California Bill Will Outlaw Churches Helping People Out Of LGBT Lifestyle

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Fallen man now feels he knows how to help people, rather than submitting to the Lord and His Word.  When the secular government, which has already drifted away from God, becomes the conscience for a nation, we are in deep trouble.  This is an obvious case whereby the Christian must “obey God and not man.”   Acts 5:29 King James Version (KJV)  “and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.”     Blessings, Pastor Steve   <><

ARTICLE
California Bill Will Outlaw Churches Helping People Out Of LGBT Lifestyle

The state of California is close to passing a law that would use consumer protection regulations to control the information presented by churches under the guise of protecting Californians from fraud.

Bill AB 2943, which has passed several rounds of committee votes and amendments as well as the assembly and will be voted on by the state senate on June 25th, would specifically ban any religious organization from providing assistance to those struggling with gender identity.

The law cites the American Psychiatric Association, as well as several other organizations, to claim that there is no evidence that adults can change their gender orientation and that attempts to do so may be harmful. The law argues that since there is no evidence that the services offered by the church are effective, then charging individuals for such therapy amounts to fraud.

In doing so, they have plunged the state deeply into issues of sexuality, individual freedom to choose and religious liberty. The law would ban anyone from offering sexual orientation change services or the materials, print or otherwise, in conjunction with such services.

While this is not likely to result in the banning of Bibles, a strict reading of the law would allow for such a ban the moment one is used to counsel someone on God’s plan for sexual morality. Luis Javier Ruiz, a survivor of the 2016 massacre at The Pulse, a gay night club in Orlando, has joined the voices speaking out against this law.

Following the tragedy, Ruiz left behind a life of homosexual hedonism with the help of God’s Word, but he is worried that others will be prevented from getting the same help.

“If they pass that bill in California, it will take away the rights of counselors, pastors and people that want to give you guidance on coming out of homosexuality.” he told The Christian Post. “I came to Christ through the Word of God. I came to Christ over Godly counsel, pastors, people prayed me through,” and he fears that this law will prevent others from getting the same help he did.

The president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, Reverend Dr. Samuel Rodríguez, has spoken out on the use of this bill to discriminate against Christians and the LGBT community in California. The reverend didn’t mince words when he said that “California’s AB-2943 is the most egregious, tone-deaf, and discriminatory example of anti-religious legislation that I have witnessed in all my years of ministry. I am deeply troubled that this profoundly flawed bill has already passed the California Assembly and now sits with the Senate.”

Several young adult conferences have already been canceled in California, such as those held by Summit Ministries, out of fear for how they may be attacked legally for teaching the Bible, and ministries across the state are now afraid that sermons from the pulpit may open them up to lawsuits, discrimination and smear campaigns.

The idea that if the state of California isn’t convinced your beliefs are both true and effective, it can prosecute you, flies in the face of the core concepts of religious liberty as well as freedom of expression and association. Jim Domen, now a Christian pastor who was saved by the Word of God from a lifestyle of spiraling depression and social alienation caused by his struggles with the homosexual life-style, has also called out the legislature for “trying to silence the power of Jesus Christ.”

Domen sees the bill as the government “controlling how we identify sexually,” and far from protecting the rights of the LGBT community is instead cutting off their right to choose; to decide to seek the help of the Church and of God.

These are men and women who have experienced the misery and confusion surrounding issues of sexual identity and come to the other side with the help of the Church and of God and they know firsthand the harm this bill will do to Californians. Shouldn’t we listen to those who have benefited from the efforts of dedicated pastors and Christian counselors and allow individuals to make their own decisions?

Other more libertarian voices, such as Rob Dreher who writes for The American Conservative, warns of the chilling effect Bill 2943 will have on freedoms of thought when he writes, “I would be appalled if a pro-LGBT organization decided to cancel a conference in my conservative state because they legitimately feared that local prosecutors would charge them over what they intended to say at the conference. That’s not America, or at least not the kind of America I want to live in.”

Leave it to the government of California to legislate what religious and sexual beliefs are valid and which are forbidden. In support of the freedom to follow their own beliefs, a series of demonstrations called Freedom Marches is being organized as a gathering together of those who have put aside homosexual and transgender lifestyles.

Luis Javier Ruiz was in attendance in Washington D.C. near the Washington monument at the first march and began by asking those in the LGBT lifestyle to come back, come back to the church and back to God through repentance of a lifestyle that is not God’s best for them.

Read more at http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=2344#kO6cpCGSQY7OolP8.99

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Why The Episcopal Church Of England May Cut Ties With The American Episcopal Church – Apostasy

Episcopal Church Removes Terms Husband & Wife To Be More Gay-FriendlyNews Image

ARTICLE
Episcopal Church Removes Terms Husband & Wife To Be More Gay-Friendly

The American Episcopal Church has continued its process of radical liberalization by altering the standardized version of the marriage vows to remove any use of the terms “husband” and “wife” so as not to offend same-sex couples they marry.

Any references to procreation will also be removed in an effort to appease homosexual couples whose unions cannot produce children. Since the change is being adopted as a church-wide policy, its effect won’t be restricted only to the same-sex couples that are wed by the Episcopal Church, but will, instead, extend to all new couples.

The response to this move away from Biblical teachings and towards radical inclusiveness was met with a sharp response from the Church of England in October when the Secretary General William Nye wrote to the American church, asking them to re-evaluate their position or risk the Church of England cutting ties with the American church.

Now the church, in its efforts to appease gender activists, risks a further schism if it goes ahead with this proposed change to the wording in the Book of Common Prayer.

The U.K. newspaper, The Telegraph, reported, “The new service removes the phrase ‘the union of husband and wife’ and replaces it with ‘the union of two people’. It also replaces the section which talks about part of God’s intention for marriage being ‘for the procreation of children’, with the phrase ‘for the gift of children’, to make it more relevant for same-sex couples who may wish to adopt.”

Yet the Church of England is far from united in support of Biblical theology either, as 30 of the 483 members of the Anglican Church’s synod, including the Bishop of Buckingham, have declared themselves in support of the pro-homosexual changes in the Episcopal Church’s common prayer.

The opinions of these church officials are now in opposition to the Anglican Church’s official position, along with an Anglican LGBT advocacy group known as One Body One Faith.

One Body One Faith went so far as to write an open letter to Secretary Nye. In their letter, they condemn Nye for his traditional stance on Biblical teachings and call the pro-homosexuality policies of the American church “courageous, just and Christ-like.”

It refers to the Church of England’s support for traditional views on sexuality a “refusal to listen” and the “single biggest missional disaster of our generation,” and even goes so far as to refer to the Anglican church leadership as a “group of Christians who profess the love of Christ but seem incapable of recognizing it in the loving, committed, relationships of two people.”

The American Episcopal Church, loosely under the leadership of the Archbishop of Canterbury in the Anglican Church, has come under increased pressure from LGBT ‘Christians’ who claim that various aspects of doctrine and church tradition are offensive or discriminatory.

From openly LGBT priests serving in the church to fully embracing homosexual marriage, the Episcopal Church has quite rapidly shifted its stance on homosexuality from that of the Bible and Christian tradition to embracing a secular agenda of moral relativism.

With the rewriting of the church-wide marriage vows, this accommodation will be felt not just by LGBT members of the church, but by all who will now be reminded that references to wives, husbands and procreation are considered too Godly and too Biblical for the postmodern Episcopalian Church to tolerate.

Read more at http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=2330#WlWSsZdZfFkErB7h.99

School Shootings

I write this on Saturday, May 19, 2018, after the latest school shooting yesterday, at Santa Fe High School in southeast Houston, Texas.  This of course, occurred right on the heels of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.  (February 14, 2018).  How does the Christian react and make sense of this?  The interpretation is really very simple.  People who are lost in their sins and unbelievers, usually blame inanimate objects such as guns.  I have heard a plethora of stories of Johnny or Suzie taking their daddy’s pick up truck to school in the 1950’s with a loaded shot gun inside, and leaving the door unlocked.  Never was there a problem or a news report later on.

In the last sixty years, the landscape has changed.  Prayer and the Bible have been taken out of the public school system, and in many schools, the Koran would be more welcome than the Bible.  A news commentator said when he took his mother and grandmother out to lunch for Mother’s Day last Sunday, he noticed several children seated around him in a family setting, all playing violent video games.  This sets a wonderful foundation for violence to be acted out:  Proverbs 23:7a King James Version (KJV)  “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…”  Christianity has been erased from our schools, and the secular world and multiculturalism have replaced it.  How about another scripture, since God reveals the truth, the problems with mankind (sin) that lead to such tragedies, and the panacea (Jesus Christ):  Hosea 8:7a King James Version (KJV)
“For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind…”

When a nation has been blessed like America, and rejects God while satisfying our own lusts, the sins will be greater, and the consequences will be more severe.  Two of the greatest Old Testament leaders led Israel back to back, namely Moses and Joshua.  When Joshua died, one of the most awful books of the Bible was written – Judges, which is a history of Israel’s constant rebellion and punishment.  “Every man did that which was right in his own eyes.”  (Judges 21:25)

In our nation, the church is so “out to lunch,” that “Gay Marriage” and “LGBTQ” bathrooms are in vogue.  Perverted sex in every way, shape and form, is the “new normal.”  If you have a family based on the Lord’s plan in His Word, you may feel in the minority.  Violence and murder are taught to children through games, and the results with some of the youth, are acting out the games.  The recipe for disaster is an unpopular and ostracized youth who does not fit in.  He has no moral base of right and wrong, he has no restraints, and allows his wicked thoughts to become reality.  This is not hard to understand.  Then the Left immediately blames Harry the gunowner who simply takes advantage of his second amendment rights.

The cure?  Mankind is made in the image of God, hence we are spiritual beings.  We need to have a relationship with Him, or by default we will plummet into sin.  We need a new heart and to receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  It is that simple.  Psycobabble  in our schools will not help.  Eliminating guns will not help.  We need to turn back to our spiritual roots.  Jesus Christ is our only hope.

Because of Him, Pastor Steve  <><

Pray For Revival In America!

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The Cure   ~   Unspoken

Lyrics
We’re all related, brothers and strangers
The king and the beggar bleed the same
We’ve all got a sickness, a terminal condition
We medicate it but the pain won’t go away
See the eyes of a million faces
Looking for it in a million places
Only one can save us, Jesus
You are the cure
Everybody’s searching for it
Everybody’s reaching out
Trying to grab a hold of something real
You are the cure
Only you can satisfy us
Fill up the void inside us
Never been a heart you couldn’t heal
You are the cure
You are the doctor, healer and father
To the orphan without a home
We fell into darkness, lost till you found us
You are the remedy we’re looking for
You are the cure
Everybody’s searching for it
Everybody’s reaching out
Trying to grab a hold of something real
You are the cure
Only you can satisfy us
Fill up the void inside us
Never been a heart you couldn’t heal
You are the cure
Cure for the broken, the hope for a hopeless world
(You are the cure) The meaning, the purpose, the peace that will make us whole
Don’t have to search no more
Don’t have to search no more
You are the cure
Everybody’s searching for it
Everybody’s reaching out
Trying to grab a hold of something real
You are the cure
Only you can satisfy us
Fill up the void inside us
Never been a heart you couldn’t heal
You are the cure, cure
Never been a heart you couldn’t heal
You are the cure, cure
Never been a heart you couldn’t heal (you are the cure)
Songwriters: Jonathan Burton Lowry / Chad Michael Mattson / Christopher Stevens
The Cure lyrics © Capitol Christian Music Group

 

The Sword Of The Lord ~ Dr. Shelton Smith, Editor ~ February 23, 2018

Judges 7:20 King James Version (KJV)
And the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held the lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow withal: and they cried, The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon.

An Independent Christian Publication, Standing for the Verbal Inspiration of the Bible, the Deity of Christ, His Blood Atonement, Salvation by Faith, New Testament Soul Winning and the Premillennial Return of Christ; Opposing Modernism (Liberalism), Worldliness and Formalism.

Amen Corner

Dr. John R. Rice often said, “The best way to get rid of snakes is to stop feeding them.”  And the best way to get rid of liberals and modernists is to stop supporting them.  -Curtis Hutson

God has never had on His side a majority of men and women.  He does not need a majority to work wonders in history, but He does need a minority fully committed to Him.  In the world today, Christian stewardship is a necessity.  -Ernest Tittle

A profession of skepticism is often nothing more than the whistling of the boy as he goes through the churchyard and is afraid of ghosts and therefore “whistles hard to keep his courage up.”  They try to get rid of the thought of God because of that ghost of conscience which makes cowards of them all.  -Charles Spurgeon

A soul winner needs a broken heart.  The cold and callous sinner may be able to answer all your arguments and withstand all your pleas, but he has no argument against tears.  Tears are a magnet that must tug at the heart of the coldest and hardest of unbelievers.  -John R. Rice

A pastor met one of his delinquent members on the street.  “I haven’t seen you at church lately,” he reminded him.

“No,” was the reply, “we’ve had sickness, and then the weather has been so bad.  You know, it has rained and rained and rained.”

“But it’s always dry at church.”

“Yes,” came the answer, “and that’s another reason why I’ve not been coming!”

No church service should be dry, dull and lifeless.  Church was never meant to be entertaining, but it should be alive and vivid with the presence of God.             -Vance Havner

I’m always in haste but never in a hurry.  -John Wesley

Yet for all God’s good will toward us, He is unable to grant us our heart’s desires till all our desires have been reduced to one.  When we have dealt with our carnal ambitions; when we have trodden upon the lion and adder of the flesh, have trampled the dragon of self-love under our feet, and have truly reckoned ourselves to have died unto sin, then and only then can God raise us to newness of life and fill us with His blessed Holy Spirit.  -A.W. Tozer

Search thy friend for his virtues, thyself for thy faults.  -William Gurnall

I have had more trouble with myself than with any other man.  -D.L. Moody

All along the Christian course, there must be set up altars to God on which you sacrifice yourself; or you will never advance a step.  -Alexander Maclaren

When you sing your own praise, you always pitch the tune too high.

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Noteworthy News Headlines

Canadian Government Says Priest Has to Support Abortion to Qualify for Federal Program

Tax Funding Increasing, but Planned Parenthood Is Shrinking – and CEO Will Reportedly Resign

China Bombs Megachurch in Drive to Silence Christianity

Education Secretary DeVas Decries Public Education Failure

Does the University of Iowa Support Persecution of Christians?

Georgetown University Sets New Agenda on Gender and Sex Exploration

Netherlands Physicians Support Measure Allowing Doctors to Euthanize Children

Bolivia:  Christians Fear New Law May Land Them in Jail

Do-It-Yourself Faith on the Rise Via the Web, Study Finds

Sixty-Three Percent of U.S. Dads Say They Don’t Spend Enough Time With Their Kids

The Sword Of The Lord ~ Dr. Shelton Smith, Editor ~ February 9, 2018

Judges 7:20 King James Version (KJV)
And the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held the lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow withal: and they cried, The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon.

An Independent Christian Publication, Standing for the Verbal Inspiration of the Bible, the Deity of Christ, His Blood Atonement, Salvation by Faith, New Testament Soul Winning and the Premillennial Return of Christ; Opposing Modernism (Liberalism), Worldliness and Formalism.

 Amen Corner

The Christian need not expect to escape opposition.  As long as Satan stands to resist the sons of God, as long as the world and the flesh remain, the believing man will meet opposition.  -A.W. Tozer

Being a Christian is not a thing that goes by families but by individuals.  You are an American because your father is an American, but you are not a Christian because your father is a Christian.  -John R. Rice

The strength of a country is the strength of its religious convictions.  -Calvin Coolidge

Notwithstanding all that thou hast learned of Him, remember thou hast but read the child’s first primer; thou art as yet on one of the lower forms.  -Charles Spurgeon

One gem from this ocean [the Bible] is worth all the pebbles from earthly streams.  -Robert M. M’Cheyne

We cannot diminish the value of one category of human life – the unborn – without diminishing the value of all human life.  -Ronald Reagan

All that I know about salvation, I learned from the Bible: the way to Heaven, that I’m saved and assured of it, the promises of God’s Word, assurance that I will never be separated from the love of God in Christ Jesus, that I am going to be resurrected out of the grave one day – these are “a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path”  (Psalms 119:105).  -Harold Sightler

When you have to make a choice and don’t make it, that is in itself a choice.  -William James

You can run from God; but you cannot run away from God, for He is everywhere.  Jonah made that discovery!  -Vance Havner

You don’t get better to get saved; you get saved to get better.  You can’t get better until you get saved, for you have nothing to get better with.  -Curtis Hutson

God accepts obedience without emotion, but He cannot accept emotion without obedience.  -Maltbie D. Babcock

This Book will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from this Book.

 

Noteworthy News

Police Officer Rescues Eight-Year-Old From Icy Pond On Christmas Day

An eight-year old Utah boy is alive today because of the heroic actions of one Washington County Sheriff’s Office sergeant who heroically punched his way through an icy pond to save the boy who had fallen through.

The Christmas incident occurred after the young boy chased a dog who ran onto the water.  Another child who was with boy ran for help after the other boy had gone under the ice.

KSTU-TV reported…Sergeant Aaron Thompson, who was one of the first responders to arrive at the scene, entered the pond without any equipment and began punching through the ice in an attempt to save the boy….

I had to jump up on top of the ice, putting my weight on it, and then pound on it to get it to break,” [Thompson] said during a news conference.

Thompson said that when he was finally submerged in the pond, the level reached his neck, and he found the boy beneath the surface of the ice shortly thereafter….

Both the child and Thompson were taken to the hospital and treated.

-Sarah Taylor, theblaze.com

Editor’s Comments:  When you see a police officer, a fireman, an EMT, or other first responders, thank them for what they do every day.  If you happen to have a “fallen through the ice” event in your life, they will race with sirens blaring to get to you at whatever hour of the day or night it is.  A “thank you” isn’t all that much, but it does say a lot.

60,069,971 Abortions in America Since Roe v. Wade in 1973

The United States marks 45 years of legalized abortion in all fifty states at any time for any reason throughout pregnancy on January 22nd, the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision.  Since that time, there have been an estimated 60,069,971 abortions that have destroyed the lives of unborn children….

/the number means there are more than 3,657 abortions daily and 152 abortions per hour every hour in the United States.  -lifenews.com

Editor’s Comments:  There were 1,608,600 abortions in 1990, the peak year.  Today the number of abortions is approximately half that number.  Even one such barbaric butchering of a helpless infant would be tragic, but when you consider over 60 million!  No words can describe how absolutely insane it is!

Remembering Barbara Bush…

Sorry folks, I do not have the warm fuzzies when I ponder upon the Bush family, legacy and Christian faith.  The only words I heard about Barbara Bush in the spiritual realm were that “she had a strong belief in the afterlife.”  I have never heard anyone in the extended Bush household refer to THE Author of salvation, Jesus Christ.  Read James 2:19 New King James Version (NKJV):
“You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!”

The eulogy for this First Lady was dotted with words like iconic, public servant, matriarch and patriotic.  Conspicuously absent was any reference to a Christian woman.  In my opinion, the highest praise that can be lauded on any woman is the following:  Proverbs 31:30 English Standard Version (ESV)
“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”

Barbara Bush was given the familiar accolades that we have grown accustomed to, after her passing, but the fact of the matter is that “good people never go to heaven.”  Why is this?  Because we are all sinners:  Romans 3:23 King James Version (KJV)
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God…”  Romans 3:10 New King James Version (NKJV)
“As it is written: There is none righteous, no, not one…”

Here is the key to salvation:  Hebrews 9:22 King James Version (KJV)
“And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission (of sins).”

Prescott Bush, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush, are all globalists who seek the New World Order (NWO), and the so called Two State Solution, whereas Israel would forfeit the little land she has.  Christians would never do such a thing because we believe Genesis 12:3-

Genesis 12:3 New King James Version (NKJV)

“I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

Amazingly, the crude and sometimes bombastic Donald Trump seems to understand the need to support Israel better than the “refined” Bush family.  Trump’s support of Israel may prolong the longevity of the United States of America!  This gives real meaning to the old adage:  “We will be surprised by who we do see in heaven and by who we do not see in heaven.”  Amen and amen.

If you do some research, you will find that Prescott Bush supported the Nazi Party in Germany, prior to the United States entering World War II, and George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush were members of the Skull and Bones Society at Yale University.  George H.W. Bush’s nickname was “Magog.”  Enough said…

We Christians should never judge another, as far as where one spends eternity.  But given the lack of evidence of understanding that salvation is “by grace through faith,” and the lack of even the mere mention of the name of Jesus Christ, does not give us a good feeling about where one will spend eternity.  Patriotism and love of country will not enable one to go to heaven.  One must be born from above and place their faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

Acts 4:12 King James Version (KJV)
“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

Salvation Comes Solely through the blood of Christ, Do Not Leave Earth Without It!

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Pray For Revival In America!

 

In America, The Perverted Is The New Normal

Illinois lawmakers advance bill requiring schools to teach LGBT history

Illinois lawmakers advance bill requiring schools to teach LGBT history

Illinois state senators have advanced a bill that would require public schools to teach a unit on important LGBT individuals and history.
The Education committee endorsed the measure on Tuesday by an 8-2 vote, The Associated Press reported.
If the measure is enacted, Illinois would become the second state to require an inclusive LGBT curriculum.

Last year, California became the first state to use LGBT-inclusive history textbooks.

“People need to see their history to understand that they are a part of our society,” Illinois state Sen. Heather Steans (D) said after sponsoring the bill.
The proposal would mandate that elementary and high schools teach a unit studying “the role and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the history of this country and this State.”
School boards would be allowed to determine how much instructional time is spent on the subject.
It would highlight the work of prominent figures who were LGBT, according to the AP report.
“People learn about Jane Addams, [the recognized founder of the social work profession in the United States], for example, but don’t know she’s a lesbian,” said Brian Johnson, CEO of the LGBT organization Equality Illinois. “We don’t think there is true justice for the LGBT community unless we can learn about our history.”
The bill is not too different from current laws that require students learn about other groups such as African-Americans, Hispanics and Asian-Americans.
Conservative groups have pushed back against the measure, calling for schools to add dissenting voices of people who oppose “the homosexual movement.”
“The left’s motive is what it always is: it is to normalize homosexuality,” said Laurie Higgins with the Illinois Family Institute, a Christian organization.
Johnson argued the legislation is meant to counteract the negativity LGBT students already face.
“We think all students are better off when we teach them the full breadth of history,” he said. “It makes them more likely to understand that a diverse cast has contributed to our society.”

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I hope folks realize that the above paragraph equates the rights and equality of various racial and ethnic groups, to the acceptance of sexually perverted life styles!  This is totally convoluted logic!  Once this nation has left her Judeo Christian base, there is absolutely no end to the debauchery and abominations that are already here and on the horizon.  Home schooling and private Christian Schooling are no longer options!  I would rather live on a diet of beans and rice than subject our God given children and grandchildren to this abomination of a secular curriculum!  Blessings, Pastor Steve  <><

Pray For Revival In This Sin Sick Nation!  Jesus Christ Is Our Only Hope…

Despised For All Of This ~ Holy Week ~ Resurrection Day

Despised for All of This
Our Daily Bread

Despised for All of This
April 1, 2018
Read: Isaiah 53:3–12
Bible in a Year: Judges 13–15; Luke 6:27–49

He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.—Isaiah 53:12
Susannah Cibber gained fame in the eighteenth century for her talent as a singer. However, she was equally well known for her scandalous marital problems. That’s why when Handel’s Messiah was first performed in Dublin in April 1742, many in the audience did not approve of her role as a featured soloist.
During that inaugural performance, Cibber sang of the Messiah: “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3 kjv). Those words so moved Rev. Patrick Delany that he jumped to his feet and said, “Woman, for this be all thy sins forgiven thee!”
The connection between Susannah Cibber and the theme of Handel’s Messiah is evident. The “man of sorrows”—Jesus the Messiah—was “despised and rejected” because of sin. The prophet Isaiah said, “My righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities” (v. 11).
The connection between Messiah and us is no less apparent. Whether we stand with the judgmental audience members, with Susannah Cibber, or somewhere in between, we all need to repent and receive God’s forgiveness. Jesus, by His life, death, and resurrection, restored our relationship with God our Father.
For this—for all Jesus did—be all our sins forgiven. —Tim Gustafson
Father in heaven, we all stand in need of Your forgiveness. We stand too in awe of Your Son Jesus, who was despised and rejected for our sins. Thank You for coming to us in Jesus 2,000 years ago so that we might know You now.
Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Revelation 19:6 kjv

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HAPPEASTER!

The Via Dolorosa ~ Holy Week

The Via Dolorosa
Our Daily Bread

The Via Dolorosa
March 30, 2018

Read: Hebrews 10:1–10
Bible in a Year: Judges 9–10; Luke 5:17–39

We have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.—Hebrews 10:10
During Holy Week, we remember the final days before Jesus’s crucifixion. The road Jesus traveled to the cross through the streets of Jerusalem is known today as the Via Dolorosa, the way of sorrows.
But the writer of Hebrews viewed the path Jesus took as more than just a path of sorrows. The way of suffering that Jesus willingly walked to Golgotha made a “new and living way” into the presence of God for us (Hebrews 10:20).
For centuries the Jewish people had sought to come into God’s presence through animal sacrifices and by seeking to keep the law. But the law was “only a shadow of the good things that are coming,” for “it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (vv. 1, 4).
Jesus’s journey down the Via Dolorosa led to His death and resurrection. Because of His sacrifice, we can be made holy when we trust in Him for the forgiveness of our sins. Even though we aren’t able to keep the law perfectly, we can draw near to God without fear, fully confident that we are welcomed and loved (vv. 10, 22).
Christ’s way of sorrow opened for us a new and living way to God. —Amy Peterson
Jesus, thank You for walking the way of sorrow and making a way for us to be reconciled to God.

Christ’s sacrifice was what God desired and what our sin required.

INSIGHT: In Romans 3:9-23 Paul describes how we are all sinners. Because of our sins we deserve God’s wrath (1:18). But God showed us how much He loved us by giving His Son to be the “sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood” (3:25). We are all “justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (v. 24). Even though we still sin, we are justified, reconciled, and sanctified. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, who dwells within us, we can live holy lives. K. T. Sim