Daily Archives: August 28, 2020

MACARTHUR: Losing Our Religion | The Daily Wire

A man prays in a church as shoppers make their last minute purchases on Christmas Eve on December 24, 2018 in Birmingham, England.

Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Faith is on the decline nowadays, and it is no wonder. Most people in these postmodern times are convinced that it’s impossible to know anything with settled certainty — so they can’t really believe anything, either. When you aren’t even sure whether objective truth exists, the suggestion that there is something to believe in simply doesn’t make any sense. Begin with the assumption that nothing can be known for sure, and religious convictions are automatically out of the question.

In case you hadn’t realized it, that kind of thinking now dominates our society. The concept of settled, knowable truth is widely considered intellectually inept and politically incorrect. There’s “my truth” and “your truth,” meaning everything is ultimately just a matter of perspective. In other words, truth claims are really nothing more than just personal opinions, and they deserve to be treated that way. Every point of view, no matter how bizarre, demands equal respect. Because, after all, no one can say for sure what is ultimately true.

How did we get here? This is the wreckage of a post-structuralist epistemology, where all texts must be deconstructed; any spiritual precept or article of faith must be met with unyielding skepticism; certainty is deemed the very height of arrogance; feelings count more than facts; and common sense, moral values — even knowledge itself — are scorned as relics of a more naïve epoch of human history.

There is zero tolerance for religious faith in a climate like that.

Western society was built on beliefs that are rooted in Scripture, starting with the truth that God exists and has made Himself known. The whole weight of the United States’ Declaration of Independence hangs on truths about God and His creation that our nation’s founding fathers regarded as “self-evident.”

They were right about that. All creation is filled with important realities that are self-evident — axiomatic — beginning with the very foundation of all truth. The Bible says some basic knowledge of God is innate in every human heart: “That which is known about God is evident within them.” (Romans 1:19)

Furthermore, God constantly displays His glory through creation in a way that is hard to miss. Whether you study the vastness of the universe or examine a single drop of pond water through a microscope, you will see ample evidence of God’s infinite power, wisdom, creativity — and a host of other attributes. These truths (precisely the kind of ultimate, objective realities the postmodern mind rejects) are purposefully built into all of creation at every conceivable level.

Scripture goes on to say, “God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:19-20)

Humanity’s problem is that because of our sin, we resist accountability to God, so we suppress that innate knowledge and ignore or try to explain away what is literally spread across the universe in all its resplendence before our eyes. Because fallen minds refuse to see what is obvious, they lose the ability to make sense of anything. “For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools.” (vv. 21-22)

I’ve been quoting, of course, from the opening chapter of the apostle Paul’s epistle to the Romans. He goes on to chronicle a pattern of decline that has been repeated in cycles throughout human history. It is a descent into sin and depravity that has brought down every one of history’s most powerful empires and currently threatens our civilization. It is a path that goes from unbelief to complete intellectual futility, and it drags whole societies through idolatry, uncontrolled lusts, degrading passions, and every conceivable expression of unrighteousness.

The end result is “a depraved mind” (v. 28) — a soul utterly given over to wickedness, irrationality, and contempt for everything that is truly righteous. In an act of divine judgment, God withdraws His grace and allows an individual (or an entire culture) to reach that point of moral and spiritual insanity. Here’s how the apostle says it:

Just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them. (vv. 28-32)

We have literally watched this play out in living color, with Jerry Springer narrating, as our culture has sped down the exact path of spiritual decline Paul outlines in that chapter. Hollywood, hip-hop, shock radio, and a host of other pop-culture obsessions — helped by mainstream media and the secular academy — have indoctrinated recent generations to accept and even encourage every imaginable kind of depravity and radical “alternative lifestyle.”

We’re not supposed to notice the overtly self-destructive nature of popular moral deviancies or the aberrant subcultures they spawn. Anyone who is still offended or appalled by such things is considered ignorant or ill-bred. Our mainstream media have displayed a stubborn determination to advance and encourage the moral meltdown. They will, for example, portray months of lawlessness and rioting as legitimate expressions of free speech — insisting that it has been “mostly peaceful,” even though the destructive result is clearly evident to anyone with eyes to see.

Meanwhile, nothing is more politically incorrect than religious belief. Genuine faith in God is commonly represented as a dangerous, disqualifying disorder. Just this week, for example, former U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, speaking live on a national news network, suggested that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo does not qualify to serve in public office because he is “overtly religious … which in itself is problematic.”

Governmental response to the coronavirus pandemic offers more stunning examples of how far our culture has gone in losing its religion. States and counties across the nation have classified places like casinos, abortion clinics, liquor stores, and massage parlors as essential businesses, permitting them to remain open — while churches are commonly categorized as “nonessential” and kept closed. The governor of California and county officials in Los Angeles have shown a determination to keep our church closed, even while encouraging massive political protests by angry people in the streets.

Although public discourse today is full of cries for justice and structural change, there is simply no way to affirm any coherent standard of justice —much less is there any hope of change for the better — apart from a sweeping return to the God of Scripture, who is the source of all truth. We desperately need a generation of men and women who will open their eyes to that reality, turn from the unbelief and cold skepticism that define our culture, and flee for mercy to the God they have spurned. The good news is that God does offer full and free forgiveness and abundant blessing for those who will heed the call of Jesus Christ and come to Him in repentant faith.

More from John MacArthur: Why We Opened Our Church And Will Not Yield To The Whims Of The State

Dr. John MacArthur is the pastor of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California. He is the author of more than 400 books, a featured teacher with the Grace to You media ministry (gty.org), and is chancellor of The Master’s University and Seminary.

— Read on www.dailywire.com/news/macarthur-losing-our-religion

August 28 Speak Softly

 

Proverbs 15:1

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

The mouth of the righteous is a well of life” (Proverbs 10:11) and is as valuable as choice silver (10:20). The words of the righteous are wisdom, they are like food for those hungry to know how to live (10:21, 31). And most of all, the lips of the righteous are discerning, knowing what is acceptable to say (10:32). I believe the sensitive, Spirit-led Christian can depend upon the Holy Spirit to give him freedom to speak or freedom not to speak, depending on whether the words are acceptable (appropriate) in the given situation.

Perhaps the most underutilized word of healing that Proverbs discusses is the “soft answer [which] turns away wrath.” It takes two people to have a heated, angry argument. If one of them decides to use a soft answer and not participate in the shouting match, the heated argument must by definition come to a halt. If you enter a situation where an angry argument is taking place, you can diffuse the tension and lower the decibel level by your soft words.

It is a blessing beyond description to see the spirits of a person rise, the life restored to their eyes, as a result of a healing word from your own lips.[1]

 

[1] Jeremiah, D. (2002). Sanctuary: finding moments of refuge in the presence of God (p. 251). Nashville, TN: Integrity Publishers.

News Round-Up and Comment — VCY America

Date:  August 28, 2020  
Host:  Jim Schneider  
MP3 ​​​| Order

https://embed.sermonaudio.com/player/a/828202113193213/

Here’s a sample of stories that Jim presented for listener consideration on this week’s edition of the ‘Round-Up’:

–President Donald Trump accepted the Republican nomination for a second term as President of the United States at Republican National Convention.

–Leftist agitators protest near the White House to show their disdain for law enforcement.

–Kamala Harris says the riots will not stop nor should they.

–The Republican National Committee recently approved a resolution refuting the legitimacy of the Southern Poverty Law Center to identify hate groups.

–Vice President Mike Pence cast the reelection of President Donald Trump as critical to preserving law and order and economic viability, asserting that Democratic rival Joe Biden would set America on a path to socialism and decline.

–A convicted felon was brought to tears when President Trump granted him a full pardon in a video that aired Tuesday during the second night of the Republican National Convention.

–Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi calls President Trump an enemy of the state.

–Hillary Clinton says Joe Biden should not concede under any circumstances.

–Senator Rand Paul attacked by a crazed mob of over 100 people after leaving the White House.

–Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked President Trump and his administration for all that they have done for Israel following his meeting with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

–President Trump’s brother, Robert Trump, had been praying for revival across America before his death.

–A radio host and journalist reported that Seattle rioters used a substance suspected to be concrete to seal shut the door to the East Precinct of the Seattle Police Department while at the same time trying to set the building on fire.

–A group of Black Lives Matter activists were caught on video in 3 separate instances harassing diners in Washington, D.C., restaurants who refused their demands to raise a fist in solidarity.

–A BLM activist in Portland expressed her desire to have police officers strangled in the womb with their own umbilical cords.

–A congressional staffer had gone to Twitter with the demand for the complete destruction of white men.  

–A 71 year old man in Kenosha was brutally beaten and had his jaw broken because   he wanted to defend his friend’s business.

News Round-Up and Comment — VCY America

HUGE! New Strzok-Page Emails Show Comey FBI Investigated President Trump’s Tweets Critical of Obama and FBI — The Gateway Pundit

Conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch obtained 323 pages of emails between former FBI lovebirds Peter Strzok and Lisa Page showing Comey’s FBI was investigating President Trump over his critical tweets of Barack Obama and the FBI.

The FBI is purposely slow-rolling its production of emails to Judicial Watch and only processing 500 pages per month in response to a 2017 FOIA lawsuit.

Judicial Watch obtained a March 2017 email Peter Strzok sent his boss Bill Priestap and others about probing President Trump’s tweets about being wiretapped by the FBI.

Judicial Watch reported:

On March 18, 2017, Strzok emails his boss, then-Asst. Director for the Counterintelligence Division Bill Priestap, along with colleagues Jon Moffa and Page, about his research into President Trump’s tweets about being wiretapped: 

Sending the tweets in question along with posting times. Doing some research, time stamping in Twitter can be glitchy … [T]he tweet times below were all -3 hours from east coast time, which I adjusted (ie, the first listed as 3:35am). I think I recall reporting at the time described the tweets as occurring around 630, not 330.

Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my “wires tapped” in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism! – Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2017 6:35 AM

Is it legal for a sitting President to be “wire tapping” a race for president prior to an election? Turned down by court earlier. A NEW LOW! – Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2017 6:52 AM

I’d bet a good lawyer could make a great case out of the fact that President Obama was tapping my phones in October, just prior to Election! – Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2017 6:52 AM

How low has President Obama gone to tap my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy! – Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2017 7:02 AM

Judicial Watch obtained other emails showing the FBI’s interaction with media outlets such as CNN, Politico and others. Click here to read the report.

“These astonishing emails, which have been hidden for years, show the Comey FBI was investigating President Trump over his critical tweets of the agency and Obama’s spying abuse and misconduct,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “These emails also show that Comey was intimately involved with illegal and dishonest FISA spy op against President Trump. Where is Durham?”https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1299427094263365632&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwordpress.com%2Fread%2Ffeeds%2F8941419%2Fposts%2F2884001319&theme=light&widgetsVersion=223fc1c4%3A1596143124634&width=550px

You can support Tom Fitton and Judicial Watch by clicking here.

HUGE! New Strzok-Page Emails Show Comey FBI Investigated President Trump’s Tweets Critical of Obama and FBI — The Gateway Pundit

On This Day in 1874: Violent Democrats Murdered Two Dozen Republicans in Coushatta Massacre — The Gateway Pundit

Never Forget–
On this day in 1874 Democrats slaughtered two dozen Republicans in the Coushatta Massacre.

Via Grand Old Partisan:

This day of 1874, two dozen politically-active Republicans were murdered by the White League, a terrorist organization affiliated with the Democratic Party. Some victims were shot, some hanged, and some hacked to death.

Slavery Party thugs, then as now, were hell-bent on eliminating the GOP. Two years later, Democrats gained control of Louisiana and incorporated their White League into the state militia.

Video via Grand Old Partisan

On This Day in 1874: Violent Democrats Murdered Two Dozen Republicans in Coushatta Massacre — The Gateway Pundit

August 28th The D. L. Moody Year Book

 

He shall call upon me, and I will answer Him.—Psalm 91:15.

LISTEN to the prodigal: “Father, I have sinned!” That was enough; the father took him right to his bosom. The past was blotted out at once.

Look at the men on the day of Pentecost. Their hands were dripping with the blood of the Son of God; they had murdered Jesus Christ. And what did Peter say to them? “It shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Look at the penitent thief. It might have been that when a little boy, his mother taught him that same passage in Joel, “It shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” As he hung there on the cross, it flashed into his mind that this was the Lord of glory, and though he was on the very borders of hell, he cried out, “Lord, remember me,” and the answer came right then and there, “This day thou shalt be with Me in paradise.” In the morning, as black as hell could make him; in the evening, not a spot or wrinkle. Why? Because he took God at His word. Why will men doubt Him?[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. 150). East Northfield, MA: The Bookstore.

August 28, 2020 Evening Verse Of The Day

6  The father now adds to his demand for entire and exclusive commitment an exhaustive commitment—in all [see v. 5] your ways (derākeykā; see 1:15; 2:8). Instead of the gloss desire his presence, most English versions gloss dāʿēhû (lit. “know him”; see 1:2, 2:5) by “acknowledge him” (e.g., NIV, NASB, NKJV, NRSV). Delitzsch, however, rightly argues that the verb “is not fully represented by ‘acknowledge Him.’ ”32 “Acknowledge” in the sense of “to confess” could represent yādaʿ in Hiphil, but doubtfully in the sense “to recognize the Lord’s rights and authority.” “To know” in this book means personal knowledge, intimate experience with a person’s reality (see p. 77; 1:2; 2:5–6). The noted connections between the spiritual consequences in Lecture 2 and the spiritual admonitions in ch. 3 infer that “know” in 3:6a has the same sense as in 2:5b. Personal knowledge of God ensues from risking oneself to obey the specific teachings that pertain to all sorts of human behavior in full reliance on God to keep his promises coupled with them (see 2:1). Jeremiah equates knowing the Lord with having the tôrâ written upon the heart (Jer. 31:31–34). So does Solomon (see 3:1), even if 3:4 is not original (see 7:3). It is difficult, however, to get the mind around the notion of knowing God in connection with all of one’s ways. But when the psalmist says: “The Lord knows the way of the righteous” (Ps. 1:6), he means, “The Lord is aware of sympathetically (i.e., existentially, not merely noetically)” > “enters into their way (and so protects it) > “watches over” (NIV).33 Independently, Fox glossed the expression by “hold him in mind” and commented that it denotes “awareness of what [the Lord] wants as well as a desire to do it.” Unfortunately, in this rare instance he based himself “on the rabbis, not on philology.” Moreover, as in Ps. 1:6 it may also connote “desire his protective presence.” The significance of the imperative mood is ambiguous because in this poem volitional forms are used for both pure admonitions and forceful promises (cf. “find,” v. 4; “let it be,” v. 8). The pattern of placing the divine promises in the even verses favors taking the verb as a promise (i.e., by trusting God entirely and exclusively you will know him). However, the consequence in verset B, “and he will make your path straight,” implies that the admonition in verset B functions as its condition vis-à-vis “know him personally, and he will.…” Straight and smooth (see “; cf. 11:5) renders the pun of this one Hebrew word to denote its physical reality and connote its ethical sense. Figuratively, Alonso-Schökel rightly says that it denotes either “straight” (i.e., yāšar “right, honest, upright conduct that does not go astray or out of bounds,” 2:13; 9:15) or “smoothness” (i.e., “the success of an undertaking or action”; cf. 3:23; 4:12; Isa. 40:3). The structure of 3:1–12 shows that at the least “smooth” is meant here. Since, however, to know the Lord one must abstain from evil for there is no evil in him, that relationship also makes one walk “straight.” Your paths (ʾōrehōteykā; see 1:19; 2:13) probably functions as a stock-in-trade parallel to derākeykā “your ways” (see 2:20). One has to view the course of one’s life from a bird’s-eye view, not from a worm’s-eye view, to see this truth. A Portuguese proverb says, “God writes straight with crooked lines.”[1]


3:6. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.

The third line of the exhortation is found here: ‘In all your ways acknowledge Him.’ The verb ‘acknowledge’ means simply ‘to know.’ Such knowledge is more than acquainting yourself with God, but describes a deep experiential knowledge. The fact that this is to be ‘in all your ways’ (cf. ‘with all your heart,’ v. 5) drives deeper still the level of intimacy intended.

Finally, the reward is stated: ‘And He will make your paths straight.’ The straight paths of the wise contrast with the crooked or perverse ways of the wicked (Prov. 2:13, 15; 3:17; 10:9). The reward is more than the promise of simple guidance. It includes the removal of obstacles (Isa. 40:3; 45:13) from the path of the wise and the surety of arriving at one’s destination.

When you abandon yourself to God in trusting obedience, finding your entire support in Him and striving in every avenue of your life to know Him more intimately, He guarantees that the path before you will be clearer and smoother than otherwise it would have been, and that He will keep you in His will.[2]


Ver. 6.—In all thy ways. This expression covers the whole area of life’s action—all its acts and undertakings, its spiritual and secular sides, no less than its public and private. It guards against our acknowledging God in great crises and solemn acts of worship only (Plumptre). Acknowledge (daehu); Vulgate, cogita; LXX., γνὠριζε. The Hebrew verb yada signifies “to know, recognize.” To acknowledge God is, therefore, to recognize, in all our dealings and undertakings, God’s overruling providence, which “shapes our ends, rough-hew them as we will.” It is not a mere theoretical acknowledgment, but one that engages the whole energies of the soul (Delitzsch), and sees in God power, wisdom, providence, goodness, and justice. This meaning is conveyed by the Vulgate cogitare, which is “to consider” in all parts, “to reflect upon.” David’s advice to his son Solomon is, “Know thou (ola) the God of thy father.” We may well acknowledge Jehovah; for he “knoweth the way of the righteous” (Ps. 1:6). Acknowledging God also implies that we first ascertain whether what we are about to take in hand is in accordance with his precepts, and then look for his direction and illumination (Wardlaw). And he shall direct thy paths (v’hu y’yashsher or’khotheyka); i.e. he himself shall make them straight, or level, removing all obstacles out of the way; or they shall, under God’s direction, prosper and come to a successful issue; they shall be virtuous, inasmuch as deviation into vice will be guarded against, and happy, because they are prosperous. The pronoun v’hu is emphatic, “he himself;” Vulgate, et ipse. Yashar, piel, is “to make a way straight,” as in ch. 9:15; 15:21; 11:5. Cf. the LXX. ὀρθοτομεῖν, “to cut straight” (see on ch. 11:5). God here binds himself by a covenant (Lapide). This power is properly attributed to God, for “it is not in man to direct his steps” (Jer. 10:23).[3]


6. Acknowledge is quite simply ‘know’, which contains not only the idea of acknowledging, but the much richer content of being ‘aware of’, and having ‘fellowship with’. And the promise that closes the verse offers more than guidance, though it includes it: He will make straight your paths (rsv), as he did for the unwitting Cyrus (Isa. 45:13; cf. Isa. 40:3) to bring him to his appointed goal.[4]


Ver. 6. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.Trust and guidance:

We have here the sound counsel of a wide experience.

  1. As containing the most important precepts for life. God claims from you here—
  2. The supreme affection of your heart.
  3. The complete homage of your intellect.
  4. The unswerving loyalty of your lives. Religion is not to be put on and off, it must pervade the life.
  5. As suggesting the greatest dangers in life.
  6. The fallibility of human counsellors.
  7. The deceitfulness of our own hearts.

III. As promising the greatest blessings through life.

  1. Domestically.
  2. Commercially.
  3. Spiritually. (T. Campey.)

The nature of the Christian’s trust in God:

  1. The nature of the trust.
  2. It must be intelligent.
  3. It must be unlimited.
  4. It must be constant. No trust is of any great value that is not uniform and abiding.
  5. The manner in which this trust is manifested.
  6. There is surrender to the Divine authority.
  7. There is obedience to the Divine law.
  8. There is submission to the Divine providence.
  9. There is faith in the Divine promises. Contrast the man who leans on his own understanding with the man who trusts in God. The one leans on a broken reed, the other on the arm of Omnipotence. (Anon.)

The Christian’s mainstay:

  1. Something to lean upon: “Trust in the Lord.”
  2. He is worthy of trust—kind, good, loving.
  3. He is suitable to trust in—powerful, eternal, just.
  4. He is able to be trusted in, for He is accessible, He invites all, He saves all who trust in Him.
  5. Something to distrust: “Lean not to thine own heart.”
  6. Nothing is more fickle.
  7. Nothing is more frail.
  8. Nothing is more deceptive.
  9. Nothing is more wicked.

III. Something to establish: “In all thy ways acknowledge Him.” “In all thy ways.” There will be ways of sorrow. Acknowledge His hand. There will be ways of disappointment. Thank Him for the discipline. There will be ways of joy. Praise Him for His love.

  1. Something to cheer: “He shall direct thy path.” He will direct it in perfect wisdom; He will direct it in perfect goodness; He will direct it for our good and His own glory. How peaceful the prospect, and how safe and sure the journey of that man whom the Lord directs! (Homilist.)

Consult God first:

Take one step at a time, every step under Divine warrant and direction. Ever plan for yourself in simple dependence on God. It is nothing less than self-idolatry to conceive that we can carry on even the ordinary matters of the day without His counsel. He loves to be consulted. Therefore take all thy difficulties to be resolved by Him. Be in the habit of going to Him in the first place—before self-will, self-pleasing, self-wisdom, human friends, convenience, expediency. Before any of these have been consulted, go to God at once. (C. Bridges, M.A.)

The necessity for Divine guidance:

  1. The filial acknowledgment demanded.
  2. In what it consists. We must acknowledge God’s supreme authority, and also His Divine wisdom and goodness.
  3. In what manner this acknowledgment should be made. By going to the Divine Word for instruction; by prayer; and by obedience to His authority.
  4. The Divine guidance which is promised.
  5. By enabling us to understand truth and the rule of duty.
  6. By preparing and disposing the heart to obedience.
  7. By a kind and wise providence. Application:
  8. Do you complain that you have not such guidance? In all your ways you do not acknowledge God.
  9. We must be sinful if we are in error.
  10. The subject appeals to wanderers and backsliders.
  11. The counsel is specially addressed to the young. (Evangelical Preacher.)

God to be acknowledged in all the affairs of life:

There is no hardship in this. This injunction is aimed, not at the speculative atheism which denies that there is a God, but at the much more common practical ungodliness which keeps Him at a distance from human affairs. If the commandment had been, “Acknowledge God in the uncertain and difficult ways of life,” it would have met with a more ready compliance. The large, and the formal, and the public men will submit to His decision; but the little, and close, and kindly they will keep to themselves. Let Him compass you about as the atmosphere embraces the earth, going into every interstice, and taking the measure of every movement. “Trust in the Lord at all times; pour out your hearts before Him.” (W. Arnot, D.D.)

Acknowledging God:

  1. A direction: “In all thy ways acknowledge Him.”
  2. It means to recognise God as our master, to accept Him as the sole arbiter of our lot, and publicly to acknowledge the position which we assume towards Him.
  3. It means to take God into all our counsels, and listen to His authority in everything we undertake. This act will render it impossible for us to sin, for how can a man take a holy God unto his counsels for evil?
  4. It means to acknowledge God in all our actions by seeking His blessing in their progress. It is not sufficient to begin well. It is only when God is sought at every step that we can walk in accordance with His will or progress safely or securely.
  5. It means to cultivate a feeling of resignation, and to be willing to give up our own ways and desires to His demand. This is, indeed, the great test which determines whether we acknowledge God. It costs something, and hereby we prove our sincerity. It is hard to have to renounce the cherished desires of a lifetime.
  6. The promise: “And He shall direct thy paths.”
  7. That it is the only safe course we can pursue to allow God to direct us. Owing to our own ignorance and shortsightedness we cannot direct them ourselves.
  8. That it is an utter impossibility for God to direct our paths unless we commit our whole ways into His hands. Faith and trust are the requisites for this happy consummation.
  9. That the ultimate end of His direction will turn out a glorious triumph. (Homilist.)

Human dependence and Divine guidance:

  1. The acknowledgment of God in all our ways supposes, as a preliminary, that what we are about to do is consistent with Christian principle. Christian principle is on the side of everything that is high, and honourable, and pure in the character of man. A mean Christian, a dishonourable Christian, an impure-minded Christian, are associations of light and darkness unknown to Christian verity.
  2. This acknowledgment of God is the constant accompaniment of a Filial spirit. The true child may not always understand, but will always obey the will of his parent. The filial spirit regulates the discordances between the understanding and the life. The religious man is a child. It is not enough for him to do child’s work, he must do it in a child’s temper. It is not enough for him to bear a child’s discipline, he must bear it in a child’s spirit.

III. This acknowledgment of God is always accompanied by practical obedience. Whether it is the cause or the effect of this obedience, it is not necessary to distinguish. There is a real practical obedience along with the utterance that expresses the acknowledgment. When may we hope that Divine direction is given in answer to prayer? Consider—

  1. The reflex benefits of prayer.
  2. The arrangements of God’s providence that secure an answer to prayer. To withhold prayer is to oppose the spiritual constitution of the universe. It is the refusal of obedience, of worship, of the acknowledgment of dependence, of confession, of supplication, and of thanksgiving; and we cannot imagine that to place ourselves at that distance from God is the way to secure eternal bliss. (W. G. Barrett.)

Duty and assurance:

  1. The duty enjoined.
  2. The nature of this duty. By our “ways” and “paths” we understand the designs, aims, and intentions of our minds, together with our actions consequent upon them; our whole capacity of judging, designing, resolving, and acting. To acknowledge God is to confess and own Him, according to all those several accounts and manifestations of Himself that He has given us.
  3. The extent, scope, and latitude of the duty. It is not indeed capable of limitation, for unless our resignation shall be universal, it cannot be sincere.

III. The encouragement or the motive that is offered to the practice of it.

  1. The truth of the proposition, “He will direct thy paths.” What is to be understood by this Divine direction? What confidence have we that God will make good His promise?
  2. The force of the motive. Because He will vouchsafe to direct our paths, therefore in all our ways we should acknowledge Him. (Dean Lambe.)

What to acknowledge concerning God:

  1. His presence. “The eyes of the Lord are in every place.” All except an atheist—a no God man—will admit this with their lips; few admit it in their lives.
  2. His power. He can do whatsoever He pleases. Nothing is impossible, nothing is too hard for the Lord.

III. His promises. The Bible is full of promises, suitable for all persons, and fitting into all circumstances. (R. Newton. D.D.)

Providence:

Submission to Divine providence does not consist in a blind surrender of the will to the influence of circumstances. Many a time we persuade ourselves that our course is one of patient acquiescence in the will of God, when we do but drift in foolish idleness on the stream of life. This text introduces the subject of Divine providence as an essential truth in the practical creed of our daily life. In solving the problem of human life it is necessary to recognise the individuality of character and the liberty of will. A false humility has led to the virtual denial of this. Men have deemed it bestowing honour upon God to represent themselves as mere clay in the hands of the potter. This idea has been underlying much of the popular theology of the past, and, in some way or other, it seems to be underlying much of the popular theology of to-day. To be wilfully blind to our own capacity and character is to deny ungratefully the best gifts of God. It is to lose sight of the real purposes of our being. True self-examination is one of the chief wants of our time. Self-examination is real and true in proportion as it dispenses with the fallacious and often misleading appearances in the lives of others. Truth is relative. No two truths can possibly be antagonistic to, or inconsistent with, each other. We recognise the individuality of character and the liberty of the will, and in perfect consistency with this, we affirm the truth taught in the text. But what is it to acknowledge God? The relation of cause and effect holds good in the realm of spiritual life not less than in the material world. Rewards and punishments are not arbitrarily bestowed by Him who is “the Judge of all the earth.” To “acknowledge” God is neither more nor less than to acknowledge the principles of truth and righteousness in all our ways. It is not to talk about religion, but to act it in the life. Not he who talks much about the gospel, but he whose every-day duties in business, in the family, and in the world are evidently influenced by the spirit and essence of the gospel, is the best evangelist. Thus to acknowledge God is to secure the guidance of His providence. Thus God has placed man’s happiness, so to speak, in his own keeping; and by true submission to the Divine will man is able to “lay hold on eternal life.” Surrendering ourselves to the guidance of holy and eternal principles, we are unconcerned about the future. Our delight being in the Lord—that is, in the integrity and holiness of His will—we know that He will give us the desires of our heart. (F. Wagstaff.)

How does God guide us?

In acknowledging God we are not to trust enthusiastically to impressions, to dreams, to fancied voices, and inward suggestions. Far less are we to make a lottery of the Bible, opening it at random, and taking the text that first meets our eye as given us by God, and putting our own meaning upon it. We are to apply our understandings to the blessed volume of inspiration, that we may find its principles and precepts that bear upon our case, and give our hearts to prayer, for that influence of the Holy Spirit which is necessary to deliver us from all undue prepossessions and prejudices in examining it. (R. Wardlaw, D.D.)

The acknowledgment of God:

Such acknowledgment will not be a fruitless thing, it will have a practical effect.

  1. How God is to be acknowledged. By a solemn and deliberate appeal to the great Disposer of all things for that aid and guidance which He alone can afford. This must involve—
  2. A real conviction that God rules the world. If God has no care for the concerns of this lower world, to acknowledge Him is useless; if He acts in all things quite independently of oar conduct, acknowledging Him is an impertinence.
  3. That we honestly admit to Him in each particular case that the matter is in His hands, and that it is ordered as He may see fit. This implies a course of thought just the very opposite of that which men commonly pursue in the business of life. To them all concerns and events are godless just because they are godless themselves.
  4. A sincere dependence on Him for direction and help. This is the practical bearing of our conscious reference to God. A real and earnest acknowledgment of God is a belief in His supreme and almighty government of the world; a devout reference to His presence in all the concerns in which we are called to act, a humble reliance on His Spirit and aid; and this is a state of mind to be maintained, continually carried into every scene of duty and conflict, and made a settled habit of thought and feeling in all our ways.
  5. How will God direct our ways? If proof that He does were wanted the whole experience of His people in all ages would rise up in witness. The promise is of direction. It is not necessarily a complete deliverance, and much less a painless course of ease and prosperity. How will the direction be effected? Through the working of our own minds and the counsels of others; by opening new paths and placing fresh aids within our reach; by influencing our souls through the teaching of His Spirit, and preserving them from false signs by which they were wont to be led astray.
  6. Often God leads us and we know not how, we cannot say by what means it is.
  7. Often God leads us even by means of obstacles.
  8. Often God leads us by means of delay.
  9. Sometimes God even seems to guide our way by means of our enemies. (J. M. Charlton, M.A.)

God’s direction:

Do nothing without God’s direction in His Word. A man that had a house to build would in all things follow the direction of a skilful workman, lest he lose his cost. So let us follow God’s guidance, or all our labour is lost. None desires to go astray out of his way, except he be first gone out of his wits. Every man will rather take a guide to direct him, and give money to that end. If we be careful to acknowledge God in our ways we shall not wander out of them, for we shall have a trusty guide. The Athenians conceived that their goddess Minerva turned all their evil counsels into good to them; the Romans thought their goddess Videlia set them again in the right way when at any time they were out. All this, and undoubtedly more, is done by the true God for all who commit their ways unto Him. (Francis Taylor, B.D.)

Acknowledging God in all our ways:

  1. The nature of the injunction. A practical acknowledgment is required; but this is founded on a firm belief of the existence and perfections of God. We acknowledge God in all our ways—
  2. When we live in obedience to His Word and commandments.
  3. When we look to and trust Him for what we want, and implore His blessing on all we undertake.
  4. When we acquiesce in and submit to His dispensations.
  5. Acknowledging implies praising and gratefully adoring Him under a sense of His bounty and loving-kindness.
  6. And seeking Him in and through His Son.
  7. The encouragement given us to acknowledge God.
  8. We shall be preserved by grace from fatal mistakes and errors.
  9. We shall be conducted by God through all the difficulties and perplexities that may meet us.
  10. We shall be well instructed in the way of duty and peace. (S. Knight, M.A.)

Piety in every-day life:

  1. Bring religion into our ordinary conversation.
  2. Into our ordinary employments.
  3. Into all our trials.
  4. Into our ordinary blessings. (T. De Witt Talmage.)

Acknowledging God:

  1. Acknowledge God as thy King, by conforming to His laws.
  2. As thy Benefactor, by gratefully receiving His benefits.
  3. As thy Father, by submitting to His paternal chastisements.
  4. As thy Model, by striving to copy His perfections. (Sketches of Four Hundred Sermons.)

Divine guidance:

  1. The Duty.
  2. Acknowledge His wisdom.
  3. His goodness.
  4. His superintendence.
  5. His faithfulness.
  6. The promise connected with the duty. He will make our path straight and plain before us, and show in what way we ought to walk, and how we ought to act. (W. C. Wilson, M.A.)

Dependence:

The thought of an over-ruling Providence is the sweetest of all thoughts to the Christian. It is to him his stay, his comfort, and his assurance in this dark vale of tears. The best Christian is he that trusts most implicitly to the God of providence, the God of all His mercy. The Christian who truly loves Christ feels himself utterly dependent upon the strength of Christ. There are some men who go forth to their daily work from morning till evening as though there were no providence to guide them. Worldly-minded men have no recognition of a God, make no acknowledgment of a providence.

  1. Man’s duty. The whole course of man’s existence is a course of utter dependence, and for some mercy or favour he is every day required to give an acknowledgment. This feeling of dependence we must be conscious of every day we live. In every position of society we are mutually dependent the one upon the other. One class of society looks to another class, and even the queen upon her throne must ask her people for her annual supplies and revenues. But there is a point at which dependence ceases. There is One above all others who owes nothing to any man, but contributes of His goodness to all men freely—One on whom all are dependent, and yet He Himself is independent of any. That is the God of heaven; the God of providence—the source of all our comfort; the author of every blessing; the giver of every grace, the spring of all our joys, the life of every delight. To acknowledge God we must—
  2. Believe in the existence of God.
  3. Use the power and privilege of prayer when we are in need, distress, affliction.
  4. God’s promise. He has pledged Himself in His own never-failing covenant, “I will direct thy paths.” Are you not conscious that oftentimes Providence has turned your feet by a way you know not, and opened up to you new spheres of duty? The mercies past demand acknowledgment, and they encourage you to trust for mercies yet to come. If you feel any doubt, hesitation, perplexity, trouble, then come, like Hezekiah of old, and spread your want before the Lord; the ears of the God of Sabaoth love to hear the voice of him that prayeth. (R. Maguire, M.A.)

He shall direct thy paths:

His direction will secure—

  1. Safety.
  2. Happiness.
  3. Endless progress. (D. Thomas, D.D.)

The great duty of acknowledging God:

  1. The duty enjoined. We are to carry out, in the actings of every-day life, the great principle that there is a Being above us, and that Being is the proper object of the love and confidence of His creatures. From the time we set out in life to the period of old age—in all the variety of circumstances in which we may be placed, whatever be our state, whether one of prosperity or one of affliction—in all our concerns, personal and relative, temporal and spiritual, in all that belongs to this world or that relates to the next—we should think of God, and thank God, and trust God, and pray to God for His counsel and grace. We are to see God in everything, and we are to do nothing without Him. This duty is set in opposition to the natural tendency of the human mind to draw wisdom from its own resources, and to rest satisfied with its own powers. This setting God before us, with that feeling of reverence which His great name inspires, is a barrier to the commission of sin.
  2. The encouragement given to practise this duty. All our goings shall be under His guidance, if we own and seek His providence. With a special regard to the interests of the humble, trusting soul, He will open a path before it; He will lead it into that path by indications of His will, plain and evident. We are short-sighted. We miscalculate. We often fail. We are exposed to temptations. We want a counsellor. If we look for God we shall see God, and see Him as our Helper, Protector, and Guide, in the most remarkable manner. If we depend upon providences, in the use of means, we shall have providential actings in our behalf, times without number. God may not always lead us in the path that we ourselves would choose. Infinite Wisdom chooses the path, and Infinite Love bears us through it. The rugged way may be the right way, though we may not now be able to see it. The direction of a higher Power brought to your affairs will not only conduce to your spiritual interests, it will likewise prove the greatest temporal blessing. (William Curling, M.A.)

Trust in the Lord:

Speaking broadly, there are two ways in which people pass through life. They pass through it remembering God, or they pass through it forgetting Him. God is out of sight to us all: the difference is that to some He is out of mind; by others He is really and truly constantly thought of. We are all mixed up together for the present: those who are passing through the world looking to God, and leaning on His arm, and those who have no help but what their own strength gives them, and no hope beyond this world. We are all mixed up together—nay, the two ways are mixed up very often in ourselves; we seem to pass from one to the other, from forgetting God to remembering Him, from trusting Him to trusting only this world; we have Him in mind one hour, we lean unto our own understanding the next. Yet, in spite of all this, there are but the two ways; there is no mixing up of them in the eyes of God, who sees all clearly. Now, to which is our ordinary course of life most like? We must look close into our hearts and secret ways if we would not be deceived; if we really wish to know whether we are trusting to Almighty God’s wisdom and strength to help and guide us through our day’s walk, or whether we are leaning to our own poor, weak understanding. One sure proof is in our private prayers. It is impossible that any one can really be acknowledging God—can be thinking of anything but worldly things—who does not pray by himself in secret, and pray every day regularly. Then, again, how do we pray? Do we make a reality of our prayers by giving our mind to them, and keeping our thoughts from wandering—by earnestly begging God to be merciful to us, and to take care of us, in soul and body, both here and in eternity? Or do we pray only because we should feel uncomfortable if we had not said our prayers, but yet without really feeling that we need what we pray for? Another proof is our way of bearing disappointments—the crosses and vexations which come upon all of us in our turn as we go through life. Nothing shows more plainly than this whether we are indeed acknowledging the Lord in all our ways, for this discovers to us for certain whether indeed we believe that all things come from God’s ordering; and also that there is nothing that He sends on us but He sends it out of love for our souls, out of the desire to do us good in the end. Another proof is the care we take to keep in order our words and our secret thoughts as we pass through the day. “Acknowledge Him in all thy ways,” says the Scripture; and how should we acknowledge Him better than by showing how constantly what He loves and desires comes into our thoughts, and keeps us from saying and thinking what, if we sought only our own will, we should think and say. When, for love and fear of Him, we keep back a bitter or ill-natured word that no one knew we were going to say, then we do nothing for the praise of men, but we “acknowledge” Him in secret. When for fear and love of Him, we not only set a watch on our lips, but keep a guard also on our thoughts—drive away all things that we ought not to think about—check and keep down our passion when it is rising—then this is something which is meant only for His eye; for the eye of man cannot see what was in our heart, and would not have known anything about it if we had indulged our thoughts. But if we let our thoughts run riot, and say that no eye shall see them, and no one think the worse of us for them; if we prefer to say the first harsh or unkind thing that comes up to our lips when we are vexed or angry, instead of keeping it under, though it cost us a struggle; if we give our hearts liberty to long for, and run after, the good things of this world, and say that there is no harm in it; if we let our souls be burdened or surfeited with the cares or pleasures of this world; if we have no time for thoughts about God and our eternal state, and put them out of the way that we may give ourselves more completely to our worldly interests—if we do all this, how can any one deceive himself with thinking that he is acknowledging God in all his ways? (Dean Church.)

A recipe for the true enjoyment of life:

Obedience to the known will of God is the condition which secures Divine direction in the paths of our life.

  1. The important condition. The presence of the Lord fills the universe, and you should—
  2. Acknowledge Him in your secret ways. Such presence should not be a dread to us. His is a kindly presence.
  3. Acknowledge Him in your ways of thought. If the fountain be pure, the stream which flows therefrom shall be unstained.
  4. Acknowledge God in your ways of business. The best partner we can have is our heavenly Father.
  5. Acknowledge Him in your ways of pleasure. In all festivities. Wherever you go, whatever you do.
  6. Acknowledge Him in your ways of dress. Instead of dressing to appear fashionable, dress to be Godlike, Christlike.
  7. Acknowledge Him in the ways of social life.
  8. Acknowledge Him in the ways of prayer, faith, praise, penitence, doing good, reading the Scriptures.
  9. The soul-inspiring promise: “He shall direct thy paths.”
  10. In the pilgrimage of life.
  11. To the unrevealed future.
  12. To the Cross of Calvary.
  13. To the ever-flowing fountain of forgiveness.
  14. To your place in heaven. (William Birch.)

Guidance:

  1. Guidance is to be had for the journey. There are countless false paths, but no traveller needs to take any of them. God makes the minds of those whom He guides clear, so that they act wisely, and He makes their consciences sensitive and correct, so that they act rightly.
  2. How are we to get this guidance? It will not be forced upon any one. No one can count upon getting God’s guidance who does not seek it. This is the meaning of “acknowledge Him.” It means “take notice of Him,” consult Him, and obey His directions. Treat Him as you treat a guide.

III. What are “the ways” in which we must acknowledge Him?

  1. The course of life as a whole. It is well often to think of life thus as a unity, and ask where it is leading to. Is it not strange that men should undertake the longest journey of all without Him?
  2. In each particular enterprise and action we engage in He is to be acknowledged.
  3. In what goes before our actions—the imaginations and desires, the plans and purposes, we must acknowledge Him.
  4. In what comes after our actions—habits. All of us have some bad habits, and many who consult God as to particular actions still let their formed habits guide them each along its own line. But here, too, He must be acknowledged, and by His grace the strongest habit can be broken.
  5. Stress must be laid on the word “all.” God will have our whole heart or He will have none of it. (John Kelman, M.A.)

Spiritual direction:

There have been many definitions of religion. It is one of the great and fascinating features of life which tempt description, just as the glory and charm of nature provoke representation in art. I am not going to add another definition. I am only going to say that for practical purposes our religion may be described as our response to the will of God. It is an obedience. When I have said that, I have said in the same breath that religion is not an easy thing, but a hard. If religion were not so commonly represented as an accommodation to the weak, it would be a mightier power in the world than it is to-day. Christian religion is not, in the first place, a concession to our weakness. It is an appeal to our strength. It is deep calling to deep. It is a summons to unite all that is within us. God does not address Himself to our weakness, but to our power, to our faith. His Church is the fellowship of the strong, or those who are growing strong, not of the weak, who hug their weakness and demand that the rest shall wait for them. Religion, I say, is a hard thing. Any appeal to our will is hard. To submit the will is the hardest thing man has to do. If religion were merely sympathy, it would not be so hard. Sympathising is easy. What is hard is to obey. Have you not discovered that? How easy it is to sympathise with Christ, to love one so lovely as Christ! How hard it is to obey Christ! Have you not found that obeying Christ is more hard than loving Him? Have you not observed that Christ asked for obedience much more than He asked for love? It was to our power of doing hard things that He appealed. It was to our strength He came, to side with that against our weakness. You must begin by taking Christ Himself. The one comprehensive expression of God’s will is Christ. To respond to Christ is the first step in religion. It is the first comprehensive act of obedience to God’s will. It is the first comprehensive surrender of your will to His. But that is a serious matter and a severe. It is not a mere thrill of sympathy with some of the lovelier features in Christ. You have not accepted Christ when you have felt you would like to love Him and serve Him. That is no act of will. What Christ did for you was more than that. He did not feel as if He would like to love and help and save you. That would have been a very sentimental salvation, no salvation at all, a mere piece of amiable religious failure. How does it look to say that Christ had a weakness, or tenderness, for mankind? Yet it is all that some forms of religion seem to recognise in Him. And to admit that you have a weakness for Christ, is that religion, faith? Yet it is all that you have in some forms of religion which have much to say about sympathy with Christ and little about obedience, about self-committal. To love much that is in Christ is one thing, but to wed Christ, give yourself to Him for good and all, take Him for better or for worse by a decisive act of loving will and total life—that is another thing and a greater. How are we to let God direct our path? When will He direct it? If this verse be true, it is when in all our ways we acknowledge Him. What does that mean? Push your inquiries. Do not swallow texts whole. There are forms of acknowledging God in all our ways which do not seem to win the blessing promised here. A man may be very pious in his habits, and feel no shame or backwardness in acknowledging God in connection with his daily pursuits. He may be particular about family worship, about saying grace, about church-going, about obliging his servants to go to church, about thanksgiving for prosperity, about giving God a portion of his income, about making a ready and sometimes even effusive recognition of religion in his manner of speech, his churchly feeling, his philanthropic energies. In plenty of cases all this is quite sincere, in some it is not. It is sometimes combined with ways of business which excite comment, or a habit of mind which does not adorn the faith. But, whether sincere or not, it has this feature. The man stands in his own ways and acknowledges God. The acknowledgment of God is an extra something joined on to the pursuit of his ways, joined on to the rest of his activities as the Sunday and its engagements are attached to the rest of the week. Now, if this is sincere it is something to be thankful for. But it is hardly, perhaps, the kind of thing which makes a man sure of the direction of God in all he may go on to do or design. Again, there are some people who are most unselfish in all their thoughts and acts, people whom it is a happiness to know, and who are a rebuke sometimes to our own selfish ways. In spite of their absence of self-seeking they are not so directed in their paths that they become directors of conscience to others. Some, I mean, with less unselfishness have a moral judgment that we should trust more. To say the truth, unselfishness is sometimes a negative kind of virtue. There are people who are more unselfish than obedient. They do not think of themselves, but—they have not the secret of the Lord. They are not self-willed, but they have not the insight into the will of God. We speak of the sinlessness of Christ, and I fear it often means something colourless and negative. It keeps us from thinking as we should about the positive and complete obedience of Christ. And so with the unselfishness of some sweet souls. It is more the absence of self than the presence of God or the secret of His Spirit. Again, when we think of God directing our path, what do we mean? When you look for God’s guidance on a difficult matter what is it you expect? Do you expect to hear, as it were, a voice in your soul’s ear saying clearly, as if some one called in at your window, “Yes, do this,” “No, don’t do that”? Do you expect to see in a vision of the night a beckoning figure? With cases like St. Paul before us, or even Joan of Arc, how can we deny that God has taken in special instances that way of revealing His will? But where would missions have been if the missionaries had waited till they saw the beckoning of some man of Macedonia in the dead of night? No. The commentary on the text is, “Whoso shall do the will of God shall know the doctrine,” or “My judgment is just, because I seek not Mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me.” We must not only acknowledge God in our ways, but by our ways. We must not only pursue our own ways and interests, and add to that an occasional further acknowledgment of God; but our ways and business themselves must be the acknowledgment of God—the doing of His will. Life must be obedience, service. And in a life so lived there grows up a habit of mind which increases in the power of discerning God’s will and receiving His direction. As we pursue this obedience there grows up in us a mind conformed to Christ’s, a fellowship of the Spirit, a faculty of judgment which has the life secret of the Almighty. Our natural powers work. Our rational judgment is alive. We bring our reasonable faculties to bear on things. And yet within all there is a moral sympathy, a moral affinity with the Spirit of God, which guides our judgment almost insensibly. Our affection and devotion, guide, shape, colour our views. Christ had no visions. It was His judgment that acted always in His perception of God’s will. But it was a judgment leavened by all His love of the Father, by all the obedience of His past. He steered by the compass of the Spirit. He never followed wandering fires. He did not act from suggestions in a trance. His human judgment was quickened by the Divine Spirit. It was not in abeyance. He divined God’s will not by His human weakness, but by His human strength. God directed His path through the exercise of His native powers, raised to superhuman insight by the intense purity and perfectness of His obedience at every stage. Everything He did gave Him power for seeing and doing His next thing. Every way He took so acknowledged God’s will that the direction of God never failed His path. Do not fall into the habit of expecting calls and impulses of a distinctly preternatural, miraculous, magical sort at your decisive steps in life. So live that the faculties that God gave you to read His will may be pure and fit for their work. If your eye be single, your body will be full of light. Obedience is the secret of just judgment in the will of God. Learn the habit of worshipping Christ in spirit and in truth. That is the school and practice for that judgment which sees God’s will, kindles to it, follows it, perceives it for others, and makes you a guide, antagonist, and helper to their weakness. There are many great cases in history where sanctity has given a penetration of judgment which baffled policy and puzzled shrewdness. And in the great affairs of the world the right judgment in the long run will reside with the men or the Church that best succeeds in holiness, in fine and deep obedience. Dwell much with God, and you acquire God’s habit of mind. Then take your honest share in the world, and you learn to read the world with God’s eye. Go into action, and you perfect yourself by practice in the art of interpreting God’s guidance for life. (T. P. Forsyth, D.D.)

The hand on the helm:

My bark is wafted to the strand

By breath Divine;

And on the helm there rests a hand

Other than mine. (Dean Alford.)

A safe pilgrimage:

Religion is not a mere sentiment; it is a life. A man is known by his “ways.”

  1. The condition mentioned.
  2. “Acknowledge Him.”

(1) By shaping thy course according to His Word. His Word is His law.

(2) By real and constant prayer.

(3) By faith in the Divine promises.

  1. “In all thy ways.”

(1) In thy enterprising ways. Seek first the blessing of the great Disposer of events—like Jacob at Bethel, Moses in his mission, and Solomon in the temple.

(2) In thy prosperous ways.

(3) In thy ways of adversity. There will be cross-ways: acquiesce, and glorify God.

  1. The assurance given: “He shall direct thy paths.”
  2. By removing obstructions. How often to the faithful He reveals surprising grace, as in the case of Nehemiah, Daniel, &c.
  3. By preventing mistakes. Better if Jonah had acknowledged God; and Peter would once have saved himself bitter tears. Keep close to the Cloud and the Pillar.
  4. By preserving from ruin. How came a portion of Israel to perish? and Ananias? Remember Lot’s wife, and beware. Be ever faithful, and God will keep thy feet in heaven’s pathway. Conclusion:
  5. Now sinner, go thy way and acknowledge God for the first time on thy knees.
  6. Christian brother, resolve to set the Lord continually before thee. (The Congregational Pulpit.)

I will direct his ways:

It is like a child sitting in a boat; he does not know the coast, nor how to row; and his right hand, being a little stronger than the other, the boat would be constantly turning round and round. He would be carried away and lost if there were no guiding power in the boat. But there in the stern sits his father, whose steady hand overcomes the uneven strokes, and the boat keeps the right course. So that the force exerted by the child, though misdirected, all works for good when the father guides. (H. W. Beecher.)

The folly of a self-directed life:

Have you acknowledged God yet in your life? Are you a converted man? Is your own self-will gone? Have you passed the reins of the nervous steed of your life into the hands of Him who can drive without a spill; or are you clumsily taking the reins into your own hand, and trying to drive these horses that have a career before them beside which that fabled career in Grecian mythology sinks into insignificance? The myth says that Sol’s son stole the chariot of his father, and in one blazing career he attempted to drive the horses of the Sun. It was his death. I rather think the old Greeks had a hold on life when they thus spake. I rather think they were feeling after the gospel when they said to the young heart, “Never try to handle the ribbons of the chariot of the Sun, that great circle of the heavens. Never try to ascend the blazing steps of the throne of light, or it will be your death.” Oh, young man! I beseech you, do not attempt to drive the horses of your life. You cannot do it. Many a man as strong in the muscle and nerve as you are has failed. In the paragraphs of human life you read this, if you read anything—that life, if it is to be a success, must be handed over in humility of spirit to a mighty God, the giver of life to the soul. Have you yet made the grand decision? (J. Robertson.)

Life a labyrinth:

One of the great wonders of the world was the Egyptian Labyrinth. Herodotus tells us of a visit he made to this place. There were three thousand chambers in it; and when you had entered, the difficulty was to get out. The rooms were like one another, the passages were devious, and tortuous, and winding; and you might wander in the Egyptian Labyrinth till you died, and never be able to get out. They said, “This maze is the wonder of the world!” The Egyptian Labyrinth is nothing to this life in the way of a maze. I have been at the ball under the cross of St. Paul’s, in London, when the day was clear. I shall never forget how the city looked as it lay at my feet. Those streets on streets, those lanes and crosses, and avenues and roads—they lay in a perfect maze, in a labyrinth, before me. One felt how easy it would be to lose oneself in the London streets, they are so many, the place is so perplexing. No man can tell you about all these streets. He knows his one little bit. It is only as you stand and look down on the great living maze of the colossal city that you apprehend its vastness. Ah! this life of ours is worse. As you ascend the hill-top, and look down on the streets, and ways, and lanes, and roads of life, you say, “God help me! How can any man thread his way through this confusion?” (Ibid.)

Acknowledging God:

When the old Spanish mariners, in their explorations, touched any new land, the first thing they did was to run the flag of Ferdinand and Isabella to the masthead on the highest point that they could reach on the new land. Every new shore was claimed for Spain. The sovereigns that encouraged the explorations of these Spanish mariners were acknowledged when the first foot touched the new shore. Ah, man! when you get your new situation, when you set up your new home, when new circumstances arrive in your life, it is grand to run up the flag of God’s Son, and say, “This new situation—this new era in my life—will be the acknowledgment of God in the person of His Son.” (Ibid.)

The value of prayer for Divine guidance:

Two men had been friends since their early boyhood. One is now a successful merchant, who is known for his honour, probity, and high Christian character. The other is a lawyer, a man of integrity and good standing in the community also, but a disbeliever in God and His providence. The two men had been talking about the efficacy of prayer; and the merchant, urged to speak from his own experience, had confessed that he took this text literally: “In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” “I never make a large purchase of goods, or plan any important change in my business,” he proceeded to explain, “without first asking special Divine guidance.” The lawyer smiled. “Oh, yes, I understand,” he replied. “But your phenomenal success can all be explained in a natural way. For instance, most men act impulsively sometimes—yield to their whims, or to ideas suddenly conceived. You escape this danger through your system of praying before you act. The prayer gains you a little time. Besides, your feeling of reverence for the Being you worship has in itself a tendency to clear your mind of prejudices, to restore your balance, and to make you a reasonable, logical person—otherwise, a good business man.” A light broke over the merchant’s face, and he was glad to have his friend’s testimony to the value of prayer, notwithstanding his unspiritual and inadequate way of seeking to explain it. (Sunday Companion.)[5]


6. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. “Acknowledge Him” by referring all thy ways to His will, trusting in His power, wisdom, providence, goodness, righteousness, and feeling that without Him you can do nothing. Have Him always before your eyes (Ps. 139:2). Pray to Him, and consult Him in everything you take in hand. Keep His glory in view, as your end in all your ways; attribute all your blessings to Him alone, and to Him give thanks for all. The promise follows the precept. You will not be disappointed in your confidence, whereby you consult Him in all things. He will guide you to all holiness and all happiness.[6]


3:6 Finally, there must be an acknowledgment of the Lordship of Christ: “In all your ways acknowledge Him.” Every area of our lives must be turned over to His control. We must have no will of our own, only a single pure desire to know His will and to do it.

If these conditions are met, the promise is that God shall direct our paths. He may do it through the Bible, through the advice of godly Christians, through the marvelous converging of circumstances, through the inward peace of the Spirit, or through a combination of these. But if we wait, He will make the guidance so clear that to refuse would be positive disobedience.[7]


[1] Waltke, B. K. (2004). The Book of Proverbs, Chapters 1–15 (pp. 244–245). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[2] Kitchen, J. A. (2006). Proverbs: A Mentor Commentary (p. 77). Fearn, Ross-shire, Great Britain: Mentor.

[3] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). Proverbs (p. 56). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

[4] Kidner, D. (1964). Proverbs: An Introduction and Commentary (Vol. 17, p. 61). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[5] Exell, J. S. (n.d.). Proverbs (pp. 58–67). New York; Chicago; Toronto: Fleming H. Revell Company.

[6] Fausset, A. R. (n.d.). A Commentary, Critical, Experimental, and Practical, on the Old and New Testaments: Job–Isaiah (Vol. III, pp. 419–420). London; Glasgow: William Collins, Sons, & Company, Limited.

[7] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 798). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

August—28 The Poor Man’s Evening Portion

 

The word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.—John 14:24.

My soul! hast thou ever fully and thoroughly considered that sweet and precious teaching of thy Lord, which, as mediator, when upon earth, in all his discourses and conversations with his disciples, he was perpetually showing them? I mean that all he was, and all he had, and all he dispensed, were the blessings and gifts of his Father, in him, to his people. If thou hast been meditating upon this most blessed point of the gospel ever so fully and closely, it will still afford new glories for every renewed attention to it; and, therefore, sit down this delightful summer’s evening, and take another view of it. Jesus comes to his people in his Father’s name; and he saith, in this charming scripture, that his very words are not his, but the Father’s: so much of the heart of the Father is in Christ, and in all of Christ, in all he saith, and all he hath done. So that what is Jesus doing, in all his ministry upon earth, yea, in all his sovereignty now in heaven, but showing to his redeemed the Father; and the Father’s love, and grace, and mercy towards his people in him? Did he not then come forth from the bosom of the Father, full of grace and truth, as if to unfold to us what passed in the heart of the Father, of love and mercy towards his people, in the wonders of redemption? And is not Jesus now, in every renewed manifestation, teaching his redeemed the same? If all that the Father hath are our Jesus’s, and all the fulness of the Godhead bodily dwelleth in him, surely we ought never to receive any of his good and blessed gifts, without seeing the Father’s love in them. And would not this make every blessing doubly sweet and increasingly precious? If Jesus himself be the gift of the Father, shall I not enjoy the Father in all that Jesus bestows? And as I can have no immediate communion with the Father but by him, will not the mercies gather a blessedness, and a value, in coming to my poor soul, through Jesus’s hands, as the bountiful dispenser of them? Yea, shall I not find a savour, which otherwise could never have been known, in receiving them in and from Jesus; convinced, as I am, that none cometh to the Father but by him; and, but for his opening a new and living way by his blood, never should I have known the Father’s love, or the Redeemer’s grace? Dear Lord Jesus! do thou give me, by thy blessed Spirit, ever to keep in remembrance these most precious things. So shall I truly enjoy both thy person and thy gifts. And then I shall not, like the apostle, pray for sight of the Father distinct from thee; for I shall then be perfectly satisfied and convinced, that in seeing thee I see the Father also; and, from henceforth, that I know him and have seen him. “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.”[1]

 

[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Evening Portion (A New Edition, p. 254). Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle.

August 28 Life-Changing Moments With God

 

The accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.

Lord God, I can overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of my testimony. Who shall bring a charge against me, Your elect, Lord God? It is You who justify. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at Your right hand, who also makes intercession for me.

Having disarmed principalities and powers, Jesus made a public spectacle of them. Through death Jesus destroyed him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and released me who, through fear of death, was all my lifetime subject to bondage. In all these things I am more than a conqueror through Jesus who loved me. I put on the whole of Your armor, Lord God, that I may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. And I take the sword of the Spirit, which is Your Word. Thanks be to You, Almighty God, who gives me the victory through my Lord Jesus Christ.

Lord God, victory over the devil, sin, and death is mine through Your Son. All praise to You!

Revelation 12:10; Revelation 12:11; Romans 8:33–34; Colossians 2:15; Hebrews 2:14–15; Romans 8:37; Ephesians 6:11, 17; 1 Corinthians 15:57[1]

 

[1] Jeremiah, D. (2007). Life-Changing Moments With God (p. 259). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Mid-Day Snapshot · Aug. 28, 2020

THE FOUNDATION

“The cause of America is in a great measure the cause of all mankind.” —Thomas Paine (1776)

Highlights From Trump’s RNC Speech

The president issued many warnings, but he was extremely upbeat and hopeful.


Biden and Harris Pretend to Oppose the Demo Violence

Did Demos and their Leftmedia promoters finally find a race riot they didn’t like?


Pelosi Argues Against Presidential Debates

Dems are looking for a way to prevent exposing Joe Biden’s stark mental decline.


Cotton’s Contrast Highlights Foreign Policy

The Arkansas Republican senator recounted Biden’s failures and Trump’s successes.


RNC Day Four: Stirring Highlights

The broad representation of speakers all had one thing in common: love for America.


Harris Stokes Fear Over ‘GOP Voter Suppression’

Democrats sow division and fear, especially when it comes to minorities voting.


The Problem With White Parents?

When kids are pulled from failing schools, leftists blame the parents of white students.


Video: Trump’s Not Normal, but He Stands Up for Normal People

Bill Whittle and Scott Ott mull over Trump’s message regarding character, beliefs, and purpose.


Video: Jacob Blake’s Mom Has Some Words to Share

“Please don’t burn up property and cause havoc and tear your own homes down in my son’s name.”



TODAY’S OPINION

MICHAEL REAGAN
A Tale of Two Conventions
ERICK ERICKSON
The Bounce and the Aftermath
ADRIANA COHEN
The Presidential Debates Must Go On
RICH LOWRY
The Trump GOP Isn’t as Different as You Think
DAVID LIMBAUGH
Blaming the Violence on Trump Is a Bridge Too Far
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

Friday Executive Summary

RNC Night 4 highlights, “crazed mob” targets Rand Paul, and more.


Friday Short Cuts

Notable quotables from Michael McHale, Joe Biden, Ted Wheeler, and more.



TODAY’S MEME

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

TODAY’S CARTOON

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

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

Read Online

Weekly Watchman for 08/28/2020

John Haller: Do Facts Really Matter Anymore?

We discuss the chaos in Kenosha, the close of the RNC and Trump supporters attacked by Democrat mob, the dangerous decline of law and order, politicizing COVID treatment HCQ, and speculation on what could be election mail-in mayhem in November.

Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and more can be found on Stand Up For The Truth.

Read more


Carl Kirby: Evil in the World, Hard Times & Honest Questions

We discuss some of the questions young people have about life including God, religion, truth, Noah’s Ark, sin, and evil in the world. Carl shares his honest struggle with trials and the victory we have when we trust God’s sovereignty and understand His purpose for our lives.

Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and more can be found on Stand Up For The Truth.

Read more


Julaine Appling: Riots in WI, Concerned Voters & Public Safety

We discuss the riots and vandalism in Kenosha, WI in response to a police shooting or a black man as well as Governor Tony Evers irresponsible response, siding with rioters immediately. We touch on the debate over mail-in and absentee voting in light of coronavirus fears, and what’s missing from President Trump’s 2nd term agenda.

Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and more can be found on Stand Up For The Truth.

Read more


Kamala Harris and the Demonic Democrat Platform

Today we’re going to discuss two of the most important subjects, religion and politics. Why? Faith and religious freedom has to do with the gospel and eternal life, while politics and government have to do with who’s in power, how we live this life, and what policies get implemented.

Kamala Harris, the woman that, if Joe Biden becomes president, would be a heartbeat away from the most powerful position in the free world. So who is she and what does she believe?

Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and more can be found on Stand Up For The Truth.

Read more

August 28 Thoughts for the quiet hour

 

Let the peace of God rule in your hearts

Col 3:15

Years ago one of our fleets was terribly shattered by a violent gale—but it was found that some of the ships were unaffected by its violence. They were in what mariners call “the eye of the storm.” While all around was desolation, they were safe. So it is with him who has the peace of God in his heart.

Pilkington[1]

 

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

August 28 Forgiveness

 

After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before.
(Job 42:10, NIV)

Remember Charles Dickens’s Miss Haversham in Great Expectations? When the groom failed to show up on the day of their wedding, she dismissed the guests, locked the doors, stopped the clock, sat down in a chair, and resigned from life. Sometimes you just want to “stop the clock”! I received an inspiring letter from a lady in New Zealand whose husband, after 45 years of marriage, had left her for another woman. She has dealt with her grief and resentment, but she refuses to be a victim. She said that her Bible has become God’s love letter to her every day, “leading, guiding, and comforting me.” She now holds meetings in her home and ministers to others who’ve been hurt. She’s got it right!

When Job prayed for his friends, God restored his health, his joy, and his prosperity. Do you know who Job’s friends were? The very ones who caused him so much pain. There’s the key! You can live in anger or live in blessing, but you can’t live in both! When Job could pray for those who had hurt him, the blessings of God began to pour into his life. Jesus said we have the power to either remit the sins of others, or to retain them. (See John 20:23.) The choice is yours! The offense ceases the moment you decide to forgive it and wipe it off the books.

 

You ask, “How can I know I’m walking in forgiveness?” When you can pray for those who hurt you, and mean it![1]

 

[1] Gass, B. (1998). A Fresh Word For Today : 365 Insights For Daily Living (p. 240). Alachua, FL: Bridge-Logos Publishers.

August 28 Streams in the Desert

 

There he proved them.” (Exod. 15:25.)

ISTOOD once in the test room of a great steel mill. All around me were little partitions and compartments. Steel had been tested to the limit, and marked with figures that showed its breaking point. Some pieces had been twisted until they broke, and the strength of torsion was marked on them. Some had been stretched to the breaking point and their tensile strength indicated. Some had been compressed to the crushing point, and also marked. The master of the steel mill knew just what these pieces of steel would stand under strain. He knew just what they would bear if placed in the great ship, building, or bridge. He knew this because his testing room revealed it.

It is often so with God’s children. God does not want us to be like vases of glass or porcelain. He would have us like these toughened pieces of steel, able to bear twisting and crushing to the uttermost without collapse.

He wants us to be, not hothouse plants, but storm-beaten oaks; not sand dunes driven with every gust of wind, but granite rocks withstanding the fiercest storms. To make us such He must needs bring us into His testing room of suffering. Many of us need no other argument than our own experiences to prove that suffering is indeed God’s testing room of faith.

J. H. McC.

It is very easy for us to speak and theorize about faith, but God often casts us into crucibles to try our gold, and to separate it from the dross and alloy. Oh, happy are we if the hurricanes that ripple life’s unquiet sea have the effect of making Jesus more precious. Better the storm with Christ than smooth waters without Him.—Macduff.

What if God could not manage to ripen your life without suffering?[1]

 

[1] Cowman, L. B. (1925). Streams in the Desert (pp. 253–254). Los Angeles, CA: The Oriental Missionary Society.

Friday Briefing August 28, 2020 – AlbertMohler.com

DOCUMENTATION AND ADDITIONAL READING
PART 1 (0:0 – 13:32): 
──────────────────
A Senate Candidate in Georgia Supports Unrestricted Abortion Rights . . . And He’s a Pastor 

THE ATLANTIC (EMMA GREEN)
Can the Religious Left Flip the Bible Belt? 

PART 2 (13:33 – 18:12): 
──────────────────
A Social Justice Argument Transformed: Tracing the Issue of the Sanctity of Human Life Through the History of the Civil Rights Movement 

PART 3 (18:13 – 22:2): 
──────────────────
There’s a Civil War to Define American Christianity and Abortion Is the Divisive Issue 

PART 4 (22:3 – 26:56): 
──────────────────
The Odd (And Humorous) History of Political Conventions 

August 28, 2020 Morning Verse Of The Day

19 אֶחָד (ʾeḥād, “undivided”) stresses the undividedness and singleness of the heart that will be received. In Jeremiah 32:39, “one heart” is complemented and explained by singleness of mind and constancy of conduct.[1]


Ver. 19.—I will give them one heart. The LXX., following a different reading, gives “another heart” (as in 1 Sam. 10:9); but the Hebrew, represented by the Authorized and Revised Versions, is, without any doubt, right. As in the symbolic action of the joining of the two sticks in ch. 37:15–22, so here, the hope of the prophet, like that of Isaiah and Jeremiah (32:37–39), looked forward to the unity of the restored people. Judah should no longer vex Ephraim, nor Ephraim Judah (Isa. 11:13). The long-standing line of cleavage should disappear. Oneness of purpose and of action would characterize the new Israel of God. So, in our Lord’s prayer for his Church, there is the prayer that “they may be one”—made perfect in one (John 17:21–23). Left to itself, Israel tended, as all human communities have tended, to an ever-subdividing individualism, fruitful in sects and parties and schisms. Even the highest of those aspirtions has remained as yet without any adequate fulfilment. The ideal unity of the Christian Church is as far distant as that of the Church of Israel. It remains for us to welcome any approximate fulfilments as pledges and earnests of the future unity of the true Israel of God in the heavenly Jerusalem. In the prophet’s thoughts that unity was to be brought about by the Divine gift of a “new Spirit,” loyal, obedient, unselfish. We note how distinctly, whether consciously or unconsciously, Ezekiel reproduces the thought, almost the very words, of Jer. 31:31–33; 32:37–39; how his words are in their turn reproduced in Rev. 21:3–5. The eternal hope asserts itself again and again in spite of all partial failures and disappointments. I will take the stony heart out of their flesh. The thought is, as we have seen, identical with that of Jer. 31:31–33, but the form in this instance is eminently characteristic of Ezekiel, and meets us again in ch. 36:26. The “stony heart” is that which is “hardened” (ch. 3:7) against all impressions of repentance, to all natural or spiritual aspirations of the good. So Zech. 7:12 speaks of those who had made their hearts “harder than an adamant stone.” So we may remember, by way of illustration, that Burns says of the sin of impurity that “it hardens a within,” that “it petrifies the feeling.” Ezekiel had seen enough of that stoniness in others, perhaps had, at times, felt it in himself.[2]


19. I will give them one heart. Lest they should claim to themselves the praise given them in v. 18, God declares it is to be the free gift of His Spirit. one heart. Not singleness—i.e., uprightness—but oneness of heart in all unanimously seeking Him, in contrast to their state at that time when only single scattered individuals sought God (Jer. 32:39; Zeph. 3:9). (Hengstenberg.) Or, ‘content with one God,’ not distracted with ‘the many detestable things’ (v. 18; 1 Ki. 18:21; Hos. 10:2). (Calvin.) new spirit—(Ps. 51:10; Jer. 31:33). Realized fully in the “new creature” of the New Testament (2 Cor. 5:17); having new motives, new rules, new aims. I will take the stony heart out of their flesh. “Stony heart,” like “adamant” (Zech. 7:12); the natural heart of every man. and will give them an heart of flesh—impressible to what is good, tender.[3]


11:19 The promise of a new heart, reiterated in 36:25, is connected to the new covenant that will come in Christ (Jer. 31:31–34; Heb. 8:8–13; 10:16–18; see note on Jer. 31:31).[4]

 


11:19 a new spirit I will give in their inner parts Anticipates the more developed salvation oracle in 36:26 that also promises the new spirit and the heart of flesh.

heart of stone The heart of stone symbolizes a stubborn rejection of Yahweh. Compare the stubborn heart and hard forehead depicted in 3:7 and the imagery of Zech 7:12.[5]


11:19 The heart of stone is that of the unregenerate, those who refuse to submit to the will of God (Zch 7:12). The stony heart is another way of referring to the “hardhearted” (Ezk 2:4; 3:7). The radical spiritual transformation of the people and the associated physical blessings promised in this and other prophecies of the new covenant (34:20–31; 36:24–38; 37:15–28; Jr 31:31–34) will take place in the future messianic age.[6]


19. I will give them—lest they should claim to themselves the praise given them in Ez 11:18, God declares it is to be the free gift of His Spirit.

one heart—not singleness, that is, uprightness, but oneness of heart in all, unanimously seeking Him in contrast to their state at that time, when only single scattered individuals sought God (Je 32:39; Zep 3:9) [Hengstenberg]. Or, “content with one God,” not distracted with “the many detestable things” (Ez 11:18; 1 Ki 18:21; Ho 10:2) [Calvin].

new spirit—(Ps 51:10; Je 31:33). Realized fully in the “new creature” of the New Testament (2 Co 5:17); having new motives, new rules, new aims.

stony heart—like “adamant” (Zec 7:12); the natural heart of every man.

heart of flesh—impressible to what is good, tender.[7]


[1] Alexander, R. H. (2010). Ezekiel. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Jeremiah–Ezekiel (Revised Edition) (Vol. 7, p. 702). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[2] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). Ezekiel (Vol. 1, p. 191). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

[3] Fausset, A. R. (n.d.). A Commentary, Critical, Experimental, and Practical, on the Old and New Testaments: Jeremiah–Malachi (Vol. IV, p. 237). London; Glasgow: William Collins, Sons, & Company, Limited.

[4] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 1514). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[5] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Eze 11:19). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[6] Rooker, M. F. (2017). Ezekiel. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1260). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

[7] Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 1, p. 579). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

Are You Afraid to Fully Surrender to God? — Daily Devotionals by Thoughts about God

Many people say,

Sure, I believe in God. I’ve gone to church most of my life.

But is this all there is to it? What does it mean to believe?

To believe means more than intellectual consent. It involves surrender. We must give ourselves to God before He can give Himself to us. We practice this kind of surrender every time we fly in an airplane. We board an aircraft, sit down in our seats and put the seat belt on. And for the next four hours or so we’re at the mercy of a pilot whom we don’t even know. We trust that he knows what he’s doing and he’ll get us to the right destination safely.

We do the same with a doctor. Before surgery we sign a consent form, right? We allow the anaesthetist to put us to sleep. Talk about complete surrender! Then the surgeon can help us and not before. The principle of complete surrender holds true in many situations in life. Complete surrender is needed before help can  come to us.

It’s no different with God. Before He can help us, we must give ourselves to him completely.

Being totally dependent upon God is one of the hardest things we Christians have to do in life.
We fear the helplessness of it. We want to be in control. Still, God cannot work unless we surrender to him. His way is always to work through weakness.

We have the mistaken idea that when we surrender completely we’ll become spineless and mindless persons. Nothing could be further from the truth. In reality, when we surrender we tap into God more fully. We become more alive, more realistic, more courageous, more truly ourselves than we’ve ever been before.

Dear God, forgive me for being so independent. I want to trust you more in every situation. I give  myself to you now in full surrender. In Jesus name, Amen.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,And lean not on your own understanding;  In all your ways acknowledge Him,And He shall direct your paths.”  Proverb 3:5-6

By Helen Lescheid
Used by Permission

To read more of Helen’s writings go to http://www.helenlescheid.com

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

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


FURTHER READING

God’s Mysterious Ways
The Lord is My Shepherd
Jesus is Always There!
How Big is God?

Are You Afraid to Fully Surrender to God? — Daily Devotionals by Thoughts about God

Don’t Be Afraid — Daily Devotionals by Thoughts about God

The TV was on, and I heard them again. The voices. They’re trying to scare me and seclude me from others.

Suddenly, as we went about minding our business, these voices interrupted our daily lives. They got louder and more persistent. Fear was purposely planted into our hearts, and we were afraid to go outside. We worried about our kids. We began to avoid other people, including our families.

Fear is real and cripples us, but we should not be afraid as other people. We’ll leave this earth on God’s appointed day, but we need not fear death or judgment. Jesus laid down his life for his followers and has given us eternal life. (John 10:27-28)  “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.

Christian friend, God didn’t “give us a spirit of timidity, but of power, love and a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). He also left us with a deep peace that the world cannot offer, so let not your heart be troubled and do not be afraid. Take courage and go share Christ’s love with your neighbor. There is no fear in love because perfect love drives out fear.

And now a word to you who doubt God. Your death will also arrive on it’s appointed day and you do have cause to worry. You will face your Judge alone on that day. Fear him while you have breath and come to him in repentance. Let him bring you life.. He won’t turn you away, and you will have his love forever.

Lord, thank you for conquering death and delivering me from the wrath to come. Give me compassion for others who are ignorant of the truth as I once was. The Spirit reminds me of his power and tells me to go outside. There’s someone I need to talk to about Jesus. Amen.

By Rich Vega
Used by Permission

Comments: If you don’t see our response form, please go to https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/rich-vega_dont-be-afraid/

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


FURTHER READING

He Lets Me Rest

Jesus is Always There!

God, Our Shield

Don’t Be Afraid — Daily Devotionals by Thoughts about God

August 28 – Singing about the destruction of the wicked — Reformed Perspective

But God will break you down forever; he will snatch and tear you from your tent; he will uproot you from the land of the living – Psalm 52:5

Scripture reading: Psalm 52:5

Here is a sensitive issue for the church. In the Book of Romans (12:19-21), we read, “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’” On the contrary, “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Is it loving for us to sing about the destruction of the wicked?

Jesus never shied away from warning the wicked of His day. The Church in Revelation 19 sings with joy about the destruction of the great harlot—a symbol of the wicked. Remember that David sings to God about the destruction of the man who persecuted the righteous priests of God. The wicked boast of the Christians they kill, even today.

What would you think of a God who did not shield His chosen? What would you think of a Father who did not protect His children? The love of God is steadfast, and He will repay the wicked. God will send Jesus, and the Risen One will come to judge the living and the dead. If we do not believe this, or sing about it, likely we will not be all that engaged in reaching out to the lost. But, being sure of the end of the wicked, let us call them out of the darkness and into life. Let us sin no more!

Suggestions for prayer

Pray for the salvation of the wicked, the protection of the saints, a heart for pure living and the lost.

Rev. Al Bezuyen serves the Covenant Reformed Church of TorontoThis daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional.

August 28 – Singing about the destruction of the wicked — Reformed Perspective

The Genuine Gospel Is Not Man’s Gospel — Christian Research Network

11 For I make known to you brothers, the gospel that I preached, is not according to man. 12 For I neither received it from man nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. Galatians 1:11-12 (translated from the NA28 Greek text)

The εὐαγγέλιον (euaggelion), which the word “gospel” above translates, means “good message” or “good news.” What Paul stated in Galatians 1:11,12 is vital for us to grasp. Those of us who are in Christ can proclaim this εὐαγγέλιον for it is a message of very good news about something our Lord Jesus Christ has done on our behalf, but we cannot “be the gospel” nor can we “live the gospel.”….

It is a message of Christ’s work of redemption that was successful. He died on that cross and in so doing, His perfect obedience was made available to be imputed to all who believe this εὐαγγέλιον and in so doing, receive Christ as Lord and Saviour in repentance being saved by God’s grace through faith. In this, the Father justifies them, imputing Christ’s perfect righteousness to their account. This is possible because, while he was on that cross, their unrighteousness was imputed to his account and through his death, he became their propitiation. This εὐαγγέλιον  is indeed good news because it means Christians do not have to work their way to God. Their salvation according to Ephesians 1,2 is actually God’s work entirely, not theirs. The preaching of the gospel is a call to repent and believe which is how who do become Christians receive Christ as Lord and Saviour. Now, is that the gospel prevalently heard in the visible church in our time?  View article →

The Genuine Gospel Is Not Man’s Gospel — Christian Research Network