Daily Archives: January 6, 2020

January—6 The Poor Man’s Evening Portion

When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.—Psalm 61:2.

Yes, Lord! I would make this my morning, noon, and evening petition, that the great glorifier of Jesus would gently lead me to him who is a rock, and whose work is perfect. I know, dearest Lord, in theory, and can even reason upon it in seasons of coolness, that thy strength and thy security never fail; the failure is in me and my unbelief. And it is only when I lose sight of thee and thy promise, that I am tossed about with doubts and misgivings. If Jesus be out of sight, and thwarting dispensations arise, oh! how soon is my poor forgetful heart ready to exclaim with the church of old, “I said, My strength, and my hope is perished from the Lord.” Then come on the reasonings of flesh and blood. And then the question, whether my interest in Jesus and his salvation be sure? And then my poor heart goes forth, like the dove of Noah from the ark, having lost sight of Jesus, and can find no resting-place for the sole of my foot. O Lord the Spirit, in all such seasons do thou lead me to the Rock that is higher than I. If thou, blessed leader of the Lord’s distressed ones, wouldst be my pilot when those storms are beating upon me, I should soon be blown upon the firm landing-place of Jesus’s security. Oh! how should I ride out the storm, even when the tempest was highest, as long as God the Holy Ghost enabled me to cast the anchor of faith upon this eternal Rock of Jesus. O lead me, then, thou sovereign Lord, continually to all-precious Jesus. Open the port of communication, and keep it constantly open, between Christ and my soul. Faith will find a soft and quiet bed to sleep on, in the arms of Jesus, and no noise of wars shall break the soul’s rest while reposing on him; for so the promise runs: “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee.” Oh! then, once again I send up the earnest cry of my soul; let it be continually answered in mercy! When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.[1]

 

[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Evening Portion (A New Edition, pp. 7–8). Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle.

January 6 Streams in the Desert

When thou passest through the waters … they shall not overflow thee.” (Isa. 43:2.)

GOD does not open paths for us in advance of our coming. He does not promise help before help is needed. He does not remove obstacles out of our way before we reach them. Yet when we are on the edge of our need, God’s hand is stretched out.

Many people forget this, and are forever worrying about difficulties which they foresee in the future. They expect that God is going to make the way plain and open before them, miles and miles ahead; whereas He has promised to do it only step by step as they may need. You must get to the waters and into their floods before you can claim the promise. Many people dread death, and lament that they have not “dying grace.” Of course, they will not have dying grace when they are in good health, in the midst of life’s duties, with death far in advance. Why should they have it then? Grace for duty is what they need then, living grace; then dying grace when they come to die.—J. R. M.

“When thou passest through the waters”

Deep the waves may be and cold,

But Jehovah is our refuge,

And His promise is our hold;

For the Lord Himself hath said it,

He, the faithful God and true:

“When thou comest to the waters

Thou shalt not go down, but through.”

Seas of sorrow, seas of trial,

Bitterest anguish, fiercest pain,

Rolling surges of temptation

Sweeping over heart and brain—

They shall never overflow us

For we know His word is true;

All His waves and all His billows

He will lead us safely through.

Threatening breakers of destruction,

Doubt’s insidious undertow,

Shall not sink us, shall not drag us

Out to ocean depths of woe;

For His promise shall sustain us,

Praise the Lord, whose Word is true!

We shall not go down, or under,

For He saith, “Thou passest through.”

Annie Johnson Flint.[1]

 

[1] Cowman, L. B. (1925). Streams in the Desert (pp. 6–7). Los Angeles, CA: The Oriental Missionary Society.

January 6th The D. L. Moody Year Book

Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My Word shall not pass away.—Matthew 24:35.

NOTICE how that statement has been fulfilled. There was no short-hand reporter following Jesus around taking down His words; there were no papers to print His sermons, and they wouldn’t have printed them if there had been any daily papers. The leaders of the people were against Him.

I can see one of your modern freethinkers standing near Christ, and he hears Him say: “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My Words shall not pass away.” I see the scornful look on his face as he says: “Hear that Jewish peasant talk! Did you ever hear such conceit, such madness? He says heaven and earth shall pass away, but His Word shall not pass away.”

My friend, I want to ask you this question—has it passed away? Do you know that the sun has shone on more Bibles to-day than ever before in the history of the world? There have been more Bibles printed in the last ten years than in the first eighteen hundred years. They tried in the dark ages to burn it, to chain it, and keep it from the nations, but God has preserved it, and sent it to the ends of the earth.[1]

 

[1] Moody, D. L. (1900). The D. L. Moody Year Book: A Living Daily Message from the Words of D. L. Moody. (E. M. Fitt, Ed.) (pp. 10–11). East Northfield, MA: The Bookstore.

Hardcore Liberal Ricky Gervais Stuns Hollywood Into Shocked Silence As He Calls Out The Global Elites And Pedophiles Who Run The Industry — Now The End Begins

“You’ll be pleased to know this is the last time I’m hosting the Golden Globe Awards,” Ricky Gervais said Sunday. “I don’t care anymore. I never did.”

It was not supposed to go like that at the Golden Globes last night, not by a country mile. Liberal comedian Ricky Gervais, known for his biting humor, was just supposed to say some funny things about the rich and famous, do his bit and go home. Instead, Ricky Gervais, who is a Liberal, took at at the Hollywood elites and shot them with both barrels. Repeatedly. He made jokes about Apple’s Chinese sweatshops that produce their products, he referenced the pervasive pedophile culture, and blasted the rich and out of touch A-Listers for being rich and out of touch.

“Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.” 1 Corinthians 4:5 (KJV)

When I got saved 29 years ago, I was an up-and-coming Hollywood actor with dreams of stardom, and I was making great progress towards that goal when the Lord Jesus Christ stepped in and changed my direction as well as my eternity. Best day of my life. So I can tell you from a first-hand perspective that every bad thing you hear about Hollywood is all true, and it’s much worse than what you have heard. Hollywood is so ridden with all manner of sexual perversion, addictions, lust and greed that it almost qualifies as a modern day Babylon. Kudos for Ricky Gervais for torching the whole thing last night. Your career is finished, but you went out with a bang.

The reaction to Ricky Gervais opening monologue at the Golden Globes on Sunday night? It was a killer.

FROM THE WASHINGTON POST: Ricky Gervais, hosting for the fifth time, repeatedly assured the audience he didn’t care about their gasps and shocked reactions to his most controversial jokes — after all, he said, it’s his last time hosting.

“Let’s have a laugh at your expense, shall we? Remember, they’re just jokes,” he advised the famous members of the audience. “We’re all gonna die soon, and there’s no sequel.”

Here are some of the most scathing lines — except for the vulgar digs about James Corden and Judi Dench as he skewered the disastrous “Cats,” which we aren’t allowed to repeat because this is a family newspaper.

Hollywood Pedophiles

“In this room are some of the most important TV and film executives in the world, people from every background. But they all have one thing in common: They’re all terrified of Ronan Farrow. He’s coming for you. He’s coming for you. Look, talking to all you perverts, it was a big year for pedophile movies. ‘Surviving R. Kelly.’ ‘Leaving Neverland.’ ‘The Two Popes.’ ”

Hollywood's fascination with the All-Seeing Eye of the Illuminati

Hollywood Hypocrisy

“Apple roared into the TV game with ‘The Morning Show,’ a superb drama about the importance of dignity and doing the right thing — made by a company that runs sweatshops in China. You say you’re woke, but the companies you work for, I mean, unbelievable: Apple, Amazon, Disney. If ISIS started a streaming service, you’d call your agent, wouldn’t you? So if you do win an award tonight, don’t use it as a platform to make a political speech, right? You’re in no position to lecture the public about anything. You know nothing about the real world. Most of you spent less time in school than Greta Thunberg. So if you win, come up, accept your little award, thank your agent and your God, and [bleep].”

Jeffrey Epstein

“No one cares about movies anymore, no one goes to the cinema, no one really watches network TV. Everyone’s watching Netflix. This show should just be me coming out going, ‘Well done Netflix, you win everything, good night.’ But no, we’ve got to drag it out three hours. You could binge watch the entire first season of ‘After Life’ instead of watching this show. That’s a show about a man who wants to kill himself because his wife dies of cancer — and it’s still more fun than this. Spoiler alert, Season 2 is on the way, so in the end, he obviously didn’t kill himself — just like Jeffrey Epstein. (gasps) Shut up! I know he’s your friend, but I don’t care. You had to make your own way here on your own plane, didn’t you?” READ MORE

Ricky Gervais Uses Golden Globes Monologue To Expose Hollywood

Actor and comedian Ricky Gervais joked about Jeffrey Epstein, Felicity Huffman and more at the 2020 Golden Globes on Jan. 5.

via Hardcore Liberal Ricky Gervais Stuns Hollywood Into Shocked Silence As He Calls Out The Global Elites And Pedophiles Who Run The Industry — Now The End Begins

Famed Doctor Says Epstein Murder ‘More’ Likely After Graphic Photos Emerge — The Gateway Pundit

Jeffrey Epstein didn’t kill himself.

That’s a meme that’s exploded on the internet. And for good reason, apparently.

CBS News on Sunday released explosive new photos showing the convicted pedophile’s jail cell, where he supposedly committed suicide, strewn with scraps of bed sheets and a supposed noose.

Forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden on Monday said the photos showing injuries to Epstein’s neck convince him that the “findings are more indicative of homicide” than a suicide.

“I think there’s a lot of information that still hasn’t been revealed yet that is essential in order to arrive at a conclusion, whether this is a suicide or homicide,” Baden, the pathologist hired by Epstein’s brother to investigate his death, said on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom.

“I think the closing out of the case as a suicide so quickly was premature.”

The photos show makeshift nooses Epstein supposedly made out of bedsheets at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan. But his neck is deeply marked, prompting questions about whether a cotton sheet could cut so deeply.

Baden, a former New York City medical examiner, said the photo showing the marks on Epstein’s neck “doesn’t match the ligature that was found at the scene and that the medical examiner copied to show how he was hanged.”

He added that “it was too wide and too smooth. This is a rougher injury.”

And he had more.

Baden also questioned Epstein’s two fractures on the left and right sides of his larynx, specifically the thyroid cartilage or Adam’s apple, and on the left hyoid bone above the Adam’s apple.

The doctor also said there are many unanswered questions. “I think the important thing is to find out what was seen when the guards first went into the cell. Was he hanging? Was he on the ground? As some people reported when he was found,” Baden said.

And he said “the removal of the body destroyed a lot of the forensic evidence.”

“EMS is not supposed to remove dead bodies from jails,” Baden said. “They’re supposed to have a whole forensic workup, what kind of forensic evidence is on the clothing, how long the person was dead.

“We can tell from the ligature mark that he had been — there was a tight ligature around his neck for many hours, and the front of the neck, before he was found — so he was dead for a long time. But we could be more specific about that if somebody tested out the stiffness of the body, et cetera, at the scene.”

“A lot was lost when the body was removed,” he said.

via Famed Doctor Says Epstein Murder ‘More’ Likely After Graphic Photos Emerge — The Gateway Pundit

January 6, 2020 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

The Foolishness of Ignoring God’s Will

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. (4:13–14)

The first negative response to God’s will is foolishly ignoring it, living as if God did not exist or was indifferent to and benign toward human behavior. James addressed such people in familiar Old Testament prophetic style (cf. Isa. 1:18); his words come now are an insistent, even brash call for attention. They also indicate disapproval for the conduct they address. James is in effect saying “Listen up!” or “Get this!” The phrase come now appears in the New Testament only here and in 5:1.

The targets of James’s rebuke are those who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” The Greek text literally reads “the ones who are saying,” indicating people who habitually live without regard for God’s will. The underlying Greek verb, legō, means to say something based on reason or logic. James rebuked those who habitually think through and articulate their plans as if God did not exist or care (cf. 4:11–12).

The specific illustration James chose was one that would have been familiar to his readers. Many Jewish people dispersed throughout the ancient world were successful businessmen, itinerant merchants who naturally sought out the flourishing trade centers in which to do business. Wise planning and strategizing in business is not, of course, sinful in and of itself but commendable. No spiritual principles are violated by anything the businessmen said. The problem lies in what they did not do. They did extensive planning, but in the course of their planning, they totally ignored God; God was not part of their agenda.

Like Satan’s five self-centered “I wills” (Isa. 14:13–14) that caused his fall, the businessmen’s statement contains five presumptuous elements indicating their ill-advised confidence. First, they chose their own time, today or tomorrow. Second, they chose their own location for doing business, such and such a city. Third, they chose their own duration, deciding to spend a year there. Fourth, they chose their own enterprise, to engage in business (literally, “to travel into an area for trade”). Finally, they chose their own goal or objective, to make a profit. James is not attacking their profit motive, but their exclusion of God. Allowing for no contingencies, they planned as if they were omniscient, omnipotent, and invulnerable.

In Luke 12:16–21 the Lord Jesus Christ told a parable illustrating the folly of presumptuously leaving God out of one’s planning:

And He told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man was very productive. And he began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’ Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’ So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

In verse 14, James gives two important reasons those who presumptuously leave God out of their planning are foolish. First, James says to such people, You do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. Like the rich fool in our Lord’s parable, they were ignorant of the future. Proverbs 27:1 expresses the same principle: “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.” Life is far from simple. It is a complex matrix of forces, events, people, contingencies, and circumstances over which we have little or no control, making it impossible for anyone to ascertain, design, or assure any specific future. Despite that, some people foolishly imagine that they are in charge of their lives. Sadly, such people ignore not only the existence of God’s will, but also its benefit. Christians have the comfort of knowing that the sovereign, omniscient, omnipotent God of the universe controls every event and circumstance of their lives and weaves them all into His perfect plan for them (Rom. 8:28). David wrote, “Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He will do it” (Ps. 37:3–5). In a similar vein, Solomon wrote, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight” (Prov. 3:5–6).

James gave those tempted to do so a second reason that leaving God out of one’s planning is foolish: the brevity of life. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while, James reminded them, and then vanishes away. Life is as transitory as a puff of smoke from a fire; the steam that rises from a cup of coffee; or one’s breath, briefly visible on a cold day. How foolish, in light of the brevity and frailty of earthly life, to plan and live it without consideration for God’s will.

The Bible repeatedly stresses the shortness of human life. Job, possibly the first book of Scripture to be written, says much about life’s ephemeral nature. In 7:6 Job lamented, “My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, and come to an end without hope,” while in 7:9 he added, “When a cloud vanishes, it is gone, so he who goes down to Sheol [the abode of the dead] does not come up.” “We are only of yesterday and know nothing,” said Job’s friend Bildad the Shuhite, “because our days on earth are as a shadow” (8:9). Continuing his lament, Job said, “Now my days are swifter than a runner; they flee away, they see no good. They slip by like reed boats, like an eagle that swoops on its prey” (9:25–26). Job’s complaint to God in 14:1–2 aptly summarizes the frailty and brevity of human existence: “Man, who is born of woman, is short-lived and full of turmoil. Like a flower he comes forth and withers. He also flees like a shadow and does not remain.”

The Psalms also stress the transitory nature of human life. “As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years,” wrote Moses, “or if due to strength, eighty years, yet their pride is but labor and sorrow; for soon it is gone and we fly away” (Ps. 90:10). “My days are like a lengthened shadow,” the psalmist mourned, “and I wither away like grass” (Ps. 102:11). Summing up the Bible’s teaching on the brevity of human life, David wrote, “As for man, his days are like grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourishes. When the wind has passed over it, it is no more, and its place acknowledges it no longer” (Ps. 103:15–16; cf. Isa. 40:6–8; 1 Pet. 1:24).

Their ignorance of the future and the frailty and brevity of human life should give pause to those who foolishly ignore God’s will.[1]


14 The key concern for James is the presumptuousness inherent in the boast. They brag about the future, over which they have no control, and in effect place themselves in the seat of God. James expresses the presumption with, “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow.” Only God knows what each day will hold. He further challenges this presumption with a common biblical word picture for the brevity and uncertainty of life: “What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” The businessperson who feels at the top of the world, who sees himself as a mover whose significance is measured by the scale of his enterprises, has lost perspective on the limited nature of human existence. Rather than a being of grand significance, the braggart is but a mist, a vapor that hangs for a moment in the air before vanishing.[2]


14 In essence this verse means: The steam or smoke, which appears for a little and then vanishes, graphically depicts the transience of life—a common idea even among pagans,80 and here used parenthetically to point the folly of planning without God. In his journal John Wesley wrote of his uncertainty while waiting at Chester for a favorable wind to sail to Ireland. “James would have approved the spirit of this entry,” observes Coutts, “contrasting as it does with the presumption of those he rebuked who planned the future without regard to the will of God or the uncertainties of life. What James urges is not a morbid preoccupation with possible disaster, but a realistic attitude to the future made possible by faith in God.… Realizing the future is uncertain not only teaches us trust in God, it helps us properly to value the present. To be obsessed with future plans may mark our failure to appreciate present blessings or our evasion of present duties.” Literature is full of references to the brevity of life: e.g., Bede’s parable of the sparrow; Sir Walter Scott’s “Till foam-globes on her eddies ride …”;82 Herrick’s “Gather ye rosebuds.” For Bible references, see, e.g., Prov. 27:1; Sir. 11:8f.; Luke 12:16ff.

The Greek has its common tinge of generic meaning, “since you are such as can know nothing of tomorrow,” i.e., not because they are conceited but simply because, like the rest of us, they are only human.85 The qualitative force is further expounded in “For what is …?” literally “Of what nature is …?”

The Greek can mean either vapor or smoke; but it seems that here the term is used for mist, perhaps of the Mediterranean mountains especially familiar to the seafaring merchants.87[3]


The Brevity of Life (4:14)

The merchants presume upon God for travel, safety, business, and profits. James counters their presumption with a stern reminder of the brevity of life, a reminder that evokes what he said in 1:9–11. Rhetorically James opens up with a word that leads to a suddenly incomplete thought, but the translations struggle to make it clear and readable English. The NRSV reads “Yet” and the TNIV “Why.” The Greek sentence, however, begins with the indefinite personal pronoun (masculine) “whoever.” But a verb does not follow—instead, James moves to “you do not even know what tomorrow will bring.” One might translate, “I don’t care who you are” or “Whoever you might be, it doesn’t matter …” because “you do not even know.…” C. F. D. Moule suggested the “whoever” functions here as a mild adversative: “whereas actually.”29

The merchants, in spite of their presumption, “do not even know what tomorrow will bring.” This translation is clear and is probably an accurate rendering of the Greek, but the Greek itself is messy. It begins with “you do not even know,” and this is the clear part. The verb is one of mental apprehension (epistamai, related to our word “epistemology”). Abraham trusted God “not knowing where he was going” (Heb 11:8), but the presumptuous merchants were not trusting God and still thought they knew where they were going, what they would do, and that they would profit. The grammar next becomes elliptical, and it is even possible that we are to read two clauses together: “You do not even know what your life will be tomorrow.” But, because so many early manuscripts add a “for” between “will bring” and “What is your life?” and because this early instinctual reading of the text functions at least as commentary, it is most likely that “What is your life?” is a separate sentence. That means we have to deal with “You do not even know what tomorrow will bring.” And the problem here is the Greek:

to

 

tēs

 

aurion

 

that

 

of

 

tomorrow

 

The “that” is an article that appears to be the object of “know,” but the “of” (tēs, the feminine genitive article) sends us looking for a feminine noun, and one is not to be found. So, we are left to infer the word “day” (hēmeras), leaving us with “you do not even know that, or what [will occur] on the day on the morrow.” The ambiguity of this English translation matches the ambiguity of the Greek. The wisdom tradition routinely reflected on the transitoriness of life in terms not unlike James (cf. Wis 2:1–9). James’s saying is rooted in Proverbs 27:1, which in some ways clears up our verse: “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.” Jesus, too, made a similar statement (Matt 6:34). It seems safe to conclude that James asserts the brevity of life by asserting the merchants’ ignorance even of what will happen tomorrow, let alone what they think will happen in their business accomplishments over the next year.

James now restates his point, perhaps knowing that some of his readers will have been confused by his ellipsis: “What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” The question deals with the merchants’ ignorance of what kind of life they may have: is it a long life? a profitable life? They do not know. Why? Because the life of a human being is “a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” Once again, James’s focus is the transitoriness of life and he draws on a stock image—a mist or vapor36 in the sky that under the heat of the day dissipates and disappears. When Abraham looked down the plain toward Sodom he saw a dense smoke, like “smoke [LXX atmis] from a furnace” (Gen 19:28). The sacrificial incense gave off a “smoke [atmis]” (Lev 16:13). But we are closer to James’s sense of transitoriness with Hosea 13:3:

Therefore they will be like the morning mist,

like the early dew that disappears,

like chaff swirling from a threshing floor,

like smoke escaping through a window.

And Wisdom 2:4–5:

Our name will be forgotten in time,

and no one will remember our works;

our life will pass away like the traces of a cloud,

and be scattered like mist

that is chased by the rays of the sun

and overcome by its heat.

For our allotted time is the passing of a shadow,

and there is no return from our death,

because it is sealed up and no one turns back.

Acts 2:19 refers to portents in the sky, one of which is “smoky mist.” Agrarian cultures watch the weather, and few things are as noticeable as vaporous clouds that bring no rain. These puffs of mist appear for awhile and then disappear.[4]


4:14 / In contrast to the secure rationality of their plans stands the insecurity of life: Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. In fact, life is utterly ephemeral: You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Their projections are made; their plans are laid. But it all hinges on a will higher than theirs, a God unconsulted in their planning. That very night disease might strike; suddenly their plans evaporate, their only trip being one on a bier to a cold grave. They are like the rich fool of Jesus’ parable, who had made a large honest profit through the chance occurrences of farming. Feeling secure, he makes rational plans for a comfortable retirement. “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you’ ” (Luke 12:16–21). By thinking on the worldly plane, James’ Christian business people have gained a false sense of security. They need to look death in the face and realize their lack of control over life.[5]


4:14 You are a mist. This is the idea from Ecclesiastes that life (apart from God) is not only meaningless but also a vapor or a mist (see the sidebar). The basic sense of “vapor, mist” is that life cannot be controlled, grasped, possessed, or extended. James is saying to his readers, “You cannot control your lives any more than you can control what happens to the vapor you breathe out on a cold winter’s morning. You make plans, but whether those plans will come to fruition is not within your power to control.”

appears for a little while and then vanishes. Although James is using the metaphor of a mist, we are to see reference to our birth (“appears”) and death (“vanishes” = disappears). These are the two events in our lives that most demonstrate our lack of control over our own lives. We cannot control when our lives begin or when they end, or under what circumstances they do so. The two events in our lives that we often most strongly desire to control are clearly beyond our control. Jesus made this same point about death in a related passage: “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?” (Luke 12:25).[6]


14. Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

If we have no idea what the immediate future will bring us, then what is the purpose of life? The writer of Ecclesiastes repeatedly mentions life’s brevity and characteristically comments on the meaninglessness of man’s pursuit of material possessions. Nevertheless, at the conclusion of his book he states the purpose of life: “Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man” (Eccl. 12:13). Seventeenth-century British theologians asked, “What is the chief end of man?” And they answered, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.”

The merchants James addresses have not asked about the meaning and duration of life. They have neglected the counsel of Solomon: “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth” (Prov. 27:1). They talk about the future with absolute certainty. Yet they have no control over it. They live their life but fail to inquire into its purpose. They are blind and ignorant.

James compares human life to a mist that quickly appears and then disappears. What is a mist? Nothing but vapor that vanishes before the rising sun. It is frail and lacks durability (compare Ps. 39:6, 11; 102:3; Hos. 13:3). Moses, who lived to be 120 years old, wrote a prayer in which he said,

The length of our days is seventy years—

or eighty, if we have the strength;

yet their span is but trouble and sorrow,

for they quickly pass, and we fly away. [Ps. 90:10][7]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1998). James (pp. 231–233). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Guthrie, G. H. (2006). James. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Hebrews–Revelation (Revised Edition) (Vol. 13, p. 259). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Adamson, J. B. (1976). The Epistle of James (pp. 179–180). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[4] McKnight, S. (2011). The Letter of James (pp. 371–373). Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, UK: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

[5] Davids, P. H. (2011). James (p. 112). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[6] Samra, J. (2016). James, 1 & 2 Peter, and Jude. (M. L. Strauss & J. H. Walton, Eds.) (p. 65). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books: A Division of Baker Publishing Group.

[7] Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of James and the Epistles of John (Vol. 14, pp. 147–148). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

January 6, 2020 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

REUTERS

President Donald Trump on Friday said his Democratic opponents would tear down crosses and pledged to bring prayer to public schools at a re-election rally to shore up evangelical support.

Hundreds of thousands of Iranians thronged Tehran’s streets for the funeral of military commander Qassem Soleimani, killed by a U.S. drone strike, and his successor promised to drive U.S. forces out of the region in revenge.

Iran announced on Sunday it would abandon limitations on enriching uranium, taking a further step back from commitments to a 2015 nuclear deal with six major powers, but it would continue to cooperate with the U.N. nuclear watchdog.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House will introduce and vote on a war powers resolution this week to limit U.S. President Donald Trump’s military actions regarding Iran.

The U.S. Senate remained at a stalemate on Friday over how to proceed with the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, as the chamber’s leaders wrangled over whether White House aides will be called as witnesses and the top Democrat appealed to a handful of Republicans who could help break the impasse.

U.S. senators, who had expected just weeks ago to be turning their attention to an impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, will kick off the week focusing on “ordinary business,” with lawmakers still at loggerheads over trial rules.

UNESCO said on Monday that the United States has signed treaties committing it not to harm cultural heritage in the event of armed conflict.

Venezuela’s socialist government installed a new head of Congress on Sunday after armed troops blocked opposition legislators from entering parliament, in a move condemned by dozens of nations as an assault on democracy.

Ten U.S. states, led by New York, California and Illinois, account for 56% of carbon emissions from buildings nationwide, a major source of greenhouse gas emissions that needs to be tackled over the next decade to combat climate change, according to a report released on Monday.

AP Top Stories

The U.S. military presence in the Middle East was thrown into jeopardy Sunday, as Iraq’s parliament voted to expel U.S. troops from their country while the leader of Lebanon’s Hezbollah group said the U.S. military across the region “will pay the price” for killing a top Iranian general.

The head of Ukraine’s independent Orthodox Church compared Russia’s treatment of believers in annexed Crimea to “Stalin-era” repressions, after authorities ordered a church demolished.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs has only managed to curb the supply of methamphetamines by less than 1% of annual consumption, proof that it has been a bloody failure, his main political rival, the vice president, said on Monday.

The U.S. Navy should acquire small, heavily-armed missile corvettes and deploy them like modern versions of World War II torpedo boats.

Scuffles erupted between police and protesters in Hong Kong on Sunday, with dozens of arrests made, after thousands marched near the border, shouting pro-democracy slogans and venting their anger at mainland Chinese traders.

The Israeli army announced Sunday it would resume a pilot programme to train all-female tank crews, countering recent reports it had decided to shelve the plan.

Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister hopes all actors involved in the recent Middle East flare-up take steps to avoid escalation.

Germans who live near wind turbines could be paid compensation by the government under a proposal to boost supplies of renewable energy. Matthias Miersch of Germany’s Social Democrat party (SPD) said his scheme would encourage Germans to move near the controversial wind farms as well as rewarding those who already do.

Thousands of Orthodox Christian worshippers plunged into the icy waters of rivers and lakes across Bulgaria on Monday to retrieve crucifixes tossed by priests in Epiphany ceremonies commemorating the baptism of Jesus Christ. By tradition, the person who retrieves the wooden cross will be freed from evil spirits and will be healthy throughout the year. After the cross is fished out, the priest sprinkles believers with water using a bunch of basil.

A student from Indonesia was identified as Britain’s most prolific rapist on Monday after being convicted of more than 150 offences, including 136 rapes. In four separate trials, Reynhard Sinaga, 36, was found guilty of assaulting 48 men whom he drugged after taking them back to his apartment from outside bars and clubs in the city of Manchester.

BBC

One US military service member and two contractors were killed in an Islamist attack on a military base in Kenya.

A mysterious viral pneumonia that has infected dozens in central China is not Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (Sars), health chiefs have said. They also discounted bird flu and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, and said investigations were continuing.

WND

Retired Army Gen. David Petraeus, a former commander of U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and former CIA director, spoke with Foreign Policy this week about the implications of the U.S. airstrike that killed Iranian Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani, calling it “more significant than the killing of Osama bin Laden.”

China’s attacks on freedom are legion, including ongoing repression of religion and a “social credit” system to enforce “correct behavior” and punish dissent. Now the government is demanding blood samples from children. The objective is to build databases for tracking and monitoring them in the name of “maintaining social stability.” Some fear the DNA samples authorities are collecting could be used for harvesting organs.


Mid-Day Snapshot · Jan. 6, 2020

The Foundation

“It is a principle incorporated into the settled policy of America, that as peace is better than war, war is better than tribute.” —James Madison (1816)

Bullet Points: U.S. Counters Iranian Threats

Trump trades threats with Tehran after terminating Qasem Soleimani last week.


Conservative Christians Rally for Trump

They push back against the false narrative that support for this president is un-Christian.


Faithless America?

Churches reflecting and echoing cultural norms more than Biblical reality are losing members.


The Founders’ Version of Representative Government

There’s still a proposed constitutional amendment to greatly increase the size of the House.


Trump and Obama Tie for Most Admired Man

The president’s popularity is on the rise despite — or because of — impeachment.


Devin Nunes Was Right About FISA Abuse

The California Republican was the first to sound the alarm over the FBI’s malfeasance.


Resolution 2020: Return to the Pro-Male Mindset

The only way to lead black people forward is to have a strong and forceful man at the helm.


Video: Texans React to Dumb Gun Quotes

Chad Prather, Dan Crenshaw, and Ted Cruz take down leftist gun-grabbers.


Video: 2019 Was the Darkest Year for Journalists

New York Times reporters cry because people make fun of them, thanks to Donald Trump.



Today’s Opinion

Gary Bauer
Left-Wing Insanity
Todd Starnes
It’s Time for Democrats to Choose Sides: Do You Stand With America?
Cornwall Alliance
Record Heat and Cold Expose Climate Alarmists’ Bias
Burt Prelutsky
I’d Be an Illegal Alien, Too
Michael Reagan
Workers Resist California’s Newest Bad Law
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

Monday Top News Executive Summary

Iraq threatened with sanctions, Biden’s terrible foreign policy, global debt, and more.


Monday Short Cuts

Notable quotables from Ricky Gervais, Colin Kaepernick, Ilhan Omar, and more.



Today’s Meme

For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.

Today’s Cartoon

For more of today’s cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.

Headlines – 1/6/2020

New US Middle East envoy visits Israel to discuss peace plan

Netanyahu: Israel stands with the US in its fight for peace and security

Netanyahu, in apparent stumble, calls Israel ‘nuclear power’

Iraqi PM: US told us Israel bombed pro-Iran militias in Iraq last summer

Iran’s revenge for Soleimani death to include Haifa, Israeli centers: IRGC ex-chief

Iranian official: We’ll turn Tel Aviv and Haifa to dust

Pompeo: We’re Having to Clean Up the Obama Administration’s ‘Mess’ in Iran

Pompeo: Doing nothing would have ‘created more risk’ than killing Soleimani

Escalating U.S.-Iran tensions scramble the politics of Trump’s impeachment

Warren implies Trump had Soleimani killed to distract from impeachment

Iran will feel it must retaliate against US, say military analysts

Trump Notifies Congress Via Tweet Of Potential ‘Disproportionate’ Retaliation Against Iran

From the Arab Spring to Trump’s Twitter Feed, How Social Media Changed Middle East Politics

Trump doubles down on threat to strike cultural sites in Iran

Senior US officials say there is widespread opposition within the Trump administration to targeting cultural sites in Iran

Trump’s Latest Iran Tweet Slammed as Threat ‘To Commit War Crimes’

Iran Condemns Trump as ‘Terrorist in a Suit’ After Attack Threat, Soleimani’s Body Returned to Iran

Iran Puts $80M Bounty on Trump’s Head for Soleimani Hit

Colin Kaepernick attacks US ‘imperialism’ in wake of Suleimani strike

Britain Backs Trump on Iran, Deploys Royal Navy to Persian Gulf

Boris Johnson: Qassem Suleimani was threat to all our interests

Iran Ends Nuclear Limits as Killing of Iranian General Upends Mideast

Iran: We’re not bound by nuke deal, won’t limit enrichment, after Soleimani hit

Merkel, Macron, Johnson urge Iran not to flout nuclear deal

NATO to hold urgent meeting on Monday over Iraq-Iran crisis

‘Million man’ Soleimani funeral procession said to be largest since Khomeini

Hezbollah will avenge father’s death: Soleimani’s daughter

US carried out ‘very stupid act’ by killing Soleimani: Hezbollah deputy leader

Hezbollah chief urges attacks, including suicide bombings, on US bases in region

Iraqi president urges self restraint to Iranian counterpart: Statement

Iraq’s Parliament calls for expulsion of US troops from the country following drone attack

Trump threatens sanctions on Baghdad after lawmakers call on US troops to leave

U.S. Killing of Soleimani Shakes Mideast Markets as Fears of War Grow

Saudi Aramco shares sink, Gulf bourses rocked by Iran-US tensions

Oil prices rise 3.6% on threat of retaliation for Suleimani killing

Hackers briefly deface website for U.S. government library with pro-Iranian message

Iran’s Cyber Attack on Billionaire Adelson Provides Lesson on Strategy

Three Rockets Fall in Baghdad, Two Near U.S. Embassy in Green Zone

US warns its citizens in Saudi Arabia of potential missile, drone attacks

Extremists kill 3 Americans in attack on Kenya military base

Jordanians come out in droves to protest gas import from Israel

Senate Republican eyes rule change to kick start Trump impeachment trial

Fed Has Many Tools to Deter Recession, Former Chairman Bernanke Says

5.6 magnitude earthquake hits North of Ascension Island

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Naze, Japan

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Naze, Japan

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Nichinan, Japan

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Pondaguitan, Philippines

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Saumlaki, Indonesia

Klyuchevskoy volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 20,000ft

Sangay volcano in Ecuador erupts to 19,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 18,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 14,000ft

Kerinci volcano in Indonesia erupts to 14,000ft

Sakurajiam volcano on Japan erupts to 10,000ft

Indonesia flash floods: At least 60 people killed

Australia fires: Rain falls but warnings of huge blazes ahead

New Zealand Sky Turns Orange As ‘Apocalyptic’ Smoke Spreads From Devastating Australia Bushfires

Australia’s Wildfires Are So Hot, They’re Generating Thunder and Lightning

Irwin family has saved over 90,000 animals in Australia wildfires

Antibiotic Makers Struggle, Hurting War on Superbugs

A Mystery Virus Has Infected Dozens in China. Officials Have Ruled Out SARS

China imposes harsh new rules governing religious groups in 2020

China: Authorities cite Hong Kong protests as reason for intensifying persecution of Christians

Christians Beheaded for Christmas, The West Goes Back to Sleep


Apostasy Watch

G.S. Muse – Bombs Or Bibles? The Only Solutions To The Middle East

Mike Oppenheimer – Engle’s Angle

Hillsong: “Standing with you” in 2020 – unless you’re a victim of sexual abuse

Scooby-Doo Investigation Over! Brown Finds God Supernaturally Gifted Todd Bentley!

Todd Bentley Victim from 2017 Speaks out

Michael Brown Practices Cult-Like “Fire Tunnel” Similar to Bethel Church

Dr. Tony Evans’ Wife and Ministry Partner Dr. Lois Evans Dies After Cancer Fight

High Profile Christians Work With Unification Church to Bring Only Begotten Daughter of God to America

Inside the secretive Black Hebrew Israelite sect of Harlem

United Methodists Propose Split: UMC to Start ‘LGBTQ’-Approving Religion While ‘Traditionalists’ Form Own Denom

Abortion was leading cause of death worldwide in 2019 with 42 million killed

Trump Administration Asks Supreme Court to Back Louisiana Abortion Curbs

Pastor Imprisoned for Nine Years After Calling Chinese Communist Party ‘Morally Incompatible With the Christian Faith’


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“A simple layman armed with Scripture is to be believed above a pope or a council without it…” – Martin Luther

Are snowflakes and libertarians right to worry that killing Iranian terrorists will start a war?

WINTERY KNIGHT

Neville Chamberlain Obama: peace in our time Neville Chamberlain Obama: peace in our time

I talked to a few progressives and libertarians on the weekend. They seemed to think that Trump’s decision to sanction two Iranian generals would lead to war. Now, I asked the libertarians and progressives a bit about how World War 2 started. They didn’t know anything about how it started. Let’s see what Trump did in Iran, and then look at WW2 history to see if it is likely to stop or start a war.

Before I start, I just want to say that someone shared a post by far-left filmmaker Michael Moore claiming that Americans had ever heard of Soleimani or the Quds Force. Here are my previous 134 posts on Iran, my previous 9 posts on the Quds Force, and my previous post on Soleimani. Speak for yourself, Michael Moore.

First, who is Solemani, and what is the…

View original post 950 more words

What is the Difference Between Sin, Transgression, and Iniquity? — Ligonier Ministries Blog

From falling short of the mark to crossing the line, the Bible describes sin in a multitude of ways. In this video from one of our live events, R.C. Sproul and Sinclair Ferguson call attention to the only One who is able to pay our immeasurable debt before God.

Just ask Ligonier to get clear and trustworthy answers to your biblical and theological questions. Visit Ask.Ligonier.org.

via What is the Difference Between Sin, Transgression, and Iniquity? — Ligonier Ministries Blog

Kellyanne Conway Blasts Democrats: “I’m Not Going to be Lectured by People Who Voted Affirmatively to Fork Over $130 Billion in Cash to Iran” (VIDEO) — The Gateway Pundit

On January 17, 2016, a cargo plane with $400 million in foreign currencies was secretly sent to Iran in the dead of night.

US officials held the ransom cash until US hostages were released on the tarmac. It was a ransom payment.

Two days after Obama sent Iran the ransom cash the US government wired 13 individual payments for $99,999,999.99 , each with an independent MICR, totaling $1,299,999,999.87.

Already the cash from Obama’s ransom payment to Iran has been traced to terrorist groups in the region.

This past weekend Democrats attacked President Trump after the president called a strike on Iran’s number one terrorist Qassim Soleimani.

On Monday Kellyanne Conway responded to the Democrats naysayers who lectured President Trump after the strike on terror leader Soleimani.

Kellyanne Conway:  I am not going to be lectured by people who voted affirmatively to fork over $130 billion in cash to Iran which helped to fund the Quds force. I don’t think it went to economic development or women’s freedom and liberation, do you?

Via FOX and Friends:

The

via Kellyanne Conway Blasts Democrats: “I’m Not Going to be Lectured by People Who Voted Affirmatively to Fork Over $130 Billion in Cash to Iran” (VIDEO) — The Gateway Pundit