leave comments go to http://bdcministries.com/
to Archived Meditations
Are We Growing?
1 Peter 2:2 as
newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow
Peter the Shepherd
Peter was called as a
fisherman to become a fisherman. He
had a business fishing for fish. Then
he became an evangelist fishing for souls.
But Peter learned that he had feet of clay and he failed the
Lord. He denied that he knew
him three times while the Lord was being unjustly charged with crimes in
the palace of the high priest. After
the Lord's resurrection, the Lord met Peter and asked him about his love
for Him. Peter now knew his
weakness and as such he could identify with the weaknesses of others.
At this juncture, the Lord commissions Peter to become a
spiritual shepherd. He wants
him to feed and to tend His followers who are seen as sheep.
So Peter starts as an evangelist and ends up as a shepherd.
This is often the case even today.
Those who see souls brought to the Savior want to see them grow
in grace and the knowledge of the Lord.
Their concern for the newly saved often makes shepherds out of
them. In Peter's case, he
wrote two letters that grew out of his love for those newly saved.
1 Peter 1:7
that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than
gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise,
honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Peter knows that the faith of those to whom he is
writing is genuine. One way
that is seen is that they are willing to endure trials.
He says in 1 Peter 4:12, “Beloved,
do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you,
as though some strange thing happened to you.”
He knows that they have been born again.
They have turned their back on their own reasonings and ambitions
and have trusted the Lord to save them and keep them.
He says in 1 Peter 1:23 that they have “been born again, not of
corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives
and abides forever.”
While his readers have genuine faith, they still need
to be fed the milk of the word so that they might
grow. In the Bible,
great faith doesn't have to do with the intensity of our believing but
it has to do with our ability to depend on more and more promises.
When we are first saved, we know that Christ died for our sins.
Then we understand that he “cares for us.”
We begin to put him first with regard to decisions in life even
when those decisions are contrary to the logical reasoning of the world.
(See Matthew 6:33). Heaven
becomes more important than our lives on this earth.
We begin to understand what it means to be sojourners and
pilgrims. 1 Peter 2:11,
Peter writes, “Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims abstain
from fleshly lusts which war against the soul.”
A sojourner is a temporary resident and a pilgrim is one who is
traveling to a holy place. That
holy place for the Christian is heaven.
In 2 Peter 3:18, Peter admonishes his readers to
“grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.”
In the first epistle he wants them to desire the sincere milk of
the word so that they may grow. That
means that we start out as spiritual infants but we should mature.
With maturity comes a settled peace about the truth of Scripture.
It also brings about a realization that this life is not what is
important. We are just
passing through. On that
journey, we need to remember that we are to be a “holy people,” that
is, a special purchased possession that the Lord wants to set apart for
Him and Him alone. He wants
us to be living stones in the living organism called the church.
He does not want us to be dead weights with regard to the work of
building the church. He also prepares us for the fiery trial that often
comes in the life of a Christian since in Satan is a roaring lion
seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8).
that need to be Answered
Have we been born again?
Is our faith genuine?
Are we growing in grace and
in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus?
Are we living as though we
are citizens of this world or are we living as sojourners and pilgrim?
for the week of June 4, 2017
The Real Deal
Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name
under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."
Many people have
given me many reasons for not wanting to believe the Bible.
Some say that the Bible is a set of myths.
It is good for moral instruction but cannot be depended upon as
the inspired word of God. Of
course, that is their opinion and they have obviously never studied the
history and prophecies of the Jewish nation.
Since the Israelites have been given to the world as an object
lesson that teaches us the principles of God's righteousness, we have
evidence that there is a real God known as Jehovah in the Old Testament
and as Jesus in the New Testament. We
also know the principles that please Him.
One is belief in Him. Isaiah
53:1 starts out with “Who hath believed our report?”
Neither have they studied the prophecies connected with the
Lord's first coming. The
academic work done on the age and accuracy of the Bible makes it
abundantly clear that the Lord fulfilled prophecies written years before
he came into this world. The
Bible is not a myth.
Another reason some
do not want to believe the Bible is because the Bible teaches eternal
conscious punishment for the unbeliever.
It is difficult for us in our permissive society to accept the
fact that death is not the end and that rejectors of the Lord go to a
place of separation from God eternally.
That place is a place of torment
Frankly, I would not have done things the way God has done them,
but God is God. And because
I believe that this is the clear teaching of the Bible, I am glad the
Lord is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to
repentance (2 Peter 3:9). I
am also motivated to preach the Gospel of God's grace to those who may
not fully understand God's love and plan of salvation.
If someone reading this has trouble with the idea of eternal
conscious punishment, you need to take that up with God and not with me
or with those who preach the Gospel.
Convince God when you meet Him that He had no right to create a
place like this.
Some have problems
with the Old testament battles where there was genocide.
So do I. I can
justify them and I can understand the reasons God had for these battles.
But I certainly would not have allowed people to slaughter each
other in this way. But God
did and if he has used these battles to show how much he hated idol
worship and how much he hates sin, so be it.
I am glad that I live in a different day.
In my day, grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
Our battles are spiritual and not we do not raise physical armies
or carry physical weapons to advance the cause of the Gospel.
Our weapons are the Word of God (the sword of the spirit) and
prayer. We cannot force
anyone to become a Christian though we earnestly persuade all that we
can to believe. Christians
make a big mistake when they try to make people live like Christians
through force or political means before they have become convinced that
the Lord Jesus is the only way to heaven and that trusting Him is the
only way to please God. Forcing
people to act like Christians when they are not only causes them to
resent Christians. When they
resent Christians, they resent Christ.
When they resent Christ they reject Him and seal their own doom
and we as Christians have contributed to that process.
When Christians say
that there is only one way to heaven, people think that we are
condemning those who do not believe that.
We are not condemning them, we were once just like them.
But we do believe that there is only one name under heaven
whereby we MUST be saved. This
does not cause us to annihilate those who do not believe like us because
we want to see those who do not believe reached with the Gospel of God's
grace. Zealots in most
religions have tried to murder and annihilate those who disagree with
them. That didn't work in
Old Testament times and it does not work now.
Can people of other faiths be saved?
Yes! But whether they
call themselves Muslims, or Hindus, or Buddhists, or Catholics or
Lutherans, or whatever—they MUST believe on the Lord Jesus Christ to
be saved. Unfortunately,
many of those who are carrying the banner of Christianity in the public
sphere today are not manifesting the grace of our Lord Jesus.
One could wonder if they really understand the truth of the
There is only one way
to heaven. Salvation is
available to Jews and Gentiles (all non-Jews).
But it is time to quit judging Christ and His teachings by those
who call themselves Christians who are not demonstrating his love, or
grace or the values of Christ.
It is time to judge that one way by the One who was willing to
die to save us. When
you come to know Him, you will understand why we who believe in Him are
so convinced that He is the real deal.
for the week of June 11, 2017
There are Fathers and then there are Fathers
2 Corinthians 6:17-18
Therefore "COME OUT FROM AMONG THEM AND BE SEPARATE, SAYS
THE LORD. DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN, AND I WILL RECEIVE YOU.
I WILL BE A FATHER TO YOU, AND YOU SHALL BE MY SONS AND
DAUGHTERS, SAYS THE LORD ALMIGHTY.
Becoming a Father
Becoming a father in a physical sense is relatively easy.
I realize that there are some families that cannot have children
and will take exception to what I am saying, but generally speaking a
father can become a father rather easily.
However, being a Father to the children that have been born may
be a whole different matter.
can be fathers without wanting to be fathers.
Other fathers take on the responsibilities of a father without
being the reason that the child came into the world.
They may adopt children or just befriend them.
Fatherhood is both a title of one who has produced a child
biologically and a responsibility or function of one who provides for a
child whether that person is the biological father or not.
first responsibility of a father is to love his wife.
This provides a secure environment for a child's nurturing.
A father should provide food, shelter and protection for a child.
A father should instruct a child in a practical way and in
spiritual things. The father
should be a leader that the child can respect and honor. Of course
mothers share in these responsibilities as well but today I am
considering the responsibilities of fathers.
Today, many fathers are not providing these things for their
children. On the other hand
there are those that are not biological fathers that have provided these
things for children that are not their own.
fathers are good and kind even if they are firm. Other fathers are cruel
and evil and destroy the children that they are around emotionally and
in some cases they destroy them physical.
However, as a child matures, a Father cannot act like a
father if the child will not let him.
We see these things in a practical way in this world and we see
them in our relationship with God who wants to father us.
is our Father Spiritually?
John 8:44 the Lord tells the religious Pharisees, “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.”
That was fairly blunt language.
But children tend to act like their fathers and the Pharisees
were acting like their father the devil.
Who would want the devil as their father?
He is the evil father that we have mentioned earlier.
He is a murderer, liar and destroyer.
Those who are captivated by his lies end up being destroyed in
this life and they end up being destroyed spiritually for eternity.
Satan is really the father of all of us by our first birth.
We have his nature of sin and rebellion.
And apart from the intervention of the Holy Spirit, none of us
would get released from the hold he has over us.
Paul says he is the god of this world and he has blinded the
minds of those who believe not (2 Corinthians 4:4).
God wants to be our Father. That
is why we must be born again (See John 3).
Once we have believed on or trusted in the Lord Jesus, we have a
new Father and a new nature. We
now can enjoy the benefits of a benevolent Father.
However, God can't function as our Father if we as Christians
won't let Him provide for us, guide us, discipline us, and instruct us.
One thing we have to do in order for him to be able to father us
is to separate from those who do not believe in Him.
Now many wonder just what this separation involves because we
live and work in a fallen world and the unsaved are all around us.
However, we don't voluntarily put ourselves in a position where
we let unbelievers make ungodly decisions for us.
We have to be careful in our social, political, marriage and
business relationships so that we don't end up worshiping in the wrong
way and living in a disobedient way in order to get along with people
that don't understand their own sinnership and who have never turned
from “idols to serve the living and true God.”
(See 1 Thessalonians 1:9). In
other words, God cannot function as our father if we are letting Satan
and the world he controls function as our father.
wants to be a Good Father
Surely, we need to let God
be our Father. We cannot do
that without the new life and the new relationship that results when we
come to end of ourselves and our own reasonings and strength and trust
wholly in the Lord for salvation. And
after being born again, we need to separate from unbelievers so that we
are not sucked back into their attitudes and lifestyle.
We need to be obedient children (1 Peter 1:14).
Then the Lord will call us beloved like He did Daniel and we will
be able to praise Him for all that He has done for us
for the week of June 18, 2017
6:12 For we do not wrestle
against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers,
against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts
of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Where are these
heavenly places where the wicked spirits do their dastardly deeds?
We are here on planet earth in this life and we are wrestling
something very real but unseen. It
seems to me that heaven may be up but it must also be another dimension
all around us. If we who are
the Lord's could really see the battle that is going on, we would have a
much greater appreciation for the power of God and for the love of God
in our lives. We would also
be much more aware of the need to pray and rely on the Lord for
preservation. We would not
be so self-sufficient and confident of our abilities if we really
understood the power and craftiness of Satan and his minions.
They are doing their best to mar that which glorifies the Lord
With Regard to the
2 Corinthians 4:4
says he blinds: “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.”
Revelation 12:9 reminds us that he deceives: “So the great
dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan,
who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels
were cast out with him.”
We can see that Satan
is not omnipresent but he has angels that serve him and because of them,
it often seems like he is everywhere. One of his missions is to keep the
unsaved in darkness. He
wants them to believe any lie rather than the truth.
With Regard to those
who are Saved
Satan presents the
believer’s faults to the Lord. If
Satan cannot keep a person from believing in the Lord, he will try to
prove to God that the faith of a believer is not really genuine.
Revelation 12:10 reminds us, “Then I heard a loud voice saying
in heaven, 'Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and
the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who
accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.'”
We see this in the
book of Job when Satan attacked Job's motives.
Satan said Job was worshiping God only because God had blessed
him with family, wealth and good health.
In Job 1:9-11 we read, “So Satan answered the LORD and said,
'Does Job fear God for nothing? Have
You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all
that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and
his possessions have increased in the land.
But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he
will surely curse You to Your face!'”
Job had not bought into the lie of the prosperity Gospel so when
Satan tried to destroy him he said, "Naked I came from my mother's
womb, And naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has
taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD (Job 1:21)."
Satan resists the
prayers of a believer. Daniel
experienced this. In Daniel
10:12-13 we read that an angel strengthened Daniel and spoke to him
saying, "Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set
your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your
words were heard; and I have come because of your words.
But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one
days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me,
for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia."
Satan is a great tempter.
He tries to get temptation and opportunity to come together so
that Christians will fail in their desire to serve the Lord.
He did that with Peter in the palace of the high priest.
As a result, Peter denied the Lord three times.
He lies to us. He
sometimes comes across as a bear that seems tame but is really wild and
dangerous. Other times he
approaches us a roaring lion. He
knows how to win hearts as Absalom did who wanted to seize the kingdom
that belonged to David his father. He
can be beautiful, and sweet. He can be ugly and confrontational.
How can Christians
deal with his desire to destroy us?
Obviously we can only do it with prayer and the word of God.
When he shoots his fiery darts of doubt we need to remind him and
ourselves of the promises of God. We
need to pray so that real answers will remind us of the power of God in
our lives in a real way. The
unsaved will only be saved from his snare by considering the eternal
cost of believing the Liar rather than the One who is the Truth.
As Christians we need to be reminded of Paul's message to the
Romans where he says, “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life,
nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things
to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be
able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our
Lord (Romans 8:38-39).” Amen
Satan knows that
ultimately He loses but He wants to destroy the joy of the saint and the
soul of the unsaved. We need
not give him that satisfaction!
for the week of June 25, 2017