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to Archived Meditations
10:30 “I and My Father are one.”
17:22 “And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they
may be one just as We are one:
believe in God: the Father,
the Son and the Holy Spirit. I
do not believe in God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
I know that is a technical statement, but I believe in one God
who is revealed as three persons. I
do not believe in three Gods.
of us have struggled with the idea of the Trinity being one God over the
years. Some have tried to
say that we are polytheistic and that we have three Gods.
However, polytheism has gods that compete with one another. We
have one God with one mind Who is manifested to us in three persons.
Each person has different functions but each person is in total
agreement with the others.
my wife and I were raising children, we were supposed to be of one mind
when it came to guiding and raising our children.
However, there were occasions when the children did not like the
answer that they got from one of us so they would go to the other one to
see if we agreed. We
didn’t always agree. Sometimes
our disagreements required closed door discussions.
Sometimes we compromised and never did agree.
However, we do not get different instructions and guidance from
the Father, the Son or the Holy Spirit.
They are unified. They
have one mind and always agree. John
17 has helped me with the concept of oneness.
We as Christians are also supposed to be unified just as the Lord
and His Father are unified. However,
no one would argue that that all Christians are one in the sense that
they are the same person.
argue that there is one God who wears three hats.
Sometimes He wears the hat of the Father, sometimes He wears the
hat of the Son and sometimes He wears the hat of the Holy Spirit.
However, when the Lord was baptized, the Father spoke from
heaven, the Holy Spirit descended like a dove and the Son got wet.
This was not one person wearing three hats but three persons with
different functions and responsibilities who were in complete agreement.
Matter of Prayer
question is often asked, “Since the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is
one, can we pray to each one.” Logically,
I would see no problem with that but scripturally we have no record
anywhere of someone praying to the Holy Spirit.
We do know that that the pattern prayers in Scripture were to be
prayed to the Father in the name or authority of the Son, in the power
of the Holy Spirit. The Holy
Spirit seems to guide our praying.
do have examples and instructions for praying to both the Father and the
Son, however. The Lord took
requests on this earth and He does leave instructions for praying to Him
after He ascends to heaven. John
14:14 says, “If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.”
Some translations say if you ask ME anything in my name, I will
do it. That seems to be
implied by the context. Paul
prayed to the Lord on the Damascus road and he also prayed to the Lord
to remove his thorn in the flesh (See 2 Corinthian 12:7). In the
context, this seems to be the Lord Jesus Christ to whom he was praying. Stephen
prayed to the Lord in Acts 7:59-60.
John prayed to the Lord in Revelation 22:20
real issue is not to Whom are we praying?
But are we praying? Are
we praying for appropriate things? Are
we praying for things for which the Holy Spirit convicts us to pray and
things that are in the name (or will or authority) of the Lord.
We can’t pray for revenge on our enemies and expect the Lord to
answer in this day of grace. However,
I think we can pray for protection from our enemies and even for their
salvation. If we did that we
might be surprised at what the Lord would do.
have One God that I worship and to whom I pray.
I really don’t think He is too technically concerned about
whether I am thinking Father or Son when I pray.
He might not even be too concerned if I pray to the Holy Spirit
so long as I pray and pray regularly and fervently with the expectation
that He really will answer. I
suspect that it thrills God’s heart (whether that be Father, Son or
Holy Spirit) when I spontaneously and enthusiastically break into praise
and thanksgiving as well.
for the week of September 7, 2014
Ahab Didn’t Need to be Told!
Kings 22:15 Then he came to the king; and the king said to him, "Micaiah,
shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall we refrain?" And
he answered him, "Go and prosper, for the LORD will deliver it into
the hand of the king!" So the king said to him, "How many
times shall I make you swear that you tell me nothing but the truth in
the name of the LORD?"
Really Do Know Right from Wrong
has given us a conscience. Because of that we know the difference
between right and wrong. God has also given us prophets whose purpose is
to be spokespersons for God. Some prophets are prophets that speak truth
and some prophets tell people what they want to hear. Because God has
given us consciences, we really don’t need a prophet to point out what
is right and what is wrong. Micaiah was not needed by King Ahab to know
what the mind of the Lord was—he knew. Usually people know whether a
prophet is telling them the truth or not because they have consciences
to guide them. They know without asking. But people still go to prophets
to tell them what they want to hear rather than going to prophets to
have what they know to be the truth confirmed.
is a powerful thing. It is a moral guide just as the law is a moral
guide (Romans 2:15). We can have good consciences or bad consciences
depending on how we are living. Paul had a good conscience (Acts 23:1).
Consciences can and should convict us when we do wrong (John 8:9).
However consciences can be "seared" or deadened to the point
that they no longer distinguish between right and wrong. This seems to
happen through a deliberate choice for some hypocritical people who
knowingly lie. People can become numb to any conviction of conscience.
See 1 Timothy 4:2.
think that most people seek out preachers and churches today that tell
them what they want to hear rather than seeking out those who will tell
them what God says. Most people do not know their Bibles well enough for
it to guide them today, but they do have consciences. Until they have
turned a deaf ear to their consciences over and over again, deadening
its effectiveness, they do have the ability to distinguish right from
wrong. But it is tempting to listen to those who always have good news
rather than listening to those who have a lot of bad news. And most
prophets of God have more bad news than good news. It is discouraging to
be a prophet and to know that people are not going to listen. Isaiah was
told that would be his mission in Isaiah 6:9-10. Micaiah knew that would
be the case with Ahab.
is not fun to Play Policeman
is not fun to always be the one who has to spoil the party and tell
people that they are sinners in need of a Savior. It is hard to tell
those who are religious that they still need to repent and believe the
Gospel. It is hard to tell those who say that they are "following
Christ" that they are not following Christ unless they have been
"born again." It is hard to tell people that they need to be
baptized when their parents christened them and had them sprinkled as
babies. It is hard to always be the policeman who has to point out
departure from Biblical truth. It would be a lot easier to tell people
that God is a merciful God and that as long as a person is well
intentioned, things will be ok.
when faithful preachers point out Biblical Truth, it encourages me to
know that most people really know deep down in their heart of hearts
that what they are hearing from the Bible is true. They may not bow to
that truth, and they may ostracize the true prophet for being faithful.
However, they, like Ahab, know when they are hearing the Word of the
Lord and when they are hearing the message of a false prophet.
we Rendered our Consciences Ineffective?
all have a conscience that God has given to us to guide us. I hope we
are listening to it and not resisting it. If we continually resist
listening to our God given consciences, our consciences will be seared
and will quit speaking to us. We will be open to all the religious
confusion that we find in the world that calls itself Christian today.
for the week of September 14, 2014
Preacher Got this Right!
7:2 Better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of
that is the end of all men; And the living will take it to heart.
Solomon as an Author
Solomon started out as a wise spiritual King.
He did not improve with age.
He ended up setting the stage for the nation of Israel’s
worship of heathen gods in his later years.
I would like to believe, however, that he got his act together
before he died. I think he
finally realized that worldly wisdom, worldly pleasure and worldly
worship was not the answer to the questions most of us ask about life
and eternity. In
Ecclesiastes, this man who has tried it all tells us that nothing in
life last or satisfies. It
is all chasing after the wind. However,
he came to the conclusion that fearing God and keeping his commandments
did matter and that was all that really counted (see Ecclesiastes
got one Thing Right
are statements in the book of Ecclesiastes that are not general truths
but instead reflect Solomon’s own personal experience.
For example, Solomon could not find one wise woman among a
thousand, but we see many wise women in the Bible.
Solomon may have been disillusioned by the women he had married
since 1 Kings 11:3 indicates that he had a harem of 1000 women.
He may have meant that none of his wives and concubines were
wise. I suspect that
he was facing the fact that the wives he married for political purposes
and, in some cases, for their beauty all had their own agendas.
But while he got his choice of women wrong, he got one thing
right. He realized
that death is not to be taken lightly, and it is one thing that causes
all of us to think about our relationship with God.
Get it Wrong!
now call funerals celebrations of life.
We try to turn them into joyful occasions instead of occasions
for the serious preaching of the Gospel in a kind and compassionate way.
Yes, the person who has died should be remembered; but that
person’s death is what has been appropriately called “The Preacher
of the Old School.” Death
speaks in ways that many preachers will not speak today.
Often we are not faced with the fact that death is the result of
sin and with the fact that the person whose body is in the casket is
either in heaven or in hell. Their
destiny was determined before they died by whether or not they trusted
in the Lord Jesus as their Savior. It
is a solemn thing to think about eternity.
Many ridicule and mock the idea of heaven and hell and the need
for eternal salvation. That
doesn’t change the facts and a funeral is an opportune time to present
these facts. If we really
believe that eternal destinies are at stake, we will present those facts
whether they are popular or not because of our love for those who are in
the Gospel is often preached in environments where people are wanting to
have “fun” rather than in an environment where serious thinking can
take place. We encourage
that by advertising our Gospel meetings and Gospel camps and our daily
vacation Bible Schools with the word “fun” preeminent in our
advertising. We would be
more honest, if we told people that we were going to tell them how to
prepare for life after death or how to prepare for the Lord’s return.
That, however, would probably limit the number of parents and
children who would be interested.
several years, I was involved in a Gospel outreach at our local fair.
I realized that most people coming there were not coming to hear
the Gospel, they were coming to “have fun.”
I tried to get literature into the hands of those who came hoping
that they would take it home and would read the material in a sober
moment. I didn’t try to
press people for serious discussions at the fair.
It was not the proper atmosphere for that.
Most of our serious discussions were with other believers who
were also concerned about reaching out with the good news of God’s
salvation. While I like children to have fun at our camps and
children’s meetings, I personally try to keep my messages interesting
but serious since the Gospel deals with death and with counting the cost
and with eternity. It is a
Seriousness of the Gospel
think Solomon was wise when he came to the conclusion that it is better
to go to the house of mourning than to the house of feasting.
We need to be careful not to make it appear that the Christian
life is all “fun and games” when we preach the Gospel.
The Christian life is a discipline.
Being a disciple and pursuing a discipline is fulfilling and
satisfying but it is costly. It
fills the believer in Christ with joy, but it is not usually
characterized by fun in the Bible.
for the week of September 21, 2014
Beauty of the Clouds at Sunset
1:7 Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even
they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because
of Him. Even so, Amen.
must be an Artist
God who created this world must be an artist.
He has created a lot of beauty.
I have no doubt that Adam was smitten by the beauty of Eve.
Men have been smitten by the beauty of women ever since.
We have all been smitten by the beauty of nature.
The beauty of a rainbow, the
shimmering of the northern lights, the twinkling of the stars on
a dark night, the brightness of a harvest moon, the beauty of those
first tulips in the spring, the beauty of the trees as their leaves take
on hues of red, orange and yellow in the fall have left us all
breathless at times. Lately,
sunrises and sunsets have been particularly beautiful.
Some of that beauty has been photographed and posted on public
social media sites. Many
evenings I have watched the sun send forth rays of sunshine that are
simply majestic as it begins to set behind the western clouds.
Some would like to convince us that the beauty of this created
world does not reflect the brush strokes of an intelligent mind, but any
reasonable person would have to believe that such beauty doesn’t just
Majestic Beauty of the Evening Clouds
have been particularly taken by the beauty of the evening clouds lately.
I would probably be taken with the beauty of the morning clouds
if I were a morning person. When
I see the rays of sunshine shining through the clouds, I always think of
the coming of the Lord. When
the Lord ascended into heaven, a cloud received Him in Acts 1:7.
When He comes again there will be two parts to His coming.
The first part is His coming is for the believers of this age and
is often called the rapture. When
that happens, the believers will be caught up to meet the Lord in the
clouds in 1 Thessalonians 4:17. The
second part will be the Lord’s revelation to this earth.
He will come to judge sin and to set up a righteous kingdom.
That coming will also be with clouds in Revelation 1:7.
Dread of Storm Clouds
clouds associated with the rapture are clouds of comfort and hope.
The clouds of the Lord’s coming to set up His kingdom are
associated with His power and glory.
I think they will be beautiful and majestic but these clouds will
cause great mourning and wailing. While
those who are believers in the Lord can take comfort in the Lord’s
coming, those who have rejected Him will find that justice is going to
be carried out. The One who
was crucified is the One who is going to have the last word.
I have watched thunderheads develop in the summer and have
marveled at their majestic peaks and their beauty as the sun shines on
them. But when I am driving
and I get caught in the center of one of those storms, they are anything
but beautiful. They are
scary and the best thing one can do is to find shelter.
When I am driving, I usually do my best to take a route that
doesn’t take me through the center of one of these storms.
the Lord is coming again and His coming will be with clouds.
His beauty and majesty will be seen in the clouds.
He will not be revealed the second time as a carpenter’s son,
He will be coming as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
He will not be coming to die for the sins of mankind, but He will
be coming to judge those who wouldn’t believe in Him and then to set
up a righteous kingdom.
I see the majestic beauty of the sun setting behind clouds, I find
myself anticipating the soon coming of the Lord.
It gives me hope because I expect to be delivered from the wrath
to come (1 Thessalonians 1:10). This
world will never be right until the Lord is reigning.
I have trusted Him and am on the winning team.
If I was not a believer and understood God’s warnings about the
wrath to come, the beauty and majesty of these clouds associated with
the setting sun would fill me with dread.
I would not want to be caught in the vortex of the thunderclouds
of God’s wrath
the clouds have been beautiful but they have been ominous as well.
for the week of September 28, 2014