VIDEO Where Socialism Leads…

For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. Isaiah 11:9

In 2013, many liberal thinkers boasted in the apparent success of the socialist government of Venezuela. Journalist David Sirota said the U.S. should envy the work of Hugo Chávez, and celebrities celebrated his socialist cause—celebrities like Sean Penn, Danny Glover, Oliver Stone, and Michael Moore. But constitutional rights were suspended in 2016, and now a third of the citizens of Venezuela don’t have enough food to eat. Nearly one in five are eating garbage. Over five million people have fled, and Americans who set foot in Venezuela are subject to kidnapping and extortion.

Why is socialism so attractive to so many people? It eventually turns governments into gods. Socialism ultimately fails because productivity declines when one person’s labor is given to another. God’s Word values the importance of work and the integrity of God-given rights.

One day Jesus Christ will govern the world, and His knowledge will touch every life. Until then, let’s work hard to be productive, and let’s guard ourselves against destructive philosophies.

The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money. Margaret Thatcher


Socialism – A Cultural Prophecy | Dr. David Jeremiah

The Greatest Teacher

Who was it that taught [the Lord] knowledge? Isaiah 40:14

“I don’t get it!” My daughter slapped her pencil down on the desk. She was working on a math assignment, and I’d just begun my “job” as a homeschooling mom/teacher. We were in trouble. I couldn’t recall what I’d learned thirty-five years ago about changing decimals into fractions. I couldn’t teach her something I didn’t already know, so we watched an online teacher explain the skill.

As human beings, we’ll struggle at times with things we don’t know or understand. But not God; He’s the all-knowing One—the omniscient One. Isaiah wrote, “Who can . . . instruct the Lord as his counselor? Whom did the Lord consult to enlighten him, and who taught him the right way? Who was it that taught him knowledge, or showed him the path of understanding?” (Isaiah 40:13–14). The answer? No one!

Humans have intelligence because God created us in His own image. Still, our intelligence is just an inkling of His. Our knowledge is limited, but God knows everything from eternity past to eternity future (Psalm 147:5). Our knowledge is increasing today with the aid of technology, but we still get things wrong. Jesus, however, knows all things “immediately, simultaneously, exhaustively and truly,” as one theologian put it.

No matter how much humans advance in knowledge, we’ll never surpass Christ’s all-knowing status. We’ll always need Him to bless our understanding and to teach us what’s good and true.

By:  Jennifer Benson Schuldt

Reflect & Pray

In what types of situations are you thankful for God’s omniscience? How does knowing that Jesus understands everything encourage you?

Jesus, I praise You as the One who knows everything. Teach me what You want me to learn, and help me to love You with all my mind.

No Condemnation

Romans 7:15-25, Romans 8:1

We can all relate to Paul’s dilemma in today’s passage. These verses describe the internal struggle we have with sin, even after salvation. When we give in to temptation, we’re often plagued by feelings of condemnation and may wonder if God has abandoned us. That’s why Romans 8:1 is such a comforting “Therefore there is now no condemnation at all for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

When the Savior went to the cross on our behalf, He lifted the guilt and penalty for sin from our shoulders and made us righteous. Our sins are wiped clean, and we are chosen and loved by God. Condemnation is reserved for those who reject the Lord, not for those who have been reconciled to God by the Savior (John 3:36).

If you experience feelings of rebuke, they are not from the Lord but from the devil who accuses us. To realign our thinking with the Father’s, we need to fill our mind with the truth of Scripture and remember that He never condemns those who belong to Him. Satan whispers lies, but God’s Word always speaks truth. So rely on it and thank the Lord for loving and saving you.

The Indwelling Trinity

“That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.” (Ephesians 3:16-19)

This prayer of the apostle Paul applies to us as well as “to the saints which are at Ephesus” (Ephesians 1:1). Paul directs his prayer “unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (3:14), and he requests both that “Christ may dwell in your hearts” and also that the Holy Spirit would strengthen our “inner man.” We know elsewhere that Christ is at the right hand of the Father in heaven (Ephesians 1:20) so that the Holy Spirit is the person who actually indwells our bodies as believers. And yet, because God is a triune God, if the Holy Spirit indwells us, so also must “the Spirit of Christ” or else “he is none of his” (Romans 8:9).

But the prayer doesn’t end with Christ dwelling in our hearts. He further prays that “ye might be filled with all the fulness of God,” and thus the Father is there too! When we accept Christ, we accept also the Father and the Holy Spirit, for the three are one, and God in all His triune fullness thenceforth lives in our bodies.

The Lord Jesus Himself had prayed essentially the same prayer. “I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth;…and my Father will love [you], and we will…make our abode with [you]” (John 14:16-17, 23). What a priceless privilege and responsibility is ours as believers that our triune God of creation and redemption and direction is with us always! HMM

Your Word Is A Lamp Unto My Feet

Nun

Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path. I have solemnly sworn to keep Your righteous judgments. I am severely afflicted; Lord, give me life through Your word. Lord, please accept my willing offerings of praise, and teach me Your judgments. My life is constantly in danger, yet I do not forget Your instruction. The wicked have set a trap for me, but I have not wandered from Your precepts. I have Your decrees as a heritage forever; indeed, they are the joy of my heart. I am resolved to obey Your statutes to the very end (Psalm 119 vv. 105—112).

How well I remember taking my son, D. J., on a camping trip to northern Michigan. Just the two of us, a small tent, a crackling fire, some fishing poles, and a raft! Wanting to spend quality time with my son, I left my books at home. But just before we went to sleep, D.J. pulled out a flashlight and a book he had brought along! In the pitch dark the glow of the campfire and the beam from the flashlight gave us all the light we needed.

Without the searchlight of God’s Word, we’d be left to flounder in the dark, looking for the way. But his law points out the snares of the wicked, and we can avoid stumbling into their traps.

The psalmist continues to take his life in his hands; but he has vowed to follow God’s righteous decrees, so there is nothing to fear from visible or invisible foes. While the darkness closes in, he has the enlightenment of the Word and cannot stray from these rocklike precepts (v. 110).

Not only does this ancient one have light for his present difficulties, but God’s statutes are his “heritage forever.” He can look forward to life in the light now and throughout eternity. As a result, he offers the “willing offerings of praise” of his mouth (v. 108) and obedience to the Word “to the very end” (v. 112).

What the psalmist did not have was an intimate relationship with the Light of the world, who came to banish darkness forever. I walk in the increased illumination of the Messiah!—the prophecy fulfilled!

Personal Prayer

O Lord, I thank you for sending Christ, the living Word, who walks with me to point out hidden dangers and to shepherd me through the canyons and ravines of my life.

Meeting the Person

My goal is to know Him and the power of His resurrection.—Philippians 3:10

It must not be assumed that the study of Scripture and the contemplation of the principles that God has built into His Word are unimportant. They most certainly are. But let us be on our guard that we do not fall into the trap of contemplating the principles that God has built into the universe more than God Himself.

I have often seen students of Scripture fall into this trap when, in reading their Bible, the only things that get their attention are the principles that relate to godliness. They underline them in their Bible, mark alongside them other Scriptural references, and think that by doing this they are growing spiritually. The problem, however, is that only the principles of daily personal godliness capture their interest; their heavenly Father does not.

Imagine treating a love letter that way: identifying and underlining the principles, reflecting on the profundity of some of the insights, marveling at the clarity of the language and yet missing the main purpose of the letter—romantic passion and love. Yet this is the way some people approach the Bible. Our aim in studying the nature and character of God must be to know God better (not merely know His Word better), and we must seek to enlarge our acquaintance not simply with the characteristics of His nature, but with the living God whose characteristics they are.

Prayer

O God, help me never to approach the Bible content to know only the written Word. Give me a passion that never remains satisfied until, through the written Word, I discover more of the living Word. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Further Study

Rv 2:1-7; 2Co 5:14

What was the church in Ephesus commended for?

Why was this insufficient?

What’s For Dinner

1 Peter 5:8

A hunter who lost a prized hound dog in Blackwater State Park near Pensacola, Florida returned to the park hoping to home in on the hound’s electronic tracking collar. Deep in the swamp he and several companions picked up a faint beep. It increased in intensity until they came face to face with a 10-foot alligator.

When an alligator catches its prey, it doesn’t run it down like a lion and eat it in great pieces. Rather, it clamps down on the victim while dragging it into the water to drown. Leaving the corpse underwater, the gator can go back to finish eating at his leisure.

One of the most graphic images of Satan is found in 1 Peter 5:8: “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion [or alligator] looking for someone to devour.” He is not pictured in comical fashion—with horns and pitchfork—but as a beast looking for prey. People, not hound dogs, are the entree of choice.

Like a hungry gator, Satan does not swallow us whole. Instead he catches us with small sins that become patterns of rebellious behavior as he takes larger and larger bites. Finally, at his leisure, he finishes us, devouring all that we could have been, but now will never be.

Satan does not just want us humbled, humiliated, depressed or discouraged. He does not just want us beaten—he wants us eaten!

But the good news is “The One who is in you (Holy Spirit) is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). The believer whose sins are forgiven will experience a physical death, but will never again be subject to the spiritually carnivorous nature of Satan and sin.

“The sting of death is sin and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:54-57). Let us stay close to the Savior for His forgiveness and constant protection.

A. Kenneth Wilson, The War Cry