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Why do You not Believe Me?
John 8:44-46 You
are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to
do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the
truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks
from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.
But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me.
Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do
you not believe Me?
We just had a major tax bill passed by Congress. The House
and Senate versions need to be reconciled and the President needs to
sign it, but we are going to have a new tax bill.
As I understand it, the bill passed the Senate in the dead of the
night before the final version was read by those who were forced to vote
on it. The bill consisted of
over 500 pages and some of it was hand written. The country is divided
as to whether this tax bill is "good" or whether it is a way
of robbing the poor and giving to the rich.
Whom should we believe?
In 1977, I was a practicing
CPA. President Carter passed
the 1977 Tax Simplification Act. It
only added complications to the tax returns I prepared.
I did not see any provisions of the tax code get removed (there
may have been some), but they added pages to the tax code and
regulations that I had to study and use in preparing tax returns.
We called that law “The Accountants and Lawyers Employment
Act.” I wonder what we
will call the present one when all the dust settles?
When men are trying to deceive, things get complicated.
lie. They usually flatter.
Then they confront. Then
And yet, we who are the “simple” ones follow the ones who
know how to deceive and we reject those who are trying to tell the
truth. How do we become
“prudent” with regard to what we believe?
First of all, we can be sure that all people tell lies.
Sometimes they are lies of omission.
We fail to tell the truth when we should.
Sometimes they are lies of commission.
We say things we know are not true.
We want to cover up our own “sins” or we don't want to offend
someone by telling the truth. Sometimes
we intend to lie but sometimes we lie because we have “jumped to
conclusions” without having all the facts.
But all people do not like to lie and they do not make it a
habit. They are not
“liars” in that sense. But
some people lie when the truth would do better and they make a habit of
lying. They have to have
good memories because when we lie we have to remember the story we told
so we don't tell a different story to someone else at a different time
and have the lie come back to haunt us.
Why do we believe liars and discredit those who tell
That is the question that the Lord has asked in this section of
the Bible. Sometimes the
truth is hard to believe. I
think it is difficult to believe that “believing” or “trusting”
in the Lord is sufficient to save us eternally.
I think it is always difficult to believe God since He thinks
differently that we do which is why our minds have to be changed about
spiritual things before we can truly trust in the Lord.
I think complicated ways of salvation that involve complicated
laws and ceremonies and sacrifices make more sense to most of us than
simple trusting faith. The
Lord never lied to us. People
have misused His words to promote lies, but the Lord never lied.
But His simple message is rejected for the more complex but
changing “truth” of science, philosophy and religion.
When it comes to this tax
law, I only use it as an illustration because as a former CPA, it is
something that I understand. I
frankly don't know who to believe about who benefits, because I haven't
read the final bill. I don't know who is lying about the bill's costs
and benefits, but I am fairly sure that someone is.
But when it comes to eternal things, I just want to make sure
that we all believe the truth. I
have read the manual on what pleases the Lord, it is called the Bible.
I have believed the One who sacrificed Himself for us and who
never told a lie. There was
no deceit found in his mouth (1 Peter 2:22).
Satan attacks these simple truths.
Why is it so easy to believe liars, and so hard to believe those
who tell the truth?
for the week of December 3,
Image and Likeness of God
Then God said, "Let Us
make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion
over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the
cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on
the earth." So God created man in His own image; in the image of
God He created him; male and female He created them.
I have wondered for
years what it really means for man to be created in God's image and
likeness. If you read the
literature on this subject you will find that there is certainly no
agreement as to what this means but I am going to share my thoughts
anyway. With regard to what
I am writing in this meditation, I reserve the right to change my mind
without notice. But I think
I have some clarity on the issue.
The first question
that must be addressed is, does likeness simply explain what it means to
be an image or is it something else?
I take it that it is something else.
We know that images are representations of something or someone.
Caesar had his image on his coins.
Many cultures used idols or images to represent their gods.
We have many statues or images that represent important
historical events. Most
images do not necessarily “look like” the thing they represent
although some do. Even in
this passage that we are considering, both males and females are created
as images to represent God. The
second of the Ten Commandments forbids making carved images that were
like anything God had created. God
knew that if man carved an image, he would worship the image and the
thing that it represented. Man
was not to worship created beings or things, He was to worship the
creator of those things.
So what does it mean
when God created mankind in his likeness?
I personally think it simply means that God created man to
fellowship with Him and to talk with Him. The animals could not do that
but God created a companion in man.
So man was to represent Him (he was his image) and man was to
communicate with God. That
is, he was to talk with Him and have fellowship with Him (he was like
Man has never
perfectly represented God since the fall in the Garden.
However, there is a man that does, and that man is Christ.
2 Corinthians 4:3-4 says, “But even if our gospel is veiled, it
is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age
has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the
glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.”
However, man has not lost his responsibility to represent God
since 1 Corinthians 11:7 says, “For a man indeed ought not to cover
his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory
of man.” I take it this
verse is referring to saved or born again men.
Romans 8:29 makes it
clear that God wants man to be conformed to the image of His Son.
So I would believe that an unsaved person does not represent God
and a saved person should. But
it takes the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit for a saved person to
be conformed to the image of God's Son.
Only then would he perfectly represent God.
I believe that fellowship is broken by sin and the only person
apart from the Lord who is really “like” God in our dispensation is
one who is born again, saved, and forgiven.
John tells us in his first epistle that we who are saved have
fellowship with one another but our fellowship is really with the Father
and with His Son (1 John 1:3).
Do We Fulfill what we
Were Created to be?
I suppose it would be
right to say that being God's image or representative, has to do with
the Christians relationship to others.
Being in the likeness of God has to do with our relationship with
God. This would include our
worship and prayer life. And
I have to ask myself, “If others only see God as they see me, what are
they seeing?” I also
wonder if God is enjoying companionship with me.
That was the whole point of creation and now it is the reason for
for the week of December 10, 2017
The Comings of the Lord
The Lord's first coming is being celebrated by a world
that by and large does not believe in Him in a Biblical way.
Many celebrate Christmas but do not get baptized scriptually nor
do they celebrate the Lord's supper often as the Lord requested.
In many cases they do not love their neighbors.
But the Lord did come and He is coming.
And His second coming will happen when the world least expects
it. Our believing doesn't
make this true, it is true whether we believe it or not.
But if we believe the Lord, we can prepare by believing in the
Lord (that is, by trusting Him). For
the Christian His second coming will mean salvation from a world that
has grown increasingly wicked. For
the the unbeliever, read on:
Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one
of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder,
"Come and see."
The Four horsemen of
And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a
bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to
When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living
creature saying, "Come and see."
Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one
who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill
one another; and there was given to him a great sword.
When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature
say, "Come and see." So I looked, and behold, a black horse,
and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand.
And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures
saying, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of
barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine."
When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth
living creature saying, "Come and see."
So I looked, and
behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and
Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of
the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the
beasts of the earth.
Martyrs who are now
Praying for Revenge
When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of
those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which
And they cried with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord,
holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell
on the earth?"
Then a white robe was
given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a
little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and
their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.
The Great Day of
I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a
great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the
moon became like blood.
And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops
its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind.
Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every
mountain and island was moved out of its place.
And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the
commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid
themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains,
and said to the mountains and rocks, "Fall on us and hide us
from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the
For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to
The Lord came to die.
He gave Himself for us. He
loves us. When we reject
that love, there are consequences. John
the apostle tells us, “Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye
will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth
will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.” (Revelation 1:7)
Please don't worship
Him your way this Christmas. Worship
Him by really believing in Him. The
cross is the real reason for the season.
for the week of December 17, 2017
Greatest Gift, the Greatest Love
this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His
Son to be the propitiation (sacrifice)
for our sins. (1 John 4:10)
The World Needs Now Is Love--
the world needs now
Is love, sweet love
It's the only thing that there's just too little of
What the world needs now
Is love, sweet love
No, not just for some, but for everyone.
remember years ago hearing this song sung by Petula Clark.
I liked it then and I like it now.
The song no doubt deals with the love that we show one another.
But God has shown that love to us.
It is a love of which mankind seems to be incapable.
world has been offered a great sacrificial love by God Himself.
That love was manifested in the Lord Jesus.
He was rejected by the many and accepted by the few.
It seems to still be that way.
But the greatest gift that anyone could offer this world has been
offered in the gift of the Lord Jesus.
We could well ask the question, do we appreciate the fact that
God gave us His Son and through Him He is offering us eternal life?
Yes, what the world needs now is love sweet love.
you just love it when someone that you love says, “I love you!”
Well that is what God is saying to you in the giving of His Son.
We are vividly reminded of that love during the holiday season.
Don't let the hustle and bustle of the season drown out the real
message of the birth of the Lord.
Meditation for the week of
December 24, 2017
Then those who feared the
LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD listened and heard them; So a
book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD
And who meditate on His name. "They shall be Mine," says the
LORD of hosts, "On the day that I make them My jewels.
And I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves
him." Then you shall again discern between the righteous and the
wicked, between one who serves God And one who does not serve Him.
The Lord's Request
When the Lord ate the
Passover with His disciples on that last night before His betrayal and
crucifixion, He left His disciples with a request.
After the Passover meal He passed a loaf of bread and a cup of
wine to his disciples and He said, “This do in remembrance of me.”
The bread was to be a memorial of His body and the wine was to be
a memorial of His blood. He
asked for the disciples to remember Him often and many of us have made
it a priority to remember Him on every Lord's Day which is the day of
the resurrection. The Jews
remembered their deliverance from Egypt with the Passover.
That lasted until the Lord became the Passover lamb.
Now we remember the Lord of whom the Passover supper speaks.
The Lord's Supper will last until the Lord comes again.
The Lord said that in taking the bread and the cup, we should
remember Him until He comes. Since
He didn't come while the disciples were living, that request applies to
those of us who are waiting for His coming.
The Lord's Promise
It is a privilege to
participate with others who really believe in the Lord in this
remembrance feast. But while
we remember the Lord, He is remembering the remnant of truly righteous
Jews who have been faithful to Him in a day when Israel has turned away
from the Lord. In Malachi,
the people who are being criticized for their lack of devotion to the
Lord by the Lord act like the “know it all child” that refuses to
accept the fact that his behavior is wrong.
As the Lord makes His charges against the Jews, they act as
though everything that He is saying is unjustified.
However, the Lord is once again giving us a lesson in division.
He divides the righteous from the wicked.
We do not seem to know how to do that but the Lord does.
And while this passage deals primarily with the Jews, it
certainly applies to those of us who claim to be Christians today.
The Lord is able to divide the believer from the pretend
believer. He is able to
separate the sheep from the goats. He
is able to separate wheat from tares.
Those who are real are precious to the Lord.
They are written in His Lamb's book of life.
They are part of His bride. He
Closing out the Year
As we come to the end
of another year, it is always wise to take inventory and to see what we
have accomplished and where we have failed.
But the real inventory is being taken by the Lord.
We may be satisfied with our relationship with Him, but is He?
Are we making excuses for our failures or are we willing to admit
that the Lord knows faithfulness when He sees it?
We really need to start with the great division between believers
and unbelievers. John 3:18
reminds us, "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who
does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in
the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
Those arguing with
God in this minor prophet are not believers in the right sense.
They believe in the existence of God and in the power of God but
they have never come to the place where they let God tell them how He
wants to be worshiped. Instead
they want Him to accept the worship that they want to give Him which
included defective sacrifices. They
were unfaithful to their wives. They were serving pagan gods.
Yet, they couldn't understand why the Lord was unhappy with them.
Are we like that today?
In the great division that God makes, will we be
written with righteous or with the wicked?
for the week of December 31, 2017