“Deliver me, O Lord, from mine enemies: I flee unto Thee to hide me” (Psalm 143:9).
In 1981, a Minnesota radio station reported a story about a stolen car in California. Police were staging an intense search for the vehicle and driver, even to the point of placing announcements on local radio stations to contact the thief. On the front seat of the stolen car sat a box of crackers that, unknown to the thief, were laced with poison. The car owner intended to use the crackers as rat bait. Now the police and the owner of the Volkswagen Bug were more interested in apprehending the thief to save his life than to recover the car.
So often when we run from God, we feel it is to escape His punishment, but what we are actually doing is eluding His rescue. To run from God is to despise His salvation through His Son Jesus Christ, and this will eventually lead to eternal ruin in the Lake of Fire. The rescue call is out, the gospel is giving warning. Are you running from God and His way of escape from judgement, or are you running to the only refuge there is?
Yesterday we noticed something that we do not see. But in this verse we find something, or rather someone, that we do see. JESUS! The verse goes on to tell us in what state we see Him, “crowned with glory and honor.”
In light of yesterday’s meditation, I trust there is no thought of this being the reigning time now. However, he does want that place in our hearts now. There is the line or two of a hymn I have often sung that expresses this very well: “Reign Thou within our hearts alone, And let us to Thy glory live.”
As we look up, by faith, and see the Lord Jesus given His rightful place in heaven, we should give Him that rightful place in our hearts. When I was a young person going to hymn sings, we often sang,
“Lord of my life, I crown Thee now,
Thine shall the glory be.”
May it be true in all of our lives! To see Him and own Him as our Lord is the best and happiest thing of all.
“We see not yet all things put under Him” (Hebrew 2:8).
The Lord is not reigning in the world today. He is the King in rejection as the parable the Lord told indicates, “He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return” (Luke 19:12). The Lord is in heaven, the “far country” and will not reign until He returns to earth in power and glory at a future time. Only then will the kingdom be established.
And so He allows the world to go on in sin and rebellion, until the day when all things will be put under Him. “And He shall judge the world in righteousness, He shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness” (Psalm 9:8).
We need to be careful in thinking this is the reigning time now. No, we follow a rejected Christ! While we are here in this world we do not look for nor will we see better things. We don’t expect righteousness in an unrighteous world. We don’t count on equity and justice always being done. “We see not yet all things put under Him.”
Lem Cheong, a Cambodian youth, questioned his family’s beliefs. He was taught that a person seeking guidance should go to a temple and shake a container of numbered bamboo slivers until one fell out. The priest then interpreted the meaning. But this practice didn’t satisfy his longing for clear answers, or fill the void in his heart that only God could fill.
Cheong asked his uncle, a priest, if he had ever had a prayer answered. Shocked by the brashness of his nephew he admitted that he couldn’t remember a single time one of his prayers had been answered.
Later Cheong asked a Christian if God had ever answered his prayers. The man recounted several instances. Cheong was so impressed that he accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as his Saviour that day. Since then, prayer has become a vital part of his life. The Lord Jesus said, “Ask, and it shall be given you” (Matthew 7:7). Christian prayer is effective because God is the living and true God who hears and answers according to His will…and His will is always good. How wonderful to know the prayer-answering God! “I will call upon Thee: for Thou wilt answer me” (Psalm 86:7).
“Let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God” (1 Timothy 5:4).
If you have never read Pilgrim’s Progress, by John Bunyan, it is well worth taking the time to do so.
In Pilgrim’s Progress we are introduced to a character named “Talkative.” He is referred to as a “saint abroad and a devil at home.” Young people, and sometimes those who are not so young, are sometimes like that in their speech. They are courteous and kind with neighbors, friends, fellow-students, and coworkers, or even when meeting strangers. Yet they snap at, and fume impatiently with members of their own family and household.
This does not please the Lord Jesus! We should speak kindly and lovingly to those at home as well as those abroad.
“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32).
How much do you think about heaven? Sometimes in the middle of a busy travel schedule I like to stop and think about how wonderful it will be to be home in the Father’s house. When we arrive there, we will be in happy, uninterrupted fellowship with the Lord Jesus. As a result of that we will be in happy, uninterrupted fellowship with one another. We can hardly imagine what it will be like….around the Lamb…singing His praise…seeing His glory…being with Him forever!
In the meantime we have the grace of God to keep us and teach us to live for Christ now, in view of His soon return.
“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” (Titus 2:11-13).
Praise is not only pleasing to God our Father, but also brings glory to Him. Why? Because we are thanking the Lord for what He has done. And anything that exalts Jesus Christ glorifies God. Perhaps we don’t praise Him enough. (In fact, I know I don’t.) We become so occupied with ourselves, and our own troubles and cares that we stop thinking about the Lord and all that He has done for us.
Let’s start the week with praise—genuine praise from our hearts and on our lips. As we remember that He gave His life for our eternal blessing let’s praise Him—genuinely. It really does give glory to God.
Our verse today does not say “whoso offerethsilence…”
No, He wants to hear our voices. “By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name” (Hebrews 13:15). Open your mouth today, and let God hear “the fruit of your lips.”
“And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit?” (Luke 12:25).
Man achieves great feats with the intelligence that God has given him. He prides himself in his astonishing achievements in science, technology, and culture.
However, as the above verse indicates there are some things that man cannot and will never be able to do, and they are matters of great significance. He cannot relive one of his past days; nor can he prevent wrinkles from appearing on his face. And when death approaches, he cannot keep it at bay indefinitely.
Yet there is an issue of greater importance, man cannot undo a single one of his sins. However good and upright he may be in the eyes of his fellow-man, there is no undoing of the past.
What can be done with such a burden? How can we meet God in holiness? One way—the cross! The death and blood of Christ is the only answer to the question, “How should man be just with God?” (Job 9:2).
Q. Is “going out” with people for a short time, and then “breaking up” with them the right thing to do?
A. We are never at liberty to play with another person’s emotions, and never do we have a precept in the Bible that would encourage us to fall into the habit of “short term” dating. This has often led to much sorrow, as the heart becomes involved even before we realize it.
The world takes these things so lightly, and marriage and “long term” relationships are not even considered. But the Christian is not to follow the trends and course of the world. “Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2). Dating is a serious thing, and marriage is for life. It is not something to be played at and entered into lightly. The Lord wants to show us the path of His choice, and He wants us to have a happy, fruitful life in every aspect of every relationship, including marriage.
“Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord” (Ephesians 5:10).
“Go to now, ye that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that” (James 4:13-15).
There are many things we do that we have to say, “We hope we have the Lord’s mind.” Often we look back and it is confirmed, and maybe sometimes we look back and realize that perhaps we missed His mind. Then we need grace to correct it. How good it is, in every activity of life, to seek the will of the Lord, and then to act in faith and obedience when He shows us. Sometimes the next step may not seem all that clear, but He is with us every mile of the journey of life, and even when we get ahead of the Lord, “thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left” (Isaiah 30:21).