Saturday, May 24, 2008


Ps. 119:97 "O how I love thy law! it is my meditation all the day." Sept. 26, 2007
I was recently sitting in on a bible college class, in which the professor stated that the two most neglected duties in a Christian's life were probably prayer and bible study. If you think about it, the three most important things for a christian are probably prayer, (our communication to God) bible study, (God's communication to us) and fellowshipping with like minded believers, (our communication to each other). To think that we fall short of the mark on two out of three areas, is a pretty disappointing statistic. Yet I'm afraid it's true. As I examined my own life, I realized that I do fall short of the mark in my bible studies. David said that he loved God's word to such an extant it was his meditation all the day. What do we meditate on all day? Our job? The errands we still have to run? What time we have to pick the kids up from school? The cares of this world end up choking out any thoughts we had on God's word. Now don't get me wrong, I want you to be focusing on what you're doing when you are operating a piece of heavy machinery, and I want you to be focused on the road as you're driving, but so often we have a million things running through the back of our minds, and rarely is it God's word.
I would hope that you set some time apart in the morning to read the scriptures, and whether you read a few verses or a few chapters, whether you are in Numbers or Romans, I would encourage you to pick out a verse or set of verses that you can apply to your life. Then throughout the day, mull over that portion of scripture, think about what you need to do to make your life form around it, consider what importance it has in your walk with Christ, decide how it can help you live better with your fellow man, connect it with other portions of scripture you know. Let your mind meditate on the law of God, not a meditation that clears the mind, or focuses on some singular abstract, but the type of meditation that brings your focus back time and time again to the word of God.
The first part of this verse is critical in bringing the second about. Can't you hear the desire and passion in David's voice as he exclaims "O how I love thy law". It is a declaration of longing for the things of God, a true earnestness about finding out what it is that pleases God. If you read the scriptures because you want to be able to say you did if someone asks, or because you think it is a religious duty you must do to stay in God's good favor, you will never truly meditate on it the way David did. A true love for God and his word must precede meditation. If you've ever been separated from a loved one, you know you read every letter you get from them, not out of fear they'll ask if you did, but because you honestly want to know what they're thinking about and what you can do to help them. So it is with the bible, we must approach it with an honest love for the author, we must read it looking for his will for our lives. Then when we think about the bible verse we read, we won't be doing it out of obligation, instead it will simply be a natural occurrence, something we do because we want to, not something we do because we have to.
As read your bible tomorrow morning, think about the fact that God has preserved this word for thousands of years, because he wants you to know of his love for you. Think about the fact that this book is written by someone who gave his only begotten son to die for you, though you had done nothing to deserve it. Perhaps it will give you a greater appreciation for the bible, and just maybe that portion of scripture you picked out, will come back to your mind throughout the day.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Potter and clay

Isa. 64:8 "But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou the potter; and we are all are the work of thy hand." Sept. 12, 2007
Isaiah brings out a good point in this verse, he reminds the children of Israel that God is the creator and they the creation. We would do well to be reminded of this fact on a daily basis, to have our memory refreshed and our pride crushed under the weight of the knowledge that we have no "rights" when facing God. Paul says it best in Rom. 9:20, 21 where he says "Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the the clay; of the same lump to make one vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor?" When we come to Christ, we have no chips to bargain with, we have no right to life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness. Isaiah says in the sixth verse of our text chapter, "All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags", so clearly we can not store up enough good works to out weigh the bad ones, because even our righteousness is as filthy rags.
I love America, I am fiercly patriotic, and I would gladly die to preserve the rights we have in this country. That being said, I am afraid that all the rights we have in this country have created an attitude that we have rights in every other aspect of life as well, and that is a misconception. You have a civil right to speak your mind, but a christian ought to forfeit that right if speaking his mind would offend a brother or cause shame to come on the name of Christ or his church. Before a judge we are innocent until proven guilty, and if proven guilty, good behavior can reduce your sentence. We enjoy no such luxury when standing before God, we are born guilty and no good deeds can reduce the sentence of eternal damnation.
This would drive many to cry "What then can be done for my soul?" It is here that the beauty of it all comes in, the creator, the one who has every right to life, the one who has every bit of innocence, can take on the form of the creation. The potter makes himself a vessel, the inventor takes on the attributes of the invention, and somehow the innocent takes all the punishment of the guilty, the one with all rights to life, dies. Is this fair? No, if fair prevailed we would all be in hell, but God so loved the world that he did the unfair thing and took the punishment on himself, through his son Jesus Christ.
With all this in mind, why do we think we deserve anything from God? What pride drives us to think we are worthy of his love? How could we stand before him and be justified by all our filthy rags (aka good works)? We ought to gladly throw down our rights, after all didn't Christ? We ought to gladly submit to the unfair and uncomfortable, after all didn't Christ? We ought to be willing to be used however God can best use us, after all we are the vessels, he is the potter, creator, inventor, and master.

Biblical Authority

Rom. 13:1,2 "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God:" Aug 29, 2007
I was speaking with someone the other day, and we got to talking about the fact that in the south, people don't like to be told what to do. There are many people who might never go to Wal-mart, but if you told them they couldn't got to Wal-mart, they would go just to prove to you that they would do what they wanted to do. Unfortunately this is not just a southern thing, this is built in to every human being. When God created this world he created in a perfect state, he created man with only one rule, that they couldn't eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Satan, (who had already rebelled against God himself) convinced Eve to rebel and eat of the forbidden fruit, ever since man has had an intuitive desire to rebel against authority. There are those who say, "I will submit to God, but not a man, no man has the right to tell me what to do." The bible says otherwise, the bible says all the men that are in authority here on earth are put there by God and to rebel against their authority is to rebel against God.
When Adam and Eve were first created they were perfect, but when sin and rebellion entered there was the need for a new system to restore order and decency, God chose to use authority to do this. He placed the husband as the authority over the wife, he placed parent as authorities over the children, he put pastors over congregations, and civil authorities over governments, in order to restore a system of decency. We all know that a battle can not be won without an officer giving the commands, a football game cannot be won without a coach calling the plays, and families, churches and governments operate under this same principle. The devil also knows this and is working hard to destroy the biblical call for authority, he tells parents not to restrict their children, but instead to be their buddies, parents are not supposed to be their child's buddy but their authority! Satan tells us churches are made to be run as a democracy where everyone has equal say, pastors aren't supposed to be just another member with equal say, but an authority that will give an account to God for what the church did. Satan tells us that policemen, congressmen, the president, etc. are a bunch of clowns messing up our country, the bible says they were put in authority by God, and we as the general public are to submit ourselves to them.
Unless an authority commands you to directly violate scripture, you are to obey them. rebellion is not a joke, it is not something to be proud of, it is a sin that the bible likens to witchcraft (I Sam. 15:23). If I claimed to be a christian and a member of Wicca, any biblical church would kick me out, yet we have churches whose pews are filled with men and women that refuse to submit themselves to authority, and we think little of it. I would call on every man , woman, boy and girl, to examine their lives and make sure they are in biblical submission to authority. I would also ask every husband, parent, pastor, and civil authority, to stop tiptoeing around everyone's feelings and start asserting your God given authority. Because one day you will give God an account for how those under your authority acted, and you will have to explain to God why you chose to throw off your responsibility.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Seek ye first

Matt. 6:33 "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." Aug. 22, 2007
In this portion of scripture, Jesus had just finished telling his disciples not to worry about their clothing or food or lodging, because God takes care of all nature, and he is surely able to take care of us. Now like anything, you could take this verse out of context and proportion and use it to excuse laziness or irresponsibility, you could say "God is going to take care of my needs, I don't need to work or provide for my family." However that's not what Jesus is telling them, he's telling them they need to prioritize. He says "Seek ye FIRST", the priorities need to be in the right place, if you don't have your spiritual state in order don't worry about the physical. The bible clearly states that there is no gain if you get all the physical benefits this world has to offer and lose your soul to hell.
The doctrine of fasting illustrates this point perfectly, when we are serious about some spiritual issue we forgo meals in order to pray without losing our focus on the matter at hand. We are admitting that there are issues that are more important than our physical well being, and that is our spiritual well being. We live in a society that is constantly catering to our flesh, it teaches us that we ought to have everything we want exactly when we want it. To withhold food, so that we can study the bread of life (the bible) more fully, is considered foolish by the majority of America. To deprive your body of sleep so that you may rest more fully in Christ, is a foreign notion to most Americans. Jesus Christ said that if your priorities were right (seeking the kingdom of God) then all these things, (food, clothing, housing) would be added unto you. All the physical pieces are able to fall into place once the spiritual one are taken care of.
In the Old Testament we read the story of David's death, and when David was about to die he gave the kingdom to his son Solomon, now Solomon was not the oldest or most experienced son, but David chose to give it to him anyway. Soon after this God appeared to Solomon in a dream and told him he would give him anything he wanted, Solomon asked for wisdom to lead the Israelites according to God's will. God told Solomon that because Solomon had asked for righteous wisdom instead of money or long life or prosperity, God would give Solomon wisdom as well as all the physical blessings, if Solomon would follow God the way David had. 2000 years before Jesus was ever born, God told Solomon since he sought the spiritual things first God would add to him all the other things. 2000 years after Christ's death the principle still stands, the priority is spiritual, the real important things of life are those that pertain to the kingdom of God.
Let's determine that we will not let the world brainwash us into believing the physical life is more important than the spiritual. Let's decide that we will make sure our walk with God is where it needs to be, before we worry about our job or bills. Let's make sure we are following Christ's will and not ours.