Charles Stanley –Our Trials: Allowed by God

1 Peter 1:3-9

Some people have the wrong idea about the Christian life. Once they become believers, they expect smooth sailing. Yet Jesus made it clear that troubles are inevitable for God’s children. His own life was no exception: He endured false accusations, rejection by His own people, and betrayal by a close friend—to name just a few.

As His followers, we can expect difficulty. The cause of tribulation differs with each circumstance. Some problems arise from the fallen nature of the world, while others result from satanic warfare. And we can cause our own heartache from ignorance, sin, and poor decisions. There’s also another possibility—sometimes God Himself brings trials. While this last option is difficult to accept during a painful time, the Lord never brings hardship unless He has a beautiful purpose. And He gives strength to endure.

Remember, God allows struggles—whatever their source—for our benefit. Perhaps they are to purify and grow us for greater service. Maybe He has in mind to test our endurance and devotion to Christ, thereby strengthening our trust. Or He might be revealing His sustaining power. This side of heaven, we may never know the cause of each challenge. But we can trust God’s ability to deliver and mature us.

What trials are you facing? Jesus understands your pain, and He longs to be the One you cling to through good times and bad. You can choose to look elsewhere for comfort, or you can use your hardship as a source of growth. No matter how painful the trial seems, don’t waste the opportunity.

Bible in a Year: Isaiah 1-3

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Our Daily Bread — Human Race

Read: Mark 6:7–13, 30–32 | Bible in a Year: Psalms 31–32; Acts 23:16–35

[Jesus] said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Mark 6:31

The alarm clock goes off. Too early, it seems. But you have a long day ahead. You have work to do, appointments to keep, people to care for, or all this and more. Well, you are not alone. Each day, many of us rush from one matter to another. As someone has wittily suggested, “That’s why we are called the human race.”

When the apostles returned from their first mission trip, they had a lot to report. But Mark did not record Jesus’s evaluation of the disciples’ work; rather, he focused on His concern that they rest awhile. Jesus said, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest” (6:31).

Lord, I thank You today for all You have given me to do.

Ultimately, we find true rest through recognizing the presence of God and trusting Him. While we take our responsibilities seriously, we also recognize that we can relax our grip on our work and careers, our families and ministry, and give them over to God in faith. We can take time each day to tune out the distractions, put away the tense restlessness, and reflect in gratitude on the wonder of God’s love and faithfulness.

So feel free to stop and take a breath. Get some real rest.

Lord, I thank You today for all You have given me to do. Help me to truly rest in You—physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

We do not rest because our work is done; we rest because God commanded it and created us to have a need for it. Gordon MacDonald

INSIGHT:

When Jesus asked His disciples to go to a quiet place and rest (Mark 6:31), He was telling them to do something that He had often done with them. Jesus had withdrawn with His disciples to the lake (2:13; 3:7) or up on the mountain (3:13). Jesus was also in the habit of withdrawing from the crowds to a solitary place to rest and to spend time talking with His Father (Matt. 14:13,23; 26:36; Mark 1:35; 6:46; Luke 4:42; 6:12; John 6:15). The gospel of Luke tells us, “Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed” (5:16).

 

http://www.odb.org

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Dreams and Dreamers

Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, delivered at the March on Washington August 28, 1963, is one of the most important and well-known speeches in American history. Far less known is that the actual speech he had before him on the podium that day had no mention of a dream whatsoever.

For years, Dr. King had been writing and speaking about his dream. He dreamed that one day racial oppression would no longer threaten the American creed that all of humanity is created equal. He dreamed that every man, woman, and child would be seen as an heir to the legacy of worthiness, and he dreamed that the American people would learn to cultivate this worthy perspective. He spoke so often of having a dream, in fact, that his inner circle was afraid the phrase had become overused and trite. The night before the March on Washington, Dr. King and his closest advisors worked together to come up with an entirely new message. “I have a dream” did not appear in the manuscript at all.

The speech was titled “Normalcy—Never Again” and before a quarter of a million hearers the following day King began to outline the troublesome history of black men and women in America. But several minutes into this speech he paused and he turned the manuscript over. And then he launched into the words that were closest to his heart: “So I say to you today, my friends, that even though we must face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream.”

I am not sure how often the world is changed by a revision. But this one I cannot imagine the world without. The apostle Paul writes of seeing the kingdom of heaven as if through a glass darkly. From a bird’s eye view of this split decision in history, it seems for a moment that the glass was partly cleared. Dr. King’s decision to talk about the dream God had given him is wrought with the vision and wisdom of God. As a fellow Christian, it brings me to ask: How do I learn to live with such a sensitivity to the Holy Spirit that I could completely shift gears against the advice of all the experts and before a crowd of 250,000 onlookers? But it also brings me to wonder at the God who is near us in the very making of history, the Father who sees our need, the Spirit who moves us, and the Son who makes all things new.

Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Dreams and Dreamers

John MacArthur – Strength for Today – Diligence and Excellence

“Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence” (2 Peter 1:5).

God’s provision does not preclude our responsibility.

There are some who believe that since God has provided everything needed for the Christian life, believers should expect Him to do everything for them. Their motto is, “Let go and let God!” If Peter had a motto for the Christian life, it would have been more along the lines of the popular World War II song, “Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition!” Peter knew the Christian life is a struggle in which believers need to expend the maximum effort to equip themselves with godly virtues—the virtues that, when present in our lives, produce assurance of salvation. He therefore prefaces the list of those virtues in verse 5 by saying, “Now for this very reason also,” thus pointing us back to God’s provision of salvation in verses 1-4. That provision is not meant to eliminate our efforts in living the Christian life but to enable and encourage them. We must, says Peter, live our Christian lives by “applying all diligence” to develop godly virtues.

Heading the list of virtues that should characterize our lives is “moral excellence.” The Greek term arete can also be translated “virtue.” In classical Greek literature, it often referred to the ability to perform heroic deeds. It refers to the quality that makes someone or something stand out as excellent. An arete knife was one that was sharp and cut well; an arete horse was one with speed and endurance; an arete singer was one who sang well.

“Moral excellence,” it should be noted, is not an attitude but an action. In fact, some suggest the meaning “moral energy” for it—the moral energy that gives us the power to do excellent deeds. Our model for that kind of active excellence is Jesus Christ, who “went about doing good” (Acts 10:38).

Never waver in your pursuit of excellence. In the words of Paul to the Thessalonians, “Excel still more” (1 Thess. 4:1).

Suggestions for Prayer

  • Thank God for supplying everything you need to live the Christian life.
  • Ask Him to help you to be diligent to develop godly virtues in your life.

For Further Study

Read Proverbs 4:23; 8:17; 12:27; 13:4; 21:5. What do those passages teach about the importance of diligence?

 

http://www.gty.org

Wisdom Hunters – Be Cautious of Over Collaboration

Instead, I devoted myself to the work on this wall. All my men were assembled there for the work; we did not acquire any land. Furthermore, a hundred and fifty Jews and officials ate at my table, as well as those who came to us from the surrounding nations. Nehemiah 5:16-17

Sometimes at work we can spend too much time in meetings and not enough time in doing what we decided to do in the meeting! I struggle with this—I want to get good input from as many smart people as possible, but at times it is just not practical to prolong a decision. I am learning to gather data and people’s opinions, but then trust the Lord, test what I’ve learned and adjust as I go. If I wait beyond a window of opportunity, I may miss out on the momentum gained from a compelling, collaborative meeting. Fewer meetings and more follow through inspires the team!

Nehemiah knew the need for convening a diverse team of gifted leaders for the sole purpose of completing a massive project. He was a project manager worth emulating! Yes, over 150 workers representing various stratus of society and nations gathered—uniquely skilled to complete the momental task of rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem. Nehemiah gave a stirring motivational speech, organized the team around specific tasks and made sure each one did their part. Even as the enemy attempted to disrupt the work, the workers were equipped to beat back their attackers.

“Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God will fight for us!” So we continued the work with half the men holding spears, from the first light of dawn till the stars came out” (Nehemiah 4:20-21).

Are you “intoxicated” by too many meetings? “To do list” overload—unsure how to prioritize? Why not quit trying to do everything—give your ego a break—and trust the Lord to get the things done that you don’t have time to do with excellence. Delegate, so others can grow in their abilities to manage and lead. Make room for margin to allow for mistakes, improvements and interruptions. Better to have fewer meetings with quality outcomes than more meetings with inferior results. Try focusing 20% on collaboration and 80% on execution—not the reverse.

Continue reading Wisdom Hunters – Be Cautious of Over Collaboration

Today’s Turning Point with David Jeremiah – Loving His Appearing

Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.

2 Timothy 4:8

Recommended Reading

1 Timothy 6:13-14

Picture a fourth grade boy sitting in the principal’s office, waiting for the appearing of the principal. Now picture the same boy at noon on a Friday, anxiously waiting for his mom to pick him up early from school to begin a long family vacation weekend. He is waiting for the appearing of his mother. Which “appearing” does the lad love? Obviously, the appearing that will precede a weekend of fun and excitement.

There is a difference between waiting and waiting-with-excitement-and- anticipation. Or so the apostle Paul seems to suggest in 2 Timothy 4:8. There he mentions the “crown of righteousness” that awaits all who “love” the appearing of Christ at His Second Coming. It’s one thing to wait for Christ’s return; it’s another to wait with love and anticipation. Those who love the idea of seeing Christ face to face will live in such a way as to welcome His appearing—not shy away like the boy waiting in the principal’s office.

If Christ appears today, will He find you loving His appearing?

The subject of the second coming of Christ has never been popular to any but the true believer.

Billy Graham

Read-Thru-the-Bible

Isaiah 29 – 31

http://www.davidjeremiah.org/

Joyce Meyer – It’s Like Going to the Bank

… Because of our faith in Him, we dare to have the boldness (courage and confidence) of free access (an unreserved approach to God with freedom and without fear).—Ephesians 3:12

We should never feel insecure when we approach God in prayer. He knows all of our weaknesses and loves us anyway. God wants to give us more than enough, not barely enough, and we need to ask boldly.

Approaching God boldly in prayer can be likened to going to a bank to make a withdrawal. If I know I have fifty dollars in the bank because I deposited it there last week, I will not hesitate to pull up to the drive-through window and cash a fifty-dollar check. I know I have the money; it’s mine, and I can get it out of the bank if I want to. When I present my check, I fully expect to get my fifty dollars.

We need to approach God with that same kind of boldness, not because of our own righteousness, but because of the privilege of being joint heirs with Jesus. We need to understand what is available to us because of Jesus and we need to pray confidently, with full expectation that we will receive what belongs to us. God has made incredible provision available to us in Christ and we simply need to ask in Jesus’ name for the blessings He has already purchased for us.

When we struggle with feelings of unworthiness, we should go to God’s Word and let it remind us of our privileges as children of God. Ask the Holy Spirit to help us enter boldly into God’s presence and receive the help we need because, the Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ (Romans 8:16-17 NKJV). He will speak to us and remind us that we belong to God!

God’s word for you today: You are God’s child and He is looking and longing to be good to you.

 

From the book Hearing from God Each Morning: 365 Daily Devotions by Joyce Meyer.

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Girlfriends in God – Worry Wastes Life

There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection].

1 John 4:18

Friend to Friend

Not all fear is bad. It is good to be afraid of sticking your hand in a fire, crossing a busy street with your eyes closed, or jumping off a cliff. That is good healthy fear.

Bad fear is fear of present circumstances and future events that may or may never happen. Being too afraid to step out and do what God has called you to do. Being so worried about the consequences that you throw trusting God out the window. That’s an unhealthy fear.

The Holy Spirit will warn you with a healthy sense of fear to protect you, but He will never stir up worry to stymie your faith. I’ve often heard it said that worry is a down payment on a problem you may never have. And it’s true! Rehearsing your troubles before they even happen causes you to experience them many times, whereas you were not meant to experience them but once—when or if they actually occur.

Most of the biggest challenges you will ever face will be the result of things you never even thought to worry about or even crossed your mind. They will blindside you on a Thursday afternoon at 2:00, when you never saw it coming. You will not even have known that you should have worried about the possibility! (Now, don’t let that get you worried.)

Continue reading Girlfriends in God – Worry Wastes Life

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Glorious Future

“As for the one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God; he will be secure, and will go out no more; and I will write my God’s Name on him, and he will be a citizen in the city of my God – the New Jerusalem, coming down from heaven from my God; and he will have my new Name inscribed upon him” (Revelation 3:12).

You and I shall some day be in that beautiful temple in Jerusalem – to rule and reign with the King of kings and Lord of lords forever and forever.

Can you see it now? While we do not know – and need not know – all the incidental details and circumstances, we know enough from God’s holy Word to know that some day we shall be with Him, never to be separated. That is the cause for shouting and rejoicing.

And we need not be terrified by the condition that we must be conquerors before we qualify for any of these promised blessings. Has He not told us that we are already “more than conquerors?”

Here again we have that promise of the new name, thought by some to be the very name of Christ Himself – certainly worthy of attainment, whatever its true meaning.

To be “heirs with God and joint-heirs with Christ” holds all the wonderful promise that the human mind can imagine. Just to be with Him is enough; to know that He adds blessing upon blessing as we rule and reign with Him – that is unparalleled joy indeed.

Bible Reading: Revelation 3:7-13

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: With a quick look at the future, I’ll do my best to make this day all that God intends for me, especially in my outreach to others.

 

http://www.cru.org

Ray Stedman – When the Flesh Rules

Read: Acts 23:1-5

Paul looked straight at the Sanhedrin and said, My brothers, I have fulfilled my duty to God in all good conscience to this day. At this the high priest Ananias ordered those standing near Paul to strike him on the mouth. Then Paul said to him, God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! You sit there to judge me according to the law, yet you yourself violate the law by commanding that I be struck! Those who were standing near Paul said, How dare you insult God’s high priest! Paul replied, Brothers, I did not realize that he was the high priest; for it is written: Do not speak evil about the ruler of your people. Acts 23:1-5

What a left-footed beginning! There is a noticeable kind of reckless audacity about the apostle in his introduction. He seems to be careless, almost, of the consequences of what he says — like a man burning his bridges behind him. I rather suspect that he is aware, by now, that he has blundered into a very untenable situation and so he is trying to bull his way through, no matter what.

He does not begin with his usual courtesy. The customary address to the Sanhedrin was a standardized form which began, Rulers of Israel, and elders of the people… Paul does not employ that, but instead puts himself right on a level with these rulers, and he addresses them simply with the familiar term, Brothers. That was an offense to these Jews. He also implies that there is no possible ground of complaint against him. This was certainly true. Yet it seemed to imply that there was no reason for this meeting at all, that it was absurd to have called this council together.

So, for this seeming impudence and impertinence, the high priest commands that he be slapped across the mouth. That was an unusually degrading form of insult to an Israelite and Paul’s anger flashes out at this offense. He whips back this sharp, caustic retort: God shall strike you, you whitewashed wall! That was a typically Judaistic way of calling him a bloody hypocrite. It certainly is not the most tactful way for a prisoner to address a judge. It is very likely that Paul recognized who Ananias was, but what he did not know was that Ananias had recently been appointed high priest. The moment it is pointed out to him that Ananias is indeed the high priest, Paul is instantly repentant, for he recognizes that he is in the wrong. He apologizes, for the law says that the office deserves respect, even if the man does not.

Continue reading Ray Stedman – When the Flesh Rules

Words of Hope – Daily Devotional – God: Creator of All—and Author of Our Salvation

Read: Jonah 2:1-10, Job 38:1-8

Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? (Job 38:4)

This story isn’t about a fish or Jonah. It’s about me. What kind of fish? How could Jonah get inside and survive? What, you think I couldn’t do this? If I made the earth with all its oceans and creatures, could I not make a fish swallow a man? I arranged the stars in the universe, could I not arrange for Jonah to live for a few days in a fish? Who are you to get so worked up about the fish? Do you know me? Do you believe I am?

I told Jonah to take a message to Nineveh about their sin. I can still forgive them. Jonah knows this. That’s why he doesn’t obey me. Well, now he’s rethinking his ideas about crime and punishment. He’s uncomfortable and afraid, but praising my name. My grace—that’s what this is about, not the fish. That monster is just a small part of the story. It amused me to use a fish; seemed to fit Jonah’s personality. There’s more to come as Jonah responds to his deliverance. This will also be a great illustration for a future grace story I have in mind—one that includes a cross and empty tomb.

Prayer:

Lord, help me, a sinner, to see the miracle of your gracious salvation so rich and free. I believe you can create anything, even a new heart in me. Amen.

Author: Doug VanBronkhorst

 

https://woh.org/

Greg Laurie – It Starts with God’s People

If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.—2 Chronicles 7:14

We want God to heal our land, and we want our nation to change. But as we look at the problems in our country, we want to point at someone else a lot of times. We say the problems are due to Washington, DC, or Hollywood or the White House. But God says the source of the problems is His house, the church.

God lays out His prescription in 2 Chronicles 7:14: “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

Notice God says, “If My people who are called by My name . . .” He doesn’t say a thing about secular culture. He talks to His own people. That is you. That is me. “If My people . . .”

I think one of the problems in our nation today is there are a lot of people running around who think they are Christians, but they really are not. In fact the Bible says, “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified” (2 Corinthians 13:5). Or, as the J. B. Phillips New Testament puts it, “You should be looking at yourselves to make sure that you are really Christ’s.”

Then there are those who are living a double life. They put on a good performance at church. They say all the right things. But they are living a life that is completely contradictory to what the Bible says about how a Christian ought to live.

A spiritual awakening starts with God’s people. It starts with you and me.

 

https://www.harvest.org/

Kids 4 Truth International – God’s Teaching Is Best

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

Little Annie was three years old, and it was time for her to go for a routine check-up at the doctor’s office. As the doctor checked her ears, he found “something blue” in one. Annie’s mom was a little surprised to hear that! Annie had not said her ear was hurting, nor had she seem bothered by it. Annie’s mom started wondering how long this “something blue” had been in Annie’s ear! The doctor left the room and came back with an assistant and some tools to try to remove the blue object. As they tried to take it out, Annie screamed, fought, and cried. Her ear was really starting to hurt now! Finally, the doctor pulled out a rather large blue bead!

Then Annie’s mom remembered that several months before, Annie had come to her with a broken necklace, saying something about putting a bead in her ear. Annie’s mom saw how big the other necklace beads were, and she doubted that anything so big could even fit in Annie’s ear! She looked and looked, but she could not see any bead in there, and Annie never complained about her ear hurting. So they both forgot about it.

Wow! Little Annie had stuck that big blue bead into her ear, and she did not even know it was going to hurt her. We might never stick beads in our ears, but sometimes we let other things into our ears without thinking first. What about wrong teaching? God wants us to test everything we hear before we just believe it. He wants us to read His Word and use its truth to make sure things we hear are true. If we listen to teaching just because it makes us feel good about ourselves or about what we want to do, it will be bad for us in the future.

Remember, Annie hardly noticed she had the bead in her ear, and it did not seem like a problem because it was not hurting her. It did not hurt her at first, but it could have done a lot of damage in the future! The doctor explained that the bead had been hard to take out because it was so large and was resting right on Annie’s eardrum. The bead had bruised and torn Annie’s ear canal on its way out, but the doctor said it should heal and not cause any hearing loss.

Continue reading Kids 4 Truth International – God’s Teaching Is Best

The Navigators – Jerry Bridges – Holiness Day by Day Devotional – Seeing Anger’s Cause

Today’s Scripture: Genesis 4:6

“The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry?””

In facing up to our anger, we need to realize that no one else causes us to be angry. Someone else’s words or actions may become the occasion of our anger, but the cause lies deep within us—usually our pride, selfishness, or desire to control.

We can choose how we’ll respond to the sinful actions of others toward us. Consider Peter’s words to slaves in the first-century churches, who often served under cruel masters. We might think they would be justified in their anger, but Peter told them, “Be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. If when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God” (1 Peter 2:18-20).

Peter’s instructions to slaves are a specific application of a broader scriptural principle: In responding to any unjust treatment, we’re to be “mindful of God”—to think of his will and his glory. How would God have me respond in this situation? How can I best glorify God by my response? Do I believe this difficult situation or unjust treatment is under God’s sovereign control, and that in his infinite wisdom and goodness he’s using these difficult circumstances to conform me more to the likeness of Christ? (See Romans 8:28; Hebrews 12:4-11.) I’m realistic enough to know that in the emotional heat of a tense situation, we won’t go through a checklist of questions such as these. But we can and should develop the habit of thinking this way. (Excerpt taken from Respectable Sins)

 

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The Navigators – Leroy Eims – Daily Discipleship Devotional – Star Witnesses

Today’s Scripture: Acts 5-7

For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. – 1 Corinthians 1:21

The Bible says that you and I are not called to be spiritual judges or lawyers, but witnesses. The apostles of Jesus understood this well, and their actions speak clearly in Acts 5:25: “Then someone came and said, ‘Look! The men you put in jail are standing in the temple courts teaching the people.’”

The Jewish authorities complained that the apostles had filled Jerusalem with their teaching, and they were right. But they couldn’t stop them. Even after they were imprisoned, beaten, and threatened, Acts 5:42 says, “Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ.”

What qualifies a person as a good witness for Christ? The witness must be familiar with the subject under consideration. The apostles had not been off in Egypt or Spain during the public ministry of Jesus; they had been with Him and were eyewitnesses of His life, death, and resurrection. Because of their actions and their reputations for courage and integrity, their words were taken seriously. Acts 4:13 sums it up: “When they [the Jewish authorities] saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.”

Christian, how do you stack up as a witness for Christ? Are you willing to speak courageously to others of what you know of Him? Why not share with a friend today something that you know personally about Jesus Christ. In the drama of life, you have a key role as a witness for the Lord.

Prayer

Lord, help me to speak in such a way that people would be drawn to You. Amen.

To Ponder

We are called to be witnesses of the risen Christ.

 

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BreakPoint – Bill Nye the Philosophy Shy: Why Science Didn’t Just Happen

The popular “Existential Comics” Twitter page appeals to a segment of the population most of us avoid at dinner parties. It’s humor at its most esoteric. But Existential Comics recently posted a real zinger that cuts scientific hubris down to size.

A scientists asks why philosophy matters. The philosopher counters and asks “Why does science matter?” The scientist thinks for a moment before replying that science matters because… And here, the philosopher interrupts him and says. “You’re doing philosophy.”

It would be funnier if so many scientists today didn’t share this ill-informed attitude toward philosophy. New Atheist rock star and Oxford biologist Richard Dawkins tweeted on Darwin Day that philosophers’ failure to anticipate Darwin was “a severe indictment of philosophy.” And theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking recently declared “philosophy is dead.”

Bill Nye “the Science Guy” took on the subject last month in a Big Think video on YouTube. A philosophy student contacted Nye to ask whether he, like so many atheist scientists, considers philosophy a “meaningless topic.”

In Nye’s rambling response, he characterizes philosophy as a curiosity—a field that raises “cool” but mostly trivial questions like whether the universe is real and whether we can know we exist. Philosophy is “important for a while,” he says, but can quickly devolve into “arguing in a circle.” And unlike science, philosophy rarely gives “an answer that’s surprising.”

These kinds of charges, writes Olivia Goldhill at “Quartz,” show that Nye buys into the common caricature that “philosophy is about asking pointlessly ‘deep’ questions, plucking an answer out of thin air, and then drinking some pinot noir and writing a florid essay.”

Continue reading BreakPoint – Bill Nye the Philosophy Shy: Why Science Didn’t Just Happen

Moody Global Ministries – Today in the Word – GENERATIONAL PROBLEMS

Read GENESIS 37

Parents give their children a unique set of features, both physical and psychological. Hair color and height as well as character traits are passed from one generation to another. The same was true for Jacob’s family in today’s reading. Unfortunately, this included the generational pattern of conflict and deception, so noticeable in Jacob’s own life, which now continued with his sons.

Just as tension had defined the relationship between Jacob and Esau, animosity described the sibling rivalry between Joseph and his brothers. Jacob’s special love for Joseph (displayed in the exquisite robe), along with Joseph’s knack for tattling on his brothers, led them to hate Joseph. When Joseph then began sharing his dreams of reigning over them, Scripture tells us that the brothers were provoked to jealously, and “hated him all the more” (v. 5). Although their plan shifted from initially wanting to kill Joseph to throwing him into a pit and eventually to selling him for profit, the anger and hatred towards their brother was palpable.

Likewise, the deceptive qualities of the young Jacob earlier in Genesis now became evident in his sons. To cover up their actions, the brothers took Joseph’s prized coat, dipped it in goat’s blood, and showed it to their father. Jacob drew the (wrong) conclusion they had hoped for: “Joseph has surely been torn to pieces” (v. 33). Do not miss the irony. Just as Jacob once deceived his old father with clothing and the killing of a goat, so now his own sons deceived Jacob with clothing and the slaughter of a goat. The conflict and deception that had so marked Jacob’s own life spilled over to his sons. The despair in Jacob’s lament at the end might leave us without hope—but the story of Joseph is not over, and God’s grace is yet to be revealed.

APPLY THE WORD

Consider your own family and possible recurring sin you see in yourself and relatives. Whether it’s patterns of failed relationships, addictions, or struggles with anger, we might be tempted to despair in the face of generational sin. But God is bigger than that, as the remainder of Genesis will show. God can break their destructive power.

 

http://www.todayintheword.org

Denison Forum – 10 REASONS WHY DONALD TRUMP WON

Last night, Donald Trump accepted the Republican Party’s nomination to become the forty-fifth president of the United States. Before he announced his campaign on June 16, 2015, fewer than 23 percent of Republicans said they could vote for him. Across the next year, he vanquished sixteen political professionals and is now one step from the Oval Office.

Why did he win the nomination? Consider ten factors:

One: Trump is not a professional politician. Republicans’ trust in government is below 10 percent, its lowest point since polling began in the 1940s. Voters wanted a candidate who isn’t part of the “system” and says what he thinks regardless of political correctness. Trump’s claim, “I am your voice,” was met with resounding cheers last night.

Two: Trump has achieved success in the “real world.” His business employs over 22,000 people; Forbes estimates his personal net worth at $4.5 billion. Voters wanted someone who knows how to run things and embodies the American Dream.

Three: Trump has celebrity and name recognition. Americans love celebrities, as do news outlets. The New York Times estimates that Trump received $2 billion worth of free media coverage during the presidential primaries.

Four: Trump embodies voters’ anger. According to surveys, 67 percent of Americans say they are angry at the federal government; 84 percent are angry with Congress. Trump’s belligerence mirrors the spirit of the times.

Five: Trump promises to protect the religious freedom of Christians. A higher percentage than ever before believe it has become more difficult to be an evangelical Christian in recent years.

Six: Trump says he loves our nation. Seven in ten Republicans believe President Obama doesn’t love America. Trump’s supporters believe that their candidate ran for president for no reason except to serve our country.

Seven: Trump promises to defend us from our enemies. Seventy-six percent of Republicans believe that Islam is as “at odds” with American values. Trump promises to keep terrorists out of our country and to rebuild our military.

Continue reading Denison Forum – 10 REASONS WHY DONALD TRUMP WON