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JUNE 2003


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  • 1 Kings 23:25 And like unto him (Josiah) was there no king before him, that turned to the LORD with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; neither after him arose there any like him.

  • 1Kings 21:25 But there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the LORD, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up.

  • 2Timothy 4:7 I (the Apostle Paul) have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:

Most people think books could be written about their lives and likely the books would make for interesting reading. The Lord gives us chapters on the lives of certain kings but He is able to sum up their lives in just a few words. For Josiah, the Lord’s summation is a great commendation. His faithfulness appears to transcend the faithfulness of King David. For Ahab, the Lord’s summation is a great embarrassment. What do our lives really amount to, anyway? James says, “For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away (James 4:14 ).” What do you suppose the Lord’s analysis of our lives will be like? We know that He is pleased when we have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul says that “ they that are in the flesh (in contrast to being in Christ) cannot please God (Romans 8:8).” So the issue of our salvation must be settled by faith in the work, worth and Word of the Lord before there is anything in our lives that God can commend. However, we also know that many say they have faith and then deny that truth by the things that they do. Many of us who have faith, have never fulfilled our God given mission as new creatures in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17) to be faithful to our heavenly calling (Hebrews 3:1).

How will God sum up our lives? Wouldn’t it be great to be able to say as Paul did, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith (or guarded the truth)! The hymn writer has put it this way:

Only one life, it will soon be past

Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Week of June 1, 2003

1Chronicles 15:13 For because ye did it not at the first, the LORD our God made a breach upon us, for that we sought him not after the due order.


King David made a great mistake when He brought the ark of the Lord up from Kirjathjearim to place it in the tent he had prepared for it in Jerusalem. David wanted to the right thing but He did it the wrong way. He failed to read the directions.

The Ark had been taken in a battle with the Philistines. To them it had been nothing but a sacred collectors item that represented a god that was inferior to theirs. They thought their gods had given them the Ark. When they found out that the God of this Ark was powerful enough to strike them with diseases, they decided to send it back to Israel on a cart pulled by cows that had their nursing calves tied up at home. The cows miraculously left their young and took the Ark back to the Israelites. Now twenty years later David wants to move the Ark to Jerusalem and he uses the ox cart of the Philistines rather than the Levites of the Bible. When the oxen stumbled, one of David’s men reached out to steady the ark and he was smitten dead. He was not supposed to touch the Ark. If the Ark had fallen and had split open, all who looked into it would have died. So the man who died likely saved the rest who were in the company. David was upset but realized that they had done something wrong. Now after “reading the directions”, he brings up the Ark the way the Lord prescribed by having the Levites to carry it on their shoulders.

Why don’t we read the directions before we start our projects (like putting together a grill or portable building). I know why I don’t. Sometimes the directions are confusing and sometimes I simply think I can figure it out on my own. But invariably, I get to a point where I have to sit down and read the directions. Somebody has said, “when all else fails, read the directions”. Unfortunately in Spiritual things that may be too late.

Men have failed to read the directions (the Bible) about salvation. In general, most feel that if they believe in God generally and try to do the best they can, they will be all right when they die. The directions say that we must recognize that our best is not good enough because we are all sinners (Isaiah 53:5). The directions say that we must believe in Christ specifically and not in God generally to be saved. John 14:1 says, “Ye believe in God, believe also in Me.” This belief is not a general good feeling about our relationship with God but a settled conviction that allows us to depend on the Lord Jesus Christ and on the fact that His death, burial, and resurrection has satisfied God on our behalf. He has suffered the punishment that we deserve. The directions say that we cannot go to heaven based on what we are doing for God, but we can go to heaven based on what God has done for us.

Many true believers are failing to read the directions about what pleases God after we are saved. We are accepting the world’s standards as to morality in general and marriage in particular (or lack of it). We are accepting the world’s standards as to what a church ought to be. We are worshipping so that “we get something out of it” rather than worshipping in such a way that the “Lord gets something out of it.” I personally don’t understand why using oxen and an ox cart isn’t just as good a way to transport the Ark as using the shoulders of the Levites. But God wasn’t happy that David hadn’t read the instructions. Ignorance was not bliss. I think there is a lesson here for us today.

Week of June 8, 2003

1 Kings 22:8 And Hilkiah the high priest said unto Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of the LORD. And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it.

John 9:22 These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue.


Here we have two great truths to ponder. In the old testament, God’s Word has been lost in the house of the Lord. When it was found and read, there was a great revival under Josiah the King of Judah. Obviously, they had a temple where they claimed to be worshipping God but where they were not reading the instructions on how to do that.

In the new testament, the Jews who claimed to worship the true God, were threatening to excommunicate from the synagogue any who trusted in or believed in the man that had been proving Himself to be their Messiah. They had a place of religious worship where the Lord was not welcome.

Could these two things happen in our day? Could we have a church where the Word of God is so neglected that it would be almost impossible to find and read a Bible there? Could we have a church where the Lord Himself would not be welcome if He visited there? I believe many people have rebelled against the idea that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. They believe the Bible is a book of wisdom that contains the Word of God rather that believing that it is the Word of God. Thus they pick and choose what they want to believe. The church that preaches man’s opinion rather than God’s Word becomes a disorderly place where the Lord would not be welcome if He came into the congregation. Not only would He not be welcome, He would be uncomfortable with the activities of many churches. As a matter of fact, in Revelation 3:14-22, He stands outside a congregation that claims to be worshipping Him asking for an invitation to come in. Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”

Let’s not lose sight of the fact that the local Church is the Lord’s and not ours. We need to make sure that the Word of God has a prominent place there.. That will make the Church a place where the Lord will be on the inside having fellowship with us and not on the outside of that which claims to be His.

Week of June 15, 2003

1 Chronicles 2:7 And the sons of Carmi; Achar, the troubler of Israel, who transgressed in the thing accursed.

1 Kings 18:17 And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel?


Achar (or Achan in Joshua 7) disobeyed God and caused the whole congregation of Israel to suffer. God calls him the troubler of Israel. Ahab was one of the most evil kings that ever reigned in Israel. When God used Elijah to point out the sins of Ahab and to stop the rain for three years because of Ahab’s sin, Ahab considers Elijah to be the troubler of Israel. God’s perspective and man’s perspective on who or what causes trouble is certainly different, isn’t it?

The Bible is clear that what we do affects others. Today many people justify many sins by saying that they are only hurting themselves. But every sin hurts others in some way. We may be spending money or time that we should be spending in other ways. We may be hurting our health which will rob family and friends of our help and maybe our lives when we get older. Sin offends God and it causes weakness in nations and in congregations of Christians. Sin and those who justify it cause a lot of trouble.

When God sends a preacher or a prophet or a friend to point out our sin, we may believe that person is meddling in our personal affairs and is a “troubler”. Often God sends this person before He sends circumstances into our life to correct us. In the old testament the attitude of those who had departed from the Lord was that things were working out just fine until some prophet of the Lord had to try to “change things”. So the prophet was considered to be making trouble. Many times the Gospel preacher is seen in this same light when he points out sin.

We need to remember that it is because of the love of God that He sends people to tell us that we are doing wrong. He has sent His Son to be our Savior so that sin can be forgiven and then He has given us His Word and the Holy Spirit to keep us from continuing in sin. We need to remember that sin is the “troubler” and those who point it out are doing so because God loves us and wants us to keep from making great mistakes

So I ask you, was Elijah troubling Israel or was Ahab’s rebellion against God the real problem?

Week of June 22, 2003

Psalm 37:4  Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.


This Psalm is a prescription for not fretting. In the first few verses we see that we are to trust, delight, commit and then rest. A person at rest is not an anxious or fretting person. I don’t think a person can rest unless he has committed. I don’t think commitment can come without delighting in the One to whom we are committing (in marriage or in spiritual things). I don’t think we can delight in One we don’t trust. Thus, trust leads to delight which leads to commitment which leads to not fretting.

But this verse having to do with delighting ourselves in the Lord is a particular jewel on its own. If we are a delighting people, we can have whatever we want according to this verse. The Lord will be happy to give it to us. Does that mean that we can obtain unscriptural things that we might want? I don’t think so. I believe that if we delight in a person we will want to make that person happy. What we really want is what that person wants. So if we are delighting ourselves in the Lord, our desire will be to do and want what pleases the Lord. Our desires will be His desires.

Maybe the reason we are not making more progress spiritually in some cases is because we are grumbling about what has gone wrong in our lives instead of thanking the Lord for what has gone right. When things are going right some of us are just waiting for them to go wrong because that is what we seem to expect. If we are delighting in a person, that person has made us happy. If we are happy about being saved from hell for heaven for all eternity; if we are happy that the Lord is our Savior, our friend our comforter; if we have been blessed by the Lord today; then that should show in our attitude toward the Lord and in our thanksgiving. When we are truly delighting in the Lord, we will get the desires of our heart. The Lord says so!

Week of June 29, 2003