leave comments go to http://bdcministries.com/
to Archived Meditations
8:28 And we know that all things (that is, all these things) work
together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called
according to his purpose.
this verse teach that everything that happens in life is designed by God
for our good? Many people think that is what this verse means. According
to this view, when Eve sinned in the Garden, it was for her good. Since
God is sovereign, He actually intended to have Eve sin. So, according to
this interpretation, it was good for her to have to leave paradise. It
was good for her to have pain in child bearing, and it was good for Adam
to become a man of sorrows. It was good for the ground to bring forth
thorns and thistles; and it was good that Cain killed Abel. I have a
hard time believing that these things were good, or that a good God
caused these things to happen even though He allowed them to happen. The
sin of David with Bathsheba certainly wasn’t good, particularly for
Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband who was ultimately killed by David to cover
his sin. Having said that, I know that God ultimately uses bad things to
glorify Himself and to accomplish good.
think this verse is teaching us about the work of the Holy Spirit. And
in the context, all the things that the Holy Spirit does, He does for
our good. He even allows suffering for our good, but He doesn’t always
cause the suffering that He allows. The Spirit assures us that we are
children of God and joint-heirs with Christ. Because of the sufferings
of this present time, the Spirit reminds us of future glory. So the
Spirit comforts and encourages us. The Spirit guides, intercedes and
groans with us when we pray. Every one who loves God has been
predestined to become like Christ and the Holy Spirit even uses things
that are not good to do that. The Spirit reminds us during trials that
God is for us and not against us and that nothing can separate us from
the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Yes, things that the
Holy Spirit does all work together for good to them that love God.
we see a young person who is not saved take his life, or when we see a
car accident where a drunk driver kills innocent people while he walks
away, this is not the good referred to in this verse.
things that happen to us are not good or for our good. Satan who often
causes these problems, does not intend them to be for our good. Many
things that happen to us are just plain bad because we live in a world
were sin abounds. But I am thankful that God is good and the work that
the Holy Spirit is doing is definitely good. He is so good that He
allows us the opportunity to trust His Son for salvation. He is so good
that He brings things into our lives to make believers more like Christ.
He is so good that nothing can separate us from His love.
everything that the Holy Spirit does in our lives is good and is for our
good. Unfortunately, not everything that happens in this world is caused
by the Holy Spirit. I believe that it is possible to interpret this
verse in such a way as to charge God with doing bad things. God
certainly allows these things, but the verse is not talking about these
bad things working together for our good. However, the Lord who can turn
water into wine and who can turn sorrow into joy can certainly take
these bad things and bring good out of them.
for the week of August 6, 2006
4:13 I can do all (these) things through Christ which strengtheneth
this verse give us the ability to play Superman and jump off a roof and
survive? Can we stop a speeding bullet or even do miraculous things for
the Lord based on this promise? Of course not! The Bible is a practical
book but sometimes we make it very impractical by the way we interpret
it. Usually that means that we take the verse out of its context.
Paul says that he can do all things through Christ Who strengthens him,
he is referring to the things in the previous verse, “I know both how
to be abased (humbled), and I know how to abound: every where and in all
things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound
and to suffer need ( Philippians 4:12).” Paul had experienced want and
he had experienced plenty and he was content in both conditions. Now
that is a lesson I would like to learn since being content in the
circumstances where the Lord places us is one of the things we should be
able to do through the strengthening power of the Lord.
this verse is used in such a way as to discourage those who are serving
the Lord rather than encouraging them. When we desire to see loved ones
saved or restored to the Lord and we pray about it but nothing seems to
be happening, this verse should not make us feel guilty as though we are
failing somehow. When we have personal weaknesses or sicknesses (Paul
calls them infirmities) where the Lord reminds us that He is not going
to change the situation but is going to give us grace to bear the
circumstances, we shouldn’t feel like the Lord has forsaken us (2
Corinthians 12:9). When we are called to a ministry that seems to be
going nowhere, we need to remember that Isaiah was sent on “Mission
Impossible” in Isaiah 6:9-10. He was to preach until there was no one
left to listen to his preaching, but he wasn’t going to be able to
change the hearts of those who had already rebelled against God (Isaiah
1:2). God would use Isaiah to prove that He would do everything possible
to warn the Israelites of coming judgment and to prove His love for them
so that they would be without excuse when the judgment came. But Isaiah
was sent on the mission with Lord telling him not to expect success.
personally have never saved an individual. I wish I could but that is
something that only the Lord can do. I have had the opportunity to
preach the Gospel and witness the Lord save individuals as the Word of
God convicts them of their sin and turns them to the Lord for salvation.
On several occasions, I have held meetings where I didn’t think the
Lord had worked at all and later found out that a work had been done
that I didn’t know about. We cannot do all things since there are some
things that only the Lord can do. I do not expect to ever physically
raise the dead. I am not convinced that I will ever cure someone of
cancer. But I have been called to preach the Gospel and I can do that
through Christ Who strengthens me. And while I am doing it, I can assure
you that there are sometimes when we who believe that we should not
charge for our services (Matthew 10:8), abound and have plenty in a
material way to do our work and sometimes we are abased and wonder if we
can even feed our families. But since we have been called to do these
things, I have personally seen God’s hand work miraculously to keep us
doing a work that we could not do if we were “on our own” instead of
being strengthened by the Lord.
we understand what the Lord is strengthening us to do in this verse, it
is a great encouragement. If we think that this verse is promising us
that we should be able to do everything that we want to do, we are going
to be greatly discouraged when things do not work out the way we had
thought that they should.
for the week of August 13, 2006
7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
7:2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what
measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
believe that one of the most misquoted verses in the Bible is Matthew
7:1. How many times have we been told that we should not judge lest we
be judged? How does that square with the rest of the Bible that tells us
to judge certain things in certain situations? For example:
Corinthians 5:12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are
without? do not ye judge them that are within?
Corinthians 6:3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more
things that pertain to this life?
Corinthians 10:15 I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say.
14:29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.
have to apply Scriptural principles in order to make proper judgments as
we go through life. We have to distinguish between right and wrong and
there are some things that people do that we are supposed to condemn.
Sometimes elders of churches have to make Scriptural judgments with
regard to sinning believers that may require some kind of discipline or
even excommunication from the church. We have to discern or judge
whether the teaching that we are getting is Scriptural. We cannot avoid
the unequal yokes of 2 Corinthians 6:14 without somehow discerning who
is saved and who is not. So what is the Lord saying in Mathew 7:1?
believe that the passage does not tell us not to judge at all but it is
telling us not to judge hypocritically. The next verse says that the
standard that we set for others is the standard that will be set for us.
So when David told Nathan in 2 Samuel 12:5 that the man who had taken
the poor man’s lamb should die, he was condemning himself. He had
taken another man’s wife and had killed her husband. He was judging
hypocritically. Fortunately, the Lord had mercy on David and said in
verse 13, “The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.”
in the context, the Lord is not prohibiting judging or discerning right
from wrong. He is not saying that we should overlook sin But he is
saying that when we judge we should not be hypocrites. Most of us think
that our sins are not as bad as our neighbors sins and so we can be
rather hard on things that we are not tempted to do.
thing I have learned is that all of us have feet of clay and at times it
shows. A Christian, though, has a new nature through the new birth. We
have been sealed by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13). As a result, we
should have a conscience about sin; and when we commit sin, it should
bother us. Because we each have our own weaknesses, we need to make sure
that when we judge others by pointing out their failures and sins that
we don’t end up condemning ourselves. The standard we use to judge
others is the standard that the Lord will use to judge us.
for the week of August 20, 2006
12:25 And Jesus knew their thoughts. . .
94:11 The LORD knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity
44:20-21 If we have forgotten the name of our God, or stretched out our
hands to a strange god; Shall not God search this out? for he knoweth
the secrets of the heart.
Lincoln is supposed to have said, “You can fool some of the people all
of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool
all of the people all of the time". No matter how hard we try, we
cannot fool God any of the time. The Lord knew the thoughts of the
religious hypocrites who were taking counsel to destroy Him in Matthew
12. He also knows our thoughts. This is very searching.
knows that our thoughts are futile. Most of us think that we are the
center of the universe and we intend to make sure that others know it.
We want to make a great name for ourselves and do great things so that
people will remember us. The King who likely was the wisest apart from
the Lord and who likely accomplished the most as far as this world is
concerned was King Solomon. Yet, his conclusion as to earthly
achievements is found in Ecclesiastes 2:11, “Then I looked on all the
works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured
to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was
no profit under the sun.”
knows all about us and He knows that there are many people who claim to
be Christians so that they can be influential in churches and in their
circles in society who don’t have a clue as to Who God is. I am
convinced that there are pastors in some churches who do not believe in
God let alone trust in Christ. But they like the “job” that they
have been hired to do. But, I have been impressed recently with fact
that no matter how clever we may be in fooling others, God knows.
Lord was generally fairly kind in the way he confronted sin in the
Bible. There was a woman taken in adultery in John 8 that He could have
been hard on because she had been caught in the act of sinning. But
instead He treated her with respect while still rebuking her sin. He did
the same thing for a Samaritan woman in John 4. He forgave a thief on
the cross that had been criticizing Him. But he was harsh when it came
to hypocrites. In Matthew 23, eight times He pronounces a woe on
hypocritical leaders and teachers. I think He was saying, “Alas, you
don’t know the sorrows that are coming because of your hypocrisy.”
it is easy to convince others we are Christians and that our motives are
pure so that we can get the futile things that we want in this world,
but if we are not Christians and our motives are not pure, the Lord
knows. There is still only one way to please God and that is to trust in
His Son who is the sin bearer. The Bible says that we need to be born
again, and that we are born again when we receive His Son by believing
on Him (John 1:12-13). This isn’t a game that we play in order to get
those in our religious circles to accept us, this is a heart matter
between us and God. And God knows whether we really have confidence in
His Son and whether we really have been delivered from the wrath to come
(1 Thessalonians 1:10). The Jesus who knew the thoughts of the religious
hypocrites who were trying to destroy Him in Matthew 12, also knows our
thoughts. So when the question is asked, “What think ye of Christ?”
(Matthew 22:43), we may as well be honest. Because the Lord knows.
for the week of August 27, 2006