were suspicious about his leaking, and that’s why he was let go,” Bannon told VICE in an interview which published Friday.

Bannon served in the White House until August 2017, while Ciaramella – who became former National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster’s personal aide in June 2017, was called out as a leaker by journalist Mike Cernovich that same month.