Meditate On the Word

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Psalms 1:1-2, “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.”

Meditation, what do you think of when someone says that word? Sitting in front of a buddha statue with burning incense?

Mediation just like prayer is not an exclusive to the Christian faith but you will find it many different circles and it seems to has become more popular in our crazy world. The world looks toward meditation as meant to relax or calm the mind, breathe control is a large part of it so you can free yourself of your external surroundings to learn to access the wealth of qualities that already exists within us such as goodness and compassion.

This is not what God’s word says about meditation in our life as a Christian!

There is a purpose far above looking into our inward depths to find meaning in our lives, Psalms 119:97. “O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.” Joshua 1:8, “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”

Interesting that its not something that you designate a time to do it, but its both night as well as day, just like prayer 1Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing.”

Meditation is more than just reading the word of God; reading is primarily the assimilation of facts without application. Mediation is using those facts to transform your life, Romans 12:2, “And 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.” Reading is good but meditation or studying is better!

The word of God also is specific on what you should meditate on, Psalms 119:15, “I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.”

It takes effort to meditate, Psalms 119:99-100, “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.” 1Timothy 4:11-15, “These things command and teach. Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.”

As well as many benefits, Psalms 119:101-105, “I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word. I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me. How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!  Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalms 104.:34, “My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the LORD” Psalms 1:3, “And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”

Music can play a huge roll in getting God’s word down into your inner being if you meditate (think) on what’s being said in the song as many songs have scripture interwoven in them. You can just sing the words with little emotion or feeling, or you can meditate on the words and allow yourself to connect to Jesus through them.

Philippians 4:6-9, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.”

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Choosing to Be Thankful

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There was a movie many years ago that had the title, “It’s a mad, mad World” which pretty much describes the time we are living in.

Has anyone watched the news or listened to what’s happening lately?

For the past 2 years we have witnessed a complete change on how we go about our lives, we’ve had businesses close some forever, our kids were required to do school virtually which now many are admitting had caused great harm to their learning as well as mental state (something some had said from the beginning). We have been required to wear mask on our faces until very recently and or been required to get a vaccine that may take years for us to find out the effects it may have on our health.

The latest numbers have over 6 million people worldwide of dying with covid, I say with covid as many died of other reasons but for political reasons if they tested positive it seemed more expedient to list them as a covid death sadly.

Then as soon as we seem to be coming out of that pandemic, we get hit with gas prices going through the roof, 2/20/22 gas was $3.12 a gallon, today the average is $4. We have been seeing the inflation rates go up throughout 2021 and are now seeing 7.9% inflation and if you’ve been shopping lately, it seems much higher than that. Then if you dare to follow politics, well it will make you pull your hair out, and can cause you to lose friends if you express your views.

Free speech is more like you may have to pay a price for your speech with not just being kicked off social media platforms for many times speaking truth (I guess truth is subjective these days).

Oh, yeah, we also have a war that we have no clue from our leaders on how to handle and who knows when and if China will decide to push things further and invade Taiwan.

So, who is with me on trying to find a tall building to jump off of?

With all this it is easy for one to become frustrated, angry, sad, and even depressed with all that is going on, isn’t it?

So, I was pondering on all this lately and as I was sitting, thinking on what I should share with you today…in Chick-fil-a, eating some chicken strips. I started to think about being thankful in spite of all that is happening around us and boom I knew what I would be talking about today, 1Thess 5:16-18, “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

I realized that every day in our life not just during the thanksgiving season we have a choice to make. Just think that the things you had today were as result of you being thankful for them yesterday, would you have anything?

The bible is filled with the thought that we need to be thankful, the word is used some 72 times in the OT and 71 times in the NT.

Just look at the book of psalms, Ps 69:30, “I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.”, 75:1, “To the chief Musician, Altaschith, A Psalm or Song of Asaph. Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks: for that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare.” 107:1, “O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.” And 100:4, “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.” are just a small example to give our Lord, thanks!

Being unthankful is a sign of a world that has turned their back on God and His word, Romans 1:21, “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.”

Its even a sign of the last days, 2Timothy 3:1-7, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

Being thankful has some positive health results as well as several studies have shown. The university of Harvard, California, Miami and Pennsylvania have all come to the conclusion that those that have a thankful attitude, sleep better, have better friendships, have more energy, and even suffer less illness, and pain.

It also seems that ones that have endured more suffering and trials in their lives tend to be more thankful, I’m not just talking about possessions… but thankful for their friends, family, and of course the relationship they have with Jesus Christ. Eph 5:20, ”Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;”

Did any of you watch any of the summer Olympics last year?

Did any of you watch the Olympics after the Olympics, (para-olympics), seeing how thankful those who had obvious physical disabilities for just being able to compete was heartwarming.

Shakespeare once said, “I cried when I had no shoes, but I stopped crying when I saw a man with no legs”Col 3:17, “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”

So, make this day and everyday a time to be thankful for we are truly a blessed people!

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Be Strong and of a Good Courage

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Joshua 1:9, “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”

Be Strong and of good Courage is what the church of 2022 is in desperate need of not only hearing but taking it to heart. We are seeing not only severe decline in integrity in our government but we unfortunately are seeing it in the church as well. We sadly see leaders fall into sexual misconduct which not only affects that particular congregation but the church as whole as many look at the entire reputation of Christianity and give it a bad name.

The sexual sin is relatively easily identified but that’s not the only the problem  the church is suffering, it is suffering from a lack of courage. Church doctrine is becoming a dirty word as group after group compromise its positions on many things in which the church has held dear for centuries. Judges 21:25, “In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.”

The ironic thing as churches continue to compromise concerning abortion, marriage, won’t speak out against the evils of this world (we are to only talk about Jesus and nothing else) the attendance of the church is declining dramatically. We can blame the current Covid pandemic but that is not the reason members are leaving the church.

A good part is that pastors and church leaders will not stand up to address our current world situation. Yes, I do believe that salvation in Jesus Christ is the most important thing for without it, man is destined for an eternity without God. How horrible, we need Jesus Christ and the good news of His birth, life, death, and resurrection are to be shared to every man, woman, and child throughout our world.

Let’s face it, people are afraid, they are afraid of the future, how are we to pay our bills as prices skyrocket, are we going to be able to maintain our freedoms in the face of more and more restrictions to that freedom. How are we going to stand up to the educational system which is no longer educating our children but indoctrinating them. People are fearful and are looking for answers and what is the church doing? Many are not saying anything or worse some are even endorsing the restrictions that are being placed on business which is including the church.

Let’s get back to Joshua, Moses, the leader that the Israelites had been depending on for direction had just passed away. We have seen throughout history that when a leader whether it be of a country, a business, or even a church dies or leaves that many times the person stepping in does not have the same following and support. Joshua I would believe would have felt incredible pressure and needed reassurance from the Lord, Joshua 1:5-8, “there shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”

The church and pastors need to have God’s strength and good courage as the attacks of this world come in increasing frequency and strength, Ephesians 6:10-12, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

You may be told your too political, too negative, too rigid, and maybe a spreader of conspiracy theories. Stand strong my friends and be of good courage, follow the leading of the Spirit and trust God no matter what others say.

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