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to Archived Meditations
of the Guilt Trip
2Ti 2:12-13 If we
endure, We shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny
us. If we are faithless, He
remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.
Mat 26:34 Jesus
said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the
rooster crows, you will deny Me three times."
The Guilt Trip
From time to time, I get posts on my social media news feed having to
do with some Scriptural admonition.
At the bottom the post often says that I should pass the post on
unless I am ashamed of the Lord.
A verse like Luke
12:9 usually accompanies the guilt trip to encourage me to pass on the
post. Luke 12:9 says,
"But he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels
of God." Whenever, that
guilt trip accompanies the post, I do not pass it on because I am not
convinced that our relationship with the Lord after we come to faith
should be based on guilt.
Salvation is by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus.
But somehow after we are saved, we tend to make our relationship
with the Lord one of works rather than one of grace.
Now I understand that James says that some will try to show their
faith without their works but he would show his faith by his works.
But his faith was not a guilt ridden faith.
It was a heart felt desire to please the Lord who has made such a
sacrifice for us. Works can
be religious and born out of duty, or they can be devotional based on
love. Sometimes I feel that
Chrisitans preach the Gospel of grace and when someone comes to faith,
then we say, "Now we got you."
Now you HAVE to do this and that and the next thing in order to
prove that you are really a Christian.
In othe words Christians can be masters of the guilt trip.
Guilt is good before we are saved since it leads us to an
understanding of how lost we really are.
Romans 3 says that the law was given that every mouth might be
stopped and all the world become guilty before God.
But now through faith the Christian has been justified.
He has been declared right with God.
He no longer needs to wallow in guilt.
I went to a conference recently. When
I go I always hope that the Lord will speak to me in some way.
Most people go to hear the speakers.
I go to hear the Lord. I
don't go to get entertained, I go to learn something.
That is necessary for me because while I like to read, I have
learned most of what I know today through lectures, speeches and
preaching. Even in college,
I didn't like to take time to read the book so I always went to class
and took copious notes. The
conference that I went to recently was no exception.
While I won't be "guilted" into passing those notes on social
media along, I have never been able to fully explain what the Lord meant
when he said that if we denied Him on earth, He would deny us in heaven.
It can't have to do with salvation or salvation would not be a
free gift. But what does it
One of our speakers pointed out that Peter denied the Lord three times
and we really don't expect the Lord to deny him in any way in heaven.
He was used after that denial to preach to both non-jews and jews.
He had a shepherd's heart for the Christians of his day.
Yes, he denied the Lord emphatically three times.
Later on he wouldn't eat with non-jews because of his fear of the
jews. But in every case he
saw his error and confessed it. Those
experiences made him a better shepherd of the Lord's people than he
likely would have been without the failures.
And that was God's message for me at the conference.
We need to remember that words have to be understood in their context.
It does not always mean the same thing every time it is used.
It is clear to me that there are denials of the Lord that are the
result of the weakness of our flesh.
There are denials of the Lord that represent a total rejection of
Him. In Luke 12:9, the Lord
goes on to explain blasphemy. In
the context of Luke 12:9, denial represents not yielding to the Holy
Spirit as He tries to draw us to faith in the Lord.
There were two thieves on the cross beside the Lord.
Both started out blaspheming the Lord or denying him.
One came to his senses and looked to the Lord for salvation.
The other continued in his blasphemy of the Holy Spirit by
rejecting the Lord and he was lost.
These are two different kinds of denial.
The lost thief blasphemed the Holy Spirit and denied the Lord.
His sin could not be forgiven.
Likely, a Christian who denies the Lord through some weakness, will lose
reward in the coming Kingdom. If
we aren't faithful in serving the Lord now, we aren't likely to be given
full responsibility in the coming kingdom.
But regardless of how the rewards work in the coming kingdom, a
Christian's salvation is secure. "If
we are faithless (that is untrustworthy), He remains faithful.
He cannot deny Himself."
Praise the Lord! And
from the point of salvation on, hopefully, we will ask the Lord what can
I do to serve you and please you and not what must I do!.
for the week of September 5, 2016
we Say and How we Say it is Important
Eph 4:29-32 Let
no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for
necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed
for the day of redemption. Let
all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from
you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted,
forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
11, 2001 will go down in history as a day when all innocence was lost.
Safety became a thing of the past.
Hatred and war prevailed. Not
only were many lives lost in the Twin Towers on that day, many lives
have been lost and many lives have been destroyed because of the wars
that followed the attack on the United States.
While we remember that tragedy and all the people it destroyed, I
wonder if we realize that the unruly tongue has likely destroyed as many
people as the weapons of war that are available to us.
The tongue is used to criticize, backbite, rail, lie,
and to flatter. It
can start wars and it can destroy lives.
James tells us that the the tongue cannot be tamed.
He says: "See
how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the
tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our
members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of
nature; and it is set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird,
of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by
mankind. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil,
full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it
we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the
same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought
not to be so." (James 3:3-10)
purpose of the new birth is to give us a new life, a new eternal
destination, a new Father, and a new nature.
We don't have to do anything to be saved except to believe on the
Lord Jesus Christ. The
belief or faith that is needed to be saved is not just a casual assent
to the truth. Saving faith
requires us to deal with the issues that keep us from believing the
truth. We won't
believe on the Lord Jesus until we quit telling Him how to save us and
let Him tell us how to be saved. He
will convict us of our sinnership by using the Word of God and the power
of the Holy Spirit. He will
convince us that apart from faith in the death of Christ eternal
judgment is certain. Then
when we finally rest in the truth that simple faith in Christ satisfies
God and justifies us, we should have a desire to more like the Lord
Jesus and less like the people of the world who are being deceived by
Satan. One of the evidences
of the reality of the new birth in our lives is the desire to identify
with the Lord in water baptism. Another
of the evidences is to talk like him and not like the world.
How did the Lord talk?
4:22) So all bore witness to
Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of
His mouth. And they said, "Is this not Joseph's son?"
8: 44-45) 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. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me.
4:32) And they were
astonished at His teaching, for His word was with authority.
have to wonder if Christians realize that railing or reviling or
backbiting is what people did to the Lord.
It is not what we should do to anyone, particularly to other
Christians. On going
behavior of this nature is a sin equal to sexual immorality,
covetousness, extortion, drunkenness and idolatry according to 1
Corinthians 5. When these
sins are committed without any conscience the church is to remove these
people from the fellowship. Railing or reviling is a serious offense.
Many of us speak unadvisedly at times.
However, the Christian will want to go to the person we have
maligned and make it right. Obviously,
we don't want to act like our old Father the Devil.
We should want to be Christ-like in our conversation.
Grieving the Holy Spirit
When corrupt words proceed out of our mouths, we distress the Holy
Spirit. As Christians we
lose our joy and lose our power. We
can use our tongues for good or we can use our tongues for evil.
The Lord says in Luke 6:45, " A good man out of the good
treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil
treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the
heart his mouth speaks." There
are times when criticism is justified, but it must be truthful and it
must be carried out in a Scriputural manner where the offense is dealt
with privately before it is dealt with publicly.
Would people see my Christian character by the words that I speak?
Would they see that I try to be gracious, authoritative, truthful
and that I try to build up and not tear down.
Would they see me as one who acts like Christ or would they see
me as one who is doing the bidding of Satan, the liar and murderer?
Since we all justify our own actions, maybe we need to ask our
friends how well the words we say represent the Lord.
for the week of September 11, 2016
Curse verses God's Grace
Malachi 4:5-6 Behold, I
will send you Elijah the prophet Before the coming of the great and
dreadful day of the LORD. And
he will turn The hearts of the fathers to the children, And the hearts
of the children to their fathers, Lest I come and strike the earth with
Revelation 22:20-21 He
who testifies to these things says, "Surely I am coming
quickly." Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
have to admit that I like the God of the New Testament better than the
God of the Old. Now I know
they are the same God. We
know that the Jehovah of the Old is the Jesus of the New.
(See Isaiah 6:1-10 and John 12:37-41).
While Jehovah is Jesus and reveals God to us throughout the Old
and New Testaments, yet the Old Testament deals with an earthly people
with earthly promises who look for blessing in an earthly land.
The New Testament deals with a spiritual (heavenly) people with
spiritual promises and who look for a spiritual land.
The failures of the earthly people in the Old Testament are
legion and so we know about war and bloodshed, and floods and whales,
captivity and so on. All of
this is the result of sin and unbelief.
However, when we come to the New Testament, we are introduced to
the Lord Jesus who was full of grace and truth.
there a Difference?
Old Testament ends with the warning of a coming curse.
Then New Testament ends with the promise of the coming of the
Lord and reminds us of His grace or undeserved favor.
Is there a difference in the God who is revealed to us?
NO! Is there a
difference in the way that He manifests Himself? YES!
Did the God of the Old Testament show grace and mercy?
YES! Does the God of
the New Testament warn of coming judgment?
YES! The book of the
Revelation of Jesus Christ is really a scary conclusion to “the rest
of the story.” The story
started at creation, the story led to the cross, and the story ends with
the victory of the Lord over his enemies and His coming to establish a
the God who seems austere and judgmental in the Old Testament is full of
grace and truth in the New Testament, I thank the Lord that I was born
in New Testament times. God
does not bring the hammer down immediately when we fail Him in this
dispensation. He is patient
and long-suffering. But He
will ultimately bring the hammer down on those who reject His love in
this dispensation just like He did in the old.
He will bring nations to their knees who proudly try to get along
without Him and He will judge unbelieving sinners who reject His
salvation as well.
like knowing that my God is the God of all truth.
I like One whose words were gracious, Who healed the sick and the
lepers, Who fed the multitudes, Who quieted the storms, Who raised the
dead, Who did not carry a sword, and Who gave Himself for me (Galatians
2:20). I like the One who is
now in heaven as my great High Priest interceding on my behalf when I
foul up. I like one who
understands and sympathizes with the “feelings” of my infirmities.
I just plain like the Lord that I trust. I
am not sure that I could have said that if I had been raised in Old
Testament times although men like Joseph and Daniel who were by far
better men than I am seemed to have the same relationship with Jehovah
that I have with the Lord Jesus.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).
But I have been blessed to know Him in New Testament times when
we aren't asked to fight wars for Him (even though many have fought wars
unjustly in His name). We
have been called to follow Him and many have followed Him to a martyrs
death. Those who have died
for Him have done so because He died for them and they love Him and they
love those that are unsaved. They
haven't died for Him in order to get His salvation but because they HAVE
it, and they have found out that this life is not nearly as important as
the next one.
confess that I do not know if I could have trusted God as He revealed
Himself in the Old Testament. But
I can sure trust the Lord who comes as the Good Samaritan in the New
Testament, and who forgives the woman caught in adultery in John 8 and
who accepts the Samaritan outcasts in John 4.
Yes, I can trust the Lord Jesus and I hope you can too.
Meditation for the week of
September 18, 2016
Lives in Me!
Galatians 2:20-21 I have
been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives
in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the
Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes
through the law, then Christ died in vain."
In this letter to the Galatians, the apostle Paul is trying to
correct an error that was plaguing the Galatians.
Paul had taught them that salvation was by grace through faith in
the Lord Jesus Christ. But
now Jewish teachers were telling them that to really be “saved”,
they had to keep the Old Testament law.
These Judaizers were trying to make Christians a new sect of
Judaism which it is not. They
were effectively preaching salvation by works rather than salvation by
grace. Paul emphatically
says in Galatians
2:16, “by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified (or
had been a leading Pharisee. He
was blameless with regard to keeping both the moral and ceremonial law
of the Old Testament. In
Acts 9 he had met the Lord after having his conscience bother him about
his persecution of Christians. When
he met the Lord, he turned his back on all of his political aspirations
and became a fully-committed preacher of the Gospel.
He preached that Christ died, was buried and that He rose again
and it was all according to the Old Testament scriptures which he now
realized spoke of a suffering Christ. But
something else had happened, Christ now was living in Him.
What does that mean?
Christ live in Every Believer?
know that upon believing, every believer is sealed with Holy Spirit.
That is taught in Ephesians 1:13. We
don't have to ask for the Holy Spirit to seal us.
We don't have to pray for the Holy Spirit to seal us.
We get that blessing automatically upon believing.
However, because of that blessing we usually have a joy we didn't
have before. We usually have
an understanding of spiritual things that we didn't have before.
We usually have motivation to please the Lord that we didn't have
before. Unfortunately, we
can grieve or distress the Holy Spirit who dwells within us by how we
speak to others and how we treat others.
That is taught in Ephesians 4:30.
So because the Holy Spirit is God, yes, God or Christ does live
within each believer. That
doesn't mean believers are little gods, it just means that they should
be motivated by those things that please the Lord.
They should not grieve the Holy Spirit.
Instead they should be filled or controlled by the Holy Spirit as
taught in Ephesians 5:18.
Paul says that Christ was living in him, was he talking about being
sealed with the Spirit or was he talking about being controlled by the
Spirit? I think He was
talking about being controlled by the Spirit since he says his life is
now lived by faith in the Son of God.
I would assume that means that he didn't direct His own life but
that he allowed the Lord to direct his path.
It was through Ananias that he was told that he would be a
special evangelist to the Gentiles (Acts 9:15-16).
But of course he couldn't be controlled by the Holy Spirit if he
hadn't been sealed by the Holy Spirit.
Preciousness of Having Christ Live in Us
we have already stated, since each believer is sealed by the Holy Spirit
and should be controlled by the Holy Spirit, each believer has Christ
living in him. To me it is
almost beyond comprehension to think that Christ is dwelling in me.
It's a precious truth, but it is also kind of scary.
Paul was confident that he was properly reflecting his faith in
the Son of God. I have to
wonder if I am. Do people
really see Christ when they see me?
I have to ask, "Does Christ really act the way I act?"
thank God that Christ does live in me.
But I hope that because of that nobody is ever able to use me as
an excuse for rejecting the Lord. Many
people that I talk to do not accept Christianity because of the way
Christians treat one another and because of the way Christians treat
minorities and the poor. I
realize that the Lord is going to hold people accountable for their own
sin regardless of how un-Chistlike professing Christians may act.
But I pray that since Christ is living in me, that people at
least get a little glimpse of the real Christ when they see me.
Meditation for the week of
September 25, 2016