to Archived Meditations
12:3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against
himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
week was a bad week. First, my daughter’s car stopped on the highway.
After giving her my car to use and towing her car to a reputable dealer,
we had it fixed by Monday noon. It ran fine on Monday but on Tuesday
morning it wouldn’t start and had to be towed to the garage again. The
mechanics kept saying it worked fine for them. Friday after the
mechanics had tried everything and couldn’t identify the problem, we
decided to do a tune up and call it quits. I was going to keep an
appointment I had made to discuss some Spiritual issues with a friend.
However, Geneva had been complaining that the water heater didn’t
sound right. I walked around our manufactured home and found out that a
water pipe had broken under the house and water was pouring out on the
ground. We managed to get a handyman out to fix the leak and I kept my
appointment. Then my daughter called to tell us that she had been
involved in a hit and run accident in the car that I had loaned her.
Last week, the light at the end of the tunnel was the light of an
oncoming train. However, when I consider Him, I wouldn’t have wanted
to go through the Lord’s last week which went something like this:
Sunday the nation wanted to make Him king, but by Friday He was hanging
on a criminal’s cross because the Jewish leaders were jealous of His
following. On Monday, He cast businessmen out of the temple. They had
turned the worship of God into a moneymaking enterprise. On Tuesday, the
Lord taught about end time calamities. On Wednesday, he likely spent the
day with friends in Bethany. On Thursday, He kept the Passover and
established the Lord’s supper. He then agonized in the Garden of
Gethsemane and was betrayed by Judas with a kiss. On Friday, He went
through a number of Jewish and Roman trials. He was found innocent by
Pilate who then allowed Him to be crucified. He was mocked and scourged
and forsaken by God. The day started out with the sun shining but there
was darkness from noon until three. He was buried before sundown. On
Saturday, He remained in the tomb. His week was a train wreck.
Fortunately, the story ends with the Lord being victoriously raised from
the dead and the sorrowing disciples being asked why they were seeking
the Living among the dead (Like 24:5).
we who have trusted in Christ as our personal Savior have a bad week,
there is always an afterward to encourage us (Hebrews 12:11). Our
afterward involves the peaceable fruit of righteousness if we are smart
enough to learn the lessons we are being taught. Our afterward involves
a life with Christ for eternity. A bad week proves that the Lord loves
us. He chastens but doesn’t punish those He loves. Punishment is
payment for sin. It is the penalty required when the law is broken. The
Lord was punished for us but we still need discipline which is training
and correction. Those who have potential may be trained to be better.
Those who err may be corrected by the chastening. But in any case, when
we have bad weeks, we need to consider the Lord so that we don‘t grow
weary and faint.
week wasn’t so bad after all. The car is running, the leak is fixed
and the hit and run accident left no appreciable damage. And I wasn’t
crucified! Now, I am wondering what lessons the Lord will be teaching me
of December 5, 2004
Timothy 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation,
that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am
takes us from the incarnation of Christ to the death of Christ in one
concise statement that summarizes the Gospel. Paul said we could depend
on this Truth. As a matter of fact, Paul thinks this statement is so “worthy”
that it should be accepted by all. But is this statement in fact true?
current Newsweek has a “factual” article on the myths incorporated
into the account of the birth of Christ. Convincing people that the
coming of Christ into the world is a myth is Satan’s way of casting
doubt on the work of Christ at the cross.
have many reasons for believing the Bible. I could tell you about
miraculous answers to prayer. I could go into the prophecies connected
with the incarnation and the death of Christ. I could go into the
prophecies connected with the people of Israel. These are objective
reasons for believing the faithful saying that Christ Jesus came into
the world to save sinners. Ultimately, however, I believe the Bible
because I want to. The reason I want to is that I need something to help
me with my reason for being here. I need to have guidance for life and
confidence about eternity. The Biblical gives me satisfactory answers to
have never found someone who has rejected Biblical Truth that can give
me something back that is better or clearly more truthful. Many people
believe in God but they don’t believe the Biblical Truth that a person
can know that they are saved. My God has been satisfied with the death
of Christ and He is satisfied with me when I am satisfied with the death
of Christ. That gives me assurance that I am saved. Why would I want a
belief system that leaves me unsure about this great issue?
people do not believe in God and of course that really makes that person
the final authority and he becomes his own God. This is scary when you
consider how many of man’s truths weren’t true. Remember when it was
accepted fact that the earth was flat? Remember when the earth was
thought to be the center of the universe?
people say science has all the answers. However, a science that studies
a car while denying that it has been deliberately designed is as foolish
as a science that studies creation and denies a creator. Science that
denies a creator is like swimming upstream. It consumes a lot of
I believe that this is a faithful saying, worthy of all acceptation. I
have accepted it, not because it answers all my questions, but because I
have faith in a benevolent, gracious and kind God. I know when I trusted
in the clear Truth contained in this verse and I have found no reason to
allow the intellectual skeptics who believe that much of the Bible is a
myth to shake my faith in the promises of God and in the God of the
of December 12, 2004
2:10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
have been pondering some interesting things about the first coming of
the Lord Jesus. First of all, he was sought for and found by wise men
from the East (likely Babylon or present day Iraq) and rejected by His
own nation (John 1:11). This nation was the enemy of the Jews and the
place where religious confusion began in Genesis 11. He was crucified by
those who were God’s chosen people and who “had the truth”. I
wonder if those of us who “have the truth” and who call ourselves
Christian would welcome the Lord into our congregations if he were to
physically appear at our doors today. The Jews didn’t believe their
own prophets but apparently the Chaldeans did--at least they believed
Daniel. Daniel became the chief of the Chaldeans (or wise men from
Babylon, Daniel 5:11) but instead of their teaching corrupting him, His
teaching was believed by them. He remained faithful even though he went
to a heathen college and likely was taught their mystical religions.
Nevertheless, I suspect that His prophecies are the reason that the wise
men were looking for the Messiah’s star.
the wise men were looking upward while the Jews as a nation tend to look
downward. The wise men saw His star in the East (they were in the East,
the star was in the West). They had guidance from heaven about a visitor
from heaven. The Jewish nation will look for their help from the earth
and He will be an imposter. In Revelation 13, there is a second beast
that arises out of the earth who represents this imposter and he gives
his allegiance to a first Beast that has arisen out of the sea. Later
these men are called the beast and the false prophet. They offer false
peace and those who follow them are destroyed. We need to get our eyes
on heaven rather than choosing our place and style of worship based on
what it can do for us while on the earth. I doubt that we can be so
heavenly minded that we are no earthly good. But we can be so occupied
with earthly things that we miss the Lord from heaven and the joy that
the Lord was born in an outside place so He could die in an outside
place. This time of the year we tend to think that everyone is a
Christian. We need to remember that Christmas is the world’s way of
honoring the Lord. The Lord’s way to honor Him is to trust Him, to be
baptized (immersed) to identify with Him, to remember Him in the Lord’s
supper and to live as those we actually believe what we have professed
in our verbal testimonies and in the ceremonies associated with our
worship. We need to remember that our Lord is still outside the lives of
most people in the world and outside the lives of many who claim to be
Christians. Unfortunately, He is even outside the door of many of our
churches (See Revelation 3:20). I hope there is a warm spot in my heart
and life for the Lord of the Bible. I hope that I have been willing to
accept Him as He is rather than trying to make Him into something that I
would like Him to be and that the world will find acceptable.
was joy at the birth of the Lord and there was joy at the resurrection.
The Lord said that the disciples would have their sorrow turned into joy
(John 16:20). The Lord was willing to endure the cross because of the
joy that was set before Him (Hebrews 12:2). When we accept the Christ of
the Bible and admit that we are just sinners saved by grace who are
waiting for the second coming of the Lord, then our “joy can be full
of December 19, 2004
1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
have said before that life for a Christian is an adventure with God.
Last week our adventure took us to Lexington, KY during the big
Christmas snow storm. We held up on the road until the storm had passed.
Then thinking that Indiana had some snow plows we started down I 65
toward Louisville. By the time we reached the heavy snow area, the roads
would have been cleared in Iowa. In Indiana they hadn’t even plowed
the exits. Fortunately, I had a full tank of gas as we sat in stopped
traffic hour after hour. Late at night we were stopped for about four
hours and even though I had a full tank of gas, I turned off the car and
we pulled blankets over our legs and began to look around us. Slowly but
surely the cars started turning off their engines and lights and when
they did it became obvious that the moon was out on a reasonably clear
night with a fresh blanket of snow reflecting the moon light. It was
actually quite beautiful. Where there was a car or truck with lights on,
it seemed like you could see them forever.
began to think that many if not all of the scenes in the Biblical
account of the birth of the Lord Jesus were night scenes. The shepherds
were keeping their flocks by night when the angel of the Lord appeared
and the glory of the Lord shined about them. They saw light in a dark
place and it must have been awesome. The wise men followed a star and
while we are not told that they traveled at night, the imagery of a star
leading them, would imply a night scene. The star likely would have been
in brilliant contrast to the darkness of the sky. It is interesting that
the darker the night, the brighter a little light appears. We look for
light to guide us and to enlighten us and to cheer us.
the Lord came into this world, He was the light that could not be
overcome by the darkness (John 1:5). He appeared at a dark time in
history but because of the darkness His light was that much more
brilliant. Even though men loved darkness rather than light (John 3:19),
His work could not be frustrated nor His purpose defeated. And He offers
light to those of us who realize that we live in a dark world where our
only enlightenment must come from the light of the Truth of the Gospel.
It was as though God was once again saying, “Let there be light.”
we hear of the natural disaster of the tidal waves in the Indian ocean,
when we read about the wars and genocide in our world, when we get
concerned about the next flu pandemic, when we face the fact that we
cannot always feel safe on our city streets, then we need a little light
in a dark place. A star has appeared, the glory of the Lord has been
witnessed, the Lord has come. It is true that He died on a
supernaturally dark afternoon on a hill outside Jerusalem, but it is
also true that witnesses say that he proved Himself to be alive
afterward by many undeniable proofs (Acts 1:3). Without light we cannot
see but, thank God, we have been given light. The brilliance and beauty
of the risen Lord who offers salvation to all who will trust Him stands
in stark contrast to the darkness and sin of our hearts and the darkness
and sin of a Christ rejecting world. God has given us light and God saw
the light that it was good (Genesis 1:4). Hopefully, we have found the
light good as well.
of December 26, 2004