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Archive for December, 2012

The Lord Is Our Portion

December 31st, 2012

“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul…

Lam. 3:24

Jeremiah proclaimed a simple and profound truth, that the Lord was enough for Him. This truth was first claimed in his soul through the meditation on this truth, then it was acted upon in faith.

After the destruction of Jerusalem by the invading Babylonian forces, the ownership of lands changed hands. Centuries earlier when the Israelites came out of Egyptian bondage the land was divided up between families, with each getting its “portion” or its family farm. But after Samaria (722 B.C.) and Jerusalem (586 B.C.) fell the portions of each family were lost. Jeremiah realized that God his portion all along, the truth of His nature and compassion the most precious of his inheritances.

Suppose God were to say to you as a young man or young woman, “I will give you right now all the money that you will earn in your life time if you would like, with one condition. As soon as you receive this, I will remove my hand from you and never be your God again, never answer a single prayer that you pray, or give any help or guidance or wisdom to you.” Would you accept that offer? Thomas a Kempis wrote that a wise lover values not so much the gift of the lover as the love of the giver. Paul wrote, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” God is on our side but are we on God’s side? If we are, if we desire His will to be done, if we delight in His face more than the blessing of His hand, then we do not need to fear.

But more than His help we need His fellowship. If we desire God merely or mostly so that He will bless our business, then we have missed the point. The financial blessings are secondary (or tertiary) to the blessings of His fellowship, His peace, His love, and His grace. To walk with God in fellowship is the greatest thing that life offers and it is our lusts and our pride that make us think otherwise.

The Prodigal took his share of the inheritance and got as far away from the Father as he could, only to realize that to be near the Father was much more precious than the material blessings.

The Lord is your portion. Seek His face more than His hand – the blessings of His presence are infinitely more profound and meaningful to our souls than mere money.

Evening Devotionals , , ,

Who Would Oppose Hope?

December 28th, 2012

…making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

Ephesians 5:16

It would appear from any angle of observation that the Christian faith is at worst benign and harmless, and at best wonderful and uplifting. It lifts people from their sins to fellowship with God, from being judged by God as guilty sinners to becoming sons of the Most High. In the gospel an individual is given the opportunity to consider his spiritual condition, to repent from his sins and recommit himself to God, to draw near to the Almighty on the basis of the merits of Jesus Christ.

Some may be tempted to pass the entire matter off as a message of redemption to the losers of the world, a message of hope to those who have no integrity and who need all the mercy that might come their way. They may laugh at it and reject it on the basis of science or psychology or higher education or whatever. They may consider it an invention of humanity and therefore, illogical and irrelevant and a mere fantasy.

But then comes persecution and hatred against the believer in Christ, and the validity of the gospel story is upheld – the world really does hate truth and seeks to stamp out love and compassion whenever and wherever it might exist. Sooner or later the skeptic must admit that the gospel of love, grace, mercy, and redemption is very disturbing to some. The gospel gives hope and who is against people having hope? Well, someone is, that is for sure, because this message, this Savior, and His followers are opposed.

The apostle wrote 2,000 years ago (give or take) that the days are evil, and has there been anything to refute this? Has there come across the conscience or the experience of humanity any tangible or provable idea that the days we live in are not evil? No. They are. And therein lies the proof of the Christian faith. That a benign faith that offers hope and forgiveness, salvation and redemption is opposed validates its claims. The Lord of Glory was crucified and anyone who dares to aver that there is hope for fallen humanity will face rejection, ridicule, and persecution.

But the only question that matter is where you stand on this issue? Do you believe that Jesus is the Christ? Do you believe that He died in your place and rose from the grave? Do you believe that people need the grace and the life that He offers? If you do then count yourself among His followers.

Apologetics , , ,