to Archived Meditations
Samuel 9:8 And he bowed himself, and said, What is thy servant, that
thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?
Samuel 9:11 As for Mephibosheth, said the king, he shall eat at my
table, as one of the king's sons.
I read my Bible, I look for principles in the Gospels, examples in the
Acts of the Apostles, teaching in the Epistles and illustrations in the
old testament. When I think of the principle of grace in the Gospels, I
think of John 1:17, “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and
truth came by Jesus Christ.” The Lord Jesus could have come to punish
us for our sins but instead He bore the punishment that our sins
deserved. Surely, He has provided us a gift that we do not deserve which
is a simple definition of grace.
I come to the Acts of the Apostles, I am reminded that Paul was a trophy
of God’s grace as was everyone who was saved by trusting in the
crucified Messiah. In addition both Jews and Gentiles had the same
Gospel preached to them. In Acts 15:11, the Jewish leaders of the church
at Jerusalem were reminded by Peter that, “we believe that through the
grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we (Jews) shall be saved, even as they
I go to the epistles, I am drawn to Ephesians 2:8-10 which give us
definitive teaching on the relationship between grace and works. “For
by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is
the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his
workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath
before ordained that we should walk in them.” Our salvation is a gift
that we do not deserve but it provides us the motivation to glorify the
One Who died for us by doing good.
passage quoted above is one of the most beautiful illustrations of grace
in the old testament. Mephibosheth was a descendent of King Saul and
could have been considered a competitor to the throne of David who was
recognized as king after Saul died. Most Kings would have slain Him so
that neither he nor his offspring would be a threat to the leadership of
the new King. However, David not only spared his life, he provided for
him and made him like one of his sons. He had him eat at his own table.
must have gone through Mephibosheth’s mind when David sent for Him? Do
you suppose that he expected to die? Perhaps. But David had made a
promise to Jonathan, Saul’s son and David’s friend that he would
show kindness to Jonathan and his descendents (1 Samuel 20:14-15).
Instead of Mephibosheth dying, he was shown grace. He was born wrong and
he was crippled so he wasn’t worth much. This is a picture of each one
of us. We are born wrong since we are born as sinners with the nature of
Adam our father. We are crippled in our service for God because we sin.
So we are sinners by nature and by practice. But just as David showed
Mephibosheth kindness for Jonathan’s sake, we have been shown kindness
because of the Lord. We like Mephibosheth have come into great blessing
which we could not expect and could not earn. Because of God’s grace
we too eat at the King’s table with our feet out of sight since our
sins have been covered by the blood of the Lord. We can say like John
grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.
once was lost but now am found. Was blind but now I see.
of June 6, 2004
9:14 And the men took of their victuals, and asked not [counsel] at the
mouth of the LORD.
many decisions have we made in life where we “asked not counsel at the
mouth of the Lord?” Normally, we have lived to regret making those
decisions. In the case mentioned above, it is may be that Joshua and the
princes of Israel were overly confident or they may have thought that
the situation was obvious. Whatever the reason, they relied on their own
discernment and got caught in a great deception because of it.
we don’t ask counsel because we already know what the Lord is going to
say and we don‘t want to hear it. King Ahab was like that when he and
Jehoshaphat were thinking of battling the Syrians at Ramothgilead. In 1
Kings 22, they consulted the false prophets who told them what they
thought they wanted to hear. But Jeshoshaphat wanted to talk to a
prophet of Jehovah. Ahab knew that Jehovah's prophet would not “prophesy
good” concerning him. So when the prophet of the Lord was called he
was also told what to say to please the King. When he said it the King
admonished him to tell the truth. When he told the truth King Ahab put
him in jail for it.
times when we ask counsel of the Lord, the Bible deals directly with he
issue. All we need to do is to read and obey. That would be the case
when we ask counsel about yoking up in some way with unbelievers (see 2
Corinthians 6:14). Our instructions are also fairly clear when it comes
to living holy honest lives. The instructions are fairly straightforward
when it comes to baptism. However, many decisions are much more
subjective. Sometimes we are considering changing jobs or moving to a
different house. Sometimes there are several possible marriage partners
available who are all saved and walking with the Lord and we need
guidance as to whether to pursue a relationship with one of them. Do we
believe that the Lord can give us guidance in these situations and if so
do we ask counsel of the Lord? If we do He will make His will known.
Some have said that in these areas we need to know what the principles
of the Word of God are, we need to ask Godly counsel from others who
have experience with the situation and we need to look at circumstances.
Finally, if we make a decision having done these three things, we should
have a sense of peace about the decision because the Holy Spirit will
lead us to “peace” about a matter if we have not grieved Him by
unbecoming attitudes and actions (Philippians 4:6-7 and Ephesians 4:30).
is difficult enough when we do things right. Sometimes we make things
more difficult than they need to be because we want to do things our way
instead of God’s way. Sometimes we are so self-reliant we simply don’t
think to ask God about a decision that we think we are competent to
make. My understanding is that God delights in our seeking His will and
if we seek we shall find (Matthew 7:7). So let us not live to regret
making decisions where we have left the Lord out of the decision-making
of June 13, 2004
6:9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
we again honor fathers on Father’s day, there might be some lessons we
can learn from the best Father that has ever existed, “Our Father
which art in heaven.”
The best Father that has ever existed had rebellious children (See
Isaiah 1:2). Since leaders in the church can be disqualified because of
rebellious children (1 Timothy 3:4-5), it appears that fathers are held
accountable for the behavior of their children. Yet we can do everything
right and still have some in our family turn out wrong. Our heavenly
Father cannot make his influence effective in our lives if we allow the
unbelievers of this world to be an intimate part of our lives. In 2
Corinthians 6:18, a proper relationship with unbelievers makes it
possible for God to function as the Father that He wants to be.
The best Father that has ever existed publicly complimented His Son at
the start of the work that He had been given to do and not at the end.
When the Lord was baptized, the Father said from heaven, “This is my
beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased (Matthew 3:17).” Surely that
strengthened the Lord for the ministry that was ahead of Him.
The best Father that has ever existed has an open door policy and
accepts boomerang children when they come home. In Luke 15, we have the
story of the prodigal son who had left the Father’s house and made his
own decisions. When those decisions led him into a pig’s pen, he began
to think about the blessings of the servants of his father. He wisely
decided to confess his sin and go back home. The father was waiting for
him and welcomed him with open arms, even having a feast in his honor.
The only person who wasn’t happy was the self-righteous older son who
had never disobeyed the father (except for the fact that he wouldn’t
be a part of this celebration even though his father asked him to be).
It appears that only those who understand forgiveness are able to enjoy
the blessings of the Father’s house. Isn’t this a beautiful
illustration of God’s salvation? When we who have gone our own way
realize that blessing is in the Father’s house and we “come home”,
we find out that God has been anxiously waiting our arrival. The Lord
has never turned a repentant sinner away. But the older son who thought
he deserved the blessings of the Father because he had earned them, shut
himself out of the Father’s house. He was not happy with the Father’s
willingness to forgive and bless one who was so undeserving. Those who
seem to think that they need no forgiveness will never enjoy a home
where others are there simply because they have been forgiven.
The best Father that has ever existed is not our spiritual father by
nature. When we are born, we are born children of wrath and children of
disobedience (Ephesians 2:2-3). When we are “born again” we become
children of God (John 1:12).
of us who are saved have been brought into a spiritual family where God
is our Father. Sometimes he disciplines us (and proves his love to us
that way, see Hebrews 12:6-7) but He always blesses us. We have the best
Father that this world has ever known.
of June 20, 2004
9:25 He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one
thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.
people greet us by asking, “What do you know for sure?” We live in a
day when almost every truth is questioned and therefore it is not
politically correct to be too sure about anything. Those who are sure
are usually considered opinionated and proud. In this passage there was
a man who knew something for sure. He knew that he was once blind but
now he could see. He didn’t know Who the man was that had opened his
eyes until later. But he knew he could see. The leaders of the Jews had
trouble arguing with him even though they didn’t want to believe that
this miracle had occurred. They didn’t want the Jewish people to
believe that Jesus was the Messiah and many of them were beginning to
believe that. This miracle was going to be difficult to explain away.
The Jewish leaders didn't want to be confused with the facts because
their minds were already made up.
man didn’t know a lot of things for sure but what he knew you couldn’t
take away from him. Those of us who are saved are like that. We know
that we are saved from the penalty that we deserve because of our sin.
Many religious leaders tell us that we can’t know that for sure. But
God says we can. 1 John 5:13 says, “These things have I written unto
you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye
have eternal life.” Who is right, God or man? If I am depending on
what I am doing for God to obtain eternal life, of course I can’t be
sure. My works and deeds always fall short of my own standards. Surely,
they fall short of God’s standards. But if I am depending on what God
has done for me by sending His Son to the cross as a sacrifice for my
sins, then I can be sure. Then I have the promise of God that “Christ
died for the ungodly (Romans 5:6).”
of us who are sure we are saved are like the man who had his eyes
opened. Before we are saved our understanding is darkened or confused.
Our eyes are blinded by unbelief according to 2 Corinthians 4:4. When we
are saved the Holy Spirit enters and we get a new understanding of the
promises of God. It is not uncommon for a newly saved person to say, “I
see, I see.” Obviously, they are saying that they now understand. We
may not know much when we are first saved, but what we are like the
blind man in that what we do know, we know for sure.
it strange that many people believe that the Bible is God’s Word and
yet they do not believe that God has told us in that volume how to be
sure that are sins are forgiven. Most people think we have to wait until
after we die to be sure about that. We must ask, “Did God write that
volume so that we wouldn’t know how to please Him or so that we would?”
I believe He wrote it so that we would know how to please Him.
may not know very much but if we are truly trusting in the Lord who is
the Truth (John 14:6), we should know for sure that we are saved. We
should know that Christ died for us and that His sacrifice satisfied God
on our behalf. We should have peace with God because we know that we
have eternal life.
of June 27, 2004