Daily Archives: January 14, 2020

January—14 The Poor Man’s Evening Portion

A certain beggar, named Lazarus.—Luke 16:20.

What an affecting representation hath the Holy Ghost here made of a poor, but gracious man! He was not only poor in the mere wants of life, but exposed in person to great misery; full of bruises, sores, and griefs. His lot was not to be taken into the house of the rich man, but to lie at his gate. He had the sorrow to behold every day some pampered at the tables of the great, caressed and entertained; but for himself, the crumbs which fell from their over-abundance appear to have been denied him. At length his sorrows are ended, and death removes him to the upper world. The rich man also died, and was buried; in hell he lifteth up his eyes, being in torments, and beholdeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. My soul! this is no parable, but a reality; and, in the general view of it, may serve to teach how very widely we err in our estimate of men and things. Who that looked on, but would have concluded that Lazarus was the most miserable of creatures? And who but would have thought the rich man to have been the most happy? Yet it was the aggravation of even hell itself, in the torments of the damned, to behold the felicity of the righteous. Jesus himself hath so marked it: “There shall be weeping, and gnashing of teeth, (saith Christ,) when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and ye yourselves thrust out.” Luke 13:28. But were these the principal points our Lord had in view in this representation? I think not.—My soul! turn the whole over again in solemn consideration, this evening, and see whether, in this certain beggar, there are not to be discovered features of thy Lord? Though he was rich, yet we know for our sakes he became poor, that we through his poverty might be made rich. Though he was in the form of God, and with him it was no robbery to be equal with God, yet he made himself of no reputation, and not merely humbled himself to the condition of a poor man, and one that had not where to lay his head, but he humbled himself to the cursed death of the cross. Was Lazarus poor, full of sores and maladies? And was not Jesus “the man of sorrows and acquainted with grief?” Who, like the Son of God, was ever so wounded? Of whom but Jesus could it ever be said, the Father of mercies, and God of all grace, was pleased, to bruise him and put him to grief? Did the beggar lay unregarded at the gate? And who can overlook the neglect and scorn, the cruelty and ill-usage exercised upon the person of Jesus, when he lay at the door of the rich scribes and pharisees, when arraigned at the bar of Pilate, and when nailed to the cross? Precious Lord Jesus! thy death closed thy sufferings, and angels attended thy triumph unto thy kingdom in heaven! Oh! the blessedness of beholding thee at the right hand of the majesty on high! Oh! the hell upon earth in refusing to hear Moses and the prophets in their predictions concerning thee! And what a tremendous close will it be—the everlasting torments in the hell to come, when thou shalt come, with ten thousand of thy saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them, of all their ungodly deeds, which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches, which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. Then, blessed Lord! every eye shall see thee, and they also which pierced thee; and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of thee. Even so! Amen![1]

 

[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Evening Portion (A New Edition, pp. 17–18). Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle.

Something Else — Daily Devotionals by Thoughts about God

“Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on.” Mark 2:3-4

The paralyzed man had four great friends who were willing to not only carry him but, with tenacity and great effort, make a way for him to meet Jesus. Did the paralyzed man ask them to do all of this? Mark doesn’t tell us. But the next verse says that when Jesus saw the faith of his friends, he told the paralyzed man that his sins were forgiven.

Wait. What? Jesus didn’t say, “Take up your mat and walk” first, which is what everyone probably expected, including the four friends. Jesus saw that something else needed to be healed first — the man’s soul. Then he healed his legs. Both acts astonished even the skeptics in the crowd. But only the latter miracle was visible.

What does this story tell us? Sometimes it takes more than one person to free someone from a life of darkness and sin. Our prayers carry people to the feet of Jesus. However, we must be willing to allow Jesus to heal in the way he deems best. That may mean taking care of something we haven’t detected in our friend or family member. Until it is removed, the person is unable to move on and accept Jesus as Savior. They are paralyzed.

Don’t ever give up on the people for whom you are praying. The Holy Spirit will help you find creative ways to bring them to Jesus. But then, you have to let the Savior do what he needs to do and trust his timing.

Lord, I often cannot see you moving in someone else’s life or see them moving towards a life with you. Keep my faith and trust strong, because you came to earth and died so that everyone might believe in you and thus be saved. Help me to see new ways to help that person see you face to face, and also to realize it is not my job alone, but may take several others, and you, Lord, acting as well. Amen.

By Julie Cosgrove
Used by Permission

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via Something Else — Daily Devotionals by Thoughts about God

January 14 Streams in the Desert

He putteth forth his own sheep.” (John 10:4.)

OH, this is bitter work for Him and us—bitter for us to go, but equally bitter for Him to cause us pain; yet it must be done. It would not be conducive to our true welfare to stay always in one happy and comfortable lot. He therefore puts us forth. The fold is deserted, that the sheep may wander over the bracing mountain slope. The laborers must be thrust out into the harvest, else the golden grain would spoil.

Take heart! it could not be better to stay when He determines otherwise; and if the loving hand of our Lord puts us forth, it must be well. On, in His name, to green pastures and still waters and mountain heights! He goeth before thee. Whatever awaits us is encountered first by Him. Faith’s eye can always discern His majestic presence in front; and when that cannot be seen, it is dangerous to move forward. Bind this comfort to your heart, that the Savior has tried for Himself all the experiences through which He asks you to pass; and He would not ask you to pass through them unless He was sure that they were not too difficult for your feet, or too trying for your strength.

This is the Blessed Life—not anxious to see far in front, nor careful about the next step, not eager to choose the path, nor weighted with the heavy responsibilities of the future, but quietly following behind the Shepherd, one step at a time.

Dark is the sky! and veiled the unknown morrow!

Dark is life’s way, for night is not yet o’er;

The longed-for glimpse I may not meanwhile borrow;

But, this I know, HE GOETH ON BEFORE.

Dangers are nigh! and fears my mind are shaking;

Heart seems to dread what life may hold in store;

But I am His—He knows the way I’m taking,

More blessed still—HE GOETH ON BEFORE.

Doubts cast their weird, unwelcome shadows o’er me,

Doubts that life’s best—life’s choicest things are o’er;

What but His Word can strengthen, can restore me,

And this blest fact; that still HE GOES BEFORE.

HE GOES BEFORE! Be this my consolation!

He goes before! On this my heart would dwell!

He goes before! This guarantees salvation!

HE GOES BEFORE! And therefore all is well.

J. Danson Smith.

The Oriental shepherd was always ahead of his sheep. He was down in front. Any attack upon them had to take him into account. Now God is down in front. He is in the tomorrows. It is tomorrow that fills men with dread. God is there already. All the tomorrows of our life have to pass Him before they can get to us.—F. B. M.

“God is in every tomorrow,

Therefore I live for today,

Certain of finding at sunrise,

Guidance and strength for the way;

Power for each moment of weakness,

Hope for each moment of pain,

Comfort for every sorrow,

Sunshine and joy after rain.”[1]

 

[1] Cowman, L. B. (1925). Streams in the Desert (pp. 15–16). Los Angeles, CA: The Oriental Missionary Society.

Solving Problems Through Prayer — Daily Devotionals by Thoughts about God

Read: 2 Chronicles 20:1-32 (see the bottom)


Problems are an inevitable part of life whether a person is saved or not.

The difference is that once a man or woman becomes a believer, the Father strengthens His child to face every difficulty.

Our omniscient and omnipotent God is greater than any problem. He knows our future circumstances and equips our heart and mind to withstand the coming trial. The moment we encounter a problem, we can turn to His omnipotence. He promised to meet believers’ needs and, therefore, is under His own divine obligation to give guidance and direction. Our first response should always be to call out “Father!” and pray. Immediately, two things take place: The problem’s growth is stunted, and God’s child is reminded of the unique position given those who trust in the sovereign Lord.

God always provides when we face problems. However, that doesn’t mean we should be sitting back and waiting for Him to work out the details. His provision may require an act of faith from us in order to reach a resolution. Experience and Scripture tell us that His solutions are always best, but human strength may falter when we hear what He asks of us in response to our prayers. Thankfully, He also offers the courage to act at the right moment.

Long before a crisis arises or a solution is needed, a wise believer will be seeking God in prayer. In trouble-free times, we can build a foundation of trust and communion with Him that can withstand any hardship. Problems are unavoidable, but as we seek our Father in prayer, He is faithful to deal with our difficulties.

By Dr. Charles Stanley
Used by Permission

2 Chronicles 20:1-32

Jehoshaphat Defeats Moab and Ammon

1 After this, the Moabites and Ammonites with some of the Meunites came to wage war against Jehoshaphat. 
2 Some people came and told Jehoshaphat, “A vast army is coming against you from Edom, from the other side of the Dead Sea. It is already in Hazezon Tamar” (that is, En Gedi). 
3 Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the LORD, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. 
4 The people of Judah came together to seek help from the LORD; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him. 
5 Then Jehoshaphat stood up in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem at the temple of the LORD in the front of the new courtyard 
6 and said: “LORD, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you. 
7 Our God, did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend? 
8 They have lived in it and have built in it a sanctuary for your Name, saying, 
9 ‘If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us.’ 
10 “But now here are men from Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, whose territory you would not allow Israel to invade when they came from Egypt; so they turned away from them and did not destroy them. 
11 See how they are repaying us by coming to drive us out of the possession you gave us as an inheritance. 
12 Our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” 
13 All the men of Judah, with their wives and children and little ones, stood there before the LORD. 
14 Then the Spirit of the LORD came on Jahaziel son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite and descendant of Asaph, as he stood in the assembly. 
15 He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the LORD says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. 
16 Tomorrow march down against them. They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the gorge in the Desert of Jeruel. 
17 You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.’ ” 
18 Jehoshaphat bowed down with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the LORD. 
19 Then some Levites from the Kohathites and Korahites stood up and praised the LORD, the God of Israel, with a very loud voice. 
20 Early in the morning they left for the Desert of Tekoa. As they set out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the LORD your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful.” 
21 After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the LORD and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: “Give thanks to the LORD, for his love endures forever.” 
22 As they began to sing and praise, the LORD set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. 
23 The Ammonites and Moabites rose up against the men from Mount Seir to destroy and annihilate them. After they finished slaughtering the men from Seir, they helped to destroy one another. 
24 When the men of Judah came to the place that overlooks the desert and looked toward the vast army, they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground; no one had escaped. 
25 So Jehoshaphat and his men went to carry off their plunder, and they found among them a great amount of equipment and clothing and also articles of value—more than they could take away. There was so much plunder that it took three days to collect it. 
26 On the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Berakah, where they praised the LORD. This is why it is called the Valley of Berakah to this day. 
27 Then, led by Jehoshaphat, all the men of Judah and Jerusalem returned joyfully to Jerusalem, for the LORD had given them cause to rejoice over their enemies. 
28 They entered Jerusalem and went to the temple of the LORD with harps and lyres and trumpets. 
29 The fear of God came on all the surrounding kingdoms when they heard how the LORD had fought against the enemies of Israel. 
30 And the kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side.

The End of Jehoshaphat’s Reign

31 So Jehoshaphat reigned over Judah. He was thirty-five years old when he became king of Judah, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-five years. His mother’s name was Azubah daughter of Shilhi. 
32 He followed the ways of his father Asa and did not stray from them; he did what was right in the eyes of the LORD.

Comments: If you don’t see our response form, please go to https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/charles-stanley_solving-problems/

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

via Solving Problems Through Prayer — Daily Devotionals by Thoughts about God

January 14th The D. L. Moody Year Book

And one cried unto another, and said: Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory.—Isaiah 6:3.

WHEN we see the holiness of God, we shall adore and magnify Him. Moses learned this lesson. God told him to take his shoes from off his feet, for the place whereon he stood was holy ground. When we hear men trying to make out that they are holy, and speaking about their holiness, they make light of the holiness of God. It is His holiness that we need to think and speak about; when we do that, we shall be prostrate in the dust.[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.) (p. 16). East Northfield, MA: The Bookstore.

3 Warnings for Preachers from E.M. Bounds | ChuckLawless.com

E.M. Bounds wrote about prayer and the church more than a century ago, but these warnings from The Weapon Prayer are still relevant for preachers today:

  • Sacred work,–Church activities–may so engage and absorb us as to hinder praying, and when this is the case, evil results always follow. It is better to let the work go by default than to let the praying go by neglect. . . . How easy to neglect prayer or abbreviate our praying simply by the plea that we have Church work on our hands. Satan has effectively disarmed us when he can keep us too busy doing things to stop and pray.”[1]
  • Praying preachers have always brought the greater glory to God, have moved His Gospel onward with its greatest, speediest rate and power. A non-praying preacher and a non-praying Church may flourish outwardly and advance in many aspects of their life. Both preacher and church may become synonyms for success, but unless it rest on a praying basis all success will eventually crumble into deadened life and ultimate decay.”[2]
  • Preachers of the present age excel those of the past in many, possibly in all, human elements of success. They are well abreast of the age in learning, research, and intellectual vigour. But these things neither insure ‘power from on high’ nor guarantee a live, thriving religious experience, or righteous life. . . . Herein lies the great danger menacing the pulpit of today. All around us we see a tendency to substitute human gifts and worldly attainments for that supernatural, inward power which comes from on high in answer to earnest prayer.”[3]

Preacher, what is the condition of your prayer life today?

__________________

[1] E. M. Bounds, The Weapon of Prayer (p. 3). Kindle Edition.

[2] Ibid., 54.

[3] Ibid., 58.

Source: 3 Warnings for Preachers from E.M. Bounds

What’s in phase one of the US-China trade deal? | RT – Daily news

Washington and Beijing are set to finalize the first part of their trade agreement on Tuesday, paving the way for a comprehensive accord that may end the long-running trade war between the world’s two biggest economies.

Since the two sides reached the trade breakthrough in December, they have been further reviewing and translating the document. On Sunday, Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin announced that Beijing’s commitments had not changed during the translation and said the official text is set to be available on the day of the signing.

Also on rt.com

Trump’s tariffs hurt more than helped, leading to job losses & higher prices – Fed study

It was announced earlier that China has agreed to boost purchases of American products to the total of US$200 billion over the next two years. The increases in imports will span four industries, according to sources cited by South China Morning Post and Politico.

Manufactured goods are expected to see the highest increase, with China reportedly pledging to buy $75 billion worth of the products. The purchases could include autos, auto parts, aircraft, agricultural machinery, medical devices and semiconductors, Reuters said, putting the figure even higher at $80 billion.

Additionally, Beijing will purchase $50 billion worth of energy, $40 billion in agriculture and between $35 and $40 billion in services, according to the reports.

Also on rt.com

Is Beijing backpedaling on key issue of US-China trade deal?

The accord also covers such areas as intellectual property protection, technology transfer, currency, and market access to key sectors in the Chinese economy.

For its part, China has been very cautious with public comments on the matter and is yet to confirm its purchase commitments. Last week, Beijing said that it was not going to increase its annual import quotas for corn, wheat, or rice, raising some concerns that it would therefore be difficult to fulfil its pledges on farm goods.

Source: What’s in phase one of the US-China trade deal?

Franklin Graham: Dems Hate Trump Because He Hasn’t ‘Bowed Down’ to Them

The Rev. Franklin Graham said Monday that there has never before been such hatred as that of Democrats and liberal media for President Donald Trump.

Source: Franklin Graham: Dems Hate Trump Because He Hasn’t ‘Bowed Down’ to Them

ICYMI: Meghan living the dream, marry a prince, quit the job, but keep the cash! | RT – Daily news

Meghan Markle has shown every little girl how to live the dream: Find your prince, marry him, quit the job after a few years, keep the cash, and sign for Disney.

Prince Harry and Meghan are giving the traditional fairytale a modern twist. The palaces, the parades, and the press got a little too much for them so they’re moving to Canada to live the quiet life, and will only cash in on the royal connections a tiny bit.

ICYMI’s Polly Boiko has been inspired.

Source: ICYMI: Meghan living the dream, marry a prince, quit the job, but keep the cash!

Max Lucado’s Endorsement of Jen Hatmaker: What it Means and Why it Matters — Christian Research Network

[Paul’s] comments on unity were actually followed by specific instructions for Christians to reject their old way of life and to pursue holiness and Christlike compassion. Paul warns the readers to avoid even a hint of sexual immorality or greed. He advises them not to partner with anyone who is openly disobedient to Christ but instead to live as children of the light. So, according to Paul, Christian unity can only exist within the framework of God’s holiness.*

(Alisa Childers) In the past couple of years, Jen Hatmaker has received quite a bit of attention, not only as a New York Times best-selling author and social media sensation, but also as one of the most high-profile Christians to affirm same-sex marriage. This ignited a controversy that lit up the blogosphere with equal parts disagreement  and praise.

Despite being given the boot by Southern Baptist retailer LifeWay, her following has slowly gained steam, establishing her as a successful podcaster (her podcast, For The Love! is regularly found in the iTunes top 10 list of its category) and a persuasive voice in the progressive Christian movement.

Her shift on same-sex marriage isn’t the only indicator that her beliefs about Christianity have changed. Since its launch in 2017, Hatmaker’s podcast has been a veritable “who’s who” of progressive Christian leaders such as Sarah Bessey, Rachel Held Evans, Pete Enns, Nadia Bolz-Weber, Richard Rohr, Jeff Chu, Mike McHargue (“Science Mike”), Barbara Brown Taylor, Austin Channing Brown, Lisa Sharon Harper, Rachel Hollis, and Glennon Doyle. As I’ve written about previously, progressive Christianity affirms a different gospel.

Hatmaker has ushered in 2020 with a new podcast series called. “For the Love of Faith Icons” in which she will interview “our most beloved faith leaders as we ask our deepest questions and hear where they’ve found peace and strength to endure.” Hatmaker notes that each of these leaders “show us that our faith can expand, evolve, and be inclusive while never losing the heart of the Gospel and our belief in a God who is full of grace and mercy.”

The first leader Hatmaker invited was Evangelical pastor Max Lucado, a best-selling author whose books have sold over 100 million copies worldwide. Beloved by young and old alike, there is almost no conservative or evangelical community that hasn’t been impacted by Lucado’s work.

Lucado began the episode by singing Hatmaker’s praises, indicating that he is a fan of her work and saying, “I think so highly of you. You energize me, to listen to your podcast…you make it so easy and delightful, and yet profound at the same time.”  View article →

Research

via Max Lucado’s Endorsement of Jen Hatmaker: What it Means and Why it Matters — Christian Research Network