Complete Surrender

May 31, 2019 by Discerning Dad Evan Thiele

Deuteronomy 26:17 (NIV) You have declared this day that the Lord is your God and that you will walk in obedience to him, that you will keep his decrees, commands and laws—that you will listen to him.

As I look back on the roads that I have traveled, I have found that the times I felt the most fulfilled, were when I completely surrendered to God, listing, and acting in complete obedience to him. During those times, I have also experienced some of my toughest trials. All of which have made me a stronger man, husband, and father.

As I think of my obedience, I think of how I want my children act towards myself and my wife. In turn, that is how The Father wants us to be. I have learned, through my walk, that God has given us free-will to make the mistakes that we have made allowing me to learn and grow to be the father and husband that I am today. We also must allow our children, no matter the age, to make their own mistakes. This is something that has been hard for me to allow happen. Especially with my oldest son, I see him making mistakes and it hurts me. A year or so ago he said what the Lord has been trying to tell me, “Dad I need to make my own mistakes.”

However, when I allow my children to make mistakes, I see the most growth out of them. With this in mind, we must understand that there is really no end to making mistakes; we will always make them as long as we are alive. After we make the mistakes, we have to get back on course and give over complete obedience to God.

1 Kings 8:58 (NIV), “May he turn our hearts to him, to walk in obedience to him and keep the commands, decrees and laws he gave our ancestor.”

When it comes to being completely obedient and surrendering to God, there can be no moments of picking and choosing. There is no room to try and balance on the fence to be on both sides. It is an all-or-nothing choice. This again is very difficult to do, especially when it comes to our work. There have been many times in my life when God has told me to leave one job and go to another, or even to stay at a job but then I do the complete opposite. In those times when I don’t listen, I am miserable, nothing seems to go right, and each day is a true struggle. Now on the other hand, when I have listened to The Father and have completely surrendered to him it is still tough, but is rewarding and I feel fulfilled. During these times there have been many that have looked at me and said, “Why are you doing this? What about insurance, what about money, how will you make it? Think of your family.” To those people, I have said, and will continue to say, “I am not doing this for me. This is what God has told me to do so I must do as He says.” There has never, and I mean never, been a time that God has not provided for my family. We have always been taken care of and given exactly what we need.

There is no better place to be than in God’s will for your life and in the calling He has placed on it. You will only find this by listening to His voice and being obedient to His direction. It’s not a guaranteed easy road, but the rewards are worth it, and He will never leave your side during the process!

My prayer for you: Father God, I pray for those that have not yet given their life fully to you, Lord. I pray that you open their hearts and ears to you, Oh Lord, so that they can give themselves fully to you, Lord. And for those that have given their lives to you, Oh Lord, I pray for protection over them, and for the strength to continue to serve you. You are an amazing God and I am blessed to be able to serve you. In Your Son’s name, Jesus Christ, Amen.

Evan Thiele
Guest Discerning Dad

Visit the website at http://www.discerning-dad.com

 

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No, God Doesn’t Love Abortion, And If You Say So You’re Not A Real Pastor

The Atlantic’s headline writers must have envisioned people concluding abortion might not be so bad if a pastor thinks it’s moral. There is no other reason for the story. It’s certainly not newsworthy.

No, God Doesn’t Love Abortion, And If You Say So You’re Not A Real Pastor

May 31, 2019 By Glenn T. Stanton

The left has been on a frantic jag the last few weeks to get us all to remember just how wonderful and important abortion is. One of the most despicably desperate efforts was a recent New York Times editorial by a particularly infamous late-term abortionist explaining (and this is not a typo) “Pregnancy kills. Abortion saves lives.”

Pregnancy: Very bad. Abortion: Very good. But of course, 100 percent of everyone who has ever existed does so because a pregnancy did what it naturally does and an abortion didn’t. The craziness of this editorial is a dramatic demonstration of just how paralyzed with fear these folks are about losing their cherished right to be free of children.

The Atlantic recently published a less dramatic, but equally desperate, article entitled “A Pastor’s Case for the Morality of Abortion.” Three trigger words here are supposed to create a confused dissonance: Pastor. Morality. Abortion. A case for the morality of abortion by a pastor. We imagine The Atlantic’s headline writers envisioned so many of us concluding abortion might not be so bad if a pastor thinks it’s moral. There is no other reason for the story. It’s certainly not newsworthy.

This pastor, Jes Kast, is not well-known. She is extremely fringe and not particularly influential. She didn’t recently change her position on the issue through dramatic soul-searching. And she’s a United Church of Christ pastor, a denomination that never saw an abortion it couldn’t celebrate. She also describes herself as a femme queer lesbianwho wants us to “queer this sh-t” we call our lives.

She serves on Planned Parenthood’s national Clergy Advocacy Board and talks endlessly about the need to protect “reproductive rights,” as if she’s pro-fertility. She’s not. She’s a woman who’s proudly political even in her choice of lipstick.

Every day I put my lipstick on, it is a form of protest. When Hitler took over and the war was going on women who were fighting back against the Nazi infiltration would wear red lipstick. Hitler apparently hated it when women wore red lipstick. So for me, it’s an act of protest to put red lipstick on.

This is the person The Atlantic chose to make the moral case for abortion. On top of all this, she doesn’t even make a decent case, as if there is one, much less from a Christian perspective. But let’s give her the respect of taking seriously what she says.

Abortion For Any Reason Is Totally Moral

First, she is very clear that she is all-in on abortion. When asked if she perceives any instance under which abortion is immoral, she says definitively, “I don’t. I really don’t.” These are the words of a fanatic. That’s not an accusation, but a fact. She believes that snuffing out the life of a pre-born child is such an inherent good in and of itself that nothing should override it.

Not the abortion of a girl because a boy was desired, which happens by the millions around the world. How does a feminist square that? Not because one has a cruise coming up in six months. Not because the mother just wants to. These and any other reason are more weighty than the life of the child. That is pure fanaticism.

If Kast thinks the above are extremist examples, then she shouldn’t justify abortion by bringing up the rationale of the 12-year-old rape victim, which she does. It’s the reddest of herrings. Tragic as this would be, the extremely abortion-friendly Guttmacher Institute tells us that only 1 percent of women who get abortions do so because of rape and less than 0.5 percent do so because of incest.

But these make up perhaps 98 percent or so of the reasons folks give for why abortion should be legal. According to Guttmacher, 74 percent say they had their abortion because having a baby would dramatically change their lives or because they think they can’t afford a baby right now.

The Jesus Who Allows Whatever I Want

So what is Kast’s theological case?

Most anyone would agree she’s quite creative with scripture. In her rationale, she quotes Jesus saying, “I have come that they might have life and have it abundantly.” It’s a wonderful statement from the savior, but you should sit down for her commentary on how this makes abortion moral.

What Jesus means here, she explains, is that “God’s plan for our lives is to actually have a meaningful life with loving contentment and satisfaction.” She continues, “Because of that—because I value life, and I believe Jesus values life—I value the choices that give us the type of life we need.” Claiming that access to abortion is a part of why Jesus came and the abundant life he offers is abhorrent and blasphemous. Has she no shame?

But she’s not done; “When people talk about, ‘Our body is a temple of God, and holy,’ I see that as, I have the right to choices over my body, and the freedom to make the decisions that are right for me.” Apparently she thinks this is compelling. That is the fullness of her case for the morality of abortion. Basically, she is giving the precise rationale for abortion that prosperity preachers give for why God wants you rich.

The True Christian Story Starts in the Womb

What this pastor misses is that which is at the very center of Christianity—Christ Himself. She must know where His story starts.

The Christian story begins with God becoming fully human, not in the Christmas manger, but nine months earlier as a human zygote in the womb of a teenage girl who was not yet married. This is quite a dramatic introduction to Christianity, and it says everything about the morality of abortion for the Christian.

If God enters the world as the smallest of unborn human life, the smallest of unborn human life is very significant indeed. Christianity’s savior grew every day from that moment of his divine conception in Mary’s fallopian tubes, nestling and growing in her womb, never becoming anything more than what he was at that moment—fully God and fully man. Thus, Christianity has always taken an extremely high and unique view of the unborn, more so than any other religion or philosophy. This cannot be overstated.

Our pastor misses that this is precisely why the earliest official collection of Christian ethics and morality—found in the “Didache,” or “Teaching of the Apostles”—clearly states that no one “shall murder a child by abortion, nor kill them when born.” This is in the same list that prohibits adultery, fornication, stealing, murder, lying or speaking evil. (Chapter 2:2) Abortion is immoral.

The First Worshippers of Christ Understood This

Our pastor also fails to appreciate who the first recorded worshipers of Jesus were, and where this all took place. It happens in a very wonderful and intimate place—another woman’s womb. Early in her pregnancy, Mary, Jesus’s mother, goes to visit Elizabeth, her close family member who is also with child. The moment Mary walks through the door of Elizabeth’s home, something remarkable happens in utero.

The child growing inside of Elizabeth, none other than Jesus’s cousin, John the Baptist, leaps with joy at the arrival of his savior. Likewise, Elizabeth reveres the one who is in Mary’s womb. The first worshipers of Jesus are a pregnant woman and her unborn son. The womb and its natural bounty are very sacred and fundamental parts of the Christian tale.

Thus, no pastor can remain faithful to the belief system he has supposedly dedicated himself to serve, teach, and proclaim, yet dismiss the inestimable value of life in the womb from the moment of conception. A life exists there because God delighted in creating and sending that wholly unique life into the world as a gift and blessing. A life that bears God’s very image and likeness.

People who contend that ending life in the womb is moral have made themselves God, telling Him they reject His gift and know best. They have denied who Christ was and became. It is to dismiss the wonder of His own history and essence. Any pastor who teaches this has denied the center of his own faith.

This pastor says she follows “this guy named Jesus who said, above all … love your neighbor as yourself.” She believes protecting so-called “reproductive freedom” and “women’s health” does this. She refuses to appreciate that the unborn is the most vulnerable of neighbors that lives right under a mother’s heart.

There is no moral, Christian case for abortion. And there’s no space in Christianity for pastors, in direct violation of the Lord’s apostles , who teach that there is.

Glenn T. Stanton is a Federalist senior contributor who writes and speaks about family, gender, and art, is the director of family formation studies at Focus on the Family, and is the author of the brand new “The Myth of the Dying Church” (Worthy, 2019). He blogs at glenntstanton.com.

Photo keskieve / YouTube

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Moral Madness in the Mad City

May 30, 2019 By Bill Muehlenberg

I can fully understand any couples today who are seriously questioning whether they should have children. Not for some of the poorer reasons (the world is overpopulated; we just want to live for ourselves and not be encumbered with the burden of kids; etc) but because they are so alarmed at the spiritual and moral meltdown of the West.

Things are degenerating at an alarming rate, and it is our children especially who bear the brunt of this social and cultural cataclysm. Concerned parents really do fear – and justifiably so – that this world is lurching toward oblivion, and why should they inflict all this on any children they might have.

I am not saying all parents who worry about this should not have kids. I am simply saying I fully understand their thinking here. And there are some places in the world that are worse than others when it comes to the war on faith, family and freedom, and other values so many people hold near and dear.

Just a week ago I was in one of them. Don’t get me wrong – it is a beautiful city, built on four lakes, and it has many fine people. But it has long been known as a hotbed of radical leftism. I refer to the college town, Madison, Wisconsin.

During the radical 60s the University of Wisconsin, Madison campus was right up there with all the student rioting and Marxist revolution, along with places like the University of California, Berkeley and Columbia University in New York.

I would often hitchhike there from my smaller conservative hometown during the days of my wild, non-Christian youth to be a part of the action. Of course since then I have had a conversion to Christianity and a move away from leftist radicalism.

But Madison is still much the same today. Now it is filled with a lot of ageing hippies and still tends to vote for leftist candidates and political parties. As my wife and I walked along the pretty streets of Madison just recently we noticed many homes had various signs proudly displayed in their front yards. One of them said this:

IN THIS HOUSE, WE BELIEVE:
BLACK LIVES MATTER
WOMEN’S RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS
NO HUMAN IS ILLEGAL
SCIENCE IS REAL
LOVE IS LOVE
NO MATTER YOUR FAITH OR ABILITY
KINDNESS IF EVERYTHING

Hmm, that in itself is worth an entire article! Plenty of rather vacuous leftist rhetoric and clichés there, along with all the usual identity politics and hot-button causes of the left. But I write all this to provide some background to something I just received in an email.

It provides the perfect illustration of what I have been talking about, and would confirm the fears of every concerned parent in America in general, and Madison in particular. It has to do with an elementary school teacher who has decided he is no longer a he.

As Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of the Liberty Counsel explains:

If you want to see where HR 5, the so-called “Equality Act,” will take America, let me show you. What I’m about to share reveals why it’s so crucial that you and I oppose HR 5. In Madison County, Wisconsin, an elementary school teacher formerly known as Mark “Vince” Busenbark made a startling “transgender coming out” video that was shown to K-5th grade children at his school two weeks ago.

Busenbark, an authority figure, told these young, innocent and highly impressionable grade schoolers he is now neither male nor female but “transgender” and/or “non-binary.” And he made a “request.” He asked that students now call him “Mix” or “Mx. Steel” instead of “Mr. B.” or “Mr. Busenbark” (or even “Mr. Steel”). He did so in order to have the children endorse his claim that he is neither wholly male, nor wholly female, but a “mix” or “non-binary.”

Busenbark is effectively asking young children to endorse his sexual confusion (at best) or his sexual fetish (at worst). And Busenbark’s manipulation has already had an effect, based on a single video showing. One teacher emailed him that a kindergartner said, “I feel the same way at times” as “Mx. Steel.” Another teacher said that as a result of the video, other children “just accepted” a girl’s claim that “she is a boy now.”

Not only that, but Busenbark prejudiced these youngsters against people who respectfully disagree with him on transgenderism. Busenbark informed the grade schoolers that such people are motivated “fear” and “hate.” This is outrageous! Busenbark has no legal authority to force students to call him “Mx.,” nor to manipulate them with the idea that they must obey him or be seen as “disrespectful” or “hateful” or “not loving.”

Liberty Counsel is pursuing this situation. Last Friday, we sent a detailed public records request to the Madison school district. But here’s the thing. Busenbark will have the legal wind at his back if HR 5, the dangerous “Equality Act” becomes law.

That’s because this radical law directs K-12 schools and daycare centers to force children to obey adults who show up at work one day as a man and the next day as a woman. These children are at a highly impressionable age. When kindergarteners have seen such events in the past, many have gone home shaking and crying, worried that they could wake up with a different gender!

One more thing. There is no religious exemption to this bill. Busenbark–or someone like him–could do the exact same thing at any religious school under HR 5. That’s how extreme and revolutionary this law is. It will unleash unconstitutional chaos in America.
lc.org/newsroom/details/20190528mxd-up-in-madisonhr-5-preview

Let me make two quick qualifying remarks. There is no Madison County, only the city of Madison city in Dane County. And HR 5, or the “Equality Act,” most certainly is a terribly bad piece of legislation. I have written earlier about how very dangerous it is: billmuehlenberg.com/2019/04/01/on-the-ominous-us-equality-act/

But everything that Mat has shared is shocking indeed. Pity the poor school children at this school, and others around the West who are being deliberately targeted by the radical trans revolutionaries. I have already written 177 articles on how bad this is, especially for our vulnerable and innocent children.

No wonder parents are having second thoughts about bringing children into this kind of world. Far too many adult activists have declared war on our children, and we are living in some of the darkest times of modern history. Lord have mercy on our children.

As seen here at Culture Watch. Posted here with permission.

 

Original here

VIDEO Is Jesus Christ God?

 

March 16, 2019

 

Who do you say Jesus is? Take care in your answer—it’s the most important one you’ll ever give. In this message, Dr. Stanley teaches from the Gospel of John, illuminating exactly who Jesus is—God Himself. What you believe about this carpenter from Nazareth not only determines your life here and now, but in eternity. Discover how Jesus is the perfect image of God the Father.

KEY PASSAGE: John 1:1-5

SUPPORTING SCRIPTURES: Genesis 1:26 | Matthew 9:2-6 | John 3:3 | John 3:16 | John 5:36 | John 6:38 | John 8:12 |John 8:19 | John 8:29 | John 10:7 | John 10:9 | John 10:10 | John 10:14 | John 10:17-18 | John 10:30 | John 12:45 | John 14:6 | John 14:11 | John 14:16-17 | John 16:7 | Colossians 1:14-17

SUMMARY

What do you think of Jesus Christ? How you answer this question is of utmost importance.

Was He merely a man, one of the numerous prophets or teachers who roamed the world in that day, or someone else? Many people may be interested in His teachings or healings, but in the big scheme of things, they think God is the important one—not Jesus. They may claim to believe in God while considering Jesus irrelevant. But what does the Bible say?

SERMON POINTS

John’s gospel provides a picture of Jesus unlike any other place in Scripture. John’s answer to Christ’s identity is an affirmation that Jesus is God. And all the evidence that is required to prove this statement is found in God’s Word, particularly in the book of John. According to John 1:1-5, Jesus is the eternal God, Creator of everything, and source of life who was with God in the beginning.

Who did Jesus say He was?

  • “I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me” (John 10:14).
  • “I am the door of the sheep … if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved (John 10:7, 9).
  • “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30).
  • “He who sees Me sees the One who sent Me” (John 12:45).
  • “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life” (John 8:12).
  • “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6).

Were Jesus’ actions consistent with who God is?

  • “I always do the things that are pleasing to Him” (John 8:29).
  • “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).
  • “The Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” (Matt. 9:6).
  • “I lay down My life so that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again” (John 10:17-18).
  • “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me” (John 6:38).

What was Jesus’ relationship to God the Father?

  • “Let Us make man in Our image” (Gen. 1:26). The words “Us” and “Our” refer to the Trinity, which includes God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
  • “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30).
  • “If you knew Me, you would know My Father also” (John 8:19).
  • “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you” (John 14:16-17). All three members of the Trinity are mentioned in this passage.
  • “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). John was testifying that Jesus was God in human flesh.
  • “All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being” (John 1:3). John identifies Him as the Creator, which is also supported by Genesis 1:26.
  • “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him” (Col. 1:15-17). Paul also affirms that Jesus is the Creator.
  • “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me” (John 6:38).
  • “I am in the Father and the Father is in Me” (John 14:11).
  • “The very works that I do—testify about Me, that the Father has sent Me” (John 5:36).
  • “I always do the things that are pleasing to Him” (John 8:29).

Why is Christ’s deity so important?

In the minds of many people God is a distant, foreign, indescribable entity that exists out there somewhere. They claim to believe in God but pay little attention to Him and don’t want to be subject to Him. Their god is expected to help them when they need it but never make them feel convicted or guilty of sin.

In addition, many people who say they believe in God do not believe in Jesus. This is true of the various religions throughout the world. But it’s impossible to believe in the one true God and exclude Jesus Christ because He is one of the members of the Trinity. Furthermore, Jesus claimed that He and the Father are one. Another reason people don’t want to acknowledge the deity of Christ is because that makes God too personal and themselves accountable. They prefer a god who will agree with them and help them get whatever they want in life, not one who meddles in their business and holds them responsible. But that is not who the true God is.

Why did Jesus say He came into the world?

He came that we might have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10). The Father sent Him to earth to walk in human flesh, face temptation without sin, and perform miracles that testified of His deity. Eventually He died on a cross to bear the punishment for our sins so that everyone who believes in Him could be forgiven and receive eternal life. And all of this was motivated by God’s love for us (John 3:16). Jesus is the only one who can save us from eternal condemnation.

What happens if Jesus is not God?

  • Then He is a liar.
  • He can’t be trusted.
  • His death had no effect, and we are still in our sins.
  • The story of the resurrection is false, and we have no hope of eternal life or a future resurrection.
  • Christianity is just another false religion.
  • Then we are hopeless and helpless in this life and will face judgment and eternal punishment.

But Jesus is God, and everything He said and did has resulted in the forgiveness of our sins, the gift of eternal life, and a home in heaven.

RESPONSE

  • Does your perception of God and Jesus match these biblical descriptions or have you made a god of your own imagination and liking?
  • What will you do with the truth about Jesus? What is at stake if you reject it? What is in store for you if you believe it?

https://www.intouch.org/watch/is-jesus-christ-god

Understanding our History: How Imperfect Patriots Changed America for the Better

Some reflections on divine providence.
GABRIELLA SIEFERT

Understanding our History: How Imperfect Patriots Changed America for the Better

Historians have spilled much ink since America’s founding over one single question: Is the U.S. a Christian nation?

Many believers today find comfort in the notion that their country was founded by many men and women of great faith. Others might prefer to scratch out references to God found in the Declaration of Independence and not just one, but all fifty of the state constitutions in our country.

Whatever side of this debate one lands on, the importance of accurately understanding and interpreting our nation’s history remains all the same. We live in a complex world where people often try to bend and twist historical truth to suit their needs. And where our ability to appreciate people’s great contributions to our country’s story may be hindered by their own imperfections.

As Dr. Tracy McKenzie of the Wheaton College History department writes, human beings “will be tempted, subconsciously at least, to distort what we see in order to find what we are looking for.”

This includes what we are looking for in our nation’s own founding.

Some choose to make gods and others make villains out of the founding fathers and those that followed after them as leaders of this country.

But what if today, we remember that history isn’t quite so black and white? What if instead of looking to question our founding ideologically or praise the founders themselves, we chose to see God’s protective hand over these imperfect patriots who shaped our nation?

If we believe God is active in history, then we can believe he is active in our nation’s history.

Ben Franklin’s prayer

If there’s anything Scripture teaches us time and time again, it’s the importance of prayer. Even Ben Franklin—a committed deist—commented on the value of such prayer.

It was the year of 1787 and a group of over 50 men were gathered in the city of Philadelphia to craft what would become our nation’s most important document: the Constitution. There was conflict and much clashing of ideas as one could surmise. But it occurred to Franklin who was there for the proceedings that the group might look to Someone greater for help.

Notes kept by delegate James Madison during the Constitutional Convention have Franklin rising one afternoon to say: “How has it happened that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights to illuminate our understandings?… I have lived a long time,” he goes on, “and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth—that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probably that an empire can fall without his aid?”

While many question what happened after this was shared—whether the delegates at the Convention proceeded to pray or not—none can doubt the truth behind Franklin’s statement.

Prayer changes things—although it might not always be the challenging circumstances we face. God uses prayer to shape our hearts and help us trust in the good work he is doing even if we don’t see it yet for ourselves.

Franklin and the dozens of others gathered in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787 couldn’t have possibly known what would come of their work—that a nation which started off thirteen colonies large would later become a global power.

It is always a good day to thank God for guiding and protecting our nation’s founders.

Roddie Edmond’s courage

Master Sergeant Roddie Edmonds served the U.S. army during World War II in Europe. He was taken prisoner by the German forces alongside hundreds of other American POW’s—some of which were Jews.

One particular day in January of 1945, because of their hatred of the Jews, the Germans singled out the Jewish POW’s and announced that they would be separated from the rest of the group and taken somewhere else the following morning.

Master Sergeant Edmonds heard these orders and, as a man of great faith, knew he couldn’t follow them.

The next morning, Sergeant Edmonds ordered all the POW’s—1,275 men strong—to stand together. When the German Commandant emerged and saw them there, he said “All of you can’t be Jews.”

To this, the Sergeant Edmonds replied: “We’re all Jews here.”

Even with a gun dug deep into his forehead with threats being spoken to him from the German Commandant, he replied: “…You can shoot me but if you do, you’ll have to kill us all.”

Few could question the courage displayed by Edmonds which, in the end, spared the lives of many Jewish soldiers. This act of bravery is one of many stories we want to honor on this special day.

But beyond this, we should also hope to emulate Sergeant Edmonds and those like him who’ve lived like Christ amidst unspeakably challenging circumstances.

It is always a good day to thank God for people of courage throughout our nation’s history.

Displaying gratitude

Today is Memorial Day. We recognize the sacrifice of so many who gave their lives in the defense of freedom. It’s also a patriotic day and begins a patriotic season for many Americans, thinking about their nation between Memorial Day and Independence Day.

So, it is also worth remembering that God has guided this nation, and prayers and bravery are part of that story. So, on this day, we remember those who sacrificed and we begin a season of thankfulness for the guidance of God in our nation’s history.

For this we are thankful.

Gabriella Siefert serves as an Editorial Assistant for The Exchange. She just graudated from Wheaton College where she studied Political Science, Spanish, and Biblical and Theological Studies. Outside of her work as a writer and communicator, Gabriella enjoys volunteering with Juvenile Justice Ministry.

 

Original here

VIDEO God and Our Money

April 26, 2019

 

When you consider your finances, what comes to mind? What you have or don’t have? Whom you owe or what to buy? Do you feel stress, or are you at peace? God’s Word offers much wisdom for our financial decisions. In this message, Dr. Stanley covers common concerns, discussing what God thinks, says, and promises regarding personal finances—and what we can expect if we are obedient to His principles. Discover the path to generosity and provision as you learn how to trust Him with this important area of life.

KEY PASSAGE: Proverbs 3:5-10Luke 6:38

SUPPORTING SCRIPTURES: 1 Chronicles 29:12 | Psalm 50:12 | Haggai 1:5-6 | Malachi 3:8-12 | Luke 12:16-21 | Luke 18:28-29 | 2 Corinthians 9:6-8 | James 1:17

SUMMARY

When you consider your finances, do you feel emotional turmoil and stress, or are you at peace? What thoughts come to mind?

Do you focus on how much you don’t have, how much you’d like to have, what you could do to increase your income, or what you would do with more money? These are common concerns for all of us, but there’s another spiritual aspect we should consider when we think about our finances—what does God have to say about it, and what would He have us give away?

SERMON POINTS

When it comes to our personal finances, it’s important to understand that we must follow God’s principles and not human advice or reasoning. We need to know what God thinks, says, and promises regarding financial decisions and what we can expect if we are obedient to His principles.

  • Proverbs 3:5-10 provides divine guidance that applies to financial matters as well as every other area of life. We are told to trust God and not rely on our own understanding. This means we honor Him with our wealth by giving Him the first part of what we receive. If we follow this advice, the Lord promises to supply our needs.

The Basic Teaching of Scripture

• God owns it all. “For the world is Mine, and all it contains” (Ps. 50:12). This is a difficult truth for many people to accept because from a human perspective, we’ve worked to earn all that we have. However, we are not the owners of anything but the caretakers, managers, or stewards of whatever God has entrusted to us. He is the source and giver of our money and possessions.

To illustrate what happens when we forget this truth, Jesus told a parable about a rich man whose land was so productive that he had to build larger barns to store it all (Luke 12:16-21). He foolishly said to himself, “You have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry” (v. 19). But God rebuked him, saying, “You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?” (v. 20). Then Jesus concluded the story by saying, “So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God” (v. 21).

We are all only one heartbeat away from losing all our earthly goods. Then we must stand before the Lord to hear His evaluation of our lives. The time to live wisely according to God’s instruction is now.

• God wants us to give. Malachi 3:8-12 shows us God’s perspective on tithing. The Lord equated the people’s withholding of tithes and offerings with robbing Him. Then He told them, “‘Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows’” (v. 10). Although this was spoken to the nation of Israel, the reasons for generosity still apply to us today.

  1. To provide for the Lord’s work.
  2. To provide for the needs of others.
  3. To prove to us that God is faithful.

• God wants us to give cheerfully. “Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:7). Our heart attitude is very important to the Lord. He wants us to give voluntarily and happily out of love and gratitude.

• God warns about disobedience in giving. Since we are commanded by the Lord to give Him a portion of what He’s entrusted to us, there are consequences if we choose to disobey Him. In Haggai 1:6, the Lord reprimanded the people of Judah for their disobedience saying, “You have sown much, but harvest little; you eat, but there is not enough to be satisfied; you drink, but there is not enough to become drunk; you put on clothing, but no one is warm enough; and he who earns, earns wages to put into a purse with holes.”

Giving to God is not just a demonstration of appreciation, thoughtfulness, and generosity; it’s an act of obedience. He has provided us with every good gift, but if we neglect Him, everything we earn or acquire will not give genuine satisfaction. That only comes with obedience.

God’s Plan for Our Giving to Him

  • His Motivation. God loves us and wants us to understand that He is the one who enables us to prosper financially. “Both riches and honor come from You, and You rule over all, and in Your hand is power and might; and it lies in Your hand to make great and to strengthen everyone” (1 Chron. 29:12).
  • His Promise. “Your barns will be filled with plenty and your vats will overflow with new wine” (Prov. 3:10). The Lord blesses those who trust Him enough to give as He desires.
  • His Protection. “Then I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it may not destroy the fruits of the ground; nor will your vine in the field cast its grapes” (Mal. 3:11). When we follow God’s guidelines for our finances, we don’t have to fear deprivation because He leads us to make wise financial decisions according to His will.
  • His Generosity. “Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return” (Luke 6:38). The Lord gives us more than we expect or deserve.
  • His Sufficiency. “God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed” (2 Cor. 9:8).

Our willingness to follow God’s financial principles is a matter of trust in His Word. If we are confident that He will do what He has said, we’ll be generous, knowing that He will be faithful to supply our needs when we give Him a portion of all He’s provided for us.

RESPONSE

  • Is it difficult for you to trust God with your finances? If so, what are you afraid will happen if you begin to give a portion of your income to Him?
  • What attributes of God reassure you that He can be trusted to supply your needs if you will obey Him in the matter of giving?

https://www.intouch.org/watch/god-and-our-money

VIDEO On Oaths and God

By Dr. Jerry Newcombe – May 19, 2019

The attempt to remake our country into a secular wasteland continues unabated.

Even the U.S. House of Representatives has begun leaving God out when swearing in witnesses.

For example, a video of such an omission is beginning to make the rounds.

Graham Ledger, the host of “The Daily Ledger” on One America News Network, showed the video of this purposeful omission of God at a swearing in; and he commented, Democrats Delete God:

 

“So God is gone now. Poof. No more God in the people’s House. This is not about a religious test. This is about the founding of this republic. We are a country built on a core belief in God and Judeo-Christian values. Thus, the Declaration of Independence is now under de facto assault by this crew. One nation under God, divisible by one political party that seeks to attack liberty and justice for all.”

In the video, we see Democratic Congressman Steve Cohen from Tennessee, who is the chairman of this particular committee, swearing in guests. Cohen is perhaps best remembered as the congressman eating KFC on the Congressional floor in a publicity stunt recently.

Cohen asks some witnesses about to testify:

“Do you swear or affirm under penalty of perjury that the testimony you’re about to give is true and correct, to the best of your knowledge, information, and belief?”

Congressman Michael Johnson (R, LA) politely interrupts with a “parliamentary inquiry.” He states:

“I think we left out the phrase ‘so help me, God.’”

Cohen replies directly to Johnson, “We did.” Johnson asked if the witnesses could swear in again, but this time with the traditional phrase, “So help me God,” added. Chairman Cohen shakes his head and says, “No.” And he adds, “If they want to do it…but some of them don’t want to do it.”

Johnson states:

“Well, it goes back to our founding history. It’s been part of our tradition for more than two centuries, and I don’t know that we should abandon it now.”

Cohen looks at Johnson, and his face seems to communicate:

“What planet is this guy from?”

Johnson adds:

“Could I ask the witnesses if they would choose to use the phrase?”

Then Congressman Jerome Nadler (D-NY), shuts this discussion down, saying:

“We do not have religious tests for office or for anything else, and we should let it go at that.”

I once interviewed Michael Johnson for Christian television. As an attorney, he specialized in religious liberty. He told me:

“Can the government acknowledge the role of God in human affairs? Now we know that the founders have always done that since the beginning—the founding of the nation.”

So the answer is yes.

Johnson also added:

“Americans intuitively have an appreciation for absolute truth and justice.  We were programmed that way by our Creator, and that’s what the founders acknowledged from the very beginning….The enemies of the faith would have us remove all vestiges of Christianity, all vestiges of the God of the Bible from the public square; and that’s not what the Constitution says, and that’s not what we’re required to do.”

Another Republican Congressperson weighs in on this issue. Liz Cheney from Wyoming says:

“It is incredible, but not surprising, that the Democrats would try to remove God from committee proceedings in one of their first acts in the majority….They really have become the party of Karl Marx.”

When my brother-in-law saw this clip, he responded:

“If you think about it, our rights are inalienable because they are endowed by our Creator. If we no longer believe in a Creator, how soon will our rights no longer be inalienable?”

Exactly. That is what at stake in this debate on a seemingly arcane subject.

The founders followed the classic tradition of swearing in on the Holy Bible and in the name of God. Why are oaths taken that way? Because they recognized that we are accountable to God who sees all and who will one day judge us all.

I remember in seminary, one of my professors said:

“It’s not what we (professors) expect that matters. It’s what we inspect.”

Inspection means accountability. It means we have to do the assignments, which they will then inspect.

In his Farewell Address, George Washington said:

“Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice?”

Take God out of oaths, and they have no real meaning.

Thomas Jefferson asked:

“Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?”

Acknowledgment of God is another victim, it would seem, of today’s culture war. And with Him goes any assurance that the witness is telling the truth.

Swearing in without reference to God at a House Subcommittee (February 28, 2019)

 

Jerry Newcombe, D.Min., is an on-air host/senior producer for D. James Kennedy Ministries. He has written/co-written 31 books, e.g., The Unstoppable Jesus Christ, American Amnesia: Is American Paying the Price for Forgetting God?, What If Jesus Had Never Been Born? (w/ D. James Kennedy) & the bestseller, George Washington’s Sacred Fire (w/ Peter Lillback)   djkm.org  @newcombejerry      www.jerrynewcombe.com

 

Original here