The secret to saving America

 

 

The secret to saving America

David Kupelian explores how to fight the good fight without losing your soul

“… become blameless and harmless, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom ye are seen as lights in the world …” –Philippians 2:15

The United States of America is in the throes of a full-scale revolution. The new administration, which openly promises to transform America, rewrite her Constitution and “reimagine” all of her bedrock institutions, is being heralded by a shockingly totalitarian censorship campaign targeting everyone in opposition, from Donald J. Trump on down.

But this revolution is not new. For decades, our nation has been under covert, slow-motion assault by what we cryptically call “the far Left,” a religious-political movement fundamentally at war with both Christianity and America.

From the sexual revolution and the “marriage-is-legalized-rape” radical feminists of the 1960s, to today’s open love affair with socialism, sexual anarchy, abortion, identity politics, radical environmentalism and “defunding the police,” the Left has relentlessly pursued its goal, as Barack Obama put it, of “fundamentally transforming the United States of America.”

And though President Trump fought mightily against this tide for four years, tirelessly pursuing a pro-life, pro-religious freedom, pro-Constitution, pro-America agenda, as of today the revolutionaries are wildly ascendent.

Consider that in the past year the radical Left – with whose cause Big Media, Big Tech, Big Education, Big Hollywood and the entire Democratic Party totally identify – has succeeded in:

* indicting the freest, most welcoming and least racist nation on earth as irredeemably racist;

* inciting violent Marxist revolutionaries to riot, vandalize, loot and burn America’s major cities;

* abandoning their former “safe, legal and rare” stance on abortion in favor of wanton celebration of late-term abortion up to the moment of birth and beyond;

* encouraging innocent children to irreversibly ruin their lives by chemically (and sometimes surgically) “transitioning” to the opposite sex – a scientific impossibility;

* using the COVID pandemic as a cover for imposing unprecedented totalitarian control over Americans; and

gaslighting an entire nation by perpetrating the most wide-ranging, egregious and in-your-face election fraud in U.S. history while pretending disenfranchised American voters who simply want a fair and impartial investigation are the crazy ones, “trying to steal the election from Joe Biden.”

And that’s just for starters.

As America’s once-great middle class becomes crushed through endless COVID lockdowns, a wealthy and privileged globalist elite is not only growing ever richer and more powerful, but also strategically deploying COVID as a pretext for engineering what they call a “Great Reset” of the world – replacing capitalism with socialism. This is neither conspiracy theory nor partisan conjecture; the “Reset” movement’s leaders openly brag about it.

‘Evil in high places’

What Americans are beholding as the new year unfolds is more than just a host of extremely daunting circumstances brought about by corrupt, misguided and power-hungry people in leadership positions. Something else seems to be at work.

Consider that the well-intentioned but naïve liberal leaders of yesteryear are almost nowhere to be found. In their place are politicians, academics and media personalities whose breathtaking level of dishonestly and delusion (they talk earnestly about men becoming pregnant, they liken Trump to Hitler and they pretend the corrupt and shockingly senile Joe Biden is qualified to be president) suggests a surreal, dystopian, darkly spiritual dimension to the current troubled era.

In truth, Americans today are confronted with a maniacal revolutionary movement emanating from a full-bore rebellion against God Almighty and the essential foundation stones of Western Judeo-Christian civilization – from biblical morality, to “unalienable” individual rights, to equal justice under the law, to the color-blind society championed by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., to the sacredness of children in the womb. After all, each of these priceless principles emanates directly from a deep recognition that human beings are created in the image of God – Imago Dei – and are therefore precious and of inestimable value.

Ironically, although atheist Karl Marx famously attacked religion and particularly Christianity as the “opium of the people,” he himself concocted the ultimate religious opiate: Marxism.

For although the fantasy-world promise of socialism was a “classless” society wherein all people are equal and cared for, in the real world, corrupt leftist-elite politicians like Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer are so dishonest and desperately addicted to power, their consciences so seared by decades of lying, that they retain zero capacity for genuinely caring about the “poor and disadvantaged.” It’s all an act.

Rather, the religion they preach – Marxism, socialism, progressivism, whatever the label – is just an opiate they cynically dispense to pacify and distract the masses, while they grow ever more wealthy, powerful and privileged, but inwardly ever more ugly, corrupt and self-deceived.

So now comes the big question: With such genuine wickedness openly manifesting in “the land of the free,” so much that it evokes the Apostle Paul’s admonitions about “powers and principalities” and “spiritual wickedness in high places,” what can good Americans do about the precarious state of their country? During this time of genuine tribulation and even persecution, how should moral, right-thinking Americans, who work hard, love their country, honor its history and obey its laws – and who don’t pretend there are dozens of new genders and that America is a despicable racist hellhole – now respond?

‘Uniquely blessed by God’

First, remember that our current time isn’t uniquely burdened by evil and misfortune. When Jesus Christ walked the earth two millennia ago, He and His Jewish countrymen lived under harsh Roman occupation, “individual rights” (including the right to vote) didn’t exist and most people were “poor and disadvantaged.” And then there was leprosy. Moreover, to make sure the rabble always knew who was in charge, the Romans routinely crucified people along the roadsides – escaped slaves, criminals and other “lowlifes,” and especially those they regarded as any sort of threat to Roman rule.

The intervening centuries have all too often presented equally daunting circumstances. While today’s coronavirus pandemic has taken several hundred thousand American lives, 14th century Europe had to contend with the Black Plague, which killed some 25 to 50 million people – and no treatments or vaccines. Then there have been the countless wars, the costliest being World War II with over 70 million deaths, including over 400,000 Americans. Indeed, the 20th century was the bloodiest in all of human history, dominated as it was by the ever-metastasizing Marxist cancer, which consumed an appalling 100-200 million lives.

Truth is, the human race is so regularly mired in intractable crises, one could reasonably conclude that crisis and chaos are the norm for humans, with societal peace and prosperity but rare and cherished aberrations.

And that may be the point: America has historically constituted one of those few extraordinary “cherished aberrations,” a nation uniquely blessed by God.

America was blessed by wise founders who crafted a magnificent Constitution to be the template for a government based on individual rights and ordered liberty, not the rule of kings and potentates. Blessed with a population willing to sacrifice 600,000 lives in a war that ended up expunging the evil of slavery. Blessed with an admirably resilient Judeo-Christian culture and a population genuinely in love with their country. Blessed with extraordinary natural resources, including more oil than Saudi Arabia. Blessed with unparalleled freedom and prosperity that to this day attract more immigrants to our shores than any other country in the world, by far.

Therefore, when they see their beloved country being stolen, defiled and “fundamentally transformed” as it is right now, right-thinking Americans feel compelled to defend her. But how?

First and most immediate: November’s election was a freak show featuring hands-down the most massive amount of voter fraud in Americans’ lifetimes. If the various states that permitted and encouraged election fraud – such as Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin and others – aren’t compelled to play by the rules, America will never again be a unified, peaceful nation – ever. So that is job one.

Even setting aside the outrageous election abuses, the major news media and tech monopolies pre-rigged November’s contest long before Election Day by continually portraying Donald Trump as a Hitlerian, mentally ill traitor while casting the demented and spectacularly corrupt Joe Biden as a moral paragon and guarantor of national healing.

They all knew better, but they did it anyway.

However, a corrupt news establishment, a rigged election process, a radicalized Democratic Party and out-of-control Big Tech information gatekeepers are not our only problems.

America’s colleges and universities have become Marxist indoctrination centers. Our public elementary, middle and high schools teach our children that America is a racist nation. Even preschoolers are herded into public libraries where demonically possessed men pretending to be women – some of them convicted sex-offenders – are allowed to beguile, indoctrinate and corrupt these children’s tender little minds, while their clueless parents smile and nervously laugh.

Summarizing America’s current spiritual state, Los Angeles mega-pastor John MacArthur recently told Fox News’ Laura Ingraham: “America’s in a moral free fall. … You murder the babies in the womb. If they survive the womb, you try to seduce them into transgender sexual deviation when they’re young. If they survive that, you corrupt them with a godless education. If they survive that, you have divorce in the family. And if they grow to be adults, we drown them in a sea of pornography. This is a nation so far down in the sewer of immorality and wickedness that nothing surprises me.”

MacArthur is right, of course. Which means even if Trump had managed to remain in office for another four years and continued to turbocharge the U.S. economy as he did previously, America would remain in a state of “moral free fall.”

Try this thought experiment: Recall how Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination for a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court led to hordes of screaming people wildly pounding on the doors of the Supreme Court building, an epic mob scene reminiscent of something out of the French Revolution. And that was just over a nomination! Imagine what would happen if those rioters’ worst fears – the outlawing of abortion – actually came to pass. What if the Supreme Court actually repealed Roe v. Wade, or – to take the hypothetical even further – suppose the states actually amended the U.S. Constitution with a Human Life Amendment, outlawing abortion throughout the nation.

It would be a great day, of course – except America would be in a state of war, her streets unsafe, mass hysteria dominating public life every single day.

I think you get the picture. America has become a very broken nation, with millions of people utterly captive to bizarre, deceitful and deadly beliefs.

Thus, while we work and litigate and demonstrate and persuade and donate and pray for a turnaround on all the current battlefields – from election integrity to media corruption to abortion – what America really needs is indeed a revolution. But not a Marxist one.

Toward national revival

First, a word of warning to hotheads: Whereas civil disobedience in the manner of the Civil Rights Movement demonstrators of the 1960s can be a powerful force for good, awakening the conscience of a nation and bringing about truly positive change, angry and violent rebellion is not only counterproductive, it is precisely what the maniacal, power-obsessed Left wants.

That’s right. Although they will never admit it, it’s what they desire most of all. Why? Because it would enable them to point to “rightwing, white-supremacist extremists and terrorists” and say, “See! We told you all along that white-nationalist Trump-supporting fascists were the real problem!”

This is precisely why the left is forever fabricating and publicizing a never-ending array of “hate-crime” hoaxes, because they serve to validate their deranged narrative that conservatives, Republicans and Trump supporters are the real criminals, fascists and terrorists, and must be throttled at all costs. The left dreams of an unhinged, violent “rightwing” rebellion, as such would serve only to vindicate them and give them a lock on the power they crave.

As events unfold in the new year and beyond, bold strategies will emerge for restoring our nation, and patriotic right-thinking Americans will surely pursue them. Members of Congress and all state legislators will play pivotal roles, especially with regard to asuring free and fair elections, as will governors and mayors and indeed all elected office holders. Traditionally minded citizens will pursue parallel institutions to protect their children as well as their own wellbeing and sanity, from alternative educational modalities (homeschooling and private Christians schools) to alternative news media. Indeed, the American samizdat (that’s what the “underground” press, the only source of truthful news, was called in the former Soviet empire) must flourish, although it will have to endure more censorship and abuse as they perform their vital role of investigating corruption and truthfully keeping Americans informed.

In every area of life, Americans will have to bear up with grace and dignity in fighting the good fight. Citizens, the ultimate sovereigns in America’s unique constitutional system, who may be tempted to “drop out of politics” must do the opposite – vigorously exercising their sacred rights of voting, free speech, free association, freedom of worship, and to “petition the government for a redress of grievances” in every legal and moral way.

One final all-important point: Unlike virtually all other nations, the essence of America is not a common ethnicity but a common spirit – a grateful, liberty-loving, generous, essentially Christian spirit, which needs to burn more brightly now in America than ever.

Indeed, no real and lasting recovery is possible for America without a genuine spiritual revival. And each of us can and must play a key part in this revival. How? While we’re engaged on every battlefront – committed to work creatively and effectively, to educate and persuade, to enlighten and awaken, and to outthink and outmaneuver the demented Left – each of us needs, as Christ commanded, to “Let [our] light … shine before men,” always praying we can wage the battle righteously. And even praying for our enemies.

Christianity has historically grown during times of persecution, not only in numbers but in depth and sincerity. America’s coming days promise to be very tough ones, with much persecution directed toward those who dare speak the Truth. But if good people stand up for what is right, for their nation, for what is legal and proper and moral and good – and if they do it with faith in Almighty God that He may be glorified and His will ultimately triumph – they absolutely cannot lose.

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28

 

David KupelianBy David Kupelian

 

 


Editor’s note: The preceding is the lead-off story in the current issue of Whistleblower magazine, compiled and edited monthly by David Kupelian. If you would like to explore this subject more deeply, read “TRIBULATION AND REDEMPTION IN AMERICA: How today’s breathtakingly corrupt politics and culture invite personal and national recovery.” The issue is also available in state-of-the-art digital form. Better yet, SUBSCRIBE TO WHISTLEBLOWER (print edition) and get 12 fantastic issues or else get an ANNUAL DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTION.

 

 

Source: The secret to saving America

In Touch Ministries; Charles Stanley – Persevering in Prayer

Romans 8:26-28

A common hindrance to our prayer life is a lack of perseverance. Many Christians feel that once they’ve prayed for something, the answer should immediately be forthcoming. But God is not a bellhop, waiting to give us what we want the moment we petition Him. Imagine if the Lord instantly provided whatever we request—we might not develop virtues like patience, trust, and dependence upon Him.

The Lord is faithful to answer our prayers, but not always in the way we expect. Yet even when the answer is no, we can be sure that what He gives is better than what we requested. Consider the apostle Paul—though he repeatedly asked for relief from his “thorn in the flesh,” he was given something more spiritually beneficial. God not only protected Paul from pride but also used the apostle’s weakness to display divine power (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).

Since Paul’s prayer wasn’t answered the way he’d originally hoped, you might wonder about the requests you bring to the Lord. The truth is, we don’t always know how to pray as we should, but thankfully, we have a Helper in the Holy Spirit, who intercedes for us according to God’s will. If we don’t receive what we hoped, we can be sure that the Spirit knew exactly what to ask on our behalf—and that what we received as a result was best. 

Bible in One Year: Ecclesiastes 9-12


http://www.intouch.org/

Our Daily Bread — Firm Refusal

Bible in a Year:

Daniel . . . still pray[ed] three times a day.

Daniel 6:13

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

Daniel 6:10–23

When the Nazis drafted Franz Jägerstätter during World War II, he completed military basic training but refused to take the required pledge of personal loyalty to Adolf Hitler. Authorities allowed Franz to return to his farm, but they later summoned him to active duty. After seeing Nazi ideology up close and learning of the Jewish genocide, however, Jägerstätter decided his loyalty to God meant he could never fight for the Nazis. He was arrested and sentenced to execution, leaving behind his wife and three daughters.

Over the years, many believers in Jesus—under peril of death—have offered a firm refusal when commanded to disobey God. The story of Daniel is one such story. When a royal edict threatened that anyone “who pray[ed] to any god or human being except [the king]” (Daniel 6:12) would be thrown into the lions’ den, Daniel discarded safety and remained faithful. “Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before” (v. 10). The prophet would bend his knee to God—and only God—no matter the cost.

Sometimes, our choice is clear. Though everyone around us implores us to go along with prevailing opinion—though our own reputation or well-being may be at risk—may we never turn from our obedience to God. Sometimes, even at great cost, all we can offer is a firm refusal.

By:  Winn Collier

Reflect & Pray

Where are you sensing that obedience to God will require your firm refusal? What might this refusal cost you? What will you gain?

God, I know my loyalty to You will at times mean saying no to others’ expectations or demands. It may cost me dearly. Give me courage.

http://www.odb.org

Grace to You; John MacArthur – Discernment Between Truth and Error

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; and this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world” (1 John 4:1-3).

God’s children are able to discern false doctrine.

A sure mark of every false religious system is doctrinal error, particularly about the Person and work of Jesus Christ. Those systems deny that He is Savior and Lord, God in human flesh, the only way to the Father (John 14:6) because salvation comes only through Him (Acts 4:12).

A sure mark, then, of all true children of God is that they believe the truth about Jesus Christ and do not deviate into doctrinal error. Although they may be temporarily duped by false teaching, they will not be permanently deceived by it. The apostle John wrote, “[False teachers] are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error” (1 John 4:5-6).

When you were saved, you were clear about who Christ was. “Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ,” writes John, “is born of God” (1 John 5:1). Had you not passed that doctrinal test, you wouldn’t have been saved. God’s children distinguish spiritual truth from doctrinal error because the Spirit of truth (John 14:16) indwells them.

“O Timothy,” Paul exhorted his beloved son in the faith, “guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called ‘knowledge’” (1 Tim. 6:20). I pray that you will guard the precious treasure of truth entrusted to you in the Scriptures and so assure your heart that you belong to the God of truth.

Suggestions for Prayer

Thank God for revealing His truth to us in the Bible.

For Further Study

Read John 1:1; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 2:9. What do they teach about the Person of Christ?

http://www.gty.org/

Joyce Meyer – Resisting the Temptation to Worry

For You make him to be blessed and a blessing forever; You make him exceedingly glad with the joy of Your presence.

— Psalm 21:6 (AMPC)

It is a learning process to keep the devil from stealing your joy, because he constantly tempts you in new ways to lose your peace. If Satan gets your peace, then he will get your joy. Be strong and resist his temptation to make you worry.

God never intended for you to worry! In fact, when the circumstances of life begin to overwhelm you or when feelings of dread attack your mind, the Lord wants you to pray and release your burdens to Him.

Spend time studying the Word. It’s literally full of ways to help you fight the temptation to worry.

Prayer Starter: God, thank You for your Word and for all the ways that You give me peace and help me fight the devil. Amen.

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Truth for Life; Alistair Begg –The Glory of God

The Lord our God has shown us his glory.

Deuteronomy 5:24

God’s great design in all His works is the manifestation of His own glory. Any aim less than this would be unworthy of Himself.

But how shall the glory of God be manifested to such fallen creatures as we are? Man’s eye is not single in its focus; he always has a side glance toward his own honor, has too high an estimate of his own powers, and so is not qualified to behold the glory of the Lord. It is clear, then, that self must stand out of the way, that there may be room for God to be exalted. And this is the reason why He often brings His people into straits and difficulties, that, being made conscious of their own folly and weakness, they may be fitted to behold the majesty of God when He comes to work their deliverance. He whose life is one even and smooth path will see but little of the glory of the Lord, for he has few occasions of self-emptying and hence but little fitness for being filled with the revelation of God. They who navigate little streams and shallow creeks know but little of the God of tempests; but they who are “doing business on the great waters”1 see “his wondrous works in the deep.”2 Among the huge waves of bereavement, poverty, temptation, and reproach, we learn the power of Jehovah, because we feel the littleness of man.

Thank God, then, if you have been led by a rough road: It is this that has given you your experience of God’s greatness and loving-kindness. Your troubles have enriched you with a wealth of knowledge to be gained by no other means: Your trials have been the crevice of the rock in which Jehovah has set you, as He did His servant Moses, that you might behold His glory as it passed by. Praise God that you have not been left to the darkness and ignorance that continued prosperity might have involved, but that in the great fight of affliction you have been qualified for the outshinings of His glory in His wonderful dealings with you.

1) Psalm 107:23
2) Psalm 107:24

C.H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg.

http://www.truthforlife.org

Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – God Is Faithful and Just To Forgive

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

The puppy looked up at them with big sad eyes and let out something between a yelp and a yawn. When he opened his mouth, a well-chewed science book fell out and thudded on the floor.

“Aw, who couldn’t forgive a face like that!” Lizzy leaned down and rubbed his ears.

Jacob bent over and grabbed his puppy’s collar.

“That’s it, Charlie. You’re sleeping outside tonight!”

Lizzy used a sock to wipe the puppy-slobber off Jacob’s science book, while he wrestled Charlie out the back door and into his doghouse.

“Don’t be so hard on him, Jacob,” she said when he came stomping back into the kitchen. “Charlie’s just doing what puppies do. They chew things and make messes. You’ve heard people joke about telling the teacher ‘the dog ate my homework.’ It’s just his nature.”

Jacob got a glass down from the cabinet. “My teacher isn’t going to believe me when I say that my dog ‘ate my science book’!” He slammed the cabinet door shut and threw open the refrigerator. “I’m sure she will just nod and smile and say, ‘Oh, that’s just fine, Jacob. You know that’s just what puppies do.’”

As it turned out, Miss Albert was surprisingly understanding when he told her what had happened to his science book. She did not say “that’s just what puppies do,” but she did nod and smile knowingly. Jacob wondered if Miss Albert might have had a puppy sometime in her life.

Animals do crazy things sometimes. Well, they do things that might seem crazy to us humans. You might get angry when a cat scratches your arm or when a dog makes a mess or when a parakeet will not be quiet. If you want to keep a pet, though, eventually you get over annoying animal habits, because, after all, they are just being what they are!

We humans have a lot of habits, too – things that we are and do because we are human. We like to eat several times a day. We like to sleep, usually at night. We tend to hate pain. We like to have friends and family who care about us. We like to think about things, and we like to have fun hobbies. There is a famous saying that “to err is human.” That means all humans make mistakes.

Not only do we make mistakes, but all of us are born with a sinful nature that we inherited from Adam. To sin is to do something much worse than just an accidental mistake. To sin is to do anything that falls short of God’s glory. We are all born sinners, which means that our natural tendency is to disobey God, to sin against Him. Those of us who trust Christ as Savior get a new nature, and they have a growing desire to live without sinning, like Christ lived. But since we are all still human, none of us are able to be that perfect yet. Even Christians who love God fail Him. When we sin against God, we need to repent and ask Him for forgiveness.

God has certain characteristics about His nature, too. Because He is God, He is perfect in His holiness – He never breaks His own laws! Because He is God, He is powerful and wise – He never messes up! Because He is God, He is good and gracious enough to help us sinning humans – He forgives us when we ask Him!

You may have heard this verse many times before, but have you really thought about what it means that God is faithful and just to forgive us? That means that, no matter what we do to make Him mad, God has promised to forgive us of that and of all our sinfulness – so long as we confess our sins to Him.

Charlie did a puppyish thing when he chewed up Jacob’s science book. He was doing what puppies do, but one thing puppies do not do is ask forgiveness. Jacob lost his temper when he saw what Charlie had done. To lose your temper when something bad happens is a natural human reaction, but it is also actually a sin against God. Jacob is a sinner because he is human. That is how humans are. If Jacob is a Christian, he should try not to sin, and if he does sin, he ought to confess it and ask God’s forgiveness.

If Jacob does confess his sin and ask God to forgive him, God will. That is what this verse teaches – that forgiving people who ask is part of God’s nature. He does it because His nature is to be faithful to His promises. He does it because His nature is to be just and righteous. That is the kind of God we have.

Because of Who He is, God is faithful and just to forgive and cleanse sinners who trust Him.

My Response:
» Am I trying not to sin against God?
» When I do sin, am I making it a habit to go to Him and confess and ask Him to forgive me and to cleanse me from all my unrighteousness?
» Do I have faith that He will do what He has promised?

The post God Is Faithful and Just To Forgive appeared first on EquipU Online Library.


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Denison Forum – Australian officials seek to rebrand shark attacks: Three satanic deceptions and the privilege of sharing life’s greatest gift

Australian officials would like us to rebrand shark attacks as “negative encounters.” The swimmer who was bitten by a great white shark at a beach near San Francisco last month may not agree.

Officials in Texas are assuring the public that the Dallas resident who has the first-ever case of monkeybox in our state is “not a reason for alarm.” The infected patient in isolation at a Dallas hospital may not agree.

It is human nature to downplay threats we cannot control. For example, we say of those who die that they “departed” or “passed on.” But euphemisms cannot change the reality they describe.

As of this morning, 188 people have died in massive flooding in Europe. The death toll in the Surfside, Florida, condominium collapse stands at ninety-seven. At least sixty-five people underwent decontamination on Saturday following a chemical leak at a Six Flags water park near Houston.

Three people were wounded in a shooting outside the Washington Nationals baseball stadium that caused the game to be suspended. At least two people were killed and several others were wounded by shootings at three locations in Tucson, Arizona, yesterday afternoon. And the global death toll from the coronavirus pandemic stands at 4,089,175 at this writing.

American Christians are under unprecedented pressure by our secularized culture to compromise biblical truth and morality. But the inescapable realities of death and eternity beyond the grave demonstrate conclusively that every person we know needs to know what we know about death.

Martin Luther said, “Every man must do two things alone: he must do his own believing and his own dying.” Let’s see how the first helps us with the second.

Why nonbelievers fear death

It’s human nature to fear the unknown. The dread we feel that keeps us from venturing into a cave where a predator is waiting is a God-given response that may save our lives.

Even when our lives are not at risk, we understandably fear what we cannot predict. From going to a new school to beginning a new job or moving to a new city, we are naturally apprehensive of the future.

Death, of course, is the greatest unknown. Nonbelievers do not believe anyone has ever come back from the other side, so they have no empirical way to know what happens when we die. Do we simply cease to exist? Are we reincarnated? Do we spend eternity in heaven? In hell?

However, our post-Christian society has devised a solution. Postmodernism has taught us that our reality is the reality. Truth is “our truth.” Therefore, if we don’t believe there is an afterlife, we don’t need to be concerned with an afterlife. The man who declared to me “I don’t believe in hell” was convinced that his opinion settled the matter.

“I consider eternity as another possibility”

This is illogical in the extreme, of course. Denying that cancer exists doesn’t keep me from getting cancer.

Even more, this is a satanic deception. Our enemy wants nothing more than to delude us into thinking we don’t need what Jesus came to give. We are unlikely to repent of our sins and seek forgiveness if we don’t think we need to repent of our sins or seek forgiveness. We would not turn to Christ as our Lord if we do not need a Lord. If we can be our own god (Genesis 3:5), we’ll try to be our own god.

The poet Mary Oliver wrote: “When death comes / like an iceberg between the shoulder blades, / I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering: / what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?” As a result, she continues, “I look upon time as no more than an idea, / and I consider eternity as another possibility.”

She concludes: “When it’s over, I want to say all my life / I was a bride married to amazement. / I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms. / When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder / if I have made of my life something particular and real. / I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened / or full of argument. / I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.”

Nor do I. Nor do you, I suspect. But her plan for being “married to amazement” and “taking the world into my arms” is to “consider eternity as another possibility.” If we see eternity as only a “possibility,” we will assuredly not be ready when we experience it as a reality.

Are you a practical universalist?

I hope you do not share nonbelievers’ agnosticism or atheism with regard to death and eternity. If you are not certain that you have made Jesus your Savior and Lord, please turn to him today. (For answers to frequent questions about Jesus and a way to trust him for salvation, please see my website article, “Why Jesus?”)

As we have seen, one of Satan’s great deceptions is convincing lost people that they are not lost. A second deception is convincing Christians that lost people are not truly lost.

Based on the clear teaching of Scripture (cf. John 14:6Acts 4:12John 3:18Revelation 20:15), we may agree theologically that lost people need Jesus. But if we are not taking the risk to share Christ with them, our actions betray our supposed convictions.

In this case, we are practical universalists. We are not so certain that our lost neighbors, friends, and family members need Jesus to avoid hell and go to heaven that we are willing to share God’s love with them.

Here we face one more satanic deception: that sharing the gospel is “imposing” our beliefs on others. Postmodern secularists have convinced many Christians that tolerance is the highest value, that telling people they risk eternity separated from God in hell is intolerant and bigoted.

In fact, it is just the opposite. Sharing God’s love in Christ offers others the greatest gift they could ever receive. It is giving people the only key that opens the door to heaven. It is sharing the cure for spiritual cancer with people who are dying of the disease whether they know it or not.

We will say more tomorrow about what happens to Christians when we die. For now, would you ask God to help you help someone you know be ready to die today?

http://www.denisonforum.org/

Upwords; Max Lucado – Let Jesus Take Your Sins

LET JESUS TAKE YOUR SINS – July 19, 2021

Denalyn and I had enjoyed a nice dinner at a local restaurant. As we received our bill, a church member spotted us and came over. After we chatted a few moments, he took our bill. “I’ll take this,” he said. Guess what? I let him do what he wanted to do. I let him take it away.

Someday we will stand before God. All of us will be present. All of us will have to give an account for our lives. Every thought, every deed, every action. Were it not for the grace of Christ, I would find this to be a very terrifying thought. Yet, according to Scripture, Jesus came to “take away the sins of the world” (John 1:29). On that day, I will point to Christ. When my list of sins is produced, I will gesture toward him and say, “He took it.” Let him take yours.

http://www.MaxLucado.com

The ‘Silent Majority’ Is Rapidly Becoming the ‘Angry Majority’

 

The “silent majority” was mentioned by President Nixon in 1969, who labeled middle Americans who weren’t protesting the Vietnam war or joining the counter culture — two activities being over-reported by the media of the day.  The silent majority didn’t speak up much but respected traditional American values with a good-natured approach to political issues.

They were silent, but they voted.  In 1972, Nixon was re-elected with one of the largest landslides in U.S. history — 520 electoral votes to only 17 for McGovern.

Today, most Americans focus on work and family and trust that our elected officials will work for us, and if they don’t, the folks who pay attention to such stuff will vote them out.

But after five years of hysteria over Donald Trump, the media have hyped so many radical liberal causes to the point where many conservative Americans feel they are an endangered minority.  If we speak up, we feel we will be ridiculed or ostracized by our friends and co-workers or even lose our jobs.  People with conservative bumper stickers have had their cars vandalized, and those wearing patriotic clothing have been harassed and physically assaulted.

There are so many issues that face us that we can easily be overwhelmed and simply give up on political discourse, which furthers the idea that liberals rule the day.

But the silent majority in the United States is waking up — not in a uniform manner, but on an issue-by-issue basis.  They know what their eyes are seeing on the nightly news, and they aren’t fooled one bit by blatant liberal spin.

If they have young children, they have been outraged by sex education initiatives that teach masturbation and promote gay and transgender lifestyles to kindergarteners.  Or their children participate in sports where boys who think they may be girls are competing in female activities and are given free access to girls’ locker rooms.  And of course, locking down schools for over a year has caused irreparable damage to their kids’ education, with mountains of evidence saying staying home was completely unnecessary.

Parents of college-aged kids are now seeing “Critical Race Theory” being taught, claiming that whiteness alone causes unavoidable unconscious racism, and nothing can be done to fix it, but giving special privileges to everyone who isn’t white can help.

If they live in border states, they have been horrified by the policies of the new administration, which are leading to massive increases in local crime, horrible hardships for women and children, and a free flow of drugs into our country.

Things came to a head with the George Floyd riots, where Democrat mayors and governors gave out-of-state agitators free rein to incite locals to loot and burn businesses.  Anyone with eyes could see that protesting is not stealing flat-screen TVs and designer tennis shoes.  They saw footage from New York of organized thieves driving up to electronics and jewelry stores while police were ordered to stand by.

Those who were arrested were released immediately, and the charges were later dropped.  New laws were passed in liberal cities ending cash bail “in the interest of fairness to minorities,” which has led to an unprecedented level of crime and violence in our most vulnerable populations.  Then came ridiculous demands to “defund police” while 70% of the minorities in affected districts want more policemen, not fewer.

The 2020 elections were a turning point.  Everyone watched Trump rallies with tens of thousands of enthusiastic supporters and contrasted them with Biden’s events with 20–30 people in six-foot circles.  On Election Night, they saw videos of Republican poll-watchers being thrown out of Democrat-controlled districts and windows being papered to hide what was going on.  They saw videos of ballots being counted late at night when no one was watching, and the same stacks were run through the machines multiple times.  Ballot counting was halted simultaneously in five liberal states, and when things started up again, the results magically shifted to Biden.

Americans are not stupid.  They know that the fix was in.  They know that lying and corruption at the highest levels were involved.

But by far the strongest reaction has come from the government and medical communities’ response to the COVID-19 “pandemic.”  When it was first noticed in March of 2020, we were told it was 5% fatal, and the only way to stop it was to stay home for 15 days, and everything would be fine.

Those 15 days extended to 490 days of lockdowns, closed businesses, closed schools, and emergency regulations, often delivered by governors with no authority.  The arbitrary nature of the dictates — churches shut down while casinos stayed open, small businesses closed while big box stores thrived — outraged the silent majority.

When concerned doctors spoke out on the front steps of the Supreme Court, their videos were censored and deleted, doctors were fired and websites taken down, just for suggesting safe and effective treatments for COVID.

They now see the mounting pressure for every American, including children and babies, to take a vaccine that is experimental.  They know that if a medicine is safe and effective, people don’t need to be pressured, threatened, or bribed to take it.  Their warning bells ring when they see million-dollar lotteries for vaccine recipients, coupled with threats that they won’t be allowed to travel, or their college-age kids won’t be able to return to school.

They have seen our government’s own VAERS reports showing unprecedented side-effects and deaths from the vaccines, and firsthand video accounts from real people detailing stories of their horrific symptoms.

The idea that an experimental vaccine that could now be made mandatory has turned the silent majority into the Angry Majority.  It reminds one of the famous line from the movie Network, where the hero shouts, “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!”

The Angry Majority are now realizing they are not as powerless as they have been led to believe.  Their ballots may have been stolen, but they can vote with their voices, their wallets, their feet, and their shoulders.

Outraged parents are showing up at school board meetings, shouting for teachers to stay out of their children’s sexual morality, that boys stay out of girls’ bathrooms and locker rooms, and that normal class schedules resume immediately.  College parents are demanding that critical race indoctrination be halted, giving less to liberal colleges, or switching schools altogether.

State legislatures have been pressured into changing restrictive COVID rules and opening up schools and border state citizens are demanding completion of border walls and that illegals be sent back where they came from.

The Angry Majority is turning out to city council meetings in record numbers to oppose any plans to defund the police.

Private corporations that have taken pro-vaccine and anti-freedom positions have been boycotted.

Cities and states with restrictive COVID policies and liberal law enforcement have seen people move out en masse to more conservative areas with law and order and where our police are respected.

And when it comes to mandatory vaccines, the Angry Majority is just saying “no” to injections of experimental drugs with horrific side-effects.

The days of the easygoing silent majority are over.  It’s time to raise your voice and take action.  Otherwise, the country you love will be lost forever.

 

By Jack Gleason

Source: The ‘Silent Majority’ Is Rapidly Becoming the ‘Angry Majority’ – American Thinker

In Touch Ministries; Charles Stanley – The Kingdom’s Open Door

Matthew 24:1-14

John the Baptist and Jesus Both preached, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt. 3:2Matt. 4:17). And though the nation of Israel rejected Christ as their king, His kingdom was not thwarted.

When an idea recurs in Scripture, we are wise to study it well—and the Bible contains more than 30 references to the “kingdom of heaven.” The term refers to the realm where God reigns in absolute sovereignty. We understand this in a spiritual sense today, but it will become a physical reality in the future when Christ returns to establish His rule on earth. At that point, Satan will be defeated, God’s enemies will be destroyed, and only the righteous will enter the kingdom He sets up here (Matt. 25:31-46).

For those of us who have trusted Christ as our personal Savior, a place in the kingdom is already secured, but what about unbelievers? Today the invitation remains open to all who will repent and receive Christ as Lord.

The kingdom of heaven is still at hand. Nobody knows how long the window of opportunity will stay open. So under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, make the most of every chance to deliver God’s invitation.

Bible in One Year: Proverbs 16-18

http://www.intouch.org/

Our Daily Bread — Jesus Restores Us

Bible in a Year:

The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.

Genesis 3:21

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

Genesis 3:17–24

Although Sam had done nothing wrong, he lost his job on the assembly line. Carelessness in another division led to problems in cars they built. After several crashes made the news, wary customers stopped buying their brand. The company had to downsize, leaving Sam out of work. He’s collateral damage, and it isn’t fair. It never is.

History’s first collateral damage occurred immediately after the first sin. Adam and Eve were ashamed of their nakedness, so God graciously clothed them with “garments of skin” (Genesis 3:21). It’s painful to imagine, but one or more animals that had always been safe in the garden were now slaughtered and skinned.

There was more to come. God told Israel, “Every day you are to provide a year-old lamb without defect for a burnt offering to the Lord; morning by morning you shall provide it” (Ezekiel 46:13). Every. Single. Day. How many thousands of animals have been sacrificed because of human sin?

Their death was necessary to cover our sin until Jesus, the Lamb of God, came to remove it (John 1:29). Call this “collateral repair.” As Adam’s sin kills us, so the Last Adam’s (Christ’s) obedience restores all who believe in Him (Romans 5:17–19). Collateral repair isn’t fair—it cost Jesus’ life—but it’s free. Reach out to Jesus in belief and receive the salvation He offers, and His righteous life will count for you.

By:  Mike Wittmer

Reflect & Pray

When have you suffered for someone else’s mistake? When have you benefited from someone’s success, and how should you think about both situations?

Jesus, I believe in You, and I know Your life counts for me.

http://www.odb.org

Grace to You; John MacArthur – Obedience to God’s Word

“By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments” (1 John 2:3).

True believers obey God’s commandments.

Before Jesus ascended to Heaven after His resurrection, He gave the following Great Commission to His disciples: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you” (Matt. 28:19-20). Notice that a true disciple was to observe, or obey, all of Christ’s commands.

The apostle John understood well the Lord’s instruction. He knew that obedience to the commands of God produces assurance—the confidence of knowing for sure “that we have come to know Him” (1 John 2:3). The Greek word for “keep” in that verse refers to watchful, careful, thoughtful obedience. It is not an obedience that is only the result of external pressure; it is the eager obedience of one who “keeps” the divine commandments as if they were something precious to guard. Such obedience is motivated by love, as John indicates in verse 5: “Whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him.” That’s supported by the word translated “commandments,” which refers specifically to the precepts of Christ rather than laws in general. Legal obedience demands perfection or penalty, while 1 John 2:3 is a call to gracious obedience because of the penalty Christ has already paid.

However, those who claim to know God and yet despise His commandments John calls liars: “The one who says, ‘I have come to know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (v. 4). “They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient, and worthless for any good deed” (Titus 1:16).

How can you determine if you are a true Christian? Not by sentiment, but by obedience. If you desire to obey God out of gratitude for all Christ has done for you, and if you see that desire producing an overall pattern of obedience, you have passed an important test indicating the presence of saving faith.

Suggestions for Prayer

If you have found your obedience is predicated more on the act of obedience than on gratitude for God, confess that now and seek to change your attitude.

For Further Study

Memorize 1 Samuel 15:22 as motivation for the right spirit of obedience.

http://www.gty.org/

Joyce Meyer – Trust in the Power of Hope

 Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire is fulfilled, it is a tree of life.

— Proverbs 13:12 (AMPC)

I define hope as “the happy anticipation of good things.” You can hope for something good to happen to you by learning how to celebrate and enjoy life.

Everything in life is a process in motion. Without movement and progression there is no life. As long as you live you are always heading somewhere, and you should enjoy yourself on the way. God created you to be a goal-oriented visionary. Without a vision you become bored and hopeless.

But there’s something about hope that makes people lighthearted and happy. Hope is a powerful spiritual force that is activated through your positive attitude. God is positive and He wants positive things to happen to you, but that probably won’t happen unless you have hope and faith.

God to bring good out of every circumstance in your life. Whatever happens, trust in the Lord . . . and trust in the power of hope!

Prayer Starter: Lord, thank You for hope. Thank you for Your presence in my life. I know I can put all my trust in You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Truth for Life; Alistair Begg –The Persons of the Trinity

Beloved in God the Father. . . . Sanctified in Christ Jesus. . . . In the sanctification of the Spirit.

Jude 1:1

Consider the union of the three Divine Persons in all their gracious acts. How unwisely do those believers talk who make preferences in the Persons of the Trinity, who think of Jesus as if He were the embodiment of everything lovely and gracious, while the Father they regard as severely just but destitute of kindness. Equally wrong are those who magnify the decree of the Father and the atonement of the Son so as to depreciate the work of the Spirit.

In works of grace none of the Persons of the Trinity act separately from the rest. They are as united in their works as in Their essence. In Their love toward the chosen They are one, and in the actions that flow from that great central source They are still undivided.

Notice this especially in the matter of sanctification. While it is right to speak of sanctification as the work of the Spirit, yet we must make sure that we do not view it as if the Father and the Son were not involved. It is correct to speak of sanctification as the work of the Father, of the Son, and of the Spirit. Still God says, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness,”1 and so we are “his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”2

See the value that God sets upon real holiness, since the three Persons in the Trinity are represented as co-working to produce a Church without “spot or wrinkle or any such thing.”3 And you, believer, as the follower of Christ, must also set a high value on holiness—upon purity of life and godliness of conversation. Value the blood of Christ as the foundation of your hope, and never speak disparagingly of the work of the Spirit. This day let us live in such a way as to manifest the work of the Triune God in us.

1) Genesis 1:26
2) Ephesians 2:10
3) Ephesians 5:27

C.H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg.

http://www.truthforlife.org

Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – God Controls Water

“The Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea.” (Psalm 93:4)

Imagine how you might be spending your days off of school this winter. What might you be doing, like the day after Christmas? You would not be in school, so you would probably sleep in a little longer than usual. The dozens of cookies and holiday treats you devoured in the last week have made you sick of sweets. Well, almost. Maybe you decide to spend some time organizing your bedroom (finding a place for all those new Christmas presents!) or reading a good book.

Let’s pretend you are halfway through your new favorite book, when your thoughts are suddenly interrupted by the sound of a loud train coming near your house.

But wait! That’s no train! You don’t even live near any railroad tracks! With a huge CRASH, the ceiling overhead is crushed in, and the walls of your home collapse! What you thought was a train was really a giant wave more than three stories high. In a matter of seconds, this huge wave destroys your whole house, and you are being pulled around by more water than you’ve ever seen. Suddenly, you are no longer worried about your book or your Christmas presents. Everything in you is focused on getting out of this alive and finding your family.

That situation is hard enough to try to imagine, but it would be much harder to believe if it ever came true for you. Do you remember that this really happened? It happened on December 26, 2004, to thousands of children in Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, and at least five other countries. An earthquake caused a giant wave called a tsunami (soo-NOMM-ee) to smash into their coastlines, killing over 200,000 people. They had no warning. They were going about their normal day-after-Christmas business, and that tsunami came on them as a complete surprise.

But was God surprised that this happened? Absolutely not! God created water on the second day of the Creation week. Every single droplet of every wave belongs to God, and He knows where every droplet is, every second of the day. One drop of water may seem insignificant to us, but joined with trillions of other drops, and given some force, water can do great damage.

But because God made the water, it could never be stronger than He is. He controls every path it takes and receives glory from it. We do not know why God sent the tsunami in 2004, but we can trust Him that He had reasons for His glory and for our good, ultimately. We can trust the One Who made everything we see that He is powerful enough to do what is best.

God is more powerful than water and weather, and we can trust Him.

My Response:
» In what area of my life do I need to be reminded of God’s great power?
» Am I trusting this powerful God to work in me and my circumstances?


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Denison Forum – Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams forgave driver who killed his wife: Trusting “the only correct map of the human heart”

Monty Williams is the head coach of the Phoenix Suns. His team won the first two games of this year’s NBA Finals, though the Milwaukee Bucks won Game 3 last night. If the Suns win two more games, they will achieve their first championship in franchise history.

When Williams received the Michael H. Goldberg Coach of the Year Award from the National Basketball Coaches Association this season, he said, “God knocks the ball out of the park and I get to run the bases. It is a blessing and a privilege to be able to coach this team, alongside this staff, for this organization—it is a ‘get to,’ not a ‘got to.’”

But it is one thing to praise God when we succeed—it is another to trust him when we suffer.

Williams learned about saving faith in Christ from Ingrid, the woman who became his wife. Through her example and prayers, he came to trust in Christ personally. As he entered the NBA, the two married and started a family.

In 2016, Ingrid was killed when a driver under the influence of methamphetamines hit her car. At her funeral, Williams testified, “In my house, we have a sign that says, ‘As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord’ (Joshua 24:15). We cannot serve the Lord if we don’t have a heart of forgiveness.”

He added, “Everybody is praying for me and my family, which is right. But let us not forget that there were two people in this situation. And that family needs prayer as well. And we have no ill will toward that family.”

Sir Richard Branson flies into space

Sir Richard Branson made headlines yesterday when his Virgin Galactic space plane flew to an altitude of more than fifty miles before returning to earth.

However, our planet’s atmosphere extends 6,214 miles into space. Our moon is 238,900 miles from us; our sun is 94,499,000 miles away. The next nearest star is 24,984,092,897,479 miles from our planet. The edge of our Milky Way galaxy is estimated to be 25,000 light-years away. The edge of our universe is thought to be 46,500,000,000 light-years away.

Jesus made all of that (Colossians 1:16), and his Father measures it with the palm of his hand (Isaiah 40:12).

I don’t mean to depreciate Sir Richard’s achievement, just to put it in context: the God whom Coach Monty Williams trusts and serves is worthy of our trust and service.

When we face the inevitable crises of life, we can turn to ourselves, our capacities, and our achievements, or we can turn to the One who created us, endowed us with our capacities, and enabled our achievements. We can trust creatures or their Creator. We can trust our wisdom or his word.

“The only correct map of the human heart”

I make this point because truth and biblical truth are under assault in our culture as never before. A recent study reported that only 42 percent of Americans (and only 31 percent of adults under the age of thirty) believe God is the basis of truth. According to Gallup, only 24 percent of Americans consider the Bible to be the literal word of God. This is the lowest percentage in Gallup’s forty-year trend on this issue.

By contrast, in Reading the Bible with the Founding Fathers, historian Daniel L. Driesbach demonstrates that many of America’s leaders across our history had a profound belief in objective biblical truth. For example, Abraham Lincoln said of the Bible, “It is the best gift God has given to man. All the good the Savior gave the world was communicated through this book. But for it we could not know right from wrong. All things most desirable for man’s welfare, here and hereafter, are to be portrayed in it.”

John Adams stated, “The Bible contains the most profound philosophy, the most perfect morality, and the most refined policy, that ever was conceived upon earth.” Benjamin Rush, another of the founding fathers, called the Bible “the only correct map of the human heart that ever has been published.”

Then he added, “All systems of religion, morals, and government not founded upon it must perish, and how consoling the thought—it will not only survive the wreck of these systems but the world itself.”

“The aim of the spiritual saint”

Christians in every generation have faced their battles. For followers of Jesus today, our conflict begins with the existence of objective truth and the trustworthiness of biblical truth. I plan to say more about this battle tomorrow, but for today, let’s close with this fact: the foundational way we can persuade skeptics that the Bible is truth is to experience and manifest that truth in our lives.

If we meet Jesus today in his word and worship, others will see Jesus in our words and lives. If we truly experience him this morning, we will manifest him this day. If we seek to know Jesus in everything we do, we will make him known in everything we do.

Paul, after listing his astounding personal achievements (Philippians 3:4–6), said of Jesus, “For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ” (vv. 8–9).

Oswald Chambers observed, “Self-realization leads to the enthronement of work; whereas the saint enthrones Jesus Christ in his work. Whether it be eating or drinking or washing disciples’ feet, whatever it is, we have to take the initiative of realizing Jesus Christ is in it. Every phase of our actual life has its counterpart in the life of Jesus. Our Lord realized his relationship to the Father even in the most menial work.”

Chambers added, “The aim of the spiritual saint is ‘that I may know him.’ Do I know him where I am today? If not, I am failing him. I am here not to realize myself, but to know Jesus. In Christian work the initiative is too often the realization that something has to be done and I must do it. That is never the attitude of the spiritual saint, his aim is to secure the realization of Jesus Christ in every set of circumstances he is in” (my emphasis).

What is your “aim” today?

http://www.denisonforum.org/

Upwords; Max Lucado –Don’t Get Lost in Your Troubles

DON’T GET LOST IN YOUR TROUBLES – July 12, 2021

Our minds cannot be full of God and, at the same time, full of fear. Don’t get lost in your troubles. Lift up your eyes! “He will keep in perfect peace all those who trust in him, whose thoughts turn often to the Lord!” (Isaiah 26:3 TLB)

Are you troubled, restless, sleepless? Then rejoice in the Lord’s sovereignty. I dare you—I double-dog dare you—to expose your worries to an hour of worship. Your concerns will melt like ice on an August sidewalk!

Jeremiah draws a direct connection between faith and peace. He says, “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is in the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought” (Jeremiah 17:7-8 NKJV).

http://www.MaxLucado.com

final regrets / no regrets

Larry Tomczak looks at deathbed declarations of both non-Christians and believers

Deceased MLB All-Star: Avoid my fatal flaw

Do you know somebody who smokes? Maybe someone in your church, circle of friends or simply a companion at school or work? Out of compassionate concern, consider passing along this commentary to him or her.

Rush Limbaugh, iconic broadcaster for over 30 years, used to joke about his “formerly nicotine-stained fingers” as he continued smoking only cigars. After a valiant fight against lung cancer, Rush passed away recently. He was one of my heroes and a brilliant instructor to about 30 million people via his daily three-hour radio program.

As late night comedians desperately struggle to draw an audience, the three talk-show hosts gather anywhere from 1 to 2 million viewers. This pales in comparison to Johnny Carson who drew over 9 million nightly on “The Tonight Show.” Johnny smoked (even on-camera) and died a horrible death of emphysema. Prior to passing he said, “These things are killing me.”

One of baseball’s greatest hitters of all time died not long ago at the age of 54. Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn hit over .300 for 19 consecutive seasons, something only the legendary Ty Cobb had accomplished.

Before passing away, Gwynn recorded a video message appealing for people not to follow his example with tobacco. It most certainly was the cause of his death from cancer. As a result, All-Star pitcher Stephen Strasburg vowed to quit his nicotine habit!

When the time comes for your grand finale, have you ever pondered what you would say? There is merit to reflecting on this opportunity and also to making some important decisions now, to exit with no regrets.

Dying Declarations

Examine some of the sad statements left by those who led lives apart from an authentic saving relationship with Jesus Christ.

Music legend Kurt Cobain of Nirvana blew his brains out with a shotgun after writing he was a “miserable, self-destructive, death-rocker … hateful towards all humans in general.”

Freddie Mercury was the “star” of the Academy Award winning film “Bohemian Rhapsody” and the flamboyant front-man for the rock group “Queen” (a male homosexual). The gay glam rocker was said to have the greatest pure voice in rock ‘n’ roll history. His life of narcotics and debauchery caused Elton John to declare, “He could out party me!” Freddie died of AIDS and was in excruciating pain when even clothing touched his skin. His parting statement is best captured by the title of his final video, “These are the days of our lives.”

Actress Joan Crawford rebuked her housekeeper who began praying as Joan was dying: “Damn it … don’t you dare ask God to help me!”

Lecherous Henry VIII pleaded for spiritual support in beseeching, “All is lost! Monks! Monks! Monks!”

Occultist Aleister Crowley shrieked, “I am perplexed! Satan get out!”

Pop megastar Michael Jackson desperately pleaded for more of the drug Propofol, on which he fatally overdosed, “More milk!”

An archenemy of Christianity, Voltaire, when begged by a priest to renounce Satan, declined, saying, “This is no time for making enemies!”

Frank Sinatra, who “Did it My Way” with his Mafia ties, serial affairs, lavish escapades and four wives, succumbed sorrowfully, uttering, “I’m losing,” then breathed his last.

Comedian W.C. Fields, when asked why he was reading the Bible on his deathbed, commented, “I’m looking for loopholes!”

Christian Contrast

Celebrate the final statements of Christians like George Washington who said, “I am not afraid to go.”

Scientist Michael Faraday declared, “I shall be with Christ, and that is enough.”

Forty years ago, a Christian leader who was very influential in my life spoke on a college campus and was asked this question in closing out his evening session: “Sir, if you had one message to leave with us before you depart, what would it be?”

The nationally known leader was shortly thereafter killed in a tragic car accident. Decades later the response he gave these students still reverberates in my heart. It’s a great sayonara statement worthy of emulating.

“If I had just one sentence to leave with you as I exit tonight it would be this. My life is my message!”

What Will be on Your Gravestone?

Billy Graham once was asked what he wants on his tombstone. He replied, “He was faithful. He walked in integrity.”

The similarity to the other leader is striking. Both men were committed to practice what they preached. Authenticity was their core value. Shouldn’t it be the magnificent obsession of every one of us?

Time to Decide

One day as we lie on our bed ready to pass “through the valley of the shadow of death,” may those gathered around us affirm that our words were authenticated by our lives.

“The years of a man’s life are threescore and ten, or by reason of strength fourscore” (Psalm 90:10). Moses penned those words thousands of years ago, and they remain true today. He went on to say, “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom” (v. 12).

God equates wisdom with the stewardship of our days on earth. Are you wisely investing your time for His glory? Are you living a sincere life that draws people to Him? Observers know if we’re the real deal. Do you pass your days with eternity in mind, ever conscious of life’s brevity?

The Brevity of Life

“The shoes you tie in the morning can be untied by an undertaker in the evening.” Not long ago an acquaintance veered off the road and immediately entered into eternity. He was in his early 30s.

I’m not being morbid but simply challenging all of us to identify with the words of the departed leader who speaks through the corridors of time: “My life is my message.”

Is yours? And if you are falling short, are you ready to make any course corrections including ending any habits that are harmful to your life, family and friends?

There are two Sauls in the Bible. One’s exit statement was a pathetic, “I have played the fool and have erred exceedingly” (1 Samuel 26:21). The other’s was a triumphant, “The time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing” (2 Timothy 4:6-8).

Which Saul reflects your life and the legacy you’ll leave? Determine today that “when your time comes,” your life will have truly validated a genuine relationship with Jesus.

Here’s the deal: As countless millions watch the annual MLB All-Star Game Tuesday, would this be an opportune time to reflect on the brevity of life and respond to the deathbed declaration of Tony Gwynn? Has the time come to get serious and surrender your life to Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? It’s not an accident that you’re reading this today.

Source: Deceased MLB All-Star: Avoid my fatal flaw

In Touch Ministries; Charles Stanley – Lessons From a Man on the Run

Jonah 1

Have you ever tried to run from God? Most of us won’t try to escape physically by fleeing to another place, the way Jonah did. But we’re experts at ignoring God’s commands, distracting ourselves with busyness, and offering an alternative plan in place of full obedience. No matter how we rationalize and excuse ourselves, rebellion leads only to pain and suffering. 

While running from the Lord, Jonah overlooked some essentials that we should all keep in mind. He incorrectly assumed that fleeing would be a way to avoid obeying God, but the Lord is not deterred by our attempts at manipulation. As David once wrote, He’ll pursue us even to the “remotest part of the sea” (Psalm 139:9).

Jonah also overlooked the fact that disobedience will, figuratively speaking, bring a person down. But notice that the reluctant prophet actually experienced this in a more literal way as well: After initially going down to Joppa, he proceeded down into a ship, and ultimately found himself plunging into the depths of the sea (Jonah 1:15).

Running from God is futile—there’s no hiding place because we are always visible to the Lord. So instead of trying to flee His presence, we should welcome it.

Bible in One Year: Proverbs 5-8

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