leave comments go to http://bdcministries.com/
to Archived Meditations
is Good, Rest is Commanded!
the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all
your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In
it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your
male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your
stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the
heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the
seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
have celebrated Labor Day once again this last weekend. Labor is
commended in the Bible. Even before the fall, Adam was to tend the
Garden of Eden. I would suspect that involved some labor. But after
partaking of the forbidden fruit, tending turned into toil. However, God
always commends those who labor so long as they also remember to rest.
question is often asked, "If we are to keep the Sabbath, do we keep
Saturday or Sunday as the day of rest? Jews religiously keep Saturday
while Christians somewhat carelessly keep Sunday. Who is right and how
do we "keep the Sabbath" and get our rest as Christians?
believe that the Sabbath has never changed. It is still the seventh day
and it is still Saturday. Most calendars that we use agree with me.
say that we are to keep the ten commandments as Christians. Nine of the
ten are brought into the new testament as moral truth for our day. As a
matter of fact the requirements of the new testament are higher than
that of the old. For example, murder becomes hate (see 1 John 3:15).
However, we are not under the law and when we say that we keep the ten
commandments we give ourselves a problem with the one requiring us to
keep the Sabbath. The Lord kept the Sabbath but not as the Jewish
tradition required since they had added extra Biblical regulations. He
kept it as He Himself designed it, and He kept it as a Jew. In Acts 15,
the Gentiles were admonished to keep four things from the Jewish law and
tradition. They were to abstain from meats offered to idols, and from
blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication. Keeping the
seventh day or Saturday was not one of the things mentioned. So as
Christian Gentiles (non-Jews) we are not bound by the Sabbath. What
about Jewish Christians? Should they keep the Saturday Sabbath? The book
of Ephesians would make it clear that there is not a Jewish church and a
Gentile church. There is just one church, so what was required of
Gentiles would be the same thing that is required of Jews in the church.
testament teaching concerning the Sabbath is that when we believe we
enter into the Sabbath rest of God (Hebrews 4:3-4). The old testament
Sabbath is an illustration of the new testament truth that we don't work
to be saved, Rather we "rest" in the work of the Cross
(Matthew 11:28). It is also a picture of the millennial rest of God that
will be ushered in when the Lord sets up His physical kingdom.
do Christians "keep the Sabbath" on the Lord's Day or the
first day of the week? I personally do not. I think that the Lord has
given us a principle that we should dedicate a day to Him, and it should
be a day of rest. None of us actually keeps the Sabbath on Sunday since
we cook, buy gas, and go to restaurants which would all be prohibited
under the Sabbath rules of the old testament. But because the Lord was
raised from the dead on the first day of the week, that day seems to be
the day that early Christians used to remember Him and worship Him (See
Acts 20:7, 1 Corinthians 16:2). The Sabbath is still Saturday and Sunday
is the first day of the week or the resurrection day. That is the day
Christians use to worship corporately, and they dedicate this day to the
Lord. We do not put new wine into old bottles (Matthew 9:17), that is,
we don't worship in this dispensation using the rules of the old
dispensation which didn't work for the Jews and won't work for us. So I
personally try to give Sunday to the Lord, but I do not consider myself
to be keeping the Sabbath when I do.
day reminds us that summer is pretty much gone. God says our labor is
good, but he also says rest is necessary. God labored more than He
rested. We should labor more than we rest. However, the best rest of all
is when we rest in the truth that Christ died for our sins.
for the week of September 4, 2011
after the piece of bread, Satan entered him. Then Jesus said to him,
"What you do, do quickly." (John 13:27)
of us remember certain events with absolute clarity. I remember when I
first heard that President Kennedy had been assassinated. I remember
hearing the news that the space shuttle Challenger had exploded with a
teacher on board. Most of us remember the events of September 11, 2001.
I was in my study when my wife came back and told me that a plane had
hit the World Trade Center. We thought there had been a terrible
accident. But as we watched events unfolding on television, we saw the
second plane hit the Trade Center. The world as we knew it had changed.
was at the gym later in the day. Some of us were discussing what had
happened. I remember remarking that there were people that didn't
believe God existed, but after the events that had taken place that day,
it should be difficult for anyone to believe that Satan didn't exist. As
a result of his diabolical mind, nearly 3,000 innocent people were taken
into eternity in a most inhumane way. Since then about 4,500 US troops
have died in Iraq, a war that resulted because of our fear of more
terrorism. Depending on whose statistics one believes, there have
probably been 100,000 Iraqi deaths in that war, most of them innocent
civilians. Why have people hated each other in this way down through
is an adversary. That seems to be the meaning of his name. He is evil,
he is a murderer, he is lawless, he is a liar. He is seen in the Bible
as a serpent which seems to make him a cunning quiet enemy at times. He
is also seen as a dragon, which makes him a public political adversary
at times. Many find it easy to blame God when tragedies like this occur.
We should be blaming Satan and not God. Because men would rather believe
the lies of Satan instead of the truth of God, God has allowed men to
suffer at his hand.
entered into Judas and caused him to betray the Lord Jesus. I think that
means that Satan took complete control of him. Apparently the same thing
was true of Osama bin Laden. He didn't care whom he put in eternity so
long as his hatred and poison could be unleashed on people he did not
know but who belonged to a political system that he despised. I
personally think that the reason for his evil attacks were to show the
world that he was "boss". But the "boss" has died
and and he has found himself in the torments of hell. He certainly
wasn't "saved" since he had rejected Christ and everything
that the Lord represented. One wonders if he really believed in the
"religion" that he used to deceive his followers. I personally
do not believe he did. There certainly was not a bevy of beautiful
virgins awaiting him on the other side. He found out the hard way who
the "boss" really is.
of the events of 9/11/01, I know that we are not in the millennium as
some think because Satan is not only alive, he is not bound like he will
be for the thousand year reign of Christ. Revelation 20:2-3 says,
"he (the angel) laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who
is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast
him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so
that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were
finished. But after these things he must be released for a little
while." This world will not get better and better until the Lord
comes. Evil men and seducers (imposters) will grow worse and worse
during this day of grace (2 Timothy 3:13).
the destroyer, the deceiver, the evil one, the adversary is still
deceiving the nations and the political systems of this world. I hope
that he hasn't found a foothold in the hearts of any reading this
meditation. Because Satan entered into Judas, the Lord was crucified.
But that apparent defeat has given the believer in Christ victory. We
who have believed in the Lord may go through terrible trials in this
life; however, we are prepared for anything that this real living evil
created being tries to do to destroy this earth and those living on it.
for the week of September 11, 2011
me Neither Poverty or Riches!
falsehood and lies far from me; Give me neither poverty nor riches--
Feed me with the food allotted to me; Lest I be full and deny You, And
say, "Who is the LORD?" Or lest I be poor and steal, And
profane the name of my God. (Proverbs 30:8-9)
a practicing CPA, I saw these principles in action that Agur wrote
about. Often people came to me when they were starting a business asking
for help and advice. Since most of them borrowed money to start the
business, they were somewhat stressed as they worried about paying it
back. Then they would reach an equilibrium where their income pretty
much balanced with their expenses which would include a nice salary.
Then some of the businesses would "take off" so to speak. When
they did, the owners became stressed once again because now they worried
about losing what they had earned, and they had to worry about being
good stewards of monies that they really didn't need. Sometimes they
became self-sufficient and proud and made mistakes that they would not
have made when they were poor.
principle in this passage says that we are happiest when we have enough
to meet our needs but not more than enough. Solomon had more than enough
and that may have been one reason why late in life he lost his loyalty
to the God who had given him wisdom and riches.
people are motivated by money. There are other things that motivate us
as well; but whether we are poor or whether we are rich, money
motivates. The poor are concerned about "getting ahead" and
"laying up for a rainy day." However, when we try to get
ahead, we never know just how far ahead we should get. Of course, if we
lay up for a rainy day, it usually rains. The rich are usually concerned
with getting richer.
are people who are not motivated by money and they just can't understand
how the rest of the world works. I had a missionary friend who was like
that. As long as his bills were paid he was satisfied. One day we
started talking about some problems he was experiencing and I asked him
how money was affecting the problem. I told him something I had been
told years before, "Look for the dollar!" He couldn't imagine
that money was involved until he realized that he was having trouble
with a missionary that needed him to leave the work he was doing so that
the new missionary could come and be supported financially. He just
didn't think that way and couldn't believe others would.
wars are fought over money. Most political "sides" are taken
over money. Often family problems develop over inheritances and money.
Divorces can get really messy because of money.
though money is a great motivator, it is fleeting and is always left to
others when we die. One person asked a friend of a rich man who had
died, "How much did he leave behind?" The friend answered with
one word, "Everything!"
new testament is clear that money is a tool and is not to become a god.
We are to use money to help the poor. Our money is not our security, our
only security is in Christ. Money can make an "earthly" people
out of us, but the Lord wants our "treasure to be in heaven".
Our focus is to be on the heavenly or spiritual and not on the the
things of this earth. We can get overly concerned with
"winning" and with the power and prestige that comes from
having a lot of money.
have heard evangelists say to people who have recently come to faith in
the Lord, "Your fortune has been made!" That is certainly
true. they have eternal life and they will never perish. Their sins are
forgiven. They have become a people whose goal is to please the Lord and
not to live for time and for money that is so fleeting. We just need to
be careful that we don't get sidetracked and let money become our great
motivator after we are saved.
for the week of September 18, 2011
What Have we Turned?
they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to
you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true
Thessalonians who had been involved in idol worship turned from it when
they were saved. They turned from something worthless to something
valuable. They turned from something dead to something living. They
turned from something with "no hope" to something with
"hope" as they waited for the living and true God's Son from
heaven who had delivered them from the wrath to come.
Romans needed to turn from immorality. The Thessalonians turned from
idols. The Jews needed to turn from a false practice of a religion that
had rejected their own Messiah. What have we turned from? I am glad that
this verse not only deals with the negative but it also deals with the
positive. They turned from idols to serve the living and true God. God
doesn't just ask us to turn from what is wrong, He gives us something
good in its place. He doesn't empty our cups without filling them with
something better. He doesn't take away that which does not satisfy
without giving back the "living water" that satisfies forever.
have three enemies, Actually, we really have one manifested in three
ways. We have the world which is the society organized by Satan and that
is opposed to God. In contrast, the church is the society organized by
the Lord. We have the flesh which is the sin principle that will be in
us and with us for life. It is manifested by out of control appetites.
In contrast, the Lord provides us the Holy Spirit Who wants complete
control of us, that is, He wants to "fill" us. We have the
devil who according to Ephesians 2:2 is the spirit that now works in the
children of disobedience. He is represented by an attitude (spirit) of
rebellion against God. In contrast, the believer is being conformed to
the image of Christ. Satan presently controls the world and uses the
flesh to do this. When we turn from idols, we are really turning from
the worship of Satan who uses many things that we consider legitimate
today to keep us from the unhindered worship of the Lord.
did we turn from when we came to that crossroads in our life where we
realized that down the broad road lay total destruction, if not in this
life, then surely in the next? What did we turn to? Many of us were not
saved out of total immorality because our parents wouldn't allow it, and
in my case my funds weren't sufficient to do much partying. I have often
asked myself what my life would have been like if I had never come to
trust the Lord. While I never wanted to be rich, I certainly would have
liked to have had a cabin on a lake with a nice boat or two. If we
define Idolatry as anything that replaces our worship for the Lord, the
cabin and boat could have become my idol. I would like to have had
things comfortable and pleasant in this life and I would have been
occupied with the clean part of the world (if there is such a thing) and
with pleasing the flesh. It would have been nice to be accepted by all
my "friends" because I was "successful" and because
I associated with the right people. That lifestyle is still attractive
to me to this day. But because I turned to something rather than just
from something, I have had a very satisfying life without the cabin and
the boat and the so-called friends.
can tell what people worship by what is important to them. What do they
talk about? How do they spend their money? What excites them? Where do
they spend their time? Have we really turned from idols to serve the
living and true God?
for the week of September 25, 2011