Meditation: December 1

“….By which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Peter 1:4). 

The promises become our focus rather than other things previously lusted after. It is when faith in God’s promises is real to us that we can rely upon and trust in His Word to deliver all He has said. The bondage of misdirected desires goes deeper into the soul than any pain inflicted upon the body. We have now become a settled and undisturbed people because we have received from the Lord the faith to believe His Word. That pain is no longer a thing to suffer because our hopes are on things that are eternal. We have learned that craving for the forbidden or placing our hope on the temporal erodes the soul. But, thanks be given unto God, we have escaped what once held us in bondage. The reprieve from the penalty of former lusts and the deliverance from being sentenced to only seeing and desiring them have been granted to such an undeserving soul. 

Meditation: November 30

“Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this” (Revelation 4:1). 

The immediate appears to be more practical than the ultimate. What many assume to be a message from the Lord may be practical but not prophetic. It is only what is seen that is addressed, causing many to stand together but unable to progress beyond their current position. They may find comfort because they are not alone, but nothing of substance is feeding their malnourished souls. The invitation of Jesus is to be raised beyond the level of convention. “Come up here!” He awaits the arrival of those desperate souls who hunger and thirst after righteousness. They seek more than temporary relief, they seek a life-changing encounter. God offers the weary and heavily laden rest, but only in an elevated position in heavenly places in Christ. When we are seated there, we can see what He has to show us and not be distracted by the sideshows of the enemy. Even this too shall pass as we by faith trust in the Lord to guide us in the direction of what will take place after this. 

Meditation: November 29

“This is love, that we walk according to His commandments” (2John 6). 

Love is defined by the source from which it originated. None else can define love in language that is so profound. The qualities of love are found within the confines of obedience. Everything else outside of this is hatred and repulsive to the One who is able to determine the authentic from the counterfeit. The world is in search of authentic love. Too many have been duped into believing the lie of those with strings attached to their affection. It is a legitimate need that is, to love and be loved. 

This is love, love identified as a lifestyle chosen and a people empowered to obey God’s commandments. The will of the heart to obey precedes one receiving the power or ability to obey. A daily walk willfully engaged is pleasing to God. An assurance accompanies that degree of commitment. God makes it known to the servant’s heart that he belongs exclusively to Him. He reveals His love in order for it to be disbursed abroad or distributed through his heart to others. He becomes an instrument in God’s hands as His servant which is the highest honor. The synchronizing of wills so that only one exclusive expression remains. One enters into His life of love as He lives His life through us. The knowledge of His love produces joy within the soul. It is a contagious love which recruits others to enter in. They see the message of Christ conveyed thus giving an entryway for the hearing of the message which readily pours forth. True love cannot be contained within the heart of the lover. It must be given away. 

Meditation: November 28

“That I may know Him…” (Philippians 3:10). 

The deepest cry of the human heart is in the direction of its Maker and Provider. There is a deep yearning to know the Source from which it came. The ability to want and have provided a fulfillment that makes all of life meaningful is a gift given to all from God. It is the desire left unfulfilled that leaves one searching for reasons and understanding only to discover that what appeared to have significance was merely a phantom or a pipe dream. It is the god that is imagined that stands in the way of an authentic search. It leads to a manufactured religion that gives temporary relief but wears off as quickly as it came. Paul’s prayer is earnest having tasted and seen the real thing. Because he had experienced Christ to a degree, he wanted more of the same. “…that I may know Him!” He had the satisfaction in being on the right path but anxiously anticipating the arrival in reaching the destination. He was knowledgeable, but daily the whole of his life was absorbed in the pursuit. It is the experience that he sought after, not just a casual introduction. He, like us, must continue to seek the experience in knowing Christ. Then our lives can be totally absorbed into His purpose and fulfill the deepest desires of the heart. 

Meditation: November 27

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity” (Proverbs 17:17). 

One of God’s greatest gifts is being a true and loving friend and a brother. He is there when others may have abandoned you and moved on. The love of a friend is not always soft and easy. There are occasions when tough love is necessary. An honest friend is not the person that agrees with our wrongdoings. He insists that his brother follow a course of righteousness. He is neither a fatalist nor an eternal optimist. He is acquainted with human frailties, but helps to seek a path for recovery and restoration. 

The adversity may be external or internal. The troubled soul is in need of someone who will help him take an objective look at what path he should take. There are many who fall off the cliff without warning. Their companions were too afraid to say anything, thinking that they may cease walking together. While there are others who do not care enough to speak the truth in love. “Faithful are the wounds of a friend.” But there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. 

Meditation: November 26

“But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more” (Luke 12:48). 

God’s requirements are commensurate with the measure of His grace. He gives to one a portion and to another a different portion. He does not expect the same from each but expects both to use what they have been given for His glory. When His boundaries are tested, whether it be from one who has full knowledge of the law or not, both must pay the penalty for their transgression. Yet again, what has been made known to them will determine the severity of their punishment. His gifts are freely given to empower us to freely respond to His initiatives. Knowing to do what is good must be from the heart and not just the head if His grace is effectively working within us. We are then doing what we will to do, not just for the sake of avoiding punishment, but because it has been made known to us what is best for us. But if the knowledge is lacking or the willingness is not in place to do what is right, then God will judge on the merits of His investment. 

Meditation: November 25

“What shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits toward me?” (Psalm 116:12). 

The Lord provides benefits, many times unexpected, and often before we are even aware of our need for them. As He looks far down the road of our lives, if we maintain a steadfast faith in Him, He takes our offering of life and leads us on a course directed towards His standard of righteousness. None can imagine how many benefits we receive along the way as we journey on that path. It is not just arriving at the destination, but being on course with what really matters in life that is fulfilling. The emptiness of vanity is gone and we are left with a pursuit to know the One who loves us most. Love received demands a response. How can we respond to the overwhelming love demonstrated through our Lord, Jesus Christ? All we can possibly do is take advantage of the purpose for which He came to die such a cruel death on the cross for us. We can take Him up on His offer. By receiving His gift we bring the greatest joy to the heart of the Father. What should be our offering in exchange for what He so freely bestows upon us? Nothing we own can compare to what we continually receive from Him. We should find peace with and within Him. 

We should give Him the honor that He justly deserves. None other could have been so precise in meeting our present needs with an eye upon everything in the future. Within the context of eternity and His eternal purpose He blesses us with what He knows is best for us and removes the obstacles that would otherwise hinder our journey and spiritual development. At the same time He supplies our deepest needs according to His riches in glory. 

Our lives become a song of praise. The spirit of benevolence frees us to give to the One who has given so much to us. What gift would be equivalent to His gift to us?  Benefits provided and services rendered cannot be compared. For what God gives will always outweigh whatever we could possibly do in response. Thus, all we can do in appreciation is to take full advantage of the offer granted to us. Then we express our appreciation for a gift by receiving it wholly and with joy. We are to benefit from the blessings provided for us, but some neglect what has been made available to them. 

Meditation: November 24

“To whom He said, “This is the rest with which you may cause the weary to rest” (Isaiah 28:12). 

God speaks to the weary. His words of encouragement are directed towards them to raise up their spirits. It is a rest that continues in the midst of work. Too many busy themselves with efforts to achieve their dreams yet ruin the possibility of reaching the heights which lie beyond their own imaginations. What a high price many pay in order to obtain what they consider to be their ultimate goals? Yet the best goal ever envisioned is like standing before an anthill in contrast to Mount Everest. God speaks to those who tire themselves in trying to do great things yet do not know Him or the power that He alone possesses. They flex their muscles as weak as they are, but cannot find the strength to even live long enough to participate in their dreams. God’s objective is for each of us to become what He has in mind. Only when our Creator is pleased will we find true and lasting pleasure. All else will keep one in an endless pursuit of wanting more than he has, wanting to do more than he is capable of, and wearied by his efforts to achieve what is not possible. There is rest for the weary. There is peace for the soul. The unrest within remains as long as other things are pursued. 

Meditation: November 23

“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age” (Titus 2:11-12). 

God has dispensed from Heaven an abundance of His grace. Where sin and spiritual blindness abounded, only what one had grown accustomed to was known. Grace came to teach us that our old nature must be denied. How could one ever be freed from what he once defended because it defined him? It is the grace that has appeared in order to show us that a new life was possible. When it came on the scene, it opened our eyes to know that heaven’s order should become earth’s greatest dream. The slave can at least see freedom in order for freedom to be desired. That desire for something beyond our current patterns of living is responded to and then we are empowered to aim higher, above the level of ungodly and worldly lusts. Each day we will embrace all the more God’s standard of righteousness thus rising above our own. It is the grace that has appeared that produces the salvation that we so desperately need. 

We see that life in Jesus Christ. He modeled perfect humanity before us teaching us what it really means to be human. Then He shows us that grace is not cheap. He paid the penalty for our sin with His life. It was not cheap grace but very costly for it cost the life of our Lord and Savior. The entrance of the grace of God as a gift to us appeared through the person of Jesus Christ over two thousand years in order to provide the way to salvation. First the question was raised by humanity in relation to his lost condition. The Law made us aware that a need remained unmet because God’s demand was not clearly known. Now that we know what the Lord requires and our inadequacy in fulfilling those requirements, we now have the mind to look beyond ourselves. What the world so desperately needed has appeared to all men. Salvation has come through the One who leads us to the place and the provision of God. In this new place we have a love for the truth which empowers us to resist the passions working against our relationship with God. Even if we are tempted by the devil we love Jesus Christ more than whatever evil alternatives may be offered. In contrast to what we would by our old nature succumb to, we live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age. As we look to Jesus, the author and the finisher of our faith, we maintain our focus and do not lose hope. Not only will we be saved spiritually, but our souls and bodies will ultimately be redeemed. 

Meditation: November 22

“By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible” (Hebrews 11:3). 

There is a higher and a greater level of understanding that comes as result of faith. It is not blind and misguided but rather, sure and applicable to all aspects of life. The theories that surface from time to time require faith in speculations. More effort is required to disprove what is made evident than what a person of faith in God is convinced of. All that he believes is anchored on the truth that God is. There is first cause, something that came forth from out of nothing. How many philosophers and secular scientists have wrestled against this most important truth merely to end up with nothing but a sea of questions? One does not have to force himself to believe that God is. The evidence of His existence is all around us. It is those who are wise in their own eyes who would allow their minds to imagine a godless world. The worlds were in fact framed by the word of God. That which emanated from God created all things. God spoke the worlds into existence. Therefore, the more significant element of life is God’s Word to us. He has spoken and continues to speak, creating newness of life where void and deadness once occupied. When we trust in His Word, we are able to comprehend by faith mysteries hidden in God for those who are born of Him.