God’s YES Man – 2 Corinthians 1:19-22

This meditation was originally posted on 9/3/2013.

“For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us—by me and Silvanus and Timothy—did not become ‘Yes and no’; on the contrary, a final ‘Yes’ has come in Him. For every one of God’s promises is ‘Yes’ in Him. Therefore, the ‘Amen’ is also spoken through Him by us for God’s glory. Now it is God who strengthens us, with you, in Christ and has anointed us. He has also sealed us and given us the Spirit as a down payment in our hearts” (2 Corinthians 1:19-22, HCSB).

Do you ever get down and depressed because you feel like you’ve got so much to handle and you just can’t do it all? And then you get all locked up inside and you don’t do anything. I call it “gridlock of the soul.” Why even try, you wonder.

It seems like life is saying “No!” to you, “No you can’t. No you can’t. No, no, no!”

When life keeps telling you “No,” there is something you can do to escape soul gridlock.

Open your Bible to 2 Corinthians 1:19-22 and read, re-read, and read these verses again until you realize that when life seems to be telling you “No,” God is telling you “Yes!”

And not just “Yes,” but an emphatic “Yes,” God’s big “YES!”

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After the Screaming Stops – Psalm 3, Part 2

rescue from drowning“Lord, I have so many enemies! So many are standing against me.
So many are talking about me: ‘Even God won’t help him.’
But you, Lord, are my shield! You are my glory!
You are the one who restores me.
I cry out loud to the Lord and he answers me from his holy mountain.
I lie down, sleep, and wake up because the Lord helps me.
I won’t be afraid of thousands of people surrounding me on all sides.
Stand up, Lord!
Save me, my God!
In fact, hit all my enemies on the jaw; shatter the teeth of the wicked!
Rescue comes from the Lord!
May your blessing be on your people!” (Psalm 3:1-8, CEB)

When I was a young child, each summer my parents would send me and my sister to swimming lessons. But, I never really learned to swim from those swimming lessons. My swimming fail may have been due to the philosophy of teaching swimming that was used. The teaching philosophy was something along these lines: Throw them in the water and if they don’t drown, then they will swim!

The way the lessons worked was the lifeguard would show us the swimming stroke and then we would practice it in the shallow end. After practicing for a short time, the lifeguard would take us down to the deep end and make us jump off the diving board and swim to the side…whether we could swim or not!

And when you’re a little kid standing on the diving board, the water below you looks extremely deep and the distance to the side of the pool looks extremely far away!

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Who’s Got Your Back? – Psalm 3, Part 1

rescue from drowning“Lord, I have so many enemies! So many are standing against me.
So many are talking about me: ‘Even God won’t help him.’
But you, Lord, are my shield! You are my glory!
You are the one who restores me.
I cry out loud to the Lord and he answers me from his holy mountain.
I lie down, sleep, and wake up because the Lord helps me.
I won’t be afraid of thousands of people surrounding me on all sides.
Stand up, Lord!
Save me, my God!
In fact, hit all my enemies on the jaw; shatter the teeth of the wicked!
Rescue comes from the Lord!
May your blessing be on your people!” (Psalm 3:1-8, CEB)

Have you ever felt like your critics were starting to outnumber your allies?  Maybe it seemed that way because some of your former allies turned into critics!

And, then it makes you wonder, “Who’s got my back?” Who’s on my side? Who do I trust when friends become enemies?

Undoubtedly, David felt that way when he wrote this Psalm. Only, he experienced the most extreme form of betrayal, that of his own family, his own son.

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Emancipation Proclamation – Hebrews 13:1-8

Emancipation_Proclamation“Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:7-8, NASB).

Recently in the men’s Sunday School class I attend, the lesson was from Hebrews 13. And, this lesson from Hebrews 13 helped me resolve a long-standing theological dilemma I had wrestled with from Romans 6-8.

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God’s Distinctive People – Exodus 11-12

DistinctivePeople“That you may understand how the Lord makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel” (Exodus 11:7, NASB).

This statement is the conclusion of Moses’ declaration to Pharaoh before God sent the final plague, the deaths of all the firstborns, against Egypt.

A previous meditation about the plagues God sent against Egypt to convince Pharaoh to emancipate the Israelites established that what matters to God is where your allegiance falls. The Israelites couldn’t serve serve God and Pharaoh.

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I Pledge Allegiance – Exodus 7-10

allegiance“Let my people go, so they may serve me” (Exodus 7:16; 8:1, 20;  9:1, 13; 10:3, NASB).

If I asked the question, “What did God tell Moses to say to Pharaoh?” you would probably respond, “Let my people go!” At least that’s the way I remember it, but that’s not the whole story.

A closer reading of the story of the plagues God sent against Egypt to convince Pharaoh to emancipate the Israelites in Exodus 7-10 reveals there’s more to God’s directive to Pharaoh than just release the Isralites. And, what else God told Moses to tell Pharaoh suggests that the conflict between God and Pharoah played out in this narrative was of cosmic proportions!

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The Lost Art of Spiritual Warfare – II Corinthians 10:3-6

PullingDownStrongholds“For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.” (2 Corinthians 10:3-6, ESV).

In these verses Paul defends his apostolic ministry to the Corinthians. Paul indicates that there is a world war being waged for the souls of men and women. But, it’s a spiritual war not a physical one.

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