leave comments go to http://bdcministries.com/
to Archived Meditations
19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament (or
expanse) shows His handiwork.
2:13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly
host praising God and saying:
2:14 "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill
beauty and glory of God is seen by looking upward and not by looking
downward. I am sure that as a shepherd David had times when he laid on
his back and studied the beauty and order of God as seen in the stars.
Today most of us live where we have city lights keeping us from seeing
the heavenly beauty of God's creation. We miss out on seeing the first
star come out on a clear night. We miss the beauty of a lunar eclipse.
Many of our children have never gotten a clear view of the northern
lights when they are on display in all of their shimmering colors. We
tend to be watching TV in the fall when farmers used to harvest their
crops by the light of a harvest moon. Many of us today do not experience
the beauty and order of the sky that declares the glory of God.
are always where they are supposed to be when they are supposed to be
there. You can set your clock by them. They are a reminder of the order
that ought to be seen in the life a Christian. They are also a reminder
of the fact that God is a God of order and that the universe did not
just happen. It was designed, and the earth with its ability to sustain
life as we know it is a part of that design.
shepherds that were tending their flocks near Bethlehem nearly 2000
years ago, also found the heavens to be amazing since an angel and
ultimately a whole host of angelic beings appeared to them and announced
the birth of the long awaited Messiah. The Lord came from heaven and
ultimately went back to heaven and He brought peace and goodwill with
Him from heaven. What a night that must have been for the shepherds!
are told that this very One who became a man of sorrows, who was
rejected and who was crucified, will come again and receive those of us
who believe in Him unto Himself. Our blessings as Christians are not
down here on earth but up there in heaven. In the world we will have
tribulation, in the world we will be persecuted, in the world there will
be sorrow; but up there it will beŚwell, heavenly. So why are we so
occupied with fixing a world that is unfixable and with amassing wealth
in a world that is going to be burned up when our real blessing is found
by looking up and not by looking down? Down here, the Lord was executed
and rejected. But up there He is appreciated and worshiped, and He is
preparing a special place for the bride in His Father''s house. He is
anticipating our arrival just as we should be anticipating His.
reminds us that our citizenship is in heaven and we are waiting for the
Lord to come from heaven. He will not be born into this world again. For
the believer, He will come as a blessed hope, and as a comfort. He will
deliver the Saints from the wrath to come which probably refers to the
troubles that will be ushered in after the catching away of the church.
To the unbeliever He will come as a victorious general and judge on a
white horse, and those who have not believed that there is a heaven to
gain and a hell to shun, will find out that God is real and that His
promises are going to be fulfilled whether we believe in Him or not. It
is just that the promises are so much better for the believer than for
He was taken up into heaven, angels spoke to the disciples who witnessed
his ascension and said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up
into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven,
will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven. (Acts 1:11).
We need to keep looking up and not down.
for the week of December 7, 2008
7:14 "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the
virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.
1:23 "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and
they shall call His name Immanuel," which is translated, "God
2000 years ago, a great miracle occurred. A young woman who was engaged
but not married, had a child. Now that wouldn't be a miracle in our day
and it wouldn't cause a ripple in the annals of history. But this birth
caused quite a stir when it occurred and still causes a people to sit up
and take notice. The reason this birth was notable is because the baby's
conception was miraculous. The woman was a virgin when the baby was
conceived. Because that seems so improbable to the natural mind, many
have tried to imply that the story is a myth. But Matthew thought the
story was true, and what is good enough for Matthew is good enough for
of the Gospel writers tell us when the baby was born. Some think it
occurred on December 25th, the date that was thought to be the date when
the sun was reborn by many who worshiped the sun and the stars. December
25 was considered to be the shortest day of the year, Now we know that
the date is a few days earlier. What we do know about the birth of the
Lord is that it probably wasn't on that date since it would likely have
been too cold for the shepherds to have been living in the fields and
keeping watch over their flocks at night.
we do know is that this conception was miraculous even though the birth
was normal. We know that Mary who was the virgin that conceived the Lord
had other children the normal way married women do, so she didn't remain
a virgin. We know that the conception of the Christ child was foretold
700 years before it happened. We know that when Mary gave birth to the
Lord Jesus, another great miracle occurred. God was now dwelling with
men. His title Immanuel means, "God with us." John tells us in
John 1:14, "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we
beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full
of grace and truth." The Word was a title for the Lord Jesus since
He is the means of communicating who God is to us.
do know that the celebration of Christmas is the world's way of honoring
the Lord and is not the way the Lord asked us to honor him. The Lord
wants us to believe in Him. We celebrate Christmas with a world that has
rejected Him. I always marvel that those who will not get baptized to
honor Him, who will not associate with a congregation of believers to
honor Him, and some who have never taken a piece from a loaf of bread or
a drink from a cup of wine to honor Him, are determined to celebrate
Christmas in order to honor Him.
do know that the Lord was born to die. Simeon reminded Mary in Luke 2:35
that she would understand sorrow because of this Son. He said a sword
would pierce her soul. The Lord was destined to be a "Man of
Sorrows who was acquainted with grief" (Isaiah 53:3). Some object
to the Gospel because they cannot imagine a Father punishing His Son on
a cross for something He did not do. Yet that is exactly why the Lord
was born. He is the only one who could die for our sins since He did not
have any of His own for which to die. Those of us who have trusted in
His sacrificial death, know true love. We know that the Lord was born to
die because God loved us and wanted to provide a righteous means of
salvation for us.
may be occupied with a baby in a manger this time of year. But we should
be occupied with the Savior who died on the Cross. We should be thankful
for this great miracle that occurred when Mary became pregnant by the
Holy Spirit and gave birth to a Son who was willing to live with and
ultimately die for sinners. Paul says, "But God demonstrates His
own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for
us." I don't object to the Gospel because the Father gave His
unique Son to die for me. I thank God for that great Truth.
for the week of December 14, 2008
The Little Word ALL
this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires
all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there
is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,
who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,
like the little words in the Bible. I can understand them. One of those
words that I really like is the word all. I preach the Gospel, and I
preach it in the confidence that everyone to whom I preach can be saved.
This time of the year we are reminded that the Lord was given the name
Jesus which means Savior because Joesph was told by the angel of the
Lord, "you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people
from their sins. (Matthew 1:21)."
am convinced that the Lord not only died for the elect, but he died for
all. In the old testament, the Jewish people are the elect or chosen
people. They are an earthly people. In the new testament, those who are
'in Christ" because they have faith in Him are the elect or chosen
people. They are a spiritual people. Those who miss out on God's
salvation, will do so "because he has not believed in the name of
the only begotten Son of God (John 3:18)." People rejected Christ
when He came to reveal God to us and to die for our sins, but Christ did
not reject anyone when He finished the work that saves. Again, our text
says that He gave Himself a ransom for all. Since all we like sheep have
gone astray, it is good news to know that the LORD laid on Christ the
iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53:6).
agrees with this. He says, "The Lord is not slack (or slow)
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 to repentance (2 Peter 3:9)." Repentance is the change
of mind that brings us to faith in the Lord and it is clear that
salvation is by faith alone according to the Bible. It is God's desire
that all would come to repentance so that they can be spared from
our Savior is available to all men but He only saves those who believe.
I often think about those who hear the Gospel and reject it. They will
one day be in eternal torments and one of those torments will be to have
known that Christ died for them but they wouldn't believe in Christ. It
won't be a case of them not being able to believe in Christ, but it will
be a case of not being willing to believe in Christ. And because of that
simple mistake, they will be lost. Since the Lord wants everyone to be
saved and since He paid the ransom to buy us all back from the slave
market of sin, the best way to celebrate this season would be by
trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ if we haven't already trusted Him. It
would be the smart thing to do. And if we are saved, the best thing we
can do is to thank God that His Son paid the ransom price for us all.
have all sinned (Romans 3:23). There is an all in that verse that I
don't really like, but it is there just the same. None of us deserve to
be saved. But we can all be saved, God has not limited the work of
Christ in any way. Provision was made so that God could forgive all the
sin of all the people in all the world when Christ died on the cross.
However, we ourselves can limit the work of Christ by not believing in
Him. That is the greatest offense that we can commit against God. He
loved all the people in the world and He sent His son into this world to
die on a cross to prove that. When people reject that love, I believe
that they deserve to perish. But that is not why Christ came. He came to
save, not to destroy. "For God did not send His Son into the world
to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved
Lord Jesus Christ gave Himself a ransom for all. That is the Christmas
story and the Easter story all wrapped up together. When we believe in
the Lord, we start a new life with Him and we enjoy a new beginning
because of a new birth. So we also have the New Year in this story. And
that is good news.
for the week of December 21, 2008
as a Thief
3:3 "Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast
and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a
thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.
16:15 "Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches,
and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame."
year is gone. We have accomplished some things we wanted to accomplish
and we have left other things undone. We have been thrilled at some
things that have happened this year, and we have been greatly
disappointed by other things. There is one thing that has not happened
that believers in the Lord Jesus Christ have been longing to have happen
for nearly 2000 years. The Lord has not yet kept His promise to return
it has been so long since the Lord made the promise, there are scoffers
that are saying, "Where is the promise of His coming (2 Peter
3:4)?" Scoffers tend to think 2000 years is too short to prove
evolutionary theory but that 2000 years is too long when it comes to
depending on a promise that the Lord has made. Just as I have depended
on the fact that God said Christ died for the ungodly (Romans 5:6), I am
depending on the fact that the Lord has promised to come again.
we are told that the Lord will come as a thief, sometimes we think that
means that we cannot know when the Lord is going to return; and,
therefore, we get careless about watching and waiting for Him to return.
One of the reasons that I believe that the return of the Lord for the
church must occur before the prophetic calendar of events for the nation
of Israel begins is that I do believe that the Lord wanted us to think
that He could return at any time. If the church is going to go through
some or all of that period of time called the Tribulation then there
would have to be some things happen before He could return and we who
are saved would not need to be waiting and watching.
the Lord's coming as a thief does not mean that we cannot know when the
Lord is going to return. It means instead that we simply do not expect
the Lord to return. You will notice that the Lord's coming as a thief is
a warning to both the church and to those going through the Tribulation.
In Revelation 16:15, the church has already been caught up into heaven
(Revelation 4:1) and the events that must take place after that event
are being described. For the Jewish believing remnant that knows the
prophecies of Scripture, they will be able to count down from the day
that the temple is desecrated by the Antichrist until the Lord returns
to set up His kingdom. It will be one half of the last unfinished
prophetic week of Daniel 9:27. The prophetic week of Daniel 9 represents
seven years with each day being a year. So from the time the Antichrist
ends the Jewish worship until the Lord returns to set up his kingdom
will be 42 months or 1260 days (Revelation 13:5). While the church does
not know when the Lord will come for them, the believing Jews of the
Tribulation period can know. But in both cases, the Lord will come as a
thief to a majority of the people. When we don't expect a thief, we
don't lock the doors or buy a guard dog. If we do expect a thief, we
prepare for him. By and large the Lord will surprise the whole world
when He fulfills the promise he made 2000 years ago. The church is not
expecting to be caught away from the wrath that is coming, and those who
go through that wrath do not expect to see the Lord come on the white
horse with the armies of heaven to defeat his foes (Revelation
19:11-21). But both will happen. I know it will because the Lord has
spoken, and I believe God.
this is the year that the Lord will fulfill His promise. I would like to
be among those who are waiting expectantly and eagerly to hear the shout
that announces the rapture. I remember playing hide and seek as a kid,
and while one person closed his eyes, the others hid. Before the one who
closed his eyes started his search, he would always say, "Coming,
ready or not." That is just what is going to happen when the Lord
returns. He is going to come whether we are ready or not.
for the week of December 28, 2008