The Toxic Road Of Sin

by Discerning Dad

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus” Romans 6:23 (NIV)

King David had a lot of mighty warriors who did some amazing things. Most of 1 Chronicles 11 is dedicated to their feats of greatness. One killed 300 men with his spear in one encounter. A few risked their lives by sneaking past the Philistines camp in order to bring David some water. Another killed a lion in a pit on a snowy day (actually the title of a good book). One warrior killed a giant Egyptian. Their names are all listed: Zelek the Ammonite, Nahariai the Berothite, Ira the Ithrite, Uriah the Hittite, Zabad son of Ahlai… wait a minute. Uriah the Hittite, THE Uriah the Hittite from the story of David and Bathsheba? Yes, the very same.

To refresh your memory back in 2 Samuel 11, David noticed Bathsheba from his roof sunbathing, well actually just bathing. He brought her to him and slept with her even though she was married to someone else. Then he had her husband, Uriah killed on the front lines of battle so he could be with Bathsheba.

Let’s break it down in more detail. Uriah was one of David’s closest warriors, proven in battle and given a place of honor. This is probably why David was able to view Bathsheba from his palace, because Uriah had a close place of residence next to David. Uriah was not just a random solider in the army, he was more like the Secret Service of that day or part of a Special Operations unit that handled important tasks.

David noticed Bathsheba and asked for more information about her. They came back with the info, “She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite” (11:3). David had the opportunity at that moment to forget about her, to move on with his day, and not betray the trust of one of his closest warriors. But sin needed appeasement…

After David slept with Bathsheba, she became pregnant. The plot thickened. David not only committed adultery but now he felt he needed to cover it up. He couldn’t have an illegitimate child ruin everything for him right?

David needed to get Uriah to sleep with Bathsheba because in a day without DNA tests, who was to say it was Uriah’s vs. David’s. In nine months time Uriah would be excited about the new baby and no one could prove it was David’s, not even the servant that brought Bathsheba to him. The problem was that Uriah had been out with the army, not with his wife. David brought Uriah into his courts and David asked him “how Joab (the commander in chief of the army) was, how the soldiers were and how the war was going.” I’m sure this was awkward small talk as David was devising his master plan. Then David said to Uriah, “Go down to your house and wash your feet.” David’s reference to footwashing was a suggestion that he receive gracious domestic hospitality (cf. Gen 18:4; 19:2; 24:32; 43:24) from his wife; implicitly it was an order to spend a night of marital intimacy with Bathsheba.¹

Uriah did not go home. He stayed at the entrance to the palace with David’s servants. Most likely not wanting to defile himself before God and stay fit for active duty in the military as the law instructed (Lev 15:18). This news reaches David that Uriah won’t go home. David rushes to the entrance of the palace and asks him, “Haven’t you just come from a military campaign? Why didn’t you go home?” Uriah responds “The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in tents, and my commander Joab and my lord’s men are camped in open country. How could I go to my house to eat and drink and make love to my wife? As surely as you live, I will not do such a thing!” (2 Samuel 11:11).

You have to hand it to Uriah, he was loyal to his King, he honored his God’s laws and he resisted the temptation to sleep with his wife (I’m sure it was very great after being out on active duty). We have quite the contrast here with David who gave in to sin and temptation and Uriah who is resisting it.
David keeps Uriah in the city one more night, this time trying to get him drunk so he will go home and sleep with Bathsheba, but he passed out on his mat among the servants.

David, albeit stressed after the unsuccessful second night, sent word to Joab to put Uriah out in front where the fighting is the worst. He didn’t want to even take a chance that Uriah wouldn’t die so he commanded them to “withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die” (11:15). He sealed this letter and sent it with Uriah, unknowingly carrying his own death warrant. This must have been a questionable order for Joab, but he carried it out like a good soldier.

David betrayed his loyal warrior because he had the power and because sin rooted itself in such a way that he couldn’t be caught. He would lose his close ally over the chance at getting found out.

David then married Bathsheba and she bore him a son, but “the thing David had done was evil in the sight of the Lord” (11:27 NASB)

This toxic road of sin started with temptation and eventually covered lust, adultery, betrayal, and murder.

Nathan the prophet would speak for God and rebuke David. David and Bathsheba would lose their son as a result.

Sin does not hold back, sin gets what it wants at any cost. Sin can control our thoughts and actions if we let it. Our human nature is sinful. Only by correcting it with the transforming power of Jesus’ work on the cross and the Holy Spirit inside of us can we fight against it. It is important to note that no one is exempt from sin, not one has “made it” to the point where they won’t be tempted.

David was chosen by God, a man after God’s heart (1 Samuel 13:14), and still, in a moment of weakness, started a course of actions that snowballed beyond what David even planned. Sin rarely gets exposed right away; too often we have to commit more sin just to cover it up. Sin, one way or another will be brought to the light as Luke 8:17 says “For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out in the open.”

Here’s the good news. As egregious as this sin was for David, it didn’t define him or his future. It was a footnote in his story. Consider how 1 Kings 15:5 describes David, “For David had done what was right in the eyes of the Lord and had not failed to keep any of the Lord’s commands all the days of his life- except in the case of Uriah the Hittite.”

David stopped sin too late in this one instance, but he repented and learned from it. He repented in a way that changed his heart and never looked back.
Sin looks tempting, like it has life and joy for you, but the Bible tells us it ends in death. That road will destroy anything and everything that comes in its path. It will betray you and those around you.

Psalm 51 is David’s prayer of repentance- take a minute to read it in light of this story.

If you have sinned or need to repent, make this your prayer like David did:
“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me” Psalm 51:10-12

Tim Ferrara

Discerning Dad http://www.discerning-dad.com

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1- Robert D. Bergen, 1, 2 Samuel, vol. 7, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1996), 365.

TBT- The Toxic Road of Sin

Why Can’t We Learn To Do Nothing?


Shawn Quah

“Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”Luke 10:41–42

I’m probably one of the many people looking forward to the easing of COVID-19 restrictions—not so much because I want to go out, but because I’ve been too busy at home.

Too busy? Surprisingly, yes. Over the past two months during the Circuit Breaker, I’ve struggled with not knowing when to stop work, or being caught up by the many things I needed to do, such as house chores, taking stock of food and other supplies at home, and going to the supermarket to stock up. Some of my friends, too, have told me that they have been working over the weekends as a way of distracting themselves from the monotony of being at home for so long.

It made me wonder: Have we become busy for the sake of being busy? Have we turned home—a place that should be synonymous with rest—into a place where we should work?

A recent article on telecommuting noted that COVID-19 has changed the way companies view working from home. Many are now realising that allowing workers to telecommute does not necessarily result in them doing less work—in fact, it could be the reverse. This has prompted more firms, such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Mastercard, to consider a permanent shift to remote working even after COVID-19 is over.

If this really happens for more workers, perhaps it warrants a relook into how we ought to view our time at home. Do we need to keep busy all the time? Do we always need to get things done, or achieve something? What is truly important at home?

I am reminded of the story of Jesus visiting the home of Martha and Mary. While Martha was distracted by the tasks of preparation, her sister Mary did not help her, but instead sat down to listen to Jesus’ teaching (Luke 10:38-40). In our time-starved society, we might see her as being lazy—or even, forbid the thought, wasting time.

How could she do nothing while Martha was so busy?

Yet, when Martha complained to Jesus, He said: “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her” (vv. 41–42)

For Jesus, the most important thing was spending some uninterrupted time with Him.

I believe this is one way in which we can rest in the Lord. May we not forget that home is a place of rest, even though it has also become our workplace during this COVID-19 outbreak. Just as much as we work, we ought to rest the same too, and simply spend time in the presence of the people we love—like our Lord Jesus and our families.

Perhaps we need to realise that taking a break from our daily routines, sitting down for a leisurely cup of coffee, or simply chilling in the living room and chatting with loved ones isn’t a waste of time.

As we learn to rest at home, let us not forget to rest in the Lord. And may we hold on to His comforting words to Mary, that despite our trials in this world, we can hold on to the fact that when we choose to stop and listen at Jesus’ feet, our relationship with Him will never be taken away from us.

Why Can’t We Learn To Do Nothing?

VIDEO ‘Worship Protests’ Are Bringing Revival To America’s Troubled Cities

People have asked me why we are holding these ‘worship protests,’ and the answer is simple: God is moving, and our nation desperately needs it.

‘Worship Protests’ Are Bringing Revival To America’s Troubled Cities

By Sean Feucht

Something is happening in America, and it should sound the alarm for every confessing Christian. Simply put, hostile efforts in many cities now threaten to suppress the First Amendment rights of all people to exercise our faith freely. In unprecedented acts of government-authorized injustice, Christians are being told they cannot gather for worship, they cannot sing songs of praise, and they cannot observe church ordinances.

Just last week, politicians in Seattle installed temporary fencing and security guards around Gas Works Park to prevent us from holding a “Let Us Worship” public outdoor service. Similarly, at Cal Anderson Park, Antifa protesters shouted obscenities, intimidated worshipers, cursed out my wife and four children, and damaged our equipment.

While followers of Jesus are being told we cannot worship in public spaces, violent paid rioters are taking over our streets and being given license to occupy and destroy entire sections of our cities. Churches are being covered in graffiti and even burned while civic leaders call for defunding the police. Never did I dream that this would happen, and never have I been more determined to do something about it.

The Church Is Being Persecuted Here in America

For the past 20 years, I’ve taken my entire family all over the world in support of the persecuted church. These efforts have brought greater exposure for dictatorial regimes and their anti-Christian tyrants in places such as North Korea, Iran, China, and Islamic Africa. In some parts of the world, Christians routinely face prison and even torture for nothing more than simple acts of faith, such as reading their Bibles, praying, and peaceably gathering with other believers to worship.

Now in major cities across America, godless politicians are adopting tactics that more closely resemble those of jihadist ayatollahs than men and women who are sworn to uphold the rule of law. Earlier this year in Kentucky, an elected leader tried to “criminalize” the celebration of Easter and would have gotten away with it if not for a federal judge, appointed by President Donald Trump, who blocked him.

In Virginia, the governor tried to stop Christians from gathering to worship under penalty of arrest and imprisonment. In Minnesota, the attorney general enforced the governor’s executive order that banned churches from worshipping but allowed dog groomers and golf courses to remain open.

In my home state of California, Gov. Gavin Newsom and many large-city mayors have ramped up their fight against the freedom of religion. As I write this, elected officials in Sacramento and Los Angeles are wringing their hands in desperation as they try to figure out how to shut down church leaders such as Grace Community Church’s John MacArthur.

In Portland, one of our brothers was stalked by an armed “protester” and shot at point-blank range while bystanders looked on with their phones, recording the whole thing. The victim, 39-year-old Jay Danielson, had weeks before joined hundreds of Christians who came to Oregon’s largest city for one of our “Let Us Worship” gatherings.

Truly, the actions of militant, anti-Christian forces, who want to shut down our churches, silence our worship, and even shoot our fellow believers in the streets, have stirred the soul of the American church. Where we have stood in solidarity with Christians around the world whose hostile governments threaten their religious freedom, we now stand with each other on our native soil.

I keep telling myself and my fellow Christians from every walk of life that this isn’t what America was founded to be. This isn’t how we are supposed to live. I will not stand idly by and watch it happen.

America Needs Revival

The American experiment, now approaching its 250th year, has proved our ability for more than two centuries to withstand foreign attacks from rogue states that despise and reject the freedoms we hold dear. What we face now is not a new threat; it is just no longer a foreign threat. The present madness has arisen from our own soil, cultivated and encouraged by our own politicians.

All across America, however, Christians are rising up. In recent weeks, thousands upon thousands have gathered and marched to assert their God-given freedoms. I’ve stood before them, armed with only a copy of the Bible and a simple guitar. People have asked me why we are holding these “worship protests” across the country, and the answer is simple: God is moving, and our nation needs it now more than ever in my lifetime.

In Seattle, a self-proclaimed satanist came to protest our worship, met the glory of God, and gave his life to Jesus. He is not alone. Thousands of hurting people have encountered the love of Christ in dozens of America’s most troubled cities through the simple act of gathering together in worship.

The church I believe in ministers to the sick and hurting; it doesn’t hide in the darkness. Jesus touched contagious lepers, and our fellow Americans need His healing touch right now. They need the bold, warm embrace of God’s love.

We are just getting started, with worship gatherings planned in Madison, Minneapolis, Kenosha, Chicago, and many more — culminating in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 25. I refuse to seek permission from politicians to adhere to my calling, the church’s calling.

Let me be very clear: Our fists are not held up in defiance; our hands are lifted in praise. Our voices are not raised in shouts of hatred, but our songs of hope and prayers for revival are piercing the darkness around us. God is not finished with America yet.

Sean Feucht is a missionary, artist, speaker, author, activist, and the founder of LetUsWorship.us, a movement organizing worship rallies in America’s most troubled cities.

https://thefederalist.com/2020/09/17/worship-protests-are-bringing-revival-to-americas-troubled-cities/


 

https://thefederalist.com/2020/09/16/wisconsin-worshipers-gather-at-boarded-up-capitol-to-turn-riots-into-revival/

Why Giving is Taking

by Anna Epshtein-Rudnitsky | Feb 28, 2020 | Israel

This week’s portion of the Torah deals with God’s detailed instructions to Mozes on how to build the Tabernacle – a portable sanctuary where the Almighty could dwell while the Israelites were travelling in the desert after they left Egypt. The chapter opens with His commandment to all of the Israelites to contribute materials needed for the building of the Tabernacle. The phrasing of the commandment, however, is weird: It is said “take for Me a contribution”, not “give Me a contribution”.

Why “take” instead of “give”?

It is known that wording in the Torah is never arbitrary; every letter, not just every word, is meaningful (Jewish mysticism teaches that God created the world while playing with the letters of the Torah. So why this choice of words? Is it some Freudian slip? Or does the phrasing imply that when we give to Him, we actually take, get something for ourselves?

Later in the Torah we hear God commanding to all of the Israelites give certain (really small) amount of silver to the building of the Tabernacle. There, He orders taxation – contribution to a common cause that should be paid by everyone. As opposed to it, in the opening phrase of the chapter He stresses that contribution of the materials should be voluntary and only from the people “whose heart wants it”.

Let us ask ourselves a question: Why at all donations are needed? The Almighty, who needs help of His creatures to build Himself a home, – is not the whole idea kind of weird?

The meaning of the Hebrew word “contribution”, used in this chapter, is “elevation”. The idea is clear: When we contribute to a holy cause, we elevate – both the part of the material world that we give and our own soul. Maybe that is what God really wants from us: Not wood, silver, or linen, but an elevating act. He wants us to be partners in creation. By asking us to help Him, He gives us a chance to leave the physical realm and join Him into the Holy.

However, you need “to want with your heart” to give this contribution. What distinguishes an elevating act of donation from a merely physical act of transfer of goods or money is the intention – the intention to become the Almighty’s partner.

But how exactly “giving” is “taking”?

One of the ancient Jewish sources (the Midrash Vayikra Rabbah 30:13) takes note of this strange phraseology and comments, “by donating towards the Tabernacle it’s as if you are taking Me!”

In the Proverbs (19:17) a similar idea is expressed in almost businesslike terms: “One who gives graciously to the poor becomes God’s lender”. We kind of strike a deal with God: by giving money to charity, we lend Him money, helping Him take care of the needed. So, one of the ways to explain how “giving” is “taking” is this: God will pay off His debt to you, and pay off generously.

Jewish sages also explain, that since everything in this world comes from God, you need to give Him His part in order to be able to use – to take – yours. Now, when the contribution is done, you can take the rest.

One of the forms of the Hebrew word “give” in the Torah – “ונתנו” – is a palindrome, it reads the same backwards and forwards. Giving is a sort of action that contains the opposite – receiving – in it.

Lev Haolam is an organization that supports local Jewish business owners in Judea and Samaria who are suffering because of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Lev Haolam gives the opportunity to support these Jewish pioneers and their families through our Surprise Monthly Package Project. Our members receive monthly packages filled with goods produced by the families and small businesses of Judea and Samaria.

https://www.levhaolam.com/blog/company-news/why_giving_is_taking

VIDEO Franklin Graham to lead prayer march in D.C.: ‘Only hope for our country is God’

By Randy DeSoto, The Western Journal

The Rev. Franklin Graham plans to lead a prayer march in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 26, saying the only hope for the United States is God.

Asked what prompted him to call for this event, Graham told The Western Journal, “I think the chaos we see in our country. The anarchy that we see in our streets.”

“The coronavirus has put fear in people’s hearts, anxiety,” he continued. “And we’ve seen the injustices that have taken place on some of our city streets. And all of this is just boiling over.

“And it seems like our country is out of control, and I feel that the only hope for our country is God,” Graham said.

Though the evangelical leader is a supporter of President Donald Trump, he doesn’t believe any one politician is going to turn the U.S. around.

“I think God can use a politician to turn this country around, but we have to have God,” Graham said.

The Christian argued the efforts of politicians and educators to keep God out of the nation’s affairs and mock people of faith have contributed to the current state of affairs.

“It’s not getting better; if anything it’s worse than it’s ever been. And the only hope I see for this country is God,” Graham said.

He explained that Prayer March 2020 will not be marked by glitz and worship bands but will be focused on prayer.

People will gather at the Lincoln Memorial, where the two-hour event will kick off at noon Eastern Time, with prayer focused on asking repentance “and asking God to forgive our sins and heal our land,” drawing from the famous words found in the Bible passage 2 Chronicles 7:14.

Courtesy of Billy Graham Evangelical Association

Five stops will follow during the 1.8-mile walk to the U.S. Capitol, including the World War II Memorial, the Washington Monument, the White House, the National Museum of African American History and the National Archives (where the Constitution and Declaration of Independence are housed).

Each location will have a different prayer focus.

For example, at the World War II Memorial, people will pray for those in the military, police and other law enforcement, as well as for the security and peace of the nation.

Some leading in those appeals will be Graham’s son, Col. Edward Graham, a West Point graduate who served 16 years in Special Operations in the U.S. Army.

Edward left active duty in 2018 to join Samaritan’s Purse, the Christian relief organization his father heads.

Retired Lt. Col. Oliver North, the former president of the National Rifle Association and a Vietnam War veteran, is also slated to pray at the World War II Memorial.

At the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the petitions to heaven will center on racial reconciliation and the healing of communities that have experienced violence and injustice.

Alveda King, the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Bishop Harry Jackson, senior pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, Maryland, will be among those offering prayers.

Prayer at the Capitol will focus on Congress, the Supreme Court and those who serve in state and local governments.

“The Bible tells us to pray for those that are in authority. It commands us to do that,” Graham noted.

The preacher says the prayer marchers will be praying for Trump, whom he gives high marks in his handling of the office to date.

“I think he’s probably the best president we’ve had in my lifetime,” Graham said.

“He’s had incredible mountains that he’s had to climb, constantly attacked by his enemies, but yet he’s been able to accomplish a peace agreement, which is incredible.”

Graham also pointed to Trump’s handling of the economy and how he has navigated through the coronavirus pandemic as many voices argued over the best course to take.

Trump has also kept his word to evangelicals, according to Graham.

“He’s the most friendly president in the history of our country to people of faith,” Graham said. “And it’s all people. He respects people who have faith.”

“And he’s been very supportive of evangelicals,” the minister added. “He likes having evangelicals and people of faith around him in the White House. And he wants their input. And we’ve never had that before like that in my lifetime.”

“I’ve never known a president that has been this open with evangelicals.”

For those who cannot attend Prayer March 2020, the event will be livestreamed.

Learn more here.

Franklin Graham to lead prayer march in D.C.: ‘Only hope for our country is God’

How Can We Come Close To God?

May 26, 2020 hephzibahgarden

Honestly speaking, the story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15:11-32 is surely a replica of our own lives; referring to the times we had gone away from Jesus, did our own will and lost everything we once had! This parable narrated by Jesus Himself is quite thought provoking and very much applicable, even till date! The story is about the return of the Lost Son to his dad, a boy who took all his wealth and went away to a far country. There he wasted his wealth with riotous living and became miserable; until one day he decided to COME BACK TO HIS DAD!! ❤️

Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you… James‬ 4:8

Well, the verse itself specifies clearly that when we take that one step of Faith and draw nigh to God; He will come running to us like this dear dad! Let me take you to the 5 ways how we can draw close to God.

  • By the Blood of Jesus – But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. Ephesians‬ ‭2:13‬. We have redemption through the blood of Jesus, even the forgiveness of sins. And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. Colossians‬ ‭1:20‬. The blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin.
  • By Him – Jesus lives to make intercession for us. Therefore all those who come to God by Him, He is able to save them to the uttermostLets therefore run this race patiently, looking into Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith. Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John‬ ‭14:6.
  • By faith of Him – Refers to the faith of the Son of God. We must NOT have little faith, nor worry, or fear, or doubt, or reason among ourselves seeing the circumstances that arise against us. Jesus overcame the world promised us that we can also overcome the world through Him. Let’s believe and press forward. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20
  • Access by His Spirit – For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Ephesians 2:18. The Lord has poured His love into our hearts through the Anointing of the Holy Spirit. But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. 1 John 2:27
  • By Hope – Hope on God, never puts a person to shame. All those who put their trust on God are made steadfast and immovable by Him. For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God. Hebrews 7:19.

Be blessed 💕

 

Original here

VIDEO Responding To The Riots – Color, Communism, and Common Sense

BENHAM BROTHERS

This isn’t a rant. It’s just a few thoughts I (Jason) jotted down on Facebook this morning as I tried to make sense of the craziness I saw in the streets of America last night.

This also isn’t about how broken I felt for George Floyd and his family. I posted my thoughts on that the day after he died. I still can’t stop thinking about how he called for his momma moments before he passed. Gut-wrenching. So if you wanna un-friend me because I’m writing about the riots please be my guest. But read my last paragraph before you go.

My brain can’t handle all the big words and articulate arguments I see on TV, so I have to boil things down very simply before I can understand stuff.

What I saw in the streets last night was not just a clash between angry people and the police – it was a clash of worldviews. What I know from studying history is that the only way one worldview can overthrow another is for two things to happen:

1. History must be rewritten
2. Words must be redefined

Neither of these are good, but they are strategies used in effort to topple truth throughout the centuries.

Socrates said, “If you wish to converse with me, define your terms.”

If he were alive today, his response to these riots would first require us to define some terms. So I’m gonna give this a stab.

Emotion is an impulse to act.
Anger is an emotion with a purpose.
Anger’s purpose is to see that justice is done.

Justice means “to make right.”

You cannot have justice without first defining what is “right.”
You can’t define what’s right w/out a basis for truth.

Today, we see people fighting for “justice” who have different definitions of what’s “right” because they don’t agree on the standard of truth.

One side says, “Truth is what I want it to be.”

The other side says, “Truth is defined by a higher power (God).”

Separating the two schools of thought is one very important word – ACCOUNTABILITY.

For those in the first camp, they’re accountable to themselves to help themselves….to whatever they want.

For those in the second camp, they’re accountable to God to help others.

Problem – so many people today were taught that truth is relative (there’s no real right or wrong). But when they live out this worldview on the streets they seek for justice by destroying things. This, in their minds, will make “right” what happened to George Floyd.

But for there to be true, lasting change – the kind of change we’d all like to see – we have to first agree on the standard of truth (God), let Him define for us what is right, and operate our lives by His power so we can control our emotions.

Then, when something evil happens – like what happened to George Floyd – our anger will cause us to RESPOND in love with a heart of compassion rather than REACT in hate with a heart of destruction. This compassion will move us to action so we can help the people who are being mistreated.

This was lived out in the 60’s when you saw the difference between Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. Both men were just as angry and emotional about the racial inequities in culture, but their responses were vastly different. Why? Because they had different standards of truth.

MLK held a Bible. MX held a Quran.

I’ll let you guess which one’s worldview was better. If you’re not sure, it’s the one who has streets all over the country and a Holiday named after him.

We can make things right. But it will require us to first do business with God. As Dr. Tony Evans posted, “This is a time for a national reset…based on a spiritual foundation influenced by a repentant, obedient, and unified church…Pray for peace. Pray for unity. Speak truth, in love, but still speak. Then, act. Together, we can effectuate positive change if we pursue it with wisdom, tenacity, and strength.”

Oh, and one more thing. For those who are going on an “unfriend” rampage, it’s time to move out of the 7th grade and jump onto a field where ideas can clash and hearts unite at the same time. If you’ve ever been married for longer than a year you’ll know this is entirely possible, but only when you control your emotions and operate out of….wait for it….a heart of love.👩‍❤️‍💋‍👨

Responding To The Riots


Color, Communism, and Common Sense by Manning Johnson


Manning Johnson Exposes Communism, Farewell Address 1959


Racism, Color, Communism, & Common Sense: 619-768-2945



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Two Brands of Bread- Seeing vs Believing

AUGUST 14, 2020 / MULYALE MUTISYA

During Passover, God instructed the Israelites to eat ‘bread made without yeast’ (Exodus 11:8). The Feast of Unleavened bread lasted seven days and ‘whoever eats anything with yeast in it must be cut off from the community of Israel’ (v19). In the same Chapter and in other subsequent Chapters, the Lord insists that they must eat bread without yeast, unleavened bread, as they observe the month of Abib- the month the Israelites made exodus out of Egypt. The Israelites, not fully knowing why they had to do this, did it anyway. As I also wonder why, the Lord reveals that He did not prohibit the Israelites to eat bread with yeast because of an allergic reaction, but as a symbolic revelation. No wonder the ordinance was to last generations to come. However, when Lord himself came down, all He did was talk of yeast.

In the third Parable Jesus gave according to the Gospel of Matthew, He talks of the mustard seed and the yeast. Jesus likens the Kingdom of heaven like ‘yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough’ (Matthew 13:33). One quality of yeast is that it ought to be given time until it works through the dough. In a yeastly manner, the Kingdom of God works the same way, in its due time. During the Passover which the Lord instructed to ‘Eat it in haste; it is the Lord’s Passover’ (Exodus 12:11), shows the Kingdom of God was not yet. God displayed His great miracle saying ‘I will make a distinction between my people and your (Pharaoh’s) people’ (Exodus 8:23). To the Israelites, this signified that the kingdom of Israel would be established, but God had a bigger picture in mind.

So when Jesus came talking about yeast and the Kingdom of God, it took aback the Jews who were avoiding yeast and anticipating their own kingdom. On one occasion when Jesus was teaching about the Kingdom of God, the chief priests and elders asked, ‘And who gave you this authority?’ (Matthew 21:23). Unlike the unleavened bread eaten in a time of miracles and wonders, the Kingdom of God seemed unpalatable for the Jews, because they could not see that the Kingdom of God was among them and that it was starting to work as in yeast through a dough. This was because they were spiritually blind and bound by the tradition of their forefathers in eating bread without yeast physically, and now took it further and did the same spiritually.

After Jesus had fed 4,000 people with seven loaves of bread and a few fish, ‘the Pharisees came and began to question Jesus. To test him, they asked him for a sign from heaven’ (Mark 8:11). The Pharisees, like their forefathers who ‘were a stubborn and rebellious generation, whose hearts were not loyal to God’ (Psalms78:8) and ‘wilfully put God to the test by demanding the food they craved. They spoke against God saying, ‘Can God spread a table in the desert?’ (v18-19). Even after God miraculously provided for them in the desert, ‘In spite of all this, they kept sinning; in spite of wonders, they did not believe’ (v32). In the same way, the Pharisees after seeing Jesus’s miracles, still did not believe of who He said He was and when they asked for another miracle, ’Jesus sighed deeply and said, ‘why does this generation ask for a miraculous sign?’ (Mark 8:12).

Sometimes like the Pharisees, we ask God for a sign in order to believe in Him. In our ignorance we say, if God is real, why is there…why am I…why can’t He… why did He and so we continue to harden our hearts to receive the Bread of Life, Jesus Christ. ‘Be careful, Jesus warned them (his disciples). ‘Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod’ (v15). The disciples were clueless of what Jesus was talking about prompting Jesus to ask, ‘Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? (v17-18).

‘And don’t you remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?’

‘Twelve’, they replied.

‘And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?’

They answered, ‘Seven’

He (Jesus) said to them, ‘Do you still not understand?’

(v19-21)

Some, instead of partaking of the Bread of Life partake that of the Pharisees and wait for world peace or some other miraculous phenomenal before accepting to believe in God. However, the Kingdom of God is based on faith. In fact, to top the Word becoming flesh, the air we breathe and everything around us is a miracle. Paul writes, ‘For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature- have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse’ (Romans 1:20).

We receive by faith through believing in Jesus, whom ‘though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with inexpressible and glorious joy’ (1 Peter 1:8). No wonder the Israelites ate bread without yeast because the yeast had not yet been revealed to them and so they lacked faith which can only come through accepting the Bread of Life. Once we receive Jesus, we are saved by faith and the faith works in us the Kingdom of God like yeast works through all the dough. In the same way, like yeast working quietly in a dough, ‘In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength’ (Isaiah 30:15). Once we follow Christ, miracles, signs and wonders follow us and not the other way round- for Christ did not accompany miracles but miracles accompanied Christ. (Mark 16:20)

https://carolynemutisya7.wordpress.com/2020/08/14/two-brands-of-bread-seeing-vs-believing/

7 Qualities In Abigail’s Life!

April 23, 2020 hephzibahgarden

 

Abigail was Nabal’s wife.

They lived during the time of King David, in a town called Maon. This man Nabal, was a very rich person. He owned a large number of sheep and goats (in 1000s) 😄 [1 Samuel 25:2] Those were the days wherein — the more a person owned sheep, goat, camel, asses; basically farm animals, the more wealthy and famous he was. Abraham and Job were also of the same kind!!!

Alright….!! Now, Nabal’s wife Abigail was a very beautiful lady. She was INTELLIGENT as well!!😇 A deadly combination indeed! 1 Samuel 25:3. But, her husband Nabal did not have a good name among the people – he was mean and bad tempered.

7 Good Qualities in Abigail:

  • She was a woman of good understanding, basically, she was a wise woman. 1 Samuel 25:1. The heart of her husband trusts in her, And he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil All the days of her life. Proverbs‬ ‭31:11-12‬ ‭NASB‬
  • She was beautiful to look upon – had a lovely countenance. 1 Samuel 25:3. I believe she was more beautiful inwardly; that’s why she was beautiful outwardly as well! Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. 1 Peter‬ ‭3:3-4‬.
  • She pacified the King’s heart of wrath because of her good character. 1 Samuel 25:25-27. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. Proverbs‬ ‭31:26‬
  • She had a humble heart — readily bowed down and worshipped the king! She was a God-fearing woman. 1 Samuel 25:23,24. She tastes and sees that her gain from work [with and for God] is good; her lamp goes not out, but it burns on continually through the night [of trouble, privation, or sorrow, warning away fear, doubt, and distrust]. Proverbs‬ ‭31:18‬ ‭AMPC‬.
  • She readily took others blame upon herself. 1 Samuel 25:24 — And fell at his feet, and said, Upon me, my lord, upon me let this iniquity be: and let thine handmaid, I pray thee, speak in thine audience, and hear the words of thine handmaid.
  • She was quick to reconcile and make peace with those who went against her. 1 Samuel 25:28-31. I pray thee, forgive the trespass of thine handmaid: for the Lord will certainly make my lord a sure house; because my lord fighteth the battles of the Lord, and evil hath not been found in thee all thy days. 1 Samuel‬ ‭25:28‬
  • She had a meek spirit within her. 1 Samuel 25:33-35. So David received of her hand that which she had brought him, and said unto her, Go up in peace to thine house; see, I have hearkened to thy voice, and have accepted thy person. 1 Samuel‬ ‭25:35‬

Tried drawing a comparison between Abigail and the Virtuous Woman mentioned in Proverbs 31; and we can safely say that, indeed Abigail was a Virtuous Woman, who had many beautiful characters in her 🙌. After all, we are called to become the Bride of Christ and it is imperative for us to have such amazing qualities in us too! May the Lord help us! ❤️

Original here

Why Do I Need to Be Saved?

John Piper
Founder & Teacher, desiringGod.org

Audio Transcript

On this podcast we frequently return to fundamental realities, essential truths, things most precious to us, like the glory of God and the cross of Jesus Christ. If you get these fundamentals right, everything else eventually falls into place. Get the fundamentals wrong, and nothing will fall exactly into place. Something will always be off.

In light of this, some of the most essential questions include these: Why, in the first place, do I need to be saved? Saved from whom? Saved from what? What is my problem? And how does God, and specifically Christ, address my problem? To explain, I love this following sermon excerpt from a 2009 message delivered at a Campus Crusade event in Minneapolis. There Pastor John expounded Romans 3:23–26, in which the apostle Paul says this:

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

A glorious text of essential, must-know truth. Here’s Pastor John to explain it.

“Whom [referring to Christ] God put forward as a propitiation . . .” (Romans 3:25). Propitiation means a sacrifice that removes wrath. So, the wrath of God is absorbed by Christ when he dies in our place. Propitiation is the removal of the wrath of God off of us, though we deserve it.

“Condemnation happened at the cross. Whose? Mine. In whose flesh? Not mine.”

“Whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood [his death], to be received by faith.” That’s how you receive a gift: faith is a receiving; it’s not a doing.

“This was to show God’s righteousness . . .” Oh, really? Really? This putting Christ forward “was to show [God’s] righteousness, because in his divine forbearance [patience] he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:25–26).

I don’t think there’s a more important paragraph in the Bible than that right there. I mean, there may be some competing, but that’s just about as close to the center as you can get.

Cursed for Us

Take it apart for just a few minutes with me. God put Christ forward as a propitiation by his blood. Romans 8:3: “God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh.”

Whose sin? Mine. Whose flesh? Christ’s. That’s an amazing statement. Condemnation happened at the cross. Whose? Mine. In whose flesh? Not mine. This is propitiationPropitiation is the drawing away of condemnation from me. How can this be? How can it go there, on Christ? It belongs here, on me.

Galatians 3:13: “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us.” Whose curse? God’s curse. He’s the one who backs up the law. The law is his word. If there’s a curse in the law on me, it’s coming from God. And Jesus becomes my curse.

So all that to say yes to propitiation; don’t translate it some other way. Don’t use expiation, which simply means “removal of guilt.” Don’t translate it merely as living sacrifice or sacrificial offering. It’s the removal of God Almighty’s just, holy condemnation and wrath, which belongs to me.

Glory Is Gone

Why did he need to do it that way? Why did Christ need to die in order to placate God’s wrath?

“This was to show God’s righteousness.” So, Christ died; God put him forward to die. This was to show God’s righteousness. Why did he need to show his righteousness? That’s a pretty high price for a demonstration of righteousness. Why did he need to show his righteousness?

“Because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.” Well, why does passing over sin make it necessary to demonstrate righteousness? Now we’re ready to see verse 23 and the nature of sin: “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

I don’t know if you’ve ever felt like I want you to feel now about the connection between sin and the glory of God. “All have sinned and fall short.” Fall short is an old-fashioned translation. The literal meaning is “they lack,” “they’re without.” In what way are we without? Romans 1:23 says we have exchanged the glory of God for the glory of created things. So, we had it; it was our treasure. When Adam and Eve were created, it was our treasure: we loved God, we cherished God, we esteemed God, we respected God; we were in awe of God and worshiped God and praised God and glorified God. And then we traded God.

“In that very moment of upholding his glory, God made it possible to save sinners.”

You’ve all done it; you do it every day. We embrace other values, other treasures, other desires that are so much stronger in our hearts than God is. We traded him, and so we lack God’s glory. It’s not our treasure; we’ve just thrown it away. And sin is anything you do in that process. Anything that reflects that God is not your treasure is sin. So, all have sinned and lack, throw away, exchange, demean, belittle, trample the infinite value of the glory of God.

Guilty Go Free

Now, why does that call the righteousness of God into question when he passes over such sin? Because when God, as he does for all of his people, passes over — does not condemn — sinners who have trampled his glory and demean his glory every single day of our lives, it looks as though he thinks that’s no big deal: to trample the glory of God is no big deal.

It would be like a judge sitting at a bench who’s got a murderer and a rapist in front of him. He says, “We’ll just let it go. We’ll just pass over the murder and the rape this time; we’ll just pass over it.” And everybody in the courtroom would say, “No way! You can’t do that and sit on that bench and be a just judge and say you’re just going to pass over this thing.”

And so, God knows that he would be unrighteous, he would be wrong, unjust, if he treated his glory as though it were so worthless that he could just pass over the trampling of his glory in his people. And so he doesn’t just pass over it; he sends his Son into the world to demonstrate his righteousness.

You see, if you understand Romans 3:23–26, what happened at the cross was the loudest statement imaginable: I love my glory. And in that very moment of upholding his glory, God made it possible to save sinners: “so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”

The Unthinkable for the Undeserving

So, in John 17, Jesus expresses this idea: “I want them to see me — I want them to see me risen, triumphant, glorious, all-satisfying in my glory, so that my glory will continue to be exalted forever, and their joy would be full” (see John 17:24).

And at the center is the cross, making that possible for sinners. As God says, “I put my Son forward to demonstrate my righteousness. My righteousness is my unwavering commitment, always and everywhere, to uphold the infinite worth of my glory. And if I am bent on saving sinners who have trampled my glory, which I most certainly am, I will not do it in any way that calls my love for my glory into question. I will do the absolutely unthinkable. I will put my Son on the gibbet, and he will be tortured, and he will bear my wrath to make plain: I don’t sweep God-belittling sins under the rug of the universe when I save sinners.”