Monthly Archives: May 2014

#150 – The Focus of Our Good Works

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THE DOINGS OF THE CHRISTIAN
THE FOCUS OF OUR ACTION
Col. 3:23-25 “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.”
The words, “as to the Lord” means that whatever we do, if it is a truck driver, a secretary, a minister in the pulpit, or student in school, what ever it is, we are to do it as if Jesus were the ONE for whom we were doing it. Our action should be focused on Him as the one for whom we do what we do. The wife submits to her husband, when in reality, she is submitting to Jesus her Lord. The husband is loving his wife, when in reality he is loving Jesus his Lord. The children are obeying their parents, when in reality they are obeying Jesus their Lord. The father is exercising his authority as the head of the home in love and kindness and fairness, when in reality he is doing this as a representative of Jesus his Lord. The slave or employee is serving from the heart without complaint and with joy because in reality, he is doing this as a representative of Jesus his Lord. Our focus in all we do, no matter what it is, is to be on Jesus our Lord. We are His servants.

Morning Anouncemet #3

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This is Missionary Joe Consford!

I am in Israel as we speak!  I look forward to telling you all about my trip after I get back!

I just wanted to thank you for listening to The Morning Meditation each morning!  It is my privilege to join you on your walk with our Lord every day.

It has been brought to my attention that some people have forgotten that these meditations were not written by me.  Dr. Earl White writes these Morning Meditations, and he has given me permission to publish them in the form of this podcast.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I have over the last ten years.

The Morning Meditation has now been listened to in 111 countries!  Wow!

Please pray for me as I am in Israel trying to be a blessing to the seed of Abraham.

Have a great day and God bless.

#149 – The Dynamics of Good Works

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THE DOINGS OF THE CHRISTIAN
THE DYNAMICS OF THE DOING
Col. 3:23-25 “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.”
The words “do it heartily . . .” This word translates two words. The first is “ek” meaning, “out of” and second, “psuche” and means, “the soul,  the seat of the feelings, desires, affections, aversions (our heart, soul etc.).” This is to be the dynamics of our service. It is from the heart. It is putting everything we have into it. It is sincerity to the core. When it is done this way, it puts life and enjoyment into it. Christianity comes to life. Whether it is the preacher in the pulpit, the song leader leading the singing, the house wife doing her daily chores or the common laborer out digging out a living for his family, it has “heart” in it, it has “soul” in it, it has great joy in it. I remember when I was a boy working in the field when a black woman who was picking cotton along with some others got to shouting over some Bible truth that they were discussing. I thought she was going to level the cotton patch. It scared me to death. I didn’t know you could legitimately shout in a cotton patch!!! But she found God out there and introduced us to Him by her actions. Much later I came to know Him that way myself. I’m not for sure that black woman could read. But she knew the Creator in a personal way and was more in the KNOW than most scientists. Glory to God and the Lamb forever!!!
The dynamic of Christianity is absent in cold formal services. It needs to find its way back into the lives of the saints. We need to put the pride of formality aside and let it be known that we love God from the heart and don’t care who knows it. Go ahead! What if you do get stigmatized as a fanatic. You do know what a fanatic is, don’t you? It is an extreme fan! I confess I am an extreme fan of Jesus and His Word.

#148 – Our Good Works

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THE DOINGS OF THE CHRISTIAN
OUR GOOD WORKS
Col. 3:23-25 “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.”
We are not saved by our works. If anything is plain in the teaching of Scripture, this is it. I am surprised that so many who claim to be Christians cannot see this. But good works are important part of the Christian’s life after salvation. “For we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10). It is one thing to be “created unto good works” and to claim to be “created because of good works.” We do need to get that straight. There are seven things in these three verses Paul points out that will be the focus of this meditation. First, he speaks of,
THE UNIVERSALITY OF THE DOING (OUR GOOD WORKS)
The words, “And whatsoever ye do . . .” include all things. “Whatsoever” actually translates three words.  First, the word “pas” which means, “individually, each, every, any, all, the whole, everyone, all things, everything.” Second the word, “hostis” which means, “whatever,” and third, “ean” and means, “if, in case.” The word “whatsoever” has a big job to do to say everything that those three words say! “Whatsoever” means, “each individual thing, what ever it is, in case you do it.” All of that in whatsoever!  The words “ye do” translates “poieo” and means, “to make, with the names of things made, to produce, to construct, to form, to fashion, etc., to be the author of, the cause.”
The second “do” is different from the first “do.” The second “do” translates “ergazomai” and means, “to work or labor, the work done is business.” It would be the work of a manager or what we call common labor.
I believe from this definition that we can conclude that nothing is left out. It truly means “whatsoever.” God is to be in mind in whatever we do. It can be ministry of some kind, or just a father out making a living for his family (an employee), or the mother keeping house, or the child struggling through the years from birth to maturity, or a servant (a slave), or the business owner or manager, whatever it may be, if it is DOING, it must be related to our obedience to, and our relationship to our Lord.

#147 – Seeing Beyond the Obvious

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SEEING BEYOND THE OBVIOUS
Eph. 1:8 “Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;”
The word “prudence” needs definition.  It is amazing how we will read our Bible and do a kangaroo over what we don’t understand.  Sometimes that part of God’s Work lies dormant because of the neglect of the reader to take time to examine.  The word “prudence” is found in 2 Chronicles 2:12, “Huram said moreover, Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, that made heaven and earth, who hath given to David the king a wise son, endued with prudence and understanding, that might build an house for the LORD, and an house for his kingdom.”
“Prudent is defined as, “Cautious; circumspect; practically wise; careful of the consequences of enterprises, measures or actions; cautious not to act when the end is of doubtful utility, or probably impracticable. The prudent man looketh well to his going.  Prov.14.”  — Commentary by John GIll.
THE CHRISTIAN LIFE IS LIVED ON A HIGHER PLANE
John 8:23, “And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world.
This was a strange message to the unbelievers.  The disciples must have had some insight but they did not let it show. Christianity is to be lived with a constant pull toward heaven.  That is where the Christian belongs.  When we were saved, we changed our homeland.  We are now engaged in the Work of the Lord, until He comes again.
THE CHRISTIAN LIFE IS LIVED UNDER HIS SUPERVISION
The Lord Jesus didn’t have to come.  He is a volunteer.  This is the way He wants us to live.  But He has now made himself available to all who call upon His name.  In one way Christianity is easy.  It is just a matter of trust.  When an unsaved man goes to the Lord in desperation and asks for salvation, He is always welcomed at the throne of grace.
Do not make the mistake of thinking that the Lord Jesus is not in constant contact with His children.  He knows who they are, what they are enduring, and is with them through it all. Hebrews 13:5‑6, “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.  So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.”
The Greek text (the Received Text) from which we get our King James Bible inserts the strongest possible negative in this verse: “I will never, no never, never, never, leave thee, nor never forsake you. . . So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.” Think of the worst thing man could do to you. Take your life?  Jesus emphatically says, “I will never, never, no never leave the, I will never, never, no never forsake you.  You are mine and if the enemy should take your life, I will be there for you when you step over the great divide.”
There is the proof of this in the history of the Church.  Many have sung hymns and witnessed to their enemies as their flesh burned off their bones.  I can hear someone say, “I don’t think I could do that.” No, and they didn’t either.  The Lord was with them, strengthening them, and gave to them a song to sing at their graduation service!!!!
THE CHRISTIAN LIFE IS REWARDED WITH ETERNAL REWARDS
The rewards we get here are temporal in nature.  They are certainly thrilling to receive.  It is always good to get small blessing from Him.  They let us know that He is watching and pleased with what we are doing. But man!!!! those temporal blessings will fade into the tomb of time never to be remembered, when we get the blessings that have no end.
We need to be good business people.  I believe it was Jim Elliot who said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose.” A man is a lunatic to put his whole emphasis on his physical body, and do it in exchange for his eternal soul.
Matthew 16:26, “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”
We need to see beyond the obvious.  This is seeing by faith.  When we visualize in our minds what God has promised in His word, it is as good as seeing it.  We do not walk by sight, we walk by faith.
May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.
In Christ
Bro.  White

#146 – Paul Makes a Personal Appeal for Prayer

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PAUL MAKES A PERSONAL APPEAL FOR PRAYER
Col. 4:1-4“Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven. Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;  Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.”
Paul says, “Withal praying also for us.” Paul believed that prayer was an essential part in the Christians life. He believed that prayer was essential to the Christian who lives constantly in enemy territory. Not to pray is to take God for granted. It is to take His work in our hands and operate for Him in our own strength. Paul knew that the Colossians were facing the enemy in the person of the Gnostic heresy. So he tells them to pray. He also has confidence in their prayers so he asks them to pray for him. The word “withal” means “at the same time.” In other words, Paul says while you are praying for yourselves and the work there, pray for me. Include me in your prayers.
Then he makes two specific requests. First, “that God would open unto us a door of utterance. When we talk about open doors for service we are using the language of Scripture. God must open doors to us. Paul needed an open door for utterance. This means that the door was shut at the time of the request. Now who do you suppose closed that door? We have three basic enemies, the world, the flesh, and the devil. I am sure in my mind that Satan had shut the door. Paul was a danger to the kingdom of Satan.
We have a good illustration of this in Acts 19. We have the story of how certain vagabond Jews tried to mimic the ministry of Paul in casting out demons. In verses 13-22 we are told, “Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul preacheth. And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.”
Paul said in substance, “Pray for us also that God will open unto us a door of utterance.” He knew that God had to give the opportunity to speak.
Then Paul gets specific concerning the message he wants God to give him the opportunity to preach. He says, “to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds.” The mystery of Christ is defined in Colossians 1:27. It is not a hidden mystery, it is a revealed mystery. It is revealed in the gospel. This was and is a hated message. Satan will help you preach a perverted gospel because it only sets his children more firmly in their unsaved condition. But when the pure gospel is preached, Satan’s kingdom loses population! So Satan attacks the gospelizer through the world and the flesh. In Paul’s case, he was in prison for preaching the gospel. The answer to his situation was prayer.
Paul’s second request is, “That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.” This second request is for clarity of presentation. The words “make manifest” translates “phaneroo” and means, “to make manifest or visible or known what has been hidden or unknown, to manifest,” This is an aorist active subjunctive verb. The aorist tense is a potential (subjunctive mood) point of time. It means that Paul wanted in the future to have an opportunity to do this. He is doing it in prison through his inspired pen as he writes to them. He is speaking here about publicly declaring the mystery of the gospel to those who have not heard.
The word “ought” translates “dei” and means, “it is necessary, there is need of, it behooves, is right and proper.” It is a present indicative verb. This means that Paul recognized his present obligation. The words to speak” translates “laleo” and means, “to speak with the mouth.” Paul wanted to preach the gospel by word of mouth. Could it be that Paul was not doing what he wanted most to do when he was writing epistles to churches? Could it be that the way God orchestrated the ministry of Paul to help the future Gentile Church was to allow him to be put in prison so that writing was his only alternative? Paul was willing to serve the Lord in prison. But that certainly was not a choice! But the Word of God and his burden to help defend the gospel in the churches against heresy, motivated him to do what was next best to his coming in person, i.e., write them instructions. Therefore we have fourteen books in the New Testament written by Him some of which were written from prison. Paul was a great success from the Lord’s standpoint. But probably his greatest success was his inspired epistles. Amen.
Paul saw the need of prayer. He was not too proud to ask the local assembly in Colosse to pray for him. He believed they could pray and get their prayers answered. Prayer is a major key to the success of the Lord’s work in this world. We are operating in enemy territory and we are no match in our own strength for Satan. Prayer protects, delivers, and makes us a strong weapon against Satan. It makes the gospel effectual.
May the Lord help us to see the importance of prayer and do more of it, and may the Lord bless these words to our heats today!
In Christ
Bro. White

#145 – The Christian’s Relationship to the World

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Yesterday on the Morning Meditation we thought about The Word Behind You.  May we always be willing to listen to the guiding word of our Heavenly Father when we start to stray from him.

Today let us think about:

THE CHRISTIANS RELATIONSHIP TO THE WORLD

John 15:19 “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.”

These are the words Jesus spoke to His disciples just before His crucifixion.  He says, “If ye were of the world,” which means they were no longer of the world.  The world is spiritually dead.  Therefore, anything man does to save himself is death at work.  Before there can be service there has to be regeneration.  Man has to be delivered from the power of darkness and translated into the kingdom of His dear Son. Colossians 1:13 14, “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:  In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:” Hebrews 9:14, “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”

THE WORLD’S CHARACTER

This world is represented as governed by principles that are not in harmony with the revealed will of God.  Paul said in 2 Corinthians 4:4, “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”

The world is in darkness spiritually. John 3:19, “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”

THE MANIFESTATION OF THE WORLD’S CHARACTER

1.    It is expressed by the lust of the flesh.  They that are after the flesh—controlled by their earthly nature—do mind the things of the flesh. Romans 8:5 says, “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.”

The lust of the flesh is the antagonist of the Holy Spirit. Galatians 5:17, “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.”

This describes a conflict between the indwelling Holy Spirit and the fallen nature called the flesh. Galatians 5:16, “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.”

2.    It is expressed in the lust of the eyes.  Cravings for things which minister to sight and the desire of the mind.  This is seen in the love of fashion and the greed of gain.  The world sells its products by an appeal to the lust of the flesh through the eye gate.

3.    It is expressed in the pride of life.  If the lust of the flesh is the bud, the lust of the eye the blossom, then the pride of life is the matured fruit of conceit and self-satisfaction. 1 John 2:16, “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”

WHAT IS OUR RELATIONSHIP TO THIS WORLD

1.    We are delivered from it. Galatians 1:4, “Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:” Jesus came and gave Himself for our sins.  He first struck at the root in His death.  Then He proceeds to “deliver us from this present evil world.” The word “deliver” translates, “exaireo,” and means to deliver out of.  It is an aorist middle subjunctive.  The aorist tense is a once-for-all act.  The middle voice means that Jesus acted in His own behalf, i.e., saved us for Himself, the subjunctive mood is potential.  Jesus died for the sins of the whole world but that does not mean that the world is going to be saved.  The provision for man’s salvation has been adequately met but before the sinner can take this provision for himself, he must repent of his sins and receive Christ as his personal Saviour.

2.    We are crucified to it. Galatians 6:14, “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” The cross separates the believer from the world.  All you have to do is to live the Christ Life and it has a way of making enemies out of friends. Jesus says in Luke 12:51, “Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:”

3.    We are strangers in this world and do not operate from the same viewpoint. 1 John 3:1, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.”

4.    We are victors over the world. 1 John 4:4, “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” 1 John 5:4 5, “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.  Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?”

Jesus did the work.  He overcame Satan at the cross.  Jesus said in John 12:31, “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.”

His victory over the world becomes ours the moment we trust Jesus as our Saviour.

May The Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro.  White

I am going to Israel for the next eleven days.  While I am gone, I thought you might like to listen to some of our former meditations in the form of reruns.  I am very excited about this trip and I hope that when I get back I will be able to tell you of the marvelous things that our Father has allowed me to see on this trip.  I covet your prayers!
I look forward to continuing to meet you each morning as we read Dr. Earl White’s Morning Meditations and meditate on the Word together.

#144 – A Word Behind You

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Yesterday on The Morning Mediation we thought about The Mind of Christ.  Let this mind be in you; for this is the highest ideal in Christian living.

Today, let us look at the phrase:

A WORD BEHIND YOU

Isa. 30:21 ”And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.”

To whom does the Lord speak these words through Isaiah?  Verses 8-10 of this chapter tell us: “Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come forever and ever: That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD: Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:” It is the grace of God that continues to speak to a rebellious people. God still speaks when we are wrong. Now lets look at the text.

IT IS A WORD COMING FROM BEHIND

The word “word” translates “dabar” and means, “speech, word, speaking, utterance.” So the word behind is a speaking voice. This is obviously the voice of God speaking to His people. They were a backslidden rebellious people. You would think that they were out of hearing distance. Or, that they had gone so far that God would withdraw and not speak to them again. We seem to like to punish ourselves and others with thoughts like this. Very few of us really understand the greatness of God’s mercy and grace. God never condones our wrong. We are right about ourselves. We are as bad as we think we are. But God is much more merciful to us than we think. He does not quit speaking to us when we are wrong. The voice is still there.

But notice where the voice is coming from. It is coming from behind. It is behind because we are going away from God. We are not moving with Him in our pilgrim journey. It is so natural and easy for us to choose our own way. Our way is the way that PLEASES us. But the way that pleases us becomes an unsettled guilt-ridden way. The reason is because our purpose in life after we are saved is to glorify Him. Our way never glorifies Him. The LORD is speaking to those who are going their own way. Next,

IT IS A WORD OF PROMISE

Our text says, “Shall hear.” God speaks to His people and we know when we hear. John 10:2-4 says, “But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.” One of the important features of what Jesus says in these verses are the words, “FOR THEY KNOW HIS VOICE.” (Caps mine for emphasis).

I spent several years out of the will of God after I was saved. During that time I never quit praying and never escaped the conviction of the Holy Spirit about my wayward life. I was in the same shape Israel was in. God never quit on me. I praise Him for that. And I want you to know if you are walking at a guilty distance from Him right now, He loves you and you can relate to what I am saying. The voice is behind you because you are not going in His direction for your life. But God in His mercy and grace is still speaking. That is a promise and He never breaks His promises. Next,

IT IS AN AUTHORITATIVE WORD

Isaiah says that the Word says, “This is the way, walk ye in it . . .” It is not “this might be the way.” God does not guess. He is always right. His way may not SEEM to be right. That is because sin and Satan has disturbed our minds. This is the reason we must by faith trust His Word and act on it even when it doesn’t make sense: Proverbs 3:5 proves what I have just said: “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” This is the way of faith.

God’s infinite knowledge of what He is doing and where He is going is stated clearly in the Scripture: Acts 15:18 says, “Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.” This gives complete authority to what He says. He is working out a plan and He tells us what that plan is many times. So His words are words of authority.

I believe the Bible is the inerrant verbally inspired Word of God. It is a blessing to know that I have in my possession what God has said written so that I can go to it over and over again. I can meditate upon it and know that it stands as the final authority and I can count on it. It is the final authority in my life. There is no higher authority to which to appeal to me. You can say, “God spoke to me last night in a dream.” If your dream contradicts the written Word of God, I’ll have to disappoint you and tell you that your dream didn’t come from Him. He wasn’t wrong the first time and He hasn’t changed His mind. The Word is authoritative.

Though Isaiah is not speaking about the written Word here it is related. Since the first form of the written Word came into existence, it has been the measure of all other revelations that profess to be from God. When God called me to preach, I received that call in the form Isaiah is talking about here. “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it . . .” And I have been walking that path for sixty    plus years and the blessings of God have confirmed that the voice was God’s. Next,

IT IS A GUIDING WORD

Isaiah says, “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way . . .” These words translate “derek” and mean, “ a way, a road, a journey, a manner, direction,  of a course of life (fig.)” This definition clearly speaks of guidance. Abraham when He was called of God to leave the Ur of the Chaldees and go into a land he had never seen, had to have the guidance of God so far as the geographical direction is concerned. Jesus promised guidance to His disciples. John 16:13 says, “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.” There are two areas of guidance mentioned in this verse. One is guidance with reference to the truth. This was fulfilled partially when the followers of the Lord gave us the Word in written form. Then it continues to be fulfilled as we read through His Word receiving illumination here and there. Then the Holy Spirit guides us into the understanding of the future, i.e., prophecy. It is guidance. God has promised to guide His people. Next,

IT IS A CORRECTIVE WORD

Isaiah says, “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.” The Jews of this chapter were not turning in the right direction. They were walking away from Him. This is a offer to get them back on the right track.

This is a word of grace. While it is a Word of authority, it is also a Word of grace. It is not a loud voice. It comes from behind. As wrong as the Jews were, God is not out front confronting them with a screaming voice. God wants willing followers. It is not easy to say but God pleads with us. There are verses that teach that God literally pleads with us:  Isaiah 3:13 says, “The LORD standeth up to plead, and standeth to judge the people. Jeremiah 2:9 says, “Wherefore I will yet plead with you, saith the LORD, and with your children’s children will I plead.”

God knows that the wrong paths that we choose to walk will always get us into serious trouble. So He pleads with us to listen to Him. He will correct our path when it is wrong.

A.W. Tozer prayed, “Lord, teach me to listen. The times are noisy and my ears are weary with the thousand raucous sounds which continuously assault them. Give me the spirit of the boy Samuel when he said to Thee, ‘Speak, for thy servant heareth.’ Let me hear Thee speaking in my heart. Let me get used to the sound of Thy voice, that its tones may be familiar when the sounds of earth die away and the only sound will be the music of Thy speaking voice. Amen.”

May the Lord help us to hear His speaking voice to remind us when we are going away from Him. May we always know that we have His promise that we “shall hear.” He is able to make it so. Even though there are many voices much louder than His, He can and will make Himself known to us. May we listen for His guiding voice as He says, “This is the way, walk ye in it.” May we yield to His correcting voice when we discover that the voice we hear is a correcting voice. And finally, may we alway know that His voice is the voice of grace. We do not have to be afraid. He is the best FRIEND we have ever had. He comes to us not in rage but in compassion.

In Christ

Bro. White

Tomorrow, on The Morning Meditation we are going to look at John 15:19 and The Christians Relationship to The World.

#143 – The Mind of Christ

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Yesterday on The Morning Meditation, we did a meditation on the fact that God Has A Plan for Every Child of His.  What a blessing it is to know that He knows what He is doing and where He is headed with us. We can trust Him.

Today, we will meditate on the subject:

THE MIND OF CHRIST

Phil.  2:5 “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:”

The mind of Christ has been a mystery in every age.  It is expected that all Christ’s followers should have the same disposition as their Master.  “I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you (“John 13:15).  Let’s notice some of the features of Christ’s mind:

RESIGNATION

Luke 22:42, “Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” This is the foundation of true Christian character.  Willing to be absent from the body of self-interest and to be present with the will of God.  Jesus said in John 5:30, “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” John 15:3, “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.”

Christ resigned His own will to the will of His Father.  This is what resignation means.  Webster says, “It is an accepting, unresisting attitude, state, etc.” It is committing our will to His to be used anyway He desires.

DEVOTEDNESS

“Wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?”  (Luke 2:42).  His Father’s business was the highest and the most important concern in the world.  He was fully devoted to “work the works of Him that sent Me.” His meat was to do His will and to finish His work (John 4:34).  What a privilege to be a partner in such a business and to be “workers together” with Him in the fulfilling the Father’s purpose.  Let this mind be in you which was also in Him.

MEEKNESS

Jesus said, “I am meek and lowly in heart” (Matt.  11:29).  Where this Christ-likeness is lacking there is suitable soil for the growth of pride and presumption, selfishness, envy, covetousness, high-mindedness, and the love of pleasure more than the love of God. We find Paul beseeching believers by the meekness and gentleness of Christ (2 Cor.  10:1).  He made Himself of no reputation and took upon Him the form of a servant (Phil 2:7).  Let this mind be in you.  “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5).  They shall be guided and taught His way (Psa.  25:9).  They shall increase their joy in the Lord (Isa.  29:19).  They shall find rest in His service (Matt 11:29).  Meekness is not weakness.  It is temper under control.  Next,

PRAYERFULNESS

Christ was the busiest man on earth, but He always found time to pray, and sometimes continued all night in prayer (Luke 6:12).  He was emphatically “the man of prayer.” He was never out of fellowship with His Father.  His whole life was one long, unbroken intercession.  “Let this mind be in you.”  “Pray without ceasing.” Next let’s look at His,

SYMPATHY

John records the words, “Jesus wept,” (John 11:35).  He did this at the grave side of Lazarus who was a special close friend of Jesus.  Even though Jesus knew He would raise Him from the dead.  He could not help but weep at the grave of His friend and with Mary and Martha.  Sin had done something to the eternal quality of life Christ meant for His people.  He came to redeem man from death and decay but even though death is very temporary for believers, it is still an episode that was not intended in the creation of man.  Jesus wept when He experienced the awful agony that death brings to the family and friends.  Jesus was touched with the feeling that death brings to a family at the loss of a loved one.

Revelation 1:18, “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” Next we see His,

GRIEF AT THE UNBELIEF OF OTHERS

We are told, “He looked around about on the staring and skeptical crowd, and was “grieved for the hardness of their hearts” (Mark 3:5).  He knew their need and also His own ability to help them, and grieved at their madness in committing spiritual suicide.  As Christian worker we know the need of the unsaved, and we also know the remedy.  Does this unbelief touch our hearts with real sorrow?  Is this disposition in us?  Next we see His,

BENEVOLENCE.

God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost, who went about doing good (Acts 10:38).  The great purpose of His life was to show kindness and to offer help.  To accomplish this He was constantly “going about” looking for opportunities “to show the kindness of God.”

Let this mind be in you; for this is the highest ideal in Christian living.  May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro.  White

Tomorrow on The Morning Meditation we are going to meditate on a phrase from Isaiah 30:21, A Word Behind You.”

#142 – God has a Plan for Every Child of His

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Yesterday on The Morning Mediation, we looked at The Sabbath – Are Christians to Keep It?  I sure am glad we are free from the law, but we should always remember that Salvation is our Eternal Sabbath.

Today on The Morning Mediation let us place our focus on The Word of God and meditate together on the subject of:

GOD HAS A PLAN OF EVERY CHILD OF HIS

Jer. 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”

At the time that Jeremiah wrote these inspired Words, Israel was in captivity in Babylon. Verse ten of this chapter proves this: “For thus saith the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon, I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.” God had set a limit on the time of Israel’s chastening. After seventy years they would return to the land again. So the circumstances at the time that Jeremiah said this, said something else. The Jews might have said, “If God has a plan for our lives, if He is going to do something with us, then why are we and our brethren in captivity? How do we reconcile circumstances with what you are saying, Jeremiah?”

It was going to take seventy years for the truth of this verse to make sense. A lot of the Jews who knew and heard Jeremiah would be dead when their brethren were brought back into the land. What good would the truth of this verse be to them? The answer of course is that it would give them hope in the midst of their present circumstances. It would tell them that this will not last forever. It would tell them that things are going to be better for their children. It would tell them, that as bad as things seen now, this is a part of God’s plan and it will all fit together in the end.

Let’s look at this verse and see an application for us.

FIRST, GOD SAYS, “I DO HAVE A PLAN FOR YOU.”

This whole verse sees God in charge with a plan being worked out. It was not a plan that was easy to accept. When Israel ceased to listen to God and repent of her sins, God always allowed them to be defeated by her enemies and this brought about her repentance.

1.            God forewarned Israel of His chastening:  Deuteronomy 8:5 says, “Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the LORD thy God chasteneth thee.”

2.            God used wicked men to chasten Israel:  2 Samuel 7:14 says, “I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men.” In other words God used the unsaved to win out over Israel and they (the unsaved) were the rod in God’s hand as He brought His people to repentance.

3.            Israel had been taught this and sung of it in their Psalms: Psalm 6:1 David wrote: “O LORD, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.” We glue truth in our minds with song.

4.            We always need to remember that God chastens because He loves us and this is the way He deals with His children when they do wrong:  1 Corinthians 11:32 says, “But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.”

God had a plan and that plan was not set aside for Israel even thought they were being chastened by Him at the time.

When God saves us, He has a purpose for every life. It behooves us to find what direction God is going in our lives and cooperate. So many make decisions without prayer or consideration of God’s purpose. This could be the explanation for so many dissatisfied Christians. You ought to stand in the pulpit and look at the disturbed sad faced Christians. You ought to sit behind the pastor’s desk and counsel with Christians whose situation would not be the way it is if they were more than “new born babes.” Satan is having a hey-day with immature, anemic, Christians whose roots do not go deep enough to keep them out of trouble. The ministry of the church is described in Ephesians 4:14-15: “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.” I’m not making light of people who have problems. We must love them and do every thing we can to help. However, it would be better if we could strengthen them in the Word of God so that tragic moral failure would not happen.

When I was pastor, I spent my entire ministry (and it continues now) praying and seeking God’s will about every message I preached and every lesson I taught. I believe God has a message for every occasion of our meeting together. Ofttimes I counseled people who had messed up big time and most of the time they missed the message or lesson that could have saved them from the tragedy and embarrassment of their present problems. But through neglect of their spiritual lives they missed the opportunity to hear what could have helped them. God has a purpose in every life. We need to find it and cooperate with Him.

SECOND, GOD SAYS, “IT IS NOT FOR YOUR BAD BUT FOR YOUR GOOD

This is what He means when He says, For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil . . .” The word “peace” is translated “shalom” and means, “completeness, soundness, welfare, peace, welfare, health, prosperity.” The word “shalom” is the word of greeting in Israel. It means when one says it, he is saying, “I wish you peace, health and prosperity.” Our “hello” is no match. “Good morning or good evening” is aiming in the right direction but is still short. God is using this word to say that “I have your peace, health and prosperity” in mind. The word “evil” translates “ra` rah” and means, “bad, disagreeable, malignant, unpleasant, evil (giving pain, unhappiness, misery).” God says, “My purpose is not for the evil, bad, disagreeable, unpleasant things that are happening to you now.” Well, why were they happening? Does it mean that things are out of hand and something is happening to them that God had not planned? It does not mean that God did not intend for these things to happen. It means that God’s primary goal was not to make them suffer even though that was happening. He would use the bad miserable conditions to bring them to the place where He could give them the good. The bad was included in the plan but not the goal.

If you are going through a difficult time now, you can count on the same principle being at work in your life. God doesn’t get a kick out of your pain. He loves you and has a plan. The plan is for good and not for bad. Now on the way to the good we may have to pass through some bad times. But that is not the goal of God’s plan. The goal of God’s plan for your life is for your good. Trust Him. He will bring it to pass.

THIRD, GOD SAYS, “MY PLAN INCLUDES YOUR FUTURE.”

This is brought out in the words “to give you an expected end.” God has a future for His people. He wants us to dwell with Him forever. The words “to give” means that God is speaking of grace. The end God has in mind is not an earned reward. It is a gift of His grace. No one deserves the wonders of heaven and the glory that will be ours for eternity. God says He is going to give this to us. The word “expected” translates, “tiqvah” and means, “hope, expectation.” God not only has something for us in the future He has told us enough about it for us to be motivated by a present hope for what is to come.

The Jews had been conquered by Babylon and most had been carried away captive. It is so easy for one to read of something like this without realizing how utterly devastating it would be to lose your home and possession. Then to be totally uprooted from your land and be taken into another land as a conquered people. The hope of the future would be very dim to say the least. However, chastening is not permanent. There is always a happy end to chastening and trials. God is giving Israel hope in the midst of despair. God says through His prophet Jeremiah, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”

I don’t care what you are going through today. If you are God’s child, it will have a good ending. God wants you to know He loves you and that He has a glorious end planned for you. This is a sustaining and a joy giving hope in the midst of hard circumstances. Here are some things about the end that will encourage you:

1.            He could come at any moment and take you out of your present circumstances; 1 Thess. 4:13-18. This is a comfort.

2.            If you were to die, you would go immediately into the presence of the Lord; 2 Cor. 5:8.

3.            Our final destination will be a place of no sickness, no sorrow and no dying; Rev. 21:3-4.

4.            He has even promised that the present circumstance will work for your good and His glory; Rom. 8:28.

We will have trials in this life and we do not always respond well to them. But God is in charge, and He is working out a plan. He knows what He is doing and where He is headed with us. We can trust Him. He means well and will ultimately prove to us that He had our good in mind all the time.

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro. White

Tomorrow on The Morning Mediation we will look at Philippians 2:5 and meditate on The Mind of Christ.

#141 – The Sabbath Day – Are Christians to keep it?

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Yesterday on The Morning Mediation, we looked at The Strife between Abram and Lot.  In the believers’ life, it is always important to seek the Lord’s will in our decisions.

Today, let us put all other thoughts and worries aside as we meditate on:

THE SABBATH DAY – ARE CHRISTIANS TO KEEP IT?

Col 2:16 “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:”

Exo. 20:11 “For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.”

Exo. 16:23-26 “And he said unto them, This is that which the LORD hath said, Tomorrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the LORD: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning. And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade: and it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein. And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath unto the LORD: to day ye shall not find it in the field. Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none.”

For a person to break the Sabbath since God made it a commandment and a part of the religious and national life of Israel, the death sentence was attached to the breaking of it. Numbers 15:32-35 says, “And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day. And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation. And they put him in ward, because it was not declared what should be done to him. And the LORD said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp.”

The Sabbath is binding to everyone under the Law of Moses. But the Law was never for the Gentiles. It was only for Israel. No Gentile was ever stoned for picking up sticks on Saturday or even so much as criticized. Leviticus 27:34 says, “These are the commandments, which the LORD commanded Moses for the children of Israel in mount Sinai.”

Paul taught the church at Ephesus this same truth: Eph. 2:11-13 says, “Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.”

The Gentiles in the past are said to be “strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.” This simply means they were not included in the covenants and promise to Israel. It did not mean they could not be saved. God saved and revived Nineveh. They were Gentiles and God sent the Jewish prophet Jonah to bring the message of repentance to them. But Paul adds, “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.”  As you read chapter two of Ephesians, you will find that the middle wall of partition has been taken down that separated the Jew and Gentile. But it is not in the Jewish faith that it is taken down. It is in the Church. Eph. 2:16 says, “And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby.”

So where does that leave the Church in relation to the Sabbath. If we are under the Law, we are obligated to keep the Sabbath. Colossians 2:14 says, “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;” The words “Blotting out” (exaleipho) means “to anoint or wash in every part; to obliterate, erase, wipe out, blot out.” It is an aorist active participle. The aorist tense means he did this (active voice) in a once for all act in the past (aorist tense). What did Jesus wash and obliterate, in every part? He says “the handwriting of ordinances.” The word “handwriting” (cheirographon) means “a hand written document.” The words “of ordinances” (dogma) mean “the rules and requirements of the law of Moses; carrying a suggestion of severity and of threatened judgment.” This is what Jesus “washed and obliterated” by nailing them to His cross.

The Sabbath was a part of that dogma that was demanded upon penalty of death under the law. What would be the natural outcome of Jesus taking it out of the way by nailing it to His cross? Verse 16 is the answer: “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:” We are simply not under the Law of Moses. The New Testament Church is under the Ruler and He has not commanded Sabbath keeping.

Now it has been the practice of the Church from the days of the Apostles until now to worship on Sunday because it is the day our Lord was raised from the dead. Acts 20:7 says, “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.” Then First Corinthians 16:2 says, “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.”

The book of Galatians was written to refute the heresy of some who were teaching that salvation was a mixture of law and grace. Galatians 3:1-3 says, “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?”

Luke 16:16 says, “The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.” The Christian’s rule of faith and practice is the New Testament.

Is there a use for the Law today? Let Paul answer that: “But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine” (1 Tim. 1:8-10).

Saturday is not the day of worship because the Law has been removed as a matter of faith and practice. Let no man judge you with reference to “Sabbath days” Paul says.

Salvation is entering an eternal Sabbath. “For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world . . . For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.” (Heb. 4:3, 10).

In closing let me say that Sunday is not the “Christian Sabbath.” It is the day set aside for worship. But when you call it a Sabbath day you cannot keep from confusing it with the Old Testament Sabbath. It is not a “stoning offense” to break “Sunday Worship,” if it were, there would not be enough Baptist left to have church.

May God bless each of you.

In Christ

Bro. White

Tomorrow on The Morning Meditation, we are going to mediate on the truth that God Has a Plan for Every Child of His!

#140 – The Strife Between Abram and Lot

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Yesterday on The Morning Meditation, we thought about God’s Call of Abram and His Covenant With Him.  What a blessing it is to know that even though we are imperfect, God’s grace is PERFECT!

Today on The Morning Meditation, let us put aside the cares and worries of the day and meditate together on:

THE STRIFE BETWEEN ABRAM AND LOT

Genesis 13:5 11 “And Lot also, which went with Abram, had flocks, and herds, and tents. And the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together: for their substance was great, so that they could not dwell together. And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram’s cattle and the herdmen of Lot’s cattle: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land. And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren. Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left. And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar. Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other.”

THE STRIFE BETWEEN THE WORKMEN

This strife was caused by their increased flocks and herds.  Our text says, “. . .the land was not able to bear them.”

The problem between the herdmen of Abram and Lot grew and became so intense that the best way to stop it was to separate.  Sometime there are Christian workers in a local church who just can’t work together.  Sometimes separation is what it takes to stop the problem.  This happened between Barnabas and Saul over John Mark.  This is brought out in Acts 15:36 40, “And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do.  And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark.  But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work.  And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus;  And Paul chose Silas, and departed, being recommended by the brethren unto the grace of God.”

It is better to separate to stop strife than to stay together and cause friction in the Church.  Next—

ABRAM DEMONSTRATES GRACE IN SETTLING THE ISSUE

This is brought out in Genesis 13:8 9, “And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren. Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.”

First of all the land was Abram’s.  It was given him of the Lord.  He could have put Lot anywhere in the land he wanted to and taken the best for himself.  But that is not what grace does.  Abram gives Lot first choice.  Abram was a good and generous man.  He was that because he knew the Lord.  With God’s blessings upon him he could take any place in the land and God would have prospered him.  He knew that by faith.

We need to learn that lesson.  Some Christians when it comes to business it is a root hog or die situation.  They will step on anyone that gets in their way.  They would never make a decision like Abram did.  The reason is that they believe that all depends on them.  When one walks by faith he believes everything depends on the Lord.  He is not afraid to take a risk if he has the promise and leading of the Lord.  Next—

LOT MADE THE WRONG CHOICE

This is brought out in verses 10 11, “And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar. Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other.”

Sodom didn’t become Sodom after Lot moved in.  It was Sodom when Lot made a choice to take that part of the land where Sodom was.  The closer one gets to sin the more temptations arise.  In Lot’s case it was not long until he was in the city participating in the politics.  At least that is what many commentators believe.  Some believe he was the Mayor, if they had Mayors back then.

It proved the worst possible move that Lot could have made.  He lost his wife and family and he and his two daughters were all that was left of Lot’s family.  After the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah Lot lived in a cave with his two daughters in a mountain near Zoar.  They got their father drunk and committed incest with their father and had children.  This is where the Moabites and Ammonites came from.

WRONG CHOICES CAN COST MORE THAT ONE WANTS TO PAY

The last we hear of Lot in the Old Testament is the story here.  Did he gain by taking the best of the land?  Absolutely not.  There are so many wrong choices that one could fill volumes naming them.  Believers should never make a choice without seeking the Lord’s will in the matter.

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro.  White

Tomorrow on The Morning Meditation we are going to think about The Sabbath and meditate on the question – Are Christians to Keep the Sabbath?

Morning Anouncement #2

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I am Missionary Joe Consford, and I want to thank you for listening to The Morning Mediation!

I want you to know that The Morning Meditation has been listened to in 107 countries. The gospel is being preached in all of these countries through this podcast. I am so excited about this!

If you would like to learn all of the ways to subscribe to this show, then please visit TheMorningMeditation.com/subscribe.

You can also listen to my other shows by visiting

consfords.com/podcast – Joe’s Podcast is a place where I answer questions about missions!

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I look forward to providing these meditations every day! I want to ask you to let people know about this show and help us to reach more people every day!

#139 – God’s Call of Abram

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Yesterday on The Morning Meditation, we did a meditation on the subject of Self Judgment and we saw seven ways of knowing yourself from A.W. Tozer’s book, That Incredible Christian.  Today, let’s look at:

GOD’S CALL OF ABRAM AND HIS COVENANT WITH HIM

Genesis 12:1-5 “Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran. And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.”

GOD’S INITIAL CALL OF ABRAM

Our text says, “Now the LORD had said unto Abram. . .” The words “had said” suggest that God’s call of Abram was sometime prior to his actual leaving his homeland.

We too are sometime slow to heed God’s call.  We make all kinds of excuses and when we can’t get rid of the burden, we finally say, “yes,” to the Lord.

John Gill said, “It pleased God, who has often been found of them who sought Him not, to reveal Himself to Abraham perhaps by a miracle; and the conversion of Abraham is one of the most remarkable in Bible history.”

All we really know is that God called him and that is enough.  This would not be easy for Abram.  It is not easy to leave the land of your birth and go into a strange land that you have never seen.  But this is the faith that Abram had in God.  He believed God.  Missionaries do this on a regular basis.

THIS WAS A CALL TO SEPARATION

Genesis 12:1, “Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:”

This is always true of God’s calls.  He may not call us to separate from our homeland, but He will, and does call us to separate ourselves from family and friends if they do not believe in God.

This is brought out in 2 Corinthians 6:14 18, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?  And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?  And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,  And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”

A weak church blends into the population around them like Lot and his family.  I’m afraid that we have that problem today.  When we call people to salvation, there is nothing to give up.  Even though salvation is a free gift, if we walk with God, we must separate ourselves from the habits of the world around us.  We are to be a peculiar people, which means that we are different after we are saved, and that difference is seen as peculiar to those around us.

GOD MAKES A COVENANT WITH ABRAM

Let’s notice the following aspects of that covenant:

1.    I will make of thee a great nation.

2.    I will bless thee.

3.    I will make thy name great.

4.    Thou shalt be a blessing.

5.    I will bless them that bless thee.

6.    I will curse him that curseth thee.

7.    In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed (This is the promise of the Messiah).

ABRAM’S OBEDIENCE

Genesis 12:4 5, “So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran. And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.”

There is a lot of information that will fill in Abram’s call and obedience.  But this is enough to see that God does call men.  God’s plan includes the salvation of those who will hear and obey His call.  Abram was a man of such gigantic faith that one trembles to use him as an example.  But the fact is, the God of Abram is the God of the believer.

Another important factor is that Abram, even though he was a great man of faith, he was not perfect.  God’s grace is what made him great.  God takes us as believers, and makes us His children, keeps us from falling (Jude 1:24), and is coming again to get us.

Read and meditate on the life of Abraham and you will be blessed by it.

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro.  White

Tomorrow we are going to look at THE STRIFE BETWEEN ABRAM AND LOT in Genesis 13:5 11.

#138 – Self Judgment

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Yesterday on The Morning Meditation we look at 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 and saw how that You Are Not Your Own.  Being a servant of the Lord is so much better than being a slave to sin!  Today on The Morning Meditation, let us meditate on:

SELF JUDGMENT

Romans 12:3 “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.”

Self judgment is necessary even though it can be damaging if it is done to the extreme. There is a sense in which we are not to judge others (Matt. 7:1-5), and in which we should not even try to judge ourselves (1 Cor. 4:3). However, there is a need for proper self judgment as is brought out in 1 Cor.  +11:31-32: “For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.”

Our text says that the Christian is not to “think more highly than he ought to think.” It does not say that he should not think of himself at all. He should not swell with pride when he thinks of himself. That is taking an Unscriptural look at self. He should not think of his accomplishments in his work for the Lord as grounds for personal pride. This would be to violate the words of Paul, “Therefore judge nothing before the time . . .” Jesus gave us instructions here: “So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do” (Luke  +17:10).

Some will say, “This is putting yourself down. It is not wrong for you to get recognition for your accomplishments.” I don’t want to argue the point. I simply ask you, “What did Jesus mean in Luke  +17:10?” I am afraid any resistance at this point reveals that we think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think. I think all of us have a struggle with this. The struggle is not the problem. It is the outcome of the struggle that is important.

Jesus said something in John 5:44: “How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?” I believe I can correctly say that we are living in a time when there is a greed for honor. It seems that we hunger for recognition from one another. Jesus said this is a hindrance to faith. To walk by faith is one of the most important things in our Christian lives: “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Heb. 11:6). I have a hard enough time walking by faith without tolerating something in my life that Jesus says will make it impossible to believe. If that is not what Jesus is telling the Jews, what is He saying?

I read a chapter this morning in Tozer’s book, That Incredible Christian, and he gives in that chapter called “The importance of Self-judgment” seven ways of knowing yourself that I want to share with you.

1. “What we want most. We have but to get quiet, recollect our thoughts, wait for the mild excitement within to subside, and then listen closely for the faint cry of desire. Ask your heart, what you would rather have than anything else in the world? Reject the conventional answer. Insist on the true one, and when you have heard it you will know the kind of person you are.”

2. “What we think about most. The necessities of life compel us to think about many things, but the true test is what we think about voluntarily. It is more than likely that our thoughts will cluster about our secret heart treasure, and whatever that is will reveal what we are. ‘Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’”

3. “How we use our money. Again we must ignore those matters about which we are not altogether free. We must pay taxes and provide the necessities of life for ourselves and family, if any. That is routine, merely, and tells us little about ourselves. But whatever money is left to do with as we please—that will tell us a great deal indeed. Better listen to it.”

4. What we do with our leisure time. A large share of our time is already spoken for by the exigencies of civilized living, but we do have some free time. What we do with it is vital. Most people waste it staring at the television, listening to the radio, reading the cheap output of the press or engaging in idle chatter. What I do with mine reveals the kind of person I am.

5. “The company we enjoy. There is a law of moral attraction that draws every man to the society most like himself. ‘Being let go, they went to their own company.’ Where we go when we are free to go where we will is a near-infallible index of character.”

6. “Whom and what we admire. I have long suspected that the great majority of evangelical Christians, while kept somewhat in line by the pressure of group opinion, nevertheless have a boundless, if perforce secret, admiration for the world. We can learn the true state of our minds by examining our unexpressed admirations. Israel often admired, even envied, the pagan nations around them, and so forgot the adoption of the glory and the covenants and the law and the promises and the fathers. Instead of blaming Israel let us look to ourselves.”

7. “What we laugh at. No one with a due regard for the wisdom of God would argue that there is anything wrong with laughter, since humor is a legitimate component of our complex nature. Lacking a sense of humor we fall that much short of healthy humanity. But the test we are running here is not whether we laugh or not, but what we laugh at. Some things lie outside the field of pure humor. No reverent Christian, for instance, finds death funny, nor birth nor love. No Spirit-filled man can bring himself to laugh at the Holy Scriptures, or the Church which Christ purchased with His own blood, or prayer, or righteousness or human grief or pain. And surely no one who has been even for a brief moment in the presence of God could ever laugh at a story involving Deity.”

You may not agree with Tozer on some of the things he says. He is not inspired like the Word of God. But he does make some very wise observations.

I have often said “Satan will help you search your heart but will never tell the truth about what is found or the remedy.” The answer to a heart search is found in Psalm 139:23-24. The Holy Spirit will help you search and then lead you to the cross for forgiveness and will never bring it up again. Just always remember this. You cannot be more right with God than the blood of Christ makes when you get honest and confess your sins to him. Self judgment is for the purpose of obtaining forgiveness where needed and correction where God requires it.

May God bless each of you.

In Christ

Bro. White

Tomorrow, on The Morning Meditation we are going to look at Genesis 12:1 5 and meditate on GOD’S CALL OF ABRAM AND HIS COVENANT WITH HIM.

#137 – You are Not Your Own

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Yesterday on The Morning Meditation, we looked at The Unspeakable Gift of God.  What an amazing thought that the gift of grace that is ours cannot even be put into words.  Today, in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 we will meditate on the subject:

YOU ARE NOT YOUR OWN

1 Cor.  6:19-20 “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?  For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

I will assure you that an unregenerate man would look at these two verses and would stare at them in wonderment as to the meaning.  For a person to receive salvation and the New Birth that takes place synonymously with salvation he receives a new understanding of life as God meant it to be.  Man is  one moment a child of the devil, lost as lost can be, and blind to his spiritual need.  When he hears the gospel preached with the power of the Holy Spirit all his self righteous, self esteem, and self love suddenly comes before him in the light of the gospel and he suddenly finds an unbearable burden upon him as he sees the smoke of the lake of fire boiling up and hears the screams of the damned as they plead for mercy.  This man like the thief on the cross cries out for mercy and he finds God’s love as near him as the breath he breathes.

When we are saved we are not our own.  This is what our text says and the text is the eternal truth of God.  Let’s notice a few things about this subject.

WHY AM I NOT MY OWN?

There are four good reasons why we are not our own:

1.    First, let’s look at the word PRESENTATION.  We have been given by God the Father to God the Son.  In our Lord’s prayer in John 17:6 he prayed, “I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.” Jesus Christ was and is God’s love-gift to the world, and believers are the Father’s love-gift to Jesus Christ.

2.    Second, let’s look at the word PURCHASED.  We have been bought at such a great price that theologians and scribes have been unable to explain it in terms that are easily understood by the longing saint. Psalms 121:8 says, “The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.  We have been bought with a price.  We do not belong to ourselves.  We cannot do what we want to as Christians and get away with it.

3.    Third, let’s look at the word POSSESSION.  We have not only been purchased by the Lord, but we are already possessed by Him and the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians  +6:19 20, “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?  For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

4.    Fourth, let’s look at PRESERVATION.  Psalms 40:11 says “Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O LORD: let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me.” 2 Timothy  +4:18 says, “And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

WHAT OBLIGATIONS DOES THIS FACT IMPOSE UPON US?

1.    We must not remain the slaves of men. 1 Corinthians 7:22, “For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord’s freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ’s servant.” No matter where a Christian goes or in what circumstances he finds himself, He is free from a spiritual standpoint.  One may put the Christian in prison but he cannot keep God out.  There is a great story to be gained by reading Richard Wurmbrand’s books as he tells of the fourteen years he spent in prison in Rumania for preaching the gospel.

2.    It is possible for us to be truly the Lord’s so far as salvation is concerned, but not be yielded to Him so far as service is concerned.  We are His by purchased price, our names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.  However, it is a fact that many believers are not yielded to His Lordship and therefore are not usable by Him.   It is a fact that many of the Lord’s people are as empty as a gun barrel spiritually.  They warm pews on Sunday morning and smile at the preacher as they leave, give him a warm handshake, and say, “That was a nice sermon preacher.” Then they go out and make a mess of their lives during the week.

3.    If we are going to be slaves of the Lord we must break with the slavery of sin.  Sin is an awful taskmaster.  It’s followers are scattered along the wayside.  Sin has no love for it’s followers.  It hates God and will do anything possible to ruin the Christian.

May the Lord bless these word to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro.  White

Tomorrow on The Morning Meditation we are going to meditate on SELF JUDGMENT out of the text Rom. 12:3.

#136 – Thankfulness for God’s Unspeakable Gift

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Yesterday on The Morning Meditation, we saw Seven Wonderful Things from Titus 2:11-14.  Are you in awe of the Grace of God?  I am so thankful for all He has done for me.  That brings us to today’s meditation.

THANKFULNESS FOR GOD’S UNSPEAKABLE GIFT

2 Cor.  9:15  “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.”

The subject that surrounds this verse is giving. In chapter eight Paul is commending the churches of Macedonia for their giving of a special offering given to aid the poor saints in Jerusalem. He uses them as an example for the church at Corinth to follow. Then he talks again in chapter ten about missionary giving. So right in the midst of Paul’s teaching on giving he says, “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.” Christ is the motive for all giving. Let’s look at this verse then derive some lessons that we can learn.

The word “Thanks” (charis) comes from a word that means “grace; that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness: grace of speech.” There is a root word in the Greek (chairo) out of which a family of words come. Some of the meanings, without going in to detail, are, “to rejoice,” “joy,” “grace,” “to bestow a favor,” “gratitude, thanks,” “thanksgiving.” The word “thanks” has in its utterance and meaning an outburst of praise to God for the grace gift of His Son. So in this utterance there is an acknowledgment of the unworthiness of the one offering thanks. It is not possible to use this word without admitting this truth.

The words “unto God” bring us before His throne of grace: “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb.   +4:16). God gives grace and gifts of grace because His throne is a throne of grace. I am afraid most Christians think when they come before God in prayer that there is a Lion on the throne. And if you think there is a Lion on the throne you can never be at ease. You are afraid that that Lion is going to roar and have you for a meal. Because in our hearts all of us know that God would be absolutely just to consume us on the spot. Another thing, if we believe there is a Lion on the throne, we want to become like that One on the throne. I ask you a question. Aren’t we supposed to become like God? Well, if he is a Lion ready to pounce on anything that comes near, he is to be dreaded and respected but not loved. But John says, “And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth” (Rev. 5:6). There you have it. There is a Lamb in the midst of the throne. The Lamb has turned the throne of a Holy and Just God into a friendly, and loving meeting place of the saints and God. Excuse me! Someone hold my mules! I am literally overwhelmed at this thought. Paul says, “Thanks be unto God . . .”

The words, “for his unspeakable gift” introduces us to the reason for the ecstatic praise of God on this occasion. Notice it is “His” gift. We already knew this but sometimes it slips our minds. For God did so love the world that He gave His Only begotten Son to die on a cross for sinners like you and me. It is HIS gift. The word “unspeakable” (anekdiegetos) means according the Linguistic Key, “indescribable, not able to recount or to describe or to set forth in detail (Linski). God’s exquisite working cannot be fully described with human words (Windisch).” It would be foolish for me to attempt to describe what Paul said is indescribable. There has been times I have been so filled with a sense of praise over God’s indescribable blessing that I could utter that praise in no other way than just shouting “Glory to God! If someone were to have asked, “What’s going on?” I would have had to reply, “I can’t tell you. I am just overwhelmed at God’s goodness.” You see, people would like for you to describe it so they can get in on it. But there are some things that cannot be explained. But praise God they can be enjoyed!

Now coming out of this verse that is found in the context of giving, I believe Paul is saying, “Give with your eyes on Jesus.” He is the Unspeakable Gift. He is the explanation of God’s grace. We did not deserve Him. “He came to his own, and his own received him not” (John 1:11). The Creator in our midst and we did not receive Him. We did not know Him. Jesus is Grace Personified. He is the exegesis of God (John 1:18: the word “declared” is literally exegesis) which means He brings the meaning of God into visibility and what we see is GRACE. When we give, we should give with our eyes on Jesus. This takes any boasting out of the gifts we give no matter how sacrificial they are.

We are to give, motivated by our gratitude for His unspeakable gift. The story of the ten lepers who were cleansed by Him in Luke 17:11-19 illustrates this. He cleansed all ten but one, once he realized what had happened returned to give Him praise and thanksgiving for what had been done. When this happened verses 17-18 say, “And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.” This man was so overwhelmed by the grace, goodness and power of the Lord Jesus, and so filled with thanksgiving, that he was freed from this painful and terminal illness, that he was compelled by his gratitude to return and give thanks for his healing. Jesus drew attention to this man’s act as being one of notable mention. God is glorified and honored when those who have been helped by Him return to give Him praise.

There is something at this point that we need to look at. Paul says, “Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” (Eph. 3:21). The local Church is the place where believers give glory to God by Christ Jesus. We sinners who have been saved by the grace of God have a divine institution that is the designated place where we can publicly give glory to God for saving us. The “one” who returned to give glory to God did it unashamedly and publicly: “And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his feet, giving Him thanks: and he was a Samaritan” (Luke 17:15-16). The words “and he was a Samaritan” draws attention to the fact that he was the most unlikely one to do such a thing. I think sometime we resent it when some unlikely person gets emotional in a church service as he expresses his thanksgiving to God for salvation and blessing. Is the discomfort that we experience, the conviction of the Holy Spirit because of our unexpressed gratitude? It is something to think about.

Paul says, “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.” I believe Paul means that we are to recognize that His gift surmounts any giving we could ever do. Whether it is money, time, talents or the sacrifice of our earthly dreams that we may serve Him, these are not even worth mentioning compared to “His unspeakable gift.” Paul says, “But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ” (Phil. 3:7-8).

May the Lord bless each of you.

In Christ

Bro. White
Join us tomorrow as we look at 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 and meditate on the subject “You are not Your Own!”

#135 – Seven Wonders

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Yesterday on The Morning Meditation we looked at The Trespass Offering and we saw how that in Christ, what we are guilty of He paid for on the cross.

Today we are going to look at:

SEVEN WONDERS

Titus 2:11-14 “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,  Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;  Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;  Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” Let’s look at the first wonder,

A WONDERFUL EXHIBITION

“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.” God put His grace on display when He sent Jesus, His only begotten son, to take away the sins of the world. 1 Timothy 3:16 says “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.”

God had to become a man for God’s righteousness to be put on display.  It is a mystery just as the verse says.  Not only is it a mystery, it is a GREAT mystery.  It is a truth only faith can receive.  Man in his natural mind believes what he sees.  But the new man in Christ sees with the eyes of the soul.

Our text says, “God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” This verse has clustered together some of the most amazing truths found in any verse in the Bible.  Next there is,

WONDERFUL AS OUR SAVIOUR

Jesus is called “the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.  One might say that Jesus is just a man. Titus 2:11 14, “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,  Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;  Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;  Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”

Psalms 107:15 says, “Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!” Next,

Paul said that we as believers are to wait in anxious anticipation for His return.  Next we see,

A WONDERFUL GIFT

Our text says, “He gave himself.” There is no greater sacrifice that could be made.  He left heaven and came to earth to be made in the likeness of man so He could become the Saviour.  This was a gift.  This gift is as valid today as it was when this Book was written.  Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Next we see,

A WONDERFUL WORK

The work of Christ here stated was to redeem and to purify, to purchase and to cleanse.  When a woman buys a set of china, she does not think them fit for use until they are washed.  The Lord uses us, not because we are great and gifted; not because we are clever, but because we are clean.  It is not enough that we be redeemed.  If God is to be glorified in us we must be cleansed.  Next we see,

A WONDERFUL PEOPLE

2 Corinthians 5:17 18, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.  And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;”

Christians are a peculiar people.  God makes them that way.  There is a real struggle that takes place in the life of a new convert.  His old buddies do not know why he can’t run with them anymore.  His life style changes.  His conversation changes.  Next,

A WONDERFUL LIFE AS A SOLDIER

It is a resisting life.  There are trials within.  Satan is constantly setting traps to ruin the believers good name.  James 4:7 says, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

We are fighting a battle already won. 2 Corinthians 10:3 5, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:  (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds)  Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” Next,

A WONDERFUL PROSPECT

The believer’s prospect could not be better.  God saved us by His grace and His return to this earth will be to fulfill a promise that He made to His disciples before the crucifixion. John 14:1 3, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.  In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro.  White

Tomorrow on The Morning Meditation we are going to look at 2 Corinthians 9:15 and meditate on Thankfulness for God’s Unspeakable Gift!

#134 – The Trespass Offering

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Yesterday on the Morning Meditation we talked about The Second Touch and we saw how that Salvation is not a gradual process, but becoming like Christ is a growth process.  We need that Second Touch!  Today, we are going to look at:

THE TRESPASS OFFERING

Lev. 5:6-7 “And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD for his sin which he hath sinned, a female from the flock, a lamb or a kid of the goats, for a sin offering; and the priest shall make an atonement for him concerning his sin. And if he be not able to bring a lamb, then he shall bring for his trespass, which he hath committed, two turtle doves, or two young pigeons, unto the LORD; one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering.”

Lev. 7:1-10 “Likewise this is the law of the trespass offering: it is most holy. In the place where they kill the burnt offering shall they kill the trespass offering: and the blood thereof shall he sprinkle round about upon the altar. And he shall offer of it all the fat thereof; the rump, and the fat that covereth the inwards, And the two kidneys, and the fat that is on them, which is by the flanks, and the caul that is above the liver, with the kidneys, it shall he take away: And the priest shall burn them upon the altar for an offering made by fire unto the LORD: it is a trespass offering. Every male among the priests shall eat thereof: it shall be eaten in the holy place: it is most holy. As the sin offering is, so is the trespass offering: there is one law for them: the priest that maketh atonement therewith shall have it. And the priest that offereth any man’s burnt offering, even the priest shall have to himself the skin of the burnt offering which he hath offered. And all the meat offering that is baked in the oven, and all that is dressed in the fryingpan, and in the pan, shall be the priest’s that offereth it. And every meat offering, mingled with oil, and dry, shall all the sons of Aaron have, one as much as another.”

One of the differences between the sin offering and the trespass offering is that in the trespass offering RESTITUTION was always required. Keep this in mind. Jesus did not only make things right for us by sacrifice but He made restitution. We have here listed the things for which the trespass offering had to be made:

1.            For concealing truth. This is seen in Lev. 5:1: “And if a soul sin, and hear the voice of swearing, and is a witness, whether he hath seen or known of it; if he do not utter it, then he shall bear his iniquity.” This is a reference to taking an oath. We would call it making a firm promise. There were God’s people and He wanted them to be very careful about keeping their promises. In fact He teaches here that it is a TRESPASS against His law not to keep a promise. This also teaches that it is wrong to withhold evidence. If one withholds evidence he becomes partaker in the crime committed.

2.            Defilement. Lev. 5:2 says, “Or if a soul touch any unclean thing . . .” This may seem severe but the Nation of Israel was surrounded by nations given over to idolatry and gross sexual immorality and they had the social diseases that go along with that kind of life. God wanted His people to stay separated from these people. This would protect them from becoming defiled spiritually through the sin of idolatry and physically from the diseases that were in the land. A dead body or a leprous person would defile the one who touched it. Even if the a person did it ignorantly and learned of it later, he was guilty and must offer the trespass offering.

3.            Swearing rashly. Lev. 5:4 says, “Or if a soul swear, pronouncing with his lips to do evil, or to do good, whatsoever it be that a man shall pronounce with an oath, and it be hid from him; when he knoweth of it, then he shall be guilty in one of these.”

I quote C. W. Slemming in his book THUS SHALT THOU SERVE p. 52-53: “On reading the verse, again it would appear that there is an outstanding injustice, if not a contradiction. It is understandable that if a person declared that he would perform some good thing and they failed to do it, he would be in the wrong, but if a person declared that he was going to carry out some evil project and then repented of his intent, that act would be justifiable; but the text says No! He is still a guilty man.”

“This is a matter of emphasis. The verse is not concerned with the good or evil; it is concerned with the oath. It is a demand for care in the form of our speech which can quickly cause us to fall into sin. Our promises to do good or evil must not be rash, and they must never be done in the name of the Lord.”

Jesus said let your communication be, Yea, yea and nay, nay. What is taught here is that “in the mind of God breaking a vow is more grievous that fulfilling an evil intent, so the lesser must be done because of the import of the greater.” This is not easy to understand. I would suggest that you study Jephthah’s vow in Judges 11:30-40. There are some things we will never understand until we have it explained to us by Him in eternity. It is better to do without saying than it is to say and not do.

4.            Dishonesty in holy things. Lev. 5:15-16 says, “If a soul commit a trespass, and sin through ignorance, in the holy things of the LORD; then he shall bring for his trespass unto the LORD a ram without blemish out of the flocks, with thy estimation by shekels of silver, after the shekel of the sanctuary, for a trespass offering: And he shall make amends for the harm that he hath done in the holy thing, and shall add the fifth part thereto, and give it unto the priest: and the priest shall make an atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering, and it shall be forgiven him.” The Pulpit Commentary says that this refers to sins of omission, i.e., like the tithe wherein the people in Malachi were said to be robbing God by withholding the tithe. For instance if one should commit the sin of withholding the tithe he would have to make amends by giving two tithes as a fine plus make up the tithe and then make the trespass offering for an atonement. It costs a lot more to be disobedient than it does to obey.

5.            Ignorance. Lev. 5:17 says, “And if a soul sin, and commit any of these things which are forbidden to be done by the commandments of the LORD; though he wist it not, yet is he guilty, and shall bear his iniquity.” Another way of stating the sin of ignorance is with the words, “though he wist it not.” God holds a person responsible for the sins of ignorance. You say, “that is unfair.” I’ll tell you what you do. You drive down the road at 60 mph in a 35 mph zone and let a cop stop you and tell him, “I didn’t know it was a 35 mph zone.” He will continue to write the ticket just like you hadn’t said a thing. It is our responsibility to know the law. Ignorance will not stand up as an argument. It will not stand up with God either. This offering is for the sin of ignorance so that the one who sins in this manner can be forgiven. One of the things one discovers when He studies the Bible is that he is a sinner and totally unable to meet God’s standards. We are in need of One who can save us and Jesus is that One.

6.            Failure in ones trusts. Lev. 6:2 says, “If a soul sin, and commit a trespass against the LORD, and lie unto his neighbour in that which was delivered him to keep, or in fellowship, or in a thing taken away by violence, or hath deceived his neighbour.” This is the unlawful possession of another’s property. Maybe you take something that belongs to another and when the time comes for its return, you refuse. This is a sin God says. You have lied to your neighbor.

7.            Unfairness in partnership. Lev. 6:2 says, “If a soul sin, and commit a trespass against the LORD . . . if fellowship.” The word “fellowship” is translated “bargain.” the idea is one of partnership. Our service to the Lord extends to our every day behavior.

8.            Taking things by violence. Lev. 6:2 says, “If a soul sin, and commit a trespass against the LORD . . . in a thing taken away by violence.” There are some people who bully their way through life taking what they want whether other people like it or not. This is forbidden, it is called a sin, and repentance and sacrifice is necessary for forgiveness.

9.            Deception. Lev. 6:2 says, “If a soul sin, and commit a trespass against the LORD . . . or hath deceived his neighbor.” This means to obtain something under false pretenses. Jacob deceived Esau. There are many places in the Scripture where this sin is illustrated.

10.         Keeping things found. Lev. 6:2-3 says, “Then it shall be, because he hath sinned, and is guilty, that he shall restore that which he took violently away, or the thing which he hath deceitfully gotten, or that which was delivered him to keep, or the lost thing which he found.” We used to say when we found something, “Finders keepers, losers weepers.” Well, God required one to find the right owner and restore what was found. God required absolute honesty.

HOW DOES THE PERSON WHO COMMITS A TRESPASS MAKE IT RIGHT?

1.            He must confess. Lev. 5:5 says, “And it shall be, when he shall be guilty in one of these things, that he shall confess that he hath sinned in that thing.” There is no freedom from guilt until a person admits he is wrong. Once he has admitted he is wrong about something and asked for forgiveness he no longer has to be defensive. If someone says you did such and such, you can say, “Yes, I did. And I asked the Lord’s forgiveness for it. I was so wrong. Thank the Lord He has forgiven and restored me.” What are you going to do with a person like that? You forgive him also and your fellowship should be restored. It is the way of freedom from ones past.

2.            Restitution. After confession there must be restitution to the person wronged (so far as is possible). It may be wrong toward God, i.e., the tithe, etc. It may be toward your fellow man. Say you stole something from your neighbor. Take it back. It will be humbling but it is the right thing to do. God fixed it where it cost something to be wrong. It might stop a lot of crime if it cost more to be a criminal.

THE PRIESTS WORK

The priest was to make the offering and sprinkle the blood. Jesus our High Priest offered Himself and He applies the blood to the transgressor. Thank the Lord there is a fountain that never runs dry. We can come to it on a regular basis and always obtain forgiveness.

Isaiah 55:1 says, “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.”

The gospel is good news for bad people. When you get into a lesson like this and see how strict the Lord was with Israel, it makes you hold your breath. It stirs a holy fear in ones heart because every honest Christian knows that he has done some of these very things of which this passage teaches. But don’t forget, there was the offering that was made alongside of this. God judged the innocent (whatever was offered) in the place of the guilty. In Christ, what we are guilty of He paid for on the cross.

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro. White

Tomorrow on the Morning Meditation we are going to Meditate on Titus 2:11-14 and The Seven Wonders!

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