Daily Archives: June 20, 2020

June 20 Your Destiny

 

For this reason I was born.
(John 18:37, NIV)

“Without purpose, your life is just an experiment! Jesus could say, “For this reason I was born.” Can you say that your present circumstances don’t disqualify you? When God called Gideon “a mighty man of valor” he was hiding in a cave. (See Judges 8:12.) But God wasn’t speaking to his circumstances; He was speaking to the destiny that was inside him!

You say, “How can I recognize my destiny?” First, it’s a desire that won’t let you go. Paul cried, “Woe unto me, if I preach not the Gospel!” (1 Corinthians 9:16). Being a queen was Esther’s position, but saving God’s people was her destiny. That’s why she risked everything and said, “If I perish, I perish” (Esther 4:16). We’re not what’s important—God’s purpose is!

Second, your destiny will be more than a job, it’ll be a joy. Sure there’ll be sacrifices, but through it all you’ll say like David, “I delight to do Thy will, O my God” (Psalm 40:8). What a way to live!

Third, your destiny will unlock your creativity. It will open doors and bring the right people to you. God’s purpose always carries with it God’s favor! Finally, your destiny fulfilled is the only thing you’ll want to face God with.

 

He won’t say “well done” over the money you’ve made or the reputation you’ve built. He’ll only say it because you found and fulfilled His purpose.[1]

 

[1] Gass, B. (1998). A Fresh Word For Today : 365 Insights For Daily Living (p. 171). Alachua, FL: Bridge-Logos Publishers.

June 20 A Sacrifice of Praise

 

Hebrews 13:15

By Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.

In the month that lies before you, you’ll have countless opportunities for sacrifice. Think of that person at work whom you struggle to love. What if you visualize yourself placing that relationship upon the altar as an offering of praise to God?

Your marriage needs to be offered up as a sacrifice every day. So does the way you spend your free time. If you begin to make a list of the things you could offer up in sacrifice, you might never stop writing. The truth, you see, is that when your life becomes a temple, a home for Jesus, you begin to see His face in the faces of all those who surround you. You begin to treat them as you would treat Him. You begin to realize that all ground is holy ground, because God is there. You begin to see every situation as a potential act of worship, a time to magnify the name of the Lord.

Solitude. Service. Struggles. And ultimately, the one that encapsulates them all: sacrifice. Worship in the midst of these. When that happens, be prepared to throw open the doors of your life. The world is waiting to see the person you will become when you live every moment in the wonder of worship.[1]

 

[1] Jeremiah, D. (2002). Sanctuary: finding moments of refuge in the presence of God (p. 179). Nashville, TN: Integrity Publishers.

Ben Shapiro: ‘There’s No Way’ Civil Rights Act Was Meant to Encompass Gender Identity — CBN News feeds

U.S. Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that gender identity is included under the protections of the federal civil rights law.

Responding to the ruling, an incredulous Ben Shapiro spoke out on The Glenn Beck Radio program, saying “there’s no way” this was the intention of the Civil Rights Act. One of the ways we know this to be true, Shapiro argued, was that Democrats specifically wrote the Equality Act knowing gender identity protections were explicitly not in the Civil Rights Act.

This Isn’t How People Used to Define ‘Sex’

“It’s very clear however people might read that today in 2020, that’s nowhere near how those words were understood in 1964 and for many decades thereafter,” Judicial Crisis Network’s Carrie Severino told CBN News.

She pointed out Congress came up with Title VII, which outlaws sex discrimination, so only Congress should be able to define what it actually meant by “sex.”

John Bursch echoed that thought. He represented the funeral home sued by a male employee who was fired after announcing he wanted to identify as a woman.

Bursch stated, “Americans must be able to rely on what the law says.  That’s why I’m so disappointed by what a majority of the justices were unwilling to affirm that commonsense principle.  As Justice Alito explained in his dissent, ‘There is only one word for what the Court has done today: legislation. Redefining ‘sex’ as the court did to include gender identity and sexual orientation creates chaos, and it’s unfair to women and girls in athletics and many other contexts.”

Opens a Pandora’s Box of Thorny Questions

The case involved gay and lesbian workers fired from their jobs and a transgender man at a funeral home. But the case has broad implications outside the workplace and leaves many questions to be settled.

Mary Beth Waddell, Family Research Council’s senior legislative assistant, asked, “Is it going to be discrimination to not use preferred pronouns? Will employers now be required to cover healthcare when it comes to different transition-related things? What about religious employers?”

Severino said the list of controversial areas goes on: “Things like bathroom usage. Things like whether women’s sports can continue to exist as we know it if they’re forced to allow men to participate in those same sports. A lot of religious freedom questions.”

Alliance Defending Freedom’s Kate Anderson represented a women’s shelter in Alaska. She said Anchorage officials told those running the shelter, “It had to allow a biological man who identified as female into the shelter where he would sleep mere feet from women, many of whom had been abused, trafficked, raped. These are women who because of their past trauma really couldn’t be around a biological male while they slept.”

She worries many more such incidents will occur now in the aftermath of this ruling.

‘Poses a Grave Threat’ Which ‘Will have Seismic Implications for Religious Liberty’

As for people of faith, Tony Perkins at Family Research Council stated, “Allowing judges to rewrite the Civil Rights Act to add gender identity and sexual orientation as protected classes pose a grave threat to religious liberty. We’ve already witnessed in recent years how courts have used the redefinition of words as a battering ram to crush faith-based businesses and organizations.”

Trying to find a silver lining around a ruling he didn’t much like, First Liberty Institute’s Kelly Shackelford said, “We are grateful that the Supreme Court was clear in the opinion that this federal statute does not overrule peoples’ religious freedoms. We will find out in the very near future whether this is a hollow promise or a truthful assurance that the religious liberty of all Americans will be protected.”

Such assurances in the Obergefell ruling that legalized same-sex marriage gave some religious believers comfort back when that ruling came out in 2015.   But numerous lawsuits and state actions have been launched since against Christians who refused to do business with those wanting to celebrate their same-sex nuptials.

Southern Baptist Convention’s Russell Moore predicted, “The ruling also will have seismic implications for religious liberty, setting off potentially years of lawsuits and court struggles, about what this means, for example, for religious organizations with religious convictions about the meaning of sex and sexuality.
The ruling will set off years of lawsuits and court struggles.”

‘Will Have a Monumental Effect on all of American Society’

And the National Association of Evangelicals said, “By reading into a venerable civil rights law newly discovered protected classes, the Supreme Court has teed up years of social conflict. Judicial decisions by their nature are blunt instruments between two parties that do not allow for nuanced distinctions between types of employers, such as religious employers, and types of employment decisions.”

“While the Court majority may claim that its decision today only applies to employment decisions, the reality is that it will have a monumental effect on all of American society,” warned Terry Schilling of the American Principles Project.  “Will women’s sports leagues now have to admit any male athlete who identifies as a female? Will private spaces for women — such as bathrooms, locker rooms, and even battered women’s shelters — now be found to violate federal law as well? All these issues and more are now up for grabs.”

ADF’s Anderson told CBN News, “We’re concerned about the way that this can impact other laws.  Certainly, this is a decision about employment law, but it can transfer over and we’re concerned about that in other contexts.  We’ve seen changes in these types of laws at a local level and in other states, and those have caused problems for women in particular, as well as for employer and conscience rights.”

“Civil rights laws prohibiting sex discrimination were intended to protect women. Now, the Supreme Court in its arrogance has put those hard-won protections at risk,” Schilling added.  He concluded, “Congress must find its backbone, take back its legislative authority stolen by the Court, and act to ensure the rights of future generations of Americans — and particularly women — are secured from the consequences of this horrendous decision.”

What the Court did NOT Take Up

There was also the matter of what the court did NOT decide to do Monday.

It refused to weigh in on any suits involving police officers and what’s known as “qualified immunity,” which protects them from prosecution in many cases involving their use of force. That comes after these many days of demonstrations and sometimes violent protesting and looting over the alleged police slaying of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May.

And the court refused to get involved with a number of gun cases. Advocates for the Second Amendment right to bear arms were hoping the court’s new conservative majority might take up one or some of these cases to shore up that right. The court hasn’t released a major ruling dealing with guns now for a decade.

 

via Ben Shapiro: ‘There’s No Way’ Civil Rights Act Was Meant to Encompass Gender Identity — CBN News feeds

June 20, 2020 Evening Verse Of The Day

The Precept of True Greatness

It is not so among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; (20:26–27)

Jesus turned the world’s greatness upside down. The self-serving, self-promoting, self-glorying ways of the world are the antithesis of spiritual greatness. They have no place in God’s kingdom and are not to be so among you, Jesus told the Twelve. In many different ways He had taught them what He told Pilate: “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36).

The world’s way of greatness is like a pyramid. The prestige and power of the great person is built on the many subordinate persons beneath him. But in the kingdom, the pyramid is inverted. As the great commentator R. C. H. Lenski has observed, God’s “great men are not sitting on top of lesser men, but bearing lesser men on their backs.”

Unfortunately, however, there are still many people in the church who, like James and John, continually seek recognition, prestige, and power by manipulating and controlling others to their own selfish advantage. A tragic number of Christian leaders and celebrities have gained great followings by appealing to people’s emotions and worldly appetites. But that is not to be so among Christ’s disciples today any more than among the Twelve.

Jesus went on to explain that it is not wrong to desire great usefulness to God, only wrong to seek the world’s kind of greatness. Paul assures us that “it is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do” (1 Tim. 3:1). As the apostle goes on to point out (vv. 2–7), the standards for an overseer in Christ’s church are high. But the man who is willing to meet those standards for the Lord’s sake and in the Lord’s power will have the Lord’s blessing.

Therefore, Jesus said, “Whoever wishes to become great among you, that is, great by God’s standards rather than men’s, shall be your servant.” He was not, as some have suggested, contradicting what He had just taught. He was speaking of an entirely different kind of greatness than the sort James and John were seeking and that the world promotes. This kind of greatness is pleasing to God, because it is humble and self-giving rather than proud and self-serving. The way to the world’s greatness is through pleasing and being served by men; the way to God’s greatness is through pleasing Him and serving others in His name. In God’s eyes, the one who is great is the one who is a willing servant.

It is not only not wrong but very much right to seek eternal glory, because that glory is God-given. Paul declared, “Nor did we seek glory from men, either from you or from others, even though as apostles of Christ we might have asserted our authority” (1 Thess. 2:6). But he also declared to those same believers in Thessalonica that “it was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thess. 2:14). The way to that divine and eternal glory, which comes from God, is the way of renouncing the worldly and temporal glory that comes from men. The way to God’s glory is the way of the servant. Man’s focus must be on rendering spiritual service with consummate excellence and leaving the success of that service to the Lord.

Jesus was speaking of being a true servant, not a sham. He did not have in mind the “public servant” who uses his office for personal gain and power. Godly greatness comes from genuine humility. Only God knows a person’s heart, and Paul assures us that the Lord “will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God” (1 Cor. 4:5).

Servant is from diakonos, from which the term deacon is derived. The original Greek word was purely secular, referring to a person who did menial labor, such as house cleaning or serving tables. It was not necessarily a term of dishonor but simply described the lowest level of hired help, who needed little training or skill.

But Christ elevated diakonos to a place of great significance, using it to describe His most faithful and favored disciples. He could have chosen any number of more noble words to characterize obedient discipleship, but He chose this one because it best reflects the selfless, humble life that He honors. It is also the life that He Himself exemplified, as He would go on to say (v. 28).

The surest mark of the true servant is willing sacrifice for the sake of others in the name of Christ. The sham servant avoids suffering, while the true servant accepts it.

Paul had the pure, genuine heart of a servant. He readily acknowledged his apostleship and the divine authority that came with that unique, high office. But he even more readily acknowledged that his office and authority belonged to God and were only entrusted to him as a steward (1 Cor. 4:1). To the proud, self-centered, factious, and worldly Corinthians he said, “What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one” (1 Cor. 3:5). Later in that letter he says sarcastically,

You are already filled, you have already become rich, you have become kings without us.… For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are prudent in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are distinguished, but we are without honor. To this present hour we are both hungry and thirsty, and are poorly clothed, and are roughly treated, and are homeless; and we toil, working with our own hands; when we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure; when we are slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become as the scum of the world, the dregs of all things, even until now” (4:8–13)

In his book A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life, William Law writes,

Let every day be a day of humility; condescend to all the weaknesses and infirmities of your fellow-creatures, cover their frailties, love their excellencies, encourage their virtues, relieve their wants, rejoice in their prosperities, compassionate their distress, receive their friendship, overlook their unkindness, forgive their malice, be a servant of servants, and condescend to do the lowliest offices of the lowest of mankind.

Another great saint of past years, Samuel Brengle, wrote,

If I appear great in their eyes, the Lord is most graciously helping me to see how absolutely nothing I am without Him, and helping me to keep little in my own eyes. He does use me. But I am so concerned that He uses me and that it is not of me the work is done. The axe cannot boast of the trees it has cut down. It could do nothing but for the woodsman. He made it, he sharpened it, and he used it. The moment he throws it aside, it becomes only old iron. O That I may never lose sight of this. (Quoted in Oswald Sanders, Spiritual Leadership [Chicago: Moody, 1967], p. 58.)

Jesus reiterated and intensified His description of God’s way to greatness: “Whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.” The position and work of a slave were much lower and demeaning even than those of a servant. A servant was to some degree his own person. He often owned little more than the clothes on his back, but he was free to go where he wanted and to work or not work as he pleased. But a slave (doulos) did not belong to himself but to his master and could go only where the master wanted him to go and do only what the master wanted him to do. He did not belong to himself but was the personal property of someone else.

In several of his letters Paul identified himself as Christ’s slave (doulos) even before identifying himself as His apostle. He greeted the Romans with the words, “Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle” (Rom. 1:1; cf. Phil. 1:1; Titus 1:1). That is why he could say, “If we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s” (Rom. 14:8). Slaves were the property of their owners and could therefore be bought and sold. Like such a slave, Christians “have been bought with a price” (1 Cor. 6:20; cf. 7:23) and are the property of the Lord who bought them with His own precious blood (1 Pet. 1:18–19).

Paul greatly desired to be exalted and to receive glory, but the exaltation and glory he sought were God’s and he sought them in God’s way, through the suffering of servanthood and the bondage of slavery. It was said of one leader in the early church that “He belonged to that class of early martyrs whose passionate soul made an early holocaust of the physical man.”

In one of her most beautiful poems Amy Carmichael wrote,

Hast thou no scar?

No hidden scar on foot, or side, or hand?

I hear thee sung as mighty in the land,

I hear them hail thy bright ascendant star;

Hast thou no scar?

Hast thou no wound?

Yet, I was wounded by the archers, spent.

Leaned me against the tree to die, and rent

By ravening beasts that compassed me, I swooned:

Hast thou no wound?

No wound? No scar?

Yes, as the master shall the servant be,

And pierced are the feet that follow Me;

But thine are whole. Can he have followed far

Who has no wound? No scar?

The cost of true greatness is humble, selfless, sacrificial service. The Christian who desires to be great and first in the kingdom is the one who is willing to serve in the hard place, the uncomfortable place, the lonely place, the demanding place, the place where he is not appreciated and may even be persecuted. Knowing that time is short and eternity long, he is willing to spend and be spent. He is willing to work for excellence without becoming proud, to withstand criticism without becoming bitter, to be misjudged without becoming defensive, and to withstand suffering without succumbing to self-pity.

When faithful believers have done everything they can for the Lord to the limit of their abilities and energy, they say to Him, “We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done” (Luke 17:10). It is to such disciples that the Lord will say in return, “Well done, good and faithful slave; … enter into the joy of your master” (Matt. 25:21).

William Barclay has succinctly commented, “The world may assess a man’s greatness by the number of people whom he controls and who are at his beck and call; or by his intellectual standing and his academic eminence; or by the number of committees of which he is a member; or by the size of his bank balance and the material possessions which he has amassed; but in the assessment of Jesus Christ these things are irrelevant.”[1]


26–27 In contrast with the world’s social conventions Jesus lays down an alternative agenda. For the imperatival future tenses see p. 755, nn. 4, 5. The “you” who must operate by a different standard are initially, of course, the Twelve, but the principle applies to all who belong to the kingdom of heaven. The demand that such people should “become like children” and accept the lowest position in order to be great (18:3–4) is now rephrased in terms which more directly echo the social realities of the day, “servant” and “slave.” The former term, diakonos, occurs here for the first time in Matthew, but its verb, diakoneō, has appeared in 4:11 and 8:15 for the practical “taking care” which focuses on household duties, especially the provision of food; it is about doing things for other people rather than for oneself. Doulos, “slave,” has been more prominent, denoting someone who is not free to do what they wish, but is bound to obey a master (8:9; 10:24); note especially the verb douleuō in 6:24 for a person’s being under the control of either God or wealth. The doulos, even more than the diakonos, is at the bottom of the pecking order; they are the last, who under God’s rule are the first. If there is to be ambition in the service of God (note the repeated “whoever wants”), it must be the ambition to serve others (cf. Paul’s similar challenge in a different context, 1 Cor 14:12).[2]


The benevolent use of power (20:26–27)

‘It will not be so with you. On the contrary [the strong adversative alla], whoever wants to become great among you must be [the imperatival future estai] your servant [diakonos], and whoever wants to be first among you must be [estai] your slave [doulos].’ God and Messiah will greatly empower these apostles and their successors for the global mission (Matt. 28:18–20). In using these powers, they will be sorely tempted to emulate those pagan rulers. ‘A minister who seeks to control people is acting both out of and into pride. Pride moves him to wield the power, and wielding the power bolsters his pride; pride is both the root and the fruit of power. The minister may more easily dominate others when he wields power under a pretext of humility—a deception assured of some success, given the perception of this profession as one of service to others.’

The way to greatness is categorically different (Matt. 20:26a). All disciples are slaves of Jesus (10:24–25) [with two instances of doulos] and 24:45–50 [with four]; so all of them, leaders included, are answerable to him (23:8–10). They show their allegiance to him by becoming slaves (douloi) and servants (diakonoi) to his people (20:26–27; 23:11). By thus loving their Christian neighbors, they show that they love God (22:37–39), both God the Father and God the Son.

Let leaders in the church beware lest they domineer persons who belong to God, and whom God has entrusted to them (18:1–14). Apostles echo Jesus’ language in 2 Corinthians 1:24, ‘not that we lord it over you’ (the verb kyrieuō, as in Luke 22:25, parallel to Matt. 20:25), and in 1 Peter 5:3, ‘not lording it over those in your care’ (the verb katakyrieuō, as in Matt. 20:25). Persons truly secure in who they are as servants of Jesus have no need to domineer others; embraced by the love of God’s own Son, their self-worth does not depend on esteeming themselves superior to others (on the contrary, Phil. 2:1–4). Moreover, as those who emulate Jesus, they discover that sacrificial service is the very place where God releases his stupendous power (cf. 2 Cor. 4:7–12; 12:9–10). Accordingly, disciples’ greatness lies not merely beyond present service (Matt. 23:12), but in the service as well (23:11). When all believers heed the instructions of 20:26–27, ‘the equality of the workers’ (cf. comments on 20:1–16) will be visibly evident to both church and watching world (cf. John 13:34–35). As Jesus says in Luke 22:26 (parallel to Matt. 20:26–27), ‘let the greatest among you become like the youngest, and the one who leads like the one who serves.’[3]


20:26 whoever wants to become great … must be your servant. Jesus has already responded to the disciples’ query about greatness, clearly a status question (18:1). Here he defines greatness in such a way as to derail all attempts to assume or claim status prerogatives. As Ulrich Luz suggests, “The issue … is not to present a new way to greatness—a more noble way than that of authority and power; it is rather that the desire to be great is itself to be eliminated, since even the most subtle desire for greatness for oneself corrupts genuine service.”[4]


Ver. 26.—It shall not be so among you. There is good authority for reading “is” instead of “shall be.” The new order of things was already prepared. In Messiah’s kingdom a contrary rule holds good. There the governors rule solely for the good of the flock, with no self-seeking, and serving no private interests. Whosoever will be (ὃς ἐὰν θέλῃ … γενέσθαι: whosoever would fain become) great among you … minister (διάκονος). Taking for granted that there will be ranks and gradations of office in the Church, Christ lays down the rule that men become governors therein in order that they may serve their brethren, be the ministers of those who are subject to them. So the pope, in his official documents, with a verbally proper humility, terms himself, “Servus servorum Dei.”[5]


26. It shall not be so among you. There can be no doubt that Christ refers to the foolish imagination by which he saw that the apostles were deceived. “It is foolish and improper in you,” he says, “to imagine a kingdom, which is unsuitable to me; and therefore, if you desire to serve me faithfully, you must resort to a different method, which is, that each of you may strive to serve others.” But whoever wishes to be great among you, let him be your servant. These words are employed in an unusual sense; for ambition does not allow a man to be devoted, or, rather, to be subject to his brethren. Abject flattery, I do acknowledge, is practised by those who aspire to honours, but nothing is farther from their intention than to serve. But Christ’s meaning is not difficult to be perceived. As every man is carried away by a love of himself, he declares that this passion ought to be directed to a different object. Let the only greatness, eminence, and rank, which you desire, be, to submit to your brethren; and let this be your primacy, to be the servants of all.[6]


20:26 “whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave” Jesus did not condemn their ambition for greatness, but defined its true parameters in light of one’s commitment to Him. In Jesus’ kingdom leadership is servanthood (cf. 23:11; Mark 9:35; 10:43)![7]


26, 27. Not like that shall it be among you; rather, whoever wishes to become great among you let him be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you let him be your humble attendant. Essentially this is the teaching of 18:1 ff. See also 10:39; 16:24, 25; Luke 9:23, 24. The form given to it is new and refreshing. It is an unforgettable paradox. Jesus is saying that in the kingdom over which he reigns greatness is obtained by pursuing a course of action which is the exact opposite of that which is followed in the unbelieving world. Greatness consists in self-giving, in the outpouring of the self in service to others, for the glory of God. To be great means to love. See John 13:34; 1 Cor. 13; Col. 3:14; 1 John 3:14; 4:8; 1 Peter 4:8. Were not the following—the list is incomplete—truly great? Was not childlike faith in God coupled with loving service to men (according to the rule of Gal. 6:10), characteristic of them all?

Abraham (Gen. 13:8, 9; 14:14–16; 15:6; 18:22–33; 22:15–18)

Moses (Exod. 32:32)

Joshua (Josh. 24:14, 15)

Samuel (1 Sam. 7:5)

David (Ps. 23; 103)

Jonathan (1 Sam. 23:16)

Nehemiah (Neh. 1:4 ff.)

The commended centurion (Matt. 8:5–13)

Barnabas (Acts 4:36; 11:22–26)

Stephen (Acts 6:8)

Paul, Silas, and Timothy (1 Thess. 1:1, 9; 2:1–12)

Epaphroditus (Phil. 2:25–30; 4:18)

Epaphras (Col. 1:7, 8; 4:12, 13)

Luke (Col. 4:14)

Ruth (Ruth 1:16–18)

Hannah (1 Sam. 1:27, 28)

Abigail (1 Sam. 25:18–42)

The “great woman” of Shunem (2 Kings 4:8–10)

Naaman’s servant-girl (2 Kings 5:1 ff.)

Mary, the mother of Jesus (Luke 1:38, 46–55; Acts 1:14)

Elizabeth (Luke 1:39–45)

The “generous” widow (Luke 21:1–4)

Mary and Martha (John 11:1, 2; 12:1–8)

Dorcas (Acts 9:36–42)

Lydia (Acts 16:14, 15, 40)

Priscilla and Aquila (Acts 18:26)

It is the inverted pyramid, the believer being at the bottom—being the servant, the humble attendant of all others—that symbolizes the position of the Christian as, with simple trust in God and love for all men, he continues on his way to the mansions of glory. In doing this is he not following in the footsteps of his Lord and Savior? See Luke 22:27; John 13:34, 35.[8]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1985). Matthew (Vol. 3, pp. 240–243). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] France, R. T. (2007). The Gospel of Matthew (p. 760). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publication Co.

[3] Chamblin, J. K. (2010). Matthew: A Mentor Commentary (pp. 978–980). Ross-shire, Great Britain: Mentor.

[4] Brown, J. K. (2015). Matthew. (M. L. Strauss & J. H. Walton, Eds.) (p. 234). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[5] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). St. Matthew (Vol. 2, p. 282). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

[6] Calvin, J., & Pringle, W. (2010). Commentary on a Harmony of the Evangelists Matthew, Mark, and Luke (Vol. 2, p. 426). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[7] Utley, R. J. (2000). The First Christian Primer: Matthew (Vol. Volume 9, p. 167). Marshall, TX: Bible Lessons International.

[8] Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953–2001). Exposition of the Gospel According to Matthew (Vol. 9, pp. 747–749). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

Saturday Sampler: June 14 — June 20 — The Outspoken TULIP

People have a lot of misconceptions about Calvinists. Tim Challies demonstrates why some of us reinforce The One About Calvinism and Evangelism through our disobedient behavior. He encourages us to practice what we preach.

Elizabeth Prata reminds readers of The End Time You’re not wonderful in an effort to correct popular evangelical teachings. Oh how we need more people to stand up for the truth as boldly as she does!

Some of you may object to God Doesn’t Listen to Them by Jordan Standridge, which he contributes to The Cripplegate this week. Please read it anyway. And test it against Scripture. You might find that Standridge has a Biblical foundation for what he says.

Leslie A asks Christian, Why Are You Joining the World? Her Growing 4 Life blog often challenges worldliness in believers, and this latest piece is a timely addition to her body of work.

The Grace to You blog reprises One Race, One Remedy by Darrell B. Harrison and Cameron Buettel, which first appeared on the blog on May 9, 2019. Their remarks take us back to God’s Word, which is always the best place to find answers.

Over on Into the Foolishness of God, SharaC reminds us that The Gospel Isn’t Patronizing as she analyzes the evangelical response to the current political climate. I applaud her courage to stand against efforts to modify Christianity.

For a refresher on Discerning false teachers, visit Femina Sola Gratia Theology for excellent guidelines from Anna Wood. You might want to bookmark it as a reference tool.

via Saturday Sampler: June 14 — June 20 — The Outspoken TULIP

June—20 The Poor Man’s Evening Portion

 

Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given.—Ephesians 3:8.

My soul! hear what the great apostle to the Gentiles speaks of himself. He calls himself “less than the least;” a thing almost impossible in itself: but he doth it with a view to magnify the riches, the exceeding great riches of grace. And in the same moment that he views himself so low and abject, he is lost in amazement at beholding the exalted office to which he was called. So that Paul cries out, “Unto me,” a poor, sinful, unworthy creature of the earth, “to me was this grace given.” My soul! leave for a moment the view of the apostle, and make the subject personal, by looking to a renewed instance of that grace, most freely given, in a case so far surpassing Paul in the greatness and undeservedness of it, as the imagination can conceive. Perhaps every sinner feels the same: this at least is certain, all may well feel the same. But the subject is not properly improved, either in the apostle’s instance, or any other, unless there be connected with it the one great object of the whole,—the Redeemer’s glory. This was, and is, the first and ultimate design for which grace was given. “This people,” saith Jehovah, speaking of the redeemed in Christ, “have I formed for myself, they shall show forth my praise.” (Isaiah 43:21.) And how do they show forth the Lord’s praise, but by the gifts of the Lord’s grace? When Jesus calleth a poor sinner, and manifests himself to him, this is the display of his grace: for it is on such, more especially, that he maketh his grace to shine. It would have been no grace had we merited his favour. But because we merit nothing, yea, are justly entitled to punishment, and yet God gives mercy, grace, and favour, this is what illustrates the exceeding riches of his grace, and demonstrates God’s love to be indeed the love of God which passeth knowledge, because it differs altogether from creature love. And what tends yet more to display the riches of grace, that the glory of God in Christ, in following up the blessed plan of redemption, may be great indeed, the crown of Jesus, as Mediator, depends upon bringing to glory the objects of his love, on whom he hath made that grace to shine. And who shall calculate the rich revenue of love, adoration, and praise, in glory, which Jesus will have, and be for ever receiving, from the millions of redeemed souls gathered from sin and Satan, by the alone sovereignty of his grace? My soul! it is truly blessed thus to contemplate the person and work of Jesus, and the sweet effects of his grace. And what an addition to the subject is it, to say, with the apostle, each poor sinner for himself, “Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given!”[1]

 

[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Evening Portion (A New Edition, pp. 188–189). Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle.

Why so much angst over Conservative Baptist Network? — Capstone Report

 

Some Southern Baptists are upset at the Conservative Baptist Network. They insist the CBN is a bad thing. Why?

Either these Southern Baptists are upset that other conservatives might compete with them for power in the SBC, thus somehow upsetting and interrupting their lust for power and money. Or, these Southern Baptists are only pretend conservatives—and instead are what we all know they really are—Progressives promoting the godless ideologies of Critical Race Theory (CRT) and Intersectionality. So, they fear the CBN will expose it.

So, which is it?

Both.

There are some in the SBC who refuse to share power. They have built a legacy of power and a system of patronage.

There are some actual Progressives in the SBC who are determined at all costs to spread the disease of Racial Identity Politics through the churches.

You’ll know them by their rhetoric. You’ll know them by how they only attack conservatives and always defend Russell Moore and Matt Hall.

These same Southern Baptists upset at the rise of the Conservative Baptist Network are fine with the power and influence of other interest groups like The Gospel Coalition and Baptist 21. Why? Because they control and influence those organizations.

Remember when Russell Moore took over the ERLC? He changed staff and hired five new aides—two were not even Southern Baptist, but they ALL were part of the The Gospel Coalition.

No conflict of interest there!

Unfortunately, you can reduce the problems within the Southern Baptist Convention today to leadership.

The leadership is dragging the Southern Baptist Convention down the Woke path. It will lead only to ruin. Yet, they don’t care. They refuse to engage conservative critiques. Their only response is to cry about the Conservative Baptist Network.

Chuck Kelley, past president of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (NOBTS) noted the absurdity of the attacks on the CBN. He said, “Absolutely hilarious to see the angst of those who mistakenly think Paige Patterson is the creator & driver of the Conservative Baptist Network.  Such anxiety over conservatives coming together again does reveal new moderates are emerging & oppose talk of the Sufficiency of Scrip.”

SBC Voices@SBCvoices

Excellent thread on the origins, problems, and current details of Paige Patterson’s Conservative Baptist Network. https://twitter.com/ColtonRStrother/status/1273656607067570179 

Colton Strother@ColtonRStrother

I’ve debated whether or not to share this, but here we go. Here are my thoughts on the @BaptistNetwork. First, I think the desire to have a distinctly non-Calvinistic or “traditional” organization within the SBC is good, healthy, and necessary.

Chuck Kelley@chuckkelleyjr

Absolutely hilarious to see the angst of those who mistakenly think Paige Patterson is the creator & driver of the Conservative Baptist Network. Such anxiety over conservatives coming together again does reveal new moderates are emerging & oppose talk of the Sufficiency of Scrip

27 people are talking about this

Dr. Kelley is correct. The angst reveals the true nature of SBC Elites.

The responses were comical. Including this from one SBC Pastor. Dave Miller said, “This is deeply offensive. You are falsely accusing the writers of SBC Voices of being moderates. This is not true. You know better, I think, sir. You should be ashamed. We all subscribe to the BF&M 2000. We all believe in the Sufficiency of Scriptures. This is false. Unworthy.”

Allow me to laugh here. The SBC Voices writers aren’t moderates—they are full on Progressive advocates of godless ideologies. They’ve defended Russell Moore, Critical Race Theory and Dwight McKissic is regularly featured there—McKissic is a pastor who publicly brags about voting for Hillary Clinton.

Let me be frank with my readers: Many SBC Elites are sinful.

Also, they delight in their sin. They love their power. They expect your obedience. They lie about conservatives. Doubt that? Check out Eric Metaxas interview with Dr. Robert Lopez—Lopez was fired by liars at SWBTS and I can say liar because the Provost released a demonstrably false statement and you can prove it is a lie because the Provost was recorded saying the ERLC was intimately involved in getting Lopez fired. Seriously, that is how “Christian” these men are—they lie about people they fire and never apologize or repent of it.

These are sinful people.

And it permeates not only the SBC institutions but many of its pulpits. The SBC is in decline and it is in decline because so many of its Elite leaders are godless in their actions and godless in their acceptance of Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality. There is an SBC Professor who even bragged to the New York Times about secretly teaching James Cone to unsuspecting Southern Baptists.

I’m often asked if the SBC can be saved from decline. Yes, but only with the blessing of God and your action.

The very future of America hangs in the balance and SBC Elites are waging war on the Conservative Baptist Network instead of standing up for police, the Rule of Law and against the threat to the US Constitution. These are sad times and the Southern Baptist Convention Elites are upset that Conservatives have now organized to stand for truth.

So, that means you should join the Conservative Baptist Network.

via Why so much angst over Conservative Baptist Network? — Capstone Report

June 20th The D. L. Moody Year Book

 

Take ye away the stone.—John 11:39.

BEFORE the act of raising Lazarus could be performed, the disciples had their part to do. Christ could have removed the stone with a word. It would have been very easy for Him to have commanded it to roll away, and it would have obeyed His voice, as the dead Lazarus did when He called him back to life. But the Lord would have His children learn this lesson: that they have something to do toward raising the spiritually dead. The disciples had not only to take away the stone, but after Christ had raised Lazarus they had to “loose and let him go.”[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. 105). East Northfield, MA: The Bookstore.

WATCH LIVE: President Donald Trump Holds Rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma 6/20/20 (7 PM CT) — BCNN1 – Black Christian News Network

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Supporters of President Donald Trump were lining up Saturday outside metal barriers surrounding the Tulsa stadium where the president will hold his first rally in months, ready to welcome him back to the campaign trail despite warnings from health officials about the coronavirus.

The crowd — including some who have have camped near the venue since early in the week — were hoping to be among the first inside the more than 19,000-seat BOK Center for what is expected to be the biggest indoor event the country has seen since restrictions to prevent the COVID-19 virus began in March. Trump also will speak at an outdoor event to be held inside the barriers.

Protests also are planned for Saturday, and some Black leaders in Tulsa have said they’re worried the visit could lead to violence. It’s happening amid protests over racial injustice and policing across the U.S. and in a city that has a long history of racial tension. Officials said they expected some 100,000 people in Tulsa’s downtown.

Renee Lamoreaux, a retiree and Trump supporter from Tulsa, said Friday that police officers had briefed ralliers, saying the event would basically be in a “big cage,” and the rest of the world would be outside. She said she felt reassured.

Tulsa has seen cases of COVID-19 spike in the past week, and the local health department director asked that the rally be postponed. But Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt said it would be safe. The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Friday denied a request that everyone attending the indoor rally wear a mask, and few in the crowd outside Saturday were wearing them.

The Trump campaign said it will hand out masks and hand sanitizer, but there is no requirement that participants use them. Participants will also undergo a temperature check.

The rally originally was planned for Friday, but was moved after complaints that it coincided with Juneteenth, which marks the end of slavery in the U.S., and in a city that was the cite of a 1921 race-related massacre, when a white mob attacked Blacks, leaving as many as 300 people dead.

Stitt said he will join Vice President Mike Pence for a meeting Saturday with Black leaders from Tulsa’s Greenwood District, the area where the 1921 attack occurred. Stitt initially invited Trump to tour the area, but said, “We talked to the African American community and they said it would not be a good idea, so we asked the president not to do that.”

___

Associated Press reporters Sara Burnett in Chicago and Ken Miller in Oklahoma City contributed to this report.

Source: Associated Press

via WATCH LIVE: President Donald Trump Holds Rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma 6/20/20 (7 PM CT) — BCNN1 – Black Christian News Network

June 20-21, 2020 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

Weekend Snapshot · June 20, 2020 – Top Stories This Week

The Cultural Consequences When Fathers Abandoned Children

Rarely is the lack of fatherhood more evident than when observing the social entropy of urban civil unrest.


SCOTUS Strikes Out on DACA

John Roberts once said he’d be an “umpire” as a justice. Well, he just whiffed big time.


Gorsuch’s Judicial Activism

Alito says a fig leaf of textualism doesn’t mean the Court didn’t just legislate from the bench.


Reform, Tokenism, and Kente Cloths

When real reform is needed, Democrats waste time with political charades.


The BLM Straw Man

The phrase “black lives matter” assumes that Americans reject the humanity of black people.


Atlanta DA’s Politically Motivated Injustice

Fulton County DA charges cop in a transparent move to save his political career.


Mass Police Resignations Ensure Societal Chaos

Given the Left’s amped up war on cops, it’s no wonder officers are leaving the job.


Clueless in Seattle

The lawlessness that has overtaken the Northwest’s biggest city is inexcusable.


Black Businesses Decimated by Lockdowns, Riots

Few were unscathed, but minority-owned businesses might really have been hardest hit.


The Brand X Society

Corporations are racing to remove minorities from their packaging and branding.


The Leftmedia Mafia

The thought police at Google and NBC collude to censor conservative media sites.


Facebook’s ‘Fact-Checkers’ Wrongly Target Us … Again

Yet another instance of (wrong) opinion masquerading as “fact” on social media.


Big Tech Is Reaping the Whirlwind

Silicon Valley’s censorship is going to come back and bite the companies doing it.



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.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“For the last 60 years, American liberals have promised African Americans that their policies would make things better. They were wrong and their policies have failed miserably. That’s why the Left has to spread hatred and division. And that’s why they’re lying about this country and its history. They have nothing positive to offer today. Their only hope is to persuade Americans to give up and turn on each other.” —Laura Ingraham

“The Patriot Post” (https://patriotpost.us)


Top Weekly Stories from ChristianNews.net for 06/20/2020

Street Preacher Assaulted in Seattle’s ‘Autonomous Zone,’ Dragged Through Street   Jun 14, 2020 03:45 pm

  A number of videos surfacing on social media show a street preacher being assaulted in what has come to be labeled Seattle’s “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone,” and in one short video clip appears to show the preacher being dragged unconscious through the street. The unidentified preacher can be seen being surrounded by a number of people while speaking on…

Continue reading the story 

Conservative Favorite Justice Kavanaugh Says ‘Gays’ Can ‘Take Pride in’ Ruling Redefining ‘Sex’: ‘Important Victory Achieved Today’   Jun 15, 2020 05:59 pm

WASHINGTON — Despite expressing objection that the matter was decided by the judicial branch instead of the legislature, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, the conservative darling who was a hotly-contested Supreme Court nominee amid sexual abuse allegations, wrote in his dissent on Monday that he finds the high court ruling reading sexual orientation and gender identity…

Continue reading the story 

Supreme Court Rules ‘Transgenders,’ Such as Men Who Want to Wear Skirts, Cannot Be Fired in 6-3 Decision   Jun 15, 2020 11:01 am

WASHINGTON — In a landmark 6-3 Supreme Court decision today, which was written by Trump-nominated, conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch, the high court ruled that a civil rights law protects both homosexual and “transgender” people from what it considers “job discrimination” in employment. One of the cases involved surrounded a funeral home that fired a man who…

Continue reading the story 

Chick-fil-A’s Dan Cathy Calls for ‘Caucasian’ ‘Contrition,’ Says ‘White People Are Just Out of Sight, Out of Mind’ on Racism   Jun 18, 2020 09:59 pm

ATLANTA — During a recorded discussion this week, Dan Cathy, president of the Atlanta-based chicken chain Chick-fil-A, joined Louie Giglio of Passion City Church and award-winning CCM rapper Lecrae to discuss what they perceive to be racism, but more specifically what is often now being referred to as “systemic racism” in society, brought to the forefront by…

Continue reading the story 

Seattle Police Chief: ‘We’re Not Able to Get to’ 911 Calls for ‘Rape, Robbery’ in Autonomous Zone   Jun 13, 2020 03:28 pm

(National Review) — The head of the Seattle’s Police Department told officers in a video address on Thursday that the decision to abandon the city’s Third Precinct to activists was “not my decision,” and has prevented the department from responding to emergency calls in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. Police Chief Carmen Best, who joined Seattle Mayor…

Continue reading the story 

Homosexual Group Complains About Art on Bridge Symbolizing Hope During Pandemic: ‘The Rainbow Is Ours’   Jun 19, 2020 02:05 pm

(The Christian Institute) — A London-based homosexual advocacy group has complained about a rainbow artwork that was inspired by children using “the natural phenomena as a symbol of hope” during the lockdown. Brockley Queers in south London claimed that “the rainbow is ours” and told the Artmongers group who decorated a bridge that it cannot use it for a…

Continue reading the story 

City of Boston, Which Rejected Group’s Request to Fly Christian Flag, Holds Homosexual Pride Flag Raising   Jun 16, 2020 03:57 pm

BOSTON — The City of Boston held a virtual flag-raising ceremony on June 5 to commence the 50th annual Boston Pride Week, celebrating the sins of homosexuality and bisexuality. Boston remains embroiled in a federal lawsuit after it denied a private group’s request to fly the Christian flag over City Hall during their temporary event recognizing Constitution…

Continue reading the story 

‘In the Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ’: President of Zimbabwe Calls for Day of Prayer, Fasting Over Coronavirus Pandemic   Jun 15, 2020 03:29 pm

(Anadolu Agency) — Zimbabwe’s president on Thursday declared June 15 as Presidential Day of Prayer and Fasting to seek divine intervention in tackling the coronavirus outbreak, state-run media reported. Emmerson Mnangagwa urged Zimbabweans to come together, pray, fast and continue to observe precautions necessary to prevent the virus spread. “I urge…

Continue reading the story 

Justices Alito, Thomas Warn ‘Preposterous’ Ruling Barring Employers From Firing Men in Dresses ‘Threat’ to Religious Liberty   Jun 19, 2020 08:35 pm

WASHINGTON — In their dissent from this week’s Supreme Court ruling reading sexual orientation and gender identity into the meaning of “sex” in federal civil rights law, Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas called the decision a “brazen abuse of authority” and opined that it is “preposterous” for the court to claim that it only interpreted the statue rather…

Continue reading the story 

Cartoon Network Celebrates ‘Pride Month’ With Videos of Youth ‘LGBTQ’ Activists, ‘Pride’ Playlist   Jun 16, 2020 07:14 pm

Cartoon Network is again celebrating Pride Month this year, releasing videos with teens talking about homosexuality and transgenderism and finding the “courage” to be an activist for the cause. The network has also posted a Pride playlist on its site and app, featuring homosexual-themed episodes from “Steven Universe” and “Craig of the Creek.” “Our world is…

Continue reading the story 

Meteorite hits the town of Sanchore, leaving a 30 cm (1 foot) crater in the ground, Rajasthan
A metallic meteorite-like object reportedly fell from the sky in the Indian state of Rajasthan on June 19, 2020, leaving a 30 cm (1 foot) crater in the ground and causing explosive sound heard several kilometers away.

Homes destroyed after intense thunderstorms and nearly a month’s worth of rain in just 3 hours, UK
Intense thunderstorms spawned lightning strikes that destroyed a number of houses across England as the North West, East Midlands, and South West received up to 50 mm (2 inches) of rain over three hours on June 16, 2020. It was almost equivalent to the entire UK’s average rainfall in June, which is 62 mm (2.4 inches).

Idol Worshipping Pope Francis Gives Three More Titles To The ‘Virgin Mary’, Of Course They Were Stolen From God Just Like The Name ‘Holy Father’ Was
First let me say that the Roman Catholic ‘virgin Mary’ is not the humble and obedient Mary from the bible, not by a long shot. The Roman Catholic ‘mary’ is a ‘Queen of Heaven’ superwoman who is literally divine, and appears to have taken over much of the workload from her overburdened Son Jesus

NYC shootings surge after NYPD’s anti-crime unit disbanded
Shootings are surging this week in New York City, with 28 incidents and 38 victims reported since Monday — the day the NYPD disbanded its plainclothes anti-crime unit, The Post learned on Friday.

Update: UN Deletes Tweet Defending Antifa Flag, Demanding U.S. Respect Terror Group’s ‘Right To Peaceful Assembly,’ and ‘Freedom Of Expression’
The United Nations came to the defense of Antifa, slamming President Trump for labeling the violent far-left group as a terrorist organization because it violates its “right to peaceful assembly.”

BREAKING: Police Fire Less Lethal Rounds Towards Violent ‘Protesters’ Harassing Trump Supporters As They Leave Rally (VIDEO)
Tulsa Police fired less lethal rounds at “protesters” who have been harassing President Donald Trump’s supporters who were attempting to leave his rally on Saturday night.

Tennessee passes heartbeat bill, bans abortions for babies with Down syndrome
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee announced that he will sign a bill banning abortions at the detection of a heartbeat, which is around six weeks into the pregnancy.

Waking A Sleeping Giant
…For many decades, at least since the sixties, the Left has deliberately planned and carried out the gradual destruction of our culture, what made us the greatest country in all of human history, to a point unrecognizable. They went from blue jeans to three piece suits…destruction from the inside. They have dismissed God from the public square, devastated our schools, taught our children to hate God, country, and parents, destroyed countless Black and White families with welfare and handouts, keeping them in ‘their place.’

Putin calls fuel spill unprecedented for Russia, Greenpeace sees $1.4 billion damage
President Vladimir Putin said on Friday the scale of the clear-up operation after a huge fuel spill in the Arctic was unprecedented for Russia, with Greenpeace estimating the environmental damage to waters in the region at $1.4 billion.

California Governor Mandates Face Coverings
California Governor Gavin Newsom has ordered that everyone, with a handful of exceptions, must wear a face covering in public or suffer the consequences.  Will there be a monetary fine for violators?  Jail time for those who refuse?  We haven’t been told.  All we know is that we are being ordered by a power-hungry politician that we have to wear a specific type of clothing, without legislative backing, without constitutional authority, and for a virus that, if you run the numbers honestly, is mild and has less of a chance of killing you than the chance of you being struck by lightning.

The Promise Of Transhumanism Appeals To Lost People Who Want To Achieve Eternal Life Apart From An Almighty God Who Created Them
Ever since the Tower of Babel, fallen man has dreamed, schemed and plotted a way that they could have eternal life apart from the One who created them, that is God. They don’t want to die, no one does, but neither do they care about or wish to be accountable to a holy and righteous God who has every right to demand that from His own creation. Transhumanism is the idea that with enough advances in technology, unregenerate man will eventually figure out how to be immortal. But that will never happen.

UN Shares Antifa Flag, Tells U.S. It Has Right to ‘Peaceful Assembly’United Nations “experts” slammed President Donald Trump’s call to label Antifa as a terrorist organization, claiming it will undermine Antifa’s right of “peaceful assembly” — despite many instances of violence by the far-left anarcho-communist group.

Muslim student sues professor for teaching truthfully about Islam
A professor who won a free-speech battle with his community college over his teaching about Islamic terrorism now is being sued by a Muslim student and the controversial Council on American-Islamic Relations, known as CAIR.


20 Jun 2020

Organization of 70 Nations Announces Court of Judgment Against Trump/Netanyahu/ICC/Israeli High Court
“The defendants, individually and collectively, have chosen to violate Biblical law, thus endangering all of humanity by promoting a policy that constitutes criminal maliciousness against the fundamental laws of national border guardianship established by God, the Creator of the world and the God of Israel as recorded in the Bible.

Jewish Democratic Council Says it Won’t Back Ilhan Omar
The Jewish Democratic Council of America (JDCA) has affirmed that it will not support Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) in her upcoming primary but did not provide an endorsement to her chief primary opponent, progressive Antone Melton-Meaux.

Israel Thwarts Hamas Arms Shipment to the Gaza Strip
Israeli naval forces thwarted a major arms shipment to the Gaza Strip by sea in a secret operation several weeks ago, the Israel Defense Forces revealed on Wednesday.

US rejects Chinese airlines’ request for additional flights
In a statement, the US Department of Transportation said the decision was made to “maintain the parity” in scheduled passenger services between the two countries, adding it was willing to review the decision if Chinese aviation authorities adjusted their policies affecting US carriers.

UN watchdog presses Iran over nuke violations, Iran threatens retaliation
The IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) Board of Governors passed a resolution on Friday calling on Iran to grant access to two suspected former nuclear sites and answer questions about possible undeclared nuclear material. “Iran fully rejects this resolution and will respond appropriately,” ISNA news agency quotes him as saying. Gharib Abadi added, “those who made this decision will bear responsibility for its consequences.”

Navy will not reinstate captain who sounded alarm on coronavirus
After a formal investigation, Gidlay changed his mind about reinstating Crozier upon learning more details about what led to 1,200 of the 5,000 sailors aboard the ship testing positive for COVID-19, the Navy announced Friday.

Wealthy Homeowners In ‘Mad Rush’ To Flee San Francisco
Many people over the years flooded into San Francisco as the economy boomed, and tech flourished. Now with an economic downturn, social unrest, and pandemic — the city is becoming too dangerous to raise a family.

Australia hit by massive cyberattack from ‘sophisticated state-based actor’
Australia has been targeted by a massive cyberattack from a “sophisticated state-based actor” this week, though officials are not revealing the country behind the attack. “We know it is a sophisticated state-based cyber actor because of the scale and nature of the targeting and the tradecraft used,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Friday.

Colorado Drought Worsens, One-Third Of State Now Reporting Extreme Conditions
The weekly report from the U.S. Drought Monitor was released Thursday morning and it showed extreme drought conditions continue to expand across Colorado. Last week 25.49% of the state was in D3 (extreme drought) and that number jumped to 32.96% this week.

Ambassador Friedman to travel to Washington amid annexation speculations
US Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, is expected to travel to Washington next week, The Jerusalem Post has confirmed. Friedman will meet with his peers at the US peace team to discuss with Jared Kushner and Avi Berkowitz how to move forward with the Israeli plan to annex parts of the West Bank as early as July 1. Haaretz first reported on Friedman’s upcoming trip.

UNHRC arms embargo call against Israel passes by only slim margin
A United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution that sought to exact harsh penalties against Israel for its settlement activity and alleged human rights violations, including a call for an arms embargo, passed by a slim margin in Geneva on Friday. It also called on the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights…to present a report…on how Israel can be better forced to comply with UN resolutions…

Fed’s Neel Kashkari warns bank losses during COVID could trigger next financial crisis
The head of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve warned Friday that banks should “stop paying dividends” and “raise capital” as more Americans struggle to pay their loans and credit losses mount at America’s large banks amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. “They can essentially inoculate themselves from COVID,” said Neel Kashkari, who ran the 2009 auto bailout.

Galwan Valley: China accuses India of ‘deliberate provocation’
China has accused Indian troops of a “deliberate provocation” in its first official comments on Monday’s deadly clash at a disputed Himalayan border. Foreign ministry spokesman Lijian Zhao said the troops had crossed into Chinese territory and attacked, triggering “fierce physical conflicts”. However he did not give details of any Chinese casualties.

North Korea prepares anti-South leaflets amid heightened tensions
North Korea is gearing up to send propaganda leaflets over its southern border, denouncing North Korean defectors and South Korea, its state media said on Saturday, the latest retaliation for leaflets from the South as bilateral tensions rise. Enraged North Korean people across the country “are actively pushing forward with the preparations for launching a large-scale distribution of leaflets,”…

Tripoli government to boycott Arab League Libya talks
Libya’s UN-recognized unity government has said it will boycott talks on the conflict in the North African country to be held by Arab League foreign ministers next week. Foreign minister Mohamad Taher Siala told the bloc’s executive council on Friday that the planned meeting would “merely deepen the rift” between Arab governments on the conflict, his ministry said.

Iran’s currency hits lowest value ever against the dollar
Iran’s currency has dropped to its lowest value ever at 190,000 rial for each dollar amid severe U.S. sanctions against the country. The Iranian currency has tumbled from a rate of 32,000 rials to $1 at the time of Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. The rial unexpectedly rallied after President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the nuclear deal…

Ethiopia to fill disputed dam, deal or no deal
It’s a clash over water usage that Egypt calls an existential threat and Ethiopia calls a lifeline for millions out of poverty. Just weeks remain before the filling of Africa’s most powerful hydroelectric dam might begin, and tense talks between the countries on its operation have yet to reach a deal.

Liberal Media Has ‘Completely Ignored’ Biden Cognitive Decline: Rogan
“The news media on the left has completely ignored all of these Biden speeches that clearly show some kind of cognitive decline.”

Coronavirus mass surveillance could be here to stay, experts say
Extensive surveillance measures introduced around the world during the coronavirus outbreak have widened and become entrenched, digital rights experts have said, three months after the World Health Organization declared a pandemic.

Craigslist Ad Sought People Infected with COVID To Attend Trump Rally
Strange (and sometimes fake) Craigslist ads regarding President Donald Trump’s rallies are nothing particularly new. When they encourage people with COVID-19 to show up at a rally and spread the disease, however, that’s when things have turned very toxic.

Heavy snow engulfs high elevations of Idaho and Montana ahead of summer solstice
Heavy snow blanketed high elevations of Idaho and Montana from Tuesday into Wednesday, June 16 into 17, 2020. The unusual winter-like conditions occurred just days before the summer solstice, which will take place this weekend. While not terribly unusual, since snow can still fall during the early and late summer in the northern Rockies, there were some impressive snowfall totals, including a report of 43.2 cm (17 inches) near Darkhorse Lake just west of the Continental Divide in Montana, NWS said.

Alert raised for Laguna del Maule volcano – its last eruption took place some 2 000 years ago, Chile
According to the information provided by OVDAS – SERNAGEOMIN, the technical alert level for the Laguna del Maule Volcanic Complex was raised to Yellow on June 18, 2020. The parameters of the volcano are unstable and above the base threshold, suggesting an eruption could develop in the weeks and months ahead.

‘Ring of Fire’ annular solar eclipse to grace the skies soon after the solstice
An annular solar eclipse will take place on Sunday, June 21, 2020. This is one of the most breathtaking celestial events when the Moon partially obscures the Sun, allowing a “ring of fire” on its edges. The eclipse will start several hours after the solstice.

Bizarre Facebook survey asks users if they condone pedophilia
Facebook is under fire for publishing a stomach-churning survey that asked users whether pedophiles should be allowed to solicit “sexual pictures” from underage girls.

BREAKING: China preparing to kill 90% of U.S. population with “EMP Pearl Harbor” first strike attack, followed by military invasion and occupation of America
Communist China, which has now achieved complete control of Google, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and other tech giants, is planning on launching an “EMP Pearl Harbor” attack on America that would kill an estimated 90% of the U.S. population, warns a truly alarming new report from the EMP Task Force on National and Homeland Security.

Hillary’s Two Paths to the White House! What Will Follow Will Threaten the Lives of Every American
Hillary Clinton has to two paths to the White House and completing the job of handing off a decimated America to China, who would be representing globalist interests.

‘La la land?’ The stock market is ‘insanely disconnected’ and due for a ‘reckoning,’ Warren Buffett buff warns
Those betting against this “absurdly overvalued” stock market are about to get paid, if Kevin Smith, Crescat Capital’s chief investment officer, has it right in his gloomy assessment. “Speculation is rampant and being championed by a bold new breed of millennial day traders,” he said. “The mania is based on a widespread hope in Fed money printing. The catalysts for reckoning are numerous as a major cyclical economic downturn has only just begun.”

Daytrading Icon Portnoy Now Using Random Scrabble Letters To Pick A Stock
“RTX comes out of the scrabble bag. Smush letters and buy it. Give it a try Ron, you might not bankrupt your clients.”


Headlines – 6/21/2020

Israel’s Netanyahu Tries to Rally Support for Annexation Amid International Criticism

UN Security Council to hold open-door discussion on annexation

White House to discuss whether to give Israel ‘green light’ for sovereignty

Envoy to US: Annexation will help Ramallah abandon ‘illusions,’ accept 2 states

Hezbollah video threatens precision guided missiles on Tel Aviv

Egypt calls for U.N. intervention after talks stall on Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam

Egypt’s Sisi orders army to be ready for missions abroad amid tensions over Libya

Iran’s currency hits record low amid sanctions, virus, international pressure

Iran calls France’s testing of nuclear ballistic missile a threat to world peace

Turkey Bombs Iraq, Syria, Targeting Kurdish Group It Says Trains Antifa

Poland says Putin falsifies World War II history to weaken Western allies

Kim Jong Un’s ‘Princess’ sister is turning into the Terminator

India, China accuse each other of violating de facto border

China unveils details of national security law with sweeping new powers over Hong Kong

Pompeo: China waging disinformation campaign to drive wedge between US and Europe

Pompeo calls UN rights body ‘a haven for dictators’

Pompeo says UN Human Rights Council hits ‘new low’ with anti-US resolution on race, police

Tulsa declares ‘civil emergency’ ahead of Trump rally over concerns of violence

Former FBI assistant director predicts ‘every manner of anarchist’ will converge on Tulsa for Trump rally

Trump Crowd Size Underwhelms, Campaign Blames Protesters

Trump comeback rally features empty seats, staff infections

K-pop fans and TikTokers sabotage Trump’s Tulsa rally, RSVP for thousands of seats only to leave them empty

Trump blasts attempts to remove Confederate statues as ‘censorship’

Trump cries ‘disgrace’ as protesters topple Confederate statues and monuments across US during Juneteenth celebrations to mark end of slavery

Seattle police union chief calls for ‘leadership’ after fatal shooting in CHOP zone

Georgia House Passes Bill Letting Voters Dissolve County Police Departments

New York City sees surge in murders, burglaries, NYPD says

All of the companies no longer advertising on Facebook due to the platform’s lack of hate speech moderation

Sen. Tom Cotton slams Justice Roberts on DACA decision for applying ‘different standards’ to Obama and Trump

Powerful US attorney who investigated Trump associates refuses to step down after Barr tries to push him out

Top Manhattan prosecutor leaves job after standoff with Barr

Bolton suggests possible ‘obstruction’ by Trump in SDNY Turkey investigation

Judge rules Bolton can publish book despite efforts to block it

Trump Wonders if John Bolton Will Go to Jail

Putin thinks he can play Trump ‘like a fiddle’, former aide John Bolton says in new interview

Most dramatic ‘ring of fire’ solar eclipse in years to dim parts of Africa, Asia

Rare ‘ring of fire’ solar eclipse will coincide with summer solstice 2020

Summer solstice revellers urged not to go to Stonehenge

Summer solstice 2020: Sensual traditions on the longest day of the year

A Spectacular Fireball Was Just Caught in Australia. Experts Don’t Know What It Was

5.7 magnitude earthquake hits near Siglufjordur, Iceland

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Siglufjordur, Iceland

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Gizo, Solomon Islands

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands region

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 24,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 21,000ft

Merapi volcano in Indonesia erupts to 20,000ft

Sangay volcano in Ecuador erupts to 19,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 16,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 15,000ft

Greta Thunberg says Covid-19 response shows world can ‘suddenly act with necessary force’

Trump urges slowdown in COVID-19 testing, calling it a ‘double-edge sword’

Fed’s Neel Kashkari warns bank losses during COVID could trigger next financial crisis


Headlines – 6/20/2020

Jordanian king tells US lawmakers he’s trying to get Abbas back to peace talks

Report: US administration suspends talks with Israel on annexation plan

Chuck Schumer, 2 other key pro-Israel Democrats warn Israel against annexation

TV: IDF and security services finally to be shown maps of areas Israel may annex

Brazilian pastor prays for second Holocaust to ‘destroy the Jews like vermin’

Gantz: Iran’s ‘blatant’ nuclear violations threaten Israel and global stability

The unfolding geopolitical power play in war-torn Libya

South Korea’s unification minister resigns amid rising tensions with North

Bolton: Trump Told Xi That Muslim Concentration Camps Were ‘Right Thing;’ Said Journalists ‘Should Be Executed’

A Knock, Then Gone: Venezuela Secretly Detains Hundreds to Silence Critics

Bank of England joins British companies in apologizing for slavery

Church of England says ashamed of its role in slavery

U.S. Black Lives Matter protests inspire calls to “defund the police” in the U.K.

Oklahoma Supreme Court denies bid to stop Trump rally over coronavirus

Tulsa mayor declares civil emergency ahead of Trump rally, stragglers face arrest

Trump warns ‘anarchists’ not to disrupt Tulsa rally, after threat prompts emergency order

On Juneteenth, Tulsa Prepares for Unrest as Protesters March Nationwide

‘Civil rights isn’t over’: Americans mark Juneteenth coast to coast

Ben and Jerry’s calls to ‘defund the police’ in a Juneteenth social media post building on its long campaign against racism

‘Eskimo Pie’ Owner Calls Brand ‘Derogatory,’ Vows to Change Name

Colgate is still selling ‘Black Person Toothpaste’ in China. Now that’s under review

More than 50K people want Robert E. Lee statue replaced with GWAR frontman

FBI trawled Facebook to arrest protesters for inciting riots, court records show

IRS Used Cellphone Location Data to Try to Find Suspects

AG Barr ‘worried’ about censorship, mail-in ballots ahead of 2020 presidential election

‘My biggest risk’: Trump says mail-in voting could cost him reelection

Mueller raised possibility Trump lied to him, newly unsealed report reveals

Federal judge warns DOJ that horse ‘seems to be out of the barn’ on blocking Bolton book

Trump signals he has ‘interesting’ details on Roswell, as son grills him about aliens

5.6 magnitude earthquake hits near Levuka, Fiji

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Hihifo, Tonga

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Nea Anatoli, Greece

5.1 magintude earthquake hits south of the Kermadec Islands

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 22,000ft

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 22,000ft

Sangay volcano in Ecuador erupts to 19,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 15,000ft

Semeru volcano in Indonesia erupts to 14,000ft

Putin calls fuel spill unprecedented for Russia, Greenpeace sees $1.4 billion damage

GOP senator quotes J.K. Rowling while blocking vote on LGBTQ bill

Tennessee passes heartbeat bill, bans abortions for babies with Down syndrome

UN health agency warns world is in ‘new and dangerous phase’ of pandemic

‘Recovered’ COVID-19 patients suffer major ongoing physical, cognitive problems

People would be crushed mentally by second coronavirus wave, psychologists say

Land Of The Worried: 83% Of Americans Very Stressed Over Nation’s Future

$190 oil sounds crazy. But JPMorgan thinks it’s possible, even after the pandemic

A tale of two recessions: Some Americans thrive as others suffer

World’s ultra-wealthy go for gold amid stimulus bonanza


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

June 20 Thoughts for the quiet hour

 

Whosoever doth not bear his cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple

Luke 14:27

There is always the shadow of the cross resting upon the Christian’s path. Is that a reason why you should avoid or not undertake the duty? Have you made up your mind that you will follow your Master everywhere else, save when He ascends the path that leads to the cross? Is that your religion? The sooner you change it, the better. The religion of the Lord Jesus Christ is the religion of the cross, and unless we take up our cross, we can never follow Him.

  1. Hay Aitken[1]

 

[1] Hardman, S. G., & Moody, D. L. (1997). Thoughts for the quiet hour. Willow Grove, PA: Woodlawn Electronic Publishing.

June 20 Life-Changing Moments With God

 

Take this child away and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages.

Lord Jesus, I go into Your vineyard, and I know that whatever is right You will give me. Whoever gives me a cup of water to drink in Your name, because I belong to You, assuredly he will by no means lose his reward. The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself. Father God is not unjust to forget my work and labor of love in that I have ministered to the saints, and do minister.

I will receive my own reward according to my own labor.

Jesus, even the righteous wonder: “Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You?” And God the King will answer and say to them, “Inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.” So, blessed of God the Father, I will inherit the kingdom prepared for me from the foundation of the world.

May I obediently do all things as unto You, Jesus, that needs may be met and You may be glorified.

Exodus 2:9; Matthew 20:4; Mark 9:41; Proverbs 11:25; Hebrews 6:10; 1 Corinthians 3:8; Matthew 25:37–38, 40, 34[1]

 

[1] Jeremiah, D. (2007). Life-Changing Moments With God (p. 187). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

June 20 Streams in the Desert

 

Thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.” (Isa. 30:21)

WHEN we are in doubt or difficulty, when many voices urge this course or the other, when prudence utters one advice and faith another, then let us be still, hushing each intruder, calming ourselves in the sacred hush of God’s presence; let us study His Word in the attitude of devout attention; let us lift up our nature into the pure light of His face, eager only to know what God the Lord shall determine—and ere long a Very distinct impression will be made, the unmistakable forth-telling of His secret counsel.

It is not wise in the earlier stages of Christian life to depend on this alone, but to wait for the corroboration of circumstances. But those who have had many dealings with God know well the value of secret fellowship with Him, to ascertain His will.

Are you in difficulty about your way? Go to God with your question; get direction from the light of His smile or the cloud of His refusal.

If you will only get alone, where the lights and shadows of earth cannot interfere, where human opinions fail to reach—and if you will dare to wait there silent and expectant, though all around you insist on immediate decision or action—the will of God will be made clear; and you will have a new conception of God, a deeper insight into His nature and heart of love, which shall be for yourself alone—a rapturous experience, to abide your precious perquisite forever, the rich guerdon of those long waiting hours.—David.

“STAND STILL,” my soul, for so thy Lord commands:

E’en when thy way seems blocked, leave it in His wise hands;

His arm is mighty to divide the wave.

Stand still,” my soul, “stand still” and thou shalt see

How God can work the “impossible” for thee,

For with a great deliverance He doth save.

Be not impatient, but in stillness stand,

Even when compassed ’round on every hand,

In ways thy spirit does not comprehend.

God cannot clear thy way till thou art still,

That He may work in thee His blessed will,

And all thy heart and will to Him do bend.

“BE STILL,” my soul, for just as thou art still,

Can God reveal Himself to thee; until

Through thee His love and light and life can freely flow;

In stillness God can work through thee and reach

The souls around thee. He then through thee can teach

His lessons, and His power in weakness show.

“BE STILL”—a deeper step in faith and rest.

“Be still and know” thy Father knoweth best

The way to lead His child to that fair land,

A “summer” land, where quiet waters flow;

Where longing souls are satisfied, and “know

Their God,” and praise for all that He has planned.—Selected.[1]

 

[1] Cowman, L. B. (1925). Streams in the Desert (pp. 183–184). Los Angeles, CA: The Oriental Missionary Society.

Truthbomb Apologetics: Worldview and Apologetics in the News

An Interview with Chris Date

‘Veggie Tales’ creator releases new video on systemic racism, goes viral

‘Devastating for religious liberty’: 5 reactions to Supreme Court LGBT discrimination decision

Supreme Court: Employment Law Protects Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

Postscript on the Explanatory Filter

‘Social Justice Is Not the Same as Biblical Justice’: Professor Issues Warning to Christians

Great Story: ‘Black Lives Matter But So Does Yours!’: Two Women Pay for Officer’s Cracker Barrel Meal

His name is Patrick Hutchinson, but to me, he looks like Jesus

Lecture: Does the Bible Support Slavery?

YouTube Dad Adopts the Internet: How-To Videos and Loving the Fatherless

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad
Our last edition is here.

The Theology of Riots: Part I — The Aquila Report

The one thing our Christian calling does not include is this: any kind of participation in social unrest. Christians do not agitate. Christians do not engage in disorderly conduct. Christians do not riot. Christians do not throw bricks. Christians do not loot. Christians do not shed innocent blood.

 

This summer season has become a season of social unrest. The frequency and intensity of protesting and violence in our city streets has steadily increased over the past several years and many are wondering, “What should we do?”

Sadly, many in the church are suggesting politically-correct answers to that question like, “We need to listen more… we need to apologize… we need to pay reparations…,” but what saith the scripture? What counsel do we find there?

In Proverbs chapter 1, we find something of a Theology of Riots and here it is in brief: rioting occurs where the fear of God is absent.

The fear of the Lord, as we read in vs. 3, is the foundation and fount of all wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity. The fear of the Lord once restrained the citizens of our land (even those were not converted) from lawless behavior; but those days are long gone.

The Unites States of America has abandoned the fear of the Lord and adopted a new civil religion which is built upon envy, which embitters people against one another, which agitates social unrest, and which even emboldens people to riot in the streets.

I point this out not to sound political, but only to strengthen the central plea of this passage (and of this sermon): vs. 10, My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. That, of course, applies to all kinds of sinners, but especially to the type of sinners who have been rioting in the streets of our nation. My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.

Christians do not agitate. Christians do not engage in disorderly conduct. Christians do not riot. Christians do not throw bricks. Christians do not loot. Christians do not shed innocent blood. So, my son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.

The book of Proverbs was written by the wisest father who ever lived to teach his son how to fear the Lord, how to be wise, and how to live a long and fruitful life. Much of his instruction is about avoiding fools, harlots, criminals, and anyone else who might lead him astray.

Unfortunately, that is exactly what we see happening today. Children, who were raised in the church and taught to fear God, are being led astray by the prophets of our new civil religion. I do not want that to happen to you, and so I preach.

1st The God of Justice – Everybody is talking about justice nowadays, but Job 4:17 raises a crucial question: Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than his maker? Of course not. Only God is just. He claims that title and perfection for himself. Just-ness (or righteousness) is one of God’s divine attributes. It is, who he is as God: the God of Justice.

He also, therefore, reserves the right to define what justice is and he has done just that in scripture. The Holy Bible is inspired that we might (vv. 1-3), know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity…

Do mark well the words “Justice and Equity” there, because that is what everyone is talking about nowadays. You can read the signs “No justice, no peace.” You can also read all the inane editorials that identify systemic in-equity as the root cause of all our societal woes.

In all this, we need to remember that only God gets to define justice and that, he has sufficiently done in scripture. Actually, he has defined it rather exhaustively in the legal codes contained in the books of Exodus and Deuteronomy.

It is there that we are taught the fear of the Lord, how to love our neighbor, and how to deal with criminals. Modern man has rejected all of it. That is the real reason our nation is now falling apart; but while modern man has rejected God’s word, we must rest in it. As Christians, we believe in justice, because we worship the God of Justice.

He will allow no sin to go unpunished: small or great, intentional or unintentional, public or private; God sees it, hates it, and will destroy it all in due time.

As we wait and pray for that day, “Let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream” (Amos 5:24), we must also trust God’s wisdom in establishing certain institutions and procedures for the exacting of his justice on earth.

He has given us the family, the church, the state. He has given us the inviolable principle of Lex Talionis (i.e., eye for eye, tooth for tooth). He has established procedures for filing charges, the discovery of evidence, the examination of witnesses, and the determination of just verdict and sentence. Do all these things always work absolutely perfectly? Of course not, for they have been entrusted into the hands of sinful men; but that does not mean we should just burn it all to the ground.

Rather, we should trust the God of Justice in times of perceived in-justice and here is what that looks like (Romans 12:19), Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written: Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

Many of the rioters are just avenging themselves. Many are avenging someone else. So, while they claim to be advocates for justice, they are actually agents of vengeance. That describes the best of the rioters. As for the rest of them, I would suggest that they are not seeking justice at all. They are just greedy thieves who have no respect for private property or human life.

2nd Sinful Motives Unmasked – We are told by all the experts that the cause of all this rioting is something, “You just can’t understand because you have been blinded by privilege…” but that is nonsense. We are not blind. We have the Word of God and it tells us the real reason people go out at night with their “friends” looking for spoil. Three sinful motives are specifically mentioned in this text which deserve to be unmasked:

Greed – There are, of course, worse sins described in these verses, but greed is mentioned as something of a root cause of those other sins: vs. 19, So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof.

Historically speaking, greed has always been regarded as one of the seven deadly sins. Aquinas explains it this way, “Greed is a sin against God… in as much as man condemns things eternal for the sake of temporal things.”

Dante speculated about the just punishment of such sinful earthly-mindedness by picturing the condemned as “bound and laid face down on the ground for having concentrated excessively on earthly thoughts.”

Greed is an obsession with the things of this world. Coveting things you do not have. Envying those who do have it. Hating those who have. Greed is a great evil in-and-of itself, but it also leads to many outward acts of evil.

Theft – There are two kinds of theft mentioned in these verses and the first is this: vs. 13, We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil…

Now, there is a good Bible word: spoil. It comes from an old root which meant to “strip the hide from a slain animal.” It was later applied to what men do to one another in their brutal acts of thievery: stripping a man of what he rightfully owns (i.e., his own personal property).

The other kind of theft mentioned here is, admittedly, a more subtle kind: denying the legitimacy of personal private property. vs. 14, Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse. That is the heart of communism. Americans do not talk much about communism anymore, but it is actually one of the philosophical pillars of our present-day riots.

Here is a page right out of the old communist playbook: stir up envy and hatred between two classes of people, wait until tensions are high, then light it on a fire. After everything burns to the ground, the messianic state can step in to build its egalitarian utopia. Marx (the architect of communism) was willing to wait for his eschatological utopia to establish itself. Lenin was not. He called for action, and uprising, and insurrection. Blood flowed in the streets.

Violence – vs. 11-12, If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause: Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit…

Ambushing passers-by. Coming up behind someone and punching them. Lurking with a stick outside the entry of a local shop, waiting for the owner to step outside. This is what has been happening in the streets of our land and there is so much evil in it. There is also, as we have seen, no small measure of irony in it.

How many people showed up expecting a “peaceful protest”, thinking that it would be some kind of kum-ba-ya moment, only to find themselves bullied and bloodied by those whose feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood?

Some, in fact, never even made it home and that is why I am preaching this sermon. It is not so much as a rebuke to rioters I will never personally meet, but a warning to the godly, to covenant children, to young adults, to all who name the name of Christ. So here it is:

3rd Never Attend a Riot – You think, “Well, duh, I would never walk into riot…” but you do need to think a little more deeply here, because riots do not start out as riots. It is the agent provocateurs that make sure “peaceful protests” escalate.

The actual invite you will receive will sound something like this: “Meeting tonight in memory of so-and-so…” “Stand with us for justice…” “Silence is violence, so come to our peaceful protest…” all of which invites will come with emojis of peace signs and rainbows.

Be not deceived. My advice still stands: vs. 10, My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. vs. 15, My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path. It is simple enough to understand, but let us also be honest enough to acknowledge how difficult it can actually be to refrain thy foot at times.

I was a senior in High School during the Rodney King riots. I attended a liberal arts college later that same year and I remember full well how it works. You are in the cafeteria after class and the conversation goes something like this:

Question: “Hey, did you hear about such-and-such?” Response: “Yes, it’s awful.” Counter-response: “No, it is more than awful, these inequities need to be addressed… wanna come to meeting tonight? We are going to raise some awareness… we’re going to make a little noise.”

The wise answer is this: “No thanks. Have fun. See ‘ya.” That is easy enough, isn’t it? It most certainly is, but that is when things get complicated because those who preach tolerance have not a shred of tolerance in them.

You will be challenged: “What, don’t you value our First Amendment rights? What, are you siding with the man? What, are you a racist? What, are you a fascist? [and then Godwin’s law kicks in] “What, are you a Naaaaazi?”

The wise response: “No, I am a Christian. I fear God. I believe his Word and that Word offers far better solutions to sin than stoking the fires of social unrest.” If you say something wise like that, you can expect two possible responses.

First, most leftists will just disown you, right then and there. That is actually a good thing, because they were never going to be your friend anyways. The other possible response is anticipated in 1 Peter 3:15, But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear…

You might be asked about the “better solution” you mentioned and, if you are, be prepared to explain it. You do not need to take a class in presuppositional apologetics. All you need to do is proceed right to the New Testament; because Jesus himself lived in days of extreme social unrest. In fact, it was in some ways more intense than what we are witnessing today.

Quick review: the Romans were the tyrants, the overlords, the 1%.  Jesus’ kinsmen were the oppressed, the underdogs, the 99% and just as it is today, those who felt oppressed responded differently.

Some, like the Zealots, were militantly anti-Rome, ethno-nationalists, advocates of tax evasion, and even engaged in violent resistance. An off-shoot of the Zealots called the Dagger-men actually assassinated Romans and Roman-sympathizers in the streets.

On the other end of the political spectrum were the Publicans. They were content to be subjugated by Rome. In fact, they even worked for Rome as tax-collectors. As such, they needed to keep an eye open for the dagger-men while shopping in the market.

So even in the NT we observe two opposite ends of the political spectrum: militant nationalists on the one side and shekel-loving-sell-outs on the other. Then, of course, was Rome (which simply wanted law and order in the streets).

So which side did Jesus choose? You know the answer: none of the above, because his kingdom was not of this world. That is why he was able to walk through this world as a stranger to it; calling men out of the world with that simple, but transcendent invitation: Follow me.

He called a Zealot named Simon. He called a Publican named Levi. He called a Roman named Cornelius. Jesus, through his Word and Spirit, called men out of the world and into his kingdom, which rules over all. He continues to do that to this very day.

Part of that call, as we have seen, is the fear of the Lord. That is simply the realization that since this is God’s world, and since he is a just and holy God, we cannot just run amok upon the face of it and expect to escape his just judgment. The fear of the Lord stops us from engaging in evil activities like greed, theft, and violence.

The other part of Jesus’ call, of course, is follow me. That calling invites us to engage in positive spiritual activities like trusting him, reading his word, praying in the spirit, worshiping with God’s people, loving the brethren, reaching out to the lost, etc.

It can even involve less-spiritual-sounding things like appealing to government officials in times of injustice (which Paul did in Acts 25), carrying a weapon to protect ourselves (which Jesus commanded in Luke 22), or even casting a vote when given an opportunity to influence change in society (there is no biblical reference for that because the early Christians had no such privilege).

There is one thing, however, that the Christian calling does not include (and yes, you can go ahead and search the NT and scrutinize your Strong’s concordance when you get home if you do not believe me). The one thing our Christian calling does not include is this: any kind of participation in social unrest.

Christians do not agitate. Christians do not engage in disorderly conduct. Christians do not riot. Christians do not throw bricks. Christians do not loot. Christians do not shed innocent blood. So, my son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. Amen.

Rev. Christian McShaffrey is a Minister in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and is Pastor of Five Solas Church of Reedsburg, Wis.  The sermon is posted here.

via The Theology of Riots: Part I — The Aquila Report

June 20, 2020 Morning Verse Of The Day

1 Whatever Israel’s blindness and insensitivity may have been in the past, God says thay are to forget that and concentrate on one fact: whose they are. The oracular form thus says the Lord underlines the firmness of this call. It is a call not to be afraid: Do not fear. This expression points out what would be the deepest pain of the exile, the fear that Israel’s sense of identity, the glory of having been a particular people called out by the eternal God, was after all just a fantasy. Much can be endured if we have a sense of destiny borne out of particular identity. Strip that away from us and we think going on in life is hardly worth it. The repeated “do not fear” (41:10, 13, 14; 43:1, 5; 44:1, 8) particularly addresses this issue: the fear that God has forsaken them, or worse, never was theirs in the first place.

In the language of Gen. 1 and 2 Isaiah reminds the people that just as God created and shaped the physical universe, so he brought them into existence as his own people. Although the emphasis here is not on the doctrine of creation, there can be no question that that doctrine is in the background. The argument that Israel is a particular creation of God could have force only if the hearers understood the allusion to creation. “Just as he created the heavens and shaped the earth, so he has created Israel; and do you think he will forget us?” The use of the paired name, Jacob/Israel, underlines both the tenderness of God toward the people and also the sense of their being a creation of God. In Egypt and at Sinai God had taken a disparate people whose only commonality was an ancestor and had made them into a nation. They had not become a nation through the long slow processes of history, but had been forged in an instant (comparatively) through the will and activity of God alone, just as he had singled out their father Jacob, and before that, his father Abraham, and had set them on a completely new path.

Scholarly opinions vary considerably as to the significance of the perfect tenses of redeemed and called. Some believe that both are the so-called prophetic perfect in which future action is seen as already completed (so Muilenburg). But calling by name is most likely a past action, referring to the naming of a child at its birth, as God had named his people Israel. Thus others see both as completed actions in the past (so Delitzsch). This view has fewer difficulties than the previous one, seeing the act of redemption as having occurred at the exodus. Yet in a sense the hope of redemption to come supplies the rationale for not fearing. Because of this point, others (e.g., Schoors) see “reedeemed” as prophetic and “called” as past, with present and future redemption springing from past calling.13 Yet nothing in the sentence itself would signal such divergent usage. Perhaps Pieper has it best when he sees both perfect verbs as representing timeless fact, true in all eras. In any case, as Alexander notes, the reference to redemption calls to mind all the stipulations for redemption in the Mosaic law. Whatever misfortunes life may have brought, no one need be trapped in them forever. Provision is made for a family member, a friend, or even oneself to pay back the debt, to deliver the slave, to commute the sentence. In God’s world fate does not have the last word. In particular,the provisions for redemption by means of substitution in the case of the firstborn (Exod. 34:20; Num. 3:45; 18:16) may explain the references to substitution here in vv. 3 and 4.[1]


1. If we connect this verse, and indeed the whole opening of the chapter, with what went before, (and certainly, though we divide into chapters, the original preaching or delivery of the prophecy was not so) how surprizing is it, to behold the Lord’s ways with his people. The last chapter ended as it the Lord and Israel had parted in anger; but here God begins in grace and mercy, as though nothing had happened. Reader, do not fail to observe how all tenders of reconciliation begin on the part of God. Though the Lord gave Jacob to the spoiler, and Israel to the robbers, yet the Lord will be gracious again.[2]


Ver. 1.—But now. The words mark the strong contrast between the closing passage of the preceding chapter and the opening paragraph of the present one. Israel had undergone a severe punishment for his sins; he is still suffering, but now there is going to be an entire change. He is to be protected and delivered. Created thee … formed thee … redeemed thee … called thee by thy name. An ascending series of benefits. First, creation, like that of formless matter out of nought; then, formation, or putting of the formless matter into shape; thirdly, redemption, or making them all his own; lastly, calling them by their name, and so conferring on them a proud and enviable distinction. On this fourfold ground God claims Israel as his own.[3]


1. And now thus saith Jehovah. It is hard to say whether this is a different discourse or the same with the former; for the Prophets, whose writings have come down to us, did not separate their discourses into distinct chapters, so as to enable us to know what they spoke each day. For my own part, I think it is probable that this doctrine is connected with the preceding; for, having formerly spoken severely against the Jews, and threatened destruction to them, he wished to moderate that severity. The Lord always cares for the godly; and wickedness never abounds to such an extent that he does not at the same time preserve his people, and provide for their safety, that they may not be involved in similar destruction. I think, therefore, that the copulative ו (vau) should be viewed as disjunctive, “And yet the Lord will leave some consolation to the godly who shall remain.”

This passage ought to be carefully observed; for, although it may appear as if all had leagued for our destruction, although the anger of the Lord burn fiercely, and we think that we are very near destruction; yet, if but two or three godly persons are left, we ought not to despair; for Jehovah addresses them in this manner, Fear not. The adverb Now, which is here used, has great weight; for it means a present or immediate calamity, and, in short, a time when it appeared as if all were lost and ruined; because at that very time God does not cease to comfort his people, and gently to soothe their sorrows, that amidst the utmost despair they may preserve their hope firm and unshaken.

Such is the purport of the preface, thy Creator and Maker; for otherwise the door would have been shut against the execution of these predictions. Besides, from other passages we may conclude, that the Lord does not here speak of universal creation, such as we share with the rest of men, and by which we are born mortal, but of regeneration to the hope of a heavenly life, on account of which we are also called new creatures. This is the sense in which Paul calls us “the workmanship of God,” (Eph. 2:10,) as on former occasions we have fully explained. In this sense also he calls himself the Maker; as if he had said, that God did not “make” his Church, in which the brightness of his glory shone conspicuously, in order to undo so excellent a work. Hence we ought to observe, that the Church has nothing that is properly her own, but everything in which she excels ought to be ascribed to the gift of God.

For I have redeemed thee. This is added as the reason of the former statement, and may appropriately be viewed as referring both to the future and to the past; for the first deliverance from Egypt gave hope of another deliverance to come. Although he describes a future deliverance from the Babylonish captivity, yet the past tense is not inapplicable; for God hath redeemed us to himself before the effect of redemption reaches us; and therefore when he wishes to testify what he has decreed, namely, to redeem his Church, which appeared to have perished, he uses with propriety the past tense.

I have called thee by thy name. To “call by one’s name” means here, to admit into close relationship, as when we are adopted by God to be his children. The reason of this mode of expression is, that God rejects the reprobate in such a manner that he appears to have forgotten them. Hence, also, the Scripture says, that “he knoweth them not.” (Matt. 7:23; Luke 13:27.) From a contrast of this sort we learn more fully what is meant by being “called by God.” It is when he passes by others, and deigns to bestow on us a peculiar honour, and, from being strangers, to make us members of his household, and next takes us under his care and guardianship, so as to direct us and all our affairs. For the same reason he adds, Thou art mine, that believers may know that there will always be left a Church among the elect people, because God refuses to be deprived of his rightful possession. In short, he declares that they are his dear inheritance, of which he will never suffer himself to be robbed.[4]


1. But now makes a logical connection with what has gone before: ‘Now then’. Israel has been revealed as blind (42:19), inattentive (42:20), falling short of the Lord’s plan (42:21), defeated (42:2), sinfully disobedient (42:24), spiritually uncomprehending and insensitive (42:25). ‘Now then’ is enough to make us quake in our shoes! How will the Lord react to such a catalogue of culpability? Created … formed: the verbs are used in their established sense, the former to bring into being, de novo, by a sole and free act of God, and the latter to fashion and mould into shape as a potter would. So the Lord determined to have a people for his very own, brought them into being and shaped them on the wheel of circumstances. This is the first ground on which the Lord will say, you are mine (Eph. 1:4; 2:10). The second ground is redemption. The verb is √gā’al (35:10). The Lord made himself the Next-of-Kin of the people he had created. They are his family and he shoulders all their needs as if his own. The third ground is the personal relationship between the Lord and his people (summoned by name) whereby, as we might say, they are on first-name terms.[5]


1 The verbs ‘create’ and ‘form’ can be used both of what God did in his activity in creation, as well as his forming of Israel as his own people (for previous use of ‘create’ in Isaiah, see 4:5; 40:26, 28; 41:20; 42:5; and for ‘form’, see 22:11; 27:11; 29:16; 37:26). Israel’s God again speaks with authority, and this time it is a word of consolation for his people. His command to them is ‘not to fear’, and the reason for this is twofold. First of all, God is the one who has redeemed his people for himself. The verb used here (Heb. gâ’al) is used in the Pentateuch (Gen.–Deut.) of redemption of property or persons, and also of the role of the next of kin to effect payment of life for life. In the psalms and prophets it is a common word to describe how God will defend and vindicate his own people. The thought of near kinship may carry over from secular usage as well. The second reason is that God has called Jacob/Israel by his own name. He has placed his name on them to indicate ownership. Hence it follows that they belong to him. In spite of Israel’s exilic experience nothing has changed the fact that Israel is the Lord’s by creation and redemption.[6]


But now—Notwithstanding God’s past just judgments for Israel’s sins. saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob—not only in the general sense, but specially created as a peculiar people unto Himself (vv. 7, 15, 21; ch. 44:2, 21, 24). So believers, “created in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:10), “a peculiar people”—i. e., a people whom peculiarly God chose to be His (λαὸς εἰς περιποίησιν) (1 Pet. 2:9). Fear not: for I have redeemed thee—a second argument why they should trust Him, besides creation. The Hebrew, gaal, means to ransom by a price paid in lieu of the captive (cf. v. 3). Babylon was to be the ransom in this case—i. e., was to be destroyed, in order that they might be delivered: so Christ became a curse, doomed to death, that we might be redeemed. I have called (thee) by thy name—not merely “called” in general, as in ch. 42:6; 48:12; 51:2, but designated, as His own peculiar people (cf. ch. 45:3, 4; Exod. 33:12; John 10:3).[7]


[1] Oswalt, J. N. (1998). The Book of Isaiah, Chapters 40–66 (pp. 137–138). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[2] Hawker, R. (2013). Poor Man’s Old Testament Commentary: Proverbs–Lamentations (Vol. 5, p. 409). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[3] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1910). Isaiah (Vol. 2, p. 136). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

[4] Calvin, J., & Pringle, W. (2010). Commentary on the Book of the Prophet Isaiah (Vol. 3, pp. 317–319). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[5] Motyer, J. A. (1999). Isaiah: an introduction and commentary (Vol. 20, pp. 301–302). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[6] Harman, A. (2005). Isaiah: A Covenant to Be Kept for the Sake of the Church (p. 295). Scotland: Christian Focus Publications.

[7] Fausset, A. R. (n.d.). A Commentary, Critical, Experimental, and Practical, on the Old and New Testaments: Job–Isaiah (Vol. III, p. 697). London; Glasgow: William Collins, Sons, & Company, Limited.

GTY Blog Post – Friday’s Featured Sermon: Forgiveness in the Age of Rage

As I look at the anger and violence consuming so much of our society today, I am reminded of another of John’s sermons—this one from a few years back, during another outburst of social unrest and outrage. In “Forgiveness in the Age of Rage,” John begins by considering the cost of the anger and unforgiving spirit that dominates the world. By contrast, he points out the vivid ways the Bible describes the blessing of forgiveness.

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— Read on www.gty.org/library/blog/B200619

Saturday Selections – June 20, 2020 — Reformed Perspective

Homosexuality and transgenderism are at odds with one another

This video is fantastic, but there’s a lot packed in here, so the argument is worth writing out as well. What narrator Joseph Backholm is explaining is that there is a fundamental conflict between homosexuals and transgenders. Whereas homosexual men say they are attracted to men, transgenders say you can’t even know someone is a man by looking at him because gender is not tied to biology. Or, in other words, maleness and femaleness can only be known by asking not by seeing. It then makes no sense for a homosexual to say they are physically attracted to one gender or the other, because there are no physical attributes unique to one gender or the other (ie. men can have breasts, and women penises). so transgenderism and homosexuality can only remain allies so long as they don’t discuss their foundational assumptions.

That’s where Christians come in. While homosexuality and transgenderism can’t both be right, they can both be wrong. Backholm notes that “Our fundamental identity is not found in our sexual attractions, or in our feelings about how masculine or feminine we are.” But he leaves it at that. We need to carry on and note that attractions may fade, and feelings may change, so grounding our identity in either of those is going to be disappointing. But we can find our true identity by turning to the One who made us.

Does systemic racism exist? 

“Systemic racism isn’t whatever I – as a black man – says it is. My perceptions are not proof. My experiences are not authoritative. I am not God.

“….Therefore, if we’re going to accuse our governments of participating in systemic racism today, we should be able to list examples of systemic partiality against black people today. …Social justice proponents are unable to list racist laws or policies to support their accusations, so they usually resort to perceptions and racial disparities as evidence for their accusations…. Systemic racism theory essentially demands groups to prove they’re not systemically racist – instead of demanding social justice proponents to prove the legitimacy of their accusations.”

Deepfakes show the need for knowing your sources are trustworthy

Deepfakes are faked videos of celebrities or political leaders that can’t be distinguished from the real thing. We live in a world in which Justin Trudeau can be made to say anything, the video posted on YouTube, and the viewing audience would not, just from seeing and hearing it, be able to tell it from the real thing. The only way to discern whether it is true or not would be whether it was received from a trustworthy source, or not. But with trustworthy sources as a minimum these days, it underscores the need for higher standards in our media consumption. We can’t believe everything we find in our social media feed…and we shouldn’t be passing on what we ourselves don’t know is reliable.

Vaccines that use aborted fetuses’ cells draw fire

COVID-19 vaccines are being developed using cells from aborted fetuses. The argument is sometimes made that these fetuses were aborted long ago – more than 30 years ago – so need it concern us now? Douglas Wilson proposes that before answering that question we should reframe it properly: “Is it lawful for Christians knowingly to use vaccines that were grown in the cultivated remains of a murder victim?”

Who is discipling your children?

As David Murray explains, “Our children are being discipled. The only question is, who’s discipling them? You or the world?”

Romeo and Juliet 2020 remix

For all the English teachers out there…

via Saturday Selections – June 20, 2020 — Reformed Perspective

Take it to the Lord in Prayer — Daily Devotionals by Thoughts about God

My mobile phone crashed a few months ago and I had to switch to my wife’s old one as a temporary measure. On the first day of using the phone, there was one particularly important feature that neither I nor my wife could   grasp, though we tried to figure it out for a while. My small son, who was watching us all the time, then boldly mentioned that he could help us figure it out. We ignored his offer of help and kept grappling with the problem unsuccessfully on our own, even though he repeatedly kept offering his help. Eventually, maybe more out of irritation, we handed the phone to him. Lo and behold, he sorted it out within a few minutes!!

Relieved and I guess quite surprised, my wife and I expressed our appreciation and admiration to him. His casual reply, said almost in despair was, ‘The problem with you two is that you never ask for my help”! He was just 7!!

It struck me that sometimes, we too may be the same. We try to solve our problems in our own strength and ability and in every other possible way, (many times to be disappointed), without first going to the Lord in prayer! it’s good to remind ourselves today that Jesus said. “Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete” (John 16:24).

So, if you are battling a challenging situation today,

1) Turn it over to the Lord in prayer. He says, “Call to me and I will answer you….” (Jeremiah 33:3).

2) Have the confidence (Faith) that he is strong enough and well able to help you. Hebrews 11:1says, “Faith shows the reality of what we hope for ” (NLT).

3) Testify of His goodness when the answer comes.

Jesus is always willing to help us.

O what peace we often forfeit
O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer   (Joseph Scriven)

By Palitha Jayasooriya
Used by Permission

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via Take it to the Lord in Prayer — Daily Devotionals by Thoughts about God

Trusting Through the Drought — Daily Devotionals by Thoughts about God

Blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green and they never stop producing fruit.Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NLT)

As we release our cares to the Lord and as we continue to grow in trusting Him daily, we can expect results.

God’s Word is clear about what happens when we trust Him. When our roots go down deep, when we believe He is our hope, and when we put our confidence in His strength to carry us, He promises that we will remain fruitful and green — even when there is drought all around us. What a picture!

As we walk through our days with confident expectation in the Lord, we will feel His blessing and His calm in our hearts. Our circumstances may remain challenging, yet…

His strength will steady us,
His comfort will touch us,
His peace will wash over us,
His presence will encase us,
His wisdom will guide us,
And His love will surround us.

Feast your heart and mind on all He is today. Your roots will draw water from a deep place and you will be blessed and refreshed.

Father God, life is full of cares and around me. There is drought of many kinds. Thank You that You are all I need. Thank You that You will guide me and shepherd me through the maze of life as I trust You with my whole heart. Increase my faith today as I trust You in and with the cares of my life. (Name them specifically). I thank You and pray this in the strong name of Jesus. Amen.

By Gail Rodgers
Used by Permission
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via Trusting Through the Drought — Daily Devotionals by Thoughts about God