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to Archived Meditations
15:1 LORD, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy
15:4 In whose eyes a vile person is despised, But he honors those who
fear the LORD; He who swears to his own hurt and does not change.
I was young, there was a period of time when my dad did not have a car.
He did the shopping and he went to work on a bicycle. One day he was
coming home while carrying groceries as well as one of my brothers on
the bicycle. When he was almost home, he stopped and asked my brother to
walk the rest of the way while he turned around to go back to the store.
He told my brother that he had promised one of the younger children Ice
cream and that he had forgotten to pick it up. But in his words,
"you don't want to break a promise to a child, they will never
believe you again!"
many of us understand the importance of keeping the promises that we
make, particularly when that promise turns out to be a promise that we
shouldn't have made? Today people sign business contracts expecting to
"renegotiate" the contract if the business expectations are
not met. I had a lady sell a business on contract when I was in business
as a CPA where I knew that the buyer intended to do just that. He gave
her an unreasonably high bid to get the business and a year later told
her that unless she renegotiated with him, she would get nothing. I had
warned her not to sell to him because I could see that was his plan.
people seem to make promises with their fingers crossed so that in their
mind the promise doesn't have to be fulfilled. I think some people take
their marriage vows that way. Others make sure that their promises are
so clouded by legal language that they have a loop hole out if they
decide they want it.
person of character keeps His promises. If we borrow money and cannot
make the payments when due, we should honestly go to the creditor and
tell them that we know that we owe the money and then ask them if there
is any way that we can work out some repayment plan. We should not
ignore the debt or find something wrong with the original promise that
allows us to avoid our responsibilities. Our character is determined by
how we live up to our promises.
am glad that the Lord's promises are dependable. He says that He is
Truth (John 14:6). We read that God cannot lie (Titus 1:2). That is why
I tell people that if you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved
(Acts 16:31), it works one hundred percent of the time. And if you are
not saved it is because you have not trusted the Lord. That too is true
one hundred percent of the time. God has no reason to lie and when He
makes a promise, He has the ability and the authority to perform the
promise. My assurance of salvation does not come from the decision I
made or from the confession I made or from any invitation to ask the
Lord in to my heart. It comes from the fact that God has made me a
promise that, "while I was a sinner, Christ died for me (Romans
5:8)." If man had made me that promise, I would not be absolutely
sure that I was saved. But since God has made that promise, I can know
that my sins are forgiven and that I have a home prepared for me in
keeps His promises. That is why I expect the Lord to return. That is why
I anticipate an eternal home in the glory with Christ. If we are truly
"born again" (John 3:7), we should also be known as people who
keep their promises.
for the week of August 5, 2007
6:16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able
to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one (NKJV).
are the fiery darts of the wicked one? Could it not be the doubts and
questions that Satan puts in our minds about the goodness of God and his
plans for us at times? Satan is a master at taking the Truth that gives
us comfort and asking us if God has really made that promise to us. He
did that to Eve in the Garden of Eden. Satan tries to turn our minds
from praise to despair.
sometimes think that people with proper faith in the Lord will never
have times of discouragement. But many of the old testament saints did:
was discouraged in 1 Kings 19:4 where we read, "but he himself went
a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom
tree. And he prayed that he might die, and said, 'It is enough! Now,
LORD, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!'"
was discouraged after the Lord saved Nineveh. He said in Jonah 4:3,
"Therefore now, O LORD, please take my life from me, for it is
better for me to die than to live!"
seems to discouraged when he says in Psalm 69:2, "I sink in deep
mire, Where there is no standing; I have come into deep waters, Where
the floods overflow me."
Paul could be downcast or cast down. In 2 Corinthians 7:6 he says,
"Nevertheless God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the
coming of Titus."
all have times when we feel discouraged. Sometimes it is because we have
tried to do too much like Elijah and we need to rest. Sometimes it is
because we are stubborn and disobedient like Jonah. Sometimes it is
because our friends have forsaken us like David. Sometimes it is when
the work of the Lord seems to be attacked by everything and everybody as
it was with Paul. Sometimes it is just because Satan is on the attack.
Even the Lord in the garden of Gethsemane could say as He anticipated
the cross, "My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death"
mind is a wonderful thing and Satan knows how to attack it. He did that
to the Lord when he was hungry and alone in the wilderness. He did it to
Him in the Garden of Gethsemane. He does that to us. The shield that we
need is not the shield of believing more earnestly, but the shield of
the things that we believe. It is the shield that covers all the other
armor that protects us in this spiritual battle that we are constantly
fighting against the wicked spirits in the heavenlies.
the Lord was being attacked, angels came and ministered to Him both in
the wilderness and in the Garden (See Matthew 4:11 and Luke 22:43).
Often friends are of no help when the attack comes. Peter and James and
John slept when they should have been praying for the Lord. But
sometimes we can be the angel or messenger that the Lord sends to bear
the burden of one who is under attack. But above all, when the attack
comes, and it will, we need to know the promises of God. When Satan
says, "Yea hath God said?", we need to be able to say,
"Yes He has made that promise and He doesn't lie." That will
keep our minds protected by the shield of faith.
promises that give us the assurance that God loves us and sent His Son
to die for our sins so we could have an eternal home in the heavens, are
likely the same promises that will give us peace when Satan goes on the
attack. If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31.
for the week of August 12, 2007
is no one like the God of Jeshurun, Who rides the heavens to help you,
And in His excellency on the clouds. The eternal God is your refuge, And
underneath are the everlasting arms; He will thrust out the enemy from
before you, And will say, 'Destroy!' (NKJV)
seems so temporary when you get older. When I was in elementary school,
summer vacation seemed like an eternity. This summer has almost passed
me by before it seemed to get started. James says life is like steam out
of a tea kettle that rises and vanishes (James 4:14). Nothing on this
planet is permanent. When we buy new cars, we think we will have them
forever. Then when they begin to need repairs we are reminded that from
the moment we drove them out of the showroom, we were driving a used
car. Even the earth which seems so permanent is temporary and will one
day be destroyed according to Peter (2 Peter 3:10.)
though life is temporary, society is constantly changing. This last
century has seen more changes in the way we live than in all of the
preceding history of man since Noah. We can now fly. We also travel in
automobiles and trains and motorcycles . We now communicate around the
globe almost instantaneously by email, or by cell phones. Space ships
travel to the moon and probe the outer reaches of our solar system.
Along with these changes, many would like to believe that God has also
changed, but God is eternal. According to Hebrews 13:8, Jesus Christ is
the same yesterday, today, and forever. He says that He is the One who
always has and always will exist (Revelation 1:8). God is the one
constant in life. He has revealed Himself in different ways at different
times. He has worked in different ways at different times, but He
Himself is the one great constant in life.
have questioned the existence of God because they cannot understand how
someone who has no beginning can exist. I don't understand that either
but I can see that God exists. The fact that His creation exists is
evidence that He exists. The fact that He could tell us all about Christ
and how He would be born and die long before it happened indicates that
He not only exists but that He tells us all about Himself. He says that
He is eternal and that He is from everlasting to everlasting (Psalm
that God is eternal means that we who are temporary can not put Him in a
box and understand Him. We cannot make Him Who we want Him to be because
He is Who He is. But only an eternal God could give us eternal life. And
when this temporary body fails and when this temporary life ends, those
of us who have made plans for eternity have a place prepared for us that
is eternal in the heavens (2 Corinthians 5:1). That place will not be
like our new cars. When that place would normally be considered old, it
will still be new. A mind that is constrained by time cannot fathom the
concept of eternity. Even the Bible describes eternity by using time. In
Revelation 20:10, those who rebel against God are tormented day and
night for ever and ever.
eternity is so long and time is so short, preparing for eternity would
seem to be the prudent thing to do. Most who do not believe in a Creator
God would likely admit that they expect something to continue forever
after they die. They would just like to believe that they will not be
conscious or held accountable to God during eternity. I personally think
that is a terrible mistake to make.
when life seems to be going faster than I would like it to go; and when
changes occur that I am not ready for, I am comforted by the fact that I
am just that much closer to the eternal God who sent His Son so that I
might have my sins forgiven and enjoy eternal life. Since God does not
change, I am confident that I can count on the eternal God with the
everlasting arms to meet me when this temporary life is over.
for the week of August 19, 2007
22:6 But I am a worm, and no man; A reproach of men, and despised by the
often think that the wealthy and powerful never experience rejection.
However, that wasn't the case with David who wrote this Psalm. David had
two times of great persecution in his life. The first was when Saul was
trying to destroy him so that he could not be king. Saul was trying to
establish his dynasty and wanted his son to be king. That persecution
was completely undeserved because David had been totally loyal to Saul
while he was king. He considered Saul to be the Lord's anointed and he
wouldn't touch him (1 Samuel 26:11).
second persecution was when his own son Absalom rebelled against him and
tried to take his throne (2 Samuel 15). This second persecution was the
result of David's sin with Bathsheba. When Nathan confronted David about
his sin, David confessed the sin. There is no doubt that God forgave
Him, but there were still consequences associated with what he had done.
In 2nd Samuel 12:11-13 we are told that the Lord had put away David's
sin after he confessed it, but that an adversary would arise from within
don't know for sure when David wrote this Psalm, but it would make sense
that it was written during the first persecution that was not deserved
rather than during the second which was deserved. This is a Messianic
Psalm which means that the authors of the new testament quote it to show
that the Lord Jesus fulfilled some of these experiences prophetically.
Since the Lord did not deserve his persecution, I would like to believe
that David wrote this Psalm before he sinned with Bathsheba.
David considered himself to be a worm (or more appropriately, a maggot),
and if the Lord also experienced total rejection, why should we consider
it unusual as the Lord's people to feel totally rejected at times? David
had as many as six hundred men with him when he was fleeing from Saul (1
Samuel 25:13) and yet there were times when he felt totally alone and
forsaken. He was a leader of men and yet felt like he was a maggot.
is a powerful tool of Satan because Christians need to have friends and
fellowship. That is one of the functions of the new testament church.
Satan knows that if he can isolate and discourage us, he can render us
powerless and ineffective. When those who reject Christ reject us, that
hurts, but we expect that. But Satan knows that his best weapon is to
have those who claim to be be Christians reject us. The Lord experienced
that when his disciples forsook Him and fled (Matthew 26:56). Finally,
God also forsook Him (Matthew 27:46). All this was done so that we might
have One who could not only save us, but Who has promised that He will
never forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). Those of us who have trusted in Christ
are unconditionally accepted in the beloved, that is we are accepted by
God because of our trust in Christ (Ephesians 1:6). And that is what
we feel like a worm and not like a man, it is easy to think God's
relationship with us is the same as that of our acquaintances. But we
who are trusting in Christ need to understand that God's love is not
fickle. His acceptance of us is not conditional but unconditional. We
are often told that we should be happy if we find one really good friend
during our lifetimes. If we are saved, we have that friend in the Lord
for the week of August 26, 2007