#metop ‘Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say rejoice’
 – Philippians 4:4 (KJV)
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 11 There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother. 12 There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness. 13 There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up. 14 There is a generation, whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men.

–Proverbs 30:11-14 (KJV)  

Caring Makes the Difference

  In his book The Stranger, Albert Camus tells of a man living his life without caring about anyone or anything. Just before he is to be executed, the chaplain says to him, "Don't you believe in God?"

   The man says, "No."

   The chaplain says, "How do you know God doesn't exist?"

   The man replies, "Whether he exists, I don't know. I do know that I don't care either way." -- Ravi Zacharias, "The Lostness of Humankind," Preaching Today, Tape No. 118.


See: Jn 3:36; 8:24; Rev 3:15-16.


If Christ Is Real, What Are You?

  To many Christians, Christ is little more than an idea, or at best an ideal -- He is not a fact. Millions of professed believers talk as if He were real and act as if He were not. Our actual position is always to be discovered by the way we act, not by the way we talk. -- A.W. Tozer in This World: Playground or Battleground? Christianity Today, Vol. 35, no. 2.


See: Eph 4:1, 5:15; 1 Jn 2:6


God Aims Hostility Accurately

  God is not hostile to sinners, but only to unbelievers. -- Martin Luther, Leadership, Vol. 6, no. 1.


See: Mt 13:58; Lk 22:67; Jn 3:36


The Value of A Broken Heart

  If your own heart hasn't been broken, you tend to be insensitive, except to those people you like. -- Ben Haden in Leadership, Vol. 7, no. 3.


See: Pr 28:14; 1 Ti 4:2; Mt 12:34


To Go Where Others Are Is Compassion

Let us not underestimate how hard it is to be compassionate. Compassion is hard because it requires the inner disposition to go with others to the place where they are weak, vulnerable, lonely, and broken. But this is not our spontaneous response to suffering. What we desire most is to do away with suffering by fleeing from it or finding a quick cure for it. -- Henri J. M. Nouwen


God’s Compassion Forever

Man may dismiss compassion from his heart, but God will never. -- William Cowper (1731-1800)


Call on the God in Us

Why stand we here trembling around calling on God for help, and not ourselves, in whom God dwells, stretching a hand to save the falling man? -- William Blake (1757-1827)


Help Somebody Cry Today

  A little girl was sent on an errand by her mother. She took much too long in coming back. Mother, therefore, demanded an explanation when she finally did return. The little girl explained that on her way she had met a little friend who was crying because she had broken her doll. "Oh," said the. mother, "then you stopped to help her fix her doll?" "Oh, no," replied the little girl. "I stopped to help her cry." -- James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988) p. 113.


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God’s Forgiveness

Is Extended to All

1 John 1:1-10 (KJV)

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; 2(For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) 3That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.

5This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 8If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

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Hear Our Prayer, O Lord

  Thy Grace is Sufficient

Don Meadows

6/31/17


And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

2 Cor. 12:9 (KJV)


Thank you, Lord, for knocking the Apostle Paul off his horse.  Thank you for his conversion, and his inspired intellect that gives us such a magnificent testimony to your loving us.  He, too, suffered and wanted deliverance, and asked you to heal him.  You didn’t, so Paul reasoned you had a purpose and heard your voice.

“This thorn you complain about, my beloved Paul, is an instrument of your mission and ministry to others.  ‘My grace is sufficient: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.’”

So this mortal man led us onto a road that carries him, and us, into your will and presence.  He proclaimed, “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

I bow in humble and holy embarrassment, Jesus, for my faith failures.  The recent weeks of pain suffered with my knee replacement have brought many complaints, grumbling and shameful attitudes and actions.  Forgive me, please!

I am ashamed because, as a Christian, I focus on my hurt instead of your healing. I been told, “That’s normal.  Don, you are human.”

I am afraid of grabbing hold of that logical excuse, Lord.  I’m not human.  It may be “normal” for an unbeliever, but Jesus I profess I am more that that.  I am yours.  I should know, I should testify to others of your all-sustaining power over sin and pain.

Forgive me, in Jesus’ name, and walk with me further on this journey of faith.  Yes, I will suffer pain, frustration and temptations to rely upon my own strength, pain medication, therapy and all that medical stuff.  But, Lord Jesus, how pitifully minor are the pains I have compared to those you suffered. I suffer nothing, compared to thousands of others.

Heal me, I pray. I know my body will recover and be even stronger, but heal me of my spiritual weakness.  Remind me, over and over if necessary, that your grace is sufficient for me and that your true healing is for eternity.  These pains are but reminders of my need for you.

Your Word is precious to me. As the Psalmist noted, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”  (Psalm 119:105 (KJV)) May I ever yield to the guidance of that light and walk the path you have chosen for me.

I pray, too, for those others who battle pain and like frustrations.  Grant that we all capture in our own ways the understandings of that man named Paul, and be a source of encouragement.

Please accept my prayer, to the glory of Jesus.


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The Word Speaks Today

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  -–  1 John 1:8 (KJV)


‘Final Statement’ About A Man

Always Is Spoken by God

Ronald Phillips died July 26 at the Southern Ohio Correction Facility, about 12 miles from where I live. He was executed in the name of the people of Ohio, for the rape and murder of a three-year girl in 1993. It has been said that if ever there were an example of the appropriateness of the death penalty, it is Phillips.

He claimed to have repented of this sin, committed at age 19, and had received the forgiveness of God. As his execution approached, emotions were high. Many people shouted for his death; when it was done they cheered.  

They didn’t cheer his claim to salvation; they cheered his ignoble loss of life and entry into -- what many assumed – was swift eternal hell and damnation.

The carrying-out of Phillips’ sentence was justified, according to state law.  Anti-death penalty advocates argue he was a victim of sanctioned murder.  Capitol punishment has long been, and will continue to be, a heated moral debate.  Both sides have strong arguments.

I have an opinion on the issue, but what really troubles me about this event is the tidal wave of undisguised hatred that roared through this community and on social media.  Many of “the good people” of Ohio cheered when the report came that Phillips was dead. (Click HERE for the news account of the execution.)

Earlier some on Facebook said they hoped he went “straight to hell”, etc.  The flood of unmerciful vitriol revealed not the masses calling for justice.  They were exposing a level of ugliness that has become common in too many the hearts of Americans who see themselves as good and decent people and “RIGHT.”

Yes, his crime was heinous, unthinkable by any standard of decency, deserving of severe punishment.  What frightened me is that these good and decent people reveal they are no more merciful than he was 20 years before and that by harboring these feelings they expose themselves to the eternal damnation they wished for him.

Romans 3:23 says that “all have sinned.”  Yet the mob judgments indicate this man’s sins exceeded the capacity of God’s desire to grant forgiveness for anyone who calls on the name of Jesus for mercy and grace.  The demand of the people was not only for Phillips’ earthly life, but cried out for his eternal soul  -- something only God has the right to demand.

To quantify sin argues there are degrees of sin, and levels of punishment.  This may be truth in the American jurisprudence system, but no so with God.  Paul declares (Romans 6:23), “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”  There is but one unforgivable sin.  By authority of the Lord,  “All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.  Matthew 12:31 (KJV)

Don’t forget what the psalmist declared about God. “O LORD God, to whom vengeance belongeth; O God, to whom vengeance belongeth, shew thyself. (Psalm 94:1)  Paul taught, Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. 21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. (Rom. 12:19-20)

This doesn’t mean society is to ignore despicable behavior.  The Bible, in both the Old Testament and New Testament,  demands society hold people accountable for their deeds in a moral and legal sense.  It does mean our attitudes toward the worst of the worst should show mercy and compassion because ultimate vengeance will be effected by God.

Recipients of God’s mercy need know and reflect it

The condemned are given an opportunity to make a final statement.  That’s not the last word, however.  The final word always is spoken by God.

Thus, never mistake the limitations of our authority in determining a person’s fitness for heaven or hell.

This removes God as God, and gives each individual the power of veto over God’s decisions. James reminds us that if we are successful in obedience to every law except one, we are guilty of all of them.


Quickly we judge the sins of others,

Fit or unfit, for heaven or hell;”

Forgive, Lord, pull back the covers

Showing we need thy grace as well.


Rev Don Meadows

July 30, 2017


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