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to Archived Meditations
our Lives Have Purpose?
LORD will perfect (or perform) that which concerns me; Your mercy, O
LORD, endures forever; Do not forsake the works of Your hands.
is Labor Day weekend in the United States. Likely there are some people
who are wondering why God's purpose for them is to work forty hours a
week for a corporation that doesn't care at all for their personal
well-being. Labor is the backbone of this country, yet there is no
security for many in the working class and there is no security for
middle management. Jobs are going overseas, layoffs are occurring every
day and many who do have jobs are underemployed. They have had to take
pay cuts and do jobs way under their skill levels just to pay some of
their bills. Is this really God's will for us?
English Standard Version translates today's verse, "The LORD will
fulfill his purpose for me." David wrote this Psalm and he knew
that God's purpose was to make him King and then to establish his
kingdom forever. There is no son of David's on the throne right now in
Israel, but God's purposes will be performed. The Lord Jesus who is the
Son of David is coming again, and He will perform that which concerns
David. His Kingdom will be an everlasting Kingdom when the Lord comes to
reign. David believed in the promises of God and what God has promised,
He will do.
the fall of Adam, he was given charge of the Garden to tend and to keep
it. But the word "toil" is only used after the ground was
cursed because of disobedience (Genesis 3:17 NKJV). So some would argue
that because God knew Adam and Eve would sin, He planned for us to work
and toil the way we do in an eternity past. Others of us would say that
God has allowed that which He did not originally intend. But either way,
can we find out what God's purposes are for us today?
of God's promises are conditional. The promise made to David having to
do with a future Kingdom is unconditional. One of God's conditional
promises has to do with trust. God does not force anyone to trust Him,
yet He gives us all the opportunity to trust Him. When we trust Him we
are saved. Act 16:31 says, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and
you will be saved, (this same message is to) you and your
household." That is a conditional promise.
God has made unconditional promises to the saved. I do believe that God
has a purpose in saving us that goes beyond just taking us to heaven. He
says in Philippians 1:6, "Being confident of this very thing, that
He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of
Jesus Christ." He sometimes allows believers to flounder, but His
purposes for them in their life will be accomplished. In addition, they
are going to "with the Lord (2nd Corinthians 5:8)" when they
die. They have eternal life. They will never be condemned. They will
never be separated from the love of God (Romans 8:39).
am convinced that some things that happen in life are because of our
living outside the will of God. We don't pray and seek Biblical and
spiritual guidance before making decisions at times. We don't want to be
"confused with the facts because our (sinful) minds are already
made up." Sometimes we live as though we are not even accountable
to God. The problems that we experience because of those times in our
lives cannot be "God's purpose" for us, but because God is
God, I do believe that He can bring good out of our bad.
unconditional purposes for us will be fulfilled.
for the week of September 6, 2009
Things I Know
1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
are some things I know and a lot of things I don't know. For example, I
know there is a God because of the world that He designed, but I don't
know where God came from. Logically He can't even exist because if
something has no beginning, it doesn't exist in our world. But just as
you can't have a car that wasn't built and you can't have a house that
just "happens" unless your house is a cave, you can't have a
world like ours without a Creator who calls Himself "God" or
"the mighty or supreme One".
don't know what happened in the beginnings of beginnings since the
concept of eternity doesn't allow for a beginning. I do know that the
Bible does not tell us about the beginnings of beginnings. Instead it
tells us about the beginning of our history. In John 1:1, we read,
"In the beginning was the Word." If there was no beginning
what is John saying? I think he is saying, "Once upon a time there
was the Word." In other words, in the beginning of this story there
was the Word. Other Bible authors refer to beginnings but it is always
the beginning of the part of our story that they are telling us about,
and not the beginning of time.
has revealed Himself to us through the written Word (the Bible) and
though the living Word (Christ). But He hasn't told us everything.
Sometimes we spend more time trying to understand what He hasn't told us
than we do trying to understand what He has told us. This tends to get
us into trouble. We would do better if we would ask why God has not
revealed some things to us, rather than trying to figure out what he has
not revealed. We really don't need to know how God could have always
existed to worship Him as the God who provided us with a beginning.
am convinced that those who have faith in God and who work with His
divine revelation in trying to understand this world are going to
accomplish a whole lot more than those who resist the Truth of God.
Hebrews 11:3 says, "By faith we understand that the worlds were
framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not
made of things which are visible." So I take it that the opposite
is also true. If we are lacking faith in God, we are also lacking
understanding. 2 Corinthians 4:3 says, "whose minds the god of this
age (or Satan who is a deceiver) 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." Those who do not believe in God are blinded.
Unbelievers may be educated and they may think that they have the
answers, but they are being "spoiled" or cheated through
philosophy (men's reasonings) and empty deceit (empty lies).
have listened to a number of sermons on creation in the last year or two
and, frankly, I have had more questions raised about our ability to
reconcile faith and science than I had before. There are a lot of things
I don't understand, but I understand this: God did it. I not only
understand that God created the heavens and the earth, but that Satan
came along and spoiled God's creation. It is as though Satan took a
sledge hammer to the beauty that God had created. He didn't want God to
enjoy what He had made. Satan is now trying to convince men and women
that Christ is not the only path to God. I now understand by faith that
what God does Satan does his best to destroy. And He does that by
planting doubt and unbelief in the heart of mankind.
it a shame, that we feel we have to understand things God has not told
us in order to trust Him? Satan blinds us to the blessings of God
because we aren't simple enough to just take God at His Word and believe
what He says. God created the Heavens and the earth. I'm simple enough
to believe that. God sent His Son to the cross to die for my sins so
that I could have a place that as a sinner I do not deserve in His new
heaven and new earth. I am simple enough to believe that as well.
for the week of September 13, 2009
our Hearts Right with God?
15:7-9 "Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying,
'These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their
lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'"
are people who pretend to be something that they are not. The word
literally means an actor in a play. On the stage, a good hypocrite may
be praised, but the Lord condemned hypocrites on the stage of real life.
In this passage, the Pharisees were hypocrites. The Pharisees had a
religion without a relationship with the living God. They knew the rules
because they had written many of them and they appeared to be righteous,
but it was obvious that their hearts were not right with God.
is the heart in the Bible? It seems to represent all that motivates a
person. It is the seat of our emotions. It is the reality of what a
person really is and has to do with his will and the way he thinks.
Sometimes the heart and kidney's are linked to represent the moral
character of a person. Only God really knows the heart although all of
our hearts are deceitful and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9-10).
the passage before us, the Pharisee's were living legalistically. By
that I mean that they had made laws where God had not made laws. They
also used their interpretation of the law to circumvent the purpose of
the law. The law said to honor their father and mother. Among other
things that meant to care for them financially in their old age. But of
course giving to the work of the Lord had to be more
"righteous" than giving to their father or mother, right? So
they would give "to the Lord" what should have been used for
their parent's care, and they thought that God honored them for that.
Did He? Absolutely not! Giving to the parents would have been giving to
the Lord. There is no way that they would have done this if their hearts
were right with God.
believe that hypocrisy among those who present themselves as righteous
is one of the biggest hindrances to the Gospel today. I believe that
attracting others to Christ and presenting them with the clear simple
Gospel of salvation from the penalty that we deserve because of our sin
is one of the greatest privileges that the Lord has given Christians. So
when people look at me when I tell them about Christ, what do they see?
Do they see someone with convictions who tries to understand and do the
Lord's will or do they see someone who thinks he knows how others should
live when he doesn't live that way himself? Do they see someone who can
see both sides of an issue and who is not disagreeable when he
disagrees? Do they see someone who makes rules where God has not made
them? Do they see someone who continually tries to explain simple truths
of the Bible away when he finds them unpopular or disagreeable, or do
they see someone who tries to understand and do what pleases God? In
other words, do they see someone who actually loves the Lord or do they
see someone who is trying to impress others with his righteousness?
believe our hearts are seen by what we say and by what we do. Our
attitudes are affected by our hearts. If our hearts are right with God,
I think our devotion to the Lord will be obvious to those who watch us.
If I am living a lie, I think that too will be obvious.
the question is, "Are we honoring the Lord with our lips while our
hearts are far from him?"
for the week of September 20, 2009
27:1 Do not boast about tomorrow, For you do not know what a day may
day was beautiful. We were about to enter the "Holy Land"
tourist attraction in Orlando, Florida when the unthinkable happened. My
wife caught her shoe on a curb and fell to the pavement. Because she was
carrying a camera and some water in her hands, she didn't catch herself
with her hands but fell on her face. I watched as the accident unfolded
almost in slow motion. I was close but I couldn't catch her and I
couldn't keep the accident from happening. I thought surely we would be
making a trip to the hospital but fortunately, all she did was make it
appear that she was a battered wife. The medic at the tourist attraction
looked at her and decided that no permanent damage had been done. She
decided she wanted to continue going through the "Holy Land in
Orlando" attraction rather than going home. Good did come out of
the whole thing, we got free passes into the facility.
accident was unexpected and as we looked over the place where she
tripped, it was hard to understand how or why it happened. But happen it
did! When we got our rental car at the airport a few days earlier, the
sales people wanted me to buy "extra" insurance, just in case
something happened. I didn't because I felt we can't insure against
everything, and we certainly shouldn't have to insure against "acts
of God" if we really believe that He is in control. But I wondered
how many people had the unexpected happen to them the day my wife had
her accident? How many died in unexpected car and motorcycle accidents?
How many downed? How many were shot in hunting accidents? There is no
doubt that these things happen and they often happen unexpectedly. Most
people want to insure against all these possibilities, but it is
impossible to buy enough insurance to cover every unexpected event in
our lives. The tourist facility had us sign some paper work indicating
that we had refused a call to 911. I suspect that they were afraid that
they were going to be sued. Of course we didn't and we wouldn't. It was
an accident after all. I know that if God is in control, we could ask,
"Why did this happen?", and "Is there any such thing as
an "accident?" Yes, God allows "accidents." And
while I don't have the only answer as to "why?", our answer
that day was that it reminded us once again that we are to depend wholly
on the Lord because all of our preparations and planning and insurance
are not enough when the unexpected does happen.
do not sell insurance, but for years I have been trying to tell people
about One who has life assurance, and He provides it free of charge. He
will prepare us to live just as He will prepare us to die. And we aren't
prepared to live until we are prepared to die. If you don't believe
that, just talk to a life insurance salesmen. I am glad that since I
can't buy enough insurance to cover every unexpected event in my life
and in the lives of my loved ones, I have something better. I have One
who has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you! (Hebrews
13:5)." While He says that with regard to our material needs, the
principle applies to every aspect of our lives. The One who has the
power to give life and to take life is the One to whom I have entrusted
my life for time and for eternity. Of course, by now you know that I am
talking about the Lord Jesus. He is the One who suffered and died and
rose again to give those who trust Him confidence that they are never
left alone. He has sent the Holy Spirit to comfort, teach, guide and
indwell us. He knows our names. He cares (1 Peter 5:7).
do happen. I am glad that we who are saved do not have them happen by
chance, and we have the Lord with us when they do happen. He carrys us
through these unexpected events in our lives.
wife and I have prepared spiritually for the unexpected and unthinkable.
At some point, the Lord is going to say "Come home with me!"
It could be today, and it may be through an unexpected event. We are
prepared. I hope you are as well.
for the week of September 27, 2009