Charles Stanley –Our Steady Anchor

 

Hebrews 1:1-14

What do you do when the storms of life come? To whom do you turn? Where do you seek comfort and security during such tumultuous times?

Throughout our lives, these storms come and go unexpectedly, but they do not have to throw us off-balance. Scripture assures us that we can maintain a steady footing regardless of the circumstances. So how do we do this? There is an amazing truth in the Bible that will keep us steady during the most trying times. Our anchor for the storms of life is simply this: Jesus Christ never changes.

Why is this so vital, and what do we mean by an “anchor”? Consider that every single thing in your life—career, relationships, finances—is in a state of constant change. You yourself are aging and changing every minute of each day, and there is nothing you can do to stop this process. In fact, even the current heaven and earth will grow old and perish, and like a garment they will be changed (Revelation 21:1). Yet through it all, Christ remains the same.

If we try to hold tightly to any of these earthly things during our hardships, we will be tossed about in various directions since we’ve affixed ourselves to an unstable foundation that’s continually shifting. However, if we place our hope in Christ, we can be sure that the anchor will hold because He isn’t moving, changing, or leaving. In fact, Jesus Christ is the only sure footing in a world of movement, and He will steady all who trust in Him.

Bible in One Year: Revelation 9-12

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Our Daily Bread — When God Says No

 

Read: Isaiah 25:1–5 | Bible in a Year: Zechariah 9–12; Revelation 20

In perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago. Isaiah 25:1

When I was conscripted into the military at age eighteen, as all young Singaporean men are, I prayed desperately for an easy posting. A clerk or driver, perhaps. Not being particularly strong, I hoped to be spared the rigors of combat training. But one evening as I read my Bible, one verse leaped off the page: “My grace is sufficient for you . . .” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

My heart dropped—but it shouldn’t have. God had answered my prayers. Even if I received a difficult assignment, He would provide for me.

So I ended up as an armored infantryman, doing things I didn’t always enjoy. Looking back now, I’m grateful God didn’t give me what I wanted. The training and experience toughened me physically and mentally and gave me confidence to enter adulthood.

In Isaiah 25:1–5, after prophesying Israel’s punishment and subsequent deliverance from her enemies, the prophet praises God for His plans. All these “wonderful things,” Isaiah notes, had been “planned long ago” (v. 1), yet they included some arduous times.

It can be hard to hear God saying no, and even harder to understand when we’re praying for something good—like someone’s deliverance from a crisis. That’s when we need to hold on to the truth of God’s good plans. We may not understand why, but we can keep trusting in His love, goodness, and faithfulness.

Lord, give me the faith to keep trusting You even when You say no.

When God says no, He has a plan. Keep trusting Him!

By Leslie Koh

INSIGHT

Throughout Isaiah we see dark and dire prophecies interspersed with oases of hope. We may think these dramatically different sections contrast with each other—and they do—but they’re also complementary. Note how Isaiah 25 responds to previous pronouncements of judgment, which the prophet praises God for.

Chapter 24 declares that the entire earth will be devastated (vv. 1–3). Then it concludes by saying, “The Lord Almighty will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and before its elders—with great glory” (v. 23). This sets the stage for Isaiah 25. “In perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things,” says the prophet (v. 1). These things include God’s judgment: “You have made the city a heap of rubble” (v. 2). Because of the judgment, “strong peoples” will honor the Lord, and “cities of ruthless nations will revere you” (v. 3). Even God’s judgment draws His creation to Him.

Tim Gustafson

 

 

http://www.odb.org

Joyce Meyer – A Tempting Offer

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. — Matthew 4:1-2

Adapted from the resource Battlefield of the Mind Devotional – by Joyce Meyer

After Jesus had gone through a 40-day fast, Satan approached Him with three tempting offers. The devil came to Jesus when he was weak and hungry.

It’s natural to assume that the Lord was physically weakened after being without nourishment for such an extended period of time, so, of course, the devil’s first offer involved food. If You are God’s Son, command these stones to be made [loaves of] bread (Matthew 4:3 AMPC).

Later Jesus performed several miracles that included food, such as changing a boy’s lunch into enough fish and bread to feed five thousand people and, at another time, to feed four thousand.

All of Jesus’ miracles were for the good of others. He never performed miracles for Himself or to satisfy any need of His own. That’s one major lesson we learn from His temptation.

The devil then took Jesus to a mountaintop and showed Him the nations of the earth. He said, in effect, “You can have it all in exchange for one slight, easily excusable act. Worship me—just once—and You can have it all.” I can even imagine the devil saying, “It’s all right; God will understand. You’re so weak right now.”

It was as if Satan said, “You’re going to rule it all anyway. This is just a shortcut.” He implied that through one simple act of worship, Jesus could avoid the rejection, the suffering, and even the horrifying death on the cross. And either way, He would achieve the same goal.

As attractive as the offer may have sounded, Jesus turned it down. He recognized the deliberately crafted lie, and Jesus never hesitated. The world would be won for God, but it would be won by the way of sacrifice and obedience. The way of the cross would be Jesus’ pathway to victory.

Again, Jesus teaches us that His is not the easy way. Instead, we must take the right way. Whenever the devil tries to convince us there is an easier way—one that will make life better for us—we know we don’t want to listen.

As we read the story, the choice seems obvious. But suppose you had been in that wilderness for 40 days and nights without food and water. Suppose you had faced such great temptations. Suppose the devil had whispered in your ear, “Just this one time and no one will know.”

This is one of the enemy’s most subtle lies. Not only does he tempt you to give in and to receive the things you’d like to have, but he also makes it sound simple and easy: “Just do this one thing, and it’s all yours.”

God never works that way. He wants you to have the best and only the best, but it has to come in the right way.

At the end of the temptation accounts, Matthew inserts a powerful statement. With each temptation, Jesus won because he relied on the Word of God for His strength. And the devil couldn’t fight the Word. Finally, Matthew records, Then the devil departed from Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him (Matthew 4:11AMPC).

The wisdom to be gleaned from this experience is powerful. Even after you’ve been battered and tempted, God doesn’t leave you. He remains with you to comfort you, to minister to your needs, and to encourage you. Never forget that He is as close to you as the mention of His name. He will never leave you nor forsake you.

Prayer Starter: Blessed Lord Jesus, thank You for winning the victory over the enemy. Thank You for not listening to Satan and for standing on the Word of God in the midst of every temptation. Lord, in Your name, I pray for the wisdom and the strength to defeat the same enemy when he tempts me. Amen.

 

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Tempted Like We Are

 

“For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15, KJV).

“In your opinion, who is the greatest person who ever lived, and who has done more good for mankind than anyone else who ever lived?” I asked a student who was both an atheist and a card-carrying Communist.

There was an awkward silence. Then finally came this reluctant reply, “I guess I would have to say Jesus of Nazareth.”

How could an atheist and a Communist, who had been reared in another religion, give such an answer?

Jesus has done more good for mankind than anyone else who has ever lived. He is the greatest person of the centuries, because it is a fact. Compare Jesus, even as a man, with any other person – Muhammad, Buddha, Confucius, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, anyone else in any country at any time in history – and it would be like comparing a giant with a midget.

Though he lived 2,000 years ago and changed the course of history, though He was the greatest leader, the greatest teacher, the greatest example the world has ever known, He is infinitely more than these. He is God.

The omnipotent Creator God visited this little planet earth and became a man, the God-man, Jesus of Nazareth. He was perfect God and perfect man, and as perfect man He understands our weaknesses, since He had the same temptations we do – though He never once gave way to them and sinned.

Do you believe that Jesus ever had the temptation to lie, to lust, to steal or to be immoral? Make a list of your temptations, all your weaknesses, all your failures, and then, as suggested in the verse following our reference, “Let us come boldly to the very throne of God and stay there to receive His mercy and to find grace to help us in our times of need” (Hebrews 4:16).

Bible Reading:Hebrews 2:14-18

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Since Jesus is my high priest and knows everything about me, having been tempted as I am and yet without sin, I will come boldly into His presence today and every day. I will come to receive His mercy and grace to live a supernatural life, which will enable me to live victoriously and to be fruitful for the glory and praise of His matchless name.

 

 

http://www.cru.org

Are the Investigations the Cover-Up?

What is the most effective way to hide the truth and protect the Deep-State criminals? It’s the never-ending Mueller investigation.

 

Those of us who have been paying attention know that serious crimes were committed at the highest levels of government in an attempt to exonerate Hillary Clinton and frame Donald Trump.  There was collusion between government agencies, including collusion with foreign agents, to illegally influence the 2016 Presidential election.  There is enough evidence on the table to be confident of these claims.

And those of us who care about rule of law, who want to see justice done to the criminals in this conspiracy, have been waiting for years to see that happen.  We hear that these serious matters are being investigated.  We hear that there are whistleblowers inside the government who want to come forward and expose the corruption.  We hear that there are many, many more documents which will substantiate our worst fears about one of the greatest scandals in the history of our country.

We have been assured that there are several investigations looking into the various aspect of this abuse of power.  Inspector General Michael Horowitz, prosecutor John Huber, and others are looking into the corruption.  Mueller is supposedly tasked with exposing foreign influence on the Presidential election.

But what if the ‘investigations’ are really the cover-up? What if the investigations are carefully structured to protect criminal actions rather than expose them? What if the investigations are actually being used to hide evidence from the citizenry?

Peter Strzok, Andrew McCabe and others discussed the need for an “insurance policy” in case Trump won.  Was this “insurance policy” intended to protect deep-state criminals from exposure?  Mueller’s role is not to investigate collusion with foreign agents, or he would be investigating Christopher Steele and his Russian sources, along with the foreigners who worked with our government to infiltrate the Trump campaign.  He would investigate the illegal funding of Steele’s lies and how the lies were fed to the public by ‘bad cops’ and complicit media.  This is obviously not the goal of Mueller’s team.

Mueller’s key role is to have nearly absolute control over what information is released to investigators or the public.  Mueller determines what Horowitz and Huber can see. Mueller can hide anythinghe wants by claiming that release of the information would hinder his ‘investigation’.  He has given Rod Rosenstein a list of lines of inquiry that will not be allowed.  Rosenstein, who volunteered to be part of the soft coup, is happy to comply.  We have witnessed Rosenstein repeatedly refuse to turn over documents to Congress, flagrantly obstructing its oversight role.

What is the most effective way to hide the truth and protect the deep-state criminals? It’s the never-ending Mueller investigation.  Sure, Mueller’s team is still in the business of promoting the Trump-Russia fiction, but the most important role of this ‘investigation’ may be to obstruct any real investigation.

Conspiracy theories become conspiracy facts when enough evidence piles up to support the theory.  Consider this evidence, starting before the election:

  • Comey wrote a letter exonerating Hillary from her very intentional crimes long before she or key witnesses were interviewed.
  • Hillary’s key co-conspirators were given immunity, allowed to share attorneys, sit in on each other’s depositions, and even destroy evidence.  This was a sham investigation.
  • Hillary’s influence peddling through the Clinton Foundation was effectively swept under the rug.  The Clintons enriched themselves by selling future favors, often to foreign entities.  The foundation has been called “The Biggest Charity Fraud Ever”.
  • The Trump-Russia collusion narrative was developed as part of the effort to undermine Trump. It was not started by any actionable intelligence.  Spies were placed in the Trump campaign to aid the false narrative and to allow further illicit intelligence gathering.
  •  Spying on the Trump campaign was authorized by presenting fraudulent, hearsay evidence to FISA Court judges.  This criminal act led to many other criminal acts including rampant “unmasking” of American citizens associated with Trump.  Comey and Rosenstein both played roles in FISA abuse. White House officials did much of the unmasking.
  • On September 28, 2016, Peter Strzok texted Lisa Page that “hundreds of thousands” of email messages from Anthony Weiner’s computer had been turned over to the FBI by U.S. Attorneys who were conducting an investigation into Weiner’s sex crimes.  This was a treasure trove of information about Huma and Hillary.  The FBI immediately hid the information for a month while they figured out how to whitewash it to protect Hillary.  The bomb-control team successfully defused another bomb.  Surely, they expected a future reward from President H.R. Clinton.

Inspector General Horowitz’s June report had the goal of soft-peddling criminal behavior.  The report said that some unfortunate things were done, but there was no reason to think that bias played a key role in important decisions.  It did not find fault with things like granting immunity to the man who lied to the FBI and destroyed Hillary’s illegal server.  As we have learned, lying to the FBI can be fine, depending on who does the lying.  Destroying subpoenaed evidence is okay too, at times.

Horowitz’ public statement about his toothless report was followed by FBI Director Christopher Wray telling us not to worry about a thing because he intended to schedule a day when FBI agents would have a meeting to discuss bias.  Okay then — I guess that takes care of it.

Last year, when members of Congress were rightly frustrated about evidence being hidden, there were increasing calls for a special prosecutor to investigate surveillance abuses by the Obama administration, the shady Uranium One deal, and the Clinton Foundation’s influence peddling.  The idea of appointing a truly independent prosecutor was thwarted by Jeff Sessions, who appointed a career insider to do the investigation instead.  Sessions promised that an Obama holdover in Utah, John Huber, would do a “full, complete and objective evaluation of these matters.”

At this point, there is every reason to believe that the purpose of Huber’s investigation is to hide the truth, not to find it; to protect the criminals, not to charge them.   The key witnesses in each of the matters under investigation have not even been contacted.  It appears that no grand juries have been empaneled.  Tom Fitton, of Judicial Watch says, “Huber wasn’t tapped to investigate anything”, he was just “a distraction”.

What we are witnessing here is a carefully planned and orchestrated cover-up of a series of very serious crimes.  The deep swamp is pretending to investigate the deep swamp.

This cover-up would not be possible if the mainstream media were honest and aggressive fact-finders, but they actually function as a branch of the Democratic Party.  The cover-up would fail if Republicans were unified in absolutely demanding to see all the evidence that is currently being hidden, but Republican ‘leaders’ do not unify and fight hard for anything.  They appear to be comfortable with losing this battle.

Victors write the accepted history of events.  It is possible that the story here will be that good men like Strzok, Comey, Rosenstein, and Mueller protected America from a vast right-wing conspiracy.  Donald Trump, the victim of most of the crimes, will be portrayed as the villain.

By Bryce Buchanan

Source: Are the Investigations the Cover-Up?