#metop ‘Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say rejoice’
 – Philippians 4:4 (KJV)
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16 For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall.
17 For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence.
18 But the path of the just is as the shining.

–Proverbs 4:16-19 (KJV)
 light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
19 The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.



“Our Father. . .”

1 Good Thing About a Bad Tooth

Everything that is born of God is no shadowy work. God will not bring forth a dead fruit, a lifeless and powerless work, but a living, new man must be born from the living God. -- Johann Arndt (1555-1621)

In the natural world it is impossible to be made all over again, but in the spiritual world it is exactly what Jesus Christ makes possible. --  Oswald Chambers (1874-1917)

   The egg's no chick by falling from the hen,

   Nor man a Christian till he's born again.

      John Bunyan (1628-1688)

You must be born again. This is not a command; it is a foundation fact. The characteristic of the new birth is that I yield myself so completely to God that Christ is formed in me. -- Oswald Chambers (1874-1917)

There are two spirits abroad in the earth: the spirit that works in the children of disobedience and the Spirit of God. These two can never be reconciled in time or in eternity. The spirit that dwells in the once-born is forever opposed to the Spirit that inhabits the heart of the twice-born. -- W. Tozer (1897-1963)

Your whole nature must be re-born, your passions, and your affections, and your aims, and your conscience, and your will must all be bathed in a new element and reconsecrated to your Maker and, the last not the least, your intellect. -- Cardinal John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

Paul's testimony is repeated over and over again as persons respond in faith to God's gift of Christ, as they are given His Spirit and become new creations. I heard of such a miracle recently. The American Red Cross was gathering supplies, medicine, clothing, food and the like for the suffering people of Biafra. Inside one of the boxes that showed up at the collecting depot one day was a letter. It said, "We have recently been converted and because of our conversion we want to try to help. We won't ever need these again. Can you use them for something?" Inside the box were several Ku Klux Klan sheets. The sheets were cut down to strips and eventually used to bandage the wounds of black persons in Africa. It could hardly be more dramatic--from symbols of hatred to bandages of love because of the new creation. Nothing else matters, says Paul. -- Maxie Dunnam, Commentary on Galatians

London businessman Lindsay Clegg told the story of a warehouse property he was selling. The building had been empty for months and needed repairs. Vandals had damaged the doors, smashed the windows, and strewn trash all over the place. As he showed a prospective buyer the property, he took pains to say that he would replace the broken windows, bring in a crew to correct any structural damage, and clean out the garbage. The buyer said, "Forget about the repairs. When I buy this place, I'm going to build something completely different. I don't want the building; I want the site."

That's God's message to us! Compared with the renovation God has in mind, our efforts to improve our own lives are as trivial as sweeping a warehouse slated for the wrecking ball. When we become God's, the old life is over. He makes all things new. All He wants is the site and the permission to build. There are still some trying to "reform," but God offers "redemption." All we have to do is give Him the "property" and he will do the necessary "building." -- James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House)

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1 Corinthians

14:22-34 (KJV)

22  Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.
23  If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?
24  But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all:
25  And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.
26  How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.
27  If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.
28  But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.
29   Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.
30  If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace.
31  For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.
32  And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.
33  For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
34 Let all things be done decently and in order.

Today With the Word

Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe. 1 Corinthians 14:22

Contrasts Clarify

 Life vibrates through contrasts.  Black vs. white.  Fast vs. slow.  Thick vs. thin.  Good against evil.You get the idea.

Scripture is a record of contrasts.  This is because, when you get right down to it, a man or woman is put on this planet to demonstrate contrast, to be contrasts and witness to others the eternal contrasts of good and evil.

Paul's teaching of the Corinthians show this clearly.  Here he is discussing how God provides contrasts so unbelievers might see and how believers may be guided.  There are two kinds of people:  Non-believers and believers.  God woos the former and walks with the latter.

Tongues, or speaking in that mysterious language of the Spirit, are demonstrated to unbelievers that they might awaken to the new possibilities of faith.  Prophecy, on the other hand, is given for guidance to the believer.  That these contrasting connections shown by God have provoked intense debate cannot be disputed. 

The devil is delighted when believers and non-believers argue about scripture.  It causes confusion and division.  God doesn't win.  Neither debater wins.  The only benefactor is the father of lies.

If we skip to Verse 33 we learn Paul's intent is to rid the Christian community of division over scripture.  He says, "God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. (1 Corinthians 14:33 (KJV))  "Saints," here, means believers in Jesus Christ.

Thus, we see the futility of scriptural debate with an unsaved person.  They just don't have the necessary means of comprehending the perspective that believers have.  We should show, and must do so, the Christ standing at the heart's door knocking for entry into lives.  Until this is done, beating up on the unsaved with the Bible will not succeed.  Indeed, it may do the opposite.

Unbelievers are not fools.  One should never write them off because they disagree with every theological stand a Christian may take. Many unbelievers may have greater knowledge about the Bible than you and me, But knowledge is not to be confused with understanding.

 Knowledge of the book is not the same as understanding the person of The Book.  This comes only through the living presence of God the Holy Spirit, and happens at the instant one's truely accepts Jesus as savior.  Then the Holy Spirit can go to work to teach the new believer about the Lord.  Without this presence one never can rightly understand prophecy, nor even the works of God in all of life.

 The contrasts of believer and unbeliever have been blended together in many churches and in most denominations.  The result is apparent.  Saved and unsaved people are confused what to believe.  Many, who are on a solid scriptural foundation, are working to expose this devil work.  Others simply walk away and find a new spiritual home.

 Is this not congruent with what Paul said about the last days? " Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition." (2 Thessalonians 2:3 (KJV) So we find confusion within the church, abandonment of the church and declining respect for the church.

 Those who proclaim that God is doing a new thing are liars. God is still doing what God has always done:  Seeking his lost children to make them new creations and better their world and future through the kind of love shown by Jesus Christ. Remember Hebrews 13:8 (KJV)? "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. 

Anyone who uses a computer to access the Internet is aware of the dangers of  "viruses." These are written to disrupt, steal from or take some shameful pleasure in messing up someone's world.   Computer users buy programs of many sorts to defend against and remove from their devices these unwanted threats to their safety. 

We in the church must be as diligent to protect the Body of Christ from Satan’s soldiers as computer users are to keep their devices clean and functioning.

Yet, we want to be nice and not offend anyone because, tragically, we’ve come to believe it’s not Christian to defend  the Gospel vigorously. So we give more and more ground to the enemy, tolerate their anti-biblical ideas. And call it diversity of theology.

Suddenly it becomes obvious we have given the enemy sufficient power to alter the historic values of the church and give way to politically correctness.

The result is it has become a “church of  man” and no longer a “church  governed by God.”

The fruit is not growth in glorifying the Lord Jesus, but confusion, chaos, division and destruction.  

Why is it allowed?  Because “Good Christians” are taught to be nice, turn the other cheek and tolerate diversity as a God gift to help us grow .  We fear an accusation of “judging” and just need to be nice -- like Jesus was!  Right?

We must remember all will be judged – even Christians with good intention but no courage to stand up, stand up for Jesus.  


Close my mind to the plea

Of those who don't believe;

Let me not to confusion fall,

But anchor my faith in Thee:


Don Meadows


Published 6/8/17

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There looms for me this day, O Lord, an unpleasantness of necessity.  A tooth, I fear, must be extracted.


It is so because of three realities: 1. It's starting to cause me pain. 2. To keep it would endanger other parts of my body. 3.  It could result in cancellation of my knee surgery on July 5.


I shall not contrive to explain why the tooth has gone bad.  There are probably more reasons than I can list, even understand.  But, Lord, you are showing me something important.  Sin is like a tooth gone bad.


Oh, it hides.  It goes about its secret work without stopping, eating away at the spiritual health in my soul.  There are little revelations of its existence, sensitivity here, a tiny discomfort there; these usually are ignored.


I'm fortunate, Jesus. A regular cleaning at the dentist, an alert hygienist and an X-Ray unmasked the little nemesis.  Close examination showed a tiny break, the X-Ray revealed a pocket of decay.  In 6 hours I'll be sitting in that chair, thinking who knows what, waiting for the exorcism of the problem.


I see my need, Lord, for daily check-ups by thy Holy Spirit. He will reveal any hiding sin, refer me to the Lord Jesus for the treatment of forgiveness, and take out of my heart every death-aimed, decaying evil trying to plant itself in my heart.


Thank you, Lord, for dentists and technology that helps us keep reasonably healthy by alerting us to hiding problems.  Most of all, Lord, thank you for your merciful heart of forgiveness and the sending of your Spirit to show me my weakness and need for you.


I praise you, Lord Jesus! Amen.


Don Meadows


7 a.m.

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