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to Archived Meditations
to the Scriptures!
Corinthians 15:3-4 For I
delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ
died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried,
and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.
8:31 And He began to teach
them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the
elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three
days rise again.
1:18 I am He who lives, and
was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys
of Hades and of Death.
2:29-32 Men and brethren,
let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead
and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Therefore, being a
prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the
fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ
to sit on his throne, he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the
resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did
His flesh see corruption. This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are
David says as quoted above (David could not have been talking about
16:9-10 Therefore my heart
is glad, and my glory rejoices;
flesh also will rest in hope. For
You will not leave my soul in Sheol,
will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
has given us His Word:
believe doctors, lawyers, newscasters, politicians, parents, spouses and
authors of many books and documentaries.
Many of them do not tell us the truth.
Some don’t really know what they are talking about and some
deliberately lie. But nearly
everyone has skeptism when it comes to believing the Bible, and this
includes many who call themselves Christians.
I realize the Bible has to be read with intelligence and
understanding because it does contain allegories.
The history of Israel in the Old Testament is literal; but the
church has not replaced the nation of Israel, and their promises are not
the promises of the church. The
Old Testament principles apply to our age but not the ceremonies.
Our promised land is spiritual and not physical.
However, the Bible is not allegorical when it refers
prophetically to Christ and the coming wrath of God on this earth.
wish we all believed in God even when we don’t understand Him.
But convincing people to believe in God by believing in His Son
is not like selling automobiles. We
who “sell” the free Gospel cannot “close the deal.”
We present the product, but only the Holy Spirit can convince
people of the truth. Only
the Holy Spirit can close the deal.
tells us in John 20:28-31:
Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to
him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are
those who have not seen and yet have believed. And truly Jesus did many
other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in
this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the
Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His
Lord, may those who truly believe in the resurrected Lord enjoy the
truth that one day they will be with the Lord who lives forevermore. May
those who don’t believe read the Bible with an open mind.
May they be convinced of the Truth by the Holy Spirit.
May they come to faith in the Lord.
I want them to enjoy the peace, the joy, and the forgiveness of
sins that believing in the resurrected Lord can give them, and I want to
meet them in heaven. Amen.
for the week of April 5, 2015
for the Good Old Days!
Samuel 10:24 And Samuel said
to all the people, “Do you see him whom the LORD has chosen, that
there is no one like him among all the people?” So all the people
shouted and said “Long live the king!”
the Lord chose Saul to be the first King of Israel, Saul didn’t see
himself as King material. In
1 Samuel 9 Samuel tells him that he is the “desire” of Israel.
At that time Saul says, “Am I not a Benjamite, of the smallest
of the tribes of Israel, and my family the least of all the families of
the tribe of Benjamin? Why then do you speak like this to me (1 Samuel
9:21)?” He was a Benjamite.
Why was that significant?
Foolishness of the Tribe
the end of the period of the judges, every man did that which was right
in their own eyes. The
Israelites no longer looked to the priestly leadership to guide and
instruct them, but they worshipped in the way that they wanted to
worship and as a result, most in Israel had turned to idolatry and to
the wickedness associated with the practice of idolatry at that time.
There was no accountability to the living God that had delivered
the nation from bondage. The
current generation of Israelites had lost the wonder of the miraculous
and had turned away from the God of miracles Who was also a God of
justice. As a result, a
great sin was committed by a few men in Gibeah from the tribe of
Benjamin. They had abused a
man’s slave wife until she died.
nation of Israel did want to judge this great sin and asked the city to
deliver up the evil men who had done this.
But instead of delivering them up, the whole tribe of Benjamin
stood together and fought to defend these evil men. (There
is a lesson here for us today.) As
a result the whole tribe was destroyed except for 600 men.
Israel found wives for those 600 men so the tribe didn’t die
out, but the tribe did become the smallest in Israel.
No doubt being from Benjamin made a person a social outcast in
Israel at that time. That is
the tribe Saul came from.
Right but Ending Wrong
started right. He did have
the look of a king about him, but he seemed to realize that he was not
kingly material. He was
humble. If only he had
stayed that way. I suspect
he never had the self-confidence that most would think a king should
have. But even though he was
“chosen” by God to be king, he failed to honor God in all his
decisions. He became a man
who made decisions that seemed right to Him without recognizing his
accountability to God.
first mistake was to offer a sacrifice that only a priest should have
offered. His second mistake
was to take an oath and not keep it because the oath would have required
the death of his son. He
shouldn’t have taken the oath; but, after taking it, he should have
kept it. But the thing that
did him in was saving Agag, kind of the Amalekites.
In the Bible, it seems that the Amalekites were representative of
the flesh. They were always
fighting the Israelites when the nation was “down,” and Israel was
told that they would have war with Amalek from generation to generation.
The king of Amalek represents the flesh and pride in all of us. It
is the trinity of evil that we call ME, MYSELF AND I.
Saul started out humble, but in the end he took things into
his own hands. He lost his
kingdom and he lost his life. I
personally don’t believe that he lost his soul.
do not believe that the Lord chooses us to be saved, but He does choose
the saved for His purposes. Each
of us that have truly been humbled in the sight of God because we are
figuratively from the tribe of Benjamin could do great things for the
Lord if we would just stay humble and let Him tell us what to do instead
of us telling Him what to do. We
all have an Agag living within us. It
is easy to go from not feeling we can do anything to doing that which
God has not called us to do. We
try to be so socially relevant in
our service for God that we have to retranslate the Scriptures that are
given by inspiration of God so that we can do what we think is right in
our own eyes.
sometimes look at my own life and ask myself, “How much of what I do
is for me and how much of it is for the Lord?”
I sometimes wish I had that freshness and sense of wonder that I
had when I was first saved. I
didn’t know much at that time and some of the things I thought I knew
were wrong, but I wasn’t worried about offending people by standing up
for my convictions. I did
have complete confidence in the Lord.
I was not concerned about being rejected because I was
“different.” And I
have to confess that I had joy that I know very little about today.
Oh for the good old days!
for the week of April 12, 2015
61:1-2 “The Spirit of the
Lord GOD is upon Me,
the LORD has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent
Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and
the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD,
the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn.
has arrived where I live. The
magnolia trees are blooming, the tulips and daffodils are beginning to
brighten the drab landscape of winter, we hear the birds singing again;
and we can hear the water in our babbling brooks.
Sometimes a person can actually smell the fresh air of spring.
Spring can be exhilarating. It
holds the promise of a new beginning.
Acceptable Year of the Lord
Luke 4:18-19 the Lord begins His public ministry in Nazareth by quoting
from Isaiah 61. He says he
came to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord and He closed the book
without reading about the day of vengeance of our God.
The acceptable year of the Lord seems to contain all the
blessings of the Jubilee year mentioned in Leviticus 25.
The Jews had a calendar that included a Sabbath year every seven
years when debts and the Israelite slaves were released.
There was to be no sowing or reaping by the landlord.
They lived off of what the land produced voluntarily.
On the fiftieth year, property went back to its original
families. The fiftieth year
may have followed a seventh year of release but more likely the fiftieth
year and the year of release were one and the same in that cycle of
seven sevens. But
nevertheless, an Israelite that had gotten into debt or that had sold
himself or his family as slaves or who had lost their property would be
made whole again by the end of that fiftieth year.
fiftieth year blessings were being offered to the nation of Israel when
the Lord began His earthly ministry.
And those blessings are offered to everyone today who will trust
the Lord. Normally we link
the acceptable year of the Lord with the coming thousand year reign of
Christ and of course that will be a jubilee or a celebration of joy.
We sometimes link the acceptable year of the Lord with the coming
of the Lord for the church when He saves the believer from the “wrath
to come (1 Thessalonian 1:10).” Notice
that the Lord closed the book before reading about the day of vengeance
which is coming as well. But
the Lord didn’t come for the purpose of vengeance or retribution when
He came the first time. That
will occur when He comes the second time.
Order of His Commission
we who study the Bible and the different ways that God has governed down
through the ages believe that the tribulation period which is still
future precedes the thousand year reign of Christ.
But here in Luke 4 the “acceptable year of the Lord” occurs
before the coming wrath or tribulation period.
Now I still think that the “acceptable year of the Lord” in
Isaiah 61 refers to the Jubilee year of Leviticus 25.
I believe that Leviticus 25 will be literally fulfilled in the
thousand year righteous reign of the Lord.
However, the reversal of the order of events in Luke 4 convinces
me that there is a spiritual kingdom that we can enter into now through
the new birth (See John 3:3). And
spiritually, the blessings of the Jubilee year can be ours now. This
shows us that there is a difference between that which is spiritual for
the Christian now and that which is temporal and physical for the
nations in a coming day.
you imagine what an indebted, imprisoned, bankrupt, broken-hearted
Israelite would feel as he or she anticipated the release of that
fiftieth year as well as the partial releases of each seventh year.
The Lord had provided for second chances.
Things that had gone wrong were to be made right.
Those who were broken-hearted could look forward to joy and hope.
It would be better than the blessings of spring.
And that is what the Lord was offering the nation in Luke 4.
Foreigners entered into those blessings before Israelites in many
cases. The nation as a whole
rejected the Lord. They lost
the blessings that the Lord was offering and now as a nation they have
to face the “day of vengeance of our God.”
would anyone think that trusting the Lord would bring them a curse
instead of a blessing? Why
would anyone turn their back on the spiritual spring or year of jubilee
that the Lord came to proclaim? Why
for the week of April 19, 2015
19:32 So those who were
sent went their way and found it
just as He had said to them.
the donkey that the Lord Needed
we depend upon what the Lord says?
The short answer is “yes.”
The long answer is that when it comes to the eternal blessings
that He has told us about, the believer can not only depend on what the
Lord says; but it is evident that the blessings will far exceed our
expectations. When we
follow the Lord’s instructions, we can be sure that we will find
everything just as the Lord has said.
for the Last Supper
Luke 22, the Lord told his disciples to look for a man bearing a pitcher
of water and to follow him to a large upper room that would already be
furnished for the Passover. When
they followed the instructions, they found the room.
It was found the way He said to find it, and it was prepared the
way He said it would be furnished.
They must have known by now that they could trust the Lord and
that He would guide them in the right way.
A man bearing a pitcher of water was not usual in that day when
the women usually had that chore. But
they followed His instructions and in Luke 22:13 we read, “So they
went and found it just as He had said to them, and they prepared the
we Believe the Lord?
say we believe the Lord, but do we really?
The Lord can be depended upon to tell us the truth about the here
and now, and He tells us the truth about eternity.
It seems to me that we second-guess Him about the here and now
and sometimes have doubts about eternity.
But we need to have faith that when we follow the Lord’s
instructions, we will find things to be just as He has said.
Lord Jesus says that if we trust Him we are saved, but that isn’t good
enough for most people. They
add conditions to what the Lord says
But I believe that when we trust the Lord we are saved for
time and eternity. I am
thankful that it isn’t what we do that saves, it is what Christ did
for us that saves. And it
isn’t until we trust the Father’s Son and Him alone that the Lord
finds anything in us that pleases Him.
we are saved, of course we want to do those things that would please the
Lord who gave Himself for us. But
we tend to second-guess the Lord when it comes to worshiping Him.
He wants us to enjoy His presence and to be occupied with Him.
It seems to me that we tend to call worship that which pleases
us. We go to the churches
of our choice. We want the
kind of music that pleases us. We
want to go where our friends are. We
want to listen to the popular preachers. Really the whole business seems
to be fairly self-centered. The
Lord wants us to be Christ-centered and not self-centered in our
worship—otherwise it is not really worship.
good Christians have come to the end of the road and have had Satan
taunt them with “his fiery darts” (Ephesians 6:16).
They begin to wonder what to expect when they take that last
breath. Is there really a
place that has been prepared for the believer called “the Father’s
house” (John 14:1-3)? What will that place be like?
Sometimes when we are weak and discouraged by sickness and
sometimes loneliness, Satan manages to cast doubt on all that we
believe. But I believe that
all that the Lord has told us is true and that the half has not been
told us. Solomon’s reign
gives us a little glimpse into the future glory of the Lord.
Queen of Sheba had heard about the wisdom, riches and glory of Solomon.
She had to visit him to see if all that she had heard was true.
She found that what she had heard was only a fraction of what
could have been said. In 2
Chronicles 9:5-6 she says to Solomon, “It was a true report which I
heard in my own land about your words and your wisdom. However I did not
believe their words until I came and saw with my own eyes; and indeed
the half of the greatness of your wisdom was not told me. You exceed the
fame of which I heard.”
will be just as He has Said
in a moment of weakness, Satan gets us to believe our doubts and to
doubt our beliefs, we should take courage.
God says that the Christian has it made.
The unbeliever, not so much.
But for the believer our future is going to be better than
anything we can imagine. Someday
we are going to find out that the half has not been told us.
for the week of April 26, 2015