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Form of Sound Words (2 Tim 1:13)
Monday, December 15, 2003
Finishing the Task
Now Playing: How are we building ?
Topic: Laboring
Whether a craftsman, a farmer, or someone in an office, there is a strong urge to reach the completion of a task. The personal satisfaction is keen, and the external payback is usually good. In spiritual matters, we have some clear instruction. The Lord Jesus said to the multitudes, "Which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?" (Luke 14:28) When the leaders sought to kill Jesus (John 6:18), He said to them (vv. 19-47) "the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me..." (v.36). The Apostle Paul could say forcefully to those at Ephesus, "But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy..." (Acts 20:24) When he wrote his final epistle to Timothy he said "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith." (2 Timothy 4:7)

But what good is finishing what we are working on, if we are not creating something with eternal value? There is a world of difference between "finishing with joy" and "being finished", as a well-known figure encountered this past weekend in Iraq. The Apostle Paul said to the Christians at Corinth, "Let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 3:11). The World Trade Center was tested and built to withstand the impact of a small airplane, but it still wasn't strong enough.

The Lord Jesus could say to Peter, "upon this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it". (Matthew 16:18) When the apostle Peter wrote his first letter (some 30+ years later) to the strangers scattered abroad, he conveyed the truth which had been given to him. We, as believers in Christ, are "living stones" used to build a "spiritual house". A building is only as good as the foundation and its material. We know the foundation is Christ (1 Corinthians 3), and we are "His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them". (Ephesians 2:10)

So we are promised "Behold I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious; and he that believeth on Him shall not be confounded." (1 Peter 2:6) Are we building on marshland or bedrock, and is our material "wood, hay, and stubble" or "gold, silver, and precious stones" (1 Corinthians 3:12) Paul reminds the Ephesian believers "Ye are...of the household of God, and are being built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone, in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord". (Ephesians 2:19-21)

Shortly after the time of Noah, the "whole earth was of one language...and they said, go to, let us make us a city, and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name..." (Genesis 11:1-5) But Solomon, the wisest man that ever lived, could say "the Name of the LORD is a strong tower, the righteous runneth into it and is safe".(Proverbs 18:10) The man after God's own heart, the psalmist David could say, "The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; the God of my rock, in Him will I trust; He is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my Saviour...I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised". (2 Samuel 22:2-4).

Read all of the chapter, it is so breathtakingly beautiful, what a resource we have in seeking to build our lives in a world of shifting sands and useless investments. "If a man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward." (1 Corinthians 3:14) After we "finish", there is something which the Lord "shall give" to "all them also that love His appearing". (2 Timothy 4:7,8) May we be found among them!

Posted by dondegr8 at 7:33 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, December 23, 2003 9:19 PM EST
Thirst
Now Playing: How do we quench our longing ?
Topic: Thirst
It is not just the hot summer when we are thirsty, is it? Our body responds to deep longings God has given us. King David could say, "as the deer panteth, for the water, so my soul longeth after thee". (Psalm 42:2) The prophet Isaiah could write "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters..." (Isaiah 55:1). The Psalmist also wrote "early will I seek thee, my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land where no water is." (Psalm 63:1) He remembered when the Lord had led him "beside the still waters". (Psalm 23:2)

In the gospels, the Lord Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled." (Matthew 5:6) Shortly after the leaders sought to kill Him (John 7:1), Jesus went to the feast "in secret" (v.10), but then, "In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, 'if any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink'." (John 7:37) Jesus had already told the people, "he that cometh to Me shall never hunger, and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst". (John 6:35)

We can look forward to a day when "they shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more". (Revelation 7:16) Even the Lord Jesus, after He had borne our sins and paid the price we could not pay, cried out "I thirst". Then He said "it is finished" and He "bowed His head, and gave up the ghost". (John 19:28,30) We can be so grateful for what we've been given so richly from One who said to a Samaritan woman, "whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again, but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. (John 4:13-14) The Apostle John could write from the Isle of Patmos, "Let him that is athirst, COME...whosover will, let him take of the water of life FREELY" (Revelation 22:17)


Posted by dondegr8 at 1:17 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, December 23, 2003 9:01 PM EST
Celebration
Mood:  happy
Now Playing: The source of our happiness
Topic: Meditations
On many occasions, particularly at this time of year, we want to find an opportunity to celebrate or share our joy with others. Yesterday, many found that with the capture of the former Iraqi dictator. In Exodus chapters 15 and 32 the people expressed themselves, but in completely different ways. In chapter 15, they celebrated the lifting of 400 years of bondage to their oppressors, having been delivered by their mighty God. Their shouts of joy were praise to Him. In chapter 32, they "rose up to play", but they were just seeking to gratify their flesh in the absence of their leader, Moses. Aaron and others were there for both events. What a solemn fact, that the ones who "gave glory to God" may have also indulged their basest natures in such an evil way. May the Lord give us to "rejoice in Him" (Philippians 4:4) "Thanks be to God, who always causeth us to triumph in Christ" (2 Corinthians 2:14) "My spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour" (Luke 1:47)

Posted by dondegr8 at 8:20 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, December 24, 2003 6:16 PM EST
Saturday, December 13, 2003
First Day of the Week
Now Playing: Priority
Topic: Meditations
When we read John 20 (about Mary) or Acts 20 (about the disciples) we find that they had a focus. Mary came early to see where the Lord was. The disciples came together "to break bread". In the process, they both found some surprises. Mary found out (first) about the Lord who had risen from the dead. The disciples received wonderful ministry, and saw the restoration of one who had fallen. May we likewise prepare our hearts, because we never know what we might learn of the One whose "delights were with the sons of men" (Proverbs 8:31) Solomon also adds, as divinely inspired, "Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favor of the LORD" (Proverbs 8:34-35)

Posted by dondegr8 at 7:34 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, December 24, 2003 6:17 PM EST
Valuable Possessions
Now Playing: Our heavenly inheritance
Topic: Meditations
Perhaps some have known one who has gained or stood to gain much when a relative passed away. Many would consider it their "rightful inheritance". Well, every day, if we are a Christian, we can get to know the One Who has promised us "an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you." (1 Peter 1:4) How many museums there are to store "valued historical artifacts". Paul wrote to Timothy of the "living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy". (1 Timothy 6:17) Is the glitter and glamour in this world so attractive that we lose perspective sometimes? I'm afraid if we search our own soul, we find the truth to be all too unpleasant. But there is a solution. The Lord Jesus said when He was here on earth, "lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven...for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." (Matthew 6:20,21)

Posted by dondegr8 at 3:57 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, December 24, 2003 6:18 PM EST
Friday, December 12, 2003
Useful Web Sites
Now Playing: Additional Links
Topic: Administrative
Over the few months, many different Christian web links will be added and changed in view of their doctrinal soundness, overall quality, and spiritual profitability. There are now 150+ Christian links under 12 different categories and this number will fluctuate periodically.

Posted by dondegr8 at 7:38 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, January 14, 2004 4:51 PM EST
Beginnings
Now Playing: First Step
Topic: Meditations
One must take the first step sometime. Hopefully, my time and yours will be well-spent on that which will have eternal value. As the Apostle Paul said, "We look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal." (2 Corinthians 4:18) Many of the choices we make every day would be different if we gave proper consideration to this wisdom. May the "filter" of our decisions, small and great, be more than our own comfort and satisfaction.

Posted by dondegr8 at 7:36 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, December 24, 2003 6:17 PM EST

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