leave comments go to http://bdcministries.com/
to Archived Meditations
I sent to you immediately, and you have done well to come. Now
therefore, we are all present before God, to hear all the things
commanded you by God."
of us have an independent streak in us. The independent streak found in
those who founded this country led to our independence. We didn't like
having to do England's will as a nation. We often don't like being told
what to do and how to do it as individuals, particularly in areas where
we think we are experts. Some of us take instructions when we need them
but many of us don't. When we do get instructions that make sense they
don't make sense to us if they disagree with our preconceived notions.
Generally we don't want to be confused with the facts, because our minds
are made up.
is one thing when we don't listen to other people, but it is another
thing when we don't listen to God. When Satan tempted Eve in the Garden
of Eden, he told her she could be as God, knowing good and evil (Genesis
3:5). When it comes to the spiritual affairs of life, many of us still
think that we know what is right even when what we believe doesn't make
people think that there are many paths leading to God and that He is
known by many names in different cultures. Each god wants something
different from those who worship him. So how could all these gods exist
when they don't agree or is there a God over the gods that we haven't
been told about?
general people who believe in the Christian God think that good people
go to heaven and bad people go to hell. The problem with this thinking
is that most of us know we are not good. We may be better than others,
but we don't live up to our own standards, let alone living up to the
standards of God.
people think that God will honor whatever they believe as long as they
sincerely believe it. The problem with this thinking is that it assumes
that our believing makes things true. However, things that are true are
true whether we believe they are true or not.
Roman centurion in Acts 10 had been seeking for God and had been tying
to please Him for a long time. He gave alms and he prayed and he likely
was convinced that the Jewish Jehovah was the only living and true God.
But while he had the right attitude, he didn't have all of the truth.
God waited until the time was right and then sent Peter to him to
explain that the way to God was through faith in Christ. The time was
right when the Centurion was ready to listen to what God had to say
through Peter. Instead of telling God what was right, he was willing to
let God tell Him. The message he heard was, "whoever believes in
Him (the Lord Jesus) will receive remission of sins (Acts 10:43)."
The Centurion received forgiveness that day and was saved (see Acts
11:14) as was his household since they were all open to the message that
after we are saved, we may still have trouble listening. Instead of
looking for a church where God is comfortable, we look for one where we
are comfortable. Sometimes we end up inside the church and He ends up on
the outside (Revelation 3:20). Instead of accepting the fact that God
has moral standards that are different from society's standards, we
begin to live like the world around us instead of as a people set apart
for the Lord. We often try to win people to Christ by trying to be like
them instead of offering them the alternative of a new life in Christ.
would be a lot less confusing and we would be a great deal happier if we
not only heard everything that God commanded us, but if we would prove
that we have heard by submitting to what He says. That is what the
Centurion did when he submitted to Peter's message to believe the Gospel
and his command to be baptized in the name of the Lord.
for the week of July 6, 2008
you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the
flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.
can certainly be a curse when it comes to knowing God and pleasing Him.
Solomon was the wisest man on earth apart from the Lord Himself and yet
he made some very foolish decisions. He set the stage for the nation of
Israel's descent into the worship of foreign gods.
said that Solomon "was wiser than all men (1Kings 4:31)." The
Queen of Sheba came and tested him with hard questions. She came to this
conclusion, "Indeed the half was not told me. Your wisdom and
prosperity exceed the fame of which I heard (1 Kings 10:7)."
used him to build the temple that David his father had wanted to build.
God appeared to him twice and the second time He told him, "Now if
you walk before Me as your father David walked, in integrity of heart
and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded you,
and if you keep My statutes and My judgments, then I will establish the
throne of your kingdom over Israel forever (1 Kings 9:4-5). Yet Solomon
was not faithful to God and late in his life began to worship the gods
of the foreign wives that he had married. What was this intelligent King
thinking? We aren't really told what went through his mind as he began
worshiping other gods, but he certainly wasn't showing a great deal of
intelligence or wisdom when he did it.
seems to be an exception to the rule that intelligence tends to cause us
to walk by sight and not by faith. That is, our natural inclination is
to walk by what makes sense and not by what God tells us especially when
what He tells us doesn't make sense. If we are going to walk by faith
and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7), not everything in life is going to
make logical sense. It didn't make logical sense for Abraham to offer
his son on an altar, but he was willing to do it. It didn't make logical
sense that our Savior would die for us instead of having us die for Him.
Circumstances of life don't always make sense. Job didn't know why he
was suffering. Joseph didn't know why he was in prison. Sarah didn't
know why she was childless. But all these things make sense now even
though they didn't make sense then.
do not believe that we have to quit thinking to believe God. I am
convinced that a good logical person will understand that if the Bible
is true, nothing else matters. If it is not true, nothing matters. There
is no other religion or philosophy that gets its teaching from one who
is eternal and who knows what eternity is all about. Therefore, there is
certainly nothing to lose and everything to gain by believing that God
is the author of the Bible and that He has revealed Himself and His will
to us through it. But that doesn't mean that we will understand every
aspect of creation or that we will understand all of the suffering that
is in the world. I will never be able to understand why I was born in
the lap of luxury in the Unites States while others were born into
adversity in third world countries. But even though we can't understand
or explain some of these things, we can believe that God wants devoted
hearts to worship him when things make sense; and, even more so, when
things do not make sense.
suspect that when Solomon in all his wisdom began experimenting with the
worship of other gods that he liked some aspects of that worship. He
likely felt he was being generous and compassionate when he allowed his
wives to worship their gods instead of His God. But ultimately, he seems
to have concluded that those gods were real gods that deserved worship.
In 1 Kings 11:5, he went after gods which God said are not gods (2 Kings
19:18). How could he be called intelligent and wise when he did that?
guess I would rather be considered unintelligent and end up in heaven
than intelligent and end up in hell. I would be rather be considered
unintelligent and worship God faithfully according to his will than
intelligent and to lose my desire to do what the Lord says even when I
think He could have done things better if He had just done them
really wise person will trust the Lord and will do what He says.
for the week of July 13, 2008
I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one
sinner who repents."
is in abundant supply in this world. Sorrow started with a simple act of
disobedience. Eve likely thought that taking one bite of a piece of
forbidden fruit shouldn't hurt anyone. And if anyone was hurt it would
be only herself. However, her action affected her husband who became the
first man of sorrows. It affected her children since one of her children
murdered his brother in a disagreement about religion. Because of Adam
and Eve's sin, every person born into this world is born to die. Instead
of being born with an innocent nature that can enjoy God and that God
can enjoy, we are born with a rebellious unbelieving nature that has to
be changed by the new birth for us to have fellowship with God.
second man of sorrows was Christ. He is the man who bore our grief's and
carried our sorrows. He suffered great indignities in order to save us
from eternal sorrow. His life was filled with rejection and it ended
unjustly on a felon's cross. He did right and was treated wrong. He has
now been raised from the dead and is sitting at the Father's right hand.
He is offering himself to us as our Savior. Think of the sorrow He must
feel when people scoff at the idea that He can save them.
will be experienced beyond measure when people who reject Christ wake up
in eternal burnings to find out that what God had said in the Bible was
true. The concept of eternal eludes me. I cannot conceive of time that
goes on forever. Yet the book of Revelation talks of those who will be
tormented day and night forever and ever (Revelation 20:10). Unending
time is used to describe eternity. But that is just one of the things
that makes eternal destruction so bad. Another will be the fact that
many people in hell will know John 3:16. Many learned it as a child.
Some have seen the Bible verse reference at ball games. Others have seen
the text on walls in homes and in places of worship. Since the memory of
people in hell seems to be intact according to Luke 16:25, I wonder what
it will be like to remember that verse and to realize that it could have
been the promise that saved them. I would think that the torment of
knowing the Gospel and knowing that Christ died for them and realizing
that they foolishly turned their back on the Lord, would be pain that
would be almost unbearable.
the other hand, there is great joy when a person finally gets by all the
excuses, all the deceitful lies of Satan, all of the rebellion, and
finally in simply trusting faith receives the Lord as Savior. There is
no joy quite like seeing a convicted, lost, troubled individual
understand and depend for the first time on the truth that Christ died
for them. If we experience such joy when one person gets peace with God
and a home in heaven, what must it mean to the heart of the Father and
to the Lord Jesus Himself? Obviously angels rejoice when truth prevails
and Satan is defeated. They were likely there when Satan rebelled and
they know the consequences of sin. No doubt angels rejoice because they
know that for one more person the sufferings of the Cross were not
was recently at a camp where the Gospel was preached to children. We saw
the happy faces of some who were able to say for the first time, "I
understand. I know I am saved. Christ did die for me." By trusting
the promises of the Lord, they trusted the Lord. I hope everyone has the
experience at some point in their lives of being involved with someone
who has been delivered from the power of darkness in this way. There is
no greater joy. There is no greater victory. There is no greater purpose
in life than to see people pass from death to life (John 5:24).
is no wonder that the angels rejoice.
for the week of July 20,2008
a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of
Diana, brought no small profit to the craftsmen. He called them together
with the workers of similar occupation, and said: "Men, you know
that we have our prosperity by this trade. "Moreover you see and
hear that not only at Ephesus, but throughout almost all Asia, this Paul
has persuaded and turned away many people, saying that they are not gods
which are made with hands. "So not only is this trade of ours in
danger of falling into disrepute, but also the temple of the great
goddess Diana may be despised and her magnificence destroyed, whom all
Asia and the world worship."
is a great motivator. In a capitalistic free-enterprise society, money
is the way we vote for the things we want to support. When there are
problems in society or in families or in companies, often money is
involved. We sometimes say, "It is always about the money!."
That was the case with Demetrius and sometimes I wonder if that is the
case with those of us who say we are serving the Lord today.
say that money isn't everything, and it isn't when you have a lot of it.
But if you don't have much and the house mortgage, the gas bill, the
property taxes, the medical bills and the food bills are all coming due,
then money is very important. Money represents a person's worth in our
society. Generally people of power and people that we consider
successful have a lot of money.
silver shrines for Diana was a money maker for Demetrius. When Paul
began explaining that faith in Christ was the only way to please God, he
was putting Demetrius' trade in Jeopardy. Whether Demetrius really
thought the goddess Diana was "great" or not, he used that as
his excuse to cause a riot and to try to stop the Christians from
preaching against idols. It was all about the money.
remember starting a business as a Certified Public Accountant in the
years when you could not legally advertise. I was not known in the
community where I was setting up the business so I was told that I
should join the biggest church in town in order to get business. Instead
I went to a little group that the Lord had led me to that was not even
in town and was certainly not the popular place to go. Even I wondered
if I was going to survive by doing what I was convinced the Lord wanted
me to do. I found out later that some of my clients came to me because I
was not going to the big church in town. They wanted their information
kept confidential and since I didn't go to that church and hadn't joined
all the social groups in town, they figured that I probably wasn't going
to be telling the locals about their business. I would probably have
gone broke if it had been all about the money.
I observe churches and the work of the Lord, I find that an awfully lot
is about the money. Religion has become big business. Bible versions and
edited Bibles multiply because there is money to be made in them.
Publishing religious literature can be a big business. Concerts and
conferences are promoted just like they were businesses. I wonder what
the Lord thinks about the business aspects of the free Gospel today. I
know that there are many people in the business of preaching the Gospel
that are doing it out of love for the Lord rather than out of the love
of money, but how would we know that if their ministries and churches
are all about the money?
am told that if we went back to the Biblical model where the Gospel was
always provided freely and where the unsaved were not knowingly being
solicited for funds, that we couldn't do the work of the Lord today.
However, I think the Biblical model still works. Using it would
eliminate the doubt as to whether we are doing what we do because it is
profitable or whether we are doing what we do because we really do
worship the Lord. We don't want to be like Demetrius where it was all
about the money.
for the week of July 27, 2008