The glorious unfolding (Ephesians 1:14-15)

Everything from the cradle to the grave is showing God to be sovereign over all. There is no salvation in any other but Jesus Christ. His death was correctly prophesied and some 500 witnesses saw Him in resurrected form.

The greatest gift of our salvation is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. We are going to get the keys to the kingdom. We are joint heirs with Christ. The Holy Spirit is the down payment of what we get later on.

Jesus is enough. He gets all the praise & glory. We are His purchased possessions. If you take the blood out of the gospel, you are left with a fairy tale that will send everyone to Hell.

1. God the Father planned our salvation. The gospel was never an afterthought. We call this the sovereignty of God.

God the Son provided our salvation. If someone planned it out, someone had to carry out the provision. Jesus didn’t just die for our sin, He became sin. He is the propitiation for our sin.

God the Spirit protects our salvation. If you really are saved, you won’t want to do what you used to do. We are protected in our salvation, and not even the devil can take us.

2. Your faith is a massive encouragement to those around you. It is encouraging to see God working in the life of someone who is going through a trial. People don’t know what you’re going through but they see how you handle what you’re going through.

What encourages us about the great figures of the Bible is their faith. They are ordinary people who had faith. They had their shortcomings, too. They had problems just like us and wayward children just like us.

Worship is nothing more than our obedience. Sometimes God does things so we can find out the answers ourselves; He already knows the answers.

3. How we love sinners and how we love saints is a very different calling from God. We often think that when the Bible says to love one another it means to love everyone equally. But we cannot love a lost world the way we love fellow believers.

We have a responsibility to love lost people in our attempt to “pluck them from the fire.” But we cannot fellowship with lost people the way we fellowship with God’s people. And we can never love the lost until we first learn to love one another in church as brothers and sisters in Christ. Our love for the saints will be an encouragement to others.

One of the most wonderful things is to meet a fellow believer we have never met before and have your Spirit mesh with his Spirit.

We must love people where they’re at, not where we want them to be. We have been called to a greater example of faith. We must love and protect especially those we worship with. Protect your pastor. Never minimize the fact that what you have, God is using for those around you.

Advertisements

Friday quick-hitters

Just because you want something to be true doesn’t make it true. And just because you don’t want something to be true doesn’t mean it’s not. Skepticism is healthy. If you are to err, err toward leniency. Rumors are just hearsay. The more a rumor is told, the more likely it has been altered from its original form.

Be cordial toward children. Someday they will grow into adults and will remember how you treated them when they were growing up.

If you are a Christian, it is important to treat those who live unbiblically with dignity. When Christ commanded us to love one another, He listed no exclusions.

Snow takes an incredibly long time to melt.

Don’t ridicule the work of others (as long as it’s legal & ethical). Just because it doesn’t seem important to you doesn’t mean it isn’t important to the other person.

Perhaps the most dastardly element of progressivism is that progressives more or less advocate stealing from other people’s labor. To me, there are few actions lower than confiscating hours from a person’s life. This is why I prefer consumption-based taxes in favor of income taxes.

If the Democrats force a government shutdown over DACA, I have calculated that 19,374 Americans will die every day of the shutdown. This is in addition to the deaths that have already occurred because of the Trump tax cuts, overturning net neutrality, and pulling out of the Paris climate accord. However, this does not include the number of deaths that have occurred by women obtaining “health care services” at Planned Parenthood.

We do not yet fully understand the level of corruption that occurred during the Obama presidency. I would say that nothing about Democrats can shock me anymore, but I do believe we would be shocked.

It is not an understatement to assert that liberals care more about foreign-born residents who come here illegally than native-born and naturalized citizens, care more about those who don’t earn a paycheck than those who do, care more about Muslim jihadists than peaceful Christians, care more about criminals than law-abiding citizens, and care more about National Anthem protesters than those who stand. I could go further, but you get the point.

It is your job to invest in your own retirement. The earlier you get started, the better. If you’re banking on Social Security to get you through, you’re going to be thoroughly disappointed, and by then it will be too late. Don’t just depend on government.

Words

togs (n.) — clothes

gustatory (adj.) — concerned with tasting or the sense of taste

hotspur (n.) — a rash, impetuous person

anchorite (n.) — a religious recluse

doggerel (n.) — verse of words that are badly written or expressed

incorrigible (adj.) — (of a person or their tendencies) not able to be corrected, improved, or reformed

feculent (adj.) — of or containing dirt, sediment, or waste matter

physchosomatic (adj.) — (of a physical illness or other condition) caused or aggravated by a mental factor such as internal conflict or stress

ruth (n.) — a feeling of pity, distress, or grief (archaic)

blandishment (n.) — a flattering or pleasing statement or action used to persuade someone gently to do something

bunkum (n.) — nonsense

mettle (n.) — a person’s ability to cope well with difficulties or to face a demanding situation in a spirited and resilient way

terreplain (n.) — a level space where a battery of guns is mounted

raffish (adj.) — unconventional and slightly disreputable, especially in an attractive manner

jeremiad (n.) — a long, mournful complaint or lamentation; a list of woes

enturbulate (v.) — to agitate or disturb; to upset, harass

superlative (n.) — grammer expressing the highest or a very high degree of a quality

epilation (n.) — the removal or hair by pulling it from the roots

larder (n.) — a room or large cupboard for storing food

Sometimes dreams can be the pits (Genesis 47-50)

Joseph understood wisdom so very much that he was able to bring both the land and the people together under Pharaoh as a result of famine. Egypt became very wealthy in spite of these 7 years of hardship.

The Israelites settled in the land of Goshen, which was part of Egypt. Jacob was 130 years old when he and his descendants migrated to Egypt. He would live another 17 years. Before he died, he requested that be buried not in Goshen, but in the land of his fathers.

In the final chapters of Genesis, Jacob disburses his land among his sons. He also blessed Joseph’s two sons, the younger ahead of the older.

Everything Jacob said at the end of his life regarding the promises of God eventually came to pass.

Joseph had lived much of his life without his father’s presence, so the moment Jacob died was indeed a bittersweet moment.

Joseph had his father embalmed and both the Egyptians and the house of Jacob mourned for him for many days.

Pharaoh graciously allowed Joseph to carry his father’s body back home to bury him. Pharaoh also sent along everything Joseph would need.

(You just ooze favor when you’re walking with God.)

This was an incredibly long funeral procession. They were doing this more for Joseph than Jacob. In fact, we are told that this was a grievous mourning for the Egyptians.

Indeed, Jacob was ultimately laid to rest in Canaan, in the cave of the field of Machpelah, which had been purchased by Abraham as a burying place.

(In Middle Eastern culture, history never dies. They can speak of events than occurred 2,000 years ago as though they were yesterday.)

So that left just Joseph and his brothers, and Joseph’s brothers were now concerned that Joseph would seek revenge on his brothers for what they had done to him all those years before.

How you perceive someone is how you receive someone. With negative thoughts, you can think things into existence that hadn’t ever existed.

The good thing is that the brothers recognized that what they had done before was evil. Now they invoked the name of their father to try to prevent a retribution they believed was coming. Joseph wept because he never had any intention of revenge.

Joseph said, “Fear not: for am I in the place of God?” Things get dangerous when you start trying to play God in other people’s lives. You cannot bring redemption into someone’s life with judgmental nonsense.

Joseph explained to his brothers that God had turned their evil into something good.

We like for everything in our lives to be neat and orderly but sometimes God blows that up.

Either we believe that pain is a platform or we don’t. Joseph’s platform was “to save much people alive.”

It is a difficult thing, but it is best to let God bring us through pain in order to deliver us to our purpose. Otherwise, we can end up filled with regret (coulda, woulda, shoulda).

Joseph made sure to speak kindly to his brothers and to care for them.

Joseph lived 110 years. He saw his son’s descendants to the 3rd generation. From the moment of his death, it would be 430 years until Moses delivered the Israelites out of bondage. The artifacts that the children of Israel would carry out of Egypt included Joseph’s bones, as he had prophesied.

Likewise, Joseph was embalmed and placed in a coffin. (The coffin was an Egyptian creation. The word “coffin” means “hope chest.”)

Never lose hope in what God is doing in your life.

It snowed

It snowed about two inches today in Mt. Juliet, but it seems like a lot more. We don’t handle our snow very well in these parts because we don’t get much of it. Nonetheless, today was the second winter storm we’ve enjoyed in less than a week. Tonight’s temperature will dip close to zero, and then it will start to warm up. Middle Tennesseans get very emotional over snow, almost on the level of religion and politics. I can’t explain it. If you forecast it and we don’t get it, people get mad. If you don’t forecast it and we get so much as a flurry, people make a big deal over it. Likewise, if the snow begins earlier or later than forecast, there is great consternation. Forecasting wintry precipitation in general is the most difficult thing we do here because so many things have to happen for the atmosphere to produce snow. So be it. I prefer to just enjoy whatever snow we do get without all the drama.

Economic freedom (how not to be poor)

Amidst all the moralizing you will hear from racial agitators on the left this MLK Day, you’ll likely not hear a single one rejoice over the record low black unemployment, increased black homeownership & the economic freedom this engenders. Most of what you’ll hear is victimhood. What a shame, because economic freedom is a major centerpiece to achieving the equality liberals say they’re all about.

Back in 2005, economist Walter E. Williams penned a column “How not to be poor.” Here he lays out a simple list of 4 things a person can do to very nearly ensure he will not be poor.

Avoiding long-term poverty is not rocket science. First, graduate from high school. Second, get married before you have children, and stay married. Third, work at any kind of job, even one that starts out paying the minimum wage. And, finally, avoid engaging in criminal behavior.

Sadly, you will rarely (if ever) hear a liberal Democrat, black or white, make these arguments. Typically, poverty is the fault of rich people, or white people, or capitalism, or corporations, or Republicans, or an amalgam of similarly perceived evils. And the only way out of poverty is through massive transfers of wealth and government-mandated minimum wage laws. None of these actually cures poverty, and, in fact, government involvement almost always exacerbates whatever problems it attempts to alleviate.

You might be a liberal if…

You might be a liberal if you prefer the economic malaise & meaningless, reality-masking platitudes of the Obama years over the economic explosion & honest truth-telling of the Trump presidency.

You might be a liberal if the politicians you empower turn everything they touch into a s***hole.

You might be a liberal if you believe it’s racist to refer to dilapidated Third World nations as s***holes, but routinely disparage the U.S., which is the wealthiest, freest and most benevolent superpower that has ever existed.

You might be a liberal if you’ve directed your #fakeoutrage at POTUS for his alleged s***hole comment, but argue that it’s cruel to send the tired, huddled masses back home because they came from s***holes.

You might be a liberal if you’ve ever threatened to leave the U.S. because your candidate lost, but s***hole countries are never potential destinations.

You might be a liberal if you pretend outrage over Trump’s alleged s***hole comment, but applauded Obama while he spent 8 years trying to turn us into one.

You might be a liberal if you believe President Trump is a racist even though the Trump economy has brought black unemployment to a 45-year low, and all you’re fixated on is s***hole.

You might be a liberal if you defend all manner of sexual perversion and advocate the mass killing of the unborn but pretend to be offended because POTUS might have referred to s***hole countries as “s***hole countries.”

You might be a liberal if you are more outraged over reports that President Trump referred to certain nations as s***holes than the fact that those nations really are s***holes.

You might be a liberal if you are engaging in faux outrage over President Trump supposedly referring to Haiti as a s***hole country but voted for the woman who helped keep it one.

The glorious unfolding (Ephesians 1:13)

We should praise God no matter our circumstances. Everything we do is to the praise of His glory. We learn to live with the talents & gifts He has given us.

We have had the glorious purpose of trusting Jesus Christ. In order to be saved, we believe on Jesus Christ. It is not enough to believe in Him, because even the demons believe in Him.

1. Our faith is a direct result of hearing the truth of God’s word. The holy scriptures are able to make us wise to salvation. Nothing else can effectively serve this purpose. The holy scriptures can take us from death to life.

In Romans 10, Paul writes that both Jew and Gentile share the same responsibility to Christ. You have to be able to hear the truth before you can believe it. And how shall anyone hear without a preacher?

There is not one problem in the world we cannot preach through. We are all evangelists and have the responsibility of spreading the gospel. But preachers have been set apart by God to propagate the truth. Make sure you are actually listening to someone who has been called by God.

A lot of people have heard the gospel but they have not all believed. Non-believers often find the gospel doesn’t fit their own lives.

The initiation of our faith only comes through the effective preaching of the gospel. Churches that do not preach the truth of the gospel will not win converts. Any gospel that does not produce conversions is not a Biblical gospel.

2. There is absolutely no hope of salvation without the gospel. If we don’t preach the gospel then we are not a genuine New Testament church. Everything we do is wrapped up in what Jesus has done for us.

If you trust something other than Christ for your salvation, then you will not go to heaven. With God all things are possible. The gospel is able to radically change us from the inside-out.

Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God.

To say that the Spirit of God can live in you but not change you is heretical. The Spirit of God will lead you to good works. If He hasn’t changed you, then He doesn’t live in you.

3. The greatest gift for our faith is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. God lives in us. And the Holy Spirit is merely a down payment on what we receive later on.

But the Holy Spirit exists to point us to Jesus. The Holy Spirit is not an end to Himself. It’s all about Jesus.

We expect people who are filled with the Holy Spirit to live godly lives. This is why we have to cut through religion and other nonsense. Once you are saved and moving forward, you must have the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit shows us how to live out the gospel.

Trump blows up DACA deal with alleged s***hole remark

I’m just now getting into yesterday’s Rush Limbaugh podcast, and right off the bat the Maha Rushie’s take is spot on regarding President Trump’s blowing up whatever DACA deal might have been in the works. Just as everyone was afraid Trump was going to cave to Democrats, The Donald proves once again that he’s ten chess moves ahead of his opponents.

I want to look at the practical result of this. … And, lo and behold, they show up at the White House yesterday with their proposal for a new DACA deal and it is the worst thing in the world. It is absolutely abhorrent. It is nothing that you or anybody with common sense would support. And what did Donald Trump do? He blew the whole thing up with one question, with one question he blew it up. And you know what the question was? Forget the words used. The question was: Why do you people on the Democrat side want to continue to bring people to this country that are not going to benefit this country? Why instead do you not want to bring the best and brightest of the world to this country? Why is it that you think that we need to bring people to this country who are incapable of helping themselves? … And of course we know the answer…and that is that the Democrats’ version of immigration is all about securing additional votes.

Link

Trickle-down works every time it’s tried

Wal-Mart has become the latest American corporation to announce higher wages and bonuses for its employees owing to the Trump tax cuts that were signed into law about 3 weeks ago.

The new IRS withholding tables were released yesterday, so now we can see just how much larger our paychecks will be.

Stocks continue to rise, due in large part to a 40% cut in the corporate tax rate. Those of us with 401(k)’s — and there are a lot of us — have watched our account balances soar since President Trump took office almost a year ago.

Unemployment is now the lowest it has been in 17 years, and black unemployment is at its lowest in 45 years. Fewer people are on food stamps now than when Obama was president.

You’d think Democrats would be delighted about “the little guy” getting more money in his paycheck, not to mention the fact that so many more Americans working in the first place. You would be wrong.

The mentally unstable Nancy Pelosi remarked cynically, “In terms of the bonus that corporate America receives versus the crumbs they are giving to workers to put the schmooze on is so pathetic.”

Remember, not a single Democrat voted for the Trump tax cuts. Not one. They don’t want more money showing up in your paycheck. They don’t want you to get a bonus. I would even go so far as to say they’d prefer you be on public assistance than working. After all, if you’re working and self-sufficient, you don’t need Democrats. Their political base has transitioned from working class Americans to illegal immigrants and refugees, those who don’t work but rely on public assistance, moochers, ingrates, and leeches. This is who they are.