VIDEO Trump Declares Houses of Worship are Essential

(CNSNews.com) – President Donald Trump announced on Friday that he is issuing new guidance for churches through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to deem houses of worship as “essential.”

He ordered all churches, synagogues, and mosques to open now, adding that he is overruling the nation’s governors.

“At my direction, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is issuing guidance for communities of faith. I want to thank Dr. Redfield and the CDC for their work on this matter, and all the other work they’ve been doing over the past what now seems like a long period of time,” the president said at a White House press briefing.

“Today I am identifying houses of worship, churches, synagogues, and mosques, as essential places that provide essential services. Some governors have deemed the liquor stores and abortion clinics as essential, but have left out churches and other houses of worship. It’s not right. So, I’m correcting this injustice and calling houses of worship essential,” Trump said.

“I call upon governors to allow our churches and places of worship to open right now. If there’s any question, they’re going to have to call me, but they’re not going to be successful in that call. These are places that hold our society together and keep our people united. The people are demanding to go to church, and synagogue, or to their mosque. Many millions of Americans embrace worship as an essential part of life,” he said.

“The ministers, pastors, rabbis, imams, and other faith leaders will make sure that their congregations are safe as they gather and pray. I know them well. They love their congregations. They love their people. They don’t want anything bad to happen to them or to anybody else,” the president said.

“The governors need to do the right thing and allow these very important essential places of faith to open right now. For this weekend. If they don’t do it, I will override the governors. In America, we need more prayer, not less,” Trump concluded.

https://cnsnews.com/article/washington/melanie-arter/trump-identifying-houses-worship-essential

Take Your Tears to God

My eyes will flow unceasingly, without relief, until the Lord looks down from heaven and sees. Lamentations 3:49–50

Last summer, an orca named Talequah gave birth. Talequah’s pod of killer whales was endangered, and her newborn was their hope for the future. But the calf lived for less than an hour. In a show of grief that was watched by people around the world, Talequah pushed her dead calf through the cold waters of the Pacific Ocean for seventeen days before letting her go.

Sometimes believers in Jesus have a hard time knowing what to do with grief. Perhaps we fear that our sorrow might look like a lack of hope. But the Bible gives us many examples of humans crying out to God in grief. Lament and hope can both be part of a faithful response.

Lamentations is a book of five poems that express the sorrow of people who have lost their home. They’ve been hunted by enemies and were near death (3:52–54), and they weep and call on God to bring justice (v. 64). They cry out to God not because they have lost hope, but because they believe God is listening. And when they call, God does come near (v. 57).

It’s not wrong to lament the broken things in our world or in your life. God is always listening, and you can be sure that God will look down from heaven and see you.

By:  Amy Peterson

How can you practice bringing all your emotions to God? When have you felt God draw near to you in your sadness?

Loving God, help us to remember that it’s right to lament wrongness before we can begin to change it.

To learn more about what Lamentations says about pain, visit christianuniversity.org/OT221.

How to Reach Your Own Goals

1 Kings 5:1-12; 1 Kings 6:38

 

When setting goals, here are five things to consider:

Cooperation is needed. First, we cooperate with God by agreeing to His plan. Second, we enlist the cooperation of others, starting with prayer support.

Reaching a goal requires consistency. Since God is involved in establishing our goals, we can remain fixed on accomplishing them. Even if others discourage us, we stay the course as the Lord has asked.

Clear focus means staying fixed on our purpose. By remembering that God set the goal for us, we will not allow others to change our direction.

Courage is often necessary to reach a God-given goal. Being courageous involves a willingness to take action without knowing the outcome—and we can do that because it is God who asks. As we deepen our trust in Him, boldness will come.

Developing a lifestyle of dependence on God is important. When aiming for a goal, it’s easy to rely on our own strength and forget about leaning on God. True success requires dependence.

These items aren’t a standard by which to measure ourselves; they’re pointers to help us move in the right direction. If you’re not sure how best to set and reach goals, seek out someone with experience and be open what God might teach you through him or her.

 

Victor’s Crown

“And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.” (1 Corinthians 9:25)

Ancient athletes who “strove for the mastery” devoted their whole lives to training and were “temperate in all things,” hoping thereby to receive the victor’s crown someday.

There are 21 references to the victor’s crown in the New Testament, in either the verb or noun form. In most of these, the crown is used as a symbol of the Christian’s “incorruptible” reward at the end of his spiritual race.

In 1 Thessalonians 2:19, it is called a “crown of rejoicing,” speaking of the joy awaiting the faithful witness when he meets again with those he has influenced for Christ in this present life. Paul spoke of our “crown of righteousness” (2 Timothy 4:8) when we shall be “like him” (1 John 3:2), with our old sinful weaknesses and desires gone forever. Peter said it would be a “crown of glory that fadeth not away” (1 Peter 5:4). James and John both said it is a wonderful “crown of life” (James 1:12; Revelation 2:10), that is, eternal life, in contrast to this present life of faithful submission to trials and persecution and possible death, for Christ’s sake.

The first four references to this victor’s crown, however, refer to the crown worn by Christ Himself. “Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man!” (John 19:5).

Marvelous irony this, that a crown intended as an instrument of ridicule and pain would be transformed into a kingly crown of triumph! “But we see Jesus…crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man” (Hebrews 2:9). In the very suffering of death, He defeated death and sin and Satan himself, and His crown of thorns became a crown of eternal glory and universal honor. HMM

No Nibbling at the Truth

Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.

—Acts 20:26-27

 

This is one of the marks of our modern time—that many are guilty of merely “nibbling” at the truth of the Christian gospel.

I wonder if you realize that in many ways the preaching of the Word of God is being pulled down to the level of the ignorant and spiritually obtuse; that we must tell stories and jokes and entertain and amuse in order to have a few people in the audience? We do these things that we may have some reputation and that there may be money in the treasury to meet the church bills….

In many churches Christianity has been watered down until the solution is so weak that if it were poison it would not hurt anyone, and if it were medicine it would not cure anyone!   ITB030-031

Lord, don’t ever let me be guilty of watering down the truth or playing to the crowds, concerned about my “reputation” or “money in the treasury.” Amen.

 

The Silent Dove

And, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him.

—Matthew 3:16

 

God waits for your faith and your love, and He doesn’t ask whose interpretation of Scripture you have accepted. The New Testament tells of believers who met and prayed together, the strong taking the burdens of the weak, and all praying for those who had fallen. The place was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost.

“Pay no attention to that,” we have been told by “interpreters.” “That is not for us.” So it has been ruled out by interpretation and the blessed Dove has been forced to fold His wings and be silent.

Our hearts tell us that these modern scribes who are long on interpretation are wrong in spirit. Our own longing souls tell us that the old saints and hymn writers and the devotional giants were right! ITB119-120

 

Come, Holy Spirit, heavenly Dove,

With all Thy Quickening powers;

Come shed abroad a Saviour’s love;

And that shall kindle ours. HCL140

 

A General’s Resource

2 Corinthians 4:16

 

As a lad in Australia, I was converted as unexpectedly as was Saul on the Damascus road. My life was turned upside down and inside out by the convicting and saving power of the Holy Spirit. Responding to the voice that spoke in my soul I yielded, thus taking the first step in a career which has grown more and more dependent upon the guidance of God as it has developed beyond my wildest imaginings [George Carpenter was General of The Salvation Army from 1939 to 1946].

Were I not able to ask for this strength and guidance, and to receive it, I should never have the resolution to face the demands which any one day now brings to me. But as I awake in the morning I can, and do, know the sense of God’s presence. So I come to my desk to spread my affairs before God, and throughout each day I am conscious that His Spirit is with me.

He illuminates the Word of God. As I read, my heart is suddenly warmed, my mind sees deeper import in a truth with which I have been familiar for years. Often one word or text is, as it were, carried before me through the hours.

He gives me to see the inward significance of my daily business. Perhaps more than any would suppose, I am called upon to deal with matters not usually regarded as spiritual matters of business, finance, property and personal affairs. But the Holy Spirit reminds me that all these things are tools to be used skillfully and reverently for the building of the kingdom of God. He gives me patience with myself, with others and with the unending frustrations of each day. He warms my heart, averting the ever-present danger of a cold professionalism.

To His glory alone I would say that He does direct, control and suggest each day. Sometimes I want to get on more quickly, to see the road ahead. Especially do I find need for patience and faith because of war-time hindrances to make contact with our worldwide forces. By day and by night I seek for wisdom in the matters to which God has called me.

He keeps before me the vision which won my heart as a youth. I cannot thank Him enough for this constant renewing. Let no one imagine that, because of divine aid, life for me is merely like riding on an escalator up to mansions in the skies. Life is warfare. I have to struggle. I know the effects of unceasing strain upon brain and heart and body. The flight of time appalls me; the battle with human sins and frailties burdens me. But in the darkest hour there is still the unquenchable conviction that if I trust God and seek only to do His will I shall come out all right.

George Carpenter, War Cry