Monthly Archives: June 2014

#174 – Some New Things About God

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Yesterday on The Morning Mediation we thought about God’s Promise Concerning the Believer’s Temptation.  I sure am glad that we do not serve a cold heartless God that knows nothing of the trials we face!

Today on The Morning Meditation:

SOME NEW THINGS ABOUT GOD

Acts 17:19 “And they took him, and brought him unto Areopagus, saying, May we know what this new doctrine, whereof thou speakest, is?”

They brought him before the most skilled of their doctors and examined him concerning something that was completely new to them. Gill names this man before whom Paul was brought as Dionysius and if so he was converted. Acts 17:34, “Howbeit certain men clave unto him, and believed: among the which was Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.”

Now whether this is true or not we will have to leave as an educated guess. But we do know Paul had a awesome impact on men of learning when those men were open to the truth. A thinking person could not listen to Paul and withstand his teaching. Not only was he good in the Scriptures but the power of God was upon him.

So as we look in this meditation, let’s look at some new things with which men were confronted when they heard the good news of the gospel from a man anointed of God to preach in those early days.

REPENTANCE OR A NEW MIND ABOUT GOD

Acts 20:21 “Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.”

The word “repentance” translates “metanoia” and means, “a change of mind, as it appears to one who repents, of a purpose he has formed or of something he has done.” It does not mean that one has quit all sin. Because there is no such thing as living above sin. It does mean that one takes up God’s thinking on what is right and wrong. A repentant person is one who agrees with God about what He thinks even if it is against what he is doing. This is where repentance brings change in a persons life. When we see that God says “this is wrong” and we are doing it, we change from what we are doing for we no longer want to be doing things that God says is wrong. Once we take God’s view on the right or wrong of a thing, then we are ready for God’s way of forgiving what we did wrong while we were in disagreement with God. And Jesus is the answer for that. Jesus is the one who pays for the penalty of those sins we committed and is there as the mediator to reconcile us to God. Colossians 1:20 says, “And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.”
The word “reconcile” means, “bring back a former state of harmony.” The former state of harmony takes us back BEFORE the fall. God’s intent in the giving of His Son to die on the cross is to restore man to His original intent. God had a purpose in the creation of man and that purpose has been temporarily disrupted by Satan’s temptation and man’s sin. So the gospel calls man to repentance, to see that he did sin in taking his own way instead of God’s in the garden, and repentance is man’s response in faith to God’s explanation of what happened. It is man bowing before God and asking forgiveness on the basis of the cross and receiving that forgiveness by faith and being reconciled so that he is no longer an enemy of God but a born again child. Someone hold my mules!!! Hallelujah!!! This is something new in the realm of religion in Paul’s day and in ours. It is a necessary prerequisite to salvation.  Next,

JUSTIFICATION IS A NEW STANDING BEFORE GOD

Man’s standing before God in his natural state is a state of condemnation. This standing before God is a terminal condition that man has never been able to deal with. Religion tries to correct this standing of total depravity by keeping God’s law and living up to moral standards. But man has been totally unsuccessful.

God has analyzed man’s attempt and has given His ruling. Romans 3:19 20, “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.  Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”

Galatians 2:16, “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.”   We have a clearly declared statement made by God in this verse that can save man his time and effort in the impossible attempt of self justification by keeping rules. The statement is: “. . . for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” That is about as plain as it needs to be.

Cain tried to be justified his own way and couldn’t get God to change His mind and when offered the opportunity to do it right where he could be forgiven of his sins, he refused and died in a hopeless lost condition. It is amazing that a man would allow Satan to so deceive him that he would step off into the bottomless pit never to have a future opportunity to be saved. Cain did this and he has a lot of followers today who are doing the same thing. It is stupidity amplified into infinity. Next,

REGENERATION IS A NEW LIFE FROM GOD

Titus 3:5, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;”

The word “regeneration” translates “paliggenesia” and means, “a new birth, reproduction, renewal, recreation, regeneration, hence renovation, regeneration, the production of a new life consecrated to God, a radical change of mind for the better. The word often used to denote the restoration of a thing to its pristine state, its renovation, as a renewal or restoration of life after death.”

I believe the part of this definition that says, “the restoration of a thing to its pristine state, it renovation, as a renewal or restoration of life after death” is the way Paul is using the word here.

I believe God restores in regeneration all that Adam lost in the fall and more. It is more in that man in his new creation of a new man is never put to a test like Adam was in the garden. Therefore, there is no possibility of him making a wrong choice again. When he chooses Jesus, it is an eternal choice that settles it forever. We are eternally sealed with God’s stamp of ownership, with His power to protect against the threat of a future fall (Jude 1:24; John 10:27), and sealed unto the day of redemption (Eph. 1:13-14; 4:30). God has placed us out of the reach of Satan so far as our destiny is concerned though He does allow us to be tempted but with the temptation makes a way of escape (1 Cor. 10:13).

This regeneration is “not by works of righteousness which we have done” because if it were that way then we would share in the glory of salvation. In salvation God gets the glory of it all. He came up with the plan, worked out the plan through making the total sacrifice Himself, drew us as lost sinners, saved us at the time we were enemies of God, and made us joint heirs with Christ His only begotten Son. He has given us a place in His eternal kingdom in which there will never be a threat of falling. It is beyond man’s comprehension but it is nevertheless true. It is something that we can begin to enjoy now in anticipation because His plan cannot be altered and cannot be prevented. Hallelujah to God and the Lamb forever.

Our text says it is “by the washing of regeneration and, and renewing of the holy Ghost.” Regeneration is a washing process. We are washed in the blood and left without a stain of sin. So clean are we in God’s sight that Col. 1:28 says, “Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:” It is perfection in Christ. This is positional truth because we are not perfect at our best moments. But Christ has never had an imperfect moment. He is our perfection so that we will be presented in Him without fault before the throne of God. And that will be the basis of our acceptance.  Hallelujah what a Saviour!!!  Next,

CONVERSION A NEW ATTITUDE BEFORE GOD

Matthew 18:3, “And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

The word “converted” translates “strepho” and means, “ to turn, to turn around.” This is an aorist passive subjunctive verb. The aorist tense refers to a point of time and in this case is referring to the event of salvation. The passive voice means that the subject is acted upon. This means that the one converted does not convert himself but receives conversion by and act of his will from the Lord. The subjunctive mood is the mood of possibility. This means that not everyone who is saved is converted and becomes as a little child. There are many who can give a clear testimony of salvation but they do not take the position of a little child in service for the Lord. They hold on to their ego wanting to be the “ones in charge.” Someone has said, “There are too many chiefs and not enough braves.” Well this is a true statement that can be applied to the newly born again Christian.

The disciples of Christ had this problem. Mark 9:34 says, “But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest.” Then Jesus calls the disciples together and gave them a lesson on greatness. He says in Mark 9:35 37, “And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.  And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them,  Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.”

Greatness in His sight is the one who takes the lowliest position. For this to happen, most of us will have to be converted. And I am not talking about salvation conversion. I am talking about attitude conversion. The ego is one of the main problems for Christians. We need to learn how to proceed as a Christian as a little child. So conversion is a new attitude before God and toward man.

But you say, “Preacher, what if they get all the good positions?” I simply ask you what is the good position? What you think is the good position may not be the good position so far as the Lord is concerned. Just remember this, the Lord is the one who will judge according to His estimate of greatness. Conversion is a new attitude toward God.

SONSHIP OR A NEW RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD

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.”

The believer is born into a relationship with God. There is literally a new birth. Just as surely as a person is born in this earthly family, a saved person is born in the heavenly family. I am God’s born son and so are you if you are saved. 1 John 3:2 says, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” This verse clearly teaches that we are His sons now. Our verse says, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God . . .” There are so many who teach that no one is a child of God now that this will happen only after the final judgment. However, John did not believe that. Neither did the Holy Spirit who inspired him to write this verse of Scripture. He said, “Beloved, NOW are we the sons of God.” I praise the Lord for the word “Now,” in the Bible. Then next,

SANCTIFICATION A NEW POSITION BEFORE GOD

Jude 1:1, “Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:”

Jude is writing to those who “are sanctified by God the Father . . .” There are three stages of sanctification.

1.  First there is positional sanctification. This is a sanctification that every believer has by virtue of his salvation. This is the sanctification that is spoken of in Hebrews 10:10, “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” There is no appeal in this verse for the believer to sanctify himself. It is stated that he is sanctified. This verse also says how this sanctification takes place. He is “sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ.” This verse also tells us the duration of this sanctification. He is sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ “once for all.” It does not have to be repeated. This is positional sanctification.

2.  Then there is progressive sanctification. This is brought out in 1 Thessalonians 4:3, “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:” This is clearly a sanctification in which the believer participates in. He is told to “abstain from fornication.” So there is an experiential sanctification where we keep our bodies from evil on a daily basis.

3.  Then there is ultimate sanctification which will take place at the rapture where we will get a glorified body that will never sin. It will never have the desire to sin.

So Sanctification is a new position before God. Then finally,

GLORIFICATION A NEW PLACE WITH GOD

Romans 8:30, “Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.”

In this verse our glorification is spoken of in the past tense even before it takes place experientially. When God makes a promise it is as good as fulfilled from the moment of the promise. God cannot lie. God is not capable of being unfaithful to His promises. When a sinner calls on the Lord for salvation, he doesn’t get the words out of his mouth before his name is written in the Lambs book of life.

Look at where we are today. Now imagine going from where we are to where He is in the celestial city as glorified sons of God. It is almost beyond our imagination. But this is exactly what is going to happen. We are sons of God and it does not yet appear what we will be but we will be like Him for we will see Him as He is.

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro. White

#173 – Gods Promise Concerning the Believers Temptation

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Yesterday on The Morning Meditation we looked at The Great Supper.  What is your response to the invitation given?  Do you have a preplanned excuse?

Today on The Morning Meditation:

GOD’S PROMISE CONCERNING THE BELIEVERS TEMPTATION

1 Cor.  +10:13 “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”

There are four things I want to examine in this verse. First,

THE COMMONALITY OF TEMPTATION

Paul says, “there hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man.” This was a real help to me when I discovered this truth. I thought I was the only one that had my particular problems. I thought something was wrong with me. Well, I was right. But where I was wrong was that my problems were not unique. Others were having those same problems. I’m not saying that I am glad others have these problems. I am saying that I’m happy to know that it is consistent with the Christian life to have the problems and it is not a sign that there is a flaw in my salvation.

The word “temptation” translates “peirasmos” and means, “an experiment, a trial, a proving.” Kittel says that it was used in secular Greek for medical experiments. Let’s observe the following:

1. God does not tempt any man.  James  +1:13 says, “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.”

2. God does allow temptation as in the case of Job. See Job chapters 1 and 2.

3. The temptation that God allows is for the purpose of proving the quality of His work in the believer. God does not allow temptation in the believer to prove to Himself that what He has done will stand the test. He allows temptation or testing to prove to others that His work is a perfect work and will prove to be true when tested. Again this is exactly what happened with Job.

Paul says, There hath no temptation taken you but such as in common to man.” The verb is “hath taken” with the negative “no.” The verb is a perfect active indicative. The perfect tense is completed action in the past and stands as complete in the present. Paul is speaking of any temptation that they have had in the past through which they have passed with the result that it stands now as a historical fact in their lives. He is telling them that any failure in the past is due to the lack of trust in the faithfulness of God and any success in bearing up under the temptation was due to God’s enabling power. He says that there is “no” temptation which looks at all temptations with qualification. That takes care of trying to qualify certain kinds of trials and say that they are too much to bear.

The words “such as is common to man.” translate one word in the Greek. It is “anthropinos” and means, “human species, applied to things belonging to men.” The use of this word is to draw attention to the fact that what Christians go through in the way of testing is true of mankind in general. When mankind in general is tested, the test proves there is a character flaw that renders them helpless. This character flaw is called spiritual death and is identified in theological terms as total depravity. They fail the test and will every time. You can read about it in Romans 1:18-3:20. When Christians are tested and pass the test, it proves that God’s saving work is adequate to make them stand in the time of testing. Next let’s notice,

THE FAITHFULNESS OF GOD TO THE TEMPTED CHRISTIAN

After saying, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as in common to man,” he added, “but God is faithful who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able.” The word “but” is a conjunction that turns the temptation from failure to success. The word “faithful” translates “pistos” and means, “ trusty, faithful.” It is used “of persons who show themselves faithful in the transaction of business, the execution of commands, or the discharge of official duties.” God can be counted on to keep His promises always. What is His promise in this case? The words “who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able” tell us. The words “will not suffer” translate “eao” and means with the negative, “will not allow, will not permit, or will not let.” It is a future active indicative verb and means that God is promising in advance that any trial through which a Christian may pass at any time in the future, that He will be there in His faithfulness to undertake and strengthen us to pass the test.

The words “to be tempted” are a translation of the same word that is defined above. It is in this case an aorist passive infinitive. The aorist tense means at any event or point of time. Temptations do not usually run continually. They come to us as events. Even Job endured the trial to become prosperous again. Weeping may come for a night but Joy comes in the morning! The passive voice speaks of what the trial does to the one being tried. The indication with the use of the passive voice is that the trial did not come from within the believer but from without. The words “above that ye are able” translate “dunamai” and mean, “to be able, have power whether by virtue of one’s own ability and resources, or of a state of mind, or through favorable circumstances, or by permission of law or custom.” Here the power comes from His presence within. 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.” Overcoming power comes from His presence within. If one fails it is not a power failure because every Christian has His presence within (Rom. 8:9). It is a FAITH FAILURE. When we fail, it is because we do not trust. God is faithful to those who trust. Next Jesus speaks of,

A WAY OF ESCAPE

Our text says, “but will with the temptation also make a way to escape.” This is saying that God will always provide a way out. The word escape suggests a trap. Satan is constantly setting traps for God’s people. God is constantly giving His children a way to avoid the trap. There is a way out. When we get caught, it is not because there wasn’t a way out. Sometimes it is because we didn’t look for it. Sometimes it seems we are caught and there is no way out. The Children of Israel at the Red Sea illustrate this. They had no way to go with Pharaoh and his army behind them and the Red Sea in front of them. Is this too big a problem for the Lord? Not at all. He solved the problem for Israel, opened the Red Sea so they could walk through on dry ground, and gave liberal theologians a problem. I saw a historical documentary of Israel leaving Egypt not long ago on TV. They had Israel walking across a sand bar that was just under the surface of the water. One either believes the Bible as it is or he has to spend much time and effort explaining it away. If I didn’t believe the Bible I would get out of the ministry. These parasites live off of Christianity and deny the very Bible on which Christianity is built. I have nothing but contempt for those hypocrites.

God will provide a way of escape. Then finally our text speaks of,

THE ABILITY TO BEAR IT

Then the text adds, “that ye may be able to bear it.” The words “be able” translate “dunamai” and mean in this case, “to be able with reference to the attitude that makes one able.” When you have a promise like this and enter a trial, you know ahead of time that you are going to make it. Therefore you have a positive mental attitude that comes from faith in this great promise. The words “to bear it” translate “hupophero” and mean, “to bear by being under, bear up (a thing placed on one’s shoulders).” So this tells us that the weight that trial put on us is not removed. God just enables us to bear up under the load.

Kenneth Wuest said, “God in His wisdom plans the test, and limits the temptation. God in His love sends the test, and permits the temptation. God in His grace meets the test and overcomes the temptation.”

Trials are common to all members of the human race. Becoming a Christian does not mean that we will not have trials. But the Christian has a definite advantage. God is faithful and has made a promise that we can trust in. He provides a way of escape. Not an escape from the temptation itself, but from the FALL the tempter has planned for us. The tempter discovers that we are able to bear the trial and come out victorious. Greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4).

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ,

Bro. White

Tomorrow on the Morning Meditation we are going to meditate on Some New Things About God!

#172 – The Great Supper

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Yesterday on The Morning Meditation we looked at The God of the Bible.  I like what the Apostle John had to say in last chapter of the Gospel he was charged with putting to paper and the same thing that was echoed by the songwriter, “Nor could the scroll contain the whole though stretched from sky to sky!”

Today on The Morning Meditation:

THE GREAT SUPPER

Luke 14:16-24 “Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many:  And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.  And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused.  And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused.  And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.  So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.  And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.  And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.  For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.”

The supper time is this dispensation.  The supper refers to the blessings and privileges provided for men in the sacrifice of God’s Son.  The many bidden (vs 16) are the Jews who received the first invitation, and who had been advised a long time beforehand.  The excuses are the silly objections brought by them against Jesus and His claims.  The poor and maimed are the publicans and sinners among both Jew and Gentile who accepted the invitation.  Those compelled to come in from the highways and hedges are the strangers afar off who had no hope.   Those who shall never taste of this supper are the unbelieving Jewish nation, who have been “cut off” (Acts 13:46; Rom.  11:20).  Such may be the dispensational teaching of the parable, but let us look at some practical thoughts. Let’s look first at —

THE THREEFOLD REASON FOR COMING

1.    “Come, for all things are now ready.”  “All things” means that every spiritual and temporal blessing for time and eternity is now ready in Christ.

Here is an advertisement that all things pertaining to a sinners salvation is now ready.

Do you need a substitute?  Then “Behold the Lamb of God.”

Do you need forgiveness?  Then this is ready.  This is brought out in Acts 13:38, “Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:”

Do you need peace? Romans 5:1 says, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:”

Do you need power?  Power is offered in Acts 1:8, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

The next reason for coming is—

2.    Come for all classes are invited.  Surely these four classes include all sorts.  First, the poor — those who feed on stale scraps, and who have never known what it is to have a thoroughly satisfying feast.

Second, the maimed — those who have been deprived of some of their limbs, and have become hopelessly mutilated.  Morally, this class represents those whose conscience has been seared.  They hear but they don’t hear.

Third, the halt — those who have all their limbs, but in a crooked and deformed condition, whose manner of walk is neither straight nor steady.

Fourth, the blind — those who can walk pretty straight, but are in the blackness of darkness all the time.  You may explain the need of salvation to them but they will say, “I just can’t see it.”

3.    Come for there is yet room.  The house is being rapidly filled, but yet there is room.  How much room none can tell.  We know not the hour that the Master may rise and shut the door.

THE THREEFOLD EXCUSE FOR NOT COMING

1.    I have something else to see. Luke 14:18, “And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused.”

2.    I have something else to do. Luke 14:19, “And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused.” Some people have the idea that the time to obey the call of God is when they have nothing else to do.

3.    I have something else to enjoy. Luke 14:20, “And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.” Someone has said that this is the only one who had a legitimate excuse!!!

Those who take lightly the Master’s gracious invitation, “Shall not taste of my supper.”

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro.  White

Tomorrow on The Morning Mediation we are going to see God’s Promise Concerning the Believer’s Temptation.

#171 – The God of The Bible

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Yesterday on The Morning Meditation we looked at God’s Offer of Guidance.  He wants to be our Instructor, Teacher and Counselor.  Are you willing to take Him up on His offer?

Today on The Morning Meditation:

THE GOD OF THE BIBLE

Gen. 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”

God is named in the first verse of the Bible. He is here identified as the Creator. The word God itself is Elohim.  The word Elohim is the word El put in the plural form and that is where we get “ohim” as an ending on the word “El.” The plural in the Hebrew is three or more differing from the English in grammar. In English we have the singular and the plural. In the Hebrew we have the singular, duel, and the plural. There is no attempt to prove there is a God in this passage. It just tells us what God does. But the reason I am making at least a short comment on this is to show that in the very first verse of the Bible God revealed Himself in TRINITY, i.e., the three strong ones. God is One God and yet a Trinity from the very first verse in the Bible. There is no way to avoid this without putting aside all the rules of correct interpretation. There is no other God like Him. He is God and there is no other.

To avoid dealing with God as Creator, placing Him before all things is a mistake of immeasurable proportions. It is to insult Him and avoid crediting Him with the person He really is and to relegate Him to some sort of being that came on the scene and is the result of self creation and no more than the brain child of the philosopher who needs to create a god who is man’s servant not man’s God. This kind of philosophy tells God what He can and can’t do ultimately in the judgment. Boy are those mindless birds in for a shock when they discover that the plowboy working out a living in the soil has more sense in his little finger then they do even though the degrees at the end of their names are long enough to spell Sacramento, California!!!

Sometimes the books are only a means to magnify the author and those who follow their pernicious knowledge and serve to make them heroes of the wisdom of this world but leave them lost without God and without hope. Let’s look as some of the things the Bible says about God.

THE GOD OF ALL GRACE

1 Peter 5:10, “But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.”
John Gill comments on this phrase: “Who has riches of grace, an immense plenty of it in himself, has treasured up a fulness of grace in his Son; is the author of all the blessings of grace, of electing, adopting, justifying, pardoning, and regenerating grace; and is the giver of the several graces of the Spirit, as faith, hope, love, repentance, &c. and of all the supplies of grace; and by this character is God the Father described as the object of prayer, to encourage souls to come to the throne of his grace, and pray, and hope for, and expect a sufficiency of his grace in every time of need; as well as to show that the sufferings of the saints here are but for a while; that they are in love and kindness; and that they shall certainly enjoy the glory they are called unto . . .”
The words “The God of all grace” suggests that He is its author. He is the beginner of grace, i.e., the one who thought it up. When man sinned in the Garden of Eden there is no one who knew better than Him that the depths to which we fell was out of the reach of anything short of mercy and grace. Man could desire restoration but he could never be restored by himself. He could try but his trials would fail. He could devise means hoping that the exercise of these means would restore him from his fallen state but they would not work. When man sinned the death that became his destiny was impossible to over come. It would take the same Creator who made him originally to come to where we are and take us to where He is. And God did just that. When God became a man in the incarnation, He came to where we are. When He died as a man on the cross, it was the exercise of grace providing payment for our sins which was something we could never do. When He rose again the third day, he over came death which involved the exercise of a power that was out of our reach. When He entered heaven in the resurrection, He entered in behalf of every sinner who would trust Him as Lord and Saviour. When we come to God and plead His mercy, He is able to give the sinner free salvation because He is the God of all grace. He has in Him the infinite power of forgiveness. He has the power to give the sinner back more in salvation than Adam lost in the fall. The reason I say that is because the New Man is never subjected to a trial like Adam was in the Garden. He is given forgiveness in Christ and Christ becomes the one in whom we receive free all that is required of the God who was sinned against in the Garden.

When one is saved by grace, it is to the glory of God. No one but God gets the glory from this salvation. 1 Peter 5:11 says, “To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” Next we see that He is,

THE GOD OF PEACE

Hebrews 13:20, “Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,”

God is called here the God of peace. This means first of all that He is the author of peace.  God is a peaceful person. He is not worried. He has never for a moment lost control of this universe. Satan did try to take over and was stopped in his attempt. His plan was foiled. He was stopped in his tracts. I don’t know all that Satan had in mind, but I do know he planned a take over of the throne. What he didn’t realize is that he was up against God Himself. I don’t know if he thought he would come against Michael or one of the other angels. But his sin in the attempted takeover brought him face to face with God. So Satan was finished before he started. There is no way to win against God.

God is the God of peace. He is the one who not only has peace as an attribute of Himself, but He is the giver of peace to those who want it.

It is amazing how Satan can blind the human race. He is the author of all those things that take peace from man. He is able to cause discord between people and is behind all the wars that take place on this earth. He probably uses this discord as a tool to distract men and blind them to their need of God. He keeps man looking for the peace that is totally unobtainable apart from being restored to fellowship with God.

Paul says in Romans 5:1, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:” Man’s peace with man is dependent upon his peace with God. And man can only have peace with God if he is willing to confess himself a sinner and trust God’s answer for his sins to the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus is man at peace with God. Adam lost that peace with God and no man has ever been able to regain that peace except Jesus Christ. So Jesus became a man and as a man made peace with God for those who are willing to repent of their sins and believe the gospel. Colossians 1:20 says, “And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.”  The words “having made peace” translates “eirenopoieo” and means, “to make peace, establish harmony.” The verb here is aorist tense which refers to a point of time in the past. That point of time is described in the verse as “through the blood of His cross.” So the cross is the place where peace with God for the human race was accomplished. The word “reconciled” is also used in this verse and it is a word that describes the peace process. God was and is offended by the sin of the human race. Man is born into an adversarial relationship with God. So this was changed when the God-Man stepped between God and man and paid the penalty that is the root cause of the enmity.

Colossians 1:20, “And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.” This verse says, “by him to reconcile all things to himself.”  Jesus is the One who satisfied God for mans sins and makes a way from man side for man to enter the holiest with full assurance of faith and have the peace of knowing that he is accepted by God. We discover the extent of the reconciliation and our acceptance with God in,

Ephesians 1:6, “To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.”  It is “To the praise of the glory of his grace.” There is no one to thank except God. He is the One who came up with the idea of grace and worked it out so that man could have God’s complete approval. You will notice in this verse it is “wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.” In Adam we are lost, in Christ we are saved. Jesus is our shelter from the storm. The way we get into Christ is by an act of creation. 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” The “new creature” is a word that refers to a new creation not just the renovation of the old. When God saves us He does it by creation. It is the New Birth. This gives us a new origin. Saved people are from another world. We received a new origin when we trusted Jesus as Lord and Saviour. God is the God of peace. Then next God is said to be,

THE GOD OF ALL COMFORT

2 Corinthians 1:3, “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;”

The word “comfort” translates “paraklesis” and means, “consolation, comfort, solace; that which affords comfort or refreshment.” To say that the human race is disturbed and needs solace would be an understatement. Man is so messed up that in his best moments, he sounds like he is mentally disturbed. Man acts in violence toward others because he is very dissatisfied with himself. He is so troubled that he cannot see that the other man is not his problem but he himself. So when a sinful son of Adam gets in the place of power, he goes crazy and destroys his fellow man thinking he can do away with the problem by doing way with those who don’t think like himself.

The fact is, he couldn’t do away with the problem if he committed suicide. Because someone as wicked and ungodly as himself would step into his place and carry on with the destruction of those he feels is the problem. Only God can settle man’s problems and bring reconciliation between man and God. This brings the Comforter to the life and suddenly he finds what he has been looking for i.e., Comfort.

God is “The God of all comfort.” Any comfort that does not originate in God is phony and will not last. God is the God of ALL comfort. Do you need comfort? Then you must turn to God. There we can find comforting words and that is good. There are comforting acts what we can exercise toward those in need and that is good. But God is the God of all comfort and He gives that kind of comfort that will take us through the stormy seas of life. He will even walk by our side when we take that pilgrimage by the grave where we lay away our loved ones at least temporarily. He is there to give us that heavenly touch so that suddenly we realize that we have had the touch of another world and we are comforted with an unexplainable comfort beyond words to explain. Then there is,

THE GOD OF PATIENCE

Romans 15:5, “Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:”

The words “Now the God of patience and consolation” comes in the closing remarks of Paul to the Church at Rome. I like the word “Now” because this brings what is said here in the present tense. It is not after while, or, some day. It is “Now.” Paul is praying for these dear saints and what he is saying about God and praying to God is prefaced by  the word “Now.” There are things we need now. And one of the things Christians need now is “patience.” The early church was in trouble with the world at the time of the writing of this epistle. Many were dying martyr deaths.

When we are persecuted and put under all kinds of pressure, how are we to react? We need to see that the God we serve is “Now the God of patience and consolation.” Patience is holding steady without compromise under the threat of death. When this happens, our old sin nature has a survival trigger in it. This threat of death or imprisonment triggers a compromise mechanism that will cause us to do what is necessary to survive. However, God wants us to be faithful “unto death” and if we are we are promised “the crown of life.” It takes a special enduement of power from on high to stand in moments like that. God is the God of patience.

Think of the patient suffering of God as He has dealt patiently with the human race as He has worked out His plan of redemption. Hebrews 9:26 says, “For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the  world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.”

The God of patience can give His child the patience he needs to stay faithful through all the trials and tribulations He has asked us to go. The next thing is that God is,

THE GOD OF HOPE

Romans 15:13, “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”

The definition of hope is the joyful anticipation of a reality. It is not a weak word like it would be if someone said, “I hope I am saved.” That is not the use of the word hope as it is used in the Bible.  Rom. 8:24-25, “For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?  But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.” Hope in the believer is encouraged by God’s promises. For instance Jesus said in 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.” Based on this promise by Jesus to His disciples, they began to live in the expectancy of something they had never seen. They believed what Jesus said and the New Jerusalem became the object of their expectance and the goal to which they moved. Titus 2:11 13, “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;” They no longer looked to this world as a place where the fulness of satisfaction would be reached. They like Abraham looked for a city which hath foundations whose builder and maker is God. Not only is God a God of hope, He is,

THE GOD OF GLORY

Acts 7:2, “And he said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran,”

John Gill says, “he calls God ‘the God of glory’, because he is glorious in himself, in all his persons, perfections, and works, and is to be glorified by his people; and his glory is to be sought by all his creatures, and to be the end of all their actions; and the rather he makes use of this epithet of him, to remove the calumny against him, that he had spoke blasphemous things against God; and because God appeared in a glorious manner to Abraham, either in a vision, or by an angel, or in some glorious form, or another; and it is observable, that when the Jews speak of Abraham’s deliverance out of the fiery furnace, for so they interpret Ur of the Chaldees, they give to God much such a title.”

When I think of Glory, I think of the Shekinah or the effulgence in which God was clothed when seen by man and the clothing that was dangerous to approach so far as sinful man is concerned. God is holy and dwells in the light unapproachable. 1 Timothy 6:16 says, “Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.”

This is a kind of a birds eye view of God. He as a holy God is protected by His own holiness. Jesus has made it possible for the God who is unapproachable to be approached on the basis of Grace. And the truth of the matter He wants us to live in His presence all the time. May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro. White

Tomorrow on The Morning Mediation we are going to look at The Great Supper.

#170 – The Lords Offer of Guidance

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Yesterday on The Morning Meditation we looked at The Door is Shut.  Are you outside of a shut door?

Today on The Morning Meditation:

THE LORD’S OFFER OF GUIDANCE

Psa. 32:8  “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.”

Someone has said as we enter into the truth of this verse “we enter as a student in God’s University.” This is a University from which I want a degree. Amen. The Lord promises three things in this verse, i.e., that He will be our Instructor, that He will be our Teacher, and that He will be our Counselor. First let’s look at Him as,

THE INSTRUCTOR

He says to David, “I will instruct thee . . .” The word “instruct” translates “sakal” and means, “to be prudent, be circumspect, wisely understand, prosper.” The Hebrew verb is what is called the hiphil stem and is causative (causes action). It is imperfect tense and speaks of a process. God is promising David “I will continually cause you to be prudent, be circumspect, and to wisely understand and be prosperous in understanding (my paraphrase).

God instructs so that those instructed by Him are advanced beyond those who are learned in the things of the world including science so-called. Psalm 119:99-100 says, “I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts.” Where does this understanding come from? The words “for thy testimonies are my meditation” tell us.

When we meditate on the Word of God, God becomes our Instructor. This is the reason God trained the Jews to make His Word a part of everything they did. Deut. 6:6-9 says, “And these WORDS, which I command thee this day, SHALL BE IN THINE HEART: And thou shalt TEACH them diligently unto thy children, and shalt TALK of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt BIND them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as FRONTLETS BETWEEN THINE EYES. And thou shalt WRITE THEM UPON THE POSTS OF THY HOUSE, AND ON THY GATES.” (Caps mine for emphasis). Who is the teacher in your home? Is it the TV? It is in most homes I am afraid. The above describes a home that spends all their time together involved in learning the Word of God. Can you imagine how much a child who was reared in a home like this would know about what God has to say when he reached adulthood? This was the RULE in Jewish homes. Should Christians do less?

God has promised to be our Instructor. Let’s let Him instruct. Then next, He has promised to be,

THE TEACHER

Our text says, “and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go.” The word “teach” translates “yarah” and means “to throw, cast, to shoot, to point out, to direct.” This verb is the same as above, a hiphil imperfect. God says, “I will throw you in the way that thou shalt go.” I like that. That takes all my resistance out of it. God just picks me up and throws or casts, or shoots me in the right direction! The words “in the way” refers to the course of life. The words “thou shalt go” refer to the right way. This is not God making us go in the right direction. He is making a promise to those who voluntarily trust Him.

This is a definite promise of Divine involvement in the direction of ones life. God does get involved with His people. No one can maintain a proper walk in the ways of God without God’s help. There are times when we need His forceful interference when we are about to go wrong. This has been one of the difficulties over the years for Christians. Our problem is not so much a lack of desire to do right. It is an attempt to do right on our own without His help. Failure then comes. Then another attempt. Failure again. Then quit. The attempt to do right without God’s help is like burning a lamp without oil. It lasts only a short time and burns itself out. But if you put oil in the lamp, it is the oil that burns. It is the energy behind the wick. Then next we see,

THE COUNSELOR

God says, “I will guide thee with mine eye.” We might call Him a Guidance Counselor. The word “guide” translates “ya`ats” and means, “to advise, to consult, to give counsel.” The words “with mine eye” adds a dimension to the counseling. God sees around the next corner. He sees over the next hill. He knows all that is out there that can threaten us. He is saying, “I will guide you with my counsel according to my sight.” I will assure you that we will be ready for anything that confronts us with His wise counsel.

Someone has said, “We are partners with God to do the impossible.”

The Lord’s guidance takes on three dimensions in our text. He teaches, He instructs, and He counsels. As an Instructor He trains us in how to behave wisely in this world as His children. As Teacher He not only communicates His Word but actually engages in keeping us on the right path. As a Counselor He listens and assures us that He knows what is ahead and invites our trust so that we can walk with Him in confidence and not dread what is ahead since He has His eye on future problems and will be there to guide us around them.

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro. White

Tomorrow on The Morning Mediation we are going to look at The God of the Bible!

Morning Anouncements #5 – The Contest

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The Morning Mediation Morning Announcements #5

The Morning Meditation is really starting to grow!  We have now been downloaded in 122 countries around the world.  This is going to be a great ministry!  I am excited about what God is going to do.

If you want to learn how to subscribe to The Morning Meditation, just go to TheMorningMeditation.com/subscribe, and you can see all of the ways you can subscribe.

I have decided to have a month long contest to see if we can get more subscribers!  I have never done a contest before; so we are going to be learning together!

THE PRIZE!

Dr. James Wilkins has written a great new book: Obeying the Great Commission – Equipping you to do your new vocation.

Obeying The Great Commission

I have one copy for the winner!

THE RULES!

Email as many people as you can and ask them to listen to The Morning Meditation.

In the email, ask them to email me at feedback@themorningmeditation.com to let me know that you asked them to listen to The Morning Meditation.

Make sure they include your name and email address in the email to me.

THE WINNER!
The winner will be the one that gets the most people to send me an email.

I will keep score and let you know who is winning on each of the morning announcements which will air once every ten days.

The grand prize winner will be announce in the morning announcement just prior to Episode #200.

Thank you for listening to The Morning Meditation every day!

#169 – The Door Is Shut

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Yesterday on The Morning Meditation we looked at The Number One Desire of a Christian.  David was a great example of how to seek that one thing.

Today on The Morning Meditation:

THE DOOR IS SHUT

Gen. 7:16 “And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in.”

There was one door in the ark. When God told Noah how to build the ark, He said, “A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it” (6:16). The door to the ark was evidently three stories high. It reminds us that God has provided ample entrance to the place where there is plenty of room for all who will come. God’s grace is truly amazing. It is the broad way that leads to destruction and the narrow way that leads to life. But the words “narrow way” does not suggest that there is not room for everyone. Because everyone who WILL come CAN come. It is not “everyone who CAN come WILL come.” Some get this turned around. I suggest that we keep it in the Biblical order. Jesus died for all and all can be saved. The problem is that the “broad way” describes the way most people choose to go.

Our text says, “. . . and the LORD shut him in.”  What a wonderful truth that is. What security for Noah and his family! When God shuts the door, you won’t be getting out. That is, until the time His providence provides. Col. 3:3 says, “For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” God has shut us in. Jesus is our Ark.

There is also another side to this truth because there is another side to that door. What about the people who were on the other side of that door after the LORD shut Noah, his family and all the animals in? The door was as secure against opening from that side as it was from Noah’s side. When the LORD shut Noah in, He shut the rest of the world out. There is a thin line that separates the condemned from the uncondemned. But there is an eternal difference. Noah was safe on the one side of that door and those on the other side were eternally condemned. The LORD had shut the door.

Have you discovered that you cannot exceed God’s boundaries? God has shut the human race out to some things. Nimrod tried to build a tower that would reach into the heavens. God came down and saw what was going on. He interrupted the building program. This is recorded in Genesis chapter 11. God knows what is going on in the space program today. We know that. The boundaries are still there. Man thinks he has accomplished a lot when he says, “we have gone to the moon,” and, “we have gone to Mars with our space probes.” But in comparison to the omniscience of God, if you took all the scientist’s brains and put them together and put them on the head of a needle, you would have room left to build a football stadium and a Walmart Superstore and still have undeveloped territory! We have no idea how infinitely dumb all the intelligence’s of the earth are in comparison to the omniscience of God. Yet modern intelligence dares to deny His existence and promote the lie of Satan that man just happened. Man is not even smart enough to come up with the evolutionary hypothesis. He is simply a dupe of Satan repeating his lie.

Moses said, “ . . . and the LORD shut him in.” The door is shut and the LORD shut it. The LORD has shut the door to the unsaved outside. Something happened when man sinned in the Garden of Eden. God drove the man out. And all of Adam’s children have been born outside of Eden. And that door is securely closed by the LORD Himself for all of Adam’s race. Only God can open that door for re-entrance. In his natural state, man cannot know what is on the other side of that door. He cannot discover it by science.  Paul said, “For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe” (1 Cor. 1:19-21). Note the words: “ . . . hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?” It is still a valid question where the answer is obvious. But it is not obvious to the natural man because “ . . . the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor. 2:14). God is still shutting those in who have entered the Ark (Christ) by faith and shutting the door against those who reject His message. A man will never find God by science.

The door is shut against those who would know God by education. The unsaved man will never learn enough to find God. He is a natural man and the door is shut to the natural man. With all his colleges and universities and all the books he has written, he is still as far from God as he was before he emerged from his ignorance and superstition and now has his degrees in academics. There is a fine line between him and those in the Ark. But it is a line he will never cross now or in eternity by education. The LORD has shut the door.

The door is shut against the unsurrendered. Have you discovered that there are a lot of Christians, at least those who profess to be, who are walking in darkness? They really do not have a clue about what is going on. They profess to believe in Jesus and I have no right to say they have not. But I can say that they do not understand what God says in His Word. They have not progressed beyond the understanding of the basics of salvation itself. These kinds of Christians are mentioned in Hebrews. The Holy Spirit says, “Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Heb. 55:11-14).

What causes these to live outside the door? Jesus tells us in John’s Gospel: “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself” (John 7:17). It is the WILL TO DO not the WILL TO KNOW that lets us through the door. We will not be judged for what we know at the Judgment Seat of Christ. We will be judged for what we have done with what we know. If we are going to KNOW the doctrine, WE MUST SURRENDER TO DO WHAT IT SAYS BEFORE WE KNOW WHAT IT SAYS. The man who says, “Let me find out what God wants me to do then I will decide.” That is not God’s way. If you want to know what is on the other side of that door, you must be willing to put your life and all the consequences of full surrender, by faith, into the hands of the Lord. Noah and his family are not the only ones whom the LORD has shut in and shut out. And those in Noah’s day who died outside the door are not the only ones shut out. Jesus said, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture” (John 10:9).

May the Lord bless each of you.

In Christ

Bro. White

Tomorrow on The Morning Meditation we are going to look at The Lord’s Offer of Guidance.

#168 – The Number One Desire for the Believer

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Yesterday on The Morning Meditation we looked at Jesus Teaching His Disciples to Pray.  God is able to do more than we ask and we need to listen to Him and then act in prayer.

Today on The Morning Meditation:

THE NUMBER ONE DESIRE FOR THE BELIEVER

Psalms 27:4 “One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.”

WHAT THIS ONE THING WAS

David tells us what that one thing was.  It was fellowship with God.

HE SOUGHT THIS BECAUSE HE WAS RECONCILED TO GOD

For an unreconciled man to approach God would be useless and dangerous.  It would be like forcing oneself upon God and ignoring His warnings.  Exodus 3:6, “Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.”

Colossians 1:21 says, “And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled.”

The word “reconciled” translates “apokatallasso” and means, “to bring back a former state of harmony.” Salvation is a restoration to a former state.  It is regaining what was lost in the fall.

Salvation restores man to harmony with God.  Man’s highest good is  to be reconciled with God and enjoy His fellowship. 1 John 1:3 says, “That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.”

Hebrews 10:19 22 says, “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,  By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;  And having an high priest over the house of God;  Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.”

HE SOUGHT THIS BECAUSE HE LOVED THE COMPANY OF GOD

David reveals his desire when he says, “One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life. . .”

David’s desire was not just to visit God, it was to dwell in the house of the LORD, and he desires this as a permanent relationship.  He says, “this will I seek after.” Deuteronomy 4:29 says, “But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.”

WHY HE SOUGHT THIS ONE THING

To see His beauty.  He is altogether lovely.  There is great beauty in His person—divine and human; in His character—holy, compassionate, mighty; in His work as Prophet, priest, King.  This is a beauty that never fades.  Human forms, pleasures, and possessions will wither.  Psalms 16:11, “Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”

Age has no effect on the beauty of the Lord.  If my wife would have had  a picture of what I would look like when I got old she would probably said no to my proposal.  God had ordained the birth of a babe, the development into childhood, and the maturing as an adult.  But finally when he receives adulthood he starts loosing it and there is nothing he can do about it.  A lot of people get a face lift when they get old.  All I can say is that they will make a beautiful corpse.

God is eternal.  He has always been but age has not affected His looks or His attributes.  He is the eternal God living in an eternal now.  Age is not beneficial in the eternal state because everything there is perfect and no one who is there will never need to undergo a change.  We will be eternally young.

The second reason is to inquire in His temple.  He was an anxious inquirer, seeking the truth of God from God’s own lips.  Jesus said, “Learn of Me” (Matt.  11:29).

The Church is our place of worship.  Every saved individual should desire the same thing that David did.  Jesus is the Head and Founder of the Church.  It is a place where teaching takes place and the saints of God can grow.  Church attendance should be the most interesting time of the week.

HOW HE SOUGHT THIS ONE THING

He sought it earnestly.  All his desire centered in this one thing.  He had a single eye.  Deuteronomy 29:29, “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.” We should seek God with all our hearts.

He sought it determinately.  He says, “That will I seek after.” He will not cease until he finds it.

He sought it successfully.  This we may be assured of, because he sought it from the Lord.  “Seek and ye shall find.”  (Matt.  7:7).

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro. White

Tomorrow on The Morning Meditation we are going to look at the story of Noah and meditate on the subject The Door is Shut.

#167 – Jesus Teaches His Disciples to Pray

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Yesterday on The Morning Meditation we meditated on the subject of How to Have a Perfect Heart Toward God.  Walking with a perfect heart toward God means relying on His Word in all things.

Today on The Morning Meditation:

JESUS TEACHES HIS DISCIPLES TO PRAY

John 16:23 “And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.”

There are many wonderful things Jesus taught His disciples just prior to His death on the cross. They had grown to love Him dearly. The thoughts of losing Him was just too much for them to grasp. Jesus teaches them that He will just be a prayer away. He assures them that the Father will hear them when they pray. So, He teaches them to pray. He says, “ask.” Let’s notice first,

WHO TO ASK?

Jesus says, “Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name . . .” God is our Father. We have a relationship to God as Father. Luke 11:2 says, “And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.”

Jesus addressed God as His Father in Mark 14:36, “And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.” The Greek lexicon says the following: “father, customary title used of God in prayer. Whenever it occurs in the New Testament it has the Greek interpretation joined to it, that is apparently to be explained by the fact that the Chaldee ‘ABBA’ through frequent use in prayer, gradually acquired the nature of a most sacred proper name, to which the Greek speaking Jews added the name from their own tongue.”

Jesus taught that we have the right to be aware of the relationship of a son to the Father when we pray. This will encourage our faith to know that we are not asking a cold calculating God for something. We are asking our Father.

Paul writes in his Epistle to the Romans in chapter 1 verse 7: “To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

We are to approach God as our Father in the Spirit of worship. Paul brings this out in Romans 8:15, “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.”

Paul states this also in Galatians 4:6, “And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.” This verse reveals that God has given us not only the right to call Him Father but “God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son” into our hearts. This is the enablement of true worship.

We are truly the sons (and daughters) of God, and God has made this possible through creating us anew in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 5:17), and. as seal of that relationship has sent forth the Holy Spirit to indwell us. Ephesians 4:30, “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” Next,

HOW ARE WE TO ASK?

Jesus taught His disciples in John 14:13 14, “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.”

We are to ask in the name of Christ. When we do this Jesus promises that He Himself will respond to that request. This is the promise: “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do . . .”

John Gill has a good comment: “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, &c.] Whether it be for assistance in preaching of the Gospel; or for the performance of miraculous operations in confirmation of it; or for success to attend it; or for any blessings whatsoever, whether for themselves or others: that will I do; he does not say, that he would be a Mediator between God, and them, an advocate with the Father for them, and would intercede, and use his interest with him that it might be done, which would have been saying much, and all which he does; but he declares he will do it himself, which is a proof of his deity, and an instance of his omnipotence.”

We are to ask believingly in the Name of Jesus. We must believe in the power of that Name. I believe this truth is revealed in Peter’s use of Jesus Name in Acts 3:1 8, “Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.  And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple;  Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms.  And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us.  And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.  Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.  And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.  And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.”

Who worked this miracle? I believe that Peter knew at that point that Jesus was with him, though unseen, and so he simply exercised by faith what Jesus had taught him in John 14:13-14.

How are we to ask? We are to ask in the power of the Spirit. We are weak and frail in our human nature, but Paul tells us in Romans 8:26, “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” This means the weakest saint has the aid of the omnipotent Holy Spirit in asking our heavenly Father for aid. Next,

WHAT ARE WE TO ASK FOR?

He has unlimited resources and will respond to prayer when it is in Jesus Name. We are to ask for help. 2 Chronicles 20:4, “And Judah gathered themselves together, to ask help of the LORD: even out of all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD.” We can call this a national prayer meeting.

We need to ask for the fulness of the Spirit. Luke 11:13, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” It is impossible to do the work of the Lord apart from the fulness of the Spirit in our lives. It is easy to fall into the trap of doing the Lord’s work in the flesh. No work of the flesh will stand at the judgment seat of Christ. It will go up in flames (1 Cor. 3:12-15).

We can ask for the fulness of Joy. John 16:24, “Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.” This is the joy of answered prayer. When you pray and see God answering your prayers, there is true joy resulting.

We can ask for wisdom. Wisdom is the right application of knowledge. Many have taught the truth but their message was not received, because the one teaching, had no wisdom in presenting the truth. James 1:5 8 says, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.  But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.  For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.  A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” Next,

WHAT CONDITION DO WE HAVE TO MEET?

We need to abide in Christ. Jesus taught this to His disciples in John 15:7, “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”

Abiding in Christ means we have made a choice to live our lives in the environment of Christ. He is within every believer. But He does not control every believer. This is a truth only understood by a Christian who has gone beyond just being saved. Jesus explains in John 6:57, “As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.” The Lord’s intent for all believers is to live by Him. No transaction can be made by the one abiding in Christ that is not taken to Him for His approval before action is taken. The one who abides in Christ has given up his rights and given them over to Christ.

The one abiding in Christ will read the Scriptures and study them as earnestly and consistently as one eats food to live. 1 John 5:14 15 says, “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:  And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” Next,

WHAT ENCOURAGEMENT DO WE HAVE TO PRAY

We can be encouraged by the provisions that God has made for us. Ephesians 3:20 says, “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.”

When Paul says God is able, he means that it is available. God is willing. God does not tease us with promises that He is unwilling to keep.

The LORD says in Psalms 81:13 14, “Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways! I should soon have subdued their enemies, and turned my hand against their adversaries.” I believe this verse teaches that Israel quit too soon. They looked to the circumstances and did not think God would help. I wonder how many times I have prayed for something and I quit believing and praying just before God answered. Jesus teaches us to pray and not to faint (Luke 18:1).

This is a great encouragement to pray. God is able to do more than we are able to ask. We need to listen to Him and then act in prayer.

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro. White

Tomorrow on The Morning Meditation we are going to meditation on The Number One Desire for the Believer.

#166 – How to Have A Perfect Heart Toward God

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Yesterday on The Morning Meditation we looked at A Leak in the Character.  Have you inspected your life and found a leak, just a thread of water? Get it right and remember that our sins are under the Blood of Christ.

Today on The Morning Meditation:

HOW TO HAVE A PERFECT HEART TOWARD GOD

2 Chron. 16:9 “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.”

Let me encourage you to read this whole passage from 2 Chron. 16. Asa the king of Judah made a league with the king of Syria to protect him from Baasha king of Israel. Now it worked, but it is never God’s will for His people to make alliances with the world for protection or supply. After Asa did this, the seer (prophet) Hanani came and did some uninvited counseling to king Asa. Asa did not like what he heard. In fact it infuriated him. The way the Bible puts it, “For he was in a rage with him because of this thing.” He got so mad at Hanani that he put him in prison because of it. It is amazing how people get mad at the preacher for what God says. I guess they still have enough sense and enough fear of God not to take Him on directly.

Asa’s chastening was permanent. God’s message to him was, “therefore from hence forth thou shalt have wars.” Not a very good future would you say? In other words, God gave nation peace from war as long as they were right with Him. God wanted Asa to trust Him but he acted on human viewpoint instead of faith in God. When a man’s heart is not right with God, he will not be right with man. Verse 10 of this chapter says, “And Asa oppressed some of the people the same time.”

We also learn that Asa did not respond to the chastening of the Lord. Verse 12 says, “And Asa in the thirty and ninth year of his reign was diseased in his feet, until his disease was exceeding great: yet in his disease he sought not to the LORD, but to the physicians.” God is about the last one to be consulted today in the case of illness. Instead of developing a faith that will find the God who heals, we go to the skilled physicians. Is it wrong to go to doctors? No. But I’m saying that God should be the first to be consulted. He will tell us how He wants to heal. But that is another subject.

Our text says, “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.”

How do we have a perfect heart toward God? I will make a few suggestions:

FIRST, ACKNOWLEDGE A DEFECTIVE HEART

Hanani the Seer brought God’s diagnosis to Asa. He was saying to the king, “God says your heart is not right with Him.” This is never the kind of news we want to hear. Asa was no exception. But if there is going to be correction to a wrong path, we must first face the fact that we are on a wrong path. If our hearts are not right with God, we must begin by acknowledging that we have a defective heart.

What picture does God give of the natural heart? Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” This verse states the condition of all men. I know it comes from an old testament Prophet, but it is as true today as it was then. To show the tendency to avoid facing this fact consider this. How many times have you heart people say, “He may have done wrong, but he has a good heart.” There is a string between the natural man’s heart and his eyes that when pulled can close truth to the eyes like a Venetian blind shuts out light. The heart protects itself against exposer.

Jesus commented on the natural heart.  Jesus said in Matthew 15:19, “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.” The Jews of Jesus day were like Asa. Even worse. They did not just put him in prison, they crucified Him. He diagnosed the real problem. It was a heart problem.

SECOND, WE NEED A HEART TRANSPLANT TO HAVE A PERFECT HEART

Unclogging the arteries is not enough. We need a new heart. I want to give you some good news. You do not have to get on a waiting list. And there is no risk. The Divine Physician has never lost a case. However, I do want to tell you this. There will be a complete personality change when you get this transplant. There will be an adjustment time. And your new heart will suffer rejection from the flesh. But the Divine Physician has the medication to give that will MAKE THE FLESH accept the new heart. It will have no choice in the matter.

Ezekiel knew about this and said in Ezekiel 36:26, “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.”

This new heart is equivalent to the new man. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

No human doctor can do what the Creator can do. The doctors of this world can give you another heart but it is not permanent. This new heart that Dr. Jesus gives is permanent and will get you across death’s river into the promised land of His presence in perfect health. Now if this new heart functions right something else must take place.

THIRD, WE MUST MAINTAIN A RIGHT HEART ATTITUDE

David discovered this truth and wrote about it in Psalm 51:17: “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” Roy Hession in his little book called The Calvary Road has in it a chapter on Brokenness. This is the greatest little book in my estimation on personal revival. He says that personal revival comes when we come into a right relationship to Christ. He says, “If, however, we are to come into this right relationship with Him, the first thing we must learn is that our wills must be broken to His will. To be broken is the beginning of revival.”

Man by nature wants to be independent and walk without help. The pride of man makes him go to God as a last resort. So to walk before God with a right heart attitude we must constantly be aware of our standing in grace. If we do not, we will become proud of our faith, or our good works, or our denomination. Our standing before God is a grace standing. We have not improved in our own righteousness since we have been saved. You say, “Preacher, I have improved. I do not drink. I used to be a drunkard. I do not drink any more. I treat my family right. I go to church instead of the bars. I am better.” Let me ask you this. Who got you off drink? Who causes you to treat your family right? Who keeps you out of the bars? You say, “I do. I have changed.” Another question: “Why do you need Jesus? Or, do you need Him? Now that you say you have become a Christian, what role does He play in your life?”

Now let me give my personal testimony on this subject. I was saved in 1939. I have tried over and over again to make the flesh righteous. I worked myself to death and I could never accomplish it. When I get down to pray, I am plagued with wrong thoughts that go through my mind. You say, “Wrong thoughts are not sin.” The Bible says in Proverbs 24:9, “The thought of foolishness is sin: and the scorner is an abomination to men.” I have discovered that I can’t master my thought life. I have also discovered that I am constantly having to go before the Lord for forgiveness (1 John 1:8-9). So to be truthful with you, I have discovered that I am in need of grace in my walk as well as my entrance into the Christian life. If it is God’s unmerited favor that keeps me, as well as saves me, I have nothing to be proud of. It is not my righteousness it is His grace. It is not hard to maintain an attitude of brokenness when you know this. Then let me add,

WE MUST MAINTAIN A TRUSTFUL HEART

A perfect heart is a trusting heart. Asa had trusted the Lord in the past. Hanani said to Asa in verse 8: “Were not the Ethiopians and the Lubims a huge host, with very many chariots and horsemen? yet, because thou didst rely on the LORD, he delivered them into thine hand.” Asa had relied on the Lord in the past. Why did he mess up here? It is because it is not easy to maintain a trustful heart. You would think we would learn a lesson when we have God work a great thing in our lives. But faith is never easy. Faith is always contrary to the natural mind. When Asa was attacked by Baasha, he elected to go for the help at hand. He negotiated with Ben-hadad. He got his help but got in trouble with the Lord.

The Bible says in  Hebrews 11:6, “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.” We are to walk by faith. It is a matter of the heart. We must maintain a trustful heart.

A good verse to close on is 1 Kings 8:61: “Let your heart therefore be perfect with the LORD our God, to walk in his statutes, and to keep his commandments, as at this day.” Walking before God with a perfect heart means relying upon His Word in all things. A trustful heart goes to the Scripture for the answers it needs. A trustful heart goes to the Scripture for the direction it needs. Not only does it go there to find the answers, it submits in trusts in the truth it finds and does what the Bible says.

It is possible to find help in the world. Asa did. Did it pay? No. God is telling Asa that it is not possible to get help from Benhadad and from Him at the same time. God will not share His glory with another.

May the Lord help us to maintain a perfect heart toward Him.

In Christ

Bro. White

Tomorrow on The Morning Mediation we are going to meditate on the scripture where Jesus Teaches His Disciples to Pray.

#165 – A Leak in the Character

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Yesterday on The Morning Meditation we looked at a very beautiful story of redemption.  The Redemption of Ruth and today we are going to look at a very ugly story of treachery and murder as we study:

A LEAK IN THE CHARACTER

1 Kings 16:16 “Zimri hath conspired, and hath also slain the king.”

I am quoting from Joseph Parker’s message on this incident:

“There was once a king in Israel called Elah. He reigned over Israel in Tirzah two years. He had a servant called Zimri who was a captain of his chariots. Zimri was a born traitor. Treachery was in his very blood. In the case of Elah, Zimri had a marked advantage; for Elah was a drunken fool; he was in the habit of visiting the house of another of his servants, a steward called Arza, and there he had what drink he asked for; and he asked for a good deal, so much so that he was often drunk in his servant’s house, and on one of these occasions, Zimri went in and killed him, and reigned in his stead. These are the facts which we have to deal with. Are they very ancient, or are they happening round about us every day ? Is Elah dead ? Is Zimri clean gone for ever ? And is the house of the servant Arza closed, so that the master can drink no more with the steward?”

“Elah lives in every man who has great chances or opportunities in life, but allows them to slip away though one leak in the character. Elah was a king and the son of a king, so his openings in life were wide and splendid; but he loved strong drink, and through that leak in his character all that might have made him a man oozed away, and left him a king in nothing but the barren name. Strong drink will ruin any man. It is the supreme curse of England.”

“ I will speak a word to the young. I care not, young man, how many and how brilliant in life your chances are, if you drink wine in the morning, as many young men in London do, you are as good as damned already. You think not, but that only shows the infinite deceitfulness of the enemy. He tells you, ‘Nothing of the kind; this is parson’s twaddle; take your wine when you want it, and let it alone when you don’t care for it.’ There is suppressed mockery in that high challenge. There is no soundness of health in it. Every drink leaves you weaker. Every emptied glass is another link added to the strong chain thrown upon your limbs. You take sherry in the morning, and it brightens and lightens you for the day, you think. Let me tell you what it does. It exhilarates you; it takes you out of yourself for a while; but it takes away the sources of your will, it throws a cloud over your brain, it blunts your moral criticism, it hastens you along a road that dips easily but surely into hell. The young man who drinks in the morning may be saved, for I dare not set limits to the mercy of God, but how he is to be saved it is impossible for me to say. The devil has hold of both his hands, his feet are upon a slippery incline, and how he is to get back again, I cannot tell. God help him! God save him!”

“What is true of this leak in a man’s character is true of every other. Take indecision for example, or idleness, or love of company, or devotion to pleasure. Give me a young man with a king for a father, a throne for an inheritance, a kingdom for a field to cultivate, and let him be idle, or undecided, or pleasure loving, and his doom is sealed. A great merchant once said to me of a certain man in his employment, ‘I would tomorrow give that man a thousand a year to begin with, if he could do one thing, and that is, hold his tongue, but he would no sooner get the appointment than he would go into an ale house, and tell the whole company everything I am doing.’ There is the leak in the character, and it means ruin! It is astounding what one leak will do. I remember lowering a brass valve put into some water apparatus which had been fitted by one of the most skillful of plumbers; but when all was done, there was a faint thread of water running; the valve was taken to pieces, and refitted and still the thread of water was there; and at last it was found that in the very middle of the valve there was a sand hole, not larger than the point of a needle; but there it was, and no skill in mere plumbing could meet such a case; the valve must go back to the founder, be put through the fire once more, before it could be used. It is just the same with character. The leak is very small, but it is fatal. Night and day it runs. Sleeping and waking it runs. Summer and winter it runs. And no cistern, no reservoir can stand a perpetual leak.”

“There is a leak somewhere in every persons character. I speak here of the natural man. All of us have certain leaks. They are not removed when one is saved. This is where I fear many make a fatal error in their thinking. They think salvation does something to change the old sin nature. It does not (Rom. 7:18). Then when they discover that it is not changed, they quit and simply say, “I have done all I know to do, and there is no way that I can be saved and have these thoughts, or experience these temptations.” This is wrong thinking. Jesus said, “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63). I spent years trying to change my flesh without success. I was continually self condemned. Had you seen me, you would have said, “He has real victory.”  I did not do the things that identify one as a worldly person. But within, I had struggles. I did not yield to them but I was continually exhausted and disappointed. It was a great day when I realized that Jesus did not come to save my flesh. He came to make me new within. Then I began to feed the new nature and rejoice that the old one was dead with Christ (Rom. 6:6) and I had the right to “count it to be true because it was true” (Rom. 6:11), then I began to experience real freedom. That was not a freedom to begin to do those things that I had denied myself, it was freedom to enjoy a life of self denial knowing that my acceptance with Him was not based on self denial, but my relationship with Him. And that relationship is eternal and not subject to loss because I don’t measure up. This is not license to sin. But it is freedom from condemnation (Rom. 8:1) because of the LEAKS and the freedom of forgiveness, so that once I make the wrong right through the cleansing of the blood of Christ (1 John 1:9), I can walk on unhindered by the LEAK.”

May the Lord bless each of you.

In Christ

Bro. White

Tomorrow on The Moring Meditation we are going to look at How to Have a Perfect Heart Toward God.

#164 – The Redemption of Ruth

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Yesterday on The Morning Meditation we looked at The Characteristics of the Servant of God.  Do you have those characteristics?

Today we are going to look at a very beautiful story in the Word of God!

THE REDEMPTION OF RUTH

Ruth 4:1 “Then went Boaz up to the gate, and sat him down there: and, behold, the kinsman of whom Boaz spake came by; unto whom he said, Ho, such a one! turn aside, sit down here. And he turned aside, and sat down.”

Boaz went up to the gate to intercede for Ruth.  He was a man of might, wealth and influence.  Now there was a kinsman closer than he.  Boaz offers him the right to redeem but he declines and says that it would mar his own inheritance.  So after this Boaz makes the purchase because he is the next one in line.  It is the law of the kinsman redeemer.

This is a picture of our redemption.  The one closest to man had the first right of redemption but he was unable to perform the duty of the kinsman redeemer.  Jesus came, born of a woman, became our Boaz and redeemed.  He was able in every way to do the work of the redeemer.  Let’s notice the truths that come out of this story in chapter four.

HE ONLY COULD REDEEM

He had the right as kinsman; he had the power as a mighty man of wealth; he was also in the right condition to redeem, being alone; and now the redemption itself brings joy and satisfaction to his own heart.

Christ only can redeem.  His incarnation made Him our kinsman, and gave Him the right to redeem.  His divinity made Him mighty, and gave Him the power to redeem.  We have redemption through His blood (1 Pet.  1:18-19).

THIS WAS A WILLING REDEMPTION

Boaz did not grudge the redemption money.  How could he when his heart was set on the purchase of Ruth.  He willingly offered the full price, although that price included the gift of himself.

So it was with Jesus, our princely Kinsman, who loved us and gave Himself for us, that He might give Himself to us.  Nor did He hesitate to pay the awful price of sorrow, suffering, and blood, that He might redeem us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us.

THIS WAS A GRACIOUS REDEMPTION

Boaz was not ashamed to redeem Ruth, the poor stranger.  The prince of wealth stoops to lift the poor helpless one, who cannot redeem herself.  He has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden; he hath shown strength with his arm; he hath exalted them of low degree, he hath filled the hungry soul with good things, and now the soul of Ruth shall magnify her Lord.

The wealthy Prince of heaven is ashamed of none who look to Him for redemption.  He invites the wretched, the miserable, the poor, the blind, and the naked to look to Him and trust in Him.  He stoops in His redemptive work to lift the helpless from the horrible pit on to the Rock of Strength, to lift the poor and the polluted from the dunghill, to rank among princes, and to be co-heirs with Himself.  He is not ashamed to call them brethren.  So Ruth, the gleaner, through grace becomes an heir of His glory.

THIS IS A PUBLIC REDEMPTION

There were many witnesses to the fact that the price was paid; this thing was not done in a corner, but in the presence of the elders of all the people.  When Moses smote the rock, it was in the presence of the elders.  The Rock Christ was also publicly smitten, they put Him to an open shame.  He suffered without the gate.  As Boaz went up to the gate to finish the work in behalf of Ruth, in the sight of many witnesses, so Jesus went up to Calvary and finished the work  the Father had given Him to do in behalf of His people.  Afterwards, when the price was paid, He rose from the dead; and as Boaz, when the bargain was settled, “plucked off his shoe,” Jesus plucked off the grave-clothes as a token that the covenant was sealed and the inheritance redeemed; and the apostles says, “We are witnesses.” He was also seen of many others after His resurrection.

THE PURPOSE OF THIS REDEMPTION

Ruth 4:10, “Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his brethren, and from the gate of his place: ye are witnesses this day.”

In Adam all have died unto God; but in Christ, through His redemption, all that believe are made alive unto God.  Thus spiritual seed is raised, according to the gracious purpose of God.  Boaz did not redeem Ruth to be his slave.  He says, “Ruth have I purchased to be my wife.”

THIS WAS A PERFECT REDEMPTION

Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife (vs 13).  The prophecy of Naomi has now been fulfilled.  “The man will not be at rest until he hath finished the thing” (3:18).  Our Kinsman Redeemer shall likewise come and finish the thing by taking His purchased Bride home to be with Himself, for where He is there shall we be also.

Regeneration is perfect and so will the glorified body be perfect.  There is nothing that thrills us more than to anticipate our Lord’s return for us.  We long to be with Him and to experience the final act of redemption as we go up to meet Him in the clouds to ever be with the Lord.

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro.  White

Tomorrow on The Morning Meditation we are going to look at the story of the traitor Zimri and meditate on the subject of A Leak in the Character from I Kings 16:16.

#163 – Characteristics of a Christian Workers

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Yesterday, on The Morning Meditation we thought about The Lord God of Israel.  What an amazing God we serve.  It is my prayer that I would be more faithful to serve Him in every area of my life!

Today, we are going to look at:

CHARACTERISTICS OF A CHRISTIAN WORKER

Jude 1:20 23, “But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,  Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.  And of some have compassion, making a difference:  And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.”

Let’s look at some of the characteristics given in these verses of the Christian worker.

HE BUILDS HIMSELF UP IN THE FAITH

What we call the “new birth” is not the end of salvation.  It is the beginning.  When one is born in the family of God, he must immediately be fed and cared for that he might grow. 1 Peter 2:1 2, “Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,  As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:” There are some steps suggested in these verses.

1.    There must be a laying aside the things that will hinder Christian growth.  This is what Peter tells them in verse 1: “Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,” The words “put off” is used for taking off clothes.  It is an aorist middle participle.  The aorist tense refers to taking off the things mentioned here in a once-for-all act.  The middle voice is where the subject participates in the act of removing and benefits from the result.

2.    There needs to be the recognition that one is a babe and must grow into adulthood.  The spiritual life is likened to the physical life for purposes to illustrating.  One cannot leave a babe unattended.  The babe must be cared for and milk is the first food that a babe is given.

3.    There must be an effort on the part of this spiritual babe in the growth process.  First, he must desire the sincere milk of the word that he might grow.

4.    The “babe in Christ” puts forth an effort in the process of growth.  The one who feeds the “babe” the sincere milk of the word should not have to run him down every time at feeding time.  If he has no appetite, then the new life in Christ is non existent.  The appetite for the word of God is one of the first signs of existence of new life. 1 John 4:6 says, “We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.”

THE NEXT CHARACTERISTIC IS THAT HE PRAYS IN THE HOLY GHOST

Praying in the Holy Ghost is not prayer in an unknown tongue. 1 Corinthians 14:16, “Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?”

Praying in the Holy Ghost is being helped in prayer by the Holy Ghost. Romans 8:26 27, “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.  And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”

Praying in the Holy Ghost is praying in harmony with the Holy Spirit inspired Word of God.  The Holy Spirit will have nothing to do with self-will.

Praying in the Holy Ghost is prayer that is answered. 1 John 5:14 15, “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:  And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.”

HE WILL BE CHARACTERIZED BY A BURDEN FOR THE LOST

Jude 1:23, “And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.”

Every unsaved man is only one heart-beat out of hell.  When we are won to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ that event is called by Jude as “pulling them out of the fire.”

HE WILL BE CHARACTERIZED BY ASSURANCE OF SALVATION

Jude 1:24, “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,”

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro.  White
Tomorrow on The Morning Mediation we are going to meditate on The Redemption of Ruth!  This is one of the most beautiful stories in The Word of God!

#162 – The Lord God of Israel

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Yesterday, on The Morning Meditation we look at The Call of Isaiah.  What we need to realize is that God is still calling, we need more men, women, boys and girls who are willing to respond.  God is doing His part, we need to do ours as well.

Today, let us look at:

THE LORD GOD OF ISRAEL

Isaiah 44:24 “Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;”

The Lord chose Israel for His people.  He was constantly speaking to them reminding them that He was the LORD their God.  His requirements were to live a holy life and properly represent Him on earth to the nations.

THE FIRST THING THAT WE WILL LOOK AT IS THAT GOD SPEAKS

The first part of our verse says, “Thus saith the LORD.” Let’s put the period there for now. Exodus 6:1 3 says, “Then the LORD said unto Moses, Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh: for with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land. And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD: And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.” The word LORD in these verses and the word JEHOVAH are exactly the same in the Hebrew.

God reveals Himself to man by the use of several names.  The names basically reveal some particular attribute.  But His name Jehovah does not reveal an attribute, it reveals Himself, i.e., His essence in contrast to what He is like.

Tozer says, “A more positive assertion of selfhood could not be imagined then those words of God to Moses: I AM THAT I AM.  Everything God is, everything that is God, is set forth in that unqualified declaration of independent being.  Yet in God, self is not sin but the quintessence of all possible goodness, holiness and truth.  “

“The natural man is a sinner because and only because he challenges God’s selfhood in relation to his own.  In all else he may willingly accept the sovereignty of God; in his own life he rejects it.  For him, God’s dominion ends where his begins.  For him, self becomes Self, and in this he unconsciously imitates Lucifer, that fallen son of the morning who said in his heart, ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God . . . I will be like the Most High.’”

One of the things that amazes me is that when God said, “you tell them that I AM THAT I AM sent you.  When God told him that it seemed to completely satisfy him.  And what Moses did is exactly what God said and it worked!!! What a relationship Moses had with God.  He truly walked with God and Moses was as human as any of us.

I think one of our great problems is that we do not just ask God for His name but we want a fuller explanation and we are unwilling to put our complete trust in a God who will not explain His complete self to us.

The fact is that God is incomprehensible. Psalms 50:21 says, “These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes.” God could only explain Himself to an equal and there is no equal.

We have lost our Spirit of worship and our ability to withdraw inwardly to meet God in adoring silence.  We have lost the concept of majesty from the popular religious mind.

The next words of our text are—

OUR REDEEMER

It is amazing that God would decree to redeem us with Him as the one who paid the debt of our sins.  If God made us, and He did, He could destroy us as quickly as He made us and create a new man without the possibility of sin.  But rather than do that He sent His Son to be incarnate in the virgin womb, live on this earth some 33 years without committing a sin, and then died in payment of our redemption.  God reminds us that He is our Redeemer.  We need never to forget that.

HE IS CREATIONS CREATOR

God says in this verse that “He formed us from the womb.” Procreation has God as its Creator as much as Adam did in the Garden.  When man denies His Creator, he is coming close to joining the eternally damned.

This makes abortion wrong.  This world will give an account of the millions of babies that have been unwanted and burned in an incinerator or some shallow grave in an attempt to hide the sin.

God says, “I am the LORD that maketh all things.” Every created thing both seen and unseen traces its origin to God.  He is the Creator of all things.
He stretched forth the heavens alone.  He had no one to help.  He did it alone.  What a God we have.  Let’s worship him faithfully.

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.
In Christ
Bro.  White

Tomorrow on The Morning Mediation we are going to look at The Characteristics of the Christian Worker.  I pray that these characteristics can be developed in our lives.

#161 – When Isaiah Saw The Lord

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Yesterday on The Morning Mediation we looked at the command to Walk in Love.  Wow!  Sometimes I am so unlovable, but the Savior loves me at all times.  We should study and practice walking in love even when others do things that make them unlovable to us!

Today we are going to look at one of my favorite stories in the Word of God:

WHEN ISAIAH SAW THE LORD

Isaiah 6:1 9 “In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts. Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me. And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.”

I want to point out seven things that are seen in this great vision of Isaiah.

CONTEMPLATION

Isaiah said in verse one: “I saw.” King Uzziah’s death probably had a sobering effect on Isaiah.  It was a cause for soul searching.  I can imagine that the prophet earnestly longed for the presence of God.  It is not wrong to do this.  It would be better if in searching for the LORD that our search not be in a time of grief and sorrow.  But the inspired writer definitely connects Isaiah’s encounter with the Lord with Uzziah’s death.

One of the things that God used to bring me back to Him was the death of a good friend of my wife and I.  She was in her early twenties.  I was asked to be a pallbearer, and as we carried Betty to her grave, I realized for the first time young people die.  I got right with the Lord and have been serving Him ever since.  The next thing I call your attention to is:

CONVICTION

Isaiah said, “I am unclean.” Isaiah did not notice himself much in the first five chapters.  But there was a rude awakening.  I do not know what Uzziah’s relationship to Isaiah was but I do know that his death worked a life changing experience in Isaiah’s life.

If we are ever to be right with God it will be the result of Holy Spirit conviction.  Only God can convince us of sin.  Man is madly in love with himself and is ready to defend his self righteousness.  And woe be to the man who challenges him on those grounds.

CONFESSION

Isaiah said, “Woe is me! for I am undone.” The word “undone” means, “to be dumb or silent; hence, to fail or perish; destroy, be brought to silence, be undone.  Isaiah is taking God’s side against himself.  When he had the word of God in his hands he managed to come out also.  When he saw the LORD high and lifted up, he saw himself the miserable wretched sinner he really was.  When one sees the Lord as Isaiah did, he ceases to justify his wrong deeds.  He simply takes the place of the sinner and confesses it to God.  Next we see,

CLEANSING

“Thy sin is purged.” Isaiah 6:6, “Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:” The moment Isaiah is willing to get transparent with God, He is ready to forgive and restore.  When the unsaved man refuses to repent, i.e., he has to justify himself and he does it with lies.  When the unsaved man realizes that God is Omniscient (all knowing) he realizes that the Judge of the quick and the dead knows all about him.  He realizes possibly for the first time that he will not be able to deny his sins when he stands before the final judgment.  There is only one thing left to do.  He must take God’s offer of salvation: Isaiah 1:18, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Next,

CALL

The LORD says, “Whom shall I send?” The Lord asks the question.  Isaiah volunteers and answers the call.  God calls men to do His work.  It is not a vocation.  One does not take up the ministry like he would to become a doctor or lawyer.  First, Isaiah has to get right with God himself.  He is now ready to serve.  This is always the way it happens.  First man gets right with God.  God forgives and then He calls.  Next we see the word,

CONSECRATION

Isaiah said, “Here am I; send me.” Consecration is accomplished when we die to self, take up our cross and follow Him.  A consecrated person is one who is set apart to accomplish a given task.  Isaiah offered himself to the LORD to be an instrument in God’s hands to preach a message that would make him very unpopular with those to whom he was sent but honoring to God in that he was a messenger of grace to those who would open their hearts to the LORD.

COMMISSION

God calls, man is cleansed, man responds, and then God commissions.  God says, “And He said Go.” God still calls and commissions but only those who are willing.

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro.  White

Tomorrow on The Morning Mediation we are going to meditate on The Lord God of Israel.  I can’t think of a better topic since I just returned from the Land of Israel.  What a marvolus time I had walking the places that we read so much about in the Word of God.  Visiting the Holy Land will bring a new perspective to the reading of the Word of God.

#160 – Walk in Love

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Yesterday on The Morning Meditation we looked at the thought Conditioned to Endure.  I am sure thankful that the Lord has placed people in my life that were conditioned to endure.

Today let us look at:

WALK IN LOVE

Eph. 5:1-2 “Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.”

Many Christians are brought to the place where they say, “I am ready to serve the Lord. Where do I start?” These two verses will help to answer that question for those who are ready. First I call your attention to,

THE CHALLENGE

Paul says, “Be ye therefore followers of God . . .” The word “therefore” takes us back into the last chapter where words of reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness are given to the Church in Ephesus. So the first step in the challenge is to cease to grieve the Holy Spirit and confess known sin and correct wrong attitudes.

The next step is to act on Paul’s challenge. The word “Be” translates “ginomai” and means, “to become,  i.e. to come into existence, begin to be, receive being.” It is a verb and is a present tense middle voice and imperative mood. What this means is that Paul is challenging them to BEGIN NOW to act in response to his instruction. The middle voice is where the subject (the Ephesian Christians and us) acts and is benefited by the action. The growth in grace and the effective witness will be the result of this action. The imperative mood is a command expressing urgency. God’s commands always appeal to our willing obedience. The Christian life is not passive. It is active. We must act on the truth and the truth in this case is to become followers of God. Keep in mind that Paul is not instructing unsaved people on how to be saved. He is challenging saved people to be followers of God. The first step is confess known sin and get rid of it. The second, is to begin by acting on the truth. Faith without works is dead. Next,

THE GOAL

The word “followers” translates “mimetes” and means, “to imitate, be an imitator.” Our word mimic is a transliteration of this word. Paul says to mimic or imitate God is the goal that I am talking to you about now. We have a Role Model and He is Jesus. Jesus is God manifest in the flesh (2 Cor.  +5:19) and is therefore the Model of which Paul speaks.

This same idea is what Hebrews 12:2 has in mind: “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” The race course is the illustration in verse 1. We are to run with patience the race that is set before us. Verse 2 is presenting Jesus as the coach. We are to look to Him as our Coach. He is very familiar with the track and knows all the winning plays.

Most of us are going to have a role model. When we put too much stock in a human role model and that person lets us down it can be catastrophic to our Christian faith. I have seen it happen too often. Jesus should be our main role Model. I will assure that He will never let you down. If the human role model does, remember, he/she is only human. My wife USED to read books published by a certain christian lady who was a speaker in national women’s conferences all across the country. I even read some of her books. She was an outstanding writer and speaker (I also heard her on tape). Her main theme was the family. She got a divorce and married another. It was a shock and was a total disregard to all she had taught. I don’t need to tell you that we were hurt and disappointed. But my wife did not have her as a role model though she did read the woman’s books and enjoyed what she had to say. Jesus was my wife’s Role-Model. So it never checked her pace in the race. Disappointed? Yes. Quit or slow down? No.

Paul says that we have a Role-Model, let’s follow Him. Next,

THE DEMONSTRATION OF WHAT WE ARE

Paul says in verse one, “. . . as dear children.” It is not “that we might become His dear children.” We ARE His dear children. Note the following four things:

1.    We are children of God by faith in Christ.  Galatians 3:26 says, “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.”

2.    We are assured that we are children of God by the presence of the Holy Spirit.  Romans 8:16 says, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.”

3.    We are children of God by birth.  1 John 5:1 says, “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.” Just as a child has a natural relationship to his father, we have a supernatural relationship to God as our Father by the New Birth.

4.    We are children of God by adoption.  Romans 8:15 says, “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” The adoption gives us a legal relationship to God as His children.

We are God’s dear children and as such our actions should declare it. “In the middle Ages it was not uncommon for parents to send their children—especially their daughters—to the convent when they were still very young. In some instances, they insisted the decision had been made by the children themselves. Such was the case of Edburga, a tenth-century nun, who was sent to the convent when she was only three years old. When she was only a toddler, her father was determined to let his daughter make the decision that would change the course of her life. On one side of her he set religious objects, including a Bible and chalice, and on the other side worldly objects, including jewels and precious metals. ‘Without hesitation she reached out for the religious objects, and with that sign, her exuberant father placed her in a convent under the care of Abbess Etheldreda.’” We should without hesitation commit ourselves to a life worthy of the precious name we wear as children of God. Next,

A REASONABLE RESPONSE TO GOD’S LOVE BESTOWED

Paul says, “walk in love.” We are loved of God in Christ (John 3:16). He commended His love toward us when we were His enemies (Rom. 5:6-10). His love is so unearned that it is totally unreasonable. No one is worthy of that love. God would have been justified had He completely abandoned us, but as reasonable as that would have been, He reached down in His infinite love and lifted us our of an horrible pit and set our feet on the solid Rock and made us His children. Psalms 40:2 says, “He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.” Someone hold my mules!!! Hallelujah!!!

Walking in love is a reasonable response to His infinite and undeserved love. I heard Dr. Charles Weigle sing the song he wrote, No One Ever Cared for Me Like Jesus, after he was ninety years of age:

I would love to tell you what I think of Jesus
Since I found in Him a friend so strong and true;
I would tell you how He changed my life completely,
He did something that no other friend could do.

All my life was full of sin when Jesus found me,
All my heart was full of misery and woe;
Jesus plac’d His strong and loving arms around me,
And he led me in the way I ought to go.

Ev’ry day He comes to me with new assurance,
More and more I understand His words of love;
But I’ll never know just why He came to save me,
Till some day I see His blessed face above,

No one ever cared for me like Jesus,
There’s no other friend so kind as He;
No one else could take the sin and darkness from me,
O how much He cared for me.

I believe Jesus looks from the lofty heights of His place at the right hand of the Father and looks with longing love upon us and anticipates the day He will come to take us to the place He is preparing for us. It is only reasonable that we “walk in love” as we wait for the great day of His coming. Next,

THE MODEL TO FOLLOW

Paul says, “as Christ also loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.” This means that:

1.    Christ is the model to follow in walking in love. We see it demonstrated in the forgiveness of the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11). We see it demonstrated in the restoration of Peter after his denial (John 21:15-19). We hear it in His utterance from the cross recorded in Luke 23:34: “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.”

2.    Christ is the model to follow in walking in love as He willingly suffers for the good of others. One cannot walk in love without enduring pain. We shrink from pain especially when the pain can be avoided and is unappreciated. Jesus died for us when we didn’t care. Not only did we not care but we contributed to the pain He endured for us. Hebrews 12:2 says, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him ENDURED THE CROSS, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Caps mine for emphasis).

May the Lord help us to walk in love toward one another and toward those for whom Christ died as a demonstration of our love for Him.

In Christ

Bro. White

Tomorrow on The Morning Mediation, we are going to look at one of my favorite passages in the scriptures, Isaiah 6:1-9 and we will meditate on When Isaiah Saw the Lord.

#159 – Conditioned to Endure

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Yesterday on The Morning Mediation we thought about God’s Restraining Power on Sin.  I am so thankful for the way He does this for us.

Today we are going to look at the thought:

CONDITIONED TO ENDURE

2 Tim. 2:3 “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.”

Tozer said, “In our eagerness to make converts I am afraid we have lately been guilty of using the technique of modern salesmanship, which is of course to present only the desirable qualities in a product and ignore the rest. We go to men and offer them a cozy home on the sunny side of the brae (hill). If they will  accept Christ He will give them peace of mind, solve their problems, prosper their business, protect their families and keep them happy all day long. They believe us and come, and the first cold wind sends them shivering to some counselor to find out what has gone wrong; and that is the last we hear of many of them.”

I continue to quote Tozer: “The teachings of Christ reveal Him to be a realist in the finest meaning of that word. Nowhere in the Gospels do we find anything visionary or over optimistic. He told His hearers the whole truth and let them make up their minds. He might grieve over the retreating form of an inquirer who could not face up to the truth, but He never ran after him to try to win him with rosy promises. He would have men follow Him, knowing the cost, or He would let them go their ways.”

“All this is but to say that Christ is honest. We can trust Him. He knows that He will never be popular among the sons of Adam and He knows that His followers need not expect to be. The wind that blows in His face will be felt by all who travel with Him, and we are not intellectually honest when we try to hide that face from them.”

Jesus conditioned His followers to endure. We should do no less. There is that temptation to soften by our presentation the harsh reality of “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” We who believe the gospel love the lost and desire their conversion and know if they truly experience it, they will be able to see things from our viewpoint. Salvation does bring a new power of perception of spiritual things. But in stark reality the change that brings about this change cannot take place unless the candidate has been told the naked truth without any softening of the message. Jesus was not a modern psychologist who had figured out a way to slip in the Sword without pain. The message of the cross offends the natural man (Gal.  +5:11). The Bible is a Two Edged Sword: “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Heb.  +4:12). A friend of mine told about a lady who had wandered out of an alley screaming for help. She had her insides in her hands and said, “I’ve been gutted. Someone call for help.” Well, when the Word of God penetrates deeper than anything has ever been you are brought by it to the brink of the abyss and you are given the opportunity to accept or reject God’s remedy.  Jesus always gave those with whom He dealt the opportunity to say no without begging for a change of mind. Now to the over zealous, this will be offensive. Just remember this. “He that is persuaded against his will is of the same persuasion still.”

I believe the churches are being filled with people who have never repented and have been told that they can have all of this down here and heaven too. “God wants you to be prosperous. God does not want you to be sick. Send me your money and I’ll pray for you, etc., etc.”

This is not what the Bible teaches. Jesus had a tough message for the present life. He informed His disciples that they would be persecuted. Jesus said, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. 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. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.”

Jesus is clear in His message. He is conditioning them to endure. He does this by telling them, “IF the world hate you (and it will), ye know that it hated me before it hated you.” Jesus is telling them in advance that becoming my disciples has put you at odds with the world around you. The world hates me and since I am going to relive my life through you after I am gone they are going to hate you as they hate me. They are going to express that hatred toward you in the same way they have expressed it toward me.

Then He gives the reason why the world can’t cope with Me or you: “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.” I want to ask you. How would you feel, if in the next few minutes, a UFO from some foreign planet were to light in your front yard and these little green men got out and came up to your door and said we would like to come in for a visit and tell you how you can become like us and become citizens of the world from which we come. And someday you can go there and live forever. Most of us wouldn’t like that very well. In fact, we would probably run out of our shoes on the way to the phone to dial 911. And the conversation would go something like this: “these little green men are at our door presently. They want to come in and tell us how to become like them and go to their world some day and live forever.” There is silence on the other end of the line for a moment. Then a voice that is on the edge of laughter comes back and says, “Would you please repeat what you just said?” Well, you repeat what you just said. And the person on the other end of the line says, “We are sending you help. Just be calm. Stay on the line while the two psychiatrists and three psychologists are on their
way! They will be there shortly.” Well, what would you tell them? We are nut cases to the world around us. They didn’t understand Jesus and they won’t understand us.

Jesus conditioned His disciples for endurance. He places a high price on endurance. “Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory” (1 Pet. 1:6-8).

We need to ask ourselves, “What would it take to stop us?” Millions of Christians have literally died during the ages because they had in them the Spirit of martyrdom from the Lord and would not compromise. I confess, I am not of this world. My hope and primary enjoyment is not of this world. I would rather spend time with Jesus than anyone in this world. And I look forward to the time when I will go to meet Him as Enoch did and leave this earthly scene so that I will no longer be a pilgrim. I am already a registered citizen of that heavenly city and I will be no stranger there.

May the Lord bless each of you.

In Christ

Bro. White

Tomorrow on The Morning Mediation we are going to think and meditate on Ephesians 5:1-2, Walk In Love.

#158 – Gods Restraining Power on Sin

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Yesterday on The Morning Meditation, we looked at Ephesians 5:21 and thought about the subject of Henpecked Husbands and Dominated Wives.  Problems in marriage are caused by pride and stubbornness and both are condemned in the Word of God.

Today, let us look at:

GOD’S RESTRAINING POWER ON SIN

Genesis 20:1-6 “And Abraham journeyed from thence toward the south country, and dwelled between Kadesh and Shur, and sojourned in Gerar. And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister: and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah. But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she is a man’s wife. But Abimelech had not come near her: and he said, Lord, wilt thou slay also a righteous nation? Said he not unto me, She is my sister? and she, even she herself said, He is my brother: in the integrity of my heart and innocency of my hands have I done this. And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her.”

There are great lessons to be learned in these few verses.  When Abimelech king of Gerar took Abram’s wife, he stepped over an invisible line.  He did not know that Sarah was Abram’s wife.  Let’s notice what happened—

ABRAM’S LIE TO PROTECT HIMSELF

This is the second time that Abram had lied about his wife.  It is hard to justify what Abram did in doing this.  He subjected his wife to the possibility of sexual defilement by Abimelech.  God would not have allowed this but Abram did not know it.  It seems that men in that day did not have the respect for women that they should have had.  It is obvious that Abram lied to save his own skin.  That is not the way God would have it done.

GOD’S INTERVENTION

Genesis 20:3 4, “But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she is a man’s wife. But Abimelech had not come near her: and he said, Lord, wilt thou slay also a righteous nation?”

I have an idea that Abimelech got the scare of his life when God appeared to him in a dream and gave him the news that Sarah was Abram’s wife.

God used some direct language in His warning of Abimelech.  He said, “Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she is a man’s wife.”

ABIMELECH’S PLEA

Genesis 20:5 6, “Said he not unto me, She is my sister? and she, even she herself said, He is my brother: in the integrity of my heart and innocency of my hands have I done this. And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart;”

Abimelech is pleading for his life.  God had told him in a dream that he was a dead man.  Evidently Abimelech had a reverence for Abram’s God.  He definitely believed that He was able to carry out His threat.  So Abimelech pleaded his innocence in his ignorance.  He did not know that Sarah was Abram’s wife.  However, he had not touched her.  So he pleads, “In the integrity of my heart and innocence of my hands have I done this.” Next—

GOD’S GRACIOUS RESTRAINTS

This is brought out in Genesis 20:6, “And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her.”

God is able to restrain one from sin without the person knowing he is being restrained.  Abimelech though it was his own integrity that caused him not to touch Sarah.  God said, “For I also withheld thee from sinning against me.”

Another important point in this is that it is plain that if Abimelech had touched Sarah, it would have been a sin again God.  God holds individuals responsible, saved or lost, for their actions.  When one sins against another person, it is plain from this passage that he is sinning against God first.  David said after he had committed the sin of adultery with Bathsheba in Psalms 51:4, “Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.” Many in our day are taking other men’s wives.  God will not hold them guiltless.

May the Lord so work in our lives to restrain us from sin.  In the flesh we are weak, and if we do not walk in the Spirit (Gal.  5:16), we will find ourselves so messed up that God can’t use us.  Paul dreaded this thought. 1 Corinthians 9:25 27, “And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.  I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:  But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”

Soon, if He has not already done it, God will withdraw His restraint on sin, and when He does this, the world will go to extremes in satisfying their lusts, and murder will be a constant occurrence.

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 Timothy 2:3 and meditate on the thought, Conditioned to Endure!

#157 – Henpecked Husbands and Dominated Wives

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Well, I am back from Israel.  What a wonderful time we had on our trip.  If you would like to read about the day to day activities from that trip you can go to consfords.com and read the daily updates that I wrote while we were in the Promised Land.

I hope you enjoyed the last few days of The Morning Meditation.  I know they were reruns but they were no longer listed in iTunes and we have had many new subscribers come on board since I read these.

Today on The Morning Meditation we are going to meditate on:

HENPECKED HUSBANDS AND DOMINATED WIVES

Eph.  +5:21 “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.”

When a man submits to his wife in our society, he called henpecked. When a wife submits to the God given authority of her husband in our society she is said to be married to a domineering husband. All the liberated women feel sorry for her and would gladly give this “dominated wife” advise on what to do. And if her husband will not give her freedom, they will gladly recommend divorce. It is liberation at any cost. I have this little thing that turns flips inside me when I get a “secret thrill.” And I get it when I see the look on a woman’s face when she is in a conversation with a submissive wife and the submissive wife says, “I’ll have to ask my husband first!” Wouldn’t it just turn you on to hear Mrs. Clinton say that?! Now let me really add fuel to the fire. I always consult with my wife before I invite someone to my home for a meal, spend the night, or, before I buy an item that amounts to anything, or before I agree to do something that I think that she would like to be a part of especially in the decision making. She is a business partner that covers the whole of my life. I check in with her if I am out doing “the Lord’s work” like visiting hospitals, and I am going to be a little late getting home. She basically knows where I am at all times. I want it that way. Paul says by inspiration of God, “submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.”

The words “submitting yourselves” (hupostasso) mean, “to obey, be subject. A Greek military term meaning ‘to arrange [troop divisions] in a military fashion under the command of a leader’. In non military use, it was ‘a voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden.’” I’ll never forget counseling a man who told me that his wife, after he had told her to do something, went into the bedroom and came out dressed in his old Air Force uniform, stepped before him and saluted and said, “yes sir.” Then proceeded to do what he had told her to do. I don’t know, but I think there was a little resentment in that act of obedience! And she may have been justified in resenting it because in counseling him I discovered he would not be an easy man to live with. But the situation does illustrate the meaning of this word as a military term. This is offensive to anyone who has not yet found his/her place of submission to Jesus Christ. You say, “preacher you just have a special wife.” You do to. After all she saw something in you that made her accept your proposal. Now you have to admit that makes her brilliant! Unless you had a shot-gun wedding!

Let me give you a little open secret. When the children of Israel did not like what God said, they blamed Moses. And when you don’t like what God says, it goes something like this. “Grace has set us free. We are not under the law and rules and things like this. A woman is no different than a man in Christ. This matter is just the preacher’s opinion.” Well, I don’t want to be gross, or, bust your bubble, but if this is true, let’s take down the partitions between the men’s and women’s restrooms in Church. You say, “Preacher don’t be absurd.” I say, “How about being right.” Each of us have a God given place in life to serve. I serve as a man and my wife serves as a woman. Each of us enjoys the place God put us because He is the most important person in our lives. We are not in rebellion against the way God made us. He made me a man and He made my wife a woman. And we know that submitting to one another is actually submitting to Him. That is what “as unto the Lord” means in verse 22.

The verb form “submitting yourselves” is a present passive participle. The present tense means that this is to be an on-going thing in the present tense of our lives. The passive voice means that we are to allow ourselves to be acted upon by the Word of God, i.e., what Paul is saying here is to allow the Word of God to effect a change and establish a practice in our lives. There are those who say “Well if I just do it because you tell me to do it, or, if I submit and my heart is not really in it, I am in slavery to you and to ideas I don’t really agree with.” You ask, “Is this right?” If you live by faith in Christ and are motivated by your love for Christ, absolutely. Where did you ever get the idea that the Christian life would never run contrary to the way you think? Where did you ever get the idea that most professing Christians would agree on what is right and what is wrong? Churches are torn up all over the country because every one has an opinion and the Baptist church is run democratically and it has created little clicks and people who are anything but submissive to the will of the HEAD. They argue and vote and wind up with Jesus outside the Church knocking at the door (Rev. 3:20). If you haven’t discovered it yet, the door in Revelation 3:20 is not your heart’s door, it is the door to the church at Laodicea. And Jesus is not in that Church. You say, “I agree and I’m getting out too.” Wait a minute. Read this passage and you will find that Jesus does not recommend that you get out. He recommends that you hear his voice and invite Him in. And he promises that He will come in and “sup with you and you with Him.” You say, “But I can’t hear his voice.” then your problem is not the Laodicean Church, it is yours. Something has your ears stopped up. It may be your own personal disobedience. It may be your judgment of others in the church. It may be that you are in a pity party because you don’t get your way in the church. It could be many other things. But you will have to deal with whatever it is before you will be able to hear his voice. You start by stopping placing the blame on others for your bad hearing.

Paul says, “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” The words “one to another” (allelon) mean “one another, reciprocally, mutually.” This definitely teaches that the man and his wife are together, they are partners in life. And once we are saved, it is a partnership of service to Jesus.  The words “in the fear of God” set forth the right kind of fear. The word “fear” (phobos) is the word from which we get our word “phobia.” It means fear, dread, terror; it is a fear that which strikes terror.” I had an associate one time that had a fear of elevators. I didn’t know this. We made hospital visits together. When I was going to the eighth or ninth floor to visit a patient, he would be huffing and puffing but he would be on that floor by the time I got there by way of the stairs. It is hard to understand why a person would run up the stair to the ninth floor of a hospital rather than deal with the phobia. So I tried to help him and talked him into riding the elevator. He submitted. But by the time he got to where we were going he looked like he had been working in 100 degree temperatures in a hay field. Well, I decided I wouldn’t put him through that again. For a Christian to do something that even might be wrong, should have the same effect on him that the elevator had on that dear brother. For a professed Christian to practice questionable things without the fear of God, is to act just like an unsaved person (Rom. 3:18).

The differences in a marriage are caused by pride and stubbornness and both are condemned in the Word of God. I can hear some man say, “I just can’t wait to do what God wants me to do until my dumb wife agrees.” You better. You might start by seeing if her reluctance is caused by your own treatment of her. Or, a wife might do the same thing. There is one thing we know for sure. The Bible says, “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.”

May the Lord bless each of you.

In Christ
Bro. White

Tomorrow on The Morning Meditation we are going to meditate on Genesis 20:1-6 and the thought of God’s Restraining Power On Sin.