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Compassions are New Every Morning?
This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope.
Through the LORD's mercies we are not consumed, Because His
compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your
got up refreshed after a good night's sleep this morning.
That doesn't always happen. Some
times I have trouble falling asleep and sometimes I have trouble staying
asleep. But last night was a
good night and when I got up refreshed, I thanked God for his
compassions that fail not, that are new every morning.
I suppose that there are a lot of compassions that fail not and that are
new every morning for which we should be thanking God.
But I think that the act of waking up is a miracle in itself.
I have often asked myself, “What really causes me to sleep? And
what really sustains me through the night and wakes me up in the
morning?” I seldom wake up
with an alarm clock even when I know I have to get up earlier than
usual. My internal alarm
clock seems to be set somehow and I usually wake up several minutes
before the alarm goes off. What
causes that? I know that
there is likely a scientific explanation for all of this.
But since the God I worship is the creator God, I am convinced
that God has programmed me in ways that I don't fully understand.
for which we Should be Thankful
don't understand what keeps my heart beating, what causes me to take the
next breath, what consciousness is and what allows me to think,
Again, science tries to explain these things but these principles
were working in the lives of humans and animals long before science had
anything to say about them. We
are living miracles. The
earth and all of its inhabitants and ecosystems are living miracles.
Surely we need to thank God for allowing us to be part of this
miraculous creation, and we need to thank Him for allowing us us to
personally experience His sustaining grace every morning,
course not everyone believes as I do that there is a Creator God who has
a personal interest in every one of us.
I believe that every name of every person born into this world is
known to God and He has written those names in His book long before we
were ever born. He knew what
our parents would name us. He
does, however, blot the names of those who reject Him out of that book;
but not until He has tried repeatedly to obtain their love and trust.
One way He does that is by getting us up every morning.
The patience and love of God is beyond understanding because he
sustains the lives of those who do not believe in Him just as He
sustains the lives of those who do.
He does not lose patience as I would but He provides rain for the
“just and for the unjust.” See
Marvel at the Grace of God
didn't the Lord Jesus call those twelve legions of angels and destroy
the world when He was being betrayed in the Garden of Gethsemane by one
who claimed to be a disciple and friend?
Because the Lord had come to save and not to destroy.
John 3:17 says, “For God did not
send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world
through Him might be saved.” Why
does the Lord get us up every morning?
Because He wants us to understand that He is good and the
sustainer of life. He wants
us all to trust Him and to worship Him.
Why hasn't He come again? It is because there is still someone,
perhaps someone reading this meditation, that He still wants to save.
2 Peter 3:9 tells us, “The Lord is not slack concerning His
promise (to come again), as some count slackness, but is longsuffering
toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come
It is popular today to say that there is no god.
I personally think that is a self-centered foolish position and
my only response to that is the answer of King David who said in Psalms
14:1, “The fool has said in his heart,'There is no God.'"
Logically there is nothing to gain and everything to lose when we take
that position. However I do
understand why there are people who take the position that there has to
be a creator God who sustains us and gets us up every morning, but that
they really don't know how to know who that Living and True God is.
When that objection is raised, I just suggest reading the Bible,
particularly the New Testament and particularly the Gospel of John or
the book of Romans. There is
just something about the Bible that is different from reading other
books. If one reads and asks
the Lord to answer any honest objections that we have, I believe that
there is a real Holy Spirit Who will guide us into all truth.
I suppose I could spend a lot of time explaining why I trust the
Bible and the Lord Jesus but I will never convince anyone that the Lord
Jesus was God made known in the flesh and that He is trustworthy.
I will never be able to convince anyone that He is the only God
and that other gods are man-made and cannot save.
But one of the reasons I am glad that I have been convinced that
the Lord Jesus is my creator God and my sustainer of life is that I like
a God who will die for me rather than requiring me to doe for Him in
order to be saved.
for the week of April 3, 2016
Loving the Lost!
"And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who
kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.
But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He
has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!
Please be Patient!
Recently, I was at a Bible Study where those of us
who are “believers” were admonished to share our faith. We were told
that if we loved the unsaved we had a responsibility to tell them that
sinners need to be saved and that they can be saved through trust in the
Lord Jesus. But I walked
away and asked myself, “What are we telling the unsaved that they need
to be saved FROM? Yes I know
that I have ended a sentence with a preposition, but I don't know how
else to say this. Again,
I say, why do we need to be saved and from what do we need to be saved?
We were told to emphasize the sin question.
I agreed with that. But
I noticed that we “share,” we don't preach anymore, which is the
word the Bible uses most of the time.
We talk about sin, but we hesitate to use the term HELL.
Frankly, I confess, I am one of those. I like to make the Gospel
attractive and acceptable, I
don't like the concept of hell, I wish that hell didn't exist, and I am
afraid of offending good friends by speaking about hell.
If you are one of my friends that rebel at the word “hell”
please be patient and hear me out. I feel I must speak on this topic
since I do believe in the leading of the Holy Spirit with regard to the
writing of these meditations; and after being at the Bible Study, my
normal regular reading for that day included the verse I have quoted
Who Has Authority to Cast into Hell?
The Lord in the previous chapter had criticized the
religious rulers and now they were “out to get Him!”
But the Lord says not to worry about the Pharisees but rather be
concerned about One who can not only kill but can cast into hell.
I am confident He is talking about Himself.
Satan wants us to end up in hell, but only the Lord has the
authority to put us there. This
word for hell is not the word for the unseen state or the grave.
It is the word for a garbage dump south of Jerusalem called
Gehenna where a fire burned at all times.
The term is used metaphorically in the Bible for everlasting
destruction. The Lord spoke
more about this place than the writers of the epistles did.
But they used different terms to teach the same thing.
Paul tends to use the term perdition which means to perish or to
be destroyed. The term
usually refers to eternal destruction without explaining what is
involved. Reading the book
of the Revelation makes it clear that the Lake of Fire, which is likely
what Gehenna fire is picturing, is the final destination of those who
reject the Gospel (Revelation 20:13-15). This is what Paul's eternal
destruction is all about. Eternal
destruction is not a loss of “being” or existence but it is a loss
of well-being. Eternal
destruction is the eternal conscious punishment of the unbeliever in
Gehenna fire who has rejected Christ.
There seems to be a distinction in the Bible
between the unseen state of unbelievers who die now verses their final
destination which is the hell to which the Lord is referring.
But as I understand the Bible, dying without trusting Christ will
consign the unbeliever to a place of torment even now as we see in Luke
16:24. Some would say the
whole concept of hell or hades or the unseen state in Luke 16 is
metaphorical and is not real. But
if the Lord uses a metaphor to explain what happens to the unsaved after
they die, what must the real thing be like?
He obviously uses a metaphor when referring to Gehenna fire which
ultimately stands for the Lake of Fire which is the unbeliever's final
destination. I assume
He would use a metaphor because understanding the real thing is so
difficult. I hope (and
believe) that at least Luke 16:24 and ultimately Revelation 20:15 are
not metaphors. But even if
they are, that does not solve the problem.
It would be terrible to end up suffering for eternity in the real
thing which certainly would be worse than the picture being used to
describe that real thing.
Can the Warning Be Done in a Loving Way?
Yes it can! It
would be unloving not to tell people what the warning signs of cancer or
heart attack or stroke are. Hopefully,
the warning signs will be seen early enough so that the doctors can
“save” the person who is sick. We
believers have a solution for the sickness called “sin.”
It works 100 percent of the time.
John 5:24 summarizes this cure.
The Lord says, "Most assuredly, I
say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has
everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from
death into life.”
I am a believer today because I
believed the Bible when it talked about hell.
Frankly, I was afraid of going there.
Some of you may accuse me of trying to “scare you into
believing.” I would take
your criticism as a compliment. Eternal
conscious punishment in the Lake of Fire (Hell or Gehenna fire) is
something to fear. But take
courage. The Lord did not
come to condemn, He came to save. John
3:17says, “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the
world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”
It would be unloving not to warn those I love about something
that is so much a part of the Gospel and in which I so firmly believe.
for the week of April 10, 2016
Uses the Unqualified
6:13 Gideon said to Him,
"O my lord, if the LORD is with us, why then has all this happened
to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about,
saying, 'Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?' But now the LORD has
forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites."
children of Israel had once again done evil in the sight of the Lord and
were now in bondage to the Midianites.
But the Lord had his eye on a man who could deliver the children
of Israel. This man didn't
see himself as a Savior. He
didn't think his ancestry gave him any special power, rights or
privilege. His own father
had an altar to Baal. He
didn't think he was qualified to deliver the children of Israel from the
bondage of the Midianites. However,
God saw it differently.
the beginning of this story, Gideon is found threshing wheat and hiding
it from the Midianites. He
was doing what he could. While
he was threshing, he was also wondering where the God was that had done
such miracles for Israel in the past.
When the Angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, it didn't appear
to him like “the Lord was with Israel.”
He thought they had been completely forsaken.
But the Lord had not forsaken them, they had forsaken Him.
Now the Lord wanted a man to deliver them and He was choosing a
man who thought himself to be totally unqualified.
Wants Israel to Know that He is their Savior rather than some Man
was a typical Jew and needed a sign to know that God was speaking to
him. So the Angel of the
Lord brought fire out of a rock and consumed Gideon's sacrifice in a
most miraculous way. But
Gideon also needed another sign. So
he asked God to have a fleece on the threshing floor get wet during the
night while the threshing floor remained dry. God did this for him. But
then he must have realized that someone could have poured water on the
fleece so he asked for a second sign.
He wanted the fleece to be dry and the threshing floor wet.
The Lord obliged and did what he asked.
Gideon also needed to cleanse himself from Baal worship even
though that meant destroying his father's idol.
This is probably what the Lord means in the New Testament when He
says a disciple must hate his father and mother, that is, family cannot
be more important than obeying the Lord.
is now Ready (Almost)
now Gideon and his army are ready to go.
But the army is too large even though it was only 32,000 men.
So first those who are afraid are sent home.
I would have been in that bunch of 22, 000.
They had underestimated God.
But then the Lord wanted to know how they would drink out of
water that was available to them. Some
got down on their knees and put their mouths in the water.
Others brought the water up to their mouths with their hands and
lapped it. Those who got
down on their knees to drink couldn't keep their eye on the enemy while
drinking. 9700 men
underestimated the enemy. Those who lapped could keep their eye on
the enemy. That left 300 who
knew the power of God, but they also knew the power of the enemy.
But Gideon still needed more encouragement.
Enemy knows More about God than the Believer Does at Times
Lord sent Gideon down into the camp of the Midianites to hear the dream
of one in the camp. He hears a man tell a dream to his companion and the
companion tells the man the interpretation which Gideon hears.
The Lord has revealed to the enemy that Gideon is about to
destroy them. Now Gideon is
finally ready. Isn't it nice
to know that when the Lord wants to use us, He doesn't give up on us,
even when we continue to question His power and ability?
Unique Battle Plan
arms his 300 men chosen by God with a trumpet in their right hand and a
torch in a pticher in their left hands.
That didn't leave much room for a sword or a spear.
As a matter of fact, holding up a trumpet and pitcher just might
look like a person on a cross. When
they blew the trumpets and broke the pitchers, the whole army of the
Midianites became confused and they fought each other and then fled.
Obviously, the victory was not Gideon's but the Lord's.
there Application to Us?
could probably win a lot of battles as Christians if we would allow the
Lord to do the fighting. The
trumpets would speak of preaching and warning.
The pitchers would speak of true believers who are broken so that
the light of the Gospel can be seen in their lives. If we need
encouragement to do what the Lord asks us to do, the Lord will give it
so long as we are not testing Him but testing whether we are truly
understanding His will. And
we need to remember that the enemy is not dumb.
The enemy knows that the Lord wins.
That should give us confidence to preach grace and truth and to
show that grace and truth through lives that have been broken so that
the light of the Lord can shine through.
Lord has been and will be victorious.
for the week of April 17, 2016
Genesis 48:10 Now the
eyes of Israel were dim with age, so that he could not see. Then Joseph
brought them near him, and he kissed them and embraced them.
Blindness is a physical infirmity but it is also a spiritual
I have often wondered what it would be like to be blind.
I have had friends who were blind and they seemed to be able to
“see” in some ways better than their friends who could actually see.
However, there are some things that they cannot do.
I never rode in a car where one of them was driving.
People who are blind depend on their other senses and those senses
become very sensitive. Israel
(Jacob) was blind at the end of his life but he seemed to understand
where his two grandsons were standing when he went to bless them.
He may have known that custom would have placed the older
grandson where he could be reached with his right hand and the younger
would be where he could be reached with his left hand.
In the Bible the right hand was a place of power.
The oldest should have been blessed by Jacob's right hand since
the oldest usually got a “double portion” of the father's
inheritance. He usually took
over as the family leader. That
was not always true of course. In
Joseph's case, Reuben was the firstborn and should have gotten a double
portion of Israel's inheritance but he had lost that position due to his
immorality (Genesis 35:23-24). But
that double portion was being given to Joseph and to his two sons.
In the book of Genesis, which is the book of beginnings, the
first born is often set aside and a later child is given the blessing
since the New Testament principle of the new birth is being pictured for
us long before it was formally taught.
What we are by nature (our first birth) is not acceptable to God,
it is what we are when we are born again or born of the spirit that
makes us acceptable to God (John 3:6).
So while Jacob was blind physically, he apparently was not blind
Blindness can lead to tragedy!
Some people make grave mistakes because they are blind.
When Isaac (Jacob's father) went to bless his sons at the end of
his life, he made his decisions based on “feelings”.
In Genesis 27, he had planned to bless Esau but Jacob (the
supplanter) followed his mother's instructions and used the skins of
goats to make it appear he was hairy like his brother Esau.
Jacob succeeded in deceiving his father and got the blessing
Isaac had intended for Esau. Again,
while the boys were twins, Esau was the firstborn and would normally
have received the blessing of the firstborn.
Isaac was deceived because he was blind and depended on his
feelings. He should have
asked someone to confirm the identity of this person who talked like
Jacob but smelled and felt like Esau.
Many people today who are blind spiritually are making decisions
based on feelings rather than on the instructions of Scripture.
They too are being deceived by their feelings.
Blindness was hereditary. Isaac
had the problem and now Jacob, his son, has the problem.
But spiritually we all have the problem.
When the Lord was trying to explain to his disciples on his last
trip to Jerusalem that He was going to be delivered into the hands of
the Gentiles and that He was going to be scourged and killed and the
third day He would rise again, they couldn't understand Him.
What He said was pretty plain but it didn't fit with their
understanding of what was supposed to happen.
The Lord couldn't “confuse them with the facts” because their
minds were already made up. So
we read, “they understood none of these things; this saying was hidden
from them, and they did not know the things which were spoken (Luke
18:34).” We find that at
the end of the church age, those who consider themselves to be part of
the church will have the same problem.
We read, “you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have
need of nothing'--and do not know that you are wretched, miserable,
poor, blind, and naked. (Revelation
3:17).” The problem is
that those who are blind no longer know that they are blind.
Hereditary blindness is also the problem of those who have never
trusted the Lord. Paul says,
they are blinded by the God of this world (2 Corinthians
4:4). But again, most of
those who are blind, think they see and have understanding.
They know the wisdom of this world, but they don't know the
wisdom that comes from above (James 3:17).
Only the Lord can cure blindness
Blindness is a problem that only the Lord can cure so that we see
clearly. Maturity doesn't
necessarily help us see more clearly.
In fact, as we grow older, our eyes may grow dimmer.
We may actually not “see” as well as we did when we were
younger. Many Christians
have given themselves over to the wisdom of this world and no longer see
clearly. If we are unsaved
and if we are rejecting the truth of Scripture, Satan surely must be
happy. He has done the work
that He intends to do. He
has blinded the minds of those who believe not.
What a tragedy! The
cure is found in letting God tell us what is right, rather than in us telling God!
for the week of April 24, 2016