‘My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up. (Psalm 5:3)
Bible study, meditation on the Word, and prayer are necessities for a healthy Christian life and are good to practice at any time of the day or night, according to the constraints of time and responsibilities of each individual. Other things being equal, however, the best time of all is in the early morning. A believer who awakens each morning to the voice of the Lord in His Word will, in turn, be ready to speak words of blessing to others through the day (Isaiah 50:4). And as we, in turn, look up to Him each morning in prayer, He will hear and direct our steps through the day.
This was the example set by the Lord Jesus Himself: “And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed” (Mark 1:35). If even Jesus Christ needed such a quiet time early in the morning set aside to fellowship with His Father, we also would do well to follow.
Note the prayer of David: “Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee” (Psalm 143:8). We urgently need to know the way we should walk each day, for it is so easy to get turned aside into our own ways, and the obvious time to pray for guidance is at the very beginning of every day.
One should not make a legalistic ritual of prayer and Bible meditation, of course, for it should come from a heart of love whenever and wherever it can be done, whether morning or evening. However it may work for each person, may God help us to say with the psalmist: “O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day”’https://www.icr.org/article/13016/?utm_source=phplist9629&utm_medium=email&utm_content=HTML&utm_campaign=October+13+-+Meditation+in+the+Morning
- Christians in apostasy are as a wrecked ship.
“…concerning faith have made shipwreck”. 1 Timothy 1:19
- A ship’s rudder is like the tongue.
“Behold also the ships…Even so the tongue…”. James 3:4,5
- Salvation is like entering a haven.
“…he bringeth them…desired haven.” Psalm 107:30
- God’s throne is on the face of a sea.
“And before the throne…a sea of glass…”. Revelation 4:6
- The wicked are like the troubled sea.
“But the wicked are like the troubled sea…”. Isaiah 57:20
- Our sins are in the deepest sea.
“…cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.” Micah 7:19
- The Holy Spirit is like unto water.
“…whence then hast thou that living water?” John 4:10,11
- The Word washes like water.
“…the washing of water by the word”. Ephesians 5:26
- The gospel is as a net.
“… is like unto a net…”. Matthew 13:47
- A fish gave a man a ride.
“…a great fish to swallow up Jonah…”. Jonah 1:17
- Men are likened unto fish.
“And makest men as the fishes of the sea…”. Habakkuk 1:14
- A Christian is a fisherman.
“…fishers of men.” Matthew 4:19‘https://www.fomm.org/
“In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.” (Ephesians 1:7)
‘The attributes of God are characterized by the “riches of His grace.” This amazing grace led Him to shed His blood as the price of our redemption.
No wonder men have developed the familiar acrostic for GRACE—“God’s Riches at Christ’s Expense.” “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9).
Paul seems again and again to try to find descriptions for these riches. To the Romans he wrote of “the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering” (Romans 2:4) and of His plan to “make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of [his] mercy” (Romans 9:23). Speaking of God’s mercy, he exclaims, “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!” (Romans 11:33).
The inexhaustibility of these infinite depths of grace and mercy led Paul to call these attributes “the unsearchable riches of Christ” (Ephesians 3:8). Desiring that all believers might learn to appreciate the tremendous future they have in Christ, he prayed that “the eyes of your understanding being enlightened,” somehow we might come to appreciate even now “the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints” (Ephesians 1:18).
Yet, marvelously rich and full though His grace is now, there is much more to come. “God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ,…That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:4-5, 7).’https://www.icr.org/article/12954/?utm_source=phplist9554&utm_medium=email&utm_content=HTML&utm_campaign=September+15+-+The+Riches+of+His+Grace
Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”.
‘Could it be true that we have unwittingly been telling our young people that Christianity is irrelevant?
As I present the evidence for creation and explain to young people the problems with evolution, a similar pattern has emerged with each presentation. While the information is new to them, it rings true. Soon the questions start and they begin to realize that they have been misled by those teaching evolution. Before long, though I have not been encouraging resentment, many of them begin to feel angry that they have been misled by their teachers.
When I have finished, many of them surround me to ask more questions and make comments. The words of one young man sum up why they are so vitally interested. He told me, “I just wish that my older brother had heard this message a couple of years ago. I talked with him a lot, and I just know that if he knew the Bible had intelligent answers, he would not have left the church and hurt my parents so. In fact, until I heard you, I was ready to follow him.”
Other young people tell similar stories. They grew up learning about the creation and Adam and Eve in Sunday school. As they were exposed to evolution, they desperately wanted the Bible to offer an intelligent alternative to evolution. No one was there to offer it to them. Our silence seemed to confirm what evolution suggests – Christianity is outdated. Could it be that through our young people the Lord is telling us that we cannot be neutral or ignorant about the question of origins?’https://creationmoments.com/sermons/questioning-christian-youth-2/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=questioning-christian-youth-2&mc_cid=549bfdcd1b&mc_eid=00c1dcff3c
When preachers have to submit a letter to the leader of the nation for the religious freedom they once knew before the Wuhan Flu that nation is in trouble! However, that is exactly what has occurred. The Australian government is initiating a Health Passport for only those who have submitted to two shots of the trial Wuhan Flu vaccines before they are allowed the freedom to go to church. Hitler would be proud to call Australia Home!
‘To the Honourable Scott Morrison,
As Christian leaders, you should be aware that in accordance with scripture we regularly pray for “and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way” (1 Timothy 2:2).
We do write, however, to you regarding a matter of significant concern. Namely, the proposed introduction of ‘vaccine passports’ into Australian society. For many Christian leaders and Christians, this is an untenable proposal that would inflict terrible consequences on our nation.
We should initially note that we are not the first generation that has been confronted with the question of ‘vaccine passports.’ Writing in 1880, aware of the challenges that a smallpox epidemic brought to society, the Christian theologian Abraham Kuyper wrote,
“Vaccination certificates will therefore have to go… The form of tyranny hidden in these vaccination certificates is just as real a threat to the nation’s spiritual resources as a smallpox epidemic itself.”Kuyper, A. 2015. Our Program: A Christian Political Manifesto. (p. 249). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press; Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty.
Between 1901 and 1905, Abraham Kuyper would hold the office of the Prime Minister of the Netherlands. He evidently understood that a ‘vaccine passport’ would represent a measure that was equal to if not worse than an epidemic itself through the oppressive control over people’s lives. As Christian ministers, we would also agree with Kuyper’s analysis on such a measure, and for several reasons.
First, the government risks creating an unethical two-tiered society. While some individuals will receive the vaccination with thanks, others may have good and informed reasons for declining. One such reason is highlighted in the statement of the health minister Greg Hunt:
“The world is engaged in the largest clinical trial, the largest global vaccination trial ever, and we will have enormous amounts of data.”Australian Department of Health
Free citizens should have the right of consent, especially when the vaccine rollout has been labelled as a ‘clinical trial.’ Imposing a ‘vaccine passport’ when the nation is already divided on the matter risks the creation of medical apartheid. The result being that those who decline the vaccine are ostracised and alienated from aspects of public life. History has never reflected well for those who would promote segregation. As there has been no discussion that the precautionary measures will be retracted once the pandemic has concluded, there is a real concern that many of these measures will remain permanent. A ‘vaccine passport’ would therefore represent the dangerous precipice of a therapeutic totalitarianism that does not promote liberty and human flourishing, but would rather only dehumanise and control its citizens all under the cloak of personal health and safety.
Second, a good portion of the population are already burdened to the point of despair. Granted, we understand why our leaders felt compelled to lockdown in March 2020. The threat was unknown and our ability to withstand it, untested. However, it is now 2021, and the adverse effects of perpetual lockdowns are now being revealed. We understand needing to respond, but we are concerned with heavy-handed approaches that exceed people’s capacity to live a normal life. We are compelled to speak out on behalf of struggling people, the needy, the destitute, those being harmed by such strong measures (Proverbs 31:8-9).
The adverse effects of lockdowns are especially highlighted in the rise of people considering suicide. The ‘Journal of Psychiatric Research’ published a paper in July of 2021 based on research done on Melbourne’s extended 2020 lockdown, some of their findings are as follows,
“In September-2020, among 1157 Victorians, one-third reported anxiety or depressive disorder symptoms, one-fifth reported suicidal ideation, and one-tenth reported having seriously considered suicide in the prior 30 days. Young adults, unpaid caregivers, people with disabilities, and people with diagnosed psychiatric or sleep conditions showed increased prevalence of adverse mental health symptoms. Prevalence estimates of symptoms of burnout, anxiety, and depressive disorder were unchanged between April-2020 and September-2020. Persistently common experiences of adverse mental health symptoms despite low SARS-CoV-2 prevalence during prolonged lockdown highlight the urgent need for mental health support services.”Czeisler MÉ, Wiley JF, Facer-Childs ER, Robbins R, Weaver MD, Barger LK, Czeisler CA, Howard ME, Rajaratnam SMW. 2021. “Mental health, substance use, and suicidal ideation during a prolonged COVID-19-related lockdown in a region with low SARS-CoV-2 prevalence.” Journal of Psychiatric Research 140 (August): 533-544.
One in ten people considering suicide is a tragedy. As these lockdowns continue, it is evident that people are getting more desperate, with many people considering suicide as their means of escape. People are inherently social creatures, meant for human interaction and contact, not long-term isolation. But these policies are causing many people to feel lonely, and increasingly isolated.
In Japan, according to Japanese research, during their second lockdown “suicide rates increased by 49% among children and adolescents, and 37% among women.” The reason this information from Japan is relevant is because it shows that their second lockdown was far worse than their first on people’s mental health. We have been in cascading lockdowns for about 18 months now, this will be taking a toll.
This psychological effect is not theoretical. Another recent ABC news report documented the effects of lockdowns on alcohol consumption.
“1 in 5 Australians increased alcohol use during the lockdowns, “We know the statistics. We know that 93 per cent of hospital admissions at the weekend are alcohol-related. We know domestic violence is hugely related to alcohol consumption. We know it’s bad, and people are realising that.”ABC News
By changing the goalposts from the original objective of ‘two weeks to flatten the curve’ to now requiring a proposed ‘vaccine passport’ in order to live a normal life, the government is putting immeasurable pressures on ordinary people. If the ABC is correct and 20% of Australians are drinking more during lockdowns, What will be the societal cost of adding a ‘vaccine passport’ which will potentially alienate already desperate Australians and turn them into second class citizens.
Jesus tells Christians to count the cost, “For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?” (Luke 14:28). Jesus is here using a secular principle to make a spiritual point, and whether you are making a spiritual or secular decision you must count the cost. There are many people in our communities, not just in our churches, who are facing the costs of these policies and growing increasingly concerned about them.
Much more can be said on this point, the effects on missed cancer diagnoses and other illnesses by people staying home from the doctors, the effects on children’s missed and inconsistent education, youth graduating into a closed economy finding it difficult to find work. Poverty is the leading cause of poor life outcomes, and these lockdowns are pushing people financially to the brink. The addition of a ‘vaccine passport’ into Australian society may be the nail in the coffin to many people who are already at the point of desperation.
Third, conscience should never be coerced. The conscience is one of the innermost expressions that animates an individual, and that allows them to worship God as well as obey a legitimate governing authority. The conscience is the immediate contact of God’s presence in a person’s soul, and so an individual forced to act in a way that is objectionable to their conscience will never be at peace, either before God or before the state. A government that endeavours to force or coerce an individual who is striving to honour God, will find that they only encounter resistance. Regarding the need for a free conscience, Kuyper writes,
“Conscience is therefore the shield of the human person, the root of all civil liberties, the source of a nation’s happiness.”Kuyper, A. 2015. Our Program: A Christian Political Manifesto. (p. 73). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press; Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty.
A government should never coerce conscience, but rather respect the important function that it carries in aiding a person to worship God freely and live obediently before the state. As we have noted, Jesus commands Christians to count the cost, and many believers do not feel that we have all the information necessary to make a decision on this vaccine at this point in time. We respect that many people have made this calculation and decided it is best for them to get the vaccine that is their right, and we do not seek to abrogate it. But those who are not ready, or hesitant, are so for very valid reasons. Their conscience binds them to wait, and their Saviour advised them to not make decisions before they have counted the cost. This is a principle of wisdom, that everyone applies to many aspects of their lives. We would therefore ask that the Government not coerce the conscience of many Australians through the use of a ‘vaccine passport.’
Fourth, making vaccination the basis of participating in normal life would make no logical sense in terms of protecting others. A “CDC study shows 74% of people infected in Massachusetts Covid outbreak were fully vaccinated,” especially noting that four of those who were vaccinated were admitted to hospital. As we have said, we respect people’s right and choice to be vaccinated. But this type of data, published by America’s leading body of disease experts, causes people to wonder about the effectiveness of the vaccine along with concern about coercive measures by which to have it administered. As it is evident that vaccines do not prevent infection, to restrict a person’s access to society based on a medical choice is questionable.
Fifth, we as Christian leaders find it untenable that we would be expected to refuse entry into our churches to a subgroup of society based on their medical choice. Only our precious Saviour, Jesus Christ, has the authority to regulate the terms of corporate worship. These terms tell us that we are to make no distinction between those who call out in faith, neither on race nor medical choice. We are also under obligation to proclaim the gospel to all men. Our strongest conviction is that this gospel message is the greatest news ever to be pronounced, and includes nothing less than God’s free gift of saving grace, and the offer of eternal life to all who would respond in repentance and faith. To refuse people access to this message would betray our Saviour and everything he calls us to uphold. We can not imagine a situation in which we would refuse someone whom Christ has welcomed (Romans 14:1-4).’https://caldronpool.com/ezekieldeclaration/
In this day of BIG Government and BIG churches meeting at multiple sites God is still in the business of doing His work with the few.
“The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people.” (Deuteronomy 7:7)
‘Modern people—even Christians—tend to measure success in terms of bigness. God’s measure, on the other hand, is based on quality, not quantity. There were undoubtedly millions of people on the earth, for example, when the Flood came in the days of Noah, but only “few, that is, eight souls were saved” as the waters lifted up the Ark (1 Peter 3:20).
A few centuries after the Flood, populations had again increased, and great nations developed in Egypt, Sumeria, and elsewhere. But God called one man, Abraham, to establish a new nation, and he obeyed. Many great nations (Arabs, etc.) came from Abraham, but again God chose only one, Israel, to inherit the promise. Israel did grow, but as our text shows, even this chosen nation was nearly always insignificant compared to other nations.
In Israel’s history, many instances are recorded when God used just a few to battle many. God used Gideon’s 300 men to defeat 135,000 Midianites (Judges 7:7; 8:10). Similar deliverances occurred in the days of David, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah, and others.
In the New Testament, the Lord Jesus told His disciples that “where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20). He also said to them: “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32).
God’s criterion is that of motivation rather than multiplication. “Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:14). But those few will be faithful servants and will someday hear Him say: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant…enter thou into the joy of thy Lord” (Matthew 25:21).’https://www.icr.org/article/12943/?utm_source=phplist9543&utm_medium=email&utm_content=HTML&utm_campaign=September+4+-+The+Doctrine+of+the+Few
‘Three evangelical pastors, along with several Jewish congregations, have filed a joint lawsuit with the Australian Federal Government, seeking an injunction against the New South Wales and Victorian Government’s current COVID-19 lockdown measures.
The lawsuit, filed on Wednesday in the Federal Court, argues the state governments have selectively discriminated against religious groups in denying citizens the ability to congregate in Houses of Worship by arbitrarily deeming them “non-essential,” while allowing the public to gather elsewhere, such as in supermarkets and liquor stores.
The lawsuit will argue that Houses of Worship provide significant spiritual, psychological, and emotional support for communities, especially those who are suffering financially and psychologically from the impacts of the state government’s lockdown policies.
Furthermore, it will be argued that the governments’ indiscriminate selection of “essential” and “non-essential” venues under the Public Health Order is not supported by robust scientific or medical evidence.
According to the complaint, neither the NSW nor Victorian Governments have the constitutional or common law power to deny citizens their religious freedom which includes their ability to fulfill particular religious obligations and practices in their designated House of Worship.
Internationally renowned COVID-19 expert, Jayanta Bhattacharya, Professor of Medicine at Stanford University in California has also provided an independent expert report in support of the action brought forward by the plaintiffs.
Lawyer Tony Nikolic said his clients were forced to appeal to the courts after the matter had been repeatedly ignored by the NSW state government, in particular.
“My clients have attempted to engage with the NSW and Victorian Premiers and their Ministers as well as various NSW, Victorian, and Federal Parliamentarians to have their grievances addressed in a diplomatic and respectful manner.
“Unfortunately, in the context of NSW, the NSW Government has been unwilling to engage with my clients in any meaningful dialogue. As a result, our only last venue for relief is the courts.”
Pastor Robert Ayoub, one of the plaintiffs in the case, said they have exhausted other options to no avail.
“Now we have. a legal option, where we take the matter to the courts and have it heard by a court,” Pastor Ayoub said in a recent interview. “We believe this is a respectful way to do things, and importantly, a legal way to do things.
“We’re not here to be vindictive, or dishonouring towards the government, we’re just seeking to be able to practice our religion freely, and we’re appealing to our government to allow. us to love our God and also love our neighbour, to love our community.”
The plaintiffs in the case have also backed The Moses Statement, an open letter to Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the State Premiers, urging a reopening of churches across the nation.
The Moses Statement can be read and signed here.
The case will be heard in court later today.’https://caldronpool.com/breaking-religious-leaders-file-huge-lawsuit-against-state-governments-to-restore-freedoms/