Joseph Baity, reflecting on the fiasco of last week's electronic malfunction, threatening to destroy a successful transmission of services, observes that although each factor in the breakdown could have been successfully dealt with individually, a perfect storm of many glitches made the system vulnerable and exposed. Like the Apollo I disaster in which a freak fire consumed the lives of three astronauts, all the eventualities had been supposedly tested and retested ad-infinitum with no reason to suspect anything potentially foreboding. Colonel Frank Borman concluded that the real cause of the disaster was "failure of the imagination" on the part of all involved. Likewise in our Christian lives, we are admonished to think carefully, considering all our ways and the potential effects of ignoring the instructions of God's Law. We live in an era in which God, slowly but surely, is removing His protective hedge from physical Israel, a venue in which we live and work. If we try to conceal our sins, God will forcefully expose our nakedness and shame. We should never trust in eternal security , but fully use the cognitive abilities God has given us, as well as His implanted Holy Spirit, to carefully examine who and what we are, especially in our unique place in history. If we fail to do this, we are flying blind, oblivious to the potential perils around us. Do we know God? Can we see Him? We need to deal with our weaknesses before we are painfully exposed to the world and each other.
John Ritenbaugh reiterates the emotional state of the American people, especially those who understand the seriousness of the times, averring his conviction that they will never see good times again, but will fall more and more into a permanent condition of hopelessness . God's called-out ones can feel the relentless pressures of the prince of the power of the air as he works to wear out the saints. We cannot afford to lose our focus as the pressures rise, but must be thankful for the heads-up of the Olivet Prophecy, which gives us cautions and signposts on our spiritual journey. We are not guaranteed a pass to a place of safety, but are subject to what God has planned for our life-script and repertoire of experiences. Only one of Christ's disciples escaped martyrdom; we must be willing to do what God has purposed for us, realizing that God will always supply our needs for the situation, even the wherewithal to endure martyrdom. Our Christian journey is not going to be a walk in the park. During these critical times, when judgment is out on God's church, it behooves us to emulate Olympic athletes such as Simone Manuel, who submitted to super-rigorous discipline of muscles and mind in order to qualify to participate in the 2016 Olympic games. Drawing a spiritual analogy, we must decide whether we want to commit to the goal presented by our calling. Our primary goal, as Christ the Revelator presents it to the seven churches of Revelation, is to overcome, to displace our carnality with spiritual behavior. Once we commit. we must be highly disciplined, never losing focus, while at the same time being aware of distractions which could severely retard our overcoming. Faith, hope and love are spiritual gifts which safeguard us from discouragement and depression, giving us a mature perspective which will last eternally.
David C. Grabbe: In Luke 6:46-49, Jesus begins a passage, asking, “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?” He finishes His thought with the metaphor of a man building a house ...
Joseph Baity, reflecting on mankind's desire to see into the future with a desire to control what is to come, realizing that knowing a future outcome can take the hazard out of decision-making, suggests that organizations which can predict future outcomes are considered visionary and worthy of respect. For those of us without this savvy, we are forced to hedge our bets, realizing there could be alternate outcomes and possibilities. Hedging consists of protecting us from harm by performing a counterbalancing action. The world of finance has always provided the strategy of hedging investments to minimize risks. Hedging always comes at a price; it is never free. In the chaotic fracturing of our nation into countless factions. Survivalism, a movement which originated in the 1930's, has been growing in adherents ever since. The dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan, and the ensuing insane nuclear arms buildup, Y2K, and 9-11 have greatly augmented the emerging survivalist mentality. Survivalists, or preppers, are preparing for the disruption of natural social order and its services by stockpiling food, medical supplies, as well as weapons and ammunition, in order to become self-sufficient and to survive a catastrophe. The survivalists have always attracted evangelicals, rebels, and control freaks inclined to join militias, skeptical of everything they hear or read, all of which make up a mindset which protects themselves from the normalcy bias. As the world becomes more chaotic, more and more people seem to be glomming on to basic survivalist precautions such as storing seeds, electronic equipment, food and water, as well as " a bug out bag" for immediate evacuation purposes. Preppers are defensive about a stigma attached to survivalist tactics, retorting that "God always helps those who help themselves" (not a verse in the Bible), and that Noah was the first prepper. Noah was not trying to save his own skin, but was following God's orders as an unselfish example of faith. We cannot seek a carnal so
Many Christians today believe that killing in self-defense is sanctioned by the Bible. David Grabbe explains that this is a terrible misunderstanding of Christ's teaching.
Is God sovereign over angels? mankind? John Ritenbaugh explains that God's sovereignty is absolute as He directs events toward the culmination of His plan.
The Berean: Daily Verse and Comment
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